Saturday, April 24, 2010

The BIG Box

**Not sure what is going on with the font in this post. I've been playing around
with it for an hour. I officially give up.***


We like things big around here. Big cars, big pieces of cake, big babies...
you get the idea.
So when it came time for Grace to get a sand box,
we naturally wanted a BIG one!

Too ensure the sandbox was as big as we envisioned, Court decided to build it himself.
What a guy!

It was a true labor of love!

First, Court needed to purchase all the tools, lumber and supplies. Since all the local places were
closed...ON A SATURDAY!!!...Court ended up driving to Yakima. That took alllll daayyyy.

On Sunday, he constructed the box. There was quite a bit of frustration going on at this point because
the instructions he was following told him to get the wrong sized screws...err...nuts...uhh...bolts. Umm...
something was off. I even think I heard him mutter under his breath that we should've just bought a sandbox.
Grace and I went inside to let Court "work things out." I put Grace down for a nap and when
I returned, Court was gone. I assumed he went to get different parts but in the back of my mind I couldn't
help but think of the "crib incident." Luckily, he was home soon - all fingers and toes intact.

Next, it was time to sand and stain.


He hammered and drilled. He even stapled.


He made a trip to the Tri-Cities for a palette of sand (that's 60 bags or 3,000 lbs. people!!)
I told you this was a BIG sandbox!


He unloaded the bags...one by one!

Luckily, John Andrew got home just in time to help!


Two weekends later the sandbox was finally complete! I can't tell you how impressed I am!
It is magnificent!


Court showing Grace the ropes!


Back breaking work but worth every second!
Thanks Court for building the best sandbox ever! She's too young to appreciate it now but you just wait!
She will! In the meantime, I do!

Two Weddings

The long wait is over.

It's official. We will be planning - and paying for - two weddings!

And we couldn't be happier!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicks & Bunnies

A month or so ago, I took Grace to a special Easter photo session. Not only did she get to wear her darling Easter dress, she got to hold baby chicks, ducks, bunnies and a baby goat!!


I wish we could have videotaped the session. It was SO MUCH FUN! Honestly, it's been one the highlights of 2010 for me thus far.

Grace loved all the animals and wasn't scared in the least. At one point, the photographer asked Grace to put all the baby chicks in a basket, and then take them all out. To my amazement, Grace did exactly as she was told! (Of course, she squeezed a few in the process, but I promise, no animals were harmed in the process of shooting these pictures!!) It was priceless!

The pictures are now online - but only for the rest of the week. Check them out! To view them, click on the link below.


I think this just might be a new Easter tradition for us. At Christmas, the kids sit on Santa's lap and now at Easter, the kids take pictures with baby farm animals!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring has sprung!

If morning sickness had her nasty way, I would be huddled in bed all day long. On the opposite end of that spectrum, if Grace had her way, none of us would never sleep. What to do? What to do?

Luckily, the weather cooperated with us this past weekend and we were able to wear Grace out by running her around the yard - all day long. (All the running around did lead to a nap each day - hallelujah - however, the naps recharge her batteries where she is ready to rock n' roll the second she wakes up. Talk about your Catch 22!)

Anyway, her new tricycle was a hit! (The push bar is key for me as I don't have to hunch over to push her around - perfect for tired, cranky, pregnant mommies!)

Assembled by me! wooo hoooo

Focused for her first ride!

Her feet barely reach the pedals but she quickly mastered how to ring the bell on her handlebars.

A few other fun toys were added to the outdoor toy arsenal but I will post more on those later. (One is a huge undertaking by Court - a giant 8 x 8 sandbox! It is amazing!)

Another big hit was outdoor chalk.

Not sure who liked this more - Grace or Court!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bliss

Peace. Calm. Quiet.

Now if we could only get this to happen twice a day - at home - in her bed. Mommy would be a really happy (and rested) camper!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Proper Protocol?

The local gymnastics place opens it doors several times a week for kids to play on all the equipment - SUPERVISED by their parents. In addition to balance beams, trampolines and the beloved foam pit, they have toys of all kinds. Push toys, trucks, ponies-on-a-stick, slides, you name it - they got it!

It has been a favorite place to take Grace - particularly in the winter when it's too cold to play outside and someone (I won't name any names) needs to burn off a little steam.

But today, we had - shall we say - an incident. A run-in of sorts. With H. A boy about to turn two this Friday.

Grace had been playing with a ride-on toy that looks like a giraffe (pictured below). She LOVES giraffes so this was an instant hit.



But no matter how much she adores giraffes, her attention span lasts only minutes, so once she spotted a pony-on-a-stick, she was off!  H, the perpetrator, spotted that the giraffe toy had become available so he hopped on. No problem. Grace, even after realizing that someone else was playing with "her" giraffe, was still interested in the pony. However, she did walk up to H on the giraffe and began to point out to him the giraffe's eyes - another fav thing of hers to do - pointing out anatomy to anyone who will listen.

Before she was able to point to the eyes, H, clearly on the defensive that Grace was going to steal the giraffe, hauled off and SMACKED Grace's hand. Now I know kids hit and push and take toys from one another - that comes with the age - but this was a hit like no other. It made an extremely loud smacking sound.

It stunned me. Took my breath away. I might as well have been donkey-kicked in the gut. Grace just froze. She didn't know what to do and then ran back to me, curled up in my arms and fought back with every ounce of courage and pride, her tears and cries. A few managed to slip out and her lipped quivered for quite some time. 

