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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

15 Month Check-Up

This afternoon, Amelia had her 15 month check-up. Our favorite pediatrician has been out on maternity leave with twins, so today was the first time that Amelia got to meet her. Thankfully, the pediatrician's calm and sweet demeanor quickly won Amelia over and not a single tear was shed! Because Amelia is fighting off the end of a cold, she escaped without having even a single shot. Little does she know, that as soon as she's healthy, we'll be back for those immunizations! At 15 months old, Amelia weighs 23.5 pounds and is just over 31 inches tall so she continues to follow her growth curve and remains our perfectly healthy, big girl!

Amelia was FULL of energy at her appointment. The doctor was running late and instead of looking at books and eating cheerios I had in my bag, Amelia entertained herself by dancing on the examination table. She thought she was hilarious! Here's Amelia gettin' down with her kleenex! Excuse the blurriness-she was moving way too fast to get a good shot!


When she did finally grow tired of dancing, she sat down to wipe the table clean. It appears that my obsession with wiping down the counters and tables multiple times a day with Clorox wipes is rubbing off on her!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pajama Day

Watching Sesame Street
Today we unfortunately welcomed our first colds of the season. Both kids woke up sick and understandably cranky. We canceled our plans for the day and instead the kids stayed home in their pajamas lounging around the house. TV is very limited for these two, but when they're sick, and don't feel like doing much, sometimes Elmo and Sesame Street is just what the doctor ordered. I'm certain tomorrow will be more of the same around the house so it seems that Miss Amelia has gotten her wish-no sibling care this week!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sugar High!

Amelia and Graham attended a birthday party for their buddy Alex this weekend. They had a great time creating an animal craft, dining on a wild animal themed meal, and playing zoo themed games. They both also experienced their very first sugar high! Both kids had healthy doses of 'jungle juice', frosted sugar cookies that were honestly too cute to eat, and of course birthday cake. I'm sure that if Amelia could talk, she'd still be chatting about the fun she had yesterday and in fact, Graham still is!

Creating animals while waiting for all the party guests to arrive. All three of them are actually engrossed with small plastic adhesive circles...forget about the foam animals, they loved the clear stickers!

On wild animal egg hunt. Amelia wasn't quite sure what to do, but Graham was a man on a mission and quickly filled his bag up.

Team Work!

In the middle of the egg hunt, Amelia stopped for a quick game of peek-a-boo through the bean bag toss game!

The toddlers studying their treasures

Amelia receives a sticker from the birthday girl!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Amelia goes to school....week 2

Unfortunately, week 2 of school didn't go so well for Amelia. She cried immediately upon stepping foot in the classroom. I carried her around for a while trying to peak her interest in painting (she HATED it) and various toys. She decided that playing with the dolls was probably worth leaving my arms for-at least for a few minutes. When it was time for a snack, the children gathered around the table and the moms (and 1 dad) went to the other end of the room. I didn't get very far because Amelia reminded me with her blood curdling screams that she was not ok with that arrangement. So, Amelia spent the next hour happily sitting on my lap. With time, I know that she'll become comfortable with the teachers and classroom, but until then, I think I'm going to have a little buddy at school.

Feeding her baby

Grocery shopping with baby...Amelia loved this doll because the eyes open and close

Graham would be so ticked off if he saw this picture! Last year, Graham staked his claim on this very 'bus' and I'm not sure what he would think of Amelia giving it a whirl!



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Girls Day Out

Graham was invited to spend the day hanging out with his Grandma which means that Amelia and I had got to have a 'Girls Day Out'! Yes, our day did include a bunch of cleaning and several errands (soooo much easier to cross things off my to-do list with only one munchkin running around) but we did find time to fit in a bit of shopping and a nice lunch out. During our meal, Amelia started whining and pointing at my bowl of soup so I offered her taste, and before I knew it, she polished off nearly every drop! Add tomato basil soup to her list of foods that she LOVES!


When Graham arrived home around dinnertime I wondered how their little reunion would go. They smiled and giggled with each other for about a minute, then it was back to business as usual for them. We even took them for a bike ride tonight, figuring that since they hadn't been together all day, they'd be able to tolerate the close quarters of the bike trailer. Well, considering Graham repeatedly stuck his elbow into Amelia's face and she only bit him twice in response, I'd say things went pretty well. :) Siblings!


All cleaned up and full of smiles after tomato basil soup!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Airplane Adventure

Today we (Graham, Amelia, Miles, my Mom, and I) had the opportunity to fly around with Uncle Peter! Although Amelia is too young to actually understand that Uncle Peter was the pilot, Graham currently loves all things aviation and couldn't have been more thrilled to see his Uncle in the cockpit and hear his voice over the intercom.

Our day started with a trip through airport security. Thank goodness for the for the patient gentleman behind me, my two kids, and a double stroller that the TSA agents insisted be lifted onto the conveyor belt to be x-rayed! When it came time to board the plane, Graham was given his very own pilot hat which he wore proudly for the rest of the day. We landed in exotic Sioux City, Iowa and I had just enough time quickly change Amelia's diaper before the plane turned around and headed back home. For the most part, the kids did a great job on the plane. With just two adults and three active kids, there was a lot of 'musical chairs' being played, but I felt pretty good that my Mom and I were able to keep the babies all happy! Thanks Uncle Peter, for a fun day!

While waiting to board the plane, Amelia decided that her baby needed some cheerios


Graham's in-flight entertainment

Amelia's in-flight entertainment

snack break

Peek-a-boo over the chair

Fast asleep literally seconds before landing

Captain Graham! He was so excited about playing in the cockpit!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy 2nd Gotcha Day, Graham!

Although this blog is normally dedicated to Amelia, today, on the 2nd Anniversary of Graham's journey home, we're celebrating our fantastic little guy! It's so hard to believe that exactly two years ago, Jeff and I were pacing the halls of O'Hare praying that our short and final flight home, would go better than the previous 15 hours of flying over the Pacific. Graham's adjustment home wasn't always easy for him, but today, he's our confident, persistent, funny, happy, nearly 3 year old (where has the time gone????), spunky little guy. We have no doubt that we were made for each other and we are so thankful for the road that led us to him. So today we're celebrating 'Gotcha Day'-the special day when Graham got us and we got him, FOREVER! We love you Graham!

Click this picture to view short video of Graham smiling through the past two years!
View this montage created at One True Media
Happy 2nd Gotcha Day, Graham!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amelia's First Day of School

Tuesday was actually our first day back to school this year, but Amelia was in sibling care and Graham attended his class with me. Today, Graham attending sibling care (he LOVED it!) and Amelia and I attended her class together. Unfortunately, Miss Amelia didn't enjoy being at school one little bit. As soon as we walked through the front door of the school, she began to cry. As I stopped at the sibling care classroom to get Graham settled, her cries turned into screams. It was clear to me that she remembered being left on Tuesday and was terrified it would happen again. Once Graham was settled and Amelia and I journeyed farther down the hall to her classroom, her screams turned into wails.

After carrying her around for a while, I was able to entice her to explore her classroom a bit and soon her tears were dry. She happily sat down with her classmates to enjoy her snack. At this time, the parents usually excuse themselves to an adjoining room to have 'parent education'. The door stays open and the children are allowed to wander freely back and forth between the meeting room and the classroom. Of course, it's best of the kids stay on the kid side and play, but they're welcome to come check in at any time. Amelia watched me walk towards the door and started screaming at the top of her lungs. She was literally frozen with fear and couldn't even move towards me. She was quite the site with graham cracker and water spilling out of her mouth while her face turned the color cherries from screaming so loudly. I went to her to help her calm down and as soon as I took a step away from her she began to cry. So, Amelia spent the rest of class sitting on my lap in the parent education room. I figured she would get bored, but she was very happy to give me big hugs, sing to herself, and smile at all the adults. I don't even want to think about what it will be like when she returns to the sibling care room. If she was this upset at school and she had the freedom to sit with me, she's going to be one sad little girl in sibling care. Luckily, we've got something extra special planned for this upcoming Tuesday (details soon!) so neither of the kids will be in school that day. I've got my fingers crossed that in the next two weeks Amelia has amazing growth in the security and maturity areas! :)
Amelia and Ellie. If you read Graham's blog, you'll know that Graham has a friend named Abby from school and Ellie is Abby's little sister.

Amelia is not so sure what's going on...

Enjoying a snack minutes before the fear set in...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Morning at the Museum

We spent a wonderful morning at the Children's Museum with Maddie and her Mommy. This was my first solo trip to the museum with two kids and I'm proud to say that it went very well! We couldn't have picked a better day to explore-school is back in session and it's still too early in the year for field trips so we almost had the place to ourselves! Because the place was so empty, it was surprisingly fun to run into Alex and her Mommy in the water room. Apparently September is a very slow month for museum numbers, so because the kids did so well today, I'm thinking we might be back as soon as next week!

Have you ever seen more adorable cashiers?

Amelia is almost tall enough to cook on the stove

While Amelia was 'cooking', Graham was off in the dress up area piecing together his ensemble. He had no clue I snapped this picture-his outfit really had me laughing!


The kids spent more time playing at this water table than anything else today

And then there were 4-Graham, Maddie, Amelia, and Alex

Taking in the view of downtown St. Paul

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Day of School

Today was our first day of school and I was admittedly nervous. Tuesday's are actually Graham's class day which means that Amelia goes to the sibling care room right down the hall. Neither of the kids have ever been left in a "daycare" setting, so I was concerned how Amelia would react to her "class". The sibling care room is actually a fantastic place-they try to have more adults than children so there will always be an open set of arms in case extra comfort is needed. The only problem is that when Amelia is upset, the only set of arms she willingly accepts comfort from are my own! As I was checking her in, a friendly woman reached out to take Amelia from me and I thought Amelia was going to have a breakdown right in my arms. I decided to walk her into the classroom, got her started on a game, then told her I was leaving but would be back soon. I offered a hug and kiss and was on my way. Not a single tear was shed!

An hour and a half later when I returned to pick her up, she was crying though. I was quickly assured by her teachers that she started crying not a minute before I showed up. Apparently I was the second Mom to arrive, and when Amelia saw the first Mommy arrive and it wasn't me she began to panic. As soon as she was in my arms, she gave me her signature grin and repeated kisses. I have no doubt that Amelia knows I'm her Mommy!

All smiles before school
Graham was trying to tickle Amelia here but I begged him to take a break and smile for me

I PROMISE that this picture isn't posed. For those of you that know Graham, you'll know that he hates posing for pictures and no amount of bribery exists that would encourage this sort of pose. I wish I would have recorded the conversation they were having-Graham was telling Amelia that school would be fun and that she didn't have to cry! Could they be any sweeter?
And for those of you wondering how Graham did at school today, he did a FANTASTIC job! He followed all the directions, sat in the circle during song time (this NEVER happened last year!), politely ate his snack, then cleaned up his spot by throwing his garbage away and didn't cry when the parents and kids went to separate rooms. I'm so proud of him!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Amelia Talking

In the past few days, Miss Amelia has shocked us with actual words! For everyone that told me girls often speak earlier than boys, Amelia is proof of that! Although probably only Jeff and I, and Graham will pick up on what she's actually saying, each one of her 'words' sounds unique, so we're confident she knows what she's trying to say and not just randomly babbling. Just yesterday, she said "I Love You" and a surprisingly clear "Grandpa"(more like Gampa) to her Grandpa. Those two were added to her list of 'more', 'nose' (points to her nose when she says this), 'ba ba' (always said with utmost urgency of course), mah mah (milk), Mama, Dada, baby, and sticker (ticker). Not too bad for a little lady who up until 5 months ago hadn't heard a word of English!

In this video clip, Graham is giving Amelia and English lesson. He LOVES to point at objects, say the name, and ask her to repeat. As you can hear, I ask Amelia several times to say "I Love You" and finally, close to the very end (about 40 seconds into it), she indulges me. Although it has come out much clearer, I wasn't going to force her to repeat herself.

video

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let the football season begin!

Each fall at General Mills, on one specific day, they have a football game for the employees to participate in. It's not a game in the sense of teams and points, more of who can throw, punt, and pass the farthest. Last year, Graham and I just happened to be having lunch with Jeff when this game was taking place. Graham was obsessed with watching the big boys play, and they kindly let him join in. So, when Jeff heard that the same event was taking place today, I packed the kids up and off to General Mills for lunch we went. Graham was especially thrilled to play football with the big boys and Amelia was just thrilled to be allowed out of the stroller on the giant lawn. With all the football talk that goes on in this house, I'm sure it won't be too long before Amelia is begging to play too!

A football for each!

Graham running like the wind....he is actually a pretty fast little guy

Go Vikings!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Poker Chips and Baskets

Amelia and Graham have created a game I don't understand. It involves wearing baskets on their heads and handing poker chips back and forth. Two days in a row now, they've played this game in exactly the same fashion. In fact, as soon as they wake up in the morning, they dump the wooden play food out of these baskets, and immediately place their "helmets" (as Graham calls them) on their heads. I wonder what sort of game these two will come up for tomorrow!



