29 March 2008

Easter has come and gone...and no pics

Sorry guys. The week back from spring break ate my lunch. To top it off, I didn't have my camera with me at the Easter get-together at Nana and Grandad's, so no pics from that, either! That was the day of Jay's big fishing tournament in Madill, and he HAD to have the camera to take pictures of all FIVE of the fish he caught! Suffice it to say, Jay and partner Matt Ford did not win. They barely beat the newcomer team of Dave Smith Jr. and his five-year-old son!
Mom and Manda took a bunch of pics of Claire, but we'll see if I ever get copies of those.
Yesterday was my b-day--thanks everyone for birthday well wishes (Nothing like Facebook to remind you of friends' birthdays. I'm the worst about remembering, so I'm glad of it!). Jay took me shopping and out to lunch. Finally, he's thought of a way to please me and get himself out of finding a gift for me in advance! He bought me the complete Harry Potter set of hardbacks, since I've always borrowed Mom's. Several of my students will be thrilled to borrow Book 7, since our library doesn't have it yet.
Other than that, I'm just hoping I'll wake up and prom will be over! Three more weeks!

19 March 2008

Up those calories, baby!

Hello everyone! Here's Claire enjoying he rewards of baking cookies with Mommy! No, these are not special baby cookies, just regular old oatmeal ones. Yum! And when I took her to the doctor's yesterday, I found out this actually could be construed as good for her!

We found out Claire is in the tenth percentile, weight-wise! So let's up that calorie intake! The doctor wasn't too worried about it; she just said to push that mommy milk. Claire's been refusing the bottle for the past month or so during the day at Maw-maw's house. The doc said it could be because her top gums are so tender from teething. Other than that, she's up to spec on all developmental milestones! But you better believe that I've been offering her all kinds of fatty and protein-rich foods today (mostly healthy ones!). Her fav foods right now are sweet peas, bread in any form, and pear. That could change next week, though! She couldn't get enough yogurt a couple weeks ago, and now she doesn't seem to care for it much.

Can we please take a moment to mourn the departure of the most, ahem, entertaining, shall we say, dancer on Dancing with the Stars? I miss Maks! My fave stars so far this season are Marissa, the original Broadway Tracy Turnblad whose positive energy is contagious, Marlee Matlin, the deaf Oscar winner who cannot hear the music but feels the beat through her partner, and Kristi Yamaguchi, who scored all 9's the first night! Yay for DWTS! But it's not the same without Maks.

Now, from reality TV to English poetry! That's me! I memorized a great poem today, to say to Claire. I just finished Burning Bright, by Tracy Chevalier, the author of Girl with the Pearl Earring who I got to go see a couple weeks ago in Dallas. (That makes about two complete novels I've now read over the break! One complete and two halves.) Anyway, Burning Bright is historical fiction about the poet William Blake in 18th century London. Chevalier included some of Blake's poems in their entirety at the end of the book, and I loved this one:

The Lamb

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Does thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice;
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Does thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by His Name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee.
Little Lamb, God bless thee.

16 March 2008

She can walk--sort of!

Claire took her first steps! We've been trying to coax her, sitting or squatting just out of her reach when she's standing, and she's been lunging to our outstretched hands, but today she did it! With a big grin, in bare feet, she took two very shaky steps. I caught her and threw her up in the air. She loves that! First steps: 10 months, 9 days old. Thank You, Lord!

15 March 2008

Spring Break!

Hello from the wonderful world of Spring Break! Woohoo!! I'm sure I don't know quite what to do with myself. When I know I have all next week to take care of personal stuff, it's hard to be motivated to do my usual Saturday housecleaning. Blogging is the perfect procrastinator!

Claire's hair is growing, as you can see by these silly little pigtails Mommy imposed on her.

Another of her favorite things to do is punch buttons, including on the laptop. She loves looking at pictures of her cousins and second and third cousins online, as you can see here with Allie, Owen, and Emma!

Our only spring break plans are relaxing, sleeping, reading, watching movies, and cooking, and we're so excited!

07 March 2008

Mostly better!

To answer my lovely commenters' questions, no, Claire never got the stomach bug, thank goodness. Even Diane, or Maw-Maw, had it, and Claire stayed at their house Wednesday evening when Jay and I were incapacitated. Thanks, Paw-Paw, for coming to the rescue with Pedialyte, chicken noodle soup, and baby-sitter service. As soon as Paul came and got Claire, at about 4 p.m., Jay and I went almost right to sleep, and slept until 9! I felt almost 100 percent when I woke up, but Jay was still a little sick yesterday, but is mostly better today.

I went to school yesterday, where we were again hit with a huge snowstorm, this time midday. Those poor juniors were out delivering and selling doughnuts in the freezing morning temps, but most got back before the bad weather hit. The reason I had to talk to so many parents on the phone is that we're not supposed to let kids leave school grounds without a note or talking to parents. I had permission slips ready to hand out Wednesday, but forgot to tell my sub to hand them out. Some kids remembered to have their parents write a note, but I still ended up saying variations of "Hi Jesse's dad! This is Mrs. Mauck. Can he go sell doughnuts today?" about 10 times.

