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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





Maddie turned 6 today. 6!? I can’t seem to wrap my brain around this! When I put her to bed last night, I cried a little knowing she wouldn’t be 5 in the morning.


She’s grown into such a wonderful, kind, caring girl. She has flourished in Kindergarten and has made so many new friends. Her teacher always has wonderful things to say about her. And she loves school, which is such a wonderful thing.


She decided she didn’t want to have a birthday party this year. But because she’s really turning 60, she did want to go to brunch. So we are going to do that this weekend. Her other request was for mom and dad (no brother and sister allowed) to take her to the Crayola Experience and ride rides at the MOA.  So that’s what we are doing.

We gave her a few presents today and we are also seeing Fancy Nancy with a couple grandmas, and aunt and a cousin.


It has been kind of nice not planning a big birthday party for her. I am hoping to continue this trend if I can. Or at least have smaller parties than I usually throw for them. (I have a tendency to go overboard.)


Maddie is smart, sassy, silly and has a style all her own. She is timid yet strong-willed and can be a spitfire when she needs to be.


So, our little baby is 6. It’s weird to think about all that has happened in 6 years and what a crazy time her birth was. Our baby is growing up and becoming less of a baby everyday. She is starting to think I’m a little nuts (she’s not wrong) and before we know it she’ll be off to college (sob)!


Happy birthday little tater tot. We love you!




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.



A Visit From Seattle

A Visit From Seattle

Our long-time friend, Kelly, and her daughter, Aria, came to visit us a couple weeks ago. I literally squealed when she told me she booked a flight here and was even more excited when she decided to stay with us! That meant loads of baby snuggles and Kelly-time!


Chuck also made his best batch EVER of pretzels!!!


We went to one of her favorite restaurants one night for dinner. It was fun to bring all the kids there. Thankfully, it’s not a super classy joint, so we weren’t bothering anyone with all the kids (whom were all very well-behaved). We also spent a morning at the zoo and had lunch at Noodles.

The kids were really good with Aria and liked to play with her. Maddie was especially loving of her…and Aria liked Maddie a lot!



It was a brief, but wonderful trip. I am so thankful that she came all the way here (after staying a number of days in Georgia) to see us and let us meet her sweet little girl!

I am hoping to plan a trip out during Chuck’s July trip to Seattle. I am really excited to go out and see some of my dear friends there! It’s so good to be back home in MN, but I still miss my friends there. Thankfully, 2016 makes it pretty easy to stay in touch with each other!


Superhero Party

Superhero Party

This year Maddie knew exactly what kind of birthday party she wanted…. “a Superhero party with ice cream cake!” So that’s exactly what she got!


We invited family and a few friends over and it was so fun and simple. I got a bunch of capes for the kids (and a few extras for adults to play with), made a photo booth backdrop and cut out masks and such. We played Kids Bop music and ordered pizza and ate DQ cake. It was perfect!





Grandma Linda made more amazing gifts this year. She made Maddie her very own superhero cape, headband and wrist bands and a Barbie tent/sleeping bags/campfire! She is SO creative! The kids were fascinated by the Barbie stuff.







Thanks to our family and friends that could be there (or sent gifts in lieu of your presence) and helping to make this girl one very happy superhero!

HERE is a link to the photo gallery from the party.


Maddie is 5!

Maddie is 5!



Our baby girl turned 5 last week! 5!!!! I am not an overly sentimental person. I don’t keep every piece of art the kids make or many of the things most parents would keep. But there was something about putting Maddie to bed for the last time as a 4 year old that just turned me into a sobbing mess. I could barely hold it together when I was kissing her good night. It’s not like me at all.


The cutest part was in the morning after we woke her up and I was making her breakfast (blueberry muffins), she said “mom, I don’t feel any different. I have a different number, but nothing has really changed.” She’s so smart. I told her that’s kind of how birthdays are. You get older, but don’t feel different when you wake up. She didn’t like that. I think she thought she was going to magically feel completely different. Children are so cute and innocent.


She brought cupcakes to school that morning and then later in the day we opened presents. She had some leftover ice cream cake from her birthday party the previous weekend (I’ll post about that soon) and otherwise had a pretty low-key day.




But she’s 5! 5!!!! I think it was hard for me this time because I signed her up for kindergarten right before her birthday. Something about knowing your kid will be taking the bus and heading to school all day was a shock to my system.


We also got her first haircut a couple days after she turned 5.


Our sweet girl is 5 and is really turning into a remarkable little girl. She’s so sweet and caring to her brother and sister. She’s helpful and understanding. She loves learning. She smart and curious and loves to know how things work. She’s very crafty and creative. And she’s the silliest little girl!








We love her so very much! Even if she is a little strange. Smile


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


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?