Sunday, July 31, 2011


Meeting Uncle Andy. Who is that other weird guy?

Showing off her Twins onesie on Daddy's birthday.

Clare's first brewery tour - New Glarus, WI.

Daddy's side of the family - Fourth of July weekend.

At the Evansville Fourth of July parade.

Meeting her great-grandparents.
Meeting Aunt Andri for the first time.

Four generations at Aunt Katie's bridal shower.

Helping Mom recover from Aunt Katie's bachelorette party.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Smiley Face

Someday I might think this picture falls into this category, but for now I am a sucker for her grin. And I have about 200 more pictures just like this one.  She is stingy with her smiles, so I have to take pictures when I can.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mom and Dad's Night Out

Ben and I had our first night away from Clare last weekend. We left her with her grandparents so we could go to a friend's wedding. As I drove away from my parents' house, I felt a little sad. This is the longest I've been away from her since she's been born! Then I felt relieved. And excited, because I was going to have ONE WHOLE GLASS of wine. And oh, did that wine taste good.

It was hot, but the wedding was beautiful. I had fun talking to actual adults about subjects other than diapers and sleep patterns and breastfeeding. And I didn't call my parents once! (I did check my phone several times to make sure they hadn't called me. They hadn't.) When we got back, my mom looked exhausted. Clare had been a bit fussy for them, but she typically is at night.

It really was nice to have a break. Now, of course, I am right back to worrying about whether or not Clare is eating enough. Next weekend, though, I am going to be gone OVERNIGHT for my sister's bachelorette party. That should be interesting...

Really, Mom? Look how pudgy I am! I think I am eating enough.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Road Trip, Part Two

Grandma Jo and I took Clare to meet my paternal grandparents in La Crosse last week. Again, she proved to be a good little traveler when we were on the road.  She started to meltdown when we got close to Madison on the drive home. She'll cry for a few minutes, and then suck on her hands or fall back to sleep. Then she wakes up and cries some more. She did pretty well, though. She was a little worked up during our visit, but I think she was just hot. I get crabby when I am hot, too, so I don't really blame her.

Clare with her Great-Grandpa Bob

Clare with her Great-Grandma and namesake, Clara.
During our visit, my grandfather pulled out a birthday card he sent my grandma in 1944, addressed to Miss Clare Radtke. He wanted to show me that he frequently called my grandmother Clare, rather than by her full name. I think it is great that she saved that card.

I have always been close to my grandparents. My grandma was my confirmation sponsor. I nursed Clare in the room my sister and I used to sleep in when we were kids. I was reflecting on how long ago that seems now. I told Clare about the room and that we used to sleep in there. She seemed unimpressed. It will be fun when she is older and will actually listen to my stories! And, I hope Clare has the same great memories of her grandparents that I do of mine.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Breakfast Time

Mom, I am hungry.
Srsly. Where iz mah breakfast??
Ahhh...that hit the spot.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Six Weeks

The last six weeks have been like the most crazy roller coaster I have ever been on. It has been wonderful and terrifying at the same time.

The last few days I have been especially tired. I don't know if the adrenaline has finally worn off or if it is just my mood, but I have been feeling a lot more inadequate as a mom then I did at first. (Well, except the first week when I had no clue.)  I am constantly worrying - is she eating enough? Sleeping enough? Sleeping too much? When will her baby acne go away? Am I eating the right foods so she gets the right nutrients? She is rubbing her ear - does she have an ear infection? Will I ever go out for drinks with my friends again? What happened to my life? Will I ever feel like myself again?

I remember my friend CMS telling me how isolating maternity leave can be, but I don't think I really knew what she meant until the last week or so.  The days I am home alone, without Ben, are long. I really miss the social interaction of being at work. I feel guilty when I put Clare in her bassinet so I can check my email, but sometimes I just need a break.  I feel guilty that I feel resentful when she starts crying and wants to be fed, even though she JUST ATE. However, when I think about leaving Clare at daycare and driving away I feel sick. I know it will be good for me to go back and be in the world of adults - but UGH. I feel like there is no good answer.

