Tag Archives: birthdays

22 Months

22 Months

Only 2 more months until my little princess is 2 and life is SOOO good!  I love waking up to her smile every morning and seeing the world through her fresh pair of eyes.  Her smile lights up the room and she brings joy to the lives of everyone she meets.  Harper always has a song in her heart and isn’t shy to belt it out.  You can find her serenading her “babies” to sleep, practicing her abc’s while we are out and about or simply singing a tune to herself as she stacks her blocks.  She is living life to the fullest, without inhibitions.  And as much as I want to hold her close, this mama bird is proud to watch her little birdie soar.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Thanksgiving in Texas:  Once a year my family gets together for a holiday.  In the past we have always done Thanksgiving, but last year we choose Christmas.  This year we were back to our regular routine and were happy to spend Turkey Day in Texas.  My sister recently moved to a beautiful 37 acre farm and Harper loved nothing more than to explore every inch.  She enjoyed spending time with her cousins and going on daily walks around the property.  Can’t wait to make another trip back there soon.

Texas

First Camel Ride

As I mentioned before, this year we visited a Christmas tree farm where we got to cut down our own tree.  Not only did we ride a train to get there but once we arrived, there were many more options for transportation.  Camel ride anyone?

camel

I was worried that Harper was going to be scared, but she thought it was so cool!  Now every time we see a camel in a book or television show, she says, “Camel, ride it”.  Guess I need to look into finding our own camel to ride…Santa?

First Pony Ride

Why stop at a camel ride?  The Christmas tree farm also offered pony rides.  But this time Harper had to ride it on her own.  Again, she did awesome and made sure to request “the black one”.  My sister (the horse trainer) would be so proud :)

Horse

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  So I guess this is not technically a toy, but Harper has recently decided that she loves blankets.  I always had a blanket companion growing up.  His name was “budda” and he was around until I was 17 (when I left him on a plane :(…).  But Harper never seemed to take to the many blankets she had before until one day she picked out a pink and purple blanket from her closet and now has made them part of the family.  And in case you were wondering, she named them “pink” and “purple”.

Favorite Song:  E-I-E-I-O (otherwise known as Old MacDonald) is one of my most requested songs in music class.  And now it is the song Harper requests most throughout her day.   She loves to choose which animals are going to be on the farm and even has a special dance that goes along with it (wish I had a video of it…it’s SOOO cute!).     

Favorite Book:  My mom loves to travel.  She also loves to send Harper “souvies” from each of her trips.  On her most recent trip to Argentina, she sent Harper a book about colors that was written in Spanish.  So now, not only does Harper like to practice her colors in English, but she is learning them in Spanish too.  Gracias Abuela!

Harper Goes:

For a 22 month old, Harper Marie is one busy girl (I guess I am the one to blame for that…).  Don’t get me wrong, there are days when we do our best to stay in our PJs all day and lounge.  But on other days we love to go out and get involved in fun activities.  Here are some of the places Harper has been going lately…

On Play Dates…

Playdates

Harper loves all of her friends and enjoys getting together with them as much as she can.  After spending time apart, Harper is excited to have her friend Robin back from the UK.  On our most recent play date together, the little ones got busy on some beautiful Christmas decorations to help spread the holiday cheer.

To the Park…

Park

We are extremely lucky to have so many wonderful parks in our area.  There is nothing like setting a toddler loose in the park to run and jump and play.  Let’s see…does Harper look like she is having a good time?

To See Santa…

Santa

What would the holidays be without a visit to see Santa?  I can’t say it was Harper’s favorite outing, but at least she didn’t cry (then again, I didn’t push the issue of having her sit on the man’s lap alone…then we might have had a problem).

With only a few more days left until Christmas, it’s hard to believe Harper will be celebrating her second holiday season already.  Time really does fly when you are having fun.  My little girl is growing up fast and she isn’t looking back.

Happy 22 Month Birthday Precious Pie!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

PS:  Thanks Hillary for the awesome pic!

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21 Months

If ever I am having a rough day, all I need to do is look at this adorable face and feel the love.  I’m not quite sure how Harper manages to fit all of the joy that she has in her little body, but she is absolutely full of it.  Now, more than ever, she is becoming my little buddy.  We love to run errands together, go out for lunch, just us girls, and cook daddy breakfast (she’s a great little helper in the kitchen).  She is quite the social butterfly and makes friends wherever she goes.  Our lives are full and we are so grateful for our little angel.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Time Voting:  Since presidential elections only happen every 4 years, Harper made sure to get in on the action.  I can remember my mom taking me to the polls when I was little, so I was excited to include Harper in this important time in history.  We walked down to our local polling place with our neighbors to make our voice heard.  Harper was more interested in the sticker collection than the ballots, but either way she was happy to support our country.  Hooray for voting!

First Trolley Ride:  One of the funnest things about being a parent is introducing your child to new experiences.  A few weeks ago, we took a day trip up north to go apple picking (post coming soon).  After all our hard work, we ventured into a nearby town to enjoy some tourism activities and local cuisine.  Harper loves horses so being in a trolley drawn by two huge Clydesdales was a huge treat :)

First Visit to an Urgent Care Out of State:  As a parent, you always pray for a healthy child.  Especially while traveling.  But as we all know, despite our best efforts, cooties are inevitable.  After a long day of traveling, Harper woke up yesterday morning with croup.  Although we are no stranger to this barky cough, we are in a new place where we are unfamiliar with any doctors or medical facilities.  Lucky for us, we found a great urgent care office that was happy to assist us by giving Harper a breathing treatment and prescribing some oral steroids to help get us through the rest of our trip.  She was a super trooper to say the least and definitely earned her lollypop.

