Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Christmas recap...

Seasons greetings, my dedicated (and few) readers! Christmas has come and gone, but fear not, Harper is still sportin' her seasonal gear. She received so many different Christmas-themed outfits that there simply was not enough time to get them all in the rotation by the 25th. Don't be surprised if you catch HP donning a tunic adorned with what might be a Christmas tree on into February...we're repurposing it as a Valentine's tree!

Our family had a wonderful Christmush. Four of them, to be exact! We kicked off the marathon on the 24th with my side of the family. I had high hopes of Harper enjoying her first Christmas, or at least staying awake for the occasion. We started the gift opening segment of the evening a tad too late, and Jeff had to step out and put the Punkie to sleep. Luckily, my niece, Audrey, made an enthusiastic assistant and helped me open all of her cousin's gifts.

The next morning we set off to Abilene to celebrate with the extended Peel family. (11:30 barely qualifies as morning, Jeff!) We had to rechart our course a couple of times as neither of us will ever be mistaken for Magellan. At last, we made it there, and Harper finally got to meet the whole Peel gang! She particularly seemed to enjoy being held by Jeff's younger cousins, aka "the M girls!" Despite the long drive and the numerous introductions to new relatives, Harper remained in good spirits throughout the day. She made her 'rents proud! We stayed at a hotel that night, and headed back to Waco the next morning.

We celebrated Christmas #3 late that afternoon at Nana & Poppa Peel's house. Harper stared with wide eyes at all the bright-colored wrapping paper and tissue flying through the air. I couldn't tell which gift she loved most, but I'm going to pick the suede mini-skirt and sock monkey slippers. Jeff loved the slippers, but I don't imagine he is a big fan of the skirt! In fact, I believe he said it would be used as a burp cloth in lieu of Harper actually wearing it! Cuatro Christmas took place the next day, same place, with Jeff's local grandparents. (I say local, but the truth is we all live in the same neighborhood!)

Needless to say, Harper racked up some serious Christmas swag. The kid has no concept of stuff, yet she managed to land a mountain of it! I wish she had gotten to meet Santa this year, but it just wasn't in the cards. Oh well, maybe she'll meet the jolly fat man next year. At this point, Santa is just another person for Harper to flirt with or spit up on…she wouldn't give preferential treatment despite his VIP status!

With barely a chance to wind down from Christmas, today is already New Year's Eve. We have yet to make plans to celebrate the stroke of midnight, but we shall definitely be breaking out the bubbly around lunch time! Our good friends, (Sara) Breyer & Coats, are scheduled to have twins today by c-section at approximately 1PM. We are all excited to meet the boys, Kase and Kyle! Harper is already at odds trying to figure out which stud muffin she should date first. ;)

I have a plethora of new pics to share, but I'm low on time this morning. Stay tuned!

Wishing you all the best in 2009,
Jenny

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's so funny?

Babies pretty much all start out as lumps of clay, as Jeff would say. (Yes, he is quite the poet, I know...) We wait for Harper to learn, move or do something new every day. It wasn't too long ago when our hearts were tickled by the sight of her first real smile. Granted, the I'm asleep and drunk off the milky goodness-smile is a sweet sight, but you can't beat a true smile shining on the face of your own kid. Once she had the smiling business down pat, we anxiously awaited her first bouts of laughter. The ever prophetic babycenter.com e-mails suggested that a three-month-old baby is ripe for the beginnings of laughter, so we had hope it would occur at any moment.

I first heard Harper laugh for a brief, tiny moment nearly ten days ago. We had just arrived at a friend's house in Pflugerville, and I was unloading Harper from her car seat. My friend, Kim, has twin (almost) two-year-olds, Christopher and Kiersten, that were curious to check out Harper. I crouched down to the ground with her to better aid their rigorous inspection process. Of course, Harper liked them both, but she seemed particularly mesmerized by Kiersten. The Punkster was turning on the charm, big time! She broke out a huge grin, and then she actually laughed! (I think she has hopes that they can be good friends one day!)

Jeff chose not to believe me until he heard it with his own ears. Unfortunately, she was stingy with the laughs and wouldn't give us another. Grandma told us Harper laughed one day last week, but neither of us were lucky enough to be invited to the show! Finally, last night, out of nowhere... Harper gave us several minutes of continuous, beautiful, and silly laughter! Jeff and I were elated at the sound of it. She may simply have been laughing at the fact that her parents are idiots, but we'll take whatever we can get! :)

I am comforted by the fact that something as simple as a baby's laugh can put me over the moon in love. I am constantly reminded how blessed I am with Jeff and Harper. They both give me reasons to smile and laugh every day. Who could ask for anything more?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hittin' the road with HP...

Since I don't have to worry about Harper reading this blog, I can dish about her "big" Christmas gift. (Wrigley, you better keep quiet or I will revoke your e-mail privileges!) Jeff and I bought Punkie her first new car! It is loaded with all the bells and whistles. I mean, literally, it features actual bells and whistles. Horns and lights, too! Zero emissions, low maintenance, and it corners like it's on rails... ;) Tell me HOWE cool it would be if your steering wheel lit up and played tunes, or if you could jump in your seat while idling in traffic? Harper is definitely going to need a "Pink Ladies" jacket while cruisin' in her new ride! I've already put her in the car once (ok, twice) to determine if she will have an interest in it. Jeff chided me for "showing" it to her early, but c'mon, the kid doesn't have a bad memory...she lacks it entirely!

I bought her a dozen or so new books, too, which ought to buy me two more weeks of sanity. We read her a book every night, and my interest in her current library is waning. The more books I can cycle into the rotation, the better!

Harper turned three-months-old last week, and it is about time I posted a few new pics. Here goes...
...her goofy new winter hat...
...her baby Bevo towel...
...she can finally enjoy her Bumbo seat...
...Santa's down with leopard print, too!
PS. Are we bad parents because we haven't arranged for Harper to have her picture taken with Santa? I wanted to take her to see Santa at Ridgewood, but we were out of town that day. Thoughts of a mall Santa don't seem as appealing. Hmmm.... Jeff ordered Adobe Photoshop as my Christmas present, so maybe Harper will have a photo with Santa after all! :)

Milk and wine are mighty fine!

