Well, this could be my longest post ever. I mean to do a blog post for June, at the beginning of July, but was too busy. So, I decided to just do June (a big month for us!) and July in 1 post. Plus, in case that wouldn't be a long enough post, I realized there were some pictures and videos from my nice camera, from Tom's camera and from our video camera that never made it on the blog. I decided that since I was already making a massive post, I might as well include those too and just get it all done at once. So, here we are! I'll try to make nice, big headings to separate the 3 main sections. Here we go!
Random Old Stuff
This video is from when we went to Disneyland right after Harper had her 1st birthday. Ooooh the Quasimodo crawl :) :
|Family Liberty Park trip. No idea how old she was. Somewhere between 14 and 18 months?|
Playing basketball in our old apartment:
|Fell asleep playing with toys in our old apartment.|
Showing us how good she is at kicking in the water (in our old apartment):
This is from when Tom's sister, Jen, and her family came to visit back in April. Harper had soooo much fun with the cousins:
These next few pictures are from when I went to Miami and went with my friend, Alyse, and her son to the Deering Estate. I posted the pictures my friend took in the April post, but not any that I took:
|Flag day :) . Harp is quite as obsessed with the US flag as she used to be but she still loved it.|
Well, June was pretty much centered around Emerson's being born. He was born June 4th, so the first couple days of the month I was just trying to pass the time before the baby came.
This video is from just a few days before I went into labor with Emerson. I took Harper to a little kiddie pool (called a "splash pool") in Daybreak. She LOVED it, I did have to worry as much about her because of the shallow depth, and I even made a couple friends. It was a pretty great outing:
A day or two later I met up with the new friends at a splash park in Daybreak. Here's Harper at the end of the outing, when we were getting ready to go home:
Then, I was in labor and in the hospital, which I've already detailed.
The next few are from the hospital. I may have included some in previous posts, but am too lazy (and busy!) to check:
The next few videos are from when we took Harper to the NICU to meet Emerson for the first time:
|Doesn't he look immediately much better with all the tubing, etc. removed?|
My little Exam Room that I stayed in after being discharged:
|He had to do a carseat test before leaving the hospital to make sure he still breathed well while in the carseat.|
|Blanket made by my grandma.|
Harper giving Emerson kisses:
|Hat was made by some random nice person who donated them to the hospital for new babies.|
|The blanket I made for him.|
|Where he has spent the summer.|
Harper holding him:
|She always wants to lay next to him when he's on a blanket on the floor.|
|She fell asleep on the floor with Dad and then he snuck out.|
By the time my mom came, a week after his birth, Tom was exhausted and going a little nuts. I think he was kind of glad to go back to work. So, my mom swooped in and took over. One of the best things about having my mom around was that she took Harper on a lot of fun outings. One of the things that stressed me out the most about this period was not being able to really be a mom to Harper. I felt like all the things that I normally do with her were being done with someone else, by necessity - feeding her, dressing her, playing with her, comforting her, taking her on outings, putting her down for naps, getting her out of her crib in the morning, etc. I felt like it was really confusing her too. I felt like she was thinking, "why won't mommy just get up and do this with me?" In fact, a few times she came over to me and said, "mommy, get up!" I missed our bond soooo much. But, I was really glad to see her having fun with my mom. That definitely helped.
|Possibly a glimpse of his future, since Harper's eye issues are genetic. Pretty cute if you ask me.|
|Blanket was a gift from Tom's coworkers.|
|I love newborn hands and their tendency to end up at the face.|
|They rode the train! She was so excited and kept telling me about it when she got home.|
My mom also took her to the Museum of Natural Curiosity (Children's museum) at Thanksgiving Point:
She looooved playing with these scarves:
|The sandbox at the Museum.|
|Snuggles with Daddy.|
|Harper loves Baba and Papa's (Tom's parents) train set.|
Playing with cousin Ellie (aka, Harper's favorite activity):
|Olives make fun toys. Grandma's idea.|
|Yo, you wanna fight? Huh? Huh?|
On the 12th, a Friday, I decided I needed to go back in to the doctor and get checked out since I was feeling much worse than is normal. Well, much worse than is normal for most people since I had an even worse recovery (by a lot!) with Harper. Because of Harper's recovery, it was hard for me to know if the pain I was in was just normal or not. But, when I'd call and talk to the on-call midwives they'd tell me it wasn't normal and my mom did too. So, we called around and got me in to see a midwife that Friday, so I wouldn't have to wait til Monday. After examining me, she decided that my stitches were probably infected. She had me start on a course of antibiotics preemptively instead of waiting for test results. I'm so glad we went in and that I started taking the antibiotics because it turned out that I did have an infection and I started feeling MUCH better within 48 hours.
