Friday, December 31, 2010

the last day of 2010

photo courtesy of the little miss, aka the diana
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so i'm not so sure i have anything in particular to say in this post
but 2010 was such a great year that i can't just let her slip away unnoticed.

let's work backwards and reminisce a bit shall we?

at this current moment
my children are in the kitchen tearing apart the lower cabinets
and i am letting them so i can write this post
(well at least they were when i started this post but that was hours ago)

darek is currently downtown at the cosmo helping with the new year's festivities
and has already seen seven celebrities. he keeps texting each time he sees another one.
i admit i wish i were gussied up and partying like it was 2011. maybe next year.

last night i walked into the tv room to find atticus hiding behind the couch
surrounded by at least 10 hershey kiss wrappers with all the chocolate already in his belly.

i keep trying to un-christmas-decorate but still haven't accomplished much.

our house has officially been christened by the holidays which makes it feel like a home. our home.

about a week ago atticus woke up crying during the night
when i went in to help him fall back to sleep i discovered that he had his new soccer cleats
in bed with him
and he was snuggling them like a teddy bear.

over the last month since atticus turned three i can't believe
1) how sneaky he has become! and
2) how quickly he is learning!
he says new things everyday and is so funny. perhaps the funniest right now is, "oh dangit!"
since he says it "dane, Git!" he's also tossing out a few "oh craps!" here and there
and i'm thinking i need to censor myself more carefully.

also over the last month beckett has learned to scale the stairs in 2.2 seconds
and i have to always be watching! he's also saying "mama" and i'm even pretty sure he means me sometimes.
he's very good at communicating what he wants - point! point! point! and MOOOOAAAN!
that means he wants it. plus yesterday i swallowed funny and had a little coughing attack
while feeding him. he just stared at me until i was done then made a mock coughing sound
and laughed and laughed!
making fun of mom!

two months ago we dug up the backyard...it has yet to see any landscaping.

a month before that i got called as the primary chorister in my ward. i had never served in primary nor had a musical calling so i was a little nervous. it was also only a few weeks before the primary program which the kids were not prepared for so it was a little stressful. but here i am, a few months into it and i'm convinced it's pretty much the best calling in the church!

six months ago i often found myself wondering how i ended up in vegas,
and if it would ever feel like home.

9 months ago i had a newborn
and i already want another one

a year ago my belly was the size of a basketball
we were happy and freezing in boston
we had no idea that 2010 would take us cross country
and i'm pretty sure i basically made the same list of resolutions that i'm making this year!
i love me a good do over!

here's to a wonderful and blessed 2011!
.happy. .new. .year.
i pirati mccoy
for some reason "the mccoy pirates" sounds cooler in italian

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we spent the eve of christmas day pillaging and plundering at our nephews pirate birthday party. the swashbuckling was complete with hunting pirate booty in a treasure hunt and busting open a pirate ship pinata. there was even a live parrot there who tried to buddy up with the parrot-disguised beckett. thanks for having us B & C and happy pirate birthday to captain K and his first mate C!
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how cute are these little pirate birthday boys?
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and speaking of children with drawn on facial hair
i called atticus to dinner a few nights ago and he came sauntering into the kitchen like this:
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apparently drawing on the pictionary man that we got for christmas lost its pizzazz
and he elected his own little face as his new canvas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas morning

it was dreamy
and perfect

the boys were so thrilled. every present they opened was a true celebration.
atticus couldn't believe that santa had actually followed through on bringing him the
buzz lightyear gun he had asked for when he sat on his lap. even beckett was in heaven opening
presents and getting excited about every single one. the only thing more magical about christmas morning when your a child is being the parent and watching your own kids on christmas morning.
perfect
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the look on atticus' face was priceless when he walked out of his room and looked down on the christmas presents. he shouted "santa came!!! presents!!" and couldn't believe his eyes!
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santa left this very cool plane for atticus that comes with tools which he can use to take it all apart and put it back together again. he's obsessed with darek's tools, especially his electric screw driver and now he has one all his own.
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santa also left this baby walker for beckett and he LOVES it!
he feels like a new man now that he can walk everywhere his little heart desires.
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it also turns into a little push car which he just thinks is the coolest thing ever
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atticus also loves the walker and the two have been practicing taking turns
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the aftermath
opening presents lasted all morning long because each time the boys opened a present they would play with it forever until they remembered that more presents awaited opening.
naturally playing in the wrapping paper was the most fun of all.
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as per the mccoy tradition: tiny boxes of cereal for christmas day breakfast
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as usual darek was all clever and creative and got me the greatest gifts ever while i just got him plain old mediocre gifts. poor guy. he clearly didn't realize that his gift giving skills far surpass mine when he married me, but he knows it now! so i won't blog-brag about what i gave him but i will happily blog-brag about my two faves he gave me: a kindle (because i like to read...and read some more...and i also really love to read, and i quite often spend time reading...see how this was the perfect gift? always something to read!) and the diana mini who takes lovely, beautiful, dreamy lomography pics which i will happily and surely share with you soon. see, isn't my husband a total dream boat?

