Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I saw Jesus in Wal-Mart today...

Doesn't this seem like an oxymoron? Jesus...Walmart.... not so similar...usually when I think of Walmart, I tend to think more along the lines of the devil, lakes of fire, you know, all those awful things.... Well, that's for another blog... But today I saw Jesus...Here's the story:

Grace had her 2 year check up this morning, and for Grace that's more like saying "today you will be dropped straight into the pit of hell." I am not exaggerating here... She is so afraid of the doctor, it's a little unnerving. Even after standing on she scale, she is shaking uncontrollably and burying her head into my shoulder crying. It's awful. (And yes, we have a VERY nice doctor!)

So after weighing, measuring, listening to the lungs, heart...all those normal things...I decided it would be best for them to give her a flu shot. Now that she is in preschool, I figured that a little more screaming would be better than 7-10 days of the plague. The shot was little and over within seconds, but Grace was DONE... she ripped off the band-aid, threw it on the floor, blood was squirting out of her leg, and she almost puked. We finally exited with a Dora sticker... little consolation for what she'd just endured...and headed for the car.

Since she was still bleeding, and wearing a white dress, I told her that we could run into Walmart to get some "Nemopes" band-aids and some lunch to take over to Corbin's house. At this point, the crying had stopped and she was planning all that she and Corbin would do when she got there.

We found the "Nemopes" band-aids relatively quickly and started the long haul over to the grocery section of the store.... (part of the problem with Walmart)...Being 6 months pregnant, I don't really want or NEED to carry a 36 pound toddler around all day long, so I am trying to refrain as much as possible. When we enter every store, Grace gets a choice, walk or ride... usually she says walk. Today was no different.

Something happened between the band-aid aisle and aisle 10, all of a sudden Grace is screaming "Leg Hurt" and throwing herself on the floor. Face down on the linoleum of WALMART, tasting whatever has been on the bottom of everyone else's shoes.

I know my kid, and I know that she can manipulate, and she is very smart. This wasn't a legitimate pain in the leg, this was a fit because she didn't want to walk. Being the genius that I am, I hadn't thought to push a basket along just in case something like this occurred, and you know Walmart... baskets are about a mile away. I had already laid down the law, "Mommy can not carry you, you will have to walk or ride in a basket." If I go back on things like that, I have literally shot myself in the foot. I am now wondering how on earth I am going to leave this store with my toddler.... I am NOT picking the child up.

So here I am, in the middle of a busy aisle, a screaming toddler eating linoleum, and me, on the floor asking her to get up and stop throwing a fit. 5 minutes elapse, same scenario....I won't give in, so I just continue talking to her in a relatively calm voice, so as not to escalate the noise that she is making already.....2 more minutes.... I get up and walk to the end of the aisle and peek around to the other side... There is an empty basket! I swear, it wasn't there before.... I get the basket, get on my knees and explain to Grace that she has lost her choice to walk and that I was putting her in the basket because we had to leave.

While all of the above was occurring, several (hundred) people walked by me, but I noticed one lady in particular pushing a 1 year old who is quietly sitting in his stroller. When she walked by I remember thinking to myself "Crap, I know she is taking notes on what NOT to do with a kid in the middle of the store... I know she thinks I am the worst mom...I am so embarrassed..."

After I had gotten Grace into the basket, screaming has only gotten louder, we make our way to the grocery section to pick up lunch. The same lady comes by again. She turns to me and says:
"I just want you to know that you are an inspiration to me. You are so patient and calm, and I admire that so much. I can't even bring my 3 year old into a store, I give in to her all the time...You are doing such a great job."

I almost started to cry... I wanted to say... "Are you serious... 6 months pregnant, wearing God knows what, without a shower, on the floor of Walmart with a screaming toddler that I can't control...?"

She was Jesus to me today. She didn't have to say anything, she didn't have to notice...and she thought that what I was doing was admirable? She walked away and I really felt like she was Jesus reminding me that I am doing OK, that He has equipped me for this, even if I don't feel like it or realize it. I can get into a habit of talking down to myself especially when MY kid is the one making a scene. "You are not a good mother, YOUR mother would have been able to handle this situation correctly, if you could only do this or that better, Grace would be more well behaved... etc" Every mom knows the routine and the thoughts that Satan whispers to you. I even trick myself into thinking those things are the Holy Spirit trying to 'convict' my soul.

That precious woman reminded me that it's just not true. Jesus is trying to whisper words of encouragement and restoration to my soul...I probably won't ever see her again, but she was Jesus to me today.

I know I am not doing everything perfectly and I simply can't... but there is grace for that and Jesus is FOR me and He loves me and He thinks I am a good mom.

Proverbs 18:4 "A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Old MacDonald had a poop....

Overheard from the monitor while grace was trying to fall asleep for nap:

"Old MacDonald had a poopoo.....
Poop in there.....

Old MacDonald had a farm

Not sure if this means SHE has a poop, but I don't think I'll risk getting her out of the bed to check...If it's bad enough, she'll cry...instead of singing about it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Conversations with Grace

Edit to add one more:

As Grace is flipping through my Bible:

Me: Are you reading about Jesus?

Grace: Yes!

Grace: Jesus loves me

Me: yes, he does (proceed to sing the song)

Grace: (still flipping) Ooohhhhh, there's Jesus!

Me: Where?

Grace: Right there, right there, right there....etc. (pointing to every page)

Here are a couple of the conversations I've had with Grace over the last few days. I thought I'd write them down because my mind is so crazy these days that I can't remember what I ate for dinner last night. In the event that it doesn't come back, at least I'll have written down some of the funny things Grace says.

In the parking lot walking out of the gym:

Grace: gym fun! Gracie color mama picture

me: do you want to go home now?

Grace: Nope, play more...

me: do you want to go shopping or go home?

Grace: shopping, thank you though...No home yet

(she hasn't really gotten the meaning of thank you though... but it's cute when she uses it wrong..)

The following conversation takes place as she is waking up from nap:

Grace: Hey mama!

me: Hey Grace! Sleep good?

Grace: Sleep good.

Grace:Ooooh-weeee Soakin' wet!

me: Are you soaking wet?

Grace: Little turd in there...

me: Do you have poopy in your diaper?

Grace: Nope, just a little poop ball in there...

me: Oh, Ok, let's get that cleaned up

Grace: Ooooohhh-Weeee Stinky!

(she actually hadn't pooped... so I don't know what this conversation was about)

Conversation before lunch:

me: Grace, what do you want to eat for lunch? Maybe a ham sandwich?

Grace: Oh, thank you though! Yep.

me: Do you want an apple too?

Grace: Ooohhh sure, thank you though!

me: How about some cheese?

Grace: Nope.

me: Ok, I'm going to make you a sandwich

Grace: Oh, thank you mama!

Grace: tootumbers too...

me: Kaaaaayyyyy, cucumbers too.

Takes place after she's launched her snack at me:

me: Grace, that was not very nice. You need to go to time out right now!

Grace: Noooooooo time out!

me: Yes, you will go to time out, I don't like it when you throw your snack at me!

Grace: Noooo time out... Snuggle mama....Snuggle mama

me: It's not time to snuggle mama, you need to go to time out ( I proceed to take her over to the corner. At this point she has the death grip around my neck with her arms and around my waist with her legs)

Grace: so sorry mama, snuggle, no time out....

me:( At that point, what was I to do... I know, a good mom would have put the kid in time out and walked away... but I accepted her apology and then we went on with our day. Ok, she manipulated me... I know it. )

Conversation before bed:

me: Grace, you get to go to school tomorrow!

Grace: Cuuuuulllllllll (Cool)

me: Do you want ham and cheese in your lunch?

Grace: Sure, Kaaaayyyyy. Applesauce too, Cheese too, Chips too...

me: Ok, sounds good. Do you want to read your book about school?

Grace: Cuuuullllll (Cool), Kaaaayyyy. Gracie fall down at school (falling down is a good thing, she loves it) Slide? Play blocks, share blocks... snack... Mama come pick you up....

me: Exactly, you can do all those fun things and then mama comes to pick you up after you wake up from nap!

Grace: Kaaayyyy, Gracie sleep on mat, snuggle leelee's, mama come get you...

me: do you like school?

Grace: like school, school fun...

me: Do you color at school?

Grace: No have colors at school (they do, so I don't know why she says this)

me: Oh, ok, maybe we should brush our teeth and get ready for bed.

Grace: Kaaayyyy, brush teef, snuggle leelee's, go to bed. Thank you mama....

(She is such a thankful child... don't know if she really means it, but she loves to say it!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Magical Birthday Dress

This is the magical birthday dress.
Apparently, everyone should have one because if you do.... every time you wear it, you get a party! Just the sheer act of putting it on, magically organizes, pays for and warrants a party! So for all of you out there who are jealous... too bad, because Grace won't take the dress off.

