Wednesday, September 28, 2011



Signs of fall are all around, mostly.  It could be just a touch cooler, and the rain could really stop now.  I feel like it has rained for over a week straight at our house.  Two weeks ago we had our neighborhood’s fall camp out.  Here is the view from our back deck!  I bet there were between 30 and 40 tents in our neighborhood’s common space.  The kids ran around in mobs, playing and hiding in different tents.  Ellie wandered around Chris and I mooching food off of tables and socializing of course!

We didn’t sleep outside this time.  There is no way you would catch me in a tent right now at 36 weeks pregnant.  And Ellie for that matter.  I can’t even imagine.  Chris set up the tent for Bradley, but he had an ear infection and we didn’t think it was best to have him out sleeping in the cold.  It was actually a pretty cool afternoon and evening.  The boys did stay out after I put Ellie to bed.  They roasted smores, played, and didn’t come back in the house until 10:15.  I know, gasp and shock!!  I can’t believe our first born can actually handle staying up that late.  I never thought I would see the day!  He did fall asleep in the car on Sunday when we were driving around, and go to bed at 6:30.  But that is a different story!


I did get a chance to snap a quick photo before I spent most of the evening trying to talk to friends and follow Ellie around.  What a great event, and I love that our neighborhood does these things for the kids.  Such special memories for them too!


On Sunday we went to the horse races with some friends.  I didn’t do a very good job with getting pictures, but we had a great time despite the rain.  The horse races are very family oriented in the fall.  As opposed to the college craziness that happens in the spring.  There are moon bounces, pony rides, and jack Russell terrier races.  It really is a fun day!


Here are some of the wee ones waiting for the horse races to start.  They blow the bugle and everyone runs to the fence to check it out.  We were really close to the horse jumps on Sunday, which was nerve wracking!  You held your breath until all of the horses were over the jumps.


Little Hudson waiting for more horses to come by.  And even sweet baby Haven got in on the action…


I guess it was too much for her!  She slept for most of the event!! 

The weeks are flying by…just three weeks until we meet baby #3!!!

Love, Clare

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet Baby Boy


I don’t when it happened, but you grew up.  You are changing faster than Daddy or I can even keep track of.  You surprised us this weekend at your first real soccer practice.  The running, the kicking, and the physical growth is amazing.  I mean look at this….going after the ball like a real athlete!!


The biggest shock of the morning was how grown up you are.  There wasn’t a tear shed.  Daddy and I were waiting for it.  When you got knocked down and scraped your knee, you just got up and kept on going.  The running back and forth for 30 minutes straight.  It was exhausting to watch.  I was waiting for you to limp over and complain of being tired.  It didn’t happen.  You just kept up with the pack and I was so proud.  It was the first time we have tried a new activity without any sort of nervous tears.  You are almost five and showing us every day the little boy you are becoming.  You can play with the big kids and it makes mommy so proud!



Just make sure you look back and remember that Daddy are right here if you need us.  We love you sweet boy…you with your muddy cleats, shin guards and little boy things.


And then I realize that she isn’t too far behind and wants to big like her brother in every sense of the word.  Point being, this is where you could find her during soccer practice…



Oh, it happens so fast!  I need to remember this post when I am nursing a baby 10 times a day in just a few weeks.  They grow up. So quickly.

I love you sweet baby boy.  You will always be that to me.

Love, Clare 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I’m So Cute My Shoes Squeak

Squeaky Shoes

This is what you blog about when you realize you haven’t downloaded a thing from your iphone in months.  You find hidden treasures…like your little cutie walking around the house in her new squeaky shoes.  These shoes are so adorable, for about five minutes.  I thought they were so fun, and Ellie would just tromp around the house in them.  After a few days the novelty wore off, and Chris pulled out the squeakers.  I love this video though…the shoes + the piggy tale = cuteness times 1,000.  I could just eat her up!

(If you are having trouble viewing this, just lower the HD setting at the bottom right corner of the video.)


Gotta Love Elmo!

