Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Clara's first Christmas was lovely.  

Bethany and Clara enjoyed themselves and the season.  You can see the side of our new, tiny, pathetic tree.  The big, fancy tree had a disaster in the attic, so now we have a tiny replacement Target tree that looks like an isosceles triangle.  

On Christmas Eve, Granny came to visit.  Bethany demonstrated how mama yaks carry their babies, as we learned in Music Class. It was hysterical.

Bethany and Clara enjoyed their new gifts!

Bethany enjoyed showing things to Clara.  Ignore Lindsey's nasty sock.

At Christmastime, we were still in the process of finding a new church, so we were a bit at loose ends.  We did go to church with some friends, which was nice.  Since this was the mildest winter I can remember, the girls' snowflake dresses were more than a little out of place.  (Bethany's cheeks are pink because she was hot.)

Clara was underwhelmed by the photo session.

We worked hard on celebrating Advent this year, with some neat activities and an advent calendar.  Bethany did an excellent job of reminding Mommy to do the calendar every day.

On Christmas morning, Santa brought Bethany (and Daddy) a small train set.  She and Daddy have had LOTS of fun with it.

Clara's stocking (thanks, Granny!).

Bethany's stocking.  (What, you didn't get IKEA funnels in your stocking?)

Clara helped open a gift or two!

Later, we went to Macon to celebrate with Grandpa B., Nana, and Uncle Andrew.  Here is rousing game of Shake, Shake, Shake Your Baby.

Grandpa and Bethany enjoyed playing with her new dump truck.  

Bethany helped Nana open her gifts.

And Bethany turned Clara into a present.

A little belated Christmas cheer for everyone.  :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bethany Turns Two!

 Bethany had a blast turning two.  We had a tiny party at home with her grandparents, aunt, and cousin, Alexis.  Up above there is a sweet picture of Clara with her grandfather - just so the world can see that they had the same hair for a while. :)

 Mommy once again made Pioneer Woman's cupcakes, which were quite yummy.  Bethany didn't quite manage to eat both of her cupcakes, so clearly Mommy is going to have to work harder on those life goals.  She also struggled with blowing out her candles - complete with trying to touch the flames. 
 Granny got Bethany an AWESOME slide for the yard.  Despite the defective base that took Grandpa and Daddy quite a while to overcome, Bethany and cousin Alexis had a blast putting the slide to good use.  It is the perfect size, and Bethany loves to get it out when we play in the yard.

 On her actual birthday, we took chocolate muffins to school, and came home to an amazing present from Aunt Paul & Uncle Dave in Indiana.  They got Bethany her own set of dishes, and an apron to wear while she cooks! As you may or may not know, her favorite thing to make is pumpkin soup (which she has never eaten), so she got right to work putting soup in the bowls.

At two, these are some of Bethany's favorites.  Thanks to my cousin Beth for the inspiration for this, by the way.

Foods: Pasta, Pizza, Strawberries, and Zaxby's chicken
Books: Thanks for Thanksgiving, All the Water in the World, Pete the Cat, and Ladybug magazines
Songs: Nursery Rhymes and Music Class songs, plus Good King Wenceslas and The Friendly Beasts
Things to Play: Cooking in your kitchen, anything outside or at the playground, and painting
Funny things you've said:  When asked why your shoes were in the car, "I not 'posed to take them off, but I do!"  When asked what present you would give Baby Jesus, "Zaxby's chicken and a card."  

You love your sister "Carwa" and try hard to be a good helper to Mommy and Daddy. You also love to go to school and play with your friends there.  We are working on listening to adults, but overall you have a very sweet spirit, and we are so glad you are a part of our lives.  We love you!

P. S. Bethany's formal two year old shoot is here:  Be sure you watch the video. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Clara's first major outing was to the Atlanta History Center, so that she could experience a rare fall day here in Atlanta. We had a hellish summer, and then it got cold quickly, so we didn't want to miss our tiny window of opportunity to be outside without choking on smog, sweating to death, or getting frostbite.  Yay, climate change!

Bethany, being our child, loves the History Center.  She is now old enough to get a kick out of the little playhouse (see above).  It is approximately the size of our actual house, but the ceilings are lower, and we have heat and air conditioning.  Otherwise, it feels just like home.

One of Lindsey's friends nicknamed BEB "nature girl," and it continues to be true.  She LOVES being outside, regardless of how uncomfortable the temperate or precipitation may be.  One of her favorite things this summer was to ask to go outside and catch rain in her hands.  Keep in mind that it only rained about five times all summer, so most of this asking was happening when the sun was blazing.  Go, imagination!

This was how Clara visited the History Center - snuggled up to Daddy in the Ergo.  We LOVE that thing - best money ever spent.  Anyway, she did get hungry, and I did have to nurse her on a bench shortly before a whole tour group came by.  We could call that lactivism, but really, it was more like poor planning.  :)  Otherwise, she pretty much missed out on the whole experience.  We did learn that she likes to be outside, so I'm thinking we have TWO nature girls at our house.


As part of my ongoing quest to win mother of the year, I bought this child's Halloween costume at Target.  Lindsey helped me realize that my homemade bee suit was not a reality for people having intense procrastination issues and a baby due in mid-October.  We settled for this, which Bethany loved, and was very easy to deal with when she didn't want to be a bee anymore.  She is, though, very good at buzzing. This is all part of my master plan to send her to Georgia Tech.  Mwhahaha.

Yup, Clara has a bee suit, too!  Love the consignment sale bargains.  Mostly, I bought it for the ridiculous hat.  She looks a bit more like the Hamburglar than a bee, but whatever.  It's not like she went trick or treating.  :)

The newest member of the family.

 Clara Lydia Brown was born on October 15, at 3:53 a.m.  She weighed 7 pounds and 15 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long.  In our family, that is a TINY baby.  Fear not, though - at her one week check up, she weighed just shy of 9 pounds.  :)  We'll see if that continues.  We arrived at the hospital at about 2:30 a.m., got into our room just before 3:00, and I pushed for less than ten minutes.  Let's all pause for a prayer of thanksgiving that this baby wasn't born on the highway. 
Bethany is thrilled to be a big sister.  She wants to hold, kiss, and hug Clara all the time.  She also likes to decorate her with stickers.  Mama is not such a huge fan of that last thing.  Unlike Bethany, Clara does not view sleep as a mortal enemy.  I think she is within the "normal" range - nothing freaky like sleeping through the night - but a far cry from big sis.  Or, rather, just a lot LESS crying than big sis.  Life with newborn and toddler is interesting, but we are taking it one day at a time.  Some days are just a lot easier than others!
Here are Mom, Dad, & Clara just before leaving the hospital.  We'll see if I can remember to get these pictures every month.  No promises...

Oh - and if you visit the MonkeyBean Photos website, you can see Miss Clara's amazing newborn portraits.  She already doesn't look like that anymore.  Crazy.

More Singing.

When I was tiny, my dad created a new version of a familiar tune.  My brother and I both loved this "game," and now Bethany loves it, too.  This was about two days before Clara was born - but I was already having contractions.  In fact, I'm having one at the end of this.  If you look carefully, you can watch me turn bright red.  Fun times!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bethany sings!

Bethany's Uncle Dr. Pete is living in Singapore, where he is teaching for two years.  The 12 hour time difference makes it hard to talk to him, so we recorded this little cinematic masterpiece so he could see one of her newer skills.  Ignore the fact that you have to listen to me, too.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

School Girl.

Here we have our sweet girl on her first day of "pre-school."  You can see her happening lunchbox, and she's wearing her backpack.  (Yay for teachers who are willing to work with our cloth diapers!)  The backpack is a duck, but she insists on calling it an owl.  The first day was great, and every day since has been, as well.  She took to it naturally, and apparently likes to help the other children by feeding them and telling them where to sit for snack and lunch.

Here she is this morning.  I am coveting her dress for myself, by the way.  It's finally less than 157 degrees outside, so she gets to look like she's actually going to school, not the beach.  Those little shoes are actually Keds, and are therefore appropriate for P.E.  She visits Coach on Thursday, and loves it.  Her throwing arm is improving rapidly, which is a bit scary.  I had envisioned her as more of a soccer player than a softball player, but we'll see what pans out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why not.

Rather than apologize for over a year of non-blogging, I figured I'd just jump back in. My darling cousin Beth has inspired me to at least record the big events for our family, so you can have that to look forward to.

Here is our big girl on her first day of "summer camp." She's started a little preschool program two mornings a week, and went to camp to give us an idea of whether or not she'd like it. She loved it, and continues to be very excited about going to "school." We're very fortunate.

Our biggest announcement is that Bethany's little sister Clara is due to arrive on October 12th. In case you're counting, that will make them 22 months apart. We figure that we'll sleep sometime in the 2020s.
In other news, Bethany is off and talking like a pro. I was very proud of her ability to say, "no, thank you," until that became her super polite and hard to ignore method of getting out of doing things like cleaning up after herself. Fortunately for me, she still loves to do laundry.
Bethany is also a serious writer. She doesn't really seem to draw that much, but she loves to write. Her favorite things to write are "Daddy," "Mama," and "cracker."
Bethany's other favorites include singing all the songs from Music Class, reading books about animals, designing clever methods of avoiding sleep, anything involving water - especially baths, and brushing her teeth. One hilarious thing right now is that she uses the word "yours" to refer to things that are hers. "Brush yours?" means she wants her teeth brushed. This is very confusing, and I'm hoping she figures it out before she goes to college.
Our last big bit of news is that my cousin Laura is getting married in February, and sweet Bethany is going to attempt to be a flower girl. At the very least, she will be in the pictures. We'll see if she makes it up the aisle! Big congratulations to Laura & Chris. We love you both very much!