Monday, October 30, 2006


Once again, it's been a while since I last posted. This is directly related to the amount of class work I have to do, which has been quite a lot lately. Only about three more weeks and the quarter will be finished. Then I'll have a break until the first week of January!

Here are a couple of pictures of Harper, opening a package from my mom. Mugga sent her a box of Halloween books that we've been enjoying the last couple of weeks. She is especially fond of one starring Coduroy. Opening the package also provided a nice warm-up for the birthday celebrations to come.

The best part, of course, was shredding all the wrapping material with the help of a manic Rebound.

I'll be back soon with pictures of Harper in her Halloween costume, or "cofume" as she says, as well as highlights of our last minute pumpkin carving.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Party Plans

Here is a photo of Harper wondering whether or not we'll have to move her scheduled birthday party, now that this event has been announced.

Personally I'm just relieved the paparazzi will have something better to do that day than fly helicopters over our house to see who exactly we've invited.

(And no, I don't know about the conflicting event because of what I'm reading online or because I watch too much E! Sadly, it was an item on our local evening news.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Midwest Mom!

Today this blog is one year old. I didn't bake it a cake, but I do feel like a little celebrating is in order. It also happens to be the 150th post. 150 pieces of our life, out on the Internet, for your reading and viewing enjoyment.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked people to let me know what some of their favorite entries have been. Through comments, email responses, and conversations, I have put together a sort of blog highlight reel. If you've missed anything, this might help you catch up. Just click and read:

1) the first post

2) a culinary adventure

3) oatmeal art

4) 9/11 thoughts

5) Daddy time

6) first steps

7) track and field

8) Dr. Seuss

9) first birthday letter

Who knows where we'll be next year at this time. . . I promise to document the journey.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Living in the Land of the Literal

Welcome to toddlerhood. Today we were dancing around in the living room and Harper's pants were falling down so I asked her to pull them up. . . And she did.


I find that Harper, in all the glory that comes with being a toddler, makes me think twice about many decisions, not only the words I choose to use. Sometime this summer I had the measuring tape out of my sewing basket. Harper was enjoying chasing Rebound around the house and "measuring" him, which basically meant flinging the tape at him and laughing hysterically. Allowing Harper to run around with something as harmless as measuring tape seemed like no big deal; until I wanted to use it yesterday. 45 minutes and lots of dust bunnies later, I fished it out from under the couch in the family room. There are probably better ways I could spend my time. Once Harper's Elmo spoon went missing for about six weeks and I found it under the treadmill. I'm thinking of stitching a sampler that reads, "Have toddler. Will lose things."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Two More Things

(Two posts in one day, can you handle it?)

1. Leaving comments is a great way to encourage posting! I've mentioned before that comments are fun, kind of like getting actual, personal, non-bill, mail in the mailbox. Don't leave a comment if you don't have anything to say, of course, just know that reading comments lets me know that people are reading this and want to continue to do so.

2. In exactly one month Harper will be TWO YEARS OLD! Is this as surprising to you as it is to me? It goes too fast. . .

(Harper's impending second birthday is especially disturbing to the part of my brain which still believes I just graduated from high school a few months ago.)


It has been brought to my attention (Erin) that there are a few people out there who would like for me to update this blog a bit more often than once a week. I will try to be better about at least putting up some short posts more frequently. Then people who are a tad obsessive, like me, will have something new to see if they visit every day, or several times a day. . .

Occasionally I forget to stop and be amazed by the new things Harper does and says every day. For a long time she loved bananas. Then she didn't want them at all and she would just play with the cut pieces, building slimy banana towers and slipping bites to the dog. Yuck.

Earlier this month I wondered if she'd be more interested in a banana if I just got it started for her and handed her the entire thing. Ta-da! Bananas were once again an acceptable food. Harper is proud of herself for just about everything she does, now she can add master banana peeler to the list.

Unfortunately I forgot to share this new banana procedure with everyone and when Nana was here the other day, she started to cut a banana for Harper. Harper immediately freaked out and, though I wasn't there, I'm sure she yelled something like, "No ca (cut) up!" Of course what she meant was, "Nana, due to my increased maturity, my parents no longer feel it necessary to divide this particular type of fruit into bite-sized pieces for me. But thank you for your willingness to do so. Now if you'll just place the entire banana before me, I'd be happy to demonstrate my peeling and biting skills."

My friend Christine once said something really wonderful and true about toddlers. I hope she doesn't mind my quoting her here. She said, "A two-year-old will walk through tornados, lightning, or fire without batting an eye, but put the juice in the wrong color cup and all heck breaks loose!" And it's true, although in Harper's case it's less about the color of her cup and more about her fruit being intact, but I think the same idea applies.

We've also had some humorous banana related moments, like when one broke as she was eating it the other day and she implored Matt to, "Feec (fix) it, Daddy!" Now Matt's a talented guy, but banana repair is not listed on his resume. Luckily Harper managed to cope with her broken fruit.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Time Flies

Hmm. . . I don't know if any of you look at the comments, but I just removed a really strange one from someone I've never heard of. I normally have no reason to edit, but it was pretty weird. Hopefully it wasn't there for too long. Did anyone else notice?

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. It has been busy around here. I was in Columbus twice in the last week. Once again I find myself feeling so grateful for all the help we get from Matt's parents. I am pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do the whole graduate school thing if they weren't around to lend a hand.

Last week Ann, otherwise know as Nana, accompanied us to a free trial gymnastics class at Tops Gymnastics Club, which isn't too far from our house. They have a special set of programs for young children in a gym they call Tumble Bunny Land. If we decide to attend class there on a weekly basis, Harper would enter as a Hopping Bunny. We are up in the air about continuing at this point. There was a little group stretch at the beginning. The kids did a stop, drop, and roll song, since it's fire safety month. Then the instructor demonstrated the stations the children were supposed to go through. It was pretty complicated and I was a little worried about the extent to which they really expected the directions to be followed. I knew I wouldn't be able to remember the whole thing. After the explanation, the instructor told us we could start at any station we wanted and I realized it probably wasn't as structured as it seemed at first.

There were only two things Harper was really interested in doing. One was a long trampoline built into the floor, which more skilled children probably tumble on. The direction was for the Hopping Bunnies to jump from one end to another, bringing their feet together and apart like jumping jacks. Right-o. Harper just kept running back and forth on it, exclaiming, "Ah jumpy! Ah jumpy!" Um, not quite. But she loved it, and surprisingly, agreed to get off the thing when another kid wanted a turn. The other piece of equipment she enjoyed was a large wedge the children were supposed to roll down. Instead Harper slid down it on her stomach. Ah, close enough. She was highly suspicious of any area filled with foam squares and also wary of tunnels. I wonder if she has some sort of tunnel-phobia which can be traced back to the fact that she had to be delivered by c-section? (Just kidding.)

My guess is that Harper might broaden her horizons and actually learn a thing or two if we keep going to the class. Plus, it will give us a reason to leave the house this winter, which I am sure I will be desperately needing to do. I would like to assure everyone that we would not be enrolling her in this gymnastics class in some bizarre quest for a gold medal in the 2020 Olympics. The fact that Harper does not realize jumping requires both of her feet leaving the floor at the same time leads me to believe that she doesn't have a lot of raw gymnastic talent! And I'm sure Matt would tell you that any quest for Olympic gold will be on a basketball court rather than a balance beam, at least if he has any say in the matter.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Violent Streak?

Here's a disturbing little story. . .

The other morning Harper was playing with several of her stuffed animals. She has a little lamb which is also a sort of music box. When you wind it up the music for "Jesus Loves Me" plays and the lamb's head tilts back and forth. It's very sweet. So Harper asked me to turn the lamb on, which I happily did. Then, as it was playing away on the ottoman, she put her hand in her pink bunny purse like it was a puppet, walked over, and slammed it into the lamb, knocking it over.

How do I have a picture of this? Did I happen to have my camera out at that exact moment? Oh no, Harper was so delighted with herself, she repeated this little act about fifteen times. After each time she cried triumphantly, "Ah knock amba!"

