Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Look Who's 3!

At three Grace is such a joy to be around. She is loving and snuggly. She's funny. She loves gymnastics and school. She can do a mean tootsie roll dance. She speaks pretty clearly - I can almost always understand her. She likes to dress up (see photo). She loves to read books and can recite the book "Pinkalicious" while showing us the pictures. She's very talkative and drives her Dad crazy; but I love her chatter. She makes up songs about anything. She really likes to sing Jingle Bells. She got lots of great presents for her birthday but her favorite, by far, was the Tootsie Pop my grandma included with her card! And last night she sat next to me and said, out of the blue, "Mom, I love you very much." How can you possibly top that?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Photo Shoot
(Actually this photo was taken in October)
I think this may be Grace's last photo shoot for a while. She was very wiggly during this photo shoot. Just when the photographer would get her situated and go behind the camera she'd wiggle and come all undone!

I read an article in Family Circle Magazine last night about how fast little girls are growing up and how important it is to stress talent over looks. Of course that's logical, but there are little things that I had never thought about. Like the unrealistic beauty and fairy tales of the disney princesses. I get all excited about Grace when she wants to play dress up - but is that really something to encourage? I'm not trying to go all radical on the idea, but it did make me think. It also talked about how sports are so great for girls because it helps them focus on what their bodies can do vs. what their bodies look like. Just food for thought. I know I'll be a lot more selective about the kind of TV shows that Grace watches, especially as she gets older. Disney and Family channel do not always mean appropriate for any age. As a matter of fact, "Family" channel is VERY misleading.

OK - enough of my public service announcement. Just watching out for my girl!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When I get bigger...
Grace mentions "when I get bigger" at least three times every day. Lately I've been finishing the sentence with "you can clean up the house" and she plays right along..."when I get bigger, I can clean the house". I'm really looking forward to that day. I'm not, however, looking forward to her growing up quite so fast. Where has the time gone? She's almost three. In this picture she looks five and ready to "go on the school bus and the choo choo", as she puts it.

Lately everything is her "favorite". Last night we ate McDonald's and she had orange Hi-C for the first time. She said "Mom, this is my favorite!" A few days ago we went for a walk outside and she said "Mom, being outside is my favorite." And last Saturday when we finished gymnastics she said "Mom, gymnastics is my favorite." I'm so glad I'm hitting on all her "favorite" things!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

2 Years Have Flown By
Two years ago on October 30, an ll-month-old girl in China started out on an adventure. Her foster mom said goodbye to her with a tear in her eye and a certain ache in her heart. The little girl understood goodbye, but she didn't understand forever. She rode in a car for the very first time and it was a little scary. A nanny who looked a lot like her foster mother carried her on her lap and gave her a bottle as they rode. They passed by trees, fields, water buffalo and people working outside. Soon they arrived in a city with many tall buildings and more people than the little girl had ever seen. She had dozed off and she looked around, desparate to see something familiar. The little girl was dressed in thick layers and she was hot. Her face was red and her hair was wet from sweat. Her nanny carried her into a one of the tall buildings and sat down with her on a couch. She took out a comb and combed her hair into a pretty ponytail on top of her head. It helped. The little girl felt a little cooler. She looked around and noticed some people looking at her. They quickly disappeared behind two doors that closed together in the middle. She noticed tiny white lights but soon felt tired again and dozed off. When she woke up she was in a different room. Some of her friends, who had traveled with her, were gone and she watched as another one left the room in her own nanny's arms. Before she knew it, the little girl was being carried into another room. She heard someone call her name and watched as two people walked straight toward her. A strange woman held out her arms, said something to her nanny and took her from her nanny's arms. The little girl cried. This woman looked different. She had never seen someone who looked like her. She was used to women with black hair and the same dark-colored almond-shaped eyes as her own. This woman had lighter hair and her eyes were light colored, too. A man was with her. He had funny looking hair on his face and he was much larger than any man she had ever seen. She wanted to go back to her foster mom. She didn't know how long this was going to last and she didn't like it. The strangers took her to a new room where they quickly took off some of the warm layers that were making her sweat. She was glad for that. She was so hot and sweaty from crying and wearing such warm clothes. The strangers put her on a big bed and gave her some toys. They talked to her and kept saying words that sounded like Grace, Mom and Dad. Soon, they even coaxed a smile out of her. And that was just the beginning of this great adventure that started two years ago on October 30, in Wuhan, China.

