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Amanda Rachel & Robin Beatrice
Amanda was born on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 3:16 pm
Robin was born on Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

December 2010

Time to wrap up another year as we unwrap lots of presents.

This month was full of celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, going to holiday parties and traveling to California. We didn't get any snow this month, but it was very cold, keeping us indoors most of the time. While it was warmer in California than at home, it still was a little chilly.

Robin is still very much a Daddy's Girl and prefers Aleck almost all the time. Aleck is soaking it all up, believing that this phase will end soon. Stacey is not so sure. Robin continued to expand her vocabulary, as well, and now clearly says "Color" (which refers to both the act of coloring and also to crayons themselves). (Click Here for a VIDEO of Robin saying her new favorite word.) She likes to walk around with crayons or sit at the table coloring and she'll chant under her breath, "Color color color." Robin is also becoming interested in animals and the sounds they make. She has "Grrrr!" down and knows that lions, tigers, and bears all say this. She also likes zebras and giraffes, however, though they don't really have sounds. Except in Robin's world. She'll show you some of the fiercest zebras around. One day she was holding some Lego zebras in her hands and out of nowhere, with a mighty growl, they attacked Stacey, who was sitting nearby.

Amanda also introduced her sister to the wonders of the Wiggles this month, and "Wiggle" is now one of Robin's few words. She sometimes runs into the family room and points at the TV as a way of asking us to let her watch. Yes, we are racking up points on the Second Child Neglect-O-Meter left and right. She also became an expert at ripping wrapping paper.

Amanda turned 4 and a half this month, but, rule-follower that she is, would not say that she was 4 and a half until December 28th, her actual half birthday. She was very excited for both Hanukkah and Christmas this year. As a way of reducing our luggage home from California, Oma and Opa gave the girls some presents earlier in the month at Hanukkah. Amanda was very interested to see that gifts from Oma and Opa-- all the way from California-- were wrapped in the same paper as gifts from Mommy and Daddy. Things that make you go Hmmmm. Poor Amanda was also struck down by a virus that ran through her class at school. Just about every kid got sick-- one right after the other. Luckily for us, Amanda did not pass it on to anyone else in the family and she was better after a few days.


Happy Hanukkah!

Candles were lit, presents were opened, and nothing caught fire. Success!



Amanda got a new Leapster game from Robin.


And Robin got her own pair of fairy wings from Amanda.


The girls got presents from grandparents near and far, including a bath toy and a huge cardboard house that they first got to decorate.



They also got presents from Katie and Cameron all the way from Ohio!
Robin got a talking Cookie Monster and Spider-Manda got 2-- count them: 2!-- Barbie dolls.

Click Here for a VIDEO of Robin thanking the Collins family for her gift
(and listen for a lovely conversation between Amanda's new Barbies in the background). Video is 38 seconds.

Oh yeah, and Robin got that hallmark gift of Hanukkah: Pajamas. She seems happy with them, though.

**Overheard this month**

Amanda:   "It's a hot day."
Stacey:   "You think so? It's below freezing out."
Amanda:   "The sun is out."

More Hanukkah Celebrations!

We had a Hanukkah party with Samantha and Emma.

**Overheard this month**

Explaining why she can't go to sleep: "That bed is too comfortable!"


And 3 of us went to a Hanukkah party at Amanda's school (Robin couldn't make it-- nap time is a hard habit to break).

Click the picture above of Amanda spinning to see a VIDEO from the party (video is 11 seconds).

Tot Shabbat Hanukkah Celebration!


Hanging Out At Home

Amanda shows off her new rolling backpack and also shares her fairy wings with Robin.


**Overheard this month**

"It's freezing hot."

Learning and Laughing and... Lunching At School


The kids check out potatoes-- grated and whole. (Amanda also examines one with a magnifying glass)

Making Pizza Muffins (with Casey)



Look at all that cheese!

Preschool Food Drive to Benefit Stacey's workplace, Bread for the City.


Stacey got to go to preschool to collect the canned goods and distribute stickers to all of the kids.

Christmas in California

We spent a week with Matty, Oma, Opa, Matty, Aunts, Uncles, and did I mention Matty?



Robin loved to sit at the little table and "color color color"

She also liked to hang out doing her Al Bundy impersonation.


Where's Robin?

Amanda tries to help Matty put together his million piece tiny Lego set.

**Overheard this month**

Stacey:   "Amanda, would you like to put your shoes on?"
Amanda:   "No."
Stacey:   "Amanda, put your shoes on."
Amanda:   "Well, don't ask if you're not going to let me answer!"




Click Here for a VIDEO of Robin enjoying herself on the swing (video is 7 seconds).


Amanda and Robin paint some ceramic pieces at Oma and Opa's house.



Robin was quite attached to the plastic polar bear toy in her left hand.

The poor little guy became a minor casualty of the activity.

**Overheard this month**

About Robin: "She's half hot and half cold, which means the virus must be half gone."

Children's Museum!

Oma took us to the Children's Museum one day to learn, play, and explore.

The first stop was "driving" a Jeep to a dinosaur excavation site.


Then we used brushes to uncover dinosaur bones. We also saw some embedded in the walls.


Look what we found!

Robin gives the dinosaurs on the wall a piece of her mind.

Then we found the climbing towers. We spent a lot of time here.

There was one made to look like leaves:

And one made to look like drops of water:





Robin tries some friendly conversation; Amanda gets inside the mind (and head and arms) of one.


There was also some painting, dinosaurs, and a little peek-a-boo between Robin and Oma (behind the blue curtain).

Tarantula Show

Amanda wanted to go to the display of the live tarantula. Thank goodness for super-zoom cameras,


Bike Riding- The museum has a bike track, trikes, and helmets. Unfortunately for Robin, they didn't have any bikes small enough for her.

Click either picture above for a VIDEO of Amanda riding her bike (video is 5 seconds).

**Overheard this month**

"This hat has only one pom."

Christmas Time! Finally!
Matty Santa helps deliver the presents to everyone, including Opa.
Amanda enjoys her new presents...
... while Matty REALLY enjoys his!

**Overheard this month**

Driving down a street one night with very few decorated houses:
"There are a lot of Jewish people on this street."
Oma, Aunt Stef and Uncle Piet got lovely gifts from Amanda.
Amanda and Stacey decorated this "Gingerman" (as Amanda called it). He was a tasty companion on the plane ride home.
Shhhh! We "Otter" Be Quiet!
Amanda and Robin each received otters from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (via Uncle Piet and Aunt Stef).
Upon our return home, Amanda's barbie dolls were ousted from their bed in favor of her otter.
**Overheard this month**
"My otter is sleeping because she has to be up all night to scare away the bats. She goes to the bat place."

See all of these pictures and more at our photo gallery

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