Happy New Year!

We got back from Christmas Part III this afternoon and had a little time to rest and start unpacking before our friends came over for our little New Year’s Eve get together.  My friends, D and S, and I were all pregnant with our first boys together.  S gave birth to G towards the end of September 2007, I was two weeks late and gave birth to Marcus at the beginning of November, and then D was early and gave birth to E nine days later.  So our boys have grown up together and are pretty good buddies.  Fast forward a few years and we’re all preggers again.  This time I was first with Gavin in April 2010, D followed with her daughter J 12 days later, and then S brought up the rear with her daughter V in June (S was a little delayed on the baby bandwagon, perhaps because she went and moved to NYC).

Anyway, I was a little nervous as we’ve never hosted this large a group before — two families of four — and everyone was staying overnight.  But things worked out great!  The kids played together really well with a minimum of adult intervention, the adults were able to talk, and we were able to coordinate simultaneous bath times and get the kids to bed without too much difficulty. Marcus camped out in Gavin’s room on a toddler-sized blow-up mattress, E slept in Marcus’ bed with J in a pack ‘n play in the same room, and G and V were in the basement bedroom with another pack ‘n play and blow up mattress.  Then we adults vegged out on the couch, enjoyed some wine, and worked really hard to stay awake until the countdown.  We didn’t last much longer than that. 😉

Kid heaven: dinner of hot dogs and mac 'n cheese followed by D's chocolate pie (made with avocados!). L-to-R: G, E, Marcus

Gavin and J also enjoyed the pie.

After their dinner, we parked the kids in front of the Curious George movie so that we could eat (take-out Indian!). L-to-R: J, Gavin, E, G, Marcus (looking a little freaked out).

V joins the couch party.

The next morning, D and her family headed out after a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage handmade by D and her husband, bacon, overnight baked french toast, and fruit.  S and her family stayed for lunch before heading out.

G and Marcus deep in conversation. (They were really cracking each other up.)


V and Gavin companionably eating together. At one point they clinked their cups together and V said, "Cheers!" So cute.

So now the last of our holiday festivities are over.  With all of our travel and whatnot, this was not the most restful holiday for us, but it certainly was fun!


Cap’n Marcus turns 4!

Happy Birthday, Marcus!

We had a great time celebrating Marcus’ 4th birthday with our friends and family.  He’s been very into pirates lately, so we, of course, had to throw him a pirate party!  I admit that I may have gone a little crazy with the details. 😉

The party in pictures . . .

Guests were first greeted by a pirate, dubbed "Willy" by Marcus. Or, "Pie-wah WEE-lee!" as Gavin calls him.

The kids were sent off on a treasure hunt. 5 stations were scattered about the house, each marked with a sign showing a particular shape. The kids had to find all 5 stations in order to get the stickers to cover the shapes on their map. Once their maps were complete, they got lots of treasure!

Pirate Hat Station

Face Painting Station

Eye Patch Station

Tattoo Station

(blow up) Sword Station in the background

Marcus towards the end of his treasure hunt.

Once the kids completed their map, they each got a loot bag (partially pre-filled with pirate-themed goodies) that they got to fill with additional treasure (necklaces, rings, gems, coins, candy, etc.) from a wooden pirate chest. They also got to keep their treasure maps and pirate gear they gathered on their treasure hunt.

The kids pulled their drinks from a treasure chest.

The dessert spread! (Marcus sampled probably 3/4 of the goodies. He was a happy camper.)

Rice Krispie treat pirate ships, marshmallow pops and S'mores pops, super chocolately cake.

Vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting in the center, on the left side of the cupcakes are mocha chocolate chip cookies (made with love by Grammy!), Rolo pretzel bites, and chocolate crack(-ers).

Banana pudding, Oreo truffle pops, fruit skewers, and cones of kettle corn. I made all of the desserts except for the TJs kettle corn and Grammy's cookies. (I told you I went a little crazy...)

Lighting up the birthday cupcake.

Waiting with baited breath.

He was so happy to hear everyone singing for him...

Blowing out the candles.

Enjoying the spoils.

Gavin with his Ba Ngoai and his little girlfriend, J, watching from below.

With my little pirate.

Pirate Gavin

Pirate Marcus

With Grammy & Grampy

With Ba Ngoai and Ong Ngoai

Uncle Nam

Gavin training with Ba Ngoai...

...so that he can take on and defeat Pirate Willy!

Nice pants.

A thoroughly sated, happy, and tired birthday boy!

A pair o’ pairs.

Little E was born only 9 days after Marcus, and his little sister J was born only 12 days after Gavin.  They’re half-Vietnamese too!  Adam got a taste of what it would be like if we had had twins.  Twice.  Eek!  Sure would be a cute brood though, eh? 😉