Grace is about to turn 1. A fact I have a hard time wrapping my head around. She continues to develop her awesome personality and it is easy to say that she has Jenn and I wrapped around her little finger. After realizing that she was here to stay, Nolin is now also a fan.
Mama I’m Coming Home: Ozzy may have Sharon, but I have Grace, and the best part of my day is the moment I walk in the door to be greeted by her. I am not sure if there is anyone more excited to see me when I get home from work. One could argue that after a full day watching two kids, Jenn is pretty excited, but Grace seems to show it the most. With a big smile and excited shrieks she welcomes me back to the house. If she is not eating diner, she always wants to make sure she is the first one to walk over and give me a hug.
You’ve Got a Friend: James Taylor must have been singing about Grace. She loves everyone and she is definitely a comforter. She loves to give people hugs and not just when you put your arms out. You can both be doing your own thing and then she will walk over to you, step on your lap and put her arms around you and squeeze tight. The best part is that as she has her arms around you she will give you a few pats on the back just to let you know it’s ok.
You Belong to Me: Ok, yes I have played this Taylor Swift song before as a joke and no Grace is not chasing after a crush. Thankfully for now, Grace loves her mommy and is definitely a daddy’s girl…but she adores Nolin. In her eyes he can do no wrong. Sometimes Nolin plays too rough and when he gets reprimanded he starts crying too. This leads to a cry off between two kids, until Grace walks over to Nolin and gives him a hug and a kiss. And you realize that no matter what there will always be a special bond between these two.
Where is my mind?: The Pixies are always fun and so are parlor tricks…especially when they work. So if you ask Grace where her head is, she eagerly points to her head. If you ask her where her nose is, she eagerly points to yours and then starts laughing because she thinks she is hysterical. Without fail, it will always be your nose. I guess one out of two isn’t bad.
My Wave: Grunge pioneers Soundgarden recently returned to the scene with a new album and if Grace saw them, she would eagerly wave to them. Grace loves to greet people or say goodbye. There is hardly a time that I am leaving that she won’t say “bye-bye” and wave. A lot of kids will simply open and close their hands, but Grace does the full pageant hand turn wave and she will keep on waving until your gone. If I am not looking directly at her, I can often catch her out of the corner of my eye waving and smiling. While this is currently one of my favorite things, I don’t think it will be when she is older and she is no longer waving to get my attention.
I Love My Hair: I could have used a reference to Lady Gaga’s Hair or Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair, but not sure they really fit, so instead I chose a Sesame Street Classic…that’s what happens when you get old. This favorite thing has as much to do with Jenn as it does Grace. Shortly after Nolin was born I discovered the blog Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care. It is a great blog about a mother and father learning to take care of their adopted daughter’s hair. The truth is you don’t have to be white or black to find it fascinating. Jenn had been reading it on and off, but lately has been using it as a manual to both learn and help take care of Grace’s hair.
She now has more products than one could ever imagine an 11 month would own, but it has made a world of difference and as we are exploring new hair styles, you can see it bringing out Grace’s personality. Years ago we watched Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair, and so there was a real fear that we would mess things up, but I have to give Jenn props because she is loving learning and practicing and Grace for being a willing participant. Just goes to show that being a parent will teach you more than you could have ever imagined.