site updates and random thoughts
About Us Blog Books Games Movies Music Photos Trips

The Sunday Somethings, 09mar14

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A sunny springlike weekend. I’m so very done with winter like every other sane person.

Something I’m thinking: I need to get Maddie’s letter done, and then I can start working on fun summary posts from the cruise.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that Maddie’s tracking back into school this week goes smoothly.

Something happening around the house: Gabe and I went through every nook and cranny, closet, and drawer this weekend in our master bedroom and master bathroom. We purged a ton of stuff to give to friends, donate to charity, or just throw in the garbage. I’m not sure we’ll have the energy to do this during the week, but we’re going to try to go area by area.

Something I’m reading: I’m still reading the third book of The Demon Cycle.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s still reading Pandora’s Star.

Something I’m watching: We caught up on The Walking Dead and The Amazing Race, but we are behind on other shows.

Something I’m playing: Sadly, Candy Crush.

Something I’m creating: I’ve been working on finishing up Maddie’s letter. I started it a few days before our vacation, but I haven’t had much energy to work on it since then.

Something tasty: I’ve been eating just about anything I see this week. I haven’t gotten out of cruise eating mode, and I’ve been comfort eating.

Something about both kiddos: We had Maddie’s birthday party today, and both kids painted a big birthday cake on an art canvas. All of the paintings turned out cute, and I loved seeing all the different styles. Since getting back from the cruise, we’re doing a ticket system with the kids. We are rewarding good behaviors with tickets, especially areas that we’re trying to improve like dinner table manners and staying in their beds all night. They can turn in their tickets for device time. Maddie also proposed that she could get a new toy if she traded in 50 tickets. Considering that they have many opportunities to earn tickets during the day, this seems reasonable. The system is working really well for Maddie. I’m not sure it is working that great for Cullen, but we will see. He’s going to need some tickets if he wants to play that iPad!

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Maddie was a little nervous with the painting instruction at the party. I haven’t seen her do her usual art camp classes, so I don’t know if she always has a hard time getting started. I know she’s always afraid of doing something wrong or making a mistake, so she doesn’t dive right in. She did great, though, and she had ideas of how she wanted it to be. She’s not the best party host. Her friends seemed excited to see her, and she didn’t do much to greet them or tell them thank you for coming at the end. We’ll have to work on that. I know it is because she gets overwhelmed in those situations. It was even overwhelming for me towards the end of the party! I think Maddie had a great time, and of course she enjoyed opening all the presents when we got home. She’s less excited about working on the dreaded thank you notes, of course. Maddie had track out camp this week at the drama camp. They do a lot of art projects with making the sets and costumes, and then they perform a play at the end of the week. The camp has been pretty smart at giving Maddie only a few lines so far. We were proud of her, and I think she really enjoys it. We enjoyed seeing the play with other families. Maddie went to her first gymnastics class with Sophie, and she did so well! I was surprised at how well she participated at her first class, and she already wants to take gymnastics for a long time so that she can learn the uneven bars like the big girls. The place that we picked seems to focus on recreational gymnastics, which is what we wanted versus competitive gymnastics. Maddie’s first day back at school is tomorrow, and they will be celebrating Dr. Seuss this week with a different theme for each day (crazy socks, pajamas, wacky clothes, etc).

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): We were glad to get Cullen back to his regular routine, though the week was a little out of routine due to more winter weather early in the week and sickness at the end. Cullen so desperately needs naps, but we cannot get him to take them at home. He stayed up too late last night (which was partially our fault), and then he woke up way too early for the daylight savings time change. We expected that they might sleep a little later after being up late, but he didn’t. He was up around 6am, and we were REALLY not ready to get up yet. Really? 6am? I mean that is like 5am before the time change, right? I don’t know. I can’t do time change math. Cullen was sent home early on Thursday due to a fever. His fever got pretty high on Thursday evening, and we took him to the doctor on Friday morning. He was diagnosed with strep. He was much better within 24 hours of the antibiotic. He’s been in another one of his sensitive moods. When he gets unhappy about something, he immediately starts to throw a fit. We’ll have to watch for times when he doesn’t react poorly and start rewarding those times with tickets. Maybe that will help?? His outbursts are loud and frustrating. I think a lot of his outbursts have to do with not having naps.

