Saturday, March 18, 2017

Norah's 5-year interview

Favorite color:  red
Least favorite color:  green
Favorite book:  My Little Pony books
Favorite fruit:  blueberries
Favorite vegetable:  carrots
Favorite TV show:  Elena of Avalor
Favorite movie:  Aladdin
Favorite food:  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Favorite lunch:  peanut butter and jelly
Favorite thing to wear:  Elena shirt
Favorite snack:  crackers
Favorite zoo animal:  zebra
Best friend:  Harper
Favorite cereal:  Chocolate/peanut butter puffs
Favorite drink:  strawberry milk
Thing she likes to do with Mommy:  play Barbies
Thing she likes to do with Daddy:  play wrestling
Thing she likes to do with Abby:  play Barbies
Thing she likes to do with Sadie:  feed her
Favorite store:  Target
Favorite toy:  Barbies
Favorite game:  Zingo
Favorite song:  Let it Go
Favorite thing to do outside:  swings
Favorite holiday:  Christmas
What I want to be when I grow up:  doctor
What makes me happy:  playing with Mommy
What makes me sad:  when Mommy is gone
What I like about Daddy:  when he tickles me
What I like about Mommy:  when she's here
What I like about Abby:  when she cuddles with me
What I like about Sadie:  when she barks
Now that I'm 5:  I can color

Norah turns 5!

Norah turned 5 on March 3rd...I know I repeat myself every year, but I truly can't believe how fast time has gone.  This year seems extra crazy, because I know she is going to KINDERGARTEN in the fall!  I just went to her kindergarten roundup a few weeks ago, and it's hard to imagine that she will be starting this August.  In some ways, she seems so little, but I know she is excited for it and has loved her year in preschool.

Norah's birthday was unfortunately on a weekday this year, so we had to wake up early.  Luckily for Norah, I guess, she woke up really early--around 5/5:30 and that gave me time to run to the bakery for birthday donuts in the morning.  It also gave Norah time to open all of her presents.  She really didn't have any special things she was wishing for, except for a mermaid tail Snuggie that she had seen on t.v. and at Target.




My mom had sent some packages for Norah to open for a few days leading up to her birthday.  In one package was a gift card to Papa Murphy's, so we had a pizza supper after school/daycare and watched Norah's choice of movie (Aladdin) and had some neighbor friends over to play for a little bit.  With Dave being so immobile from breaking his ankle, we really didn't do anything big to celebrate.  Hopefully over spring break we can do something fun to celebrate both Norah and Abby's birthdays!

The week after her birthday, I took her to see her doctor for her 5-year check up.  She was healthy, and did great with everything leading up to her 4 shots.  She was not excited about that at all, but she celebrated the shots being over with a dilly bar on the way to pick up Abby from school.  She weighed in at 35 pounds and was 3'5" tall.

Elena party

Last weekend, we hosted the girls' joint birthday party.  Greg and Rose Mary flew in from Seattle, both of my grandmas were able to come up from Iowa (along with all of my aunts/uncles on my mom's side and one of my cousin's sons), my parents and sister, and Dave's parents joined us.  The girls wanted an Elena of Avalor themed party, which was perfect since Dave's mom had given them Elena dresses for Christmas for our trip to Disney World.  Friday night, the girls helped decorate the house and cupcakes.  Everyone came up for lunch on Saturday and stayed until early afternoon.  We had tacos, chips and salsa, fruit, veggies/dip, and cupcakes for dessert.  It was so nice to be able to use our basement and new couch to hang out in.
















Greg and Rose Mary spent the night, so my parents and sister also hung around for awhile that evening until heading back to Rochester later on.  The girls had fun getting some extra time in with Greg and Rose Mary on Sunday as well, and going out to lunch with them before they had to leave for their flight.  It was a fun weekend, and the girls have lots of thank you notes to write for the nice presents they received!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Disney 2017--day 1

At the end of January, we traveled to Orlando with Dave's parents and sister and had an amazing week at Disney World.  We got up early and got to the airport and through security smoothly, so had some time to play in the play area near our gate:



The flight went well, and the girls kept busy on the plane.  We landed around noon Orlando time, picked up our luggage, and caught the bus to our resort.  We got checked in and found our room, then ate a late lunch at the food court.

After we ate, we took the bus to Hollywood Studios.  We were able to go on a couple of rides and see the Frozen Ever After show before going to see Fantasmic.  We met up with Greg and Rose Mary that night, who were also spending the week in Orlando.


After Fantasmic, we had a few minutes to go meet Moana and ride Toy Story one last time before the park closed.  


Norah was sound asleep by the time we made it back to our hotel:



Monday, January 2, 2017

New basement!

We finally had our basement finished after living here for almost 7 years.  Unfortunately, we didn't save a lot of money by doing much ourselves, but it did get done very quickly with our great contractor.  We did all of the painting, and my uncle did our doors and trim.  We love it all!!  Here are some pictures of the final product (most before furniture):

Doorway to storage area

Hallway to bathroom/playroom/bedroom

Under stairs room for more storage

Bedroom closet

Blinds in family room

Blinds in bedroom

Guest bedroom

Bedroom closet

Playroom

Door to under-stair storage

Wet bar

Family room

Playroom closet

Empty guest bedroom

New (amazing!) couch and TV

Bathroom

Winter Break

While this has been one of the longest winter breaks I've had/will have, it has also felt like it's gone incredibly fast!  It was a good mix of busy/slow, family/friends, and lots of time relaxing and enjoying our newly finished basement.

