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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Safari

This morning Graham told me he wanted to choose his own clothes and get dressed. He went into his bedroom, shut the door, and made me promise to wait in the kitchen. He appeared a few minutes later, dressed like this, and announced that he was ready for his safari. I asked him if I could come along on the safari and he answered with an enthusiastic "Sure!". Then, I asked him which animals he was hoping to see. He answered "a gazelle, a baboon, and a pterodactyl". Yikes! I'm not sure where he thinks this safari is, but after hearing about what he's hoping to encounter, I think I'm going to pass!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Adoption Talk

I don't really talk about adoption very often on this blog anymore. The truth is, although I think about two brave birth mothers on a daily basis, thoughts of how our family was formed don't fill my days. My kids are my kids no matter how they came to us so we tend to just go on with our business. I'm sure as they grow older and their understanding of adoption develops, we'll have conversations more often. I choose to let the kids take the lead, and right now, they're making it pretty clear that coloring, blocks, and playing outside are much more important to them than whether they grew under my heart or in it.

This morning though, completely out of the blue, Graham initiated an adoption conversation. Not with me, but with Amelia! Graham asked Amelia if she knew what "dopted" meant and she shook her head no (her response to nearly everything these days). He went on to explain to her that they both rode on a big airplane to come home. Then, Graham looked at me and asked me if I knew what "dopted" meant and I said yes. Graham got all excited and told me that he wanted to explain it to me. I fully expected to hear a story about an airplane but instead he looked straight at me and said "Dopted means that we get to be with Mommy and Daddy forever!" I choked up with his words, gave him a hug and confirmed out loud that, Yes, Graham and Amelia, adoption means that we get to be together FOREVER! :)

So, there you have it. A three year old's take on adoption. Sweet, simple, and very much the truth!

Playing together just before our conversation this morning. When the word "adoption" came up, I realized I needed to pay attention and put the camera down. These two really are inseperable lately. They'd much rather play together than alone. I LOVE it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hmmmm.....

Could somebody please explain this to me??? :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Waiting...

Just like children often have selective hearing, I often think my two munchkins have selective patience. Being patient is something everyone in our house (myself included) needs to work on. So, the fact that these two sat perched just like this for nearly 10 minutes waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to come over for dinner really surprised me!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An overdue update...

We spent this past weekend up at the lake and I had every intention of updating the blog on Sunday when we got back in town but I never got around to it. It was on my "to do" list for yesterday, but clearly, that never happened either. But, I am doing it now!

We had a great few days at the lake house! The best part, in my opinion, was that everyone slept! Three kids 3 and under, and all slept through the night and successfully took naps-YAHOO!!! And with all this success, Graham even slept in toddler bed for the first time. Thankfully, his transition was seamless! We couldn't have asked for better weather for our "working weekend". We raked, and raked, and raked and raked, took a break, and raked and raked some more. Yes, there really are that many leaves up there. We're now able to see the grass and the lawn is ready for summer! The boys worked to get the dock back in the water (still a work in progress) and now we're just waiting for the boat to come out of storage. We're officially ready for summer!

Thirsty kids on the way to the lake

Vanilla milkshakes from the "cheese store" on the way to the lake-we're willing to do just about anything to keep them happy and entertained on the long drive!

Miles LOVED to climb into Graham's bed. Graham wasn't so sure...we spent a long time telling Graham it was a "big boy bed" and he refers to his cousin as "Baby Miles". So, in Graham's mind, Baby Miles shouldn't be in a big boy bed!


Ready, set, GO!

Happy after breakfast at our favorite little restaurant

Amelia helped with the raking

Graham helped with the raking too!

They look like an old married couple enjoying the view

Friday, April 16, 2010

Who's Ready for Summer?

Amelia and Graham's Grandparents recently returned from a week at the beach, and each time Graham spoke with them while they were away, he asked if they could please bring him a "norkel"....translation=snorkel. Well, since Grandma and Grandpa never disappoint, they returned with two snorkel sets. I wasn't sure what Amelia would think of a snorkel, but with only 17 months between the kids, we're all about equality in our house! Graham says he can't wait for summer so he can snorkel at the lake house but I have a feeling Amelia will be just fine if we leave her snorkel at home for the summer. Speaking of summer, we're doing something this weekend that is synonymous with summer, so check back on Monday to see what we've been up to!

Graham the "real scuba diver". Bath time has been significantly lengthened as he insists on snorkel time each and every night.

