Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve

Dear Claire,
     It's been 2 years to the day since that pregnancy test confirmed my suspicion, and yet at this point in our lives, I can't remember a time before it.  I don't know who I was or what I did before you became my whole entire world.  And I am totally and absolutely obsessed with you.
     In a short year you started walking and talking.  You like music, cars, babies, lego, and candy.  You adore your cousins.  You are rambunctious and wild, but extremely loving as well.  Every morning in the shower, at some point you grab my face in your hands, look me in the eyes, and lean in for a kiss.  It melts my heart every single time and makes me look forward to getting out of bed.  You have to shake your bum at every opportunity, whether it's to Blurred Lines or your rocking horse.  Or more recently, EDM.  In my head I think about yelling at you in your teenage years to 'turn down that damn music' and I smile.  Because while I look forward to so much more to come, I am really enjoying you at this current state.  I study your face to look for familiar traces from my own, or to imagine how those features will look on you as a child/teen/woman.  How your nose will grow longer and your cheeks will thin out.  I look at your cute little bubble butt and pray to God that you will never think it's too flat, or too fat, or too "anything" but perfect.
     Last night you were sick and didn't want to be alone in your room, and you didn't want to sit with me in the rocking chair.  So your dad held you, all 20+ pounds of you, and just stood there in the corner of our living room.  And I pictured that if the next 50 years was a Groundhog Day that included this very moment, I would never be happier than seeing you and him forming one super-person who consumes so much of my love.
     One of your uncles said something to me that resonated long after the comment made in passing.  He said that "DP must be so proud to have a baby who is both like a girl and a boy."  And you know what?  He is.  I am too.  And I love that people recognize it.  You are affectionately referred to as Poopoo by those closest to you, which I imagine one day you will hate and probably refuse to be seen with us in public.  You are also called Monster, Bruiser, Godzilla, the Destroyer, and Claire Bear.  I'm noticing a trend here, and I hope Claire Bear is the only one that sticks.  Sometimes I call you Sweet Baby and Angel but it's mostly when you're sleeping.
     God blessed me when He let me be your mother, and I know I didn't deserve to be this fortunate, but I will spend the rest of my life being grateful to Him for putting us together.

I love you Poopoo,
your mummy

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Christmas Pinata

Christmas Day was nice, but it had come and gone.  We did presents with my in-laws and then had a big prime-rib dinner and played Scrabble.  It was lovely.

But just because the day was over didn't mean that "Christmas" was.  Well not when you have a Christmas piñata anyway.  Who gets a Christmas piñata?







Sunday, December 29, 2013

Run Style

We've been having nice weather, and since I've been off I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get in some outdoor runs with the baby.  I got away with short sleeves and cropped pants, but I make sure to dress Claire in long sleeves/pants and boots, and a hat.  Sometimes the wind picks up and plus she's not doing work and therefore not sweating like I do.  I have also been letting her play outside a bit while I cool down afterward.  She loves that.

Peep 2 her cute outfits.  (And yes, I posed her with the trash for fun.)





Friday, December 27, 2013

Escape Artist

DP nudged me at 6am on Christmas Day and said to put Claire back in her room, but...I didn't take her out.  I opened my eyes to see Claire standing in our room, at the side of our bed, babbling at us.  How the hell...?

It was the first time she had climbed out of her crib, but I knew why she realized this was possible.  During our trip to Vancouver, Claire had climbed out of her playpen.  It was one day when I laid her down for a nap in someone's bedroom.  About half an hour later, I heard something fall off a shelf in there, but when I listened at the door I heard nothing else.  I opened the door just a smidge and peeked in.  The playpen was empty and I was greeted to the overwhelming smell of beer.  I threw open the door and my kid is standing there smiling at me, covered in beer with the empty can on the floor, and she was holding a lighter in one hand and a foil package of allergy pills in the other. 

While I probably shouldn't have stood there laughing my ass off, I couldn't help it.  It was horrifying and I was already too late.  People who don't have kids aren't used to having to child-proof their home and Claire was totally busted.  Yeah, she could have been seriously injured (or worse) but she wasn't.  And if I can't laugh at situations like these, then I am going to spend the rest of my days over-stressed and downright miserable.

