9 Months!

Wow, Claire is already 9 months old. And boy has she grown a lot!

Height: 26.5 inches
Weight: 20 lbs (!)

First Easter

Going to Easter Service I LOVE Christmas, and I loved Christmas with Claire. But Easter was absolutely wonderful this year. Claire was able to really play with toys and have fun with her basket, and she is so much more expressive now, even though she’s always been very expressive. But even with all of the toys, she loved the tags the most.:)

Loves her toys, but loves the tags more Easter Sunday

One of her favorite Easter presents was a puzzle with her name. I got it on Zulily.:) She loves to take out the pieces… and then put them in her mouth!

Eating her Puzzle

Standing up

Since Claire started army crawling everywhere, we decided we need to get her a big playpen for the living room. It’s hard to keep up with a mobile baby! Well, a couple days after we started using it, she pulled herself up to standing!

First time she pulled herself up to standing!

It was one afternoon, and I put Claire in the playpen while I was cleaning up the kitchen. She crawled over to the side to see me, and started grabbing the sides with her fingers. I watched as she slowly pulled herself up onto her knees and then to her feet. It was incredible!

Eating & self-feeding

Claire has been grabbing onto her bottles with both hands for a while now, but all of sudden she decided she wanted to feed herself. I feel like I should be sad about this, but I’m so proud to see her developing and becoming more independent … and it’s so much easier. I can get work done while she’s taking a bottle rather than having to take a break.

Feeding herself a bottle

She’s still eating purees, and she’s loving it! Fruits are her favorite, but she’s also taking to meat and veggies more.

Claire knows when we’re getting ready to feed her solid foods. We put her in her chair, and she watches us intently as we get her purees ready! She anticipates it, too, kicking her legs and putting her arms up. She’s so funny!

Meal times are also some of her happiest times. It’s easy to make her laugh and get smiles:)

First ballet class

This past month, Claire also got to come to a ballet class with me! I had just one 1-hour ballet class to teach, and for some reason there was an issue with her grandparents watching her, so I decided to just take her with me.

I didn’t snap any pics (dang it!) but my students loved seeing Claire in person, and she seemed to enjoy being in the studio — and watching the girls dance! She fed herself a bottle at the beginning of class, and then she started crawling all over the studio. I would let her roam as long as she wasn’t getting in the dancers’ way, but I did pick her up and execute a ronde de jambe en l’air while I was holding her! My students were amazed! Claire didn’t fuss at all, but I don’t think I’ll be taking her with me every week.😉

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8 months!

Wow, where has the time gone? It seems like Claire has grown so much in just the past month.

8 months!

We don’t go back to the pediatrician for another month, so I don’t have any numbers to share, but we do have a lot of milestones to report on!

Crawling

All of sudden, Claire started army crawling. And she got real good, real fast. David and I can’t even recall the first time she crawled. It just happened so suddenly. Even Claire’s daycare teachers said they were surprised when she was crawling everywhere one week, when just the week before she didn’t seem interested in it.

Of course this opens up a whole new can of worms. She loves going for the TV stand, fireplace, bar stools, china cabinet… But it’s also fun to watch her. The first week she started crawling, she crawled down the hallway to her bathroom where David was getting her bath ready! She loves to make her way into the kitchen, and across the whole house to our master bedroom. She loves crawling into our closets and our bathroom. We have mirrored doors so she loves to look at herself in the mirror and try to high five herself. It’s fun to watch but scary! She’s definitely keeping us on our toes.

Crawlin in the bathroom

Quickly after she started crawling, she also figured out how to go from being on her stomach to sitting up. David and I were both amazed! But Claire acted like it was no big deal. Now, when we go get her up for the day, she’s usually sitting up playing — clapping her hands or grabbing the crib bars. Didn’t I mentioned that she’s also learned how to clap?!

She recently has started trying to grab onto things to pull herself up onto her knees. We know it’s only a matter of time until she pulls herself up to standing!

Eating

Claire loves fruit!

Oh my, does Claire love fruit! She still doesn’t care for veggies — she’s eaten some carrots and was OK with sweet potatoes, but HATES green beans and peas and squash. She gets really excited when she’s eating her fruits — apples, bananas, pears and peaches. She even enjoyed prunes!

Yuck

Daycare

When I walk Claire in to her daycare class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, she gets really excited. And she doesn’t cry when I leave.

She also made a friend, an older girl (maybe 1.5?) — of course she’s “friends” with everyone but the other 6 students are boys. One of the first days after the older girl started, I went to pick up Claire early because I had a work meeting, and her class was out in the quad strollers for a walk around the building. Her teacher told me that the older girl had her hand on Claire’s shoulder the whole time! How sweet.