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  Athleticism is most definitely genetic because before I ever introduced Harper to a soccer ball, she seems to find them wherever we go (ps: I was a soccer player for many years and still dabble in a women’s league here and there).  She is known to crash soccer practices at the park and dribble down the aisles of CVS.  So during our last shopping spree, we picked her up a soccer ball just her size and now she is ready to go pro.  Can’t wait until she is old enough for me to coach her team.  Oh, what fun it will be!

Favorite Song: Harper could easily start her own a cappella radio station.  The girl sings all day, every day.  Non-stop.  And I LOVE it!!!  Here is her most recent addition to her musical repertoire…The Rainbow Connection.  Ps: please ignore the fro and PJs.  Harper broke out in song during an early morning breakfast…

Favorite Book:  Despite my best efforts to initiate a bedtime routine with Harper that includes a few of her favorite stories, Harper has always been a lights out immediately after bath kind of girl.  She wanted no part of story time, until now.  And so her new favorite book to read before she goes to bed is Pajama Time.  I bought this book for Harper before she was born in hopes that we could dance around in our PJs together…and now we can ;)

Harper Snacks:

Finding healthy snacks for Harper is an ongoing quest.  It’s one of my favorite challenges and is always first on my list when I go to the grocery store.  I love seeing what new products I can uncover.  I’ve highlighted some of Harper’s favorite snacks before (here and here) but it’s been a while, so here are a few more…

1.  Organic Just Peas:  These might be my best find to date.  Harper loves her green veggies but “gocki” on the go can get a bit messy.  And funny enough, my child might be the only baby who doesn’t like cooked (or frozen) peas.  But she LOVES freeze-dried peas.  Which means, thanks to these amazing snacks, Harper can get in all her suggested veggie servings whether she is sitting at the dinner table or playing at the park.

2.  Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips:  I know I have talked about these little gems a lot but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to push them again.  Especially since Harper can pretty much finish off an entire bag by herself.  I now buy them in bulk so that I am never caught empty-handed when Harper requests her “coconut”.

3.  Earth’s Best Veggie Organic Pop Snax:  When it comes to her choices in food, Harper definitely prefers savory over sweet.  The last time I was at Target, I picked up a bottle of both Earth’s Best Organic Pop Snax flavors, Veggie and Sweet Potato.  She loved the Veggie but passed on the Sweet Potato.  Which was lucky for me because in my opinion, the Sweet Potato was heavenly.  The sweetest of treats.  So now, Harper and I snack side by side, with our Pop Snax, each enjoying the flavor of our choice.  Cause who says you have to be “of age” to enjoy some toddler snacks?

As we count down the days to Thanksgiving, I think it’s pretty obvious what I am thankful for.  Another year, another month, another day with the people I love most.  Harper, Daddy and I are so grateful for your smile, your love and your vigor for life.  We are so proud of all that you have learned, and all that you are becoming.  My only complaint is that you are doing it a bit too fast. But that seems to be a common protest from all parents.  So we plan to do our best to continue to savor each and every moment together.

Happy 21 Month Birthday Pumpkin Pie!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

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19 Months

Joy. Gratitude. Love.  Peace.  Just some of the words that come to mind when I look at that adorable face.  The last 19 months of my life have been filled with such wonder, such excitement, such awe.  Harper is growing up to be an incredible little girl and I feel honored to be a part of it.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Blood Draw:  No mother likes to see her child under the weather.  Getting sick is part of growing up but when Harper gets sick she is out for the count.  There is no such thing as a small cold for her. In fact, we have ended up at the ER for croup far too many times.  So at the advice of our nurse practitioner, she got a blood draw to test her immunoglobulins at our recent check up.  Harper was such a champ!  She cried a little bit but overall was very brave.  Here is a pic of her showing off her cool green bandage.

ps:  the results were fine and Harper is as healthy as ever.  Praise God!

First Time Decorating Cookies:  Harper loves all things Elmo.  She is also quite the little cook.  So when our friends invited us to decorate Sesame Street cookies at Williams-Sonoma a few weeks ago we were totally game!  Although I had no idea Harper would enjoy herself as much as she did.  She was extremely focused and took her job very seriously.

Harper was on a roll.  She ended up decorating 3 cookies!  She wasn’t too much interested in eating them but she did decide to decorate her face (and lick the frosting…).

First Midwife Reunion:  To celebrate the one year anniversary of our local birth center, our midwives threw a reunion for all the families that had planned home births.  It was a gorgeous day in the park with yummy food and great company.  Such fun to see all of the beautiful babies that have been welcomed into the world by these extraordinary women.

We are so grateful for our midwives and are looking forward to working with them again for baby #2 (which is a while off…).

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  As I mentioned earlier, Harper definitely has a “thing” for Elmo.  She also is my little musician.  So this Let’s Rock Elmo is the perfect way to satisfy both of her loves.  She has a blast singing the ABC’s with him, while rocking out on the drums or shaking the tambourine.  This toy is a HUGE hit!

