Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lord Help Me, We Got A Wii

We are now owners of one of the most popular, and most expensive game systems around. But, Daddy and Gracie are thrilled. I will be honest, I doubt I will be knocking them over to use it--but it doesn't bother me too much. Gracie got a Princess game, and Garren is embarrassing himself on that guitar game he wanted so badly. (I will so have to sneak a video!!!)

This system of course is coming from our "Bush Money." Now, I didn't get a toy, but I am getting to redecorate the bathroom. I know that doesn't sound super thrilling--but I was so tired of the old one. Plus, I am getting the dental work done.

Also on the list Kings Dominion season passes and new cell phone batteries.

Please don't feel like you have to defend me on this. I don't need expensive toys to make me happy. I will have my garden this summer, and you should see me flower deck garden. I just enjoy the small things. Plus, Gracie and I are going to Candice's for a week in June, and then we have an opportunity to spend a week at Sara & Dean's near Virginia Beach also for a week. So, we have plenty of fun things to be excited about.

In the meantime, Gracie and Daddy are having lots of fun with their new toy. And, I am glad they are happy.

Pictures Of Frustration


These are the overalls I told her wear.
This is the closet she hid in to cry
and be mad because she refused to try and put them on herself.
This is crisis over when she realized she could do it her self
--and the adorable braids I put in her hair!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Butterfly Craft


I wanted to share a cute butterfly craft with all of you that we made this afternoon. It is so simple and fun!!

You need:
*Markers
*Coffee Filters (we have some when Grandma and Grandpa visit, but you can buy them at a Dollar Store if you don't have any)
*Pipe Cleaners (cut in half)
*Spray Bottle of water (I used the one we have for ironing)
Or you can use water paints and not worry with markers or spray bottle

Fold your coffee filter in half. Let child make designs all over it. Use a bowl and put the designed filter inside, spray with water until all is wet. Open the wet and now marbled filter and lay on a paper towel to dry. If you don't have a water spray bottle, you can use water paints and just paint the whole thing. I used both methods, and the only difference is Gracie had more fun spraying the bottle. Plus, the designs come out symmetrical. (That, and kids get bored having to paint so much--it looks better to be fully covered with color.)

When the filter is dry scrunch the middle (like you would do an accordion fan). Fold your half of a pipe cleaner in half. Put the scrunched filter through the middle. Twist the top of the pipe cleaner to resemble antenna. Fix the wings, and viola! Instant, and adorable butterflies. We made so many, I have no idea where I am going to put them all!!

Flower Power

That was theme of today at preschool. I of course made sure Gracie was wearing a flower dress. It is cool here though, so we had to add a long sleeve shirt and her purple dress coat!

Today they painted with flowers. I asked if they were real flowers or pretend, she said "real." I can imagine that was interesting.

Snack was Cheese Doodles. She told me she played with Joanna, but then said she helped Jackie build a tower.

That was all she shared, but I am sure it was a super fun day.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Difficult Explainations

Well, my tooth extraction didn't exactly happen today. In fact, the mere attempt left me in more pain than I ever had to begin with. I was so hoping that I would get it all over with--but attempt number two is scheduled for Thursday.

Now, coming home in tears and complete agonizing pain left for some fancy footwork where Gracie is concerned. Luckily, my appointment was during her "nap time," and she wasn't up yet. Garren of course was there and let her get up after I closed myself in my room.

So here's the tricky part--we don't want her to be afraid of the dentist. We have been telling her for the past two appointments that the dentist is going to fix my tooth. She has been reassuring me, telling me, "it's okay mama, it won't hurt." Actually, I kind of needed that reassurance even from a naive four year old who has no idea what Novocaine is!!!

Daddy explained that the dentist couldn't fix my tooth, and I wasn't feeling well. She missed the pillow-over-my-head-crying-in-agony sounds, thank goodness. I do not exaggerate! I was in awful pain until my medicine kicked in an hour later.

