Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Fitting End

Apparently Harper wanted to give this month-long-blog-a-thon a proper send off. We are having some napping issues at our house. Namely, she doesn't always want one. Two out of the last four days she has napped for nearly three hours, the other two she played in her crib for nearly two hours and slept but not at all!

Today was one of the no nap days. I could hear her in there, talking, singing (Happy Birthday, Jingle Bells, and Three Blind Mice), and generally making merry. I had no idea how merry she was making until I walked in to retrieve her and found:

1) Harper nearly nude, with her diaper out of whack, but not actually removed.

2) Clothes on the floor.

3) Blankets and animals on the floor.

And, oh yes, she had reached over to her book case, got hold of the nearly full tissue box and I found:

4) Approximately 60 tissues on the floor; the other 30 were in her bed.

I immediately burst out laughing and then went to get the camera. I know she shouldn't have wasted the tissue, but I'll move the tissue box and then won't have to worry about a repeat performance, at least not while she's sleeping in her crib. She was throwing the tissues up in the air like leaves and shouting, "Wee!"

I did make her clean them up.

The evidence:

So, while we aren't about to make a habit of allowing Harper to empty our tissue boxes, it was great fun and I'm not sorry she spent her "nap" that way.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

'Tis the Season

We had a nice day today, playing in the mall play area and having lunch with Nana. The play area was a zoo, full of the children of holiday shoppers. I was glad to have two sets of eyes to watch what Harper was doing. After lunch we rode up and down the glass-walled elevator and the escalator, just for fun. We also walked through Santa's area in the mall, but avoided the jolly guy himself. I have a feeling our picture with Santa may be similar to last year's, which featured a screaming Harper. We'll see. At least she likes the tree.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mostly Not About Harper

Guess who doesn't listen to me much.


That's who.

It's gotten worse in the last few days too, like some new element of age two blooming before my very eyes. Blooming like something poisonous with thorns.

We've been through phases like this before, when Harper has been generally disagreeable, but a few times in the last couple of days I've asked her to do something and she has not only not complied, but shouted, "No!" vehemently. I am not making outlandish requests. When she throws a book on the floor and steps on top of it, I expect her to pick it up. I'm all for allowing her certain freedoms, but ruining her books by trampling them is not one of her domestic liberties. Other things I've thoughtlessly outlawed like the evil dictator I appear to be: throwing cereal on the floor, beating Rebound over the head with a paper towel roll, and dragging my iPod around like a dog on a leash.

It is difficult to deal with such forceful defiance from a two year old.

Deep breathing.

This, too, shall pass.

Matt said, this afternoon, that Harper tends to sprinkle her charm in strategic intervals. Currently, she's about nine parts frustrating to one part totally stinkin' adorable. The adorable comes around just often enough that you don't actually throttle her.

(I guess that was more about Harper than I anticipated.)

Guess who else doesn't listen to me much.

Paid telephone fundraisers.

We get these phone calls nearly every day. Or so it seems; it is at least once a week. And yes I care about police officers, fire fighters, burn victims, hospitalized children, crippled children, and people with any terminal or chronic disease. I want them to have money for research, teddy bears, wheel chairs, and all the other things they need.

Here is my problem; even if we just gave the small, "comfortable" amount to everyone that called, that would be one huge donation. I have to fight the urge to share with these people all the charities we do give to. We are caring citizens. Pardon me for not shelling out $20 bucks to everyone with a phone! I always feel like a bad person after I, nicely at first, tell them that no, I do not want to receive a donation envelope in the mail.

I try to be kind, I can't imagine having the job of calling mostly cranky people and begging for money all day long. I would hate that. I always listen politely the speech and then say we won't be able to help at this time and good-bye. I should just hang up then, but I don't want to be rude. Unfortunately, in trying not to be rude, I have to say no so many times I end up being rude in the end and feel terrible when I finally hang up the phone.

Once in a while I will say yes, go ahead and send the donation envelope, because I just want to get off the phone. Do you know what happens if you don't mail that thing back right away? More phone calls!

occasionally I'll ask the person what actual percentage of the donation goes toward the actual teddy bears, wheel chairs, or whatever they are raising money for. It's usually like 27%. Not an impressive number. Do you give money to all those phone people? Do you know how I can get them to stop calling me?

