Archive for the ‘Memorable Moments’ Category

First Moments

April 28, 2013

I’m learning that the older Clare gets, the more unforgettable those new, first moments become.  Although I am seldom able to capture the ‘aha moments’ on video (simply because they now tend to happen so spontaneously) these are moments that make an indelible memory for me and an immediate confidence boost for Clare.  Here’s an example of the latest ‘first’….

Today, Clare figured out how to put her hair in a ponytail all by herself.  This was no easy feat, let me tell you.  She is (and always has been) all about having her hair in a ponytail when the weather is warm.  Somebody gets cranky awfully quickly when her hair makes her “sweated”.   She was so proud of herself this morning when she managed to successfully make a tight ponytail.  After I showed her how to loop her hair through that third time to help make sure it didn’t fall out, it was all over—she was skipping with confidence and repeatedly showing me and her Daddy what she can now do, all by herself.

At bedtime, “Mommy, keep track of that rubber-band because I want to wear that on my wrist tomorrow so I can use it to put my hair in a ponytail.”.  😉

Check out my ponytail!!

Another first this weekend, Clare got an Easy Bake Oven (thanks to the neighborhood yard sale!).  Her oven is setup in the kitchen precisely beside the real oven and she’s already baked 3 packets of hot pretzels.  The ingredients and timer have had to be exactly right; she has enjoyed everything about her own baking creations!

All so much better than a first moment that occurred last weekend; strep throat resulting in Clare’s first sick day from Kindergarten.   Missing school on Monday was far more devastating to her than the unprecedented sickness.  I wonder how long before she tries to fake being sick simply so she can stay home?!

Speaking of school, one of her most favorite firsts, her PopPop came to school on Friday to eat lunch with Clare.  An indelible first for both indeed.


A Day with Daddy

February 28, 2013

As February comes to an end, so does Clare’s third track-out period of Kindergarten.  Her first track out (in September) included an escape to the southern shores with her cousin and Auntie where Clare mustered up the courage to swim in the pool sans “floaties” and do a “cannon ball” jump off the side of the pool (yes, without the floaties) for the very first time (thanks to her cousin cheering her on!).

Clare’s second track-out (in November) included her 6th Birthday celebration followed by a 5-day road-trip with her cousins and Uncle on a tour of the North Carolina lighthouses.  Clare learned an unbelievable amount of history, visited historical North Carolina landmarks, made everlasting memories with her cousins and Uncle, all without the company of me or Robert.

Now, here we are in February embarking on her third track-out where the timing (nor weather) wasn’t quite right for a beach getaway, and, a trip to visit her cousins ended up being moved to March.  So, we decided to try out a new (new for us that is) track-out camp at a local church where a few of her buddies from Kindergarten would be attending.  We looked into this track-out camp previously but the drop-off and pick-up times were a bit tight with regards to our work schedules.  Thankfully, they now moved pickup to 5:00, although it was still tight, Robert and I were committed to giving it a try.  And…boy oh boy are we so grateful that we did!  As my family has heard me brag about continuously over the past 3 weeks…the track-out camp has been an unbelievable positive experience and blessing for Clare and has truly warmed my heart every day she’s been there.

While she has most definitely had a seriously FUN time at this track-out camp and has awaken every weekday morning asking “when are we leaving for camp?!”, her Daddy felt especially heavy-hearted about not being able to take her on a family trip.  So, he planned to take Thursday (today) off and spend the day with our big girl.

Today, they visited Raleigh’s finest “hot places” for kids (and Daddy’s)—-The first stop was Marbles Kids Museum where they found a ginormous Connect 4 game which happens to be Clare’s FAVORITE game that she and her Daddy play ALL the time…yes, Clare won the match yet again.  😉   This was followed by lunch at Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant (Clare’s first visit) where she devoured a regular portion of fish filet, butter beans, homemade applesauce, peach pie an a bunch of other yummy items (and was teary-eyed when she later remembered she forgot to eat the biscuit).  They then stopped by another Raleigh landmark restaurant, Krispy Kreme doughnuts where they savored the taste of the world renowned BEST doughnuts!


Can this day with Daddy possibly get any better….??  But yes (almost), it ended with a game of Crazy Eights with Mommy.

Crazy Eights

Here’s to tomorrow—a new month and most importantly, her cousin’s 6th Birthday!!!!!

