10 December 2007

05 December 2007


This is Claire modeling my favorite of Audrey's hand-made bows, the Mini-Bling bow! Go to Audrey's online store, the Lady Jane Bowtique, to order super-cute, affordable bows in lots of styles! Great Christmas or baby shower gift!

02 December 2007

Christmastime is here!

Hooray for a productive weekend at home! It's been a long time since I've had nothing to do on Saturday or Sunday, so this weekend was bliss!Well, I did have to prepare the meat for our visitors meal after church, but that's something I can do on my own schedule. I got down all my Christmas stuff, and put up our first ever full-size Christmas tree, an after-Christmas sale I bought last year! It was so easy to put up, a pre-lit 7.5-footer in three pieces, although my wrists and hands bear marks of my fluffing efforts. I still need to get a topper and a skirt, but I'm pretty proud of it for now! I bought a package of glittery snowflakes and icesicles for half-off at Hobby Lobby last week, and those covered a lot of tree!

As you can see from these pics, Claire has recently decided the camera is her friend. Whenever I turn it on in the last couple weeks, she grins so big! She's also getting really stable on her feet, and will even sidestep a little, moving from object to object, or along a couch.

29 November 2007

Feeling better!

Claire is still a little stuffy, but is kicking her cold in the behind! Bathtime seems to help her nose and lift her spirits.

I'm counting down the days until Christmas break! After this week is over, only two full weeks! I have no idea if I'm going to get through all the stuff I need to with my lesson plans, but I'm gonna try!

26 November 2007

First-Time Mom Syndrome

Today when I took Claire to the doctor, she was diagnosed with a little cold, I diagnosed myself with First-Time Mom Syndrome.

I didn't think I was going to be one of those moms who rushed her daughter to the doctor for the smallest sniffle, but it appears I am. I would read some letter to an advice columnist in a Parenting magazine like this: "I've taken my daughter to the doctor twice, only to find out she's just teething. How do I tell the difference between regular teething pains and a legitimate sickness?" and scoff secretly at those moms. How silly! Do these moms have nothing better to do? Then I see what it feels like to have a suffering child who can't tell you what hurts or how bad it hurts or why she's waking up three or four times in the night. I stayed home from work today, scheduled Claire a doctor's appointment, only to find out this afternoon that she has a little cold. I've become one of those moms!

Yesterday evening, she became very congested, and when I used the aspirator bulb, I got lots of thick, yellowish-green snot. Then her eyes started running. Baby book says that's a reason to go the doctor. Turns out she's going to be fine, no prescription drugs needed! We're very thankful it's not an infection or the flu, but a tiny part of me wishes my worries had been justified: I guess I wanted to hear that it was good I brought her in, diagnosing it early will make for an easy treatment to stave off the illness. Instead, I feel like a worrywart and a hookey-player, and Claire is still stuffy and fussy. Oh well, six and a half months with no sickness is a pretty good record! Thank you, Lord!

24 November 2007

Mauck Thanksgiving baby fun

We made it home last night from two days of family fun in Kansas. There were five babies born in 2007: Drew in February, Lauren in March (2 months early), Claire in May, Kerrigan in June, and Katelyn two weeks ago! The second picture is the closest I came to capturing all of them at once. We wanted to get a shot of all of them lined up on a couch or something, but we never could get all five awake and/or not eati ng at once! The Maucks are such a great family; I'm so proud to be a part of it. We have a couple world-traveling businessmen, an army wife and mom who's also a full-time ER nurse, farmers, teachers, stay-at-home moms, and of course, tons of cute kids! Including the babies, I counted ten kids under the age of five, and then our niece and nephew Zach and Abby, who are the big kids now, at 9 and 12.

The top pic is of Claire and Drew, the son of Tracy and Kourt, Jay's cousins who were so kind as to host us for a couple nights. His big brother Dylan was very good at entertaining Claire, and got her laughing really hard more than once. The third pic is of Jay and his cousin Matt, who along with Kim Mauck #1, had the fourth Mauck baby girl this year, Katelyn. The last pic is of Claire and cousin Kerrigan. It's becoming increasingly difficult to get a focused picture of Claire, as she's usually in motion.

Claire acquired a new skill while we were up there; she can now wave at people! She's been quite interested in twisting her hand at the wrist for the past couple weeks, but on Thursday, she started making this motion at people, and would smile and continue when they waved back. It's so neat so see her become so socially interactive!

Last year, we got to play some Nertz, but this year, with all the babies, we were all retiring by 9! We'll have to make up for it next year!

We still got to enjoy some Black Friday shopping, something experienced for the first time last year, as the Pannell family Thanksgiving has always been held on Friday. We're not a part of the hard-core bunch who leave at 6 a.m., but we did get out of the house by eight and hit up Target and a few other stores before coming back for lunch.

Claire handled the driving okay, considering she usually fusses after being in her seat for five minutes. With me and either Jay or Maw-Maw (Diane) sitting beside her, she seemed much more content. I kept a steady stream of toys and songs and games of peek-a-boo coming. Five hours was about her limit though; even after one stop, the last hour was a struggle both times. I think she was refusing to resign herself to what she probably thought was her life imprisonment.

19 November 2007

Wedding done!

Well, I left my camera at Mom's house, so I have no pics from the weekend with me! I really don't think I took many anyway; it was so crazy! I felt like we were kind of making up what we were doing as we went along, as I've never been to or helped plan a wedding in a home before! It's a different ballgame! When does everyone sit down? How do you get everyone to realize that it's now reception time, and cake and appetizers should be eaten? But it all turned out well, I think.

Tyler opened the ceremony by reading a little poem I wrote about his perspective on Grant joining the family. He did an excellent job, pausing at all the right moments, and smiling at the funny parts while the audience chuckled. Uncle Mike always does a great job with weddings, and this was no exception. Mom was so nervous, she could barely look up, but no one but the few of sitting in the room to the side of the ceremony knew that. My cousins Holly, Jenny, Mattie, and my their mom, my aunt Michelle, did a beautiful job singing "Listen to Our Hearts." And Claire only made a couple peeps! It was a beautiful, mild fall day, so we took pictures outside on the front porch, courtesy of cousin Cristy. Then we partook in wedding cake, courtesy Wendy Coley of Calera, who also did my wedding cake, German chocolate cake, courtesy Grant's mom Nita, cran-apple cinnamon punch, courtesy yours truly, and de-lish appetizers, courtesy Aunt Neila!

After Mom and Grant headed for their cabin in eastern Oklahoma, all us Pannells squatted at Mom's house to eat a yummy brisket dinner and watch the disappointing OU game. I ended up bailing to watch Ella Enchanted with the little girls, I'm sorry to say.

Today, I got Claire's 6-month pictures made at Sears, and they're so good! All readers should receive at least a wallet-sized pic next time we see ya! She wore a cute little red sweatshirt jacket and jeans with embroidered hearts, and also her fancy Christmas dress. Her outfit-making accessory was one of Audrey's adorable red Mini-Bling hairbows. You've got to check out her store, Lady Jane Bowtique. Any bow that will stick in Claire's hair is amazing, and they're also cute and affordable! Claire actually models in a few pics on the site!

14 November 2007

Milestones and sad news

In the past week, Claire has started a scooty-crawl, can push herself up to sitting, and can pull herself up to standing! She's well on her way to mobility, folks!
Last night and today, she got to play with cousins Carson and Kerrigan! Carson really enjoyed her, and Kerrigan liked watching her!
I'm so excited for Thanksgiving Break, which begins tomorrow night at 9 p.m.! I've got Parent-Teacher Conference until then! Yuck! Then it's a whirl of wedding planning Friday and wedding fun Saturday.
We were so sorry to hear about the death of a longtime Mauck family friend, Ray Crook today, of Mineral Wells, Texas. He was "Wild Man"'s dad, and we're so sad to think of how much Steve will miss his daddy.

09 November 2007

Happy Halloween (even though it's almost Thanksgiving!)

Okay, this has been a crazy week, so I'm sorry to all. I got Claire a bunny costume for Halloween, but she didn't really wear it anywhere except on her quilt in the living room. Oh well. She'll really enjoy it next year, I'm sure.

