Category Archives: Babies

Two Totally Terrific Years

2 years

It’s hard to believe that two years ago, I was snuggling up to my 7 lb, 9 ounce newborn baby. She has grown so much since then and I love her more every day. As I was looking through all her pictures from this last year, I began to tear up. This tiny creature has changed my world forever. She brings me a joy I can’t explain. Her laughter is magical, especially when she is playing around with her Dada. I knew I always wanted kids but I had no idea how awesome a journey motherhood would really be. And as difficult as parenting is at times (and trust me, the “terrible twos” are no joke…), the good times make all the hard work worth it. Thank you Harper for being who you are…our lives are brighter because of you :)

Harper’s Firsts:

First Time to Disney World- Freddie had a conference at Disney World last month so Harper and I tagged along. I wasn’t sure what she would think of the whole experience as she has no clue what Disney is all about (except for a short trip to Disneyland a few months back), but we had a blast! While we were there we visited Animal Kingdom and Epcot. It was the perfect way to enjoy the magic of Disney for a child who is unfamiliar with all the characters. However, it didn’t take long for Harper to learn who Mickey was. After seeing everyone else taking pictures with Disney Cast, she wanted us to snap a few pics of her with them too.

Disney World

First Petting Zoo- Harper sings about farm animals all the time, but it is not often that a city girl gets the chance to meet them up close and personal. Luckily, while we were at Animal Kingdom, Harper was able to pet a sheep, a pig and a goat and she thought it was very cool.

petting zoo

First Live Show- Since Harper is still too young for most of the rides, while at the parks we took advantage of all the shows that they offer. We were unsure of whether or not Harper would sit through them but she ended up LOVING them. So after a few successful shows at the parks, we decided to take her to Cirque Du Soleil. And she was completely enthralled for 2 hours! Can’t wait to take her to some more shows soon :)

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Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy- Harper loves to paint. So for Christmas, Santa brought her an easel. Now she is creating masterpieces daily. She also likes to practice her alphabet using the white board and magnetic letters. And mommy likes it to because it keeps her busy long enough for me to do the dishes (that’s when you know a toy is a success!).

Favorite Song- This month in my music classes we are singing and dancing to songs all about the jungle. One of Harper’s favorite songs is “5 Little Speckled Frogs”. We have been singing this song together since she was an infant, but now she does it all on her own. And she will make sure to have a pair of rhythm sticks to accompany her, even if they happen to be in the form of crayons, silverware or straws.

Favorite Book- Harper is getting to the age where she can “read” books to us. “That’s Not My Fairy” is one of her favorite ones to read because it is simple and follows a pattern. She also likes “the touch and feel” part of this book as well. Check her out as she shows off her mad skills…

Harper’s Last Year in a Nutshell…

At the end of all of Harper’s monthly post, I used one word prompts to share information about what she was up to. For her 2 year post, I thought it would be fun to revisit those prompts as they apply to Harper today. And if you care to stroll down memory lane with me, each prompt is linked to its original post.

Harper Sits: When we moved into the new house, it was time for Harper to get a new seat at the table. So we said goodbye to our trusty dusty highchair, and hello to a new booster seat. Now Harper can sit at the dinner table like a big girl :)

Harper Do: Harper does quite a bit by herself now. The shorter list might be what she still needs my help with, but I will do my best to keep it to a few. Some of Harper’s newest skills are her chores. She loves to help. This includes sorting the cutlery in the drawer, putting her dirty clothes in the hamper, helping me start the laundry, and throwing things in the trash. She is always willing to help out around the house and I appreciate the extra set of tiny hands.

Harper Says: Like the prompt above, Harper can pretty much say anything now. However, since turning two, her favorites are “no” and mine”. I promise you, she woke up 2 days before her 2nd birthday and magically started using these words. None of my mommy friends seem surprised. Looking forward to this phase passing quickly.

Harper Has: Harper is fortunate to have so many wonderful friends. Most of whom she has know her entire life. Two years after our first get together, Harper and I continue to love and appreciate our mommy group. Looking forward to many more years of happy memory making.

Harper Wears: Harper loves to wear her big girl underwear. Thanks to our journey with Elimination Communication, Harper has been out of diapers for a while. Now instead of bring a diaper bag around with me, I have graduated to carrying a pink toilet seat. The lugging never ends :)

Harper Still: Similar to the original post where I first wrote this prompt, Harper is still breastfeeding and still co-sleeping (she is too big for me to still carry her on a regular basis, but if I need to, the Ergo still works great!).

Harper Knows: Harper is a smart little cookie. She has learned so much in this last year and is always looking to learn more. She knows all her numbers (and is able to count to 20), all of her shapes (including an octagon which is her favorite), her colors and her letters. We have officially moved on to phonics. Harper loves watching this awesome video and playing with this fun toy to help her practice.

Harper Helps: Like I mentioned above, Harper is a great helper. Not only does she love to do her chores, but she loves to help mommy cook. Our favorite meal to make together is breakfast. She likes to help me measure out the ingredients and stir the pancake batter with a whisk.

Harper Makes: Harper loves to build with her blocks. Her favorite thing to make nowadays is an igloo. Igloos with very tall towers.

