Mouths Too Full To Smile

Here are some photos from Cornfest this past weekend where the girls gobbled up tons of freshly boiled corn, hopped in the bounce house and got friendly with the farm critters. As you can imagine, Claire slept really well that night. And she dreamt of corn - lots and lots of local, fresh-picked, very delicious corn.




Cruisin' in the Jeep

You know, I was going to crop out Claire's blurry foot in the picture and just focus on her windblown hair...but I think the blur of movement in her hand and foot shows just how full of glee she was at the wind blowing through the Jeep as we drove with all the windows down and the sun roof wide open.

Posted by Picasa



DSC_0786 DSC_0782

Well , check another item off that parent to-do list! I broke down and let Claire dive into some paint and I was so surprised at her dainty painting skills. It’s hard to believe that the kid whose food finds its way behind her ears can hold a brush and keep most of the paint on the paper.


If you look closely there are a few blue streaks above Claire’s eyebrows, but other than that c-l-e-a-n. Even I had more paint smeared on me! In my own defense (there’s always an excuse, isn’t there?) I was slathering paint on apples and onions for some stamping.

Claire seemed so proud of her creations and was happy to help hang them on the clothesline to dry. I cropped out the laundry hanging on the rest of the line - you didn’t think I’d let a sunny day pass without something cheerfully drying in the sun, did you?

By the way, onion stamps make the coolest concentric rings – hands down winner in the stamping department in my opinion. Just zoom into that picture above and check out the pattern. I’d love some suggestions for other paint related ideas – share below in the comment section.


More photos to be seen via the slide-show linky here, but if you prefer the non-moving version sans cool color halos (how completely and utterly b-o-r-i-n-g, heehee!) there is a link to the album at the top of the post. Enjoy!


Crime and Punishment


Another post featuring Claire at her naughtiest – what has this blog come to?! I’ll just chalk it up to toddlerhood.


Here’s a snapshot of Claire doing the time after the crime and wiping down the wainscoting she decorated. While I appreciate Claire’s attempts at improving our kitchen decor,I prefer the clean look of white cabinetry and molding to the bold orange of her marker.

Can I just plug Crayola products for a minute? They really do wash out of everything, and I can’t say the same for some other brands we’ve tried. Of course we haven’t yet bought the fingerpaint kits – I’m not that brave yet. Claire and I have a few birthday parties coming up…maybe I’ll gift some paint and experiment at other people’s houses ;-)

DSC_0410All this talk of art reminded me of school. At the end of the day in second grade, I used to build in a 15-20 reading time where we’d all unwind and read out loud together or scour the Internet for some “guest readers.” If you have a few minutes check out Storyline Online’s version of the great book, “When Pigasso Met Mootise.” It was always a favorite of the second graders and Claire LOVES to watch this seven minute clip. The Screen Actor’s Guild has done a great job gathering celebrity readers and animating the actual pages in a variety of books – a very cool website we visit often, and fitting for Claire’s recent love of all things art.


A Walk in the Park


We visited Long Island this past weekend and Claire got to spend some quality time at the park with her Auntie Laurie and Uncle Matt. One nice thing about “stop-sign Island,” as Dan likes to call it, is that there are many parks within walking distance.

After a nice nap on the couch (much needed after a long sleepless ride!) Claire was packed up and sent off to play while Daddy worked on Pop-Pop’s garage. I of DSC_0047course had to trek along to play paparazzi! Claire sampled all Rath Park had to offer: swings, monkey bars, slides and many new faces to people watch.

What a lucky catch this shot was – Claire gleefully tossing sand and Aunt Laurie grimacing as it hits her. Note the disapproving auntie DSC_0048 look in the photo following immediately afterward. You MUST click on these photos and zoom in to see the detail of the flying sand and Laurie’s reprimanding look. You can totally tell that daycare was her former gig.

Taking some time out for a romp through the park was just what this kid needed after a long car ride and busy week. She conked out on the way home and Dan and I had the most peaceful ride back to NJ. Ahhhh…sometimes things sure do work out perfectly!

Thanks Auntie Laurie and Uncle Matt for doing such a good job tiring Miss Monkey Claire out! Next time we visit we’ll have to head to the beach and see what Claire thinks about the waves and seagulls! Don’t miss the slideshow of all the images, click here to view. Enjoy!



Sand, Sun & More Fun at the Lake


Keep that nice weather coming! Here are a few more pics of Claire enjoying the beach.

Click above where it says “View Full Album” to see the rest of the photos. Here's a link to the fancy slideshow of images: click here. I’m trying yet another blog imaging format so fingers crossed that this works! Thanks to Grandma Caca who captured some great photos of Claire and I together in the water – it’s nice to actually be in some photos!



Fun in the Sun

Sometimes you don't even have to look Claire in the eye to see how much fun she has when playing outside. There's nothing like a bucket and some sand to keep a toddler busy at the you can see from the amount of sand on Claire's belly she enjoys "sand swimming" as much as lake swimming!


Claire and Grandma Caca!

We've been on a bloggy break and spending some time with Caca down at the lake. Lots of new photos to come, we've been painting together and having all kinds of fun during Grandma's visit! Here are some photos of Claire and Caca enjoying the shade at the clubhouse. Claire's working on her counting while looking at the fish - although every fish is identified as "two two two." Maybe she just knows their ages...either way she enjoyed watching them.

Posted by Picasa


Blast from the Past -

I was checking out my blog stats and I found it really funny that this post appears to be the most popular on all of Claire's blog -

I just can't believe I didn't notice what a funny video it was before posting. I'm not going to give too much away, you'll have to go and look (and laugh) yourself.

Watching her little head bobble around and hearing the babbles just cracks me up. Claire was about 2 months old when I shot that video and I find it hard to believe she was EVER that tiny!

New photos to come later - I have quite the collection living on the memory card of my camera that need to be posted.


Happy Birthday USA!

Don't these little splatters look just like fireworks? We used our patriotic marker colors to create a Happy Fourth card for our bloggy friends - enjoy! We'll be spending the day swimming (hopefully the weather will hold out) and gorging on BBQ goodies like watermelon. We had a little watermelon appetizer today, Claire's favorite fruit.

Some more goofy watermelon pictures below or here in the Picasa Album - like the HUMONGOUS slice? Heehee...this is a photo worth framing ;-)




Two seconds! That’s all it took for nimble Miss Claire to raid the pot of pesto pasta (say that 3x fast) after lunch. This was minutes after she polished off two bowls! I couldn’t understand her since her mouth was full, but I’m pretty sure she was saying, “I LOVES ME SOME PESTO!

DSC_0378 DSC_0393 DSC_0391

Can I truly complain that Claire is stealing pesto pasta straight from the pot? Nah. She’s downing a bunch of leafy green veggies in a delicious sauce…nutritionally speaking pesto packs a punch, right?

This pesto had a bit of a twist too – it was made with spinach (what was growing in the garden) and sunflower seeds (hanging around in the pantry) along with the usual additives of olive oil and garlic. Quick, easy and delish! Just ask Claire – oh wait, she’s busy:


I'm off to pick a peck of pickled peppers...the letter of the day is obviously "P."


Pantry Scavenged Pesto Perfection

  • 8 oz (about 3 cups lightly packed) baby spinach
  • Generous handful of sunflower seeds (traditional pesto is made with pine nuts and almonds would work well too I bet!)
  • 1/4 C (at least) of cheese (Parmesan preferred but Romano is fine, albeit strongly flavored)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves smashed and salted
  • 2/3 C of olive oil

Mash all the above together saving the olive oil for last. Going oldschool with your mortar and pestle is totally an option, but I chucked everything in my food processor and pulsed for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle additional cheese on the pasta for extra oomph! Pesto freezes well and a little goes a loooong way.

Rainy Day Hide And Seek

Rain, rain go away! I'm almost out of ideas for rainy day playtime. We've hung clothes on a pretend clothesline. We've colored with markers, crayons and chalk. Countless baths have been taken and we've watched the same videos of "dat baaaaaybeeee!" over and over again.

I'm bringing back to an old standby with some modifications for an older, more sophisticated Claire - peek-a-boo.

Please excuse my attire - it's early, I'm trying to paint the kitchen...and did I mention it's early?! And yes, if you look closely you'll see I am wearing a t-shirt from my days playing PAL softball. And yes, that was when I was in eighth grade...umpteen years ago. I don't care - just enjoy Claire's sweet giggles and ignore the crazy lady behind the curtain in her husband's boxers and paint spattered t-shirt. I have no shame ;-)