Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Big Brothers Rock….Take Two

Gracie cooing for Bradley

Words can describe the love you have for your first born.  They are amazing in your eyes.  They made you a Mom.  You were amazed by their development.  When Bradley started talking I was convinced he was one of the smartest babies on the planet. 

I really do think there is something truly special about him though. (and it is not just because I am his mom and I adore him!)  He has a soft side to him that I just can’t get enough of.  It is as if he always knew that he was going to be the big brother to two little sisters.  I mean these pictures were not staged, this is exactly how Bradley reacted to holding Grace for the first time…. 


be still my heart….


I would love to say that is just great parenting that makes him this way.  But I can’t take the credit.  He is just this sweet and this kind.  I hope that he never changes.  In that moment with Grace I could see the amazing father that he was going to be one day.  Then it is in these moments around the house that his true colors shine.  When he finishes up his bath and bounds into Grace’s room to talk to her in her little tub.  She looks up at him with eyes that are in awe.

Instead of watching tv, playing with his toys or playmobil police station, I find Bradley over by Grace in the jumperoo.  He is turning on the music for her just like this…

This is just a little snap shot of the person that Bradley is.  I hope things never change, because he truly is remarkable.  I hope I tell him that enough.  I love you, my first born! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life Through the Lens of my iphone

I’m not sure if this post will make any sense, because I don’t think that title did?  If I didn’t lose you already, I just thought I would show you a bunch of my recent iphone pictures.  Sound exciting? 

Well, it is actually funny because they are so random, but they perfectly display the craziness of my life right now.  You can always find a chubby baby in a bumbo on there.  And they are usually naked chubby babies because they got spit up or poo on their clothes and I just strip them down instead of hauling upstairs to find a new outfit…


Then there is always the big sister with a nasty case of pink eye in the morning, lovely I know…


She looks happy right??

Here is a utopia picture, all three children “playing” together happily.  Just ignore that I put the crazy toddler on top of the island countertop.  It is a fun and safe place to play, I swear!!



Recently there are more and more photos of fun little play dates at the house.  Complete with snacks propped up on baskets and little boys that love super heroes.  Or lunch dates with our best buddy Case!


Then came the pictures of our new bounce house.  Fun for everyone!! It is now set up in the basement and Ellie requests to ‘bounce’ everyday.


And for a little taste of real life with three little ones…the reality of my kitchen at the end of dinner time


This is the present I have waiting for me most nights after putting three children to sleep.  Isn’t that fun??


But they sure are cute!!  They make it worth it!


Especially when they want to be big enough for the jumperoo!


If all that didn’t wear you out, here is a cake pop, YUMMMMMM!


Have a happy week!! Love, Clare

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Two Special Gals

I got to have a really quick mini-mommy vacation this weekend…well, mostly just Saturday.  But, it was a whole day event.  I got to drive for two hours without children in the car and listen to the radio, host an awesome baby shower and visit the bestie.  Chris manned the fort, took care of all of the babies, and even did laundry while I was gone!  He rocks! 

We were celebrating this amazing gal…


Yep!  Kim is due with her first baby in April and Chris and I couldn’t be more excited for her and Adam!!  I love how excited they both are and nervous about this new baby arriving.  That first baby is so amazing and so so scary at the same time.  I remember feeling exactly the same way, and then you just dive in head first into parenthood.  No one can quite prepare you for the job, but I know they will do great!


I had to put my stamp on the shower, with a few little handmade items!  I tried making the tissue paper pom poms and they turned out so sweet!  I will be using that idea again for Ellie’s birthday.  The yummy lemonade was a hit, with my hand made little bunting banner on the jar, love it! 


Kim has so many amazing friends that I have gotten to know over the years from her wedding.  It was so great to see them all again and catch up on their lives.  She is one lucky girl and got spoiled by everyone!  She had friends fly in from Chicago and drive down from New York too!



Her best friend Sarah hosted the shower at her house.  Here she is with her adorable little 12 month old daughter Samantha who was a guest of honor!!


I love you Kim!! I can’t wait to meet this new little baby, and line up the cousins on the couch for a big old family photo!!

