Posts Tagged ‘Mikayla’

A Doc McStuffins 5th Birthday

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

When I sat down to write Max’s one year update, I realized that I had failed to do an update on Mikayla’s 5th birthday party.  I had started writing it write after her birthday, and never finished.  So, here you go, a Doc McStuffins 5th birthday party recap!

Mikayla has always had a very vivid imagination and we very much love that about our child.  She loves all cartoons, but she especially loves those that the characters really use their imaginations.  Like Backyardigans, Doc McStuffins, Toy Story, etc.  When she suggested we have a Doc McStuffins party for her 5th birthday we decided that was a perfect idea!  It worked out perfectly too because she had been asking for a doctor’s kit for a long time and so we decided that would be a perfect gift for her.

Here is a quick rundown on the party.  First the decorations and food!

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The food spread.  Details below.

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An attempt at Doc’s doctor bag in the form of a cake.

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Party guests.

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Blowing out the candles.  She really struggled to get them blown out, almost had to climb on top of the table to do so!

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Pin the bandage (or rubber as they call it here) on Doc!

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Even Sr. Barbara got in on the fun!

And lastly a few of her gifts.

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The sisters got her silly string as part of her gift, she was not a fan!

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I think we nailed the gift!

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Getting right to work doctoring up her guests.

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We had one of our staff members make her a doctors coat as part of her birthday countdown.  She loved it!  And she even wanted to dress up as Doc for her party.

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Another party down!  Wonder what next year will bring…


Mikayla’s 5th Year of Life in Pictures

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Here is a look back at all the fun and growth that took place in Mikayla’s life over her fifth year.  Enjoy!

April 2013

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May 2013

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June 2013


July 2013

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August 2013

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September 2013

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October 2013

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November 2013

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December 2013

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Early Christmas 112

January 2014

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SWZ to WI 155

February 2014







March 2014



April 2014

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She is still just as goofy as she was a year ago!  Love her!


Mikayla Turns Five

Monday, April 28th, 2014

How is it even possible that my baby is five years old?!  The last five years have flown by by!  My baby girl is not a baby anymore, although she still lets us call her that!  Here is sneak at what the last five years have looked like for Mikayla.


One week old


1 year old

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2 years old

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3 years old

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4 years old

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5 years old

She sure has grown and changed a lot in the last five years!  She has an amazing personality, is super creative, loves to tell jokes, knows what she wants and is very persistent to get it, loves everyone around her (everyone is her friend), is a wonderful big sister, has the biggest imagination, and loves to cook/bake.  I could go on and on with all the wonderful things about my daughter! 

Happiest of 5th birthdays to my sweet Mikayla Lillian (MLK), my favorite doctor out there!

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Posted in Parenting |


Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

We have been a little obsessed with playing Boggle as a family lately.  Ben and I have even been keeping track of score totals and how many games we have each won.  (I won’t brag here about who is winning that contest though!)  But I do want to take the time to brag on Mikayla a little bit. 

She loves to play Boggle with us, but never really writes down words.  It started with her just writing down any letter that she knew how to write.  Gradually we were able to convince her to write down letters she saw on the board.  Then over time, she took it upon herself to write actual words using some of the letters she saw.  Here is her most recent attempt at writing some of those words.  We were both very proud of her attempts!

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Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

We have been a little obsessed with playing Boggle as a family lately.  Ben and I have even been keeping track of score totals and how many games we have each won.  (I won’t brag here about who is winning that contest though!)  But I do want to take the time to brag on Mikayla a little bit. 

She loves to play Boggle with us, but never really writes down words.  It started with her just writing down any letter that she knew how to write.  Gradually we were able to convince her to write down letters she saw on the board.  Then over time, she took it upon herself to write actual words using some of the letters she saw.  Here is her most recent attempt at writing some of those words.  We were both very proud of her attempts!

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Sometimes my daughter is hysterical!  She will often say things that prompt Ben and I to look at each other and say, "Where does she come up with this stuff?"  I mean seriously. 

Case in point.  Last night we had a late dinner so Mikayla showered beforehand.  The dinner included rice.  After dinner she showed us her bowl to see if she had eaten enough and I noticed clumps of rice in her hair.  Oy vey!  Off to the shower again to get out the sticky rice.  Ben got her rewashed and dried off again.  Then he told Mikayla it was time to dry her hair (before putting on her jammies).  Mikayla immediately started to cry and scream that she couldn’t dry her hair without her clothes on, leaving Ben a little confused.  So he turned on the hair dryer and attempted to dry her hair.  She started crying more and began to cower in the corner of the bathroom, pitiful I know.  Ben then asked her why she couldn’t dry her hair without her clothes on.  Her response, "because my skin will fall off".  Seriously??  You can’t make this stuff up!!  Ben then responded, "Mikayla, why do you think your skin will fall off if we dry your hair without any clothes on?"  Her response, "Because mommy said so!"  So Ben scoops her up and brings her to the kitchen where I am washing dishes and asks me if I told Mikayla her skin would fall off if she dried her hair with no clothes on.  My response was no, of course not!  Her demeanor immediately went from tears and fear to smiles and laughing!  She allowed Ben to dry her hair, with no clothes on, and amazingly her skin stayed right where it was!

