The Schmidt kids have been thick as thieves lately. I mean let’s be fair, here, they drive each other pretty nuts. But lately they have really been playing together. Talking to each other. Chasing each other around. It’s like the gap between their ages and abilities has shrunk a little. It’s been so much fun watching them get into trouble together, read books, sing, and chase each other…even when it’s because Amelia has just torn up one of Ryan’s award winning Lego creations.

I hope they are always close.

Oh, Dear.

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Seemingly cute shots of Ryan taking a break from playing. Just watching a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Mommy’s phone.

But wait, what’s that in the background?

Did Ryan make a mess? Is that humanly possible?

When does the maid get here?

Oh, wait.


Ryan’s Fourth Birthday

I suppose it was inevitable that our baby boy would grow up. It didn’t always feel like it – when he was a few months old and wouldn’t sleep longer than three hours it felt like he would be a baby forever. And we would think it ourselves, please, please sleep, and please, please grow out of this!!!

And now, he is really growing. And changing.

He is still the same sweet, smart boy he always has been, but now it’s with a lot of depth. And height.


But enough of the sappy stuff. Ryan had an awesome birthday this year. We woke up in the morning, went out for donuts and then took a trip to Petco to get a fish tank. Yes, Ryan finally has a pet!! Several of them, actually! On our first trip Ryan picked out his tank, stones, plants and a sunken pirate ship to decorate “and provide hiding spaces,” he said. And on our second trip he picked out his “babies”. We are proud to report all the babies are still alive. Thank God.

tank shopping

And then there was the birthday party.


To quote one of the moms who watched in mild horror and maybe some amusement as her daughter dove head first into a baby pool full of packing peanuts, “I bet this looked like a real good idea on Pinterest, didn’t it?”


Ryan and his friends and family enjoyed a dinosaur fossil-themed party this year. Ryan is obessesed with bones and wants to be an archeologist and paleontologist when he grows up. We tried to make those dreams come alive in our basement with a fossil lab, where kids broke into rocks (that Ryan and Mommy made out of coffee) and found fossils.


They also dug dinosaur bones out of the aforementioned baby pool gone wrong. Actually, it was awesome. The kids cannon-balled into 19 cubic feet of foam and everyone emerged absolutely covered. Our house will never be the same.


Mommy made lots of dino treats and everyone left hopped up on sugar and with their underpants full of packing peanuts.


But it was so much fun watching Ryan run around with his classmates and cousins. To quote his preschool teacher, he works the room. He talks to everyone.


We are so, so proud of our four year old. And we are having so, so much fun watching him grow.


Christmas!! Finally!!

About time for some holiday recap!!! So here you have it. The Schmidt kids had an awesome Christmas season. We saw so many people, got so many¬†gifts and ate a whole lot of delicious vegetables….I mean cookies….

COOKIES!!!!! Speaking of cookies, here are some pics of our now annual cookie bake with the LaRocks, whereupon Mommy, Grammy and Aunt Val try to make an many cookies as possible in about 5 hours, as everyone else runs around behind them like a chicken with their head cut off. And Daddy sweeps about a million sprinkles off the floor.

Tasty. Now we have Amelia and her current basket obsession. Sometimes she empties them out (usually when they are holding a load of clean, folded clothes) and sits in them. She calls herself “Basket Baby”. Other times she puts random items in them and pushes them around. Here she is with one of the nativity sets in tow.

On the morning of Christmas Eve, Mommy, Daddy, Ryan and Amelia shared some gifts. Mainly it was an excuse to give Ryan a super cool Star Wars lego book that Mommy and Daddy knew would keep him REAL busy on the way to New Jersey… Also worth noting, for the first time Ryan went Christmas shopping (at school) and surprised each of us with a thoughtful gift. Mommy got a beautiful bracelet, Daddy got a baseball ornament and keychain and Amelia got a Minnie Mouse night light. Great job, Ryan!

Well, the book worked and the trip up to Jersey was relatively uneventful. But our day in Jersey was very eventful!!! Ryan and Amelia got to spend time with the lovely Abigail…and oh yeah, everyone else. But these little kids are so adorable that they really steal the show. It is so fun to watch them play whenever they’re together. It was also fun to see how EXCITED they were at their gifts!! Ryan had an awesome reaction to his gift from Grandma and Pa, which Aunt Kelly captured here.

Since Christmas Eve Ryan and Amelia have had a lot of fun playing with their new toys. Amelia especially loves her vanity and pony set, and Ryan is still hooked on his AT AT walker, or dog, or chicken, which he also pretends that it is from time to time.

Which leads us to CHRISTMAS MORNING!!! Ryan and Amelia both got a good night’s sleep (ha.) and woke up to find major loot left by Santa. We had so much fun opening gifts and stockings and building said gifts on the kitchen table for hours. And hours. Thank God we had to take a break to head over to Mom mom and Pop pop LaRock’s house for a few hours to eat and open more presents….and when we got home we did more building. Buy stock in Lego, people. Ryan and Daddy are obsessed.

And last but not least, the day after Christmas at Grammy and Pop pops. More gift insanity!!! More cousin mayhem!!! And of course, more adorable outfits. We enjoyed sharing baby Ryder’s first Christmas with him and of course loved running around with Ava and Jackson. And Uncle Joe, because he is usually in the middle of it. Ryan loved getting his Kindle and Amelia adores her Bitty Baby. She carries her around all the time, and Ryan says he is her Daddy. We just tell him that’s cute, and someday when he’s older, we will use it as ammunition.

And that’s it! Our Christmas in a (rather large) nutshell! We hope you enjoyed the holidays as much as we did. You can find the rest of our pictures here.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever


Yesterday was our very first Christmas pageant. Mommy and Daddy were bursting at the seams with pride and joy as our little boy and all his new school friends sang beautiful Christmas songs in their costumes. Ryan was a star…rightfully so!

Mommy, Daddy, Amelia (in her Christmas best!) Mom mom Clough, Grandma, Pa and Grammy all came to see Ryan perform. He sang every word, flashed us a few of his signature smiles and, ooops, maybe picked his nose a little. Forgivable on a day like yesterday.

We love you, Ryan.

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