Anna Claire

Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers

Jack Henry

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

12/02/2008 - Every once in a while...

...we find something that really makes her laugh...

We have a Month 9 album now...

11/26/2008 - Pulling Up

Anna Claire has started pulling up! This new found excitement has her pulling up on everything...

11/21/2008 - Anna Claire meets Santa

We took Anna Claire to the mall today so she could talk with Santa about what she wants for Christmas :) I think she likes him; we didn't have any tears!

11/17/2008 - Video of Anna Claire crawling

Here is some video of Anna Claire crawling (she's only been crawling for a month now!)
We have also created a Month 8 folder.

10/31/2008 - Happy Halloween from our little pumpkins!

Anna Claire had a great time on her 1st Halloween (more pics in album on right).

And she has reached another milestone...she's crawling! She started crawling the day after I updated the BLOG saying that she wasn't there yet but was close. We'll post some video of her crawling soon.

10/25/2008 - Mommy's Weekend Away

I spent the weekend on a Women's Mountain Biking trip at Mullberry Gap. It was a beautiful place, with fun trails and wonderful meals; I would highly recommend it! Here's their website:

This left Anna Claire and daddy to a weekend by themselves. It looks like they had a good time and he did a good job of dressing her in cute outfits :)

Anna Claire update:

As you can see from the Month 7 pics, she's now sitting up well on her own. She's very close to crawling and even though she's not quite there yet, she still manages to move herself around on the floor.

You can also see from the pics that she's now eating babyfood. So far she's had applesauce, prunes, green beans, squash, carrots, peas and papaya.

She has also started cutting her first tooth! We first felt it a week or two ago but now you can actually see it coming through!

At our last pediatrician's appt. she weighed just under 16 lbs. and is 24" long.

10/18/2008 - Fall Pictures

We went to a pumpkin patch on Saturday to take some fall pictures of our little pumpkin.

You can see the other pictures in the Anna Claire Month 7 album on the right.

On Sunday, we did Anna Claire's 6th Month sitting with Diana. Click on the link below to see those pics:

10/04/2008 - Mandy celebrates her last day in her 20's

Eric put together a low country boil party for my 30th birthday. The food was delicious and we had a great time. Thanks to everyone who was able to come celebrate with us!

09/28/2008 - Anna Claire's Baptism

Anna Claire got baptized today and we asked Auntie Mimi to be her godmother (she accepted of course :))

09/12/2008 - Rice Cereal

Here's some video of Anna Claire eating rice cereal for the first time. We've also created a Month 6 album on the right.

08/25/2008 - Baby Girl or Baby Monster?

Here is some video footage of Anna Claire and I having a conversation during her "growling" phase.

We've also added a 4 &5 month album on the right!

08/16/2008 - Texas Trip

Anna Claire took her first flight to attend her Great Grandpa's 80th birthday party in Texas. She did great on the plane (we gave her a bottle during take off and landing to avoid any potentional ear-popping) so fortunately we weren't "those people" with the crying baby :) She had a great time and really enjoyed meeting all of her great aunts, uncles and cousins from Texas!

Of course we have the other Texas pictures in an album on the right. (If we take 1 pic, we take 150 :))

08/08/2008 - Beach Trip

After several weeks of getting into a daycare and work routine, we decided that we needed a break! So, we headed down to Port St. Joe with the Polks for Anna Claire's first trip to the beach.

Joey took several pictures of us on the beach with Anna Claire in this adorable dress from Mark and Kelley. (The other pics are in 2008 Beach Trip on the right)

07/16/2008 - And we're back...

It hasn't quite been a month, but close. It's amazing how time flies! As Anna Claire has become more and more interactive, the pictures have slowed; the blog has slowed; but time did not get the memo.

We have had huge accomplishments since Father's Day:

  • Anna Claire is sleeping through the night!
  • Nana came and visited for a week or so.
  • Mandy & Eric had their first mountain bike ride.
  • Anna Claire saw her first 4th of July Fireworks.
  • Mandy started back to work.
  • Anna Claire started school (not really, but Daycare does not sound like much fun)
  • We had Anna Claire's 3 month pictures with both sets of Grandparents.
What a busy 4 weeks!

In my opinion, the biggest step of these is Mandy going back to work. We had grand plans of giving "school" a dry run for a day or two prior to Mandy starting back, but never made time for that, so on Monday, July 7, I put Anna Claire in the car and headed for her school and Mandy headed to work. We are through week 2 and things are going big troubles or mishaps. Not too shabby for a new set of parents!

I have finally added a link to a Month 3 photo album on the right...

In the meantime, you can see the slide show that our photographer, Diana Simpson, put together from the shoot last weekend.

