Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Madi's 3rd Birthday Princess Party

I was excited to get our shipment in time to throw a small party for Madi and a few of her friends that we've made in Baku. It was smaller than her previous two birthdays, but she of course didn't notice or care and just had a blast playing with her friends, having Happy Birthday sung to her, and eating cupcakes! :-) It was a fabulous day and I'm grateful for the new friends we've made celebrating with us!

Happiest of birthdays sweet girl!! You are joyful, fun, love to laugh, play fabulously with your baby sisters, and negotiate e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g to try and get your way. We are so blessed to have you in our lives and thank the Lord daily for your kind heart. Happy 3rd birthday Miss Madi!! 🎈🎉


Monday, June 20, 2016

Madi: 3 Years

This is definitely a fun, but challenging age! The things you say Miss Madi are so darn cute and hilarious and surprising sometimes. We've also had some challenges with listening and tantrums, which I believe is referred to as "three-nager" ;-)

Here are some of the fun things we want to remember about you at this age:

- You can count to 30 and almost higher. You leave out a few numbers here and there, but are pretty good overall.
- You can recognize some letters and love singing the alphabet.
- We had limited books because of the move and so of the 10 or so books we kept, you have more than half of them memorized. It's so fun watching you "read" to us. You can recite Beach House, Little Quack Loves Colors, Little Quack ABC's, The Story of Moses, Are You Ready to Play Outside, and Where is the Green Sheep.

- You are learning to play independently very well and also using your imagination when playing with toys.
- You love helping Mommy in the kitchen and are starting to do more and more things to help  like cutting vegetables, basting meats and corn on the cob, stirring cake batter and cleaning up the spatulas ;-) to name a few.
- You continue to love on your baby sisters and play with them so well. It melts our hearts to see you interact with them!

- When you want to know what we are doing you say "What in you are doing?" and it's adorable.
- You sing lots of songs in Norwegian and we've tried to capture them on video (blog post to come!) so we can always remember them. We also still get "nei" more than we get "no". ;-)
- You love jumping - trampolines, sofas, beds - basically anything. You also love climbing!

- Your favorite foods are pizza, french fries, yogurt, chips, carrots, cucumbers, milk, and of course chocolate, ice cream, and buttercream icing.
- You love to dance... but if we try to dance without any music on you tell us "Stop, no. There's no music. You can't dance."
- You used to love Peppa Pig and have moved on to Mickey Mouse. And then out of no where you have become obsessed with princesses! You've only seen a couple of the Disney princess movies (Cinderella and Tangled), but you ask to wear princess dresses almost every day and wanted a princess party for your birthday.

Fun facts: you've lived in two countries, visited 15 countries, and been on 69 plane rides. That's quite the haul for your short three years! #expatkid


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Formula One and Father's Day

This past weekend was a historic event - the first ever Formula One here in Baku! We've driven on the track downtown and seen them setting up the course since we moved here over a month ago. We weren't sure if we would have babysitting or how visas would work out for everyone so we opted for just Jason to get tickets and buy slightly more expensive than we would have done if we were both going. He had a fabulous time seeing the race and a really good corner of the track I think!

It was also Father's Day in the US on Sunday. We let Daddy sleep in and made him a breakfast of bacon and eggs before he headed out to the race. While he was gone the day before Madi and I made him a card and she was excited to give it to him and to wear her matching car shirt that we bought back in 2014 when we attended WRC Catalunya.

Oh and in other exciting news Christmas came early when our shipment unexpectedly arrived in Baku and cleared customs a few weeks before it was expected! I've spent every spare minute since last Wednesday unpacking and setting up and can't wait to share pictures of the house soon! :-)


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sun and Smiles

Tomorrow our shipment arrives! Any expat or person who's lived out of a suitcase for awhile knows just how exciting tomorrow is - like Christmas came early!! We were really fortunate and our stuff arrived quicker than expected and cleared Customs in like three days (unheard of, especially given that we didn't have our residence cards quite yet either!) The next few days will be spent unpacking and practicing self-control to not do it all in one day (no promises though ;-). Until then, here's some pictures to capture the past couple of weeks - full of sun and smiles from these three beautiful girls!

1. & 2. These girls seriously wake up so happy! Especially Liv - Evy is a bit of a grouch until she's had her bottle, but then she's just as happy. ;-)
3. Evy loves watching the washer and dryer spin.
4. Liv snuggles.
5. Evy smiles.
6. Liv smiles.
7. & 8. Tons of fun at a school picnic with live music and the girls loving their wagon!
9. Serious Liv!

