Sunday, June 26, 2011

Birthday Girl!

Today, our little Amelia turned three years old! I have no idea where the time has gone and although I feel so extremely cliche even saying that, it really is the truth. Weren't we just in Korea meeting for the first time and now today, with the help of our friends and family, we helped Amelia celebrate another birthday. Amelia continues to be one one of the most nurturing little people I know. She's about as girly as they come, and most mornings she tells me she had happy dreams while she slept. When I ask her to tell me about her dreams she smiles and says "I love to dream about pink puppies and purple kitties!" I can only hope life always remains so Check Spellinghappy and simple for her! Don't let her often quiet demeanor fool you girl has a serious stubborn side and can definitely hold her own! That's ok Amelia, stubborn little girls, turn into strong women, and I wouldn't want you to be anything other than that! :) I am thankful every single day that Amelia is a part of our family and that I have the honor of watching her grow and experience all the world has to offer her. Cheers to you, Princess Amelia, and cheers to another exciting year ahead. Mommy, Daddy, and Graham love you more than you will ever know!

We started the day with pancakes (Amelia's choice), had lunch at McDonald's (Amelia's choice), and ended the day with a Princess themed birthday party (again, Amelia's choice). We have the most amazing group of friends and family and we're so thankful that they were able to help us celebrate today. So, for those of you reading this, thank you for being such positive part of Amelia's life!

Graham greeted Amelia this morning by saying "I give the best birthday hugs, come here!" You know, I have to agree with Graham. He does give the best hugs!

Graham chose a princess fishing rod as a gift for Amelia. She LOVED it and Graham was so genuinely excited for her!

Birthday Girl on her new bike!

The banquet table waiting for the mini-royals to arrive

The girls got tiaras and accessories and the boys were decked out in Knight attire

Some of the mini-royals enjoying dinner

Amelia isn't a big fan of cake, but she does LOVE chocolate chip cookies. We broke tradition and had cookies instead of a cake. What the princess wants, the princess gets! :)

Daddy and Amelia

Amelia (very proud of her new lip gloss) and Grandpa


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ballet Class

Not to be outdone by Graham, who started t-ball yesterday, Amelia started ballet lessons this morning! She's been very excited for her classes to start, and today was finally the day! Amelia hasCheck Spelling quite the leotard collection and she proudly chose her black one for the occasion. I was shocked, as 99.9 % of the time when anything pink is an option, pink is the choice she makes.

The Mommy's aren't allowed to stay in the dance studio during class as we'd apparently be too much of a distraction to the little ballerinas. I can't possibly imagine how excited Mommy's with cameras and constant "oohing and ahhing" could possibly be a distraction, but anyways....:) We stayed in the lobby and got to observe class on the flat screen tv. I did sneak a few pictures through the window on the studio door though. There is no way I could ever let Amelia's first ballet class go undocumented! Amelia is very much a "rule follower" and is extremely conscientious of doing the right things so I wasn't surprised to observe her closely following the directions as the teachers modeled the basic ballet moves. It wouldn't have mattered what she did in class today though...there is nothing cuter than a toddler ballet class!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Maroon Tigers

Tonight was Graham's first t-ball practice as a 'Maroon Tiger'. When we signed him up, I had visions of lounging on a blanket and enjoying a picnic while we cheered Graham and his teammates on. How silly I was....tonight, it was a balmy 56 degrees with rain. The kids (all 4 who had parents crazy enough to brave the weather) couldn't have cared less that they were cold and wet, and the parents huddled together near the benches wondering when the coaches would finally call it a night.

Graham was so excited all day for his first practice so there was no way we could have let chilly air and rain keep us away. The team will spend the summer working on drills (throwing, hitting, and running the bases) and end their season with one game. Before tonight, I wondered why there was only one official game. Then tonight happened and I got my answer. These kids are all 4 and 5 years old and playing in the dirt is just as exciting as taking their turn at bat. Should be an exciting t-ball season for the 'Maroon Tigers'!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Daddy Jeff! We all love you very, very much!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back to blogging....

Its been nearly two weeks since I've last update the blog, and I'm not really sure where to start, so I'll just start at the beginning...

