Archive | October, 2011

Dear Clara – 1 YEAR old!!

15 Oct

Dear Clara,

Well, I guess it’s official now.  You’re no longer a baby.  It’s a little bittersweet for me to realize this.  Even though I am so proud of you and love watching you grow up, there’s a little bit of me that misses the tiny baby that curled up on my chest to sleep.  You are such a big girl now – you’re getting so tall and becoming so independent.  All the things that a 1 year old should be.

You run around all over the house.  Walking doesn’t really describe it anymore.  When you get really excited, you stop right where you are, and run in place, waving your hands in the air.  You know how to shake your booty and you love to dance when you hear music.  When you fall down and get upset about it, I tell you to shake it off, and you shake your arms around and after that you’re usually ok.  I love that.

We’ve discovered that you love Italian food.  You scarf down lasagna, and you love spaghetti (and even spaghetti-o’s when I’m desperate for something to feed you).  Your other favorites include hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, tomatoes (who knew??), string cheese, green beans, bread, avocado, black beans, any kind of fruit, broccoli (you ate it for breakfast the other day – your choice, not mine), and chick-fil-a nuggets.  You don’t eat very much meat.  You’ll pretty much eat anything else on your plate instead.  But when it comes to chick-fil-a, you chow it down!  And who can blame you?

You got your first busted lip a couple days after your birthday.  You were crawling out of a little chair and just fell a couple of inches, but apparently that was enough.  You were pretty tough though, and made less of a fuss about it than other times when you’re completely fine.

Reading books is one of your favorite things to do.  You will just walk around reading books to yourself.  A lot of the time you’ll go sit on the big bear’s leg and just read them out loud.  I love hearing that sound, and if I could translate your little toddler language, I think you might actually be telling the story.

You started saying “mommy” right around your birthday as well.  Not “mama” anymore.  Just mommy.  You say it with such a sweet voice….usually.

You know all kinds of animal noises now.  You can say the sounds for all of these animals: doggy (oooofffff offffff), owl (ooo oooo), birdie (tweee tweee), bear (ahhhhhh), lion, tiger.  It’s pretty hilarious to me, and I love to make you say those silly sounds whenever I can.

Whenever you can, we play outside.  It is seriously one of your favorite things to do.  You love to run around, play in your playhouse, and try to eat rocks.  You’re about 10 times happier when you’re outside, and I just wish we had more grass in our yard so you could really play out there.  You went crazy when you were at your grandparents’ house.  They have lots of  great grass, and you loved playing out there.  You also really love knocking down towers that I build with your blocks.  I don’t mind.

At your 1 year well checkup you were :
21lb 1oz (50%)
29″ long (50%)
and a 90th% head circumference.  Still a giant head.

Words you can say (when you feel like it.  They don’t always sound like how I’d say them, but you’re consistent, so I think that counts):
block
mommy
daddy
nigh-night
turtle
juice
drink
downstairs
shoes
tickle
light

You’ve started having some separation anxiety, I think.  Lately, if you daddy or I leave,  you cry and cry for whoever is left behind.  You also do it when one of us leaves the room, and when I put you in the pack and play at the gym.  I hope this phase passes quickly – it’s definitely not my favorite.

You’ve gotten into the habit of sleeping until about 9am.  I don’t mind this.

You know that your daddy loves baseball, and specifically the Cardinals.  He’s taught you to clap and say “yay” when he says “Go Cardinals!”  It’s really cute, and sometimes if you see baseball on TV, you’ll clap without prompting.

You still don’t like the beach, but your daddy and I are mean, so we make you sit in the sand anyway and give you shells to distract you from how much you hate it.  And then you try to eat the shells and the sand.  I guess that’s what we get for trying to trick you.

The sign for drink is your new favorite – if I don’t understand the word you’re saying for it, you will help me out with the sign.  I’m loving that you’re starting to communicate.  You babble and babble and I know it’s just a matter of time until you are talking non-stop in full blown sentences.

