Saturday, March 24, 2012


Last night, I had the pleasure of spending two hours being wowed by Millard West's production of the musical Footloose. West is known for it's musical talent, which I had witnessed three years ago with The Music Man and two years ago with Les Mis, both of which were wonderfully done, but last night's performance was by far my favorite.

The music took me back to listening to my brother's Footloose soundtrack on cassette tape. I almost hesitate to admit that I didn't actually see the movie until several years ago at a "movie in the park" event here in Omaha, but I grew up dancing around the house to "Let's Hear it for the Boys," and when I was in elementary school, my cousins and I choreographed an amazing baton twirling routine to the "Footloose" song (serious hours spent practicing in their garage, thinking of costumes, and cajoling the youngest cousin, who was about 5 to dress up like a boy so we could push her during the "Jack, get back" line...ahh, memories....)

More than enjoying the trip down memory lane, though, I was filled with pride as a teacher. Not that I had anything to do with the students' musical talents (which were impressive, I'm telling you), but I am so proud to witness what wonderful young men and women those talented actors and actresses have become.

For example:
  • Ren (the rebel new kid in town) was a freshmen and sophomore student of mine who had a tendency to talk too much in class. He actually brought a guitar and amp to class one day to sing a song that he wrote for a book report project...the only student who has ever chosen that particular project option.
  • Willard (the country hick who learns to dance) is my favorite homeroom student who is the kind of kid that every parent hopes to have. He'll be dancing up a storm at the Omaha Community Playhouse in "Hairspray" this summer.
  • Reverand Shaw was a freshman who was teased for being a bit weird at times. I had to remind him to stop doodling and start reading many times.
  • Vi (the pastor's wife) is a sweet young lady who was in a crazy 4th block sophomore class of mine. She was the girl who would give me a sympathetic look when the boys were out of control.
  • Chuck (the lead rebel) was a freshman and sophomore of mine. His freshmen year he had to stay after school once to scrub a doodle of a skater logo off the table, and I remember being so excited when he found a book that he actually enjoyed!
  • Lyle (one of the local rebel boys) was soft-spoken sophomore who had great creativity but was not great about handing in work on time.
  • Travis (another local rebel) was a exhausting freshman who just would not shut up but says hi to me in the hallway every time he sees me.
And there were others that I won't bore you with. It's just amazing to see kids come alive when they are really doing something they enjoy. Their zest and enthusiasm are inspiring and remind me that just because I'm then 34 year old mother of a 1 year old, doesn't mean that I have to lead a dull life. I'm challenged to find more ways to "let loose" in my own life, whatever that may look like.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Not just one, but two smartypants live at my house. I, unfortunately, am not one of them. On Wednesday, we were getting ready to sit down to dinner. Scott was just wrapping up some homework in the living room. I had Claire already buckled into the highchair, next to the table. Since our $5 thrift store table has seen better days (shocking, I know), it's usually covered with a tablecloth.

Claire had already pulled the tablecloth halfway off once, so apparently I had temporarily lost my short-term memory, or perhaps I thought the bowls of soup were heavier because I didn't think twice about putting the bowls down on the table and walking back into the kitchen. Needless to say, it was one of those slow-motion moments: Claire tugging at the tablecloth, me trying to rush over but not getting there fast enough, watching the bowl spill all over the carpet. Argh!

Luckily Scott is slightly infatuated with our "little green machine" carpet cleaner. Bonus points for dad cleaning up a mess that wasn't even his fault.

Also bonus points for smartypants Scott outwitting smartypants Claire numerous times each day. An extra wooden shelf that we aren't using on the bookshelf it belongs to serves as a great makeshift fortress between Claire and Daddy's Lego-fest in the spare room or the open bathroom door (I know, you're thinking, "Duh! Just shut the bathroom door!" But Claire will happily standing behind a small wooden barrier, waiting for you to peer from behind the shower curtain at her, but she will sit on the floor and cry the entire time if you completely shut the door.

In Claire's bedroom, the furniture seems to shift a bit each day in order to outsmart and outreach her. She just can't get enough of pulling open drawers, getting out clothes, books, bottles, etc, so the ottoman and lightweight chair now double as deterrents.

