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Donovan January and February 2017

by Chrissie Wainright on March 3rd, 2017
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I love this outfit! Wolf ears, ninja Leonardo mask, fire wings, ninja outfit, and swords. =)


Donovan Year 6 2016


Donovan has had a fun winter!  He is absolutely amazing at games.  He can play Epic Duels, and is working hard on his reading so he can read all the cards and play all the guys.  He and his Daddy read chess books at bedtime most nights, and he spends his quiet time working on chess puzzles.  He understands strategy and can add big numbers in his head when he is adding up scores!

He loves to play with both his sisters.  It is adorable, all three of them play together sometimes.  Sometimes, he is the bridge between them.  He will pile up pillows and play silly little games with Maia, or he will build forts and create amazing pretend worlds with Serenity.  He is just a great friend and loves people.  His teachers at school rave about this.  He treats everyone like a friend and really enjoys playing with people.

After his parent teacher conference, Eric took Donovan on a special trip to see the Lego Batman movie with Barrett.  He’s so easygoing, it would be easy to forget all the ways he cooperates, and how enthusiastically he participates at school.  So he got a special treat to show we notice all those things.

He was a huge help during cookie sales.  He went to a couple booths with Serenity, and he did as much work as anyone, holding signs and waving at customers.  He also loved moving cookies around the garage and loading up the car with boxes.  I need to get him a cookie shirt next year!

Eric took Donovan and Serenity to see Cirque with Carson, Raegan, Mike and Kelly.  They adored it!  Then the next night, we all went to Paw Patrol Live.  It was a very busy weekend, but so fun!  I love that all my kids still enjoy Paw Patrol together.

Moana has been a big hit in our house.  After listening to the soundtrack and falling in love with the music, Donovan asked to go see it in theaters.  Eric was thrilled because he hadn’t gotten to see it yet, and he had heard such good things about it.  So they went together and loved it.  Donovan loves all the songs, especially the ones Moana sings, and the Maui song.  He asks for tracks 7 and 11 every single car ride.

Ann and John came for a nice visit, and the kids reveled in having their grandparents here!  Donovan and Serenity learned to play cards!  Vanaema taught them Own Trump, which was a childhood favorite of Eric’s.  So now they know a card game I don’t know how to play!  And they also began to teach them Spades.  SO EXCITING!!!!!


Donovan loves getting fancy =) And picking out clothes.

We added a few things to Donovan’s wall! Shelves to hold his favorite lego minifigs and the ships he builds during his Lego Advent. And the lightning bolt I couldn’t resist.

Ninja and his pirate sister =)

Cool volcano he made at school

Elephant toothpaste at Science Saturday

density experiment at Science Saturday


DZ got to be the line leader on a day I got to walk into school, so I got to see him lead calendar time =) He is SO happy when it’s his turn!

Card games!

He and FarFar played LOTS of board games =) He never gets tired of games =)

Homemade jungle play-doh

Donovan’s class got to have a Love Bug Valentine’s party that I planned. Bug glasses, bookmarks, and building mazes for hexbugs. Such fun!

Fox Power!

Fox power for book fair week =)

Our daffodils are blooming!!!

Maia is Three Years Old!

by Chrissie Wainright on January 23rd, 2017

Maia’s Favorite Things 2016

Maia’s birthday update is finally here!

Maia is three years old now!  She tells us often “I’n a big girl!  I’n super tall!” (that’s really how it sounds)  It’s adorable, and so true.  She’s getting to the age that she can really plan with her brother and sister, and they have fun together!  She and Donovan have spent hours piling up pillows and other silly games.  Serenity is always good for hide and seek and “I’m gonna get you Maia” which is what Maia says when she wants to be chased.  It’s so fun!  She still loves to snuggle with Mama, in the bed or the chair or the couch, and read books or play on the little computer.  She wants Daddy at bedtime, and he has a very complicated bedroom routine.  Anytime he suggests something different to mix things up, she adds it to the list of things she asks for nightly.  There’s several songs, tucking in the Super readers, escorting Eric to the door and slamming it shut behind him.  She also still cries, even though she was the one who said good night and shut the door.  But not much crying anymore!

