Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Friday

From email sent 3/30/09
His First Smile!

I was taking a picture to mark 5 weeks and was calling his name and making happy faces to get him to look at the camera and I caught his first non-gas smile
on camera. I am thrilled 1. because, hey it's his first smile and I get to keep it forever and 2. because this appears to be a rare face and I want to remember
it during the hours during the day he is screaming his head off.

We love our new addition, but he is not a very "happy" baby. Hopefully he will realize soon that living with us isn't quite as bad as he thinks ;)

The Two People That Make Mommy Smile!

Since Thomas was in such a good mood, I decided to go for a cute shot of the two of them. Clearly it came out wonderful. So wonderful in fact, that we had a print made for Daddy's desk.

We hope that you have a good Friday where ever you are, and that maybe you are enjoying some of the Spring weather we have been getting this week.

Love to All,
Barbara, Garren, Gracie & Thomas

Of course you can always see more pictures and hear more about our life as a family of four on our blog. We decided to keep the original once, despite the name, since so many people know it. allaboutgracie.blogspot.com

*Actually these pictures were taken Monday, but I still wanted to share! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's Not All That Bad

While I am glad that my adventures in motherhood is good for free birth control to my best friend Candice, life here is not all that bad. While she is currently disgusted at the idea of spit up and crying and diapers, etc Candice (a 4th grade teacher) would make an awesome mommy.

But, I am not going to shade the truth..take a look! ;)

The Good


video

The Bad

video

And the Ugly!

Hmm, better not share any of the "ugly" or Joe & Gail will never get any more grandkids :)

Even though he screams I know you want to see him and hold him--still wishing you lived closer!!!!

For Candice

Well, this isn't just for Candice...but she keeps thanking me for the free birth control as I continue to talk about Thomas' daily shrieking, but she needs to know that it isn't all about crying and screaming. Having a baby is a wonderful and life changing experience. And, despite the fact that I haven't slept more than 3 hours at a time since he came home--I feel wonderfully blessed to have two of the most wonderful children in the world.



video

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lambie Goes To School

It was Show-N-Tell at preschool again today. Well, actually it was all week, but today was the yellow table's turn.

I am surprised that it took this long for Lambie to be the topic of Show and Tell, since she is Gracie's best friend and goes everywhere with her. You may remember that she took Sunny Daze (My Little Pony) last year, and Aurora went earlier this year.

I sent Lambie, who has seen better days with 5 years of love, in a special bag this morning with a very excited Gracie. I also packed a picture of Lambie (pre nose job) when she was shiny and new and snuuggled with a baby Gracie.

Gracie told me everyone loved Lambie and they all saw the picture. She told them Lambie was her best friend, and she made music when you pull her tail, and that she had her since she was born. She also passed Lambie (which is optional for show and tell) and several of the kids gave her snuggles.

You could tell how proud she was to show her off.

Lambie was a gift from Aunt Sharon that I got for a baby shower gift when I was pregnant with Gracie. I knew when I opened her that she was going to be a very loved stuffy. That lamb has not left Gracie's side. She is always there for bedtime and for colds, and for outings to the park.

All this reminiscing gives me an idea. Here is a Lambie scrapbook.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What You've Missed

Well, another week, and another lack of updates. Good thing Grandma will be here Tuesday so she can get another "fix" of the babies in. We are very thankful that she is willing (ha, I say willing!) to come and help with the kids while Garren and I box up and move things over to the townhouse. So what haven't I blogged about this week? Hmmm..

1. I haven't called or emailed Candice in a week and that might be a new record! She needs to live closer!!

2. Thomas has screamed, and screamed, and cried and cried.

3. Gracie has pulled every toy in her room out

4. Gracie has made many, many Light Brite creations. I need to find more of those black papers to go in it. Anyone seen them anywhere?

5. We are almost out of milk

6. I started putting some stuff in boxes, but not much as I only seem to have one usable hand these days.

7. I finally got a shower yesterday

8. My 6 week appointment was Tuesday and things seem to be healing well (although I still have pain and apparently that is "normal." Easy for her to say, she doesn't have the pain!)

