The Part with the Update:
Sometimes during the week, when I've had a particularly brain-numbing mommy day, Tom will take the kids and tell me to just go somewhere. Usually, I end up at Barnes and Noble, either working on this blog (like I'm doing right now) or just looking at books. One day this month, when I went to Barnes, I wandered into the Philosophy section (or whatever it's called) and picked up a book called, "Existentialism for Dummies" and one called, "A Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy." They were great and just what I needed right then. It sent me on a philosophy/deep thinking kick for the whole month. One of my favorites has been listening to/watching the "School of Life" videos on youtube. Check them out! Super well done, engaging and thought provoking. It REALLY feels good, after (or in the middle of) a long mom day, to escape from all the little mom thoughts and focus on what the purpose of art is or how an ideal government would be run or how to live a fulfilling life.
Most of the other, "things that happened this month" kinds of updates will be explained along with the pictures and videos, but here's some thoughts on Harper, Emerson and Tom that aren't represented in the pics and vids.
- We watch a 30 min show every morning, when I'm still waking up, and we watched a bunch when we potty trained (will talk about later). Some we own and some we get from the library. Her current favorites are "The Iggy Show" (it's actually called, "Baby's First Word Stories", but this is what we call it) and "The Wonderpets." She incorporates the characters and plotlines into our everyday lives. Songs about other people or things become songs about the show's characters, she pretends to feed the characters, dramatic moments from the show get played out with our household objects, etc. She has a great imagination!
- One of the first words she ever learned to say was, "yeah." Then, she learned, "no" and dropped "yeah" and any other affirmative statement. Instead, when she wants to affirm something, she just repeats what I've said. For example, if I say, "Do you want an apple?" and she does, she'll say, "want an apple." I've been trying to teach her to just say, "yes" and it's finally baaarely starting to catch on!
- The fact that she doesn't say, "yes" is all the more strange because her language skills are crazy good! She will frequently say 8+ word sentences with perfect grammar (for example, "I can eat the banana after the cottage cheese."). Her command of vocab and grammar REALLY make me wish we could have tried to teach her an additional language from the beginning. You can pretty much just have a conversation with her now. You can ask her questions and have her respond with unique (often clever) answers. Very cool.
- She says a lot of funny things. For instance, when one of us has gas, she'll say, "Harper gas" or "Daddy gas" or whatever. The other day our Xbox remote vibrated and she said, "remote gas!"
- Sometimes when we're driving home and she's getting impatient and we're almost home I'll say, "let's count to 10" and time it so we arrive home right at 10. The other day I told her we could have some fruit snacks (a very special treat for her) when we got home if she didn't whine and was patient til we got there. She immediately said, "I want to count to 10!"
- She's in a stage where she's scared of EVERYTHING. I can't figure out if it's always legit, or if sometimes she's just being dramatic on purpose, but every tiny noise, every person, even a piece of fuzz will send her bolting toward me (usually not far, since she always stays RIGHT by me) with a cry of, "mommy! Mommy hold you!!!" She is particularly scared of trucks and bugs. Trucks because I got her this book called, "I am SO Brave!" that's about a little boy overcoming his fears and it backfired. Bugs because one day there was a wasp walking on the step outside and I told her to watch out for it. It doesn't matter that I've thoroughly explained to her that most bugs are nice.
- She calls "Blue" in "Blue's Clue's" "Blue Elmo" even though she's never watched "Elmo," because there's a stuffed Elmo at the library.
- She has really started caring about what she wears. She prefers to pick out her clothes and has a strong preference on which clothes she likes and which she doesn't. I miss the old days where I could just pick out whatever I wanted her to wear!
- He is SO smiley! Frequently, I'll go to nurse him and I'll notice he came off and I'll look down and see that he's smiling up at me and was doing so before I even looked at him!
- He giggles at the most unexpected times and I think it's connected to him being slap happy. He often giggles when I read him books.
- A typical night for him (sleepwise) is to go to bed around 8:30, wake up around 4:30, nurse, go back to sleep, nurse at 6, nurse at 7, wake up for the day and nurse at 8:30. Today though, he went to bed at 8:30, nurse at 4:30, nursed at 6:30, then woke up for the day at 10!
- He is a total snorer/snorter. He snorts so much when he's awake (especially when he's consternated/hungry, etc.) that Harp calls him "Baby Pig."
- He falls asleep immediately if I give him "tummy time" with his binkie.
- He takes 3 naps/day usually, with the mid-day one usually being the longest. As a result he often overlaps with Harper's nap, which is great!
- He had his 2 month check up on August 4th. I was really hoping he would have grown a lot, but he really hadn't. The doctor said he's not really worried at this point, but it would be nice to have him grow enough so that I'M not worried. His stats were height: 23.5" (63%), weight: 10 lb. 6 oz. (21%) and head circumference: 39.6 cm (43%). I'm going to try to take him in for a weight check in the next few days to see how much he's grown. So weird that Harper started off tiny and grew super fast but Emerson started of huge and has barely grown. Harper was significantly bigger than him at this point even though she was 2 lbs. smaller when she was born.
