Archive | June, 2011

Dear Clara – 9 months old

29 Jun

Dear Clara,

A couple of days ago you turned 9 months old.  I missed it.  You’ve been keeping me so busy, I completely missed it.

You pretty much seem to be done with the baby food.  You don’t really like for me to feed you with a spoon anymore.  You are so independent, you ‘d rather do everything yourself.

In the past month, you’ve learned how to clap your hands, give kisses, and you’re SOOOO close to saying “more” in sign language.  You’ve been pulling up on things with some help for a while now, but in the past two weeks, you’ve started pulling yourself up all by yourself.  You cruise along the coffee table, trying to reach everything on the top of it.  I’ve had to do a lot of baby proofing in the past month or so.  Outlet covers, removing the baskets from under the coffee table, clearing off all the junk we used to keep on top of it.  Even my coffee mug isn’t safe there.  You love to pull on cords, especially the one for my laptop.  You also love shoes.  I’m not sure if it’s just because they sit where you can reach them or if you really just like shoes.  I guess we’ll find out.  Tearing up my magazines is another fun hobby of yours, and then trying to eat the pages… that’s awesome, too.

We have to be very careful to keep the pantry door closed, because you always try to crawl over there and see what kind of things you can get into.  And there’s a lot of stuff in there you shouldn’t get in to.

Mr. Turtle and Curious George are your favorite friends right now, and you even think the big bear is fun to play with these days.  You’re not scared of him anymore.  In fact, you light up when you see him and do your weird butt scoot over to him.  You’ve gotten to be really quick at that.  It’s not really a crawl, but you make it work.

Mr. Turtle is your bedtime friend.  You always want him with you, and even when you get up in the morning, you’re very clear that you want to bring him downstairs with you – even without words, I know exactly what you’re saying.  At least that’s one time I know.  Most of the time, I still have no idea.  Your daddy is super proud that you like the little stuffed turtle, because he picked it out for you when we went to the Bahamas when I was pregnant.  He loves that you love it.  You’ve also started sleeping on your side.  You’ll hold on to the turtle for dear life, roll over on your side, and put him over your head like you’re trying to block out the light.  You still don’t like to sleep on your tummy.  Now that you’ve figured out how to roll over and crawl around, you sleep in one corner, and when you’re trying to keep yourself awake, you crawl over to the opposite corner of your crib and sit there.

You’re really  interested in walking around.  You’ll hold onto our fingers and practically run around.  Everywhere you can get to.  You haven’t seemed very interested in the stairs just yet, but we’re ready for you when you are.  Your Grandad came last week and built us some adaptors for the bottom of the stairs so we can put the gate there and it will stay, even if you pull on it.  He’s a genius.

We’ve been going to swim lessons, and you’re a regular little fish!  You love the water so much and when we walk out to the pool, you get all excited and flap your arms around like you want to fly out of my arms and right into the water.  And that’s about right.  You do such a great job kicking and even moving your arms and getting your face in the water.  The teacher thinks you’re going to be an “early swimmer.”  I didn’t tell her that you certainly have the genes for it.  Your Grandad was a swimmer in college, and so was your great aunt Andi.  They were both really good, and I think I remember someone telling me that Andi almost made the olympic trials.  Maybe you’ll do that one day, too.  The last time we were at swim lessons, you started swimming between me and your daddy – just a little distance – by yourself.  You do such a great job!

Tomorrow you have your 9 month checkup.  Apparently it was supposed to be Monday, but you know, I forgot about it.  I’ve never before forgotten about a doctor’s appointment before.  Somehow it just slipped my mind.

You’ve started giving kisses when we ask for them, and you’ll give them to your stuffed animals, too.  Today you gave me a kiss, unsolicited.  Melted my heart.  No kidding.

You are starting to make noises that sound like sentences and conversations… I can’t wait until you have a few words.  You say “dada” but not really “mama,” and today it kinda sounded like you were trying to say “turtle” but that’s probably more wishful thinking than anything.  My mom said that when I started talking, it was almost immediately in full sentences, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you do something similar.