And just today Scott showed me his ingenious new way to make sure Claire's fully hydrated. The small green spray bottle (originally intended to spray at Shoes to "encourage" her to stay off the furniture). Scott, holding the bottle near her lips, says, "Claire, want a drink?" And she opens her little mouth, ready for a squirt. Really. He squirts water into her mouth. I know, slightly ridiculous, but I know you're laughing :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I have to laugh thinking about the little things that Claire does that "vex" her dad. ("Vex" is a favorite word around the McIntyre house. I can't remember when or why we started to use it, but it makes an appearance at least once a week, sometimes more.)

Claire just learned how to turn the TV off and on. She doesn't even really realize that she's doing it because she's not as fascinated by the TV flashing on and off, but she is magnetically drawn to the teeny blue light on the Power button. (I'm constantly amazed at the tiniest observations little ones can make.) I'm just waiting for the day that Scott is in the midst of an intense moment in his favorite racing game only to have Claire turn off the TV...hee hee....

Claire also loves to kick her legs...almost constantly....while laying on the changing table. Today I was particularly entertained listening to Scott trying to get her tights back on....hence the reason that she only dons outfits with tights on the weekends when I'm around the patiently push her wiggly little feet in and scoot them up her chubby little thighs. He got the job done, though. Ah, the things a dad has to learn to do for his little girl.

Of course, Claire vexes me sometimes, too. For instance, today I wanted her to wear a headband with bow. Unfortunately, though, I haven't been having her wear them much lately, so she was having nothin' doin' of keeping that headband on, no matter how many times I pulled her hands down, saying "Oh, such a pretty headband" with my most excited, encouraging face. Guess I'll just have to keep trying.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I've Got

I should be in bed right now, but you know how it is. I sat down to check Facebook for just a few minutes, and now, more than a few minutes later, I'm feeling moved to write after having spent the last 20 minutes reading a random blog that an acquaintance whom I never talk with anymore had posted on her FB page.

I have a confession to make: I've had a bad attitude as of late. Maybe you already knew this, so it might not seem like much of a confession to you, but I'm admitting it without trying to cover it with excuses. Tonight I'm telling myself that I'm going to get over thinking life isn't fair and quit thinking about the things I want but just can't have right now.

Instead, I'm going to focus on what I have here and now. And I must say, some of it is pretty good. I've got a living room floor strewn with dominoes, tiny striped socks, pillows, a pink sock monkey popping his head over the edge of the toy tub, a stray mitten, and a few cans of vegetables (long story, but let's just say that Scott gets creative in seeking ways to keep Claire busy during the day). Just a few hours ago, the most adorable little girl on the planet was crawling around amidst all that stuff.

Now that adorable little girl is all snug in her crib, sucking on her orange paci, peacefully sleeping away 11 hours or so while her new front tooth continues to push its way through. She's happy and healthy and thinks I'm the best thing ever. How can I be sure of that, you ask? Well, I don't see her doing the "I'm a little bird, flapping my little arm wings, trying to take off up into your arms" dance when you walk in the room :)

I've got a 4th block class full of freshmen who don't act like crazy monkeys between 1:45 and 3:15 each day.

I've got a good audio book to listen to on my drive in the morning, and I'll enjoy creamy, vanilla flavored coffee while I listen and drive.

I've got an amazing husband who loves me in spite of my incredibly moody moments.

And I've got a warm cozy bed that I will now crawl into. Good night.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Daddy's girl

It's amazing how much more I can fall in love with Scott by simply watching (or hearing about) him care for Claire. After two months of him filling the role of stay-at-home dad, I have one word: amazing. Considering that he had never diapered, fed, dressed, bathed, or anything more than held a baby before becoming Claire's dad, he is doing a rockstar job!

Our day starts with me waking Claire up at 6:30am. I love watching her rub her eyes with her chubby little fists, peering up at me standing over her crib. On the way out of her room, we stop at the hallway mirror, so she can laugh at herself (she's quite funny in the morning) and lightly bump her forehead against her reflection in the mirror I nuzzle my nose in her fuzzy bed-head hair, entertained by her two-tooth smile and laughter in the morning.

