Monday, January 31, 2011


Gracie came home from school today flouncing her new haircut (mommy style), and told me that she learned about adjectives today.

She was excited about it because we had talked about adjectives last night over daddy's birthday dinner at the Silver Diner. They had a "mad libs" sort of story on the children's menu and we were doing that while we waited for the food. They had already learned what a noun was, but mommy had a great deal of explaining for the other fill-in-the-blanks.

She was also excited, because she was chosen to stand in front of the class as they described her.

I asked her what the other kids said:

"she has pretty hair bows." "she has straight brown hair." "She is wearing pandas." "she likes princesses all the time" --to which the teacher apparently replied "Dylan, we are talking about what she looks like right now."

Okay kids you can do better than that...

New Shoes

I knew he needed new shoes...but I didn't know he needed them that badly!

Thomas went from a size 5 and 1/2 to a 7 1/2!

The lady that was working at the Payless, attempted to measure his foot, and I told her she better not since he would freak out. After the 4th pair of shoes I attempted to get on him, she helped me measure his foot.

I was astonished--and embarrassed.

Jot another strike on my mommy permanent record!

Now, usually I love Payless for kids shoes. They are cheaper and the way they grow you might as well save some money while you buy pair after pair. (Once Gracie was in school, we bought her "good" name brand shoes since she would be walking a lot and needed the support). But, I guess the selection in toddler/preschool shoes is limited to girls!

I found 3 pairs in his size.

We went with the (ugly) black Cars shoes, because a) they lit up and he loved that, and b) they were on a serious clearance sale!

Not that either of the other 2 pairs were any more attractive. But, Thomas hates shoes..and socks for that matter--so, I better get something he somewhat likes if I want them to stay on his active little feet.

Happy Birthday Daddy

He didn't exactly get to spend it the way he would have liked, but he was showered with lots of birthday greetings, and a cake at work, and cards in the mail, and a cake and hugs here at home,

We hope #33 is a wonderful year for Garren!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mommy's Morning

Sometimes life with Thomas is so hectic and busy...and even frustrating, that I forget to stop and write down our daily adventures.

No crying when he woke for the morning, simply said "mama!"

A morning of wanting nothing more than to be held by mommy.

Small fingers peeking under the other side of the bathroom door when mommy couldn't wait any longer to "go."

A game of peak a boo with the elderly gentleman standing behind us in line at the pharmacy counter.

Two restaurant employee's crowding in the drive thru mirror to get another look at my white haired boy. They got so distracted giggling at his fake shy smile the line behind us piled up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gracie's First Poem

I meant to type it all out last week before she turned it in for school--but I didn't get the time. So, now that the poem has been graded and returned I thought you would love to hear just how imaginative and creative my daughter is.

Miss. Anderson is taking a whole new approach to homework this half of the year. Instead of just writing their spelling words over and over and writing sentences--they get to choose 4 different "activities" to do with them.

Gracie chose, "choose 7 words and write a poem or song," "use refrigerator magnets to spell out your words," "type your words 3 times on the computer," and "write your words in bubble letters." There are 12 different "activities" to choose from each week--and Gracie is even more excited about her words than ever.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Breaking Binki

Well, we are trying anyway.

Today was "Day 1" of no-binki unless we are sleeping.

It actually went well, and it wasn't planned. I found and gathered several binks last night and chucked them in the dishwasher before bed--so they were out of sight, and he left his morning bink on my bed.

So, once I realized he had made it all morning, I decided to try for all afternoon.

I hid his nap time bink while changing his diaper, and he didn't even notice the rest of the day.

Here's hoping we can keep it up!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A New Low

Gracie hit a new "low" in sibling jealousy today.

Thomas stepped on something I expressly told him not to step on (and that I was currently working with!), and got a small cut on the bottom of his foot.

I wouldn't have worried over it, but it was bleeding a little and I didn't want it all over my rug and sofa, and I wanted to keep it from getting infected. So, I asked Gracie to go upstairs and get me the box of band aids so I could hold him still. She comes back downstairs with the boy box (Cars) and the girl box (Princess) or band aids and insists on having one too.

She isn't kidding folks! I tell her that she doesn't need a band aid (doesn't work, she wants one anyway). I ask her where she is going to put it (she names several places). She pulls one out and opens it while I am tending to Thomas. I see her about to stick it to her arm (and try not to loose my cool). I tell her it will hurt when she pulls it off. So, she sticks it on her foot just like where Thomas has his!

I am so over the jealousy phase with her! She has had almost 2 years to adapt to not being the only child, and to not being the "baby."

