Sunday, November 30, 2008

Decorating Our Christmas Tree

Bob, Grace, and I had such a wonderful time decorating our tree together while singing along to Christmas carols this morning. Grace was such a big helper in hanging the ornaments on our tree. She found a perfect spot for each one!
Grace had just as much fun taking the ornaments out of the boxes and unwrapping them as she did finding a spot for them on our tree. It was so much fun for Bob and I to watch Grace's face light up each time she unwrapped a new ornament!
Anyone who knows our Gracie girl certainly won't be surprised by this picture ~ of course Grace had to closely examine underneath our Christmas tree in order to study how the stand works and to feel the trunk of the tree!

The Gift Of Giving ~ The Best Gift Of All

Maddy, Poppy, and Grace put together a very special "birthday box." Grace's birthday box consists of a shoebox filled with everything needed for a small birthday party. Grace's box will be sent to a less fortunate child within a Native American community in New Mexico for their birthday. The program that coordinates this special "Birthday Buddy" program is called Family-To-Family. This is a wonderful way for Grace to learn that the best gift of all is to give to others. Grace filled her birthday box with toys, books, birthday decorations, cake mix, frosting, and birthday candles.
Grace chose several animals from her animal bin to include inside the birthday box. I was very proud that Grace chose her favorite animals to give to another child. Grace also chose several special books from her book basket to put inside the birthday box.

Being a "Birthday Buddy" and creating a birthday box will become a special tradition for Grace on her birthday every year. Knowing that Grace has made a difference in another child's life is the very best gift that we can give to her. We are so thankful for all that we have and are very fortunate to be able to make a small difference in another child's life.

"We Made Spring!"

One of Grace's special birthday gifts was this paperwhite bulb kit made by Maddy. Maddy used all recycled materials to create this kit for Grace. First, Maddy & Grace placed rocks at the bottom of a cut open plastic bottle. Grace then poured water over the rocks. Finally, the mouth of the plastic bottle was placed upside down on top to provide a resting place for Grace's paperwhite bulb. The clear bottle will allow Grace the opportunity to watch the roots grow as the bulb grows taller each day. Grace also has a book all about paperwhites. Our favorite line from the book is, "We made Spring!"

Friday, November 28, 2008

The First Snowfall...Just In Time For Grace's Party!

After Poppy told Grace that each snowflake is different, Grace just had to find out for herself!

Maddy showed Grace how to catch a snowflake on your tongue.

There was just enough snow to write Grace's name on our walkway. Grace enjoyed tracing the letters in her name.

Grace & I have spent the last month in anticipation for Grace's second birthday party. We have been reading books about snow and making invitations & decorations for Grace's snow theme party. To our delight today, we had our first snowfall! As soon as the first flakes fell we all bundled up Grace and went outside to play. As you can see we might have been a bit over zealous because we received only a powered sugar dusting of snow!

Grace's Second Birthday Party Invitation

Grace made her beautiful birthday party invitations this year. Grace dipped her finger in glue and made fingerprint dots to show a snowfall. Grace then sprinkled glitter over the top. This was Grace's first glitter experience. We will be finding glitter throughout our house for a very long time to come but as I say, "You can never have too much glitter!"

Choosing The Perfect Christmas Tree

This morning we went on our annual day after Thanksgiving adventure to find the perfect Christmas tree for our home. Grace wondered around the field and then she spotted the one! Don't be fooled by all of the hoods and hats -- it wasn't too cold, just wet and rainy. We are so happy to have spent Thanksgiving with Maddy and Poppy and we are all looking forward to Grace's second birthday party tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So Pretty!

Grace decided to make our cat, Petey, look pretty too during dress-up play by having him wear this pink crown! Petey was such a good sport ~ he even let Grace put pink beads on him too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Maddy sent me this cute picture she took today of shirts she made for Grace and Baby Jack. I know Maddy will be very surprised to see that I posted her picture on our blog for everyone to see but I couldn't resist because I think the shirts and this picture are absolutely adorable. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Brady the Super Dog

One of Daddy's co-workers named Sue came over today to buy some firewood that we do not need anymore. Sue & her husband Steve were so nice to bring their super dog Brady. Brady is a beautiful and very well behaved 4-year old labrador retriever. Above, a moment of mutual admiration as Grace is very excited to see Brady dog and Brady relishes in the smell of Grace's Kangaroo Mangaroo shampoo.

