Fun in the snow


Much to the dismay of her parents, Claire has figured out how to climb the dining room chairs. This means that NOTHING is out of reach anymore. Not the folded laundry, not the camera...not your drinks...not the poor cat trying to nap on the table runner...


Of course now that Claire has figured out how to get up on the "big girl" chairs, that's all she wants to do. Poor kid. Poor resourceful DSC_0013kid - the second we turn our backs, she's on a chair or pushing a chair close to whatever has caught her eye (namely the ornaments on our tree).

As a peace offering for saying "no" all day long today, I took her out for a walk in the snow. It was freeeezing, so we only walked down to the end of the driveway before turning back to play in the front yard. Claire tasted DSC_0022the snow, tried to pull her mittens off and generally seemed to enjoy herself. This is quite an improvement over the last snow adventure where she cried - I think she hated the deep snow because she couldn't walk in it.

So tomorrow is sure to be another adventure. If anyone has tips on entertaining a VERY active toddler when the weather is too cold and she wants to climb everything - I'm all ears!



Our Christmas Dinner Adventure!


Ingredients for a Christmas adventure:

  • a smoking oven from that toy your toddler hid in its depths
  • a stomach bug that said toddler shared with Grandma Caca who now cannot leave the couch
  • a grocery store that closed earlier than expected leading husband to announce:
"Honey, let's play Food Network challenge!"

Oh my gosh.


So...we have no where to cook the giant 24 lb. turkey, two of the four burners in the stove are acting wacky and the root vegetables, all the appetizer ingredients and drink mixes are missing. The only side dish I ha d pre-made were mashed potatoes and lasagna.

DSC_0192Dan was resourceful and grabbed a bunch of acorn squash, mozzarella. tomatoes and pre-made seafood dip. He did this while the store employees followed him around ushering him along. Thank goodness he made it INTO the store, they were turning people away at the door since they wanted to get home to their own families. And in case you were wondering, a store clerk had told Dan they closed at seven earlier in the day, well that clerk was off by an hour.

I have to say that dinner turned out great, even if it wasn't what we planned! We had a bunch of apples and DSC_0170pears so we stuffed the acorn DSC_0152squash with fruit and raisins (and drizzled 'em with a healthy dollop of butter, sugar and bourbon). The mashed potatoes reheated well on our wonky burners and I baked the lasagna and sweet potatoes in our microwave/convection oven. GrandBob and GrandCeil arrived with mini-quiches and brussel sprouts which rounded out the meal. I had a nice stash of frozen peas with mushrooms in the freezer so we served those rather than the garlicky string beans. We did the turkey on the grill (having enough propane to cook it all 3.5 hours was our own little Christmas miracle). All I can say is the creation of this meal was quite the culinary adventure.


DSC_0155 Of course the best part of our celebration was gathering the family together! I hope you enjoy all the Christmas photos in the slide-show below. It was so nice to have everyone together, especially the little cousins! There are plenty more photos from Aunt Laurie and McManda's cameras. Hopefully those will be added shortly!


Eating with Forks!

I took these pictures before we all caught a nasty stomach bug this weekend. I think this was the last time we all enjoyed real food! We're on the mend now and looking forward to the buckets of soup that Grand-Bob and Grand-C brought us. They risked catching the super-bug themselves to look after Claire on Sunday while Dan and I spent the day in the bathroom. Bleh...what a weekend!

It's time to get Claire some real utensils. She did so well playing with Mommy's fork!


Come Play With Me!

Craigslist is my new favorite place on the Internet. We were able to snag this awesome playset from a family with older children. They even threw in a table and chair set perfect for a toddler. Merry Christmas, Claire!

Our playroom is complete! We turned a bookshelf sideways and filled it with some of her favorite toys (baskets, metal mixing bowls, books) to keep things organized. Her stuffed animals live in the monkey tent and the old stroller toys found a new home in her "treehouse." Aside from climbing and sliding, Claire really enjoys sitting at her big girl table and taking the dishes out of the its drawers.

There are a few more photos in the slideshow below!



We're back from Boston and thinking about Uncle Matt's comment on whether or not Claire had her first haircut got us to thinking we should try out a new 'do. Well...that and a lot of other folks (ahem Grandbob :o) ) pointing out that she seems to have enough hair for a ponytail.

Here's Goldilocks herself showing off her newest style! Unfortunately, Claire seems quite eager to eat the hair clips and a story involving a butterfly shaped object in a coworkers kid's tummy has sort of put me off styling her hair. Anyone know of some toddler safe hair clips?

More reviews on Boston later - we had a great time and need to snag the pictures from Aunt Nikki and Uncle Matt's camera! Claire gorged on tons of delicious turkey, chased Hiro the puppy around (and vice versa) and whined by the basement door dying to see Shackleton the elusive kitty.

Claire even met some of her anonymous blog readers - that's right I told you I'd call you out, Alice!

Our trip was great fun and Claire tolerated the long ride to Boston beautifully! Our return trip was really long due to holiday traffic, but she slept most of the way and we made a detour to Long Island for a play break...and to see sister's new apartment! Congrats Laurie and Matt!


Happy Thanksgiving!

We're up in Boston celebrating the holiday with Aunt Nikki and Uncle Matt! Here are a few pictures to enjoy. How Claire has changed in a year - check out this post.


Happy Birthday Aunt Bea & Aunt Dot!

Here are some photos from this past weekend where we attended a birthday party in honor of (tell me if I have this right)...Dan's great Claire's great-great Aunts Bea and Dot.


Our First Day of Storytime!

Eric write the best stories. We love your colorful collage work. We especially love how our local librarian reads to all the children and uses puppets and songs!

What a great morning for the first day of story time at the library. Today we read:

We came home with a bunch of new books too! I'll have to add them to our Library widget over on the right so everyone can keep up with our reading adventures!


Someone LOVES to slide! Can you hear her little squeal of happiness?


The Return of Friday's Film

I keep getting emails and comments begging for the return of Friday Films...well here you go!

--- Yes, around 46 seconds in I totally bust my butt tripping over something. Enjoy the look Claire give me. ---

Rainy days, a cooped up Mom and baby - fun things are bound to happen.

Claire started playing in this box and when I pushed her over she cracked up. Next thing I know I'm hooked up to my  Ergo baby carrier (the best infant carrier ever) and mushing around the house like a husky dog.

Creativity people, it is what keeps me sane and the baby giggling.

There's A Giraffe Loose!

Lookout! This young giraffe climbs chairs, and doesn't sit still...good thing we stopped off earlier at Motophoto for our 5x7 freebie! I'll scan it and post it tomorrow, it was a really cute set up with hay bales and pumpkins! Here are the scant few I caught without a motion blur!

Ready for Mischief!

Claire got wind of the big kids in our neighborhood celebrating mischief night. Of course she wanted to participate. She dug out her gnarliest black sweatsuit and grabbed some toilet paper to join in on the fun. For Halloween Claire is dressing up as a long necked, four legged creature that roams the African Savannah...have you guessed yet? Come back later after trick-or-treating and I'll have some photos to share. Word is we're meeting up with twin dalmation dogs and Handy Mandy and then heading to the mall to score some candy! Our new neighbors across the street have decorated so nicely...poor things don't realize that no kid is going to schlep up the gigantic hill for a couple of kit-kats. To let them down easy Dan and I are planning on heading over there tonight with our little goblin...I mean giraffe.


Indoor Fun!

It's snowing today, and not that nice, fluffy snow where I can suit Claire up and take her out for some photos. It's cold and damp and utterly miserable. We're playing inside today. I don't even want to venture out to the car for my camera so I'm posting photos from last week. I don't consider it truly cheating since I was planning on blogging about Claire's indoor activities anyway :-)

Metal cookware seems to hold much appeal for our little noisemaker. Her drumstick of choice is a rolling pin (imagine that racket!) or metal spoon. I recently opened up my pots and pans cabinet for her and Claire was delighted to take out all her new noisy toys and scatter them throughout the kitchen. As you can see, my metal mixing bowls double nicely as a "Peek-A-Boo" helmet. Let's not forget Claire's rocking horse - she LOVES this thing and gets it going so fast that it creeps across the room. It's nice and low to the ground which is perfect for the baby who climbs EVERYTHING. Dan and I make a huge deal out of her rocking correctly to try and discourage her tricks.


Baby Cousin!

More details later, but Claire and I helped welcome young Michael James into the world last night! It was very exciting as you can imagine. Here are some photos of the new family.


Play in the Leaves with Me!

Well fall has officially started - I had to put Claire a hat and jacket for today's outside playtime. McManda, those leaves have finally arrived and although there aren't piles of them yet Claire did enjoy playing with them. Here's a link to the rest of the photos - be sure to check 'em out! Link to "Fall Leaves" Album.



Young Friends

How could I have forgotten to post this sweet picture of Claire and Ryan?! This is Claire's "night-night" pose. Utter those words and whatever unsuspecting creature is around will immediately be snuggled affectionately - Gecko (our cat) is usually her preferred victim. We're still working on the nice petting thing, and yes - we have VERY patient kitties.


Splish Splash

DSC_0297 I was contemplating digging through the attic and putting Claire back into her skunk costume  for Halloween- but I think she'd make a cute punk rocker, just check out her bathtime mohawk!

As you can see since the last bath photos, some new water toys have been introduced. Foam letters that stick to the bathroom walls (Mommy and Daddy play shower scrabble with these), water drums, and even a foam xylophone make bath time a fun event. "Ducky unlucky" is still around, but Claire seems to enjoy making alphabet soup right now. She dumps all her letters into the water and then picks them back up. I stick a few to the wall and help her sort them by color...maybe she'll learn to read or figure her colors out as a result.


We have a few plastic books that are usually floating around the tub. I have vivid memories of a "Hello Kitty" book that changed colors under hot and cold water. Maybe those chemicals have been banned or something - I haven't found anything like that for Claire.

Wrinkly toes, pruned fingers and a new found love of can't beat bathtime for entertaining a toddler!



A Pickin' We Will Go!


With this choice of title, I could write this entry focusing on Claire's new found love for her nostrils (we keep finding her knuckle deep up there) - but instead I thought I'd share these sweet pictures of Claire gathering leaves in our yard.

DSC_0185 Grand-Bob and Gran-C informed us of some kind of fungus affecting the color of the sugar maples in their area. Judging by the colors we're seeing, it seems not to have made it this far north. Phew!

Claire loves to walk around baskets in tow, and being outside made it all the more exciting. Of course the rocks in my planter held special appeal. Look at our little weightlifter! I had to stop her before she ground her little chompers down on the small boulders.


You might notice Claire is back in her birthday outfit. I was hoping to get a nice portrait of her in this getup. I actually bought this while pregnant intending it for her first birthday. DSC_0262 The hat was my favorite part and the knit shirt a close second. I didn't get the "formal" portrait look I was hoping for (nor many shots with the hat ON)...but those posed portraits of a few short months ago  might not happen for another year. Claire is so squirmy now it's hard to get a decent shot of her.

We should have baby cousin pictures to share any day now - McManda's due date is November first! Hooray - a new friend for Claire!