Monday, September 22, 2014

birthday buddies

The past two weeks we celebrated two birthdays in our family. Toby and Amelie's birthdays are just one day apart! We celebrated Toby a little early, and Ami a little bit late in order to have some breathing room in between.
Toby turned six years old!  This is my big kindergartener at school.  The littles and I brought in powdered doughnuts for his class on the Friday before his birthday.

Then Saturday morning we went to Ramba Zamba for lunch and to have a fun time.  This is a bounce house type of place in Mainz with big slides, trampolines, and so on.  Charlotte and Toby had been there before when we last lived in Germany, but I think they enjoyed it more now that they are a bit bigger.

All the kiddos got to ride the dino-karts.

Even the big Rob-kiddo back there!  ;)

It was a fun family day out.

For dinner, Toby requested mac & cheese & peas.  Gourmet, right?  I made easy mac in our hotel room microwave and the kids were all very happy.  Even Ami with her plate of peas.  (She doesn't know she's a baby.)

Then we had the birthday cake! 
Since I have no oven, and Toby had a grand request for a MarioKart themed cake that the commissary could not fulfill, I found a lady on base (via facebook) who bakes cakes.  She came through in a big way with this super fun cake.  We blew out candles in the smoking area outside (so as not to set off sprinklers in the hotel,) then brought it into the breakfast area to enjoy and share with some fellow hotel dwellers and staff.
Toby is such a wonderful little boy.  I continue to love his gentleness and empathy.  He is making a pretty smooth transition to kindergarten, though he does complain sometimes about having to do things he doesn't want to do, and he needs to continue to work on controlling his emotions.  (Welcome to school, buddy.) His teacher told me the other day that she asked the class to use a sight word they had been learning in a complete sentence.  She said that no one seemed to know what a sentence was, until Toby raised his hand and said, "I am going to the park." He used four of the sight words they had been learning and made an excellent sentence.  He also stuns us nearly daily by explaining math ideas that are much more complex than what he is doing in school.  For example, "10 rows of 9 plus 1 row of 9 would be 99, right?" We think he definitely has a talent for numbers and visual mental construction- if that makes sense.
But most of all, Toby is our sweet gentleman.  Every evening when he reminds me that he needs to give me hugs and kisses and tells me that he loves me, I melt again for my little heartbreaker.

And then we have this girl!
Amelie turned one year old last week! She is the smiliest, happiest baby we have ever had.  She is seriously a fully mobile ray of sunshine in our family. Yes, Ami took her first real solo steps in the Charlotte, NC airport on our way to Germany on Aug. 23rd. Now she is a speedy walker and climber!

Despite the fact that Alarm-elie still wakes up at least twice a night to nurse (normally I would have weaned her completely by now, but with having her in our room these past three months, and having the other kids in our room as well, I still get up with her to keep her quiet,) I still think she is adorable when she sleeps.  She has two lovies that she sleeps with- her seahorse from Grandma and Grandpa Anderson, seen here,  and a Lambie from Pop-Pop and Grandma Linda, which is under her belly in this picture.

Ami and Mommy- a birthday selfie.
This girl loves her momma, and the feeling is totally mutual.

For Ami's birthday dinner I made vegetable (not)fried rice.  Amelie is fiercely independent when it comes to her food these days.  Someone feeding her is an insult to her, and so while she figures out how to use utensils, we clean up the mess.

Sometimes she gives up on the utensils and dives face-first into her food.

Our first birthday family tradition has been chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  In order to make that happen, I borrowed the oven of a friend on base and made a batch from a box mix.  We sang happy birthday to Ami outside and the big kids helped her blow out her candle.

Rob tried to take the wrapper off of the cupcake before handling it to Amelie.  She was not willing to wait, so dove in face-first again.

Clever daddy decided the best thing was not to come between the girl and her chocolate.

She really didn't make that big of a mess, but I was glad we set her in the grass outside to do it anyway.

Soooooo yummy fu manchu.
We adore this baby.  She is far too spoiled and doted on by mom, dad, and older siblings.  She is just irresistible!  I love walking places with Ami- everyone smiles and says hello to me, and then I realize that it is because she is sitting in the stroller, or grocery cart, grinning from ear to ear and princess waving to the world.  She really knows how to make friends and influence people. 
Her favorite place in the world is sitting between mom and dad.  She will scream and complain until one of us picks her up and puts her between us, and then she is as happy as a clam.  She doesn't talk much, and I don't think we have added many real new words to her vocab, but she understands many things and considers herself one of the big people in every way. I am so thankful for our little Ami. I can't imagine our family without her.  Since she was born, we have really felt that our family is complete.  What a fantastic, crazy first year she has had!
Happy birthday Toby and Amelie!

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