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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Playing Dress-Up

As long as we've known Amelia, she's always loved shoes. During the summer when we spend quite a bit of time out at the lake, she's completely content to sit sorting and trying on the sandals that fill a basket near the door. Each morning when I'm getting Amelia dressed, she repeats in a very loud, animated voice "Shoes!". Clearly, Amelia feels that shoes make the outfit and I'm secretly pleased to have an ally in the house who understands my own obsession with shoes. Knowing all this, it didn't surprise me in the least that Amelia has started to show an interest in my own shoes, particularly the varieties with tall heels. I was recently trying on dresses and shoes for something exciting I'll be doing next month and Amelia was at my feet 'ooohing' and 'aaahing' over the various shoes I had spread around me. Before I knew it, she had a pair of patent leather peep toe pumps on her feet and off she went. Yes, Amelia was able to successfully walk in her Mommy's heels.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Octopus!

In the past day or so, Amelia has decided that she LOVES a book about octopus. She pages through it at least 50 times a day and yesterday she even learned how to pronounce 'octopus'. 24 hours ago, we could almost understand what she was trying to say and now today, she's pretty close to actually getting it right! Not too bad for 19 months old! Now, if I could only figure out where her love of this ugly sea creature comes from.... strange animal or not, I think it's so cute the way she enunciates in this video, enjoy :)

video

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Jeff recently rediscovered a photo album he made for me as a gift early in our marriage. Graham and Amelia have paged through it countless times, and each time, they express their amazement that their parents are on each and every page of the book. When I stop to think about it, I'm not sure that prior to this, they've seen an actual photo album. We used to store our photos neatly labeled in books, but now everything is stored neatly organized on a hard drive. In this video, you can hear Amelia's pure joy and excitement that Daddy is everywhere in this book!

video

Monday, January 25, 2010

More Party Pics...

Jeff's cousin Mark is an AMAZING photographer and we were happy to have him and his fabulous, fancy camera at Graham's birthday party this weekend. I've already bombarded everyone with weekend pictures so here are just two more. I take no credit for these shots, it was all Mark-Thank You!

I LOVE this shot of Graham! He received his cowboy boots on Saturday night, and when this picture was taken on Sunday, he still had them on.

I call this Amelia's "contemplative look". She's very skeptical and shy of strangers. To her, a stranger is anyone she doesn't see on a regular basis and if you happen to be a stranger and a male...well, you've got your work cut out for you trying to win her over. Mark is clearly a male and not someone she interacts with on a regular basis so this was the look she gave him all. day. long. I don't think she cracked a single smile when he was behind the camera.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our Birthday Boy

I hope you're ready for pictures, because there a LOT of them today!

had a very busy past few days because yesterday, Graham celebrated his 3rd birthday! I honestly have no idea where the time has gone. My memories of arriving home with Graham are truly as vivid as if our journey just happened yesterday. This is the first year that Graham really understood that having his birthday meant that it was his special day, and he surely made the best of it! Graham's day started with breakfast in bed. Actually, it was breakfast in our bed while he got to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on tv.

Mickey Mouse and a juice box in the 'big bed'-does it get any better than this?

We told Graham he couldn't open his gifts until Amelia woke up so Graham colored until 10!

Checking out his new matchbox car wash from Halmoni and Haraboji
"A new puzzle!" Graham was very quick to tell Amelia that the puzzle was only for 'grown-ups'. When I asked Graham if he was a grown-up he said 'yes'. Apparently, being 3 means different things to all of us!

Playing with his new cash register
We asked Graham what he wanted to have for dinner and after much deliberation, he requested Chuck E Cheese. He's been there once with his Grandma and Grandpa and it made quite the impression on him because all day he talked about the pizza and the fun he was going to have. The only downside of the evening, was that Graham woke up from his nap and was clearly showing signs of an impending cold. Once we sat down for dinner, he went down hill fast.
A little air hockey before dinner

What fun!
Amelia went down this slide at least 50 times, and each time she got to the bottom, she had a giant grin

Hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa after pizza

Graham received a pair of authentic cowboy boots from his Great Auntie JoAnn and he LOVES them. The apparently inspire some fancy dancing!

The boots...he wouldn't take them off!
This morning we had a small party for Graham. He invited 2 of his little buddies and cousin Miles, their families, and some of our family to the fire station to have a tour then come back to our house for lunch. Graham has been looking forward to this for so long, so it was really too bad that he wasn't feeling well. The poor guy hardly cracked a smile all morning!
That's Daddy Jeff inside that outfit!

