Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Let's get this baby off the ground"

Anybody seen that "FarSide" cartoon where the pilots are sitting on the back of a giant baby on the airport runway?  Yeah, it was weird.  But, for some reason, this was the phrase that came to me when I thought about what was most significant and different in our lives right now.  My daughter is walking!

A Sunday afternoon walk in the rain (Adorable, right?)

Does this kid not just melt your heart right out of your chest?  Maybe it's me; maybe I'm biased.  Okay, so I'm biased.  But still...  

So, she's walking.  It adds a whole lot of excitement to our household.  Now, we hear a bump in the other room where she's playing, and it's a mad dash, because you just know she either fell and hit her head, or has reached something breakable and/or valuable that she didn't used to be able to.  Either way, we come running.  Man, oh man, but we enjoy it.  There's nothing better in our lives right now than watching her take off from holding our hands, and have that adorable little face turn back toward us and flash all eight pearly whites in our general direction with a gleam in her eye.  How can we help but love that?  

Claire is amazing.  She's working full time right now: she's probably into overtime now that Louise is walking.  She keeps house like no one I know, loves our baby girl and takes care of her better than I could ever hope for, and somehow still finds time to squeeze me in (seriously, she gives great hugs).  I am a very lucky man.  She's just a great person to both have and be around.  I think she could have a great deal of very close friends here, with all the people she's met and left on friendly terms with at the park across the street from us.  However, since she also has yet to see the same person twice at the park, it hasn't worked out as well as it could.  It's so odd; even though we live in closer proximity to more people than either of us has ever experienced in our lives, it's so easy to feel like you live on your own. Even in our own apartment building (we share an entrance with two other apartments; one above and one below us), I've personally only run into the people above us coming or going maybe two or three times total, and the people below us a whopping one time each.  It's crazy.  Fortunately, Claire is much better at instigating social happenings than I am.  

Which is why, for L's first birthday party, it was more than just the three of us sharing ice cream and cake.  See for yourself:

L with our upstairs neighbors' little boy

Me, L, and Claire immediately following L's first taste of cake

The party-goers sans Claire

Ditto, sans me

We had a great birthday celebration for L.  We had the upstairs neighbors, a family from church, and a lady we've gotten to know via the more than a few times we've met her out walking her awesome dog, Quince, who was kind enough and friendly enough to accept our invitation to celebrate L's birth with us (She's smitten with L.  Really, who wouldn't be?)  It was a great party, and we had a lot of fun.  We made homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream accompanied by a french vanilla cake with homemade frosting.  Pretty great.  

Claire is heading up a pretty ambitious project right now.  She's gotten together a bunch of moms via Facebook groups and they're going to contribute a different page each to make a whole bunch of fabric "quiet books" for their children.  She's pretty excited about it, and the moms seem to share a lot of her energy, from what I've gleaned from a few over-the-shoulder glimpses of the Facebook page (Isn't technology crazy?).  

I'm working five days a week right now in the mornings, and have class three times a week in the evening.  Between those two things, I don't get nearly as much time to spend with my girls as I'd like.  However, since I would ideally spend every waking minute with them, this isn't difficult to bring about.    It is made a little bit easier in that I so very much enjoy all of my readings that I do for my classes.  Such a plus about grad school.  If you've chosen your program well, it's a whole lot easier to get things done, because you genuinely enjoy it.  

For L, I have just a few fun things to share.  First off, she loves to get into things that she really shouldn't.  That alone isn't funny or unique.  Her reaction, however, is; it's hilarious.  When we realize she's into something, say her name, and start walking toward her, she does this comical little "freak out" movement where she waves her arms really fast, shakes her head even faster, then returns to doing whatever she was doing at double speed.  It's adorable to watch.  Our favorite instance of this happened one morning when Claire was putting some clothes away, and L was in our bedroom, exploring.  Claire heard a clatter and peeked in just in time to see L looking down into the now open container of Vaseline.  Being the fantastic mother she is, Claire said L's name and started into the room.  L performed her little freak out, then proceeded to insert her fingers speedily into the Vaseline and fluttering them quickly and carefully about, all the while looking right at Claire and smiling sweetly.  Like I said, this girl's hilarious.  Also, her favorite pastime while walking outside is leaf-collecting.  She'll walk along holding a hand, and carefully pick up whatever leaves seem to fulfill her undisclosed criteria for pickup.  She's very specific in her selection.  This is no haphazard swipe along the ground; she very carefully picks up individual specimens and holds them in her hand until she can't hold any more, or drops a few in going after one, and the process begins again.  We could watch her all day.  She's so fun; we love it.

That seems to be just about everything new and/or exciting for us, so I'll leave you with just this one last video.  It's long, and I promise it's the same thing throughout.  If you're bored with it, feel free to skip it.  We, on the other hand, can't get enough of this little hooligan.  Enjoy.