Monday, March 31, 2008

Religious Retreat

My family didn't really do Easter egg hunts when I was growing up. And we never decorated eggs. My parents used to be religiously practical, and practically speaking, children do not eat multi-colored egg salad sandwiches for three weeks in a row. So, no dying, no hunting.

But I married into a family full of adults who decorate eggs and hold an egg hunt competition. It's funny. It would probably be fun to participate, except that I am a miserable failure at egg hunting. I blame my childhood. Anyway, because Brad's family has this great tradition, we usually end up with them for Easter.

And that's what we did this year. Easter plus an entire week of fun time. And aside from Grace tossing her cookies on our way there, the 14 hour trip wasn't so bad. I'll probably have to spread out the travelog over the next couple of days. In the meantime, though, here are some pics to get my family off my back (that means you, Elliot!):

{My mother-in-law, Janna, made these dresses. Aren't they adorable? They have already worn them two Sundays in a row and will wear them again at least two more consecutive times after Conference. I'm a big fan.}

I have to mention here that while egg hunting is not my forte, decorating is a blast. And although I prefer colorful themes and sometimes egg animals, Brad amused himself with a religious theme this year. His eggs sported material worthy of your neighborhood Baptist reader-board sign with phrases such as: "Resurrection Rocks," and "Don't be dead, eat the Bread." He was attempting thoughtfulness. Not blasphemy. I promise.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Center Stage

The city of Carlsbad has approximately 3 pediatricians. You can't get in as a new patient unless you have a brand-new baby. (Which I, lucky me, happen to have.) With only three doctors and 30,000 people in town, the waiting room is always full. It also means that there are no buffer seats. Which happens to make me a little uncomfortable.

Anyway, like usual, before Claire's appointment today, the room was full. While we waited, Grace and another little girl played with a kitchen set. The other girl may have been bilingual because she kept saying words that Grace didn't understand. To which Grace would respond, "We don't say that word!"

And when the little girl wasn't listening, Grace scolded, "I'm talking to you!"

She taught the girl hand washing (warning her that the imaginary water was very hot), choreographed a dance, pointed out the Disney characters hanging on the wall, and ordered the little girl to get a tissue when she sneezed (I'm not raising a germ freak or anything).

I was afraid the room full of strangers would be annoyed with my wild offspring. But they seemed entertained. Many of them looked at me with a grin or a chuckle after a funny statement from Grace, as if we were sharing a private secret (as opposed to witnessing a very loud public spectacle).

Eventually the little girl's name was called and when the door closed, Grace put her hands on her hips and surveyed the crowd as if to ask "Well what am I going to do now?" And the mob of wait-ers chuckled.

She loved it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another Pseudo-American Holiday

My children are naturally unphotogenic. It's the only thing they got from me. Well, that and their mitochondria.

So they are not to be blamed entirely for today's miserably failed photoshoot.

I got up early today and dressed the girls in a gift from Grandma Betsy: "St. Patrick's Day 2008" t-shirts. They--my girls, that is--looked squishably cute. And then it occured to me that their outfits expire today. You just can't re-wear shirts that are specifically dated. I mean, how many times could my kids wear those clothes to playgroup without somebody coming up to me and saying, "Hey, Elise, I noticed your kids are still wearing those St. Patrick's Day shirts, and I also heard you spend like a hundred bucks a month on groceries... are you guys... okay?" Hmmm. Yeah. Not keeping the t-shirts. Time to get out the camera.

Anyway, like I said: the results are less than fabulous. My kids are cuter in person. Also, they do not pose. Nor do they smile at the same time. It's part of their much larger, evil, premortally-planned plot entitled "Driving Mommy Insane."

"Hey Cware, stop pushing me!"

"See, Cware, that's what happens when you push."

"Mommy, I don't like taking pictures."

This is possibly the weirdest smile I have ever seen from Grace.

Claire getting hungry.

Here Grace employs the famous "Mommy Photo Face."

A mediocre but well-behaved shot.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

He says they skip the kissing scenes.

This is Grace and her friend Trey.

They play Spiderman and Mary Jane.

Should I be nervous?

Monday, March 10, 2008


Grace beats me at Memory. Every time. Usually by only one pair, but I'm still getting beat by an almost three year old.

I think I would be a little embarrassed if I weren't bursting with pride.

[My husband insists that I make it clear that we don't actually watch Dora. Although we have enough Dora paraphernalia to argue otherwise. Thank you, Grandma Betsy.]

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A New Low

I just put Grace in front of the TV for an hour-long episode of Little Einsteins.

For her own safety.

Since my blood is boiling with impatience.

Following the advice of a friend, Brad and I decided dressing Grace in underwear. To let her have a few accidents. Learn how to avoid them. We started two days ago. After two days of accidents, four loads of laundry, peer-pressure ("Grace, don't you want to be like Trey, Gwen, Whitney, Danica, Halley, Zion, Addison...?"), and 20-or so practice runs, I was anticipating a successful potty trip. Soon. She was learning; she was close.

This morning, Grace and I were sitting at the table eating breakfast. She took a bite of Lucky Charms, looked up with a fleeting grimace, and announced, "I should go on the potty."

And suddenly our thank-goodness-it's-tile-now kitchen floor was wet. And it was nearing my toes as Grace smiled and took another bite of cereal.

I'm done.

She will be going to college in diapers.