Sunday, October 28, 2012


Tyler and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on Tuesday.  We debated trying to get away for the weekend alone, but decided to take a little family trip instead.  Since Lydia had Thursday and Friday off of school and Tyler had a few days he could afford to take off at work, we escaped to Seattle last Thursday for a mini vacation.  We had a great time!  Here is what we did:

First stop was the Mt. St. Helen's visitor's center, where we watched the "exploding volcano" movie and all came away knowing a little more about volcanos.  Luke is now obsessed with hot lava.

This picture is fairly representative of our children's personalities.

That night we went to a children's museum in Bellevue.  We didn't take the camera but the kids enjoyed a semi-truck cab, water works, treehouse, etc. at the museum.  After a somewhat short night's sleep, we got up the next morning to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island.

We made Ian earn his stroller time pushing the other kids while we waited for our ferry.


Lydia was really excited for Luke to see the cars driving off the ferry.  They really do love each other and get along really well, despite the bruise on Lydia's cheek from a Luke head-butt the night before :) 

Luke was in heaven watching the cars disembark the ferry....

...and was loving watching the working docks as we pulled away from the terminal.  He couldn't be bothered with pictures when there was so much to look at outside.

It was really windy that day, so with the added speed of the ferry our trip outside the boat lasted about as long as it took to take this picture. We did get to see an orca (well, it's fin) on our ferry ride though!

When we got back, we took a stroll down the waterfront to Pike Place Market.  The kids had to take a break to look in the telescopes.

They also decided that they "never ever" want to go on the ferris wheel.  "Too high." 

Tyler worked his magic and got Ian to sleep in the stroller, which NEVER happens! We didn't take pictures of the market--as usual, it was crowded with people so we saw the famous fish-throwing guys and left pretty quickly thereafter.

The next morning we went to the Boeing Museum of Flight.  Ian loves to point out every airplane passing overhead, shouting "airpane! airpane!"so as young as he is, he really enjoyed it as well. 

How many Stoddard kids can you fit in a cockpit?

Luke would have stayed in the cockpit for hours if we had let him.

Did they really think that plexiglass would keep him from touching the instrument panel?

Lady pilot Lydia

Who would hire these hooligans to fly a helicopter?

We decided on the way home that we like our little family :) It's so fun to see the kids' personalities evolving and to have time together when we're not worried about preschool, kindergarten, work, dishes, housework, etc.  Vacations are good.  We think we should take one every month. Luckily, for the next two months we WILL get one! We are totally ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!

And yes, I have already started listening to Christmas music.  Don't judge.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Few Months of Firsts...

Obviously, we've been MIA for a few months.  Here are a few firsts we've had in that time:

Luke's "first" fourth birthday..

Lydia's first day of kindergarten!

Ian's first allergic reaction to peanuts...

My first visit to Prince Edward Island, Canada, with my Mom and sister Becky...

It was awesome and beautiful and relaxing. A fabulous trip and a shout-out to Shirlene for watching my kids for a few days and to Tyler for taking a few days off work while I was off playing in Canada.

Lastly, Lydia and Luke's first team sport experience--soccer. 
(I know they're still young, but I don't think we have any future star soccer players on our hands :)

Maybe in a few months I'll get around to blogging about our recent vacation to Seattle.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Ian's Lovely Locks

Ian will be 18 months old on Saturday.  

I guess he decided that since he was growing up, he needed to get rid of the fluffy "baby hair" look and go for something a little more edgy. 

He accomplished this by getting his hands on some petroleum jelly and rubbing it all over his head.

The mohawk was born.

It died after a few head scrubbing sessions with Dawn dish soap and a meeting with the "buzzy clippers" as Luke would say.

I guess he doesn't mind his new look too much.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Meet Lydia.  She's a funny girl.  Last week she and I went on a little shopping excursion and on the way home we were discussing her old clothes and how I saved some of her old dresses, "you know, in case we have a girl when we have another baby." (No, I am not pregnant.)

Lydia: (very serious tone of voice) "Mom, four kids is a lot of kids.  Do you really think you can take care of four kids?"