Today we got together with some friends and had a play date party for grace's birthday. It was so much fun! The second I asked Grace what she wanted to wear this morning, of course, it was the birthday dress. My conclusion is that she fully believes that this dress is solely responsible for the party! Every time she's worn it lately, she's gotten a birthday celebration... and naturally, who would want to take a dress like that off?
After all her friends left today we went upstairs to get ready for nap and she got a new diaper, but was desperately holding onto the collar of her dress. I thought it was hurting her or itching or something, so I sat her up and got out a t-shirt for her to sleep in. Immediately, the world ended. "Gracie dress, Gracie birthday dress! No take off! Gracie dress, mine! More birthday dress! More party!" The last phrase says it all.... "More dress, More party... duh Mom... Don't you know that for as long as I wear the dress people will bring me gifts and I will get special cookies and friends will come over! Why would I want to take it off... are you dumb?"
Right now, Grace is sleeping in the dress and I feel confident that she will wear it tonight and maybe even for a few more days... I think the only thing that will incline her to remove it would be if her diaper leaked and she accidentally got pee on it. Who likes to sit in a pee pee dress...?
Here are a few pictures of the party. I didn't get that many, so here's what I have! Thanks to everyone who came over! We had fun!
PS. I don't know what's up with the size of the font....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What to do while your toddler is at preschool?

Today is Grace's 2nd day of Preschool. Since I am officially a new woman today, I thought I'd give a little insight on what exactly it is I do while she's gone!
So, I wake up early... this is very rare, but I don't want to waste a minute of the day! I get Grace up around 7:15 or so, get her some breakfast and watch a few 'shows' with her in bed. We then pick out her clothes and shoes, and pack up, and she's off with Daddy.

It's then, I realize the sweetness in life and I take a deep breath. First I go to the gym, not worrying if they are going to call me to change a poopers in the middle of my workout.
A couple of times, I will admit, I found myself wondering if Grace was having a good day, feeling abandoned? Feeling safe? Are her teachers being nice to her? Is she being nice to the other kids? etc...
Then it's off to Home Depot to get the primer and paint so that I can start painting a new bookshelf for Grace's room. Once home, I prepare my workspace, which is a crucial step that usually gets overlooked with a toddler at home...I then begin to prime the shelf. 30 minutes later I am done and need to wait for it to dry. It's at this point in the day when I wonder to myself why I hadn't put Grace in preschool earlier...?

Next, I start on some laundry, throw in a load, and put some clothes away, and Yes, I did hang the ones that go into the closet. Then I start scrubbing our bathroom floor, which hasn't been done in a while, start on the tub, toilet, mirror, and mind you, I even scrubbed the shower walls!

Vacuuming is next on the list, so I carry it upstairs, vacuum the floor, under the bed, vacuum left over cat hair off our dust ruffle, the hallway, Grace's room and the guest room.. which we barely use anyways....

I organize some of Grace's drawers, put her clothes away and start back downstairs when I notice some dust on the pictures hanging on the wall. So, what is a free woman to do??? Dust them of course! I then got carried away and dusted everything in our room and then made the bed. Now, you have to know something about me: I don't consider making the bed a necessary activity and sometimes think it's kind of useless because you are going to 'unmake' it and get in a few hours later anyways...But today, the bed was made!

The downstairs needed a little attention, so I put away some clutter, washed the windows in the kitchen, which hasn't been done since we moved here, and put some dishes away.

Now I remember that there is a children's boutique sale going on at Graceworks Thrift Store and I take off to see what bargains I can find.... You see, this is awesome, because sometimes boutiques donate their inventory to the thrift store, and you can get brand new stuff, which is adorable for thrift store prices! I found 3 really adorable dresses that came with matching sweaters and shirts, 1 for Grace and 2 for the new baby.

I am back home now and have eaten lunch, taken a little time to blog, and am about to put another coat of paint on the bookshelf...

It's not even 1 o'clock yet and 2 more loads of laundry are done, dinner is started, the kitchen is fairly clean, and I am sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee and some quiet time before I pick grace up from school at 3pm!

To say that I feel like a new woman is an understatement! I really do enjoy Grace more, I'm so happy to go pick her up, she's happy to see me and it's like I have a whole new outlook on parenting just by having 2 days to myself during the week. I am more patient, kind, less easily frustrated, and my fuse is much longer with my dear darling...I know, this is only day 2 of preschool, but it's already made a huge difference!'s well worth the money for sure.

I will post a link (If I can figure that one out) that shows you Grace's new school, and all it has to offer! I am so thankful she was able to get in, it's such a neat place, and I know that she'll learn so much about not only her numbers and colors, but also her fellow man (or toddler, in this case). Not every kid looks like her, not every kid acts like her, not every kid can do the things she can, and it's so important to instill in her that all this is OK! Differences are not to be gawked at, but embraced and rejoiced in! I hope that even at 2, she will learn to appreciate all kinds of people!

