14 Months Old!

14 Months

Where has our little baby gone?!?! Every day passes by and we are seeing less of our baby girl and more of our little toddler. I guess I said that last month too but it’s becoming more true! This is such a fun age though it’s definitely bittersweet. We miss the days when she was tiny and snuggly but love her playfulness, her spunk, and her sense of humor.

Here’s a rundown of our 14 month old Claire:

  • Weight: Maybe around 20 pounds? I really wish we bought one of those baby scales! She seems a lot taller this month.
  • Loves:
    • Running around everywhere!! Sometimes she tries to go faster than her feet will allow.
    • Taking Zoe for walks around the house.
    • To give hugs. When she doesn’t want to be put down, she’ll hold tight onto our neck. She also will grab around our neck and hang there if she wants to be picked up.
    • To say “dada”. It’s her favorite word.
    • Her Papa (my dad). Without fail, her face lights up every time he enters the room.
    • To flip the pages of a book that we’re reading to her.
    • To clean. Whenever she sees me with the broom, she takes it and starts “sweeping” all over the house. I can’t handle the cuteness! Also, if she sees stuff on the floor, she will try to put it away. The other day, some of our mail blew onto the floor and she grabbed all of it and placed it on one of the kitchen chairs. Another example of cleaning, she had so much fun feeding Zoe and Izzy (my parent’s dog and Zoe’s littermate) in the cabin. She would fill up a bowl of food and carry it over to them for them to eat and then repeat. A couple times, she knocked the bowl over and she stopped to pick up every kernel and put it back in the bowl. It was amazing!
    • To pet the dogs.
    • To feed herself with a spoon. It’s a bit messy but she gets so proud of herself!
    • Her Camelbak water bottle. I have one that she loves to take and drink from all the time so we bought one for her. Well, first we tried to buy a sippy cup that looked like a Camelbak but that wasn’t good enough for her. She wanted the real deal. 🙂
    • To sleep with her blue teddy bear (pictured in the first photo of this post) and her Winnie the Pooh bear. When she wakes up, she stands at the side of the crib holding her blue bear. It’s sooo sweet.
    • To wave.
    • To give kisses.
    • To dance to “Hot Dog” (a Mickey Mouse Playhouse song) and the “Winnie the Pooh” song. She also enjoys dancing to certain country songs!
    • Remote controls! We got her a toy one but, again, she prefers the real deal.
    • To share. Her toys, her food, pretty much anything.
  • Hates:
    • Diaper changes, with a passion.
    • When things are taken away from her; she’s mastered the meltdown.
  • Talents:
    • She shakes her head “no” when she doesn’t want something. It’s SO great to get feedback from her on what she wants.
    • She is very talented at fake crying when she’s trying to get her way. Maybe she’ll be an actress!? When we call her out on it, most of the time she stops and moves on with her day. Good thing she’s extremely adorable when she does it.
    • She understands us when we ask her to do something – for instance, asking her to put something away or get her teddy bear or give Zoe a hug.
    • A few times, we think we’ve heard her say words and phrases like, “I want that”, “No”, and “Yes”. We’re always so surprised when she does it!
  • Sleeping:
    • 4 of the last 7 days have had only one nap. She kind of goes back and forth to needing one long nap and two not-as-long naps (but definitely not short). We’ll see how that pans out over the next few weeks.
    • As far as sleeping through the night, she’s doing better. There are some outliers where she doesn’t sleep well but that’s become the exception, thankfully!

4th of July

  • Other Random Facts:
    • She has a little bit of a mullet going on. Not intentionally… her hair just seems to be very keen on growing in the back but not so into filling in on the top or sides.
    • I’m still breastfeeding. When I’m about to nurse her and she’s really excited for it, she does this sort of laugh/cry. It’s so cute, I wish I could videotape it. My initial goal was to breastfeed until she was 12 months old but she still really seems to enjoy it and I love the bonding time so we’re playing it by ear. I don’t have a plan on when I will stop at this point.
    • She got her molars in over the last month or so. It’s so weird to see them in the back of her mouth because they’re so huge! She now has 12 teeth!
    • When she’s done eating, she likes to throw all remaining food on the ground (presumably, for Zoe to eat, since she always lays under her high chair).

She is sooo much fun and is fully of energy! We’re dead tired at the end of every day and have no idea how she has so much energy for such a little person. Then again, she does get to nap in the middle of the day. 😉

4th of July

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! We celebrated at our family cabin and had so much fun.