9. Garren got a sinus infection and has had massive headaches.

10. But before he got the headaches he took Gracie to the laundry mat and got our clothes caught up. Ever since my surgery he has taken over the laundry since I am not supposed to lift or do stairs. It has been very nice to be off laundry duty.

11. We watched Peter Pan for a Wednesday family movie night since we missed last Friday.

12. I haven't answered emails or posted pictures.

13. And, I still haven't talked to Candice!

14. I got maybe 6 hours of broken sleep each night.

15. Oh, and Thomas spit up down my shirt--he's got good aim!

And you thought our lives were exciting! ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Growing Like A Weed

Today he's six weeks! Just look at him grow!



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kite Flying

video

For the second year in a row Gracie and I took to the skies in Strasburg.

Well, we tried anyway. The wind wasn't exactly cooperating today, but Gracie got her Strawberry Shortcake kite soaring for quite a while, and I would say she got it up higher than any of the other kites. Seriously, sometimes those dollar store kites are the best ones to have!

Gracie had a good time, but also like last year she was off and finding flowers after only 15 minutes of kite fun. She went back and forth between the flowers (and weeds) and letting Strawberry go higher and higher until the wind all but stopped an hour after we arrived.

Mommy decided to pack it in, although Gracie was very unhappy. If it hadn't been so late in the afternoon, the park wasn't so amazingly packed, and she wasn't so tired I would have let her play on the playground for a while. After all Daddy was home with Thomas watching the Bristol Race.

It was a great spring day, and I decided to treat her to some ice cream before heading home. The stingy part of me decided to stop off at Food Lion and get a half gallon. After all for the same amount as a sundae or cone somewhere, we could get enough for the family. Plus, the had buy one get one free!

You know, I feel for all of these people who are struggling with this economy--if you need any budget tips you can ask me, I have been stingy all my life, and I make one income work for a family of four :)

Stolen Baby

Okay, she didn't really steal him, and as you can see he isn't complaining :)

Mrs. Ruth, our church's choir director, and the sweetest woman ever, took Thomas for most of the church service today. And, I swear she kept him happier and quieter than I have all week!

We all planned to go to church this morning, but Garren woke up with a migraine. I figured the best thing I could do was take the kids to church and leave him with a quiet house. It wasn't until I was at the car and having to move the car seats from Daddy's car (because he forgot again!!!) that I started to wonder if I would be able to handle this task.

Thomas was asleep when we got to church, as he loves a car ride. But, he was awake about 5 minutes into the service. I held him and he was fine, and even took him up to hear the children's message. That's when Mrs. Ruth scooped him up.

I couldn't help but smile as she bounced him around and patted him and kept him quiet and happy. With 2 grown sons of her own, I am thinking she enjoyed him. When he got fussy during the sermon I passed her a bottle and a spit rag and she fed him. I was nervous about feeding him in church, well because he can burp louder than his daddy! Much to my amazement (and relief) I never heard him burp and they were just across the isle.

By the time the service was over this champion mommy even had him sound asleep.

Have I mentioned how wonderful our church is and all the people in it?!! Gracie adores Mrs. Ruth and she is one of the only people Gracie will give hugs to that isn't in the family. The whole church family has been so wonderful and caring ever since we started going. And how excited they are to see Gracie and what dress she is wearing each Sunday. And they have made such a fuss over Thomas as well.

Oh, and my arm appreciated the break as well. How much less of a uptight mommy I have become the second time around, with Gracie I would even let my own mother take her for too long. Ah, time and experience :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Friday

(from email 3/20/09)His First Smile!
I was taking a picture to mark 5 weeks and was calling his name and making happy faces to get him to look at the camera and I caught his first non-gas smile
on camera. I am thrilled 1. because, hey it's his first smile and
I get to keep it forever and 2. because this appears to be a rare face and I want to remember it during the hours during the day he is screaming his head off.

