Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

We're ready to race into the New Year and more fun adventures to come!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Getting the wiggles out

Today, we met our friends Mayna and Dawson to play at the largest indoor playground in northeast Ohio. At "Amazone"- a 3-story, jungle-themed playhouse - you can leap across the snake pit and swing over the alligator swamp, use the zip line to glide above open waters, rush down waterfall slides, cross the rickety bridge, and make your way safely to the tree house in the center of it all! What a great way to spend a winter afternoon when we all need to get the "wiggles" out and can't run around outside. Within minutes of entering the play area, Grace and Mayna were off running, climbing, and sliding. I really think that having friends with her helped Grace jump right into the fun. If she had not been with peers, I bet she would have held back to watch a little while. This is one of the reasons why I am always trying to create opportunities for her to be around kids of her own age. Dawson took a little longer to warm up but once she did, she had a great time. I was thrilled that she wanted me to explore the jungle gym with her and asked me to ride down the waterfall slides with her twice!
All that fun and only one small melt-down from Grace!Can you believe this was over candy?
And, I even offered to take her to the
snack bar to buy something else!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve morning

Just a few photos we took by Nana's tree before we left for the airport on December 24th. Sometimes Grace can be the most reluctant model. When she decides she doesn't want to pose it takes a lot of coaxing, prodding, begging, bribery, and sometimes time out to convince her to look at the camera!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Little drummer girl

Christmas morning went much better than last year. Under the tree, Santa (with help from Mommy, Daddy, Nana and Ba, and Kyle's parents) were: a drum set, a doll salon chair, a purple hula hoop, pirate and alligator puppets, a new bookshelf for Grace's room, helicopters and jet airplanes, Zingo, a Hot Wheels race track, roller skates, and about 10 books. We actually had more presents, but at the last minute I decided to hold some back because Grace had already received SO many cool presents from our friends and our family in Florida. During the day today, Grace spent a lot of time "playing" her drums. Of all the instruments she has she seems to play the drums the best. She is getting the hang of actually trying to make a tune rather than just bang as hard as she can!

Grace stayed in her pajamas until after nap time today!
Even though Grace seems to like her drums a lot, when I asked her what her favorite present was she told me the doll "hair cut chair". Go figure....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A break from the winter

Officially, the winter hadn't even started when we left Ohio on December 19th to head South for an early Christmas vacation with my parents. But, when the first 3 weeks of winter did this to a Lake Erie lighthouse near Cleveland (yes, it is completely covered in ice!).......the date on the calendar didn't matter. It was time to get out of Dodge!

We left temperatures in the teens behind and a few hours later arrived in sunny Florida to mid-70 degree temperatures and sunshine. Grace declared (after what was her 17th flight) that it was "amazing" saying, "Mommy, we go up and then we are here. It is amazing." She also wanted to do a few things - go to the beach, swim in the pool, and ride a boat. Well, we accomplished two out of the three and really tried for the third one.Grace has become a real beach bunny playing in the sand, finding seashells that Nana "planted" for her to discover, and running in and out of the waves. The water was warm enough to swim but the air was cool when we got out.In the pool, Grace found her courage after only a few minutes in the water and demanded that I remove her water wings so she could swim under water. (I didn't let her take them off until after I was done taking photos and was able to get in the pool with her.) I think Ba was holding his breath the entire time, but he loved watching how much her swimming had developed since last winter.As for the boat....we got really close to some huge yachts when we went looking for a water taxi to take us out to a little island off West Palm Beach. Unfortunately, the water taxi only runs on the weekends. That is really hard to explain to a 3-year old who is surrounded by tons of big boats. She just wanted to get on one and go....don't we all!

Friday, December 17, 2010

3 years

Three years ago on December 17, 2007 I was waiting for Grace to come home. We had a snow day, I was off from work, and I started this blog not knowing how long I would keep it up. Here we are three years later, and I am so glad I have chronicled the events in our lives since that day. I love that I have a written and photographic record of so many things that have happened. Someday, Grace will be able to read it and hopefully recognize how much I love her....and have loved her from the very first moment I saw her. If you want to see that first post, click here.Today's photos are from the holiday program at Grace's school. It was supposed to begin at 10:30 so I arrived at 10:08, thinking that would be plenty of time to get a good seat. Armed with my Flip video recorder and my Canon DSLR, I intended to get video footage of the songs and snapshots for this blog. Boy, was I wrong! I didn't count on about 40 other obsessive parents beating me there and getting all the front rows of chairs to do the same thing I had planned. Eventually, there were about 80 adults and at least as many kids squeezed into one kindergarten classroom.I will say this...even though I don't have video to show it, Grace's teachers did a great job of making blue holiday sweatshirts for their students and teaching them 5 songs! Grace knew all the words but she was more interested in walking around among her classmates and the audience than she was in standing up front to perform! She did like taking a bow at the end, though!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cabin Fever

Snow almost every day in December, really cold temperatures, two snow days at work, and now Grace is sick so we are home again...we are all getting tired of being in the house. Even Chris Popinkins is trying to get out! Good thing we are going to Florida next week. We can use a break from this crazy winter we are having!

Grace woke up with a cold and red, itchy eyes. We went to the doctor and she has ear infections which are making her eyes pink. The nurse told us that Grace is 39 1/4 inches tall and she weighs 33.3 lbs (50th percentile). Being home with her was funny today. She was full of one-liners that made me laugh, like:
  • "My eyes are not working." (When she woke up and they were crusted closed.)
  • "No, my eyes are not pink, they are brown."
  • "I hear something in my ears. Like bugs"
  • "I'm not sucking my thumb. My teeth are itching."
  • Overheard when Grace was talking on her cell phone (an old pink Razor), "Daddy, we have an emergency. Daisy is not being fair to me and my kitchen is not working. Okay. Bye."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow day

I am just like the kids....I love snow days. But, usually, when we have a snow day the roads clear up enough by the early afternoon so I can go out, run errands, and feel like I made good use of the time off from work. Not so today. The weather has been so bad that the sheriff in our county has asked that no one drive unless you absolutely have to. There have been wind chills below zero, lots of wind causing the snow to blow and form big drifts, and under all the snow is a slick layer of ice from the rain we had yesterday! So, we all stayed home, played with every toy in the house (including two bicycles!), took naps, and started to go stir crazy with cabin fever at about 5:00. We bundled up and went outside to shovel (Kyle), play (Grace), and take pictures (guess who!).

We started on the deck where Kyle cleared the snow
so Daisy can go out and look at the geese.
Where are Grace's eyes?Here they are!She needed a scarf (and some Vaseline) to cover her face.When we got out front, Grace "belly flopped" into the snow...Over.......and over!All that playing in the cold gives you a runny nose!The abominable snowgirl!We had to change scarves...the first one got so wet!Okay, it is time for hot chocolate...Let's go inside!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our house

A cold, gray Sunday afternoon was a perfect time to make our gingerbread house. It was a messy, but fun project. The only problem was that Grace ate more icing and candy than she put on the house!
The finished product!