Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Second Birthday of my Firstborn

Thanks to Will's cousin Beth, Will had a pretty spectacular birthday party. I say thanks to Beth for two reasons. The first, if it weren't for Beth and all her excitement (see previous post), Will's party would have been just Josh and me singing happy b-day to Will with a candle on a Hostess cupcake (hey, don't knock the Hostess cupcake. Where I grew up, these were staples). Instead, Will not only had a homemade "footfall" cake (per his request) but also an entire "footfall" themed party. The second reason Beth made Will's party a success was because she was far more enthusiastic about it than anyone else, including the b-day boy himself. She felt the entire trip to Utah was for the sole purpose of celebrating Will's birth (when in reality it was just a lucky coincidence). She asked everyone, including her maternal grandmother (who is NOT related to Will in any way), "Are you going to Will's birthday party?" Yes, Happy B-day to you Will, but the happy celebrating goes to you, Beth.

Here's the party low down. As mentioned above, it was a football themed party (which is what Will wanted AND it also happened to be on Superbowl Sunday, so it was per-fect!).

The decorations:

(Check out that rockin' footfall cake)
The concession stand (the idea of which I stole from my friend). The concessions were earned by paying with raffle tickets acquired by winning the "ball game" that Josh and his brother Nate came up with only moments before the actual event. And what were the concessions? All of Will's favorite foods: homemade mac and cheese, lil' smokies, guacamole and chips and fresh pineapple.
The "ball game":
Check out Beth's tongue. She is trying awfully hard.
Will's turn.
And Sam. Cute Sam. He just set the ball in. He's nobody's fool. He did what he had to do to be successful.

The presents (which were weak b/c he got a train set that I wasn't about to lug out to UT so I scrounged up a few gifts around the house and wrapped 'em up):
Tape on the hand. The look on Will's face is like, "Oh, no. What do I do with the tape on my hand?" Can you say a tad OCD?
Beth helping him every step of the way.
Gus giving a helping hand as well.
And, of course, there was the singing of the b-day song (I tried and tried to upload that video, but to no avail). It was all a little frazzled because by then the Superbowl had started and heaven forbid, the big boys miss the Superbowl. We had to rush through the song and hurry and eat the cake so that the boys could catch the TiVoed footfall game. And once again, Will wanted nothing to do with the cake. He had NO part of it. Too funny. I should have made him cookies. I know he loves cookies. Happy Second B-day, Will. We love your buns.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Singing Telegram: Take 2

For at least two weeks prior to Will's official b-day, we received daily phone calls (sometimes multiple times a day) from one little Beth Madsen (and most of the time, her parents had no idea she was even calling us. Yes, her mother taught her how to use speed dial and Beth put it to good use). The topic of these daily calls? Will's upcoming birthday celebrations. Beth wanted to know all the stats: the b-day cake, the party info., the presents, etc., etc. She even inquired what she could give Will. Not wanting this cute little 5-year-0ld to break the bank, I told her Will would love another little song dedicated to him. Not one to disappoint, Beth quickly came up with a Will b-day song. So, without further ado: Will's singing telegram, take 2. (If you want a reminder of the original, click here). We love you, Beth. Thanks for making Will's b-day so special (it wouldn't have been so special without you--trust me!). More pictures to come of Will's actual par-tay, someday.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ski Trip 2010: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Our fourth annual ski trip to the great Salt Lake (and then a jaunt to WA) was eventful as usual. I'm sure these travelogues are a tad dull, but report it I must, for the sake of posterity if for nothing else. So, for those of you who are dying to know, here's the break down of our 2010 ski trip: the good, the bad and even, I'm afraid, the ugly.

The Good:

  • Josh, Nate and Bard got to ski the beautiful Utah mountains almost every day (I only skied once. Where's the love?)
  • Will got to go skiing for the first time and LOVED it (he kept saying, "More skiing!" and "Ski powder!" and "More M&Ms" since we bribed him on the chair lift with M&Ms).
  • Plenty of trips were made to the brand-spankin' new and scrumptious Corner Bakery (operated by sis-in-law's dad) --I counted at least 5 times. If you're in the area of Red Butte in SLC, you've got to check it out.
  • Fun trips to the Children's Museum in SLC and the JUMP and BOUNCE House in Spokane.
  • Visits with some of my favorite people: my Granny, Marsha, Jim, Peggy, Erin, Nikki and her girls! Plus in Spokane, I got to visit with some old friends and my grandparents.
  • Girls' Night out at the ballet, viewing Swan Lake. Loved it, especially the swans and the beautiful music. (I especially loved the over-enthusiastic cat-caller present at the ballet. Seriously, he was "whooping" at the ballerinas' performances. Classy).
  • Lots of cousin time--Sam, Beth, Tanner, Katie, Nixon and Garret. We miss our cousins already! Plus, all the aunt/uncle/brother/sister time. Boy, were we spoiled.
  • Even more Granny/Gus and Grammy/Pompa time. Will was in grandparent heaven. I was in grandparent heaven. In Spokane, when Will woke up in the mornings, I just sent him up the stairs to find Grammy and Pompa while I snuggled back to sleep.
  • Watching the Olympics with my dad--he cried, twice. In his words, "I'm a sucker for a good story."
  • Of course, "bonding-time" with both our families. We have the best families ever!