Ellie just can’t get enough of Elmo.  He is the best.  And the most annoying thing on the planet.  It is the only show that she will actually sit and watch, and I am just happy to have 20 minutes to cook dinner.  I don’t understand what it is about him…

They have a Sesame Street Place at Busch Gardens, complete with a live show.  Ellie was in awe.  This video makes my heart happy, to see her giddy with her two favorite men.  Elmo and Daddy.  enough said!

first ride at BG

Last, but not least is Ellie on on of her first rides at Busch Gardens.  She got to sit next to her big brother, and handled it all pretty well.  She is hunched over and looks slightly terrified.

Just to show you how worn out this whole trip made her.  Here she is on the ride home.  Gotta love a napping baby in the car.  Even if it only lasted 30 minutes.  Why don’t either of my children sleep well in the car?  They just really must love their cribs! 


Some other phone fun


Ellie is all about pointing at your eyes, nose, and mouth.  Her newest trick is to get you to stick out your tongue.  The whole family plays along…


We are working every day on using our fork and spoon.  Ellie has made SO much progress.  She can now a lot of things with a little help from mommy and daddy.  I am just trying to make my life as easy as possible once baby #3 arrives, and getting her to eat independently will be a huge accomplishment!


These guys make me smile, and they make Ellie happy.  While Bradley is at school we will sit and play potato heads for a long time.  She love pointing at the eyes, nose, and of course the ears.  How could you miss them?

Less than four weeks from our c-section date!!! Yikes!  We are still awaiting Ellie’s bedroom furniture.  Fingers crossed it all arrives soon!!  Love, Clare 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting Organized!!

I know you all are dying to see the inside of my fridge.  But literally, this is what my weeks have been consumed with lately.  It seems that this third baby is very concerned with the state of our fridge and the organization of our picture albums.


I went to a Tupperware party a few weeks ago.  I couldn’t believe that a Tupperware party could by so exciting….IT IS!  And I didn’t even know that they sold Tupperware anymore, but THEY DO!  I got the Fridge mates System.  It is the four long containers on the left of the fridge.  They prolong the life of your produce up to two weeks.  They have ridged bottoms, so your food doesn’t get slimy on the bottom.  You don’t put anything in a plastic bag, so it can breath.  Then you open one, two, or none of the vents on the side depending on the type of food you have in there.  The greatest part about them, is they free up all of your crisper drawer space.  Now I can put as many little yogurts, apple sauces, and mandarin oranges as I want in the drawer.  It just makes the fridge so organized, and my little nesting state of mind at peace…I think I have a problem!

The baby must be really concerned about photos and photo albums, because I have been an organizing machine!  I am completely up to date with all of my pictures.  I decided a few years ago, that the most efficient way for me to keep my pictures was just in plain albums, in order by date.  I buy a common theme or color for each year and print out my favorites from each month.  Here is the first half of 2011:


Right where I can find them and easy to add to…


Having my pictures printed and organized makes me happy…again I think I have a problem!!

I also wanted to be sure that all of the other baby books were completely up to date.  I have always loved these simple baby books from Hallmark.  They cover the basics, give you space for lots of pictures, and have little areas for mementos.  You can also add information for the first five birthday parties.  I can’t believe Bradley’s will be actually filled up this year!

DSC_0118-2  Ellie’s is almost finished, sparing the birthdays she hasn’t had.  I started the beginning of baby #3s book, and got as much of it filled out as possible.  I just love looking back through them, and now Bradley loves looking at his book.  Here is the inside of Ellie’s book…I try to include any cards, family photos, and as much of their first year I can squeeze into one book!



Just a view of my office…baby books, red albums 2010, blue albums 2007, black albums 2009.  I know as some point I will have to store them other places.  But, I love looking through them with Bradley and talking about things we did. 

Cheers to getting organized, I can’t get enough of it!!

Love, Clare

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Project Post


I feel like the past few weeks have been jammed packed full of projects and getting things done around here!  The list has been long, but I have been marking things off as fast as I add them.  Hopefully, I will be ready for baby #3 soon, and I can sit around a bit.  We have hit a major glitch in getting the baby’s room completed.  I dragged Chris to a furniture store in July to buy Ellie a big girl bedroom set.  There I was thinking that I was all organized and on top of my game. 

Well, the store went of out business.  This weekend we should have been receiving our new bedroom set.  Then we were going to take everything out of Ellie’s room and put it in the nursery.  After a minor meltdown last week, we have figured it all out.  Luckily we were able to get all of our money back, which is huge.  I have re-ordered the furniture from another store, that said it should be shipped and in their warehouse in three weeks. 
Fingers crossed that it all works out great, and we will have it  in the nick of time.

I know in the scheme of things that this is not such a big deal.  I just would love to have the baby’s room completed so I could just be ready to go on October 21st…

Oh, did I mention that is my c-section date…yeah, that is close people!!

I did buy a crib off of craigslist for baby 3.  Ellie is nowhere in a million years ready to be out of her crib.  So, we will be using two cribs until she is ready for her big girl bed.  At least the baby has a freshly painted room, a newly scrubbed bed, with clean sheets.  All of the bedding is circa Bradley’s nursery.  It is going for round two…hopefully it is up for the challenge.

DSC_0234  DSC_0233

On to the projects…

I didn’t have one single thing to hang up on the walls of the nursery.  When we had Bradley we brought in an artist to paint the walls based off of his bedding.  Seeing as this is baby #3, and that just isn’t going to happen I was stumped.  But, I came across these valances when I was going through Bradley’s bedding…


They were so cute, and I had completely forgotten about them.  Since I am much wiser, this being the third time around, I already have large, heavy, dark room darkening curtains hanging up in the nursery.  I decided instead of having them sit in a drawer, I should cut these and frame them for some artwork. 


Now I have some beautiful pictures to hang above the crib.  So, so excited!!


Even Ellie thinks they are great.  She walks into the baby’s room and says, “This, This.”  This is her new word, for ‘tell me what this is mama’


Other than the baby’s room still being incomplete (which is totally driving me nuts!!!) I have been a sewing machine!  I have been cranking out pillows right and left.  After reading a pillow tutorial online, I thought, I can do that!!  This winter I bought the fabric and pillow inserts and then got pregnant.  The supplies have been sitting in my basement closet for months and I just didn’t have the energy to get them completed.  Now I am on a mission.  I have finished six pillows, learned how sew a zipper, and have two more to go!  I love the different colors, how the punch up the family room couches, and I just love the feeling of a finished project.


I made two in the soft blue, two coral, and two in the patterned beige.  I have two left to make in an olive green, and the look will be complete.  I think I am going to take the original sofa pillows off the couch and just leave the new ones. 


Other than sewing pillows I am trying to finish a knit hat for Ellie, and I want to make a little knit fish toy for the baby’s room.  We’ll see if I can squeeze it all in, I am going to try!

Happy sewing, Love, Clare

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kickoff to Fall


This weekend marked the end of the summer madness, the beginning of football season, and the official countdown to baby #3.  We attempted one last trip to the pool, but with all of the rain it was FREEZING!!  So, we settled on some Virginia Tech football and some really cute kids in jerseys.


The Hokies started off their season with lots of touchdowns and a WIN.  Even the little lady got in the Hokie spirit…


We spent the rest of the weekend doing little things here and there.  I made dinner for Ellie’s godparents that just had twin baby boys.  They were adorable, but I didn’t snap one photo.  I spent the whole time holding Matthew and watching Ellie terrorize their house.  It gave me a little glimpse into my life in a few weeks.

We hosted neighbors for a BBQ dinner, and spent a lot of time hanging out inside because of all of the rain.  Lots and lots of rain. 


While I was baking three dishes of chicken pot pie, I set up the kiddos with macaroni noodles.  It is amazing to see them both playing and enjoying the same activity.  Ellie is growing up so fast!  Yes, they are both wearing really cool t-shirts from the Outer Banks purchased by daddy.  Daddy even matched Ellie’s shirt with green, pink, and blue striped shorts.  Love those Daddies… 


I am in the middle of project central.  I have made two of five pillows for the family room couch, just mailed a knit hat to my best friend Janna for her new baby, and have a million other things I really want to get done.  Project post coming soon!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Little Miss Piggy Tails


The baby is growing up…just the summer it happened.  She was just a crawling baby at the beginning of June.  I now have a full fledged  running toddler on my hands.  She can navigate a play ground with the best of them.  Stairs, swings, slides, she loves it all.


The most noticeable difference this summer has been her sweet soft baby hair.  It has grown, curled, gotten long and I am in mommy heaven.  I just realized that the top was long enough for piggy tails.  Of course it looks perfect spiked off the top.  Who would want it any other way at 16 months?

Ellie says “hair bow,”  and loves to point to the many ribbons I have tucked up in her room.  She wants me to put her hair up every morning.  We can’t leave her room without one in her hair.  I guess this is a good thing, since it  is the perfect length to fall her eyes. 


Now that Bradley is in school we have had a few play dates at the park.  Just me and Elle and a baby friend or two.  The mommies and I spend most of our time running in opposite directions.  Helping someone who fell or holding tight to little toddler fingers as the cross the shaky bridge.  It reminds me of my days spent just with Bradley.  Finally going to the park and rejoicing in the end of the morning nap. 

In just a few short weeks I will be in the thick of it all again.  Naps, nursing, and more diapers.  Good thing she doesn’t know what she is missing. 


Don’t let that little smile fool you.  There is mischief in there at every turn.  From the normal toddler behavior like dipping her hands in the toilet water, to full on toddler tantrums, and battles with her big brother. 

The sibling relationship has been my biggest struggle over the summer months.  Bradley is great with her.  He tries so hard to play with her and be on her level.  But, this summer starting the scratching, hitting, and now pinching phase for Ellie.  Ellie has gotten Bradley good.  Drawn blood, scratched his face, and just plain wacked him hard.  She has visited time out more times than I would like to count.  She will sit there for 45 seconds to a minute and then go and give him a kiss.  She is a sneaky little one.  As soon as he starts crying or a parent walks over to check on her, she runs behind the couch.  The evidence is usually the large welt on Bradley’s cheeks or arms.  This has been going on for weeks now.  Our newest problem is Bradley has begun to cry wolf when she just walks by him.  I don’t think he has quite realized that he is a lot bigger and stronger than her.

I am hoping this is a language and frustration behavior and soon we will be moving past it.  It can be exhausting and down right annoying to deal with day in and day out.  I am hoping to have it mostly resolved before the arrival of the new baby!!   


There is so much of her than I enjoy beyond words.  She is more social and adventuresome that Bradley ever was at this age.  She will say Hi to strangers.  Dance in circles in the middle of music class.  Ellie could care less if she falls down or gets hurt.  She fell twice in the driveway last week and had a bloody knee.  She didn’t even fuss.  Just wiped off her hands and kept on running.  Bradley would have been down for the count.  I love that about her!

Ellie is a lot less verbal than Bradley at this age.  She only has about 20 or so words.  She still uses a lot of signs and babbles and talks in her on little way all the time.  Her brand new words are “more” which she says, “mo” and please which she says, “peas.”  She relies on “MAMA” a lot.  She says it for help, I’m hungry, I’m stuck, I’m tired, and a million other things.  I will hear yelling, “MAMA, MAMA, MAMA” in the kitchen to find her digging through the graham cracker box trying to open it. 

She understands SO much, and has a lot of receptive language.  If you tell her it is time to go, she will walk into the mud room, wait for you to get her shoes, and then go sit on the carpet to get her shoes on to leave.  If you tell her it is time for lunch, she will walk to her high chair and tap on the edges to get in.  She is so aware of our daily routine and of course thrives on things being the same. 

This little girl LOVES music.  We have a stereo system that runs throughout the house.  When you plug in the ipod in the kitchen it can play in the family room and out on the deck.  She will run up to it and say “peas, peas” to get me to turn on the music.  She even has favorite songs from our music class this summer.  When she hears a favorite song she gets so excited and dances in circles.  I think a dance video is in store!! 

Well, that is a whole lot of rambling about Miss Piggy Tails.  I can’t believe how much she has changed since her birthday and even since the beginning of the summer.  I love you Miss Elle Belle…