Something I am struggling with: Well, I’ve discovered that a lot of my dizziness, fatigue, and related symptoms two years ago was likely due to that cruise. I’m experiencing the same things again. It’s frustrating, and it means that I won’t likely be able to cruise again. When I found information on Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, I related to every bit of it (more information here). It’s been frustrating and depressing…and we’re all disappointed to never be able to cruise again. We had so much fun on the Disney cruise!

Something I learned: Unfortunately, all about Mal de Debarquement Syndrome.

Something I’m looking forward to: Maddie’s gymnastics place has a break this week, so we don’t have gymnastics this week. It will pick back up next week. Gabe has more fantasy drafts over the next couple of weeks. Most of them are online, at least. We have games night this weekend.

Something captured: The artists at Maddie’s party!

The Sunday Somethings, 16feb14 and 09feb14

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A weekend of playing games! I wasn’t sure how the weekend was going to work with the logistics of the kids, but Gabe and I both were able to play quality games last weekend.

Something I’m thinking: I’m glad that it didn’t snow last weekend and make a mess of the gaming weekend…

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping we’re done with snow for the year. Two big snow events is more than we can handle in the south. We now need to make up 5 more days of school, and the make up days are running low. I’m wondering if they are going to add time to our daily schedule versus make up the days.

Something happening around the house: Twice this month, we’ve been stuck in the house all together for several days waiting for snow to thaw.

Something I’m reading: I finished The Returned. The book wasn’t all that great, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the show. I’m now reading the third book of The Demon Cycle, The Daylight War.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Sand, and now he’s reading Pandora’s Star.

Something I’m watching: We’re keeping up with Hart of Dixie, The Walking Dead, and Downton Abbey. We’re also watching Elementary and Sleepy Hollow, but I think we’re behind on those. We are still recording S.H.I.E.L.D., but we are about 10 episodes behind on that one. Oh! And we went to see The LEGO Movie yesterday, and we all loved it!

Something I’m playing: Gabe and I have sadly been playing Candy Crush (as have the kids). I swore I wasn’t going to play that game, but here we are. We played a ton of games last weekend. Gabe played Lords of Waterdeep (with expansions), Bora Bora, Amerigo, The Cave, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Spyrium, and Geistesblitz 2.0. I played Shitenno, Village (with 5 players, but without the expansion parts), Village (with 5 players and the expansion), Glass Road, Rampage, Belfort, Lords of Waterdeep (with expansions), Lords of Waterdeep (without expansions), Bora Bora, and Spyrium. Lords of Waterdeep was our favorite game of all the ones we played.

Something I’m creating: I did a few more pages in our 2013 photobook. I have come close to finishing it before the cruise…something I was hoping that I could do so I’d be ready to work on the cruise book when we got back!

Something tasty: Snow cream! When it snowed heavily this week, we put out a bowl and made fresh snow cream. We all thought it was tasty (except for Cullen who liked it well enough but didn’t rave about it like the rest of us).

Something about both kiddos: We knew the winter storm was coming, so I think that we bought two of the last two sleds in the area on Monday. We got two of the saucer type. We ended up with over 6 inches of snow before it turned to sleet, and the next day we got even more snow (though I don’t think it added too much to the pile). We had more than enough snow to sled on the road. The kids had so much fun! Their first time sledding was a success. Then, we went next door for dinner to celebrate our neighbor’s birthday. We had a fun snow day. I was glad that the school system cancelled schools ahead of the storm, as that prompted me to work from home. We heard so many stories of people taking hours to get home or having to stay in hotels for the night. We were thankful to be safely home together. The kids were excited to make snow cream and especially liked the mini chocolate chips and sprinkles mixed into it. The kids loved being in the hotel for the games weekend. I can’t wait to see how they like the cruise ship! We all had fun with Cullen’s birthday party. We invited two of Cullen’s classmates to see The LEGO Movie and go out to dinner. We already want to see it again. That’s definitely one we’ll have to get on DVD. The kids had a good Valentine’s Day. Both celebrations were postponed on Friday. Maddie had hers on Saturday, and Cullen’s will be tomorrow. We gave them a sweet Teddy Bear Valentine’s Lego set that they put together in the morning. We also had heart shaped pink pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, and we ended the day with heart shaped chocolate chip cookies. Both kids are doing great with playing video games and have gotten better at playing Mario 3D Worlds. They also love watching us play, if we can stand the constant commentary from them. “Get the bell! Don’t fall into the lava! Daddy got dead!” The kids were both home for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They did a pretty good job entertaining themselves so that Gabe and I could work.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie’s 6th birthday is this week. At first, she was disappointed and thought it was “not fair” that we have to drive on her birthday. She has since embraced it. I mean what other kids get to drive to a Disney cruise on their birthday?? Maddie had one dance class from her hip hop / tumbling class, but they missed another one due to the winter weather on Thursday. She’ll miss both of the make up classes due to vacation. She also missed her last two rollerblading classes of this session. We wanted to sign her up for more rollerblading since she could sign up for the advanced class this time. Unfortunately, we’d miss too many of the classes for this session. We’ll have to try again for the summer sessions. Maddie is officially tracked out (after her Saturday make up day), and she’s going to art camp for a few days this week before our vacation.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen had fun with his birthday party and especially enjoyed getting presents from his friends. Cullen has been going to sleep each night in our bed, and then he gets carried to his room once he’s asleep. This has become quite the bad habit! We are going to have to do a reset on this after vacation. Cullen has been playing a lot with Legos, especially the minifigures. He also loves the Ninjago spinner game.

