Monday, January 31, 2011

Adult Saturday Night Out

Saturday Eric and I actually had an adult night out. Our friend, who does all of our professional pictures birthday party was at a local bar. Eric's parents got to watch Claire and they were over the moon excited to watch her for the evening. Eric and I headed out around 8pm and didn't get home until 1:30. We had a great time, full of drinks (for Eric), laughs and friends. I have not been to a bar since being pregnant with Claire. Illinois is a smoke free state but Indiana is not and guess where that bar was...Indiana. When we first got there, it wasn't too bad seeing as only half the bar/restaurant was smoking until 10pm. Once that clock struck 10pm, you could see the smoke. It was so so smoky and I not use to all the smoke, my eyes were burning within an hour. Then the music was turned up so conversations were having to be done by screaming at one another. Through the smoke and the loud music we had fun. We saw friends we rarely get to hang out with (seeing as we are the only couple with a baby in the group). We did hit one more bar before heading home with a smaller group of friends- that bar was even worse. It's a smaller bar and it was so smokey. After being there for a bit, I was over everything, tired and ready to head home and get out of my smoke covered clothes.

All in all we had a great evening! I cherish the few hours Eric and I get out as a couple but don't let me fool you, I think and talk about Claire all night!  Instead of another adult Saturday this coming weekend, I think we will try to hit one of the local children museum! Claire deserves to have a fun Saturday too!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Family Thursday

We had a great Thursday night tonight. Made a very yummy dinner, hung out at the library with Eric and Claire, checked out 6 books (listed below) for Claire that we've already read a hundred times, then headed to Cold Stone Ice Cream to get a savory treat. I love the simple nights that we can relax, have fun and spend time together. It's the simple things I really do cherish. We are always so busy during the week, going here and there - we try to make Wednesday and Thursday nights family nights. Family nights can be taking walks, hanging out at the library, going out to eat, out for ice cream, watching a movie while enjoying some popcorn, reading books and playing games. I love family nights, I love my little family! I'm very thankful for what I have, I feel very blessed.

Books we checked out today:
"In Elmo's Easter Parade" (Claire loves anything Elmo)
"Trucks Go" (Claire's really into trucks, trains etc...)
"Clubhouse Christmas" (It's Mickey Mouse and to Claire he's the best)
"Duck & Goose" (Claire loves playing "duck duck goose" - check this one out, it has super cute pictures)

Happy Thursday Everyone! I know I'm excited tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

All I have to say is "Love".

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Claire's 18 Month Check Up

Claire had her 18 month check up last week...drum roll please....

Her stats are:

Weight - 21lbs (6%)
Height - 31 inches (26%)

She's a petite little thang like her mommy and daddy!

(Birth: weight - 6lbs 7oz, height - 20in)

She's doing very well. The doctor was impressed with everything is doing and saying. (You can check out everything she's doing at 18 months here) We have a very healthy, active little one and a half year old on our hands. She got 2 shots - Hep A and MMR (although we wanted to wait until at least 2 or 3 (I know the stories/article connecting vaccines to autism have been debunked, I was still nervous) our doctor said there has been a recent outbreak of those disease - so we didn't even think otherwise. There was no way we would risk Claire getting any of those! She HATED, hated the shots. It's like she new they were coming. I think now it's way worse watching her scared getting a shot then it was when she was a newborn.  I can't believe her next visit to the doctor will be when she's two. Holy Cow - 2!

Here on some pictures of our adventure to the doctor:

Sitting at the kids table in the waiting room

Playing under all the chairs

She really wanted to wash her hands

Dancing and jumping while waiting for the doctor

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Dreams

I came across this on another blog and wanted to share.

"There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books, but because I have struggled and toiled for this child. I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again. Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life. I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.
I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see. Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love. I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain. I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body, I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall. I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs. I listen. And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immerse power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.I have learned to appreciate life.Yes, I will be a wonderful mother." - Unknown

I found this so beautiful and as many of my followers and one's I follow know becoming a mother's takes time, patience, understanding, tears, grief and simply the unknown. I wish I could be one of those ladies who chooses to have "December" baby, messes around  and "bam" end up pregnant with out any thought. I'm not one of those ladies and just know, I'm starting to except that. I know, "my (2nd) dream will be crying for me" hopefully in the near future.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Football Sunday

We live in Chicago and so we are die hard Chicago Bear fans. We love, love, love football so today is a big day - Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers!  No matter what the outcome or who ends up going to the Superbowl (fingers crossed it's the Bears) today will be fun, exciting and gut wrenching! We are going over to my parents, my brother is home from college so it will be a nice hanging out with the family kind of day! Plus there will be some awesome snacks for during the game!