Favorite Song:  We sang a lot of fun songs this summer.  But one song that Harper has been singing the most lately is Ten Fish in the Sea. She loves practicing her counting, working on her jumping and dancing around in a circle.  Plus, these adorable little puppets only add to the excitement :)

Favorite Book:  Harper loves to show off her growing vocabulary and read by herself.  She has recently been drawn to books that have pictures of objects and things that she recognizes.  At the Park is one of her favorites.  Although I am not sure if it is the bright colors or the picture of the ice cream that she is most excited about.  Guess it’s no secret whose daughter she is (says the mommy who once had a slight addiction to 31 flavors…).

Harper Helps

The older Harper gets the more she wants to be involved in pretty much everything.  I love that I have a buddy to pal around with who is always willing to lend a helping hand.

With Music Class:  Now that I am teaching 8 classes a week, Harper has become quite the little assistant.  She likes to help me manipulate the props, cue the songs and show off her skills front and center.  At this rate, I will be calling on her to sub for me when I am ill!

Clean Up:  Freddie has been very adamant about Harper learning how to pick up after herself.  And even though at Harper’s recent check up, the doctor mentioned that this is not a skill they acquire until about 24 months, Freddie is making sure she gets a head start.  Harper loves to sing the clean up song and help put her toys away.  But her cleanliness doesn’t stop there.  When she spills water on the floor she likes to mop it up with a towel.  She can also be found polishing the furniture with her baby wipes.  What can I say?  The girl loves to clean :)

Make Her Own Snacks:  After months of little interest in solid foods, Harper has become quite the eater.  And she is a girl who knows what she wants.  If the fridge is open, Harper will help herself to the yogurt, veggies, cheese, milk…you name it.  She will waddle across the kitchen floor with her arms full and hand me whatever snack catches her eye.  Next step? Cooking…

There is never a dull moment with a toddler in the house.  Harper definitely keeps me on my toes.  But she also helps me to see life differently.  Colors are brighter, sounds are sharper and scents are stronger.  I love the enthusiasm that she has to explore the world and soak up everything it has to offer.  Thank you of being such a gentle teacher, Harper Marie.  Happy 19 Month Birthday!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

And while we are in the mood to celebrate, a big congratulations to Jea for winning the NatureBox giveaway!  Thank you to all who participated.  I look forward to getting another awesome giveaway up and running soon.

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18 Months

Someone is growing up too fast!  Rockin’ her favorite pair of shades and munching on a fresh pluot like a big girl?  Yeah, little Miss Harper is too cool for school.  18 months is a major milestone for many toddlers.  This holds true for Harper as well.  She’s becoming quite independent…walking/running/marching all over the place, using her words to communicate her wants and needs, and singing like a canary (providing her own real life soundtrack to her daily activities).  She has become a great eater this past month (although momma’s milk is still a favorite option) and loves to feed herself using her own utensils.  Restaurants are no longer off-limits, as she will sit at the table using a booster seat, coloring her way through the meal with her crayons (which still sometimes end up in her mouth…”wucky!”).  In some ways, it’s hard to say goodbye to my baby girl (because, although I say it every month, she is officially no longer an infant), but she’s an awesome little toddler and I am having a blast hanging with my new buddy :)

Harper’s Firsts:

First Time Singing her ABCs:  Like I mentioned above, Harper LOVES to sing.  She pretty much sings throughout the day.  After singing the ABCs to her since she was in my tummy, this last month she started singing it all on her own.  It began with her chiming in here and there, but now she is to the point where she can go from start to finish without any help.  Guess all that repetition paid off :)

First Pair of “Church” Shoes:

Every little girl needs a good pair of “church” shoes (or party shoes).  Up until now, we would just put Harper in some fancy sneakers and call it a day.  But since she is getting around so well on her own, we decided to graduate her to a whole new level.  And for some reason, these shoes make her look so grown up!   It’s only a matter of time before she will want to wear them out to play (all little girls love playing in party shoes!), although I’m doing my best to save them for dressier occasions.

First “Baby”:  Harper has a ton of soft and cuddly stuffed animals that she likes to play with.  She has never shown an interest in adopting one as her “baby” until recently.  During the last month, she has decided that she won’t go to bed without her “baby”.  So who’s the lucky stuffed animal?

Baby Lenny the Lamb from Scentsy.  Thanks Auntie Koko for Harper’s new snuggle buddy :)

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  As I mentioned last month, Harper LOVES to cook!  And now her hobby is getting a bit more serious thanks to her “Amma” who sent a Prepare and Share Kitchen Set by Step 2.  Complete with her apron, Harper is officially cooking up a storm :)

Favorite Song:  Now that Harper can sing her ABCs all by herself, I would say it has quickly become her favorite song.  She is so proud of herself that when she gets to the end she won’t even wait for her audience to applaud, she goes ahead and applauds herself.  Too cute!

Favorite Book:  Harper loves her “Amma” very much.  Unfortunately, Ireland is far away so Harper doesn’t get the chance to spend as much time with her “Amma” as she would like.  Skype has been a great way for my mom and Harper to interact.  My mom will often read books Harper who likes to watch and listen from the computer.  But story time with “Amma”  just got cooler.  My mom recently sent Harper a book from the Recordable Storybooks from Hallmark called All the Ways I Love You.  So now she can read with “Amma”  even when we aren’t on Skype.

Harper Knows…

It’s amazing how much our little ones are able to absorb.  Every moment is an opportunity for us to teach them about the world around us.  Since she was itty bitty, I would point things out to her, in hopes of helping her learn more about her environment.  Now, she is of the age where she likes to point things out to me.  Each time I marvel at all the new things she continues to pick up.