Me (laughing): "Yes, I'm pretty sure I can."

Lydia: (dubious tone of voice) "Well, that's a lot to handle.  You really think you can handle four kids?"

Me: "Yeah, I think I can do it."

I'm secretly thinking, what, does my five year old really think I'm so inept at parenting that I couldn't possibly raise another child? 

Look kid, just because the baby climbs into the bathtub with his clothes on...

And Luke always has a dirty face and picks his nose...

Or I accidentally run over your foot with the Costco shopping cart...
(I really did feel bad about it, I promise)

And I let you sit on each other's heads

Does not mean that I can't handle raising one more child.

Maybe she was doubtful because she was thinking about the family home evening a few weeks ago after a particularly stressful day which ended with all of us in tears (minus Tyler, he wasn't home) and me proclaiming "sometimes it's just hard to be a mom."

I digress. Back to the story.  So she asks again, "Are you really sure you can take care of four kids?"

Me: "Yes. But I might need some help you know."

Lydia: "I know.  That's what I'm worried about.  I'm not going to be able to play as much if I have to help and I don't like that, so I don't think we should have another baby."

And there you go. No more babies because it would mean less play time for Lydia.

Sometimes it IS hard to be a mom. But I eventually want one more set of feet to write on for a Father's Day picture.

Don't worry Lydia, I will make sure you still get time to play.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Lydia and I have been pondering about something all day.

Thinking about it has put Luke into a semi-comatose state.

And Ian is clearly distressed about this dilemma we are facing. We need your opinion to get things back to normal around here.

Ever since we moved into our house I've wanted to repaint the room above. Well, I am going to be getting some new furniture/storage solutions for this room, so I figure now is the time to do it. I just can't decide what color to paint it. I want a light color to open up the room, since it's rather small, and it butts right up against the yellow in my kitchen so it has to semi-coordinate with that. Here are the two options so far:

What's that? You can't tell a difference? Look again, my friends.

Light green on top--Tyler's favorite, but he likes the room the way it is. I don't mind it, but it might not feel like I changed much since it will still be green.

Greyish/bluish on the bottom--grey is the new "hot" neutral color. I've seen some cool rooms in grey and yellow color schemes (here , here, and here for those of you interested in checking it out) but I'm not usually super trendy--can I pull it off?

Opinions please.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentines of 2012

Here are just a few of the things I "hearted" this year around Valentine's Day, in no particular order...

Getting a Valentine in Spanish from Lydia

Worth every penny for the after-preschool Spanish class.

This guy and eating heart-shaped grilled cheese for lunch.
(I kind of went crazy with heart shapes this year. See below.)

Making my own scratch-off cards for mi familia.
Tyler and Lydia were fans. Luke scratched off two and said, "here, you do the rest." :)

Again, heart shapes...Rice Krispy treats (with red sprinkles of course) and more scratch off cards for Lydia's ballet class.
Yes, I have a problem with scratch-off cards. Good thing I don't play the lottery.

These two handsome devils.

This little beauty...
And my mom, who came up last weekend and took Lydia and me to see the Broadway show "Beauty and the Beast." Lydia loved it and did pretty well sitting through it, even though it was late at night. She was telling her friends all about it at preschool today. "It was magical."

And my sister-in-law, who came to visit us even though she worked the night before, stayed up all day the next day, played with my kids a ton, and went on the carousel at Seaside with Lydia just because Lydia wanted to and they make me sick.

And my brother, who also went on the carousel even when he didn't really want to (as you can see :) and taught Luke to "fist pump." Ask Luke for a demo next time you see him.

Of course, this list is not complete in the least. I have many, many people and things I love that I just didn't happen to have pictures of from the last month. Like my dad and our trip to Pendleton and Ty's family, for example. So, now you know, if you want to make it on my Valentine's Day blog post next year you better come visit in February and bring your own camera (or steal mine and take pictures with it) because I need photographic proof to post. Also, our house will be empty this weekend for the first time in a few weeks....we need more visitors.