Tag Archives: Alex

Happy Valentine’s Day 2013

So, obviously this post is about a month late, but it was such a fun year this year that I just had to share!

A lot of people think that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday, and to a degree, it is. But I also think it’s such a fun day to show each other that you care – not that this shouldn’t happen throughout the year. I find it important to show Madeleine that you should show others why you love them and take some time to be selfless, caring, appreciative and kind. That being said, for Valentine’s day, we did a number of things.

First, school: They didn’t do anything super formal, but did decorate paper bags for their Valentines. Anyone who wanted to brought in Valentines and the friends all got to take their bags home that evening to see what their friends put in their bags. I did Valentines with Madeleine. Nothing fancy, just the ones you get at the store. But, I had her choose which version she wanted to give to each friend and then she signed an “M” on each one. 🙂

Second, her daddy: I didn’t feel the need to do anything elaborate or outlandish, but wanted to make sure it was thoughtful. I decided to help her write him a note about all of the things she loves about him. See the photos, below, for the details of this letter. She had a little bit of a hard time with the concept, so a few of the answers she gave were quite hilarious. Others were just super sweet, and yet others were a little bit…shocking? You can view a video of her showing her daddy his present by clicking here. At the end you even hear her say “You can say thank you to me?” LOL! We’ve been pretty strict about manners and she calls us out sometimes. 🙂

Letter - Page 1

Letter – Page 1

Letter - Pg 2

Letter – Page 2

 

She wrote "daddy" in much the same method she wrote her own name. :) I told her what letters to write and she did it!

She wrote “daddy” in much the same method she wrote her own name. 🙂 I told her what letters to write and she did it!

Her artwork for him

Her artwork for him

And finally, our own celebration as a couple: I made a trip to Portland with some girlfriends in January for my future sister in law’s wedding dress hunt!! You can read about it on my friend’s blog here. While there, we did some shopping in downtown Portland and I picked up adorable little mini-notecards with matching envelopes, a heart seal and red seal wax. I forgot to take photos of them after they were sealed, but I planted them throughout Alex’s work bag, car, etc so that he would find them throughout the day. 🙂

 I had been planning on making a delicous dinner, but Alex said he didn’t feel I should have to make dinner on Valentine’s Day. So – he took us out to our favorite Mexican restaurant down the road. We didn’t want to deal with the chaos at any of the “traditional” Valentine’s places and it was a nice little night out with my two loves.

Getting a good picture out of my little ham is next to impossible. LOL!

Getting a good picture out of my little ham is next to impossible. LOL!

M and mommy!

M and mommy!

And of course, what would Valentine’s Day be without red roses from my hubby??

❤ ❤ ❤

Hope you all enjoyed your Valentine’s Day this year!!!

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Roadtrip!!!

A few weeks back, we took a family roadtrip to Canada. Vancouver, to be exact. Alex had a Super Spartan race that he agreed to run with a co-worker. Madeleine and I went along for an adventure!

Since we rarely travel and never do family weekend trips, we decided to splurge a bit and stay at a nice hotel and reserve a suite so that Alex and I could stay up and have a little date night while M was sleeping. 🙂 When we arrived, they told us that they’d upgraded us to the Presidential suite on the top floor of the hotel!  Amazing. 🙂 We felt like complete rock stars.  Below are some pictures of the suite – which, for the record, Madeleine thought was ah-maze-ing!

The guest bathroom. Yes – the suite had a guest bathroom. How ridiculous is that!!??

Looking from living into the kitchen area

The chess playing and office/work area

Kitchen

Madeleine had movie time and snack time!

The view was pretty amazing

This was a super fun game. It’s called “Let’s make crazy faces in the mirror.”

Our bedroom. We had a rollaway bed added near the bathroom wall for Madeleine.

Alex showing M what all the different chess pieces do.

We had a great time!! Madeleine and I hung out on Saturday, went out to dinner with Alex and his co-worker and then had some nice family time on Sunday. Vancouver is a beautiful city. 🙂

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She’s a Clever Little Monkey

Madeleine is really starting to get articulate. Her speech is exploding even more than it had been before and she’s routinely speaking in full sentences now. With that ability to portray her thoughts, she has come up with some very clever little comments.

Play Time!

Madeleine loves to run. I don’t stop her from running in the house, mostly because I don’t have an issue with it at this age and I’m just so glad that she can. But evidently it was posing problems for the teachers at her (former) school. More on that in another post.  The lead teacher began working with her on using her “walking feet” and then described the following incident to me when I was dropping her off one morning.