You can click here to see it.

We will be back soon!


07/07/2008 - Anna Claire's First Day of School

It's hard to believe that she is almost 3 months old! Today is her first day at school. Mandy starts back to work this week as well, so it is going to be a whole new ball game for us as far as determining how we are going to get ourselves ready for work, Anna Claire ready for school and then get her dropped off...all with us getting to work before lunch!

I drew the short straw and got the dubious honor of taking her to school on her first day. She was a trooper, as usual. I got to school where Dreama and Carolyn were anxiously awaiting the newest member of their class. She was an instant hit with her killer smile.

We added a few more pics to the month 3 album...check it when you have a chance.

07/03/2008 - Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'...

Well, we knew it would only be a matter of time before our little girl would start becoming mobile. I went up to get her up one morning and found this...

She had rolled on her side and was so content. Up to this point, we have been wrapping her snuggly in a sleep wrap. I guess we need to think about wrapping her arms outside of the blanket so that she can move her head around.

It won't be long before she is propping herself up. She is really getting good head control.

This is awesome!

06/15/2008 - Father's Day

What do you get the dad who does the late night feeding, makes it to work on time and still manages to put dinner on the table?...

a clean closet...

a couple of ties...

and a little bit of quality time with his little girl :)

We've finished updating the Month 2 folder! We'll get Month 3 up there soon...

05/29/2008 - Anna Claire Update

We have added some more pics to the Anna Claire - Month 2 album!

She's now up to 9 and 1/2 lbs., growing at about a half a pound every week. She is becoming more and more alert everyday. We love it when she gives us one of her "full mouth" smiles! She is also discovering her voice and doing a lot of "cooing". We're having a lot of fun with her!

05/11/2008 - Mother's Day

I had such a fun first Mother's Day! The day started off with a card and gift from Anna Claire. She got me a gift certificate to Natural Body. What a thoughtful daughter!! She reminds me of her dad :)

We took Anna Claire to church for the first time. My mom and the Graus joined us and then came over to our house to enjoy a delicious meal that Eric made.

After lunch, Anna Claire and I hopped in the car with Nana to go spend a week at her house. Eric had a conference in Charlotte this week so Nana graciously volunteered to take care of us :)

Anna Claire comes from a family of shoppers so we decided it was time to introduce her to the mall. She enjoyed it quite well. This was her reaction when I told her that we were going shopping :)

Click on "Anna Claire - Month 2" on the right, to see more pictures from Mother's Day and our trip.

05/08/2008 - Anna Claire Turns 1 Month Old!

Anna Claire celebrated her 1 month birthday today. It is hard to believe that she is already 1 month old. She is changing so much each day.

Here are some pictures of her on the cute swaddle blanket that Ali got us.

05/01/2008 - Updated Pictures in Anna Claire ablum

I promise we will get back to some words one day, but for now, the pictures are just too cute!

04/13/2008 - Updated Pictures in Anna Claire ablum

Not much time right now, but wanted to get some more pictures uploaded. I'm sure this will slow down one day, but we're having a good time.

04/09/2008 - Anna Claire Day 2

Not much more than some pictures right now...more later.

Keep checking the Anna Claire album to the right...we will continue to add to it.

04/08/2008 - She's here!

Just wanted to write you a quick note letting you know that Mandy gave birth
to Anna Claire Grau on April 8th at 1715 Eastern. Mandy and Anna Claire are doing
wonderful right now...tired, but wonderful. Anna Claire weighed 7lbs 1oz.

We will be at the hospital for another day or two and will get some pictures
out as soon as we can.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers during the pregnancy.

04/03/2008 - 38 Week Doctor's Appt.

I am still continuing to progress...I'm now up to 4 cm dilated and about 65% effaced. I'm very excited about having made it this far without any contractions!
Everyone that knows how much of a planner I am, knows how hard it is for me to not know when I'm going to go into labor. We're just trying to take things one day at a time and remember that God is in control.
We'll continue to post updates as we know more!

03/30/2008 - 38 Week Belly

Here's an updated belly shot in the original outfit. It's a good thing that I'm approaching the end of my pregnancy because the shirt is barely still covering my belly!

I have been blessed with a very easy pregnancy but I am starting to get a little uncomfortable now that she has gotten so big!

Since we've ended up with a little extra time on our hands, we decided to play around with some pregnancy photos this weekend. You can see our work under "Pregnancy Pics" on the right.

03/27/2008 - 37 Week Doctor's Appt.

We had a much less eventful doctor's appointment this week...I'm still at 3 cm and 50% effaced (he didn't mention anything about effacement last time). So, we breathed a little sigh of relief and just spent the evening relaxing. She could still be here any day now but after hearing 3 cm last week, we're pretty much ready (my bags are packed and actually in my car!)

