Monday, December 24, 2012

Clara - 24 Months

Clara is two years old!  The past two years have been so fun and rewarding and we've loved every minute with our sweet little girl.  Here's a little bit about what Clara's up to these days:
-She has completely transitioned out of her high chair and has a little table and chair in the kitchen where she eats all of her meals.  She is a wanderer and roamer and we're working on not leaving the kitchen until a meal is over.

-She's a super helper and when she finishes her food she always gathers all of her dishes and utensils and puts them in the sink by herself.

-Still loves to sing and is picking up SO many new songs.  Current favorites are Praise to the Man, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Angels We Have Heard on High, Happy Birthday, and ABC's.

-She has enjoyed all of the snow we've gotten and loves to play outside in it.

-Says so many words it's impossible to keep track now.  She narrates our entire day and will attempt to say any word you throw her way.  I adore her darling pronunciation of certain words, like "el-fen-aunt" for elephant and "raffe" for giraffe.  She says, "hold you" when she wants to be picked up and "rock you" when she wants to be rocked.

-She knows the names of all of her relatives.

-Some of her favorite phrases right now are, "all fresh, all clean!" (after every diaper change), "mommy/daddy where aaaaaarrrreee you?" (every time she wakes up), "all ready to go" (when she wants to go somewhere).

-She calls pretty much any older wise-looking gentleman in a suit a prophet.  She knows who the First Presidency is and can identify President Monson, President Eyring (sometimes just "president ring") and President Uchtdorf.

-Is such a tough little girl and I'm continually amazed at the tumbles, bonks and falls that never result in tears.

-She is learning to say "please" without being reminded, and often says "thanks" or "thank you" on her own too.

-One night recently when she woke in the night, I went in to check on her.  She was standing in her crib crying, so I pulled her out and started to rock her and sing her request, "Praise to the Man."  I was singing quietly to her (it was 5:30 or so in the morning) and she said, "Turn it up, mama!"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Clara - 23 Months

I can't believe that in a month Clara will be TWO!  Actually, she's starting to have more and more two-year-old moments, so maybe it's not that hard to believe.  Here's a little bit about what she's up to:
-She pretty much narrates our entire day.  It seems that every month for the past few I've been saying her vocabulary is really exploding, but now more than ever.  She can repeat most words with really good accuracy.

-Loves to watch football!  She still calls it foobooball even though she can totally say "foot" and refers to her foot and feet often.  She loves to tell the players to "ruuuuunnnnn!" and says "uh oh" or "oh no!" when someone gets tackled or fumbles the ball.  She also says "touchdown!" at the appropriate times and puts both arms up in the air.

-I've found her saying her own prayers a few times.  It's the cutest thing!  One day she was in time out and when I came to get her, she was standing with her arms folded and her head buried in her arms.  She was talking quietly and then I started to make out what she was saying, ".... for the kitty...... for baama (what she calls grandma).....Jesus.... amen!"And put her head up with a huge grin.

-Is obsessed with watching the movie I made of her first year.  We watch it at least once a day.  I like to think it's good exposure to babies and what's about to rock her world in about two months.  Plus it's fun for me to watch and think about all of those sweet baby phases we get to relive with the new kiddo.

-Is still SO expressive.  It's fun to have all of her various expressions matching up with her new words.  She can be so adamant and serious about the funniest things.

-Still a great little sport on all of our outings.  It may be a bit of a shock to stay home more once the baby comes because daily she asks to "go to store."

-Has tinkled in the potty twice!  I thought for SURE that we'd be on the set-three-days-aside-and-get-it-over-with side of potty training, but so far that hasn't happened.  Ugh.

-Can be so stubborn (Spencer would say, "just like her mama" - but I have no idea what he's talking about).  A few battles have been over walking vs. riding in the stroller, getting dressed, changing her diaper, etc.

-Loves her kitty more than ever and has a cute scolding tone for when the cat is doing something she shouldn't.

-Still a music lover.  One day I was tired of singing Praise to the Man (again! again!) and got out my laptop and played it for her on the church's music website.  Now she's always asking me to "get man" and if I start singing it she says, "no, get it mama."  We're working on using "please" in contexts outside of wanting more food...  Her favorite songs right now are Praise to the Man (man), Popcorn Popping (pah-corn), Stand for the Right (words), The Lord Gave Me a Temple (body), I Love to See the Temple (temple song) and Teach Me to Walk in the Light (always).  We listen to a primary CD every time we're in the car and she's learned so many more songs too!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Your Opinions Please

The time has come to replace our $20 Ikea living room rug with something a little more substantial and grown up.  Actually, the time came a long time ago... but my nesting instinct is finally forcing me to get this taken care of.

Our living room is mainly dark brown, beige and aqua blue.  The chairs with the big floral pattern have accents of a mustardy yellow color.  I have found several rugs that I like, are within our price range, and meet Spencer's criteria of 'not too light' (for the most part).  Some are wool, some are synthetic.  They have good reviews.  I feel like with the three chairs with floral-y patterns of different scales that a more geometric pattern is appropriate (rather than yet another floral pattern).  I snapped a quick photo of our current living room - the area where the rug is, at least - and popped in our different rug options.  All of these rugs are larger than our current 4x6 Ikea rug, but it was easier to just fill the space that the rug already occupies.

Here is what the living room looks like right now:

The Brown-Beige Indoor/Outdoor Rug (as seen on Centsational Girl - she has it in their living room too and raves about how it stands up to the daily abuse as their highest traffic room)

Next up, The Caspian - a nod to Spencer's preference of something more tradtional

The Handmade Trellis Indoor/Outdoor Rug

The Luna Easy Care Trellis

The Luna Marrakech Wool Rug

And then I start to wonder if all this neutral stuff is too conservative, and I need to play off an accent with something like the Gold Handmade Luna Marrakech.

Thoughts?  I'd love your input.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful For...

Tonight was one of the best family home evenings we've had.  It was short and sweet.  We typically read a story from The Friend, but tonight we opted to watch a short Mormon Message video about gratitude.  Clara climbed up onto my lap and watched and listened intently.  When we were finished, we each said some things we were thankful for.  First I helped Clara think of some things (her baby, her friends, mommy and daddy, etc.).  Next, as Spencer started to list off the things he was thankful for, Clara quietly folded her arms and bowed her head.  We realized that Spencer's gratitude list was similar to the things for which he often thanks Heavenly Father in prayer.  When he finished she looked up and said, "Amen!" We love our sweet girl and her tender heart.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Halloween Recap

I just realized I never finished my post last year (2011) on Halloween.  Oops!  I think I may have to go back and do that, because Clara was such a cute little cow.  This year was even more fun, since Clara really got into it and we had all kinds of Halloween events to attend.

Every year, my dad grows huge pumpkins.  Clara loved seeing them on their porch and couldn't believe how big they were.

We carved pumpkins for family night on the Monday before Halloween.

Two weekends before Halloween, Clara had her photos taken in her costume.  We paid $15 for a 10 minute micro mini session with a cute setup and while I think it was worth it, I don't know that I'd do it again.  I really like the photographer's style generally, but I was a little disappointed that we received highly edited photos, and nothing with bright, vivid colors.  Last year we did halloween pics at Sears (they were free! including lots of prints) and I liked that they were more of a true representation of Clara and her costume.  But enough on that.  Their setup was super cute and we got a couple of darling photos.
On Friday, the 26th, Spencer's office had a Halloween party and it was really fun!  They had bags the kids could decorate for trick-or-treating, cookies to decorate, a conference room all decked out and full of snacks for everyone, a room to help assemble hygiene kits for a local shelter, and of course trick-or-treating all around the office.  Clara caught on right away, and filled her little jack o lantern bucket right up.  She was not shy about choosing treats from strangers' cubicles and offices.
Riding the elevator up to the 15th floor!

Roaming around daddy's office

On Saturday, my friend Lindsey and I put together a neighborhood trunk or treat.  It was pretty low key (and last minute!) but I think we'll consider it a success.  With little kids, half of the fun of Halloween is seeing all of their friends in their costumes - which doesn't always happen on Halloween night.  So we planned our party in the afternoon so they could see each other in daylight and run around and play.  The kids who came cleaned up candy-wise and I think everyone had a good time.  Next year we might add a chili cook-off or some other element to round out the party a little.

Whit, Maggie and Lindsey (I stole this from your blog, Lindsey!)
One cute thing, at the trunk or treat, Clara went up to a 5 year old in our ward (whom she's never really met) and gave her a big hug.  Then I heard the girl run over to her friends and say, "you guys, there's a baby over there and she just gave me a hug and said, 'huuuuugg.'"  Haha - that's my girl.  She is not shy about offering affection.

Clara hugging Lottie

Clara and some friends - Scarlett and Lottie

On Halloween day, Clara spent the morning trick-or-treating around Aunt Carol's office at Utah Housing and got lots of treats!  Halloween night was spent entertaining grandparents and handing out candy with a few visits to some of our older neighbors who we knew would want to see Clara in her cute costume (heaven knows we didn't need any more candy from a full evening of trick-or-treating).

Holidays are just getting more and more magical as Clara discovers what they are all about and can enjoy them more fully.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This year I took Clara to have her pictures taken in her costume by Effie Grey Photography.  It was almost 80 degrees that day, hence the sandals.  She's the cutest little butterfly ever! We've had a lot more going on with endless Halloween festivities, so I'll be sure to post about everything when it all settles down.  In the mean time, have a Happy Halloween!  (Clara just woke up and is shouting, "Mama, where arrrrrre you!?" from her crib. Love that girl!)

Friday, October 26, 2012

52 Projects... Revisited

Remember at the beginning of the year, how I was going to do some kind of project every week all year long?  And then ideally report back on my blog?  And remember how that hasn't happened?  Well, it's not that I haven't accomplished anything this year, but probably not as much as I hoped.  But with a new baby on the way and a burst of second trimester energy, I'm hoping to really get a lot done in the next little while.  With Spencer out of town all week, Clara and I spent a good bit of time at my parents' house and were able to get a lot of projects done!  I took projects I knew we could start and finish - I needed that sense of accomplishment.  Here's what we ended up with:

6 knit newborn baby hats
3 pairs of babylegs
2 changing pad covers
2 sets of car seat strap covers
1 fleece blanket
1 flannel crib sheet
1 scallop bunting for the girls' room
1 autumn bunting for the living room
1 hooded towel for baby girl #2
1 felt Christmas tree just for Clara to decorate with 25 felt ornaments - still deciding if we'll use them advent style, or give them to her all at once to decorate and undecorate the tree at will

We also started a color book for Clara, similar to this.  All of the pages are done, except for the color words. I think the felt ornaments and the color book were my favorite projects because they allowed complete creative freedom.  Plus, with a sweet toddler as the end user, I know she'll be thrilled with whatever we've created.  Having my mom to help really sped up the projects and helped me get so much more done!

I still have a lot to do before the new baby, and I still think it would be cool to keep up with weekly projects on the blog.  So we'll see if it actually happens.  Here are a few of the things on my short list:

-clean out the garage
-make new roman shades for the girls room
-cornice boxes for the girls windows
-coordinating crib skirts for the girls
-quilt for the new baby
-mobile for baby (rain drops and clouds or owls)
-clean out storage/laundry room
-get craft area organized
-organize and consolidate all files
-rain gutter bookshelves for girls room
-hang art and shelves in the girls room
-make Clara's baby book...
-make gauze blankets for new baby
-organize girls closet and dresser - make them shared-room-friendly
-get new baby crib set up
-recover the bouncer
-set up new baby area in our room

Alright, let's see what happens in the next 14 weeks!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Clara's First Big Bug

Clara has a ridiculously strong immune system and up to this point in her life, she's only had two small colds, and one other random fever.  She's thrown up twice, but I think both were due to overeating and then being held/squeezed the wrong way - not because she was sick.