Just before nap time, when they were trying to calm the children down, Madeleine would not stop running through the classroom riling the kids up again. (whoops!) So the teacher asked her to please step into the hallway by the restroom and wait for her there. When she want to talk to Madeleine, she told her that she needed to use her walking feet inside, slow down and calm down for nap and Madeleine’s response? “But my walking feet go fast!!” LMAO!

Ok, seriously! She is so funny! That is both not the right response but also so clever and hilarious that I could not contain my laughter when her teacher told me. Said teacher agreed with me that it was a very clever response, and they continued working on using walking feet inside from that point until this week.

Next up was a moment where she was playing with her toys in the house. I can’t recall what I was doing, but she was playing with some of her stuffed animals in/near the kitchen. When I went back to the kitchen, I found this:

I proceeded to ask Madeleine why the animals were all lined up like that (because it looks a little strange, no?) and she said “Animals sleeping!!” LOL! Oooh, ok. That makes much more sense, because sleeping on her tummy is something that Madeleine does, too. 🙂

We use lots of experiences as teaching lessons, because we like to explain to her how the world works. Here Alex was showing her how chop sticks are used to pick up food.

The story that Alex loves to tell most has to do with an octopus. Shortly before he graduated, Alex’s school had a Veteran’s Day celebration which included honoring those veterans who were graduating. We went as a family and after the formal ceremony things broke out into “grab a snack and chit chat” time. We grabbed a little snack for Madeleine and found a table. While she was eating she had her legs out to the sides of the chair, instead of in front, and wiggled her arms around and said “I a octopus!” Pretending to be different animals is something that’s become quite frequent around here these days. So, Alex said to her “Really? How many legs does an octopus have?” To which Madeleine furrowed her brow, looked down at her legs and said pointed to each leg as she counted “One, two. Two legs!” Hahaha! We about died laughing at the practicality of her response.

Daddy’s girl!

And finally, tonight. Most of you probably know that Alex has been doing some motorcycle riding as of late. So now we watch motorcycle racing videos and Madeleine is completely fascinated by the entire sport/activity. She knows the names of some of the best professional motorcycle riders out there. She points out motorcycles every time we see one in an shrill, shrieky, excited voice. She talks about needing to wear a helmet to keep safe. And about how she doesn’t ride motorcycles, but instead rides bicycles. LOL! Alex has set the DVR to record a motorcycle race this weekend to watch with her and tonight he was telling her which racers would be in it. Before bed, she brought it up again so I asked who her favorite motorcycle rider was and do you know what she said? She said “My daddy a favorite rider!” 😀 Alex was there and just beamed when she said it. Truly, it was the sweetest thing. She is in a bit of a daddy’s girl phase right now, too. They are so cute together!!

Stay tuned for an update to come regarding her latest MRI as well as her change in child care facilities!

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He’s a Master of….

Congratulations, hubby!

This past weekend Alex had commencement for his Tech MBA from the University of Washington Bothell campus. He has worked very hard for the last two years and we’re so proud of him!!

As a family, we make the decision to continue with his education despite Madeleine’s diagnosis with the theory that it won’t get any less stressful over time. He had just been accepted to the program and was month or so away from starting when Madeleine was diagnosed with cancer. Since I was out of work, a majority of her care fell on me, but I was fine with that. I knew it was important for him to power through his education so we could move on as a family. Boy, are we glad we made that decision because he is finally done!!!

After two long years in the program and 5 years of school since 2007, he had many long days and late nights. We’ve both seen promotions, cancer treatment, both of us starting new jobs at about the same time (a year ago) and a very demanding work/life balance for our family. However, we can check one box off the list! Alex has done it. 🙂 He is officially an MBA graduate!

Some of you might wonder why I am talking about myself in this post…and I am only because it’s been hard as a family. Much of his free time has been spent studying which drastically reduced his ability to spend time with us as a family. Drastically reduced his ability to help around the house, give me a break on the weekends, etc. However, he somehow still managed to get up early with her on Sundays when I was completely exhausted and needed an extra hour of sleep. He still somehow managed to help with housework when I was completely overwhelmed with my workload for work and was working 70+ hours a week. He is amazing and some might call him “super-dad!” I cannot state often enough how proud we are of him and how glad we are that he is such a hard worker for his future career and for our family.

So – that brings us to Sunday. Well, technically Saturday. We went over to Alex’s former co-worker’s house and classmate in this program. They’ve turned into good buddies and he was having a BBQ as a graduation party. It was really fun to be around a bunch of other couples with kids of similar ages to Madeleine (we don’t really get out much – see above for lack of family time notes 😛 ), and she thought it was awesome! Madeleine ran around with the other kids, ate dinner, entertained the baby and played with the dogs. We stayed out too late, but I think both Alex and I were having too good of a time to want to leave when we should’ve.

