Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Through the eyes of a child

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post these photos! They were taken at the end of March and I just forgot about them until someone reminded me:) Grace had a blast checking out the fountains downtown and had a very hands-on nature lesson with the azaleas! I love spring and on this particular day, Noonie, Grace, and I had a chance to really enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Grace loves water and thought the fountains were one big "splish splash, bathtub time"! The wind was blowing really hard as you can see. What better nature lesson than to study the azaleas up close and personal. By the way, the pink color of the flowers is just amazing to me!
Grace tried to eat the azaleas - SCARY, since they are poisonous (lots of hand cleaning involved here). Like I said, a very hands-on nature lesson. Pouting 'cause she couldn't eat the flowers.
Now, let's learn about the petals...
Petals? Wow! They're soft and sort of squishy. Uh-oh, the wind blew my petals away!!
I'll pick the petals up, Mommy!
My sweet, happy, curious child!
And finally, when we got back home, Grace enjoyed a giggle fest with Noonie!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Vintage Birthday Books

I'm so excited about these two books! Sweet birthday vignettes...old fashion cakes and parties...vintage illustrations...doesn't get any better than this! More inspiration to come...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese's

This weekend we took Grace to Chuck E. Cheese's for cousin Logan's 8th birthday. It was her first time there and she was in awe! At first all the sounds of games ticking, machines spitting out tickets, and kids running amok scared her a bit. But after she had a chance to take it all in, she decided she really, REALLY liked the place! This was her first ride, a little chuck.e.cheese car ride that takes your picture at the end. She didn't want to be strapped down to the seat and wanted to stand the whole time so we had to stand right by her, but after she got used to the motion of the car moving, she decided "driving" was fun.
She didn't like the Barney mini ride at all, LOL! I can't blame her, the purple guy has never done much for me either.
She LOVED Bob the Builder and kept wanting to ride again and again.

They had this whole section for little kids which was nice. Grace had a lot of fun playing in the mini gym as you can see. I had fun too :)

Here she is sliding and waiting for Mimi to catch her.

There was this huge carousel-style horse ride that I thought was a little overwhelming for her, but she kept pointing to it so we figured she wanted to get on it. Here she is with cousin Jade.

And here's all three of us.

You can't tell from the picture, but Grace LOVED the crazy looking carousel horse!!! Every time we went down the stairs to get off, she pointed back up and said "orse" for horse and wanted to ride again. I think we rode like 4 or 5 times! Toward the end, she wanted to hang off the side of the horse to look down on the b-day bash! She is fearless I tell you!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Some of my (current) Favorite Things

There's something about handmade and vintage items that make me so happy. I don't know if it's their nostalgic appeal or just the thought that someone took the time to make something with their hands, putting love in it along the way. Some of my favorite baby gifts were those that people created just for Grace. First, here's a picture of my little pumpkin when she was not quite 1 month old and not quite 7 lbs! Oh, the blessedness of being little :)

Now onto some of my favorite things...There's the sweet patchwork toddler quilt that Mrs. Betty, a friend of my mom, made for Grace, which we still use as the "fitted sheet" in Grace's pack-n-play. When Grace was a tiny wee one, I remember her being mesmerized by the squares with the ladybugs! Now she likes to untuck the corners to look underneath!!! Here she is last October spending some quiet time in her pack-n-play.
Then there's the pink and chocolate brown baby wreath that Aunt Heidi made for Grace, which still hangs in her room today. Grace loves "ringing the bell" (i.e. touching the silver rattle) and pointing to the "G" in the embroidered burpie pad. Although you can't see the wreath very well in this photo, you can see Grace contemplating how to balance on the rocker she's not supposed to be standing on to try to "ring the bell"!
And one of my all-time favorites is the ladybug set Noonie sewed for Grace - down to the teensy pocket in the front and the little ladybug tag on the inside of the pants so I would know which side was front from back :). It was a wee bit big on Grace last Fall, but it's perfect on her now. If only I had taken her up on learning to sew when I was younger...

And although I know practical baby gifts are so important and needed, there's something about sweet little one-of-a-kind gifts that just warm my heart. So, with that in mind...I've started preparing for my best friend Heidi's baby shower later this year, which I can't wait to host. Heidi just found out that she's having a *GIRL*!!!! She's already an amazing mom to my favorite 4 year old little girl in the whole wide world, my goddaughter Madeline, so I know this soon-to-be-here baby girl is already one lucky baby.
Madeline just loves baby Grace, as she likes to call her and Grace is so in awe of Madeline, it is just adorable. Madeline is going to be the best big sis ever! Check out these cute matching vintage dresses - the one on the left is for Madeline and the one on the right is for Grace. Can't wait to see them wear them...I'm thinking dresses with cowboy boots - photo op for sure!!

