Thursday, December 30, 2010

Catching up on December

Tomorrow Jude will be two months old! Kevin took this picture on Christmas Day.
He holds his head up really well, and can push himself up while on his tummy and sort of scoot/wiggle forward.
(This photo was actually taken weeks ago. He already looks different, doesn't he?!) He can already makes it most of the way over while on his stomach and I think he'll be an early roller, like Claire was. He loves to coo and will have talking sessions with us where he looks intently at us and makes those cute sing-song noises. Those are my favorite! He also gives us super big smiles.

Claire gets more grown-up every day.
This is her on Christmas morning modeling a skirt from my mom. She is constantly saying the funniest things (most of which I forget to write down!) One of her favorite questions is, "How does this work?" She loves to sing along to her favorite music, and can do the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and a few other kids songs all by herself. She calls Jude "little buddy" and loves to help take care of him. If he fusses she runs to get his pacifier, but if I try and give it to him when he isn't crying she tries to stops me and says, "No Mommy, he's happy, he don't need it!" While riding in the car or playing, Claire always wants to hold Jude's hand.

We recently enjoyed a big rainstorm, and Claire loved going out and stomping in puddles:

My good friend Jamie made these fabulous hats for the kiddos. They look so adorable in them!

For Christmas, we got Claire a toddler bed.
Up till now she has been sleeping in her crib which has been converted to a toddler bed. But Jude is starting to sleep better, and will hopefully be ready to move into a crib soon. With coupons and gift cards, we only paid $16 for the new bed! It is a blue Toy Story bed, which she LOVES! She sleeps great in it, and it is much better than the crib conversion. She needed a supplementary step stool and bed rail to get in and stay safely in the crib. This one is so low to the ground and comes with its own side rails.

We were walking in the mall a few weeks before Christmas and came across a craft area where you buy a little wooden item and they have a place to color it with little kids sized chairs and washable markers. I asked Claire if she wanted to make one as a present for someone. She chose the item (a little wooden train) and decided all on her own that she wanted to give it to Daddy. She decorated it, took it home, wrapped it, and proudly presented it to her father on Christmas.

The last month has been a whirlwind. Life with two has been busy busy busy!
This is the way I did dishes and cleaned the kitchen in preparation for going up to my parents' house for Christmas. I had Jude in a Moby Wrap and Claire in an Ergo carrier. Worked quite well, although I was sweating by the time I was done.

My house may or may not currently look like this:

So, that's us for now. Sorry for taking so long to update. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Month Old!

Jude is one month old... kind of. There is no 31st this month, so it's an approximation! Here is a photo I took recently of my two kids:

We're all doing well. Jude has started to give big smiles and make little cooing noises. He's really growing out of his newborn-ness. Claire is getting over a cold, so things are getting easier around here. We're starting to enjoy our days instead of just attempting to get through them intact! The past two weeks were challenging with a 2 week old and a sick two year old! I'm starting to look forward to the days again! Hope to have more fun things to report soon!

Monday, November 22, 2010

More pictures

Playing outside in the sun with her sweet shades.

Our house is cold and the heater is ineffective. Blankets and hats are always warm, though!

Free face-painting at Ikea. Claire was unsure about having her cheeks painted, so the lady did her arm instead. She was super excited!

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3 AM

  • Last night. 3 am. Both kids awake. Both parents awake.
  • 4 am. Everyone finally asleep but me. What am I doing? Composing this post in my head because I'm a crazy person and also a bit of an insomniac. It started out as a facebook status update, and then I realized it was too long a story for that medium. So I'm just laying there, writing, revising, grammar checking. All in my head. Seriously.
  • 4:45. Jude awake, but no big deal because I hadn't fallen asleep yet.
  • 6 am. Jude's up for good, so after feeding him, cleaning up all the spit up he doused me with, and pouring a much needed cup of coffee, it's on to the internet.
Now as I sit to write about our night, I realize it really isn't all that interesting. I suppose it's just easy to be a bit narcissistic at 3am and presume your experience is worth documenting for the masses (and by masses I mean you 5 or so friends and family who read this.)

