Thursday, November 30, 2006

trying to get myself dooced out of gradschool

My wonderful mother (Claire’s Oma) came all the way to our house tonight to watch the girl while Nate worked late and I tried to pump out some nearly overdue homework. I started out on my computer, but the keyboard decided it would be awesome if a button or two stuck (this has never happened before). Sections of my paper ended up looking like I let Claire or Lindsay Lohan type it for me. I then moved into the living room and began working feverishly on Nate’s laptop. The whole time, my girl is fussing because she knows I’m home and is wondering why in the world I’m not hanging out with her. I’m researching this stuff that seems so silly and small compared to her cries and begin to wonder the same thing. I put down my books and the laptop and she instantly settles on in my arms. So, not surprising, it turns out that the thing I'm best at isn't writing papers or being a graduate student.
I have a few parting thoughts for the insanity, but I'll save that for another post.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Daily blogging is not for wimps. I've learned a few things in these (29) days of continuous blogging. Here are my commandments of blogging:

Thou shalt not badmouth thine spouse in your blog for easy laughs.
You will be tempted to do so.
It's not worth it.
Don't be afraid to bribe your readers.
Links are your friends.
Lists are good. Comments are good. Guest bloggers are GREAT.
Pictures of your shoes do not make for exceptional reading.
Thou shalt not blog while watching Gilmore Girls.
When it doubt, you can always post another baby picture.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

hitting the wall.

Claire is still sick. As a side note, so am I. But as a mom, it really is a secondary thing that she and I have the same cold. My job is to care for her sniffly, clingy self. Between illness and lack of sleep the past two days have been the most difficult of this whole NaBloPoMo experiment. I am tired and spent like I haven't been since the days after we brought Claire home from the hospital. We are far from our schedule, and mama loves a schedule. It's been one of those days when you mean to go get groceries but you accidentally end up at Starbucks, and then later a tea shop. I've managed to fritter away the evening, watching highly educational television. But at least I've got a photo this time for Aunt Dani.

Monday, November 27, 2006

license to ill.

The girl is sick. So much snot. After 27 days of blogging, that's all I've got today.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

about the ladies.

I'm posting a link to this great post about breasts, and feeding with them. I love what Alice says here:

Some parts of the breasts are okay--the cleavage, for instance--but the utilitarian parts are, objectively speaking, abhorrent. Victoria’s Secret employees understand this. They spend their days supporting and lifting the objects in question, so they know. And when a nursing woman was asked to feed her child in the employee bathroom, that’s what they were trying to teach her—that those circles in the middle of the breasts are the dirty bathroom parts. And yet she failed to understand. Her response? “I don't eat in the bathroom and my daughter doesn't eat in the bathroom.”

I agree. Except in the bathroom of Nordstrom. That place is a palace. I will not be posting any of the beautiful photos of Claire nursing because, internet, we're just not that good of friends.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

suddenly i love statisics.

According to, a stay-at-home mom's duties are worth $134,121 a year, and a paid mom who works outside the home would earn $85.876 on top of her other wages.

Friday, November 24, 2006

7 months, holy cow.

Dear Claire,
I can't wrap my mind around you being 7 months old today. 7. Whole. Months. I remember when we measured your age in trimesters, and then weeks, now months. Seven of them.

I love so much about this little stage of your life. You laugh easily and all of the time. You sleep a solid 12 hours at night, so I feel so much more like my regular self and I can really enjoy you during the day. We have been the pool and to the swings a lot this November, despite ridiculous rainstorms.

I've been trying to find a good photo of you to include in this letter, but most of them involve food all over your little face. This has been a big eating month for you. You still love sweet potatoes, but now also are a fan of mango and avocado (no pit).

Last night your daddy got you ready for bed and you were cuddling with him on the couch. I walked past and you shot your arms in the air like the Hallelujah Chorus and you said what sounded like mama to us. I had no idea how much I was going to love every little bit of you, but that moment- wow.

Everybody loves you, Claire. Especially me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

love thursday, thanksgiving edition.

I love saying "Happy Thanksgiving" to my parents in person this year.
I love not being pregnant.
I love that I fed a ton of people this morning.
I love my babygirl's litte voice.
I love the minutes between bathtime and bed, when its just us.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

links and love.

So last night, Nate went to rent us a movie, which was hilarious. He was gone at the video store a very long time and I started to wonder where he might be. He thought that a nice little thoughtful gift was in order. I love thoughtful. He came home with these. According to Nate, they are "the best." Unfortuantely for him, he married a woman who's idea of thoughtful is this or this. Or even this. Even more unfortunate for him, his wife's idea of awesome is this:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

what we did yesterday, besides walk with ladybugs.

We went and had Claire's six month picture taken. Perhaps it's time I buy one of those tiny baby combs.

Monday, November 20, 2006

coming soon to a playdate near you.

