Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Not For the Faint of Heart


I mean it.

If you are even remotely squeamish, stop reading NOW. This post will contain information about the disgusting messes these two are capable of producing:

So you've seen a picture, you've heard the warning, if you continue reading, it's at your own risk.

I used to think motherhood had made me pretty tough when it came to things like spit-up, leaky diapers, cleaning up after the dog. But nothing had quite prepared me for some of our recent messes. Yesterday morning Harper slept a little late. When I finally got her up, not only had her diaper leaked (this happens from time to time, but usually it's just wet/runny), but there were chunks of poo (I told you not to read if you were squeamish) all down the leg of her pajamas. Gross!!! Most leaks I can just stain-stick and then toss in the hamper, but I clearly had to de-chunk the pajama leg first, gagging all the while. Later the same day, she had another baby-sewage mishap with a onesie. Again with the de-chunking. And much, much, much scrubbing of hands!

Then, this morning, I wake up to the sounds of Rebound retching outside the bedroom door. I get out of bed just in time to see him deposit last night's dinner on the floor, looking more like wet dog food than dry. I think I stood there staring at it for about 30 seconds. There's just no appealing way to clean up doggie hurl. Then Rebound prompted me to action by starting to eat it. I grabbed some paper towels and a dust pan, scooped the pile into the dust pan, threw it in the trash can, and then spent the next half hour washing my hands and sanitizing every surface that the gunk contacted (again, with much gagging).

There really ought to be a mommy bonus for days like these. I'll take 100 toddler tantrums over cleaning up anyone's throw-up. Any chance we can get through childhood without Harper ever getting the stomach flu?

Oh, and hat's off to those poor school janitors and teachers who have cleaned up other people's kids' puke for years.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Peek-a-boo has been a favored game in our household for some time now. It has taken on new dimensions since Harper has found her feet. This weekend Auntie Shannon (my sister) was in town and Harper had a rousing game of pee-a-boo with her from behind our dining room curtains.

We were so excited to have a fun weekend with Shannon. It is sometimes difficult to live so far away from our Wisconsin family, we always have fun when they come to visit. Next week Grandma will be here for a visit. Not only do we have fun with visitors, it is great motivation for me to get the house cleaned and I usually get a few extra things finished while they're here. The Christmas decorations are all taken down now! Yipee! Thanks Shannon!

Peek-a-boo isn't the only game we play around here. Just this afternoon Harper invented a new game. She wandered into our bedroom, where there were several laundry baskets. Harper put a sweater into one of the baskets, then (supervised and properly spotted) she climbed into the basket. Then she sat down in it and held the sides, so I pushed it around the floor and made race car noises (anything for a laugh). Harper really seemed to enjoy this and it began a series of events that we repeated over and over for the next half hour or so. It went like this:

Harper puts the sweater in the basket.
Harper climbs in the basket.
Harper sits down and makes vroom sounds until I push her around.
I stop pushing and vrooming.
Harper throws the sweater out of the basket.
Harper climbs out of the basket (this is a little trickier than climbing in) with help from me.
And Harper puts the sweater back in the basket and we continue from there. . .

If it hadn't been time for a nap, we'd probably still be playing in the basket. I do not pretend to understand what happens here, I just tell you about it!

I need to take a moment and say thanks to all of you who have left comments in the last couple of weeks. Seeing the comments on the end of a post is kind of like going to the mailbox and getting something that's not junk mail or a bill. So just know you bring that kind of excitement when you comment. It's fun to know who is reading and get little messages about how you're all doing. Keep the comments coming!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pleasant Surprises

A couple of very nice things happened today. After the complaining of this morning, I thought you deserved to hear the nice parts of our day as well.

Nice thing #1: I did end up taking Harper out to the fabric store, on my time, not hers, and she was very sleepy on the way home. She ate lunch and went straight down for her nap. I got through the entire hour of tutoring this afternoon without having to go in and lay her back down once!

Nice thing #2: My friend Giselle was reading the post from this morning and called to give me a little mommy time on the phone. It really is wonderful to talk to another person who knows the frustrations of living with a toddler, pre-verbal or otherwise, who can both laugh and commiserate. Plus, I hadn't actually spoken with Giselle in a long time, so that was a very good surprise.

Nice thing #3: I have actually had some comments, which I find very exciting. One of them was from someone I don't even know! I'm not sure how one would just stumble across this blog. I know it can be done (obviously), but I always kind of envisioned it just being read by our friends and relatives. I don't mind if other people read it, I just didn't think it would be very interesting! (Maybe it wasn't and she won't be back. . . ) Keep the comments coming!

Note to Jennifer, the commenter I don't know, if you read this again: I actually live right outside of Dayton! If you want to leave your e-mail address here, I'd love to connect with you. Moms can always use other moms for support!

Even though I spend many days alone in the house with Harper, it's sort of nice to know that there are friends out there reading and thinking about us. We are not alone!!!

