IMG_1958Clara Girl is going to be 5 in a couple of months and I can’t quite get my mind around it. She’ll be starting all day everyday Kindergarten in the Fall. It’s crazy! When she isn’t watching herself dance in the reflection of the oven door, she’s playing games with Charlie, singing songs, drawing pictures and picking out outfits to wear. Preschool days are her favorite days. She loves to help me set the table and loves to make-believe that she’s a hostess at a restaurant. IMG_3753

Here are some recent Clara-isms

  • “I’m gonna sing ‘Go Tell it on a Mountain’ but a jazzy one.”
  • “When I’m at the dentist can you just go away from me? I can do it alone. I’m a big girl.”
  • “When I grow up I want to be a doctor …actually, I want to be a ribbon dancer.”IMG_1631
  • I asked how old she thinks I am, she replied, “Mom, you’re twenty big.”
  • I was helping Ruby with her homework and Clara wanted me to watch her dance, so she said, “I’m gonna do a BIIIIG twirl. This time can you say, ‘WOAH!’?”
  • We told the kids we were going to stay at a hotel for a night and Clara got a dreamy look on her face and said, “At hotels I dream about ponies, rainbows, Jesus, movie theaters…” she loves hotels.IMG_4930
  • “Hey, why are you taking a picture of me?” because I can’t help myself Clara.
  • The girls and I were talking about being mommies and Clara interrupted, “Wait. Mom. When me and Ruby are mommies we’re gonna get smooched by a dad?!?!”
  • A mo-hawk in the bathtub is known as a “bow hog” to Clara. She loves Bow Hogs.IMG_3162
  • She loves playing “kitchen” or “restaurant” and the other day I asked her what’s for dinner. She replied, “Just a piece of cake of cheese mom, just a piece of cake of cheese.”
  • Ruby taught Clara how to say “Hello” in Spanish. Clara ran into the kitchen and yelled to me, “I’m speaking cursive! Ruby teached me how to speak cursive!!”
  • Clara loves her friends Blakely, Emmi and Taylor. They’re just the cutest little buddies.IMG_1140

My Clara Girl, with her flower headband accessories and Punky Brewster street style, her sweet smile and loud laugh, reserved around crowds but a comedian around those closest to her. She’s really something special. I’m so glad I get to be her mommy.IMG_2158



IMG_9596I’ve been cracking up looking back at all the thoughts our spunky little Clara Dawn has been thinking out loud lately. She is very certain and very matter-of-fact about everything she says. She’s got an eye for beauty/fashion/art and loves to put on shows and sing songs for any guests who come over to our house. Here are some recent Claraisms from my 4-year-old “middlest child” as she calls herself.

