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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!


Danielle is 3!

Danielle is 3!

Our baby girl is three (3) today! It's so hard to believe she is that old. This past year has been such a whirlwind and Dannie has changed so much. She is growing up so quickly and isn't my squishy little baby anymore!

This girl is full of personality. There is not a dull moment at all with her around. She is sweet, caring, loud, funny, silly, dances her heart out, sings like it's going out of style, hugs you with all her might and smiles with her whole body. (The first picture she was trying to wink. It's not just a picture up her nose.)

Dannie loves her brother and sister. She wants to copy everything Maddie does (Maddie is usually a good sport about it). They play together, laugh together, share a room, and are the best of friends. They do have their fair share of fighting and getting on each other's nerves, but for the most part, they get along great. Dannie is always thinking about Maddie even when Maddie is at school. Today when I was getting a cake pop for her, she told me she wanted to get one for Maddie, too. Then told me I wasn't supposed to call Maddie “sister” because Maddie doesn't like it. Always looking out for each other. 🙂

Dannie loves her brother, too. She insists that Alex can only be called “my baby”. She gets furious with you if you call him something else. She wants to help him if he needs it (sometimes a little too vigorously) and is starting to get the hang of playing with him and not just tossing a toy his direction. She shares her toys and is always willing to bring him a toy or help me do something for him. At night, she loves helping me put him to bed and wants to sing him a song, kiss him and say good night.

She is headstrong like most kids her age. She is determined and stubborn and tests all her boundaries. She wants to do everything herself and things need to be done in the correct order or way or the world may end! She likes picking her own clothes. Pajamas and her Rapunzel dress are her favorites. She's very curious and likes trying new things and she's turning into a little daredevil at the park. She's doing all the right things for her age, but it sure is exhausting.

Currently, she insists that you call her “Big Girl”. Nothing else will suffice.

She's very silly. She loves singing songs (at the top of her lungs) and dancing around (mostly spinning). She plays nicely by herself and will have some very funny conversations to herself (friends) while she is playing.

Dannie is my mini-me. It freaks me out at times. She is loud and obnoxious and just wants to be in your pocket. I am pretty much the same way. 🙂

She is a snuggler. The only problem is she snuggles very vigorously and leads with her pointy limbs! And she can't sit still at all. But she means well, so it's hard to be too upset even when you are in pain. And usually she likes to give you a really sweet kiss right before you are ready to toss her off your lap. She is the sweetest.

She is fluent with the iPad and loves coloring. She's getting really good at staying in the lines and drawing things. She loves Curious George (she calls him “monkey George”), Rainbow Dash (her favorite My Little Pony), her blanket (which she says “gankie”), and ice cubes in her water.

She was sick recently and she was so tired for a couple days she couldn't stay awake. She stopped taking naps a while ago, so it seems so strange when she naps during the day. Thankfully, all the kids are finally (mostly) healthy again.
Next week we have her three year checkup at the doctor (along with Alex's one year checkup). Tomorrow we are having a little party for Dannie and Alex with a few of our friends. This morning I made her pancakes (with sprinkles and chocolate chips) and we picked out ice cream to have when dad gets home from work. And we will be doing more celebrating in the coming weeks.
Happy birthday, Big Girl! We all love you to pieces and can't wait to see what this next year holds.


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?


Fremont Troll

Fremont Troll

We had some time one weekend and thought we would take a drive over to see the Fremont Troll. I had heard of it, but it was quite fun to see in person. It’s a huge sculpture under a bridge and the troll has a real VW beetle under his hand. It’s so whimsical and strange. I am glad we went to visit it.

If you look closely in the next photo, you’ll see a chuck and Maddie up on his shoulder waving to me. 🙂


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!

The Fishers Visit

The Fishers Visit

It has been ages since I have blogged about something other than books or Alex’s monthly updates.

Last week/weekend, my friend Trisha came out here with her daughter, Chelsea. They arrived on Thursday and left Sunday morning. We had a fun-filled weekend!


After they arrived on Thursday, we headed to Starbucks and then I drove them by a few things before heading back to our house to hang out and get them settled in. Trisha brought gifts! She brought me a sweatshirt from Bluefin Bay and a really yummy soap! Chelsea brought handmade necklaces for the girls. It was so sweet and thoughtful of them.


That night we went to Red Robin and thankfully the kids were happy because we had the WORST service ever! We waited 45 minutes for our food and we arrived before 5:00. It was nuts! Then they didn’t bring drink refills or extra fries. I was not pleased I didn’t get more fries!!! But everyone survived and we headed back home to get the kids calmed down and ready for bed. Then we sat around on the couch and Trisha and I did some coloring. Smile Yep. We are dorks.





Friday morning we went to a mall to let the kids play because it was a rainy day here. I had hoped to take them to St. Edwards State Park, but the weather wasn’t having that. So we went early and let the kids play at the play area. Then we went to The Disney Store and then the LEGO store for a while. We walked around a little then had lunch at McDonald’s. Then headed back to get Alex down for his nap.






I made pasta for dinner (Pasta from our food box we get weekly) and then we headed down to the farmer’s market down the road to hang out and play at the park. This was the last farmer’s market of the season, so some of the vendors were giving kids goodies away. The kids were really excited about this! Then we walked back home and got the kids ready for bed.




Saturday was the day we really packed full of stuff. We left early and parked downtown and walked to the Space Needle. We spent some time there (and even got a peek of the mountain before the clouds rolled in) and then walked to Pike Place Market. It was a little chilly at first, but it warmed up into a gorgeous morning! We looked around a little bit before heading back home for Alex’s second nap. He slept in the carrier while we were walking around. He loves that.











Chuck took all the girls outside to play in the yard with balls and bubbles while Alex was sleeping. He even picked some roses from the garden on his way in. We decided to go out for Mexican food Saturday night and I was so giddy! Fajitas and Margaritas are my favorite! The kids were really good and the service was AMAZING. I thanked them for their quick service with the kids after we had such a horrible experience eating out Thursday night. After dinner it was time to head home and get the kids ready for bed again. We sat around and as was the theme each night after bed…chatting, cocktails and coloring. Smile 







Sunday morning we brought them to the airport and said our goodbyes. It was sad to have them go, but it was so nice to have a taste of Minnesota here. We missed them and can’t wait until we can hang out again. Thanks for coming all the way out to see our crazy little family! You are welcome anytime!