I've been waiting...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Barney Bound!

So so excited!!  I'm taking Grace to see Barney live tomorrow at the Baby and Toddler show.  I kept it a secret from her and can't wait to see her reaction tomorrow.
Truth be known, I only found out about it today.  I knew the show was on but had no real intention of going.  I went once before Grace came along, had a great time, came home with lots of freebies and wrote a post about it some time back in April 2012.  However, when I heard that Barney was performing, I hooted out loud right in the car as I was driving!!!  I know the show will only be half an hour or whatever, but really, Barney does not do concerts anymore and the admission price for the trade show will be the cheapest "Barney" thing I've ever paid for so I see it as a win!
I'll post pics and the story later this weekend.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Happenings

Coming off of a somewhat difficult week with Grace. Late nights, grumpy mornings and a bit of busy running around on my part. 
I read somewhere that whining peaks around age 3-4 and well let's just say, at 3.5 years old, I hope she is hitting the peak!!! 
So today we went to the mall for our photo session.  Not an overly successful session, Grace hadn't really napped and it showed. Smiles just weren't on her radar today and even though we got a few cute shots (which I will post in a couple of weeks when I pick them up) I finally decided to just give up.   I had promised her a play at the play place, a little kids' area with climbing structures, etc.  We get out of Sears and went to where I know the play place is located and poof!  It's gone!  It has been taken out, replaced by some lounge chairs. 
Melt down # 7 of the day ensued while I quickly decided what to do.  A ride on the escalator was a sad second but it got us to the door to the parking lot.  From there we headed towards home.  Driving along, I remembered the McDonalds on the way, a McDonalds with a big bold sign on top PLAY PLACE. 
It was already 6:00. Did I really want to do this on a Sunday night??  No, I really wanted to just get home, get pajamas on, maybe fill up on a bowl of cheerios and be done with the day.  I pulled into the parking lot, Grace spied the tunnel slide and just about jumped out of her skin!  
Grace: "Mommy, are we going to Old McDonald's??" 
Me:  " I guess so"
Grace:  " YEAH!!! I'M SO HAPPY!!!"

And that's what makes it all worthwhile!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Look Out Kindergarten!

Well, I finally did it.  I stopped by our home school this morning and registered Grace for kindergarten.  Where has the time gone?  It feels like yesterday that she was holding my fingers while she took her first steps and now here she is getting ready to take her biggest step yet. 
Left up to Grace, she would be going tomorrow, she can't wait!  Me, I just wonder when I blinked and two and a half years went by.  Time, please slow down!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Happy Easter!

Sorry for the little break in blogging, we've had a busy/ hectic couple of weeks.  Grace had some major dental work which slowed us down a bit, work is busy, trying to get my taxes done, register Grace for school, appointments, colds and flu, you know, the usual things that cause people to put their more pleasurable hobbies on hold! 
So anyways, it's been a couple of weeks but I'm back so Happy Easter!  Grace was feeling under the weather the whole weekend and so really we stayed a little low key.  She wasn't her usual happy self and as a result neither was I!LOL  I didn't even get a shot of her in her beautiful Easter dress.  I will though, just be patient!  I will post again then! 
We still managed to have a bit of fun though, dying Easter eggs, swimming and riding bikes and doing crafts at Grandma and Grandpa's.  Nothing like the sticky marshmallow nests from last year (check out the post to see Grace and her cousin covered head to toe with melted marshmallows!)  but fun just the same!

Good Friday started with an emergency trip to the dentist to deal with some complications from her dental surgery, not fun but we stopped at the big park on the way home and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Saturday was music class and dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's, Sunday church and a great dinner with family.  Monday was a beautiful day again and we just hung out at home and the school park.

colouring eggs fun

Getting things ready for the big visit from the Easter bunny!

Easter crafts with the cousins

That Easter bunny knows my Grace so well!  Look he brought all her favourites!

Look who showed up Easter morning on our back deck.  Grace was absolutely convinced it was the real thing!

Easter egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa's

To really "get into" a puzzle it is necessary to sit on the table....true fact.

Sharing yummy treats with Mommy

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Year Photo Session

I know I know... Chinese New Year is long over now but I didn't pick up these photos until March and don't want to miss sharing them.  They turned out so nicely. 
Almost once a month, Grace and I head out to Sears to get photos taken.  I'm a sucker I know!!!!  I fell for "a good deal" over two years ago.  If I bought the CD I got a free membership.  Free photo shoot and one free photo every month.  You can check out the post from our first photo experience by clicking here
Well, we've always taken full advantage of our membership and go almost every month.  I pick themes and bring props and we go all out.  I have a great time preparing for our photos, she acts like a monkey and tries to use one of the light stands as a microphone and climbs over everything in sight.  I get a physical work-out trying to get her to sit still and stay in front of the back drop, she gets to eat special snacks and play with my phone while I choose the photos off the computer in the waiting area, it's a win-win as I see it!!!!LOL  We've gotten some great shots and hopefully one day I will get around to scanning them all and post them here!
Here are our latest, too cute to not share!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Girls Day Out at the Mall

