Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

Triston came over for a slumber party this weekend while Uncle Jimmy was away on a hunting trip. We carved a pumpkin Friday night and got up early on Saturday morning to go to Pioneer Days. I don't keep him often, but I sure love when my "Tony boy" comes to stay. He's still so sweet (and I hope he stays that way!) He's great with Grace Louise-- and she thinks he's pretty cool too!

Panning for gemstones at Pioneer Days in Lake Wales.

Fall Fun Photo Shoot



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Play Time!

If you're looking for a fun and FREE place to take your kids, this is IT! Missy and I took the girls and Trey to Common Ground Park in south Lakeland for a play date last week. By far the coolest park I've ever been to! The playdate was organized by Celebrate Birth Midwifery, a new homebirth practice started by my midwife, Melissa Morrow. There were snacks and refreshments, as well as lots of conversations about uteri, pregnancy, birthing... FUN! ;-) Overall, a delightful morning at an awesome park that could give Disney a run for its money!

I snagged a pic of Trey Michael, but didn't end up with one of Joanna and Grace Louise. It's hard to take pictures when you're chasing kids around!

Special pics of GL and her "baby catcher"

Last, but not least, two very beautiful Gator Girls!!!
Play time with Addi Fann before the Gator game last week.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sleep Training and Eating Dirt

I didn't really have anything spectacular to share this week on the blog... but I did find some random pictures from a couple of weeks ago... just doing what we do. I'm also feeling like Grace Louise is doing so many new things right now that I can't keep up with writing them all down!

Her vocabulary is ridiculous, first of all. She will repeat just about anything you say... really random things like vacuum. Now, her rendition of the word may not, for example, have a "v", "c" or "m", but somehow I just know what she's saying! (Maybe we should be talking about my insane telepathic communications skills, here!)

Seriously, though, she said her first phrase yesterday... "mommy and daddy" while looking at our wedding photo! So sweet! She LOVES to walk and will be doing so without any assistance very soon. She'd rather be outside than anywhere else, especially pushing her car around the yard or playing in her make-shift sand box (aka a Tupperware container with a bag of play sand and beach toys). The door stoop is my new hang-out if you wanna drive by for a visit. Then again, I'm not doing as much sitting as I am running to keep her out of the road. That's where cars are supposed to drive, right?! I told you she was smart!

She's mastering winking, kissing closed-mouthed, animal noises, raising her eyebrows, praying before meals, oh yes, and sleeping on her own (how could I forget that one!)

Grace Louise was "sleep trained" by 8 weeks old, sleeping through the night like a ... well, not like a typical baby. I didn't nurse her to sleep... followed the BabyWise routine and it really did work great for us! A few ear infections later and had ourselves a major sleep problem. I realized it was out of control when there were times I couldn't even nurse her to sleep. We did some damage control, a few nights of crying it out, and we were back in business.

Again... a few ear infections later... you know the story. Now that she is (almost) a year old and we hopefully don't have to worry about her being in any more pain with her ears, we decided it was time for her to be "sleep trained" again. (I really hate that term; makes it sound like we've got a puppy). What I really mean is that we want Grace Louise to be able to put herself to sleep without being rocked or nursed. Anyway, I waited until almost a week after her "surgery" and was ready to tackle this issue with a plan.

Night One: We sang and talked and rubbed and rocked while nursing before bed. I laid GL down while she was still awake. She cried and attempted to stand up over 100 x's. (I lost count after that). I prayed for wisdom and for once felt comfortable with this choice; I knew we were doing the right thing for her. She proceeded to cry and disagree for about an hour. I really wanted to ease her into this- to be present and comforting from a distance. Unfortunately, I finally had to leave the room. After another 10 minutes of crying, Jimmy went in, laid her down, and she went to sleep. Whew.

Night Two: Same routine before bed. I laid her down awake. She tried to get up about 10 x's before succumbing to peaceful sleep.

Night Three: Same routine. No crying. Didn't try to get up once. Dang... why didn't we do this a long time ago?!

Watching one of her "Your Baby Can Read" videos. I'm pretty sure this is "hold your head".

When you can't see everything from outside the cupboard, get in!

Loves to get, and be got! Nothing makes this girl kackle like a good chase!

Yeah, we kill animals for food in this family.
Speaking of food... my efforts to grow a yummy vegetable garden spilled on the floor.
Who needs veggies? She seems satisfied with the soil.
"Here mom... have some!"

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I love the fall... even though the season is debatable here in Florida. Beautiful outdoor weather, cool and dry air, bright blue cloudless skies, smells of pumpkin and cinnamon. And festivals. All kinds of events and festivals are lined up for this more bearable weather season in Florida.

My man greeted this beautiful fall morning in his tree stand (opening day of hunting season in our area) and mom, Grace Louise, and I headed over to Bok Tower Gardens for the Boktoberfest plant sale. TONS of people come out for this German-themed event and of the thousands of visitors today, I couldn't be more elated to have bumped into an old friend! We have been facebooking and playing phone tag for an entire year; what a blessing to finally connect in person! Here are some pics of Grace Louise meeting Christen's little handsome, Charlie...

More pics of this gorgeous morning at Bok Tower....

As you can imagine, Grace Louise was enamoured with the fish and swans (which she called "ducks"). She thought the kids tree climbing event was pretty neat too! More than anything she just loves to be outdoors- preferably in the grass with plenty of room to roam.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ear tubes? Check.

October 15th. A year ago today, I was hoping that I would be one of the few women who actually deliver on their due date! I was so incredibly positive and hopeful... bless my little heart. Little did I know that I'd have to wait another 16 days to meet my baby girl! (Due dates are for the birds).

I have a feeling that the next few weeks approaching Grace Louise's first birthday will be oh, bittersweet. She looks like a little girl in these pictures. They are only itty babies for a short short while. She has started taking her first steps in the past week, walking a little farther each day! This afternoon she asked for "waduh" instead of "nee nee". (water...drink...for those of you who don't speak baby). She stops nursing when I'm rocking her to sleep just to climb up to my face to give me another kiss. Completely unsolicited kisses. Those are the best! She turns her head to the side with a coy little grin and waves at just about everybody and everything. She is so friendly. Oh, I could go on for days about all the things that melt my heart.

Grace Louise's ear "surgery" yesterday went off without a hitch. We were in and out of the surgery center within an hour and a half. She slept GREAT last night, so I'm hoping that the tubes are already making a difference. (Or maybe she had some residual laughing gas to sleep off... either way, it was great rest for all of us!)

More pics from our Pine Island vacation...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sneak Peek

I just couldn't wait to share some of these adorable pictures from our weekend vacation with Jimmy's family in Pine Island. I'll be quick. I've got a house waiting on me to clean and many many things left to do before tomorrow. Grace Louise is getting tubes in her ears on Thursday. Mom and I are going to Tampa tomorrow to stay the night since the "surgery" is so early in the morning. Our house just went on the market and someone is already wanting to see it! Oh my, how hard it is to keep a clean house with an infant. This house is lived in for sure! Nevertheless, I'll be picking up and straightening up from now until it sells.

Jimmy and I finally got on the same page about how badly I needed a new camera. I found a great deal on craigslist last week and here we are. Yes, I'm showing off my mad Nikon D40 skills in the following pictures. Enjoy... many more to come after this week :-)

(I would include some captions under the pictures, but they'd pretty much all say something like "Just Presh!")