8 Months Old!

8 Months Old

With how fast time is flying by, I have a feeling that in the blink of an eye, Claire will be turning 1. I wish there was some way to slow down time and to keep her little for just a bit longer. Every morning when she wakes up, I feel like she visibly looks older and I’m reminded how important it is to be present in every moment with her because before I know it, we’ll be looking at colleges. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. :)

This past month was really a whirlwind of events, traveling, holidays, and really seeing Claire’s personality come out in full force. She is definitely a girl who knows what she wants and is so incredibly active. She’s so happy, sassy, and full of energy . I really have no idea where she could have gotten her opinionated personality from! ;)

Claire 8 Months

Here’s the rundown of Claire at 8 months old:

  • Weight: No idea… but I definitely know she’s growing!
  • Loves:
    • To chew on pillow corners.
    • To babble and talk. It’s the cutest noise in the whole world.
    • To eat any remote control in sight.
    • To scream at the top of her lungs. It’s a happy scream but it’s quite loud. She definitely has mastered the range of noises that her vocal chords can make.
    • To flap her arms when she gets excited. It almost looks like she’s going to take off.
    • To walk around with mommy and daddy’s help. She gets the biggest smile on her face.
    • To crawl all over. She’s quite the active little one and definitely keeps us busy!
    • Her Papa (my dad). She is absolutely mesmerized by him and has a huge smile whenever he’s around.
    • To stand up on anything and everything. When she gets excited (for example, when we “teach her how to drive”), she stiffens her entire body and grunts. It’s too funny to watch.
    • To stick out her tongue.
    • When we give her hugs.
  • Hates:
    • Diaper changes. She tries to roll over the entire time we’re doing it.
    • When we take things away with her that she wanted to play with – Zoe’s toys… cords… remotes… you know, all the fun stuff in her mind.
    • She’s not the biggest fan of the car anymore. She’ll still fall asleep pretty quickly but she’s more likely to fight being in the car lately.
  • Talents:
    • For a week or two, I could say “1…2…3…say cheese!!” and she would turn and give me a big chessy grin. She would only do it for me but I think once people got wind of this talent and they tried it for themselves with Claire, it lost it’s novelty for her and so she’s stopped doing it. We’re back to square one with trying everything possible to get her to smile for a photo.
  • Sleeping:
    • She’s down to 1 or 2 naps a day. It happened all of a sudden on New Years Eve and she’s been doing it ever since. It’s amazing how quickly the routine can change!
  • Other Random Facts:
    • She’s getting more hair!! Now, she can legitimately have bed head when she wakes up in the morning.
    • She’s been on a total of 8 planes in her lifetime now – so basically she’s a pro at traveling. The last plane we were on had the worst turbulence I’ve ever been experienced in my life (I flew up an inch or two in my seat at one point and, yes, I was buckled in just loosely) but, Claire, no big deal for her. She didn’t seem phased at all.
    • She’s very independent but wants mommy or daddy nearby at all times.
    • She is more willing to eat food and we got a baby food maker for Christmas! Our first batch wasn’t the biggest hit with her but we are going to keep trying. We are SO excited to make food for her. As far as what foods she loves at this point – pears, apples, strawberries, bananas, spinach, and she loves this pear, cinnamon, and oatmeal mixture as well as a strawberry, bananas and peaches mixture. We’ve fed her more than just those foods but those ones she seems to get excited about.
    • She has the best giggle in the entire world, just saying.

And to close out this post, here are a few of my favorite photos of her from the past few days.

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Dec 31 Standing

Jan 2 2015 Pink Bunny

 

2014-12-29 Claire Cheeseball

Her ultimate cheesy grin

 

New Years Day 2015

Claire’s First Christmas

Claire’s first Christmas came and went in the blink of an eye. I really don’t know where December went but somehow it’s already gone and we’re onto another year. If I had to describe her first Christmas in one word, I would say: perfect.

