Thursday, January 27, 2011

To the Nine's

Nine months really is a magical mark.

You hold your breath and let the moment pass when your baby has been outside of your flesh longer than she was inside.

At home, we celebrated the day with an inpromtu cake. In my head, I celebrated with lists of love.

Whenever anyone asks about Clare, I dub her the "Worlds Happiest Baby"! That IS her titile and I will fight you for it.

She laughs with her eyes, she smiles with her heart, she hugs with her whole body.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Critique

I knew this day would come eventually. Honestly, I'm a little bit surprised it took this long. Six months. Six whole months without it.

The Critique.

Clare’s teacher is famous for it. She bore and raised 8 children you know.

The Critique.

Your child is beautiful. Perfect. Full of life and personality…… But……

I really don’t take it too personally anymore. With Grace, the Critique always tore me apart. I guess that is the mindset of a new mother though. YOU have no idea what you’re doing for the most part, so you might very well be doing it wrong.

Anyway, Clare’s first real Critique came the other day. Actually, it was two Critiques. Bam – Bam. Double punch. Kind of like pulling of a band aid. Your child is wonderful …… But ……

The first was her newfound desire to play rather than sleep at nap time.

I always wondered how the teachers decided who got what kind of chair. There are 3 bouncing chairs, 1 back and forth swing and 2 side to side swings. I always thought the swings looked so much more comfortable. Clare sat in a bouncing chair. Now I know they were reserved for the high maintenance children. Clare has been moved to a side to side swing so she can’t spend nap time bouncing herself in play instead of napping.

The second was the infamous Tummy Time.

“That girl, she does not want to work her muscles. I know she is strong, but she does not want to crawl. She should crawl. She can do it. She just does not want to. You need to put her on Tummy Time at home, THEN, she will crawl. You will see.”

OK….. I can get behind that. Because I bet you if she wanted to she could crawl. She isn’t quite cruising yet, but she can hold herself upright on footstools and coffee tables with a little help balancing. But you know what? She doesn’t seem to want to yet. AND I AM OK WITH THAT. Besides, Grace was 10 months before she crawled. I have proof.

So I sat on the floor in front of the teacher and played with Clare while she chewed toys on her belly. After about 10 minutes she got mad. Started screaming. I sat her back up. Tummy Time is over.

The teacher gave me the eye and made a comment about how Mothers do not like to see their babies cry. Which leads me to point #2 about why we have limited Tummy Time at home. We typically spend our night trying to AVOID tears, not instigate more. Trust me, there are plenty of tears when we are doing our best.

This is what Clare normally looks like at home.

See. Happy. Sitting in a chair and NOT on her Tummy.

This is what she would look like if she insisted she spend more than 30 seconds on her stomach.

See. NOT happy. On her tummy. (And for the record - that is a spray painted frowney face and tears, NOT a Groucho moustache and prison tats.)

So, in closing, while I appreciate the attention to my child and your concern over her currently lack of mobility I think we will stay with the status quo for right now.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bad Medicine

This picture was supposed to be part of a completely different post.

One full of glory and self-indulgent satisfaction. Instead, it is part of a story about Bad Medicine.

We were sick far more days in December than we were healthy. In fact, I'd be surprised if out of the 4 of us, there was more than 4-5 days without headaches, coughing, runny noses or antibiotics. Such is the life with two small children in daycare I suppose, but still. Blah. It was horrible.

All through the month, Clare's teacher, formerly Grace's teacher, kept lecturing me on the healing powers of lemongrass. Specifically the concoction of lemongrass, ginger, lemon and honey. She swore by it as a instantaneous cold remedy*, and who was I to argue. I was the one with the lingering colds.
* She did always slide in that 12-13 hours of sleep was required too. Super. I'll get right on that.

So upon the decent of our first January colds, she sent me up to the Latino Market minutes away from my work. I stocked up on enough lemongrass, ginger and some superfluous dried lavender flowers to keep in in business for weeks. When I got home on Friday night, I dutifully pulled out my 5 quart soup pot and stuffed it full of the reeds, roots and water. Matt complained that the house smelled like hippies, but I was undeterred. I bragged on Facebook. I was so pleased with my homeopathic therapies and was convinced of the healing effect they would have.

Sunday morning, Clare had dark rings around the bottom of her eyes. Weird. The cold must be wearing her down too, poor baby.

Sunday night, the dark rings had turning into little pink spots with matching accessories on her forehead. WEIRD. Huh, a good night's sleep will make it go away, right?

Monday morning, she looked like this:

HOLY SHIT!!!! She's having an allergic reaction to something. I combed my head to try and think of what she's eaten that's new. Nothing. Absolutely nothing........

But she is a breastfed baby.......

And I drank 2lbs of lemongrass extract on Friday night and Saturday, something she's never had before.......

(OK, I know it's not poison, but still- she is clawing at her own flesh and her whole body is covered in a horrible rash.)

And the Doctor scratched her head and said she'd never heard of anyone being allergic to lemongrass before, but it definitely looks like an allergic reaction so lets give her some heavy doses of Benadryl and see if it goes away - and by the way - lets look in Grace's ears while she is here why yes, she seems to have another bad ear infection to boot so lets do another round of antibiotics.

But does Grace mind? Not one bit. Because it means she gets to play with the train table for a little bit longer along with getting dum dums pulled out of her ears and Elmo stickers.

24 hours later, Clare seems to have faded back down to her normal peaches-and-cream complexion, as opposed to the giant strawberry she was sporting, and smiling as though nothing had ever happened.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I hate making New Year's resolutions. Have I said that before? Yeah, I have.

I make loose resolutions with plenty of wiggle room included. This helps to keep me from failing. This year, as in the past, I don't care about loosing weight. I would be nice, but whatever.

This year, I want to me more ACTIVE.
(So, though I don't necessarily care about the weight thing, this should be a nice side effect.)

So along that line of thought, we signed up for the local Road Runners club. Well, Matt signed up- but I didn't argue. AND I whole hearted agreed to participate.
On January 1st, I ran my first mile in three years. Wait, let me clarify, I power walked up a hill and then ran most of the way down it, which in my mind is better than just running the 1 mile. Plus, I didn't hurt myself like I did last time.

And you know what? It was OK.
And you know what else? I'm going to do it again. Soon.
But you know what I won't be doing anytime soon? This. So don't even ask. It's not even on the radar.

And we will be an active family. That is resolute.