Friday, August 24, 2012

Picking Peaches

Last fall there was a groupon for our local nursery and their fruit trees were drastically reduced.  So we got a super steal on a couple of fruit trees and planted them in the backyard.  The apricot tree had beautiful blossoms and even had some fruit, but none of it fully matured.  The peach tree gave us an unexpected gift of a handsome harvest for such a tiny little thing.

Today, Clara and I ventured out to the yard and [she] picked every single peach from our tree.  There were about eighteen peaches.  Because the tree is so tiny, they were right at her level and several of them went straight into her mouth!  The peaches have tiny teeth marks to prove it. :)  She loves helping in the garden and has been wanting to pick the peaches for several weeks thinking they are tomatoes (ta-toes) or apples.  Hopefully next year we'll have an even bigger harvest!

I may have to frame this and hang it in my kitchen!

Clara - 20 Months

Today Clara is 20 months old.  We love Clara so much and everyone is always commenting on how she's got so much personality.  It's true!  And she just continues to blossom.  Here's what Clara's up to these days:

- Putting words together!  She says "Hi Daddy/Mama/Didi" (Didi is what she calls our cat) "All done" "I'm done" "No no no" "Bye bye _____" "oh wow" "oh no!" "uh oh!" and "all clean"

- Says please every time she wants something

- Knows the colors (and says) "yellow" and "green"

- Signs "thank you" frequently - sometimes without even being reminded *melt*

- Loves trucks, but can't quite pronounce the word "truck" all the time.  And she says it loudly.  And often.  When we're in public.  Gotta love the innocence of a toddler!

- Now when she sees or hears a baby, she says "baby!!" and then does this long exaggerated wimper.  It all started in sacrament meeting when she couldn't see a lot of babies, but she could hear them cry.  She's developing empathy at an early age.  Love her tender little heart.

- Learned "tada!" after watching the olympics nightly

- Loves to watch a few minutes of Sesame Street most days.  Usually she just wants to get to Elmo's world and as soon as he's off the screen she says "all done" and closes the laptop.

- Has the cutest little pretend conversations on her (or my) cell phone.  Says "hello" with lots of "yeah," "uh huh," gibberish, pauses and sighs to fill in before she says "buh bye!"

-Loves ALL animals and has no fear of them.  A huge dog can come towards her and she will get so excited (I on the other hand, may ditch her and run the other way)

- Loves to swim and lets us dunk her head under water!  She has learned to close her eyes and hold her breath when I tell her we're going under and count to three.

- Has counted to five.  Most days we only make it to three, but she did make it to five once!

- Loves to count

-LOVES our next door / over-the-fence neighbor Juliet.  When she is outside, Clara will run over to the fence waving and saying, "Hi! Hi! Hi!" and carry on conversations mostly incomprehensible to sweet six year old Juliet (much like Juliet would with me when we first moved in).  We love living next to five sweet little girls (with number six coming soon!)

- Plays with her "elmo" pop up toy all the time

- Loves bags, baskets, and buckets and knows which is which.  I need to make her a little purse - she loves to carry around a little bag.

- Loves buckles and helps me buckle her into her car seat (still rear-facing -- not because we're car seat nazis, but because she doesn't mind at all... and it is safer)

- Gives the sweetest love pats on the back and scratches my back upon request (I'm hoping she doesn't outgrow this anytime soon!)

-Really enjoys regular books, magazines and catalogs with lots of words and lots of pages (a few pictures are appreciated too)

- Still loves to sing.  Sometimes when Spencer is out of town we'll just rock and sing songs for a good long while before bed.  After each song she'll sign "more" or say "please" for another song.

- Can definitely throw a good little tantrum
- Loves Didi so much and always wants to give her loves and snuggles.  Someday the cat will learn that she has a real friend in Clara (maybe when the new baby comes...)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Visitors

One of the great things about living in Utah is that nearly every Mormon friend I have has some connection to this place.  People end up coming to Utah to visit family, for weddings, family reunions, funerals, baby blessings, graduations, mission farewells, or to send children or siblings off to EFY or help them get settled in at BYU.  This summer I had several friends come to the Beehive state for a visit.

Meredith (Oregon) and Kendra (Missouri) were both in town at the same time so we all got together for a BBQ at my house.  It is so fun to see these girls and every time we get together (which I wish was more frequently) things just seem to pick up where they left off.  We have so much fun together!
Me, Kendra, Meredith
Katie (Texas) came to town for a wedding and we met up at a park with our littles and had such a good time catching up.  I didn't get a picture of the two of us, but our sweet kids seemed to get along super well.  We were a little sad that her visit didn't overlap with Meredith's and Kendra's, for one grand BDA #25 reunion... someday!
Clara and Alana at the park
Whitney (California) was here visiting her sister and grandma-in-law and I got to meet her cute little baby Evangeline for the first time.  We got together for breakfast and had a lovely chat.  Again, no photo of the two of us, but here are our little girls.
Clara and Evangeline at The Corner Bakery Cafe
You know that part in Fried Green Tomatoes where the older lady says she figured out the secret to life?  She says it's friends.  Best friends.  I'm so thankful for all of the amazing friends I made in college who remain among my closest and truest.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Clara's New Gig

It's a good thing that Clara loves babies, because one is expected to join our family at the end of January!  We are super excited and thankful and feel so very blessed.  I'm sure none of us fully realize what this change will mean for our family, but I think that Clara will be an excellent big sister.  A friend of mine says that a sibling is the greatest gift that you can give your child, so I try to remember that whenever small feelings of panic start to set in.

A little bit about this pregnancy:

-My official due date is January 31st.  Typically I prefer even numbers for some reason, but I think that the due date 1.31.13 is really kind of cool.

-I started showing much earlier with this pregnancy and feel huge (at 16.5 weeks) right now.  I haven't started to wear maternity clothes yet, but my wardrobe is definitely pretty limited.

-Thankfully I didn't need quite as much medical intervention this time.  In fact, I was fully expecting things to take as long as they did with Clara.  So this pregnancy, although desired and planned, still felt like a surprise!

-I have been more sick and felt sick for longer with this pregnancy than with Clara.  Weeks 6 to 9 were the hardest and nearly every afternoon I'd be curled up on the couch with full body aches and an overall flu-like feeling.  I'm so glad that phase of pregnancy is over.  Now that I'm in the second trimester I feel really good.

-Food aversions and preferences have been really similar to my first pregnancy - meat is the hardest for me (especially anything in a lot of sauce -- the thought of pulled pork makes my stomach churn).  Fruit and yogurt almost always sound good.

-I have my third doctor's appointment this week.  So far everything seems to be progressing normally and healthily.  We've had one ultrasound and heard the heartbeat and things are great!

-Spencer and I both feel like this baby is a girl, but partly I wonder if that's just because it's all we know so far.  We would be thrilled to have a boy or a girl.  Two little girls would be so fun, but so would a little boy and girl.  We should be able to find out in a few weeks.

-Mostly we are super excited to do all of this again.
Sweet little Clara Jane, fresh from heaven.  Less than one day old.

P.S. If you don't read my blog in a reader, you may have missed several updates I did yesterday.  Clara's 17, 18, and 19 month posts, Bear Lake, the 4th of July, and Clara getting dirty.
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