Harper Snacks: Harper still loves to eat the snacks I wrote about in the original post. But she has added a few more to the list. Harper loves to snack on nuts, popcorn, rice cakes.

Harper Goes: After her first trip to church daycare, Harper now asks us if we can “go to church tomorrow?” on a regular basis. She loves it so much, we have decided to enroll her in their preschool a few days a week. I can’t believe my baby is going to school!!

Harper Sees: Harper loves to point out all the cool things she sees. She says, “Look Mommy, a (fill in the blank)”. And if she doesn’t know what it is she says, “What’s that Mommy?”. Always looking to learn :)

Even though Harper is growing up way too fast, she will always be my baby. The memories we are creating together are ones I will cherish forever. I recently came across this poem that a friend posted on Facebook, and I thought it was a perfect way to end this post.

“I won’t always cry, Mommy,

When you leave the room,

And my supermarket tantrums,

Will end too soon.

I won’t always wake, Daddy,

For cuddles through the night,

And one day you’ll miss,

Having a chocolate face to wipe.

You won’t always wake o find my foot,

Is kicking you out of bed,

Or find me sideways on your pillow,

Where you want to lay your head.

You won’t always have to carry me,

In asleep from the car,

Or piggy back me down the road,

When my little legs can’t walk that far.

So cherish every cuddle, remember them all,

Because one day, Mommy, I won’t be this small”

Happy 2nd Birthday Harper!!! Mommy and Daddy love you to pieces….

PS: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! You only have a few more hours left to get your entries in. Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks. Your comments act as your entry into the giveaway. Good luck!

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23 Months and 1 Week

23 months

Life with a toddler is full.  Full of love, full of life, full of laughs, full of energy, full of goodness.  Life with a toddler is fun.  Fun at the store, fun in the car, fun at the park, fun at home.  Life with a toddler is busy.  Busy reading, busy playing, busy cleaning up, busy eating.  Life with a toddler is the most amazing thing there is.  As much as I struggled with Harper becoming a toddler, we have finally hit our groove and life is good.  There is nothing I enjoy more than chatting with Harper about her day, or building igloos on her floor or helping her draw a castle.  Watching her grow up is so awesome.  She never ceases to amaze me with her ever-expanding vocabulary, increased independence and spunky attitude.  It’s hard to believe my little girl is going to be 2 next month…crazy!  Which means in 9 months she will be in preschool…even crazier!  So I am going to continue to soak up each moment with this little peanut and bask in her joyful glow.

Harper’s Firsts

First time in Daycare:  Being a SAHM, I have never had to take Harper to daycare.  However, we recently began going to a new church that has an awesome children’s program.  The first time we went to service we happened to walk through the daycare entrance.  Harper was immediately impressed with their large collection of dress up clothes, coloring supplies and of course their pet fish.  They asked us if we wanted to leave her.  Freddie and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders.  Why not?  She seemed to be comfortable there and our friends had raved about the volunteers.  So we gave it a shot and Harper LOVED it!  So much so she will ask us during the week if we are going to church tomorrow.  It was a nice break for Freddie and I to enjoy the church service without distractions and a great opportunity for Harper to meet other children and learn to be more independent.

First Christmas at Home:  For Harper’s first Christmas, we celebrated with my family in Texas.  This year, it was nice to spend a quite holiday at home, just the three of us.  Harper sure didn’t waste anytime barreling through her gifts.  Her favorite?  The sand and water table from “Amma”.  A big hit!

Christmas

First Time in a Recording Studio:  Harper has been flexing her golden pipes since she was born.  But this past week she got to showcase her talent on a whole new level…mama’s CD :)  I couldn’t put out my children’s music CD without singing a few duets with my favorite partner.  She was a total pro!  Can’t wait to share the final product with you soon.

Harper Sings

Harper’s Favs

Favorite Toy:  Harper got some awesome toys for Christmas.  But her favorite has got to be this adorable Bus her GG gave her.  It goes perfectly with her dollhouse and she loves to take the little people for rides “all through the town” as she sings her favorite song.

Favorite Song:  Harper’s really digging “The Wheels on the Bus” song these days.  What is even more fun is that whenever we go for walks and see one, we start to sing it right on the spot.  Love when she does the little hand movements too.  Precious!

Favorite Book:  It’s been a while since we have visited the library for story time but it’s definitely a highlight of our week.  It’s a fun way to learn about new books and get the chance to hang out with her friends.  During our last story time, Harper fell in love with the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and has been talking about it ever since.  So you can imagine her excitement when Santa brought her her own copy.  It’s the top requested book at bedtime now.

Harper Sees…

This past month we have been all about the sea life.  We visited an aquarium and a local sea center and Harper was in awe of all the various creatures.  Harper loves the water and enjoyed learning about the different animals that live in the ocean.

Penguins:  Harper hasn’t had the opportunity to see the movie Happy Feet before but nonetheless she fell in love with the little birdies dressed in tuxedos.  The aquarium had a cool underwater tunnel where you could hang out and watch the penguins swim and dive.

penguins

Seals:  Harper couldn’t get enough of these adorable and silly animals.  She would crack up when they would come up to the glass and make a big splash before swimming away.

Seals

Jellyfish:  Out of all the animals, I think Harper liked the jellyfish the most (she won’t stop talking about them).  Her favorite were the little baby ones that were the size of a fingernail.  She even got a chance to touch one of them (although I am not so sure she liked it).

jellyfish

The countdown has officially begun.  In 23 days Harper Marie will be 2.  These last 2 years have flown by so I can’t even imagine how quickly this next month will go.  Lots of fun and exciting things happening this month.  February is filled with birthdays, anniversaries, family trips and of course lots of love.  But in the midst of all the craziness I am looking forward to enjoying the quiet moments together.  The snuggles during nap time, making pancakes for daddy on the weekends, and her new favorite activity, bubble baths.  Here’s to the next few weeks of Harper’s “ones”.

Happy 23 Month Birthday Mamas!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

PS: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  You have until February 1st to get your entries in.  Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks.  Your comments act as your entry into the giveaway.  Good luck!

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22 Months

22 Months

Only 2 more months until my little princess is 2 and life is SOOO good!  I love waking up to her smile every morning and seeing the world through her fresh pair of eyes.  Her smile lights up the room and she brings joy to the lives of everyone she meets.  Harper always has a song in her heart and isn’t shy to belt it out.  You can find her serenading her “babies” to sleep, practicing her abc’s while we are out and about or simply singing a tune to herself as she stacks her blocks.  She is living life to the fullest, without inhibitions.  And as much as I want to hold her close, this mama bird is proud to watch her little birdie soar.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Thanksgiving in Texas:  Once a year my family gets together for a holiday.  In the past we have always done Thanksgiving, but last year we choose Christmas.  This year we were back to our regular routine and were happy to spend Turkey Day in Texas.  My sister recently moved to a beautiful 37 acre farm and Harper loved nothing more than to explore every inch.  She enjoyed spending time with her cousins and going on daily walks around the property.  Can’t wait to make another trip back there soon.

Texas

First Camel Ride

As I mentioned before, this year we visited a Christmas tree farm where we got to cut down our own tree.  Not only did we ride a train to get there but once we arrived, there were many more options for transportation.  Camel ride anyone?

camel

I was worried that Harper was going to be scared, but she thought it was so cool!  Now every time we see a camel in a book or television show, she says, “Camel, ride it”.  Guess I need to look into finding our own camel to ride…Santa?

First Pony Ride

Why stop at a camel ride?  The Christmas tree farm also offered pony rides.  But this time Harper had to ride it on her own.  Again, she did awesome and made sure to request “the black one”.  My sister (the horse trainer) would be so proud :)

Horse

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  So I guess this is not technically a toy, but Harper has recently decided that she loves blankets.  I always had a blanket companion growing up.  His name was “budda” and he was around until I was 17 (when I left him on a plane :(…).  But Harper never seemed to take to the many blankets she had before until one day she picked out a pink and purple blanket from her closet and now has made them part of the family.  And in case you were wondering, she named them “pink” and “purple”.

Favorite Song:  E-I-E-I-O (otherwise known as Old MacDonald) is one of my most requested songs in music class.  And now it is the song Harper requests most throughout her day.   She loves to choose which animals are going to be on the farm and even has a special dance that goes along with it (wish I had a video of it…it’s SOOO cute!).     

Favorite Book:  My mom loves to travel.  She also loves to send Harper “souvies” from each of her trips.  On her most recent trip to Argentina, she sent Harper a book about colors that was written in Spanish.  So now, not only does Harper like to practice her colors in English, but she is learning them in Spanish too.  Gracias Abuela!

Harper Goes:

For a 22 month old, Harper Marie is one busy girl (I guess I am the one to blame for that…).  Don’t get me wrong, there are days when we do our best to stay in our PJs all day and lounge.  But on other days we love to go out and get involved in fun activities.  Here are some of the places Harper has been going lately…

On Play Dates…

Playdates

Harper loves all of her friends and enjoys getting together with them as much as she can.  After spending time apart, Harper is excited to have her friend Robin back from the UK.  On our most recent play date together, the little ones got busy on some beautiful Christmas decorations to help spread the holiday cheer.

To the Park…

Park

We are extremely lucky to have so many wonderful parks in our area.  There is nothing like setting a toddler loose in the park to run and jump and play.  Let’s see…does Harper look like she is having a good time?

To See Santa…

Santa

What would the holidays be without a visit to see Santa?  I can’t say it was Harper’s favorite outing, but at least she didn’t cry (then again, I didn’t push the issue of having her sit on the man’s lap alone…then we might have had a problem).

With only a few more days left until Christmas, it’s hard to believe Harper will be celebrating her second holiday season already.  Time really does fly when you are having fun.  My little girl is growing up fast and she isn’t looking back.

Happy 22 Month Birthday Precious Pie!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

PS:  Thanks Hillary for the awesome pic!

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I’m Stuck…

My poor party…you must think I am becoming negligent. For the past two weeks I was too busy to get my thoughts together. This week I came prepared but was called to take care of some important business…

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Poor Harper is sick :( and it seems that the only way she can get some rest is to sleep in my chest. So for now, I am stuck in bed, snuggling with my little angel.

But I will be back in the morning with all the details on this weeks box.

Sweet dreams!

21 Months

If ever I am having a rough day, all I need to do is look at this adorable face and feel the love.  I’m not quite sure how Harper manages to fit all of the joy that she has in her little body, but she is absolutely full of it.  Now, more than ever, she is becoming my little buddy.  We love to run errands together, go out for lunch, just us girls, and cook daddy breakfast (she’s a great little helper in the kitchen).  She is quite the social butterfly and makes friends wherever she goes.  Our lives are full and we are so grateful for our little angel.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Time Voting:  Since presidential elections only happen every 4 years, Harper made sure to get in on the action.  I can remember my mom taking me to the polls when I was little, so I was excited to include Harper in this important time in history.  We walked down to our local polling place with our neighbors to make our voice heard.  Harper was more interested in the sticker collection than the ballots, but either way she was happy to support our country.  Hooray for voting!

First Trolley Ride:  One of the funnest things about being a parent is introducing your child to new experiences.  A few weeks ago, we took a day trip up north to go apple picking (post coming soon).  After all our hard work, we ventured into a nearby town to enjoy some tourism activities and local cuisine.  Harper loves horses so being in a trolley drawn by two huge Clydesdales was a huge treat :)

First Visit to an Urgent Care Out of State:  As a parent, you always pray for a healthy child.  Especially while traveling.  But as we all know, despite our best efforts, cooties are inevitable.  After a long day of traveling, Harper woke up yesterday morning with croup.  Although we are no stranger to this barky cough, we are in a new place where we are unfamiliar with any doctors or medical facilities.  Lucky for us, we found a great urgent care office that was happy to assist us by giving Harper a breathing treatment and prescribing some oral steroids to help get us through the rest of our trip.  She was a super trooper to say the least and definitely earned her lollypop.

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  Athleticism is most definitely genetic because before I ever introduced Harper to a soccer ball, she seems to find them wherever we go (ps: I was a soccer player for many years and still dabble in a women’s league here and there).  She is known to crash soccer practices at the park and dribble down the aisles of CVS.  So during our last shopping spree, we picked her up a soccer ball just her size and now she is ready to go pro.  Can’t wait until she is old enough for me to coach her team.  Oh, what fun it will be!

Favorite Song: Harper could easily start her own a cappella radio station.  The girl sings all day, every day.  Non-stop.  And I LOVE it!!!  Here is her most recent addition to her musical repertoire…The Rainbow Connection.  Ps: please ignore the fro and PJs.  Harper broke out in song during an early morning breakfast…

Favorite Book:  Despite my best efforts to initiate a bedtime routine with Harper that includes a few of her favorite stories, Harper has always been a lights out immediately after bath kind of girl.  She wanted no part of story time, until now.  And so her new favorite book to read before she goes to bed is Pajama Time.  I bought this book for Harper before she was born in hopes that we could dance around in our PJs together…and now we can ;)

Harper Snacks:

Finding healthy snacks for Harper is an ongoing quest.  It’s one of my favorite challenges and is always first on my list when I go to the grocery store.  I love seeing what new products I can uncover.  I’ve highlighted some of Harper’s favorite snacks before (here and here) but it’s been a while, so here are a few more…

1.  Organic Just Peas:  These might be my best find to date.  Harper loves her green veggies but “gocki” on the go can get a bit messy.  And funny enough, my child might be the only baby who doesn’t like cooked (or frozen) peas.  But she LOVES freeze-dried peas.  Which means, thanks to these amazing snacks, Harper can get in all her suggested veggie servings whether she is sitting at the dinner table or playing at the park.

2.  Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips:  I know I have talked about these little gems a lot but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to push them again.  Especially since Harper can pretty much finish off an entire bag by herself.  I now buy them in bulk so that I am never caught empty-handed when Harper requests her “coconut”.

3.  Earth’s Best Veggie Organic Pop Snax:  When it comes to her choices in food, Harper definitely prefers savory over sweet.  The last time I was at Target, I picked up a bottle of both Earth’s Best Organic Pop Snax flavors, Veggie and Sweet Potato.  She loved the Veggie but passed on the Sweet Potato.  Which was lucky for me because in my opinion, the Sweet Potato was heavenly.  The sweetest of treats.  So now, Harper and I snack side by side, with our Pop Snax, each enjoying the flavor of our choice.  Cause who says you have to be “of age” to enjoy some toddler snacks?

As we count down the days to Thanksgiving, I think it’s pretty obvious what I am thankful for.  Another year, another month, another day with the people I love most.  Harper, Daddy and I are so grateful for your smile, your love and your vigor for life.  We are so proud of all that you have learned, and all that you are becoming.  My only complaint is that you are doing it a bit too fast. But that seems to be a common protest from all parents.  So we plan to do our best to continue to savor each and every moment together.

Happy 21 Month Birthday Pumpkin Pie!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

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Little Duck Organics: Review & GIVEAWAY

As parents, we have a whole lot of responsibilities.  You know, like making sure our kid is bathed, clothed and fed, just to name a few.  But I would take it a step further and say that not only are we responsible to meet our child’s needs but we are responsible to meet those needs responsibly.  Does that make sense?

Let me break it down a little bit more.  When it comes to our child’s nutritional needs, we as parents are responsible for feeding our children food.  But I would suggest that we are just as responsible for offering our children the best food that we possibly can.  Making sure that they are eating food that is full of nutrients, comes from a good, clean source and will help them grow big and strong.  Unfortunately, living in a culture that tends to value convenience over quality, it can be hard to find foods that are healthy and yet favorable to a lifestyle on the go.  Especially when it comes to little ones.  Which is why Little Duck Organics is literally the answer to my prayers.  It’s healthy, it’s convenient, it’s portable and it’s absolutely delish (not that I steal all of Harper’s snacks or anything…).

Little Duck Organics is a line of toddler snacks that is organic, has no sugar added, is gluten-free, non-GMO verified, kosher, sourced locally when possible and like I mentioned before, absolutely delicious :).  It is made of 100% freeze-dried fruit which comes in small bite sized pieces making them perfect for teeny hands to hold.  Little Duck Organics snacks are appropriate for children as young as 6 and as old as…well, OLD!  With flavor combinations such as Apple & BananaBlueberry & Apple and Strawberry & Mango (my personal fav!) Little Duck Organics can be enjoyed by the whole family!

In addition to offering good food, Little Duck Organics has a passion to do good too.  Which is why they have teamed up with 1% For Humanity to help reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition in children worldwide.  Now that’s what I call spreading the love.

And since Little Duck Organics is the coolest snack company on the planet, they have offered to send one lucky reader a 1 oz snack of your choosing!

So here’s how to enter…”Like” Little Duck Organics  and In Her Chucks on Facebook and leave a comment telling me that you have done so.

For additional entries…

1.  Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment telling me you have done so.  If you already subscribe to my blog, then leave me a comment telling me that you are already subscribed (and thanks for the support!).

2.  Follow @LittleDuckOrg on Twitter and leave a comment on this post letting me know you’ve done so.

3.  Pin this giveaway and comment here with a link to your post.

The more entries you have, the better your chances are to win.  The giveaway will close at 12:01 am on November 2nd.  A winner will be randomly selected and announced on November 3rd.  Make sure to include your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win.

Alright…time to get busy!  Good Luck and Quack, Quack!

*Full Disclosure: Little Duck Organics provided me with products free of charge. I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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20 Months

20 months into this incredible journey and I couldn’t be more proud of my little bug.  She is learning and growing so fast and it is an absolute pleasure to watch.  She loves people and never hesitates to say hi to strangers all around town.  She has great manners and will often times remind me to say “thank you” or “you’re welcome”.  At dinnertime, Harper likes to say her grace and is quite a fan of “cheers” (if you are ever over for dinner, be prepared to raise your glass multiple times).  She has officially become a daddy’s girl and literally lights up at the sight of her “dada” (or Freddie, as she likes to call him).  Harper gets more independent each day and is enthusiastic about exploring the world around her.  An active toddler, we do out best to participate in all of the fun activities our community has to offer.  We love going to story time at the library and when we are not busy with music class, you can find us hanging out at the park.  The older she gets, the faster the time seems to fly by.  So having the time to sit and reflect on these special moments is truly a gift.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Haircut:  For my birthday (post coming soon…I promise), I decided to cut my hair off.  While I was in the chair I was telling my stylist about Harper’s “D0”.  I wanted to make sure I was conditioning it properly, using the right products, etc. (yes, my 20 month old daughter’s hair IS that high maintenance).  After giving Harper’s hair the once over, she offered to give it a little trim.  We weren’t necessarily prepared for this monumental moment, but we went for it anyways.  And Harper loved every second of it.  Of course we saved a few of her curls as a keepsake.

And she even got to pick out a couple of clips as a prize, which she described as very “pritty!”.

First Time at Disneyland:  I plan to go into more detail in a later post, but the weekend of my birthday the whole family went to Disneyland.  It was pretty hot and crowded but Harper was a real trooper.  She even got on a few rides.  And of course, no trip to Disneyland is complete without a “souvie”.  Here is Harper in her first pair of ears…

First Visit to the Pumpkin Patch:  If only they made pumpkin patches like this when I was a kid.  There were so many attractions there, you almost forgot to pick out a pumpkin (although we somehow managed to get two).  Harper’s favorite part of the pumpkin patch was the hay.  They had a little mosh pit set up with tons of hay for the kids to play in.  And boy was it fun.  Harper even turned herself into a scarecrow.

(By the way, getting the straw out her hair wasn’t nearly as fun as putting it in.  But the memories make it worth the while)

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  While “Amma” was in town, Harper scored big!  One day, “Amma” came home with a life-size Blue’s Clues doll.  It’s the same size as Harper and she takes it wherever she goes.  She feeds it, takes it to the potty, practices her exercises with it.  She LOVES it!  And it keeps her occupied long enough for me to get a load of dishes washed (which is a huge feat!).

