Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clara picks Pitt to win it all

It is a sad day in the Nobles house. Our daughter is not even a year old, and she is already starting to question her parents' sports allegiances.

Karey and I, being rabid Syracuse Orange fans, are of the belief that this is their year. A #1 seed, a balanced attack and the best coach in NCAA basketball. There is no way this team isn't Final Four bound.

Clara doesn't agree.

This morning we gave her the chance to pick the entire 64 team field and completely on her own, she went with the Pittsburgh Panthers over our beloved Orange. Our only saving grace is that she does believe Pitt will win the entire tournament.

Here is a short video that shows how she picked her bracket. It includes the fateful pick of Pitt over SU.

For the record here is the little lady's Final Four:
Pitt over Kansas
Villanova over West Virginia
Championship: Pitt over Villanova

You can see and follow her entire bracket by clicking here.

Some other tid-bits- She likes the hometown Siena Saints to make a run to the Sweet 16 and she thinks Murray State pulls off a first round upset. Her biggest shocker, (We are calling it the Clara upset special): 15 seed UC Santa Barbara over Ohio State. (Sorry Aunt Ashley and Uncle Adam)

Post your Final Four picks in the comments so we can see where you stack up with Ms. Clara.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Three-month check up

Nine-and-a-half pounds.

That's what little Miss Clara weighs these days, and it happens to be more than three times her birth weight!

She had her three month check-up yesterday (a couple weeks late) and she is doing just great. Her weight is approaching the low end of the growth chart (the regular growth chart for full-term babies) and her own curve got much steeper since her last weigh in. She just keeps gaining!

The pediatrician did think her breathing still sounded heavy, and attributed it to her likely having smaller airways. She said she should outgrow that, but most likely will have asthma. She also said that while most people can look to eating habits as a sign that something is wrong, we might not be able to do the same, since Clara always eats well. Even in the hospital! Like mother, like daughter!

Clara also impressed the doctor by locking eyes with her and even raising her eyebrows to communicate (what, I'm not sure). She said Clara seems to be doing well developmentally, and in some respects is even ahead of a full-term three-month old at this point!

She also got three vaccinations and was pretty cranky yesterday from the shots, poor thing.

The big news is that the doctor advised that we switch her over to her crib. She said since Clara is a preemie, we should be taking all precautions to avoid SIDs, which means now that she is more active, her bassinet with padded sides is not okay. So she's now in her crib in her nursery with no bumpers and no blankets. I had to buy her a "sleep sack" yesterday, which is basically a sleeper that goes over her normal pajamas and serves as her blanket.

She looks pretty lonely in there, but I think she likes it! This is how we found her at one point yesterday evening:

She, of course, started out at one end, but apparently likes to squirm! She was in a different position every time we checked on her!

We have a video monitor set up and I am just transfixed. I could watch it for hours!

Well, we have lots of Clara pics to share, and I'm behind in posting them, so I'll leave you with just a few:

Clara has a buddy these days... Jasper! I never would have guessed it. I think it's because they share a common interest - me! I'm near Clara and Jasper wants to be near me. But she is good with the baby and I am always supervising (don't worry, mom!). Here's another shot of the two girls...

Clara has a lot of hair bows so I put one on just for fun. Turns out babies can get head-band head! I had to wet down her hair for church that evening. She's also sporting her new stylish "peep-toe" shoes, the hottest trend in baby fashion this spring :)

In this shot, Clara was just transfixed on me as I was blowing my hair dry. I love it that she is focusing on us and watching us lately!

She's so smiley! And she nearly chuckles, which she is on the verge of doing here. Oh, and do you notice the hair on her head? That's right - Clara no longer has the "old-man-wrap-around" (as one nurse put it during her hospital stay)! We like her both ways, but we are glad to see it come in so soon!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I can't wait to keep meeting my daughter

Clara has a new trait.

She smiles.

