Wednesday

Baby's First Christmas!

What a blessing to have a baby in the house as we celebrate Christmas! There are sooo many great photos of our families together for the holidays here. Look at them when you have time...there are about 100!

Here they are in slideshow format (hover your mouse over it so the horizontal pictures are full sized and not cut off by the vertical column on the right):

Monday

Family Pic



Here's a photo of the extended family in front of the tree as we celebrate Christmas Eve a day early. I'll correct the red eye and lighting another time but wanted to post anyway!

Wednesday

2 Month Doctor's Visit!

I bundled Claire up and took her to the doctor's office today for her checkup. Claire now weighs a healthy 12 pounds and 1 ounce and has grown an inch and a half since her last check up! Now I know why I had to start packing up all the footed sleepers, at 24 1/2 inches she's in the 97th percentile for height! She's a looooong baby.

Poor kiddo had to have 2 shots today so she obviously wasn't in the mood for a photo shoot. Here's a few silly ones from yesterday. Dan thinks we should find a miniature saddle for her. Our kitties are such good sports!

Tuesday

Vampire Baby!


Dan and I trekked to Panera last night for dinner. Claire was great,
until I was about to dig into my favorite salad (dried cherries, mixed lettuce, walnuts, gargonzola...yummy!). We tried nursing, we tried the leg jiggle, we brought out the trusty binky - but nothing worked.

Finally, thinking she had gas, I put the baby over my knee and rubbed her back (all while trying to shovel the salad into my mouth).

The back rubbing didn't work, but once she discovered my arm she happily gnawed away. I have three gorgeous "hickeys" to show off to the world now. At least I got to eat!

Sunday

11:30?!

Part of me is embarrassed to post how late I slept today...but I just had to document this! Claire and I have been hunkering down in the blue room while Dan's back is healing. Last night I fell asleep downstairs (as did the baby) and finally made it up around 2 o'clock in the morning. When I made it to the master bedroom, I smelled vinegar. The idiot cats had knocked over an entire gallon of it. Of course this adds another half-hour to an already late bedtime. So Dan takes the baby and I clean all that up and finally get to bed at 2:30...and find that now I can't fall asleep. Claire of course had no problem...even after a 2 am diaper change!

To make the story short I finally fell asleep around 3 and woke up this morning at 11:30! I can't believe Claire let me sleep that long. She's usually wide awake at 8 and ready to play! But Claire just nursed and fell right back asleep every couple of hours. Wow, am I lucky, or what?

An old photo from the hospital of Claire sleeping. She looks so tiny!

Saturday

"All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth"

It's early, but Claire is starting to show some pre-teething signs. She's been a real drool monster and is chomping away at anything that gets near her mouth. Instead of sucking on her pacifier, she's been gumming it like crazy. And, just this morning I had her on her ladybug spinner and she was munching on the poor things antennae! I was just saying recently how sad/exciting it was to pack away her 0-3 month clothing...but I am totally NOT ready for her to sprout fangs! Her bottom gums look a little bit white, so I guess that is just another sign pointing to the fact that our little baby is moving on up!

Shhh! Don't tell Nanny - she already thinks this baby should be eating solids because "she must be hungry, she only drinks." Once she knows Claire is sprouting teeth, Dan and I will never hear the end of it. :-)

Thursday

I'm Talking to You, Anonymous!

Peek-A-Boo! Claire is modeling G-Ceil's knitting.


One of the most exciting things about maintaining this blog for me has been reading the comments. I hope everyone else is noticing them too! One day I hope to print this out for Claire in some kind of a scrapbook format and the comments will be an integral part of this record, whatever format it takes.

That said - all you folks commenting as anonymous are hearby ORDERED to use the "nickname" radio button when posting a comment. You can call yourself whatever you like (including you Grandma Poo) but in order for my little widget on the right to work correctly and look nice, choose nickname rather than anonymous.

Other changes to the blog include the festive new header! I think I might change that seasonally to keep things fresh.

I'm trying again to include a video. This was taken with the webcam on my iMac so the quality is not the greatest but Claire wanted to show off her head control and conversation skills. Hopefully it won't stall like all the others.