You really like when we read books to you – it’s about the only time you’ll sit still for any length of time.  And you love bathtime.  When you hear the water running, you get real excited, like when you see the pool.  You love to splash until I am soaking wet, play with your little squirty toys, and you laugh when I squirt you with them.  You try to drink the water.  Gross.

The garbage disposal and the vacuum cleaner scare you.  You freak out.  Today we went to clean the old house and you would not stop crying until I picked you up and held you while I finished cleaning.  It is challenging, to say the least, to sweep, mop, clean a refrigerator, and clean toilets with a baby in your arms.  I think I got my workout for the day.

You love other people.  There is no stranger danger in you.  You light up when someone talks to you in a store.  And they almost always do.  If they don’t, you kind of give them a look like, “What’s wrong with you?  Don’t you know I’m cute?  You should tell me so.”  Other kids crack you up!  I don’t know if it’s because you think they’re funny, or if they’re doing things that you think you want to be doing, or what, but you giggle like crazy.

The other day you discovered the little door stop things that are attached to the walls.  You grabbed one, and when it slipped out of your hand, it made a “sproiiiiing” noise, and you cracked up.  That was pretty hilarious.

What else?  I feel like there’s something new every day.  You are a crazy girl – and you’re growing up so fast!  You’re certainly keeping me on my toes!

Oh, I know.  You’ve gotten a couple more teeth.  From what I understand, they normally come in in pairs… bottom two, top two, then in pairs after that.  You wouldn’t do anything the normal way… that would be too easy.  So you have gotten your bottom two around 4 months old, then the past couple weeks, you’ve been cutting more teeth.  Today I saw them… One on top – the top right center… and one on bottom – the one to the left of the two you already had.  Snaggletooth.  I shall call you snaggletooth.

We love you, Munchkin.  Happy 9 months!

Mommy (& Daddy)


Pictures to come soon… 🙂

In My Dreams

27 Jun

In my dreams, my daughter takes her naps and sleeps in until 8am.

In my dreams, my house is always clean and babies don’t throw food when they eat.

In my dreams, the laundry comes out of the dryer already folded and, heck, while we’re at it, put away in the closet.  The dishes are always done, and my bed is always made.

It’s really not too much to ask, is it?


Unfortunately, I don’t live in a dream world.

The laundry sometimes sits in the washer for too long and has to be washed again.  The bed is never made.  My house is not clean, and Clara always throws food on the floor when she eats.  Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not.  And she certainly doesn’t sleep in until 8am.  (By the way, I think there used to be days when “sleeping in” meant something more like 11am than 8.  It’s like a vague and fading memory.)

I’m thinking back to when Clara was a newborn and how exhausted I was, and I’m not really sure how to compare then to now.  Clara is officially what you call a “cruiser” – pulling herself up on everything in sight, even if it’s not the most stable object in the world (read: our kitchen chairs which are heavier on the back than the front), and walking around it.  You can see the look in her eye when she gets to the edge… not sure what she will do – go around the corner, or just take off on her own.

It’s amazing to watch, and I couldn’t be more proud.  I love seeing her brain working so hard, thinking about what to do next.  I love seeing her visibly improve from day to day.  I will say, though, it is an exhausting stage.  She wants to walk around all the time, which means either holding my hand or me being on high alert for tumbles and falls.  I wouldn’t change it, but wow, I am tired.

Tomorrow she’ll be 9 months old.  We have to do a photo shoot and I’ll write her another letter.  I really love those letters, and I hope that she will love them someday, too.

Whoops, gotta go… Clara just found my Better Homes and Gardens magazine … and is currently ripping it to shreds.

Ikea Trip

20 Jun

Friday the family made a road trip. But not just any road trip. We went to IKEA!

I had a list of things that I needed to get for various projects, and Joel had the day off from school (yay for no classes on Fridays!), so we packed up, made a stop at the gym for a workout, and our little family of three made the journey over to Charlotte where the amazingness lives.

