Friday, October 21, 2016

It's a.......


Baby girl Marcum #3 coming March 2017 and we couldn't be more thrilled! We're well on our way to becoming Bennets or Marches which has really been the goal all along ;) Clara was really excited and announced that she would teach her how to use lip gloss. Winnie was just glad Caroline made a cake for her too.

I'm just about 19 weeks and really starting to turn a corner to feeling better. I'm not off medication yet but I made dinner 3 times last really, we're winning. It's good to feel human again. This is my favorite part of pregnancy! We're over here thinking of names and enjoying food again- life is good!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Carmel Weekend

Well on a last minute whim we headed down to Carmel and Monterey for the weekend. It was a "blustery day" according to Clara which felt so fall-y and perfect. We shopped around, got Crystal fish for dinner and Bakery pretzels for lunch and went down to the beach and marveled at the roiling sea. There's something so haunting about the beach in the fall and winter. It's so misty and eerie and quiet, save the great crashing waves. It might be my favorite time to visit. We went to church on Sunday, got breakfast at Cafe Trieste, which was a fluke but may have been my favorite meal... and did the 17 mile drive before heading home. Oh I do love a good weekend away.

Fall/Halloween Around the House

So here's a little Fall/Halloween around the house. I'm always extra proud of myself for decorating when I'm pregnant, it's some sort of accomplishment! Clara's really into it this year, she loves the spider webs. Also of note, Winnie coming out into the living room wearing a santa hat (Watson's) and refusing to take it off all afternoon. Welcome to the holidays!!!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

A Clara Update

Oh my sweet almost 4 year old little girl! I'm currently re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series and realizing that my girl and Anne Shirley have quite a bit in common. I couldn't be more proud. She's got a lively imagination and talks about a mile a minute, truly. She can talk for up to two hours straight without stopping, I've timed it. Road trips are very entertaining. 
She has an imaginary friend named Pegasus, he's a horse and also a boy (she is very specific on this point), he lives in a castle with crocodiles and frogs and snakes and all her other favorite animals and she says he is "twinners" with Angus, Merida's horse in Brave. He can also fly and spends a lot of time in "Candyland" in the clouds. Candyland is also an imaginary dream place of hers. Candyland and "the Castle" have a lot of similarities except that "the castle" can be driven to whereas Candyland cannot, Daddy's going to drive her to the castle to get Pegasus one day. This is often mentioned.
She loves her Daddy and is getting really quite skilled in the art of punching and wrestling with him. Her favorite game is "lions" where they basically chase each other around the house, growling and wrestling intermittently. She also enjoys the occasional excursion to the moon with him. They blast off under cover of a blanket on the couch and go to the moon, which is our room, with the lights off. Stuffed animals are hidden and they find them with flashlights in the dark, she loves it. There are many variations to the game but this is basically the gist of it. She has also taken to requesting one of Daddy's stories every night after a book before bed. Daddy tells the best stories. 
  Her favorite treat and enduring love is still marshmallows. Offer her any number of tasty and exotic treats and her preference will always be marshmallows. She still talks about her birthday last year where I gave her a box of marshmallows. It was the highlight of her year, it would seem. She is an expert barterer and negotiator for treats and often makes too much sense for me to refuse her. I'm a sucker, I know. 
Her favorite dinner is spaghetti and meatballs, every time I make it she declares that it is the favorite part of her day. Often times she wakes up before me and quietly creeps to the kitchen to pillage the pantry without any pesky adult supervision. I don't mind if this produces yogurt for breakfast or something else of the sort....but if there are any treats within reach (she usually drags a chair in) she usually pillages, then takes them into her room and shares with Winnie through her crib slats. I've learned quickly not to put anything sweet below the very top shelf. This, however brings up another critical point in Clara's budding personality. Rarely is she stingy with her treats, especially not with her little sister. It's really hard for me to get upset with her when she sneaks treats when the first thing she does is take them in her room to share with Winnie. Sometimes I pretend not to notice just to foster the little mischievous camaraderie in the nursery. I can't help myself. Winnie doesn't know just how lucky she is.
Clara is stubborn and can sometimes dig in her heels to a remarkable degree in one so young. She gets an idea in her little mind that sometimes just can't be rooted out. Sometimes...a lot of the time this is exasperating, but I have to remind myself that if I can manage teach her good principles to guide her this will serve her well later on down the road. Just heaven help me make it through these formative years! 
Clara loves playing with dirt, digging for worms and various other allurements of the outdoors. She'd probably stay outside all day wandering around with only the company of the dog and cat and various collected snails if I let her. Another favored activity as of late is what I can only describe as "floss engineering". If she can find floss or really any other type string she can spend hours filling a room with different contraptions. She loves making bow and arrows (usually with string and a hanger), pulleys and other sorts of useful things for a four year old to have. These projects usually happen while I'm in the shower or otherwise occupied and take some time to deconstruct.  
Most nights I go to bed with a heart full to bursting with pride and awe over this magical little girl we get to call ours. She really is so wonderful and I truly treasure being her mom. I love you Clara Rose, there's nobody quite like you, you're a true original! I'm so glad you're mine.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Conference Weekend

This past weekend we had the privilege of watching our LDS General Conference Saturday and Sunday. It was amazing. It's always my favorite weekend of the year, I look forward to it like a holiday and regret the end of it like the let down after the Christmas season, you know. It's that special to me! I made a menu and even spent a little time in the kitchen which has NOT been the norm for me as of late (as any of you who have seen me pregnant will know and attest to). I attempted to bring some October into Fresno with pretty fall colored dahlias, even if all the trees will stay stubbornly green until November. I made pumpkin bread, there was parmesan soup simmering merrily on the stove (the magic of which cannot be caught properly in a blurry iphone photo, but was attempted anyway) and we listened to the word of God. It was perfect.

This conference I looked forward to maybe even a little more than usual, I think. Can we get real here for a minute? It's been a rough year, a rough few years in fact, but this year has been especially tough. We've been going through some personal family drama with my parents that has been very bitter and painful. Through this my solace and my comfort has been God, my Savior, my religion and my sweet husband. I can say that truly. I don't know what I would have done without the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been such a relief to know that God still speaks to us today through His prophet and apostles, their messages of peace and comfort have meant more to me than words can say. I've held on to them tighter than perhaps ever before through my trials and for that I am grateful. I just want to invite any of you who are struggling or just in search of truth to listen to their words. I can honestly say that every good and wholesome thing in my life has come as a factor of living this gospel. Have a great week!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Winnie Update

Here's a little portrait of Winnie at almost 21 months. (I actually took these photos about a month ago but am just getting around to posting... pregnancy, you know.)

She says around 20 words on a regular basis, with her (and my) favorite being an enthusiastic "DADDY!!!!" every time she hears the garage door open.

loves kicking back and lounging. It's hilarious, she'll just climb up on the couch and slouch in like a regular couch potato. I kind of got a photo of it below, it's amazing.

gets her groove on pretty much every time she hears any kind of music. My favorite move of hers is a kind of shoulder belly combo, I dare you not to laugh when you see it. She feels the rhythm.

Is such a little peanut, 50% for height and 10% for weight but she can put down the food! Oh my heavens, she regularly eats twice as much as Clara. Although, I am disappointed to say that although she started out eating everything she has gotten to be a little picky and will now throw things off her tray that she doesn't approve of. It drives. me. CRAZY. We're working on it.

is a snuggle bug and will cuddle with almost anyone, especially when she's tired or just waking up.

is always trying to snipe my diet coke. Clara accidentally got a sip of some of mine when she was around Winnie's age and hated it, which was awesome. I tried to give Winnie some spiked with vinegar out of a can to deter her in similar didn't work. I have to be extra careful not to leave any within her reach!

is starting to develop a sense of humor and does things on purpose to be funny. I love it. For instance, the other day she was dancing really crazy then turned her upper body half way around with her hands outstretched and froze for at least fifteen seconds, looking at me, then started cracking up. It's the best.

is getting so good at folding her arms and closing her eyes for prayers! It's the sweetest.

loves babies, real and make believe. She'll often swaddle babies and stuffed animals that she's playing with and rock them and give them "nice pats". She's obsessed with my friend Caroline's baby, Ford and is almost a little too enthusiastic in her affection for him! She just wants to hold them and give them all the love, I think she'll be excited for a new baby in the family.

plays really well with Clara and will often times chase her or join in her make believe. They'll play for hours together outside or in their room, it's so sweet! She calls her "Cla-cla".

is overall the sweetest, feistiest little peanut in our family, we love her so much!