Monday, June 19, 2017

Stingerie Jungle Jam 2017

What do you do when all three of your girls have summer birthdays within three weeks of one another? A joint birthday party before everyone leaves for the summer of course! We picked a date closer to Madi's birthday since a lot of our friends are leaving at the end of the month and got planning under way.

We went with a jungle theme because all of the girls love animals and it seemed like an easy theme for planning. I used the fabulous printer I learned about when helping for our Women's Retreat and took advantage of the reasonable prices to make invitations, thank you cards, birthday poster, stickers for goodie bags, water and food labels, and personalized bubble labels. #winning. I love designing things like this so it was fun for me!





Tiger Tails :-)
I made all of these fondant animals in the weeks leading up to the birthday party. I figured it would be easier to make our own cake with the egg and nut allergies and too hard to try to explain to a bakery that I just wanted to buy decorations. Enter my art project. It wasn't as difficult as I anticipated, but definitely amateur work. I'm sooo happy with how they turned out though that I don't care!



We had a good food spread and borrowed a close friend's slushy machine to make magaritas and kid-friendly drinks during the party. Everything was a big hit!







The goodie bags had these personalized bubbles, play-doh, candy, and a couple extra stickers with different animals on them. I love how everything I printed turned out and I'm debating how crazy it would be to pick themes for the next 10 years of birthday parties now and have everything printed. Only slightly crazy, right?!



The weather started out a bit questionable in the morning, but opened up to a beautiful (and surprisingly cool) afternoon for our gathering. We used the basement and backyard for face painting and mingling. The kids had a ball on the trampoline and bouncy house!






About halfway through the party we moved inside for a fun bubble and balloon show that the kids all loved (except Olivia - you'll notice a real lack of her in the pictures because she was content sitting in the back eating fruit and was having none of it when I tried to get her to go into the life-size balloons with her sister. #pickyourbattles








I think this is the kid's favorite part - standing in the life size balloons and when you aren't inside, popping it for the person inside. :-)






We sang happy birthday to all three girls and they blew out their candles before diving into their delicious cupcakes and cake!





Overall it was an absolutely wonderful day and I think the girls and all of their guests had a lovely time!! Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with our family!



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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Today was the epitome of a lazy day and exactly what our family needed. The past couple of weeks have been crazy with sickness (me) and preparing for the joint birthday party we held for the girls yesterday (posts to come soon!). The girls stayed up super late the night of the party and so we began our morning quite late around 9:15 am.

The girls watched some television while Jason and I got a breakfast of pancakes and bacon ready for everyone. They were a bit grumpy waiting and finished before we got a chance to eat so back to the television for them and Jason and I got a chance to eat breakfast quietly just the two of us.

We spent most of the day playing inside with new toys the girls received or old favorites - basically just hanging out. It was relaxing, full of laughter and dancing, and absolutely perfect. Madi opened one of her gifts, a Melissa and Doug jewelry kit, and got to work with Daddy helping finish it and assist with the bracelet.


That afternoon we decided to take advantage of the fact that the girls all slept in and took a good nap (the twins at least, Madi doesn't nap but did lay down for a bit) and took everyone to go see Cars 3. The movies don't play for very long in English here (usually gone after less than a week) so it was our only chance. They all behaved really well and we realized it was the twins' first time going to the movie theater.



We did not capture a picture of Jason with all three of his girls. :-( However, I was happy to leave my phone upstairs and be totally present and unplugged with my family for the whole day with lots of special memories. Happy Father's Day to our amazing Dad - the girl's top choice for cuddles, the best tickler, and an incredible role model and leader for our family. We love you!

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Evelyn and Olivia: 23 Months

I think it was also around this point (actually probably slighter sooner on both) that I was about ready to be done with these monthly updates. Fortunately there's just one left! The changes are further and further so there isn't much new to report and getting them done on time has slipped my mind the past couple of months (which you can't tell because blogger lets me back-date things - ha!)

Basically the things I put in your 22 month post have just grown in the past month- you are talking more and more and showing us how particular you are about things. For example, we have cold water in the fridge, but also a distiller on the counter with room temperature water. When you ask for "bubble" (what you both still affectionately call water), you usually tell us if you want cold bubble or warm bubble. One time Jason got Olivia warm bubble and she pushed it away and demanded cold bubble. Drama queen over here.

You've also both picked up on songs more. We continue to do singing group, but now it's become a bedtime favorite to sing the "hello song" where you alternate people and each pick something to say hello while doing. The song goes "Let's [blank] hello to [insert name]" and you girls will regularly jump (although not off the ground yet), spin, clap, wave, and jump. We love singing with you and watching you smile.

Both of you are still playing together more and more. You will play peek a boo with one another, chase each other, and love play doh and coloring. You are also pretending to change diapers on your stuffed animals, feed them a bottle, and build towers out of legos. Most of this month has been spent outdoors playing on the playground or in our front yard. Neither of you do well inside all day...


There have been a couple rounds of high fevers this month, but no other illness. It still could be teething related since all four molars are pushing, but haven't broken your gums. We also re-entered a drooling phase with both of you where you soaked your shirts for 1-3 days, but without obvious progress. We don't check regularly though because we'd like to keep all ten of our fingers.

