Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Months

Wow.  Claire is 5 months old.  I need to add to the "Now Claire can..." list.
1. Sit up without assistance
2. Grab objects (this has been REALLY fun) 
3. Eat baby food (So far she likes sweet potatoes, apples, & rice, apples, mangoes)
4. Has sprouted two bottom teeth... separately (that has been really, really fun)

Matthew brought home some railroad ties to make some steps.  Claire and I were outside enjoying the fresh air and walked around to where he was unloading the ties.  Matthew picked up the first one, and Claire just started giggling!  It was the first time she had giggled unprovoked.  We all just died laughing.  Every time he would throw a tie off the back of the truck with a thump, she would jump, and laugh.  It was precious. 

Claire likes to vocalize.  I think we are going to have a talker on our hands. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mini Vacay

Matthew had a light week and decided it was time to get away.  Woo hoo!  The waves at Tybee Island, GA were looking good so that was our destination.  We got the camper pulled in front of the house and began cleaning and taking inventory.  Matthew made a reservation at a campsite on the island which is near the river.  Matthew talked to a friend who used to live in that area, and she convinced us to forgo the campsite and look for a condo/hotel instead.  Somehow we landed a great deal on a unit in a house that was only 1/2 block from the beach!  It was just a couple of blocks from the pier.  It was PERFECT!

We drove down Wednesday.  Claire was a champ.  We only had to stop once to feed and change her.  When we picked up the key she was getting hungry and our unit wasn't quite ready so I fed her in their parking lot.  It worked out great.  I received the call that our unit was ready at the same time Claire finished eating so off we went.

I knew as soon as we pulled up to the house I was in love.  It was built in the 1920's, and I asked the boy who booked our reservation if the house was haunted.  He wasn't sure how to respond.  Ha!  We had 450 sq. feet of wonderfulness.  It reminded us of Matthew's old apartment in Greensboro.  You walked into the living/dining room.  There was a bedroom off to on side and the kitchen and bathroom were to the back.  Everyone shared the porch (which was a wrap around), but we never saw anyone else enjoying.  Needless to say we did!

The beach was beautiful.  We took an evening walk and found some dinner at Fannie's.  Their t-shirts say, "WTF (Welcome to Fannie's)."  I had the shrimp burger and Matthew tried their fish tacos.  The service was OK but the food is good.  Poor Claire.  We had to put her back in the car to go to the store.  She was NOT happy, but persevered.   

Tybee Island Beach Pier

Thursday morning we were on the beach by 9:30.  The weather was beautiful.  It was not too hot for Claire.  Matthew went surfing while us girls stayed under the tent.  Claire had a snack and took a nap.  I managed to get some reading done while she napped.  It was WONDERFUL!  When she woke up, we went down to the water to cool off.  Claire loves the water.  I look forward to getting her in some swim lessons.  It was fun to watch her curiosity as the water flowed past and around her.  She would stick her hand in the water as it flowed back out to sea.  She also giggled excitedly.  Claire had one more snack and a nap and after that it was time to go back to the A/C.  We had lunch, relaxed and cooled off, then went for an early evening stroll.  The pier was fun because you can really watch the tides.
Claire loves her hat and shades.

We both love our new beach umbrella.

Friday morning Matthew had his best surfing session, and Claire and I repeated Thursday morning's schedule.  After lunch on the beach, there was a little rain which didn't last long, but we went back in anyway.  The next adventure was to see the Tybee Island Lighthouse.  I don't think I have ever been inside a lighthouse before.  We purchased our tickets while the sweet ladies working oohed and ahhed over Claire's cuteness.  Matthew carried Claire up the 178 steps to the top with me trailing behind.  He stood in the doorway with her and I said, "No way Claire is going out there!"  I am afraid of heights so I wasn't sure I was going out there.  I took Claire and Matthew went around the outside.  When he returned, he took Claire and I ventured out on the ledge.  I made it ALL the way around!  After checking out the keeper's cottages, we headed for an early dinner at Uncle Bubba's, who is Paula Deen's uncle.  I had the low country boil which was about a 1/2 pound of shrimp, 4 (largish) red potatoe, 4 sausages, and 2 short corns on the cob.  Matthew had to help finish it because I was about to explode.  He had blackened shrimp and scallops.  DELICIOUS!  Claire was a champ, again.  I did have to take her out of her car seat, but it was fine.  Matthew was able to hold her for a bit while I attempted to finish my peel and eat shrimp.  We went back to the condo and let our dinner settle.  Since we were leaving the next day, we had to take an evening stroll on the beach.  It was nice, but too close to Claire's bedtime.

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Saturday morning we packed up the truck early, and Matthew headed to the beach.  Claire and I rode into town to check-out and return the keys, I gassed up the truck, and we headed back to the beach.  Matthew had already set up the umbrella for us.  After a few attempts, Claire finally settled down for a nap.  We packed it all up at lunch and headed home.

This was a MUCH needed mini vacation for the three of us.  I highly recommend Tybee Island.  We were on the south end of the island on the ocean, and I thought the beach was very clean and very nice.  Of course, we were there after the busy season had just ended.  I hope we get to go back there.  It is a long drive.  Just about as long as I would want to spend in the car in one day.  It was Claire's limit, too.  I must get sore riding in that seat all day.  I am so thankful that I can be at home so we can take these little vacations.  I hope next time will be Claire's first camper trip! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

More pics of Claire

I found out about a website called "Animoto" where you can make your own picture videos.  Of course I had to take some pictures of Claire and try it!
Click here to view the video!  It starts with Claire's first bath and ends with her smiling in her Jumparoo.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Claire's Sleeping Pose

Last night Matthew, Claire, and I went out.  Since I knew we were planning to go out, I made sure Claire napped very well.  By gosh, my plan worked! We had dinner at Never Blue which has delicious food but terrible service.  In fact, our appetizers were given to the wrong table, but they did make another batch for us and didn't make us pay for them (which was about $14!).  Claire was pretty good.  She got fussy because doesn't like to sit in her car seat for a long time if we are not in the car.  Matthew took a turn holding her then I did and she was happy.

After dinner we were off to the Southern Appalachian Brewery where my friends The StereoFidelics were performing.  This was the first time I've heard them play live, and they rocked it!  I fed Claire in the car before we went so she was content for the next hour and a half.  She didn't get fussy until she was sleepy (well, it was her bed time).  I put a blanket over her head to block out the light, she found her thumb, and went right to sleep!

It was so nice to go out as a family and hang out with friends.  After a good night's sleep, Claire had her first breakfast.  I had to change a leaky diaper so when I went to put her back down, she fought sleep for a bit.  Once she was quiet, I went to check on her and this is how I found her.

I love her.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

3 months later...

Claire can now:
  1. Smile and giggle.
  2. Coo and say her vowels.
  3. Drool enough to reverse a drought.
  4. Blow bubbles. 
  5. Suck her left thumb and chew on her right hand (can we say teething soon?).
  6. Almost grab stuff by herself.
  7. Bring items that are in her hand to her mouth.
  8. Stand with straight, strong legs while you hold her.
  9. Almost sit up without any help.  In fact, she prefers sitting up.
  10. Roll from her tummy to her back. 
I love watching her hands and how she continues to gain control over their movements.  She is still slightly spastic with them.  My favorite is when she puts her hands together and sort of rolls them around like she's plotting something. 

I love breastfeeding.  It was hard in the beginning but now I look forward to our time together.  She will look up and smile at me sometimes.  It cracks me up when she does it. 

Baby girl was born with a head full of hair and it is getting longer.  She has lots of red curls on top of her head.  I can't do the head bands because they remind me of garter belts.  I know I'm weird.  I might have an aversion to them because I don't like headbands on my own head.  They give me headaches.  I will put a clip in her hair and it's pretty cute.   

