Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chalk...Gymnastics...Sewing!

One of Grace's favorite things to do is draw/color/paint and chalk is no exception. Lately, she's been having fun drawing on our patio.
Here she is after school one day just having a blast! Hmmm...I wonder what I should draw? This is so much fun!
Artist in the making
video

Another favorite activity is gymnastics. Here's Grace showing Daddy and Noonie her forward rolls :)
video

We've made progress on Grace's dress!!! Right after getting to this point we had a malfunction resulting in a trip to the sewing hospital - I mean fabric shop :) and after finally getting everything figured out, my mom and I tackled the remainder of the project during Grace's naps. Here's my mom letting me take a picture of her as she worked away. When Grace woke up from her nap she wanted to know what all the fuss was about and just had to jump up on Noonie's lap to check things out! And the almost-finished product! Just need to topstitch the bodice, cut some button holes for the straps and add one final vintage button accent and it'll be ready! SO EXCITED! I love how the colors turned out!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

H E L L O Fall!

Fall is officially here - Yeaaaaaaaaayyyyyy! My favorite time of the year! Crisp air, leaves changing, pumpkins, baking, family gatherings, cozy sweaters, cute boots - Can't wait any longer - I love it all!

Grace checking out her new fall boots :) Time to clean closets and pull out new sweaters in yummy hues of autumn Hi there little owl friend Laughing at something silly Ernie has become Elmo's sidekick at our house Cozy jammies and her beloved owl friend. He's a cutie...find one here! Two of my favorite fall purchases so far! The origin of these two I'm keeping all to myself for now - he, he, he! What can I say, I'm currently in love with hedgehogs, owls, little mushrooms, vintage storybook characters...the list goes on and on! And last, but certainly not least, an ADORABLE pair of jammies that Mimi gave Grace today! Thanks, Mimi - can't wait to see the little pumpkin in them for Halloween. Isn't she the cutest little witchie ever! Happy Fall!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Angels among us...


Oh I believe there are angels among us
Sent down to us from somewhere up above
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love
~Alabama


30 years ago today my mom was in a terrible car accident. I was 6 mo. old, she had just dropped me off at my godmother's house and was headed to the hospital where she worked as chief neonatologist. She was driving on the interstate around 60mph when suddenly and out of nowhere the cars in front of her came to a screeching stop. She was the fourth car and was able to stop completely. The car behind her was not able to and crashed into her at full speed. She took the whole impact, then causing a domino effect and crashing into the car in front of her. Although she was wearing her seatbelt, her head hit the glass causing bleeding in her brain. ***Luckily*** the person that crashed into her was one of her medical students. He called for help and performed all of the life-saving and necessary emergency response steps.

She was quickly taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery to alleviate the pressure in her brain from the subdural hematoma. She was in a coma for several days and doctors told my grandparents to prepare for the worse. They were not sure she would make it and told my grandparents that if she did, because of the extent of her injuries, she would remain in a vegetative state the rest of her life. My grandparents, with their incredible faith in God, began praying for her full recovery and asked everyone to join them. Many began praying in agreement for her full recovery. Miraculously, she awoke from the coma without any permanent damage. She made a full recovery and went on to continue her medical practice, caring for and saving many children along the way. What a testament to God's love for us and the power of prayer!

She tells me one of her fondest memory is that of coming home from the hospital with my grandparents to pick me up at my aunt's house. I was in a pack-n-play and she knelt down beside it and softly called my name. She said I looked at her and slowly came over to her side, pulled up, rubbed my hand against her now bald head, and said "mama". Has always brought tears to my eyes thinking about this, but now that I have Grace, even more so.
Last year on this very day, we baptized Grace, at the age of 6 months. Couldn't think of a better way to thank God for the miracle of my mom's recovery than to dedicate my child to Him on the anniversary of my mom's "second birthday"...second chance at life. My grandma was here :), as was my Uncle Pedro - Grace's godfather, and several family members all the way from PR. My friend Heidi was godmother. Lance's Nana, who is no longer with us, was there. The same priest that married us baptized Grace at the church we were married in. It was a joyful day! Indeed there are angels among us, some wear wings and some are just walking beside us every step of the way. Thank you God for not calling my mom Home 30 years ago. I needed her then...I need her now...I love you, Mom.
~Jessica

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Birthday Adventure...Dora Style

This afternoon Grace had a blast at the Dora-inspired birthday party for one of our friend's daughter. The party was held at a local discovery center and the kids had a chance to do some fun things, like watch ice cream be made with liquid nitrogen.

Here's Amelia, the cutie patootie 3 year old birthday girl! Sometimes Amelia and her little brother Abram go to the same storytime that Grace does and Grace just loves to follow Amelia's lead! Here they are learning all about mud. Getting ready to make ice cream Orange to match the birthday girl's outfit :) Here it goes! In awe over the smoke A little final mixing and voila! Doesn't it look delicious??? Ha, ha! I must admit, I was a little scared to try it, but I had a taste from Grace's and although it was a little sweet, it actually tasted pretty good! Now it's time for cake and singing. And then it was off to play some more! Happy 3rd Birthday, Amelia!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

33" of Giggles, Smooches, and Fun!

