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Thursday, December 18, 2014

November 2014

Alright, I'm going to start off November with a Harp update.  I feel like she is learning on super speed now that she is walking.  Also, almost every time we are out and Harp is toddling around someone around us will look at her and say something like, "wow, how old is she??" because she is super adventurous and good at walking/climbing/navigating the world, but she's the size of a 9 month old.  Nine month clothes still fit her best.  12 month ones are still a bit big on her.  What can I say?  She takes after my side of the family!

Milestones: Walks backwards and sideways, getting better at going down stairs, slides off bed/couch/etc. backward, starting to hold spoon, first chore (diapers)

Likes: Constantly brings books to us to read to her, bus, Baby Signing Time, fooood (bananas), wandering, clothes, baths, roughhousing, stairs, running into our arms, flags, making new friends, hats, slides

Words she says:

good girl (she'll say it to herself anytime she does something where I usually say it)
banana ("'nana)
eat (if I say, "do you want to eat?" she'll get all excited and say, "eat! eat! eat!" several times)
yes / yeah
woof woof
puff (baby snack)
more (sign)
hat (both sign and words)
baby (first via sign, now with words)
quack (hard to distinguish from "duck")
Baba (Tom's mom's moniker)
Harper (pronounced "Boppa" with a high pitched first syllable)
uh-oh (if she drops something)
woah (if she falls down)
ooh ooh ee ee (like a monkey)
thank you (she'll say it after I give her something)
go (will say it if you say, "1, 2, 3...")

So, these first few pictures should probably have been on the October post, but they missed the radar. I took them in November, but they are of two particular houses in the area that went all out.  I love Halloween.

Here's the first one:

And here's the second.  It was created by this guy who actually designs film sets for a living.  Some of these headstones were apparently real (they were heavy), and they all looked super real. They filled his whole front yard.  Awesome:

Harp rockin' to Dad's guitar playing:

Family laptop time.

Laptop nap.

Only ones brave enough for the park in Winter.  This was actually like the ONLY cold day so far this Winter.  What's happening?

Chillin in the carseat with her huge leaf.

Wandering the neighborhood streets on a pretty Fall day.

Stuck a flower on her head and it stayed.
Children's Museum fun:

One pretty special event this month was that Harp and I took a trip to Nashville together, to visit my sister, Emily's, family!  Man, I HATE flying with babies/toddlers.  Harp was honestly really good the whole time, but it's still not a fun thing to do.  Whenever we were chilling in the airport I tried to let Harp wander around.  That's pretty much all she wants to do these days.  It's a little tricky with people walking all around and Harp wanting to get into everyone's business and all that, but it passed the time.  At one point, I think it was when we were stopped in Denver, she made friends with this girl who was probably 10-12 years old who started following her all around with me.  My favorite was when she was like, "I'm really good with kids.  I think they always like me because I'm really nice."  I just think it's great that kids are free enough with their words to say positive things about themselves to others with no self-consciousness.  

Harp fell asleep on one of the flights, but I had to lay her on the seat while I got ready to get off the plane.  This is her, "where am I and what's happening?" face after waking up on the seat.

On the flight from Denver to Nashville we happened to sit by the nicest lady ever.  She kept saying, "Do you need anything?  Just let me know if you need to grab something and I'll grab it for you." Etc. Etc.  She was like my personal assistant.  When we got off she held Harper while I set her stroller up, then Harper promptly fell asleep and she watched Harp while I grabbed she and I's luggage.

Once we got to Emily's house, Harp looooved playing with the other kids.  Emily has 4 kids (6,4,2&7mo.) and they were all pretty interested in Harper.  It was fun to watch her with all the kids and see what it would be like if she were part of a family of five kids instead of one.  I think she'd love it.

Another nice thing was that we basically got the basement all to ourselves.  I had a nice big room with a nice big, comfy bed and my own bathroom with shower.  Fabulous accommodations!  