We're trying to introduce foods to Claire, but most days, she's not a big fan. The last pic, she was actually pretty into her bananas, and seemed to like grabbing on to the spoon herself and putting it into her mouth. She didn't even care which end she ended up chewing on!

I think most of my readers know that my mom is getting married next weekend. We're so happy for Mom and Grant, and whirling around trying to get things sorted out for the ceremony and reception. We're so glad to have Aunt Neila helping us out, though!

24 October 2007

23 October 2007

Look at me!

I am becoming more expressive and independent everyday. Yesterday, Mommy recorded me sitting up all by myself for one minute and 30 seconds, miraculously distracting her from Dancing with the Stars for that long! (She tried to post the video without success.)

I've also started reaching out for people when I want them to hold me. It's so nice to be able to tell people who I want! Today when Mommy came and got me from Great-Aunt Clara's house, I practically leaped to Mommy!

This weekend, my great-uncle Matt and second cousin Mattie rocked me to sleep at Nana and Grandad's house. It was very nice.

Also, my uncle Kyle has a new website. His voice always gets my attention. Every time he talks, I either stare wide-eyed or start crying. He's a little frightening.

21 October 2007

Little scooter

I bought a huge quilt over the weekend; Claire's baby blankets won't contain this scooter. She ends up with a mouthful of carpet, my hair, and hopefully not cricket guts when she scoots off her blanket.
Fall Break has been wonderful: I've spent a good 12 hours grading 9 weeks tests and papers, but I've also gotten to do a little antique shopping, had my hair cut and colored, clean house, and spend an afternoon at Nana and Grandad's watching OU pull out a too-narrow victory.
If I had four-day weekends every week, I think I would be able to strike a pretty good balance between work, sleep, family, and housework!
One month until Thanksgiving Break! In between now and then, it's The Canterbury Tales with my seniors, memoir writing with my juniors, short story reading and poetry writing with my sophomores, and who knows what with my freshmen (I've got some planning to do).

15 October 2007

Long, tall Claire!

Well, we went for Claire's four-month check-up today (even though she's five months old--I missed her four-month appointment and had to reschedule. Bad mother of the week, folks!). She took her shots fairly well. About two minutes of outraged, hurting crying, which hurts me, too, but then she calmed down pretty quickly. This evening, I've had to give her Tylenol again, as she's started fussing again, and it's her "I'm hurting" fuss. It's so neat to be able to tell what she's feeling by the way she cries. In the beginning, I felt like I was just trying different things until something worked, but now I feel like I know what's wrong and have an arsenal of remedies to choose from.
Claire's becoming more and more social. Today she grinned at anybody who talked to her: the doctor, the nurses (before they stabbed her), the receptionist. Everyone was delighted with her. One of my favorite moves is when someone talks to her and she gets so delighted that she kicks her legs and buries her head in my neck for second. Prelude to peek-a-boo?
She's in the 50th percentile for weight, and the 90th for height! So she's a long baby. Jay is convinced this means she's inherited some of our recessive height genes. I don't think we can rush to any conclusions just yet.
This pic is Claire in her toy basket. She loves to pick through and choose things to stick in her mouth.

13 October 2007

She's about to take off!

The reason this pic is a little blurry is that Claire is in motion. She sits up like this for about two wobbly seconds, and then tumps over softly. She's about to be able to do it on her own.

The remote is one of her favorite toys; it's one we've never used, and doesn't work, but it still lights up when she presses a button.

In nutrition news, she's still a completely breastfed baby. I've tried rice cereal two or three times in the past couple weeks, and she never seems very interested. I've read that babies don't need anything but milk until six months, but some babies are ready to eat before then. She's always mesmerized when she sits in someone's lap who's eating, and she'd doubled her birth weight, two signs the baby could be ready for eating. But the most she really does is try to chew on the spoon.

03 October 2007

Fun times with the fam!

Wow, this weekend already seems like it was a week ago! Anyway, Claire and I went with my fam to do a little eating and shopping this weekend. Claire looks a little uncomfortable in this picture, but she was smiling and laughing!
When we got in the restaurant, she got a little fussy, so I got her little pink fleece doll, paci, and blanket, and she went to sleep in like five minutes! That doll is amazing. Give it and her paci to her when she's sleepy, and she's out in no time! She buries her face in the doll.

