Friday, January 30, 2009

Mommy and Me Routine






Being a full-time working mom, it is hard to keep a strict schedule. Gracie is at the babysitter 3 times a week, Daddy is here sometimes and gone others, Mommy is go,go,go......it's hard! One thing that has stayed the same though are bedtime routines. Well the bedtime routines that take place on bath nights anyways. Gracie gets baths on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays (unless she is dirty or sick otherwise). Well since Chuck's awesome job has changed, he is no longer here on bathnights. And since because I am anal and don't want to change bath nights, I do it all myself. It's fine with me because then I get alone time with Gracie. When Chuck is here, I am chopped liver anyways. It all starts when I ask Gracie if she wants to go get in the tub. She runs up the stairs and into the bathroom. Then I start the water. She watches as I strip her down. Then I have to put her in the tub with her diaper on because I have learned that she will pee if I don't. Once she is standing in the tub, I take it off. Then I let her play and eventually scrub her down and wash her hair. For some strange reason, she likes drinking the bath water. I try to tell her it is "yucky" but she doesn't understand that yet. She also loves laying on her tummy and kicking now too which is exciting because I know she will have much more fun at swimming lessons this summer then! Finally it's time to clean-up. She helps me put the bath toys in the frog toy holder. Then she has to sit in the tub and watch every drop of water go down the drain. That is when I am allowed to wrap her in her towel and wisk her away to put a diaper on. I have learned if I don't act quick after the tub, she pees on the carpet. Quickly I lotion her up while she watches her Elvis Elmo sing and dance and then we put on her jammies. After that I clean her ears and brush her hair which she likes helping with that. But now her new favorite thing is after the hair brushing, she beelines for my bathroom where her Elmo toothbrush is waiting. She opens the door and practically hand me her toothpaste. I put some on and I brush her teeth and then she tries to brush them and then stops to look at the Elmo. Then I rinse it off and we head to the kitchen to get a big cup of milk! And that is just a snipet in the Girl's Night that we spend together.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chuck and Kris Plus 1


Jon and Kate Plus 8 is one of my favorite shows! I watch it every Monday night. I can't get enough. When I am having a hard time managing one child, Kate is my hero with her 8. The kids are so adorable and I actually learn a lot of tips by watching her show. I've learned tips for feeding, sleeping, cleaning, organizing, potty-training and time-outs. I love the idea of the time-out rug because Gracie will be needing it soon. And one of her best pieces of advice is with eating. Sometimes I freak out because Gracie won't eat a lot at a meal. Kate says don't worry about because they'll eat when they're hungry. She neve fixes something different because her kids own't eat it so I need to keep that in mind too.Aaden is my favorite. His little glasses are so darn cute. What's funny is that Jon and Kate reminds me of the relationship I have with my husband. Chuck is very laid back and relaxed like Jon and I am more high-strung and high-maintainance like Kate. I talk to Chuck the same way she talks to Jon. "A little help here please." It doesn't mean I don't love him, it's just how girls like us can be. One way I am not like her is by all the cooking. I don't cook and will share some of my cooking stories with you another day. Anyways, I watched the the show the other night and all I have to say is "Holy House!" I am so jealous of their new house. It is very spacious and beautiful. They need it though. Can't wait to watch as they move in. Keep cranking out the episodes! I'll be watching!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Adding Some Color


My darling little duaghter has now a thing for coloring! Yay! What fun we are having now. Gracie has some crayons and coloring books and LOVES coloring in them. Auntie Anne and Uncle Mark stopped by the other day and Gracie was showing off her artistic abilities. I only give her two crayons at a time (because that's all you can really hold) and she kept giving the green crayon away. I think she prefers the color red. I am thinking of taking a trip to Michael's and buying a canvas so she can color, or scribble, on it and then I can hang it up. I have started "taking" crayons from restaurants that we go to and keeping them in her diaper bag so that if we are somewhere and she needs something to do-bada-boom! Believe it or not, some dining establishments don't have crayons for the little ones. Take for example, Diamonds. We went there tonight for dinner. They have nice white placemats but no crayons. Well I solved that problem in a jiffy. I do have to keep an eye on her though. She has had plenty of practice with her Magna Doodle, because the pen is attached to the thing so she can't really carry it and draw on anything. The other day, i caught her coloring on the kitchen floor! Whoops! I had to scrub that one off. Just call her Gracie Van Weiss. It won't be long now and our fridge will be filled with her beautiful pictures!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wonderful Wicked


