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Friday, July 31, 2009

Mini Mama

At only 13 months old, Amelia is already such an affectionate and nurturing little girl. Even if I tried, I couldn't possibly keep track of how many unsolicited kisses she offers me each and every day. She's the same way with her babies-hugs and kisses galore! Amelia is very content to sit with play food or a bottle and make sure all her dolls are fed. I often have to stifle my laughter when she does this though, because for some reason, she only offers them food through their eyes....check it out! And no, I don't have the heart to correct my little sweetie. With time she'll figure it out. That is, if Graham doesn't correct the problem first!

Delicious!

This baby is able to eat through her eyes too!

But, Amelia eats through her mouth!

Once the diligent Mama is through feeding her babies, Big Brother Graham rushes in to whisk the children away on some sort of fun adventure. I wonder what he's thinking with that mischievous grin....


Now that the children are off on their field trip, Mama Amelia has time to relax and play in the toy storage bin!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Walking Work of Art

Compliments of Big Brother Graham and his sticker collection, Amelia has been turned into a walking work of art. I wish I understood why Graham decided to cover her head in stickers (he was extremely conscientious and made sure to cover all sides of her head evenly) and I'm perhaps even more curious as to why Amelia allowed this artistry. Now, I have the lovely job of pulling them out of her hair one by one by one. I hope she is as cooperative during this part of the art project as she was for Graham's portion!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Playing on the Stairs

We found ourselves back at General Mills for lunch today. Last time we visited, after our meal, we let Amelia and Graham explore the 'big man statue', as Graham likes to call it. On that same visit, Graham also noticed several other large modern pieces of art scattered around the campus. We left that day with the promise that the next time we went, we'd check out the 'big rock statue'. We arrived today and sure enough Graham was immediately begging to see the big rocks. We were all set to let the kids loose on the lawn when on came the sprinklers. Neither of the little ones saw a problem with the water, but Dada Jeff and I had to say no. We quickly came up with a Plan B and let them play on the stairs. I know that sounds horribly dangerous, but they weren't left alone and it really was quite the treat for both of them since playing on the stairs at home is something we "never never" do!



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Playing in the Park

We visited our favorite park this morning with Alex and her mom, Amy. Amelia immediately took an interest in the wood chips that cover the ground. Apparently, gnawing on them is a great way to relieve sore teething gums and pushing them into mini mountains is extremely entertaining. Graham saw the wood chips as something to conquer. He made it his personal mission to dig a tunnel straight through them that would lead him to the other side of the fence. Thankfully, his goal was not met. And Alex, had a great time exploring a new park and gently handing Amelia her prized wood chips when he hands were empty. Who would have thought that wood chips could be so entertaining???


And because the playing at the park and corralling three children for a picnic lunch wasn't quite enough for the Mommy's, we decided to head to Costco to pick up a few quick things. All three kids were pretty tired from a morning of activity, but thanks to pretzel rods and bribery, we made it out of the store without incident.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Amelia's Babies

Each night, Amelia goes to sleep at one end of her crib. And each night, Amelia's babies go to sleep right next to her. Each morning, I discover that not only has Amelia moved to the opposite end of her crib, but that she's moved each and every one of her babies right along with her. She has several babies that she sleeps with, only a few of which are visible here. The rest of them are peacefully resting directly under Miss Amelia. Hopefully she doesn't smother half of her clan!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lake House Weekend

We were up at the lake this weekend but I actually don't have many pictures to share. I enjoyed the weekend without carrying a camera around which was surprisingly freeing. I've realized lately that when we're visiting fun places, I'm often the observer behind the camera pleading with Amelia and Graham to look at the camera. This weekend though, I decided to just enjoy the kids! More pictures to come, I promise!


Amelia and Graham sharing a snack on the boat


On the way to the lake house, we made a quick stop at an outlet mall. We were in a children's store and both kids were thrilled to discover a Lego table to entertain them. Their laughter was too cute not to share!
video

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beach Day

We spent this morning at the local beach with Grandma and I can now officially say that I have two water babies on my hands. Both Amelia and Graham are fearless when it comes to water. Amelia sat right down in the lake and immediately got down to business moving sand back and forth from hand to hand. On her own accord, she put her face in the water and came up smiling. On one occasion, she actually lost her balance and fell backwards into the water only to start giggling. It's a good thing we live in the land of 10,000 lakes!
The loved filling buckets with sand

I think this is a sweet profile picture of Miss Amelia. She has the longest eyelashes I've ever seen, and you can almost see them here.