Thanks to the generosity of Jeff's mom, Toni, I am a new member of Sam's Club. I am amazed by this store and the awesomeness that is bulk shopping. Harper and I ventured out on Friday to run a number of errands. We stopped by Sam's with the intent of picking up Similac formula, and we left with two ginormous containers of said formula that should fuel Harper for at least two weeks. We also left with seven bottles of wine, which might last three days if Toni and I get together! Never shop when you're thirsty...isn't that the saying? ;)

As you may infer from the bulk formula and wine purchase, I have recently retired from breastfeeding. Harper consumed her last drops of breast milk this weekend. I've been nursing her part-time since Thanksgiving, and it finally came down to the point to quit entirely. We made it three months, which isn't too shabby in my book. Life as a feeding trough was a tad too stressful for me, particularly once I headed back to the office. I had hoped to make it longer, but I am happy with the good start I was able to give her. Now that we are solely bottle feeding, Jeff and I are able to share more of the work. I'm sure he was thrilled to take over the 4am feeding shift! An added bonus--Harper seems to like both of her parents equally as she now associates us both with food. Ol' Milky Jenkins...she doesn't care where it comes from as long as it makes its way into her belly!

In other news, we have finalized our Christmas plans and finished Christmas shopping. We will celebrate Christmas with my family at our house on Christmas Eve, and then we will head off to Abilene on Christmas morning to celebrate with the extended Peel family. Two hours is the longest Punkie has ridden in a car, and the drive to Abilene is at least twice as long. Maybe we can read the dozen new books I bought her for Christmas, and then settle in for a nice long nap together. Driver excluded, of course!

In case I don't get a chance to blog again this week, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy everything. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The young and the tan...

While browsing thru my pictures in Picasa, I came across an oldie of Jeff and I taken at one of our wedding showers.  Yes, that "oldie" was taken a year and a half ago, and how different we look!  
I had a tan, energy, and youth on my side!  Jeff apparently needed a haircut, but he also seemed full of life and energy.  I suppose I shouldn't be quite so critical of our current appearances.  After all, everyone looks better in the summer months, and everyone looks better with an uninterrupted night of sleep!  Maybe I just need to buy myself a tanning membership for Christmas--knock out two birds with one stone--insta-tan AND a built-in fifteen minute nap!  I'd look better and be well rested!  One can only hope!

While I'm at it, here is another pic just for kicks.  It was taken as we waited for our plane to depart to our honeymoon destination.  I purchased two pairs of wax lips from Cracker Barrel after breakfast that morning, and wore the first pair from the moment we parked at Waco's airport until the ladies with the beverage carts came knockin'.  Small children in the airport seemed somewhat alarmed by my big ol' Kool-aid lips!  I wore the second pair around our resort for a day in Puerto Vallarta...  Oh, I laugh!  Gotta love you some JPeel's!


PS. Welcome to the world, Ryder Hamden!  I bet you are wheelie, wheelie cool, and I can't wait to meet you!  Harper sends her love! :)

Flurries and fruitcake galore!

Folks, it’s official. Today is Tuesday, December 16, 2008, and it is snowing in Waco, Texas. Well, it started and stopped snowing in the time it took me to type the previous sentence, and I am no QWERTY slowpoke! I guess they don’t call it a “flurry” for nothing, because it was done and gone in a hurry! Luckily, Punkie Brewster is at home today with a sitter, so she is safe and warm in a comfortable environment. We were fortunate to find someone to watch her at our home yesterday and today, and to grandmother’s house we go tomorrow! The babysitting shuffle is getting old fast, and this is only the fifth day.

In other random news that I learned yesterday, some 3000 pounds of fruitcake were delivered to soldiers in Iraq over the last year. I am not sure from where that stat originated, but I am intrigued! As if our troops don’t have it bad enough as they spend the holidays in a Middle Eastern desert-- now we’re flooding them with the worst holiday gift of all time? Nice!

Tiff & Raymond—our fam is thinking of you today as we all await news of Ryder’s arrival! You can do iiiiiiiiiiiiit! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Back to the daily grind...

Yesterday marked my official return to work following twelve weeks of maternity leave (aka short term disability leave, but that is a whole 'nother can of worms!). Or rather, it marked my return to the office, because caring for a newborn and running a household should also qualify as “work.” The main differences between those two jobs are the number of showers taken and whether or not any makeup ever hits my face. Previously, my hair could go up to and including five days without a wash. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that my coworkers at the Chamber are slightly more discriminating than Harper.

I originally intended to blog about this grand occasion yesterday, but I wasn’t willing to take away from the little time I had to spend with my sweet Punkus. After all, less than three hours exists between the time I get home from work and the time Harper hits the sack. Throw in a nap, a bath, a feeding and a book, and it was 8 p.m. before I knew it. Harper and I shared a bath, and thankfully for us all, no pictures were taken. :) I've never seen anyone quite so captivated by a rubber ducky disguised as a pirate. By the way, did you know babies float? And yes, I washed my hair, too!

I was in bed by 9:30. It had been a long day, emotionally speaking. I didn’t cry at all yesterday, but I did feel the occasional tug at my heart strings. (Yes, I have them, surprisingly enough.) Harper handled the day just fine. We both survived… now we’ll just have to see who cracks first!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Call me (insert name here).

Tiffany (still "with child") brought it to my attention that her cat, Ferra, and Harper share the "Punkie" nickname. While I am amused by the shared moniker, it doesn't not surprise me that Ferra is also a Punkie. Nicknames interest me to no end -- interestingly enough, as I've never really had a nickname of my own. I've always been called by a name that was somehow derived from my given name. While the back story is interesting to some and completely dull to others, I may be referred to by a dozen different versions of my name at any given moment. Just call me...Jenny, JenHowePeel, JenHowe, ChenHowe, Jen, Jennifer, JPeel, Jennybean, etc. Take your pick!

My little Punkie has more nicknames than I can keep track of, and the list grows longer nearly every day. Jeff called her Pumpkin from the very beginning, which quickly morphed into many other names. It went something like this: Pumpkin to Punkin to Punkin Princess to Punkie Princess to just good ol' Punkie. Harper also answers to Punkie Pie, HP, One-sock, No-sock (you can easily see that those two are also related), Sweet Baby Harper, Sweet Pea... Booger comes in handy when she is giving us a hard time. Ben Ber-nakey is the name to use whenever she lacks clothing. There are at least a dozen others that are dancing beyond the margins of my memory at the moment, but you get the idea. I call her "Punkie" so often that I have to make it a point to use her real name - just to make sure she knows that she is Harper, too!

I actually did have a nickname when I was very young. I had almost forgotten it. Well, more like pushed the memory back into the deep recesses of my mind. My grandma used to call me "Pumpkin," which, for a time, I felt was very special. I thought it was special until I realized that she called everyone Pumpkin. I straight up got robbed by my own sci-fi granny! Sheesh!

