Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: The Recap

Oh my 2008, you were an eventful year. Full of ups and downs. Happiness, hormones and hysterics.

We started the year out pretty normally as I recall. Oh, except that I was about halfway to having a baby. That's not normal for us, I guess.

Around March (and not that long before I was due to have a baby), we ventured back into the land of house selling. Our first days at it were wildly optimistic (an offer the day before we were scheduled to put it on the market) and then dramatically depressing (an offer rescinded the day after they tested the inactive fuel oil tank that evidently had leaked oil during the reign of the previous owners and had contaminated all the soil around it). We regrouped, cleaned up the mess, and started over. This time we weren't so optimistic, had lost a good month of real estate market time, and we certainly had a significantly lighter wallet after the oil tank clean up process where the clean up crew felt the need to dig to China. Seriously, you could have driven a SUV into that hole and lost it in there. In the end, there was a lot of fresh new dirt and a lovely planting bed where there used to be trees.

April 25th arrived. The big due date. No baby. Lots of folks sitting around and tapping their feet impatiently. My mom and Doug's mom were in Washington with us. My mom kept busy with sewing projects and cooking, and Doug's mom kept busy with gardening and cooking. I remember eating a lot. Oh, and everyone spent time preparing the house for open houses. I still can't believe we had our house on the market during this time. And no real signs of little Harper being ready to make her arrival into the world. We finally coaxed her out of her hiding place on May 6th.

I think I spent the next month in sweats, in tears (both happy and hormonal), and in shock. I really couldn't believe that we had created such an adorable (yet needy) little creature. Our lives revolved around naps and feedings and diaper changes.

Three weeks after Harper was born, Doug ventured to Ohio to start a new job as a self-employed vendor representative. Doug's mom came back out to pack up the house, and Harper and I started preparing for our big adventure. We left for Kansas to visit my family in June, and then Doug flew all the way back to Washington to get the car and to drive back across half the country (picking us up along the way).

We arrived in Ohio as a family in late June and moved in with Doug's mom and her husband. They went out of their way to make us feel at home. We moved in with them because our house in Washington still hadn't sold (a huge source of stress for all of us), and without that off of our shoulders, we couldn't buy another house.

Finally in August we got an offer on the Washington house. I say "finally" because in our minds it was a million years in the making. Our lives were in such limbo, we were living in someone else's house, and we had a new baby to take care of. In reality, we do realize that it was a relatively quick home sale in a tough real estate market. As soon as we had a contract signed, we started looking at houses in Ohio and found one in our first real day of looking. It was kind of a no-brainer to get the house, but we still had to go through financing, the sale of the WA house, getting all our stuff here from Washington (with Doug and his mom going out there to pack it all up with the help of some amazing friends), and the purchase of the new house. It all came together in mid-September. The Washington house closed, Doug and his mom returned from Washington, the Ohio house closed, our stuff arrived, and here we are. {Whew.}

The last couple of months we've just been settling back into normal life. Or at least whatever normal means now. I guess it means Doug and I both working from home, a happy baby who changes almost before your eyes, and living back in the Midwest again.

So 2008, you brought us a lot of changes. Some good ones, some not so good ones, but we've managed to survive them all. YAY!

And 2009, we're hoping for a quiet year. Don't disappoint us.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

WE HAVE VIDEO!


Christmas morning 2008, originally uploaded by shellypaints.

Still a slow upload process, but you can now see a whole lotta Christmas wrapping paper shaking (courtesy of Miss Harper) on Flickr. YAY!

Trial Run for Posting Videos


Harper 12-24-08, originally uploaded by shellypaints.

We hope that posting videos on flickr works better!

Things.

Things We Like
Little sweat suits. When Daddy comes to check on us.
Sometimes pacis.
Things We Don't Like

Camera flashes that are too bright for our little eyes.
Reading camera manuals in an effort to reduce the file size and get control of that crazy flash.

