Thursday, January 27, 2011


You are never supposed to compare your baby to other babies. Besides being rude, accurate comparisons are impossible because every baby develops at his or her own pace. But let’s be honest, we all do it.
When my neighbor’s daughter (a full three weeks older than Harper) began grabbing things before Harper did I immediately went home and dangled various objects of interest over her head in an attempt to coerce her into snatching one. And when Harper slept through the night I couldn’t help but casually mention it to another parent, just to see her reaction. I suppose this makes me a bad person.
So it was only a matter of time before my BFF, Natalie, and I began to compare our own children.

Natalie and I both desperately wanted girls. I wanted a girl because I have 3 brothers, 6 male cousins and 2 brothers-in-law.  Natalie wanted a girl for reasons she chooses to keep to herself. Luckily, we both got our wish. Anika came first and only ten months later Harper was born. We are certain it is only a matter of time before they become best friends, too, despite the fact that they live on opposite ends of the country and have never met, as of this writing.

Me, Laura and Natalie at my “Bridesmaid Dress” themed bachelorette party. As I was searching for a photo of the two of us together it hit me that I don’t have any on my computer. I should really get around to scanning some, for times like this, when I publically out her. Her outfit, by the way, was THE BOMB.
Anika and Harper were different right from the start. Anika has a head full of fuzzy blonde hair. Harper is brunette and practically bald. Anika has better things to do with her time than eat. Harper’s nickname is Munch Mouth. Anika is petite. Harper is lanky. There is such a disparity in their size, in fact, that Harper is quickly catching up to Anika. This, of course, led Natalie and I to discuss what every competitive parent wonders: which baby would win if pitted against each other in an Ultimate Cage Match?
Speed - Because she smaller than her opponent, Harper should, in theory, be faster than Anika.
Agility- Harper is adept at rolling over (an ability she generally only practices in her sleep). This skill should help her avoid any blows Anika may rain on her. As long as she’s sleeping.
Special Skills – Harper is a gifted screamer; a tactic she may use to stun her opponent.
Other – Harper can’t really, you know, move yet. This may prove to be her Achilles Heel.

I am totally getting Harper this mask.


Speed – I have never seen Anika move in person. However, her gargantuan size of 18 pounds should really slow her down.
Agility- Anika is mobile, a distinct advantage over her opponent. There is no way to sugar coat this. Even if she were able to only toddle over and sit on Harper, the match would pretty much be over immediately.
Special Skills – Her advantage is so great, she doesn’t really need any.
Other – Anika has hand-eye coordination all over Harper.

The Fuzz Head practicing her mad smack-down skillz.

Maybe I should rethink physical challenges. When I get some time I’m going to start teaching Harper to play Chess.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


A couple of weeks ago a friend told me that when she was breastfeeding she felt perpetually naked and wet. Substitute “sticky” for “wet” and I agree wholeheartedly.

I fear I am devolving into a “naked person” and have begun to resent having to wear a clothing at all. Not that I enjoy going topless all the time, just that it is so much easier than the alternative. What’s the point of dressing if I’ll just be baring it all again in another twenty minutes? And who decided I have to be fully clothed before going to the mailbox or bringing the dogs inside? I’m kidding, of course. Kind of.

Innumerable girlfriends have asked me in recent weeks if I feel like a dairy cow. I don’t. I feel more like a long-neglected fish tank with heavily plaqued algae and an overzealous Plecostomus attached to my walls. Harper is very good at nursing.

                                                                 Harper is the fish.   

Harper has become my little conditioned Pavlovian. Recently she was watching me as I got dressed and she started to smack her lips when I took off my blouse. 

And she has this new adorable habit of making a growling sound as she lunges towards my chest. Also, she gnaws on my shoulder when I burp her. Brad didn’t believe me until he saw it for himself. We’ve decided that for next Halloween she will be going as a flesh eating monster.

She has clearly got the upper hand on us, though. Once she settles in to nurse she looks up at me with her big blue-grey eyes and just beams, milk leaking all over, and I can’t help but smile back. 


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In House Entertainment

I am officially a stay-at-home mom. At least for the time being. And I love it, really I do. There are very few people on this Earth I like to spend my time with as much as Harper. However, with each passing day I begin to feel the art of adult conversation slipping away. So, to liven things up around here I have been singing. A lot. We have a song for everything around here. One of my favorite tactics is changing the lyrics of songs we know to fit the situation.

While Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “I Like Big Butts” (one of our favorite diapering songs) has remained virtually unchanged, “Shake Your Booty” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band is now “Shake Your Rattle” or, sometimes, the more subversive “Don’t Shake the Baby”. We have substituted “Harper Booker” for the “Hallelujahs” in Handel’s  “Hallelujah Chorus”.  And many of you know that M.C. Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” now announces “Diaper Time” instead of “Hammer Time”.

But our rendition of the children’s classic “Frere Jacques” has really taken on a life of its own. Lyrics follow, but please keep in mind the majority of the song was written before they had diagnosed her reflux.
Verse I

Harper Booker (repeat)
What are you doing? (repeat)
Screaming your head off, (repeat)
And driving mommy crazy. (repeat)

Verse II

Harper Booker (repeat)
What are you doing? (repeat)
Pooping in your diaper. (repeat)
Let’s go find daddy. (repeat)

Verse III (Brad wrote this verse)

Harper Booker (repeat)
What are you doing? (repeat)
Mommy is the milk truck, (repeat)
And changes diapers also. (repeat)

Verse IV

Harper Booker (repeat)
What are you doing? (repeat)
Being a fussy baby. (repeat)
Fussy, fussy baby. (repeat)

Verse V

Harper Booker (repeat)
What are you doing? (repeat)
Sitting in your backpack, (repeat)
And chewing on your turtle. (repeat)

Verse VI

Harper Booker (repeat)
What are you doing? (repeat)
Smiling and talking. (repeat)
Such a cute baby. (repeat)

I don't know what this is, but I really wish we had a diapering robot.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Brad and I recently celebrated our first year in our home. Now, keep in mind this is the first home we have ever owned, so it’s kind of a big deal for us. And I love our little house, the operative word being little. 1942 bungalows are big on charm but small on virtually everything else.
When Brad and I first stepped into our future cottage it was clean as a whistle. The homeowners, a newlywed couple, had purchased it at the height of the market as a flip and decided to live in it while they remodeled their investment. That turned out to be a bad idea as a “surprise” baby prolonged their project and the market plummeted. Needless to say, they were hot to sell, so they courted us aggressively .
As I said, the first time we saw the house it was spotless. But the second time we saw it we were already under contract and there for the inspection and the honeymoon was over. It wasn’t that the house was dirty, just that it was cluttered with an array of baby-related items. Everywhere. Really. It looked like a Babies-R-Us had thrown up in every single room. And, with motherhood impending, I swore that would never happen to us. Our entire nursery was designed with storage in mind (note the copious shelving) and an eye for minimalism. I have weighed the benefits and disadvantages of literally every baby item that has entered our home and edited accordingly. Fast forward to recent events.

For those of you who don’t know, our little bundle of joy has a pretty bad reflux problem. Her pediatric Gastroenterologist says it has something to do with the G.I. tract being the last thing to mature and assures us she’ll grow out of it someday. In the meantime, she endures a host of ever changing medications, sleeps on her left side at a 30 degree angle, is fed small meals every 45 to 90 minutes and needs to remain vertical for 30 to 60 minutes post-feeding. That means that either Brad or I were holding her virtually all of the time. Our only respite was to place her in the standing position of our baby backpack and keep it within six inches of us at all times so she wouldn’t accidentally tip over.   

That is, until Saturday, when I visited a friend whose baby was happily playing in an activity center. Vertically. Visions of freedom began to form in my weary mind. I envisioned daily showers and being able to cook an entire meal without a baby on my hip. I went home and informed Brad we were purchasing an activity center of our own post haste. He was enthusiastic as I and two hours later ten thousand pieces of our new purchase were scattered around our living room floor, just waiting for Brad to piece together what we hoped would become our vehicle to liberty.
The thing is, the Baby Einstein Musical Baby Jumper and Activity Center we purchased is exactly the kind of thing I never wanted to cross our threshold. It is large. Huge really. It has a diameter of nearly two and a half feet. It is also immobile, conspicuous and we have absolutely no where practical to put it, so it sits in the middle of our living room. And it looks ridiculous; an unsettling cross between Disneyland and what I imagine bondage gear to look like.

But Harper loves it. I mean, LOVES it. Last night she carried on a twenty minute conversation with the plastic smiling sun accessory while Brad and I ate dinner at the same time. And in the end, isn’t that what life is about? Actually enjoying time with loved ones? So I have given up on my dream of a kid item clutter-free home. Or, at least, am learning flexibility in that particular area. I recently saw a kitschy refrigerator magnet that summed it up best: Please excuse the mess, we’re making memories.     

Monday, January 17, 2011

Twelve Weeks Old

Harper turned 12 weeks old on Friday. I was very nostalgic, explaining to Brad that she wasn't a "newborn" anymore because she was 3 months old. Then Brad said something like she's not 3 months old because she was born on the 22nd. Our conversation quickly deteriorated from there. Anyway, my point is that Harper is growing up quickly. And as much as I am fascinated by each new thing she learns, every day that passes is one day further away from that little newborn we brought home from the hospital.

That being said, she is a lot more fun now. She giggles and babbles and is so freakin' cute! Recent developments include licking EVERYTHING and grabbing things and putting them in her mouth. At least she's not mobile... yet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gift to ME!

I gifted myself a maid for the day as a Happy I Had a Baby present.

This may be the best idea I have ever had.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Here We Go...

Everyone I know has a blog. I have been putting off starting one because, really, I do not need one more thing to do. However, the new mom in me is dying to post photos and cute updates of my ADORABLE daughter. So here we are. Gratuitous photos to follow shortly. Enjoy!