Friday, September 28, 2007

Bath Time!

When we first brought her home, Clare hated bath time, because it involved laying her down on the kitchen counter and wiping her off with a wet washcloth. She really doesn't like being cold, and even now she gets really fussy when you take her pants off to do a diaper change, although it's getting a lot easier as time goes by.

But after her umbilical cord fell out(after the first week), we were able to start using her baby bath tub that fits in to our kitchen sink. She likes it a lot better, since she can be in the warm water. It's usually a 2-person job, since she's kind of squirmy, but Tom usually is in charge of keeping warm water running on her so that any part of her that's out of the water doesn't get cold while I wash her.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday's bath. The only part she screams at anymore is when we take her out of the water and transfer her to her hooded towel. After we get her wrapped up, she's all happy again.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Check out this baby!

Our friend Matt sent this photo to us...

I'm so glad Clare was an 8-pounder!

Baby girl Nadia (L), who weighed 7.75 kg (17.1 lbs) after birth, lies in a maternity ward in the Siberian city of Barnaul September 26, 2007.


Before I had Clare, people kept telling me to get used to the fact that after her arrival my house would never be as clean as I like it anymore, I would never be on time for anything, I'd accomplish about 0.75 things (if I'm lucky) on my "to-do" list for the day, and would start thinking that sleeping 3 hours all in one stretch is almost a full night of sleep. To be honest, I didn't believe them.

I couldn't imagine that one little person could impact my daily schedule (other than the sleeping thing -- I was prepared for that) all that much. One friend jokingly told me of how she adjusted to life with a baby: she'd choose one thing she wanted to get done that day, eg: cleaning the bathroom. She'd go about her day trying to get it done...The next day her goal would be to finish cleaning the bathroom and to start something else. I laughed, thinking that for some reason I was going to be immune to this chaos.

So here I find myself, 3 weeks after Clare's birth -- house not as clean as I want it; calling people saying, "We're going to be a little delayed..."; starting a bunch of different chores that I get 1/2 way done; and thinking that 3 hours of sleep all in one stretch is a treat.

Don't get me wrong; I LOVE being a mom. Clare and I are starting to get adjusted to life with each other here while Tom is at work. I outsmarted her yesterday, and was actually able to accomplish some much-needed organizing in the office that I had been wanting to get to forever (I was in the middle of it when my water broke 3 weeks ago). She loves being held -- as I'm sure most new babies do -- and has been insisting on being walked around lately. So, in order to hold her and walk around and have the use of my hands, I put her in her Baby Bjorn carrier. Voila! Baby asleep in no time at all. What a marvelous invention! Gotta hand it to those Swedes. For the first time in 3 weeks, I actually did something with my hair that did not include throwing it in a pony tail! She slept through the 25 minutes it takes me to straighten my hair and make it look like someone cares about it; it was great. *Note to all our pregnant friends: I highly recommend the Baby Bjorn. It's comfortable, too. Wandering around with her practically all day strapped to my chest didn't hurt my back in the slightest. And since she either sleeps or is happy to just look around while I'm roaming the house, I'm assuming she's comfortable too.

So, since she is now happily asleep in her Baby Bjorn as I type this, I'm going to take advantage and attempt to accomplish one thing today. :) God bless you!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Let the Children Come to Me

"Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." Luke 18:15-17

Tom has been working overtime at the Shipyard the past week or so, which means that he's working 12 hours through the night. : ( It's hard not having him at home when I'm trying to get to sleep at night, but at the same time we are SO very thankful that God has given him this opportunity right now, as the extra income is helpful now that we are a single-income family with a baby. Our Lord always provides, doesn't He?

Anyway, because Tom was at work, Clare and I got to go do our Holy Hour this morning by ourselves. The gentleman who is there before us always stops to say hi before he leaves, and today he made the comment, "I bet Our Lord enjoys the visit from this little one more than any other throughout the day." It just made me think about how precious Clare is to Him...I hope that we made Christ smile by being there with Him.

By Popular Demand

A Clare update for all you family and friends who are anxiously checking the blog daily (Mare) ; ) to see if there are any new pictures...She really is getting bigger, it's crazy to think that just 2 1/2 weeks ago we were in the hospital awaiting her arrival!

Things are going well so far -- we are all adjusting to life here at the Herring household. Clare sleeps a lot (unfortunately not at night) and eats a lot; at her 1-week check up she was already back up to her birth weight of 8 lbs...her doctor says that we definitely don't need to worry about her eating enough since she had gained her weight back that quickly!

She does sleep in about 2-hour intervals through the night, so at least I get a good nap in before she's ready to eat again. The other night, however, she slept for 3 1/2 hours all at once! I woke up after about 1 1/2 hours -- it seems my body clock is changing too-- and she was still sound asleep. I couldn't believe it, but trust me, I enjoyed every minute of the next 2 hours of sleep after that. I think slowly her days and nights will get turned around.

Tom and I took her for a walk this evening; it's so nice to get outside and feel active again. I even ventured out for a "glorified walk" (aka: my attempt at going running again) tonight, which felt GREAT. The past few days I've actually felt like I'm healing up, so it's making me feel adventurous. Don't worry, though, I'm still taking it easy for the most part and resting a lot.

It's amazing to me how much I don't get done around the house during the day! The other day, Tom came home and it looked like a tornado had hit the house...I guess I underestimated how much our little Clare would impact my daily schedule. Oh well, we're all getting used to each other and we'll figure it out. It has been great to have my mom, dad, sisters, the Herrings, and friends all ready and willing to jump in and help out wherever we need them. Thank you all!

Ok, here are the long-awaited pictures. Enjoy!

