Thursday, July 28, 2011

The “To Do” List


My “to do” list is extremely long these days.  It also has a new home too!  It moved from my journal that I used to walk around with, to the Priorities App on my iphone.  I can add items, mark them off, move them around.  It is amazing!  And it comes with my everywhere! 

One of the items on my list was to go back through my photos from Jan-June, edit some that I didn’t get to, and delete the bad pictures.  Sometimes marking things off of the to do list can be fun.  You can unearth a picture you had forgotten about.  A picture of a baby and her big brother. 


I still was learning a lot about my camera.  My ISO was set too high, and a lot of pictures were a bit too noisy for me.  But there were a few gems hidden back in the Jan 11 file.  I am happy to report that this was marked off the list and we now have a stack of edited photos from Jan until June.  Now for the albums…that would requiring driving two children to the store, so it hasn’t been marked off the list yet!

Chris has been busy marking off items from the baby #3 to do list.  We have four bedrooms upstairs and the third room was an extra guest room (we have one in the basement too!).  So the third room will be the new nursery.  It is slowly in transition.  I sold the furniture in it on craiglist.  Chris put the full bed back in the storage room, and it was painted this week a perfect buttery yellow.  I bought a second crib from craiglist awhile ago.  I am going to leave Ellie’s crib in her room until she is ready for a big bed. 

We are going to move all of the other nursery furniture, changing table, glider, night stand, bookshelf, etc. into the nursery.  Ellie is going to get this bed when she is ready…

white bed 

We also bought her a dresser, mirror and nightstand.  I couldn’t find a picture of the exact dresser, but this one is similar.  Ellie’s has more of a raised panel on the drawers.


It is amazing to think that she will some day be big enough for all of this furniture.  We have extra white bookshelves that we are going to leave in her room, but as she grows we will eventually get her a desk for homework.  I loved this furniture store we went to, and there prices were really good.  Better than what we could find online.  Next year we will be going back to get Bradley some better furniture.  We got his from Target and it is falling apart.  Ellie’s furniture should be here in September, and then we will make the big switcheroo.   

I think Chris was inspired on Saturday after our trip to the furniture store.  We spent a few hours on Saturday night playing the name game.  We have a lot of girl’s names that we really like, but are having a harder time with the boy’s names.  I think picking a baby’s name is so hard.  I guess not knowing what we are having is multiplying the problem too.

Once Ellie’s room and the nursery are pulled together I think we will be ready for this baby.  I have the new double stroller, I have sold ALL of my other strollers on craigslist,  and a new baby car seat.  In the fall I just need to go through all of my baby clothes and pull out the gender neutral things to get them washed and ready!  Wow, three short months and this baby will be here!!!!

Now I need to get my stuff in gear and get packing for the beach, OBX in two days!!

Love, Clare 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Big Jump

My little man did the big jump last week.  The little boy that would hardly jump off the side of the pool last summer.  The sweet one that would cry and cry if his face got wet.  Well he grew up into a big old swimmer.  I am so proud of him…

Bradley’s First Jump Off the Board July 2011

There have been a few more jumps since then, but most of them involved some sort of crying or tantrum at the end of the board.  I think he “wants” to do it, he just doesn’t “love” doing it yet!  Either way, I am so beyond proud of this little guy.  He told me for the entire summer that he wasn’t going to jump off the board until he was 5.  I guess wonders never cease.  Go Bradley!!

On the other hand, this little lady jumped off the side of the pool today with out Mommy’s help. 


We spent the morning at the spray park.  Which was a much needed water break for me.  This little lady is a lot to handle at the pool these days.  So to be a enjoying a water activity without me having to worry about her going under every 5 seconds was nice.  It was also great to see how much she has grown.  Since our last visit back in June, she was still crawling.  Today I actually had two children running, playing, and splashing. 


She insisted on climbing up on these sprayers.  She saw all the cool kids doing it.  Ellie would walk right up to them and say, “up, up.”  I am thinking I have a dare devil/thrill seeker on my hands.  After two minutes of this…


She would slide off and go running to the front to get really wet. 


yes, I am adorable.  I wear froggy bathing suits and water shoes.  I am big!


We met a bunch of old friends there.  Of course by the time I pulled out my camera, all of the big kids had moved on to the playground.  Besides Margaret.  She has a thing for Ellie and always keeps a close eye on her for me.


