Sunday, April 20, 2014

Birthday Traditions - A trip to the Zoo

We started a birthday tradition when Madelyn turned one of taking the day of her birthday or one closely surrounding it to be a day to spend together as a family.  That first year we went to the zoo and a tradition began.  This year I thought Madelyn might rather do something different, but she was distressed at the suggestion that we might do something other than go to the zoo.  So, the zoo it was.  This year, the trip included Mommom, Poppop, Uncle Aaron, and Aunt Lauren.  Although it wasn't warm, it was at least sunny and above freezing.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:

Mommom and Madelyn

Admiring the Sea Dragons

Hi Five from Uncle Aaron and Evan to Madelyn

Showing off a completed Minnesota Trail find the animals game

Getting Punches with Daddy

Uncle Aaron put in a long stretch as Madelyn's transportation
Poppop and Evan

Aunt Lauren is silly :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


A few weeks ago I got to take Madelyn to Cinderella at Children's Theater in Minneapolis.  It is long show (2 hours), and even with an intermission I was a little worried that she was not going to be able to handle the length or pay attention through the whole thing.  I am really happy to say that I was wrong - she was great.  She really liked the story and the music, and especially Cinderella's beautiful dress.  This production is their Christmas show, so there are some interludes with Victorian carolers and she did a get a little confused during those parts, asking where Cinderella and the sisters went.

This production of Cinderella is a reprise of the one they did in 2009, mainly starring their company actors with men playing the parts of the stepsisters.  It is pretty over the top, and the corny jokes keep coming through the whole thing.  It is mix of serious with Cinderella and all of the supporting characters, and ridiculous with the stepmother and stepsisters.  It's not my favorite production of Cinderella (I am pretty partial to the Roger's and Hammerstein version) but it definitely engaged the target audience of children and Madelyn really enjoyed herself.  I am happy that theater is an experience I can start sharing with Madelyn and I look forward to taking her to our next production this year "The Very Hungry Caterpiller and Other Eric Carle Stories".

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving and the National Dog Show

This year we stayed in town for Thanksgiving and went over to my aunt and uncle's house for the afternoon on Thanksgiving.  It was really nice to not spend 5+ hours in the car with the kids, and I am pretty sure that they appreciated it too.

Thanksgiving morning we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and then left the TV on when the National Dog Show started.  Evan was the most excited I have ever seen him about something on TV- he loved the dogs!  I got a video of him watching the dog show and saying "Aubrey..."  although we have tried to convince him that all dogs are not Aubrey, that doesn't really seem to have sunk in at this point.

It was a really nice and relaxing day, and we are really thankful for the opportunity to spend time with family and each other for a long weekend.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Costume Cuteness

Halloween has come and gone, but we didn't get many pictures of the kids in their costumes on Halloween this year because Madelyn was sick with a pretty high fever and taking pictures got pushed down pretty low on the priority list.  However, on the Saturday after Halloween I dressed the kids up and brought them into my work at Madelyn's request since she missed out on her Halloween activities.

This year we tried to work with what we had for costumes.  Madelyn had an adorable dress from when she was a flower girl in the spring that seemed ideal for a fairy princess costume, and Evan had the bear suit that Madelyn had worn at his age to keep warm in the winter.  With a little accessorizing they made a cute fairy princess and teddy bear.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

13 Months Old and Walking!

About little over a week ago Evan turned 13 months old and he thought it would be a good idea to mark the occasion by taking his first steps.  I did get a video of his second and third attempts at taking a few steps, the first ones I was not prepared for!  When I shared the video with Justin he said he thought Evan looked a little like a zombie.  I'll give him the stiff legs and the arms held straight out in front of him, but the giggles seem to belie any real zombie resemblance.

It was evening in Minnesota in November, which meant it was a little dark.  I tried to lighten the video a little, but it is probably not going to win any film awards :)

In the last week and a half Evan has grown a little more confident with walking, but still generally chooses to get around by cruising or crawling.  It is fun to watch him develop new skills.  Who knows what will be next!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Happy First Birthday Evan!

Today our baby boy turned one.  To celebrate we spent the afternoon at Sever's corn maze in Shakopee, MN.  We all enjoyed the day! 

It has been amazing to watch Evan grow and change and we are excited to see what the next year brings.  Happy First Birthday Baby Boy!

Ready for the day's adventures
hanging out with Aunt Jackie

Madelyn was showing Evan how to work the tractor


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Madelyn Updates

This fall has brought a lot of changes for Madelyn's schedule.  She started preschool the first week of September and the next week she started Cubbies.

First day of Preschool!
So far, Madelyn has really been enjoying preschool.  She goes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons.  It is only two blocks from our house and so far the weather has been pretty nice, so she is usually riding her scooter to and from school.  She loves art, playing on the playground, and the interactions with other kids.  She isn't always descriptive of what she did at school, but she looks forward to it and is always really excited about school when we talk to her.

Scooter :)

Madelyn has been a little less excited about Cubbies, but I think there are a couple of reasons for that.  Since she has preschool in the afternoon, it makes for a long day on Wednesdays, and it is also pretty late in the day for her - evening is still her cranky time of day.  Also, the 4 year olds have already earned their vests and there is some jealousy among the 3 year olds who don't have theirs yet :)  Hopefully when she gets her vest she will be a little more excited. She likes the stories and does pretty well with the memory verses.

Family photo shoot in July - it is clear who the star is ;)

All in all, that is a lot more structure this fall for Madelyn than she has ever had before.  I think as she gets used to it she will like her new schedule, but so far it has only been a couple of weeks and we are still in the adjustment period.

Paul Bunyan Land - from our family vacation

Madelyn really enjoyed the rides - no lines made a big difference :)

 Madelyn loves to be outside, art, packing things into any container she can find, and playing with her brother.  She loves to tell him what he should be doing; that is working ok for now - we'll see how that goes as Evan gets older.  Oh, the adventures that are yet to come!