Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Visiting Santa....

So it turns out that this year Santa came to visit our local Bass Pro Shop.  Getting ourselves there was slightly complicated and involved sending Kent and Kaden an hour early to get tickets so we could have a good place in line.  So, after much rearranging of cars and schedules and waiting in line...Kaden and Maddie got to see Santa.  Of course there was plenty to look at/shop for and do in the store before we actually saw him.  They rode the free carousel, played on all the boats, played with trains, race cars and more.  Maddie saw a tinkerbell fishing pole and decided that is now the thing she most wants for Christmas.  So, after not wanting a fishing pole ever before, she got on Santa's lap and proudly announced that a Tinkerbell fishing pole is what she most wants for Christmas.  (And thanks to some Bass pro shop points we have earned, Santa will be obliging!)  Kaden stuck to his same story of the last few months and told Santa he wants a robot.



The trip was only mildly stressful for the adults, but the kids loved it...and that's really all that matters.  


Trouble pants stayed at home, but here are a couple recent pics of her.




Christmas is approaching fast, but we are pretty well organized and so excited for some of our special visitors to come into town.  We will post some pictures of the Christmas excitement when we get organized. Allie is more mobile and into more things every day.  She now thinks it's funny to stand on the tables...which is making our lives just a tad more exciting.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween Special....


This year we had an ape, a pop star and Minnie Mouse at our house on Halloween.  Kaden did several last minute costume changes and settle on the ape...which, by the way, had not even been one of his previous choices for the week prior.  Maddie has been living in pop star dreamland ever since she got the Barbie Princess and the Pop Star DVD and doll for her birthday.  We did the best we could to emulate the Pop Star (Keira's) costume while maintaining some sort of budget on the project and choosing items she could use again.  If you can't tell, her hair is sprayed purple.  And then there was Minnie Mouse.  We had to work very hard to distract her so that she would forget she had ears on, otherwise she would rip them off.

 Alllie only lasted about a half hour in her costume and only made it to about 3 houses of trick-or-treating before she was wiped out and ready for bed.

Maddie started off well, but when she started to run out of steam, it came on rather quickly.  We met up with neighborhood friends and were basically going around the block together.  Maddie did well for a few houses, then suddenly her tummy hurt.  She climbed into a wagon one of our friends was pulling and she sent Kaden with her candy bag to people's doors.  After a few houses, she climbed out of the wagon and suddenly her legs were hurting.  Then, as she tried to go to the next house, she just sat down in the middle of their front yard and simply could not go on.  At that point it was decided she would go home early with Mimi and Kaden would press on.  This whole process occured over the course of trick-or-treating at about 10 houses.  Not a whole lot considering the plethora of ailments and total exhaustion that she suffered.  By the time Kaden and I made it home about 20 minutes later she was already in pj's and laying on the couch watching Cinderella.

Kaden, the ape, was a champ.  He did tire out a little by the end of our trek, but he never complained.  At the night's end, he proudly counted 105 pieces of candy.  Most of this came from a few of our immediate neighbors who each gave him a heaping pile of candy each time he went to their house (which was more than once).  

This year's Halloween was fun for all the Colorado weather was beautiful.  Historically, it is snowy and freezing when the kids hit the streets.  This year it was warm and we started without jackets.

Here are a few more pics of our crew...

 Kaden dressed as a Fireman for his school party







Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One Year Old!!!!



Allie hit the big one yesterday...as in One Year Old! Time really does go faster with each child.   Looking at all these pictures, it's crazy to see just how much she has changed in one year.  We blessed beyond belief to have this little girl in our lives.  She is happy and smiling from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to bed.  She is funny, fun, and so sweet.  We are just absolutely smitten with her. Allie is definitely standing up on her own in this last month.  She has taken a step or two on her own, but not really started walking yet.  She got a baby stroller from Grandma and Papa for her birthday that she has been pushing all over the house and she loves it!  I think in a month or two she will be cruising around on her own!  We are not ready for this, but we will take it as it comes...Allie has taken to going to bed in the 6 o'clock hour in the last month as well.  She sleeps until between 7 and 8 the next morning, only getting up for one feeding.  This has been a nice development, but has really put a damper on our social life.  If we want to go out, we are eating with the early bird special crowd at about 4:30 pm!  Another change in the last month has been the emergence of her top two teeth.  She looks less like a baby and she can now bite you when you feed her food.  Maddie often complains of this as she feeds Allie in the back seat of the car.