Monday, December 29, 2008

And another tiny hello from a while back.

video

I'm starting to feel confident that as long as I only try to load ten seconds or less of video that it might work. I'll have to work this out.

And now for a teeny hello from Harper.

We're trying this video thing again. A whole eight seconds this time. Sorry for the brevity, but we just don't have a lot of patience for these types of things around here!

video

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas photos are uploading to the Flickr site as I type... I tried uploading them onto here three times and just got plain ole worn out. The files from the new camera are just too huge, I think. (Tried uploading a 12 second video on the first try... more than 12 hours later... still not done. I give up!)

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bad Little Blogger

Yep, I've been a bad little blogger lately. But we've been having too much fun to hold still long enough to blog. We've been playing and cooking and making funny faces and eating and wrapping presents and doing artwork and staying warm(ish).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hi Everybody!


P.S. If you click on the photo to see it larger, you can see my two teeth coming in on the bottom!

Two Good Nights Does Not a Pattern Make.

[Edited 12/19/08] BUT 10 nights might!

But it's a start.

This week I decided to put Harper to bed awake (drowsy) and let her put herself to sleep. We've tried this before, but I couldn't take it. This time I decided to stick with it.

Night 1: 12 minutes of crying. Not too bad, I thought. I can take this.
Night 2: 35 minutes of crying. Oh boy, this isn't working.
Night 3: 15 minutes of crying. Maybe it will get better.
Night 4: 0 minutes of crying. Gave her one of her burp cloths to hold onto. She talked herself to sleep. She woke up crying once in the middle of the night, but it was for only a few minutes. She woke up talking.
Night 5: A few minutes of talking, 3 minutes of crying. She woke up talking again.
[Edited 12/15/08] Night 6: 0 minutes of crying! Woke up talking. :)
[Edited 12/16/08] Night 7: 0 minutes of crying and woke up talking again. Four great nights in a row! YAY!
[Edited 12/17/08] Night 8: Life is goooood! I am such a lucky mommy. :)
[Edited 12/18/08] Night 9: Sweet.
[Edited 12/19/08] Night 10: A tiny bit of crying because we put the cranky-pants, rubbing her eyes baby to bed early. Still good, so good. :)

We're going to keep at it and see what happens.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Harper's Online Baby Book

In addition to her new tooth:

Harper has been clapping her hands together for about a week now and she flattens out her hands when you clap them together for her.

Last night she added "DaDa" to her usual chatter. Doug melted. :)

She's sitting really well by herself and has been for a few weeks. She likes to sit on the floor with me and hold my hands while we row row row the boat.

She has almost outgrown her original sleep sacks (which are size small and were so HUGE when she was born that we had to wait to use them).

She wears mostly 9-month old clothes and a few 12-month old clothes. She is still long and skinny.

When I put her facing away from me and bring her head up next to my head, she tries to eat me. I prefer to think she's trying to give kisses though.

She's still not much of a cuddler, but she does sometimes rest her head on a shoulder when she's tired.

She loves to eat her "solid" foods and really likes gnawing on zwieback toast.

She still likes her butterfly toy that has calmed her down since she was five weeks old.

She will dive at any remote control in site.

She is mesmerized by The Backyardigans.

She hasn't settled on a comfort item yet. Mostly she wants someone's finger right now.

She still likes diaper changing time and calms down as soon as she hears the diaper being unfolded.

She's still such a sweet girl and so easy to soothe. We're very lucky!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Squealer

This is from a few weeks ago (11/16/08) but I forgot to upload it. Oops.

You may want to turn your volume down a bit. She's got quite a squeal. :)

video

Monday, December 8, 2008

Something New Today

video

In case you couldn't hear that (something not right about the sound settings on the web cam), Harper is cutting her first tooth! A little bottom one that's just barely sticking out. When I can get her told hold still for a second (almost impossible), I can see the other bottom one is almost ready too!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blame Game.

Need/want to put up the Christmas tree. Have a new addiction. Facebook. Blame facebook for it not being up yet.