It's official, Amelia LOVES her snorkel! Can't you just feel her excitement?!?!?!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Then and Now

Wow! What a difference a year makes!
April 2009

April 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flower Girl

Miss Amelia has been asked to be a flower girl in a July wedding and tonight we set off to find the perfect princess dress. Clearly, our girly girl likes to be all dressed up!




Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday at Home

We had a very low key Sunday, and it was great! We played outside, did some work in the yard, and started organizing the summer toys in the garage. Amelia and Graham were so happy to be reunited with their big "outside" toys, the most exciting being their little swimming pool. Graham couldn't contain his excitement and while Jeff and I were working in the garage, Graham took it upon himself to use the hose and fill the pool with ice cold water. Jeff was the first to discover what was going on in the backyard and all I could hear was "Graham, put your underwear back on right now!" I quickly ran to see what was going on and found Graham offering to help Amelia take off her clothes so she could go swimming too. Graham knows that he's not allowed to swim with his clothes on, but he's also smart enough to know that we probably weren't going to let him swim in 60 degree weather, so he did what he thought best and took ALL of his clothes off. He was so proud of himself that he kept his clothes dry! I think I'm in trouble with these two this summer....what in the world will they think of next?!?!

Amelia found some sunglasses in the garage. She proudly paraded around the yard all afternoon like a movie star...I wonder if she knows she looks like a bug? :)


video
Graham traded in his tricycle for a brand new big boy bike today. It's taking a while to get the hang of pedaling and braking, but he's getting it! I honestly wonder when he got big enough to ride a bike!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring At Last

Really, there is nothing better than being outside to enjoy a sunny, spring day!






Friday, April 9, 2010

Picnic at the Park

We met Auntie Lynn and Miles for a picnic lunch today. The weather has been cold and rainy this week, so the sunny skies today were the perfect reason to head outdoors. It's so much fun to watch these three kids play together. Graham and Miles love the dirt and Amelia likes to cautiously observe. She won't even touch her sand pail and shovel if the tiniest speck of dirt is present. I can't wait to see them up at the lake this summer-they're going to have a ball and I'm certain their parents and grandparents will have just as much fun watching!


I think Miles wanted to get on top with Graham...

Climbing the stairs...

The boys in the dirt

Happy to be in a swing and not sitting in the dirt

After lunch we walked out to the dock. We couldn't trust these two to not go over the edge, so contained in the stroller they sat.

Graham LOVES fishing and anything to do with the outdoors. He tells me all the time that his favorite place is the lake house because he "gets to fish with Grandpa". Here is Graham practicing his "fishing skills" with a stick and a weed....

Desperately trying to catch a big weed!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Picky, Picky, Picky

Amelia was a fantastic eater when she arrived home from Korea. She would literally eat anything we placed in front of her, and LOTS of it! Her eating habits have slowly changed though and we're now dealing with an EXTREMELY picky eater. Her mealtime antics (putting her chin to her chest and pretending to sleep, playing peek-a-boo, pushing her plate onto the floor and politely exclaiming "All done!" and cramming the food into her cheeks and leaving it there for hours-no exaggeration, honest!) are enough to make her parents a little bit crazy lately! I can deal with a picky eater, we've already dealt with that and I'm proud to say we've come out the other side with Graham being an adventurous and very healthy eater. It's when Amelia fills her cheeks with food only to let it sit there for hours until it turns to mush and it's dripping down her chin that I'm at a loss with. The other night we discovered chewed up shrimp deep in Amelia's cheeks. Why anyone would want to leave seafood in their mouth for hours is beyond me! Suggestions are welcomed and much appreciated!

We had lunch at 'Uncle Franky's Restaurant' and clearly Amelia enjoyed her hot dog and fries. Sorry, Amelia, as much as I know you'd love to, you can't live off of hot dogs! :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend

We've had a weekend of celebration! We started celebrating on Friday with Amelia's 'Gotcha Day', attended a children's Easter party at Grandma and Grandpa's golf club, and wrapped up the weekend with an Easter picnic. We were go, go go, the past few days, but it sure was great fun!


Painting a flower pot at the Easter party. I had to let go of my "mess issues" and let Amelia go to town with the paint, despite wearing a white sweater and fancy dress. And no, her white sweater didn't remain white....


Adding stickers to eggs


Hitting the putting green with Daddy to gear up for the egg hunt


Graham took the egg hunt VERY seriously!


Amelia wasn't very serious about hunting eggs, I think she was just happy to be cast free!

Grandma and Grandpa "Easter Bunny" treated the grandkids to their own motorized quads for the lake house....here is Amelia on her new set of wheels! Lucky girl!

