Monday, December 27, 2010

We can play with this one!

December2010058, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Uncle Nicholas and Aunt Sunny got Norah and Luca a "little people" nativity set, which they both love! Norah loved playing with it, though she had a little trouble with the fact that it was just as much Luca's as it was hers. She got over it and shares quite nicely, now!

A little more natural in the Baby3000

December2010039, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

The Baby3000 has a much more natural affect, fooling most humans it encounters into thinking it is one of their own.

Robot Baby

December2010038, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Doesn't Luca almost look like a humanoid robot in this photo? I think it's funny!

He likes the sweatshirt!

December2010030, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Uncle Marco

December2010028, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Norah and Luca's Uncle Marco sent some real hits our way. The first is the purple skirt that Norah is wearing (that just happened to match her pj's beautifully!). She wears that skirt all over the house and it's all we can do to get her to take it off for mealtimes, naps, etc.

Here is Luca scrutinizing his gift from Uncle Marco: a cute fleece sweatshirt!

He liked it!

December2010020, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Luca loves his spinny noise-maker baby thingy from Grandma and Grandpa H! Thanks!


December2010011, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Needless to say, Norah was surprised and delighted when she opened the large sized doodler from Mommy and Daddy!

My babies

December2010112, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Me and my babies on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve

We found a church service to go to on Christmas Eve, and we all dressed up for it. Here's Norah and Luke posing for their Christmas photo.

Both of us

December2010083, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

I took this one of Norah and I on the steps.

The Art Institute

December2010075, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

James' parents brought Norah back to us last week, and we all spent a few days together. We went to the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Here's Norah on the main interior steps of the Art Institute. She loved all the colorful words!

The "Big Tree"

December2010067, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Our hotel had a HUGE Christmas tree in the lobby, so I tried to get some Christmas photos of Norah and Luca. We had to sit by Norah's favorite ornaments (the green and gold ones).

This is why...

December2010113, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Some people can share their bed with their children, but I have always insisted that the kids sleep in their bed, and James and I keep our bed to ourselves (except in rare and extenuating circumstances, of course!).

Well, we recently had a little vacation in downtown Chicago, and we thought that there would be a pull-out bed for Norah in the hotel room, but it was a misunderstanding and there wasn't. SO, Norah got to sleep in our bed with us. This is the position she was in in the morning. THIS is why I don't enjoy sleeping with the kids--they always end up sideways, and they kick and move around all night long! She IS cute, though....

Luca's last bath at 202 Linden Court

December2010127, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Here is Luca enjoying his last bath at our house. He loves to put his toes in his mouth and gnaw on them! It's pretty funny to watch!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Funny Face!

I love fat babies!

Last bath at home

Norah's last bath at our home! It was all I could do to keep from crying. She probably thinks I am going crazy (am I?)!

But, I think she understands, too. On the way home from the store on Thursday last, I heard her singing this song (to a random tune):

"I don't want to move. I love my house. I don't want those people to buy it. I will miss my house. I will miss my friends. I want to live in my house."

Amelia--we yove you!

Amelia and Norah had to say goodbye this past week, since Norah is at her grandparents' house. It was a sad time for all, I think. Norah seemed to go in and out of understanding that she wouldn't see Amelia again for a long time. At one point, she said, "I love (yove) you, Amelia!" and that was really special.

Amelia has been such a wonderful caregiver to Norah and Luke! We will sorely miss her smile and spirit!


Norah and Luke love to snuggle--IF he doesn't grab her hair, that is!


Norah and her friends, Cade and Drew. We will miss our dear friends in Iowa City. And yes, we let our children play in empty entertainment centers!

Norah: time warp

November 2007024, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Here's Norah's photo again. Do you think they look alike?

6 months old

It's hard to believe, but Luca is 6 months old!

I have a similar photo of Norah in this same spot when she was close to this age...I will go back and post it after this one.

Luca is a joy to be around. He is a happy go lucky guy, loves to laugh and play with Norah, and we are so lucky to have him!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Elmo's World

Yesterday, as Norah was watching Sesame Street, she looked at me and said longingly, "Mommy, someday I want to go to Elmo's World!"