  • “These pants match this shirt because they’s yellow, but this skirt doesn’t match… but I’m wearing this skirt today for fashion.”IMG_9632
  • “Who’s your middlest child?”
  • Anything in the past happened “Last Day”. “When did we go to the playground, was that last day?”
  • “I can see everybody’s eyes but I can’t see mine because they’re up in the top.” (pointing to her own eyes)IMG_7332
  • The kids have been practicing winking. We’ve got more practicing to do.
  • “Mom, did you know when we were little, we were small? I’m my own self and daddy’s he’s own self and Ruby is she’s own self and mommy and Charlie are these own selfs.”IMG_8020
  • “Sheldon Cleaners has a bow tie shaped logo, so Clara always says “it’s just for daddys.”
  • “Mom, You’re so big, you’re almost twenty big.”
  • On SuperHero day at Spring Hill Day Camp I asked Clara what her special power was. She thought for a minute then yelled, “I have sandwiches powers!”IMG_9614
  • “I’m gonna read this whole long story. This is a picture of animals and this is a thing about animals… some of these pages are ripped a little bit but mommy taped it so it won’t be ripped.”
  • I tell the kids to wash “fronts and backs and in the cracks” during bath time and Clara regularly chimes in, “because bottoms are just privacy”IMG_0759
  • It’s a daily battle for Clara to let me do her hair. She doesn’t want me to comb it, braid it, or even put it in a clip or ponytail. It’s usually hanging in her eyes and she spends all of her time flipping it out of her face with one hand. On the days she decides to let me do it, she loves it and tells me “I want a braid everyday mom. I love it.” but the next day she says, “I don’t really want you to do my hair!” while thrashing around so I can’t fix it. IMG_0325
  • “Mommy, when I’m at the dentist can you just go away from me? I can do it alone, like a big girl.”
  • She’s always ready to strike a pose for the camera. I wish I could be more sneaky and catch more candid moments of her life – but for now, these moments will be just fine.IMG_0554
  • She was curled up in a little sad heap on the couch so I asked her what was wrong. She replied, “I’m just so sad.” I asked her why and she told me, “Because I don’t like Father’s Day very much.”
  • Clara has a great imagination. She loves to play dress up, and changes clothes many times each day. I’ll say, Clara please put those clothes back in your drawer.” and she will reply, “I’m not Clara, I’m Elsa.” (or whoever she is pretending to be at the moment.)IMG_8447
  • “It’s good for our bodies to get energy. God made us to get energy. When we go to the playground we get energy, when we slide we get energy, I could just get energy all day”
  • While I was changing Charlie’s diaper Clara came into the room plugging her nose, “My toy Elsa doesn’t smell it because she’s just a toy.”IMG_9262
  • Ruby: “Awe, can I hold one? Clara: “EWWW! What’s that smell?!?!”
  • “Did you know that all cars have shapes?”
  • “And you always always have to take naps every time because it’s good for our bodies to rest. Our bodies can play, play, play and God wants our bodies to rest and everyone in our family can rest their heads down.”IMG_8185

Clara Dawn, I am so excited for you to start school again. After spending all day every day all summer together, you are quite ready for some time away from your siblings and I.  You’re so good at doing things by yourself and discovering how to do things without my help. You’re so creative and always willing to jump into any crafty activity happening – including “sharpening the colored pencils” which is the “craft” you’re currently working on since I am at the end of my “activities to survive the summer” stash.

I love getting to be your mommy and I’m so proud of the way you’re making your mark in this world, little one. Our family and our lives wouldn’t be complete without our “middlest child.” Daddy and I love you SO much!


Happy 4th Birthday Clara!!

IMG_7370IMG_4697I seriously can’t believe my little Clara Dawn is already 4 years old! She has really come into her own over the past few months and I love watching her confidence grow each week. She has discovered her innate ability to entertain people. She loves to draw and create, loves to dance and sing, loves making people laugh and has no threshold for how much tickling she can endure.

Here are some recent Claraisms for you to enjoy.