Then today I read this, and laughed my ass off.  It is amazing how one little thing can make your day. Oh, and this:

Friday, July 15, 2011


Over the past few days, Clare has started doing this thing where she'll get this incredibly sad look on her face, her lower lip quivering, and then she'll start crying a pathetic little cry.  As soon as she gets what she wants (if I can figure out what that is) she stops immediately and is perfectly happy. The problem is, I can't seem to figure out what she wants most of the time. I try to feed her, she rejects it. I change her diaper, she is happy for a few minutes and then cries again. I make sure her clothes are dry. (This one does not stand for sitting in damp clothes for any length of time. Although I guess I can't blame her.) I sit her up so she can burp, or I put her on my shoulder. I try to rock her.  Nothing seems to work. Since we were traveling yesterday, I blamed it on over stimulation and general tiredness. But alas, today is more of the same. Any moms out there have any advice on what to do with a fussy baby? Or do I just have to live with it?

What? It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Road Trip, Part One

We've taken Clare on two longer road trips over the past few weeks. We went to a wedding shower for my sister in Wausau, and then yesterday my mom and I took Clare to meet her great-grandparents. She did pretty well, except for the occasional meltdown, which is great, because we have family and friends who live far away who we will hopefully visit SOON!

On the way home from Wausau, she decided she had enough of being in the car seat when we were about 45 minutes from home. She woke up, started crying HARD, which is rare for her. (At least until the last two days, when she has been really fussy.) She'd carry on for a few minutes, and then drop back off to sleep. Ten minutes would go by, and she'd wake up and realize SHE WAS STILL IN HER CAR SEAT WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!?!? And then fall asleep again. It was hard to hear her cry and not be able to do anything while we were on the Interstate, but it was amusing how quickly she'd give up when she wasn't getting a response. I don't know if that is good or bad.

Our trip to Oostburg went better - she slept the whole way there and back. Her great-grandparents were thrilled - absolutely thrilled - to meet their first great-grandchild. My grandfather has been struggling with illness for years, and is not always aware of who is who, but he had a good day yesterday. He has said for some time now that he wanted a great-granddaughter, and I was so happy that he was able to hold her and that he knew who she was. It was a really special moment.

Clare with Great-Grandpa Jerry.

Clare with Great-Grandma Jean aka Short J.
According to Jean, Clare has her big toe. She said that she won't be too happy about it when she is older. I think that is great.  I am so grateful that all four of my grandparents are still living, and that I get to introduce Clare to them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fourth of July

We had a great 4th of July weekend. We had friends and family from the Twin Cities visiting. Ben celebrated his 32nd birthday. Clare went on her first brewery tour. (She is a Wisconsinite, after all.) We ate and talked and drank beer (I had half a beer. It tasted so. good.)  and watched World Cup soccer. It was so nice having people around - although by the end of the weekend we were so exhausted from lack of naps that we decided to skip the fireworks. We watched fireworks on TV instead. Yes, they show fireworks on TV.  (We also launched fireworks at my parents' house. Shhh...don't tell them. One was called a dragon fart. It was not as cool as you might think.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Never Get Involved in a Land War In Asia

And never commit the other, lesser known classic blunder - bragging on the Internet about how long your baby sleeps. Clare took a long nap last evening. And then she was up, and hungry, at 11 p.m. And 1 a.m. And 3:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. And then she was up for the day! She has only, just now, at 1:30 p.m. fallen asleep again.

But - earlier - she smiled! For real this time. I am sure of it. It melted my heart. She was upset that I left her laying by herself on the floor while I watered plants. Once I picked her up, she grinned. I talked to her a bit, and she grinned some more. Then she fell asleep.

P.S. In case you are wondering, the title of this post is from a movie. Not just some random weirdness.

I am sucking the life out of you. But look how cute I am!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One Month

How did one month go by already? I feel like Clare was just born. I suppose it is partly due to the trance-like state I have been in due to lack of sleep for the last month. Things are kind of blurry.

Clare had her one month well-baby check today. She is 10 pounds and 23 inches long. She is in the 95th percentile for height and 74th percentile for weight. Long and lean.

We haven't given Clare a pacifier yet, but the doctor suggested we do so now if we want to. She definitely likes to suck, so we might try that tonight. Oh! Also! Clare slept for 6.5 hours last night.  After about four hours, I was up and staring at her in her bed making sure she was still breathing. She was, obviously. Of course, I will worry that she is not eating enough (even though she weights plenty), and will not take advantage of the fact that she is a good sleeper. I will still be up every few hours. Sigh.

At one month, Clare is definitely becoming more alert. Her face is also incredibly expressive. She has a worried look that very much resembles her mother's. Poor girl. She is smiling, but I am still not sure it isn't just gas. We can tell when she is happy, though. It is mostly when she is getting kisses or knows she is about to eat. Then she gets really excited. She sure likes her milk.

To celebrate her one month birthday, Clare and her Daddy had a most excellent nap. It was a good day.