Sunday, August 31, 2008

Parent Orientation at Claire's School

I know it's been a while since I've posted a blog, but there just hasn't been much going on. Claire and I laid pretty low the past couple of weeks. I think I'm starting to enter the "nesting" phase of pregnancy, and for the first time in a really long time, I just want to be at home. Last week was our last Tuesday playgroup with all of Claire's friends since Claire will be going to preschool on Tuesday's and Thursday's from now on. I was so excited to get together with everyone, and for Claire to be able to play with all of her buddies. Many of these kids she has known since she was merely a couple months old. As we were walking up to the door of the house, my usually gregarious toddler nuzzled her head into my neck and said, "Mommy, I gonna be shy." And she was! She wouldn't let me put her down for the first 20 minutes or so. Eventually she warmed up, forgot about her little shy game, and had a blast with her friends.

This Thursday was Parent Orientation at Claire's preschool. Up until this point, I have been so excited to be putting her in school. She goes to the gym daycare 2 hours a day 4-5 times a week and seems to have fun, so she should really enjoy school, right? With Carter coming along soon, I thought it would also be a wonderful chance for me to bond with my newborn. But I started to have second thoughts...Am I doing this out of selfishness? Is Claire too young to start school? Could I teach her more at home? Is she going to feel abandoned? My answer to all of these questions was eventually, "No." Parent Orientation was a little nerve wracking, but her teacher's are wonderful and the school incorporates so many things that are important to child development - chapel, music class, art, playtime, outside time, etc. All of my fears were quelled on Friday when I took Claire for the open classroom time. She got to spend an hour meeting her classmates and teachers and exploring her classroom. Of course, she was my typical focused toddler. While all of the other children emptied toy bins and played with trucks, Claire sat at the table and put together puzzle after puzzle and read book after book and talked the entire time. She didn't get up from the chair until she decided that it was time to go bye-byes. This led her teacher to believe that Claire would do really well during the more focused art times. I was glad that her teachers got to see her developing personality. So this Tuesday is the big day, and I couldn't be more excited for her! Unfortunately, my doctor could only get me in for my weekly checkup in the morning, so Derek gets to take Claire for her first day (but maybe that will save me lots of tears). I guess in a way, Carter is already starting to infringe upon Claire's time with me.

Of course, with school starting, a doctor's appointment and a baby shower on the horizon, expect me to be much more involved in picture taking and blogging this week! Sorry it's been so long.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Carter's Nursery

I'm sure you've all heard me say one thing or another about decorating Carter's nursery. It was a huge deal to me because I didn't get a chance to decorate Claire's room all girlie since Derek didn't want to know what we were having. This time, I wanted to go all out. While we were out of town visiting family earlier this summer, Derek secretly painted Carter's room lime green and set up Claire's big girl bed so he could move the baby furniture to Carter's room. I was so excited when I got back from our trip, that I immediately set to work ordering the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids and putting everything together. Since our rocker no longer matched the room, I went to Calico Corner and selected fabric for a slip cover. The fabric just arrived, so I took some pics of the room to share with everyone. I'm still waiting on the letters that go above his bed (they're hand-painted canvases that spell out his name), and my seamstress still has to sew the slipcover. Let me know what you think!

Happy Birthday Landon

On Sunday, we took a family outing to Arlington for Landon's (Ashley and Chris Stark's son) second birthday party at the Little Gym. Claire hasn't been to the Little Gym since we moved to Flower Mound. She certainly discovered some new skills since being gone such as running down the giant blow up trampoline thing and swinging from the bars. We had a blast hanging out with some of our friends.

Claire loved the bars!

Getting a big swing on the bars!

She finally got Parker to join her.

Balance beam (her previous favorite) with Daddy.

Running down the blow up trampoline.

Waiting for cake with Parker, Melody and Jonah.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Art Time with Daddy

This is what happens when Daddy participates in coloring time with Claire. Say hello to the new Tasha!

Preschool, Here We Come!

Well, I finally got everything worked out with Claire's school. I left them a message several weeks ago and never heard back. I immediately started freaking out thinking that we weren't in the class and that I would have both kids on my hands 24/7. I was really looking forward to having Claire in half days of school two days a week so I could spend more one on one time with Carter and perhaps do things that are impossible to do with two kids (ie. grocery shop). I decided to call the school again on Tuesday and found out that the director had been replaced and the new director just started her job on Monday. At least now I knew why I hadn't heard back from anybody. Bad news was still to come - the Monday/Friday class had not made yet. In other words, they didn't have enough students signed up to make it worth their while to keep the class. So now I was thinking - how am I going to find another good school with an opening and get Claire enrolled before school starts in a couple of weeks? The director asked if we'd like to be on the waiting list for the Tuesday/Thursday class. Really?! That's the class I wanted her in from the very beginning. Claire was put at the top of the waiting list, and within an hour I found out that a spot opened up and Claire was in!!!! I have never felt such relief and excitement! My baby starts school on September 2. She'll be going every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:45am - 12:45pm. I took her up to the school so we could turn in her paperwork and pay the fees and tuition, and as we were walking down the hall of classrooms, Claire beamed up at me and said, "Mommy, this is my school!"

To conclude this blog, here are some pics of my very imaginative girl. She's really starting to get into dress up and pretend.

Claire put on her pajamas like a dress and told me that Daddy's Wii remote was actually her purse

Pretend tasting Bella's icky hamburger toy

Claire put down a changing pad (read: lovie) and brought in wipes and a diaper to change her mermaid baby.

Wiping mermaid baby

Cleaning mermaid baby's face

Putting a clean diaper on mermaid baby

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Laura Visits the Mound

One of my best friends from college, Laura, came to visit us this week. We had so much fun hanging out, spending time with Claire, and eating LOTS of bad food! We're both feeling extremely guilty, and we only made it to the gym one time! Last night, we ventured south of the loop and went to Trece on Knox/Henderson. I have heard so much about this Mexican food restaurant and let me tell you, IT WAS AWESOME! We ate waaaay too much and enjoyed every bite. If any of you ever venture down there, be sure to try the table-side guacamole (one of the best I've ever had) and the tortilla soup. Afterwards, we went to the bar at the Ritz. It's one of the most interesting places to people watch in Dallas - one word, hilarious! Unfortunately for Laura, I am completely inexperienced with the bar scene. I promised her I would spend just as much time researching where to go out afterwards as I do on finding good restaurants. Here are some pics of us in our "going out" attire as well as some pics of my growing belly.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

3D Sonogram Pictures of Baby Carter Douglas Crabtree

Well, the big day finally arrived. We got to see our sweet baby's face for the first time. We had a special family and friends outing with Mommy, Daddy, Nana, Mommy's friend Laura and big sister Claire to Stork Vision - a 3D/4D sonogram center in Frisco. During the sonogram, Claire wanted to know, "Mommy, whatcha doin' over here." I told her we were looking at pictures of her baby brother. She kept asking about baby Carter and trying to climb up onto "Mommy's bed" while they were performing the sono. For those of you who have never experienced it, the 3D sonogram is incredibly amazing. Claire's 3D pictures really gave us a clear idea of what she was going to look like. Sometimes, I look at the 3D pic we have framed in her room, and it's just as good a likeness of her as some of her first born pictures. It was so much fun to compare the pics of Carter to Claire's 3D pics. He definitely has a similar nose. His lips appear to be fuller like his Daddy's. Claire's sonogram clearly showed a pointy chin like Mommy's, but Carter's looks to be a little broader and more masculine like Daddy's. He was enjoying sucking his thumb during most of the first half of the sonogram. You can see his arms and hands in most of the close up pictures of his face. At one point, he was even snuggling up to my placenta like it was his own little pillow. Eventually, he crossed his arms in front of his face and refused to let us take any more pictures. Amazingly, he is already head down! I guess he'll be ready to come out on time just like his sister. The huge pushes and nudges I've been feeling on the upper right side of my uterus are his feet - he even stretched his legs the whole way out during the sono. Hope you enjoy these pics as much as we do!

Carter was sucking his thumb just like his big sister.

The next four, his hand was moving around his face trying to get that thumb in his mouth.

I love the next two pics because you can really see his sweet face. He is nuzzling into my placenta there on the right.

Two little feet that have been giving me so much trouble on my right side!

Snuggling Mommy's placenta.

You can see his two little arms crossing. They eventually came up in front of his face and blocked us from taking any more pictures.

His leg outstretched with his foot pressing hard into the upper right side of the uterus.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Day at the Splash Park

Today Claire and I met up with some of our playgroup friends at Celebration Park in Allen. If you've never been, you have to check it out. It has a huge splash pad with all kinds of fun misters, showers and squirters. It also has an amazing playground which I'm sure will be much more fun when it's not 100 degrees outside. I'd love to go back again when the weather starts to cool off. Claire and I had a great time with Leslie, Austin and Nolan; Maureen and Ayden; and Erin and Kendall. Claire was so tired when we got home that she ended up taking a 2 1/2 hour nap. I was too busy talking to get any good pics at the park, but I caught a few funny moments this morning.

As usual, Claire woke up this morning and came into our room hauling a pile of toys, blankets, lovies and pretty much whatever else she could find. This morning she also put on her sun hat and carried in one of her purses to inform me that she was going bye-byes.

