Torts & Tots

Motherhood. Lawyer-dom. And maybe a few nice recipes.

Archive for June 2012

Happy Birthday To Claire!

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Today is my baby’s first birthday.  Although we aren’t officially celebrating today, we did have a few birthday trappings – scones for breakfast (Claire loves scones) and a present for the birthday girl. 

Claire, what a wonderful year with you it has been.  You are many things, Claire, but one of the things you are the most is fun (you thought I was going to say chubby, didn’t you?).  I know that “fun” is not the typical word used to describe one-year-olds.  As my mother (your Jola, Claire) said recently, “Claire is a party.”  It’s just very true.  Whatever we’re doing, Claire is in the mix and enjoying herself.  We’re eating breakfast, Claire is inhaling hers with relish and laughter.  We’re schlepping the kids around in some hellish place, Claire is waving and smiling at all the passersby.  We’re at the pool, Claire is splashing and shrieking with joy (and drinking the pool water).  The same has been true for each developmental milestone.  The first time Claire rolled over, she landed on the other side with a grin of accomplishment plastered on her face.  When Claire started crawling in earnest, she blew happy spit bubbles along the way.  Now that Claire is walking (sometimes staggering) around the house, she does so with utter pride on her face.  Many people say what I am about to say about their children (I know, I am becoming a cliché), but I can say it with utter sincerity.  Claire, you are a joy. 

Claire, at one year you are

  • Walking: at first you only walked with your arms straight up in the air, which I personally loved, but now you are much more adept and are carrying things around the house, like my shoes, for instance.
  • Giving me kisses: when I say “can I have a kiss?” you lean forward with your lips slightly protruding.  It is baby gold.
  • Giving pats, pats: when you were an infant, I patted you as I walked you to sleep, so now “pat pats” are the ultimate Claire comfort mechanism.  When you are sad, you say “pa pa” and pat yourself until I get the idea.  You pat me, you pat the dogs, you pat your baby doll, but you mostly pat yourself.
  • Waving “bu bu”: you still are a big waver and say “bu bu” as you go;
  • Eating: not surprisingly, you are a hearty eater.  Thus, our transition to table food has been seamless.  You enjoy grilled chicken, broccoli, peas, green beans,  meatballs, humus, carbs of all kinds, cheeses of all kinds (including aged cheddar), and you never say no to a snack.
  • Guzzling: we’ve lately introduced cow’s milk, and you approve.  You gulp it down and then pant in satisfaction.
  • Peek-a-boo-ing: you think peekaboo is hilarious.  My favorite is when you cover one eye with one hand.

This is a small wedge of the chubby pie that is one-year-old Claire. 

Claire, I wish that I could memorize each detail of this past year and review it at will because I have cherished it.  Babies are hard, it is true.  Before you were born, I gave myself a pep talk that I wasn’t going to get bogged down in the drudgery of taking care of an infant (i.e., not sleeping, feedings around the clock).  I wanted to savor it.  And although I was truly committed to my strategy, it was a non-issue.  From the start, you’ve been a dream.  Even during the hard newborn days, I felt drenched in lucky each time I walked you to sleep during the night.  You haven’t always been easy, Claire, but you’ve always been so uniquely you.  You are a quirky girl and exactly what this family needed.  Happy birthday, my tiny love.

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June 28, 2012 at 9:40 pm

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The Day We Met Claire.

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A year ago today, I was hot.  I was grumpy.  I was puffy.  I was oh so pregnant.  Nine months pregnant that is.  I was beyond ready to meet the baby that, since the very beginning of my pregnancy, not one but two doctors had been telling me was going to be early.  As a quick aside, that is a cruel thing to do to a woman.  I heartily do not think doctors should tell women their babies are going to be early unless said babies are holding up signs during ultrasounds that say “I’m thinking I’ll come early.”  I digress.  At my 39 week checkup, the doctor looked at me solemnly and told me she thought I would be back on the checkup table in a week (second cruelest thing a pregnant woman can hear) unless we decided to induce.  And so we did.

Two days before my due date (really your due date, Claire), we checked into the hospital at 5:00 a.m. to meet our long-awaited baby girl.  The day was pretty smooth as childbirth goes.  It was just before noon when the nurse turned me on my side in some sort of magical “make the baby get into position” position.  I talked to my mom and dad who were with Avery about to eat lunch.  I told my dad I was about to take a nap because I was finally comfortable (epidural administered, check) and that I didn’t have anything to report.  I was wrong.  Moments later the nurse said she was getting the doctor because it was time.  I literally gave it two contractions worth of pushing, and there was Claire.  Mere minutes after telling my dad nothing was happening, we welcomed our precious Claire Chandler.

Over the previous few days, as it had become more and more apparent that Claire would not be joining us early, I kept telling Jerrod that I had a sneaking suspicion that she was just in there getting fat.  As soon as the doctor saw Claire, she said “Umm, I think she’s bigger than your last baby.”  She weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs, 1 oz.

