Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Gracie girl was SO excited today because she was all dressed up for Halloween as her beloved pink elephant, Ella. Grace looked absolutely adorable in her Ella outfit! Grace & I spent our Halloween morning at home painting pumpkins. Later, we visited Daddy at work where Grace was excited to give Daddy one of her pumpkins. Grace loved showing everyone there her cute Ella outfit and she said, "Happy Halloween" to everyone she saw. We spent the remainder of our Halloween afternoon at the park. An extra special thank you to Maddy, who made Grace's shirt and hat ~ how absolutely perfect for our Grace! We hope everyone had a fun-filled day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grace Is Reading!

Grace has started to sound out words in her books with great accuracy. Grace also enjoys playing letter/sound word games. One of her favorite games is to think of words that begin with a specific letter. Today, I asked Grace to think of all the words that begin with the letter "f." Grace responded by saying, "Fffffffff, fish, ffffff fox, ffffff fisher cat, fffff fawn." Grace demonstrates a very strong understanding of letter names and sounds. Grace has recently started to read consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words! Today, I put the VC combination -at on a tray and put different consonants at the beginning to create words. Grace carefully sounded out each letter and read all the words including: hat, mat, bat, cat, and sat. I then put the VC combinations of -it and -ut and Grace read all of those words too. Grace also loves to sing the alphabet song and is able to tell me which letters are uppercase versus lowercase.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fun At The YMCA!

We attended our local YMCA's Family Fun Day today. Grace enjoyed playing soccer, going down the slide, rolling balls, jumping in a bouncy house, and playing basketball with Mommy & Daddy. Grace also enjoyed socializing with the other children and did a great job sharing all the toys. Grace loves the book "Hey, Wake Up!" by Sandra Boynton. One of her favorite passages involves a little bunny being told, "You're too small for basketball, unless you play with someone tall." Daddy played the role of the tall helper but Grace was clearly the basketball star.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Making Wrapping Paper

All this week Grace has been making her own wrapping paper for upcoming birthdays and for Christmas. This has been a great opportunity for Grace to express herself. Grace chooses her own colors and materials and decides who the wrapping paper is for. Today, Grace decided to use paint along with bubble wrap and dot markers for her wrapping paper. I am hoping that Grace learns that some of the most special gifts are the ones that we make ourselves because of the time, love, and care that is involved in making something for someone. I also hope to teach Grace that the best gifts in life can't be bought. Grace has such a kind heart and seems to have already learned that it is better to give than receive. Each day Grace continues to ask to go to the post office to send a family member or friend something special she made....such an amazing life lesson!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Gracie Girl Is A Busy Bee!"

Grace & I spent a wonderful afternoon at the Children's Museum. On the car ride home we talked all about our time at the museum together. At the end of our conversation Grace enthusiastically added, "Gracie Girl is a busy bee at the Children's Museum!" Grace enjoyed everything that the Children's Museum had to offer today. Some of her favorites included: taking money out of the cash register to purchase food at the "grocery store," climbing through tunnels, gathering a variety of toys to see which ones were light enough to float above the wind tunnel, and taking time out to relax and read several books. Thank you, Maddy & Poppy, for renewing our annual membership to the museum. It is a terrific place for Grace to play, learn, and explore!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grace's Handmade Apple Tree!

Since apple picking season is coming to an end, Grace & I thought we would keep the season going by making our own apple tree. Yesterday, Grace painted a paper towel roll brown to serve as the trunk of an apple tree. She also painted cut out paper tree tops green. We let the tree trunk and tops dry overnight. It was an exciting morning today as Grace was very ready to finish her apple tree!
Grace worked extremely hard to peel off tiny apple stickers and place them on her apple tree tops. Grace did a wonderful job counting all of the apples on her tree tops once she was finished.
Once Grace was finished with her apple stickers, we taped the green tops onto the paper towel roll to complete Grace's tree. Now we can all remember the fun times we spent at the apple orchards this fall all winter long because of Grace's beautiful tree!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Playing The Piano

A very special part of my day with Grace is spent playing the piano together. Grace is showing a great interest in learning all about the piano. Each day she puts piano music on the stand, pulls out the bench from under the piano, and sits and plays for me. After some time, Grace asks me to join her and we play together!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Maine Audubon Society's Apple Festival Day!

We went to the Maine Audubon Society's Apple Festival Day today where we enjoyed making apple crafts, listening to music, learning about different varieties of apples, and going on a nature walk along the ocean.
Grace had a great time making yellow and red apple prints ~ the perfect fall craft!
Grace peeked inside this tree to discover it was hollow and filled with yellow apples! Grace was delighted by this unexpected surprise.
The most special part of today was our walk along the Audubon's nature trails. There was so much for Grace to see and learn along the trails, especially this time of the year. We are so glad Grace loves everything that nature has to offer. Grace enjoyed watching the leaves fall from the trees along the nature path. Grace collected several red leaves from the trail to bring home with her. They will serve as the perfect remember of our beautiful day together!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Color & Shape Patterns

Grace has been learning about ABAB (repeating) color and shape patterns. Grace really enjoys making patterns. She has been using a variety of manipulatives to make patterns and her favorites include using Unifix cubes, colored blocks, crayons, and bear counters. Today, Grace enjoyed using her Unifix cubes and blocks to make colored train and tower patterns ~ she did an excellent job and we were both very proud of her accomplishments!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Such A Big Boy!

When I went for my doctor visit this past Monday my obstetrician said that I was measuring on the large size so she recommended that I have an ultrasound to determine the size of our baby. I had an appointment yesterday afternoon and our baby boy looks very healthy and in the words of the ultrasound technician he is "a mover!" I was thrilled that the technician took these 4D pictures of our baby's face (his hand is on the side of his face & on his forehead in these pictures). I think our boy looks a lot like Grace in these ultrasound pictures. The surprising news is what a big boy he is already. A baby at thirty weeks of age is typically approaching 2 1/2 to 3 pounds. Our baby boy measured in at 4 pounds, 10 ounces!!! He is at the 99th percentile for all measurements. It looks like we could possibly have a ten pound (or more!!!) baby boy in December. We can't wait to meet him. The date for his arrival has been set for December 15. We are counting down the days until we meet our beautiful baby boy.

Made With So Much TLC...

Maddy has sewn so many beautiful clothes and blankets for Grace since she was a baby. She is so talented! On this visit, Maddy surprised Grace with this adorable outfit. Maddy sewed this very cute skirt for Grace, which has a little apron and ribbon & pom-pom trim! Maddy also made Grace's shirt using a freezer paper stencil.
Maddy also surprised us with her handmade blankets for our baby boy. I have them hanging on peg hooks in his room and can't wait to wrap him up in them! Each side is made with a different soft fabric.
Maddy also made our baby boy several burp cloths. Maddy used cloth diapers and sewed different fabrics onto them to make them extra cute! Maddy made our baby boy this triangle cloth banner for his room. It extends the entire length of the room ~ from one corner of the ceiling to the other. The fabrics match the colors of the crib bedding and it definitely makes the room! Maddy will also be making the curtains for the two windows to match.
Thank you so very much, Maddy, for all of the love and care that you put into making these beautiful clothes and blankets for Grace and our baby boy.

Making Music With Maddy & Great-Grandma!

Grace, Maddy, Great-Grandma, and I went to music group this morning where Grace showed off her dance moves and her great love of music. Gracie girl had a great time showing Maddy & Great-Grandma what fun music group is!
Sadly, after music group Maddy & Great-Grandma had to leave to go back to Vermont. Before their departure, Gracie girl gave lots and lots of big hugs and kisses!
Gracie girl has been talking about Maddy & Great-Grandma's visit all afternoon. Grace keeps telling me that Maddy had to go back to Vermont to see Poppy, Willie cat, and Lilly Pye & Great-Grandma had to go back to see Pop-Pop. We all can't wait to see Maddy (and Poppy) again next month!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Goodnight Kisses

"Goodnight Maddy."
"Goodnight Great-Grandma."

Maddy and Great-Grandma arrived yesterday. We have been enjoying lots of girl time together! Today we spent our all girls day in Portland where Grace loved having Maddy & Great-Grandma at her swimming lesson. We then enjoyed a delicious lunch together. Grace ended this special day with big goodnight hugs and kisses to Maddy & Great-Grandma. On her way up to bed this evening Grace waved her delicate little hand to Maddy & Great-Grandma and said, "Thank you for the big fun day!" I couldn't have said it any better myself. It has been so special for me to have my Mom and Grandmother here too -- four generations of mothers & daughters!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pretend Play

Grace enjoys engaging in pretend play. This morning Grace organized a scene with her animals & play food and utensils. Grace said that her animals were VERY hungry. She then proceeded to set up her animals on our couch and gathered the necessary supplies to feed them. Grace was very specific as to which animals needed to eat food versus which animals needed to drink because they were just thirsty. Grace chose specific foods for each animal and took great care in feeding them using a variety of utensils. I greatly enjoyed hearing what Grace was saying while she was engaged in this pretend play scenario. I'm always amazed to hear Grace's advanced language skills shine through while she is engaged in imaginative play.

The Sweetest Big Sister...

Grace made several projects for her baby brother's room this morning. Grace was very excited to make these projects for her brother and kept asking if she could give them her to her baby brother now. Grace first painted a light switch plate for his room.
Grace had fun painting the letter "J" for her brother. She kept turning the letter upside down and saying, "Look Mommy, J and R!" (the upside J looked like a lowercase letter r). Grace painted bubble wrap and made several bubble wrap paintings for her brother. Grace chose which painting she wanted to put into a frame for him. Here are Grace's finished art projects for her brother. We ended up adding bubble wrap painting to his light switch plate. We can't wait to put Grace's special projects in her baby brother's room today. Grace is also working on an art book for her brother, which she will give to him in the hospital when she first sees him.
Thank you, Grace, for already being such an amazing big sister. Your brother will treasure your gifts always. We can't wait to share these pictures with him when he is older and tell him how extremely excited you were for his arrival. You are such a sweet girl!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

We visited beautiful Wolfe's Neck Farm today in Freeport today. We all enjoyed a fall foliage hay wagon ride along the ocean to a pumpkin patch. Prior to the wagon ride, Grace visited with the sheep, chickens, roosters, and goats on the farm.Grace sat with Daddy on the hay wagon ride while showing her excited face. Grace makes this face whenever she is very excited about something. Today was definitely a perfect day for Grace to show her excited face because it was such a fun day!
When we arrived at the pumpkin patch Grace examined each pumpkin closely until she found the perfect one!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Making Leaf Glitter Autumn Trees!

Grace made autumn trees this morning from real leaves that we collected on our nature walk earlier this week. Prior to beginning this fun project, we crunched up the dried leaves to make leaf glitter! Grace & I then drew several trees on paper.

Next, Grace added glue to the trees where she wanted her fall leaves to be!

Grace then poured the crunched up leaves or the "leaf glitter" on top of her tree pictures. Grace patted down the leaf glitter so it would stick to the glue.

Here are two of Grace's finished leaf glitter autumn trees. Aren't they pretty!

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?