Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009


We wanted Gracie to give her grandparents an extra special gift this Christmas...so we decided an art project would be perfect!!!

I want to give a special thank you to Nicole, Todd's cousin Chip's wife, for this great idea - her little girls, Charlotte and Bridget created the cutest artwork squares using paint, glitter pens, and glued tissue paper that she then framed for Mary Ann, Todd's aunt.

I wasn't quite as creative as Nicole with the different art supplies and textures...I just bought washable paint and hoped that Gracie would have a blast finger painting. Well, I should have known that finger painting is not quite Gracie's thing yet - our child does not like to have anything on her hands!!! Anytime she gets something on her hands she usually wants it wiped off and she'll say to us "hands".

She was very cooperative when we painted her hands to do her hand prints but she definitely wasn't interested in actually dipping her fingers into the paint and finger painting....but she loved using the paint brushes.

For Ellee & Granddaddy

For BeBe & PaPa

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A White Christmas!

Dressed by Daddy

I took advantage of Todd being home this week to get my hair cut and colored and my eyebrows waxed. I had the first appointment of the morning so when I left the house Gracie was still in her jammies. While I was at the salon, Todd decided to take Gracie to Home Depot...and that meant he had to get her dressed! He did pretty good and she looked cute except the undershirt he layered with is a 24 month onesie...and apparently he could not get it snapped. So I asked, "hummm...why didn't you take it off and find another shirt?" To which he replied, "Why? I just tucked it into her jeans so we could go." He promises me that she didn't walk around Home Depot looking like this...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I love ElfYourself...and I laugh every year when I see us as singing and dancing elves. You should try it too. Merry Christmas!!!!

Singing Elves
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Disco Elves

Hip Hop Elves

Country Elves

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Last week Gracie saw her slide in our garage and said she wanted to "side"... so since it's freezing outside and inside our garage...I brought the slide in to her playroom. She's had so much fun going down forwards, backwards, and with her baby doll Cali.

She's not only going through a sliding phase and a Daddy phase but also a no clothes, diaper only (thank goodness not totally naked) phase. We ask her repeatedly during the day if she's ready to put her clothes on to which she always replies no (I realize I should be telling her and not asking her to put on her clothes but whatever - we usually don't have anywhere we need to be). She will get dressed to "go bye-bye" but shortly after we get home she wants to strip down to her diaper. And PJs - forget it! We've even had to put her into time-out to get her jammies on...and she'll ultimately give in and let us put them on but most nights we hear her screaming within a half an hour of us laying her down because she's gotten all tangled up trying to take her jammies off by herself.

So, this is yet another example for me to learn to pick and choose my battles....and this naked phase is a battle that I'm not fighting, at least not right now...and she couldn't be happier being a "newknee" (we call her nudey when she doesn't have any clothes on, a word we stole from Carrie and Micah, and she says "newknee" - it makes me laugh every time!)!

Oh, in case you're wondering, we have a super cute, cuddly, and sweet house guest staying with us for the next several weeks. We're watching our friends' golden retriever, Cleo, while Ingrid and Maaike (the dutch spelling for Micah) are home visiting with Ingrid's family in Ontario for the holidays.

Andrew, Ingrid's husband and one of the sweetest guys I know (next to Todd, my Dad, Richard or Granddaddy, and Travis Pittman), is in the Canadian Army and is in Afghanistan for the next 4 months...if you pray please keep him in your prayers or keep him in your thoughts!

So watching Cleo is just a little way I'm trying to support a solider and his family!

I am forever grateful to the men and women who serve in the military and their families that support and miss them while they are away!

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We picked out our beautiful Christmas Tree on Dec. 6th! This was the 1st year that it didn't take us FOREVER to pick out the perfect tree, and by "us" I really mean ME! This is our 5th Christmas together and the last 4 Christmases I have tried Todd's patience with looking at one tree and then another and then another and then another and then going back to the first and repeating the process all over again...bless his heart for putting up with me (I love you Todd!).

