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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 12, 2013

I especially love Mother’s Day for the priceless memories of Clare ensuring that my day is nothing but special.  She and my husband made quite the team in doing just that, once again.

Being a Mom and having a Mom are two incredible gifts from God for which I am forever grateful.

One of my favorites from Clare today…


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!  😉

Wordless Wednesday

July 7, 2010

America the Beautiful

Almost Four!

May 14, 2010

Clare is now 3 ½ !  She seems to grow taller and taller every week.  I don’t always notice it but when I peek in on her before going to bed and I see those long legs it so often makes me pause.  Growing up before our eyes…indeed she is.

She is weighing in at 35 pounds although each week Robert and I swear she is nearing 40 pounds—unbelievably heavy!  How tall is she?  Well, that’s a great question!  I will update this post with that info as I can never find that tape measure when I need it.  😉

The three’s have been challenging as she is certainly ever so eager to explore the vast world in front of her.  Her independence shines though every day.  Her teacher pulled me aside a few months ago to tell me that Clare is one who knows what she wants.  I thought to myself, oh dear…shades of bossiness coming though?!  My sister tells me that is an inherent trait with the first born child.   I’m thinking that is sister’s way of telling me…payback time!  😉

Clare  goes through her phases but at the moment she is all about wearing dresses (every day) and her play necklaces.  She is very nurturing—loves to squeeze her kitty cats and tell them how much she loves them.  Her baby dolls are given the best care…she changes their diapers and makes them ‘pretend’ breakfast.

Empathy…to our amazement, she discovered this shortly before turning 3.  While watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse one morning, tears fell down her cheeks as she watched a sad Goofy.  So sensitive yet so determined.

Methodical and systematic are two other traits I would use to describe Clare.  I’ll save the fun details for another post but safe to say, we recognized these traits in her as early as 9 months of age.

Clare’s vocabulary has exploded since turning 3.  I try to take note of the many times when she says something and Robert and I have to do a double-take.  Here’s a sample of some of those Clare-isms and words that are unique to only Clare (“clare-speak” as we call it).


  • LaMote = Remote
  • Toomanno = Tomorrow
  • Lellllow = Yellow
  • Hewba Loop:  Hoola Hoop
  • Hanitizer = Hand Sanitizer
  • Automagically = Automatically (this comes from the public restrooms—she cannot tolerate the toilets that flush automatically…too loud for her ears.  Yes, road trips are always an adventure with Clare).
  • Marshmallow = Mushroom (she has finally started calling them mushrooms…loves them on her pizza and loves to eat them at PopPop’s house).
  • Nornado = Tornado
  • The Reest = The Priest
  • The EBS Truck!  = The UPS truck (Clare LOVES to spot the UPS truck!  Only recently, she asked me “Mommy, why is the EBS man always wearing the same clothes?”  That’s my girl!)
  • The little Frank = Franklin, one her kitty cats
  • WaWa = Wyeth, her other kitty cat
  • Wonderland = Disney World “Where Mickey lives”
  • Deesh = Drink (now this one she stopped saying probably around 5 months ago, but she still occasionally uses her clare-speak when talking about my or Robert’s drink).


  • Yesterday:  the time that lapses between today and “yesterday”.  She’ll remember a story that occurred 6 months ago and say, “remember, yesterday, when I was two…”
  • When you do things on accident, its okay, but you don’t do it on purpose.  “But, but, I didn’t do it on purpose!”
  • Whenever we see a bird, Clare always says (quite emphatically), “No…it’s not a bird, it’s an EAGLE…a BALD Eagle, Mommy!!”
  • “Hey, do you have a baby in your belly?”  I was flabbergasted when I heard that sentence leave her mouth at hhgregg back In January when the sales associate (MALE sales associate) was helping us buy a washer and dryer.  Talk about thinking fast…I immediately tried to talk over Clare in hopes the nice gentleman didn’t hear her.
  • “Read like me, Mommy”:  She LOVES to read books and lately, she tires her hardest to instruct me to read like her (can you tell she enjoys playing the teacher role?!)
  • “Don’t stare, Mommy!”—We explain to her it’s not polite to stare at people and one time when we were at a restaurant, out of the blue, Clare made this comment to me.

And lastly, we so often get a “Did you know…?” when picking her up from school.  It really amazes us how much a toddlers mind can learn, retain and then act on.  I’ll have to scan some of her drawings…she has gone from scribbling lines to forming letters to spelling her name to now drawing tangible objects.  Today, she drew a sunflower (she had to make sure she had brown paint) with “dark green” grass, a rainbow (don’t forget there’s purple too) rain drops and a bird.  Our little artist-in-the-making.

Did you Know…?

  • “Jupiter is the largest planet”
  • “Saturn is the planet with rings”
  • “You need to take a rocket ship to get to outer space”
  • “A Nornado looks like a carrot”  That would be ‘tornado”.
  • “Yoga helps get the wiggles out”
  • “The white stuff in a fish tank is algae” (we were at a restaurant and Clare made this comment while checking out the fish tank)

Her loves include Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Tigger and Pooh and Thomas the Train…Her bike, her blocks (building towers is one of her passions), the park(s), the beach, painting, Ruff and Fig (her stuffed animals) and most importantly, her family, her many friends and amazing teachers at The Goddard School!

Thank you, God for blessing us with this gift—such an incredible and precious daughter.

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Wordless Wednesday

May 5, 2010

A Mother's Guiding Force

Easter Traditions

April 4, 2010

What’s your most memorable Easter tradition?  For me, it was springtime bonnets, white patent leather shoes, the end of Lent and Easter Sunday Mass.  Growing up in the northeast, it wasn’t uncommon that Easter Sunday was accompanied by snow…didn’t matter though; we still wore our springtime attire.  It was Easter after all and that signified out with the winter and in with the spring season.

Another memorable tradition at Easter for me, was the Easter basket…every year my sister and I would each get a delicious giant chocolate covered peanut butter egg (I think my sister’s was vanilla crème filled) topped with a flower made of icing.  We had to cut them with a knife and would savor every bite which often led to belly aches as we were sitting in Mass.  I also remember we always had coconut covered mini chocolate eggs in our baskets too…guess the Easter Bunny knew those were Mom’s favorite.  😉

As parents, you easily become a kid all over again as you watch the excitement and curiosity in your child’s expressions as they partake in what may very well turn out to be holiday traditions.  For Clare, this year was her first Easter at home that she will probably remember.

It started out with decorating eggs and leaving carrots for the Easter Bunny to snack on while he dropped (or should I say, hopped) by during the night.   A bit of anxiety hit the next morning when she peeked outside (“Daddy, hold me’) to see if the Easter Bunny had eaten her carrots…I think she was nervous the Easter Bunny would be on her doorstep.  😉  She wore her Easter bonnet with her dress and crocs (she is quite particular about her shoes) to church.

Easter Sunday

Her favorite moments of today were discovering small bottles of brightly colored nail polish in the eggs the Easter Bunny left in the yard along with some Crayola sidewalk chalk shaped liked Easter eggs.  Hmm…Nail polish and sidewalk chalk, could this become part of our Easter tradition?  😉

"This chalk looks like an Easter Egg!"

"There's something in these Eggs, Mommy"

I know what will not become a holiday tradition in our house…roasted asparagus with the ham dinner.  Although it’s a favorite of mine, I discovered that’s not the case for Robert and Clare as I was the only one eating it.  That’s okay, they enjoyed the Peeps all to themselves as that is clearly a favorite of theirs (and a definite tradition for us at Easter time)!

Clare and her Daddy LOVE some Peeps!

Happy Birthday, Isabella!

March 2, 2010

Three years ago today my niece, Kaitlyn, became a big sister as her baby sister, Isabella was born.  So hard to believe she is already 3—no longer a baby but instead a tenacious toddler!  We celebrated her birthday along with Kaitlyn’s big #5 last weekend in Charlotte.  It’s always a delight to have the girls get together and watch them play, and play and play…nonstop.  😉

Clare with the Birthday Girls

Clare was excited for the a new month to begin today (“Maaarrccch” in clare-speak)  and to also sing Happy Birthday to her cousin.  Stage fright hit as we called tonight and Clare made me do the singing solo.  As you can see from the clip below, she seemed to have no problem singing her tunes once we got home:

Here are some shots of the birthday girl from years past…

A Snow Day!

February 1, 2010

In the early morning hours beginning about 10 days ago, I began hearing the pleasant sounds of birds chirping outside the windows.  Ahhh, Springtime is near I thought to myself.  I was delighted to see soft pink flowering trees as I drove through town last Wednesday and then on Thursday the temperature outside peaked to 63 degrees.  The splendor of the approaching season was slowly awakening.  Oh yes…Springtime is indeed near!

Not so fast, said Mother Nature as she insisted we not forget the beauty of winter.  So, within a few short hours from that mid-60 degree day (Spring Fever, Baby!); fluffy snow flakes began to fall from the sky.  And they continued to fall into the night on Friday until we awoke on Saturday to an amazingly peaceful setting.  Clare exclaimed, Mommy…It’s just like at Nanny Neill’s house…snow!  She had enjoyed fresh powder during our visit to Pennsylvania over New Year’s so she was thrilled to see that “white stuff” once again.

Robert got Clare geared up to frolic in the snow and they headed out together while I savored an hour of “me” time.  Clare came back in with the rosiest of cheeks and a smile as wide as the ocean.  She LOVES the snow!  Clearly a nap was not going to happen this Saturday (big surprise!).  So…the three of us headed out after lunch and thoroughly enjoyed the Snow Day!


Clare's "Gang" gets out in the snow too

Here’s another video clip in case you want to hear that enormous giggle once again:

The fun lasted for 3 whole days!  Thank you to Mimi for the snow pants (from last year) and the ski jacket and to Nana for the boots.  Clare was prepared for this snow day…no doubt about it!  We’ll have to pick up a sled for next year although you can clearly see she had an incredible time without a sled.  😉

Ready for the Slopes

Ready to Run

One last taste of snow

Nap No More

January 24, 2010

Each weekend it becomes harder and harder to get the big girl down for a nap.  I know it’s common for toddlers  to outgrow their naps but Clare is one toddler that NEEDS that nap.  She naps every day at school…no problem.  I suppose it’s because all her friends are napping with her…that “pack mentality”.

This weekend was no different…she tried to close those eyes for an afternoon siesta on Saturday but soon became giddy resulting in me throwing in the towel and enjoying her company.  😉  She hammed it up for the camera…

Clare's Gang...all covered up for nap time

"But my eyes ARE closed, Mommy!"

Playtime! 😉

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas

December 20, 2009

Annual visit to Booger Mountain to find our Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

We ventured out after work on Friday, December 5th to find our 2009 Christmas tree.  Robert and I began going to a tree lot years ago in Raleigh called “Booger Mountain”.   This tree vendor happened to open shop in Wake Forest the year that Clare was born …it has now become a tradition that we all look forward to every year.   We decorated the tree that Saturday morning.  After nearly 3 hours (lights, decorations, vacuming the needles, tree skirt…) our tree was officially decorated! 

Santa's helper...decorating the tree

Two hours later, Clare and I heard a thunderous CRASH.  They say a picture says a thousand words…check it out… 

Uh Oh!

Tree decorating—take two!  Clearly this was a BIG tree!  Thankfully no one was hurt and as Robert told me…ornaments can be replaced.  Luckily, not ALL our ornaments were glass so we still have lots of memorable ornaments adorning our tree.  😉 
We will be buying a new tree stand for next year…that’s for sure!   Something tells us this will be a Christmas to remember…