Sunday, July 17, 2011


Look what Brad brought home from work! This is Jesus “Crackity” Jones Junior, but we call him Junior for short.
I must explain the story of his long and involved name. Brad called me last Tuesday and told me (sheepishly) that a stray dog had showed up on the farm 4 days prior to that and he didn’t know what to do (besides hope the dog would eventually find his way home). After a short discussion I told Brad to bring the stray home and we’d figure it out somehow.  
This is where Brad and my stories diverge. Brad says he told me the dog was following Jesus around the farm (thus Jesus Jr.) but I swear he said Jose’ (the name of another employee). Of course, one cannot hear the name Jose’ without bringing to mind the Pixies’ Crackity Jones off of their classic album, Doolittle. So, accordingly,  I had been humming Crackity Jones for approximately 45 minutes by the time Brad got home with the little German Shepherd/Labrador mix. The name stuck.
Junior’s lucky. He almost ended up with Santa’s Little Helper as his moniker. Maybe that’ll be the next dog. Anyway, here he is:
I know, I know, I said German Shepherd/Labrador mix and here I am posting what looks like the picture of a Pit Bull. Maybe he has some Pit Bull in him, who knows? But I SWEAR, without the head gear those ears go up and he's a Shepherd/Lab mix. And his build is ALL Shepherd.  

He is good with our other dogs (2) and our cats (4). (Have I mentioned it's a real Noah's ark around here lately?) Plus Harper is crazy about him. He is crazy about Harper, too. But who isn’t?    

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Almost Famous

Well, I've hit the big time. My video debut can be viewed here:

P.S. I have no idea who this musician is. He somehow found a photo of me on the web and included it in the video. My friend viewed it and sent me the link. 


Monday, July 4, 2011

Belated Update

I feel like I haven’t had one second to post a new entry in the past several weeks. I’ve been meaning to but something more urgent always seems to come up. Don’t ask me what, though. No big projects have been completed recently and nothing seems particularly organized, despite my best intentions. Mostly I’ve just been chasing Harper around, who is increasingly difficult to catch.
Anyway, it’s the 4th of July and Brad decided, as a special treat, to take the day off. Right now he is enjoying some daddy/daughter time. So here I am, typing away. It’s his turn to chase Harper around for a change.
First off, let me start with the obligatory Harper update. Favorite recent developments include:
1.       Working on her manual dexterity by pinching and pointing at everything.
2.       Trying to pull herself up (she has not, as of yet, been successful).
3.       Growling back when you growl at her and show “tickle fingers.”
4.       Sitting up her own (photos to follow).
5.       Playing her alligator xylophone (photos to follow).
6.       A second tooth (I believe I neglected to report the emergence of the first one, about six weeks ago).
7.       … and as of 10 minutes ago, CRAWLING!  (Which Brad witnessed firsthand but I missed because I had left the room for one second- of course)
Naturally, the pinching and new teeth have inspired a song. I like to call it, “The Pinching and Biting Song”
The Pinching and Biting Song

Don’t pinch your mother.
Don’t pinch your mother.
If you feel like pinching your mother,
Don’t pinch your mother.

Verse I

A pinch of salt will squash bad luck,
And pinch a penny to save a buck,

(Repeat Chorus)

Verse II

The only time that it’s OK,
Is pinching on St. Patrick’s Day.

(Repeat Chorus)

Verse III

Pinching mom is bad enough,
But biting her is much too rough.

(Chorus Var.)

Don’t bite your mother.
Don’t bite your mother.
If you feel like biting your mother,
Don’t bite your mother.

Verse IV

You’re practicing with your new teeth,
But biting mom won’t bring relief.

(Repeat Chorus Var.)

Verse V

Biting things is fun to do,
But bite some steak or firm tofu,

(Repeat to the Tune of the Chorus)

Don’t bite your mother,
Also, don’t pinch your mother.
If you feel like biting and pinching,
Do it to anyone but your mother.


And always remember the gist of this song!

I like to do jazz hands when I sing the finale. I secretly hope jazz hands will help implant the message of the song deep in her psyche.  No luck, so far.

So back to new developments. Harper is finally able to sit up on her own. She’s been able to sit for a while but hadn’t figured out how to prop herself up until last week. Last Wednesday, to be exact. I was  starting to get worried she was falling behind somehow, even though babies typically learn to sit up somewhere between 7 and 9 months, and even though she is 8 ½ months old, and she was born 2 weeks early so really she’s only gestationally 8 months old (see how OCD I’m being about this?). Anyway, it was a relief and a thrill at the same time to see her do it. And I was able to snap a picture right when it happened! I apologize for the poor quality but they are the real deal taken at the actual moment it happened. Look how pleased she is.

What were you ever worried about, mom? 
The next day we received the alligator xylophone I ordered on E-Bay. Its purchase was inspired by my observation of Harper’s enjoyment of smacking things and making noise. (On a side not, Brad is not happy about the all alligators collecting in her room. He says they make him uncomfortable as they are the mascot of an inferior collegiate football team.) Anyway, I removed said juvenile crocodilian glockenspiel from the box, took a few minutes to clean it, then set it down in front of Harper and turned around to put the box it came in into the recycling. When I turned back around this is what I saw:

She was happily pounding away on it. I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud;  of myself for knowing she’d love it and of her for figuring it out on her own. What a little genius we have!
Also, here are some pictures of Harper sitting while chewing on her rubber giraffe. Everyone else in the world knows this as “Sophie Giraffe” but we call it “Jennifer Giraffe” after the Jennifer Giraffe in Don Freeman’s Dandelion, which was my favorite children’s book of all time.

Finally, here is Harper’s cousin, Maggie Jane, chewing on her own Sophie Giraffe at about the same age. Do you think they look alike? We go back and forth.