A Visit from Shani

Once again I have much to blog about and not enough time to do it! March was wonderfully, delightfully busy–we enjoyed a visit from Shani, Max’s fifth birthday, and a trip to Florida. I just pulled the 300+ photos from Florida off my camera but haven’t begun to sort through and try to pull some for a blog post. So I’m going to go back and try to get up in rough order of when things actually happened. That means first up is a visit from my cousin Shani! We love her so much and miss her dearly since she lives across the country. So we were thrilled when she proposed a visit. The kids loved having her here, as did Jeff and I. We enjoyed trips to Starbucks, cooking meals together, and lots of hanging out playing with Maxwell and Anna. Come back soon, Shani, and any other relatives too!


I have an assortment of pictures to share from February. We are having a quiet day at home today since Anna isn’t feeling well. We did a lot of snuggling this morning, and thankfully she seems a bit better this afternoon–not 100% but up and about at least, and eating a little. Hopefully she is on the mend! Max was very sweet about checking on her and asking her how she is feeling. As a result of the sickness, we had to wash Anna’s two favorite stuffed animals. Max wanted to put two of his special bears in as well. They both did fine with having their animals in the washer and dryer, but the last 20 minutes or so of drying time they sat just outside the laundry room and watched the dryer. Max reported each time the minutes counter changed: “Now it says zero one nine!” “Now it says zero one eight!” etc. Very cute. 

Anna has figured that she can extend bedtime a bit by calling me back in after Jeff tucks her in. She will say she needs to go potty (sometimes she really does) and then we sit in her room and snuggle for a bit and sing “Love You Forever” together. I don’t mind the bedtime extension one bit. 
Here’s the roundup of February photos!
The Sunday snowfall a couple weeks ago:
And a day without snow, off to the park. Yes, Max’s bike is far too small for him. He’s getting a new one for his birthday next month!
We watched Penelope while Angel and Eric took Emmeline to Seattle to celebrate her birthday.
It was Winter semester observation day at Maxwell’s Creative Movement class last week:
Anna has very definite ideas about what she wants to wear these days. Here’s a typical outfit–hey, all three pieces are striped. so they go together, right? Though not shown in these pictures, she also loves her pink sunglasses and often wears them indoors or on rainy days. 
Then she wanted one all the animals the kids had out:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Maxwell and Anna! Below are pictures from our Valentine mini session with Justine of Tallis Photography. Max is looking forward to a Valentine’s Day party at preschool. He helped me make some homemade valentines and eagerly signed his name to every one. The big news in our house is that Anna is using the potty! We started on Saturday and she is doing really well. A few accidents here and there, but mostly tells us when she needs to go and waits until we get to the bathroom. Her promised reward is a family trip to Build-a-Bear this weekend. Both kids are eagerly contemplating which animals they will choose. 

Sunday we were happily surprised with some snow! We’ve only had one other snowfall this winter so Max was thrilled to have another chance to get out and make snow angels, snow balls, and tracks in the snow. In other family news, I sliced my finger with a box cutter Monday night and had to take a trip to the ER for stitches. I’m now all bandaged up and hopefully healing well under there! Trying to keep your finger dry while caring for two small kids is a challenge, but I’m managing pretty well. After a week the stitches can come out. Hopefully that’s all the excitement of that sort for quite some time!
Here are the pictures, enjoy!

December Pictures

I’ve gotten behind in blogging again, I’ll try to get back on track. We are doing well and had a wonderful Christmas. Once I get the Christmas pictures off the camera and on the computer, I’ll do a post with those. In the meantime, I’ll share the pictures from our December mini-session with Justine, of Tallis Photography (formerly J. Shelton Photography). These were taken at a local garden shop that does lots of fun Christmas decorations. Enjoy, and I’ll try to be back soon!

Snow and Crafty Fun!

More December pictures to share with you all–can you believe it, new blog posts three days in a row! The kids are enjoying doing Christmas-y crafts this year. Last weekend our Advent calendar activity one day was to make cinnamon dough Christmas ornaments. The kids dumped in the ingredients, I mixed the dough, and Max rolled it out for us. They had fun choosing which cookie cutters to use and the house smelled amazing afterward.

Another Advent calendar activity was to walk around our neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. We all bundled up and Max held the flashlight to light our way. We enjoyed our neighbors’ festive decorations and lights!
Max has been asking since last winter when it will snow. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we get some winters with hardly any snow at all, and others where we’re housebound for several days after a big storm. Everything aligned on Friday and we got a few inches of snow! Max was thrilled and we went out to play in it first thing after breakfast. The kids threw snowballs, made a little snowman, and made a bunch of snow angels. Such fun!
Merry Christmas, family and friends!

December Fun, Part 2

The next installment of our December adventures! Let’s start with the Christmas tree. We continued our tradition of cutting down our tree on a farm. However, we had to alter it a bit–when we arrived at the farm we’ve been to the past few years, we were greeted by a sign that said, “Closed–Sold out!” This was a surprise as it was the first weekend in December, so we were not feeling like we were late to the game. Thankfully technology came to the rescue–I put out a PSA to my local moms’ group, and a friend recommended another farm nearby. A quick search on my phone for the address, and Siri kindly directed us there. This farm still had trees, and we chose a nice tall one. In fact, the tallest tree we’ve ever had; Jeff had to trim a bit off the top once we got it home so that we could fit our star topper on. The weather was sunny but unusually cold for Seattle (12 degrees!), so we kept the excursion on the shorter side. The kids love having the tree up and they really enjoyed decorating it this year. 

Our friend Angel found a parent-child fused glass ornament making class at a local art gallery. So Angel and Emmeline and Max and I did it together, and made really cool snowman ornaments. Max had fun picking out the decorations for his ornament and arranging it just so. 
And finally, a picture of the kids enjoying one of the Advent calendar activities: “Eat a treat”


I’ve been delinquent in my blogging this month. We’ve been having great fun enjoying the season, Jeff’s family is here now and my dad and Helen came earlier this month. The kids are so excited for Christmas this year, especially Max. It’s so fun to share traditions with them and make new ones as a family. This year we have two Advent calendars–one that I put a new activity in each day, and one that is a giant felt Christmas tree with felt ornaments to snap on each morning. Max wants to do those right away when they get up and always remembers whose turn it is to do which calendar. 

Here is the first installment of December pictures!

We visited my Grandma:
Fun times with Grandpa and Grandma Helen!
New Christmas jammies!
Then they wore those new jammies to see Santa. We had a very successful visit this year. We were pretty sure Max would do well, since he was excited to tell Santa what he wants. Anna was a wild card though, she sticks pretty close to me when new people are around, so handing her to a stranger in a weird outfit was an iffy proposition. But she held Max’s hand and walked up to him no problem. Max chatted with Santa for a few minutes and then we asked Anna to tell him what she wanted. She said “Max,” meaning she wanted Max to tell Santa for her. We had prepped him for this possibility so he had no problem telling Santa that Anna wants a purple superhero cape, and he wants “The teddy bear I saw in Starbucks.” Then Anna agreed to sit on Santa’s lap for a picture and we ended up with a great one!


In September Max started taking a “Creative Music and Movement” dance class at a local studio. Each week parents stay outside the room but can watch through the windows, but today was observation day so we got to sit inside the room and take pictures. Max loves the class and the teacher, Miss Sarah. It’s really fun to watch, they are doing all kinds of fun things–moving like animals, doing obstacle courses, waving ribbon wands–but I can see the precursors of ballet underneath. 

Max does a really good job of staying on task and listening to the teacher. He carefully watches her and copies her movements. Each week they learn about a different concept and then put it into practice. Today they demonstrated the things they’ve learned so far, like space, shapes, and levels. I give big props to the teacher, because keeping 5 four year-olds on track in a dance class is no small feat! 

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

Here is the last batch of pumpkin patch photos! These are from Max’s preschool field trip. We got to go on a wagon ride, pick out a pumpkin to take home, watch the pumpkin cannon, and play at the play area. Max was thrilled that his teachers were there and wanted to sit by Miss Tally on the wagon ride. I was glad to get a picture of them together, we are lucky he has been blessed with great preschool teachers! He really loved Miss Megan last year so she was a hard act to follow, but Miss Tally has been equally wonderful and seems to have captured his affection also. It was a fun morning with my boy!