Tuesday, May 17, 2022

six years of mae

Happy 6th birthday, Mae!

It has been amazingly fun watching this kiddo grow over the last year. She just continues to become smarter, sillier, and more fun every day!

Mae has been trying out some new activities recently. She just finished up her first season of track and field! We had so much fun watching her track meets and cheering for her in the 50m, 75m, 4x100m relay, softball throw, and long jump! She even brought home a first place ribbon in the 75m! She put her best effort into every race, and is so proud of her ribbons! All of us, especially Colin, loved yelling "GO MAE GO MAE GO MAE!" at the meets!
She has also mastered her front and back rolls and is hard at work on her cartwheel in gymnastics. We pump ourselves by shouting affirmations in the car on the way there, focusing on trying our best and keeping our bodies healthy!
She thrived in kindergarten this year. She loves reading, and her favorite book series are Owl Diaries/Unicorn Diaries, Narwhal and Jelly, and Catstronauts. She is constantly quizzing us on math problems of increasing difficulty (adding 2-digit numbers and simple multiplication). She loves showing off her school worksheets to us every evening, and she's been very eager to work on each of the little homework projects she's brought home throughout the year.
She loves her little brother and proudly shows him off to everyone at school and on the playground. They love jumping off the couch, rolling around on my bed, and just generally increasing the level of chaos in the house together. Nobody... NOBODY makes Colin laugh like Mae does.
Her sense of humor is a fine balance between silly kindergarten-level knock-knock jokes and surprisingly dry wit. I recently introduced her to the "cube rule of food," and she successfully used it to defend her position that quesadillas (with a folded tortilla) are technically a taco and therefore an acceptable dinner on Taco Tuesday.
I have loved walking her to school in the mornings. We pretend that the school is a sunken pirate ship and use our imaginations to create a whole underwater world around it (light posts = jellyfish, grass = kelp, SUVs = whales). I could play this game every morning and not get tired of it. Good morning, glowy jellyfish lamps!
Her favorite foods are hot dogs, pizza, and spaghetti. She still loves Octonauts, but has been watching more Bluey and Magic School Bus recently. She loves the music from Encanto, but her favorite movie is still Totoro. We are in a classic parent-child battle over these "Brain Break" videos she likes to watch on YouTube, which she loves and I hate (for no reason other than I am an old, crotchety mom). She is still adamant that she will be a zookeeper when she grows up, and relates all life skills and schoolwork to how necessary they will be when she is a zookeeper.

It was a busy weekend leading up to her birthday. Friday evening, Mae and I ran a 5k as a fundraiser for her school. Saturday she attended a birthday party for a girl down the street. (Her first drop-off party. She was SO EXCITED to go without us, and even asked if she could walk to the party by herself while I watched from the yard. She turned back to wave and give me the thumbs up every 10 steps, the whole way there.) Sunday we had a little picnic for Mae at the playground, complete with pizza and cupcakes. We had lots of fun visiting with friends and family! Today she took cookies to share with her class, and we had dinner at the Mexican restaurant so she could order her favorite quesadilla (see above regarding quesadillas, tacos, and Tuesdays).
Thanks for being such an amazing kid, Mae! We cam't wait to see what the next year brings for you!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

showering the bride

Mae and I had a fabulous weekend getaway to celebrate Colleen’s bridal shower! Mae was a little nervous before our flight on Friday afternoon, but it went smoothly and she enjoyed watching “Is It Cake?” and “Octonauts” on the flight. It was our first time flying since before COVID! Mae recently switched to a high-back booster in the car and it was infinitely easier to transport through the airport than her old car seat.
When we arrived, Mae got right down to business playing with Batman’s Little People toys. That evening we had pizza with GranE, Batman, Colleen, and Bobby. Saturday we enjoyed delicious pastries from a new local bakery before heading to a nearby zoo.
The weather was absolutely perfect. We enjoyed a slow-paced stroll through the zoo. I think my favorite part was watching the otters. Mae’s favorite part was the ice cream.
Sunday was the bridal shower. Mae kept Colleen company in the morning during her hair/makeup trial while GranE and I helped the bridesmaids set up for the party. The shower was fun, the food was delicious, and the blue skies stuck around right up til the last guests left! We enjoyed the emoji Pictionary game and playing with the photo props!
We had a smooth flight back and arrived home around 10pm. We were tired the next day, but it was worth it for such a fun Mommy-and-Mae weekend!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

egg-citing easter

We had a nice Easter weekend visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house. On Saturday, we dyed eggs. Mae was very into the egg dyeing process this year and had fun making two-colored eggs and adding stickers!

On Saturday evening, we left the kids with a babysitter and went out for a fabulous adults-only dinner.

Sunday morning we searched for Easter baskets, stuffed ourselves with candy, and then tried to keep the kids from wiggling too much at church - easier said than done!
After church we enjoyed a tasty brunch and then had an egg hunt in the yard.
We managed to get a few good family photos in our Sunday best.
I love how Colin's belly is peeking out of his shirt in the photo with Mae. It's full of peeps!
Happy Easter from us and this bucket o' babies!!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

ch-ch-ch-cherry blossoms

Not much to say here, just wanted to share some cute photos we took while the cherry trees were in full bloom at the end of March. We tried taking the kids for some quick photos the day before these ones were taken, but it was so cold that it was snowing!! We lasted only a minute at the park before we hustled back home for hot chocolate and warm showers. Grandma and Grandpa visited the next day, which was a smidge warmer and sunnier, so we had a chance to take a few cute photos! Fortunately the snow didn't damage the blossoms.

Mae wins for most photogenic photo. She's at the age where sometimes she forgets how to smile and just bares her teeth, so I love catching her with such a sweet expression.
She also wins for silliest photo. (Classic Mae photo... half my camera roll looks like this.)
Colin is such a cheerful, easy-going toddler now, but his smiles are SO FLEETING they are hard to catch even with my camera on the rapid-fire setting. He's also teething, so he's not always at his smiliest self these days.
See what I mean about the teething?

Thursday, April 21, 2022

act 3: the zoo

On Friday, we checked out of our hotel and drove to the zoo. The highlight for me was seeing a kiwi bird awake, eating, and running around its enclosure digging in the mulch. They are one of my favorite animals! The next best part was petting the stingrays. Unlike other animals I've encountered in touch tanks, the stingrays were SO EXCITED to be handled. They were swimming up the walls and pushing each other aside to get petted! Mae and Colin both recoiled a little after touching their slippery skin, but were both brave enough to keep putting their hands in the water!
They definitely made an impression on Mae. This was the picture she brought home from school on Monday!
We spent a lot of time watching the baby elephant, Frankie. He was very playful, and it was fun to watch him interact with the older elephants. The adjacent rhino must have felt some pressure to compete with the entertainment value of the baby elephant, because it spent the whole time trying to balance a large ball on its head... no easy feat with no arms to actually lift the ball up in the first place.
Colin also liked the sharks... which were actually manatees. This photo makes it look like he's really excited about the turtle, but he's actually screaming, "SHARK" at the passing manatee.
Lest it look like my kids are happy and well-behaved all the time, just know I had to bribe them with fruit snacks to get this cute surfing photo. I tried earlier in the day and they were both crabby and pouting at being made to pose. When we passed the same playground later in the day, I tried ye olde bribery trick with much success.
It was a fun-filled, exciting, exhausting spring break!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

act 2: cosi

After Dan finished work on Wednesday, we drove to Columbus for the second half of spring break. We stayed at the Residence Inn downtown, and it was really nice to have the extra space. We got pizza for dinner and then walked along the Scioto River for a bit to enjoy the beautiful spring evening. Back at the hotel, Mae got us hooked on watching "Is It Cake?" on Netflix. It's is a game show where the bakers have to make cakes that look like everyday objects (e.g. a sneaker) and the judges have to pick out the cake from a lineup of real, non-cake items.
On Thursday morning, we walked to COSI (Center of Science and Industry). We hit up all of Mae's favorites from the last time we visited: dinosaurs, gadgets, kids zone, and the submarine. While Mae was waiting to climb down into the submarine, Colin had fun scooping and carrying water in the Oceans area.
Both kids left the room soaked! Good thing Dan remembered to pack dry clothes!
Mae was insistent that we go to the show in the planetarium! It was really cool, so I'm glad we got to see it towards the end of our visit. Colin had stayed awake the whole day, but finally fell asleep cuddling me to the soothing sound of Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about dark matter.
We had lots of fun learning about science and energy and space and dinosaurs and everything!