But this week, Clara got super sick and it was sad and a little scary.  With Spencer out of town, we were staying at my parents house on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as soon as she woke up I could tell that she had a fever.  She was burning up, but otherwise seemed her happy and unaffected self.  So I really didn't think anything of it.  Then we sat down for breakfast and she only ate a few bites, refusing to touch some of her favorite foods at all.  About 30 minutes later she completely hit a wall and became really lethargic.

She only wanted to be held (by my mom) and was almost falling asleep in her arms.  Sleepiness at ten in the morning is not part of Clara's current life or personality, so I was getting a little nervous.  I ran to the store to pick up some tylenol and a thermometer.  I think I pretty much broke her little heart when I took her temp and after that she really only wanted my mom.  Her temperature was about 102.5 and when we tried to give her a little tylenol she threw up her breakfast.  Poor little thing. We stripped her down to her diaper and she made a little nest for herself on the floor while we put Sesame Street on for her.  She tucked her little legs under her tummy and fell right asleep.

I'm sure there are many times as a parent that you wish you could trade places with them, and when they are sick is definitely one of them!

Clara - 22 Months

We love our little Clara so much!  Each month just gets more and more fun (and a little more challenging in new ways).  She is so full of life and personality and definitely has strong feelings and opinons about certain things.  Here's the rundown of what Clara's up to at 22 months:
-Her vocabulary is exploding.  She is putting more and more words together everyday and picking up new words all the time.  She narrates the entire day!

-She loves identifying emotions and has strong associations with emotions she's felt in the past.  For example, she hates the vacuum, so whenever she sees one she says, "cry, sad"

-She hates the vacuum!  The only thing that can console her is me holding her, but at 25 weeks pregnant I finally decided that holding her while I vacuum the entire house is no longer a viable option. So I just let her cry and tell her that as long as I don't have to pick her up while I vacuum, she can have a cookie afterwards for being brave.  Now that has become an association too - so vacuum = "cry, sad, cookie, all clean!"

-Loves to snuggle with us on weekend mornings.  I love bringing her back into our bed for a few minutes before we all get on with the day.

-Her pretend play is expanding and so fun to watch.  She loves to mother her little baby doll and will check on her often saying, "you ok?"

-She loves to color and draw.  She can say 'crayon' and 'draw' but for some reason most of the time she wants me to color with her she asks me to "lellow" with her.

-When I don't say something to her that I usually do, she'll remind me to.  For example, if she takes a tumble and I don't ask her if she's ok, she'll look at me and say, "you ok?" then "yeah"

-Has the most serious, insistent little expressions sometimes.  Her sincere little furrowed brow cracks me up.

-Her palette seems to be ever-shrinking and her sugar-radar is ever-expanding.

-Can be so cooperative.  While we were at my parents house, if I asked her if we could change her diaper, she would lay down on the spot for a diaper change.  When I tell her we're going to put a "pretty" in her hair (a little ponytail up front) she will sit down wherever she is and let me do it.

-Still sleeping great - 12+ hours at night and 2-3 hours in the afternoon.  I love my little sleeper!

-Loves to play "boo" where we hide around a corner and scare her.

-Is obsessed with giving hugs "hugggg" and kisses "keeees" to everyone and everything - me and Spencer, all other relatives, the cat, her cup, spoon, bowl, the car, her baby, etc.

-Knows what sunny, rainy, and windy look like.  When we had our first snow of the season and we woke up to a blanket of white she looked out the window and then at me, perplexed and said, "moon?"
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