Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cake Wrecks

I found a link to some pictures of the 12 Worst Cake Mistakes.  Sounded intriguing.

Turns out, this is actually a pretty popular blog called Cake Wrecks!  Some of you might already know all about it.  But it was new to me.  If you have a couple minutes and are in a place where you are free to laugh out loud, I would definintely check this blog out!

Here are couple samples, complete with captions, to give you a taste! (no pun intended)

Naked mohawk-baby carrot jockeys

Some cakes are just intentionally weird. The plastic clone babies wearing naught but mohawks are bad enough, but then they're also riding carrots. What do you do with that? It looks like some kind of perverted vegetable rodeo, or maybe a bizarre clone military exercise, what with their little plastic fists raised high in identical salutes.

Odd name
Aw, poor Adamwithblueflowers. Grade school musta been murder.

No sprinkles for you.
Unfortunately, no actual sprinkles were used in the decorating of this graduation cake.

Double trouble
Clearly, this is not what the customer had in mind.

Wedding crasher
This is a wedding cake, for someone's actual wedding. And this was the cake -- which they had to eat -- on their wedding day.

Photo fail
Someone -- either the customer or the decorator -- felt that sexual harassment needed to be illustrated. The decorator can't be expected to be Picasso or anything, but check out how far the girl's feet are off the ground. Was that the spank heard 'round the world?

The pictures are great, but I think her commentary about each picture is what really kills me!  Especially about the carrot jockey mohawk babies and the sexual harrassment I said, glad I had somewhere that it was safe to laugh out loud!

-Grace's Mom
*Pictures and italicized content propery of Cake Wrecks via

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

List: Foods I pretend to be allergic to.

Sometimes, instead of telling someone you don't like what they have made, it's just easier to tell a little fib.  So if anyone asks, here is my list of "allergies."

1.  Onions.  Bleh.  And my hubby is from Walla Walla.  Yes, this was almost a deal-breaker for him and his family, who eat Walla Walla Sweet Onions like apples.
I once returned a bean burrito to Taco Bell because I ordered it without onions, and they put onions in it.  I actually went off on the guy and told him that I'm SUPER allergic to onions and that he could have killed me!

2.  Peas.  So, so gross.


3.  Seafood.  It's a smell and a texture thing.  When I was pregnant I craved some salmon.  My dad bbq'd one for me with lemon.  I took two bites, and then couldn't eat any more.  It's just not my thing.

Always fresh! Always unappetizing!

4.  Spicy food.  I struggle with mild salsa and heavy pepper.  You get much hotter than that, and it's a no-go for me.  I'm "allergic" to anything with too much spice.

This is as close as I can get to a hot wing!

5.  Mushrooms.

Okay, I realize these are probably not mushrooms that one would eat, but all mushrooms look this unappatizing to me!

6.  Several other vegetables:  artichoke, beets, brussel sprouts, squash.  Unfortunately, I'm "allergic" to all of them.

Essentially, ALL vegetables.

7.  Nuts.  Even peanuts and yes, that include peanut butter.

8.  Corned beef.  Oh, and add cabbage to my list of veggies I'm "allergic" to, too, please.

Every year on St. Patrick's Day, my mom lectures me about how I used to love corned beef and cabbage, and I argue that I NEVER enjoyed this meal.  The point is moot, anyway, because I don't like it now!

9.  Milk.  I would tell people I'm lactose intolerant, but that might become suspect when they see me eating ice cream out of the tub.  So I just tell them I'm "allergic" to milk.  I might as well be - I gag just thinking about drinking it.  Or, worse yet, my hubby drinking it in bed with toast like he does so often...and he slurps!  But that's a different list...Things the Hubby Does to Drive Me NUTS!


