Happy New Year!

While making our annual year in review for this past year, I have realized a few things:

1. We were very quiet here on Cracker and Cheese
2. We took a ridiculous, seriously ridiculous, amount of photos of Ben (the joys of a digital camera)
3. We did not take enough photos of our friends and events

So, for the new year, we will try to change two out of the three things listed (guess which two) and in the meantime, enjoy!

2012 in Review from Cracker and Cheese on Vimeo.

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Ben Sure Knows How to Party For His First Birthday

It’s incredible how fast time flies. I know we all say, “Where does the time go?” but when you have a baby, it goes even faster. All of a sudden, he’s now one and you can’t even believe it.

First birthday parties are really for the parents to celebrate. It’s a chance for us to throw a party and have people cheer and congratulate us on not murdering each other or somehow forgetting the baby in a store or something. (And for all of you who made fun of our Post-It note, this is why Ben is still around.) Of course we were going to party like it’s 1999, bitches!

Ben’s Birthday Extravaganza was actually a three day event (yes, this baby had three birthday parties, INSANE). We started off with having a little party for his buddies at daycare on Friday. Bob and I brought some mini-cupcakes for everyone to enjoy, including Ben:

Yep, that was his first taste of processed sugar and he LOVED it. Crap. This is not going to be good for me when he starts asking for sugary treats. The kid actually cried when I took his cupcake away. Cried.

Day Two was dubbed Ben’s Birthday Barbeque Bash. This one was actually our party where we had friends come drink, eat, be merry and sit around a firepit on the driveway. (We are classy like that.) I wasn’t going to have Ben play with a cake because I thought only grandparents and family would be interested but there were quite a few requests so how could I say no? Sarah was so sweet and offered to bake his special cake. In my head, I thought she would bake this little cake with white frosting and a bit of writing. Nope, she did this:

It was so gorgeous, for a moment, I considered having Ben smash the Walmart cake instead. Since she had worked so hard on it for him, I let him have it. And he sure did put on a show:

Yep, when I took it away, he cried. Again.

Day Three was called Ben’s Birthday Brunch. We had family and close family friends over for brunch and since I didn’t go to bed until 4:30 AM and woke up at 7:00 AM, I was running on pure adrenaline and sugar (we had quite of bit of cake and sweets left over). Ben’s third and final cake was made by Bob’s mom and she had decorated it with baby puffs on it to entice him to play with the cake. As soon as he saw the puffs, he started digging for them:

Then he realized that frosting was on this cake as well:

It was incredible to see all of our friends and family this weekend celebrating Ben’s birthday. We are so fortunate to have you all in our lives, helping us, supporting us, just being there for us. Ben is such a lucky kid. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Thank you for being our village.

The Big Winner At Trivia Is…

Bob’s cousin is in the high school band and for the past couple of years, they have held a trivia night to raise funds to purchase new band equipment. Of course we are suckers for trivia nights (it’s an addiction, I need help) so we drove down to Oakville to exercise our trivia skills. The first trivia night of 2012!

The trivia night was pretty good, there were some difficult categories (catastrophes, potpourri, famous women) and some easy ones (retro toys and nostalgic candy). The creepiest moment of the night happened in the retro toys round:

And for those who care, that’s Pregnant Midge.

But the real excitement for me that night was the silent auction items. I went a bit crazy and bid on quite a few things and surprisingly, I won quite a few things. Whoops! The loot: 2 white rocking chairs (yep, you heard right, I won 2 freakin’ rocking chairs for $55 each, it was bullshit that I had to bid on them separately and would have been mighty upset if I only got one), a photography session for $25 that includes an 11×14 photo (I figured now that I have a kid, I better take some family photos) and the biggest basket of Bath & Bodyworks products (luckily I split that with Bob’s aunt or else people would be getting lotions as gifts for YEARS). Score! Now, I can’t wait until spring so I can have a professional photo session of me sitting in my rocking chair spritzing Ben with the scent of Black Amethyst.

Let’s Recap the Holidays, Shall We?

As everyone knows, the holidays are rough, you are constantly on the go, no time to breathe and stress and anxiety courses through your veins for 6 weeks until the new year rolls around. What have we been doing for the past month and a half? Why, we’ve been hiding under a rock, waiting for the holidays to roll by before emerging, unscathed. Just kidding, we were in the trenches and have the scars to prove it.

Thanksgiving weekend, the start of the holiday season. I kick it off with the girls’ pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving and I love it. It’s a great way for all of us to gear up for a month of gluttony. It was different this year, we had it in a new house and we did have a guy attend (but he is the exception, he is too young to play poker). Then on Thanksgiving, it was the Ameristar Thanksgiving buffet. Excellent dinner and not too bad with the lines for turkey. That evening, we then went to another Thanksgiving to pick up Ben, who apparently was wiped from all the tryptophan:
Rough life, isn’t it, kid? To be snuggled with and loved on all night.

Saturday night was round two of the turkey-eatin’, Ben-lovin’ extravaganza. There was more food and more baby-holding. We even got to meet the newest addition to the Menkhus clan:
Sleeping Vivienne
December took off like a bat out of hell. It was go, go, go and we never looked back. You would think that having a child would slow us down, nope. Instead, we are even more exhausted, more cranky and more stressed than ever before. Time management was not on our side. We went out to dinner for Bob’s birthday, celebrated another friend’s birthday, went to the Peimanns’ annual Ugly Sweater Party (with a sweater I found that night), had the Sherron Christmas party to attend and made sure Ben had his first photo with Santa:
Santa and Ben 2011
And here’s the kicker, we hosted Christmas this year with Bob’s side of the family! Talk about one ball of stress for me! Can you imagine? Cleaning a house for a party? It’s a struggle for me to clean even when I didn’t have a baby. But it all worked out. The Sam’s ham was wonderful, everyone brought a dish, it worked out perfectly. And I think we are going to start a new tradition:
So, in a nutshell, time flew by so quickly and now I just need to take some time and sleep for 3 days straight.