Easter 2013 Photos

6 Aug

I started to post Clara’s 12 Month post but realized there were waaaaaayyyyy too many Easter pictures not to post. I will talk about how we spent Easter this year in her 12 month post, but for now here are some pictures.

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11 Months

5 Aug

I cannot even begin to talk about what comes after this post…ahhh…moving on quickly. Is it possible that Clara Grace has gotten even more adorable? I think it might be. Things are changing around here and it involves a little girl who is more curious than that monkey George, and is developing her own little personality. Let’s start with what she loves these days…READING. She cannot get enough of it. She will go to her bookshelf and pull out books and look through them herself for a moment before lifting it high in the air towards me with the sweetest little pleading eyes of “Mommy please read this”. How can I say no? She still likes the golden oldies but definitely has branched out a bit more in her literature. She loves Sandra Boynton books right now as well as Spot. We’ve taken a few trips to Barnes and Noble recently and the look on her face when she sees all of the books everywhere is amazing. When she isn’t reading she loves playing with her little door and Noah’s ark. She is able to retrieve the following animals upon request – Giraffe, Elephant, Cheetah, Bunny, Crocodile, Hippo, Zebra. It is s stinking cute! I’ve gotten an iphone video of this but I really need to pull out the real video camera to capture this. She loves to look at photographs and will point to people when asked to find someone in the picture. She loves to get into the refrigerator and move things around and put things in the drawers. This is extremely helpful during dinner time when I need her to stay in the kitchen while I get things ready! She still adores tubby time and this has become a lot more playful recently. We have plenty of toys in there and we have a fun time splashing around. Clara will also retrieve her diaper upon request for diaper changes and on a few occasions has initiated this herself by getting a diaper and bringing it over to be changed. Mealtime is also becoming a lot more fun and Clara is trying more and more things (not necessarily liking them…but trying them at least). She absolutely loves fruit and her favorites are pears and peaches. She would love to just be fed these two items and she would be a happy girl. Usually in the morning we eat yogurt, some banana and cheerios. Some days we will have waffles or another type of fruit but we usually stick with the old standby. We’ve tried eggs and she wasn’t too sure about them yet. We’ll keep trying though. Lunchtime and Dinnertime these days can be pretty much anything. Some of her faves are a grilled cheese, a burrito, pasta, beans, pizza, cheese, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, cucumbers, broccoli, apples etc. We try and give her some of what we are having as well. She still does not like peas AT ALL. We’ve taken a few trips to the park recently and she has had a blast! She loves the swing, the dinosaur bouncer and she even went down the slide a few times with me. We’ve also been going on walks in the afternoon when its warm enough and she is very content to stroll around eating some puffs as we go. I cannot believe it but we are still working on the top teeth. They haven’t officially popped through but like what I though last month, I think we are so very close. Sleep seems to have been affected a little by this, but overall she has been sleeping better this month. She is becoming so affectionate and I absolutely LOVE IT! She will give me the sweetest, slobbery kisses just out of the blue and little hugs throughout the day. She still loves animals and loves to see Annabelle and Rupert. She even had a visit from Teppei the kitty and absolutely loved it. She and I had to go to the mall for some returns and she spotted the Easter bunny walking around. She went bananas and we went over to him and she squeezed his hand and absolutely loved him. She also will tell you what a lizard says and sticks out her tongue and chomp her teeth like a crocodile. Its super cute  She is still wearing size 6-12 month clothes and size three diapers.


