Thursday, March 30, 2006


If you like snow, then it was a pretty sad winter in this part of Ohio. We had one really big snow before Christmas, sometime in November, maybe? There were schools closed and a few inches on the ground. At that point in the year it was very cold out and Harper wasn't even walking yet. So we did not get out to enjoy that snowfall.

Since Harper started walking in January, I've been hoping for one more decent snowfall, so I could bundle her up and take her out to play in it. Our neighbors across the street had given us a little sled their daughter had outgrown and I couldn't wait to try it out. At the beginning of last week we were supposed to get a pretty big snowfall, 5-8 inches, which is newsworthy in these parts. Well it only turned out to be a couple of inches (very disappointing for the teachers around here). It was a wet snow and very warm the following day; it didn't look like the snow would be around for long. I did what any good mother would do, bundled Harper up and dragged her outside to play in the snow/slush (or snush).

Do you notice the grass you can see in the sled's tracks? Yes, this pathetic attempt at having Harper experience something of an Ohio winter was pretty sad. Fortunately she is too little to know how foolish we looked, playing in melting snush on a forty-five degree day in March. She was puzzled by the white stuff. Our yard isn't very even to begin with (after we win the lottery, we'll have it regraded), but the snush made it even more difficult for her to maintain balance.

Again, please notice the overwhelming presence of very green grass, in these, our only set of "winter" pictures. I did not take any pictures in which you can see the daffodils blooming next to our driveway. I had put an extra pair of old sweat pants on over Harper's clothes so she wouldn't get wet. It turned out to be a good idea, because every time she fell down (like she was about to do in the picture above) she got not only wet, but muddy. Thank you, Ohio. Next year we'll have to travel up to Grandma and Grandpa's in Wisconsin for some real winter weather!

P.S. Contrary to what many people in our community tell me whenever we're at the grocery store, Harper is not wearing a cute, UD, devil hat. It was a hat with tassels, before Rebound ate them. Hey, it still keeps her ears warm.

So Many Stories. . .

So little time! I'm really impressed with the working moms I know who "blog." I need to trim some activities out of my life (like watching TV - gasp!) because I just cannot get to everything I'd like in a day, or in a week for that matter. Sheesh! I'm waiting to see if I will be going back to school this summer. Some days it just seems like a silly dream, as I can't fathom how I will make it to class, and study, and sleep. It will be easier if I don't go full-time, but possibly free if I do go full-time. Oh well, worrying about it is putting the cart before the horse, I guess.

There are several things I have been meaning to post about. I've had several nights when I get on the computer and read my e-mail, read my favorite blogs, and then I'm tired and I don't want to type anything. . . wah wah wah. So I'm going to try to play catch up a little today and tomorrow. The next two weeks are going to be pretty busy, so there's no time like the present!

We had a really busy day today. Right now Harper should be napping. Unfortunately I think she's having the kind of sleepless high you'd get at about 2:30 a.m. at a sleepover. I can hear her playing in her crib and singing "e-i-e-i," but in her crib she'll stay, at least for a little while.

Harper pretty much eats her yogurt on her own in the mornings now. It is the part of breakfast when I usually clean out the dishwasher or attend to other little kitchen tasks. This morning Harper had some sort of projectile yogurt mishap. Poor girl. Did I reach for the cloth to clean it up? Nope! I laughed my butt off and then ran for the camera. Sorry kiddo, that's what you get for growing up in the digital age. I wonder if she's going to be really angry about this blog someday. . . By photo number three I think I might have hurt her feelings a bit. So I did put the camera down and clean her up.

Of course, I then ended up changing her clothes, because I had forgotten a bib this morning. Oops.

We spent most of the day with Nana and Dziatku. We all drove down to Milford together, to visit Great Nana in her new place. Harper was a huge hit at the assisted living facility. I didn't know if she would be afraid in the new place or not, but she did great. She even mooched some Cheeze-Its from a group of ladies playing cards. She looked at the fish. She walked the halls. And she was absolutely fascinated by a resident in a wheel chair. The walkers and canes didn't bother her at all. I think she enjoys being adored. We will definitely go back to visit soon. There are a couple of cats that live there too, but we didn't see them this visit. Even the fountain at the entrance was a treat, since it was such a beautiful day.

