Friday, March 30, 2007

11 months. 5 days.

Dear Claire,
This morning your dad brought you into our bed so you could nurse. As soon as you were finished, you did this little flip over move and started crawling around the bed. Lately, nursing has become tricky. You want to move so badly that you stay latched on, but stand up on my lap or do little pilates moves with the rest of your body. I’m guessing that we will have to start the weaning process soon. If you would have told me a year ago that I’m going to miss nursing, I would have thought you were crazy. Like many parts of motherhood, I had no idea how special nursing was going to be.

You at 11 months, are ridiculously social and happy. I have been known to duck and hide from people I know, but you, girlie, you engage everyone. I love to watch you when we’re in the park, you wave at people, animals, statues. People can’t help but wave back at that dimply little hand. You are just fearless. You take it all in with those giant eyes and attempt eye contact with everyone you meet. Store clerks, bikers, tough looking toddlers. You charm them all.

Yesterday, a man commented that you were smiling at him and he called you a little girl instead of a baby. I stopped for a minute. I couldn’t believe he was talking about my girl baby. But of course, he was. Not such a baby any more. In her place is this social, crawling all over the place, sippy cup drinking, major meltdown when it's time to change a diaper, but everything can be solved with a handful of Cheerios, toddler.

Take your time getting bigger, sweetgirl. There's no rush.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

no place like home.

I'm posting this shot for Aunt Anna. Here it is...our little house, looking fresh and ready for a new family.

And here is our girl. Looking, well, kind of nasty in a hummus goatee and lentil soup chest hair.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

11 months.

It has been a long day and you have been a super-star. Today you are 11 months old. You will get a long and sappy letter from your mama on Monday, but tonight I am just going to enjoy the quiet while you sleep and be thankful that you finally are well.

Friday, March 23, 2007

on the mend.

Like most first-time mothers, I am a bit ridiculous when it comes to what my baby eats. I would wait the recommended four days between introducing a new (organic) food into her diet. I went a little ape when a woman from our church gave her a lick of frosting several months ago. I have calmed down a bunch, but I have been somewhat militant about sugar consumption. This week, between constant diarrhea, an ear infection and teething pain I loosened up on my no-sugar ways.

She is feeling much better now, thanks no doubt to 2 different antibiotics and the introduction of the Giant Pop.

Best of all, were the 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep we got last night, which make it much easier for me to do things I enjoy doing, like thinking and not crying when Nate leaves his keys on the kitchen counter.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

rundown. literally.

Guess who was not at our local Emergency Room last night?

That would have been fun.

Sadly, no.

Would have been McWonderful.

The short version: Emergency Rooms are busy, busy places. A little girl with a big fever ranks way under corned beef sandwiches, splinting a ten year old's arm and helping a grandma to breathe. We are tired. There is much more to say. The girl is fine, she's resting and comfortable and smiling again. We are reminded that we are still so new at this.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

food and photos with sarah.

Claire has wonderful taste in foods. She loves feta, pickles (thankfully dill, not sweet. We plan to introduce her to sweets around the time we teach her to love cats), black beans and couscous, hummus (especially her mama's) and yellow curry with tofu. We had a great time today eating curry, making messes and entertaining the guests at the little Thai place in my stripmall of a hometown.
The girl shoved great fistfulls of rice into her mouth and also let me feed her with chops. Today was the first day in a long time that she hasn't had any diarrhea. She seemed in great spirits all day. I was really starting to miss her little smile.

Everyone should have at least one person in life who smiles at them like this. Mine is miniature.

Friday, March 16, 2007

nickname earned.

I have been writing blog posts in my head again, posts about baby diarrhea, about moving, about family. I also have a post in my head about the things a mom should have in her car at all times (I re-learned this when taking the girl to the doctor. In a moment of stellar parenting, she "went" all over everything and I only had a jacket, a diaper, socks and a blanket for her to wear into her appointment). Claire has been sick off and on this week with a nasty flu bug. Her being sick conflicted sharply with my desire have a life outside of comforting her. Also, there is a new tooth. Also, she seems to be developing separation anxiety. It's been a week. She has tried my patience with her illness, and it's not her fault, but really, girlie? Enough with the diarrhea. And enough with the screaming.

Here she is looking not so much like a baby, as a toddler. Despite numerous phone calls to friends for prayer and feeling like I can't do this job one more day, when I give her that final cuddle at night, I tell her the same thing every day, "I love you, Pooper. Until I take my last breath. I love you."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

not mentioning any names.

Our fridge is covered with pictures of friends' babies, wedding invitations and magnetic business cards from our mortgage broker. Saturday, one of my oldest friends was over, helping me paint Claire's bedroom. Here's a snipet of our conversation.

Her: "Kar, I know I've asked you before, but whose baby is this?"
Me: "Um. That's Claire."
H: "Really?"
M: "Yeah, it's from fourth of July."
H: "Really?"
M: "You were there."
H: "Oh. I guess she looks different now."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

a secondary big.

I was starting to think that the house and I had reached an understanding. This week had been relatively pain-free compared to last. I have been careful with my words about and have praised the heck out of the house, but it is obvious that it is still in a fighting mood. Tonight, while I was making dinner, I set off the smoke alarm. This is a frequent occurence in my kitchen. The smoke alarm at this house is located above the washing machine, and in order to turn it off, one must jump up onto the machine and push a button on the alarm. This is actually an improvement over the set-up at the old house, where I would beat the smoke alarm with a broom handle until the thing crashed to the ground and turned off. As I jumped from the washing machine, I landed on my second toe (pointer toe? index toe?) and it has since plumped up to a disturbing size.

I took a photo of the toe to post here, and while I would love your sympathy for my (newest) injury, I am physically unable to post a photo of my horribly pealing pedicure from December. Instead, more beautiful baby!

So much better than a freakishly large toe.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

almost paradise.

We valley-folk have enjoyed 2 wonderfully dry days in a row! Claire got to experience the joy of barefeet in the grass for the first time and later, Auntie Tiff and I took her to our favorite little town just a few miles away. We visited a coffee house and an incredibly cute knitting shop (called the Purl District, seriously, how cute is that?) It was great to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Bring on the summer!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

gonna move into the country, gonna get hit in the face with a trashcan.

It is possible that my house is trying to kill me. A couple of days ago, I wrote about falling down while holding Claire. I ended up with some bruised ribs, a swollen ankle and a nice gash on my leg. The next day, while taking out the trash, I managed to injure myself on the recycling box lid. I'm really not sure how this happened, I'm a seasoned recycler, but apparently recycling is different here outside the city limits. I spent that afternoon with an icepack on my puffy lip and my ankle wrapped in an ace bandage.

Maybe the house heard me complaining about its lack of charm. It might not have appreciated the alarmingly toxic primer we doused several rooms with during Operation Defunk. Maybe it enjoyed the animal stained carpeting that Nate removed and replaced with lovely laminate flooring. The house could be angry that we are not smokers, as it seems that every other person who has lived here enjoyed the nicotine. (When I picked up the mail our first day here, there was a care package for the former tenants from the Pal Mal company). Maybe the house is jonesing for some second-hand smoke.

Whatever the case, House, we are here. I'm sorry I said those things about your lack of charm. You are looking lovely. Big and spacious and lovely. You smell so fresh! Your dishwasher rocks my world. It is awesome that I can put Claire down for a nap and not have to tiptoe around. I'm looking forward to planting a garden. Please be nice to me.
Here are a few shots of the newly beautified livingroom. I wish I could find some befores, but all you need to know is that this is a VAST improvement in every way. I'll put some shots of other rooms later. You should also know that this photoshoot was taken at 11:30 PM, the only time that there is this kind of shocking lack of toys and books and Claire gear. These photos would in no way make it into this pool.

I'm also including a shot of the girl eating the small side table, because well, that's the kind of mother I've become. The kind who first takes a picture of the child eating a table and then stops the child from eating the table.