Tuesday, February 27, 2007

merely a flesh wound.

What can I possibly say about the day that I tripped down our back stairs in the rain, and into the mud while holding my baby? Dropping Claire has always been this giant fear for me. She is so tiny, so fragile. Thankfully, she wasn't hurt and was able to use her mama to cushion her landing.

There are no words yet. No words except, thank You for keeping her safe in my arms. Thank You for keeping us safe in Your Arms. Thank You.

Monday, February 26, 2007

one more thing.

Dear Claire,
On Saturday, we moved 5 miles that feel much bigger than 5 miles, and you turned 10 months old. Except for a few cranky hours compensating for missed naps, you did amazingly well. It has been fun to watch you explore this new place. This morning we went for a walk and instead of seeing transients, we were eye to eye with a suspicious looking cow. The most amazing development is that somewhere between 9 and 10 months, you figured out that you love to crawl (forward even!). There are serious treasures to check out in our new place. A bookshelf that you had no interest in at the little house held your attention all morning as you attempted to relocate my school books and climb into the bottom shelf. It was way too funny to upset me.

You can tell a lot about a person by his or her first word. Your dad's first word was "bike." Yours was "hi." For you, this word is almost always accompanied with a wave. I love that you wave at people in the market. I love that you clap when I sing off key. Home is where you are. You make me smile.

it takes a village, part 2

Three years ago, when I moved into our little house it took 2 friends and an hour and a half. Saturday could have been hard and horrible but it wasn't. We were fairly settled into the new house by 2:00, thanks are in order to a tribe of faithful friends who braved the weather to move us into our new place.
Thank you:
Jacqui & Shawn
Joel & Rebecca

Really, really thank you.

And also to Angelina and JJ, who I know would have helped had they been here, but sent us a little love in the mail.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

it takes a village, part 1

For boxes and free childcare and painting and pulling up carpet and laying flooring and making our week a little less hectic, thank you-
Auntie Julie
Auntie Scoobs
Oma and Papa
Grandma C.
Uncle Joe

The girl decided it would be awesome to start standing up in her crib during nap time and instead of sleeping, she could try screaming like a madwoman. It has been neat.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

better than a trip to the park.

Claire woke up from her morning nap to find the living room covered in boxes. She was very, very pleased with her new "toys."

Monday, February 19, 2007

his name is dan.

You may be wondering where I found a photo of Jason Lee. The crazy-haired blond boy on the right would grow up to become my Nate and on his left is his Dad. This weekend we celebrated Grandpa's 60th birthday. During the party Claire sat on her Grandpa's knee and giggled. I am so blessed that my girl has Grandpa and Papa in her life. We like to blame the facial hair, but the truth is she loves these guys.

Claire is deeply entrenched in the dada phase. She is crazy about him, and when we ween, I'm afraid she will have no need for me at all. She and I wrote Grandpa a little card for his celebration. It read: "thank you for teaching my dada how to be a daddy."

Thanks, Dan. You did good.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

is the routine for the girl or is the routine for the mama?

We signed papers. And we have keys. Internet, can I please have a hug? Nate worked his tail off this weekend transforming the living room of our new house into a (giant) cozy nest. Claire and I ran around like crazy-women buying supplies and (attempting) to maintain her great little nap routine. It's amazing how little can be accomplished when the "awake window" is only 3 hours. I think the disruption in routine is harder for me than it is for her. I am very committed to the routine and I LOVE naptime. It is also hard for me to not be more involved in the physical labor parts of our new place.

Hours Claire normally naps any given day: 2.5
Hours Claire napped on Sunday: 1
Boxes packed: 1
Coats of paint: 4
Trips to Home Depot: 8
Likelihood that the kitchen cupboards will be painted before Saturday: 0

So, we're moving on Saturday and the girl is asleep. Less blogging, more packing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

meatloaf and motherhood.

Ever since I knew that we were moving, I have had a hard time buying things. I hate bringing something into the house, knowing it is just one more thing that we're going to pack up and cart over to the new house. Meals have been interesting the last few weeks. I woke up this morning with an inexplicable urge to make a meatloaf. Meatloaf is awesome because it uses up several things taking up space in my cupboards and I wouldn't have to buy ingredients. I gave Claire some carrot sticks to play with in her highchair, while I mixed up the 'loaf. One of my skills in life is making a darn fine meatloaf. No matter what I put in it, it always tastes exactly like my mom's recipe, which tastes like her mother's recipe, which tastes exactly like deliciousness. I'll probably never sit Claire down and teach her to make the meatloaf, but she'd know how to anyway. Good meatloaf is in our DNA, like our chins and an inability to rent good movies. Today would have been my grandmother's 83rd birthday and half way through the 'loaf I started feeling nostalgic for grandma. I looked at Claire, completely entertained by 2 baby carrots and realized that when my mom is gone, and when I'm gone, the girl will still be here with pieces of us. It made me smile. I was going to include a photo of the 'loaf, but honestly, it only tastes good. The stuff looks pretty nasty.

I will submit for your viewing pleasure, homemade truffles that were Nate's Valentine's gift. I hope you have someone special to squeeze tight this Valentine's Day. Someone that makes you want to make them homemade truffles because you know that their favorite treats are the ones that come from your kitchen.

funny valentine.

When I was pregnant, a friend told me that she liked to take her babies to get photos done every month to document their first years. At the time, this seemed reasonable. This is back when I thought stay-at-home moms have all the time in the world. I started off strong, clipping coupons and dressing Claire in some cute little number each month. This lasted a few months. Then, I realized that getting professional photos is a pain. And frequently Claire's smiles resembled looks of terror. Also Nate offered me a new camera if I stopped getting the professional ones done. So, we compromised. I still take her occasionally, but if I miss a month, it's not like I haven't taken a zillion shots of her myself that month. Still, it is fun to get them taken, once they're done. This is Claire's 9 month picture. The kid cracks me up.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

the first of many.

There is no way to determine how many photos will be taken of this girl inside vintage buses. This one will make its way to England soon.

Yesterday, I took advantage of the great weather and strapped Claire into her sling to visit my favorite little book shop. We both got new books and Claire got to flirt with the shop staff, who love her. She had (literally) devoured her book by the time we got home. All edges were chewed to oblivion. She seemed quite pleased with her work.

We are eagerly awaiting news about our house. We could have the keys by Wednesday! I have yet to pack a box because it hardly seems possible that we are moving and my mother trained me to be able to pack all of my belongings in an hour. We'll see how that works out for me. I have moved through the 5 stages of grief (sadness, pouting, bargaining, eating) and am now at acceptance. My head knows that this is right, my heart is just starting to catch up.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

love. love. love.

This weekend for the first time, there was legitimate forward crawling.
And also standing without help. And so much sweetness, I thought my heart would burst from my chest.

Claire has been working on little sounds to go with her waves and clapping. I'm watching her move from being a baby to being a girl. It's magical. Five minutes ago, we were bringing her home and snuggling her into the bassinet. Now she has opinions about foods, she lifts her tiny foot toward us when we put her socks on and she chatters on and on all day. With determined concentration, she pulls herself up using the furniture.

And I get to watch all of it. I wonder if I'll ever stop being amazed by her. If I'll ever stop being amazed by each new development. If I'll ever stop whispering, "You came from me?"

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

that's not him.

One more shot from the "That's not my Teddy" files.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

naptime with the routine queen

Today was MOPS day, which for me is an awesome treat, except for one tiny problem. Claire is very, very committed to her naptime schedule. MOPS starts at 9:00 and goes til 11. Claire's morning nap starts at 10 and ends somewhere around 11:30 if I'm lucky. Normally, we start at about 9:30 by winding down to music. We have a danceparty and then move on to solve the burning questions that are raised in "this book"

Dude, his eyes are too shiny.
His tummy's so...furry. I love that she no longer just wants to eat books. She will now willingly let me read to her. She loves the touchy feely books best, and also enjoys a certain mirror book with an adorable little girl on the last page.

So today was a bit stretching, but we got our naps. We read our books and danced to our song. Mama even gets a little date night tonight. Life is good.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

in escrow! pre-approved!

I have been uncharacteristically silent in this blog about our plans to move. As things progress, it seems likely that we really will have to say good bye to this shoebox that we call home. I spent the first week after we made the offer on the other house feeling weepy and unsure. I called Nate a dozen times at work asking him if he was certain that this was right, maybe we should just stay here, closet space is over-rated, after all. While I have not been writing about the move, Nate and I have been talking about it. We talk about flooring and paint and cabinetry. We talk about how much I am going to miss this little place. I have never been good at change. This is the house we became a family in, where we labored for Claire, where we impulsively decided to remodel, taking hammers to walls one night.

Three years ago, this house seemed big. When we moved my belongings from my tiny studio and Nate's few things from his rental house, this place felt empty. It actually echoed. That was before jumperoos and exersaucers and baby bath tubs and strollers. Now, the house seems tired. It is weighed down by the bulk of our family. It needs lighter folks. Or at least folks with less gear. In a few weeks, we will begin the transition to another place. A place that doesn't hold my memories. A place with plenty of room for a fleet of plastic toddler stuff.

As much as I want to hold onto the pant leg of this old house, like a child to her mother, I am gearing up to say goodbye. My husband, who doesn't understand my attachment to this place patiently reminds me that we are home to each other. A house is a place. We are home to each other.
The girl also is not fond of change. She is, however, fond of our friend Courtney, who loves pictures of unhappy babies.