19 December 2010

Christmas with Rob ... and TRAINS!

So we've established that Max loves trains. Max also loves my brother Rob. So what better way to celebrate early Christmas than trains with Rob. And so that's exactly what we did today.

Max started his day by busting some moves in his dapper train wear to the Little Drummer Boy (classic version, not Bowie version).

And yeah, we taped it. It's so cute. And he literally has more moves than Paul and I put together. And the picture will right itself in a moment.

Litting Dancing Boy

My older brother Rob came over for some early Christmas celebrations and to share his love of trains with Max and his love of trains. Lots of train love in our home. We headed out to Union Station to see the model trains, visit Santa and the Santa Train, and generally take in everything. Here are some highlights from the day.

Rob and Max, enjoying trains.

Max TOTALLY is getting this Santa thing down. He even told Santa and Mrs. Claus what was up at the end of the visit.

Here are some pictures from inside the Kansas City Southern Santa Train - a combo of really cheesy and really cute.

Aunt Buffie believes this one should have the caption "But Uncle Rob, why won't you buy me this train for Christmas?" Ha!

After touring Rudy, the train, we took Max back inside the station to ride the little train. Well - maybe. Paul didn't think Max could take on the little person train all by himself. I asserted strongly that I thought he could. Max's going to PDO has helped create a bit of independence and willingness to try things that other kids are doing. I had confidence. The result: happiness.

As Paul gathered Max from the train, he told Max how proud he was of his behavior and what a good boy he was. Max just looked at Paul, put his hand to his own chest, tapped it, and said, "Smart." Ha, ha! Score one for the Max-man.

Train Ride

After riding the little-dude train, we took Max over to Crown Center for dinner. We had a super-casual night - burgers, fries, and waters. And Max, well, Max read for a while because he was bored with our pre-dinner conversation.

Then, of course, he ate our fries. Then, he just ate ketchup. Yep, proudest parenting moment of my life: my son at ketchup for dinner. Oh boy.

Ketchup Eater

But it was a great day, we had tons of fun, got in the Christmas spirit, and we will probably get a good night's sleep. Thanks to Uncle Rob for providing the inspiration and fun for such a great day!

16 December 2010

Christmas is coming!

Many of you know that Christmas is my favorite time of the year. For a while there, I had a hard time with Christmas, but Paul helped bring my spirit back. And with Max joining the party, I feel the Christmas spirit coming on strong.

So yes, I've had the Seasonal Music channel playing Christmas songs since Dec. 1. I put up the tree, the stockings, the cards, the treats. Partridge Family Christmas Album, Feliz Navidad. The whole shebang. It's all coming back, folks.

Max is even picking up the gist, walking around saying, "Santa, presents, treats, ho-ho-ho." He likes to reread over and over his Night Before Christmas, as recorded by Fuzzy and GG. He likes to look at the tree and its ornaments, the star, the "stowman", the "jaychalk", and Santa. He even comes home from Parents' Day Out singing "Jingle Bells." Too much.

Since this is probably our last Christmas in Kansas City, Paul and I have been taking Max to many of the local events, from Brookside to Crown Center.

The Brookside Holiday Lighting:

While seeing Father Christmas was nice, I think the free sugar cookie sealed the deal for Max. And Paul.

On to the Plaza, where Max very much enjoyed watching the horse-drawn carriages, the lights, and all of the "peoples".

This morning, I decided I would either be very brave or very foolish. I would attempt to take Max to Crown Center to visit Santa without back-up from Paul.
Max was having a good morning, so I was hopeful.

Would I get sweet and innocent Max?

Would I get the flirt (even in love with himself)?

Or would I get this Max? :-)

Turns out, I got good, sweet Max. He sat nicely with Santa, even staring straight at the camera as usual. Santa was even impressed with his behavior. Then we played in Crayola Village before listening to a children's choir and having lunch.

This weekend, we'll be going to Union Station to see KC Southern's Santa Train. Can't wait!

Until then, Ho, Ho, Ho!

Couldn't resist adding last year's picture for reference. Thinking Max must have a Santa pose. Just the hair and clothes change.

Merry almost Christmas!

Paul's 40th B-Day

On December 4, my great husband Paul turned 40. I'm very proud of him as he reaches this milestone because he made some key changes that he wanted to make by this time, including, and most importantly, changing jobs. Paul is enjoying the KU Endowment very much. And fortunately for us, the KUEA had their holiday party on the night of December 3.

Grandma and Grandpa B watched Max for the evening as Paul and I enjoyed the party, the after-party at the Cave where Phil's friend Phil gave us some complimentary champange, and a night in the new Oread hotel. These are the only pictures. :-)

We danced until late in the evening and even ordered a late night pizza. We rocked it circa 1995. Ha! We followed up with a massage in the morning as well as cheesecake and champagne at that night.

At work the next week, Paul received a balloon bouquet and a giant cake from his coworkers.

Max became king of the balloons.

It was a fun birthday, a good milestone, and we're looking forward to celebrating many more.

08 December 2010


Once again this year, our little family made the annual trek around eastern Kansas to visit our families at Thanksgiving. While sometimes the driving can be hard on the little man, we definitely have a great time once we arrive. We were able to share time with almost everyone this trip. Here are some highlights!

These were with my father, a.k.a. Fuzzy, and my stepmother, a.k.a. GG. We had a nice day at their house showing Max off to GG's family, my stepbrother, Cory, and the rest of the gang.

Some nice looking kids here!

GG had cars all ready for Max!

The ever-elusive smile picture:

Some family shots!

After visiting my father, we journeyed to Wichita to see my mom and stepfather. Max got to play with more cars, have more dinner, and join in the annual playing of games that occurs after dinner!

Grandpa and Max studying as many cars as possible before dinner:

Ben and Jamie, behaving:

Ben and Jamie, not behaving:

The boys' side of the table:

The girls' side:


Yummy - grapes!

Max patrolled the kitchen as clean-up ensued.

Game time!

Mom and Joe take this very seriously.

Ben, Jamie, and I - not so much.

We visited the Dugout, where Max played with more cars...

Then we headed up to Lawrence to visit Grandma and Grandpa B as well as Kelly, Phil, and Pat.

Grandpa got Max to smile for a couple of quick shots...

Kelly and I were lazy and just laid under Minky. I guess that explains why I don't have more pictures here!

A day later, we put up the tree and unveiled it for the little dude:

Christmas, here we come!