Another funny Mikayla antidote happened a few weeks ago.  She was playing with one of her dolls that go with her dollhouse and he leg popped off.  She took it to Ben and asked him to fix it for her.  Here is how the conversation unfolded:

M:  Daddy can you fix his leg again?

B: Why did you break the leg off your doll?

M:  I did it on accident…No wait… On purpose…wait… Mommy, which one do I not get in trouble for?

Got to love the things that come out of a kids mouth!  Happy Tuesday everyone.

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Mikayla in her silly jammies.  She loves to mix and match her jammies tops and bottoms every night!

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Max at One Month

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Last Sunday Max turned one month old.  It is crazy how fast this past month has flown by.  Ben and I were actually just talking last night about how much he has grown and changed in the last month and just how quickly it has gone by.  With Mikayla that first month seemed like an eternity, but with Max it has gone too fast.  Maybe it is because we also have a very active four year old to look after!

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Grow with me owl at 2 weeks.

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Grow with me owl at 1 month

Max is quite different from his sister.  While she was always pretty laid back he is a little more high maintenance (although he is starting to come out of this phase).  He definitely cries more than his sister ever did and he is a lot bigger than she ever was!  He is a chunky monkey and eats like a pig!!

Max loves to be held, and during the day actually sleeps better in someone’s arms or in a baby carrier than he does in his crib.  At one month he is starting to get in somewhat of a sleeping routine.  He usually takes a mid-morning nap, an afternoon nap and an early evening nap before calling it a day around 9 or 10.  He sleeps pretty good at night and most nights gets up to nurse 3-4 times and goes right back to sleep.  On rare occasions he likes to have a party around 3 or 4am!  He will often have a crying spell right around dinner time, which has made for some interesting meal times!

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We started Max in cloth diapers after his umbilical cord fell off (around two weeks).  We only have 11 at the moment so we alternate between cloth and disposable, but mostly cloth during the day.  I am also breastfeeding Max and it is going much smoother than with Mikayla.  I had a low supply with her and seem to have an abundance with him!

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Max’s first cloth diaper!

At around two weeks, Max rolled over for the first time (belly to back).  He has been doing it pretty consistently since then, but absolutely hates time on his tummy.  As soon as you put him on his tummy he starts screaming.  We keep trying, but so far he just seems to hate it.  Which is ironic because he loves to fall asleep on your chest where he is essentially on his tummy!  He also has really good neck control (both of our kids have had this).  He can hold his head steady for several seconds and is even able to lift it up when on his tummy.  That is when he isn’t screaming.

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He is starting to enjoy playing on his back.  He will occasionally "talk" with us making small cooing sounds.  And he is starting to smile some, smiles that are not your typical gas smiles. He also has more periods of wakefulness than he did two weeks ago.

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We took Max up to the hostel for the first time last week when the kids were there.  They were absolutely in love and almost knocked us over when we got to the gates.  They all wanted to see him and said what a beautiful baby he was.  I don’t think he will be short on people who love him.  He handled the interaction like a champ, slept right through it!  😉 There are also some cultural differences between raising an American infant and a Swazi infant.  The biggest is the way we bundle up children.  For us Max is sufficient in a long sleeve outfit with pants, a lightweight blanket and maybe a hat depending on temperature.  In Swaziland they bundle their babies up until they are sweating – thick wool blankets and at least three layers of clothing in 80 degree weather!  We often get scolded because Max is not bundled up appropriately!  Just one of the many differences we are finding.

Mikayla is in love with her brother and has been a great helper this past month.  She is on "diaper duty", helping to take care of dirty diapers and pick out his outfits each day!  She loves to snuggle with him and hold him on the couch.  She even seems oblivious to his screaming.  Yesterday he was crying really loud and Ben was talking to him to calm him down.  Mikayla told Ben to that he was being too loud.  When he asked her if Max was being loud too she said no!

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Max was born with three distinct birth marks.  One on his forehead that looks like a triangle, one on the crown of his head and one on the back of his neck.  All three are still very visible, although the forehead triangle is starting to fade some.  Ben likes to refer to this one as the arrow to show "white people’ where to feed the baby!!  His eyes have bounced between being brown and blue, but within the last week they are consistently blue so we are thinking we will have two blue eyed children.

We are starting to get into a pretty good groove and it feels completely normal to be a family of four!  We head to the doctor next week for a six week check up and some shots.  Anxious to see how much my (not so) little boy weighs!

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Mikayla’s Fourth Year in Pictures

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Recently Mikayla has really enjoyed looking at pictures and videos from when she was a baby.  Which I am not opposed to because it gives me a chance to go back and look at how much she has grown and changed!  Mikayla’s fourth year of life was an exciting one filled with travel, visitors and growth!  Here is a quick picture recap of her fourth year of life.

