Sunday, December 20, 2009

Who's that baby?

While looking for a profile pic of Wrigley for her Evite account*, I came across this random photo of Harper and myself circa October 2008. I'm guessing she was around four weeks old. When was she EVER that tiny?! And when was she EVER that quiet?

The last fifteen months have flown by in a hurry, but it isn't lost on me how absolutely amazing of an adventure we are on together! I just love that kid. Hey, at least she is quiet when she is sleeping. I'll take what I can get these days. ;)

*Don't make fun of Wrigley. She has a bustling holiday season ahead of her!

Friday, December 18, 2009

15 months? Really?

Yes, it's true. Some might even say amazing. Jeff and I have managed to keep Harper alive and well for a whopping fifteen months. It feels like she just turned one, yet it also feels like eons ago. I suppose we are constantly so wrapped up in the moment with her that we can barely keep track of how much time has passed. If it weren't for this blog, I would have no way of remembering when she reached specific accomplishments. Maybe one of these days I'll transfer her history into her baby book... Oh, ha! I had to stop and laugh at that one. I made a funny. Like I'll ever get around to that! I'm lucky if I wash my hair every three days!

Ok, ok. On to the good stuff. The stuff that keeps you coming back, frothing at the mouth. No, but seriously, if any of you are frothing, you might want to see a doctor. It might be rabies. Or the rabies flu. I don't know if we have invented that one yet, but if not, you saw it here first, folks!

Harper went in today for her fifteen-month appointment, and she passed with flying colors. One of the questions the doc asked is if she can say three words? Are you kidding me? She was at three words ____ months ago (please insert appropriate age after you reference previous blog posts). I heard a dad at Harper's MDO Thanksgiving lunch brag that his son says twenty words. I went home that day and made a list. Well, I attempted to make a list. Harper interrupted me with her incessant babbling, and I gave up. So, I don't have a number to give you, but the kid talks. Quite a bit. Six words is the test for an eighteen-month old, so it looks like we're going to ace that one, too. I love when I know the questions on the test ahead of time!

Physically, all is well. Her weight came in at 21.6 lbs (25 percentile), and her height came in at 31.5in (80 percentile). I knew Jeff would be stoked to know that Harper is still considered tall. I think it gives him hope that there may still be a chance for him to have a late growth spurt! Personally, I don't mind being short. In fact, I always wished I had ended up about an inch or so shorter. It's probably a good thing I made it to 5'2" or Breyer might never have agreed to befriend me. She hates vertically challenged people - just ask her. If she denies the charge, I will provide names and examples.

Anyhoo! Things are looking good for Miss HP. We've been blessed with a wonderful kid, and I say that even after she prevented me from getting even one wink of sleep on Tuesday night. I told my friend, Storey, that I had intended to write a blog post bragging on how great Harper has been lately...and then she pulled that stunt. We'll blame it on incoming teeth and call it even!

But really, she has been doing so well lately. We moved her into her toddler bed over Thanksgiving. She L-O-V-E-S it. Wrigley loves it, too. I believe they have worked out some sort of time share agreement regarding which of them sleeps in the bed during which hours of the day. All I know is the bed is always warm! Early in the mornings, I slide Harper's door open just wide enough for her to slip out when she rouses. I think it is the cutest thing when she groggily walks into the kitchen and asks me for "juice."

We've been working hard lately on shapes, colors, and practicing as many words as possible. It's exhausting, but I know it's all for her benefit. We talk all day. I've always described and named objects to her, but now I have to make it a point to prompt her to repeat the words back to me. "Tud-dle" (turtle) is one of my favorites, but I only get to hear it during bathtime. "No" is my least favorite word, and that one can pop up at any ol' moment! Oh well, I'm happy as long as she is using words instead of communicating with whines and grunts!

Fifteen months down, and infinity to go. It won't all be easy, that much I know. There are moments when I get really, really, really frustrated with Harper, and then she turns around with her face super-scrunched up into a cheesy grin. She looks like she is Chinese, which is funny to you if you know me really well. I laugh, and then I remember to take a breath and let my frustrations go. There is just too much to enjoy with her in our lives!

Her hair is growing by the minute. Finally!!

Checking my blood pressure with her new doctor kit from the Coats' boys! Don't get any ideas, boys!!

Updating her Facebook status, of course.

