Friday, January 29, 2010

More baby pics

So some of you are asking - even coming close to threatening - me for more pictures. I want to keep you all happy, so I am going to give you what you want. In fact, I went above and beyond today, and spent a few hours this afternoon conducting an actual photo shoot of little Clara (who has now officially outgrown her preemie clothes, I might add. She's wearing newborn!).

My friend, L, and her little one, E, came over and we took tons of photos of both babies. Unfortunately my camera battery died before I could upload most of them, including some good ones of E, but here are a few for now. Wait until you see the last one!

We did not make them do that! Okay, well we put E's arm behind C, but that is it. I swear. He grabbed her hand and held it all by himself. What a little sweetheart!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Getting bigger!

Clara weighs six pounds!

She had her second pediatrician's appointment today (since she's been with us) and she, once again, was perfectly healthy. Along with her great weight gain (she was 5 lbs. 2 oz. two weeks ago), she was also 18 inches long. If I remember correctly, that's up a 1/4 of an inch from her last check.

We are just thrilled that she is getting so much bigger! The doctor said that on a baby growth chart, her improvements are right in line with normal babies. Well, she doesn't even register on the actual chart, of course, but way down below in preemie land, she is growing at the perfect rate.

The doctor is also referring us to a well-baby clinic at a local hospital simply because she was a preemie (he said many of the babies they deal with aren't nearly as healthy as she is) and an opthamologist. She's also getting a cranial ultrasound done tomorrow.

All of these things are exactly what she would have been doing if she had stayed in Louisiana, or if she had been born locally, since she was premature. Because she moved to another state things got a little delayed, but we're on the right track now (and, I should add, she already had one cranial ultrasound and saw an opthamologist before she was with us, and both checks were normal). I'm really looking forward to the well-baby clinic and learning what I can be doing to help her along developmentally.

She also got some shots today, including one for RSV (respiratory syncytial virus, which can send little babies to the hospital in the winter months), and she did great. She cried a little right after, but hasn't been fussy since.

It was a beautiful day today so when we got home, Clara and I went for a little walk outside, and I discovered that I'm going to have to sneak out for walks from now on. Sophie can't handle it! She heard me say to Clara that we were going for a walk, and the poor thing lost it. She cried when she realized we were going without her! Walking is her favorite thing to do in the world and now I'm doing it with the baby and not her?! I can see why she's upset!

I'll leave you with a picture of Clara watching her favorite t.v. show, First at 4! Ryan interviewed Governor McDonnell today, live, and Clara was home watching:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Clara meets new friends

First of all, you guys are amazing!! We reached our goal of 100 comments on Clara's photographs by Saturday morning. And the photographer had actually given us a deadline of next Saturday, believe it or not! So thank you!

Today, Clara got to meet two of our dear friends who came all the way down from Maryland to see her, and also to meet baby E, our other friends' little one, as well. We had such a great time! And Clara also visited NBC12 for the very first time, and even got a couple photos on the set.

G's got her hands full with E and Clara!

After brunch at our new favorite brunch spot (if you are visiting us in the near future on the weekend we'll probably be taking you here!)

T and G, dueling weatherpeople!

Clara got to see where her daddy reads a prompter and looks pretty

Surprisingly, we don't have a lot of shots of the three of us and I love this one! (and if you're paying close attention, yes, I wear this sweater a lot lately. What can I say, it's comfy! Thanks, mom!)

Tomorrow is a big day because Clara has her next pediatrician appointment. We can't wait to find out what she weighs and how much longer she has grown. We have started to notice in the past couple days that her preemie clothes are getting a little smaller on her. Our little baby is growing up so fast! She might be in newborn clothes soon! Haha!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Help Clara get a free image

Okay everyone, we need your help! Thanks to all the comments that have been posted on the pictures of Clara from her photo shoot the other day, the generous photographer is now presenting us with an additional challenge - she will give us a free 16x20 image if we can make it to 100 comments. So if you haven't commented already (you know who you are), we would be so appreciative if you headed over there now and left one!

Here's the link again: So pop on over there, leave a quick comment, and then come back here and finish reading. Thank you!