We love our new addition, but he is not a very "happy" baby. Hopefully he will realize soon that living with us isn't quite as bad as he thinks ;)

The Two People That Make Mommy Smile!

Since Thomas was in such a good mood, I decided to go for a cute shot of the two of them. Clearly it came out wonderful. So wonderful in fact, that we had a print made for Daddy's desk.

We hope that you have a good Friday where ever you are, and that maybe you are enjoying some of the Spring weather we have been getting this week.

Love to All,
Barbara, Garren, Gracie & Thomas

Of course you can always see more pictures and hear more about our life as a family of four
on our blog. We decided to keep the original once, despite the name,
since so many people know it. allaboutgracie.blogspot.com


*Actually these pictures were taken Monday, but I still wanted to share! :)

With More Kids Comes More Suff

And, since we were already out of room for the stuff we have...

We're Moving!


Garren found us a very nice 3 bedroom townhouse to rent for a very reasonable price. While buying our first home is very big dream, we want to wait until this economy is a little more stable. So, this is the next best thing. We get a lot more room (3 levels), a little (very little) grass to call our own, and we don't have to worry like so many people out there about losing our home should we find ourselves out of work.

We move April 1, and I am most thrilled about the play room that Thomas and Gracie will have downstairs. Now, all of those toys that I have collected over the years will have a home instead of being stacked in boxes in the basement storage room. We will also have a computer room which I plan to also make in to the dream library I always wanted. I am nearly to 4,000 children's books by the way ;) Oh, and we will have a place for a washer and dryer!! That will be a huge thrill as well, no more collecting quarters and letting things air dry and stepping over piles of laundry in the floor!

So, new baby, and now new place to call home. I will send out our new address via email next week or this weekend.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cuteness A-Plenty


Gracie put the bunny in his lap. I am glad he is liking the swing, because that Snuggly is killing my back!





This is a picture Gracie drew of her and Thomas. Just makes you smile doesn't it! She told me "we are holding hands."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Green Gracie

It may have been the day after St.Patrick's Day, but we decided to dress the part anyway.

My little leprachaun and her friends had their special green snack today since they ran out of time on Monday. I told Ms. Stephanie that Gracie was quite bummed about no snack on Monday. She told me most of the kids were upset, but the photographer took much longer than they anticipated--but that she worked extra hard on the poses. So, I am guessing the pictures will come out very nicely.

The green snack by the way was green Jello with cool whip. I am thinking that is a pretty cool snack and well worth the wait!

They also played the game scheduled for Monday: "Shake Your Shamrock." Gracie said there was a sheet full of shamrocks and they shook the sheet like a parachute and let them fly. Then they got to go and get them. She informs me they didn't get to keep them though.

Gracie was a little more forthcoming in information today. Apparently she and Carson played together at the kitchen center. Carson was a puppy and Gracie took care of her because she was sick. She covered her up and read her a story and everything. Too cute! I love when I get extra information.

Gracie also brought home a shape paper that she colored. It looks like a stained glass window to me. Very nicely done.

It is such a beautiful day out there! I snapped Gracie's picture outside the preschool. Her window decoration (a pot of gold) is in the bottom right pane...second to the end. She added a rainbow to hers. Nice touch don't you think ;)

-----

Since the weather was so nice we went back out today. The people at daddy's office were dying to see Thomas, so I dressed him up super cute and we headed out. First we went to the Post Office though to mail some very over due thank you's. We have been so blessed over the past few months with baby congratulations and the big sister party, and then Gracie's birthday. I am sorry they are late, but I am sure you can understand how busy it has been ;) And, FYI Gracie put on the stamps.

After the post office we went to Daddy's office. His co-workers ate Thomas up, and of course they had lots of questions for the big sister. Daddy was so proud to show off his little man. I took the camera and did NOT take a picture at Daddy's office--can you believe it!! So, I will have to settle for a picture of him in his outfit after we got home.

