Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lilly's Hair

This blog entry has been in the works for some time.  The day I created the blog, I knew that there would have to be an entry on Lilly's hair.  Today is the day!  Lilly's hair has been a topic of conversation since day one.  Usually, when babies are born, they look like a newborn; tiny little features complete with a tiny little bald head.  Sometimes babies have a thin layer of hair, which tends to fall out in the weeks following birth.  So, from the day of Lilly's birth, while she was unique in many ways, her hair set her apart from most other babies.  Nurses kept coming into our room saying that they were told they had to come and see this baby with all the hair.  She surprised everyone who walked into our hospital room to come and meet her; she definitely surprised us!  I have a feeling that this was just the first of many surprises that Lilly has in store for us.  Here she is on April 11, 2009:

Everywhere we went with Lilly, people had something to say.  At our first trip to Starbucks, when Lilly was 3 days old, a woman stopped us and told us it was all going to fall our and grow in blond.  That's what happened with her daughter.  Jim and I soon learned that everyone knew what was going to happen with Lilly's hair; everyone except us.  When we told people it wasn't falling out, they didn't believe us, or told us to give it time.  Not a single person told us she would keep all this hair; not a single person guessed correctly.  But, Lilly's hair never fell out; in fact, it just kept growing.  This is one of my favorite pictures illustrating Lilly's Elvis hair, taken at 1 week old:

Being born with so much hair comes with some difficult moments:

Lilly had to have a daily bath, which most newborns do not need.  Otherwise, her hair would get greasy, just like an adult's hair.  I think this is one of the reasons that Lilly doesn't mind having water poured over her head today--she's had to experience it almost every day for the past 18 months!

Lilly progressed from her little Elvis hairstyle, complete with sideburns, to a stylish pixie cut (according to my hair dresser), and then she soon had enough hair for a ponytail.  We didn't cut it when summer came since it was long enough to pull back.  Then, fall arrived and Jim and I decided that as much as we love Lilly's hair, we didn't want to be those creepy parents who never cut their children's Lilly got her first haircut!  Following is an attempt to capture the progression of all of Lilly's hairstyles leading up to the actual haircut.

1 month old

2 months old 

 3 months old

 4 months old

5 months old

 6 months old

 7 months old

 8 months old

 9 months old

 10 months old

 11 months old

 12 months old

 13 months old

 14 months old

 15 months old
 16 months

 17 months

When you watch the video, make sure you change the video quality to 480 (or whatever the highest quality is that the video allows to improve the picture quality).  I have to credit Jim with choosing the perfect song to accompany Lilly's haircut.

18 months

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh No...

I'm exhausted! There's really no other way to say it. My exhaustion has nothing to do with getting up early and going to the gym...or going and tutoring late. It has everything to do with Lilly's talking. Now that she has started saying words, she doesn't stop. From the second she wakes up, we hear her singing parts of songs in her crib, or saying all the words she can think of in whatever order they come to mind, followed by extremely loud, "hi, hi, hi, hi, hi.....daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy..." (since Jim always goes and gets her in the morning, she calls for him first!) Lilly used to say, "uh oh" all day long, but now she says, "oh no" literally hundreds of times a day. One day, I'm going to try and keep track of the number of times she says it. When she first started saying it, I thought something was wrong. I quickly learned otherwise. A few circumstances that deem an "oh no" necessary in Lilly's eyes include when, she drops anything on the ground, she finishes a piece of cheese or apple, she spills water, she can't get a toy that she wants, the water has drained from the bath, we say goodbye to someone on skype, she can't hear Jim on the phone...and if she hears or sees anybody else drop anything. None of these are dire situations, although if you were in our house, you would think that a disaster was taking place every couple of minutes. Her chatter is constant. And now that she is trying to say words, I'm exhausted from trying to listen to everything. If I walk into the bathroom, Lilly follows me in and says every word she knows that she associates with the bathroom, so she says "teeth, towel, bath..." over and over again. In the kitchen, we hear, "cheese, cup, apple, baby (because she sees the baby on the yobaby yogurt)..." Dad told me I might need to try drinking wine with breakfast, and for the record, I contemplated that this morning.

Lilly's pediatrician said that whenever babies learn a new skill, like crawling, walking or talking, they tend to take shorter naps because they wake up eager to practice this skill. I remember Lilly doing this when she learned to crawl and walk. We'd go in and find her crawling around her crib, or running laps back and forth as soon as she woke up. The same is true this time around. Yesterday, her nap lasted only an hour and a half, instead of the three hours it had been the week before. The second she woke up, she started talking. She says the little bird rhyme, so I hear, "hop hop, how do you do, bye bye," along with another family favorite, "hubba hubba." I'm trying to get a recording, so when I do, I'll add it to this blog. With the crawling and walking, these shorter naps lasted a week or so, until she was used to her new skill, so I'm hoping the same is true this time. If you'd like to witness Lilly's newly found vocabulary, feel free to catch us on Skype and Lilly will be more than willing to demonstrate.

As I finish writing this, Lilly is on the phone with Jim, chattering away. After all the, "Daddy's, how do you do's, and oh no's," Lilly said "bye bye" and kissed the phone. She's exhausting but we love her.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"How Do You Do"

The cold has hit Connecticut. This morning, when Lilly and I were heading out to go for a walk, I checked the weather and it said the current temperature was 44 degrees, and it felt like 37. I put on an extra layer, put an extra layer on Lil and put her new Bundle Me in the stroller. Last year, she had the infant one and we used it all winter long so I decided to try out the toddler one and I think it's going to be perfect. I don't like putting her in too many layers or in a snowsuit because as soon as we go inside somewhere, she starts to roast. Instead, I can just unzip this and she is good to go. I thought that this year she'd try and kick it off and be way too big for something like that but I think she likes being warm and bundled up now that she's bigger. Last year, she'd spend half the walk trying to get out of it! Here she is today, in her little pumpkin hat that I made her (although it's pretty big and will probably last for a few years!) There's a banana sitting on top of the stroller, hence the reason it looks like there's a banana on her head. Bananas have been her snack of choice lately. When we were in Starbucks yesterday, she saw the bananas sitting on the counter and sat there saying (you might even call it yelling), "Peeees, peeees," which is Lilly's version of please. What can I say, the girl likes her bananas!