Something I am struggling with: I’m feeling like I’m not prepared for our cruise, but I know a lot of that is due to not needing to do all that much to prepare for cruising. So much of it is already mapped out for you! I’m debating whether we want to do an excursion on St. Maarten. Originally, we had decided against it, but I’m thinking we might want to do a tour.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been working on the 2014 photobook, and we’re about to go on a Disney cruise! Two things on my goals list.

Something I’m looking forward to: Our Disney cruise!!!! Gabe has a dinner with a friend, I have lunch with a friend, and I have a rescheduled hair appointment. Maddie’s birthday is also this week. Big week for us!

Something captured: Silly kids at dinner last night.

The Sunday Somethings, 26jan14 and 02feb14

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Something that makes me happy: Seeing the kids play in the snow (but I’m not so excited about making up snow days!).

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking usually this time of year isn’t too busy, but we’re crazy busy this year. Only part of it is the cruise that we’re taking in a few weeks.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping that we do not have any more crazy wintery weather. I’m officially ready for Spring.

Something happening around the house: The house has been in a perpetual state of disaster with all of us at home a bit more than normal. Poor Gabe is used to a nice, quiet house during the work week. He’ll be happy to get back to that!

Something I’m reading: I finished The Selection. I also finished Sand, and I didn’t like it was well as Wool. It was still entertaining enough. I’m now reading The Returned, and I want to see the show.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished The Golem and the Jinni. He started and finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane. He’s now reading Sand.

Something I’m watching: I’m not *really* watching the Super Bowl, but I am rooting for certain point combinations since we played a squares game at the Super Bowl party.

Something I’m playing: We have played some new games with the kids lately. They received several board games at Christmas. We have been playing Robot Turtles, Max the Cat, Too Many Monkeys, and Gobblet Gobblers. I’m a little sad to report that all four of us are playing Candy Crush. All four of us have also been playing Mario 3D Worlds on the Wii U.

Something I’m creating: I finished Cullen’s 4th birthday letter and I’ve been working on our 2013 photobook. I really want to finish it before our cruise.

Something tasty: I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track calories, but I gave myself a holiday today since we went to a Super Bowl party. We had all kinds of yummy stuff there.

Something about both kiddos: The kids were so excited about the snow. We got about 3 or 4 inches, which is more than we have gotten in more than 3 years. I don’t think either kid really remembers our last “big” snow. The snow was very powdery, so they didn’t get to make a snowman. They still attempted to make snowballs, and they mostly threw them at Daddy. It was hilarious to see the powder fly. They were so happy. The snow stayed around on our grass for a couple of days, so they were able to play the next day as well. Last weekend, the monthly book club meeting was a field trip to see a play. We saw Hansel and Gretel. The next day, we went to see the Pinkalicious musical. That was a lot better than we expected! Gabe and I even enjoyed it. It had some humor for the adults, and it seemed to be better quality than several of the other plays from the kid series. Since my last update, we’ve taken the kids to lunch twice in the cafe at work. The first time was on Maddie’s holiday for MLK, and the second was one of the “snow” days when our roads were clear (but roads in other parts of the county were not).

