Happy Marcus Monday!

Marcus must have been on Santa's 'Good List' this year. The kid made out with some pretty sweet stuff.
Left: Wagon the converts to a bench, courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Macke.
Center: Jeep, courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Dudding.
Right: Tricycle, courtesy of Mom and Dad.
Please excuse our absence for the next few days as we continue to enjoy our families during the holidays. 

Happy Monday!


Floral Fanfare

While I love the traditional holiday decor that can be found in many homes this time of year, our home included, I felt we needed something a little different to bring us some holiday cheer. We needed something fresh, something beautiful, something unique.

With the help of David Goldstein at My Beverly Hills Florist I found an absolutely stunning floral arrangement that has made our home feel extra merry and bright this season.

Browsing through My Beverly Hills Florist I found I loved every single one of their bouquets. Each floral arrangement presented something elegant and charming, something that would bring instant beauty to any room, home, office, or event. Selecting just one arrangement to call my own was difficult! Ordering and checkout were a breeze.

The delivery of our bouquet was prompt, and to my door within one day of ordering.
When our arrangement arrived I was flabbergasted. The grandeur of it took my breath away.
As I was trying to find the perfect place to showcase the flowers I kept thinking that I'd never had such a gorgeous floral arrangement grace my home.
With huge hydrangeas, bursting rose buds, my favorite - calla lilies, and lambs ear sprinkled throughout, it was love at first sight. And the aroma that softly filled the air was intoxicating. I kept walking past the bouquet to catch hints of the light and fresh scents.
The next time our home needs something fresh, bold, bright and beautiful I will be heading straight to My Beverly Hills Florist.

To add a fabulous arrangement to your home, office, or event, be sure to visit David at My Beverly Hills Florist.

I was compensated a floral arrangement for this post, however all opinions are my own.

21 Months Old!

Dear Marcus,

Hear we are again. Another month has gone by, and another month where I'm left scratching my head wondering how the time slipped right by me (especially with all those sleepless nights you gave us).

This month has been a whirlwind. Between trying to keep up with you during the day, and trying to keep you asleep at night in your own bed, I wonder where you find all this energy?!
Unofficial Stats
Height: 35 inches (95th percentile)
Weight: 32 pounds (95th percentile)
Teeth: 17
Clothes: shirts - 2/3T, pants 2T, shoes 6/7
Diapers: size 5
On the Go
You are a bundle of non-stop motion. If it were up to you we'd be outside running laps around the town all.day.long.
Recently you've discovered how to jump, for real jump. Your little feet get about an inch off the ground and you are so proud of your new found ups. It's hilarious to watch you stop in mid-stride to show off your jumping skills.

I was truly worried you would never speak. I had enough concern to start looking in to speech therapy. However, your vocabulary is expanding by the day. You'll say a new word all day long, and then I won't hear it again for weeks. I am a little concerned you think the cat's name is "IzzyNo!" Apparently we are often scolding the cat… You love to chase the cat around shouting out her name.
Your word count is probably between 20-30 words. Some of your favorite words include: "what's that?", "oh no", "oh my", "oh man", "up", "Izzy", "button", "boom", "beep", "ding", and "no" (this one is your all time favorite I think).

If we could PLEASE get past the love for macaroni and cheese that would be great. I'm certain you would swim laps in mac and cheese if I let you. You'll occasionally try new foods, but if we were smart we would buy stock in Kraft foods. Other foods you'll eat on a constant basis: bell peppers, blueberries, Goldfish, string cheese, yogurt, yogurt balls.

Oy. Sleep. Before this month you were a pretty good sleeper. Then that all went out the window. We even had to go through another Ferber sleep training cycle. And, even that hasn't solved all of our issues. You will go to bed all on your own at night, but inevitably you will wake and want nothing more than to sleep while your dad or I rock you. Thankfully you no longer want anything to do with sleeping in our bed. However, it'd be great if we could all have an uninterrupted night of sleep.
You still take one nap a day, and it ranges anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours.

Lately you've really gotten into stacking/building, and putting like-shaped toys in their correct/assigned spaces. In typical boy fashion, you love trains and big trucks.

In the mornings you and I still snuggle up and watch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while you drink your cup of milk. It's our quiet time to slowly wake up. When you are upset, hurt, or simply frustrated you find comfort being held. Your sweet little self loves to give Mommy and Daddy kisses, especially right before bed.
Little man, I'm sure I've said it a million times, but this stage - though trying and exhausting - is so much fun.

Baby boy, for this next month I only ask two things: less sleepless nights and more kisses.

I love you to the moon and back, twice.


Happy Marcus Monday!

In case posting this on Instagram and Facebook wasn't enough…

These two cuties had a festive little pajama party this weekend.
Happy Monday!


My Wrap Job Stinks, But at Least I Can See

Though Scott would disagree with me, this week has FLOWN by. It's probably because we're less than a week away from Christmas. We are also this close to going home to be with family and friends - CAN.NOT.WAIT!