I took this one so that you could compare it with the previous post -- can you tell that she's bigger?

Andrew and Lindsey came to visit us yesterday!

Clare with Great Aunt Margo

4 Generations! Clare and I went down to Olympia to meet the Wigren side of the family and to watch Aunt Kristy play volleyball against St. Martin's.

Clare with Aunt Shannon while she was here visiting

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Daddy's little girl

I told you all she loves her daddy! Good night everyone.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My turn to post

Hello to all our dear friends and family! Tom and I want to thank you for surrounding us the past few days with your prayers, congratulations, and well wishes. I'm convinced that it's what got me through labor. : )

I had to put a little something in here about how great Tom was during labor. He was so supportive and was right there holding my hand (literally) the whole time, looking at the flow chart of the intensity of my contractions (some contraption they had me hooked up to) and telling me when I had made it through the worst part of each one. He has jumped in to his role as Daddy so quickly and with such ease -- I think he was meant to do it! Clare is so taken with him; it's beautiful to see her turn her head when she hears his voice or calm down immediately when he holds her after the nurses got done poking at her while we were in the hospital.

This whole experience, as Tom said earlier, has been just incredible. And I have a feeling that it's only going to get better and better from here on out! Again, thank you all for your prayers and support.

Love in Christ,

Friday, September 7, 2007

Clare Marie Herring

Welcome to everyone visiting our family blog - first timers as well as our regulars!

So by now you've probably heard the wonderful news that Clare Marie was born on Thursday, September 6th at 5:40 A.M. (As an aside, this also happens to be the date predicted by Clare's parents some nine months ago. The doctors, uninterested in Natural Family Planning, were off by a week.)

Clare weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs 1 ounce, measuring (to everyone's surprise) only 20.3 inches. She has a beautiful close-up photo posted on the hospital's website, which you can access here. Baby and Mom are doing just fine.

At about 2 P.M. Wednesday Carrie's water broke. Although she was having no contractions, the hospital recommended she come in to be checked. Upon arrival at 3 P.M. our doctor decided it best to induce labor, by starting her on a mild dose of pitocin. Over a period of several hours, the dose was increased as the smaller amounts were having no real effect on Carrie. Around midnight, our impatience subsided as the intensity and frequency of Carrie's contractions rapidly increased. The hardest part was not knowing how the present level of pain compared to what was coming. At around 2 A.M. Thursday morning, the nurse decided to check Carrie's cervix for the second time since admittance.

She had dilated from three to six centimeters.

After only two hours she was at 9 cm, and the nurse was on the phone with our doctor, who happened to be on call that night for deliveries. The doctor made it to our room just as Clare's head was crowning. Within minutes, she was in our arms.

Through it all, Carrie was simply amazing. No wailing. No writhing. No complaining.

Thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. This has been a beautiful experience for us, and it is such a blessing to share our joy with you. The three of us are back at home now, figuring out a new rhythm of day-to-day life in Port Orchard -- something that, for the first time, includes cleaning poopy diapers ;-).

Enjoy the pictures. We promise there will be more to come in the weeks ahead. And feel free to stop by and say hello to Clare and Family in person. Know that our door is always open.


Tom, Carrie and Clare Marie

p.s. That photo above is, of course, Clare with her new Grandma Herring. ;-)
p.p.s. If you're wondering about our baby's namesake, you can read about it here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

School Prayer

Here is a story that I found uplifting. It's nice to hear every once in a while of something good happening out there. The following is an email that a friend sent to me:

"This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee by school Principal Jody McLoud, on September 1, 2000. I thought it was worth sharing with the world, and hope you will forward it to all your friends. It clearly shows just how far this country has gone in the wrong direction.

It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games to say a prayer and play the National Anthem to honor God and Country.

Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law.

As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it an alternate lifestyle, and if someone is offended, that's OK.

I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity by dispensing condoms and calling it safe sex. If someone is offended, that's OK.

I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a viable means of birth control. If someone is offended, it�s no problem.

I can designate a school day as earth day and involve students in activities to religiously worship and praise the goddess, mother earth, and call it ecology.

I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong, traditional, Christian convictions as simple minded and ignorant and call it enlightenment.

However, if anyone uses this facility to honor God and ask Him to bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, Federal Case Law is violated.

This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical.

Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone except God and His Commandments.

Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules that they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.

For this reason, I shall render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and refrain from praying at this time. However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank God, and ask Him in the name of Jesus to bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that's not against the law — yet.

AND . . . one by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another, and began to pray. They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They pray at the concession stand. And they prayed in the announcer's box. The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United State's of America - the seat of "justice" in the one nation under God.

Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee, remembered what so many have forgotten . . . we are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion.

Praise God that His remnant remains!"

T -9 Days (supposedly)

Well, we're officially in the true home stretch of this first adventure with pregnancy and will soon be parents!

I am officially due the 13th, but at my appointment today my OB said to "make your appointment for next week, but I don't think we're going to need it." She said that I'm 2/3 effaced and dilated to 2 cm...for those of you out there who don't know what this means, I'll let you look it up and spare you all the definition in this post.

It's crazy to think that (in all likelihood) Tom and I will be parents in less than a week. Of course, we already consider ourselves parents, and have since the day we knew we had conceived, but it's *almost* official now. :) At this point, I'm still feeling good, but definitely ready to have this baby.

Thank you all for your prayers and support; keep 'em up! Our Lady is going to get us through this delivery, I'm sure. Please ask St. Gerard for his intercession for a healthy delivery. Here is a beautiful prayer:

O Great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted Child of the Mother of God: enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love. O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the Patron and Protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the lustral waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We'll update you all as soon as we have more exciting news!