Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Card outtake

MidDec2011030, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Luca before the breakdown...

Christmas card outtake

MidDec2011034, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Here's a cute one of Norah--at least she was behaving!

Christmas card FAIL

MidDec2011039, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

I have been trying for some time now to get a decent photo of the two kids for our Christmas card. This is really difficult to do when any photo session lasting more than 10 seconds results in THIS!

Norah and Daddy

MidDec2011020, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

We had a party in her classroom after the sing-a-long, and here are Norah and Daddy posing by the Christmas tree that the kids decorated.

Christmas is coming!

MidDec2011008, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Norah had a Christmas sing-a-long at school today, and I guess I am missing some brain cells because it didn't click for me to dress her in Christmas clothes (as all the other kids are...); oh, well!

She had a great time singing with her friends from school, and we got to join in on some of the carols, too!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Luca's reaction to Santa

I had to post this even though I took a terrible photo....Luca was NOT into being placed in Santa's arms! Maybe next year!

Santa was a great sport about it--what a nice guy!

A little fuzzy, but....

Here we are at a Christmas Party hosted by our realtor, Cindy. It was really nice, and Santa was there for the kids!
Unfortunately, this picture is fuzzy, but at least we are all in it!

Who's that baby?

I don't know if I have ever posted our Hemsley Original Song, "Who's that baby?" It is very versatile, and we use it for both Norah and Luca, but mostly Luca now because he is still a "baby."
Here it is:

Who's that baby over there?
Luca Bear, Luca Bear!
Who's that baby with brown hair?
Luca Bear, Luca Bear!
Who's that baby sitting there?
Luca Bear, Luca Bear!
Who's that baby on the stairs?
Luca Bear, Luca Bear!
Go, Luca Bear!

Helpful girl

Norah liked to take Luke shoes off when they get home, and he seems to cooperate more for her than for me; go for it, Norah!

Group shot!

At least Norah was looking at me for my picture--who knows how everyone else's turned out!

Ballerina 5

3rd position? Correct me if I am wrong...

Ballerina 4

2nd Position, I think....

Ballerina 3

"Who wants to show the parents how we leap?"
"We do!!!"

Ballerina 2

What a sweet girl!

Ballerina 1

Norah had her final ballet class of the year and all the parents were invited to watch what they have been learning. Here's Norah ready and waiting on her "X" to show us what she has learned!

Thanksgiving Extravaganzaaaaaaa!

Late November002, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

We had a massive Thanksgiving feast organized by our brother-in-law Jim's parents and Alessia and Sunny, and it was great! There were at least 70 in attendance, including my long lost brother Mark, who now lives in NY and thinks that that gives him the right to talk real funny. Here are Mark and Norah enjoying some appetizers before the actual feast!

Can we eat it now?

Late November013, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Oma and Norah called "first smells" on the pie once it was out of the oven!

Apple pie and Oma

Late November009, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Oma and Grandpa came for a visit after Adam and Cassie left, and Norah and Oma made a delicious apple pie! Here they are putting the crumb topping on...yum!

Norah on the boat

Late November025, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Here's Norah enjoying the boat ride AND her cookie from lunch!

Adam and Cassie

Late November022, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Here are Adam and Cassie enjoying the ride on the boat. We are so glad we were able to spend some time with both of them!
At first, Norah and Luke were pretty terrified by Adam (Norah curled up into the fetal position when she first saw him and said she was 'tired'), but within about half an hour, they were all best friends!

Beautiful Baby

Late November016, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

In mid-November, James brother Adam and his wife, Cassie came to visit Chicago. We all took a Chicago architecture boat tour. Here's Luca enjoying the scenery on the Chicago River.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

At the zoo

We had some friends stay with us this past weekend, and as Saturday was another nice fall day, we all headed to the zoo.

Norah and Rory got to ride the carousel. They loved it!!!

Self portrait

An attempt at a self portrait of the three of us...

Brother and Sister

I tried to get a good photo of the both of them, but Luke was in serious need of a bang-trim (he has since had one!) and they were never both looking at me at the same time! Here, neither of them are looking at me, but they both look happy!

Raking Leaves 2

Luke and his rake---try to take it away and face the wrath of a 17-month-old!

Raking Leaves 1

It was a beautiful fall day, so the kids and I went out to rake some leaves. Norah mostly just sat in this pile of leaves and buried herself, while Luke raked with his mini-rake.

On the prowl for candy

We started with Norah and Luke walking--about 1 second after I took this photo, he fell on his face and scraped his forehead. So, he rode in the stroller while Norah ran from house to house.

Halloween Wildlife!

Norah and Luke had a blast this Halloween. Norah wants everyone to know that she was a Butterfly Princess at school, but a lion at night so she could be warmer. Luke was a koala bear. Doesn't he look cozy?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Static, anyone?

Baby hair is so fine--look how the static from the slide made Luke's hair stand on end! It was hilarious!

You could really see how long it was, but I am still not going to get it cut! I love when little boys have long(ish) curly hair!

This is what I like about fall...

I love lovely fall days (in the low 70's) that are sunny and blustery--like yesterday!

Here's Norah at the park, enjoying being outside.

Monday, October 3, 2011


On the way out of the garden, we saw some people that had found a turtle, so we went to take a look. The turtle was trying to get away, but turtles are slow so we were able to get some pictures! I wonder where this little turtle was going?

Takin' a break

Norah got down and sat next to Luca on his "bench." His bottom was pretty muddy after this little walk!

Luca's turn to walk

We moved away from the scores of people, and I let Luca out to burn some energy. He walked around the rose garden and had fun sitting on the little border bricks of the garden. When he starts crawling, you know he is ready to be put back into the stroller.

Hay maze

They had a maze set up out of hay bales, and Norah and the other kids had a blast climbing on it and jumping from wall to wall.

There was also a band there that were playing folksy tunes. They had some cool instruments in their ensemble, including a washboard, and a "bass" made out of a drum, a huge rubber band, and a soda can. You have to see it to believe it. Norah loved watching and listening to them!

Bulb Festival

Yesterday, we went to the Bulb Festival at the Botanic Garden (can you tell we love this place?) It was all decked out for fall, and looked really beautiful. They had a giant pile of pumpkins and gourds--it was about 10 feet high!

More petting zoo

James took the kids into another petting area, and Luca and Norah got to pet baby pigs, a calf, and some more goats. Luca just loved actually touching the animals! He was surprisingly gentle, too.


We took the kids over to see some tractors that were parked nearby. Luca had fun sitting in the seat. Then, James noticed that the keys were in the tractors, and we thought that maybe they weren't meant to be climbed on by young children. If Luca was 1 or 2 years older, he would have had that tractor on in about 10 seconds!

Pony Ride 2

Here's Norah after her pony ride--she was thrilled!

Pony Ride

I can't believe my daughter is old enough to be put on a pony! She had so much fun! Her pony's name was "Banana" and she thought this was a funny name!

Fall Festival

We went to the local Fall Festival on Saturday, which was the first sunny day in over a week! The ground was a little squishy, and Luca fell many times and got pretty dirty, but they had a really good time petting the baby animals and seeing the horses, taking a pony ride (Norah), and a wagon ride, too.

This is fun!

Norah was having a blast going around the track! They had to go around 10 times for 10 stickers, and then they got a water bottle as a prize.


Norah's school held a trike-a-thon last week to raise money for supplies, playground equipment, etc. Here's Norah trying to bust her way out of the pack!

It was a miracle that it wasn't raining for the event; it rained pretty much every other minute between Monday and Friday of that week!

Norah-sized bench 2

Grandpa took a turn on the Norah-sized bench, too!

It was a great day at the gardens, and a great visit overall with Grandma and Grandpa! We did lots of things: the gardens, downtown, the Shedd aquarium, stuff around our suburb, etc. Come back any time!

Norah-sized bench

Norah and Daddy were taking a rest on a cute little Norah-sized bench in a small alcove in the garden. Notice her treasures--things she picks up here and there around the garden--which eventually end up in my possession!

So independent

Norah's physical skills are getting better and better day by day. I think after she broke her leg at 22 months, she was left a little behind in terms of running, jumping, climbing, etc. Now, she is a good climber and a great runner and jumper. She climbed up onto this rock and commanded me to take a picture!

Grandma and Norah

We all went to the "sensory" garden, where you are encouraged to use your senses. Norah and Grandma took a break to have a photo taken.

Railroad Garden 3

Daddy and Luca

Railroad Garden 2

I couldn't get a good shot of them looking at me--they were always looking at the trains!

Railroad Garden

We took James' parents, who were here for a visit, to the CBG and we all went into the Railroad Garden. Norah and Luca LOVED it. Luca kept running from place to place saying, "WOW!" which is one of his "words" It was really cute. Here is Norah in front to the San Francisco part of the garden.

My Little Ballerina

Norah started ballet lessons at the Park District in September. Here she is on her first day--very excited!