Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Show & Tell Memory


So, Thomas loves Caillou. Okay he really, really LOVES Caillou! He goes in to a trance when the show is on, and nothing else goes noticed. I can call him, talk to him, jump on all fours--nothing. His gaze is fixed. I have no idea why he is fascinated with that show, but he knows when it comes on and even has the commercials before it memorize and will start shouting "Caillou! Caillou!" before the theme music starts. I have to record him during the theme song some time--he points out all of the characters, especially the grandpa. He shouts at the TV "Papa!!!"

Well, anyway, there are maybe 5 episodes of this show that they show over and over and over and over! Okay, maybe more than 5--but not by much.

So, the Show And Tell episode was on again today and again it reminded me of when Gracie was someone's show and tell.

If you have seen the episode, Caillou can't decide what to take to play school for his show and tell. Finally he decides on a surprise and his daddy brings in a wagon. Caillou pulls the blanket off the box on the wagon and there is Rosie, his baby sister.

When Gracie was just over a month old she went to show and tell. We were in visiting and we had to pick Mariah up from Kindergarten. Mariah was so excited to see baby Gracie (that she loved at that point because she saw her and then she was gone and she had grandma and grandpa all to herself again!). Mariah got to sit in the big rocking chair and her little classmates sat in a circle around her and she held Gracie and told all about her.

It was too cute.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Days Past

So, I was thinking back and trying to remember what we usually did on Memorial Day, because honestly I couldn't remember. I really want our family to develop more traditions and better memories.

So, anyway, last night I sat at the computer and found pictures from the past 6 years. I only have pictures since 2004 on the computer, since that is when I got a digital camera!

Even though they aren't consistent in place and with people, looking back--they seem like wonderful moments.

Memorial Day 2004
(Lynchburg) Gracie's First Memorial Day, and first time in the pool (little)

Memorial Day 2005
(Strasburg) Gracie's first dip in the Shenandoah River

Memorial Day 2006
(Lynchburg)
Memorial Day 2007
(Strasburg) A Picnic & Fun with the Mozingo's!

Memorial Day 2008
(Washington, DC) Possibly the hottest one ever! We take Garren's parents for their first DC trip. Did I mention it was hot. Oh, and surprise, I am pregnant!
Memorial Day 2009
(Lynchburg) Thomas' First

Memorial Day 2010
(Lynchburg) I get to meet baby Nina for the first time and all of Amy's kids come over to play!
Guess who didn't snap pictures today?! Me! (It was hot we didn't actually do or go anywhere. Daddy cooked out--but we all stayed in!) But, I think I will keep the picture of the kids in their matching outfits as our Memorial Day pic anyway.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Sunday

No, he isn't crying because he thinks he looks "girly!" He just hates having his picture taken. He totally agrees with mommy that he is too cute! And all of the little old ladies at church this morning thought so too!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

..and just in case daddy needs help this summer mowing the lawn....



Okay, isn't that the cutest?! I had wanted to get him one of those bubble mowers for Easter, but since he freaks out at anything that makes noise (like battery operated noise), I decided that would be a wasted investment. But, today when I was at a yard sale, I got this one for $.50! He loves it! It is a popper mower, and it is a little worse for wear, but it will be an outside toy and he is already enjoying his new man responsibility.

The Pool Is Out


It is plenty hot enough here for it, and what better way to start off the Memorial Day weekend?

I bought this pool a few weeks ago and had it in reserve. It is much like the one we got last year for the Townhouse, but it seems smaller. Of course, as Garren points out our yard was smaller then, and if you think about it--so were the kids! Gracie has grown so MUCH since August, I am surprised she even fits in the pool!

The kids were thrilled when mommy inflated it and filled it with water. We have promised daddy again this year we will leave it up for a2-3 days then deflate and empty the water out so it doesn't do too much damage to his precious yard.

I think the kids will be getting a lot of splashes in this weekend. I don't know who turned the heat up so high, but if this is summer in Mechanicsville, I might not make it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Real "Boy Haircut"

Also known as Thomas' Haircut #3.