I will briefly explain that they could not remove the tooth without pain despite nearly pouring numbing medicine in every crevice. The working theory (depends on who you ask), is that the infection in my tooth was worse than he thought and the acid was neutralizing the anesthesia.

Anyway, more and more hard questions are surfacing, and I am realizing more and more how Garren and I handle and answer these questions will shape our child's world view. I think that might scare me more than the thought of going back to the dentist Thursday!

So far we are lucky to avoid those really tricky and heart breaking questions like "Mommy, why don't I have a Daddy?" or "Why isn't (fill in the blank relative) here anymore?" We have actually dodged the bullet a couple of times like "Where is Elijah?" (child nearly drowned by his mother that lived downstairs from us) or "What happened to Aunt Lou?" or even "Why doesn't Mariah live with her mommy and daddy?" and "Why does Grandma have to lay down a lot?"

I hope that when the time comes, God will help us explain all the hard questions to our very sensitive child. Luckily Garren and I will do it together--because I would ignore the issue and say "Hey look at the butterflies, want some ice cream?" And he would start in on an hour long explanation of a text book answer and how much life and the world sucks--leaving her more confused than ever. For all of our faults--Garren and I balance each other out, and I am confident this has made for a more balanced Gracie. In the meantime, we will enjoy the quiet moments and pray for wisdom.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Wonder If We Will Ever Have This Problem?


This is such a cute one, but we are in the throws of "Play with me mommy!!!" "Play with me Daddy!!!"

As frustrating as it is, I know there will come a day when we will miss it--and there won't be anyone left who wants to play with mom and dad.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Daddy Up To Bat

I would love to tell you what happened here in the Shipley house yesterday, but I have no idea. I have had a bad tooth for several months now, and my obstinate demeanor finally caved to severe pain, and I went to the dentist today.

I in fact have an abscessed tooth, and the very nice (and very handsome) dentist put me on antibiotics and pain medication. I am not exactly a light-weight, but when it comes to taking medication--I don't. I am not against it, I am just stubborn. I am so much like my hard headed father, it isn't even funny. I will have a headache for days before I finally take a Tylenol. So, you can imagine what happened when I took a pain pill. I don't remember the rest of the day.

We are so blessed to have our wonderful neighbors. Mallory was able to come over and watch Gracie so I could go to the dentist, and Garren wouldn't miss his press conference. This was the first time we have ever left her with a "babysitter," and things went super smooth. Gracie was thrilled to have Mallory over to play with her, and Colette said she didn't mention us one time. I will feel hurt later ;)

In the meantime, Daddy has taken over the coveted "Primary Care Giver" duties. Yesterday afternoon when I was in so much pain, he took her to the playground for over an hour and even brought home subs to feed us. Today, while writing two stories from home and having a passed out wife in the bedroom, he managed to keep up with our very active 4 year old.

I guess I don't let Daddy prove himself very often, but I am so glad he can handle the task when called upon. Kudos and star stickers for Daddy!

**Above: Daddy puts Gracie to bed and gives her hugs and kisses. Isn't this a precious picture!!!****

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Neat Sneak Peak


I was off to the post office to mail some packages before I picked Gracie up, and as luck would have it--they were outside playing parachute!! So, I pulled in the parking lot and snapped a picture. I wanted to take more, but I didn't want to scare anyone being the crazy lady taking pictures of kids.

I couldn't see Gracie since she was so far away, but when I got home and edited the picture, I can see that she was under the parachute. Unfortunately, her face is covered by another little girl. Gracie is wearing navy blue. But, it was neat to get to watch for a few seconds anyway.

She told me they had fun outside playing. They also played with yellow Playdough. She told me she tried to make a ball bowl, but couldn't. Then she said she made coins.

Snack was goldfish crackers. She played with Joanna again. She told me they were building something with the wooden blocks. Oh, and today she came home with a picture she drew of daddy. Now that we have a matching set, I have to frame them or something. They would look cute hanging in our bedroom.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Lunch...

The restaurant that I wanted to try wasn't open yet....