Maia’s favorite activities include Pillow Piling and Boinga Boinga Crash.  Those names need to be capitalized because it is a BIG deal.  She collects every single pillow and blanket from my bed, and sometimes her bed and Donovan’s bed, and makes a huge pile.  Sometimes it’s right on top of Mama, sometimes on the couch.  Then sometimes she extends the fun with Boinga Boinga Crash, which is exactly what it sounds.  If Daddy is around, sometimes the crash happens on him.  He’s always happy to have kids jump on him.  =)  Climbing is a lot of fun too! =)

She adores music class.  She runs right to her teacher, Mrs. Katherine, and gives her hugs and says “I’m here!”  At one point in the class, everyone gets a turn to sit in her lap and do tonal patterns.  When we’re doing the group tonal patterns, she edges closer and closer to Ms. Katherine, until she asks who wants to go first for tonal patterns, and then Maia pops right into her lap.  She loves instruments, and stamps, and the rainbow coop band.  It’s really cute, and great that she can follow the teacher’s instructions.  And she has memorized so many songs!  In the car, I often hear her little voice singing along.  It is too cute.  And she also knows the words to American Pie, and if you haven’t heard a three year old singing “them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye” it’s hilarious.  She’s also memorized Hallelujah from my Pentatonix Christmas CD.

Maia climbing on rocks at the zoo =)

Maia adores her music teacher, Ms. Katherine. She is always ready to run and sit in her lap when it’s time for tonal patterns!

She also took a swimming class this year.  She doesn’t use her arms enough, but she’s fearless and she has a strong kick!  She loves to jump in.

Swinging is another activity she did a lot this year.  She fell asleep swinging in her yoga swing a few times.  And she still loves swinging in the backyard!

The rice bucket was a surprise favorite this year.  I put it together for her second birthday, and didn’t really foresee keeping it much longer than that winter.  But she asked for it regularly all year long, so I filled it with all kinds of different activities.  It was a Valentine’s tub, filled with hearts, bracelets, and other trinkets.  I buried pirate treasure once, and with construction vehicles.  Most recently I put a bunch of silk flowers, buckets and shovels so she could make it a garden.  It turned out to be really versatile and fun, and worth all the sweeping I had to do  =)

Tea Party in the Rice.  Tea Party is something she plays a lot lately too!  She loves the felt food I made!  A lot of it needs repair though.  It’s been loved a lot.

The sandbox is still a favorite =)

Maia in the pretty dress Vanaema got her =)

Books:  Maia LOVES to read.  She surprised me once when I found a set of alphabet flash cards I’d bought for Serenity long ago by reading a dozen words off the card I’d never showed her before.  She recognizes simple words, like game and stop and pop, from signs around town, but these were fairly long words like animal and balloon.  And it wasn’t a picture thing, as the words are written by themselves.  Exciting surprise!  So we started on the I Can Read books, where I read most of the words but point to a few for Maia to say as I go along.

DZ reading to Maia

Sleeping with a book =)

Her favorite books this year is a long list, but at the top of the list are the Pete the Cat books, especially Pete the Cat and his White Shoes, and Pete the Cat Buttons.  She loved those so much we used them for her birthday party theme.  She also loves Click Clack Peep and the other books from that series.  Click Clack Ho, Ho, Ho.  Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great.  Whenever she says it, it sounds more like “Unicorn thinks he’s Perfect.” Which is pretty great too =)  We read a lot of the Pea books, ABC Peas.  Kittens First Full Moon.  Oh, and she still loves Christmas Books.  Pete The Cat Saves Christmas, The Mitten, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, Eight Jolly Reindeer, and so many more.  We read them all year!

Pete pa Cat

Maia’s favorite shows include the Backyardigans, Team Umizoomi, SuperWhy, Paw Patrol, and Sophia.  She really got into these shows this year.  She would sing all the songs with Backyardigans, and she’d dress up like Sophia in her “purple princess” dress a lot.  She recognizes shapes and patterns with Umizoomi, and SuperWhy is obvious in her alphabet and reading focus.  Paw Patrol is something she shares with Donovan.  He loved it so much we had all the pups and cars, and she has played with them at least as much as he has.

Purple Princess Sofia. I made Maia that crown for Christmas =) And she got her Amulet, which she says “amoolet” =)

Maia loves Forrest. He’s such a good pup. =)

Maia has probably watched more movies with me than either of the other two!  They just don’t like full length movies much.  She, on the other hand, watched Frozen all the way through with me!  Twice! And she adores Elsa and Anna, especially the music.  The weekend the rest of the family went to DC, we had a Tinkerbell Marathon.  We watched three or four of the Tinkerbell movies on Netflix, and she let me put her hair up in a Tinkerbell style.  So cute!!!

Favorite Apps: Cookie Doodle, Endless ABC, and SuperWhy.

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Favorite Crafts: Play-doh and Stickers.  I bought sticker packages like crazy this year, and she would patiently sit and stick them all in a huge pile on white paper.  It was my go-to activity to keep her busy when we needed to get something done.

Maia in February

Favorite Toys: Frozen Wand, Paw Patrol cars/figures, Lego Duplos. Little People Abc creatures, ABC boxes.  Puzzles.  We spend a lot of time with the Duplos especially.  “Mama, wanna build?!?”  Usually the answer is yes =)  She recently got some Sofia legos and Doc MacStuffins so we’ve been building with those a lot.

Lego Duplo =)

Maia loves Elsa! She will actually watch the movie with me =)

ABC blocks

ABC books. Hard to believe she was still in a crib at the beginning of the year!

Woodland birthday! Now she actually wears all those masks! She says “Fox Power!” or “Deer Power!”

Dress up Crazy: Maia has started combining the most awesome dress up outfits.  I love how she lets them evolve, and then always wants to put them together that way again once she decides they are awesome.  She wears her Halloween costume I made her when she was one, finally.  It was a Skye costume, with a fleece hat with ears and goggles (although she usually puts it on backwards) and airplane wings.  She started adding fairy wings to it most of the time, and her purple shoes with the big pink jewel.  Then she needs her pumpkin bucket to complete the ensemble.  I also love her Elephant Queen costume, which combines her Elephant ears and tail, the purple felt crown, and sunglasses.  Adorable.

This outfit made me a little nervous about her plans =)

Wearing her Skye costume to music class

She still loves the rice bucket =)

Favorite Phrases: Some of my favorite things she said this year, that I just want to remember exactly as she says them.  “Pete pa cat.”

“I comin’ Serenity!  I comin’ DZ!” She’d say this in our house or in the car on the way to get them from school.  She usually cried when we’d drop them off, but she was always happy to go get them back!

“Maia Power!”  This one is from the end of the year, and it is TOO cute!  She would yell, Maia Power! And then do some daring and exciting thing, like jump off the couch or run really fast.

Whoopsie Daisy Me.  This is beyond cute.  Instead of just oopsie daisy, it’s “Whoopsie Daisy Me.”  I’ve started saying it sometimes myself =)

One of the phrases from the beginning of the year would come right after a kiss.   She’d give a kiss, and then say “Happy  Mama!”  Or happy Daddy, or happy Papa, whoever she happened to be kissing.  Sometimes it would be “Lucky Mama!”  And I AM so lucky to be her Mama!

Pete pa Cat




Maia Month by Month

Maia in January

Maia in February

Maia in March. March was the beginning of the selfie fun =)

Easter 2016

Maia in April. Sleeping with her Deer Pillow

Maia in May. Heather Warren takes amazing pictures! =)

Maia in June at our neighborhood playground.

Maia in June. She’d done this several times, but by June I was comfortable enough to step back and take pictures instead of hovering =)

Maia in July. This strawberry outfit is one of her favorites! She wore it all through winter too =)

Maia in August. Wearing her Skye nightgown in Papa’s teeter totter

She was so proud she climbed on the stumps! I played with this photo in prisma =)


Maia in September


Jogathon! Maia in October

Maia in October at the Pumpkin Patch

Maia in November

Maia in November at the Botanical Garden



Say CHEESE pigtails!

Maia plays with the big kid legos too! She especially loves anything with a key, and this set had Santa! She loves Santa. She even gave the Santa at the mall a hug this year! She played with her Santa WOW car a lot, and the santas from the lego set. She’d say “ho ho ho!”

Maia in December in her reindeer jammies


December 25th: Christmas!

by Chrissie Wainright on December 28th, 2016
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December 25th: Christmas

Christmas day was so wonderful!  Eric and I had wrapped all the kids presents in a giant snowman and I had a hard time going to sleep after we set it up, I was so excited to see the kid’s reactions.  And it was wonderful =)  DZ gave it a big hug and squealed =)  Serenity sang Boxy the Snowman several times.  And Maia pointed and said “Frosty the Snowman!”  She loves that book, I sang the song so many times to her this year, and it was so much fun to see the excitement!

Serenity woke up first, and she and I snuggled together on the couch as we waited for everyone else to wake up.  We took a bunch of silly selfies, and that’s one of my favorite memories of this Christmas.

After Maia woke up, it was time to start opening presents!  This was fast and fun.  Donovan opened up the new skylanders we got him, and his eyes got really big and he said “I FREAK out!” and then he proceeded to do so.  He got a hexbug habitat, that he had a blast building and rebuilding.  The bugs got loose at the end though so several batteries ran out and one but is MIA.  But it’s really entertaining to watch those bugs!  Serenity got him an Umbreon pillow pet, which he adores.

Serenity also got the most excited about her new mini Skylanders, but she also loved the new books.  She told me later, “Mama, you know me so well, you get me such great presents at Christmas.” So sweet =)  I’m not sure that she was actually that excited by her popsicle maker at first, but now she’s made two batches of popsicles and she LOVES it.  She made pineapple mango the first time, and then she made strawberry mango.  They were delicious, and she’s getting the hang of the blender and the Zoku.  I love that she has something she can do all by herself in the kitchen, and she’s getting creative with her ingredients.

Maia loves Christmas.  She’s been telling everyone Merry Christmas, and she asks me to read more Christmas books and sing more Christmas songs than everyone.  She’s at such a fun age!  Everything we got her this year lights up. An owl nightlight, Tinkerbell wings that light up, and a Sophia amulet.  It is SO cute to hear her say “amulet.” It sounds more like “amoolet”  So cute.  Donovan got her an adorable little Sofia the first doll.  When she saw it she said “I got Sophia!” She doesn’t really play with stuffed toys much, but she carried that little doll around in her hand, wearing her amulet and the felt Sophia crown I made her, and her purple princess dress up dress all day.  Love!

I got lots of wonderful books, which is perfect with my awesome new bookshelf!  Serenity looked through my books, and found an author I like, and went to the store to get me a book I was missing from the series.  Donovan bought me a new Christmas ornament.  It was of the three wise men, which was PERFECT for this year since we all had so much fun with the Star From Afar game.  I also got a Munchkin Avengers, which will be fun for all of us =)  Eric got me Agricola on the IPAD, which has kept us up till midnight every night since. =)

Eric was thrilled by the Pokemon card game DZ chose for him.  Donovan really was so thoughtful about the presents he got for others.  I got Eric tool sorting cases that he will use for his Star Wars game that he plays with Keith, and for Destiny, the new star wars dice game he just got.

We spent the rest of the day lazily playing with our new things and being together.  Perfect Christmas day.  It was 60 degrees outside so we even went on a walk around our greenbelt… still in our reindeer pajamas.  =)

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