Monday, February 22, 2010

All About Claire

In honor of Claire's 2nd birthday this week I thought I would do a post all about her.

...has quite the personality.
...makes us laugh all the time. a really good talker. For example, today she said, "Bamma (grandma) Nelson called me and sang Happy Birthday To You." very cuddly.
...asks for hugs and kisses all day long.
...has a temper.
...throws a lot of tantrums.
...frequently hits her brother (often for good reason, but sometimes not).
...always says sorry after hitting. a good eater.
...loves veggies, fruit, rice, noodles, nuts, meat, string cheese, eggs, cereal with milk, pancakes that she likes to dip in syrup, ice cream and popcorn.
...doesn't like avocados, raisins, beans or sandwiches.
...wants to "do it myself".
...can put on her pants by herself.
...wishes she could put on all her clothes by herself.
...takes baths while wearing a cloth diaper (long story).
...loves animals.
...loves to swing.
...loves to play outside.
...likes to play with her brother, most of the time.
...plays well independently.
...likes to pretend to cook, have tea parties and take care of her dollies and stuffed animals.
...doesn't like long car rides.
...has mostly forgotten about her pacifier.
...has to have at least one little pinky and one big pinky (blankets) at bedtime.
...sleeps through the night almost every night from 8:30pm-7:30am and takes a 1-2hr nap in the afternoon.
...likes her bedtime routine to include a story, doing motions for songs with her feet, kissing through the bars of her crib and back rubs while humming. such a joy to us. very loved.

A look back.

This picture was taken in her first few days of life.

Here she is eating cake on her 1st birthday.

And here are the two siblings, today, snacking in a play structure that their dad and aunt used to enjoy when they were little.

Happy Birthday Clairey!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recently Heard in the Car

Joey: At my next birthday I am going to be fiiiiiiiii-our.

Me: Right, Joey. At your next birthday you will be four.

Joey: And at Claire's next birthday she will be two.

Me: Right.

Joey: Mama, how old are you?

Me: Thirty-one.

Claire: Forty-one! Forty-one!

Me: No, not forty-one. THIRTY-one.

Claire: Forty-one! Forty-one!

Joey: And at my birthday after that I will be Eight-Fivety-Four.

These are pictures Joey took of himself while riding in the car.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Late Valentine Post

This is part of the meal my Valentine made for us last night. Yep, that's right. Along with all of his other talents, he is also a great chef. Who knew? He made salmon with some kind of pineapple/soy sauce marinade, yummy salad with homemade dressing, bacon and gorgonzola, homemade truffle french fries and a chocolate coffee suffle dessert. It was all super yummy. And he cleaned up afterwards. Bonus! We had a lovely Valentine's Day together.

For those of you reading this who may not know the whole story of our relationship, I will give you a brief history. Matt and I met in high school. We corrected each other's papers in Trig class. Sometime that Sophomore year my group of friends started hanging out with his group of friends so we became friends. We began dating in our Senior year of high school. We went to Prom together (ohh, how cute). After graduation, he went South to PLU and I went North to WWU and then I transferred to the UW. We survived a 4yr long-distance relationship. In 1999 he proposed to me at sunset on the sand in Cannon Beach, OR. We had a lovely church wedding in June of 2000 and honeymooned in Whistler, BC. The last (almost) 10 years have had a few ups and downs but our relationship continues to grow and strengthen and I hope we have many more decades together. I love you, Matt.

Oh, and here's a picture of him. I don't think he has made an appearance on my blog yet.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sleepless Nights

Sleeping hasn't been going so well in our house this week. Joey is trying to adjust to his new bed and Claire has a cold. I know there are a lot of people who have it worse than I do because they have greater numbers of small children or have a family member with special needs or a medical condition that causes them to wake up a lot in the night, but considering my situation, I've been up a lot this week.
On Monday night Joey and I played a grueling game of musical beds. The way we play is that when Joey wakes up, he roams around the house until he finds where I am sleeping and comes to join me. Once I think he is asleep I move to another bed to avoid being kicked for the rest of the night. Monday night was particularly bad. I lost. Every 1-2 hrs I was traveling from my bed to the couch to Joey's lower bunk and back to my bed again all night long.
On Tuesday night Claire was up quite a bit because she was sick.
I was prepared for last night to be pretty bad because I knew how sick Claire was and that she hadn't been able to nap because her nose was too stuffy. Here's how it went down:
6:45 Claire asleep.
6:55 Joey asleep.
Sounds like a good start, right?
7:30 Claire crying. I comfort her.
7:55 Claire fussing. Ignore.
8:05 Claire fussing. Ignore.
8:12 Claire fussing. Ignore.
8:45 Claire crying. Give her to Matt. They watch TV and she dozes with him in the recliner.
10:00 Claire back to bed and I go to bed myself.
11:30 Claire crying. Give her Motrin and settle in the recliner so she can sleep more upright and not be so stuffy. Take tent blanket off crib to use as covers.
1:30 After two fitful hours of "sleep" I put her back to bed. I lay down on couch downstairs because I know she will be up again soon. Use tent blanket for covers.
2:00 Claire wakes up yelling, "Need Claire's tent on my bed!" Replace the blanket tent and rub her back until she falls asleep. Retrieve king-size fitted bed sheet from (clean) laundry basket to use as covers since accessing all other blankets would probably awaken other family members.
6:53 Hear Joey's voice upstairs. Look at clock. Look at clock again in disbelief that I slept for 4hrs and 53min straight. Get up and get ready for work.
At some point in the night, Joey had happily crawled in bed with Daddy and asked for a back rub. How cute.

So there you have it folks. A few somewhat sleepless nights. I was so thankful for that stretch this morning. It helped me not to fall asleep at work today (well, that and the cup of coffee I had).

I was inspired to do this post by some old friends of ours the Strovases (how do you pluralize Strovas?) and their blog post about a far worse sleepless night that they had a while back. You can read it here:
And also after chatting online with our friends from Bellingham about a night they had this week, too. It involved a 4mo old waking up 4 times, a 2 yr old up 5 or 6 times, a 4yr old who wet the bed and an almost 6yr old who had a nightmare. Yikes. I've got it easy.
Now someday, when our kids are grown, we will look back on these nights and miss them, right? OK, maybe not miss them but at least we can laugh about them. My challenge to you is to write about your worst night of sleep in the comment section or on your own blog. Maybe we can all have a good laugh ... when we get done yawning.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Musical Beds

Last Saturday we made a trip to IKEA to find a big boy bed that would, hopefully, encourage Joey to sleep in his own room (he had a toddler bed but had been sleeping on the couch or in our bed for a month). We found this great loft bed with a tent over the top. We brought it home and Joey and Daddy set it up. He loved climbing up and down the ladder and kept asking if it was time for bed yet. This is a picture of Joey at bedtime the first night. Claire is a bit jealous of Joey's new bed but she has been pretty happy with this make-shift blanket tent over her crib. Tonight is the first time I found her asleep not under the blanket. Do you like the foot sticking out of the bars?

Unfortunately, the bed has not been the miracle cure we had been hoping for. A mere 4 hrs after Joey fell asleep the first night he was calling for me and begging to sleep in our bed. I had placed a 2in foam pad on the floor under the loft bed. I thought it would make a comfortable place to play. That foam pad has now turned into a bed and the actual bed is now a fun play place (see picture below).
Tonight Joey asked me if he could go to sleep on the couch or our bed. I told him he had 3 beds to chose from in his room and he needed to choose one (his old bed is still in there, too). He chose the floor-foam bed (see above photo). I stayed with him until he dozed off. I wish I could make it so he enjoyed sleeping in his room more. He says he is scared in there.
The good thing is that the top bed has become a fresh new place to play the Mess Game (see earlier post). They must have played at least 45min after dinner tonight. Funny kids.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fun Pix

Swimming lessons.

Feeding the chickens at Country Village.

Feeding the ducks at Country Village.

Being silly.
Making salad.

Stay tuned for the latest on Joey's new bed and whether he is sleeping in it or not.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm Gonna Cry For You

Often times I am doing naptimes and/or bedtimes solo. This involves me going up and down the stairs a few times (Claire's bedroom is downstairs). My usual routine is to get Joey busy with something so I can have 10min to get Claire settled in her bed. After she is tucked in I tell her that I am going to help Joey get ready for bed and then I will come back and check on her. To this she replies, "I'm gonna cry for you." I laughed the first time she said it. Now I say that it is ok if she needs to cry but I have to help Joey and then I will come back to her. Sometimes she cries and sometimes she doesn't. I still think it is a funny quote.

Other things I have heard while listening to her over the baby monitor:

Mommy, I need you.

I want to cuddle Daddy.

I need a pretty bow in my hair.

I am all done with my nappy-time.

I get an owie.

Often times she also wakes up happy and can be heard singing one of the many songs she knows.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mess Game and other stuff

Joey and Claire made up a game that they call the Mess Game. It involves one person (usually Joey) sitting on a couch or bed and the other person bringing them every toy they can find. While it does make a big mess, it usually keeps them occupied for at least 30min so I gladly let them play. We are working on clean up afterwards. Tonight, while I was doing dishes after dinner, they started playing. I decided to take a little video so you could see the game in action. Claire's behind-the-back wave was cracking me up. Tonight was the first time I've ever seen her do that. Also, if you listen carefully you can hear Joey say, "Thanks, honey."

Other Stuff

Claire is all done missing her ya-ya and all four of her eye teeth are in now.

Joey has been sleeping on the couch (and in our bed) for the last month because he is scared in his room. This weekend I plan to go shopping for a bunk or loft bed set up and maybe put Claire in his room with him. Joey currently has a small toddler bed so maybe a bigger boy twin bunk/loft bed will be cool enough to sleep in? Any other ideas from those of you who have gone through this scary phase with your kids?

Two of our three new aquatic friends are doing great. Unfortunately, Car bit the dust. I replaced him yesterday while Joey was at school and no one is none the wiser. Hopefully, Car2 will live a little longer.

We are in the WHY? stage. Both of them hit it at the same time. Joey likes to ask why over and over again. Claire usually says, "Ooooohhh...why?"