Other outings

We typically go to church on Sunday mornings (sometimes we go on Saturday night) and then we go out for brunch. Recently we’ve been going to Another Broken Egg Cafe. Claire doesn’t like to stay in her car seat carrier when we’re in restaurants much anymore, so we’ve been putting her in the high chair. She turns her body all around in there, and loves to look at everyone and all the decorations. She won’t eat the tiny bits of food we try to give her, but she seems to enjoy being able to experience more of the world!

Babies who brunch

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7 Months!

Claire is already 7 months old! She is the downward slope to 1!

This past month was a big month for Claire. Lots of things happening.

Baby Dedication

We started the month with Claire’s baby dedication at our church. She fussed a little, but it made for a cute, memorable story. It was a special day for our family. David’s family was able to join us for the service, and for the prayer that our pastor prayed over Claire and our family.

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We also had more family photos taken! Claire was much more amenable to the photo shoot this time around. David still hates photos. {The following photos are by Kaci Danielle Photography}

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Untitled I went on another business trip the first week of February, but I got lots of pictures and videos! Saying "hi mom" while she's out of town

First illness😦

The week I got back, Claire started part-time daycare. She’s going two days per week for 4.5 hours a day. She’s only been a couple of times so far, but it gives me some time to focus solely on work, and it’s good for her to be with other babies.

Unfortunately, Claire also experienced her first illness this past month. It started after she got her first flu vaccine — she was congested with a runny nose. She just didn’t feel good. (Note, this was before she started daycare and right before I left for LA!). She was up most of the night and would only sleep when I was holding her — so it was a long, tiring couple of days, but she came through it!

Just a couple of weeks later, she came down with some kind of stomach bug. She was throwing up her entire bottle, and it was coming out the other end. Thankfully, she slept well during this time, but we were worried about her getting dehydrated, and seeing her milk come out her nose was not fun! I did take her to the doctor, who gave me great insight into what to do (feed her just a little bit and gradually increase the amount) and when she would need to go to the ER (hopefully never!). I’m thankful we have a doctor that is 5 minutes down the road and so accommodating to very worried first-time parents.

Just a couple of days after the vomiting-through-the-nose incident, we headed on our first family road trip!

First Road Trip

Road trip! David had a work conference in Amelia Island over Valentine’s Day, so Claire and I tagged along. The car ride was fine — she still wasn’t feeling 100% so she was somewhat fussy, but we survived. It also took Claire awhile to fall asleep in the hotel’s crib, but when she did finally fall asleep, she slept through the night. We enjoyed walking around the hotel grounds — with the shops and restaurants. It was nice weather, and the stroller was a huge help. Amelia Island

And we celebrated Claire’s first Valentine’s Day while we were there!

Happy Valentine's Day

Eating

We also started SOLID FOODS! Whoo was that fun. Claire wasn’t sure about them at first. We started with rice cereal, and then carrots… sweet potatoes…green beans… Carrots

But she does enjoy playing with the spoon!

Feeding myself already?!

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Six Months!

Saturday marked six months since Claire entered the world! We just went to the pediatrician for her six-month check-up and shots today.

  • Weight: 18 lbs, 6 oz
  • Length:24 inches
  • Head:17 inches

This month was a big month for little Claire!

We celebrated her first Christmas. And then we rang in the new year … while she was sound asleep in her crib.😉

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Claire also started sitting up on her own! We put her in front of this princess mirror (gift from my Disney-loving friend Whitney gave us), and she LOVED it.

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She can play at that mirror for a long time.
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It’s also been colder, so we’ve had to bundle up — which means wearing cute hats and coats!

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She’s growing, and fast, but our sweet little girl is just getting sweeter!
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2015: Year in Review

This time last year, I was nervously telling David that a baby was on the way. That defined our 2015.

We started our January with a trip to the OB/GYN where we learned that we were expecting, and the baby was a girl. From there, we told our families, and then our close friends, and of course our employers.

Those family members and friends supported us with 4 baby showers. The first was in Los Angeles, held by the company I work for. Then my great friend Melody hosted a wonderful shower for family and friends. And both dance studios I taught for held showers, during which the owners, students and parents graciously gave us gifts for Baby Girl Stevens.

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We also decided that we needed to move closer to David’s office. So we started a house hunt and simultaneously put our first home on the market. It was a stressful, frustrating, exciting, consuming process but in the end it all worked out. We made a profit on the sale of our first house, which we used to pay off David’s car and put a downpayment on our amazing second house that we absolutely love. And we moved in record time.

After we bought the house, it was also time to purchase a new “family” car. I was driving a great 2003 Honda Accord that was David’s car before we bought the Prius. But the A/C went out and it had 100K+ miles. So I got a new Honda CRV! And I love it.