Moving: according to a 3-year-old

Norah has been a real trooper during our whole moving process (which has been lengthy to say the least). She patiently looks at houses with us (we still haven't found that "perfect" house for the Family Band), she endures long 4 hour drives back and forth between Chicago and Iowa City, and she acts excited when we give her an air mattress to sleep on at Daddy's place.

The other day, I was talking with her about moving, and she said some cute things.
Me: "What does our house look like?"
Norah: "It's purple."
Me: "What do you like best about our house?"
Norah: "It has toys in it."
Me: "What do you want our new house to have? Do you want a big yard to play in? Do you want your own room?"
Norah: "I want it to have a big-girl bed and toys."

Also, for the longest time, she had the words hotel, dentist, and apartment mixed in her brain. She would say things like, 'I want to go see daddy at his hotel' or, 'When are we going to see Daddy at the dentist?'

I think she is starting to get frustrated with all of our looking at houses, because this last trip, she went into a house, and said, "Oh, I really like this one. I think we should buy it!"

All in all, I don't think Norah will remember much about our house on Linden Court, but James and I will. It's where we watched her and Luca grow. It's where we had great times with our family and friends. It's where James and I learned how to be homeowners. It has been our home and we will all miss it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween 3

We really made someone else's Halloween memorable:

When Norah got home from trick-or-treating, she was about to eat her 3 pieces of candy (since she's 3) and the doorbell rang. It was some more trick-or-treaters. I asked her if she wanted to hold the bowl for them, and she did. As one boy was reaching into the bowl, she puked all over the bowl, the candy, and his hand! The poor boy didn't know what to do! I kept saying "I'm so sorry!" to his mom, and she was really calm about the whole thing. They came inside and washed the boy's hand off. Sadly, Norah didn't get to eat her candy until a couple days later--when we were sure she was over the stomach bug.

Halloween 2

Norah was a purple dragon, and Luca was a clown. The clown outfit barely fit him because I bought it 2 months ago and didn't anticipate his "robust" figure!

When we went to people's houses, they would say to Norah, "And what do we have here? A dinosaur! How cute!" Norah got more and more annoyed the more she heard this, and soon we could hear her muttering under her breath, "I'm not a dinosaur, I'm a purple dragon!"

Doesn't Luca look pleased in this photo?

Halloween 1

We celebrated Halloween with our friends and here are all the people who dressed up. Rear left: Drew as a Ducky, Tim as Spendler from Ghostbusters, the Movie, Claire as some roller skater girl, Luca as a clown, Amelia as the Sun-Made Raisin Lady, Eli as a frog. Front Left: Hannah as Belle, Norah as a purple dragon, and Cade as SuperWhy.

The kids had so much fun trick-or-treating!

What are you trying to feed me?

A typical Luca look...

He does love him some cereal, though!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All done!

Late October025, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

A typical Luke look!

Luke eats Solid Food!

Late October018, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

I finally got my life organized enough to sit down with Luke and give him his first solid food. Norah was great at feeding him, too (though his expression in the photo seems to say, "Help me!").

The baby food book that I use told me how I could tell if my child was ready for solids:
Does the child take great interest in watching you eat and drink? Yes.
Does the child make chewing motions when he/she is watching you eat? Yes.
Do you feel guilty eating around your child? Yes.

I guess we were ready! He did great. I forgot to put a bib on him so it was a bit of a mess.

Norah's First Haircut

Late October038, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

That sucker sure saved the day!

Norah's First Haircut

Late October030, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Norah, Alessia, and I had a "Girl's Day" and brought Norah to get her very first haircut. We were going to save the sucker for a treat after the haircut, but it was the only way we could lure her onto the seat. She actually did great, despite how pathetic she looks here!

Luke's Baptism 4

Norah had fun showing her friends the sandbox.

Luke's Baptism 3

More grandparents!

Luke's Baptism 3

It was great to be with the grandparents!

Luke's Baptism 2

Here's Luke meeting the people of our church, particularly, the children who were called to the front to watch the baptism.

