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.

Bed Time

This Christmas Andrew and I got Clare a doll bed.

Andrew wondered if it was a good idea thinking of all her other toys that she had already outgrown or become uninterested with. I thought it was an interesting question and responded with, “She’ll love it.” and a flippant hand wave as if to swat away his ridiculous concern.

Truth is, I wanted to buy her a doll bed.

But I thought about it and we talked about it and decided that the doll bed would provide hours of imaginative play for years to come and went for the big 20 dollar purchase. Yay! Big spenders.

Well, Clare loves it.

When she wakes up and I take her out of HER bed she automatically goes into her doll bed.

We didn’t really expect her to get IN the bed. Nor did we expect that if she did in fact get in the bed that it would hold her weight and all her doll’s weigh as well.

She certainly doesn’t like her own bed this much and I do find it rather strange that every time she puts one of her dolls to sleep she shoves their face down into the bed and holds it there. No kisses or songs or hugs only the insistence of sleep and a good face smother into the mattress.


Either Clare was being generous with Sugar, her doll, or …

She REALLY hates my banana bread.

This is not posed. I seriously found Sugar drowning in in banana bread with her face covered in butter.

When I asked Clare about it she simply said, “Sugar”.

I don’t know. But I laughed. And I’m still laughing.

hmmm…this could also be and erie Toy Story moment.

The Perfect Amount

Last night’s snow fall was the perfect amount for a little girl.

Clare woke up with morning and we immediately looked out the window to admire the newly fallen snow.

While breakfast was baking Andrew joined the winter block party of neighbors who were simultaneously shoveling and salting their walkways. Clare and I watched from the window, pointing out everyone we knew. Andrew threw snowballs at the window to Clare’s delight.

Clare waited patiently to join her dad.

I dressed her in two pairs of socks, boots, a shirt, a sweater, a coat, a hat and…

…socks for mittens.

The first things she said when we got outside was, “Windy! Cold! Buhahah!”

Food on the Floor

We’ve been trying to teach Clare not to leaver her food on the floor.

Why would she even have that option you ask?

Well, I’m a snacker. Always have been. So it’s completely natural for me to eat about 6 or 7 small meals a day. Andrew thinks I’m nuts. (no seriously…nuts are good) And I feed Clare the same way I eat. We eat three balanced meals and three not so balanced snacks.

Recently Clare’s been really into apples mostly because she can finally say the word. I can’t blame her. I’m just as excited she says, “AAApp -eh” as she is.

So I give her an apple and she takes it around the house nibbling as she goes and loving every minute. Not so bad for me either considering it buys me enough time to do some dinner prep which I haven’t done since she was born…gonna be honest there.

The only problem is that she leaves it everywhere and mice love our home so…

So we decided to try and reinforce some good manners and teach her to either give her apple to us when she is done or put it on an elevated surface to save it for later. I gave her the example of a chair.

a dress I made for her. Yes. I'm bragging.

Well, a couple days ago I gave Clare an apple and we both went about our own business and ignored each other. But when I saw her again I saw no apple.

“AH! Where’s your apple?!” I said.

We scouted all over the house looking for it calling, “AAAAApple!” We couldn’t find it.

Later I noticed Clare had miraculously found her apple but when I went to join her in our daily dance party the apple was missing again.

I let Clare do some solo twirling as I ventured once again to find this disappearing apple only to spot it in the very place I had told her to put it.

And that is now where she puts all food she wants to save for later – apples, half-chewed cheese, sippy cups, a 1/4 cookie…anything.

I feel bad for the person who gets the slimy chair when they come to dinner. But I am ridiculously proud of my girl. Next time I just have to think through my strategy before I execute it.

Tea Parties, Hats, and lots of PINK

When you find out you’re expecting a girl you overdue it. First thing you do is go to McDonald’s and order a strawberry milkshake (PINK) to celebrate. Then you head home only to stop at a store and buy ten items that are entirely PINK.  You go home and paint the nursery PINK.

Then at your next appointment you find out your PINK should have been BLUE.

Just kidding.

I love the way they play together.

But seriously. I overdid it. I told myself that I wouldn’t buy a whole bunch of pink crap cause my daughter would wear blue and purple and green and red and orange and yellow and black…cause…you know…babies wear black right? Then I went out and bought a million impractical dresses and dolls and stuffed animals that were PINK. I bought ballet slippers. I bought books about redheaded girls and ballerinas and teddy bears.

See what I mean?

Andrew said, “What if she likes Karate?”.

“Fine. That’s fine.” I replied. “But isn’t this tutu cute?”

It’s funny now, Clare loves tutus and dancing and feeding her dolls and having tea parties with her Grannie. She loves hats and jewelry and clips and headbands and flowers and hearts and…everything girl.

I wonder why.

PS Have you overdone it?