Tag Archives: Caleb

The August Bdays

5 Sep

Even though we’re in the land of easy celebration-planning, I found myself stressed out about celebrating Mackenzie’s 12th and Caleb’s 5th birthdays just a few days after settling in KS.

Enter Groupon.

The light bulb went off in my head to check out Groupon for any fun deals that would take the party planning off my hands. The first one to pop up? Worlds of Fun! They had a great offer so we jumped on it!

So we woke the kids up early and told them that we needed to run some errands. They obediently, yet unexcitedly, piled into the car and onto the road we went. 40 min later, we turned the corner on 435 and the kids saw the Mamba and Detonator towering over the park and they were all excited just to see the place. It wasn’t until we were in the parking line that they realized that we were spending the day there! Then they really exploded with glee. It was so fun to watch the wheels turn in their heads.

We had spectacular day! It was hot in the sun, but cool in the shade, and that we enough to keep the crowds away. We really didn’t have long waits on any of the rides. It was so reasonable that we often would have Josh ride with the older kids, then the kids would get back in line to ride it again with me.


Of course we made our way to Camp Snoopy for some kiddie rides. They all really loved it and Sim even rode a little roller coaster!


A nice break in the day was the sing-along time in the the air-conditioned theater. Sim even got up on stage and joined in the singing and dancing.



A must-do at WOF is the log ride. It was one of the first rides that opened there, and you can tell! It’s so rickety, but still a blast.


Speaking of rickety, I didn’t dare go near the wooden roller coasters! I went on one during our wedding party excursion there before we got married and I remember coming off of it thinking that I should bring a chiropractor with us on our honeymoon.

Caleb really wanted to go on the train, so we made sure to do what the birthday-boy wanted.


Mackenzie really wanted to do one of the games too, so she did the “Guess my age” booth. We figured that it would be an instant win, since her height makes her seem a lot older than she was. Bingo! He guessed that she was 15, so she won a stuffed puppy!

We were supposed to leave around 4pm to be back for Deacon’s open house at school. But we were having such a fun day together that we scrapped it! #parentsoftheyear So we stayed from opening until the very last minute and had a blast the entire time. Bella and I rode the Patriot 3 times in a row, just running from the exit back to the entrance with very little wait. I was a little dizzy by the third time, but it was worth it. We calculated that the kids rode the rides 40 times throughout the day. That, and the red velvet funnel cakes, made the day a complete success!

We finished the fun day with a trip to Red Robin, which still hadn’t been checked off of our must-eat list. They even brought the birthday kiddos special hot fudge sundaes.IMG_2122

It was the perfect day and the perfect way to finish up the summer and celebrate the birth of our super-special Kenzie and Caleb!


Winter Swim

22 Jan

Back in my 20’s, the sun was that “bad-influence, popular friend who treated you badly, but you kept coming back for more” kind of friend to me. My friend, Michele, and I would take our toddlers and babies out, covered in 50+spf, while we sizzled in the sun.

Around 30, I realized that when I would come in from the sun, I no longer had that bronzed, instagram-filtered look, but rather, I looked aged and leathery. So that was it. I gave my life over to sunscreen, shade, and sunless tanner.

So I kind of got out of the habit of taking the littles to the pool. But yesterday was a warm one and I was a sweaty, hot mess after T25, so I took Caleb and Simmy swimming. It was so fun and reminded me of when I took Mackenzie and Bella swimming at the same ages!


I was trying to get Sim’s attention to take his pic when this little photobomber hopped into the frame.


My little seal, soaking up the warmth from the rocks.



Big Hero 6 Birthday Boy

11 Aug

We all love Baymax up in here, so I was thrilled when Caleb said he wanted a Baymax birthday party. The decorations don’t get much easier than Baymax’s face!

Exhibit A:


We had some families come over to swim and party down at the pool. Here was Caleb minutes before his party…


We finally woke him up, and once he remembered his party, he made a break for the elevator down to the pool! Again, with the decorations: white balloons with Baymax’s face Sharpie-d on. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy. However, it was a very windy day, and some of the balloons popped when they blew too hard against the metal canopy.

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For food we had Hiro’s Hero Sandwiches, chips, deviled eggs, fumi (ramen) salad, Wasabi’s laser-cut apple slices with marshmallow fruit dip, as well as San Fransokyo Sushi (swedish fish), Honey Lemon’s Chem balls (Starburst jelly beans), and Go-Go’s Discs (Chewy Spree).


It’s hard to find specific party supplies here, so I was thrilled when Josh and I just happened upon a random store that had Big Hero 6 plates, cups, and party hats buried under a bunch of Frozen party supplies.


After eating, we had a water balloon game followed, of course, by a water balloon fight.

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Then we called all the kids over for cake. By now, the sun was starting to set and the temp cooled down to a frigid 83 degrees. The kids were all shivering!



As soon as they gobbled their cake, they were all back in the warm pool. I loved watching Caleb bobbing along with his party hat still on.


He was thrilled with his presents! He got a remote-controlled car, a warrior action figure, a TMNT action figure, a Baymax mask, Big Hero 6 Lego (knock-offs), and moon-dough. Caleb kept saying, “I love everyone to come to my party!”


Since his birthday was on a Sunday, he got to pick post-church dining. We all (jokingly, kind of) tried to sway him to our own personal preference, but he stood firm with McDonalds. It’s definitely cheaper than anything we were trying to push, so that’s a win.