So, lately life here has been a bit, shall we say, exhausting. The cold virus has invaded. Claire has a horrible chest cough and looks like she must feel terrible. Of course, if it weren't for the cough, you'd assume she had just been possessed by the most vehement case of the terrible twos know to man. When she's sick she doesn't slow down, she speeds up and gets nasty. We've been dodging tantrums all week. Of course, Claire shared the cold with me and I have no opportunity to rest it off. I've gone a little OCD with hand washing in an attempt to keep Jude from catching the cold. (So far, so good!)

Claire's 3 am wake up was due in part to her cold, and in part to a technology fail. We have been using a nightlight on a timer to train her to stay in bed in the morning until a reasonable hour. She knows that she has to stay in bed until the light goes off. That means it's morning and it's ok to come in our room. Because of the crazy tantruming of late, I experimented with using the light for naps as well. It did not help. Nap time continues to be a battlefield. Well, apparently when I set the timer for her nap I mistakenly set it for 3am instead of 3 pm. I never realized it before because we never made it through an entire nap time. Because Claire's sick, she's not sleeping well. When she came wandering in our room last night, Kevin tried to take her back to bed. She got so sad and kept saying, "The sunshine's awake!" When we discovered her light was on, we realized what had happened. We felt so bad for her! It was the middle of the night, she was so sick and obviously exhausted, but she thought it was time to wake up. It took an hour of cuddling before she was ready to go back to her room.

So, between that and Jude's normal newborn waking up, sleep was hard to come by last night. I'm compensating this morning with Lion King and blogging! (I just skipped past the part where Mufasa is trampled to death.) I can't wait till everyone is healthy again and life can get back to "normal." Until then, I foresee a lot of TV in our future. Oh well!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


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We've made it through two weeks! So far, so good. Jude is pretty mello so far. He often sleeps well in between feedings, and his fussy periods are nothing compared to Claire's when she was this age. Actually, Claire continues to be the most work! But she loves her little brother and is so sweet with him. Currently Claire is playing "soccer ball" outside by herself, which is a huge improvement over the high needs playing she usually requires. She growing up so fast!

Kevin went back to work yesterday, so I've been on my own now for the first time since Jude was born. Yesterday was challenging because Jude was awake for 4 hours in the morning, and wanting to be held and fed a lot, while Claire was cranky and misbehaving a lot. I was exhausted by 10:30! But today is going more smoothly (even though I have not and probably will not get to take a shower!) Jude has started to make eye contact consistently. I think real smiles will be coming soon. I went to the pediatrician yesterday. He is 9 pounds 6 ounces now. I don't remember his length, but it was not much more than when he was born. His jaundice is completely gone. Overall, he's in great shape, just a clogged tear duct that is more annoying than anything else. The Dr said it could clear up tomorrow, or take as long as 4 months! I hope for sooner rather than later. I have some cute pictures on my phone, so I'll try and do a picture only post from there to share them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Joys and Trials

Hello Everyone! We finally have a chance to announce that Jude Daniyel Schaub Bringard is here! He was born October 31st at 5:04 am. He weighed in at a hearty 9 lbs 1 oz (wow!) He was born at home in the water. It was exactly the birth we had hoped for! Only 3 hours of active labor. The water made all the difference! Our midwife was wonderful! He was born alert and healthy and is thriving. Claire is so excited to be a special big sister. She is always giving him kisses and showing him her toys. She even likes to share her silky (security blanket) with him-but only for short periods of time!

