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. ūüôā

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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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. ūüėČ
  • 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. ūüė¶
  • 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. ūüôā

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

Christmas Decorations

Everyone who knows me well knows that Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I love having a day to enjoy with my family and my favorite food items (especially the mashed potatoes – yum!). My mom’s cooking is outrageously delicious so it’s hard not to look forward to a whole feast of that once a year. So, because of that, I have a pet peeve when people start playing Christmas music or decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving is over. I tend to think, “Um, hello! The best holiday of the year hasn’t happened yet and you’re already moving onto the next one??”

Even so, there are certain things about Christmas that I love. I love how cozy it feels and how friendly everyone is. I love that whenever you check out at a store, they say either “Happy Holidays!” or “Merry Christmas!”. I love going Christmas shopping, even during all the craziness of hunting for a parking spot or waiting in long lines. I looove hot chocolate and the smell of Christmas trees. I love the Elvis Presley song “Blue Christmas” because my dad used to play it on repeat right after Thanksgiving until Christmas. My sister and I used to tease him about it but we not-so-secretly loved it. I love seeing all the wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree.

I think that’s why I’m so incredibly excited for next year’s Christmas because we’ll have our baby girl with us and we’ll get to decide what Christmas traditions we want to do with her. I can’t wait until she’s old enough to wake us up at 6am to see what Santa brought her. I remember being like that when I was little and loved how magical it felt.¬†One of my favorite traditions from when I was little was having Santa come visit us on Christmas Eve and bring everyone a new pair of pajamas. I remember loving that and, on one particular Christmas Eve, going outside and seeing something flying in the air that I thought was Santa flying away in his sleigh. Looking back, it was probably an airplane flying by but thinking that it was Santa made the experience so much better.

So, back to the title of this blog post, Christmas decorations are another thing. What I dislike the most about them – how long it takes to unpack them and set them up and…even more than that… putting them away after all the fun of Christmas is over. It’s such a chore to do it but I enjoy them for the short time that they are up. I am very very particular about what Christmas decorations I like which is why I’d rather pick out decorations with CJ and buy them ourselves. I want everything to match and to have a certain look to it. I like the types of decorations that are definitely for Christmas but that coordinate with the existing decor in the house. I love rustic decorations that blend in with what we’ve already put in the house.

Below is an example of my favorite style of Christmas decorations (from The Lily Pad Cottage). We loooove this.

The Lily Pad Cottage РChristmas Mantel

There are some decorations we found at Nordstrom a couple of months ago that I love too. Here are a couple of adorable Nordstrom decorations:

Linen Runner 

Burlap Tree

I was inspired by what we saw at Nordstrom so we found some adorable decorations at Target that mirror that same style. You’ll see them in the photos of what we’ve done on the fireplace mantel.

For this year, we only bought a few decorations as we know we’ll build up a supply over time and I really love what we’ve done. It’s so simple and understated yet definitely incorporates the Christmas feel. ¬†I love what we have so much that I’m a little sad to pack them away once the holidays are over.

Our Christmas mantel decorations

Our Christmas mantel decorations. We have a third stocking for Baby T! We’ll add in her initial next year. I’d love to add some garland on the mantel, we just haven’t found any that meet our standards.

Close up of the left side - both items are from Target

Close up of the left side – both items are from Target

Close up of our adorable stocking hangers - from Crate & Barrel

Close up of our adorable stocking hangers – from Crate & Barrel. I love that they match the wooden picture frames that we already have in the family room.

I love these two little guys - both from Target

I love these two little guys – both from Target

Our majestic ceramic reindeer - from Target

Our majestic ceramic reindeer – from Target

I love our little Christmas tree that we found at the Christmas tree lot where my parents get their tree

I love our little Christmas tree that we found at the Christmas tree lot where my parents get their tree

We still need to do some work on our Christmas tree decorations – I really want all the ornaments to coordinate and for it to look like one of those beautiful trees in a department store (with sprinkles of personalized ornaments that we’ll gather over the years). We’re nowhere near that yet but we’ll get there eventually. ūüôā Our Christmas tree this year is simple yet beautiful, we love it.

Our first Christmas tree in our home!

Our first Christmas tree in our home!