Monday, October 31, 2011

The princess and her frog prince

What do you get when you take one beautiful princess...

And the most adorable frog prince?

You surprisingly get two very happy, excited siblings in their Halloween costumes!

I couldn't believe they sat for 30 seconds and actually looked at the camera! With SMILES!

Okay, so she had to throw this in there...

But that's actually a happy face :)

One thing is for sure, though - I learned that I could never be a pageant mom (not that I've ever thought of it... Because I haven't... Just don't talk to my family about it because they might tell you I'm only half-kidding when I joke about it... but they'd be lying!).

I would just completely lose my patience when it came to keeping everything on and in place on a squirmy little baby. Heck, I learned this Halloween that I don't think I'm cut out to dress them in their costumes! Just too many working parts. Every time we got the tiara on, a shoe came off. Or one of Lukie's froggy wrist things. Or the wand would break.

I'm not even sure how I got these pictures. It was a Halloween miracle.

Next year they're wearing one piece. Everything attached.

Ryan and I dressed up on Saturday night too. We had a great time at a Halloween party where the theme was to dress as your favorite fictional character from a book. That's a red flag for me since I hardly ever read! But, thankfully, my most recently-read book has a main character with a very simple costume.

Any guesses??

Oh, and this is Clara on her post-party high. I've said it before and I'll say it again - our girl is a party girl. I have to take video the next time because she is out of control. And if this is how she acts as a one-year-old, I'm already nervous for her teen years.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The good old pumpkin patch

Yes, I probably, truthfully, drag my family to the pumpkin patch each year for the photo ops...

(But the colors are just so pretty!)

But Clara actually had fun this year!

It's amazing how different it is when your baby is almost two. She got why we were there (okay, not that we were there to take pictures, but you know what I mean.. to get an actual pumpkin) and really had fun.

And, in case I wondered, she was not there to pose with us...

Although, this one was unusually good for her lately - there was no flailing of arms and/or legs...

Here's what she was most excited about, though - the bouncy castle...

And the chickens...

All on her own she picked up that corn and said in the sweetest little voice, "Come here, chickens! Come here!" And they came.

Clara has obviously gotten to her brother, because now he's stopped posing with me too...

We had a great time, though. And the best part? It was free! Thank goodness for comp tickets from Ryan's work. Without them we probably wouldn't do half the stuff that we do!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Her first prayer

Before every meal we say grace.

Bless us, oh Lord
And these, thy gifts
Which we are about to receive
From thy bounty
Through Christ, Our Lord

And then we say...

Thank you, Jesus, for this food. 
God bless Clara and Luke. 

Then we list our special prayer intentions, which nearly every day since August have included my grandfather, who we call Poppa. He's been rehabbing in a nursing home following an infection in his leg, and the road to recovery has been tough.

Normally, Clara has already begun to eat long before I sit down. The second I hit the chair, though, she clasps her hands together, ready to pray (and if we forget, she's our reminder!). Yet, as soon as we start praying, she usually cries and whines throughout (not sure what that's about!).

The past two days, though, she has paid better attention. And when we get to the special intentions part, she has spoken up and said, "Boppy." She's done it at least twice now.

When she said it yesterday, I figured it was just a coincidence. Boppy - my father, her grandfather - was fresh on her mind because he and my mom visited us this past weekend, and I thought she was just randomly babbling. Still, I acted as if she meant it and said, "We pray for Nana and Boppy's safe trip home," since they were actually still making the long trek home from our house at that moment.

Then when she said it again tonight, it hit me: She has thought all along that we've been praying for Boppy when I've said "Poppa."

And the cutest part is that these past two days, she has taken it upon herself to add that intention. She thinks we pray nightly for Boppy and she didn't want us to forget. She was praying for her grandfather.

Her first prayer.

She does love her Boppy. And I guess the kids' grandparents should have be among our daily intentions anyway. Now, thanks to Clara, they will be :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our little oddball

Being a family who has adopted, I was prepared to hear some interesting comments when we are in public. I figured it was inevitable. 

