Saturday, March 29, 2014

Life lately, according to my iPhone...

First things first:  I made this Nothing Bundt Cakes Chocolate Chocolate Chip copycat recipe and it turned out AMAZING.  Like, SOOOO delicious and really close to the original, although I think that the frosting is a little more intense in the copycat recipe than in the original (not that I am complaining - it was fantastic frosting).  But if you make it you MUST let it cool COMPLETELY in the refrigerator.  Like, overnight.  Which seems impossible when it is baking and your house smells heavenly, but trust me (because we caved and each tried a slice when it was still slightly warm) that it is so much better served chilled.  This is definitely going in volume II of our House of Nash cookbook.

This is my new favorite dress and necklace combo.  I like the big bottles because I can tuck them under my chin and keep feeding Rose while freeing up a hand to do something else, like take a selfie in my favorite dress and necklace combo.

There was an article a few weeks ago about a mom and her 4 year old daughter who have been making dresses out of construction paper (and other materials) and posting them on Instagram (checkout their blog, Fashion By Mayhem - the dresses they make are amazing).  They are so creative and it sounded like the kind of thing that Clara would be into so we have made three attempts.  Clara has helped with cutting and taping and folding and we have talked about patterns, etc. so I feel like it is a pretty great idea because it is educational, creative, and fun.  And really it is about the process of making the dresses because she only wears them long enough for a photo usually and then she is done and we take them apart.  So far we have used construction paper, leftover tissue paper, and napkins leftover from Clara's birthday party last year that have just been sitting in the garage.

Clara and I both got haircuts in the past couple of weeks.  I was really in need of a change and a pick-me-up but I didn't want to go short and I didn't want to dye my hair, so that meant bangs.  I sort of have a love-hate relationship with them right now but just had them trimmed yesterday (after two weeks) and went a tad bit shorter than the original ones and am hopeful that the additional growing time might make them more comfortable a little bit longer and help me like them enough to stick with them because I do think that they are flattering.  I did a side-by-side comparison on the day I had them cut.  I sort of despise both pics (I never like how hairstylists style my hair after a cut - I always have to wash it and style it myself before truly making up my mind about the cut) but I do like to see the change.

Here are a couple more photos where I have been trying to figure out how to style and wear the bangs:

I have taken Clara to get her hair cut at the kiddie salon twice in the past but I felt like they don't do the best job so when I got my hair done I asked my stylist how much she would charge for a kids cut and it was only a few dollars more than the kiddie cuts place so I figured why not?  Basically she just cleaned up the back which was really straggly by taking off about an inch-and-a-half and then she did just a little bit of framing around the face so that when Clara's hair is down she doesn't look like such a little ragamuffin.  Everybody at the salon was going bonkers over how cute Clara was sitting in the chair getting her hair done.  Clara was pensive about the whole experience (and slightly annoyed that I would not let her get bangs like me and tired to start out with since I had to wake her up from her nap for the appointment) but was pretty proud of her new do afterwards.

Here is an okay shot of her haircut right when she was done.  So much better and now we hopefully won't have as many tangles to deal with. 

We went to Yogurtland afterwards for a treat since Rose was home with Paul and Clara and I could have a little mother-daughter one-on-one time. 

Speaking of hair, this jumbo legal paperclip was Paul's solution when Clara's hair was getting in her face while trying to eat. 

We saw the Weinermobile at a newly remodeled Lunardi's grocery store in San Jose.  I was more excited about it than Clara was.  Seriously, I would love to drive this thing on a roadtrip. 

Tulips from our yard.  I planted the bulbs last fall not thinking that we would be moving this spring.  At least I got to enjoy them for one season.  I need to remember to replant in the fall wherever we move to because seeing the tulips come up makes me so happy.

I weighed Clara on the scale at the gym.  She is almost at 30 pounds!

Rose is getting stronger every day but doesn't last very long with tummy time. 

I was cleaning the kitchen while Clara sat at the table coloring (one of the rare times that she has done it for more than a few seconds) when she announced, "look mommy! I made an "A"!"  It kind of looks more like an "H" with a line across the top but she has recreated this at least three times (with crayon, pen, and paintbrush actually) and tells me it is an A each time so I think she actually has some idea of what she is doing. 

Just some other preschool type activities that we have been doing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Minivan pics and a little about preschool

I mentioned we bought a new (to us) minivan a month back but haven't posted pictures yet.  Not gonna lie - it's a pretty sweet ride.  Clara is very protective of it and likes to shout at others cars to "drive slow, cars! don't wreck my minivan!".  I love how easy it is to get the girls in and out of it, I love the power tailgate and sliding doors that open with the press of a button, and I love the amount of cargo space in the back, especially when the back row of benches is down (it always is for us unless we have company riding with us) because it will make trips so much more comfortable. 

You have no idea how much Paul loves this vehicle and how long he has wanted a minivan.  Its both adorable and weird.

In other totally random goings-on, I have been prepping materials for preschool for Clara.  We won't start until fall, at least not officially, but since I am going to homeschool her (at least for this year - not decided about what to do for the future) I feel like the more prepared I am the better it will go.  There are SO many resources available to help moms who want to do a homeschool preschool that really it has been a matter of gathering and organizing and figuring out how I want to approach things.  I have a pinterest board that I am constantly adding new things to when I find them.  My favorite resources so far have been the site "Confessions of a Homeschooler" and "1+1+1=1".  They have everything from free printables to lesson plans to pictures of their home classrooms/study areas, etc.  I also made a trip to Lakeshore Learning to pick up some helpful supplies. 

Doing all this prep work has even sparked my own imagination and I created a sorting game using my Silhouette Cameo for the letter "a" where I put upper case "A"s and lower case "a"s on ants that Clara will sort to the correct side of a picnic basket.  I already had stuff for the letter "a" with an apple theme, but I just thought that the ant idea was cute and it gave me a chance to learn a lot more about using my Silhouette machine. 

In the meantime, we've started doing some color matching activities and Clara has developed an obsession with the Leap Frog Letter Factory and Talking Word Factory videos.  Because of those two little movies she is constantly (and I mean CONSTANTLY) sounding out the first sounds in words she thinks of and identifying the first letter.  (This is especially funny when her pronunciation is off.  She is convinced that "yellow" starts with the letter "l" because she pronounces it "lello".)  She even pulled out a workbook with cutting projects in it and identified the letters and sounds in "cut" and sounded it out while I pointed to each letter.  She didn't really read it - I'm pretty sure she knew the word from the context of knowing what the book was and given its similarity to the word "cat" which is the first word that the Talking Word Factory video explains, but still, it was exciting to hear her make each sound "c-u-t", then say them faster together, and then actually exclaim "cut!" like she had realized its meaning. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Julia Rose at 2 Months Old


I was skyping with Tabby on Sunday and we can't believe that Rose is only 2 months old.  It seems like it was so long ago that we were all at the hospital together for her birth.  We sure love this little girl and feel so grateful that she is a part of our family.  I took these photos in front of our big sliding glass door which has the best photography lighting in our house and I was so caught up in catching all her little expressions and baby-talking to her that I didn't even notice that the painters who were painting the exterior of our house had become our audience on the other side of the glass and were all grinning down at Rose as she gazed up at me while I clicked away over her (part of the time I was standing over her on a chair to get the angle I wanted).  What you also don't see in these photos is Clara and her stuffed zebra who were sitting ready at the side of the quilt to "make Rose smile" if she got fussy.  I kept having to remind Clara to scoot back and give Rose some space so I could take her picture because whenever Rose is just laying on the floor like this Clara likes to get right up in her face and entertain her.   

At 2 months old Rose is really starting to exhibit a personality.  She has found her little voice and her gurgles and baby talk is so, so darling.  She does it most in the morning when she first wakes up and in the late afternoon around 5 or so.  Mostly it is the "goo" or "gah" sound.  We are loving her increased alertness and longer stretches of wakefulness because it means more time to interact with her and also it seems to help her be a happier baby (probably because it is easier for mom to understand her schedule and start putting her on a routine, something that has been sorely lacking around here). 

Rose sleeps really pretty well at night, going down around 6:30 or 7:00 and waking up twice - first around 12:00 or 1:00 and then again around 4:00.  Her daytime sleeping habits are not as easy, most likely because of the levels of noise that big sister makes which we think are interrupting Rose's snoozing.  We have yet to figure out how to convince Clara that there is a volume level between whisper and shout.  But basically Rose takes 2 morning naps, each roughly an hour long (on good days) or 15-20 minutes long (on the bad days) and 2 afternoon naps (the first one is almost always her best daytime nap and on really good days lasts 3-4 hours, while the second nap is more of a chaser nap that is anywhere from 20 minutes up to about 45 minutes). 

After church this past Sunday I was playing with the girls in Clara's bedroom and set Rose down on the bed for a second while I ran to grab something in the other room.  When I came back I saw Clara on the bed with her pink blanket pinned around her waist to be her "Elsa skirt" (from "Frozen") talking to Rose and it was such a cute picture that I grabbed the camera and captured it from the doorway before Clara realized what I was doing and got silly about posing (or not posing and just running away so I couldn't take her picture). 

This picture of Rose sleeping so peacefully is sort of deceptive because (1) she doesn't actually love the pacifier and the times when she falls asleep with it in her mouth and keeps it in there are rare, and (2) she almost never falls asleep unswaddled, flat on her back in her crib.  Rose seems to be a bit of a picky sleeper and doesn't seem to like to sleep the same way very many times in a row and will fuss and fuss while I shift her position until I hit on just the one that works for her that day.  Sometimes she wants to be tightly swaddled and rocked to sleep (and other times she fights and fights and acts like it is the worst thing in the world), other times she wants to be unswaddled and laying on her stomach (I don't blame her - I sleep this way too but I only let her do this for naps when I can check on her constantly because I worry to much about her breathing to let her sleep this way at night while I am also asleep).  Sometimes she likes to fall asleep in the baby swing, swaddled tightly, and other times she wants to swing with her arms loose.  Sleeping in the car isn't really her thing (in fact, she kind of still hates her carseat although it is getting a little bit better as long as she has just been fed, changed, and woken up from a nap.  If she is already tired, you would think that she would just nod off with the car's vibrations but this almost never happens with Rose.  Maybe because Clara constantly narrates in her loudest voice what is going on with Rose (e.g. "She's awake!  Her eyes are open!" or "She's crying!  It's okay Rose!  Calm down Rose!  We're almost there Rose!"). 

I fully plan to weigh Rose at the gym today and measure her but I figure I will have to update this post later with those stats because if I don't post it before the girls wake up I won't get the chance until much later.  But she is definitely getting bigger.  I pulled out all the 0-3 month jammies because she just doesn't fit in them anymore and she looks so much more comfy in the 3-6 month sizes.  A few of the 0-3 month outfits still fit but most of them are too small and even some of the 3-6 month stuff is looking tight on her.  Baby Gap and Naartje sizes seem to be smaller than Gymboree and Carter's sizes (which seem fairly standard), which seem to be smaller than Janie & Jack sizes.  Has anyone else seen this?  Anyway, she is mostly in 3-6 months sizes now and I would guess that she is about 12 1/2 pounds.  

Rose LOVES being held against the chest with her head snuggled right up under my chin or against my cheek.  It is her very favorite spot and I love what a cuddlebug she is.  Some other loves include having her hair stroked or her face caressed (which is what usually elicits her biggest smiles) and being talked to.  She really seems to enjoy our walks outside, especially since this past week I have been turning her around in the Baby Bjorn to face forward now that she has got such good control over her little noggin so it isn't flopping around.  A friend mentioned on an instagram post that it looked like I had multiple baby carriers, which is true, and I have found that I like having them for different stages.  A friend lent me her Moby wrap, which I LOVED that first month and a half with Rose because it snugged her up so tight against me and she immediately zonked out.  It also gives the most freedom of movement for me that I have felt with any of the carriers as far as being able to do chores around the house, play with Clara while wearing Rose, etc.  But once the girls got big enough to hold up their heads and pay attention to the world around them, I like the Baby Bjorn for ease of getting in and out of and for giving them a view, etc.  Then I also have the Ergo Baby carrier that is better once they get a little bigger and the Bjorn isn't cutting it. 

And incidentally, while I'm talking product placement, I saw these newborn stickers that identify Rose's age by month on Etsy at a shop called Lucy Darling (she has loads of other designs that are so cute - it was hard to decide which ones I liked best).  I wish I had thought about something like this for Clara because they are just the right size and have such cute designs and I just stick them on whatever outfit I want to dress Rose in and voila, I have a customized look for that month's portrait.

Rose does really well with tummy time still, which is probably why she seems to be getting so strong so fast.  She doesn't last longer than 10 minutes at a time or so but for those ten minutes she babbles and plays and we do it multiple times a day.  Clara is dying for Rose to be able to roll over and is constantly asking me whether she can help her with that. 

Rose also really likes the baby play mat, which was also a hit for Clara at this stage.  This past month she has started really swatting at the objects that dangle down for her.  I'm still not sure that any of that is intentional or that she is just excited, but it delights her when she makes contact.  The music on this toy goes off after about 15 minutes and Rose starts squawking if I don't realize it quickly enough and turn it back on for her.  This toy is a lifesaver when it comes to keeping Rose entertained on her own long enough for me to throw dinner together or give Clara some one-on-one time to prevent a meltdown on big sister's part. 

Rose likes to have me hold her hands and pull her up into a sitting position, and then up into a standing position.  I can't believe how strong her little legs are that she can totally stand for 5-10 seconds while I provide the balance and stability for her and she seems to love the exercise.  The other night just after her bath she was in such a good mood and Paul took these photos while I was playing with her on our bed.

Isn't she just the most beautiful little thing?  Her face was so scrunchy at birth but all of her features have really filled out (she is such a cute little chub-a-lub and has these great rolls on her thighs that I just adore) and smoothed.  Her hair is growing in little by little too and she hasn't lost any of it from when she was born. 


And that's the update on Rose at 2 months old!  We are excited to see what new things she learns and experiences over the next month, which will include her first time flying on an airplane and meeting more relatives as I am going to take the girls to Utah during the week when our house is being shown (we are really hoping it sells in less than a week - our agent has recently had houses sell in as little as 4 hours from the time they were listed because the market here has been so nuts). 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Of Careers, Homes, and Adoptions

This is a post that I have been holding in for ages and ages and ages.  We have had some major stressors on our plate for quite a while now.  Here is the short version:

We had another adoption fall apart (not Rose's - nobody freak out).  Paul accepted a new job.  We are going to sell our house and move in the next month or two.

The Adoption Situation:

Not Rose's, so no need to worry there.  But there was a big part of Rose's story - a possible quasi-twin brother due March 30th in Florida - that I haven't talked about on here before that we were waiting to see what happened and it just finalized itself.  WAY back in August, we were contacted by an expectant mom who was only 10 weeks along.  LONG story short, two weeks later she told us that she had chosen us to be the parents to the baby she was carrying.  She started a blog and posted about us, using pictures we exchanged in emails and texts.  Here is an excerpt from one of her posts:

Seeing the baby through ultrasound was an emotional crash I was not expecting, therefore, I was completely unprepared for the feelings that came rushing in. I decided on a whim to keep the baby. I just love him too much and could not imagine going any further with this adoption process. I decided to put my blog back on private because I didn't want to announce this news to the world without knowing for SURE. 
I've spent the past couple weeks on my knees praying and praying. I have never received confirmation on keeping the baby which became very heartbreaking and frustrating for me. I even got in contact with the birth father to try and work things out for the sake of keeping the baby but I soon realized what a huge mistake it would be to bring him back into my life. Confirmation came soon after praying about adoption and practically begging Heavenly Father to let me know what was right. I want to keep this baby and I probably would if I loved him any less. I want him to have better than what I can provide. Please do not misunderstand what I'm saying, I'm not trying to imply that mothers who do decide to keep their babies don't love their children and I do not, in any way, think of myself as some selfless hero just because I am choosing adoption (I just wanted to make that clear because apparently I have been giving the wrong impression when it comes to expressing my thoughts and feelings. Please understand that whatever I share through my blog is based solely on my own experience).
I feel so incredibly blessed for the Nash family. Amy and Paul are just so amazing and I couldn't imagine any other couple adopting my baby. It just feels so natural, like all of this was meant to be.

I feel this need to validate that I am not crazy (believe me, when you go through failed adoption after failed adoption you start to feel really crazy and wonder what instincts/promptings/feelings you can trust about people and your own intuition and even the Spirit) and I feel like being able to see how she communicated not only with us but with others (she would post links to her blog on her Facebook account every time she posted) explains some of this. 

Anyway, we texted, emailed, skyped, sent packages, etc.  Things got really stressful for her when supposed birthfather issues cropped up (although I'm not entirely sure how much of everything was accurate there based on emails exchanged with the birthfather and his eventual cooperation with the adoption attorney we hired in Florida to facilitate the adoption).  We cheered for her, ached for her, prayed for her.

When she chose us, our profile was pulled from the LDS Family Services website.  But a week later I called our caseworker and told him I wanted it back up.  The wait was too long.  We had already been through multiple failed adoptions where we communicated and built a relationship for 4-5+ months before the expectant mom changed her mind and we were looking at 7 months before the baby was due with this one and I couldn't stomach the thought of missing out on potential opportunities when this one might not work out.  He agreed and our profile was live again in mid-September.  Thank goodness for that inspiration or Tabby (Rose's birthmom) wouldn't have found us.   

The baby was scheduled for a c-section.  We had bought our plane tickets to fly across the country already.  Both this expectant mom and Tabby knew about each other and that the babies would be only 2 months apart and both were really excited about that and expressed how amazing it would be for them to having siblings so close together.  This expectant mom joined a Facebook adoption support group that I am a part of and posted often, including this post that I screen grabbed on my phone the night the baby was born:

The weird thing is that when she posted the above sounding all excited and super gung-ho about the adoption (I mean, knowing it would be the hardest thing she would ever go through and all that but as gung-ho as any reasonable birthmom who has made an adoption plan might seem to be) she had already texted me telling me maybe it was best for us to wait and NOT come out (less than 8 hours before our flight was supposed to leave had we changed our tickets to get there the next day) and when she had already told the caseworker that she was thinking about not going through with the adoption.  I mean, I get it.  She changed her mind.  It happened.  That is totally understandable and her choice and everything.  But it still hurts and it doesn't feel right.  It feels awful. 

It is so hard to know how to explain what I am feeling.  Before I even throw out words, I have to say that what I am feeling is NOT about her.  The anger I feel isn't directed at her.  She had every right - EVERY right - to choose to parent the baby boy she created and I don't begrudge her that choice.  But I do feel anger.  Anger about the situation.  About the futility and unfairness and lack of control or power or efficacy any of us (not just me and Paul but any couple dealing with infertility but particularly adoption) have.  Anger about being chosen FIVE times in a row and spending literally hundreds of hours emailing and texting and supporting and praying and agonizing over the confused and conflicted young women who had told us using every word of surety and promise and conviction that they were going to be the ones to go through with it and place a baby with our family (again, not blaming them, not really.  I'm so, so, so sorry if it sounds like it.  In ways, I am grateful and even honored to have been able to have helped so many women going through the hardest times of their lives in such a unique way.  I'm not even being sarcastic, although I may be gritting my teeth a little bit because it somehow feels like I am flagellating myself by saying that.) 

Adoption really isn't so unlike pregnancy in a lot of ways because during these years there has been weight gain, sleepless nights, sickness, stress, etc. that all correlated with each adoption scenario we were dealing with.  Not to mention thousands of dollars spent covering adoption expenses for the failed adoptions (thank goodness Paul found a tax exemption for failed adoptions that has allowed us to recoup at least some of those costs this year). 

Ugh.  Anyway, I feel like I have only written a quarter of what was in my head when I started out writing this and I feel like I have already written four times more than what I should have written.  And maybe I shouldn't have written anything. 

We are so unbelievably thankful and blessed to have our two girls.  We don't mean to sound ungrateful for the adoption that DID just happen for us with Rose by complaining about this adoption that just DIDN'T happen for us with this baby boy.  We had been asked prior to ever being in a situation where two birthmoms had chosen us at the same time what we would do if that happened and we never had an answer.  A part of me (a HUGE part) felt extremely guilty about saying yes to both Tabby and the other expectant mom because I thought about all the couples still waiting for a baby and I felt like it was insanely selfish of us to try for two babies at once.  In our defense, I will say that we always tried to be prayerful about the decisions we made with how to proceed.  So we are a little sad right now.  But we will be okay and having Baby Rose in our home fills us with so much joy (and keeps us so busy!) that we know the dark little cloud this most recent (and possibly last ever) adoption failure has brought. 

As for future family planning - we just don't know what we will do.  Maybe we will be done with our two girls.  Maybe in a few years we will be healed from the past couple brutal years of failed adoptions and want to try again.  In all honesty, we would love to have a boy - Paul especially.  But we also feel very complete with Clara and Rose and are so grateful that they will have each other (how does anyone get through life without a sister?!).  Maybe we will look into private adoption agencies (that isn't the same thing as a closed adoption - we love our open adoptions) or maybe we will look at international adoption (something that I have ALWAYS been interested in).  Who knows. 

The Job Situation:

So way back in October (on my birthday actually, over lunch at Gott's, the best burger place in the Bay Area) Paul and I had a conversation about his career.  Like, how long he should stay at his current firm, what kind of experience he was getting versus what he wanted to get, and where did he ultimately want to end up.  We have had this conversation every now and then over the past couple of years (doesn't everybody?) but this time felt different.  Lots of lawyers make a move between their 3rd and 5th year and Paul was getting calls from recruiters multiple times a day.  A couple days later he happened to take one of the calls (usually he would just brush them off because seriously, recruiters can be incessant) and connected with somebody who specialized in placing associates with commercial real estate practices (Paul's specialty).  Long story short, he interviewed with a couple of firms in Palo Alto around November/December but the positions weren't what he was looking for.  Then in late January a position opened up at a firm in San Francisco that is THE real estate firm in California.  Like, the top firm in that practice for 10 years running.  It isn't the hugest firm in the nation (fine by us) but they do just what Paul wants to do and are really well respected and basically it was too perfect.  It was a firm Paul had always thought in the back of his mind that would like to end up at. 

He applied and that very day got a call back that they liked his resume and were interested in interviewing him.  He liked the people he met in his first round of interviews and felt like it went really well and the follow-up emails seemed promising.  Not long after that they called to say that they were interested in doing a second round of interviews and set up a schedule for Paul to meet with 14 of their attorneys in the SF office.  That's a lot of manpower to dedicate to a potential candidate so it really felt like Paul had a good shot at this job.  Then just a couple of days before his second round interviews (on Valentine's Day to be precise), the HR person who had arranged everything called to let Paul know that there was an attorney already with the firm who was in another office who had filled the position so Paul's interviews had been cancelled.  We were bummed.  We had already started brainstorming and making plans since the new job would involve a longer commute and/or moving, among other factors.  And we felt like Paul had been doing the job search process since October and it was so slow and a little discouraging.  The news put a little damper on our Valentine's Day to tell the truth, even though they told Paul that he had been really highly thought of and they would keep him in mind for future positions if any opened up.

But not even a week later, Paul got a call from his recruiter to say that one of the associates at the firm had given her notice and they wanted to know if Paul could still go in for the full round of interviews.  The interviews must have gone well because Paul got the offer a few days later.  He is excited about the new opportunity and what it will mean for his career and he starts the new job at the beginning of April.  Which means....

The Housing Situation:

We are going to be putting our house up for sale and moving.  The commute into SF from where we currently live is less than ideal.  It will be around 1 1/2 hours each way most days, maybe more if there is bad traffic.  And that just isn't sustainable for us.  So we are thinking that we will move to the East Bay - maybe around Walnut Creek where there is a BART station (Bay Area Rapid Transit) which would take him to work and drop him off right in front of his office and be a 35 minute commute where he never has to deal with traffic or driving himself (although he will have to deal with some of the crazies who ride BART and any possible strikes, which seem to happen too frequently).  We might consider other areas too though like Dublin or Concord, which also have BART stations although the ride would be a little bit longer. 

In the meantime, we have met with a realtor about getting our house ready to sell.  It will be sad to leave behind this great place after all the work we put into it and all the memories we have here.  It will be even harder to leave behind the friends we have made and the ward that we are a part of because they have been such a support and such a big part of our lives.  It's not like we are moving forever away - Dublin is about 35-40 minutes away and Walnut Creek is about an hour and fifteen minutes or so - but still...