Holding onto 4

November 11, 2011

This year started off with a milestone birthday in our family  (the big 4 0 for me) and brings with it yet one more milestone birthday, one that is harder for me to comprehend—-our daughter turning 5.  A poignant reminder of how quickly time truly does fly by.  Our full of wonder, wide-eyed girl is growing up before our very eyes.  Although I haven’t been diligent in posting about the memorable moments with Clare this year, I have been extra diligent in soaking up the dwindling baby-ish times with her before we officially embark on the “big girl” years.  Here’s a slideshow of just a few of my favorite snapshots of our 4 year old.  😉

Spring is sure to follow

February 27, 2011

Carolina blue skies and mid-seventy degree temperatures outside made this last Sunday in February one to appreciate!  We are fortunate to have some of the North Carolina Greenway Trails nearby where we spend many weekend days running along side Clare as she pedals away on her bike.  I’m thinking the Tour de France may be on the horizon if she keeps up her relentless pace.  😉

Today, we packed up all three of our bikes (after dusting the cobwebs of mine) and headed to Falls Lake to introduce Clare to the mountain bike trails (beginner trails of course)!  Although Clare loved being in the woods, her little bike wheels were definitely not made for pine needle terrain.  So, Clare and I diverted to the pavement while her Daddy got an incredible workout on the trails.

Here’s a snippet of our little biker in action finishing her climb up a big hill (you can see why Robert and I decided we need to be on bikes with her…cannot keep up otherwise!)

The weather was simply BEAUTIFUL!!  Spring Fever indeed.  We had a fun picnic lunch lake-side and then Clare had a blast swinging  at the playground area.

And then, to top off the terrific day, as Clare is winding down before dinner we hear the catchy music coming from no other than The Ice Cream Truck!  A first for Clare and quite the treat.  A sure sign that Spring is just around the corner.

Ice Cream Truck

Hey Santa, Won’t you Bring me Something Sweet…

December 24, 2010

A Christmas Tradition for me and my sister while growing up was to help my Mom bake “Christmas cookies”.   Although these included several different kinds of cookies, to me, there was only one type of true Christmas cookie…the anise cookies.

You see, these were the cut-out cookies which were so much fun to make and so delicious.  The very special thing about these particular cookies was that they were the ones which Santa would eat.  I can remember carefully decorating the cookies I chose for Santa…the cookies I spent extra time in decorating and carefully placed the many sprinkles and colorful icing.

I decided to  start this cookie-making tradition with Clare this year.  Once we finally found the anise extract (after going to 3 different stores) we were ready to give it a try.   We have only two Christmas cookie-cutter shapes but Clare happily chose to use her Halloween cookie-cutters as well.   Her favorite part of baking the cookies was tossing the flour on the counter (and the kitchen floor, and her clothes etc…).  😉

After making cookies for the first tray to go in the oven, my helper was ready to quit.  We’ll see if she can have the patience to bake these cookies next year.  In the meantime…’Mommy’ had fun making them (and testing the homemade icing)!  😉

Cookie Cutter Clare

Ta Da! A Christmas Star in the perfect shape.

Carefully Cutting out the Cookie Shapes

Carefully Cutting out Circle Shaped Cookies

My Little Baking Assistant

My Little Baking Assistant (covered in flour)!

Christmas Cookies

The Finished Product...Cookies for Christmas

Which cookie for Santa?  Clare chose a big snowman shaped cookie.  We put in the freezer so “it wouldn’t get old” (in Clare-speak) before Christmas arrived.   😉

Merry Christmas to all!

Today, An Artist

December 17, 2010

As all parents do, we often wonder what our children will grow up to be.  I don’t know about the future, but I do know the present.   Today, Clare is my Artist.

Her masterpiece

Her Masterpiece

"Christmas Trees"

"Christmas Trees"

Flowers for Mommy

"Flowers for Mommy"

A Big Day

December 9, 2010

Today was Clare’s annual well visit at the Pediatrician’s office.  We all know that what that means …booster shots!

Clare really does enjoy going to the “Cough Doctor” as she calls him, much more so than the “Needle Doctor” (AKA the Allergist).  Well, after today, I’m wondering if she’ll have a different name for the “Cough Doctor”.

We hyped this day up for Clare.  She went to bed last night wondering if she would weigh in at 38 pounds as she stepped on the scale (“the scale with the Elmo sticker on it!”).  We read the book “The Bernstein Bears Go to the Doctor” so Clare could see how well sister Bear did with her booster shot.

Clare was quite happy as we arrived at the Pediatricians.  The scale she was asked to use this time had Thomas stickers on it…we love Thomas the Train.  She kept watching the numbers edge just slightly above 37 and finally stop at 37.2 pounds.  No jump for joy as she would have had it hit the big 38 mark, but all was just fine.

They checked her eyesight and hearing which she liked a lot.  Then, once in the exam room, the nurse gave Clare a little paper sheet with teddy bears on it to cover herself up in.  That hit home with me how grown up she is getting!

The doctor came in and while talking about the booster shots which Clare would be getting, he made the comment about how this visit is usually tough for 4 year olds.  Keep in mind that for her 3 year shots, she didn’t cry at all.  Then as the doctor was looking over Clare’s info, an unpromising look came across his face as he realized Clare would need to get 5 shots.  Note to self…this may result in an unhappy child.

I held Clare down on the table while the nurse jabbed those little legs with the shots.  Our big girl yelled and cried SO hard.  Of course I could not stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks as I was holding her down.  The nurse made a comment under her breath about Clare being a strong one.   Once the shots were done, thankfully, Clare stopped crying immediately.  Shew!

The three of us went about our day.  I dropped Clare off at school before Robert and I both headed back to work.  As I was working, around 4:00, I got a picture message of Clare eating a gingerbread cookie.  I knew exactly where she was…Sweet Loralee’s Bakery at the Factory!  Which meant she probably had been to the Jumpin’ Bean.  A huge smile was instantly on my face.  Robert left the office early to pick up Clare (yes, Clare has the coolest Daddy!!) and took her to one of her favorite spots to spend a couple hours with Daddy.  Why?  “Because she had a big day.”


A treat with Daddy after a big day

A Treat with Daddy

No, she did not just say that?

August 14, 2010

This week brought a few more than usual moments where Robert and I had to turn our heads after hearing Clare voice some hilarious comments…

Clare’s comment from one night this week…“But, but, I promise I won’t care if my teeth fall out, I just realllly don’t want to brush my teeth.”  Can you tell that brushing teeth can sometimes be a trying task for Clare?

While getting Clare ready for bed (post-swim lessons) and taking her braid out of her hair (yes…she actually let me braid it!!), she saw herself in the mirror and as serious as can be she said, “I don’t look so good….my hair???!”  She then covered her head with a towel.  Wow…one of the few times she sees some curl to her hair, she does not like it. I was able to quickly capture this Kodak moment! It amazes me that one can be self-conscious at such a wee age!

Someone did not like her curls

Then, the next morning while getting ready for school she spots her little toy mirror.  She picks up her mirror and (again as serious as can be) says “let’s see if I look stylish?” Stylish?  Already?  Such a big word for a three year old’s vocabulary.

And…saving the best gasp for last…as the three of us are eating dinner tonight at our favorite local Mexican restaurant (Las Palmas), Clare is playing at the table with her fun calculator and begins to press down on some of the numbers…next thing we hear (oh so quietly) is, “D@$X&T!” and then again, “D@$X&T!”.  Wow…Robert and I had tears in our eyes from holding back our laughter while trying so hard not to make too much of a big deal about it (worried she would proclaim this lovely word even more so!).

Of course this last Clare-Comment was all “Mommy”.  Allow me to vent for one moment…there was a crazy 45 minutes last weekend when Clare and I were completely stuck in a traffic stand-still at the Tangier Outlets in N. Myrtle Beach.  While attempting to leave the outlets (and go meet up with Mimi and PopPop, Kaitlyn and Isabella for dinner) we quickly got right in the middle of a HUGE parking lot traffic gridlock.  It was one of the craziest traffic experiences I’ve been in a LONG time.  No one was moving for literally 40 minutes…of course by minute 30, Clare tells me she has to go to the bathroom.

Without even thinking (or realizing it), I barked at some of the cars with a lovely “D@$X&T, car!” remark.  Well, as we were FINALLY making progress and approaching the long awaited exit to the parking lot, Clare asked me (while pointing to a car), “Mommy, is that a D@$&XT car?”  It then dawned on me that I clearly barked just a bit too loud.  So, trying to be swift, I made her think I was saying “Jammed in Cars”.  Nothing ever came up again until …tonight.  😉  Lesson learned…I must seriously watch what comes out of mouth at all times.  And…never again visit the Tangier Outlets during a tax-free shopping weekend!  😉

Dr. Clare

April 17, 2010

On Friday, we had to take Clare to see the “Cough Doctor” to reassure ourselves that her persistent cough was nothing more than allergies to the relentless, record-breaking pollen (“ponlen” in Clare-speak).   She has a Mickey Mouse stethoscope which she absolutely loves to play with.  She decided to take this with her as we visited the pediatrician’s office.

The Pediatrician commented on how that was the first time that a patient actually brought their own equipment to her office.  😉  Clare observed intently as the Doctor did her exam and then when all was over, she politely asked, “Where’s my sticker?”.  They say children have the memory of an elephant…I truly believe that.  It amazes Robert and I when Clare remembers such specific details of moments that occurred well beyond yesterday.

This Doctor’s appointment made me smile and think back to a few different times when Clare’s imagination kicked in (high gear of course) and she portrayed herself as a Doctor and a Nurse.

Doctore in Training

Doctor in Training

Band-Aids for the baby doll

Band-Aids for the Baby Doll

And most recently with her pet, Franklin (AKA Frankie):

Veterinarian in training

Veterinarian in training

Time will tell…