Life as we know it

Our family adventures


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On to kindergarten

Who is that big girl in these pictures??
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Who told her she could grow up?
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I guess there was nothing we could do, it was going to happen eventually.
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Tonight was Allie’s 4K graduation ceremony.
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Looking at these pictures, I am struck by the difference now compared to the beginning of school.
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Allie was so shy and we didn’t know how she would adjust.
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Tonight she was so confident and happy, saying hi to all her friends and walking in like she owned the place.
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The ceremony was short and sweet, which is good because there was just enough to keep Peyton occupied.
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Peyton enjoyed coloring on Mama’s phone and clapping.
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Teachers made some speeches…
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… kids sang some songs…
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… and they got their diplomas!
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It was so cute.
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But we’re not quite done yet… Allie still has 4 more days of school!
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She was so excited! It was hard to get her to stay still for a picture.
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We got a nice family picture with the lovely graduate.
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And with Bridget and Gianna!
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And on we go to kindergarten!
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I’m so proud of my big strong brave girl! She tells us every once in a while that she’s nervous about kindergarten, but I think she will do great.

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A rainy day, a zoo day and the garden

Sunday’s zoo day got canceled because instead it rained allll day. An all-day soaker rain is even worse than a snow day, I think!

But Mama had a stroke of genius because when Allie and I went to the old house to get our stand fans, we also picked up a play doh set that Allie had gotten for Christmas a few years ago but had never been opened. Turns out, as an adult, I hate the smell of play doh and its a pain to clean up. I’m still finding play doh bits  on the floor downstairs. But it kept Allie occupied for more than THREE hours. Peyton played the first hour and would have played more, but it was nap time for him.
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This picture was at the beginning of the play doh time. I swept the floor three times during the play time. Colors got mixed and the session ended with a lot less dough than we started with. But the rainy day wasn’t spent entirely in front of the TV, so that’s a success!
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Mama’s rainy day project was cleaning the master suite. That took a surprisingly long time. I need to clean up there more often! I finally put away the straggling boxes… but only in the crawl space so I don’t have to look at them any more! I will eventually organize the last few things in the house. I do want to create a den/office space in the third bedroom.

Anyway, the forecast was for rain this morning too. Luckily the sun came out. And we were SO happy to see the sun, we decided to sacrifice nap time and head to the zoo.
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This weekend the Arctic Passage opened. Its been two years since they had bears at the Vilas Zoo. We decided to brave the crowds to see it opening weekend. We love the zoo because the kids love it and its completely free! There are only a few zoos that are completely free. Anyway…
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We were able to park surprisingly close. There were people everywhere. And it was SO crowded to see the bears. But the bears didn’t disappoint! I’m a little disappointed that the viewing areas are so limited, but that will be better once the novelty wears off.
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Allie and I were at the window when the polar bear got up close and personal!
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It was a lot harder to see the grizzly bears. But they didn’t disappoint either.
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They moved the seals into the Arctic Passage too. I’m not impressed. Maybe just because of sentiment. I remember seeing the seals in their old pool when I was Allie’s age.
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But again, the viewing area is really limited. There is an underwater viewing area though, so that’s neat I guess.
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On the other side of the Arctic Passage is the prairie exhibit, which we haven’t seen in two years because the entire area was closed for construction on the Arctic Passage. First we saw the bison.
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And the highlight of the trip for both kids were the prairie dogs.
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Allie and Peyton could have stayed here watching these guys the rest of the day if we’d let them.
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When we finally tore Allie away, she decided she wanted to climb up on this rock. She had help.

Then we went to see the giraffes.
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After this it started falling apart. We did skip nap time, after all. We glanced at the tiger and the lion and then headed back to the car. We had to run a couple errands and then we made it to the place Allie was asking for all weekend, the ice cream store!
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They enjoyed it, though Peyton had to get over the shock of the cold!

The last event of the evening was finally starting the garden!
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The first task is weeding. And its a big one.
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Allie was going to help, and she did a teeny bit… then she saw an ant and abandoned the project! Good thing too… I saw more critters than just ants! And oh, the ants… they were crawling all over my gloves and getting on my arms and in the gloves… ewww! They irritated my arms too, I didn’t think ants bite? This is hard work… there are a lot of weeds. A lot of baby maple trees too!
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We let Peyton get in the dirt because bath time was right after this!
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I worked for about an hour and a half. I think I actually got a lot done because the weeds were worse on that side. I’ll work a little each evening (except Wednesday, its 4K graduation!). Hopefully I can get plants in the ground before the week is out. After weeding, I need to rig up a fence to keep the dog, children and other critters out and then do the planting. I got seeds for green beans, carrots, kale, summer squash and watermelon. I got two tomato plants, one cucumber, one cilantro and one basil. I’m not sure if I got too much or not enough! I can get some more though if its not full! I really hope the garden works. I’m excited about the possibility of eating my own home-grown salad!


