Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Christmas Story According to Claire

This afternoon Claire and I were discussing the Christmas story. We were talking about the chorus of angels announcing Christ's birth to the shepherds, and how they followed the star to find the baby. The rest of the conversation went as follows: Claire added, "The wise men followed the star too."
"That's right!" I responded.
"Yeah, and bears dressed like camels too." Claire added matter-of-factly.
"Wait, what?"...

It took me a while to realize she was referencing a Berenstain Bears book we had read a few days ago. So then followed a conversation wherein I try to explain that the book is about a pretend world where everyone is a bear. So, in that book wise bears followed a star to a bear cub Jesus. And the brother and sister were pretend camels in a christmas play. Yeah... it was epic and confusing.

Parenting win or fail?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why Claire is Awesome

So, Claire's Sunday school teacher had a great story to tell me when I picked her up after church yesterday, and I have to write it down because it's that good. It goes like this:

The teacher has her daughter in the class with her who is also 3. For whatever reason, the little girl was having a hard time and was crying. Claire walked up to her, took her hand, and said, "It's ok friend. Let's come over here and we'll play together, ok?" Then Claire took care of her for the rest of the day!

She really is amazing! We have talked before about how she isn't shy, so if one of her friends at school is sad then she can comfort them and be their special friend. It's great when we can actually see her carrying out the things we talk about! She has such a big heart for others, and loves to be friends with everyone she meets. I think her special gift is going to be making others feel loved. I'm so proud of her!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jude is One!

I can't believe our little boy is already a toddler! What a fun few months it has been. Jude has a very sweet personality. He smiles constantly and is generous with hugs and kisses! After mastering simple walking, he has now moved on to more challenging tasks such as spinning, running, and going backwards- and he has the bumps on his face to prove it!

For Jude's first birthday we went with a Rock n Roll theme. He, of course, wore a Beatles shirt that said "Hey Jude." It was a fun time, and we were blessed to have so many friends- old and new- to share it with!

We also used his party as the perfect time to tell everyone that Squiddy #3 is on his/her way! So now Jude is both a little, and a big brother. Claire is hoping for a sister and is insistent that we name her Quesadilla. (We're taking it under consideration.)

For Halloween we took the kids trick-or-treating at the mall. Claire was elated by the concept! She dressed up as "Alice's Wonderland" as she put it. We dressed Jude as a dragon. He tagged along, but did not do any actual trick-or-treating. Claire had so much fun! When we got home I let her choose a few pieces to keep and the rest went into the bowl of candy we were giving out to the neighborhood kids. She then got to hand out candy to everyone who came to our door. I think she had just as much fun handing out the candy as she did getting it earlier. We used it as a good lesson in generosity- giving most of the good things we've been given to others to make them happy.

In house news: They have started construction! The hole is dug and I think the foundation will be poured today or tomorrow! Kevin and Claire get giddy watching the tractors work! We go over every day to watch the progress. We have already met some of the neighbors, and Claire has spent some time playing in one little boy's backyard. We're so excited!

The next year promises to be filled with many big adventures! Before the end of 2012 we will have a new house and a new baby. Crazy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Life as We Know it

Summer is ending and we are gearing up for something called weather. Living in Southern California for the past 7 years, this is a foreign concept to us. So far, the warm temperatures are still holding, but natives assure us that this is unusual and about to come to an end. I have been trying to soak up as much warm sunshine as possible in these last few weeks. Here is Claire playing in her flower sprinkler (Thanks Caty! Claire made you guys a video, but I haven't edited it yet!)

Tomorrow I am going with Claire on her very first field trip! We're going to a pumpkin patch. It should be a really fun time. Because visiting a pumpkin patch is the official signal that fall is here, I'm burning a pumpkin spice candle, drinking chai, and folding long sleeved shirts. This is truly my favorite time of year! I love everything about autumn: the colors, the crisp air, the cozy clothes, the aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and earth. This is going to be a good season, I can tell! Bring it on, Colorado!

Kevin's parents were just here visiting for the last week and a half. We had lots of fun! We played, went to a huge consignment sale where I bought warm clothes for the kids, went on walks, and even got a chance to do a date night of frozen yogurt with friends! Toward the end of the week we headed over to visit Garden of the Gods and let the kids scramble all over the rocks.

In addition to the date night, we also utilized the grandparents' presence for some much needed appointments. We were able to finalize all the design options for our house! Here's a picture of most of our choices. The color swatch paper is the exterior paint choices. The only big thing not shown in the photo is the rock we picked for the exterior and the fireplace. It was a really fun experience being able to choose everything that was going into our house!