It's gone! The greatest musical in the history of the world is gone! I first saw Wicked back in November of 2005. It was totally awesome! I then went to see it 3 more times after that. I loved it! The story makes sense if you are a Wizard of Oz freak like me, the costumes are beautiful and the music is amazing. I can't get enough. If you ask my dad how it was, well he fell asleep! Yep. I got my parents tickets one year for mother's/father's day and dad was snoozing off. I am sad that it is leaving. I so want Gracie to see it someday. We will have to take a mommy/daughter trip to a city that has it playing in a few years. Even though it's gone, she will still learn my favorite songs "Dancing Through Life", "Popular", and "Defying Gravity." I'll miss Wicked. For those of you that missed it, it was wickedly awesome!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Little Mommy




Gracie has recently took to playing with her dollies. She did get a bunch for Christmas including the one seen in this picture. She is so cute because if you put her hands by her body parts, she talks! For example, when you rub her hands over her tummy, she laughs because she says you are tickling her. She also says the "ABC's" when touching her mouth. Gracie just loves her. I believe she is Fisher-Price made and is called "Little Mommy." Gracie also received a doll stroller last summer for her birthday. Well, she really only had one doll before the holidays and she would just push the stroller around with nothing in it. Well now she puts her "babies" in it and pushes them around constantly. Since we live in such a spacious house, Gracie has no choice but to go around the island and around the island and around......We even have to take the dollies with us when we go places now. She puts on her coat and grabs her doll. I can't wait to buy her a little high chair and crib and all that cute stuff. What a little mommy I have on my hands!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

All Cooped Up!


This winter has been extremely cold and snowy which makes it hard to get out and about. I do not like taking Gracie out in this kind of weather! First of all, you have to bundle her up plus yourself. Putting her in her carseat with a big fluffy coat is not fun either. Then if we do go to the store, you have to run inside and then I got hot rushing around inside to get whatever. Then you have to push the cart and her out in the cold again and put her inside the car, start the car and then load up your bags. Not fun! Even going to my parents house, I have to go out and start the car! Winter sucks! It's really even been too cold to take Gracie out to play in the snow. Christmas is over and the white stuff needs to leave. Spring cannot come soon enough. I miss the days of playing outside and watching Gracie ride around the sidewalk in her car until bedtime. Is there anyway to bring spring come faster? Gracie and I are definately California Dreaming on such a winter's day!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Change Has Come!


Now I don't usually follow politics or really have much interest in them but I did follow this years presidential campaign a bit. I do teach a unit on government in school and wanted to make it extra special. I was for Obama the whole time. Not saying I believe everything he says is true, I beleive he was the better choice. He is one of the best speakers I have ever heard. Now I know he probably had someone who wrote them for him, but his speeches brought goose bumps to my arms and tears to my eyes. The night he won I was overcome with happiness. There's something about him that makes me feel like everything will be ok. I have faith that he will do his best to make this country soar and rise out of this doom that we are in. My kids and I were allowed to watch the inauguration live and as I explained to them what a historic event they are witnessing, I have to say that I never felt prouder as an American. As Tupoc once sang the song "Changes" and how he stated "we aint' ready to see a black president" well, I guess we are! Make us proud President Obama! Lead on!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Scrapbooking Queen!







So crazy enough, some of my New Year's resolutions are going good. I have been working really hard at scrapbooking. I have a bazillion pictures. I just got an order today in the mail where I ordered 437 pictures and really I only ordered a couple of doubles to send down to Highland. Now mind you, I haven't developed pictures since mid-September so Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were on there! I do have a piece of advice I want to share-you really don't need doubles! I have boxes of doubles from Gracie's first year. I even let everyone and their mamas go through to pull some out! FIrst of all, your parents takes as many pictures and second of all, once you have a kid, that's all you take pcitures of anyways. I"ve also resorted to letting my darlings at school make that year's scrapbook for me. I don't have time for school books anymore! So as you may remember or have seen, I made 6 scrapbooks of Gracie's first year! Yep. That's like 237 pages I think. It was a crazy! So then I said "no more scrapbooking for awhile." Well, I did make one for my friend for her baby so all she had to do was add the pictures. Anyways, decided after Christmas that I really should start up again. So I picked up with Gracie's first birthday. Well since Chuck's family lives down south, we had twice the fun with 2 parties! So I had enough pics to do a whole book dedicated to her first birthday. That makes book 7 for her! (I think my next child is screwed). Here are some pages that I did. I have to say I am pretty proud of myself. Now I am geared up to go again. I have a scrapbook weekend coming up in February where we go all weekend to a hotel and chat and drink and you can stay up all night scrapbooking! If anyone wants any ideas or tips, I would be happy to help. I am a lean, mean, scrapbooking machine!