It was also fun to see how life with 4 littles works.  It looked tiring :) .  

Part of their yard.  Harper is way out there with, I think, Josie, the 6 year old.
Playing in Emily's basement:

Party on the couch.
Most days we tried to do something fun out of the house.  One day we went to the Opryland Resort and just had fun walking around.  It's HUGE and beautiful and there's tons for the kids to explore.  Harper had a great time.  There was some convention going on and so there were lots of people with nametags.  One of them had a little flag sticker on their nametag and Harper, ever obsessed with flags managed to notice this tiny sticker and went up to harass the poor guy who was sitting on some steps.  Luckily, he was nice and said he had a daughter about the same age, so he gave it to her :) .

Harper went to bed after all the other kids, so at the end of the night it was just the grown ups and her for a little while.  One evening she found this new position and kept trying to grab the toys that were behind her by reaching between her legs.  It was awesome.

Josie and Harper being buds.  She gave her, her fairy wings.

She was being SUPER cute and playing with this one stuffed animal in the pack 'n play when she woke up from her nap one day.  You can't see it too well, but I had to video it:

One day we went to a little park for a little homeschooling meet-up (Emily is starting to homeschool Josie).  Harper looked like a little pink marshmallow.  She was the littlest one playing on the playground equipment (as usual) and everyone kept saying, "who's that little pink baby?" She's cute.

They were playing a video game one night and Harp was dancing along:

We went to a pool one day.  The one we had intended to go to was closed and this one didn't have a baby area, but Harp still had a blast just wandering around:

Unfortunately, I got totally sick while we were there.  I got either the flu or food poisoning and had mostly a sore throat, achiness, and (worst of all) an upset stomach.  I threw up in the middle of the night one night and was totally miserable all day the next day.  The same day I was miserable, I think Harper started getting a little sick too, because she was SUPER cuddly and didn't want to nap without me.  This is very unlike her.  Also, in the mornings from then on (until just a few days ago, in December) she'd wake up earlier than usual and then sleep in bed with me for a little bit.  This is the first time we even did that.  I mean, there's one or two instances when she was sick, where she slept with us and that was it until then.  It's nice, in a way, because it's sweet to cuddle, but man did I miss my sleep!

Gave her a bath while I was sick.

One day we went out into the forest adjacent to their yard.  It was Josie (6), Rori (2), Harper and I.  It was a little treacherous but we all had a good time.  Once she got used to it, Harper quite enjoyed playing with the leaves.

One evening the kids went out into the cul-de-sac on their bikes and trikes.  Harp had SO much fun chasing after them.  She just wants to be one of the big kids:

Emily had the great idea of pushing the babies around in the double stroller while wearing roller skates.  Harp thought it was awesome:

Kev became Harp's surrogate-Daddy.  Seriously, she really liked him a lot!

The kids all made thankful turkeys.  This is as far as we got on Harp's, since I don't know what she's thankful for.
One day the only way I could get Harp to nap without holding her the entire time was to lay her next to me on this couch.  Then I had to make sure that she wouldn't fall off or climb off onto the hard floor so I tried to barricade her, then pad the floor around her.  It was elaborate, but it worked and I got some time to myself!

Rori "playing" with Harp :) .  Not sure if she was liking it or not, but I didn't feel the need to save her.  It's good for her:

One thing I was hoping we could do while I was there was go visit Vanderbilt's campus.  Vanderbilt was my second choice when looking at Master's programs.  I got in and was really impressed with how they dealt with the whole process and reeeeeally loved their program.  Plus, they're the number 1 Education school in the country and I feel like they really treat Education like a serious discipline, unlike most Universities (in my experience).  Case in point, here I am standing in front of their HUGE, impressive, beautiful Education building.  It might be the nicest building on campus.  Usually the nicest building is the library, or student center, or Law building or something.  Never the education building!  Anyway, it was great.  In another life I would have attended.

