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We used to have a really boring refrigerator.

White doors, white handles, water/ice dispenser, and maybe a few magnets that may or may not have been holding something to the surface.

Then we had kids and this is what it looks like now:

the fridge

Allow me to take you on a tour (counter clockwise if you’re keeping track)…

This is Mr. Peter after his very first bath at home. It’s been on the fridge for just over 4 1/2 years. I’ll never take it down.

Peter after his first bath

These are our “fridge kids”, otherwise known as sponsored children from the World Vision organization.

our World Vision kids

The top left child is Magreth (our first sponsored child from about 4 or 5 years ago, she lives in Tanzania), then there’s Xhjosi (sponsored second, lives in Albania), on the bottom left we have Jose Luis (from Colombia), and finally Tanya (from Ecuador).

Casey has always wanted 7 children. I tease him that the baby in my belly surely brings us to that number.

The kids’ preschool gives us a report each day of how Charlotte felt, what she ate, when she napped, and how many times she used the potty. This report is from her first #2 in the potty!!! That’s definitely fridge worthy!

first #2!!!

This is one of Peter’s first works of art including the writing of his name.

Peter's name and hearts

This little LeapFrog matching game has been a staple since Peter was 6-8 months old.

animal match game

Most of the animal halves are missing now. If we ever get a new refrigerator I’m sure the lost will be found under the current one.

Peter was in speech therapy for about a year. He graduated this fall (only stumbles a bit on the pronunciation of “s” and “l” in the start position now) and received this certificate from his teacher:

Peter's certificate

We love happy grams from school around here and stick them on the fridge until we get the next one (old ones – as well as all of Charlotte and Peter’s daily reports – are then retired to the bottom shelf of my bookcase. Which reminds me – I should really put them into binders or something).

Peter's happy gram

A more recent example of Peter’s penmanship:

Peter's writing

My sister Sydney’s 7th grade picture. The kids love their “auntie Hydney”.

Sydney

Each month we get an activity calendar for each child. I love posting them and need to check them every day because a missed share day does not go over well at the Davis abode.

monthly calendars

And finally, the lovely Mollie Evelyn. Mollie is my sister’s 13 month old daughter (these are her 6 month photos). Charlotte loves looking at cousin Mollie on the refrigerator and says her name and kisses her almost every time we pass the fridge.

Mollie

This appliance has become such a symbol of our daily lives and loves. It’s hard to believe it use to be just white doors, white handles, water/ice dispenser, and maybe a few magnets that may or may not have been holding something to the surface.

I like it so much better this way.

the fridge

Quick story about the Pete-meister.

I should first share that Peter has a rule about Christmas trees. Each tree must have a star or angel on top or it’s not a Christmas tree, it’s just a tree with decorations. He’s hard and fast with this rule. No exceptions.

Anyway…

This weekend we were driving to the dike for a family sled-a-thon. (Note: the dike is pretty much the tallest hill in Fargo so it’s a popular spot for sledding.)

As we drove, we checked out the neighborhood’s Christmas light displays.

One of the houses had a star on it. 

Here’s what we heard from the backseat:

Dad and Mom. Look at that house. It thinks it’s a Christmas tree! Let’s all laugh at it.

And then he proceeded with the most fake, deep chuckle we’d ever heard for the next three blocks.

He stopped laughing for a little bit and then started  up again. Casey asked him what was so funny and Peter replied:

I am still laughing at that house because it is still funny!

I’m not sure where he comes up with this stuff but I’m glad he does because it sure does make our lives fun.

This post could alternately be titled as “Bad Things Happen When Children Are Too Quiet”

What do you get when you combine puffy paint and small children?

A mess.

Last Saturday Casey, the kids and I went to my youngest sister’s basketball game.

(Side note: Sydney is in 7th grade and is playing on the junior varsity AND varsity teams! How exciting is that? She even scored a three pointer during the varsity game! Back to the story at hand.)

Our kidlets sat for a while (like 6 minutes) and then Casey and I alternated in taking them to the concession stand, restroom, hallway, etc. Basically anywhere that was unlocked and not off-limits within the school.

