Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Beautiful Family Day at Pineland Farms

Rebecca, Grace, Jack, and I spent our afternoon at Pineland Farms in New Glouster. This was our first visit back to this beautiful farm since last summer. We were so excited for Grace to visit one of her favorite spots and to share this wonderful place with her "little" brother. We also couldn't wait to show Jack the farm animals so he could see all of the animals in his books come to life!Grace smiled the entire time we were at the farm. She loved every second of the visit from arriving at the farm stand to running up hills and visiting the barns.Jack, as always, was full of smiles too. Grace and Jack wore their matching tractor shirts to the farm today. Maddy made these adorable shirts because she knows how much we love Pineland Farms and what a large role that animals play in Jack and Grace's lives. Thank you so much, Maddy!
A picture of Mommy and her little loves. Rebecca devotes every second of her life to making Grace and Jack's lives full of fun and enriching experiences. She is absolutely the epitomy of the perfect mother as she gives all of herself to the kids. She is the best - in so many many ways.Grace was able to pet some of the cows and she was thrilled to touch their hair and their wet noses. Grace's spirit is obviously infectious as the cows jostled to receive her attention.
"Bye bye cows. We'll see you again real soon!"

Friday, May 29, 2009

"Mommy, Today I Feel...."

"...excited, thankful and eager."
Every morning Grace tells me how she feels and chooses a picture card(s) that matches her feelings. The cards are part of a game for children called Feeleez. Grace now using feeling words well beyond happy, sad, or mad. I LOVE the Feeleez cards so much and I'll be posting more about these in a future post next week!

Side Sleeping!

Jack has always slept on his back and for the first time today he slept on his side during his morning nap. Jack looked so cute in this new sleep position I couldn't resist taking a quick picture of him!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sitting & Standing!

We can't believe that Jack isn't even 5 1/2 months old and he is able to stand holding on to furniture all by himself! Jack is also sitting independently for several mintues. He is such a strong boy. What an accomplishment! Hooray Jack-a-roo. We are so proud of you!

The Very Hungy Caterpillars!

Last summer Maddy sent away for caterpillars so Grace could watch their miraculous transformation into beautiful butterflies. When we were in Vermont last week Maddy surprised Jack and Grace with more caterpillars. Hooray! We have been closely watching the caterpillars eat, eat, and eat some more over the past several days as they have been preparing to enter their pupal stage. As of this morning, all five of Grace and Jack's caterpillars are now in beautiful iridescent chrysalids. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of five beautiful butterflies over the next week.


Maddy sent away for this "Ladybug Land" observation habitat for Grace and Jack so they can observe firsthand the life cycle of a ladybug: egg, larva, pupa, adult. Currently, Grace and Jack's ladybugs are in the larva stage. Every morning Grace takes excellent care of the ladybug larva by giving them several drops of water from a pipette (they love high humidity). Within the next several days the ladybug larvae will begin the pupal stage of their lives. Then, they'll curl up their bodies and spend a few days protected by an outer covering while they change shape within. After approximately five days, adult ladybugs will emerge. This is such a tremendous learning experience for both Jack and Grace. We'll be sure to post pictures of the spotted ladybugs once they emerge! We are planning a big ladybug celebration day to set the ladybugs free in our yard after they arrive.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We went to our town's Memorial Day parade this morning. Jack was so excited to watch his very first parade. Grace couldn't contain her excitement so she ended up dancing for everyone in the street as the parade marched by. Our small town parade lasted a total of seven minutes (!!!!!!). What we love so much about Limerick's Memorial Day parade is that we get to see it two times since they redo the entire parade in the reverse direction! We enjoyed the beautiful weather this afternoon by having a picnic lunch and spending the remainder of our afternoon at the lake.

Let us not forget those men and women who have served our great nation during times peace and conflict. Because they gave their "last full measure of devotion," we are forever in their debt. ~Laura Slaton Phillips~

Thank You Maddy & Poppy

We arrived back to Maine yesterday afternoon. It is always so sad to leave Vermont and my parents. Thank you so much to my Mom and Dad for being such wonderful parents and grandparents to Grace and Jack. How lucky we all are to have you in our lives. Thank you for making your time with Grace so very special for her - everything from the little table and chairs, to the games, projects, special bed linens, books, and trips were all so thoughtful and perfectly planned out for Grace. I know Jack loved the time he spent with you too. I loved watching Jack smile and giggle so much while he was with you in Vermont. We are all missing you so much and can't wait for the next visit! Thank you, again!

Big Man On Campus!

I loved, loved, loved being back at my Alma mater, the University of Vermont (UVM), while we were in Burlington last Wednesday. The campus has changed so much since I graduated but it is still as beautiful as I remember. I had so much fun giving Jack a tour of the campus.The state of Vermont and UVM sure are growig quickly, just like a beautiful baby boy I know and love so very much!Jack was fascinated by the large fish tank in UVM's beautiful new building called the Davis Center. We are planning to take Grace and Jack to the aquarium in Boston later this summer. Since Jack was so excited by UVM's fish tank I just know he will LOVE all of the sites at the Boston aquarium!
Maybe Jack will decide that he would like to attend UVM someday and become a Catamount just like his Mommy!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Maddy & Grace Share A Special Moment

Springtime in Vermont. At last, the snow has departed and the fleeting springtime is upon us. Poppy, Maddy & Grace truly enjoyed their trip to the horse farm together. Ahhh....the joys of family.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Photographer: Adam

Adam took these beautiful pictures of Grace during the time he spent with her in Middlebury this week. Thank you, Adam, for sharing your amazing photos with us.

