Sunday, January 29, 2012

80 Degrees and Sunny

For the last week we were with Ben's parents in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. The weather! Oh, the weather was lovely. It was 80 and sunny almost every day. We flew down last Saturday - and for the week prior to the trip I was worrying about how Clare would do on the plane. She did fine, of course. I got some very helpful advice from some of my more well-traveled friends (basically, nurse on take off and landing). Worked like a charm! It also helped that she had a captive audience - plenty of people to charm in the seats around us.

We spent the week sitting on the beach, bird watching, zipping around in a pontoon boat (we saw dolphins!), and eating Key Lime Pie for dessert every night. I got to spend an afternoon by myself at the pool reading, swimming, and staring at palm trees and a clear blue sky. Ben and I had a much-needed date night on Friday - I had delicious fajitas and an even more delicious mojito. Clare was thrilled to spend time with her grandparents and not wear pants.

Dipping her feet in the ocean. It was a bit cold, and she was not thrilled.

In the back bay on the pontoon boat.

With Grandma Mary Theresa. She hated wearing the life jacket, but enjoyed her dolphin toy.

Having fun playing with Grandpa Steve at the condo.

My dear friend Chelsea was in Fort Myers Beach with her two boys while we were there. We haven't seen each other in awhile, so it was great to be able to hang out. One night, we went to dinner at the (ocean view!) condo she was renting. We drank wine on her porch after the kids went to bed. Things are slightly different now from the first time Chelsea and I were on the beach together. (Mazatlan, Mexico, Spring Break 1999. I am sure you can imagine.) On that trip, we spent a lot of time discussing boys and doing our hair and make-up in preparation for a wild night out. This time, we spent a lot of time discussing poop. Our kids', not our own. Just to be clear. Also - we were done for the night by 9.

Clare getting to know her friends Gavin and Parker.
One last thing to mention for posterity. I had the best reuben sandwich I have ever had on Sanibel Island at a restaurant called the Happy Heron. Oh my gosh, it was so good. (I am a big fan of the reuben.) And, Clare sat in a high chair at a restaurant for the first time. It was at just the right height for her to lean over and put her mouth on the table. Gross? Yes. I am sure there are worse things she could put in her mouth, though. This is not really how I intended to end this post, but there you go. I'll just include one more picture.

The whole family at the beach.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sitting Up

A few weeks ago, I was worrying (shocking, I know) that Clare wasn't sitting up yet. Even though the books I'd read said she was in the normal range for the milestones she was supposed to have reached, I started obsessing over it.

I emailed my friend and professional sounding board, A. She told me her son wasn't sitting yet at Clare's age, and at the time, she was worried, too. Since her son is a wonderful and smart little boy, I felt a lot better.

Then, I read Amalah's post on Thursday. Her son is just a few days older than Clare. She was concerned about the fact that her son wasn't sitting up, and even asked an occupational therapist about it. The specialist was concerned. Of course, this sent me into a full-fledged panic. Even though I know! You are not supposed to compare babies! All babies develop at different speeds! First borns are sometimes slower to do things than second and third children. I get it. I still panicked.

I decided to sit Clare on her little bottom to see what would happen. Just to try it out.

She sat there on her own staring back at me like, "Yeah, what? I can do this. I just choose not to, camera/milk lady."

So ONCE AGAIN I was worrying about nothing. And now I can record another milestone in her baby book. January 13, 2012. Clare sat up by herself for the first time. After being coerced.

 (She still can't pull herself into a sitting position from the ground, but I figure that will come soon enough. If is she just reclined in her car seat or on my lap, she can sit up.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We started the new year with a sick baby. On the 1st, she had a temperature of 102, a rash, and just wasn’t her cheery self, so we took her to Urgent Care. Luckily, it was just a cold, but it was still hard to see her so down and out.* (And, of course, Ben and I both had the cold a few days later.) I stayed home from work with her on Tuesday and Wednesday (one of my normal days off anyway.) We were snuggling together in the arm chair when Clare started coughing. Hard. She had just eaten, so pretty soon everything in her stomach was on me. It was not pretty. As soon as she was done hacking up a lung, she fell asleep. And I let her lay there. For two hours. While I was covered in spit up. I just couldn’t bear to wake her. (Please note, she was not lying in her own vomit. That had projected itself far enough up my arm and down my leg that she had a perfectly clean spot on which to rest her head.) She needed sleep so badly. Had you told me a year ago that I would sit in my daughter’s puke while she slept, I wouldn’t have believed you. The list of things I wouldn’t have believed is getting long.

Before I had kids, I never understood it when friends with kids cancelled at the last minute, or simply failed to make plans altogether. I mean, I understood, but I didn’t really understand. Until you have kids, you just don’t know how hard it is to get out the door some days. Impossible, even. I wish I could go back to my pre-baby self and say, “Enjoy it! What you have now will not last. Drink more wine!”

I do not say any of this to complain. I would not change my situation for anything, spit-up or no spit-up. It is just interesting, how fast life changes. How much it has changed in the span of just 7 months.

We did get to see some friends over New Year’s weekend, which was wonderful. One couple and their almost 3-year-old son recently relocated to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi! Can you imagine? If we did that, this blog would be so much more interesting! We also got to see another couple and their almost 3-year-old son – we hadn’t seen these friends in nearly two years. I hope another two years doesn’t go by before we see them again. And, I got to see my dear Lillie girls, who I see more often than every two years, but not nearly often enough.  I always feel so happy and refreshed after a good gab session with those girls. (And full – but there is no such thing as too much cheese.)

So, one of my resolutions for 2012 is this: spend more time with friends, no matter how hard it is to get out the door.

Also. I got an iPhone after Ben's phone was stolen. Which only means one thing. Instagram! (Ben is using my old phone. He is not phone-less. I was eligible for an upgrade, so I got the new phone. Just thought I should explain that.)

*Edit to add: We ended up taking her to the doctor yesterday, and she has an ear infection. Her first one! Hopefully she will not get too many more. Also. I did not have to wear a jacket. In January. In Wisconsin. It felt great. Of course, today we are back to winter.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Seven Months

Weight: 17.5 pounds

Teeth: 5, with another two coming in.

Likes: Milk! Mommy’s hair. Anything Daddy does. Performing for a crowd. Sweet potatoes. Saying “da-da-da-da” and then growling (there is no Dana, only Zuul). Rolling anywhere and everywhere (time to babyproof!). Monkey Katie, Mr. Owl, Dolly, and Turnover Cat II. The cat. Daycare, especially her favorite teachers Jonelle and Sandy. Her adoring fans: Grandma Jo, T.R., Grandma Mary Theresa, Grandpa Steve, Aunts Katie and Andri, Uncles Robby, Andrew and Andy. Aunt Andri’s hair and glasses. Baths. Bouncing. This Little Piggy and Peek-a-boo games. Eating books. (I am hoping this will turn into “reading books” someday soon.) Her Jumperoo. (When she first saw it she tried to dive out of my arms in her haste to get to it.)

Dislikes: Sleeping when there are people other than Mommy and Daddy around (which is why she was awake to ring in the new year with us!) Having her face wiped off or washed. Apples. Not being the center of attention. Being put in her car seat at the end of the day. Mommy with a towel on her head after a shower. Socks, and sometimes she will not tolerate pants, either. She is strictly a pants-optional kind of girl.
Just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2012. Mom and Dad are enjoying the Champagne of Beers. Happy New Year, all!