Clara is 2!!!

posted by Andrea | 09/25/2019

A Big Happy Birthday to our Sweet Clara Jo!! 

She, of course, doesn’t really “get” birthdays yet — for that reason (and the fact that we are definitely feeling the first month of school busyness) we didn’t have a party for her. 

However, we DID celebrate with our own family over the weekend — a few fun gifts, chocolate muffins, homemade pizzas, mac & cheese, cheesecake, a balloon, and a bunch of wrapping paper and boxes to play in afterward. 

Yup, it’s safe to say she had an extremely fun “birthday party” — and I know she’ll be spoiled with special treats and fun activities again today! 

Dave and I were recently talking about how we were planning to name her Clara Jean up until about a week before she was born. 

As you might remember, “Clara” is named after Dave’s grandpa “Clarence”, and “Jean” would have been after his mom’s middle name. However, about a week or so before Clara arrived, Dave said, “I want to name her Clara Jo” — with “Jo” being named after his Grandpa Joe — brother to Clarence and the man his grandma remarried years after Clarence passed away. 

Did you get all that?

I was initially disappointed, but I now LOVE her name and can’t imagine calling her anything other than “Clara Jo”! 

I should clarify that we don’t actually call her “Clara Jo” — saying both names together. 

Sometimes we do, but her name is “Clara” and that’s primarily what we call her (I get asked this ALL the time)! 😉

Clara is so full of personality — I had a hard time deciding what pictures to include in this post as we have SO many cute ones! 

She is so animated, so confident, so sure of herself, so willing to try something completely new without any fear.

Clara is my only toddler who is not shy around strangers (something that secretly worries me a bit!) She waves to everyone in the grocery store, willingly hugs the semi-familiar faces at church, and is always smiling and pointing at interesting things.

Her current favorite phrase is, “no! I do!”… and if you think you can get away with ignoring her pleas to do it herself, think again! 

In so many ways, Clara has felt like our “easiest” baby, but I know the main reason for this is simply because Dave and I are SO MUCH BETTER at parenting. We have more experience, more perspective, more patience, more confidence, more realistic expectations, and more tricks up our sleeve. 

Plus, we have 3 older siblings to help us out too… and they honestly DO help! 

They entertain her without really even trying all that hard. They give her someone to look up to, someone to play with, something to strive for, something to mimic, something to occupy her. 

They feed her, they help her reach things, they get her to laugh, they pick her up, they hold her hand, they push her around in the stroller, they look out for her. 

They are the “Fab Four” around here…

Almost every day over the past 2 years, I’ve thought about how much easier parenting our 4th baby feels versus any of the other babies. I’ve often wished to be able to go back in time and have all my babies again with the knowledge and perspective I have now — obviously not possible, but wouldn’t that be nice! 

I’m guessing many mothers can relate to these feelings… I certainly could have avoided a whole bunch of heartache, anxiety, and tears if I would have begun my career as a mother with the knowledge and experience I have now!

This is not to say I’m perfect (or even close to it)… but I sure have learned a lot!

Happy Birthday to our favorite Little Sister! 

You are SO loved! 

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30 comments

  1. Martha Lawson

    09/29/2019

    Happy second birthday, Clara! So pretty!

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  2. Jessy

    09/26/2019

    Mom of 4 here too. My first three got successively easier. Then came #4! A real challenge! More to do with the child than with me…assuming my skills as a parent increased. However with 12 years between the youngest and oldest I certainly was able to take advantage of the help of older siblings…diapers, feedings, entertainment, babysitting, etc

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    Andrea Reply:

    Glad to hear you’re getting a little help from older siblings — I’m guessing it feels very different this time around versus when you were a brand new mom with no “helpers” around! 🙂

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  3. Amy

    09/26/2019

    Ha Ha! True!

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  4. ShellyL

    09/26/2019

    She is beautiful and just gets prettier by the day!! Time really has flown by with this one. Thanks for sharing all these great pictures of all your sweet kiddos. I am enjoying watching them grow up. I hope she had a wonderful birthday and got spoiled a little by everyone. 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks shelly! Yes, time flies!

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  5. Natalia

    09/25/2019

    She’s SO adorable! You all are adorable!
    I love every single one of your pictures, but my favorite is the one with Nora and Simon coming home from school and James and Clara greeting them. Oh, so precious <3
    Oh, and the one with her lifting her sunglasses! Or the one with her walking away so confident with floaties on her arms…. 🙂 So cute!
    May God bless her and continue to bring you much joy through her!

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  6. Jenny

    09/25/2019

    So adorable! Time sure flies! I’ve just been thinking that the age difference between my second brother and me is the same as between your girls. We’ve always all had a close and wonderful relationship, and I’m so glad for that. We sure exhausted our parents, no doubt!

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  7. Kellie

    09/25/2019

    Oh man what a cute little girl! Thanks for sharing her with us Andrea! Happy Birthday Clara!

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  8. Debbie

    09/25/2019

    The pictures are adorable! From looking at them it’s hard to imagine that your kids ever fight with each other. I just remember lots of fighting with my siblings when I was younger somehow. Haha!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks — and yes, don’t be totally fooled… they DO fight!

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  9. Charlotte

    09/25/2019

    She looks like so much fun! Can’t believe she’s 2 already.

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    Andrea Reply:

    she IS fun!

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  10. Allison

    09/25/2019

    Your kids are just so precious! You and Dave are blessed beyond measure. Happy birthday sweet Clara! Stay spunky kid! 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Allison — these past few years have been really fun! I’m looking forward to many more fun years with our kiddos!

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  11. Laura

    09/25/2019

    Clara is a doll, and a couple of her expressions in a couple of these photos look so much like Nora. All four of your children are good looking kids, and they seem to be really connected to each other with sweet, loving personalities – so wonderful!

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    Andrea Reply:

    We see a lot of “Nora” and “Simon” expressiong in Clara — just depending on the day and the angle!

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  12. Amy

    09/25/2019

    You have four beauties!! There is definitely a little sparkle in Clara’s eyes that comes right through in pictures! I can see why you had trouble choosing.
    I think we are done having kids. I mean, I don’t feel like I have as much time as I want to spend with the three I have. But as soon as I started reading your post I thought…wellllllll maybeeeee one more

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks — she’s such a fun little girl!
    Also, just remember that pictures of other people’s babies do not keep you up all night for 2 years… your own baby might! 🙂

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  13. JoAnn C.

    09/25/2019

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CLARA! And thanks, Andrea for sharing. She, like her older siblings, is such a cutie.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you JoAnn!

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  14. Kristi

    09/25/2019

    What a little cutie pie she is! Happy a birthday to your Clara!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kristi!

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  15. Jen

    09/25/2019

    Happy Birthday, Clara! Our youngest of four was 20 yesterday (!!!!), and his personality sounds much like Clara’s! He is always the smiling, easy going, has a million friends, life of the party! And, I had ALL the same thoughts you have had about wishing I had relaxed more, known more, etec at the beginning. But, by God’s grace, our older three kids have turned out just fine–in spite of mom and dad’s initial–and continuing–mistakes. LOL! I know yours will, too. Have a great day celebrating Clara Jo!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — our children even have (almost) the same birthdays! If only I enjoyed ironing and sorting laundry — we’d basically be twins!

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  16. Annette Silveira

    09/25/2019

    Clara is SO adorable. I love that she has so much spunk and is also so sweet and friendly. She reminds me of my three year old granddaughter. So much fun.

    As for your *dream* of being able to go back and parent again. I hear you! My kids are grown and so much more is known about child development than 30 years ago. There’s so much information to be had. If I could have looked up sleep issues, or had encouragement to let my difficult little guy be more who he is, early parenting would have been so much easier.

    Enjoy your babies!

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  17. Lorrie

    09/25/2019

    Aww, what precious pictures of a wonderful family! Happy birthday Clara… can’t believe you’re TWO already!!

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  18. Paulette

    09/25/2019

    What a precious little girl!

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  19. Kim

    09/25/2019

    What a great idea God had when He designed your darling little girl, Clara. Precious family you have!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    my thoughts exactly!

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