Not that I really need reminding, but we were reminded this week about how good Nana and Dziatku are to our family. I caught some random stomach bug yesterday. I'll spare the gory details, but let's just say I got about a third of a novel read while sitting on the commode. It wasn't pretty. Dziatku came to the rescue first by bringing me some Immodium and then Nana and Dziatku took Harper to their house and out to dinner with Daddy. This meant that I could sleep, sleep, not make dinner, and sleep some more. By this morning all the pipes were working again, but I don't know what I would have done without my wonderful in-laws!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mini Me, Part 1

Harper has been a pretty observant child since her very first moments in the world. When she was just an infant, people remarked all the time that she was extraordinarily alert. Which means she's been taking in my every move for about 16 1/2 months now. Not much gets past her anymore. Every day she is reminding me that I have to be on my best behavior at all times.

Harper mimics lots of actions, which makes it really fun to sing songs with her now. She likes hearing "Five Little Monkeys," and takes great pleasure in smacking her head ("one fell off and bumped his head") and shaking a finger ("no more monkeys jumping on the bed") when we sing it. She has just started to string together "e-i-e-i-e-i" when we sing "Old MacDonald," though she needs a little prompt to add the "o." She tries to do the actions for "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Wheels on the Bus."

She also likes to mimic every day things we do. One of her current favorites is pretending to blow her nose. The other day she swiped a box of wet wipes from the bathroom. I caught her in the living room, taking them out one at a time, holding them to her nose, and making a blowing sound with her mouth. For a couple of months now she's been a fan of "wiping" tables, the floor, and her high chair tray, cleaning pretend spills.

For a while Harper was obsessed with buttons, like on the remote, cell phone, keyboard, etc. But now she likes to hold the phone up to her ear and have long, imaginary conversations. Apparently she has noticed that I don't often sit/stand still while I talk on the phone (because I'm usually chasing her). The night these photos were taken she just kept walking back and forth in the kitchen, she barely stood still long enough to have her photo taken.

Even though they are imaginary conversations Harper babbles into the phone and then pauses for a response. The best is when she pretends to laugh when she's talking to no one. Apparently I laugh a lot when I talk on the phone. Mostly due to Auntie M.

I have to watch myself, in hopes that Harper only picks up my good habits!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Because We Have the Photos

Okay, so, I enjoy writing about Harper. I occasionally try to be funny. I'm attempting to give our family and friends a glimpse into life as we know it. However, I am fully aware that most people check this site just to see cute pictures of Harper. The camera has been snapping a lot lately. Over the next week I'll try to put up most of the new pictures, even when there's no story to go along.

Earlier this month I traveled solo to Wisconsin for my goddaughter's birthday party. While I was gone Matt and Harper had some good bonding time. When I returned I discovered that Harper now likes to play in her daddy's bean bag chair. The evidence:

Unfortunately for Harper, it's a little more difficult to get out of the beanbag chair than get in it:

Don't worry, we helped her, eventually.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

You Might Be a Runner If. . .

The top five reasons I see marathon running as a strong possibility in Harper's future:

5. She's obsessed with shoes.
4. She's obsessed with the treadmill.
3. The girl knows how to carbo-load; bread, in all its forms, is her favorite food.
2. She has more energy than that commercial bunny with the drum.

And the number one reason I see marathon running in Harper's future. . .

1. She has no problem being in public, or having her picture taken, with messed up hair. (Hey, when you run, it happens.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Okay, I'm pretty sure that's not a word, but I need something to put a label on what happens to Harper when we go to music class. She loves to sing and dance, especially if both Mom and Dad are involved and Rebound is leaping around too. I find endless amusement in her most recent attempts to mimic me and perform little gestures along with the songs we sing. Sometimes I turn around to look at her in the car and her little head is bobbing back and forth in time to whatever music is on the radio.

So when we had the opportunity to sign up for a nursery song and sign class at our local rec center, I thought it would be perfect. Not only would she learn something, but it would get us out of the house and give Harper a chance to be around other kids. There's only one problem. . .

Harper is afraid of the guitar.

How can that be?

I LOVE the guitar. Most of the music I listen to involves the guitar. We have spent many afternoons dancing in the kitchen to the GUITAR MAN CD.

I thought we would have a ball at music class and Harper would look something like this:

Instead, her eyes get huge, her lower lip starts to tremble, and she clings to me like a baby monkey, with her runny nose buried in my shoulder. Nana and Dziatku took her to her first music class because I was teaching that day. I almost didn't believe it when they told me she'd been scared. Of music and dancing? I thought maybe it would be different when she went with me. Nope.

Today was our third class. We got their early so we could watch the swimmers and say hello to the other children. We picked a seat not too close to the (somewhat overly) enthusiastic instructor. I talked to her calmly while we waited. And still, when the woman with the guitar walked in, Harper freaked! We had to temporarily remove ourselves from the singing circle because I was afraid she would upset the other kids. The class lasts about forty minutes. Around the twenty minute mark Harper relaxed enough for us to rejoin the group. With about five minutes left she started clapping, dancing, and acting like she was actually enjoying herself.

The other parents look at us with these pseudo-understanding faces that say, "Gee, sorry your kid is a freak and scared of some hollow wood and strings." Sigh. I think it took her a little less time to calm down this class than last. So maybe she's getting used to it.

I thought maybe it would be a good idea to have my brother bring his guitar over here and let her have some more time around one. Then again, I don't want her to become afraid of her Uncle Jamie.

The real question is, do we sign up again? We only have two classes left in this cycle. If she likes it a little better toward the end, it might be worth it to keep going. Maybe we can cure her fear of guitars and she won't have to avoid campfires for the rest of her life.

Destructo Dog

You know, Harper isn't the only lovable monster in our house. I present, The King of the Backyard:

We thought we'd had him fairly well-trained (for a high-energy puppy), until Harper came along. Now she just encourages his inappropriate behavior by laughing her head off. Jumping onto the patio table? Comic genius in Harper's world. Unfortunately for her, he sometimes feels under-appreciated. At these times, he shows his disappointment by chewing the nearest object of value to Harper. Like one of her favorite books. . .

Thanks to Aunt Meaghan's Christmas generosity, I had a Barnes and Noble gift card ready and we were able to run out and quickly replace the llama book! Whew!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Please witness the effects of Elmo on a one-year-old:

Elmo is like a drug. It's a little scary, I know, but it did mean I was able to make some progress toward finishing my book club book on time. Sometimes a mom has to do what a mom has to do. I use Elmo sparingly, concerned that Harper may develop resistance to this particular stillness treatment. If you have ever spent more than five minutes with Harper, you'll know that she never sits still! Elmo is a miracle worker. Thank you PBS.

P.S. I was very excited to get five comments on my last post!!! I believe that's the most ever. Comments on a post excite me like getting real mail does. Thanks to all those who checked in. Unfortunately I still haven't been offered a book deal or magazine column, so you'll have to continue to read my fine work right here. ;-)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

So, today is Dr. Seuss' birthday. I found myself a little sorry that I didn't have a room full of fascinated first graders to share it with, and at least do some fun reading. Harper is a little young to fully appreciate the work of this fine, fine man. With his playful, rhyming work in mind, I humbly offer this tribute (with apologies!):

Toddlers! Hey, toddlers! I've a question for you. Would you like to move to Hullabaloo, where there's no one to tell you what you can or can't do?

There are cooklers to feed you. There are doodlers to play. No one to say NO all the long and fun day. No bed times or bath times! No rooms to keep neat! No veggies or any green things you must eat!

There's nothing to learn. There's no need to share. Watch TV all day long and no one will care. There are piles of toys and all kinds of noise. No rules at all, just wild girls and boys. You can push all the buttons and pull all the cords, climb up the stairs and open the doors. There's nothing marked "fragile," you can draw on the floors!

Of course, in Hullabaloo, there aren't any cuddlers to pick you up when you fall. There aren't any snugglers to help when you call. There aren't any fixers to fix things that break. No hangers to put up the pictures you make. We don't provide laps for reading a book. There are no huggers or kissers, so don't even look.

If you like kisses and cuddles and things. . . If you want someone who rocks you and sings. . . If that rings your bell, then Hullabaloo is not where you should dwell.

They may come with rules and bed times and green food. They may tell you NO and put you in a bad mood. But they know how to cuddle and wipe away tears. They know how to love you and calm all your fears. These people called parents aren't so very bad. Aren't you glad that you live with your mom and your dad?