No one has ever hit her. The idea is as foreign to her as humans breathing under water. Being the first born, physical "correction" is unnecessary. Fear of disappointment is all the "correction" she needs. No spanking or slap on the wrist carries as heavy a weight as that feeling of disappointing your parents. Even when she does something out of sorts at this age, by just saying "uhhhh-ohhhh" I can see her internalizing the "disappointment" she has caused. 

But disciplinary tactics aside, here I was, the parent of a child who had just been hit by another child. What was I to do? What was I to say?

The mother, to her credit, did step in right away and she did reprimand her child. She told him to apologize and eventually H ended up giving the toy back to Grace. (For the record, he never did mutter the words "I'm sorry" and within moments he was back to running around with little thought or consequence.) The mother gaped about how H is so much harder to discipline (maybe because he's a boy - her words, not mine) when it comes to the "mine" issue that all toddlers grapple with.

I am still upset at myself at how I handled the situation. There had to be a better way. While it isn't my job to discipline someone else's child, I don't think I defended Grace to the best of my abilities. I don't think I made it clear to H's mom that while I understand toddlers are learning to share and socialize it's not ok to hit. Period. 

What do you think? Am I being too hard on H and his mom? Too hard on myself? How do you react when your child is on the receiving end of hitting, biting or other socially unacceptable behavior? Flip that coin, how do you react when your kid is the one doing the hitting, pushing, name calling, what-have-you?!

[For the record, I have to mention {quickly} two other incidents that happened today at gymnastics. Another child, a boy, jumped and landed on Grace in the foam pit. No parent was supervising the child. Only moments later, Grace was walking around, minding her own business, holding a ball. A bigger boy, walking by, slammed the ball out of her hands so that it hit the ground and bounced back up into Grace's face. No parent was supervising him either. At this point, I had had it and I took the pony-on-a-stick I was holding, shoved it into the boys chest and told him "Don't do that. That's mean." Then, I quickly picked up Grace and headed for the door. We both had had enough!]

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Easter Bunny Came!

I wish I could show you the video of Grace waking up and spotting the loot from the Easter Bunny...priceless I tell you. Alas, a mishap with my iPhone and the video is lost forever. In her 15 months of life, it is the first photo/video footage I've managed to lose. It still kills me. So still shots will have to do!

The Easter Bunny came indeed! In fact, he might have gone a little overboard! hehehe Of all the goodies, the giant bunny balloon was probably the biggest hit!


We dyed about 40 eggs for our egg hunt. Grace was a wonderful helper. She napped almost the entire time it took me to color the eggs and woke up just in time to scribble on a few with a "magic" crayon. You can see her work below - the blue one right in the middle.

When it came time for the egg hunt, Grace was all business...


Hope the Easter Bunny treated you well! Until next year....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Prosser Easter Egg Hunt 2010

Every year, an Easter Egg Hunt is held the day before Easter in Prosser. This was Grace's first time participating in the hunt as last year she couldn't walk, crawl or situp!


We figured Grace would be competing against a lot of 'big kids' for the eggs so we decided to do a practice run beforehand. She quickly got the hang of it!

video

Off to Easter Egg Hunt we went dressed in our Easter finest - complete with Easter dress and Bunny Jacket. The other kids were in their ski clothes but I couldn't resist getting her all dolled up for the occasion.






We waited out in the cold for twenty minutes before the Easter Egg Hunt started. Luckily, the Easter Bunny came by for a visit to keep the kids entertained.


All the little dots in the grass are eggs. Do you see them? There were tons. This was just the section for kids under 2. They had it broken down by age group which was really nice. Anyway, I just assumed this Easter Egg Hunt would last for at least 20 minutes and that every kid would walk away with a basket full of eggs.


And they're off!


Grace managed to scoop up four eggs. The whole thing lasted 15 seconds - literally. The event started at 10 AM. We were in the car, packed up and headed home at 10:06 AM. Not kidding. We even stopped to pick up a free book for Grace!




video

Unfortunately, there were some tears because a few unlucky kids didn't get any eggs. You can hear a few of the screams in the background of the video. Court and I had brought a few plastic eggs in our pockets - just in case this had happened to Grace.


Lucky for us, Grace had the practice round at home to get her prepared. She had a great time and so did we! Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mommy's Little Helper (Sorta)

I realize I haven't been posting much lately. I apologize. Grace is EVERYWHERE and full of energy. When she does finally crash, IF she crashes, that's normally when I would jump on the internet and update this blog. Lately though, that time has been needed for other, more 'vital' things like resting and vomiting.

Although I feel like my life has come to a standstill, Grace is NOTHING but! In fact, her new favorite activities involve helping me...sorta.

First, she loves to sweep! She refuses to vacuum and cries at the sight of the dreaded machine. However, it seems she has found a comrade in the broom.

video

She also LOVES to "organize" all the condiments in the fridge. By organize, I of course mean, take all the condiments off the shelves, place them on the floor and then "put them back." I use the term "put them back" VERY loosely.



Grace particularly loves the A1 sauce and the lime juice.
She hugs them, pets them and carts them all around the house. She even took them for a ride in her stroller. What can I say, condiments receive special treatment around here.


Even if she isn't exactly helping me - she's entertaining herself and that my friends is worth MY weight in gold!