- He's great. He's pretty much the most supportive, hardest working husband I know. Did you know he always does the dishes? I haven't done them since October. I'd give more of an update on Tom, but I don't think he wants me to.
The part with the Pictures:
Harp is in this awesome stage where she LOVES books and doesn't particularly want me to read them to her. Instead, she just wants to look through them herself and often "reads" them to herself. She's still the kind of kid who has a hard time entertaining herself, so when she's quietly (or not quietly) reading books to herself, I am in heaven.
Video from when Jill and Dave babysat so we could go to the Deer Valley Music Festival (talked about it last month):
This one Sunday, I was in the Mother's Lounge (room with chairs for nursing and a changing table) when Tom knocked on the door. I opened it to find a naked Harp and barfed-on Tom. Apparently she'd been sitting on his lap, facing him and he'd seen it coming, so he'd pulled her into him. Poor guy didn't know where the Mother's Lounge was and had to walk all the way around the building like this. I had to go in and clean up the pile of barf on the pew and grab all our stuff so we could head home. Tom was sad to miss hearing from the visiting member of the 70 (church leader), Elder Sitati. She ended up barfing 7 times that day (at least half of them ON Tom), but was totally fine the next day.
Went to the splash pad. She still in a stage where she doesn't love going places and just kind of stays by my side and asks to go home. She went over to the water and played a couple times though:
One day she was really engaged in playing with our candles. Take off the lid, smell, put the lid back on, repeat. I get really excited when she's engaged in playing with things because it doesn't happen that often:
Was trying to get a video of Harper being super desperate to eat dinner this one day (it was funny), but ended up mostly getting a funny video of Emerson sticking his tongue out (only time I've ever seen him do this):
Just a funny moment:
|We went to DI and in the toy isle, of all the toys, she picked this one and pretended his hair was ice cream and tried to lick it (ew!).|
Went to the grocery store and let her have her own cart (I was a little scared to) and she was in HEAVEN. It was a little hard to keep her from running into things/people (see video), but totally worth it. Everyone in the store was, of course, obsessed with her cuteness:
Oh my. Let's just start this off by saying that when I was a nanny, I attempted to potty train 5 different kids and none of them succeeded before I left. Basically, I know a lot about potty training but totally suck at it for some reason. This time around, I followed a method called, "Potty Training in 3 days" or something like that. The gist is that for 4 days she didn't wear a diaper AT ALL. She wore panties and a shirt. I told her to keep the panties clean and dry and to go pee pee and poo poo on the potty instead of in the panties. She totally understood and had the bladder control. The problem was that for some reason she was terrified of going without her diaper on. Like, she'd realize she needed to go and would get this panicked expression on her face and say, "I have to go on the potty!!!!" Then, she'd sit on the potty for a couple seconds and say she was done. She'd try to hold it as long as she possibly could, resulting in going pee only like twice a day. When she had to go it reminded me of childbirth. Like, she was obviously trying SO hard not to let it come out and she was screaming and in total agony. Poor kid. We decided to can it, wait a few months for her to stop being traumatized, and try again. Problem is, now she feels like pee and poop in her diaper is gross, so if she goes (even while sleeping) she'll cry (if she's sleeping, or just act uncomfortable if she's not) and want to be changed immediately. Worst of both worlds!
|A cute and catchy little song we found on youtube and a panda learning to go on the potty. We watched it about 30 times in a row.|
|Poor kid fell asleep on Harp's changing mat while I was putting her down for her nap. Luckily, it was portable!|
|Our peppers turned red, but are still tiny! We didn't know what color they'd be. It was a surprise.|
|I gave her this adorable little hippie bus for going pee on the potty one time. Also, she's super cute in panties. Just sayin.|
|As if this wouldn't be super cute anyway, he's got matching air Jordan basketball socks and onesie. Socks are courtesy of my Aunt Gail. Tom LOVES them.|
|Pigtails on the trampoline|
Happy jumping Harp:
|We went on a failed bikeride the other day. The handlebar was loose, which made riding hard, Harp didn't love our destination and to top it off, she went #2 and I didn't bring a diaper, and she couldn't handle the grossness of it all. Aye.|
She really loves stacking things right now and she's gotten pretty good at it:
|Stacking spices while "helping" me in the kitchen.|
I've been trying to work-out lately but I didn't have weights to use. Instead, I was using books. She wanted my books, so I told her to go get her own. She grabbed a couple and came back in and did this:
She requested that I put Emerson in the "Winnie the Pooh swing" then wanted to push him. I eventually had to ban her from pushing him because she just didn't have it in her to push gently enough, but she enjoyed it while it lasted! His little smile at the beginning is the best:
|She requested to try on Daddy's shirt.|
We've gone to 7 Peaks with Tom, after work, a couple times this summer and it's been great. Here's Harp and Tom in the wave pool:
|We went on a walk around the lake in Daybreak and she kept wanting me to give her "flowers." I gave her this reed and she decided it was a "popsicle flower."|
|We got a monitor for Emerson, so now I can put him in another room sometimes and have peace! Without a monitor I would NEVER hear him because he barely ever cries and when he does it's a really quiet cry.|
So, the biggest thing that happened this month, for me, was that my Grandpa passed away. It was my dad's dad. He had cancer and we knew he was on his way out, but it's still weird to think that he won't be there anymore when we get together with family. It's weird to think of my grandma by herself (they were such an inseparable unit!) and it's sad to think that (in this life) my kids will not remember him and that Tom never experienced the Christmas Ever dinners they used to have at their house every year. On the other hand, I feel like he's got to be pretty happy seeing all his family again (we believe that families are together after death) and finally knowing exactly what it's like on the "other side."