I love her big, blue eyes.  I think they just might stay blue.

I can put a hat and sunglasses on her and it is the cutest thing I have ever seen.

She has good days and bad days.  We mostly have good days, but her bad days are caused by tummy troubles or lack of naps.  My girl is just like me because she needs her sleep.  She will sleep through the night and then we will nurse in bed in the morning.  Sometimes I will stay in bed and we'll snooze together, or I will leave her snoozing while I get up to pump, eat breakfast, &/or clean up the kitchen (aka play on Facebook).

Every day is a new day.  Next week most of my friends will be returning to their teaching jobs.  I, however, will be staying home with Claire.  It has not sunk in yet that I will be staying home.  I will miss meeting my freshmen students and miss seeing my returning students.  I received some great advice which is enjoy every moment of staying home and that is exactly what I am going to try to do.  :)

3 Month Milestones

Tummy time!

Typically what happens during tummy time...

Her legs have been getting stronger!

After several wobbles...

She rolled over!!! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Claire's Many Faces

Claire is officially 8 weeks old today!  I thought I would share some of her classic faces.

Having fun or screaming

About to spit up

Fist pumping

attempt at duck face?

Clean diaper


watching t.v.

play time

Celebrating the 4th of July

about to chew on mom's hand



Passing gas

Friday, June 8, 2012

Claire's Checklist

OK, so Claire doesn't really have a checklist but if she did these might be on it.

Places Claire has been fed: Wal-Mart parking lot (twice now); side of the road next to a river in the middle of nowhere; and an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  She had a diaper change at the last two.

Claire has been to Mount Mitchell.  We didn't take her all the way to the top because it was very cold and windy.  (FYI - if it's 80 degrees, you will still need a jacket at Mount Mitchell.)

It is hard to believe she is 3 weeks old.  I am excited because I am having her pictures taken tomorrow.  Her umbilical stump fell off yesterday (thank goodness), but now her little face is broken out. 

Pictures will be posted sometime soon!  She is changing every day!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One Week

One week ago at 11:00pm my contractions began.  After a couple of hours, they became regular at 4 minutes apart.  We called the doctor and were off to the hospital. 

We arrived sometime close to 3am.  I don't really remember because my back labor was pretty intense.  The first nurse would keep me calm and talk me through them.  They wheeled me upstairs to the labor and delivery room where they had already ordered an epidural for me.  What a relief that was!

Matthew and mom began contacting everyone around 6am Wednesday morning.  They broke my water around 8:30am.  I was checked throughout the day and was not making progress.  Dr. Simmons checked me around 1pm and said I haven't made any more progress.  After adjusting medicine and waiting two more hours of no progress, we decided it was time for baby so I was prepped for a c-section. 

I couldn't believe I was going to have a baby!  Matthew was able to come in when I was finished being prepped.  He held my hand while a very sweet nurse talked me through the whole process. 

At 4:28pm the room was filled with the sound of our daughter's screams.  It was a great sound because she is what they call a meconium baby meaning she had pooped while in the womb.  They like for them to scream because it means they most likely don't have it in their lungs.  I watched them clean her on tv screen while the doctor finished with me.

My sister, Michelle, was able to come back to recovery with me.  She is a labor and delivery nurse in Gastonia and had to go to work that night.  The grandmas were the only other ones at the hospital with us.  The nurses let them come back since it was getting so late in the evening. 

After making sure my vitals were good and baby looked good we were moved to our room.  Claire had her first bath, and we began our first night as a family.  

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

End of the Ticker Tape

Well here we are.  According to my duck on the ticker tape, I am 40 weeks and 0 days pregnant.  Guess what?  I am still pregnant.  Monday I didn't feel very good all day.  I did a lot of just sitting around.  My back and lower abdomen was hurting.  Hopefully this is a sign of things progressing.