Need to clean the house but haven't done it yet. Blame facebook for that too. (Ha! Good one.)

Art room a disaster after Thanksgiving weekend project with my sister Julie. Can't blame facebook for that one. Sorry Julie, going to have to blame you for that never ending project. :)

No collaging lately. Blame massive Thanksgiving weekend art project for that one too.

No blog posts lately. Blame me. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tedd!

Today is my brother's birthday. In my mind, he's still 12 or something, but he's really all grown up and is a responsible father and husband. Really proud of you, "little" brother! Hope you have a great birthday! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pretties.

Harper got presents from Grandma Jane and Grandpa Chuck yesterday! Among the presents were a hat and sweater that Grandma Jane was knitting while we were "patiently" awaiting Harper's arrival. Isn't it adorable??!! :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Roll with it.

I'm horribly frustrated by all of the conflicting information out there about raising babies. FOR EXAMPLE:

Books and doctors tell you that you can't spoil a baby by soothing them, holding them, feeding them on demand. We picked her up at almost every cry. We put her to sleep by feeding her. We rocked her. We learned her signs and her schedule. Despite what books (and other doctors) said, we co-slept when the doctor recommended it to raise my milk production. And it all worked.

Fast forward six months. Harper is going through a needy stage. If you are out of her sight, she fusses until you come back. She's becoming aware of us and what we can give her. Yes, she has moments of self-entertaining, but overall, she's just needier. When her demands are being met, she's such a happy little girl. When her demands are "ignored" (it's hard to ignore a baby with the lung capacity of an entire cheerleading squad), she escalates until you can't think straight. So, one book would tell you that you need to let her fuss. Another book will tell you that she's in a needy phase and you need to comfort her.

Harper WAS a little girl who went to sleep easily. I held her, fed her a bottle, waited until she was drowsy, and put her in her crib. She'd roll over on her side and go to sleep. Now Harper is a little girl who goes to sleep, wakes up fussing five minutes later, goes to sleep (with major soothing), wakes up five minutes later...fuss, sleep. You get the idea. And that's just nighttime. Naps are a whole other dance with an unlearnable number of steps. The books say to just put her to bed drowsy and walk away. Unless you can walk to the next state over, that method is crap. She can easily (easily) cry for an hour and show little signs of giving in to sleep.

Babies change every week, so it doesn't seem like there's one piece of advice that can stand from week to week. Every time there's a shift in her needs, I refer to the books to see if they can be of any help and I walk away more confused/irritated/frustrated than ever.

I think I'm swearing off of baby books. If I screw her up using just my intuition as a guide, then so be it. I just can't take one more contradiction.

As a side note, Harper's new love of exploration leads her to forcibly grab whatever piece of flesh is closest to her little grabby hands - your lip, chin, cheek, eye, nose, ear, neck. Note to self: You can't cut baby's fingernails too often. Note to birthing class teacher: You can't use one of those teeny files to buff down a baby's fingernails. They just don't hold still long enough for you to sand away those ten little sharpies. (Remembering the horrified look of angst on birthing class teacher's face while talking about those baby fingernail clippers, those terrible torture devices. Grow up, lady.) Thankfully, Harper is learning not to use her little tools on herself quite as often. I see her rubbing her eyes and ears with the backs of her fingers instead of trying to claw them out/off.

Ok, it's time for Harper's morning nap. I'm going to find a way to just enjoy this time with her and let it be a relaxing time for both of us instead of such a struggle. If I ruin her, well, I'm sure some book will want to tell me how I messed her up and how to "fix" her.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Suspicious

Harper had her first green vegetable tonight - sweet peas. She seemed to enjoy them.

We're wondering if she was switched at birth.

So far she's eaten: Rice Cereal, Applesauce, Squash, Pears, Peaches, Prunes, Carrots, Zwieback Toast, Biter Biscuits, and now Sweet Peas. She makes faces about some of them (the peaches were so funny... sorry, baby), but she really enjoys eating. Maybe she is related to us after all.

