Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Amelia the Bumble Bee

Graham the Cowboy

"Nandy Peese"...translation-"candy please"...and yes, she really does ask for candy

STILL trying to figure out what the deal is with the inside of the pumpkin

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Our pumpkin carving evening turned out to be rather anti-climactic this year. Amelia wanted NOTHING to do with sticking her hand in the pumpkin or going anywhere even remotely close to anything that was removed from the pumpkin. Graham on the other hand, dug right in and actually helped (for about 5 minutes) to clean his pumpkin out. The problem this evening proved to be short attention spans for both kids which left Jeff and I with two pumpkins to clean out, two pumpkins to carve, and two kids to monitor while the pumpkins were transformed into jack-o-lanterns. Oh well...although neither Jeff or are have any real artistic talent, at least in the end, the kids thought they were impressive lit up, and displayed on the front steps.

The ONLY time Amelia actually touched her pumpkin

The first scoop of goo is removed from Graham's pumpkin

Graham helping with Amelia's pumpkin since she repeatedly pushed it away from herself

Check out her look of disgust!

Graham was very impressed with the candles in the pumpkins

Once they were cleaned up and shining, Amelia took an interest in the pumpkins

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mickey and Minnie

My parents, otherwise known as 'Amma' and 'Ampa' have been in Orlando the past few days and although they didn't actually visit any of the Disney parks, they did arrive home with Disney treats for the kids. Amelia and Graham LOVE their new mouse ears! In case there was any confusion as to who the pink ears with bow belong to and who the black ears belong to, the hats also have their names embroidered on the back-too cute!

And, on a completely unrelated note, for those of you who are interested in Amelia and her school drama, you'll be happy to know that she had a wonderful, fantastic, dare I say, PERFECT, day at school today! Way to go, Amelia!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ice Cream is the Answer

I used to think that shopping with a double cart would be easy. Very few stores have carts that accommodate two young kids, but Costco happens to be one of them. When smashed into a cart side by side, Amelia and Graham have real difficulty keeping their hands off of each other. So, even though both kids have a spot to be safely strapped in, it really doesn't help me much because I spend the entire shopping trip pleading with them to keep their hands in their laps. I'm not sure why it took us so long to figure it out, but ice cream is the answer! Not one cup with one spoon, because heaven forbid they have to actually take turns, but two cups, two spoons, and two lovely toddler sized messes. Really though, ice cream does appear to be the answer!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Three Cheers for Amelia!

Every time Amelia visits Sibling Care, she comes home with a note in her backpack detailing how her time went. I've never mentioned these reports before because, honestly, they weren't even worth speaking of. Every week was more of the same-tears and screaming. Imagine my surprise today though, when I walked down the hall to pick her up and couldn't hear her. As I entered the classroom, I saw Amelia actually engaged with a teacher and another little girl happily playing on the floor! This scene almost stopped me in my tracks-usually I can hear her before I get to the room, and she becomes hysterical as soon as she sees me. Today though, I was greeted with a smile and the first thing out of her mouth was "I love you!"...she melted my heart right then and there. I'm not sure how long this will last, but I'm thankful, that for today at least, Amelia felt secure enough in her classroom to actually enjoy herself!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What a weekend!

Our weekend really started Friday night when Jeff returned home from his business trip. Between both of us being out of town last weekend, and Jeff being in Las Vegas last week, the kids were overjoyed to see him walk through the door!

Does her face say 'happy' or what!?

They couldn't handle taking turns climbing on their Daddy, so they both went at it at the same time
Friday night was also the night I got to give Jeff part of his birthday present-his brother! As a
surprise, I flew his brother up for the weekend so they could hang out and do 'guy stuff'. Jeff was SHOCKED to see Jon and I was excited that I was actually able to get him in town without Jeff having a clue!
Since our children have no idea that Saturday's and Sunday's are meant for sleeping in, Saturday morning started early. We didn't really have set plans for the day which actually turned out to be a very good thing....Graham had a little accident and dislocated his elbow which meant that he and I spent a good part of the morning at Children's Hospital having his arm reset. The poor little guy was in so much pain as I gave him a great big bear hug so the doctor could realign it. Just like she said though, as soon as it was back in place, it was as good as new and not long after we were thankfully headed home.
Jam session with Uncle Jon

After our excitement filled morning, the kids took much needed naps and we ventured to a local pumpkin patch when they woke up. At first, Amelia wanted to do nothing but pick up the little pumpkins and throw them hard into the ground...strange, right? After several reminders, we convinced her that there were other ways to have fun!
wagon ride with her prized pumpkin

Amelia was so proud of herself for carrying her little pumpkin....I don't think she knew I had most of the weight in my own hand

Why ride in the wagon when you can pull or push it?

Happy with Uncle Jon

You can't see his grin behind the pumpkin, but Graham's eyes are smiling!

After Graham's trip to the emergency room, we let him pick out a 'sick prize'. He chose this fireman hat. He LOVES it. He loves it so much that he wore it to the grocery store this morning!

Last, but definitely not least, is today, Jeff's birthday. After the very busy past week we've had, at Jeff's request we just hung out at home. He wanted us all to watch football, so that's what we did. Unfortunately, despite the team spirit Amelia and Graham demonstrated by dawning their Vikings gear, it just wasn't enough for them to pull off a win. Despite the Vikings loss, which made Jeff very sad, we still had a great birthday celebration with a family day at home. Happy Birthday!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The hat is back!

For those of you long time blog followers, back to Graham's blog in fact, you may remember a certain fleece, red winter hat that I dressed him in. This hat resembled something a jester would wear with two points on his head. Although I received quite a bit of slack for insisting that Graham wear such a hat, I loved it, and he wore it until it was too small. Fast forward to today, two winters later and I was on a mission to find Miss Amelia a hat to match her winter coat. I almost became giddy when I spotted a certain hat in a certain 'girly' color. I'm expecting to once again receive some slack for this hat but, it's back, and this time it's better than ever in PINK!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The 'Night Night' Game

Several mornings a week, the kids play the 'night night' game. I still have no idea where this game came from, but they both seem to enjoy it and participate in it time after time. It goes something like this-Amelia will call out "night night" and both kids grab their favorite stuffed animals (Baby for Amelia and Elmo for Graham) and scramble to opposite ends of the couch. Their bodies stay perfectly still and they giggle to each other until Graham proclaims that morning has arrived and it's "time to wake up!". This game lasts no longer than 5 minutes and they quickly move onto their next activity but I do think it's pretty cute to watch!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Crazy morning with the kids...

Our morning started off like any other morning, but quickly turned into something that I can thankfully now laugh about. Here's how it went.....Amelia has been on a hunger strike of sorts since I returned home on Sunday night. Leaving for the weekend then dropping her off at sibling care at school yesterday has her feeling pretty frustrated. This morning though, her hunger finally won out, and she ate a huge bowl of Cheerio's followed by a container of yogurt. After breakfast we headed over to play at Alex's house. The drive normally takes 30 minutes, but thanks to pouring rain, our drive time was nearly doubled. Mid-commute, newly potty trained Graham decided that he had to use the bathroom. I was able to convince him that he would be ok waiting until we got to Alex's house. Since I was spending so much time focusing on Graham and driving, Amelia became fussy. I handed her a book to look at which would turn into huge mistake. Studying the pictures in combination with the stop and go traffic caused her to become very carsick which caused her to get sick ALL over the car. So, I've got Amelia projectile vomiting, Graham reminding me that he needs a bathroom, Amelia crying, and Graham insisting that I acknowledge his comments that the car stinks. Yes, the car did stink. In fact, it was so fragrant, that I was doing my best not to gag! I finally arrived at our destination, flew into the driveway, left the car running, pulled Graham out of the car and shoved him into the house so he could use the bathroom, and returned to the car to deal with the mess. In the pouring rain, poor Amelia was being stripped down to her diaper which only caused her to become more upset. Oh, the drama.... Thankfully, we were able to throw the car seat cover and Amelia's clothes into the wash and Alex was kind enough to lend Amelia a clean outfit. Once we all settled in and got over our morning excitement, both of the kids had a great time playing. My only fear is that thanks to my most sensitive nose, that Amelia's adorable floral car seat cover may never smell the same. Life with two toddlers is never dull!

Pictures of the kids working on an art project after I managed to clean up the lovely mess in the car

Monday, October 19, 2009

Welcome Back Fall!

Fall finally made an appearance today. Honestly, it felt like we went from shorts and t-shirts straight to winter coats, so today's crisp, sunny weather was much welcomed. We stuck close to home today and both Amelia and Graham had a ball playing in the leaves that currently blanket our yard. Amelia wasn't so sure about the leaves at first, but once I was able to coax her out of my arms and onto the ground, she quickly discovered that she could actually have fun! The kids both ran wild in the yard for quite some time, ate very big lunches, and crashed for lovely 3, yes 3, hour naps today! I'm not sure if the fresh air wore them out or if they were just catching up from their busy weekend. Jeff and I were enjoying a relaxing weekend out of town and the kids kept my parents very, very busy! In fact, on top of the usual toddler chaos that normally fills my house, Super Grandma was even able to potty train Graham!!!!!!!! THANK YOU-MOM!!The best part of this, is that Amelia is insanely jealous of the stickers and M&M's that Graham is constantly receiving so she too has decided that sitting on her own potty chair and doing exactly what Graham does is worth her time. I'm beyond thrilled to be down to one tot in diapers, but could it be that the second baby will actually be eager to leave the diapers behind?!?!?!

Here are a few pictures of the kids playing outside today. Out of all the yard toys we have, the rake was by FAR, the toy of choice...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Officially Official!!!

Today was a very special day for our family! When a child is adopted from Korea, there is a waiting period before that adoption can become legally binding. During this waiting period (normally about six months), we have reports to send back to Korea, many legal documents to complete, and several meetings with our social worker. Although in our hearts, Amelia has always been 'ours', in the eyes of the law, up until today, her legal guardian has actually been the adoption agency. That all changed at 11:15 this morning though, when not only did we legally become Amelia's Mommy and Daddy, but she officially became an American citizen. Such big events, for such a little girl!
The hearing went very quickly and the judge the presided over our case was very kind. The last thing the judge said to us, or to Amelia actually, was an offer of congratulations on her new family. It was emotional to hear her say that-just a year ago, we were waiting to see our daughter's sweet face, and today, we were celebrating the union of our family. So, I'm thrilled to announce that it's officially official-She's ours!!!
Hanging out with Mommy just before the court hearing

This was the scene in the front of the court room

This was the scene in the back of the courtroom

Apparently adoption finalization hearings aren't all that interesting for a toddler, so Graham decided to provide some impromptu entertainment

After the hearing was complete, Amelia was invited to the front of the court room to sit in the most important seat in the room...notice Graham desperately trying to sit with her?

Graham arrives and reminds Amelia who is really in charge

Amelia's fan club (minus Sara, one of my dearest friends, who also attended but graciously took family pictures for us-THANK YOU!) Are you surprised to see who's still holding the gavel???

Miss Amelia Paige Olson-the newest little American citizen!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Play Day

I think the kids are thanking me tonight. Not once today, did I strap them into a stroller, or take them to run a single errand. Today was all about playing! Amelia and Graham spent the morning playing with their friend Livia. Each time I see these kids together it's almost surreal to me. I 'met' Livia over 2 years ago through a photograph just weeks after I laid eyes on Graham's picture for the first time. It's been so much fun to see those pictures come to life and see Amelia added to their circle. Back to this morning though...I'm not sure what it is about toddlers and toys, but there are certain toys at our house that are rarely ever touched. Yet, today, when that exact toy is in Livia's playroom, some of those same items are a hot commodity! Apparently a change of scenery occasionally is a good thing! I did my best to get a picture of all three kids together, but it never happened. These are three BUSY kids that are constantly in motion heading in different directions! I tried my best to get a good picture of all the kids, but this was honestly the best I could do... Amelia and Liv playing with magnetic letters on the easel.

I'm not quite sure why Graham wanted to be in the dolly stroller, but Amelia happily pushed him along...

Just a cute smiley picture of Amelia playing back at her own house after a LONG nap :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

More Snow!

We woke up to multiple inches of snow this morning. It was the wet, heavy stuff that coats the trees and actually looks very pretty. But, I had a hard time reminding myself of the beauty since it's only October and not January! Graham was thrilled to see the snow and Amelia just stood frozen at the window watching it fall. The snowflakes were huge and I can only imagine what was going through her mind. Unfortunately, since Amelia is still without a proper winter coat or boots we couldn't really play in it. I have a strong suspicion though, that we didn't miss our opportunity. After all, we've got months ahead of us to enjoy the snow and freezing cold temperatures!

First glimpse of the fresh snow-Graham is excited and I'm not sure what Amelia thought...she just stared at it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


No, these pictures aren't a trip down memory lane to last winter. You're looking at Amelia and Graham playing in the snow YESTERDAY! I opened the curtains bright and early yesterday morning to discover a white blanket covering our yard. Our weekend plans included a quick trip up the lake to get the dock out of the water for the winter...I guess we were just in time because a very thin sheet of ice was already forming on the surface of the water. The kids were thrilled with the snow and couldn't stop laughing as they got to play outside. I'm glad they thought it was funny, because I felt like crying. I am not ready to deal with bundling up two children, I am not ready to deal with an awkward double stroller in a snow covered mall parking lot, and I'm not ready to deal with begging Amelia and Graham to keep their hats and mittens on. Basically, I'm just not ready for winter. I'm so unprepared in fact that Miss Amelia doesn't own a winter coat, mittens, or boots! No worries though, I ordered a puffy, warm coat for her last night and it should arrive in a few days...hopefully sooner though since the forecast for tomorrow includes 3 more inches of snow!

Not sure about the cold, wet 'stuff'...

Graham was THRILLED with the snow on the deck at the lake. It's hard to believe that just a month ago we were wearing shorts and t-shirts in this very location!

Happy Girl!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Progress at school!!

I'm am thrilled to announce that both kids, yes, even Amelia, had a good day at school!!!! When we dropped Graham off in the sibling care classroom, Amelia did have a short hysterical meltdown that thankfully lasted only until she realized it was Graham being dropped off and not her. When we arrived in Amelia's classroom she happily began to play as she dragged her precious baby around the room with her. When it came time for the parents and children to separate Amelia was a bit apprehensive watching me walk away so I took her with me. She sat on my lap for a few minutes before her curiosity got the best of her and she moved herself into the other room to play with the toys. Every few minutes, Amelia would come check-in with me, but she did so with a smile on her face and normally a toy in her hand that she was excited to show off. I'm so happy that today went so well and am hoping that Amelia continues down this path to progress at school!

Amelia and baby play at the sensory tably