Sunday, January 31, 2010

Busy, Busy Week!

It's me again, Amaya. Mommy's been super busy working on a HUGE puzzle every free moment that she's not playing me or spending time with Daddy, so she hasn't had time to update. But, I've got a few free minutes and I have so much to share!!

On Thursday, Mommy and Daddy both didn't have to work, so we took a trip up the cities to Mall of America! I was so excited and even more excited when I saw a HUGE statue of Dora, Boots, and Diego at the Nickelodeon amusement park! And even better, Daddy bought me a stuffed animal of Boots - he's so cute!!

Later that evening, I started my swimming class through Community Education. The best part is that my friend Cooper is in the class with me!! None of my other friends from the previous swimming class were there, but having Cooper with me is AWESOME! The two of us really like splashing our mommies! I remembered a lot and the teacher asked if I'd help her demonstrate how to float on my back! Mommy was really surprised that I let someone else hold me in the water, but it was a piece of cake! I can't wait until next week!

On Friday morning, I got to go over to my cousin' house for a playdate! I had a blast playing in their fort that Ben made! And Lydia even dressed me up in some of their play clothes. I had so much fun playing with Ben, Annika, Lydia, and Miles!!

On Saturday, Mommy and Daddy both had to work super early, so my Grandma Horning woke me up! I like Grandma waking me up much better than Mommy and Daddy! And the best part was that Grandma played with me the WHOLE DAY! We played with my babies and put different clothes on them, played with my kitchen, played doctor, etc. It was so much fun having her all to myself!

Today, I get to go to my Grandma and Grandpa Gustafson's house while Mommy and Daddy are working. I haven't been to their house in a LOOOONG time! I've been going through Grandma and Grandpa withdrawal! I've missed them so much!

As you can see... it's been an awesome week!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Celebrating Grandpa's Birthday

Yesterday was my Grandpa Gustafson's birthday, but we celebrated on Sunday. I cried when Mommy and Daddy took down the Christmas tree and I'm disappointed that my birthday is over... so, I was really looking forward to celebrate Grandpa's birthday! He even let Miles and I help open up presents!

My Grandpa is very special to me. He and Grandma take care of me when my Mommy and Daddy have to go to work. He loves to read books to me, play with Mr. Potato head with me, take me for walks when the weather is nice, and lets me play in with his trains. I love spending time with him and I always ask to pray for him every night! Happy Birthday Poppa! I love you!

Here's a picture of Grandpa and Grandma with Annika, Ben, me, Lydia, and Miles.

Ben lighting the candles.

Grandpa, Miles, and me wanting cake!!

Loving the cake as usual!

Opening up Presents!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Two Year Old Stats

With a lot of excitement, Amaya and I went to her 2 year old check up with our doctor today. Amaya LOVES her doctor kit that she got for Christmas, so she's been practicing giving us shots, listening to our heart, looking in our ears, and putting bandaids on our "owies." She was also excited to see the huge aquarium in the waiting room and to see our favorite nurse, "Prairie Dawn." (I told her this morning we were going to go see Dawn and she started calling her Prairie Dawn from Sesame Street.)

We reviewed her fine motor development, gross motor development, verbal skills, and self-help skills and she's right about where a 2 1/2 year old would be. The only thing she couldn't do was open a door knob - but she can certainly close them! Dr. Horn said her verbal skills are quite advanced and Amaya shocked her a little by counting to three (for the number of shots she was getting) in English, Spanish, AND German! (Proud mama and daddy!)

After reviewing her height and weight... Dr. Horn said we needed to take her out of gymnastics and get her started in BASKETBALL!! She nearly 3 feet tall!!!

Height: 34 1/2 inches - 2 feet 10 1/2 inches - 82% percentile!!! (She grew 4 inches in 9 months!!)
Weight: 25 lbs - 27% percentile...