26 September 2007

Here, I was looking through a Pottery Barn catalog on the floor beside Claire. The sound of turning pages intrigued her so much that she scooted off her blanket up to the magazine, where she promptly devoured it. Like mother, like daughter!

This might seem a little weird that I'm tickling Claire with my foot, but you'll see in the video that she didn't laugh as much when I did it with my hand!

A couple more fun facts about Claire right now: The song "Little Bunny Foo Foo" has some sort of magical hypnotic power over her. When she's fussy, 7 times out of 10, if I sing this ditty, she'll calm down. That's only for carseat or bored fussy, not hungry or tired fussy. I can now sing this song and put on make-up, do mental lesson plans, eat a snack, etc. It's officially on the soundtrack of my life, along with "Hey, Hey We're the Monkeys!" (for my students) and "Sleep When I'm Dead" (except for those involuntary naps I take when I get home from school three days out of the week).

Claire is also teething now, we just officially realized last night. She's been drooling a lot for a couple weeks, but the last couple days, she's been having some fussy-for-no-reason spells, and last night she actually had a little fever, so she's gotten regular doses of Baby Tylenol since then, and she's been fine. Last night was a little rough, as I wasn't cognizant enough to give her the medicine until 4 a.m., when she'd already woken up twice before that.

23 September 2007

What's Claire doing?

She is:
  • Slapping the pages of hymn books during church.
  • Gumming on everything in sight, especially her fists. Sometimes she likes to stick both in her mouth at once.
  • Looking at board books.
  • Grabbing onto her feet when she's laying on her back.
  • Rubbing her face when she's tired.
  • Riding the four-wheeler with Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw.
  • Giggling when I toss her in the air.
  • Rolling all over the place.
  • Lifting her little bottom up in the air when she's on her tummy.
  • Scooting short distances by using the maneuver above .

I love my weekends with her, and I think she does, too. Whenever I pick her up after school, she always squints at me for a second, breaks into her big, open-mouthed grin, and starts kicking her legs in excitement. She makes every day sweet.

15 September 2007

Barely hanging on..

Claire is becoming quite helpful! Here she is holding my Sonic Blast in the back seat of my mom's car when we went to Norman last weekend.

She's getting to where she laughs out loud quite often, but whenever I try to catch it, she becomes mesmerized by the orange light on my camera, and the smile melts away. Instead, I get this cross-eyed, slack-mouthed look.

I have no idea how I'm hanging on, but it's by a thread. Some days, my students get the short shrift, some days, my daughter does, but I can't seem to be my best for both at once. Working moms everywhere, I salute you!

I have some exciting news, though. I met with the editor and publisher of Oklahoma Today in Moore last weekend, and I might have a work-from-home position with the magazine next year. I don't feel like I should publish many more details online just yet, but I'm praying it works out. Teaching next year would probably be a lot easier than this year, just because I won't be doing as much lesson planning every night, but it won't get any easier to leave my daughter everyday.

Jay is still working long hours at the restaurant, especially this weekend, as it's the Kingston Striper Festival.

28 August 2007

Claire speaks!

Hi everyone! This is me and my friend, Spike. I like to watch him when I'm at Maw-Maw's house during the day.
Today when Mommy got home from school, I was so happy! I love to lay on my back and play with my rattle toys.
~ Claire

26 August 2007

First full week of school--OVER!

Over the weekend, Claire and I went with my mother-in-law Diane and her friend Diane (!) to Dallas to see Paula Deen Live! It was great fun! Claire only got fussy a few times, and that was in her car seat, not in the show, thankfully. Paula Deen is even more silly and funny than she is on Paula's Home Cooking. It was amazing to me that probably 2,000 people paid about $50 a pop to come see her! It was a fun show, though. Her husband Michael and her son Bobby were both there, too, and the first hour was like a talk-show format with Paula talking to everyone in the audience and her and her family telling funny stories about their lives and how Paula got started with the Bag Lady and all that. Then she did a quick cooking segment, but really her assistants did all the cooking, and she just kept laughing and telling stories. She was a hoot, totally unscripted and totally sincere. AND we got to submit questions before the show for Paula to answer, and mine got asked! It was Diane's idea to ask what Paula's grandson Jack's favorite foods that his Granny fixes are. She couldn't think of a particular one, but she said he sure like the squash casserole she fixed a couple weeks ago.

