Ahhh, Halloween--my absolute favorite holiday. I do also love St. Patty's Day, but only Halloween gives carteblanche 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!
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!
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!
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 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!
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!
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!
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'sgenerous 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!
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!