Wednesday

At Long Last - Updates!

Poor Aunt Ann...dying for baby updates. If you missed her comment here it is:

"Alas, here I sit expecting another cute picture of Claire (of course they are all cute). It has been 4 long days and nights since my last baby fix. Santa's helper must be very busy. Love you guys!!!"

A.Ann



If you hadn't heard, Dan threw his back out on Saturday so I've been a bit slow to update the blog. Today (thanks to a potent cocktail of drugs) Dan is a bit more mobile although still not back to normal. Dan and Claire have been enjoying their time together in bed - well Dan not so much - although whenever he gets that toothless grin he can't help but smile. Here are the two of them hanging out.

Last week, I started to notice that Claire was tracking objects. She's really into her mobile now so we've set it up by her co-sleeper. Note to self - thank husband for ingenious rigging with dining room chair because the co-sleeper doesn't have slats like a crib! Claire seems to have found a particular friend in the yellow "rooster" guy that swirls over her head. I'm not sure what these characters are supposed to be but they all have eyeballs and lacking mouths, at least they can't frown at her like that baby in the mirror. I'm posting a picture of them so you can form your own opinion.

And if you're in the mood for a laugh at our expense, check out this album. I've entitled it "holy crap!" for a reason, so if you're easily offended by what our darling can produce skip this one. You've been warned! That said, I'm sure Aunt Laurie will find this especially amusing.


Claire's favorite (she squeals the loudest as he passes by):


The other two "critters" in her mobile gang

Saturday

What's with the hats Ma?

Here's a pic of Claire in yet ANOTHER of her hats. No clever pose for this one...apparently she's not that fond of the antlers.

I had to start packing away some of Claire's 0-3 month clothes today. She's so long she can't fit into most of them anymore. Imagine if we had to replace our wardrobe every two months!

Thursday

Giggles and Grins!

Be prepared to laugh...loudly!

Dancing Family

We've been working on these moves a looong time - hope you're impressed!

Tuesday

Santa Baby - part deux!

Hilltop's photos of Claire's first visit with Santa arrived in my email today. Isn't he a great looking Santa? He grew his beard out for seven months...that is commitment! Don't get any ideas Dan, you better keep yours trimmed until it turns white!

Santa Baby - Part Deux

The photos from Hilltop arrived in my email today. What a great looking Santa! He grew his beard out for seven months...that is dedication!

Santa Baby - Part Deux

The photos from Hilltop arrived in my email today. What a great looking Santa! He grew his beard out for seven months...that is dedication!

Monday

So Torn...

Over the past few days I've been taking pictures of Claire for our Christmas card...now I have too many cute ones and don't know which one to choose. All the hats are so sweet too. Perhaps I'll send out multiple cards and flood your mailboxes with photos of the baby!

I don't know what I would do if I didn't have a digital camera! She's so fun to photograph, what a smiley baby! And here's a picture of Jack trying to interrupt our photo shoot. He is quite interested with the pom-poms on all her hats...I think I better hide them all!

Sunday

Dan & Gina's Favorite


For you to print at work Daddy :-)


Claire and I had a little photo shoot in living room window today. It was hard to pick just a couple to post...I'll have to edit and get a few more up for ya'll to see! Cute photos, right?

Here's one of her looking at the camera:



I can't wait until she can sit up...it's hard to hold her with one hand and the camera with the other. Especially when your camera is an SLR and needs to be focused!

At Aunt Ann's request here is a link to the full size images:
Claire's December Album

I'll try to continue to update that Picasa site for those who want to print high-resolution photos. You can also click on the photos on the blog entry and it should enlarge them to full size. I don't know about the print quality of those, has anyone tried printing from the blog itself before?

Saturday

Santa Baby!


Today Hilltop was holding a photo session with Santa to support Project Self-Sufficiency in Sparta, NJ. We dressed Claire up in one of her festive Christmas outfits (there are multiple ones) and headed out for a snapshot.