Amaya got three shots today... the first one was okay, but shortly after she realized that she wanted NOTHING to do with our favorite nurse and I pretty much had to hold her down while she was kicking and screaming for the remainder of them. She stopped crying after 2 minutes when Dawn mentioned getting a Dora sticker. She gave Dawn and hug and said, "Thank you. Bye-bye."

Now we're at home enjoying the quiet, snowy afternoon and hoping Amaya gets a good nap in.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Amaya turns TWO Years Old!

Happy Birthday Amaya! I seriously can't believe she's two years old today! A year ago today, she was just days away from taking steps on her own. Now she runs, hops, and jumps everywhere! A year ago today, the only words she could say were, "good-girl", "ma-ma", "da-da", "go", and "uh-oh." Now she speaks in 4-5 word sentences and comes up with words that surprise us like, "caboose" and "somersault". A year ago today, her hair was just long enough to not confuse her with a boy. Now, she loves wearing her hair in pigtails and ponytails! A year ago today, she liked to think that she was being helpful "folding the laundry." Now, she is actually quite helpful emptying the dishwasher, helping me cook, and putting away her toys!

Amaya has her two year check up on Grandpa Gustafson's birthday - the 25th and we always have to fill out a form describing her personality. I think this picture pretty much sums it up... very happy and very silly!

We celebrated her birthday this past Saturday and had a wonderful time opening presents, eating cake, and playing games. All her grandparents and her Uncle Mike and his family were able to come. She was VERY, VERY excited about her "birthday coming up!" She was especially excited about her DORA CAKE! I ended up finding a template and attempted to make one. I think it turned out okay... Dora is a little more orange than I wanted her, but Amaya LOVED it and that's really all that matters. (I may need to invest in some cake decorating tips because frosting the cake with just a knife was a little challenging.)

Amaya was thrilled to open presents...

She got quite a few pots, pans, cooking utensils, and play food from Grandma and Grandpa Gustafson for her new kitchen that we gave her.

She's quite the chef already!

And she got a few puzzles too from the Springer, Gustafson, and Wiggins families.

Great Grandma Struckmann made her this bunny who now takes residence in Amaya's crib and who has now been affectionately named, "Funny Bunny."

And she really enjoyed the stacking blocks train from Grandpa and Grandma Horning. Since receiving them, she's holed herself up in her room playing "choo-choo".

Our family picture...

Amaya getting ready to blow out the candles.

Everyone enjoying the cake and ice cream.

Happy 2nd Birthday to our sweet little girl! You are loved beyond measure!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dreaming of Dora

Around 7:30am this morning, Amaya was crying and I wasn't quite ready to get out of bed. I brought her into bed with me and we just snuggled until we both fell asleep again. I woke up to her saying, "Dora cups today." She was still sleeping too! I asked her some more questions to see if she would continue to talk to me in her sleep, but she didn't do it again. Oh, well...

It's non-stop Dora and birthday talk around here lately. Yesterday, we went to the party store to pick up Dora plates, Dora napkins, Dora cups, etc. No wonder she was talking about Dora in her sleep! Tonight I'm doing a trial run of her cake so in case it doesn't turn out, I can order her a Dora Cake.

She's soooo excited about her birthday. We only hear, "my birthday coming up" 10-12 times a day! I'm excited too, so I really can't blame her!

Monday, January 11, 2010

No More Christmas

Today is a very sad day in the Gatzke household - actually for Amaya. We're taking down our Christmas tree and Christmas decorations today. Surprisingly, our tree is still fragrant and hasn't lost very many needles, but we really need to get it down before Amaya's birthday celebration this weekend.

I've forewarned Amaya that we're taking the tree down, but it didn't help much. This is a small part of our conversation this morning:

Amaya: "No more Christmas?"
Me: "Amaya, we have to take down the Christmas tree today to get ready for your birthday party."
Amaya: "No more Christmas?"
Me: "That's right, Christmas is over and we'll celebrate again next year."
Amaya: (frowning) "NO! NO! NO! MORE CHRISTMAS TODAY!" Jesus NOW!"
Me: "Just because we take down the Christmas tree, doesn't mean we can't celebrate Jesus every day."
Amaya: "Okay. Jesus today. My birthday coming up one week!"