Allie is continuing her trend of  her hair getting lighter over time.  Not sure she'll go as blonde as her dad, but she's our closest shot.  Below we have included the lineup of her monthly bear pictures for the last year so you can see the progression for yourself...enjoy this little stroll down memory lane!











Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Princess Turns 4!


Madelyn Grace turned 4 this last Thursday.  While her brother is "all boy," Maddie has really come to embrace her inner girly princess this last year.  She loves all things to do with Barbie, ballet, nail polish, makeup, princesses, fairies and make believe.  As you can see in the picture, she was given purple eye shadow for her birthday and had to use it immediately!

Looking at this photo, I am shocked at how old she looks! She has turned from an adorable little toddler into a beautiful little girl way too quickly.  Maddie does at times take the role of Jekyll and Hyde in our household, quickly jumping from sweet princess to screaming fits of rage.  However, she can be so sweet when she wants to.  She is the most loving big sister to Allie and she is also an incredible friend and playmate to Kaden.

We are so lucky to have this amazing little girl in our lives.  She brings joy and laughter to our house every day.  Also, if you are ever wishing to see a show of any kind, she would be happy to put one on for you.  Just make sure that you don't talk or get at all distracted from her performance, or you will be scolded and reminded to remain quiet and attentive.

Maddie was thrilled to receive a princess and the pop star Barbie for her birthday.  She has spent days dancing to the music that the barbie sings.  Here is an example of her joyful celebrating:


video

And here are few fun pics of Maddie from the last year...she really has grown a lot...














Friday, October 12, 2012

Birthday Time!

It's that time of the year in the Vanderploeg household when all three of our kids have birthdays in about 6 weeks.  It gets a little nuts, but it's so fun to celebrate another year with each one.  I am a little behind on my blogging, but I will work on a birthday blog for each of our beautiful children...We will start with the boy...

Kaden is 6!!!!
Just under a month ago, Kaden turned 6 years old!  Kaden is our oldest, and it feels unbelievable that we have a six year old...in only a decade he will be driving!  It's a scary thought.  Even crazier is the thought that Kent and I have been riding this crazy parenting train for that long.  We now have a kindergartner in our house.

Kaden is such a wonderfully big hearted boy.  He is an incredible big brother to both of his sisters.  He is always holding Allie, helping her when she is upset, and generally loving on her.  It can get too be too much for her at times, but it is never ill willed.  He is also such a great brother and friend to Maddie.  It is true that they are "frenemies."  They switch back and forth between being best friends and then fighting and screaming at least 50 times a day.  But, at the end of the day, they will not be separated.  They want to share a room at night and they cannot sleep without each other.  They often can't sleep with each other because someone is talking and getting them in trouble, but they always choose to stay together.  There have been several night recently when Maddie loses her stuffed animals at night because she is talking too much (she tends to be the bigger offender in this category).  Later, when I come to check on them as they sleep, I find Maddie sleeping with one or two of Kaden's animals.  This means that after losing hers, Kaden has shared one of his precious animals so that she won't feel alone.  This is such a wonderful example of Kaden's heart for his sister and for others.

At Kaden's school conferences a couple of week ago this is what we heard: "Kaden is such a good boy."  "He is a leader."  "He is such a good role model for the other kids and everyone wants to be his friend."  Since this has kind of been the first time we have really sent one of our children out into the world for most of  each day, we couldn't be more proud to hear how well he has been doing.

Kaden is definitely all boy.  He loves guns, transformers, trains, hot wheels, and generally being rough and wild.  Sometimes that means we get frustrated with the excessive amounts of energy coursing through his little body as he careens around our house runs into everyone and everything while yelling wildly.  It is true that we are trying to focus that energy a little into things like t-ball and soccer, but mostly he just needs about an hour every day to go absolutely crazy.

Looking at Kaden this year makes me so proud.  He is a good boy who is loving to his family and kind to others.  He makes friends easily. He is still tender, honest, and innocent.  I hope we are able to keep him that way as long as possible!

Here are a few pics of Kaden this year...