Since buying our first home, we’ve started the tradition of having Christmas Eve at my parents’ house and Christmas Day at our house. Now that Claire is here, it’s even more important to us to start traditions at our home so Claire can have those memories to look back on.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day was so wonderful – the whole day was relaxing, fun, and memorable. Claire loved each and every one of her gifts and took the time to put each item in her mouth to show her appreciation. She especially loved sampling the plethora of wrapping paper, bows, boxes and tissue paper. What a selection she had! We were so delighted with how interested in the present opening process she was. After a relaxing morning and afternoon, we started cooking for dinner and got ready for my parents to join us. The meal turned out amazing and we’ve decided to continue the new tradition of roasting a New York strip for the main dish. So yummy! Dessert was also delicious (thanks Mom for the apple pear crisp!)! We concluded the night with a fun game of Cards Against Humanity. I wish I could live this Christmas over and over again because it was so wonderful to experience the magic through Claire’s eyes.

We also had a belated Christmas celebration with our Southern California family which was also fun! Claire got to meet more of her family members, sit in a real high chair for the first time (we have one at home but it’s a cushy one versus the ones you typically see at a restaurant), enjoy the fun Christmas decorations at Grandma’s, and get the grand tour of her Grandpa’s work. It really was a great visit!

I’m sad Christmas is already over but am already looking forward to the festivities next year!

7 Months Old!

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Claire turned 7 months old last Monday! It really blows us away how quickly each month flies by now and clearly, the blog has been suffering a bit lately. I keep wanting to get better about posting but there are simply not enough hours in the day.

So, here’s a rundown of 7 month old Claire:

  • Weight: Probably around 17 pounds. We think she had a growth spurt recently because she is looking so big and so long!
  • Loves:
    • Crawling EVERYWHERE!! She is so speedy and loves to explore.
    • Pulling herself up to stand.
    • Grabbing for anything and everything that is in reaching distance and putting it in her mouth.
    • Apples! We finally found a food that she loves. She also is OK with pears and we fed her a strawberry, banana, and peaches mixture tonight and she loved that too! She’s definitely getting more used to the food concept.
    • To scream/talk (a happy scream).
    • To pinch my arms while I’m breastfeeding her, not sure why but she loves it. Think of it how a cat kneads on things, it’s sort of like that. Must be comforting for her.
    • Still loves her baths! Now that she’s a pro at sitting, she hangs out in there and splashes around with her toys and has an all around party in the bath. She now gets upset when it’s over.
    • Being held… unless she’s in the mood to crawl. ;)
  • Hates:
    • Diaper changes.
    • Being put down to sleep in her crib (most of the time, sometimes she’s so tired she doesn’t care)
    • When Mommy leaves the room – she’s now aware of when I’m leaving even for a short period of time and starts to cry. It breaks my heart. :(
  • Talents:
    • Crawling. She’s basically a pro at it now and can get across the room in less than 10 seconds.

Crawler Extraordinaire

  • Pulling herself up to stand (holding onto things with two hands and just recently with one hand!!).
  • Sleeping:
    • She stopped sleeping through the night two weeks ago and has been on and off since then. CJ went on a business trip at that time and I think she missed her Daddy too much to sleep contently. We also suspect she’s been going through a growth spurt. We try to put her down between 8/9 but she’s been waking up around midnight, 1 or 2 and sometimes won’t go back to sleep without snuggling with us. We try to be strict about keeping her in her crib but sometimes co-sleeping is the only way to calm her down. To be honest, I’d rather her get a full night’s sleep than force her to cry for hours to teach her to fall asleep in her crib. Hopefully, she’ll go back to sleeping through the night soon.
  • Firsts:
    • Her first Thanksgiving was so fun! Our cousins adorable daughter who’s three months older than Claire was over for Thanksgiving and they loved playing together. They crawled around, explored the air vent in my parent’s living room, and shared a teething necklace. I think the cutest moment was when our cousins daughter fell after standing up, started crying, and Claire started crying because she was sad for her. It was so sweet! For her first Thanksgiving meal, she enjoyed some pears and carrots.
    • Last weekend, we brought her to see snow and Santa for the first time! She was fascinated with the snow and interested in Santa. She stared at Santa for a while and examined his beard before determining that no, she did not know this man and that’s when she decided it was time to go back to Mommy and Daddy.

First time with snow

Snow 2014

Santa

  • Other Random Facts:
    • Two weeks ago (or so), we picked up Claire at the gym daycare after our workout and the lady watching her if she was normally in the 1 year old room because she’s so advanced. I told her that she was only 6 1/2 months old and she looked so surprised. We have a little genius on our hands! Oh dear… I’ve become “that” mom. :)

Indiana Jones

  • Her personality is definitely coming out more and more and, according to my mom, she’s exactly like me. She’s (very) opinionated, happy, and super super active.
  • She’s growing more hair! It’s so cute and fuzzy.
  • She still has blue eyes. We’re still waiting to see if they’ll change.
  • She just started wearing 9M clothes. I was a little sad to see how well they fit her when we started dressing her in them… another reminder how quickly she’s growing!

And that’s our little Claire! She is all over the place lately which has been exhausting but SO much fun! I hope everyone has fun plans for the holidays. We are SO excited for Claire’s first Christmas.

Christmas Tree Shopping

Traveling with a 6 Month Old

Get ready for a long post!

I won’t advertise myself as a travel expert but I am happy to share our experiences from our last trip flying to the East Coast. Claire is basically a seasoned flyer now seeing as how we flew to Vermont when she was 8 weeks old and now New York when she’s almost 6 months old. With that being said, she gets completely thrown off with the time change and not sleeping in her own crib for a week. It didn’t help that Daylight Savings Time ended on the Sunday after we returned as well. For the past week, we’ve had to start from scratch with getting her used to sleeping in her crib again which is another reminder why we need to limit the amount of time traveling until she’s a little older.

The items that we used the first time around were mostly still helpful with a few exceptions. There are also a few new items we used that made the trip so much easier. Here’s a link to my first post on traveling with a baby.

As for what’s changed this time around and some helpful tips:

  1. Our first time around, we kept Claire in the Moby Wrap through security, at the gate, and on the plane. Since that wasn’t the case this time (she’s not a big fan of it anymore), we realized on the way there that it would have been way more helpful to have the stroller with us at the gate. So, we kept it with us heading home and did not regret that decision. Yes, it’s less convenient going through security because we had to take her out and everything else that was in the stroller. But, we are those crazy people that like to get to the airport several hours in advance so it was nice having a place to lay her down for a nap and to rest our arms. I don’t know about you but we haven’t quite built up the tolerance to hold her jumping up and down for hours on end. For her trip when she was 8 weeks old, we actually left the stroller at home. For this trip, it was definitely an essential.
  2. I read a blog post from one momma about how she brought her My Brest Friend with her on the plane and what an amazing idea!! I don’t use my nursing pillow at home anymore but with having to hold Claire in my arms for several hours on the plane (especially the red eye there), it was a lifesaver.  I actually brought a smaller nursing pillow that I got for free and could fit into my carry on but you could bring whatever pillow you have – My Brest Friend, Boppy, etc. etc. Thank you Sunny Day Sundays for the helpful tip!
  3. Claire's new favorite teether - soft bristles that massage her gums and brush her little teeth

    Claire’s new favorite teether – soft bristles that massage her gums and brush her little teeth

    Toys toys toys. We brought a crinkle book for Claire to peruse, Sophie la girafe, and her new favorite teether. It kept her entertained on our flight home which was in the middle of the day so we are so glad we brought them. We didn’t need any of these when she was 8 weeks old because she slept the entire time and wasn’t interacting with toys at that age anyway but they were an essential this time around.

