Thursday, February 25, 2010

Trip to MN

Last weekend, we took a road trip to MN to visit with McGrandma and McGrandpa and to meet Cousin Lilly for the first time.  Lil Max did really well in the car (the DVD player *might* have played a small role in that), and the trip seemed to go by faster than normal.  It helped, of course, that there was no inclement weather to drive in (we always seem to travel on the worst we were happy to have a precipitation-free and sunny day)!

When we got to the McGrandparents house, we celebrated Christmas right away.  Lil Max was ALL about the presents! 

Here he opens a present with McGrandma.  McGrandma was still recovering from her foot surgery, and we had to remind lil Max to not step on her foot.  He tried his best.  McGrandma did a really great job keeping up with him too!!

Opening presents was really tiring, so McGrandpa and lil Max laid down for a quick snooze...

But soon, the excitement of sitting in an empty box was too much to bear, and naptime was over.

Max sure knows how to 'cheese' it for the camera...

The next day, Uncle Fran, Aunt Denyce and Cousin Lilly came over to celebrate even MORE Christmas!!  Lil Max had a lot of fun hanging out with them, meeting his new little cousin and giving her kisses and showing Aunt "NECE" his blankie, amongst other toys.  I'm a little disappointed that this is the ONLY photo we have of Uncle Fran...and that we didn't get a single shot of cousin Lilly or Aunt Denyce.  Lilly is just a precious little peanut...her stats when she was born were really close to lil Max's, and she's still on pretty much the same growth curve as he was -- which means she'll also likely be a little peanut of a girl!  She's got the cutest little ears and her smile is so sweet it lights up her little face.  We look forward to seeing her again and seeing how much she changes!!!

A McLaughlin family photo the morning of our departure.  Max got a fun bouncy ball from his McGrandparents that he loves playing with.  I'm teaching him to sit on it like I sit on my yoga ball so we can work on our 'core' exersizes together...haha just kidding...

Another McLaughlin family photo.  All four of us!  :)

And, just because.  No one can resist this amount of cuteness.  Even when said cuteness is being naughty....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Friday Flashbacks...

This particular week in pictures, covering the last four years...

2007:  Hanging with Jess and Jenni in Denver, CO (my college roomies).  I didn't know it at the time, but there was a little bean growing inside!  :)

2008:  Lil Max ~ 3 months old.  What a cutie!!

2009:  Lil Max ~ 15 months old.  He loved playing with his stacking cups...building towers...sorting by color...

20101:  Lil Max ~ 27 months old.  What a ham!!  He's been using the potty more and more consistently, and even staying dry during the day!  He's teaching mom a thing or two about patience (as in her lack of it) and how to best handle a temper tantrum. 

Oh yeah, and Mom?  I'm sorry.  Really sorry.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

I picked these for you....

They smell really good!

Won't you be my Valentine?

Seriously, how could you resist a face like that?!?!

Lil Max and I cranked out 35 of these Valentine's Day cards and treats for his friends at school:

the front side

the backside. was a LOT of work.  Especially considering that looking through his bag of cards, it appears ours were the only hand-made ones...  But, Max had fun doing his 'art', and Mom had fun experimenting with the lollipops (lil Max couldn't help with those for safety reasons).  All in all it was labor intensive, but FUN!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, AMANDA!

Once in awhile, you meet a person that you just really click with, and you know that you were meant to be friends with them.

And while I am SO lucky to have a great group of girlfriends surrounding me (many of them have been my friends since highschool or even before), for me, that one person is my BFF, Amanda.  We met in 1992, our freshman year of highschool, on the swim team.  I'm not sure either of us particularly enjoyed swimming competitively, or if it was our idea to join the swim team, but we became fast friends, carpool buddies and pretty much inseperable.  ("Don't talk...KEEP SWIMMING!!")

Amanda and I shared just the right amount of goofiness, dorkiness (sorry dear, maybe this one is just me), and 'goody-two-shoe'ness to be great friends.  You know someone is your good friend when they send their little brother to get the autograph of a baseball player that your other friend is OBSESSED with...and then follow that up with a life-sized poster of that same player (nevermind that it was for an endorsement for MILK...LOL)!  Man, I can't even TELL you how excited I was when I opened that poster.  I think it hung in my bedroom til the end of highschool!  LOL

I wish I had more pictures of us together in highschool so you aren't left with these not-so great photos of us, but truth be told, our friendship fizzled and we each went our seperate ways.  I don't remember everything about why we stopped talking (can you really make sense of why adolescent girls get into fights?), but I do remember having to remind myself not to smile at her when I passed her in the hallway -- I've never been very good at staying mad at people....

