Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Little Pumpkin heads to "School"!!!!!

One week from today, Grace will be starting Mother's Day Out in the 1 year old "class" - how cute is that!!! She'll be going two half-days per week. I'm not sure how she'll do since she's only been baby-sat by my mother, mother-in-law, and friend Heidi, but I hope she has fun with the other 9 kiddos and 3 teachers! I'll definitely post after our first day - notice I said "ours" because I'm sure I'll be the one having the harder time adjusting!

But before we're in the back to school swing (he, he, he - it feels funny to say that), we're going on a family vacation to California!! I'm so excited to see my nieces and nephews and stepbrothers and stepsister!! What a fun way to wrap up our summer!

Here's a few fun pictures taken during a "back to school" shoot. Isn't she the cutest little toddler in her scholarly outfit, knee socks, and holding a book!!!! Yes, I know I'm biased :) I love that last one of her giggling - that's Grace, pure and simple! She brings so much joy to my life!
~Jessica

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tickled Pink!

My dear friend Heidi's baby shower was today! My, oh my we had a lot of fun! I'm so glad we went with the earlier date too, since just last week she was scheduled for a c-section next week due to some special circumstances. Baby Ella Kate wasn't due until the end of September, so please keep Heidi and Ella Kate in your prayers for a smooth, safe delivery and a healthy baby girl with strong lungs!

Since Heidi's nursery for Ella Kate is decorated in pink, green, and yellow, we decided to go with that theme for the shower. Her mother graciously let us have the shower in her clubhouse, which worked out great!

Here's Heidi with the cutest baby bump ever! Of course the only picture I have of us with her, Grace is blinking in :( Here's a better picture of the little pumpkin! The cake inspired by little girls' mary jane shoes! I'm upset that in the frenzy of getting everything set up, I didn't take a picture of the cute matching petit fours, complete with "fairy dust sprinkles" as the baker told me (iridescent sprinkles) Some of the goodies My homemade contribution, strawberry delight trifle - yum! A while back I stumbled upon these cute baskets with striped liners in pink, green, and yellow - how lucky is that! So I used them to hold my gifts to Heidi. We asked guests to also bring a copy of their favorite children's book to help us build Ella Kate's library - so fun! And she ended up with 30+ books!!! Since I love all things monogrammed or personalized, I bought Ella Kate four of the "Ella" books :) A close up of the sweet wreath. Now, I'm not a big fan of the diaper cake since most that I've seen are a little tacky in my opinion, so when one of my co-hostesses told me she was making one I crossed my fingers that it would be cute. I had nothing to worry about - it turned out adorable! The centerpieces were simple and elegant. One of the other co-hostesses borrowed family photos from Heidi, copied and framed them. This one is of my sweet goddaughter Madeline when she was 4 months old! The photos were great conversation starters and Heidi even got teary-eyed when she saw them. Opening gifts. Madeline was so excited to help! She kept running to Heidi, hugging her belly and telling Ella Kate "look what you got!" :) Right after Heidi found out she was having a girl, I found out Belle Ame had started carrying newborn pettiskirts. Immediately, I KNEW I had to get this little confection for her. Imagine how excited I was when Heidi told me a couple of weeks ago that she wanted to dress Ella Kate as a ballerina for Halloween! I knew my little raspberry petti would be perfect and she LOVED it, which made me so happy. It was so hard to keep it a secret, but I did!!! I'm not good at keeping "happy secrets" - I like to share the joy right away :) Of course, I couldn't leave big sis out. This fun little number was perfect for Madeline! And this is the cutest book for any big sis about to have a little sis. And finally, the cute party favors! Can't wait to meet you soon, Ella Kate! Aunt Jessica loves you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Tumbling Good Time!

Yesterday was Grace's first gymnastics class!!!!!!!! I think I was definitely more excited than she was :), but once she saw the gym with all of the new equipment (toys to her), she got a huge smile on her face and kept saying "play, jump, now". I felt very sentimental taking her to the gym. You see, I used to work there for five years during my undergraduate and part of my graduate college years, so the gym has a special place in my heart as do the owners and their six children. They are just the sweetest and have such strong family values! I really admire that in them - no scales at this gym, not even for the competitive team gymnasts. Their slogan is "have fun or go home" - LOVE it! So I was super excited for the Fall classes to begin so Grace and I could take part in the toddler gym class. Lance was able to take off work to come with us so that was extra special for us both!