Anyhoo, I'll leave you with a smattering of random photos from the last couple of weeks. Oh, a quick snippet of conversation from my field trip to pick up tissue paper from Wal-Mart... Harper and I exit the store right beside an older woman. Strangers, particularly old women, feel compelled to talk to me (and any other mother, I'm sure) about my baby. This lady, a new grandmother, proceeded to tell me about her two-week-old grandson. Apparently, he is cute, but Harper is "just soooooo precious!" Sorry 'bout your grandson, lady!

She has a thing for stripes! We call these her "jailbird" jammies!
Harper's 1st Thanksgiving

Hangin' out with Dad
She's got those sweet baby blues...

Two can play the pouting game! (Harper just happens to be cuter doing it!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

week in review

It's 10:30 pm, Punkie has long been fast asleep, and Jeff is out with friends. The best part of it all? My laptop is free to use, which means I am free to blog and such. Instead of blogging the many things I want to share myself, I've spent the last thirty minutes catching up on everyone else's blogs. I have particularly enjoyed the blog site belonging to an old college buddy, Laura, who now has a husband and a nearly nine-month old baby girl. How times have changed since our days at SWT... living in Tower hall, drinking kool-aid flavored 7-UP spiked with cheap vodka, harassing the party photographers at the Pike house and making the best grilled cheeses at 3am using illegal, yet handy, toaster ovens. Those days seem so long ago and so foreign, but they were so fun! Still, I must admit that these days are even better. There is just so much love to be found in a baby girl who prefers to wear only one sock and marinates every thing in sight with her drool!

I've started Christmush shopping this week. Yes, Christmush. I don't know where that came from, but it makes me smile when I say it, type it or text it. I wish a Happy Christmush to you all! I've only purchased a few items so far, but I need to turn up the heat. I go back to work this Wednesday, and I want to be near the end of Christmush shopping before I lose even more hours from my days. I am attempting to show some amount of restraint as I shop for Miss Harper, because I know there are many others that will shower her with gifts. I'm also resigned to the fact that my own Christmush presents will never quite be the same. We're no longer very important...it's all about the Punkie now! Ah well, at least I can derive some joy from opening her presents this year since she lacks any useful function of her own hands!

Barnes and Noble has a great sale on all Dr. Seuss books right now. Buy two, get one free. I picked out six books, and I could have easily picked out sixteen more! I don't remember reading many Dr. Seuss books as a child, and the doc penned so many titles that I had never even heard of until today. I can't wait to read them to Harper, but I've got a couple more weeks until she (well, I) opens them. I almost cheated and read a new one to her tonight, but she fell asleep before we made it to the reading portion of our bedtime routine. I didn't even have to turn on the Bob Schneider CD either... she must have been very sleepy, indeed! Back to the books... I wrote short notes in the front cover of each one in hopes that she will consider it something special when she is much older. I actually stole that trick from my friend, Lara, who gave Harper a handful of great books on the day she was born.

Ooh, speaking of gifts... I turned 28 on Wednesday. I spent the day with Punkie, and then went to dinner at Bangkok with family and friends (isn't it wonderful when those two groups are one and the same?). Lara and Breyer really outdid themselves with their gift this year. They put together a big box containing "a few of JenHowePeel's favorite things." Contents include: pop rocks, Heineken, Vintage Ink Merlot, ultra fine Sharpie markers, one very cool necklace, an assortment of $5 gift certificates to my favorite places (Bangkok, Target, Starbucks, Katie's Kustard, Schmaltz, and one more that I will save for later!), a bag of sweet & spicy snack mix, Dumb Blonde shampoo and conditioner, and much, much more! They even included the remaining five beers from the Heineken six-pack, the heavenly Haagen Daas fleur de sel ice cream, and Havarti cheese waiting back at Lara's house. I was floored by their creativity and their thoughtfulness...I think the best gifts show a person that you pay attention to them and you truly care. Those two definitely hit the nail on the head! As great friends as they both are, they did also play a mean trick on me. As I carefully opened one particular gift certificate envelope, I was greeted with the sight of Endless.com and what appeared to be a one thousand dollar credit! I immediately knew something was up when I saw the amount...and my suspicions were immediately confirmed when I scrolled down to the memo line. Their note explained that Endless doesn't actually sell gift certificates. I'm glad I read that part before I went on a shopping spree and tried to redeem it! ;) Oh, those girls! We had a lot of fun at dinner that night. We even discovered that Wayne Peel has a ton of Face-buddies! Hehehe... By the way, Lara has a fantastic birthday cake casserole recipe that she might be willing to sell at a fair price! ;)

Alrighty, I must be off to bed. Punkie patrol requires an abundance of energy, so I must recharge my batteries. Nighty night!

PS. Tiffany, will you have that baby already? Forget what you're feeling....I'm getting impatient! ;) Muhahaha...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jane Fonda - watch out!

Check out a sneak peek of Harper's upcoming workout videos with Coach "Peanut" Chelle...

video

Apparently, too many crunches after dinner makes Harper puke. The mere thought of doing crunches makes me puke!

video

Crunches, kicks, and push ups, oh my! We're going to pump you up! ;)

video

Baby got back! Jane Fonda better watch out, 'cuz Punkie Peel is the new kid in town!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

i'll leave when i'm good and ready!

I know yesterday's post was rather drab, but what can ya do? It served the purpose of letting y'all know that we are, in fact, alive and breathing, just not blogging with regularity. I found myself with a few spare minutes as Punkie finishes her nap, so I thought I'd give it another whirl!

It's 10:44 am, and check-out time at the hotel is 11am. However, I spoke with the front desk and one baby excuse later, we've got ourselves an extended check-out! Babies are fantastic - they provide you with a built in excuse whenever you might need to get out of something, cancel, postpone, etc., and ain't nobody gonna call your bluff! Don't get me wrong, babies also change your plans when you'd rather they not, but sometimes it can play out in your favor. Jeff's meetings end around lunch time, and Harper and I shall remain safely tucked in our cush bed until we're good and ready!


Speaking of hotels, we really might have done ourselves in with Harper already. Her first hotel stay was at the Adolphus hotel in Dallas....niiiice! Her second and current hotel stay is at the Hyatt Lost Pines.....again, niiiiice! All I know is once you've experienced the good life, fat chance on being satisfied with anything less! Say we take a road trip one day and find ourselves facing a string of Motel 6's and Ho Jo's on the side of the highway...do you think Harper is gonna go for that mess? Ha! Not to mention the fact that her first public breastfeeding experience (not quite the way it sounds!) was in a women's lounge in Nordstrom. You think this baby is gonna be happy with a snack break in just any place sub-Nordstrom-standard? We've created a snob in less than three months! ;)


Anyhoo, I haven't been able to get another round of pics out yet, so instead I'll leave you with this great e-card. (By the way, someecards.com, grrrreat site, but not for the faint of heart or those with a sub par sense of humor!) And I'm still gonna share pics, so there!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gobble, Gobble!

Greetings, post-Thanksgiving, from the wee Peel family of three. Hope everyone had a tasty Turkey Day. We sure did! We spent Thanksgiving-eve and day with Jeff's family. It sure is nice when your T-Day trek is a mere 0.5 miles long. I promise we would have walked if we had not been transporting serving trays and a pan of mmm-mmm-good chipotle sweet potato gratin! Highways were not completely avoided as we ventured down to Killeen and Copperas Cove on Friday afternoon to spend some time with my family, too. Harper sure is fortunate to have three sets of grandparents, a pair of great-grandparents and a great-great grandma all within an hour's drive or less!

Long weekends are the best, aren't they? There is just something so wonderful about a Saturday when you've already been relaxing for the two preceding days. Even though I've been off work for the last ten (eleven?) weeks or so, I still feel the difference between weekdays and the weekends. Speaking of which, I can't believe my time off with Harper is rapidly coming to an end. I'm headed back to the office next Wednesday. December 10th - how I rue that day! Ugh, I find it extremely, extremely depressing... Next topic!

Jeff, Harper and I are at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort today and tomorrow for the Chamber's Leadership Retreat. I wish I could join Jeff in the meetings, but I think Harper would feel slightly out of place and underdressed! On the other hand, it would make her day to coo and smile at a room full of older men! Maybe next year... ;)

It is ridiculous that I had to travel all the way down to Bastrop, Texas, just to get in some time on the computer. I would say that I don't know how that happens, but I do. I simply cannot sit down if I'm at my own house...that dang to-do list is ever expanding! In any case, it is quite nice to be out here at Lost Pines. The area is scenic, comfortable and relaxing - just what the doctor ordered! Bonus: I can blog uninterrupted for as long as Punkie will nap and I can also get around to uploading some photos and possibly even some video! (Aunt Chelle and Harper had a workout session the other day. Not sure if any one else will find it amusing, but I laughed!)

Well, lemme get to gettin'. Pictures to follow!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baby got shot!

We had quite the morning. Harper was scheduled for her two-month check-up at 9am today, or so we thought. Upon arrival, we were told that our appointment had actually been scheduled for this past Monday. Not so, my friend! Before leaving Harper's two-week appointment, I told the lovely lady behind the glass that Monday was not good for us as Jeff works out of Valley Mills every other Monday. I made it a point to move the appointment to Wednesday, aka TODAY, which said lovely lady appeared to have made record of in her computer. ("The files are in the computer? - Zoolander, nice!) Somehow or another, that move was not saved, be it human or computer error. Anyhoo, we were then given the choice to wait for our back-up doctor or return in the afternoon to see our original pediatric nurse practitioner. We stayed. And we stayed. Finally, Harper's name was called and the real fun began.

You see, the two-month mark equals a whole slew of vaccines for babies, but Jeff and I both have reservations whether or not to immunize. If so, which immunizations and when. And do they contain Thimerosal (mercury)? How about aluminum? Formaldehyde? Why have you ever or would you now inject a baby (or anyone for that matter) with those substances? What about autism? What causes it? The MMR shot? Or is it genetic? Does Jenny McCarthy have any idea what she is talking about? Are parents of autistic children simply looking for something, anything to label as the cause of the disease? What about all those experts screaming about the importance of breast milk and how it is best for babies, all-natural, from the mother's body, only contains the nutrients needed by the baby and nothing else, attempting to make mothers feel guilty if they don't or can't breastfeed for whatever the reason, telling us how formula is an inferior choice because it contains artificial ingredients and substances that are not able to be processed by the developing baby's body... yet we should inject children with vaccines containing metals, preservatives and more?

To put it bluntly, the whole thing is confusing. You can easily find articles, personal testimonies, and books siding on both ends of the spectrum. Both sides are biased - that is what taking a side means. Where is the Joe Lieberman of immunizations when you need him?! Who do we believe? Where do we get the best information? What decision should we ultimately make here?

After a lengthy discussion with our pediatrician, we decided that Harper would receive just one vaccine, DTaP, today. Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis...you know, diphtheria, so she'll be safe the next time she travels the Oregon Trail! (Sorry, I had to try and toss in a joke somewhere...this blog entry is a bit more serious than usual.) She handled it very well, and so did her parents! She cried a bit while receiving the injection and shortly thereafter, but she has been a trooper all day long. Jeff called around lunch to ask how our "guinea pig" was doing, and I replied that she was just fine, behaving very well, but that she had surprisingly grown six inches since that morning. ;) (That would be scary--another six inches would nearly put her over the tops of us both!)

Most likely, we will go back to the doctor's office sometime next week for one more shot. Some of them we are just not sold on, particularly at her age. Regardless of what any of us believes, we owe it to ourselves (and the kiddos) to arm ourselves with information, ask questions, and feel like we have what we need to make the best decisions. In this case, I think Jeff and I have done just that. (However, not the best decision when I added "Made of Honor" to our Blockbuster queue...that movie was terrible, despite the help of McSteamy's lovely locks and pretty face! Ah well, you can't win them all!)

In other news, Harper now weighs 9.4 lbs and is nearly 23 inches tall. She is still holding strong in the 25th percentile for her weight and 75th percentile on height. The doc seemed to think she will actually thin out even more eventually...something she certainly did not inherit from her dear ol' mom & pop!

Well, that's all I got for now. My "patient" is ready for her dinner, a bedtime story and her crib. It's been a long day for us all! :)

She might not have loved the shot itself, but she looks so cute with her pink camo band-aid!

She managed to squeeze out plenty of smiles today, despite the morning's trauma. :)
Great shirt, too... "This is my little black dress!"
PS. Happy Anniversary to Wayne & Toni! Today marks 32 years of marriage for those two bird lovers. ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oooh, Mommy lies...

One startling realization that has come with the joy of motherhood is that moms lie. Who knew!? I've always made it a point to stand by my word, and to be a person of action. However, this whole motherhood thing sometimes slams the door right in the face of all my good intentions.

I make promises that I will get certain things done in certain time frames, but more often than not, I fall short. Sure, these certain things will eventually come to fruition be it a day or a week behind my intended schedule. I imagine that a lot of people would simply be satisfied with the act of completion despite the slight tardiness in which it occurred. Well, not me. I feel like a liar when I say I will post pictures before the day's end, and then don't. It's not that I don't want to, but rather that I can't always find those extra hours (heck, even minutes would be good!) in the day.

