Friday, November 30, 2012

Almost Too Cute

In one of the few things we've managed to do every year since Amelia came is to have professional photos taken in the fall. We've used Steph at for every session and I love how them come out. It's also great to see how Amelia changes over the years.

2010 (6 months old)

2011 (18 months old)

2012 (2 1/2 years old)
 I'm not going to share anymore of the photos as not to spoil potential cards or gifts this year. But let's just say that they turned out great again this year and Steph once again did a great job of capturing our little tornado.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Family Times Two

My step-mother's father recently passed away, and I was able to go out to Long Beach and spend some time with her and her family, along with a sibling reunion. It's always amusing to step back in sister/daughter mode for a few days. For the record I did not start a food fight this time. While it was a short trip, I was glad to be back home to be wife/mother.

I got back just as Sandy was starting to bring a little rain to DC. Thankfully Matt's mom was able to get out before the storm started, after being here a couple of days to spend time with Amelia. While I'm not saying it's her fault, Amelia did not think she was a princess till after Grandma was here. I'm just pointing out the timing. :) Thankfully we survived the storm with no damage and never lost power, which is some sort of miracle.

Family - Matt, Amelia and Teddy
 Our little ham enjoyed the idea of Halloween more than the actual day. She rallied for the school party and some pictures at home, but was not interested in trick-or-treating. She did like giving out candy and by the end of the night was running after other kids to give them candy. Great parenting win - she learns about giving to others and we end up with no leftover candy. Excellent.
Mary Poppins with all accessories.
(A big thanks to Grandma for the AMAZING outfit)
 Mary Poppins at school. I wouldn't let her take the umbrella to school because I didn't want to get a note from the teacher about Amelia putting out some kid's eye.
(Note: the kid behind her in the gold and black is Carnac the Magnificent aka Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. He has no idea what he is and his mom said it was the second year in a row in that costume.)

I went in for the "party" at Amelia's school, which was cute. It featured 2 Buzz Lightyears, Mickey and Minnie Mouse (not related just coincidence), Batman and Robin (again not preplanned), Elmo, a doctor and a couple of other animals. I learned that numerous kids, especially boys, talk about her at home, thankfully all good. However, Amelia has never talked about some of those kids and I only know their names because they have a cubby with their name on it.

On a recent park outing we were again reminded that this child has no fear. Also, endless energy.

Seriously, how are you big enough to do that?

Oh, and she's learned how to snap and even creates a little noise when she does it. Thankfully she only tries to imitate Swiper the fox, of Dora fame, but it's only a matter of time till she does it with attitude. I've discovered that recording her at the grocery store will buy us a few more minutes of calm until we checkout.

And now we present that she is Matt's daughter. She's trying to brush the dog hair off the blanket while Teddy is still on it. I don't try and get the dog hair off of most things, including the bed. But I will take "credit" for the crazy laughing while harassing the dog.

Family - The six pack
(six beers in a pack - six siblings)
We were all able to make it to Long Beach for Mary's father's funeral. It was the first time since I came home for Christmas my freshman year of college that all of us were there with no SOs. Yeah, Amanda will be a college freshman next fall so we clearly spend too much time with each other. I'm officially twice as old as Amanda and she's closer to Amelia's age than mine. She will be coming out to the East Coast and will attend Princeton and be a coxswain for their rowing team. She was recruited by Stanford but chose Princeton because of coach issues. My father still has not forgiven her, even if he agrees with the choice.

Sisters - Amanda, Anne, me, Bunny
Bunny and I look much more like our father, while Anne and Amanda are carbon copies of each other and look more like Mary.

Brothers - Hugh and Will
Speaking of family resemblance...
Seriously, other than height, did they get any genes from their mothers?

Monday, October 22, 2012


So this happened over the weekend. I think the best part is that the local paper titled the article on it as "Heavenly Bodies Hit Minister's House." For the record, it did hit his study first.

Over here in the Commonwealth we had a busy weekend as well, even if it didn't involve stuff falling from space. On Saturday we went to a friend's house for an Oktoberfest party. Matt and I got some grown-up time and Amelia got to play with a bunch of kids, especially the son of the hosts. The two of them are only a few months apart and have played with each other since they were very small. They shared a kiss before their first birthdays, which was a little horrifying at the time. They are currently a little obsessed with each other, but I don't know how much longer he's going to want to play with Amelia. She tells him what to do AND will rat him out every time he does something Amelia thinks is wrong.

On Sunday we went to a joint birthday party for Sabrina (6!?!?!?) and Stevie (4!) at a place that's AWESOME for kids and migraine-inducing for adults. It was a little overwhelming for Amelia, but once she found a slide that wasn't too crowded, she was good to go.