03/26/2008 - Nursery!

I couldn't post any finished nursery pics without first posting this picture of Blair working in the nursery, since she was such an inspiration for the entire room! Blair was my college roommate and you may remember her beautiful voice from our wedding ceremony. We like to refer to her as our "right brain" friend :)

Eric used a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the room as possible.

The first thing that Blair helped with was her name above the crib. She made this limb and 3-D birds and had the idea for the actual letters. But I do have to give Eric and myself a little credit for actually making the letters, since we typically do not think of ourselves as being crafty :) Eric painted the letters and frames and I hot-glued various colors of seersucker fabric to the backs of the frames.

Here is a close-up of one of the birds that Blair made...she was able to exactly duplicate the birds in the bedding!

There's a lot to share about this pic (don't forget you can always click on a picture to view a bigger image). This is Eric's old dresser that his dad refinished...I really like how the door knob pulls that I ordered on E-Bay pop on the black! The memo board above the dresser is another Blair inspired project that Eric and I managed to pull off. It will be used for pictures and other special baby mementos that we want to keep and display. In the meantime I've displayed some of the mementos from my showers.

The curtain hold-backs are also Blair inspired but sewn by G.G.

I think the $15 changing table turned out to be a great find! (not sure if Peepaw Grau would agree or not :)) Nana got us the baskets and pink gingham liners that we needed to finish it.

Our little girl already has a pretty full wardrobe :) These are her dresses and jeans for the first 6 months (her onesies and gowns are in the dresser). These include shower gifts and clothes from Emery (the daughter of our friend's Joey and Steph, who was born at the end of February 06, so the size & season should line up pretty well!...Thanks Em!)

So, there's the finished nursery! Finished for before her arrival at least :)...I told Eric that we still have some wall space available, but after thinking about it, we want to be able to put some pictures of Anna Claire in the room, so we're probably good for now (he was amazingly quick to agree :))

03/23/2008 - Easter

After last week's appt. we thought there was a chance we could be celebrating "Baby's First Easter" this year but it ended up just being the two of us (plus Daisy!)

I thought this dress was appropriate for the occasion since it kind of made my belly look like an Easter egg :)

You just can't take a picture with Daisy without her sneaking in a couple of kisses! I bought her a new bed yesterday so she would have something new to lay on when we have to continually tell her not to lay on all of the baby stuff in the floor (we've already discovered that she finds the Boppy pillows as comfortable as everyone else :)) We are trying to ease her transition from being an "only dog" to a "big sister"!

We worked hard all weekend and got the nursery completely ready before the end of the day (our last step was getting all of our shower gifts organized and put away). So, we're still on track for having nursery pics up by the end of the week but first we've got to get our hospital bags packed! (We decided that really should be a higher priority for us at this point!)

03/22/2008 - Baby Wash

Today was the most fun laundry day I've ever had! I washed all of Anna Claire's newborn outfits and blankets with Dreft. We will not be air drying this much in the future but I just didn't think any of the little newborn stuff could afford any shrinkage!

I thought all of the little onesies and gowns were so cute hanging on our drying rack :)

03/20/2008 - 36 Week Doctor's Appt.

This was my first appointment where my doctor checked to see if I had started dilating any. I told myself before I went that no matter what he said, I wasn't going to believe that she really would be coming early (I have just heard too many stories from friends that hear news from their OB that the baby is almost here and then they still go past their due date!). But when he told me that I had already dilated 3 cm, I have to admit that I got a little panicked about the nearness of her arrival! My doctor doesn't anticipate that I will go into labor as soon as the next week but he said there's a good chance that she will be here before April 16.

I'm doing weekly visits now, so we'll continue to post updates. No one really knows when Anna Claire will decide to make her arrival, but we definitely feel like a fire has been lit underneath us to finish up the remaining things that we would like to do before she gets here! (hopefully I can post some finished nursery pictures in the next week or so)

03/09/2008 - Grau Baby Shower

G.G. (Grandma Grau) and Megan (Auntie Mimi) threw me a shower on Sunday. Eric's aunts (Diane and Gayle) drove all the way down from Maryland to come to the shower!

We had such a great turn out!! I was exhausted from opening so many wonderful gifts!

This picture is from one of my favorite memories of the day. I really wish we had video footage of this: As soon as I sat down with my plate of goodies, Anna Claire started moving. At first I just felt it but then I could actually see my stomach moving. It seems like most of the times when I've noticed her moving, by the time I'm able to tell someone, she's stopped. But not today! She was moving so much that anyone who was in the living room could see it. It was like she knew she had an audience and wanted to perform!