Monday, September 7, 2009

Pigtails

Just because I think pigtails are absolutely adorable...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Riding the trolley

After enjoying an ice cream treat at our favorite place (Sebastian Joe's) this evening, we decided to take a walk around lake Harriet. It's a good thing we decided on the route we did, because we stumbled upon an old Minneapolis street car offering trolley rides between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun. Graham couldn't have been more thrilled, and once the trolley started moving, Amelia was quite impressed as well. The weather this evening couldn't have been more perfect to enjoy a ride around the lakes-the windows on the trolley were open and kids got to hang their heads out to catch the breeze and "o0ooh and aaaaah" at everything they considered impressive. It was the perfect way to end our day!

Waiting for our trolley ride to begin. It was impossible to get the kids to smile for the camera-Graham was enamoured with watching the conductor help passengers board, and Amelia was just plain old distracted by all the commotion.

Amelia was very impressed with watching the sail boats on the lake

Friday, September 4, 2009

Playmates

Amelia and Graham peacefully played with their animals this afternoon. Sure, the peace between them lasted 15 minutes at the most, but to be completely honest, that's major progress! Depending on the day, the amount of sleep the kids have had, how busy we've been, and how much they've eaten-maybe, just maybe, they'll play nicely together. Today, after two wonderfully long naps, the stars aligned and they actually appeared to enjoy having a playmate. Now, if this could only continue through the weekend...

I'm sensing a bit of animal hoarding going on here....

Amelia hysterical with laughter as she successfully got the whale away from Graham

Amelia is so thankful to finally have an animal in her possession that she showers her whale with repeated kisses

And now that they each have animals, it's time to pretend to eat them...I wish I understood the motivating force behind their behavior here!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

School Open House

Tonight Amelia and Graham attended the open house at their school. Attending school is going to be a HUGE change for Amelia and I'm worried about how she'll do when she's separated from me. And honestly, the thought of leaving my crying princess in a classroom without me is creating a very sick feeling in my stomach. We'll attend school twice a week. On Tuesdays, Graham and I will attend his 2 year old class and Amelia will be in sibling care. Then, on Thursdays, Amelia and I will attend the 1 year old class, and Graham will be in sibling care.

I'm hoping that the excitement Amelia demonstrated tonight is a taste of what's to come. She marched into each classroom we visited with confidence and got right down to business playing with toys. I was slightly amused by the fact that Amelia and Graham never even acknowledged each other. They chose to play on separate sides of the room...I guess they're both looking for a bit of independence!

Amelia was very impressed with the toddler sized chairs!


Last year, this exact lawnmower was Graham's favorite toy. Interestingly enough, it's the first thing that Amelia went after!

Amelia LOVES babies! This baby swing is in the sibling care room and Amelia put a baby doll into the swing and made sure the dolly had a very nice ride.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Great Minnesota Get Together!

Today we spent the day at the Minnesota State Fair! Daddy Jeff took the day off from work so we could enjoy the fair during the week and not have to fight the weekend crowds. I love going to the fair and I wondered what it would be like to have two toddlers in tow. We didn't have any expectations as to how long we'd be able to wander around, we figured we'd leave when the kids started to get cranky around naptime. Much to our surprise, like clockwork, at 1:15, they both fell asleep in their strollers and slept soundly while we were able to continue eating our way through the food stands that the fair is so known for. We had a fantstic time, the weather couldn't have been more perfect for the occasion, and we're already looking forward to next year! My only complaint for the day was the amount of energy both kids had this evening-after sitting in a stroller all day, they were ready to RUN tonight!
" Do I look cute, or what?"

They were sooo excited for the fair! Well, at least Graham was, since he's old enough to actually "get it", but his excitement was contagious!

Ice cream! Yes, we took two strollers with us -Jeff's great idea! Even on the best day, we wouldn't be capable of keeping the peace between these two for hours on end.

Amelia samples her first cheese curd...as a Minnesota girl this is a State Fair rite of passage!

Two very messy and tired kids study Minnesota's largest boar. Sorry, no pictures of the actual pig, so you'll just have to take my word for it, but this thing was HUGE!

Completely wiped out after a day at the fair

A close up of a slumbering Miss Amelia :-)