The birthday girl and boy. With pizza and cake given after they were done with the bouncy castles.
Amelia's friend from the day before was there as well. I tried to get a picture of them.
Take 1 - Amelia not looking at the camera.
 Take 2 - No one is looking at the camera.
 Take 3 - Both looking at the camera! Victory!
 I know you can't tell by looking at them, both they're both 1/4 Italian. Blonde, blue eyes - they look like they could start their own Scandinavian country.

After a busy weekend, Amelia and I watched Cinderella and ate mac'n'cheese and she passed right out. Which is good, because I needed to do the same thing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Catching Up

I apologize for the lack of communication. It's been a little hectic around here, topped off by Amelia being sick on Sunday.

First, I would like to remind you to vote. Many states have started early voting already, so you have plenty of time to get your vote in. We picked up this gem at Art on The Avenue on Saturday. You can find more of this series by Joe Shymanski here.
 Amelia is still growing like a weed and has become obsessed with wearing her tutus with boots.
 Example 1
She's also managed to keep the gracefulness she inherited from her mother with her new style. Also, I think she might be a bit of a ham...
Example 2
She's also still in a big mommy phase. For the past few months we've had to wear the same toenail polish. I swear whatever they put in the stuff for kids is makes it the strongest nail polish ever. Amelia's is usually gone in about 10 days. Mine has never chipped and I had to seek professional help in removing the glitter option she chose last time. (And yes, my feet really are that white compared to Amelia's. I think she got Matt's coloring.)
 She's also decided she needs to wear makeup because mommy does. But instead of trying to look like me, she's taking her makeup style from Miss Piggy. She wants mascara (to get the big eyelashes) but I won't do that quite yet. But somewhere her Great-Grandmother is very proud.
 She also got a haircut recently, and has loved putting in barrettes that Poppy picked out for her in her hair. For five minute increments.

Oh, and this happened. Or happened 10 years ago to be more precise. I don't feel like that was 10 years ago, but I have a very bad sense of these things. What I do know is that marrying Matt was the best decision of my life. (Second best was wearing the gloves; you have no idea how important they were.)
Happy Anniversary sweetie.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Growing Up - aka Who Stole My Baby?

 What is this? Amelia can ride her trike all by herself? Thankfully she still needs help with the turning and doesn't know how to brake, so we've still got time till she takes on the neighborhood. And I'm not at all freaked out that we live at the top of a hill, and because we're at the t of an intersection, she could probably get all the way to the river without having to do much peddling.

 But she does know that she has to wear her bike helmet whenever she rides her trike, and that BOTH her parents will be REQUIRED to wear one too if they go biking together. Since neither of us owns a bike, this is probably a moot point, but I'm a little obsessive about it and Matt is not. He said he never wore one growing up, but he didn't LIVE AT THE TOP OF THE HILL THAT CAN TAKE HER TO THE RIVER. Also, I took multiple trips over the handle bars growing up and know how important they are.
 I let Amelia help me paint an Ikea table we've owned forever to try and get a few more months out of it. I had her take off her top, but let her keep her pants on. I should have gotten her a shower cap. We used four different colors while painting, but somehow she only got blue on her. Trying to get the blue out of her hair is not my favorite bath memory.
She also has been taking great pleasure in playing with bubbles recently.
Apparently I'm not fully trained in bubbles, because after I blew a couple of bubbles she took them back and wouldn't give them to me again.
She also received her first birthday party invite from preschool. Since this is from her "special friend", I think she has to go. If it was from the kid who tore her book and punched her in the ear during circle time, I think we could let her pass. 

She's still into Mary Poppins (and all the songs from it), but has added Cars 2 and Sound of Music (aka Mommy's movie) to the rotation. I haven't even tried to explain that Maria and Mary Poppins are actually the same person. That would just confuse her and then lead to all sorts of questions (like, why aren't Jane and Michael in the other movie, etc). She has to understand how things fit together - she does have some of Matt in her -and that would blow her world up. She understands that Matt has brown eyes because Grandma and Pepere have brown eyes, and that I have blue eyes because Nana and Grandfather have blue eyes, but she doesn't question the pairings. Which is good. Because then we'd need to replace the photos on the fridge with a family tree, and that would get weird real fast.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of Preschool

Even though Amelia has been in "school" for over a year, today is the official start of preschool. We dressed her up more than usual because I insisted on photos.

I love my daddy.

One last applesauce and hug for her baby before heading out. Also, it's a little creepy how much she looks like me.

