Thursday, January 29, 2009

Coming soon to a theater near you!

Harper laughing last week. It is the sweetest sound!

This one is from a few weeks ago. The flipping is nonstop these days!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Will the real Harper Peel please stand up?

I blogged a little too soon yesterday regarding Harper eating cereal. We skipped even trying it on Monday, and I wasn't very optimistic on Tuesday. I whipped up a whopping tablespoon of cereal, warmed it up, and served it to HP on a silver spoon. Ok, it was a plastic spoon, but silver sounded better.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Harper ate the cereal! All of a sudden, she knew how to receive a spoon in her mouth, close her mouth and swallow! I will apologize now for an abundance of exclamation points--I was excited!!! She ate the whoooooole tablespoon of cereal. It wasn't a fluke, because she repeated the performance at her next meal. Two days ago, she would open her mouth, stick out her tongue, and let the cereal roll right off of it. Did the light bulb suddenly turn on? I bet she wikipedia'd "eating" late at night. Lord knows she wasn't sleeping!
I'm becoming suspicious that someone has stolen the real HP and replaced her with another babe. She is not the sleeper I'd grown to love, yet she has mastered eating techniques out of the blue. That's not all... Today, at lunch, she decided she was mature enough to drink from a ginormous cup! Harper straight up tossed my straw out of my cup and stole a few sips of H2O. Good thing we were at Siete Mares and not Ninfa's, or she might have snagged her first taste of a marg. (I say "marg" instead of "rita"....courtesy of the alcoholic mom from The O.C.)
Yeah, that must it. Someone has pulled off the ol' baby switcheroo. Or maybe she is growing up? Nah, that can't be it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is that what you call flirting?

Harper had an impromptu play date with Kyle Coats last week. Kase was napping and missed out on the action! What is it with that girl and not being able to keep her pants on at the Coats' house? Not a good sign!

She looks him over and proceeds to eat his sleeve.

Hey, buddy!

She looks to Kyle's mom for permission to eat his hand next.

Oooh, a blue pacifier? I don't have one in that color.

Harper goes in for the kill.

I'll be taking this!
Note: Please disregard the Aggie background. These two are definitely a crib divided!

M.I.A. part deux

Ok, let's try this again. Thanks to Tiffany for calling me out--not surprisingly, I didn't make it back yesterday to give you an HP status update. Lemme see...we can talk about swaddling, sleeping, eating, weight/height stats, flipping over, squirming and hair. Let's begin!

Harper went in for her four-month check-up last Monday. The appointment was originally scheduled for the previous Friday, but I had to move it. Friday was my last day of work, and I couldn't possibly have left Harper with a babysitter after getting shot in the leg, twice! She weighs 13.5 lbs and measured 24 1/4 inches long. Not bad! She handled the immunizations like a champ, too. She cried for 90 seconds or so after the initial attack, and quickly regained her composure. She was a cupcake for the rest of the day!

Given her age and an assortment of other indicators, Harper is ready to add new things to her diet. Namely, Gerber rice cereal. It couldn't possibly taste any blander, but hey, I'm just following orders! Getting her to go along with this new experience has been anything but easy. She makes awful faces and the cereal just falls right off her tongue onto her bib (or the chair, table or me). I skipped yesterday, but I think she finally consumed a bit of cereal on Sunday. And by "a bit," I'm talking like a max of one teaspoon. All in good time, I suppose!

This little rug rat has gotten squirmier by the minute. She squirms for the sheer sake of squirming. She has to be strapped securely into every chair and swing, or she is going to shake her rump right outta there. She also now resists being strapped into said chair with a vengeance I've not seen before. She acts as though you are trying to strap down her spirit and throw away the key! Once all the straps and doodads are fastened, she calms right back down. Weirdo!

Along with squirming comes the flipping. Babies tend to not be big fans of spending too much time on their tummies. Harper definitely falls into this category. However, the instant you set her on the ground to play on her back, she flips right over onto her stomach. Her technique is flawless, I must admit. She has the leg swing and arm tuck down pat. Sometimes she can handle being in this position for several minutes, but more often that not, she screams in displeasure within 60 seconds. Just flip her back over, you say? Well, that might be an easy solution if she didn't flip herself right back onto her tummy. (When she does this, I recite an "Anchorman" quote in my head..."I immediately regret this decision!") Her short term memory needs work, too. One day I tallied over twenty flips in a span of minutes. Occasionally, she will flip herself over onto her back again, but most of the time she gets too frustrated to remember she is capable of fixing it on her own! In a nutshell, she is inching closer and closer to mobility, and I hear that is when this job really gets fun!

