Monday, November 24, 2008

The Beach in November

We went out to the beach on Saturday to take some photos. I figured we should have photographic proof that we do, in fact, live near the ocean even if we never go there! My plan was for a lovely sunset shot. But my plans were twarted by November. The beach in November is so hazy, everything just looks grey. And it was chilly! So we hoped out, snapped a few shots, and ran back for the car! The photos turned out pretty nice!

Now that's a cute little girl!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Last night was our Life Group Thanksgiving dinner. Claire did extremely well all night. She got passed around and got to spend some quality time with everyone. And she even participated in the send-off prayer for Ellen and Meghan by adding her own words (more like chirps!)

She was dressed for the party. We ended up exchanging the pants for some tights because they kept falling off.

Then, this morning it was time for another Dr. apt. She is 11 lbs, 4 oz (with her diaper on). The Dr. said she is doing very well. She got 2 shots. She did great for the first part of the day. But around noon she started fussing. She hadn't had a nap at all yet. I finally got her to go to sleep like this:

It didn't last long though! Poor thing, she must have felt really bad. By 2:00 she was screaming terribly.The swing nap only lasted 20 minutes. I have never seen her so upset! She was actually gaging she was screaming so hard. She finally fell asleep with me hugging her very tightly and pressing my face against her cheek while I breathed very deeply and slowly. That was at 3:00. It's 6:00 now and she's still asleep. Her next apt is scheduled for Dec. 23... the day before we get on a plane to fly to my parents house. I'm thinking that needs to be rescheduled!

Tie-Dyed Adventures

In addition to the endless rolling over I made her do yesterday in order to get a decent picture, we had a fun day of new things. She enjoyed lounging in the lazy boy for a little while.

And then she met a new friend. Actually, she was completely oblivious to the dog, but it made for a cute picture... although I feel like it's a color overload! Too many shades of pink/red/orange!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rollie Pollie

Finally I was able to mostly catch Claire in the act. Since my camera is on the fritz, I can't take video, but I did get a decent progression in still shots.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's official!

Claire is definitely rolling over! All day long she rolls from her stomach to her back. And she can almost go from her back to her stomach. What a big girl she is becoming--way too quickly! 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tummy Time

I was trying to find a way to make tummy time more interesting

So, I flipped the bouncer down, and it worked!

Such a happy baby!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New things about Claire

1. She rolled over three times on Monday! I was shocked because I wasn't expecting her to do that yet. She consistently did it three times in a row. But since then, nothing. I'm stocking it up to a particularly wiggly day, not a milestone reached.

2. She almost laughs. When we talk to her and laugh she smiles really big and makes a cooing sound that I think will soon be an official laugh.

3. She got her first cold this week. And then was nice enough to share it with me. Surprisingly, she doesn't mind the booger sucker too much. Sometimes it even makes her smile!

4. The prediction we made that she would be a thumb sucker seems to be coming true. She always spits out her pacifier and prefers to suck on her fist. Up till today, her thumb has alluded her. She would find it occasionally, but then it would slip out and she couldn't recover. When I went in to check on her this morning, she was sucking her thumb. Then when she was tired and ready for a nap, I looked over, and there was the thumb again. And while napping just now, she has spit out the pacifier and is currently going to town on her thumb.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Snapshots of Joy

As I sit snuggling Claire while she sleeps, I'm thinking back on the past 2 1/2 months.  They come to me in snapshots:

The easy first 9 cm of labor. The 9 hour fight for the last cm. The three hours on pitocin with no pain medication. The hot tears of joy on my face from Kevin as he provides strength for me when I thought I had none left.  The exhilaration and exhaustion of pushing her out into the world, watching her emerge from me. The frustration of a home birth relocated to the hospital with a rough Dr. who handled me like I was numb when I was not. The episiotomy that was pleaded against, but inflicted anyway. The rush of warming love for this little being as I nurse her. The feeling of accomplishment and pride at doing it without asking for the drugs I wanted so badly toward the end. The first shower in the hospital. The ridiculous self-care routine every time I went to the bathroom: get up (always the hardest part), warm water rinse, pat dry, spray pain reliever, tucks pads, fresh maxi pad, ice pack, gauze undies, waddle back, get back in bed, repeat again in an hour. The chaos and joy of a full house to celebrate her first day home from the hospital. The helplessness and sleep-deprivation of the first night home alone. My mother rocking me as I cry the next morning as we play out the circle of life. Breastfeeding in the early weeks: first being so proud that it was going well, then later crying through the pain. Kevin and I dumbfounded as we look down at Claire, discussing if we really believe we are now parents. The times on our first outings at 5-10ish days old when strangers stop me at Target and exclaim, "Isn't it just wonderful!" and I lie and say yes because it's the expected answer, when really I sometimes feel like this little stranger that I can't figure out is emptying me with her need, draining me and leaving pain and fatigue in her wake. And still there is joy somehow. And then the pain starts to dull, and the fatigue becomes customary, and the joy breeds peace. The love we feel from our friends who bring us food for the first couple of weeks. The pride we feel when people tell us she is beautiful. The hours of rocking at night, pleading with her to go to sleep. The times we think we catch her almost smiling. The morning when we spend forever laughing while she does smile up at us in earnest. The comforting rhythm we have fallen into now. The happy dance I did when I got 6 hours of sleep. The rejoicing I did when she started sleeping for 10 hours straight.  The confidence of feeling like Claire is known to me now--no longer a stranger. The way we communicate with ease, like a dance of back and forth, knowing what she needs when she asks. And today, right now, feeling like being a mother is the most wonderful thing in the world, the thing I am best at.

Sometimes I imagine Claire's life is laid out before me like a book. The book is beautifully crafted, written in an ornate, careful, steady hand. And it reads like one of those great stories that draw you in, transfix you with their complex beauty, their poetry. But I have to be careful, because sometimes I want to devour those stories too quickly, skipping past the poetry in my quest for the plot, always seeking the next happening. I want to experience Claire's life page by page. I want to revel in each moment, appreciate it for what it is. I want to remember the small and simple snapshots. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Laundry Time!

I was doing laundry today--something I have been slacking on lately. And Claire loved coming out to the garage to get the clothes out of the dryer. She smiled really big when she felt the breeze on her face. Then coming in, because my hands were full, she got to ride in the basket with the socks!

Bath Time!

Claire loves her baths. She sometimes fusses when I pull her out, as if to say, "Hey, what's the deal? I was enjoying that!" 

Monday, November 3, 2008


We enjoyed our first Halloween with Claire. We had a party at out place. The costume theme was the title of a song. Kevin dressed as a rhinestone cowboy, and Claire was a tiny dancer. The night was a hit, and Claire did great with all the people and frivolity, although she didn't make it long in her costume! The next day she was so zonked we had a hard time keeping her awake!


Claire got all dressed up for our trip to Costco... shoes and everything! She was very excited, as you can see. She loves laying on her back and watching her mobile, it makes her smile so big! A few weeks ago she would never have tolerated being laid down and left to her own devices. Now she can entertain herself for long enough for me to shower, as long as the music doesn't stop! It's good because we have a very busy month of November! We will be visiting with my cousin this weekend, going to Catalina to help clean up a family camp the following weekend, then the MLS Cup (soccer) game is the following weekend, and then we travel north to Lemoore for Thanksgiving! Phew! The trip to Lemoore usually takes around 4 hours, but since it's a holiday, and we've got a baby on a two hour feeding schedule who hates her carseat, I have no idea how long it will take! Pray for us! :-)