Her antics are exhausting.

As if I weren't frazzled enough from Thomas on a daily basis, Gracie adds in baby talk, whining, complaining if he has something she doesn't, picking at him, taking things from him--generally being a jealous bully.

I know we had this wonderful period when he was born and it lasted longer than most sibling "love," but Gracie has been over it for a while.

If he has juice, she has to have juice; if he gets a snack, she has to have a snack; if he has a new toy or book she will make sure she gets to read or play with it (first if she can manage it!).

I have tried talking to her, I have tried boosting her by telling her what a big deal it is to be 6, we have threatened to treat her like a baby and all that entails. Nothing is working!

I know it is a phase and it will all work out--but it is VERY FRUSTRATING! I feel like I am the mom to TWO babies.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Chewey

So, we are a little late--but he is stuffed and I doubt he noticed ;)

Chewey's first birthday was actually January 1st, but things were a little busy around here, so we had to postpone his party.

Okay, well I forgot about the idea. I thought it would be fun to give him a party when I realized that he and Thomas became best friends in January--but life and chaos made the idea fall right out of my brain.
Since Gracie was out of school today for the holiday--I thought "what a great way to occupy the kids!"

Now if you know me well...okay at know I go way to overboard with things.

I did tone it down and just bought decorations from the Dollar Store, but I wanted to make a cake or cupcakes, and after searching the web for puppy ideas, I found the perfect cupcakes!

There isn't much to share, except Thomas wasn't happy with Chewey having a hat on his head. In fact--he hated that part. But, Chewey didn't seem to mind. I think he had a good birthday, and party.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Am So Proud!

He thinks this is hilarious! In fact, he gets choked laughing since he is plugging his nose. Of course it wouldn't be quite as funny if it didn't freak mommy out!

The Movies With Gracie

Gracie has been dying to see this movie since the trailers began last year around Halloween....and now she (like most little girls her age) has squealed with delight at watching the new Disney princess make her movie debut.

Of course, for us parents, it means hundreds of dollar to "the mouse" for all things Rapunzel!

But, I have to say it was a cute movie.

Of course the fun part is always watching Gracie watch things. Such a simple child, she amuses easily and just gets so excited. I am not sure if any two minutes of the movie past where she was actually sitting still.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Slick Wait For No Bus

I guess her snow dance worked.

Gracie and I waited and waited at the bus stop this morning with sleet coming down.

I am aggravated because there is sleet and I am about to put my baby on the bus, and because the bus is super late and I am cold.

Thanks to a woman on her way to work, we were informed as we waited in the sleet, that the schools were on a two hour delay.

"Well, Barbara, why didn't you check to see if they were delayed before you left the house?"

"I did!"

The only way school information works people is if you update it BEFORE parents and kids leave for the bus!!!

Now, while I am attempting to breathe--I checked the website (silly me!) and they apparently announced the delay on the NBC station.

At home we had this lovely little thing called "School's Out." It was an electronic system that sent an email to you to let you know that the school was on a delay or cancellation. This school system doesn't use such technology. They insist you rely on their website or local channels.

I guess next time I will have to turn the TV on while I am doing a million other things to get her out the door!

Mommy is a bit aggravated this morning! But, Gracie is watching a Barbie movie and Thomas is still asleep and this might be my only quiet time today--so, I better get over it--quick!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Dance

Mommy: Okay, Gracie get in bed--let's say your prayers.

Gracie" Wait mommy! I have to do the snow dance! I promised Miss. Anderson!

(she gets out of bed and stars twirling and giggling)

After many winters and the conversations I have had with Candice (4th grade teacher), I know all about the snow dance and rituals. I just thought it was a Candice thing, apparently all teachers talk their children into hoping for a snow day!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

23 Months

This is the last month of counting "months" instead of years--and I celebrated by putting him in to costumes that were too small.

Well, I figured they were and I wanted at least a picture of him in the THREE I forgot I had, and that he never wore.

And to be honest, at the time I didn't realize it was the 9th--so these are the only pictures I have of the day--and they aren't good.

I will have to post a better picture of 23 months this coming week.

With Gracie, time seemed to fly by--but I have to admit, I often think puzzled--he is only 23 months? He isn't two yet?

Not because he is "so far advanced," but because I feel like I have been chasing him for at least 5 years now!

Seriously though, I do forget how "young" he really is. Maybe my expectations are too high--because as you can see--he is in fact, not even two yet.