Unfortunately, our joy with his birth was quickly overshadowed by fear and anxiety. After he was born I was unable to deliver the placenta. The condition is called a retained placenta, and is a rare complication (approximately 1% of deliveries.) My midwife worked more and more aggressively as it became clear that I was loosing a lot of blood. She determined that the best course of action was to call an ambulance and have me taken to the hospital before my condition became too critical. This was followed by a series of escalating miscommunications and confusion on the part of the paramedics and ER. I was taken to the wrong hospital who did not have an OB on premises. The ER Dr. was unprepared for my condition and proceeded to exacerbate my blood loss significantly. They had difficulty contacting an OB to come. Finally, someone was contacted and on his way. I was wheeled into the OR where I had surgery, was given a blood transfusion, and the Dr. was able to save me without removing my uterus. Unfortunately I was not out of the woods yet. Due to the amount of blood loss I had experienced, my kidneys were not working properly, and my recovery was stalled. It took some more medication and many hours before I was finally stable. I received wonderful care from the OR until I was released the following day. I am home with strict orders not to do anything! haha!

We have been showered with love and support from everyone and are receiving so much help! My parents are staying with us now, cooking, cleaning, taking care of all of us. Then Kevin's mom will be here when they are gone. We have not been alone for one second, which has been essential! Others are cooking us meals, leaving cookies and amazing notes of encouragement on our doorstep, and generally being God's hands and feet to us. We are so blessed!

The experience was very scary. But I had one amazing moment of hearing from God, just when I was about to give in to fear and panic. I was laying in the OR all alone. They had refused to let my Midwife accompany me inside (she had been right beside me every second up to that point, advocating for me, protecting me, battling the doctors to keep me alive, and speaking constant words of encouragement.) The OB came in and I heard him tell someone "Get her to sign the consent for a hysterectomy." Those words hit me full force along with all the experiences I had just come through. All I could think was, I'm going to die, or all my hopes and dreams for more family were going to be taken before I was 30. I had asked if anyone in the OR was a Christian and would pray over me. As she was praying, I was calling out asking for God to send me his peace. I clearly heard the Spirit speak to me, telling me the Lord is with me, and that I would be OK. He was silent when I asked if I would avoid the hysterectomy, but told me to trust. God's promises are true and were a great source of comfort to me. I knew absolutely that I would be waking up soon! When I awoke, it was to discover I was not only alive but also intact.

Although this was a very traumatic experience for all of us, I am grateful for the good. God works all things for the good of those who love Him. This promise does not mean we get nothing but good, but that in all things God will bring about good. In that OR the Lord was glorified and my faith was made strong. For that I am thankful.

Thank you all for your prayers and congratulations! Please enjoy some pictures here:

Monday, October 25, 2010


As we come close to the birth of our son, Kevin and I have started to ask ourselves a few questions. Most notably, "What were we thinking?!"

We wait with excitement as well as trepidation. This is about to make life different. Different is often good, but not without struggle. Again we revisit the old questions from two years ago when Claire was born: Are we up for this? How will we handle the unexpected? What if he's not healthy? But there are also new questions: How will Claire handle the transition? Can we negotiate our daily routine with an added child? Will we be able to split our attention without causing major birth-order complexes? How will we survive when we can't sleep every time Jude sleeps?!

Of course, all of these things will work themselves out. Most of the time we are ready, confident, expectant.

While we wait, we have been busy. The house is all ready for Jude's birth, and we have moved on to enjoying the little fall rituals available. We have been going to Disneyland regularly while we still can. This weekend we also took Claire to a pumpkin patch. I had a coupon for a free pony ride (they're close to $10 if you have to pay, like a sucker!) I was a little interested to see how she would handle it. They don't let a parent walk with the rider. We had to hand her over to some teenage worker who put her on the pony and then took her around the pen while we waited on the other side of a fence. Of course, the giant animal, the stranger, the separation from Mom and Dad, the new experience; it didn't phase Claire at all! She waved as she passed us each time and grinned through the entire ride!

