Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Christening at St. Lucy's

We couldn't have chosen a better location for Grace's baptism or better godparents to love and guide her throughout her life. The weather was amazing on Saturday, April 26th with a shining sun and a warm Florida breeze. Grace was surrounded by family as she was welcomed into the Catholic church by Father Grace at St. Lucy's.

Godparents Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chris outdid themselves with this amazing, silk christening gown and matching bonnet.

They also gave Grace her first cross, which we know she will wear in the future. I am sure it will be part of her First Communion.

Grace cried throughout the ceremony. But Father Grace was so sweet and told me later not to worry about it!
After the ceremony and at least 30 minutes of "photo ops", Nana and Big Daddy took everyone to lunch. It was a perfect day, but the guest of honor decided to nap anyway! All that praying, picture-taking, and eating was just too much for our little angel!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grace can crawl!

It all started on the day Grace turned 11 months old. We were packing for the Florida trip (well, I was packing and Grace was playing with her toys on the floor). I put her down near the windows in her room with a basket of toys and when I turned around, she was on the other side of the room near the closet! I couldn't believe she had moved that far that fast, so I put her back by the windows and stood back to watch. She did it! Her crawl was sort of a one knee, one foot movement but it got her where she wanted to go....to the shoes at the bottom of her closet. She seemed so proud of herself, sitting there with that whole face smile that includes 8 teeth and dimples!

Then, over the next couple of days in Florida, she perfected the move and now can crawl like a pro! She is also able to pull herself to standing with the right apparatus to use as a ladder - Big Daddy, the couch cushions, etc. It shouldn't be long before she is cruising on the furniture and maybe experimenting with her first steps unassisted!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

11-month old jet setter

Grace is 11 months old today! She weighed in at 17 pounds, 3 ounces this week at the doctor's office, which means she has gained about 1/2 pound in the last month. I see changes in her every day as my baby is becoming a little girl. Grace is still working on crawling and taking her first steps. Her curiosity is obvious to everyone who meets her. She watches and observes but, lately, I see more of an adventurous nature in her as she is starting to investigate and explore new things...trying to pull herself up on furniture, opening cabinet doors, finding the smallest thread on the carpet, dropping anything to see what happens when it falls, and maneuvering herself over to the wall to see what the plug is all about. She "discovered" the butterflies hanging from the ceiling in her room and now we need to touch them to make them move as part of the bedtime routine. And, Grace can do the American Sign Language sign for "more" ( I have witnesses!) although the sign is elusive whenever I have the camera out!Tomorrow we will be flying to Florida to see Nana and Big Daddy and to meet some family members. My little jet setter is off on another plane ride for a new adventure!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stop torturing that child!

Grace hates hats! That is a problem because she is going to need to wear them in the winter here. And, since we are going to Florida later this week and the summer is coming, she needs one to protect her from the sun. So, I tried playing a game with the 10 hats she already has. I figured if I wore some, maybe she would start to as well. I am sure we (okay, I) looked funny sitting on the bedroom floor trying on all those hats made for a baby. Grace "wore" them all today, too. But only for a second each. She is fast when it comes to pulling them off. This pink one has a Velcro strap and she had a lot of trouble removing it. That is why she started to cry like someone was torturing her! I have to laugh...even though she is so unhappy, these pictures are pretty funny. This one is coming to Florida. I think I can wear her down. By the end she was almost tolerating it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Time for those safety locks!


Press the arrow to see the video.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What could they be thinking?

Crazy (Daisy) and Amazing (Grace) plotting an escape...
Do you think there is a way we can break out of here?

You've been here longer, how do these windows open?

I don't care if it is cold outside. The sun is shining in Ohio...let's get going!

Ooops! She caught us!
Don't look at me. It was Daisy's idea!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Citizenship

Today I was reminded of the things that most of us living in this country take for granted every day. Grace received her Certificate of Citizenship and a letter from the President that began, "My Fellow American" in the mail.

I have been to many other countries and have found most of them really appealing for different reasons. I have even lived for a short time in Spain and Japan. But most of the time I don't think twice about what it means to be an American. Thousands of people risk or give up everything to come here every day. I witnessed them waiting in line at the US Embassy in Guatemala City trying to do it legally and then we see others on the news all the time sneaking in hidden in the bottom of trucks or climbing over walls and fences in the middle of the night. I remember a trip to southern California one time where there were road signs like those we have here for "deer crossing" with people on them, warning drivers to be careful of people who might dart across the road unexpectedly. It really makes you reflect on what we have here that so many people do not have in other places. That despite our country's problems, we have a lot to be grateful for.

So, even though my little girl became a US citizen on March 11, 2008, today we are grateful to have that document in our hands to prove it. And I want to share it with you.
(I intentionally covered some identifying information.)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Gotcha Day + 1

Today makes one month that Grace and I have been together. I thought about writing a summary of all the things she is able to do, all the things we are doing together, or all the ways she makes me laugh. But, I decided all I have to say is:
My life is so full and I couldn't be happier.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Perfect Spring Day

The weather was perfect for just sitting on the grass and enjoying the sunshine. Grace did a lot of "exploring"! Here are some "action" photos from this afternoon:

What is this "grass stuff"? Can I eat it?

Are you lookin' at me? Bet you can't make me smile!

How big is Grace? So BIG!

Grace and Hondo before Hondo stole her cookie!

Littermates? Or maybe the dogs are just putty in her hands....

I love to ZOOM!

Take me for another spin, Coach!

What a great day!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Not "Hair by Eduardo", but still pretty good

In November our "Eduardo" cut Grace's hair so we could have some of it to save. Today, she went to Snip-Its for her first professional haircut. It was a totally kid-friendly place with two really sweet stylists - one who cut Grace's hair and the other who entertained her with bubbles. (You can see them in the second picture!) The salon was decorated in bright colors and she received a certificate, a bow, and a prize at the end! Not, Eduardo, but still pretty good!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spoon, please!

My eating machine has been experimenting with the spoon the last few days. Sometimes it ends up on the floor, sometimes the wrong end goes in her mouth, and sometimes (like in this picture) she gets it in the right way! Grace is eating rice cereal here. I kept the bowl on the table (or that would have been on the floor too! I think she gets a kick out of seeing and hearing things drop and then waiting to see if I will pick them up and give them back to her!) and put cereal on the spoon for her. She gets more on her face and hands than in her mouth, but it is so cool to see her concentrate on doing this task! And, notice that she is holding the spoon in her left hand! It certainly would be funny if she ended up being left-handed like her Mom!

Grace does a great job feeding herself using her hands. Today she practically fed herself lunch - pieces of ground beef and vegetables - while I unpacked the groceries. We have also progressed from the Gerber puffs to Cheerios. They are smaller and she hadn't been able to pick them up a couple of weeks ago.

This kid likes to eat ( a perfect fit in our family) so the motivation is certainly there!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kindermusik

Grace and I are working on her motor and cognitive development as well as her social and pre-literacy skills. (Yeah, I know, that is what happens when you have an educator as a mom!) Basically all that means is we are playing all the time and going out every day to experience new things!

I am taking advantage of the "stay-at-home-mom" thing by taking her to Story Time at at our local library. We are also going to Kindermusik classes together on Wednesday nights. Last week, I wasn't so sure how Grace felt about it. She is cautious around new people and spent the 45-minute class watching carefully, but not really participating. When the teacher, Miss Terri, gave her different instruments she put them in her mouth but didn't "explore" the sounds they made. I felt like she was at a disadvantage because she doesn't crawl or walk yet and the other kids were running around the room. All she could do was watch and rely on me for movement.

This week, however, was totally different. Grace seemed more independent and willing to participate in her own way. She bounced to the beat, shook the bells, smiled, and made tons of sounds. I could tell she was really enjoying the class! Miss Terri is really good at recognizing where the students are developmentally and tailoring her instruction and activities to them. She gives many different options for each song and movement we are doing. The class we are taking is part of the Village series for newborns through 1 1/2 years old. There are four kids and their moms in the class - Lincoln (1 year old), Isabella (15 months old), Sophie (6 months old - She wasn't there last week), and Grace. The Kindermusik web site describes this stage as: "Kindermusik Village incorporates the most current research on early childhood development and provides families a special place for learning and connecting with other parents and babies through music and movement. "

So far, we are having fun playing, singing, and moving to the music together!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sooo tired!

Kyle came over this afternoon to play. He has been incredible with her, and I can see she loves him. Grace wore a new outfit from Aunt Susan and she and Kyle made funny sounds, jumped on the couch, and played with the ball. And, we blew bubbles! Grace looked at them but didn't seem too interested. Daisy liked them more than Grace!

Kyle kept saying Grace would be wiped out and wouldn't you know it....20 minutes after he left, she fell asleep in her jumperoo! How is that possible?