Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The First of the Dear Claires

Dear Claire (aka Clairebear, C-bear, Clairebiscuit, prettybiscuit, and sometimes just The Biscuit),

This past week has been full of firsts, so it seems appropriate that I should write my first letter to you to tell you about it.

Early Saturday morning our little family of four went to our first Austin Mama Attorneys event at a local pumpkin patch. Kids were supposed to wear costumes, but we decided to spare you the full lobster and dress you instead in a festive combination of orange and black. You spit up twice on your pretty outfit, so after an hour you were changed into a back-up onesie that better flaunted your thigh rolls. Good thing it was 90 degrees outside. Your brother was in his beloved Space Man costume and he and your daddy spent a long time carefully selecting the Perfect pumpkin. Hopefully we'll actually carve it this year.

Now normally you are the smiliest of babies, but when we finally had a third party around to snap a family photo you refused to even look at the camera. I suppose it's more realistic for us to have at least a few pictures where you aren't smiling because you do cry and get mad sometimes, you're just so happy so often that I forget to talk about it.

(click to enlarge)

We went out for pancakes after the pumpkin patch and you slept your way through our whole meal, which was very considerate of you. Unfortunately my blackberry yelled at me right as we were leaving, so I ended up working for the rest of the day. You had no idea of course because the best part about working on a Saturday is that I get to do it with you right next to me! You spent the rest of your day going to the grocery store with daddy, watching football with daddy (and even by yourself for a little bit while he was making dinner), and then playing in your play gym next to my desk. I do love taking breaks between documents to look down and smile and coo at you. I miss you and your smile so much on the weekdays Clairebear.

watching the game

In exciting developmental news, you turned four months old last week and Dr. P said you're strong enough to play in your brother's old jumperoo! I pulled it out of the closet on Sunday and you LOVED it.

Your brother showed you the ropes, as he likes to do, and you were like, "Whoah."

Then you were like, "This is awesome!"

And then the two of you played with it for about two hours.

Claire, I don't know how good of friends you and your brother will be by the time you can read this, but let me tell you that right now he absolutely adores you. He calls you claireBEAR and he loves to hold you and pet you and pick out your clothes. He always wants to make sure you are going wherever we are going (I suppose he hasn't yet noticed that we've never left you behind) and he tells me to be quiet when you're sleeping. If you cry, he immediately informs me that Clairebear is mad and/or hungry and then tells me how I should fix the situation. He can't wait for you to grow up to be a "big kid" just like him because then you will play with him and be his friend and sleep in the other big bed in his room (maybe, but he likes to think so). And on your end, you give him the biggest smiles and are almost always turned in his direction. You placidly tolerate his wanting to hold you, even though sometimes you look like maybe you've had enough. It probably doesn't help that you two are nearly the same size when he's sitting down:

Also on Sunday, we pulled out your brother's old high chair and you got to join the table as a regular member of the family! You've hated your bouncer for a while (and your swing too, you very much do not like to be reclined on your back) so meal times have usually required your dad and me to take turns holding you while the other person ate. Now you're just one of the crew.

Also on Sunday you got to try eating cereal from a spoon for the first time! As with almost everything, and particularly anything involving food, you were a fan.

You did great, though you didn't seem to enjoy yourself quite as much the next night. Maybe the novelty has already worn off and you've realized that the bottle is a much more efficient food delivery device.

Claire, I can't even tell you what a wonderful little baby you are and how much everyone in this family loves you. It's honestly hard to believe you've only been here for four months. Before you were born I thought there would be a transition period where you felt like a newcomer- after all, we three had been together for three years and we had never met you! And I think it took me a little while to evolve in to the mom I felt I should be for your brother, but you came into our family as though you had been there all along. Sure we had to figure a few things out- like your milk allergy, your reflux, and that one specific position that you like to be held in when you're all worked up and can't calm down enough to start drinking your bottle. But those were just little bumps on the surface of things. Inside, in our hearts and in the soul of our little family, you fit perfectly into a hole that was both created and filled the moment you were born. It's wrong to say we were missing something before you were here, but it's absolutely true to say you've added something that makes us even more complete. I love you so much it scares me a little. I feel the same way about your brother and your dad, but I'm more used to it. With you it's still new and raw and I'm still learning to manage it. I woke up countless times at night during your first three months to check and make sure you were still breathing, even though I had no reason to think you might stop and I probably would have scoffed to hear of another mother taking as many 3 a.m. trips upstairs to the nursery as I did.

There is more love, more laughter, and more joy because you are here Claire, and I don't know what else I can say that sums up your first four months better than that.

With so much love (and biscuits),


  1. She is a doll. And OMG, those legs! I love the rolls!

    Come on, LL. All those smiles - are you sure she ever cries?

  2. This is so nice! I'm the second-born as well, and my mom always said that until I came along, it seemed like somebody was missing, like there was an empty seat at the dinner table. Once I arrived, they were like, "Ah yes, table for four, please!" Your entry, plus Claire joining you at the table, reminded me of that. :)

    Anyway, she looks healthy and happy, and you're doing a great job!

  3. That last picture - she is so adorable! This is so sweet.

  4. she is so cute in the green dress w/daisies--that expression is priceless :)

  5. You are going to have the most amazing pictures of that little girl to treasure.

    Just before I came over here for a visit, I was looking for a particular post on my own blog, one from a couple of years ago. So I typed in Blue Jay (the nom de blog of my oldest) and started scrolling through the results. So many memories, so many stories, laughters and tears.

    I've noticed the same thing in the past with the posts I've done about my Mom over the years, rereading them takes me right back there. Unfortunately, in her case, often right back to the tears but ... it's still amazing to have those thoughts and memories (and in your case, pictures) preserved. I've always heard of but never bothered with "journalling" but I think blogging gives us the the most amazing memory books of our lives, vivid and in colour, to keep forever.

  6. What a great post! I love the first picture of you & Claire... she looks just like you.