Tuesday, January 30, 2007

it's good to be home

We drove all the way to the Canadian border and back this weekend without our girl. I managed to not hyperventilate in Pike's Market when I saw tiny ones in slings and fleecy pink hats. I wanted the other mamas to know that I am one of them, but they walked by without catching my eye. I held it together and didn't make a fool of myself by shouting, "I have one too!" Despite a tiny ache, we had a great time. We ate good food, drank coffee and laughed. I practically proposed marriage to the trout I ate for dinner. It was that good. Proving I am still a mommy, I pumped in the car on the way home (for the record, that is by far the strangest thing I've ever done in a moving vehicle). Hooray for the pump in style, with its ingenious car adaptor. We listened to street performers and bought only a few things that we don't really need.

Claire was a champ for Oma and Papa. The only hard thing was getting Claire out of their clutches at the end of the weekend. They all had a great time.

It was wonderful to spend some time with Nate without the distraction of the girl. It's good to know that we still have plenty to talk about, besides sleep schedules and diaper changes. It was also good to hear him say that he missed her too. Two reasons I'm thankful to be home:

Friday, January 26, 2007

a leche league traitor

A few weeks ago, I quietly turned 30. To celebrate, Nate and I had planned a fun night out for two that became a night out for three. I wrote about it here. It was to be our first night away since Claire's birthday in April. My mom was set to watch her. Things happened. Horrible, horrible flu bugs happened. It was not ideal. So, some weeks later, we are trying again. We are going away. This time it is a work-related trip but it is still a night in a hotel, with a bed I don't have to make and no 6 AM meal call where I (literally) provide the meal. I almost chickened out. I came up with excuses. She is nursing. She has been fussy at night. She needs me...Cuddling with my girl this afternoon I told her I'd miss her. She looked at me like she had no idea what was going on, but could she please have some more of that delicious milk inside my shirt?

Speaking of that delicious milk, our freezer is in somewhat limited supply and I made the decision to purchase some formula for the time that we are gone "just in case." Claire is a champion nurser, and since I am home with her she has only ever had breastmilk "from the source" or frozen. I have been throughly indoctrinated by the breastfeeding police and I really, really believe that nursing is the best thing I can do for Claire. However, pumping myself silly over the last few weeks while operating on little sleep, still feeding my ravenous girl and getting over the flu myself was not the best thing I could do for me. So, I went to Target. Threw a box of formula into my cart. And teared up a little. The I came home to feed Claire some pureed mixed vegetables. How can I leave this face?

We will be gone less than 48 hours, but already I am sweating. I am confident that Claire will be fine, it's her mother I'm worried about.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Dear Claire,
Today you turned nine months old. How did that happen? To celebrate, we went to storytime at the library and I picked yellowing scales out of your scalp. You enjoyed both of these activities immensely. I discovered that you still had cradle cap hiding under your hair, so I did some online investigating. I felt a tiny bit better about my mothering skills, when I read a letter from a mom with a four-year old with the stuff. Anyway, I found a few remedies, and I'm pretty sure your scalp is now clean. You seemed pleased that you were able to have 2 baths today.

There is so much to tell you about your nine-month old self. You have a great laugh. This morning, we were playing together and you started laughing for no reason at all. It's a deep belly laugh that reminds me a little of an old man. You love Bob Marley, you love being around other kids (even just watching them), you love food. Since the introduction of certain vegetables, your diapers have gotten wild. Naps are improving, you no longer need to be rocked into a coma to fall asleep (thank you, Jesus). And my favorite: you say dadadadada and mamamamama when you want us. It's amazing.

A few weeks ago, I left you in the nursery at church during the whole service. This was a big step for me. Usually, I keep you with me for at least part of it. I tell the nursery people that it's for you, but it's really for me. I haven't been ready. When I went to pick you up at the end of the service, the nursery people went on and on about how wonderful you are. I thought my heart would feel a little sad, knowing that you did fine and that you didn't need me. Instead, it felt full. You are becoming more and more separate from me. It doesn't have to hurt. This is the way it is supposed to be. You take tiny steps away from our nest, knowing for sure that we'll come as soon as we hear mamamamama or dadadadada.

I love you, Clairegirl.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

post 164

We've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus the past week, due mostly to long work hours for Nate and long nights for all of us. Claire has been sprouting (more!) teeth...she now has eight of them and with each one, a long, long night is part of the process.

At the request of the Oma, I am posting a picture from our walk to the park this afternoon. She's looking under-whelmed as this was taken when it was time to head home. The highlight for me was watching my small girl try to make eye contact with the "big kids" on the slide. They were oblivious to her, but she kept puffing up her little chest and waving in their direction.

Developmentally, Claire is pretty hilarious. She expresses no interest in crawling. She will occasionally crawl backward and then cry when she finds herself across the room. She has been waving for months and now claps all of the time. I feel like I have an adorable, tiny cheering section with me all day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

snow day.

I remember as a child being thrilled with the prospect of a snow day. These days were spent attempting to make ice cream from the slush in our front yard with my best friend, Stacy. Today, I will not be mixing vanilla and cinnamon in a big bowl with snow and feeding it to my little brother. Instead, I will continue to work on naps with Claire and hang out inside with the heater cranked up. Nap training is going well. It's amazing what a dark room and a very determined mommy can accomplish. Nights are getting better and I am enjoying the newfound ability to think. The girl has been napping for over an hour this morning. I even started putting together a rather complicated tomatoe-y tart for dinner and it's not even noon yet. I'm wearing actual clothing. I've showered. I'm starting to wonder about me.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

she's just standing.