Thank you for listening to me rant. Have a good night.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Verbal Acrobatics

Harper is speaking pretty well these days, never mind that I'm the only one who can understand her half the time. Perhaps it was mean, but I had a nice laugh in the car this morning, getting her to repeatedly say Dziatku and Cox Arboretum in the same sentence. She was a good sport.

It didn't look very nice outside today, but I'll take cloudy and fifty degrees any day in November. It actually got much warmer than that, but we had to make our trip to the arboretum in the morning. No pretty flowers or butterflies this time, but plenty of open space and fresh air.

On another verbal note:

What is perhaps more shocking than what Harper is able to say are the thoughts she puts together.

Saturday morning we were at Auntie M's house and Harper was chasing one of the cats saying, "Comere (come here) kitty! Comere kitty! Don't be shy!"

Tonight we were dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen, putting on a mighty nice show for the neighbors or people driving by, and Harper instructed me to,"Dance wif your arms on top!" Meaning, over my head.

Also tonight in the kitchen I enthusiastically, um, passed a little gas. Harper looked at me very seriously and asked, "Do you need to go baf woom Mommy?"

It's Not What it Looks Like

Some pictures come out all right or all wrong, it's a matter of perspective.

I find it hilarious that Rebound appears to be eating the child in this photo. And, in fairness, she had just put a quilt over his head so you could say she had it coming. Fortunately it is only a wonderful depth of field illusion (or something like that).

Look, the dog is eating the baby! Ha ha ha!

Please, if Rebound were really eating Harper, do you think I would post it?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Last Lap

So the month of blogging every day is nearly over. Thank goodness! It's not that Harper doesn't give me things to write about, there just doesn't always seem to be a good time in the day to sneak away to the computer.

We've been so fortunate to have lots of family time lately, beginning the week of our birthdays and running right through tonight. Matt's sister Meaghan has been here twice in the last two weeks! Harper is blessed to have lots of people who care about her. What says love more than the willingness to spend part of Thanksgiving in the bathroom, playing with the water in the tub? Yes, Harper is lucky to have a Dziatku who will go to the ends of the earth to entertain her.

After dinner tonight the two ditched the aquatics and opted to read some books together on the couch. As each one was finished, Harper jumped up and said, "One mo book!" and scooted to her room to retrieve another title. Dziatku patiently read them all until it was time for Harper to go to bed.

It must be rough to have so many loving adults doting on you.

Tomorrow we are going to try to take advantage of the gorgeous weather we've been having and go walking at Cox Arboretum with Dziatku. We'll see if autumn offers any good photo opportunities.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Diaper Girl

For today's post, I thought you'd all enjoy some photos of Harper in her pre-Thanksgiving outfit. That's right, before heading to Nana and Dziatku's for dinner, Harper spent the morning in her diaper and some sandals she found in the closet. Apparently this is a very comfortable look for watching the parade and spreading toys to all corners of the house.

There was also an interest in hiding under the computer desk which, let's face it, is not the safest place for man or beast.

Monkey see, monkey do. She actually ousted Rebound from his position so she could sit under the computer.

And what do you do for entertainment?

Deck the Halls

I'm so busy decorating the Christmas tree that I am about to miss the deadline again.

Here are some things Harper said today:

"Oh wow!" On several occasions, including seeing the Christmas tree in three pieces on the floor.

Once the tree had lights on it she told me it was, "So cool Mommy." Seriously, she said that.

At dinner her broccoli, according to Harper, was, "Nice and warm, not too hot."

She also commented, "Dat's good!" about her dinner, which is a nice change from telling us to take things away.

Finally, when dancing to Christmas tunes in the kitchen, Matt told me to shake my booty. I did. Then Harper said, "Good job Mommy!"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Day

Since I'm guessing there aren't a lot of people reading blogs Thanksgiving night, and many will be shopping or working tomorrow, this will be brief. I couldn't hope to truly list all the things I'm thankful for, but here's a sample:

I'm thankful for my family and friends, especially Matt, Harper and Rebound. I am blessed in that area for sure.

