Monday, October 31, 2011

Photo Envy

My brother's family recently had a professional photo shoot done by a friend. I don't know what to say except look at all those GORGEOUS kids (and the grown-ups aren't bad, either). Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthday Post Script

For some reason I couldn't upload this video on to the birthday post. So here it is now:

If you listen closely you can hear Harper say "fish" a couple of times as she points at various fauna in the tank. We are certain this means she is considering a career in marine biology. Or shark fighting.

Birthday Report

Well, it was quite a birthday. Thank you to everyone who called, mailed, texted, e-mailed and/or personally delivered birthday wishes to Harper. She was a gift-unwrapping, cake-eating, good-time-having kind-of kid this weekend.
And the winner is... CUPCAKES! Pink Girly Sprinkles and Green Monster Eyes won out. They were cute but not very delicious. I should have experimented with recipes before hand but ran out of time. Oh well, there's always next year. 

We were lucky enough to have Brad’s parents here for the week, too. Brad’s mom cooked up a storm (Brad demanded she make her World Famous Potato Salad) and Brad’s dad was somehow finagled into supervising a major engine overhaul on our car, for which we are ever indebted. It was a lovely visit and we were so glad they got to share Harper’s first birthday with us. 
Harper and Pa enjoying post-pizza shenanigans.
Saturday’s celebration was exhausting. Events included organic, whole wheat pizza for lunch (Harper’s food of choice these days) followed by a trip to both the children’s park and the dog park. 
"Mmmm... pizza!"

When we returned home there was (a lot of) opening presents,
"The only thing more interesting than this gift is the bubble wrap it came in."

"Clearly this is an example of using repetition as a memory aid. Well played, Nana."

... which led to unbridled singing and cake.
"Frankly, these are a little disappointing mom. I can't believe you decided to introduce me to sweets this way. What a shame."

Bath time (necessitated by the cake incident, but always a favorite) was next on the agenda and the evening ended quietly. Overall, I think it turned out to be a pretty perfect birthday.
"Wahoo! Bath time!"

The ceremonial Opening of Presents was quite a drawn out affair and started a couple of days early to accommodate the sheer volume of gifts accumulating about the house. Her gifts included:
1 Collection of Various Baby Games (thank you Aglaves) 

1 Munchkin Mozart Music Cube (thank you Talakkotturs)
1 Plastic Fish Tank Including Tank Accessories and Plastic Fish (thank you Cookes)
1 Princess Mouse (thank you Brandons)
1 Authentic Chinese Baby Outfit Ensemble (thank you Kessels)
1 Complete Outfit with Pillowcase Dress, Sweater and Hair Accessory (thank you Hedlunds)
1 Doll (thank you Daryl and Ann)
1 Child’s Dish and 1 Mug in Hand Painted, Portuguese Porcelain (thank you mom and dad)
1 Children’s Play CSA Share (from mommy and daddy)
4 Wooden, Hand Painted Cars (from mommy)
1 Bongo Drum and 1 Set of Jingle Bells (from daddy)
Enumerable Books (thank you Talakkotturs, Daryl and Ann)
Money for College (thank you Harveys, Daryl, Ann, Wayne and Jan)
Everyone was overly generous (birthday loot must be one of the perks to being a first born) and we can’t thank everyone enough for helping make her first birthday so special. It’s possible I left something off of the above list. I truly apologize if I have offended anyone by doing so but it’s been hard keeping up. Next week I’ll start on the Thank You’s, just after I finish putting the house back together.
Our birthday beauty at Stride for Strays. Thank you for the gorgeous picture, Nikki!

Anyway, on Sunday Brad and Pa worked on the car so Nana and I took Harper to Stride for Strays in the morning, and then we had a nice lunch downtown. Afterward we went to a used bookstore and picked up a couple of gems and then headed over to the aquarium to see the fish.
Harper absolutely LOVES the aquarium. Buying an annual membership was one of the smartest things I have done because we visit probably three times a month. And it shows. “Duck” was Harper’s second word and “fish” made the top 10 as a direct result of our frequent forays. This time we got to see the penguins up close, which was a thrill.
We had a front row seat until the kid on the right decided to cough directly on Harper, so we chose to move back a little.

Thanks again to everyone for the wonderful day! And here’s a video clip of the Birthday Girl wearing her plate as a hat at the pizza place on Saturday. What a creative daughter we have! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Birthday Wish

My Dearest Harper,

I am overwhelmed with emotion as I write this birthday note to you. It was one whole year ago you came into our lives and made us a family. You are exactly what we wished for and more than we could have ever expected.

I want you to know that every day we get to spend with you is a treasure. Each new thing you learn, each new thing you do, each new milestone you reach amazes and inspires us. You are truly the light of our lives, sweet Harper. I wish for you the happiest of birthdays, my baby girl.

Mommy and Daddy love you so much!























Sunday, October 16, 2011

Birthday Week

I just have time for a quick update before our VERY busy week. Harper is turning one in a few days and Brad’s parents are coming for the festivities. This has triggered an overwhelming urge in me to clean the house from top to bottom, so that’s what’s on the menu for today. I have even purchased two Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for the occasion. Let the good times commence!
People have been so generous with us. The house is already filling up with birthday gifts for Harper and I am literally running out of places to put them. I think we’ll open a few before her birthday so as not to overwhelm her on B-Day. There are worse problems to have, to be sure.
New developments in the past few days include two new teeth (and more in the works, I think, judging by the way she’s been enthusiastically masticating her teething toys this week), her first steps (two in a row, although she has yet to repeat them), blowing kisses, hugging on cue, pointing to her “tummy” when you ask where it is, and a whole host of new words including “bye”, “juice”, “yes” and “fish”. The cuteness meter is off the scale right now.
I’m just trying to keep it together because I know I’m going to get all nostalgic and weepy  when I write her birthday post, so there’s that to look forward to. And I still have a birthday cake to whip up (hint, it involves sprinkles!). Overall, this is going to be a memorable week.
Here are some pictures of our not-quite one year old. More to come!  

Partying like it's 1999.

Chillaxin' with dinner.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bunnies vs. Zombies

Harper’s vocabulary is pretty limited at this point, which is surprising considering she comes from a long line of talkers (on the Bauer side, of course. Bookers and talking are like oil and vinegar- they make a fine salad dressing but you can't expect them to start the conversation). Still, she does have a handful of words she uses consistently. Here is a page from Harper’s dictionary (in alphabetical order, naturally):
Dad - Pronounced “da-addd!”, as if she were a demanding teenager rolling her eyes. Definition: “Hey big, hairy guy who makes me laugh. Get over here right this instant and entertain me!”
Dog - Pronounced “dah”, without the g. Definition: “I am currently feeding the organic lunch that you lovingly prepared to these drooling, wiggly quadrupeds.” Alternate definitions: “I am pulling on the quadruped’s ear,” “I am chewing on the quadruped’s tail,” “I wonder the quadrupeds’ rubber bone* tastes like?”  etc. (*“rubber bone” may be substituted for anything the dogs have had in their mouths).    
Duck - Pronounced “duCK”, with the overemphasized “CK” like the Yiddish “ch” from deep in the back of the throat. Definition: Generally duck but also goose, swan, parrot, flamingo or, on occasion, anything with a beak, feathers, fur or scales.
Mom - Pronounced fairly accurately, or sometimes “mama”. Definition: A command as in, “I want milk right NOW!" or “Get me out of this highchair right NOW!” Please note: “mom” and “mama” are commonly used while she is staring directly at my chest and/or pawing at my blouse.
No - Pronounced “nonononono!” ad infinitum. Definition: “I would much rather spend the rest of my life in this soiled diaper than interrupt my activities for ten seconds to endure a diaper change.” Important to note: often “no” is accompanied by thrashing about in convulsion-like fits that can only be counteracted with fervent belly-raspberries.
Yeah – Pronounced “yeah”. Definition: An appropriate response to any query. For example, question: “Do you think it will rain?” Answer: “Yeah.”  Question: “Do you think it will rain spaghetti and meatballs?” Answer: “Yeah.”  Question: “Do you think Kim Jong-il’s reign as Chairman of the National Defense Commission, General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and pseudo-deity of North Korea will be maintained indefinitely or do you think that oppressed and starving North Korean’s will rise up and revolt to reclaim their country?” Answer: “Yeah.” 

Her understanding of language is pretty good, too. She knows the names of a lot of objects and will point to them if she is in the right mood and within no more than six to twelve inches of them upon inquiry. For example, if she is in the bathtub facing the drain and you ask her where the drain is she will frequently point to it. Of course, this is only true as long as she isn’t distracted by her rubber octopus, pelican, turtle, porpoise, crab, the rushing water, Splash Time or her own fingers. The same can be said of the faucet and soap. And outside of the tub she will (often) point to one’s nose or mouth upon request, or even one’s (belly) button and “mommy’s fat tummy” (thank you, Brad).
But the newest verbal development is that she is parroting just about every sound that comes out of our mouths. She has barked, chirped, whinnied, mooed and hummed along to whatever music is playing in the background. She is a virtual noise making machine these days.
Those of you who now or have once had toddlers know that you can’t actually make them do anything, especially on cue or when a camera is available. But we were able to catch her making “the bunny sound” (i.e. sniffing) and making “Zombie growls” (which she perfected while visiting her cousin Hazel on our trip to Utah in July) on video. So here they are, visual proof of our little genius in action:

Brad also got (a lot of) adorable footage of her playing his Djembe, but its length precludes me from being able to upload it onto this blog. Spoiler alert: she is going to LOVE her birthday gift!

And yes, we pretty much have a clothing optional household for everyone under three years of age. Don't judge us.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Grand Entrance

Last night, about ten minutes after I put Harper to bed, I heard her crying in her room, so I went in to check on her. The instant I cracked her door open her wails were replaced by the sound of clapping. 

It's hard not to fall for that kind of thing.