The Bad:

  • Three separate airplane flights with Will on the lap. Two of those rides sans a helpful Josh. 'Nuff said. (Albany to Salt Lake, Salt Lake to Spokane, Spokane to Albany. Fun times, no?)
  • The twenty pounds I gained, thanks to the many trips to Corner Bakery. Little, yummy cookies--how I miss you.
  • The lack of time to do/see all I wanted to do/see whilst on vacation.
  • The post-vacation depression that settles in, realizing that I am now solely responsible for cooking, cleaning and attending to my child's needs. PLUS, the post-vacation depression from realizing I am far too far from family.

The Ugly:

  • Will's viscous sickness that spread across four states, six families and sadly even landed one person in the hospital (sorry, Michelle!). Let me tell you, he was so sick--it wasn't pretty (though, fortunately for me, his night of sickness coincided with our Girls' Night Out, so Josh was the stellar guy taking care of our sick little boy). Poor guy is just fine now, though I'm not so sure I can say the same for everyone else.

Ski trip, how we love you! Can't wait 'til next year. Enjoy the pics.

Will's first attempt at skiing.
The Mad fam skiing. And what would skiing be without some lovely mad-hat hair from yours truly? One day I may get a flattering shot of myself on the blog.
Will at the museum in the cute red truck.
Will and Beth on the horse at the museum. Sam was there, too, but I didn't get one good shot of the two of them.
Will at theJump and Bounce house. He loved it.
I had to show this one of Will's darling "cheese" smile.
The Spear family boy cousins. From left to right: Will, Garret and Nixon. Guess who's the youngest? That's right: Nixon. And one would think that it would be fun to have three boy cousins so close in age. If by fun you mean constantly breaking up fights and enduring lots of crying due to one another's brutality, then yes, it is fun.

Katie, Will and my cousins' kids, Jasmine and Emoni. Aren't they darling?

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Placid Lake

If ever you are lucky enough (or crazy enough) to visit Lake Placid, NY, in the dire month of January, you should take some time considering this option, weighing all the pros against the cons. To assist you in this process, I've compiled a list of my own that you may find helpful when making your own decision.

Top Three Reasons to Visit Lake Placid in January:
#1. You can visit all the famous Olympic sites where miracles really happened.
Thee Miracle on Ice ice rink.
The ski jump. It was high. Really high.

The ski jump medals platform. Notice how Josh so kindly shares the gold medal platform with Will--not the case with his Mama (see picture below). No, I wasn't sharing that platform with anyone--I was #1 and proud of it.
#2. You can walk around the darling, picturesque town, enjoying wonderful local fare.
This isn't actually a picture of the town, but it shows how pretty it was up there. Will doesn't look too impressed, though.
#3. You can watch (at minimum) three of your hubby's hockey games all played ON OLYMPIC ICE, where your child alternately yells, "Go Dada!", "Go Team!" and "Dada, come sit!" in between life-risking "jumps" off any and all bleacher ledges.
Will with his hockey-playing Dada. Will was obsessed with finding Josh on the ice. He finally got to the point where he could always pick out his dada on the ice. It was too cute.

Top Three Reasons to NEVER Visit Lake Placid in January:

#1. It's really cold.
#2. It's really, really cold.
#3. It's really, really, really cold. I don't think I'm impressing upon you enough how very cold it was.

Aside from the cold and the seemingly ever-present hockey smell, our short weekend jaunt to Lake Placid was one to remember (because I won't ever forget the cold). And aside from the good times and the hockey playing, the trip helped us unanimously decide one thing: we can now safely cross off Lake Placid from our list of possible places to live.

Lake Placid, we would love to see you again, but next time in the summer--when one can actually see the lake and maybe even swim in it--not walk and/or cross-country ski across its frozen surface.