Their favorite spot was the lobby, where the students’ lockers are housed. They ran around and around the first set, chasing each other and laughing. Casey and I stood together and watched them, having one of those moments where you’re just totally in love with your kids and their utter adorableness.

We stood there visiting as the kids continued their laps, extending themselves from the first to the second locker banks and finally on to the third. It was pretty much a date, right there in the school lobby. Take them when you can get them, I guess.

The date came to an end when Peter came up to us and said he got dirty. Dirty? How would he get dirty in here?

That’s when I noticed that Charlotte’s boot had something blue on it.

Blue? There is nothing blue in this area. What is that?

Casey and I got closer to the kids to respectively examine their blue dirt.

Oh crap.

Paint.

Where did they find paint?

I walked behind the third bank of lockers and stopped short.

Puffy painted shirts were drying on the floor. Cheerleaders’ puffy painted shirts. Cheerleaders’ puffy painted shirts with little footprints on them. And carpet. Carpet with red and blue paint.

Oh. My. Goodness.

The kids had run around the corner, coming from opposite directions, and ran right into the shirts. Definitely an accident on their part, but why do accidents never involve buckets of soapy water?

Casey took the kids to the bathroom to start cleaning up their shoes while I paced and tried to figure out what to do to clean up the mess. 

I found a random roll of paper towels and headed to the bathroom to get some water so I could start cleaning up the carpet.

I poked my head into the men’s room to see how the cleaning was progressing. The shoes were coming clean, but Peter had another accident…this time in his pants.

Excellent.

We decided that Casey would take Peter home to change his pants, and would bring back carpet cleaner and a scrub brush.

In the meantime I took Charlotte back into the gym to sit with my parents and siblings while I started cleaning the carpet. They asked what was going on and I told them the story. They thought it was funny.

Yep. Funny. That’s exactly what I was thinking as I worried about getting beat up by high school cheerleaders.

After scrubbing out what I could, I joined my family in the gym and wrote notes to the three cheerleaders who had been impacted by the incident.

The apologies...

I wrote out three $10 checks (accidents are also rarely inexpensive – bummer) and stuck them in the envelopes, then waited for Casey to return with the supplies.

He soon arrived and I got to work. I was glad to have done the “pre-treating” because the paint came out really well with the Resolve cleaner and a bit of scrubbing.

I placed each card by an affected shirt and headed back into the gym for the rest of the game.

Evidence A Exhibit B Exhibit C

After the game, we hung out for a few minutes congratulating our basketball star and letting the kids run in the gym.

As we left the building my phone rang. I didn’t know the number and my heart dropped into my stomach as I thought again about angry cheerleaders.

I answered hesitantly.

It was one of the cheerleaders.

She said she got my note.

She said she and the two other girls tore up the checks.

She said that was way too much money and it was an accident and I didn’t have to worry about it.

I almost started to cry.

Cheerleaders at private Christian schools are awesome!

I told her she was a sweetie and apologized again.

My heart returned to its normal position and we headed off for our next adventure.

Even though we’d already had enough adventure for a few days.

Our family had a great Halloween night, with lots of trick or treating which resulted in LOADS of candy! I’m doing my part to whittle it down so that the kids don’t get too sick. I’m such a good Mommy.

Here’s my little dragon, Peter (I made his costume this year – bought the fabric weeks ago but, for some reason, waited until literally the last hours before he needed it for school to sew it. Some day I’ll learn.)

Peter

And my little lady bug, Charlotte (costume courtesy of Carter’s)

Charlotte carrying her own loot

Casey and I took the kids and my sister Sydney out for three blocks worth of trick or treating (our longest Halloween trek yet!)

smiling for the camera

The kids had a great time ringing the doorbell and waiting for homeowners to come with their treasures. Peter complimented almost all of the homeowners on their nice decorations or cool candy bowls. What a sweetie.

at the alley neighbor's house

waiting

and seeing a HUGE pumpkin was a family favorite!

neighbor's huge pumpkin!