Amelia did NOT appreciate her Daddy wearing a mask so she was very relieved when he took it off.

Graham modeling the fire gear. Maybe it will fit better in a few years?

Maddie and Graham trying out the seats in the back of the truck

The 'kid' table at lunch

Graham and his birthday cake. The poor guy was feeling so crummy at this point that not even a song and firetruck cake brought out a smile. :(
Despite Graham's cold, we did have a very nice time celebrating today. The morning tired Graham out which meant he took a long nap this afternoon which is just what he needed. As I type this, he's curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn watching 'Cars', his very first full-length movie. After all, Graham is 3 years old now, and that's practically a grown-up!
Happy Birthday Graham! We love you very, very much!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daddy 'Does' Hair

This evening while I was making dinner, Amelia and her Daddy disappeared. The emerged from the bedroom several minutes later with Amelia giggling. As you can see, they both had fun with my hair clips and Amelia is clearly amused by her new 'do'!




Monday, January 18, 2010

Early Morning Dance Party

Graham is my very early riser. Although it is nice to have some one on one time with him each day, he could sleep just a bit later and still have his Mommy to himself before Amelia wakes up between 9:30 and 10:00. This morning I had the radio on as I cleaned up from breakfast round #1 (Amelia eats brunch when she finally wakes up) and Graham heard a familiar song. He quickly grabbed a few accessories and proceed to have what he called a dance party in the kitchen.


When Amelia woke up at 10:00, Graham met her with her mouse ears and encouraged her to have her own dance party in the family room. I guess he didn't want her to miss out just because she doesn't wake up before the sun like he does!

When I look at these pictures of their genuine smiles and ability to have fun with even the most simple activity, I'm almost in awe of my little family. It really wasn't that long ago that we traveled to the other side of the world to bring each of them home and although they each processed their big move differently, they were both understandably and visibly terrified. Now, here we are today, and I have two happy, healthy, well adjusted kids. How did we ever get so lucky!?!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sledding!

After having to wake Miss Amelia up at 10:00 (!) this morning, we bundled up the kids and took them sledding. With a projected high near 30 degrees today, it's a Minnesota heat wave we had to take advantage of! As it turns out, Amelia would have probably preferred to get more sleep in her cozy crib, as she wasn't too impressed with the snow or the sled. She didn't cry or get upset, she just seemed indifferent to the entire experience. Graham, on the other hand, would live in the snow if we let him. Hopefully, Amelia decides that snow can actually be fun instead of just tolerated. After all, this is Minnesota, and snow is a way of life for us!

On our way to the neighborhood sledding hill

Graham insisted that he go down the hill alone like a 'big boy', and he LOVED it!

A hug on the top of the hill

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Concert on the Steps

Each time we leave the house the kids know they're supposed to sit on the bottom step while I get my shoes, put on my coat, and double check that the diaper bag has all of the necessities. Most of the time, as long as I keep them engaged in a conversation, they're happy to comply and today was no exception. At Graham's request, he wanted to sing the 'ABC's' "REALLY, REALLY LOUD!" so that's what we did. With great enthusiasm, Graham led Amelia and I in a lovely rendition of one of his favorite tunes.

Graham was really into singing his song with a lot of gusto and I assume Amelia just found the volume level in our entry way amusing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Keeping Busy!

In order to keep ourselves busy while Jeff is out of town, we headed to a toddler open gym at a local community center this morning with our friends Kelly and Maddie. We've never been to this particular center before but it was a hit! It was actually two huge connected gymnasiums. One gym contained every riding toy imaginable. Amelia spent her time riding a caterpillar and Graham spent his time trying to master a scooter. The other gym was full of toys-giant blocks, a mini-jump house, tunnels, and hula-hoops. Basically, if a toddler would like it, you could find it here.

I'm glad the kids liked it, because to be completely honest, we almost didn't make it. We, actually they, are having problems lately in the car. The kids can't keep their hands off of each other. EVER. They love to tease, taunt, and torment each other when they know I can't do much about it. It got so bad today on the way to the gym that I told them we were going home if they couldn't leave each other alone. Despite the backseat full of toys and books, apparently the best entertainment is making your sibling screech like a jungle animal. It's making me CrAzY! Other than living like the Partridge Family and commuting in a very large bus so they can't possibly touch each other or never leaving the house like hermits, I'm at a loss but am VERY open to suggestions! HELP!




Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hot Chocolate

All day, Graham was asking for hot chocolate and all day Amelia followed close behind trying to pronounce 'hot chocolate' because she was not going to be left out! Interestingly enough though, it wasn't me they wanted to have hot chocolate with, they wanted to have it with Grandma. So, since Jeff is out of town for a few days and single parenting of two active toddlers is exhausting, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to head to my parents house and make sure they got to have hot chocolate with Grandma.

Amelia wasn't quite so sure about her miniature mug

Finally, Graham got what he wanted!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Miles' 1st Birthday Party!

Today, we got to help Miles celebrate his birthday at his 1st birthday party. The party was held at Edinborough Park, one of Amelia and Graham's favorite places which only added to their excitement! It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since cousin Miles joined our family! Being that all three kids are so close in age, it's been so much fun to watch them grow together and begin to have a relationship-as much as a 3 year old, an 18 month old, and a 1 year old can have! But, I can tell that as the kids grow older, the coming months and years will be filled with nothing but fun for them. Happy Birthday, Miles! We love you!
Mommy and Amelia enjoying lunch together

Graham with a mouthful of water and thrilled to have been allowed to have his very own bottle. For the record, he was extremely disturbed that the bibs were mixed up and he was stuck wearing the ballerina bib, while Amelia was wearing his animal bib.

The birthday boy absolutely devoured his birthday cake and in record time, I think!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

For Halmoni

"I love my doll house!"

TA-DA!!!!

Amelia shoved an entire cracker in her mouth just before I took this picture. That's why she's smirking and pointing to her mouth-if she smiled, it would all come flying out!


Amelia's favorite spot lately is an empty Tupperware container...she's modeling her new 'fur' coat here! Too bad it's too cold outside here, even for her 'fur'. Someday it won't feel like the North Pole here...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An invitation and a phone...

After Graham woke up from his nap today, he asked if Amelia could join him in his crib. Yes, Graham is nearly 3 years old and still sleeps in a crib. The truth is though, he LOVES his crib, and tells me this nearly every day. So, why ruin a good thing, right? Anyways, Graham was in a silly mood all day, and I wasn't sure why he wanted Amelia in his crib. That is the one spot in the house, that he doesn't have to share with her so I made sure to ask him if he really wanted her in there. Over and over he told me "Yes!" So, I lifted Amelia in, and this was the result. Amelia is clearly thrilled and if you ask me, if looks like Graham is rethinking his invitation!



One last picture for the day...Amelia spends a good amount of her life carrying around an old cell phone. She has that thing practically attached to her head and can be heard occasionally erupting into an enthusiastic "Hello!" followed by a conversation between her and her "friend" that nobody can understand. I am very aware that children learn from example and mimic what they see, so I guess I should be the first to admit that I love my phone. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sibling Stuff

We're really not big TV watchers in our house, but I will admit that I'm not above turning on an occasional episode of Barney on an especially challenging afternoon. That brings us to today....they chose to sit next to each other on the couch, they chose to share a blanket, in fact Graham was the one to cover them up, AND, Graham chose to put his arm around Amelia. Perhaps these two were feeling remorseful for the way they had been treating each other all day long! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Several times a day, I am encouraged to read "The Three Billy Goats Gruff". Graham has loved this classic for quite a while now, and Amelia has recently followed suit. We have the book, we have the puppets, and we have the plastic goats (minus the mean, ugly troll since I have no clue where to find one...a purple and pink sparkly My Little Pony is filling in!). Thanks to Graham's creativity with blocks, we now have a bridge, and thanks to Amelia's excellent scribbling skills, we also have a blue rushing river and lush green grass. The length of time these two were able to sit and play just like this on the kitchen floor is unbelievable. I was able to fold and put away and entire load of laundry, call US State Department with a passport question, and send an email or two. Fantastic, right???

Next time they play this game I'm going to try and get it on video. Amelia always has the voice of the baby goat as he moves across the bridge, and Graham loves to be the troll telling each goat, several times mind you, that he's going to eat them!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hapy New Year!

Amelia and Graham want to wish all of their faithful blog readers a very happy, healthy, 2010!!!


These two are nearly impossible to photograph together....hence the seperate photos from today.