10.  Mustard.  One of my earliest childhood memories is eating mustard out of a bowl, and I haven't been able to eat it since.  My mom swears I never did that, but I remember it.  At least I think I do.
The worst is when McD's forgets that I said, "Ketchup only" and they RUIN my cheeseburger with mustard.  The onions (which also ruins a burger) I can pick off.  The mustard...that blasted mustard soaks in to the bun and it's impossible to remove!

So, I think you all might now know something about me that you wouldn't have otherwise known...I have the same diet as most 4 and 5 year olds.  As a matter of fact, my daughter is better about eating her veggies than I am.  And I'm so glad she gets her servings of veggies at school every day because I am certainly not preparing them and making her eat them!

Now, don't get me wrong, I eat plenty of carrots and corn and broccoli!  But that's about it.

I'm pathetic, I know.

Bloggy Book Exchange!

My books are here!

Actually, they got here a little while ago, but that was in the midst of my Birthday Extravaganza Week and so I was a little MIA from the blog world...and work...and anything that wasn't Grace/Hubby/Family FUN!

So, if you have no idea what the frack I'm talkin' about, read about the Seven Clown Circus Book Exchange here.

I was absolutely thrilled to get my package!

Doesn't look too bad for coming all the way from Florida, does it?

And here is what my package contained:


Knowing my love of Twilight, Erin was kind enough to pass on two Sookie St. James novels!  I haven't read any of these, but I have watched a little bit of True Blood and I'm very interested to read the books!  Then, she threw in Mirror Mirror, written by the author of Wicked.  My question is, is this book a sequel?  I haven't read Wicked, but I want to.  Should I read it first or am I safe to read Mirror Mirror?

And finally Erin sent The DaVinci Code.  Now, I did read this long, long ago.  But I lost my copy, and my hubby hasn't read it and I think he would really enjoy it!

Overall, I think the book exchange was a huge success.

Thanks Erin!

And thanks, Angie, for organizing!

-Grace's Mom

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lunch with Naomi. Judd, that is.

A few weeks ago I had a very interesting day.

I am very fortunate to work for the TV station that is the media sponsor for the Town Hall Lecture Series, and every year the series brings four guest speakers to our town to speak.  I usually get to go to one, and I always choose the most well-known person on the list.  Last year was absolutely amazing - I got to listen to Lisa Ling.  I have been a fan of hers since I was in high school and she was on Channel 1.  Then, of course, she had her stint on The View.  And now she does a National Geographic show.  She is an amazing woman, and she gave a very thought-provoking and powerful lecture.

The brochure that has been on my bulletin board since last August!

This year, I chose to see Naomi Judd.  Typically, I go with my manager who is a very wonderful woman.  We always have a good time together and I really look up to her.  However, she was going to be stuck in meetings all day when Naomi was going to be here.  Her boss, Larry, knew she was upset about that, and so he asked her if he could take me to Town Hall.

This is how the politics in my office work:  When the big boss knows that my manager is mad at him, he is nicer to me because he knows she will see and appreciate that more than if he did something nice for her.  If he did something nice for her, she might say he is just sucking up.  If he does something nice for me, well then it's more genuine.  We're weird, but I'll take it.

Anyway, Larry emailed me and asked if I would like to go with him to the lecture, and then have lunch.  I'm thinkin' Naomi and then Olive Garden?  Sweet.

We left the office around 10:30a, and I offered to drive us in my PT Cruiser (which is filthy dirty) but Larry said he would go ahead and drive us in his Caddilac.  Well, since he insisted...

We got to the lecture a little bit late and had to sit up in the balcony, and we sat behind a guy who was CLEARLY Naomi Judd's biggest fan.  Every time she would look our direction, he would wave at her.  Needless to say, Naomi's eyes avoided our part of the balcony for most of the lecture.

I have to say, this was not the most interesting lecture I have ever been to.  She seemed a little scattered and didn't have a clear, concise message.  But this is not to say that I didn't get anything out of her story.

One thing she said that I actually wrote down was, "In life, you get the test first, the lesson later."