Colors:  Harper’s favorite color has always been yellow.  But now she seems to be interested in other colors too, especially red.  She likes to point out things that are red such as cars that drive by, crayons that she is coloring with, or shovels that she finds at the park.

Letters/Numbers:  Harper is always on the look out for letters and numbers.  Some of her favorites include “Y”, “X”, “T” and “H”.  She also has a thing for the number “5”.  We can’t pass a sign without her going over and attempting to point out the letters that she knows.  And the bigger the letters, the more exciting this game becomes (she LOVES the “Meat and Poultry” sign at Whole Foods…I can’t put in my order until we acknowledge the “E”, “T”, “U”, “O” and “Y”).

Shapes:  Puzzles (seen in this post), and shape sorters (seen here) have been a great way to teach Harper her shapes (and colors).  Squares, stars and circles seem to be the easiest to identify.  Harper has recently started to label shapes in other areas as well (in particular, a round thumbtack that was stuck into a picnic table).

Gratefulness doesn’t even begin to describe my appreciation for this little girl.  Love doesn’t seem like a big enough word to define how much I adore her.  The bigger she gets, the more my feelings for her grow.  The last 18 months have been one heck of a ride.  Thank you Harper for your unconditional love, infectious joy and overwhelming excitement.  Our family gets stronger everyday and life keeps getting better because you are here.

Happy 18 Month Birthday Baby!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

PS:  Keep the celebration going!  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.  You only have 1 more day to get your entries in.  Leave a comment on the original post letting me know what your favorite travel snack is.  Good luck!  

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17 Months

Pure love. Pure joy.  Pure happiness.  Being a mommy to this little girl rocks!  For 17 months Harper has been making her mark on this big world.  She grows and changes daily and continues to bring a smile to my face.  Toddlerhood has brought on some rough days, but no matter how tough it gets, I can’t help but love her more and more.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Blueberry Picking:  This last month has been filled with lots of fun outdoor activities.  Blueberry picking was definitely one of the highlights.  Even though Harper wasn’t into the picking as much as she just liked to carry the bucket around, it was exciting to do something new as a family.  Good thing daddy was doing all the picking so we could enjoy this pie :)

First Firework Show:  Although this was Harper’s 2nd 4th of July holiday, it was her first time enjoying a firework display.  Last year she was a bit young to appreciate the bright lights and loud bangs, but this year she turned out to be quite the fan.  It was wonderful to experience this moment with her.  It was also another reminder of how quickly she is growing up.

First Dip in the Ocean:  Today, we met our cousins at the beach.  I’m a bit ashamed to admit this, but it was our first trip to the beach since we moved.  We live blocks away but never seem to make our way over.  But after Harper’s enthusiastic response, we will be making many more visit’s to the beach this summer.

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  Harper is becoming quite the chef.  She loves to “cook, cook”  and create delicious imaginary meals.  After the lasting success of her picnic basket, I went ahead and picked her up a LeapFrog Cook and Play Potsy and she can’t get enough of it!  She especially enjoys the “gocki” (translation…broccoli) and “soup” (which means spoon).

Favorite Song:  To be honest, Harper seems to be a fan of pretty much every song nowadays.  She will sing along to anything with a melody, even if she doesn’t know the words.  But one song that we catch her singing quite often is Mr. Sun.  I play it frequently in my music classes and she also watches it on her DVD.  It’s the perfect song for summer :)

Favorite Book:  Harper is becoming quite the counter.  She loves to practice her numbers and is learning to count to 12.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Finger Puppet Book is a great way to get her counting.  Plus, she gets a kick out of the “fly” (butterfly) at the end.

Harper Still…

Even though my baby girl is growing up pretty quickly, we are still enjoying some of the same things we did together when she was first born.  As a mother who practices attachment parenting, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in these activities with Harper even as she gets older.

Breastfeeds:  Harper is still very interested in nursing.  We usually start our day with a long feeding session in the morning.  It seems to be the morning brew that sets her up for a successful day.  If she skips her morning nursing, she tends to be a bit fussy and cranky.  Harper is eating more and more solid foods every day, so she doesn’t seem to be using nursing as a snack much anymore.  She still likes to nurse down for her naps and bedtime.  I am also still feeding her a few times throughout the night.  I have been trying to offer her other ways to settle but she becomes adamant that she wants “milp” (her version of milk) and even remembers to use her manners (“peeese!”).

Co-Sleeps:  There is nothing better than snuggling up to my little girl.  And she is quite the cuddle bug.  She tends to sleep closer to her daddy (although he has recently discovered that he gets a better night sleep if he sleeps in the guest room) but she seems to be happy as long as she is touching someone.

Likes to be carried:  Carrying Harper is getting harder as she is getting bigger, but it is still her most preferred way to travel.  Even though she is now walking…more like running….everywhere, I find it safer to carry her as she isn’t the best at holding hands quite yet.  There are days that I wish she would go in a stroller, to ease the pain on my lower back and allow me to take her on long walks, but I am quickly reminded that I will probably only be able to carry her for a little while longer, before she becomes big enough to carry me!  (For the record, my mom, who happens to only be 5’2”, carried my brother, who is now over 6 feet, until he was 7…so I think I have it in my genes!).