We hope that all of you took the time to get out today too--it is much too nice out there!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Baby Update

I know I have shared pictures of Thomas, but I haven't really shared how he is. At the moment he is screaming in my ear. And, that is how we spend most of the day: him screaming and me with him strapped around my middle in the Snuggly trying to get him to calm down.

Sadly, he isn't a happy baby like Gracie was. Oh, he is loved and knows we will feed him and pick him up--but he doesn't coo or smile or look at all like he is happy here. Actually, he looks mad all the time. I guess he really does look like his father, or better yet--Grandpa!

I shouldn't say he doesn't smile. I got my first smile yesterday. I was taking a picture to mark his 5th week, and he smiled at me while I tried to get his attention. At least I have a permanent reminder that for one brief moment he was content :)

As for sleeping, he is still a good sleeper, but that is changing. He has begun to fight sleep, which can lead to even more screaming. Have I mentioned he screams--not cries--screams. I will have to video it once for you. I am keeping Advil in business these days.

Back to sleep. Most nights I get to sleep 2.5 hours at a time. He wakes every 3 hours to eat. I feed him, burp him, change him and he goes back to sleep until the next feeding. Now this isn't always the case, but nights are usually not that bad.

As I mentioned he eats every 3 hours and RARELY sleeps a moment past meal time. And, he takes 4 ounces at a time. That is so much more than he should get, but it is clear how hungry he is, and his scream will get louder and become panicked if you wait to long to get that bottle ready.

I make him sound awful, but we love him--especially his big sister. He has developed a poop problem (constipation) and spiting up (A LOT), but we have a plan that we hope will help. And, I know the screaming will stop eventually. It WILL stop won't it?! :)

Thomas loves his seahorse musical stuffy, and it really calms him down. As for other favorites, he is starting to like the bouncer, but not for the rocking, but the "friends" that hang from the activity bar. He will stare intently at the puppy and kitty that hang in front of him. I have put him in the swing, and he will be content for a few minutes, but he's not so sure about it.

So what does he like? Milk, seahorse, milk, hanging out in the Suggly (and killing my back!), milk..did I mention he likes to eat?! :)

On the possitive side, I found some awesome vintage outfits at a thrift store for $1 each that I can't wait to see him in! And, I found just what I was looking for in a differnt thrift store--a vintage Christening outfit!! I wouldn't ordinarily spend $5 on something he will outgrow, but I really wanted it.

By the way, I have neen rocking him in the Suggly while I typed this post one handed, and is now asleep. It's a good thing: my head needed a rest :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Snack Today!


This was the first announcement that came out of her mouth when I picked her up from preschool today. The poor thing, you can see she starves to death! :)

Today was also picture day, which I am pretty sure is why they didn't have snack. Not only were they running late, they didn't want snack all over these kids before they went to have pictures taken. Mine is pretty neat (at school anyway) with food, but I noticed marker on her chin when I picked her up. I jokingly asked if she got that before or after pictures, and Ms. Christine piped up "after." I was surprised, but wouldn't have been upset--she's 5!

I think pictures took up most of the day, but they did do their "Y" papers, and she got a lollipop treat for turning in her homework which was an "X" paper.

Grandparent Fix

You don't have to be a grandparent to see the new pictures I have posted, but I know both sets are getting anxious about new updates from the Shipley family. Life around here is pretty hectic to say the least and blog updates, unfortunately, fall by the wayside. But I have added more pictures for you to see to keep you busy until I can get more info on the internet :)

Thomas' Album

Family pictures for Jan-March

A new folder of my big girl being a big sister

And if you missed any previous posts, here are Gracie's Birthday Pictures

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gracie Says...


"I will try to remember everything I forget to do, okay momma?"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Deputy For A Day

video

Gracie and her preschool class had their second field trip of the year today. They didn't exactly go far, in fact they walked there.

The class lined up with a few of us parent volunteers and found a spot on the shape rope and walked the few blocks to Strasburg Town Hall.

They we were greeted by Lt. Robinson who is in charge of patrol. He was so patient as he dealt with 17 4 & 5 year olds and their stories, questions, and random remarks. A few of the kids were able to answer his questions intelligently though. And, each one loved the sticker badges they got when we first arrived.

The kids listened (sort of) to a talk about stranger safety, and then went on a tour of the police station. Although, much to the boys' dismay, we did not see the jail. They did get to meet a bike officer and see his very expensive bicycle. He also took them out to the parking lot and let them see a patrol car. He even turned on the sirens and let the kids see inside the car. The kids went a step further and many crawled in the back and front seats to get a closer look. My shy Gracie of course stood at the back of the pack, but she listened intently the whole trip through.

The whole trip lasted about 45 minutes, but it was neat to watch the kids so interested. Of course I love getting to participate in her preschool day any time I can.

I have pictures in the Preschool Picasa folder if you want to see (scroll to the bottom).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kindergarten Ready


Well, she is all signed up for this fall. My baby is going to be a kindergartner. And, I would like to say I am handling that well--but I would be lying. I am hormonal enough already after just having a baby. Add in the realization my first baby isn't a "baby" anymore and you have one weepy mommy!

Gracie however is super excited about kindergarten. Poor thing decided she was going tomorrow. I continue to remind her that she won't go until fall, and she still has lots of fun things to do at preschool. She reminds me that fall is a long time away. Little does she know it isn't long enough.

Gracie will be in one of....are you ready....NINE kindergarten classes!!! I have no idea how that many 5 year olds are living in this tiny town. They have to be from surrounding areas. Apparently you just have to be a resident of Shenandoah County to go to Sandy Hook Elementary school.

While I am concerned about the amount of kids and how much education and attention she will actually get in a classes of 19 x 9; I am sure she will come out okay, and I will have another year of exciting things to look forward to.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Look What I Did!

It is nap time and BOTH of my babies are sound asleep. I think I should get a parenting sticker or something!

Oh, and I had to uncover Gracie's face to get this picture! She had completely covered her head up and was snoring so loudly! Poor thing is so tired from her exciting birthday week extravaganza!

I Am Finally Caught Up!

I have been blogging and editing pictures for a couple of hours on and off as Thomas snoozes in the Snuggly around my aching shoulders, and Gracie does crafts and watches Ariel in her room (she is having a rest day as she is completely exhausted from days of excitement!).

So, I am caught up. Check out the many blog entries starting last Wednesday, and then you can see more pictures in this Picasa folder. I hate being so behind, but I had no time or energy to blog as it was happening. Thanks for being patient ;)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Weekend With Grandma & Grandpa

The greatest birthday gift I think Gracie got, was a weekend with her 2 favorite people. Grandma and Grandpa came down for a visit this weekend and took our 5 year old on what I am sure was 2 days of fun!

I did get a sneak peak at a little of the fun since mom offered to help me take Gracie and Thomas to get pictures taken Saturday. Gracie needed birthday ones, and I hadn't gotten Thomas' pictures done yet either. Since she was going, she could pick out the ones she wanted and I got help--so everyone wins.

Despite the extreme heat in that place, the pictures came out awesome!!! I can't wait to share.

I ate dinner with them after the photo session and then Thomas and I went home and let them continue their fun.

I know they went to Toys R Us and that jumping on the hotel bed was planned, but I am sure all the details will never be revealed.

The three arrived back at our apartment this afternoon and they played for while before the water works started. Gracie always breaks down when it is time for them to go home, and today was no exception. We gave our birthday girl extra hugs, and mom left copies of her pictures from the weekend on my computer so Gracie could remember how much fun she had.

So, what did Garren, Thomas and I do without Gracie? Rested! Oh, and Thomas went to his first church service this morning! I had the camera, but didn't get a picture. Everyone wanted to know where Gracie was, but I promised she would be there next Sunday.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Look What I Got

You've gotta laugh. Gracie got her card from Mamaw & Papaw in the mail today. She now has 3 of the same singing Ariel cards. She thinks it is awesome, and I have been listening to each of them sing over and over again. I guess we all know our Gracie huh!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Gracie's First Real Birthday Party

Well, all of her parties have been real, but this was the first one with friends her own age. I should say it was "surreal!"

10 kids from Gracie's class joined us upstairs for her party. I was so glad that I brought activities! These rambunctious preschoolers were full of sugar and energy. I took Gracie's 2 fishing games, beads and ribbon to make necklaces, and I got wooden fish cutouts to color.

The kids kept themselves pretty busy with the activities and I went around and helped with tying ribbons and encouraging the game goers.

After a while we asked if they wanted pizza. Needless to say we had to wait 10 more minutes for them to finish playing, then they lined up and dug in.

When the pizza was given out and plenty of mess was made (including 2 spilled drinks), we gathered around the cupcakes for the birthday song. It is breaking my heart that this is the first year I haven't made Gracie's cake, but I have to admit some of my limitations. I have been doing way too much these past few weeks, but I knew there was no way I could get a cake done and decorated. But, Gracie seemed thrilled with her Ariel cupcakes despite my disappointment.

The kids sang again and each grabbed a cupcake, and later got ice cream cups.

This is when I lost the group. One or a few grabbed fallen balloons used for decorations and started the chase. I am not sure how it happened but there were 11 preschoolers chasing one or two kids around and around that fellowship hall squealing and laughing. I stood and watched unsure of what to do. But, their parents were there, and they weren't hurting anything or anybody. And, as one mom pointed out--it wore them out for nap time!

I managed to rangle the kids with the promise of present time. Gracie was the most excited about this.

Now the sugar and the excitement is at an all time high at this point, and the oddest thing happened. Before I could stop it the fastest most frenzied present opening race ever took place! It was all I could do to get the presents back in the bags so I could tell who gave her what for thank you notes! These little girls were gathered around Gracie and I am not sure there was any oxygen! They kept shoving gifts at her and talking and she was ripping through them and I was trying to catch them! It was all over in literally 5 minutes!

Then, they were off again! They found more balloons and I blew up some more so everyone could have one and they went chasing again!

Several moms laughed (at me I think!) and asked me if I was glad that I didn't do this at my house. I want to thank Candice again for the idea to use the church. Can you imagine if we had met at the pizza parlor like orginially planned!!!

Gracie had fun, but I think this might be the last of her kid parties for a while! Whew! I thought I knew what exhaustion was like, but not until today. Of course she wanted to play with her gifts and was way too excited to sleep--but I am so sleeping tonight!!!

Tomorrow, more birthday fun as Grandma and Grandpa come in for their weekend with her, just the 3 of them.

Preschool Birthday


She has her big party after school, but I had to make her school day special too! Around 10:30 I took a break from decorating the fellowship hall of our church and brought in the snack I had to celebrate Gracie's birthday.

I picked out vanilla pudding cups for the kids, knowing several wouldn't like them. It doesn't matter what you send, there are several that won't touch it. Last year I brought in ice cream and 5 or more wouldn't eat it!!!

Oh, and did I mention I handmade construction paper candles and taped them to the top of all 20 pudding cups. It made them look like cupcakes, and added that special Barbara touch.

The kids were excited about the snack and the party as well. Poor Ms. Stephanie kept having to remind them that Gracie's party was after school.

The kids sang Happy Birthday to Gracie and they let her blow out a candle. Most of the children enjoyed their puddings and the sprinkles I brought to mix in them :)

I gave my birthday girl a kiss and headed back upstairs to finish up her party.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Birthday Dinner


Well, she didn't sleep for her nap time, but the birthday train keeps on rolling!

Gracie picked Applebee's for her birthday dinner for the second year in a row. Funny huh! Any other kid would want McDonald's or pizza or something fun--not my girl. She wants a steak and potatoes as her treat!

