Showing posts with label Clarice's First Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarice's First Year. Show all posts

Woodland Tea Party (First Birthday Party!)





At the end of September we had Clarice's first birthday party!  I have probably been planning and mulling over this party more than most of the other ones I've thrown, and I picked my theme months ago when I ordered our gorgeous invitations.  Despite all my mental planning, I didn't actually buy anything else until a week before her party, but I am happy with the way it turned out!































Details

Tissue paper flowers: I made them from a kit that I got on clearance at Joann's - they were so easy!  You could easily make them without a kit, and maybe one of these days I'll do a post (or find one already written) to show you how.

String of balloons: The best idea I ever got from Pinterest.

Lemon drops and tea cups: The tea cups I have had for a while - whenever I find a pretty on in an antique shop I snag it, so they were perfect for my "tea party" vision.

Rose-shaped dessert mints: My mom made these for Clarice's party with an old family recipe!  They fit in perfectly with all the decor.  Thanks, Mom!

Tea pot: I've been wanting one anyway, so when I saw this Pioneer Woman tea pot at Walmart, I figured this was the perfect excuse to buy it!

Milk bottles with chalkboard tags:  I bought some extra milk bottles, because these are my favorite cups for the kids - if they leave them around the house, they kind of look decorative!  I added some chalkboard tags with these little cut-outs that I found at Hobby Lobby for $3.

Chalkboard: My attempt at hand-lettering!  Don't laugh.

Water bottles: I got some scrapbook paper that looked like aspen tree bark to replace the water bottle labels, and I taped them on with pretty washi tape.  The mint-colored tub I already had (Hobby Lobby).

Punch: Cranberry juice and Squirt.  It's simple and very good.

White cabinet: Can you believe I won that in an Instagram giveaway?  It was very exciting.

Small "dot" banner: Minted!

"Happy Birthday Clarice" banner: Minted!

"Sips" and "Treats" table signs: Minted!

Cupcake toppers: You guessed it - also part of the Minted party kit I received earlier this year!

Cupcakes: I made those, strawberry cake mix, store-bought strawberry frosting.  Keeping it simple.

Jello Popcorn: See recipe here, minus the peanuts.

White chocolate leaves: I made those with Almond Bark chocolate and some leaf molds.

Flowers and Aspen tree candle holder: Hobby Lobby.  I just loved the candle holders when I saw them, and it was very convenient since I could use them for Clarice's party too!

THE CAKE:  All caps, because I am so proud of it!  My sister made this cake - isn't she amazing?  All I told her was that I wanted an "aspen tree stump", and the cake turned out better than I even imagined!

Glitter candle: I saw it on another Instagram account, and when I tried to find it again later to look at her DIY, I couldn't find it!  So I just winged it and used Elmer's glue and glitter to cover a "1" candle.  It worked out nicely.

Banner cake topper: I got the little triangle cutouts at Hobby Lobby and strung them between two paper straws that I already had.

Clarice's birthday dress: I found it on Taylor Joelle last year, and it just happened to work perfectly as her party dress!

Headband: I bought it from this shop.

So there you go!  A year's worth of mental planning, and now it's over.  It's a little sad really - where did the last year go?  HOW IS MY BABY ONE?!   It's cliche, but it really does go by too fast.









A Dozen Months



Well, my littlest baby is a year old.

While the last year sometimes seems like a really long year, at the same time it feel like my little darling should still be a tiny baby.  But she's not anymore, she's a vibrant, active one year old girl!

The last month feels like an explosion of personality for my girl.  Well, she's always had a lot of personality, but this month she has been making her loves and hates a little more known.  Her biggest love still seems to be me, which is still such a satisfying feeling.  She stretches out and reaches for me every time I walk into the room, and she lays her little head on my shoulder and gives a shy smile, like she's reminding everyone that this is where she belongs, tucked in her mama's arms.  It's the cutest thing.

Even though she is still very much attached to me, she also has gotten a lot more independent and brave this month.  She has been pulling up on furniture left and right, and on the evening after her first birthday party she pushed her little bum into the air and then straightened to a standing position, which she held for a good three seconds.  She hasn't gone much longer than that yet, but I am still impressed that she managed to get herself into a standing position without even holding onto anything.



