Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy Halloween/Merry Christmas

Grace started talking about Christmas about a month ago. She has had not time for Halloween. Didn't care to talk about it, about costumes, and didn't care to say trick or treat. She is all Christmas, all the time. She wants to listen to Christmas music all the time. And the mail man better watch out. She devours ANY magazine or catalog that has anything to do with Christmas. It doesn't matter if she is looking at monogrammed guest towels. She doesn't care as long as it's Christmas. This week she has started asking about a tree. So I got a Christmas tree costume. I really worried that she wouldn't keep it on because because it's bulky and she had to stick her face out a hole. I had to make her take it off. As you can see in the photo, she even rode Trigger in costume. We went to see some friends and she still didn't say trick or treat. She came out with "Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Referral Anniversary at the Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday was the third anniversary of Grace's referral. Last year we started a family tradition. We celebrate the day with a trip to the pumpkin patch. There is a great pumpkin patch near my house. They have lots of great places to take pictures and who wouldn't love running around the rows and rows of pumpkins?

Gracie's smiling with her referral picture. Is that a gorgeous smile or what?

She loved the ones that looked like they have warts. I think those are interesting too.

She ran and jumped in Pumpkinman's lap. Then she started going through his pockets.
She is such a nosy girl.

She was tired of having her picture taken.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Day with Friends

My sister Terri, Grace, and I traveled to see friends and their beautiful girls. We got to visit with Susan and Petunia and Justin, Kelly, Lucy, and Annie. All of the girls are from Que Son, Vietnam. Grace, Lucy, and Petunia were all roomies. We also got the added treat of visiting with Kelly's mother, sisters, and the two most adorable, curly headed, little boys. Despite the rainy and chilly weather today was a fantastic day. Kelly is an amazing photographer and took pictues of Petunia and Grace. I can't wait to see them.

Petunia had fun collecting leaves.

Grace standing still for a moment.

Lucy, Justin, Annie and Gracie found a butterfly on the ground.

Looking through my pictures I noticed that Grace was watching Annie in lots of them. She would be a good big sister.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ready to Go

Yesterday morning I was sitting in Gracie's bedroom floor trying to figure our what I wanted her to wear for her pictures next weekend. She was running around the room in her panties. I told her that we were going to see Justin, Kelly and the girls and that Kelly was going to take her picture. She heard nothing after Justin. She grabbed the dress I had laid across the end of the bed and threw it on and grabbed a flower get her hair out of her face. She already had on mismatched black shoes that I had been trying on her. She then ran to the door and said, "I want to go see Justin please." She looked so funny I grabbed my camera. Justin you should probably be prepared to get your groove on, I think she is expecting you to entertain her.

Since she looked so pitiful, I took a picture of her this morning before church. This dress is my favorite. I had good intentions of taking her down the street to the wildflower garden and getting taking her picture, barefoot in the flowers, in this dress. This will just have to suffice.
For some reason she thought it was hilarious that I was taking her picture before church. She giggled and giggled. I think it is a cute picture with Ellie lounging on the chair in the background.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I am so ashamed that it has been so long since my last post. I post pics and stuff to Facebook and forget to blog. Here is a little about what's been happening.

  • Grace weights 30 lbs and is 36 1/2 inches tall and is in excellent health.
  • She would eat rice for every meal.

  • People warn you about the terrible twos, but no one says anything about the threes. Age three came with a big dose of attitude. My mild mannered daughter now shows her temper and is at times unreasonable. Imagine that.

  • School is going well this semester. I absolutely love my classes. It blew me away when I realized that I would begin teacher at the same time Grace goes to Pre K!

    • Grace waiting for the Wiggles to come on stage. She was hilarious. For the first part of the show she sat their mesmerized. She could not believe that they were really there! The second part of the show she spent dancing and clapping. It was so hot that day, I thought we were going to melt.

      Grace and her cousin Brody play well together. They are so fun to watch. He adores her and follows her everywhere and he thinks everything she does is awesome. She spends a lot of time ignoring him.
      My mother got this card for her birthday six weeks ago. It plays the Chicken Dance and Grace loves to carry it around with her. I wonder what will happen when it quits playing?

