Saturday, February 12, 2011

end of an era

The week after Katie's birthday I took down the crib. This crib has been up in our house since Katie was born. I guess it's only fitting it came down around her birthday.

Until we build a loft bed, the boys sleep together on the bottom bunk. I thought it might be bananas - and it sometimes is - but for the most part it works out better than when they slept apart. Alex really likes to have someone sleep with him, and Max has been a good 'mom substitute' in that department.
And now there's a LOT more room for building forts!
So far the only downside is that Summer has to sleep in a big bed when she comes over to hang out!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

happy birthday katie!

Katie is now 5!! She is now up to 9 favorite colors and has stated that she will no longer be distracted by her brothers at swimming lessons. Because, you know, she's FIVE!

We had a bunch of friends come over for a ladybug mania party. With a number of siblings included, the number of kids quickly escalated. It was a little insane, but a lot of fun. I was glad that Mag helped her choose a non-princess theme - not that we avoided it entirely. It was even more fun to have Mag and Summer out for the party.

We had a ladybug cake; everybody made ladybugs to play 'pin the ladybug on the flower; we played 'find the ladybugs with ladybugs hidden around the room; and there were ladybug cookies in the favor bags and for treats at preschool. And did I mention the ladybug confetti? It's possible we took the theme a little far, but it was a lot of fun.

Some of the things Katie loved: new dress-up of Belle - (idea courtesy of Katharine's Halloween costume a few years ago),

a second ladybug cake at Oma's house,

a rainbow skirt and sparkly shirt from Aunt Julie that she wears at LEAST once a week,

pink roller skates from the Reeses - Max is also a fan,

and a ladybug tea set from Oma and Opa that EVERYBODY loves to play with.

A great birthday weekend for a great girl! We're so glad to have her in our family.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

fun with relatives

The most fun we had over Christmas was with all our visitors! The cousins could not get enough of hugging - I hope Summer survived. Luckily she'll be living closer to us SOON so we can all get our fix more often! They were all hilarious dancing at Three Margaritas.

Aunt Julie and 'Uncle Murry' - a.k.a. Andrew - were also big favorites. Odds of us hopping on a plane to Australia are pretty low, so they'd better just come back and visit us again up north soon.

Here are a couple shots of kids get their snow fix when their moms are too lazy to dress them all up for the 5 minutes they'd last playing outside. The mini snowmen turned out much better than trying to make a large one would have, and the snow actually lasted a decent amount of time when I put the pans outside to cool first. Now to think of something to entertain them with today . . .

the rest of december

Technically it's February, but it still FEELS like Christmas since we have a little snow and it's FREEZING (as in -6F outside today, or colder than it was most of the winter in Finland!) I figured we'd play catch up here.

Lots more craft projects to keep our friends off the streets - the boys actually liked making the reindeer.

Alex and Katie each had 'holiday' programs at preschool, but apparently I only took pictures at one. Alex was that kid in his own little world, doing the actions to his own rhythm. 'Jingle Bells' continues to be his song of the moment.

The train show pretty much sealed the deal for electric trains in the house this year. Roger tried to resist, but in the end the Circus Train was too much for him to say no: one car has an elephant that ducks down below a gate, another has two clowns that chase each other around a freight car, and the caboose is decorated with . . . TIGERS! The guy at the train store was pretty much horrified that the primary driver of this vintage train is 3.5 years old, but he hasn't seen this conductor in action. After the initial set up, the boys added a circus in one loop, Christmas tree decorations in the other, and Thomas in a loop around the outside. Train mania continues.
Katie made presents for her brothers again this year. The excavator shirt was Alex's favorite present. I have to admit that 4 is probably too early for doing a latchhook, but she pulled the hook for a number of rows by herself, and then read the graph and gave me the right colors to do for 50% of the tiger.

When Grandmother and Granddad were out visiting, the kids all picked out fabric for RV quilts. The are all completely in love with them!

I tried to make more useful presents this year, with limited success. Last year's quiet books get minimal use, although the hats and mittens were favorites. Alex's sweater -finished Christmas morning at 6 am - will probably fit him well next year. Max's sweater turned out cute and he will actually wear it - a win! I had grand plans to make Katie and Summer matching dresses, and luckily Oma had all her projects finished ahead of time because the pattern Katie picked out was RIDICULOUS. But at least it was also crazy cute. Next year maybe I'll start in August with my psycho plans!