PS…doesn’t Kim look amazing??  She is one of the most adorable pregnant people I have ever seen!

DSC_0200  After all that fun I drove down the road a ways to catch up with this sweet friend.  How is it possible that I am just meeting Janna’s six month son Christopher?  Man life gets busy when you add a few kids in the mix.  This lady has been on my mind so much in the past year and it was so great to get to see her and give her a big mama squeeze.  Her little family is going through a lot and any prayers you can say are certainly welcomed!


I love you sweet lady and I loved getting to wrap my arms around that adorable baby!!  We snuck out for a yummy dinner and lots of catching up.  Thank goodness we both have awesome husbands that will take over when duty calls!

After all of this traveling, my body gave out on me and I came down with a nasty cold.  I am just now finally feeling better, but I lost my voice (literally) for about three days.  Monday I was stuck at home with all three kids and no voice.  That went over well when I was trying to give Ellie important directions.  Chris said he was loving me without a voice…not sure what he is implying?  Do I annoy you honey?  Guess we need to have a chat about that later.  I feel like I am on the mend, but poor Ellie caught the cold too and ended up with a double ear infection.  I think we all just spread it around to each other again and again.

I hoping to be back up and running like normal soon!  Love, Clare 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Colorful Valentine’s Day

Thank you to Pinterest for the sweet, sweet Valentine's card idea...


We had crayon hearts coming out of our eyeballs!  We made girl crayons and boy crayons…can’t you tell by the colors??


Then we attached to this adorable card I found on Pinterest from this adorable blog The Long Thread.  She has lots and lots of great ideas, and had the card print out for free!


Then we worked on another great Pinterest idea, Valentine’s Marshmallow Pops!


They are so simple and so yummy!  I had all of the ingredients so my Mom and Bradley put them together on Monday.  Dip the Marshmallow pop in melted chocolate, add some sprinkles and Enjoy!


Our day started with a  sweet little Valentine’s breakfast….cinnamon roll hearts, a new stencil set for Bradley, and a new ball for Ellie.  Topped off with Valentine’s balloons and cards from Daddy too! And yes, I even cut up the bananas into little teeny tiny hearts!




We finished off Valentine’s with a homemade heart shaped pizza.  I didn’t snap a photo because I was rushing out the door to be tortured at the gym, but apparently it was a hit!


I adore this photo…Bradley trying to get Gracie to smile!  He is the master at getting her to talk, coo, and give the biggest gummy smiles ever! 


We alllllmost got on!  She was being strict with her smiles on Valentine’s day!

I was proud of myself, I have picked up my camera a bunch this week!  I hope to keep it going!! Give your Valentine a squeeze, Love, Clare

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some Random Thoughts


Life has just been full lately.  In a good way.

I just can’t get enough of this little one.  I can hardly believe that she is three and a half months!!  She is chubby as ever, the rolls just grow daily.  Our routine is definitely working, just sleep, eat, play, sleep, again and again and again.  Then sleep all night and start it over.  There are a few smiles, coos, thumb sucking and poopy diapers thrown in there, but you get the picture.  We have our little rhythm and things are flowing (mostly) well.

I am slowly trying to get my life back to normal.  Exercise and eating better are all part of this plan.  I think I am driving Chris crazy with my talk of healthier eating, needing to run, etc.  I am taking a small group interval training class on Tuesday nights.  It is amazing!  There is only one other lady that takes it with me, and each week I think I am going to die.  Then I don’t, and I go back the next week.  Last week the other lady didn’t show, so basically I died twice during the 60 minutes.  Running, stair climber, weights, core, planks, bosu ball.  She just throws things at you and you have to do them again and again.  The first go round doesn’t seem so bad, but by the third round you realize that you are shaking.  It feels so good to sweat again and be in control of my body. 

We had a Superbowl party on Sunday night.  I just emailed a few friends at the last minute, figuring most people already had plans.  Pretty much everyone came!  20 adults, 21 children.  It was crazy fun, and I didn’t take one picture.  Between hosting, watching Grace, trying to refill bowls of chips, there wasn’t a free moment.  Ellie stayed up through the halftime show and danced for all of the Madonna songs while the moms sang along.  It was hilarious.  We bought Ellie a bounce house for her upcoming birthday and had it up for the party.  I promise to get some pictures, it is AWESOME!


This little man has the class Teddy Bear this week.  He has to send in things from home to share with his friends.  Tomorrow he is taking his baby book.  I quickly flipped through it before I put it in his bag.  Little ink prints of his tiny baby feet caught my eye.  Like a flash they grow up, without asking you first.  I put him to bed tonight.  We are reading one story at a time from a huge Curious George Collection book.  I love that he still loves little George.  I love that at the end of the book, he opened his arms out wide for a hug and said, “I love you mom.”  I hugged him and kissed him and told him he was so special.  I hope he knows it in the craziness of our house. 

I read a blog that just posted about the transition to quiet time.  We have been doing quiet time with this little man for almost two years.  He doesn’t have it on the weekends anymore, but I still make him do it during the week.  He has been resisting it more and more.  I really needed him to do it when I brought Grace home.  I would take a nap or a shower or just have some peace.  Now, all I can think about is Bradley being in school all day next year.  So, we are starting some new traditions of reading together, learning sight words, or just playing with Grace if she is awake.  I only have a few more months and then Kindergarten, super sigh.

I don’t have any pictures of Ellie to share.  Probably because she is a wild toddler and I hardly have a moment to snap her photo.  We have been at odds in the past few months.  The on and off sickness, approaching terrible twos, she can just be plain exhausting and demanding.  I am hoping for clearer skies ahead with her as we turn the corner to her 2nd birthday next month.  Will it happen??  She just is at that really hard stage and then you add in Grace and I can get really overwhelmed by her.  Trying to go places is really next to impossible. 

Today was a good day though.  Today I set up the Phil and Teds with Grace in the little seat in the back.  I had a feeling that she was getting strong enough to hold up her head in the regular seat.  I snapped them both in and we went for a long walk in the beautiful weather.  I thought Grace would just lay her head back, but she pulled her little head up for the whole ride taking in the fresh air and the world.  I am sure that is the most fresh air she has had in weeks.  She is always in the Eurgo or car seat carrier.  It was that turning point moment.  The one when I dreamt of spring around the corner, babies that could stay away longer than 55 minutes, and little girls that become sweet and wise 2 year olds.  Ok, maybe that last part was really a stretch.  And of course I didn’t take a picture, because I barely managed to get the stroller all set up and the girls buckled in and go for our walk in time to throw them in the car to pick up Bradley.  There is always next time, right?

This post is officially all over the place.  Kind of how my head feels 99% of the time. 

Off for some much needing reading and relaxation.     

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Getting Crafty


You know that you are getting rest again when you find some time to do things around the house. 

I have become a serious addict to Pinterest and my list of “things I would love to make someday” continues to grow.  There just isn’t enough time in the day!  Between wanting to do crafts with the kids, my own list of things to do, planning Kim’s upcoming baby shower and Ellie’s upcoming 2nd birthday there are little mini project centers all over the house!  Not to mention the heart shaped crayons Bradley and I made for his Valentine’s at school!

I think crafting and being neat just don’t go together sometimes.  I need a little storage space that I can set up all of these projects, leave them half finished without having to look at them every day until they are done?!

Back to my first finished project since Grace was born…my Valentine’s wreath.  I have had my eye on these yarn wreaths on Etsy.  I was inspired by this vendor especially.  I’m not sure how I happened upon her shop, but I thought, I can do that!  So here is my take on a very simple Valentine’s wreath. 

Just get a Styrofoam wreath from the craft store, two or three colors of pink/red yarn, and a wooden “X” and “O.” 

Wrap the wreath with the different colors, adhering it with hot glue every so often.  I started with a lot of glue for the first piece then would give a good amount every few wraps to make it sturdy. 

Paint the “X” and “O” with pink craft paint.  Then I wrapped it with the darker pink yarn.  I also adhered it with a glue gun.  (Glue guns are awesome by the way!!)

Then I took six strands of the yarn to make the bow.  Hang it up and you now have a beautiful Valentine’s Decoration!!

Happy Heart Day!