Holding onto My Sanity by a Very Small Thread

This is the delightful Harper that makes appearances often enough to keep me from going totally insane. Isn't she sweet? And she looks genuinely thrilled to be alive and wearing those terrific purple stripped pants, thank you very much Auntie Shannon!

Why am I being forced to the edges of sanity, you ask? Take this morning:

Harper whined when put I her on the changing table to take her very wet diaper off. Why would I torture her with dryness?

Harper screamed when I wouldn't let her to continue to pound on my desk with a remote control. (Why have they not yet invented weightless remotes that hover just out of the grasp of all toddlers?)

Harper cried when I put her milk on the table after the umpteenth time she shook it instead of drinking it.

Harper cried more when I showed her I couldn't give her any more yogurt because the container was empty and the yogurt was all gone.

Harper turned red with fury when I put the lid back on the container of apple wheels she was eating. She's no dummy. She realizes that putting the lid back on, or closing the box, or sealing the bag means she isn't getting any more of whatever she was enjoying. Oh the injustice of it all!

To top it all off, she walked over to the door, sat down on the mat, pointed at her coat, and I had the audacity not to put it on and take her somewhere! I don't give into her every whim and this doesn't please the princess but at all.

So I have already put her in front of Elmo and taken a few minutes to vent here. I also closed my eyes and remembered how she patted me when I came home and picked her up after working out yesterday. I remembered how excited she was to see me when I first walked into her room to get her out of her crib this morning (before I tortured her on the changing table). And I remembered how much more other people's children can drive me crazy when I substitute taught yesterday. Those times away from home are very important because they help me remember, despite all the whining and crying and protesting, that this is really the best place to work. . . most of the time!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Computer Pictures

She'll be typing her tell-all memoir before we know it!

Older by the Second

First of all, the response to de-lurking week (see "Are You Out There") was horribly underwhelming. So, even though it's over, I encourage anyone reading this to leave a comment. A big thank you to Giselle, the only lonely person to leave a comment last week.

The reason I started writing this was to keep our friends and relatives up to date about what's happening here in Ohio and with Harper. It seems she has been growing and changing so fast, the last couple of weeks especially. She is walking more than crawling/scooting now. For a while it seemed like she would only walk if two people sat facing each other for her to walk between. She really liked the part where we clapped and cheered for her. She has finally come to enjoy being on her feet and this is now her preferred mode of transportation. I still find myself surprised to look up and see her standing in the middle of the room.

She also surprises me with the things she knows or knows about. On Friday, Nana and Dziatku came over for dinner and to do some babysitting. We were all sitting in the living room, playing, when I said, "Harper it's time for bed." She put down the toy she was playing with, got up, and walked into her bedroom! Although she still wasn't thrilled with being changed into her pajamas and abandoned in her crib. . .

Her cute factor increases as she learns. Lately, when you ask her to hug her Elmo, or any other stuffed toy, she squeezes it and says, "Awww," in a perfect imitation of what we say when she gives a sweet little hug. We're also really enjoying her approximation of animal sounds. She is particularly attached to a farm animal book my friend Dotto gave her for her birthday. Harper has her own sound for the duck, lamb, cow, pig, goat, and rooster. Out of the context of the book, you'd have no idea what she's trying to say, but her attempts are truly precious.

As with most things she's not supposed to play with, Harper seems obsessed with the computer. We can no longer hope for her to play in the same room with her toys while one of us uses it. She will walk over to the keyboard and push anything she can reach. One day she was tapping on the computer chair and making very insistant noises, so I sat her in the chair to see what would happen. Here are the photos of a girl who is most certainly paying attention to what we do:

Grrrr! (That's me growling at the computer.) For some reason my pictures of Harper on the computer do not want to be included in this post. Stay tuned. . .

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Are You Out There?

Okay, apparently, something called De-Lurking Week is going on in the blogging world. For those of you not so familiar with the lingo, "lurking" is when you read something on a regular basis, but never leave a comment so no one knows you're reading. Many of you send me nice e-mails so I know that some people are actually reading about the exciting world of Harper and family, but I rarely get any comments. Boo hoo. :-(

So, in honor of De-Lurking Week, I encourage all seven or so of my regular readers to attempt to leave a comment. Go ahead, give it a try.

And, to reward your efforts, here is a picture of what Harper looks like as she's climbing up my lap because she'd rather play with the camera than be photographed:

This is also how I imagine Harper would look in one of those funny carnival mirrors!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Holiday P.S.

Two final thoughts:

This is a picture from my grandparents' house on Christmas day. The people pictured, besides Grandma and Grandpa, are my first cousins. Only one is missing. There are also three great grandchildren in the picture. The spouses and significant others of the first cousins were not included in the photo. Perhaps it is easier to see why Harper found this holiday a little overwhelming. The aunts and uncles present were not pictured either!