This is a happy picture, not only because he looks super cute and I can see his eyes again, but because we made it through the whole ordeal without so much as a tear!

I wasn't expecting such good and wonderful behavior, and I can't tell you how relieved I was.

As you can see, I took him back to the place where he got his first haircut. After the last experience I decided no miles were too far, and no dollar amount too large to avoid the disaster haircut and my 3 solid days of crying about it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Post Cards Please!

I started this project with Gracie when she was about 3, and we have had the best time seeing all the places you've been! If you travel somewhere this summer, might you pick up a postcard and tell us all about it?! Kids love getting mail, and we track where your postcard came from, so we are learning geography, and now that Gracie can read she can read what you sent to her and practice her vocabulary--so really, its a win win!

You don't have to send the postcard from your destination, you can wait until you get home and have more time if you would like, but they are so much fun, and if you spot a card in a souvenir shop think of us. Just write a little bit about where you are, or why you were there, or what you saw. She's 7, you don't have to write a novel :) And, if you are like us and don't travel much, send us a postcard from where you live! We would love to see your hometown, and if you are from Strasburg, we would love to get postcards from "home" this summer since we can't be there in person. Or if you go to a local musuem, attraction or amusement park those are neat as well! And to our college friends--we would love a postcard from your University or College!!

Since the beginning of my project we have received 43 postcards, 7 of them are out of the country! I would love to keep it going, and when Thomas is older he will have more participation in the ongoing postcard fun. Of course, you can address the card to Gracie & Thomas and she will read it to her little brother as well.

If you don't have our address, email or message me here on Facebook and I will send it to you super quick! And, now that Gracie can write very well, you might get a postcard back :)

Thank you for thinking of us, and if you want to see all the places we have gotten cards from, click on our map!

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=212117763730614493698.000440815c845e48b415b

Barbara (BJ) & Gracie & Thomas too!

OH, and bonus points--I would love to get a postcard from all 50 states, so if you live in these states or visit one of them, help us out!

Ohio

Indiana

South Carolina

Mississippi

Kentucky

West Virginia

Washington

Oregon

Idaho

Wyoming

Arizona

Colorado

New Mexico

Texas

North Dakota

South Dakota

Nebraska

Kansas

Oklahoma

Minnesota

Iowa

Missouri

Arkansas

Louisiana

Michigan

Kentucky

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Full Closet, Full Heart

A full Gracie closet makes my heart fell good, and I sure could use some of that this weekend.

Not only does her closet being full and neat mean that the laundry is put away (and I cleaned it up!), but I love to see the long tightly packed row of colorful pretty girly dresses.

Hey, it's my thing.

I hate the end of seasons when I have to go through her closet and pull out things I know she will never get to wear again. This is one of the HARDEST parts of being a mom. It is like physical proof that this time is over and you aren't going to get it back.

So, how can I smile?

Well, Garren got the box down from the attic that had all of her spring/summer clothes in it. I am so proud of myself for shopping ahead. I love to find dresses, and as Gracie got older finding them in her size got more and more difficult--so, I started thinking smarter and I would buy a dress I loved even if it was too big. And, boy am I glad I did. Look at all of these colors and happiness we get to choose from!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Trying To Forget

Today is Mayfest.

We aren't there. We are here. You can imagine my spirits.

Gracie was crushed as well this morning when we told her we weren't making the trip. Daddy told her it was the weather. It was really Thomas+5 hours in the car+too much sun+no nap..and well, a million other reasons. They all sounded good on paper. Not so good to my heart.

But anyway. Daddy decided to make it up to Gracie. I guess he figured there was nothing he could do to make my sadness go away.

Oh how I long for the days when a few well planned adventures and ice cream could heal the soul. To be a child again and for all the pain and worries to fade.

Needless to say, after a kid-fun day Gracie's tears were long gone, and she had forgotten (almost) all about the fun she was missing in Strasburg.

We found a place that has a room full of bouncy houses. You pay one price and let your kids jump until they puke--or for 2 hours, which ever came first.

Gracie and Thomas had a blast.

Then, we treated them to a pizza lunch buffet at Ci-Ci's.

It was time for a nap.

But, after nap the kids got to try out our new ice cream place: Sweet Frog. Let's just say it was a hit--especially with Gracie. It was a place where you fill your own cup, add your own toppings and you pay by the ounce. Can you guess whose was the biggest?!

We attempted dinner at the Mexican restaurant (for mommy's benefit I think), but it wasn't long before the kids were complaining, and Gracie had over-indulged with ice cream so a few bites in to chips and salsa and she was holding her stomach. We got to go boxes and I attempted to finish my meal at home.

All in all the kids had a good day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mother's Day Blooms


I thought I would share the blooms on my Mother's Day rose bush. They started to bloom a few days ago, but this was my first chance to get a picture.

This is the bush Garren got me for Mother's Day.

As you can see it is still in the container it came in. I have no idea where to plant it (even though I told him I would rather have a plant than cut flowers). We have plenty of yard, but it is very well landscaped thanks to the landlords, and I think I am afraid it will get left behind when we move. Yes, I said *when* we are not huge fans of this house, so I don't think we will be renewing our lease after the 2 years are up.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Grade Play

My cowgirl got her big chance to take the stage tonight for her First Grade Play (well, musical). Each of the six first grade classes took part, and my Gracie was bouncing off the walls all day. She wanted a jean skirt to wear and a cowgirl hat. I am not much for skirts, but I was very pleased to find a pair of skorts (well, they called them that "back in my day" they are shorts with a skirt wrap around) at a thrift store in her size--so, now we are both happy. And, I found the pink cowgirl hat at the Dollar Store. The school provided the bandanas, and Gracie was thrilled that Miss. Anderson saved her a pink one.

Daddy and Thomas and I all went to the school tonight to see our Gracie sing, and we made it through. I didn't go postal like I almost did for her Kindergarten play, but it was HOT!! So very, very HOT!! And Thomas was, well, Thomas. But, we made it and mommy beamed as she sweated.

And, I videoed too, however, Gracie's speaking part was the very first one (they said lines in groups of 4) and I had it running and then stopped the video since they were still not ready (stupid!!!) and before I could get it going again she cued the first group to say their lines. Yep, I am still kicking myself for that. But, I do have some cowboy songs for you to enjoy.

video


video

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Maymont With Sara

My friend from high school Sara came to the Richmond area this weekend, and actually *wanted* to take my kids somewhere. Now that we are back, I doubt she will make that mistake again ;) I'm kidding they were good and had fun. Thomas got a little fussy, but nothing a bink and a stroller couldn't cure.

Sara has been giving me all sorts of goals and lists for things to do in our new "city," and I am proud to say I have been able to cross of "see Nutcracker," and "botanical gardens." Well, now we can cross off "Maymont." But, we will likely visit again.

Maymont is this massive plantation (my words) that a very wealthy family owned how every many years ago. Well, we didn't see the home today, but we did visit the Nature Center and Barn (with animals) and walked---well, a long way and saw countless animals and beautiful gardens.

The kids liked the nature center a lot. It was full of water tanks with fish and turtles and other animals. It was a hands-on place, and it was indoors, which was nice since it decided to rain today!

Our favorite animal was the river otter. Oh, I could have stayed and watched that cute little sucker all day. He was showing off and doing flips and all sorts of things.

We decided to brave the barely sprinkle and we set off to walk the grounds. They had areas with fenced in animals to see along the trails. It was like being at a zoo! We saw hawks, vultures (that creeped me out, but I kept thinking "what'cha wanna do? I dunno, what you wanna do?"), there was a bald eagle, and allegedly a black bear--but we couldn't see him. I think we spotted all the other animals though.


Before we headed to the barn animals mommy wanted to see the Japanese garden. Oh my goodness--how beautiful!! I could totally live with that view in my back yard! Gracie liked walking across the stepping stones in the middle of the pond. Mommy wasn't as thrilled--mostly because I had to carry Thomas across them and it was wet and slippery! I was sure one or both of us would end up in the water! I don't have any pictures of that adventure either since all of my concentration was not on slipping and falling!


