Saturday, May 30, 2009

On The Way Home

I had wanted all week to go to a pick your own strawberry patch--but the weather and distance was against us.

I saw the sign for one after we got off Afton Mountain heading towards Lynchburg, and I decided we would stop on the way back.

Gracie and I had lots of fun picking the berries, Thomas was not as thrilled. I believe he cried the entire time from the Snuggly I had him attached to me in. But, we didn't let that stop us.

Gracie got about a third of her box full (and her clothes completely stained with berry juice!) before we headed back to weigh in.

At 1.49 a pound I wish I had gotten more, but as I mentioned Thomas was screaming and it was very hot. Hopefully we can find one closer to home and do it again.

Of course I had to wash off a few for Gracie to eat in the car (thank goddness for leather seats that wipe off!) and we drove the rest home to share with daddy.

Fun, As Always, At Grandma's

I left my camera cord at Grandma's, so I am just now getting around to updating the blog--thanks for your patience--Candice!

The pump of sugar unfortunately did not end when Thomas and I arrived in Lynchburg on Saturday, but I can guess it was significantly decreased.

We had a week of many fun and exhausting activities from outdoor playtime, to shopping, to visiting Grandpa on the job.


Sunday:

Church and a family lunch at Cracker Barrel, then of course fun outside. We were so blessed with good weather for a few days at least, before it all started to come apart at the seams!

And, Gracie got a surprise as Aunt Dawn, Uncle Brian and the cousits all visited and brought Mariah back home. The kids of course made sure they didn't leave without their swimsuits as Grandma and Grandpa have opened the pool.

I don't know how those kids (including mine!) got in that frigid water, but they did. Well, Gracie got in up to her arm pits, but that was it. She spent most of the time tossing a ball to Issaac, who was in the water, while she sat on the egde!

Monday:


Thomas gets his first ride in the swing. This is Gracie's Fisher Price swing from when she was little, but he doesn't seem to mind that it is a hand-me-down. In fact he loved the swing so much he feel asleep in it.

Monday being Memorial Day, Grandpa was home and the kids really enjoyed having him at home. Gracie also helped him by digging up a plant and moving it. She really likes being his big helper, and she even got to use his drill on a project yesterday!

Tuesday:

Thomas is teething! Actually I should day mommy finally realises Thomas is teething. I knew he was drooling a lot the past few weeks and constantly had his fist in his mouth, but was convinced he was too young. Today, I actually saw the teeth--2 of them right in front!!
Today was also a Mariah day and Gracie and Thomas and I went with Grandma to pick her up from school. Gracie of course loves it when Mariah is in and the two of them spent most of the afternoon playing outside together.



Wendesday:

We did some shopping today, as Grandma quite often has a very large list of things she wants to do when we are in. Far more of a list than mommy has energy...but I digress!

As for Gracie, she got some outside play shoes and mommy let her jazz them up a little by taking markers to them. This clearly was a great craft idea and she can't wait to wash them and draw all over again!

Then ofcourse it was back outside to break in those very colorful shoes that she is very proud of. This by the way is a great craft idea for any parent looking for a summer time activity. Use washable markers and when the shoes are dirty throw them in the washer and the kids can do it all over again!


Thursday:

More outdoor time, only this time Thomas and Gracie have new swings. I would say they are spoiled (and they are), but the baby swing was too big for Thomas and apparently the big girl swing was cutting Gracie and Mariah's legs, so now they have a much nicer flat one.

I took several pictures today, but LOVE this one of Gracie pushing her baby brother on the swing!

We went out to dinner with Grandpa tonight, and Gracie some how ended up with 2 deserts! That's what happens when one of the grandparents takes her to the bar.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Thomas has learned to growl. It is too cute, and we are pretty sure that Grandpa taught him. I would love to get a video, but every time I point the camera at him he gets this blank face and stares at the red light!!!


Friday

Gracie had been asking Grandpa all week about how his house was coming along. She knows that Grandpa is a carpenter and he builds things like Handy Mandy (Bob the Builder is more acurate, but that show isn't on anymore).

Anyway, I asked her yesterday how would she like to see the house Grandpa is building. This idea thrilled her, and if you could have seen Grandpa with his two babies walking around the job site, you would know she wasn't the only one.

I have many more pictures of a very proud grandpa and this beautiful home in the Picasa folder, you will have to check them out, if for no other reason than to see how the "other half" lives!

Today was another Mariah day, so after the job site, and lunch we picked Mariah up and went to Sonic for ice cream which seems to becoming a tradition when we are in.

