Thursday, August 31, 2006


Mom: "Claire weighed 14 pounds, 11 1/2 ounces at her last visit. That puts her in the 60th percentile for weight."

Grandma: "Good."

Mom: "And she measured 26 1/2 inches. So she's in the 90th percentile for height."

Grandma: "And the hundreth percentile for beauty."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

beach weekend

Our little family is still recovering from a long weekend trip with the big Curtis family. Claire did great considering she was around a ton of people and was way off of her routine. The little one was so tired after a fun weekend, that she slept the entire way home from Lincoln City (that's 2 full rounds of the Jack Johnson CD that sometimes makes her happy in the car- thank you, Milsteads).

These are a few shots from our trip.This was taken at the docks close to the "sea dogs"- Nate's favorite. A highlight was listening to Nate describe the scene to our girl as one "dog" pooped on his uneffected friend. It was fun to visit familiar places for the first time with Claire. I loved watching her watch the fish at the aquarium. It amazes me how much more aware of her surroundings she is now. Not that long ago, she was content to stare at her hands. She regarded fireworks shows, new faces, and Winco with about the same enthusiasm. Now, she gazes thoughtfully at the world around her. Here she is under the big tunnel-o-fish, exploring from her stroller.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

happy birthday, big standing up girl.

Happy Birthday, big girl. You have been so much fun lately. I have been pulling you up to a seated position for a long time, but somehow you figured that that isn't enough fun so you dig your feet in and make me stand you up. You look at me, like, "mom, sitting's for babies." Then that big head of yours bobbles around and you get this proud look on your cherubic face. Your eyes go a little wild and your mouth breaks into a huge grin. Your dad and I were helping you to stand last night and you cracked us up. I never knew that a baby could make me laugh so much. My soul wells up with hallelujahs.

Monday, August 21, 2006

why i still live in this one horse town.

A few days ago, while at a restaurant with my mom and Claire, I ran into a girl from high school. We chatted for a few minutes before she asked me where I was living. She was sure that I had moved out of state. I've been back in this town for five years and I sometimes wonder what I'm doing here. I spent my first year after high school in Hawaii and after that I traveled. A lot. During college, I spent school breaks visiting places that sometimes required the use of a passport stamped with my former last name and former hairstyle. It's not that I no longer enjoy visiting interesting places- I do. But lately spice shopping is a big thrill. The thing is, I know it's not cool, but I like living in my hometown. I like that Claire's first ride on swings was in in the same park that I once played in as a child. I like that we shop in the same mall where my high school best friend and I choked on clove cigarettes for the first time. I like knowing the best places to get a cup of coffee, a haircut or breakfast. This place holds my memories: miles walked with Nate as friends that first summer, biking on our beach cruisers on Saturdays our first married summer, navigating Claire's gear and Monkey on walks this summer. I never thought I'd love being a wife and a mother so much. For me, the biggest adventures haven't required a passport. Living in China was easy compared to being a full-time mom. But, there is a wonderful contentment that makes even living in your hometown feel good. I never thought I'd say that.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

hands, legs and the whole girl

These are all from the last week. I love this picture because it has all of our hands and was taken on a great, lazy morning.

After multiple fiascos, a ridiculous mapquest map, 2 diaper changes and a meal, Auntie Danielle and I returned home with the Jump-a-roo, so far it remains a stand-a-roo, but she seems to like it.

This one was taken by Daddy on a morning when he should have been at work. Three Cheers for self-employment!

Monday, August 14, 2006

leaving well enough alone

Several months ago, a wise friend suggested this book, which totally changed our lives and made Claire's bedtime MUCH more pleasant. Our girl has been sleeping between 8 and 9 hours through the night since she was around 6 weeks old. A few weeks ago, I was searching around Amazon, and you know how they say, "If you liked this book, then you'll LOVE this one..." Well, Amazon was very, very wrong. I read through this parenting book that I would supposedly LOVE. It suggested that Claire needed to be going to bed earlier, in her own crib without being rocked (something about fostering independence) and that she'd sleep better, etc. The author also suggested moving her into her crib for daytime naps. Claire has always napped well in our bed by herself. So we tried the suggestions for one miserable week. Claire is ready to sleep in her own crib, it was getting ridiculous for her to sleep in the basinet, she's too tall. But she likes to be rocked. I like to rock her. And we're not talking about hours of rocking, but a little cuddle up at night. Does a 3 month old really need to be independent? She also likes to stay up a little later than the "expert" suggested. I wish I would have followed my gut. After attempting all of these changes in a week's time, our girl stopped sleeping through the night, started waking to nurse between 2-4 AM and decided to add in a 6:30 feeding as well. She also went from taking 2 nice, long daytime naps to taking 2 pointless 20 minute naps. I've thrown out the parenting book, and am no longer taking advice from well-meaning "experts" who've never met my kid.

The same wise friend that I alluded to earlier in this post told me when I first came home with Claire that I needed to trust my intuition about my child. Such a smart lady. Thanks, RA. You're a gem.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

just my imagination

A year ago today Nate suggested that I purchase a home pregnancy test. I did. And then I purchased five more. Many months, many pregnancy books, many boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese later...there was Claire. I've been thinking about the baby that I imagined compared to the baby that I now know.
The Claire of my imagination was bald and sort of strange looking (it was hard to picture a combination of Nate and me. Would she have tattoos? Would she have my eyes?) The real Claire has tons of hair and is stunning. The imaginary Claire loved car rides. Mine hates the car. Breastfeeding the imaginary Claire would be difficult. The real Claire has nursed with ease since day one. The imaginary Claire would be born after natural labor attended by my wonderful midwife and amazingly supportive husband. The real Claire was born after a long labor and eventual c-section. I was so sure of my ability to give birth that I didn't even read the c-section sections of the pregnancy books that I studied.
I've decided that today I'm going to give up feeling guilty for the birth and be thankful for the girl. It probably seems bizarre to non-mamas that women would feel regrets about a birth that didn't go according to plan. But we do. There is so much build up surrounding childbirth. A few weeks after Claire was born I cried when I realized that any other children we had would likely be born caesarian. I loved laboring for my child that much. I loved it, but it was just one day. And I'm done feeling like I failed because she was cut out instead of pushed out.
Childbirth wasn’t the miraculous, spiritual experience that I imagined. Even without pushing her all the way out, it hurt. A lot. Also they give you stool softeners afterward. And vicodin. Thank God for vicodin. And when it was over, there was this alert little person (my eyes. no tattoos) who was somehow beautiful and mine.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Claire has been practicing hanging out with people besides mama. We visited brand new baby Drew (sorry, no pictures of that cutie), Dakota and Cole, and my friend Ang. We even braved the Mom's Club last week. Grandma Anna also came for a girl's weekend and got to be here when Claire ROLLED OVER for the first time. I'm so proud of the little one. Here's a picture of our big rolling girl with little Cole. They smiled at each other a bit, but Claire seemed more impressed with her hands than with his face. Later that day she even attempted to bring her toes up to her mouth for a nice, refreshing suck. That was a wonderful development.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

she's got stripes

There have been so many good things this week. I write and delete and start again. Here's Claire today, full of smiles and coos and wonder.