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie was probably the most excited of all of us to get snow. She didn’t have to go to school on Tuesday in anticipation of the snow to start falling at about noon. Unfortunately, the snow didn’t start falling until 5pm Tuesday night. We got about 3-4 inches overnight, so of course school was closed again on Wednesday. Temperatures were quite cold, so of course that means ice on the roads in the south. Our roads were fine, so we weren’t totally stuck at home for four days at least. Maddie’s school was again closed on Thursday AND Friday. So now we have FOUR Saturday make up days. I guess that’s one disadvantage to year round school! The first make up day was supposed to be yesterday, but that day got cancelled for continued icy roads. Maddie has school for the next two Saturdays. This isn’t going to be very convenient for us, but we will figure it out. I’m disappointed that she is going to miss her last two rollerblading lessons. She has been doing so well in that class, and her coaches felt that she could move up to the advanced class. We definitely want to sign her up for that, but we may have to skip a session given the number of Saturday plans (and snow make up days) that we have. Maddie celebrated her 100th day at school. I had fun volunteering in the classroom and manned the fruit loop necklace station. The kids also had a station where they built towers from 100 cups, one where they made their afternoon snack (10 of each of the 10 items), one with a 100-day book (with 10 items on 10 pages), and one with a coloring, cutting and pasting activity. It was such a fun morning, and Maddie loves having me in the classroom. We went to lunch after where I watched her eat lunch. I love the opportunity to volunteer, and I know that we will have less and less opportunities as she gets older! Maddie has been enjoying her dance/tumbling class more, but she doesn’t seem to love the hip hop part of it. She looks so nervous and doesn’t participate in that part. She wants to sign up for a gymnastics class with Sophie, so I hope we’ll be able to make that happen after our vacation. Maddie has a project at school where she was supposed to interview a community helper. She decided she wanted to interview a teacher, so she interviewed our neighbor. She is supposed to dress up as her community helper and do a presentation tomorrow. I made her an id badge on a lanyard in a card holder so she looks more official. Otherwise, she’s just going to look like she does any other day!

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen is now four years old! We brought cupcakes to his classroom for his birthday. He was so cute when his classmates were singing to him. They all surrounded him while they sang, and he was grinning ear to ear. I loved that. He loved having us there, and of course the cupcakes were a bit hit. That night, we went out to eat with his BFF. Melissa and Jason were able to join us as well. The kids got a little crazy in the restaurant. He requested Zoe’s Kitchen as he loves the “kid roll ups” there (basically a rolled up chicken quesadilla). We had a little cake, so Cullen had quite a few treats that day! The cake had chocolate frosting, and he got a little crazy after it. We’re going to avoid chocolate as well as we can for a while. He’s sensitive to it (maybe it’s the caffeine?). We’ve also made a direct correlation between strawberries and reddened cheeks. We have noticed this before, but it has been more than confirmed with his recent exposures. We’re not sure whether we will completely avoid them, but we are considering taking him to an allergist for their opinion. We know that there are other things in his diet that cause a rash type reaction, but we haven’t figured them all out just yet. Cullen said the other day, “when I grow up like a Mommy, I want hair like yours. No, wait, I want to be just like you! Then there will be two Kerrys.” Cullen always wants to sit next to the pianist in the cafe. He had a great time on Friday, and the pianist played some special songs for him. Cullen is still obsessed with playing Daddy’s iPad. We’re trying to limit his time. We’ve thought about coming up with some system where he can earn iPad time for good behaviors and tasks around the house. He’s been a sweet boy, and he will often tell me that he loves me. Every morning, when we leave the house, he tells Daddy, “Goodbye! I love you! I hope you have a good day at work.”

Something I’m looking forward to: We are thinking about the Lego Minibuild this Tuesday. I have a rescheduled book club meeting (since we had to cancel last Wednesday due to the weather). Maddie has another dance/tumbling class. We have a gaming weekend, so we’re trying to figure out the logistics of how we’re going to get to play games and manage the kids. Cullen has a birthday party to attend and Maddie has school on Saturday. Next week, I have a haircut, and Maddie has an early release day. She has school on that Saturday, and we are officially celebrating Cullen’s birthday with The Lego Movie with a couple of his buddies and their families. My parents are coming to visit and celebrate with us.

Something captured:

Happy 4th birthday, Maddie!

