Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Catch-up

With so much catching up to do, I think I'll start with some "Claire-facts." I love that I'll be able to look back on this blog and remember Claire at every stage. Right now, at the "almost-fourteen-month-old-stage," here are some things I don't want to forget...

  • Over the past month or so, it seems that Claire's understanding and ability to communicate have increased every day. Somewhere along the line, she started to understand and respond to things such as, "Can you go get your shoe, please?" "Where is your book?" "Are you ready to eat?" All right, maybe she has been responding to that last one for quite a while now. But not only is she understanding more and more, she is also really starting to communicate back with us. The simple sign language that we have been doing with her for months suddenly seemed to click around 13 months old. With her hands she now says "eat" (of course), "more," "drink," "please," "thank you," "banana," "dog," "fish," "I love you," and "all done." Some of her verbal language includes banana ("ba-ba"), baby ("bweh-beh"), ball ("ba"), dog ("duh"), mama, dada, hey, and bye ("die" - possibly my favorite :) If there is something that Claire wants or needs, between her words and her body language she is pretty capable of letting us know what it is.
  • She remains a very good eater. Although she is beginning to have some *relatively* picky days, all in all she still devours whatever we put in front of her and continues to ask for more. Some of her recent new diet staples include almond butter, soy milk, and turnip greens. We did find out that she is allergic to cow's milk, eggs, and peanuts, as well as dust. I am hoping that she will outgrow at least the food allergies very soon!
  • One of her favorite games right now is the hiding game. I'll hide one of her stuffed animals in one room, and as soon as I ask her where it is ("Where's Elmo????") she will grin and take off to go find it. This game can go on indefinitely.
  • She has her quirks. Recently she has been falling flat on the floor a lot, for a couple of different reasons depending on the context. Either she is just tired so she falls down and lays there for about three seconds to recharge, or she is throwing her version of a tantrum. This consists of falling down, rolling over onto her back, and just looking at which point I usually burst out laughing. I'm not sure how she feels about that.
Now on to Christmas! I'll start with our time with Spencer's side of the family. We left town a week before Christmas to head down to a dear friend's wedding, in which Spencer was a groomsman. This is important because it was the first time that we have ever left Claire overnight!!! She got to spend some quality time with her Gran and Pawpaw while we went to Scotty and Jadison's wedding. She did great, of course, and we did pretty good too, if I do say so myself!

The wedding was beautiful, and when we got back we had a few days full of fun with Gran, Pawpaw, and the gang. Here we are riding in the golf cart...

...and enjoying a nice walk with Gran...

Claire had a lot of fun seeing some people that she doesn't get to see very much, like her cousin Hudson...

And her Uncle Travis!

Here she is helping Uncle Travis open his gifts.

And here is a shot of our time with Gran, Pawpaw, Nanny Faye, Papa, and Uncle Travis.

She absolutely adored the piano that Uncle Travis got her!

Christmas Part 2 - Coming soon!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Littlest Christmas Angel

We had our children's Christmas play at church tonight. Claire was the "littlest" angel.

Here she is not the happiest angel.

Here she is playing on set before the play started.

And here she is doing what she did best. Being the star of the show, even when she wasn't supposed to be.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

We woke up this morning to...


One year ago this week, Claire experienced her first snow...

A lot has changed since then!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Activities of the Day

Here are a few of Claire's favorite activities these days...

  • Coloring. Is a thirteen month old supposed to be able to hold a crayon correctly? I don't know, but ours does. And I am now finding beautiful works of art....everywhere.
  • Reading books. Or at least reading the first page of books. If Claire is upset about most anything, I can say to her, "Go get a book and bring it to me." She will light up, toddle over to her bookshelf, pick up a book, and come sit in my lap. After we get through the first page, she usually starts turning the pages very quickly and then moves on to her next activity. But at least she is developing a love for books!
  • Carrying stuff. Kind of random, I know. But she just loves to accumulate things in her arms and walk around the house with them. The other day I was in the bathroom getting ready and everytime Claire walked by the door she had something else in her arms. A pair of pajamas, a book, a shoe, a cup...the pile just kept getting bigger until I couldn't see her face anymore.
  • Riding in her new carseat, which is now front-facing.
  • Playing "Where's Claire? There She Is."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tender Heart

When we were home for Thanksgiving, Claire did not like it whenever her little cousin Justice would start to cry. A couple of weeks before that, I had already noticed this trend. Claire and I were watching home videos together, and when we got to one that had baby Claire crying, toddler Claire started crying as well! A sign for the future? Do we have a tender-hearted little girl on our hands?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving, Part 2

Time for the second half!! After Thanksgiving with Spencer's side of the family, we headed to the Pickard house! It was wonderful to have everyone together under the same roof, even just for a night or two! Claire was excited to see her cousin...

Sweet Justice has changed so much since we last saw her! She has developed a little personality all her own, and she loves to laugh at anyone who will talk to her!

Claire had fun playing basketball...

and football!

She loved playing and reading with Aunt Jeni...

No, silly, the pants don't go on your head!!!

Here is Claire after a full day of fun. Spencer, Claire, and I went for a walk with my Dad and when we got back, we found that Claire had fallen fast asleep...

Jared challenged Spencer to a tripod contest. Spencer took him up on the challenge...

and won!

Jared, Bonnie, and Justice...

Aunt Jeni and her two nieces!

All the "Pickard kids"...

The proud grandparents!

I truly count it as one of the greatest blessings in my life to have such a wonderful, fun, loving, and Christ-centered family!
"From everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children's children..."
Psalm 103:17

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving, Part 1

We had such a good time over the Thanksgiving holiday, we'll definitely have to do this post in two installments! We spent the first half of the holiday with Gran, PawPaw, and the gang! The weekend started with haircuts for everyone (thanks Gran!) Everyone....including Claire!!!

Here Claire is having second thoughts about getting her very first haircut. She looks like she wants to escape.

Still not too sure about it...

But she did great, and her bangs are now all trimmed up!

Here are the great-grandmas...

Looking for some trouble to get into in Grankay's shop!

Back at the house, Claire enjoyed playing on Gran's horse...

And spending time with Papa and Nanny Faye.

On Thanksgiving day we went to Gran's sister Joyce's house. Here are the four sisters!

Claire loved playing with the triplets...

...picking up pecans...

...and looking at the horses!

Here are a few family pictures...

Claire just adored the big Santa Bear that Sasa got her!

Claire with Sasa, PawPaw, and her new bear...

And here she is on the way back to Gran's house, all tired out from a day full of fun!

We have so much to be thankful for! Among our greatest blessings is the wonderful family that God has given us, and we were so glad to be able to take a few days and spend time with them. And we celebrate the greatest blessing of all...that God became flesh and took our sins upon Himself on the cross, so that we can be restored to a relationship with Him and truly "enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts!!!"
More to come from the second half of the weekend... :)