      Monday, July 20, 2009

      Gracie Turns Three

      I can't believe that Grace is three years old. She is such a big girl now. It amazes me to watch her, I often have trouble remembering a baby!! Her birthday was on Friday and we had her party on Saturday. This year she was all about birthday. She started singing Happy Birthday to Me a couple of weeks before her birthday. And she always put great emphasis on the "me" when she sang. I tried spacing out her gifts. I gave her the first one in the morning. It turned out to be a favorite. It was a bobblehead UT football player that sings Rocky Top. It is particulary annoying but was a replacement for one she loved but it no longer played music after being dropped. After she opened it she played for a few minutes and came into the kitchen and said "I'd like another present please." I was so glad that she loved her piano! She is such a musical girl. It was hilarious how she tore the paper a little and when she saw the keys she began playing with the paper still on. Doesn't she look professional in the third photo?

      Saturday morning we had a play date with Reilly. The two girls always have so much fun together and Reilly is a real sweetheart. It is always nice for me to catch up with her mom too!

      Don't you love that face!?!

      She looks like a power walker!

      Here's Grace the night of her party.
      She loves her Gator but still wants to ride on the Mule with Pappy.

      Sunday, June 28, 2009

      Missing Child, Please Help

      I have hugged Grace so tight today. My 10 year old cousin Lindsey is missing. It is like she just vanished. They have had two different sets of hounds track her and they all lose her scent in the same spot. I heard from them a few minutes ago and they have found nothing.

      Lindsey's mom and I grew up together. I cannot imagine what Melissa is going through, not knowing where her daughter heart is breaking for her. They live in a very small town in Washington state. We are from a very small town and when we were in elementary school a girl at my school was kidnapped, raped and murdered. I know that must be on her mind. Please pray that Lindsey is found safe. Here's a link to the story. If you'd like to post it on your facebook or send it out to your friends I'd appreciate it. You never know where she could be spotted.

      Thursday, June 25, 2009

      First Day of School

      Gracie had her first day at daycare yesterday. She did a fantastic job. She is going to the daycare where my niece Kayla (Brody's mom) works and Kayla teaches the three year olds. Grace is in her classroom and I think that has made all the difference. No meltdowns like last time. The first time I tried daycare she went for two hours and was sent home. She is a very loud screamer. This happened three days in a row and then we were done with daycare for a while. I knew having Kayla there would make the difference. Her is a pic of her at breakfast yesterday.

      The only problem she had was a little fit when she didn't want to help clean up. This morning she got right up and said she was going to see the kids. My sister picked her up to take her to Kayla's when she went to get Brody. Grace said let's go Terri! It means alot knowing that she is having fun!

      Monday, June 22, 2009

      Puppy Love

      After Kelly shared Annie's love for kissing Bianca, I thought if would fess up and let everyone know about Grace's love for Ellie. My mother always grosses out about this and refuses to believe me when I tell her that, scientifically, Ellie's mouth is cleaner than Grace's. At least Grace doesn't eat the dog food anymore. I took this back in February.

      Thursday, June 18, 2009

      Quick Update

      It's been awhile so I will give a speedy version of what's been going on lately. But first here are some photos from Aunt Rachels's visit which was so fun. Aunt Rachel, her daughter Pat and son Dan were wonderful houseguests. We had a great visit and on Friday we had lots of family over for dinner. There were about forty people here including Grace's cousins Ellie and Tyler who are her age. They had so much fun. I thought we were going to have a confrontation over Trigger but the crisis was averted. Grace adored Dan because he would swing her around, sit on the porch with her and do pretty much whatever she asked.

      Grace and Dan

      Aunt Rachel and Pat

      Ellie, Tyler, and Grace

      • Working on potty training and she is doing a good job. Occasional accidents but she loves wearing panties.

      • With my classes being on line we have been hanging out together lots. She has become a real Momma's girl. I don't want her to get too dependent on having me right there with her ALL the time. However it has been so sweet. She loves to sit in my lap and rock. Every morning I get us something to drink, she will crawl in my lap with her blanket and we will rock. At bedtime she will crawl in my lap and we will put a blanket over us and snuggle. We watch The Sound of Music. How awesome is that? If I have my arm around her and move it, she will grab it and put it back around her.