  • “If you are really fwustwated a mommy can help you feel better.”
  • “Nana is the best grown up I ever had!”
  • While holding a tape measure toward me she said, “hmmm mom, you’re twenty big.”
  • She loves the art table at her school and her teachers told me that she would do art all day if they let her. IMG_4624_2
  • She often asks me what day it is. I’ll say “Tuesday” and she will yell out, “It’s Tuesday!”
  • She always thanks God for all the Rainbows and all the “Aminals” when she says prayers at bedtime.
  • Clara refuses to nap but occasionally she falls asleep on the couch, floor, or coffee table while Ruby is at school.IMG_5383_2
  • She never agrees or admits to “taking a nap” but often says she is going to “take a little rest”.
  • Each morning at school drop off Ruby wants to give hugs and kisses to Clara and Charlie before getting out of the van. Some mornings Clara squirms and screams and doesn’t want hugs and kisses. Other mornings she cries big tears about how much she will miss her Ruby girl. There’s no middle ground with Clara. She’s extreme. She feels ALL THE THINGS.IMG_5822
  • Speaking of feeling all the feelings, she was not happy about the seam on the toe of her tights on Palm Sunday.  IMG_5827
  • Clara changes clothes about 5 times per day. She lays out her outfit the night before, changes in the morning, changes after school, changes before picking Ruby up from school, changes after dinner… this girl loves clothes.
  • She is basically a style icon – her daily outfits (which she chooses herself) are layers and layers of colorful amazingness. Here are a couple of examples:IMG_4917_2 IMG_5293_2
  • Whenever I put in a Disney DVD she reminds me, “If a scary pawt comes then you can past forward it.”
  • Her shoes are on the wrong feet 100% of the time. You’d think there would be a 50/50 chance she’d get it right, but no, it’s absolutely always wrong.
  • Already a Patriot, whenever we are driving she calls out all the flags we pass, “I SAW ANOTHER CAMERICAN FLAG!!” IMG_4598_2
  • On our way into the car I said, “Jump in your seat” and she stomped her foot and said, “I don’t JUMP in my seat, I GET in my seat!” yikes!
  • She loves going to play at the mall play place and always reports back on any kids that looked at her or tried to play with her. “He was just looking at me mommy. I didn’t want he to look at me!”
  • “I’m gonna go get beautifulled up.”IMG_6858
  • When she gives herself a shampoo mohawk in the bathtub she calls it a “Bow Hog”
  • While driving home from school the other day she said, “Keep your eyes peeled because you have to keep an eye on my place.”
  • Clara LOVES her daddy. One on one time with Ryan is all she needs to become her best self.IMG_5030_2
  • I’m trying to help her be a teeny bit more friendly: responding/acknowledging when someone says “hello” or “good morning” to her. On the way to school we talked about saying “Good Morning to her teacher instead of walking past and ignoring her greeting. Clara told me, “I’m not gonna say good morning today.” and she didn’t…
  • I’ll ask, “do you need to go potty?” and she always answers, “No, princesses do not go potty.”IMG_5301_2
  • Her BFF Emmi’s dad has a Jeep and Clara loves yelling out “JEEP!!” whenever we see one.
  • “I think my brudder just loves me. And also, he loves one of those” (points to toast).
  • Clara and Charlie love each other so much. They chase each other around the house all day. I love seeing them laughing and playing together.IMG_5688_2

  • Clara loves talking to Ryan through the shower curtain in the mornings. She has so much to say when she first wakes up. I love listening to their conversations echoing in the bathroom.
  • When she’s playing silly games with Ruby and realize Ruby is laughing she starts saying “Eyeball Twash” over and over and makes Ruby laugh even harder. I have no idea what Eyeball Trash is or how she knows about it.
  • She loves to comb my hair and tries to braid it… which takes me a good chunk of time to untangle once she’s done.IMG_5061_2

Clara Dawn, you are so funny. I love seeing your sense of humor develop and love the look you get on your face when you realize you’re being entertaining. I love that your favorite song is “Jump Into The Light” and that you love singing songs about Jesus. You did an awesome job being three and I can only imagine how much more wonderful you will become during this next year of your life. I admire your strength, stamina and determination, qualities that make it difficult to parent you, but qualities that will be incredibly beneficial to you later in life. You’re a special little person and Daddy and I are so grateful God picked us to be your parents. And I’m really thankful God picked Ryan to be your daddy because he really helps me understand your shenanigans…

I love you and your shenanigans sweet girl. Thank you for regularly reminding me to “Let it go, Let it go…”

A letter from Clara (A Glimpse into the Three-Year-Old Mind)

This morning I thought I’d get a head-start on creating some Valentine’s Day cards so I asked Clara if she’d like to write a letter to her dad. She was so excited to tell him some things. This is her letter.

This is a letter to dad. Mom, I think we should put some smiley faces on it. 🙂 🙂 🙂 And a smiley face 🙂 and another smiley face 🙂 and another one 🙂 and another one 🙂 and that one 🙂 and that one 🙂 and this one 🙂

Mommy, Is daddy at work? I’m going to tell him what my Valentines Day card is. Um, I think I’m gonna do more smiley faces. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I want to say I love him, and mom, do you see this smiley face? It’s because I love daddy. 🙂 Remember to put some smiley faces on. 🙂 And also I love about him… too… how much he loves me. And I also love daddy for… a present. And I like doing music with daddy. Uhhhh Mommy, I want to just talk to dad.

Actually, this note will be to Nana. I wanna say that I love Nana. Sooooo, and also I love funny faces. And I love about Nana dancing… yes dancing. Mom, this is gonna be really fun. Mom, pretty please can we please go to Nana’s for a teensy tiny bit?

