We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week! We have a healthy, happy family – with a baby boy on the way! We have great parents who love spending time with us, with our kid(s) and live close so we can see them often! They watch Ellie during the week, the two days I work, and then any other time we need to go somewhere without Ellie.

We had a nice Thanksgiving lunch at our house with both sets of parents. We bought an IR Turkey “Fryer” this year. My parents had a fryer we used this past summer but the oil is expensive and a hassle. We had the marinade injector for the turkey and then did a Rudy’s Turkey rub on the outside. It was delicious and moist!!

Thursday night we pulled out the Christmas decorations and put the Christmas tree up. With a two-year-old in the house, we didn’t put any decorations down low and we kept the first 1/3 of the tree free of ornaments – except for a few Ellie can play with. When we came downstairs on Friday morning, Ellie made the best “oohhhhh!” face! She loved the decorations!! As we got ready for the day on Saturday morning, she said “Chris!” and I said “yes, all the Christmas decorations are downstairs.” So she was just as equally thrilled to see the decorations on Saturday morning – so I got a few “surprised” pictures then 🙂 She really likes to just say “Chris!” but one time this weekend she read my “Merry Christmas” banner and actually said “Merry Christmas!”


Ellie loves looking at the Christmas ornaments on the tree. She also loves playing with the few ornaments at the bottom of the tree. She’ll take them off and put them back on again – over and over!


“Try Again” seems to be her favorite saying these days – she says it a lot while she’s playing with the tree ornaments, but she also says it for everything – whether she’s not been able to do something the first time or if she asks us to do something and we tell her no, etc. It’s hilarious 🙂

On Saturday, while Ellie napped, we got the Christmas lights all put up outside. We bought lights two years ago, right after Ellie was born, to light our old house. Last year, in the apartment, we had no lights… so we were really excited to put them up this year and the number of lights we’d bought for our old house worked just fine for this house! Ellie loves it!!

Zach and I went Black Friday shopping at the Toyota dealership…. we got our swagger wagon!!! The BIGGEST Black Friday purchase we’ve ever made!!! Growing up with the versatility of a mini-van, I’ve wanted a mini-van for a while for our family. Once we attempted to put two car seats in my BMW X3 (and even in Zach’s Ridgeline), we knew having more space would be ideal. We’ve been looking at different vans for a while and decided on the Toyota Sienna for a few reasons… the biggest reasons: we could get an All-Wheel-Drive and the middle captain’s chairs slide back and forth – giving the perfect amount of room for bulky car-seats without having the front seats pushed way forward!

We spent a little more than 5 hours at the dealership – it was packed! We left Ellie with my folks because we knew that would not be a fun adventure in the dealership for that long! The haggling is annoying, but I was so proud of Zach – he did lots of research before we left so that he could be educated and able to haggle the best we could. We walked away with a great deal and are so pleased with our purchase! Zach was never a fan when I mentioned wanting a mini van, but once he got inside the Sienna and drove it, I think he was swayed – he loves our new swagger wagon! 🙂 It’s a major changed from my BMW X3 – but it’s perfect for us!

I didn’t take a lot of pictures of Ellie this week. I’ve been trying to take it slow and enjoy time with Ellie. Usually I’m running around taking pictures while playing with her, but I move a little slower these days!

Ellie’s ABC’s are really improving lately! She’ll try to say the “L, M, N, O, P” now, whereas before she would skip it completely! She still skips D and sometimes X… Monday she skipped J and S for some reason. While coloring on her doodle pad, she started drawing lines (I think she thought she was writing letters) and saying the alphabet. She was doing great and I decided I needed to try to get it on video. I propped up the camera so she wouldn’t notice it. She didn’t do as great while I was taping, but it’s still adorable…kind of in her own little world! 🙂 Sometimes she starts the ABC’s over when saying the “now I know my ABC’s”…. but this time she just started saying random letters totally out of order!

She also loves counting to 10 – if we ask her to count objects, it doesn’t matter how many there are, she points randomly and counts all the way to 10. Always. She’s great at getting to 10 without skipping numbers. Tonight she was pointing to her ABC & 123 pictures in her room while laying in bed, so Zach pointed and she said the names. She did okay with the ABC’s, then moved to the numbers. She said “1, 2, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, Home Depot!” This kid loves Home Depot, but I’m not sure what made her decide to yell “Home Depot” while saying the numbers. Zach and I just busted up laughing! 🙂

This morning, Ellie started playing in her room after waking up – she pulled her drawers out like she does often, but this time she pulled the bottom drawer out all the way… I walked in and found this:


Here’s a picture of all the drawers:


Check out the rest of the photos in the November 2012 Photo Album.

Nothing new with baby boy… he’s still hanging out, waiting to make his appearance. I’m 39-weeks and am getting SO uncomfortable!! I hope he shows up soon!