Monday, January 19, 2009

These Boots are Made for Walking!




So, as I have stated before, Gracie likes shoes. She is my daughter afterall. If you know me, then you know I have a gigantic bucket by my door full of flip-flops, my most favorite shoe. I can't wait for the day to wear them again. Anyways, awhile back, my brother-in-law's girlfriend, Christy, gave me some pink boots. They belonged to her daughter Maddie and they didn't fit her anymore. Gracie wants to try them on constantly. She likes trying on shoes to begin with but these she always wants to put on. She needs help with these since they are boots and she has a hard time walking in them so she doesn't really wear them out and about but she loves wearing them in the house. Sure enough, after her bath the other night, she went straight for them. We couldn't barely even get her diaper on before she was trying to stick them on her feet. Sadly enough though, her feet are growing and they won't fit her for too much longer. These boots were made for walking, at least for a few more weeks anyways!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No, not pregnant, just fat!


So one of my resolutions went into effect today! I went back to the gym! Now, I shouldn't be saying this but I haven't been there probably since like April! Yep. I pay money every month for nothing basically. Well today I said "I am going to go to the gym!" And I did. Even before I was pregnant, parents at my school would stop and congratulate me. I would say "thanks" but thinking they were talking about my marriage but I just thought they were a few years too late. Well one day, a parent asked me when I was due. I about fainted. Umm, never was the answer. Now, in my mind, I was not fat before I got pregnant. Sure I may have had a little gut and yes, I wasn't the size I was when I got married but come on people, I was not fat! Now, ok I admit, weight? A little bit more of an issue. I can no longer use the excuse that I just had a baby. My baby is almost 19 months old! I can fit in my pre-baby pants but the flabby belly I am convinced is NEVER going to go away. Last year, I went through a few workout streaks and even dusted off the ab-roller. Well sure enough, the other day, an older teacher this time asked me when I was going to have another baby. As I joked, "Yeah, I know like I look like I'm pregnant but I am not", her response was "Yeah, you look a little fluffy down there." Yikes! I don't want to be the "fluffy" teacher! So first after thinking about eventually going back, my mind is made up that yes, I would like to workout again. I don't pay too much money and I do get free babysitting, free tanning and free suana there so that is a plus. I went today and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I actually felt better after going! My BFF Lindsay is my workout buddy. I go to Ladies Workout Express because for one, it's right by my house, 2, there are only girls (when I went to Cardinal, boys would be hovering over me trying to get on my machine and I didn't like that) and 3, they have classes. Well turns out, they even have a mommy and me workout class! Finally something I can do with Gracie. (stupid park district!) Tomorrow I plan on going to Zumba, which is a dance class so I can learn to shake it like Christina. Ok, maybe not like Christina, but I can learn some new moves that will surely impress you all! And from now on I vow that when people ask when I am due, I will smile and say "in 9 months after I get pregnant!"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm too sexy for these pants!


Oh my! Gracie has a thing with sometimes pulling her pants down. She knows where most body parts are and now we are teaching her where her bottom is. She is starting to get the hang of that. Granted Chuck and I don't pull down our drawers to show her! She does try to dress and undress herself so it is a learning experience. As you can see she has the hang of putting on hats and now she is getting the hang of the pants!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Why weren't we invited???


So apparently, New Kids on the Block (the greatest band ever) is having a cruise in May! Why did I not know about this until now? Gracie and I are enrolled in their fan club and no emails were sent to us. Believe it or not, the tickets went on sale just this week and it is pretty much sold out. Those of you who thought I was the only hard-core fan, there is a whole boat full of them now! The catch was the bigger cabin you reserved, the closer you got to their shows on the boat plus you win like a pool party with them. How cool would that be? Gracie has thing for Donnie and I woudn't mind seeing Jordan in his swimming gear. What a big fat bummer! The price would have forced me to sell my house, which wouldn't sell anyways so I guess Gracie and I are out of luck. I am hopeful that they will do on tour again so I can relive the magic again! We love New Kids on the Block!!! To all of you that are going, you suck!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie!


