Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Trimming the Tree


Trimming the tree is hands down my favorite Christmas tradition. 
Festive PJs ✓
Christmas carols ✓ 
Keepsake ornaments ✓
Unruly child dismantling the tree as fast as we can trim it ✓

Clearly there's a lot to love 😉
In all seriousness though, the first Christmas that we have a gorgeously decorated tree with perfectly spaced ornaments, and breakable items on the bottom branches will be bittersweet because it will mean my babies aren't so little anymore. For now, I love our slightly ramshackle tree that gets disassembled and reassembled every day all month long. I love turning it on first thing in the morning and hearing Ez exclaim "lights!!" and seeing Declan's eyes light up as he realizes all over again that there's a tree sprouting toys right in our living room. It doesn't get much better than that. 

Everyday activities feel so much more festive against the backdrop of Christmas lights and pine scents. I love seeing favorite ornaments I haven't seen for a year that immediately bring back so many memories. But, most of all, I love all of us piled onto the couch underneath a fluffy blanket watching Mickey's Christmas movies with lights twinkling in the background. It really is the most magical time of the year. 

Ez has inherited my festive gene, and every magical Christmas moment is absorbed and magnified a million times through his eyes. He's at an age where Santa threats mean something and a Santa sighting is enough to nearly make his heart burst. I can say without a doubt that this is the best Christmas yet. 

Decky, on the other hand...well, he's a bit of a bah humbug. He spent most of our tree trimming on the other side of the room playing with Hissy the Cat (a stuffed animal). We managed to catch a few photos where it appears he's decorating with us, but in reality he's undecorating, like the little Grinch he is. He gets it from his Daddy. 

No worries though, Ez and I are festive enough for twenty Deckys. Sooner or later he'll cross over to our side 🎄


And, last, but not least, what happened to my babies??


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Disneyland at Christmastime


Expect to see a whole lot of Disney everything around here and on social media because we took not one, but two Disney trips in a two week span. Did we got a teensy bit overboard? Perhaps. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY.


Even though we had a Disney World trip on the horizon, there are some things that are unique to Disneyland that we were missing. For one thing, Cars Land. The boys LOVE it there, and we easily spend 80% of our Disney visits hanging around Flo's Cafe, watching the cars race by, and dancing along to DJ's music. And the second thing missing from Disney World is It's a Small World all lit up for Christmas. We hadn't been to Disneyland for Christmas in about three years, and let me tell you, I missed that so, so much. 


So the boys and I (minus Joe) packed up and drove 450 miles in three days, making one pit stop to pick up my mom, and another one at my aunt's house to visit for a night before heading onto DISNEYLAND for one and half days. Yep. We literally spent more days driving than we spent at the park. But again, was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. I mean, look at those lights, which my pictures can't even begin to do justice. It's so magical, and the boys loved every second of it.


Even though everyone and their mother decided to do a Disneyland trip those same days, and the temps were in the 90s (in November!!) we managed to ride all our favorite rides multiple times (Dumbo, Monster's Inc, and Flik's Flyers), consume way too many festive holiday drinks (ok, that was mainly just me), all while chasing down two crazy, exuberant little boys 25 miles through the parks (did I mention my mom has a broken ankle??). 


Memories were made, bonds were forged, we were sweaty, and dirty, and exhausted at the end of each day, and none of us wanted to leave. Thank you Gangy, for being brave enough to do two Disney trips in as many weeks with us! You're the best and we love you!


As soon as we got home the boys asked to turn around and go right back. Little did they know that we were going to DISNEY WORLD in less than a week! More on that coming up. Merry Christmas season, everyone!


Sunday, December 3, 2017

November by the Numbers


November was a month full of magical, lifelong memory-making. It was a month we've been looking forward to all year long because....DISNEY WORLD!!!!! It seemed like it was forever away, and then all of a sudden it snuck up on us and passed us by way too quickly. Why do the best days always seem to do that? I'll do a more in depth post on our Disney trip, but I wanted to take a quick moment to recap November before we dive fully into Christmas season. 

We covered a lot of ground this month, on foot, by car, and in the air, and we made sure to soak up every single magical moment. Ez's excited squeals and dances when he met his favorite characters will be imprinted on my heart forever. As will Declan barfing when both Minnie AND Daisy came around for a visit. I've gotta give him credit for his impeccable timing. 

In addition to our Disney World trip, my mom and I took the boys for an impromptu trip to Disneyland just before Thanksgiving. We may be a tad bit spoiled and I think we've all forgotten how to function in the real world. What do you mean we can't walk around with Storm Troopers and Donald Duck day drinking festive cocktails and eating all the Mickey shaped treats? School schedules and appointments? I quit. Forward my mail to Disney.

These boys of mine have experienced some of the highest highs this month, as well as some of the most epic meltdowns. They make life fun and crazy and hilarious and did I mention crazy? I'm so glad we got to experience this amazing trip together, along with my parents and brothers. There's no one else I'd rather do a 3 am red eye 4 hour delayed cross-country flight with. I mean it.

Thank you Gangy and Grampa!! You spoil us! 😙

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thankful


Happy Thanksgiving Eve!!

I hope you all have something to be as thankful for as Decky is for his $9 Disney balloon 🎈

Balloons aside, we have so much to be thankful for this year, and I love this reminder to pause and reflect on all the beauty in our lives. As always, these three crazy goofball boys of mine are my biggest blessings. They keep life messy and hilarious and always interesting. If you ask Ez what he's thankful for, he'll say Wacky Tacky (an indoor playground), Disneyland, and Decky. In that order. And I'm sure if Decky knew what "thankful" meant, he'd say he's thankful for his stuffed elephant, graham crackers, and his brother. Also in that order. Clearly 2017 has been good to us.

We'll be spending the day at my family's house, burning off stuffing and mashed potatoes by running laps through Gangy and Grampa's house, chasing two very loud and fast little boys.  

Wishing you all a weekend full of family, friends, laughter, and food...of course food 😉



Monday, November 13, 2017

Happy Half Birthday, Ez!


"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it."

Today Ez is four and a HALF years old. And as we all know, halves mean a whole lot when you're four. As of tomorrow, he's officially closer to five, which blows my mind. While we don't celebrate half birthdays (mostly because Declan's falls smack dab on Christmas) it is a good reminder to slow down a bit and look back on how far Ez has come in the past half year.


2017 turned out to be a year of big changes for Ez, and while I wouldn't call any of the transitions smooth, per se, I am so impressed with how hard Ez has worked to tackle all the challenges we've thrown at him. There was our spur of the moment move from San Jose to Sacramento in January, potty training, which I will shortly sum up as a battle royale, and, of course, preschool. Out of the four of us, he has had by far the most eventful year. Joe and I joke that Ez is the only one of us that has to leave the house and interact with the real world on a daily basis. And you know what? It hasn't been easy. For any of us.


Ez went from never being left alone with strangers, not even for a few minutes, to being left with people he'd never seen before for twelve hours a week. There were tears (and to be honest, there still are) but he has grown so much. He comes home wanting to play school. He leads me through their routine of outdoor time, art time (aka - playdough time), snacks, complete with washing our hands before, sharing, and story time. He has gone from being the shyest little wall flower, to coming out of his shell and playing with other kids. He's taken on a new level of independence, wanting to do things all by himself, even if it takes five times longer. We couldn't be more proud of him.


We have asked so much of our little four year old this year, and with each new lesson he learns, and task that he tackles, he is a little less my baby, and a little more boy. Then he does something that reminds me of little Ez, like jumping for joy when the garbage truck comes by, or wanting snuggles when he scrapes his knee, and I remember that he's still just a little four year old boy and I want to hold onto those moments forever. Or at least take a million photos that I can cry over every half year or so 😉


Dear Ez,

With every new challenge you face this year, you impress us over and over with your bravery, your hard work, and your persistence. You've nearly conquered your fear of public restrooms (which, to be honest, everyone kinda hates public restrooms) - and mommy's sorry for having to threaten you with being kicked out of Disneyland if you didn't use their restrooms, BUT, it worked, and one day you'll thank me. You've bravely branched out and are busy forming a little world all your own, outside of our family, where you learn so much each and every day. You've made new friends and sparked a love for learning that I hope continues to grow, year after year. You've fully embraced your big brother role this year, alternately looking after Declan, and then tackling him to the ground. You are still my best little helper, a role you've held since you could walk, helping with laundry, cleaning up, and taking out the trash. We love you to the moon and back, sweet boy, and we are so thankful to be on this journey with you.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October by the Numbers


I hope you all had the happiest, spookiest, most magical Halloween!

I'm a little bit in denial that October is over and there are only two months left in the year. October is one of my favorite months, and just like I say every year, this was my favorite Halloween season yet. I hope I say that every year for the next decade or two. I'd be sad that it's over except that we have so many exciting things to look forward to over the next two months. It really is the most magical time of year. But before I move full steam ahead into holiday season, here's a little recap of our October, which was filled to the brim with pumpkins, corn mazes, and excited little boys covered in dirt and hay by the end of each weekend. 


We kicked off trick or treating over a week before Halloween at a local kid's place called Fairy Tale Town. They had a Star Wars themed Halloween night and we were able to meet up with some friends and let the kids go wild collecting candy and climbing all over the numerous playgrounds scattered throughout the park. It was a good introduction to trick-or-treating and I'm happy to report that Ez is now a certified pro and Declan is quickly catching on (although he could care less about candy). 


Over Halloween weekend we finally turned our pumpkins into jack o'lanterns. Ez has been waiting about as patiently as a four year old can for this moment, and he carefully chose our designs and helped with the carving, although both he and Declan conveniently left the de-gutting to mom and dad. After we had carved our two pumpkins Ez diligently stabbed another small pumpkin for awhile and though carefully supervised he refused any help or direction and the result was a holey masterpiece that he was pretty proud of. I hope this doesn't mean we're raising a little serial killer...


On the big day Ez got a head start on trick or treating during his school's party. They went up and down the hallway trick or treating at each of the doors. Seeing all the four year olds in their costumes was the cutest thing ever and I'm quickly finding out that having a school-aged child adds to the holiday fun ten fold.


On Halloween night we trick or treated around the neighborhood and Ez was literally sprinting from door to door, bursting with excitement. About half the time he'd get jumbled up and shout "thank you!" as soon as the door opened, instead of trick or treat, which was pretty adorable. Decky decided to bring his Mickey Mouse plush along to every, single house. Perhaps a subtle hint that he would've preferred to go as Mickey over baby Moana? Sorry kid, maybe next year... Trick or treating was going great until Ez faceplanted. Hard. He was pretty much over it after that. We did a few more houses and headed home with nearly full buckets. Ez immediately perked up when he saw that he got cheetos AND kit kats. Day made. 


Until next year, Halloween!