Happy Friday!

It’s been FOREVER since our last post. We have been so busy around here that keeping up the blog has not been on the priority list.

Just popping in to say HELLO! and that we are so happy it’s Friday.

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Cheers to the weekend!

A Letter to Our 2 Year Old

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Dear Claire:

Two years ago, our lives completely changed. I’ll be honest, for those first couple of weeks I wondered what we got ourselves into. It was nothing but everything that I expected. It started with your birth, which I went into with what I thought was an open mind. My requirements: (1) a healthy baby girl and (2) an epidural because I was well aware of my pain tolerance. That’s at least what I communicated about but subconsiously I wanted so much more. I didn’t want a c-section. I didn’t want to be in labor for a long time. I didn’t want to have my hormones hop on a rollercoaster. But, it all happened. It took me a while to talk about it as non-chalantly as I do now but, man, in the moment I was a mess. I wanted what I thought was happening in all the post-birth photos of a mother and her child. The “mommy high” where you can barely sleep because you are so overjoyed. I ended up crying more than I ever expected. I was so completely overwhelmed with the amount of emotions swirling through my body. I felt homesick for the times when Daddy and I could spontaneously have a date night. I was unconvinced that there was light at the end of the tunnel. But I am so incredibly happy to say that I was wrong. You are our light, our joy, and so much more.

Two years later, I am so happy to say that you make everything more magical. Seeing the world through your eyes is the most wonderful thing, words can’t express it. It didn’t take us two years to get here but with every stage brought new fun, new adventures, and new things to discover about each other. We’ve only known you for two years but, at the same time, I feel like I’ve always known you. I think back to memories before you were born and strangely, have you inserted into them, as if you were always there with us. We love you more than words can explain and with the amount of love that you given us, I can understand why your birth and first weeks were so dramatic, you wanted us to know that everything we’ve ever known was about to change but in the most beautiful way.

We love you.

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

2 Year Checkup

Hello there! I’m going to try to post regularly on here but things are about to get crazy for us in the next couple of months so I can’t make any promises. Maybe I can convince CJ to write a post or two… maybe!😉

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We took Claire to her 2 year checkup earlier this week and it went well! The doctor went through her list of skills and questions to see how she’s doing health-wise and developmentally and we’re proud to report that the doctor was so impressed with her! She said that she’s at where most 2 1/2 to 3-year-olds normally are. Most notably, she’s speaking in sentences (“I’m ready to go now!” which she promptly said after getting her weight and height), she can draw in circles (I guess kids can’t normally complete a circle until 2 1/2), and she’s potty trained (the doctor’s reaction, “Oh wow, we don’t normally ask about that until their 3 year check-up!”).

She’s been doing much better with potty training – she’s pretty much a pro at daycare with the occasional slip up and, at home, we have the occasional accident but it’s not normally a battle to get her to go anymore. If we try to race her to the potty, or let her bring a toy/book with her, she’ll oblige. What’s most surprising is she’s really awesome (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!) when we’re out and about. We’ll be out to dinner and she’ll tell us she has to go potty and hold it until we get there. I’m always so impressed when that happens because there are so many distractions that you would think she wouldn’t even think about it. It’s a huge relief that she’s doing better with it because we obviously want it to be a positive experience with her rather than a power struggle to get her to try.

What else… well she had her first dentist appointment last month and that went so well too! The dentist was also impressed with how advanced she was and also told us that she has all her teeth in now. Go Claire!

Little Moments

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Tonight was one of those nights filled with sweet moments that I hope to never forget. Because I want to remember them, I’m writing them here.

  • We stopped at Home Depot to pick up pots for the vegetables that we are growing with Claire and she was delighted to help “water” all the flowers in the nursery area. She went around to each one with her empty watering can and made a “shhh”-ing noise as she pretended to water them.

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  • We stopped for dinner and, when leaving, found a dog wandering the parking lot with their leash still attached. The three of us walked around for 20 minutes trying to find the owner, and the whole time Claire was so excited to have this new dog with us. Finally, the owner drove up and was so happy to get their sweet dog back and Claire started clapping then exclaimed “Yippee! Hooray! Doggy’s Daddy!” It was so sweet!!!
  • When we got home, she played in her little playhouse for a bit and asked Daddy if he built the house for her. He said yes. She then put her hand on his shoulder and said, “Good job Daddy.” 😍😍
  • Then, we were putting her to bed and I told her I had a headache. She pretended to give me something to help and asked if I felt better. I told her yes and she promptly put her hand up to her ear (as if she was making a phone call) and started saying, “Hi, Nana. Yeah Mommy head hurts. Mhmm mhmm it’s okay now. Yeah. Yeah Nana. Her head hurts. But it’s ok. I helped.” I asked if she was talking to Nana and she said yes and then proceeded to pretend to talk to Papa. It was so sweet.

I can’t get over how smart and caring she is. How did we get so lucky??

Happy 2nd Birthday!

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And just like that, Claire is TWO!!! We had the best time celebrating her birthday with family and friends. We had a little party on Saturday and then went to a delicious brunch on Sunday. Her birthday fell on Mother’s Day this year which I loved.

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Claire is so fun to be with these days! She’s definitely a mini-me, that’s for sure. What else can I say about 2-year-old Claire? Well…

  • She’s quite particular and opinionated about what she wants.
  • She’s very methodical. She loves to organize her toys in neat lines and count them.
  • Loves anything and everything that involves being outside – playing in her new playhouse, the playground, walks, and riding her bike.
Her amazing playhouse

Her amazing playhouse

  • She’s an amazing helper – folding laundry, cleaning, carrying stuff to the car, cooking, etc.
  • She’s a picky eater and we never know what or how much she’ll eat (unless it’s Nana’s cooking, which she always seems to inhale!).
  • She LOVES to read!
  • She loves to play with her life-sized baby doll. She’s very much interested in little babies. She met her baby cousin recently and was so interested in everything about her. It was the sweetest!!
  • Her favorite thing right now is to ask, “Why?” about EVERYTHING. We love it and think it’s the cutest phase. She also likes to point out random people and say, “Who dat?”
  • The first thing she does every morning is ask for Daddy. She really doesn’t like it when he’s not home when she wakes up!
  • She is talking SO much. She says little sentences and we are constantly amazed at what she knows. I love knowing more about what’s going through her cute little mind. We are constantly giggling at her comments.
  • She still loves dogs, cats, trucks, buses, and airplanes.
  • She loves backpacks! CJ wears one to work which I think is what sparked her interest.
  • She occasionally pretends to go to work, answer emails, cook, and talk on the phone. She’s a huge fan of playing pretend.
  • She loves to go to the grocery store with CJ.
  • She has amazing memory. We’ll tell her something and she’ll bring it up a while later, even if it’s a small detail.
  • She is still a cuddler which we’re so happy about. She likes to say, “I hold you?” to either CJ or me when she wants us to hold her. Our hearts almost can’t take it each time, she is so sweet.
  • We’re told that she’s very social which we’re happy about! I say “we’re told” because, if we’re in the room, she only wants Mommy or Daddy… unless Papa is around and then she just wants him.🙂

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We can’t get enough of her! If I could follow her around all day videotaping everything she does, I would because I never want to forget any moment with her. Her little voice, the way she plays, her little comments, everything is the best!!

UPDATE: I totally forgot to mention one other fun fact about Claire – We (CJ and I) get in trouble if we leave a mess around the house. If CJ leaves his shoes in the kitchen, or I leave my purse on the floor, she’ll say something like, “Uh oh, Mommy, your purse. Here I get it.” and she’ll carry it back to my room. It’s hilarious!