With Harper, instead of feeling really really horrible for a week and a half, I felt that back for about 5 weeks. We never did figure out why, and even wondered if I might be allergic to the material they use for the stitches. But, after what happened with my recovery this time, I'm wondering if by some crazy chance I got an infection both times and just never knew last time? I don't know though, because the chance of getting an infection is pretty small and to have it twice seems very unlikely. I'll probably never know. I just really hope that if I ever have another kid, the recovery ends up being normal!
So, after the antibiotics kicked in, I still felt crappy and had a hard time walking around, but it was WAY better. It was like that for another week or so, and then got better again. Then, another week or so after that I felt almost totally better. I was just so grateful that it didn't last for 5 weeks because I was so so worried that it would! If I'd just known that I'd only be in that pain for a week and a half, then I think I would have been able to bear it much better.
Basically, as soon as I started feeling kind of better, I started going on small outings. Nothing too strenuous:
|First outing as a family of 4. It went great!|
We all went to the Leonardo with my mom. It's a pretty cool museum! Harper loved this exhibit:
Anyway, a little over a week into my mom's visit, my Dad came to join her. The day after he came was Father's day and, since it was the only Sunday he'd be there, we did his blessing (at church) that day as well.
Emerson's blessing day:
I just realized that my dad isn't in any of the blessing day photos! Sad!
Harper likes to say "hi" to EVERYTHING and it's super cute. I tried to get it on video:
We went back to the Museum of NC with my dad and she still loved the scarves:
|Blanket from my Aunt Gail. I tell you, this kid lucked out on the blanket front.|
One day, Harper had a lollipop. She was walking around sucking on it while she played and then at some point couldn't find it. We all tried looking for it with no luck. Finally, at least an hour later I found it:
On my parents' last day in Utah we met up with my dad's old college roommate, Matt Love, at Temple Square:
|Harper has been demoted to the lower stroller seat, but doesn't seem to mind.|
After my parents left, and I was left to take care of two kids on my own, we went on our first outing, just the 3 of us, to the 7 canyons fountains at Liberty Park. Harper wasn't THAT big of a fan (she liked it better last year), but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, so I'd definitely call it a success:
One of the things that drove me nuts while I was incapacitated was not being able to put things away where they went and just run the household the way I like it. So, once I was feeling well enough to do those things I actually enjoyed all those tasks that I used to be so tired of doing!
The day after my parents left, Tom's brother Bob's family came to visit for just a few days. His 3 year old daughter, Anna, especially loved Harper and got such a kick out of the fact that she could get her to say any word. Over and over she'd say, "Harper, say (insert word)." Then, Harper would repeat it and she'd laugh. It was like Harper was her toy. In this video I tried to re-create it:
My mom gave Harper this awesome train toy. She loved it and still plays with it every single day (a rarity for this kid, for sure!). She especially loved riding on it with her cousin, Ellie:
Went to the splash pad. Harper, of course, didn't like it:
One day (for the first time), I let her pick out her own shirt. Of all the (many) shirts in her closet, she chose this one. She called it "Baba's shirt" for some reason and was so excited about it:
|My mom bought us this bouncer and I especially like the zip up feature, for built in Harper protection!|
|Harper LOVES swinging these days and can do it for quite a while.|
When all the visitors (my parents and then her cousins) were here, Harper got a little overwhelmed and was VERY tantrum-y. It was terrible. Some days she looked like this virtually the whole day:
Since having two kids I've taken it a little easy on the outings front. Mostly because Harper has become a bit more of a homebody and less because it's harder to go out or something. As a result I've had to come up with more things for her to do at home. Before he was born, I kind of anticipated more home-time, so I go supplies and wrote up instructions for a bunch of activities for Harper to do at home. One of them was painting. This was her first time:
She didn't so much want to put paint on the paper as much as she just wanted to squish it in her hand and tell me what color it was.
She definitely tried to eat it at one point and was sorely disappointed. She didn't try that again.
Sometimes when Harper is particularly difficult I will dress her especially cute the next day, in hopes that she'll be so cute that it will increase my patience. Here's Harper and Emerson after a particularly difficult day:
At the Thanksgiving Point sandbox again. This time with just me:
|She LOVED the laundry activity at the Children's Museum.|
Harper just being cute (including counting):
Tom's sister lives in Japan and sent this funny little Japanese book to Harper. We have no idea what is says but has a bunch of pictures of (sometimes unidentifiable) food. Here's Harper telling us what all the pictures are:
Painting in the bath is the best. Lots of fun and easy easy cleanup!
Usually I give Harper one food at a time. One day, though, I gave her BOTH animal crackers AND raisins at the same time. She was SO excited!!!
She even took the snacks for a ride in her baby stroller:
Over 4th of July weekend we went to our sister-in-law, Rachel's, family cabin with Tom's family. The cabin was awesome and built by a couple of her family members. It made me want one someday! We had a lot of fun being together. Below is a pic from when we went on a family walk:
We just stayed at the cabin for one night and on the second day, Harp had a total meltdown that lasted most of the day, with a few small breaks here and there. It started at the cabin. Then, we went to a lake that was close-by for just a short time (it wasn't a great lake for little kids and we weren't really dressed for it and it was cold). On the way home she screamed pretty much the whole way. It was lovely.
|Harper and Emerson at the same age. Do you think they look alike?|
|Harper likes to dress up all her "friends" and do pretend play with them. It's pretty cute.|
One day she decided to try on some of Tom's clothes:
Harper really likes touching Emerson, especially his hands:
Tom got really good seats (4th row!) to a pre-season Jazz game, so I took the kids up and rode the trax to the game...by myself, with no stroller and no carrier. I even took the wrong train (I was a BIT distracted) and had to backtrack. It was HARD, but people were SO nice. Each time I got on a train or went to sit on the bench at the station people would offer me seats. It was really touching. Harper loved it and Emerson slept through it:
|All decked out for the game. Socks and blanket courtesy of my Aunt Gail.|
|It has gotten really difficult to do family selfies.|
|Went to the mall with my mother-in-law (in a wheelchair) and my sister-in-law (with her double stroller) and my double stroller. We were a regular armada.|
Emerson started smiling at about 5 weeks old:
|Harper has started expressing her opinion on what she wears. Here she is with two different shoes.|
|Tried bath painting again. It was all fun and games until...|
|She loves to lay down next to Emerson :) . She's patting his head here.|
|My favorite part was these brussel sprouts! Seriously, even if you don't like brussel sprouts, I bet you'd like this. It was amazing.|
|Duck with risotto|
|She likes to stand on things and tell us she's tall. The other day she stood on this really this book and said it. It made her like half an inch taller.|
|Tickle war just after she woke up from her nap.|
Trying to catch flying dust particles:
Trying to catch Emerson's smile. It's hard to video and look a baby in the eye at the same time:
Harper has never been a fan of milk. However, with Emerson drinking "mama's milk" and her cousin Eliza at the house, carrying a bottle of milk around with her, Harper's interest peaked. She requested a bottle of milk and was super happy carrying it around a taking tiny sips. All in all, she still only drank maaaaybe 1 oz of it though:
|Cousin Laura loved holding Emerson and the feeling was definitely mutual. The poor kid gets a little neglected sometimes, so this was a special treat for him and he always slept very soundly with Laura.|
|Emerson's first book. He's a fan.|
|Sometimes after Emerson's early morning feeding (6ish?) he just falls asleep on the bed and I let him stay. Then, I try to take a little nap while I wait for Harper to wake up. He's a very sweet bed companion.|
Ring Around the Rosie with the cousins:
|Emerson enjoying some cousin time.|
|5 little girl cousins 3 years and under, with Harper right in the middle. Heaven for her.|
For a few weeks Harper had been pointing it out to me every time she saw someone with their toenails or fingernails painted. I mentioned it to Tom's sister, Em, and she was kind enough to paint Harper's toenails (I am HORRIBLE at this skill). Harper was super happy about it. It's a few weeks later now and she still shows them to me all the time. One funny thing was that when Em was done painting them and they needed to dry we could NOT keep her from wiggling her big toe and the next toe together. It was like she was utterly compelled to do it and couldn't stop herself.