So mischievous – and she has her daddy’s eyes!

On Sunday much of the day was spent with Alex getting ready for graduation. He had to leave early so he could do the rehersal piece. I stayed home with M so she could get some sort of a nap in. Since we’d stayed out too late the night before and she woke up earlier than normal, she desperately needed it. The ceremony was nice, despite being unable to link up with Alex’s family whatsoever. Talk about a crowded arena! We finally found Alex in the mass of black robes on the floor and when he walked across the stage we cheered “Whooooooooooo!” M helped, even.

Afterwards I called my parents to let them know that he was officially a graduate and they were asking M all sorts of questions about what happened that day. I asked her, “M, what did daddy get today?” and in true 2 year old form she said “Daddy got a new hat! And a new book!” HAHA! I about died laughing. The new “book” was the blue cover that they put the faux diploma in. Oh, to see life out of the eyes of a 2 year old is a constant form of entertainment.

The fam

Afterwards we went to dinner with his family to celebrate, which was nice. Madeleine got to spend time with her Uncle Trevor and both sides of Alex’s family. We are so proud of you, honey!! Congratulations and here’s to many more years of success. 🙂

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Happy Easter 2012

Oooooh! Eggggs!!

Orange!

Yes, Easter was really quite fun for us this year! Not only was the weather fantastic, but Madeleine is old enough to know what’s going on and truly engage in it. Last year, she got bored of the egg coloring. This year she was directing which color she wanted to try next, putting the eggs in “a jetttly” (gently) and taking them out when they were done soaking. 🙂 We experimented with learning about what colors do when you mix them, so we have some eggs that are a blend of two colors so she could see what happened.

I wish I could describe how cute the process was. She’s also becoming quite bossy and demanding, so she would tell me very vocally which color egg she wanted to pull out, and when, so that I could move the color container closer to her.

And now a green one.

"I find it! I go a get dem! A wittow tweat!"

Then, it was on to the Easter egg hunt. I tend to forget how observant she is, and she spied the Easter basket on the dining room table much earlier in the day. She kept saying she wanted the “pink sock monkey” (yes, I really did find one! And so the sock monkey tradition lives on) but I made her wait until the afternoon. Surprisingly, she did a good job being patient. 🙂

Easter egg hunting this year was impressive. Last year she picked up on the fact that when I told her she could find a new egg, it meant she got something pretty and colorful. She moved quick! But, last year she was crawling. This year she was running around the yard looking for “wittow tweats!” (little treats) and she did a great job. Any of the eggs that weren’t out obviously in the open she had a kind of tough time with, so I directed her closer to them until she saw it. However, she just adored finding each one and collected them all in her basket quite handily.

"I got it!"

Then, since daddy was done putting things on the grill, it was time to play a bit with the soccer ball!

Kick!

Whoooo!

Silly Girl!!

By that point, dinner was done, so we headed inside to eat. A great day full of eggs, easter baskets and lots of fun for the kiddo!

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Date Day 2012!

Yes, that’s right. Date Day 2012 has come and gone! (I joke, kind of). Things have been B.U.S.Y. around here. Very little time for blogging! So, I apologize for the lack of blogging in the last several months. I feel like I am always apologizing for that.

Since Alex and I are so busy working on our careers, his education, spending time as a family, and on and on, we have not dedicated a ton of time to ourselves as a couple. I know some parents can’t wait to get away for date day or night, and while I do enjoy those nights, I also don’t go out of my way to shove my child off on someone else to have them. That being said, we do relish the time that we get to spend alone. Several weeks back, we happedn to have the perfect opportunity for it! I had the day off work (Thank you President’s day!), Alex doesn’t work Mondays and Madeleine’s daycare was open. 🙂 We decided to make a day of it since we weren’t able to celebrate Valentine’s day.

What was on the agenda?

Morning: The Gun Range. 

Some of you may be falling out of your chairs right now. Yes, I know. Guns are not a hobby of mine. Some of you might say the scare the you-know-what out of me. But husband loves guns. He loves going shooting. He has tried to get me to shoot with him on so many occasions. I’ve even gone once or twice, but to no avail. Still hated it. The sheer power behind it just makes me so dang nervous. However, I’m now  a convert. We had a great time, and since then have gone a 4 or 5 times. 🙂

For some reason he loves the zombie targets. 😛

Turns out I'm a pretty good shot!!

 

Afternoon: Movie Date.

We went to see a chick-flicky movie and then to a late lunch before going to get Madeleine. A much more “typical” date, but a great time, none-the-less.

Mmmm....Crab Pot!

We’re working to make this more of a habit – finding time together as a couple – and we’re having a great time!

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From our Family to yours

Merry Christmas!

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