Amelia was very content to sit in water a few inches deep and throw sand around

Get this hat off NOW!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A New Chariot

We received a wonderful, surprise gift from Uncle Peter and Auntie Lynn this past weekend-a double bike trailer! The past few days have been busy for us so we haven't had the chance to get it set up, but tonight the kids got to experience their brand new chariot! Once it was all put together, they both had a ball trying out their new seats. Things only got better for them when we took them for a ride around the neighborhood. Graham is always begging for us to run with his stroller, so tonight he got to fly behind a bike! Definitely a fun evening!

Amelia took charge of the building process and grabbed the directions

Daddy Jeff had lots of helping hands!

How fun!

Amelia isn't screaming here, she's laughing her head off!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A trip to the zoo...

We headed to the zoo this morning but I didn't expect to stay very long. When Amelia and Graham are next to each other in the jogging stroller, often times, not too much time passes before they're annoying each other and getting into the personal space of the other. Imagine my shock this morning when nearly 30 minutes into our visit, I hadn't heard a peep out of either of them and this is what I saw.....
Honestly, the fact that they were holding hands nearly stopped me in my tracks. The giraffes could have escaped right next to me and I probably wouldn't have noticed. My two kiddos weren't just tolerating each other, they were actually enjoying the company. It could have melted my heart...

Because they behaved like angels the entire morning (I'll be the first to admit that my kids aren't perfect, but today they were even receiving complements from strangers based on their behavior!)I decided to get a frozen treat to share before we headed home. I opted for a frozen lemonade-one of my favorite summer indulgences. Amelia loves ice cream and she loves popsicles, but tart lemon was a new experience for her. I had a feeling she'd have a funny reaction, so my camera was ready...


It wasn't too long though before Amelia was quickly whining for more. Apparently, I just wasn't getting it into her mouth fast enough!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back to the Museum

We spent a wild and crazy Friday evening at the Children's Museum. We had to find something to do inside tonight as the weather is down right cold, so cold in fact, that I'm sure Minneapolis has set some sort of new mid-July record low. It doesn't matter if it's rainy, sunny, hot, or cold, both kids love exploring the museum and are very sad when it's time to pack up and head home. Lucky for them, we've got a season pass, so we have no excuse not to visit again soon.

Just arriving at the museum-can you tell she's happy to be there?

So many buttons to play with on the cash register!
Amelia loves to give kisses and we love to receive them!

Hmmm, if only we could get them to cook this nicely with real food in the real kitchen!

Enjoying books in the toddler area

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Final Post-Placement Vist

This morning we had Amelia's final post-placement visit with Mary, our Children's Home social worker. We had a meeting at one month home at our house, today at three months home at Children's Home, and at five months home, we're required to send a written progress report. The paperwork will continue for some time as we work to have Amelia's adoption finalized in the county court which will make her a United States citizen. Even then though, our paperwork isn't complete. Once Amelia becomes a citizen, and we receive her Minnesota state birth certificate and adoption decree, it's then time for us to gather more documents and apply for her passport. Once we have her passport, we can apply for her social security card. And finally, once we have her social security card, we can apply for her Certificate of Citizenship. Then, our paperwork is done. We're expecting to be granted a court date in late September or October and everything else should fall in place shortly after. About a year from now, we should have all the legal documents in hand. I'm all paperworked out just thinking about it!

It felt strange at our meeting this morning, to know that we have no real reason to be back at Children's Home in the near future. For three years now, our lives have been intertwined with meetings, classes, and paperwork all relating to us bringing home our Korean treasures. It's hard to believe that I'm no longer waiting for the phone to ring. Both kids are home-happy, healthy, and thriving. I really couldn't ask for anymore.

Mary was thrilled with the progress Amelia has made and how smooth her transition into our family has gone. Over the past three years, we've gotten to know Mary quite well and much of our meeting was spent just reminiscing. She couldn't help but remind us how scared we were the first time we met her and how skeptical we became of the process with all the bumps in the road leading up to seeing a picture of Graham for the first time. Yes, we've come a long way as a family.

