Monday, July 20, 2009


It is hard to believe that our beautiful baby girl turned 5! For some reason five seems like such a momentous number...maybe because it signifies such big changes, with Kindergarten (yikes!) coming up this fall.

We have definitely seen such huge changes in Amanda this year. In the past twelve months, she has shot up in height (although her weight has stayed pretty much steady), and her hair had grown almost to her waist until we cut it just after her birthday. She has also become a very competent reader and is well on her way to reading short chapter books. Her vocabulary is amazing; she picks up on new words in conversations and then uses them until she's figured out the right context. She's also remarkably perceptive for her age and the conversations we have with her are definitely not what we ever expected for a 5-year-old! Her writing and drawing skills have improved immensely; when we flipped through her preschool album at the end of the year, it was neat to see the early versions of her own name compared to the later ones. She has a great imagination and loves playing complicated make-believe games...sometimes we are in trouble if we don't follow along with all the convoluted rules! We were also so proud of her at preschool this year – she was the only new child in a class of 10 kids, the rest of whom had all spent the whole year together last year. She adapted remarkably and made a lot of new friends.

One of the best things about Amanda's 5th year has been seeing her adapt to the addition of Sam to our family. It's hard to believe that a year ago she was still an only child! We have been so thrilled to see what a great big sister she is – patient (for the most part), excited to see Sam growing and changing, and always instructing him. It's so much fun to listen to her talking to him. Now that she's reading she also loves to read him stories. For his part, Sam adores his big sister and we fully expect his first word to be some version of "Amanda"!

Of course Amanda is also a typical 5 year old in a lot of other ways too; all too often we get glimpses into what our life will be like when she hits her teenage years. She is definitely capable of giving us a lot of attitude on a fairly regular basis! She also has meltdowns over seemingly small things, especially when she is tired or hungry.

We could not be more proud of our beautiful, crazy, funny, smart girl and the person she is becoming! We love you Amanda!

(Music is Evermore by Alison Krauss, which I blogged about here.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Summer - Day 4

Summer - Day 4
Originally uploaded by JenJeff
Being at home has really taught me to see the relationship between our kids in a more close manner. Usually when I get home from work they are tired and grouchy.

I can't believe the circus we had today in the Mall. A simple walk in the mall which would normally take about 5 minutes turns into a 2 hour jamboree. We stop at every little ride on toy (which we don't $$ for) and climb over them as if they are a really expensive jungle gym. I thought we were through this stage already!

Sam decided that he wanted to join his sister on this 2 person train contraption (it doesn't look like a train). It is about 2-3 feet off the ground and he decided that he would test my heart's reflexes by fake falling off the edge while laughing as if he didn't notice that his life was in my hands (how naive). Amanda then decided to proceed across the train by scaling the side like she's Marty from "Back To The Future" to join her brother. All of this mayhem and we still manage to make it out of the mall alive!

On to our next adventure!