Friday, October 28, 2005

On Our Toes

This picture explains why I don't spend more time answering e-mail. I had to let it happen, she was so happy playing in that paper. She wasn't eating it, so I figured this was a relatively safe activity. And then I spotted a dirty tissue among all that harmless paper -- YUCK! That was the end of that game, and the end of a few quiet minutes for me.

I just can't believe how busy Harper is. And these days, while we're sleeping at Nana and Dziatku's, there is no pack-n-play at our house. Which means I have to watch her every second that we're here. Yesterday she was standing up, playing with a coaster on an end table. While I was watching, she got frustrated that she couldn't reach a framed photograph farther back on the table. Somehow she wriggled herself around the corner, between the couch and the end table. I present to you, Baby Houdini. Unfortunately she works backwards, getting herself stuck on her own, and needed help to be freed. She didn't seem to realize she had a problem until I tried to free her from between the couch and the table, then her eyes got a big as dinner plates and she geared up for some major screaming. Lucky for me, it was a swift rescue mission.

I apparently jinxed myself by saying that nap time had gotten easier. Today it took Harper nearly an hour to finally fall asleep. Frustrated does not even begin to explain how I was feeling. And then, the last time I went to lay her down, I placed her on her back and covered her up, and, when I put her little giraffe next to her, she wrapped her arm around it and hugged it to her cheek. So sweet! I've never seen her do anything like that before. To me, it looked like such a "big-kid" gesture, and that just melted my heart. It's a mental image I will file away to reference the next time she is spitting pureed green beans at me and throwing Cheerios at the dog.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Countdown to Heat: 8 Days

This is Harper and her dziatku. While I am loyal to the UD Flyers, I am afraid it might be difficult not to "Feel the Power of X" when it comes to Harper. I think the basketball influence of her father and dziatku might win out. I'll do my best. At least she's a Packer fan. (I know she looks like a boy in this picture, but I'm not into taping bows into her barely-there-hair.)

Furnace update: New furnace (heat!!) should arrive no later than Friday, November 4th.

I am so lucky to get along with my in-laws, despite their sketchy loyalties in the wide world of sports. It has been pretty chilly here, down near freezing over night. Since we're still not feeling great about the combination of space heaters and the baby, Harper and I are bunking at Nana and Dziatku's for a bit.

The first night was rough. Harper often wakes up, for no apparent reason, in the middle of the night. I don't know if it's gas or bad dreams or what, but she hasn't needed to eat in the middle of the night for months and months. Usually I just walk in (or stumble, as I'm mostly asleep myself), lay her back down, and go back to bed. Most nights she gets the idea that it isn't time to be awake, and falls back asleep. Unfortunately this doesn't work when I go back to bed in the room she's sleeping in. I would look over from the bed and see her little head popping up from the pack-n-play she was sleeping in. Then she would scream until I rescued her. She was up from 3 to 4 a.m.

Last night we brilliantly moved her into the clean bathroom attached to the room I'm sleeping in. My in-laws, who thought of this plan, are geniuses. She doesn't know she's sleeping in the bathroom, I can still hear her, and she doesn't realize how close I am and therefore gives up on being pulled out of the pack-n-play. Brilliant! She slept until a little after six this morning.

We are hoping that it will be warm enough to stay in our own home by Saturday night.

Matt has been a trooper, sleeping here to keep the dog company. He uses the space heater and sleeps on the living room couch with the gas logs turned on. Last night the temperature in that room reached a balmy 64.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

That Will Be About $3,000, And Have a Nice Day

Here is a homeowner's tip. When the man from the heating company, who has come to do a routine inspection, comes up from the basement and says, "Ma'am, would you come down here a minute, I'd like to show you something," do not go in the basement!!! Nothing good will come from following this so-called "technician." You go down there, and the next thing you know you'll be hearing words like "efficiency," "BTU," and "unsafe condition." The kicker comes when the guy says he can't leave your furnace on under these conditions; followed by, this is a very busy time of year and we can't get to you until the first week in December. Then he looks right at me, as though I can possibly think this is somehow fine, and says, "You might want to get some space heaters."

Space heaters!!! Flash to all of us standing in the yard at 3 a.m., posing for the news crew in our pajamas, as we watch the fire department try to put out the fire that the space heaters started. Harper is too young to understand stop, drop and roll, or to even tell us, "Hey, my curtains are engulfed in flames in here!" So I find myself not thrilled at the prospect of heating our home this way for a month or more. Yes, I know, these things are much safer than they used to be, but still. Not having a working furnace seems like something that you should have to deal with for a couple of days, at most! Aren't there heating technicians somewhere that work seasonally, you know, back-ups they bring in for the busy season? Kind of like accountants who do extra work during tax season. . .

