Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

It has been years since we really dressed up for Halloween. As usual, Harper has made the festivities so much more fun.

Last night, we transformed our storage room/basement into our "spooky" basement, complete with haunted house, spider webs, witches, bats and ghosts. This evening we had a little pre-Halloween bash with a few of our friends - many of whom have kids close to Harper's age.

The costumes were awesome!

My lovely friend, Krysta, made ALL of the delicious food. It was so cute, creative and delicious.

Earlier this week, my dad was able to come spend the evening with us. That night, our church was having the annual Halloween party. We had a great time!

Monday, October 4, 2010

eight months

On July 30th, Harper turned eight months old. At the time, we took a few notes, but have not had a chance to give a full update. So, without further adieu...

This month Harper had several firsts: her first plane ride, first camping trip, first family reunion, introductions to her great grandparents and the first time playing with her cousins, among several others.

- Harper mastered eating real food this month. She enjoyed a meal of Gramma Jan's spaghetti and meat sauce while we were in Montana. The noodles disappeared into her little body (and to the seat of her high chair) nearly before we had a chance to take a bite of our own food. It was as if she had been introduced to a whole new world - and hasn't looked back. Ever since that trip, Harper protests the idea of eating pureed baby food. The only way we have been able to get her to eat it is by offering her some real food, wait for her to open her mouth, and then slip in a spoonful of peas, squash or some other nearly unrecognizable food. Before too long she had figured us out and would spit out the baby food as soon as she recognized it.

In other eating-related progress, Harper is doing really well at drinking out of a cup. She doesn't care much for her sippy cup, but loves drinking out of water bottles, glasses, or whatever else we are drinking from. This month, Harper also discovered the joy of snacks. It is amazing how many baby snacks there are. During a mountain trip in Montana, Harper even learned to share her baby "cheetos" with her Aunt Arielle.

Mobility - Harper has gone from an army-crawler to a bona-fide crawler. She really mastered the art while chasing her cousins around her Gramma & Grampa Allen's house. This month she also started pulling herself up on couches, coffee tables, legs of chairs and in her crib. As expected, this development has not been without its bumps and bruises.

Teeth - Harper got her second tooth this month, which was a much easier process than the last tooth. In fact, we didn't notice or suspect it was happening until it had already broken through.

- Along with being able to pick up small foods, Harper has started to examine objects by turning them over and over in her hands - it's adorable.

Other items and pictures of note:
Harper started laughing a lot this month. However, the laughs sounded more like clearing her throat. She would "laugh" nearly all the time and would have laughing conversations with anyone that would humor her.

Playing in the mirror:

Enjoying occasional visits from Grandpa Manning while he's in town for business:

Riding on shoulders/tearing my hair out:

Hair update:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

300 days ago

Three hundred days ago today, I became a mother.

I am way behind on my record keeping... but wanted to post a sampling of the pictures we took over the last few months. We've had a great summer and had tons of fun to write about. It just might take me a while to get it all down.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I learned a few days ago that one of my colleagues has a very sick little girl. Her illness came on very suddenly and, although she has been seen by some of the nation's best doctors, she is presenting a complicated set of symptoms that are making it difficult to provide a diagnoses or a plan to help her.

To make the situation more complicated, my colleague's wife is currently battling breast cancer. She had been keeping a blog to document and update friends and family of her status. That blog is now also being used to offer information about their daughter, Leighton.

I am feeling a quite helpless this morning, as Leighton seems to have been going through a significantly rough time over the last couple of days. There isn't much I can do, so I thought I would reach out to anyone that reads our little blog, to keep this sweet family in your thoughts and prayers. They really need it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Happy (belated) Independence Day

We spent this 4th of July at my parents house in Connecticut. They will be moving in August, so this was likely the last time we would get to enjoy the 4th at Waveny Park. We had an excellent time.

My mom made delicious home made raspberry ice cream (one of our family traditions), which quickly was passed out to friends sitting nearby. We caught up with old friends and made a few new ones. It is so neat to see how my parents have really become part of the community in New Canaan. While I only lived there for three years, it is the place that feels most like home. We will miss coming back so often, although my parents are convinced we'll make fairly frequent visits...

As usual, the fireworks were spectacular. Earlier in the evening my dad had worked his magic and gotten Harper to go to sleep, even with all of the music and children screaming around us. We had put her in her car seat and covered her with blanket to help muffle some of the noise.