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Going to the Brat Fest!

YAY for the holiday weekend! Allie has been looking forward to Brat Fest all week. We told her we’d go on Saturday and she was asking about it allllll day! We decided to go in the evening after Peyton’s nap. And that ended up being the perfect time! We ended up getting there at 6 and leaving about 8:15. It was nice but not hot as the sun was going down. It was crowded getting the food, but we were able to find a nice space to sit and eat. And I think the highlight for Allie was definitely the bouncy houses! This year they had a bunch set up and we paid $5 for a wrist band that allowed Allie unlimited bouncing. Too bad we didn’t get there until a half hour before they closed! Allie got her money’s worth though. She kept shouting this is “the best day ever!!” As we were going to the car to come home she was asking to go out in the back yard and swing when we got home. Then in the 10 minutes we were in the car she practically fell asleep!
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They had these crazy bubble things in the water! We didn’t try them out but I think Allie would have liked to.
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Allie ran around the bouncy houses with no fear. Its nice to see when she is independent as that is something we’re working on.

After the bouncy houses closed we came home. We had wanted to get ice cream but it got late. Mama and Dada almost considered staying to listen to the music, but it was a good idea for us to go home when we did. Allie was so tired, it was quite a process to get her ready for bed! Peyton was pretty wound up though, even at 10 p.m. he is still babbling a bit.

Hopefully the kids will sleep in tomorrow because we have more fun stuff planned! The Arctic Passage at the zoo opened today. That’s the new bear area that’s been under construction for a long time. We are really excited to see it, even though we expect the zoo to be even more of a zoo than usual with the new exhibit and the holiday weekend. So we are planning to go tomorrow morning. We will get ice cream too since we didn’t at Brat Fest. Also today Allie and I went to Home Depot and got stuff to start our vegetable garden! We used the gift card that Grandma and Grandpa Durso sent when we moved, so thank you Grandma and Grandpa! So we will work on the garden tomorrow and Monday. I’m excited to try it. I got two tomato plants, a cucumber plant, basil and cilantro plants and seeds of green beans, carrots, squash, kale and watermelon.


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Memory time

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Allie brought home her timeline this week. I would have liked to save it, but she played with it and all the pictures came off. I did still want to share the memories though.
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Allie’s birthday! Oct. 30, 2009. The top picture is with her first toy, Allie-gator. She still loves Allie-gator most of all her toys. Pardon my fat legs.
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Going home on Nov. 1, 2009!
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Trips to the pumpkin patch! We go to the Shuster’s Playtime Farm every year. For her timeline, Allie picked this photo from 2010, just before her first birthday.
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Peyton’s birthday! Feb. 20, 2013. I will never forget Allie’s excitement the first time she held Peyton! And she is an awesome big sister, though she gets annoyed that he copies her. I tell her its because his big sister is so cool, but even that doesn’t appease her.
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Petting zoo at the Mallards game on Father’s Day 2014. Dada is awesome and both kids enjoyed the Mallards game and the petting zoo was the highlight for Allie. I hope we can go to another Mallards game this year!
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Panama City Beach in July 2014. What a great trip and amazing experience. We can’t go back this year, but we definitely want to go back some day!
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Easter 2015. It was one of the last things we did in our old house. And a good reason to dress up!

For the school timeline project, we were limited to 6 events, one was birthday and another had to be current. Then we only had room for four more. But Allie has tons more favorite memories! We’re making them every day.


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School fun

What a weekend! Its been full of activities. So full, I’m writing two posts about it. Don’t worry, I’ll post them both today! Don’t want to keep anyone in suspense.

First thing was on Thursday night… Allie lost her first tooth!
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She lost it as she was going to bed. So that was delayed for pictures!
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And the Peyton spit up in bed, something he hasn’t done for a long time. So we had to change his sheet. Then it took a bit for both kids to calm down and go to sleep. Ahhh, fun times with the kiddos!