I'm thankful that MaryEllen taught me how to make awesome apple pie from scratch. It is nice to contribute something to a meal and have it be appreciated. If you like pie, and you're coming to visit us, let me know, I'll make you one!

I'm thankful that I only sliced a small part of my thumb, rather than cutting the end entirely off, while chopping vegetables this morning. I'm really thankful no trips to the emergency room or stitches were required.

I'm thankful for this gorgeous day and spending it with people I love. I'm also thankful for the loved ones I wasn't with and knowing they also were blessed with good company and good food.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Let the Christmas music play!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

For the first four weeks of her life, we rarely gave Harper a pacifier. We were worried that it would confuse her and she'd have trouble nursing. Once she was a firmly established eater, we introduced "pacis." We didn't use them all the time but they were especially great in the car, in restaurants, and in church. I remember nearly crying with joy the first time Harper reached down and put a paci in her mouth on her own.

By the time Harper was one, we had firmly established a loving relationship with a particular type of paci. Then we went to Harper's one-year check-up and the doctor suggested we (read: told us to) get rid of the pacis. The problem being that Harper went right to sleep when offered her paci, making very little fuss about going to bed or taking a nap. At that point I was just not ready to strip her of that comfort or myself of that guaranteed way to calm her. I reasoned that, at two years old, she might actually be able to understand giving up her pacis and it wouldn't seem like some cruel punishment. As a compromise, we limited paci use to Harper's crib only.

About six weeks before her second birthday we decided it really was time to give up the paci. Often Harper would wake up in the night and cry because she couldn't find it. Getting up, giving it to her, and going back to sleep was getting a little old. So I started to talk with her about her birthday. After much talking and prompting we developed a little exchange that went something like this:

Me: Harper, how old are you?

Harper: One!

Me: Yes. And pretty soon it will be your birthday and we'll have a party. Then how old will you be?

Harper: Two!

Me: And when you are two will you be a baby or a big girl?

Harper: Big girl!

Me: And what are we going to do when you turn two?

Harper: Put pacis way, give to baby.

Me: That's right! Do big girls need pacis?

Harper: Nooooo.

Me: Who uses pacis?

Harper: Babies.

Me: That's right!

We did this so many times that eventually, when I asked Harper how old she was going to be, she would say, "Two. Pu pacis way, gif to baby!" All in one breath.

The morning of her second birthday we gleefully traipsed around the house collecting pacis and putting them in a paper bag, to give to a baby of course.

I was this close to calling a woman we know with an infant and asking if we could actually give them the pacis. I ended up stashing them in a closet. Yes, Harper was totally down with giving up the pacis. . .Until nap time.

Three days she went with no nap, instead screaming in her crib for her paci, the green paci! But we held firm. It took her a long time to fall asleep that first night, but sleep she did. And now naps are happening again, and bedtime is slowly getting easier, and I'm really proud that Matt and I didn't run for the bag of pacis during that first rocky afternoon.

Man, paci withdrawal is rough. But it is already paying off, as I don't have to get out of bed two or three times a night to find the paci and give it back to her. Instead, she just doesn't wake up, or she wakes up and is able to get back to sleep on her own.

So for those of you struggling with paci issues, and you know you're out there, don't fret. Someday you, too, will know life without the paci.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Statistics and an Apology

Matt was quick to point out today that I didn't post yesterday. Although I did. Here's what happened:

I was busy putting address labels on our Christmas cards (ha -- aren't you jealous of all the organization over here?) and I looked up and saw it was 11:56 and I hadn't posted yet. (Some of you may recall that I was attempting to post every day in November.) I jumped up and ran to the computer, as though it might explode if I didn't post some drivel about Harper before midnight. I missed. The computer didn't explode, but the post, which I started on Monday, technically posted on Tuesday, at 12:06 a.m. Sue me. I'm going to forge ahead as though I didn't miss that little deadline.

