Saturday, February 28, 2009

If two is good, six is better

Tonight Mary Clare will have not one, but six babysitters. And that would be six adult babysitters, no less.

We are finally going out to celebrate the guys' great golf victory, and my parents kindly offered to watch Mary Clare at our house. A few days after making the arrangements, my mom asked if we would mind if their friends Helen and Carl came along so they could all play cards. No problem, of course. The fact that my parents are coming over to St. Louis is a huge help, as it saves us from packing up Mary Clare's gear and possibly forgetting something, like oh, say her bottles. That's right. Bottles. When she went to Chip's parents' house last weekend, we packed everything but food for our child. Oops. Oh well, at least we remembered to bring her.

Fast forward a few days, and my mom informs me that their friends Mike and Marge are now coming along as well, and they're going to dinner beforehand at Mangia Italiano. As we finalized plans this morning, my mom also threw in that after dinner they might have to cruise by Ted Drewes for frozen custard, and that I should put out coasters so their drinks don't leave ring marks on the table. Yes! I know! However, no additional babysitters were mentioned, so I think we're holding at six.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hide the liquor and hit an ATM. Paying for six adult babysitters could get a little pricey.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Two much

My, how time flies when you're two months old and your mom spends all her time taking your picture and coming up with really bad puns for her blog posts.

When she's not posing for pictures, Mary Clare continues to entertain us with lots of cooing, gurgling, smiles and what Chip likes to call her bitter beer face, which is really just a finely executed pout. Bath time is a favorite, and I busted out her play mat the other day so she could hurl herself around on it for a bit. Nothing but the best for our girl.

There are more photos from the entire month on our Flickr page, so click here if you want to see how Mary Clare spends her time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ten little piggies

Stop me if I told you this one, but one of our more entertaining visits with Dr. Simckes had to be the time that we talked about extra fingers and toes. Yes.

I was about eight weeks out from delivering the child, and I was suddenly plagued with worries that something was wrong with the baby. I felt fine, but I just had this nagging feeling that since we opted out of the initial screening, it would come back to bite us. I fussed and fretted until our next appointment, and during the ultrasound exam, Dr. Simckes asked if we had any questions. I did, of course. But the big one bugging me wasn't typed out on my list of questions, so Chip had to bring it up.

Chip: Debbie thinks something is wrong with the baby.
Dr. S: Like what? You feel okay, right?
Me: Well, yes. But since we opted out of that first screening, I'm now convinced that something is wrong.
Dr. S:
I have no reason to be concerned. Everything on all of the ultrasounds has been perfectly fine. HOWEVER. If you want me to scare you, I can tell you that nine percent of all children are born with some sort of birth defect.

At this point, the twenty-plus pounds of baby weight and fluid pressing on my spine was the only thing that kept me from flying off of the table.

Me: Excuse me?
Dr. S: When I say defect, I'm talking about small things that can be fixed. Heart murmurs, extra fingers ... you know.
Me: Extra fingers? Are you serious? That happens a lot?
Dr. S: Oh, yes. In fact, everyone in my wife's family who was born with an extra digit went to an Ivy League college.
Me: Wait. Everyone? As in more than one?

After confirming that yes, in fact, a few Ivy League-attending members of his wife's family were born with extra digits, I had to ask:

Me: You have, what? Three children? Were any of them born with extra fingers or toes?
Dr. S: No.
Me: Well, at least you won't have to pay for Harvard.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hook 'em, horns

Since we have a loyal following of Parkway West grads, I know you Longhorns will appreciate that Mary Clare can already throw up the hook 'em horns sign, no problem.

Clearly, she's gifted. As if you had any doubts.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Look out, ladies

Overachievers that we are, Team Botanical is pleased to bring you not one, but two, Valentine's Day posts. Seriously, how adorable is the cheeky monkey we know as Brennan? Despite the precautionary message on his shirt, I'm sorry, but you cannot look at that face and not want to sign him up to be your daughter's betrothed.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to feast on steaks and soak up the cuteness that is my nephew and daughter. Let me tell you, it's hell when everyone you love is so stinking adorable.

Love to love you, baby

Happy Valentine's Day to all you luv-ahs out there.

Mary Clare put on her Valentine's best to celebrate the occasion, and a photo shoot ensued. I know. She was as surprised as you are. Click here for more Valentine's Day photos, as well as some others from her second month here on this earth.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I pity the fool

That's right, you can get your tickets to the gun show right here. I am 8 lbs., 10 oz. of pure terror, so you best check yourself, fool.

