Monday, September 29, 2008

A Mommy's Dream

I was finished doing dishes, and this is what I found in the living room:

Sisters coloring together, sharing the same book, content. Wow. Awesome. Not only that, but they looked up when they heard the camera beeping, and they both automatically smiled. (Rachael is saying, "Cheeeeese!")

How cool is that??

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A week to celebrate!

"Oh my gosh! I'm FIVE!!" I don't know why she posed like she's channeling Kevin McCallister, but it works! One day wasn't good enough for Grace, we celebrated her birthday just about every night last week! And some days too! Monday night, we went to Pump-It-Up, where she had her birthday party last year. We just went with a couple of her friends, and she had a blast! Rachael was pretty content sitting in Daddy's lap for quite a while, but soon enough she was showing interest in the big slide. With Daddy's arm in a sling (although that's gotten much better!), it was up to MOMMY to take her down! She loved it soooo much! One time, all three of us went down (me, Rachael and Grace), and that was definitely an adventure!

On Tuesday night, we had a visit from the girls' Papa (Vanessa's dad). His birthday was Monday, so he stopped by for dinner and he brought entertainment in the form of his Wii! That was a huge hit, not only with Grace, but with me too! Grace played golf (her choice, she insisted), then bowling. I let everyone stay up way too late that night!

Wednesday was her actual birthday, and although I didn't bring goodie bags for the kids in her class (I just can't get into that), I did make cupcakes. (Yes, I said make, and yes, they came from a box. You can't go wrong with Funfetti.) Grace was so proud bringing them in! We stopped by Nana's office on our way home, where Grace got the gift she'd been waiting for -- the new Little Mermaid movie! It also included a comb and hairbrush (plus a tiara) all with Ariel on them, and Grace now insists we can only comb and brush her hair with those. Chris' mom came by after she got out of school with gifts from her and Grandpa, as well as Aunt Lisa and Uncle Darryl. Lots of miniature toys (and his mom is so brilliant, she brought a Rubbermaid container to keep them all in!) that Grace plays with... while watching the new Little Mermaid movie. These toys are especially fun for her, because they remind her of the toys she played with when she was visiting her cousins in Georgia this summer! (By the way, Katrina, she wants to go back to Savannah's other Nana's so they can play Polly Pocket together again.)

But wait! There's more! A while ago we asked Grace where she'd rather go for her birthday, Sea World or Busch Gardens. She chose Sea World, so that's where we went on Saturday. Chris' mom was able to join us, and we had a blast, as usual! It was especially fun watching Rachael get so much more involved this time! She was able to ride a few of the rides this time, and I think she might've tried to touch a stingray if we'd let her! (I touched FIVE of those slimy little suckers, and Grace still wouldn't try herself!)

More pictures, of course!

Rachael comforted the Xbox controller, feeling sorry for it the night the Wii came. On Wednesday, I let her sample some frosting. (Because I was, and she caught me!) She made such a fuss when I told her it was all gone, I gave her the container to prove it. She managed to scrape every last little bit out!!

First of all, isn't this cute? Grace is poised to take Chris' position one day as tour guide at Sea World.
And Rachael looks thrilled to be in the stroller, doesn't she? She was! If we were having trouble with her at all, if we asked, "Wanna go in the stroller?" she would immediately relax! This was the best. thing. EVER! It was my gift from Chris for the day. It was even more fun to watch the girls interact in it, or watch Grace sling her arm behind Rachael's shoulders as we strolled along. I don't think I can go to any theme park again without renting one of these!
Here's Grace waiting patiently for some dolphins to swim by.
Even though they changed the layout and you can't really get close to where the dolphins frequent unless you spend $7 for 4 slimy fish to feed them. I'm not bitter.
Miss Rachael checking out the sea turtles.
You can tell it's at the beginning of the day -- her hat is still on!

Rachael was willing to have her picture taken with the big penguin. Grace was not.
I wish I could enlarge this picture -- Rachael is definitely keeping her eye on the friendly penguin!

Here we all are in their version of Disney's teacup ride!
Rachael would not turn around before the ride began for Chris to get a picture of all of us,
but he snagged one while we were in motion!

It was a busy, fun-filled week! Less than 4 months before we do it all again for Rachael's 2nd birthday!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grace!

Friday, September 12, 2008

HONK! and a Prayer Request

When I tell you I live in an apartment and I've been disturbed by honking, what would your first thought be? An obnoxious neighbor? Unruly guests? A malfunctioning car alarm?

None of the above. The honking was attributed to this guy:

Here he is with a lady friend.

And this morning, two lady friends.

Today was one of Chris' off Fridays, and Rachael enjoyed some quality time with Daddy. See the black strap across him though? That is part of a sling he has to wear for two weeks. During the softball game Tuesday night, he went to make a catch and did something to his shoulder (and hung on to the ball, naturally). It was bad enough he made an appointment with the doctor without my prompting -- that has to tell you something! He has to wear the sling for two weeks, and if there isn't significant improvement by that time, he'll have an MRI. The doctor said he may have sprained it, or it could be a hairline fracture. No matter what, he has to take it easy for about 6-8 weeks. No softball, Ultimate Frisbee or flag football. No golf. No fun for Chris, basically! So please keep him in your prayers, that he heals completely and that he does rest it, and that I can manage without his wonderful assistance around the house. After all, he does his share of cooking (okay, okay, and my share too), cleaning, and this means no rough-housing with the girls. They'll get a lot more cuddle time with him though!

This girl's a little sweetheart. We went to lunch after we picked her up from school, and as we were sitting down she gave her daddy a kiss on his hurt shoulder. He smiled and told her he wished that was all it took. Rest assured that she will be praying for him. One of the things that thrills my heart is when Grace has a boo-boo that gets better, or she was just feeling a little off and gets to feeling back to normal, she'll say, "God made me better!" She knows God can make Daddy better too -- and we ask for your prayers for that as well! Thanks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fun Family Play-By-Play

In remembrance and thankfulness...


One morning before school, I happened to get this little play-by-play on film... Or card... Or whatever you say now!

Rachael tries to sneak up on Grace...

"Can I sit with you?"

"Have a seat!"

A Gracie Squeeze!

"Ooooh, something interesting!"

"All done!"

When Grace has free time, she does this...
(She showed me how she put the letters
next to the animals that they started with. Yay, Phonics!)

When Rachael has free time, she does this...
Grace's Birthday Extravaganza begins next week! She'll be FIVE!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Are you ready for some football?

Ask Grace what teams we cheer for and she will promptly respond, "Go Dolphins! Go Gators! Go Phillies!" (The Pirate vs. Bulldog debate rages on...) On Labor Day, Chick-fil-A provided us with an opportunity to showcase our fandom, giving free Chick-N-Strips to customers wearing any football team's logo.

Our Dol-Fan
This uniform was a shower gift when I was pregnant with Grace,
and Chris says it's not being passed down to ANYONE!
Thanks, Nicole, we are still loving this!

Gator Girl

One of the employees was also going around offering
stuffed cows or small footballs to the kids.
Guess which the girls wanted!

Daddy & Rachael
Daddy was slick and brought a coupon for a free IceDream,
and it was split four ways without any incident.
(And, yes, that's right, we went out and got free chicken strips and dessert
in the same place, we're skilled like that!)

Grace & Mommy

Here is Rachael eyeing THE COW! The girls get so excited when the Chick-fil-A Cow makes an appearance! Rachael couldn't make up her mind -- she would be squealing to get closer to him, and then if Chris took her near him, she'd squeal to get away! And I'm not sure if you can see it, but Rachael has a little bruise on her cheek. When I first saw it last week, I asked what happened and Chris thought it was from when she kind of plowed into our bed. I thought maybe I was kissing her squishy cheeks too hard! My mommy senses were on alert though, and over the weekend I casually brought it up to Grace, and it turns out it was the result of a skirmish between the two. *sigh* Grace owned up to it right away, though, and apologized for a second time, because she told me she'd said she was sorry to Rachael right after it was originally done!

Grace wanted to hug the Cow, but instead just took the photo op! She loves going to Chick-fil-A, but I think it's because when we go we're usually meeting friends there! We were actually surprised we didn't run into more people we knew when we were there today! Especially Auburn fans -- we can't swing a cat without hitting an Auburn alum in this area!! ;-) We're definitely more of a pro family, I think, and Grace told me today that she wanted another "Dolphin dress" since Rachael fits into hers now! I told her I was pretty sure that could be arranged -- I think her dad considers that to be a wise investment!

Since a few people have actually commented in e-mails about how long my hair looks, I had Grace take a picture from the back. She and I are going in for haircuts this week, and I have to admit I'm tempted to get it chopped (not like the Mom Cut shown at the end of the previous post), but I really would like to grow it a bit longer and donate it to Beautiful Lengths. I've got several inches to go, but I think I can hang on for a little while longer! (It's kind of flippy at the ends because I let it air dry this morning!)

And at the end of the day, right before bedtime,
the girls are still hanging out and having fun. :-)

Hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend!