Maria is SIX

Six years ago – I introduced my baby girl on my blog.  Six. Whole. Years!

We celebrated last week with our family.  It was a fun party – We also had a girl scout event, so her friend celebration is post poned a few weeks.  We had a tired 6 year old after all the celebrating.

At age 6,  She is just 2 weeks from being done with Kindergarten.  She is starting to read chapter books all by HERSELF! Ivy & Bean are her favorites right now.  She loves princesses. (The theme of her party was princess with emphasis on Sofia the First).  She wants to dress like a teenager (?!)  and loves having her nails painted.  (which we do every week to celebrate her NOT sucking her thumb)  Maria is really close to learning to ride bike on 2 wheels.  She loves to play with Charlie (even if she may not admit it).  They play “babies” a lot. He loves to have her nearby. Even if he isn’t playing nicely, he gets upset if she leaves him at the sand table by himself.

We get the occasional eye rolls and sassy-ness.  Typical things like negotiating for dessert and trips to the Mall of America.  And also times when she forgets things and loses focus on the task at hand.  I’d say pretty typical for her age.    And really, it could be a lot worse.

She is loving school, loving having friends, writing notes to the 6th graders who are going to junior high next year. A real social butterfly.

We are just blessed to have such a special girl!

Birthday Presents!

Birthday Party w/ Cousins

Birthday Girl & Cake

More Birthday Pictures


Can I just tell you that it’s pretty amazing that my baby boy is 3?

Charlie turned 3 this past Monday. We started our celebrating on Saturday with a Jake & the Neverland Pirates party.  It was definitely fun!  Lots of presents, cake, family (although some were missing due to a stomach bug). Charlie got loads of presents. Many pirate themed.  Sunday, he asked “my birthday still?” when I told him why we still had the balloons ups.  And on his birthday, he was hesitant (tired) of the blueberry muffin I got him, but then dug in and hung out in his jammies for awhile with Maria. Then we checked out his new train set. Later we had friends (6) come over for playdate and lunch. Plus more cupcakes!  It was a great birthday!

This kid at 3 has sooo much imagination. He loves his treasure maps, and just sitting and playing with toys – cars, pirates, toy phones, blocks, puzzles.  It amazes me how much he focus.

He transitioned to a big boys bed 2 weeks ago. And it was amazingly seamless. He also did a week of potty camp at my work’s subsidized backup daycare.  He did ok, but was not that interested. We’ve decided to give him more time (and all of us a break) until he seems more interested/ready.  The “nuk” (pacifier) is mostly being limited to sleeping and bedtimes, although he has a cold right now, and he seems to be getting some molars, so there are definite needs for exceptions on that rule.

His vocabulary has exploded again. and his sentences are getting more clear every day. I think my brother was a bit shocked at the party when Charlie walked into the room and said “Uncle Mike, come and see my bedroom!”

So yeah, seriously love this kid.  He brings so much joy to all of us, especially his sister who calls him a stinker but at this point doesn’t even realize that he is her biggest fan and best friend.

Charlie the Pirate! ARgh!

More Presents!

Birthday Cake & Candles

More Birthday Pictures

New Year’s

We are not all that exciting on New Year’s Eve. But we did actually go out that night.  Last minute we got a babysitter so we could go to dinner and a movie. Except there was beef stew in the crockpot and it smelled too good not to eat. So we ate an early dinner with the kids. Then went to Target for some shopping and then to “This is 40”. It was a good movie. We were home by 9:30.  I think I stayed up until 11.

New Year’s Day we made our annual visit to the Children’s Museum with cousins Jana & Luke. Charlie is the exact ideal age and would have spent all day there if we had let him!

2013 is off to a great start!

New Year's Day

Christmas 2012

We had a great Christmas.  I loved have the weekend leading up to the holiday. It seemed so much more relaxed. And then I took an extra day after Christmas and worked primarily from home after that.

Family Picture

Maria got her American Girl doll that she has been talking about since September.  She was pretty excited to get it from Grandma and her aunt on Christmas Eve, because she thought that meant she would have 2 when Santa brought her one that night.  (She asked Santa for the doll, because she knows they are expensive and that way I wouldn’t have to pay for it!)

Maria & Kit

Charlie was a pirate for a couple of days.  He got a spyglass and pirate scarf, complete with a map leading to buried treasure.  Fortunately we realized the map was a prized possession and scanned it in before it got lost so we can make more copies.  He used the map to guide Chad to my parents house on Christmas day. “Go to the X, Daddy!”

Charlie the Pirate

More Christmas Pictures


Next stop – 40!  Yikes. I’m 39.  It was a very good birthday.  Although maybe it was because my day before was just really not fun.

Last weekend, I had a 31 and Shutterfly Party as kind of a way to earn myself some presents, plus spend time with friends and my in-laws brought a cake.

The day before we had cookies at our team meeting.

