Monday, March 28, 2011

I just couldn't take it any more

Lately, I have felt like I am constantly fussing with Grace's hair. Although I thought it would be a good idea to grow it long (and SHE says she wants it as long as Rapunzel's hair in the movie Tangled), I just couldn't take it any more. It always seemed messy to me. So, we went for a haircut yesterday afternoon. Luckily, the kids' place we go to is open on Sunday and you don't need an appointment. I love the cut she got and Grace seems pretty happy with it, too!But....if you are wondering....we didn't touch her bangs. I am still determined to let them grow so her hair is all one length, although I hear that could take about a year!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The lion is winning

Do you remember that old saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb"? Well, not around here! Grace's preschool class learned about "lion and lamb days" at the beginning of the month and they have been charting the days to see if the lion or the lamb will win. Each day, she tells me if it is a "lion day" or a "lamb day".We took a little mini spring (?) vacation this weekend. Grace reminded me that it was a lion day when we were at the Columbus Zoo, but we had a lot of fun even though it was VERY cold for the end of March! We tried to see different animals from the ones that are at our local zoo - like moose, arctic foxes, and wolves. I think since we walked through the North America part of the zoo we got lucky that the animals preferred cooler weather and were more active. My favorite were the brown bears. I couldn't believe how huge they were. The polar bears seemed to be performing for people. Their tank had a section where you could go below them and see them swimming and frolicking from a different perspective.This display shows that adult polar bears are the biggest bears, but at this zoo, they must have been young, since the brown bears were much bigger! Grace was surprised that she was almost as big as a bear....well, the Sun bear, at least!Another unique animal to this zoo was the manatees. They had a really nice, bright enclosure that made you feel like you were in Florida - a welcome relief from the cold air outside. The three manatees that were here were all injured by boats in Florida so they were brought to this zoo. Grace wasn't too interested in them, though. She preferred to pretend she was driving the boat through the Everglades.When we asked Grace what her favorite part of the zoo was, she said petting the goats. She loved the petting zoo area because the animals were the perfect size for her and she was able to comb and brush them. Grace had a little cold and I was worried about being outside for so long, but you can see how happy she was from these photos! I, on the other hand, was not too thrilled when a big goat with a beard came and put his head on my shoulder when I was bent down taking pictures! My yelp certainly made some other visitors laugh!Even though we were only away for one night, we packed a lot into the two days including swimming in the pool (three times!), going out to eat multiple times, and attending a professional soccer game on Saturday. To Grace, it was a "vacation" and she called the hotel our "vacation house". Funny kid!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whipped cream and "jelly"

Grace has discovered whipped cream. Mostly, Grace just wants to eat her whipped cream straight, because she is a HUGE fan of condiments.....she eats butter right out of the tub, ketchup out of the container, sips salad dressing from a little cup, licks honey mustard sauce off her fingers, and devours peanut butter on a spoon (if we let her!). We have to coax her to spread the condiments and toppings ON something! Tonight, Grace reluctantly agreed to eat her whipped cream with "Jelly" - which is Jell-O to the rest of the world.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fast and loud

When we were driving in the car this past weekend, Grace declared, "I like fast and loud!" We questioned her about this statement and it turns out she likes her cars fast and her music loud....what a wild child!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A breath of fresh air

I think we all have cabin fever. It is March 12th and there is snow on the ground! But, today we got some bright sunshine. Even if it is chilly outside, the sun makes a HUGE difference.
Throwing snowballs into the lake.
Kyle cleaned the snow off the back deck and we all went outside for some sunshine, fresh air and BUBBLES!
We did the same thing last year around this time when we had a similar break in the winter weather.

Blowing bubbles in March 2010Blowing bubbles in March 2011Spring can't be far away, can it?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The family that plays together...

On Sunday, we went to the Children's Museum to spend a fun afternoon out of the cold and snow. Grace and I had been there once before in Spring 2008 when she first came home and I was off from work for 10 weeks on "maternity" leave. So, we were due for a trip back. Since it was a snowy Sunday, I was pleasantly surprised that the museum wasn't crowded and we didn't have to wait to experience any of the exhibits.

I loved the grocery store where kids used miniature shopping carts to get all the items on their list or could pretend to be the check-out clerk who scanned the groceries and worked the cash register. Grace had fun doing both!

The "Splish Splash" exhibit is supposed to teach about the water cycle, but let's be honest, kids just love to play in water. They have raincoats to help stay somewhat dry during water play. Grace seemed to like collecting all the water animals that were in the huge sink. At one point she had a dolphin, a sting ray, a sea lion, a crab, and a whale in her possession!
The last time we were here 3 years ago, Grace was too small to really enjoy all the museum had to offer. She was able to stand and hold on but she certainly could not climb this 2-story structure. As she was climbing, Kyle and I were trying to decide what it was. I voted for raindrops falling from the clouds and he thought it might be fish caught in a net. Turns out, it is the water cycle, so my guess was closer to the designer's intention. Sorry, Kyle.

Probably the best part of the museum was "Sands of Egypt" which is a temporary exhibit. They brought in 70 tons of sand, pyramids, and a Sphynx to create an image of Egypt. Grace loved taking off her socks and boots and rolling up her pants to play in the sand and dig for treasure!

Unfortunately, she didn't find any or else we would be out of here and off to find our own REAL sandy beach!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Family Day

I can't believe it has been three years since March 6, 2008 - the day Grace was put in my arms and we started our "forever family". I look back at the pictures from that day and it feels like a lifetime ago. It is really hard to remember my life without her in it.

Oh, look at my little baby! She was only 9 1/2 months old, not walking or crawling yet, with a perpetual runny nose and little bumps on her cheeks (her foster mother said were mosquito bites from their recent trip to the beach). Even then, she was bright-eyed, observant, and fascinated with music. It was amazing to watch her pay attention to every sound and new sight like she was storing the information in her brain (which, I guess, she probably was!). Grace could sit up on her own and she did her best to roll around and reach for what she wanted. She also had chubby cheeks and a couple of little teeth on the bottom of her mouth that you could see when she smiled!

Today, this little girl is just as amazing.

There is a book called If I Could Keep You Little that makes me think about how fast time is flying. In some ways, I want Grace to stay my little baby, but then I would miss seeing all the wonderful things she is discovering, everything she is learning, and the way she is growing into a fabulous human being.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A rainy-ISH Saturday morning

On this rainy-ish morning we met Dawson and Kellie for our second art class.Today, Miss Nancy read a story called Ish by Peter A. Reynolds before they started their art project.
In this book about creativity and the artistic process, the main character, Ramon, loves to draw - anytime, anywhere - until his older brother laughs at his work and Ramon loses confidence. Dejected, Ramon crumples up his art and is about to quit when his younger sister shows him that she has kept all his crumpled efforts. When he declares that the picture of the vase doesn't look like the real thing, she says that it looks "vase-ISH." The child understands that he doesn't have to draw exact replicas and begins to produce paintings that look "tree-ish," "afternoon-ish," and "silly-ish."

Miss Nancy talked to Grace and Dawson as she modeled the process and they all drew their version of a vase with flowers using pencils and black markers. Later, they added watercolors to make their drawings more vibrant.
Dawson really got the idea.Grace's work was a little more "out of the box".
I think she had a lot of fun mixing
her colors to see what would happen!
I tried to let Grace create from the heart so her work was truly all her own. After looking at her work, I wasn't sure she understood the idea, but later when we were in the car I asked her about art class and she easily explained the objective of the lesson. So, I guess what she created really was what she wanted!