Eating "rays" (raisins) - her favorite snack!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The naked chef

I'm not very good at surprises. I just don't care for them. When I buy someone a gift, I want to give it to them right away. Growing up, my sister and I would scout out our Christmas presents, and then ever so carefully unwrap and rewrap them before they made their way under the tree. It took skill, and I feel confident that we perfected the art. Sure, we were never surprised on Christmas morning, but we have lots of memories laughing at the odd assortment of randomness disguised as presents. It prevented us from scowling with dismay at the box of vacuum cleaner attachments that actually turned out to be a shoe tree. But I digress...

We bought Harper a baby piano a couple of months ago. Her friend, Carter, got one for his birthday in August, and it was a hit with the kids at playgroup. I found out where his mom bought it, and I copied her purchase right down to the color. What can I say? She has good taste! It sat in the box in her closet until a week ago. I caved. I rearranged her room after changing her crib to the toddler bed, and the spot for the piano begged to be filled. I was proud of myself for holding out as long as I did! Besides, I felt she would be quickly overwhelmed on Christmas morning as the wrapping paper and bows began flying through the air!

I also wanted a kitchen for Christmas. I mean, Harper wanted a kitchen. She literally runs to the kitchen in her room at MDO as soon as I drop her off. I like to think that she makes breakfast for her friends just like I make breakfast for our family every morning. Since she isn't really into dolls, playing with the kitchen is the first time I've seen her engage in "pretend play." (I don't know if that is the proper term, but you know what I mean!) She stirs the imaginary "juice" in her cup, and she ladles "soup" from the pot to the bowl before she blows on it (because the soup is "haaaaaa" aka hot) and takes a "bite."

Anyhoo, I knew she would love a toddler-size kitchen, and Grammy came through with the goods. It shipped to our house on Friday, and of course, Jeff and I put it together that night. I was honestly planning on waiting until Christmas Eve-eve (since we do Christmas with my family on the 24th), but our excitement won over our good intentions. Lemme tell ya, it will be too soon if we ever have to put one of those together again! Talk about pain in the arse! After the arduous assembly process, we moved the kitchen to the front hallway ensuring Harper would have to walk past it on the way out of her room in the morning. Jeff had the nerve to ask me (at 1:30 am!) if I wanted him to wake up Harper to see it in all its shining glory. Uhhh, no.

I cannot describe to you how elated Harper became at the sight of her kitchen the next morning. You might actually say she was flabbergasted. She walked straight to it and began "cooking." I literally had to pry her away from it to eat breakfast. She played with it from morning until night. I was afraid she would get out of bed in the middle of the night and make herself a midnight snack! ;) For the past three days, the kitchen has been her obsession. Straight out of the bathtub with nary a cloth on her body, she insisted upon cleaning out her fridge, earning herself the moniker "the naked chef." Ever so observant, Jeff watched her and said, "I think she really likes it." Uhhh, yeah.

As soon as she can read, I'm starting her cookbook collection. I received my first cookbook at age four, and I've been in love with cooking ever since. I'll probably never be great at it, but I love trying. And eating. Oh, how I love eating. Can't forget that part!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I could feel Harper and Dozer playing beneath my chair as I wrapped up a quick e-mail last night. I peeked at Harper and even laughed at how compactly she had packed herself underneath my seat. I quickly grabbed my camera, and of course, she was on the move before I could snap the first pic. Still cute, I thought, until I realized that damn dog had just eaten the SECOND playground ball of Harper's in a week. M-A-D mad, argh!

At least Harper is cute. Anyone want a middle-aged, ornery English Bulldog? He would make a great Christmas gift for someone you don't like very much.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Park it

Harper loves-loves-loves to play outside. We play in our backyard and front yard quite often, but not often enough if you surveyed my daughter. I have caught her staring longingly out the back patio door many times, while our bulldog stares back longingly into our living room. It makes for an amusing sight.

Yesterday, we met our friends Deanna (with Makenzie and Piper) & Kim (with Kylee) at the park. The girls had a lot of fun, particularly on the slide. The moms worked out an assembly line of sorts, shuffling the girls from the ground to the bridge to the slide and back down again. Efficiency is key! Kylee and Piper enjoyed the swings as well, but Harper does not share that interest with them. Go figure! She would much rather explore the park grounds on her own...she's really working that independent streak lately!