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10 Months

4 Aug

I cannot even dwell on the fact that we are in double digits now. One year is barreling towards us at a speed that brings tears to my eyes. SLOW DOWN. Some of the highlights this month were Clara’s first Valentine’s. Sweet Daddy not only spoiled Mommy with flowers but also his little Valentine. He must know how much both his girls love flowers! Clara Grace continues to grow every day. She is wearing mostly 6-12 month clothing (with the occasional 3-6) and size three diapers. Where she is small in stature she is BIG in curiosity. I feel like her exploration skills and desire increased tenfold this month. There is not a speck of food (or dirt) that she does not pick up, no cabinet that doesn’t get opened and emptied, no stair that isn’t climbed, and no door she doesn’t want to open. Let’s just say its been a busy month. I absolutely love watching her learn and grow and explore. Some of her favorite things these days are to go down to the basement and into Mommy and Daddy’s closet. It is really random but she loves to go to both places and look around and touch things. All of her exploration has not been limited to safe things however. She is very drawn to outlets right now and we are quickly learning the word NO. She definitely knows she isn’t supposed to mess with them (they are covered…don’t worry) but she usually tests it out numerous times a day to make sure I’m going to tell her No everytime. Oh the things her little brain is starting to grasp. Clara still only has two bottom teeth but by the looks of her top gums we are expecting some new ones any day. Sleep would also make me think they are coming soon as she has been waking up very upset lately, which is super sad. We have moved to only two naps and an earlier bedtime which has also been nice. She can’t keep her eyes open as long without that third nap. Clara Grace is still eating three meals of food a day with a couple of snacks (as well as a few times nursing). Her favorite food for a while was grilled cheese and peaches. Things change by the week though and for some reason that isn’t the fave anymore. It is definitely a learning process for me too and I’m doing my best to find things that she likes but also that is a balanced meal for her. Yogurt is still a fave as well as cheese. She still loves her baby food pouches and the ones she likes the most lately are Broccoli Apple, and Apple Blueberry Spinach. She continues to love to drink water from a sippy cup and definitely wants what she sees us eating now. Clara Grace is still DEVOURING BOOKS. This child could read all day. I absolutely love to see how much she loves to read, she and I went through 41 books the other day in one sitting and there was no slowing down (until she decided she needed to do some exploration). Her favorite books have stayed the same but she has added tickle time, happy hippo, angry duck and ten little ladybugs to her favorite list. She goes to the bookshelf multiple times a day to get books out and go through the pages herself. After a little while she lifts the book in the air and calls me over to read to her. Speaking of which her favorite way to communicate is to lift that little arm in the air and lead us to where she wants to go/what she wants to hold. Nick said it reminds him of a little metal detector J She is wayyyyy more vocal these days too. Not necessarily in new words (although she is definitely trying to mimic more words that we say) but major jabbering. She loves playing with her cabbage patch doll and is still obsessed with the bears bobble head. She has a bears board book and always turns to the mascot page and kisses staley the bear. She has become even more affectionate and gives us the most amazing, open mouth slobber kisses. AHHHHH I LOVE THEM. She also will hug you when asked or sometimes just out of the blue. We also do family hugs and she kicks those little legs and gets the biggest grin on her face.  She loves to splash in the tubby and loves playing with her snail stacker. She can show you different parts of your face when asked (eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, ears). We love our little girl so much and love watching her grow!

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9 Months

24 May

Just writing 9 months makes her sound so old. Clara Grace turned nine months on January 19th. She celebrated her first Christmas which was amazing of course . She got another cold right around the Christmas and that was not fun at all. Poor little baby girl. We ended up all having it so we were quite the group of little coughertons. Clara still loves to clap. She loves clapping when she wakes up, when you sing if you’re happy and you know it, when she nurses and once when Daddy was watching tv and a football coach was clapping J She loves it! Daddy also has taught her to wave and she loves to do this as well! Clara has become very mischievous in her young age…she loves opening cabinets and pulling things out to chew on and play with! She loves to find the colander and also pull out all the Tupperware! She has gotten so fast with her crawling so I can’t turn my back for very long at all! We still love playing peek-a-boo and she now plays it by squatting beside the sofa and popping up. So stinking cute! She has totally mastered sitting from crawling without any struggle. She also stands all the time on her own. She still is a little nervous about taking a step she just needs even the tiniest hold of a finger for that little extra support 😉 She cruises all over the furniture now and I feel like walking is in the near future.  I’m also a little concerned that I might have a climber on our hands…she tries to climb up on her little chair, I’ve found her standing on her wipes container while holding on to her play table and she definitely tries to climb onto her toys. She loves her toy ducks and will find them on request and also said duck for the first time this month! She still loves saying dada and has really started to find her voice and yell/sing which is soooo cute! She also said dog this month so unfortunately mama doesn’t start with a “d”. Clara’s appetite for real food has started to increase but her meal of choice is still milk! She started eating yogurt and cheese and loves both of those! She eats toast and beans (pinto and black) and really enjoys them. She still enjoys her baby food pouches and her favorites thus far are banana pumpkin, broccoli apple, blueberry banana, and sweet potato apple. She still is a huge fan of puffs and little veggie sticks. She also got to try a little bit of frozen yogurt this month and loved that of course! Sleep was interrupted a bit due to her cold but we are getting back on track again. I feel like its pretty much the same as the previous month. She is definitely getting rid of that third nap so I’m hoping this will one day translate into two longer naps. Clara Grace still adores books. I am so thankful for all the books she received for Christmas. Favorites continue to be the same as previous months but she also now loves Dear Zoo, Hello Panda, the Babylit books (alice and wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet) the Maisy flap books, Are you a Cow?, Olivia opposites. She will just sit and let me read and read to her…I LOVE IT. We had an almost 60 degree day this month (craziness) so Clara and I got the stroller out and went for a nice walk. She absolutely loved it which makes me hopeful for some nice strolls together this spring! We blew bubbles for the first time and CG was very upset that they popped each time she touched them. It was so sad. We’ve blown them a few more times and she seems to have gotten more used to it. She also hates my electric toothbrush…it scares her for some reason. She does however love brushing her two little teeth! It is so adorable! We celebrated my birthday and got to spend it with Nannie O, Aunt Libby and Aunt Sarah. It was Libby’s last day in NH which was very sad, but we had a great time getting snowed in and taking snow pictures together. She still loves to facetime and we usually call Daddy when she wakes up in the morning because she gets up and says his name over and over and looks around for him. Clara also has a new found love for the doggies at Nannie and Daddy O’s. She loves to watch Annabelle fetch her toy. We’re working on being extra gentle when pat pat’ing the puppies. She also strangely enough is in love with Nick’s bears bobble head. Like she LOVES IT. She gives him kisses on the nose and bobbles his head up and down. She really is a cuddly little sweetie pie. She loves to give Mommy and Daddy kisses and snuggles. Its amazing to watch her playing and see her all of the sudden just crawl into our lap for a sweet snuggle. Overall it was a great month! Clara continues to amaze me every day with her sweet little personality! I love staying home with this baby girl!

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Happy New Year 2013 – A post from Nick

22 May

Happy New Year!!!  I know this is a phrase that we say every January 1st at 12:00am and this year was no exception, but I have to say that this year’s “Happy New Year” felt a little different.  Well who am I kidding it felt a lot different.  This year at exactly 11:59pm on New Year’s Eve our beautiful Clara woke up and greeted us with some “da-da-da-da’s” (her new favorite saying these days”) from her room.  At the urgings of her Auntie Libby, I quickly ran up the stairs and scooped her up and brought her down so we could all watch the ball finish dropping together.  As the ball stopped and fireworks went off signifying the start of a new year, I was able to kiss both my beautiful wife and my amazing daughter and I felt a wave of happiness sweep over me…Life is good!  Then of course I had the tough task of putting Clara back to sleep for the night, but it was well worth it =]

This past year seemed like it went by so quickly and yet it is hard to remember what life was like without Clara being part of it.  She has brought so much happiness into our house as she has learned how to clap and wave and laugh and crawl all over the place.  I know this year will bring even more excitement to us with family trips, birthday parties, beach visits, new cousins etc…but I’ll always look back at this past year as probably the most life-changing year of my life.  Of course I have a feeling I might be saying the same thing every 12am on January 1st of each year from here on out!

Well 2013…bring on your best for our family.  I can’t wait for Clara’s first B-day Party, her first time swimming, her first attempt to dance ballet with her mother, her first ice cream trip, her first park trip with her first swinging adventure, her first airplane ride….the list goes on and on.  Just when I thought I was getting to the age where “First’s” just didn’t seem to happen as much anymore God gave us Clara and I get to share these new “First’s” with her which has been even more special then I could have imagined.  I truly do feel blessed and ready to enjoy a Happy New Year in 2013.

Christmas 2012 Letter to Clara Grace

8 Apr

Dear Clara Grace,

Your first Christmas was amazing. You looked so adorable in your holly pajamas and red hairbow. Your Daddy and I love Christmastime, but having you with us this year made our love for the holiday grow exponentially. We had so much fun creating new memories and traditions and can’t wait for so many more in the coming years! We can’t wait to teach you the true meaning of Christmas and what that means in our lives. I can’t wait to hear you one day tell us about baby Jesus and why we celebrate. We love you baby girl! Thank you for making this Christmas so amazing!



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Christmas 2012

8 Apr

People always say that Christmas is so much different when you have kids. Things change they say and boy are they right. Things changed drastically this year but all for the better. What an amazing holiday season we had celebrating for the first time as a little family of three. From going to get a tree together, decorating, dancing to Christmas carols (Clara and I did a lot of this), a baking party with Libby and Sarah…it was absolutely AMAZING! We had our Christmas tree in the dining room this year and Clara only went over to it every so often. She was fascinated with the lights and ornaments. Clara started to come down with a cold on Christmas Eve so she definitely wasn’t feeling totally herself. She however did amazing despite this. We went to our church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service. It was beautiful and I loved holding my sweet baby girl as we sang songs of our Savior’s birth. Somehow Christmas seems even more special when you are holding a baby and thinking of Jesus coming as a sweet innocent baby. We went to my parents after this and had Chinese food (an Oliver tradition). We had decided to spend the night there so that Clara could sleep in the morning and not have to get up too early to head there. We dressed Clara in the adorable Christmas pajamas that my grandmother (her great grandmother) sent her and went to bed. We ended up waking her up that morning as we heard everyone hustling and bustling around. As like so many years past we sat around as a family while my Dad read the Christmas story. It was like years past only this year sweet Clara Grace was sitting in my lap. Do you notice a nostalgic theme here? So many new first memories with our sweet baby girl. We opened our stockings that my sweet Mom and Dad put together.  We had breakfast and opened presents. We loved watching Madison and James playing with their new toys and Marybeth taking it all in! Clara “helped” open her presents and everyone was so incredibly generous. She got so many new books and toys and clothes. We were so blessed! We spent a good part of the day there and Clara napped in her ergo carrier for naps. After the Oliver Christmas we went to Matt and Rachel’s to celebrate with them, Anna and Uncle Clint. Poor little Anna was also feeling under the weather so the little girls definitely weren’t feeling 100%. We gave Anna our gifts and they were so generous in giving Clara gifts as well. We can never have too many books and the little pretend camera was absolutely adorable and she loves it! I came home for Clara’s final nap and we stayed pretty low-key the rest of the night. We decided to do our little family Christmas the following morning with all the busyness of the actual day. The next morning was amazing as we sat around as a family and opened gifts from one another. Clara’s attention span for gifts was broad so we really spent the next few days opening a gift or two a day with her. It was so relaxing and special and the best Christmas ever. We were supposed to go down to see Nick’s family the following weekend but Clara’s cold got much worse and I also got sick. Nick ended up going but Clara and I stayed home. We were so sad to miss spending Christmas with the rest of the family. Other than missing out on the Tolley Christmas it was an absolutely wonderful holiday.

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