Hmm... celebrating Jesus every day... love that idea!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Olympics Here I Come!

Mommy signed me up for a real live gymnastics class through Community Ed for the next three months. It's SOOO much better than my Toddler Gym Class. We were a little rushed getting to my class because both Mommy and Daddy had never been there and we weren't sure were to go exactly. We weren't too late and I was so excited that Grandpa and Grandma Horning were there to watch me!!

Mommy was a little nervous because when we walked into the big room, there were uneven bars, parallel bars, rings, a balance beam, a long trampoline, a foam pit, a small rock climbing wall, and lots of foam cushions! All the equipment was a smaller version of the equipment real gymnasts use! I wasn't nervous, I just wanted to PLAY!

Coach Alison was very nice and helped me a lot. There are 4 other kids in my class and I AM the youngest one. Another little girl just turned two and the other kids are pushing 3 years old and have been in this class before. We practiced walking forward, backward, hopping, scooting backward, and walking while doing high kicks! Then we did some fun stretches. I learned the "tuck" position and the "pike" position. I really liked rolling on my back in the tuck and pike position, although it was a little hard to do while I was laughing. I guess I need to work on my abs.

After we got all stretched out, Coach Alison brought us to the beginning of an obstacle course. Coach Alison helped us on the uneven bars and we had to swing a little and then we crawled under a foam tunnel. Then, I had to do the bear crawl on the parallel bars. I needed Mommy's help for the first time, but I caught on quickly. Then I had to do a somersault on a triangular shaped cushion. Mommy had to help me tuck my head and get my feet over my head, but I'll get that trick mastered soon too! Then I had to jump on top of a yellow cushion over to the rock climbing wall. It was only about 4 feet high, but I really loved it! At the top of the wall, Mommy helped me over and I went down a steep slide. Then I had to do another somersault and then jump into the foam pit. I refused to jump in the foam pit, but Mommy put me down there anyway. It's still a little scary, but maybe I'll get used to it.

The second obstacle course, we had to crawl over a triangular shaped cushion and do another somersault over to the rings. Mommy lifted me up on the rings and gave me a little push. I went back and forth a few times before Mommy told me I had to let go. Then I had to walk on a really long balance beam. That was pretty easy, but I still wanted to hang on to Mommy's hands. Maybe next time I'll just hang on to one hand.

Our last activity was to hop like a bunny forwards and backwards down the trampoline. I didn't mind the hopping part and I didn't quite understand how to hop backwards, but the scary part was when Coach Alison wanted us to jump in her arms in the foam pit. There was no way I was going back in the foam pit. I didn't get upset though, I just hopped away from her!

As our class was finishing up, Coach Alison brought us over to the side and told us what a good job we did and then gave us stamps on both our hands and a big smiley sticker! WOW! What a great night! As we were leaving, I saw the big kid gymnastic equipment and watched the big kids do tumbles, twirls, and flips! It was really cool! I can't wait until I can do that!!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


A Kodak monster swiped our pictures from Christmas Eve through the 27th!! GRRRR... I guess we'll just have to rely on our memories of this past Christmas instead of pictures.... sorry to disappoint. I thought of re-creating our Christmas since we still have our tree up, but that would unfortunately require too many people and too much work.

So... after work on Christmas Eve, Amaya got a very abbreviated nap before our Christmas Eve Service. After church, we went to the Horning's for an absolutely wonderful dinner and opened presents. They gave Steve a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon book, a Vikings sweatshirt, and a Andrea Bocelli Christmas CD. I got a new WW Scale that I absolutely love, a Biggest Loser Success Stories book, and a beautiful 2000 piece Christmas puzzle!! Anyone want to come over and help me?? They gave Amaya some play vegetables (to go with her new kitchen for her birthday... shhh... don't tell Amaya!), an "Elmo ABC" book, the "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" book (which she almost has memorized), and an art easel/desk where she has spent countless hours coloring!