I didn’t even think twice about taking clara along until, on the way back, my twitter friend, Dina (we have yet to meet in real life, but we really should soon!  She runs two super amazing blogs…. White Thread and Honey & Fitz and you should check them out!) said I was a brave soul for bringing her along. Honestly, we take Clara just about everywhere we go.  Some places it’s easier than others.

For example, I now have a very high opinion of restaurants and other places that put changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms, and a rather lower opinion of those that don’t. Why is it that women should always be the ones changing the diapers? It just really makes my life easier if Joel can do that every now and then while we’re out.  But that’s another post for another time.

As far as those things go, IKEA was easy.  Family restrooms, changing tables everywhere, little seats in the big stall to buckle them in to so I could actually make only one trip in there instead of one for Clara, and another for me.  And it’s kind of a noisy place anyway, so I didn’t feel awkward about Clara yelling, squawking, or crying. They have several kinds of carts to choose from, although if you’re getting lots of stuff at the end in the self-serve furniture section, you should bring someone to help you, ’cause it would be hard to push 2 carts since the flat pack carts don’t have seats for tiny ones.

We did stop halfway through to eat lunch in the restaurant there.  Clara chowed down on zucchini from Joel’s pasta, some mac and cheese, yogurt melts, puffs, and anything else she could get her hands on.  I swear she eats like at 15 year old boy.  Where does she put it all???

Overall, she did really well.  It certainly wasn’t so traumatic that I’d refrain from going back with her.  We have kind of conditioned her to live our lifestyle though. She goes to the gym with me at least 3 days a week, goes out to dinner with us, and does pretty much everything else we do. But I think most kiddos would be ok in IKEA.  If you’re thinking about taking yours, do it!

We ended up with a birthday present, cabinets for my laundry room, square frames for an arrangement in the living room, and a cute piece of fabric for Clara. A very productive trip.

I can hardly wait to get the cabinets all put together and my laundry room organized! There will be a before and after post on that because the difference will be dramatic!

What would you get from IKEA?  Hard to choose, I know!

Happy Father’s Day

19 Jun

Happy Father’s Day everyone!  I hope you take some time to spend it with the dads in your life!

I need your help – Cake Recipes

10 Jun

So, there’s this little thing in about 3.5 months… Clara’s birthday. It’s hard to believe isn’t it?

Well, I know it’s early, but I’ve figured out what I want to do. I have a cake design in mind and everything. But for the life of me I have never been able to find a cake recipe I really like. Boxes are alright, but eh, I kinda feel like making it from scratch.  Although, my mind could be changed on that…

If I could get Frank from Hayes Barton Cafe to give me the recipes for their cakes, I’d be all set. They are perfect. Dense, flavorful, sturdy, and pretty much perfect. Even people who don’t really like cake love their cakes.  They’re that good.

So, I need your help.  I’m going to do some experimenting over the next few weeks/months.  I need your favorite cake recipes.  Family secrets, tips, tricks, secret ingredients, favorite box mix, anything you’ve got, bring it on!

I’ll post the suggestions, let you know my favorites, and show you the results.

Please help me out!!

I have a problem…

8 Jun

Maybe you’re like me.

I find something I like, online or in a store, and I put it in my shopping cart. And then I proceed to go back and forth about it, deciding whether or not to buy it. I usually make a whole trip around the place if I’m in a physical store, and evaluate before I get to the checkout. But if it’s online, it’s a different matter entirely. I leave the tab open in my browser, checking back on it periodically, trying to decide whether or not to click the “checkout” button.

I don’t know what my problem is. I know it’s the thing I want. I know that it’s the best deal I can find. But sometimes those items sit in that virtual cart for weeks or even months.

For example, we really need a new comforter for our guest room. The one we have barely covers the bed, and I’m sure when we have 2 people sleeping in that room, one of them must be cold, because there’s no way that blanket can cover both of them. I found one at Target that I like, and it would be large enough for the bed. But for some reason, it’s still sitting in my cart.

I have a problem.

I have about a million things to blog. But I can’t seem to do it. Traveling really screwed me up here. Right now I have kind of a running list of things, but the things back at the beginning of the list seem so outdated now that it’s hard to want to write about them. So I just don’t write about anything. Ugh.