And because I like to keep things real, with Daddy Jeff's permission, I will share a funny and bit embarrassing story regarding our meeting this morning. As we were talking with Mary, she was watching Graham play in the toy kitchen and asked us if he is speaking in sentences. Before either of us could answer, Graham turned around, looked at her and very clearly said "Yes. Daddy Jeff's poopy smells icky!" WHAT WAS HE THINKING?????????????? Jeff and I both looked at each other, then had to quickly turn away so we didn't start cracking up. None of us knew what to say. I believe I broke the silence with something like "So anyways......" I suppose it's time for us to get used to having a verbal child who speaks his mind!

I have NO clue why this photo is sideways. I've tried for 10 minutes to get it to load correctly and it won't. So, today you'll be enjoying a sideways picture of Graham and Amelia playing at Children's Home before our meeting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Edinborough Park

Amelia and Graham have been in 7th heaven the past two days. Two days in a row, they got to visit Edinborough Park, one of their favorite places! Yesterday we visited with our friends Tiffiny and Livia for a lunch picnic and play time and this evening we visited for a dinner picnic with Halmoni and Harabeoji. Both kids love having the freedom to run (or crawl and take few unassisted steps in Amelia's case) and play without listening to their parents shout out that they've wandered too far. Enclosed play areas are the best! Here are a few snapshots from our evening. Once at the park, I realized that my camera battery was completely dead, so all pictures are compliments of Harabeoji-thank you!

"No Graham, you may NOT have this ball!"

"I want the camera now, please!"

Taking a walk with Daddy

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Small Town Parade

We spent the weekend up at the lake enjoying the perfect weather and small town life. There was a rodeo in town this weekend, and in honor of the rodeo the town of Spooner hosted a parade. In order to secure the perfect spot, people were lined up along the parade route hours ahead of time. Our chairs sat empty for two hours before the parade started and we made it to our seats just time for the parade to start. Amelia and Graham were mesmerized by the marching bands, fire trucks, cows, goats, and horses (it is a SMALL town!). The best part though, at least according to Graham were the treats the kids got- candy, popsicles, and even chocolate milk. I'm not sure I understand handing out milk on a hot summer day, but it was a hit. Strangely enough though, common sense seemed to be lacking by some of the parade participants. It was fairly hot outside, so many people riding the floats had water guns and water balloons to mist the crowd. Imagine our surprise, when Amelia who was riding in the stroller became a target...who in their right mind thinks it's funny to pelt a baby with a super soaker!?!?! It sounds so strange I'm laughing to myself as I describe it. Thankfully, Amelia didn't mind and we were able enjoy the rest of the parade.

Sharing a hot dog with Daddy before the parade

Just chillin' in the stroller

"I know there's water in here somewhere!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hairbows

As you can probably tell from the fact that Amelia always has a bow in her hair, I've got an obsession! I love all things girly and as I waited for Amelia to come home, my secret hope, other than to get her home and have her remain healthy of course, was that she'd tolerate me fussing with her hair. Sure enough, my wish came true, and not only does she allow me to add hair accessories to her outfits, but she actually leaves them in! I learned very quickly that the trick to getting her to stay still long enough for me to achieve the desired look was to bribe her with goldfish crackers while she sits in her highchair. I've been ordering a LOT of hairbows from an online store and the store owner and I have been emailing as she's custom made a few items for me. One day she asked if she could see a picture of the little girl who was wearing all of her creations. I emailed her a picture, and not more than 30 minutes later, she emailed back and asked if Amelia could model some of her pieces. Click here to see a picture of our little cutie showing off some of her newest hairbows!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Amelia's First Oreo

This might not sound like a big deal, but as a self proclaimed Oreo addict (double stuffed, please!) I was happy to see Amelia getting so much enjoyment out of one of my favorite treats. After inhaling her large dinner in record time, Amelia began pounding on her tray as she watched the rest of us still enjoying our meal. She had already finished off a large pile of meatballs and an even larger mountain of strawberries so I decided to hand her a treat in order to keep her content in her highchair while the rest of us finished eating. I don't know why I decided tonight was the night for her very first cookie, but I did, and she LOVED it! She laughed at it, played with it, then devoured it. That's my girl!
Amelia normally eats dinner sans hair bow and shirt....she's recently decided that it's easier to shove fistfuls of food into her mouth than it is to wait for me to feed her from a fork. This method makes for a very messy Amelia.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lunch with Dada Jeff