I hear therapy calling. . .

A+ For Knowing What She Needs

Today Harper was playing in the living room and Matt was sitting nearby, reading the paper. Harper tripped over her slipper, or a toy, or thin air and fell on the hard floor, bonking her forehead. She started to cry and Matt picked her up to comfort her. Through her tears she looked down and said, "Wok," she wanted to sit in the rocking chair. Then she managed, still crying, to choke out, "Ah need mik," she wanted the cup of milk off of the coffee table. Finally, she demanded, "Sing kinka," wanting Matt to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," to her. Then she stopped crying and felt better.

And you thought they didn't come with instructions!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Posting is an Excellent Form of Procrastination

Last week was a very productive week for me, school-wise. Do you want to know why? My mother was here! And since she was here, there was another human being to tend to Harper's every waking need. I got to spend one entire day studying and working, and somehow that felt like a luxury. Also, there was one day that my mom got up with Harper and I slept in until about 9:30. That, my friends, is better than winning the lottery.

My mother is not here this week and there has been a marked decline in both the amount of work I've accomplished and the hours of sleep I've gotten. Mom, any chance you could just, like, move in for the next year or so? Just checking.

We were still swimming in buy-one-get-one admissions from The Boonshoft, so we did spend a morning there with my mom. Harper enjoyed:

1) Driving Mugga around in a pretend truck.

2) Eating plastic vegetables in the log cabin.

3. And playing with Mugga in the box full of (I'm guessing) tire shreds, which looked remarkably like soil.

We also visited the slide, color wall, water works, a tree house, and the "Wild Ohio" zoo -- which has some cool animals. Albino alligator anyone? Maybe it was a crocodile. I'll double check next time we go. You know how most zoos are basically outdoors? There's a good reason for that! Wild Ohio is completely indoors and thus pretty stinky. Fortunately this didn't seem to keep Harper from enjoying local favorites like a fox and turtles. And really, who is she to hold being stinky against anyone?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pumpkin Patch

On Saturday, Harper went with Matt to get "a pumpkin" from a garden center/nursery near here. Sadly, I'm not even sure exactly where it is they went. (I am not clued in on many of the trip's details, as I was in my Cataloging and Classification class. I know, I know, you really wish you could take that class too, just for fun.)

While Matt didn't seem like he was chomping at the bit to be a guest blogger and write about their experiences, he did take lots of pictures. Apparently Harper was most interested in the cute little pumpkins. Think the toy category of the dog show, just apply it to produce.

Matt did convince her to pick one (barely) larger pumpkin.

He took it upon himself to bring home one decent-sized pumpkin which, in theory, we will actually scoop out and carve. We'll see.

Last year I went as far as making Harper a poodle costume, as in cutting out a pattern and sewing it. I believe this was some kind of attempt to prove, if only to myself, that I would not let my aversion to Halloween ruin my daughter's childhood. We did not go as far as to carve a pumpkin. This year, since she can actually say pumpkin, we thought we might give it a try.

I have somewhat fond memories of gathering around our kitchen table as children, attempting to keep the pumpkin guts on the newspapers that had been spread out, and trying to communicate our elaborate design details to Dad, who did most of the carving when we were little. Mom was nearby, groaning if we begged for her to save and roast the pumpkin seeds. I am quite sure I always promised I'd eat them, and they probably never tasted quite as good as I seemed to imagine they would. I still remember the smell of pumpkin soaked newspaper and roasting seeds. And I remember the way the pumpkins never quite looked the way you'd imagined when you were finished. Although, for me, that's true of most any kind of visual art. I'm more with the words and not so much with, well, anything that requires manual dexterity.

Perhaps Harper will astonish us with both her coordination and artistic genius and carve her own pumpkin. With a safety knife of course.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

We're Still Here!

Have you missed us?

Here are some photos of sweet Harper to tide you over:

Back at Boonshoft

Stuffed Animal Avalanche

Picking Pumpkins

More content soon, I promise. The management thanks you for your patience!