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Finally! I’ve been working on this letter to Maddie since her birthday. I think I made a mistake only doing these every 6 months now. I had quite a bit to cover. You might want to skim the photos and call it a day. (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 05feb12

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: I finally finished Cullen’s 2-year old letter. I plan to post it tomorrow. Whew, it’s a long one!

Something I’m thinking: Guess I better start on Maddie’s 4-year old letter soon!!! Time is flying.

Something I’m hoping: I hope we’ll be able to have our rescheduled games night this week.

Something happening around the house: We had a party with family and Maddie and Cullen’s closest friends yesterday, and Gabe’s mom has been spending the weekend with us. We’ve had a great time, though I’m pretty tired!

Something I’m reading: I don’t know if I will finish Peter and Wendy or not. I’m over halfway finished, but I’m just not all that interested in reading it. I started Snow Flower and the Secret Fan after it finally becoming available for me on the kindle at the library.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s almost finished with Fall of Hyperion.

Something I’m watching: We watched Moneyball again with Gabe’s mom (she had not seen it). I really like that movie, which is surprising considering it’s a baseball movie and all.

Something I’m playing: Fruit Ninja! Maddie also got Zingo for her birthday, and she loves it!

Something I’m creating: Cullen’s letter. Hopefully, this week I can get back to the trip reports. I have other photos I need to sort through as well. I have thousands of unsorted photos. It’s ridiculous. Oh, and I am painting a piggy bank for Cullen. It’s a dragon – he’s going to be so excited when it’s finished.

Something tasty: Birthday cake, yum!

Something about both kiddos: They had their joint birthday party with a Mickey and Minnie theme. We decided to keep it small this year with 4 total kids (the ones that we see most often outside of school). I made a Mickey cake and cupcakes with little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse character cupcake toppers. Maddie was fascinated with the icing tinting process. I look forward to decorating cakes together in the future.

Something Maddie is doing (47 months old): She was so excited about her birthday party, which she realized wasn’t her “actual birthday.” She was very into getting presents, but she appeared to be more interested in opening them than what was inside. We need to teach her some manners about the presents as she several times said to Grandma, “where are my other presents?” I think it might be because she knew we had other presents to open that we still haven’t gotten to yet (from others). We like to spread them out a bit when we can. She has been playing with each of her new toys quite a bit, so they all seem to be big hits. Sometime this week, Daddy belched, and Maddie said, “Excuse you, Daddy!!!” We were talking about college in the car, and she said that Cullen needed a piggy bank so that he could go to college. She remembers a discussion she had with Daddy about how she can make money if she goes to college to “learn a job,” and she thought she could put that money in her piggy bank. I thought that the preschooler logic was great – therefore, Cullen needs to have a piggy bank so he can go to college! She has been practicing her balance bike skills and is getting better and better at coasting on it. She got a 100-piece puzzle from the birthday party, and she’s already put it together once. She needed a little encouragement here and there, but she pretty much put it together fairly quickly all by herself. She had a fever tonight, so she will be missing school tomorrow. We can’t seem to get well around here.

Something Cullen is doing (24 months old): Cullen also enjoyed the birthday party. He was a little embarrassed when everyone sang, “Happy Birthday.” He made a huge, happy mess of the cupcake, though!!! He loves his new toys as well. He has a new book, “Happy Hippo, Angry Duck.” The book explores many different emotions, and we act out each one. It’s adorable to see his different faces. I need to figure out a way to get it on video. This week, he told Maddie, “I’m angry at you, Maddie.” He shrieks at her (and sometimes at us), but we learned that he doesn’t do this at school. In the grocery store, he pointed to a bag of Starbucks coffee and said, “We have those at school. Hannah needs those!” Hannah is one of his teachers. He will be moving to his new classroom a week from tomorrow.

Something I am struggling with: I’ve had some bad headaches the past couple of days. I hope I’m not getting sick.

Something I’m looking forward to: Finishing the dragon piggy bank, another ballet class for Maddie, dinner and games with friends, and games night.

Something captured: Maddie and Cullen getting ready to make a wish!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

Birthday Party at Marbles

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

In late October, we went to Sofie’s birthday party at Marbles. We had not been to Marbles since Maddie was little, so we were excited to explore the museum a bit after celebrating Sofie’s birthday.

The birthday girl!

Yay! Cupcakes!

Icing is yummy.

Everyone has a different method.