ok, i gotta run. time for zumba at the gym! have you zumba-ed? oh you must!
.ta.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

christmas eve

we got gussied up in our christmas garb for a little outing to town square on christmas eve, mostly to play at the park, get ice cream and watch all the crazies who hadn't finished their christmas shopping yet. atticus and i ended up with kind of matching christmas sweaters this year so true to the dork that i am i wanted pics of us matching. atticus was less then thrilled. he was probably fretting over what it will be like at his wedding reception when we're all watching a slide show of the young lovers
and up will pop a photo of atticus in matching christmas sweaters with his mom.
i'm thinking he'll feel much like ralphie in aunt clara's pink bunny pajamas.
(i'm actually hoping to find those pink bunny jammies for next year's christmas eve. my poor boys)

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while we awaited the opening of christmas eve pj's beck spent time undecorating the tree
and eating the ornaments
which left him with glittery cheeks
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the fam in their jammies
this is tradition my family grew up with. new jammies. lots of silly pictures.
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darek started a tradition of buying me a christmas children's book every year to open and read on christmas eve. this year the tradition got passed along to the boys. atticus (and i, since i'm a big fan of little drummer boy) got little drummer boy.
beck got santa's suit.
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darek reading little drummer boy to us
we also read/acted out the nativity with the boys
which to be honest was sort of a disaster since they were tired and ready for bed by then
but i'm sure it will get more and more fun each year.
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i admit that i felt an eensy weensy, teeny tiny bit gloomy early in the day on christmas eve, just missing family and stuff. however doing the christmas eve traditions with the boys was so much fun and made me so happy. plus christmas day itself was perfect watching their excitement and enthusiasm. i hope yours was great too!

PS
speaking of eensy weensy, teeny tiny bits of gloom:
we've watched movies set in boston for the last two nights and it made me homesick something fierce!
but then i heard you guys are buried up 20 inches of snow...
and although i can appreciate, even love, a good wintery snowfall, not so sad anymore
hope you guys are digging out and surviving!

PPS
and maybe another eensy weensy, teeny tiny bit of gloom:
beck's nursing strike might be permanent
i'll spare you the anatomical details...
but sad
.ta.

Friday, December 24, 2010

~*a merry christmas to all*~

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~*~
and to all a good night

...
Love, The McCoys

Thursday, December 23, 2010

first soccer practice

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it wasn't even a game and not only did i take pictures but i'm blogging about it. how's that for lame?
i can't help it. it was so cute i thought my head was going to fall off. three year olds running around playing soccer?
it just might not get any cuter than that. so today was the first practice and the first game is in january.
i'm already loving this soccer mom business!

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and just because i can't help myself...
although he's the youngest (but still the tallest!) on the team the coach repeatedly told me how well he did and that he's a natural! he said that the youngest three year olds last season didn't sign up again this season because they were too young to really get it, but he said atticus was really coordinated, did the drills well, etc.

i might have (read: "for sure") committed the sin of pride when that happened.

then we celebrated his first-practice-soccer-success by playing on the playground.
atticus always requests "HIGH" pushes. plus he says "high" in a gruff growly voice
when he's requesting high pushes which is just plain funny so he always gets what he asks for.
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how funny is this picture?
that's the face you make when your rollercoaster car just went over the peak and is speeding down hill,
not when you're swinging a few inches at the pace of a snail.
but i appreciate his enthusiasm.
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in less fun news, the beckmeister has officially declared a nursing strike this week
which isn't my favorite thing in the world. but since he's so cute i'll forgive and pump and hope he soon sees the light. atticus pulled these same shenanigans at nine months old for a week but then returned to nursing so although in my mind pumping = almost the worst thing ever, i'll deal.
in the meantime...moo!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

enjoying the holiday season
~*~
what do you do to enjoy the holiday season?