We celebrated Grace's 2nd gotcha day with a Chinese dinner, a puzzle we brought back from China and a new charm for her gotcha bracelet. It was a fun evening!

October 30, 2006

October 30, 2008

Typical photo with our eyes closed...

On October 31, 2008, Cinderella appeared at our house for some trick-or-treating...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Arguing Phase
Grace's new thing is to argue with absolutely everything we say whether it warrants an argument or not. If I say "It's sunny today", she says "no it's not". If I say "we're having hamburgers for dinner", she says "no we aren't". If her Dad says "Bear's outside", she says "no he's not". Why? You tell me. It's driving her Dad crazy!! It just makes me laugh.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A visit to Rombach's Pumpkin Patch with Grandma, Aunt Amy and cousin Lucy.

It was the first year Grace would ride the pony and she loved it.

Grace's First Gymnastics Class - she loved the trapeze and falling into the foam block pit.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Florida 7/30-8/4
Tiffany, Grace and I traveled to Ft. Myers, FL with my family while Steve traveled to Sturgis, SD with his brother, cousin and a friend. We had a great time but missed Daddy! Steve had a great time, too. And I think he missed us! The best part of Florida was watching Grace with her cousins. They got along so well and have so much fun together.

Beach Babe

Beach Bums

The Three Amigos

Avary - Mr. Hollywood

Sleepy Girl

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A little preview from Florida...
My Dad caught a lizard and Grace and Avary thought it was pretty cool. They said the lizard tried to bite their fingers. The lizard was pretty tiny. I don't think it could do much damage! More photos to come...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Amazed & Delighted
That's how I feel every day when my little sunshine sleepily walks into our bedroom and wakes me up. Usually I hear her come in and lay on the floor. This morning I saw her laying at the top of the stairs with the dog. She just lays quietly, sometimes talking to her self. Sometimes flipping the handles on my dresser drawer. A not-so-subtle wake-up call if you will. She's a morning girl. She's happy to see us. And if Dad's already gone she asks "where's my Dad?" And if Dad is home she usally sticks to me like glue and doesn't want him bothering her. She's a little fickle that way. She loves her Daddy, but likes to play hard to get. It's frustrating for him and sometimes he gives up. Some mornings it's a battle to get her moving, even though she is a morning person. Everything has to be done in her own time. Who is this independent, stubborn girl who, only 6 months ago, would do whatever I said without blinking an eye? Amazed and delighted at the little girl that is emerging right in front of my eyes. Oh, and did I mention frustrated? Sometimes.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Playing Catch-Up
The summer is zooming by and we've been busy. Just thought I'd post some photos of what's been going on lately...

Grace got a new clubhouse and we play on it every night after work.

Grace and her nephew Julius on 4th of July

Miss Hollywood in the pool

Baby cousin Lucy came for a visit.

Dog pile in the clubhouse

Grace visited with Lauren from California

Me and my sister with our girls
Reunion 2008

We had a great weekend getting together with three other families that traveled to China with us. We went to Grant's Farm and had a BBQ at our house. We spent about 12 hours together and had so much fun. I hope more of you can make it next year! Lori -these pictures are for you. We missed you and your family!

Wren and Jason at Grant's Farm

Grace & Wren feeding the goats

The Girls (Abby, Wren, Kaitlyn & Grace)

Bear and the Girls (at the end of the night Bear was a prop for pictures. He was so patient and ate up the attention from all the girls!)

Monday, July 07, 2008

There's a new cousin in town...