She talked about her two big lessons, the first was getting pregnant when she was 17 years old and then, nine months later, giving birth to her daughter on her high school graduation night.  The second test was when she found herself in an abusive relationship with an ex-con, living in a junky apartment with two baby girls, and watching him shoot heroine before he beat her up and raped her.

Naomi says, "It's not what happens to you, it's what you choose to do with it."

She chose to move back to Kentucky and become an RN.  To this day, Naomi is very interested in medicine and biology, especially neurology.  As many of you know, she is also a Hep C survivor.  She was diagnosed in 1990 and was given three years to live.

So, after the lecture I asked Larry where we were going for lunch, and he gave me the name of a hotel that often hosts events.  I thought that was kind of weird, but who am I to argue with a free lunch?

We got to the hotel and there were tons of people there.  I realized this was where they had the speaker luncheon after the lecture, and wondered if Naomi would be there.  We were told that we were sitting at the head table, table four.  Shouldn't the head table be table one?  Oh well.

We found our seats at the front and center table, and I was very impressed to see that Naomi was sitting next to Larry, and I was sitting on the other side of Larry.  But then, Larry picked up our place cards and said, "Isn't your birthday coming up?" and he switched them so that I was sitting next to Naomi Judd!

The first thing that ran through my mind was, "I have to blog about this."  The next thing I thought was, "I hope I have decent-enough table manners!"  I would hate to be called out by Naomi Judd for taking too big of bites or having my elbows on the table.

Naomi made her grand entrance a little while later, and sat right down next to me.  We all introduced ourselves, and told her where we were from.  I was the only one born and raised here.  That didn't seem to interest her much.  She asked for some iced tea, but our table had already drank most of it, so when she was pouring all the ice spilled out and went all over her salad!  She got a good chuckle out of that, as the other folks at our table frantically searched for a fresh pitcher of iced tea for Naomi!  Someone finally found a full pitcher at another table and confiscated it.

Then, Naomi directed her attention toward one gal at our table who said that she was originally from Salt Lake City.  Naomi asked her if she was Mormon.  The gal said that her family was, but that she left the church when she was about thirteen.  Then, Naomi asked, "Can I ask you something?  Why don't the Mormon's allow blacks in their church?"  Wow.

The poor gal looked a combination of embarrassed, confused and scared.  I probably had a similar expression.

Naomi continued, "I've been to Salt Lake.  I've been to the Tabernacle.  And they don't allow blacks and women are completely subordinate.  Can you tell me why that is?"

The gal said, "Well, I left the church when I was young, but I don't think that's the case."

A gentleman at our table who is the editor of our newspaper came to her rescue and gave a light explanation of the Mormon Prophets and how all religions evolve and the Mormon faith is no different and how he really didn't think that blacks weren't allowed in the Mormon church anymore.

At this point, I am absolutely beside myself.  I kind of thought it was an unspoken understanding that you don't talk about religion and politics with friends or strangers.  I am here to tell you, Naomi Judd doesn't care.

Then she asked the entire table, "Have any of you studied the Muslim faith?"  Oh we go.

We all said no, and then someone asked her if she had.  She made a very pecular face, and then as she was about to explain, she was called up to do her Q&A session for the group.

Larry was really bummed.  He said that was the ultimate cliffhanger, and that he was dying to know what she thought of the Muslim faith.  I, on the other hand, was not.  I had a feeling her opinion was not complimentary, and I was rather put-off by the whole discussion.  This is why you don't talk about these things - especially not at a luncheon with a bunch of strangers!

Anyway, the Q&A was also pretty disappointing because one of the first questions was about some brain activity thing, and Naomi went off naming doctors that she's studied with and different areas of the brain she has studied and then talked about how positive thoughts are how she was cured from Hep C.  I had checked out by this point.

But, before we left, I snapped one picture of our placecards, just to prove that it really happened.  I wasn't about to ask that looney tune for a picture of the two of us, but it was an experience I will probably never forget!

I had to photoshop my placecard for blog purposes, but trust me, that card has my name on it!

-Grace's Mom

Monday, March 22, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm Lovin' It Friday!

It's here.  It's finally here.  Friday.  And thus, my first official I'm Lovin' It Friday post.

I feel like there should be a moment of silence or some fireworks or something.

But I'm weird like that.  So, what am I lovin' right now?

The Celebrity Apprentice.

It just started last week, and I have requested that my mom record it on Sunday night and that she cook me dinner and I come over and watch it after work on Mondays.  Should I be scheduled to work on Monday, I might just watch it live Sunday night.

I have loved this show since it first began!  I love so many things about it:  The cool tasks, The Donald, George and Carolyn and now Don and Ivanka (how classy is that broad?!?), the crazy team dynamics, ALL OF IT!

The lovely Ivanka Trump

The dashing Don Trump.

The Celebrity Apprentice is a really interesting concept, but I don't like it quite as much.  I feel like the celebrities could completely blow off the task, but hit their rich friends up for cash and win.  I haven't seen too many instances of that, but I think it could totally happen.

And last season, I was totally on Team Rivers.  That Annie Duke can rot in Hell.  Okay, I don't hate her that much, but I was VERY pleased that Joan kicked her little lying ass.  Oops!  I mean hiney.

This season, I'm really lovin' me some Brett Micheals.  I've always liked Brett, I'm a Rock of Love fan, as well as a Poison fan.  I think he just keeps it real.  He's not trying to be anything he's not - he knows who he is, what his fans think of him, and he owns it.

The other men are all pretty cool, with the exception of Rod Blagojovich.  That man is absolute scum and I hate the thought of giving in to his attempts to sway the public opinion of him by appearing on prime time television.  I really, really dislike him.  I think he's slimey.

The women are an interesting bunch.  Cindy Lauper and of course Sharon Osbourne are the power players - simply because they are easily recognized.  But they've got some lesser-known women who, I have a feeling, we might want to keep an eye on.  Sommer Sanders is too stinkin' cute - I remember her hosting all kinds of kid's shows on Nickelodeon and stuff.  She has a little experience in just about everything...I think she could be a force.

Anyway, I don't want to give away any spoilers because we're only 1 episode in and you can totally watch it at NBC and catch up and be all set to go at 9p on Sunday!  I can't wait!!

-Grace's Mom

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Foreign Object

What is this foreign object on my. desk?!

Sad story...the Diet Cokes are 20 oz bottles in our vending machine, thus costing $1.00. The Diet Pepsis are only 12 oz cans, and therefore only cost $.60.

Your's Truly could only find $.65 at the bottom of her handbag.

When are they going to make vending machines that take debit cards?!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

List: Things I HATE Spending Money On!

1.  Gas.  It's expensive, and I spend a lot of money on it.  I don't like buying it and I put it off as long as possible.  It smells, the pump has a million germs on it, and it's just so damn annoying.

Tell me about it.

2.  Razor blades.  Again, very expensive.  How do they get away with charging you $12 for four of them?!  Sometimes I want to buy cheap razors, but then I will need expensive shaving cream.  I buy the razors that have the cream built in to them.  They aren't that fancy, though.

Sorry Grace, you won't be going to college because mommy has spent all her savings on razor blades!

3.  Movies.  $9 to sit in a theater that is always cold, the seats are uncomfortable and it never fails that your movie-watching-experience will be interrupted by a cell phone or screaming baby?  No thank you.

They make them look all nice and inviting on the outside, but inside?  Pure hell.

4.  Anything having to do with car repair or maintenance.  I don't understand what's wrong or why things need to be maintained, it never costs what the repair person estimates, and it's dumb and I hate it.

