Saturday, December 29, 2012


Here's Ezra's Christmas haul.  Far too much for one kid...but he totally deserves every bit of it ;-)

Christmas morning, he walked out to the living room and did his signature gasp of surprise when he saw all his "pessies" under the tree.  He was SO FREAKIN HAPPY.  Here's the only picture I took during the actual present-opening process.  It was the first one that he opened - some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse figurines.  Oh, how he loves these things.

We had to take a couple breaks from eat.  He also had to have gifts shoved in front of him and we had to really entice him to leave the previously-opened gift alone for a moment ;-)  After all was said and done, he did some serious playing.  The huge box of Hot Wheels, the Mickey Mouse Camper set, Mickey figurines, and plush Goofy & Minnie were probably his faves.  

 Here he is, dancing around in the bubbles....because if we can't have snow for Christmas, we'll have bubbles!

Here's my Mini Man, having a tea party with Mickey, Minnie & Goofy...

And Ez playing with his Mickey Mouse Camper.  Oh, geez, does he love this thing.

We had a fantastic Christmas. Ez got a ton of great gifts - I'm pretty sure that the theme this year was split between Mickey and Thomas the Train...with only a few other gifts not adhering to either ;-)  

Also, we've still got the tree up and he periodically will start asking for more "pessies" and look around for more.  It's pitiful.  And funny.  And makes me want to give him a gift every day...because I'm a sucker for making that kid light up like that :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monthly Pics, Hotel Blaustein & SHUT IT DOWN!

First and foremost...Ezra would like you all to know how old he is!

He really didn't want me to take his picture without him holding the chalkboard in front of his face...but I finally got one (out of the twenty-three that I took).

A few days before that, I'd left Ez, happily playing in the living room.  I came back about 2 minutes later to find him sitting at the table (it's a counter-height table, mind you), tearing into these tomatoes like they were apples.  I couldn't be mad...there was a container of cookies within his reach, but he chose the tomatoes :)


Our friends came back to visit for a couple days.  The boys were, once again, awesome together.  They really get along well.  Here they are, wearing mesh strainers as hats (pastafarians?!), riding fire trucks, after terrorizing the living room.

Where did they go?  I swear they were just here!

Surprise!  (or, as Ez says...PIES!)

We went down to the strip for some sightseeing.  Here's the boys inside Treasure Island, looking only halfway impressed ;-)

Our main reason for going to the strip (and our friends' main reason for visiting!) was to go to Gordon Ramsay's newest restaurant, BurGR.  We seriously have seen every show he's ever done (thank you, Netflix) and are kind of obsessed with the man.  We ended up eating there on it's opening night (!!!!) and it was freaking awesome.  Seriously.  We waited approximately 4 times longer than we were quoted (it was first come, first reservations).  But even with that, it was phenomenal.  It's strictly a casual burger place...with a distinct Gordon Ramsay twist.  Like, you can get fries (omg, the best fries I've ever had) just plain, truffle fries w/ truffle aioli, or sweet potato fries sprinkled with vanilla sugar served with honey jalapeƱo mayo.  What?  Seriously?  The burgers are just as perfectly-extravagant...and just as delicious.  Oh, and the desserts -- are milkshakes...with pudding.  OHMYGOD.  So good.   The service was great, the decor was was definitely a great time.
Here's my Mini-Man, eating some fries (dipped in curry ketchup)... 

And finally, a couple nights later, a cute shot of Ez in his Elmo slippers :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Conversation With Ezra

Me:  Hey, Ez!  Come here!
Ezra:  Yeah, ma?  What's up?

Me:  I was wondering what your thoughts on the 12.21.2012 craziness are...?
Ezra:  Hmmmm.....Well....

....I think Cat in the Hat is going to come rushing into the house, saying "I'm the Cat in the Hat, there's no doubt about that...." and just then, fire trucks come barreling through the backyard!  Sirens blaring and lights flashing!  And then real police officers are going to come storming over the back wall...then....then...Mickey Mouse and Goofy and Minnie and Daisy are all going to ride their bikes over to our house and tell me that they want me to join their group!  Mom, I'm telling's going to be AWESOME!

....and then I get all the ice cream and cookies and frozen blueberries I want!

Me:  Oh!  Is that what you think?
Ezra:  Uh...yeah.  That's about it.

And so you have it, folks.  This concludes the Conversation With Ezra.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


(almost in time for Christmas!)  

Our dear friends, the Champagne's, came out to celebrate Thanksgiving with us!  Ez and Des have known eachother since pre-birth, thanks to our Bradley birth class.  The funny thing is how close they are in age, yet how far apart they are in size.  Ez is the second smallest of the group (and the youngest) and Desmond is the biggest - and the second youngest.  They get along great and were so happy to see each other :)
Here's the boys on the first evening...enjoying a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally game...

