Saturday, December 31, 2011

Go Hawks!!


I’m sure I don't have to inform you on how absolutely terrible the Hawkeye football season turned out- and quite frankly, I don’t want to relive all of the ridiculous losses.  So, instead I am going to share a few pics of our night out with Nate and Kelly to celebrate the Hawks miraculously getting a good bowl bid (although I hate to ruin it for you if you didn’t already know but WE LOST)!  It was hard to be upset with how the boys were playing though when you’re having such a great time with some of your favorite people in an IOWA bar (with black and gold Coors Lights cups.  This girl was in Heaven).  A great time that is until we received a phone call that William was vomitting every 15 minutes and wasn’t holding down any fluids.  Nothing like a midnight train out of the city to go home to a very, very ill Lil’ Nugget.  Thankfully it only lasted 12 hours.  Thanks to Nate and Kelly for having us.  Ps- my best friend is coming into town tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited to see her!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays
From our family to yours,
Dennis, Kim, Michael Lincoln and William Reagan

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Boys and a Skirt

The Boys and a Skirt
I have been doing a lot of blog reading as of late.  I was hunting in fact.  Hunting for the perfect tree skirt for our oh, so perfect tree.  I searched high and low, all over Pinterest.  And then... there it was.  The perfect tutorial for our perfect tree.  You can see the tutorial here.  Wanna hear something crazy, this blogger and I shared the same “fugly” tree skirt from the start.  We made over the exact same skirt from Target (that I got on clearance two years ago for $1.80- so what a cheap project)!  Silver with way too much glitter and not enough PIZAZZ!  A little burlap, pretty generic red fabric and six hot glue gun blisters later and she was finished.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!  I love everything about it- but my favorite part has to be the loose ends on the burlap.  It gives it this unfinished, used for forty years, handed down kind of appeal that I was shooting for.  I dressed the tree with it this evening and (posed) the boys joined me in admiring our perfect tree.  The photo of the boys may just be adorning next year's Christmas card.  They look like little angels don't they?  But, back to the tree skirt... such a wonderful way to spend the afternoon!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shop Sweet Lulu

Shop Sweet Lulu
Every year the week before the holidays my husband puts me to work- I’m in charge of client gifts.  I don’t know about you but homemade treats during the holidays melt my heart so I put together little treat boxes for all of the people who trust my husband so very much.  Well, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit when I say Dennis puts me to work because I absolutely love doing it and it gives me a reason to shop at my favorite gift/party/anything your little heart desires online store Shop Sweet Lulu.  If you have not had the chance to peek at this wonderful lady’s stuff you are missing out.  Really- anything you could possibly need for a cutie patootie event or item you can find here.  Personally I’ve jumped on the Kraft box and bakers twine bandwagon and am loving every second of it.  Everything this season has been wrapped in Kraft boxes and candy striped twine (well, except I think Santa still has some fun wrapping paper somewhere).  I stuffed these must-have boxes with cookies and other small treats and then Dennis and I drive around and hand deliver them to each of his clients.  I love doing this with him every year and seeing the reaction on some of his newer clients’ faces is priceless.  ‘Tis the season.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Donut King

William has become a bit obsessed with powdered donuts as of late.  I think he's hiding them around the house because every time I turn around the kid's face is covered with powdered sugar.  Either that or Michael is sneaking them for him...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

29 Years!

Today I turned 29.  A number that would bother some, well most actually.  For me I had this moment where I was sad it wasn't 30.  My early to mid twenties were such a crazy time in my life, then I met Dennis and we had the boys.  Since our life together is everything I have dreamed of.  Life just keeps getting better believe it or not.  So, I'm very much looking forward to my 30s.

To celebrate 29 Den and I went on a (long overdue) date on Friday night- we were in bed by 9:30.  We are getting old.  It was a wonderful night, something we don't do very often so I am so grateful when it does happen.  Gramma and Boompa took the boys overnight, which also meant we could sleep past 6:00.  We actually slept until 10:00 on Saturday.  I was confused when I woke up and looked at the clock, and then simply smiled and snuggled up to Dennis knowing I didn't have to get up.  Sunday morning I went to mass with my father-in-law, came home to watch the Bears lose (again) and then we were off to the Holiday Lights Display at Brookfield Zoo with the boys, the in-laws and Auntie Pup who is home from school.  The weather cooperated very well, no snow on the ground and a balmy 35°.  The boys stayed warm under a blanket while we trekked through the zoo gazing at the wonderful displays.  Afterwards we went out for dinner and then came home to my favorite cake with some of my favorite people.  It truly was a wonderful day!  I'm one lucky 29 year-old.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Michael's Christmas Program

