Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our favorite commercial

We can't help it, we about fell out of our chairs when we saw this the other day.

I can't get it to work from youtube so click here to view our favorite commercial, it's the birthday one

Another typical day at home in Utah, I mean Las Vegas...Wait, I'm confused, did we move?

We were in Utah last week and it snowed quite a bit on us. I was so relieved to come home to Las Vegas where we suffer through 115* summers for the sheer pleasure of not having snow in the winter time. So I thought, anyway. Apparently all the weird weather has landed in Las Vegas and we had a freak snowstorm yesterday. It hasn't snowed this much here in about 40 years. Here are a few pictures of the snow at our house. Our area, it seems, got hit the hardest, we had 5-6 inches of snow by the time it finally stopped. The freeway exit to get to our house was closed and the last car to attempt going up it only made it half way. It's not like Vegas has snow plows! It was still pretty warm so the snow was slushy, which just made it super slippery. Ryan got stuck on our street right next to our house and we had to get 2 neighbors to help me push him in to our driveway (He is not that bad of a driver, his car just has rear wheel drive, which is a no-no in the snow, but we live in Vegas! ). I did take a loaf of my Pumpkin chocolate chip bread to them as a thank you today. Madison loved that!

So enjoy laughing at us crazies for suffering through the blistering heat and now the stupid snow.
We aren't.
This is what our back yard looked like after about 2 hours of snowing. Not bad, right?
Can you see the table in the back? It is dark, I know, but you can see the depth of snow on top of it.
This is our front yard and the street where Ryan got stuck.

Look for the bike in the top right corner, it is buried.

Thanksgiving at the Ainge's!

This was the first year we have hosted the entire Ainge clan for Thanksgiving. It was so much fun! AND we finally had enough room to do have more than one visitor.

Here is a recap of all the fun we had.

First, before anything else is said, I was in charge of the turkey and so I decided to try a salt brine. I was told to use Alton Brown's method from Food Network. It turned out amazing, and it really wasn't that difficult. I highly recommend it. I got a bucket at Home Depot for $2.89 and that is what I put it in. Next time you make a turkey, try it out, it made the gravy turn out AMAZING.

Madison helped out during the cooking process that day too, she made the rolls. Kathy had seen an idea on TV using Rhodes dough and putting them together to make a turkey with almond slivers as the tail and peppercorns as the eyes. They turned out so cute and she loved helping do something fun. They made fun place settings and you could eat them too! Doesn't get much better than that. They have a tone of fun ideas on their website for all the different holidays.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is being able to use my china. I love china and glassware and have ended up kinda/sorta unintentionally collecting it. I just love pretty things. I don't use it that often, especially with small kids, but any time we have a holiday meal I pull it out. It makes the day that much more special to me, and my dishwasher has a china setting so I don't have to hand wash them!

The big question on everyone's mind has to be, "Where were all the boys and what were they doing?" Watching some football for sure, that is a given, especially in this family. But mostly they pulled out Guitar Hero. Collin brought his Wii, along with all the attachments. The boys had way too much fun, but they entertained Madison pretty well. They even let her play a little bit. Later in the weekend they even started teaching her golf. It was really cute! She was obsessed with playing the drums, I think she is going to really get into music when I finally get around to putting her in lessons.

I love how any holiday of any sort has become a reason to shop, you know what I am talking about, "Come on down it's National Eat Pig Day, that means lowest prices of the year!" Are you kidding me??? Just because I think it's ridiculous doesn't mean I don't take advantage of any and all sales and Black Friday is a sacred day. We definitely got some shopping in. There are two guarantees when we see the Ainge's: one, somehow we will watch a sport of some kind, and two, we will shop. I love it! Two of my favorite things together in the same trip! We tried to hit up the Premier outlets downtown at Midnight Thurs night/Friday morning, but that did not work out too great. We spent 1/2 and hour just trying to get off the freeway and once we realized we would be waiting at least another hour and both parking garages were full, we left. It wasn't too bad though, there wasn't anything we HAD to have. We went there for a few hours on Saturday and got everything we wanted. It was fun. We definitely helped stimulate the economy on "Black Friday" and the following Saturday. We were able to get everything on our lists for the kids and plenty extra for us :) We always save up so we have some spending money for all the fun deals that weekend.

Since the family was coming in to town we waited to open Hunter's birthday presents. Like he would know that difference... It was fun watching him, he is much more interested in tearing the paper and opening the gifts than Madison was. It seemed like years before we could convince her to open more than one present. Hunter totally dug it! He loved finally getting some trucks and "boy toys" to play with. He usually ended up playing with Madison's princesses before his trucks "arrived."