Here's Grace in her new "bina" (ballerina) leotard, as she likes to call it. Check out the cute pigtails and little pink bows (I told you I was excited :) We're ready for our Sidekicks class! Isn't it a cute name? I heard it once while visiting a friend's gym and told the owner of our gym who liked it, so he changed the name of the Mom & Me class to Sidekicks, so we could include all the dads that participate. The view of the preschool gym area from the deck. Practicing rolling on the cheese mat with Ms. Jenny. Our first activity after warm-up - Grace wasn't quite sure what to think of it! Learning all about spatial awareness. Practicing handstands Learning how to do cartwheels with Ms. Alicia. Tongue sticking out = concentration! Practicing landings. Learning how to pose and say "ta da"! (Grace was getting tired by this point - gym class is quite a workout for both mama and baby :) And check out how fast my little pumpkin is improving in her handstands!!! She was such a trooper - kept her little elbows locked and held part of her weight. She loved the handstands - they were her favorite part of the class! Or was it the little plastic hand guides?? She kept picking those up and trying to run away with them - he, he, he. We had such a fun time - can't wait for next week's class!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Simple Pleasures

We've been enjoying the lazy days of summer, hence the lack of posts lately! 'Been reminiscing of days gone by and the simplicity of it all!! Here's Grace enjoying a childhood favorite. First we tried it as a "choo choo". But it works much better as a boat! Playing princess with Daddy (indeed good daddies are hot like the shirt says :) LOVE that toddler jelly bean belly!! Hope you are enjoying the last days before school starts!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Slice of Cherry Pie!

Grace gave me the sweetest smile this morning and I'm so happy I caught in on camera! It's getting harder and harder to get smiling pictures of Grace since by the time I'm ready with the camera she's usually off to her next adventure so I was super excited to get this cute smile on film. I can't believe my little pumpkin is 17 months already!! She's so full of energy and love and sweetness - oh, how I love my little pumpkin!

P.S. Angel, I love how cheery and bright this dress is...makes me think of a slice of cherry pie - thank you so much for making it for Grace!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Daddy's Girl

Lance and Grace were making faces and playing silly games while I got dinner ready. She was having a blast and I couldn't help but giggle at her silly faces and how much she giggled herself! I love this picture of Grace and Lance! Check out those eyes and that little tongue sticking out :) This is the see-what-you-can-do-to-the-other-person-to-get-them-to-laugh (or at least break their solemn look). Can you tell Grace is a serious player! Check out how hard she's pinching Lance's cheek!! And this is Grace blowing kisses. She has her own style...she puts her hand to her mouth, makes the little smack sound, and then plants the kiss on whoever's holding her rather than who the kiss is being blown to :) So sweet! I'll take those kisses anyday!

And this one just for fun. I came across this site the other day while checking out the Matilda Jane blog and it's a hoot! You can play with your pictures and see what they would look like on billboards, Times Square, etc. Too funny!! Does this mean I have too much time on my hands late at night?? ;)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Enchanted Forest

Man, oh, man - I've been having fun doing a little "window shopping" for all things that remind me of Fall. It's my own way of pretending it's not 103 outside and looking forward to those gorgeous autumn days. Ever since stumbling across that PBK owl collection, I've been finding more owls, gnomes, fairies, hedgehogs, mushrooms, and all things woodsy and enchanted. He, he, he, I'm like a kid in a candy store! Check out all these goodies from Chasing Fireflies. I stumbled upon their site and I can't get enough of it! Can't you just see little girls dreaming up stories and tip-toeing about this magical toadstool in their fairy wings and magic wands? And check out this fun German tradition of giving kiddos this to celebrate the first day of school! Love little fun traditions like that :) How fun would it be to go back to school with this little messenger bag?!?!?! Can't you just see this cute little cord dress and tights from baby Gap with some fun boots and lots of pumpkins! Did I mention I love the pumpkin patch??!! And I just love these sweet chocolate cord longalls from Tiny Sprouts And this little sweater one piece from baby Gap Had to throw a little bit of boy stuff in there just for fun :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fun at the Lake

Today we made a trip to Papaw's (Lance's dad) lake house. This was our first time to go there and although the temperature hit scorching numbers, we had a fun time. Grace had a couple of meltdowns - I think in part to it being so hot - but she loved checking out the party barge! We tried to go for a little ride around the lake, but Grace pitched a humongous tantrum over having the life vest on, so it was a 1-minute ride and turn back - hmmm, maybe when she's a little older or when it's not so hot since I think she felt claustrophobic with the jacket on.

Papaw and Mimsy

Grace thought it was hilarious to say Mimsy's name and kept going "meeemsie, meeemsie" pointing at her and smiling.

Checking out the little frog visitor! Can you tell how hot she was! "Driving" the boat (the barge was parked during all of this) A closer look at our Captain With Aunt Marilyn and Aunt Lexi

Later when we got home we had popsicles to cool off! Here she is making Mama smile by saying "popseeecle"
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When we got home we had a little surprise - a pair of halloween overalls I had ordered came in. I love how sweetly Grace says "pumpkin" and I was excited to get a chance to capture it on tape.
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Thank you for having us over Mimsy & Papaw! We had a great time!