Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Christmas To Remember

Our first Christmas with Grace was a definite success, Grace had a blast and so did Jen and I. Christmas is a lot more meaningful and fun now that we have Grace in tow.

Grace is really at her best with a captive audience..... One of my favorite Christmas moments was at church on Christmas Eve and Grace was charming everyone within a 4 pew radius. At one point, the smitten woman behind us had the audacity to touch Grace on the hand. Grace quickly put a stop to that by shaking her finger at the woman and saying "no-no". Which caused everyone to burst into laughter.
Couple pics from our day below...


First Christmas

I like presents

Santa brought me a table for all my friends


More presents

Lucy feeling a little left out

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

For those who weren't on the list this year here's our Christmas card for this year. We've been waiting a long time to send out a card with our little angel. It's gonna be a fun holiday this year. We are going to church tonight then dinner with Jen's brother and his family and tomorrow we are having my mom over for dinner and then my sister and her family are coming over afterwards. I took some time off work this year as well so I can spend some time playing with Gracie and all her new toys.

Hope everyone gets everything they want this year and has a very Merry Christmas. We now have everything we could ever want, I can't think of anything that would make this holiday season better.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun in the Snow

Over the past couple days we have gotten about 18 inches of snow. It is lots of work to shovel but at least Santa will have plenty of places to land his sleigh to deliver all of Grace's presents this week. Grace isn't sure what to make of the white stuff as we are pretty sure this is her first sight of snow. So we had to bundle her up and take her out for a little romp this afternoon. Some pics below....




Getting bundled up


Mommy and her snow bunny


Winter Wonderland


Making snow angels

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Milestones

It has been a few months since we did a milestones post so here is the latest on Grace.



  • At almost 15 months Grace is 30.5 inches tall and weighs in at 24 pounds.

  • She is now wearing 18 - 24 months clothing.

  • Grace has lots of new words: Na-na (Banana, Night-night or no-no). Cheese/cheesy, chicken, Pa (for grandpa), Ho Ho Ho...not really a word but damn cute.

  • Imitates many sounds, too numerous to list but her meow is the cutest, I need to try to catch it on video.

  • Grace signs more and all done.

  • Nods yes and understands what yes means.

  • Grace blows kisses.

  • She also now has 10 teeth
And some bathtime fun form tonight.....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Trimming the Tree with Gracie

Today was one of the days we have been dreaming about for a long time. It was our first time decorating for Christmas with Grace. There were a couple years while we were waiting that we skipped putting up a tree altogether. But those days are now a distant memory. So while Grace was napping this morning we put up the tree and the lights. When she woke up from her nap we brought her down to see the tree and the look on her face was priceless. There was plenty of pointing and oohs and ahhs. We spent the rest of the afternoon putting ornaments on the tree with the help of Grace. It really was day to remember for us. Some pics below.





Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jailbreak

In our family room we have a large sectional that takes up just about the width of the room. It has worked out really well with Grace as we can slide the ottoman against a cabinet that blocks off the room and keeps her contained as not to have the run of the house. It was all well and good until last week when Grace learned how to climb onto the couch and can now climb over onto the other side. Seems now this is all she want to do. Hope the novelty wears off soon. Video below is of one of her first assaults on the couch.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Helping Daddy in the Yard

Lots going on this past week, Thanksgiving was great fun to celebrate with Grace. I had the long weekend off work but unfortunately had to end it with one of my favorite yard tasks, raking leaves. Luckily this year I had Grace to help me out.





Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Lots to be thankful for this year!!!


Gracie really enjoyed her 1st Thanksgiving. Just don't touch her turkey leg!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Santa!!!!

This weekend we did something we have been waiting a long time to do, we took Grace to see Santa. We have a lot planned on the upcoming weekends so we wanted to go to see Santa before the malls get too crowded. While we were waiting for Grace to come home we went through many holiday seasons wondering if we would ever see Grace. So I guess it was expected that Jen got a little emotional while wiating in line. It didn't last long though and soon we were on to business.
Waiting in line

Checking out Santa

Not too sure about this
We didn't get any smiles out of Grace while on Santa's lap but she didn't cry which was good. She seems to have developed a little bit of stranger anxiety lately and Santa is a bit odd looking so we were proud of our little girl.
Grace also turned 14 months old this past Saturday and we will be celebrating 6 months as a family this week so lots going on. It was a pretty exciting weekend for all of us and so much more to look forward to this holiday season.

Couple more pics of Grace from the past week.






Sunday, November 16, 2008

A new cousin

Grace was very excited to meet her newest cousin Sam this weekend. He arrived right on time and weighed in at a healthy 8 pounds 5 ounces. Congratulations Melinda, Jim and James.

On Saturday morning I took Grace for her flu shot booster while mommy stayed home. I think I was more nervous that she was but we did fine. She cried for just a few seconds but needed lots of hugs and refused to look at the nurse who administered the shot.

Grace is currently battling a little bit of a cold so we are dealing with a very clingy and snotty baby. It is really amazing how much snot can come out of a little nose. Luckily I think her cold is winding down so hopefully she will be back to normal soon.

Pic below of Grace priming up for her first trip to Red Bones.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sleep, Wonderful Sleep and Our Night Out

Back about a month ago Grace started to go through a difficult sleep pattern where she was waking up around 3am. Sometimes we were able to get her back to sleep pretty easily, other times she would be up for hours. Even through Jen was the one who was usually getting up with her, I would usually be awake as well as her room is pretty close to ours and Grace has a pretty powerful set of lungs. It made for some pretty tough days for both of us, some days I felt like a zombie at work.

We knew we needed to try something to get Grace back on track with her sleep or else Mommy and Daddy would drop from exhaustion. While we were waiting for Grace we read Dr. Richard Ferber's book, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. We were a little hesitant to try his methods as it requires you to let the child cry a bit in order to teach her to put herself to sleep. Letting a baby cry is pretty contrary to all of the attachment parenting we have been doing but we are pretty confident at this point that Grace is attached to us so we though we would give it a shot.
The first couple nights were pretty rough as we normally don't let Grace cry for more than 30 seconds before we go pick her up so letting her cry for a few minutes was heartbreaking. But amazingly after a few days Grace had learned to put herself to sleep and it has now been more than a week since she has woken up in the middle of the night crying. If Grace does wake up, Jen just has to run in and tuck her into bed with Teddy Rabbit and she is fine in less than a minute.

So now that Grace is sleeping much better, Jen and I were able to have our first night out as a couple since we got Grace almost 6 months ago in China. My company had a party Friday night on a Boston Harbor cruise ship so we were able to have a nice dinner, a little dancing and show off Grace's pictures to some of my co-workers. It was a fun night and Jen only called home to check in once. Luckily Grace did great, Grammy came over to babysit and she just loves her Grammy so she went right to bed without any trouble.
Some pics from our week below....
Grace contemplates mommy's navel
Story time

Pretty in Pink, notice the goldfish in each hand

First chocolate chip cookie

Mmmmmm

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Walkin

Grace has really seem to progressed in the past week with her walking abilities. She now walks most of the time and she is getting really fast. We caught a quick clip of her walking through the house tonight before bathtime.



Sunday, November 02, 2008

No More Ouchie

One of the big concerns we had when we were waiting for Grace was how Lucy was going to react to having Grace around. Lucy loves people but can be a bit rambunctious at times. We were pretty happy in the first few months home that Lucy seemed to pretty much stay away from Grace and Grace wasn't very mobile so she couldn't get to Lucy, so all was good.

Grace just loves Lucy, she like nothing more than giving her hugs and kisses. Unfortunately Lucy is not always in the mood. Over the past month Lucy has bitten Grace a couple times, fortunately her bites aren't very hard, more like a warning to back off. This week we decided that something needed to be done when Lucy took a swat at Grace. The scratch didn't seem to bother her too much, she didn't cry or make much of a fuss about it. The results of the swat below.


So Jen went to work to find a solution to the problem, she found this cool product called Soft Paws that are little caps that you glue on the claws. We put them on this weekend and they seem to be working out OK.



She tried to pull them off for the first few hours but finally realized they are not going anywhere and seems to have forgotten about them. We will have to replace them about every six weeks but I think it will save us a bit of worry(as well as our furniture). They come in many different colors but Jen opted for pink as to make Lucy look as ridiculous as possible.





Jen is now jealous that the cat has a better manicure than her!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Milestones

I haven't done a milestones post in a while and since today is 5 months since we became a family it seems appropriate to do one today.
  • Grace now has 8 teeth, the 8th one broke through last week.
  • Grace is now walking about 40% of the time, rather than crawling. Being carried by Mommy and Daddy is still her preferred mode of transportation though.
  • She continues to mimic everything we do, the latest cute thing is trying to snap her fingers.
  • We currently have Grace almost totally off baby food.
  • She no longer drinks formula, she is a whole milk girl now.
  • She is getting really affectionate. We (including Lucy) have been getting lots of unsolicited hugs and kisses lately.
  • She has outgrown her baby tub and has graduated up to the big-girl bathtub.
  • Has started to drink through a straw and is doing better with her sippy cup.
  • She can climb the entire flight of stairs to the 2nd floor.
  • She has moved up to 18 month clothing. She still wears her 12 month stuff but some of it is getting a bit snug.
  • She has the following words in her vocabulary: Ma ma, Da da, kitty (whispered for some reason), Hi (sounds more like Haaaa), and the word she enunciates most clearly is Bum (taught to her by Mommy). She also has a ton of sounds that are the makings of words, she just hasn't put them together yet.

And some pics from Uncle Joe, Auntie Cat, and Auntie Lina's visit this weekend. That is remnants of Burgundy pie on her face.







Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stairway to Mommy

As evidenced in our previous post Gracie is getting to be quite the climber. Below is footage of Gracie's first solo trek up the stairs. Not sure why she needs to slap each step multiple times on the way up but whatever works I guess.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Early Morning Climb

It has been a busy week here so we didn't get a chance to take too many pictures but Jen was able to capture Grace proving that no blockade can stop her.




Gotta love the thighs on this one....

An empty box of pampers can provide hours of fun.