Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another Disney photo

This one is from 1972. When I showed it to Grace, she thought the little girl was her.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Udderly adorable

Can you guess where Grace was going in this lovely outfit? To the zoo!

Notice the attitude.
Grace was very impatient with me because
I wanted a photo before we left the house.


Kellie and I can't even begin to count the number of times we have been to the zoo since our girls came home.
This year, they changed the petting zoo area, added a bigger train, and you can try your hand at milking a cow! It isn't a real cow (thank goodness!) and you only "milk" water from the udders, but it was a big hit with the kids!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Getting bigger

We have been having some pretty severe storms here. It has been the wettest April and May on record, but more than the rain, the storms have been bringing black skies in the middle of the day, strong winds, hail, and tornadoes that have gotten scary at times. Last night, I was at a work event and we needed to shelter all the guests in a lower level room without windows due to reports of a funnel cloud heading in our direction. I was scared. There is something about the unpredictability of tornadoes that makes me nervous like no other type of storm.

When I got home, Grace was in bed, but not asleep. So I went in to talk to her for a little while. She said that she was scared of the thunder and lightening because it was noisy. Totally understandable, but of course I reassured her that she was safe and there was nothing to be afraid of. I didn't believe it myself, so I am not sure I was very convincing.

The conversation turned to her doctor's appointment today and how the doctor was going to check her and make sure she was growing and that everything on her body was working fine. She told me that since she is getting bigger now, she probably would be able to:
  • ride the school bus,
  • take a shower by herself, and
  • fly on an airplane to see Nana and Ba without me.
Well, Big Girl, maybe someday....but not yet!
The doctor confirmed to day that she is 41 inches tall (75th percentile) and 36 pounds (also the 75th percentile).  At 42 inches you can ride the "big kid slides) at our pool so maybe this will be the summer she gets to do that. 

Four years old is a lot of fun....Grace has so much to say and a lot of it just cracks me up. I wish she could stay this age forever. She is just perfect.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Goodbye 3

Hello 4!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are you curious?

When trying to decide on a birthday party theme for Grace this year, I was really stumped. Not because I couldn't think of anything....but because I had so many different ideas. We tossed around the idea of an "almost" camping party in Kyle's backyard complete with tents, camp songs, and a glow-in-the-dark bug hunt; a pink girl pirate party since skulls and crossbones are so popular right now; a cupcake party; an "inflatable insanity" party at one of those places with the blow up slides and obstacle courses; and even a Spiderman party where the kids could try out a rock-climbing wall. (All good ideas that I might use in the future!) But, after a lot of deliberation and even some in-depth planning for some of those topics, I decided to use this book as the inspiration for Grace's 4th birthday celebration - a make your own pizza party!After considering a few different venues in our area including the possibility of using our house for the party, we decided to hold it at a local pizza place. Hey, I figured they were the experts at making and baking pizza AND they have big ovens so why try to do it all myself? I asked them for personal pizza boxes and used these as the invitations. Luckily, we were able to hand deliver them to many of our guests - just like a pizza delivery!The decorations were centered on the colors in the book - bright yellow, white, red, and blue - with balloon bouquets held in place with bunches of bananas, yellow table cloths, and some cute Curious George napkins. I even found edible monkeys online as the toppers for the cupcakes!As the kids arrived at the party they used crayons to decorate their own personal chef hats. I outlined their names a few days before the party so they would be able to find their seat at the table and add fun colors right away.I had hoped they would be able to roll their pizza dough but this pizza place didn't allow that. Instead they all got personal-size pizza circles which they covered in sauce, cheese, and the toppings of their choice. Most just wanted cheese while Dawson and Ryan asked for black olives and Grace wanted pepperoni. It was a treat to go into the kitchen and watch their pizzas going into the huge ovens!They also allowed the kids to go into the walk-in freezer and look at the assembly line where all the pizza toppings were stored. The personalized chef hats went home with each guest as party favors along with a Curious George book, stickers, and some Curious George fruit candies. All the party favors we put into small red, yellow, or blue shopping bags.While the pizza cooked we read Curious George and the Pizza Party and then a balloon entertainer join the party. He made every child his or her own animal in whatever colors they wanted. We had a monkey, two dragons, a ladybug, a bear, and a dog. The kids liked looking at the hundreds of balloons stored in his bag. It was a tightly-packed rainbow of color!After that we sang "Happy Birthday", Grace blew out her "4" candle, and everyone ate the cupcakes. Grace wore a really pretty yellow dress from Aunt Suze to go along with the color theme. She looked girly and festive. And, whenI found this adorable bow on Etsy....you know I couldn't pass it up!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just 4

If you ask Grace how old she is she will tell you, "just four". That is because she had been saying "almost four" for months, and with her birthday 2 days away I told her she can't say "almost" anymore. She IS four!
Tough guy getting ready to play.

These are soccer pictures from this morning. Overall, the experience is much better than last May/June when she was "just three" and stood around holding Kyle's leg the entire time. (She played once in all the weeks we went.) But, I don't think we have a soccer player. She doesn't want to run fast and kick the ball. We see a lot of standing around and watching, standing around and picking dandelions, standing around and staring into space. Then when the coach calls her name and wakes her up from her daydreams, she runs a little....at the back of the pack. Oh, and then, she comes over to the sidelines for a drink of water.I'll admit, we haven't practiced with her. At lunch we asked Grace if she wants to go to the park and practice running and kicking. Maybe we will do that one evening this week before Grace goes back to soccer next Saturday.

Before soccer practice/game so
I guess it is okay to hold the ball!
Do you see how long the grass is?
We have had a lot of rain this spring.
I little dark shadow on Grace's face, but
it is the only one I have of her kicking the ball.
Mostly I have photos of her standing on the field,standing listening to the coach,getting a drink and some sidelines
coaching from the expert,
and getting another drink.But then, there was this glimmer of hope.
At least she was in there near the ball. I think it was because we promised her ice cream!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chef Mickey

Grace told her teacher at school that Mickey and his friends cooked dinner for her!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pirates and Pals

On Saturday evening, we met tons of Disney characters at two "meet and greet" events. First, we went to dinner at Chef Mickey's where....

Chef Minnie Mouse,Chef Donald Duck,Chef Pluto,Chef Goofy, andChef Mickey
...stopped by our table to say hello and wish Grace a happy birthday. It was crazy, high energy, chaotic fun for all of us!

Then, we donned our pirate bandannas and eye patches to meet Captain Hook and Mr. Smead before getting on a boat and heading into the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Peeking to see if the pirates were ready to come out.
From the boat we watched the electric water parade and the fireworks show over Cinderella's castle at Magic Kingdom. I loved how the castle changed color based on the story and music. Grace said she didn't like it when the witch came and tried to spoil everyone's wishes.The pirate, Patch, who was our host for the evening was hysterical! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. And, then, when we got off the boat at 10:30 Peter Pan was waiting for us on the dock! What a surprise!