Sunday, April 29, 2007

Virtual Fashion Show

I could probably subtitle this post, "Things you are highly unlikely to care about, #1." Of course that implies that you do care about my usually thrilling topics such as going to the park, cute things Harper says, displays of Harper's naughtiness, etc. But this is really pushing the limits of what a person might find entertaining, unless you are very excited about summer clothes for female toddlers. I am following Swistle's suggestion that Harper have her own fashion show. Nana helped us purchase some new duds from Lands' End, and I picked up a few supplemental items from Kohl's and Target. I did want to try the items on and make sure they fit okay before clipping the tags off and washing everything. So here, without further ado, are many of the new items for Harper's summer wardrobe:

Blue shirt and floral shorts from the Lands' End Kids catalog. I don't know why Harper looks as though she's trying to rap in that photo.

Pink shirt and skirt (with built-in shorts) from Lands' End Kids catalog; the skirt is looking a little long, but the next smaller size would have been way too small. I think she'll survive.

I will confess that Curious George might have been playing while we were trying the clothes on (She doesn't care what I make her do as long as she can watch that monkey at the same time!); which may have something to do with her refusal to look at the camera in this photo. The green tank top is another Lands' End item and the cute little denim shorts came from Target. They look like they have a zipper and button, but the button only decorates the elastic waist. This is a very important detail, as Harper hates the feel of most pants/shorts that actually zip/button and will cry out that they are, "Too fall (small)!" The best part, the shorts were only $3.99 at Target! She also has an olive green pair. (I wanted "neutrals" but they literally had at least a dozen colors to choose from.)

Turquoise shirt also from Lands' End. And Harper would like you to come play in her tent, you know, when you have time.

This top was also from Lands' End and the bright pink shorts came, 2 for $9.00, from Kohl's. Though it looks like a party color, bright pink apparently makes Harper very serious.

Last outfit for today. . . Harper's stripped shirt was another $3.99 find at Target, also available in at least a dozen varieties. The yellow shorts were the other half of the 2 for $9.00 deal at Kohl's. Look at my thrifty shopping!!!

Harper (still in the Target shirt) thanks you for attending Summer Fashion 2007.

Designers interested in being featured in her fall show should feel free to send us free clothes; size 3T please!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What's Not to Love?


She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,

She wore her greenest gown;

She turned to the south wind

And curtsied up and down.

She turned to the sunlight

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbour:

“Winter is dead.”

-A.A. Milne

Going to see the tulips and daffodils (though we were a little late for those) at Cox Arboretum has become one of my favorite things about spring in our area. I know you don't come here for pictures of flowers, but I couldn't help myself!


Just like last year, we decided to celebrate the nice-ish weather with a trip to Cox Arboretum. Coming around the corner into spring and summer means it will be time for me to once again become the unofficial spokesperson for Dayton Metro Parks. We loved all our park time last year and definitely didn't take advantage of it as much as we could have. Cox Arboretum is one of the best because it is close, free, and beautiful no matter what time of year.

Taking pictures of Harper was much more difficult this year. She didn't really want to sit near the flowers and she was a little nervous about the ginormous bees which were zooming haphazardly around the flowerbeds. I caught myself trying to explain that the bees weren't interested in her because they were busy pollinating the flowers. I stopped myself when I remembered that Harper is only two years old; the science is a little ahead of her.

Harper did enjoy the flowers a little, but she was mostly interested in climbing on the benches and picking up rocks.

She still loves rocks and dirt more than about anything else we find in the great outdoors.

The turtles were high on her list as well. She kept asking me if she could go pet one.

"Pease pease pease pease pease pease Mommy? Can I jus touch it on the shell? Can I jus pet the little one? Pease?"


Random aside:

Tonight at dinner Matt was holding up fingers and asking Harper how many. She can count like a champ if she's just rattling off numbers, but we're trying to show her how to slow down and count to figure out how many objects there are. So she was patiently counting fingers, one finger, three fingers, four fingers, two fingers. . .

Then Matt held up five and asked, "How many fingers am I showing now?"

To which Harper replied, "All of dem!"

Friday, April 20, 2007


Harper is strutting around the family room right now "fixing" things with a key which apparently looks like a tool of some sort in her mind. Here are some of the random things coming out of her mouth:

"No Reboun, dat's my job!"

"Now for the easy part."

"Uh oh, I better get started, Nana will be here soon."

"Uh oh! I better finish up, Nana will be here soon."

"We jus need some new batwees (batteries)."

"I need some music to help me feel better."

"Whew! (Wipes hand across her forehead as though she's just finished a very taxing job.) I did it!"

She's wearing a long-sleeved pajama top, a diaper, and sandals. What can I say? Two-year-olds have some very specific, very odd ideas about what they want. (This mental picture is meant to add to your amusement and is not necessarily representative of the quality of parenting in our home.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Flair for the Dramatic

Even though these pictures were taken back over Easter weekend, I still felt the need to post them. One of the things Harper loves is pretending. Specifically she loves pretending to be a dog or a cat. And when she is playing this game you should watch out, because she will actually lick you on the cheek if you don't stop her.

When we were up in Wisconsin, visiting my parents, Harper was in the basement rec room with my dad, pretending to be a dog. Something went awry and Harper "hurt her paw." My dad, being the excellent grandfather that he is, proceeded to fashion a cast from an ace bandage and some masking tape. Check out Harper's pitiful, "I'm hurt," face.

Don't worry. She was only acting. See!