  4. Since we were carrying a lot more items than last time, I needed a humongous carry on bag to stuff everything in. I bought this amazing bag from Target that I’ve fallen in love with.
  5. Another helpful tip from Sunny Day Sundays – a diaper changing station. The first time I used it on the plane, I swear I heard angels singing Hallelujah! On our flights to Vermont, I had the full diaper bag and bonked everyone sitting in the aisle seats on my way down to the bathroom on the plane to change her diaper. This time, I had a changing station and it was life changing (ha! pun intended).
  6. One last helpful tip from Sunny Day Sundays (by now, I hope you’ve gotten the message to just read her blog post) – Baby Banz headphones. Not only are they hilariously adorable on Claire, they helped block out some of the loud plane noise which was so helpful. Without them on, Claire was rudely awoken by every announcement the flight attendants and pilot made. With them on, she slept soundly through each announcement.
  7. Here's the crib provided in the first hotel in NYC

    Here’s the crib provided in the first hotel in NYC complete with a baby model

    I didn’t know this until a month or so ago but some hotels provide cribs! That made our trip so much easier because we didn’t have to check yet another item on the plane. I called our hotel ahead of time and made sure they had a crib there for Claire to sleep in. With that being said, we stayed at two hotels when we were in New York – the first had a nice Graco travel crib and the second had an old travel crib that was definitely used a ton. We weren’t too comfortable putting Claire in the second one. So keep that in mind when you’re thinking about using the hotel’s crib – maybe ask them about the condition of it beforehand. If you’d rather travel with your own travel crib, we have an AMAZING one that we used when we went to Carmel for our anniversary. It’s the Guava Lotus crib and Claire falls asleep in it right away. It should work for her until she’s around 3 years old too, which means it will last a while.

  8. I would recommend researching the car seat laws wherever you’re traveling. New York law does not require babies to be in car seats while in taxis so, if you choose to get a taxi from the airport to wherever you’re staying, you shouldn’t have to travel with your car seat (if you’re not planning on renting a car). For us, we weren’t comfortable having her ride around in a car sans car seat so I researched car services that provide infant car seats and found a great one to use for our trip. It was such a relief to have her in a car seat!
  9. Our cooler for the breastmilk all labeled and ready to go!

    Our cooler for the breastmilk all labeled and ready to go!

    Last but definitely not least, flying with frozen breastmilk. Because this was a business trip, I needed to bring frozen breastmilk for Claire for when I was gone for work events. We did a TON of research and finally figured out how to do it successfully. We chose to use dry ice to ensure that the breastmilk stayed frozen the entire time. For United Airlines, they allow up to 5.5 lbs of dry ice in a ventilated cooler that needed to be labeled indicating that there’s dry ice, the weight of the dry ice, and what perishable items are in the cooler. As far as packing it, we bought a cooler from Target and lined the bottom with newspaper, then put the dry ice in, then more newspaper on top, then we added the breastmilk and a frozen ice pack for extra precaution. Then we topped that off with a bit more newspaper and we were good to go. We labeled the container and brought duct tape with us so, after they inspected the container, it could be properly shut. I would recommend calling your airline before flying to find out what their regulations are.

What tips do you have for traveling with little ones? I feel like every age has a different set of essentials!

6 Months Old!

6 Month Old Claire

Where do I even begin?? Well, when I thought about how Claire was turning 6 months old on Saturday, I got a little emotional and teary eyed. I can’t believe we’re already halfway to 1 year old! This age has been so fun with her starting to crawl, scoot, sit, babble, and laugh (she only really gets going if she’s laughing at Zoe). I find myself not wanting to put her down to sleep in her crib when she falls asleep in my arms or, actually, whenever she’s feeling snuggly. We just love when she wants her mommy and daddy and try to soak up every moment.

CJ and I were talking the other day about how we need to be better at putting her down in her crib for naps. She’s been in so much pain lately with teething that she’s having trouble falling asleep without us. We’re trying so so hard to be more strict about the sleep routine but then again, we just want her to sleep and sometimes she won’t fall asleep without mommy or daddy nearby. I commented on how I always thought that I would be more strict as a parent and his reply was, “You’re a big softy”, and to that, my reply is… Yes, yes I am. :) How can I not be when I’m looking at such an adorable little face?!?!

