December

We rounded out the year with a quick December!

Clara loves loves loves playing outside.  All day long she runs to the back sliding door or the front door and taps on it whining.  She'll even find her shoes and bring them to you and look up with big, beautiful pleading eyes that are just begging, "please will you put my shoes on and take me outside?"  After the very first time that we left our back gate to take a walk in the woods, every time she goes into the backyard she automatically runs (toddles) over to the gate and starts pulling at it. So out we go into the woods and the trails through there…

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Down the trail we go!

whoa…gotta check something out…

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She wants to see and explore everything!

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Clara also loves playing on her little fort that Mimi and Papi gave her for her birthday.  She can climb and crawl and slide all over it!  Thanks Mimi and Papi for so much fun!

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There are little openings all over it and she laughs and laughs poking her hand through them.

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Early in December was the Women's Christmas Dinner at IBC.  For the first year I didn't decorate a table but just went and enjoyed.  It was so fun to get to spend a special night with such special girls! 

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with beautiful Kim, a kindred spirit and woman I adore and look up to above almost all others.  She inspires me in every area of my life…

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and my bestie Suze…an amazing mommy, friend and woman of God! 

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The following weekend was the annual Village Christmas Party.  It was the first time we didn't have the babies while we were all together!  It was such a fun night with great food, good AND terrible gifts, and lots of laughs…  there was only one problem. 

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YUM

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Jill gets her award…she deserved it.

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Since Brian and I didn't put up a Christmas tree, we had to take a picture in front of the Rhode's tree :)

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So the problem was…while we there, Clara was sick at home with Aunt Krissy and Uncle Eric.  We had no idea she was as sick as she was and we felt HORRIBLE!  When we got home she had a temperature of 103.5.  That was a long night, and poor Clara was miserable.  She continued to get worse and by Monday night she was admitted to the hospital, but that is a story for another post! Here is one pic…

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Life basically stopped for 2 weeks while we were in the hospital and then while Clara recovered at home (I was terrified to take her out anywhere after we got her home because her immune system was so depleted).  But the other highlights of the month were my mommy group Christmas party, which was basically Kim blessing all of us with the most thoughtful night and gifts, an Early Childhood Ministry Christmas party at Gary's house, which was fun to get to just "hang out" with good friends and volunteers without all of the craziness of Sunday, and the "Grand Opening" party for the Harrell's light show, which kicked off the "Christmas Season" with lots of cheer and special reminders of what the season is all about. 

Here is the little bean trying on her dad's shoes…she LOVES shoes – her own and others'.  She is always wanting to try on a new pair!

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A few months ago I blogged about her love for putting her bucket on her head and walk around.  This wasn't a one time or even one-week deal.  It is an all the time obsession.  She loves being a bucket head!

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It's funny when she tries to go into her fort with it…she can't figure out why she can't get in and just keeps banging her head trying to walk in! 

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Then it was time for Christmas!  That will be a separate post, too.

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Clara added a few words to her vocabulary – "hi" and "snow".  She hasn't said "snow" since she was surrounded by it, so I don't know if that still counts, but I'm going for it.  She really drags out the "hiii-eee" and it is sweet.  She eats and eats and eats – it is crazy how much that little girl can put away!  It isn't unusual for her to have an entire can of pears (or peaches, etc.) and a peanut butter sandwhich and a thing of yogurt and a cup of steamed veggies for lunch.  I've looked up several times just to make sure that is ok and it is!  She completely stopped using bottles and went to sippy cups 100% of the time.  She began a complete obsession with bananas…she would eat 100 a day if she could.  Brian seriously looked into planting a banana tree in the backyard, just to save us a trip to the grocery store every other day! (we try and limit her to 2 a day) She calls them "baaa"s.  She knows where we keep them (even when we move them to a new hiding spot) and will go there with her hand reaching up just repeating, "Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba".  She also really loves chairs – especially little ones that she can sit in.  She drags things around that she might be able to plop down on and goes for it! 

YAY December!

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