5.  Co-pays.  I already pay and arm-and-a-leg, but they want $20-$35 just to let me in the door?  Puh-lease!

6.  Parking.  I'm a country girl, so paying for parking is not second nature for me and I strongly dislike it.

I hate you!

7.  Mailing things.  I also think this can be pretty expensive - especially shipping things.  And shipping and handling!  The friend that had the baby shower recently?  Well, I ended up not being able to go.  Not only did I have to pay $15 to ship her present, but I also bought her a couple small things from Babies 'R Us and they charged me another $25 to ship it!  That's more than half of what the purchase total was!!  Highway robbery, and I hate it.

8.  Free Credit Reports.  Like, from  Yes, I know there are other places you can actually get a free credit report, but I think it's really obnoxious that FREE is in their title, yet they charge a monthly fee.  And of course I forgot to cancel my account in time, so I got charged the $14.95.  And, get this!  When I called to cancel, they put me on hold for 20 minutes and then told me their system was down and they wouldn't be able to cancel my account, and asked me to call back later!!  Are you effing kidding me?!

9.  Child care.  If you met my daughter, you would understand why it's fair for me to think that her childcare providers should really be paying me to watch her.  She is an angel, and makes the lives of those around her, better.  It's as simple as that.

10.  Olive Oil and Chicken.  I'm lumping these together because I don't want my list to consist of $11 things, and I have pretty much the same thing to say about each of them.  They are kind of spendy, and I use a ton of them.  These are two things I always need in my kitchen, but don't like the dent they make in my wallet.

Why do I need you both, so, so much?

-Grace's Mom

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baking with Grace

The other night, I finally decided to bake the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I purchased a few weeks ago.

I'm not really a "from scratch" kind of girl.

I'm a "rip open the bag" kind of girl.

I did have to soften a stick of butter and crack an egg, so it's not like I didn't do ANYTHING.  But I just LOVE those Betty Crocker bags of cookies and brownies!  They are so easy and are the perfect size!

The first thing I had to do, when baking cookies with Grace, was take a picture of her!

See how her foot is blurry?  Whenever her feet can't reach the floor, she swings them.  One of the many little mannerisms I love about Grace!

Next, and this might irritate some of you, I had to take a picture of my BEAUTIFUL KitchenAid mixer which I totally don't deserve! 

Mmmm...cookie dough...

And finally, I had to take a picture of the two of us, because around the time I was scooping the dough on to the baking stone, Grace decided the temptation to STAND on the counter was too much to bare, and I had to put her on the floor which meant that mommy-daughter-baking-time was over.

Awww!  We're so cute!

I didn't get a picture of eating the cookies because it got a little messy...Grace and I both love warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!  As a matter of fact, Grace sat on my lap as we ate our cookies, and she finished hers first.  I had a little corner left in my hand, and Grace was certain that I had been saving that piece for her, so she just took it right out of my hand and popped it in her mouth!  Then, face covered in chocolate and cookie crumbs, she turned to me to give me a hug and smeared her face on my t-shirt, then followed it up with a kiss.

I love my daughter.

-Grace's Mom

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ha ha! Hahahahahaha! poor hubby.

We were late on the Twilight train.  We rented the movie on Netflix, and sat down one Friday night last Summer to watch it.  As soon as the movie was over, I turned to my husband and said, "I kind of want to watch it again!"  He left the room, and I re-started it.

And so my obsession with Twilight began.  I won't go in to the full story now, but...
 Me, Cousin Tena and Cousin Pony Girl on our trip to Forks last October.  In our defense, Cousin Tena and Cousin Pony Girl used to live there!

I think that says it all.

I have to give my hubby some credit, he totally humors me.  He doesn't love the movies - he liked Twilight better than he liked New Moon, but he understood why I wanted to sit by my BFF and made him sit by her boyfriend.  He pretends to feign interest whenever I talk about the super-delicious Rob Pattinson.  And he stays perfectly quiet when he comes home to find me watching my special edition Twilight dvd for the 9,000th time.  He even lets me keep bot the Twilight and New Moon soundtracks in CD slots 1 and 2 in the Jeep!  But, every time he is in the car without me he changes the cd.