The summer check list is slowly getting checked off.  Play dates.  Bathing suits.  Diving boards. 

Summer Overload!

Now time to gear up for our week at the beach!!  Love, Clare


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mommy Memories



Being pregnant with my third child in the summer has been interesting.  Kind of hard to ignore the bigger my belly gets and the tighter my swimsuit starts to feel.  I am finding it not so enjoyable.  my feet are beginning to ache.  I don’t last very long outside or at the pool, especially with all of our crazy HOT weather. 

for some reason blogging has felt like a lot of effort.  I haven’t been picking up my camera as much lately.  by seven o’clock I am spent.  usually I still have one child to put to bed, dishes in the sink, and ellie makes the family room look like it exploded toys even if she was in there for five minutes.  when I finally sit down after getting the house in order, the thought of uploading pics seems crazy.  chris and I will scramble around to clean up, pull out the vacuum, and then collapse on the couch.

I have been wanting to make pillows for the family room for months.  right now one square is cut out and sitting on the tables in the basement.  motivation zero.


this little mamacita is hell on wheels right now.  she is definitely keeping chris and I on our toes.  today I took her to the pool dressed in her bathing suit, a front and back life vest, and “swimmies” on her arms.  After a few minutes of fussing and realizing that I wasn’t going to take it off, she went with it.  literally, walked right into the water and kept on going.  When she started to float, she just kicked her little feet until she got where she wanted to go.  She LOVES the water, but is very scary at the pool.  I decided to dress her in no less that three floatation devices, because she likes to walk into the deep water, climb up the side and run over to the deep end and peer in, run into the pool during break time with her hands full of food, and give me 1,000 heart attacks while we are there.  I will turn around to tell bradley something and next thing I know she is under the water.  She thinks it is hilarious.  She blows bubbles and holds her breath.  When you bring her to the surface she doesn’t even cough, she just laughs and squirms to be put down. 


She balances all of these crazy water antics with adorable moments.  For example learning her body parts, and being obsessed with her belly.  She will point to it and say “babbly” or something to that tune.


all of this made even more adorable when she juts it out for a better view.  literally, I could eat her up with a spoon.


then there are the curls.  chris calls her the wild-a-beast right now if that gives you any insight to her little developing personality.


she has a new obsession.  he is red and really annoying.  melmo strikes again.  we have watched him in the car during some fussy road trips.  now every time you strap her in she says, “melmo” and points to the tv screen that is folded away.  ummm, we are just driving two minutes to the gym ellie.  sorry.

we now watch him every morning while we eat our oatmeal, eggs, or waffles for breakfast.  Elmo’s world just isn’t the greatest thing to wake up to in the morning.

we have driven up to the pool twice now to be sent home for thunder.  the other day we were signing in at the stand and the lifeguard called for thunder.  then you have to turn around, pack up the car and head home.  out comes the water table.  we sat outside and played in the table while the storm clouds made a lot of noise.  the rain never came.


bradley seems to be completely back to his normal self.  he is truly a helper around the house, and I try not to depend on him too much.  He is always willing to turn on the hose to fill up the water table and the pool.  carry the towels to the car while I handle the baby and the pool bag.  grab ellie’s paci, diaper or snack.  he just seems mature and grown up all of the sudden.

our new summer activity is gymnastics.  he is in love.  after the first class he asked me how many days until he gets to go back.  he talked about the foam pit for five days straight.  he was convinced there was water under the foam pieces.


today we went together, just the two of us.  chris was home early because of the heat and volunteered to watch ellie.  this is bradley about to swing into the pit after touching the bar with his toes.  I thought he was so grown up when I didn’t take him into Little Gym anymore.  this just seems unreal!


my big boy flipping over.  seeing your child conquer something new is the best mommy feeling ever.

we are finishing up some private swim lessons tomorrow.  he told his teacher that he was going to jump off the diving board.  I don’t want to pressure him, but I know he can do it.  I’ll just have to figure out how to take pictures and videos of that without letting ellie jump into the deep end.


summer if flying by, and I am just trying to soak it in.  tomorrow will be filled with a play date with cousin sammy, and possibly our first jump off the diving board.  the mommy memories are too much.

now off to prop up these feet and watch SYTYCD!  Love, Clare

I promise to post some belly pics and actually write an entire baby post.  poor baby #3!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Big One You Make Me Smile…


You amaze me with your positive attitude.  These past few weeks of summer haven’t really gone your way.  Two weeks of illness, fever and just plain torture for me and you.  We were happy as clams to see you finally back to your normal self for the past two weeks.