The girls played literally for the rest of the afternoon/evening outside together. It amazes me how well they play together for such a large age difference between them!

Saturday:

This was not such a good day as it was time to go home. But, she has been reminded that we will be back next month. We try to go in once a month anyway, but Garren and I agree that we want to give her as much time as possible this summer with Grandma and Grandpa since this fall it will be harder for longer visits with her in Kindergarten.

I have uploaded more pictures from our trip and you can see them in this Picasa folder.







Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Letters From Gracie

May 23, 2009
11:15 am

Mommy,

This is my breakfast. Donut with chocolate and sprinkles. Thank you for letting me stay at Grandma's.

--Gracie
____________________


May 23, 2009
12:15 pm

Mommy,

I remembered to brush my teeth.

--Gracie

___________________


May 23, 2009
12:15 pm

Mommy,

I helped Grandma clean.

--Gracie


Can't wait to get her home pumped with all of that sugar!! Actually Thomas and I are leaving in a few minutes to join the very spoiled Gracie in Lynchburg.

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Letters From Gracie

Thankfully the notes keep coming!

May 22, 2009

Mommy:

I love playing in the little pool at Grandma's!

--Gracie

__________________________

May 22, 2009

Mommy:

I played water sponge with Grandpa


--Gracie

_____________


May 22, 2009

Mommy:

I washed Grandpa's feet, he thought the water was cold.

--Gracie


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Letters From Gracie

Gracie has been sending me emails today from Grandma's house, complete with pictures. Clearly she is having a great time without Mommy there!

May 21, 2009
12:15pm

Mommy,
Hi, I'm having fun!

--- Gracie

______________________

Gracie,
Mommy is so glad! I miss you! Be a good girl. I like your new swimsuit :)

--Mommy



May 21, 2009
1:56 pm

Mommy,
My lunch is from Aunt Dawn.

--Gracie

____________

Gracie,
Lunch? Well, I am sure the milk in it counts for something. Besides, if you get sick, Grandma will have to be up all night with you :) have fun!

--Mommy


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Way To Go Gracie!

Congratulations to our preschool graduate...


We are so proud of you
Gracie!


Love, Mommy, Daddy & Thomas

Preschool Graduation

I can't believe today is already here. It seems like yesterday when she said her first "momma." And now my girl has completed not one, but two years of preschool and is the most beautiful and intelligent 5 year old--ever.

I waited all day to burst in to tears, but I think trying to make sure everything got done and ironed and cleaned and ready before 6pm kept the water works at bay. Lord knows I cry at the drop of a hat anyway, and you add in anything that has to do with my special girl and it happens even faster.

For the record, I even made it all the way through the 25 minute graduation service at the church tonight. That is until Ms. Christine started to lose it telling all of us how special our babies were.

I know Gracie is going to miss Grasshopper Green, and so will I. She had so many fun moments, and exciting experiences there. And, they are the ones to thank for making her in to the confident girl she is today.

2 years ago my child was afraid of other children. 2 years ago she clung to my leg terrified of anything outside of our small apartment. And, now, well you will see her in these vidoes and pictures. She is a whole different child--and yet the same amazing little girl I will love forever.

Okay, now I am crying. But I am allowed, I am one VERY proud mommy tonight!







I took so many pictures, and so many videos that we can't possibly put them all on here, so take a look at our "scrapbook."




And, you can see more pictures of all the fun things Gracie has done this year in her preschool photo album on Picasa. Click here to relive the memories.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

S'Mores


We are coming out of our shell..at least a little. Yesterday afternoon Gracie went outside and rode her bike and played with her friend from school Dylan (who lives a few houses down.)

Today, we invited Dylan over to our house for desert after dinner. Garren helped the two roast marshmallows over the grill and they made gooey, yummy S'mores and had a great time with the treats and playing with Gracie's outdoor toys.

I think we are really going to like it here, and have to choice but to grow as people and a family. No more hermit crab lifestyle!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gracie's Last Day Of Preschool, EVER!

Okay, I need lots of prayers if I am going to make it through this week! Today was her last day of preschool and I couldn't stop gushing.

This is my first baby, and I only hope it gets easier--although if you know me at all, you would probably doubt that as I do.

I had to snap a picture of Gracie in school for her last day. Emma came in a few moments after her and they were already talking about the fun weekend they had together. You have to love their big smiles as clicked the camera.