Throughout my pregnancy, I continued teaching my dance classes and stayed active — walking almost every day and swimming nearly every day after we moved into to the new house. I survived two recitals when I was 7+ months pregnant.

And of course, I stayed on top of my career. I had just been promoted to the VP position a few weeks before 2014 ended. I traveled to Los Angeles for a management training conference and a company board meeting right around the 19-week mark. I also spearheaded a redesign of the company’s main website.

Before I knew it, July was here. The nursery was ready, the clothes were washed, and the car seat bases were installed. And then, d-day was here. I was induced and delivered Claire on July 16, and nothing has been the same since!

Fresh and clean

I had a 6-week maternity leave. I’m very grateful that I was paid throughout that time through short-term disability and accrued vacation and sick days. The first two weeks I spent more time at home that I have ever before. I had no idea what to expect adding a baby to our family, but I have only positive memories of those first few weeks. And, of course, she survived so that means we did something right … right?!

About 4 weeks into my maternity leave, I turned 28! It was my first birthday as a “mom,” and boy did Claire remind me that it’s not about me anymore!

We watched Claire grow from a newborn, to a one-month old, and then right before she turned two-months old I started back to work, and began teach dance classes again. The transition was as smooth as it could be, I suppose. I wasn’t particularly eager to go back to work, but I wasn’t dreading it either. Claire and I had started to get into a rhythm, and so far so good! I also had the privilege of performing at a local Oktoberfest.

David and I celebrated 5 years of marriage on October 1, and Claire continued to grow into a three-month old. Right after she turned 3 months, I went on my first work trip post-baby. It was … something. I had a TON of presentations to give, some opinionated (for lack of a better … or meaner .. word) coworkers, and reaaaalllly long days and nights. But Claire was well taken care of by David and my grandma. I’m incredibly grateful that my grandma and David’s parents are so willing — and enthusiastic — to watch Claire. Knowing that she was in good hands helped a lot. Admittedly, I was excited to get away for a few days, but it was also my first time away from Claire overnight! We all survived.:)

I also experienced a very common but not-very-talked-about postpartum wrist injury (“new mommy syndrome”) and had to get a steroid shot. But that was more of an annoyance than a real issue.

We celebrated David’s 33rd birthday in November, and Charlie also turned 5 that month.

Also in November, the new website design and rebranding I spearheaded finally launched. It was a long time coming, and a LOT of work, but it was so worth it.

Claire continued to grow — learning to roll both ways by the time she was 4 months and experiencing her first real holiday: Thanksgiving, and Black Friday.😉

It was around this time that I really began to embrace the “mom” job. Not that I didn’t love Claire before, but as her personality blossomed and she grew and grew before our eyes, it really became apparent how much of a blessing she really is, and what unique things you get to experience as a momma to a new baby.

Claire grew into a 5-month old, and we celebrated her very first Christmas. December also would have marked my mom’s 60th birthday, and this year would have been her favorite.

2015 was officially the year of Claire. Now, we are all ready (or not) for 2016, and all of the things that come with it.

 

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Baby’s First Christmas {2015}

Words really can’t describe baby’s first Christmas, so here are some pictures that give just a glimpse.

We got in the Christmas spirit right after Thanksgiving.

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And we even went to see Santa Claus!

Claire's first Christmas photo with santa! Someone was tired, though. IMG_0455

On Christmas Eve, we went to the candlelight service at church…

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…and then I made Christmas Eve dinner. We got a visit from the fire department because of the “great butter fire of 2015.” Everything was fine; it was just an accident! {And there wasn’t really a fire.}

Then came Christmas morning! We began the day with our traditional breakfast spread…

Traditional Christmas breakfast

…and then we opened presents and stockings at home!

Santa butt

Before we knew it, it was time to go to great-grandma’s house for Christmas lunch. IMG_0655

Someone got a little tired though…

Too much Christmas fun

Next up, we ventured over to the grandparents’ house! DSC_0406

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Someone got REALLY tired…
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After a bottle and a quick nap, it was time for more presents! She LOVED grabbing and pulling (& eating!) the wrapping paper and bows. Love wrapping paper

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And exploring the gifts she received! DSC_0427

She even got her first (big) dolly!

First dolly!

And finally, we headed home again, where we said “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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5 Months!

How is baby girl 5 months old already?!

Claire is 5 months!

This past month was very busy. We celebrated Claire’s first Thanksgiving… DSC_0352

my first thanksgiving passed out at Thanksgiving

…and her first Black Friday!

Enjoying Black Friday Black Friday

We got ready for Christmas

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…by putting up the Christmas tree

…and going to see Santa! Claire's first Christmas photo with santa!

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And Claire’s personality continued to develop as she got a little feisty and excited!

 

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