This week I went to the DMV and got our new CO plates, my driver's license, and registered to vote. I am officially a citizen of Colorado!...Again. (I was born about 45 minutes up the road from here.)

Another big change: Claire got her first haircut! She decided she wanted short hair, like Mommy and Rapunzle at the end of Tangled. She was bummed that cutting her hair would not also result in it turing brown, but she was willing to move past that. I took her to a super cute kids' hair cutting place where she got to sit in a hot rod car while they cut it. (She choose the hot rod over the pink princess station with the feather boa and tiara.) After it was cut, the lady pulled part of it up into a knot, and sprayed glitter in her hair. Claire LOVED the whole experience and keeps showing everyone her "new short hair." It looks super cute- even better than I had expected! People ask to take pictures of it so they can cut their daughter's hair the same way. It fits her saucy personality, to be sure!

Looking excited!

The first cut:

The finished product:

That's all of now. We love you all!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We Have a Preschooler!

Today Claire starts her second week of preschool! She goes twice a week, for three hours. She LOVES it! IN fact, when I came to pick her up on the first day, she burst into tears when she realized it was time to go home. I have the only kid who cries when they get picked up from their first day of school! Her school is in a church not far from home. It's called Springs Community Church Preschool, and Claire already recognizes the building. Every time we drive past, she screams, "MY SCHOOL!!!" I choose it because when I was doing tours of various programs, the kids here looked like they were having the most fun! She already knows most of the girl's names in her class, and has a best friend- another talkative fireball just like her! I find myself uneasy with the quiet when she's gone and have decided to use some of that time to go take a class at the gym, and also to give Jude some quality one-on-one time.

Here's Claire about to leave for her first day!

All the sweet toys in her classroom. She's in heaven!

Claire also started AWANA this past's sort of like Christian girl/boy scouts. The focus is on having fun and memorizing scripture. (She also cried when we picked her up from that, of course!) She has already memorized the scripture verse from last week, and the one they will be covering this week. She's sort of awesome! Here's a video of her reciting it: (unless it's broken)

We were toying with the idea of also signing her up for a sport. Claire wanted to do dance, Daddy wanted her to do soccer :-) But we decided she's only 3 for heaven's sake, no need to start giving her a crazy life already!

Our Monkey Boy

Jude is 10 months old now! He's grown up quite a bit in recent weeks. Highlights of things he has learned in the last month or two since I last did a specific post about him:

  • He can walk! (Although he rarely chooses to.)
  • He loves to clap, especially to music
  • He has a nice collection of signs that he does consistently: all done, more, please, bath. (ok, I guess 4 is hardly a "collection", but I'm proud nonetheless!)
  • He finally found his voice, and uses it all the time to make nonsense speeches
  • He gives those great open-mouth baby kisses
  • He has stopped being a giant and is now comfortably in the 10th %ile for weight and 20th %ile for height, just like his sister was. He's been in the same size clothes now for about 5 months, which is a huge change from when he was first born and would out-grow a size category well before the recommended age.
  • He's become slightly less independent. He now gets super excited when he sees Kevin or I come into the room. When Kevin comes up from work in the basement Jude crawls to him as fast as he can saying "Dadda, Dadda!"
  • He still loves to cuddle. All the childcare workers at church and the gym want to take him home. He's quite the favorite!
  • He smiles at everyone in that cute, shy, flirty way that never ceases to melt their hearts.
  • He has the most hilarious tantrum technique I have ever seen. When something is taken away from him, or he is set down when he wants to be held, he throws himself prostrate on the ground and then scoots forward on the ground rubbing his face as he goes. Makes us laugh every time! He's given himself some crazy rug burn on his cheek and nose from doing it, and I don't think he appreciates the humor we all find in his distress!
We love him dearly, and can't believe he'll be one so soon!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

California Trip, August 2011

(The picture is a link to an album of pictures from our trip!)

For Claire's birthday, we decided to head out to CA for one last trip for a while. (We just signed the paperwork to build a house, so we won't be going anywhere for a while!!)

We threw a birthday party for her at a park that had a water lagoon for the kids to swim in. It was so much fun! The kids had fun taking pictures under the water. Claire requested a giraffe party, so I ordered a banner, got some balloons, and our friend Tammi made a cute sign. That was the extent of the decorating, since I was planning everything long distance. In fact, I relied on other people for all of the important things. Mikkele spent hours at the park before the party holding the spot for us. She's a rock star! We had a great spot in the grass with plenty of tables! Our friend Cindy baked the cupcakes, which Claire declared were "Super yummy!" My uncle Chris and Aunt Michele went to Costco to wait in the horrendous lines to get the pizza and water. (Seriously, Costco on a Sunday is quite and ordeal!) And our friends and family came from all over to enjoy the day and hold Jude while we all celebrated Claire.

While we were in town, we decided to hit up Disneyland one last time before our annul passes expire in September, and while Claire is still technically under three and free! We spent two full (hot!) days at dland. It was exhausting, but fun. My parents, my sister Vanessa, and her daughter Lucy came down from Northern CA and joined us at Disneyland. Claire loved having her cousin to play with! She was also super excited that her Aunt Mikkele spent one of the days with us going on rides and watching fireworks. During the fireworks show, Tinkerbell flies above you suspended by a cable. Where we were standing, we were actually pretty close to her, and Claire kept screaming, "Tinkerbell, hi!!" She was emphatic that Tink hear her. It was pretty funny.

It was a great trip! We got to see a lot of our friends, and a bunch of our family traveled down to see us and spend time with us while we were there. We're so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives! Thank you all so much!

Our Trip to Durango!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jude's First Steps!

YouTube Video

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Monday, August 15, 2011

For Claire's Birthday

Many of you have been asking what Claire wants for her birthday. I figured I would just put some ideas up here. But, if you're coming to her birthday in CA, please keep in mind that we have to fly home with everything :-) (Something little and disposable like a balloon is just as exciting to her as anything else!) So, here's a bit about our soon-to-be-three-year-old.
  • She is wild about purple these days
  • She loves shoes: Size 6 for now or 7 for soon
  • She likes books, especially the large picture books with paper pages, but we're trying to limit books with TV/movie characters. (So please no Disney princesses or Dora.)
  • She enjoys playing with Little People (we have the bus and farm.)
  • She likes to dress up
  • She likes little figures/animals she can play-act with
  • She gets excited about new hair bows and headbands
  • She likes play jewelry
  • Clothes are always welcomed: SIze 3T shirts and 2T pants/shorts
So, I hope that helps. Thank you all so much for your generosity and lovin on my kiddo!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Day in the Life

So, right now both of my kids are in really trying stages of development. From one I've got the "Mommy, watch this!" stage, and from the other it's the cutting up tiny pieces of food all the time and walking hunched over holding hands as we do laps around the couch. Let me illustrate how these play out.

The scene: It's lunch time. Mom is at the counter preparing food while The Boy and The Girl play in the kitchen.

The Girl: Mommy, watch this!
Mom: [pauses from her task of cutting blueberries into 4ths] Oh, yes. You're just standing there.
The Girl: Yes!
Mom: I'm not sure that's news-worthy.
The Boy: [screams, because, I don't know, he's bored?]
Mom: [walks The Boy from the fridge to the tupperware drawer to play, then continues cutting.]
The Girl: Mommy, watch this!
Mom: [has moved on to chopping tiny pieces of chicken breast, from which she pauses and looks over her shoulder.] Wow, you jumped really high!
The Boy: [screams]
Mom: [picks The Boy up and places him in the high chair, which is greeted with an exuberant demand for food.]
The Girl: Mommy watch this!
Mom: Sorry honey, I can't look right now.
The Girl: Why?
Mom: Because I'm taking care of your brother.
The Girl: Why?
Mom: Because he's hungry and I'm trying to get his lunch ready.
The Girl: Why?
Mom: Because it's lunch time.
The Boy: [angry about the high chair restraints, lodges a vigorous complaint.]
The Girl: Why?
Mom: I've already answered that. Please don't ask "Why?" when you know the answer.

(Oh, did I mention she also asks Why as a knee-jerk reaction to every statement I make. Fun.)

This scene is then repeated 20 million times/day until the blissful hour of 7pm when we lock them in their rooms.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Time For an Update!

It's been a while since I wrote, so I have quite a bit to update on.

Claire had her first session of swimming lessons and she loved them! She was one of three in the class. The other two kids were 5 year old boys, and she was the only one that passed on to the next level! In fact, when I went to sign her up for a new session, I had to have the aquatics director do it because she is technically too young for the next level! She starts August first and it goes for two weeks.

If you ask her how old she is, she replies, "Two and three quarters!" It always makes people laugh, I think because she's still pretty small but when she talks she is so precocious! Strangers don't know what to make of her. They always say, "She's how old?!" We joined this amazing gym that has a great childcare program, and Claire loves it. She is always begging to go, and cries if I pick her up too soon. As she becomes exposed to more kids, however, she is starting to experience some unkindness. Just today at the pool she came up to a group of older girls (maybe 6 year olds) and asked to play. They told her no and then ignored her. Claire came running back to me in tears. Poor girl! She loves people so much, and doesn't understand why anyone wouldn't want to play with her! I also witnessed another girl her age (also at the pool) tell her that Claire couldn't be her friend. It's sad to think that even so young we are faced with such rejection! But she's a trooper and seems to bounce back from these encounters. It hasn't stopped her from approaching new kids and making friends!