Now, swaddling and sleeping go hand in hand. Harper has been swaddled for bed since day one. I am a master swaddler, albeit self-proclaimed. If they gave awards for parenting, I would so steal that category. (By the way, has been my saving grace!) Anyhoo, swaddling is the main reason Harper has always been such an excellent sleeper. Until now. Ol' Punkster is now too long to fit into the miracle blanket and too strong to remain in my tightest swaddle. And so, sleep at the Peel house has been anything but sound over the last couple of weeks. I've been taking one for the team by getting up several times during the night to help soothe Punkie back to sleep. Jeff tries to get up to help, but I send him back to bed. He still has to go into the office every morning and bring home the bacon, so I figure we can only afford one of us to be sleep-deprived!

Last night wasn't too bad. I don't quite have my perfect sleeper back yet, but we're getting close! We're trying to work on Harper's self-soothing ability, so she can put herself back to sleep without our help. She can put herself to sleep at bedtime, but she hasn't been as successful when she wakes herself up later on. Before this little hiccup, Harper was sleeping 8-9 uninterrupted hours a night. My goal is to have her sleeping 10-12 hours when this is all said and done. Wish us luck!

Last, but certainly not least, Harper is sprouting more hair! You can actually start to see it on top now! When she was born, she had a ring of hair low on her head stretching from ear to ear, and nothing on top. The original patch of hair has taken on a strawberry blonde coloring, but all of her new hair is the whitest blonde. She has a long way to go, but we're happy to see some growth coming along! Oh, and have I ever mentioned the one strand of hair on the top of her head that must measure five inches long? What a show-off! When I first pointed it out for Jeff, he wanted me to cut it off. I couldn't do it. It makes me giggle too much when I catch sight of it!

Surely, I owe y'all some pictures, too. Enjoy!

Harper loves to go on walks in her Baby Bjorn. It also makes grocery shopping much easier!

Yumm, cereal!

Watching Vincent Van Goat...gotta love some Baby Einstein DVDs!
Just playin' around in her Exersaucer.
In the words of Porky Pig, Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-That's all for now, folks!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Missing in action...

I've been absent from blogging these last couple of weeks, and I don't even have a decent excuse. (Well, aside from living a life ruled by a four-month-old.) I think up things I want to write about while I'm driving or taking a walk, but the thoughts evaporate by the time I can post up at my laptop. Speaking of laptops, I even have mine back! Jeff finally has his own for which we are both thankful. Anyhoo, where to begin...

Well, let's start with the non-Harper news. I am officially unemployed (willingly, mind you). In early January, I put my notice in at the Chamber, and I've been home for a week now. I suppose this doesn't actually qualify as non-Harper news as she was the main impetus for the change. Family and friends were gracious enough to watch HP after my maternity leave was up, but we could not figure out a long-term childcare plan. Daycare was a no-go, particularly as she was wait-listed everywhere and lacks the vaccinations they require. Long story short, Jeff and I made the decision that I would stay home with Harper. (Oh, and finish that pesky Master's degree, too, but I'll save that discussion for another day!)

HP and I have had a great time over the past week. I think this arrangement is truly for her benefit. I never pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom, so I'm struggling a bit with my identity at the moment. Ah well, I'll come to terms with it eventually. Besides, it isn't forever. I'm thinking of it more as a hiatus from the workplace. When the three of us are ready, I'll go back to work. Until then, I'll be busier than ever at home taking care of Harper, my husband, our house, my volunteer commitments, and finishing my applied research project.