I'll leave you with the pictures of our recent exploits. The next post will most likely be more newsworthy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A little Advice

I'm not dispensing, I'm requesting. Here's my question:

How do I get Claire to play by herself for any time at all without just putting her in front of the TV? She has an inability to entertain herself. She has way too many toys and will only touch them if someone is sitting next to her, engaging with her while she plays. It's ridiculous, and in a few weeks, completely impossible! I have been attempting to make her more independent in preparation for Jude's arrival. But I can't, for the life of me, get her to leave me alone to get anything done. Don't get me wrong, I DO NOT give her my undivided attention all day. But when I'm busy and I ask her to play by herself for a little while, she follows me around whining or deliberately provokes negative attention by getting in trouble. (She's in time out right now for climbing the DVD rack-something I tell her not to do at least twice/day!) I use language like "Claire's special play time" or "Mommy needs a break." I set timers, lock myself in rooms, all to no avail.

I need some mom wisdom. Tricks of the trade. Something. Anything!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Weather and Midwives


I call that super unfair when you're 36 weeks pregnant. Today it's only 90, but super humid, so I got in the kiddie pool with Claire this morning at 10 am. I was a little self-conscious because our only yard is the front yard, but I got over it quickly because it felt so nice!

Only 4 more weeks to go till D-day! I'm excited, but a little overwhelmed, because I still feel like I have a lot to do to get the house ready for Jude.

For those of you who don't know, we're having him at home with a midwife. Claire was also a planned homebirth, but I was transfered to the hospital at the very end because my water had been broken for too long (36 hours!) We're confident that this time we won't need a transfer. Our midwife has never had to send a 2nd time mom to the hospital, and she says she won't let me ruin her record! haha! I have been receiving regular chiropractic care this time around to try and make sure everything is ideal for this little man to come nice and efficiently. Having experienced both the midwifery model of care as well as common obstetrical practice with Claire's birth, I can say that the difference was like night and day! At home, I spent the first 9 cm of labor in relative comfort, surrounded by calm, quiet support. My comfort plummeted and my stress sky-rocketed as I was ushered into the hospital, hooked up to all the monitoring equipment (and then bothered continuously because the monitor had slipped and wasn't recording), shot full of pitocin, and yelled at by the OB!

To anyone who is pregnant, or will be pregnant, I warmly encourage you to check out midwifery care as one of your options! Our insurance is covering the birth at in-network rates (90% paid for!) and in many areas midwives also practice in hospitals, for those of you who want/need the reassurance of that setting.

Some more stats on Midwifery for those that are interested:
  • Midwife means "with woman". It comes from an English translation of the German word "mit wife" and for many centuries has been used to describe the individual who was "with women" in childbirth. Midwives have been the primary caretakers of birthing women and their newborn babies throughout history. The oldest known reference to midwives can be found in the Old Testament in the book of Genesis.
  • Midwives consider birth a natural event in women's lives. Midwifery is based on the belief that childbirth is a natural, healthy process and that most women are fully capable of giving birth. Midwives see pregnancy as part of the full spectrum of life's experiences, and they believe women have the right to a fulfilling, as well as a safe, childbirth experience.
  • Midwifery care involves judicious use of technology. Women avoid the risks, discomfort, and disruption that unnecessary procedures impose, yet have the opportunity to use available technology if needed.
  • Midwives practice in hospitals, free-standing birth centers, and homes.
  • The safety of midwifery care has been established by a large body of research. In 1998, the National Center for Health Statistics released its findings that the risk of infant mortality occurring in the first 28 days of life was 33% lower for births attended by certified nurse midwives. It also found that the risk of a low birthweight infant was 31% lower.
  • Out of hospital births for low-risk pregnancies attended by midwives result in caesarean section rates of only 3-4% versus a national average of 19% in 2000. (According to a 2009 CDC study, the current national c-section rate is actually 31.8% and has risen every year for the last 11 years)

Claire's 2nd Birthday

Friday, September 3, 2010

The more you know...

