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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

February 2011

This month was all about travel and having visitors. Aleck traveled for work for a week, overlapping with a family trip to Florida to visit Grandpa Dave and Aunt Lois. Then they came up to Virginia for a few days and we got to see them again. Elijah and Maggie (and Tonya) were in town for a weekend and came to play. And then Oma and Opa came all the way from California to visit us, as well. What a whirlwind month!

Robin is growing and changing rapidly. She started putting words together this month to make some 2 word sentences. She also discovered Dora the Explorer and one of her more clearly spoken words is "backpack" (referring to Dora's backpack). In addition, she loves to play with Amanda's backpack, which is on wheels. Amanda is always gracious enough to let Robin wheel it down the driveway for her or down the hall at school. At the end of the month, Robin finally got her own mini wheeled bag, which she loves.

Amanda has begun some early reading and can now successfully sound out most 2-3-and 4 letter words like Slow, Week, Place, and Keep. As much as Aleck and Stacey hate the TV show Word World, Amanda is being encouraged to watch it again because it certainly helps her learn how to sound out words. At the end of the month, she even read an entire Dr. Seuss early-reader book (The Foot Book) by herself. While we are very proud of her, the fact that she is learning to spell means that Stacey and Aleck will have to come up with a new way to secretly communicate with each other in her presence. We might have to move to Ig-Pay Atin-Lay, or revive some of Stacey's grandparents' methods: inserting "eee-iz" into the middle of words (as in, "Should we geee-izo to the pleee-izay gree-izound?" Fo'Shizzle.) or start speaking in Yiddish.

We had fun at Tot Shabbat this month, as well, with Robin having her first turn helping with the ceremony. Amanda picked the "candlestick" helper card, meaning she would hold the candlesticks while we all sang the blessing. She chose to let Robin help, too, and they each held a candlestick. Amanda was worried that Robin might wander off with it, so she stood behind Robin and wrapped her leg around Robin's lower body in an attempt to immobilize her. It actually worked. The downside was when their turn was over, Robin had a difficult time letting go of the candlestick (literally. Stacey had to pry it out of her surprisingly strong fingers). All in all, it was a success!

There's a new voice in the "Overheards" this month! Stay alert while reading to make sure you attribute the ridiculous statement to the correct child.

Things Are Getting Hairy Around Here

Amanda has begun experimenting with how she wears her hair. She directs and Stacey implements.


Three ponies!

Two ponies turned into braids!

Ponytail on one side...barrette on the other

**Overheard this month: Amanda**

"That is correctly right."



Click Here to see Robin greet you with pizzazz! (Video is 3 seconds.)

**Overheard this month: ROBIN**

In the kitchen one night saying goodnight to Aleck and Amanda, she turned to the pantry and said:
"Night-Night, Crackers."
Amanda's Computer Lab
Using the magnetic letters we keep on the refrigerator, Amanda fashioned a keyboard for herself on the stepstool,
saying she was "making a computer lab." She is SO Aleck's child.


**Overheard this month: Amanda**

"Mommy, I have to use the computer to tell my co-workers that I'm going on vacation next week."

Trip to Florida to Surprise Grandpa Dave!

Lois invited David's whole family to Florida to attend the first annual fundraiser/celebration of the cancer research group to which they belong. David was honored as a lifetime member of the group and celebrated 6 years of health following his lung cancer surgery.

He didn't know that we were coming, so it was a true surprise. Stacey, Amanda, Robin, Steven, Michelle, Samantha and Emma all traveled to Florida together (Aleck joined a few days later) and got to the house while a friend had taken David out. Amanda decided that when he came in the house, we would all run to him and shout "Surprise!" She was pretty set on this idea. The rest of us decided to just nonchalantly sit on the couch and let him notice us. When he walked in the door, he saw us all sitting there and was a little confused. Then Amanda ran over to him shouting "Suuurrrrppprrriiiiiiiiissssseeee!!!," stopped short right in front of him, giggled, and then ran away.


Click Here to see a compilation video of the girls tearing up the dance floor (video is 1:40).