Clare’s method was a messy one.

Cullen tried to steal Sofie’s presents.

He looks like such a big boy here. He was trying out cars on the ramp.

Daddy helped the kids build a house out of giant blocks.

Cullen took a doggie for a walk. It was quite a drag for the dog.

Considering that I’m usually the one hanging out with Cullen while Gabe is with Maddie, we almost always end up with more photos of Cullen. This second child should have no complaints about their photo coverage! Cullen loved playing with the farm animal figures.

We had a fun morning!

Cullen’s Ice Cream Social

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

On the same day as Maddie’s bike day, Cullen’s classroom had an ice cream social. I love the social events in the classrooms as it’s often one of the only chances to talk to the other parents.

This was Cullen’s first taste of ice cream. I think he might like it.

We had little single serving packets that had one scoop of ice cream each. I had never seen ice cream like that – pretty neat!

Cullen got into a little scuffle at school and ended up with a scrape under his eye – just in time for a photo-filled weekend of trips to both the zoo and pumpkin patch!

Maddie was able to join Cullen’s party. I didn’t give Cullen any M&Ms, so he took matters into his own hands and stole some of Maddie’s. I learned that Daddy has previously given Cullen a few tastes of M&Ms, so this wasn’t his first time!

Maddie’s birthday party video

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

I posted this video to YouTube a while back, but I forgot to link it onto the blog. It’s just a little video from Maddie’s birthday party at the museum. Click on the original post to see the embedded video.

Maddie’s American Girl Birthday Party

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

As I mentioned in my previous post about our Atlanta trip, we had a very special birthday celebration at the American Girl Bistro in Atlanta. We spared the boys the experience and headed to the American Girl store as a trip for “all the girls and Henry” (since he’s a doll, of course). Maddie, Annabelle, Henry, and I were joined by Nana, (regular) Grandma, Great Grandma, and Great Aunt Frances.

We had been talking about the trip for weeks. Maddie and I were excited to finally make it to the store.

Everyone was seated, including Annabelle and Henry who were given special doll chairs. Maddie, Annabelle, and Henry were given crowns to wear. So far, so adorable!

Maddie was excited to have pink lemonade with her lunch. It’s a special treat!

She served her dolls their drinks and appetizers.

All of the ladies were impressed with the store. Nana and Frances had a nice time.

Great Grandma (“Honey”) and “Regular” Grandma posed for me.

The menu had a lot of options for both the kids and adults, and the food had little fancy touches. I thought that the fruit appetizer was cute.

Maddie wanted the tic-tac-toe pizza.

After all of the festivities, Maddie said that her favorite part was the cake. The cakes were so pretty (and consistent) that I was SURE that they brought out a fake cake and then went back and served us slices from a larger cake.

We took about half of the cake home with us, and it was real. Maddie didn’t quite get the concept of blowing out the candles. I rediscovered the unfortunate ability to taste the bitterness in certain red/pink dyes! Eww. My mom and I were the only ones who were able to taste it. YUCK! It brought back random childhood memories of Ronald McDonald cakes.

Maddie couldn’t wait to eat CAKE!!!

Maddie and her dolls were so adorable!

Cake and ice cream for everyone!

After our meal, we explored the store a bit. The store is set up almost as a museum with set ups of all the accessories and dolls. It’s a neat place! Fortunately, the part that can do damage to our wallet is small. Most of the dolls are intended for 8 and up. Maddie’s Bitty Twins are for 3+, so I was thankful we were restricted to the Bitty Twin section. Whew!

They even have a salon where you can get your doll’s hair styled and her ears pierced.

Uncle Bill took a photo of all of us outside the doll store after our meal. It’s hard to say who had the most fun browsing the store – Maddie or the adults!

Joseph and Bill walked around the mall while we were in the Bistro. Joseph wouldn’t even step foot into the store. I couldn’t resist taking his photo in front of the entrance!

The restrooms had a place to hang your dolls. Of course, I had Maddie pose next to Annabelle in the stall.

I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience. I just love how happy Maddie was the entire day.

The ride back to my grandparents house was short, but it was long enough for an exhausted little girl to fall fast asleep with her dolls. I thought when we got to my grandparents house that I would be able to gently carry her to one of the beds. I unbuckled her and whispered that I was going to take her to lay down for a nap. Mostly asleep, she said, “but I want to play with my new toys.” Too cute! She didn’t nap, of course, and she had a great time playing with her new outfits and accessories. It turns out that going to the doll store with Mommy, Grandma, and Nana means coming home with a pile of pale yellow boxes in large, red shopping bags!

