Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Zack's Birthday Bash

In addition to our family party, we also thew a birthday bash for Zack with some of our neighbors and some of his friends from school. 
I made (what I thought) was a bunch of yummy food and treats for all our guests
Here is Zack with his friends from school. 
L to R- Courtney, Abby, Ayuko, Zack, Hemal and Amy
Fred and Kathy were kind enough to come by and say hello!  They even brought custard with them :)  Nic was enjoying that!
Emily, Jenn and Daniel (holding Sam)
Some of our building-mates, Scott and Lyle
And Nic, Janey and baby Emily
Thanks to everyone who could come by and say hello! We had a great time!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Zack's Birthday

Zack turned 28 yesterday!  We had such a fun day preparing and celebrating this great guy!  I wrapped the presents in the morning while he was at the hospital and Elise couldn't wait to open them and give them to Daddy.  Even when he got home the first thing she said to him was about his presents.  I think Christmas will go well for someone!  But that does mean that I'll have to hide every wrapped gift until Christmas Eve.  Good thing we had Zack's birthday as a test run! 
I wanted to make something special for dinner that we've never had before.  I made pan-seared filet mignon wrapped in bacon.  Yes, that is the full name and yes, it sounds much fancier when I say it like that.  It was a recipe from Our Best Bites seasons cookbook.  It was so so easy and very quick too!  I have never made anything like this before so I was a little worried but it turned out perfect and oh so delicious.  Zack told me to do a single post on the blog about the filet mignon alone.  Ha ha. 
And just because it was that good, here is a close up of it. It was served up alongside some steamed broccoli and twice baked potatoes. I also made the "suggested" garlic and herb butter to top it with and I'm happy I did.  Melt in your mouth good! I served it up on our You Are Special plate and we had a wonderful meal.
(Best picture of Elise smiling I could get!)
After dinner we opened presents.  Zack got a new sweatshirt, two long-sleeved shirts and google's new Chromecast.  After gifts it was time for cake!  I made him a chocolate oreo cream cake and it was as yummy as it sounds. 
Again, because I can, here is a close up of the cake.  I'm pretty sure we gained about 3 lbs. each from dinner that night, but it was worth it! 
Zack: We love you oh so very much!  You mean the world to our family and I don't know what we'd do without you.  We are so proud of how well you are doing in school and know that soon you'll make a kick-butt doctor too!  We love you!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Five

I learned at my last dentist appointment that I grind my teeth.  Fantastic.  I never used to do this but upon learning this, I realized that I do it when I fall asleep nursing....which is most nights.  I'm hoping to stop this on my own so I don't have to get a sexy mouth guard.
I just pulled out another loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread from my oven.  This is probably the 7th time I have made this since the end of September.  It's a problem.  It's just so delicious!
One of my favorite conversations goes like this:
Me: Hey, what's your name?
Elise: Lissers
Me: What is mommy's name?
Elise: Emily
Me: What is daddy's name?
Elise: Sweetie
I get off dinner duty tonight since our friend and landlord extraordinaire, Fred, is taking all of his tenants out to dinner at the Lakefront Brewery.  Each Friday they do a fish fry and have a polka band play.  It's lots of fun and the kids love it. 
Tomorrow Zack gets a really fun day!  He is going to the BYU vs. Wisconsin football game in Madison.  He is taking a double decker charter bus out to Madison.  He is going with a bunch of friends and neighbors.  I know he'll have a blast.  Fingers crossed we come out with a cougar win!! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Binky Fairy

