Today we got a call from Katie, Claire's teacher. She was very concerned because Claire didn't feel well and was tired. She hadn't been eating and was screaming and biting herself for about 20 minutes. I know that Claire has been on antibiotics for a week and those can make you feel not well. But I didn't think that Claire was that badly off. She stuck out the last hour and was tolerating life at school when I went to pick her up. We came home and had lunch and she turned into the giggle monster. I am at a loss for what to do. I've been told by some that she could very well be mentally retarded, it is just to hard to tell. Here she is completely manipulating her school and her parents, just because she can. I don't think I have ever seen her so happy and talkative after school as she has been today, the irony. Good thing we have a flip camera, here is a clip of Claire at lunch, just as she was getting warmed up with the laughing and silliness.
The day started out typical for a Sunday. We over slept because we didn't sleep much during the night. We left the house 15 minutes late and discussed it (with much tension) most of the way to church. We got Claire to her classroom and found some seats in the back of the sanctuary. Chloe had finally gotten to sleep and we were excited to listen to Josh Fox speak. Then somebody walked by and kicked Chloe's seat, enter screaming baby. We couldn't get her calmed down, so we opted to leave early and try not to ruin the sermon for everyone else. By the time that Jared got Claire to the car I had Chloe calmed down a bit so we planned to go the long way home and drive by the cliffs. Of coarse Chloe fired back up and we had to pull over twice, she did eventually nod off. After she was asleep and Jared and I had begun to use kinder words with each other we looked back at Claire. She sat there grinning, we call it her Mona Lisa smile. We tried to guess what she thought was funny, if she liked it that Chloe stopped crying, if it was the dogs that we drove by. It is any body's guess, but it is so beautiful. As we tried to get it out of her she just kept grinning, as to say, I'm not going to tell you, and you'll never guess. So we left it that she is really good at keeping her secrets and we just love it when she gets that Mona Lisa smile. So that is the organic experience for today, a bit messy, but beautiful in the end, it normally is.
Today was "Fun Day" for one of Claire's preschool classes. When I first heard of this I had to smirk. My dear friend Melinda has "Fun Friday" with her kids every week, Claire's autism school does it once a year. So this morning we woke up, excited for the big event. Well, Claire and I were excited, Jared a bit more on the terrified end of the spectrum. We actually got out of the door with both girls and to the bus stop on time, something I never would have thought we were capable of, I reveled in the achievement. For our first act of fun we jammed to Jimmy Eat World in the car. We can't figure out why, other than exposure, but Claire loves to rock out to their older stuff. As the day went on, Claire got to have her first ride on a school bus, she chose to have a yellow and pink flower painted on her cheek and then she got to ride a pony with her dad. Unfortunately, during all this fun we figured out that Claire has horrible allergies. Her coughing got really bad and we had to leave early. Before we left we got to see some other parents and some of the staff from the school. One of the nice things of an event like this is seeing that you aren't alone. We can joke with the other parents and they get it because they have similar issues. As we were loading up the car Liam's parents, asked about bringing over some dinner. When I declined they then offered dessert and beer. I responded that real friends bring booze when you have a baby, their reply, real friends bring you beer and have one with you. I loved it! It was a total aha moment for me. We are surrounded by the greatest friends. We have had the blessing of friends to laugh with not just since Chloe was born, but for a while. Some are near and some far, but I am truly overwhelmed by the blessing of friendship from so many. Thank you to all of you.
Jared and I have enjoyed a nice, relaxing Monday. All went well with the C-Section and Chloe was born while listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the O.R. She came in at a whopping 7 lbs 8.5 ounces. We enjoyed a nice visit from pastor Lee and some Charlie Hong Kong for lunch, well the Jared and Lee did at least. It's been fun having the Franklins two doors down, shame neither of us can come out of our rooms to say hi to one another. :) We're working on finding out if Claire can come to visit. They've put new rules in place for children as a result of the pig flu. Thank you everyone for your prayers; it has been a really great transition so far. If you want more pictures you can go to my flickr page here.
Finally, we have had a week that has been nice and even keel. Nothing terribly dramatic to report. On Tuesday I left to run a few errands and Kim stayed home with Claire. When I returned, the two had made a "present" for Chloe. Claire was just beaming with pride, it was so precious. She functioned as art director while Kim did the manual labor on the sign, but they are such a good team. It was so precious to see the excitement in Claire's face as I took in the gift that she made for her sister. We have been talking a lot about what being a big sister looks like and she is so excited to be in that role. I am expecting that it will be a very bumpy transition, but part of that seems so normal. Claire is turning into quite the 3 year old princess. She manipulates every situation that she can and when she can't she looses it to the point that we can't talk with her until after a time out. She is also becoming more and more fun by the day. Her sense of humor is great! She is so sly and sneaky and when she can get something by, she is so proud of herself. So with all this 3 year old personality stuff, we can only assume that there will be problems. Maybe problems isn't the right word, learning experiences. Irregardless, it will be a ride. We are so excited to meet our sweet little Chloe. Enjoying each day until then, but so excited to be able to meet her. I have heard it said that all any parent wants when their child is born is to make sure there are 10 fingers and 10 toes. I have to say that I don't think that is so accurate. I want an entire DNA stand that folds properly. I want her to have enough air to her brain and all the other organs. But I know that that isn't how God works. So as I get ready to go through this amazing process of the miracle of life, I am trying to focus on how God does work. He works through children who's DNA doesn't fold right, He works through flawed people all day long. It is possible, that somehow, He will even use me to teach Chloe about what an amazing God He is. That is the part that blows my mind. With as dynamic as life is, that I might be used is the most humbling and amazing concept. Enough of my rambling for tonight. Make sure to check back later in the day on Monday, we will be putting up pictures of Chloe as soon as we can. You can check the flickr page by clicking here, we might just post photos without blogging. Here is a picture from nap time on Wed. It was just too cute to keep to myself.