Thursday, March 26, 2015

On top of the World in Colorado

A few pictures of our adventures in Colorado.

When I asked Max what his favorite part of the trip was he told me that it was taking the ski lift up the mountain.  With stars in his eyes he told me in a very serious tone, 
"Mom...I felt like I was on top of the world."  

I'd say that's validation of vacation success.

Our first night we stayed at Michael and Jane's house.  The quintessential Colorado cabin.  The boys were in awe of the surrounding wilderness.

We headed up to a condo in Keystone the next morning.
First on the agenda was skiing.  This child was SO excited.
Uncle Mike is so cool!
Fletch pretty much made the trip to Colorado just to be dressed like this...
Warmest baby on the mountain!
And then there was Sully.  My man.  He hated the cold.  He hated skiing (said he'd rather sled because he prefers sitting down)  He completed exactly 15 minutes of ski instruction and then retreated to the lodge for hot chocolate and french fries with Lolli, Boobo & GG.

Max, however, was in his element.  Watching my son discover something he has a passion for was one of those "wow" parenting moments.  He had insisted for the past year (since the winter Olympics) that he wanted to learn how to ski, but I figured he'd go down the bunny slopes twice and then complain about being tired or cold.  But the light in his eyes and his determination...I was so proud and so inspired by my little man.  He stayed out the whole day, only stopping for lunch.
Billy and Max getting warmed up.
It didn't take long for Max to feel confident enough to take on the larger slopes.  Max and Michael taking the lift.
These two share a special bond over their love of the mountains.
My confident little man signaling to Uncle Mike.
He had his share of wipe outs too, but always got right up.  Mike and Jane to the rescue :)
Really starting to get it!

Time for the big kids to have some fun.  Jane, Michael and Billy.
This man is a natural at everything he tries.  It's both annoying and very attractive ;)
My sweet little trooper.  Easiest baby ever.
Max may or may not have a little crush on his Aunt Janie ;)
Lunch time!
Thank goodness for the entourage that helped watch Fletcher and Sully while everyone else was out.
Reward after a long, tiring day.
Hot chocolate by the fire.  Life in Colorado was seriously so good.
And there's this guy again, just content to be.  Wild-hair-don't-care.
Checking out the ice sculptures.
Activities that Sullivan enjoyed much more than skiing...
Coloring with Uncle Mike.
Sightseeing in a warm, enclosed gondola.
Until next time, Colorado...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Be Mine.

My little loves.  You are my heart.  On Valentine's Day and all days.  
Here's how we spent this season of love...

Ready to make Valentine's for their friends:
I had left over maze games and kazoos from Fletcher's birthday party favors, so I wanted to use them up.  There weren't enough for Sully's class too so we used the left over bouncy balls from Max's party favors.  I have to get creative so nothing goes to waste around here :)

V-Day breakfast has become a big deal.  They look forward to the "pink milk" all year.
I grabbed a couple small things as my Valentine to each of them.
"Rawr means 'I love you' in dinosaur" | "I think you're dino-mite" | "For my Love Bug"
Double-decker Nutella french toast!  And fruit arrows.

Sully looking very pleased.
Fletch was not happy that I was letting his french toast cool before serving it to him.  Sweet Max offered his strawberry as consolation.

Much better!

Some surprises from Lolli and GG showed up on the doorstep!  Fletch loved his little fox :)

School party excitement!
Waiting his turn to pass out Valentine's...
Cookie decorating.
Making patterned bracelets.
Max and his girlfriend, Rosemary.
So much love :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Half.

In our family not much time passes without us finding an excuse to celebrate something or someone.  I love it that way.

And because...half-birthdays...why not?

We get to give the special kid a little extra love and say "you're half-way until your next birthday!"  These celebrations don't include gifts or cake...I'm not totally crazy.  It's just a fun dinner at "their" restaurant.  They think its pretty awesome and I think its pretty awesome that I don't have to cook on these occasions.
 Sully's Pub is a dive bar that has really good nachos and surprisingly delicious pizza.  We always go super early to avoid the "why are there kids here?" looks ;)   It's not our most nutritious meal of the year, but I brought oranges and carrot sticks to balance out the trans fat consumption.  The boys think its the best dinner ever.

Cheers to you, Sully 3.5!

And because I can never help myself...a quick flashback:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Celebrating Max

Max had a very memorable "birthday week".  It sadly started out with a trip to the doctor + shots.  He was very brave, but said the shots hurt way more than he thought they would :(  At least he got lunch and ice cream with Mom and Dad afterward. 
{Stats: 44 lbs, 44 inches - 90th  percentile}

We had a small family gathering on his actual birthday.  I kept it very simple...taco bar and cake/ice cream.  Max requested a Batman theme...
Make a wish!

 Mimi and Fletcher looking at the ViewFinder.  I order a new slide of pictures for the birthday kid each year.  It's a fun and quick way to see their year in review. 

The gift we were most excited to give Max was a trip to Colorado to go skiing and visit Uncle Mike and Aunt Jane.  He had been begging us to go skiing since he had immersed himself in the Winter Olympics last year.
 I put these clues in a bag so he could guess what his present was...
1) a drawing of mountains
2) a picture of him with Uncle Michael
3) New ski goggles

 He was excited but, delayed gratification is still a little hard for a 5-year-old to grasp.
(more on our skiing adventure to come in a future post...hint: he LOVED it!)

His other gift, however, produced the priceless reaction every parent hopes for on their kiddo's birthday...
"big boy" bike!
 He was thrilled and my heart soared seeing him so happy.

His birthday fun didn't stop there.  He also got to have a party with his 10 school friends at Science City.  Max is really interested in space/rocket ships/astronauts, etc so it was an easy choice.

Max packing his party favors...
Hmm...what's missing?  Evidence of the Milky Way thief... ;)

Sooooo excited for his party!  Even wore his rocket ship jammies the night before.

At Science City learning about circuits and electricity.
Then they got to turn their projects into a planet.

So happy...
Time for cupcakes and popcorn!

So much brother love...
After their activity and treats we got to explore all of Science City.  
The kids had a blast and I was exhausted at the end!
Max collected donations for the Ronald McDonald House in lieu of gifts for the 5th year in a row.  I love how rewarding this act of kindness has become for him.
He filled out his own donation sheet this year.
 You bring us so much joy, Max McAlister.  I hope your 5th birthday was all you had anticipated :)