I thrive on order and organization, but babies just don't care. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - Harper runs my life. It doesn't matter that her eating and sleeping patterns have fallen into a more predictable routine. Those patterns are finally taking less of a toll of me, but I still have so much to do during Harper's slumbering hours. A lot of it I put on myself, because there are some tasks that I just can't pass on to anyone else.

I could ask Jeff to grocery shop, but I don't want to. I enjoy my special time at HEB, and besides, Jeff would run us into the poor house buying DVDs, mega cartons of protein powder and every single can of assorted flavors of almonds sold in the store. I could never give up cooking. Whipping up breakfast, lunch and/or dinner provides me with a release that I can't explain. It's my thing. It doesn't matter if I'm making a recipe straight off a can of Campbell's cream of chicken soup or (attempting) a recipe off the enticing pages of Bon Appetit magazine...cooking helps me relax. So, no, I can't make up time there. And my house has to be clean. I have loosened my standards slightly in this area, but I stress slightly. It is important to me to keep a clean house. Besides, you all know how much I love my vacuum cleaner. Long live the Dyson! Or in Tiffany's case, long live the Rainbow! ;)

Basically, I want it all! I want my pound cake, and I want to bake it, too. The clock is ticking down until I go back to work on December 10th, and I am anxious to see how life will be with that factor added back into the mix. Will I survive? Will anyone at 809 Falcon Drive survive? We shall see! :)

Time...how do I make the most of it, and where can I buy more? Now I know why babies don't wear watches. Of all the millions of ridiculous and unnecessary products that are sold on this great globe, baby watches are one item that would never make it. It isn't that babies can't tell time -- it's just that they don't flippin' care!

What do you know, ol' Harper Peel is a ringing my bell. I WILL post pictures...don't wanna make a liar out of myself! Check back again on this entry sometime after lunch. May the word "sometime" save me after all! ;)

See you gators later!

**Ok, I'm back! I put this album together while breastfeeding...talk about talent!**
http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLanding.action?c=feae1id.9g0uq4kp&x=0&y=uzm5gz&localeid=en_US

Monday, November 17, 2008

Is this thing on?

Sorry we've been MIA from blogland for the last two weeks.... the Peel trio has been in and out of town since the weekend before last, and I am behind on pretty much everything! Catching up today on household stuff, errands, phone calls, blogs, etc.

Harper turned two-months old on Saturday! Pictures to come to bring y'all up to date... My computer time this morning is rapidly coming to an end, so it will have to wait until this afternoon. Ta ta for now! :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

cruelty to animals & vegetables...

Ahhh, Halloween--my absolute favorite holiday. I do also love St. Patty's Day, but only Halloween gives carte blanche to the creative juices...and grants immunity on your chosen attire! Sadly, I haven't had the time or energy to construct my own costume this year, but I have outfitted my children (yes, BOTH of them). Never had I ever resorted to store bought costumes, but desperate times call for desperate measures!

Introducing Pig and Sweet Pea...





HAPPY HALLO-WEENIE! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jalapeno milk - it does a body good!

Fiiiiiinally! Harper is napping in her portable swing, and I am confident she will remain as such for at least the next 90 seconds. Let's see how flippin' fast I can type! ;) As my attempt to blog this morning was thwarted by said six-week old, I am back and better than ever. Got my hair "did" this morning...have to make sure people are at least halfway convinced that Harper gets her blonde hair from moi! (I obviously help mine out these days with hi-lights, but duh, I'm a blonde and I can prove it. No, not that way, sickos! All I have to do is tell you my Wrigley & Starbucks story, and you will never doubt that I am a true blonde! Jeff-shhhhh!)

Jeff and I ate lunch at Britt's Burger Barn today. Mmmm, mmm good. Hands down the best burger in Waco. It is actually in the top three burgers of all time along with the mushroom swiss from Tap Room (long live San Marcos!) and the double cheeseburger from the Billy Goat Tavern on Michigan Ave in Chi-town. Man, I'm salivating at the mere thought of this trifecta! Harper tagged along for the ride. Don't you worry, HP...you'll taste it later in your jalapeno milk! ;) Jap cheese, jap bread and even more japs to boot. What more could a girl want!? Aside from clear skin, a calorie-eliminator, fat-destructor, a ever-reloading bank account, shopping sprees to Nieman Marcus, pedicures, fabulous friends...ok, I digress for the second time today!

The original intent of my 4:30 am blog was to catch everyone up on our activities from the last week. First of all, Harper, Jeff and I voted last Tuesday. It was crazy... Harper used Jeff's voter registration card, and the sweet old bags running the polls just waved her on in. I'm pretty sure she voted for McCain primarily because he looks most like a grandpa, and we all know how much Harper likes grandpas! There may have also been a dirty rumor spread through the nursery about Obama not liking babies...a rumor I may or may not have started...but you just try and prove it! ;)

Harper also opened a savings account last week, too! Her Pee-Paw (Jeff's grandpa on his dad's side) sent her $100 to get her started, which was awfully nice of him. Lucky for me, I also have access to this account with a balance of $100...which just so happens to be the going rate on the milk tax these days! ;) Don't forget the diaper tax either. Poor kid can't afford to pay both, so we're granting her a temporary deferment on that one. Michael Jackson started providing for his family at her age (maybe I exaggerate a tad...), so she better get to work asap! Perfect that smile and get to flashing it, cuz mama wants a new pair of shoes, little Harper Peel!

Here are pics from the last couple of weeks...
http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLanding.action?c=feae1id.70ignxw1&x=0&y=-4nl15n&localeid=en_US

I hear her rumbling behind me in her swing, so I'm afraid this party is coming to an end. 'Til next time!

stealth blogging...

I've heard of midnight stealth bombing, but 4:30 am stealth blogging, c'mon!? Alas, this is what my life has been reduced to. The two people that I am entrusted with keeping alive on a day to day basis are asleep...finally! Well, that is actually a lie. Harper was supposed to return to slumber land after her milk snack, but she disdained...and is now laying across my lap, safely wedged between my stomach and the desk drawer....hoping and praying she gets bored and falls asleep....or at the very least catches up on my filings while she is down there! (This just in: Jeff heard her sporadic protests and woke up asking if I needed help. "Why sure!" So, my naked husband swooped in to try his hand at helping Harper fall asleep...I laughed because I thought of the Naked Chef when he walked in the room - except Jeff only knows how to make babies!) Ok, I digress.

Sneaking around blogging...so sexy and dangerous! Well, relatively speaking, given my current existence in life. I've tried desperately to stay caught up with this thing since last week, but the powers that be have not been working in my favor. Harper's sleep schedule got out of whack a week or so ago, which in turn has blurred the lines between day and night for both of us. I normally take advantage of her sleep periods to take care of adult stuff (cleaning, bill paying, shopping, dancing around the house like a crazy person...), but I've been so tired this past week that I have taken to co-napping. Ugh, yesterday, I thought we were headed back in the right direction, but the fact that she is resisting arrest, I mean, a-sleep, at this very moment has me rethinking things!

