Wednesday, December 25, 2013

First Christmas!

Today was Clara's first Christmas!

I think she had a blast!

Grace is in love with Thomas the Train right now.  She received an amazing toy train from her Aunt Sam and Uncle Brian!

She really enjoyed all her presents though, and I think we have hours of entertainment ahead!

The girls enjoyed some rough housing!  I love how they are playing with each other more and more.

Clara adores her big sister and I think the feeling is mutual!

Merry Christmas to everyone!  I hope you all had a relaxing and fun day like we did!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sweet Sisters

Sometimes it is really hard, but I live for moments like these!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Photos

Sweet Angel!

Or is it...

a devious ornament thief?!!

I think she is both!  She is DEFINITELY the latter.  We leave ONE in reach that isn't breakable so that my head doesn't explode telling her repeatedly to stop climbing the tree to get the ornaments.

These pictures look deliciously vintage to me.  Maybe it is because...

This dress is another wearable artifact from my past!  In this picture, I'm three years old, and this dress was worn in a wedding.  I think Gracie looks pretty adorable in it, which is why I decided it would be her holiday dress this year.  I was bound and determined to take a holiday photo with both of them in their dresses.  Sounds easy, right?  You people saying yes are probably not parents.

Jason says my expectations are just too high.  I thought a picture in front of the tree would be nice, and I was going to crop out the mess of toys in the background.  I didn't count how many pictures I took in this pose, but I can tell you that I got them all dressed up on three separate occasions trying to get ONE that met my requirement:  both girls smiling flatteringly at the camera.  This one is kind of cute, but it didn't make the cut.  Clara looks very sweet and joyful, but Grace is holding her toe for no reason and half smiling, half grimacing.

If one looks good, then the other did something weird.  Here, Clara is lunging forward trying to escape probably.  This one was a strong contender for a while actually.

Clara is pretty distracting.

It was mostly her clothes and accessories that were distracting.  Grace loves to pull her socks off, unzip sweaters, etc., so this headband was not long on Clara's head.

Clara just loves the attention from big sister, even if she ends up disrobed.

Then things got a little strange

and a little fierce.

  Oh, and I'm NOT going to show you the winning photo, but I will tell you that it is NOT in front of the Christmas tree, because I gave up!

Monday, December 9, 2013

More Wiggles

Clara is trying to move!

Her third tooth broke through a couple days ago, and she has been having a bit of a rough time with it.  Today I caught her at a good moment!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

6 Months Old!

Clara turned 6 months old 2 days ago!

This is Clara's holiday dress.  We've been trying to take a picture of the both of them in their dresses.  It is beyond difficult trying to get two little girls to both smile at the camera at the same time!  Clara is pretty easy on her own though, because she can't get away!

She is FINALLY sleeping through the night!  That means 6 or 6:30 pm until 6 or 6:30 am.  

She is such a sweetie!  Sometimes she likes to rest her head on my chest and just snuggle a bit.  She also really loves it when you sing to her!  She is grabbing at everything in her path and seems to be very curious.  She is also very wiggly and ready to be moving on her own!  So far she can scoot backward and spin in circles.  Crawling is not far off!

I feel like we're half way through the hardest part!  That probably isn't true but it feels good anyway!  I'm half way through pumping at work and I'm VERY glad about that.  It isn't a big deal but it is a pain.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Holidays are Coming!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We cooked our favorite dishes all day long, and we finished just in time to take a family picture before Clara had to go to bed!

We made a Bruleed pumpkin pie this year.  We don't have a kitchen torch, but who needs one when you have a plumbing torch?!

Then we put up the tree!  Grace LOVES the tree and really enjoyed decorating it.  She says she wants to go look at it first thing in the morning, and we turn it on together with showy ceremony!

The tree is a little off balance because Grace was driving us nuts taking all the ornaments off the tree.  Now the bottom half is amusingly undecorated!  The piano looks so picturesque next to the tree.  We are loving having Grandma's piano and we play it every day!  Even Grace takes a turn or five!

