Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last day of school

It’s the last day of Mother’s Day out for this semester. It was also Ben’s pre-school graduation. I wasn’t too terribly sad because we’ll be right back here next year. We’ve decided that we want to have him home with us for just one more year before he starts Kinder.
Still, it breaks my heart when I see how big he is!
Gracie is trying to be big, too. She insists on wearing her backpack in and out. Yes, it is the same size that she is.
If she’s really feeling up to a challenge, she takes on the lunch box as well.
Here she is with her wonderful teachers, Mrs. Kim & Mrs. Tammy.
We love them both, and they love Gracie!
Just any other day for Ben. He went straight to playing.
The kids were all TOO CUTE in their cap and gowns.
They all behaved so well and did a great job during their presentation. Of course, Ben provided some comic relief. There was a boy in his class with the last name “Schwenke” and Ben just couldn’t let it go. He said loud enough for the entire room to here, “His name is SCHWENKE?!” Oh, my child. This is his father’s gene.
Standing up so proud… ready to collect his diploma.
But not without a big hug for Mrs. Monica. We LOVE her, too!
Our little graduate.
This family pic makes me laugh. Noah looks like he’s trying to leave and I apparently have a lazy eye. Awesome.

One of our friends is a wonderful photographer and her son was one of Ben’s best buddies at school. She took them outside afterwards for an impromptu photo session. Seriously, Mrs. Jamie takes the best photos!
Ben grad
It was a sweet, fun day. I’m so glad that I was able to enjoy a “dress rehearsal” this year. I’m sure that when he really has his last day of pre-school next Spring I’ll be a hot mess!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Noah Naps

Noah is pretty good about napping here, there, and everywhere.
He naps on the floor.
He naps in our bed.
He naps under large loads of laundry on the couch.
He naps on his Sweetie’s chest.
He naps in his brother’s lap.
He naps during photo shoots.
He does not nap in the pack-n-play at Mommy’s office. This makes him really tired, so when we get home, he takes a super nap. This was going on 3 hours.
He also doesn’t like to nap with his sister. He thinks she’s a teeny bit crazy. He may be on to something.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Liz & Melissa wanted to “sprinkle” me before Noah came, but his early arrival sort of derailed our plans. I was finally able to set up a date with them nearly two months after little man was born. We met for dinner at La Madeleine.

Yummy, yummy, yummy!
After dinner we headed to the movies. We saw Bridesmaids. We laughed A LOT, but there were plenty of cringe worth scenes, too. Apparently “clean” comedies are a thing of the past. My favorite part was when we got to sing along with Wilson Phillips at the end.
“Just HOLD ON for one more day!”
Thank you, sweet friends, for the baby gifts and a fun ladies' night out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

To Gracie From Daddy

My Beautiful Grace,
I still remember the first time I saw you. We were in New Orleans at Dee Dee’s hospital watching a sonogram of you inside Mommy’s tummy. I was so excited to learn that we were having a little girl. As the weeks went on before you were born, I wondered what I was getting into, because I had never brushed anyone’s hair or picked out a dress. I didn’t even know how to dance.
Then came the day that you arrived. If I had to describe your first two years with one word, it would be EASY. Unlike your brothers, you came exactly when we planned. You and mommy came home from the hospital quickly and you settled into a quiet routine. You love to play by yourself (except when you get a chance to bother Ben). You’re very sensitive to loud noises, and I’ve learned many times that I have to talk to you differently that I did with Ben. You have a great imagination and you’re so smart, especially in what I like to call “street smarts”. You are a great problem solver and can get almost anyone, especially me, to do what you want. When you’re in trouble and I’m trying to be serious, you almost always make me laugh by dancing, smiling, or even just looking up at me with your big blue eyes.
I am amazed at how fast you’ve grown from a little pink lump into my little pink princess. It’s so great watching you play dress-up, strutting around in your costumes. Although I’ll never be a perfect father, I pray that I will be able to point you towards the Father who is. I pray that you’ll never lose your playfulness, and that you’ll always know that your beauty isn’t found in the costumes, but in your worth as a child of God and a member of our family.
I've learned how to dry your tears, rock your baby dolls, brush your hair (kind of), and tuck you in at night. As much as I’ve learned, I still wonder what I’m getting into. I’m excited (and scared) for all the things ahead, like the proms, the tears, the boys, the wedding. We’ve taught each other so much, and I can’t wait for what’s next.
Your Daddy

To Gracie From Mommy

My Teeny Tiny Peanut,
I remember the first time I learned that we were expecting a baby girl. I was honestly a little shaken because I only had experience with boys. I wondered how different things would be when you came along. I have to tell you that as I look back on the past two years I see that God knew EXACTLY what He was doing… especially now that you are sandwiched between two brothers. I thank God every day that I have the privilege of raising a little girl and experiencing everything that goes along with that. I love the softness that you bring to our rough and tumble set. I love your sweet tiny voice. I love your sense of style. You are smart and beautiful and sassy. You are a little crazy… a little bit “devil may care”. You give great hugs and big smiles. You are thrilled to be involved in everything that is going on around you and you are also fiercely independent. I so look forward to knowing the adult that you grow into. I love the relationship that we have now and the special place you hold in my heart as my one and only little girl. I pray that we are close forever and ever.
I feel like your “baby years” have just flown by. Perhaps it is because you were such an easy baby. Seriously, you were a breeze (compared to BOTH of your brothers). You just eased yourself right into our little family without much struggle. We were too busy just relaxing, loving on you, and getting to know you to realize that you were growing up right before our eyes. Maybe the time flew because Noah came along so quickly after you were born. You were still a bambino yourself when we brought our new guy home. It makes me a little sad that you had to stop being the baby so soon, but I couldn’t be more proud of you for how easily you’ve taken to your new role. You are such a great BIG sister and a great LITTLE sister. Remember to always keep your brothers close. They will treasure you and look out for you if you let them.
Gracie Girl, I want you to always remember just how special you are. Lately, you are so excited to play dress up and princess. You put on your party gowns, high heels, jewels and crowns and you waltz around here like you own the place. I pray that you have that same confident spirit when you venture out into the world on your own. I want you to realize that your worth, to us and to Jesus, is far more than jewels (pretend ones AND real ones). I pray that you continue to be the joyful person that we’ve come to know and love, and that you learn at an early age to delight in the Lord! You truly are a princess… the King of the Universe calls you his daughter. Never forget who you are, sweet girl. I love you BIG like the sky!
Love, Mommy 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grace is Two!

Oh, sweet Gracie Belle ~ you are TWO years old! You are growing up and acting so big!
You are a great playmate. You work really hard at keeping up with your big brother.
You are very, very silly. You know how to play to a crowd. You like to be the center of attention. You are a very happy go lucky little girl. You have the cutest voice. You are saying lots of words and sentences, but sometimes only Bubba and I can understand you. We call you “Beaker” because to most people, you sound like a little muppet! :)
You just love being a big sister to Noah. You ask to hold him all the time. If you had your way, he would sleep with you in your bed, and you’d push him around in your baby doll stroller all day long. I have to keep a close eye on you because you might just try to run off with him.
You have definitely been clueing us in to your likes and dislikes. You love to be outside. You like to check on Army, and you also like to take your inside toys outside to play. Sometimes they spend the night out there… mommy needs to be more careful! You like to watch cartoons with Bubba and Diego is your favorite. You sing along, “Daaay-go! Doh! Doh! Doh!” It’s too cute. You LOVE music and you sing and hum along with the radio or cartoons. You pick up the tune quickly, even when you can’t say all of the words. You often make up your own words! You do NOT like eggs or bananas or chocolate milk. You also do not like the “basketball mask” or loud noises. Ben has this small toy gorilla that makes noise and sucks on a little baby bottle. You dislike that thing so much that I’ve had to put it away. You scream hysterically when it comes out! Poor Gracie.
You may be a tiny little thing (you seem to be taking after your Mommy in that department) but your big personality makes up for it. You are so fun and I love watching you grow! I am excited for what this next year has in store for us! Happy Birthday, Gracie Belle!

A Puppy Party!

Grace's party theme was a no-brainer, because she LOVES puppies! Most of the family was able to be here with us and we had a great weekend! Gracie Belle was a wonderful party hostess and she seemed to really enjoy spending time with all of the guests that were here to celebrate with her!
The Cake Table
Complete with "Puppy Chow" party favors
and Paw Print Cupcakes
and a Puppy Cake, of course!
We had a puppy obstacle course with
tubes, hurdles, and balls.

Grace's new water table was a big hit!

It was nice enough to have lunch on the deck!
We had hot DOGS! Hee hee.

We played pin the parts on the puppy.

The birthday girl blew out her candles like a rock star!

Good friends!

Sweetie teaching her how to play with her new princess gear!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When I grow up…

I want to be a Mommy (that pumps milk),
grow up
or a (naked) professional shopper,
or Spiderman,
or a pirate.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Puppy Birthday Outfit

I decided to make Gracie a birthday outfit for her puppy party. I started with a plain white t-shirt and then I added an applique.

I ironed some wonder under onto the polka dot & blue fabric. Then I traced the outline of the puppy (I used a plastic cookie cutter) and the #2 and the balloon (printed from the computer).

Once I had all of my pieces cut out, I ironed them onto the t-shirt according to the instructions.

Finally, I used matching thread and ran a straight stitch right along the edge of the applique.

I also made her tutu. It was really simple. I just tied strips of tulle around a wide piece of elastic that I had measured around Gracie’s waist and sewed shut.

I think the end result was pretty cute. I need to find some litte shorts or bloomers for her to wear under it. I can’t wait to see it on her at her party!