Luke's Baptism

Luke Calvin was baptized on October 17th by Pastor Kyle. It was a beautiful service all around, and we were able to share it with my parents and James' parents, and close friends, too. What a great day!

Luke is wearing the same baptismal gown that my cousins, my siblings, my daughter, my nephew, my second cousins, and I wore when we were baptized. It was a gift from my great-grandmother.

Leaf Monster

Can you find the leaf monster hiding in the leaves?


Grandma and Grandpa H came from NV to visit Luke and Norah and James and I and help us celebrate Luke's baptism on October 17th. Here's Grandma and Luca getting to know one another.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A plethora of princesses!

Here they all are! So cute!

The queen mother

Here's Princess Norah and the!

Norah just ate the frosting and the candy--she didn't touch the cupcake! I think she has my sweet tooth.

Princess night

Norah and I recently attended "Princess Night" at our church. It was a program designed for 3-5 year old girls to teach them how to be beautiful children of God. They all got to wear their princess dresses, and made crowns, decorated cupcakes, had a small lesson, watched a short movie about being beautiful on the inside, and had a marvelous time! Here are Norah and her friend Hannah listening to the lesson.

First bath in the bathtub

Luke had his first bath in the big bathtub, and boy, did he every LOVE it! He was splashing and cooing and squealing in delight! Every once in a while, he would splash his own face and get a very surprised but delighted look on his face!

I can't believe he is almost 5 months old already!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Norah has been saying some pretty funny things, lately. At least they are funny to me!

Here's one:

Me: "How should we do your hair today?"
Norah: "With our hands."

Here's another from today on the way to the park.
Norah: "That's a weeping willow tree. You can almost reach the branches to swing on them."
Me: "When I was a little girl, I used to swing on weeping willow branches."
Norah: "When I was a little girl, I did poopoo in my pants."

I will post more as they occur, as my memory is all but non-existent these days!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Norah and Anna

We visited our friends Eric and Krista in Chicago this past weekend, and Norah got to play with her friend, Anna. Anna dressed her up and paraded her out to see us--it was hilarious watching Norah walk in high heels, but she LOVED IT!

Still her favorite

Swinging is still Norah's all time favorite activity! She can even pump her legs now and swing herself!


All Norah has to do is stand in place and jump, and he just goes nuts!

Norah and Luca

Norah loves being near Luca. She can't resist making him laugh (photo of Luca laughing coming soon...).

Il bimbo sul suo "Bumbo"

"The baby on his Bumbo"

Luca loves sitting upright in this Bumbo seat (courtesy of Alessia). I tried it a couple weeks ago, and it was a definite "no" because he would arch his back and slip out, but now he just sits in it and takes in the world around him!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Eau de juice box

I rarely wear perfume, but today I actually had time to get ready for work so I sprayed a little on. I came downstairs, and Norah, who is into smells lately, said, "What's that smell?" I said, "Maybe it's my perfume. Come smell me." She did, then looked at me and said, "You smell like a juice box." Ha! What a funny girl we have!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Big Sister/Little Brother 2

What a great big sister she is! I found her sitting next to him and singing songs like, "The ABC Song", "Twinkle Twinkle Yittle Star", "Zacchaeus" and "Part of Your World." Super Cute!

Big Sister/Little Brother 1

Norah wanted to hold Luca the other day, so I let her. She did great! Here are some photos of them together.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brookfield Zoo 3

Here are Luca and I on our way out of the zoo. This is one of his usual faces. He looks like he is saying, "And who are you again?"

One funny story from the zoo. While we were in one of the indoor exhibits, James pointed out some lizards to Norah. They must have scared her, because she said to us very loudly, "Let's get OUT of here!" as she was running toward the door.

Brookfield Zoo 2

Norah and Daddy by the pretty prairie grass.

Brookfield Zoo 1

This past weekend, the kids and I went to Chicago to visit James, and on Saturday, we took a trip to the Brookfield Zoo. It was a beautiful day, and we had a lot of fun. On the way into the zoo, they had lots of pictures of animals on signs, pointing the way to here or there. We didn't see a real animal for a while, and finally Norah asked, 'Are there any real animals at this zoo?' That made me laugh.