A very cute game of Simon says as Grace follows Brady's lead and sits. This behavior didn't fit either Grace or Brady so they agreed that games involving more activity would be more fun.

Hide and seek was so much fun with Brady dog. Grace did a great job hiding and Brady dog used his super lab nose to find our little Gracie girl. Brady didn't like doing the hiding since that meant even a few precious seconds away from his good friends.

We had a great time with Sue, Steve, and Brady dog. Shortly after they left, Grace asked whether we could go see Brady dog tomorrow. Tomorrow might not happen but we hope to see our good friends again real soon!

Caring For The Ones We Love

Memere visited us from Massachusetts today. Memere brought Grace a toy medical kit! Grace loved this gift and put the stethoscope right to use making sure her loved ones were healthy and fit. Memere also was a great helper to us today by putting objects onto her truck to be brought to the local dump, cleaning our snowmobile in preparation for sale, and helping load firewood that we don't need anymore onto a friend's truck. Thank you so much, Memere, for visiting today and for being such a big helper.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grace's "Thankful Tree"

Grace & I have been talking about Thanksgiving for the past few weeks and what it means to be thankful. This morning, Grace made a thankful tree to represent how thankful she is to have such a beautiful, loving family. First, Grace chose several of her paintings so they could be cut into strips. Grace then carefully and thoughtfully decided which family member she wanted written on which of her paintings. The last steps involved punching a hole, picking out string for each name, and hanging them on branches that we collected in our yard.

Grace's “thankful tree” has brought a light & loving energy into our home and is the perfect
Thanksgiving decoration. Sitting with Grace around our table and talking about what we are thankful for was a wonderful experience for us both. This special morning is one that I always remember.

We are so thankful for Grace, Baby Jack, Daddy, Mommy, Maddy, Poppy, Memere, Pepere, Great-Grandma, Pop-Pop, Uncle Adam, Auntie Allison, Uncle Steve, Cousin Rose, and Cousin Kimberlee. Grace is also very thankful for her animal family including Ella, Good P, Willie cat, & Lilly Pye.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Matching Fall Leaves

Maddy made this terrific leaf matching game for Grace from real fall leaves that she collected in Vermont. Maddy colored copied each leaf twice in order to make matching pairs and then laminated the leaves. I was very surprised how quickly Grace was able to find matching leaf pairs since all the leaves look very much alike with only very subtle differences. It took me much longer than Grace to find the correct pairs!! Grace loves all matching games & activities and this was a perfect one for fall.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Baby Jack Update

I had my weekly ultrasound today and in the words of the ultrasound technician our Baby Jack is "a big healthy baby." Hooray. A growth analysis was performed and Jack's estimated weight at this time is 8 pounds, 10 much to love already!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Grace & Good P

We enjoyed a beautiful walk outside today. There was definitely a touch of winter in the air as the temperatures remained in the 30s all day. Our cat, Good P (Petey) also joined us for our walk, which delighted Grace. Grace absolutely adores Good P!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Fun Afternoon With Oobleck!

Grace had fun playing and experimenting with oobleck (corn starch & water) this afternoon. She especially enjoyed hiding her farm animals in a muffin tin and covering them with the oobleck mixture. Grace also used food coloring to make a variety of oobleck colors. Grace learned how to make the oobleck turn from a liquid to a solid by exerting pressure using a variety of objects including her hands, a spoon, and the farm animals.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mixing Paint Colors

Grace LOVES to mix different paint colors together to make a new color. Grace knows how to make orange, green, purple, & pink by mixing two primary colors together!

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Daddy Needs A Hair Clip Too!"

When Daddy came home from work this evening Grace decided that he needed a hair clip in his hair too. Grace tried a yellow hair clip first and then quickly changed her mind saying, "No yellow hair clip for Daddy. Daddy likes a pink hair clip." Good choice, Gracie girl. Daddy certainly does look very pretty in pink!

Sound Exploration

Grace spent the morning experimenting with sound by placing objects inside a large tin container with a lid. We gathered several different types of objects from around our house including balls, blocks, beads, socks, play silks, buttons, tissues, etc. We put the objects into the tin container one a time. Grace then shook the container to hear how the various objects sounded inside. Grace predicted whether the chosen object in the container would make a loud or a quiet sound. Finally, we took turns putting in one object at a time while the other person closed her eyes. We shook the container again and had fun taking turns to guess what object was inside!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our Little Book Worm!