Friday was the final parent day at Allie’s school. For 4K they have school Monday through Thursday and one Friday per month. Every other Friday was a parent day where parents were invited to see what the kids do at school. For this one they were planning on going outside and doing an obstacle course and parachute games, but it was too wet and drizzly. So they played fun inside games.
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Allie was really good at the swamp monster game. They had to jump from the hoops and stay out of the “lava.” I didn’t get any good action shots because I was taking pics on my phone.
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They had a painting station.
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And these cool magnetic blocks.
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They took a class picture, so cute!
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And then we played the parachute inside. Mama played too!
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Allie’s favorite part of the parent day is we take her to Bridget’s instead of taking the bus.
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Saturday morning we went to the school scavenger hunt. We started at the Oregon library and followed clues to collect parts of the project.
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At the first station Allie got a pot. This was the second, where she got a baggie with seeds.
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The third station was a bag of dirt and the fourth one was a cup of water.
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So what was the final product? Allie planted her seeds in the pot with the dirt and watered it!
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Its a sunflower seed, so if it grows we will need to get a bigger pot!
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We had a great time even though it rained! It started raining a little as we started the hunt. And it got heavy as we got to the end. And of course it stopped raining after we left! That’s how this whole weekend has been. Its looked like it would rain all weekend, but it didn’t rain much at all really.


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At the playground

This weekend we had a bunch of playground fun. We had some plans that were canceled, so after dinner Mama took the kids to a new playground near our house. They had plenty of fun.
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Both kids love the swing. Especially Mr. Peyts! Just look at that smile!
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Peyton started going down the curly slide, and then Allie started going with him.
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SO CUTE!
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And then more swings.
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It looked like rain was coming and when it started raining a few drops I decided it was time to go home. Then we got home and the rain stopped! We went over the the neighbors’ house for a few minutes and then it was inside to try the marbled banana bread Allie and I made earlier.
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This morning it looked like it was supposed to rain all day. So we got dressed and hurried to the park again so we wouldn’t be stuck inside all day. As it turned out, it started sprinkling as we were driving to the park and it rained a few minutes after we got there, but then it stopped and we played for an hour and a half! We went to the same playground we went to last night.
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Both kids spent tons of time on the swings.
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Allie learned to pump her legs to keep the swing going herself… but she was lazy and preferred to have Mama and Dada push her.
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This park is on the bike path I run now and we went for a little walk.
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Its a mile and a half on the path, so we could walk to the park. But we drove because the kids would never last that long on foot. I think they wanted to try today though.
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And then we played a little more.
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Peyton saw Mama climb this ladder, so he wanted to climb. Dada helped and Peyton did really well! Then Dada went to push Allie on the swing and Mama tried to help him climb. But Mama didn’t realize how high up this ladder was at the top. I had to call Dada to help Peyton to the top because I couldn’t reach him! Ooops!
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Such a big boy!
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Then it was home for lunch. We’ve gotten to a point with Peyton where he tends to not eat unless we have a large chunk of time to devote because he likes to take his sweet time.
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All day these clouds were floating by, and it did rain a little bit a couple times, but never actually rained. Allie played with the neighbors for a couple hours and Peyton took a three-hour nap! Of course with his long nap he took his sweet time going to sleep tonight!
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Allie and I ended the evening making cookies. I didn’t have enough flour, so the cookies came out flat, but they taste good!
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Love being their Mama

Dada picked out a great Mother’s Day card!
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I had a good Mother’s Day for the most part! I had a good morning snuggling with the kids. They were so sweet!
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We had a great brunch at Quivey’s Grove. That’s one of my favorite brunch places. They have a buffet and you choose an entre. I had a yummy farmer’s omelette.
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Allie made this super cute pinch pot. She’s so funny. She never wants to tell me what she did in school. But a week ago when she made this and it was a surprise, she wouldn’t stop telling me about it! She insisted I put jewelry in it. So I put the necklace that she gave me for our first Mother’s Day.

Unfortunately after that the day crashed… literally. Faced with the choice of going out for a run or taking a nap, I headed out for a run. I wanted to run on the roads, which I will only do in day light. Well I was going between the road and shoulder since there aren’t sidewalks here. I rolled my ankle on the gravel. I don’t think there was any big obstacle. I think it was mostly my worn out shoes. I’ve needed new shoes for a while now. Even just walking I can feel my feet rolling outward.
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So I spent the evening icing and resting and Dada had to dinner and bedtime on his own. I stayed home from work today to ice and elevate my ankle and it is slowly improving. I don’t know when I will run again…probably I won’t run outside until I get new shoes and who knows when that will be? But it could have been worse. I thought for a bit it was broken. I had to walk the mile home. When I’ve done this (too many times!) in the past, its numbed up and I could run a bit to get home faster. That didn’t happen this time! It was so painful I admit I cried a good amount!

At least I am recovering. Dada has a work dinner tonight so I am going solo. So I need to be more mobile than I was this morning! I am so blessed and I wouldn’t trade my family for anything.

No matter how the day ended up, it doesn’t change the fact that I can’t imagine being anything other than Allie and Peyton’s Mama!