Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Hayes...Last Week

So Hayes' third birthday was last week. Having my youngest kid be three is weird. I know it is time for another kid, but we can save that dilemma for another day.
Hayes had a fun birthday that stretched over several days. We celebrated a day early because Joe was going to be gone all day on his actual birthday (when in reality, he got sick and was home the entire day). Hayes went to his first day of school that morning, which he eventually liked (I had to haul him in screaming, but by the end he wanted to go every day).
After school we made his Spider-Man cake. He loves anything to do with Spider-Man. Joe's sister Melissa came over while Hayes' opened his presents; he got really into it and just kept asking for more. That night we went out to dinner at Red Robin where he asked the waiter to sing the "Happy Birthday song" to him, and bring him some ice cream.
He is such a funny guy. He will always go along with Madison's games. He loves to sit and read to himself for hours. He is a 100% Momma's boy, sometimes tells people that his favorite thing to do is snuggle with his mama. I can't believe how old he is!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Winter Break with the Fam

The last part of our Christmas break was spent with my family in Boise. The house was full this year with everyone home. We had a great time with everyone. This year my siblings, Joe, and I did a drawing for gifts, and had a $20 limit plus one other restriction: the gifts had to be homemade. The Vaterlaus' are crafty, but only in the other sense of the word, the one that doesn't actually involve making crafts. Most of the gifts were actually pretty good, my sister made me some jewelry, Joe made a mystery date box for my brother, some leather working by Alex, carpentry by Max, and Mitch made an apron and cookbook, but some gifts were a little shady. I am not going to name names, but someone did SPRAY PAINT some Vans shoes and passed them off as "homemade." Not only that, they spray paint ran so they just look all jumbled, reek of spray paint if you are within 10 feet, and are probably seriously flammable. We did die laughing about it though.

We kept ourselves entertained by hosting a girl's night at Amelia the movie. My sister took me to New Moon (yes, I finally saw it). We went to the Humanitarian Bowl. We saw both my grandparents. We also played a lot of Rock Band, and apparently I monopolized the drums. We also went out to dinner, constantly one-upped each other, watched movies, talked about why we are so awesome, and I BEGGED for someone to get married and get my kids some cousins! Thanks everybody for a fun time!


Priorities and other nonsense aside, there are at least 5 best nights of my life. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. My first kiss with Joe. I felt like I waited forever, and even lured him to Panther Falls at night, but finally after a heated argument involving politics he kissed me.

2. The night Madison was born. There was an eclipse, the Red Sox won the World Series, and I had been in labor for days, literally. And those little, dark eyes just looking around all night were pretty cute.

3. The night Hayes was born. We couldn't pick a name (or Joe just wouldn't come around to what I had already decided), and it was like 60 degrees out in January. He was such a nice baby.

4. The first Fiesta Bowl, and you all know what I mean. I was 9 months pregnant, in Virginia, watching with my nay saying husband Joe and friend Erik freaking out for my beloved Broncos. Zabransky with his trick plays! Winning the game after midnight! The total elation I felt when they won! (I would probably rank this as #1 but people would definitely question my priorities).

5. Fiesta Bowl: Deja Blue! I totally didn't think the Broncos were going to win again, but they did! And more trick plays! I will never miss another BCS bowl game featuring the Broncos!

As many of you may have noticed I am getting into college football more and more. Some may even say that I am becoming a fanatic...and those people may be right. This was my second year attending the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise. I always root for the WAC team, because I love the WAC almost as much as I love the Broncos. The game this year was pretty thrilling (Idaho vs. Bowling Green), Idaho pulled out a victory at the last minute on a two-point conversion. I was so glad they won (even though during the regular season the are my rival) and that they didn't go into over time (my feet were totally frozen by 4th quarter). The Humanitarian Bowl has been a fun family tradition. My dad, Joe, and my brothers, their exchange student Patrick, and some other friends went this year. We really enjoy trash-talking each other. Thanks for the memories Dad!


We spent Christmas in Seattle this year. It was really fun because Hayes and Madison really got into Santa this time around. Joe made our favorite ribs for Christmas Eve dinner, and we set out some cookies, milk, and broccoli (we ran out of carrots, but I am sure the reindeer appreciated the extra iron).

Christmas morning the kids were thrilled that Santa had come. Joe's sister Melissa came over later for breakfast and to open presents. I made my famous and delectable Blueberry Boy-Bait; it really is addicting. The kids loved opening the presents and kept asking if there were more. Joe totally spoiled me this year. I am a lucky girl! Later that day we drove to Yakima to visit Joe's family and open more presents to the excitement of our children. We enjoyed seeing Joe's family and friends, and just had fun hanging out and catching-up with everyone.

Fort Clatsop and Cape Disappointment

On our way back to Seattle we visited Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark wintered before heading back to Virginia. We poked around the barracks, which were pretty cool and dank, even for replica barracks. It's no wonder the corps of Discovery was not overly fond of this area in the winter. We walked down to the river where they kept their canoes; which was a nice little hike.

Later we crossed the Columbia and on the Washington side visited Cape Disappointment where the Columbia spills into the Pacific. We walked to a light house there and saw some sea lions out in the waves. Although we missed spending some time with our extended families (particularly my sister Emily), we really enjoyed this trip, and love this holiday tradition. Maybe when Joe is a doctor we can hit up some warmer beaches. Hawaii anyone?

Seaside and Sunsets

After Tillamook we stopped in Seaside, OR to see the finishing point of Lewis and Clark as they finally reached the Pacific. After reading Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage I have been itching to visit all the Lewis and Clark sites I can. In Seaside they also had their salt works, where they boiled sea water to make salt (the random picture with large pots in it). The sunset in Seaside and at our hotel room was awesome, so here are some pictures!


After some beach time, we drove down the coast to Tillamook. The drive down was beautiful as we followed the ocean. Excuse the family picture, I usually sabotage any good picture with my apparent inability to keep my eyes open, it's hereditary, what can you do?

We stopped at the cheese factory, and it was a hit. I could have stood for hours and watched the production line cut and package the cheese. Hayes, Madison, and I partook of the delicious ice cream while Joe perused the cheese.

Toad Stack Rock

Our Christmas break was action-packed and a lot of fun. Joe got 2 weeks off from school, and we were on the road for most of it. I will probably be posting for days just to catch-up!

Our family tradition is to spend every third year with just our little family for the actual holiday. This year we drove down to the Oregon Coast for a couple of days just before Christmas. We always hit the beach in the winter and take advantage of the excellent deals on beach-front resorts. We were able to stay in a suite with an extra bedroom and a kitchenette (always better with the kids) and this was our view. We also had a fire place which was often used after being outside all day. We stayed at Cannon Beach right in front of Haystack Rock, which Hayes thought was "Hayes' Stack Rock," and eventually translated into "Toad Stack Rock," because at our house "Hayes" and Toad" are interchangeable.

The weather was surprisingly beautiful, it was 50 degrees and sunny for our morning on the beach. In the first 5 minutes Hayes was knocked down by a wave and totally soaked. We found sea shells and a ton of jelly fish. It was so pretty! More to come.