Another favorite this month is "dancing".  I'll hold her hands and do a little dance to get her started, and then she takes off, bending at the waste and swinging her little hips back and forth.  Sometimes she'll rotate at the waist too, like a miniature version of the twist, all with the funniest little concentrating grin on her face.  Then when someone praises her on her dance skills she scrunches her nose and laughs or lets out her signature screech.

Clarice officially gave me her first kiss at her birthday party.  I kissed her little cheek, and she pressed her little lips together and said "mmmm", and I could tell she was trying to give a little kiss back. It was precious.  She has also started blowing kisses by flinging her little arm out and saying "mmmm". She is a sweet baby!



Her absolute favorite toys right now are a pink bear and fabric dolly that she got for her birthday.  When she received both of those presents her face just lit up, and she even gave the dolly a big, open-mouthed kiss.  She loves toys with faces, but these two are her loveys.  She goes to sleep much better when we tuck them in next to her, but most often whenever lay her down and then show them to her she will grab the bear and dolly by the necks and snuggle them both right under her chin, with closed eyes and a happy little smile on her face.

She is in size 4 diapers, and 12 month clothes.  Her feet are tiny, and fit into 6 month shoes still.

She has become so vocal, screeching, yes (my favorite is when she sits on the floor, rotates at the waist and waves her arms while screeching - trying to let us know she's happy, I presume, because she does it with a big smile on her face); but she also tries to say actual words now.  She says "da" for "dad", "mamama" for me, "hi", "hello" (sounds like "hewo"), "da" for dog, and "ha-ee" for "Harvey.  She has started trying to say the kids' names, and she even parroted back the tone (even though the actual words were unintelligible) of "I love you".  Which I probably don't even have to tell you, is too cute for words.

Her hair has started curling in the back and her eyes are beautifully blue.  She adores her brothers and sister, and the feeling is mutual.  She knows just how to melt her daddy's heart. She laughs like she means it, she smiles with every muscle in her face.  She's happy almost all the time, and sometimes she still falls asleep in my arms.

I just love that girl so.



---

My Sweet Clarice,

Where has the year gone?  Every day with you is just a happy adventure.  You bring so much joy to me, my darling.  In one short year I can't imagine what it was even like without you; you have swept into every corner and made everything brighter with your own brand of sunshine.  You were meant to be mine.  I love you, Happy Girl.  Please keep your enthusiasm and sunshine forever.

Love you always,

Mama


A Birthday Letter



My Sweet Clarice,

Yesterday last year, I woke up and rolled myself out of bed.  I had slept in - your daddy fed your brothers and sister breakfast while I laid under the covers, the little kicks coming from my belly finally dragging me out of sleep.  

I went upstairs just as one of the kids dropped a bowl of cereal.  I sighed, because it was almost impossible to get up and down off the floor anymore with a watermelon belly.  I grabbed a towel and worked myself down to my knees, and I just cried.  It wasn't about the cereal.

It was because I wanted you.  

I wanted to feel your squishy little body snuggled against my chest.  I wanted to see your dainty little lashes brushing your cheeks as you slept.  I wanted to feel your slight breath against my collar bone.  I wanted your impossibly tiny hand wrapped around my finger.



I know the Lord must have seen me that morning, because 12 hours later I was in labor, and 7 hours after that, you were born.  It was the same feeling that you might get if you've been awake for 24 hours and you finally lay down in your warm bed.  It was the same feeling you get when you've been hiking all day and then get into a bathtub of hot water, or when you've been gone on a trip for a week and then you pull into your own driveway.

You were here.  And holding you in my arms was everything I had hoped for.  

I love you, Sweet Baby.  Thank you for reminding me of that feeling, Darling; then and over the last year of watching you grow and now.  Of how good it feels to be home.

Love you always,

Mama




Always My Baby




We are on the countdown to Clarice's first birthday, and I laid in bed last night thinking, How did this happen? Where did the last year go?  Clarice still seems so little to me, but she is growing so much!

Her little personality just keeps singing through more and more, and it cracks me up.  She's my little firecracker.  When she is unhappy, you know it, and when she is happy, you know it.  She screeches either way, and you have to look at her face to see whether she's happy or mad.  Most of the time it's happy though, and I love her little grin!  She has the sweetest smile, but when she is really amused by something she'll grin and scrunch her eyes - it almost looks like a grimace, but it's just her expression to show she's excited.



She is suddenly much more mobile, and she's been crawling and climbing on everything.  She's figured out how to crawl on her hands and knees, and she pulls up with furniture onto her feet now.  The first time I came in her room and found her standing, she scrunched her face and bounced up and down, so proud of herself.

