Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I asked Kyle to pour me a glass of wine the other evening and then went upstairs. When he started pouring the wine Grace looked at it and said, Mommy". Uh-oh. Busted!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lakeside Living

It topped out at 87 degrees today with clear sunshine. So, we spent a good part of the afternoon hanging out on the deck for the first time this spring. Grace played on her swing, we sat on the big swing together, and we put water in the sand and water table and got really messy!Then Kyle came over to try out his Christmas present... a kayak! He did one lap of the lake alone and when he got back to shore Grace kept saying "boat" so we asked her if she wanted to go for a ride. She did and luckily I had a life vest just the perfect size for her. (I bought it a few years ago for Kyle's nephew to wear when he visited my house. )

So they went for a ride.
Grace looked a little nervous, but when they came back she didn't want to get out of the kayak.She helped carry the paddle up to the garageand then climbed back into the kayak waiting to go again!
Maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Almost 2

Grace is 23 months old today. It is hard to believe. The time has gone by so fast. At work lately as we prepare for the end of the year, I am reminded that at this time last year I was on family medical leave helping Grace adjust to being home and enjoying being a stay-at-home-mom. She wasn't even crawling yet. I wondered what her first word would be. And, I was learning what she liked and disliked.
Grace one year ago at 11 months old
Fast forward a year and now it seems like we have always been together. Every day I marvel at how special she is. From the minute she wakes up in the morning (and I can hear her babbling to herself in her room) until she tells me "bed" at night (because she knows she is tired) and all the minutes in between, Grace is amazing.
Her language is developing so fast now that there are new words every day. She will try to say most things when I ask her, "Can you say___?" which makes for a lot of laughs to hear how she pronounces words like "sausage", "applesauce", "elevator" and "rainbow". My favorite word lately is "Hooray". It is so cute whe she says it and puts her arms up in the air at the same time. In the back seat of the car she will sing along to the "Sesame Street Live" CD and I can hardly believe that she knows the words. She says two and three word phrases with the words all jumbled together into one like, "Idonknow" , "Mommysawork", and "Elmoside" (for Elmo go outside?). Grace looks at books independently, will turn the pages, and "read" to story to herself or me if I obey when she tells me to "sit". Grace loves to tease me, too. She has this animal sorting toy and knows the pigs go in the pig pen and the cows go in theirs. But she deliberately puts them in the wrong place with this little sly smile just to get a reaction out of me.Physically, Grace is growing by leaps and bounds - literally. She is a daredevil. Maybe that is just being a toddler and not knowing enough to be afraid. Last fall when we took her to tumbling class she didn't get any "air" between her feet and the trampoline when she jumped. It is much different now. She jumps on everything - her bed, my bed, the couch, pillows she lines up on the floor. She can do a somersault/forward roll almost every time without any help. Sometimes I find her with her feet on the couch, her hands on the coffee table, and her body suspended in the air between the two. My heart skips a beat, but Grace thinks it is great. Grace loves to run and be chased. And her giggles when I tickle her fill up up the room. She laughs so hard and says, "No" but when I stop she says, "More".
There is so much I could say about how wonderful she is. Even on those challenging days when Grace is overtired from daycare and I am out of patience, I still remember how happy our life is together. What a great kid!

Some of her likes:
  • bananas (still her favorite fruit)
  • dipping - tortilla chips in salsa, French fries in ketchup - she will dip, lick off the sauce and dip again!
  • music - this really amazes me and I wish I knew more about nurturing this in her
  • drinking from a "big girl cup"
  • Elmo (but you already knew that, right?) and other stuffed animals. Right now Elmo, Big Bird, Bill (a frog), and Mindy (a lemur from the zoo) are the ones she carries around.
  • cooking" in her kitchen
  • slides and swings at the park
  • playing in the water - she is fearless and will submerge her chin and mouth right up to her nose and laugh while she is doing it
  • doing anything outside
  • pickles!

But Grace doesn't like:

  • letting me brush her teeth or cut her nails (if you heard the way she screams you would think I was pulling them out!)
  • peas (she eats most other vegetables but leaves peas on her plate)
  • waking up at 6:00AM
  • when she can't do something (like moving a chair or opening a box of toys). She gets so frustrated so easily and doesn't know how to ask for help

Sorry - this was a long post but I wanted to record this information for Grace to read someday.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How washable was it?

For those of you who asked....everything came totally clean after using the Tadoodles markers. I used a little Shout just to be sure, but it probably wasn't necessary. And we just used soap and water for our hands. Easy peasy.

Such concentration

It took me a whole lifetime to learn to draw like children" - Pablo Picasso

Have you ever heard of Tadoodles? They are fairly new crayons, paints, and markers from Crayola made just for toddler hands. We have both the crayons and this cool marker set that lights up and sings.The colors have funny names like "Achoo Blue" and Roary Red". (We continue to work on learning the colors, but so far everything is "ye-yo").

