Saturday, December 31, 2011

Henry Talmage Belnap

Henry arrived! Claudia went into labor early Wednesday, then the doctor's office called telling us that we could induce later that afternoon (since we made it clear we were eager to have the baby before the end of the year). So the induction ended up being more of a help along. Henry arrived after just a few pushes at 7:44 pm on December 28. Just in time to get daddy a sizable tax deduction and to be covered under this year's insurance. With my appendix out, we had reached the max out of pocket, so it turns out Henry won't owe me his alloance to make up for the substantial cost a 2012 arrival would have been. He weighed 9 lbs 13 oz and measured 21.5 in long.

Alright here's some pictures:

A Play-with-ing Kitchen

Claire was a good a good girl this year and was sure to indicate her Christmas wishes to our resident Scout Elf, Hisself. She helped Claudia make some sugar cookies so that she could leave a small bribe for Santa to get her heart's true desire, a "play-with-ing kitchen." You see, you play with a play-with-ing kitchen and that's why it's called a play-with-ing kitchen.

I guess the bribe worked:

We got video of Claire coming to see what she got from Santa. She was in something of a shock. As it was clear she was excited, but her reaction was a little deadpan.

She's been playing with her Play-with-ing Kitchen ever since.

I asked Claire where Hisself was and she replied that he went with Santa but that he'll come see us "in the Christmas time, when it's all done."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas!

Claire wanted to share with you the Christmas story in her own little way:

We wish you all the best this Christmas season! Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Claire-isms III

Make:  Claire uses this instead of "cook".  Since she is always pretending she is cooking us something, we hear this a lot.

In the summer day:  Claire often mentions that she wants to see family members - cousins, aunties, grandmas and grandpas - and she knows that it probably won't happen until it's warm out again, hence "the summer day."

About:  Claire uses "about" like some kids use "why."  I.e.  What are you washing your hands about?  Basically, think of any "Why?" question, and simply ask "what are you (fill in the activity) about?"

In (fill in number) more sleeps:  That's how she indicates how many days away an event/activity will occur.  

Magnifynets:  magnets.  This is a weird conglomeration of magnify and magnets.  Don't know why she decided to combine those two words, but it is cute nonetheless.

Bana-nana:  banana, of course

Falling goobies:  runny nose

Naughty Birds:  Angry Birds

Res-to-pee:  recipe

Fief:  thief

Muffin cakes:  cupcakes

Come-cuter:  computer

Sunscream:  sunscreen

Daddy's face is all gone:  Daddy shaved!

Daddy's got a stripe!:  In reference to Adam's freckles

It's also amusing how Claire reasons.  When she creates scenarios for her dolls/toys and is explaining the situation to us, her conclusions are pretty illogical.  I.e.:  The little mermaid's scared.  So she needs a blanket.

Another one from just today:  I like to wash my hands because I like to color.  (Riiiiiiight...)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our 3 Year Old

I can't believe it.  Our little girl is 3.  She's growing up before our eyes, and I am powerless to stop it.  She amazes me every day.  I could go on and on, but I just might make myself cry.  It's okay...I can blame it on the pregnancy hormones.

Claire's demands were simple.  She wanted a sprinkle cake.  Done.

She got some great gifts from aunties, grandmas and grandpas, and some okay stuff from Mom and Dad, and a very special flower from her friend, James.

She showed off her great sense of humor.  In case you can't tell, she is trying to be a mermaid like her jammies.

On a side note, Claire's birthday falls on St. Lucia's Day, a traditional Scandinavian observance.  So we had a Swedish dinner of Swedish pancakes with lingonberry preserves, smoked fish, and glogg, a Scandinavian Christmas drink.  (It's really a mulled wine, but we found a non-alcoholic version at Ikea.  Think apple cider made with berries instead of apples.)  We also had some pepparkakor (ginger cookies) for a dessert treat.  Nothing too fancy, probably not very traditional, but still fun!  

Friday, December 16, 2011


We got an "Elf on the Shelf" from Adam's grandparents a few Christmases ago.  But this is the first year that we've really brought him out, the first time that Claire could really "get it."  Adam read her the book, and when it came time to name our new little sprite, Claire declared his name was "Hisself."  Yes, his name is Hisself, the Elf on the Shelf.  

Are we always good about moving him every evening to a new spot?  Not so much.  But Claire does, indeed, notice when he's moved.  And, especially when Hisself made his first appearance, it was the disciplinary tool of dreams.  If Claire was being naughty, we would simply call to Hisself, and then Claire would frantically assure us that she "wants to be a nice girl."   Thank you, Hisself, for your presence.  It has made our household remarkably free of yelling and time-outs.

Here are some of our favorite places that he's hidden thus far.

Lego Adventure

We recently visited the Portland Children's Museum, where a visiting Lego exhibit was in full swing.  Adam loved Legos as a kid, and we thought it would be fun to take Claire.  

They had some pretty cool displays.

Claire and Adam got right to building together.

(Claire still has the best cheeks on the planet!)

Adam got a little building in on his own, too.

Claire is all about building towers.

Friday, December 9, 2011

What Happens When...

Claire tries to take off her own sweater?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

28 Days

We are finally in the home stretch.  Since I did a 28-days-to-go shot when I was pregnant with Claire, I thought I would take one this time around to compare.  Granted, I am wearing horizontal  stripes, but I think I might actually be bigger.  Regardless, I am looking forward to being done, and we are all excited to meet baby Henry!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Things I Was Thankful for This Thanksgiving

This smart, beautiful, amazing girl.  Adam and I are truly blessed to have her in our lives.

We always have food on our table.  And we always have more than we need.  

We have families that we love and get along with.  Just turn on any reality show these days, and you see dysfunction left and right.  We, on the other hand, have loving families that we enjoy visiting with and look forward to seeing again.

New York-style food.  Okay, this one is kind of out there.  But a visit to Kornblatts (a New York style Jewish deli) for a Reuben sandwich and some latkes...

and the New York-style pizza place where you can watch them toss the dough from the front window were yummy treats that we really enjoyed.  I guess you could say that I am thankful to live in a place where I am able to try different foods and restaurants, even if the food is simply a different version of an old favorite.  

I am also thankful to be able to live in a place that is intensely beautiful, and that I can enjoy that with my favorite people:  Adam and Claire.  (But I was also really glad to have Erin with us, too!)  I am also thankful that I am almost done being pregnant, but more importantly, that this has been a healthy pregnancy for baby Henry.

I am thankful for technology.  I am not one of those people that needs to be constantly plugged in.  In fact, I enjoy being unplugged (see previous picture).  But I recognize that there are so many things in my life that are made easier because I live now and with the technologies that we have and enjoy.  We also have jobs that allow us to have leisure time in which to enjoy them.  Here is Claire playing a game of what she calls "Naughty Birds" with her buddy.  

Chocolate.  Yummy, fancy, truffle chocolate (thank you, Moonstruck!).  I am thankful that we can enjoy some really good things.  We live a really great life.  We are so blessed.  

Harper Turns 3!

We sure love this little girl, and we were excited to wish her a happy birthday.  But, of course, this little sassafrass decided to have so...