Saturday, December 30, 2006


Happy birthday, friend.

for tlo and her mama, whose party i missed today.*

If you saw me today, you may be asking yourself, "I wonder why she changed her clothes six times since this morning?" or, "What's up with that ridiculous bobby-pinned hairstyle?" Both would be fair questions. It has been the kind of day that could never have happened if I weren't someone's mother. The short version is that Claire has been very, very sick during the past 18 hours. We woke up in the night to a cry that I thought was for food but was actually more of a, "Mama, I'm covered in vomit, do you think you could do something about it?" Nate cleaned the crib. I cleaned the girl. Minutes later, I cleaned her again. I continued cleaning her (and myself) several times throughout the day. We visited the doctor. I cried when she dry-heaved. She smiled and waved as I cleaned her up. She has to be the most pleasant sick person I've ever been around.
The only thing left to say today is that there is a type of love that I hope each person who reads this gets to experience in your lifetime. The love where someone (for me, a miniature someone) can vomit all over your freshly clean self and you just don't mind. Your only concern is for her. That, friends, is love. Today, I got to both give and receive the motherlove as my mom spent her Saturday cleaning my girl's messes and my bathroom and telling me over and over what a lovely day she was having. The weird thing is, I know she meant it. The reason I know- I learned it from Claire.

*This picture has nothing to do with today's post. It was taken on Friday morning, the day before the vomit. The three of us went to the Pancake House, which was a tradition for us when we were a family of two. I love how Claire looks annoyed like she's about to say, "Dude, where's my pancakes?"

Thursday, December 28, 2006

i married him.

New babies are not easy on new marriages (or on old marriages, I imagine). Mine still feels like a new marriage. What we thought was teething pain turned out to be a horrible ear infection and the last few weeks have been hard. Our champion sleeper had some incredibly rough nights of sleep and the result was a cranky baby, a cranky mommy and serious feelings of chaos. Claire's sweet Grandma graciously offered to pick up groceries for us yesterday. I don't know why it's still so hard for me to accept help, (mothers, why do we think we need to be lone rangers? why?) but, looking at my disheveled house and disheveled baby, I agreed. This turned out to be a big blessing and after many doses of her antibiotic and a mellow at-home day, we both started feeling a little bit better. Then, Nate gave me the best after-Christmas gift of all: a 6 PM bedtime. After 2 weeks of running ragged, handing over the monitor and knowing that Nate would take care of everything was wonderful. Claire slept a full 8 hours and her well-rested mama was able to wake up with a smile for the first morning in what feels like a very long time. I am the luckiest.

Monday, December 25, 2006

joy unexpected.

The best gift of 2006 came eight months ago yesterday. She wasn't what I thought I wanted. I didn't know that I was ready. She doesn't speak, except to say mama. And it's possible that she's not entirely sure what mama means just yet. She doesn't crawl in the usual direction. She amazes me a little more everyday. She makes sleeping late impossible. She makes iPods and jewelry and books and toys look small. Compared to her, they are.

It only looks like I let her dress herself.

Merry Christmas to all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

adventures of an impish elf.

Today, the tree provided crawling incentive. The girl LOVES the sparkly lights and mostly expresses a heartfelt desire to eat the delicious pine needles. Claire has yet to crawl forward, but frequently crawls in reverse and then gets frustrated when she's not where she thinks she should be. Her crawling generally reverts to various yoga poses. Downward facing dog is a favorite.

Today, I was also reminded that growing teeth is a wet, wet process. Claire now has 5 teeth and it seems certain that more are on the move, as she has been exhibiting the tell-tale drooly face.

A big thank you to Auntie Tiff for the super-cute elfin pants and other lovely (and stylish) (and pink) outfits. We love you.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

my halls are decked.

Here he is in his prime, babynatehead. I especially like the fist.

about a wednesday.