Yesterday morning we took Harper for her two year well visit at the doctor. It was the third time we'd been to the doctor in less than two weeks. We were there ten days ago to investigate the wheezing, then we had a check-up with the allergist, and then back for our well visit. Harper has been so much better at the doctor's office than in the past. She even got a flu vaccine with barely a whimper. A nice change from our appointments six months ago when we were both in tears. Here are her two year stats:

Height: 35 1/4 inches -- 90%
Weight: 26 1/4 pounds -- 50%
Head circumference: 50.3 centimeters -- 97%

So she's still tallish, less skinnyish, and continues to sport one large noggin. Seriously, we've had to pack shirts away because they just couldn't be coaxed over that melon. Our doctor keeps saying we can expect great things from that big head, but I don't believe there's any actually correlation between head size and intelligence. I suppose we'll see.

Matt is celebrating because he heard someone say that if you take a child's height at age two and double it, that's how tall she'll be. Since he's all set to sign the papers on Harper's college basketball scholarship, he's happy to predict that she'll top out at just over five feet, ten inches. Unfortunately the formula the nurse gave us, which has to do with the parents' heights, predicts that Harper will be more like five feet, five inches.

I'm not going to worry too much about her athletic future until she learns to get two feet of the floor when she jumps.


I promised some birthday highlights and photos. Here's a rundown of the main events:

Harper's cake -- it was a fish. It was pink at her request. While recognizable as a fish, it turned out nothing like I imagined it when I started. Oh, and there was about a million pounds of frosting on the thing to disguise the fact that it more or less came out of the pan in two pieces. At least Harper liked it. She was trying to eat it all day long, caring very little about the customs of singing and sharing the cake with guests. What did she want for breakfast? Cake. What did she want for lunch? Cake. Did she actually eat the cake when we offered it to her after dinner? Not so much. She did lick all the frosting off her piece though.

Harper's gifts -- Harper got lots of great gifts this year; books and puzzles, musical instruments, clothes, snow boots, pretend food, a baby doll, doll accessories, and her kitchen. She was a hoot opening her presents. We would tell her who they were from and she'd take the gift up to that person and say, "Here you go." She was a pro at tearing off the wrapping paper, then she'd hold the gift up, game show style, and yell, "Taaa daaa!" No idea where that came from, I'm not much of a taaa-daaaer myself. It was hilarious. I don't actually have any very good pictures of gift opening because she wouldn't a) stand still or b) face me.

Harper's happy birthday song -- Harper clapped with glee when we sang to her. She seemed utterly delighted. Then she counted to three before blowing out her candle. Who does this? Then it didn't go out on the first try so she counted before blowing again. The very best part of the entire cake experience was when we gave her one of the gumdrops from the cake, she chewed on it for a second, then spit it back out on the cake tray. I had just turned the video camera off moments before or I'm sure Amercia's Funniest Home Videos would be cutting us a check. You can't win 'em all.

So now that we have all the birthday madness out of our systems here, bring on the holidays! We bought new lights for the Christmas tree today. This weekend we'll have holiday tunes blaring, holiday movies playing, and I'll be cursing up a storm as I try to get those new lights wound around the tree. Deck the halls! Come midnight on Thursday, you officially have my permission to let loose with the holiday cheer.

Her Brand New Kitchen

Harper got a lot of great gifts, but the best buy was probably the kitchen set she received from Matt and I. Oh, and also the gift of Matt and Joe putting it together into the wee hours the night before her party.

Come on over, she'll make you pretend dinner.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Two Years and Two Days

Dear Harper,

Two has hit us in a big way. You turned two on Friday and, even though I saw it coming, even though I could no more walk away without my head than forget your birthday, I feel like it came out of the blue and ran me right over. You are two. As in two years old. As in 24 months. As in 99.9 % of my being wants the world to stop right now because you are growing so fast I can't catch my breath and I can't hold on and I can't even get it on camera because you move, all of it moves, at the speed of light. My heart is screaming, "Please stop!"

But don't.

Because I'm going to listen to the .1% of my being (which is sometimes the only reasonable part) that whispers to me how it's only going to get better. I'm going to listen to the .1% that tells me, as much fun as you are now, I still have no idea who you are going to become and wouldn't it be a shame if I never got to know?

What if you had stopped last year? I think now about what you were like and I barely even know that you anymore. Last year you couldn't talk, you could barely walk, and you ate mostly strained mystery food in jars that no sane person would even remotely consider edible. And this year? This year I'm fairly certain you could conquer the world with $5 and a passport, because you are one amazing child. An amazing child I couldn't even have imagined 12 months ago.

I'm learning what Two looks like on you, and I have to say, it isn't always pretty. And parenting Two doesn't always look so great on me either. Since you've discovered the power of speech you have delighted in voicing your opinion, which differs from mine at least 50% of the time. Lately you are not so into eating, unless we're feeding you cookies. We hardly ever feed you cookies; a situation you are less than pleased with. You have also employed a wondrous array of sleep avoidance techniques (especially since we put all your pacifiers away) including, but not limited to; throwing every movable object out of your crib and then screaming to get them back, asking to go potty, crying about the injustice of your crib and then begging for a tissue, taking all your clothes off and calling for help, and pooping immediately after we put you to bed. And those are just the techniques you try after we've put you in the crib. You also dislike having your fingernails clipped. Me, I'm just attempting to carry out the basic functions of parenting: feeding you, making sure you get exercise, play, and sleep, and keeping you relatively clean and groomed.

It shouldn't be so difficult.

There are times when being Mommy brings out the absolute worst in me. Times when I'm so frustrated that I feel like I need to stand up on a tall object and shout in the loudest voice I can manage so you will just listen to me. I don't do this. In fact, I'm quite certain it would do no good. I'd start to yell and you wouldn't hear me because you'd be looking for your own object to climb on and yell from.

And you know what?

Part of me would be proud of you because I know that you are already a strong woman. You know what you want. You aren't afraid to stand up for yourself. You have a brilliant spirit and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Not even for easy.

The good news is that Two also brings out the best in us. I love seeing what a terrific little person you are and all the things you're learning to do. Just the other day you named the colors of all the fish on the bathroom shower curtain. You know colors, just like that! Which means all the playing and talking and reading we do are paying off. You are learning all kinds of things and I think it's as much a joy for me as it is for you. You count and play hide and seek, you draw, you play pretend in more ways than I would have thought possible, you take care of your animals and you even try to take care of me if you think something is wrong.

You show compassion, you are intelligent, you delight in the world around you, and you have a terrific sense of humor. And, while this is not nearly the most important thing about you, you are absolutely beautiful. I watch you move through your day and you take my breath away. Everything about you amazes me. Over and over again.

So . . . Bring it on Two! We will have bad moments but I know we can conquer Two, you and I (and Daddy!). And this time next year, God willing, I'll be looking back again, marveling at what you've accomplished and wondering where the time went. I love you sweet girl.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Party Day

1 cake made (from scratch) to sort of resemble a fish +

1 OSU vs. Michigan football game +

10 guests +

1 new play kitchen +

80 bagillion other fabulous gifts +

1 over-tired, sugar-filled Harper =

a two-year-old's birthday party

(Stories and photos to follow.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I Also Thought She Was Too Young For . . .

Claiming my birthday gifts as her own.

Harper loves the iPod. I have a few Jack Johnson songs from the Curious George soundtrack on there and I made the mistake of letting her know about it. Now she wants "mo moosic" all the live long day. Want to place bets on the age at which she gets her own MP3 player?

The last few days Harper has been reluctant (ha!) to eat anything other than cereal or animal crackers. Tonight I gave her some different fruit options to go with her dinner and she chose a banana. Then she decided she didn't actually want the banana and she told me, "I no eat banana, cake way, puh in gabig can." (Which translates to: I won't eat banana, take it away, put it in the garbage can.) I guess she told me. Then she told me she was still hungry (for cookies) but I finally managed to get some oranges into her by pretending they were people. It all started with a little piece of orange which I said was a baby orange. She ate it and then asked me to find a mommy orange. Before long she'd eaten just about everyone we know, happily I might add, I'm not going to analyze what this means.

And speaking of throwing things in a garbage can (remember the banana), we were opening birthday cards tonight and Harper opened a card which had a dollar in it. I told her it was money and asked her what we do with money (Note: I was running the video camera during this conversation.) . She told me, "Frow it in gabig can!" and she ran for the kitchen! By the time I put the camera down and chased after her she had actually thrown the dollar away. That's disposable income for you!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm Old, But At Least I'm Cool

It has been a wonderful and busy birthday including having family photos taken, finishing my second to last final, and going on a movie/dinner date. Now I am tired and so full I feel like I will never need to eat again (a feeling which I'm sure will disappear before morning).