Harper really seemed to be liked by her girl cousins. At one point, Ellie, Harper and Anna were walking up the stairs and I hear this little conversation:
Anna: Harper is my friend.
Ellie: No, Harper is MY friend!
It was cute. Anna, in particular, was kind of obsessed with Harper. She just wanted to give her hugs all day...nonstop. Sometimes Harp loved it and sometimes it was a little much for her, as you can see in this video below:
One day after Bob's family left, Ellie came over and I took she and Harper on a bikeride to the park while Emerson stayed home with Em. They had a blast, as always and were super cute together.
Harper doesn't usually love apples, but one day she just climbed up on the table, nabbed one and went to town. There's just something about the way a toddler eats an apple that's fascinating to me:
Tom still has paternity leave days to use (so awesome!), so he took a random Wednesday off to just spend time with us. In the morning I took Harp to the ophthalmologist (always a blast) while Tom got some things done at home. In the afternoon, we went to the zoo! But, before I get to the fun zoo topic, I have to mention that at the ophalmologist's we learned that Harp will probably have to have surgery on her eyes. There's a lot I could say on that, but I don't feel like this is the post for it. All I will say is that it's a low risk surgery, with a pretty quick recovery time, that hopefully it will improve her depth perception and that (if it happens, which we won't know until the day of) it will happen on September 9th. Anyway, onto the zoo! The first thing we did was ride the train! We'd never done it before, but Harper loves trains, so we felt like it would be a good idea. She loved it!
|The water ball, of course.|
|Ice cream, of course.|
|The zoo has a dinosaur theme going on right now, in honor of Jurassic World. As part of that they had a sand pit where the kids could dig for bones. Harper just really enjoyed laying on it for some reason.|
One day Harper was cracking me up by putting her little "baby Jesus" from her nativity down her car ramp. Also, isn't her new rainjacket cute? :
One day we went to the library. While there, Harper was playing with some of their puzzles. This one, below, was her favorite, but it was missing the oval shape.
At one point she walked over to the bin that it came out of, which has a picture of what the puzzle is supposed to look like on it. She wasn't standing close enough to see the actual puzzle, but after just a couple of seconds of looking at the picture she looked at me with a quizzical expression and said, "green oval?" I was pretty impressed that she made that connection.
I had been meaning to take some "glamour shots" of Emerson for a while and finally got around to it around the 6 or 7 week mark. Harp wanted in on the fun too:
The star of the show:
A couple Saturdays ago we decided to find a very easy hike and go on a family hike. We followed this really weird car up the canyon:
Harp isn't a big fan of being in carriers and she walks, well, slowly and distractedly. She also hasn't developed a love for the great outdoors yet, for some reason. For all of these reasons, it can be hard to go hiking with her, but we wanted to. We found one that seemed pretty easy online, Donut Falls, and headed up the canyon. When we got there we found that you had to park SUPER far away from the trailhead, to the point where just walking to the trailhead would have been the extent of our hike. Instead, we decided to have Tom drop the kids and I off at the trailhead while he went to park and then ran up to meet us. He dropped us off, then reconsidered the plan and (realizing that it would take him a really long time to run to us) decided to park illegally on the side of the road, where a ton of other cars had done the same thing.
Anyway, we went on the hike, which went pretty well. Harp enjoyed wandering around on the trail, Emerson slept in the carrier and Tom and I got to actually have a conversation, for once.
When we got back to the car, though, we had gotten a ticket :( . A bunch of other cars had done the same thing, but only about 4 of us had gotten tickets. Strangely, it was also marked as a misdemeanor and mentioned something about appearing in court. We kind of thought it must be a big mistake and kind of thought we should be worried at the same time. Thankfully, a few days later, they sent us a $40 ticket and we were a bit relieved.
Harper enjoying her vacuum toy:
Did some impromptu babysitting the other day and ended up with 4 kids under 3. You'd think it would be hard, but these three ended up swinging the whole time while Emerson napped on a lawn chair. They were pretty cute.
|She was SO excited to get this special cereal treat at the grocery store and wanted me to take a picture so she could "show daddy."|
Harp just being Harp:
|Hiding in the cupboard.|
|She's been loving water balloons.|
Harper playing with her train (from Grandma) while I nap:
We went to the preview event for the Pioneer Day Parade:
We went to the children's museum with a new friend. Here's Harper with her beloved scarves, looking a bit like ET:
We went outside to the gardens for a while and Harp reeeally enjoyed throwing little fish food pellets to the Koi:
On another day I took her to the farm at Thanksgiving Point. She was a total bum.
We waited like 20 minutes to ride the ponies and then she screamed when I put her on one. That was fine, but she was even more of a bum when I tried to show her the animals. Every time I'd try to point out a new animal She'd look at it with disgust and just say, "nope." and walk away. She's in this weird stage where she seems to be unimpressed with everything we do. It's lame.
|I love when she reads to herself. Her glasses make her look extra smart and studious.|
Just being cute while she eats:
Rockin' out to Weezer on a Saturday morning:
She was just really cute at church one Sunday. She was so happy to have a pink lollipop (in her hand) which the Primary President gave to her. Nothing better than a happy Harp.
Got a bike seat for my bike so that now I can take both kids on bike rides. It was a pretty happy outing:
We biked to the park:
I was proud of her for getting up on the dinosaur by herself. Usually I have to help her:
She had fun running to me and having me tickle her:
|Oh, and she's obsessed with wearing this fuzzy stuffed bowtie, which she calls a necklace.|
We went to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. She was a little nervous about certain parts of the Museum where it was kind of dark and was generally unimpressed. She did like a couple areas though. She kiiiind of liked when we watched a Robot movie in the theater they have there, but I'm not really sure.
|She was too short to reach the sand and water :( .|
Took the kids to Burger King. Harper has been really into dipping things in sauce lately, so she liked that. Plus, she got a cookie!
After eating, we went into the play area. It was pretty much too old for her and she was just wandering around bored until...a hoard of kids descended on it all at once! She got SO excited and was prancing around, chasing them, squealing. This kid LOVES other kids. I'm sure they were thinking, "what the heck?"
Harper talking on the phone:
We went to IKEA one day, to kill time, and Harper had a pretty good time.