Michael and his Preschool Class

Sang: Jingle Bells
Oh, Christmas Star
We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Oh, so stinkin' cute!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Two and a Half

Our Sweet Michael,
You are two and a half today!  It’s probably about time we started using the term “half”, because if I know anything about kiddos it’s that that half is so very important to them.  We celebrated your half birthday at school yesterday with your friends.  You treated your classmates to Krispy Kreme donuts and chocolate milk (two of your favorites).  I wanted to jot down a few things you are doing these days because I want to remember everything about you being two... and a half.  
You are amazing.  Let’s start with that.  You love suckers and just about anything else primarily made of sugar.  You don’t want to eat much of anything else, except for pasta.  That’s your fave.  Any kind of pasta, but you really enjoy elbows.  You call William “Michael”.  Your vocabulary is starting to take off.  After four months of speech therapy I am now convinced that you were just waiting for your time to talk.  Some of your memorable phrases these days:  “No, wait!”, “I said no!”, “Please, Mama!  Please!”  “I’m sorry, Daddy.”  You can name every single character in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Toy Story and Cars.  You love to pray with us at dinner.  You now know how to cross yourself and hold our hands all while being quiet.  Your favorite color is purple, but you can also identify red, blue, green, orange and yellow.  You can count to ten, although right now we are really working on the fact that you skip seven and go from six to eight!  You wear a size 4T and a size 9 1/2 in shoes.  Yes, you are still huge.  You giggle with delight when you wrestle with Daddy.  You run so fast, we all have a hard time keeping up with you.  Not a big fan of playing with balls, but balloons are another story.  We tried potty training in the fall, but it wasn’t your time.  I’m thinking in the new year we are going to tackle that goal.  You are one amazing jumper.  Now you jump from the couch to the cushions you have strategically laid about the floor not to hurt yourself upon landing.  You are still an amazing sleeper.  I secretly love when you wake up at 6:00 am and snuggle in bed with me until 6:30.  You are a wonderful cuddler.  You love orange juice, Gatorade and chocolate milk (a special treat around here).  You throw things when you are upset.  Not one of your best traits, and it’s a work in progress.  You don’t cry often, but when you do you are very loud.  You love Matchbox cars and have started laying on your stomach to play with them.  I love watching you do this.  You are starting to take a liking to your brother.  You are aware that he needs one of whatever you have and are a wonderful sharer.  When you are hurt you hate to be touched, so we all leave you alone and you quickly stop crying.  You prefer to go down stairs backwards and sometimes head first.  Gives me a heart attach every time.  You can drink from a cup and use utensils perfectly.  I love watching you eat a bowl of cereal.  You have become a huge fan of school- basically jumping out of the car when your teacher opens the door and you always run to me when I pick you up.  I remind you every single day I drop you off to be a good listener.  You hate to have me pour water over your head in the bath.  You love to brush your teeth and are getting that whole spit instead of swallow thing down.  You love to blow out candles.  You eat the middle out of Oreos and give the cookies to William.  Your smile is contagious.  You still take Blank and George with you everywhere you go.  I love that.  You are no longer a toddler to me, but a little boy who is simply growing up too quickly.   I can’t believe you are going to be THREE in six months.  

I love you, Monkey.  

Tree Hunting

*Tree Hunting*

It happens to be one of my favorite days of each year, the day we find that particular year’s Christmas tree.  Boompa joined us this year to help haul our find to the top of Den’s car since I had two rugrats to watch at the tree farm this year.  Michael loves tree hunting.  He gets out there and examines each tree he comes across by smelling it- really, it’s adorable.  William was not such a fan of it this year.  Maybe next year the two of them will run around together and pick the tree instead of Dennis and I disagreeing about which one we’ll be taking home.  I like for there to be snow on the ground for tree hunting, but for whatever reason here we are almost mid-December and still no know.  Just a dusting two days ago.  Ugh, bummer.  The boys love the snow.  Time to hunt...
This year was an easy one.  In fact Dennis and Boompa picked it out before I even parked the car.  There she was, two rows deep in an area abandoned by other hunters because they were too busy googling over the new section of the farm that had just opened.  With a couple swipes of the saw she was down and our her way to our house.  Our best tree yet!  