Harper greeted me appropriately by being in her birthday suit when I went in to get her up this morning.

Her pajamas had been tossed to the floor, along with a few stuffed animals to keep them company.

I know that thirty isn't really that old; it is just one of those birthdays. My cool factor went way up this morning when I received an iPod Nano from Harper and Matt. It almost makes me look forward to lawn mowing in the spring. That Sony Walkman had been weighing me down man.

Now it is only 10 p.m. and I am headed to bed. Good night all.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Night Before Thirty

Those of you who know me well know that I am a little older than my husband. From pretty early on in our relationship, Matt has given me a hard time about being older than he is. Also pretty early on in our relationship I told him that he could tease me about my age all he wanted, until I turned thirty, when I suspected it wouldn't be funny anymore. He was only home about an hour and a half before going to bed tonight, but he made sure to get a few old lady jokes in under the wire. Do I really believe that I'll never again be made fun of for being older? I give it two weeks.

I now have one project and one final to go. Thanks to Ann's willingness to take Harper for the morning and Harper actually taking a long nap this afternoon, I have now spent approximately one billion hours sitting in front of this computer today. After I post a few pictures of Harper I'll probably log another hour or two before calling it a night. The good news is that Matt is off work for the next week and I might get a chance to sleep in once all these pesky assignments are finished!

Thank you for listening to me whine about how tired and sick of the computer I am. Here are some photos of Harper's romp in the park earlier this month. Enjoy!

Monday, November 13, 2006


This will be brief, again, as I can barely keep my eyes open here. I have two exams/projects down and three to go. Saturday I will be free! Until then, I will try to keep up with the once a day posting (I'm almost halfway there!) for November.

I have nothing earth shattering for today. You know, as opposed to all the other days, when my insight and wit simply blow your mind. . . Or not. Harper and I enjoyed a nice jam session this morning while listening to Free to Be You and Me. In case you are wondering, it took her about 37 minutes to eat the cheese stick she is holding in the picture. I kept offering to put it away for her, as she set it down on the couch to collect lint, but she said, "No pu way, my chee sick!" If she had been using it as a pretend microphone I might have understood. She did finish it, eventually.

You know you are really having a good time when there is music, cheese, and a monkey involved.

Harper was dancing with a stuffed monkey that Nana brought over to cheer her up since she wasn't feeling so well. Nana mentioned that the monkey looked like Curious George; to which Harper said, "Wer man in hat?" If you are not familiar, every story/cartoon about Curious George includes his friend, The Man in the Yellow Hat. Harper wasn't being ungrateful, she was merely observing that, if the monkey was George, he was missing an important companion. I thought that was actually pretty clever of her.

In other random Harper news, we were looking at an alphabet book today before her nap, and when we got to the "z" page she pointed and said, "Dats (that's) a zewo (zero)!" Which, in fact, it was. Beware, she is paying attention!

I have seventeen more days to post this month. Do you have any questions for us?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Go Pack Go!

What did you say? Could it possibly be true? The Packers won in Minnesota?!


Harper: Proud to be a Cheesehead in Ohio.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Harper has a Fisher Price zoo, which comes with 26 animals, one for every letter of the alphabet. Harper knows the names of quite a few of the animals although, with one for every letter, there are some creative choices. Anyone care to guess what "u" might be? She's also pretty good at matching the animals with the letters on the zoo play mat. The animals have letters on them and the letters on the mat all have pictures of their animals, so she's really just matching, but it takes a lot of concentration. Anyhow. . . We are having one little problem with the zoo. It has to do with the camel. Of course camel begins with "c" and has a letter "c" printed right on it. The "c" means nothing to Harper, who insists the camel is a horse. Actually she insists it's a "howsie." Over and over, "It's a camel!" We tell her. She is not buying it. Today Auntie M told her it was a camel and she deigned to say camel one time before she went back to horsey.