I learned 2 things that day - that Claire could climb out of her sleeping arrangement, and that I need to do a quick sweep of any room I put her in by herself.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Santa Baby

Finally at home on Christmas Eve, we had to go to Walmart and pick up Claire's gift from Santa.  I brought it home, opened the box, and stared blankly at the hundreds of pieces of this thing.  I knew I wanted to assemble it that night so Claire could come down the stairs to it in the morning.  But seriously, what was I thinking?  It ended up taking me four hours.  FOUR HOURS.




 
It turned out pretty cute though.  DP had already done the side work, wrapping her other presents - a remote-control car and various candy - as well as filled our stockings.  He added a Christmas piñata and bought helium balloons to amplify the "party" scene.  It was over-the-top and awesome.  I mean, isn't that what Christmas is all about? 



The video of Claire actually coming down the stairs on Christmas is too large of a file to post, so you'll just have to use your imagination.  Lots of "wows" and pointing.  She is scared of her remote-control car. 



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

For our Christmas card last year, I used a photo that our cousin had taken of us from Thanksgiving.  It was our only family picture up to that point, and it was just cute.  But this year I wanted one of those family photos where we were all in coordinating outfits and standing in front of a giant Christmas tree, or on a couch out in the desert, something cool and worthy of Pinterest.

I picked out our outfits in shades of blue.  Claire has a lovely light blue/dark blue party dress, DP was going to wear a gray and blue Lucky Brand cardigan, and I had a navy t-shirt under a gray blazer.  It was very fashionable and I was so excited to pretend we were "that" kind of awesome young family.

But then I picked Claire up from school one day, and they had taken pictures of all the babies for the classroom theme board (His Presence is Our Present) and well, the picture was so cute that knew I had to put it on our Christmas card.  She had messy hair, a cheesy smile, jeans and a t-shirt.  It was just SO her.  I added a professional photo of all three of us from earlier in the year, and called it a day.

In choosing the style, I couldn't decide, so we sent out 3 different ones.



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Touchdown!

So this is hilarious.  We hosted Monday Night Football and I made my go-to Sunday crockpot meal of clam chowder, and my dad made a pot of chili, and all the family came over.  There are a few of Forty-Niner fans among us so it was a pretty fun event.  It was passed Claire's bedtime but since there were so many people and we were all being loud, I couldn't get her to go to bed.  So I carried her for most of the game.  At one point, I put her hands up and said, "touchdown Claire."  She was amused.  Later on in the night, the Niners scored an actual touchdown and I screamed, "TOUCHDOWN!" and Claire raised her arms in the air signaling the goal.  With a big smile on her face of course. 

Show-off!

We drove to Bellingham to catch our flight on Christmas Eve.  This time I was prepared for the worst and had a purse full of lego blocks and Little People toys to entertain my baby.  She did great anyway, after playing during the take-off, I made her sleep and she slept comfortably in my arms for the whole flight.

Before getting on the plane though, we made a stop at a little beach in Washington State.





















 








Monday, December 23, 2013

The Green Eyed Monster

We stayed at my aunt's new condo over-looking the water, which was honestly so beautiful to wake up to.  Claire and Gigi stayed in bed watching Home Alone 2 while I set up some clam chowder in a crockpot.




 
 
We were going to be hosting Monday Night Football since the game featured our Niners.  But before the party, my niece Adley came over to play with Claire.  I had expected them to kind of just play alongside each other, that's what babies do.  But what I didn't expect was for Claire to exhibit signs of jealousy.  I mean, Adley's adorable, and we were all fawning over her since we don't get to see her often, but isn't this a little young for being territorial?  Claire has never done this with us at home before.
 

