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 blog...fish 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 goes...my 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.