The actual day of my birthday:

  • I woke up to a lovely card from my husband which also included a gift card to Caribou and Chipotle.  Not diamond earrings or a MacBook, but I can’t expect that every year, right?!  🙂  And we did get new furniture earlier in the week.
  • Free coffee from Caribou on my way into work.
  • More coffee, a new mug and another gift card from my friend Sara, who is a contractor on my team and who usually works from home, but came to work because I thought my day would be more fun with her there.
  • Lunch with Sara.
  • Some work throughout the day.
  • Dinner out with Chad & the kids – Chili’s
  • More Cookies
  • Facetime call with my niece’s Elizabeth & Katelyn
  • PhotoBooth with Charlie & Maria

Yesterday, I spent with my friend Sarah doing our annual tradition of the Christmas Tour of Homes in Hudson and and lunch and shopping.  Plus a quick stop at my brother’s.

Today I got to spend an hour with my friend Karin who also brought me more coffee and gift cards. All Good!    It’s great to start a new year feeling so blessed and so loved!

Photo on 11-15-12 at 7.45 PM #2
Facetime with Maria & Charlie

Shutterfly Party 2012
31 and Shutterfly Party

September Weekend #2

Trying to catch up on what we’ve been doing!

We have had some fun weekends this month! The 2nd weekend, we were on the go. We went to the Annual Firemuster Parade on Saturday.

Sunday Maria started Sunday School again. And then we went to cousin Jana’s 9th birthday! I made the cake and I also made a fun little gift for my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday.
Maria & Daddy
At the Parade

Too Loud!
Fire Trucks are LOUD!

Jana and her horse cake
Jana and her Pony Cake

40 Sucks
40 Sucks!

Labor Day Weekend

We spent Labor Day weekend at my brother’s cabin.  It has become a bit of a Labor Day tradition, as we usually celebrate my niece’s birthday too.

Highlights of the weekend include:

  • Boat rides
  • Fishing
  • Maria riding the tube behind the speed boat
  • A Camping themed birthday party
  • Lots of cousin and family time!

Look who caught a fish with the Barbie pole!?
Look who caught a fish with the Barbie pole!?

Camping Cake
Camping Cake

Birthday Girl
Elizabeth – The Birthday Girl

Nature Hike
All the cousins on a Nature Hike

Elizabeth & Maria Tubing

Boat Ride
Charlie loved the speed boat “Uncle Mike, Go More Faster!”

More Pictures

July 4th, 2012

Our day started off with a hail storm. Right around 6:30.  Of course, it woke up Maria who has her ears on for any sound of bad weather, 24 hours a day.  She was content though to snuggle in our bed until about 7:30 though.

Our morning was spent distracting the kids and getting things set up for our annual party.  Charlie went down for an early nap and I convinced Maria just to lay down and rest. She fell asleep for about 10 minutes, but then again was woke up by the sirens (first Wednesday of the month, 1 pm). So then I spent another 10 minutes convincing her it was just a test, even though we know they worked because they went off 2 days earlier.

Our guests started arriving right around 1:30. We hit the backyard and the new pool by 2:15.  And this is the only picture I took during the party.  At least it’s cute and catches the mood of the day!

4th of July

We had a great spread (thanks to everyone that brought food!) And a good party. No one got too hot and everyone had plenty to eat!

After our guests left and the house/yard was put back in a little bit of order, we went over to the neighbor’s party.  We came home for baths around 8, but never made it back. Maria talked herself out of fireworks and then after stories, laid in bed fearful and in tears that the loudness of the fireworks was going to make it into our house. Poor girl! Although she did see some of the action from her bed through her window, she fell asleep with headphones listening to lullabies on the iPod. Charlie slept through every single firework.

I took them both to daycare/preschool today and all Maria talked about was how excited she is for next year to see the pretty fireworks.  🙂  It’s funny how she remembers things.

Andrew is 12

My oldest nephew turned 12 this last week.  Where has the time gone? He is a fun kid.  Loves sports and the outdoors; books and movies; computers and puzzles. Loves bugging his sisters.  But is so patient with Charlie and Maria.

We celebrated today with a party. I made the cake after seeing all of these on pinterest. It was a good day, but it pretty much always is when we get some cousin time!

Elizabeth & Maria

Reading with Uncle Mike

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

I LOVE 3 day weekends!  We spent a lot of time together as a family and got a whole lot of fun in, even with a sick kid and a fever.  We rallied and had a great weekend.

Saturday was rainy, but Maria had a friend coming over for a playdate.  Unfortunately Maria wasn’t feeling well and I found her lying on her bed while Abby was playing with her toys at lunch time.  She spiked a fever after a nap, so Chad and I cancelled the babysitter we had lined up and stayed home.  After a 2nd nap, Maria’s temperature was back to normal and even ate a little before bedtime.

Sunday,  Maria was feeling much better so we didn’t have to cancel our plans to have brunch with Chad’s parents and brother’s family and then to Teddy Bear Park.  We had a great time, even though Maria and Charlie were probably the sweatiest kids there!  After the park, while Charlie napped, I snuck out for a pedicure.

Today, we took the kids to a park, ate a picnic lunch there and then stopped for frozen yogurt.  Yummm.. The afternoon we were starting to experience a crabby 5 year old and things were a little rough for a while.  But after Charlie’s bath and Maria’s shower, we were calmed down enough, that I gave Maria a new piano book for her toy keyboard. She was so excited and I got a big hug! And she settled in to practice her piano with only a few interruptions from Charlie.


Charlie sat in this “boat” and said “HO-p Me. Mama, HO-p me!” He wanted me to help him move it. 🙂