Favorite Song:  Harper’s musical repertoire is growing exponentially.  With me teaching 8 classes a week, and Harper attending most (if not all) of them, she picks up new songs constantly.  Her most recent pick is Silly Sam (#47).  She loves the part where the sopranino plays and follows along with her finger in her mouth, pretending to play along.  This is also when she channels her inner “Maniac” from Flashdance (think “fast feet”).  She’s got the moves :)

Favorite Book:  It’s hard to keep up with Harper’s favorite book these days.  She will pretty much read anything you put in front of her. But while her “Amma” was in town an old favorite resurfaced…Baby Faces by Margaret Miller.  We had gotten it for Harper when she was itty bitty because we were told it might help distract her in the car (since she was never too keen on the whole car seat thing).   It is a fun book to look at with her because she likes to “read” it on her own…meaning, she can recognize the facial expressions and tell me what they are.

Harper Makes…

Paintings:  Harper loves to do art (as seen here).  She often colors (or eats) with crayons at home.  Recently I took her to an art class at our local community center.  As you can see, she had no trouble getting her Picasso on (although I think she might have gotten more paint on her body and clothes than the canvas).  But now we have a masterpiece we can frame and display in our home.  I am so proud of my little artist!

Cupcakes:  As I mentioned before, Harper is already honing her culinary skills.  After perfecting her craft of cookie decorating, she decided to take up cupcake decorating.  And lucky for us, “Amma” was in town to help (the master baker of the family).  We enjoyed another afternoon at Williams-Sonoma making spooky cupcakes covered in bright orange frosting and lots of sprinkles.  The perfect Halloween treat!

Music:  It’s no secret that Harper is quite the musician.  She truly loves all things music.  Whenever she gets the chance she is banging on the drums, keeping the steady beat or singing her own tune.  Check her out at a recent music class we attended while on our mini-vacay.  Singing a solo with pure confidence…

Being a parent is without a doubt the hardest job in the world.  But the pay is second to none.  The love we share with Harper is unmatched.  The joy she brings to our life is indescribable.  As we approach her second birthday, it’s becoming a reality that she isn’t going to be my little baby for much longer.  She is turning into her own little person with a spunky personality and incredible zest for life.  And although at times it is hard to see her grow up, I am looking forward to the next chapter of our lives with gratitude for all of the memories we have made together.

Happy 20 Month Birthday Harper!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

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19 Months

Joy. Gratitude. Love.  Peace.  Just some of the words that come to mind when I look at that adorable face.  The last 19 months of my life have been filled with such wonder, such excitement, such awe.  Harper is growing up to be an incredible little girl and I feel honored to be a part of it.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Blood Draw:  No mother likes to see her child under the weather.  Getting sick is part of growing up but when Harper gets sick she is out for the count.  There is no such thing as a small cold for her. In fact, we have ended up at the ER for croup far too many times.  So at the advice of our nurse practitioner, she got a blood draw to test her immunoglobulins at our recent check up.  Harper was such a champ!  She cried a little bit but overall was very brave.  Here is a pic of her showing off her cool green bandage.

ps:  the results were fine and Harper is as healthy as ever.  Praise God!

First Time Decorating Cookies:  Harper loves all things Elmo.  She is also quite the little cook.  So when our friends invited us to decorate Sesame Street cookies at Williams-Sonoma a few weeks ago we were totally game!  Although I had no idea Harper would enjoy herself as much as she did.  She was extremely focused and took her job very seriously.

Harper was on a roll.  She ended up decorating 3 cookies!  She wasn’t too much interested in eating them but she did decide to decorate her face (and lick the frosting…).

First Midwife Reunion:  To celebrate the one year anniversary of our local birth center, our midwives threw a reunion for all the families that had planned home births.  It was a gorgeous day in the park with yummy food and great company.  Such fun to see all of the beautiful babies that have been welcomed into the world by these extraordinary women.

We are so grateful for our midwives and are looking forward to working with them again for baby #2 (which is a while off…).

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  As I mentioned earlier, Harper definitely has a “thing” for Elmo.  She also is my little musician.  So this Let’s Rock Elmo is the perfect way to satisfy both of her loves.  She has a blast singing the ABC’s with him, while rocking out on the drums or shaking the tambourine.  This toy is a HUGE hit!

Favorite Song:  We sang a lot of fun songs this summer.  But one song that Harper has been singing the most lately is Ten Fish in the Sea. She loves practicing her counting, working on her jumping and dancing around in a circle.  Plus, these adorable little puppets only add to the excitement :)

Favorite Book:  Harper loves to show off her growing vocabulary and read by herself.  She has recently been drawn to books that have pictures of objects and things that she recognizes.  At the Park is one of her favorites.  Although I am not sure if it is the bright colors or the picture of the ice cream that she is most excited about.  Guess it’s no secret whose daughter she is (says the mommy who once had a slight addiction to 31 flavors…).

Harper Helps

The older Harper gets the more she wants to be involved in pretty much everything.  I love that I have a buddy to pal around with who is always willing to lend a helping hand.

With Music Class:  Now that I am teaching 8 classes a week, Harper has become quite the little assistant.  She likes to help me manipulate the props, cue the songs and show off her skills front and center.  At this rate, I will be calling on her to sub for me when I am ill!

