May 31, 2015

Portrait 21.52

Claire learning about our country's flag on Memorial Day.

"A portrait of my daughter once a week, every week, in 2015."

Memorial Day 2015

This year we spent Memorial Day with the Leishmans.  Bryce's brother and his family were here visiting for the week from Missouri.  We were up really late the night before so we all slept in on Memorial Day.  We were going to try to go to some type of flag ceremony but Claire slept in until after 9 so we ended up just spending the morning at home.  
I did get Claire a mini flag and 'explained' as much as you can to a 16 month old why we celebrate Memorial Day and honor all those who have served and given up their lives for our country.  It was something like, "This is a flag.  Can you say flag?  Yay!  Flags are so special.  We love our country and flag!"
Bryce's family all met up at our house in the afternoon and we tried to go fishing at Glassman Pond but it was super crowded so we decided to go to Beus Pond instead.
Grandma Leishman brought a big bag of cheetos to share with everyone and Claire would not let her out of her sight after she was aware of that.  I lost count of how many cheetos Claire ate! She loved them.   
We walked around, looked at all of the ducks & geese, and played in the stream with the kids.  All of the older grandkids were wading in the stream and after seeing them Claire made every attempt she could to get in the water with them.  We helped her splash her hands and feet in the water and she thought it was the greatest thing ever.  She is such a little water baby still.  I can't wait to finally take her swimming this Summer.  After spending a few hours at Beus Pond we all went back to our house and cooked a bunch of Papa Murphy's pizzas.  We let the kids play outside in the yard and just got to visit and spend time together.  It was so nice.  The day felt like the perfect kickoff for Summer!  

May 24, 2015

Bedtime Tea Party

Friday Claire took a late nap and ended up sleeping until almost 5 pm.  Due to this late nap she was not even close to being ready for bed at her usual time.  After she was bathed and in her jammies we decided to have a little tea party to kill some time until she was tired.  This is by far one of her favorite activities and I love it.  I think it is the cutest thing to watch her playing with her tea set and feeding her babies.  On this particular day she was feeling very attached to Winnie the Pooh.  She did not let him out of her arms the entire time.  It's pretty great being this little girl's mama.  She is the sweetest.


We were able to sneak outside and play a few times this week in the midst of all the rainstorms we've been getting.  These photos are of Claire exploring around in the backyard.  She was thrilled to get outside for a bit before it started raining once again.On Thursdays Bryce gets home from work in the early afternoons so we took Rory and Claire for a walk to the park.  
We loved watching Rory & Claire chase each other around.  They are seriously so much fun.  We were able to play there for about forty-five minutes before it started getting dark and cloudy.  We thought we'd better head home so we didn't get caught in the rain.  We arrived home right as the rain hit.  It couldn't have been better timing.  This has been the rainiest, wettest spring I can remember.  It's been kind of fun, but it does get tricky trying to keep a toddler entertained all day indoors.  Hopefully it will warm up and start feeling like summer soon!

May 20, 2015


Lately I have ended up having to refold my laundry for the second or third time during Claire's naps.  She loves to help me pull out of the clothes out of the basket and then she likes to throw them all back in after they've been folded and I'm in the middle of putting them away.  Hence the need to fold them all again.  I could just wait and do it once while she naps but I actually enjoy seeing how happy she is when she is "helping" me.  I also think that even though she doesn't understand yet, eventually by helping me she will be learning how to help with chores.
I ordered several new prints to hang up around the house and this one I hung up in Claire's nursery is my absolute favorite.  
I've been having to come up with lots of ways to keep us entertained since we've been stuck inside so much due to all of the rain.  I've been getting out my guitar a lot and having music time with Claire.  She loves when we do this.  I let her hold the guitar and attempt to strum the strings with her little hands.  She especially loves when I let her do things like this by herself.  She is very much entering the independent toddler stage.
A few days ago during one of Claire's naps I had a little craft session and made her a few new bow sets.  They were so easy, just bows tied from bias tape, and they look so cute!  They are perfect with her little baby pigtails.
The only thing I wanted for Mother's day was a straw market tote.  I thought it would be perfect for all of the upcoming summer activities like picnics, boating, swimming, trips to the park, etc.  I wanted a good sturdy bag that was roomy but I wouldn't have to worry about getting ruined or dirty from water, sand, and pb&js.  It finally came in the mail yesterday and I found a nice little spot for it.  Now all of this rain just needs to clear up so I can actually get some use out of it! 

May 19, 2015

Portrait 20.52

Starting her off young, she's a natural.

"A portrait of my daughter once a week, every week, in 2015."

Rainboots for Rory

All of this rainy weather has been a pain for our poor Rory girl.  Every time we take let her out to go to the bathroom she comes back drenched with her paws covered in mud.  Then we have to either put her in her crate until she dries or carry her to our tub to wash her off, which is not an easy feat with a 50 pound dog.  One night this past week Bryce decided to try making Rory some makeshift rain boots out of grocery sacks to see if he could keep her feet from getting wet and muddy.  They actually worked pretty well, but it was a little difficult getting her to hold still long enough to get them on her feet.  Maybe we should start a line of rain boots for dogs and become millionaires, but of course I'll work on the aesthetic aspect to make them a bit more presentable first.

May 18, 2015

Book Warehouse Sale

Last Friday I went to a used book warehouse sale with my sister.  I was able to score 7 BabyLit books (Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre, & The Secret Garden) for $3 a piece.  It was such an awesome deal.  We gave Claire the Romeo & Juliet one for Valentine's Day and I have been wanting to get her a few more, but I was waiting until I found them on sale.  It's a good thing I waited a while because I think I found the best deal possible.  These books are so darling and so much fun!  I have read all of the actual versions so its fun for me to see how they used quotes & pictures to turn them into children's books.  Claire loves them too...maybe not quite as much as me though haha.  I'll make a bookworm out of her yet! ;)

May 15, 2015

Portrait 19.52

Making wishes.

"A portrait of my daughter once a week, every week, in 2015."

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!  I almost forgot about it, but I remembered just as we were finishing up dinner.  I ran to the store to pick up a few ingredients I was needing while Bryce gave Claire a bath and got her ready for bed.  As soon as I got home I quickly whipped up a batch of cookie dough.  Claire scampered into the kitchen after she was bathed and dressed.  She knew that since the mixer was going there were going to be treats.  She wrapped herself around my legs and kept reaching up for me to hold her so she could "help".  I let her help me add the chocolate chips and then let her lick the beater.  It think she was a lot happier that she got to participate in the celebrating this year.  We celebrated this day for the first time last year, you can see the post here.  Last year I made my favorite kind, whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, so this year Bryce wanted me to make his favorite, the classic soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies.  Since it's our second year celebrating it, I think it's officially a family tradition (as long as I can remember)!

Happy 25th Birthday Bryce!

Bryce turned 25 years old on Wednesday, May 13th.  We had to split the celebrating across a couple of days since Bryce had work and school from 10:30am-9pm on his birthday.  On the morning of his birthday I made one of his favorite breakfasts (German pancakes with blueberries & strawberries, bacon, and orange juice).  Unfortunately after breakfast he had to leave for the rest of the day.  I made him a homemade butterfinger ice cream cake and surprised him with it when he got home from work that night.  He is the worst at making decisions (he did this same thing last year!) and still hasn't decided what he wants for his birthday.  He is leaning towards getting a bike since he doesn't have one and I thought it would be fun for us to go on bike rides with Claire this summer.  Thursday night he was home all night so we were able to do his birthday dinner.  We had grilled ribeye steaks, sweet potato fries, and ice cream cake of course.  I put candles on his cake and sang him Happy Birthday too.  Claire especially loved the birthday candles and getting to help Bryce blow them out.  We're hopefully going to do some birthday shopping for him tomorrow, so wish us luck that he won't take all day long deciding!

May 13, 2015

Ladybug Girl

We have been having warm weather and lots of sunshine the past few days.  We're back to playing outside every chance we get!  We got this little ride-on ladybug for Claire last week since she has no outside toys (a result of having a January birthday probably haha).  She loves it!  It's pretty cute to see her scooting around our driveway on it all day long.
Claire may or may not be wearing a size 6 month romper that she wore all last summer.  Granted, it was pretty big for her last year, but I'm just happy I get to see her wear some of my favorite outfits of hers again!  The forecast is showing rain for the whole upcoming weekend again, so hopefully I can come up with more ideas to keep us entertained!  Luckily her ladybug works just as great indoors so she can scoot around inside from room to room until that gets boring ;)