Another thing standing in the way of my attempt to blog is our current computer situation. Not long ago, we were a household of four working, useful computers. Now, we are a household of one superior laptop, a busted desktop PC, a nice Mac without a wireless card (rendering it useless in the current setup), and two janky laptops turned over-sized coasters. (Yes, Jeff, I said "janky." Ha!) Basically, Jeff and I wrestle for command of the one good laptop. I can usually steal it away unless, of course, he is busying updating fantasy football rosters, fantasy basketball, fantasy badminton, fantasy curling....ok, maybe not those last two, but give him time, people! And then there is the almighty Drudge Report. If I see those two deadly words atop the computer screen, I have learned to just walk on by!

Ok, I was going to blog for real, but I can tell Harper needs a little attention from Mom to help settle her down. Maybe tomorrow...maybe even pics! One can only hope!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Advertising 101

I finally am able to clean the house while occupying/watching Harper, and this could not make me any happier. She can now be "worn" in her Baby Bjorn carrier, which is flippin' awesome. I slipped Harper into the Bjorn and broke out one of my favorite household tools...the amazing machine that is a Dyson. Halfway thru the first bedroom, ol' Harper was fast asleep.

Channeling my advertising degree from SWT, I whipped up a new slogan for Dyson.
"DYSON: Vacuums like a mo-fo, and puts baby to sleep in a jiffy!"

What more could you possibly need to justify spending $500 on a vacuum cleaner? (And yeah, you can tell that I don't use that degree to make a living! If only...)

Harper was pooped after all that hard work...

Friday, October 17, 2008

rock n' roll, baby!

Harper is quite a rock 'n roll baby today! I randomly scored a pic of her first quasi-smile, too! It is the closest we've gotten so far! :) And always with that tongue out... This puts me in the mood for some Rock Band action -- any takers? I think the new version comes out next week for PS3. Game on!

We're off on our regular walk around the neighborhood...it has been rainy all week, so this is only the second time we've been able to venture out on foot. Later gators!




Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ONE MONTH!

Harper Elle Peel is one-month old today! Too bad she is on a strict milk only diet. Someone will have to eat her birthday cupcake, and I nominate..... myself! :)

Check out pictures from the last two weeks...

http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=feae1id.ahf0mn1h&x=0&y=honwlf&localeid=en_US

Ain't she sweet?!
Just for comparison, picure of Harper on day 1 and 1 month later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wrig Pig

So, you've all seen Wrigley's Halloween costume -- the pig! We had a slight problem with sizing, which has finally been resolved. Just like me, it turns out that Wrigley is not the same size on top as she is on the bottom. Well, in her case, front and back! She apparently needed a small pig body suit with an extra small pig head. Who would have thought?

Wrigley happened to trot into the kitchen this morning just as I was matching up the appropriate pig head and body, so we went ahead and did a test run. Laughter ensued! Of course, she let me play dress up, but not without giving me a certain look the entire time. It was a look that said, "I'm only putting up with this because my love for you is greater than this costume is ridiculous."

I should have taken some video of Wrigley walking in said costume. The pig legs strap onto her own legs, which requires her to walk with a wider stance than normal. Ahhhh, I can't wait until Halloween! By the way, we picked up Harper's costume yesterday, too, but we're saving the big reveal until Halloween. (And in case anyone doesn't know, Halloween is my FAV holiday, which should explain any questions you may have at this point!)

Just for kicks, here is another picture of Wrigley later on this morning. She got a little tuckered out after our walk extended beyond its usual route.


Pictures of Harper will follow shortly. She didn't leave me much room to breath today, or I would have posted them already. I did manage to vacuum the house today after 1.5 weeks - thank goodness!

Monday, October 13, 2008

you say swaddle, i say burrito...

There is no way I will remember everything I wanted to blog about over the last week. I have got to get into a better routine with this, but the idea of a routine has become somewhat of a joke. Well, we are developing more of a schedule nowadays, or better yet, "flex-scheduling." In other words, I can dream up a schedule for the day, but it must remain flexible as Harper has the final say!

I could not even tell you what we've done over the last week. I no longer think in terms of "days", but rather, blocks of time in between feedings. It's amazing once you begin producing milk, suddenly you become all the rage! I'm happy to provide Harper with this benefit, because I know how good it is for her. However, I will remind her of the extreme amount of effort I put in for her any time she refuses to do her clean her room, feed the dogs, or do her homework. (Who am I kidding...my memory is going down the toilet...I probably won't remember any of this by the time she can tie her own shoes!)

I just put Harper down to bed. I had to laugh as I swaddled her, because she protests it so vehemently! She does not like to be restrained, but rather, prefers to wildly flail about her arms and legs. Once she is swaddled up like a burrito, she begins her Houdini routine. The lower half of the burrito shoots up into the air, then back down again. Up and down the bottom of the burrito goes until she has excavated the outermost layer of the "tortilla" from beneath her bum. At this point I leave the room and keep my fingers crossed that she sleeps, regardless! When we go in to scoop her out of bed later (much later if we are lucky), it is common to now find her broken out of the swaddle, spread eagle, with a small strip of blanket around her waist like a belt. She is as active out of the womb as she was inside of it!

Other notable developments: she is thisclose to breaking into a smile. Well, she smiles like crazy as she fades off into sleep after a feeding, but we aren't quite there during her alert-awake phases. She has mean-mugged us a lot these last few weeks, but we are finally getting some nicer and friendlier faces out of her now. It's about time - I felt like I had a super skeptical and doubtful baby with the faces she made - furrowed brow and all!

Tummy time is paying off. Harper has made great progress with her neck strength lately. She can go for long stretches (several minutes at a time, which I'm sure is a long time for her) stabilizing her head and neck. The bursts end with a neck wobble and the bonk of her head into our shoulders or her pillow. She doesn't give up easily, and we think she will have it down (or up, rather!) before too much longer.

We've also gone on two field trips outside of Waco/Woodway in the last week. Last Wednesday, we drove down to Killeen/Ft. Hood to visit Papa Howe in the hospital. Harper did great on the trip, and my dad was happy to see her again. I tried my hand with a public restroom changing table for the first time at the Killeen Chili's restaurant, and it was easier to maneuver than I imagined. Today, Harper and I drove out to Valley Mills to have lunch with Jeff. She tends to fall asleep after five minutes in the car...so predictable! I promised her that we would take her someplace much cooler than Ktown or the Valley on our next field trip. Right now it looks like we will venture to Austin for the weekend, which should really give all three of us a chance to prove ourselves!