Sebastian Winks

Elothe Shelf
Day 11: The Bears lost to Denver (and Tebow).  Enough said.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sebastian Winks

Elf on the Shelf
Day 2: Drag racing with the Fisher Price Lil' People.  Checkered flag and all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sebastian Winks

Elf on the Shelf
Day 1: Atop a pile of children's books, Sebastian was playing Christmas carols for us on Daddy's keyboard.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lunch Date

A warm fire.  Delicious food.  My two little gentlemen.  The perfect lunch date.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect.

practice.  makesperfect.
Finally, it’s back.  After being at Mike and Jane’s for a whole year Den’s keyboard made it over to our house (thanks so Jane and her muscles) this week so Den can practice up for the Thanksgiving holiday.  The boys are infatuated with playing the piano.  Whether it’s Gramma and Boompa’s or their Land of Nod keys they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tickling the ivories.  Last night they spent an hour playing with Den before bed.  Had I known that the keyboard was going to be such a hit in our house (aka time consuming hit) I would have picked that thing up last year and carried it home on my back.

Monday, October 31, 2011

First Official School Pics

First School Pics

Michael with his classmates and teachers, Miss Sara and Ms. Linda.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trunk or Treat


Trunk or Treat

I like to start planning Halloween costumes November 1st of every year for the year to follow.  I knew the second last Halloween was over that this year we were gonna go all out- Dr. Seuss style.  May I present to you Thing 1, Thing 2, The Cat in the Hat and the Goldfish!!  I’ve been working on these costumes for about six weeks now, and today we had a chance to try them out during a function at Michael’s preschool- a Trunk or Treat.  Ever heard of it?  Yeah, I hadn’t either until I sent Michael to school.  I suppose these have been popular for a few years now, and from what I gather it’s a safety issue.  Anywho... so the idea behind the Trunk or Treat is to gather cars in a parking lot, participants decorate their cars to some theme and then kiddos go from car to car Trick or Treating just as they would go door to door  thru a neighborhood.  It was actually incredibly cute, and Michael loved playing games in the parking lot with his classmates (when he wasn’t sitting in the car pretending to be Speed Racer).  William enjoyed all of the attention and never ending supply of suckers- this kid never stops eating.   It was a wonderful new experience I hope the YMCA continues to host.  Ugh, and how cute are my Thing 1 and Thing 2 if I can say so myself.  I was so surprised that they kept their wigs on for almost the entire time we were there, and Dennis barely complained at all about his attire.  He was actually a really great sport, he just wasn’t a fan of the make-up.  Completely understandable don’t ya think?!  He made for a great Cat in the Hat.  Believe it or not, I think I already know what our theme will be for next year...

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Patch

The Patch
(and our second wedding anniversary)
I promise to repeat myself every year... our annual pumpkin patch trip is my favorite trip of the year, by far!!  It may only last thirty minutes, but I get goosebumps deciding between gourds, pumpkins and hay bales.  It’s an illness.  I was so excited about our trip this year because I figured Michael might actually understand the concept of choosing a pumpkin.  He did!  I was so proud.  I’m known for scouring the choices for the perfect shape, color, size and of course perfect stem.  He seems to have inherited this gene, which could make me cry.  He walked through the patch, eyeing each pumpkin until he set his eyes on a beauty and cried when I picked it up because although he might understand the picking one out process he is yet to understand the we get to take it home portion of the experience.  William was also so wonderful on this excursion.  He was so content playing with a Radio Flyer handle the entire time we were there, except when he decided that he was going to climb on top of a mammoth pumpkin and keep post.  Ugh, melts my heart.  After carefully selecting an array of orange and white beauties we called it a day to come home and watch the Bears be embarassed by the Lions.  Not exactly how I wanted to end a wonderful weekend.

On a different note, today also marks our second, second wedding anniversary.  Each year we celebrate two dates, July 24th when I actually became Mrs. Breier and October 10th, when we celebrated our marriage with our family and friends.  So, in July we spend the day alone together and celebrate with a date and in October we spend the day with our family, especially our boys.  These are traditions that mean everything to me.  To be able to celebrate with the man of my dreams and our loving supporting family is really a blessing.  