And this is how you can tell she's my daughter. She also thinks a skirt with pockets is the coolest thing ever. She a little obsessed with pockets and this is the first skirt she's worn that has pockets.

Painfully cute.

Have a great day Amelia!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Odds and Ends

Amelia is a child that loves routine. Every day after school she comes home and has to take out every toy that she's currently obsessed with. Thankfully she's pretty good about packing it up at the end of the night. Every group (Thomas, Cars, Nemo, Muppets) has it's designated location and you better not mess with it or Amelia will come after you.
I was trying to get her to cuddle up to Matt. She had to think about it.
This is as close as she would go.

And on an unrelated note; my sister Amanda is now the proud owner of a silver medal in the World Rowing Championships. Here she is with her teammates. Guess which one is the coxswain? Yup, Amanda is the one on the far left who doesn't reach the shoulder of the girl next to her. We're so proud of her and wish we could have been there. She's eligible for the Junior Olympic team again next year, so we may be taking a summer trip to Trakai, Lithuania for the finals there. And if she continues to kick ass and take names, Rio in 2016.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Did You Just Say?

Amelia is now at the age where she grasps something and then will not stop talking about it. For example, she's been reading "Finding Nemo" and would not stop asking about where Nemo's mommy is. I tried to tell her that Nemo's mommy was on a trip, but she wouldn't buy that. Finally I told her that there were different kinds of families. Some have a mommy and a daddy, some have two mommies, some have two daddies, and some only have one mommy or one daddy, like Nemo. Her reply was that she wanted to have two mommies. After I said no, you have a mommy and a daddy, she added "And a Teddy." Yes Amelia, we have a Teddy. She hasn't mentioned Nemo's mommy since then, but is obsessed with finding a Dory to go with her Nemo and Marlin.

She has also become obsessed with where Daddy works. She kept insisting that he worked at the Metro station because we picked him up there once. I kept saying he works in the city. Once I mentioned he had to go on a bridge because it's on the other side of the river, she's been good with that. We went into the city to have dinner with friends and Amelia loved going over the bridge and was happy there were no trolls. She had been very concerned about the possibility of trolls collecting a toll. She's also quick to comment on our driving. Apparently Matt needs to go faster and I need to go slower. We both are told about every traffic light we come across.

She's picking up phrases and trying them out to see how she likes them. We were in Home Depot on Sunday and she looked at me and told me to "get out of her face". I whipped around and asked "What did you say?" She repeated it and then put her head down and laughed. I used the "do not eff with me" voice and told her she was not allowed to say that to anyone, but especially mommy and daddy. I walked away to grab something and I heard her say it quietly to herself and then laugh really quietly. I've tried to tell her that she's not sneaky or subtle, but she hasn't figured that out yet.

But her favorite activity by far is singing. It starts in the morning and only ends when she passes out a night. It's always a jumble of songs that she puts together, but she sings it with gusto. She doesn't do anything halfway. After we put her down for the night you can always hear her singing for at least 10 minutes before she falls asleep.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Where's The Off Switch?

Amelia is getting more and more verbal, which has been pretty funny. But she's still firing on all cylinders all the time. Here are some of her more amusing moments.

I'm pretty sure we weren't in danger of losing her in the family room.
I think she needs to work on her Spanish. In case you can't make it out, she counts like this: "Uno, dos, tres, broccoli, cinco."
She's singing "Let's Go Fly A Kite" from Mary Poppins, which has become a favorite movie. As we've been watching the Olympics she knows that they are in London. When you ask her who lives in London her answer is "Mary Poppins, Uncle Pete and Aunt Bunny."

 On Sunday we got the chance to go to a nearby pool with some friends. Amelia almost immediately wanted to start her "diving" and was checking out the diving board. After that being nixed, she was content to do her regular diving. She scoots to the edge, put her hands in place and then jumps. She wasn't jumping as far as she was before, so there was a little bit of explaining that she had to jump out farther.

The nice part about this pool was that she was jumping into water that was two feet deep. That meant she could jump in and stand up without any help, but we were still there to make sure she was coming up quickly.

And our little diver in action.

When she got home it was straight into pjs, and playing with her toys. She decided to put on her "Silly Hat" that my mom sent her. It's silly because it has a flower on it and looks like a watermelon. Her other hat is white, so it's not so silly. The color of the photo is a little off, but you can only expect a camera phone to do so much.

As you can see she keeps a pretty busy schedule. She used to slowly wake up and then slowly go to sleep. Now it's either all the way on or asleep. Even at night when we put her down you can hear her reading and singing to herself until she just passes out.

