Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meanwhile, in the McLoughlin household...

Ever since we moved to Lynden and started attending our new church (North County Christ the King), we've been having trouble with Finnian feeling comfortable enough in the nursery to stay throughout the whole service. He would freak out until we were paged to come pick him up, usually in less than 10 minutes. It got so bad one day that he threw up on himself since he was so upset. Even walking past the nursery hallway he would start whining. Auntie Delta has started attending service with us, so she would pick him up and keep him occupied so that I could finish watching the sermon. She worked with him each week taking him down the nursery hallway and pointing out all the fun animals painted on the walls and looking in the various classrooms, but letting him take the initiative to participate or not. About a month ago, they were looking in the two-year-old room, and Finnian noticed that they were about to have snack. That was all it took! He sat down with the other children and didn't even mind when Auntie Delta left. A happy child was picked up after the service and he was carrying his weekly craft that the children had made.

Each week since then, he has happily gone into the two-year-old class and come out with a craft that he has been super excited to show us. The hat that was made one Sunday was so adorable that I had to take a couple pictures of it. He was so proud of it and he pointed to his head to show all of us!
He finally had something to show off himself, after months of witnessing his brothers showing me their crafts when we picked them up from their Sunday School classrooms.
One day when he got home from school, Ronan told me that he did really well on his reading comprehension test.  When I asked to see it, he said that the teacher had put it up in the main hallway of the school on the "Good Workers" board. I was so proud, so I had to drive down to the school the next day to take a picture of the excellent work he had done. Since his work got on the board, his name was listed in the monthly newsletter under the "Good Workers" heading. I am one proud mama!
 He is doing really well in school and just loves it.  Next Monday is parent/teacher conferences and I am excited to hear just how smart he is!
Collin's company has started producing videos and one script called for a child. Ronan was perfect for the part! He had two lines; the first, "What is lean methodologies?" and the second line, "That sounds boring!" He did great!
 Latham getting his regular buzz cut while eating Cheerios off the kitchen counter. Hairy Cheerios, yum!
I had to get a picture of this dinner: a great, healthy balanced dinner of potatoes, chicken and a veggie, and of course, my child starts with the broccoli first!
 When Ronan saw that we were having drumsticks he said, "Awww, do we have to eat like cavemen again?!?" The previous time I had made drumsticks for dinner I tried to convince the boys to pick up the drumstick to eat the meat off of it in order to save myself from having to cut all the meat off of it for them. I mentioned "cavemen" in order to make the option more appealing - apparently, it didn't work!
Latham digging into the potatoes first - well, he is part Irish, ya know!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Las Vegas 2013

Collin surprised me with a trip to Las Vegas in early February.  We left on Friday morning and flew first class to Vegas.  It's only a 2 1/2 hour flight, and there's no time change, so it's a perfect place to spend a long weekend.  We arrived shortly after noon and after dropping the bags off at the hotel, started exploring the city by foot.
Collin with our hotel, Paris, in the background.

Last time I was here Paris had not yet been built.  It is an amazing hotel!

We had reservations for the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, and our table overlooked the strip and the Bellagio Hotel just across the street.  The Bellagio has a lighted fountain show every half hour, so we saw it quite a few times throughout the course of our meal.  Which, by the way, was fantastic!

The open kitchen of the Eiffel Tower Restaurant which totally reminded me of my favorite movie "Ratatouille" minus the rats, of course.

The mister and me at dinner.

After dinner we had tickets to see Jay Leno do stand-up at the Mirage.  He put on a great show and was really funny.  No cameras were allowed, so I settled for a picture of the tickets.
The Paris Hotel was super cute inside.  We had lunch the following day at this "outdoor" cafe at our hotel.

We explored other hotels as well.  One of our favorites was the Venetian.

Not quite the real thing, but the canal was quite a sight.

Saturday evening we had tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil show, "Mystere".  One word - amazing!

After we headed back to the Venetian to have a late dinner at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, which is owned by Mario Batali.  Gordon Ramsey Steak was located in our hotel, but we never dined there since we weren't in the mood for steak.

On Sunday we were back at the Venetian again to have lunch at a restaurant beside the canal.

The lobby at the Venetian

The whole hotel was beautiful.

I was super excited to see that the Titanic Artifact Exhibition was in town.  Unfortunately cameras weren't allowed in but it was really well done and extremely interesting.  There was an actual piece of the ship that was on display (it was a huge piece of the side of the ship), and the Grand Staircase was re-created in real size, as was a portion of the ship's promenade deck.  There were real artifacts that were recovered from the ship wreck that belonged to both passengers and the Star Line.  It was really impressive.

After the Titanic Exhibit, Collin and I walked the strip at night to see all the amazing lights.

New York New York

Hard Rock Cafe

Our hotel at night

We did some gambling the last night we were there - nothing major, just 1 cent slots.  I had a dream when we arrived that I hit triple sevens and won $8 million.  Well, I did hit triple sevens (see above) but since we were playing penny slots the payout was 1,000 "credits" - a whole $10.00!

My "jackpot" claim ticket.
It was a wonderful weekend away, and it was especially nice to not be on Mommy duty the whole weekend.  Thank you so much to Auntie Delta and Nana & Bubba for providing childcare.
P.S. - When we told the boys that we were going away for the weekend Ronan was quiet for a moment - you could see the wheels turning in his mind.  Finally he spoke, "Well, I could make sandwiches for my brothers."  Poor guy thought we were leaving them without any grown-ups to take care of them!  He thought it was a much better solution to have Nana & Bubba coming to stay while we were gone!