Then this weekend, fever struck again.  No other symptoms, just fever, tiredness, and concern.  We kept a watchful eye over you, and nursed you back to health.  A few scared calls to the pediatrician, and I was talked down from the ledge.  You are really making this summer interesting!  He isn’t quite sure why you would pop back up with another fever.  He felt that you may have caught something else. 

Daddy and I think that maybe you just weren’t fully recovered from your first round, and it decided to strike again.  Whatever the case, please cut is out!  This mama has been worried and pregnant to boot.  That equals lots of tears people!! 


Also, I just hate that a better part of this summer you haven’t been feeling well.  I hope this is just a fluke and all will be well in our house for the months to come.  But, between now and then I am keeping a close eye on you.  Trying to take it easy, get to bed early, and keep you out of the heat (hello, heat wave hitting the US!). 


So we are finding some things to do around the house.  The stash of Michael’s crafts have been dipped into quite a bit.  I snapped these photos the other afternoon while you were stamping jungle animals and coloring in a jungle scene.  We have pulled out play doh, made sports bead bracelets, and of course we have played Candyland 100 times.

There have been mini trips to the pool, and earning prizes from the library reading program.  I am trying my best to make it fun, while we stick close to home.

We are heading to one of our favorite spots next week, and then to the beach!  I want you to feel well and enjoy your trips.  But, I think we are going to have to take it easy and follow your lead.  That nasty virus really did a number on your energy level!


Big one you make me smile with that little look over your shoulder, and the happiness you bring around our house.  You want to listen to the music from music class during quiet time.  You are starting this huge obsession with the solar system.  Doing your best to learn to swim.  Wanting to beat everyone at Candyland.  Puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles.  You make life fun.  You make your baby sister laugh. 

Stay well my big one!  Love, mama

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just a Few Things

Sum, summ, summertime. 


Finally I feel like we are in the full swing of summer.  Bradley is fully recovered.  It is almost like he totally forgot about the whole ordeal, but I am a bit more traumatized.  That was a horrible way to spend the second half of June. 

But now summer is ahead of us and I am going full steam.  Last week after a low key fourth of July I got to start Tuesday with an ultrasound.  Everything is going great in baby land.  Baby 3 is growing perfectly.  One pound, six ounces.  24 weeks along.  The due date is creeping up around the corner.

I have to admit that I got home from the ultrasound a bit freaked out.  The nursery is far from ready.  We have done very little as far as preparing.  I keep waiting to kick into full on nesting mode, but I have just been tired.  During naptime and at night the couch just calls to me.  If I don’t rest in the afternoon and at least put my feet up, by seven I am completely beat.  I guess it is a combo of having two children to chase around and the summertime heat.  I did jump online and order blackout curtains for the nursery, a complete necessity.  Chris’ painters are coming through next week to touch up some items around the house, paint our new fence, and paint the nursery.  A buttery yellow is on tap.  With Bradley’s help we narrowed it down to two different yellows.  It isn’t going to be the most glamorous nursery, but it should be cute.  Our next big “to do” item is to buy Ellie a bedroom set, so we can move a majority of the nursery furniture over.  She will keep her crib, there is no way I am going to teach an 18 month old how to sleep in her own bed.  One thing at a time.  Newborn.  Toddlerhood.  THEN big girl bed. 

DSC_0347   We had visitors for a few days last week.  Aimee and her sweet little 13 month old Finn came down to our house.  Aimee and I have known each other since working together years ago.  Almost straight out of school!  I was so so lucky to have Aimee walk into that school building years ago.  Who knew what we would endure in an overwhelming building, with an overwhelmed staff, and children that needed so much.  We totally and completely bonded.  She is truly an inspiration.  I learned a lot from her, and we definitely have identical teaching philosophies. 

I ended up looping with my entire class of first graders, to get into her second grade team.  We had an open classroom, and the rest is history.  One large grant from Target and we were in reading bliss.  You get to really bond with someone when you hear them reading, teaching, and singing the clean up song a 1,000 times over the course of a school year.  She moved on to bigger and better things, getting her masters degree, and consulting for schools around the country (see I told you she was awesome!!). 