"Where's the Pregnancy Weight Going? It’s pretty much a given that you won’t be giving birth to a 25-to-35-pound baby. And that’s a very good thing. Want to know where the rest of those pounds settle? For a 30-pound weight gain, they’ll be distributed approximately like this:

Baby: 7.5 pounds

Placenta: 1.5 pounds

Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds

Uterine enlargement: 2 pounds

Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds

Maternal blood volume: 4 pounds

Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds

Maternal fat stores: 7 pounds"

(from what to expect when you're expecting)

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Letter of Resignation

Dear Claire,

This letter serves as notification of my intent to vacate the position of your mother, effective immediately. I find that I am no longer able to suffer through your inappropriate, unprovoked treatment. The incident today at Old Navy was the last straw. I realize you wanted to take the ball home, but it was explained to you prior to ever receiving said item that it was to be left in the store upon completion of our business there. Crying would have been a response I could have easily understood and accommodated. But to scream and scream, and then throw yourself prone in the middle of the street is an unreasonable retaliation. The fact that I had to spank you-twice-in front of the construction workers just to get you safely out of the road is unacceptable. And all this while I am way too pregnant and it is way too hot, and my hands were full trying to push baby Chloe in the stroller while she waited patiently. But then, you made a bad situation worse. I get to the car to discover that someone had parked so close on the left side that I cannot open your door or mine. Do you help me by climbing nicely over the seat from the right and getting in the car seat? Of course not! You force me to drag you into your seat kicking, snotting, and screaming like I'm murdering you! Trying to wrestle you into your seat and strap you in safely was almost more than I was capable of physically and emotionally. I was literally dripping with sweat and boiling with anger by the time I was satisfied that you would be safe for the drive home. And then to just decide to stop acting like a wild animal, smile at me, and ask me for a snack was just cruel. Oh and then, of course, there was the moment when I was putting the stroller in the trunk and discovered that we had inadvertently stolen the notorious ball that began the whole mess. Too much to bear!

So, far all these reasons I feel it necessary to take a break. I have enjoyed our time together, and would be willing to consider reapplying for my old position should circumstances change and the grievances I listed be addressed. Thank you for you time.

Your Mommy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two years already!

Claire's 2nd birthday is Friday. Wow. As I'm scrambling with last minute planning she is starting to get excited. She sings happy birthday to herself and loves to tell people she's "TWO!!!"

She had her two year Dr. visit yesterday. The Dr. was asking me the standard milestone questions: does she count to 5? Yes, she counts to 10, except she really has something against including 4. Does she know her colors? Yes, but she likes to give the wrong color first when you ask just to make sure you're paying attention. It went on like this for a while with all yeses, then she asked, "does she peddle a tricycle?" uhm, well I think she could, but she can't reach the peddles. "does she cut paper with scissors?" uhm, I have never given her scissors. It never seemed like a safe idea to me. She is barely done being 1! I think she had moved up an age on her question list cause I had said yes to all the two year old questions. She did that to me at her one year check up also, but it always surprises me.

Below is a picture of what Claire is doing right now while I write this. She says "hi everybody!"

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Friday, August 20, 2010

August and Everything After

(Warning: there may be a mini pregnant lady rant to follow)

I have to say, being 30 weeks pregnant and spending the day with a very active two year old in the height of summer is a challenge. I remember when I was preggo with Claire, it was also the summer (she was born Aug 27th) but I was on summer break from grad school and until a month before she was born we lived in a nice apartment complex with air conditioner and a resort-like pool. I used to spend hours sipping decaf lattes by the pool and reading books, then I'd retire to the air conditioned apartment for a nap. HAH! Now, no pool, no air conditioner, no ice maker for iced coffee beverages, no naps (well, not entirely no naps, but far fewer and at the expense of cleaning the toilet or folding the mountains of laundry) and no time for books unless they are of the Hop on Pop variety.

