Posts Tagged ‘Family’

A Part of Us

April 30, 2013

Clare’s drawings and pictures are priceless to me as each and every one has a narrative story behind it (truly).  This may be one of my most favorite ones yet.  Why?  Allow me to narrate…

Family Portrait as Pets

Me:  “Clare, tell me about this drawing, look at that striped kitty cat!”  Note:  Nearly all of her kitty cat drawings are of Frankie and Wyeth (both big black fluffy cats).  We’ve never seen Clare illustrate a striped cat as she drew at school yesterday.

Clare:  “Let me tell you, Mommy.  Today…at the Y, we had to draw a picture of what our family would look like as our favorite pet.  So, you see, the big brown kitty is Daddy (“they didn’t have blonde color”) and the black kitty is you, Mommy.”  “Then, the striped kitty is me, because….I’m a part of you…. and….a part of Daddy.”

I was amazed at her recognition of being a part of each of us (while of course dying to know where on earth on all this thought process is coming from, during after-school nonetheless).

The remarkable mind of a child…always taking it all in.

Counting my blessings….

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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!

IMG_4623

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.  😉

Fall Has Arrived

October 30, 2011

Our warm Indian summer days are no more…20 degree temperature shifts brought brisk cool fall weather our way this weekend.  The kind of weather that makes you want to stay indoors and purge the closets of summer clothes while having a pot of chili simmer on the stove.  OR…for a soon-to-be 5 year old…perfect weather for riding a jeep and painting some pumpkins!  Today was all about the outdoors for the big girl…

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Remembering One Beautiful Day

April 20, 2011

On this day, nine years ago, my little sister became a beautiful bride, a love-struck newlywed and a wife.  I gained a new family member and am grateful beyond words for the family the two of them have created.  Happy Anniversary to my sister and brother-in-law!

Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary to my Beautiful Sister!

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!

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

The Making of a Jack-O’-lantern

October 30, 2010

Step One:  Find the perfect pumpkin(s)…

Pumpkin Pickin'

Somebody found her some pumpkins

Step Two:  Enjoy the Pumpkin Patch (a must!)…

My favorite pumpkin of all

My Pumpkin

Fun times at the Pumpkin Patch

Fun times at the Pumpkin Patch

Step Three:  Get Paint (thank you to my partner-in-crime for battling Walmart on a Saturday!)

Step Four:  Prep the Pumpkins…

Prepare to Paint!

Prepare to paint!

Step Five:  Begin to Paint!

Our Little Artist

The Rainbow Pumpkin

Our little Artist

Decorating the pumpkin just right!

...putting on the finishing touches

Putting on the finishing touches

Operation Pumpkin Painting

Operation Pumpkin Painting

Step Six:  Make the True Jack-O’-Lantern…

Jack-O'Lantern, Complete!

Hello Jack-O'-Lantern!

Step Seven:  Display the Masterpieces and Get Ready for Halloween!

Ready for Halloween!

Boo!

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).

Clare-Speak:

  • 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).

Clare-isms:

  • 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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