4th of July 2015

It’s hard planning activities around Claire’s nap schedule but we were able to go to the 4th of July parade in the morning and then we went to the neighborhood lake after her nap. We originally planned on going to a 4th of July celebration at a winery that we love (CJ and I celebrated there two years ago and absolutely loved it!) but it started at 4:30pm and we figured we wouldn’t be able to stay there long before we had to head home to put Claire to bed. We’re hoping next year will be better.

Claire watching the parade.

Claire watching the parade.

Sand Fun

It was Claire’s first time encountering sand which was fun! She did not like sitting, walking or really touching it but she loved raking the sand and scooping it into the bucket with the beach toys. She was sooo happy the whole time with those toys. She also loved when we dipped her toes in the water but did not want to walk around in it because, like I said, she doesn’t like touching sand. She likes to stay as neat as possible… unless beans are involved. Then she’s as messy as can be. 🙂

What We Didn’t Know We Needed

I’m a big fan of lists… really, for anything in life. But especially for holidays, birthdays, and general gift ideas. I also don’t enjoy when people deviate from the list because I put a lot of thought into it and those are things I truly want. With that being said, some people have surprised us with the best gifts that I never would have known I needed/wanted but they turn out to be my favorites.

Some highlights over the last few years: a family friend painted the most breathtaking portrait of CJ and I as a wedding gift, that same friend’s husband sewed the most beautiful quilt for Claire for her 1st birthday and my sister sewed a beautiful quilt for her baby shower gift that we use every single day, my sister made a shadow box of keepsakes from my wedding as a gift, my uncle gave CJ and I my grandparents’ silverware set as a wedding gift (I cried), and I’m sure there are more I’m forgetting to list. As you can see, I’m sentimental and these are all near and dear to my heart.

This next gift is much less sentimental but SO practical that I felt we needed to do a post on it. As a baby shower gift, CJ’s brother and wife sent us a booster seat as a gift and told us it was the most useful thing they have. We remember thinking to ourselves, what are we going to do with this thing??!? (Rookies)

Anyway, fast forward months later when we were trying to lug our high chair back and forth to my parents’ house for dinners and when Claire kept trying to climb out of every single restaurant high chair, we knew we needed to try something different.


We decided to finally try the booster seat and all I can say is… What a lifesaver!!! Claire can’t climb out (and only attempts to when she’s done eating), we have a clean surface for her to eat on (versus at a restaurant where she will pick up and flip over plates if we put on in front of her), and it’s lightweight and convenient to travel with. We are so grateful they deviated from our baby registry to give us something they knew we needed, even if we had no idea!


Look at her blue eyes! So gorgeous

What have you discovered you can’t live without?

First Birthday Photos

To say I’m obsessed with these photos would be an understatement. A million thank yous to our photographer, Shawnee, for capturing these moments.

Part of me wants to plaster them over every wall in our house, or make a book out of them, or… I don’t even know, the possibilities are endless!!

Below are some of my favorites. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of them.

We are so in love with our beautiful little girl and these photos definitely show that!

First Swim

Last weekend, we took Claire over to my parent’s house for her first time swimming in a pool. It was the perfect summer day. We played music on the stereo, BBQed steak and corn on the cob, and floated around in the pool while catching up on some laundry. If we could make this an every weekend occurrence, we would be happy campers.


Anyway, Claire loved the pool! We bought a floating tube for her that had a sun shade so she wouldn’t get burnt. Right when we put her in it, she started kicking around and it was so fun to see her enjoying the pool. We weren’t sure because we have about a 50% success rate with baths lately. She either completely hates them or is slightly OK with them. But the pool? No problem. We probably swam for a half hour or 45 minutes and she was perfectly content the whole time.



Yay summer!


June 13 Oregon

Last weekend, we flew up to Oregon to celebrate my nephew’s graduation from high school.

This was the fourth plane trip for Claire (Vermont at 8 weeks old, New York at 6 months old, Orange County at almost 8 months old, and now Oregon at 13 months). She’s flown more than some people I know but it’s interesting how every trip has been so different because of her age. The first two trips she slept the whole time. This last trip, she didn’t sleep at all. She climbed back and forth on CJ and I. She read through the safety pamphlet (very responsible of her!). She tried to escape to the aisle to run around. And she watched some Winnie the Pooh on the iPad. On one of our flights, a mom, her 2 year old son, and her newborn baby walked past us (I should clarify the newborn baby did not walk past us, he was wrapped up in a Moby Wrap on his mommy :)) and CJ and I looked at each other thinking “How is that woman flying on her own with two little ones?!?!”. Anyway, she deserved a medal (like my sister does for doing the same thing back in the day!). It reminded me how much easier it was to fly when Claire was a newborn because she slept the whole time. The only difficulty was in lugging around (what felt like) 52 bags.