Anyway, I called my hubby today and our conversation went something like this:

Me:  Honey, I just wanted to ask you, because I think New Moon is coming out on DVD this week - it might have even been today - if I should get it on BlueRay or DVD?

Hubby:  It comes out at midnight on Friday.

Me:  How did you know that?

Hubby:  I don't know.  But it's going to be at least a month before we have a blueray, so just get it on DVD.  I don't want to hear you weeping at night because you can't watch it.

Me:  Seriously, how did you know it comes out at midnight on Friday?

Hubby:  I don't know.

Me:  Okay, I'll get it at Costco on Saturday.

Hubby:  Yes dear.

I love my man!

Worst Blogger Ever.

So, I was one of the first bloggers to sign up (number 5, to be exact!) to participate in the Seven Clown Circus Book Exchange, and I was probably one of the LAST bloggers to actually send my books!

It was a neat idea - Angie at SCC asked for those interested to sign up, and then she emailed us individually to get our mailing addresses and to let her know what kinds of books we liked to read.  Then, a few weeks later she sent us the name and email address of a fellow blogger that we were to send four books to.

I got Erin from Days of DiCarolis who lives in Florida!  SO exciting!  It's like having a pen-pal!

Erin was very quick to make contact with me, commenting on one of my posts.  But this is where my new title of Worst Blogger Ever begins to be earned.

I didn't make any contact!  I didn't do anything!  I kind of thought about what books I could send, but I didn't pull them off the shelf or anything!

So then, caught up in my own little whirlwind of craziness, I let the two-week timecap totally escape me.  Before I know it, I get an email from Angie saying something like, "Okay, everyone should have sent out their books and next week I'll be putting up a McLinky so we can see what everyone got!"


I mean sugar!

So today, I stopped making excuses and on my way out the door, I grabbed the four books I had been considering.  I didn't stop to think, "Well, I might want to read this again..." or "I really like having this one on my shelf because it's so colorful..." or "This is my only 'smart person' book!"  I just did it.

Then, I waited until after the lunch hour when I knew the post office would be packed, but before school was out and raced down to the post office and sent Erin's books on their way!  I hope they have a happy life in Florida.

Here is a sneak peek of what I sent:

And here is the SUPER cute mailing label I made and note I wrote to Erin:

And here is the reward I got myself on the way back to work from the post office:

This was such a cool idea, Angie!  I hope I didn't ruin everything!

Friday, March 12, 2010

"I'm Lovin' It" Fridays!

Tidy Mom is hosting a fabulous link up party on Friday 3/19!  I can hardly wait to take part in this one!  I have been lacking a little blogging motivation lately...I haven't even done a list in eons!  That's when you KNOW things are crazy!

Anyway, even though the link-up party isn't until next week, I have to say I'M LOVIN' THIS IDEA! 

Here are the details:

"I'm Lovin' It"

Post about anything you are loving right now!

a craft project,

a recipe,

a new product,

a picture you took,

your children,

another blog you found

.......really ANYTHING that you are currently LOVING!


What do you think? Sound fun?

Um, yeah it sounds fun!  I just hope I can find things I love besides my daughter and my Starbucks!

-Grace's Mom

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the Oscar (award competition button) goes to...

...Saddle Mountain Rider at Middle of the Road!

She somehow managed to predict 13 of the 24 categories correctly!

I have to toot my own horn, a little.  I got 12 right.  In case you missed it, it was a great show last night.  I really enjoyed Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, along with all the people who gave Meryl Streep a hard time.  It's obvious she has quite a sense of humor!

If you are looking for a complete list of winners, you can find it here.

Congrats SMR, your $5 Starbucks card is in the mail, and your "Winner!" button will be delivered via email!

And thank you, everyone, who entered my first blog competition.  It was a huge success!

-Grace's Mom

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Last Chance to Win the Oscars Competition!

Don't forget, the entry deadline to enter my Oscar Awards Competition is today at 5 pm (pt) - or, in other words, when the oscars start.

Click the icon on my sidebar for more details!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Grace's First Day of "School"

This post has taken me almost a week to put together...I apologize for the delay, but this mom is having a hard time coming to terms with having a Big Girl!

Our morning started bright and early.  Scratch that, it was dark and early.  Very, very early.

Grace woke up at about 4:15 a.m., bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for her first day of school!  She never does this, she never wakes up in the middle of the night.  So I went in to her room and very nicely told her that it was too early to start getting ready and that it was still night time, and laid her back down and told her that Mommy would not forget to wake her up for school.

I got up at 6:15 and jumped in the shower.  As soon as I was out, I heard Grace doing her morning coyote howl, so I plucked her out of bed and threw her in the tub.  This is a new routine for her, but she likes it.  She used to take night time baths, but Mommy gets off work too late, plus we need to keep that hair under control and it's easier to do right after a bath.

I'm sure you can't imagine why we need a bath to get Grace's hair under control...

Soaking in the tub before school!

At 6:45 Grace was out of the tub and in a diaper, and I was done with my hair and makeup.  I got Grace dressed in her outfit that we had picked out the night before, then I propped her on the counter and she brushed her teeth while I did her hair.  Pig tails.  So darling, but the little hairs on the back of her head just aren't quite long enough, especially once her hair dries!

Then Mommy had to get dressed, and I did not pick out my outfit the night prior, so Grace sat on the floor and watched Friends and ate a fruit cup while Mommy tried to piece something together.  My outift, although decent, was not as cute as Grace's.

Delicious fruit cup.


7:15, I feel like I'm forgetting something.  I've been trying to throw an extra outfit in the bag to send to school, but nothing seems to match.  Do I need extra socks?  Probably not.  Will the shoes she's wearing with outfit 1 look okay with outfit 2?  Where are the diapers?  Oh yeah, already in the car.  Should she take juice?  I'll grab her some juice.  Where is her blanket?  Did I already grab socks?

Then I remember that I promised Nana we would take First Day of "School" pictures.  I grab Grace's chair and a book, ask her to sit in her seat and look at her book, and snap a couple of pics.  Then I do one with the blackberry to send to Dad, and then I grabbed everything/everyone and headed out the door.

First Day of School Official Pictures

Mom, can we go to school now?!

We are finally out the door at 7:35, supposed to be at school at 7:45, and it's a 45 minute drive.  I call them and tell them I will be late - closer to 8:15.

In the car, we have a grand ol' time singing along to the radio.  I think Grace will be just like her mom - my car is my own personal recording studio!

Sweet girl looks a little anxious.

We roll in to school at 8:10 (sweet!  5 minutes earlier than I guestimated!)

The teacher shows me where I sign in, and I give her some of the paperwork they have been waiting for.  I take Grace back to her classroom where there are 4 other 12-24 month old babies playing around with different toys, stuffed animals, and foam-climby-things.  One little girl was especially friendly and came right up to greet Grace.

Grace was friendly, but not too excited about interacting with the other kids.  She wanted to be off discovering her own things!

I stuck around for about an hour.  Two babies cried for most of that time.  Grace was not one of them.  She was very courteous and careful when playing with toys and children.  She tried to cheer one of the crying children up by giving him a toy.  It didn't work, and I could have sworn I heard Grace, "Well, to hell with you then."  Because that's what I was about to say.

I left right around breakfast time, and when the teacher said it was breakfast time, one small, sweet little girl made her way over to a table with little chairs all around it.  Grace saw that and was intrigued.  She LOVES chairs!  So Grace went and found a chair and crawled in it all by herself, and starting swinging her legs and tapping for the table, obviously excited to see what would happen next.  I gave her a kiss and told her I was leaving, and she waved at me and said, "Buh buh."  As I made my way out of her room, she turned in her chair and then stood up on it to wave at me and yell, "Buh buh!  Buh buh!"  The teacher had to correct her; we do not stand on chairs, Grace.  So sweet.

I came back when I knew the kids would be up from their naps to check in on her.  She had taken a really good nap (surprising, considering the circumstances, but very reassuring) and the teacher was impressed that Grace grabbed her pacifier, her blanket, and put herself to sleep.  (Thank you, Babywise!)

The kids were having a snack when I arrived, and Grace seemed to be fitting in just fine, although she was in the dreaded, unmatching outfit when I got there, and her hair looked ridiculous.  The teacher told me Grace had a really fun time outside, was a little sad sometime that morning because several other kids were having some issues and she probably just got overwhelmed, but was doing really, really well.

Grace wanted me to hold her for a while when I was there, but then I put her down and encouraged her to show me things that she liked.  I try to really encourage Grace to be independant.  As much as I love it when she needs me, that is really selfish.  It's great to feel wanted, but it's even better to see Grace discovering things on her own and interacting with other kids, even though I am there.

The teacher got all the kids cleaned up and then got coats and shoes on them, and said, "Okay, line up at the door!"  I watched this little group of 1-year-olds herd around the door and, was amazed to watch Grace just follow suit!  When did she get so smart?  Baby Genius, I'm telling you.

Then, they opened the doors and I watched as the little tots just filed out the door and through the preschool to the outside area.

I had held it together pretty well until that point.  That got me a little choked up.  My little girl, walking in line, in her school.

I headed back to work feeling pretty good about how Grace was doing.  At 5p, I headed to my second job.  I hadn't been on the floor at Eddie Bauer longer than an hour when I got a call from my husband.  He said the school was trying to get a hold of me and that Grace was sick and they needed me to pick her up within the hour.


So, my wonderful manager at Eddie Bauer got right on the phone and found someone who could come in and cover for me.  But it took that girl at least 30 minutes to get to the store.  That's 30 minutes of hell when you're not quite sure what's going on with your baby!

I finally got to Grace's school around 6:45p, and I found her running around with one sock on (apparently she took one off to chew on - not the most Baby Genius thing I've ever seen her do) and having a ball.  She finally figured out those foam steps and was having so much fun climbing on them and carrying toys up them and then climbing down and chasing other kids and being a baby.  I looked at the night-shift girls and said, "Uh, does she look sick to you?"

Apparently, she had had three loose stools throughout the day, and a temperature of 100.  I told them in advance that she is teething and that she has been having some gnarly diapers, but I guess it's a state regulation that if the baby has three loose stools and a temp, they have to send them home?

So I packed up a VERY reluctant Grace.  She had no interest in leaving with me when she had just figured out how fun this place was!  I decided we had time to make a much-needed trip to Target, and we spent about an hour strolling around and looking at different things.

I kept Grace out longer than I meant to, and when I got her in the car at 8:30p she was MORE than ready to hit the hay.  She slept all the way home, and then didn't wake up until it was time to go this morning at 7a.  And she still looked tired when she got to Nanny's!

Tomorrow is day 2 at school.  I am hoping her teeth won't cause us many more issues.

All-in-all, I think day 1 was a huge success.  I am so proud of my little girl - she is so smart and brave and is growing up to be a wonderful little person.

Also, the hubby comes home tomorrow night!  Hooray!  He gets to spend the weekend with Grace as I am working on Saturday and have our last volleyball tournament on Sunday.  I've kind of missed the kid...he's not a bad guy to have around.

Day 2 was a huge success, as was Day 3 and Grace is currently at school for Day 4.  Each time, she is less bothered by me leaving and more bothered by me picking her up and taking her away from all of her new friends and super fun toys!