Sunday, June 24, 2012


LateJune2012056, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Susannah, following the the traditions of her older siblings, loves (tolerates) the neglecto-matic! Thank Heaven!


LateJune2012058, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.


Birthday Presents

LateJune2012108, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Norah had a ton of fun putting together some of her birthday presents this year! In the background is a birdhouse from Nonna and in the foreground is a really neat fairy garden that took us a LONG time to make. First, Norah painted the fairy's house and the toadstools and the stones. Then she painted the container. Then, we filled it with the special dirt (which had sparkles in it--the prettiest dirt I done ever did see!). Then, we planted some grass seeds and beans and put the fairy and some butterflies in. Then we watered it and now it's growing! Luca so desperately wanted to help, so here he is trying to weasel his way closer to the garden so he can "help, too!"

Monday, June 18, 2012

Big Girl

All kids 6.18.12, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Norah is a great big sister; she wants to hold Susannah all the time! So does Luca, but he loses interest pretty quickly.

Luca and Susannah

Luca Susannah, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Having a chat about life...

Super Norah takes flight!

Super Norah 1, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Super Norah taking off to fight crime and bring good cheer to other parts of Chicagoland!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Super Norah!

Aunt Francesca sent Norah an awesome superhero costume for her birthday! Here's Super Norah!

So serious

Susannah seems to know what's coming, but at least she is relaxed for now!

Practice makes perfect!

Norah just before she started serenading Susannah on the piano!

Grandpa and Oma

and the kiddos!

The Family Band

Here we all are!

Our beautiful kids

All three kids on Sunday before church. Susannah is waving!

Get me out of here!

Someone doesn't like to have her hair washed!

First real bath

Susannah's umbilical stump finally fell off (praise the Lord!) so we could give her a real bath! She liked it until we got to the part where we wash her hair!

Quilts Galore!

Oma's good friend Linda made these quilts for Norah (we have had this one for a while) and Luca (he just got his!). Oma helped to quilt them...the kids love the colors and patterns in their quilts!

Thanks, Linda! Thanks, Oma!


Susannah Napping on the changing pad--still one of her favorite places!

I did it!

Luca made this LONG train all by himself!

Braiding the Challah

Challah is a braided bread...Norah knows a lot about braiding because we often braid her hair, and she has tried to teach her daddy on multiple occasions (though he seems unable (read: unwilling!) to commit the process of braiding hair to memory...).

Challah Bread

I asked Oma to make come Challah bread for us, and Norah helped! It was delicious! We had Challah French toast that evening for dinner!

Future Founder's Fan!

I put Luca in this (woefully small) Founder's t-shirt--his belly hung out the whole day! Here he is watching for the garbage truck--one of his favorite activities!

By the way, for those of you who are not from GR, Founder's is a GR brewery where Chiara's sister Francesca and her longtime beau, Jarrod, work!

Grandpa and Susannah

Susannah has some pretty good (advanced!) head control!

A quiet moment

Oma and Susannah talking about life on the sofa...

A better view!

Norah fell and scraped both knees pretty badly--a nice lady at the zoo gave me some bandaids (which were the ONE thing I didn't have in my diaper bag!!!!) and she took over in Luca's stroller. Luca was a trooper and walked a lot, but he also got some fun rides on Grandpa's shoulders! He was terrified at first, but then liked it!

Butterfly Garden

Norah got a Fancy Nancy book for her birthday from Grandma and Grandpa H called "Bonjour, Butterfly." We were at the zoo, and she just HAD to see the butterflies! They were really neat. None of them landed on us, but they were flying all over!


Norah had hurt her knees at the zoo, so she didn't particularly want to go into the water...but she did dip her feet to stay cool!

Pool time!

We had some hot, humid days and Luca and Norah loved playing in the pool to cool off!

Lake Zurich

Oma, Grandpa, the kids, and I went to Lake Zurich to check it out...there we found a massive wooden play structure (complete with wooden car for Luca!) and shady oak trees, picnic tables, and a lake for swimming and wading. It was a really nice time!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Big brother, little sister

Luca Susannah1, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Luca's favorite place

Luca Sandbox1, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

is definitely the sandbox!

A quiet spot

Susannah had to eat while we were there, and we found the perfect, breezy, shady, quiet, out-of-the-way spot to feed her! I would tell you where...maybe you will have to visit and come to the CBG to find out!

Beautiful Girl!

Norah took us to the top of the waterfall Garden, which she and Oma had discovered. She was so proud to take us somewhere we had never been before!

Cutie Pie

I love Luke's tummy!

The Family Band

Here's the whole family band in the Rose Garden.

Oma and Grandpa

and the (2) kids in the Rose Garden.

A beautiful day!

Oma arrived on Saturday, and the next day was a gorgeous day in Chicagoland, so we went on an outing to the Botanic Gardens. Luca was a trooper--he walked almost the whole time!

What are those?

Susannah checking out her fingers and thinking about the meaning of life...

Puppy Seat to the rescue

Susannah (like Norah and Luca) also likes the puppy seat (which vibrates)...she often naps there.

Favorite Place

Susannah's favorite place in the first few days was the changing table (formerly known as our kitchen table). The light from the big picture window is nice there, and she loved chilling (read: sleeping) on her changing pad.

Happy 5th Birthday, Norah!

Late May2012035, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Hemsley birthday week went on, and next in line was: NORAH, who officially turned five! She has been saying she is five since her party, but now she actually is five! What a day! Daddy took her swimming at the YMCA all by herself, and they had a blast!

First (Sponge) Bath!

Late May2012027, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Susannah's long hair was looking a little grease-tastic, so we thought we should probably give her a bath. The umbilical cord required us to make that a sponge bath, which was awkward at best. She screamed a little, but not too bad!

Grandpa and Susannah

Late May2012003, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Grandpa came mid-week to take over for Nonna, and he and Susannah sat down to get acquainted.

What a big boy!

Late May2012039, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

My baby boy has quickly become my big boy. He looks so grown up now!

Susannah's first outing

Late May2012037, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Susannah's first outing was a trip to the doctor. She did great, despite being poked and prodded!

New "Rain!"

Late May2012086, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Luca got a new (used) train set for his birthday from Mommy and Daddy. As predicted by Daddy, he loves it!

Here's what Luca would look like....

Late May2012082, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

...with some creepy facial hair!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Luca!

Late May2012070, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

It was all we could do to keep him from touching the candles!

Luca turns 2!

Late May2012064, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Luca turned 2 shortly after we arrived back home, and one of his favorite gifts was this (big!) Tonka Truck from Uncle Peter and Aunt Liz. He pushed that thing around the yard for at least an hour!

Nonna visits

Late May2012053, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Norah and Luca's grandma (Nonna) took care of them while we were away at the hospital. Here's Nonna, Norah and the baby having some (more) quiet time. New babies sleep a LOT!

Home at last!

Late May2012101, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

We came home on Memorial Day, and Norah wanted to hold Susannah again. We are glad that she is taking such an interest in the baby.

Daddy and Susannah

Late May2012139, originally uploaded by Chiara and James Hemsley.

Here are James and Susannah enjoying some quiet time before we left the hospital.