We are binky free!!!  This has been a looooong time coming and I have been putting it off forever.  Zack and I finally bit the bullet and decided to take away the binky and it has gone really well!  I thought that a visit from the binky fairy might help ease the transition the most. 
It was a normal day and after bath time we told her a special visitor was coming.  We explained who the binky fairy was and that we were to put her binkys in an envelope so the binky fairy knew to come! 
We placed the binkys inside and Elise was not a happy girl.  We asked her if she wanted to help us put it out in the mailbox but she refused.  While I took the letter to be "mailed" I went and put it in the outside garbage so it wouldn't be a temptation to me.  When I walked back I set up what the binky fairy "left".
She got a letter from the fairy, some Sofia the First pajamas and a unicorn backpack that we affectionately named Periwinkle.  Once she received her gifts she was still sad and even said, "I already miss my binky" but I think she knew her fate was sealed.  She will ask for it here and there (usually in the middle of the day) but is doing so so well!
We are so incredibly proud of her!  Her binky has been with her since she was born and one of her favorite things!  She always had one in mouth and one in hand if she could.  We are proud that she has done so well giving up something so dear to her!  She hasn't even asked for it the past two nights!  Go Elise!


We had so much fun with Halloween this year!!  We had lots of different events to be at so it felt like it lasted for weeks, which we loved!! 
As I mentioned before, Milwaukee does Halloween a little different. Each neighborhood picks it's own day and time to have trick-or-treating.  It usually isn't on Halloween itself but can be.  For us it was the 25th!  I was really excited to take Elise out since this was the first time she went "real" trick or treating from door to door. 
Elise, Jane, Chloe and Naomi
Some fun decorations at a home we stopped at.
We went with our cute neighbor friends and had a great time! We noticed that a lot of people here set up a small bonfire our in their driveway and sit around the fire with their candy to hand out.  That made it a lot faster and warmer!  It was also pretty funny to see lots of dads out with beers in hand.  We were offered some cider at one home and she asked if we wanted it "spiked or un-spiked".  It made me laugh- we aren't in Utah anymore!!  We only did a few streets but still were able to bring home a lot of candy. 
The next activity we had was our ward Halloween party.  I signed up with our friends the Ratto's to decorate a door for the ward contest.  We didn't win but I think our mummy door turned out pretty cute!  Instead of a trunk or treat they just stayed indoors and went door to door in the church. 
Me and my cute monkey!!
Finally on Halloween we had trick or treating at the medical school.  It's always really fun to go there!! They have footprints all over the school and offices showing where to go and each office does a great job of decorating it.  After you finish that you can go to the cafeteria where they have games and activities and healthy food to eat.  It's fun every year!
Our cute little family!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cedarburg Creek Farm

A few weeks ago we went to a pumpkin patch out in Cedarburg.  It was a blast!!!  That morning when we told Elise we were going to a farm she was SO excited!!  She couldn't wait to go and kept asking us about all of the animals that would be there.  Just seeing her that happy made the whole thing that much better. 
It was a nice drive on a beautiful fall morning.  It is always nice to get out of Milwaukee and see how beautiful Wisconsin really is.  I forget that a lot of the time living in the city. 

Elise could have fed the animals all day!  She loved it!!  She didn't quite grasp the concept of opening up her palm so they could get the food so it was pretty funny to watch her feed them, but she had a good time! 
We said "gobble gobble" to the turkeys and told them we'd see them in a few weeks ;)
And oinked at the piggies
They also had ducks, geese, baby chicks and ponies.  Elise actually got bit by a pony while feeding it.  If you ask her today about a pony she will re-live the whole experience and tell you a pony bit her and "no no no pony!" 
James was being  his usual perfect self and hung out with me in the bjorn watching all the kids and animals.  I think he was pretty entertained too.
Besides feeding the animals, the farm had bounce houses to play on (Elise did 2 of them but we didn't get any pictures), a hayride, a corn maze, a "corn box" aka sandbox with corn, and mini tractor riding.  There was so much to do we could have stayed all day!
Here is Elise playing with the trucks in the corn box
Riding her tractor
The cutest goat and sheep around!
We took a hayride around the farm and had a lot of fun!! I love this picture of James, he is such a stud!!
James giving Daddy some love!
The last thing before we left was to head over to the fields and pick our pumpkins!  They had these wagons to haul your pumpkins (and kids!) which Elise loved. 
It was a great afternoon and we will certainly be back again next year!  Lots of fun!