23.5 Months Old

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Well, in 2.5 weeks, we are going to have a 2 year old on our hands. Isn’t that crazy!?!? Time really does fly by but, at the same time, it almost seems like Claire’s been around forever. Almost.😉

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Claire is talking so much lately and we’re actually having conversations now which is SO awesome. I absolutely love being able to ask her about her day, knowing what she wants, and getting more of a glimpse into what she’s thinking about. A few mini-stories of her talking:

  • Sometimes, she’ll ask us a question and, when we answer it, she reply with a short and sweet “Oh.” and then move on with her day. As if she’s saying, “Oh, that makes sense.”
  • When we ask her questions, sometimes she’ll say “Ummmm” before answering. We love that she’s thinking about what she’s going to say. Tonight, we asked her if she wanted more milk and she said, “Ummm…… no.” She really kept us hanging for that one.
  • She pronounces elephant, “Efenant”. I will miss the days when she doesn’t say it that way.
  • She’s already a backseat driver. She’ll point to where she wants us to drive and say “This way”. If we don’t go the way she wants, she’s not happy about it.
  • She’ll tell us to say “Thank you” if we forget to. Manners are quite important!
  • She has started asking “why” lately.
  • When she wants to be held or wants to snuggle, she says “I hold you?”. We love that.
  • I was driving her home from daycare today and she was holding her toy dog on her lap. She started saying something about her dogs eyes and, when I asked her about it, she said she was putting eye drops in his eyes. It’s amazing how good her memory is – a couple months ago, we had to give her eye drops every night for a week. Apparently, she still remembers that!
  • This morning, CJ was getting her ready for daycare and sang “Put your hands in the air and say ‘heyoooo'” and she did exactly that. It was HILARIOUS and totally unexpected. You had to be there.

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Other random facts:

  • As far as what she’s loving right now, she could watch trucks and buses all day. She loves any and all dogs. She likes to carry her purse around and take her baby on walks.
  • Her hair is long enough for a mini-ponytail which I’m soooo happy about!!
  • She loves to help cook, do laundry, clean, you name it! She’s the best helper.
  • She loves to read books – our nighttime routine takes FOREVER because she has to read at least 5 books.
  • She’s getting better with her potty training – she’ll tell us when she has to go (not every time but much more than in the past) and doesn’t fight going when we suggest it. Progress!!
  • She loves to do her “makeup”. We bought a clean brush set and empty travel bottles and she likes to pretend that she’s putting makeup on the brushes and applies it to her face.
  • She still doesn’t like sweets – we tried offering her a s’more recently and she hated it.
  • She loves to pretend to talk on the phone.

And last but not least, she is going to be a flower girl in one of my best friend’s wedding!! We are soooo excited about that and can’t wait!

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I know I’m forgetting so many stories about her which makes me so sad. I wish I could remember every moment with her, especially this age. She is SO fun!!

Easter Celebrations

2016Easter_4Happy belated Easter everyone!! We had a wonderful weekend up in the mountains at our family cabin and absolutely loved the downtime.

Stopped to take a quick photo in Murphys

Stopped to take a quick photo in Murphys

On Saturday, we wandered around downtown Murphys (one of our favorite towns) and visited the local shops on the main street. We had to stop ourselves from buying a ton of cute items. I’m very intrigued by adult coloring books and almostttt bought one several times. We also saw a cute book to document Claire’s school years which had spots to write in her teachers, friends, favorite classes, and pouches to put in artwork, report cards, etc. We have a few more years before Claire starts school so there’s no rush in getting that now but I’m definitely going to keep it on my radar! In the last store, she found a cute kids owl backpack and proceeded to grab it and try to fill it with coloring supplies. It was SO adorable!! My heart couldn’t handle seeing her try on that backpack. I’m thinking she might need one to tote around her toys.

Walking back to the cabin from the park

Walking back to the cabin from the park

Claire absolutely loves the swings and she thought it was hilarious that I was jumping under her to take this photo. Definitely a risk that paid off!

Claire absolutely loves the swings and she thought it was hilarious that I was jumping under her to take this photo. Definitely a risk that paid off!