Caleb has been such a fun 3-year-old! I don’t want him to get older. I can’t remember if I’ve posted all of his mispronunciations, but they are adorable, and no one around here is trying to correct them. We love it! Here are the faves:

“Swanich” – Sandwich

“Brillella” – Umbrella

“Marshpillow” – marshmellow

“Storm pooper” – Storm Trooper

“Dreeba” – Zebra

I’m trying to catch them all on video before he starts speaking correctly! Anyway, yeah, Caleb is the perfect little addition to our family. His unique, sweet blond head goes along with his unique, sweet personality. His siblings love him, love playing with him, love getting him to do their bidding. Josh and I can’t get enough of him either! He’s still my best cuddle-bug, and is always up for giving me kisses – fish, eskimo, butterfly, and regular! We still have special moments together in the morning, when the older three go off to school and Sim is taking a nap. I wish I could say that we do a special craft together that I planned and prepared the night before, but in reality, its usually Angry Birds Star Wars. He knows his numbers, or rather, he knows the numbers to unlock our phones and iPads! He likes to sing, play with Legos, and LOVES playdough. His best buddy in the world is Deacon and they play wonderfully together, building Legos and playing Star Wars.

I could go on and on and on about how great Caleb is, but all of this talk about him makes me want to go get him a snack – something really sweet, dipped in chocolate, over ice cream, with all different candies on top!

While Everyone’s At (air-conditioned) School….

26 May

….us homebodies are trying so hard not to move a muscle, as we don’t want to generate any additional heat!

But occasionally, we get out to the oh-so-cool mall. One of the one’s near to us just opened a fantastic play area!

There are all kinds of exploring stations, building, dress-up, etc. But both the boys spent most of their time in here.


We went with a group from my Mom2Mom group, so Caleb got to hang out with his buddy, Andrew, who leaves for the US on Saturday. Caleb won’t see him again for 2 years, as we go to the US as soon as they return! So sad.



Sim is on the verge of crawling, but for now, he was content to just chill in his ball pool.

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It’s no surprise that he has a little cold and cough now…


This place might jump to the top of our summer to-do list!

Wrapping Up

19 May

I can’t believe another school year is in the books! I REALLY can’t believe that Mackenzie will be in middle school next year! Do I really only have 7 more years with her in the house? I felt like the years ticked off ever so slowly when I was a kid, and now the years are whizzing by in a blaze of glory. (Who isn’t singing Bon Jovi now?)

Mackenzie’s class had their very own color run to celebrate the end of the school year. She loved it. She still has green highlights in her hair. We had family pics taken that afternoon by an MK-turned-professional-photographer, and if she can make Mackenzie look more like Bruce Banner and less like the Hulk, I’ll be indebted to her for life!IMG_5953

Also kicking off the last days of school is Literacy Day. Each student gets to dress up as a character from a book and give a presentation of that book. Bella and her red-haired friend wanted to be Anne and Diana from Anne of Green Gables, but they hadn’t read the book, so no dice this year. Maybe in 5th grade when they finally see each other again!

Anyway, Deacon was Fly Guy. Bella was Thea Stilton. Mackenzie was….I’ve asked her a million times, but can’t ever remember…some character from The Land of Stories. I love my little bookworms.


As is the case every year at this time, we avoid melting by hanging out in the pool. When a friend of mine posted that she was selling this baby swim ring, I thought it was a joke! Aren’t we supposed to avoid putting things around baby’s necks? But then I checked out the web site (www.swimava.com) and saw that it is the real-deal! So I snatched it up, just to at least get a picture. Simmy loves it! He’ll hang out all day in the pool, just bobbing along, with his little head popped out of the water. It still makes me laugh.

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Caleb is also about ready to lose the floaties! He can swim from the stairs to the other side of the pool, but would still rather have floaties on so he can keep up with all of the games his sibs are playing.

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In other summer news, my friend has two mango trees in her yard, and thinks that they harvested 700-800 mangoes! She sold them for p50/dozen, which is about a $1. Even at the market, we would have to pay p50/3 pcs, so I snatched up 5 dozen. We’ve been chowing on mangoes, making mango shakes, and freezing the fruit for whatever. Josh’s mom arrives next week, so we’re going to bombard her with mangoes!

That’s One Way To Do It!

16 Feb

It’s always difficult to get motivated to transition the nighttime diaper off of a daytime potty-trained kiddo. Every night when it’s time to put the diaper on, I think, “Do I want to risk it and possibly have to clean up everything and everyone in the morning? Nah, maybe tomorrow night.” That’s the cycle, and every time I buy a package of diapers, I say, “I really just need to put Caleb in underwear at night.” Then I buy the diapers and the cycle continues.

Well, last night, we got home late from playing volleyball, so the kids quickly showered and we ushered them to bed. Neither Josh nor I realized that Caleb got himself ready for bed. We all slept soundly, and when I saw Caleb this morning, I gave him a big squeeze and patted his booty, immediately noticing that there was no squishy diaper. I asked him if he already changed out of his diaper, and he said, “No, I just went potty in the toilet.”

So that was 4 nights ago, and he’s had 4 successful nights! Just when you think you couldn’t love a child more, they go and hit a milestone by their big-boy self!

Open For Business!

29 Jan

We just bought a second-hand Playskool cash register for Simeon, but all 4 older kids started playing with it as soon as I brought it home! They opened a restaurant, and had menus, chefs, and waitresses. It was pretty cute, especially Caleb with his ruffly apron!


Josh ordered, “Bowl of Chocolate Syrup.” Some of the food was real, and the rest was drawn on post-its. I got a chocolate-covered banana, and a post-it chocolate chip cookie.

I’m not sure Sim will ever get to play with it!