Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Big Day

Well Gracie had a great day. I felt so guilty a few days earlier when it was my birthday and Mark and the kids had the kitchen all decorated, she actually thought it was her birthday (a little confusing so close to hers). Mark performed the duty of "birthday ambassador" and explained that it was really my birthday first and that in five days it would be hers. After some tears, we figured out if we let her open my gifts she was good to go. You can imagine the excitement when she came out into the kitchen and realized it was her turn to celebrate. I like having a little birthday buddy like Gracie to celebrate with, it makes dreary January so much fun!

From the pictures you will see her day was all about the birthday crown! She wore it the entire day, except for when I was able to negotiate it off of her for church (phew!)

She got to sleep in our bed the night before and when she woke up she said, "It's my birthday! Can I watch Barney?" She watched Barney in our bed, while Mark and I made breakfast together. She got her waffles and strawberries and was happy as could be with all of her fun gifts.

She had a great morning at church and ended up being the only child in her class that day. She had a great time having all the teachers attention focused just on her! After church we played games and then she got to have two of her favorite families over for dinner.

She was sooooooooooooo happy the entire day. Thanks to everyone who spoiled Gracie and I on our special days and made us feel so loved!

Gracie and McCall waiting for the rest of the kids to be woken up.

Mark making his orange julius. By the time this week is over he is so tired of birthdays!

Gracie focusing hard on blowing all of those candles out. She managed two this year!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It is Fabulous to be Four!

We are still trying to catch up with life since the holidays, but didn't want Gracie's birthday to come and go without documenting it. Tomorrow she turns four! The older I get the faster time goes by. I wish I could slow it down just a bit as I see my sweet babies growing up. I'm thrilled that the day is finally here, so we don't have to keep hearing her ask how many more days until my birthday. She could barely fall asleep tonight because she is so excited! I really can't believe she is turning four. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of her and let me tell you four fabulous things I love about Gracie

1. I love that my girl has an opinion and isn't afraid to share it. She is our little spitfire, but it has served her very well in her short little life. Most days, I'm grateful she has such a strong will because I never worry about anyone taking advantage of her.

2. She is the world's best cuddler(is that even a word?)! The girl knows how to snuggle and cuddle like no other. In her perfect world we would stay in our pajamas (fancy pajamas) all day long, cuddle under her favorite blankets and watch Barney or Scooby Doo. There are a few things I can count on every single day and one of them is Gracie asking me about 8 times to please come and cuddle. I know, I love my day job!

3. I love how she sings all around the house. Yes, Gracie sings and dances and is so sweet and pleasant. It is a pity that she has such a difficult time in larger groups because some people never get to see this very sweet side of Gracie. She comes out of her "hermit crab" mode and really shines. She loves music and knows several verses of several songs. She sings to her dollies, her animals, to me and Bayden. She loves to perform for us with big waving arms as she shakes her little hips, it is so funny.

4. I love her big blue eyes. She has smiling eyes. I noticed this the first time I looked into them at the hospital when she was born. They captivated me then and they still do. Her eyes communicate so much about her and what and how she is feeling at any moment in time. I can read Gracie across a room just by looking at her eyes. Those big blue eyes have also rescued her from many a time-outs. She has this little look she does, that makes it very difficult to stay frustrated with her.

5. Did you really think I would stop at four? Gracie is a planner. The girl has big plans for herself and for everyone else in the house. I must admit some days this isn't my favorite trait, but most days I really like it. She always likes and needs to know exactly what we are doing in a day. She also likes to tell all of us, what we will be doing in a day. For example: At 4:37 a.m. she has no problem announcing very loudly in my right ear "I'm hungry and I want candy for breakfast." Because she is also a very persistent soul we've learned to just get up by the 2nd or 3rd time she asks because her planning just gets louder (luckily the daily 4:30 feeding has gone down to about 1 time a week now). Throughout the day she will tell me what I am suppose to be and Carson and Bayden too, "You are the princess mommy and Bayden you are the dog." She gets very irritated if anyone rebels and doesn't follow the plan she has outlined. Heaven forbid, Bayden would want to be human. She likes to tell me what stores we should go to first and what types of things we should purchase. It is really funny and entertaining that she is such a planner. I'm thinking she might have a future as a Cruise director or something like that.

6. Her new husky laugh. She has this new laugh that she does to be funny. It is hilarious. She'll say, "Mom, do you want to hear my funny laugh?" She'll then do her new husky laugh, but then make herself laugh so hard that she ends up doing her real belly laugh. This is one of my favorite things that she has been up to the last 6 weeks. We both end up laughing so hard and then Bayden usually joins in even though he has no clue what we are laughing about, before you know it we are all laughing uncontrollably. I need to try and capture it on video.

7. Her sense of style. Poor baby, born to a mother with no style of her own. I don't know the first thing about hair, fashion or make-up and I prefer to spend my days in sweats, a ponytail and no make-up. Gracie LOVES all things fancy: Clothes, make-up, hair, shoes, and jewelry. She has definite opinions about what she will and will not wear. When we can talk her out of her pajamas, she likes to coordinate her own outfits (a little scary at times, kind of a retro-Punky Brewster look)and loves to have her hair done. Actually some of the outfits she comes up with are pretty cute and I can't say that I would have ever thought to put certain things together. She definitely has her own little style, which I'm hoping might rub off on me someday.

8. Okay it is getting late and I feel like I'm just rambling. Last, but not least I love Gracie because she is sweet. She is a real sweetheart with a very tender heart. She loves to take care of her brothers and is quite a little mother to them. She shares with them and with me. She is free with her hugs and kisses and is just a sweet little thing. Happy Birthday Sugar, we look forward to your fourth year of adventures!