 
 
 
I laughed the first time, but then it got embarrassing.  Adley is so sweet and my kid is a bully.  I felt bad for the both of them.  What can I do about this?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dance Baby Dance

Claire was uninterested in the packaged boxes under the Christmas tree which made things easy at my house.  Until I showed her how to rip open a corner yesterday, and she realized she was allowed to tear into them.  She woke up to presents at my mom's sister's house and had a ton waiting for her at my dad's brother's house, where we spent the evening.  I got to meet my new nephew for the first time and I was floored at what a little man this newborn baby had already become.  Claire was honestly a lump on a log for the first 2.5 months, whereas Phoenix is engaging, holds his head up, and even communicates in his own way.  I didn't get any pictures of him since I was so busy being goo-goo ga-ga anytime I held him which sucks.  But memories last forever, am I right?

Claire was a bit overwhelmed.  I think she was tired, and even though she had met almost everyone before, there were a ton of new faces.  That didn't stop me from "making her dance" though.  Literally.  The whole night was, "Claire, what does a dog say?"  And she would bark.  "What does Santa say?"  And Claire would Ho Ho Ho.  I was a total showoff.  At one point, someone put on her song, Low by Flo Rida.  (Ok, it's my song but that makes it hers by default right?)  And she came running from another room and started shaking it to the music.  That's my girl! 




















Claire has 2 cousins in Vancouver who were having their very first Christmas.  It was really special seeing her interact with Adley and Phoenix, especially since she did great and was gentle enough.  (We had to practice that beforehand.)  I was worried because at home, Claire is the youngest cousin, and gets rough with the kids.  But in Vancouver she's the oldest of her generation.  I wanted to commemorate the 2 babies with special ornaments but was sure they would already have the "Baby's First Christmas" kind.  So we started them a Hallmark Keepsake ornament series each. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Surrey Not Surrey

Our first day of vacation, we were happy to wake up to snow on the ground. Well the kids were happy, but Claire wasn't because I wouldn't let her out. Too bad so sad!




















We had a mock Christmas Eve since most of the family could be together at this time, and I hardly noticed the difference.  The grownups cooked all day, and we had prime rib and scalloped potatoes for dinner.  I know it's funny that I say "grownups" but when I'm around my mom's side of the family, I feel like a kid again.  And not in the way where they were taking care of me, but in the joyful exuberance kind of way that you only find in youthfulness.  And even though I still did, I knew I didn't have to be worrying about Claire.  She was the belle of the ball!

 

 

Friday, December 20, 2013

A White Christmas

On the day we were scheduled to leave for Vancouver, they had a freak snowstorm in the Pacific Northwest.  And by "snowstorm" I mean they had 6 inches. So DP dropped us at the airport at 11am and we were delayed 4 hours. Just stuck there. With a year old baby.

She was a trooper though. And it helped that her cousins were also on our flight.


When we finally landed in Bellingham, my kid was going on no nap and started to get restless from the cramped conditions. Unfortunately the airport there was backed up so we sat on the Tarmac for an additional hour. I tell you what, I have never been so glad to have such an easy-going baby before this point in time. We got our rental car and headed straight to Kmart for a playpen and some additional items. I'm a minimalist (to a fault) when it comes to packing for travel and having a baby hasn't changed me. I usually rent a carseat, and buy diapers, wipes, snacks, etc. at our destination. And in this case, since we were staying with family and couldn't rent a crib, my dad picked one up. We crossed the Canadian border and got to Surrey by 11pm. That's right, we traveled for 12 hours.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Mumma"

On our last day of work/school before leaving for vacation I went to pick up Claire from daycare, and I was running a little late, so when I got there the babies were sitting at the table eating an afternoon snack.  Claire didn't see me right away so I opened the door and was halfway thru the room when she saw me, smiled, and said, "Mumma." 

And then I died a thousand deaths.

It was the first time she had ever called me and it just sounded so nice and perfect.  And her voice was like a sweet baby when she called me, not like she usually sounds with her growling and screaming like a banshee. 

So I cried. 
And the daycare ladies were aflutter. 
And Claire was all WUT? 

Holidays

I am starting my vacation today.  I'll be off work for the next 13 days, the first four of which I'm spending in Vancouver.  I'm excited for this Christmas with Claire, and hope I have a lot to blog about for the end of 2013.  Toodaloo!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crayons are Fun

This is what happens when Gigi asks Claire to colour with her...