You'd think that I would have free time galore now that I'm home, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I have a laundry list of random things to complete, fix, replace, clean, donate, drop-off, etc... Last week, I bagged a mammoth pile of leaves and broke down loose limbs from the yard. I took apart the bathroom scale to reattach the "on" button. I did umpteen loads of laundry. I even put away the clean clothes--my second most-dreaded chore. I wrote a dozen thank you notes. I started a recipe binder for those loose clippings pulled from assorted magazines. I recycled. I birthday shopped; I grocery shopped. I organized closets. I found Jeff's long lost box of sweaters hidden right under my nose. I paid bills. I updated Quicken. I attended a birthday dinner, a rehearsal dinner, and a wedding. I danced 'til the cows came home. I did a million little things in the moments I could steal while Harper napped or watched an occasional Baby Einstein DVD. However, I did not blog, and for that I am sorry. :)

I'd better wrap this up for now. Harper is napping, and Jeff is on his way home for lunch. I'm going to assume Wrigley is asleep in the living room. To the untrained eye, there might appear to be a blanket loosely piled on the couch. I know better--I know a pile of blanket means Wrigley has burrowed down for an afternoon nap. Lucky!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

word up!

I've been playing with a new-to-me web site, Wordle, this afternoon. It is flippin' awesome. Based on a sample of text you provide, Wordle generates what they call "word clouds." Greater emphasis is given to words that appear more frequently in your text. I ran it twice using two different samples of text from this blog. Pretty nifty!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Year in review

2008 was a good year. Our lives are vastly different from what they were twelve short months ago. We're older, hopefully wiser, more careful, more imaginative, not as well-rested, more responsible, less selfish, more tired, so sleepy... agakdfgjadflgfigaf.... sorry, I drifted off there for a second! ;)

I've learned a fair amount over the last year. Among these new findings and revelations include:

1. I don't hate tofu as previously thought.
2. My disdain for hummus remains.
3. As one can tell from this list, my life still revolves around food.
4a. Former most hated chore: putting away laundry.
4b. Current most hated chore: washing baby bottles.
5. Bodies stretch in ways unimaginable...thank goodness they are capable of returning to their original shape!
6. Dachshunds, despite their best intentions, are not (legally) capable babysitters. I think it might be a height issue.
7. Bangkok Royal wins restaurant of the year. Hot Sea & Crazy Salmon....mmmmmm!
8. Don't believe the hype--breastfed babies have smelly poop, too.
9. Meconium wins most hideous word AND substance of the year.
10. Fantasy sports are AWESOME, but not as awesome as college football season.
11. Babies are lucky. They get entirely new wardrobes approximately every three months. Can we say "jealous?!"
12. It is impossible to vacuum too often. Or often enough.
12. Nothing beats a toothless smile. Except maybe a toothless laugh. (And really, this is only true if the person has a legitimate reason for being toothless.)
13. Harper Elle Peel is the greatest gift we've ever received. (I mean, she is waaaaaaay better than the shoe tree Chelle and I got for Christmas that one year!)

Wish us luck in 2009! I'm pretty sure Harper is going to give us a run for our money. Crawling, teething, walking, solid foods, talking...I'm ecstatic and exhausted at the thought of it all!

(Editor's note: Item #10 on above list was the result of a certain husband hacking into this blog. Obviously!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy (belated) Birthday, Jeff/Dad!

Jeff celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday, and I celebrated my 28 and 1/12th birthday. I just so happen to be one month older and wiser [insert laugh here] than ol' Jeffrey. He likes to think he scored a "cougar," which makes me laugh and confuses the rest of our family members.

I bought Jeff two birthday cards--one from me and the other from Harper. The former was addressed to "Jeff," while the latter was addressed to "Dad." Jeff opened the first card, but the second card sat untouched on the desk. Apparently, he didn't recognize his other name!

News brief

We have lots of new pictures to share, as well as a new method to share them. I will continue to blog and post occasional photos in this spot, but from now on, the place to view any and all pics to your heart's desire will be seen at That site will allow me to share photos as I take them without having to inundate your e-mail inboxes with notices to check out the latest slideshows. Another cool feature allows other people to upload their photos as well. Anyhoo, we'll see how it goes!

I've been borrowing my mother's husband's Canon Rebel for the last few months, and sadly, he wants it back. I knew this day would come, but I was hoping it would be far, far off into the distant future! As a result, Jeff and I are shopping around for a new camera. My old point and shoot Kodak simply will not suffice. Being the addict that I am, I believe I have found a really great deal on a new Rebel. Now I just have to force myself to fork over the money for it....ahhh, painful. :/

Jeff got a new Flip Mino video camera for Christmas, and it seems super nifty. I don't think he has recorded anything worth recording yet, but just give him time. Jeff S-Peel-berg...our very own in-house movie producer!