Harper just becomes more and more of a character every passing day. Earlier this week, when she was playing nap refusal games with me yet again, she looked me square in the face and said, "I no take a nap, Mommy, the sun is out. It's a beautiful day out dere!"

I have to work harder on keeping a straight face. I've never before known a person who could make me frustrated to the point of tearing my hair out and cause me to crack up with the same sentence.

Today Matt's mom was giving Harper a bath while I was at an appointment. Harper was playing with one of her musical dolphins that float in the bathtub. When you submerge them they usually make bubbles and today one didn't. Harper told Ann that it wasn't working and needed new batteries! (Note to self: Lay off the electronic toys.)


I feel I would somehow be remiss if I didn't mention what happened in Virginia earlier this week. Of course my thoughts and prayers are with the Virginia Tech community. I cannot imagine how you try to return to anything normal after such a tragic event.

The news affected me differently than things like this have hit me in the past. I am not sure why. This is going to sound crazy, but I think Harper's peanut allergy has something to do with it. In many ways the world has seemed infinitely more dangerous to me since learning that accidental contact/ingestion of a peanut product could potentially kill Harper. So I am already terrified of sending her off to school; I'm not sure any event could increase that anxiety for me.

As a parent, and a human, I find myself constantly skating that line between a normal level of anxiety that helps keep my family and me safe and a level of anxiety that qualifies me for medication. This week it's been a little more difficult than usual.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Can I Get a Leotard?

Matt was coaching today but I had some nice quiet time to work because Nana and Dziatku took Harper to see this:

Clifford Live! Right here in our little town. Harper even came home with a Clifford sippy cup which, by the way, is not spill proof. Nana and Dziatku reported that she was a little scared in the beginning, dark lights, loud music, a dog the size of a garage, but warmed up and had a good time. I was worried she would be disappointed since last night she told me she was going to pet Clifford and then ride on him. Although after the Elmo incident, I probably should have realized she wouldn't really want to get within touching distance of a tank-sized dog.

After Harper returned I was absentmindedly playing with her hair and I realized it was long enough for pigtails!

There is something about seeing this little girl in pigtails that made me want to slap a leotard on her and plonk her on a balance beam. Wouldn't she be a cute little gymnast? I blame my image of a little pigtailed gymnast on this book which I read in grade school and still have a tattered copy of in the basement. Then again there are books like this, which came up in my search and makes me think maybe no to the gymnastics after all.

Then I remember that Harper can still barely get both feet off the floor when she jumps and I don't think she'll be on the fast track for any elite sport in the near future.

And don't you think a child capable of making this face might need an outlet for her energy:


Some good news to share now; I had to take a standardized test which was required if I want my library media education certification in Ohio, which I do. I took it the first weekend of March and finally found out that I passed! Hooray! Apparently people from the graduate program I'm in generally don't have trouble with the test. A normal person may find that reassuring but not me. In all my neurotic glory I just thought about how terrible it would look if I were the only person from my program not to pass. So now that's one point of anxiety I can set aside. Don't worry, others will surely creep in shortly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Quick Update

Between being sick and being out of town things have felt a little crazy around here lately. It was wonderful to see my family in Wisconsin over Easter weekend, but way too short. We were only up there for one full day, heading up on Friday and driving part of the way back Sunday evening. The whole thing felt pretty rushed and chaotic, but it was a great opportunity to see many relatives we normally miss. One of my dad's brothers and his family hadn't seen us since Harper was about nine months old.

Harper had a grand time with seemingly unlimited playmates, which may explain why the first day back at home with only me for company was particularly nightmarish. We didn't hype the Easter thing much this year, but she still hunted for eggs like a champ and enjoyed being showered with treats and gifts.

This is kind of full-circle photo:

On the right is Rebecca, my oldest cousin's daughter. In the middle is Noah, my youngest cousin. Looking at those three children, can you guess which one has five siblings and is kind of over the togetherness thing?


In other news we put this in Harper's room on Monday:

There are horrible* side rails folded beneath the quilt, so please don't accuse us of child endangerment. Harper went right to sleep in it the first night, and stayed there all night. Today was a totally different story and I fear nap time is gone for good. Along with the possibility of me plonking her down in her crib for a pseudo-nap so I can at least take a shower. Taking the crib down might have been a decision too hastily made. . .

(*I don't think side rails in general are horrible, just the ones we purchased. We couldn't tell they were horrible until installing them and now we've ordered another set. I know you'll be dying to hear how it turns out and I promise to keep you informed.)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Lessons on Toddlers

What we've learned:

Supervised arts and crafts are a lot of fun.

Less supervised arts and crafts are also fun, but not always a good idea.

Earlier she was watching a television show during which there was face painting for a birthday party. I should probably have seen that one coming.

Something Like Talent

Sometime last week, when Harper was at dinner with Matt, Nana, and Dziatku, she learned/played a game of making faces. Still pictures don't really do her justice, but I had to try. Please note that not only is Harper affecting various moods, she is doing it while riding the rocking horse. I present:

The happy face.

The angry face.

The crying face.

The laughing face.

And, my favorite, the peek-a-boo face.

Thanks, she'll be here all week.

Monday, April 02, 2007


When you have a stomach virus there are two kinds of pain.

One kind means you need to get to the bathroom. Pronto. The other kind means you are feeling the effects of not eating anything but a couple of slices of toast in three days.

It is really important to distinguish between the two.

And now a funny picture of Harper sleeping: