24 January 2008

Little Messpot!


My brother has jacked my camera battery, so this is an old picture that has no relation to this post, but I know my readers are not happy unless their visual sense is stimulated!

Claire is now a full-on messpot. If she's awake, she's crawling around and getting into stuff, mostly stuff she shouldn't get into. She's now put three pieces of dog food in her mouth, shut her fingers in drawers twice, and pulled every item out of my purse about 157 times. Hmmm...maybe this is just negligent parenting? When I get home from school, I have to just decompress on the couch for a while, and this is usually when she gets into most of her trouble. Also, I have to cook occasionally, and she's only happy in her high chair for so long, so she roams some then, too. Generally, I just leave everything she gets out on the floor until I've put her to bed, and then I (try to) put it all away before I go to bed, so it doesn't feel like we live in chaos. I feel like that enough at school.

In other news, the Burger Shoppe had a minor drama this morning. At their first scheduled large party breakfast (the Six Old Geezers, of which Pa Mauck is now a member!), they were fighting a small fire! Some rags that the cooks used to wipe a hot grill had been smoldering overnight in the trash can in the kitchen, causing the whole place to reek of smoke when the staff and the geezers arrived that morning. Jay and Preston battled the blaze while serving up some biscuits and gravy. What a talented man my husband is! The restaurant just started serving breakfast this month, and it's going pretty well so far. Jay and Preston just finished renovating it, too: two flat-screen TVs, a granite countertop where customers place orders, new lights over the tables, and all new paint jobs inside and out. Business is better than it's ever been at that little place, I'm proud to say!

We're supposed to get some freezing precip tonight, so I could get a surprise day off tomorrow!

18 January 2008

She can stand!

I was messing around on the computer just now when Claire pushed herself up on my legs and let go, standing unassisted for a good five second! Wow!

16 January 2008

Pat-a-Cake

According to Claire's admirers, she is already good at sharing! She's taken to offering us bites of slimy Zwiebacks and sucks of her paci. It's pretty cute. When we accept, she gives her little impish grin.

Today, I was reading her nursery rhymes and when I did "Pat-a-Cake," she started clapping! That must be a Maw-Maw trick, because I hardly ever sing that song. She loves to clap, as you can see in the previous post, but I've mostly just seen her do it when she's happy.

She's now eating baby food about three times a day, albeit tiny portions. She appears to enjoy the first five or six bites, and then she'll take a couple force-fed bites, and then she refuses. Her faves seem to be pears, sweet potatoes, and this baby yogurt with fruit and cereal mixed in. She also loves to feed herself, and has since we first gave puffs to her about a month ago. She eats Zwiebacks, these weird rice rusk things, fruity Cheerios, and Gerber puffs.

Jay returns tonight from yet another trip to explore hunting land in Kansas. Yes, it's true. We have so much money just laying around that we have to invest it in things like recreational land six hours away. Isn't life grand?

School was actually really good today. I had a rousing debate with my seniors on the double standard that men like to apply with their wives: when Macbeth kills Duncan, it's Lady Macbeth's fault, but when he has victory on the battlefield, that's all Macbeth's doing. Gotta love these guys trying to provoke me and the other girls into a hissy fit! Tomorrow, I'm taking the seniors to see Beowulf at our little theater in Caddo. Baby steps for my first field trip!

13 January 2008

Happy Birthday to Jay!






Jay turned 30 last Thursday! Wow, we can't believe it. Look at Claire's fake smile in this pic! It looks like she knew she was supposed to make a certain face for the camera, but doesn't quite have it figured out. Since Jay had to work at the restaurant on his birthday and the next night, we ate at Bubba's last night with our families and constant companions, Seth and Kara. Since Claire can't say "Happy Birthday, Dad!" yet, I made her a shirt that said it!





Claire likes to stand at our back door and talk to the dogs.



videoAnd here she displays her new skill, clapping! She loves to clap! At both basketball games she's been to, she's clapped happily for the home team!

01 January 2008

2007 Retrospective

It has been a year of change for our little family! Claire has made our lives so much more meaningful and rich, and our new jobs have made us both more busy and stressed than we've ever been before! If it weren't for Claire, I think we'd both be grouchy and tired all the time! When we think we have no energy left, we'll laugh at her little expression or share a sweet moment observing her growth.

In January, we had a huge ice storm that had me home from work and my brother and their brand-new foreign exchange student, Angelica, at our house for three nights. Looking back at the pics of the dogs in our house makes me feel kind of bad for them always abandoned in the backyard. February 07 was when their new home was enclosed, and we officially became responsible pet owners, whose dogs are no longer free to terrorize the neighbors' cows and children or be shot at.

We spent much of our time at home in February and March redoing Claire's room and agonizing over her name. Baby showers and more name debates marked our April. As my due date drew nearer, I became more and more offended at people suggesting the doctor's estimates for my delivery date were far too late, based on their expertise in belly circumference of pregnant women.

May 2, my due date, came and went, and as I had stopped working the week before that, I became extremely bored and antsy. Alas, no cleaning streak ever kicked in! On Saturday, May 5, my extreme boredom drove me to ask Jay if he wanted to go fishing. So I found a 10-months-pregnant-me (that's right, human gestation lasts 10 months, not 9) in a tiny fishing dinghy with only an outboard motor to propel me back to shore should all the sloshing and bumping cause my water to break. No such luck. However, the next morning around 3 a.m., contractions woke me up. Hooray! The next day, we welcomed Baby Girl Mauck, soon to become Claire Diane.

While I was in labor, I got a call from a friend of Jay's, who had recently been named principal of his school. After he'd checked on how I was doing, he offered me a job teaching middle school English. I told him I'd have to think about it and got back to childbirth. When I got home from the hospital, I accepted my first teaching job! (I was later promoted to high school, a change for which I'm now very grateful.)

May and June were mostly spent at home, with Claire and I figuring out our new lives. My brother Kyle graduated high school, and in June, Claire got a new cousin, Kerrigan Reese Mauck on the same day that Jay and I celebrated our third anniversary.

In July, Jay and his partner Preston bought the Burger Shoppe in Kingston. I can't believe they've had that for six months already! Claire also got to meet all the Pannell clan for the Fourth, so that was lots of fun.

In August, I became a working mom, and it was not pretty. In the first couple months, I took lots of naps with Claire in the evenings, rarely cooked dinner, and rarely got enough sleep. It got a little better in the second nine weeks. In August, Claire and I also got to go see our favorite kitchen inspiration, Paula Deen. To this day, when I turn on Paula Deen, Claire is mesmerized! Yesterday, she even clapped her hands for her.

Around the time Claire hit the six-month-mark, at the end of October and first of November, she became much more independent, sitting up by herself, grabbing toys much easier, and starting to scoot.

In November, we were thrilled to see my mom marry Grant. A few days later, we made our first trip with Claire to Kansas for the Mauck family Thanksgiving.

December marked my halfway point through my first year teaching, and a much-needed break. Claire is now almost eight months old, and is crawling, pulling up and standing while holding on, eating solid foods, self-feeding, and becoming very vocal and social. This life holds many blessings for us right now!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here's Kyle, Manda, and Ty playing Kyle's big Christmas gift from Mom, the Rock Star video game. Even though it doesn't look like it in the picture, it is so fun!

Below is my cousin, Lissa, with her baby, Emma.


Here's Claire on Christmas morning at my mom's. The newest member of our family, Grant, is holding her in the next one.

Claire and Ty check out Claire's new wagon.

Claire and Paw-Paw check out her first Cabbage Patch Doll.



Our best Christmas present!

Claire did not think that was very funny, Great-Grandma.




I took a holiday break from blogging! Anyway, my flash wasn't working for some of these pics; fine time for my camera to go on the fritz. We've had a fabu time with family, food, presents, and plenty of relaxing and a bit of shopping between. Hope you have, too!