I do have more pictures to post, but I'm being realistic by not pretending to have the energy to post them tonight. I'll do my best to get them up tomorrow after Harper's first, fourth or seventh feeding of the day!

Monday, October 6, 2008

getting our hands wet...

Harper had her first real bath on Saturday night, and fun was had by all. Jeff took a time out from the Longhorn football game to assist with this adventure thanks to the magic of DVR and UT's generous lead. You won't see Wrigley nearby...she tends to scram when the word "bath" is thrown around, and we already know how she feels about that whale!


We were pretty excited to get our hands wet with her first bath. There is no lack of "firsts" that parents can recognize of their babies, but I like to think beyond the first bath, first tooth, or first steps. Harper has a few other firsts that she would like to share:

1. First financial bail out: last Tuesday, raided dad's valet tray for $$ to stuff in her piggy bank.
2. First tailgate on a house boat: Saturday morning, prior to the Baylor game
3. First person to pee on: Mom (I'll be remembering this one is particular...)
4. First tattoo: Ha, yeah right! :)

I have been searching for a baby memory book, but most seem too cheesy or babyish to me. I still haven't found the perfect one, though I did a couple great supplementary books on Amazon.com. The Inappropriate Baby Book and Baby's First Tattoo: A Memory Book for Modern Parents - I am new fan of both. While not for everyone, I think a few of my preggo friends might be able to appreciate the humored twist!

Fear not, I will report Harper's traditional accomplishments as well as the less traditional yet just as memorable events. She continues to amaze us in little and big ways every day, so we should not ever have a shortage of material!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lists

Blogging was on my list of things to-do yesterday, but it must not have made it onto Harper's list. If she had such a list, I imagine it would look a little something like this:
Harper's "Get it done" List
1. Sleep (16-20 hours)
2. Milk time! (repeat every 3-4 hours)
3. Give someone a reason to change my diaper (10x avg)
4. Make super sweet and super crazy faces
5. Gaze at myself in the mirror
6. Practice my neck strengthening routine during tummy time
7. Spit up a little extra milk on someones shoulder (preferably Mom's)
8. Ask Dad for money to put in my piggy bank
9. Take a walk with Wrigley around the neighborhood (must arrange for a driver)
10. Read books and/or study my black & white patterned cards

Surprisingly, blogging did not make the list. I quickly learned my own list takes a backseat to Harper's agenda. I like lists and plans and structure, but those things are not important to a newborn baby. Good thing I like Harper most of all!

Anyhoo! If I had been allowed to get on the computer yesterday, I would have shared what a big day it had been for Harper. Not only did she sleep in her own room, but she also woke up without an umbilical cord. She slept in her room again last night, and thankfully nothing else fell off of her! Now that we have direct sight of her scrumptious little belly button, Harper can finally have a real bath. Jeff is particularly excited about this milestone as he will be her official bather. Mom = feeder, Dad = bather. This is what we are currently reduced to in her eyes, but neither of us minds.

Well, Harper is telling me that blog time is over and we are moving on to milk time. Always with her list, that girl! ;) I'll report back with pics later tonight of her first bath - censored, of course!

Monday, September 29, 2008

pics of the week

In the age of digital cameras and everyone and their grandmomma thinking they are ace photographers, it is easy to overload on pictures. I admit that I take a lot of pictures, but at least I try to edit and weed out some of the less desirable. I thought it might be nifty to start posting "pics of the week" of Harper every Friday, perhaps? I will post pics this afternoon to get us caught up thru her second week. Stay tuned!

Wednesday afternoon...

Here are pictures thru the beginning of this week. Sorry for the delay - I was waiting on additional pics to add in that I have yet to receive.
http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=feae1id.a504p9c5&x=0&y=-f8as1s&localeid=en_US

two, dos, zwei...

Harper is two-weeks old today. How can that be? The past fourteen days with this munchkin have been tiring, fun, tiring, delightful, tiring, awe-inspiring, tiring... you get the picture. Jeff and I love her to pieces, and we sometimes have to pinch ourselves to believe that this love bug is all ours! (Oh, and Wrigley's...I am convinced Wrigley thinks Harper is her baby, too.)

Turning two-weeks old also earned Harper a trip to the pediatrician. Everything checked out great - Harper was given rave reviews by all. Her latest stats are as follows:
7 pounds, 2 ounces (25%)
21 inches long (75%)
In other words, we have a long, slender baby. I have no idea where she got that build...certainly not from her parents! We were repeatedly told that Harper is a very cute and happy baby, so it was nice to have our own thoughts reaffirmed! She passed with flying colors today - good weight, good coloring, no jaundice, etc. Hopefully, this is just the first of many tests she will ace in life!

Following that appointment, our pediatrician sent us to the lab at Providence to have a second PKU test done. The first PKU was done at Hillcrest before we checked out. The test involves pricking the heel of the baby and placing droplets of blood onto a piece of card stock. The test screens for whether a newborn baby has the enzyme needed to use phenylalanine in his or her body. (Phenylalanine is an amino acid that is needed for normal growth and development.) Harper didn't mind the foot prick so much as she protested having her foot restrained for a couple of minutes. She is a feisty little thing! (And unlike her long and slender figure, I do know the source of that personality trait!)

We won't go back to the doctor until Harper is two-months old. She will be ecstatic when she hears the news!
Harper has no idea she is about to be assaulted in the foot! Poor, sweet thing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

blog revamping...

I keep finding myself in situations that I feel are worthy of blogging, but I simply don't have the memory to store them until I can blog nor all the time I need to get blogging. I'm going to have to try to go for more frequent, yet shorter, entries or I will lose these great tidbits of my adventures.

I should be sleeping right now, but I couldn't resist sorting and editing the photos I pulled off my sweet new (borrowed, unfortunately) camera today. Harper had a mini photo shoot after her sponge bath this morning, and I got some adorable shots.

Let me back up about 40 minutes before Harper's photo session. I was in the office/guest room feeding Harper. I could hear Wrigley down the hallway, and I thought it was strange that she hadn't saddled up to my side as I attended to Harper. I heard her give a sharp bark and a low "I will kill you, whatever you are" growl over and over again, and she would not respond to my calls and whistles. It was driving me crazy as I was immobilized and could not see what had caught her attention. Finally, Harper finished eating and we moved on to her bath. My mind was preoccupied, so I only half noticed that Wrigley was still in bark/growl mode and still nowhere to be seen. As I wrapped up snapping shots of Harper, I did finally catch sight of Wrigley out of the corner of my eye. I poked my head into the hallway to see what the commotion was all about.