We walked more and found the barn and the animals there. But, by that time Thomas was getting tired and cranky. Mommy was getting tired too. Pushing his heft tosh in that stroller along all those trails and hills was exhausting--but fun. And, I have to say I was glad it was overcast and drizzling, I can't imagine doing all of that in the blaring hot sun.

So, a big thank you to Sara for taking us out and showing us something new, and for spending the day with the kids and I. We hope you won't be too scared to do it again sometime. And, we plan to visit Sara too this summer. She lives at the beach :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tooth Drama #8

Someone else got to deal with the tooth drama this time--well, lots of someones.

Gracie's very loose tooth decided to make it's dramatic exit at lunch today at school.

Gracie told me it came out after a bite of spaghetti. Thankfully I hadn't eaten recently, because that information was less than easy on my stomach. (If you hadn't already guessed, I don't handle teeth and snot easily. They are my mommy-cryptonite!)

I asked her if she grossed her little friends out at the table, but she said "no, they kept saying can I see it Gracie?!!" Figures!

The lunch lady apparently sent her to the nurse to get it all taken care of. Where is that nurse when I need her?!

Anyway, Gracie bounded proudly off the bus this afternoon with her little fist tightly around her tooth necklace.

I can't remember how I lost my teeth (probably blocked from my memory from the trauma), but we sure didn't get such a cool thing to carry it home from school in! Seriously, isn't that the neatest thing?

Gracie didn't take but a minute before she opened the tooth up to show me her bloody baby tooth inside. I faked a smile, and told her that the tooth fairy could have the tooth, but not the awesome necklace-we should hold on to that.

I later learned that she attempted to show Miss. Anderson her tooth after lunch, but much like me she doesn't care for the gory tooth details and was less than pleased to hear the tale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Colors!


I doubt many moms are as thrilled as I am that he knows his colors. Well, that he can match colors anyway. He can say a few like "blue, green & yellow."

So, why would I be extra excited--other than I am a proud mama and I am constantly worrying about his communication and learning skills? Well, it means he isn't color blind. Garren can give you the percentage chance Thomas had of getting that gene from my father (he's smart like that), but it was always a thought in the back of our heads. Color blind people function just fine in society. My father's lack of social "functionality" has nothing to do with the fact he can't tell red and green apart. ;)

Thomas was gaining interest in colors and said "blue" the other day while holding up a blue crayon--I was so excited I squealed...and posted it on Facebook :) So, I thought I might make him an activity so he could learn all of his colors.

Now, I did things like this for Gracie all of the time, but I had to re-think how I was going to teach Thomas. He clearly doesn't learn like she did, and since she knew all of her colors before she was 2, I had to find a rudamentry way of teaching him. And, it couldn't be girly.

So, I came up with fish! I made fishing poles with colored worms hanging from them. Then, I cut out fish to match the colored worms. Now, in a perfect world I would have used magnets to have the fish attach to the worm. Unfortunately none of the magnets I had were strong enough, so I attached a paper clip to the back of each fish and we clip it to the worm. (well, I clip it, it is a little hard for him).

Imagine my excitement when after more than an hour of cutting and laminating and taping and designing--he ran to the "fish pond" and did them all right the first time!

I don't credit my son's intellect enough. He is a very smart boy, but with his difficulty communicating (and his boy lack of holding still!) it is hard to see.

I did video him doing this game, but because I had to attach the fish and hold the camera--well, it isn't pretty! I will have to find another way to show you how well my child can do his colors!

Just so you know, Gracie says she taught him blue and red. And, she probably did.

Gracie Quote Of The Day

"Whew, being a parent is HARD! Good thing I am going to be a vet when I grow up!"

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day 2011


Well, I woke up this Mother's Day with a cold, and as you can see I didn't get a very good picture with my kids.

But, Gracie greeted me with a hug and projects/gifts she made me at school. And Thomas brought me a card from him and his sister. And daddy cooked out for dinner and I bought me a rose bush.

So, other than not breathing, I had a good day. And, I got an uninterrupted nap too!

We went to church this morning, and I wore the finger print necklace I had been working on for more than a week now, as well as a corsage made from tissue paper hand prints of the kids. I was very festive.

***I wanted this necklace so badly after seeing an advertisement for it in a magazine at the pediatrician's office, but I am too cheap and didn't want to wait--so I made my own!***

Happy Mother's Day


to my bestest friend Candice on her FIRST Mother's Day!!

and to...

New Mommies

Stefanie
mommy to Devon

Amanda
mommy to Haley


New Mommies (again!)

Heather
mommy to Tyler and new baby Preston

Heather (Aunt Heather)
mommy to DJ, Ryan, Casey and new baby Charlie

Kelly
mommy to Gabriella, Ella, Ethan & new baby Holden


Expecting Mommies

Heather
mommy to Nina and Baby Perez #2

Seasoned Mommies...

Amy
mommy to Taylor, Mason, Jonas, Van and Carrington

Becky
Mommy to Elliott

Shannon
mommy to Luke & Claire

Jill
mommy to Lucas & Daniel

Laura
mommy to Mason

Janet
mommy to Logan & Ella

Nannette
mommy to Joshua, Sarah & Sam

Katie
mommy to Stella

Colette
mommy to Mallory

Ruth
mommy to Zachary & Logan

Abby
mommy to Dorie, Colton & Ryson

Angie
mommy to Laura, William & Sally

Cristy
mommy to Nyah & Jaeden

Connie
mommy to Bryson & Braylee

Jessica
mommy to Sierra & Christopher


Grandmommies...

Dawn (Aunt Dawn)
mommy to Jacob, Emily, Sue-Anna, Isaac, Mark & Matthew
Grandma of 2!

Grandma
mommy to me and Brian
grandma to Jacob, Emily, Isaac, Sue-Anna, Mariah, Matthew, Mark, Gracie & Thomas

Mamaw
mommy to Heather, Garren & Luke
grandma to DJ, Ryan, Casey, Gracie, Thomas & Charlie

Saturday, May 07, 2011

May Home Depot Project

Daddy took Gracie this morning to Home Depot to do the monthly kids project since he had other errands to run.

But look what she made!

Its a tulip flower pot stand.

I think it might be the cutest project they have done thus far--but maybe I am partial since it is supposed to be a Mother's Day gift for mom.

(Actually, all the other projects are usually boyish, or gender neutral--this one is super fun girly!)

Friday, May 06, 2011

I Got Flowers!


Look at what Gracie made me in First Grade.

Happy Mother's Day to me!

She painted me this pot, and the ladybugs on it are her fingerprints. And, of course she picked pink flowers.

A note came home last week entitled: "For Dad's Eyes Only," so I am thinking that this is the product of the note to daddy.

I love them! I love her too, but you already knew that!

It's The Little Things


He knows the color BLUE!

Hooray for You
Thomas
!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Our Little Cardinal


Gracie we are so proud of you! What a special young lady you have become. And today, you were recognized by your classmates and your teacher as an outstanding student and friend. Daddy and I beamed at you all morning, and we were so glad we could share this day--and every day--with you!

Love,
Mommy, Daddy & Thomas

Gracie's Citizenship Award Ceremony

Since you weren't lucky enough to see it in person, here's a video of my Gracie being not only awarded for being a good citizen--but also being very brave as she takes the stage in front of her classmates, the rest of k-2 and parents!

We are so proud of our big girl!


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Home Again

Lambie is back home where she belongs. She traveled via Aunt Dawn to Farmville, and Gracie, Thomas and I went and picked her up this afternoon.

I think she is happy to be back in the arms of her best-est friend, but she had a good vacation and lots of fun with Grandma.

Want to see all of her adventures? Check out her scrapbook :)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Two In A Row


I think I will take my mommy sticker now. Two Sundays in a row we sat as a family in church. It was the big church again, but we were there, and we were coordinately dressed to boot.