Claire and I got to take one of our super-long walks, as the weather was uncharacteristically dry. When we headed home, I noticed a ladybug crawling around on Claire's hood. Mother's instinct took over and I swatted the little lady away. But, she was determined. She landed on Claire's wrist and stayed perched like that the rest of the way home, travelling with us several blocks. Then, I remembered.
Some friends are in the process of adopting a child from China, we have prayed for this child since right after I found out that I was going to have Claire. We have joked about playdates and hand-me-downs. I can only imagine how agonizing it must be to wait for your child indefintely. The eight days that followed Claire's due date were torture, and it was only eight days. In adoption circles, a ladybug is a sign of good luck. Here's a photo of the determined little ladybug that joined us today, reminding me of a little girl that will one day be in Sunday School with Claire, and will eat ice cream at my house and will be here with her mama and daddy soon.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

oma wants to know.

Will Reese be wearing a pink or green barette?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

conversation deconstructed.

"How old is your baby?"
Translation: Is your baby around my baby's age? Let's hang out some time, I'm dying for an adult conversation.

"She has gorgeous eyes."
Translation: Will you be my friend?

"I'm so glad the weather is nice today."
Translation: We could totally be new best friends.

"I'll give you my number, so we can get the kids together sometime for a playdate."
Translation: Please call. Please call. Please call.

I'm finally learning the language. It has taken months for me to realize that these moms at the park are trying to make a connection. That they don't really care how old Claire is, but that they're lonely too. This week I met two moms at the park. They seemed normal and fun and well, I could really use a mommy friend.

It's not like childhood. Making mommy friends is an art. Oh, how I wish there were some Milsteads close by. I would totally ask Ang how old Clark was and defintely try and set up a playdate.

*I searched our attic for a photo of us in when we were small and in white dresses from our first communion. Unfortunately, our attic is a total zoo and the best I could find was this shot of us taken before babies and c-sections and many sleepless nights.

Friday, November 17, 2006

soul food a la chevron.

Bizarre, yet delicious in Fife, Washington.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I wish I would have thought of this. So much easier than all of this posting. I've been quite the picture of cool, running in and out of the house, discretely taking pictures of my feet while the baby naps. I'm also discovering that perhaps these fur-lined fake uggs weren't such a great idea. I wanted to be warm and cozy, but instead I think I look like Wolverine. All because I wanted to avoid another winter of Newberg Leg.*

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

half way point.

This posting every day is intense. Today I am taking the advice of the creator of NaBloPoMo, and posting something from YouTube. Eighties fashion, Mr. T and a message about mamas, what's not to love?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

for the barette.

I know that you've all been on the edge of your seats wondering what goofy name would be selected for my mom. Nate is lobbying for Grandmanna, Grandma Undertaker or McGrandma. There's still time to turn in your votes. In case you were wondering, YiaYia (pronounced yaya) is Greek for Grandma, and is the Grandma name for one of my most favorite ladies. Oma is German for Grandma, and is mom's choice. Tutu is Hawaiian for Grandma and darn cute too. Thoughts?

Monday, November 13, 2006

claire, this is your daddy.

When I was pregnant, Nate would bring his face close to my belly and say, "Claire, this is your daddy." And she would kick and flip. Every time.
Having been raised primarily by my decidedly non-male mother, I've never really understood the relationship between a father and daughter. A mother and child, I get. But a father and daughter? What does that look like?
Realizing that Nate cares for Claire in the same head over heels, willingly give up multiple nights of sleep kind of way that I do has taken a while to sink in.
One of the habits that I've picked up since becoming a mom is waking in the night and asking searching for Claire. It happened more frequently in the weeks after we transitioned her from our room to her own, but I still find myself asking Nate where she is from time to time. He generally gives me a little pat, mumbles that she's in her crib and tells me to go back to sleep.
Sunday afternoon we all took naps. About an hour after we fell asleep, Nate woke up in a groggy panic asking for Claire. I'm not sure I've ever loved him more than in that moment. It's so nice to not be alone in my love for her. To watch her light up when he comes home, when he flips her upside down, when he blows on her belly. It's a wholly different thing than her connection to me- ours is a connection of cuddles, and warmth and food. She and I can learn together what the love of a father feels like. My cup overflows.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

guest blogger: the dad.

I (Nate) got the word from the big bird that I was to be the guest poster in Claire’s blog today and what an honor it is to do so.
I have never been a big fan of journals and the like but blogs? What a cool way to let your family know what’s going on with their loved ones, and when saved on a disk, a great way to let your child know how things were when she was young.

So here goes. Claire, this is your father, a semi-eccentric builder of mechanical metal things. It is very common for me to be totally preoccupied thinking of how I am going to build the next cool, fast, slammed hot rod splitty bus, but as of late all I think of is this gangly, ugly, slow camper bus that I’ve been working on. And how you will totally get a kick out of sitting up in the loft, looking out of the big windows on camping trips and the many adventures we will have with the big blue whale we call the high roof.