Ok, here is my attempt at posting a link:
High Hopes Inclusive Preschool

If the link works, you'll be taken to their website, and if you scroll down there is a video there that tells you all about it. It's so sweet!

Anyways, that's what I did while my toddler was at preschool!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Grace Ann! I can't believe Grace is 2! Thanks to the grandparents, we had such a great birthday weekend!
I had kind of flaked out and not planned anything, you see, my mind.....umm.... where was I......Oh yea, my mind has been slowly disappearing as of late and I can't seem to get it together. But, like I said, thanks to the grandparents... Grace had so much fun, and didn't really know what to do with herself!
Friday night we walked into a "Nemopes" wonderland! The Burton's had Nemo baloons, wrapping paper, Nemo and Dory were hanging from the chandelier and of course a huge Nemo cake! Grace was in heaven. She adores "Nemopes" and thought this set up was just fantastic! She opened presents, which she couldn't get enough of as well and had an overall grand time!Here's the Nemopes cake... Nemopes and Dory had been taken off and licked several hundred times, so they are in the process of being washed.

Saturday night we went over to Izze and Papa's house for another birthday extravanganza. David and Kristin (aka Condo and Tacky) had come in town which was sweet! Again, we had baloons, delicious dinner and yummy cake! Above, grace is loving the new "lip-tick" from Tacky.

Here's a cute shot of the birthday girl in her birthday dress!

Kabobs and rice were the fare of the evening, and not wanting to be left out, Grace took several bites right off the ole stick...veggies and all...I may start serving all her food Kabob style!

I will admit that I made her cake... All I could come up to put on it were pink and brown lady bugs...'s the mind thing....The cake was pretty tiny, just the right size for Grace, as most of the people on this side of the family would pass on dessert anyways... Grace preferred to lick the icing and put it on her face and nose as opposed to eating the actual cake. Cool, right?
We blew out candles 5 or 6 times, because that's the best part of a birthday anyways...?

Sunday, on her actual birthday, we were able to go to lunch with the Songers after church. Above is the infamous "Borbin" which you all have heard about on the blog... Bestest buds, coordinating outfits and all...We went to TGIFridays and they sung to Grace and gave her free dessert! Hey, can't beat that!
Later that evening, we went to dinner with some friends from Alabama, the Tipps... Grace and Barrett had a great time chasing each other around the restaurant. Of course, the woman with so few brain cells, left the camera at home and didn't get any pictures....But we had a great dinner, however bypassed dessert as I was betting that Grace may fall into a sugar coma had we consumed anymore.
Here is a picture of Grace sitting at her new table, playing with stickers last night. She is winding down from a fun filled birthday weekend!
Thanks to everyone who made the weekend so special! (And made up for my shortcomings as a mom!) Grace loved every minute of it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Preschool Update

I don't have anymore cute pictures to add, but the school day seemed to go well!

I didn't get a call from the teacher asking me to come get her... always a plus...

And when I went to get her they were still waking up from nap. Her teacher reported that she'd done pretty well; no crying when she was dropped off, and a few times during the day she'd ask for mommy or daddy, but overall she did well! She had a little trouble with nap, but can you blame her.... she's used to a cushy crib with lots of slammy's and a cool fan blowing on her... today they wanted her to sleep on a 2 inch thick mat with only 3 slammy's...? I wouldn't have slept well either...

She was happy to see me when I came to get her, (which always makes mom feel good) and in a great mood. She talked a little bit about what she did, apparently she fell down on the playground, went down the baby slide and the big girl slide and read stories, sounds good to me!

Her school is very near Old Navy, which is her favorite store by far... as soon as we got into the parking lot she said, "Go to Old Navy, get ball." So that's what we did. You see, Old Navy has this nifty huge gumball machine containing thousands of large bouncy balls... This, in Grace's eyes is heaven... They are only a quarter, and well worth the fascination and joy on her face when she gets one! She loves to go through the racks of clothes and either comment... "Cool." Oh my gosh!" or "Cuuuute!"

I think overall, the day was a success! I am curious to see how she does next week. Since it will be 4 days until she goes to school again, I hope she won't 'forget' and it be like her first day all over again. I guess we'll tackle that when it comes! Yea for GRACE!

Off to school... Off to school....

Grace isn't much of a morning person, but she gave me a little smile right after she woke up. She actually woke herself up at around 7am or so... I know, I almost had a heart attack, and I could possibly suffer from narcolepsy today as a result of the early morning....

Grace picked out this pink and white stripe dress all by herself, and wanted to wear her 'pink' crocs with it as well as a pink clip in her hair. Very opinionated... this girl knows what she wants!

She was thrilled to hold her lunch box and carry it out the door. We'd already taken her 'school bag' on Tuesday when we went to the open house.
Daddy and Gracie off to school for the first day! She was excited and ready to go. She kept talking about how she'd be able to slide and go in the tunnel and how she'd be able to color a picture. After each sentence about school, she'd say "then mommy come and get you!" I really think that taking her to the nursery at the gym so much has helped! She's really got the concept that if we drop her off, we will always come pick her up... That's wonderful!
I didn't really know what to do with myself after they drove out of the driveway, but couldn't go back to bed for sure... so I just changed and went to work out...Chris called after he dropped her off and said that she did great! She didn't cry, gave him a hug and walked into the classroom holding 3 slammy's! He said that he looked back into the room before he left and she was just walking around looking at everything... NO TEARS! Yea! I'll have you know that I didn't even cry either! I feel so good about her going to school and have a real peace about it! So I'm more excited than anything! I'll post later to let you all know how she did throughout the day! Hopefully she'll be so distracted by all the activity that she won't even miss us! Horray for Grace!
Oh, just a side note for Katie... Grace did inform me this morning before she left that she wanted 'Borbin' to come be in her class too!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Toenails, Clemson, cats and lots of snot...

Grace will be 2 on Sunday! I can't believe it! So last night we had a little party... a little toenail painting party, that is... She has been really sick since Friday with the worst cold you've ever seen. I think gallons of snot have poured from her tiny little nose. Last night she was feeling a little better, so we decided to paint "gracie toes." She was thrilled with the result.
She had a rough time falling asleep last night, (like 2+ hours of crying) and I think she forgot that her toes were painted. This morning when she saw them, she looked up and said... "Oh, cool mama!"
Her 2 big new phrases are "What's that?" (this one's not technically new, since she's been saying it for a while, but now she wants to know what everything is... so I hear this about 3000 times a day;) and the other is "Oh, cool!"

The second milestone that is about to take place is that she starts school on Thursday! This afternoon we go for the Open House to take her nap mat, school bag, etc... and to meet her teachers. I am a little nervous that the teachers will think I am a bad parent from the get-go because I am bringing my kid with a nasty nose...but I really want her to see her new classroom with Chris and I there, and it's not like we are leaving her or anything. I hope this nose thing is cleared up by Thursday morning so we can actually take her, but if it's not, I guess we'll start next Tuesday... (Any suggestions on how to dry up a nasty, runny nose out there...?)

Now on to other news... We haven't really settled on a name for the new baby... however, Grace and her friend Corbin think they've found the perfect name: Honey Mustard...
Corbin has been saying that the new baby's name should be Mustard for a while now, but last weekend Grace's response to this was "Nooooo...... not Mustard...... HONEY Mustard!" I guess it's a girl, so she was trying to put a feminine spin on it... She's very intuitive like that......

I will blog again soon about the new school thing! I am surprisingly a lot less nervous now than I was a few weeks ago. Now, that may all change once she is dropped off and alone to defend herself in this big, big world (It sounds like I am sending her to the Serengeti...) and Chris calls to tell me that her little eyes were welled up with tears and she was saying "daddy hold you" as he walked out....But for now... I'm OK.

I must also give a lot of love to my parents... They have agreed to let Gus and Lamekkiona (our 2 really wonderful, cute, adorable and loving cats) in their basement until we can find them another home. (*** aaahummm..... anyone looking for a great pet?***) I have cried about these dumb cats a lot, and I miss them not being here, but I know that with 2 kids and 2 cats, our lives might slowly sink into insanity.... Not to mention, that surprisingly Grace's exzema is getting better since they've been out of the house. Much thanks and love to mom and dad for stepping up and taking one (or two) for the team. I really want to find them a great if any one of the 5 blog readers that I have know of anything, please let me know!

And I'll leave you with a couple of pictures for now... These were taken as we were gearing up for the Clemson/ Bama game, which ended badly.... but at this point, we were all sure that the Tigers would show that they would be the champions of the college football world... and I guess they still could be if they could actually get it together!

I wish you could see the awesome orange and white polka dot earrings I was wearing, if you look closely you can see one squished between grace and I, the other one is flipped around.

This is possibly one of the funniest faces I've ever seen Grace make. That's just how excited she was about the football game.