I also snuck in a few minutes before they were dismissed today becuase the door was open and I heard Ms. Christine asking each child what they liked best about Grasshopper Green. Most of the kids said things like "centers, doll house..etc." Many said "EVERYTHING!" My talkative Gracie went on for several sentences and included activities and crafts. I got it on video.

I snapped several more pictures and listened to them sing the Goodbye Song. Then they all started saying goodbye to each other. The goodbyes went out in to the sidewalk, and through car windows, and it was just too cute.

Gracie brought home a ton of things from this month as well as her "just in case clothes" which I have no doubt she has outgrown.

I also pulled out her cap and gown from the plastic bag and barely held it together as she put on the cap. Oh, I hope I make it!

I know I will, becuase I don't want to miss a proud moment of my little girl crossing over from preschool to kindergarden. I am bursting with pride.

You can relive all of the fun Gracie had in preschool this year in my Picasa album.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Blues


I had to snap a picture of my babies dressed in blue (I was too, I insist on us color coordinating for church--I know I am a goober :).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mayfest 2009

Whew--what a weekend!

It was Mayfest here in Strasburg, and I was afraid the rain would ruin all of the fun that we wait for each year. But, Mother Nature was kind and we got in lots of fun activities in between the downpours.

Friday was the start of the carnival, and I am so glad we decided to go the first night, because the rain likely closed it down Saturday night.

Mamaw and Papaw had come in for the weekend to take Luke back home, so they joined us on this expedition to the parking lot behind the fire hall. (Sounds exciting huh?!)



We got there around 6:30pm and there was already a huge amount of people, but Gracie was patient and waited her turn. Thomas was patient too. In fact, he was a little darling for his first carnival experience. He couldn't get enough of the lights and sounds. In fact I had to close up the stroller completely so he could get some sleep.

After about an hour of rides and yanking on Papaw to take her to the next thrill of her choice she found her friend Emma from preschool. After that, those two were inseperable and they held hands and went from ride to ride to ride. I think Papaw was a little relieved as he had ridden one too many times on the carousel with her.

The girls also bumped into friends Regan, Alexis & Cameron at the carnival. (It was like a preschool reunion all weekend long, and it was so cute to see them interact with each other out of school--like they were grownups seeing old friends!)

I felt bad that she ditched her family, but was quite grateful to Emma (and her dad) as Emma seemed to encourage Gracie a little. In fact, Gracie went on the Dizzy Dragons with her without and adult and had a great time, even though she swore at the start of the carnival that she was too scared of them. Then she and Emma got on the carousel with out a parent! This would be Gracie's first carousel ride ever without someon holding on to her. I was so impressed. And, thankful as I said, to Emma's dad who stood in line with the girls and helped Gracie on and off of rides. I was there watching like a hawk, but had the baby. At one point he had one girl under each arm and I know it had to be a shock. His little girl is this adorable tiny petetite thing that weighs probably half of my very tall, solid girl.

But they had tons of fun and said their goodbyes when it was time to go. I cut her off at 9pm, and I think we made it back to the car by 9:30.

This morning Mamaw & Papaw got up at the crack of dawn, and when Gracie woke up they took her back out. They went to the pancake breakfast and then walked around and saw the vendors and even got to one of the bouncy rides before heading home. Gracie saw Carson, another classmate, while she and Mamaw were walking.

More friends were out to play when we headed back this afternoon. It was overcast and looked like it would downpour at any minute so we let her do as many activities as she could. She went from bouncy thing to bouncy thing like a little jack rabbit. There she found little Emma (that I used to babysit), Dylan, Cole & Meadow all from preschool.

Gracie got in about an hour of playtime before the rain hit, but we waited it out in daddy's office for about 20 minutes and then went back out again.

Thankfully the rain passed over and the sun came out just in time for the parade! This year we decided to be smart and take folding chairs to the parade, and it was so much more comfortable! Thomas was pretty comfy in his stroller too, until the motorcycles came by. After that he was held--but LOVED watching all the people in the parade roll down King Street.


After the parade we got treats and headed home, just in time since a HUGE storm hit not too long after we walked in the front door.

It was a fun weekend and I am so glad that the rain didn't ruin it, and we got to share it with the family that visited.

**I've got tons of pictures included in this blog entry, but there are even more! Click here to see.**

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mallory's Play

Gracie and mommy got an evening out alone, and it came with dinner and a performance!

Gracie and I braved the very bad rain tonight and saw our favorite actress Mallory Mozingo in her spring production of The Dastardly Dr. Deveraux.