...and doesn't she have the cutest swimsuit? She's Grace's cousin Lucy. Daughter of my sister and brother-in-law. Actually she's over in the Kansas City area, but we're so glad to have her in our family. She is a sweet baby. We've been waiting for her for a long time! Grace likes her as long as I don't hold her. She's a little jealous when I'm sharing my attention. I can't imagine why! We can't wait to see her again. She's almost 2 months and she's growing fast.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Mom, I got a boo-boo. I need a rubber band-aid."

She said as she played with the hangnail on her thumb. LOL

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Like Meatballs
Yesterday, as we were eating oreos and milk, Grace said "I like meatballs." I thought it was so funny because it came from totally out of the blue. We didn't have meatballs for dinner. We hadn't talked about meatballs. In fact I can't remember the last time we had meatballs. Where she comes up with this stuff is beyond me. But I'm glad she does. I'm always laughing because of her. She's like sunshine with a sense of humor.

I've been putting Grace to work lately. She has had four photo sessions in the last two weeks. That's what happens when Mom works for a portrait studio and has to scout the competition. She's gotten really good at posing and was even hamming it up for the last photo session as seen in the photo above and below.

And one more thing - to Grace, everyday is Mother's Day. I love it. Every once in a while she'll just blurt out "Happy Mudder's Day, Mommy". And then she takes out all the tupperware and "makes" me something for "Mudder's Day". And really, that's the way it should be. Mother's day everyday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Don't have a heart attack...
We're back. The blog that has sorely been neglected is back in business. At least for another post. So, what's been happening? Grace has become too independent, too headstrong and way too adorable. What's new with you?

Steve and I took our first vacation away from Grace - it was not easy. Quiet, yes. Easy, no. We missed the little munchkin. So, in order to compensate, I spent my time scouting for Florida wildlife. And man did we see some. We rented a boat near Sanibel and Captiva Islands and saw pods of dolphins and drumroll, please, a MANATEE. If you are an animal lover, you'll understand the joy of seeing a Manatee in the wild. It was awesome. Yes it was.

But really, do you want to hear about our trip or Grace? Our trip? OK. We saw a bald eagle right behind the condo. Very cool. And we both held a 23-lb. alligator. It rocked! We also took an airboat ride in the everglades. What's that you say? You want to see pictures of Grace? Really? Is that all you come here for? I know how you are. (I'm kind of that way too. I can't get enough of her!)
Helping in the kitchen making vanilla pudding.

Sitting in the puzzle box and snuggling in her PJs

Looking cool for school except for the drool!

And now, from Florida, Elvis has left the building.

Chris the Croc-hunter.

Beautiful landscape in front of Heritage Palms.

Sunset from our condo.

A pristine day on Sanibel Island.

P.S. This post took me over an hour. Not because I'm slow, but because I used the PC and it's a little like molasses. And that, people, is why I don't blog much!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

OK - maybe just a few words - these pictures are from October at my Sister's house. You'll have to tilt your head a bit to look at the 2nd one. But at least I'm posting something! Grace's latest funny habit is running through her laundry list of favorite foods before breakfast and dinner. When I'm getting her dressed for the day she says: "No chips, Mom? No marshmos? No mmmmmm popcorn? No MNs (m&ms)? No butzels? It's so funny. She tries. Just in case I might say yes one time!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Can you say slacker?

Finally, a post. So much for my pipe dreams of making this a day in the life of....Now it's more like every other month in the life of...!

Grace is talking up a storm. My favorite right now is when I ask her a question and she says "because". Or when she says "Mom Holda Me" 4,000 times while I'm trying to make dinner. But the best is when she says "I love you mom" out of the blue. Or when she says "where's dad? I miss him." And now she's even dressing herself and gets very bent out of shape if I help without asking. A certain Kelly Clarkson song comes to mind.

So, without further ado, some pictures of Grace - with her first snowman, at the dog parade and on the eve of the Chinese New Year.