They let us out of school at 2:30--oh thanks a lot, after five inches have already fallen! I had another scary drive, this time all the way from Caddo to Calera. It wouldn't have been so bad if those dang semis hadn't been driving at almost-regular speeds, splashing slush on my windshield every time they passed me! I made it all the way to Paul and Diane's driveway, by the mercy of God, and then got stuck! A neighbor of theirs, Wayne Carter, stopped and tried to direct me on how to accelerate myself out, to no avail. Although grateful for his helping me get my rear end out of oncoming traffic, I wasn't really sure how to take his directions like "Do you know how to hit the gas?" or when I said "My father-in-law's coming to get me; he's right there," "You're not going anywhere, someone's going to run you over!" Paul came and pulled me out, no questions asked. Again, Paw-Paw to the rescue! Jay drove over from home to drive Claire and I back home in his four-wheel drive.

Now I'm home for a built-in snow day, putting off the mountain of end-of-nine-weeks grading I need to do today. Yuck!

05 March 2008

Weird week

Like my cousin Lissa, we have also had an off week:

1) Monday night, we got about five inches of snow. Forecasts said temps would get up to 50 by noon the next day, so I was hoping for a school delay...no such luck! I had to cross a frozen tundra to get to work. I would say about a fourth of my students didn't make this journey, and another fourth were gone to a curriculum meet, so I got very little done Tuesday anyway. As the snow was melting all day long, a bunch of the kids wanted to play in it some during the day, but WERE NOT ALLOWED! That's right, high school kids had to STAY ON THE SIDEWALK during morning and lunch: no snowballs, no running around in it, nothing. This is the kind of thing that makes kids hate school. The ironic thing? We have a snow day scheduled for Friday.

2) Early this morning, both Jay and I started feeling sick at 3 a.m. This was also the time that Claire woke up to eat. Jay brought her to me, but I realized pretty quickly I did not have time to feed her because my dinner was coming up. He took her back, but then realized he had the same feeling. He had to dump her in the living room floor on the way to the guest bathroom. Poor Claire was crawling around squalling while Jay and I were having a terrible time in the bathrooms. Weirdly enough, the same thing happened to us at six, only this time Claire slept peacefully through it, thank goodness. Jay and I both had big days today, days we shouldn't have missed, but what can you do? We both felt awful all day, but I think I'm better at least.

3) Tomorrow's Krispy Kreme delivery day, one of our Junior class fundraisers. I was supposed to hand out permission slips today, but forgot to tell my sub to do it, so now I'll probably be talking to about 30 parents on the phone tomorrow morning, hopefully before the first bell rings. Snow and rain are supposed to be moving in tomorrow again; I just hope it waits until all our kids are back, but the way this week is going so far...

4) And Patrick Swayze has pancreatic cancer! Explain to me why, at 55, he's still known as "the Dirty Dancing star." This story includes a two-paragraph summary of the movie.

02 March 2008

Another on-the-go weekend!

Claire hams it up with Grandad!
Claire checks out the view from "Uncle Seth and Aunt Kara"'s apartment.

Last weekend, Claire and I went to Norman on Saturday and Broken Bow on Sunday, and this weekend, I went to Dallas on Friday, and Coleman and Sherman on Saturday. Whew! We needed to rest today.

Friday, we were out of school, so hurray! My job is becoming more and more stressful. I think it's because I'm becoming more and more disenchanted with the kids, which is not good. At first I thought they were so funny and energetic and unique, but now I'm generally overly focused on the punks who ruin it for everyone else. So Friday, I ran errands with Claire and then that afternoon, my mom picked her up, and I headed back to Caddo (!) to pick up four students who went with me to hear an author speak at the Dallas Museum of Art! Her name is Tracy Chevalier, who wrote the best-seller Girl with a Pearl Earring, based on the famous Dutch portrait of the same name, and also made into the movie starring Scarlett Johannsson. Overlooking the stressful rush hour traffic and exhausting late-night drive, the experience was lovely and inspiring. Tracy Chevalier is a lot like the kind of writer I want to be: she's focused and disciplined in her craft, she writes historical fiction even though she has no degree in history or training in research, and she writes about young adults, like I want to.

Saturday, I did the housecleaning I neglected last Saturday, when Claire and I went with Mom and Tyler to Norman to see Amanda. After we finished and Claire got a nap, we went out to Nana and Grandad's house in Coleman, where my Uncle Danny, Aunt Neila, and cousin Allie were, along with a bunch of my Pannell family members. Claire stayed with Nana and Grandad on Thursday, so she was very happy to see them again, especially Grandad. She also loves Grant, Mom, Amanda, and Tyler. The rest, I'm sure she will love, but she seems a little uncertain about them now!

Last night, Jay and I went to Sherman to get Claire's pictures made at Sears and run to Target for some wedding gifts. Of course, the showers were today, and I didn't even go because I was working on my story about the cabin we stayed at last weekend all afternoon--deadline tomorrow! Anyway, word to the wise: don't schedule a picture appointment for the last slot of the day! The photographer is considerably, and understandably, less motivated to get that perfect shot. I just wanted Jay to be able to go, and he needed to work at the Burger Shoppe.

General Claire update: she is into patting us while we hold her, especially if we're patting her. Last night, she slept from 10 p.m. (she had a short nap before her photo op, so a late bedtime) to 6:30 a.m. in her crib! Wow! That is big-time for us. I had been letting her sleep in her crib for the first part of the night, but she ends up in bed with us. We'll see if this continues. She's only nursing five or six times in a 24-hour-period right now, and she seems to be wanting to change to one nap a day, because her naps are fairly unpredictable right now.

Here she is helping Daddy putt at Seth and Kara's apartment this afternoon: