One of the packages contained cute ornaments that Kayli's youngest brother made for Clara. Before they went on the tree, Clara wanted to put them in her mouth.
Clara was completely wild at the airport on the night we flew to Salt Lake. It was WAY past her bedtime and she was super tired, but there was just too much going on for her to fall asleep. The only way I could get her focused enough to take her bottle was to lay her on my lap and let her drink almost upside down.
My grandpa sets up this train around their Christmas tree every year and they really wanted the little girls (Clara, Emma and Lily) to come by and enjoy it. I have fond memories of watching the Christmas train go around and around with its flashing lights and dancing figurines. Clara enjoyed it too.
The day after our sealing, I ended up having a number of things come up with work that basically stressed me out like crazy and I turned into an angry bear. For my own sake, as well as for the sake of Paul's family who surely didn't want me around when I was being such a mental case, I banished myself to the storage room in the basement and spent the majority of the day down there working on my laptop and hiding from my 7-year old niece who was demanding that I paint my nails with her or watch her Barbie movies (those shows are horrible - seriously, the worst). I made an angry face to prove how I felt about working over Christmas break. Why doesn't the whole world just shut down that week? Would that be so hard?
We flew Southwest on the way to Utah, but on the return trip we flew Jet Blue. I am a big Jet Blue fan. The seats are more spacious, the snacks are better, and everybody gets their own t.v. to watch. The only problem was that we had a stop in Long Beach where we had to get off the plane, wait long enough for me to hose down Clara in the bathroom after she had one of her messiest diapers ever (I just threw away the onesie she was wearing underneath her clothes it was so bad), and then we got right back on the same plane we had previously been on. I love airports where you get to deboard outside by walking down stairs rather than going straight into the terminal. It makes me feel like a foreign dignitary or something.
Now that Clara can crawl in a dead sprint and wants to stand almost all the time, flying with her isn't nearly as easy as it was when we went to Hawaii in October or Utah in August. Back then, she would just doze off in my arms. But now she flings herself bodily back and forth between me and Paul, occasionally laying across both of our laps and munching on yogurt puffs to keep her entertained in such a small space. At one point, she grabbed for my ginger ale and knocked it over, spilling it off the little tray and into my shoe. Yuck. She never cried, but she was kind of loud a few times. Good thing we don't have any more trips planned for a little while I guess.
Paul and I fight over who gets to push Clara in her stroller when we go on walks. A new family game is for me to run in front of Clara while Paul chases me with the stroller. I zig and zag to get away from them and Clara thinks it is hilarious while I burn a few extra calories.
When we go for late night walks after Clara's bath, this extra-thick and warm jumper that my mom gave Clara for Christmas keeps her nice and cozy in her stroller. This is Clara's table that she got for Christmas. We were a little sad when we realized that LeapFrog changed out the banjo that is on the older model of the table that Jennie has for a not as cool guitar on the newer model. Clara still obsesses over this toy though and it is perfect for helping her practice her standing.
Jessica celebrated her 23rd birthday on December 30th. Clara helped her to unwrap presents.
Jessica found darling sweatshirts for the girls with the saying "Auntie Rocks" on the front, so we dressed everybody up and took a photo of Jessica with all three of her nieces.
I enjoyed holding Lily. She is such a hefty, darling little bundle and just the smiliest, sweetest thing. Clara and I spent time playing with Lily on the floor in the family room. I am so happy that Clara will have girl cousins so close to her in age. Clara and Lily will probably be in the same grade growing up and I am hoping that they can be close friends.
The purple and pink polka dot and leopard print dress is my new favorite outfit of Clara's. My mom and I found it at Naartje when my family was visiting us over Thanksgiving. It looks like it was made for her, and the matching tights are beyond perfect.
On the day that Kayli had to fly back to Texas, we wanted to take some photos with her and Clara. It was so wonderful having her spend so much of Christmas with us and we miss her a lot already. We had a great time going to lunch with Kayli and another adoptive couple who we have become friends with through our blogs (and who, incidentally, are approved to adopt again and are in the waiting phase right now - please look at their website and pass their info along!) and their son's birthmom, taking Kayli to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Bombay House, for chicken tikka masala, and just spending time together chatting about life and plans and how awesome adoption is. Paul and I have been so unbelievably blessed by having Kayli come into our lives and we love her so much.
Okay, that is it for Christmas and New Year's photos. I finally feel like I am finally pretty much caught up with the blog as far as photos go now.