Life just keeps getting sweeter and motherhood is quite lovely.  Believe it or not, I still have to remind myself that I am a mom.  It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.  And when things get busy and life is flying by, I have to take a moment to admire my “Harper Do” and be grateful to have her in my life.  She is my little buddy and my darling sunshine.  And is still growing up way too fast…

Happy 17 Month Birthday Love!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

Ps:  Harper broke a new tooth this month…but it’s so far back in her mouth, it’s almost impossible to snap a picture of it.  So you’ll have to take my word for it.  Which means, we are now up to 7 teeth!

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16 Months

This month creeped up on me faster than ever before.  I am not sure where the time is going, but it sure didn’t pass go, and there was no collection of the $200 (Monopoly reference for those of you who aren’t board game nerds like me!).  16 months?  Wow!  She is officially 1 and 1/4 year old.  And all Freddie and I keep saying to each other is…”I can’t believe how big she is getting”.

The older Harper gets, the more fun she becomes.  There is not a day that goes by that she doesn’t have me in stitches.  It is amazing to watch her grow and develop.  The girl is definitely a talker (but then again, look at her mom!).  She gains new words daily and is very good at mimicking…so watch your mouth :)

In a few months, Harper has gone from walking to full on running.  Why leisurely stroll when you can bolt to your destination?  And her bursts of speed are usually prefaced with “Mark, set, goooooo!”, her new favorite phrase.  Looks like someone is in a hurry…just don’t grow up too fast.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Encounter with a Butterfly:  For Father’s Day, we went to our local natural history museum for a beautiful exhibit of live butterflies.  We enjoyed walking through a delightful garden filled with flowers, luscious greenery, and more than 1,000 free-flying butterflies. It was amazing to watch the butterflies flutter past you, and drink nectar from nearby flowers.  One even landed on Harper’s shoulder and hung out for a while.

First (and last) bout with Roseola:  Harper just recently recovered from a nasty bout with the Roseola virus.  She started running a low-grade temperature, which we attributed to teething (although Harper still only has 6 teeth).  But after it spiked to 104.5, we knew that our little baby was sick.  We took her to the doctor and they gave us a list of possible diagnosis but told us it was hard to determine the actual cause of her fever.  However, after 3 days of running a high temperature, Harper’s fever finally broke.  The next day she developed a rash on her trunk and that’s when we knew that the fever was attributed to Roseola.  They say that once a child has been exposed to the virus, it is highly unlikely that they will get it again.  So here’s to well wishes and good health!

First Overnight Without a Diaper:  As I have mentioned before, Harper will wake up most mornings with a dry diaper.  We have experimented with diaper-less naps, but have never been brave enough to try a diaper-less night.  Well, when Harper was sick, she was running such a high fever that we had her naked most of the time.  She slept a few nights without a diaper and didn’t pee in the bed once!  This was a huge milestone for our family as we are moving closer and closer to a diaper free baby :)

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  Harper is finally of the age where she is enjoying playing with her Mega Bloks.  Her favorite thing to do is take apart her daddies elaborate structures that he makes.  We are also having fun practicing our colors (even though the range is limited…didn’t think of that when I bought her an entire bag of pink blocks).  She has even started to put a few blocks together.  Which means it is only a matter of time before we can start building forts together :)

Favorite Song:  Harper is loving all things horse related these days (which will thrill my big sister, who happens to be a horse trainer).  It might be the cool horse puppet I use in my music classes, or the fact that I bounce her on my legs while singing to her, but Harper can’t get enough of “Riding on a Pony“.  I will often overhear her singing it to herself while she is playing.  Especially the part where the horse stops and sways back and forth (Whoa! she says…).  It’s nice to know that even after singing it in class 7 times a week, she is still a fan :)

Favorite Book:  With all of the books Harper owns, there are plenty that become neglected.  Ollie the Stomper was a book that Harper received for her birthday that we never got around to reading because you can’t possibly read ever single book on her shelf.  But Harper has recently found the book and fallen in love (Thanks Jones Family!).  She likes to point out the different colors of the boots and then point to her shoes.  The repetition in the book has been a great tool for her language development too!

Harper Wears:

These days it’s all about dress up.  Harper wants to wear everything.  Check out her new digs…

Shower Cap:

Or as she refers to it…her hat!

Apron:

Thanks to Grandma, Harper is well prepared to help mommy in the kitchen.

Chucks:

Never leaves home without them :)  Unless of course they don’t match her outfit…

The love I have for Harper is unmatched.  She has stolen my heart and melts my soul.  I am so grateful to have her in my life.  She is my little buddy and hanging with her every day is a pure joy (although toddler-hood has had its moments…).  Her spark for life inspires me to not sweat the small stuff and reach for the stars.  Thank you for the life lessons Harper.  Mommy continues to grow from your inherent wisdom.

Happy 16 Month Birthday Little Bug!  Mommy and Daddy love you…xoxo

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15 Months

15 months ago I could have never imagined the type of love I would have for this little girl.  15 months ago I couldn’t have ever fathomed the level of joy her smile would bring to my life.  15 months ago I was blessed with the most incredible daughter anyone could ever ask for, and not a day goes by that I don’t express my gratitude for it.

As I say every month, the time is going by WAY TOO FAST!  And as each month whizzes by, it feels like the time is moving even faster.  Someone asked me today, how old Harper was.  After stopping to think a bit, I realized…she’s 15 months!  Didn’t I just publish her 14 month post?  Wasn’t she just learning to walk?  Nevertheless, Harper continues to grow and change and she is now officially a toddler…although she will always be my baby.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Time Saying Her Name:  Harper’s daddy is always teaching her new things.  A few weeks ago, while Harper and her daddy were spending some special time together (and mommy was catching up on some rest…), he taught her how to say her name.  If you ask her what her name is, she says, “Haw-pa”.  It’s kind of the cutest thing ever and it definitely melts my heart.

First “Girls Weekend”:  My mom came to town to visit, so Harper and I took a road trip to meet her in the city to spend a few nights together, just us girls.  It was our first time away from daddy and our first time attempting a long drive on our own.  I was hoping Harper would take a nap or be entertained by her DVDs (yes, my little girl has a DVD player in the car…something I promised myself I would never do…I totally caved!).  Unfortunately, she wanted no part of either and cried the entire way.  I stopped a few times to comfort her and help her calm down.  As soon as I would take her our of her seat she was happy as a clam.  But as soon as I would put her back in her seat she would start to fuss again.  Harper has never been a fan of the car so this wasn’t a huge surprise, but for the next road trip, I am going to make sure we bring daddy along so one of us can be in the back to keep little Ms. Harper company.

First Mother’s Day with Grandma:

This was my second Mother’s Day with Harper.  It has quickly become my favorite holiday :)  But this year was extra special because my mom was in town.  So it was a celebration of 3 generations.  Harper loves her “Amma” and enjoyed spending time with her.  Grandma and Harper took some strolls in the neighborhood together, played at the park, read books…you name it, they did it!  Harper loves her Grandma so much.  She can’t wait until Grandma comes back for another visit soon.

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  Harper loves working on her puzzles.  She got two great puzzles for her birthday and is having a ball learning how to fit the pieces into their designated spots.  She enjoys exploring her shapes and colors (Thanks Clara!), and has fun dancing along to Old Mac Donald (Thanks Forest!).

Favorite Song:  Harper has been attending my music classes since she was about 6 months old.  At the beginning of each class, we always sing a “Hello Song“.  In the midst of welcoming our music makers while singing their names, there are a few parts where instead of using words, we just sing “uh-huh”.  Whenever we are getting ready to go to music class, I always sing this song to Harper.  The other day she sang “uh-huh” back to me for the first time.  So now, whenever I sing “Time for music” to her, I wait for her to sing the “uh-huh” back to me.  Such a special moment :)

Favorite Book:  As Harper continues to learn more words, she is enjoying reading Richard Scarry’s Early Words.  She likes to point to the rabbit brushing his teeth, and then proceeds to pretend to brush her own teeth.  She likes to find the rabbits shoes, socks and hat and loves to repeat the words after I read them.  It is such a joy to watch my little girl expand her vocabulary.

Harper Has…

Good Manners:  Growing up, my parents taught me the importance of having good manners.  In the midst of raising my own child, I am doing my best to pass on this important social skill.  Before Harper could use her words, I taught her a handful of signs.  “Please” was one of the first signs I taught her.  I would prompt her to say it whenever she would ask for something.  In the past month, Harper has become so polite, and always remembers to use her manners.  In fact, when she wakes up in the middle of the night for her feedings, I hear her saying, “please”.  And my answer is always…yes.  Can’t turn an adorable baby who is using her manners down…total softy :)

A Big Girl Table:  Now that Harper is cruising around the house on her own, we wanted to give her a space where she can practice her artwork, work on her puzzles or enjoy a snack.  We found this adorable table at Ikea with chairs to match and it is now one of Harper’s favorite places to be.  As soon as she wakes up in the morning she says “sit” and walks over to her table and wants to “color”.

An Addiction to Shoes (or should we blame that on her Daddy…):  Since Harper has become a walker, it is important that she wear proper shoes.  For most babies, ONE pair is plenty.  However, when it comes to Harper, her daddy is convinced that she needs MULTIPLE pairs of shoes.  Every time I turn around, he has gone shopping and picked up yet another new pair of shoes for her.  He just can’t help but spoil her!

I have had some pretty awesome jobs in my lifetime, but being a mommy is hands down, the best one yet.  It’s a lot of hard work and a ton of responsibility but the pay is unmatched.  Seeing my little girl grow up right in front of my eyes is an amazing reward.  I love her more each and every day.

Happy 15 Month Birthday Harper Marie!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

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14 Months

Hello 14 months going on 14 years…that’s how quickly I feel like my little girl is growing up.  As she was walking from the car to the house the other day (because now that she is on the go the last thing she wants mommy to do is hold her), I looked back at her and wondered what happened to my newborn baby.  Not only is Harper a walking machine, but she is talking like crazy.  She loves to copy everything you say.  So watch your mouth, because whatever you say will be repeated…trust me, I know :)

I am grateful to still be co-sleeping, baby wearing and breastfeeding.  These moments when I am closest with Harper are what I cherish most about being a mother.  They also help me to preserve the “babyness” about Harper that she seems to be quickly growing out of.  I look forward to continuing these activities as long as it works for my family.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Public Display of Art:  Ok, so maybe calling it a “public display of art” is a bit of an exaggeration, but Harper has become quite the sidewalk chalk enthusiast!  The Easter Bunny gave Harper a set of Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk in her Easter basket and they turned out to be a big hit!