Almost two weeks ago, Graham had surgery to repair a sinus issue and have his adenoids removed. He was such a brave little guy! Thankfully, the surgery was a success and everything went well. Graham was not too happy coming out of anesthesia when he was in recovery surrounded by unfamiliar faces (totally understandable!) but relaxed once we were united. He quickly fell back into a deep sleep and the nurse had to wake him up several hours later. He was feeling pretty nauseous at this point but we were able to go home later that day. We had a rough night at home and it took a few days for Graham's spunk to return, but he's back! Thankfully, the surgery is behind us. We return to the specialist in about a week for a post-op check-up, but that's it!

A few days after Graham's surgery, my family had to make the difficult decision to put our beloved family dog, Millie, to sleep. Millie lived with my parents, but she spent so much time at our house, I often joked that we had joint custody. It really is true...pets aren't just pets, they become members of our family. The kids ADORED Millie, and she's going to be missed tremendously.

A few days after we said good-bye to Millie, we had to say a very sad good-bye to my wonderful, fantastic, amazing, Grandpa. We took the kids to Florida in December to spend some time with my Grandparents and I'm so glad we had the opportunity to do that and that my last memories with him are filled with such joy. My Grandpa loved nothing more than family time, and the fact that there are now toddlers in our family, was like the icing on the cake for him. Because of the type of sinus surgery Graham had, he was instructed not to fly for 3-4 weeks post surgery. As a result, I immediately flew alone to Florida to be with my family, and Daddy Jeff stayed back and held down the fort. It's always hard for me to leave the kids, especially with Graham so recently having had surgery and Amelia dealing with an infected foot from some strange bug bite, but I needed to be in Florida to honor my Grandpa and I'm glad I was able to be present. At the graveside memorial service, I heard something that really stuck with me. As we slowly walked away from the service and towards our cars, we (the mourning family) were told to never look back over our shoulders and that the living must go on living. That is so very true. As sad as this situation is, and as much as my Grandpa's missing presence will be felt, we must go on living and we need to do it with as much happiness and excitement for the future as we can. After all, my Grandpa wouldn't want it any other way.

So, that's what's been going on with our family and that's why the blog has been so quiet. I'll do my best to resume regular blogging soon...this next week has some pretty big events, Graham's first t-ball game, Amelia's first ballet lesson, and most exciting, Amelia's 3rd birthday!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A big day....

Tomorrow is a big day for Graham. He's having surgery. Graham has had CONSTANT sinus infections all winter long. He'd finish up his antibiotics and 3 days later, the infection would be back. Without shedding even a single tear, over the past few months, Graham has dealt with countless doctor appointments, more blood work than I care to remember, multiple x-rays, and most recently a head ct. It turns out that Graham needs some sinus work done with a telescopic procedure in addition to having his adenoids removed and tomorrow is the day. Please keep Graham in your thoughts and prayers. We don't have to be to the hospital until mid-morning so we haven't discussed anything with him yet. He'll find out what the day holds when he wakes up. I can only hope that he isn't too afraid and that he isn't in too much pain after the procedure. I know rationally that he's going to be in good hands, and I know that he's a "big 4 years old" but he's still my baby and this Mama is worried about her little guy...

This picture has NOTHING to do with surgery. But, it does make me laugh, and a good laugh is what I feel like I need tonight...

Graham found my "Marcia Brady" wig that I wore to a costume party. He clearly thinks he's pretty cool!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wrapping up the weekend....

Before dinner tonight, we took the kids the annual carnival hosted by our suburb. We promised the kids they could ride two rides and then we'd be heading home for dinner. I'm not a real fan of the whole "carni experience" :), so I figured we should prep the kids for what to expect so there were no tears when we didn't bring home any 8 foot tall purple gorillas or green lizards on a stick. The preparation worked, the kids happily chose two rides, the giant stuffed animals stayed exactly where they belonged, and we all went home happy.

Amelia LOVES rides more than any kid I've ever seen. Graham enjoys them but he's cautious. Amelia throws her normally reserved personality to the wind and lets loose on rides. He laughter is LOUD and contagious and she had us, and other waiting parents laughing right along with her.

Those are my babies up there! I guess we've hit another milestone...the kids are old enough to be on a ride that goes into the air without a parent! And yes, they loved it!

After dinner, we turned on the sprinkler and let the kids loose.....

Does Graham's face say "Happy!" or what?!?

Amelia spent a while singing and dancing with her "bumbrella"

And when she grew tired of singing and dancing, she found a spot to rest

Let the summer fun begin!