We had a DEE-licous Thanksgiving dinner and headed out to Fremont Street to do a little touristy-sightseeing.  It was a little sketchy in the surrounding areas, but the already-revitalized-area is well-secured, loud, touristy, and full of people-watching fun!


The boys had lots of fun playing hide and seek in the giant, oversized wall-cubbies in our living room. 
Finally!  Something to fill them with!  Cute kids!

I have no idea...

Thankful for some seriously delicious food!

I love how Des looks as dejected as the area surrounding Fremont Street does ;-)

Two fire trucks full of real firemen! started handing out these helmets to kids just as we were checking out the trucks.  Ezra was the happiest kid on earth at the moment that the real fireman! came up to him to give him his helmet :)  

The boys, checking out the fountain show at the Bellagio...

Us...and our giant frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 2, just outside Caesars Palace.  Ohmygod.It.Was.Awesome.  Clearly - because Ezra cannot take his eyes off of it ;-)

Post-ice cream peekaboo!

The Hoover Dam at night.

We're as tired as we look ;-)

...and to the left, Nevada.....and to the right, Arizona!

Breakin' the law, breakin' the law!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lots and lots of catching up!

I'm so, so, so behind.  We had friends in town for Thanksgiving, then Ez started with some random fevers, then it was Christmas cookie-baking time.  While baking used to take about a day to's now a week-long adventure, thanks to an ever-curious toddler.  He likes to help...and by help, I mean, watch the mixer, measure out sugar & flour, sift flour (this is always messy), and whine "cookie!  coooooooookiiiieeeee!" for several hours ;-)

So, here's some pics that have been piling up...

Ez likes to take the presents out from under the tree, line them up, "count" them, then not put them back.  Fun.

I caught him playing in a hole that the dogs had started.  He made it even bigger.  And messier.

Then he took fistfuls of dirt, put it on his roller coaster, smeared it around, then slid down in the dirt...on his belly...SUPER FUN (for me to clean up ;))

This train was one of Ezra's favorite things inside the Bellagio.  He forced us to watch it go around and around and around.....again and again and again ;-)

And here's his other favorite part of the holiday decorations.  He kept signing bear and cold.  He's so damn cute.

We met up with my cousin, Lindsey, who was in town for a conference.  Of course, we ended up on a tram (for Ezra), went to see the fountain show at the Bellagio, ate some food, and saw some ridiculous attire.  Ahh...Vegas.  
Ezra seems really intrigued with Lindsey in this one...

I'm going to try really hard to get caught back up before this weekend....when we have more guests in town ;-)  It's Hotel Blaustein, people...and we're now taking reservations for 2013!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cactus Lighting!

So...this post never got published.  I'm 95% sure that I scheduled it, but now, a month later - it's just now being done manually.  Thanks, blogger.

Last Tuesday was the annual cactus lighting at the Ethel M's Chocolate Factory cactus naturally, we went to check it out ;-)

We arrived as George Wallace was about to introduce a man named Michael Grim on to the stage.  I remembered him from America's Got Talent...last year, maybe?  Not sure - but I do remember thinking that he was pretty great.  We could hear him...but unfortunately couldn't see a thing beyond the really tall, very rude man that pushed his way in front of us.  Whatever.  Jordan put Ez on his shoulders so that he could see the lights and people up on stage, so at least he was happy :)

Once the official lighting of the cacti was done, we all poured into the gardens to check out the sights.  We've never been here before, and frankly, it looks a whole lot like the cactus gardens (next to the rose gardens) in Balboa Park.  But they had a bunch of inflatable characters and animals all around, so Ezra had some fun.

Here he is at my first attempt at taking his picture, solo.  Clearly, he was not in the mood.

The driving force behind this one was that Ez was completely obsessed with the penguins.  There were a few different inflatable penguins throughout and he simply fell in love...

Here is our Little Man next to a dwarf Joshua Tree.  Hopefully, we'll be camping in Joshua Tree sometime in the next few months...

Ez!  Go stand next to a bunch of rocks!

It's entirely possible that he was breaking into an impromptu Macarena. 

Me and my Mini.  I love him so.

A little boy (maybe around 6 years old?) who was walking behind us, came up to Ez and gave him his balloon butterfly.  This is what was left after it spontaneously burst a few of it's "parts."

After a couple hours out in the wind and crowds, a kid likes to relax with a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, some Mickey pajamas and some frozen blueberries...okay?

And this one was from a couple days before the cactus lighting.  He seriously just sneaks up on me with these inflatable things on his hands...and it's quite startling ;-)