Mom and dad arrived Monday evening.  Tuesday morning I felt better, so Mom and I went shopping.  We did a short trip to Belk's, had lunch, and then did some grocery shopping.  It made me feel better just to get out. 

Today (Wednesday/Due Date), I almost feel like I did on Monday.  All three days this week I think I've had Braxton Hicks like crazy. 

Tomorrow I have an ultra sound at 8:00am, and I see the doctor at 8:30.  I don't think the baby has dropped yet.  We want the baby to come on her own, but if I go all next week I will be induced. 

Thanks to all my friends who check on me!  I will keep you updated. :) 

Friday, May 4, 2012

One more week

Happy Birthday, mom/Nannie!
After visiting last weekend, mom and dad decided to come back.  I asked mom, "You're going to come back on your birthday?"  She replied, "That's my birthday?"  Haha!  
The hanging twirly is mom's present!

Matthew grilled, and mom and I made a Three Berry Trifle.  Yum!  I had to put her birthday candles in it. :)

Before my parents arrived, I had a little pamper time since I was a week away from the due date!  Here are my swollen feet with pretty toes!

My first pedicure!
Monday began my first day of maternity leave.  I have made a point to get out of the house at least once a day, and I am glad I did.  It has made this week fly by!  I can't believe I can now say that I have 5 days until my due date.

I went to the doctor today, and mom got to go with me.  Well, so far baby girl is not ready.  The doctor guesses she weighs about 7.5 lbs.  He wants to see me next week and do an ultra sound to check amniotic fluid.  He doesn't want to induce unless I go way over my due date.

Mom and dad left this afternoon.  They were a HUGE help because they cleaned floors, bathrooms, and some laundry.  They are going to come back in a few days or maybe sooner if baby comes!  There is a HUGE full moon on for tomorrow night plus storm conditions.  LOL!?

Meanwhile, I hope I can have some energy to keep cleaning the clutter that has accumulated around the house.  I still need to pack away winter clothes!  I am a lucky girl in that I have had several friends call, text, &/or Facebook message to ask how I am doing and are excited about baby's arrival.  Thanks you guys! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

In the home stretch...

Here I am.  Not too glamorous, but I guess that's OK.  I am posting this anyway.

I am 38 weeks in this picture.  Baby girl is growing, but she is not ready to enter the outside world.  I had not made any progress at my last doctor's visit.  She isn't even dropping into position yet.  I have been joking that she might be a procrastinator like her momma and wait until the last minute.  She will drop, I will dilate, and she'll be here.  (It can be that simple, right?  Wishful thinking, I know.)

Friday was my last day at school and a day of mixed emotions.  I have the sweetest, most thoughtful students.  Even a few of my graduated students have come back to give our baby presents!  One students knitted a blanket and crocheted three little hats. It was mostly hard for me to hug my seniors and my student going to NCSSM next year since I won't see them for a long time.  One young lady had tears in her eyes and said, "Thank you for everything you have done for me" and handed me a letter.  Needless to say I couldn't read it right then because I was tearing up with her. 

One of my seniors told me I was her favorite teacher of all time and thank you for always listening and offering advice.  She is a special young lady who despite going through A LOT is one of the most genuine, kindest people I know.

Another senior had to come hug me after every class and at the end of the day.  He is such a good person.

I will also miss seeing my colleagues at school, but I know I will have the opportunity to see them over the summer.  I have great support circle of friends.  :) 

Meanwhile, I am very excited to get to stay home the week before the pending arrival of baby girl.  Matthew's mom helped last weekend with getting the nursery started, and mom and dad are coming today to help with cleaning and maybe finishing up the nursery. 

Only a week and a half until due date!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

March into April

Whew! What a whirlwind the last couple of months have been. Let's start with the finishing of the basement.

The spare bedroom has been finished, but now the bed is set up.

We put a bathroom downstairs, too.

And there was much tile, painting, and trim to be done.

The main priority for all of this was to finish a small room which has become Matthew's new office. His desk, printer, and computer have all been moved into this room now.

