Monday, September 29, 2014

Four Months With Grace

Grace is such a happy little gal.  We adore her sweet and laid back personality.  As a second child, she pretty much goes with the flow.
Four-month stats:
Length: 24.5 inches (50%)
Weight: 14 lb, 1 oz (50-75%)
Head: 40 cm (10-25%)

Oops.  She found the monitor camera in her crib:
New Skills:
*Sitting like a tripod.  If Grace is positioned to hold herself up in a seated position with her arms, Grace can balance and "sit" for seconds at a time.
(Don't you love the Thomas the Train sticker I am sporting on my shirt?  It's the latest fashion.)

*Rolling from back to belly.  So, this skill has been sort of important.  Grace prefers to sleep on her belly and when the teachers at school put Grace on her back to sleep (as mandated by law), Grace can now work to roll into the position she prefers.

Speaking of school, today was Grace's last day.  After a month's trial, we decided two different school drop-offs and pick-ups was too much for our little gal (and her mama).  She cried in the car all the way to Palmer's school and then to hers because it interfered with her morning nap and she just wanted to sleep.  We just loved Grace's teacher, Miss Pam, and Miss Pam was in love with Grace (as you can see in Grace's VIP carrying position at the fire truck field trip below), but Mother's Day Out ended up being too much for at her young state.  We will put her back in when she is older.

*Jumparoo - Grace loves to bounce up and down (with the booster help of a law book) and is starting to play with the toys on the jumparoo tray.
*Toys - Grace is experimenting with toys that have texture.  For a few weeks, she was crying every single time we would get in the car.  Now, she happily plays with a blanket square that crinkles and a little toy with mirrors while we drive around town.
*Palmer - As mentioned last month, Grace already adores her brother and loves to watch whatever he is doing.  Along those lines, Palmer loves his baby sister.  Every morning, Palmer comes with me to wake up Grace in her crib.  He usually welcomes her to the day with, "Good morning, Grace.  It's the big brother.  I love you," and often ends by singing a song to her.
"Palmer, I am very curious about you..."
Gracie Girl, we love you.  Your smiles brighten our day and your sweetness softens our heart.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Backyard Campout

Palmer and Rick went camping recently and schemed to one day camp out in our backyard on the trampoline.

Plans were made and a tent was assembled:
Palmer had some friends over for pre-campout trampoline/tent jumping...
The boys in the treacherous "woods" behind our garage.  (And in case you were wondering, I have no idea why part of the garage is unpainted back there.)
Watch out, Charlie.  We'll put you to work around here.
Backyard s'mores with friends:
Rick said the night went well despite the constant sirens in our urban hood.  

Conversation overheard the next morning:
"Palmer, did you get up in the night to pee outside?"
"Yes, and poo poo."
"Wait- what?!?"

Early morning riser:
Palmer has already asked me when I want to campout on the trampoline.  Hey, if that means I can get a full night's sleep without waking to feed a 4 month old, I am GAME.  Sign me up!!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Palmer at 3.5 Years

I had to disappoint Mr. Palmer this week when he learned he wasn't getting a "3.5 birthday party".  Ha.  Sorry, dude.  Just half a cake for you:
(By the way, I've been on a "ugliest cake ever" roll lately.  My sister is the baker of the family, not me.)

Still, I did want to take the time to reflect on our 3.5 year old...
Physically, Palmer has recently shot up a few inches and his feet are embarrassingly large at a size 12.  I just had to toss a bunch of almost brand-new shoes.

Also, Palmer's hair might have the same brunette fate as Rick.  Rick and I noticed that Palmer's hair didn't whiten up this summer like it did last summer.

I made a comment to Palmer that his hair was getting darker and he said, "Good.  Then, I will look like mommy and daddy and Grace!"  Aww, poor guy feels left out.

Palmer has always been "all boy", but now seems to really care about his gender.

Lately, he adores playing with his male friends more than his female friends and has said a lot of things like, "Girls can't play with us boys."  He went to a princess party a few weeks ago and was completely overwhelmed and has since informed Rick and I that he "doesn't go to princess parties anymore.  (He's) not a girl!"  Whew.
Palmer has made me so proud lately.  Always independent, Palmer has taken that initiative to a new level.  The other night, I was putting Grace down and Palmer knew we would eat dinner after she was asleep.  I came downstairs to find the table completely set without me asking.  I wanted to cry.  THEN, after dinner I went to take a shower and came out to find Palmer standing on a chair at the sink washing the dishes (again without asking).  Although he has his moments of challenge, times like these make my heart so full. This boy is a keeper.
Palmer is really into imaginative play.  I love to hear his little world at the train table or when he sits and plays with his fire trucks.  His back-and-forth dialogue is hysterical.  I sometimes feel bad that we are a little more home-bound these days with Grace's infant nap schedule.  But, I know that Palmer playing alone with his imagination is a great skill to practice.

Palmer has an interest in learning to sound out letters.  He recently noticed a "PARKING" sign and wanted to know if the sign said his name.  I also taught him how to sound out the word "NO".  We are currently working on all the sounds for each letter. However, Palmer's eagerness in phonics does NOT translate as much to writing.  He has little patience in sitting down and practicing his skills...
We still have Palmer signed up for karate and although he loves it, he has made it known that he would "really really" like to play soccer.  Dang it.  Rick and I tried to hold off on being soccer parents as long as possible.  It looks like we might trade in karate for a soccer fate in the spring.  We hope Aunt Amanda's soccer skills (full-ride to SMU on a soccer scholarship) will come into play.
Palmer, you are a light in our world and we couldn't be more proud of the little boy you are becoming.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Family Secrets

My mom used to always tell me, "Don't tell any family secrets!" as I left the house to go somewhere.  As a kid, I just kinda laughed her off and didn't know what she was talking about.

My three-year-old is teaching me this concept.
Palmer will tell any and all adults, both strange and familiar, any and everything.

For example, he told his karate teacher (and all of the parents watching the karate lesson), "I couldn't have cereal this morning because my mom didn't get more milk at the store!"  Um, thanks for ratting me out, dude.
Grace and I were quite "entertained" by his karate revelation.

Lord knows what he tells his teacher when he goes to school, but she always seems to already know about any pending topic I tell her during school pick-up.  Eek.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

School Days

Two kids this fall means two different schools.

Palmer is continuing at the wonderful school where he has been since he was three months old.  Now, he is in the three-year-old class (and THEN the four-year-old class and THEN Kindergarten.  aghhhhhhh).
However, Palmer's school only has full-time infant care, something we needed when I worked full-time while Palmer was an infant, but not something we need now.

It is important to Rick and me to socialize our babies at an early age and teach them the concept of "you are one of many" and structure.  So, Grace is attending Mother's Day Out down the street from Palmer's school two days a week.
 I'm so glad everyone was "super cooperative" for the first day of school photo shoot.
Small mountains were moved, bribes were made, and curse words were uttered under the breath in order to get the "sweet looking" shots.

And we are off to school...
Miss Mary and Palmer:
And for the record, Grace, your father got on a conference call after he dropped off Palmer.  I just want you to remember when you are a teenage girl and hating your mother and adoring your father that your mom was there on your first day of school.  Just remember.  That's all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lake Mode

Now that we've been settled back in Dallas for a few days, it's been important to look thru all of the pictures from last month and do a little reflection.

Rick and I are very fortunate that our schedules allow room for flexibility so that we can do a long trip to Horseshoe Bay.  Given the length of the trip, it was very much a working trip for Rick.  We basically moved down south for the month and combined a vacation life with our regular life.

Some take-aways that I want to remember:

1.  In general, we need to slow down and Horseshoe Bay forced and allowed that.  I left my never-ending to-do list in Dallas along with my endless errands.  Since the closest town is about 20 minutes away (and once you get there, it's really not that big), Grace wasn't too keen on being in the car for the long car rides.  So, we stayed at the resort most of the time.

Our lake schedule consisted of a big outing in the morning (one of the pools or a lake activity), lunch at home, naps for both kiddos at home, dinner, and evening lake swimming.  It was lovely and we really enjoyed the time together as a family.  During the week, there weren't many people around and days passed where I never spoke to another adult.

2.  My kids are great.  I know, I'm completely biased.  But, man, I love my kids.
Palmer is such a good big brother.  He is completely patient when I need to leave him alone and go feed Grace or put her down for a nap.  He never complains and always goes and plays on his own until I can interact with him again.

Rick worked at our small condo many days.  Again, Palmer completely understood the need to be quiet when Rick was on a work phone call.  Often, Palmer would come over and stage whisper to me that we need to be quiet because "daddy's call is important".

Grace is so flexible.  We completely rocked her world and forced many morning naps by the pool and changed her entire Dallas familiar scenery.  She didn't flinch and actually flourished by developing predictable naps and eating session.

3.  It's nice to have Rick around.  It's no secret that Rick's work schedule is grueling and he has to be gone a lot.  Rick tried so hard to spend as much time in town during our stay.

The result was a much rested and tanner husband who got to spend quality time with all three of us.  It was the best gift we could get.

4.  We need Boston.  Boston was at a boarder during the trip because he wasn't allowed at the condo.  Man, I've never cleaned so much after meals.  I got to the point where I forced all meals (100 degrees or not) out on the dock because the after meal clean up was killing me.  I don't know how you people do it without a dog, but I haven't been so happy to see our little vacuum Boston in a long time.

So, now we are shifting to fall and the start of of new school for both kids.  Palmer will go to his preschool class three days a week and Miss Grace is going to start infant Mother's Day Out two days a week.  Good bye, summer.