Last week we got this report card from her gymnastics class. I have no idea what donkey kicks or the mailbox is, but the idea that she's learning to do cartwheels and handstands has me slightly nervous. I may have to go watch a class and make sure it's not anything like I'm imaging. Because "Amelia" and "Springboard" seem like a bad combination.

Monday, July 16, 2012

At The Park - Old Stomping Grounds

We were at the playground near our old house and it was funny to see the difference between her first few park outings and now.

She is driving the "City Bus". Amelia has recently become slightly obsessed with different trucks, but especially school and city buses.

While she used to be afraid of the tunnel, that's clearly gone.

Trying to see what's on the other side. She asked me the other day to help her look out a window so she could see the neighbors. I tried to explain that's spying and she shouldn't do it, but she's clearly trying to see out of her bedroom windows after we put her down.
Daredevil child. She's learned to swing herself onto the slide to go faster. Excellent.

But she's pretty cute (and sweaty), so I think we'll keep her.

Friday, July 13, 2012

We Didn't Want Trees Anyway

More storm fallout. We have one tree in the yard (literally one in the entire yard - front and back) so of course it got hit by lightening, or something else that killed just the top part of the tree.The tree splits in two at the base. The trunk on the right is the one with the dead branches.

The dead area at least 20 feet higher than the top of our house.

Gravity would not be on our side if we only cut down the one trunk.
So this is going to be fun. But considering I can see from my office the root ball of a similar sized tree that took out a number of  fences in the storm, we'd rather do it ourselves before Mother Nature does it for us. The crazy part is that because of the placement of the tree in the yard they can't use a crane so it will all be done by hand. Any one need fire wood? Because we're about to have enough to build a bonfire they could see from space.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


So, we've had an interesting two weeks. After a nasty heatwave the DC area was treated to a Derecho. I've never heard the term before, and frankly it sounds like something Matt would make up. However, it is very real and knocked out our power for five days. And the best part is that the temperature didn't go down and continued at 100+ degree days. Because of the heat we lost everything in the fridge within less than 24 hours. We went to eat the ice cream for lunch and it was already soup. Thankfully there were no injuries or major home damage in our neighborhood.

The big damage for us. Our neighbors had a whole tree pull out of the ground and take out about three backyards.

 This house is around the corner from us. It's surprising, but there's two trees down and they didn't hit any wires, cars, parts of the house or the bocce ball court.
To escape the house one day I went on a drive to IKEA. (Amelia and I slept in the basement and Matt slept in the family room because we didn't want to deal with getting a hotel room) On the way home I saw this.
 Seriously, let the man out of the cow suit.
Amelia enjoyed sleeping in the basement with me, but it did mess with her nap schedule. Thankfully her school had power, so she went there on Monday and Tuesday. But the weekend led to the nap taking her.
We finally got power back on Wednesday late afternoon. And less than 24 hours later we were on a plane to Grand Rapids, MI. Where it was 100 degrees. Seriously. Thankfully the hotel DID have air conditioning. a pool and power. We had a great time visiting with relatives, and Amelia LOVED all the attention. She has a "cousin" about six months older than her and they didn't really play as much as egg each other on. This was the first time Amelia was at a wedding where she had some understanding of what was happening. She kept asking where the bride was and when they were getting married. Unfortunately, most of this was during the service, so I ended up in back with her. 
The wedding was beautiful and we had a great time at the reception. Amelia had an even better time. She was able to bounce from Memere to Pepere to Uncle Steve to any number of Matt's cousins. She worked up quite a thirst. 
She must have had four glasses of orange juice, along with at least three cookies plus wedding cake. Thankfully Amelia is a total ham, so she burned off most of the energy on the dance floor. She kept pulling Matt and his father back on to the dance floor. I would say she spent at least an hour out there before melting down. Thankfully it was a quick walk across the street and straight into bed. It was about 10:30 when she went to bed and SHE SLEPT TILL 8AM. This has happened NEVER. So apparently we have to do the following to get her to sleep in:
Spend 45 minutes in the pool jumping in and climbing the ladder out and repeat
Go for a 15 minute walk in the direct sun
Let her play, run around and bust open her lip at the Children's Museum for over an hour
Go to wedding with all sorts of interesting people
Let her stay up and dance her head off

I'm tired just looking at that list, so maybe we're not going to get 8am for awhile. 

We flew back on Saturday and thankfully still had power. Sunday night we had more thunderstorms and one of the bangs was loud enough to wake both Matt and I while also shaking our house. I seriously thought we were having an earthquake till the lightening hit. Amelia and Teddy slept through the whole thing.