So at 23 months, besides running me ragged, he...

has a small piece of white tooth that pushed through where his 3 year old molars are supposed to be.

everything still goes in his mouth (the constant tooth pain he has is probably to blame for that)

he can jump

he can throw a ball (and many other things)

he can get in a chair by himself (which is hilarious to watch--he kind of lays over it, then looks like a beached whale as he scoots his belly until he gets far enough on the chair, sofa, etc to pull himself up. I have ti video it one day!)

he can help get himself dressed, but putting his arms in the sleeves, and pulling up his pants

he still charms you!

he babbles and babbles, but very few new words have emerged.

he will say "yep" and nod his head hard when you ask him something that he wants. He is also more adamant with the "no!" Which is more like "nooooo" as she shakes his head and strings it out.

still a picky eater, but I am finding that if he sits in the chair without his booster, he will eat more. He doesn't like to be restrained (which we have known for a VERY long time), and the booster seat is something that doesn't allow him to move or shift or get down and up by himself.

he runs from pictures. And I don't mean just professional ones (I don't have a Penney's picture or a Santa picture of both my children thanks to his "difficulty!"), he loves to run when mommy pulls the camera out--and laugh! He will hold still for a second with a big grin, and just before I can click the button--he is off and laughing. This is so amazingly frustrating, and sad that I don't have many pictures of him over the past few months!

(I am attempting to focus on the positive here--so I will leave the majority of the things he can do off of the list :)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Pajama Day

Gracie got her make up pajama/Polar Express Day today at school.

According to Miss. Anderson the other first grade teachers opted not to make it up since it was after Christmas. But, I am so thankful that Gracie's teacher didn't take it away from her students.

I can't tell you how upset she was that she missed it before school let out for Christmas. The kids were out the two days before scheduled thanks to the snow. She was fine with the one day--then she realized her party and pajama day would be canceled as well.

Gracie proudly wore her new snowman pajamas, I had bought her just for the occasion, to the bus stop this morning.

When she came home this afternoon she was excited and telling me all about the fun she had.

They got to watch the movie and have hot chocolate (most of which was stained on her pajamas ;) They made marshmallow snowman treats and exchanged stockings.

Earlier in the month we were asked to send in a stocking for our child (I hit the Dollar Store and then jazzed it up a bit), as well as 17 of "something small." While at the Dollar Store Gracie browsed all the isles and the trinkets and decided on silly straws. I saw them hanging in an isle and said "fun." She though so too, and we got enough packages for the class (4).

Gracie dumped her loot on the sofa and was not pleased to find so much candy! Of course she got fun pencils and someone else picked straws too--they were the Santa kind. There were also fun erasers and a notepad.

Sadly, I don't think there was 16 different items in her stocking--but Gracie didn't care. I am noticing that this school tends to ask for a lot more than the old school, but at the same time, the parents here don't volunteer, donate, and help anywhere near as much as Sandy Hook parents.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My First "Pillowcase" Dress

My mother had mentioned these last year, or maybe before that, and I had no idea what it was. But, when I came across the directions for one in my craft searching on the internet--I just had to make one!

It claimed to be "super easy." Well, I can sew, but I am not that good, or fast at it. So, I wasn't buying the "easy" part.

But, let me tell you--I had this dress done in 2.5 hours and I think it took me so long because I was obsessing over it. And, I hand made and sewed the applique.

I am thrilled with the outcome--which is odd, because I never like what I have made until much later on.

I can not wait to see it on her! I made mine specifically thinking of it as a dress top. I think it will look so cute with a white turtle neck under it, and a pair of khaki's or even her blue pants.

I will post a picture when she wears it. I thought she might like to wear it to school on Monday.

I would have eventually gotten around to making this dress, along with the long list of other projects I want to do with the brand new sewing machine I got for Christmas--but I kind of jumped into this project after Candice asked me about the pillowcase dress, and wanted some for little Jolee. I thought I better make sure I can make one and it look nice before I make some for such a cute little baby girl!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Birthday Delima

(if you don't want to read all of my ramblings on the subject, scroll down to the bottom where I list the limitations)

I have two children, whose birthdays are five weeks apart in the winter season, and we live in a new place where we know next to no one.

It is no secret that I make every occasion a big deal for my children, and that includes made up occasions, and random occasions--so when it comes to birthdays--mommy makes a HUGE fuss.

Their birthdays are the days my two precious babies came into my life, and changed it forever. They are the reason I breathe. I would sky write how important they are if I could.

The birthday "situation," has been on my mind for months now. You all know me well enough to know I start planning for the kids birthdays way before they actually get here.

