Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pearly whites

Someone told me a long time ago that I should start taking Grace to the dentist.  So I did.  She has been going to this wonderful pediatric dentist since she was about two - twice a year.  At first, it was just about "counting teeth" and getting her used to someone having their hands in her mouth and it has evolved into a full examination including X-rays.  Grace was actually EXCITED about going to see Dr. Greg today and told everyone who would listen that she had a dentist appointment.
Dr. Greg's office is very unique.  It is on the top floor of a building (which doesn't mean much in these parts - we are talking the 4th floor - not a skyscraper!) and the office is like a big loft area with floor to ceiling windows.
You feel like you are in a fish bowl so the rest of the walls are painted with sealife murals so it seems like you are under water!
Grace likes brushing the big fish's teeth while she is waiting!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We made a catapult

Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chris chose an awesome birthday present for Grace.
They bought her a subscription to "Kiwi Crate" a craft/science box that comes to your house each month with some cool projects inside. The company boasts that their boxes are filled with "all the materials and inspiration" for fun, educational projects that center around a new theme each month.  I'd have to agree that, based on this first one, they have fulfilled their mission....they even provided us with kid-sized scissors and glue!
Grace's crate arrived on her birthday - May 23rd - but today was the first opportunity we had to open it and explore the contents.  When she saw the box Grace asked what was inside and as soon as she got her hands on it all the contents were spilled on the table and floor!  
But the directions included clear illustrations so it was easy for Grace to quickly sort the items for our one project.  This crate had a medieval theme with a catapult and a dress-up costume.  We chose to start with the catapult.  After lining up the materials she needed, Grace followed the illustrations to make the catapult.  Then, she experimented with flinging different items across the room!  We talked about how people used catapults to knock things down like houses, castles, and walls.  And, we looked at a YouTube video so she could see the damage a giant catapult could do.
Grace had a fantastic time making the project and sending pom-poms and a ping pong ball across the room.  I could see her thinking and experimenting with different angles and more than one object to see what would go higher or further.  What a great gift and a fantastic learning experience!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Five Favorites

Grace's 5th birthday seemed like a good time to "interview" her to find out and record some of her current favorites.  When I started this, I had no idea she was living in another dimension...or living a double life...or is just in a world of her own.
The conversation started out simple and straightforward.

What is your favorite color?
Red? Since when is it red?
Right now.

I could have stopped right there.  Maybe I should have.

What is your favorite food?
Stuffed shells and stuffing....but not together. 

What is your favorite game?
Super Mario.
Super Mario?  What do you know about Super Mario?
I see it on TV.  You go to

Oh really?  The kid is five and she knows about  ".com".

What is your favorite TV program?
iCarly?  You aren't even allowed to watch iCarly. What about a show you do watch?
Just iCarly. 

From bad to worse, you see?

Okay.  How about a snack?  What is your favorite snack?
That isn't a snack.
Yes it is.  I like those iCarly snacks you don't let me get at the store.  (Both true, by the way.)

Bad mom.  Seeing me struggle, Kyle jumped in with his own line of questioning.  

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A dentist.
(Kyle) Oh, you want to work on people's teeth?
Yuck.  No, I don't want to do that.  I'll be a doctor.
(Kyle) What kind of doctor?
I don't know, but not one like Dr. Astrino.
(Kyle) He helps kids.  You don't want to help kids?
Yeah, I can do that.  I'll be a doctor that helps kids. 
That sure is a noble goal.
What's missing in this retelling of our conversation is the little twinkle in Grace's eyes as she answered.  She is really developing a sense of humor and I sometimes am not sure if she is being serious and honest or if she is just playing with me.  You can tell from some of her answers that she was having fun here "crazying me around"!

Happy Birthday, Big Girl.  You are growing up so fast, but I know we have a lot of fun coming in the next 5, 10, 15....years!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Post party princess

I realized I didn't post a photo of Grace's cute Spiderman dress.  I bought it on and was thrilled to find it.  It is SO difficult to find superhero items for girls!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Caught in Spidey's web

In just three days Grace will be FIVE!  For her fantastic 5th birthday party she told me that she wanted a Pump It Up Spiderman theme.  I didn't even try to change her mind because, if you know Grace, she knows what she likes and she knows what she wants.  That will serve her well some day.
In case you don't know, Pump It Up is a party place where they have those huge inflatable slides, bouncy houses, and obstacle courses you often see at carnivals.  It was the perfect choice for an active little girl.  The Spiderman theme surprised me when she first said it since she never really watches Spiderman on TV and only saw the movie recently (after the party was planned) but I the children talk about and pretend to be superheros at school all the time.
So I made these invitations for her friends using an illustration from the internet.
Originally, Grace wanted everyone to come dressed in a superhero costume.  I figured that was too much of a burden on parents so we compromised and I made Spiderman capes for everyone.   I know he doesn't  wear a cape - it would get caught in his web, of course - but it worked for our purposes.  The kids seemed to like them and they served as a party favor for our guests.
The party was a lot of fun and Grace was SO excited that it was her special day.  We told her we were celebrating the day she was born and how happy we are that that she is growing up to be such a wonderful little girl.  
After running, jumping, and bouncing for 80 minutes in the "arena" the children entered this party room for pizza, cupcakes, and presents!
The birthday girl got to sit in this princess chair to open the wonderful gifts from her friends.  She got SO much!  More than any 5-year old needs.  So we are going to play with some things right away and put some others away to rediscover over the next few weeks. 
I know my big kid had a fantastic time at her party.  She thanked me and said she loves me...that is the best present I could have received today!  I was proud of her for being calm and gracious on a day the can be overwhelming for a 5-year old.  And, I love how she didn't want the party to end so we stayed to play outside with Dawson and Mayna for a little while after. 
It has been a real pleasure to watch our babies grow into little girls. I treasure each one of these beauties - and their super cool moms, too!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Get ready

The fun is coming....we are counting the days down to SUMMER!  I have never worked as hard as I have this school year and I am anxiously awaiting the long, lazy days of summer.
Grace and I made a "Summer Fun Jar" with ideas of things we want to do when I am done with work and am home for 5 weeks.  I am sure we already have more than 5 weeks of "FUN" in the jar so we won't be able to do everything, but I hope we accomplish a lot.  What's on our list?  Things like:
  • camping in a tent,
  • going to an outdoor concert,
  • visiting the big zoo, 
  • making a tie-dye T-shirt
  • taking Daisy to the dog park to swim,
  • swimming in a different pool (different from the pool we join every summer),
  • going to a baseball game,
  • reading stories under the stars, 
  • playing balloon baseball, 
  • discovering a new park, and
  • taking a class together to learn something new. 
My hope is that we get to invite friends to do a lot of these cool things with us!  If you are interested, give us a call!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I am a mother....

...because of this amazing little girl who makes every day full of fun and laughter.  She challenges me in ways I could never have imagined and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blue hair

Grace loves the blue hair clip she got yesterday as the "toy" in her Happy Meal.   She even chose her outfit today to coordinate with it.
This is the pose I got when I told
her to be a model....maybe in Egypt!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Piano Recital

Grace started taking music classed at the beginning of March.  Her class consists of 4 children who are almost 5 years old and together, they learn music appreciation, to read basic notes, and do some keyboarding.   After only two months, she preformed at a recital today with about 25 other students who range in age from 4+ to about 15 (freshman in high school).
The recital was held at Kent State Univeristy's Fashion Museum.  I had never been there before but it was a wonderful surprise when Grace and I visited yesterday.  Kyle and I thought it would be a good idea to take her over and see the auditorium where she would be performing.  That all worked out fine, but I was surprised to find out that it is one of the biggest fashion museums in the country with over 30,000 costumes and 10,000 decorative pieces.  Before she posed for this photo, telling me, "I am going to pose like in a magazine", Grace and I looked at some Colonial American dresses, some Halston gowns from the 1970s, and some unique pieces like a dress made from dryer sheets!
I'll admit it....I was nervous.  In case you didn't know, I like to be in control. But music class is something that Grace and Kyle do together, so I didn't have much of an idea about what is going on week to week or what the plan was for the recital today.  Kyle is not one for asking questions so when I questioned him, he didn't have the answers. I tried to "go with the flow" this afternoon - not an easy thing for me.  But, it all turned out great.  Lesson learned.  I CAN go along for the ride and relax a little.
We told Grace that all she had to do was try her best.  She didn't have to BE the best, just try.  And she did.  Miss Nancy told the audience that she was the newest student and today was her first performance.  She seemed a little embarrassed about it, but she did a good job with her solo, ringing the bells to Mary Had A Little Lamb, and singing a song called Rainbow with her group.
Before she played her piece, Grace introduced herself.
Hello.  My name is Grace.  I will be playing "Lizzy's Cat".
After the little kids played once alone, their teacher 
accompanied them for a second time through.  
We didn't know this so Grace bowed and left the stage.
Miss Nancy had to bring her back for the second part!
We were so proud of her.  Both Kyle and I agreed that we probably would not have been able to do this when we were four!