On one of our morning walks by the water

On one of our morning walks by the water

Anyway, back to the Oregon trip, we honestly didn’t want to leave. We considered extending our trip because we had so much fun but, alas, life was calling and we had to get back to it. We stayed at a hotel in Portland along the river and spent each morning walking along the water and enjoying the breathtakingly beautiful weather. We stopped at a coffee shop along the path that, one morning, gave us a free latte (which was amazing!). We saw a group of people gathering to ride kayaks down the river. Claire must have thought she was in heaven with the amount of dogs she saw on our walk. I got choked up at one point because the feeling of being back in Portland was so overwhelming for me (I grew up outside of Portland, for those of you who don’t know). We had random conversations with people in stores and it reminded us how friendly people are outside of California. Then, we went to my sister’s house which was filled with an auntie, uncle, and four cousins to Claire who played with her and showered her with so much love. It was such a wonderful display of the importance of family.


My sister and I were clearly having a moment when this photo was taken. Unfortunately, Claire had already gone to sleep for the night when we took this photo.

If there’s one thing I could change, it’s that I wish we lived closer. I wish we could hop in the car and see each other in 10 minutes. Luckily, it’s a short plane ride away and we’re not across the country. But even that plane ride seems like too much.

Until next time, Oregon. You will always feel like home to me.


13 Months Old!


I am sooo late on this post but we have been quite busy over the past few weeks! I went on my first business trip away from Claire the week before Claire turned 13 months old and we flew to Oregon for my nephew’s high school graduation celebration last weekend. More on that later but I should say that we definitely didn’t want to leave Oregon! We had so much fun.

Reading a book and sitting with her new teddy bear from Chicago that I got her

Reading a book and sitting with her new teddy bear from Chicago that I got her

This month Claire has really seemed to change and really seems like a toddler now! She no longer feels like a baby to us which is so sad but exciting at the same time. We are loving this age and she keeps us laughing all the time.


Our little goober

Here’s a rundown of 13 month old Claire:

  • Weight: No idea! But she is wearing 12M clothes. Well, it depends on the brand because in some brands she’s 6-12 months.
  • Loves:
    • To sit on our laps and read books. She’ll walk over to us and sit right in our laps and it is so adorable!
    • To walk EVERYWHERE and to explore everywhere.
    • Flipping through books on her own.
    • To rearrange bookshelves (so really… to take everything off bookshelves 😉 )
    • Sharing her food.
    • To eat any foods that Mommy and Daddy are eating.
    • To give hugs and kisses.
    • BEANS! She is the bean queen. She also loves cheese, peas, corn, and yogurt.
    • To wear her black flats or her moccasins from Nana and Papa. She used to always take her shoes off but she’s done pretty well with those two.
    • Mickey Mouse Playhouse!! I really would rather not have Claire watch much TV at all but on occasion, we let her watch that in the morning and she goes bananas for it. She bounces up and down and looks so incredibly excited. She’s quite a big fan of Mickey Mouse.
    • To make raspberry noises with her mouth, over and over.
    • To lay on Zoe (and she loves Zoe in general). Zoe has become her shadow recently and it’s so cute to see Claire running everywhere and Zoe calmly following behind her.
    • All dogs. If we’re carrying her and she sees a dog, she starts waving her arms and kicking her legs from excitement. We’re pretty sure she brightens up every dog owner’s day when she does that because it’s way too cute.
    • Belly buttons. She thinks they are hilarious!
    • To spontaneously laugh out loud. Sometimes it’s for a reason and sometimes it seems to come out of nowhere. It’s too cute!
  • Hates:
    • Not a fan of cow’s milk. I wouldn’t say hate but she really is not at all interested in drinking it. I’m still breastfeeding her so it’s not an issue.


  • Talents:
    • Clapping!
    • Dancing! She bounces up and down, quickly shuffles her feet, and shakes her head to music that she loves.
    • Probably doesn’t qualify as a talent but… she’s getting more hair! It’s sort of looking like a mullet right now because it’s so long in the back  compared to the top but it’s definitely coming in!
  • Sleeping:
    • It varies. I went on my first business trip from Tuesday through Friday two weeks ago and, prior to that, she was waking up once in the night for a feeding. Because I wasn’t there to feed her while I was gone, CJ was able to train her to fall back asleep on her own. Since I’ve returned (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!!!), she’s pretty much slept through the night.