After that, CJ dropped Claire and I off at the swings by our cabin while he grabbed a few things at the grocery store. Claire and I walked back to the cabin together after playing on the swings for a while. I had one of those moments when walking back, where I thought to myself, I hope I never ever forget this. It breaks my heart that I can’t remember every moment with her but especially ones like these. The weather was beautiful, Claire was holding my hand and pointing out things she saw and just chit chatted with me. I thought, how did I get so lucky? I do miss the squishy-ness of baby Claire but MAN do I love this age right now. I love that when we’re heading somewhere, she say things like “Daddy, I’m comingggg!” and “Papa, where areeeee youuuu?”, I love that she asked me where Daddy was, that she noticed the huge trees and was in awe of them, that she still loves to hold my hand, that she heard Zoe barking from far away and pointed it out, and is always delighted at the smallest things. She makes me appreciate the small things and, for that, I’m so grateful.

That night, we dyed Easter eggs with my mom – it was Claire’s first time! She absolutely loved coloring on them with crayons beforehand and dipping them in the cups. She got more and more bold and by the end was plopping the eggs in the cup without using the little metal hook. We had to remind her to be more gentle with the eggs.🙂

Pure joy on Easter morning. She was SO excited to see what the Easter bunny brought her.

Pure joy on Easter morning. She was SO excited to see what the Easter bunny brought her.

Lately, CJ and I have been finding ourselves glancing at each other with the biggest smiles on our faces at how adorable our little girl is. A few moments that made us do that:

  • Lately, she’ll ask us a question, we’ll answer and she’ll respond with a matter-of-fact “Oh.”
  • Or, last night, we were putting her to bed and she kept trying to open her bedroom door, would say “Be back,” and then would leave to grab something.
  • We’re really talented at making ourselves more sleepy than Claire during her bedtime routine and you’ll hear Claire say, quite often, “Daddy, wake up!” because she can tell we’re losing him.
  • For the longest time, we’d ask her a question and, if she wanted to answer yes, she’d say “Mmm Hmmm”. But, now, she will say with an enthusiastic tone “Yeahhhhh” or “Yep”. Writing this down doesn’t truly emphasize how cute it sounds but you have to take my word for it. Her little voice is to die for.
Group photo before heading over to brunch at Ironstone Vineyards

Group photo before heading over to brunch at Ironstone Vineyards

She was soo happy to be with the bunny

She was soo happy to be with the bunny

Okay, I digress, back to Easter weekend. On Easter Sunday, we had brunch at Ironstone with my parents. Claire was too excited for the Easter egg hunt and for the Easter bunny to be interested in eating. She is soooo in love with the Easter bunny. The hunt was starting a couple minutes after we got down to the field so we told her she had to wait to see the bunny but that didn’t work out so well. When they announced that the Easter egg hunt could start, Claire had a meltdown and stood in one place crying the whole time. We helped grab a few eggs for her and headed over to the Easter bunny which cheered her up. Easter Sunday was a lesson in, no matter how much you plan for a perfect day, life happens. Toddlers happen. And that’s OK. The day was perfect because we were all together (but we did miss CJ’s mom and sister! We love you!) and that’s all you really need.

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Life Lately

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It’s amazing how quickly time has been flying by and I still can’t get over how much Claire has grown. I say that over and over again but it takes on a different meaning every time I say it.

Claire has been sick, pretty much non-stop, all of winter. First, it was multiple colds back to back. Then it was pinkeye. Then, hand foot and mouth. And now, croup. I had never even heard of the last two sicknesses until she got them. The crazy thing is, I have no idea where she got them from. For a mommy, seeing your little one sick is the absolute worse. I felt helpless. I felt sick for her. I was probably more bothered by it than she was. I desperately want her to feel well all the time for her sake but, selfishly, for my own. I don’t quite understand it but, as a mother, there’s a connection between you and your child that is unexplainable. I imagine it’s similar to the myth of how twins feel – connected in some supernatural way.

Motherhood is the most amazing, magical, and awe-inspiring journey I think I’ll ever be on. Your body creates a human life and then slowly, but surely, they develop into their own person with their own likes, dislikes, and quirks that make you laugh non-stop. She may frustrate me at times (don’t all toddlers?!?!😉 ), but the moment she’s out of sight, I miss her terribly. I want to hold her and squeeze her and dread the day when she’ll no longer let me do that constantly.

