Sunday, October 21, 2012

The road to toddler-hood is full of firsts. First foods, first steps, first words. Well Claire experienced a very important first yesterday...first mud puddle. It was mesmerizing. Water where there was none before. Life changing.
For obvious reasons, the main event was throwing rocks in it. Second to rock throwing was wading. In a close third...puddle drinking. I swear that I didn't actually let this happen but I did snap a picture before I stopped her. My parental instincts are only slightly stronger than my desire to get cute pictures. 

Do you see the way she's watching Scout? The next picture was totally his fault.

My sweet little puddle drinker.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Earlier this week Claire asked her Daddy to paint her toenails. I have been in toenail painting denial for a month or's not the same thing if it's just one or it doesn't count if it's organic/all natural kid nailpolish for kids. I was editing pictures in my office (which 98% playroom and 2% office) when Claire ran in to show me her pretty's (aka painted toes). Her daddy apparently hasn't been in nailpolish denial and went full boar with a nice shade of violet on all ten piggies. It's cute. I must admit.
So this morning was the first time since last Spring that Claire wore tights with feet on them. At first she didn't seem to notice the potential problem with them but after we got home from our morning activity I heard a frustrated scream from her playroom. I ran in expecting to see her scaling a bookshelf or cutting the dog's hair but found her pulling at the foot of her tights with all of her strength saying "prettys mom, please, Daddy prettys". Not being able to access her "prettys" on demand was not an option. She ended up being bare legged for the rest of the afternoon so she could admire her Dad's handiwork at will. Might have to switch to leggings for a while.

So this little hat was attached to a sweater that I recently bought for Claire. Sweaters come with hats? A kids clothes thing I suppose. Anyway, Claire spotted it during laundry day today and wanted to put it on. Although it's already a tad on the small side (even though the sweater it came with is still way too big) her little curls sticking out of the sides made me smile. This was her "smile for the camera" face. It was bound to happen.

But seriously. How did I ever get so lucky? It almost seems unfair.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I have a group of exceptionally crafty friends (they basically sew their clothes, churn their own butter, and write musicals...only a semi-exaggeration). Although I consider myself a creative person, I wouldn't put myself in the category of crafty. However, these gals like to get together for craft night and since there is food and wine involved, I basically cannot decline the invitation to join them. Well, at the last party, they roped me into actually making something and viola...Claire now has a Halloween tutu. Since I cannot let an opportunity to take pictures of my little gem pass me by, I planned a mini tutu photoshoot at one of my favorite photography locales.

Since my sister-in-law, Lauren, loves Halloween (or and holiday really) almost as much as I do, I knew she would be game for some costume documentation with her two kiddos. The little guy, Jack, decided that he was camera shy and ended up snuggling his mama in the warm car so Auntie Jin helped me wrangle the two costumed gals while I snapped away.

The girls both had a blast but Vera was definitely the biggest fan. At one point, I plopped Claire down in a great lighting spot and said "smile!" and before I could get a shot, she ran away (as 1.5ers tend to do). Vera, who was standing behind us with Auntie Jin, ran to the exact spot where Claire was standing and looked at me and said "I smile!" and posed while I took her picture. Love her. Although Claire wasn't the most cooperative model, she did bust out some serious dance moves mid-shoot, which I appreciate.

I have to admit that these are some of my favorite pictures thus far. I love that Claire and Vera's costumes have nothing to do with each other at all and totally mismatch. I also love that they are running from Auntie Jin in a good portion of the pictures with the big smiles. I love capturing moments for other families but there is just something special having pictures that you love of the kiddos that are already so special to you. Inspires me to do shoots like this  more often with my little family and my extended family alike.

First there is my favorite little witch (who strangely enough, isn't going to be a witch for Halloween...this is just a pre-Halloweeen costume...of course).

Then there is Super Vera.

There was ALOT of running away from the camera (and Auntie Jin who was chasing them). Vera was grinning ear to ear the whole time and Claire was yelling her patented "I'm runnnnnnning", in case we weren't sure. 

My favorite of Vera.

Claire was being pretty stingy with her smiles for the camera. The one was directed towards Vera. These two seriously love each other. We're lucky.

Vera clearly took her role to heart.

One of the "keepers" of Claire's shots.

Oh yes. Then this happened. A photoshoot isn't complete without a dance break.

Did I mention that Claire has brown eyes. Like, really brown eyes. You're welcome mom.

This was our cue that it was time to wrap things up.

