Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yesterday was a LONG day. Claire and I have both been battling a cold and since the battle included a 4 am bed time earlier in the week, I've been dragging a little bit lately. As far as colds go, this one wasn't so bad but Claire decided that her path to health was through being constantly held by yours truly, which get's tough. On the bright side, I've decided that if I ever were to lose an arm in some sort of tragic accident, I would do just fine performing almost any task with one arm. So when Kyle called at 5 to say that he would be "a while" (very cryptic), my eyes bugged out of my head. There are times when my wonderful life as a stay at home mom gets a little exhausting and I literally tell myself "this is when you need to try harder to be a good mom". It's kind of like the last mile of a marathon. It would be so much easier to stop and walk, but you know that last mile counts as much as the other 25.1. So instead of "walking" (aka letting Claire watch Caspar Babypants videos on Youtube), I sucked it up and whipped up a kick ass dinner for the baby (noodle pancakes anyone?) and then held a bath time photoshoot with my favorite model. It really was a good thing that I sucked it up since Kyle didn't get home until almost 9...way too long for Caspar Babypants videos :) Plus I got some pretty cute pictures.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Just a small town baby.

For a good portion of my life, I thought I would end up raising my kids in the same small town that I grew up in. My own mom went to the same high school as Kyle and I did and I imagined my kids would do the same. Plus I am a self professed mama's girl so living away from my parents seemed like the last thing I would want to do. At some point, however, the plan changed (as plans tend to do) and we've found ourselves raising the Little Red outside of our hometown. While we adore the small city that we live in and have a strong like for its neighboring big city, there are certain aspects of raising a child in a small town that can't be equaled.
Luckily, we are usually able to spend weekends in our hometown and we get to take advantage of some of the wonders of rural living. Last weekend we participated in the local Swede Day 10k that included four close encounters with manure trucks (not to mention a killer 1970's smiley face medal) and this weekend we attended the Independence Valley Chicken Races. That's right, chicken races.

The object of the chicken races is quite simple. Stick a chicken in the middle of a circle. Stick a kid on the outside of the circle. Get the kid to scare the chicken out of the circle. Time it. Eat the chicken. Okay, I made the last part up, the competitors were not eaten but there was totally a chicken dinner before the races (cracks me up). Since Claire loves birds and races (the latter is me projecting), I figured this would be right up her alley. I was right, until the actual races started. Clarie was #25 so she got to watch the first kids do their thing and form her strategy. She was totally into it until the feathered contestant was scooped up in a net. Apparently I have a future member of PETA on my hands because she burst into tears as soon as the chicken was caught. I'm still not sure why, but without fail, each time a chicken was caught, bottom lip out and alligator tears. I tried to explain to her that she eats chicken all the time but apparently that wasn't helpful. We ended up having to cover her eyes or distract her every time a chicken was being caught. We contemplated having her sit her turn out to prevent any emotional scaring but by the time it was her turn she was rallying so we took a chance and threw her in the ring (not literally of course).

Claire's cousin Sophia. I told her to look like a competitor and this is what she gave me.

Claire thought that the other kids were the most interesting part...seriously why is a number so freaking cute on a baby? 

 Sophia was up first. She was totally in it to win it.

Then Claire took her turn. She decided to let me throw the socks at her chicken while she pointed her bubble maker at it.

 No competition would be complete without participation ribbons...I wonder how long I have until she realizes that everyone gets one.

Did I mention that it rained the entire time? Who knew we would need our rain jackets in June? 


Finger chewing was the real event of the day. Something about popping out molars makes it extra appealing.

Between our suburban weekday life and our rural weekend days, we truly get the best of both worlds.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Let me begin this post by stating the obvious: I have loved my baby fiercely, from the second she was handed to me and I have unequivocally enjoyed every stage of her development. That being said, I don't look back at the newborn/infant stage and get those ooey, gooey feelings that a lot of my mom peers seem to have. I'm not going to try to pretend that I was not a sucker for my new baby. She was/is my world. And those newborn/early infancy moments were not lost on me. But, it was tough. It was tiring. It's over...well, for this round at least.
So while others are waxing sentimental over the memories of the teensy version of their kiddos (I'm not knocking this, I think it's the norm), I am thanking my lucky stars that those days are a happy Facebook photo album memory (my actual memory of those first months is pretty foggy). Infants are amazing, but from my perspective, you work incredibly hard to keep them happy, healthy and safe the first 9ish months and then after that, the hard work pays off and your high maintenance infant turns into a kick-ass little pal who you get to take on the world with (the world of baby gym, swimming lessons, and the zoo...but the world, nonetheless).
So while I'm not a sentimental mom in the traditional sense, I've recently discovered a chink in my armor...Claire's old clothes. This week, we retired Claire's baby Crocs and moved on to a "big girl" pair and the thought of putting them away, made me pause. I remember wiggling them onto her feet and watching her clip clop around the store with the price tag dragging behind her (Grammy had no choice but to buy them for her). They saw us through mud, sand, and puddles and while I'm not trying to plug Crocs, they freaking rock for toddlers/kids. So I had to sigh a little when I thought about the fact that they were off to the storage closet. Yes, I know they are just a pair of shoes but the reality is that they were an everyday, tangible part of that little snippet of time. A snippet of time that I loved.
Alas, her baby Crocs aren't the first sigh-inducing piece of Claire's clothing and I'm certain they won't be the last. Thumbing through the archives, I pinpointed a few other such articles.

First, there's this cardigan. Maybe it's the fact that it looks like something that I would wear myself. 

Then there are the pink bunny PJs.

Oh and this hat.

I can't forget her pink trimmed hickory overalls.

Then there are the shoes in question.

Like I said, I'm attached. But there is a silver lining...

It turns out that Claire loves her big girl Crocs. She put them and did her little stomping jig while saying "shoe, shoe, shoe" and then requested that I leave them on her. On to a new snippet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Several years ago I ran the Sound to Narrows 12k for the first time. After dragging myself up the final stretch of hills and finishing the race, I plopped down to pretend like I was stretching (it's one of my signature rest-moves, it makes you look like a serious runner when in reality, you're being lazy). As I was "stretching" and enjoying my orange, I found myself in the middle of one of the single most amazing events I've ever seen...the Sound to Narrows Diaper Dash. It was one of those moments that my mom envy was put into overdrive and I had visions of my future child (sans red hair...wasn't planning for that) kicking some diaper butt some day in the future (okay, I'm not that competitive, but close!). Well over the weekend, my Diaper Dash dreams became a reality and Claire began her racing career in a memorable fashion. Here is the full race report.

Pre-race: Claire stretched out her hammies while Emmett worked the crowd. The race bibs cracked me up.

Lining up for the start. Claire had a pretty hard core game face. 

Claire took off right away. Clearly, her adrenaline was pumping. Then this happened....

The jury is still out on whether the baby tripped or if Claire pulled a Tonya Harding move on her.

 Apparently, she felt guilty...or is being a bully. Emmett seized the opportunity and took off.

Then the pit crew stepped in...I'm pretty sure this called for a disqualification. 

After her competitor stood back up, Claire kicked in the afterburners and finished strong.


Claire had to replenish her calories after the race so she hit the orange slices pretty hard.

Are you kidding me with the baby race shirts?

Emmett apparently got a runner's high. He went a little crazy after his race debut.

It was a hilarious thing to watch and both Claire and Emmett had tons of fun. I can't wait until they do it again next year.