Lately, I find myself frantically scribbling funny stories about her in my notebook. I don’t want to forget these little moments because they are what makes life so wonderful. She’s talking so much, making little jokes, and when I look at her, I can tell she’s really looking back and watching mine and CJ’s every move. I love her more than words could ever possibly describe and am constantly in awe of her.

I’m thankful every day for this gift and hope I never ever take it for granted.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.

22 Months Old!

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Well, another month has flown by and we’re having a blast. This month was a whirlwind and we’re hoping for things to slow down a bit over the next month.

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Let’s talk about 22 month old Claire:

  • Weight: About 25 1/2 pounds… I think. She’s really hit a growth spurt recently!
  • Loves:
    • To try to convince us to let her do things by saying, “One time” as if she can barter with us. It’s hilarious and adorable even if we still say no.🙂
    • To call her Nana (my mom), “Mom”. Since that’s what I call her, she thinks she can call her that too. The other day, we were at my parents’ house and she turned to CJ and I and said (with her hands stretched out), “Where mom?!?” Again, hilarious and so adorable. She calls her “Nana” too but it’s pretty funny that she thinks she can call her “Mom”.
    • To go on walks around the neighborhood.
    • To watch cars and trucks drive past our house. She also loves to wait out front for Daddy to come home from work.
    • To play with her Snapo toys. She calls them Legos.
    • To run across the house or around our couches… over and over and over again. She says “Gi-gi GO!!!!” before taking off.
    • To help Mommy fold laundry. It’s so hilarious because she saw me hold a sheet in my mouth once to help fold it so, now, every time she picks something up to fold it, she puts in her mouth first and then wads it up into a ball and sets it down.
    • To play with Mommy and Daddy. She’ll say to us, “Mommy come” or “Daddy come” and gestures for us to come to her. It’s hard to say no to that.
    • To play with her baby doll, carry her little purse around, and drive her red car.
    • To read books! She loves flipping through all her Dr. Seuss books (and others) and saying phrases she remembers from that part of the book or pointing out her favorite characters.
  • Hates:
    • Getting her hair washed. She absolutely hates getting her head wet!
    • Bedtime. She would stay up all night if she could!
    • Being interrupted in the middle of a task or being rushed. That doesn’t sound anything like me! (Sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell😉 )
  • Talents:
    • Talking! She has so much to say!
    • Dancing. She has the best moves. I’m sooo excited to start taking her to dance classes when she’s old enough.
  • Sleeping:
    • She normally sleeps from 8/9pm to 6am. Every few nights, she wakes up around 3am and wants to snuggle with us. We’re trying to be better about keeping her in her crib but every once in a while we cave and bring her into our bed.
    • Her bedtime routine takes forever!! We have to read at least 5 books before putting her down in bed and then have to read her at least 2 more books.
  • Other Random Facts:
    • She is sooo polite. For example, when she doesn’t want to do something, she says, “No please.” If she accidentally does something that hurts us (like throws a toy and it accidentally hits us), she says “Sorry” right away without us asking her to. She’s also very good at saying “Thank you” when it’s appropriate.
    • Highlights from this past month: Celebrating Daddy’s birthday by going sledding up by our family cabin (she loved the snow!!) and Grandma visiting for a weekend and baking a cake for Daddy.
    • Lowlights: She was sick three times over the past month (a cold, pink eye and hand foot and mouth). Her potty training sort of went south this last month. She is still doing pretty well at daycare but we aren’t pushing it as much at home. We want to be consistent and make sure she makes progress but, with all her sicknesses this last month, it really made it harder to stay on it. She started to refuse to sit on the potty and, because we want it to be a positive experience, we didn’t push it if she said no. We’re planning on spending another weekend going back to the basics to get us back on track.

Every day, we wake up and are astonished at how much older she seems. We feel like we can see a difference in how much older she’s getting every day. We love her more than we could have ever imagined.

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