I think Finn had fun splashing around in the pool and of course watching Bradley all day.  What is it about the big kids?  They are so memorizing?


We played in the pool, trotted off to gymnastics, and chased the babies around the first floor.  They were literally having a war over the push toys.  Try convincing a 13 and 15 month old that it is their turn with the hippo.  Not an easy task!  Ellie isn’t a stranger to fighting for her things, she has an older brother.



They were so cute, racing up and down the hard wood floor.  I hope we can make it to her neck of the woods soon and get in a visit before my life gets turned upside down with three kiddos.

Sunday we made our way to the local vineyard for a Polo match.  One of my great childhood friends, Colleen and her husband Steve met us there for wine and horses.  Unfortunately it was HOT!!  We made the best of it, and ate sandwiches and watched the match.


  The poor boys trucked all the way over the winery (you can see it in the background) to get wine.  They arrived back just in time for the golf cart to come around selling wine to all of the spectators.  They didn’t think that was very funny.


At half time we walked onto the field to stomp the divots.  Can we say, Pretty women??  So fun! 

Bradley did come with us, but he spent 99% of the time watching from inside the minivan.  I don’t blame him.  It was actually much cooler in there.  I’m still glad we went.  It is located right by our neighborhood, and such a shame not to go once in a while.  Next time, we will plan ahead for a breezy summer day.

I think this post got me pretty much up to date.  Happy Summertime!!

Monday, July 4, 2011


there really aren’t words to explain the complexities of parenthood.  nobody tells you before the birth of your first child the crazy love that will blossom from your heart.  a love that is so powerful, it can bring you to tears, or may you feel that you could move mountains for them.


(bradley getting some fresh air on our shaded porch, after eight days of fever.)

these past two weeks I have been on a parenting roller coaster.  highs and lows.  worries and sleepless nights.

9 days straight of fever.  really, really high fever.

there have been two trips to the doctor and two trips to the local hospital. 

six days of fever reaching 103.5 or higher.

two entire bottles of tylenol and ibuprofen used completely up. completely gone.

giving him medicine before bed.  medicine at 11.  bradley waking us up at 4 on FIRE.  wanting more medicine. 

shedding tears night after night.  bradley just wanting to feel better.  asking us to make my head stop aching. 

I wish I could.

many loads of laundry washing sheets that were so wet with sweat they felt like he had peed the bed.

five days where he didn’t eat much more than a cup of applesauce.

two blood draws.  horrible.

an EKG.

a Heart Echo.


my baby was very brave, and has a beautiful, perfect heart by the way!

and finally our health. 

after all of that.  worrying about the tests, what was going on with him.  why ellie only had this virus for three days, but Bradley had it for almost 10. 

we are healthy.  all the tests are normal.  he had the same summer virus as ellie, except he had it much worse. 

we spent the remainder of the fourth of july weekend celebrating independence.  and our big boy’s health.  slowly getting him back to normal.  he was really weak and tired. 

saturday he begged us to go to the 4th of july parade.  it was so hot.  we stayed for 25 minutes before he wanted to go back home.




he was hot for almost two weeks.  I don’t blame him if he wanted to be in the AC for the rest of the summer.

sunday we made an hour trip up to the pool and he slept for three hours afterwards. he is completely worn out.

today he seems more like his old self.  happy.  chipper.  talkative.  playing around the house and at the pool.

I am just in awe of his little personality.  He seems to have almost forgotten about the whole ordeal.  I haven’t and probably won’t for a long time.  That was truly scary.  To have a fever stretch on for so many days is just unreal.  You just want to wave a magic wand and make them better.  You are their Mommy, and they think you can.  Chris and I are worn out.  After almost an entire day at the hospital on Friday we collapsed on the couch and went to bed early.  We were fried.

Things are getting back to normal, and I hope this is just a little blip in a summer of fun. 

The pediatrician joked with me on the phone Friday night.  He said he hoped that baby #3 was a boring baby.  He said he was really worried.  He has called twice this weekend to check on Bradley.  Yes, he visits you at your home, and calls to check on your kids to make sure they are ok.  I told him he deserves to be nominated as a saint.

I feel blessed to have an amazing doctor that loves my kiddos.  And I am blessed that we have our health.  How easily we take it for granted.

Happy 4th of July!  I know it has been a good one for us!

Love, Clare