Isn't she awfully young to have already decided that we don't know anything?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sounds Like Trouble

Today started out well enough. Harper slept much better last night and was in excellent spirits this morning. So I'm thinking her little cold, or whatever it was, is pretty much behind us. We had a nice game of socks and shoes on hands to get the day moving. It cracks me up, the way anything in the wrong place is totally hilarious to a toddler.

The second activity of the day involved opening an early birthday present from some good friends. Harper enjoyed reading her card, but the best was reading Belly Button Book and listening to our new copy of the Free to Be You and Me CD.

Opening presents will get any day off to a pretty nice start -- thanks Erin and family!

After our gift opening, and putting socks and shoes on feet (a much less popular game), we headed to the mall to meet Harper's friend Dana and Dana's mom for a little play time in a new area there. It was toddler and mommy heaven. There were interesting things to climb on and see, comfortable seating for me, and lots of room to run and dance to the music being piped into the mall corridors.

Harper enjoyed exploring the play area, though I think she was a little disappointed that there wasn't anyone to actually talk with on the giant cell phone. You have to give her credit for trying.

We joined Dana and her mom for lunch in the food court and then headed home. Even though it was early, Harper seemed sleepy in the car -- this should have been my first clue that the day was about to take a downward turn.

Due to the drooping eyelids in the back seat I decided to skip a trip to the grocery store and head home for an early nap. As we sat down to read books, I noticed that Harper was wheezing. She didn't seem uncomfortable, but it sounded pretty nasty so I thought I'd better call the doctor, just to be safe. Once I told the nurse that Harper was wheezing, she said I definitely needed to bring her in. Ugh! Of course I wanted to have things checked out if Harper was sick, but you might recall that the doctor is not her favorite person to visit.

I did lots of talking about how the doctor was a good helper and was just going to check things. I had Harper saying, "Checka my eas? Checka my tummy?" And she didn't seem worried. She was fine in the waiting room; nervous, but composed in the exam room; slightly panicked when the doctor walked in; but she did really well over all. At least until they decided she needed a breathing treatment and came in and strapped a mask to her face and then turned on a noisy machine. That, as you can imagine, did not go over so well. The first couple of minutes she screamed like crazy and did everything in her toddler power to get that mask off her face. I finally managed to calm her down enough to finish. . . we opted for a modified inhaler treatment for at home, the machine being another option. I decided I would rather not reenact that screaming scene over and over.

It turns out, Harper has some kind of virus and will just need a little help in the form of a few breathing treatments and drugs to get it out of her system. Should be a fun couple of days! The good news is that she really doesn't seem to be feeling badly at all. Despite the wheezing she was running around and dancing in the kitchen while I made dinner tonight. We are going to try to take it easy and hopefully all the illness will have moved out of this house before the birthday celebrations begin next week. We'll cross our fingers.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

May We Read You a Story?

One of Harper's favorite books right now is Go, Dog. Go! It is not, from an adult perspective, especially moving reading material. It has simple text and cartoon dogs and is a crowd pleaser for the toddler crowd in this house. Harper is going through a stage where she wants to hear the same books over and over again. I am usually happy to go along with this request, as there was a time when I couldn't get her to sit in my lap long enough to finish a book.

Once she decides she really loves a book, she enjoys "reading" it herself. Go, Dog. Go! is a great book for this because the text is tied directly to the pictures. Harper becomes very animated when she reads it out loud. Her favorite parts involve two dogs that come together throughout the book. They say hello to one another, then the girl dog asks the boy dog if he likes her hat, he says he does not, then they say goodbye. These repeated exchanges totally crack Harper up. She even covers her mouth and laughs when she reads them, or when we read them to her. Spoiler alert: at the end of the book the boy dog does like the girl dog's hat and they drive off into the sunset together.

Here is Harper reading the part where two dogs are playing on top of a blimp and a third dog is yelling at them to get down. When Harper says, "Get down!" she really, really means it.

Of course the best part of finishing a good book is feeling ready to drift of to dreamland. Harper still needs to work on her pretend sleeping. The open eyes and goofy grin are just not convincing.

Good night!

P.S. While the fountain of snot is still flowing, it has slowed down a bit. After a very long night, during which no one slept very much, I am highly encouraged by the long nap and happy disposition that returned today.