Florida, Round 2

I’m really enjoying going back through our Florida pictures and choosing some to share here. We are so grateful for Dad and Helen taking such wonderful care of us while we are there. It’s a trip we look forward to all year long. The pictures below are some more from our first day there. Dad and Helen do a beach birthday picnic for Max every year, since we are always there close to his birthday. He loves it and this year was no exception. We enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch, presents, and then some more beach time. That evening we went to one of our favorite food spots there–a local pizza buffet. They have a delicious salad bar and really good pizza, including gluten-free! They cap it off with soft-serve ice cream for dessert, so you can imagine why Max loves it so much that we went there twice this visit.  It’s such a treat to wear our summertime clothes in March, even in the evening out to dinner!

Future lifeguard?
Hanging with Daddy. I love them.
A little more beach time and then time to get home and head to dinner!

Florida, Round 1

I have so many pictures from our trip to Florida that I’ll be sharing them in installments. Also hoping to get through the Easter pictures and post those before Easter is too far in the rearview mirror. We had a great trip to Florida! The kids are troopers traveling and watched a lot of Daniel Tiger on the iPad. Screen time restrictions go out the window when traveling. The weather was cooler than normal for Florida, but much warmer than Seattle. Thankfully our first day was warm and sunny, so we spent that at the beach. I figured we would just be wading in the ocean like last year so I didn’t wear my swimsuit. That was a mistake, as the kids ended up loving the water and wanting to go way out. I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity, so I just went in with my clothes on. Max loved jumping in the waves while I held his hand. We also looked for seashells, built sand castles, and did the ever-popular game of digging a hole in the sand for the kids to put their feet in, and then pouring ocean water in. It is such a treat to have beach time in March, since that doesn’t happen in our part of the country. Here’s the first round of pictures!

Happy Easter!

I know Easter is a couple days away yet, and I promise to come back and share some pictures of egg dyeing and hunting, but for now I wanted to share these pictures of Max and Anna that my friend Amy (of Amy Bright Photography) took. She has some chicks at her house that she brought along, the kids enjoying petting them and we broke out the bunny ears for a few of the pictures. Happy Easter!

Happy Birthday, Maxwell!

I can’t believe our baby boy is five years old. Five years ago last month, after a long intense labor, Maxwell Nicholas was born. We haven’t had his official five year check up yet, so I’ll add those stats once I have them. But I can attest that, just as when he was a baby, he’s tall and slender with a big head. At five years old, Max is wearing size 6 clothing and size 10.5 shoes. He has started reading though still prefers us to read to him, which we are happy to do. He can count to 100 with just a little help and likes to try counting by twos, threes, fours, or even tens. He is a master staller, especially at bedtime. Max still loves his old friend Chester Bear (now known as “Old Chester” because he got a “New Chester” for Christmas) but Puzzle Bear is a close second, and other stuffed animals rotate in as well. We never thought we’d see the day, but “Blue’s Clues” has been thrown by the wayside in favor of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and the classic “Mr. Rogers” shows. 

Max is a great big brother–certainly prone to difficulties sharing or taking turns like any sibling, but on the whole very sweet to Anna and good at including her when we play. He is doing so much imaginative play these days, it is so fun to watch him. He likes to play preschool and he is “Mr. Max” the teacher and the grownups are the students. He tells us exactly what to do and say. He still loves pizza and cupcakes above all else, but those are occasional treats. He likes “special oatmeal” (actually bananas and eggs) for breakfast and I can always count on him to eat sweet potatoes if I serve them with dinner.
Maxwell, I love your sense of humor, the way you talk, your curiosity, and how much you love your family. I can’t believe you are five. I love you so much!
We didn’t do a birthday party this year since we had a busy month with a trip to Florida right after Max’s birthday. Grandma came over for dinner and presents (and cupcakes, of course). Here are a few pictures of him from that night. Anna was there and close by for present opening, but she decided she needed to be totally naked, so I had to crop her out for these. 
Max has been really wanting a guitar. He had one on his Christmas list and got some other items from his list instead. So he was thrilled to get one for his birthday!
Wasn’t it just yesterday he was this size?

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!