So, we went to the thrift store down the street and found one dollar clothes,

That we bought for Gracie's summer wardrobe,

Which made us even hungrier,

So, we went to Winchester to eat,

Where Gracie got a salad at Country Coooking,

Which is in the mall,

That has the carosuel,

Which we HAD to ride,

Which is near the Lowes where mommy decided to look for a lettuce plant,

And not finding what we needed in the very hot sun made Gracie and Mommy even more tired,

So we had to head home to take nap,

And the car ride made Gracie remember the Cinderella doll at the thrift store that mommy passed up,

That we just HAD to get,

Which was wiped clean on the way home,

So, she was ready to be snuggled for Gracie's nap!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Up, Up, And Away


Today's preschool theme was about things that go up. I wanted to make her a special dress with kite appliqués, but with coming back from Lynchburg and the exhaustion that followed--I didn't get it done.

Plus, my camera batteries were dead, so I don't have any pictures of Gracie today. But, I did scan in her kite craft she made today.

Snack was cookies, and they did an obstacle course. She didn't elaborate, but I saw blue construction paper ovals taped to the floor. Another little boy told his mom they were raindrops. Whatever the activity, she said it was fun. She also brought home a picture of me--which always makes my day!!

She told me she and Joanna played together today with the Little People sets and ferris wheel. Something about she wanted certain people to ride, and Joanna wanted different ones. I am not sure if there was conflict, so I asked "so, you took turns." And she said "yea."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We Are Here, And I Know I Am In Trouble!

We are in Lynchburg and the sugar and spoiling extravaganza has begun. I will try and stay loyal to my blog. I know I am already in hot water with some of you. Candice left me a message today on the phone afraid I had fallen off the face of the earth (I'll call or at least email you tomorrow), my mother reminds me I haven't blogged since Monday even though I am sitting at her computer and have told her about the week, Garren politely reminded me to add pictures when we called for "goodnight's" tonight, and I am sure Cheryl has "refreshed" this page a hundred times already (she is just too nice not to make me feel guilty for not blogging :)

It has just been a crazy week, and then getting ready for grandma's...I just haven't had as much down time. And then my migraines came back! I seem to have them back in check though. So, bear with me. I need to add more pictures to my Photoblog too. It is getting late tonight, so that will be my task for tomorrow. And, I don't have many pictures on my camera still.

Tomorrow we have a big day planned. We are going to Amazement Square, the children's museum here, and then of course Mariah will be here after school. So, busy day and plenty of Kodak moments to capture.

Plant Comes Home

Gracie's preschool plant has found a new home. The kids were allowed to take home their cup-o-plant today. Gracie was hoping for a red rose, but alas it is Daisies Ms. Christine says.

Gracie was very proud as she carried her plant home in the car, and then carefully up the stairs to sit it in her bedroom window. After we watered it of course.

She had a good day today, but when I picked her up I saw 8 names on the board!!! Ms. Stephanie was out today, and I am not sure if that was the reason, but apparently they other two had a hard day. Gracie did get her smiley thumb, but there was at least one child who didn't get one for the first time all year.

Snack today was goldfish crackers, and they painted with feathers. This was quite different, and apparently fun. Gracie actually came home with paint on her clothes for the first time. I don't know if it splattered after the smock came off or what, but I am not worried. I was just shocked, they are always so neat and tidy--something I am sure is quite difficult with 20 3 and 4 year olds!!

Gracie is in a super mood and is very excited, because we are leaving for Grandma's right after school today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Inspiration


Spring, spring, spring!! We are loving the warmer temperatures... well we were anyway. I will be happy to embrace the steady warm winds when ever they decided to stick around long enough.

Since we have started a spring theme at home and are reading about gardens, rain, flowers, and all of those fun things we have really been getting in to the mood. But, today we really found ourselves inspired,

We read a library book today called "The Gardner." It is a beautiful story with brilliant illustrations. I won't ruin the story for you, but I will tell you it made me want to plant seeds now!