In other news, there has been a new development in the World of Clara - she is playing! I discovered a couple days ago that she really responds to a developmental toy that she was given (thanks, Joan!). I put her down on it just to see and I couldn't believe how much she came to life! I know I am biased, but I just really think she is doing great for being born so early. Here she is in action (sorry for the poor quality... despite having a professional video camera, I shot this on my cell phone):

And thanks again for commenting (click here if you haven't left one yet). We'll be sure to let you know if we make it to 100!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clara's photo shoot

Before we get to the photo shoot, I just wanted to share a quick picture. Yesterday was Clara's first visit to the adoration chapel:

I hope it's not sacrilegious to take a picture of this, but I really wanted to capture what will hopefully be the first of many visits to the Blessed Sacrament throughout her life. We prayed for her here, and at the chapel in Utica, for many years, so it was wonderful to be able to bring her with us for the first time.

It was also in this very chapel that Ryan first came up with the name Clare. He was reading Raymond Arroyo's book about Mother Angelica, a Poor Clare, when he looked up at me and asked, "What about Clare?" I was like, "What about Clare?" He then told me he was drawn to the name Clare while reading the book, which talked a lot about St. Clare, and wanted to consider naming a daughter after her. I responded, "I don't know about Clare, but I'd go for Clara," even though I felt like we would first get a baby boy. Little did we know that that conversation was laying the ground work for a quick decision we'd have to make six months later!

Yesterday was also her first photo shoot and she did amazing! A wonderful and very talented local photographer was looking for newborns to take part in a free mini-session, so she could use the images on her website. While Clara is not newborn, she is still smaller than most of them, so she qualified. The photographer is like a baby whisperer, because she got Clara to pose in several adorable positions, all while staying sound asleep! She just posted a sneak peak on her blog of two images, and before I give you the link (because then you'll go there and never come back here!), I want to ask you to please leave a comment on the pictures of Clara. If we get ten comments, we get a free mini-album, so please comment!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New baby, new blog

Since we are starting a new chapter in our lives - and because our friends and family aren't too happy with the slow pace of our picture posting on Karey's other blog - we figured it was time to start a new blog entirely devoted to everything Clara.

So what better way to start off than to give you what you are demanding - baby pictures!

Clara, wearing a hat Karey's mom knitted for her.

A better view of the hat, which is supposed to be like neapolitan ice cream, with cherries on top!

Sophie rarely acknowledges Clara, so this was a rare moment.

We got two deliveries in the mail today for the nursery - new drapes (clearance at Pottery Barn Teen) and rug (Karey is obsessed with the rug!)

Clara is now eating 3-4 ounces at a time, up from two ounces just last week. She is definitely growing!

Clara turned seven weeks today. Doctors believe that she was eight weeks early, so that means next week she would have been due to be born! It's amazing to think that she should still be in the womb. She is doing incredibly well and, really, it seems like her size is the only indication of how early she was. She is completely healthy. What a miracle!

Everyone comments how much bigger she has gotten since we first met her. She is now fitting nicely into her preemie clothes, which were big on her last week. She was five pounds two ounces at her doctor's appointment eight days ago, so it's entirely possibly that she could be six pounds by her next appointment on the 25th.

We just had a great visit with Karey's parents, who were so excited to meet little Clara. Ryan's family visited when we first got home (and set up the nursery, I might add!) and then Ryan's mom stayed on to help out Karey. We can't wait for everyone else to meet her! We are so excited for everyone who is coming very soon - our friends Gina and Troy, Aunt Amy and Uncle Joe, Aunt Caitlin and Jordan, Karey's Aunt Carol and Uncle Dan, Barb and Whitey are stopping on their way south, Uncle Ronnie might be planning a trip... anyone I forgot? Oh ya...Nicole, D (who she has already met once), and baby L. Everyone is welcome!

We also want to thank all of you who have helped us out in so many ways. So many of you have sent beautiful gifts (if we had started this blog sooner, we could have posted pics of everything we got, but things have long since been laundered and put away), and others have donated so generously to our adoption fund. And our families - we don't even know what to say! You have all made this possible and to say we are eternally grateful is an understatement. Thank you!