Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Today, this happened. 

As the party responsible for clothing this child, I feel like I owe someone an explanation for what happened this afternoon. Or maybe a confession. It was post-naptime and we were looking for an adventure. So I proposed to the Little Red that we go play in the yard. It looked like it was going to rain and our sweet neighbor had recently given Claire this raincoat so I thought I'd see if it was at all close to fitting. Well, it's not close at all. Unfortunately, my sweet little girl insisted that she keep it on. Not a battle worth taking on. Trust me on this one. So enormous, knee-length, raincoat it was! Then, we went to grab something from the closet and Claire spied her sunglasses and again insisted she wear them. "It's too bright" was her explanation. Can't hurt I suppose. Then on her way out the door, she saw her new binoculars and had to bring them. And since a lady carries a purse when she's out on the town, and Claire is clearly a lady, she snagged her Minnie Mouse purse and we headed outside. 

I, of course, had my camera ready. I was ready once she kept the raincoat on...but it just kept getting better. 

After we got outside, Claire decided that her outfit had to be seen by the world and the backyard was just not going to meet that requirement. So, we went for a Claire-led walk around the neighborhood. 

She glanced into this window and someone was sitting at their desk and she ran back and stared in and said "oh look!".

I have no words to describe how hilarious this picture is to me. Sometimes she gets sick of my camera. Especially when she's on a mission. This is her fake mad face. It's epic.


We ended the walk with a school bus sighting. School buses are kind of a big deal these days. 

 I'm probably going to have to hid this raincoat until next year. 
I'm a firm believer in chronicling life with my kiddo. Obviously. Shocker. It's important to me to capture who my little peach is and what is going on in her life and this goes beyond images. Since my little gal is a chatterbox, I can already see that a big part of chronicling her life will be writing down the funny things she says. Since this is my second post dedicated to this exact topic and my kiddo is not yet two, I foresee a lot of time being spent writing about my child's quirky sense of humor. It's started.

So some of the noteworthy things that Claire's been saying these days are funny little interpretations of language. For instance, when she wants someone to turn the light on she says "turn the light open please". Another oft used quirky phrase she uses is when she drops something on the floor she says "I floored it". I'm not sure when this happened since she used to simply say that she dropped things but I guess she feels like she wants to be more specific. And my favorite, she had hiccups a few weeks ago and said "oh no, I have ketchups". 

The majority of the funny things she says stem from her desire to test out language or practice new words or phrases. Earlier this week, Claire was playing with a bin of toys and she fished out a little wooden doll that she hadn't really played with before. She held it up for Kyle and me and say "Look, I found it yesterday". She repeated herself at least 10 times and the next day I showed the same toy to her and she say "Oh look, I found it yesterday." I have no idea why "yesterday" but she held tight to her statement. On the day after she told us about it, Kyle tried to tell her that she found it "the day before yesterday"...but he  might be getting ahead of himself with that one.

Claire has always been big time into pretend play. This has morphed into her initiating pretend conversations. She randomly will be sitting next to me or someone else and she'll cock her head to the side and say "Do you like poker?" or "Do you like cocoa?". I really have no idea why these are her go-to icebreakers. Especially since she's never drank (or probably even seen) cocoa or played poker (unless sitting in her grandpa, papa, or daddy's laps during poker nights counts...well okay, she's played poker). Even so, totally random.

Also, in the vein of pretend play, Claire loves to scare people. For obvious reasons. Scaring people is funny. She bends her little knees and holds up her hands and does a funny little sneaky walk towards her intended victim and growls and says "I'm a scary (insert animal here)". She likes to mix it up when she chooses the kind of scary animal she's attacking with but she has no concept of what a scary animal would be versus a less than scary animal. So she'll make a whole production of scaring someone and then she'll yell "I'm a scary bunny!" or "I'm a scary mouse!".

She also likes to grab a purse or her backpack and go to the front door and say "Bye everyone, I'm going to take pictures!" (she makes proclamations to "everyone" or "everybody" constantly). The funniest part of this is that although I do occasionally leave to do just that, I make a point to not announce that I'm leaving and try to sneak out unnoticed. Nothing gets by her.

Two of the funniest new things that Claire's said happened over the weekend. We drove down to meet my mom for a Grandma date and one of our stops included the toy aisle at Marshalls. Claire was checking out a toy and held it up to my mom and said "It's a hundred dollars". I have no idea where she came up with it. I picked up another toy and asked her how much it cost and she said "a hundred dollars". So funny. And expensive!

Later, we were driving to lunch and Claire was in the back with her grandma sitting next to her and we were stopped at an intersection where there was a man dancing around with a sign for a store going out of business. Claire said "look, a stupid guy". My mom said "um...did she just call that man a stupid guy?". I was instantly in denial since I don't make it a habit to call random people on the street names and if I did, I wouldn't choose "stupid guy" as my insult (I have been a loggers daughter and a soldiers wife, I can do a lot better than that). But reality struck when she repeated herself at the next intersection with another "stupid guy" dancing around with a sign. When we got home, I wanted to see if it was random or not so I asked her "Claire, do you remember when we saw a man when we were in the car and he was dancing with a sign? What did you call him?". She answered sweetly, "I said, hi stupid guy". I'll have to think a little harder about this one but for now, it's kind of just funny. A nice little reminder that they are always watching and listening.

I'll conclude with some photographic evidence of my daughter's sponge like tendencies.

This is what she chooses to do during a playdate.

She literally chased her friends around, got a wide stance with her feet and pretending to take their pictures.

But then again, I guess that's exactly what I was doing too.
Sidenote. We have new neighbors. Yep, they're really this cute. This is going to be fun.

Monday, February 25, 2013

At the beginning of February, we packed up the Little Red and family and set off for a tropical adventure. As any PNW native knows, wintering here gets a little tough and this trip couldn't have come at a better time. I've been putting off this blog post since a post on an entire trip is a bit overwhelming  Not to mention I went totally overboard in the photography department.

So here goes. 

We've only flown with Claire once before and that was the pre-walking version of my little gal. So we were a little anxious about how a 6+ hour flight was going to go. Luckily she was a gem and aside from her water bottle exploding from pressurization on the man in front of us, the flight was great. Grandma Pam had to hold her for a record long 3 hour nap, so although her arms were sore the next day, it couldn't have gone better.

Kyle's parents arrived a few hours before us on another flight and having her Grandma Susie and Papa Rick already at the house to greet us caused Claire to believe that our vacation rental was "Grandma Susie's house". Even today, if I show her a picture of our trip to Hawaii and ask her where we stayed, she'll answer "Grandma Susie's house" each time.

As soon as we got settled, I changed Claire into a little sundress. Apparently, her memory doesn't span as far back as last summer because she thought it was hilarious to be bare legged. She kept walking around and putting her hands up in a questioning way saying "I have no pants on!" to whoever would listen. This was followed by "I wear no shoes all the day" after a barefoot day on the beach the next day. The kid was extremely quotable the whole trip (a trend that's stuck with her since returning home...next blog post!).

We spend a week on the beach, in the water, eating treats, and admiring the wildlife (chickens). Now for the good stuff. 

The house we stayed at was totally cute. Turquoise is so "in" right now so there were lots of photo ops throughout the property. This pic is a few hours after we arrived. The kiddo was still getting a lay of the land, which is why she was holding still for a moment. I love her little bare feet. 

Claire got tons of quality time with her grandparents.

And lots of quality time with the beach :) Are you kidding me with the boy-short swim bottoms? Add to this, the cutest pair of legs in existence and the combo was pretty much to die for.

I'm pretty sure that Claire is the only toddler who has ever kept sunglasses on voluntarily for an extended period of time. By the second day, she was saying "It's too bright. Sunglasses!" as soon as we got outside.

Throwing sand or water, or sandy water, was the highlight of beach time. Specifically, throwing sand at other people was the highlight. She would grab a fistful of sand and say "I frow grandma?". Well of course you can! Grandma's don't have rules!

Then she did a little boogie boarding.

Then this happened. The Little Red generally gets zero sugar. Trust me, she doesn't need it. But coming off of a bummer of a food allergy diagnosis a few weeks earlier, I felt bad her her and took her off restriction and subsequently created a sugar monster. I always wondered if I was being silly for keeping her off sugar but now I know, the monster was there the whole time, waiting to get out! Another day, we got icecream and Claire got her very own scoop. She ate every single bite and hopped down from the benches that we were sitting at and said "It's all gone. I go get more." and ran to the icecream shop door with her empty cup. Seriously, sugar monster.

 My fave picture of the trip. Totally worth creating my sugar monster.

 A little dance for the ocean gods. 

Um...also my favorite picture.

More sugar monster.

We had one overcast sprinkly day, so we went on a river boat tour. There were Hawaiian singers and a few hula dancers entertaining the passengers during the trip. Claire was mesmerized.

Oh man, this one is definitely my favorite.

On one of the days, we visited Glass Beach. It's basically a beach full of little smooth beach glass pebbles. Very cool. 

Have I mentioned my child's exuberance for life? She brought it with her on this trip.

That's my husband climbing a rock face. She gets it from him.

Look! I came on the trip too. Photographic evidence!

"I sing the hula!" 

We spend our last evening drinking mai tai's and watching the sunset on the teeny tiny military base on the island. We'd been there before when Kyle and I had visited Kauai several years ago, only a few weeks before his 15 month deployment. We had a wonderful trip but there was no doubt a feeling of dread we carried with us the whole time. Going back to one of the places that Kyle and I sat together, not sure how we were going to get through the next year and now having our family and our beautiful child with us, kind of felt full circle. I wish I could go back in time and slip my 24 year old self a copy of this picture and say "Keep hanging in there, this is the life you get at the finish line." 

And what a life it is.