Okay, truthfully, I have been thinking about how the kids are going to be jipped on their birthdays since the move--but I am trying to be proactive now.

Poor Thomas. This is only his second birthday. I know that the second child can never have what the first one had. But, poor thing, Gracie was so much the center of my world--I turned everything upside down for her. Her first birthday party had so many people they could barely fit in mom's house. Her Christening was a blow out with so many, many guests, including two families to traveled from Tennessee.

Thomas' first birthday was nearly snowed out, and no one wanted to come to his Christening party because it was father's day.

Okay, so he won't know any different (even though I will), but what in the world do I do about Gracie?

Lets see: her first birthday as I mentioned was HUGE, she had a very small 2nd birthday because we were all still grieving over Lou, she had 2 third birthday parties: one with the girls from the apartment, and then a big family one in Tennessee, her fourth birthday she was able to celebrate at school, and at home with some extended family, birthday #5 was crazy, but she got her very first friends party with all of her little preschool friends, #6 was the birthday that never ended: she went out to dinner with just her and daddy (thanks to Thomas!) then mommy was so upset, she took her out again, she got a mini party at school, and then a Barbie party at the house with all of her favorite grown up people.

Loving the re-cap so far? I guess I am trying to just share with you what is going on in that wondering mind of mine.

So this year?

I discussed a possible plan with the kids last night, but to be honest, it just doesn't seem fair, or right, or special at all.

I told the kids they would celebrate their special days with us. They could pick a restaurant and mommy would make a cake. Then, I would pick a day and they would have a joint birthday maybe in Strasburg where they could celebrate with all of the friends and family they miss.

But, let's be honest. 1. it is winter, travel and weather will put a cramp in the plan. 2. we can invite people, but it doesn't mean they will come and I will have to take everything 2.5 hours for possibly a low to no turnout. 3. the general assembly is in session for both of the kids birthdays and daddy will be out of commission so I will likely have to do it all myself.

So, I have no idea what to do. I would love any PRODUCTIVE suggestions. I am not whining, I really don't know what to do. I feel like the list of limitations is so huge. My kids are so special, and just glossing over their birthdays is not what I want to do, and it will in fact eat away at me.

So, put yourself in my position, and tell me what you would do.

Here is the long list of limits:

  • Kids birthdays are in winter months (Feb 9th & Mar 5th)--so you have the nasty weather problem.
  • They are only 5 weeks apart (which comes in to play later in my list)
  • I can't let Gracie have a "friend" party because we would have to invite and prepare for all 17 kids in her class which is expensive, and too much work for me to do alone with a toddler on my hip. Plus, she doesn't seem to talk about many kids in class but a few.
  • We are 2.5 hours from the closest family, and I can't have one child a party there and not another, and I can't expect family and friends to travel here (2.5 hours!) twice.
  • Garren will likely not be able to help, or attend, so I am solo with two kids for any party.
  • I have a few people I know here, but they don't know the kids, and they work/have family responsibilities of their own.

So seriously--what would you do? And if you like the co-party idea, how do I make sure it is special for both of them with their vast age and interest differences?

I know this sounds silly, but think about your kids, and tell me that their birthdays meant almost as much to them as it did to you.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Gracie's First Ballet

What an evening.

Gracie was thrilled to be sitting in one of the few first rows to see her very first ballet.

Mommy thought she had missed out on the opportunity, but since the snow canceled the performance we were going to go too--the Richmond Concert Ballet did an encore (make up) performance here in Mechanicsville.

As soon as I saw the information I called and got the both of us tickets.

Gracie was definitely dressed for the occasion, and she could hardly sit still before the performance and during intermission.

If you have never taken your daughter to a ballet, look in to it. What a wonderful experience! Since this is the Concert Ballet and not the Richmond Ballet, I was able to get tickets for $25, and they offered a coupon for buy one, get one in a free magazine.

Maybe next time we will pop for the Richmond Ballet, but it will not be able to top the look on my daughter's face for the first time she ever saw a ballerina up close.

I think I am going to have to stop stalling on the ballet classes now.

A Real Baby New Year

Welcome Baby Preston!

Preston Carter Snead

was welcomed to the world
January 1, 2011
at 9:26 am

Weighing: 8lbs, 3oz

Congratulations Heather & Travis,
and big brother Tyler!

**Preston was the first baby of the New Year for the hospital in which he was born, but not for the Richmond area. Another hospital claimed that "prize." But, Preston by far is the most precious New Year baby in Virginia...and the US as well! :) **

Happy New Year!