Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Stroll

Not long after we woke up this morning, Grace and I headed out to do "something". I am pretty sure I don't have to tell you where we went. I brought the stroller, but Grace walked the entire time and didn't sit in in once!
She really knows how to use her zoo key now.
The hard part is finding the kiosks!
What a cute little penguin!Grace loves cars, trucks, buses, airplanes...anything that will GO!In the gardens she found the caterpillar and climbed right up!
How many times has Grace fed the animals?
Today, she was shy and a little timid.
She laughed like this every time the sheep said, "Baaa"!I don't think she is supposed to be doing this.Or this...Or this!

Friday, August 28, 2009

10 Funny Phrases

Have I told you lately how much I love this kid?

Are you this bright-eyed at 6 AM?
Lately, Grace has been talking so much it makes my head spin (in the shocked, "Where did she learn that?" kind of way not the Linda Blair in the "Omen" way.) So, in an effort not to forget some of the cute, funny, surprising things that come out of Grace's mouth I have recorded them here:

1) "Mmmm, nummy." (yummy) -when she tastes something especially good like pizza, ice cream, and popcorn - her latest favorite.

2) "Na, knock. Who's der?" - Grace will just go up to any random door and knock. Mostly she does this just to herself but if I am around she looks over her shoulder like I should tell her who is there. You know I play along.

3) "Twinkle, twinkle...staaar." - Grace's version of the "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" song which I hear her singing in the backseat. She misses the word "little", though. Sometimes she will take her keyboard off the shelf and touch some keys as she sings. Seriously, the first time I witnessed this my head really DID spin around!

4) "Dat way" - My little backseat driver has taken to giving me directions when we are in the car. As we approach an intersection she says, "Dat way" and points. Of course she has no idea which way to go, but she absolutely recognizes places we go often. We passed the street for the pool a couple of weeks ago and she knew that was where it is. And, every morning she points out where some geese congregate on the way to daycare even if they are not there that day.

5) "Oh man, Dora!" - Swiper the fox on the Dora the Explorer show says this when he doesn't succeed in taking Dora's stuff. Actually, Swiper says, "Oh man." Grace added the "Dora" part herself. It cracks me up when I hear her little voice saying "Oh man, Dora".

6) "I turn" - Grace is all about taking turns, especially hers! We were playing with her tea set one day and she told me I was supposed to eat my soup. As I did Grace watched and told me, "No Mommy. I turn". Apparently, we were not allowed to eat at the same time. So funny. I guess she must be learning to take turns at school because at home it is all about Grace!

7) "I see. I see" - I get this a TON from Grace. She wants to see everything especially when she might think she has a choice about something. Like a snack, for instance. When I ask her if she wants a snack she replies with, "I see. I see" which means I need to stand her on the counter so she can look into the cupboard to see what her choices might be. Then she responds with "a-da-mo" (see #10) when she chooses. I also hear, "I see. I see" when I am changing her diaper. Yes, there is a big fascination with this in our house right now. Usually, where there is poop in the diaper I hear #8 next.

8) "Ewwww..." - Yeah, I can't say I blame her. Some of those diapers are pretty nasty. Grace doesn't like having messy hands either. So if she gets dirty she will show the mess to me with a little, "Ewwww. Messy".

9) "Daisy-D" - Sometimes I call Daisy "D" so Grace has taken to calling her "Daisy-D". Not always, but I do hear saying things like, "Daisy-D, sit down." Very bossy. I wonder where she gets that?

10) "A-da-mo" (That one) - Often this phrase is said in an excited manner with the words strung together like "adamodamo" accompanied by a tiny finger pointing to something. It takes a moment to figure out what Grace is saying and sometimes I have to tell her to show me because I have not idea what she wants.

Have you noticed that Grace has trouble with the "th" sound? For now it is cute and I know someday soon we won't hear these funny little phrases anymore. I am enjoying her language development and marvel at how many new things she knows every day. It is so much fun watching a 2-year old discover the world around her. Can she just stay this age forever?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Still summer, but..

...today it felt like the beginning of fall. The day started with a soft rain that I hadn't expected. While I listened to the raindrops on the roof before I even got out of bed, I was thankful that we went to the pool yesterday. At the time, I thought maybe we would stop in again today, but as it turned out the weather didn't cooperate. So....