|Playing in one of the kid rooms.|
|Playing on the rocking moose|
Singing the ABCs:
|On a train with her friends|
Through his work, Tom ended up volunteering at the Deer Valley Music Festival and getting an additional ticket for free. We got free tickets and went to it while I was pregnant with Harp, but ended up leaving early because I was super uncomfortable (you lay on the ground and I was in the late 3rd trimester), we didn't realize it would be cold and hadn't brought warm clothes/blankets and hadn't brought food (you can bring in any food you want and we were starving and staring at all the great food around us). We were really impressed with it though and really wanted to try it again and do it right. So, when Tom got the volunteer gig and the free ticket we decided to get a sitter. Our friends, Jill and Dave, were kind enough to watch Harper for us. She always has a blast with them:
We brought Emerson along, picked up some good food along the way and dressed warm. I got there pretty late through circumstances outside of my control, got what I believe was 1 of only 2 parking spots left in their entire huge parking lot, strapped the baby onto me and starting lugging all our stuff up the big hill to the where they perform. It was a loooong way and I wasn't sure I was going to make it when I noticed a hot guy in a security vest staring at me. My first thought was that he was hot, my second was that he was staring at me and my third was, "hey, it's Tom!!!" I wasn't sure if he'd really be able to join me, but he'd gotten the easiest job ever and got out of it early and was like my night in shining armor when he took all the stuff I was struggling to carry up the hill. So, we ended up getting to enjoy the show together, even though we missed a big chunk of it. Emerson was a pretty cute third wheel:
Sadly, since we came up separately, we had to drive home separately too. And driving home took a really long time because of all the concert traffic and the fact that we were in the far reaches of Park City. We were pretty tired by the time we got home, but it was a great night. Oh, and Dave & Jill even let Harp spend the night so we were able to sleep in the next morning. Good times!
- He language abilities just keep skyrocketing! She creates full sentences, quite few words long and generally very grammatically correct. It's not uncommon for her to say something like, "Daddy is eating an apple." I feel like most toddlers would probably say something more like, "Daddy eat apple." She even tells jokes! For instance, one time we were giving her enchiladas for dinner and she said, "Enchiladas! Enchiladas! Enchi-harp-iladas!" Another time, I said something about laundry and she said, "laundry, laundery, laundsery, laursery, narsery, nursery! Then when I said laundry again a few days later, she looked at me with this little, "i'm so funny" look and said, "nursery!" Nursery is where the little kids go at church. Another time, when we were hiking, Tom pointed out a pinetree and she said, "pineapple tree!" Finally, one time I was telling her where something was and I said, "by the TV." So, she said, "by the TV...BITE the TV!!!" and went over and bit the entertainment center and giggled. These are just a few examples.
- She had a big growth spurt and finally grew out of the 9-12 month clothes she'd been wearing! Now she mostly wears 2T! She's still a shorty though.
- She stopped being cranky a couple days after all the visitors left and now is back to her happy, sweet, funny self.
- She really likes Emerson. Sure, she's also tried to stomp on his face a few times, but that was more to get me to react than to hurt him. Whenever she sees him she says, "beebee!!!" in a super high pitched voice and then points out whether he's sleeping or awake. If he's awake she'll point out his eyes. She really likes holding (and pulling at) his hands too. Oh, and she loves to give him kisses. If she ever hurts him (not that uncommon), she'll always say, "sorry beebee!" and give him a kiss.
Emerson (Don't read if you have hard babies and don't like hearing about easy ones.):
- Wow, we really lucked out with this kid! Basically, in all the ways that Harper was an easy baby he's somehow even easier and in all the ways she was hard, he's easy.
- He slept 4 or 5 hours straight at night from day one and just gradually lengthened it. At this point (end of July), he sleeps from around 8:30pm til anytime between 4 and 7:30am without waking, then will often go right back to sleep til 8:30 or 9am.
- He loves to cuddle but will also fall asleep on his own wherever you put him (crib, floor, bassinet, bed, carseat).
- He started smiling around 5 weeks of age and even laughs sometimes. It's SO cute. It's pretty easy to get him to do it too.
- He is a HUGE grunter and snorter, but not much of a crier.
- He has SO much gas.
- He almost never has blow-outs.
- He loves Harper and she was the first one he smiled at (even though she wasn't even looking at him).
- He takes a binkie, but isn't as attached as Harper was. He doesn't always have to have it to fall asleep and if it falls out after he's asleep he doesn't need you to put it back in.
- He has dreamy eyes.
Oh yeah, and in case the last couple months weren't crazy enough, we became service missionaries. I'm tired and want to end this blog post, so all I'll say for now is that we help out with a local church branch (congregation) whose members are mostly refugees mostly from Swahili speaking areas of Africa. I think I'll have more to say about it next month anyway, so that's all for now!