Turns out Wrigley had it in for Harper's whale tub. I literally had to pick her up and place her inside of it for her to realize it was plastic, and not in fact, made of blubber. I love this pic of her staring down the whale in the eye...just in case!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

field trips

Let me just say that Harper Peel is an absolute doll! My opinion is biased, but she has been the most easy-going baby imaginable. She is a good sleeper, a good eater (big surprise - I also LOVE to eat!), a good shopping partner, etc.

We've had a ton o' fun together over the last week, and the list of "firsts" has lengthened. Breyer and I took Harper on her first Target shopping trip yesterday. Jeff was skeptical at the thought of taking her to the store filled with a plethora of germ-laden shoppers, but I assured him that she would be covered in her car seat and would survive the experience unscathed. Besides, the Target shopping "bug" is one she will inevitably catch--it's genetic! Harper slept through the shopping trip, which is probably a good thing because that kid is broke! She gots no mah-nies, but she does have a really cute, empty piggy bank. Hehe... :)

Jeff took her on his own solo field trip today. He stopped home before lunch and asked if he could take Harper somewhere. "Umm, where?" I asked. He needed to pick up a sponsorship form at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and wanted to bring her along to introduce her to some of the guys there. (He is on a couple of committees for the TSHOF, so it was not as random of a request as it sounds.) I would be surprised if he didn't show Harper some Longhorn paraphenalia while they were there...

Harper and I went on another shopping trip again today, too. It was just the two of us off to the Richland Mall. A mecca of shopping - by no means - but we needed to stop by Baby GAP and Dillards. We have a few other preggo friends, and we were on the search for cute gifts. I was hoping Harper would offer suggestions on color choices, but she decided to press the snooze button through the entire escapade. The love of shopping might have to be transferred to Harper by osmosis at this rate!

She has taken a couple other car trips, as well. We went to the pediatrician last Thursday and stopped by Jeff's office on Friday. She seems to really enjoy the car rides - trying to get her prepped up for a trip to Austin one of these days!

The pedi appointment went well (pediatrician, not pedicure!). Harper checked out in great condition. When we left the hospital on the 16th she weighed 6 lbs, 2 oz, but by Thursday she was back up to 6 lbs, 10 oz. She is definitely on track to regain her birth weight in the standard two week time frame. We will go back for a routine appointment on the 29th.

It is hard to believe she will already be two weeks old on Monday! She'll be driving in no time! I would say "dating," but Jeff has imposed a minimum age of 25 before she is allowed to talk to boys. Funny, because my dad said I wasn't allowed to date until I reached 30, yet he gave his blessing for Jeff to propose when I was 25. Harper - there is hope for you yet!

I will blog later about some of the other neat "firsts" for Harper. I have to make the most of every minute in between her feedings, and I've only got another hour or so left before she rouses again!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What you've all been waiting for...

...pictures are finally ready for viewing. :) Sorry it took so long, but I am still learning how to get a million things done in between feedings and visits from family and friends.

You can view pictures from the last week in this Shutterfly album. http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AbtWbRm1auGLyY
I know Uncle Kevin has some great shots, too, but I don't have those in my possession yet. Here is a sample to whet your curiosity....


Friday, September 19, 2008

cruel and unusual punishment...

I apologize for the cruel and unusual punishment bestowed upon the faithful readers of this blog. If it makes you feel any better, it has been driving me crazy all week to not update my friends and family with this wonderful experience that is Harper Elle Peel. I just hadn't found a second to take a breath, let alone blog or gather pictures until now.

So let's go back to Monday, September 15, 2008.
Jeff and I arrived at Hillcrest at 5:30 a.m. I was quickly settled into my labor and delivery room just in time to answer a thousand and one questions. Time was passing quickly even at that point. Dr. Koeritz arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and the pitocin drip was turned on. By 9, I was signed up for my epidural! Those epidurals are just wonderful - why anyone wouldn't want one is beyond me! Dr. K checked on me at 11:30 and dilation was at a 4. He returned after lunch at 1 p.m. and dilation had zoomed to 9.5 cm. (I think somewhere in there the pitocin "drip" turned into a turbo faucet!) Our awesome nurse, Amy, called it a 10 a few minutes later, and we were ready to get the show on the road. I can't even describe how quickly everything progressed from there... I pushed a few times with the help of Jeff and Amy, then Dr. Koeritz returned and I pushed a few times for him, and then Harper made her grand entrance! I am still struggling to explain how something seemingly so uneventful is also the single most defining event of my life.

Harper weighed 6 pounds, 14 oz, and measured 20.5 inches long. She has blonde hair and blue eyes (for now, at least). Her fingers and toes are soooo long, and her feet remind me of those of a puppy.... I'm just hoping she grows into them! She is just a sweet, happy and healthy baby girl. She makes the absolute greatest faces, well, except for that one grumpy old man wrinkled face. :) I realize she doesn't know what a smile is or what it conveys, but her smile will melt anyone!

We came home on Tuesday evening, and it was nice to get back here. Harper seems to like her new house, and we enjoy having her here with us. Wrigley is intrigued by our new roommate. She already has a sweet spot for Harper. I caught her guarding Harper's bedroom door while Harper napped yesterday... she alerted me when she heard a knock at the door, but she refused to leave her post!

I am getting drowsy, so I will call it quits on that note. I will continue my report WITH pictures in the morning, I promise. Guten nacht!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday, fun day?

It is Sunday morning...less than 24 hours to go until the induction process is scheduled to begin. I have been awake for two hours, and I could not possibly count the number of times I have already looked at the clock today. Can we say impatient? :)

I wanted to take a picture this morning to mark the end of this pregnancy. 39 weeks and 5 days later, and this is what we've got!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

fire in the hole!

Breyer and I were talking yesterday about the alleged tricks one can use to encourage a baby to evacuate the uterus. "They" say eating spicy foods is one possibility. Well, I eat the spiciest of the spiciest foods possible on a daily basis, and Harper has managed to survive in there for over 39 weeks without protest. Breyer suggested that maybe, just maybe, Harper refuses to budge because she is thinking of her diet for the next year upon exiting...bland milk, pureed veggies without any seasonings, cereal, etc. Maybe she is enjoying the spicy selections a little too much!

So, I could try toning things down these next couple of days. Try to bore her taste buds in hopes that she will come out reaching for a bottle of sambal olek or siracha sauce! Nah, I don't think I can do it. I think I will have dinner at Bangkok Royal tonight and order the "crazy salmon." Now, they don't call it crazy for nothin.' It can be H-O-T hot!

Harper - the gloves are on, baby! Fire in the hole!