MC out.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

If it's on Face Book, you know it's cool

So, if you're like me and love to kill time on Face Book (best maternity pastime EVER), you have undoubtedly encountered a list of 25 random things about your friend or your friend's friend. While I have comprised a list in my head on a number of occasions, I haven't yet actually written my list. I did, however, decide that I would rip off the idea and write my own list of 25 random things I learned and or experienced over the past six weeks. If you don't want to read about bodily functions or, horrifyingly enough, feelings, then stop reading now.

Now that I've got that disclaimer out of the way, have at it. Since these are random things, they are, appropriately enough, in no particular order.
  1. Holy hell, who knew that you could actually see eyelashes grow? At the hospital, several people commented that Mary Clare didn't have eyelashes. She did, actually, but just barely. Well, over the past six weeks they have gone from tiny little specks to long, dark lashes. It's seriously crazy.
  2. Mary Clare has peed on me more times than I can count. And I'm a fast diaper changer. If it's like this with a baby girl, I can't imagine what happens every time the mothers of boys go in for a change.
  3. I swell up with pride when someone tells me Mary Clare is beautiful. I don't even care if the person is lying. I love it.
  4. I also swell up with pride when our pediatrician and the nurses comment on what a good baby she is, because, well, you know they have to see some real train wrecks. So she must be really good.
  5. I had no idea I could watch so much television.
  6. I also had no idea there were so many Law & Order episodes. Seriously. We watch it all the time, and still haven't seen a repeat.
  7. I used to consider myself a fairly modest person, but after going through childbirth and breastfeeding, all bets are off. Boobs, schmoobs. They're just like arms or hands to me now ... I don't care who sees them.
  8. That said, I do have some standards. I don't just whip it out and start feeding without a blanket over myself and Mary Clare.
  9. Then again, I never thought I would do the above while sitting in a living room with Chip's parents, his uncle, his cousin and his cousin's two daughters. When you gotta feed, you gotta feed.
  10. Mary Clare can sleep through the roar of the Dyson, and for that I am eternally grateful.
  11. I can't tell you how guilty I feel about neglecting Buddy. He has handled this change like a champ, and that almost makes me feel even worse.
  12. I can wear regular jeans now, but I am loathe to give up my maternity pants. Elastic waisted pants are awesome.
  13. I can also wear most of my regular shirts now, but they all feel really, really short compared to maternity shirts.
  14. Having Chip at home for the first six weeks of Mary Clare's life was a joy. Not just because caring for a a tiny 7 lb. baby sometimes requires four sets of hands or because he was able to bond with Mary Clare, but because i enjoyed spending six solid weeks with him.
  15. There is nothing crazier than touching your breast and seeing a stream of milk shoot clear across the room.
  16. I wish someone had told me about the insane sweating. I wake up drenched every night, and now feel the need to wash our sheets every other day.
  17. I drink water like its my job. Apparently breastfeeding also makes you very thirsty.
  18. I am surprisingly laid back about not insisting everyone wash their hands the second they walk into our house. Then again, we're lucky that most of our friends and family members are aggressive hand washers.
  19. Planning every single move around another person is exhausting. And humbling. It's weird not being numero uno any more.
  20. I always knew our friends and family members were great, but wow, they really outdid (and continue to outdo) themselves.
  21. Motherhood has not made me lose my desire to keep everything in its place. Having the papasan chair and swing out kills me, but even I know it's crazy to put it in a closet every night.
  22. I can't believe I have such a beautiful baby.
  23. After Mary Clare's birth, I was shaking violently and out of it, but I clearly remember seeing a look of utter joy on Chip's face. I can't put it into words, but I will never forget that look as long as I live. Just thinking about it makes my heart skip a beat.
  24. I love Mary Clare's name. Love it, love it, love it.
  25. Oh, and I love Mary Clare, too. I really can't believe she's finally here. And that she's so perfect. I am, in fact, now one of those mothers. Heaven help us.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The sweater song

I like sweaters. The chunkier the better. That's right, give me all the cabled goodness you've got, Gap. I can take it.

My latest obsession is wrap- and cardigan-style sweaters. Chip, I'm sad to say, does not share my love for these styles of sweaters. Or sweaters in general, for that matter. He's called me grandma a few times and even referred to a new favorite as a belted bath rug. The comments don't bother me, though. After all, they come from a man who depends on me to pick out his shirt and tie every day.

I picked up another cabled cardigan wonder today, and fool that I am, I tried it on for Chip. He took one look at me and started singing.

"Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor?"

That's right. The guy with the rotten memory suddenly pulled the Mr. Rogers song out of thin air.

I turned on my heel and headed out of the room, only to hear him say, "You know, just because we ate at the Olive Garden today with all the blue hairs, it doesn't mean we need to start dressing like them."