Uncle Adam

The highlight of my day was meeting Uncle Adam after he got out of work this afternoon. We all enjoyed eating dinner outside at a beautiful restaurant along Church Street. Jack was very chatty during dinner ~ he had lots of stories to share with his Uncle Adam! I really enjoyed spending some time with my brother today and how I wish we lived closer. Adam is so kindhearted, gentle, and extremely thoughtful. He is such an extraordinary person and I hope Jack grows up to be just like him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What A Hunk!

The Best Of Times

Grace & Maddy
I LOVE these two girls soooooooo much. You should see Maddy & Grace together - in the words of Grace there are, "lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots" of giggles! Maddy & Grace share such a special bond and I love seeing them together.Grace & Poppy
Grace enjoyed walking along Church Street with Poppy in Burlington yesterday. Grace loves her Poppy and she is quite fascinated by him! Grace likes to make Poppy laugh by using a French accent to call him "Pop-pay!" Watching Poppy with Grace brings me such joy and brings back so many of my favorite childhood memories with my Dad. Jack, Grace, & Uncle Adam
We were all so excited to go to Burlington yesterday to see Adam! Grace talks about her Uncle Adam all the time and she was thrilled to talk & talk & talk (and talk some more) and then sing every song she knows to him!!! Jack was full of smiles to be held by his Uncle Adam. Thank you, Adam, for giving Grace and Jack a tour of Church Street and showing us your fabulous apartment. We are tickled pink (and blue!) to spend time with you this week.
Jack & Great Grandma
Jack and Great Grandma met for the first time on Monday. Great Grandma couldn't get enough of Jack and she covered him with her best kisses! We will be seeing Great Grandma and Pop-Pop again on Friday. They will be coming to Middlebury to spend the morning with us. Hooray!
Jack & Pop-Pop
It was so sweet seeing Pop-Pop gently touching Jack's cheek when they met for the first time. These are two of the sweetest, kindest, and gentlest boys I know. I have always shared a very close bond with my Pop-Pop and I couldn't wait for Jack to meet him.
Grace & Great Grandma
Grace put on quite the show for Great Grandma and Pop-Pop. Grace did lots of singing, dancing, and talking and as always she kept everyone laughing!

Bob, Jack, and I are spending a few days together in Burlington
while Grace is in Middlebury with Maddy, Poppy, and Uncle Adam. We will all be reunited on Friday. Maddy has lots of fun activities planned for Grace in Middlebury. This morning she will be going to story time at the library and to the Morgan Horse Farm this afternoon. Maddy will post pictures on her blog of the fun times Grace is having at:

Jack has some big plans too! There is a pool at our hotel and he will be going swimming for the first time.
I also can't wait to show Jack around Burlington and the University of Vermont (my Alma mater!). Stay tuned for lots more pictures.

P.S. Hi Gracie Girl! Jack, Daddy and I miss you SO much. I loved talking to you this morning on the phone and hearing you sing. Jack wanted me to tell you
"guh" and "ahhh." Jack did lots of his big smiles when he heard your voice this morning. I'm so glad you are having such a great time with Maddy, Poppy, and Uncle Adam. We will call you later to hear about story time at the library. I can't wait to hear all about the stories that were read. Have the best time at the Morgan Horse Farm this afternoon. Are you going to sing and dance for the horses? We love you so much and can't wait to see you on Friday. We are sending you lots of big hugs (squeeze tight!) and kisses. XOXO

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Leaving Maine -- Off To Vermont!

We are all very excited to leave for Vermont bright and early tomorrow morning. Hip,hip, hooray! We can't wait to see Maddy, Poppy, Uncle Adam, Great Grandma & Pop-Pop. We'll be back to Maine next weekend. I'll try to post some pictures of our trip during the week. Until then, I'll leave you with this image from Maine!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Five Months Old!

Grace's Smoothie!

Grace loves making smoothies. I LOVE this smoothie recipe because it is full of vitamins, protein, and healthy fats. What a great way to start our day! It's also a great way for us to get a full serving of leafy greens and several servings of fruits. Grace's smoothie tastes delicious...I promise! Here are the ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup of plain cow kefir
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of 100% juice
  • 1 cup of frozen fruit. Frozen blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, mango, or peaches are good ones to try. Today Grace did a combination of frozen peaches, cherries, and strawberries.
  • 1 frozen smoothie packet of unsweetened Acai berries (found in organic grocery stores or at your local co-op). Acai berries are delicious and are so good for you! Acai berries are considered a new super food.
  • 1 tablespoon of healthy oil. Grace used a flax/sunflower blend - a great source of omega-3s!
  • 1 heaping spoonful of almond butter
  • 1-1/2 cups of a leafy green vegetable (e.g., baby spinach, red or green kale, red or rainbow chard)
  • 1 or 2 bananas

Blend all of the above ingredients until smooth. We frequently double or even triple the recipe so we have enough smoothie to last us for a few days. YUMMY (it really is)!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Grace Loves To Read!

Grace loves to read and what a reader she is! Every morning after calendar time Grace runs over to her word family poster to read words. She chooses a word family ending, sounds it out, and then reads all the words that contain the targeted word family. Grace can read nearly all the words listed on the word family poster seen above. What I am most proud of is that Grace is not memorizing the words but she truly understands the concept of reading --- that the letters represent sounds and that you combine letters to make words. Because of this knowledge, Grace can read a word she has never seen before by sounding it out. Grace loves reading words in her books too.

Look At Jack!

Jack tried out our exersaucers for the first time this week! The exersaucer in the picture above was given to me by a friend of mine and the one below we got when Grace was a baby. Jack loves them both. The exersaucers provide him with independent learning experiences in a standing position and a whole new view on his world! I am so excited for this next phase of learning for Jack but I wish time would slow down at least a little bit. Our sweet baby boy is growing up so quickly!

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?