She didn't cry...but like Skylar (just ask Bob & Ceil) she was so excited she pooped herself. Here's a photo of the damage. Heehee! It was quite bad, I needed to take her to the computer lab, strip her naked and wash her back with wipes. One more "poop-tastrophe" and I'm changing diaper brands!

Aunt Laurie came by today, here she is hanging out with her little niece.

"I Crack Myself Up"

A few pics of Claire cracking herself up in her swing.
Link to full size images


Friday

An Experiment with Relfections...

Claire seems to really smile when she makes eye contact, even with herself when she looks in the mirror. I wanted to see if she would still smile at herself when I used the webcam on my iMac...here are the results. It seems that blogger always stalls the videos, move the arrow when it gets stuck and then you can rewind.

I trimmed the to about 10 seconds (or 3 baby smiles if you're counting!) but if you want to see Claire's entire 3 minutes of fame you'll have to come and visit.

Thursday

Claire's Weight!

Yesterday was our doctor's appointment - and ta-dah - Claire weighs 10 pounds and 14 ounces. If you look back at the original post where I added the poll you'll see Grandma CaCa guessed that exact weight. There's no conspiracy here, that's her legitimate guess!

Here were the results:

-------------------------------------------------------
9 pounds and holding strong - 8% (1 vote)
10 pounds - 41% (5 votes)
11 pounds - 41% (5 votes)
12 pounds - 8% (1 vote)
13+ pounds - 0% (0 votes)
------------------------------------------------------

Pop bought a few lotto tickets with 10 and 14...keep your fingers crossed. No new pics of the baby, but here's a cute spread of our kitties. It's baby themed, you'll see!

Monday

That Baby in the Mirror!

We've been cracking up at Claire finally noticing herself (is it me? is this another baby?) in the mirror. She smiles, laughs and seems to just go crazy when she see herself. We like to say "is that baby in the mirror smiling at you, again?"

Claire seems really thrilled when we get down next to her swing and stick our smiling reflection next to hers.

Of course sometimes she frowns at herself unintentionally and then starts crying like crazy...it's pretty funny.

Since she's holding her head up pretty well I decided to try out the spin and play gym. She seemed pretty excited about finding another baby hidden inside the mirror!

I think it's hard to tell in the first picture, but the baby is on this little ladybug spinner. She can kick her legs and flex her arms to spin herself around to the different toys on the flower petal. It's pretty cool, she's just not quite up to the spinning part yet. The one time she moved herself away from the mirror she got pretty upset that her friend had disappeared!

Another thing I've been noticing is her receding hairline. I guess that full head of hair she was born with is soon to be a thing of the past! Anyone else pick up on this from the photos?

Saturday

A Weekend of Firsts

Saturday - The Rumbling Begins

While nursing the baby, I feel the tummy start rumbling...she goes.

And then her diaper explodes. It must have because my lap was suddenly warm and we both needed a bath - immediately.

Sunday - Global Meltdown

In a gravity defying move, Claire manages to poop vertically. It covers her to her neck. And did I mention we were at Bill & Elissa's house while this happens? Thankfully we traveled with a change of clothes. Lesson learned - make sure those diapers are tight.

Friday

Pictures from Turkey Day!

Closeup of the cutie in her Thanksgiving outfit. It lasted about an hour before it got too hot from all the cooking. She spent most of the day stripped down to a turkey onesie!
Chllin' with rapper grandmother "G-ma C-dawg"
Post-turkey nap for Mommy and baby!

Wednesday

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dan and I are enjoying our little turkey. She's plenty tender, plump and juicy. Hope your turkey is as delicious as ours.

No birds were harmed in the making of this photo...although one baby did wonder what the heck she was doing in roasting pan. :-)

What a Happy Baby!

Claire has started smiling which is soooo exciting. She's always had those gas smiles (I like the Dr. Sear's explanation that they are expressions of inner contentment, see below for the quote) but these social smiles are something totally different. She makes eye contact, grins and then sticks her tongue out while wiggling her head back and forth, it's too cute.

The eye contact seems to be the most important step in the process which has made photographing her grins rather difficult. I tried to hold the camera in one hand and look suitably goofy for the baby while tickling her with the other hand.