I am Harper. Hear me Roar!


She's got quite a set of lungs.

(I knew we shouldn't have let her out of her car seat.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sometimes...

Sometimes we let her out of her car seat... really, we do.


Monday, November 17, 2008

So...

Is it better to wake up on the wrong side of the bed or halfway out of the bed?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy. (Take 2.)

Happy First Anniversary to two amazing people. Lots of love. :)

Photo "stolen" from Lea's Flickr site.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sing it, Johnny.

"I've Been {almost} Everywhere, Man. I've Been {almost} Everywhere, Man."

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/map.php

Monday, November 10, 2008

{Heart} Your Blog

I was awarded by the ever fabulous Lea (hugs!)

Answer the following questions with single word responses, and pass the award on to 7 other bloggers:

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Where is your significant other? out
3. Your hair color? reddish
4. Your mother? resourceful
5. Your father? stable
6. Your favorite thing? color
7. Your dream last night? random
8. Your dream/goal? security
9. The room you're in? home office
10. Your hobby? collage
11. Your fear? loss
12. Where do you want to be in six years? here
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? serious
15. One of your wish list items? camera
16. Where you grew up? Hiawatha
17. The last thing you did? work
18. What are you wearing? comfy clothes
19. Your T.V.? big
20. Your pets? needy
21. Your computer? works
22. Your mood? decent
23. Missing someone? friends
24. Your car? dirty
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? art supply
27. Your Summer? hectic
28. Love someone? YES
29. Your favorite color? lime
30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? yesterday

Passing some love to:

Judy (http://gadgetgirljudy.blogspot.com/)

Sarah (http://sarah-crazymama.blogspot.com/)

Rosemarie (http://blogcritic-rss.blogspot.com/)

Gigi (http://photowander.blogspot.com/)

Mama Daisy (http://mymamadaisy.blogspot.com/)

Syd (http://sheepfloozy.blogspot.com/)

Mary (http://lifewithleahruth.blogspot.com/)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I am a snapdragon!

I am a
Snapdragon

What Flower
Are You?



Which just happens to be one of my FAVORITE flowers because my grandma planted them in her yard and we'd pluck the blooms off to make the dragon roar. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Friday!

You're going to start thinking I don't let my kid out of her car seat because that's where she is in all of her pictures. What really happens is that the weather has been so nice lately that Harper and Grandma Ruby have been strolling over mid-afternoon for a walk, and Harper looks so cute that I can't help but take some photos. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful.

After many years (through the ever-useful wonder-tool Google) I tracked down and reconnected with my college roommate Jessica. She is so incredibly talented ( just like I remembered). She just dedicated the most beautiful photo to me, and I wanted you all to see it! Click HERE.

Thank you, Jess! SO glad to have found you again! :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Doctor + Wary Six Month Old = Bring Earplugs

Harper wasn't such a fan of the doctor today. She's a lot more wary of strangers, and evidently in her world, the doctor is as strange as they come. He's not even the one who gives the shots, but there was lots of crying (screaming) during the exam and tears even. Anyway, we all survived fine.

I posted her growth stats in the sidebar. She's growing fine even though she's still long and skinny. An all around good health report for the day.

Penguins + Turtles + Frogs + Zwieback. Yum.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Boo Day!

Happy Halloween! And if you want to see something really scary, give your baby one of those teething biscuits for a couple of minutes.
Eeeeek!She loved it though, so I'm sure we won't wait until next Halloween to give her another one.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And now we pause for a word with our sponsor.

Oh, hi everyone! Good morning!
Hang on a sec, I have some work to do.
See me working?!
Work, work work. Busy, busy, busy.
See ya later!

Have a busy day!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Brrrrrr.

It's cold outside!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Treasures

First I got a box of treasures from my Mom and Dad.
Then I got a treasure box full of treasures from Mark and Ruby.
And of course, last but not least, I always have my biggest treasure.