Thursday, February 16, 2012


Finally posting about our fun-packed Halloween weekend!  And when I say packed, I mean it!  It was seriously FIVE full days of Halloween costumes, candy, parties, treats, and trick-or-treating.  I go nuts over holidays, but even I was ready for it to be over when it finally was!
Kirsten was SO excited about her bumblebee costume!  She's obsessed with anything yellow, and told me she wanted to be a bumblebee, so I was thrilled when I found this costume.  She was the cutest bumblebee ever!

Festivities started with Kirsten's preschool Halloween party.  All the kids in their costumes were adorable!

Daniel. . . one of Kirsten's favorites!  :)

The whole class, with Teacher Penny:

They had some fun carnival games!

Later that afternoon I took Natalie to a Halloween playdate.  Cute little witch!
She loved the Halloween pinata!

And made a thumbprint spider craft I found on Pinterest. 
Friday was the Microsoft Trick-or-Treating Party!  It was a little crazy, remembering that on that exact day one year ago was the day I went into labor, all dressed in my pumpkin costume and ready to go to the party.  :)  This year we actually made it there!  Here's the whole family in our costumes!  Yes, Stephen was boring (again) and didn't wear one.  Brooke was a cute little leopard!

Some good friends came trick-or-treating with us!  We all had a great time and were amazed by how elaborate the building was decked out!

One whole floor was Harry Potter-themed!  We got to sit in the chair and put the Sorting Hat on.  :)
The Hogwarts Express!

There was also a Star Wars floor (Kirsten was a little scared) , a Tim Burton-themed floor, and a Peter Pan floor that the kids liked the best.

On Saturday night we took the kids trunk-or-treating at the church, and then went to a party at our friend's house.  Costumes and more costumes!

We didn't have to wear costumes at all on Sunday, but we made our traditional Halloween dinner of Witches Brew with cornbread!  We also had homemade root beer and watched Disney Halloween and the cartoon version of Ichabod Crane.  I love our Halloween traditions!
On Monday (the actual day of Halloween), the kids got to wear their costumes to dance class.  It was SO adorable!

Brooke stood up by the mirror and had a great time laughing at herself!

We spent the afternoon trick-or-treating at Country Village!  It was a little chilly, but no rain!  The kids got to go trick-or-treat between all the cute shops in the village, and they had so much fun!

Eventually I carried Natalie's hat for her.  It was hard for her to keep it on.  But way too cute!  I adored both of the girls' costumes this year!

The Bothell Firemen were even there handing out candy!

We finally finished off our Halloween weekend with more Halloween dinner and trick-or-treating with friends throughout our little neighborhood.  Wow!  Such a fun and jam-packed Halloween!!!  Our best one yet!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brooke Is 1!

It's so bittersweet that Brooke turned 1 last October.  Exciting, of course, it's so fun to watch her grow and learn new things!  But it's also really sad that she's becoming a toddler and not such a little baby anymore.  She has been the sweetest, most easygoing baby.  I am always going to miss baby Brooke. 
At 12 months old, Brooke is. . .
*Brave! This girl has never once had stranger anxiety! It's really refreshing, after having two babies who were always clingy, to have a baby who is happy to play with babysitters and the childcare at the gym, and lets anybody hold her.

*Happy!  As long as she gets to crawl around and explore and play, Brooke is a happy baby!  She's a total dream in the car and has always loved riding in her carseat and stroller.  The two older girls usually cry more every day than she does.  Bizarre, right?

*All OVER the place!  Crawling, exploring, climbing, you name it!  Oh, except for walking.  True to form, she's not interested in walking yet (well, now she is, since I'm writing this when she's 15 months old).  But at 1 year, she was a fast crawler who hadn't taken her first steps yet, just like her sisters were.

*Little!  I finally have a girl who's not in the 90'th percentile for height and growing out of clothes faster than I can buy them!  Brooke at 12 months was only 19 pounds and in the 20'th percentile for weight, and in the 40'th percentile for height.  Finally, a small baby!
*Smart!  She figured out really early how to clap, play peek-a-boo and other games, say words like "Mommy" and "Hi" and "Bath". 
*Brooke loves water!  She has a great time taking baths with her sisters and finds water anywhere she can.  One of Natalie's favorite tricks is opening the toilet lid while Brooke is there and then laughing hysterically while Brooke splashes in the toilet water.  Ugh!  I hate it!

*She's probably the worst sleeper I've had so far.  She's only been taking one nap each day for months now, and her nap is usually short.  She often wakes up after an hour and a half, and her nap is never longer than two hours.  She does sleep well through the night, usually from 7:30 until 5 or 6 am when she wants a bottle.  She just has a ton of energy.

*She really doesn't like being held for long.  She squirms and pushes so she can get down and crawl around and explore.  It's one of the only things she dislikes.  The only other thing she hates is getting her hair combed, especially after a bath when it's wet.  She also lets us know when she doesn't like a food by pushing it off her tray and onto the floor.  
It's such a complete joy to be Brooke's mother.  She's a total sweetheart, and she always goes with the flow and doesn't make too much of a fuss.  She smiles easily, laughs really easily, and very rarely cries.  Her smile and laugh brighten up my days, every day!  I love my baby Brooke!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Brooke's Birthday Party!

Way back on October 29'th, Brooke turned 1!  My almost-Halloween baby!  The only baby who was cooperative enough to come on her own (no inducing!) one day before her due date.  Oh, how I love this baby for so many reasons!  But I'll leave those for another blog post.  This blog post is just about her first birthday party!

I had her party at The Nest, a cute play area for little kids.  So I decided the theme had to be Owls and Birds.  Check out her AMAZING cake!  And no, I definitely did not make it myself.  :) 

To get details about who made her adorable owl cake, read this blog post here.
Brooke had a fun time crawling everywhere and playing with all the toys!

Thank goodness my mom came to visit and helped me with all the food the night before!  We made Oreo cheesecake truffles shaped like tiny apples, owl s'mores, caramel apples, and a popcorn treat.  

It was a great spread!  I resisted the urge to have a Halloween-themed party, but couldn't resist the Halloween tortilla chips.  :)

The birthday girl was her usual self. . . happy and adventurous!

It was a wonderful day, full of friends and laughter and great times!  Everyone sang to Brooke, and her sisters "helped" her blow out her candle and dig into her very first cake!

The tree stump part of the cake was for the guests, and the owl came off the top so Brooke could dig in and try to eat it!  It was awesome!  Kirsten got a huge kick out of watching Brooke eat her first cake. 

And I really think Natalie had more fun with the cake than Brooke did!

It got a little messy, so we had to take the cake away eventually.  :)

Such a fun party!!!  I wish we had taken pictures of our friends who came, but I'll always remember them.  Brooke is a lucky little girl, with so many people to love her!