Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Labor Day Weekend with Grandma 2014

While Kevin was at writer's camp, Grandma Kathy came to help me for the long weekend. We spent a lot of bonding time together. We took the kids to the park, fed them, put them to bed. We drank a little bit of wine. We might have watched a soap opera or two. Haha. Good times. Thanks for helping Grandma!

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
Smile!

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
Grandma trying to teach James to pedal!

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
It worked a little.

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
Miranda's imitation of Ash on the way to the park.

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
James at the park

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014 
Grandma and Miranda at the park

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
James is helping Grandma cook.

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
A nice break for me from feeding the baby!

Grandma Visit- Aug 2014
We miss Grandma already!

Post Labor Day 2014
And here's a day-after-Labor-Day photo of the Clou family.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Writers' Camp 2014

Kevin went to what I called a writers' camp, Wellspring House. It was his friend Pete's idea, who is also a writer, but I had to encourage and bless the expedition because we have a young baby at home and Kevin can be very selfless if you don't stop him. So off they went for writing, writing, and rewriting. He also got to enjoy nature walks and of course, dinner and drinks with Pete. As payment, I requested he take pictures for me. Here they are!

Wellspring House 2015
Pete and Kevin

Wellspring House 2015
The House

Wellspring House 2015
The Nature

Wellspring House 2015
The Novel (on the wall)

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Look Back- September 2014

Happy September! This one is especially exciting because James is starting Nursery School! Let's see what were doing years ago...

Five Years Ago in 2009
Kevin and I had been married for three months when we roadtripped with Jon from Brooklyn to Chattanooga for Trey and Sunny's wedding.  The way there was pretty easy, but on the way back the boys were a bit hungover and were not exactly singing road songs.

Csar-Gettinger Wedding 2009
Trey and Sunny dancing at their wedding 2009

Kevin and I decided to drive down to Philly on a Monday to celebrate Brady's 30th birthday. We had some dinner, ice cream cake, and went to the Local and had some drinks. We closed the place on a Monday night.

Brady's 30th Birthday 2009 
Brady's 30th Birthday in Philly 2009

Ten Years Ago in 2004
I was single and happy about it, and living in Arlington, Virginia. Here am I posing with a random crazy person's truck. They glued dinosaurs all over it! I was 25! So fun!

Weird Dinosaur Car
Dinosaur truck

Heaven and Hell Party 2004
Jon, Ricky, me, and Mike at Mike's Heaven and Hell party- 
It was awesome but it was also hell. So well done then!

Kevin was back in Charlottesville and had just started teaching at Bridgewater at the end of August.

BACK TO SCHOOL!

Fifteen Years Ago in 1999
I was a 20 and living with my sorority sisters in the dorms at GW. The month of September was mostly occupied with Rush events. I did get to spend a little time out of town, and I went to Jones Beach for the first time in my life. I live there now!

1999 09 14 New Hall 09
Hanging out in my dorm room- I lived with Janice, Soraya, and Teresa that semester

1999 09 16 Rush Day 3 923b 
The Junior sorority sisters during the second night of rush

1999 09 18 Rush Day 4 925b
The Junior sorority sisters on the last night of rush

Kevin was 19 and just recently returned to Charlottesville for his second year at UVA where he roomed with Lukas.

Twenty Years Ago 1994
I was starting my sophomore year of high school in Ramsey, New Jersey. Here's my first day of school photo with Chrissy!

1994 09 08 Sophomore 998
Sophomore year, here we come!

Twenty-five Years Ago in 1989
I was just starting fifth grade. I loved fifth grade! For some reason, my trendy mother dressed me in a turtleneck and penguin sweatshirt for picture day. Probably because she forgot it was picture day.

1989-90 fifth grade 19
Shut up, I look awesome!

1989-90 Grade 5 Photo 358b
And here's the rest of my class! I'm friends with most of them on Facebook!

Thirty Years Ago in 1984
The first Ghostbusters was released. But I didn't go see it because I was just starting Kindergarten!

My Kidergarden Class Picture 1984-85
I am the last one in the second row.

Thirty-five Years Ago in 1979
I was 6 months old! Just a month and half older than Miranda is now.

1979 09 Baby E- 6 Months 341
I think it was a prank call- they said something about a zombie hand behind me?

Friday, August 29, 2014

James Goes to Work 2014

On Wednesday, Kevin had a department meeting on a day he doesn't ordinarily work so after some negotiating we decided on an unofficial "take your son to work day." I thought it would be good for him to see where Dada works because he's been fairly confident for most of his young life that when Dada leaves for work he's just nearby on the other side of the front door. Opening the door and going outside doesn't persuade him otherwise.

James at Stony Brook 2014
The "visiting professor" in Kevin's office

James at Stony Brook 2014
Checking out the fountains at Stony Brook

At home, James loves helping out where he can. He brings Miranda toys, and brings me her burp cloth, and shows an interest in helping with diapering or bathtime.