First Run-In with Corn Starch:  Keeping a “baby on the move” busy while I cook is a challenge unto itself.  But until recently I was sure I had the perfect activity.  Harper became a fan of my spice cabinet, so I would let her loose to pull out, reorganize and “shake, shake, shake” my spices and herbs.  A few weeks ago, while I was in the midst of creating a masterpiece, when I noticed that my normally loud and boisterous little girl was quite and very focused.  I looked around the corner to find this adorable little face looking back at me.

Guess I had a bit more in my spice cabinet than I thought…oh well.  Made for some adorable photos and a lot of clean up!

First Pair of “Specs”:  Harper has recently developed a thing for glasses.  She loves to try to put on my sunglasses, Freddie’s cycling eyegaurds and her favorite, my onion goggles.  I know I am a bit biased, but is this not the cutest pic ever!

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  Although Harper has had a few stacking toys lying around for a while, she has recently become the stacking master.  She loves to stack, stack, stack.  Her favorite stacking toy is definitely the MULA Stacking Rings by Ikea.  She received it as a gift for her birthday (thanks Asher!) and has been hot on it ever since.

Favorite Song:  Harper continues to enjoy singing and dancing to music.  She has become a huge fan of floor games lately and will come over and sit on my lap and begin to bounce up and down (subtle cue).  There are a bunch of floor games Harper enjoys, including Humpty Dumpy, but her number one request is for The Ship Goes Sailing.  She likes to chime in and sing when the ship goes up and down, and then loves to say the “dings” at the end.

Favorite Book:  One of our good friends recently gifted us with bags full of books.  Harper was thrilled to add new reading material to her library.  Whenever we sit down to read a book now she always picks Animal Time.  She loves it when I make the sounds for the seal, lion and whale but likes to make the sound of the owl herself :)

Harper Says:

Harper has been talking up a storm for quite some time now but she has recently discovered some new words.  Here are a few that she has learned in the past few days.

Flower:  We had the pleasure of tagging along on a photo shoot for a friend.  It took place in a beautiful field filled with trees, plants and wild flowers.  The picture above is one I took of Harper as she was admiring one of the prop flowers.  I was able to catch her in the midst of uttering her new favorite word.  She was so intrigued by the red flower that she kept saying “flower” over and over again.  Now, she is on the look out for flowers, and likes to point them out wherever we go.

Diaper:  Even though we are still practicing “EC“, when we are out and about, I like to put a diaper on Harper just in case we don’t make it to the toilet in time.  The other day as we were getting ready to go out, and Harper was running around the house naked noodle style, as she often does, I called her in the other room so we could “put her diaper on”.  As she came running into her room to get ready she kept saying “piper, piper”.  She’s almost there…but I count it as success :)

Bacon:  It should be no surprise that this word is on the list.  What can I say, my kid LOVES bacon.  And now she requests it for breakfast…every morning!  But I can’t blame her for her palate.  Like I have mentioned before, I ate a ton of bacon while I was pregnant to keep my Gestational Diabetes in check, so I guess she comes by the taste naturally.  So my most important task has a mother lately is to make sure we are fully stocked with bacon.

Not a moment goes by that I don’t thank God for my little girl.  She is bright, bubbly and can always put a smile on my face.  She continues to teach me so much about life.  I look forward to the days ahead and am grateful for the times we have had.

Happy 14 Month Birthday Harper!  Mommy and Daddy love you!

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13 Months

Harper is on the fast track and I keep wishing I could freeze time. Harper is becoming a little girl. I realized the other day, when I was spending time with some 5 month olds, that Harper is no longer a baby, she is emerging as a toddler. But regardless of her age, she will ALWAYS be my baby…

Harper’s Firsts:

First Harvest: Harper loves to work in the garden. Five months after planting our first round of crops, we harvested a ton of fresh lettuce which we shared with our friends and neighbors. After picking our lettuce, Harper helped us plant our summer and spring crops. She did a great job!

First Theme Park Visit: Last weekend we took a road trip to San Diego to visit my sister and her family. On Saturday we all went to LEGOLAND for the day. We had a blast! Although the park is more for older kids than children Harper’s age, there was an area called DUPLO Playtown where Harper rode a train, played on the playground and built towers with Legos. I was very impressed by our visit to LEGOLAND and can’t wait to take Harper back when she gets a little older.

First Steps: Within the last few weeks, Harper has started taking steps. For the first couple days it was only 1 or 2 steps at a time. Now, she is up to 6-7, and sometimes, depending on what she is after, she may even walk a little more. This is such an exciting time as moving from crawling to walking is a pretty big milestone. When she is not walking on her own, she wants to hold on to our hands or cruise around on the furniture. It is only a matter of time until she is a full-time walker. Watch out world…here she comes!

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy: After all the amazing gifts Harper received for her birthday it is hard to pick just one toy that Harper considers her favorite. But it seems that she can’t get enough of her Cozy Coupe. She loves when we push her around in it. She grabs the steering wheel with one hand, while she rests her other arm on the car door. She’s ready for her driving test already :)

Favorite Song: Twinkle, Twinkle has always been one of Harper’s all time favorite songs. It was the song we sung to her when she was still in my belly and it is the song her daddy sings to her every night when he puts her to sleep. But now that Harper is starting to sing on her own, we changed the words of the song to simple syllables. We like to sing the song using “ba” in place of the words. This way, we make the song more accessible to her because “ba” is a syllable she is familiar with. And it is a lot easier to sing “ba” than all the other words in the song. When we sing “Harper’s version” with her, she almost always sings along. And there is nothing sweeter than singing a duet with your baby girl:)

Favorite Book: For Harper’s Birthday Party we gave out small, colorful, board books in everyone’s party favor boxes. Since we had a few leftover, Harper got to keep some for herself. These are by far her favorite books yet. And they are just her size. She carries them around the house and reads them out loud. It is the cutest thing ever. I love that Harper is such an avid reader.