She got her steak and potatoes, and while we were waiting for our food she also got to open gifts. I took the box of goodies Candice sent and put them in a gift bag, and Grandma and Grandpa had left something for her to open on her actual birthday the last time they were in. Add the gift from mommy & daddy and the card that arrived from Aunt Sharon this morning and she had quite a haul!

Gracie had fun ripping through the bags and Candice's TinkerBell tea pot set was definitely the favorite! She got Puppy in my Pocket birthday set from us, DVD's a birthday tiara, princess plates and bowls from Grandma, and spending money from Aunt Sharon. And, she loved the Ariel card that Candice sent her, and was equally as thrilled to open the same card from us! I guess great minds think alike! So, she has two singing Ariel cards and loves them! (By the way Candice, I had no idea you had sent that one or I would have gotten her a different one, so as not to steal your thunder :)

Speaking of singing, Gracie told me this afternoon that she was exctied about the waiters singing to her. In years past we have forgone the birthday songs from restuarant staff as our shy voilet woud have freaked out. This year though, she tells me "I am 5, I can handle it!"

So, they sang to her and she got to pick out the desert she wanted.

She had a great night, and the fun continues tomorrow as she has her after school pizza party!

Gracie Gets Beautied

As I have mentioned before--I have no idea where she gets it from, and I am pretty sure Mallory is to blame! ;)

My little girly girl told me several months ago that for her birthday she wanted to go to the beauty parlor and get "beautied." So, yesterday I made the appointment and we arrived this morning at the JC Penny salon for her special day.

The ladies there were so nice and made a fuss over her. Ms. Lindsay trimmed her hair for me since the last time I tried it ended up so short because I kept trying to even it out as she moved!! (Actually, she said I did a good job and there was only 2 spots I slanted!)

After the trim, Lindsay started in on giving Gracie curls. I had no idea how much hair Gracie had!! It took quite a while to get all of the sections curled and beautiful. This was very neat to watch, and I kept checking on my birthday girl, and she would give me the biggest grin! She was loving every minute.

Lindsay fluffed out the ringlets and let Gracie take a look at herself. You could tell she felt like a princess, and with the other hairdressers and customers for an audience she was floating as I helped her off the chair.

Next were her nails. Lindsay let Gracie pick out her color. Even though I tried to convince her to go with a much more subtle pink, you can see that she got the bright color she wanted. As Lindsay reminded me "it is her day," and I shrugged while Gracie watched intently as her nails were painted.

You could have scrapped my child off the ceiling when we left the beauty parlor. I don't get the thrill, but I loved watching Gracie so happy. She really loved her present.

And, we couldn't really be a princess without a ride on the mall carousel--right?! So, we took a ride and she sat up tall and proud grinning from ear to ear.

Before we left the mall we also took some time to play in the indoor playground and grab some lunch. Gracie also got birthday phone calls from Grandma and Grandpa.

The day is starting out very well!!

Happy 5th Birthday Gracie


Happy Birthday Gracie!!


It's my first baby's birthday, and she is having a fantastic one! I have so much to blog about, but the day isn't over and I am still swamped. I will post pictures from today as soon as I can. Also, her school party is tomorrow and I have cupcakes to bake, treat bags to fill, and a fussy Thomas to take care of! Next up is Gracie's birthday dinner. She has picked Applebee's and we will head out when Daddy gets home. Stay tuned for more updates when I can. And, thank you for the birthday cards, gifts, and comments!!! She loves you all :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Last Day Of Her Fourth Year

Okay, this hormonal mommy may not make it! My baby is turning 5 tomorrow, and my new baby is already 3 weeks old and has outgrown several outfits. Time is a cruel, cruel mistress!!

So, I find to make it through this day, I want to remember everything I can about 4. Well, I have tons of blog entries and thousands of pictures to document "4," so I will settle on documenting as much of her last day as possible.

8am: Mommy attempts to wake Gracie for school. She tells me she is too tired, and our usual school morning dance begins as I try to get her up, and she stays under the covers.

