My Five Year Old Girl

Maria turned 5 on May 18th.  Incredible!   I can’t believe the girl that she has become. She makes us soooo proud.  Right now she is all about figuring out reading and writing.  She loves when we read her chapter books at night. Her favorite is Beezus and Ramona. She loves Charlie dearly, whether she admits it or not, he’s her bestest bud.    She is going to preschool 3 days/week and will continue through the summer.  She starts Kindergarten in September and will go all day, every day.  Something our district is switching to starting next year.  I have no hesitations about her being one of the younger ones in her class.  I completely feel like she is ready!

Maria is also quite the talker. In fact, if she isn’t around, we’re always surprised how much Charlie talks!  She has questions about everything.  Well that isn’t completely true, she has answers for a lot of things too.  Her own made up answers.  She asks a question and then responds with the “answer”.  Sometimes it drives my crazy, but other times it’s cute and other times her answers are down-right funny.

We started the birthday celebration at school on the 17th.  The next day, we all stayed home from work/daycare. I took the kids to the zoo. It was a warm day, so we took swimsuits to play in the sprinklers. We saw a lot of the animals up pretty close. One of the best days I have been there.  After the zoo, we came home so Charlie could nap.  Maria played on her new LeapPad.  Late afternoon, we headed to her friend party at a nearby Community Center.  I think all the kids had a great time!

Saturday morning, both kids were up early, but luckily both went down for naps before the party with the families.  We had an Olivia themed party.  Maria wore a red dress (Olivia’s favorite color) and I ordered a cake from Target that we put some Olivia characters on.  We had a pinata and the weather was beautiful so all the kids got to play outside.

It was a great weekend and we had so much fun celebrating!

Her Friend Birthday Partywith her friends

Opening Presents

with her cousins

pulling the pinata strings (with her “Rapunzel” hair)

Birthday Girl with her Cake

Easter 2012

We’ve had a great April so far.  It’s been a lot of Easter celebrations.

Last weekend, we went on an Easter Egg Hunt with Maria & Charlie’s cousins in their neighborhood.  It was fun seeing the Easter Bunny (although Charlie did not get too close) and seeing our cousins.  The kids got a lot of good play time together!

This past weekend, our daycare was closed on Friday, so the kids and I did some shopping and spent the day together.  Saturday we had swimming lessons. Charlie has decided to act his age! And the Terrible Two’s surfaced more than once! Including not staying for more than 3 minutes of swim lessons.  I am trying to focus some on diet now because it seems to get better when he eats, so I’m trying to focus on food that sticks and doesn’t cause a sugar crash.. (this kid loves his carbs and sugar!)

Yesterday afternoon, Maria & I made a run to Costco, then decorated eggs  while Charlie napped. Shortly after, my parents arrived. Maria was so excited for them to stay overnight.

Side note: earlier in the week, Maria told me how excited she was for Easter.  When I asked her why, she said “because it means Jesus is alive and my cousins and grandpa & grandma are coming over!”.  She never thought about the Easter bunny.  Proud!

Last night Maria & Charlie enjoyed their time with my parents. This morning we went to church. Both kids sat and colored and looked at the activity bags and were relatively quiet.  Charlie did offer up an “ALL DONE” at the end of one song, but other than that, we only had one water break.

Chad’s parents and brother’s family came over to join us for dinner.  We had some delicious food. Mostly prepared by others!  The kids got to play outside. Charlie got to nap and was not happy about missing out on the outside playtime.

After my parents left and Chad’s brother left, I went for a run, based on a guilt of consumed chocolate. Afterwards, both kids had a bath. We scrounged up dinner for everyone and it was early bedtime.  A great weekend. Lots of fun!

The Dump Truck Party

Charlie is 2!
Party Sign (I designed and then printed at Costco) and now hanging in his bedroom.

Charlie 2nd Birthday Invite

Ready for the Party!
Decorations – I made the flags last year for each of his parties (Maria has a pastel more girly version for her parties). This balloon idea debuted this year after some similar inspiration from pinterest.

Dump Truck!
Of course we had dump trucks to play with! This was his favorite. His Uncle Mike’s from the 1970s — Note to Parents: big metal trucks can be rough on walls and kitchen cabinets!

Dump truck cake
Cake – We also had cupcakes with some dump truck toppers that I forgot to photograph.

Party Favors
Party Favors – Kit Kat’s with special Dump Truck wrappers.

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Christmas 2011

We had a really nice Christmas. Everyone was healthy and we didn’t have to worry about snowy weather… although some snow would have been nice!

We spent Christmas Eve with Chad’s family.  The kids opened their presents from us and his family there.  Christmas day, we spent at home.  Santa brought some great gifts. Maria got a new doll (Ashley Rose) and Charlie got his first train set (Thomas!).  We ate a brunch of Oven Baked Caramel French Toast, eggs and bacon! Both kids napped and I may have shut my eyes while watching Christmas Vacation!  Chad’s parents joined us in the afternoon and for a turkey dinner (crockpot).  The day after Christmas, we spent at my parents and were also joined by my brother’s family.  It was a great few days!

Family Picture


Reading with Grandma

All Christmas Pictures

Off Track

oh my, I have ignored my blog.  But busy is the general theme around here!  And I don’t expect it to slow down any with birthday celebrations, Thanksgiving and holiday preparations!

That being said. Here is the last couple weeks in review.

– My niece Katelyn celebrated her 9th birthday!

– I made her this really cool purse cake.

The Birthday Girl

– We celebrated Halloween. Maria was a butterfly fairy & Charlie was a puppy. (Scrapbook pages posted here)

– We celebrated our 8 year anniversary.  Since we both work downtown, we went out for a nice lunch without worrying about getting a babysitter.

– I hosted a Pampered Chef & Shutterfly HouseParty.  Way fun!

– Maria got another ear infection.

– Charlie going through some weird crabby growth spurt, combined with a cold.

– Charlie started saying “Noooo” a LOT and very clearly.

– Got the yard and porch all ready for winter. (not that we’re really ready for that!)

– Busy busy at work.

July 4th

We had a great (hot) 4th of July!  We had our annual picnic with a plethora of 3-5 year olds and 3 inflatable swimming pools!  While we had a plethora of kids, pools, and food, I took None – Zero – Zilch photos.  My friends came through with a few for you though… 🙂  Thanks, Sarah & Betsy!

the medium size pool…  (baby pool in background)4th of July - 2011

the big pool (which we fear has a leak)…4th of July - 2011

Maria with her new friend Emma (who she hit it off 2 days earlier)Maria & Emma

playing night-night in Maria’s bed
4 4-year-old Girls playing Night-Night


Maria is 4.  Actually 4 years, 3 weeks. Because I’m slow in posting this here!

She had a great birthday!  A trip to the zoo!
Playground at the Zoo

Followed by a new bike!

Plus pizza and cake with friends, Gracey & Annabel.
Maria Gracey & Annabel

Her party, was butterfly themed. Complete with cousins and some friends.
Cousins & Lilah

A Pinata

Birthday Cake

And playing!
New Swingset

More Birthday Pictures

How do I get so behind?!

Spring was here. Yesterday it felt more like fall.  We have been outside a little bit. And anticipate more outside time soon, as we are getting this installed in  our backyard in a couple weeks!  We haven’t told Maria we bought this yet, but she was with us when we went looking.  Charlie too. He was excited too, as he climbed to the top of a tall ladder (probably close to 6′) when we turned our heads for literally a minute! Yikes!

Outside! It's Spring!

Outside! It's Spring!

The week before Easter, Maria had a spring concert at church. It was very cute. I need to get the video from Lisa (whose daughters were in the concert too) and then I will post it.

Easter weekend was great fun too. We hosted Chad’s parents, his brother’s family and my parents.  The weather was gorgeous and with lots of good food, it was a great day! Although my pictures could have turned out a bit better. Oh well..



Although I love this one – dinner after the guests left…

Jam Sandwich

And then right before bed… maybe a bit too much sugar?


One!  Charlie is One!  We survived the first year, and as much as I love my little babies, I love the toddler age!  And we are close to toddling!  Although, for Charlie, he wants to be quick, and right now crawling is much quicker than trying to walk.  So he’s still crawling, but also CLIMBING… Say a prayer for all of us as he climbs!  last week, he pushed an upside down plastic bin over to the railing and started to climb up on it.  This is the railing that looks down over the stairs. YIKES!!! His new favorite place is to climb up the stool to Maria’s bed and wave at himself in her dresser mirror!

oh, yes, the purpose of this post.. besides prayers, was really to post the pictures of his birthday!  Friday we spent as a family at the Children’s Museum. And yesterday was the party (thankfully planned on the non-snowstorm day of the weekend!)



Monkey Cake

His Favorite Box

First Cake!!

First Cake!!

More Pictures of Charlie’s First Birthday