Mallory played an adorable burlesque dancer. Yep, burlesque dancer--and she goes to a Christian school! Gotta love it. Although, I would really have loved to see her father watching the play :)

Mallory did an excellent job, and Gracie giggled at Mallory's silly parts. She was thrilled to give her hugs and watch her up on the big stage. She is talking again about being in plays when she is as old as Mallory. She loves her so much, and despite her character tonight :), we couldn't think of anyone better for Gracie to want to be like!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Saved!


Mommy took advantage of Uncle Luke being in town for the week, and did an errand WITHOUT kids in tow!

I wasn't gone but a few minutes and the kids were asleep--I wouldn't punish anyone to handle both of my kids awake! (Not that he couldn't have handled it)

I was thinking about my strawberry plants last week, and I wanted them over at our new place. Strawberry plants come back year after year and have been thriving in the community garden I created a few years ago at the old apartment. Well, they thrived for the deer that never left us any...but I digress.

So, I went over and dug them up. I was able to find 3 plants. I put one in a terracotta planter for my kitchen window (which looks so cute in my strawberry themed kitchen), and planted the other 2 outside. I hope they do better than the roses that we brought over in the move. It doesn't look like they are going to come back at all. I can't complain too much though, as I rescued almost all of them after a huge storm and Walmart had them outside.

Uncle Luke Goes To School


By request Uncle Luke went with me to pick Gracie up from school. He also got a rare treat as we got to watch the kids play. They had outside fun time on the playground, and were clearly loving it!

Today, and for the remainder of the week, they worked on graduation practice as well. Only 2 more school days left! I can hardly believe it!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kindergarten Readiness

Yep, we are getting ready, already.

She graduates preschool next week, so what better time to start working on those skills. Well, really we are reviewing as I see that she and I have worked on most of these over the past 2 years.

I pulled out a workbook that Mamaw got her last year. My original plan was to make copies and use it with our other school work, but I have had so many other workbooks I have found (at thrift stores) we never got to it. Well, now we are focused on completing it cover to cover (its well over 300 pages).

Today we reviewed shapes, letters, and some math concepts.

By golly my little Kindergartener is going to be head of the class!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mommy's Day


My first Mother's Day as a mommy of two! I love my little blessings as much today as the day I brought them home from hospital...maybe more :)

**Not a bad picture for a camera balanced on a trashcan with the timer on, huh! You have to improvise when the other parent is out of town and you are the one who usually takes the pictures!**

Happy Mother's Day 2009


Many, many Happy Mother's Day blessings to all the mommies we know. Daddy isn't here to enjoy this day with Gracie, Thomas & I...but I am enjoying it all the same. After all, I get to be a mommy x 2 today!

Now, to wish some very special mommies a Happy Mother's Day...

Expecting Mommies

Becky
mommy due in June

Heather
mommy due in August

Angie
mommy due in December & mommy to Laura & William

First Time Mommies


Katie

mommy to Stella (3 weeks)


Laura

mommy to Mason (4 months)

New Mommies, Again

Kelly
mommy to Gabrielle, Ethan , & Ella (3 weeks)

Connie

mommy to Bryson & Braylee (7 months)


Amy

mommy to Mason, Jonas, Taylor, Van, & Carrington (7 months)


Erica
mommy to Ethan & Luke (7 months)

Still Lovable Mommies

Colette

mommy to Mallory

Shannon
mommy to Luke & Claire

Janet

mommy to Ella & Logan

Stacey

mommy to Luke & Lola


Rachel

mommy to Emily & Riley

Heather

mommy to Tyler


Sara
mommy to Jaxon & Maddie

Mommies In Our Family

Grandma
mommy to Barbara & Brian

Mamaw
mommy to Heather, Garren & Luke

Dawn

mommy to Jacob, Emily, Issac, Sue Anna, Mariah, Mark & Matthew

Heather

mommy to DJ, Ryan & Casey

Doggie Mommies Who Count too!

Candice

mommy to Lucie

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mother's Day Tea

What a proud mommy I was today...and what a big baby too!

I can admit it, I teared up as my daughter and her classmates sang a song to us mothers as we sat at very nicely done tables in the church fellowship hall this morning.

Trying not to cry, and trying to wipe the tears was very hard to do as I grinned from ear to ear and watched Gracie belt it out, and hold the digital camera in one hand on video.

The song was short, but too cute. They were dismissed and sent to sit beside their moms. Gracie hugged and kissed me so many times and then gave me the brown paper bag that said "Gracie's Mommy" on it. She looked so proud as I opened the foam craft she had made for me at school earlier in the week.