And, on the long ride back to Ohio, sometimes you just run out of ways to entertain yourself:

The Final Holiday Photos

Harper found such joy in the opening of gifts this year, I can't let the holiday season slip away without including a few more photos of her Christmas delight. And yes, I know it's not really the holiday season anymore. The middle aisle of our grocery store already looks like Cupid threw up all over it. And before long little green people will be marching everywhere with glittery shamrocks. It's still Christmas at our house though. Not because we're still celebrating, I just haven't had luck in getting Matt to bring all the boxes up from the basement so I can put everything away. I have enough trouble remembering to dust and fold the laundry, I'm hoping to have the Christmas decorations put away before UD's spring break. What's a mom to do?

Anyway, here are some photos of Harper and her gifts Christmas Morning in Wisconsin:

Later Christmas Day at the great-grands':

Opening gifts the week after Christmas with Ohio family:

The great part is I can get out different toys every morning and they are new to Harper. It's nice to have so many things to rotate.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Holiday Pictures

Here are some more pictures from our visit to see Santa, for some reason I couldn't upload them on Monday. These are actually in the correct order. Even though we traumatized Harper on Santa's lap, she cheered right up when she saw the massive gifts. She must have retained some memory of opening her birthday presents because she was suitably excited with her holiday packages.

It's next to impossible to know which pictures and stories to include from our Christmas travels and celebrations. We are finally just about recovered and back on track after a whirl wind of three cities, 71 relatives, over 20 hours of car travel, and many many pounds of Christmas cookies and wrapping paper.

Christmas Eve, at my grandmother's house, we arrived early and put Harper down for a nap when there were about ten people there. When she woke up, there were 31 people there. It took her about an hour to get over the shock (and by "get over the shock" I mean stop screaming, and by "about an hour" I mean nearly 60 minutes of baby shrieking at its loudest). Later, after she'd opened gifts, helped everyone else open gifts, and been fed several cookies and some birthday cake by her grandpa, she entered a kind of Christmas mania. She was laughing hysterically as my cousins piled wrapping paper on her.

I also think a reindeer costume might be in order for next year.

More photos to come!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Holiday Wrap-Up (ha ha ha)

Oh dear. . . blogging regularly and then taking a break seems to be a little like working out. You don't mind it so much when you do it often, but stop for a while and it is mighty difficult to get it back into your schedule. We've been home for about a week now, but I've stayed away from the computer almost entirely for several reasons:

1) Many events this week.

Monday: unpacking and dinner with the in-laws (it was soooo yummy!). The highlight of this evening was that I finally stopped nursing so I could officially eat all the shrimp I wanted to.

Tuesday: family Christmas gift-opening and celebration with the immediate Ohio family.

Wednesday: book club, which also meant staying up until the wee hours on Monday and Tuesday nights trying to finish The Grapes of Wrath. I did get finished, even though it meant reading the last few pages on the way to book club (I wasn't driving.)

Thursday: celebrating Nana's retirement with a delicious dinner at Bravo. Congratulations again!

Friday: We didn't actually have any plans on Friday, but I did have to make a massive shopping trip to prepare for the weekend of cooking and hosting of family fun. And I took Harper to the last three quarters of the varsity girls basketball game at Alter. She didn't like the noise at first, but was bouncing and pointing and babbling away by the end of the game. She clapped every time anyone in the stands clapped, she hasn't got her loyalties straight yet.

Saturday: Making potato soup to be served on Sunday and trying to clean some of the tennis ball sized dust bunnies off the floor so we could have the in-laws and MaryEllen over with out dying of total embarrassment. Thankfully we just baked pre-made pizza for dinner. We had a grand time playing games and watching football.

Sunday: Getting the house ready for some extended family to come and have the last of our many Christmas celebrations. This involved much of the day spent running around like a head-less chicken and nearly having a panic attack. With Harper it really is great to host stuff at our house, her own bed, high chair, etc. I do like doing it, I just tend to freak out in the hours leading up to company's arrival. I let myself take a nap in the early afternoon because I'd gotten up and gone to 8 a.m. mass. I don't know if the nap was good (I was more rested) or my undoing (I lost over an hour of valuable prep time).

2) ( Do you remember that I was actually listing the reasons I haven't posted?) The holidays were so full and busy I am at a total loss as to what to write about and which of about 200 pictures to include.

3) I have an overwhelming need for time to myself to read or write and I try to get this in each day, but it usually comes in the wee hours after all other breathing beings in this household are asleep. Because of the busy schedule I have been up into the a.m. several nights this past week. While I appreciate this time on my own, I almost always regret it when Harper beckons me in the morning. Today she beckoned at about 5:30, which is early, even for her. Unfortunately, going to bed in the a.m., unless I'm taking a nap, does not a refreshed mother make. I should resolve to get more sleep in the new year, but I don't see that happening unless we find a way to add about three more hours to each day, and Harper sleeps through them!

But now that we're back and most of the holiday madness has subsided, I will try to get lots of adorable pictures of Harper on-line again. And if you've read all of this you certainly deserve to be rewarded with some photos:

Harper enjoyed gifts, especially the giant ones at the little mall where we went to see Santa:

Of Santa himself, the girl was not so fond:

There's nothing quite like scaring your children to create those warm holiday memories. Happy New Year!