I usually deposit her in our bed at 7 am to snuggle with dad....well, Scott would like to snuggle with her (he's constantly commenting how "I just wish she'd want to hug me!"), but she's much too busy to have time for snuggling and hugging. I play peek-a-boo a few times before I head out the door.

Scott is not one to just loiter at home with Claire all day (which I must say I'm impressed by because taking an active 9 month old out is can be an endeavor, as all of you who area already parents well know). Just this week they had lunch at Panera with a friend (apparently three college girls at the table beside them got very little studying done while Claire was there), visited the guys at FastTrack trucking, and frequented Target several times.

Here's one difference in Scott from the pre-Claire to now with-Claire days. Scott still loves the toy aisle at Target, don't get me wrong, and I'm almost certain he and Claire strolled down it yesterday, but he didn't come home with Legos for himself (my man loves his Legos!). No, he came home with two pink, fleecy outfits for Claire (cute yet practical!), a red Sock monkey doll (because "I've always wanted to get her a Sock monkey!"...sounding like he's been waiting years, not just 9 months), a round tub for her toys (one that's big enough that he can empty all the toys out, put Claire in, and push her around in it. I know that alternative use factored in to which toy bin was purchased), and a monkey hat with matching brown mittens. Technically the tag on the monkey hat did say "Infant Boy", which I gently pointed out to him, but he won me over when he said, "Well, you can take it back if you want, but I just love the hats with little ears!" I must admit, it is quite adorable, so I'll just make sure that she's wearing pink when she has it on.

Scott commented that as he walked around Target, he was thinking to himself that he was about the only guy in the store, it seemed, and probably the only one pushing around a little girl in the cart. And to hear him talk about how the cart could be better suited for babies ("the strap to buckle her in needs to be lower. It goes up into her armpits and then she slouches down, putting her feet up on the handle"), and how he has to bend over the cart while he pushes to make sure she doesn't slip out....I know, I know, I'm such a sappy mom, but I can't help but smiling when I picture it in my mind!

Perhaps the most entertaining Daddy moment of the day yesterday involved the new sippy cup. Lately Claire has been losing interest in the bottle. Food is just more appealing these days, but don't worry, she's obviously still getting enough, as her chubby thighs and cheeks will prove. We decided it might be time to try a sippy cup, so Scott also picked one of those up at Target. Watching him figure out how to use it was priceless. In his defense, it was tricky, being the "stage 1" cup which is similar to a bottle nipple in the fact that Claire still needs to suck to get liquid out (hard to explain...if you could see the cup, you'd understand). So he filled, turned it upside down, tried to drink, realized that if you pushed your nose on the center part by the nipple, the water came out better. Problem being that the distance between his mouth and nose is much greater than a baby's. Eventually Claire would hold it up to her mouth and suck, but we don't have much confidence that she actually got any water, since she loves to just chew on stuff these days. The cup went back already last night, so we'll have to try a different style.

Anywho, I suppose I've rambled long enough. Yes, I'm that mom who is absolutely enamored with my child, so don't complain that you haven't been warned! As I watch her crawl around (which she's quite fast at these days) and pull herself up next to things (mostly on her knees, but every so often up to her feet...yikes!), I can't believe that our little Claire is already nine months old. I can't wait to spend two uninterrupted weeks (thank God for Christmas break) with my little girl :)

Friday, October 14, 2011


Yesterday was Claire's 7 month birthday....woah, time, please slow down!

It was also another milestone: Scott's first full day as "Mr. Mom." We've been super blessed by God's job provision for Scott. First, his internship was extended one month because of a coworker recovering from kidney donation surgery (very cool/random, yes). Then he worked for almost a full month contracting for Bozell. Again, an answer to prayer. So now, as he's in a "lull" between jobs and as he continues searching for a full-time position, he's taking on the role of full-time dad.

I texted about 11 am to ask how things were going. An hour later (I wasn't sure if the time gap was a good sign or not), I receive this text back: "Well, Princess only drinks her milk warm ;) if it best a bit cool it must be warmed again." I laughed out loud, thinking about the fact that Claire was already wrapping daddy around her little finger. Our babysitter has said that Claire is sometimes slow and a bit stubborn when drinking, but I know that she's just persistent in having Claire drink. Scott, on the other hand, goes to rewarm the bottle (which is sweet) in order to please his little girl.

