Thursday, December 22, 2011

I just want to share some snapshots of Amelia, and how I see her today.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No, we didn't skip her birthday this year...  This is the first time I haven't posted about Amelia' birthday right away, but I think it's somewhat understandable, since it was all in the midst of total chaos for us as a family.  Although I did not capture the pictures I'd hoped for, I do want to record the event, since this is the closest thing I do to scrapbooking or keeping a baby book.  Life is so full, and I want to remember these times.
Amelia turned five!  Her two requests for her birthday were a crown and gluten-free chocolate cupcakes.  We made those things happen, and quite a lot more!  In addition to a tiny party at her grandparents' house, we wanted to take a day in Portland to do all of her favorite things, just as we had done the three birthdays before.  It seemed especially important since we don't know when we'll be in Portland again for her birthday.
We started the day with friends at Slappy Cakes, where you can make your own breakfast right at the table.  Our other child guest was Chloe, our former neighbor, and she and Amelia had a blast.

 Waiting for the party to start, Amelia all dressed up in her crown, and she has a big fluffy tutu under her dress.  She loved the amount of attention her crown generated, and had lots of opportunities throughout the day to announce her birthday and soak up all the attention and good wishes.

 We ordered some bottles of gluten-free pancake batter and plenty of toppings, and then Amelia and her buddy both made pancakes and commissioned some special ones, like this kitty cat.  After lots of pancakes and syrup, the staff also came out with a gluten free banana fritter, which she dug into, and this is sort of where all that left her:
 She recovered and let the sweets work their loopy magic on her and Chloe-- their antics were really hysterical!

 This is my favorite picture from the day, with Chloe laughing so hard at her shenanigans!
 That was fun, and we had a great time with our neighbors.  Next, it was off for our birthday tradition-- this was Amelia's fourth year to ride the sky tram on her birthday.

 While we were riding up to the top where OHSU is situated, our tram conductor radioed to the staff at the entrance that there was a little birthday princess on her way.  They met us with stickers and a little pair of binoculars!  That was so sweet.  We walked up to the park area up there, where a farmer's market was being held.  Amelia sampled everything and received plenty of birthday greetings.  A few days before her birthday, she had befriended someone in a bookstore.  This lady found out that Amelia's birthday was coming up, and pulled two dollars out of her purse and gave them to Amelia to buy herself a gift with!  So Amelia spent that money on a fresh-squeezed orange juice.  It was a hot day, so we soaked our feet in a fountain and rested.

 We basically spent the rest of the day visiting fountains all over Portland-- I think five, total.  We also went to Finnegan's toy store for Amelia to play for a while.
 After so many little stops, it was finally time to meet our friend Elie for our main gift to Amelia: a Moroccan dinner! Amelia has always loved experiences more than things.  We have tried many times to think of toys or presents she would actually play with, but it always ends up being a bust.  What she loves is stories, food, going new places, and learning things about other parts of the world.  Could we have a child more compatible for the life we've been living?!  So she had been really looking forward to eating Moroccan food, getting her hands washed with orange flower scented water, sitting on poufs around little tables, etc.  It was dark, so I didn't get many good pictures, but this is a sweet one with Elie.
Amelia's birthday is my favorite holiday of the year.  She is such an interesting little person, and I love to just take the time to delight her and do all of the things I know she likes.  It was a long day, but it was also great to make time in that crazy week to spend our energies on her, and Jeff and I had a blast too!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Goes Around, Comes Around...

Anyone remember this?
This Mother's Day I got some payback.  Amelia was the sweetest little thing, totally eager to make my day special.  Not only did she think of getting me the latest Emmylou Harris CD herself, but she gave me a little spa treatment. (With Papa's help, of course!)
Getting the warm soaking water ready...
A couple minutes to soak.
Papa demonstrates loofah scrubbing.
No instruction needed for the massage part!
It's fun having a family!
Speaking of which, my brother Luke took these nice pictures for us when he visited this weekend.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Unhappy Trails...

 Amelia has been the best little traveling companion-- cheerful, enthusiastic, energetic, flexible... Until yesterday, when we hit a wall.  It lasted all morning as well.  Her legs were "broken," her stomach was "shrinking," she was mad, she was bored, she wanted to go back "home" to spend time with our host, she wanted to kick things and scream, etc, etc.  Total misery.  She just about ruined it for us.  Pulling out the camera to capture all of her angst helped her turn the corner.

 And, of course, finally seeing the Eiffel Tower sealed the deal.  Hoping for a fairly happy, hardy tomorrow.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Amelia gives us a tour of her Kindergarten!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tough Traveler
On our last trip (to Nuremburg and Munich) Amelia had all sorts of travel phrases just rolling off the tongue.  "Are we going to check into our hotel?"  "What time does our train leave?"  "Where's the train station?"  "Do we need to check out now?"  She is so savvy, and loves demonstrating her worldly knowledge.  She is always up for anything (unless it seems too ordinary.)
Even though we probably wouldn't have chosen to live in three different countries in one year, we are thankful on a daily basis that this is Amelia's idea of a good life.  She loves traveling.  Honestly, if we could stay in a hotel every night (preferably a different one each time) and eat in new restaurants every day, she would be ecstatic.  All of her dreams are coming true right now, as we pack up again. Not only will she be visiting friends and family in Portland, but we will be seeing Italy and France, and flying to Portland from Paris.  We will stay in hotels and other peoples' homes, and eat in all sorts of places over the next few months.  I imagine this would be just awful for most children, with no sense of stability whatsoever!  Knowing Amelia, she will be friendly, charming, observant, and genuinely thankful for all of the experiences and meals and new people she will meet.  I am so thankful for her.  I am not so sure about the next few months myself-- I love adventure, but I also like to just have plenty of peace and space and less stimulation than the average person.  Seeing her take it all in stride will surely be helpful.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Some Christmas Photos...

I already basically described what our Christmas was like here, but I wanted to add some photos for family and friends.
And I mostly wanted to be able to share this one:

Yes, this is my charming husband, showing off multiple gifts all at once, including beer socks and Portland underoos from his family!
 As usual, Amelia totally hit the jackpot.  This year, however, we actually contributed to the jackpot in a big way.  I don't know how we didn't get a picture of it, but we bought her a wooden play kitchen.  And some cooking items, and her grandparents contributed greatly to this theme with dishes and toy foods.  AND a work outfit!

 This cute little scarf is from family in Michigan-- it looks super cute on her!
 I know it's a little late, but Merry Christmas!