Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We're Back!

Last week we had a big adventure as we took Claire on a plane for the first time to visit some relatives in Nashville and attend a family reunion in Mississippi. Claire was a champ on the plane, and I managed to get one picture of her on the plane before the batteries on my point & shoot gave out.

I thought for sure she'd sleep on the plane to Nashville, but she stayed awake and played the whole time. I was glad I brought lots of snacks, and we learned that empty Southwest cups are good for keeping toddlers entertained.

After we arrived and got our car, we drove to Brentwood to stay with Robert's uncle Clark and his family. We had a short tour of Nashville on Thursday, starting with breakfast at the Loveless Cafe. I'd heard about it and was excited when Clark and Gayle suggested going there - I love starting the day with a good Southern breakfast!

After breakfast we drove around the Vanderbilt campus (where Robert's cousin Tom will be attending this fall) and then visted the Parthenon, a full replica of the Parthenon in Greece that was built for an Exposition in 1897. It was pretty crazy, especially the 42 foot statue of Athena inside the building.

Clark, Gayle and Tom went back home after the Parthenon to get ready for Ma and Bob's arrival, and Robert, Claire and I went downtown to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The building was beautiful, and they had a really interesting exhibit on Hank Williams and his family. Then we headed out to walk around a little until we got too hot and decided to go back to the house to rest up and visit with the family. We really enjoyed Nashville and hope to return soon.

Up next - Mississippi and the reunion

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Will an entire cereal bar fit in your mouth?

Claire has a new favorite snack - Earth's Best Toddler Cereal Bars. Full body wiggles ensue when she sees the wrapper. Although she can feed them to herself, I've had to start holding them for her or just giving her small pieces at a time because otherwise she will shove the entire bar in her mouth. Yum, yum!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Now that Claire is comfortable walking, she has starting working on her climbing skills. The other day she realized that she could easily climb into the bottom drawer of my vanity. I'd left that one without a cabinet lock since there wasn't anything in it that could hurt her and it kept her occupied for a few minutes while I get ready in the mornings - may have to re-think that one. She was so proud of herself!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Family Reunion 2009 - #1

This month we have two family reunions. The first one was this weekend with my dad's family in Santa Anna. Dad went down early to help get things ready, so Robert, Claire and I met Mom in Brownwood on Friday to spend the night before the reunion on Saturday. My mom's sister decided to come along, and it was a nice surprise to get to spend some time with her, too. While Robert and I were getting ready to leave on Saturday morning, Claire got to read some books with Mom & Aunt Nancy.

She was really fascinated by the air conditioner in our room and loved feeling the wind in her hair!

Our reunion traditionally consists of visiting, a big meal, Daddy sharing family stories, and cousin Marci updating us on family history (she has done a fabulous job researching and compiling information on our family). Claire enjoyed meeting everyone, including my cousin Terri and her youngest daughter Mary Claire (the other Claire in our family!). She especially enjoyed playing with Terri's new granddaughter, Faith, who is six months old (I'll have to get some photos of Claire and Faith from Faith's dad).

After lunch we headed out to the farm for a ride in the family wagon. This was the highlight of the weekend for us! The parts to my great-grandfather's wagon had been on the property for years and years, and this year Dad took the parts, rebuilt the wagon box, and restored everything else in time for the reunion. He did a lot of research to rebuild it as accurately as possible and shared a lot of information on how the wagon was used and how important it was to the family. He also wanted all of us to have a chance to experience what it would have been like traveling in a wagon with iron wheels, so he took groups on a short trip down the road and back. After a ride on those iron wheels, I could see why someone had the motivation to invent tires! It was a fun experience, and Claire enjoyed looking around until she promptly fell asleep.

All too soon it was time to say "goodbye" and head back to San Antonio. We're already looking forward to next year!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Claire at Fourteen Months

Claire turned 14 months old on June 8th. The biggest milestone she hit during the month is learning to walk! She took her first unassisted steps on Mothers' Day (thanks Sweetie!) walking a couple of steps from the couch to the chair. Since then she's worked her way up to being able to walk several yards without help. Her confidence grows every day, and she likes to practice when she doesn't think anyone is watching.

She still only says a couple of words consistently, but she's added the sign for "water" which she also uses to mean "drink" and the sign for "eat" to her regular usage of "more." She likes to use "more" anytime she wants something, so we hear that word and see that sign many times a day.

Claire is beginning to be more adventurous with her eating, and she will eat just about anything we're eating, unless it's too spicy or hard to chew. Her favorite foods, though, are still yogurt, applesauce, bananas, Puffs, crackers, and cereal bars. She usually gets at least one of those at every meal. Claire has also given up all her bottles except for her one before bed and loves drinking from her sippy cups - our our cups.

She enjoys playing with lots of toys, but her books have become favorites. She loves to sit in our laps and listen to the stories and help turn the pages.

Along with her increased mobility comes an increased willfulness as her explorations lead to hearing the word "no" more often and redirection. She moves past her frustration, though, and is still our happy-go-lucky girl who is quick to smile - and bring smiles to our faces.

We are so blessed to have such a good natured baby who is always a joy to be around!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Inside Looking Out

One of the things I really like about our house is the large windows in the living and breakfast areas that face the backyard. The window sills are low and are the perfect height for Claire to peek out. She loves to watch Robert when he is out there.

About a week ago, we got a good laugh as she intently watched Robert working outside:

I don't think she could've gotten any closer to the outside without going through the window. Such a funny girl!