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Maddie’s Birthday Weekend

Maddie’s Birthday Weekend

We had lots of fun celebrating our big 6 year old this past weekend.  On Saturday morning, Chuck and Maddie worked on making a birthday cake. She wanted to make and decorate her own cake this year. Chuck helped her bake and she did the decorating. (One was chocolate and the other cake was rainbow with white frosting.) She was so proud of herself!



Saturday afternoon, we had a girls outing and went to see Fancy Nancy at the Stages Theatre. It was a really cute show with lots of singing and dancing by kids. The girls loved it. We took my mom, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece.





The amazing Grandma Linda made Maddie a Merida dress (from the Disney movie Brave). Now, here is a picture of the image she was modeling the dress after:File_000


I honestly think hers is even better than the ones you can buy in the stores. Amazing!

That evening we had some family over to celebrate and eat all the cake Maddie made. She also got a few other Merida accessories to go with her dress. So cute!



Then on Sunday she wanted to go to brunch. So we took her there and then we went to the Mall of America because she wanted to go to the Crayola Experience and spend some birthday money. We had also planned to ride rides, but since it was a holiday weekend, it was really busy there and we decided to skip rides.

On Monday, I had plans to meet a friend at the mall (we knew it would be a potentially terrible idea with everyone in town planning to be there, too). So we took the kids on some rides and had lunch. Since it was President’s Day there were some events going on and the kids got crowns and got their picture with some presidents. Winking smile







After lunch at the mall, we went to our friend’s house to hang out for the afternoon. It was a fun-filled day (and weekend) and we were all exhausted by the end of it. I think Maddie had a great birthday filled with fun, family and friends!

Now we are thankfully back to our regular schedule. Smile




It’s December 21. I last wrote almost exactly 6 months ago on June 22nd. Not for lack of thinking about ye old blog here, but I just haven’t done it. Something else has come up or something else needed to be done. I’m going to have to make a serious list of all the things that need to be documented on here. Since I am so crappy about making baby books for my kids, the least I can do is document some of their childhood here. Smile

Wishing you all a happy holidays! Our xmas card (if you can call it that) is below. We decided not to send one out this year. I’m just posting it virtually online. Save a tree, right? Or laziness. Whatever works.



Birthdays: Alex (2) & Dannie (4)

Birthdays: Alex (2) & Dannie (4)

Alex and Dannie had a Curious George birthday party again this year. I am not sure how I convinced Dannie to have another one, but it turned out great. It was so nice to be home for their birthday, although their birthday in Seattle will always be so special to me because I got to spend it with our friends there before we moved back.

My amazing friend and neighbor who owns Ganser’s Goodies made the cupcakes for the party. I told her what Dannie wanted and then I popped in the cupcake toppers. They were delicious and a huge hit!

I can never get these two to look at the camera at the same time, but I really wanted a picture of them in their Curious George shirts I found for them. This was the best I could do.

We had family and some friends come celebrate with us. We played, opened presents, ate and socialized. I think this might be the last family/friends party we do. It’s starting to get too big with all our family and the kids are going to want more friends at their parties soon. But it was so fun to have everyone over to celebrate these two monkeys.

Alex really got the hang of presents this year. He LOVED opening presents and tried to get some of his sister’s opened, too. We just did gifts from guests at the party and opened ones from us on each of their actual birthdays.

When we went to light the candles, I didn’t take off the cupcake topper and it started on fire. There’s a couple funny pictures of me when I realized what had happened and this was the funniest picture of me.

My babies are very quickly becoming not babies anymore. I’m sad and also really excited about this. They are all so sweet to each other and love each other to pieces. I love that they are friends and can’t wait to see what kind of people these kids will grow up to be.

Happy birthdays my sweet little monkeys. We love you!


First Haircuts

First Haircuts

Maddie got her first haircut. You read that right. She’s 5 and she just got her first haircut. I wasn’t ready to cut her hair. But then it’s been so hard to manage lately and it made her so upset to brush her hair, I knew it was time. So we took her in to get a haircut. Here are before and after pictures.





When I first looked at the pictures it didn’t look like she had very much cut off. But then we did a side-by-side picture and when you look where the bottom of her shirt is, you can see that quite a bit was taken off. Smile


It’s so much nicer now and so much more manageable. I know I should have done it sooner, but now she has more crazy mom ammunition for later in life.



And as if cutting Maddie’s hair didn’t send me over the edge, I decided to get Alex’s hair cut as well. And Alex went first, so the 15 month old got a haircut before the 5 year old. You can call me ridiculous now. Smile

Maddie was a trooper and didn’t make a peep or anything. Alex, well, he cried the whole time. But he was mostly mad that I was holding down his hands. He calmed down as soon as he got the plastic cover off him and I let him out of the chair.  Here are his before and after pictures.





I wanted him to have a mohawk, but knew that I wouldn’t keep it up and style it everyday, so I had her keep it longer, but she still styled it that way for me. By the time we got home, though, the mohawk had fallen down. Here’s one I snapped before we left.



This place saved a clipping of their hair in a little envelope. The lady who did Maddie’s hair commented that was one of the biggest amounts of hair they cut for a first haircut. Haha.


Overall, it wasn’t as traumatizing for me as I thought it would be. And now I can brush Maddie’s hair without a fight and Alex just looks like a little man. Smile Now maybe just another year or two before Dannie gets her first haircut. Smile


Alexander is ONE!

Alexander is ONE!

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I know I say this every month, but time has flown by and I can’t believe our baby is one already. This past year has been a whirlwind and in what feels like a blink of my eye, my baby is no longer a baby. But I can say with all confidence that even though I am sad he’s not a baby, I am SO excited for all the things that come with him being older and not having babies in the house anymore.



It has been very freeing to get rid of all the baby stuff and I love seeing him grow up and turn into a little boy. It’s hard to tell so far how different he is than the girls were (because boys are different, I am told).


We had his one year checkup yesterday morning (along with Dannie’s three year checkup). He got 4 total shots and the girls got flu shots. He weighs 24 pounds and is 30.5 inches long.


A couple weeks ago, all the kids got sick. They got a high temp and cold/cough that lingered until just recently. They were so tired and cranky. Alex became very snuggly when he was sick. He now likes to crawl into my lap and put his head on me or sit in my lap. I’m working on getting him to give me more kisses, too.





He just crawled up the kid picnic table the other day. I didn’t get a picture of him standing on the seat, but that’s where he was when we saw him the first time. Then he continued to crawl up it over and over until I took it back outside. I think we are going to need to find our baby gates right away.


Alex is an eater. He still loves his food and has wanted to do more and more on his own. He now just wants me to hand him half a banana to eat and doesn’t want it cut up. Mind you, the kid still only has two little bottom teeth, but he is quite proficient with them. His other new favorite thing is pretzel sticks. I know he’s my kid because he looks like he really likes licking the salt off them. He’s getting really good with his snack cup and loves his water bottle.








He babbles all the time and says “mama”, “dada”, “nana”, “baba”, can click his tongue, sticks his tongue out at me, does “so big”, claps, waves bye, points at things and signs “more” and “drink”. We are working on “all done” instead of throwing his food off his tray.


He has also learned the joy of dumping things out. Of course he doesn’t want to dump out toys….just food.



He loves playing with toys that make noise or things where he can push buttons. He likes putting toys into a box or bucket and likes to page through books. He still doesn’t want to sit still while we read him books. He mostly wants to eat them, but we are working on it.


The girls are still really good with him. They play with him and include him in everything. They are helpful and caring and sweet to him and always want to love on him and tell him how much they love him. The girls love making him laugh. It is so cute hearing them laugh at each other. Alex just wants to be doing whatever his sisters are doing.







He loves playing at our friends’ house with their little boy that is the same age. (We are going to miss them like crazy when we move!) Lately he has had a lot more fun there than here. When we are home he just wants to be in my pocket. But he plays really nicely there. I am sure it’s because we don’t have many toys here anymore and they are all getting bored with the few we do have left. I can’t wait to unpack all their toys and let them loose in the basement!