Harper Do:

Ever since Harper was itty bitty, she has always wanted to do things by herself. So whenever she initiates a task independently, we say, “Harper do”. This has become her little nick name. Now that Harper is 13 months, there are a lot of things she likes to do by herself, but here is a short list of some new tasks she is liking to do on her own.

Brushing her teeth: Ever since we went to the dentist last month, we have been following a good dental hygiene routine. And thankfully, Harper loves it! She gets so excited when I take her tooth brush out, she can’t wait to fight cavities. Of course, she wants to do it herself and likes it when I brush my teeth along with her.

Combing her hair: Harper has always been a good sport when it comes to getting her hair done. It is definitely a task! But she is very patient and cooperative. Lately, she has wanted to help me out a bit and often takes the comb and begins to create a bouffant on her own. Quite adorable :)

Wiping her own a$$: Pardon me for the language, but if you have ever seen Big Daddy then you know why I had to go there. But seriously, whenever Harper is done using the toilet now, she reaches for the toilet paper and does her thing. Of course she still needs help from momma but watching her try to do it on her own is pretty darn cute!

Tooth Update: Harper now has 6 teeth!

Four on the top, and 2 on the bottom. Although, it looks like the bottom may be catching up soon because Harper has been chewing away on her bottom gums. Anything she can get her hands on ends up in her mouth. So here’s to a few more teeth :)

Just when I thought time couldn’t move any faster, this last month has flown by! I can’t believe how quickly Harper is growing up. I find myself looking through photos of her earlier months and watching videos of when she was just a wee little thing. It is amazing how far she has come in only 13 months. Every day is a new opportunity for her to learn and grow, and she always makes the best of it.

Happy 13th Month Birthday Ms. Harper. Mommy and Daddy love you!

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12 “One”derful Months!

Last year, on February 20, at 10:54 am, after 31 hours of labor (birth story coming soon…), my precious little angle, Harper Marie was born. Our lives were forever changed, and we couldn’t be more happy. Having a baby is the best thing going. The love you have for them is indescribable. The joy they bring you is infectious. Motherhood is bliss.

And even though it feels like this year went by in a blink of an eye, I have so many memories that I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my life. And the best part? There are more memories to come. Every day gets better. My heart is overflowing with gratitude.

For 11 months I had the pleasure of taking care of my little baby. In this past month my little baby has grown up so much, I look at her now and realize that my baby is officially turning into a little girl. And with that, comes even more fun and adventure.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Time Going from Sitting to Standing Unassisted: Like I mentioned last month, Harper loves to pull herself up on things and let go, leaving her standing on her own. But now, she is actually standing up all by herself! Without anything or anyone to help her. She will be playing in the middle of the floor and then all or a sudden just stand up! It has been fun watching her progress and learn to keep her balance. I have a feeling we will have a little walker on our hands pretty soon :)

First Swear Word?: I am hoping that this one is mistake. Or that what we are hearing is not what she thinks she is saying. Harper has been gabbing up a storm and we are pretty sure we have heard her say the “sh” word more than once. At first, its funny to hear a baby say such an adult word, but then you realize that you don’t want them growing up with a potty mouth. So Freddie and I need to watch what we say and set good examples for our little talker. Oops…

First Dentist Visit: Harper went to her first dentist appointment today. Nothing too exciting, we just wanted to make sure everything was on the right track. We happen to know a great pediatric dentist in town so we figured we would start early and get Harper used to good dental hygiene. She wasn’t too keen on the quick exam, but she sure liked the yellow balloon and toys she earned afterwards. Guess going to the dentist wasn’t so bad after all :)

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy: Harper is learning her shapes. This Fisher Price shape sorter has been a great way for Harper to differentiate her circles from her squares. She has fun figuring out how to fit them in their respective hole and has even more fun dumping them out on the floor when she is finished.

Favorite Song: My little girl is a dancer. Whenever any song comes on she gets to groovin’. One of my favorite songs to play for her is Mr.Sun. I play an instrumental part on the guitar that I call the “rock-out” section and she goes to town. It is so fun to see her respond so positively to music.

Favorite Book: Harper loves to read! Anytime she finds a book lying around, she brings it to me, places it on my lap and asks me to read it to her. She sits quietly with her hands in her laps while she listens to the story and admires the pictures. This month her favorite book is Look, Look!. Every time we finish it and we put it down, she puts it back into my lap and insists we read it again, and again, and again. I love that my little girl is a book-worm :)

Harper Sits

Harper’s newest hobby is to see what strange items she can fit her little booty into. It’s fun to see where she ends up :)

…in her stroller.

…in a cake pan.

…in a platter.

Happy First Birthday Harper! I can’t believe only a year ago, you were in mommy’s tummy. And now, you are crawling around on your own, exploring the world and all it has to offer. Thank you for making our days brighter with your beautiful smile. Here’s to many more happy birthdays to come.

PS: Harper now has 5 teeth!

My little bug always cracking a smile, snotty nose and all, during her 2nd bout of croup

And while we were at the dentist today we noticed number 6 is on its way in too…loving those pearly whites!

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