we just returned from our annual labor day weekend to the beach with some of our bestest friends and their families. it always goes too fast! this year we had both ups and downs on our brief vacation. claire did great sleeping for us (which is hard for any kid away from home!) and had very few temper tantrums. she got to interact with her friends some and had a great time hanging out on the sand. she loved the feeling of the sand between her little toes. she got a minor sunburn on her cheeks which i felt HORRIBLE about! at least it should turn into a nice tan since she inherited her daddy’s good tanning genes. and as always it is a blast to spend time with our good friends, these families are like our family and we love them beyond words.
the hardest thing was claire started having more spasms the day we left. she has done such a big girl job of switching off formula and eating lots of solid foods. unfortunately, it seems her brain isn’t too keen on these changes and is letting the ugly spasm monster emerge with greater force. starting tonight we went back on the formula to see if it helps get things under better control. all those spasms meant i was a big ball of emotion for much of the trip, which always makes things not quite as peaceful and fun. but i really tried to keep calm and remember that this is not permanent and enjoy the time we had at our beach house. (this mantra also came in handy when our car almost broke down in el centro, california. a super hot, super small town in the middle of nowhere. one hour and a big answered prayer later, it thankfully started back up!)
one of the best parts was a visit from adrian’s brother, eric, who lives in san diego. we already miss him and can’t wait until christmastime to see him again! of course i did not get many pictures, big surprise huh? it’s always so hard for me to remember that with everything else going on! i did manage to snap a few though so here they are:
our little sunkissed girl playing one morning.
the dad’s getting buried in the sand.
all covered up!
mommy and claire enjoying the nice weather.
you can’t tell but adrian is somewhere under that wave. it smashed him!
claire had the cutest bikini on. but she wouldn’t lay still and model for me. she was too busy rolling and trying to get in the sand!
fun football games in the FREEZING ocean! they didn’t seem to mind too much though. they stayed out there until they were shaking and bright red from being knocked around! i already wish i was sitting there watching them again. if only we could move to san diego full time! i wish!
we celebrated claire’s second birthday saturday morning with an extra special brunch for our extra special girl. we were lucky enough to have our close friend, mike, capture the day for us (he is amazing!!). i think claire enjoyed the party, she really loves being around people. however, i made the mistake of adjusting her special diet a few days prior, which always makes her sleepy as she adjusts. needless to say, she wasn’t as active as usual that day. but it was still a beautiful celebration of her. she also collected about $300 to donate to blood:water mission at her lemon:aid stand. i think she would be so happy that her day was used to help others. so many people have prayed, served, loved on and aided us since claire was born. it is only fitting that we do what little we can to forward that love on and honor our daughter’s life in the process.
below is the brunch buffet table. it included mini quiche, lemon whoopie pies, pineapple bars, banana bread pops and fruit cups. the banners are from the fabulous tomkat studio.
we also set up a lemon:aid area with information on blood:water mission and lemonade favors for the guests. (and a hunky guy is posing by it for you.)
here’s the birthday girl.
and her beautiful hands.
here’s our other little baby enjoying the party.
here’s some pictures featuring my pom madness. believe me, this is only half of it.
we also made little jingle bells to ring after we sang the happy birthday song. if you know claire, she LOVES bells!
hi everyone! quick note to let you know about the new site where i am a contributor. it’s called Hey Little Birdie– check it out! my friends, jina, josie, and i have teamed up to find awesome products, people and shops to inspire you. i hope you love it as much as i do and become a regular reader! there are posts everyday and today my first feature post is up! it is all about some ideas i have for claire’s upcoming second birthday shindig. enjoy!
i’ve been slacking again. honestly i really haven’t felt like writing in some time and taking pictures hasn’t been a priority lately. sorry.
things have been up and down around our house. claire is still on the diet, still having seizures. don’t get me wrong, we have seen major improvements. there are many times she wakes up and doesn’t have them, but sometimes she still does and they can be pretty strong ones. she also has stopped tremoring periodically in her right arm and doing little “jolts” like she used to. she learned how to babble about 2 weeks ago and talks to us every day morning and night! she is also trying to sit on her own, she likes to try and i am very confident that someday she will get the hang of it. she has been super smiley especially in the mornings, which of course makes my day. overall, we are happy with the small changes we have seen and plan to stick to the diet. the doctor reccomended increasing her medicine to see if the combo of it with the idet will work better. so we increased in a few days ago and are hoping we see more improvements.
here’s something else claire has learned to do:
she likes to tell us when she is sleepy. so sweet.
and get ready here are LOTS of pics of just being cute. to catch you all up on the last month.