We're definitely ready for the weekend here in the Clark household. Jim and I were FIVE for FIVE in getting up and working out this week! Between the two of us we ran, rode, lifted weights, climbed stairs, ellipticalled (I know, I made that word up), and erged (which was not fun). Between the early mornings and tutoring every night, it will be nice to have a quiet weekend, which I'm kicking off by going out for a drink or two with Mel, Liz and Jamie. It's a girls' night, free of our little ones! We're leaving the dads in charge.

While Jim and I are busy getting back in shape, Lilly is busy chatting up a storm. New words come out every day, so I can't begin to name them all. A few of her favorites include, "shoes, cheese, cheers (which sounds a lot like cheese), please (or peeeeees), brush, no, hi, bye bye and teeth." Now I'm not saying that the ordinary person would comprehend everything that comes out of Lilly's mouth. It takes experts (like Jim and me) to know what she is saying a lot of the time. Her most impressive expression at the moment is, "how do you do." And this is one that you can hear loud and clear. When Mum was up staying with us, she would say the little bird rhyme to Lilly--a rhyme that we grew up saying. After Mum left, I was saying it with Lilly and she said the "how do you do" part. It is amazing! Every time we tried to get it on video, she just said, "no." Last night, while we were having dinner, we set my iPhone up to record a voice memo...and we got it. So, I put a few pictures (taken with my new iPhone!) from the last couple of days with the recording. Excuse my eating and talking at the same time. And as you can hear, she definitely lets us know when she's had enough!

Monday, October 18, 2010


When Lilly was born, our life changed in many ways, although not in ways that people typically describe. We didn't eat out very often so we enjoy our peaceful evenings at home, and know that we can spend time together after Lilly has gone to bed. Of course we love the occasional dinner out alone but we never feel constricted by Lilly's early bedtime. Our budget started to move away from buying whatever new gadget we wanted to buying things like diapers and baby clothes and putting money away for college. I went from teaching, coaching and tutoring full time to staying home--definitely an adjustment for all of us. We have adjusted though; I love being home with Lilly during the day. I love our relaxing mornings and walks and meeting up with friends or being able to see Jim for lunch or an afternoon coffee. I love being able to have dinner ready and the house clean (most of the time)! Call me antiquated, but I enjoy staying home. 18 months later, Jim and I know that we have made the right decision for us, especially since I have been able to continue tutoring and teaching SAT classes, which allows us to live the lifestyle we enjoy and have grown accustomed to.

While these were all big changes, the biggest adjustment that Jim and I had to make was with our training. Through all the years that we dated and right up until Lilly was born, we would work out together. In college, we would do our steady state erg workouts together; so romantic, I know. But from that point on, the majority of our working out was done together. We even managed to train for the Ironman together. We trained so much together that we rode just seconds apart for the majority of the race! Sometimes during our training, we would run or ride and have conversations. Other times, we'd put on our music and enter our own training realms. Granted, we've had our moments, most of which occurred during the Ironman training. On a long run, I swore that Jim was running one step in front of me on purpose. The next run we went our separate ways. Inevitably, though, we always prefer working out together and so we would run together again the next time. All our rides were together or with a group, and the same was true for our morning swims. Working out together was natural for us; it provided us both with motivation. If one person was getting out of bed at 5 to swim, the other couldn't sleep in and feel good about it.

Way back at a our college rowing days!

During the Ironman...I had no idea Jim was right behind me on the ride!

When I was pregnant with Lilly, we continued to work out together but the degree of intensity of our workouts was no longer the same. While Jim was doing sets of 100's in the pool, I would be floating back and forth, enjoying the feeling of weightlessness. In the gym, Jim would be doing a running workout on the treadmill while I was sitting on the recumbent bike and reading. Even though we weren't doing the same thing, we still worked out together. As Lilly's due date approached, we knew that we wouldn't be able to do this for much longer, so we enjoyed those last morning workouts.

As parents of a newborn, we were lucky. We were never sleep deprived as Lilly liked to sleep as well! We loved being parents and didn't miss any aspect of our previous life, except the training together. When Lilly was big enough, we started to go for runs with her in the Ironman stroller, which is enjoyable but running and pushing a stroller is much less relaxing than running without one. Although, how can you do anything but smile when you look down and see Lilly hydrating while we're the ones sweating? Or when you see a little person sitting there with her legs crossed or her feet in her mouth?

I think about our athletic life before Lilly was born and know that one day, we will have the freedom to work out together again. But for now, we've adjusted. Yesterday, we joined the gym down the road and this morning was the first morning in awhile that Jim and I both got up to work out; the only difference this time was that we had to take shifts! I went to the gym when it opened, came home and Jim went out for a run. By the time Lilly woke up, we'd worked out, showered and were sitting having coffee. It's nice to both be up early in the morning and training again, however different it may be. I love the sense of accomplishment that you feel all day after a good workout. Tomorrow, when it hurts to walk up stairs or get up off the couch, I might feel differently but for today, I'm enjoying that feeling and know that Jim is too.