I love, love, love watching Scott fall even more in love with his little girl. And she's pretty darn lovable, I must admit. She's a girl on the go these days, rolling and backwards slide/scooting all over the living room. She "chooses" a DVD to watch several times a day (really wish we could find the glass doors to the TV stand so we could put them back on to baby proof a bit) and loves playing with the springy doorstops in the hall. She purposefully rolls over to Shoes to pet her, but Shoes has already decided that she's not so down with that. She'd rather watch Claire from a distance. She loves standing in the exersaucer and pressing the button that plays "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"....over and over and over and can imagine how much Scott loves that :) Mirrors are sources of extreme fascination as she tries to figure out just who that adorable little girl is!

We love our little Claire-a-belle!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A week of milestones

Claire's been a busy girl over the past week! Last Monday, after much grunting, squirming, and red-face making (on her part) and much cheering (from mom), she rolled from her back to her stomach! We were playing on the floor around noon. I'd been coaching her a lot on this rolling thing because I really wanted her to do it before I go back to school (more on that later). Once she was completely over, she still had her arm trapped beneath her. I resisted the urge to help her get it out because I wanted this to really "count" as the first roll (is that lame of me?), so I let her fuss it out a bit more until she got the arm free. I was so excited...but she was less than. After all that work, she just wanted to be picked up :)

I was so excited to actually see her accomplish this for the first time because she has to start going to the babysitter on Wednesday. We have an awesome woman lined up for her (sister of a good friend from church, has seven kids of her own, only watches one other girl full-time), but I'm still a bit sad thinking of the things I'll miss, so I'm feeling blessed to witness this milestone. Maybe I'll tell the babysitter not to tell me if Claire accomplishes a "first" while there. Or maybe I'll put the video camera in the diaper bag each day. Or maybe I'll just pray she does all the good stuff during the evening or weekends. The best bet, though, might be to follow Scott's advice (shhh....don't tell him I think he might be right :) to remember that just because I don't get to see the absolute first time, doesn't mean that it won't be awesome to see the second...or third...or fourth. I tell him it's a "mom thing," but he does have a point. We'll see how the year goes :)

Rolling does present some new challenges though. Unfortunately I only helped her practice rolling from back to tummy, and she hasn't figured out how to roll from tummy to back yet (which is somewhat backward. most babies do that first...perhaps I didn't do enough tummy time?) So she gets rather frustrated when she's tired of being on her tummy but can't seem to do anything about it. Also, putting her down to sleep is trickier because, again, she'll roll to her tummy and then get really mad about it (which isn't good for sleeping), or she'll roll part way and get an arm or leg stuck between the crib bars, which also makes for a mad baby. We're working it out, though...and now practicing that ever-so-important tummy to back roll :)

She's also made two amazing discoveries this past week: those feet down there are actually hers! And her thumb is a mighty fine pacifier. I love watching her rock on her back, playing with her feet (she's not sucking on them...yet). Even cuter is peeking in on her sleeping, sucking away at her thumb. Really, does it get cuter than that? She's still not an expert at the thumbsucking....sometimes her other fingers about poke her eye out, but I'm ok if she's not doing it all the time. Just like the paci, all good things in moderation, yes?

The final milestone: she's now sleeping upstairs during the night. I wanted to make the transition from the pack-n-play in our room to the crib in her room for night sleeping so my alarm doesn't wake her up in the morning. (I'm already going to have to wake the poor girl up in the morn when school starts. No sense in that happening any earlier than it needs to). She's a rockstar and slept through the first night in her crib with narry a peep. Which is more than I can say for me. I woke up at least twice to listen for the baby monitor. Scott indulged my testing it several different ways "just to make sure." Are there people that worry more about little things than moms? I don't think so :) She even slept through the noisy dumpster emptying at 3:45 am the second night. Really, Mr. Garbage Truck Man? Not a different time you could empty that dumpster next door? This is a residential neighborhood, for crying out loud!

So exciting times for Team McIntyre. Times that make me smile and make me sad all at one. Time flies a bit too fast sometime. God, show me how to treasure each and every moment of it :)