For Den, I love you more each day.  I didn’t think it was possible, but you are proving me wrong.  K.

Friday, October 7, 2011


The Big Apple

-New york city

What a whirlwind two days!!  Phew, let me take a moment to compose myself.  I’m finding it hard to believe that in less than 48 hours Dennis and I were in and out of New York City and were able to catch so many beautiful sites and flavors (pizza that is)!  It all started with Dennis announcing about a month ago that he was going to be heading for NYC for a training with Citi.  Let’s just say that before he finished telling me about his plans I had already booked my ticket and my in-laws to babysit so I could join him for two full days of fun in the Big Apple.  
What started with a limo ride to O’Hare in the wee hours of Wednesday morning and finished with a late flight back to Chicago on Thursday was a thrill.  I have never been to NYC, so I was determined to see absolutely everything I could in 48 hours.  My list was simple: The Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, Wall Street, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Central Park, Broadway, The Empire State Building, Brooklyn, drinks with Dennis’ colleague and fraternity brother and a walk through the neighborhood my MIL grew up in on the Upper East Side.  A short list, eh?  
I was lucky to have Dennis with me during the entire day on Wednesday.  We hopped in a cab the second we landed at LaGuardia and made our way through the tunnel to Manhattan.  As I was overwhelmed by the sites, smells and noise New York had to offer I couldn’t help but instantly compare it to Chicago.  My first reaction- it’s so dirty.  True, they don’t have alleys in NYC so where really do you expect them to put all of their trash but curbside?  It’s just a staggering amount of trash and I kept imagining how all of it was going to get cleaned up.  Well, it never really did the two days we were there.  
Instead of boring you with all the little details I think I’ll just pinpoint some of the highlights...
Day One...
We were staying at The Gansevoort.  Yes, the same swanky hotel with chevron marble floors that the Kardashians also happened to be staying at.  You will see in a couple fo photos that we saw and (I) yelled at Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries and her entourage Wednesday evening as we were making our way back to our room from the Sky Lounge- maybe the crazies (rooftop) bar I will ever be in.  
Because of the Occupy Wall Street Movement we were only able to see parts of Ground Zero and Wall Street.  Everything was blocked off and under strict surveillence.  Dennis did get to see the Bull (something that was on his to-do list).
Unfortunately, we did not get to travel to The Statue of Liberty.  We passed on the 3 1/2 wait and decided that would have to wait until the next trip.  I was dying to get so much in on our short visit to sit in a line for over three hours just wasn’t in the cards.  
THE PIZZA!  We had pizza twice, in a matter of four hours apart to be exact.  First, Girardi’s in Brooklyn (my favorite spot by far on the trip) and then a street corner shop across from the Empire State Building (something else we skipped because I couldn’t see paying $22 each to go up just to come down).  If you happen to go to Brooklyn look up Girardi’s.  You will not be disappointed.  And, the beer, Brooklyn Lager, was just as delicious as the pizza. 
We met up with Drue, a colleague of Dennis’ at Citi (but in the New York office) who also happens to be a fraternity brother of Dennis’ as well.  The Rogue was the hot spot for happy hour cocktails and conversation with men with thick New York accents.  Crazy fun company and a great time had by all.
Rattle and Hum- The DogFish Head bar.  AWESOME food!  PHENOMENAL atmosphere.  DELICIOUS beer.
Day Two (The day I was all alone in the Big Apple)...
I started walking.  I think I walked eight miles this day and that is not an exaggeration.  I hit Broadway, shopped 5th Avenue, Times Square and Rockefeller Center for the Today Show where Bridget Moynahan (yes, Tom Brady’s ex) gave me the book she was reading on the show for the boys to have.  I missed out on my chance to meet Matt Lauer (although I stared at him through a window) and Al Roker as I had planned (see sign in photo), but still a great experience.  FAO Schwartz and the Apple Store were also great highlights.  It just so happened that Steve Jobs passed away the day before and the mass of people remembering his genius outside of his store was touching.
Then there was St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  One of the most moving experiences of my life.  Anyone who has been there would understand.  I was overwhelmed- by the architecture and the pure beauty I found in those four walls.  To be in the pews of that cathedral, praying was an experience I will never forget.  
Central Park was my next stop.  I hit most of the hot spots, but was blown away by this park in the middle of skyscrapers and traffic.  You feel like you left New York for a quick stroll and then all of a sudden BAM... taxis again.  
The Upper East Side is exactly how I pictured it.  Amazing brownstones, super narrow streets decorated with nannies pushing oh so expensive stollers, and quiet compared to the streets of 5th and Park.  It was wonderful to see where Jane spent her childhood and imagine her there, in the mix of it all.
As I weaved in and out of blocks of high rises and compartment buildings I only wish Dennis could have been there to spend the day with me.  I’m going to assume that seeing New York would have been a much different experience had he been there to share it with me.  After checking out of what may have been the nicest hotel I will ever step foot in and picking up the husband from Queens we were on our way back to Chicago where I couldn’t wait to see the boys and kiss their cheeks.  
We spent today in I HEART NY tshirts, baking apple pies and simply enjoying some play time because for every second of those 48 hours the boys were constantly on my mind.  I missed them.