So Grace and I are really not "mall type" people.  Well, maybe I was at some point in my past, but since having Grace I could count on my fingers how many times I've been able to get to a big mall.  Grace is just too busy touching everything within her reach, will not tolerate browsing through stores and well, if you've ever been at the check-out behind us, you'll know just how that goes.  So, for the past two and half years, we just didn't go shopping, period.  Not even Walmart, the grocery store, anywhere.  I miss it for sure. 
Fast forward to Saturday, March 14.  Grace had a quick nap after lunch and by 2:30 she was up and eager to get going.  She had already had a good play outside in the morning, Grandpa and Grandma weren't home, too late in the day for a big outing, and we had been home all day.  Maybe we would go to the mall to pick up our latest photos from Sears, I think.  Do a little shopping I think.  Maybe I'll even find a new spring outfit, I think.   
So, we get going quickly since it's now 3:30 and the mall is 40 minutes away.  About half way there I realize I haven't brought a stroller, I only have a couple of snacks and no toys for Grace.  She's getting too big for a stroller so I had never really thought about it.  How was this going to work???  There is no way we were going to survive a trip to the mall this unprepared!! 
Should I go back home?  Rent one of those big buggies I see kids in at the mall?  I kept driving, thinking I would just run into Sears, get the pictures and head home. 
Once in the mall, Grace did her usual, touched every fridge and stove in the appliance dept that is right inside the door we enter, ride the escalator up and back down.  But, once we got to the portrait studio, she stayed relatively within the cash area, strayed once into the photo room but came out when I asked her to.  Could it be that she was ready to go to a mall?  I asked her if she wanted to go out into the mall part, maybe go to the play area.  She did.  Ok, then mommy is going to look in some stores first and then we will go to the play area.
Well, that isn't quite how it worked out.  We did go into a store.  The book store to buy a Paw Patrol book, something I had been promising her for a long time.  We passed by a few places and I longingly looked in as Grace sped ahead of me.  Sigh. 
We got to the play area and Grace took one look at the equipment and she was so excited she could hardly get her shoes off!!!  We've been to the play area before a few times but I guess she didn't remember it, it's been quite a while.  In the past, every time we've been there, Grace has needed me to be with her, following her around from one station to the next.  Today, she walked in there like she owned the place!!  That girl has gained so much confidence in the last year it still amazes me!!!  she played and played and played, checking in with me every few minutes by running over to explain what she was doing, then running off to do it some more.  I was finally able to get her to consider leaving when she came to tell me that she was hungry and I suggested we go to eat at the restaurant (food court!).
So we ended our outing to the mall sharing fries and a salad at the food court.  Grace stayed on her seat eating her fries while I ordered my meal, and minus one incident where she thought she could help herself to the next table's box of timbits, she did amazing, demonstrating more self regulation and calmness than she ever has in such a big space. 
So I didn't come home with a new outfit.  Baby steps I tell myself, baby steps.  One day I hope to get to the point of being able to actually shop for pleasure again.  Instead I came home with something that feels even better, the knowledge that my girl has once again shown me that she is going to be just fine out in the world.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fun in the Snow with Uncle Bill

Last weekend Grace and I headed out to my brother's place for a little toboganning.  We had been skating at Grandma and Grandpa's but I was anxious to take advantage of the nicer weather so we stayed out for a little longer.  Since I didn't have my snow pants on, Uncle Bill was the great host, hauling Grace up and down the hill.  Secretly I think he a little fun himself!!!LOL

Taking a break
Afterwards Uncle Bill made us hot chocolate.  While we were waiting for it to cool, Grace stood casually beside her 17 year old cousin who she adores.  Ever so casually Grace says " So, what am I going to do right now?  I don't have any nail polish on...." and with her big brown hopeful eyes glances up at F.  Of course Grace came home with pink nails!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Happy Lunar New Year

Grace and I were fortunate enough to enjoy five New Year celebrations this year with family and friends. 
The first one we spent with our neighbours.  Grace loves visiting Dan and Erna, an elderly couple who live next door to us.  Why, I don't really understand, there's really nothing to do there except tear around the kitchen with Erna's walker and hide behind the dining room drapes!!!LOL  Ok, so maybe I understand why she has such a good time!  I picked up Chinese take-out and we headed over there with decorations and red envelopes.
The next celebration was hosted by friends Julia and Danny and their girls.  Grace and I are so lucky to have friends that include us in their cultural celebrations, it will be so important as she develops her own identity as she grows up.  Julia always makes a great effort for the kids with crafts and lion and dragon parades.  Grace is still not very fond of the parade (we had to hide out in the basement while it was going on!) but one day maybe.  I forgot my camera, the weather was terrible and we were late arriving and hours getting home but a great time none the less!
The following weekend, Grace and I hosted a Chinese inspired dinner for our own family.  Here she is setting the table.  Some people got three forks, some got none!  It's ok, we all share in our family!
Putting up the decorations.  We had to put the lion decoration in a non-obvious space.  She was not having that thing anywhere near her!!!  She did warm up to it eventually and actually enjoyed looking at it when we took it down a couple days later.

Posing as goats maybe???  Not sure what is going on here!
Everyone enjoying their meal

Grace practically lives to hand out her red envelopes!! 

So then the fun started.  It was the coldest night of the year so far.  I had bought some Wish Lanterns from the party store and thought it would be nice to set them off in the dark. We did it a couple of years ago with great success.  Just saying...
It took a lot of convincing to get people to bundle up and go outside in those frigid temperatures.  In fact, Grace never did!  She stayed inside with Grandma and watched from the window. 
Here's my dad, my brother, my nephew and brother in law, all guys who have good knowledge of fire, blow torches, safety and are just generally smart men.  What could possibly go wrong you may wonder???

Here's what could possibly go wrong!
As Jerry Lee Lewis would say, "Great Balls of Fire!!!"

Yes, that would be the lantern on fire in the tree.  Not so good!

On the actual day of New Year I made dumplings and noodles for Grace to share with her friends at daycare.  She cared more about handing out chocolate in the red envelopes of course!!!  We also had a little mini celebration with Chinese take out with Grandma and Grandpa. 

The following weekend we attended another New Year celebration with some other families who also have children adopted from China.  It was great to see Grace interacting so confidently with the other girls.  She's so social these days!

The girls doing crafts.  Grace made a lantern with a little help from Mommy