This is the spare bedroom right now. It is holding ALL the baby stuff I have received so far... actually, there is more because this was before my school shower. Baby girl is already spoiled!

One clean corner of the basement is all I will show you. The basement looks really good. We have a ceiling as of this past week except for the bathroom, but the electrical is all finished.

The nursery is still a work in progress but at least there is a crib! OK. So, we don't have a mattress, but the crib is assembled. :) I will post more pics when the nursery is assembled.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Belly Update ~ 31 Weeks

This is pic #6 because Matthew kept being silly. This is just before the 31 week mark, and baby girl is growing and moving.

Moldy wanted to be in a picture,too, or she wanted to go out or needed food.

I caught my first real cold last weekend. I had taken students up the mountain to Boone, and the change in elevation and dry hotel room exacerbated my already sore throat. I sounded quite sad on Monday, but I managed to take it easy. Needless to say I am feeling much better!

Overall, I am doing well besides starting to feel tired again. My hands are starting to swell, and my belly button may pop soon. Matthew likes to tease me about it.

I am overwhelmed with how everyone wants to give me stuff for the baby! The hard part for us right now is deciding on a crib, dresser, etc. We went to IKEA in Charlotte and saw some potential. Our current thinking is get something light so we can move it into the bedroom when baby gets sick, but we are going to have a Pack N' Play. I looked at the few items at Target. We haven't seen anything that we would want to keep for 20 years. We would rather get something to last 5 or 6 and then decide on something more permanent. I need to look at Babies R' Us again. Don't worry, mom, I'll find something we like. :)

Any thoughts about what you like or don't like? Did you buy something you loved? Regretted? I welcome any advice. Thanks!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blanket for Baby

Before Christmas, I decided to make a blanket for the baby. I went to the craft store and found a book of different blankets. I was going to knit it, but a friend advised that a crocheted blanket would have a better texture. I had to buy new needles because I have no idea where the last set purchased is located. The blanket has 4 colors: baby purple, baby green, baby yellow, and a veregated white, green, blue.

I don't mind pink, but I didn't want it in the blanket. I have crocheted 9 squares of yellow, green, and veregated. I have 3 purple squares finished, so 6 more to go. When those are done, I will add the edging to each square. You can see it in the pattern's picture.

At first, I had a very tense stitch. You can see it in the yellow. I may end up re-doing some of those. After the edging, I sew the squares together and then add an edge to the whole blanket. This is all new to me because I have never actually made a product by crocheting before. I am starting to get the hang of it, and I hope to learn more stitches. Thanks to Pinterest, I have several ideas waiting for me. I'll take another pic when I have the edging finished. I should be able to start that next weekend!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

27 Weeks!

So here is the baby update...
I had a doctor's appointment on Monday to do my glucose test and meet another doctor. My appointment was supposed to be Friday afternoon, but that doctor was in surgery. Anyhoo... so I drink my lovely, Sprite flavored sugar drink and head to the doctor's office. I was a little nervous about one nurse who has trouble drawing my blood. Plus she talks to the needle and makes me more nervous/feel like I'm gonna pass out.
Luckily, I was assigned a nurse whom I have not seen since my last "regular" visit. She was excited for me, and she kindly informed me that she would be sticking me which went well. Yay!

While I wait for the sugar to kick in, I get to see the doctor which helps some of the time go by. She was very nice. She got out her little microphone to listen to the heartbeat, but baby girl was being a wiggle worm (I think the sugar hit her, too!). The doctor put her hand on the side of my belly to try and get baby to be still. Instead, baby girl kicked the doctor! Oh dear... we are going to have our hands full! Haha! After recounting this story to Matthew, he said, "That's my girl!"

My appointment went great, and I have not heard about my blood work so all must have been normal! So, yay! Here is a web cam pic soon. Apparently the shirt I wore today makes my belly look pretty large. Yeah... it's the shirt. :)

(By calendar) 13 weeks to go.....