**Overheard this month: ROBIN**

 Who says they don't learn a lot at daycare? Here are some choice words she's learned so far:

While giving a hearty push with her hands: "MOVE!"



Samantha, Robin, Amanda and Emma

Fun in Florida!

While the weather wasn't as cooperative as we had hoped, we still managed to have a great time.

We spent one afternoon in a plaza with lots of shops and activities surrounding a courtyard and a carousel.



We rode the carousel countless times. Amanda loved the flamingo; Emma preferred the spinning seat.

We had ice cream at a self-serve/create your own sundae place. Stacey's was delicious. Just ask Robin.


And there was a Play Place! With inflatable slides! And a sunken trampoline!



Click Here to watch Amanda and Robin jump on the trampoline (video is 17 seconds).

We hung out around the house.



Robin enjoyed watching Dora on TV with Grandpa Dave and Emma.

**Overheard this month: Amanda**

Before reading this exchange, be aware that we are not an "i" household and have never discussed iphones with Amanda before.

Amanda:    "Mommy, can you get me an iphone?"
Stacey:    "Where did you hear about iphones?"
Amanda:    "I just want one. They said it on the airplane to turn them off."
Stacey:    "An iphone is just a cell phone like Daddy's phone. It's for grown ups."
Amanda:    (Sighs heavily) "Fine, I'll have an itouch, then."

And we went to the indoor pool. Twice!


The jacuzzi was a... hot spot for (l-r) Aleck and Amanda; Samantha and Amanda; and Steve, Emma and Samantha.



Robin hung out on the steps. Steven attempted to catch some rays. At the indoor pool.

Oh, and Robin really liked it!

Click Here for a video of Robin the Cheerleader (video is 2 seconds)

Preschool is Cool!

Amanda's class learned about presidents, Hawaii, Holland and volcanoes this month.


Amanda models her spot-on 3-D portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

**Overheard this month: Amanda**

Her class also talked about Black History Month and that really important guy... you know...MLK? Oh, right:
"Martin The King"


Amanda molds and paints her volcano, and then makes it erupt!

**Overheard this month: Amanda**

Amanda's teacher had a baby this month. Amanda made her a card that read in part:
"I hope you have a happy baby."

A Visit From Elijah and Maggie!

We were so excited that Tonya brought the kids up for a weekend to visit old friends.

We were elated to have made the short list of stops on their whirlwind tour.



With Nathan deployed overseas, Aleck stepped in to provide some much needed male-geek guidance

in the form of the X-Box game Lego Star Wars.

**Overheard this month: ROBIN**


It's Electrifying!

Static electricity is alive and well. Just ask Robin, her balloon and her hair.

Hats Off To You!

Utensils: A Little Unclear On The Concept

Robin has a spoon in her oatmeal, but chose a fork with which to eat her dry cereal. Genius.

**Overheard this month: Amanda**

"Robin, you're starting to 'big kid' up!"

(We think she was trying to say that Robin is turning into a big kid.)

A Visit From Oma and Opa!

They were only here for a few days, but boy did they pack in a lot of fun activities. Oma made new curtains for Amanda's bedroom, and she also visited Amanda's preschool class to teach the kids about Holland. Opa helped Aleck fix a laundry list of things around the house from leaky faucets to squeaky faucets. We also just spent some time together talking and playing.


One of the biggest hits was this rock star dress up set that Amanda picked out in the store with Oma.
Click Here to see Amanda's first music video (30 seconds).

**Overheard this month: Amanda**

Amanda:    "Can you get me some Hannah Montana stuff?"
Stacey:    "You want Hannah Montana stuff? Do you know who she is? What does she do?"
Amanda:    "She rocks."
Robin went from one to the other with her new book; Amanda enjoyed another gift- Monkey Gears!
Click Here to see the Gears in action (video is 7 seconds).
Click Here for a video of Robin performing on her piano for a very enthusiastic audience (video is 26 seconds).


Goodbye hugs, all too soon.

See all of these pictures and more at our photo gallery

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