Monday, March 26, 2012

Deep Breaths

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Someone really sweet turned TWO on Sunday.  We rang in her second birthday Minnie Mouse style with a five year old brother helping to open gifts, and a little bean five month old baby sister. 

I remember being pregnant with Grace and thinking, that if I can survive until Ellie’s second birthday with a newborn and a toddler, I can handle anything.  That is pretty much the truth.  I just had the capture the amazing feat of motherhood on Sunday with a photo with my two girls.  Look, here we are, crazy toddler entering her terrible twos and a five month old baby that decided she is going to grow up fast by popping out her first tooth this weekend!

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I am truly exhausted.  All of the craziness last week with Grandma + planning and finishing the final touches of Ellie’s Minnie party + Grace deciding that it is really cool to roll over from her belly to her back throughout the night and scream until you come and roll her back over to her belly = two totally exhausted parents. 

But despite all of that, Grandma sat up on Friday and started eating and drinking again!  They are still watching her closely, but for now she seems stable.  Amazing transformation from the beginning of the week last week.  We had all prepared to say our goodbyes, and I had visited her a few times last week, and then she turned it around. 

AND the parties were a huge success, lots of time with family and friends.  Ellie kept saying that she was TWO and pretending to blow out her candles for the rest of the day today.  I think she had fun despite some tears during the singing of Happy Birthday…

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And I managed to spend the 10 year anniversary of my accident prepping and celebrating my sweet little girl’s birthday.  I think that is the way things are supposed to be.  Looking for all of the positive in my life.  It was gorgeous out, and I went for a long run this afternoon to clear my head.  There are so many things I want to share and think through about this amazing milestone.  But for now I just want to enjoy this sweet moment.  Life 10 years later with a beautiful family and so much to live for.

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Happy Birthday sweet Ellie!  We made it little girl!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This is How I Remember Her…

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This is how I will remember you.  The loving lady that jumped at the chance to be a part of our life.  The Grandmother that everyone wants to have and wishes to be one day.  You know the one the makes you smile just seeing her.  The one that brings baked goods and money for new shoes every time she would visit your house.  This is that Grandma for me.  The special one that I chose to follow around as a little girl.  I would pepper her with questions:

Grandma, will you take me to visit your classroom?  Can I be a teacher one day?

Will you cut me some fresh strawberries and sprinkle powdered sugar on top?  (the answer was always yes!)

Will you play with me in the basement, let’s play school!?

Can you show me how you make mashed potatoes?

Will you teach me to play cards?

Can we dig in the garden?

yes, yes, yes…Let me love on you, spend time with you, guide you, that was always her answer, yes.

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In my mind’s eye I could be right back at her house.  Snuggled up in the antique beds, with the crisp white blankets.  I am running through the the acres of grass, down the hills and over to the swing set.  I am lounging in the family room watching hours of Anne of Green Gables.  I am gathered for yet another amazing family meal, eating fresh vegetables from her garden and helping her set the fine china.  Christmases, birthdays, Easters, holidays, they are all a blur between our home and Grandma’s house.  Summers were always spent with Grandma.  For week long stays, or even entire summers when we were moving (which happened often!).  We would just camp out for the summer at Grandma’s house until the move was complete or the new house was finished.  The door was always open for us. 

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She was never more proud of her two girls.  Lindsay and I.  We were the most special people to her and she made sure we knew it every time we were around her. 

She is 91 and went under hospice care today.  I have been with her and have held her hand.  I am torn between the want to be with her every day and the daily needs of my three little ones.  I know she understands that I have three little gems that need their mommy, but I want to be with her.  Tomorrow I will get some time with her and this weekend. 

She always made sure I knew how loved I was.  I am just hoping she knows how special she is to me.  I hope I told her that.  I followed in your footsteps Grandma.  You helped to form the woman, mom, and person I am today.  I love you.   

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Better Late than Never

I can’t believe that I am just sharing these amazing photos of Grace’s newborn photo shoot.  Amy Benoit took the photos when Grace was less than a week old!  She is so talented and was willing to do a lot of different poses with our family.  Please click on her website, because she is so amazing!  We had so many that we loved, we decided to buy the entire collection from her.  I have finally started getting some of them enlarged and framed around the house.  I have so many favorites, I don’t even know which one to begin with?!

This is my absolute favorite, I used it for the front of Grace's announcement:

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Who doesn’t love a baby in a bucket?  This one was used on the front of our Christmas card this year, along with the whole gang…

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I don’t know how she managed tog et one of everyone looking at the camera and smiling, but she did!

Is there anything cuter than newborn baby feet?

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I can’t get over her little baby fuzz hair in this photo, melt my heart!

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Daddy and his littlest girl…

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Look at that swishy face, so sweet!

Looking back at these photos, it already feels like a blur…when we brought her home, that past almost five months have flown by!

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Just some sweet ones of Grace, I love you my littlest girl!

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It is amazing that even just five months later I can look back on the whole thing with rose colored glasses.  The sleepless nights, the trouble getting started nursing, dealing with three children, trying to plan the holidays (looking back I hardly remember Christmas!), it all just seems like a fuzzy blur of love.  I think your mind does that to protect from the truth about how tough it is to have a newborn, and add in the other members of the family.  It felt extremely overwhelming at the time.  I can say that we are finally hitting our stride.  Grace is taking long naps during the day and is trying really hard to learn to sit up on her own.  I hope the magic of those first few weeks at home wasn’t lost in the chaos of our family.  At least these photos makes me think that I relished it. 

Don’t we look like well-rested happy parents?   

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Love, Clare

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From the Heart

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This little piece of sunshine lights up my life.  She was born the middle child from the beginning, just Chris and I didn’t realize it at the time.  We are approaching her two year birthday and I am in disbelief.  I could write about how much she has changed in the past year.  Going from a little 12 month old who was learning to walk, to a full blown, running toddler that became a big sister half way through this year.  I could write about the ups and downs, the tantrums, and hugs.  But I was inspired by my friend Laura’s two year birthday video and decided that sometimes pictures really do speak louder than words.  So after two hours of tinkering away on my computer, I came up with this….

happy soon to be a two-year-old ellie…

ellie is TWO!

 

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I love you so much, my spunky, funny, and oh so self confident little Ellie.  I hope you know just how cherished and special you are!

Love, mama

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Indoor Adventures

Lately we have been home a lot.  Letting baby Gracie have her naps and watching the white flurries fly down a few times! 

Don’t you always watch it snow from the seat of your plasma car in your diaper too?  you must think I never dress my children, but I do occasionally!

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Just to follow up with some more naked children pictures, I made some shaving cream paint the other day for the kids.  It was pouring rain and I wasn’t sure how we were going to fill up our afternoon.  I found this idea from Pinterest (love it!) and it was a hit.  It is so simple, take some shaving cream, add food coloring and mix…

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I let the kids strip down and then they painted together in our big tub for a little more than 45 minutes.  The whole activity was followed by a bubble bath, so pretty much our afternoon was booked solid.

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It is so so fun when I find things that Bradley and Ellie can do together.  That seems to be happening more and more these days and I love it!  A surprising part of the activity was the kids loved helping us wash away the paint after they were done, who knew?

I’ll try to have pictures of my children dressed in my next post.  Love, Clare