I've only been a teacher for seven school days, but I feel like I've learned enough to have a B.A. in education! Teaching is exhilirating and exhausting, fun and frustrating. These feelings seem like they're all amplified at a small school, where I'm teaching four grade levels and four different curricula, and junior class sponsor and student council sponsor! Picture me last Monday night after our first library day, realizing that the next day, I was going to have to introduce four different works! Up to that point, all my classes had been doing the same introductory type activities, but last week, I had to get into the swing of grabbing a new set of notes and textbook, writing a new bell work activity on the board, and working with a new set of kids every hour. It can be overwhelming, but my days just fly by!

And then when I get home, Claire is such a great de-stresser. I change clothes, grab a drink and snack, and then settle in with Claire on the couch. While I feed her, I watch that day's Paula's Home Cooking (I DVR them!). Then we play for a little while. I thought being a first-year mommy would make being a first-year teacher more stressful, but in reality, I think Claire is making me a better teacher--I'm more relaxed and less frazzled then I would be without her, I think. If I didn't have a baby I had to devote the majority of my evenings to, I know I would be spending way too much time at school after the last bell rings, and working a lot more at home on lesson plans and grading in the evenings. As it is, I have to leave school no later than 3:30 because that's how long the breastmilk supply I leave for Claire will last. Then I wait to do school work until Jay comes home and can take Claire to get her bathed and ready for bed. I don't get graded work back the next day, and I don't think through every moment of the class period, but I think that's how most teachers operate. Claire forces me to relax!

I said to Jay the other day that he and I are both probably working harder now than we ever have before in our lives, and we're doing that as new parents. It's hard, but we're both doing what we love, and our time at home together seems so much more precious and special now.

19 August 2007

New skill!

Claire can now push herself up on her elbows when she's on her tummy! My brother Tyler said, "She looks like a human!"

Claire and Kerrigan together for the first time!

We finally got to meet Kerrigan this weekend! Claire's got five weeks on her. It'll be so fun to see them discover each other in a few months.

17 August 2007

I'm a working mom!

I wrote a post about my first couple days over at my teacher blog, but over here, I'll just talk about Claire. She's been doing pretty well with her Maw-Maw this week, I think. Yesterday she did have a stomachache that made her cry half the day and blow out several diapers, but today she seems to have made a full recovery. Also, I think she's going to drink about as much milk as I'm able to pump at school each day, so that's good. I want to be able to provide for her as long as possible. I read the other day that formula will set you back between $1,400 and 4,000 a year! Yet another reason to breastfeed.

Jay has been flipping burgers at his and Preston's restaurant in Kingston almost every night until close at 7 or 8. Yuck! I am not liking the restaurant business, especially when I have work to do each night for school the next day that I normally can't get accomplished until Daddy gets home.

Well I'm off to take a much-needed walk with my baby.

14 August 2007

Kitchen Adventures post!

Hey, I just posted two great breakfast-on-the-go recipes for the price of one on mine and Audrey's neglected cooking blog: Cappuccino muffins and Oatmeal pancakes!

10 August 2007

Working on my classroom!

I cannot believe I will be teaching high school students next week!! We had New Teacher Orientation today: in the high school, there were three coach/teachers, a family and consumer sciences (that's home ec for you old-schoolers) teacher, a middle school math teacher, a fourth-grade teacher, and me! The fourth-grade teacher is a friend of mine, and we were the only two first-years, but she student-taught at our school last year, and has worked in the office there all through college. So I'm the only true newbie. She gave me the grand tour today.

I also tried out pumping at school today--this isn't going to be easy, but lots of parenthood isn't, right? At least my door locks, and my planning period is close to the middle of the day. (For those of you who wonder what I mean by pumping, you don't want to know--I'm just letting the mommies out there know what I'm up to!)