Nothing makes it feel more like home than the addition of the 4th and final stocking for our little family, all made by my mom.  They are so beautiful (and out of reach on the bookshelf)!

Friday, November 22, 2013


I was asked about every 30 seconds to go outside this morning...

She is having the time of her life in the first snow of the season!  I barely even got this picture because she was moving around so much.  She was having a blast exploring!  I'd ask her to stand still and she would say "no mom, I'm walking in the snow!"  The difference between this year and last year is quite funny.  Last year, I bundled her all up thinking she was going to love it.  She took one step in the snow and then begged to go back inside, I think because it was difficult for her to walk on it.  This year, outside is all she can talk about!  She also had a huge meltdown when we came back inside.  It is in the 20's out there so we couldn't stay out forever, even though I think she might if given the chance!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Aunt Sam and Uncle Brian!

Aunt Sam and Uncle Brian came to visit this weekend!

Everyone had a blast playing and hanging out!

Sam brought presents to spoil the girls.  That is one happy face!

Brian was a natural with both girls!

He got Grace to go down the biggest slide at the park for the first time!

Sam says he is good with kids because he is a big kid too.

They are pretending to be scooped up here I think.

I think we're all wondering when you both can come back!

Monday, November 4, 2013

5 Months Old!

Clara turned 5 months old yesterday!

Clara is saying "It's 5 am!  Good morning, mommy!"

She is a happy baby.  She LOVES her big sister.  Her face brightens whenever Grace comes near, and Grace cracks her up all the time!

She loves to be on her belly, and can hang out on the floor like this looking at things for quite some time.  She especially likes if big sister Grace is playing near by.  She has been waking up in the middle of the night in this position.  I wonder if she is practicing to crawl, even in her sleep.  She has not been sleeping through the night still.  the last few days, she has been waking up around 4:30 or 5.  Ugh.  I'm staying positive and holding out for sleep this month!

Grace is testing us all the time in every possible way, but she is so sweet at the same time.  She loves repeating actions like closing and opening bags and putting things in, then taking them out.  (See the above video taking blankets off and putting them on Clara.)  She is also pretty smart with negotiating.  If we say it is too cold to go outside, she says "I need a sweater!"  She is fighting every single choice, even if it is what she originally wanted.  She wants pasta until you put it in front of her, then she doesn't want pasta.  But she asks me "did you have a good day, mommy?" when I come home from work, and she can be very kind and thoughtful to all of us.  I figure this is some of the fun of being two! 

UPDATE 11/5:  stop the presses!  It finally happened, Clara made it until 6:30 am!  Hallelujah!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

Clara enjoyed her first Halloween!

As I previously mentioned, I made Grace's costume this year!  She told me what she wanted to be, and I thought that sounded easy enough.  After it is all said and done, If I had paid myself $5 an hour, plus the money for the materials I bought, I could have bought the nicest Pottery Barn costume available.  But I thought it would be fun to make one, and\even though it was more effort than I thought it would be, I'm still glad I did it.

Grace was a dinosaur!  I'm sure you're not surprised, since she is really into dinosaurs right now.

I was pretty pleased how it turned out.  I put together several internet tutorials to come up with it.  Thank goodness for the internet!

We had fun playing outside in the costumes for a little bit.

Avery came over and they had a great time together, as always!  Avery was Nemo the fish.  We trick or treated at two neighbors' houses.  Grace ate some candy and had a tremendous sugar high and crash.  I'm sure Avery's presence added to the hyper activity!

I was a pirate, as always!  Clara missed most of it, even the trick or treating, but she was up long enough to take some pictures.

It was a fun Halloween!  When I was putting Grace to bed, she kept asking for "more Halloween" as I was leaving the room.  She didn't wear her costume for very long before ripping it off, but hopefully it created a memory and anticipation for more fun next year!

 I would also like to acknowledge See Vanessa Sew  for the inspiration for the hoodie, How to be Jenna for her beautiful dinosaur eye design, and especially to Jessica at Running with Scissors for the tutorial for making dinosaur tails!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Through the Years

I made Grace's costume this year!  But before you see it, I thought I might show you some costumes that my Mom made for us.  

