mermaid hair don’t care, madeleine’s mermaid birthday party

19th October 2017

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We recently celebrated Madeleine’s 4th birthday with a mermaid pool party.  I love organizing parties for the kids because they love everything about them…the cake and presents, yes, but even the invitations, party favors, and decor get my kids pumped up.  And me too.  We’ve been known to play pretend parties at home where the kids will color invitations, wrap their toys and sing happy birthday just for fun.

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I’m not sure where she got the mermaid idea, but Madeleine made up her mind almost as soon as she turned three! The whole ‘mermaid’ thing was extra fun with a summer birthday.  We made a game out of collecting seashells from our annual beach trips and then turned around to use them as party decor.   Warm temperatures + the in-laws pool = fun party activity!  We bought some extra large floats that went with the theme and the kids tried not to fall off while Joe pushed them from one side of the pool to the other.

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The birthday cake was a personal victory at this party haha.  I am always drawn to the beautiful cakes that go along with party themes but I feel silly spending a lot of money and my baking, plus decorating, skills are unreliable (revisit Becky’s baby shower blueberry cake and Joe’s german chocolate birthday cake).  But even so, I decided to tackle a diy cake.  I even let the kids help;)  It didn’t turn out exactly like the inspiration picture but it sure was close and sure was good. Madeleine was proud too #designassistant

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Some of my favorite party details were the party favors (water bottles with swirly straws and juice powder), the goldfish in a large fish bowl, and the pirate/mermaid bathroom signs.  Oh and all the pictures that Madeleine and her cousins colored for her party decoration and personally hung up all along the patio.

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Happy Birthday Madeleine!!  I can’t wait to party with you again next year.

beach trip

28th September 2017

Every summer we take an annual beach trip with each side of our family to spend time away from the norm.  There is nothing better than a semi circle of lawn chairs and the sound of waves in between the conversations, even with all the sunscreen applications and sandy snacks:)  Here are some of my favorites photos from this summer…

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baby babble

13th September 2017

funny things our kids have said lately…

Watching golf with Madeleine- “Here goes mint boy.” (The golfer wearing a mint color shirt) “Oh no he missed it.” (Practice swings) “Why are they clapping he hasn’t made it into the hole yet?”

“Marks aset go!”- J

M-“My eyes are burning from the pool.”  Me-“Yes that’s the chlorine.” M-“I’m allergic to chlorine then. Does the beach have chlorine?” Me- “No, it’s salty.” J-“Why?” M-“Because God sprinkled salt in it and just mixed it all up.”

Madeleine practicing her rhyming words as we pull up to our house and our neighbor ‘Mr. Rich’ is outside…,”Mama!  Rich, bitch!  That rhymes!!”

“There’s a bug! Clap it mama!” – J

“Wow! Joseph got money lines for his birthday!” – Madeleine’s reaction to one of Joseph’s birthday cards that had money inside.

IMG_1925“Oh! I had a tooty in my mouth!” – J

“That skeleton has bad skin.” – M

“Dad, these shrimp are dead right?” -M before shrimp for dinner

“My dad is as fast as a car!” – M

Playing ‘house’ with Madeleine and she tucks me into bed and then says, “Goodnight, now I am going to have wine downstairs on the couch with my husband.”

Joseph LOVES chapstick and says, “Don’t kiss me on the lips because I have chapstick on, you can kiss me on my cheek.”

Joe asked for a bite of Joe Joe’s ice cream at chick fil a and he says across the table, “No, because I’m too far away.”

“That gun shotter is shooting for a woodpecker.” – J

IMG_1796“Mama, you are such a great mama I wish all kids could have you as a mama. I think we can fit 18 kids in the guest room.” – M

“1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10!  You better not, here I come!”

“A moth is  a butterfly at night.” -M

“I can talk now, I am all warmed up.” -M

“I got nail polish on my dress, but don’t worry, we have oxyclean.” -M

M-“All T-Rex’s are dead.” Me- “Yes that means they are extinct.” J-“Yeah they are pee eww!”

“It’s just like real life.” M’s reaction to her dance recital dress rehearsal and seeing the big stage

IMG_7802Me-“Joseph, wipe that mean look off your face.” J-(grabs a wipe) “Where is it??”

“Mom, can you get ‘space’ on your phone and ask whoever is driving anything to space and see if we can see Jupiter and all the planets?” – M

“How did you get that scab on your nose?” M- “Well, at the wedding party it just flew on there.”

“My voice is running out of battery.” -M

“Daddy, when you put cologne on you smell handsome.” -M

“When you make a mistake in the toilet you use a plunger.” -M

“If you have a lot of boogies you need a tissue.  If you have a little boogies, just pick it.” -M

IMG_1428Madeleine was spinning in circles on the stool in the doctors office and she almost tipped over. I said, “Woah, that was scary, you almost tipped over!”  Madeleine said, “Tipping over is always in style.”

At the dinner table one night Madeleine out of the blue says, “You know, we should really go to Great Wolf Lodge.”

M-“Daddy, why do you have hair on your chest?” Joe- “Because God made me that way.” M-“Papa doesn’t have any hair on his head because it all went down to his legs.”