Claire stayed with Maw-maw and Paw-paw today, another good half-day before the full days start next Monday! Yikes! I stay so busy (more like overwhelmed!) at school that I don't feel like I'm missing her too much yet, but once I see her when I get home, I feel terrible for having missed another day with her. I feel like it takes her a minute to realize that it's me. (This is an approximation of her expression.)

08 August 2007

Mama in Springfield

I've been Simpsonized! Go here to do it.

07 August 2007

Rattles are funny!

I can't get enough of those giggles!

06 August 2007

Fun with family!

Claire and I had a full weekend of family! Thursday night, Jay's brother Brian, his wife Jennifer, and their kids Zach and Abby came down to meet Claire. Zach was very good at making Claire laugh, and Abby is good at getting her relaxed and sleepy.

Friday, My cousin Lissa, her husband Elliott, and their adorable 16-month-old daughter Emma came down from Indiana for a few days. Also my Aunt Neila, Uncle Danny, and their adorable 2-year-old, Allie! Emma loved to be near her cousin Claire, as you can see in her blog post about this meeting.

We filled up Mom's pool about to capacity, played Nerts (those darn Indianans have been practicing!), and had lots of good talks about parenthood. Lissa and Elliott celebrated their anniversary while they were here by sharing a blizzard at the Dairy Queen.

Jay didn't get to come, as he and Preston just bought a restaurant. Jay was literally cooking food for paying customers. Scary! So everyone go to the Burger Shoppe in Kingston to eat a delicious burger or chicken strip basket! Preston is actually a really good fry cook, so Jay is learning. They'll hire a manager soon, so they will not be doing the dirty work for very long. Fine time for Jay to be helping out at the restaurant though, when I'm starting school! August 13 is the first day for teachers, and the kids start August 16. I'm hard at work writing an Oklahoma Today story about blogs (so I figured a break from writing to post to one of my blogs was quite appropriate).

Claire's new friend!

Claire meets a new friend, Dawson! Notice how in the video both babies start fussing, but I just laugh and keep on filming! What a great mom. They just looked so cute, struggling away on their tummies! Dawson is five months old, and he's Jay's partner Preston and his wife Alycia's third child.

30 July 2007

Rolling along...

Claire has rolled over from her back to her tummy! She actually did this last week, but I've been trying to get a video of it. For now, she's doing it repeatedly when no camera is on her, and lying perfectly still when my camera is on.

She's also really improving her grip, yanking three or four hairs out of my head quite often.

23 July 2007

Claire hits the green for the first time

We had a great time tonight at a friend's birthday party, where Claire experienced her first golf course! The family lives on Silverado golf course, so we went out to hit balls around after dinner. The weather was perfect, and Claire enjoyed the soft grass and nice breeze.

Happy birthday to my brother Tyler, who turned 8 today!

We had a great weekend, driving back and forth to Atoka, where our good friends Seth and Kara Fairchild were married. Jay was in the wedding. Seth made up his "personal words" (not vows) to Kara on the spot, and then sang a song at the reception he'd written for her only a few days before! Good times. I took zero pictures of Claire at her first wedding, but she looked so cute, wearing her white Mary Janes and lace headband! We loved seeing old friends we hadn't seen in a long time, including Josh and Tiffany Howe and their four-and-a-half month old daughter, Adelida. She's about twice as big as Claire!

Last week, we also got to visit with Aunt Neila and Allie, who turned 2 just a couple months ago, and is absolutely delightful. She had just woken up from a too-short nap in this picture, but her energy picked up shortly thereafter. She loved to "love Claire."

14 July 2007

The day after shots...

Claire and I had our most traumatic experience since birth Friday: her first set of shots. It was positively awful. As I'm sure my fellow mothers know, I had to hold my child's arms down while she screamed with pain and betrayal. I do not look forward to her 8wks appointment. When we got home, I gave her some baby Tylenol, and she was fussy until she conked out for two and a half hours, an unusually long nap for the morning.