Graham is clearly thrilled with his new ride!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Amelia's 1st Gotcha Day

We had a great family day today as we celebrated having Amelia home with us for an entire year. I remember our journey home so clearly it could have happened yesterday but at the same time it feels like Amelia has been a part of our family forever. Amelia did an amazing job transitioning to her new life as a Minnesota girl. The first word that actually comes to my mind when I think of her personality is "resilient". Health wise, she's had quite a year...from landing herself in the hospital with a stomach virus less than a week after arriving home, spending much of the winter fighting off RSV and getting all too comfortable breathing with a nebulizer, and most recently her broken leg. This is a lot for anyone to handle, let alone a baby who has just moved across the world to live with her family who were essentially strangers to her. Amazingly, Amelia has dealt with the past year with a smile on her face, and taken all her bumps in the road in stride. What an amazing little girl we've been blessed with!

We started our day with a trip to the Orthopedist to have Amelia's cast removed. WOO HOO!!! It's gone! Amelia looked so proud as she marched out of that doctors office! Then, my parents, Auntie Lynn and Miles joined us for a celebration dinner of pizza (Amelia's absolute favorite meal these days) and an ice cram cake in her honor. And because that wasn't enough excitement for the day, we were brave and colored Easter eggs with three toddlers...what an experience! But, all the kids had fun, and that's all that really matters in the end.

Tonight we hugged Amelia just a little bit tighter and gave her extra kisses from her birth mother who can't be with her to do it herself. Amelia is a beautiful, amazing little girl, and I still struggle with the emotion that surrounds the fact that her birth mother will never know the joy of watching her grow up like I will. It is my privilege and honor to call Amelia my daughter and some day, if we're lucky enough to have contact with Amelia's birth mother, I want her to know that not a single second of life was taken for granted. I am humbled by what Amelia's birth mother went through in order to allow her the life she has today. So, today we celebrate Amelia, her resilient spirit, and our happy family of four. Happy 1st Gotcha Day, Amelia! We love you more than you will ever know!

One last picture with her cast

2 shoes, 2 socks, and NO cast!!!!!!!!!!!

We had an ice cream cake for dessert tonight and since it was in honor of Amelia, we let her pick at it a bit. She doesn't like her fingers dirty, so I wasn't sure what she'd do. But, when Amelia realized it was ice cream, she wasted no time digging in!


Enjoying an actual slice of ice cream cake


Adding stickers to the colored eggs

It's Gotcha Day!!!

Happy, Happy Gotcha Day, Amelia!!!! We've got a fun filled day ahead of us, with details coming later, but in the meantime, enjoy this photo montage of Amelia's first year with us!

http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=a84d9b6bd97e7a08dc5615&skin_id=1602

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Bye Bye, Cast!"

I've been working with Amelia to say "Bye Bye, Cast!" because tomorrow morning, it's going away! We're all so excited to see Amelia not have to drag around that hot pink leg of hers, and I hope that I never see another one of her limbs wrapped up in fiberglass ever again!

Sights of Seoul

Although we met Amelia on a Monday, we legally weren't allowed to take custody of her until we left for the airport. And, since we were also legally required to spend 3 business days in Korea, we couldn't leave the country until Thursday. Jeff and I have both visited Seoul numerous times, so on this trip, we decided we weren't going to have any sort of itinerary for ourselves. We had seen the museums, toured the palaces, and taken guided tours. This trip, we were allowing ourselves the freedom to go at our own pace. Being in Korea felt different this time...we were the parents of two children, but not with either of them. We were jet lagged, homesick, missed Graham so much it hurt, and wanted nothing more than to pick Amelia up, get to the airport and begin our lives together. But, we did have three days to fill, so wander we did. Someday, when Amelia is old enough to look at this blog I want her to have a real picture of what Seoul was like when we brought her home. So, here are some snapshots of Seoul...

Nothing is better for jet lag than coffee. No matter where in the world I've had Starbucks, it always tastes like home!

View from our hotel room window

Late night dinner

Hanging decorations at a Buddhist Temple

Our hotel

Seoul is such a contrast of old and new

Exotic treats from the sea


It's hard to think back one year and know that we were gearing up for our long journey home. I hardly slept the night before we left Seoul. I was so excited to get home and unite my family, but I was also worried about Amelia and how she would handle transitioning to her new life. We spent our last night in Seoul packing and repacking our carry-on bags, making sure we were prepared for any baby situation we might encounter, double checking our paperwork, and watching the time on the clock slowly tick by. Finally, morning arrived it was time to go home....