So, after Gracie's "nap time" we went to the store and got seeds and potting soil. We pulled out all of our planters, and even made some new ones out of creative things around the house. We cleaned up the deck and when the warm weather gets even warmer, we should have a patio garden of our very own.

I can't wait to watch our seedlings grow with Gracie and see all of the brilliant colors come alive.

I love spring time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

All About Fives

Gracie is only four, and I refuse to even think about her being five, or how much longer there is until she is five; but, today at preschool they were grouping by fives.

Gracie came home from school with a baggie of "Fun Mix." Each child counted out five of each item (Honeycomb cereal, gold fish crackers, marshmallows, pretzels, and Chex cereal) and then combined. This of course was the first thing she wanted when she got home from school. I should have snapped a picture, because she ate it in a matter of minutes--marshmallows first of course.

Gracie also colored a picture and brought home her fuzzy caterpillar she had made Thursday. She told me that she had to color with crayons because "nobody puts the caps back on the markers." This is great that they are reinforcing this at school. I get so frustrated finding open pens and markers and we have to hunt for the caps. Several times it has become such a big problem that I take pens and markers away from her for the next day. I guess the teachers got fed up too. This was an action against the whole class, not just Gracie in particular.

Oh, and I snapped another picture of her plant. You can see it on the side bar of the blog. Look left.

Monday, April 14, 2008

We Love The New Playground...


...and so does Lambie!

I got a little inventive when Gracie asked if Lambie could go to the park and see the slides with her. I was leary as Lambie is truly a cherished possession and I wouldn't want to lose her. But, I agreed, and found a great way for Lambie and Gracie to do everything together (as it has been for Gracie's 4 years). I zipped Lambie up in Gracie's jacket, and they did the little slides, the big slides, the climbing wall, and the swings.

As you can see, Lambie had a great time!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Conversations About Daddy

From this weekend while he was in TN.

Gracie "Daddy is really tall. He can climb trees and swing from branch to branch now that he is a big boy. Yeah."

********

Gracie: "I miss Daddy. Do you think he is having fun in Tennessee?"

Mommy: "I think he is having lots of fun with Uncle Luke."

********

Daddy: (Loud Burp)

Gracie: "Ewww!"

Mommy: "Daddy's definately home! We haven't heard that for several days"

Gracie: "Daddy did you burp at Mamaw and Papaw's house?"

Daddy: "Yea....(then he tells about his and Uncle Luke's gastric prowess)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another Reason I Want Out

The front of my apartment complex is in the paper this morning--front page.

Gracie and several people we know have been the subject of a photo several times over the past 4 years, as Garren has needed. I think Rich has been in our apartment more times than my in laws.

This time though, I didn't want to be apart of the story.

It's no secret that I want out of the apartment. It's too small, there is no room for Gracie to play, I am not thrilled with the habits of my other neighbors (smoking, and who knows what else). But today, I have a whole new reason for wanting to be anywhere else.

The little boy who moved in a few months ago is five years old, and what happened to him this weekend, has given me a whole new reason to worry.... and move away.

You can read the story here.

This Cracked Me Up!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Better Day

Gracie had a much less mommy-worrying day at school today. In fact, her teacher put most of my worries at bay when she told me that most of the kids in Gracie's class are going through the same things.

That's when Johanna's mom pipes up that she is experiencing the "crying over everything" phase in her house. She too look exasperated. While, I know how bad it is, I was relieved that another mom was dealing with it to. I really was concerned. And I stay vigilant as her moods continue to swing.

As for school. Today they learned about caterpillars turning in to butterflies. That of course, gave me a great idea, and I made a dress to go along with the theme. Well, mom made the dress, I just had the idea for the appliqués.

Gracie said they celebrated Morgan's birthday, so she had chocolate cupcakes. They sang a song about caterpillars, and made the cutest ones out of pom poms. They were left to dry.

Another good day at school for Gracie. It looks like we might make it through this week after all.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Lemonade Stand


So, how do I get rid of the sugar temptation I let Gracie make this morning? Let her have the lemonade stand she wanted last week.