  • Other Random Facts:
    • She’s become really independent over the last month. We used to dread dropping her off at the gym to work out. One time recently, we dropped her off and were cautiously exiting the play area and said bye to her. She looked up, waved “bye bye”, and continued on playing. Apparently us leaving is no longer a big deal. I’m so happy that she’s gained her independence but it is a little sad at the same time.
    • She had her first ponytail on May 29. She looked so cute!!!
    • She has 10 teeth now. It looks like a molar came in the back and another tooth on the other side.
    • She has so much personality! She’s very opinionated, determined, energetic, active, and independent. She’s also very talkative and will definitely give you a piece of her mind.

We went wine tasting with friends in Napa! It is much harder to do with a little runner.

And that’s our little 13 month old! I’m so excited to see how she changes over the next month. I always wonder how I’m ever able to come up with content on her but it doesn’t seem to be a problem. 😉

Mama Support

Bear with me while I vent a bit…

I read a lot of blogs in my free time and 98% of them are “mom blogs”. It’s so interesting to read about how each mom approaches each stage of motherhood, how they handle different situations, and I love gathering tips and tricks from them. They’re always so political about how they talk about their approaches, mindful of the fact that each mom is different so, of course, they’re going to handle things differently. I appreciate that. I’ve never been bothered by the fact that we (the collective “we” of moms everywhere) will choose to do things differently. I actually think that’s inevitable – every parent is different, every baby is different, and to go even further… every situation is different. Some things may work today that won’t work tomorrow. There’s no harm in trying different approaches.

Anyway, those same blogs sometimes talk about being judged for their approach and I never experienced it myself until a few days ago. I joined a mom’s group when Claire was first born and loved sharing with and hearing stories from them. They were always so supportive. It was a beautiful community of moms sharing in this adventure of motherhood and admitting to the fact that we’re all human. We’re not perfect. We’re all learning. It’s OK to not know the answer. But a few days ago, I talked to a new mom (who wasn’t part of the group) that was not that way. With every comment that I made about how I approached things, she judged. She made snide comments about how that wasn’t how she handled it. Her baby never did that. She never had that problem. It made me sick to my stomach. How can another woman be so condescending? I’m pretty sure her baby isn’t perfect, nor is anyone’s.

I came home and vented to CJ about it and he lovingly told me that I should just ignore people like that. I’m going to try to ignore those comments going forward because I can’t prevent people from saying that stuff to me. But I’d much rather just ask that all moms support each other. Don’t judge each other for handling things differently. Admit you’re not perfect. There’s nothing wrong with being human. I know I’m willing to support other mamas out there and not judge them.

Okay, that’s it. I’ll get off my pedestal now. 🙂

1st Birthday Party


Claire’s 1st birthday party was a huge success! We spent months prepping for the party by crafting decorations, collecting supplies, and planning what needed to be done on the day of. After Claire went to bed every night, I would whip out another project and try to get as much done before I got the point where I just needed to relax with CJ. I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

A huge thanks to my mom for her help in getting ready for the party in advance and the day of, and to our friends and family who came over early to set up.

The theme was “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” because I used to sing that to her to calm her down. Plus, it’s an adorable theme. 🙂

Here are a few photos of the event:


We had a little “Time Capsule” where people could write their predictions of what Claire will be when she grows up. We’ll have her open them when she turns 18 in 2032. The wands were party favors for the little girls.


I baked the cupcakes on the morning of and made all of the star cupcake toppers. They are double-sided so I had to cut quite a few stars. I frosted about a dozen of the cupcakes and then handed over the frosting duties so I could finish getting ready for the party.


I made the tassel garland for the high chair out of tissue paper and hand cut the ONE letters. A friend brought in an AMAZING printing machine that cut out the banner behind Claire’s high chair for me. It saved me hours of work.


I absolutely loved these sugar cookies!! One of our friends baked these delicious masterpieces in advance of the party.


We had lemonade, water, and beer for attendees. We decorated the cooler with stars to match the theme and had mason jars and striped straws for drinks.


I made a first year banner with a monthly photo for each month of her first year + a newborn photo. I also hand cut each of the stars in between. One of my favorite decorations from the event!


A close-up of the wand party favors. I tied on ribbon to make them extra special.


We used baby food jars for the party favors. CJ spray painted them with chalk paint to make them a uniform color, we filled them with Werthers candies, and I cut out a million more stars for the Thank You tags.


The entryway with another star banner that I made, our party favors, a beautiful flower arrangement made specially for the party, and a fun 1st birthday image of some of our favorite photos of Claire (from Shutterfly). Word of advice: Get a helium machine to blow up your balloons, if you have a bunch. It’s much more convenient and cost-effective.


Claire’s “smash cake”. I made the cake topper, bought the candle from Amazon, and baked her cake in the morning.

