Always Wright

Always Wright

Sunday, January 4, 2015

December Gradyisms

After my last post of Grady sayings from the previous six months I realized there was so much missing that I had forgotten, so I've been trying to do better at keeping track of the funny things Grady says. I started keeping a notepad hanging on my fridge that I can run to and write funny things down on right when they happen and it worked pretty well this past month. My goal is to write them on my blog every month so that they get recorded. Here are the Grady moments I captured from December:

One day at lunch Grady started spreading hummus on his cheeks and announced, "I'm making Santa!"

I was fixing my hair in the bathroom when Grady appeared in the doorway, gasped, and said, "Mommy! You are so handsome!"

He was playing with one of his trucks one day when Matthew and I overheard this little narrative: 
"Once there was a boy named Grady. He lived with his friend named Front Loader. They went in the woods and got ready to play in some dirt. Beep...beep...beep...beep.

Grady: "I told my father I want to have a snack."
Matthew: "Who is your father? Is it me?"
Grady: "No. It's Mommy."

After the choir performed a number at church one Sunday, Grady turned to me and exclaimed, "That was a good show!"

His breakfast prayer one morning started something like this: 
"Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for hearing my voice."

On Christmas morning he got a new digger truck. He drove his digger over to our toy grocery store and crashed into it, knocking the food in the store all over the floor. Then he said, "Uh-oh! Digger is being a naughty stinker! He needs to go to time-out." After putting the digger in a corner in the kitchen he said, "I will get the timer. When the timer beeps digger can come out of time-out."

Grady sleeps with this blue stuffed dog lovey that has a blanket for a body, which he named Blanket Puppy. One morning Matthew went in Grady's room to get him up and Grady said, "Oh, Daddy! I was just telling Blanket Puppy how handsome he looks in his pretty pink dress."  

The past two weeks in church (right after the sacrament was passed) Grady has said (loudly), "I need to take off my pants!"

For a week or two, every time Matthew would ask Grady, "What did you do today?" he would respond by quoting a page from the book Curious George Goes to the Beach (that we hadn't read for several weeks, I might add): "I learned a new game, I dug in the sand, and I made a new friend!"

One day Grady randomly turned to Matthew and said, "We don't eat people. We eat breakfast, wunch (lunch) and dinner." 

Me: "Goodnight, Grady."
Grady: "Mommy! I will hear a sound!"
Me: "What sound?"
Grady: "The sound of my dream about Heffalumps and Woozels."

We've had family visiting over the holidays who have been flying into town, so Grady has been really interested in airplanes and airports and people coming and going in them. He keeps telling us, "Someday when I get 'ittle' (little) like Vyet (Violet), I will be big enough to ride on the airplane."

I went into my bedroom this morning to get dressed. Grady followed me into the room then stopped, turned around and looked at the bedroom door. He walked over and closed it, then looked at me and said, "Day doo! (Thank you) Pershate it. (I appreciate it)

Today Matthew and the kids were in the chapel after church waiting for me to finish up some things. Matthew was playing some songs on the organ. Grady pretended to direct him for awhile, then wandered over to the microphone and said, " I bear my testimony."

Grady was eating lunch and I was over at the counter. I heard him bust up laughing and turned around to see him with a carrot in his nose. He said, "I'm Olaf!"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gradyisms From the Past Six Months

Having a two-year-old is hilarious and fun, mainly because of the things he says. Here are some of our favorites from the past six months or so that I want to write down so we don't ever forget them. (There are kind of a lot, so it's a long post)

Gradyisms from the Summer: (22-24 Months Old)

One morning during breakfast Grady said, "Mommy?" 
I said, "Yes?" 
And was immediately corrected with, "Yes, honey."

Mommy: This little piggy went to...
Grady: Market!
Mommy: This little piggy stayed...
Grady: Home!
Mommy: This little piggy had...
Grady: Chicken!

When we were on the phone or busy and he wanted our attention, he would do something naughty he knew he wasn't supposed to do (such as touch the computer or climb onto the kitchen table) and yell, "Time out!" with a devilish smile on his face. 

One night we ordered burgers and fries from Five Guys for dinner. We only got burgers for ourselves and were just going to share some fries with Grady, so I needed to find something else to feed him. While Matthew was picking up the food and bringing it home I said, kind of to Grady and kind of to myself, "Hmm...what else should you have for dinner? What goes with fries?" He answered, "Chepup!" (ketchup) 

He learned to climb into his high chair by himself this summer. Once he was finally up in the chair he would proudly exclaim, "self!"

During a long road trip, Matthew and I were tickling Grady in the car. After awhile we stopped. Grady said, "More tickle! First Daddy." So Daddy obediently tickled him. Then Grady looked at me and said, "Now Mommy turn."

Once in June when Grady was eating lunch we were talking about the textures of the food he was eating. I told him the apple was crunchy, the dried mango was chewy, the milk was creamy. Then he pointed to his cheese and said, "Cheese chewy?" I told him no, cheese is soft. He looked down at his cheese, stroked it gently and said, "Cheese soft." 
(I can only guess this comes from us always telling him to "be soft" with babies, puppies, etc.)

We were at Grandma and Grandpa's house in North Dakota having dinner. Grady's cousin, Ruby, was upset and didn't want to get in the high chair, I think. A few people were trying to calm her down and distract her. One of them asked her, "Where's baby Sherman?" (referring to her little brother). Grady glanced up from his food, saw the baby swaddled and laying on a blanket on the floor in the next room and replied, "Ground." Then promptly went back to eating.

The first day we arrived in North Dakota, Grandpa and Matthew and the dog, Titan, were alone in the house with Grady for awhile while Grandma and I went to the store. After awhile, Grady came running up to them shouting, "Titan! Choca chips!" Puzzled, they asked Grady what he meant and followed him upstairs to discover that he had poured Titan's chocolate chips (dog food) into his water. 

Gradyisms of the Fall (24-28 Months Old)

I was using a heating pad for my back while I was pregnant. Grady found it on the floor one day and started dragging it around by the cord saying, "I'm flying a kite!"

My mom (Coco) was here visiting in August. I was sick with a cold, so she took Grady to the park to let me rest. When they got home I was asleep. Apparently Grady was concerned that my mom wouldn't know his routine, so he told her, "Grady hungry. Grady tired. Milk, lunch, crib." 

One day I was I was in the bathroom when I heard knocking and a small voice yelling, "Allison! Allison! Open it!"

Grady just started sleeping with a blanket this fall for the first time (there is a reason for that, but that's another story). I got him out a quilt, had him lay down in his crib and covered him up with it, explaining that it would keep him warm. Then I walked out of the room. About two minutes later, I went back in to check on him, just because I was curious. He was standing up, so the blanket had come off, and he couldn't figure out how to cover himself up with it again. He looked up and said, "Mommy! The blanket is broken!"

Grady will refer to me sometimes by whatever color I am wearing. So if I am wearing a purple shirt, I am Purple Mommy that day. He loves watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing and calls them the "Mommies and Daddies." One day he was watching them sing a song and said, "The Blue Mommies are singing!" (they were wearing blue). Then, looking at me (wearing a red shirt at the time), he said, "But I love Red Mommy."

Grady has a basketball hoop that he loves to play with and two balls that he uses with it, a blue one and an orange one. When he is playing basketball with someone he will assign each person a ball ("Grady orange ball, Daddy blue ball"). Once, before the baby was born, I asked Grady if he was going to be a nice big brother and share his toys with his new baby sister. He said, "Um, yes. Baby Vyet (Violet) blue ball, Grady orange ball."

 He loves to watch Winnie the Pooh. One day he had found a grocery receipt and was walking around holding it and pretending to read it. I asked him what it said and he replied, "Piglet, me!" (I think he was thinking of the message Piglet sends in a bottle when his house is flooding that says, "Help! P-p-piglet (me)" )

He loves the construction trucks that have been working outside our house on a new sidewalk. One day he said to Matthew, "We need to go see the dump truck named Dump Truck!"

His favorite movie is Disney's Robin Hood. He has said a lot of funny things relating to this movie lately. The other day I went to get him up from his nap and he said, "Oh, Mommy! It's you! I thought Maid Marian was coming to get me up from my nap." Then one day he brought me a block and said, "Here. We need to put this in our poor box." Another time he laid on the floor and called out, "I'm dying! I'm dying!" (I think imitating Lady Cluck when she pretend sword fights with the little bunny)

One of his recent bedtime prayers included, "Thank you for Grady spitting out the hot dog into my bib," which was something he had done at a meal a few days before...go figure!

We give him honey when he has a cough, so sometimes he will come up to me, do a totally fake cough and say, "I need some honey." 

I was explaining to Grady one day that he should pray for himself and Daddy and Violet, because they were all sick. He replied, "Oh! Mommy is healthy!"

I got a phone call yesterday and Grady wanted to know who I had been talking to. I told him the Bishop from church had called and he was going to come over and talk to Mommy in a few minutes. Grady said, "And I will be shy."

Grady was running through the living room and bumped into the bin of pretend fruits and vegetables on a shelf, knocking it to the ground. He looked at me with a serious face and said, "Oh, I'm sorry. That was my fault. All these vegetables..."

Just this morning Grady was in time-out. When I went to get him out, I asked him to explain why he was in time-out. He started to tell me, then suddenly looked down at his arm and said, "Oh! Excuse me! I feerdagot (fergot) to roll down my pajamas" (his pajama sleeves were still rolled up from breakfast) and proceeded to roll them down before finishing his explanation and apology. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Violet's Birth Story

Remember all those feelings I had about my baby coming early? Well, it didn't happen. In fact, she was technically late. I still don't know why I had those feelings. Maybe that was what I needed to make sure I got all the way prepared in time. Maybe it was some kind of test for me to show that I would be willing to have her early--because I REALLY didn't want to at first--and let the Lord be in control. He does that with me sometimes. Or maybe I just made it all up. Who knows? Whatever the purpose was, I'm glad things worked out the way they did. The timing of our baby girl's arrival was perfect (for me at least...I did happen to be in labor during two of Matthew's midterms) and I am beyond grateful for the way the Lord has watched out for me and made everything work out so well over the past couple of months.

So...the story, for those who like that sort of thing.

Since I was so sure I was having this baby early, I spent the two weeks before baby's due date ready to dash to the hospital at any second. Bags were packed, I had a list of people ready to watch Grady, Matthew always had his phone nearby, just in case. 

Two weeks before the due date I went in for my regular check-up. They told me my blood pressure was high and there was protein in my urine and sent me off to the hospital to be monitored for preeclampsia, possibly needing to be induced immediately. I grabbed my hospital bag, dropped Grady off  at a friend's house, and picked Matthew up from school to come with me. At the hospital they hooked me up to machines and monitors and poked and prodded me for an hour or two. I remember thinking, "Shoot, I'm in the hospital gown already, Grady is with a sitter--let's just do this!" In the end they found that nothing was out of the ordinary and sent us home. I will admit that I cried a little. 

The following week I had another appointment. I was already dilated to a 5 and the midwife asked if she could strip my membranes to possibly help start the labor since I was already so far progressed. My mom wasn't scheduled to come for another week, but I had finally become so calm with the idea of the baby coming early (almost excited about it even), that I said, "Sure, why not?" I felt funny all that day and had some cramping (which the doctor failed to warn me was normal and didn't necessarily mean I was going into labor). I spent the next week paranoid and even sent Grady to a sitter once or twice, thinking this might be it. But nothing ever happened. Nothing but pain and cramps for the next week. (I don't think I'll be having my membranes stripped again after that experience...) 

Since I had gestational diabetes with this pregnancy, the doctors didn't want me going past my due date. I convinced them to put off an induction until two days after my due date so that my mom could be here to help with Grady. The induction was scheduled for 9 am on Thursday the 16th, and my mom was to arrive on Wednesday night at about 11:30 p.m. Late on Wednesday night (while we were watching the Royals win the pennant!) we got a call from my mom saying that she had missed her connection and was stuck in Chicago. The next flight wouldn't get her to Columbus until about 9 am. Matthew sent me to bed and said he would take care of it, but of course I panicked and didn't sleep well, wondering how we would pick her up and get Grady taken care of on such short notice. 

My worry was without cause, however, because that very night Matthew had found someone to take Grady and pick up my mom in the morning. My angel of a friend, Elizabeth, came and picked up Grady around 8. I ate a small breakfast of a piece of plain toast and some water, then immediately threw it up, which was strange because I haven't thrown up at all this pregnancy and I wasn't in labor yet, and I wasn't feeling particularly nervous or anything. I guess I wasn't meant to have any food in me? Then I took my time to shower, shave my legs, get all clean and prettified as much as possible for one last time before the storm. I honestly kind of like knowing when labor is going to happen and being able to get physically/mentally ready for it. Maybe someday I'll experience what it's like to actually go into labor on my own, but for now this has been good!

We took one final picture of the belly. Just for kicks, here is a side-by-side comparison of me right before having Grady (left) and right before having Violet (right).

We arrived at the hospital, got settled in, and received word from my mom that she was safely at our home in Columbus with Grady. The Pitocin was started at around 10:15 a.m. Matthew sat down to study for the exams he was missing (he got permission to take them the next day), while I perused the internet on my iPad. I think Matthew was anticipating having lots of study time, because my induced labor with Grady took 21 hours. I knew that it wouldn't be that way this time, however, because I was already dilated to a 5 (with Grady I was dilated to a big fat ZERO, even a week past my due date).

Shortly after that the contractions began, gradually progressing in their intensity. By noon the contractions were still fairly mild and I was dilated to a 6, so Matthew went to have some lunch in the cafeteria and visited a friend of ours who was also in the hospital due to an emergency appendectomy the night before. 

While he was gone, the contractions started to get stronger and more painful. At one point our nurse, Pam (who was absolutely fantastic, by the way), asked me if I still wanted to have an epidural. I responded, "Of course! Why do you ask?"
She replied, "Well you are so far along already and doing great on your own. I think you could probably handle it!"
I said, "Ohhhhhh no. I have never prepared myself for that and have zero coping strategies up my sleeve." 
She laughed and said, "Oh honey! Even the ladies with 'strategies' just end up breathing the best they can in the end anyway! I'll help you!"

For the first time in my life, I entertained the idea of having a natural labor. 

And then I had another contraction.

NOPE. Not happening.

Shortly before Matthew returned, my contractions weren't unbearable, but they were getting pretty painful, so I decided to go ahead and request the epidural. I'm glad I did because they had to get a liter of fluid in me and request the anesthesia people to come first, both of which took awhile. By the time the epidural was put in my contractions were pretty darn painful. 

Once the epidural kicked in, I felt AWESOME. I was so relaxed and I felt like I had just had a massage--I seriously felt like I could take a nap. Yet at the same time, I could still feel when I was having contractions, just without the pain, which was not something I was able to feel with Grady's labor. I was amazed at how quickly I had gone from experiencing a ton of pain to feeling so wonderful and comfortable. I told Matthew, "If for some reason down the road I ever say anything about wanting to try a natural labor, please remind me of how great I feel right now."

My midwife, Jen, came in to check my progress and break my water. She said I was now dilated to a 7. After she left, the nurse started laying out all of the things that would be used for the delivery and the baby. I was a little confused because I knew that (with induced labors anyway) it is generally expected for a woman to dilate about one centimeter per hour and I still had three centimeters to go. I asked the nurse why she was getting everything out. She said that things could go very quickly at that point so she wanted to be ready. I was a little skeptical. Then she left and said she'd be back in about an hour to check on me. 

An hour passed by and the nurse came back to check on me. She looked at me and said, "You're at a 10."

The midwife came in moments later and told me it was time to push. My response was pretty much something like, "Cool. Sounds good." Everything about that moment was so nonchalant, so matter-of-fact, so not a big deal. I was amazed at the calmness of it all (especially of myself...I am not what you would call a calm person in general).

With Grady I pushed for an hour and a half. This time, after pushing for two contractions, the midwife said to me, "Okay, on this next contraction you're going to push out her head. Then listen to me and I'll guide you through the shoulders." Instead, I gave one more push and the baby just shot right out! 

I looked over at Matthew right then and said, "That was easy!" And I meant it. The entire labor lasted 5 1/2 hours, the epidural was amazing and perfect, and I only pushed for three contractions. A dream labor.

Our little Violet Caroline Wright was born at 3:52 p.m.

Because Grady was born with tons of dark hair, I couldn't picture our next baby having anything else. I figured that could only mean that she would come out bald or blonde or something totally different. I was very surprised when she came out looking very much like Grady had!

Within moments that sweet baby was laid on my chest, where I was able to hold her/nurse her for the next hour. Those cuddles with a brand new baby who has just entered the world are some of the sweetest.

Grady and my mom were able to come and join us right about when that hour was up. We all got to watch as she was weighed and measured (8 lbs 10 oz and 19 in) and checked, then Daddy finally got to hold his girl.

Daddy and his girl

Grady mostly sat on my bed eating some apples.

Matthew commented on how things are different the second time around: when Grady was born he was kind of nervous to hold him and always so careful, but the first time he held Violet in the hospital he was chasing Grady around and picking things up off the floor at the same time. 

The Team
Jen (midwife), Pam (the most amazing nurse)

After another hour we were moved to the postpartum room, where Violet was given her first bath and I got to eat some of the things I had been missing out on due to the diabetes: pizza and pumpkin donuts! (The pumpkin festival we went to last year with the amazing donuts was held the week Violet was born and two different friends brought us back pumpkin donuts from there. I'm pretty sure I ate half a dozen donuts the day after Violet was born...)

First family photo (that I had to crop to make Violet decent)

Coco, my wonderful mother, who did so much to help us the week after Violet was born.

Grady was pretty indifferent to Violet while we were in the hospital. He was more excited to push buttons, eat food from the vending machines and try to get out of the room so he could go run and play. Oh, and apparently he was afraid of the elevator.

Now that we are at home, he loves her. He always wants to touch and hold her (which is a little scary sometimes...yesterday he tried to put a pom-pom in her mouth). But for the most part he is very gentle with her and is always delighted to see her. "Baby sister is awake!" He always wants to do what she is doing, especially tummy time.

Grady has struggled a bit with the loss of Mommy's undivided attention 24/7. A lot of attention-seeking behavior is occurring over here, but also lots of asking for hugs, which never used to happen. Daddy has been great and takes him out to play somewhere every evening.

During the day he has kept himself busy lately by watching the construction workers build a sidewalk in front of our house. And digging in the dirt with his trucks as he watches (of course). And talking to the workers and asking if he can sit in their trucks (sometimes they let him). And sometimes wearing his yellow hard hat too. Every morning at about 7 a.m. he begins his request for this. We were even out there digging in coats and hats this morning during one of baby's naps when it was about 23 degrees...

Little Miss Violet is just as sweet as can be and we love having her in our family. It's taken us a few weeks to figure each other out, but we are well on our way now and things are going well. She is such a happy, sweet girl. My mom thinks her face looks a lot like me as a baby. Her hair just gets fluffier and crazier every day, which we love! Here are a few more pictures of her in her first few weeks of life.

With her proud protectors

First bath at home.

Her go-to superhero pose. She does this with her arms whenever we lay her on the floor.

Here's a good shot of that hair.

Not the best lighting, but this one was just taken tonight. We sure love this girl!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Fun and Fright

Here's a recap of our Halloween festivities this year. 
Well, Grady and Daddy's Halloween festivities. I have been on the couch holding a baby. :)

Church Trunk or Treat 

OSU School of Pharmacy Chili Cook-Off
(One of the children's activities was grinding vitamin C tablets with a mortar and pestle-love it.)

Pumpkin carving with Daddy

Trick or Treating with Daddy and best buddy, Ainsley. Apparently Grady was more interested in grabbing a handful of dirt from each house than he was in the candy. (Though he does love the candy)

The highlight of the evening was discovering a giant pile of rocks to play in at a construction site.

The loot

Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach
(Mario had to be bribed and compensated with an extra ration of Halloween candy in order for this photo to be taken)

Daddy's new little princess

Then, the scary part of Halloween: this is what we woke up to the morning after Halloween. 
The most gigantic bloody nose of all time.
(Tips for cleaning blood off of non-washable stuffed animals are welcome)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Heading into the Homestretch

Three weeks. That's it. Just three weeks left at most until baby girl is here. 

33 Weeks

37 Weeks
(taken today)

(Interesting fact about these photos: Neither the shirt or the dress pictured above are maternity clothes, just some regular clothes that happen to double well as maternity. I could NOT wear these clothes this late in the game when I was pregnant with Grady. Based on that and also on how much more this baby has room to move around than Grady did, it seems like I have a smaller baby this time. This is fantastic news, considering Grady weighed more than 9 pounds. Woo-hoo! Let's hope! P.s. If it looks weird to you that I am not looking at the camera...I'll be honest...I get puffy pregnant face and I would rather not document it.)

I have been in a complete panic as of late, realizing how little time I have. I like to be prepared. Really, really prepared, as much as possible. In all situations, I try to think ahead and anticipate potential problems or situations that may arise and plan for them in advance. So of course I have this huge pre-baby to-do list that I made months ago. I have been frantically trying to get through, feeling like there is no way I can have everything done in time.

Grady was induced at 41 weeks, so I told my mom it was okay if she came a day or two after my due date. I assumed I had plenty of time, but now I'm not so sure. I have gestational diabetes this time around and the doctors don't really want me to go past my due date. Over the past few weeks I've started to get the feeling that she is going to come early (which could be totally wrong, of course). This has terrified me. Matthew will be right in the midst of midterms and I am panic-stricken at the thought of being home alone with a baby and a toddler and a body still recovering from birth. 


Over the last few weeks, as I studied my scriptures, a few things hit me pretty hard. I was reading in the Book of Mormon in 1 Nephi 17 last week. Talking about the experience of his family having to travel through the wilderness for eight years, Nephi says: 

"And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth. And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.

And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.

And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness."

I find great comfort in this scripture. If the Lord helped these women have the strength to bear and feed babies in the wilderness, while enduring many hardships, surely he cares enough to help me. I feel that we have been commanded of God to have this baby join our family and, as the last verse says, He will always provide a way for us to do what He has commanded us to do, so long as we are obedient.  

Then yesterday I was met with this passage from Isaiah: 
"But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not."

I had kind of a "duh" moment. The Lord has never left me on my own. He has always provided a way for things to work out, usually a way better than I had thought of on my own. He is not going to leave me alone now.

Last night I went to get my hair cut, one of the things on my to-do list. My hairdresser asked me if I felt so ready for the baby to come. I told her how NOT ready I felt and how I just have so much to do. She asked me what I still have to do. I thought about it for a minute, picturing my list in my mind, and I realized, feeling a little dumbfounded, that there is nothing else I need to do. Though there are still plenty of things to do on my list, they are all things that Matthew or my mom could do for me if I don't get them done in time. 

And then it was like something just sort of clicked in my brain. I went home feeling so light, so at peace. I have been terrified and wanting this baby to stay where she is for so long, but suddenly I feel completely okay with her coming anytime--even now if she wants to. (I told Matthew this and he was in complete shock...haha) I can still do more, but I am prepared enough and everything is going to be okay. For now I want to let go of those things a little bit and focus on spending special time with Grady in our last few weeks alone together. I am ready to turn it all over to the Lord and just trust Him. And it feels so good!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Playing Pretend

Over the summer I've noticed that Grady is reaching the age where he can play pretend and he's starting to get how to do it.

This makes me really, really excited. Like to a nerdy level. 

Playing pretend was pretty much what I spent my whole childhood doing, and I love it. Also, I'll be honest, playing on the floor with baby toys gets old pretty fast, so I am ready to change it up. The past few weeks I've been all over this playing pretend thing, like a crazy person (Matthew can attest).

At first I spent a couple of days trying to come up with ideas for exactly what we could play and how. I kind of had a few, looked on pinterest a bit, but wasn't getting very far with it. Then one morning I woke up around 4 a.m. just bursting with so many ideas that I never went back to sleep. I ended up having to get up and write them all down. Like I said...nerdy level of excitement here. Since then I have been going nuts trying to create all kinds of pretend play activities. And I have to say that my life as a mom just got so much more fun! Not only that, but I am kind of hoping that if I can teach Grady how to do more creative play that he'll be more able to play independently when the baby comes. Maybe? I can hope, anyway...

Anyway, since it was hard for me to come up with ideas at first, I thought I would share some of what we've done, in the hopes that it will help somebody else. Annnd also because I am just excited about it! :)

Doctor Kit
The day Grady had his two-year-old check-up at the doctor we went to Target. He was riding in the cart and holding my keys, when he started pointing them at different parts of his body and saying, "Check belly...check ears...check toes...etc." Since it was fresh on his mind and memory, and he was already playing doctor on his own, I decided to make him a doctor kit. I found some ideas online and just kind of scrounged around for what we had that might already work. Here's what I came up with: 

I made the stethoscope out of an old headband with felt glued to the tops for the ears. I attached the bottom piece with a ribbon. The bottom piece was an old plastic spool-type thingy that used to have medical tape on it. (I saw another idea online to use bottle caps for the bottom piece of the stethoscope, which I almost did instead before I found the thing that I did use.) I made some band-aids out of felt, then threw in some cotton balls, a popsicle stick/tongue depressor, some plastic tweezers and an ace bandage from a first aid kit, and a baby medicine syringe to use for giving "shots."

Then I packaged it up super fancy in a plastic tupperware. 

Sooo...nothing too fancy obviously, but it cost nothing and he has had so much fun with it. We have spent a lot of time examining his stuffed animals. Usually somewhere partway through each examination he starts examining himself instead. He also likes to give check-ups and shots to Mommy and Daddy. This one has been lots of fun. And his favorite part of the kit? The cotton balls. Go figure!

Side note: I was at Dollar Tree two days ago and they totally have doctor kits! Sigh. Oh, well. So...heads up, if you want one and don't want to make it yourself, you know where to go.


Felt Food
Grady loves to play pretend with food. He loves to pretend cook and pretend eat. One of his favorite games he made up is "lunch." He has me sit on the couch with him and tells me that we both need to put on bibs (or pretend to, that is). Then he says a prayer and hands me a bowl and we "eat" our food. Then he says it's time to take off our bibs and has us pretend to wash our hands and face. 

We were talking about how he loves to pretend to make food with some of our friends the other day. One of them asked him if he likes to make pizza and I thought--genius! Let's make pretend pizzas! So the next day I cut up this little pizza out of some felt that I already had. I decided to make some cookies with frosting and sprinkles too. He LOVES these too. He pretends to roll out the pizza dough with our little pizza roller and he pretends to put both the cookies and the pizza in and out of the oven (beneath the piano bench) with a hot pad. They even kept him quiet for awhile at church!


Grocery Store
Okay...I'm super excited about this next one! (And all of them, let's be honest)
I was at the thrift store last week and found this old toy cash register, that was probably made in the 70's, for $2.

I bought it and cleaned it up and started saving food boxes and bottles. We have been rearranging furniture in preparation for the baby, so this little book shelf suddenly became available to become our grocery store. We don't have a toy grocery cart, so we use that little pink basket that came with of our play food. I found an unused sticky hook and a recycle-able grocery bag to hand on the side for him to pack up his groceries in at the end.

I have this little zipper pouch that I got from the doctor's office (it says "Similac" on the tag, so it must have come with some formula coupons or something...I don't remember) and put it to use as a "wallet." In the wallet are an old Costco card and some money made with construction paper.

He loves to "swipe" his credit card.


Trash Truck
This next idea was one I came up with on my own and I think it turned out pretty cute! Grady loves to watch the trash truck come and dump the big trash bins, so I thought it would be fun to make him his own pretend trash truck. We have a little walker toy that can fold into a sort of bike that you push with your feet. I tied a box to the back and filled an empty oatmeal container with clean crumpled up paper and tissues to serve as the trash can. (I suppose you could decorate the box and the oatmeal can, but meh.) He will put the can on the stair landing, drive his truck over, get off and dump the trash in the back and drive away, all while saying, "Beep! Beep! Beep!" Oh and he likes to wear his hat to make it feel more official. :)

This morning he decided his trash truck could double as his car when he played grocery store so that he could load his bag of groceries in the back.

I had the idea that we could play garden and pretend to plant/pick food or flowers. I was still trying to form the idea and figure out how it would look when I found this blog post where a lady made her daughter a garden box. Below is a picture from the blog:

I thought the idea was super cute, but also looked super time intensive! She painted a box to look like wood, sewed little dirt pillows, and sewed together little felt vegetables, each with lots of detail. I liked this idea, but wanted something easier (plus, I can't sew). Here's what I came up with:

I bought a little plastic tub at the dollar store and five sheets of brown felt from Walmart for 23 cents each. I loosely rolled each sheet of felt into a tube shape, hot gluing the beginning and the end edges so they would stay closed. Then I trimmed each tube to fit in the box and placed them inside to act as my "dirt."

Then I googled clipart pictures of some different vegetables that grow in the ground. I copied them into a word document, sized them how I wanted them. I printed two copies of each vegetable, with one of them rotated so that I could glue them together and have a two-sided picture, if that makes sense. Then I printed them (the most expensive part of the project, since we don't have a color printer-ha!), cut them out and glued them together and laminated them for durability.

And I found this at the thrift store, which I thought would make a great little watering can.

I haven't showed this one to Grady yet, so we'll have to see how it goes.

I'll stop there for now, but I have some more ideas in the maybe I'll share again another day.
Happy Pretending!