Her hair has definitely started filling in, and she has little blond curls at the back of her head.  I love them so much, and hope they stick around for a while.  Her eyes are still bright blue, and I love seeing how different colors bring them out.



Clarice has four little teeth.  I have a feeling more will be popping through soon, but for now I love the four she has, the way they shine when she smiles.  She puts them to good use too, and she dug right into a full peach at the peach festival - I looked down and suddenly there was a two-tooth bite out of one of the peaches in our bag, so we let her have at it!



The other day I was swinging her at the park, and her little hands were white-knuckling the sides of the swing.  She looked up and gave me a face somewhere between afraid and excited, and it cracked me up.  Do you remember that movie, Chicken Run?  Her little afraid face made her face look just like that, barely smiling eyes and a little horizontal oval of a mouth with four little teeth in the middle.  It cracked me up and made me want to scoop her right up, but she decided the swing was fun and laughed then, so we continued on with it.  I do believe she's a fan now.



We stopped nursing last month.  I knew I would wean her sometime around one year, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized didn't need that kind of emotion to deal with when I would already be handling a bittersweet first birthday.  She had been nursing less and my supply was decreasing, and one day after church I was nursing her in her room and she fell asleep.  I was sitting there, praying about when to stop, and I just got this feeling like this would be a good time.  I didn't want to not remember her last time nursing; I didn't want it to peeter off without my noticing, until I was left wondering what happened.  So I memorized every little feature, her sweet little eyelashes and arms wrapped around me, and then I laid her down, closed the door to her room, and cried a little.  It was a good decision though.  I have the sweet memories to hold, and we are both enjoying a little more freedom.  She still falls asleep in my arms when I give her a bottle.



---

My Sweet Clarice,

I know you are getting bigger, but you still just seems like this little thing to me.  Your feet are still tiny, and I just have this mental picture of you as my tiny baby - but you're really not.  You're almost one.  As with all of you kids, I'm hanging on to every little bit of babyness in you that I can.  I love it when you snuggle with me, or fall asleep in my arms, or reach up your hands for me to pick you up.  I love the way you sit on my hip, or rub your eyes when you're tired.  I love the way you still hesitate when you crawl on your hands and knees.  I love the way you bury your little face against my chest when you are scared or hurt.  I'm hanging on to all of these evidences that you are still my itty bitty baby, because someday soon I'll turn around and realize you've become a toddler.  And I'll be sad then, but not too sad because you'll give me joy in every season - and because you should know, darling, that you'll always be my baby.  I love you more than words.

-Mama

First Watermelon And Words


 


Well, my sweet girl is ten months old, and this post is very late.

July seemed to sweep by in a hurry this year, and I woke up at the beginning of August realizing that we haven't even done anything this summer, excluding vacation.  And since we haven't done anything interesting, I've been slacking on taking pictures of the kids, which means Clarice's imaginary nine month album is going to be rather sparse.  Poor Clarice!  I'll just explain as much about her little personality I can instead.

This month the scrunch-nose smile has returned, and it is so darn cute with her four new teeth.  Two upper and lower teeth have popped through her little gums, and it makes her look slightly older and even more impossibly cute.  When she is happy she'll jerk her arms up and down (kind of like that old dance "the jerk" - look it up), and she gives the biggest grin, nose scrunched and four teeth shining, and little blond curls poking out from the back of her head.



This month Clarice officially said her first word - which I am counting as "da" for Derek. Up until now it has mostly been happy screeches and tongue clicks.  I think she would be right at home in one of those South American tribes that uses clicking in their language.  It is hilarious how much she enjoys clicking her tongue!  But she recently started saying "da" when Derek arrived home from work, and it seemed more intentional than in the past.  Shortly following "da", she started saying "hi".  Only imagine the word "hi" drawn out with a strong southern belle accent, with no actual long "i" sound.  Then she figured out how to combine her only two words, and when Derek arrived home she said "hi da", like a little Georgian native, even though we've never been to Georgia in this family's life.    No "mama" is in sight.



When I realized that we hadn't done anything this summer, I took us to a park with water fountains.  The fountains are down some steps in this little concrete bowl, but the draining system must not have been working the day we went because it was full of three inches of water.  I plopped her down in it anyway, and she had so much fun, smacking the water with her little hands and grinning up at me.  The kids would run by and splash her little face, and she would look briefly startled and then scrunch her nose and laugh again.

