Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Pictures

Starting in on presents

Discovering how delicious wrapping paper is

Excited to find there really is something under all that wrapping paper

and then distracted by more paper to chew on.

This one is just the right size!

And it's yummy too

Snuggling with the new toys

Playing with dad

Bows are the best crawling motivator ever!  I think I'm going to leave some out...

The Fam at my sis's house

Mimi and the girls

My niece Ali turned 1 a couple of days before Christmas so we also celebrated her first birthday

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  I hope you all have have a wonderful time with friends and family over the holiday weekend!

Yesterday, we finally got Claire into see Santa...and she was fairly unimpressed.  We plopped her on his lap and she was quite content to just hang out.  I was a little afraid she would start pulling on his beard, but she didn't even try.

Today we've spent the day doing odds and ends around the house.  We had lunch with friends, and will be going to church tonight.  We will spend Claire's first Christmas morning at home, then will start making the rounds to see the grandparents.  It will be a long weekend of traveling, but we are thankful our family lives close enough that we are able to see them all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

To Tide You Over...

I've been a blog slacker lately.  Things have been quiet, so I don't have much to blog about.  But thats not a bad thing...

The only update I have is that Claire is actually getting not 1, but 2 teeth!  We joke that she is going to be a jack-o-lantern because one is in the usual spot in the lower center, but the other appears to be an upper eye tooth.

And to tide you over until I have more to say, one of my favorite recent pictures.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Claire is 11 months (time sure does fly!) and she is doing so many fun things these days that I just had to share. 

Claire is getting her first tooth!  I noticed it on Saturday when she opened her mouth for a bite.  It looked like a spot on her gums, but today, just few days later, you can definitely feel that it is there.  And, other than producing gallons of drool when she chews on her teethers, it doesn't seem to be fazing her at all.

In gross motor, Claire is making amazing progress!  A month ago she wouldn't (not couldn't, but wouldn't!) bear any weight on her legs.  As soon as you tried to stand her up, she would pull her legs up just as fast as she could. She started bearing weight on her legs in PT last month, and today, while her posture isn't good, she can pull to stand from sitting on a bench!  That is huge in one month!  And what could be better motivation than a cell phone?  :)

Claire isn't crawling quite yet, but know that she isn't far away either.  She makes very purposeful and impressive lunges while on the carpet, and was pulling herself one scootch forward on the hardwood floor last night. 

We started with the Talk Tools program a few months ago, and while I love our ST, I've been slacking quite a bit with Claire's exercises.  The only thing we use consistently is the Honey Bear cup, and a couple of weeks ago, Claire started drinking from the straw.  She doesn't do it consistently, but this is a great first step in transitioning off the bottle.  And she loves the Bear.  She reaches for him whenever she sees him.

But my favorite new things she's doing are great big hugs!  She reaches her arms around your neck and just squeezes.  And then she finds hair and pulls, which takes a little away from the hugs, but they are still awesome!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Razzle Dazzle Snowflake Christmas 5x7 folded card
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Baking

Today I am getting all my baking done going to start my Christmas baking.  This is one of my favorite days of the Christmas season.  It's a quiet day around the house.  I've got candles burning, KLove on the radio, and a happy baby playing underfoot.  This is also the first  year I've attempted my baking with help, and I have a feeling it's going to take longer than usual to get it all done...

Claire was amazing this morning.  I brought a few different toys into the kitchen, and she was entertained long enough for me to finish the sugar cookie dough. I will bake them tonight when Darren is home. I tend to wind up covered in flour, and I think its better to have help with Claire.

Claire spends a lot of time on the kitchen floor while I make dinner, but for the first time today she found the drawers.  While I love watching her discover new things, I have a feeling this discovery will be responsible for some tears down the road.  Thankfully, we avoided smashed fingers today.

This was my clue that she needed a bottle and some attention.  Hopefully, I'll get back to the baking soon, or else there is always tomorrow!

Frosted Sugar Cookies

3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Slowly add dry ingredients, mixing well.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Generously flour work surface, rolling pin and cookie cutters.  Roll a portion of the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out cookies and bake on greased cookie sheets at 375 for 8-10 minutes. 