When we returned home, Peter ditched his costume and spread out all of his candy

Peter and his stash

Charlotte preferred to sit on her loot. I think it was more functional than protective.

sitting on her pumpkin

I think the highlight of the night, though, was watching my two little kidlets playing together.

playing together with Peter's candy

What a great night…makes me want to stop time.

Hubby and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. He gave me a beautiful gift – a Canon EOS 450D (I think my palms were sweating the first time I held it) and I gave him tickets to an ultimate fighting competition (I know my palms were sweating at the thought of attending with him).

I have pictures of just how hubby-o-mine got said tickets, but since the new camera has an HD memory card that’s not compatible with my current reader, so they’ll have to wait a bit longer 🙂

So back to the anniversary…

Six years. Jobs. House. Kids.

“Time flies” is a total understatement.

I was digging through some old notebooks recently and realized that one of them holds the list of gifts we received at our wedding.

It was pretty cool to see that almost all of these gifts are still in use by our family (except for the cheap, Target spatulas that were super brittle and broke within a year. Don’t buy cheap spatulas! Hook yourself up with some Pampered Chef spatulas – they’re awesome!).

There are a few gifts that really stood out when reviewing the list. I would totally register for these gifts again. Perhaps this is a little piece of bridal registery wisdom that I can pass down 🙂

  • We use at least one piece of our Emerill cookware every day and it’s terrific! I wasn’t sure if I’d like stainless steel over nonstick, but it was definitely the right choice for us.
  • Most of our Rubbermaid containers are missing (the puzzle of which became a blog post) but I do like that they’re still clear (no yucky red stains) and that the covers are interchangeable.
  • It was a good idea to pick out a nice set of bath towels (we went with Ralph Lauren). They go through the wash a lot and have held up pretty well. I wouldn’t bother with white towels, though. I don’t use them very often for fear of getting them dirty (which is a weird thought since you SHOULD be clean after a bath…)
  • A large glass pitcher is a great thing to have on hand. It’s almost always in use.
  • You can’t go wrong with a round Pampered Chef baking stone. The imitations aren’t as nice. Sorry, but they aren’t.
  • I love our place mats and cloth napkins. We use the place mats every day, for every meal (which I guess is passed down from my Grandma Ogaard who always dressed her table).
  • We still have our Brita water pitcher. All we need to do is change out the filters every now and then, but always have super cold water (my favorite drink).

There are also a few things we didn’t register for but are now treasures:

  • We received three nativity sets. Although they were a surprise, I love these sets and last year we let Peter place one of the sets himself. Consequently, Baby Jesus was in a manager to the right of the TV and the wise men were hanging out on the left side of the set on top of a speaker.
  • Crystal vases and bowls. I never thought I was a crystal kind of gal. Turns out that I am! I love dressing up fresh flowers or a pretty salad, and I’m very grateful for the smart ladies who gave us these beautiful gifts.
  • On the crystal note…we also received two, identical crystal crosses. They’re so simple yet such a wonderful symbol for our home.
  • We didn’t register for fine china, but I did receive a few pieces from a collection that was chosen for me by above-mentioned Grandma Ogaard, who passed away before Casey and I were married. At my bridal shower, I was surprised with a box of china that was purchased early by Grandma and set aside for future gifts. I’m a bawler by nature, so this was such a wonderful surprise and gift.

So, married ladies – what are your favorite gifts and what would you recommend to a new couple?

I shared some of the things I love about Peter, now to the little lady in my life.

little blondie

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Charlotte loves her brother. So much she can’t help but pinch him. Hard. When she turned one and I was thinking about her birthday party theme, a shrine to Peter was the first thing I thought of. We ended up with pink and orange polka dots. Probably a bit less weird.

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She’s starting to mimic everything we say. Her favorite books are from the Little People series, especially the zoo one. She’ll lay down on her tummy and make animal noises, content for a longer amount of time than I thought possible for a one year old.

