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Saturday, November 14, 2015

February 2015

When I posted this post blogger deleted a whole bunch of what I had written/added.  It was really frustrating and sad because it had been some good stuff that I won't be able to recreate now, because it's been too long.  I didn't have time to do it then.  But, I'm going to try to remember a few things I wrote and add the pictures and videos.  I'll put new text in red.

So, February was better for a lot of reasons.  The Momcation, but also the fact that Harper was just so much happier and easier.  We laid out a lot of new boundaries for her because of things that were becoming problematic, and while that was hard at first to implement, those things really helped with her behavior.  Harper got glasses, and that was HUGE.  Before getting glasses she wasn't really into her toys and barely even played with them.  Plus, she was going through a really clingy, scared stage.  Once she got glasses she started really playing with toys and snapped out of that phase.  Plus, everywhere we've gone since then, that we used to go to before, she likes better now.  Like, we used to go to the children's museum.  She liked it ok, but would just kind of wander around.  Now, she loves it!  She is so much more engaged and will stay in each area happily for a long, long time, with no input needed from me.

Anyway, this month was just a lot easier, particularly when it came to Harper. 

I know that in the previous post I had several cute/funny Harper things I wanted to share, but now I can only remember 1 :( .  Here it is.  So, at church, I am in what's called the "Primary Presidency."  Basically, along with 3 other women, we are responsible for the kids aged 18 mo - 12 years, at church.  Anyway, this one Sunday some women came to our ward (congregation) for a visit who are responsible for several wards (congregations).  If you're familiar with the lingo, it was the Stake Primary Presidency and a member of the General Board.  At any rate, we, of course, wanted them to be impressed with how our Primary was running.  This was also Harper's first week in nursery.  Nursery is where the kids aged 18 mo - 3/4 yo go.  At one point, the visitors wanted to go into nursery and do a little mini-lesson.  When they came back they were raaaaving about an adorable, tiny little girl with glasses who'd walked up to them and said, "thank you!" after their lesson.  Haha, go Harper!  Way to impress the visitors!


I am happy to report that February was a much better month than January!  To start, in the beginning of the month, I went on a Momcation!  Basically, Tom knew I needed a break and that I like having "me" time, so for Christmas he booked me plane tickets to San Diego and a hotel room for a two and a half day jaunt to San Diego.  All. By. Myself.  Now, don't get me wrong, I would have loved to have brought Tom along with me, but someone had to watch Harp and I am quite comfortable being on my own.  I love Harp, but not bringing her was kind of the point.  I needed a break from 24 hour/day mom life.

Anyway, the trip was great.  To begin with, I walked off the plane into total sunshine and perfect warmth:

Also, I found this unopened bag of M&Ms in my front seat pocket!  A good omen.

My hotel room was lovely and very comfortable:

The hotel room was right on the water of Mission Bay:

My favorite part of the vacation was the evenings.  Because I was there as a single female without a car, not in the city center, I stayed inside in the evenings.  If I hadn't been forced to stay in, I probably would have pack my nights.  But, I'm really glad I was forced to stay inside and just relax for several hours each night!  I took long showers, ordered delivery, watched "my show," planned the next day, skyped with Tom and Harper and so on.  It was soooo nice.  I found myself counting down til that time toward the end of the day.  During the day, though, I went out and explored.

The first day, I didn't have too much time after getting there, so I just checked in, walked along the walking path beside the hotel (pictures above) and went to the local convenience store.

The next day (Friday), I went to the zoo!  I always love taking public transit in a new city and that was the only way to get there.  It's always an adventure, you get a more authentic experience of the city and it's a chance to meet the locals.  I was kind of in a hurry that morning so I didn't have my route down very well.  As a result, I had to rely on the busdrivers and passengers for help.  Which was great!  I met so many nice people and just felt so adventurous and independent!  People kept saying, "Man, I wish I was going to the zoo today!"  One nice old lady, who helped my find my way, had a nice conversation with me about cats and knitting.  I loved it.  

Anyway, I eventually got there and set to exploring the zoo.  It was beautiful!  I always love watching the animals and this one was particularly well set-up for that.  

These two were my favorite birds.  This guy came over and seemed to know them well.  He was talking to them and they'd come over and interact with them.  Also, they were just a cute couple (male and female).

The orangutans were another highlight.  Orangutans may be my favorite animal period, actually.  But this time there was this really entertaining group of them.  It was this mom and her little baby (about the same age as Harper, which made me miss her)

This sweet orangutan was just napping against the glass.  She seemed super sweet.


So, last pregnancy and this pregnancy, chocolate chip cookies from the Tollhouse tubs that you can buy with pre-made dough, have been my craving.  In fact, every day, the very first thing I do when Harper goes down for a nap is pop one or two or these in the oven.  They are sooooo good.  Before I got really disciplined about that, though, there were a few days when she'd wake up before I had a chance to eat my cookies!  I had to get really creative because I was desperate.  One day I ate them in the car (and I always eat them while watching "my show") while Tom watched her.

Another day she woke up when they were still in the oven.  I turned it off, brought her onto the bed, got her to fall back asleep, then finished baking them and ate them covertly, while sitting right next to her.  I used the blanket as a shield in case she woke up and saw me eating them.



So, right when I got back from SD, Harp was at the peak of her horrible sleeping.  She used to sleep 12 hours/night (8-8ish) and take 2 or 3, 1-3 hour naps.  By the time I got back from SD, she was sleeping 10 or less hours at night (sometimes waking as early as 5:30) and 1 nap that was sometimes only 20 or 30 min and never really longer than an hour.  After trying everything else we could think of, we finally tried some tough love.  We felt good about it because she is now old enough to understand a little more and we could tell that the main problem was that she had lost her ability to put herself back to sleep when she woke up.  The night I got back from SD, our friends/neighbors Dave & Jill were watching the monitor for us while Tom picked me up from my flight.  I came in at 10:45pm and on our ride home Jill called to tell us that Harp was standing up and screaming (what she would do EVERY time she woke up).  We had Dave go down and try to rock her back to sleep, but she started crying again when he tried to put her back in the crib.  By this time we were home.  We had been talking about crying it out with her and we made the decision to go ahead.  Tom went in, put her back in the crib and told her to go back to sleep.  She screamed and he went in and told her again every 10 min or so (can't remember exact times).  After, probably 20 or 30 min (can't remember now!) she was falling asleep on the crib rail and finally settle down to sleep.  She woke up again at 5am and we did the same thing.  She then slept til....I don't remember...a more reasonable time.  At first we just did it for night time wakings (and early morning wakings).  It worked great.  The time she'd cry went down drastically each time and by the 3rd or 4th time she was just sleeping through it. 

After a few days I decided to try it with her naps.  It didn't work as well.  She'd go back down, and would try to go back to sleep, but would be up 5-15 minutes later, crying to get out again.  Since she actually did try to go back to sleep and wasn't succeeding, after a few days I gave up on it and we went back to have her take the beginning of her nap in the crib and the rest on the bed.  I'd rather she take the whole thing in the crib, of course, but for now I don't mind much.  My main concern is that she won't be able to do that anymore once the baby comes.  But you know what?  I've tried everything I can think of and she still won't take a reasonable nap unless I bring her to the bed and I'd rather have her take a decent nap, even if it will end with the baby's arrival.  

Food Boundaries

One thing that was HUGE for us this month is that we created some food boundaries.

Helpfulness / Making my life easier


Fun Outings and Other Things

My Plants


Baby #2