What makes for a perfect tree for us? The tree has to be tall (8 feet) and wide with space in between the limbs so that we can tuck in lots of lights and ornaments. I guess we just got lucky this year when we found our tree after only looking for 5 minutes and at just a couple trees. We were probably also able to make our decision quickly because the trees were covered in snow and it was really cold.

Todd's parents gave us "The Elf on the Shelf" last year and we decided that our elf would arrive to "watch Gracie and report back to Santa" when our Christmas Tree was put up. Our elf has yet to be named...hopefully Gracie will give him a good name next year when she better understands the concept. Here Todd is reading her the story of "The Elf on the Shelf". So cute! Ellee and Granddaddy have an elf of their own and from what we hear, Granddaddy enjoys finding the elf in their house each day too! Thanks Ellee and Granddaddy for giving us this fun family tradition!

Multiple attempts for a 2009 Christmas picture!

This is after I asked her to take her binky out!

And the binky goes right back in!!!
And of course she has to have "night night" too!

Trying again to get her to take the binky out,
I asked her to show me her teeth!

Maybe a prop would help -
how about a string of Christmas lights!

Love this shot!

I have never seen her make this face before!
This coy look cracks me up!

This is my favorite!

Baby It's Cold Outside!

We had our 1st real snow of the winter on Dec. 5th. The flakes were big, fluffy, and beautiful...freshly fallen snow is so pretty....and perfect for snowballs!

Gracie's 1st snowball ever!

Our snow angel!

Gracie loved being out in the snow and we can hardly wait to build a snowfamily and to go sledding after the next snowfall which will probably be next week. Looks like we'll have a White Christmas for sure! (I just wish it wasn't so cold - it's been in the single digits in the morning! Brr!).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Tucker!

My 1st baby turned 10 today! I really can't believe my buddy is 10 years old! Where have the years gone? We've shared a lot together and I love him more than he'll ever know...those of you who know me well, know how much I love this big guy! He's spoiled rotten, always has been and always will be, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Tucker is the best and I'm so lucky that he's mine!!!

Overall, he's doing great! He was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism and is on thyroid medication twice a day. He also has a fair amount of arthritis but that doesn't stop him from hopping up into the bed in the morning and on the couch in the afternoon and evening. Other than a little gray hair under his chin and being a little more lazy, he's the same sweet, loving dog he has always been.

Tucker loves his family and we certainly love him. There's nothing better than kissing his big head and snuggling with him. It melts my heart to watch him and Gracie together. He's so gentle with her and she loves to kiss and hug him. His favorite things are me, car rides, walks, lounging on the bed/couch, and ice cream. He's my buddy and my baby!

Happy 10th Birthday Tucker!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Chicken?

We celebrated American Thanksgiving in Canada tonight & invited our Canadian neighbors to join us. We're so lucky to have such wonderful neighbors that we happily & gratefully call our good friends!!!

I know we don't say it often enough but we are so thankful for our family, friends, good health, Todd's job, and our home....we have more than we need! While we certainly miss spending the holidays with the ones we love...please know that we think about you often and love & miss you so very much. Maybe next year we'll all be together!!!

Hope y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and happy Black Friday shopping!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Finding Words

I know she's ours, but I'm so impressed with how smart this little girl is!!!

Gracie got this book for her 1st Birthday from Eric (he's 2 months older than G) and his parents, Tania & Dave, our French Canadian friends in Moncton. It's called "First Words" and we "read" it all the time. It's a big book with big, colorful pictures of lots of different things like food, animals, shoes, and toys - some are just pictures on the pages and others are flash cards that come out of the book.

We've always asked Gracie to point to or identify the pictures in the book and we've taken the cards in & out lots of times before...but today....I decided to flip the flash cards over and started to say & spell the words...she quickly picked up the correct card to go with the word we said! I'm sure the shapes of each object on the cards also help her figure which thing we're asking for but I also really think she's starting to identify letters/words and maybe even beginning to read!!!!

Regardless of how she's doing it, we're very proud of her!!!

And what about that tongue??? Guess it helps her concentrate - just like her Daddy!

DaDee! We're home!

WOW!!! You're still checking our blog? Even after I haven't posted anything for weeks!!!

Gracie and I were on vacation in South Carolina for almost 3 weeks (and I took a long vacation from blogging). We had so much fun visiting with our family and friends...thanks to everyone for making our trip home so wonderful! I can't wait to share our pictures (I only took about 700)!

Until I can sort through and edit all those pictures...I hope you'll enjoy this cute video of Gracie running to see her DaDee at the airport!!!

I'm glad TSA didn't care that Todd climbed under the partition rows to pick up and hug his little girl!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Games & Giggles

I drove Todd's dad back down to Bangor today for his flight home - we were all sad to see him leave and so thankful for the yummy meals he cooked and all projects he did around the house.
(Check out the post below to see pictures from when they arrived).

Ellee (Todd's mom) stayed at home with Gracie and they "played and played all day"! Ellee said they had a great day and that Gracie was really good! I'm so glad they got to spend special one-on-one time together. Not too long after I was home, I heard some music and "whoas" and lots and lots of giggling coming from the new (almost finished) playroom. No wonder Ellee went to bed exhausted at 9 pm. Here's a little peak at their day together!

Thanks Ellee for watching, playing and loving on Gracie all day!

Airport Arrival

Bangor, Maine is a 3.5+ hour drive from our house in Canada. It's a beautiful drive...winding along the Bay of Fundy leaving Canada and hilly down through Maine. The +(plus) in driving hours is for the time needed to wait to cross the US/Canada border and the extra time needed to stop while traveling with Gracie.

Gracie and I had a great drive down to Bangor last Tuesday morning when she and I drove down to pick up Ellee & Granddaddy (Todd's parents)...Gracie fell asleep 20 minutes after we left home and woke up 90 minutes later just before we crossed the border. She was great the rest of the drive and we stopped off at the mall before heading to the airport. (Of course I built in extra, extra time to stop off at the mall - I have to do a little shopping while I'm in the States, even if its only for a few hours). Gracie was awesome shopping with me at Macys & GapKids and we shared a yummy piece of pizza. Luckily for Todd and our bank account, I couldn't find the Target nor did I have enough time to stop.

Even though we're far away from our family - we're so fortunate to stay connected with our family & friends with our States line phone #, email, blog, webcam, frequent trips home and having them visit us up here . We always show Gracie pictures of her grandparents and Aunt Katie and Uncle Jeff. She's always able to point everyone out when we ask her who's who. We also use our speakerphone all the time so she gets to hear and will occasionally "talk" to them over the phone.

In preparing to see Gracie at the airport, Ellee told Granddaddy that she wasn't sure if Gracie would be comfortable with them as soon as the walked off the plane - so they were just going to take it slow and follow her lead...

Well, guess who ran up and hugged Ellee?
Yep - Gracie!

And guess who melted into a puddle on the floor?
Yep - Ellee!

It was the cutest, sweetest thing! I wish I would have had my camera ready but I wasn't really expecting her to do that either. It was a very special moment for us all!

Just minutes after getting off the plane.

Playing with "Melissa & Doug" Construction Trucks we bought in the gift shop while waiting for the plane to arrive.

And holding Granddaddy's hand right away!

She loves her Granddaddy!
And I love this picture.

Best Buddies!

Big Bag of Ring Pops in the airport parking lot!
Let the spoiling begin!!!

YumEee!!! Yay for grandparents!!!
Gracie slept shortly after we left Bangor for an hour. In the middle of no where, half way in between Bangor and Calais (the border town), she absolutely lost it. She was sick of being in the car and wanted to make sure she got her point across by screaming for an hour...it didn't matter what we tried to do - playing with toys, singing, ignoring...she just wanted to be home!