Thursday, February 10, 2011

This is a test...of our new turbo internet...

and it PASSED!!!
We just upgraded to the fastest internet Time Warner offers.
I was just testing to see how FAST FAST FAST it will upload pictures to my blog.
Let me tell ya folks...IT. WAS. TURBO speed...
So here is the picture.  The "test" picture.
It might make you laugh a little.  It made me giggle.  But partly because I forgot about it and then found it again when I downloaded the birthday party pictures.  This is just a day in the life...a day in the life.
What tolerant dog.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Happy Birthday!! From all of us to you!!! Happy Happy Birthday...we. love. YOU!

I was beginning to wonder if Blogger had a "photo upload limit"...'cause I just uploaded a hecka lot of photos.  They don't.  Have a limit.  Just in case you have an urge to dump 39 pictures onto your blog.  I just did.  It takes a long time but we have the slowest Internet they offer. Earl says he's gonna change that, and soon.  I for one, am not going to stop him.
Rambling....always the rambling with me.
39 pictures you ask?  Of what?  Grace's birthday silly!
Yesterday our girl turned 6.  I know, I can't believe it either.  I'd upload a 40th photo to compare what she looked like 6 years ago as compared to what she looks like today, but remember Earl put all our photos on that ginormous external hard drive? Yeh, he did...And I don't feel like fishing a photo off of that thing.  Not tonight anyway.
So...she's 6.  She is so happy to be 6.  She says she feels more "grown up" whatever that means.  But honestly, for the first 2 years of her life I think she was just plain mad she had to be a baby and so naturally 6 seems to be a good fit on her.  When you're 6, you can make your own chocolate milk and turn on the TV by yourself and ride a bike with only two wheels. 
To celebrate the occasion, Grace chose to invite a few friends to the local bowling alley for bowling and cake.  We had so much fun!!!
Here they are.  5 little girls.  All in Kindergarten.  All twirling, whirling, giggling little things.  Such silly little creatures.  From left to right:  Leah, Maegan, Arcadia, Adylyn, and Grace.
Bowling shoes were worn. 
Pink bowling balls were chosen.
And carefully, s-l-o-w-l-y rolled down the lane.
Many different "launching" styles were used.
There was lots of watching.  And waiting.  And jumping up and down with fingers crossed. 
And there was the fascination with the ball feeder-thingy.  The phrase "watch out and don't smoosh a finger" was repeated over and over and over....
Seriously girls...someone is gonna smush. a. FINGER!!!
Even baby brother got in on the action.
Sporting a blue ball because "I a BOY mama!" and it also matched the blue icing on his face.  But that last part was simply because half of what he eats winds up on him instead of in him.
 This is my favorite picture.  For several reasons... 
Earl teaching Sam how to it.  Earl's it. 
 Then Momma tried to teach Sam to bowl.  There is not an athletic bone in my body.  Even when it comes to bowling.  Yes...the bumpers were up. 
I may not be very athletic, but I am passionate and I really do try and I wore rocking boots.  Does that count? 
Leah noticed my lack of finesse and graciously stepped in to help.  Sam is now in love with Leah.
Around the 7th frame, the girls were starting to get squirrely.  So I whipped out the big guns.
Birthday Cake.
Ariel Birthday Cake.
With lots and lots of crazy colored icing (which resulted in crazy colored poo later in the day...I'm just sayin')
Everybody sing together now...
"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...
 Happy Birthday dear GR-aaaace! 
 Happy Birthday to Yoooooooou!!!!!!"
And then there was the opening of the gifts....
one gift resulted in the highly desired "Zoobles"...think "Bakugons" but for girls.
And then each girl signed a bowling pin.  Grace got to take it home. Almost as good as the "Zoobles"...almost...not quite.
And then the bowling resumed.  Paired with some dancing.  Lots of dancing.  So glad there was no one in the lane beside us. 
This next series of pictures is priceless.  Ask me what a 6 year old Kindergarten girl is like.  No really.  Go on...ask.  And I will show you these photos.  They are worth a thousand words.
 Twirling. Whirling.  Spinning.
 Crazy.  Chaotic.  Curious.
 Dramatic.  Diva.  Darling.
 There's nothing else quite like a 6 year old girl.
 2 hours, 1/4 quarter of a sheet cake, 4 presents, and no squished fingers later...the bowling came to an end.
 Here's the results.  Yes, Grace bowled a 120.  Remember...the bumpers were up.  And yes, that's Sam's score...even after I bowled a couple of frames for him...
Best. party. ever.  In all of her 6 years. 
And it wasn't even really her birthday.  It was the day before.
Here's what her actual birthday was like...
We started the tradition 3 years ago of setting our her presents on the coffee table the night before.
Then, when she wakes up, she comes running into find her goodies all laid out before her.
Yeh...she's a little bit of a diva.
A Crayola glow/light board (coolest toy evah!), a skirt from Justice, a silver/diamond heart necklace in memory of her Grandma, a Tangled Leapster game and a Tangled Polly Pocket doll.  Whew...she might be a little bit spoiled...maybe...I dunno.   Someone once told me "There are two kinds of children:  Spoiled and neglected"...I think my mom told me that.  I can't say for sure.
 Earl and I went up to the school and ate lunch with the birthday girl. 
The definition of chaos is an elementary school lunchroom.
 So that's it...she's been 6 for 2 days.  She wears it well.
 I'm not entirely sure where the time has gone.  But it has gone so very quickly. 
Happy Birthday sweet Graceface.  I love you so good.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

6 years ago...

February 6th was also Superbowl Sunday.  I can't tell you who played the game.  I can't tell you who won the game.  What I can tell you is that I was in labor with the baby who has now become, 6 very short years later, our silly, singing, twirling daughter.  We had no idea.  Absolutely no idea what we were in for....and I really can't remember what life was like without her. 
Thank you Grace...for picking us.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A post in which I show you lots of pictures but have nothing to "close the deal" and just stop blogging at the end without really wrapping it up.

Ready?  OK!
Phew...did you know I'm currently sitting in the house writing this post while a blizzard swirls outside?  No is.  A blizzard.  In the course of ten minutes, the weather man said things like "blizzard, low visibility, blowing snow, snow drifts, Arctic air, and the city is shut down" know, just the normal winter broadcast.  "Locals" here say that this kind of weather is not "normal"...well, "locals" I've lived here through 4 winters and I hate to break it to ya but folks...this. is. normal.  Go git yer snow shovel and try not to have a heart attack while you remove inches and inches of snow from your driveway.
But I digress...
Let me share Christmas 2010 with you.  Beginning with a trip to the new American Girl store. 
 Grace and Bailey Rose (my 10 year old niece) were beyond excited to visit the new store and get their American girls ears pierced (I think there's supposed to be an apostrophe in there somewhere...maybe with "girls" or maybe "ears"...I'm at a loss...whatever)
This place is a  mecca for little girls and their obsession with dolls.  It is also very fun to visit as an adult...and breathe in the "new doll" smell and remember what it was like to be little.  GrandTone started all this...she's a grown woman with a deep love for dolls.  And so, when Bailey Rose was old enough to cradle a baby doll, GrandTone bought her a Bitty Baby.  She did the same for Grace.  Then as the girls grew, she bought each one an American Girl doll of her choice.  Then?  Well then she made doll clothes for them.  You can read about the clothes she makes here and here, at her blog.  They are exquisite and totally unique. There is another post to come about her Christmas gift to Grace this year...she made a TRUNK full of doll clothes for Grace's doll Julie...a zebra-striped trunk full to be exact.
Grace chose Julie when her time came to chose a doll.  So when we entered the store, Grace was immediately drawn to the "Julie doll" display.  (Each doll represents a time period.  Julie for example, is from the 1970's.  Explains the long hippie hair and 1970's genre clothing)
Then it was time to take the dolls to get their ears pierced.  Grace was a little nervous for Julie.  But the employees at the store make a big deal out of the ear piercing. They treat the dolls like they are real...
See?  This employee was so sweet.  It was obvious that she loved her job and wanted to make the experience memorable.  She took the dolls into the back room and brought them back a few moments later with pierced ears. 
We were told there was minimal crying. 
(on a side note:  Earl came home from work about a week after we had Julie's ears pierced and said "Do you know how they do that?  How they pierce those dolls ears?"  I said "No Earl...I don't.  How do they do it?"  "They pop off their heads.  And put on a new head.  A head with pierced ears."  I told him I thought that was a load of bull and that I didn't believe it for one second.  Plus...Julie's hair didn't look any better when she came didn't look like a new head.  It looked just as ratted and "loved" as it did before the piercing...Earl said his source was a guy he works with.  I think I said something about guys not knowing anything about dolls, but I can't say for sure...)
We were at the store for a while.  Partly because there was so much to see and partly because GrandTone told the girls they could pick out something for their dolls and she would buy it for them.  There was shopping to be done. 
I needed a bathroom break.
Look what I found in the bathroom.
 A doll holder.  No. joke.  These people...they think of everything.
 Grace shopped 'till she was about to drop. 
 Doesn't she look very metropolitan?
 Grace and Bailey Rose and all those bags.
There was a Panera Bread across from the American Girl store and we are not the type to turn down coffee and bagels.  Or any sort of food really. 
 My sweet Grace.  How did she get so big so fast?
 My big sister and her daughter (my niece) Bailey Rose.
Then we gave Grace the camera and asked her to take a picture of us.
 Life, as seen by a 5 year old.
Then she whirled around and snapped a picture of Bailey Rose.
 Interesting to see her perspective.  You forget that her view is a bit shorter...
In an attempt to get more of our heads in the picture, we then gave the camera to Bailey Rose....
There, that's better. :)
Then it was out into the mall to find a "Justice" store.
I just love this picture below.  These girls think their GrandTone can do absolutely anything.  They think she's magic.  And they love her passionately.
 While we were in "Justice", GrandTone and Grace found the "Mall Jump"!  They both came rushing into the store, asking if it was "okay to go jump?!?!?!?!"...I was shocked at first. The "Mall Jump" is a bungee cord, trampoline sort of apparatus.  It looks kinda scary.  And Grace is not very adventurous...this was totally out of her character.  But I am totally open to trying something once...or at least until you break a bone.  So I said "sure...why not?"
Grace was SO excited...look at her!  Up on her tip-toes...she could hardly contain herself.
Here she is...waiting her turn.  A ball of nerves and excitement. 
Bailey Rose decided to join in the fun too.  Here she is waiting to be hooked up to the harness. 
And then you they hook you up and you jump into oblivion for 7 minutes.  Which doesn't sound like a long time...but it me.  I know this because I may or may not have asked to go next.  And I may or may not have actually done a flip. No, you may not see the video.  But 7 minutes strapped into that harness can feel like an eternity...
So this is the part of the post I warned you about in my title....where I just stop blogging.   No closer.  Nothing.  Just "The end" to put on more layers in a desperate and futile attempt to get warm.