      • I am thankful for these sweet times because I think three is going to be tough. In between morning and bed time she is not always so sweet. She is really testing me these days. She will be an absolute angel for my mother or sister. With me she is always trying to test the limits. This includes yelling at me when she doesn't like what I say, refusing to clean up her room, and running from me (this really irritates me). Some days I feel like all I do is correct her or put her in time out. I really try to make a big deal about the positive things so I don't feel like a warden.
      • On the upside we have had no more trouble with climbing. It took three days of spanking her bottom and putting her in time out to get that under control.
      • She has started chasing Ellie. She will walk up to Ellie and say "Run" then begin chasing her. She will just laugh. Ellie will always tire out first and duck under the couch.
      • She has three loves (not counting Trigger of course). They are lawn mowers, tractors and the Mule (like a gator but made by Kawasaki). She and her Pappy go everywhere on the Mule. She has a booster car seat on it so he can strap her in and it is so cute how you can just see her head sticking up. They have this crazy purple monkey hanging on it. They go ride and visit the neighbors. She loves to go see our next door neighbor Mr. Luke. He has is a farmer and has lots of tractors.
      Grace and Pappy on the Mule

      Tuesday, May 26, 2009

      A Busy Week

      The university has this new thing called a "Maymester." It runs May 12-29. That means I have five chapters and five quizzes to cover each week. I had the midterm last Friday and the final is this Friday. Also thrown in there are two research projects and two case studies. The really hard thing is that Grace is having terrible problems sleeping. If I am not in the bed with her she immediately wakes. My best study time is after she goes to bed and I have completely lost that. I think an A is out of the question, please pray I can keep my B.

      The fun news is that my Aunt Rachel will be here for a visit tomorrow! She is my 92 year old aunt from Chicago and I absolutely adore her. It is a quick trip, they will be leaving on Saturday. I'll be having 30 for dinner on Friday. It will be great to see people I haven't seen in a while. Grace has a couple of cousins her age so I think she'll have fun. I hope to have all my classwork done today so all I have left is to study for the final.

      Brody riding Trigger with Nanny's assistance.

      Look how big Brody has gotten!

      Gracie discovered her old walker when we got it out for Brody. All these baby toys seem so great to her!

      Grace loves cinnamon biscuits (cinnamon rolls).

      Monday, May 18, 2009

      All About Ellie

      I must start by telling you that Ellie is the biggest "chicken" you will ever find. I have always been more worried about Grace hurting Ellie that the other way around. Ellie is terribly afraid of thunderstorms and will just shake. Grace thinks it is hilarious to try and catch her shaking ears. Sometimes Grace will take hold of two of Ellie's legs just to watch her stand perfectly still. She never hurts her, but I have to watch them nonetheless. Ellie appears to feel a bit preyed upon.

      Grace and I went outside the other day. As usual, Ellie went with us to enjoy the day. I got one photo of Grace and all the rest were of Ellie. She finally found something she could dominate...a tiny frog. She played with this frog forever, before allowing it to escape. For those of you who may not know this, when a frog pees in a dog's mouth it will foam at the mouth. Little Ellie looked like a rabid dog. In defense of itself, the frog did this over and over. Ellie was not deterred. She would just stop and shake her head a few times. Then she'd start foaming again and start playing with the frog again. I think she was so happy to find something that she wasn't afraid of.

      This may sound cruel, but please know that the frog jumped away in the end. Very dazed I am sure. Even though most animals are bigger than she is, she is even scared of tiny puppies or kittens. I was just so happy for her that she had her moment.

      Ellie and her frog.

      "Rabid" Ellie

      Sunday, May 10, 2009

      I Love Mother's Day!!!

      Mother's Day is a very, very big deal in our family. For my entire life we have gone to visit Mother's family on that day. My Memaw passed away a few years ago, but my Aunt Florence carries on the tradition. It is the one occasion when everyone does their best to be there and we always have lots of extra friends join us. We even visited with my cousin Paul and his family, who live in Brazil, via Skype.

      My desire to be a mother was always magnified on this day. The year I was waiting for a referral was particularly melancholy. Now it is such an awesome thing to be there with my Mother and daughter. It was a great days as always.

      Grace with her cousin Claire. We are so proud of Claire. She just lead her team to victory in the Arkansas high school softball championship. She is a freshman and a pitcher who was chosen MVP!!

