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!

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