January 30, 2015

Playtime with Claire

This past week has a been a rough one on Claire.  She has had a horrible cold, cough, and her first ear infection (we've both been exhausted).  I was so happy to see her back to her normal self this morning.  She woke up with a big grin on her face ready to play.  I love getting to spend my days playing with Claire.  We have so much fun together.  She is at a really fun age.  She loves playing with her toys and trying out new things.  She was pushing her doll pram around a few days ago and realized she could actually climb in it and go for a ride too.  So now whenever she plays with it she'll push it around for a while and then take a break and climb in.  Then she'll look at me excitedly and wait for me to push her around the house.
She is starting to love playing with her doll.  Whenever I say "give her loves" she'll hug her doll tightly and give her a big open mouthed kiss.
I ordered Claire this adorable wooden tea set with a gift card we had with a little money left on it.  It is made by one of my favorite toy brands Hape.  I knew she wouldn't really be big enough to understand the whole "tea party" concept for a while but I ordered it anyway.  Claire loves feeding me, Bryce, & Rory so when I showed her how to pretend to feed her doll today she loved it! She also started copying me when I would make sipping noises and pretend to drink out of the tea cups.  It was adorable.  I guess our first little tea party was actually quite a success after all ;).
I never tire of this face.  I love Claire's smile so much.  I can't help but smile back whenever I see it.  Hopefully it will stick around now that she's finally on the mend!

January 20, 2015

Claire's 1st Birthday Party

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As everyone knows, yesterday was our sweet little Claire's 1st birthday.  We had her party and celebrated her birthday with our families on Sunday evening, the day before her birthday.  I went with a wintery woodland theme, mostly because I had a lot of decorations already that I could use with it, and I used white, mint & gold for the colors.     
I originally just planned on giving Claire a cupcake but I saw the idea of baking some of the cupcake batter in a ramekin dish.  I already had one and I thought it would be cute for her to have a little mini cake so when I made cupcakes I used some of the batter and baked her two little layers for a baby sized cake. photo claire1stbdayparty-5_zps86fe6a22.jpg
We kept the menu really simple and I made cupcakes and brownies.  We also had a little hot chocolate bar and everyone could add their choice of mix-ins (carmel, peppermint, marshmallows, or coconut creamer).  
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For the decorations I displayed a lot of pictures of Claire; her monthly pictures, a bunch throughout the year formed into a giant one, and a few framed ones from her birthday photoshoot.  I made the tassel garlands from tissue paper and I made the cupcake stand from cardboard, spray paint, and gold card stock.  I also added a few miniature deer, pine trees, and snow globes to the table scape.
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For party favors I made all of Claire's little cousins snowflake wands.  They were a pretty big hit, although we had to make sure no one got wacked in the face once they started waving them around everywhere.   photo claire1stbdayparty-11_zps24e2b2a6.jpg
These are Claire's gifts from Bryce and I.  I snapped a quick picture of them all wrapped in the doll pram before everyone got here.
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We snapped a few family pictures before everyone arrived at the party. photo Clairebdaygift1_zps6bbbf966.jpg
We invited just our immediate families; grandparents, parents, aunts & uncles, and cousins.  I made a video of all of the pictures of Claire throughout the year that we had playing while we waited for everyone to arrive.  Once everyone was there we passed around a notepad and had everyone write Claire a little note & a prediction of what they thought Claire would be when she grew up.  We are going to save all the notes in a little time capsule and open it at her 18th birthday.  While everyone was writing notes to Claire we helped her open up her presents!
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Claire was given so many fun gifts!  Her Great Grandpa & Grandma Richins gave her a minnie mouse push toy.  Her Great Grandpa & Grandma Mecham gave her a tractor & farm animals which they said is supposed to be the grounds keeper for the castle she got for christmas ;).  My mom & dad gave her two darling outfits and a cute lift the flap book (her favorite).  Bryce's parents gave her the cutest wooden shape sorter and a book called Girls who Choose God.  Bryce and I gave her a doll pram (that Bryce built), a doll that I sewed for her, a little basket of felt food, the book On the Night you Were Born, and her new birthday outfit. photo claire1stbdayparty-14_zpse5b20677.jpg photo claire1stbdayparty-15_zps2f7dedda.jpg photo claire1stbdayparty-17_zps06733cb0.jpg
After we finished opening gifts we sang Happy Birthday and then gave Claire her cake. photo claire1stbdayparty-20_zps70db1cd2.jpg
It was so cute to see her reaction to her cake.  She tried biting it at first and then just kept eating little swipes of frosting.   photo clairecake1_zps6dd2d114.jpg
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She didn't really ever dig into her cake.  She was very dainty and careful about it, it was really cute.  I took her dress off thinking she would get cake & frosting everywhere but she didn't even get a spec of it on her onesie.  After Claire started on her cake everyone ate dessert and we visited and watched more of the video I made of Claire.  It was a perfect little party.  We had lots of fun and we were so glad to be able to celebrate Claire's birthday with all of our wonderful family.
Yesterday was Claire's actual birthday.  When I heard her wake up I grabbed the camera before I went in to get her out of her crib and recorded a little video.  Her birthday ended up falling on Martin Luther King Jr. day this year so Bryce didn't have school or work and was able to spend the whole day with us!  We spent the morning playing with all of Claire's new toys and she got to wear one of her new birthday outfits from my mom & dad.   photo claire1stbdayparty-32_zpsabbdd4b5.jpg
I didn't get a picture of Claire with all her gifts after they had been opened at her party so I took one in the morning while she was playing with them. photo claire1stbdayparty-34_zps1d824a0f.jpg
Claire with her new doll and my new favorite outfit of hers :). photo claire1stbdayparty-35_zps1567af8a.jpg
After Claire's afternoon nap we took her to target to see if there were any fun toys or something we could get her since we had a gift card to use up.  We ended up not finding anything while we were there so I ordered something online, but we had fun trying out lots of stuff in the toy aisles.  After Target we went to Noodles & Company for dinner.  Since her favorite foods are macaroni & cheese and spaghetti, we thought it was fitting.
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After we finished dinner we went home, gave Claire a bath, played with toys a little more, read a few bedtime stories and put our little birthday girl to bed.  I'm so glad we got to prolong her birthday celebration and make it last two days instead of just one.  I love this little girl more than anything in the world.  Even though she won't be able to remember it, I think we made her 1st birthday a pretty special one!

12 Months of Claire

Since Claire is now officially a year old I was able to finish taking her monthly pictures.  Here's her little montage showing her growth every month with her little fox buddy.

January 19, 2015

Claire Olivia Week by Week: 1 Year Old

Dear Claire,

Today is your 1st birthday.  I can't believe it has been an entire year since you were born.  Although it has gone by so quickly, it's already hard to remember what is was like before you were born.  You filled the spot in our family that was always meant for you.  You have brought so much joy and happiness into our lives.  It has been an absolute privilege being your mother.

I remember the day you were born so clearly.  Your dad placed you in my arms and I held you for the first time.  I looked into your face and knew my life had been forever changed.  My heart was so full it felt like it could burst.  You were so tiny and unbelievably perfect.  All I ever wanted was to be a mother, and you gave me that incredible gift.

You are so fun, sweet, giggly, and cheerful.  And you are so so beautiful.  I look at you all the time and wonder what we ever did to deserve you for a daughter.  Sometimes I find it hard to believe that you are really ours.
I have loved watching you grow this past year from a tiny newborn into a beautiful little girl. I am so glad I got to share every milestone with you.  I excitedly watched you roll over for the first time, helped you learn to sit up by yourself, laughed at you trying to eat your first solids, cheered you on as you learned to crawl, and held my open arms out as you took your first steps to me.  
At one year old you are walking all over the place, you say a good handful of words, clap excitedly whenever someone cheers or says yay, pretend to talk on the phone, wave bye-bye to everyone, love reading books, and love giving kisses & hugs (especially to Rory).  You say Uh-Oh, thank you, good job, hi, Mama, Dada, and if you are asked what a Tiger or Rory says you growl.  Your favorite toys are your castle & princesses we gave you for Christmas and anything stackable.  You also love, love, love your baby quilt I made for you and always cuddle it to go to sleep.  
You have lots of brown hair, pretty brown eyes, and the most adorable smile.  My favorite way to do your hair is up in pigtails with little bows to match your outfits.  You have 5 teeth, two on top & three on the bottom.  You are eating mostly table foods and nursing twice a day until we wean you over the next couple weeks.  Your favorite foods are toast, yogurt, chocolate chip cookies, and spaghetti.  You are starting to turn into a bit of a mommy's girl and have just started being a bit wary of other people.  You are very thoughtful and cautious with everything you do.  You have a sweet, really easy going personality as long as no one has to take anything away from you.  

You have taught me so much this past year; how to be more selfless, how to love more fully, and how to be the very best version of myself.  I hope your dad and I can give back to you as much as you have already given us.  I hope you never forget how loved you are.  You are so so loved.  Your dad and I love you so much there aren't words to express it.  You have made me so incredibly happy.  My love and admiration for you grows every single day.  My little Claire, you are really the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Thank you for giving me the best year of my life. 

Happy 1st birthday Claire!

I love you too much,


January 18, 2015

Claire Olivia Week by Week: 52 Weeks

Today Claire is 52 weeks old.  This is her last weekly update :(  Tomorrow she turns one year old.  I'm posting her big monthly update tomorrow so today's post is just a few pictures we snapped this morning before we went to church.  I still can't believe her 1st birthday is really here.  So far I've been able to hold my emotions in check, but I won't promise that I won't cry when I rock my 11 month old to sleep for the last time tonight.  Goodness I love this girl so much!  We are having hit birthday party tonight with our families so I am off to finish up a few last details!