I've seriously looked at these pictures a dozen times. Halloween + two of my favorite girls, makes my heart happy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I've said this before but Claire talks a lot for her, a whole lot. I'm not bragging, it's just a fact (okay, I'm totally bragging but that's kind of the point of a blog devoted to your child). Depending on where you're researching, the language milestone for an 18 month old is somewhere around 10 words. My little freak of nature (and I mean that in the most endearing way) busts out 10 words in her sleep. Okay, that's an exaggeration but the point is that she talks a ton. Standing by and watching my toddler develop language has been a fun and often, hilarious, road. Here are some of the funny things that Claire has said (aside from "I love bacon.").

-Recent post-nap conversation:

Me: "Claire, are you hungry?"
Claire: "Hungry"
Me: "What would you like for lunch?"
Claire: " Lunch"
Me: "Yes, but what would you like for lunch?"
Claire: "Um...popcorn."

Not only did she answer the question correctly, she totally chose junk food for her answer. When Kyle got home I asked her what she wanted for dinner to see what she would say and her response was "chips". I swear that our household food groups go beyond chips and popcorn.

-Whenever she bumps her head (which is often, it's large), she'll say "oh no..bonking head" while she rubs her head. If she stumbles or falls she says "oh no, I fall down" and snickers like she did something funny.

-She calls blankets "blankens", pacifiers "papity", any small fruit or berries are blueberries and the basement is the "basin".

-When she asks to be picked up she says "up and down?".

-If I drive down a hill quickly or turn a sharp corner, she yells "weeeeeeeeeeee!" from her carseat.

-Earlier today she saw a cartoon drawing of a Sasquatch (versus a actual picture of the real thing of course) and said "Cookie!!!" as in, the monster. 

-Claire's Auntie Jin taught her to say "zombie" in her best scary zombie voice (because if you encountered a zombie, it would clearly identify by saying "zombie"). So now Claire randomly yells "zombie" in a little growly voice. 

-She sings Twinkle Twinkle all day long but her version is something like "winkle, winkle, wittle, are. Ow, I, wonwer, wa, choo, are." She does a funny little rocking dance while she sings that her grandma has dubbed the "Ray Charles".

-When she plays with her baby (it's actually a Glo Worm), she pretends to change it's diaper and gets out the baby wipes and says "pee you" baby....apparently we say this when we change her diaper. She always talks to her baby in a teeny tiny high pitched voice that I suppose is mimicking yours truly.

-We've gone to two of our nephew's (Claire's cousin) high school football games. Claire had a blast at both games but wasn't exactly watching the game (to my chagrin, she was focused on the cheerleaders). However, she now requests "watch football" and when it's on TV she says "yay, football, go Tyler, tackle!".

-We were eating dinner together and I was drinking water from a mason jar (yes, I'm that pinterest-y) and Claire commandeered it from me. She proceeded to fill it up with the soup she was eating. I generally let things like that go. She's 1.5, bad behavior versus exploration is in the eyes of the beholder. This beholders says, go for it kiddo. Anyway, after a few minutes of "exploration", Claire proudly said "Mama look! Dinner water!"...and then took a big drink :)

She has a lot to say. She has a lot of people who are happy to listen.

Picture time. So I spend a lot of time on this website called Clickin Moms. It's basically a photography  meets mom forum with classes, photo sharing etc. Well there are a ton a beautiful pictures of every day moments in a mom/kiddo's day. I love the pictures that I have of my little gal but I am totally guilty of picture envy when I see some of those amazing shots. Well yesterday I had a realization. We had just gotten out of the bath and my little monster was loving being all wrapped up. She was so cozy and relaxed so I decided to sit her in front of the window so she could be occupied and I could get dressed. As I was digging through my clothes pile, I looked up and saw this scene. Calm is the word that hit me. So I ran downstairs and grabbed my camera and luckily, she was still there when I got back. Still calm. I got the shot. When I uploaded it, I realized that I had gotten one of those pictures that I admire. So my realization is this: The photographers that I admire are amazingly talented and I aspire to be as knowledgeable about photography as they are. However, there is beauty in every day situations and the trick is to spot it. The light, the subject, the calm...all real. All in the moment. That's all. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Today my sweet little peach turned 18 months old. That's 1 1/2 for you lay people out there. Although a half birthday is by no means as momentous of an occasion as a legit bday, it's shocking how much has been going on in that little (well, maybe not little) head of hers in the last six months. I realize that I feel this way about every phase of development that my Little Red is presently in, but I have to say that 1 1/2 is for me. I've known everything about my baby top to toe since she was born but I'm in love the fact that she's now able to tell me what going on in her (again, not so little) noggin. Every day, sometimes every hour, I feel like I learn more about who she is and what she's capable of. Here is what I know about my sweet little 1.5-er: