Monday, December 28, 2009


Twas the night before Christmas and all through the houseThere was one creature stirring who looked a little like a mouse.Here are a few shots from Christmas morning. I have more to share including videos and some from Grandpa Mark too. Harper had a great time riding her new tricycle, drawing, building, and playing tea party.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Just so they don't get left out of the "baby book"...
Owaa = Orange
Schnao = Snow

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh, Miss Harper + Harper Translated

Sometimes when I ask Harper to smile for a picture, I get this...
And sometimes I get this...
Here's Harper's latest words and the translation...
Pail = Pretzel
Paul = Puddle
Ny-Ny = Blanket (her night-night blankets)
Cho = Cheerios
Gwee Bee = Green Beans
To = Toast
Bree = Tree
Tar = Star
And I swear she was yodeling this morning. She says "A-B-C", and sometimes if you say "N", she says "O-P". If she sees a heart or you ask where her heart is, she pats her chest and says "bub-bub". (Ok, I admit, that's more of a trained monkey trick - our fault, of course.)
She will also repeat almost anything you say, so watch it!
P.S. Thanks for the box, Aunt Joy and Uncle Tedd! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Treasures: Part 2

Well, I couldn't handle tripping over all of the antiques mall treasures sitting around here, so Doug got out the ladder, and Ruby and I arranged all the stuff onto the front entry ledge. Ruby let me borrow her typewriter as the finishing touch.
And one other antiques mall treasure - some adorable little wooden animals for Harper.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Life has been kicking my butt lately. Despite the workload that makes me want to cry if I think about it too hard [Don't worry... I've got killer coping mechanisms that as of yet do not include alcohol amazingly enough], there has been so much going on that I want to share that I decided just now to stop and get it out there before I build up any more!

With that said, we have to go ALLLLL the way back to October again so I can tell you about some awesome treasures.
In October, we were driving the 11 hour drive to Alabama to visit the beach, and we were about 20 miles from our destination when I spotted an antiques store with a globe sitting outside along with some other furniture on display. I made some kind of "OooOOooOO, A GLOBE!" exclamation along with a "Can we stop??!!" We didn't stop, but Doug did make a promise that we could go back and check it out on another day. He lived up to the promise, and after some hunting around the store (it wasn't outside this time), there was THE globe. Better yet, it was huge and metal and all kinds of cool. And just to top that - it was only $18. "It's MINE, ALL MINE!", I exclaimed. The photo really doesn't do it justice. It's just plain enormous, and hand detailed and wonderful. On our way out, we asked the owner where he had found the globe, and he said that his brother found it in a dumpster at a nearby school that was being demolished. Sad for the school, but YIPPEE FOR ME!
We celebrated my 37th birthday on our beach vacation. My husband coordinated a wonderful surprise for me - an autoharp. See this post for background about why this is such a sweet and thoughtful surprise. I'm enjoying learning how to play when I can. Once it was tuned, there wasn't much to making it sound nice, now it's just the making it sound like an actual song that's the work.
Next on our list of fun-ness, here's a photo of our tree.
It looks pretty good, but it will look better with presents under it!
Doug and Mark painted the entryway and the living room while Harper and I were gone to KS and WA, and it looks SOOOO much better.
Inspired by the new paint, I finally started putting up some photos on the wall. I have a little grouping up now, but the plan is to cover the WHOLE WALL. You can't see it so well in the photo, but I'm going to intermix vinyl wall lettering with the photos to break it up a bit. So far we have "dream" up on the wall.
Yesterday I took a break from the madness and went shopping at the antiques mall and at IKEA. A perfect day of rustic and modern - my favorites. I brought home some interesting finds (yep, linen covered mannequin included) to decorate our front entry ledge. Right now Elisabeth (the mannequin - her name is on her neck) is resting in the front entry waiting to be moved up to her new perch along with the suitcases and who knows what else.The chair below is just about the only thing I didn't buy, but I so covet it. We're headed towards a black, white and neutral color scheme around here. I was going to do a whole bright color scheme, but then we went on a historic home tour last weekend and I fell in LOVE with one of the interiors that had mostly black/white/neutral colors. SO... how long before I go back for the chair, I wonder?And finally, I can't leave our biggest treasure out of my update. She's so cute and so grown up that some days it literally hurts. [Sorry for the horribly lit, blurry photos - 19 month olds don't exactly wait around for you to adjust the lighting. They don't exactly hold still long either.]

Harper seems to understand so many new things lately and new words are popping up left and right.

Lately she demands, "Draw! Draw!" or a slightly less understandable "Color! "Color!" (sounds the same as her word for towel to me) and forces a crayon or piece of chalk into your hand. We're working on politeness, but we're realizing that in her mind it's kind of a separate subject. We ask her to say "Please" and she refuses, but whenever we're done with the activity, if you ask her to say "Please", she says, "Peeeees" without any trouble.

She got five little tops while we were in Kansas, so another favorite is "Top! Top!"

She has a word for "sun" that I really couldn't begin to spell, but it's the same word every time. Some of her new words: balloon, tree, cup, cat, tray (from her high chair). I love listening to her baby babble when she's playing by herself. I can only imagine what she's pontificating over.

She still says all the old words/names: One of the funniest to me though is still how she talks about Papaw Mark. We go through all of our names, Mama, Dada, Grammy (MiMi), Grandma, Grandpa, and then when we get to Papaw, she says, "Papawwwww" and does this guffawing-chuckling thing that Mark always does. Never fails to entertain.

Anything that resembles a purse - pretty much anything with a handle long enough including buckets gets hitched over her arm and carried around. She loves to collect things and then take them out.

That's it for me for the moment. Back to work!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Harper 12-04-2009

Harper 12-04-2009, originally uploaded by shellypaints.

Life is a Whirlwind

[I apologize in advance for the image-heavy post, but we have a lot to catch up on!]

Where does the time go?

November was a whirlwind of travelling to Kansas and Washington for business trips and grandparent visits and then an overwhelming amount of work since then.

Here's Miss Harper in the Cincinnati airport eating one of her new favorites - pretzel sticks. We had quite an airport/airplane adventure which included lots of fun getting through security (I forgot to take off my shoes) and then lots of Harper wrangling. Oh yes, and the leaky diaper on the airplane. I had managed to pack tons of toys and entertainment, but no extra clothes. What was I thinking?
Poor Miss Harper got off of the airplane in only a sweater, socks, diaper and blanket. Fortunately I had stuffed her pajamas into the top my suitcase just before we left, so I managed to extract those from the suitcase once we retrieved it. Harper didn't sleep on the airplane, so she crashed for the ride in the rental car from Kansas City to Hiawatha.Harper got to play tea party with her cousin Brookelyn. They liked each other for the first day at least. Then Harper played with her cousin Zach (Brookelyn's big brother), and Brookelyn wasn't so sure she liked that at all.Halloween in Hiawatha and the kiddie parade was full of ups and downs, but mostly a success. Harper would have liked to wander out into the street with parade and was a wee bit upset when we wouldn't let her.Harper hanging out in Grandpa's chair "reading".Harper laughing because Grandpa put a napkin on her head. Then my Mom, Harper and I set out on our adventure from Kansas to Washington. Harper made a new friend at the airport with a little guy who was born just a few days after she was. He ran; Harper chased. It seems too early to chat with my little girl about not chasing after boys. Looks like we're in for trouble.We got to see some of our favorite people! Here's Harper with Aunt Lea and Uncle Dave at the mexican restaurant. Harper was keeping the whole restaurant entertained.
Harper got used to spending lots of time in cars and airplanes. Well, maybe not completely used to it, but at least we got better at it each time.
Somehow I didn't manage to get a photo of Harper with Grandma and Grandpa, so I had to go dig this one up from their trip out to visit us in September. (Harper, I'm still sorry about the haircut.)

That brings us up to now. Life has been busy, but we've been sure to stop and watch how fast Miss Harper is growing up. She's getting more independent and likes to hang out. She has quite a sense of humor which seems to range from Three Stooges "nose honkers" that her Grandpa Mark taught her about to thinking that the cat's tail is pretty darn funny.She likes to sing and chatter.And sometimes she stumbles and falls down, but she's usually quick to get over it.We put up the Christmas tree (the only decorating that's going to happen around here for the holidays, I'm afraid), and Harper is pretty entertained by it. One of her favorite words is "ball", so having a tree covered in them is good stuff in her world.She's growing up before our very eyes. And we're trying to soak it all in.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Deep breath... inhale... exhale... repeat.

I am a wee bit on the coo-coo-birdy side today because I have packing and work and planning and fun and friends on the brain.

Miss Harper and I are headed out tomorrow morning for a big two week adventure. We're going to Kansas for a week and then Washington (state) for a week. All in the name of business, but we're squeezing in as much fun as possible along the way.

This post is an attempt to stop freaking out and to start enjoying the ride. It's going to be a lot of work navigating across the country with a toddler, but I'm starting to look forward to it.

I'll try to take photos so I can bring back some of the fun to you too!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Thursday, October 22, 2009

I can't help myself

I was going to wait until the weekend to post photos, but I can't wait that long to share. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So much to share, so little time...

I have tons of beach photos and beach stories and beach treasures to share with you, but there simply isn't time until later in the week. Here's at least one photo from Grandpa Mark's collection to tide us all over.

Friday, October 2, 2009

We ARE still alive...and occasionally wet.

While I was in Missouri last week, Grandpa Mark sent pictures of Miss Harper playing in puddles. :)P.S. My cousin George is getting married to the most wonderful Natalie this weekend. Sending love and hugs to you both. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

County Fair Time

This girl would have climbed right in with the cows if we had let her.

She also now says "animals" but it sounds like amm-mi-mull.

I haven't given much of an update lately on what Harper's up to, so I guess this is as good a place as any. Poor girl is going to have to live with her virtual baby book because this is the best I can manage!

Harper's "words" at 16 months: Harper (Haa-paaa), apple, book, animal, baby, bubble, hi-ya, bye bye, mama, dada, more, ball, banana (nan-naaa), march (this one sounds just like ma, so you have to see the accompanying high stepping to go along with it), "that" (a multi-purpose word she uses with pointing), ba ba (bottle), up, down, go, MaMa (Grandma - accompanied by pointing so I know it's Grandma and not me), PaPa (Grandpa), MeMe (Grammy), PaPaw (distinctly different than PaPa for my dad) often followed by huh-huh-huh laughing because that's what PaPaw does, Jack (for her favorite Jack's Big Music Show), TV (bee bee), and Yippeeeeeee!

Harper's animal sounds at 16 months: Animal sounds for cow (lately occasionally with do-do-do singing for the Hershey singing cows), sheep, wolf, duck, chicken (doo-doo-dooooo for the rooster), frog, bird, pig (sounds like nock-nock), horse, snake

Harper's antics and activities at 16 months: climbing stairs, opening and closing cabinet doors, running outside, standing on her tippy-toes to reach things, asking for a book at bottle time, spinning around to get dizzy, stacking blocks (a recent activity - she was only content to knock them down until lately), "singing", dancing, getting the TV remote and clicking her tongue or saying Jack to try to get us to let her watch her favorite show, twirling her finger in the air at the ceiling fan if it isn't on, points at her mouth and says "mmmmmm" if she's hungry

Harper knows where: her hair, ears, teeth, tongue, toes, belly, and nose are

Harper's favorite foods: bananas, strawberries, apples (the diced, cooked baby kind), pears, french toast with syrup, cheese, applesauce

Harper tolerates these foods because we keep putting them on the tray: pasta with red sauce and veggies, toast, cheerios, ham, turkey, yogurt

Harper will not eat: anything breaded or not of a distinct shape, anything spoon fed to her unless she's in the mood