Rebecca, 1984

Wow, this one was scary!  I think it is that crazy make up and the excited look on my face!

Samantha and Rebecca, 1986

Sorry to drag you into this, Samantha, but we are too cute!

Rebecca, 1987

The famous crayon costume!

Rebecca, 1988

My messed up teeth make this one truly frightening.  Little ghosty, many years of braces are in your future.

Samantha and Rebecca, 1989

Samantha is an adorable Indian (Native American, please)!!

Samantha and Rebecca, 1990

Recycled costumes are the best!  I don't even know what I am though.  Maybe a gypsy?

Samantha and Rebecca, 1991

Every costume looks better with glittery ric rac trim!  

This year sticks out in my mind because of a disastrous event.  My mom's poodle skirt is pretty great, wouldn't you agree?  Well the day before Halloween, we went to a Halloween party at our church.  We felt peeled grapes in the dark and were told they were eyeballs, ate candy and even bobbed for apples.  It was a pretty fun party.  Someone also came up with the genius idea that we should paint (not carve) pumpkins.  In our costumes.  Now before we go further, I have to say that it is obvious that my mom put a lot of effort into Halloween each year.  We decided what we wanted to be, and she made it happen with a trip to the fabric store and her sewing machine.  After making only one costume so far, I now realize this is a lot of work!  So you can imagine how my mom must have felt when I came home from the church party with paint ALL over my poodle skirt.  She stayed up a long time picking the paint off of the skirt so I could wear it on Halloween.  And this is why Grace is not wearing her costume until Halloween, and why you will not see it before hand. 

So stay tuned for the costume reveal! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Whole Lot of Wiggling Going On

A recent video of Clara:

And a video of Grace about a month older:

What do you think, do they wiggle like sisters?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Last bit of Sunshine

Enjoying the sunshine with bestie Avery!

We are so lucky and thankful to have amazing friends like Jason and Erica.  They babysat our girls yesterday so that Jason and I could go out to lunch and enjoy The Book of Mormon!  It was our first time leaving Clara with anyone besides my parents, so I was a bit nervous.  But Clara looked as happy as a clam in Erica's arms when we returned, and Grace was begging "Again!  Again!" as Jason put on her shoes to go.  Aren't they adorable in their matching stripes?  Not only do I know that they will be in good hands, it is so wonderful to know that they also have a blast over there!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

4 Months Old!

Clara is four months old!

She is doing really well.  She can roll over from back to front now, and she is babbling up a storm.  Sometimes she says things that sound like words to me!  I could have sworn she said her own name earlier today.  I know I'm just being a silly mom, and I know we are a ways out from that milestone, but I can't wait until she can tell us things.

I mentioned earlier that we started sleep training.  I think it has been going well in that she goes to sleep quickly and on her own with very little protest.  We've completely gotten rid of swaddling, the swing and the pacifier.  We have a little routine with books and songs that seems calming and comforting.  The only thing is that she doesn't stay asleep for as long as I'd like.

This week she has been going to bed around 6 pm and getting up at 10, 2 and 6 to eat.  She goes right back to sleep, which is nice, but the constant sleep interruptions are wearing on me.  Our favorite baby book advises that she should be able to make it for 6 hours without eating during the night by her age and weight.  I'm not really sure how to make that happen, and I don't even know if there is anything I can do except wait.  She should be able to make it 9 hours by 5 months and then 12 hours by 6 months, so perhaps I just need to be patient until then.  I'll be sure to discuss this with the pediatrician next week at her check up.

However, there is an element to this we were not expecting:  Clara has a tooth and a second is fast behind it!  She seems to be a bit crabby about it, so I can imagine her sleep may also be affected.  She finds her toes and socks to be the most desirable chew toys, probably because of their availability.  Another piece of good news is that she is drinking from the bottle much better now.  She used to scream and cry when Jason tried to feed her, but she is used to it now.  It is a huge relief!

Big sister and little sister still get along very well outside of the occasional wack on the head.  Grace is very busy but also sweet and fun.  We're soaking up the last of the season and dreading the winter months of cabin fever!