Clare Look-a-likes

My daughter is completely original…other than the fact that she is almost a clone of her father.

As she has grown it has been so interesting to see what facial features and traits she gets from each of us.

Though we know where her looks came from genetically speaking it is impossible to deny her striking resemblance to the following brood.



Her idol - Julie Andrews. She often makes this exact face.


Michael Darling from Disney's Peter Pan.


What's her name? Does anyone remember? My brother insists that Clare looks exactly like the girl from Ducktales. When I looked it up I couldn't say it wasn't true.


I mean… come on… tell me I’m wrong.


The Donut Tree

Andrew spent last night at the campus observatory. So this morning we got to see a little more of Daddy than usual.

As I am 8 months pregnant my first thought after “can I make it to the bathroom” was “what should we have for breakfast?”.

“How about pancakes?!” I asked Andrew, trying not to sound too enthusiastic.

“That sounds DELICIOUS.” he replied kindly. But we sat for a moment as I could see him reviewing his answer.

“Or we could do donuts…”

Now, with Andrew, you never know. That statement could mean he was thinking of MAKING donuts which would mean he would have to find a recipe, go to the store to buy enough vegetable oil to fry our homemade pastries and then make said donuts.

I paused looking to him to fill in the gaps of his plan.

“Yeah” he said ” I could go to the store and get some donuts.” My pregnant stomach was relieved.

“Sure. Either is fine.” I say trying again not to sound like I might eat the bed if he doesn’t get the donuts fast enough.

Clare finished her bottle and we asked her what she thought of the idea.

“Dat should be gate!” (That should be great) she said.

“You go pick donuts with Daddy?” (Can I go pick donuts with daddy?)

our "fruit" from the donut tree

Say what you will about giving your toddler donuts but the simple fact that Clare thought that she was going to pick donuts from Daddy’s garden means we’re probably doing something right. Our raw vegan prefers getting the vast majority of nourishment from our own back yard but she tolerated the donuts.

Though I informed Clare that you have to go to the store to get donuts she still thinks someone picks them off the “donut tree” as she put it and then brings them to the store for us to buy.

I’ll let her kindergarten teacher or her unmerciful peers break that one to her. That…along with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

My History With Eczema

I first learned about this impossibly hard to spell disease when I was a little girl. I had practiced ballet for years, a discipline where the body is key and scrutinized constantly. Though my parents did an excellent job finding a school where everyone was accepted and body image was not emphasized one might still notice differences between yourself and another girl simply because we wore only a simple leotard and tights.

I noticed that one of my dear friends, Courtney, had markings all over her arms. This was a type of rash I had never seen before – peculiar, red and raised. It look extremely uncomfortable so I asked about it being as empathetic as my own daughter, who when hearing another child scolded bursts into tears.

Mommy's dancing, Daddy's skin.

Courtney was unintimidated by my curiosity and quickly answered my question. She told me that it was a rash that she had constantly and was itchy and that she had a special lotion for. (pretty good for a 9 year old) I smiled and went back to goofing off. I never thought about it again.

That is until I met Andrew.

I was in love with Andrew from the moment I met him and the peculiar redness to his skin was something that was easily out-shined by his inner light and something I didn’t even see until we had known each other a few years.

We were sitting on an open lawn. I, with my browning skin, sat in a tank top and shorts and enjoyed the new beams of the spring sun as if gloating about my genetic make-up while Andrew sat as near as he could to the shade wearing a fleece and jeans and obviously sweating. I glanced at his hands and saw what looked like a massive 2nd degree burn all over his fingers and asked what the heck he had done to himself. He blushed under his freckles and looked away to tell me it was from his dark room chemicals.

I told him he should stop developing his own pictures, get a new hobby and then I moved on to another topic.

He got a bad sunburn that day.

Years later when we began dating Andrew was finally open with me about the rash that crept into his hair line, covered his arms and legs and inflamed his back. He told me he had Eczema, expecting that I had never heard of it. He was embarrassed I could tell and I saw him try not to scratch too much while he was around me. I was confused. Why was he content with his misery like there was nothing he could do about it? Though Courtney had told me about Eczema so long ago she had not explained how horribly uncomfortable it was. But Andrew seemed to have resigned himself to a disease without a cure and figured it wasn’t too bad because the prognosis didn’t lead to his death.

Two years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who Andrew and I named Clare, which means “light” or “clarity”. While were pregnant with her we thought only of how beautiful she would be and her personality and the life that we would get to see her live. She was three months old when we noticed something strange about her skin. It almost seemed as if she had boils on her skin. We tried different solutions for a month with our pediatrician and were in and out of the office almost every week. Finally she recommended us to a dermatologist, who after looking at Clare for a split second diagnosed her with Eczema. “Just like her daddy” she said with a smile as if that was cute or something we wanted to hear like “freckles” or “blue eyes”.

I was devastated not because I cared about the red blotches all over her little body but that it meant I had to see another loved one suffer through extreme itching (like that of poison ivy or chicken pox) for what could be her entire life.

We are now approaching the birth of our second daughter and with all the wonderful dreams about her we are also anxious about what the state of her skin might be.

I will be chronicling our experience with eczema as a part of my blog to encourage those who might come across it. Look for more articles in the future.

Clare recently learned how to climb onto our bed without assistance.


Just kidding. It’s actually been kind of nice. The borders of the bed somehow provider her with the boundaries she needs to imagine more and play without me. I don’t know any parent alive that would complain about that.

But truly, there is no space left in the house that is not shrouded with brightly colored toys or books or clothes.

I snapped this image of her one morning while I was making breakfast. I peeked in to check and make sure she wasn’t playing with electrical sockets or had found a book of matches or gotten into some unforeseen toddler mischief. It was so beautiful and a way I want to remember her for the rest of my life.

Happy Birthday February!

Today is Aunt Yandi’s birthday and Clare wanted to send her best wishes in the only way she knows how…singing. Oh wait and Joey too who she thinks is the funniest thing ever.

Happy Birthday to you, Yandi. You are such a light in the dark. You’re a bright spot in our lives. You’re a treasure and a gift. May this year be the best yet.

And a late Happy Birthday to my other February star – Joey! You’re one of my favorite things on the planet. I hope you do lots of tough and cool things this year.

Oh the part about the monkey isn’t true…it’s just funny.

I know this is very similar to this post but you can’t get enough of a good thing right?

Don’t Leave The House Without…

Nevermind. Just don’t leave the house.

I’m kidding of course. I love leaving the house for a little while every day. It’s good for both Clare and I.

My sweet girl happily drawing by herself.

I’m not gonna lie. Before I had Clare I could stay inside and not worry about what humans outside my small world were doing. I could cuddle up on a snow day and relax.

Now that I have Clare I’m scared to death of staying at home all day. What am I going to do with you ALL DAY?! I’ve never been so intimidated by play my whole life.

Anyway, when I start feeling a little zombie like or maybe just start twitching mildly I leave. It doesn’t matter where. Yesterday we walked through the snow to get a pack of gummy treats. Tomorrow it might be the library.

Well today I went to the fabric store. Big mistake. Don’t ever go to the fabric store during the middle of the day. In fact don’t go to any store in the middle of the day. Don’t leave your house during the middle of the day. This is not the time to quench your insatiable desire for adult human contact.

Why you ask? Because there are the worst behaved screaming children everywhere. SCREAMING. HUNDREDS OF SCREAMING CHILDREN. And Clare being the wonderfully observant child that she is was staring wide eyed and soaking it all in.

I actually thought to myself, “Who brings their child out at lunch/nap time?” then Clare looked up at me and yawned and asked for another cracker.

I tried to tell her that that kid didn’t know that you are just supposed to sing songs or  play games when you get upset or board. Then the kid yelled shut up to her mother! It was like every family in that store needed Super Nanny? Is this what happens? Is my wonderful child going to become a demon in only a few years?

I remember being a kid that age. I actually remember throwing fits on purpose.

There has to be a better way.

Lord help us.