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She loves dressing up. When we’re out shopping and I hold a dress up, her face lights up. She also knows that a big pair of shades are a great way to glam up. Especially when they’re upside down.

fashionista

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Charlotte is the best at greeting people. She loves to greet people at the door with a big smile, “HI!”, and the sweetest little wave. Ditto when you leave. She’ll give you a big kiss (lips puckered together), “BYE BYE!”, and another wave.

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She could live outside. She loves going to the park and you just about have to pry her off the swing when ready to leave. She loves her stroller and is very helpful at snapping herself in before leaving.

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She loves to dance, especially with her dad and brother.

Davis' dancing

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I always wanted a little girl with blue eyes and curly hair. I got her and so much more, and thank God for my little Charlotte every day.

little blondie

A couple weeks ago we went to a baseball game with some teachers and other families from Peter’s school. The tickets were a pretty good price, we all love hot dogs, and we hadn’t been to a game in a long time.

Peter and Casey stayed in their seats for approximately 26 minutes and then headed for the playground. Charlotte and I lasted a little bit longer and then were off to catch up with the boys (and the mascot).

Charlotte and Hawkeye  walking

Peter's kicks  waiting 

sliding with Matthew

We lasted until the 7th inning and then our munchins told us they were ready to go home.*

I think it’s safe to say we’ll just be going to our playground for future entertainment…unless the tickets are free.

 

*Telling us they were ready to go home may or may not have consisted of a minor meltdown.

Another mom-ism has come true.

Kids are physically unable to leave you alone when you’re in the bathroom.

My mom says that little fingers would constantly dig under the door while she was in the bathroom. Accompanying the little fingers would be crying and “Mommy, are you mad at us?”

All the woman wanted to do was go about her business by herself.

Now I know what that means.

I have a pint-size bathroom stalker of my own. If I leave the room, wails ensue.

Tonight I went into the bathroom and heard the pitter patter of her feet coming towards me. And then joining me.

Later on, I baited her. I tell you that because I don’t want you to think I’m a weirdo who brings a camera into the bathroom with me.

So…I grabbed said camera, went into the bathroom, and called the wee babe.

Five seconds later…

my visitor

coming in

running in

pushing the door back open

waving goodbye

At least she waved bye-bye.

I wonder if I’ll ever get it right when it comes to napping and my kids.

If they really need one, it’s almost impossible to put them down.

But if we’re in the car, both of them are out immediately and then it’s the game of propping their bodies in carts as we make our way through Target or the grocery store (I have come to love those carts that have a built-in child seat – genius!).

If I am using their naptime for a project or lay down to sleep with them, they’ll be up within 30 minutes.

But if I’m waiting for them to wake so we can go visit family (like right now as I type on my phone in my lake cabin), they’ll sleep like bears.

Maybe I should pretend to start cleaning.

That might take care of the slumber…or leave me with a super crabby baby…

I think I’ll just wait it out.

This little boy of mine cracks me up.

shade boy

He likes to sing while he goes to the bathroom, but doesn’t want you to acknowledge that you can hear him.

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Our conversation last night as I put him to bed.

Mommy, will you lay with me?
Sure!

This doesn’t happen very often, so I was going to take advantage of Casey being sick and me getting to be the cuddler.

I crawled into his lower bunk and put my arm around him.

Mommy, please don’t put your arm around me.

I pulled my arm off.

Mommy, please move over a little bit more.

To the wall I retreated.

Okay Mommy, you can leave now.

Brief, but sweet…I guess.

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He loves his toys and wants every day to be share day at school. He acts out this wish by bringing a toy downstairs almost every day and then throwing a mild tantrum when I tell him it’s not share day.

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When he finishes a stunt (which varies from hopping on one leg to sticking his legs out while riding his bike) he says:

Have you ever seen that trick before?

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His best friend is his Dad, but I can be a good friend.

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Overheard this morning as he said goodbye to Casey, who is home sick from work today.

Daddy, sometimes I’m mad and sometimes I’m happy. Today I’m happy! That’s just how it goes.

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He loves his sister, but sometimes he just has to wail on her. I think it’s a boy thing.

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He likes to wear my sunglasses and make funny faces.

goofball

Oh how I wish I could stop time…