Tuesday, October 29, 2013

11 months today!

My baby girl is 11 months old today. This is my favorite age so far. She has six teeth, her baby hair is growing long and she loves to scoot, walk along the furniture, and give kisses. Yes, that's right. I taught her how to kiss! I'm pretty proud of that. We've been working on it for awhile now. I have been saying "kiss" before covering her in them since she was born, and lately Sam and I have been asking each other for kisses and then obliging in front of her to try and spark something. Well, it worked. Yesterday I asked her "can Mama have a kiss?" and she leaned in and pressed her lips to mine. I literally shouted for joy when she pulled away. The first few were closed mouth, and now (after practicing this new skill many times) we get open mouth, slobbery kisses about half the time--but we don't mind. It is just too darn cute to care about a little (or a lot of) slobber.

Let's see... as far as accomplishments go she has become quite adept at pulling herself up on things, and ever so carefully lowering herself down--a feat that has opened up a whole new world of drawers, shelves, and cabinets. (Thus, I've found myself rethinking what is in or on said drawers, shelves, and cabinets and rearranging things accordingly). She also now says "hi Dada" or "hi Ma" constantly. She's occasionally said this for awhile now, but in the past few days it has become very clear and constant. She loves to talk about her dada all day long and call him on the phone, remote, coaster...or anything else that she can get her hands on that resembles a telephone. It's so sweet to know that she's thinking of him throughout the day while he's away. And even though I know he's incredibly busy at work I sometimes can't help it and call him just so he can hear her go off about her "dada" (i.e. her own special brand of baby babbling interspersed with consistent "dada's").

Below are some photos we took to acknowledge this, the 11 month anniversary of the day that she graced us with her presence.

She is just itching to walk. 

Can you tell she loves her dada? It's not obvious, is it? 

She loves to scoot, full speed ahead down the hallway and glance back at me mischievously before taking off again. 

She also likes to hide and peek around corners. She is a peekaboo enthusiast. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Growing up I felt a little like I got the short end of the stick when it came to fun family/kid activities. My only sister is 6 years older than me, so at a fairly young age she was too old for easter egg hunts and pumpkin carving--the kinds of activities that aren't much fun by yourself. Thus, I didn't do much of these holiday and seasonal endeavors with my family. Even though Klair is still a bit small to really understand the importance and cultural implications of such traditions, having a baby has apparently created a desire in me to make up for lost time. I want to do all of the classic american traditions, and I want to do them right.

This means pumpkins during the lovely month of October. And, of course, simply going to the grocery store won't suffice. No no, we needed to go to a pumpkin patch and hand select our orange beauties for carving. Klair may not have known exactly what was going on, but she definitely enjoyed herself. She may have even had as much fun as Sam and I :)

Family Pictures + Klair's 10 Month Photos

Earlier this month we took advantage of the beautiful weather and changing leaves, and had some family photos done. We had our good friend Austin Anderson take them (you can go to his website here) and I must say he did an amazing job. I'll admit that I was a bit skeptical at first. I had expressed my desire to have some family photos done to Sam, and he said that his buddy Austin could do them for us. I knew Austin had the equipment, but it seems like everyone with a nice camera thinks that they are a professional photographer these days. Austin, however, is obviously an artistic person and I had seen some impressive shots he had done for Sam's band (he happens to be the drummer), so I decided to go with it. I crossed my fingers and hoped that he was as good at family photography as he was at drumming. 
I was pleasantly surprised. 
Not only did he capture our candid moments masterfully, but he was also able to pull off some artistic shots. I went into it thinking I would be happy with at least a few good photos. At the end of the day he gave us a cd with 70 photos that were amazing. The hard part was narrowing them down. It's a good problem to have. So here we go, here are my favorites (I have a lot of favorites): 

She. is. perfect.

These days Klair has a tendency to point at things and say "wow." It's so fun to see her communicating in her own little way. And in this candid picture Austin caught this nicely. 

Hello little darling!

I love those bottom teeth!

 ...and those top teeth! (and this man, what a handsome Dad) 

He loves her. 

And she loves her "da da" back.

Klair lives for swinging.
She could spend all day in one of these.

My heart.

At the end of the shoot I decided to get some nice photos of us hanging out in her nursery, and Austin kindly obliged. I love how natural these shots are. 

Klair enjoys books so much. 
She especially loves this particular gem "Five Little Ladybugs." 
This might be the eight thousandth time we've read it. 

And I fully expect to read it 8,000 times more. 

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it too cute to pass up:
Face-smash-kiss-attack! I love the results. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

10 months (and then some) old

Baby girl turned 10 months old. It's now the middle of the month, so I suppose that makes her 10 and a half months... should I round up or down? I prefer rounding down. Can we turn back the clock please? Life is happening too quickly for my taste. I don't like the idea of my baby not really being, well... a baby anymore. They say that the toddler stage happens at one, and she'll be there in just a month and a half! Oh my. I don't know if I'm ready for this. I guess life doesn't wait for these types of hesitations though, right?

Despite my reluctance at allowing her to grow up (as if my permission is something that is needed for it to come to pass) I really am excited to see her transform into a toddler and a little girl. And, as much as I loved the newborn stage and everything that followed, I love this stage the most of any that I have experienced with her so far. She is so smart, and funny! My daughter has a sense of humor, and I love it. She learns something new every day, and she takes so much pride in her accomplishments—as do I. Some her new feats include pulling herself up on furniture (and lowering herself back down to her bum very slowly and methodically), walking around said furniture, and scooting faster than ever before (she likes to speed up when she knows someone is chasing her or when she is cognizant that she isn’t supposed to go somewhere—like after the dog food).  She also thoroughly enjoys talking. She has eight words that she says frequently. In the order she started saying them the words are “Mama,” “Dada,” “hi,” “hello,” “wow,” “ball,” “tickle,” and “what.” She also said “bum bum” one day when I was changing her (she repeated after me when I told her I needed to change her bum bum) but that was the last time I was able to get her to say it. Also, yesterday I swear she tried to repeat after me when I said “really,” but she only did it a few times before stopping and going back to her familiar words. Also, as far as linguistics are concerned, she is babbling a lot more lately and her incoherent strings of syllables have taken on a tongue-esque quality that makes them almost sound alien. I couldn’t even duplicate these sounds if I tried. She truly has her own little language.

So I used to keep this running tab in my iPhone of Klair’s various accomplishments and when they occurred with the intent of eventually transferring this information to the blog. I’ve been feeling this pressing need to bring the blog up to date with this information, and I suppose I should have listened. When I went to retrieve the notes I had made in my phone to create this post I was pretty devastated to find that they were gone. Somehow, they were erased. So now I’m left trying to fill I the gap from my last post (in September) to now (the middle of October). Talk about feeling like a failure of a mom. It’s bad enough that I post so infrequently, but now I can’t even say for sure when it was that Klair strung together her first phrase (she did do this, believe it or not).  A few weeks ago while we were sitting in bed she picked up my phone, put it to her ear and said “hi Dada.” It was adorable and I believe pretty impressive for her to do this at a mere 10 months old. Since then she has done this countless more times. In fact, “talking” to Dada on the phone is one of her favorite past times. She’ll pick up anything that resembles a phone—remotes, my friend’s coasters—and say “hello” or “hi” to her Dada. It is so sweet for Sam to know that he is the object of her imagination, and it’s completely gratifying for me to know that I taught it to her by always saying “hi” or “hello Dada” when I call Sam throughout the day. Today she even decided to include me in the conversation and picked up my phone to say “hi Dada Mama.” It was heart-melting. She really is watching me and picking up on so much!

In other Klair news she can now clap, she has mastered high fives, and she loves to point to my nose, ears, and mouth when I ask her where they are. She also finds it funny when we make dog noises and when the dog herself makes dog noises directed at the cat. Apparently their little playful quarrels are hilarious.  

In general news we are adjusting well to our new home and neighborhood.  We really love it here. Sam and I were called to be Cub Scout leaders over the nine year olds. I must say they are pretty adorable and so fun. We’ve already done several fun activities with them and have some exciting things planned for the near future. I think it has been good for me to channel some of my teacher skills into something productive. I also recently joined a book club and went to my first meeting at the end of last month. Although I’m definitely the youngest one there (they asked my age and although I was tempted to lie, I told them the truth) I feel like the ladies were very open-minded and accepting of me. I plan to continue going.  Klair and I also joined a play group at the local park and have spent a lot of time going on walks and playing at this same park. Before it got cold I was running almost everyday  followed by playing  with Klair on the swings and playground. Now that the weather is turning I need to find something to replace the park. I’ve been trying to set up play dates with other kids, and Klair really loves to socialize with other babies. Perhaps I will also have to frequent places like the library just to get us out of the house.

Sam has been working a lot lately (a lot being an understatement). He was actually supposed to be out of town right now but thanks to the government shutdown his travel plans were cancelled. I’m trying hard not to be grateful for something that was so terrible for so many people, but I suppose there is a silver lining in everything. It was definitely nice to keep him home for five days that he would have otherwise spent away from us. I am, however, extremely grateful to hear that the government will be back up and running tomorrow. In my opinion it is long overdue and frankly this whole mess should never have happened in the first place.

Aaand that was a tangent if I ever wrote one. I think I was supposed to be…praising my husband? Oh yes. That was my intent. He is such a good provider for our family! He works so hard to ensure that we have a beautiful home and more than enough. I live such a good life and I owe it all to him. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he is definitely the best decision that I have ever made.

Oh and speaking of providing, he recently traded in his beloved car for a Ford Edge so that I can have a new, safe, convenient family care with all-wheel drive for the winter time.  He continues to drive our older car while letting me ride around in luxury (seriously, it’s the nicest car I’ve ever owned). Could I be more spoiled by my husband? I submit that I could not. He’s so selfless.  And cute. He’s passed out on the couch right now, and I want to kiss his face…but I fear that would be selfish because I would inevitably wake him. Hmmm… decisions… what to do?

Well, now I’m just rambling. I could go on forever talking about my amazing baby and husband, but I should probably get some sleep. We also recently had some family photos done so I think that will be my next goal—to update this blog with some pictures! One day I will be a good blogger. For now I will simply give myself credit for writing this. Go me J