The Sunday Somethings, 20feb11

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Something that makes me happy: Today made me very happy. We celebrated Maddie’s birthday with a special lunch at the American Girl store and time spent with family. It was a very good weekend!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about my little girl who is THREE today and what a wonderful time we had celebrating. My heart is full and happy at the moment!

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping for an uneventful day tomorrow.

Something happening around the house: I keep finding a stray ant here and there in our master bathroom. WHY?

Something I’m reading: I finished Still Alice. It’s a sad, scary topic, but I’m glad that I read it. I am looking forward to the book club meeting about it in March. I started reading Water for Elephants. I can’t believe I managed to find a little time to read a non-book club book! I wanted to read that one so that I could go see the movie when it comes out in a couple months. I’ve been wanting to read it for years.

Something I’m watching: We watched the premiere of this season’s Amazing Race. I LOVE IT! I remember all of the teams (well, except one, though I know I must have seen them…they just weren’t memorable), and I really like most of the teams that are back. FUN! We also decided due to the Russell/Rob gimmick and the Redemption Island gimmick that we would watch Survivor this season. The first episode did not disappoint!

Something I’m playing: I thought we might get a chance to play something this weekend while visiting with family, but we didn’t. Oh well!

Something tasty: The lunch at the American Girl store was pretty good, all things considered. We had some tasty cake, too!

Something Maddie is doing (36 months old): Her 3rd birthday was today. I can hardly believe it. She’s growing up so fast! We’ve been talking up her birthday all week, and she knows very well that she is THREE today. She has known for a few weeks that we were going to go to the doll store on her birthday and eat in the cafe. She seemed a little overwhelmed at first, but I could tell that she was very excited. She started to show her enthusiasm shortly after we sat down at the table. Her dolls were in attendance and had their own seats at the table (as well as cups of tea and crowns). Aside from Henry, it was just us girls at the lunch. We were joined by Grandma, Nana, Great Grandma, and Great Aunt Frances. She got a few gifts (ok, more than a few – this is what happens when you take the grandmas to the store with you). It’s hard not to get caught up in all the fun at the store! Happy birthday to my little girl! Oh, and she got a balance bike for her birthday. We gave it to her on Saturday since the weather was so perfect. She is going to need some practice, but I think she’s very excited about it!

Something Cullen is doing (12 months old): Cullen is getting better at climbing and has started to take a few more steps. He has taken only 2-3 at a time, but his attempts have been picking up in frequency. He used a straw for the first time, and he had no trouble at all with it! I was amazed at how quickly he’s picked up on it. He’s sometimes drinking regular cow’s milk and appears to have no issues with it now. Thank goodness for that. He’s still nursing several times a day and several times at night. Up until this week, he has been pretty easy going at restaurants. Unfortunately, our good little restaurant goer is now a bit difficult at times. He constantly wants SOMETHING at the table that he doesn’t have. It doesn’t matter what it is. The only requirement is that it be something he doesn’t have. He seems to want a specific item, but sometimes we can’t figure it out. Often it’s something like a soda can or glass or knife that we can’t let him have. He’s getting better at using the fork and spoon. He now feeds himself yogurt and applesauce most of the time. He doesn’t always get it right, but he can do it.

Something I am struggling with: Ugh, I’ve been sick all week. The laryngitis didn’t go away for days, and now I have issues with swallowing. I don’t have a lot of pain, just swollen glands and thick drainage which is making it hard to eat or drink. It’s been very annoying. I’ve been to the doctor twice, but both people I saw felt it was viral. My ears have been hurting now which is due to the fluid in them (apparently they aren’t infected…at least not yet). I still feel like we can’t catch a break this year with illnesses!!! Ugh!

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I listed Gabe’s goals. I’m not sure specifically what I did to accomplish mine, though…

Something I learned: I learned how to use a neti pot. I think it might have helped me some, though my congestion is not in my head (or in my chest…just right there in the throat). I think it will come in handy the next time I have a sinus issue.

Something I’m looking forward to: Book club and Maddie’s birthday party at the museum.

Something captured: Our group at American Girl!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey