Monday, October 31, 2011


When I was a kid, I loved Halloween. We always ate homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner, and then went out trick or treating. It was always cold, but that crisp, cool air just added to the excitement of running around the neighborhood getting candy. The best part was when we came home, and my sister and I would bargain with my brother - we're both allergic to nuts, so we traded our nut-filled goodies for something we could eat.

Clare is obviously too young to care about Halloween. However, that didn't stop me from buying her a costume at our local consignment shop. We took her trick or treating at my parents' house. She (we) got four candy bars. In my effort to document every second of Clare's life, we actually took a video of her trick or treating, so I don't have any pictures. However, we took many pictures of her in her adorable cow costume:

Clare the cow with all of her animal friends.
Ready to go with her pumpkin candy bag.
Daddy always makes her laugh.

She was so cuddly in this costume.

They made crafts at daycare! I was so excited to have Clare's first art project, even if she didn't do any of it herself. (The ghost is her footprint, in case it is not obvious in the photo.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Random October Pictures

Elephant good.

Clare before heading out to the Dane County Farmer's Market. Please ignore the messy, unmade bed in the background.

Ben and Clare at the Dane County Farmer's Market in downtown Madison.

Clare and Grandma Jo during Clare's first Holiday Decoration Dinner Tour. (We get together to look at each other's Halloween decorations. What. It is not weird. We do it for Christmas, too. Oh, and did I mention there is lots of wine and food involved?) 

Something is amiss. Can you get that camera out of my face?

Foot good.

If you watch Parks and Recreation, you'll know why these cupcakes that Rob and Andri sent me for my birthday are hilarious.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ode to Infiniti

You carried me to my first job. And my second job. And my third and fourth.
Even though you sat outside for several winters, you always started.
You carried me to Madison from the Twin Cities hundreds of times, so I could visit my boyfriend.
When that boyfriend became my husband, you brought me to my wedding.
I drove you into a ditch, you were unscathed. Even after we were both plowed in.
You carried a canoe over a pothole-filled dirt road near the Boundary Waters with no problem.
You drove to parties, visits with family and friends, restaurants, plays, movies.
You helped me move to four different apartments in three different cities.
You sat waiting at the airport while we flew to Florida, England, Hawaii.
You carried me and the precious cargo I was carrying to each appointment.
You didn’t bring me to the hospital, but I know you would have.
We had one last summer of taking baby to visit family and to doctors appointments. And to Target. Many times.
Comfortable leather seats. Sunroof.
Crappy cup holders. A rusted out undercarriage. Dim headlights. A trunk that won’t latch properly unless you close it just so.
230,000 miles.

I know you are just a car, but I am sad to let you go. Thanks for each of those 230,000 miles.


Well, hello there…

Get ready for the next 230,000 miles. We intend to drive the heck out of you.

Friday, October 14, 2011


She has one coming in. Maybe two. We had her 4-month check-up on Wednesday, and the doctor was surprised to hear Clare is teething. According to the doctor, most babies don't get teeth until they are at least 6 months old. But hey, she is the size of a 6 month old, so she might as well act like one too. (Stats: 14.4 pounds, 26 inches long - that's the 97th percentile for height and 62nd percentile for weight.)

She has been a bit cranky, but not too bad, all things considered. (Knock on wood.) She is drooling A LOT, and gumming down on everything, including Mommy. Last night, we tried the frozen wet washcloth, and she loved chewing/sucking on that. What a cheap, easy solution! I have no idea how teething works, but I assume she'll get a little break once these teeth come in?

Ben dropped our camera on the ground and it is busted, so until I get a new one - crappy phone photos!

Hmmm...why is Mommy hovering over me and Sophie with her phone?

Open up, Clare! Show the world that tooth!

Ta da! (Now, lets learn to chew on something OTHER than Mommy. How about Sophie? That's what she's for, after all.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Fun

We took Clare to an apple orchard in Illinois this past weekend - we thought since she was four months old she needed to travel to her fourth state. This orchard was insanely crowded. Of course, it helped that it was a beautiful 80 degrees and sunny. There was tons of fun stuff for kids, so we might go back when Clare is older. We got apple cider donuts, apple cider, and a bag of delicious Honey Crisp apples. What a great way to spend a beautiful day - we need to enjoy them while they last!

Clare sees her first pumpkins!

Clare as turkey.

Oh my God! What is this amazing thing? (No, she didn't get to eat any of the donut.)

Daddy's baked potato with chili looks okay, but I think I'll just stick with eating Daddy's thumb.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


We knew she had done it, because we found her on her stomach when she woke up from her morning nap. And then, later, we had proof:

Hmmm...I think my mom wants me to do something.

I guess I will perform my new trick.

As a reward, I will eat my toes.
If you had told me a year ago that I would be this excited about a baby rolling over, I probably would have rolled my eyes. But oh, it is so exciting when it is your own baby doing these things! I can't wait for the next milestone.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Four Months

Four months! FOUR MONTHS! When I was pregnant, I thought the baby would never arrive. And now here I sit, with a FOUR MONTH OLD!

 A few weeks ago, we were sitting around the dinner table at my parents’ house. Clare was in her car seat, on a chair pulled up to the table. We noticed she was staring intently at the toy dangling from the handle. She had never really paid it much attention before, but she was definitely focused on it now. Slowly, she raised her hand and touched it. The she reached out and grasped it and pulled, hard. Her eyes and mouth were open in amazement. “Wait," she seemed to be thinking, "These hands are attached to me and I can control them?” Her mind was blown. Ever since, she has been much more interested in toys and books than she was in the past. She smiles at her froggy rattle. Then she tries to eat it. She loves her soft Curious George book. She tries to eat that, too. She stares at herself in the mirror in her crib, and swats at the ball attached to it. She has yet to try to eat the mirror, as far as I know. It is fun seeing her become more aware of and interested in these things. Oh, and she LOVES the television. Is this a bad sign?

She is doing well at daycare. They say she is happy there all day, which is nice. I miss her like crazy when I am at work, but so far it seems to be a good balance. I like having adult interaction, but I still get my time at home with her during the week.

This has been another busy month. We traveled to the Twin Cities, Clare went to her first birthday party, and attended her second wedding - this time it was her Aunt Katie getting married, and she slept through the whole thing (Clare, not Katie).

Oh, and yeah. She was sleeping 6 to 8 hours a night. Now, not so much. For the past week, she has been waking up for two feedings a night. Fellow moms, any thoughts on why this might be? I am anxious to put a stop to it.

She still seems tall for her age, but what do I know. Her 4-month check up is next week, so I’ll find out then what her stats are.  On to more pictures!

Clare and her friends Archer and Alice.

Recovering after Aunt Katie's wedding.

Reading her favorite soft book.

Tummy time!