I flew out to California for the funeral, took Emerson with me and left Harp with Tom (who took a day off). I missed Harp and Tom, but it was kind of nice having some dedicated time with just Emerson. Poor kid gets a little neglected most of the time. He was a champ and slept the whole way there.
The best thing about the funeral trip was seeing family, especially family that I haven't seen in a long time. My sister, Sarah, moved to Houston and I wasn't sure when I'd see her next. I'd never met her second child (the other baby in the pic below). There were a lot of cousins there that I hadn't seen in a long time, as well.
|Emerson LOVED all the attention he got. My nephew Cash (in the blue shirt) really really liked him and was SO sweet with him. He kept calling him Harper though, lol.|
The other great thing about the funeral was learning things about Grandpa that I didn't know before. Like that he was one of the top 10 genealogists in the church (more than 50,000 names!) and more about his childhood and how he was as a dad.
It was good to get back home though.
Here's Harp just being happy, enjoying her "Iggy show":
|More swing time.|
|She's really into trying on our shoes these days. Even I have trouble walking in these!|
|Two things about this photo. One - she randomly requested to wear this pink jacket even though it was quite hot and wore it for hours. She spent like an hour playing with these bouillon cubes. Bouillon cubes...who knew?|
We went to the mall and rode the train. She LOVED it. She was in heaven. Finally, something she likes doing that's outside the house!
|Dress up at its finest.|
I went to put on my shirt for the day and Harp requested to wear it instead. She looked super cute running around in it and really loved wearing it:
This is just a little video illustration of Harp's current stage. It seems like she's throwing tantrums almost constantly:
These blocks that she got from our friend Jill last Christmas have been used for so many things. This week they were a train (that she's riding):
And a house for her "guys":
We babysat for one of our friends from our old ward one day and it was the best. I'm of the opinion that if I'm already watching Harp (and Emerson), I might as well be watching another toddler too, because they entertain each other and make my life easier. Harp LOVED playing with her friend and was laughing at her all the time. Plus, her friend was super sweet and was really great at sharing. It was pretty cute all around:
In the afternoon, after babysitting, we were trying to pass the time before Tom got home and we decided to try out a new mall that we hadn't been to. It was a total fail. We had tons of traffic getting there, because of an accident. Then, when we got there we discovered they didn't have any play area or anything. Harp kept requesting to go down the slide and ride the train, because there's one at the other mall. Instead, we ended up playing with legos at the lego store, wandering around the Container Store, wandering around period...
|Harp's new preferred way to ride the stroller.|
and playing with some (3) quarter rides we found:
|She was scared of several of them once they started moving, but really liked this one.|
|There's just something delicious about a little baby all wrapped and ready for bed. Plus, Emerson is always very smiley and talkative right before bed. Such a cute :) .|
Harp has been in a TERRIBLE mood most of the time lately. She's had nearly non-stop tantrum and everything you can (and can't) imagine. My favorite one today was when she threw a fit because she couldn't eat the lollipop the pig was eating in one of her books. Yup. However, the other night she was in a rare good mood. Tom wasn't feeling well and she was being super sweet and cuddly with him (and me). Then, she helped me with the food I was making. It was the perfect recipe for her to help me with and she was so happy and obliging the whole time. It went a little past her bedtime but I was just enjoying it too much to send her to bed. She really loved them "yemons" and was carrying one around and sucking on it. I tell ya, there is nothing better than a happy Harp. You know that saying, "When Mom's happy everyone's happy?" Well, in our house I'd substitute "Harp" for "Mom." Anyway, here's the token pic:
I got back into project mode this month and it felt so good. I made Sunday pants, Sunday shorts, suspenders and a bow tie for Emerson out of an old pair of Tom's Sunday pants.
|This is what he wore to the funeral.|
|They don't fit yet, but should fit nicely this fall/winter.|
Finally, I made a cushion that you put on the handle of Emerson's carseat to make it more comfortable to carry it in the crook of your arm:
And that's the month!