8:20am: I have her dressed in her strawberry & navy blue jumper, knee socks, and Mary Janes. I am able to brush and pull her hair back without tears this morning thanks to Daddy's intricate work on washing and drying her hair last night.

8:40am: We head off to school. Her last school day at age 4. Ms. Stephanie seems to chuckle when I tell her that it is her last day of 4. Maybe it is my hormones? Nah, this is so me!

8:45am: I give her kisses and she is off to color with the other kids. I lose from 8:45 am until 11:30 of this day, like I do 3 times a week for the past 6 months.

11:30am: I pick up my happy 4 year old from preschool. I get another RSVP from a grandma bringing her grandson to Gracie's lunch party on Friday. And, I hear about her school day. They got Oreo's and crackers for snack--what a treat! They also made window decorations and played Simon Says. When we get home she also tells me they have a field trip to the police station next week!

11:45am: Gracie finds the Aladdin puzzle I got her from the thrift store this morning and she and I put it together.

12:10pm: Gracie gets her own lunchable out of the fridge. I still remember cooking all of her meals and doing the airplane to feed her! Now, she can open her own food and get what she needs without my help. (Sniff)



12:30pm: I call and make an appointment at the Salon for her tomorrow. This is what she wanted for her birthday. They are going to give her a trim and curl her hair, and they will do her nails. The lady on the phone seemed as excited as Gracie was when I told her it was all set.

12:40pm: She pulls out her Kelly dolls and we play for quite a while. There was a "race" and the doll in the elephant costume wins.

1:50 pm: The Kelly dolls take a drip in the sink. Water table fun is on!

3:00pm: Gracie and I "argue" over the fact that she needs a nap. We read "Sleeping Beauty" AGAIN for story time and I tuck her in to her bed.

3:45pm: She is up and stalling--potty break

4:10pm: I can hear her in there talking. She really needs to sleep!!

4:45pm: I cave and let her up, not-so-secretly disappointed she didn't take a nap.

4:46pm-6pm; a blur of exhaustion

6:05pm: Daddy calls and wants to take the kids to Costco to get our bi-weekly needs

6:15pm: Daddy arrives and takes us to Costco, Gracie nearly falls asleep in the back seat she is so tired!

6:45pm: Gracie is thrilled that Daddy picks out a cheesecake from Costco, and is promised a very small slice when we get home.

7:30pm; We take the kids to Sonic to get a very late dinner. Gracie orders her usual; a corndog and fries. She loves to eat her dinner in the backseat. Mommy takes some silly pictures of Gracie and daddy enjoying their dinner in the car.

8:15pm; We get a very tired Gracie home, and forget that we promised her cheesecake! She gets a slice and we start the bedtime ritual.

8:40pm: 40 minutes after bedtime, she puts on her pajamas

8:50pm: She brushes her teeth

8:55pm: Story of the day, and we talk about her birthday being tomorrow and how blessed we are that God sent her to us.

9:00pm: She's in her bed and getting goodnight kisses on the last day of her fourth year of life. Tomorrow she is a whole year older, and the birthday extravaganza begins.

As if this detailed list isn't sad enough, I took so many pictures today to remember the end of another milestone!

Monday, March 02, 2009

sNOw Day

Grandma & Grandpa got snow. Heather & Tyler got to play in the snow. So did Janet & her twins, and Bryson and his daddy....but not us!

We were supposed to get 3-6 inches as the "Mega Storm" headed up north, but apparently old man winter realized there is nothing to do in Strasburg. So, he skipped us over.

Gracie didn't have school today, and I am not sure if they canceled for fear of snow, or if they got more further in the county. But, when I was up for Thomas' 8 am feeding there was barely a dusting out there, and it was gone by 9:30.

So, we hung out here at home. It was a good thing since Gracie was ill this weekend. We are pretty sure it was from exhaustion, but she threw up Saturday evening and had a fever until Sunday morning. Needless to say, we didn't get to take Thomas to his first church service. We will try again next weekend.

And, the birthday countdown is on. Only 2 more days until my not so little girl turns 5!