But I did get to hear how healthy Claire is! She weighs in at 12lbs 4 oz, and is 23 inches long! That puts her in the 75th percentile for height and weight, which is normal for breastfed babies, her doctor said. She's gained 4lbs 10 oz and 3 inches since birth. Everything else, except for her blocked tear duct, looked great!

Jay actually had to deal with Claire's fussiness all alone for a good part of the day. As it was a rainy day, Jay didn't miss much work while he stayed home with Claire to let me go see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! I need to think about it a little before I say it was the best film of the series, but it was certainly awesome!

10 July 2007

Claire discovers her feet!

Another milestone! The last couple days, she looks like she's trying to do crunches to lift her upper body up and look down at her feet! It seems like by the time I get a video up of her doing something new, she's developed again, to doing it better or doing something else!

This is my last week of work, and then I'll have about a month at home with Claire to get my classroom and lesson plans ready and work on a couple Oklahoma Today assignments.

06 July 2007

God bless America, and my double-chinned little girl!

Claire slept right through her first fireworks show, can you believe it? After a never-ending set of mud volleyball games at my mom's house, we finally started shooting them off at 10 p.m., putting us at home that night around midnight. Of course, when we got home, Claire was wide awake.

03 July 2007

She speaks!

This clip is a bit long; it took Claire a minute to get tuned up. You'll hear me say that I've never heard her coo that long before, but since I filmed this on Sunday, she's started doing this everyday! It's amazing what changes and advances each day brings!

Hope everyone has a safe, fun Fourth of July! We'll probably have a soggy one down here. Lake Texoma is expected to go over the emergency spillway by Friday, the first time since 1990!

Other family news is that Ranger has miraculously recovered from what the vet said was a terminal case of mouth cancer! That's right, this dog just won't die. He's eaten a 2-lb bag of Halloween chocolate, been shot, and now been diagnosed with cancer, but he's as healthy a dad gum dog we've ever seen. When Jay first called the vet to ask about Ranger's condition--he was not eating because of a huge lump on the side of his mouth, beside his teeth--they said he probably had some sort of infection because of a bug bite. But then when Jay took him in, they immediately said it was cancer and there was nothing they could do. Because Ranger couldn't eat dry food, Jay bought him some gourmet last meals--canned dog food--and spoon-fed him for a few days, thinking each meal might be his last. However, after about four days of this treatment, Ranger bounced back, seemingly overnight. No sore, and his energy was back. Now we've got two dogs who are addicted to canned dog food. It's a miracle!

28 June 2007

Daddy reads to Claire

At the very beginning of this clip, you'll hear Jay reading aloud to Claire. I had ro sneak up on him to catch him being sweet.

26 June 2007

Claire's new toy

Claire has recently discovered her hands. Today at work I put this ring in her hand. At this point, she'd already looked at it for a while, and wasn't quite as into it as she was at first. (Isn't that how it always happens? By the time you grab the camera, the moment's gone.) That big red spot on the side of her head is a bug bite, I think. It showed up this morning. I will be going after anything that crawls or flies in our house with a vengeance this afternoon!

23 June 2007

Sleepy Claire

Isn't she sweet? Kyle says she always cries when he holds her, but she seems perfectly content here! She sleeps with her hands over her face a lot, especially when she's laying on her side like this.

21 June 2007

Growth spurt!

Claire is now six weeks old, and according to Dr. Sears' The Baby Book, this is a time when many babies go through a growth spurt, signaled by more frequent feedings and a general higher need. Good to know she's growing! She's eating every hour and a half to two hours during the day, and every two to three hours at night. Just before this spurt started, I was bragging about how she normally only wakes up once at night, sleeping four hours on either side of that feeding, and then this hit! Here's a pic of one of her brief morning naps at work.

20 June 2007

Claire enjoys her floor mat

Mommy and Daddy's Quality Time

Here are a couple pics of how Mommy and Daddy spend our quality time with Claire: Jay is doing her exercises with her, and I'm reading a book to her.

She is getting really good at holding her head up and kicking her legs. Sometimes it really does seem like she's supporting herself for a second or two, and we're just helping her balance.

Her new favorite thing to do is to lay on an activity mat. Paula at my work brought one her grandsons used to use for Claire to lay on in my office, and she was so enthralled with it that I remembered I had one of those at home, too! We set it up last night, and she gazes up and kicks her legs and coos away at the little toys hanging down. I've got a great video of this, but Google is not wanting to accept it!!

18 June 2007

Non-Claire news!

In my excitement that the Claire pics finally went through, I forgot to mention a couple other family milestones that actually happened on the same day! On June 12, Claire got a new cousin and her mommy and daddy celebrated three years of marriage! (Whoops, it turned into Claire news!) Go read Kerrigan Reese Mauck's exciting birth story, which spans two continents and is a great example of God's faithfulness to His faithful.

13 June 2007

Claire at work

I'm so sorry for the lag in posting. I've tried to post pics several times in the past week, and Blogger has not been letting me! Anyway, the first pic is of Claire in her Boppy on the floor of my office. She stays pretty happy, being passed from mother to grandmother to aunt, eating while I do things on the computer one-handed, and sleeping on her blanket or Boppy. The second pic is of my niece Abby holding Claire yesterday at Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw's house after church. The is the only picture I've managed to get of Claire smiling. It seems like she smiles a lot, but it's so difficult to tear yourself away from her, grab the camera, and then catch a smile! Plus, as soon as I put the camera in front of her face, she stares open-mouthed at it, and smiles are gone.

In the past week, she's started cooing quite often--that's got to be the sweetest sound known to man! Everyday, she seems more alert and aware of what is going on around her. It seems like her smiles are becoming more social, that is, in response to what we're doing, rather than what's going on inside her little body. She's also trying to hold her head up for longer periods of time. Jay loves to "work out" with her, holding her up to his shoulder to see how long she'll hold her head up, and holding her upright with her legs in his lap to see if she'll kick off a little. He likes to think she's waaay ahead of other babies in terms of her development...and the competition begins!

05 June 2007

The first month is officially over!

Well we're by no means experienced parents yet, but at least we're getting used to it. I'm back at work today, so I'll probably be crashing after lunch. Thank goodness my boss is letting me work from home part of the day; I might have to sneak in a quick nap!

Nights are going pretty good though, really. Last night, I fed Claire at about 10:30, she went to sleep around 11, and then she woke up at 2:45 and ate, and then again at 6:15. She has one four-hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep most nights. Then during the day she eats about every 2-3 hours, and takes catnaps in between. Another reason for my lag in posting last week was that Claire went through a bit of a "high-need" phase, which happens whenever they go through a growth spurt, I read in one of my books. These usually occur at 3wks, 6wks, 3 months, and on and off in between. It seemed like I fed her all day long for a couple days! She's also been spitting up a lot more lately; I can see why, as she's getting to where she gulps her meals down so fast. She doesn't really do many exciting things, except look like an angel, and make lots of funny faces when she's waking up and when she's doing her business. Despite her sweetness, she is the new boss of our house, without a doubt! I told Jay last night, "You don't know busy until you have a kid, huh?" It's like there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done! Even simple things, like the week's laundry, take two days instead of one afternoon, or cooking even the fastest dinner seems like way too much trouble. Those tasks really seem pretty unimportant now, though.

Flailing helplessly in Daddy's arms: prelude to doggy-paddling?

Claire's first swim

Sorry for the lag; our Internet was down at our house. But now I'm back at work, so blogging free-for-all! Don't worry, my boss is letting me bring Claire in until I'm comfortable leaving her for a few hours. So I'm just coming in in the mornings with her and then working from home in the afternoons. I'll be back here at GEAR UP for six weeks, and then will have three weeks off before school starts!! Yes, Aunt Neila I will be teaching high school at your alma mater! I went to the school yesterday to get my books, and whoa do I have a lot of reading to do this summer! That's how it goes when you teach four grade levels.
Claire got a new swimsuit (not her first, actually) at Pops' house last night (my dad's in Pottsboro), so we decided to let her test the water. She wasn't such a fan of the pool, but she really liked the hot tub (which had been turned off for a few days, so it felt like her bathwater). She had a real peaceful look on her face, except when Uncle Tyler would make too many waves, or when we put her adorable sunglasses on her, and then she would scowl for a second before returning to her Zen-like state.