Grace hasn't had too much success yet with any type of crayons. We have tried the big jumbo ones, triangle ones, Tadoodles, and just regular crayons. It seems like she is not sure how to hold them and she doesn't put enough pressure on them to get good, deep color. So, she gives up easily. At school, the teacher showed me some crayon drawings from January when she started there and then from the end of March and there was an improvement. But I haven't seen much interest or patience with drawing or coloring at home yet.

Today, we got the marker Tadooles out. They are very wet markers and as a result you see intense color very easily. (They also make a mess on little hands, clothes, the furniture, etc. but Crayola promises that they are 100% washable....we'll see - the laundry is washing right now!) Grace seemed to really like them and she concentrated on her masterpiece for a long time - maybe 20 minutes. That's long in "toddler time"!
We worked together and this is the "Mommy and Me" result!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sneak peek

Shhhhh....don't tell Grace. I bought her this Step 2 Front Porch Playhouse for her 2nd birthday. I hope to go pick it up this week and have it assembled and out on the deck by her birthday!This is the information about it from the Step 2 website:
  • Front porch with built-in bench is perfect for shade on sunny days or cover on rainy days
  • Detailed interior includes a pass-through window, molded-in sink with swivel faucet, and stove top with clicking knob
  • Working Dutch door and side window with shutters
  • Decorative peaked roof has a skylight for a brighter interior
  • Also features electronic doorbell with chime, mail slot, and electronic play phone
It looks like the deck, just like the house, is being taken over by "kid" stuff!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stop and smell the daffodils

After playing at the park this afternoon, Grace took time to stop and smell my favorite flowers - daffodils. It was 70 degrees and sunny - perfect weather for playing outside!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Got music?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter - Part 2

I wish we lived in a place where the daffodils are in bloom on my birthday and it is warm enough for spring dresses in the middle of April. Even though I had an Easter dress ready for Grace to wear today I knew it probably wouldn't be warm enough to wear it. As it turned out, the weather topped out at 47 degrees. I am glad, though, because Grace got to wear this sweater and hat Nana made a long time ago. It has been waiting for a granddaughter to wear it for about 20 years!Kyle's sister had us over to their house for dinner today. She also planned an Easter egg hunt in their yard for the kids. Grace had a lot of fun!She loved their playhouse. We really had to coax her to come out to keep looking for eggs!

Easter morning

The Easter Bunny visited last night! Grace woke up to eggs and a special singing Easter Bunny (from Uncle John, Aunt Deb, Connor, and Ryan) hiding in the house. We have been practicing looking for eggs all week. Grace is pretty good at it. Of course, they are not really "hidden" but she can spot them right away!
Finding her eggs and putting them in her basket.It was love at first sight for her newest stuffed animal.
She received other awesome presents in the mail from her Godparents (Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chris), Aunt Susan, Nana and Big Daddy. We are going to open them throughout the day. Grace is one lucky little girl to have so many people who love her!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Monkey business

We met Kellie and Dawson today at the zoo for the first Stroller Safari of the season. The theme for this program, which is geared toward children under 4, was primates. They called it "Monkey Business" but we have been to the zoo a few times and I have never seen any monkeys. I didn't think they had them at this zoo, so I was curious about what animals we would see and which primate would be the live animal "encounter" . The last time we we were there, we got to feed the penguins. I figured if we were going to feed the animal bananas I might have a fight on my hands as bananas are still Grace's favorite fruit!
The zoo educator taught about a few of the things that makes an animal a primate - they are mammals, have both eyes in the front like humans, and they have pretty big brains. She showed stuffed animals of different primates and asked the kids if they looked like any of their family members....hmmmm, I can think of a few!We also got to meet Chole - a Kinkajou. She is a 4-year old primate native to rainforests. Kinkajous even live in Guatemala! Some people keep them as pets, which is hard to do since they sleep during the day and are most active from 7Pm-midnight. I wonder how they tell time?Chloe likes to climb using her tail that is considered to be a "5th hand"!And she has a long tongue so she can get honey from bee hives. Her fur is really thick which is helpful when bees sting her. Kinkajous eat all kinds of food, but they prefer sweet things like fruit and honey. That is why they have the nickname "Honey Bears".Grace enjoyed exploring the classroom. She colored, made a monkey project, played with puzzles, and discovered fur from a tiger on a table that she tried to pull down!
(Check out those jeans, Nana!)

When we went for our guided tour of the zoo we saw condors, a snow leopard, the jaguar, bats, a 40-pound snake, and some other primates. We learned that lemurs are primates and that they have been around since before monkeys and apes. But they remain more primitive than other primates as their brains are not as well developed. We stopped by to see:

some female black and white ruffed lemurs andtheir cousins the ring-tailed lemurs. One of these came home with us! A toy, of course!