So I love about Nana is playing colors and sewing and pirate ship and also eating bananas and also doing art and music and that’s it. And also about going to the store with her.

I know! How about we go to Nana’s and give it to her, like, we hafta give it to her at her house.

Ok. I’m gonna go now.



Sweet Clara Dawn. This little lady is really something special. She’s as turbulent and tumultuous as any 3-year old I’ve ever met, but she’s also as sweet as pie sometimes. She keeps herself quite entertained and her imagination has really developed in the past few months.

  • Clara and Ruby started preschool and Kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. They are absolutely loving it. Clara goes 2 mornings a week and has the sweetest preschool teacher you can imagine. This pic on their first day of school pretty much sums up their excitement.IMG_5947
  • Clara’s got the music in her. She loves to put on shows which include singing and dancing as well as on-the-spot songwriting for anyone who will sit and listen. At the beginning of every show she says, “The show is starting to begin.”
  • Before preschool started she got to go to school to find her locker. When she saw it, she sat down and explained, “I just love it mommy.”IMG_5545
  • When I pick her up I always ask her what she did at school and she always replies, “I did everything I need to do.”
  • The girls both love riding their bikes and scooters when they come home from school in the afternoons. Clara was super disappointed the other day. I asked her what the problem was and she answered, “I just can’t ice-skate.”IMG_5158
  • While peeling a clementine, “I don’t want to get any clemonade in my eye.”
  • Clara is great at spotting things while we drive. “I saw a JEEP!” “That looks like the dentist!” “There’s a car wash! I saw a car wash!”
  • IMG_0299
  • “My energy is running out of batteries.”
  • I kinda enjoy that she can’t pronounce her “R’s” very well yet. “We watched this weally funny show where the pwincess kissed a fwog and it turned into a pwince!”
  • “My watch says its fourteen teen eight.”IMG_0437
  • She got to hold some baby goats and bunnies at the orchard last week. She LOVED the bunnies… poor bunnies that get held all day by crazy children. I think this bunny was just playing dead.
  • Before she starts a song she says, “a one, a one, a one, two, fwee”
  • At the end of her bedtime prayers she always says, “Thank you God for my mom and dad and sister and brother and most of all, thank you for my Clara girl.”IMG_5532
  • Ruby detests when Clara is screaming/crying so she covers her ears. Clara detests when Ruby is covering her ears. It’s a vicious cycle of detest. “Wooby is covering she’s ears!!”
  • She calls the airport “The Plane Station” like a train station for planes. It just makes so much sense, people!IMG_0962
  • Clara and Charlie are best little buddies and spend the hours of 4-6pm most days causing a ruckus, wrestling and chasing one another around the house. I love seeing their little friendship develop.
  • “Wooby is just going weally weally fast!”IMG_5742
  • “I need to give you a checkup mom.” She gave me this unfortunate diagnosis, “I’m sorry to say you’ve got a diarrhea of your mouth.”
  • She loves to pretend she’s going to work and talks a lot about “Daddy’s Hostible” (hospital) “I’m just going to see a lot of strange people eating when I go to work.”
  • In conclusion, following up with Ruby’s amazing school picture last week, here is Clara’s school pic. I’ve been laughing all morning about it. Those photographers are lucky I’m not in charge of hiring/firing them!IMG_1048

Clara is Three Years Old!

IMG_0983Our Amazing Clara Dawn turned 3 on May 5th. She does all the ridiculously cute things that most toddlers do. We were outside the other day and she spent a good chunk of time trying to kick off her shadow. It was awesome. IMG_1147

Clara is bonkers about Charlie. She just can’t get enough of him. They play together all day – one of her favorite games to play with him is “chase” where she runs toward him then past him as he squeals with delight and crawls after her, then she runs back the other way and he “chases” her again. She told me that Charlie is her best friend. I love how she always says, “Hey Bud” to him and wants to be wherever he is.IMG_1302

She’s 35 lbs, 3 feet tall, and full of fire and ice. She has me scratching my head on a daily basis, searching for answers on how to parent her effectively, tearing through books with titles like, “Raising Your Spirited Child” and sighing with relief as I collapse on the couch at night after getting her tucked into bed for the 12th time each evening. IMG_0702

…but then she comes in to greet me each morning with this face and all is right with the world again.