I know most moms must feel like this, but every day I find myself thinking, "how did I get so lucky to have you for my daughter?" Grace, you bring a joy to my life and a love so pure I never knew existed before I had you. You are such a sweet, loving, curious child - I love seeing and experiencing life through your eyes. THANK YOU God for the privilege of being Grace's mama!

A moment of pure excitement! Don't you just love moments like this with little ones?!?! Grace loves to hide stuff and have you look for it. She gets the biggest giggles when you "find" what she's hidden. Here she is waiting for me to find the Elmo she's hidden. Okay, her turn to find Elmo...wonder where he is? :) I think I found it, Mama! Yup, I was right!!! Come here little buddy! Hugging her beloved Elmo Are you ready to go again, Mama? (How could you say no to that face?)

G - R - A - C - E: Grace surprised me the other day by "spelling" her name. We were coloring and I wrote her name on the page along with the date. I pointed to the "G" and asked her what it was and she said "G", followed by R, and A, then G, and E. She got the C and G confused, but hey not bad for an 18 mo. old, right! Lance has been pointing to the letters above her crib and spelling her name with her ever since she was a wee one, and it's definitely paid off! When we went on vacation we bought her an etch-a-sketch and she now loves for us to write her name with it. She especially likes for me to draw "big G" as she calls it :)

Future Picasso at work (such a serious look of concentration :) My turn to do "big G"
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Today was a busy day with both a wedding and a very special 1 year old b-day party to go to, but we managed to squeeze in all the fun. Happy 1st birthday, Hayden!! You're such a cutie! Love your sweet smile and those gorgeous curls! See ya later, alligator!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sewing 099...Forward Rolls...School...Oh, my!

Basic classes are all "101", right? Well then, I must be in Sewing 099 - the remedial one! Here's how it always goes. It all starts when I get a great design idea in my head or so I think, followed by the hunt for the perfect fabric, trim, buttons, etc. (I love fabric :), I then sketch out a little drawing of what it is I'd like to create - nothing formal, just a little visual since I'm definitely a visual person. THEN, comes the fun part - since I'm not good at sewing, I must find someone to make my vision come to reality. Usually goes like this, "Mom, I have a project for us (notice the clever "us"). It's going to be so much fun and best of all it's EASY and I already have all the fabrics, all the measurements, it probably won't even take more than a couple of hours." Yeah, right! My mom is such a good sport too! She indulges my inner creative self by actually letting me think it's my project, when in reality, she's the seamstress and I'm just the pain-in-the-rear "assistant" that keeps dreaming up "just one more little detail" to further complicate the project. Thanks for letting me dream, mom!

My latest project is this little apron dress that I've been wanting to make for Grace with some of Heather Bailey's gorgeous Pop Garden fabrics and some other fun ones I found at a local boutique. And although this isn't the dress we're making for this project, I also picked up a copy of one of Chelsea's Pink Fig patterns just 'cause the dress and packaging was too cute to pass up. I'd searched high and low for an apron dress pattern to no avail. An S.O.S. to Angel of TaDa Creations!, my favorite boutique designer, led me to a pattern that with some adaptations could possibly work - thanks Angel! So after ordering, downloading, printing, and binding the 50+ page pattern (yes, I'm a little OCD and need the pattern to look pretty while I'm working with it :), I felt we were ready to go.

Sketch and measurements - check! Fabrics all layed out - check! So what should have been an easy project, turned into quite a big project as we decided to draw and cut out our own pattern, from an apron knot dress Grace likes to wear. So after putting Grace to bed and since Lance was out of town for work, my mom and I painstakingly drew pattern pieces and cut out all the fabric, so here's what we have so far: Boy am I glad you live only 5 minutes away, mom! Sorry I kept you up late! The plan is to sew the dress next Monday night, so we'll see how it goes. I'll def. post pics when we finish the dress - can't wait!

GYMNASTICS UPDATE: Grace has been loving gymnastics. She goes around the house saying, "jump, ta da!" and then claps for herself and says "yeaaah!" Guess we've been doing a good job cheering her on! She also loves trying to do forward rolls by herself. She can't quite make it through by herself, but that doesn't bother her a bit - gotta love that spirit! Here she is letting me take a picture before "school" this week. I was getting her stuff ready and next thing I know, she's on the floor doing her version of a forward roll :) And off she was with a big smile on her face! For all that have asked how Mother's Day Out is going and for all that have offered suggestions - THANK YOU! The first two weeks were tough - she cried and had a hard time being away from us. Not knowing what else to do and not wanting to throw in the towel just yet I bought some books about school - first with the intention of reading them with her since she loves books, but then I thought maybe a new book was just what she needed to get her through that initial separation when I drop her off in the morning. Well, it worked like a charm. She still cried a little bit when I told her I was leaving and would see her after snacks (I don't believe in sneaking out without telling her bye), but "Dora goes to School" combined with the attention of one of her very sweet teachers = NO MORE TEARS! I hung around outside her classroom where she couldn't see me and the tears subsided immediately. When I picked her up they told me how great she did and said, "please send a book every time :)". So far, we've had two very good days this week! I'm so proud of my little pumpkin!!