Well, my daughter did not inherit the baby-got-back genes. She has a tiny bottom like her father instead. She may be a skinny little thing but she ate like a horse today! Her thighs are getting a few rolls. She'll catch up someday. She is like her mama in the fact that she loves her treats. She is such a busy body though that she works it all off. Maybe someday we will be able to call her G-Lo. Her mama? K-Lo all the way! You other brothers can't deny!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Woohoo!!!!


SNOW DAY!!!! Or maybe it's considered a cold day. But whatever-no school! Gracie get to spend the day together now! We'll be stuck inside the house but it's all good. This is truly the one good thing about winter!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Well all be darned!


I did not receive a phone call today. We had school. Big fat bummer! Here's hoping for one on Thursday. I hate everyone who doesn't have to bundle up every morning!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snow Day? Maybe!


So, true to fashion, Chicago winters suck! Like I have said before, winter is not my favorite. It's ok for the holidays but after that, bye-bye. Although I have this thing with pine trees and snow on them. I find them beautiful. Here is one in my backyard. Isn't my yard awesome? I-55 is part of it you know. Anyways this winter has been extra snowy so far. Well, here we are again and now a blizzard warning is upon us starting at midnight. It has been snowing and now the winds are supposed to pick up and cause much blowing and drifting. This may make it hard to drive tomorrow. Plus, it's supposed to be below zero with the wind chill. Yuck! (I swear I was a meteorologist in my previous life. Tom Skilling is my hero you know.) I hate bundling up in this weather and I hate doing bus duty at school in it as well. Well, I did my duty for today and won't have to do it again until next week thank goodness. There is a possibility that the buses will not be able to start in the morning which will result in a snow day. This happened last year. There could be good news in the morning. One of the best things about being a teacher is that call you get in the morning. "School closed" they say. And that puts a smile on my face. Snow days: you loved 'em as a kid and you love them more as an adult!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snow much fun!







Even though I am not a fan of winter, and I don't think Gracie really is either, we decided to try out the new sled this weekend. It was the first day where it was snowy but not too cold. She actually has never been out sledding or playing in the snow or anything yet. She was too little last year but now she can walk in it by herself. Grandma bought her a snowsuit and Grandpa bought a sled. They called us bright and early and wanted to play with Gracie in the snow. Grandpa had fun pulling her down the street in the sled. Gracie was a tad tired (she fell asleep on the drive over to Grandma and Grandpa's) so she didn't seem to enjoy it as much as we had hoped. I'm sure we will have more snow fun to come yet this winter. The Farmer's Almanac said that this would be a snowy winter so I'm sure we have weeks more of the fluffy stuff. Next year we already discussed going to the parks that have sledding hills. So I guess all I have left to say is "Let it snow" (but only until I get the chance to show Gracie how to make a snow angel).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Heart Elmo!







A few months ago, my sister Amy, called in a radio station to asnwer a question. The answer she gave was the movie "Baby Boom." (That is a fabulous movie too.) Well, turns out she won 4 free tickets to see Elmo and the Sesame Street gang live at the Rialto. Well today was the big day! We have been prepping Gracie for weeks on the characters. While she can't say their names yet, she points to the characters when you ask her. So we ventured to downtown Joliet today to go see Elmo. It was such a cute show. Now I loved Sesame Street back when I was a kid so it was pretty cool. Besides some new characters that I don't know, they played some old school songs that I remember from my Sesame Street record. (I used to play that on my Fisher Price record player. Guess that shows my age!) Anyways, lots of singing and dancing. There were so many kids there and some were even dancing in the aisles. Gracie took turns sitting on our laps watching the show. She was so good. She kept pointing at the characters and even clapped along later on. During intermission, they sold these Elmo balloons and when we went to the lobby, she just thought they were so cool. She kept staring at them. So of course on the way out of the show, we stopped to buy an $8 Elmo head balloon! We also have the program book so that is her new favorite book now. It was a great day the theater!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Elvis!




The King was born this day 74 years ago. I know because it is printed right next to me on Chuck's Elvis calendar. Elvis is Chucks's idol and sort of mine too. Years before we were married, we ventured down to Graceland. We stayed in the Heartbreak Hotel (a suite I might add), we toured the house, we even set foot on the Lisa Marie. It was a fun experience. We even tried peanut butter and banana sandwiches just like the King himself. At our wedding, Elvis sang us our first dance song, "Can't Help Falling in Love." Then we finished off the basement and set up a shrine to Elvis down there. (I should mention that there is far more Wizard of Oz stuff in the basement.) Then we got to thinking of baby names and I suggested "Grace" because I liked the name and "Lynn" because that's what Chuck's mom's name was. Put them together what do you got? Grace Lynn! How clever we are. If we ever have a boy, his name will be Presley. Anyways, then we had our beautiful daughter Grace Lynn and the Elvis stuff had to come down to make room for toys. Well Gracie has NEVER been without some form of Elvis memorbilia. We have the Elvis Elmo who sings "Blue Suede Shoes" and "All Shook Up." Grace has many shirts (mostly bought by daddy) with pictures or sayings of Elvis on them. So it's only fitting that we salute the King today. Elvis, if you're listening, keep rocking the heavens!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thank you, Thank you very much!




So for Christmas, my Elvis-obsessed husband, gave me these interesting Elvis nylon socks. When I opened them I was like "Hmm....Thanks?" They are also knee-highs I should add. Well, since they sat under the tree for a few days, Gracie decided she wanted to try them on. Since she is always trying on shoes and hats adn tries to dress herself now, I figured go right ahead. I helped her put them on since they are made of nylon and need to be stretched to get on your feet. I had them pulled up to her butt but she did not like that. So she pulled them down to her knees. She wore them around the house with her jammies for awhile. Since then, she has tried them on many of times and now she goes to my sock drawer and pulls them out to put on. At least if Gracie is wearing them, Chuck is getting his money's worth. (He claims he had no idea that they were going to look like this). Anyways, doesn't she look like like the "Amazing Grace" that she is wearing them?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So What? I'm Still a Rockstar!


Move over Pink because here comes the newest rockstar! Introducing.....Gracie Lynn!!!! Gracie got a microphone for Christmas and loves it! It is super cool because the stand is adjustable and there are buttons on the bottom that play different beats to sing to and also an appalause button. Gracie isn't singing New Kids yet but Mommy is trying to teach her. Daddy likes it to so he can practice his Elvis. Right now Gracie just likes to lick the microphone and scream into it. Maybe that means she will like heavy metal, I don't know. Who knows. This little lady may be famous someday!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Circus is back in town!


I have been dreading this day for weeks. It is by far one of the most depressing days ever! The day before I head back to work after break. I really, really, really don't want to back to work. This is my least favorite time of year not to mention the fact that the holidays, my most favorite part of the year, are done and over. I have so enjoyed spending the past couple of weeks with Gracie and I will probably cry when I drop her off at the babysitters tomorrow morning and step foot into my still-holiday decorated classroom. Yuck! I'm sure that the kids are dreading it just as much as I am. From now until March, we have to start really preparting them for the state tests. Those are not fun and I wish they would do away with them. It gets incredibly boring and repetitive. So now I have to go back and juggle everything again-Chuck's new work schedule, my wonderful job, babysitter, cleaning, errand-running, etc. It gets very stressful. I'm sure I will be in a great mood for the next couple of weeks. Do I really have to do this? This SUCKS! I guess the only thing to look forward to tomorrow is splurging on a venti Starbucks. And by splurging, I mean forking over half of my teacher paycheck! Really!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Order Up!







Yes, it's been awhile since I blogged. Gracie and I have been so busy this past week. While I have been busy taking down the Christmas decorations, which by the way makes me very depressed, Gracie has been busy cooking up a storm. We have moved her kitchen set into our kitchen so she can cook alongside Chuck. Over at Grandma and Grandpa's, she was busy pouring Grandpa coffee tonight. She takes the coffee pot and puts it over the burner, which makes boiling noises, and then pretends to pour it into a cup! She is so smart. And then she even pretends to drink it! I am so amazed that she does these things. At home, she likes to take her teacups and have us put a little bit of water in them so she can drink for real out of it. She has gotten to the point now where we have to lock the water dispenser on the fridge because she can reach it and let the water drip out! It's really crazy how grown-up she is starting to act. Speaking of that, we had her 18 month checkup yesterday. Yep, my little girl is a year and a half! She weighs a mere 18 pounds 9 oz. which the doctor said is in the 3rd percentile. That surprised me that she was even in a percentile. She is definately her father's daughter with that one. Anyways, maybe she will teach me a thing or two about cooking. That is one of my resolutions afterall. We'll see about that one.