Sure enough, though, when the first of the fireworks went off the blanket was no match. For the first ten minutes, or so, she sat happily in Shiloh's lap, occasionally gripping his arm or looking a little worried.

We're not sure what set her off... an especially loud firework, or becoming overwhelmed with so many of them... but eventually she started to cry.

She spent the rest of the show cuddled close to me, occasionally burying her head in my shoulder. I can't say I minded.

Happy Fourth of July!

first joke

On Friday, Harper "told" her first joke. I was rocking her as we were getting ready for her mid-day nap and she was doing everything she could think of to keep herself from falling asleep. Finally, as she was lounging in my arms and sucking on a pacifier, she started to drift off. When she realized what was happening, she sat up and took out her binki to stave off her unavoidable fate a little longer.

She was pulling her binki in and out of her mouth when suddenly she stopped, looked at the binki, then looked at me. Before I knew what was happening, she stretched her little arm up and shoved her binki in my mouth. She stared for a minute examining what she had done. After a minute, she got a look of pure satisfaction with herself. and laughed.

I did too.

Good one, Harper.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Family Pictures

We had a small, impromptu family photo shoot a few weeks ago. Now maybe I can replace some of our nearly 9-year-old wedding pictures.

seven months

We have a seven month old! When did that happen? Nearly every day we are amazed with the progress she is making. Unfortunately, many times I have something new and exciting to post, only for that thing to be trumped by the next new and exciting development. Look forward to a bit of catch-up in the next few weeks.

Harper is such a great little lady. She loves being around and watching people, but occasionally enjoys spending time alone, playing with her toys. She loves her sitter (Wendy) and her sitter's kids. On one of my days home last week we were doing some organizing at home so Harper was spending time on her blanket while I got to work. Every time I would leave the room she would protest, loudly. She made it clear she wanted to be the center of attention all morning long. Later that day, we stopped by Wendy's house to pick up some things that we had left behind. I figured it would be an in-and-out trip, since Harper was clearly wanting my attention. As soon as I put her down with the kids she was totally content. It is so relieving that Harper is so clearly happy with Wendy and her family. They do a great job with her and are helping her grow up so well!

Here are some of this month's developments:
Mobility: Harper now is able to maneuver from her belly to sitting up. She also mastered pulling her knees up underneath her, as well as pushing herself around backwards. Occasionally, Harper will show off and show us how to do a baby-style plank.

She now successfully grabs small rice snacks using her thumb and fingers and puts them in her mouth. Although she has been holding her own bottle since at least last month, she is now holding & using a sippy cup by herself, it is one of her favorite tricks. She will sip out the water and then let it pour out of her mouth and down her belly.

Humor: Harper is finally finding her sense of humor. She spent this month learning how to laugh - and doing lots of it. At first it sounded a lot like her clearing her throat - affectionately dubbed by M as "the smoke monster" laugh.

Sleep: Now that the A/C is working we're all sleeping much better. Harper now sleeps on her stomach, which is usually good, but seems to frustrate her as she is trying to go to sleep. We think it is adorable.

No longer a False Alarm:
After a false alarm a few months ago, Harper has finally cut her first tooth. It took a lot of work. She was grumpy for a long time - weeks, I think. She spent 3 - 5 days with a low-grade fever and little sleep, and topped it off with a strange rash from head to toe. At the end of the trauma a little jagged tooth made its appearance. Hopefully tooth #2 will come easier.

Beating the Heat:
We've discovered how pleasant a body of water can be on the hot D.C. days. This month, we broke free of our make-shift "swimming pool" in our backyard, and basked in the greatness that is an invitation to our friend's pool. Harper has gotten good use of her swimming suit and floaty. So far, we've only ventured into the baby pool. The first day, Harper enjoyed the freedom that the floaty gave her - her feet were able to touch the bottom of the pool, so she pushed herself around the pool for nearly 2 hours. When we got home, I noticed that she had developed blisters on both big toes. The second time we went she had less energy, so just enjoyed the sun and (to my disgust) would frequently dip her face and tongue in the water to get a drink.

This month she loves tags, necklaces, eating paper, computer/tv screens, getting tossed in the air, sweet potatoes, anything we are eating and her (second) cousins.

Hair Update:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Harper tried on sunglasses for the first time this weekend. She thought they were hilarious. We spent hours putting them on and taking them off. Every once in a while it would make her giggle (sadly, a rare occurrence for her), so we know she was amused.

Today, when we tried again, she mostly wanted to eat them.

P.S. Yes, I do usually clothe her - this was as we were getting ready for bed tonight.