Alex has been working on his walking, too. He likes walking around with his car and cruising around the furniture. He likes it when you hold his hand and help him walk, but doesn’t seem stable enough to walk on his own quite yet. Here’s a video of him walking with this toy.



I think (and many others have commented, too) that Alex looks just like Chuck. Dannie is my mini-me, Alex is Chuck’s and I think Maddie is a good mix of us both.



Last weekend we had a birthday party for Alex and Dannie and it was a huge hit. Alex loved his cupcake and made a huge mess of himself. I will post a bit about the party soon.


We are down to the end of his bottles. Normally, I would cut him off today, but with the drive coming up, I am going to let him have his one bottle and formula for a few days until we get back home and then deal with changing him over to milk. Most days he doesn’t even finish his bottle and prefers to drink it out of a cup with a straw. Hopefully the transition won’t be too bad.




The girls like to wrestle with Chuck when he gets home from work and Alex has started to get in on the wrestling fun. I know Chuck and the girls will be excited to unpack their wrestling pillow! He likes being carried and we learned last weekend that he enjoys sitting on your shoulders.


Our little man is growing up so quickly. He is changing all the time and becoming more independent. Alex’s is the happiest boy and we love his laughs (and snorts). He wrinkles his nose when you tickle him. I can’t wait to see more of his personality as he grows up. We love you to pieces little man. Happy birthday, Alex!


Fall Play Date Fun

Fall Play Date Fun

We went to my friend Mallory's house to hang out last week. We hang out there quite a bit. At least once a week. I actually took a few pictures this time. Our kids all pay so nicely together! The second picture is from a different day, but it was just so cute.

We also made these Berry Bars while I was there. The kids had fun helping and eating them.

Just before it was time to leave, we took them outside to play in the leaves for a few minutes. Of course, I couldn't get all my kids to look at the camera at the same time no matter how hard I tried. Typical.

The girls played hide and seek and found a worm!


Monster Treats

Monster Treats

Last week we went to a friend's house to make a little Halloween treat. She found the idea here on Pinterest. These were really easy to make and the kids had a lot of fun. We decided to make them with Fruity Pebbles because her daughter doesn't like Rice Crispies. This was a delicious substitution!

You just make crispie bars, melt some chocolate, then decorate. Easy easy easy. Goofy faces and thumbs up were had by all.

After the treats, the girls had Alex chasing the remote control car around. It was the funniest thing. 🙂

Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo

We have made a visit to the zoo here in Seattle many times. But on this visit, the kids were happy, the sun was shining and I just happened to take a bunch of pictures. So here are some pictures from a recent visit to the zoo this Fall.

We played at the park just outside the zoo for a little while before it opened. The zoo opens at 9:30, so when the kids are up before 7, it’s pretty likely that we are stir crazy before the zoo opens.



Next, the girls thought it would be fun to chase the jaguar. They don’t have much of a survival instinct. Smile


Up next were the gorillas. This one was so sweet and came to look at us right by the window.



Inside the zoo, there’s a really fun playground. They like to run around the path (over and over), stand on the ant hills, go down the rock slides and play in the spider webs.



One of their favorite places at the zoo is the farm. The animals were pretty silly when we were there.








More fun things to play in/on.



Dannie is starting to get the hang of standing on standing part of the stroller. For some reason Maddie wanted to sit in the seat.


The lions are kind of hard to see in this picture, but they were all out on the rocks which is something we don’t see very often.


We hadn’t visited the wetlands at the zoo in a long time, so we took a stroll through there. It was really pretty




The red panda (Firefox) is one of my very favorite animals. He’s so dang cute and fluffy!


We also saw the giraffes, hippos and zebras, but I didn’t get any good pictures of them. I love this zoo. The only thing I wish it had were more indoor areas. It rains here…a lot (in case you didn’t know) and it would be nice to have more options at the zoo for rainy days. But alas, it does not. I hope we can get a couple more nice weekend days to make another visit before it gets too cold (and rainy) for the season.