She got the idea from Maggie And The Ferocious Beast. Hamleton was having a lemonade stand, and she begged me to do one. I figured it would be cute and we could meet the kids when they got off the bus. But, the weather was too cold last week. Today was perfect, so I figured she could give out lemonade and slices of her homemade cake.

She had a blast, and was just too cute. She had many "customers," and I promised she could do it again soon.

More pictures in the spring folder.

Cake Decorating Fun


Well, the class may have been canceled, but we weren't going to let that stop us from having fun.

I baked Gracie a cake last night, and this morning we used so much icing I think you could have make a small home out of it ;)

Gracie felt very grown up and very special getting to use mommy's cake decorating tools. Once she got the hang of it, she was swirling colored icing all over her creation.

I did make a few things, per her request, but as you can see this was her project. I think that fact made her the most proud. She kept reminding me that she was doing it all by herself.

Hooray for Gracie!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Some Good News

The rest of the day with Gracie was excellent....and they rebuilt and opened our town playground!

Daddy, Gracie and I were shocked when we drove by to see that the project (for which only 1/3 of the funds have been raised) was built and kids were playing.

We had gone out for a family walk when the sun finally peaked through around 5pm. After our walk we decided to drive by and see how things were going. Since it was still sunny (and we couldn't very well say no!) we stopped and played on the very neat playground for a while,

I have posted some pictures on Picasa. I know I have gotten behind lately in pictures. You will find a Spring 2008 folder with pictures from the past month or so, by clicking here.

And, if you really love pictures, check out my photo of the day blog here.

Gracie's Bizarre Day

Gracie has had quite an interesting day. Actually, she has been "interesting" for several weeks now, and I have to admit I am concerned.

She is getting over a cold, and I know that effects her mood, but she has some other strange habits that are emerging as well.

But, back to her day. I barely got her awake this morning to get ready for school. After poking and prodding her to get ready and two bowls of cereal later...we were 8 minutes late. What a relief that 4 other moms pulled in at the same time we did!

On the way to the entrance to the school she falls and skins both knees! I let Ms. Stephanie know about her cough and her newly skinned knees. (This was after I heard another mom say her son had a double ear infection. )

When I picked Gracie up from school, the teacher stopped me and told me she thought Gracie was going to take a nap today. Apparenly she pulled out a blanket, laid it on the floor, and laid down on top! I asked Gracie if she was tired today and she said "yes." I was very concerned about this action.

When we got to the car, I asked who she played with. She told me "no one, I played by myself." This is sending off more alarm bells inside my head. I know she doesn't socialize much, but she has never admitted this to me. She usually skirts around the issue, or tells me something I want to hear (I am pretty sure she does this).

At school today she did get a smiley thumb and they got to paint with "smarshmellows." They had cheeseballs for snack, and they sang an umbrella song,

When I got her home, she was in great spirits and even played by herself happily in the living room. Then, we had her tell about her day yesterday so we could put it on the blog. I don't know what to do, or if there is anything I can do.

Lately my Gracie is getting either very little sleep, or is taking a nap and getting 12+ hours at night. She won't eat hardly anything at all. She even gives up on desert requests when she doesn't meet the "quota" to receive said desert. She gets barely 400 calories a day I would say. And that might be an over estimation. All she wants is sugar or junk food and I have put a stop to all junk. I noticed that she was getting far too many snacks. So now without the snacks, she is eating even less!

She has very noticeable mood swings. One day she is a terror, the next day she acts like a baby, and later in the afternoon she is sweet as pie. She is even more clingy than ever. She wants me with her 24/7. She won't play, she won't leave the room I am in. It has gotten so bad she wants me to sit with her when she goes potty and when she takes a bath. The past several weeks have been so hard as I can't do anything without my shadow and when I have to get something done she will whine or cry the entire time telling me "but, I want you to play with me."

