Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Graham!

Today our sweet little guy turns 4 years old, unbelievable, right? It feels like just yesterday I was stressing over his picky eating and sleep issues and today I'm wondering how I can make time stand still even for just a day. This morning Graham proudly announced that since he's now 4 years old, he'll soon be 5. FIVE! On his next birthday Graham will turn 5, and that is crazy to me. Since turning 4 is a pretty big deal, we celebrated in a big way! Graham started the day out with oatmeal and apple juice (his choice) and was pleased to find a Diego balloon and Diego toy waiting for him at his place at the table.

Then, it was time to party! We celebrated with close to 40 people at a toddler open gym complete with bouncy house and wrapped it up with a pizza and cupcake lunch. As I was in the gym full of playful, happy kids this morning I realized how lucky we are to have such an amazing network of friends. We're so thankful to everyone who came out on this freezing cold day, to help our little guy celebrate his birthday. There is no question about it, Graham is one loved little boy!

Birthday Boy!

Some of our party guests enjoying open gym time

Here comes Graham!

Graham loves hockey!

Happy Birthday Graham!

After the party Graham spilled his gummy bears and was picking them up...then eating then. I guess at 4 years old the "5 second rule is alive and well"!

The party had a dinosaur theme and these were the masks all the kid party goers got to take home

Graham and his new triceratops pillow-pet. It was love at first sight!

Since this blog not only serves as a way to keep friends and family updated on what's going on in our world but also as a "baby book" for our family, I'm including a letter for Graham....

Dear Graham,

Today you turn 4 years old and it's absolutely unbelievable to me. Time is going way too fast and although I know you're desperate to be 5, I hope you're able to slow down and enjoy being 4 because I know this next year is going to fly by for all of us.

These past few months have been an amazing time of change for you. You started pre-school which you LOVE. You love your teacher, you love your friends, and you love telling me everything you learned. You have a confidence about you that is admirable. You don't hesitate to walk up to a complete stranger to ask a question if you're curious about something. This happens most often at the zoo where you chase down the volunteers to ask questions about the animals! You love to sound out words and you're amazingly good at it. Sentences aren't a problem for you either and you love to tell people that "I'm a reader!". You still love to dress-up in costumes, your favorite being your fireman outfit complete with boots. You're very curious about learning Spanish and every day we hear things like "Mas leche por favor" so we're thinking a Spanish immersion school is in your future. You're fiercely protective of your "baby sister MeYaYa". If you think she's in danger for even a split second or that she's being treated unfairly, you're very quick to come to her rescue.

You have an understanding of adoption that seems far beyond your years. You tell me each and every day that your favorite thing is our family and it makes me tear up each and every single time I hear it. I will never get tired of hearing you say that Graham! My favorite thing is also our family and not a single day goes by that I don't think of your birth mother in Korea and her brave decision that allowed our family to grow in the first place. I think of her especially on your birthday and wish that she too, could see what an amazing little person you are. Your smile lights up any room you enter and I would love for her to know that you're thriving, you love life, have a curiosity to always learn more, and that you have a very kind heart. Just as I am so proud of you Graham, I know in my heart, that she would be proud of you too.
Happy Birthday Graham! I hope that this year is filled with everything wonderful for you because you deserve nothing less. I love you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gearing up for a celebration...

Someone will be celebrating his birthday this weekend and someone was VERY proud to wear a crown at school today!

I walked into the classroom to pick Graham up from school today, and this is what I found-Graham with a giant grin. My boy sure does love a good birthday crown! Excuse the awful picture quality, I wasn't prepared for a photo op and snapped this quickly with my phone.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Swimming Lessons

Last Saturday the kids both started swimming lessons. Trust me though, the experience was nothing to write about. On Graham's part, there were a lot of tears, a lot of screaming, and on my part a lot of pleading and a lot of bribery to even peel him off my body. It wasn't pretty. This week was thankfully a completely different experience so I was actually able to take the camera out instead of sweating bullets as a listened to Graham's SCREAMS echo throughout the pool.

Amelia and Daddy Jeff (as well as cousin Miles and his Mommy and Daddy) take their lesson together. Amelia loves her Daddy and loves the water so it's a winning combination!

Graham is also in lessons, but this is his first round without a parent. Graham has never shown even the smallest hint of fear when it comes to water so his reaction last week shocked me. We spent the past week talking about how important it is to know how to swim and how much fun it is to play in the water. Although Graham told me repeatedly he was afraid his teacher was going to drop him (poor kid!) I was able to convince him that he was brave enough to stay in the water for his entire lesson and also that his teacher is a great swimmer and has superhero strength so dropping him wasn't even an option. That and the fact that he now believes swimming lessons are a prerequisite for special vacation we'll be taking this summer seemed to do the trick. By the end of class today Graham was yelling to me from the pool that he loves swimming lessons! Hooray for small victories!

This situation made me laugh...Amelia was really looking forward to getting in the pool and apparently we weren't moving fast enough for her this morning. She disappeared for a few moments and returned like this....gotta love the upside down coat, boots, and lack of pants!

I'm ready for the pool!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Small World

This evening we attended a birthday party for a special little princess....Over a year ago, by sheer chance, I met a family who was waiting to bring home their little girl from Korea. What's crazy though, is that this little girl and Amelia shared their foster mother while they lived in Seoul! What are the chances that two little girls living in Korea, would share a foster family while they waited to move to the United States, then end up living just 15 minutes from each other? If that isn't crazy enough, again, by sheer chance, we're all in our Thursday morning class together here in Eden Prairie. It really is a small world!

Ready to help Brielle celebrate her birthday!