After the campus visit, we headed to this little soda fountain that's the oldest continuously running restaurant in Nashville (I think I got that right?).  I got fried chicken with mashed potatoes and mac n' cheese and it was very good.  Man, I really like traditional Southern food.  One thing I miss about Mississippi.  I feel like that kind of food simply does not exist in Utah.

On my last night I was there Kevin and Emily took the opportunity to go on a date and leave me with the kids.  I was totally supportive of that idea and was HAPPY to do so.  Three of their four kids were in bed, so I just had the two babies.  Davey was supposed to be asleep too, but he was being a stinker and refusing to sleep.  When Em brought him in, I laid him on the bed with Harper and she was SO HAPPY he was there.  It was sooooo cute.  She was giddy.  She kept rolling all over him too.  He liked it at first and then was just bewildered.  Anyway, we had fun.  

Davey & Harp having cousin time.

Harp went down just a few minutes after they left and then it was just Davey and I.  He was really sweet and cute and had fun on the bed for a bit, but then got fussy.  So I figured it was time to put him to bed too.  He doesn't just go right down like Harp.  You have to lull him to sleep.  It took a while, but it wasn't my first rodeo (not from Harp...EVER...but from nannying and Romania).  Eventually he was fast asleep too and I went back to getting ready for the next day.

The next day as we flew home, Harp was still good, but a bit harder than on the way out.  Flying with littles is just exhausting.  Luckily, she fell asleep on at least one of the flights (can't remember if it was both or just one) and we sat next to another angel woman on the 2nd flight.  She kept saying things like, "if you need to grab ANYTHING just let me know and I'll get it for you so you don't have to bend over!"  It was great.  Harp liked her too and wanted to sit right between us and cuddle with her.

Harp after standing in one too many lines.
Harp LOVED walking on the moving sidewalk (is that what it's called?):

One day Harp decided this was a brush and started brushing her hair with it.

After that trip she was REALLY snuggly, especially for the next few days, but even for the next month.  It also kicked off a month of horrible sleeping (by Harper's standards).  She started waking up earlier, taking shorter/fewer naps and fighting sleep way more.  Like, she has virtually never needed anything but to be set in her crib in order to go to sleep, but suddenly she wanted me to hold her any time she slept.  At first it was endearing and sweet, but it was also tiring and I didn't want it to be permanent.  A stage?  Great.  Permanent?  No thank you!  Since she was waking up earlier, we also started bringing her in bed with us when she woke up and sometimes she would sleep a little longer (sometimes not).  Definitely a first.  Anyway, it was kind of an exhausting rest of the month. That, combined with being pregnant and exhausted from that made it just fabulous.

She figured out how to drink out of a straw while we were in Nashville.  I got the idea from Emily to get water in the straw then put my finger at one end to keep it there and let it go in her mouth through the other end (make sense?).  Somehow that really helped her to get the concept.  Here's her first time doing it on her own.  She is obsessed with Jill's cup:

One day Harper had gone in the other room and it was quiet for a while.  So, I went to check on her and found this:

Either in October or November we started a tradition of watching 5-15 min of Baby Signing Time while I make breakfast every morning.  It's pretty much the only show she'll watch.  On a good day she'll watch it the whole time I make breakfast and it's a total godsend.  Otherwise she literally yells at me nonstop the entire time.  She knows I'm doing something with food and gets really mad when I won't give it to her NOW.  A lot of the time she'll still come in the kitchen and yell at me for at least part of the time, even though she loves the show.  It's really cute to watch her while she's watching it too, because she gets super excited at certain parts and squeals and stuff.  She also gets really excited when I say, "Are you ready to watch Baby Signing Time?"  She has totally learned stuff from it too!  Like, I feel like she's learned not only signs but has started saying words because of it too.  What can I say, she's a fan.  It's pretty much the only show she will watch for more than 2 seconds.

She just found a comfortable spot and didn't want to move.  I kept trying to get her to come to me.