She is constantly talking about Grandma and Grandpa. We know she loves and misses them, but this is excessive even for her. Several times a day she wants to know when they are going to visit, or when she is going to their house. She gets down as I remind her "in 2 weeks." She of course, wants to go now. We expect this problem 2-3 days after we leave Lynchburg, but it has been several weeks now.

Baby talk and crying are at an all time high. She cries over everything and the baby talk is driving me out of my mind. I have tried rewards for being a big girl, even kindly reminding her I have a 4 year old that lives here. She will giggle, but will continue to be a "baby."

I am sure some of these things can be attributed to phases, but it is a lot going on in my little girls mind and body and I am worried about her. In the meantime, I do the best I can. I keep her on a schedule, as any veering of her day ends in a breakdown. Sugar effects her in a bad way, and that is getting worse. So, we will have to see how cutting it off will help her in the end. She gets very little around here, but you add in Christmas into Valentine's Day into Birthday and Easter--it has been a sugary junk food feast around here.

So, say an extra prayer tonight for Gracie (and her parents) that we all get through this stage in her little life. And, for those more experienced parents I am sure this is nothing and it gets worse, but right now is what I am dealing with, and there is nothing worse out there.

Garcie Hears a Horton

Gracie went to see Horton Hears a Who, and she loved it. Here's some audio of her recollections... it's kinda quiet, so turn up your speakers (but don't forget to turn them back down).


video

Monday, April 07, 2008

Bummer!

The Shenandoah Parks & Rec just called and the Kinder Kakes class that I signed Gracie and I up for is canceled! :( This was an amazing idea for kids 3-5 to do cake decorating with moms or dads. When I read about this I was thrilled.

Apparently, Gracie was the only child signed up, so they had to cancel it. Gracie seemed a little upset, but I am thinking it will hit harder later when she realizes what I said. I did promise her that we would decorate a cake on Wednesday anyway, and she can do any design she wants.

Little Minds, Big Hearts

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Daddy's New Toy

Daddy has a new toy, and it seems to be a hit with Gracie. I am somewhat indifferent, except when we are in the car.

Garren got an XM radio, and in his fascination he likes to change channels while driving.

This new contraption apparently has sports extras and such on it. It also has Radio Disney and other kids channels, which seems to make Gracie happy as well. When he had it on in the car today and Dora was singing, I thought she was going to have a stroke!

I am sure I will warm up to it in time! :)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thanks A Lot Grandpa! ;)

Gracie's newest word has become a common occurrence around here. Well, I don't guess it is all that new since she has been saying it for about a month now.

Today before nap, I told her to go potty and climb in to our bed for story time. She told me "I will, after I get a last swig of juice."

Just a little bit of Grandpa that has made it's home in Strasburg.

And for the rest of you relatives, don't feel out done. Gracie says "whew! That was close" all the time thanks to Grandma. She still stuffs things down her shirt and cackles as her Papaw taught her. And, the rhyme "Nanny, nanny, boo, boo" is repeated quite often many, many thanks to Candice! Oh, and she puts Ms. Potato Head's accessories on her own face, and says "Look momma, I look like Ewweeott!"

Treasure Hunt


Gracie had a blast going on a treasure hunt this morning. I put a map at the breakfast table, and she was ready to find her shovel!

I hid the clues and treasure last night, and I was just excited as she was!

Why don't you go on the hunt with us! Click here and follow our adventure. You won't be disappointed!!

Watch the conclusion here:


video

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Neglected

I am feeling proud of myself as I type this blog post, but several hours ago I was feeling pretty low about neglecting my stay at home mom duties.

A friend of mine asked me for some tips on things to do with her older child while she was on maternity leave, and I have to say it made my day. No one has ever asked me for ideas, and it made me feel like maybe I had something to offer.

Anyway, as I listed some of the super fun things I have thought up through the years to do with Gracie, I realized it had been a long time since I really made an effort to make play special. Don't get me wrong, we do plenty of things together, but I must admit as the days go on and the laundry piles up and the dishes multiply it is easy to put Gracie on hold to catch up what needs to be done.