I always love those posts detailing the mundane aspects of a day. Here's mine:
3:50 AM Claire cries into the monitor, I try to ignore her.
3:53 AM Claire cries louder, I stumble to her room, nurse her and put her back in her crib.
4:02 AM Thankfully, the girl eats fast. I place her back in her crib, turn on the "aquarium thing" and tiptoe back to our bedroom.
4:10 AM I sing a small song of praise for the aquarium thing.
6:59 AM Claire begins to stir in her bedroom, I bring her into our bed, and we hang out, cuddle and wrestle.
8:22 AM I nuzzle Claire's neck and notice a funk. Claire and I take a bath together. Splashing, kicking and fun for all.
9:30 AM Claire goes down for a nap. I catch up on blogs, send emails, throw a few loads of laundry in and start my Bible study.
10:10 AM Phone call. Talk for a bit, abandon study.
11:10 AM Claire wakes up, pink-cheeked and disoriented.
11:20 AM Against my better judgment, I decide to go to the gym.
11:38 AM Drop Claire off at the gym's childcare. Childcare worker reminds me that they close at noon. Awesome. Eighteen minutes of eliptical.
12:05 PM Attempt to stop by the grocery store on the way home for some last minute holiday treats.
12:10 PM Claire begins to scream. Locate binky. Remember that Claire hasn't eaten since morning. Abandon cart.
1:40 PM Claire has eaten lunch, played, had a dance party and a few books. Again, it is naptime.
2:00 PM The phone rings. The girl stirs. I attempt to pat, rock and sing her back to sleep.
2:15 PM She refuses.
2:30 PM Give up nap. I load the girl into the car to get the stuff to make the treats.
3:20 PM Return home, with the wrong kind of chocolate. Eat 1/4 of the bag of chocolate since it won't work for my treats. The girl rubs her eyes and lays back down for a catnap.
4:15 PM I watch Julia Roberts on Oprah while Claire nurses. I can't believe Julia Roberts has had 2 babies. Silently curse Julia Roberts.
4:33 PM Turn off Oprah. Begin to make dinner. (It's chilakilla night).
5:15 PM Dinner is ready, quickly burn banana bread.
5:22 PM Nate comes home, we eat, he plays with Claire while I do the dishes.
6:53 PM Nate rocks Claire for about 2 minutes. He turns the Roby Duke CD to #1. I really hate that CD. We sit side by side with our laptops listening to the CD through Claire's monitor and type. You can be certain that before the end of the night there will be a few jokes about the CD, a blog post and more laundry.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


for the mother-to-be:

"I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes: that the physical wounds of childbearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable...that she will never read a newspaper again without asking, 'What if that had been my child?' That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her."
...from Everyday Miracles by Dale Hanson Burke

This weekend I found my eyes welling up at a the children's program at church. I am not normally that kind. Two girls in velvet and fur sang solos as their mom fought back tears. I don't know the mother well, and I don't really know her girls, but I have watched them. I remember them when they were small. It just goes so fast. As I held my own squirming one, I watched this mother smiling proudly up at her now big girls, big enough to memorize lyrics, big enough for patent leather shoes with just goes so fast.

Friday, December 15, 2006

so glad we went with oma.

If you happened to have followed the saga of the barette, check this out. If not,this post from November will give you all of the backstory you need.

Claire thinks babylegs* would finish off the outfit nicely.

*Addendum: babylegs dot net is a sweet little website featuring those precious little legwarmers that I love to put on Claire's chubby little legs. Babylegs dot com is something else entirely. Something I'm going to suggest you not look at. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

tie one on.

More beautiful than a baby bjorn.
More practical than a hotsling.
Introducing the Mei Tai.
I always envied those hands-free, sling wearing mamas. I found the mei tai on craigslist and thought we'd give it a try. You can tell a lot about how I'm doing by the state of my hardwood. Dustbunnies, outdoor bits and little pieces of Monkey were all over the place. This morning, I snuggled Claire in and got some serious cleaning done. You can't tell from the photo, but she really seemed comfortable in there. This alone made the soggy week much more bearable.

Monday, December 11, 2006

an open letter to claire's two front teeth.

Dear Teeth,
What do you devils think you're doing? Claire is a BABY, she has no need for you two. Please pick on someone else's child. You two make her drippy and clingy and unhappy. Come back when she's no longer nursing. Come back when her favorite food isn't orange goo in a jar. Come back when I'm ready to admit that she's not going to be a baby much longer. Thank you for considering my request.

The Mama

Thursday, December 07, 2006

stella and ivy.

This picture of our orally fixated wee ones cracks me up! Thanks to our Portland friends for a playdate this afternoon. I loved watching the girls giggle at each other and of course, Stella kept us all entertained...and reminded me what I'm in for in the next year- I actually went home and started toddler-proofing the house.

Claire enjoyed attempting to put fingers into Lulu's ear and face. Lulu was a great sport, full of smiles all afternoon.The mamas even got to enjoy conversation that didn't have to do with poops.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

the stockings were hung by the chimney with claire.

Do you ever hear a message or a story or a song and think, that was just for me? Today, that happened to me. I woke up at 5:30 to a teething girl who wanted nothing to do with her crib. Frantic and tired, I made it out of the house in time to hear Leslie share with a group of moms. After hearing what Leslie had to say, my tiny problems seemed well, not so problematic. I felt joyful. We even managed to visit Santa, cross a few more dear ones off of our Christmas list, and decorate the tree. Of all of the decorations, this cardboard angel remains my favorite. There is so much to be grateful for: new friends, tiny teeth, cardboard angels.

Monday, December 04, 2006

we wish you a merry christmas.

Claire's (non-Oma)Grandma has a tradition that I think is pretty sweet. A couple of years ago she showed up at our house with a box of ornaments dating back to 1977 and Nate's first Christmas. My favorites were the ones made by Nate's small hands- macaroni strands and globs of glue. I decided that it would be fun to give Claire her own box of ornaments one day, so this afternoon we attempted a little photo shoot. My idea was for the girl to hold a piece of paper with a Christmas message and the date and then I'd slide the photo into an ornament that I picked up at Target this afternoon. This little project was not without its challenges.

Friday, December 01, 2006