Monday, December 18, 2006

California Girl!

We went on our first family vacation in November to San Diego! We had such a wonderful time! Claire is already a world-class traveler (lucky for her since her parents have been known to go to some crazy places!). We went to the San Diego zoo, went hiking at Torrey Pines and went on plenty of long walks on the beautiful southern California beaches! Claire had lots of firsts on the trip including her first plane ride and her first time to see the ocean! The picture above is when she first saw the ocean and tried out the sand (she's not a fan!). We made so many precious memories on the trip!
We are now looking forward to her first Christmas this week! Her most recent tricks are barking like a dog (she barks at anything with 4 legs!), showing you where her toes are and taking a few wobbly steps behind her walker!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Our little Pumpkin

Fall Greetings! Above are some recent photos of all of our fun fall activties. The top one is of Claire at the Great Pumpkin Patch a few weeks ago. We had a great time riding the tractor and playing in the patch with our friends. You may recognize the babies in the next photo from an earlier post - those are Claire's buddies Sydney and Connor! It is so much fun to see them grow up together and amazing to think that we were all pregnant this time last year and didn't even know our precious little ones! The next one is one of my favorites of Claire with some pumpkins here in Birmingham. And the next one is of our little Piggy! She was dressed up here getting ready to go to the Costume Parade that we hosted at a local park for our friends (that's where the picture of Sydney, Claire and Connor was taken). We had a great turn out of about 20 kids with lots of parents and grandparents there to take part in and watch the parade. We are making it an annual event and hope it gets bigger and better every year!
Claire is moving all about these days. She was thrilled to figure out that instead of yelling when we leave a room she can just follow us! She waves bye-bye but instad of saying "bye-bye" when she waves she says "da-doo". Hmmm. She also loves to clap and make noises by strumming her lips. She talks or sings constantly! What a fun age with so many priceless moments every day!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fall in the Gardens

We recently had Claire's 9 month picture taken at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham. They turned out great and really capture this precious age. She is busy throwing everything she can get her hands on, creeping and crawling around and trying to eat everything but babyfood! We got the green light at her recent Dr. appt. to start trying different table foods - this is music to Claire's mouth. Her favorite so far is blueberry pancakes! She also likes chicken and rice! She is trying to pull up and we look forward to seeing her take off any day now.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Go Dawgs!!

Goooooooooooooo Dawgs sic 'em . . . woof, woof, woof!! Yeah, a new little Bulldog is in town! Claire is all decked out in her new game day attire (which her mommy made!) and ready to cheer on the Dawgs today! I'm not sure who is more excited her or her Daddy! Claire is 8 1/2 months now and the sweetest baby in the whole world (seriously!). Everyday is full of fun and joy for all of us. She rolls all around (no crawling yet) and babbles and sings all the time. She has 4 teeth now and I think a few more are on the way. Her most exciting achievement is that she now can catch and throw a ball. She and her Dad play catch for hours now which makes him very happy. I can't believe how fast she's grown . . .

Friday, August 11, 2006

Vital Statistics

Name: Claire Louise Shirley
Age: 7 1/2 months
weight: about 20 lbs.
height: about 28 inches
Nicknames: "C", Ti Fe, Claire Bear
Favorite Color: Red to play with and pink to wear
Favorite Food: oatmeal and Cheerios
Least Favorite Food: peas (YUCK!)
Favorite Beverage: Breastmilk - is there something else?
Favorite people: Mommy and Daddy
Favorite game: Peekaboo
Favorite time of day: BATH TIME!
Favorite past time: singing
Favorite accessory: hair bow (now that I have enough hair!)
Favorite exercise: rolling around on the floor
Favorite activity: my Kindermusik class - I like playing with the drums and scarves
Newest tricks: saying "da da", playing peekaboo, drinking from a straw
Number of teeth: two (two more on the way)
Favorite toy: my Bunny (I sleep with Bunny every night - I LOVE Bunny)
Favorite Friends: Sydney and Cole (Mommy calls Cole my boyfriend but I call his mommy Aunt Shanan so wouldn't that make us cousins? Is that legal?)
Thing I'm looking forward to the most: crawling so I can check this place out!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Puppy Love

We spent the 4th of July weekend at the lake and much to everyone's delight there is a new puppy! He is 7 weeks old and a bundle of energy and fun. Claire loved being around the puppy and the two older dogs as well as the other 3 kids who were there! Our house seems kind of quiet and boring compared the lake house with the Slappeys and Duncans! It was fun to see Claire with the other kids (Reuben, Judith and Solomon) and it makes me look forward to when she is toddling around and playing with them.
Claire had her 6 month check up today and is doing great! She is in the 90th percentile for height and weight and thriving. We started solid foods last week which is an adventure. She did fine with cereal and tolerated squash but drew the line at peas which she promptly gagged on and threw up! Oh well!

Very Happy Father's Day

We had a wonderful time celebrating Rhett's 1st Father's Day! We went out for a special dinner at one of his favorite restaurants where he enjoyed a yummy steak! We took some family photos and enjoyed the afternoon together. Rhett is a wonderful Daddy to Claire. She is so lucky to have someone who loves her so much and is so proud of her for every accomplishment no matter how big or small.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Summer Fun

Summer is here! We recently spent a day lounging around the pool with friends Mindy, Sydney, Dawn and Connor! The babies had a great time discovering the water and looking adorable in their swimming suits!

Claire is 5 1/2 months now! She is rolling all over the place and working very hard to sit up. She plays all the time. She loves to play pattycake and peekaboo. She also enjoys talking and making new noises (screeching, yelling, raspberries and her newest . . . grunting!). We are initiating her to her first southern summer and trying to keep her cool and comfortable. She doesn't really seem to mind much of anything though - she's a good sport and very happy and relaxed. She loves to sip water out of a "big girl cup" and goes crazy when she sees Mommy drinking from a cup. We think she may be starting to teeth a little bit because everything goes straight to her mouth! That includes toys, fingers (hers and anyone else's), paper, blankets - you name it! We are looking forward to Rhett's first Father's Day this week and lot's more summer fun in the weeks ahead!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Girl!

Here are Claire's almost 5 month pictures. She hammed it up for the photographer and turned out some great smiles. Looking at these pictures, I can't believe how old she looks! Where is my little baby that I brought home from the hospital? Every stage is so very sweet. I love this age now because she is so interested in the world around her. She focuses intently on everything I do. She grabs everything (before she puts it in her mouth) and pays attention to very small details. She loves being carried around in her Baby Bjorn! She faces outward and sees the world from our "grown up" perspective. Besides the fact that it is the best way to carry her around these days (she weighs about 17 lbs!) she loves to see and touch things - especially at the grocery store! We won't start rice cereal until she is 6 months but she is definitely starting to show an interest in food and I'm looking forward to her first mouthfuls!
Claire loves to laugh and talk. Her favorite thing to laugh at is her Daddy's funny faces! She thinks he is hilarious!! She also LOVES her splashing in her bathtub. Everyone in the room gets soaked! It's so much fun. She loves the water so much that we are starting Water Babies (baby swim class) in July. I hope she likes the big pool as much as she loves her tub! Every day is so much fun watching her discover the world around her. I am so blessed to have such a beautiful, healthy baby. I knew that having a baby would be fun and wonderful but I had no idea how unbelieveabley amazing it would be.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

What a joyful day it was! I celebrated my first Mother's Day! It's hard to believe last year on Mother's Day we announced to our family that we were expecting a baby and this year I celebrated with my beautiful daughter in my arms. We went to church then went out to the Botanical Gardens to take some pictures in the beautiful rose garden. The we went to eat at Cobb Lane Restaurant where we dined outside under huge old oak trees. Eating al fresco is one of my favorite things to do so this was a treat! Even better - I got to take an afternoon nap! I'm looking forward to the mani/pedi that Rhett and Claire gave me for a gift.
Claire is doing great! She is so healthy and beautiful. She has been a very easy baby to care for so far and makes my job easy! She is rolling over occassionally and laughing all the time. She finds her Daddy particularly humerous! She loves to blow raspberries and make noises. Every minute I spend with her is sweet and I am SO grateful to have her in my life.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

He is Risen!!

Today we celebrate Claire's first Easter! She got all dolled up in her Easter dress and her bonnet, of course! We had 12 adults and 4 kids over for lunch after church (our friends from Sunday school). Daddy was at the hospital working but we kept Claire's Easter outfit on until he got home so he could see how adorable she looked. The other pictures above is of Claire's newest toy - her jumper!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

All Smiles!

I can't believe Claire is already 3 months old! She is so much fun! She loves to smile but she takes playing very seriously and furrows her brow and concentrates on her toys. She loves her new jogging stroller. We go walking in the park, Lakeshore trail, our neighborhood or at the zoo just about everyday. Her favorite animals at the zoo are the fake ones on the carousel - she likes to watch it go around and around.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Dedication Day

February 19, 2006

We had Claire dedicated at church on Sunday. She was 7 1/2 weeks old. It was such a fun and special day. In attendace were both sets of grandparents, both great grandmothers, two aunts an uncle and her cousin-to-be (Tish is pregnant). It was so neat to have everyone together for such a sweet occassion.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Three's Company

Sydney, Conner and Claire

Today we went walking with my friends Mindy and Dawn. Their babies, Sydney and Conner, are 9 days older and 1 day younger (respectively) than Claire. Conner and Claire actually met in the nursery at the hospital!! All of the kids were actually awake at the same time today so we had a great photo op! Mindy is a nurse that I work with in the PICU and Dawn is an ER fellow who did a rotation in the unit last fall. We all became good friends as we waddled around the hospital together!

