Archive for the 'Month-at-a-glance' Category

Tricycle Shadow Portrait

Yesterday evening, the three of us set out to walk around the lake. This time, we let Claire take her new tricycle, and she did great! Previous to this, she’s been trying to run over people perfect her skills in the house.

Well, it’s officially an outside-only trike now!

She pedaled that thing all the way around the lake (it’s over a mile!)…and up our hill!! I was going to make her get off and walk while we carried it up, but she told me in no uncertain terms that she could do it herself, and then she did!! I was completely amazed.

And, yes, she is 43-months old in that picture. Not that anyone is still counting in months anymore. 😉

Three…and a half!

She finally let me take a photo, but her name written in the magnetic letters on our fridge had to be involved. Fair enough. 🙂

On May 30th, Claire turned three-and-a-half! When I told her I wanted to take a picture of her, she vehemently declined. She didn’t want a picture taken, because she was still three. Her age wasn’t any different. She insisted that I was wrong.

“You ARE three-and-a-half!” I said.

“NO I’m NOT!” she yelled.

“Oh, really? Then how old are you?” I asked.

I’m not telling…” she said in the most sing-songy voice imaginable.

Thus proving, she is indeed three…and a half!


I went a little crazy

No, we’re never gonna survive
Unless we get a little crazy.
-Seal, “Crazy”

This is the song that was in my head today when I woke up. Why? Because last night, I went a little crazy. Well, technically, it was this morning, but who’s counting?

Anyway, I had to do it, or I wasn’t going to survive.

What did I do?

I decided to sort through and organize Claire’s treasures. I know to the normal, sane people in the crowd, this sounds silly. Why would I be doing this at 1am? Why not do this in the daylight? Because I wasn’t going to be able to sleep knowing that I have a huge Getting Ready For Our Trip To Do List to continue attacking with disorganization mocking me from the sidelines. Because Claire would have had a nervous breakdown if she saw how many of her treasures I was throwing away. And, the only time to do this was under the protective cover of darkness.

Her treasures.
Her priceless artifacts.

What kind of treasures would a monster such as myself destroy? You know, treasures like the cardboard punch outs from a certain company’s Kids’ Meals. Happy? Yes, I was, thanks. I was nice and only threw away the ones she hadn’t seen in a while and the ones that were ripped.

And, broken toys are a favorite item. It’s broken. It needs to go away. If it can’t be fixed, it’s time to say goodbye.

Or, better yet, all the catalogs Claire commandeers the minute they arrive. I didn’t throw them all away, but the ones that were literally worn to shreds? The tattered ones that are barely recognizable? Gone.

It took about 15 minutes to sort my office, and the energy that flowed into the rest of the house was amazing. I went to bed, and as soon as I got under the covers, I realized that I hadn’t actually looked in her castle in a while. You see, Claire has this castle that one of her aunts gave to her last year. It’s a tent-like contraption out in our living room and Claire uses it as a hideout.

It is also, for lack of a better word, a disaster. How can she even fit in here?

I grabbed my flashlight and went to work, hoping the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops because they saw suspicious activity and flashlight shadows as I rummaged through our living room.

Twenty minutes later, all the Barbie Shoes were in a safe place. All her precious jewels, the clip-on earrings, bracelets and necklaces were back in her jewelry box. All the bits of ripped paper was put in a pile with the other things that have seen better days. I stuffed the trash into my trashcan, hoping that I’d be able to permanently destroy the evidence without her being the wiser.

I paused for a moment outside her room. It took every ounce of energy in my being to not tiptoe in and continue my mad task. Had she awoken, my cover would have been blown. So, I went to bed.

This morning, I told Claire that we were going to sort her room. She actually likes helping me “clean” and “sort,” but she has yet to allow any type of “throwing away” without a full-blown fit. It’s a battle I’ll fight one day, but not now. So, I had to be sneaky in my attack.

I sat on the floor in my robe, and I started in on each section, one at a time. To an outsider, the room looked clean. There was floor-space! Everything was in a bin! But, I knew that those bins were far from organized. It was that unseen mess that had threatened to eat me alive.

Often times a command of “Clean your room!” is so overwhelming that people, little kids in particular, have no idea where to start. They freeze up and that’s just a recipe for failure. Luckily, I’ve always been good at seeing past the rubble to the different categories. Again, in less than 20-minutes, we were done. All of the block-sorting-toys were reunited with their parts. All the books were in the book bin. All the stuffed animals were safe and sorted. All the kitchen toys were sorted and put with the kitchen set in my office. I was sneaky with the things I threw away, and I was able to cart the whole lot out to the curb this morning for Trash Day. Perfect timing!

You might be wondering if Claire has missed any of her treasures yet.  No, she has not.  After the culling, she’s able to focus on the ones she really likes.  And, it’s not like we have a shortage of toys around here.