Jumping right into this week's highlights:

1) My Christmas shopping has been done for ages. But, it took me until Wednesday to get everything wrapped and under the tree. Albeit, my wrap jobs this year are sub-par, I surprisingly don't give two hoots. I'm just ready for Christmas, bring it on!
A mishmash of paper, no bows, no cute-sy wrapping theme, no worries!
The best part of it all may be that half our gifts aren't even under the tree, they're already in Kansas/Iowa. 
2) I don't want to jinx it, but I think Marcus' terrible sleeping habits and early mornings are going by the wayside. In the last 10 days there hasn't been a morning he's been up before 5:30. Little Man has been sleeping all night, in his own bed, and we've even had a few rare gems where he has slept in until 7:00. Fingers crossed this trend continues. Forever.
Sweet dreams sweet boy.
3) This may be the total geek in me, but yesterday I picked up my new glasses. Fricking LOVE them.
Contacts and me clash, so I primarily wear glasses. There's something kind of exciting about a fresh pair of specs.
4) Call me crazy, but taking a look at the weather between LA and KC in the next week and I'm actually kind of looking forward to the cooler temps. It doesn't *feel* like Christmas when you're not all bundled up (but let's be honest, now days we bundle up if it drops below 70 - I'm not even joking).
So long as there is no sleet or snow those temps will be welcomed… For about a week.
5) Last night Marcus and I started watching The Polar Express. I fully expected him to lose interest after 24 minutes (which is the exact duration of one episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). To my pleasant surprise, Marcus sat still for an entire hour. I'm convinced he would have watched the whole movie had it not been bath/bed time. Guess what I'm downloading for our flight home?
It's a Christmas miracle!!
Have a great weekend!


Holiday Lights

As mentioned in yesterday's post we opted out of Disney in lieu of more financially, *ahem* free *ahem*, responsible fun.

After a whirl wind of cliffs, beaches, and trains we decided to head to a neighborhood that is known for going ALL OUT with their Christmas lights. Candy Cane Lane, as it is affectionally referred to, has one of the largest holiday displays in the country, and it does not disappoint.
We're talking block, after block, after block of homes decked out with Christmas lights. A good six block span participates in this yearly tradition.
10,000 lights? We (read: Scott) puts up two strands and call it a day!
The electric bill is $200 MORE than usual?! That's holiday decoration dedication at its finest.
Each home has a big Chinese Elm Tree in their front yard, and each tree has multiple lights strung loosely, creating a very simple yet beautiful look. Looking down each block and seeing all the lights hanging from every tree is such a fabulous sight.
No photo can do all these lights justice.
On top of the decorated Chinese Elms some houses go all out with lawn ornaments and lawn displays.
This is just a TINY sample of all the different displays we passed.
Marcus quickly took to the candy canes that lined many of the homes sidewalks and driveways.
And I spotted a lawn ornament that quickly became my favorite.
I wish this picture did this the justice it deserves. It twinkled and sparkled and was gorgeous! 
Some neighborhood kids were selling popcorn, baked goodies, freshly made waffles, and hot chocolate. The atmosphere of it all was exactly what Christmas should feel like.
Even though we were surround by hundreds of other gawkers everyone was in such a great mood. There wasn't a single Grinch or Scrooge to be found.

And though we didn't get to meet Mickey this weekend we *did* see him!
Marcus was SO excited when he spotted Mickey. I couldn't get Marcus out of his stroller, and closer to Mickey, fast enough.
It was a little disappointing to skip over Disney Land this weekend, but after all the fun we had, and listening to Marcus continuously "ooooh" and "ahhhh" over the Christmas lights I know our little man had a pretty magical weekend.

We Didn't Do Disney

I begged and pleaded to go to Disney Land this weekend. It didn't happen. In hindsight it was probably for the best. As much as I'm dying to see Marcus' face light up with joy and delight when he meets Mickey Mouse, it's really hard to justify selling a kidney to enter the amusement park. Seriously, the Happiest Place on Earth also happens to be the Most Expensive Place on Earth.

Instead of putting our organs on the Black Market to afford a little fun, we found all sorts of fun - for free.

Weekend temps reached near 80, no way we were staying inside. A hike along the cliffs and coast was a no brainer.
We lucked out with no marine layer and had the best view of Catalina Island and Trump National Golf Course. 

Though we've made this hike a hundred times the view never gets old. 
Top left: Purple Sea Urchin shell. Top middle: Trump National Golf Course. Top right: Bird of Paradise.
Please excuse the grainy-ness, we had to "selfie"-shot this one.
Once we reached the water we let Marcus loose in the tide pools.
The little man LOVED it. There were all sorts of itty bitty sea creatures that we spotted.
Thankfully we ran into someone kind enough to snap a family pic.
Sweet, salty sea kisses. Heart. Melted.
Give the kid a rock and he's happy as a clam. Let him throw that rock and you've pretty much made his day.