I think the culprit is Gracie's independence. She no longer needs constant attention. She can do things for herself, and despite the fact that she is always begging for a 24 hour playmate (me), I know I can leave her to her own devices.

Gracie and I are different in that capacity though. I would play for hours in my own imaginary world. Gracie on the other hand needs to be entertained at all times. Thousands of times a day I hear "Mommy, play with me." That pulls at the heart strings. It would be different if I hadn't done pretend grocery store, dressed ponies, and put together puzzles for the last hour.

I guess with the looming housework and Gracie's abilities, I have cut short the job of being at home. I don't think my job as a stay at home mom is defined as merely keeping my child alive for 24 hours at a time. It goes beyond that. I am her teacher, her playmate, her example, and much more. I take my responsibilities seriously, and I am very disappointed in my slacker attitude lately.

So, tomorrow we are going on a treasure hunt. I have made a "treasure chest" (the dish towel drawer), and there are 8 clues to find the "treasure" (granooda bars and fruities and plastic jewelry). I have made a map and placed it next to her seat so she will see it first thing in the morning.

I know she is going to have a blast!!

Gracie's Day

Gracie had a good day at preschool today. She announced later in the afternoon it was umbrella day. When I was getting ready to put her down for a nap she announced "Happy Umbrella Day, Mommy." I will have to look it up, but I think this was her own creation; but it was a perfect day for it.

Gracie and her class made umbrellas as a classroom decoration today. She told me hers was purple and they made it out of syrup. I have no idea, but I know they were drying when I went to pick her up.

She was dressed in an adorable pink dress with cross stitched round collar today, but she was feeling shy when I wanted to photograph her dress today, so I don't have a good picture. I do have the picture of the spring coat she wore over top. It was warm when we left for school, but when I went to get her the temperature plummeted and I wished I had put her in the big red one.

Speaking of pictures, I got her preschool pictures back today. They are really good, and I am loving the class picture. They sent home 12 sheets and they are super pricey. I will get a few though.

As for snack they had brownies for Ms. Christine's birthday. I brought in some flowers for Gracie to give to her teacher when I picked her up. I tried to snap a picture. It isn't great, but I thought I would share. Ms. Christine has been so good to us. She goes to our church and was the one who told me about the preschool and got Gracie in. I will be ever so grateful for that favor!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bad Influence

I know I am not alone out there in worrying about what and whom my child will be exposed to, and after talking to Candice the 4th grade teacher, I have new list of worries ;)

But, I never thought that the bad influence in Gracie's life would be her parents!!! It is easy to forget that kids learn by imitation, and one of these days it will catch up to you.

Now, I have not been oblivious these past 4 years, but seems in a matter of weeks, Garren's and my bad habits are rearing their four year old head.

One example is Gracie on her My Little Pony cell phone. Ever since she was a baby she has been enthralled by our cell phones and remotes. I am sure this is a universal thing among children. Thinking it was cute we got her pretend phones and cell phones, we even gave her the old cell phones when we got new ones. And, how else does a child learn what a cell phone is and how to play with one? Why imitating mommy and daddy.

At first there were cute remarks like "ello! Okay, goodbye." That would be a mommy conversation, as I usually have to hang up quickly to chase my darling daughter. Then more in depth conversations evolved.. like" uh huh, yeah, oh yea I know...(this went on for a while)." Again my influence. If you have ever heard me on the phone with my mother or Candice you would note I get quite chatty.

Now, new cell phone etiquette has emerged.

Gracie got her new cell phone on her birthday, and it is so cute. It rings several times until you answer it, and once it is on, it rings and rings again and again each time you hang up. Here is what she says now "(groan) Stop calling me!" This would be one of daddy's bad habits. He gets lots of phone calls from people who shall we say "frustrate" him and I have heard him say this many times.

The first time she yelled this at her phone though, I think he turned several shades of red. I am trying to combat that action by telling her "Gracie, don't yell at your friends, they just want to talk to you and see what you are doing."

Garren is not the only bad influence, remember me the one who shadows her 24 hours a day! The other day she said in an exasperated tone "Okay! Okay! Okay!" Whoops. This is how I can react when Gracie has gotten on my last nerve. To add insult to injury, she was annoyed the other day at not getting to do what she wanted and she strongly put her hands on her hips. I got frustrated back and looked down only to find my stiff hands on my hips with that same look on my face and in my eyes!!

Other bad influences...her first "bad word." I guess I deserved this one as I kept fussing at Garren insisting that he would teach Gracie some new vocabulary and she would some day blurt it out. Gracie was 1 and I was buckling her in the car seat and I pinched my finger. In agony I let out a "crap!" Of all the times for Gracie to pick up on a word. She giggled and yelled "crap." My face fell and I thought I was going to puke. Knowing that it is better to let these situations alone (because if you try and talk about it or cover it up, it only makes that word more interesting to say), I kept silent. As I remember the entire ride to Winchester my daughter sang (yes, sang!) "Crap! Crap! Crap!!" I was sure I had warped her forever.

I am sure there is a lesson in all of this. For one, I am learning to watch my attitude and actions more. I am a pretty positive person, but I can get aggravated and annoyed too. And, I also realize it could be worse. I am sure there are other things she has picked up on the negative side, but there are billions more great traits that she gets from Garren and I. Like my imagination, and manners, and creativity, and tidiness...the list goes on. Plus, we don't drink or smoke, or do drugs, or hit or abuse each other. There are a lot worse traits that kids are exposed to everyday.

....Then again, it's those poor kids that I worry about being a bad influence on my child when she has left the safety of my nest. I guess it is a vicious cycle huh.

Cute Quote Of The Day


"Momma you can be a unicorn when you grow up like I am going to be."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bubbly Gracie

video

Springy Day At School

The sun is out (was out), and the air is quite warm today. Despite the clouds and ferocious wind, it is a wonderfully Spring day.

Gracie wore a very colorful dress to school today where they made window decorations of flowers. I also snapped a picture of Gracie's plant that is now sprouting in the classroom window.

She brought home her froot loop rainbow from last week, and several coloring pages, and of course the crutial smiley thumb. She told me she was Snow White today and her friend Regan was a dog. I chuckled at this and asked "You asked Regan to be the dog?" "Yep" "Did she pretend to be a dog for you?" "Yep!" I guess she had a fun day.

Ms. Christine also told me she talked about singing the Rainbow Song. I knew what she was talking about as we were discussing songs on the car ride to school. Gracie told me she wanted to sing the song from My Little Pony Runaway Rainbow when I picked her up. Apparently she told her teachers this. They said she told them she would sing it with me. Ms. Christine tried to get her to sing it once I arrived, but bashful Gracie told her "maybe in the car." This may not seem like a big deal, but the fact that she is sharing and talking to teachers and friends about things in her life is a great socialization skill--and I am thrilled!!

Since it was Maddie's birthday snack today was cookies. They sang some springtime songs and read a book about a mouse.

Spring Book List

Spring
Spring Is Here, Hello Kitty!
Once Upon A Springtime
Disney Princesses: Beauties In Bloom
Spring For Strawberry Shortcake
It's Spring, Blue!
Little Bear; The Search For Spring
Pooh: Hello Spring!
Spring Cleaning
Pooh's Basket Of Surprises


Gardening
Berenstain Bears Grow It!
Clifford Puppy Days:The Little Flower Seed
Oswald's Garden
The Carrot Seed
Franklin Plants A Tree
Dragon Tales: Max & Emmy's Flower Power
*The Gardener
*Fluffy Grows A Garden

Kites
Berenstain Bears; We Like Kites
Berenstain Bears Go Fly A Kite
*The Kite

April Showers (Rain)
We Play On A Rainy Day
Blue's Rainy Day
Drip, Drop
Umbrella Parade
Just A Rainy Day
Just A Thunderstorm
*A Drop Of Rain

*Splash, Splash
*Drip Drop