Here are some of the results. I rather like the yawn sequence..."hey, can we take a break now?"

Joan Grealis mentioned how much she enjoys reading the blog and being reminded of the day to day life with a baby. Here's a memory you might want to repress. Claire seems to be holding out on us. We change her diaper because she's fussy and wet. And then a few minutes later - and once while being changed - she lets loose. And let us just say the result is not just a "wet" diaper. Perhaps one day I'll shock you all and post a picture of what our little sweetheart can produce!

This weekend we're heading down to spend Thanksgiving the grand's house and we'll be sure to post pictures of Claire's Thanksgiving outfit. I learned a lesson from my last trip down - pack early and give yourself at least a 2 hour window to make it to the car. Between making sure we have enough clothes, diapers, and booties (what if her diaper leaks? better pack another onesie!) and figuring out how to fit the swing, co-sleeper and our own clothes into the car - I have a long morning ahead of me!



“Inside smiles occurring in the first few weeks, are a beautiful reflection of an inner feeling of rightness. Some are sleep grins; some are only a happy twitch in the corner of the mouth. Relief smiles occur only after being rescued from a colicky period, after a satisfying feeding, or after being picked up and rocked….Baby’s early smiles convey an ‘I feel good inside’ message and leave you feeling good inside. Be prepared to wait until next month for the true outside (or social) smiles, which you can initiate,” Dr. Sears

Monday

Baby's First Snow!


Yay! And this one really counts! We received about 5" and local schools were closed. Dan worked from home today and we decided to trek outside and try for a family "snow day" picture. As you can see in this cropped version Claire was just thrilled about
it. Heehee, poor kid she couldn't even move her arms!




Sunday

Weekend at the Grands!

While Dan was off hunting for the weekend (no deer!) Claire and I headed down to sleepover Grandbob and his wife's house. (Ceil has yet to pick out a name, suggestions welcomed). Claire was her usual happy self and managed to fall asleep in a cute position again courtesy of the boppy. We were having some "tummy time" and I guess all the new muscles used to grin at us wore little Claire out, she feel asleep right in the middle of our game.

I saw these things called babylegs on the internet and thought they would be a cute alternative to tights for the winter. G-Mom Cherill whipped out the sewing machine and we made a few pairs of our own after finding a tutorial online.

Showing the baby off this weekend was great, not to mention the food, yum!




The favorite activity of all the adults this weekend seemed to be "baby-watching." Every time Claire napped, twitched, burped or smiled she had an excited audience to witness it all.

Thursday

And we're off!

We're off like a "herd of turtles" as Kelly would say, but getting out with baby Claire is getting easier and easier. Her carseat doesn't seem to torture her quite as much and we got tons of shopping done yesterday.

Her 6 week check up is Tuesday (has that much time really passed?) and we're taking bets on her weight. Leave a comment and I'll let you know who was closest! She was a little over 9 lbs at her last visit. Maybe I'll even put a little poll up, look for it on the right hand side. I noticed that nifty little feature yesterday!

Monday

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Brrr! The cold weather seems to have really hit and sources tell us that our "snowstorm" Friday night into Saturday beat out the Maine crowd for first flakes! I was dying to get Claire outside in her little snowsuit and take a "Baby's First Snow" picture, but our dusting melted too quickly.

I came across this photo I took after feeding Claire on Friday. I thought there is no way I can just pick her up on the boppy so I can stand and stretch - but I did and she stayed sleeping like this for almost half an hour while I worked on the PC next to her. Notice how Jack is watching over her!

Sunday

60th Anniversary

We took the baby on her first long car trip as we headed to New York to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Claire's great-grandparents. Dinner out with baby went really well, thankfully she slept through most of it and I doubt the diners nearby even noticed there was a newborn nearby!


Nan and Pop enjoyed seeing "Princess Claire" again and spent some time snuggling with her in their home before we left for dinner. "Dress that baby in a hat!" was the mantra for the night.











Here's Joanne singing to the baby. With four grandchildren (triplets!), she's had plenty of practice!