Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We Love That Gran!

Why do we love Gran? Let us count the ways...

1. She will make the long trip to see us, even when she can only stay one night!


2. She takes us to fun places like the park!




3. She loves to see Claire have fun...


...and while Claire is swinging...


...Gran is having some fun of her own!


That's where Daddy gets it from!



4. She makes Claire do silly poses for a picture!


5. She is so helpful!

6. She tries to talk Daddy out of letting Claire hang off the edge of a bank!


We just love that Gran so much!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Life with Claire

A taste of life with Claire...

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The other night she discovered what fun it is to yell into a bottle.

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Claire loves to slide, and she wanted her bear to know how much fun it is, too...

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This child has got some serious moves.

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Pushups with Daddy...

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

How I Love Your Word...

Tonight Claire went to bed at 7:45. Pretty normal. She laid down without complaint, accepted her bear, baby, and blanket as usual, and said "Nye-nye." As we sat in the living room, we could hear her talking to herself, or her baby, or her bear, as usual.

1 hour and 20 minutes later, she was still awake. She had been laying in bed talking, tossing, and turning the whole time. No complaining, just a lot of...talking. Finally we couldn't stand it anymore so we went in to see what was going on. She sat up in bed as soon as we opened the door and began signing that she needed a diaper change. So, I changed her (even though she really didn't need one), sat back in the rocking chair, sang to her, prayed with her, and put her back in the crib.

"Baa-baa," she said.

I handed her a bear.

"Baa-baa," she said again.

I handed her a baby.

"Baa-baa," she said more insistently.

I gave her a blanket.

"Baa-baa. Baa-baa. BAA-BAA."

"Oh," I said. "Do you want your bible?"

Yep, she indicated. That's what she wanted. So I got her picture Bible, handed it to her, and left the room.

She was asleep within 2 minutes. (This picture is not posed, I promise.)


I wish I was more like Claire.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pigtails and T-Ball

1. Pigtails

The day has finally arrived when I have gathered enough courage to actually "fix" Claire's hair. Okay, this does not actually happen every day...or even a majority of the days. But so far we have braved the storm and done pigtails at least three times.

Then again, you can always just throw a hat on. Like mother, like daughter.


2. T-ball

Today was BEAUTIFUL. We spent all day (minus naptime) outside. When Spencer got home this afternoon, we decided to run (literally - it's only a mile and a half from our house) and get a T-ball set for Claire. It's something we've been talking about doing for some time. Claire has shown a lot of interest in...well...anything having to do with a ball. And today was just so beautiful, we decided it would be the perfect time to try it out.


Let's play ball!

Ready...


Aim...


Fire!!!


Watching her homerun...



T-ball = Success!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Minnumminnumm

  • Claire's new word of the week is "minnumminnumm." This can variously mean "cinnamon," "mango," or "flamingo," depending on the context.
  • Tonight Claire had her first pizza. Be still my heart. Pizza is my FAVORITE food...and now is one of Claire's as well. It was a Mediterranean style pizza...homemade whole wheat crust, fire roasted tomatoes, artichokes, black olives, and fresh basil. She devoured it.

  • We went to a get-together the other night with several people in Spencer's class. One of the couples has a little girl, Nova, who just turned two. Claire saw Nova jumping and she has been trying to jump ever since. It's hilarious. She just squats down really far (sometimes she goes down so far that she falls over) and then just stands up really quickly. She'll figure it out soon, I'm sure!
  • We've been sort of informally working on identifying letters of the alphabet. Claire can pretty consistently say and identify both A and B now.
  • Whenever Spencer randomly falls down in the floor to do push-ups (which happens several times a day at our house, of course) Claire immediately climbs on top of him and straddles his back to add resistance to his workout. We already have ourselves a little personal trainer.
  • Claire loves to sit on her bouncy ball. Today she tried to sit on one ball and have her baby sit on one beside her.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mt. Leconte

Hooray for Spring Break! Even though Spencer spent most of the week studying for midterms next week, it was still so nice to have him home more...and he managed to take one whole day off so that we could go on a great hike!

Spencer, Claire, and I, along with Spencer's classmate Jeremy, made the trek up to the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Wednesday. Here are Jeremy, Spencer, and Claire setting out on the trails Wednesday morning.


It was quite cold when we started! Jeremy helped take care of Claire to make sure she was warm and cozy!


This is my favorite nature shot of the day. I love to see flowing water! It reminds me of when Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He had living water, that once she drank it she would never thirst again.



Claire had lots of adventures riding on Daddy's back...

Here I am walking across another bridge...only I am holding onto the rail...and I don't have a baby on my back! If Claire has a sense of adventure, it is probably more from her Daddy than from me!!!



More adventures...Claire was really funny because every time Spencer would start to climb or hang or do something kind of crazy, she would begin to say, "Mama...Mama...Mama..."



Alum Cave Bluff...


Just hangin' out...

Can we say, "Cheese"?





This was a really neat part of the trail where you could see straight out over the mountains...


Though it started out pretty cold that morning, things warmed up quickly as we hiked up the trail. But the closer we got to the top, the colder it became again. Here are some of the first icicles that we saw along the trail. Eventually the trail would turn to complete ice.


Near the top of Mt. Leconte are some cabins and a lodge for people who want to stay overnight during the warmer seasons. We stopped here to eat some lunch before continuing to the peak.


Here is Claire enjoying a sandwich...

And some oranges...


After lunch we made the short hike to the peak itself. It was breathtaking.









As I said earlier, the closer we got to the top, the more ice covered the trail. The stretch from where we ate lunch to the peak was almost completely covered. We found that it was much easier hiking UP this portion than DOWN it! So Spencer decided to take a different approach on the way down...

Claire did so great on the hike. She soaked it in and enjoyed being outside for over six hours. When she got tired, she didn't complain...she just went to sleep! Here she is, sacked out on Spencer's back. An eleven mile hike will do that to a girl :)


In other news, Claire had her checkup yesterday. At 16 months, she is 32 inches long and weighs 22 lbs 8 oz. We are so thankful for our fun, sweet, nature-loving, energetic, healthy little girl!