August 2014
The boys missed Miranda while they were at work

At dinnertime he brings a stool over to watch me cook and I let him help by picking herbs or adding salt and pepper to dishes. On this particular day he helped me make stuffed peppers for dinner.

August 2014 
Adding cheese to the top of the peppers

August 2014
Great job!

He's such a little man already!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Meeting Aria 2014

So we made it into Manhattan to meet Aria, and so Hudson and James could play, but between the disaster that is Miranda's schedule, and the Brooklyn Bridge being closed, we arrived just in time for Hudson's nap. But no worries, because we entertained ourselves at the super awesome park near their apartment, the Imagination Playgound. And after nap-time we were still able to go visit.

James and Hudson haven't exactly bonded yet, but they should because they both recently had the same traumatic experience. These babies, out of nowhere, just suddenly move into their homes! Here we are holding the little intruders.

Visiting McLeods- Aug 2014
Christina snuggling Miranda and my first meeting with Aria!

Visiting the McLeods- Aug 2014
Hudson and James! 

Visiting McLeods- Aug 2014
Grandma McLeod was here too. And Miranda loves her!

Visiting McLeods- Aug 2014
Imagination Playground!

Visiting McLeods- Aug 2014
Wait for it...

Visiting McLeods- Aug 2014
Splash!

Visiting McLeods- Aug 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Miranda is 4 Months Old 2014

This month we figured out that we might have been over-estimating Miranda's periods of wakefulness. We realized she need to eat and be put down for a nap every 1.5-2 hours. This was hard to figure out because she fights the naps SO HARD. When she's awake though she's slightly more interested in grabbing at toys and trying to get some in her mouth. She likes the jumperoo for about 5 minutes at a time and can jump in it. She continues to smile and make cute little noises at us, but she mostly meows like a cat. She has never met a cat.

Miranda is 4 Months 2014
4 months!

Food: Kevin got her to take 3 ounces here and there from a bottle, but Nana finally got her to take substantial amounts when we went out to Jackie and Rob's wedding. So, Miranda will now sort of take a bottle after much protest, but mostly I'm still her hostage. She nurses about every 1.5-2 hours. (I'm used to it now.)

Miri is 3 Months 2014
Craving Cuban food!

Sleep: She goes to bed a little earlier now between 7:30-9 p.m. depending on her well her naps go that day. But she always wakes up every 3 hours to eat which is worse than before when she'd give me at least one little chunk of 5-6 hours without eating. When she wakes up at night, I feed her and put her back in her co-sleeper crib (with the exception of a few nights when she REFUSED to go back to the crib). Then she'd wake up again at 4:30ish, and after feeding, she moves to our bed. More feeding at 7:30-8, and often she'll get up then for a day of rabble-rousing.

Naps ... sigh. We have to FORCE her to take a nap every 1.5-2 hours. She does best if I nurse her down and then take a nap with her. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Home- August 2014
Napping with Dada

Miri- 3 Months 2014
Another common nap location.

Miri- 3 Months 2014
Happy as a (spoiled) clam.

Trey and Sunny Visit 2014
Because she thinks she's too good for a BABY swing, that's why.

Growth: She's in size 3-6 months. At her very late 3 month appointment she was about 14 pounds. Now she's about 15 pounds.

August 2014
Had to raise the side of the co-sleeper crib because, this.

Skills: She giggled for the first time this month! Grandma tickled her and then it was just giggles all the times after that. She loves grabbing her feet. She grabs our hands to chew on because she's teething. She also swats me away when I'm bugging her. She loves that other baby in the mirror. She's still not really interested in toys beyond a passing interest in her rattle (mostly because she can chew it) and the toys attached to the jumperoo.

Miranda- 3 Months 2014
Grabbing

Miri- July 2014
The baby in the mirror is awesome.

August 2014
More grabbing.

Personality: Miranda smiles at us a lot and seems to have quite the little sense of humor already. She's in LOVE with Dada and she's mildly interested in James. We don't have to walk her around now that we force her to take regular naps.

Miri- 3 Months 2014
Hanging out with James in the baby gym

Miri- 3 Months 2014
James "reading" to Miranda, a book about James and Miranda!

Me: I am a SAHM two days a week and it's brutal. I don't know how people do it 5 days a week. That's insane! I'm WAHM/SAHM the other 5 days a week. Kevin and I pretty much split child care except only I can nurse, and that happens about every 2 hours or more.

I lost 25-25.5. I still have about 4.5-5 pounds to pre-Miranda and 10.5 to pre-James.

Kevin: Miranda is more smiley.

Home- August 2014
Sometimes, yes.

James: James is gentle around Miranda and calls her turkey or turkey sauce. He loves "his baby" as he describes her to other people. He has grown ever more helpful and hands me things when I have her, most often her burp cloth.

Home- August 2014
James's drawing of Miranda.

Miranda is 4 Months 2014
Can I eat this delicious thumb, please?

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