It's a great big world
It's a great big moon
It's a great big sky
And a great big love for you

...David Wilcox, Vista

Friday, January 12, 2007


Even though Micah's mom, Joy thinks blog posts with pictures are best, I am posting this little note without any pictures to say that Claire slept from 6:30 PM to 4:15 AM, had a snack and went back to sleep until 7:30 AM. Totally makes me want to make out with the sleep lady.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

this woman's work.

In an effort to end weeks of sleep deprivation for both mother and child, Claire and I have been laying low this week. I knew that something needed to change when I jumped out of bed one night to check on Claire and put on my jacket. Then, I accidentally almost slapped the salesperson at Borders while buying this woman's book. The saleswoman innocently commented that I was lucky to be able to "play" while she was "working." To me, hanging out in a bookstore all day sounded way more fun than implementing a more rigid sleep schedule, but I know, greener grasses and all of that. Some parts of being at home with Claire are just a lot of work.
I am partly through a teaching degree, still wondering if I'll ever officially teach, but quite certain that I have been teaching my butt off this week. Here is a shot of a very happy girl swinging in the afternoon during her "recess."
For the record, the "sleep lady" method seems to be working. For those, like myself, who don't have the heart to "ferberize," this method might be worth a look. There are still tears, but after only a couple of days, it's getting easier. I also really like how she says that in her experience with kids, those who are especially bright often have a hard time with sleep. She probably is just saying this to be nice to us tired, gullible types, but, these are encouraging words for those of us with bleary eyes and miniature nighttime party animals.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

putting the "f" in fiasco since 2004

Have you ever had one of those days when you shouldn't have gotten out of bed? What do you do when you have one of those days and you have a baby? The obvious answer is, you get out of bed. What should have also been obvious to us was that perhaps this wasn't the weekend to attempt a little mini-trip. Here are some shots from what Nate and I agree to be the strangest weekend of our marriage. We spent Friday and Saturday at a silly hotel with a heated outdoor pool, not really an option for the girl considering she just got over an ear infection. But we had a nice photo shoot anyway.
Later, in her element, sliding backward. Our floors need some TLC.

And here we are (amazingly smiling with eyebrows down) considering levels of teething drama and upset routine drama our girl had achieved the night before.
Feeling thankful to be home. Feeling thankful that Nate has all of those brothers and sisters so he at least one of us knows what to do.

Friday, January 05, 2007

morning tea.

Inexplicably, I woke up at 5:30 and decided to make a very complicated recipe for tea. Nate leaves early on Friday mornings and I can count on the girl to sleep until at least 7:00. In my defense, if I had read the recipe completely before beginning, I might have just waited for Claire to wake up and walked to our neighborhood coffee stop for my favorite non-Oregon brand. In my mind, making homemade chai would just involve mixing and boiling. I mean, it's tea, right? Despite how silly I felt for choosing teamaking over sleep, I found a ridiculous amount of satisfaction in seeing this little project to completion. I think that's one of the hardest parts of being a mother. It's all laundry and songs and diapers and it never really ends. For a to-do list kind of person, this can be frustrating. For any kind of person, this can be frustrating.

We have all been working on getting our feet back under us after being sick. I've started and stopped writing these incoherent little blog posts about our week. The truth is, we're tired. Naptimes have been frustrating. We haven't seen the sun in weeks. We've been snarky and have argued about the dog.

Despite frustration and being ridiculously tired, I am thankful. I love these pictures of Claire.
Here she is looking like her daddy, in a pink mini-skirt.
And also like me in jammies with giraffes.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

new years by numbers.

Number of liters of 7up consumed: 3
Number of phone calls to the advice nurse at the pediatrician's office: 3
Number of people to get sick after spending time with us: 4
Number of phone calls from Tiffani asking if I really thought she was sick: 3
Number of full bedding changes completed: 5
Number of clean pajamas remaining in Claire's dresser: 0
Number of nights Claire slept in tights and a turtleneck: 1
Number of times Kari attempted to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: 5
Number of times Kari actually watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: 0
Number of times Kari woke up the baby while playing a Justin Timberlake song in an attempt at humor: 1
Number of people who thought this was funny: 0
Number of collective pounds lost: 5
Number of dollars offered from one parent to another to rock the sick child: 100
Our thanks for your prayers. I'm happy to report that we are all feeling much, much better. I'd post resolutions or a year-end list or something else New Yearish, but my brain still feels mushy from too much bad TV and red jello. What about you, any good resolutions for 2007?

Monday, January 01, 2007

in sickness & in health.

I will always remember 2007 as the New Years where we all got sick and wanted our mommies. Last night was wild. All three of us have the flu. All three of us puking and shivering. Two of us cleaning up and rocking the girl. Two of us praying together as our little one cried between us. Two of us huddled together with buckets beside our bed. Claire is resting now and is definitely still sick. Nate is curled up on the couch watching infomercials and trying to feel better. I have successfully eaten crackers and drank some broth, so that makes me the most well of our pitiful trio. If you are inclined, please pray for us. I'll hopefully be able to post an update with good news in the morning.