The fun didn't stop after our cost and cliff adventures.
Post-nap we *needed* to get out of the house.
To the Red Car we went to snag a ride.
 It never fails, the Red Car puts even the grumpiest Grumpy McGrumperson in a good mood.
My favorite picture from the weekend.
There's even MORE to our fun filled free weekend, but if I keep going this post will never end.

Cheers to the Macke Family Free 99 Weekend!


Christmas Cards

I'm pretty sure our Christmas cards have all reached their intended destinations by now. Now I can finally share them with everyone!


Happy Marcus Monday!

We did it. We finally introduced Marcus to Santa.
It went about as I expected and secretly hoped. #momoftheyearaward

You are welcome.
Happy Monday!


Disney Christmas and a Real Butt Burner (So Random, I Know)

It's been a stressful week, to say the least. Sending Grandma D home is never fun, talks of moving aren't easy, and dealing with a croupy (read: snotty nosed) kid is not my idea of awesome.

However, here we are - FRIDAY! #thankyoubabyjesus

Though the week was a little, um, rough, it is time to high-five and highlight the positives.

1. Scott's had some insanely early mornings this week. I think there was only one day he "slept in" until 5:00. The rest of the week he was up by 3:00, or earlier. Today was another early start, but he'll be home around lunch. Macke Family three-day weekend for the win!

2. Last night Scott and I had a nice, long discussion with my dad about our housing situation. My dad has always been one to take a bad situation and make it better. There are not enough thanks in the world to let my dad know how grateful I am that he has the ability to put my mind at ease. Dad, if you're reading this, thank you times infinity. 
3. After seeing Jamie's InstaGram pics of Disney Land (and Scott getting home early today) I'm doing everything I can to convince Scott we NEED to make a trip there this weekend (read: today). Marcus is OBSESSED with Mickey Mouse, he'd be in heaven if he met the squeaky mouse. 

4. I'm also hoping we "run into Santa" while we're out and about this weekend. Marcus has yet to meet the jolly old man, and secretly I'm hoping for a Santa Fail Photo - mom of the year, right here!
5. In the last couple weeks I've cut down my running milage a bit and kicked it up a notch in the weights department. As much as I love running it's nice to have a little change in the workout routine. Yesterday's workout took about 20 minutes, but every muscle in my body was shaking from fatigue. If you have a medicine ball, some weights, and 20 minutes give this a try.
I have to thank Scott for the last few workouts I've done. I'm always bugging him to "quick write me up something." When it comes to weight routines I'm kind of clueless. Scott is all into Crossfit, so he's always coming up with crazy workouts for me.
 It looks easy enough, but I PROMISE you will feel a burn in your butt and thighs. 

Happy Weekend!!


Holiday Hands {{DIY Kids Craft}}

As much as I love all of our travel ornaments and ornaments that have been gifted to us, my favorites are already the ones that have Marcus' little hands all over them (literally).

Along with Christmas cutouts, I started a tradition of making an ornament out of Marcus' hand each year. It's something I hope to continue for as long as he will let me.

This is *such* an easy craft. I'm hoping once Marcus is a little older he will want to help more in  the crafting aspect. Shoot, I'll be happy if he sits still long enough for me to get a good tracing of his hand.

Truth: This year I had to dip Marcus' hand into finger paint and then place his hand on paper to trace his  handprint. Little man wanted nothing to do with me tracing his hand. You're totally shocked, aren't you?
The steps to make the ornament are pretty easy. But, I'll try to break it down a bit.

1. Trace your littles hand (or do like I did and use finger paint to get a handprint to trace).
2. To make things pretty fool proof I create the Santa face on paper before I start cutting. Labeling each part ensures I cut exactly what I need from the appropriate color felt.
3. Trace the whole hand on white felt and cut out.
4. Cut the "Santa hat" portion off of the paper hand to create a stencil.
5. Using the paper stencil, cut the hat out of red felt.
6. Glue the red felt hat on the to white felt hand.
7. With white felt scraps, cut out trim for the hat.
8. Glue white trim onto hat.
9. Using white felt scraps, free hand a mustache.
10. Glue mustache in appropriate place.
11. With glue, attach wiggle eyes in appropriate place.
12. Using a small dab of red puff paint create Santa's nose.
13. With glue, attach jingle bell at tip of hat.
14. (Optional) Trace outline of entire face with gold puff paint.
15. (Optional) After puff paint is dry, apply glue to beard and mustache areas to attach white fluffy stuff for a three dimensional look.
16. (Optional) On the back of each ornament I have Marcus' name and age written.
In just one year it is amazing how much Marcus has grown. It was so fun to pull out the ornament from last year and compare it to the one we (I) made this year.
No ornament is complete until it's hung on the tree. Here are both ornaments proudly on display on our tree.