Friday, July 28, 2006

taking back what's mine

For a website that started out as a pregnancy weblog, this site has had a shocking lack of belly. It's not that I don't appreciate a nice, round pregnant belly. I do. I happen to think that they're beautiful. But there was nothing funny about how huge I became during my pregnancy. Until now. I can't believe it's even possible for a human being to stretch out as much as I did. Thank you, Sweet Jesus that I no longer look like this:

To celebrate, today I wore my very own, pre-pregnancy pants. Not even the big ones, thank you very much.

Monday, July 24, 2006

really...three months?

Dear Claire,

Little one, you are amazing. You suck your thumb with abandon. During your naps, sometimes it will wiggle free from your mouth and you will chase it around with your whole body. Sometimes, you'll shove the whole hand in there for good measure. Or, you'll do a little pacifier/thumb combination that is pretty sweet to behold.

Speaking of hands, you've mastered the art of clutching things with your fingers. It just floors me that I knew you before you had hands.

You've been sleeping 8ish hours every night for the past several weeks and for that I am eternally grateful. You giggle and laugh and smile. I love that your favorite people to smile at are big men with goatees. I love how excited you get at bath time, or checking out trees when we go for walks, or looking at mirrors.

Has it really been three months, Clairegirl?

Happy birthday, baby.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

a calm between storms.

Claire has had a hard couple of days. It has been ridiculously hot around here. At our house we call this weather Temecula on Earth. Don't let the flashy website with the hot air balloon fool you, that town is out of control hot. Miserable. Claire has spent much of the last two days uncomfortable and crying or doped up on baby Tylenol. At first we thought she might be teething, then we started to suspect an ear infection. Thursday, she went on a hunger strike, which was less than fun for both her food supplier and herself. I called the pediatrician, who suggested Tylenol and various teething soothers. She seemed a little better and then not.

I took this shot after she had tired us both out crying. The strange thing with babies is that just when you start to feel a little confident, they go and change their routine without discussing it with you. And I so liked her little routine. This week has motivated me to study this book. How amazing will it be to know what she wants. For her to be able to say, "Mom, I want a drink of water." Instead of us trying half a dozen things before finding the one she was asking for. Crying is such ineffective, frustrating communication. It's hard not to take it personally.

Somedays it would be so much easier for me to go back to working full time. To wear regular clothes and to be paid. To sit in some cubicle like a veal doesn't sound so bad some days. Then I look at her tiny hands and feet and even when big tears slide down her cheeks, I am grateful to be the one to comfort her. Look at her in those tiny polkadots, I am grateful.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the end of an era...sort of.

Nate has always said "I love you" in a language all his own: mostly, he says I love you with cars. Years ago, I fell in love with the junkiest of old 1970's Volvos. It had over 300,000 miles on it and was in need of serious repair. Nate surprised me for my birthday that year by pulling up to the house in this smoking, sputtering old thing. We worked on it together. Okay, I sprayed Simple Green on it while he worked. This began my love affair with that wonder of Swedish engineering that is the Volvo. I have been driving his latest declaration of love for almost 2 years. One would think that a Volvo would be the perfect safe, reliable family car and while we were a family of 2, it was. Then came Claire.

My 6'2 husband folded himself go-cart style into the driver's seat of the Volvo every time the three of us went anywhere together. Meanwhile, my 23 inch baby lounged in the middle of the backseat in her indestructible rear-facing infant seat. And no matter what I tried anytime she was in the Volvo, she sobbed. At the height of her car-induced terrors, it took me over 30 minutes to drive 5 miles. I stopped in parking lots and sat in the backseat with her singing, speaking softly and stroking her wet, red cheek. It was a mess.

We began to realize that we were going to need a bigger car. Nate found us a nice Jetta and I've been driving around in its wonderfulness ever since. Leather! Air Conditioning! Sunroof! Oh my! My Volvo sat unused at Nate's shop for a month. This week we decided to sell the Volvo. When the first person came to look at the Volvo I may have scowled at him a tiny bit.

I'm not sure why this has been such a hard decision for me. It's just an old car. The Jetta is a better fit for our family. Still, I don't see myself as a Jetta person. I like that after three Volvos, I know exactly what to expect. And there's the matter of Volvos being a love language in our family. Still, Claire seems to really love the Jetta. She no longer screams like a wild woman every time we go anywhere. I imagine that in my life this is just one of the many tiny sacrifices I will make for this child. As long as there are no minivans in my future, we should all be just fine.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A message from Reginald Banther Curtis, I

Claire would like to thank her daddy for the new giant burp, I mean couch. She really, really loves it. Mama is also fond of it. Thank you for taking such good care of your girls, Nate. We love you.

Monday, July 10, 2006

for the love of claire

She may tell you that she missed the weather. Or her friends. Or her first born daughter. But we know the truth. Grandma and Grandbob are moving back to Oregon to watch Claire grow. We are excited to have them closer and out of the crazy hotness that is Temecula. Welcome home.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

a recipe for clean

In honor of Claire's great grandma, Jauneta Slyter, who loved girl babies and all things clean, I give you the best recipe ever.

1/3 c. ammonia
1/3 c. blue Dawn dishwashing liquid
1/3 c. water

Combine all ingredients. Pour over baby's dirty, nasty, yellow poo-covered clothing. Launder as usual. Clean. Sparkling Clean.

Thank you, Grandma. You still rock my laundry world.