I’m working on it though. I’m writing drafts, so hopefully something will be up here soon. Thanks for sticking with me and my poor, neglected blog.

Dear Clara – 8 Months

1 Jun

I have a lot of catching up to do on posting, but I thought I’d start with this.

Dear Clara,

8 months old. Where has the time gone? You are getting so big. I think I start all my little letters to you this way, but it is true every time. You are growing like a weed!

You love to eat! I can’t believe you are still as skinny as you are with how much you eat. You love watermelon, pineapple (especially grilled with some cinnamon on it), black beans, squash, cheese, and strawberries. Really you are a fruit monster. You love any fruit you try, which is awesome, and I hope that continues through your whole life. Fruit is good for you. Remember that. I was so proud last week when you passed over puffs (or baby crack as we call them) in favor of broccoli and green beans. I can’t say that I would have made the same choice, but I’m glad that you did.

I can’t take my eyes off you anymore, because you are very mobile. Right now you army crawl all around our living room and kitchen. I had to take the baskets out from under our coffee table because you kept sliding over there and pulling them out to get to whatever was in them. I’d already cleaned them out, but I’m sort of afraid you’re going to pull the basket on top of your big old head and hurt yourself. So they are temporarily being used as storage for my yarn in the craft room upstairs. I also put outlet protectors in all the outlets downstairs, and tied up all the lamp cords so you can’t get to them. Because you would definitely try.

You are so curious. You love to look around and always want to know just what is going on. I call it the fear of missing something. You definitely have it. Iphones, computers and remote controls are some of your favorite things. Actually, the first time you “crawled” you were going after the remote. I guess it’s telling of the time you’re growing up in. But don’t expect to have a cell phone for a while…..

Just today you started waving hello to people. We were walking over to World Market, and you were waving hello to all the cars and the people who walked by us. You love people, and I think you’re going to end up being an extrovert. Last night we went to a cookout with some of our neighbors. You were pretty quiet while we were there, but when we got home, you were out of control! Laughing, jumping around on our bed, and just acting all hyper. It was actually pretty hilarious.

You can sit up if I just barely hold your feet down, and then if I put my hands out, you’ll grab them and pull yourself up. I have a feeling you might just skip the normal “crawling” stage and go straight to running all around the house. You’ll walk all over the downstairs if I just hold your hands a little bit. And sometimes you’ll let go of my hands and stand there for a minute all by yourself. You want so badly to walk, and you get really frustrated when you can’t get to something you want by crawling around.

Last week we were at the beach with my family, and you got your first swim lessons from your grandad. You loved the pool and spent hours splashing, being dunked under the water, floating around in your little float, and “jumping” off the side of the pool into my arms. You actually really loved being dunked, and would get really excited and flap your arms when we would count to three before dunking you. Toward the end of the week you started to close your eyes and hold your breath even before we blew air in your face. And when you came up out of the water, you would always try to drink the water as it dripped down your face. Silly.

The beach was another story, however. You did not like the waves one bit. I get it – that water moves all on its own… and that’s kinda scary. You did better toward the end of the week though, and even sat in the sand for a while. You’ll be a beach girl yet.

I do have a question though. What in the world is up with you saying “dada” so sweetly and then in the next breath saying “mama” in a growly devil voice? I don’t really like that. I would like a sweet “mama” every now and then, ok?

Blowing bubbles is a new fun activity. You actually like to blow bubbles with your spit. Awesome. And you like to watch the bubbles fly through the air when I blow bubbles with the wand.

It’s so fun to watch you experience new things – tastes, locations, activities. I love watching your eyes as you see something new and try to figure out how it works and whether or not you like it. The fresh perspective and the wonder in your eyes is really amazing. Don’t ever lose that. Always look at things the way you do right now.

I guess I need to start planning your 1st birthday party… it’ll take me a while to figure out what I want to do. You don’t really have any particular interests yet, aside from eating and getting in to everything you’re not supposed to…. so… hmmm.

You’re a beautiful and amazing little girl. Daddy and I love you very much! We love to see how you’re growing up, and we hope we’re doing an ok job.