Christmas in Cincinnati

This year Christmas was really good to us. We were able to drive (7 long hours) to Cincinnati to spend it with my family. We also saw some friends that we haven’t seen in waaaay too long.

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“Mary” started attacking Tut during the Nativity skit.

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Marli and Jake copying one another. That girls sure loves her Uncle Jake.

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We were able to go to the mall and let the little ones play and let out some energy. Love seeing these two cousins interact and play together. I hope they remain good friends.

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And we played lots of fun games together! Euchre (Jake is still cursed), Headbanz, Gulf, Apples to Apples, and the Phrase/Picture game. Gosh, the above picture. Jacob Dorsey is such a good artist and is able to capture phrases perfectly in drawings. And my poor mom. Her writing arm is in a sling right now, so she struggled with trying to draw in the given time period. Sometimes she would draw hilarious pictures where we were suppose to assume various details (Where is the toilet paper, Mom? Silly, it’s in the present!) and write the most vaguest phrases (a detailed drawing with a pictured animal/object interacting with a person would turn into “someone needing help”.) So many laughs.

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And then of course, I had to include this picture. While Jake was taking out the trash, the bag split. It could have been on a Glad Trash Bag commercial. So perfect.

Overall, it was a success! We were even able to squeeze in an extra two days in Cincinnati that we weren’t planning on. Best. Husband. Ever. Ken had to go to church in jeans and work boot because we weren’t planning on staying for Sunday. Loved it.

And Kenny really enjoyed opening presents. He sort of got the hang of it. Hopefully he understands more for when it’s his birthday (two weeks away!).

Also, Christmas is so much more fun with a kid. It’s so fun to see him open presents and get excited to play with “new” toys. It’s going to be really hard not to spoil this kid.

Hope you all had a great Christmas! :)

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Anniversary 3.0

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We had a great anniversary! Our dinner date was crashed by this little cutie, but we didn’t mind.

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And I don’t think the people behind us did either. He kept on turning around and playing with them.

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And yes we are those parents that let our kid stick his hands in our drinking glasses. Kid loves water.

But yeah, we had a good anniversary! It seems like every year our restaurant plans fall through. (And by every year I mean this year and last year. Ken says that I always exaggerate things, but if you think about it, that’s 66% of our anniversaries! Ya see what I mean? :) Last year it was snow, and this year was . . . poor planning. Oops. The restaurant we wanted to go to didn’t open until 5:00 on Saturday, and we wanted to go out to lunch because hello the food is like twice as much when you order it for dinner. We didn’t find out that it opened at 5:00 until a couple of hours before we were planning on going.

We decided to go to a generic chain restaurant instead. I am not going to name names because I am going to tell you the truth, and I don’t want to rag on it. You ready for it? We were both pretty disappointed in the food. We aren’t restaurant connoisseurs by any means, but it was a bit lacking. I ordered a steak and it was so gristly that I didn’t even want to eat it. Yes, I know. I, Rachel Arleane Alford, did not want to eat a steak. And Ken wasn’t thrilled about his chicken either.

In hindsight, I probably should have said something about the steak, but no biggy. I am over it. (Especially since Ken promised me that we can go to that other restaurant that we were planning on going to another time! Like tomorrow I think!)

So here’s to three years and a try at another steak! :)

11 Months

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Yep. Little man, little man. Eleven months.

Here is what he has been up to lately:

  • When something exciting happens (or he hears clapping), he will clap his hands and say, “Yea!”
  • He is a climber. He loves to climb into, onto, over, under, etc. Sometimes when I am sitting on the floor and my legs are slightly bent, he will see the small space between my legs and the floor and lunge forward so he can crawl under.
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^^^Stuck after he climbed into the basket under the stroller.^^^

  • He has started to let us know better if he doesn’t want something. He will wave his hands back and forth and swipe it away . . . like the Lowe’s lady the other day. She wanted to hold him, and he was NOT feeling it, but lady did not pick up on that vibe initially. *Waves hands, turns head, SWIPE*
  • We have been getting asked a lot if Kenny ever cries. Every time I laugh when I hear this, and I tell them to please come and experience nap time with me. Ha, no but really he isn’t normally sad when we go out in public. It’s like his favorite thing. Seriously, if he is being randomly super fussy, we go outside and walk around, and he loves it. He is so quick to give everyone smiles.
  • Oh and dogs! He loves dogs. When we go on walks, and he sees a dog, he gets so excited. Even when the dog is barking super loud, which totally surprises me that he doesn’t get upset by that considering he still doesn’t like the blender or the vacuum because they are too loud.
  • He also dances. He will do a little bob up and down. It’s super cute when he is standing on my lap playing the piano, sticking his butt way up in the air to reach the keys, and then he starts dancing. Butt bouncing in my face haha.
  • His favorite game to play is “chase”. Ken will say, “Kennnnnnyyyyyy”, which is code word for “GAME ON!” Kenny will do a little squeal and b-line for my arms. Ken will then hide around a corner, Kenny will go investigate where Ken went, Ken will jump out, start chasing him, and into my arms baby goes again. I love it. We do it over and over and over. So fun.
  • Lastly, Kenny has started to be more “silly”. He does things now that he knows are silly and fun and will make him/me/us laugh. Just today we were putting socks on our heads like headbands, and at first he took off his sock, but then he saw mine on my head, so we put it back on his head, and we just laughed at each other back and forth.

Also, Christmas time has become so much more fun now that we have a baby. It’s fun to see him interact with presents for the first time, to see Santa, and to look at the Christmas lights. I bet it’s only going to get better and better.

Gingerbread House Fail

In my opinion, Ken and I are pretty frugal. We try to save money where we can. We usually try to buy generic brand food/items to save money. However, we have come to realize that sometimes buying the name brand item is worth the extra dollar or two. Like floss. Ken and I don’t skimp on floss. We really like the mint-tinted name brand floss. Same with cotton swabs. Name brand all the way or the cotton just gets stuck in your ears and becomes a mess. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

We figured out yesterday that we will only buy name brand molasses from now on.

Every year we make a gingerbread house. It was what Ken’s family did every year growing up, so we decided to carry on the tradition. We bought all the ingredients last week, cooked the gingerbread several days ago, and tried to assemble it last night. When we were cooking the gingerbread, we commented that the molasses looked a bit unusual. It wasn’t as thick as typical molasses. We continued on our merry way, though.

As we started assembling the house, we noticed that the roof started getting flatter and flatter. It was beginning to sag!

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^^^As you can see in the bottom right picture, the two pieces that made up the roof were almost completely flat because it was sagging so much.^^^

We realized that the roof was going to cave in, so we started decorating as fast as we could so that we could try to get one good picture of it. But, alas, we were not fast enough, but I got a sweet video (*pun intended*) of the gingerbread earthquake of 2013.

We still wanted to decorate something since we had so much candy, so we decided to make a gingerbread mound. Then we iced the mound with the rest of the frosting and thus the gingerbread igloo was born!

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We love our gingerbread igloo!

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So moral of the story, don’t buy the cheap molasses and try to make gingerbread. The bread will be too soft and won’t be able to hold up all the candy.

Kenny’s First Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. I always have. It used to be an excuse to stuff my face as much as humanly possible, but it has now evolved into a nice holiday to allow me to reflect on what I am truly grateful for. The stuffing my face is definitely still there (as conveyed this year in my ability to rip my pants. whoops), but it’s more than that now. It’s a time for family and friends.

So this year what am I most thankful for?

I am so grateful for my little family. I have such an amazing husband who does so much for me, and I have a beautiful little healthy boy. What more could I ask for?

So how did we spend our Thanksgiving this year? We drove up to DC and visited some of Ken’s friends who live there still.

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^^^Kenny’s first Thanksgiving.^^^

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^^^And here they are with Marcus who is Ken’s best friend growing up. Kenny’s middle name is Marcus.^^^

And since we were in DC, we hit up some of the museums. We went to the Natural History Museum and the American History Museum. I loved it! My favorite exhibit was the First Lady exhibit. They had all of the gowns displayed that the first ladies have worn. So cool.

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^^^It was freezing in DC while we were up there.^^^

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^^^The boys enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit the best.^^^

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^^^And baby boy was definitely worn out by the time we finished. He fell asleep on the metro.^^^

Overall, fun trip! I loved seeing some of Ken’s old friends, and it was a lot of fun to see some of where Ken grew up.