Senior year, during our senior retreat, Amanda wrote me a heart-felt and touching letter which made me cry, and opened the avenue for us to re-kindle our friendship.  But, we both left for different colleges in different states, and we never took each other up on that offer.

College was a growing time for both of us.  We both had life-altering events happen which shaped us into the women we are today.  Getting together over coffee in 2004, we realized how much we still had in common, and the re-kindling we had promised ourselves over 8 years ago finally started to take root.  And while Amanda wasn't in my wedding, she was present!

And now, almost 17 years after we ended our friendship over something that was probably really stupid, we have become inseperable again.  Amanda is the sister I never had; sometimes we are even mistaken for sisters in public!  She is the type of friend that I can 100% be myself around, act plain goofy or let down my guard, and never be afraid to say something stupid or even something that she might not agree with.  We've had one fight since 2004 (yes, we actually discussed this the other night, and really, only ONE) over something so incredibly stupid that we both almost called each other minutes after it happened...but waited until the next morning because we couldn't bear being mad at each other any longer than that!

photos courtesy of Emily Southerland

When Max and I found out we were pregnant in 2007, there was no question in our mind who we wanted to be the godparent of our child.  They always say to pick someone who can model a life you'd give for your child, and Amanda does that perfectly.  The bond that she and lil Max have together is so precious and special -- it is something he will have with him the rest of his life.  He is one lucky kid, and we are so blessed to have her in our lives!

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Amanda, Auntie Amanda, Manda, etc.  I wish our friendship was more continuous, but I know that all these things had to happen for us to have the great friendship we have today.  We are so lucky and blessed to have you in our lives.  Thank you for being you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

29 weeks

Just what you've all been waiting for....
here's the bump at 29 weeks:

With McDuex:

29 weeks McDuex

and, just for kicks, with lil Max:

29 weeks McBaby

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010


In preparation for McDuex, we've been slowly moving our office out of the upstairs office, and creating an office nook downstairs in what we refer to as 'the extension.'  We finally went out and purchased a REAL desk, and spent most of the last two weeks putting it together and getting the new office space organized.  While we still have a while to go before it is finished, it is nice to have a dedicated office space on our living level.  And, it actually feels like an adult space now (minus all the toys surrounding it because it happens to share a space with Max's "playroom"...the more the merrier, I say!

Which leads me to the explanation of why the photos I am about to post are so old.  It was because, in the process of moving everything, we had to do a major overhaul -- the cable company had to come out and split new cable to power the modem downstairs, I had to relocate all the upload cables, and of course, I had to organize everything before I could move on to another task!  No multitasking for me!

Next on the agenda will be to take some photos of the new office space.  But that will have to wait for later....

So, here are some pictures that I have been meaning to post for a few weeks now:

Visit to the zoo -- despite the cold weather, we braved a visit to the zoo, and had a BLAST.  The inside exhbits are SO much fun -- there is so much to DO at the zoo in the winter!  Max's favorites are always the big cats (LION, CHEETA, TIGER!) and the aquarium (he loves comparing the big and little fishes, the crocodile and the sharks).  He makes his momma proud!




The nice thing about going to the zoo, is it almost ALWAYS wipes him out...he actually had a fabric imprint on his nose from falling asleep like this!!


Max was helping us put the new desk together by using the box it came in as bed. He asked us to tuck him in! What a silly boy!!



Storytime with daddy. This child LOVES books. He has most of his books memorized, and recites them along with us while we read them. This amazes me, especially when he does it after we've read the book only once or twice! Apparently, my mother likes to tell the story that this is how she discovered that I was actually reading and not memorizing the story -- she went and got some new books from the library, and I started 'reciting' them before we had even read them once! He even read the entire story of Red Hat Green Hat (or whatever it's called) to me the other day. I was pretty impressed -- although I don't think you can really consider it reading since the book just reiterates what it shows in the pictures...Max's favorite books right now are: Where the Wild Things Are (which he refers to as 'rumpus rumpus rumpus'), The Giving Tree, The Bear Snores On and anything with Clifford the Big Red Dog or Curious George. He never tires of reading the same book over and over again (although WE do!!)