Kylee, Harper and Piper--hopefully, this is the only time they will spend together behind bars! ;)

If you could only imagine how funny this really was...quite an accomplishment!

Monday, November 23, 2009

This is getting serious

A little cheese and crackers, save the wine for the moms, and you've got the perfect date for the under 2 crowd.

Carson and Harper's first dinner date...first of many that will be orchestrated by their parents!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Interruption of your regularly scheduled programming

I should be working on my literature review. I could be helping Jeff work on a project outside. I was in the midst of a search for a Gruyere potato gratin recipe that once graced my lips courtesy of Miss Lara LeAnne. However, I had to pause when I saw this kid run past my desk...

In this case, the distraction was welcomed.

If you've got something to say, say it!

Many of you without gmail accounts have expressed an interest in leaving comments on the blog, so I'm here to give you a quick tip. Click the pull down menu and select "Name/URL." Insert whatever name you want to use, and don't worry about the URL part. Your comment will appear as "so and so said...." Easy peasy Japanesy!

(Oh, who am I kidding? Only two people, max, read this blog!)

I'm a lucky gal...

My fam. 'Nuff said.

House for sale

Jeff and I are a tad impulsive. Well, more Jeff than me, but let's not get technical. We were engaged six months after we met, and married eight months later. We had a kid one month after our first anniversary. We don't tend to wait around when we know what we want.

The most recent example of this impulsiveness involves us listing our house for sale last week. We have twice looked at a house for sale by owner a few streets over. The house neighbors Jeff's grandparents' house, and is also a stone's throw from his parents' house. Needless to say, we pass by this house often and it piqued my interest. We also viewed two other homes on that street. (I still want the first one. So, if you're searching for birthday/Christmas gift ideas....) We casually viewed all three homes. We weren't exactly looking to move right now. Heck, we even have a rough draft of plans for a remodel of our kitchen/den.

In the span of a week, we decided that we did want to move, and accordingly, we have to sell our house. If you know of anyone looking for a home in lovely Woodway, Texas, send 'em our way! Or send 'em to the listing!

Bonus pics of a cute kid playing in front of the house. Kid not included in price shown. Additional negotiation required. ;)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cornucopia of "firsts"

Over the last fourteen months, Jeff and I have rejoiced (and shaken our heads at) many of Harper's "firsts." Some are significant, while others run precariously close to the mundane. Some of these moments may cause you to take no notice at all, to allow a fleeting thought of recognition to flow in and out of your brain, or to drop everything and immediately call/text/blog/run an ad on cable television exalting the news to anyone that will listen. Good or bad, there never seems to be a shortage of notable moments.

Allow me to share a recent sampling of first occurrences in Harper's life:

* FIRST time to eat venison, dove breast, and shrimp.
* FIRST time to brush her teeth without a knock-down, drag-out fight.
* FIRST time to sleep in a toddler bed.
* FIRST molars. Ugh, I personally hate 'em.
* FIRST time to ride a tricycle. Or at least ride on one while someone else pushes her around.
* FIRST real scrape. Bonus: first scab!
* FIRST kiss! That sneaky ol' Carson stole a kiss on Halloween while sitting in the wagon with Harps. Until then, I wasn't aware that monkeys are attracted to cats!
* FIRST time to lick homemade butter cream frosting from a beater. This moment probably rates #1 in Harper's book. She was absolutely elated!
* FIRST time to perform long division! OK, not really, but I'm keeping hope alive! ;)
* FIRST time to poop in the bathtub. Yep, folks, you read it right. Last night, HP pooped in the tub. I saw a bubble and guessed fart, but I was quickly proven wrong. Luckily, Grammy was available to dry and clothe Harper while I called in the HAZMAT team. Oh wait, that would be me. Sick, sick, sick.
* FIRST time to go out of town without Mom and Dad. Maybe that will lead to another first...first time to poop in someone else's bathtub! Muhahahaha....

Tell me a funny "first" you can recall with your kid(s). Don't hold back!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hall-o-weenie!

Procrastination finally paid off. I found Harper's Halloween costume on Friday morning during an unbelievable sale at Old Navy. All of their Halloween gear was on sale for $2 with an additional 50% off to the first 20 or so customers of the day. In other words, I bought her costume for the going price of ONE American dollar. Can we say niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice? I couldn't get mad when she all but trashed it at the party on Friday night, and I couldn't have been happier when it came clean so she could wear it again on Saturday. Game on!

We trick-or-treated around our neighborhood Saturday evening with a handful of Harper's boyfriends. Aside from the free candy, Harper also received her very first kiss from Carson! It was a bold move with her Dad standing by in the living room! We only stopped by a few houses until the novelty wore off, then it was home to watch the Longhorn game. Hook 'Em!

Here kitty, kitty!

Yabba dabba do! It's Barney...

...and Fred!

Harper and Carson aka the Meow-Monkey Mix!
Three dads and many babies.

Harper wants Carson's lollipop and won't take no for an answer.

Trick-or-treating at Nana and Poppa's house!

Poppa has a little heart to heart with Barney Rubble.

Harps watches a little Longhorn action with her dad. I promise they are watching a 60" just LOOKS tiny. ;)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh blog, how I miss thee, let me count the ways...

I'm sorry. This blog has been collecting dust for a few weeks now, and for that I apologize. I honestly didn't know I had any readers left until I started receiving death threats and thinly veiled "suggestions" that I might want to get back to it! My existence as a person formerly known as a blogger has not been for lack of trying nor for lack of material. Matter of fact, I've written many a blog post in my head lately. Some of my best stuff, I must say. And I'll be the judge of that! ;)

Basically, my excuse is mayhem. Mayhem in the form of Harper Elle Peel. You see, we had an arrangement. An arrangement centered around her doing certain things at certain times. Things like eating, sleeping, napping, and playing. Apparently, someone threw out the playbook and forgot to tell me! She has been nothing short of a hurricane these last few weeks. She naps at MDO, but rarely at home. She wakes up before I've had my chance to get settled in the mornings. She took two hours to go down to bed last night, despite reading to her the most utterly boring material I could find. She has been clingier than usual. She wants her momma, and she isn't afraid to voice her preference. Sometimes she wants her daddy, and no one else will do. Luckily, she does still play well by herself, but those minutes have become tiny nuggets of gold for me. Tiny nuggets of time that I must use to breathe, pay bills, e-mail, do school work, work on volunteer obligations, clean, etc. Sadly, blogging has fallen to the bottom of the list. One of those "if there is time" things, which there never seems to be! Honestly, there never was extra time, but my ability to squeeze out an extra minute or two from other obligations has fallen to the wayside.

Basically, Harper has been driving us bonkers. To be fair, she has also granted us plenty of memorable moments of late, too. If it weren't for those gems, we would probably have listed her for sale on Craigslist by now. ;) We'll get through this rough patch, I'm sure. Sleep will return, teeth will emerge, independence will continue to flourish, and our sanity* may return. Maybe!

Excerpt from a conversation with Jeff last night:
ME: I think she's trying to kill me.
JEFF: I think she's got it in for me, too.
ME: Then who will feed her?
JEFF: Apparently, she hasn't thought this through!

* Results not typical.

Friday, October 9, 2009

They call me Dr. Peelgood

Ok, that is a complete lie. Not one person has ever come close to calling me Dr. Peelgood, but you know how I love to incorporate lyrics into my post titles. Just go with it for a second.

I’ve had a handful of doctor appointments and lab tests over the past two months. It really should not have taken two months, but they moved a couple appointments which I then cancelled and rescheduled, and then I switched doctors. It all made for a long, drawn out process! I’ll save you the drama and we’ll go with the super abbreviated version: routine physical exam detected protein in my urine (that’s “pee pee” for you mommies out there). I donated an obscene amount of pee to the lab for testing (seriously, several Thor-sized jugs that required refrigerator storage during the collection period! Eww!), and an ultrasound of my kidneys for kicks. You know, because I really enjoy sitting in a waiting room, topless underneath my hospital gown, while befriending an eighty-year old lady who asked me if she needed to keep her panties on and if I was pregnant. Yes and no? No and no? I really didn’t want to picture that lady in her panties—thanks!

Could have been this, could have been that, but lucky for me, it turned out to be nothing. Nothing = orthostatic proteinuria, which happens to be benign. It’s also rare in people my age as it is more commonly found in adolescents. I look young, right? My doctor, who I love and wish that he works on more than just kidneys, wants me to have a yearly urine check just to be safe.

Ok, so now that I know that I’m fine and will live to skydive yet again, I can tell you my short story about the annoying nurse who checked me in to my final appointment on Wednesday. You know how a nurse-type person typically checks your vitals and stats (Jenny, am I using the right terms? Help an NSC out!) before the doctor sees you for your appointment? Well, said lovely nurse-type person asked me to step on the scale, which I hate. As a former fat/chubby/drank way too much beer in college kinda gal, I despise weighing myself unless I’m on my home scale, nekkid. We’re talking about the girl who wore nearly the same, identical outfit to each of my maternity appointments so as not to skew the actual weight increase each week! Anyhoo, I step on the scale and sigh. Nurse lady skips the bottom measurement over to 150. As if I weigh more than 150! She scoffed when she realized that her first guess was wrong, and moved the bottom bar over to 100. Then she slid the top bar over to far right side thinking that if I’m not 150 I must be quickly approaching it. (Jerk!) She literally appeared pissed off when the scale measurements evenly lined up at my actual weight. Normally, I would not divulge that number, but for the sake of this story, I weighed/weigh 120 even. Really? Really? Did she think I had thirty pound weights slipped into my boots? Thanks for the boost of confidence, lady.

On that note, have I mentioned that I am a newfound lover of Zumba! You’ve got to move it, move it…

Who needs a birthday when you can celebrate all week?

[Editor's note: I am too tired to proofread this post, so continue at your own risk. Lara, put away your red pen!]

In the timeliest possible fashion, I will now share with you some pictures from Harper's weeklong birthday bonanza. I won't bore you with the details of events that have kept me from posting these within a reasonable amount of time, so just go ahead and thank me now.

We didn't do much birthday-wise on her actual birthday. Unfortunately, her big day fell on a Tuesday. Tuesday, terrible Tuesday, is my San Marcos day, which means I barely even saw Harper at all that day. My attitude (who me, an attitude?!) was not entirely pleasant in class that night, I must admit. I hate the fact that I have to drive 120 miles to sit in a class that I don't want to be in, and missing my daughter's first birthday bothered me just a tad. Anyhoo!

Harper celebrated her birthday with friends at a playgroup birthday brunch at our house. That was on Wednesday. Remember what I told you about Tuesdays? Picture me driving back from Austin at 5am on Wednesday morning, baking, cleaning, decorating (Loosely put. I decorated the table.), getting Harper ready for the day, bathing myself... let's just say that I was still in the nude not ten minutes before our first guests arrived. (Don't picture that. It's not pretty!) Regardless, fun was had by all. Right, all? Harper is blessed to already have so many wonderful friends in her life!

And now for the main course:

Her Haute Baby cupcake dress. Cute, cute!

Harper and Cambell playing with the "laptop."

Sweet girls! Piper, Makenzie and Blaire. (Sorry, Blaire, for all the times I've left off your "-e.")

Reaching out for the cupcakes!

Birthday? What's that?

Happy birthday to me...

Asking for permission to dive in...

Apparently, she eats cupcakes as if they were apples. Interesting technique!

Harper & Mom. No longer nekkid, thank goodness!

Harper partied with these kiddos all the way to lunchtime. Par-tay!

Harper, Cambell and Piper. We missed Kylee!

We celebrated with family that Saturday at Nana and Poppa Peel's house. They have the best backyard. Waaaaay better than our backyard. I mean, it's hard to compete with an Asian rain forest and four plastic Adirondack chairs, but somehow they beat us in the backyard makeover department. But I digress...

Harper and her cousin, Audrey, before the party.

Harper and Nana! And the Geico caveman? Niiiiice!

Oh, I just love this girl.

Mikelle took some pretty neat shots with her new camera!

Ain't no tutu gonna slow her down, oh no, she has to keep on movin.'

The cupcake cake...better in theory than real life. The cake itself was delish, I will say!

Umm, yeah. What to say?

Harper wants to thank everyone who helped her celebrate her first birthday! She also wants to know why tutus are not part of our everyday attire? I'm wondering that myself! (And all you Facebookers out there know that I expanded her tutu and then proceeded to wear it out in celebration of Lara's 30th birthday. Hey-O!)

P.S. Thanks to Deanna and Mikelle for sharing their pictures with me! Love y'all!