I've been waiting...

Friday, August 22, 2014

"I Like to Go Fast!!!"

"Hold on!  I like to go fast!!!!"
What happens at Grandma and Grandpa's house.... stays at Grandma and Grandpa's house!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birthday Fun!

Well, here she is, my three year old.  Where has the time gone?  It feels like yesterday that I was bringing home a tiny 13 month old baby who still fit into 6-9 month clothing.  Now she's tall for her age and strong as any 10 year old!!!! 

The morning started with our usual snuggle in bed before we headed downstairs.  A present was waiting for Grace on her chair and it didn't take her long to discover it and start ripping it open.  She got the hang of this birthday thing pretty quickly!!!LOL  After a nice breakfast on the deck, we headed out for a day of fun.

Grace and I spent the day at Centre Island to celebrate turning 3.  It was a fantastic day and she was very excited about the outing.  Luck was on our side because we had no traffic and we found parking relatively easily and close by (if you have seen downtown Toronto lately along Queen's Quay you will know why I am saying this!!!!). 

We spent the day totally indulging ourselves in all of Grace's favourites:  driving cars, splashing in the water, eating popcorn and ice cream!  We ran into our travel partners from China, Rhonda and her son Adam.  It was great seeing them again as I hadn't seen Adam since China.  It's so cool to see how the children have grown.

We were having so much fun in fact that by the time I looked at my phone, it was 5:00!!! We hadn't even left the island yet!  We were supposed to get a phone call from Grandma and Grandpa at 8 and as I gathered all our stuff together in a more organized way and headed for the ferry line-up ,  I reconciled the fact that there was likely no way we were going to make it home by 8:00.  Luck was on our side however and we caught the first ferry back.  Traffic was light and as I merged onto the Gardiner, I dared to hope that maybe we just might make it home in time.  As it turned out, we sailed home easily and were relaxing at home just after 7.

Grandma and Grandpa called along with Aunt Anne, and messages from Aunt Marie and Aunt Lynda.  Grace reacted pretty much the same way each time.  She insists on holding the phone, then simply sits and smiles.  After the phone calls, we spent a little extra time snuggling in the rocking chair, singing songs and just loving each other.  A great way to end a great day!

Opening her birthday card from Grandma and Grandpa

On the ferry to Centre Island

Beep! Beep!  She told me she liked to drive this car fast!!!

Grace kept getting in trouble for putting her hands in the water, but really?  Who could resist!!??

Happiness is a new Barney video!!!

Talking to Grandma and Grandpa on the phone.  Grace won't let me hold the phone but most of the time she won't say anything to Grandma and Grandpa either, just listens and smiles!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Two, Going on Three!

Last night as a two year old..... sniff sniff.
Where has the time gone???!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Michigan Continued

Here's the next part of our Michigan visit, another fun part.  On Tuesday morning as we were starting out for home, we stopped in to visit my good friend Kim.  Grace loved her visit to the farm!  Again, she was not impressed with the dogs (we're working on that!!) but she loved the horse and the kitten.  Kim's husband Thierry showed Grace the tractor and he had her hooked!  She spent several minutes lifting the bucket while we looked on in the barn.  Thanks to Kim for being such a great host for our impromptu visit!!

Grace wanted to hand feed the barn cats just like she does to my parents' dog Daisy.  They weren't interested!!LOL

Kim was so patient showing Grace how to hold her hand open to feed the horse his "cookie"

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fun, Not so fun, And then fun again!

Grace and I visited our cousins in Michigan this past weekend.  It started out fun, then became not so fun as we got through the worst storm I've ever experienced, then it became fun again.  Let me explain.

Grace and I started out early Saturday morning for our cousins' place in Michigan.  We were to meet some other cousins there and have a swim and a pot luck.  For the most part we had an uneventful trip to the US. Grace was great in the car most of the way, even though we had to make a few emergency potty stops.  She ate snacks and slept and watched her Barney DVDs.  When we got to the border it was quite backed up and as we finally got to the border guard, he asked us to move to the secondary investigation area.  Needless to say, we were there a while sorting out Grace's passport, even though she has a US travel visa.  I'm so glad I brought the correct documents!!!!

 Finally we arrived at Chris and Jill's.  Grace did not think much of all the dogs there but she warmed up a bit as the day went on.  We had a good swim and play in the water, ate well and then headed back to Tim and Sue's to stay overnight.  We weren't the only houseguests Sue had this past weekend.  Her sister and her four kids, as well as her niece and her sister's mom were all there too.  The house was full!!!  Sue, always the gracious host, took it all in stride.

Sunday, we spent time at the beach even though the weather was a little ominous in the far off.  Late afternoon we packed up, heading home for a BBQ dinner.

That was the fun part.

Once home, things were a little crazy, trying to get everything out of the car, kids cleaned up, dinner together for 15 or more people.  Everyone was busy.  We had set up a brand new canopy just in case it rained.  At least we would be able to still eat outside.  The clouds moved in a little darker and a little closer.  A few drops fell.  Sue and I cut the watermelon outside as the rain picked up.  Eventually it was pouring and we all headed inside, knowing that it was pretty unlikely we would be able to eat outside.

And then came the wind.  And the hail. Then more wind, more rain, more hail.  Trees bent over backward, leaves and branches flew around everywhere.  We decided it was a good idea to head to the basement for safety.  The hail was so large and the winds so strong they broke several windows in the house, dented our cars and broke windshields and back windows and in my case the side mirror.

Just as we came up stairs thinking things had settled down, the tornado sirens started and back down to the basement we went.  Thankfully I thought to bring the portable DVD player down to the basement with us and as you'll see in photos below, Grace was totally oblivious to what was going on around her thank goodness!

After the storm had moved on, we ventured outside to peruse the damage and damage there was.  Windows, lights, lawn furniture smashed, cars dented, the siding of their house looked like someone had used it as shooting practise.  Unbelievable.  Water had poured into the windows and basement. 

That was the not so fun part.

We were grateful however that everyone was OK, and once the shock of the damage has lessened, it was time to relax a little.  See below how Tim and Sue went about doing just that!

That's when it got fun again. 

The fun continued next day when Sue, Grace and I went to see her dad at his residence.  He had always been excited about my adoption and couldn't wait to meet Grace.  We took him out to dinner and he spent a good part of the time at the restaurant chatting with Grace, trying to get a high five. 

We spent a quiet night visiting and early Tuesday morning Grace and I headed out to make a brief stop at our friend Kim's farm before heading back to Canada.  I'll tell that story another day!

Our friendly host for Saturday's festivities, Jill

Tim and Suzanne, before the storm hit.  They look so relaxed and calm!!!  If only they knew what they would face 24 hours later!

This was a brand new shade structure

The street/river in front of their house

Now, that's big hail!!!!  This was even half an hour or more after the storm had ended

Down in the basement it was crowded with so many people.  Grace decided to stake out a spot for herself.  She totally enjoyed sitting in her box!

Notice the missing back window

Both Tim and Suzanne took the whole situation in stride.  They weren't happy I'm sure but still were able to manage a smile!

This may be the real reason Suzanne was smiling.....

Sue, joking around with the moonshine!  Once the storm passed, we all filled our glasses with a good stiff drink.  Then Tim got a good idea.  We all took our drinks outside and used the ice from the yard for our drinks.  Cheers to everyone ending up safe!

The kids sure know how to make lemonade out of lemons!

And in the midst of chaos, these young girls thought they would try out Sue's high heels!!!LOL
Meeting Papa Dick for the first time

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Soccer Fun!

My little girl is growing up so fast!  We started soccer a couple of weeks back.  It's a parent and tot program so I get to join in on the fun too!  Imagine a group of 20 two year olds watching as Coach Jason shows them how to chase a ball, stop the ball with their foot, etc.  It is so cute!  The coach has been great with the kids and we're having a blast! 
Of course afterwards just ask Grace where we have to go and she will instantly tell you:  Dairy Queen!!!  We share a mini blizzard and then head home for an early bedtime.  Mommy loves soccer night!!! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Grace's Park

Grace's park.  That's what she calls it.  I call it amazing!  Every time Grace visits her little friend L. they go out to her backyard and play on the equipment. L. has swings, a hammock, a trampoline and a climbing structure with a slide.  She calls it L's park.
Now Grace has her own park!
We are so lucky to have a fantastic Grandma and Grandpa who picked out a wonderful play structure for our backyard.  
We woke up early one morning to find several boxes had been dropped off in our backyard the night before.  That night, Grandpa and Grandma came by to help us choose the spot to build. 
Then Friday morning came:  building day!  We woke up early and took some pictures of Grandpa getting started before heading off to daycare and school.  All day at work I could hardly concentrate, thinking about Grace and her reaction when she first lays sight on her new "park."  I picked her up and told her we had a surprise at home.  When we got there and went around the back, she went crazy!!  She must have climbed the ladder and slid down the slide 10 times in a row!!!
What a lucky girl!!!
Helping Grandpa get started

Grace studying the plans..... in French!!!LOL

Resting after all the hard work!!

Here I go again Mommy!  Watch this!
Those are safety goggles she has on! Safety first!!
Hey Grandpa!  Come on up!


And this is how she ended her day with the new park!!