Jude is growing up more and more every day. He almost stands on his own now without holding onto anything. He's becoming more talkative (finally!) He also has some new parlor tricks: He can give a high five, wave, dance to music, and sometimes he pretends the little plastic goat is a phone and has a conversation. He will be 9 months next week, and still has no teeth- not even the beginnings of any. He is finally sleeping better, to my great delight! He is still super cuddly and super smiley. The childcare workers at the gym and church all love him and threaten to not give him back when I come to pick the kids up!

Recently we have had a few grand CO adventures. We visited The Cave of the Winds a few weeks ago. We were able to take a neat tour through the cave with flashlights. It was pretty fun. Then, this last Saturday we drove to the top of Pikes Peak. It was took our breath away (or maybe that was the fact that its up so high there's no oxygen!) It was 90 degrees below at home, but at the summit it was 48 and sleeting! Next weekend we will be traveling to Durango, CO to visit friends. They live in a beautiful aspen grove at 9,000 ft. We're so excited!

Nap time is almost over, so I'll close with a photo we took after our cave tour. We love you all!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Exercise in Futility

I filmed one minute of an ongoing endeavor that, so far, is 10 minutes and counting!

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My favorite recent Claire-isms

Me: "Does your belly have enough room for that monkey bar?"
Claire: "Yeah, right there. [points to the very top of her stomach] The monkey bar will fit right there. "

Upon seeing an RV on the road: "Cool house. I didn't know they made houses to drive. "

After spinning: "My head was like, 'whoa, what are you doing?!'"

In reference to somebody having to go home. "Oh Mama, that's really totally not neat!"

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

New IPad

Hooray! We got an iPad! And these are the first pictures taken with photo booth:

This one is super creepy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Zoo

We are back to our Saturday adventures after a bit of a break for visitors and illnesses. Yesterday it was off to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I wasn't sure how substantial of a zoo it was before we went to check it out. Our previous zoo foray as a family was at the Santa Ana Zoo, so we had pretty low expectations after that! (Don't get me wrong, it's a nice little place, but all they have are birds and monkeys. Not much value for $16/person!) But this is a full sized zoo with lots of animals, exhibits, and fun little play areas! We were on a time limit because we had gotten off to a really late start, and were hoping to salvage some semblance of nap time. So here's what we did: feed the giraffes, feed ourselves (food was actually really good, but not cheap), go through the monkey house (to which Claire kept exclaiming "Cool! Awesome!"), and rode the sky tram.

We bought a membership that includes one free guest with every visit. So, when you come see us, you can come to the zoo for free! Because our time was limited, our trip was part recon for next time. We quickly peeked at the lions on the way by, scoped out the train for next time, found a neat kids playground/splash zone to try out, and plan on actually seeing more animals in the future.

Sky Tram (It was windy!)

Hello giraffes!

In other news, aren't these the cutest kids you have ever seen?!!

This is my life these days. Are you jealous?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

High Five!

Jude is a week away from 8 months!

YouTube Video
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Children, Two Temperaments


YouTube Video


YouTube Video

(Also, I like the thesaurus)

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Picture update

I got this for $.99 from The Children's Place during their monster sale. Claire calls it her crown and loves it. (It also looks adorable when worn correctly!)

This is Claire playing with Kevin at the splash pool at our gym.

This is Jude hanging out with Auntie Mikkele.

This is our amazing sky.

Love to you all!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

What to get a three year old?

Claire's third birthday is in a few months! Wow! For the first time she is starting to request things for her birthday. Everything she sees she says, "Maybe I'll get that for my birthday!" I'm compiling a list of things I want to get her. Of course I will only get her one of these, but it's nice to have them all down. It's also a good tool for grandparents!! (I'd love any advice you may have too!)

1. A doll house. Claire has been obsessed with making houses out of legos for her toys. She is also scripting play and pretending like crazy!

2. A PlasmaCar: She rode one if these in a toy store and loved it!
3. A Cars Race Track: She played with this at a friends house and loved it! And Cars is her new favorite movie.
4. This cute sprinkler: She would love this!

Any other suggestions??! I'm debating some sort of leap frog system, but I'm not sure she needs more electronic toys. But, they do make educational ones. What are your thoughts?