Claire is in a crazy-fun, sometimes beat-your-head-against-the-wall-and-then-go lock-yourself-in-your-room phase. She loves to tell stories about her day. She constantly astounds us with her capacity to understand and explain her world. She also has an uncanny memory for events from months and months ago. She speaks in complete, mostly intelligible sentences (more intelligible to me because I hear them ALL DAY LONG!) I've had to institute a "mommy's taking a break" time occasionally just to stay sane.

Kevin's favorite thing Claire does: She calls him "my daddy." He converted her crib into a toddler bed, and she was so proud to show it off. She told everyone "My daddy made it [for] me!" And speaking of toddler beds, Claire transitioned to hers without so much as one single issue. I was all prepared for a few nights of up and down, but it was all unnecessary. She is such a sleeper! She goes down between 7 & 8 and sleeps until 8 or 8:30. When she wakes up, she calls for me, "Mommy, I'm awake!" from the edge of her bed and waits for me to come in before climbing down. It's unreal!

I am not ready to lose this sleep!!! So, I'm trying to capitalize on the time I have left before Jude arrives.

Here's a few pictures from our latest visit to the beach:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So far this summer

It has been an eventful summer for our family so far. We went camping for the first time with Claire at the end of June. That went much better than expected! (Kevin already posted the pictures from that weekend!) Then we spent a week in Northern California with my parents. There we had our first scary late-night rush to the ER... turns out Claire had croup. She had to be on an oxygen mist for 3 hours and was pumped full of antibiotics and steroids. It was not a good time! But she (and we) recovered eventually.

A big milestone for us: Claire is potty trained! It was a long few days of constant vigilance, but she has caught on super quickly! We're about 4 weeks "dry" now... of course there are accidents, but they result mainly from not making it to the toilet fast enough. We're to the point where she is even dry during nap time (but not at night, of course!)

Jude is growing fast and strong! My belly is huge already (compared to where I was with Claire) and I still have three more months to go! We've started rearranging the furniture to prepare for his arrival- decisions like whether to convert the guest room into his nursery or put his crib in Claire's room. For now we've decided to try and retain our guest room and have the kids share a room once Jude is sleeping more regularly. We'll see if that plan becomes permanent or not. I've picked out fabric for Jude's crib bedding and Claire's new toddler bedding and Kevin's super-talented mom is going to make it!

July has flown by, and August is already all booked up so I know it will disappear before we know it. Right before Claire's 2nd birthday, Kevin and I will be taking our FIRST-EVER night away! Our fabulous friend Tammi is going to stay at our place and Kevin's sister Mikkele may also be here (she's moving back from Amsterdam next week and staying with us until she has secured an apartment/roommates/job, etc.) So Claire will be very well taken care of and we'll be able to enjoy a full 24 hours in San Diego with no worries! Kevin planned the whole trip complete with a fancy room at the top of the Hyatt (the kind where they give you robes!) and a nice breakfast/late check-out package in the morning. Needless to say, I'm excited.

There's more to say about our cheeky little daughter and all her adventures- and misadventures- because I waited so long to post this, so I'll save it for another time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Photos from the Beach

Hey everyone,

We are in Northern California at the grandparent's house (we have many stories about our time here as well, but they will have to wait for another post), but Meghan sent us these photos she took of Claire last weekend while we were camping and we wanted to share them. They're quite fantastic as Meghan is a great photographer. If you're looking for someone to shoot something for you (with a camera...) I highly recommend her and would love to put you in touch with her.

But for now, enjoy!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's a...


That's right ladies and gentlemen, we are adding a son to the mix! We are super excited to experience this new and crazy world of boydome (that's not a word, but it should be.)

Introducing Jude Daniel Bringard (or possibly spelled Daniyel, we have to wait and see who wins that battle)

picture #1: face and tummy shot
picture #2: foot
picture #3: little boy bits :-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Here comes another one...

