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Tiny Penguin

January 14, 2017

Cate and I have enjoyed being members of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium and one of her favorite things to do when we leave through the gift shop (the only exit, so a necessary evil) is to give all the different stuffed animals big hugs. When we first started going, Cate would keep going back to the penguins. So we decided to bring one home for her Christmas present.


We’re pretty sure Tiny Penguin’s name has become Tiny Curtain, because Cate can actually say the word penguin. Above, Cate meeting Penguin for the first time; giving her a binkie for naptime; rekindling her love of swinging.


I got these red glasses for Cate when she was a baby for the car and swimming, but she never liked to wear them, so they became Penguin’s. Look at all those lovely yellow wildflowers. Cate likes to blow them apart when they are fuzzballs which is probably why we have so many… Penguin started coming with us on many excursions, including to the zoo. Snakes are one of their favorites to watch slither around.


Cate and Penguin are already cross-country travelers and did surprisingly well on the airplane to Florida. An hour into the flight, however, Cate asked if we could go home. Hoo boy. On our van ride to the car rental place with two strangers, Penguin was speaking to Cate about important matters and we heard the non-family occupants whisper to each other, “Sounds more like an owl.” We all giggled about that after they got out. Penguin came to all the parks, Cirque du Soleil, and several dinners out. As you can see above, she was a very important and necessary member of the group but sometimes acted out at dinners when she would jump out of Cate’s arms to the floor -right into the path of waiters. Luckily no one tripped. I love that center picture of us on the Dumbo ride. Cate was none too sure about these newfangled rides and so is holding tight to my hand and Penguin while Daddy had his hand on her knee and I love everyone’s expressions, especially Mary and Josh in the background.


I planned on having Cate be a little bright orange bird (one of her favorite colors) for Halloween after seeing the idea in a magazine. We went and got the feather boas together and she loved playing with them, then I bought an orange sweatshirt to sew all the feathers onto. When we pulled it out for her to go to a costume party, however, she got very quiet and then announced, “I don’t like it!” and wouldn’t agree to dress up as anything for Halloween or any other reason. Daddy talked to her about it the next day, mentioning her candy stash could only be replenished if she dressed up for Halloween and that she could choose what she wanted to be, and gave a few suggestions (of black-based animals because she had a black footie sleeper I could fashion into a costume). A little while later, Cate ran up to Andrew all excited and said, “Cate wants to be a penguin!” She was thrilled to get all dressed up in her costume on Halloween and said she was Mommy Penguin to Tiny Penguin, who of course came trick or treating with us. It was a lot of fun making her costume and seeing it come together so adorably.

It has been a fun year with Tiny Penguin, and it’s so sweet to watch Cate play pretend with her, eating play (and sometimes real) food together, exploring, riding scooters, bikes, and trikes, playing on slides and swings, making a ruckus with the playballs she got from her Aunt Jessica this Christmas, and everything else.

Credits: paint.NET

ShabbyPrincess Summer Cottage kit

Midway … from here to an Ice Castle

May 28, 2016

Not sure this is the Midway Ice Castle

Earlier this year we decided to visit the Midway Ice Castle and it was really neat. A little more crowded than was cool, but pretty awesome nonetheless. Cate was a little young to have a ton of fun exploring on her own, but she oooo-ed and aaaaah-ed, said “lights!” when the lights would change colors behind the ice and name the colors she recognized, and then would point for us to go examine other things. She had some fun trying to walk on the uneven snow/ice ground, but mostly liked being carried. The ice sculptors had even made a “narrows” to navigate, which Cate walked through a few times with one of us following behind, a long ice slide for big kids, and a smaller ice slide for toddlers. We got in line for the small person slide, but then bumped our heads on the low ice ceiling and Cate immediately wanted out of the line. Unfamiliar slides are just hit or miss. There was a tiny waterfall, and a big water fountain in the middle of the castle; Cate and I are standing next to it in the picture, but it’s really hard to see. We could have gotten our picture with an Ice Princess but opted not to do that. There were skinny tunnels to crawl through and all sorts of different aged people were trying to squeeze through them like young ice-spelunkers. It was cold, as you can see we bundled up pretty well, but it wasn’t freezing. Once you got inside the ice structure it was sheltered from canyon winds so it seemed a little warmer. I’m happy we explored it, and would be excited to visit again!

Photo credit: Ken Skuse, found on Midway Ice Castle’s website


Some of the best spaghetti I’ve ever had, in S—

May 27, 2016

the best spaghetti you'll ever have
Is this not the best looking dish of spaghetti you’ve ever seen? Well it’s delicious too. Mmmm white chocolate crumbles.

even the McDonalds sign was cool

“June 18,2013
S— is hot and humid. And of course our rooms’ air conditioning doesn’t work. Our hotel is also a little silly in that it has all sorts of Sound of Music memorabilia hanging on the walls. Lots of behind-the-scenes photographs and scenes from the movie of course. The hotel itself also has the option of renting blu-rays. Tomorrow we might watch Amadeus (it’s only fitting) while the rest of the family goes to Hellbrunn. Today we visited Mozart’s home where he was born and lived most of his growing up-when he wasn’t off being a child prodigy with his sister. We also took the Rick Steves tour of downtown S— which was fun. Andrew finally got some lederhosen! On sale for 99 euro and a nice vest to go with them. He looks super cute in them. Emilie and I also got some really cute dirndls.”

I can’t remember whose room it was, but they had the iconic shadow picture of Maria and The Captain on their wall and one night one of the occupants woke up and almost jumped out of bed because she thought someone was in the room. Heeheehee.


Sunporch by Amy Teets

font: monster paparazzi