I know, not really earth shattering, but for Karey and me it is huge. She used to smile on occasion before, but was always assumed it was just by accident. We'd see her sort of curl up her lip and her eyes widen and we'd claim that as an expression of her happiness. We don't need to do that anymore. Now she smiles all the time and in different ways. Huge, big open mouth smiles. Little, almost mischievous closed mouth smiles. And of course my favorite, the one you see here, smiles that are sent only through her eyes.

This new phenomenon got me thinking. There is so much about Clara that we have yet to learn. I passionately looked forward to meeting my first child for a long time, but I never thought that once she came to us, that introduction process would be ongoing for the rest of our lives. 3 months ago, I knew nothing about Clara, but 2 weeks ago, I knew nothing about the Clara that smiles all of the time.

The weather has been spectacular this week in Central Virginia and whenever I feel the spring air, I almost automatically start thinking about baseball. Living in Upstate NY, the idea of getting to play baseball outside after being buried under snow for 6 months brought me such excitement. I loved when my Dad and I would find my glove buried under a pile of sporting equipment in the basement and we'd oil it up to get ready to play catch for the first time.

It won't be long before I can share that experience with Clara. I have no idea if she will have the same enjoyment that I did. As I thought about that future, my mind started racing, wondering what kind of kid Clara will be. Will she be a super girly-girl, like her mother and her Aunt Becky and I will have to beg her to come outside? Will she be a little tomboy, like Aunt Amy and be the one begging me to go outside and play catch?

But my thought process went even further.. What if she does want to play softball or baseball, what kind of player will she be? Will she want to lead-off and steal bases? Will she be a power hitter? Will she want to pitch and learn a vicious windmill that her opponents will cower in fear over? (I vote for all of the above)

The point is, I have no idea. I don't even know that girl yet. But I can't wait to meet her.

I honestly get excited when I think of every single one of those possibilities unfolding, and this is just one tiny example of the thousands of new Claras we are going to meet in the future.

Over the course of my life, I don't feel really like I have changed all that much. But this new revelation has made me realize that my parents are meeting new versions of me all the time. Even though I am a full grown adult, they are still meeting the new me, even today.

They have waited a long time to meet their son as a father.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Clara visits NY

We're back from Clara's first visit to my hometown. The reason for our trip - Clara and I had a baby shower! It was so much fun. I highly recommend having one if you are adopting. It was a great way for everyone to meet little Clara, and after hearing our story, so many people couldn't wait to see her. And how much more fun is a shower when the baby is in attendance?!

We got lots of great stuff, and I am constantly reminded just how incredibly generous people are. Some people have given two and three gifts at this point! We are so blessed. And we truly have everything we need, especially in the clothing department. This little girl is one well-dressed infant! One of these days I really need to take a picture of her closet. It is jammed packed!

I don't have many pictures of the actual shower just yet (I didn't really have a chance to use my camera in between eating the awesome food and opening presents), but I do have some shots from the overall trip to my parents:

My mom, me and Clara at the shower

Clara LOVES her grandfather. She smiles every time he talks to her!

She got to meet her great-grandpa

That smile melts my heart!!

Clara turned three months old last week. And as you can see in the pictures, she also entered a new phase - she smiles! I couldn't wait for this milestone to arrive. She used to smile once in a while, but now she's smiling at appropriate times, and much more often.

She's also getting so big. She hasn't been weighed in a couple weeks, but we estimate that she weighs between 8 1/2 and 9 pounds. For the first time over the weekend, my arm and back was sore from holding her. Apparently that's what most mothers experience from the start! Our little peanut was light as a feather for the first three months!

She's now fitting into 0-3 month clothes, and while newborn stuff does still fit her, it's getting tighter every day.

She is also sleeping longer. Sometimes she goes four hours between feedings. She does have some acid reflux, so we had to start adding rice cereal to her formula, as well as reduce the amount of formula (which she hasn't been too happy about). The pediatrician also switched her reflux medication and so far the changes have all seemed to work. I hate when I can tell she's in pain, so we're thankful that is happening far less than it used to.

I will update with more shower pictures when I get them. But in the meantime, a big "thank you" to all who were in attendance on Saturday! I am so glad you all got to meet Clara!