Here’s a summary of what 6 month old Claire has been like lately:

  • Weight: Not quite sure. We last weighed her on October 11 and she was 14 1/2 pounds, so she’s probably 15 1/2 pounds now. She’s been gaining about a pound a month. She’s a petite little one compared to other babies her age but she is extremely strong for her size! Exhibit A: She’s already doing planks ;)

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  • Loves:
    • Sophie la girafe and all other teething toys.
    • Moving all over the place – now that she can scoot and army crawl, she’s constantly on the move. She’ll scoot or crawl across the room to catch Zoe and take periodic breaks to sit.
    • She thinks Zoe is the funniest thing in the world and will laugh at her for basically anything – walking, chewing on her ball, running… Zoe is pretty much a comedy act for Claire and they are SO cute together. Zoe loves to play catch so we’ll throw the ball and she’ll bring it back and drop it in front of Claire as if Claire is going to throw it for her next.
    • Being outside. She loves the fresh air!
    • Bath time – Imagine that! Just changing the bath tub has made all the difference.
    • Putting anything and everything into her mouth
    • To scream in a really high pitched voice. She’s definitely testing out her vocal chords and leaves no note unsung. It’s a happy scream thankfully! And she loves to babble too now – mama, dada, nana, and baba are the most common “words” she’s saying.
    • When we say “Mama” or “Dada”, she gets the biggest smile on her face.
    • Her favorite song is “Itsy Bitsy Spider”
    • Tilting her head back and forth to examine things
  • Hates:
    • Teething… need I say more?
    • Diaper changes

Sitting Claire

  • Talents:
    • She loves to scoot and crawl everywhere! She is definitely a curious little one and loves to explore.
    • She started sitting last week! It is sooo cute to see her sitting on the ground playing with her toys now.
  • Sleeping:
    • Hasn’t changed much since last month. Still sleeping through the night most of the time but, with teething, we think that pain has been waking her up on occasion in the middle of the night. She goes back to sleep pretty quickly but seems like she’s in a ton of pain for that short time. Poor baby. :(
  • Other Random Facts:
    • We’re getting better at feeding her baby food now! She’s a little skeptical and looks at us like, “Are you sure I’m supposed to be eating this?” but we’re making progress. So far, she seems to like sweet potatoes but is undecided on carrots and peaches. To be continued!
    • I’ve really grown to love breastfeeding and am so glad I stuck through the first couple of months which were definitely hard. Prenatal classes warn you about how hard and emotional it can be in the beginning  but I scoffed at the idea of it being difficult until I went through it myself. Luckily, they were also right in that once we get in the groove, it is the most wonderful thing. Those quiet moments where it’s just me and Claire feel so sacred and I love the bonding time with her.
    • We’ve noticed this since the beginning but it’s becoming even more apparent as she gets older – Claire is quite opinionated and knows what she wants. She may or may not get that from me. ;) She can’t speak yet but she can definitely babble at you if she’s not getting what she wants which sounds something along the lines of “MAMADADABABANANA”. She will make noise until she achieves her goal which typically is that she wants to get back down on the floor to scoot around, go to a new room because she’s bored of being in the same room for too long, or she wants to be held.
    • We’re working on putting her on a specific schedule for feeding and napping. For the past few months, she’s been pretty predictable but the naps weren’t always at the exact same time although they did start within a general time frame. We’re going to work on making that more definite. Stay tuned.

So that’s a summary of our little 6 month old! We are constantly amazed at how quickly she’s developing and becoming her own person. We love her SO much and are so thankful to have her as our daughter.

Halloween in NYC

Claire’s first Halloween will most likely be different than any other Halloween she’ll experience. First of all, it was spent in NYC (I had a business trip so we were already there). Second of all, we didn’t do any trick-or-treating. I don’t think Claire was too bummed about that though, seeing as how she’s not quite interested in candy yet other than the fact that the wrappers crinkle. :) We took the day off from work to explore the city since it was our last day there. We walked all around Fifth Avenue, took Claire into FAO Schwartz (a must!) and got her an adorable teddy bear to remember the trip by, walked through Central Park and went to the Central Park Zoo. She loved every minute of it.

We wanted to have a little photoshoot in Central Park but it was simply too cold for that. I was bummed but am glad we had the opportunity to snap a few photos in the hotel room and at Bryant Park to document her first Halloween. We had an early night in after that to avoid the crazy people that were all over Times Square.

I might be slightly biased but I’m pretty sure she’s the cutest pumpkin in history. We got the costume on Etsy and I still can’t get over how adorable she is in it. When we first received it in the mail, I quickly put it on her and promptly squealed for a good 20 minutes because I couldn’t handle the cuteness. She definitely enjoyed my reaction and maybe was aware of how she looked in it because she had the biggest smile on her face that whole time. I’m already coming up with ideas for her next Halloween costume! What did you do for Halloween?

Pre-Holiday Rush

Well we’ve been slacking in the blogging world lately. Our heads are practically spinning with how busy we’ve been over the past few months. Every day and weekend seems to be filled with something – visiting family, charity events (shout out to the National Kidney Foundation Luncheon which we’re attending today!), errands, pumpkin patch, weekends to the cabin, and other trips out of town. We are loving every minute but hope desperately to have one weekend where we do absolutely nothing. We know we have plans every weekend for almost the next two months but I’m hoping I am miscalculating and there’s a free weekend hiding in there. :)

Visiting family

Deciding where she should scoot next while playing with her cousin

Claire is so active these days and SO adorable. She is an avid scooter and can get across the room in maybe 30 seconds. If she sees something she wants, she gets there quite quickly. Whether that’s the dog, us, our laptops, her toys… you name it, she’s a determined little one.

She’s also been teething lately and we’re wondering when the next one will pop out. She has two right now but we’re pretty sure that will change soon.

There are some minor updates we’ve made to the house in the past few months that I really want to post an update on. With working full-time and having such busy weekends, I feel like we barely have enough time to relax and the time we do have, we savor it instead of cramming something in (which I’m so grateful for).

We’re getting SO excited for the holiday season to begin especially because these will be Claire’s first holidays. Claire is going to be a pumpkin for her first Halloween and we have the cutest costume EVER for her to wear! I think it must be a requirement for babies to be pumpkins for their first Halloween because most people I’ve talked to have said that’s what they were.

I’m especially excited for Thanksgiving because it’s my favorite holiday of them all. A day to relax and spend with family while eating all of my favorite foods = the best day of the year.

Claire's first trip to the pumpkin patch

Claire’s first trip to the pumpkin patch

What are you looking forward to this holiday season?

 

5 Months Old!

5 Months!

Yet again, the last month has flown by. We love watching her grow and develop and can honestly say we are loving this stage. It kills us how cute she is and we can’t stop saying “she’s SO cute” and “she’s SO adorable” all the time.

From Day 1, we’ve been able to see little bits of her personality come out and now it’s becoming even more apparent. She’s definitely an easygoing and happy baby (when people watch her they tell us how easy she is) but she is also opinionated. She knows exactly what she wants and will let us know right away. Whether that’s wanting to stand up (being held by us, of course), get a change of scenery (sometimes hanging out in one room all day is too boring for her), or hang out on the playmat – she’s willing and able to let us know what that is (in her own adorable language).

Onto the usual course of business, here’s a rundown of her basic facts:

  • Weight: As of right now, this is a mystery. We need to figure out a way to weigh her. She seems so much bigger!
  • Loves:
    • Sophie la girafe.
    • Tummy time.
    • Eating her toes (this just started a few days ago) and sucking on her fingers. She also enjoys sucking on her thumb with the rest of her fingers pointing straight out instead of in a fist, it’s so cute!
    • On the theme of eating fingers and toes, she loves grabbing our fingers and putting them in her mouth. Apparently, they taste quite delicious!
    • This has been true for the past several months but I keep forgetting to mention it – she loves the noise of a hairdryer. If she’s having a particularly difficult time, we’ll turn on a hairdryer noise (I have an app on my phone) and it will instantly calm her down. Magic!
    • She also loves her glowing seahorse sooo much. We’ll put her down in her crib to go to sleep for the night and turn that on and she’ll watch it until it turns off. Once it’s off, she goes to sleep. It can also calm her down if the hairdryer noise isn’t doing the trick.
    • Her mommy and daddy. She’s started to notice when we leave the room and gets upset. She has also started reaching up when she’s in her bouncy chair and wants to be held. And lastly, she smiles when either me or CJ walks in the room. I can’t even explain how happy that makes me when it happens.
  • Hates:
    • Being put to bed in the crib awake. We’re working on teaching her to fall asleep on her own so it’s been difficult but she’s getting more used to it.
Deep concentration

Deep concentration

  • Talents:
    • Last week she started to get up on her knees and, by the end of the week, she was able to get up on her elbows and knees. Over the weekend, it was hands and knees and now she sways forward and backward trying to figure out how to crawl. She hasn’t quite figured it out yet but she is getting soooo close. It’s so adorable to watch! We’ve been told that everything changes once they’re mobile and to soak up this time as much as possible but we can’t help but be excited for this new development!
    • I’m not sure if this qualifies as a talent but, hey, why not! Claire sprouted her first tooth last Friday! She wasn’t acting any different than normal so we’re grateful that it wasn’t too painful for her. That doesn’t mean future teeth will be as easy as #1 was. And I just discovered tonight that tooth #2 came in as well! She was a bit fussy last night so I’m pretty sure it was due to the pain.
  • Sleeping:
    • She’s still a great sleeper (knock on wood). We put her down to sleep between 8-9pm and typically wakes up between 6-7am. Once we started getting on that schedule of always putting her down between 8 and 9pm, things have fallen into place really nicely. She sleeps better, we get some nice couple time before going to bed, and everyone’s happy. :)
  • Other Random Facts:
    • We have solved the bathtub mystery! It wasn’t that she hated baths. She just hated the bathtub we had for her. It was cold, hard and uncomfortable. So, we bought the Luxury Spa Bath that I originally wanted to register for on our baby registry that has a fabric sling for her to lay in and a shower head to spray water on her and she LOVES it. We also got a bath time Sophie which she enjoys too. Now she just hangs in the fabric sling while CJ washes her and she enjoys herself the whole time. We’re SO glad we figured out that mystery.
    • People tell us quite frequently that Claire has the perfect head shape. It’s funny what comments you hear once you become a parent. We are quite flattered that people are impressed by her head shape but it is a funny thing to notice about a baby. We also get told all the time (from day 1) that she’s very alert. What does a child that’s not alert look like? I mean, if she’s awake, she’s awake… am I right?
    • I need to be better about taking pictures of Claire with family and friends when they visit. I tend to get so excited about someone visiting that I blank on the whole camera thing. This is my official request for any future visitors – please make sure I take photos!
    • We fed her rice cereal for the first time a couple weeks ago. She probably ended up with half a spoonful…the rest got all over her face. She wasn’t quite sure what to think about it. We still haven’t gotten around to feeding her again but we will soon! Things have been SO busy around here.

I think I might do a Baby Essentials Part 2 post with new items that we’ve fallen in love with. They also might be items we’ve had since Day 1 but have just recently become helpful or I may have just forgotten to include them in the first post. :)

If you made it to the end of this post, wow! I know it was long but I love writing these. It’s fun to see how she’s changed from month to month. I highly recommend it to any other mommas out there!

Best Friends

7 Years

In honor of our 7-year dating anniversary and 2-year wedding anniversary, I thought it would be fun to have a mini-timeline of photos of us throughout the years.

September 12, 2007 – CJ and I met.

September 2007

September 27, 2007

October 4, 2007 – Our dating anniversary!

October 4, 2007

October 4, 2007

October 12, 2011 – CJ proposed on Avila Beach.

We're engaged!

October 12, 2011

October 7, 2012 – We became husband and wife.

Just married!

Just married! October 7, 2012

So many important dates are coming up in the next few days. Happy anniversary to us! It’s amazing that we met when we were 18 and 19 years old and have gone through so much together already. We experienced college together, started our careers, got engaged and married, bought a house and a car, remodeled our house, and now are the parents of a beautiful baby girl. Even with all we’ve been through, I still feel like it was just yesterday that we met at the bonfires at Avila Beach. I’m so lucky to be going through life with my best friend and love of my life and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us!

Cheers to finding your other half. I know I have and I am thankful every day for this beautiful gift called love.

Just married!

Backyard Progress

And for a deviation from my most recent posts on mommyhood, here’s an update on our backyard!

For the past year and a half, we’ve wanted to do something with our backyard but haven’t gotten much further than the occasional weeding. Man, those weeds get OUT OF CONTROL quickly! People kept asking us, “Any progress in the backyard?” and unfortunately, we had nothing to report until now.

I honestly wasn’t that bothered by our backyard until we got our puppy Zoe. Now that Zoe’s here, I’m in the backyard multiple times a day to let her out to go to the bathroom and I had to face the reality of what our backyard looked like and it wasn’t pretty. We were already planning to replace our fence and work on the backyard this summer but being in the backyard every day really lit a fire under our toosh. Not to mention, we want it to be a fun play area for Zoe (and Claire! when she’s old enough) and it wasn’t so fun.

I can now proudly report that we have a new fence and it’s beautiful!! It feels like we have a real backyard now and I love how much more private it is. And, we finally have a new patio too. You have no idea how exciting this is to me. When the fence was finished, I squealed in excitement. No joke. Isn’t it amazing what you get excited about when you become a homeowner? My teenage self would have rolled my eyes at my reaction.

We have a very general plan for how we want our backyard to be but we’ll iron out the specifics as we go along. Right now, we are planning to have a table and grill on the main patio area. The circular area is going to have a firepit and chairs. At first, we were going to do a built-in firepit but then we decided it would be best to get a movable one so if we have parties (maybe Claire’s first birthday??), we can put the firepit away and add an extra table in that area for people to eat and relax. We’ll see! We also want a grassy area and some nice plants. CJ is also thinking about making the table for the back patio and I’m sooooo excited for that!! It’s going to be beautiful. That’s pretty much all we have planned for now.

Landscaping

Our very very rough idea of what we want. It’s not really to scale but you can tell that we have plenty of space to work with. Ignore the step, we decided against adding one as the new patio will be raised higher than the old one.

We did get a plan made by a landscape designer last year but it’s kind of gone out the window due to the drought. The plants in that design are not drought resistant and we’d rather not use much more water than we are right now.

Here are a few before and “current state” photos. I won’t say after since it’s a work in progress but holy moly is it a huge difference!!

Backyard August 9 2014

 

The concrete was ripped out and then they did the framing of the shape of the patio.

Backyard August 21 2014

We then had rebar laid inside of the framing.

Rebar

 

And then the beautiful concrete was laid and stamped! The new patio is higher up which means there’s less of a drop from the back door onto the patio. It’s so much better for us and will be for little Claire when she starts walking. Zoe likes having less of a jump now too.

 

Backyard as of Sept 22

The above photo is what our backyard looked like today! What a world of difference a new fence and patio can make. You can’t tell from the photo but our backyard is sort of a u-shape (you can see that in the drawing I did above) so we have a lot more backyard to work with still.

We actually enjoy going in the backyard now though! And the new patio is so much bigger which makes the yard feel bigger because we can now take more advantage of the space we have.

Stay tuned for more updates! We’ll be taking the backyard in stages but we’ll keep you updated along the way.