I decided that this pic can be my 34 week belly shot. I really wanted to stay on top of taking those to watch the growth but we have been so busy lately! Eric has planned a "babymoon" trip for us in Asheville this weekend (we leave on Wed.) to make us take a break from all of the baby preparations and relax a little bit before the real work gets here! Now that the trip is here, I'm so grateful for his persistency in making sure we take time to relax.

The other pics from the shower are posted under Photo Albums on the right.

03/01/2008 - Harper Baby Shower

The Harpers had a couple's get together for us on Saturday night.

We enjoyed a really fun and relaxing evening. We had dinner, cake, opened presents and played a couple of fun games (well, mostly fun...check out the Harper Baby Shower photos on the right for more details :))

02/23/2008 - Columbus Baby Shower

My aunt and cousins threw me a baby shower in Columbus this weekend.

The decorations were so cute and creative and I think everyone had a great time!

Click on "Columbus Baby Shower" under Photo Albums on the right to check out some of the neat gifts that we got!

02/21/2008 - 32 Week Doctor's Appt.

Today I discovered that Anna Claire and I have had a little growth spurt :) She went from just under 3 lbs. at my last visit just 3 weeks ago, to 4 lbs. & 5 ounces at this visit! This took her from the 47th percentile to the 67th! My doctor said not to put too much weight on the percentiles this far out, but I must admit that I'm a little nervous now about having a bigger baby than I was anticipating!

That was the most interesting part of the visit...everything is still coming along smoothly!

02/17/2008 - Glider

Back in October, Mandy's dad said that he wanted to buy the baby a gift and asked us what he could get.

Mandy remembered a story that her dad used to tell about the first time that his little girl was visiting her paternal grandparent's house and wouldn't go to sleep. Mandy's dad knew immediately that his little girl was desperately needing a rocker so that her mom could rock her to sleep, but the only problem was that Mandy's grandparents didn't have one. Well, when Mandy's paternal grandfather found out that his granddaughter didn't have what she wanted, he got up in the middle of the night, woke up the shop owner of the local furniture store and went down to purchase a rocker! It was such a simpler time then!

So, Mandy thought that a glider would be a very appropriate gift from her dad :) As the nursery started coming together, we decided that a yellow glider would be a nice compliment to all of the pink and green. We ordered this glider about 3 weeks ago and got it this week. We're very happy with how the color and fabric pattern turned out and also very excited that the glider is super comfortable to sit in!

02/13/2008 - Promotion

Most women in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy do not pursue promotions at work :) And even though promotion to Director was a natural next step for Mandy, after obtaining her FSA, she still didn't expect to receive the promotion before going on maternity leave. So you can imagine her surprise on Wednesday when she found out that she had gotten it! Eric was just as excited and came home with these flowers to show how proud he was.

02/04/2008 - Prepared Childbirth Course

For the past 5 Monday nights we've attended a prepared childbirth course at our hospital. Our instructor was thoughtful enough to take a picture of our class and email us the picture.

The class turned out to be really informative. We realize there's only so much we can do in anticipating what Mandy's labor experience will be like, but we found it really helpful to learn about all of the different possibilities (induction, epidural, cesarean birth, etc.) We'll see how well Mandy remembers the breathing techniques we learned once those painful contractions begin! :)

01/31/2008 - 3D/4D Ultrasound

Today was my 3D/4D ultrasound appointment and we got our first glance at Baby Grau. It was so strange to see her for the first time...she looks different than I expected, but I don't really know exactly what I was expecting her to look like! Of course she is still developing and although better than 2D images, there's still some distortions in these pictures since my OB said her face was pressed up against the placenta.

This picture makes me think that she has her daddy's nose...which is probably a good thing for her :)

During the ultrasound we could see her moving her little hands in front of her face as if to say, "No more pictures please!"

This picture shows a clearer image of her lips. She kind of looks like she's smiling!

My OB added little comments to some of the pictures.

So far, we are both still progressing well. My glucose test came back okay, so no sign of gestational diabetes. He said that she's still growing in line with my due date and is currently in the 47th percentile on size, weighing almost 3 pounds.

We did one more check on the gender and since we are 99.99% sure that she really is a girl :), we are ready to share the name. We are going to name her...

Anna Claire

With Anna as the first name and Claire as the middle name and we're going to call her "Anna Claire". The name Claire is from Mandy's maternal grandmother...we shared a very special relationship and her middle name was Clarene. The name Anna is just a name that both Eric and I like. We wouldn't mind if she decides to drop the Claire when she gets older and just go by Anna. We can't wait to meet Anna Claire for the first time!