(Insert adorable picture here of Amaya sitting in her new desk with Grandma and Grandpa.)

We gave Grandma Horning a puzzle (which will be much easier to do than mine) and I put in updated pictures of Amaya in Grandma's scrapbook. We gave Grandpa Horning a real estate tie and a gift certificate to Starbucks.

(Insert pictures of Amaya giving Grandma and Grandpa their presents.)

(Insert pictures of Amaya and her grandparents in front of their beautiful Christmas tree!)

I spent the morning of Christmas Day at work. I usually grumble and complain about having to work the holidays, but this year I had a different attitude because I was able to make the holidays special for someone who couldn't be with her family.

Since I was getting done with work early, my parents invited us over for a brunch - YUMMY!! We had an egg bake, Kringle - a type of Danish(?) pastry, grapes, and the best cinnamon rolls ever!! I only had one, but Steve had SIX! We have a tradition of watching the "Christmas Story" with my parents, so while Amaya napped, we watched movies the rest of the afternoon.

(Insert picture of us cuddled on the couch!)

Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Struckmann invited us over to their house of supper later that night. She made her usual roast dinner which was especially good!! (Can you tell we've eaten well over the holidays?) We also enjoyed Grandma Horning's Candy Cane Cookies!! Amaya really liked these, so I better get her recipe before next Christmas. Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa gave Amaya a cute stuffed snowman that we later found out played Christmas music. Steve received a gift certificate to JCPenney's, and I got 2 cookbooks filled with great recipes! We gave Great-Grandma a puzzle and gave Great-Grandpa some homemade fudge.

(Insert picture of Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa in front of their Christmas tree).

I'm disappointed that our pictures got lost because I snapped quite a few of Amaya playing with Great-Grandpa. She brought over her new play cookies and baking sheet (thank you Wiggins family) and was giving him cookies with frosting and feeding him, etc. It was very sweet to watch them interact and every moment spent with him is priceless and precious.

The next day we were all able to sleep in, and Amaya opened her stocking that morning. By this time, she's quite the pro at opening presents and we hadn't even celebrated with my side of the family yet! She got a kid's Bible music CD, a Berenstain Bears DVD, purple socks (because she's always wanting to wear purple socks!), an electric Dora toothbrush, and purple play-dough. She was very excited about everything and after all the presents were opened, she said, "Again?" :-)

(Insert cute pictures of Amaya in her jammies surrounded by wrapping paper and her stocking on our bed.)

That just about wraps up our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Stay tuned for Christmas with the Gustafson's - in color!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

JETS Gymnastics Class

Tonight Amaya starts her first Gymnastics class at JETS here in Rochester. She enjoyed the Community Education Toddler Gym class, so I thought she might like to try out gymnastics. It's a 18 month - 3 year old class, so she won't be the youngest one there (hopefully!) Amaya has been practicing her splits and her somersaults in preparation for the class! It's really cute, because she has no idea (and neither do we) what to expect from tonight and she's SO EXCITED! We'll let everyone know how it goes!

After her class, we'll head over to Mike and Arwen's to celebrate Arwen's birthday! Happy Birthday!! Amaya is VERY excited because she thinks she is going to be able to "help" Arwen open presents, blow out the candles, and eat cake. We'll see... I think Miles may have dibs on the "helping" part.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Updates

Whew! It's been a busy week full of celebrations and fun! We're trying to get settled into routines again as Steve and I return to work and activities start back up. I'll try to get caught up from Christmas... but you know how I am....

Since Steve and I both worked on Christmas Eve, my parents watched Amaya and did a "photo shoot" with her in her new Christmas dress (bought at a garage sale with the tags still on it!).

I'm amazed at how my dad is able to get Amaya to smile without her goofy grin!

One of my favorite pictures of Amaya and my mom.

A beautiful picture of two of the most loving and supportive parents in the world!