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in the weeks leading up to christmas darek often says, " i wish tomorrow were christmas" but not me. i like it best when christmas is still a week or two away so we can do lots of holiday activities that make the season feel more festive. i love to shop and decorate and make seasonal foods and go out and about seeing the sights and lights and all that holiday-y type stuff. we don't really like wassail but i made some last year just so the house would smell like it. today i'm thinking of simmering some cinnamon sticks on the stove for the same reason. while the boys napped yesterday i wrapped gifts and listened to christmas music and i've been working on christmas cards today. i want to start putting the gifts under the tree but atticus unwraps anything within a five foot radius of his little hands if he thinks it might possibly contain a present inside. i also tape up all the holiday cards/pictures we get in the mail so i can admire your pretty faces all season long and remember how blessed we are with wonderful family and friends. speaking of family and friends, we threw together a couple little holiday gatherings last weekend and also went to bass pro shop yesterday with some friends to see santa and hang out.

the yankee swap

we had some friends over for a yankee swap last saturday. each family brought a soup to share for a yummy potluck dinner. it was perfect and easy to throw together and we're so happy our friends came to celebrate the holiday season with us. i must say here too that making friends is really what makes a new place start to feel like home. i've said all along that i like living in las vegas but wasn't totally in love with it...but i'm starting to fall in love. it's amazing what a difference good friends make. thanks friends for making the difference.

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making gingerbread houses
a messy and fun affair

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we had "the guys" over sunday evening to make gingerbread houses. as you can imagine atticus was so excited he talked about the guys coming over all week long and could barely fall asleep the night before. the first words out of his mouth sunday morning were, "mom! the guys are coming!" we hung out, eating treats and chatting while the kids ran around playing like maniacs. we are so blessed to live near brandon and cori's family. we've never really lived near family once our p-town days came to an end and we wish we had all the mccoys and ropers within a let's-have-sunday-dinner-together distance. thank you guys for coming to play!

and thank you also for the sneaky present you left under the tree. as before mentioned, that surprise present has atticus' unwrapping fingers burning! sunday night i was finishing things up on the computer and heard atticus sneaking down the stairs long after he had gone to bed! when i popped out and surprised the little sneak he innocently explained to me, "mom, there's a pink present under the tree!" surely he was wondering how we'd ever make it through the night without first opening the pink present! finally he went back to bed but first thing monday morning he made a mad dash for the tree. needless to say, the present has since been removed to a more secure location.

the guys and their gingerbread houses
(ps - not sure where canon was when we took this?)
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bass pro shop

yesterday we spent the morning with friends at bass pro shop at the silverton casino. they've got it all holiday-decked out. plus it's just a cool place for kids to go play in general. there are toys, guns, lots of crazy taxidermied animals to admire, live ducks, a fish aquarium and at christmas time - santa! the boys pulled their classic santa survival tactics. atticus: no eye contact. beck: stare in wonder and perhaps a titch of fear. however, beck refrained from the tear fest of yester week when he last encountered the jolly fellow so i consider this a success.

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atticus wouldn't tell santa what he wanted so i had to prompt him a bit. at best we got a barely audible whisper of a response out of him but that didn't stop him from happily accepting the candy cane from good old santa after the sitting-on-his-lap torture was done.
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atticus pretending to be ralphie pretending to be black bart
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and beck wanting in on the gun action
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climbing on the four wheelers
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driving the electric train and race cars
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sitting in santa's sleigh with his little buddy
as always, giving me his classic "smile" (aka - tongue sticking out)
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these boys were so funny watching the fish
they would get really close then shriek when the fish approached them
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lastly, a little house decor

my mom always really decked out our house at the holiday time. i loved it. it always made the house feel so magical and transformed from everyday life. something i've noticed this season, now that we have two kids, one of which is old enough to really enjoy christmas, is that it's my turn to make the holidays magical for my family. i have sweet and tender memories of the holidays growing up and i feel a responsibility to create the same kind of sweet and tender memories for my children to cherish when they grow up. so as hectic as this season often becomes i really want to go out of my way to enjoy every minute of it and especially make it fun for those around me.

my mom always made our banisters so pretty for christmas.
this is my sad attempt - it will get better as the years go by.
the banister on the staircase is prettier then what is shown here. i'll have to take close ups of it.
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and i used THIS tutorial to make the 3d snowflakes hanging in the little window cut outs looking into our playroom on the far wall in this photo. they are easy to make and look so pretty. give it a try.