Clara is becoming a bit of a ham. She loves asking, “Have you seen this face?” then makes a funny face. At her 3-year checkup the pediatrician asked her to stand up straight, so Clara hunched over and chuckled quietly to herself. Then some nurses laughed, so Clara just stayed hunched over with a goofy smile on her face. Eventually she popped up straight enough for the nurse to get her height. I enjoyed seeing her realize she was funny.IMG_0671

I’ve never done anything more difficult that try to teach Clara to blow her nose. I know she will figure it out eventually, but for now, she just constantly sniffs and snuffs and asks “I need a tissue” very regularly. Once I give her the tissue she just wipes it on her nose, eye or cheek then throws it away. I try to get her to blow and basically she does the valsalva maneuver really hard until I think she might hurt herself. I don’t know why this is so frustrating to me, but it keeps me up at night. The good news is she will be really good at snorkeling in the deep water someday because she’ll be a champ at equalizing her ear pressure.

IMG_9766Clara is very particular about what she wears and the only way to get her clothed is if she thinks it was her idea. I can’t tell you the epic battles that have ensued over my desire for her to wear pants during the Polar Vortex and her desire to wear nothing at all. Now that it’s warmer outside, most days I just say,”pick out something to wear. I’m excited to see what you chose.” then I bite my tongue when she comes out of her room with some amazing ensemble. Thankfully, “beautiful princess dresses” are almost always ok with her – so we look like we just got off the pageant bus while we are strolling around Target.

She’s a future foodie. Anything Ryan is eating, Clara says she loves. She will eat anything he gives her including sushi, spicy bbq chips, and anything she can dip in ketchup or ranch. If you ask her, “Do you like that Clara?” she typically responds, “I do. Really much.”IMG_9664

Clara loves her daddy so much. She lights up when Ryan gets home from work each day. She tells him all sorts of stories, sings for him, draws pictures for him, builds and feeds him Lego cakes, shows him her most recent dance moves, tells him jokes, and follows him around the house chatting away. She talks more to Ryan than anyone else. She says more in the hour he gets home than she does the whole rest of the day combined. It’s amazing. I love hearing her bubbly little voice when she talks to him.


Other than when she’s talking to Ryan, these are her most frequent sayings:

  • Don’t say that!
  • Don’t dance by me!
  • Stop doing that!
  • Where’s Charlie?
  • Ruby is not being kind!
  • I need a tissue!
  • Where’s Daddy?


I love you with all of my heart Clara Dawn. You challenge me to dig deep into motherhood and have expanded my heart in all sorts of ways I didn’t expect. You remind me of your Great Grandma Wandah Beeson in all the best ways. You make me smile and laugh everyday. I’m so thankful I get to be your mommy and I pray that you’ll discover all sorts of wonderful ways to honor God with your determination, drive, and hilarious personality.IMG_9287


IMG_4703Clara has become a bit of a chatter bug over the past couple of months. She is in her element when she’s one-on-one. If Ryan or I take her on a trip to the grocery, gas station or car wash without her siblings she becomes the most animated, excited, talkative little person you’ve ever seen. It’s so funny. If you come to visit, feel free to take Clara on a special outing by herself. She will love you forever.IMG_4694

One of Clara’s favorite things is watering the mums. She LOVES to check them out each morning to see how they’re doing and let’s me know many times a day that “we need to water those mums!”IMG_4620

She also reminds me regularly, “we need to clean this house!” I think she must have heard me say that often enough that now she’s telling ME! ha!

Clara love ranch dressing. She recently discovered that we can dip things in ranch… so now she asks for it at most meals. “Can I have some wanch? Can I have some wanch right here? wanch? wanch mommy?”IMG_4855

When we are at the playground or zoo or whenever there are other kids around, Clara sees it as her job to report to me what the other kids are doing. She will run up to me and say, “this kid is on the slide.” or “that kid has a brother.” or “this kid is not being nice to me!”

I let the girls watch a TV show after lunch and before naps most days. While I’m in the process of turning on the TV Clara is always so concerned that It’s not really going to happen. She has no faith that I’ll be able to turn the channel to find her show. She just sits on the couch saying, “No, it’s not gonna come on! It’s not coming on. No. It’s not coming on.” over and over until finally the Disney Junior channel is on. Patience is not her strong suit.IMG_4440

She is 2, so of course, wants to do everything by herself. If I’m trying to put her in her seat for lunch, she says, “No, I can do it myself!” and then proceeds to take A LOOOONG time to do it by herself. The same goes for brushing her teeth, putting on and off shoes, coats, gloves, hats, or getting into or out of her car seat. “I want to sit on my own bottom!”

IMG_4489This last picture shows how frustrated she was that she didn’t fit in her doll’s cradle the other day. She’s such a character. I never wonder how she’s feeling because her face makes it VERY clear! She says cute things like “pischker” instead of “picture”, knows her colors, is learning to identify some letters, can sing the ABC’s, Jesus Loves Me, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. She LOVES getting tickled and has such a great laugh. She is still taking a solid 2-3 hour nap every afternoon and I have not yet figured out which direction to comb her hair.

Clara’s 2nd Birthday

IMG_1250May 5th we celebrated our little Clara girl’s 2nd birthday. I can’t believe how fast the first 2 years of her life flew by. She came into this world a bit skeptical…IMG_1234

…but with every passing year she has become a silly, giggly, joyful, mischievous, caring little person. IMG_1236

Her birthday started with a whole bag of balloons. I spent three nap-times before her birthday in my closet, secretly blowing up balloons. When she came downstairs for breakfast the morning of her birthday, she was SO EXCITED about the balloons.IMG_1244

Ruby and I sang the Happy Birthday song to Clara a few times, and she would sing it back to herself, “Happy You You You You!” She sang it all day. When Ryan came home from being on call we had cupcakes and opened gifts. Here she is at the end of the day watching Milo and Otis, wearing her new fish glasses, sitting on her new potty with her new dolly, next to her new sleeping bag. This picture pretty much sums up the birthday shenanigans.IMG_1274

A few more things about Clara: The other day we were sitting on the porch while a thunderstorm rolled in. This was her face listening to thunder.IMG_1280

She has been saying a lot lately – and I can understand about 70% of it! Once she gets excited it’s harder to understand her because she talks so fast and has so much to say all at once. Here are some Claraisms:

  • “I’m all done Mommy.” (already climbing out of the bath when she still has shampoo in her hair. She always says she’s all done before she actually is.)
  • “See ya later! Bye! See ya! Bye! See ya later! Bye!” (while waving with both hands.)
  • “Paci! Blankie! Lambie! Glasses!” (These are the items she hoards on long car rides. If any one of these items is missing, it’s a bad situation for everyone in the car.)
  • “See the kids?” (whenever we are going to church, side-by-side, or the Y)
  • “Daddy’s car!” (she is always so excited when Ryan comes home)
  • “Here I come Beebee!” (she still calls Ruby “Beebee”)
  • “BALLOONS!! PLAYPLACE!! ZOOOOO!!” (depending on where we are going each day.)
  • She is super ticklish and loves playing chasing games, hide and seek, and spinning in circles until she falls down.
  • Her favorite shows are Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Max and Ruby, and Bubble Guppies. She sings along with all the theme songs.
  • She loves to play with whatever Ruby is currently playing with… which causes many sisterly disputes. Clara enjoys getting a rise out of Ruby and Ruby enjoys getting Clara in trouble, which is why we’ve been doing some “double time-outs” lately.IMG_1288

I love you Clara Girl. I’m so thankful I get to be your mommy. “Happy You You You You!”IMG_1214

Clara is 20 Months Old

Clara is 20 months old, which seems like a good time to do some sort of blog post about her and all the silliness and personality she’s developed in the last few months. As far as her stats go, she is heavy enough that I might throw out my back any second, tall enough to bump her head on the fridge door when it’s open, and has a lot of teeth.

IMG_9202Clara is a singer. She loves music and is often singing while she plays. Pretty much her favorite song is either the ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or Baa Baa Black Sheep, but I have no idea which because she doesn’t sing the words, just the tune and all three of those have the same tune. Ha.

IMG_9019Clara is mischievous, full of shenanigans, loves playing games and hiding things. We lost Baby Jesus out of our nativity for a few weeks. Clara was always carrying him around, so I figured he’d been thrown away (since she also loves “helping” throw trash in the bin.) I found him inside one of my rain boots a couple of days ago. The day I found Jesus was such a great day.  :o)

Clara loves to read to herself, and often does it VERY LOUDLY.  It kinda sounds like she’s yelling in a foreign language. Here’s a video to show you what I mean.

She has a lot of hair, and a lot of lengths of hair. The hair on top of her head and on her sideburns is really long, but the hair on the front and back of her head is short. I use whatever she ate for breakfast as “product” to style her awesome locks. Bananas work awesome, nutella and peanut butter are super sticky but smell wonderful. ha. I think I’ll get her a haircut tomorrow.IMG_9238

Clara loves her mama. She is ridiculously furious when I drop her off at the church nursery or if I am not within arms reach is anyone she doesn’t know is around. She is not at all interested in making friends or meeting Ruby’s friends… which Ruby does not understand since Ruby has never met a stranger.

Clara calls Ruby “Bee Bee” and is always looking for and calling for Bee Bee when Ruby is a preschool.IMG_8923

She thinks its hilarious to do normal tasks with her eyes closed. She tries to pick up food and put it in her mouth with her eyes closed, then claps when she accomplishes it. She’s been walking with her eyes closed and spinning in circles with her eyes closed.

Clara LOVES animals. She is very brave – which makes me want to introduce her to Jungle Jack Hanna sometime while we live in Columbus.IMG_9089

Clara needs “alone time” which I do not understand. I often ask Ryan to help me understand her, because she and Ryan are a lot alike. If we’ve been out to a playgroup or with a bunch of people in the morning, she gets home and wants to just be by herself in her crib. Not to nap, just to be alone. It’s incredible how a little alone time helps her get through the day.


Bath time is not an option at night because Clara is a crazy messy eater. She loves food and will eat pretty much anything we put on her tray. The problem is that once she’s all done, she just starts chucking food everywhere and waving her arms all around to knock all the remaining food off her tray. It’s unbelievable how quickly this happy tirade happens… in the blink of an eye the 6-foot radius around her chair is splattered with food.IMG_9257

She loves baths, especially when Ruby is in there with her, and gets mad if I try to carry her upstairs. She would much rather walk up herself.IMG_8904

She always says “amen” after we say her prayers at night.

Clara loves shoes, putting them on and off, trying on other people’s shoes, and can even walk in high heels. I think her favorite thing about going anywhere is that she gets to put her shoes on. She says “shoes” with a lot of “ooooo” in the middle.

She takes self-portraitsIMG_9154

…and looks a lot like Ryan did when he was 2! IMG_9040

If she thinks a snack is coming, she sits on the floor wherever she is and waits for it to be presented to her.

Clara’s favorite words are “Ow” and “No”. No matter what you ask her, Clara’s answer is always “No”. If I say, do you want to go to the playground? She says “NO!” but really high-pitched and enthusiastically… like she actually means “yes”. It’s very confusing.

IMG_9006Clara is in a hat-wearing frenzy. If she can find a hat, it’s on her head. Any hat, your hat, my hat, the hat she found on the ground in the zoo parking lot…

Clara is a sweetie. She’s buckets of fun these days. I’m so thankful I get to be her mama.

Photos by Chris Cox | Photographer


Chris Cox (photographer extraordinaire) took some pics of Ruby and Clara when he visited in the fall. Picking my favorites to share with you here. You can see more of Chris’ work at or stop by Gaspard Gallery | 235 South Division Avenue, Grand Rapids, MICLARA-RUBY-SMALL-009 CLARA-RUBY-SMALL-010 CLARA-RUBY-SMALL-011 CLARA-RUBY-SMALL-016 CLARA-RUBY-SMALL-017

CLARA-RUBY-SMALL-018Chris! Thanks so much for capturing your nieces so well! We love love love the pics and will treasure them forever.