Here she is setting up a picnic on her bed.

Here she is setting up a picnic on her bed.

(Yes, she’s 41-months today!  Again, not that I’m counting.)  😉

So, I got a little less sleep last night, but it was worth it. Now, I can attack my own To Do List with a new-found energy.

I went a little crazy, but now I’ll survive.

Is 40 a lot or a little?

Wow…month 40. Whenever we count out ages by months, it seems so surreal, doesn’t it? Forty. Is that a lot? Is that a little? The answer to that question changes on a moment by moment basis sometimes. 😉

When I told Claire that I needed to take her picture today, because she was 40-months old, she said, “No, I’m not! I’m three!”

When will I stop doing the monthly photos? I don’t know. I haven’t decided. If you know me, you know how hard it is to get me to stop doing something I’m already doing, especially if it fits so nicely into a patterned schedule.

So…it’s the 30th, so I took a photo. And, since I took a photo, I may as well share. 🙂

Check out Claire at 40-months!

Check out Claire at 40-months!

And, for some fun comparisons, check out this link for the other month-at-a-glance photos!


Well, if February had a 30th, it would be time for Claire’s 39th month photo…but it doesn’t!  So, this will have to do.



She’s been winking for months, and I finally captured it on film!

Not a tadpole anymore

Click photo to enlarge.

Not a Tadpole Anymore

Not a Tadpole Anymore

Yesterday, Claire turned 38-months old…so like any good perfectionist, I took a picture! 🙂 And, since I had the camera out, she wanted me to take a picture of what she’d gotten the day before.  She’s proudly holding her Swimming Lesson Certificate. She’s moving on to the next class!

Next week, she’ll jump right into her Minnow class, and if you can’t tell by the photo, she’s thrilled. We’re pretty excited about it, too…

Nope, she’s definitely not a tadpole anymore. 😉

Big girls don’t have baby teeth

As you may remember, Claire turned 3-yrs old on November 30th.  Well, because she’s automatically covered on our dental insurance policy, and because 3-yrs old is the magical age when both our  pediatrician and dentist agreed should be the time to start going to the dentist, I set up an appointment for her with my hygienist and dentist.

Neither my hubby nor I have ever had any cavities (knock brush on wood), so the dentist isn’t a place we fear.  Still, a lot of people are afraid of the dentist, and I want Claire to be comfortable going.  I figured this is the perfect way to get that ball rolling.  It’s never too early to think about good dental hygiene.  😉

I made the mistake of telling Claire about the appointment way in advance, and if the question of the day (…any day.  Pick a day.) wasn’t “Is today Monday!?  Can I go to school today!?” it was “Can I go to the Dentist!?”  Finally, the 18th of December rolled around, and we got to go to the Dentist.

She was beside herself with excitement.  I told her about the cool chair that moves up and down and lays back.  I told her about the bright lights.  I told her how the hygienist would wear a scary mask and weird glasses.  I told her how it was okay to be nervous, but that there wasn’t anything to be afraid of.  Momma and Daddy actually like going to the Dentist, and so will you!

And she did!

You would have thought Christmas came early.  She loved Kate, my hygienist.  She was a little weirded-out by the chair, but she got used to it.  She wore her pink sunglasses so that the lights weren’t too bright.  She even got the hang of how to hold the water in her mouth and then let Mr. Thirsty (the name they gave that sucker-dealie**) suck it out of her mouth.

Even the squirter-dealie** didn’t upset her.  “Momma!  Kate put a little water-fountain in my mouth!”  **I’m pretty sure those are the technical names for those instruments.

I was so impressed!

I mean, we’d scheduled what that office refers to as “A Happy Visit,” and they said they count it as a success if they get the little kid to sit in the chair without crying.  It’s considered a good day if they can count her teeth.  If they’re lucky, they actually try to clean them.

Claire had such a great time and was so into the whole thing that Kate was able to do a full exam and clean all 20 of her teeth.  You see, Claire had been told she could pick out her very own Princess Toothbrush when the exam was done.  She sat in that chair like a little baby bird, her mouth wide open.

Claire also got to meet my dentist, Dr. J.  She was a bit anxious around him at first, but that’s to be expected.  He told her he wanted to look at her teeth, and she said, “That’s okay.  Kate already did!”  It was all my hygienist could do to not laugh out loud.

It didn’t take Claire long to warm up to the dentist, and he got a good look too.

He told her she had all her baby teeth, and she told him that she didn’t!  “They’re not baby teeth.  They’re big teeth!”

Thankfully, everything looks great.  Claire loves brushing her teeth, so that’s not an issue.  The only concern I’d had was about the thumb-sucking.  Dr. J confirmed what Dr. B, the pediatrician, had said.  Now is the perfect age to get that to stop.  If she doesn’t, more of the bone will be moved than what is already happening.