We had a fairly long wait at the doctor's office yesterday before my ultrasound. There were many first time expectant mothers that were also waiting for their appointments. It was nice to see their frowns turn to big smiles as they watched our Gracie girl in action. Grace always seems to bring a smile to those around her! After observing Grace for awhile, one woman turned to us and asked, "How old is your daughter? She is very smart and so verbal. Does she watch those Baby Einstein DVD's?" Bob & I just smiled and said, "no." We explained how much Grace loves books and how much she has learned from being read to every day since she was a baby. We didn't tell her that Grace has never watched television nor seen a DVD or movie. We were such proud parents as Grace ran around counting the number of green chairs, socialized politely with another little girl, and excitedly described many of the pictures in the children's magazines while sounding out words such as "c-a-t, cat" and "d, d, dog." The magic of books!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Here is the latest photo of our beautiful baby Jack with both of his hands on his cheeks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring Our Veterans

We took time today to honor and respect all of the men & women who serve or have served in the US Armed Forces to protect our great country. As a special way to honor our veterans, Grace painted several American flags. Grace made one flag for Poppy (who served in Vietnam), one flag for Uncle Steve (who currently serves in the Reserves), and several flags for service men or women who are currently serving overseas. Grace will proudly mail her flags overseas tomorrow morning.

I don't think it is ever too early to teach our children to respect the sacrifice that our veterans have made. Here is a great way for older children to write to one of our soldiers:

To all who have served out country and to those who are currently serving our country, we THANK YOU. Your courage, service, and sacrifice is not forgotten.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Matching Objects To Letters By Their Initial Sound

Today Grace matched three dimensional objects to letters according to their initial sound. I gathered a variety of objects beginning with the letter "c" sound (cow, clock, crayon, cup, carrot) and objects beginning with the "b" sound (beads, ball, block, book). I then put all of the objects into a large bowl. Grace pulled out one object at a time. After naming the object out loud, Grace put the object under the letter "b" or "c" according to the first sound in the objects name. Grace was able to match all of the objects to their initial sound all by herself! I'm going to add one or two more letters to this activity when we try it again tomorrow to make it more challenging for her. Great job, Gracie girl!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Block Play!

Font sizeGracie girl had a great time this morning playing with her blocks. Grace is quite the block builder. This morning Daddy helped Grace build a barn for all of her farm animals. Before the animals were able to enjoy their barn, Grace decided to climb in!

Getting Ready For Baby Jack!

We are just about ready for Baby Jack! Daddy took Grace to her favorite place today, the Maine Wildlife Animal Park, so I could complete the last few things on my "To Do" list. Several weeks ago I was diagnosed with polyhydramnios or a high level of amniotic fluid. Fortunately, Baby Jack is very health and growing quickly! The polyhydramnios, combined with Jack's size (he weighed over 6 pounds two weeks ago and is likely over 7 pounds by now), has me measuring at 40 weeks or at full term already. This means that Jack could possibly arrive any time now. I have been having weekly ultrasounds for the past several weeks to monitor the fluid levels. My next ultrasound is this coming Wednesday. I hope to share more 4D ultrasound pictures of Jack with everyone this week (he turned his face away at the last moment during my previous ultrasound). As of now, Jack's arrival continues to be scheduled for December 15. We are really hoping that Jack decides to wait until then or at least until 36 weeks so he can be born at Mercy Hospital, which is the same hospital where Grace was born.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Gracie girl has started doing yoga and it is so much fun! There is a wonderful book for toddlers called "Sleepy Little Yoga," which uses animals to demonstrate different yoga positions. Grace absolutely loves this book and she has perfected all of the positions. Grace & I read this book together every morning and just before Grace's nap time. This is a great way for us to start each day and a nice way for Grace to relax before her nap.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barefoot At The Beach In November!

It is over 60 degrees here today, which is a HUGE treat for us in November. In order to take full advantage of the warmer weather, I thought it would be fun for Grace & I to go our lake beach this morning. When Grace heard that we would be going back to the beach she quickly grabbed Ella & her beach bucket and she was off!


Grace loves to put her picture sequencing cards in their correct order and tell me all about the sequence. Grace does such a great job with sequencing!

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?