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so that's it for this marathon post.
any suggestions on how to make the holiday season merry and bright?

Monday, December 20, 2010

...ten...months...old...

i know i keep using photos from the christmas card shoot but i love them
and will therefore force them upon you until you choose to either love them too or quite the mccoy mcblog for good.


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so the beckster turned ten months old yesterday.

he's cruising along furniture and walking along holding our hands and just generally growing at the speed of light. teeth #6 and #7 cut thru over the last two weeks or so and #8 will likely show it's pretty head today or tomorrow. despite the teething he's sleeping all night most nights and i want to give him a high five every morning when he wakes up. teething always brings on lots of drool of course and beckett can not resist the temptation to blow drooly raspberries all day long. the kid is a champion eater and all about finger foods. sometimes we do whole meals of finger foods as he strongly vetos the spoon when i dare have the audacity to try to feed him silly purees which he considers mere child's play. he thinks anything he finds on the floor = a treat for his mouth so i'm ultra eagle-eye trying to keep his tummy non-food-object free. plus he pretty much gets voted most popular everywhere we go and i admit that make my mama's heart swell with pride.

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beck and atticus continue to be best little buddies. perhaps 381 times a day atticus asks, "mom, beck play?" and is always a little bummed when beck is napping and can't come play. they love to chase each other around and wrestle. i've also recently discovered that nothing is cooler to them then laying in atticus' toddler bed together. they get a real kick out of snuggling up in the pillows and blankets together. i think they think it's a secret brother's club house or something. atticus is such a good big brother and for the most part is really good at sharing with beck and generally watching out for him. he always reports to me if he heard beck crying while they are at the gym playroom and also lets me know that he made valiant and heroic efforts at coming to his rescue. we're so blessed to have these two little boys filling our house with madness and our hearts with love everyday.

it should also be noted that candy cane eating is very serious business with these boys.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

~ meeting santa ~

before i get into the festivities of this weekend i best cover those of last weekend: our ward party. i'd been prepping atticus hoping that sitting on santa's lap wouldn't turn into some tearful nightmare. i wasn't worried about beck, he's pretty chill. let's see how it went...

sizing up santa from afar
how grinch-esque does atticus' hair look here? he got it cut yesterday. bye bye mohawk.
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the approach
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successful sitting
although zero eye contact from atticus
and some serious skepticism from beckett, lean back and stare!
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and then burst into hysterics
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poor little beck
reminiscent of big brother's first encounter with santa, no?

also noteworthy: during the preparation stage of the santa encounter i asked atticus what he was going to ask santa to bring he and he shouted PRESENTS!!! apparently he doesn't care what kind of presents. however he did end up asking for the buzz lightyear dart gun he wanted at walmart last week after i told him that santa need a little more specific idea.

these are just a couple of pictures i took while atticus was outside helping darek put up the lights a week or so ago. he found his bike seat in the garage that we used two summers ago. (pictures here) he doesn't quite fit anymore but still seems to love it!
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{christmas headquarters}

after three marathon shopping trips i think i've finally got all my gift shopping done.
let's not talk about the food/treat type shopping i still have to do. all in good time.

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my guest room has officially turned into santa's workshop. if i owe you a gift, don't look too closely at the photo below (that includes you darek!) i've put a DO NOT ENTER sign on the door and i'm planning on having a little gift wrapping, music listening party tonight. after my cleaning the whole house party today in preparation for some friends and family coming over for some holiday festivities this weekend.

notice little beck not only destroying two roles of wrapping paper but also discovering one of his christmas gifts in the thirty seconds it took me to take this picture! oh well, at least i know he'll like it.
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here's today's soundtrack:
hey, it's christmas!
it's a little different and pretty cool
walking in a winter wonderland is particularly delicious

listen and download for FREE here!
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i hope your get-done-before-christmas to do list is shrinking!
.ta.

PS ~ so three seconds after finishing this post i remembered three more gifts i need to buy!
PPS ~ margaret, thank you for the great parent gift idea! brilliant! and the happy e-mail! i promise to respond properly, not just bloggerly!

ok - must finish sewing ASAP!
.ta.again.