What is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?


Alex * 11 Months Old

Alex * 11 Months Old

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Alex is 11 months old! I am sure you are happy to hear there’s only one more of these posts after this one! I will keep doing yearly posts, but these monthly ones are coming to an end!


Alex is one silly, happy little boy. He has started making silly faces and sometimes I can get him to dance for me. He has the best laugh when you tickle him, too!



The biggest news this month is that Alex finally got a tooth! Two actually! A couple weeks ago the first one cut through and then about a week or so later, he got the second one (both on the bottom). He puts his fingers in his mouth and seems to be a little confused by the sharp things he finds in there. And I have to remember I can’t let him gnaw on my fingers anymore because those baby teeth are sharp!! (I haven’t been able to get a good picture of the teeth yet.)



He has finally started cruising around the couch and coffee table. Of course, this also comes with more falling over, bumps and bruises. But he is pretty proud of himself and will even stand against something and hold it with only one hand. We have a little walking/riding toy that I have been working with him on. He can take a few steps with it, but doesn’t do it on his own yet. It’s only a matter of time, and I am not encouraging him all that much. I’m in no hurry to have him running around. He’s already a speedy little guy that gets into plenty of trouble now.





He loves being under your feet or wherever you are. He will crawl and then stand up by grabbing your pants. He usually likes to do this while I am making some meal and if I can’t play with him, he just sits and cries at my feet. Usually he can be distracted by a spoon, cup, goldfish or ice toy, thankfully.


His sisters still just dote on him all the time. Dannie won’t call him anything other than “YOU LITTLE BABY” in a very deep voice (which I think she is imitating me) and aggressively pointing at him. Maddie likes to wrestle with him and they can both get him giggling like crazy over the tiniest thing. In general, it’s a good thing babies are durable.




Speaking of durable. Chuck and the girls like to wrestle when Chuck gets home from work and most days, Alex likes to crawl right into the fun. I like that he wants to be a part of it all.



He likes to yell and babble. He hasn’t acquired any new sounds this month really, but he has gotten better at copying the sound you want him to say. He is also copying motions or doing commands more regularly. Maddie likes to ask, at dinner, “Who’s going to eat all their dinner?” and we all raise our hands. Alex will typically join in with us, but he sometimes has a hard time with one hand and prefers two!


I have gotten him to dance a bit when I sing to him. He will shake his head and then giggle at me. I think it’s pretty adorable, but I’m a huge sucker for his happy eyes and little dimple!



Chuck’s dad sent us some pictures from when Chuck and his sister were little. We found a couple in there that look just like Alex. I have always thought Dannie looks a lot like me and Maddie is a pretty good mix of us both. Alex is definitely a mini-Chuck.




He likes being held, but isn’t big on snuggling (unless he is in his carrier or looking at my phone). When we try to read books, he still tries to eat them more than look at the pictures. But I have seen him playing with books a lot more and turning the pages. He also really likes pressing buttons on toys.






He’s a great eater and really eats whatever we are eating. Apple slices are about the only thing that are still a little hard for him without any teeth, but he does pretty well. I just have to make sure I grab it from him before he gets the last huge chunk. Smile


We have also cut down on his bottles since we only a have a number of weeks left of them. I am looking forward to no more bottles and not being so attached to that with him. When he does get one, he will see it and start crying or saying “mamamamama” and crawling toward me. He does love his bottles. I think he’s going to be sad to give them up.


We have some playdates with my friend Mallory and her kids a couple times a week. Some days we just hang out there while Maddie is at school. Her kids are almost the same ages as Dannie and Alex and all our kids play so well together.



Happy 11 months, little buddy.



Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

We have been to the aquarium many times, but our most recent trip was a lot of fun.

We colored.

We pet animals.

We had our faces painted.

We stuck our heads in painted plywood.

We looked at the jellyfish. (This is the cutest picture ever, by the way!)

We looked at tropical fish.

Then we headed out. We weren’t there very long and only saw a small part of the aquarium. But sometimes a short trip is perfect!