The next 24 hours were spent the way that most parents likely spend the first 24 hours with their new babies.  We stared at Claire.  We held Claire.  We proclaimed Claire to be a miracle.  And although nothing unusual likely transpired in that first day together, there was one remarkable component.  Perfect, chubby, angelic Claire.  Just days earlier, our family of three had felt complete.  We had no idea that we had a Claire-shaped void in our life.

So tonight, almost 24 hours before my baby’s first birthday, I remember the day we met Claire.  There was discomfort, there was a bevy of doctors and personnel, there was commotion, and then there was Claire.  A small, squishy person entered the world and changed our lives ones feeding at a time (you ate a lot, Claire, even on your first day of life).  Today, she’s still chubby, still perfect, and a whole lot more.

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June 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

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I Sure Am.

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I love the unapologetic self-confidence bordering on arrogance of little kids.  Me to AJS: “You’re the sweetest girl I know.”  AJS to me: “I sure am.”

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June 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

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Jerrod Day.

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Happy Monday, friends.  Hope you enjoyed your Father’s Day.  We did what we do best around here – eat (seriously, we are surprisingly good at this) and play with babies. 

We also went to lunch at our favorite hamburger place.  It’s not fancy, but it has become our Father’s Day restaurant of choice as we’ve gone there three years in a row.  Trying to get a picture with everyone looking at the camera with a decent expression on his/her face is a challenge.

We spent the afternoon poolside, but not in the way you’re thinking.  Inflatable poolside, of course. 

Then we had a very man dinner of steak and potatoes, followed by this Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte from one of my favorite cooking blogs, Annie’s Eats.  I recommend it, but prepare yourself for a dessert hangover.  I love AJS’s face peeking anxiously over the top.  She was ready for dessert, which is actually her default state.

We tried to make it a very guy day, or at least as much as you can when 75% of the participants are female.  It’s a pink world around here, but we manned up (sort of) for our favorite guy on his big day.

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June 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

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Ten.

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Ten years ago today, I was marrying Jerrod in my hometown, surrounded by my closest friends and family.  June 15, 2002 had dresses, tuxedos, wedding cake, champagne, and flowers.  June 15, 2012 has diapers, a cheerio stuck to the bottom of my foot, a swim lesson, naps, footie pajamas, princess nightgowns, and babies in bathtubs. Sure, today is a less obvious kind of beautiful, but it’s the type of beautiful I’ve always wanted.  Thank you, Jerrod.  Everything started with you, and a question I was anxiously anticipating.  So glad you asked.

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June 15, 2012 at 9:49 am

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(Bubble) Beards Like Harden.

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Some bandwagons are too irresistible to jump upon.  Thus, in honor of the Thunder game tonight, I give you my children, Thundering up in their own fashion, with bubble beards.  You know what to do – fear the (bubble) beard(s).  You may feel like their beards are a bit Santa-esque, but I, for one, am very intimidated.  I give The Beard the respect it is due.  If for some strange reason you are not Thunder fans and have no clue what I am talking about, I direct you here.  And also here, this one is more fun.

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June 14, 2012 at 9:35 am

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This Girl.

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I have to say, I think three-year-olds get a bad wrap.  Or at the least the three year-old living under my roof does.  So often I find myself shaking my head at what a handful my sweet AJS can be, which is true.  She is busy, she is chatty, she is scheming, and she has demands.  Oh, does she have demands.  It is also much easier to put off a three year-old than an eleven month-old.  I cannot say to Claire “I know you’re hungry, I’ll be with you momentarily.”  Or, “Claire, please quit eating that piece of bark before you choke.”  Claire requires constant, hands-on supervision.  And I can’t help but think that Avery sometimes gets the short end of the stick.  I do not want to think about how many times a day I tell Avery “not right now” or “I have my hands full with Claire.” 

But, at the end of the day, AJS is pretty perfect, and I want to savor this time when she is so purely and sincerely herself.  A time before she has learned how to filter her thoughts before they come out of her mouth (“Mommy, where is that man’s hair?”).  Avery is a creature of habit.  Her order-loving heart craves a routine.  Out of her love of all things routine, we have developed many quirky patterns – things we do over and over again that I don’t even think about anymore.  One thing that is particularly sweet that I want to remember is her “good night things.”  Before her nap and before she goes to bed at night, after I tuck her in, she always tells me her “good night things.”  I say, “Avery, do you want to tell me some night-night stuff?”  I have to say it exactly that way or I get corrected.  And then she says “Night-night, I love you, good night, I love you more than anyone, have a fun time, and be a good girl, Mommy.”  Same exact order each night.  Then she wants me to say “thank you” for the blessings bestowed upon me and wave at her as I leave.  I know that one day this funny routine will fade away as others have.  And I must admit, that sometimes I give this routine an internal eye-roll as it is occurring since it is the last step in a greater bedtime routine, that is equally precisely executed.  But I will miss it when it is gone.

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June 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

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