Both of you know a couple colors - pink, purple, and blue (which coincidentally are the colors of nail polish we have for you girls) and are starting to say "two" when we count. Both of you are starting to tell us when you have pooped (right after, but not before and not every time by all means since you now realize it means instant diaper change). We should probably be jumping into potty training, but since we have flights back to America soon and three long road trips ahead of time (two of which I will be solo parenting during), stopping for the potty every few minutes for three toddlers sounds torturous. So we wait.

You both have distinct personalities and demeanor are very different from one another and we love your uniqueness. You are both pretty independent, but at varying times (which is helpful since there are three of you). You love your cats and your big sister and one another. Oh and giving people high fives and fist bumps. :-) We love you both so much and we can't wait for you to turn t-w-o next month!




I got to take you both on a Starbucks date and snapped this sweet picture. A friend in Norway said it looks like a young Darcy and Jason having coffee - ha! Guess we do have our minis. ;-)



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Friday, June 2, 2017

May Update

Hey so it's June... and between being gone a few days for our Women's Retreat and then my girl's trip to Amsterdam and Kiev, the month flew by once again. Is that what I should expect for the rest of my parenting? Months to continue passing at lightning speed?! Sigh. Alas, the blogging hasn't gotten any better, but since I print this as our yearly album I will carry on with monthly updates if that's what it takes! :-)



  1. The beginning of many outside lunches, snacks, and dinners with the warm May weather.
  2. A delicious beef tenderloin from a new find in Baku.
  3. Splash table fun!
  4. Madi started complaining her tooth was hurting and due to my extensive and first-hand knowledge of cavities, I knew after inspecting the tooth that it was a cavity that would require a filling. Turned out she had two so looks like she's inherited my tendency for cavities despite brushing twice a day and limiting candy. Awesome. She was a champ though in getting them and was super excited to pick pink and blue filling colors. 
  5. Sister love.
  6. Playground after the dentist as I didn't bother to take her to school for the couple hours she would have had left. 
  7. The cats have been able to hang in the front yard while we play outside and they've done surprisingly well staying inside the yard.
  8. Tickle smiles.
  9. Madi got to attend a friend's birthday party while I was out of town and I got sent these and some other sweet pics showing her having a blast with her classmates. 


We spent a Saturday down in Fountain Square which of course includes the merry-go-round for everyone. We had brought the bigger stroller for naps, but the twins decided they were above that and then promptly fell asleep headed to the car or in the car on the way home. Every parent's worst nightmare - ha! It took a bit to settle them when we got home, but it was still worth it for the wonderful day we had.


  1. Madi saw my straightener and after I explained what it was she quickly asked me to straighten her hair. 
  2. These two have become climbing experts making the playground soooo much more fun since they can explore semi-supervised. 
  3. Socks on hands. Because why not.
  4. Princess Madi was excited to get her play jewelry back that I'd stolen for our Women's Retreat fun night.
  5. Pouches and baby songs after bath. 
  6. Evy got a solo playdate with Mom.
  7. 8. & 9. Beautiful girls in beautiful dresses. :-D


We have had such a great transition to our new house and new community after moving. One of the blessings has been the friendship between Madi and our neighbor's youngest Clementine. They literally ask to play with the other every day and they play so well together! They go back and forth between our two houses and play for hours dressing as princesses, making meals, splashing, and everything in between. I got sent the picture below while I was out of town and it captures the silly fun personalities of these two sweet girls perfectly. Love it!



  1. One picking her nose, one sticking her tongue out, and one giving me a forced smile. Just about sums up the Stingerie household at this time - ha!
  2. The girls are not allowed to bring their animals to the kitchen table, which ensues anger every morning with the twins. Our solution? Set them up for breakfast at their play kitchen table. It's grown to have the girls pour them "coffee" and put play food in their dishes. #winning
  3. Movie night with dear friends. And probably the millionth time we've all seen Trolls.
  4. Princess wand and her princess hat.
  5. Beautiful roses our sweet gardener picked and delivered to me while I was outside playing with the girls.
  6. Evy feeding Ta-Ta pretzels at the playground.
  7. Stylin' Liv.
  8. Madi played hooky and we spent the day at the boulevard walking around and meeting up with friends for a picnic. 
  9. The last week of month Madi got a pretty high fever and was home almost a full week from school. She was feeling so bad she feel asleep on the sofa in a very uncomfortable-looking angle. Fortunately she's all better and her bff C survived the separation. ;-)

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Monday, May 29, 2017

A Trip in Selfies {Amsterdam & Kiev}

My friend Tricia who I recently went to Amsterdam and Kiev with is a selfie queen. How much I'm not sure since she didn't even bring her selfie stick, but nonetheless we took many selfies on our four day trip. I jokingly told her I was pretty sure I could do an entire synopsis of our trip in selfies so here goes nothing!

Airport - the first selfie

Starbucks selfie - my first stop in AMS
 
Heineken tour

Vondelpark
Amsterdam bridges

Canal tour


Van Gogh Museum

Rijksmuseum
Rodina Mat (Motherland)

Rodina Mat (Motherland)

Perchersk Lavra

Perchersk Lavra
Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)

Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)

St. Michael's Cathedrale
Mission accomplished. It is possible to make an entire post that fully captures an entire trip in selfies. 😂😂😂

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