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One Liners

On the way to Florida Beth got me talking about curtains or some such nonsense and I drove 10 miles past our exit before Beth realized where we were. When we realized we were going to be adding 25 minutes to our already too long trip, Amelia helpfully chimes in:

“Daddy! I TOLD you Mommy was supposed to drive after we stopped for dinner!”

Beth has been listening to her new Michael Jackson CD lately and indoctrinating the girls into his music. When an MJ classic song came on the radio tonight:

Beth – “Who sings this?”
Amelia – “Michael Jackson”
Beth – “Uh hunh”
Amelia (puzzled) – “I didn’t know he spoke girl”

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Race Day

Amelia ran in her first road race today, the Hoover Run For Hope which takes place in our neighborhood. We waited until the last minute to register to make sure she was really going to be up for it, but of course that was unnecessary, you can’t dampen Amelia’s competitive spirit. She was one of the youngest racers and did great just to finish the mile. She tore through the downhills, and, let’s just say, she paced herself on the uphills! She was spent by the end, but grins from ear to ear now whenever she tells somebody about her medal and how she raced a whole mile! Of course, Mom and Dad are a little proud of her too.


A Day In the Life

What’s a typical day like around these parts:

Well it generally starts off by Siena taking a picture. Yes, the toy cameras these days actually take real digital pictures. We need to make sure to delete the shower and bathroom shots daily.

Later on, we might play a little hide and seek in the kitchen cabinets.

And then, perhaps dump some baby powder on our face.

Then, after a quick nap, Siena will read herself some stories. This girl can literally sit for over and hour just looking through books and reading herself stories.

It’s all too much for Amelia though. She conks out behind the chairs in the loft every night so she can make sure she doesn’t miss any more excitement.

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Halloween 2009

People occasionally confuse the girls for twins, I’ve never seen it, but this Halloween we thought we’d encourage those folks a bit. Dora is the new hot ticket in the Rustici household. We thought it would be cute to dress the girls as Dora and Boots, but it turns out that Boots costumes aren’t easy to come by. So instead we got Dora, and Dora.

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Fall 2009

Just some pictures from this Fall.

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Our Birthday Date

On Amelia’s first birthday, I started a tradition that I hope to continue forever. Each year, I take the girls out for a date with Daddy for their birthday. Just the two of us for some good one on one time. It’s already come to be something that I treasure. This year Amelia was old enough for it to really be a bonding experience. For dinner, she wanted to go someplace fun, someplace in downtown Nashville and someplace where she could get steak. The Hard Rock Cafe fit the bill, but when we arrived it was closed for renovations. 30 minutes of fighting rush hour traffic later, we wound up at the Cheesecake factory…which had a 40 minute wait. So we mozied over to Carrabba’s next door and bellied up to the pasta bar for a cozy dinner for two. We had a blast together just chatting and goofing around over pizza, pasta, and of course dessert. Afterward we went over to the movie theater to watch Toy Story in 3D. Amelia refused to put on her 3D glasses, but she made it through both Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2 with a smile on her face the whole time. I’m already looking forward to next year.

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Amelia Turns 4

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Broccoli Induced Pan[dem]ic

We’ve had a touch of the swine flu going around our little play group lately (ok, well more than a touch). So when the preschool called to say that Amelia was laying in the director’s lap, sobbing and begging to go home and see Mommy, we naturally assumed that it was her turn to spend a week in bed. Great, just what we need, potentially deadly pathogens invading our home right before Amelia’s birthday party. Read the rest of this entry »

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Learning to Swim

Beth and I have always agreed that we wanted our girls to be safe around the water as early as possible. You may have seen the video floating around online of infants learning to float and survive a fall into the pool. We’d seen it, but never gave it a second thought, until one of our neighbors raved about the progress her kids made in the ISR program. We decided to give it a shot and signed up to work with Kennette Pyles. It’s a rigorous program, 10 minutes a day, every day, for six weeks, or until the child is water safe. We enrolled Amelia (about 3.5 at the time) and Siena (about 21 months at the time). At the start, neither could swim. Amelia could get around well in her floaty vest, but take that off and she would sink like a stone. I was amazed a the results. About 3 1/2 weeks into the lessons, Amelia was learning the crawl stroke. Being a bit younger, Siena’s progress was a bit slower, but at the end of the 5 weeks, she passed her final exam and was able to swim around with her clothes on.

Now, at the end of the summer, Amelia is officially a little fish. In Florida last week, she swam 25 yards unassisted (enough to pass the YMCA swim test to swim by herself in their pools). Siena had a bit of a slump after ending her lessons and starting to swim in pools with much colder water. Now though, she seems to have regained her confidence and found the joy of swimming again. She can swim 5-6 feet unassisted and I think she has the right instincts to survive an unexpected fall into a pool. I don’t think I could ask for more.

Here’s some video of the progress they made during the lessons:

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First Day of School

Today marks a major milestone in the lives of our children and in the sanity of our Mommy. Both Amelia and Siena went off to preschool today. Yes, Mommy now has about 12 hours per week of uninterrupted free time to do what she pleases. No kids in tow, no diapers to change, no entertainment to provide. I think I’m just as excited as she is. It feels like a milestone transformation from the “dark ages” of early childhood to the “fun ages” of enjoying the kids. Stay tuned.

[Correction] 2.3 minutes after this post hit the Internet, Beth pointed out that it is actually only 10 hours of free time per week. Not that she is counting. My bad.

Read the rest of this entry »

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