We had lunch with Dada Jeff at General Mills today. It wasn't as hot as it's been recently, so we took advantage of the weather and sat outside for our meal. Both kids loved sitting right next to the water and both kids learned very quickly how their loud voices echo because of the water. Graham treated the entire General Mills patio with several LOUD renditions of Barney's "I love You" and Amelia just enjoyed listening to herself giggle.


See how happy Amelia is after she's fed? Our girly loves to eat

Jeff was a bit taken back by the number of layers and amount of fabric in Amelia's skirt. I think it looks cute, and I'm thinking Jeff probably does too (although he won't admit it!) but here he is studying Miss Amelia's ensemble for the day.

Scattered around the General Mills campus are various large sculptures. One of them, is an enormous bronze man, and it's visible from the highway. Each time we pass the statue, Graham waves, and each time we visit Dada Jeff, Graham begs to "hold the man". Well, the sculpture is clearly too big to hold, but we did let Amelia and Graham have an up close and personal encounter with this specific piece of art.
What a nice Daddy to talk a walk with the kids in the middle of his busy day!


We made it!

Amelia is clearly impressed by the size of the statue. Here you can see her head barely peeking out over his foot!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Amelia's GREAT Grandparents

Today, we had to say good-bye to Amelia's Great Grandparents. They're leaving to head back home to sunny, warm Florida. Graham and Amelia are so very lucky to have such a fantastic set of Great Grandparents that absolutely love and adore them. Now, if only they didn't live so far away! Lucky for all of us, we're getting together in November for a family gathering in St. Louis so it won't be too long before they're reunited again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

12 Month Stats

Today, Amelia had her 12 month check-up. Even though she's had her birthday party, has started walking, and is recently displaying real toddler determination, I still can't believe that she's already a year old. Time is flying and I'm not sure I like it!

Amelia did a great job during her appointment. She was all smiles for the pediatrician and was happy to show off all her one year old tricks. The only tears came at the very end of our visit when the nurse popped into the room to give Amelia an immunization. Amelia was not a happy girl, but her smile quickly returned when she was allowed to clutch a Little Mermaid sticker in her sweaty little hands. During our visit today, we learned that at a year old Amelia weights 22 pounds 11 ounces and is 29 2/4 inches long. Assuming that Amelia remains the healthy girl that she is, her next visit to the doctor will be when she turns 15 months old.

Emptying an entire box of kleenex while waiting for the doctor

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy (belated) 4th of July!

We just returned from spending several fun-filled days up at the lake. Graham LOVES the "yake house", as he calls it, and if Amelia could talk, I have a feeling she'd be saying the same thing. Both kids can't get enough of of playing outside, swimming in their little pool, hanging out on the boat, eating way too much junk food, and being spoiled by all the attention their family loves to shower them with. We were lucky enough to be able to celebrate the 4th with a great group of friends and family. Graham and Amelia's great grandparents journeyed to the north woods from Florida as did their Great Aunt and Uncle from St. Louis. Baby Miles and his parents as well as a fantastic group of family friends helped us celebrate and witness the giant pig roast....something Uncle Peter has been wanting to do for years!
Unfortunately, the sleeping issues have crept back into our lives....Amelia does great as long as Graham isn't in the room to disturb her, and Graham just isn't happy unless he's in his very own crib. So, all four of us arrived home ready to catch up on some undisturbed and much needed sleep. Amelia and Graham were positively giddy to be reunited with their house. Graham actually said he loved his house and Amelia rolled around on the floor laughing as she smashed into her toys. As much as we all enjoy a weekend getaway, there really is no place like home!
Amelia LOVES the water!

Taking a break from the sun to watch Thomas

This is what happens when kids don't sleep well at night....we go out for breakfast and they fall asleep 2 minutes into the ride!


Enjoying the boat parade on the 4th

Happy to be splashing in the water. Graham was still napping at this point, so Amelia got the pool all to herself!

Burger King Royalty...we had to make a stop on the way home