she likes making funny faces.
the following are pics adrian snapped of us having a girl talk.
she loves bath time.
until her paci falls out.
family pic at schnepf farms festival.
what a cute smirk!
my silly girl.
halloween night. she was a claire bear.
and wanted none of it.
she was not happy with us. and did not get to trick or treat. because she screamed instead. bummer.
at least one vender girl enjoyed her costume.
that’s it for now! congratulations on making it through this looong post! i’ll try to add the pictures to flickr soon so they link up and you can print them if you want!
hooray for football season! at the vender house we are HUGE arizona state fans, go DEVILS! we had the amazing opportunity to attend the home opener as a gift from our sister-in-law’s parents. alex’s dad is the president of idaho state, our opponent of the night. he treated us to great seats in the 14th row, a sweet parking spot and we even got to attend the idaho state pre-game party too! it was so nice to see Alex’s parents again and to take claire to her first sun devils game. of course, our devils did not disappoint and won 50-3! claire was in absolute heaven for the entire game. i’m telling you, this girl is born to be a musician. she could not stop smiling every time the marching band played or music blasted through the speakers and she even cracked up at the fans cheering and clapping. she was a smiley, wiggley little girl for hours! it was so fun. here’s some pictures from the night and a little video of her grooving a bit:
our attempt at a self-portrait, sorry claire!
the family, aren’t matt and yasmine looking so cute?
my cute little cheerleader
snuggling with papa.
claire and her papa rich.
we attempted to capture her smile so many times but this girl would not sit still!
and here is a video of her having fun, this is only a tiny glimpse of her silly self!
i am obsessed. literally. i spied it in the newest Cookie magazine and i am head over heels smitten with it. can i afford this? absolutely not. but that doesn’t mean i can’t dream. i adore kelly green and i adore functional mommy bags that don’t scream “inside this bag are two wet diapers, a crusty bib and the snickers wrapper from my lunch.”
adrian, claire and i ventured up north to flagstaff last weekend for a little overnight stay with our friends– mike, jina and baby lyla. let me start by saying the weather was DIVINE. i cannot imagine living in a place where the sun shines but you don’t feel like you are roasting on a spit. in fact, it felt so nice that i forgot to wear sunscreen and burnt my arms. ouch! we wanted to go to the cardinals training camp but the crowds were absolutely insane. i mean 10s of thousands of people insane. so we set up on the first practice field and relaxed in the shade. we got to see big red the mascot do some crazy backflips with a giant bird head on. it was pretty funny. here’s our little cheerleader:
then we walked around dowtown flagstaff and ate some amazing crepes on this cute little patio outside. nutella, ghiradelli chocolate, raspberry preserves and whipped cream? yes, please!
then we stopped by the famed macy’s coffee. my cappuccino was perfect!
after that we hung out at the hotel, played some pass the pigs with the olbinski’s and marveled at our 3 foot deep, reclaimed water, liquid/solid buttoned toilets. they were an experience to say the least.
the next morning we trekked back down to the heat with a little pit stop at the anthem outlets, yay!
it was a nice, restful weekend. claire was an angel on both car rides, was a little cranky at the hotel but then let us sleep most of the night. it was fun to get away with friends!
i have quite a few reasons to smile this monday morning- returning from a relaxing overnight trip to flagstaff with friends (some pics/details soon) i’m not sitting in the hospital with claire (keto diet visit is delayed due to insurance mess, it will work out soon, no worries) and finding this on another blog:
Photo of the Day: Hiking by Lake Minnewanka, Melissa Brandts and her husband stopped to take a photo by some rocks. Intrigued by the whirring sounds emanating from the camera, a curious ground squirrel popped into the shot just as the timer expired and the photo was taken.
anyone who really knows me knows that i love lists. making lists, checking lists, top lists, whatever. i like them! so i thought for fun i’d start a top three thursday category (and believe me i need some fun.) and i want you to share your feedback and own top threes in the comment section of course!
so to kick off, the theme is albums you have on heavy rotation right now.
1. franz ferdinand, tonight. i have a serious love for rock music with a dance beat. if i need a pick-me-up, i play this album and boogie in the driver’s seat. yes, i car dance. and i am quite good at it.
2. shawn mcdonald, roots. this album has basically kept me sane for the last year and a half. the song winter captures exactly where my soul is right now and the song captivated is a constant reminder for me that there is beauty even when i feel pain.
3. justin timberlake, futuresex/lovesounds. do i even need to give a reason why? oh and claire may only be a one year old but i can tell she already has a jt crush too.