Monthly Archives: October 2014


the veterinarian is…. OUT!

once again, all these photos are in REVERSE order.

but you don’t care too much, do you?

except that there are no Munchkins in the first photo.

but we can deal with that, i suppose.

this amazing crew of women (an incomplete photo) are the women who LOVE on alex 4 days a week at school. 2 of them are HER teachers. 5 of them are the classroom aides. one of them is her speech pathologist. and one of them is the 3rd pre school teacher (alex is in TWO classes).

about a month ago, when alex qualified for occupational therapy at school, i counted up how many teachers, aides and helpers she has at school.



yes, you read that right.


for my littlest of littles.

she has TWO teachers, FOUR aides (2 per class) and THREE therapists (speech, PT and OT).

she has quite the team working with/for her at school.


so in case you’re wondering, from left to right in the back row, you can see:
teacher/classroom aides Mrs Anne, Mrs. Becky, Mrs. Janelle, Mrs. Liz, and Mrs. Maria. and then on the end in the back row you’ll find Mrs. Andrea – she’s Alex’s 2nd teacher this year, though Alex spends *most* of her time in “Miss Andrea’s” class.

in the front row, you’ll see Mrs. Katie (Alex’s actual teacher), Mrs. Monica (the other pre school teacher) and Mrs. Kim (speech pathologist).

(missing from the photo are Mrs. Michelle, PT and Mrs. Kayla, OT).

and in case you can’t tell, these lovely women dressed up as Starbucks BEVERAGES. the back of their shirts have the check-mark boxes on them where they filled in their orders and wrote their names on their “cups!”

IMG_7175 IMG_7173

the pre schoolers get to dress up every year and walk through a few classrooms (the rest of the students in other grades walk through EVERY hallway in the school to “show off” their costumes). additionally, the pre schoolers get to go TRICK-or-TREATING to the front office. the staff and principal and social worker and nurse and whoever else is in the office at the time all spread out up front and have AT LEAST three LARGE bowls of candy out… and they drop HANDFULS in each kids’ bag!

IMG_7167(look for the shortest – no exaggeration – child wearing a blue cap that KINDA makes her look like a blueberry but her costume was ACTUALLY a veterinarian!)


(That’s Mrs. Mary in blue – today was “sports team attire” day for spirit week. Mrs. Mary works at the front desk…. a decade is a LONG time for me to be at that school and it’s good to have allies! Love you, Mrs Mary!).IMG_7159 IMG_7157 IMG_7155 IMG_7150

(the pre schoolers made Witches Brew so this concoction is made up of spiderwebs, witches’ fingernails, ants, mummy brains, bat wings, skeleton bones and so much more “gross” stuff that smells bad!)IMG_7142 IMG_7131 IMG_7128 IMG_7126 IMG_7124

(Mrs. Katie is AMAZING. she’s alex’s teacher this year and i don’t think i’ve ever met anyone nearly as animated as her. seriously. this woman rocks my world and i adore her. and major bonus? she’s a Christian, too. so i know that her love for alex goes DEEP.)IMG_7123 IMG_7122 IMG_7120

(the kids missed out on outdoor recess today – because they were in their costumes – so they had an indoor “dance party” which was actually more of an “obstacle” course – it was so cute!)


(this is alex’s buddy, Cruz. they were in class together last year, too. their birthdays are mere weeks – or days – apart. i love this kid!)IMG_7112 IMG_7111 IMG_7103

(This is Mrs. Andrea’s class… where Alex spends most of her time each school day. She was in preschool with 6 of these kiddos last year. There’s an outside possibility that she’ll be in Kindergarten with them next year, too!)

and there you have it, a glimpse into Halloween… a day early!

party! party! party!

since samantha’s birthday was on a friday but there was a fun Movie Night at school that evening (the she wanted to attend), we scheduled her party for saturday morning.

i must confess, that though i created a Pinterest board for this GYMNASTICS THEMED party, it was a bit lack-luster with creativity and completed-theme-ness. (yes, i made up that word – “theme-ness.”)

in the end, our 8 paper invitations wound up inviting 11 girls to the party and only ONE girl couldn’t attend! the night BEFORE the party, AFTER the kids went to bed (late – after the school Movie Night), i found some free gymnastics-themed printables that are supposed to be punched out and put on the bottom of hershey kisses. i increased the print size and used them (with toothpicks) as the cake toppers, instead!


i also dug into my sticker stash for letter stickers to spell out her name.

the morning OF the party i raided Pinterest and Google Images to print some gymnastics-themed coloring pages – always a crowd pleaser! we also visited the local park to play some relay, hula hoop, throwing and balloon-popping games. no fear about the 90* weather (seriously, when i birthed this child in the great NW and it was a whopping 60-something the day she was born, i never imagined that we would be able to have an OUTDOOR birthday party for her – EVER!! but i digress….)… we had spray bottles filled with water to cool off the girls as they ran around.

after some fun at the park (only about an hour), we headed home for lunch…. and our grill promptly ran out of propane.


i forgot to check it.

ALWAYS check your propane tank.


so we ran late with lunch.

and then we ran late with cake.

and then we ran late with presents.

so the party, that i tried to plan to be short (11am-1:30pm) ran a solid 30 minutes overtime.

but in the end, i think Samantha would call the day a very, VERY large success.

and that’s what matters.

IMG_6974 IMG_6967 IMG_6960 IMG_6953 IMG_6952IMG_6951 IMG_6927 IMG_6922 IMG_6907 IMG_6905 IMG_6902 IMG_6890 IMG_6888 IMG_6867 IMG_6865 IMG_6853 IMG_6847 IMG_6844 IMG_6832 IMG_6829






(she asked for red velvet cake. this mama had to oblige. i added sprinkle “balls” to the frosting in between the layers and then i topped it with a LOT of sugar crystal sprinkles to hide the imperfections in my icing job)!


i’d say she had a very grand day!



it’s still happening…. she’s still getting older….

it happened. my 5 year old is no longer 5.

she’s 6.

and she’s beautiful, intelligent, fun-loving, kind, caring, sweet, energetic, passionate, a leader, gentle, friendly, and so much more. she embraces life with every bit of her being. she loves people. she loves her family. she adores her siblings. everyone is her friend. she gives us a run for our money with sass, attitude, energy, bossiness and general childhood angst, but i wouldn’t have her any other way. she is who she is and she’s fantastic.

she’s in 1st grade.

she loves anything related to Frozen (what little girl doesn’t?).

she eats a PB&J sandwich most days but LOVES getting to buy her lunch one day a week.

she wishes she could wear high heels OUTSIDE of the house.

she LOVES to wear dresses.

she LOVES the monkey bars and the fireman’s pole at the playground.

she likes to ride her bike and scooter.

she likes to dig in sand/dirt.

she prefers math over reading but she’s great at both.

she genuinely believes everyone is her friend.

she is emotional and dramatic and through-and-through a teen-age girl at heart.

she lives life to the fullest and embraces most everything.

these photos are all out of order, but they were all taken ON her birthday (which was field day at school, hence her non-dress attire). she requested Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, which we paired with chocolate milk for her and her siblings. she also asked to be awakened EARLY (aka: 6:30 instead of 7) so she would have time to open her presents BEFORE school (we had a school activity that evening the usurped celebrating her birthday at home as a family).

i LOVE that she was able to read her own cards this year.

i love that she LOVED all of her gifts.

i LOVE her real smile in these photos – and that it reaches to her eyes so they sparkle and shine.

in general, i LOVE LOVE LOVE this girl.


(cards from nana, great grandpa & great grandma, and grandpa & grandma)IMG_6242 IMG_6235

(a fun science kit from uncle john!)IMG_6232 IMG_6231

(little sister had to “steal” big sister’s shoes while big sister was busy with presents…)IMG_6230 IMG_6229

(yes, we did. we bought her a skateboard for her birthday. a real skateboard. time to go get protective pads now!)IMG_6228 IMG_6223 IMG_6220

(an elsa & anna shirt!)


(new socks – including KNEE socks – to go with her new boots…. see below)


(sibling love!)



IMG_6206(that’s quite a pile of presents!)


(this littler one LOVES a good donut with sprinkles!)IMG_6199(it’s fun to wake up to birthday decorations around the house!)


(chocolate milk and a chocolate donut. mmmmmm! big brother has an excellent smile!)IMG_6192(the birthday girl requested a boston creme donut – she had to “settle” for a Boston Scream donut!)


(her class singing happy birthday at the end of a long, hot, sweaty Friday. we enjoyed frozen yogurt tubes for her birthday treat!)

IMG_0741(she requested McDonalds for lunch…. so this mama delivered it with a big smile)

IMG_0739 IMG_0736

egads, here we go again…

almost 3 months since my last post?

shame, SHAME on me.




my sincerest apologies for letting life get me bogged down.

two nights ago, my dear friend Julie texted me and said this:

“I just tucked Bethany in and she said “how come Tamara Dunkin doesn’t blog anymore? I want to see her kids!” I said, “I don’t know! I will tell her you asked.”