....we just took it all in stride with a lazy morning drinking coffee, reading the newspaper, and watching Dora. And then, we spent part of the cool afternoon at the park. My little monkey (wearing her new "monka shirt") wanted to climb, slide, and swing! The higher and faster, the better!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Water wings

When we were in Florida for Spring Break back in March, we bought Grace several different types of flotation devices for the pool. She was really too little for all of them at the time, so I just put them away for someday....

Fast forward 5 months to this summer at the pool. As the summer progressed so did Grace. She became braver and more aware of her own balance and limitations in the water. And up until last weekend, she didn't use any flotation devices in the water. It made for some pretty stressful days for me, but I truly feel that it was good to let her experience the water on her own.

Last Sunday, though, I took out the water wings we bought in Florida and when Grace put them on you could tell immediately how wonderful she thought they were. Suddenly she was able to float and jump in the water and pop right back up. We did the same thing today at the pool and Grace loved them. I felt comfortable enough to let her play while I took these final pool pictures for Summer 2009.

Grace looks so tall to me in this photo!
Grace seemed most happy in about 2-3 feet of water
and didn't venture too far from the side.I could see her naturally learning to kick her feet and
move her arms to get to her destination.Which often was the ladder or over to the area
where she could watch people come down the big slides.She liked climbing the ladder......and jumping from the side.
(Notice we were strategically placed near the lifeguard...
smart Mommy!
)I have been teaching Grace to put her toes on the edge of
the pool and to jump AWAY from the side.
Grace did this over.......and over....
SPLASH! Try to ignore the guy behind Grace.There, that's better!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ta-Da!

At the end of the last gymnastics class for the summer session, Grace got up on a platform to receive a ribbon. All the kids got one. The teacher told her to put her hands up high and say, "Ta- da!" She was thrilled when everyone clapped and wanted to get back up on the platform a second time just to receive some more applause. What a ham!Since then, she has been saying "ta-da" whenever she finishes something she is proud of - a somersault, a jump in the pool, putting trash in the garbage can, or some art work. Tonight she worked on a tracing page (notice she didn't trace much!). The objective is to use a line to connect a baby crab in one corner of the page to the Mommy crab in the opposite corner. It is obviously too difficult for her, but I put the page (torn from a book) into a plastic page protector and let her use a dry erase crayon so she can practice over and over again. She loves doing this even if the skill is way beyond her abilities right now. It is also good practice holding a pen and you can see from these photos she is doing great with her grasp. I didn't put the marker in her hand. She picked it up on her own. When Grace was done drawing all over this page on both sides, she exclaimed, "Ta-da!" - I suppose that is my signal to clap and tell her how great she did. How funny is that?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Okay, okay. I hear you.

You may not comment on the blog, but I know you are out there. If I don't post for several days I start getting e-mails and phone calls asking if everything is okay. We are fine. Really. It has just been busy going back to work and trying to manage everything again. Don't worry. We will be back in a routine soon. And, maybe then you can count on one or two posts each week. I have something planned for next weekend, so if all goes well you will see some cute pictures and maybe even a video. Until then, here are the few pictures that survived my editing from our visit to the Cleveland Metroparks zoo earlier this month.

The Cleveland Zoo is much bigger than Akron and I wanted to go up there because I felt like we were missing something by not visiting. They have more animals overall and more of the "exotic" animals like gorillas, giraffes, wolves, lots of monkeys, kangaroos, etc. What I didn't like is that it is so spread out that you had to walk pretty far between animal exhibits. That is not great when you have a toddler that demands non-stop action. She wasn't too patient on the paths leading from one animal habitat to the next. So, there was no way we could see the entire zoo. That part I anticipated so I did some research ahead of time and knew what I really wanted to see and we hit just those. But, for some reason, I really just wanted to enjoy the experience and despite carrying the big camera I didn't take many inspiring photos.

My favorites included these tortoise photos:and this one of Grace and Kyle in front of the giraffes.The trip was worth it just for the giraffes because before this day Grace had no idea what a giraffe was. Now she points them out in books and on television calling them "gaffe". Grace also loved the monkeys at this zoo. There were so many different kinds but what was most amazing was one who was right up by the glass. Its hand was on the window and Grace put hers up in the same place on her side of the glass. We looked together and talked about how their fingers looked so similar. Amazing.

My favorites were the cheetahs and the giraffes on this trip but I was in awe of the gorillas. It was crowded near their enclosure so I couldn't stay look at them for long and I certainly didn't get any worthwhile photos. But my friend, Aimee, took some amazing shots (on another day) that are worth looking at here.