I got a surprise early start to my break on Friday, the 16th, when school got out an hour early due to snow (Abby was out 2 hours early).  Dave was able to pick up the girls, and we all made it home before the roads got bad.  That evening, we had a Christmas party to go to down at a neighbor's house.  

Saturday morning, our driveway was luckily plowed out by a neighbor so we could make the slow drive to Christmas program practice.  Dave worked that day, but the girls and I enjoyed the afternoon at home/playing with neighbor friends.  On Sunday was the girls' Christmas program.  Because of the weather, Dave's parents stayed home, but my parents came over for the second service.  Dave came to the first, but then had to go into work.  Abby was a reader, and did a great job!  Norah was an angel, and did great the first service, but definitely lost interest toward the end of the second service.  We went out to lunch at Pizza Ranch with my parents after church, and they came over to our house for a little bit that afternoon.




Abby had school Monday, so Dave and I dropped Norah off at daycare and Abby at school, then headed up to Mall of America for some Christmas shopping and a "date day".  The shopping was a success, and we had fun riding the FlyOver America ride, and eating lunch at Burger Burger.  We had a little time to relax at home before picking up the girls.

On Tuesday, I was able to spend the afternoon in Abby's classroom helping with a 3-D snowflake project.  It was a lot of fun being on the other side of the classroom!  After school, we went to the orthodontist so she could get her expander out.  She'd had it in for about 4 months to correct a crossbite.  She got awesome news--no braces needed!  We had prepaid, so are waiting to get some money back soon!  That night, we drove to Jordan to see a house known for Christmas lights set to music--very fun to see!


Wednesday was a rare day just to myself.  Dave worked, Abby was at school, and Norah went to daycare.  It was the perfect day to clean, bake, get ready for Christmas, and relax.  That night, Abby had "Special Person's Night" at JAM, so since my brother was in town, he was able to join her.  We ate at Subway together before he took her to church.  Abby had a great time, and was so excited that Greg could join her.

Thursday was the girls' last day of school before their winter break.  I spent the morning in Norah's preschool classroom, hanging out/playing, and helping with a number bingo station.  We also sang/danced to some fun YouTube songs before I left.  Norah was sad, but they were having a pizza party for lunch, so I knew she'd perk up.  I went to lunch with my friend Kaysie, then we did some boutique shopping.  Fun girl time!  After Dave picked the girls up, we did our family Christmas at home.  We opened presents, had homemade pizzas, played, watch a movie, and slept on the new couch by the Christmas tree (all except Dave this year--he slept on the guest bed).  





Greg and RoseMary came to our house late Thursday night, and the rest of my family came later Friday morning.  After everyone finished wrapping gifts and we had lunch, it was time to open gifts.  The rest of the day we spent relaxing, playing, and eating.  Everyone spent the night at our house.

Saturday morning, we all got up and drove to Iowa.  Lunch was at my aunt and uncle's house for our Christmas Eve celebration with my mom's side of the family.  We had supper at my aunt Lori's house and got ready for church.  It was a late service, so when we got to Miriam and Scott's, the girls quickly put up their stockings and set out cookies/milk for Santa, then it was time for bed.










The girls were up and ready to see what Santa had brought by 7 Christmas morning.  Norah was excited to get Ginger, a Target-brand "American Girl" doll, and Abby had asked for a double stroller to fit her dolls in.  We had caramel rolls and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and when everyone was up and around later that morning, we opened gifts with my dad's side of the family.  We had a later meal that afternoon, and had some time to play, but our time was shortened because of the weather.  We decided not to stay another night, since it was supposed to get really windy and Dave had to work the next day.  It was a foggy/windy/dark ride home, but we made it and were happy to sleep in our own beds that night.









The week after Christmas was full of rare down time/time at home.  Dave worked part of Monday and part of Saturday, so was otherwise home with us.  The girls had some neighbor friends over Tuesday morning, and we went to see a movie and have dinner out on Tuesday afternoon/night.  The girls went over to a neighbor's house to play for much of the day on Wednesday.  Thursday, Abby had a dentist appointment and we met up with my friend Kristina and her kids to play at Edinborough Park.  In the afternoon, I took the girls to see "Moana".  On Friday afternoon, my parents came up and later on, so did my aunt, uncle, and cousin.  All but my mom and Norah went up to the Timberwolves game (my sister met up with us there) that night.  We had special tickets, so sat right up close for their practice time.  Our regular seats were pretty good as well.  It was such an exciting game!  That night, everyone but my sister spent the night at our house.

Saturday morning, Mara, Bryan, and Connor took off after a yummy breakfast (Mara taught Abby how to make omelettes).  My parents stayed and we had a lazy New Year's Eve.  The girls stayed up until about 10, and I think I dozed off for a few minutes around 11, but did see midnight.  It was a nice quiet night in, with yummy food, games, and a puzzle.  

Sunday morning, my parents took off after breakfast, and we ended up deciding to go up to the science museum after lunch.  We saw an omnitheater movie, and spent most of our time at a couple of exhibits that were closing the next day--one was full of mindbending puzzles and the other was a room full of cardboard, tape, markers, etc. where the girls could use their creativity to build anything.  After the museum, we went out to Punch Pizza for supper.  

Today was our last day of relaxation for a little bit!  Dave worked for a little bit this morning, and the girls went between our house and the neighbors to play for most of the day.  The "Winter" candle was burning on my kitchen island all day, making the house cozy.  We cleaned up and did some organizing while the girls were at the neighbors, and it was a sad night getting back into our routine of getting everything laid out for the next day, setting an alarm, and putting the girls to bed early.  We know we have a lot to look forward to--Christmas next weekend with Dave's family, Disney in just a few weeks--but we will truly miss the slower, relaxed pace of this winter break.