20150509_1472The food and dessert table. We originally planned on putting the cake in the middle of the two flower arrangements and on top of a really cool shelf that CJ made but we were worried the cake would melt. So, we kept it inside until the cake smash time and moved the frame in between the two flower arrangements. I made that banner too. 🙂

20150509_1449My other most favorite decoration. CJ made this in Adobe Illustrator and I absolutely love it! It’s filled with stats on Claire and a few of her favorite things. Such a fun keepsake.

For entertainment for the babies, we had a blow up kiddie pool filled with ball pit balls and a tunnel for them to crawl through. It was a hit!

And that was her birthday party!! We are sooo happy with how it went and now need a vacation to rest after all the prepping craziness and the busyness of last weekend.




First Birthday

Happy Birthday to our beautiful, happy, ridiculously adorable 1-year-old!!!

We can’t believe she’s already one year old and have no idea how time flew by so fast. At the same time, it seems like she was born forever ago. This last year has been a whirlwind of learning how to be parents and Claire growing to be an independent, silly, and loving little girl.

Here’s an overview of our little 1-year-old Claire:

  • Weight: She was 18 1/2 pounds on her birthday last Friday. She’s in the 30th percentile for weight so she’s a petite little one like her mama.
  • Loves:
    • Stuffed animals – she loves to give them hugs and open-mouthed kisses!
    • Playing under our kitchen table and chairs. It’s like her own fort.
    • Pushing furniture around the house. For her birthday, we got her a walker (since she loves pushing things around so much) and she is IN LOVE with it!!! I’d like to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done in the birthday present department. She played with it all day on her birthday and it looked like it may have been the best day of her life.
    • Balloons!
    • Playing peek-a-boo
    • To give big hugs while resting her head on us. My heart melts every time.
    • Finger foods – cheese still is her favorite food group but we can also give her pieces of what we’re eating and she loves being able to munch on what we’re having. Somehow, she likes red onions too. That’s a mystery to me since that’s my all-time LEAST favorite food.
    • Walking… everywhere!! Even though she can walk now, she also loves to hold our hands while walking around. It’s so sweet.
    • To share! She’ll hand us her toys or her food. She also thinks it’s hilarious to feed us.
Enjoying her birthday present from Mommy and Daddy

Enjoying her birthday present from Mommy and Daddy

  • Hates:
    • The seahorse. You know, the one that I mentioned was one of our baby essentials? Now, when the music comes on she starts crying and gets extremely upset.
  • Talents:
    • Walking!! She started walking 2 1/2 weeks ago and is so adorable!! A lot of people warned us to enjoy the time before she can walk because then, everything changes. Yes, everything changed but for the better. I love that she’s an independent little person now and I love hearing the pitter patter of her little footsteps and seeing her smiling face peek around the corner. I think this has been my favorite developmental change so far.
    • She points to things she wants and says “Dat”. We love that she can communicate with us now!
    • We can tell she understands us when we’re talking to her – we can say “What is that?” and she takes off in the opposite direction because she knows she has something she shouldn’t. Or we’ll say “I’m gonna get you” and she always charges toward us (she doesn’t quite get that we’re supposed to chase her 😉 ). I can also ask where Mickey or Winnie the Pooh is and she’ll go get them.

May 3

  • Sleeping:
    • For the last week (except for last night), she’s been sleeping through the night. This weekend was crazy busy with family in town for her birthday and Mother’s Day so we expected her sleep schedule to be impacted a bit. Even so, she did incredibly well.
    • Lately, Claire has been waking up from her second nap in a crabby mood. She always wakes up from her first nap as happy as can be but not so much from her second. It’s pretty funny because I’m just as crabby when I wake up from naps in the afternoon. Like mother, like daughter. 😉
  • Other Random Facts:
    • We had her birthday party on Saturday and it was so fun! I’ll do a post on that specifically. It was so wonderful to have so many of our family and friends come to celebrate Claire’s first birthday (and us surviving the first year of parenthood, yay us!). We are the luckiest people in the world to have such a great support system. Huge thanks to all of our family and friends that came early to help set up for the party!
    • On her birthday, we had a lot of errands to run to prep for her party but we made sure to have our own little celebration complete with present opening, a cupcake, and plenty of play time. Claire is happiest when she can run around and play so we made sure that was at the top of our priority list for the day. We purposely kept it low  key because we knew the rest of the weekend was going to be super busy.
A good example of how Claire felt about having frosting all over her hands - she HATED it.

A good example of how Claire felt about having frosting all over her hands – she HATED it. She’s holding it together pretty well in this photo. She had a meltdown when we took her to clean her off.

And that’s our little one year old! We are absolutely loving this stage and love her newfound independence that came with walking. We can’t believe we are now parents of a TODDLER!! How did that happen?!?!