Monday, February 13, 2006

What up C?

We went to Athens this past weekend and Claire met Patrick for the first time! Claire couldn't have cared less but Patrick obviously wasn't too excited. Kathryn and I look forward to embarassing them with this photo one day - maybe on Prom night? My high school friends has a shower for us - it was fun to catch up with everyone and have them meet Claire. She also met her Great Grandmother Adelaide for the first time. Gram and Pop almost didn't let her out the door to leave!

First Outings for Claire and Mom & Dad

When Claire was 4 weeks 5 days old (Jan. 30th) Rhett had the day off so we decided to take a field trip up to Huntsville to the Space and Rocket Center. We looked around the museum and watched an IMAX movie that Claire somehow slept through. Last week when Claire was 6 weeks old Rhett and I left her for the first time and went out on an actual date! You can see from the picture that Claire wasn't too happy about it. This picture was taken when we got back - she slept the whole time we were gone but let us have it when we got back!

I LOVE my bath!

Claire's newest hobby? Taking a bath! She LOVES it! The first time we put her in the tub she cried when we took her out! She just soaks and stares out the window. She likes to let her feet float out in front of her. Sometimes we give her two baths a day because she loves them and why not? When she's happy - we are happy! You also see in these photos that she is quite healthy (aka loves to eat)!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Almost 4 weeks

January 24, 2006

Claire will be 4 weeks old tomorrow! The time has gone so fast. It's amazing how much our lives have changed in such a short period of time. A month ago we didn't know Claire and now I can't imagine my life without her. She is an absolute joy and we are having so much fun. Every day is exciting because she is doing something new. Jo Anne was here last weekend to visit and Tish will be here this weekend. I'm feeling great - 100%. It's been such a mild month weather wise we have been going out for walks every day - I think that's helped me feel better quicker. It's been so great to be able to get out and get my batteries recharged with some sunshine. Hopefully the weather will continue to be this great.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sweet Baby

When Claire was two weeks old I took her to get some pictures taken at a local portrait studio. Can you say precious? She held her hands in my favorite picture (above). It is so much fun getting to know her. It is overwhelming at times when I realize that she depends on me for so much. Nothing feels more right than holding her and feeling her little body in my arms. I am blown away at the incredible blessing that she is.

Claire 2 weeks

It is so amazing to see how much Claire changes every day! I took her in for her 2 week check up and was shocked at her weight! She was 7lbs 11oz when she was born and lost down to 7lbs 2oz when we left the hospital. Two weeks later she weighs 8lbs 10oz! Needless to say she is a wonderful eater and partakes whenever she can! Her days and nights were switched for about the first two weeks. During the day she was impossible to wake up - I tried everything including stripping her down to her diaper and putting a cold cloth on her face - NOTHING. Not even a twitch! Then come about 11pm she was wide awake and ready for some interaction with her mom and dad (who were collapsing into bed exhausted from 18 hrs of staring at her and marveling at how beautiful she is). She is still a sweet baby who only fusses when she (what else?) wants to eat! She gets that from her Mom!

December 30th 2005 - Claire arrives home with Mom and Dad for the first time. The first thing we did was give Claire the grand tour of her first house! In addition to Mom and Dad her Gram and Uncle Bobby were also here for her big homecoming. We were so blessed that Claire arrived in the middle of her Dad's vacation so we were able to spend a lot of time together as a new family. What sweet memories we have of her first days!

A new Shirley is born!

Claire Louise Shirley was born December 28, 2005 at 10:13am at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, AL. We were anxiously awaiting her arrival that was scheduled for the next day (induction). As I was tossing and turning on the night of the 27th trying to get some sleep I realized that my water broke! We got to the hospital about an hour later, I got my epidural about 2 hours later at 5.5 centimeters and several hours later after an hour and a half of pushing little Claire entered into this world and we will never be the same. She weighed in at 7 lbs 11oz and 20 1/4 inches long. Her sweet calm demeanor was apparent from the very beginning. As long as she can nurse she is one happy baby. We spent the next two days in the hospital and came home for the first time as a family instead of as a couple. I cried the first two nights we were home - not post partum depression - I cried because I loved her so much! I'm sure my hormones played a role but the truth is I have been completely smitten and consumed with love for her since the first time I saw her little face right after she was born. Giving birth and being a mother is the most amazing experience I could imagine. Rhett jokes that I've been training for this my entire life! It is a dream come true.