May 2012 – We took some three year old pictures and Mikayla went to Bushfire (a local music festival held yearly in Swaziland) for the first time.  She also discovered the fine culinary art of making mud pies and had a Mickey themed birthday party!3 year pictures 102

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June 2012 – She took part in her first pig roast (she actually participated in two of these in her fourth year) complete with watching the slaughter all the way through cooking and eating!  Pig Roast 035

July 2012 – She took her first hike up Execution Rock (the first of many during the last year).  And became even more goofy!

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August 2012 – In honor of the Olympics she hosted her very own Olympic games with stuffed animals, babies and a few adults!  She also traveled to London for the first time and made her first trip back to the USA where she spent lots of time with family and friends!Pig Roast 006

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September 2012 – More time in the USA hanging with friends and family!  She also got to meet her cousin Reid!

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October 2012 – She started 3 year old preschool this month.Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 010

November 2012 – In addition to hosting another Thanksgiving this year (even bigger than last year) she participated in a global exchange of Traveling Charlie.  She had a blast carrying him around the mission (and Swaziland) snapping pictures of her favorite places.Charlie, LOW Cc 008

December 2012 – She announced she was going to be a big sister!Baby 2 015 (2)

January 2013 – She enjoyed spending the month playing with all her fantastic Christmas gifts, including her soccer ball.  Please note that she is in a princess skirt and rain boots while playing soccer.  This girl has some serious style!LOW 6 and 7 and spider 012

February 2013 – She hosted her first set of visitors since our move to Swaziland.  Jana (Ben’s cousin) and her friend Liv came for a a couple of weeks.Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 001

March 2013 – Daddy went to Ethiopia and brought Mikayla back a beautiful dress which she refers to as her wedding dress!  She also spent almost three weeks visiting with her Grandma and Grandpa Kickert (although I am not sure what happened to all those pictures).  She also dyed and hunted Easter eggs.Visitors - Jana, Liv, Rita Steve 030

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April 2013 – Her birthday month!  She was surprised to find a bike waiting for her on the morning of her fourth birthday!

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What a busy and exciting year this four year old has had!!

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Four Year Pictures Outtakes

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

I have always known that our daughter is a little bit on the goofy side!  She has some serious funny faces and we were able to capture some of those when we went out today to take her 4 year old pictures.  She makes me laugh more and more each day!

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Blowing bubbles!

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This is her go to cheesy grin when you tell her to smile!

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"I’m scared" face.

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Sneak attack!

This was probably the best photo session we have done with her since she was a newborn!  She was really into taking the pictures and as you can see, really animated!  If you want to see the "good" pictures from the photo shoot, you can check them out here on Ben’s Facebook page.  Here is a sneak peek of them…

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Mikayla’s 4th Birthday

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

When Ben’s parents were here we had Mikayla’s official birthday party, but still wanted to do something on her special day.  Like in years past, we had a week long countdown to her birthday filled with fun activities to do as a family or small gifts.  She was so excited each day to open her countdown and I think it really helped her realize just how special a birthday should be!  Her countdowns this year included the following:

  1. Some special princess stickers and a sticker book.
  2. Spa day complete with bubble bath and painting her nails.
  3. Campfire with marshmallows and hotdogs.
  4. Popcorn and a movie.  She had been saving for Toy Story 2 and we surprised her with it for this countdown day.Easter, birthday, camp 061
  5. Some bubbles and chap stick.
  6. Family pizza night where she rolled out and made her very own pizza.  We also watched a movie (Mulan) on this night while eating.
  7. Making special birthday cupcakes and decorating them with pink frosting and sprinkles!

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On her actual birthday (the 28th) we started the morning with balloons, streamers, homemade donuts and gifts.  Then we headed to Big Bend Country Club for lunch and some time on their fun playground.  Afterwards we headed home and prepared for a special birthday dinner with Joe of spaghetti!  And finally ended the day with a special birthday cake. 

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Enjoying her balloons and streamers!

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Opening gifts.

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More gifts!

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Backstory on this picture – A couple of weeks before her birthday she decided that she wanted to make a paper bike.  After we worked on it as a family (I had to enlist Ben’s help because I was drawing a blank), she decided she wanted to wrap it up and save it for her birthday gift.  So she decorated a box and put it inside and promised to forget about it.  This worked out perfect for us because we had already been planning on buying her a bike.  So when it came time to open our gift she opened the paper bike.  And was super excited!  We went out side to "ride" it and had her real bike on the porch waiting.  She did not see the bike at first, but when she did was very excited and forgot all about her paper one!

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She is still a little timid with the bike and has not figured out how to pedal yet.  But then again she has never had any sort of riding toy so this is brand new territory for her.

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Her cupcakes and cake she decorated all on her own!  She knew she was four, so she picked out four candles!!

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I just love this picture and the effort she is using to blow out her four chosen candles!!

All in all it was a great birthday week.  Thanks to everyone who called, sent gifts and cards or sent messages on her special day.  She was excited about them all!  And for the record, is already talking about when she turns five!!

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