This is a picture of Claire in her homemade fort. She started hanging out in this corner behind the chair, and Daddy positioned the curtain to make it into even more of a hiding spot. Now if I'm having a hard time finding something important (ie. my travel shampoo bottles for the gym, my water bottle, Claire's brush, etc.), all I have to do is raid the fort.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Day With The BFF's

Today we drove out to Wylie to spend a day with Heather, Parker and Peyton. The only way I could get Claire to cooperate at all this morning was by telling her that we were going to see them.

"Claire, it's time to put on your shirt."
"You have to put on your shirt if you want to go see Parker and Peyton."

Worked like a charm!

Claire had such a blast hanging out with her best friends. She especially loved Heather's lunch of bacon, cheese, chicken fried rice, buttered macaroni and fruit. She actually ate more than Peyton - which is almost impossible for even an adult to accomplish. Here are some pics from our day.

Peyton waiting for her snack

Heather filling Claire's snack bag with grapes

Claire helping her BFF

Afterwards, we met Daddy for a spaghetti dinner - Mommy's cravings were calling! Here are some pics of Claire driving Daddy crazy and covering him in spaghetti sauce.

Pulling Daddy's hair

Singing the ABC's while secretly putting spaghetti sauce all over Daddy's shirt

Daddy wiping sauce and drool off his face

Claire helped clean Daddy up

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stonebriar Shenanigans

As I mentioned before, life is never dull with a toddler around. Today we made the long trek out to Stonebriar Centre in Frisco to hit up the Pottery Barn Kids. I finally got all of my baby bedding in the mail and wanted to go look at the different curtains to match. Well of course as a pregnant woman, the first thing I have to do after making the 30 minute drive is run to the ladies room. Since I had the stroller, Claire and I went to the "family restroom." For those of you that have never seen one of these before, it is usually a large restroom containing a toddler potty, a regular potty, a changing table, etc. and a lock on the door. As soon as I shut the door, Claire pointed to the toddler potty and said, "I na na (read: wanna) go on this one." I was so excited! I immediately stripped her down to her bare bottom and plopped her on the seat. So these seats are supposed to be made for little bottoms right? Wrong! As soon as I let go of her and turn my back, she starts freaking out cause her little butt has dipped down into the toilet bowl and is now touching (ew!) the water! At this point, she is none too happy to be sitting on the little potty. I pluck her off the potty and make a fatal mistake - I sit down to use the restroom myself while my toddler stands bare butt next to me. Before I know it, she is peeing all over the floor and her shoes (thank goodness for Crocs!) Eventhough she hasn't gone in the potty, I praise her nonetheless (she still didn't go in her diaper right?). I finally managed to get her and the floor cleaned up and put back together. This potty training thing is WAY more intense than I ever imagined, and it's been less than 24 hours! As a matter of fact, I was so stressed out at this point, that I left my purse in the public restroom. Thankfully a good samaritan turned it in - $3 cash and all! What a day...

Tinkle Time

Claire and I had the most exciting night last night. Derek was working late (as usual) and didn't get home until 3am. Daddy is usually in charge of bath and bed time when he's home because that is part of the small amount of precious time he has with Claire. For some reason, Claire HATES bath time with Daddy. It takes much persuasion and occasional bribing to even get her near the tub. However, when Mommy does bath time, she practically runs to the tub. Last night was no exception. When I asked her if she was ready for her bath, she told me to "march" to the bathroom. Once in there, I started drawing her bubble bath and watched as she lifted the toilet seat, put her potty seat on and demanded that I sit her on the big potty. This is something Daddy has been trying to introduce her to for months. He usually strips her down and plops her on the potty while he runs her bath (the running water usually makes her pee on the floor, so why not in the potty?) and she throws a huge fit until he takes her off. This was the first time she actually wanted to sit on the potty. She asked me to turn on her Dora bubble machine - to which I slyly replied, "No Dora bubbles until you tinkle on the potty." Meanwhile we washed our hands several thousand times with bubbles from the tub. I fetched a book and read to her while she sat on the potty - a tactic I learned from an online potty training article. She had to have been sitting there for at least 5-10 minutes (refusing to get into the bath - "No Mommy, no bath. Potty.") when I finally hear the glorious sound of my little 22 month old going tinkle in the potty! I threw my hands in the air and praised her like crazy. She was so proud of herself. I then turned on the Dora bubbles and let her take the longest bath ever. I guess this means we jump head first into the world of potty training. Hopefully, she will be fully trained by the time the baby arrives. Here are some pictures of Claire acting like a goof ball yesterday afternoon. She removed the couch cushions and to her surprise found her prized Mr. Potato Head glasses. She immediately put them on and continued to wear them for the next half hour or so.