I bumped her up to size 4 diapers, not because she fills them out but because they seem to work better at night right now.  She is probably between a size 3 and 4.  Her favorite thing to do is eat finger foods and pouches of puree, and if everyone else is eating but her, you will hear about it.  She screeches, with a very serious look on her face, to let you know when she is unhappy.  She was very focused and clearly thrilled with her first slice of watermelon this month; she felt like such a big girl, eating the same thing as everyone else.  Give her a rice puff cookie or a slice of apple and she is happy as a clam, but she has recently started boycotting green vegetable purees.  Only the green ones.  It doesn't matter if it is 90% apple and mango, if there is a green vegetable in it she (literally) turns her nose up at it.  She seems far too young to be this picky.  We have been nursing twice a day.



My favorite moments this month have been when she falls asleep in my arms, because she doesn't do that as much anymore, and I've noticed.  I'm going to miss it when she stops.  She falls asleep, and her sweet little dark eyelashes brush her smooth skin.  Her lips are pink, her elbows are dimpled, and a little blond curl sticks out on top of her head.  My own living baby doll, with her little breath brushing against me.



---

My Sweet Clarice,

This month was quiet and sweet with you my darling.  We really didn't do much except just live.  There have been lots of days of playing, lots of peek-a-boo, lots of baby giggles and splashing in the kiddie pool.  Lots of grins, and naps, and snuggles.  Lots of little baby arms reaching up, because even now you are happiest when I'm holding you - and those are my happy moments too, with your little head resting against my shoulder.  I love you Sweet Girl, more every day.

-Mama

We Have A Dream Vacation Baby



Clarice is nine months old, and is officially a dream vacation baby.

We went on a camping trip to Wyoming this year, which I'm hoping to write more about, and I was prepared to end the week in a zombie-like state from lack of sleep.  But Clarice barely cried during the long hours in the car, and I would look back to see her little feet sticking out of her carseat, moving happily.  Feet can move happily, you know.  Clarice has very expressive feet. She loved the campsite, and she went straight to sleep when we laid her down at night, usually only waking up once.  I was shocked by how rested I felt each day, and it was the best vacation surprise.

Then she got her first tooth.  On vacation!  And we barely even noticed.  To say we were impressed is an understatement.  Clarice, you can go camping with us anytime.



So among the firsts this last month was first time camping (on the outside), first tooth, and first time swimming.  Clarice has also started scooting along the floor, in her own, undefined way.  I hardly ever seem to see her actually moving, but I'll turn around and when I look back she is halfway across the floor.  She has figured out how to get from laying down to sitting up by herself too.

Sleeping before vacation was so-so, on vacation it was wonderful, and since we've been home it's been not so wonderful.  She has been waking up 3-4 times each night, but in the little one's defense, she has also been sick.  She has a sniffly nose, and it's so sad to see her smiling through eyes all red and nose running.

She has taken the happy noises to a new level this month via "the happy screech".  Sometimes one of the kids will be playing with her, and I'll hear the screech and start to scold the older ones for making her cry, but then I'll realize she's laughing!  Her brothers and sister can make her laugh so easily, and I love to see their relationship develop.  Her face lights up whenever she spots her siblings.


She is loving her solid foods still, but she gets a frustrated with purees.  She will eat them, but she looks so longingly at everyone else's food.  She is most happy when I give her a piece of fruit or a vegetable that she can gnaw to death.  I'm not sure how much makes it to her stomach, but it's so cute watching her try.

She's still half nursing, half bottle feeding, and I think I'm hanging on for the night and nap time feedings alone.  Derek enjoys giving her a bottle at night because she curls in and falls asleep while she eats, and I like to nurse her still for the same reason.  She curls her little legs up against my stomach and falls asleep while she eats, and I just love it.  It's the easiest way to get her to fall asleep in my lap, and I want to hang on to it for a while longer.



---

Dear Clarice,

Darling, you have grown so much this month!  All of a sudden you are so much more independent.  You are happy playing by yourself, feeding yourself, and falling asleep by yourself.  But you still reach for me, sometimes when things are not right in your world, and sometimes just because you want to be with me.  It's sweet to see you grow more and more, and honey to my heart when you still reach up for me.  I love you, my sweet darling.

-Mama
© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.