Soooooo, I think that pretty much brings everybody up to speed on all the craziness that we have been dealing with for a while now.  It has been nuts.  We feel like we have been spinning like tops and are probably going to keep spinning while Paul is transitioning jobs and we are figuring out our housing situation.  We are thinking that we might just rent for a while since we don't know the area in the East Bay as well and we don't know that we want to commit to a house until we get a feel for where the best place will be for us.  But we are excited for what the future holds!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Life Lately, According to my iPhone...

It seems like it has been a while since I have done a post of random downloads from my phone.  So here are some random images that I have captured in the past month. 
Clara on the balance beam at gymnastics.  My mom bought this new leotard for Clara when she was visiting and oh my gosh Clara is over the moon about it.  This past Monday she begged me to let her stay in it after class.  She even specified that she wanted to wear it for her nap.  She is so ready to move up to the next class level but has to wait until she is 3 in May and it is getting rough because she is literally lapping the other kids in her class when they do obstacle courses because she goes through them so fast.

I am really seriously thinking about doing homeschool preschool for Clara this upcoming year rather than enrolling her somewhere.  So I have been trying out some homeschool stuff to see what it might be like and these Do-A-Dot paints are a major hit.  Clara LOVES them and with these little worksheets she is doing art and learning how to make her letters at the same time.  Incidentally, a friend who has run a preschool for 15 years put me on to a couple of really great websites for homeschool preschool resources so if you are interested, check out Confessions of a Homeschooler and 1+1+1=1

One of Paul's co-workers gave us these darling dresses from Baby Gap for the girls and I can't get over how cute they are in their coordinating outfits.

Just a selfie with my girls on Valentine's Day.  Rose wasn't having it.

Speaking of Valentine's Day - chocolate covered strawberries are my FAVORITE and Paul always gets the most amazing ones from a place in downtown San Jose that has been around for 100 years or something.  Clara got her own little box and was ecstatic about it.  I can never decide whether my favorite is dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate but there are worse things in life to be unable to reach a conclusion about. 

Yep, it is springtime.  This daffodil proves it.  Clara tells me "I love daffodils!".  She tells us "I love _____!" on a regular basis these days and names some random new thing that she wants us to know she approves of. 

This funny hat was another preschool activity idea for fine motor skill development by sticking pipe cleaners into a strainer.  Clara seemed to think it was weird but humored me about it and then tried on the hat for a picture.  The big wet spot on her front is from a spill at breakfast and clearly we hadn't changed her out of her jammies yet.

Oh Rose.  Her smiles are SO precious and I cannot get enough of them.  This is just a little grin but sometimes she makes the big ol' full face 1,000 watt smiles. 

Just a little dress-up when she spotted daddy's cowboy boots and hat from a past Halloween costume sitting up in his closet.  The pose was completely her own. 

I can't seem to stop myself from taking photos of Rose totally conked out in my arms like this.

I tilted her forwards to get a pic of her long eyelashes.

Clara went to a friend's birthday party the other week.  She got to wear a fancy party dress and I did her hair up in a fancy braid.  This girl is obsessed with birthdays.  I wonder where that comes from?

I don't know why it has been so long since I have bought grapefruit.  A couple weeks ago they were on sale and I picked some up and of course Clara loves it. 

Clara asks me to get a safety pin to affix this blanket around her on a daily basis.  It is her "Elsa Cape".  Really what she likes is having it trail behind her like a train.  For a brief second I thought about buying her an Elsa dress from the Disney store but then I realized that there was no need to stifle her creativity and if she can pretend that her zebra striped blanket is a sparkly blue Elsa dress then kudos to her.

More art project fun.  Using scissors to cut is her favorite thing, followed by painting, followed by glue.  Today she told me "I don't like to color."  Which I already knew about her but I always try to talk her into drawing with crayons anyway. 

Rose had a 6-week checkup with the doctor.  She is doing awesome and is roughly in the 60% percentiles for height and weight and everything is looking good.  Poor baby got all her shots - 2 in her left leg, 1 in her right leg, and an oral vaccination.  She handled them pretty well though and didn't even get a fever afterwards.  I'm SO glad she has been vaccinated against whooping cough now - that one causes me so much anxiety and I am so glad we don't have to worry about that illness now.

And that is pretty much it for now.