There were some ladies speaking spanish in the bathroom stalls and Madeleine says out loud, “They are being silly when they talk!”

“Mama can I have Modelo? I’m a dult.” Me- “Oh you like beer?” M-“I like white wine.”

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tiny dancer

12th July 2017

This past year we enrolled Madeleine in her first extra curricular activity, dance class!  It was so much fun because she was right in the middle of a ballet phase and often played “ballerina,” at the house.  Classes began in the fall and lasted until spring, ending with a dance recital at the beginning of summer. Madeleine’s recital number was a ballet routine to “Every Girl Can Be a Princess,” and her costume included a tiara and wand.  Right up her alley.

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Classes were an hour long each week, starting with half an hour of tap and then half an hour of ballet.  The hardest thing was keeping Joseph entertained for those hours:), but now he wants to take dance when he “grows older.”  Madeleine enjoyed it and learned a lot but what I think she loved most was the freestyle and imagination activities her teacher did with them.  I loved the tiny ballet slippers and tutus and watching her from the waiting room:)

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As the end of the year approached, I was so worried about the recital because Madeleine became increasingly shy over the year and I was afraid she would freeze on stage.  But dress rehearsal went smoothly and Madeleine didn’t want to stop watching all the other numbers and analyzing all the costumes;)

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In the end, the recital was adorable and Madeleine did so great! I hope I always remember her big “stage” smile, the precious way she held out her tutu, how deliberate her wand waved and the way her spins were delayed yet intense.  She didn’t seem the least bit nervous on stage.  The whole thing was so sweet I wanted to cry and laugh the entire 2 minutes she was up there.  We can’t wait to get the recital DVD so Madeleine can watch her own performance.  We are very proud of our tiny ballerina!

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two year old joe joe

10th May 2017

IMG_6580 copyWe have a tradition to interview the kids on each birthday starting at 2.  It has been fun to look  back and hear their sweet voice and also how fast their “favorites” change.  Here is the commentary from Joseph’s 2 year interview complete with his adorable “um’s.”

What is your name? Joseph Chawles

How old are you? 2 (as he holds up one finger)

What’s your favorite color? Um, brown. Brown? Yes.

What’s your favorite snack? Um, trains.

What’s your favorite flavor ice cream? Um, chwaklit.

What is your favorite snack to eat? Um, golf ball hahaha! Do you like gold fish, fruit snacks…? Can I have some fruit snacks?

What’s your favorite dinner that Mama makes? Um, sausage paaaaaaaasta

Who’s your best friend? Um, Madeleine.

What’s your favorite shirt to wear?  The piwate (pirate) one.

Where is your favorite restaurant?  Um, ketchup.

Do you like Chipotle or Freebirds? Um, Freebirds.  Freebirds or Chickfila? Um, Chickfila.  What do you like to get at Chickfila? Chicken nuggets and Friiiiiiiiiies

What’s your favorite drink? Sausage Paaaasta! No, sprite, root beer, lemonade, juice? Sprite. I’m making a choo choo train on my tummy.

What do you want to be when you get bigger? A choo choo train.

What’s your favorite toy to play with? Um, pink.  How about Paw Patrol, trains….? Trains, I’m gonna play with my trains (walks away).

What is your favorite book? Go Dog Go

Who sleeps with you in your bed? Um, Chase doll and horsey and puppy and puppy blanket and gray blanket and blue blanket.

What’s your favorite thing to do at the park? Sliiiiiiiiiides

What was your favorite present you got for your birthday? Um, dirt cake!  I ATE THE DIRT!

Who do you love? Madeleine Are you going to get married one day? Yes.

Where are you going to go to college? Ride the airplanes.

What do you want to be when you get bigger?  Ride the yewo (yellow) airplane

IMG_6750There are so many precious things I want to remember about him at this age and I’m trying to write them all down before I forget but when I start to put them on paper I almost go blank.  I feel like I need a notepad in my pocket 24/7 to jot down his little quotes and mannerisms. Like, how he always asks to hold my hand when he is scared or upset (even when I am driving and especially when I’m trying to eat). Or when I am putting him to bed at night and he protests me turning off the lamp with, “I wanna talk a widdle bit.” So we talk a little bit and then I say it’s time to lay down and he says, “I wanna a cuddle a widdle bit.”  Well ok:)

IMG_9448Lately he has been super mischievous, but when I correct him he tells me he is only “attending” (pretending).  “Mama I only attended to throw that at the TV.”  Yes.  We had to get a new TV.  I love how particular he is about HIS side of the rocking chair and how he always wants a stool to see what I’m doing in the kitchen.  And his sweet little way of asking questions that begin and end with “why.”  “Why do birds have wings mama, why?” “Why is it dark outside, why?” Or how he will hurry and eat his fruit snacks super fast or chug his chocolate milk in the morning and no one notices until he says, “I beat Madeleine.”

IMG_9652I know there will come a time when he doesn’t want to cuddle or hold my hand and he won’t really ask for my opinion, but for now he is my two year old little boy and this is the time of our lives.