sorry for the looong blogging absence. it’s been a pretty hectic month, some good and some bad. claire is continuing to grow and get prettier every day. she is now 28 inches long and 19 lbs 13 oz! uf-da! she is still eating all by herself and we have gone down to 4 feedings a day since she is able to take a bigger bottle and solid food. it’s a challenge to sometimes follow a schedule since she is very sleepy somedays and likes to stay awake at night but we are working on it. her favorite foods are spinach, sweet potatoes and mangoes. she still loves her pacifier and now has a favorite maraca to play with thanks to her nana lisa. her hair is getting very long and we are able to clip her bangs to the side with a barrette. she also has started cooing a lot more and likes to say “ooooo” and “gaa.” as for the hard news, we went to barrow neurological institute a couple weeks ago and she was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms. it is not what we wanted to hear. it usually means that the risk for mental and motor retardation is high. the spasm episodes typically last until age 2 and then a different form of epilepsy takes over.  please join us in praying for claire’s healing and development. we know the medical odds are stacked against her but we believe in a big God who can do big things. we know that He uses ALL things for good. and we trust that He is protecting our claire bear and bringing us through these struggles for an amazing reason. i won’t pretend, many days are very difficult and overwhelming and sometimes i want to just give up. but i know deep down inside me the truth. the truth that God loves our little family more than we can imagine and created our baby girl just as she is. it may not be the average, normal scenario that i dreamed of but it is His perfect plan for our lives and i am so thankful for the gift of claire.IMG_0667

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two weeks!

Mar 24, 2009

it’s been two weeks now since we removed claire’s feeding tube and things couldn’t be going better! she is doing above and beyond what she needs to,  is trying all sorts of new baby foods and getting ready to chomp on something with those itty bitty teeth. of course today her tummy is acting up, i’m sure it’s some new food that she is not liking so it will be only formula and oatmeal until the gassy baby feels better. but overall we are unbelievably impressed with our claire bear. we can’t wait to see what she will learn next.


my heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. no wonder i can sing your praises! psalm 57:7

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chapeau de fleur.

Mar 21, 2009

claire has the sweetest, most craft-tastic auntie amber. this week a special little package arrived and inside was the cutest crocheted cap i have ever seen.


the flower is interchangeable to match miss claire’s outfits. perfection. you know how i love hair accessories for my baby girl! if auntie amber was here right now, claire would give her a big slobbery kiss and then probably start crying. why you ask? because as i previously mentioned, the pesky tooth fairy has come to visit the vender household. claire does not like her one bit! especially at night. poor claire. i wish she knew how to hold things to her mouth so a chew toy would offer some relief. currently, the only thing she wants is to chomp on her pacifier like a baby piranha. here’s proof:


anyway, visit amber’s etsy shop and buy lots of goodies!!

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Mar 19, 2009

last weekend, our little family (minus lily) traveled to las vegas to visit our newest family member, alyssa hope. what a cutie! i can already envision shopping trips with tia nicky and prima claire in her future!


we had a wonderful road trip, claire did awesome with her bottle and was an angel in the car and hotel room. she was a bit cranky at nights but that can be attributed to two little teeth popping up on the bottom of her mouth! we only wish rich and ivana lived closer so we could spend more time together. i remember all the time i spent with my cousins growing up and i am so thankful claire now has two special cousins in her life. here’s the troublemakers together:


it isn’t easy getting three little kids to pose for you, that’s for sure! big hug and kiss to richie and alyssa, we miss you guys already!

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here’s my pretty shamrock. i’ve been staring at her napping and thought i’d share my view.


in case you didn’t yet know, it’s been one week without the feeding tube! i still cannot stop looking at her beautiful face and thanking God for this one answered prayer. she is doing so well eating on her own and i only hope it continues. on march 31st, we are going to barrow neurological center to get a second opinion on her seizure treatment. please keep praying with us that we find the right doctor and medication to take the seizures away forever.

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weekend away.

Feb 24, 2009

we spent last weekend up north in sedona with ryan and alex at her parent’s vacation home. it was claire’s first trip, which we were a little worried about but overall it went extremely well. it was a super relaxing couple of days and you can’t beat the awesome views from the vacation home. they are indescribable. it is such a blessing to live in such a beautiful state. sometimes i forget how versatile arizona is. we have mountains, deserts, scorching heat, snowy ski slopes, forests and incomparable red rocks all within a few hours. if only we had the beach too! we really enjoy spending time with ry and alex and are so thankful that claire has such an amazing aunt and uncle to love her.




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over valentine’s weekend, adrian took claire, lily and me on a picnic at the farm at south mountain. almost 6 years ago, adrian and i tied the knot there under the canopy of pecan trees as the sun dropped behind our gorgeous mountains. just sitting there with our beautiful baby girl and lovable puppy was a amazing reflection on how fast times passes and what huge changes life brings. it was a great day. claire was awake and happy the whole time, i fed her the bottle for the first time in public and she did a good job. lily was an angel as always and had fun chewing on all the sticks lying around. if you live in the phoenix area and have never visited the farm, i beg you to add it to your schedule. it is a true gem in our desert and a wonderful place for fresh, organic, local food as well.



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Feb 1, 2009

super bowl sunday is here! we are so excited in arizona that our long suffering cardinals are poised to win it all. did you know that their drought is outmatched only by the chicago cubs? we may not have had any crazy curses from goats or anything but it’s about time for the cards! we were out running errands yesterday and it was crazy seeing the majority of people decked out in their red and flags flying from their cars. it almost brought a tear to my eye. i am also a devoted mn vikings fan (not to worry minnesota family, i haven’t given up on them either) but adrian has been a steadfast cardinals man since birth and i am pumped to cheer on the hometeam. isn’t football the best? i hope the celebration of the cardinals victory lasts all the way into this upcoming august so life without football will not feel too long! and did you even have to ask my prediction? CARDS WIN!!! and if you don’t believe me then you will have to live with the fact that your disbelief is causing little claire to cry. here’s the evidence:


shame on you! now turn that frown around by joining with us.


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Jan 23, 2009

guess what our little superstar is doing now? getting the hang of eating rice cereal from a spoon! we practice once a day and so far she LOVES it! it is the cutest thing ever, super messy and she makes all these quiet coos as if she is saying “mmm mmm good!” she really is showing great skills by keeping most of the cereal in her mouth and not on her chin and she’s getting the hang of moving the food around with her tongue and down to her tummy. it has been a blast!IMG_0285


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6 months!

Jan 20, 2009

today Claire is 6 months old! we celebrated by going out to lunch as a family at Liberty Market. the weather is so nice here (about 80 degrees) that we sat outside on the patio. it was a great day. i even finally got around to taking down the Christmas decor while Claire napped. here’s some pics from the day:




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