1. Evening wagon ride with the family!
2. Swinging sisters.
3. A lunch date with Madi where she got an Angry Birds happy meal.
4. And a hot chocolate before grocery shopping!
5. Madi loves putting her fedora hat on Liv. And Liv loves wearing it!
6. Playing in the backyard pool.
7. Pottery Barn Kids - LOVE them!
8. Girls first time swimming at the big outdoor pool.
9. CeCe and Zoey are still alive and doing nothing but sleeping. ;-)

1. Jason let me have some alone time with a pedicure and Starbucks while he took all three girls to the park.
2. & 3. After church smiles and laughs with these girls.
4. Evy playing.
5. Family time at the playground. I'll have to work on the selfies with five people. Or... (gulp)...buy a selfie stick! ;-)
6. Liv laughing.
7. Madi has asked for puddles basically every day. So when we had some rain, this girl was in her boots and out the door in record time. You can take the girl out of Norway... but you can't take the Norway out of the girl!
8. & 9. Happy babies!

1. A lovely girl's dinner with some of the ladies in the compound. Delicious food and fabulous company!
2. & 3. The girls playing in our two smaller backyard mini pools.
4. I have frequented Starbucks...both locations here. And they have yet to re-stock the icon mugs. Fortunately a friend had a brand new one that she sold me - yes!
5. There have actually been quite a few things we were able to get in Norway that we can't get here... one of them being salsa. I've now made a couple batches of this roasted salsa that we are loving. However, we've run out of tortilla chips since those aren't available here either. Yikes!
6. And.... bread. We were spoiled with Norwegian bread and what we've found here hasn't been cutting it. So we bought a bread machine and we've been making our own. First loaf (a 70/30 wheat/white recipe).
7. Madi asked me to paint her toenails and fingernails. First time they've been painted!
8. We had a wonderful pre-birthday celebration for Madi and some of the other kids in playgroup with June birthdays.
9. Babies loving the walker! They have gotten really good at using it and have been standing on their own a little here and there, but no steps yet!

I'm hoping once we get settled to get back to blogging more regularly. Most of our days are spent playing at the park, going for walks, and hanging at the house. We've had a few friends over for playdates and have ventured out some for playgroups and activities, but I still feel like we are trying to find our bearings and get settled. We are all doing really good though and so excited to get our stuff tomorrow! :-)


Friday, June 10, 2016

Evelyn and Olivia: Eleven Months

These girls have changed a lot over the last month and had quite a few firsts (first time swimming, swinging, etc.). We've seen a huge change in Olivia - I don't know if it's an age development thing or a change in climate. She's been significantly more happy, more smiles, and tons more laughter. Baku warm weather = happy Liv!

- Both girls have popped their top teeth bringing the total to four (two bottom and two top).
- Liv has stood on her own for a few seconds multiple times, but no steps forward yet. Evy doesn't seem to have any interest standing on her own. Both move across things while standing though!
- Both girls, but mostly Evy, will crawl around with a toy hanging out of her mouth - so funny to watch.

- The weather has been too warm to sleep outside so we've transitioned to one nap in the early afternoon and moved to the crib. It was a surprisingly easy transition on both accounts.
- There is a playground very close to the house and both girls love to swing!
- Evy sticks her tongue out all. the. time. It's quite funny (except when you are in the middle of kissing her!)

- We've started taking wagon rides in the evenings and sometimes during the day. Both of you love that wagon and going around in it, especially Liv. She starts squealing and talking when we set her in.
- Evy loves to eat steak, chicken, pancakes, pouches, jelly bread, apples, and cheerios.
- Liv loves to eat bananas, apples, pancakes (without egg), pouches, apples, and cheerios.

- Both girls are talking so much and it's adorable! Liv can say the following sounds: mama, dada, gaga, baba, meow (sounds like she is meowing like a cat!). Evy smacks her lips a lot still and says the following sounds: mama, dada, baba, and squeals very loudly and somewhat obnoxiously.
- You both love bath time and very quickly took to swimming. We've only gone to the big pool at the compound once, but we have two smaller pools and you could spend hours sitting and splashing in them!
- Liv has started dancing. While she is standing up she'll start moving her hips and bouncing up and down. She's also started clapping and is so proud when she does!

Here's a couple videos of some Liv and Evy laughs! :-)

Evelyn Grace

Weight: 18.9 lbs
Height: 27.3 in
Head: 17.8 in

Olivia Ann

Weight: 17.6 lbs
Height: 26.3 in
Head: 18.4 in

And even though this one is blurry, I just love that you can see their laughter in it! :-)

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