Dear New York, I’m sure I tried to do too much in such a short amount of time but let me tell ya, everyone is right when they say there’s no place like ya!  Until next time...
One very tired and sore (oh, my feet) tourist,

Friday, September 30, 2011

Apples to Apples.

Apples to Apples
Apple Holler

One of my favorite memories growing up was our annual trip to the local apple orchard.  Then we would spend the next two weeks peeling, coring and baking apple goodies.  Nothing tastes better than a fresh apple pie topped with vanilla bean ice cream.  YUM-O!  Apple picking (just like our Christmas tree tradtion) is something I want our boys to know and experience, especially while they are young enough not to complain about it.  We kidnapped Jane and Mike and hit the road to Wisconsin for a day jam packed with Golden Delicious and Jonathans!  
The weather did not cooperate.  It was a gloomy day and mud seemed to be on every surface from our week long rain out.  Not to mention, the school buses and field trips kind of take the wind out of you a bit.  But, it didn’t stop us.  No, I tell you, I would not let it.  We found our way to a quiet part of the orchard, where Michael and William could run about and taste anything their little hearts desired.  Where my father-in-law could climb and fall out of a tree without anyone noticing.  Where I could give Dennis a lesson in apple fetching from the top branches- the apples are top notch up there!  Where I could enjoy our little family doing something I always cherished as a kid.
After a quick lunch at The Brat Stop (and some sausage shopping) we were on our way home with two very tired boys.  
I must tell you I believe that Dennis has come to appreciate these (what he initially thinks are crazy) traditions I am so adamant about keeping.  And, to see the boys in row after row of juicy treats made me so happy.  What a great day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Five days.  Five straight days of rain.  What's a mom to do with two little boys who beg to be outside every single second of the day?  Well, that mom laces handsome (not pretty) necklaces, let's those two little (naked) boys eat whatever their little hearts desire for lunch and breaks out the finger paints (escaping a trip to the ER because one little boy thought he would eat the paint).  That's what this mom did today- and, well, that's what we've been doing for the last five days being as we are being held hostage by Mother Nature.  On a lighter note, as you will see in the photos below William is now eating with utensils.  This "I wanna do it because Michael is doing it" has started much sooner than I was anticipating.  Most of the time it's cute, but sometimes it isn't.  For example, today William wanted to walk up the stairs like his big brother.  William doesn't know how to walk yet.  Do I need to fill you in on what happened next?  We're ready for a little sunshine in these parts.

Oh, and how could I forget?  We built a fort, too.  The boys were in it for three hours.  Didn't move.  It also happened to be where Michael ate his dinner- Chez Michael's as we now call it.  He wanted to sleep in it, too.  Had I not needed a little couch time at the end of my day I might have let him.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wrestle Mania

wrestle mania
Does your family have a witching hour?  Yeah, so do we.  It usually starts at about 6:00 and lasts until we tuck the boys into bed at 7:00.  It’s not exactly the calmest part of our day.  Enter Dennis.  He is so wonderful about getting the boys outside each night for some wrestling time.  Michael loves tackling Dennis, and William loves watching from a distance until Daddy forces William to tackle Michael.  I, too, enjoy from a distance in a patio chair because my body simply cannot take any more physical activity after a day with my two toddlers who NEVER sit still.  Again, THANK GOD FOR DENNIS and his witching hour magic.  We're due for rain over the next couple of days so I guess the next wrestling match is TBD...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Snack Time


William loves his snack time...

Michael... not so much.