Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks...

We took Grace to her first major league baseball game tonight at Progressive Field to see the Indians play the Chicago White Sox. Our seats were in the first row right near the Chicago bullpen, so Grace had a little extra room to move around. She kept looking down at the players watching the game and Kyle explained to her that they were waiting for their turn to pitch. I think she thought it was funny that she could see them from up above!Baseball is a pretty slow sport, especially when your team is losing, so I concentrated on "the Grace show" which was much more interesting to watch.

Her little Gap shirt was in the Indians' patriotic colors of red, white, and blue and said, "Great Catch" which I thought was clever for a baseball game! And, I am sure you can't miss Grace's summer haircut that she got earlier today!The weather was a little chilly tonight so we went up to the Step 2 "Kidsland" which had every Step 2 playhouse and ride on toy you can imagine. Grace went from one to the next and tried them all like Goldilocks trying out the bears' beds!We even got to meet Slider - the Indians' mascot. Grace wouldn't sit next to the fake oneand when we got close to the real Slider, she was curious but cried when he came over to say "hello"! She wanted to follow him, though, and we got on the elevator with him and then watched him from a distance for a long time.Grace did really great for her first baseball game. Unfortunately there was a rain delay, but at that point Cleveland was losing 8-1 and it was almost 9 PM so we decided to head home. Even though she was really tired, Grace stayed awake the entire drive home watching Elmo on her DVD player! In this photo it looks like she can barely keep her eyes open.......and she did fall asleep as soon as I put her in her crib...after another long, fun, busy summer day!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Muffin mania

I found this recipe for banana muffins on Courtney's blog and made them a couple of weeks ago for Grace. She loved them so much that she ate 2-3 muffins a day. We made another batch together tonight and I have a feeling they are going to become a regular item in our kitchen. Courtney's original recipe called for coconut, but I left that out since I wasn't sure if Grace would like it. I imagine you could add nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips if you want but we found they are delicious just plain banana. Also, we didn't have vanilla yogurt in the house so I substituted vanilla pudding and they turned out really moist, so that is the way I have written the recipe here.

Banana Muffins
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vanilla pudding (I used a Snack Pack pudding)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
Beat ingredients together and pour into lined muffin tin.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Makes 12-15 muffins.

PS - The photo doesn't have anything to do with muffins. It is just another one from yesterday that I thought was cool. Just wanted to share....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I scream, you scream

After a fun morning at the pool and a long nap, Grace put her bathing suit back on and we went outside to enjoy an ice cream sandwich. I had these great plans that after she got messy she would romp in the lawn sprinkler to get the ice cream off. But, as is often the case, Grace had her own plan...and it didn't include the sprinkler! She didn't want to go near it! Imagine that!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Call the geek squad!

I think they might have a new employee!
I turned the computer on today to check my e-mail but then stepped away as it was warming up. A few minutes later when I returned, this is what I found.Grace had moved the kitchen chair over to the desk, climbed up, and was typing away on the keyboard. It is amazing to me how she types, periodically moves the mouse, and then goes back to typing. Boy, this kid is observant! She only learned this by watching. It isn't something I intentionally taught her.As she sat at the computer a big storm rolled in. It is pretty dramatic when this happens as we can see a lot of the sky over the lake. It gets dark very quickly and the lake turns a greenish-gray color. Tonight we had lightening, thunder, and wind to go along with the pounding rain. You can see Grace's surprised reaction to the thunder and lightening show outside our windows.Eventually, she put her head down on the keyboard and said, "Grace sleepy". She went right up to bed after that.For these photos I used my 18-55 mm lens and changed to the "P" mode so I could adjust the ISO level. I first tried a shot in "full auto" to see what the camera suggested for the ISO and then went from there. I knew we had low light and dark brown walls so I used an ISO of 1600 compared to the camera's suggestion of 800.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What do kids do better than adults?

This was a question posed to kids from 2-5 years old by Parenting magazine. Here are their responses:
  • Have fun! All grown-ups do is sit around while kids play in the park! (Vivian, age 5)

  • Get a treat for pooping in the potty. (Claire, age 2)

  • Hang upside down. My mommy sometimes wears a dress, and if she hung upside down you would see her underwear. You do NOT want to see my mommy's underwear. It's ugly! (Sasha, age 5)

  • We are much better puddle jumpers. (Brooke, age 4)

  • Blow bubbles in millk. (Chase, age 3)
I bet you can come up with more of your own!One great thing about summer in our area is that you can find an outdoor concert every night of the week at one of the parks. We took advantage of this opportunity last night and ventured out at 7:30 for some music. Grace was very interested in two little dogs that were sitting with their owners on the blanket out of the view of this photo. She noticed them right away and marched through the crowd right over to them. Here, they are sitting a safe distance away talking about the dogs.
The playground for Grace (and about 40 other kids) was just a bonus!Grace is becoming an excellent climber. I was surprised at how well she navigated this interesting climbing apparatus. As she ventured to the top you could see her concentration as she listened to Kyle's guidance about where to put her foot or hand. I also experienced what people mean about the light a couple of hours before sunset. It was just amazing and I wish I had been able to capture more pictures with this warm color.

Monday, June 22, 2009

And the summer fun continues...

We went to a cookout on Sunday and I had a great time just photographing candid shots of everyone there. I felt a little like an event photographer, walking around trying to capture the action and making sure I had a picture of each person at least once. I started out just doing it as practice, but somewhere during the afternoon I decided to make a CD of the pictures as a "thank you" to the hostess. I thought I was going to edit a lot of the photos, but when I got them on the computer they looked pretty good as they were. I was surprised that took over 70 photographs. Here are some of my favorites:
And, of course, some of Grace...It looks like such a serious conversation.
Her meal consisted mainly of chips and watermelon,
even though we tried to get her to eat a real dinner.

Her first whack at a pinata!
Don't you love this ballet move?
The water was freezing...maybe she was warming her foot.