Hello all! I have been horrible about writing. I was working (student teaching) and going to school at night and mommy-ing and wife-ing. It was all just a bit too much! But I turn in my last paper tonight, and I graduate on Saturday!! NO MORE SCHOOL!!

It's good that I will be able to focus on staying home because we are expecting Squiddy #2 in October! Baby is healthy and kicking around quite well. No news yet on boy or girl... but soon! So hopefully after I get through the week, I will have more opportunities to blog--and more importantly--to catch up on all my blog reading!

Claire is wonderful when she's not coming to pieces during a tantrum (which is happening more and more these days!) She's learning to spend some quality time in "time-out." She talks CONSTANTLY! Even random people in the store remark on the non-stop stream of semi-intelligible chatter she keeps up. It's great, but tiring after the 385th "Mommy, Mommy Mommy" that she resorts to when she's run out of anything else to say. Her new favorite thing is the Tikki Room at Disneyland, and she always makes us sing the song. In fact she often demands "Mommy sing _____" Our other favorite demands: "Boy come! (talking to any random boy passing by) "Mommy watch me eat!" (really, kid? Do you need an audience for everything?!) "Walking all by myself!" and the always present "Eat food, I want snack!" Little Miss Bossy is in for quite a change when she's got a little brother or sister at home in the mix! I hope she can survive sharing the spotlight!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Disney Fun!

Hey everyone!

It has been quite some time since we posted, and I felt it was time to remedy that.

Yesterday we spent the day at Disneyland with Ryan from Sleeping at Last (one of my all time favorite bands) and Jeremy Larson of, well, himself. They are both great musicians, and I highly recommend you buy their stuff post haste. Shameless promotion aside, Jeremy took some great photos of Claire and we would be derelict in our duty as parents to not share them.

I dare you to find photos of a cuter child. In fact, dare etiquette be darned... I triple dog dare you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

She emerges from the cold hard fall (semester) and looks to the horizon (vacation) with hope for a New Year

Ok, ok, ok. So, that title was a bit dramatic! But, I didn't want to just put, "Happy New Year." I was feeling both long winded and silly. So, that was the result!

Well, school is out, and that means I actually have time to devote to my long-neglected blog! This post is going to be photo-heavy in an attempt to compensate for the neglect. In no particular order we have:

Claire in San Diego on a recent trip. She loved looking at the ocean and chasing the sea gulls. We loved eating one pound carne asada burritos from Adalberto's.

This next one was taken at Claim Jumper at our friend Tammi's birthday party. Claire WILL NOT SIT STILL in a restaurant! She was driving me crazy until I remembered some sage advice from I don't know who about letting kids gnaw on bones to keep them busy. Worked like a charm! Here she is trying to get two baby back ribs in her mouth at once.

Mikkele took this on her iPhone with a Polaroid app.

We were in Merced in November for my Great Grandfather's funeral. It was wonderful to celebrate his life with my family. This is Claire and Daddy in the hotel. I also have an amazing video from that trip of Claire and my niece Lucy dancing outside the door to a restaurant bar. I'll post it later.

Don't remember when I took this, but honestly, she's stinking cute!

Today we went to the park to play. It was so nice outside, that I let Claire run in the grass without her shoes. She had a blast! You may also notice her rocking the pigtails. It was the first time I've been able to get her hair up like that. It's hilarious though, because from the front you can't see them at all, they're so small!

She LOVES the slide! It was hard to get her to pause on the stairs for a photo. What a sweet face!

We spent New Years in Colorado Springs looking at property and celebrating my best friend Gwen's birthday (she actually lives here, but was in Colorado visiting her folks.) This is Claire on the plane to Denver. It was not a full flight, so the seat next to us was vacant. Claire loved sitting in her own chair. She eventually fell asleep and Kevin took a hilarious picture of her all sprawled out, but I don't have it.

We have a few resolutions for 2010:
1. Start aggressively saving money for a house
2. Decide where we want to live
3. Make Claire a big sister

Happy New Year everyone!