When cookies are cool, frost, decorate and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hanging up the Horns

After nearly eleven months, I am officially done pumping!  It is sooooo nice not to be tethered to that thing every 4 hours.  But at the same time, some of that mommy guilt creeps in.  Physically, I still could be pumping.  I was still producing more than what Claire was drinking in a day, but mentally, I needed a break.  I was ready for my body to feel like mine again.

Today, the pumps are getting packed up.  The parts are getting washed and cleared away so my counter doesn't look like this anymore.

And, I still have at least 4 months of milk in the freezer, so I more than made my goal of getting her through her first year on BM.  I'm very proud that I was able to hang in there pumping as long as I did.  It really was much harder than I thought it would be!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Only 15 days left...

to get your Angel Tree ornament from Reece's Rainbow.  Donations of $35 or more to the Celine by midnight on December 20th will receive an ornament for your tree.  Celine's smiling face has a prime spot on our tree this year, and I know she would look beautiful on your tree too!

Thank you all who have donated to Celine's adoption fund so far, but she still needs more help from us.  And she needs help NOW.  She turned 5 in October, and she is on borrowed time.  At any time she could be transferred to an institution.  While living in an orphanage is not ideal, it is much, much better than the institution.  The only way to guarantee that she doesn't end up in an institution is to find her a family. 

Russia is one of the more expensive countries to adopt from, and the $33,000 price tag is a huge challenge for most families.  And while it may not seem like much, EVERY SINGLE donation helps.  Whether it's $1 or $5 or maybe more, it adds up.  So, this Christmas season, as we are busy shopping and buying gifts, I'm asking you to stop and think about a little girl who doesn't have a family.  If you aren't able to donate the $35 for an ornament, please give just $5.  This is a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and I while none of us will miss $5, it could help make the difference between life and death for Celine.

There are many ways to donate to Celine.  You can visit her on the Angel Tree, on her profile page, or you can donate via the Chip In. ----->  All of these ways to donate are 100% tax deductible.  If you'd rather not donate electronically, you can always mail a check to Reece's Rainbow at Reece's Rainbow, PO Box 4024, Gaithersburg, MD 20885.  If you mail a check there won't be any fees deducted from it as there are when you donate by Paypal. 

Please, just $5!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

San Diego, and Meeting Ella and Laura

Over Thanksgiving we headed out to warm (much warmer than CO!) San Diego.  My brother is a Marine, and stationed at Camp Pendleton.  The last time I saw him was in May.  He came home for 10 days to get married, pack up his house and family, and move to California.  I was missing him terribly, and was so glad for the extra time off work to be able to visit him.

We spent Thanksgiving day at Knotts.  We spent a little time at the beach, but mostly just hung out, and it was WONDERFUL!

While we were in CA, we couldn't resist meeting up with Denise and EllaLaura and her family also joined us.  The girls were a riot together.  We arrived first.  Ella seemed happy for company at first, but then took to pushing Claire over.  Claire tolerated it for a while, then the pouty lip came out.  Later, Claire got her revenge on Ella.  When Claire is hungry or tired (and she was both that day) she is LOUD.  Poor Ella would give Claire a look, cover her eyes and retreat to another room.  Laura was quiet and sweet for the whole visit and tolerated the antics of the other girls.

Did you notice how my girls mouth is open in nearly all these pictures?  Did I mention she is loud???

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Vacations

For the past few years Darren and I have skipped family dinners and headed out of town instead.  The two days off from work are hard to resist when we both have limited vacation time available.  A couple of years ago we drove up to the Black Hill in South Dakota.  We saw all the sights (Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, The Badlands), gambled a little, and had a great weekend getaway.

Last year we drove to Moab to hike through Arches National Park.  Now keep in mind I was 7 months pregnant when we did this!  I wasn't able to do quite as much hiking as I normally would, but we still covered multiple miles a day while we were there.  If you haven't been to Arches, go.  It's a beautiful park, and definitely one we will go back to.

Yes, I know Darren's eyes are closed...
 This year we are headed to San Diego.  My brother is there, and we haven't seen him since he moved with his family in May.  We are going to go to the beach, Knott's Berry Farm, and are hoping for a chromosomally enhanced play date too!  My computer is staying behind, so this is probably the last you'll hear from me until we return with lots of pictures!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!