During the week I had tons of great help, the best part was having someone to feed the kids while I cleaned up, put stuff away, or ate while my dinner was still warm. The simple things you miss when you have kids....Anyway, Hunter likes to play around once his belly starts getting full. One of his favorite tricks is biting the spoon and not letting it go. He just giggles and gets such a kick out of teasing us that way. I think he is going to be a practical joker when he gets older....Anything that gets a laugh becomes a common occurrence in his behavior. At least he is a happy child, right?

Everyone left us on Sunday, but Craig had to stay in LV for his yearly continuing education, so Kathy stayed with him. It was fun, they stayed at the MGM but hung out with us all day. She and Madison got to make their gingerbread house. They did this last year and Madison has been so excited to do it again. She gets to wear her apron and feel like an adult, she is so patient and exact when she puts it together, but I think her favorite part is sampling all the candy. You have to do that, right? Here she is with her finished product.

At the end of the week Craig and Kathy took Madison back to Utah with them for a fun-filled week. She had the best time talking to all the BYU kids that came over for family home evening, playing with Sophie at the ward Christmas party and while Kathy worked on Wednesday, and getting to help decorate for Christmas. It was fun for her to get one-on-one attention with her grandparents. I am a huge supporter of extended families and the importance of them in our kids lives, I love that they want to spend time with our kids separate from us. Plus, we love the break! I call my 2-4 weeks a year that our families take the kids my "paid vacation." This is my full time job after all!

Hope all of you had as much fun as we did! Thanksgiving and the 4th of July are my two favorite holidays, they are the only two that are not overly commercialized. They are all about spending time with family, visiting and eating and being thankful for all we are given. I am thankful for so much this past year, I feel so blessed to have a healthy, happy family and an amazing husband that does everything he can to make me happy. We are blessed enough to live in a country that has sacrificed so much to give us the unique opportunity to become whatever we dream of. I am so grateful for that, being a citizen of the United States of America is a blessing in itself, I still tear up every time I hear our National Anthem and love the reminder of the opportunities provided us.
Happy Holidays!

My baby turned 1!

I can hardly believe my baby turned 1!. It feels like I just had him. He has been such a joy to have, we actually feel like a family now. You know how when you have just one child it still feels like you are a couple with a kid tagging along? Now that we have two we are actually starting to feel like a real family, we have more of a schedule now, a system has come in to our household, and we have so much more fun. I never thought I would love being a mom so much, life sure changes perspectives. At least it does for me.

For his birthday I made him a cupcake with chocolate frosting (I know, another example of what a great mom I am-most mom's get a cake or make something fancy, my kid gets one cupcake)...That one cupcake he did get did not have a chance. Madison kind of picked at her cake a little bit and needed a little help figuring out what to do with it. Hunter needed no direction. When we were singing to him he was reaching as far as his little arms would read! If he could have gotten out of his chair he would have. He even licked his little fingers clean.

I even got a picture of the "How you doin'" face he makes. I have been trying to get a picture of it for months and I simply got lucky with this picture. There are quite a few things I can say about this picture, but it captures Hunter in all his "Hunterness." Do you see the crumbs on his tray? He tried to get every single one of them in his mouth. This was one item of food that did not get thrown of the floor.

The next question that arises when a birthday is celebrated is: "What did he get for his birthday?" Answer: A haircut!

I took him in to the girl that does my hair for his first haircut. I have no clue how to cut boys hair, eventually I will figure it out, but until then I will pay for the privilege of my child not looking like he cut it himself. He did not know what on earth was going on...poor kid! He gave me a few interesting looks when I was buckling him in to his booster and Karie was putting on his cape.

He sat still and calm the entire haircut, until she started styling it. Is he a boy or what? Little to absolutely no maintenance is his philosophy. He still doesn't like me styling it. But look how cute he turned out! He looks all grown up, and all the red that he had is gone. Looks like I might get my wish of a blondie! When I was prego with Madison I was convinced she was a boy because about once a week I would have a dream about a little blonde toddler boy-I took a yellow outfit to the hospital because I just KNEW they ultrasound was wrong. So maybe I was dreaming about this little guy-I'll say this, he is a dream! I cannot imagine an easier child. He is so calm and easygoing, nothing phases him. That will come in handy because he has one domineering, bossy older sister. (Can't figure out where she picked those traits up? Here is a hint: They come naturally from mom.)

Here is my big guy, in all his grown-up-looking glory. If only I could get his hair to look this cute. I didn't wash it for 2 days because he looked so cute and I knew I couldn't replicate it. Someone needs to teach me how to do kids hair, I am just finally figuring out how to do my own and I am almost 30.

Carrying a heavy load

Madison is such a helper with Hunter. As I have mentioned before, she wants to be his mommy so badly! When she has to get him for me this is what she does. It cracks me up, but I sure appreciate it!