And (knowing my love for vintage raggedy ann), wouldn't this onesie and little booties look adorable on a fresh-from-heaven baby girl?

Anna of Magnolia Rose, a super cute etsy boutique, made the onesie. She's so talented and sweet, she made these ducky bloomers for Grace and created the cutest pair of raggedy ann bloomers to match Grace's dress.

And there's nothing better than a pillowcase dress on a hot summer day, except a hand embroidered pillowcase dress!! Check out these two sweet ones that I recently stumbled upon!!!

Finally, my love for hand embroidery has led me to Cassie of Olivia Kate Couture. I love her fresh spin on old vintage designs. How cute is this patriotic ducky celebrating America's birthday on the 4th of July?!

And check out this sweet dress and matching headscarf!!!
Playing dress up + Hand-made, Vintage-inspired finds = Too Much Fun!! Maybe one of these days I will open a sweet little shop full of eye-candy pretties like this one!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mama's Little Helper

I can not say enough how much Grace loves her little kitchen. But to be honest, I really should have titled this post "daddy's little helper" since Lance is the chef in our family - and a mighty good one I must say :) Grace is fascinated with the little wooden play food. She even "feeds" her two babies with one of the little spoons - it is too cute! I think she looks so cute wearing her vintage inspired apron, but I guess it gets in the way 'cause she didn't keep it on for too long :)

Here she is saying "girl" one of her current favorite words. She has the cutest little pouty lips when she says it too.

Grace has gotten to be quite the talkative girl these days. She's also beginning to throw tantrums when she doesn't want to stop playing or when something doesn't go her way! She balls up her hands into little fists and shakes them while screaming and turning red - it is quite a sight to see. And if she doesn't want you to pick her up she "melts" and throws herself backward which can be scary depending on where she's at at the moment. But back to her words, since so many of you family members have asked. At 13 months, she says mama (mami when she doesn't want to sleep and wants mama to "rescue" her from her crib), daddy, baby, bye-bye, night-night, girl, dog, duck, ball, bird, right there, me, no, juice, nak "snack", top "stop" (complete with hand stretched out to motion stop, especially when seeing an actual stop sign - thanks, Noonie!), bloon "balloon", bot "bottle", ot "hot" (when near the stove), andy "candy", pop, book, bath, duck, cup, poon "spoon", and jacx "jaxon - our dog". She can also point to eyes, nose, mouth, hair, toes, fingers, belly button, light, fan, window, picture (he, he, he - since there are so many around the house!!!), mama, daddy, Grace, Noonie, Mimi, babies, birds, flowers, some animals in her books (duck is her current favorite) and a few others I can't think of right now. I'm amazed that they learn so much so fast!!! She is starting to be able to follow some simple commands like "bring me the book, please". Other times, even though she knows the meaning of "no" she'll just smile and do whatever it is you are trying to keep her from doing! So how's that for an update :)
I'll leave you with one final picture of our sweet little pumpkin...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Photo Fun

I love photography, plain and simple. When Grace was born I guess you could say, I found my muse. It has been so much fun documenting her first year and I know one day - a long time from now - she'll look back and enjoy seeing all the gazillion photos and the three scrapbooks that make up her first year. Since I love photography so much, I've been looking into upgrading my camera and purchasing an editing software. I've been reading lots of reviews and talking to a lot of knowledgeable people, which led me to Jenn of Take A Bow Creations. She shared some great information with me,including Picasa, a free photo editing program from google. So after tucking in my little pumpkin for the night, I've been playing with some recent photos and I like the results so far. My favorite is the vintage feel of the first two photos. As I was looking through the photos, I realized so many of these show Grace's typical expressions and personality traits that I decided to label the collection, The Many Moods of Grace.

Are you okay, dolly? (aka Caring Grace)

Dance Like Nobody's Watching (aka Free Spirited Grace)

Loving, Protective Grace

Wobbly Toddler Grace (aka Serious Grace)

Mama's Little Pumpkin (aka Sweet Grace)

Little Miss Personality Grace

Hamming it up for the camera! (aka Funny Grace)

He, he, he - I just started playing with the software a few hours ago and already I have a "named collection". Hey, a girl's gotta have dreams!!!