To make it even more fun, Harper is in the basement with me during all this, writhing in my arms. She would like to get down and crawl on the basement floor (yuck), but I'm so busy looking for the cracks in our heat exchange with a system involving a flashlight, long mirror, and laser pointer, that I can't really watch to make sure she doesn't eat any dead bugs.

Did I mention it's cold enough right now that snowflakes fell from the sky yesterday afternoon? (Fortunately this is just a cold snap and it should be a little less frigid in a day or two.)

Honestly, as I type this, I think I can feel the temperature dropping. So even though I am annoyed and a little bit panicked that we now need a new furnace and will have to huddle together for warmth in the evening (ohmygosh, and what about the pipes freezing?), I'm also really grateful for this house, even if it's falling apart, because I cannot imagine what it would be like to be homeless and trying to stay warm. So thank you God, for our walls, at least we won't have a wind-chill factor to deal with.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Harper has achieved new heights of greatness over the weekend. Friday morning Matt was watching her so I could grab a quick shower before he went to work. And the baby, she actually crawled for this first time! She has been on the move for quite a while now, but had never done a real, up on all fours, crawl. Up to this point she's been inching forward on her belly, rolling, rotating, pushing off and pulling to get where she wants to be. While she'd become quite successful in getting from A to B employing these methods, it's still pretty exciting to see her actually crawl. And Matt is thrilled he got to see it first. For a long time we'd pretty much figured she was going to skip the crawling part.

Of course now that she can crawl, she's devised an even faster and more ridiculous way of getting around. I'm not sure I can even explain it. She's basically sitting with one foot underneath her and one one the floor, knee in the air. She leans forward and puts her hands down in front of her and sort of scoots along on her bottom. I sense we're raising a rebel here, as she pretty much finds the way something's not meant to be done, and does that!

In other news, Harper's seventh and eighth teeth finally cut all the way through. She's cut about six teeth in the last month, almost simultaneously. Maybe we'll have a little break from the teething now, and she'll stop waking up in the middle of the night.

The novelty of standing in her crib also seems to be wearing off a little (knock on wood). The past two days it hasn't been quite so hard to get her to nap. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it was just a little phase we went through. So I should still expect her to take two naps a day until she heads to kindergarten? Right? (Ha!)

One other note to wrap up this post. We are so lucky to have Matt's parents nearby. They are wonderful to and with Harper and a great help to us. I am sorry not to live closer to my side of the family (hello up there in Wisconsin), but I'm glad we do have family so close. Last week Harper's dziatku (Polish for grandpa, as far as I know) was here three times, once while I substitute taught, and twice just to help out while I was getting ready for book club. Then, yesterday, Harper's nana was here for several hours in the afternoon. Our husbands were together at the Detroit Lions game in Cleveland. She fed and played with Harper, kept me company, and allowed me to get FOUR full loads of laundry done (including folding). A huge accomplishment for one afternoon. So, even thought the Packers lost, it was a pretty good day.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Getting Started (Again)

It doesn't bode well for me that I already typed my first post, and then lost it, while attempting to move a picture I'd inserted. I used to think myself fairly computer savvy, that was, until I became a stay-at-home-mom and my IQ started dropping daily. We'll see how this goes. In the future I plan to post mostly about my wonderful daughter, Harper. For now, I'll just post her adorable picture.

Someday I'll figure out how to put the picture below the text, which is where I meant for it to be. For now you can just use your imagination.

We Make Noise While Harper Sleeps

We make noise while Harper sleeps. Or at least we used to. Harper is our beautiful daughter, she is now 11 months old. In days gone by, Harper was a great sleeper, super sleeper, Sleep Queen of the Universe. . . then she learned to stand up in her crib. Now a good part of my day is spent trying to get the child to lay down long enough to fall asleep.

We get up early and go to church with my in-laws most Sunday mornings. Then we all go out for a big breakfast. Then we all come home and Harper, tired and full, takes a nap. Okay, sometimes we all take a nap. About three weeks ago we were going along our merry Sunday routine and life as we know it changed. When Matt went to get Harper up from her morning nap he called me to come look. Lo and behold, the child, she stood up in her crib! We gushed, we clapped, we were so excited, we were so stupid.

Harper apparently loves this new trick. Nearly every time we have put her in her crib to nap, she now stands up, throws her pacifier on the floor, and starts talking, which becomes whining, which becomes full-fledged screaming. So we go back in, Supernanny style, lay her back down and leave. This can go on for up to an hour. Sometimes she wins then and I get her up because we just need to get on with the day. Other times she finally falls asleep, and then you better not breathe too loudly in my house, because if you wake that baby Sister, you can entertain her until bedtime!

Something I don't understand about Harper: we don't have this problem at night. And you can't tell me she's not tired at nap time. If you could see the child pre-nap, you would understand that she needs one.