She really took what they both said to heart, and I’ll have to write more about that later, because it’s really quite comical and amazing.  So, stay tuned!

After Dr. J looked at her baby big teeth, and the exam was over, he led us to the front of the office to the Treasure Chest.  That’s where Claire got to pick out whichever toy she wanted.  That’s funny, I’ve been going to that office for what, nine years (!?), and I’ve never gotten to pick out a toy!  I feel gypped! 😉

I’ve already scheduled Claire’s six-month cleaning, but I’m not telling her that yet.  June is way too far away for me to handle the “Can I go to the Dentist today!?” question.  🙂

So, in honor of Claire’s First Dentist Visit, here are some photos of her brushing her teeth.  These were actually taken before her first visit, so that’s why you don’t see her New Princess Toothbrush.  They were taken the day she turned 3-yrs old!  And, ironically, her birthday was one month ago today!  So, I’ve thrown in a picture of her that I took today, too.

Click to enlarge.

Brushing, brushing, brushing

Brushing, brushing, brushing

Claire is 36-months old in this photo.

Claire is 36-months old in this photo. It was taken on her 3rd birthday!

She’s getting really good at spitting into the sink.

She’s getting really good at spitting into the sink.

Admiring her handiwork

Admiring her handiwork

And, today...a month later…37-months old!  She and Merlin are fast asleep.

And, today...a month after her 3rd birthday…37-months old! She and Merlin are fast asleep in Claire's big girl bed.

Party Preparations

Guess what!?  Today, Claire turns THREE YEARS OLD!!  This morning, we’ll be hosting a party, and NONE of us can wait.

I have so much to say about my baby turning three, but all of those musings will have to wait!

We’ve got a party to set up!
We’ve got a party to get started!
We’ve got to party!

I promise to share more this week about all the fun and excitement, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek.

Claire has no idea how sneaky we’ve been with the preparations, and I can’t wait to see her face!  Here is what we’ve been up to:

I wonder what this is tucked away in the freezer?

I wonder what this is tucked away in the freezer?

Can these be what I think these are?

Can these be what I think these are?

Look who’s going to help us celebrate!

Luckily for us, little mermaids are good at keeping secrets!

Happy Birthday, Claire!!

Edited to add:  If you’re looking for Claire’s 36-month pictures, check out this link!

Almost Three!

It’s October 30th…and do you know what that means??  Claire turns THREE IN ONE MONTH!!

Click to enlarge:  35-months old, and she’s already a blogger!

Click to enlarge: 35-months old, and she’s already a blogger!

Claire said, “Momma!  Take a picture of me typing my blog!”  I asked her what she was writing about, and she said, “You!”  And then she started laughing maniacally.  If that doesn’t sum up what it’s like to be Almost Three, I don’t know what does!  😉

It seems like just a few months ago I was writing about her turning Almost Two.  It really is amazing how fast the time flies!

You know what?  Two hasn’t really been that terrible.  Yes, we’ve had our challenges, but we’ve had more fun than not, more laughter than tears, and more crazy runnings-around than temper tantrums.

In fact, the hardest thing about dealing with Two is not laughing when you’re supposed to have a dead-serious straight face.  Who knew disciplining a child would be so comical!?

And laughing hysterically at someone in distress is not only rude, but doesn’t quite bring the proper solemnity to the situation.


She teaches me something new every day, and I love that.

So Three is almost here…and I think I’ve seen her peeking her ornery little head out from behind a corner every now and then.

And from these tiny glimpses of Three, I can tell I have my work cut out for me.  I’m going to be doing a lot of deep breathing, giving myself good wrinkles, and counting.  Or maybe I’ll do the alphabet.  You know?  I’ve always wanted to be able to rattle off the alphabet backwards…maybe I’ll practice that.  I should be really good at it by the time Four gets here.

We have one month left before we officially enter Year Three.  I have a feeling that this year will be a delicate balance of continuing to encourage the independence she already has and managing the stubbornness that is so deeply ingrained.  In fact, the line between those two is so blurry that I sometimes forget which is which.

And, yes…yes…if we’re being completely honest, she totally takes after me.  I’m very independent and stubborn.  (Not to mention bossy and a know-it-all…)  But, I also enjoy being creative and I love solving problems, so hopefully our strengths and weaknesses can play off of each other.

I have a feeling that Year Three will be just as much fun as Year Two.

Ten. Twenty-two. Thirty-four.

…months, that is.

These photos of Claire were all taken on September 30th…of 2006, 2007 and 2008:

Click photos to enlarge.
Clicking a second time will show more detail.




Pardon me while I sit here a moment and catch my breath.  😉