Saturday, November 11, 2006


I'm guessing most 6 month olds could be diagnosed with pica. According to the DSM IV, "pica is a medical condition typically defined as the persistent eating of non-food items for a period of at least one month. People with pica crave and eat materials such as dirt, clay, chalk, lead chips, laundry starch, dishwashing soap, chalk, burnt matches, and many other non-food substances."
Non-food items that the wee one has attempted to eat today include "a camera chord, kitchen utensils, her own fists, her feet, shoes and one action figure."

Friday, November 10, 2006

without words.

"Seriously, naps are for chumps."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

35 things about us.

1. Claire is fascinated with our dog, Monkey.
2. Yes, that’s really his name.
3. Nate, Kari and Monkey once all had the same hair color.
4. As I type this, Nate is restoring a 1960’s Bing surfboard.
5. Some of Kari’s favorite books are A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Secret Life of Bees and Traveling Mercies.
6. Nate reads manuals.
7. He also reads the internet.
8. Claire thinks books are tasty.
9. Claire also has now eaten applesauce, bananas, sweet potatoes and avocado.
10. And breastmilk, lots and lots of breastmilk.
11. Kari’s breasts are sore.
12. Claire and Kari take a walk everyday.
13. Nate builds something everyday.
14. Our family is fully funded by the internet.
15. Not from this website.
16. In the fall, chai or a pumpkin latte would be nice.
17. Claire loves to take baths.
18. Claire has one great grandma left.
19. Claire hated the car for the first 4 months of her life, but has made peace with it now.
20. Kari is beyond thrilled.
21. Kari is an excellent cook.
22. You should try Kari's spagetti.
23. Nate once followed the Grateful Dead to New York.
24. And threw a tomato at Jerry Garcia.
25. At the time, Kari was living in Costa Rica.
26. Nate, Kari and Claire live in a house that was built in the 1920’s.
27. It needs a paint job.
28. The man who lived here before us used that free paint that the city gives you to cover up graffiti to paint THE ENTIRE HOUSE.
29. I’m not kidding.
30. Nora Jones was playing during my c-section.
31. It wasn’t my CD.
32. We also watched Alias during labor.
33. Nate baked a pie and came to a party all to meet a girl.
34. The girl was Kari.
35. It worked.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

baby, it's gross outside.

You can't tell from this photo, but the massive pile of leaves that my little pink, puffy bundle is sitting on is our front lawn. The rain let up for us to rake half the yard. Now, we'll take one hot chocolate, one breast milk and a big fat nap, please.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

NaBloPo Day 7: fast is good.

So, I've been participating in NaBloPoMo. Today almost became NaBloPoNoMo. It's hard to post when your beloved super-fast wireless internet decides to stop working. Today could also be called NaCaDoMyHoFoMyOnLiCl. That's National Can't Do My Homework for my Online Class day. It's been a frustrating day, made even more frustrating by insane amounts of rain and an MIA hairstylist. Thankfully, my sweet husband understands this stay-at-home-mom's particular brand of internet addiction and our pals at the newly refurbished downtown coffeeshop are here to provide lightening fast wireless internet and my favorite wellness tea.

The polls are still open for goofy grandma names. It's not too late for suggestions, the goofier the better.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dear Internet,

After 121 posts, I am coming to you with a request. I need a goofy name for my mother. I love it when babies call their grandparents silly sounding names. I have been calling her Grandma Anna, but Claire has an Aunt Anna, so that just won’t do. Also, the woman relocated several thousand miles for the baby, the least she could get in return is a funny name. Plus, I like the having an excuse to call Mom something other than mom.
Will you please help?
Thank you.

PS. To the person who thinks of the best Grandma name, I will give one ultra-cute handmade Claire Barette (in pink or green)...modeled here by my ultra-cute babe.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

parenting tip.

This month we started (semi-)solid food. As usual, I have gotten a lot of great advice from books and the internet.

"Remember to keep your facial expression pleasant when you are changing your baby's diaper. (With some poops, this may be a real challenge!) He will notice any look of disgust on your face, which may teach him that his private parts are repulsive."-From Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

Or, it teaches her the truth: that poops are repulsive. Especially sweet potato poops.

Friday, November 03, 2006

brought to you by the color orange.

Claire woke up with a terrible cold this morning. She kept coughing and sneezing and the only comfort she found was in stopping to wave at herself. She'd start to cry and get this look like, "wait a minute, I could be waving right now" and she'd just stop crying. Here are some pictures from the past week, before the rains and the nasty cold came our way. Here's hoping they don't stay long.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

love is...

Trips in rusty buses, goofy mirrored sunglasses and headless photos of our firstborn babe.

For more love thursday, visit Karen's site

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

because grad school and being a full-time mom aren't enough

NaBloPoMo is an alternative to November's NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. A novel seemed a bit unrealistic, but a blog post a day might be manageable. In a continuing effort to kick post partum depression in the teeth, I will be participating in my own private thanksgiving ritual this month. Check back often to see my (daily) posts about thankfullness and giving. And of course, plenty cuteness from the wee one.