Over the past year you’ve come an awful long way.  You have grown from a 7lb 3oz tiny, helpless little baby to a 21lb very independent, constantly moving 1 year old.  You’ve learned to crawl, walk, roll, sit up, climb up stairs, pick things up, pretend, and so so much more.  You’ve been to Miami, St. Louis, Ames, Greenville, and Wilmington.  You’ve been on plane rides and road trips.  You’ve seen a major league baseball game (or 3) and even got a baseball thrown to you from the Cardinals (your daddy is jealous).  You’ve spent a couple days away with your grandparents, and you’ve played with friends and cousins.  You’ve been to the beach more than most one year olds, I would think.  You’ve had a surgery and made a full recovery.  It’s hard to believe  that it was only a year ago that you became a part of our lives.  You’ve definitely changed us forever.

You are a precious little girl, Clara.  Quirky. Spunky.  Energetic.  Sometimes cuddly.  Smart.  Silly.  Loving.  Definitely opinionated.  Cute.  All of those things are a part of who you are.  You are loved by a lot of people, Clara.  I think you know that, but I hope we make it very clear to you every day.  We love you very much, munchkin, and we are so glad to have you in our lives.

Keep growing up big and strong, and learning every single day.  You have an amazing future ahead of you, and I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

Love,
Mommy (and Daddy)

What a week!

5 Oct

Hey internets!  I haven’t forgotten about you, I promise.

I have lots of things to post soon – Clara’s birthday letter, birthday party stories and photos, and even more than that.  But the problem is that I have hardly seen my computer for the past several days.

Ok, so that doesn’t explain why Clara’s birthday letter is over a week late.  That has more to do with the fact that I can’t seem to collect my thoughts to write it.  I have started it.  I guess it hasn’t really sunk in yet that she’s actually a year old.  A YEAR??  It really is hard to believe.

The last few days really have been a whirlwind.  Saturday I drove down to Wilmington to shoot a wedding at Figure 8 Island (which is amazing, by the way).  Mary (my second shooter) and I stayed at Millie’s house that night and stayed up entirely too late laughing and telling crazy wedding stories from this year, and ended up getting only 2 hours of sleep.  Sunday morning we headed back north to Topsail Island for an engagement shoot, and then drove home to Holly Springs.  Whew!

Monday I packed up some stuff for Clara and took her to Greenville, where my parents live.  They had agreed to watch her for me when a whole host of crazy things came up for Tuesday and made it impossible for me to keep her with me.  I have a suspicion though that they loved ever second of it!  I stayed there until Monday evening, and we all went out to dinner with my Grammy, who was thrilled to see her great-grandaughter unexpectedly in town.

I have to say, I surprised myself by being really emotional when I left Clara behind.  I never expected to be that weepy mom that cried when leaving their kid behind for a couple of days in the more than capable hands of the grandparents.  But I am.  I drove home with misty eyes and a sad heart.  But I know that Clara had a great time!  My parents have an awesome yard and a big swing and lots of grass and my little girl loves to be outside.  She was in hog heaven.

Tuesday morning I got up pretty early and got in the car to drive to Sapphire, NC.  Where is that, you ask?  Well, it’s about an hour past Asheville up some of the craziest, windiest roads I’ve ever driven.  It is beautiful though.  I met some of my clients up there for their engagement session and a camp that the girl used to go to.  It was a fun time, and then I drove back.  By the time I got home, I was so tired, and had spent over 24 hours in the car since Saturday.

So what did we do today?  Drove to meet my parents in Keanansville to pick up Clara, and then continued down to the beach for a few days.

Last night I could hardly sleep.  I was having dreams of careening down mountain roads out of control.  And in between those dreams, I kept hearing babies crying and waking up to look at the monitor, but wait, Clara wasn’t even there.

I sorta wish I was at home, but I’m just glad to be somewhere for a few days in a row and not get in the car again until Saturday when I drive to Beaufort for another wedding.

Maybe I’ll even get to finish that letter….