A Week In Our New Home

It's been a week now that we've been living in this place that we now call "home." And a little less than two that we've owned it. And yet, it seems so much longer than that.

In that short amount of time, we've had friends and family give up their own busy schedules to help us paint and organize, drop off meals, watch Claire. We've put together new furniture, started dozens of projects, made incredible progress and already mopped up a geyser of water from a washing machine gone ruly. 

Our sweat and elbow grease are all over this place and it shows--it finally is starting to feel like us.

It is a grand thing, this place of home. And Claire already understands that, somehow knowing that the room with the room with the brightly-colored carpet and neon walls is hers. She loves opening all the cupboard doors and playing on the open deck. I think she understands this is home, our home.

Dear Claire: 14-Month Update

(I've been writing monthly updates to my daughter, Claire, documenting all the changes that come with the passing weeks. You can catch up on past letters here.) 

Dear Claire,
I am convinced after all your leaps and bounds this month, that you are a genius. It is obvious now that you understand so, so much.

For instance, your love for playing outside is evident when you walk up to us, put your hand up to us so that we’ll hold it, and then walk us to the door where you where ask “ball, ball” (because there are always balls outside to play with, which are now your #1 toy). Sometimes you’ll say, “outside.”

Like I mentioned, your number one toy right now is a ball. It doesn’t matter what shape or size; you’ll walk up, pick it up and walk around with it. You now can throw it and love to try to put it in a basket—just like your uncles when they play basketball. They sure have rubbed off on you! Your other favorite toy right now are baby dolls, sparked by the doll you received in your Easter basket from Grandma. You love to sit in your little chair (perfectly sized for you!) and hold your baby, which is absolutely adorable!

Every once and awhile, I used to play peekaboo with you. I’d usually use a piece of clothing and hold it over your face and ask, “Where’s Claire Bear?!” Then I’d pull it away and say, “There she is!” I honestly didn’t play it that often but this month you started playing it with us; you’d hold something over your face or cover your face with your hands, pull them away and say, “Der she is!” Which of course would get us to play along with you—exactly what you intended.

Along with that, you feel pretty strongly about getting your way and can throw quite the hissy fit (usually involving shrieking loudly) when you don’t. That’s pretty usual for kids your age, I guess, but still, you’ve got quite the dramatics in you!

You can also follow simple commands. I realized this the other night when I found an empty Kleenex box and put some cloths in it and asked you to pull one out. I didn’t demonstrate, but still you reached in and pulled one out. I asked you to do it again, and you did. Then I asked you to put the ones you pulled out into a pile. You followed that command. I’ve been experimenting with more and more commands, such as today when I opened the door to get a package. I asked you to pick it up and carry it to Grandma, which, of course, you did!

You still love shopping and getting out to see new people. Especially so that you can wave at them and blow kisses to strangers and revel in their affection and reactions. (Still, though you love being around people, you don’t have any interest in being held by strangers. Close but not that close is your motto, it seems.)

We have let you start to spoon-feed yourself sometimes, which is obviously quite messy. You do pretty well with your morning oatmeal most days. But a new favorite is to try to feed me (Cheerios, usually) while I’m feeding you. You find it hilarious. (And I find that it helps you eat more—a good thing because you still are quite the dainty eater!)

Consequently, you’re still pretty small, able to fit pretty easily into some of your 3- and 6-month size shorts and bloomers. (Your waist, it seems to be is the smallest part of your body, making you the envy of women everywhere!) Otherwise you’re mostly in 12-month pants and shirts, though some of your summer clothes from last year still fit, just albeit a little snugger and much shorter!

All in all, you’re growing up quickly and before our eyes, blossoming and blooming like the summer weather that is now upon us. Just in time, because next week we close on our house, which is ready and waiting for you with a swing-set in the backyard and plenty of rooms to explore. It’ll all be a crazy whirlwind for a little while, but we’re looking forward to settling in and turning this house into what you will come to know and love as “home.”

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