Sunday, June 20, 2010

Claire's First Birthday

Our talented new friend Kara took photos of Claire's special day, from waking up, partying her heart out, to nap time. Enjoy them!

You can copy and paste this to see them:)
Or press HERE

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Happy First Birthday to our happy baby!

One year ago right now, I was getting a blessed epidural, after being in labor for 26 hours. I was so exhausted from writhing in pain all night, and I just wanted to rest and regain some strength. After the drugs set in, I could finally relax for a couple of hours, to the point of snoring (I never snore, well, maybe I should say RARELY). When it finally came time to push, Claire only made me wait 45 minutes to meet her. Thank God. 30 hours of labor is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. One year later, remembering that pain, I am reveling in the fact that last night I listened to jazz and read a philosophy book at a coffee shop, and this morning I cuddled with my dog in bed. WHAT A DIFFERENCE a year makes. It has been fun to reflect.

When I came home last night, Los had already put Claire to bed. Half an hour later, I snuck into her room to gaze at her, there is nothing so perfect in the world to me as a sweet sleeping baby. Her leg was propped up on her bumper and her thumb was in her mouth, so I got closer; but as my eyes adjusted to the dark, I realized her eyes were still open. As she focused on me, she quietly stood up in her crib and I scooped her into my arms for some cuddle time on the glider chair. So warm and soft in my arms, she snuggled in as I pet her golden curls and marveled at her. One year.

So much happened in one year. When I met her, I didn't have the immediate reaction of undying love and affection. I was so tired, I didn't even have energy to hold or nurse her. I had been put through so much pain, and I was unsure about her. I am not a 'baby' person, and I don't like the crying and fragility of newborns. I also felt more allegiance to my dog than to this new person who was so dependent on me. Was I an awful person? In those early weeks, the post-partum hormones majorly messed with my head, I was miserable and felt crazy.

But somehow, by the grace of God, we made it through that season. At 7 weeks, Claire started sleeping through the night, which made us all feel like new people. More than anything else, I am grateful that my baby learned to sleep 16 hours a day! Claire transformed (literally gaining a pound a week, she doubled her weight at 2 months and tripled it by 6 months- I was not prepared for that). And my heart transformed as a mom. I grew in compassion and softness toward her. I grew in wonder of her, this perfect little person. Watching her personality emerge and watching her strength and talents develop. At 3 months, when we started traveling with her, I felt like myself again; and that she was a welcome member of our family and home. I shared in celebrating her milestones as victories. I laughed as she learned to eat foods and experience the whole new world of taste. I smile watching her thumb through board books, babbling away as though she's reading them aloud. And when she began to walk at 9 months, I have never been more proud.

It has been one year, living with this little lady, and I look forward greatly to the next 17 until she leaves for college. She is kind and curious, she is independent and happy to play on her own. She brings joy to all who meet her, at the pool, grocery store or wherever. She loves to be outside, and will stay in the stroller happily for hours, to hear the birds and feel the wind on her face. She is strong, yet sensitive and gentle when around her doggy. She is a perfect mix between reserved and outgoing with others. I can't wait to watch her grow up and to celebrate more life with her. I love exposing her to new things and places, and watching the world through her eyes. I couldn't have imagined life getting better than it was before, being married to my best friend and owning the world's best dog. But it has. Claire has enhanced our lives and taught us so much. I feel lucky to be her mom and to know her. Life just gets better all the time. Grateful.