But what I didn't expect was the type of comments we're getting lately. Instead of hearing about our differences, the remarks are actually about our similarities.

A few days ago, all four of us were shopping when a store employee noticed the kids. "What big, brown eyes," he said of Luke. 

Then Clara came bounding over. "Oh, I know where she gets it from too!" he said, looking at me. "They could be twins!"

Okay, that last line might have put it over the top (although they both do have dark eyes!), but I just had to chuckle. 

Strangers just assume she takes after her Mama. And I'm flattered.

Then, yesterday, the babies and I were checking out at another store and the cashier couldn't get over Luke's hair (which is a topic for another time - people are SO excited/curious/interested in Luke's red hair!). 

After asking me several questions about it for a couple of minutes, and holding up the line, she finally says (as she motions to Clara), "Well she obviously gets her hair from you, but this guy... he's the little oddball! It's good to be different, though!"

Yes, it is. 

My hope and prayer is that our kids never get hung up on any of it - whether people point out our differences or our similarities. I hope they can take it all in stride. I hope we can joke about it and poke fun at ourselves. I hope Clara thinks nothing of someone saying how much Luke looks like me. And I hope Luke won't feel too left out with his red hair.

It's good to be different. And similar. And everything in between.

Our sweet little "oddball." I think we'll keep him ;)

Although if he's going to be fiery - like everyone's warning me comes with the color - then I'm in for it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The babies in action and a few updates

Luke is standing. He's been doing it here and there, three seconds at a time, five seconds at a time. But tonight he stood for like a whole minute (okay, it was probably twenty seconds, but that is a loooong time when you're rooting for your baby to stay up). I first noticed him doing it as he proudly held Clara's banana peel in the air. Taking his lead, I then enticed him to stand by giving him banana to eat, which worked beautifully. And then the ultimate... his very favorite thing... Clara's sippy cup.

Is it weird that Luke's excitement for cow's milk makes me feel like I'm being cheated on?


Evidence that Clara knows right from wrong (and still chooses wrong.. oh, life with an almost-two-year-old): Tonight when we were brushing teeth in the bathroom, Luke opened the sink vanity's door (no, we still haven't baby-proofed) and was met with Clara quickly moving his hand off of it and telling him, "No, no!"

Little mother-in-training.


Lately, especially on stressful day, I'm finding myself a bit surprised at what comes out of my mouth. Yesterday, as Clara was getting into and onto everything, I looked at her and actually said, "You are cruising for a bruising!" What?! Where did that come from? A) We don't spank, b) I wasn't about to spank her, and, c) who says that anyway?


Luke loves food. LOVES it. He easily eats as much as I do at meal times. He just keeps shoveling it in. We have also found that when his food is gone, he likes to let the last bite linger, apparently saving it for later, because he likes food that much. Gross, but cute.

His love for food has also lead to him quite quickly learning to sign "more." He signs it every time that last bite goes in his mouth. Clearly this child is motivated by food.


Clara really loves playing with my religious statues and I, a not-so-smart mother, just cannot say no. So once in a while, down come the big Our Lady and Infant of Prague from the mantel and she sets them up, kisses them, hugs them, gives them her Elmo slippers. But tonight - in a shocking development! - Our Lady toppled over and her hand broke off. I know, you didn't see that coming.

It's not the first time this has happened. A month ago she fell in love with a very small statue of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. Whenever she was in our bedroom, where I kept it, she knew she could play with it. Again, there were lots of kisses and hugs. But, alas, our little Blessed Kateri was beheaded.

You would think I would learn.

So... this leads me to a question. Do any of you know where I can find plush saint dolls? I found some very, very expensive ones online, but that's not happening. I found a less expensive one on Etsy and I am so in love with it I wish I had never seen it because it's still too much. Seriously, is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen???? Her scarf becomes a baby sling! A BABY SLING, people!!!

Anyway, I'm looking for something more in the $10-20 range. Any suggestions?


I'll leave you with a little taste of Clara's dancing talents. And this girl, who picked the music herself from Ryan's iPod on his phone, has some seriously good taste in music. Regulators, mount up!