      Three mothers I admire so very much. My mother, my Aunt Florence and their cousin Eda Claire

      Wednesday, May 06, 2009

      Going Fishing

      Well I figured I should be proactive about my or cut bait. Don't you love those Southern euphemisms! I have been terrible about blogging lately and I am going to try very hard to do better. I have been keeping this blog for Grace since the wait for referral and it would be too sad to abandon it now. Therefore I am going to do better about documenting things in Grace's "online baby book." On to news on the climbing front.

      Monday was simply awful. I walked in her room and she was kneeling on top of the chest of drawers. I know she had been there before, but I was not prepared for the sight of her in such a precarious position. I grabbed her swatted her on the diaper and put her in time out. I immediately put the chest in the bathroom. After I calmed down I realized that she had to LEARN not to climb and just removing things wasn't a solution. So I moved it back into the room.

      Tuesday morning she was playing in her room, clanging pots and pans in her kitchen. When the noise ceases I go to investigate and find her sitting on her stove. She instantly knows she is in trouble for climbing. Now when I spank Grace it hurts me more than it does her...literally. About 90% of the time I miss her bottom and pop myself on the hand that is attempting to hold her still.

      As I walked toward her she started to whine and shake. She looked afraid! It was all I could do not to burst into tears and stop dead in my tracks. Thankfully my sister had just had a long talk with me about being strong. I have to be firm and consistent because her safety depends on it. So I swatted her diaper and put her in time out. The rest of Tuesday and all of today went without incident! I know this is probably not the end of the climbing but I am very thankful for a good day! I am just going to try and be as consistent as I can and hopefully she will keep her feet on the ground. As far as the fearful look mother told me to just wait until we are in public shopping or something and she gives that fearful look!

      I will try to do better about taking pictures too. I got a semi-hard case for my camera for my birthday and it makes it super easy to grab and go. I really love it.

      This sad photo is the only picture I took today. Her legs look so long (she is 36 1/2 inches)! Her hair looks long too. I haven't cut it in a while, just shaped up a few times.

      Sunday, May 03, 2009

      Happy Birthday to Me!!!

      Today I turned 39 for the third time. Today I am feeling all 39 + 2 years. Grace has given me a series of near heart attacks this weekend. Her climbing has been out of control!

      There are multiple contributing factors to this behavior. She has been sick for a week. First an ear infection that was treated by a HUGE shot of Rocephin. It literally took two nurses and me to hold her still on the table for the shot. Then she developed a snotty nose. I taught all week and when she feels bad she tends to whine for me, even when she is with Nanny. Thankfully her last molar came through a week earlier. That would have been too much. For the record- the perpetual drooler finally quite drooling when the last tooth broke through!

      Another problem has been the continual rain! I feel like I need to get my ark ready. She hasn't been able to play outside and climb on the gym set in a very long time.

      OK that's it for the excuses, back to recent events. Yesterday morning I am fixing Grace breakfast. She was busy looking at books in her room. I had been in the kitchen for just a few minutes and I hear my dad at the front door. I go to the door and he asks me if I know where Grace is and I said I thought she was in her room. He moves aside and there is Grace on the porch in her panties and t-shirt. I live behind my parents and Mother just happened to be looking out the window and saw Grace and Ellie leave the house. Daddy then ran to the rescue. Grace had climbed on a chair and opened up the one door I didn't think she could open.

      The climbing has been horrific. She has spent so much time in time out. I have spanked her (controversial I know, however at our house dangerous activity constitutes a spanking), nothing has deterred her from her activities. I have found her climbing her kitchen and climbing on top of the dresser. But I did not witness the worst transgression. There are two lanterns I bought in Hoi An hanging above her chest of drawers (see the picture for height). I found one of the lanterns in the floor. When I looked I could see where she climbed on top of the kitchen and crossed to the chest displacing the objects on top of it. I wanted to throw up when I saw this.

      Maybe I should replace the hardwood with a bouncy floor like they have at gymnastics! I am praying for good weather so we can get outside this week!

      She loves to take the sink out of the kitchen and climb in.

      Is that check high or what? Just thinking about it makes me feel sick.

      Pappy had a birthday recently and here are Grace and Pappy opening presents. She had a problem pottying with her dress, so she is wearing her nightgown.