I gave her more hugs and kisses, hoping she wouldn't ask why I was crying.

Ms. Julie stepped up to the front of the room and started a list of what each child had said to the question "why do you love your mommy?" Some of the answers were hilarious, some were sweet--and Gracie's was, well Gracie:




We had a nice brunch of veggies and dip, sandwiches, chicken fingers, chips and even cookies.

This was such a special little event, and I enjoyed every minute. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I would have liked, but I got quite a few.

I have learned that I love being a mommy even more than I did yesterday...and, I am never going to make it through graduation. Forget the mascara, and pack extra tissues, there is NO way I will make it dry eyed, and I may need a sedative!

As for my other dumpling, Colette and Mallory enjoyed his company this morning so I could focus solely on my Gracie for her special time with mommy.

You can see the other pictures I got in her preschool folder on Picasa, start here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Gracie's Bad Day

My poor Gracie has had such a rough day....please find the energy to pitty her if you can.

I love my baby, but she is such a drama queen! I would say where she gets it from, but the other drama queen would be upset ;)

She fell at school this morning and scraped her knees. In her defense though they are pretty rough scrapes. They were so bad in fact that I had to carry her up the stairs because she just couldn't walk. And she had to have a pallet made for her in the playroom and she only had the energy to watch videos. (Are you sobbing yet?)

She got lots of extra hugs and kisses today, and even a little Tylenol (they bruised and she told me they hurt and she doesn't lie about things like that.) She also got a treat at the store, and she got to take a very bubbly bath in mommy's big tub tonight. So, I think she will mend rather nicely ;)

**I snapped some pictures (along with this one) as they came back from playing outside just as it was time to pick them up from school. I didn't realize it had just happened, but if you click to enlarge the picture you can see the blood on her leg. Poor thing. The teacher told me it was bad and they pit these HUGE band aids on them.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Thomas Turns 3 Months


Where has the time gone! I think it is going faster now that I have 2 kids. I am so exhausted and everything seems to melt together. Boy, I have got to slow down, I can't miss a single minute ;)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Review Mirror


It was pouring rain when we left Lynchburg this morning, and it continued to pour as we made the 2.5 hour drive back home. Some where about half way I looked through the review mirror and watched as Gracie put the binki in Thomas' mouth for the 100th time to keep him from screaming. And, I smiled.

I smiled because I was looking at my whole life in that back seat. My entire world in a 6 inch frame.

Gracie was holding Thomas' hand, her favorite thing to do. Her arm was stretched across the backseat from her car seat to his. He wasn't fussing any more as she had manged to get his pacifier in his mouth and he was calming down.

What a beautiful picture. My big girl and my little boy clutching each other. There is no amount of words I could use to describe just how much they love each other, and just how much I love them.

It was a good moment.

Fun With Grandma & Grandpa

We had a great extra long weekend in Lynchburg with Grandma and Grandpa...and later Aunt Dawn & all the cous-its.

We also had a nice play date with some friends of mine and their kids, and mommy even enjoyed the baby shower I went to--without my children.

I also earned several gold mommy stars this weekend. For starters I found the courage to go through Gracie's baby clothes. After I sorted I ended up with only 6 boxes remaining...to keep. I had filled 7 with clothes to give away. She may not be the best dressed, but she is definitely well dressed!

It was hard to see all of those tiny outfits and picture her in my mind wearing them. She isn't a baby anymore and I am not sure if I will ever get to dress a little girl again. It was amazingly depressing, but then when I carted the loads to the shower for my friends to look through, it was a great feeling. Now her cute clothes would live on and they would be put to good use. And now that the pile has dwindled, I realized I have several other good friends with little girls all different ages. So, Gracie's massive wardrobe will be dispersed and shared, and it makes me feel so good.

And, for my other sticker--I made it 3 whole hours before I called Dawn and checked on the kids while I was at the baby shower! Can you believe it. It wasn't that I wasn't thinking about them, and I know Dawn was taking super good care of them--but hey I am a mommy who can count how many times I left my child on one hand (and she's 5!) And, remember I left my own mother a manual to take care of her :) And, hey he is less than 3 months old!!!

While I totally earned my mommy sticker, I am finding things so much easier with Thomas. It is easier to give him up, as I rarely ever let anyone hold Gracie (including my parents and inlaws!). I don't worry about as much, and I am much more calm about things. Experience is good!!

Pictures from Lynchburg