Clean Up:  Freddie has been very adamant about Harper learning how to pick up after herself.  And even though at Harper’s recent check up, the doctor mentioned that this is not a skill they acquire until about 24 months, Freddie is making sure she gets a head start.  Harper loves to sing the clean up song and help put her toys away.  But her cleanliness doesn’t stop there.  When she spills water on the floor she likes to mop it up with a towel.  She can also be found polishing the furniture with her baby wipes.  What can I say?  The girl loves to clean :)

Make Her Own Snacks:  After months of little interest in solid foods, Harper has become quite the eater.  And she is a girl who knows what she wants.  If the fridge is open, Harper will help herself to the yogurt, veggies, cheese, milk…you name it.  She will waddle across the kitchen floor with her arms full and hand me whatever snack catches her eye.  Next step? Cooking…

There is never a dull moment with a toddler in the house.  Harper definitely keeps me on my toes.  But she also helps me to see life differently.  Colors are brighter, sounds are sharper and scents are stronger.  I love the enthusiasm that she has to explore the world and soak up everything it has to offer.  Thank you of being such a gentle teacher, Harper Marie.  Happy 19 Month Birthday!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

And while we are in the mood to celebrate, a big congratulations to Jea for winning the NatureBox giveaway!  Thank you to all who participated.  I look forward to getting another awesome giveaway up and running soon.

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18 Months

Someone is growing up too fast!  Rockin’ her favorite pair of shades and munching on a fresh pluot like a big girl?  Yeah, little Miss Harper is too cool for school.  18 months is a major milestone for many toddlers.  This holds true for Harper as well.  She’s becoming quite independent…walking/running/marching all over the place, using her words to communicate her wants and needs, and singing like a canary (providing her own real life soundtrack to her daily activities).  She has become a great eater this past month (although momma’s milk is still a favorite option) and loves to feed herself using her own utensils.  Restaurants are no longer off-limits, as she will sit at the table using a booster seat, coloring her way through the meal with her crayons (which still sometimes end up in her mouth…”wucky!”).  In some ways, it’s hard to say goodbye to my baby girl (because, although I say it every month, she is officially no longer an infant), but she’s an awesome little toddler and I am having a blast hanging with my new buddy :)

Harper’s Firsts:

First Time Singing her ABCs:  Like I mentioned above, Harper LOVES to sing.  She pretty much sings throughout the day.  After singing the ABCs to her since she was in my tummy, this last month she started singing it all on her own.  It began with her chiming in here and there, but now she is to the point where she can go from start to finish without any help.  Guess all that repetition paid off :)

First Pair of “Church” Shoes:

Every little girl needs a good pair of “church” shoes (or party shoes).  Up until now, we would just put Harper in some fancy sneakers and call it a day.  But since she is getting around so well on her own, we decided to graduate her to a whole new level.  And for some reason, these shoes make her look so grown up!   It’s only a matter of time before she will want to wear them out to play (all little girls love playing in party shoes!), although I’m doing my best to save them for dressier occasions.

First “Baby”:  Harper has a ton of soft and cuddly stuffed animals that she likes to play with.  She has never shown an interest in adopting one as her “baby” until recently.  During the last month, she has decided that she won’t go to bed without her “baby”.  So who’s the lucky stuffed animal?

Baby Lenny the Lamb from Scentsy.  Thanks Auntie Koko for Harper’s new snuggle buddy :)

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  As I mentioned last month, Harper LOVES to cook!  And now her hobby is getting a bit more serious thanks to her “Amma” who sent a Prepare and Share Kitchen Set by Step 2.  Complete with her apron, Harper is officially cooking up a storm :)

Favorite Song:  Now that Harper can sing her ABCs all by herself, I would say it has quickly become her favorite song.  She is so proud of herself that when she gets to the end she won’t even wait for her audience to applaud, she goes ahead and applauds herself.  Too cute!

Favorite Book:  Harper loves her “Amma” very much.  Unfortunately, Ireland is far away so Harper doesn’t get the chance to spend as much time with her “Amma” as she would like.  Skype has been a great way for my mom and Harper to interact.  My mom will often read books Harper who likes to watch and listen from the computer.  But story time with “Amma”  just got cooler.  My mom recently sent Harper a book from the Recordable Storybooks from Hallmark called All the Ways I Love You.  So now she can read with “Amma”  even when we aren’t on Skype.

Harper Knows…

It’s amazing how much our little ones are able to absorb.  Every moment is an opportunity for us to teach them about the world around us.  Since she was itty bitty, I would point things out to her, in hopes of helping her learn more about her environment.  Now, she is of the age where she likes to point things out to me.  Each time I marvel at all the new things she continues to pick up.

Colors:  Harper’s favorite color has always been yellow.  But now she seems to be interested in other colors too, especially red.  She likes to point out things that are red such as cars that drive by, crayons that she is coloring with, or shovels that she finds at the park.

Letters/Numbers:  Harper is always on the look out for letters and numbers.  Some of her favorites include “Y”, “X”, “T” and “H”.  She also has a thing for the number “5”.  We can’t pass a sign without her going over and attempting to point out the letters that she knows.  And the bigger the letters, the more exciting this game becomes (she LOVES the “Meat and Poultry” sign at Whole Foods…I can’t put in my order until we acknowledge the “E”, “T”, “U”, “O” and “Y”).

Shapes:  Puzzles (seen in this post), and shape sorters (seen here) have been a great way to teach Harper her shapes (and colors).  Squares, stars and circles seem to be the easiest to identify.  Harper has recently started to label shapes in other areas as well (in particular, a round thumbtack that was stuck into a picnic table).

Gratefulness doesn’t even begin to describe my appreciation for this little girl.  Love doesn’t seem like a big enough word to define how much I adore her.  The bigger she gets, the more my feelings for her grow.  The last 18 months have been one heck of a ride.  Thank you Harper for your unconditional love, infectious joy and overwhelming excitement.  Our family gets stronger everyday and life keeps getting better because you are here.

Happy 18 Month Birthday Baby!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

PS:  Keep the celebration going!  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.  You only have 1 more day to get your entries in.  Leave a comment on the original post letting me know what your favorite travel snack is.  Good luck!  

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17 Months

Pure love. Pure joy.  Pure happiness.  Being a mommy to this little girl rocks!  For 17 months Harper has been making her mark on this big world.  She grows and changes daily and continues to bring a smile to my face.  Toddlerhood has brought on some rough days, but no matter how tough it gets, I can’t help but love her more and more.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Blueberry Picking:  This last month has been filled with lots of fun outdoor activities.  Blueberry picking was definitely one of the highlights.  Even though Harper wasn’t into the picking as much as she just liked to carry the bucket around, it was exciting to do something new as a family.  Good thing daddy was doing all the picking so we could enjoy this pie :)

First Firework Show:  Although this was Harper’s 2nd 4th of July holiday, it was her first time enjoying a firework display.  Last year she was a bit young to appreciate the bright lights and loud bangs, but this year she turned out to be quite the fan.  It was wonderful to experience this moment with her.  It was also another reminder of how quickly she is growing up.

First Dip in the Ocean:  Today, we met our cousins at the beach.  I’m a bit ashamed to admit this, but it was our first trip to the beach since we moved.  We live blocks away but never seem to make our way over.  But after Harper’s enthusiastic response, we will be making many more visit’s to the beach this summer.

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  Harper is becoming quite the chef.  She loves to “cook, cook”  and create delicious imaginary meals.  After the lasting success of her picnic basket, I went ahead and picked her up a LeapFrog Cook and Play Potsy and she can’t get enough of it!  She especially enjoys the “gocki” (translation…broccoli) and “soup” (which means spoon).

Favorite Song:  To be honest, Harper seems to be a fan of pretty much every song nowadays.  She will sing along to anything with a melody, even if she doesn’t know the words.  But one song that we catch her singing quite often is Mr. Sun.  I play it frequently in my music classes and she also watches it on her DVD.  It’s the perfect song for summer :)

Favorite Book:  Harper is becoming quite the counter.  She loves to practice her numbers and is learning to count to 12.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Finger Puppet Book is a great way to get her counting.  Plus, she gets a kick out of the “fly” (butterfly) at the end.

Harper Still…

Even though my baby girl is growing up pretty quickly, we are still enjoying some of the same things we did together when she was first born.  As a mother who practices attachment parenting, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in these activities with Harper even as she gets older.

Breastfeeds:  Harper is still very interested in nursing.  We usually start our day with a long feeding session in the morning.  It seems to be the morning brew that sets her up for a successful day.  If she skips her morning nursing, she tends to be a bit fussy and cranky.  Harper is eating more and more solid foods every day, so she doesn’t seem to be using nursing as a snack much anymore.  She still likes to nurse down for her naps and bedtime.  I am also still feeding her a few times throughout the night.  I have been trying to offer her other ways to settle but she becomes adamant that she wants “milp” (her version of milk) and even remembers to use her manners (“peeese!”).

Co-Sleeps:  There is nothing better than snuggling up to my little girl.  And she is quite the cuddle bug.  She tends to sleep closer to her daddy (although he has recently discovered that he gets a better night sleep if he sleeps in the guest room) but she seems to be happy as long as she is touching someone.

Likes to be carried:  Carrying Harper is getting harder as she is getting bigger, but it is still her most preferred way to travel.  Even though she is now walking…more like running….everywhere, I find it safer to carry her as she isn’t the best at holding hands quite yet.  There are days that I wish she would go in a stroller, to ease the pain on my lower back and allow me to take her on long walks, but I am quickly reminded that I will probably only be able to carry her for a little while longer, before she becomes big enough to carry me!  (For the record, my mom, who happens to only be 5’2”, carried my brother, who is now over 6 feet, until he was 7…so I think I have it in my genes!).

Life just keeps getting sweeter and motherhood is quite lovely.  Believe it or not, I still have to remind myself that I am a mom.  It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.  And when things get busy and life is flying by, I have to take a moment to admire my “Harper Do” and be grateful to have her in my life.  She is my little buddy and my darling sunshine.  And is still growing up way too fast…

Happy 17 Month Birthday Love!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

Ps:  Harper broke a new tooth this month…but it’s so far back in her mouth, it’s almost impossible to snap a picture of it.  So you’ll have to take my word for it.  Which means, we are now up to 7 teeth!

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