On a side note -Claire and I are battling stupid colds. Her's is of course worse then mine - stuffy and a runny nose, sneezing and a cough (which, thank goodness is not too bad). No fever! I just hate having her feeling a little blah but more I hate that I have to torture her by wiping her nose every 5 minutes. Hopefully we will be feeling great again very soon!

Hope everyone has an awesome Sunday! Bear Down!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Relaxing with her blanket and snack

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fun at the Bouncy House Play Place

Fun day at FunFlatable, bouncy house!
We had a great day at the local bouncy house. I wasn't too sure if Claire would like it or not. She didn't like it, she loved it! She could have stayed there all day playing if we would had let her. The big slide was her favorite! I swear we went up and down that thing over 20 times! I got a great work out while Claire was having a blast! If you have a bouncy house play place in your area and you've never been, I would give it a try because it something fun to do during this dull winter months! (and they take great naps once you leave)

Up she goes with her Papa

Sliding down the little kid slide

Playing with her Nana

Here we go again

"Jumping, jumping"

Down the big slide

We had so much fun!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday


and I'm SO happy the weekend is here!

Eric and I will be here at 7:00 tonight:
 I'm so excited! I've never been but I heard it's a lot of fun! Claire is staying with Papa and Nana (my parents) for a bit while Eric and I get a date night. We are going with a bunch of friends for one of our friends birthday! I think it's a great way to start the weekend off! 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Me for a New Year

I needed a change, a positive, happy change so I went directly to my hair and cut it. I left the length but I got bangs. It was a risk because I haven't had bangs since I was probably in 4th grade but I want to do something, I wanted to take a chance. Here's to hoping 2011 will be amazing because I will be taking many chances very soon!  Happy Thursday Everyone!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day Tuesday

Well it's Tuesday in the Chicago area and it's snowing again. I love looking at the snow, playing in it with Claire and the pups but I'm not a big fan of driving in it (even with an SUV) and that's what I have to do today. Oh well, I live in the Chicago area so I know that this is what my winter months in tell! Today Claire and I are adventuring out in this winter wonderland to go visit a friend and her 3 week old baby girl, Abby. I think it's a great day to get some baby snuggle time in! Happy Tuesday Everyone!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Claire You're 18 Months Old

As of January 10th 2011, Claire Constance is 18 months old....a year and a half! Holy Moly Batman! I can't believe it but I've enjoyed every moment of it!


Claire's appointment isn't until the end of January, so I can't update with the correct height and weight. If I had to guess she would be in the 21 pound range. She still fits comfortably in 12-18 and 18-24 months clothing. She still sports a size 3 shoe. Her hair is getting long; when it's wet (dry it's curly) it's down to the top of her back and can officially be pulled back into a ponytail. But she's really not a fan, so we still opt for the one pony on top of her head (usually a side pony).


She has her good food days and not so good. Lately, she's been going through a growth spurt. It seems as if she's always hungry.

breakfast - lately all she wants is a granola bar and fruit (sometimes she wants cheesy eggs or peanut butter toast)
lunch - anything, she's really not too picky. She loves and will eat hot dogs, veggies (peas, carrots, green beans), veggie straws, cheese, wheat crackers, any type of fruit, turkey breast, ravioli, homemade chicken salad, pickles, avocado, hummus.
 p.m. snack - gold fish crackers, puffs, veggie straws, Annie's bunnie snack crackers
dinner - she eats what we are eating and does great

She is loving her milk lately! She gets as much milk as she wants but usually we try to give her at least 1 or 2 sippy cups of water a day. Sometimes she will get juice but we still do the 25% juice and 75% water.

She loves ketchup or as she calls it "k-cup". Most of the time she will just suck the ketchup off of whatever it's on but lately she's actually been eating them! Her favorite is french fries with ketchup.


I would love to sit here and list them all but I've been trying to write them all down lately. Right now I'm at 95 words (most single but many are 2 to 4 word phrases) and she still surprises me with a few new words every day.

She LOVES to sing (but it's definitely in her genes):

"Twinkle, twinkle little star"
"Happy Birthday"
"Patty Cake"
The theme song from "Choo choo soul"
The end song, "Hot dog dance" from "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse"


She's a very very active little girl! She's always moving from the time she wakes up to the moment she either naps or goes to bed she's moving. I'm lucky to maybe get her to sit on the couch (mostly in the morning) for maybe 10 minutes.

She's running now! We say, "run run run" and as she's running she yells, "running running"

She loves to give kisses. She'll lean in and pucker up! It's super cute.

Every time she gives hugs (which she loves to do and would give a hug to anyone or anything) she says, "awwww!"

She loves to play "duck duck goose" (I've seen her play "duck duck goose" with our two dogs!), and "ring around the rosie"!

She's climbing on anything and everything. If it's climbable - Claire will climb it. She has no fear.

