Monday, April 30, 2007


I've been having some fun playing with the macro feature on the camera as I watch the garden grow. Here are a few examples.

Water drops caught in the leaves of the smoke bush.

The really pretty tulips Mom and Dad ordered for us in Holland last spring.

Lilac buds

And for those who are only here to get a daily dose of cuteness...

This is how Claire dressed when she got up from her nap the other day -
frog boots, party dress, and she was ready to...sweep the lawn?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A few more remembered

More Claireisms:
bicy = spicy
Whose time is it?/What thomas is it? = What time is it?

Friday, April 27, 2007

things I don't want to forget

You always think that you will remember every precious and adorable thing that your child does. The truth is, six months later there have been so many new adorable things, that the old ones are easily forgotten. So here is some of the stuff right now that I don't want to forget.

Claire-isms - When Claire says ______, she means ________
mo-most = almost
o'night = tonight, or alternatively, good night
yogret = yogurt
prers = prayers

At 15 months Ben....
...loves to dance and clap his hands.
...smears food on his head when he is done eating.
...likes to give open-mouthed slobbery kisses.. Even to the dog's nose. amazing hugs.
...could not be easier to put to bed due to his Pavlovian reaction to his lullaby CD.

Overheard lately around the house:
Yesterday morning Claire decided she would take off Ben's pajamas in our bathroom while Brian and I were getting dressed. "Come here, honey. Good boy. That's right, little man."

Yesterday afternoon Claire was "sharing" her goldfish crackers with Ben. "One for me, one for you, and one for me. One for me, one for you, more for me." I think Ben was getting the raw end of the deal.

I'm sure there's more that I just can't think of this early in the morning.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

something lighthearted

Sometimes it is like living with parrots. Being a mom that is.

Claire is at an age where she repeats nearly everything we say, right down to our intonation. I will hear her talk to the dog, and she rarely uses her own words, instead she mimics the exact phrases that Brian or I use.

Awww, Lucky. Lucky-luck. What a good dog. What a cute doggy. Good dog, Lucky.

She will follow us around, and just say everything that we say.

Yesterday she brought over a book and asked, "Who gave this to me?" When I told her I didn't know she said, "maybe Brian." My mom (who I was on the phone with) laughed and asked who Brian was. Claire repeated, "maybe Brian gave this to me." When I asked her who Brian was she said, "Daddy!" I had no idea that she knew his first name. Particularly because we use a lot of pet names, and do not often call each other by our first names.

Now Ben has started the game of repeating things that he hears (to the best of his ability). He is only really good at making a D sound, so this morning when Claire was getting dressed, and we were saying "k k khakis" Ben chimed in with "d d daeeee". On our way to pick Claire up from school I would roar at him, and he would roar back from the backseat. Tonight as Brian got him dressed for bed and recited some of the words from Pajama Time Ben piped up, "da-aaa tiii". Lately he even seems to be trying to say thank you ("da ooo").

So be careful what you say - you may not want to hear it repeated.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


All day I've been trying to formulate something to say about what happened at VT yesterday. No matter how much I watch or read about it, though, I can't seem to find any appropriate words to say.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who lost their lives. Particularly to their mothers. I think when you become a mom you suddenly see the world through a different set of eyes. I can not begin to imagine the agony they are going through right now.

Maybe soon I can think of something more meaningful to say. Right now, all I have are tears and prayers. That will just have to be enough.

We love you, Brandon. I really wish we could be there to support you right now.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Just when you thought it couldn't get any cuter

Yesterday I took the kids to Picture People to get pictures of them in their Easter outfits. At first things weren't going very well, and I was worried we would walk out without any good pictures. Then the photographer called in back-up. Another employee who sat next to the kids on the floor, gave them high-fives, blew bubbles, and then made them disappear, and truly brought out their personalities in these pictures. I am so happy with how they came out. Particularly the one of Claire, because the photographer managed to click the shutter at just the right instant to capture that adorable pose.
I mean, I know I am biased, but aren't these kids adorable? C'mon, you can be honest!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What happens when you have too much Easter candy

Ben was left to his own devices for a little bit too long while eating dinner Sunday night. Here is the aftermath:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

More from Easter

My husband has been after me to post this picture from Easter. (I think I'm not supposed to tell you that he thinks he looks good in it, so I won't - what's in parentheses doesn't count.) He likes the view of the Easter egg hunt in the background. My mom and Jim helping Ben find eggs, and Ben looking up at Jim to listen to what he's saying.

words you might never expect to hear in the household of a toddler

C: May I have more broccoli, please?
B: Not until you eat more of your pasta.

My daughter, the vegetable lover. Who would have thought?

Monday, April 09, 2007


We had a really nice Easter with a lot of family. The kids had a blast. As usual, my sister-in-law, Cindy, went above and beyond providing 51 eggs for the three kids for an Easter egg hunt. Claire can't stop talking about how she looked for Easter eggs. And found Easter eggs! And there was candy inside them! And toys! Cool!

Ryan and Claire both find some eggs.

There's one for Ben!

Claire checks out her loot.

And I have to take the opportunity to brag on my mom. She made Ben's adorable overalls, and what Claire, all week long, called her "bootiful Easter dress!"

Here's Ben with Grandpa (Brian's step-father)

This picture doesn't show the ruffle at the bottom of Claire's dress, but it's the best I have right now.

And this picture is because Dad complains I never post pictures of myself.

All in all, it was a good day. I hope that your Easter was as filled with fun and family as ours was.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


It's strange that I spend hours and hours of the day with my children, and then suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, I see them do something, and it strikes me - they're growing up. This morning it was the way that Ben cooperated when I was dressing him, rather than just being spaghetti-armed. The other day it was watching Claire and realizing that when she doesn't pay attention she can go up and down stairs without having to hold the railing.

I have the feeling that I am still going to be having these realizations when they are 10, 18, 30...I will always marvel, and wonder where my babies went.

Friday, April 06, 2007

SPF - Holy

This week's SPF theme was holy.

I can still remember a trip out to San Jose. It was just dad, Jen, and I. Dad was out on business, and Jen and I stayed with Nonna. She always took us on a shopping trip and bought us a new outfit. On one trip she also bought us each our first rosary. Although I am no longer a practicing Catholic, I know exactly where to find my rosary, and in times of stress it can be a great comfort to me. Sometimes (before kids) I used to keep it in a box on my nightstand so that I could pull it out when I was having trouble sleeping. It's not fancy, by any means, but it will always be very special to me.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

four little ducks? quack?

Look at me, I'm a posting fool today!

Today on three different occasions I heard Claire singing variations of this song. Every time she sings it she focuses on different lines, or words, and leaves others out altogether. Sometimes she remembers them in but substitutes "hmmhmmmhmmhmm" for the actual words. See for yourself. Name that tune - Claire style!

Sadly, I kind of sound the same way when I try to sing along to a song on the radio.

cherry blossoms

I've been negligent here. I blame it on the head cold I've been fighting for over a week.

Today we got up early-ish, and headed into DC to admire the cherry blossoms. We neglected to research first, and found that since today was the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and 5K that a variety of roads were closed off, and it was more crowded even at that early hour than we expected. However we persevered, and were able to spend a nice hour walking around, looking at the trees and monuments.

This is actually the cherry tree in our backyard. Ben and I took some photos this morning while we waited for everyone else to wake up.

The Washington Monument

Brian and Claire in front of the Jefferson Memorial

Brian, Lucky, and Claire

A funny Lucky story: Lucky liked to bark fiercely at every dog who passed us (and there were a lot of other dogs there). One small dog (a Maltese or something like that) actually wandered over to investigate Lucky who was still barking fiercely. As soon as the small, fluffy dog started to get close and show interest Lucky tried to hide behind us, much to the amusement of everyone in the vicinity. Poor little beagle, afraid of the fluffy doggy. What a chicken. Eventually they licked noses, and then we each went our own way.

Ben (please try to overlook the runny nose and the bruise on his forehead - I would really love this photo if I were talented enouch to photoshop that runner out of it)