One day I put her hair on top in a ponytail right after a bath and it stayed like this for a few days cuz I'm lazy.

Our friend/neighbor, Jill, reading to her.  She LOVES books and brings them up to me with a huge cheesy grin all day to have me read them to her.  I get SO sick of our books!

Watching, "Airbender" with Daddy.  She'll sometimes watch other shows if you cuddle with her.

Made Harp a new Lion's onesie for the annual Thanksgiving game.
My friend Ana and I have a babysitting trade-off thing going.  So, one day she needed me to watch her little boy, Victor.  He is SUPER easy and cute and is one of the only babies Harp likes to play with (usually she likes them older than her).  I was adventurous and took them both to the Children's Museum.

It was more work than taking just Harp, of course, but it was fun and totally worth it!  Brought back memories of when I nannied for twins.

Harp now loves getting into our laundry bags.
Emily let us go through and take any of the toys they didn't want any more.  Harp loves this singing unicorn that we got from her stash:

Got stuck behind the bed.
We went to the zoo one day and had a particularly good time.  These days I pretty much just let Harp do a bunch of wandering and I follow her around.  She had a BLAST wandering all around and looked super cute doing it.

When we were at the zoo the Zebras were fighting each other.  It went on for quit a while and was pretty cool.  I was the only person around to watch it:

Harp is obsessed with pushing the stroller:


They have this big slide there that Harp LOVES.  Since it's Winter there weren't a lot of people there, so there was just one other little boy at the slide.  He was really sweet and kind of made friends with Harper.  It was great.

Just before I let go of her and sent her down.  I just put her on her belly and send her feet first and she can do it all by herself.  It's awesome.  I love having a kid who appreciates slides.  Tons of laughter.
SUCH a cute video.  This is me sending Harp down the slide, then following.  She's cracking up the whole time:

As always, the water-ball was a hit:

Later that day I was trying to sort the laundry, but Harp is in a stage where she LOVES to play with clothes.  So, I'd try to sort things in piles and she'd just pick up all the piles and put them other places.

Finally, I just gave in and gave her AAAAAAALL the clothes.  She thought it was great:

Laundry queen!

She sat and played quietly with this book for like 10 minutes.  Heaven:

Then spontaneously started trying to eat my toes.  Awesome:

Our map fell off the wall, it makes cool sounds when you step on it, so Harp thought it was great.

Wearing my shirt.

Morning Daddy snuggles.
She just looks so cute in her Winter gear.  I love it:

Pretty downtown.

This fountain at city creek dances to a different song every few minutes.  Pretty cool:

Harp found my cards.
Playing with clothes.  She likes to examine one part, then flip it and examine more:

Tom looks awesome when he sleeps.  Like a lump.
Two of my friends have little boys with the same birthday.  When they turned one, we all had a birthday playdate.  It was already adorable with all these babies in one room, but it got even better.  There's another lady we know who fosters puppies for the local shelter.  She brought over two little puppies.  Just picture 5 babies and 2 puppies in one room.  Oh. My. Goodness. So. Cute.

Chasing a peacock at the Aviary.

Went to City Creek and then Temple Square one day:

Trying on Daddy's Lion's jersey.  It fit:

Harp is strangely patriotic.  Like, for real.  She pretty much never cares about watching things, but was ENTHRALLED when they sang the national anthem before the Lion's game on Thanksgiving.  So funny and weird:

Sat down on a bench at the park and let Harp wander.  That speck out there is her.  She's fearless:

Christmas decorations happened:

Took Harp to see Santa at the Great Harvest down the street.  She was the first kid there and they LOVED her because she'd happily sit on his lap while they took a bunch of test photos and moved things around to get it just right for the rest of the pictures.  Our pleasure:

Went to see the lights and nativities at Temple Square.  This Japanese one was our favorite nativity:

Tom taught Harp how to dunk a basketball and she has no idea there's any other use for a ball.  If you give her a ball she'll always just go straight to the hoop and dunk it.