She loves to jump, do arm crosses, stand on one foot, spin in a circle, stand on her head (and try to do a somersault)

She loves playing with her toys but she also loves non-toys too. She has a very active imagination and you can see it. Her new play kitchen, shopping cart and babies are her favorite! She loves going "night night" with her babies. She could push her babies in her shopping cart around all day! She's becoming a very good mommy!

Claire loves any type of water - bath, pool or hot tub! She's a fish just like her momma! You actually have to spell out "b-a-t-h" now or she will continuously say, "bath" and won't leave us alone until we give her one! If she knows she going swimming - the word "swim" will come out the whole time you are getting her ready to go!

Reading is still something we do all the time in our house - she still loves her books! Wherever she sees letters she'll say, "ABC".

She can count to 3 and she knows the shapes of a star and moon and circle.

In the last couple months she's really taken to the "Disney Jr. Channel". She's in love with "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" (which will be her 2nd birthday theme), "Handy Manny", "Choo-Choo Soul", "Chuggington", "Dora".

She also as a new recent obsession with trains! She loves trains real and fake! We recently took her to a local kids restaurant that as trains all over! She loved it, it will be a new dinner place for us until trains are not cool anymore! 


Great, "knock on wood".  She's been going to bed wonderfully! We have a great bed time routine going: milk/snuggle time with mommy, brush teeth and then bed time. To fall asleep she needs her baby Carlee, bear and her favorite circle blanket! She goes down around 10pm and gets up any where from 8-10am.

She has 1 nap and it really depends on when she wakes up. Usually it's between 1-2pm. They can range anywhere from an hour to two.


Claire an hour old to 8 months old

Claire 9 months to 17 months old

 This morning, the moment she turned 18 months!

Happy 18 month birthday baby girl! We love you!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Complete 180

As long as I can remember Claire always needed me to fall asleep at night. It started with her nursing, she would fall asleep and Eric would put her to bed in her crib. After she no longer was on the boob, she would have her sippy cup of milk while snuggling with me before bed, she would finish her milk and she would just fall asleep. For the last couple weeks she's done a complete 180. She has her milk on my lap and we get our night time snuggles in, she brushes her teeth and then Eric (I'm unable to do this part because if she sees me, it doesn't work) puts her to bed awake, there is no crying or whining. She lays down on her pillow, asks for her "baby Carlee" and her "bear" and then just relaxes. Eric asks if she wants him to sing "row row row your boat"? Usually she says, "yes". One time of the song and she's out. It's truly amazing how kids can do one thing for months and then in an instant can change their ways. I'm so happy because she was unable to be allowed to cry it out because she's like her mom, me where if she crys too long or too hard, she'll puke! So the whole sleep training, cry it out method was able to be kept up on! It shows you that it takes time and that they can learn stuff on their own. It makes me realize even more that she's growing up!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Look at Our Christmas Through Pictures

Santa ate some of our cookies and drank some of the milk we left him!

Santa did good this year!

Santa left Dora and Elmo stickers in Claire's stocking!

And a microphone!

She got a baby from mommy and daddy!

Claire checking out some of her goodies that everyone got her!

Daddy and his girl Christmas morning 2010

Mommy and Bug Christmas Morning 2010

Santa also stopped by Papa and Nana's house and left a kitchen for her!

A "pillow chump" from Uncle Kyle - it's 10x the size of a regular pillow pet and takes up half her room!

Playing in her new tent and tunnel!

Weebles Playhouse

Nana and her bug!

Papa and his girl!

Checking out her new puppy, skip!
Even after a long day, she decided to vacuum for me!

We had an amazing Christmas this year. Don't get me wrong, Claire's 1st Christmas will always be special and hold a special little piece in my heart but this Christmas was so much fun. Last Christmas she was 5 months old, sat there and tried to eat the wrapping paper and just played with the bows. It's such a change, this year she opened her own presents, she got excited when she say something she really liked and she wanted to play with everything right away. The look of excitement on her face is priceless and I know every single Christmas will be memorable in it's own way! Our traditions that we will carry over to future Christmas's are: reading the book, "The night before Christmas"- I read this book with my dad and brother every Christmas eve night, setting out cookies, milk and a letter for Santa, opening our stocking first. Even a few weeks before Christmas we started a new tradition is to take a name off the"giving tree" at our church. I think it's important for Claire to know the try meaning of Christmas and what giving is all about. I think my grandpa Linos would be proud of him, he was the who taught me a lot! This Christmas was so much fun. I love living close to both of our families so we can split up the day and be able to spend it with both of them. I know Claire loves seeing both sets of grandparents all in one day. This Christmas was filled with delicious breakfast and dinner, family, friends, faith, games and of course a ton of laughs! Can't wait to see what Christmas 2011 as in store for us!
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