Saturday, July 31, 2010

Early Morning Playtime

It's been so great having Brad home this past month. We go for family walks, we eat meals together, and hang out together, plus he's getting to see her grow and change so much.

While we get to spend more time together, we've also worked out a balance that lets us both enjoy Gracie time and a little leisurely sleep in.... We just alternate days of getting up with Gracie. Since she thinks sleeping in past 7 am is a waste of day, and neither of us would turn away a few extra minutes in bed, it works out well.

These are some pictures I took on one of my mornings with Gracie.

And a video of her playing, problem is, she loves the camera. She kind of stops playing and just wants to figure out what I'm doing when it comes out now. If you're paying attention, you'll see all four teeth:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Splashing in the Pool

Unfortunately, we got rained out a few times, but we did enjoy some time splashing in Gracie's little pool, yesterday.

Can't even trust the +31 C days to pass without rain, this summer.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Gracie is loving the bike Great Grandma and Grandpa Sackett gave her. If only we had a longer runway for her.....

She's taking a few steps between Brad and I by herself, but mostly just likes to crawl or walk with us or the bike.

She can also crawl up a whole flight of stairs by herself.... super....

She's eating really good by herself, but insists on eating only foods that she can feed herself. A little messy, but she's independant and that's all right with me.

And, her new best friend, Giraffe. They're finally about the same size, so she can wrestle with him and dog pile and play peak, it's a very fun toy! Thanks Auntie Brandi and Uncle Curtis for this guy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ten months old

Actually, last monday she was ten months old, but we took her to the doctor this morning (for a cough that just won't go away) and got her weight for all of you keeping track.

She is 19 pounds 4 ounces. She only gained two and a half ounces last month, but she's stretching out and changing so much now, it seems like it would've been more.

I really found nine months to be a turning point. Suddenly she is learning things faster than you can imagine and watching you so close. She really picks up on things now.

Brad just got back from the 24 hours of adrenaline, a mountain bike race in Canmore. His team did really good, even though they formed their team four days before the race and only had three riders instead of the usual five.

Brad got four laps of the 17.4 km track in, including two laps between midnight and 3 am. Yuck! A few spills on these late night laps sidelined him, but their team ended up with 15 laps in 24 hours. Sounds like punishment, but he loved it.

Great work, guys!

Movies, anyone?

I know, you're wondering why I'm not out enjoying the sunshine. How come you have so much time for books, and now movies?

Well, Gracie goes to bed at 8 pm and we're pretty much tethered to the house or the yard, and since we've been getting big dumps of rain in the evenings here all spring/summer, I have lots of housebound time.

Anyway, if you're a shut-in like me, you might enjoy this deal from Blockbuster. For $10 a month, you can rent as many movies as you want, within thirty days. There's no return-by dates, either, if you want, you could keep one movie all month. They can't be 'new release', but we hardly saw any movies when we were in Lake Louise, so we haven't seen any of these older ones, anyway.

It's nice for us, because there's a blockbuster nearby, so we've gotten to see a few good shows for cheap.

Anyway, just thought I'd share. This might be nice for the winter months, too, when you actually want to be inside in the evening.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A New Look

Like the changes? I thought it was time to freshen things up a bit around here. Since we've had such a wet summer so far, I thought a wet blog background was appropriate.

I tried not to change any of the navigational aspects of the blog, so hopefully, you can still find your way around.

A quick plea for votes, if you have a few minutes, check this out:

A few people from the community where I grew up nominated one of our neighbours, Day Lenfesty, in a UFA/Paul Brandt contest as a "small town hero" because of his unending work for the HandHill Community.

If you would like to vote for him go to and click on search by name - Day Lenfesty. You can then read his story and vote. Please spread the word. Day is really is a hero for our community. Thanks.

And, because you've been patient, here's another little movie of Miss Gracie. Brad taught her a new noise and she's been stuck on repeat a little the past few days.

This is just before bed, when she's debating falling asleep on the floor, but still refuses to stop with the noise... even though she's almost too tired to make it anymore. The noise usually sounds like 'la-dal-la-dal-la-dal-la.' :)

As I'm writing this, I'm wondering whether anyone besides the grandparents will be reading this anymore.... This is probably not interesting to anyone else....

Friday, July 23, 2010

More Book Ideas

Are you all members of your local library? This may sound cheesy, but I love the library! I look up books on this site and then order them from the edmonton public library site and they show up at the library just down the street from me in no time. I keep a constant stream of books on my nightstand, and it costs $10 a year. What a deal.

If you're looking for some ideas, here are a few I've read recently:

For the scrapbooker:

52 More Scrapbooking Challenges
By Kartchner, Elizabeth

I really am enjoying this book. It's full of ideas to challenge you and open you up to new creative outlets, plus the layouts are up-to-date and feature interesting techniques. A good book for a scrapbooker.

Sharing your Story
Recording Life's Details with Mini Books

This one was all right. There were a few interesting mini-books, but I found it to be a little dated (it's an older book, so that makes sense), but usually, even in an older book there's something that pops out at me. There weren't any ideas in here that made me run for a pen and paper to sketch them out.

If you like a little more soul-searching while you read:

The Walking People
By Keane, Mary Beth

Interesting read, it reminded me of Angela's Ashes, with similar references to growing up in impoverished Ireland. I was disappointed with the ending, though... I won't say more, in case you're reading it.

The Crying Tree
By Rakha, Naseem

It was a good read, eye-opening and heart-breaking.

Quick and easy reads:

When the Nines Roll over (and Other Stories)
By Benioff, David

I find that lately, I'm reading a lot of books or stories that don't seem to have an ending. Everything I've read of his seems to end right when things get interesting. I actually didn't make it through all of the stories in this collection, because of this.

Seven Year Switch
By Cook, Claire

This was a good, quick read with lots of travel references that made me want to go surfing in Costa Rica. Mmmm... wouldn't that be nice. A little escapism, plus a decent story make this a quick and easy read for the beach, or a rainy day, which is maybe more likely if you're in Alberta this summer.

Good ol' suspense:

The Empty Chair
By Deaver, Jeffery

I always enjoy Jeffrey Deaver's books. This is one of the Lincoln Rhymes series. Forensics, backwoods moonshine country, corrupt police..... a good suspense to keep you guessing. Did you watch the Bone Collector?? He wrote that, as well. Denzel Washington played the part of Lincoln Rhymes.

Ready for a little bit of the supernatural?

Her Fearful Symmetry
By Niffenegger, Audrey

Did I turn you off by mentioning supernatural?? It's a very tamed down twist on supernatural. Sort of an intriguing look at the possibility of life after death. Niffenegger wrote The Time Traveller's Wife, which was pretty successful 5-6 years ago, and was turned into a movie. If you liked that, you'll probably enjoy this.

I'd love to hear of good books you've read recently.... A good review goes a long way with me and as you can tell, I like to read all different kinds of books.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Clapping and Sharing Cheerios

If you can't tell from all of my posts, Brad and I are both ridiculously proud of Gracie and really do think she may be a genius. Obviously, we clap for her a little too often... Here's a video of her clapping for herself after she eats a cheerio. This are actually some older videos, from a few weeks ago. It's taking me more time than usual to get things up here.

And a video of her sharing...kind of....
Just a quick video of Gracie playing in the bath:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First Camping Trip

We took Gracie on her first camping trip last weekend and she did pretty good. The first night was a little rough. It was really cold and she couldn't sleep, but after a car ride, she did all right. The second night, she did much better.

It was a great weekend full of friends, family, food and fun. I think we'll definitely be out camping again. This was my brother's 30th birthday celebration and I think he enjoyed it, too. He seemed to be feeling pretty good, which was good. Brandi did an excellent job of arranging things and the campground was great for a group campout.

Fun fun fun!!

Birthday boy and Jada blowing out the candles:

Cutting the Cake:

Opening Presents:

Grams and Papa with Jada and Curtis:

The Dixie Chicks:

One of many wagon rides. This time, Gracie and Ella were the riders and Katelyn was the 'puller':

The campsite:

Some of the campers:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gracie's Growing Up

First off, she finally got two more teeth! She got her top two teeth last weekend, without much fuss, really. A bit crankier than usual, and a more sensitive gag reflex, but not too bad. She was a trooper!

Gracie is learning things so fast, now! I swear, at 9 months, she just started to comprehend everything. She can do something new each day. It's so fun to watch.

She's been able to clap, bump heads, and give high fives for quite awhile, but now, she can suddenly give low fives, pound it, and make it 'explode', and wave, plus she's learning new words daily and can drink from a juice box. Such a smartie!

And to prove how smart she is, here are some pictures of her squishing her face up against the gate. It cracks her up, and it looks hilarious.

She also plays peak-a-boo really well now. She doesn't even need a blankie or anything to cover her eyes. she just looks at the floor for a minute and then whips her head around to look at you and starts killing herself laughing.

Still no walking solo, but she's so close, it won't be long at all. I may need to invest in one of those little leashes...

We're home for about 5 minutes and then we're gone again, but I will post more when we get back. Sorry Grandparents, I know I've been bad at updating....

Here's a Helicopter Ride from Papa. It's blurry, but she just loves this game:

Here's a quick video of Gracie and Grams playing:

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Settling into a Routine

We're back from yet another trip to Lethbridge! Too much travelling!! Oh well, home for a few days and we had such a good visit with everyone and went to such a lovely wedding, the drive was worth it.

Brad has just started paternity leave, so we're settling into a bit of a routine, but have started out lazy... hopefully that picks up soon. We keep adding to our 'to-do' list, and have yet to check anything off.

That wouldn't have been a problem, because our summer was pretty wide open, until about four days ago. In that time, it has filled up immensely. Must leave time for work and a little 'nothing.' That never seems to happen in our household. One day we'll learn to say no and not fill up every weekend.... until then, we'll cram in as much as possible.

That's all I've got for today, I didn't take a single picture this past weekend, which is too bad. I'll have to get some copies. Hope you're all enjoying the weather.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Canada Day!!

Hope you are all enjoying Canada Day.

We celebrated both Canada Day and Brad's first day of paternity leave! It's going to be a fun summer at the Malacko's!

Here's a video of Gracie looking for that cute, little baby in the mirror: