Dining Al Frecko

Some adorable recent sayings:

– when asked if he would like to eat al fresco, he replies yes, “al frecko” please!

– when looking at his new shirt with bugs on it, from Grandma & Pakka: “MY BUGGY SHIRT!!”

– when asked if he would like a tool to help fix his bike: “how ’bout WRENCH”

This boy keeps us laughing and on our toes with his adorable take on life!


Big Boy Bed, & Swim Class

Today is the first day you are sleeping in your new big boy bed at home. You slept in a regular bed for 3 weeks during our time at Oma’s in Germany; when you got home, you noticed your bed was a “baby bed”. You pointed to it and said “baby bed!” You did so well in a regular bed at Oma’s, and expressed such eagerness to sleep in a big bed, that we figured it was time.

Time for you, but it’s a hard time for me as your mom, to watch you grow up so quickly!!

We laid you in bed, read you a story (“Planes”), and then prayed and kissed you goodnight. We then hurried to our bedroom to watch you on the monitor. We watched you explore your new bed, and exclaim “a HA!” as you looked at your new sheets. You crack us up all the time!!

Today was also the first day that you did swim lessons without me being in the pool with you. Papa took you to swimming lessons (at Houston Swim Club) and let go of your little hand, watching you walk around the pool all by yourself. He watched you swim and then we celebrate when you got home with ice cream!!

Today has been a big day but you’re handling all of the changes like the little champion that you are. We’re so proud of you!!

Maurice’s 36th Birthday: Fogo de Chao

To celebrate Maurice’s birthday a little more, we went out to Fogo de Chao on Friday night. Maurice had never been to a churrascaria so we got a little dressed up and went out on the town!

all dressed up and ready to go out!

We had reservations for 7pm, and when we got there we were given a cute table for two, ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir, and the feasting began. First we hit up the salad bar, and agreed that the artichoke heart was our favorite. They also had smoked salmon, olives, asparagus, and allll kinds of fresh produce. It was delicious but the main attraction (the meat!!) was still coming so we tried to take it easy on the salad.

Then the meat showed up. Oh my goodness, was it good!! We tried all of it! The picanha and the tiny lamb chop (surprisingly!) were my two favorites; Maurice said the Parmesan-crusted pork loin was his. We ate and ate and ate:

happy but stuffed!

They also brought out cheese bread, fried plantains (yum!) and crispy polenta which was also a highlight of the night.

ok paparazzi, can i please eat in peace now?

We did our best to make more room by drinking more wine πŸ˜€ Sometimes you just have to suck it up, you know? hehehe…

birthday card time

private thoughts πŸ˜‰

One of Maurice’s favorite desserts is creme brulee. He ordered two πŸ™‚

how you doin?

make it a good wish, b!

It was an awesome evening together πŸ™‚ We went home happy and stuffed, and looking forward to the next year together. Happy birthday, B!

getting ready for date night together πŸ™‚

Monster Trucks!

A few weekends ago Maurice and I spent an evening at the Monster Truck Jam that recently came through Houston. We had been looking forward to it since eyeballing the ad in for it online in December. It did not disappoint! For one night, Houston didn’t totally suck and we had a great time!

When we first got to the arena we could hear some of trucks starting up, and we missed the first 20 minutes or so due to a “cash only” snafu that had us kicked out of the parking lot and sent to the nearest ATM. That’s alright though, we parked and bought our tickets which were really close to the front and completely unobstructed. Score! We found our seats, enjoyed the last 15 minutes of the first half, and then the real fun began πŸ™‚ Lookie:

preparing the track for super jumps

"crusader" zooming around

"crusader" jumping

another awesome jump by "crusader"

you mess with the bull you deal with the horns! toro loco went all out!!

forget the name of this guy

monster truck classic "grave digger" getting ready to go

"grave digger" jumping

"grave digger" lost a wheel, still did a jump, and finally fell over

Did I mention that we forgot ear protection? And how LOUD it was? (stick a lawnmower in your ear, start it, and listen to the noise for 2 hours, that’s how loud it was). My ears paid the price for the rest of the evening but we had a super time together! It was so much fun to watch the trucks jump and bounce and boing all over the place, and of course I love the idea of crushing things so I got a kick out of all destructive maneuvers πŸ˜€ Maurice was surprised I liked it so much and says we’ll go back, so I hope so!! Next time: ear plugs, coca-cola, and nachos. Can’t wait!!

Happy birthday, B!!!

Happy happy birthday, Maurice!! I love you so dearly, and love celebrating “you’!! You are amazing, and what a great year this has been. Here are some of my faves from 2011 when you were just a wee young lad of 35 πŸ™‚

maurice (35 years old)

Damn you are still hott! hehehe… here’s to another super year, may it be your best one yet – Prost!!

Love you,
Nikki (and Hazeldog!)

New Favorite Apple Recipe

I’ve been following Deb’s “smittenkitchen” blog for a couple of years now, and everything I’ve cooked from the sight has been tops. Yesterday I read up on the recipe she posted for an Apple Sharlotka, a typical Russian dessert. It looked like just my kind of recipe: lots of fresh fruit, not too much sugar or flour, dense, and moist.

Last night when I got home, I realized I had everything needed, including the apples! What fate. So I whipped it up and hoooooly, it is my new favorite apple dessert! This is after being stuck on apple strudel for months and months. I’ll have to rotate between the two but this will definitely be my new quick go-to recipe if we’re having guests or I just have a sweet tooth πŸ™‚

I’m enjoying a big chunk of it this morning with some hot coffee. Mmm!!

Homemade Haus – Sunburst Mirror

So I’m jumping on the bandwagon, albeit last years’ bandwagon, and making my own attempt at a DIY sunburst mirror! I have a big blank wall at work that I’d like to spice up, and this mirror should do the trick nicely. It’ll also give me a good place to freshen up without having to venture into the nasty ladies’ room (WHY are the women at work SO GROSS…)

This is the mirror I’m going to make, from the Centsational Girl blog:

DIY paintstick mirror (photo courtesy of Centsational Girl)

So far I have an 8″ mirror ($4.99 at Hobby Lobby), an 8″ embroidery hoop ($1.19 at Hobby Lobby), liquid nails, a paintbrush, and paint (Folk Art’s “Metallic Sahara Gold” and “Metallic Champagne” – layered, should give the mirror depth and a bit of shine). Maurice is making me a custom picture hanger, and he managed to score 50 paint sticks from Sherwin Williams for free!! We searched for them high and low; Lowe’s will only give out 2 at a time?! At that rate we’d have to hit up every Lowe’s in Texas!!

I need to cut & sand the paint sticks tonight, and then I’ll start putting everything together πŸ™‚ The project should only cost roughly $25, including everything we had to buy more of (liquid nails, fresh Xacto blades, and paint) so I really can’t complain about the cost!! If it turns out well then I’ll proceed to redecorate the rest of my boxy office.





It’s now December – my favorite month of the year. The Christmas tree is going up this weekend, the heavy blankets will come out, hot wine will be served, and our little haus full of 3 tiny maus will be snug at home, enjoying the beginnings of winter.

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.” β€”Dr. Seuss