Saturday, October 27, 2012

Please Come to Brianna's Fundraiser

It is tomorrow, Sunday the 28th, and I am not above begging. We really need people to show up. Please come by if you can. Thanks. More here:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Happy Second Birthday

And by popular request… it’s the birthday update!!! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get it together. I sound like a broken record.

First of all, let me start by updating all of the new and wonderful things Harper is doing:

She has the entire alphabet memorized, both upper and lower cases. Although sometimes she gets the lower case “b” and “d” mixed up as well as lower case “p” and “q.” (But who doesn’t?)

She knows all of her numbers 0 through 9 and can count to twenty if you don’t care about 14 or 15. (But who does?)   
She is narrating her tantrums these days. “Harper is crying!” she’ll wail, adding, “Harper is sad!” Often the appropriate ASL signs will accompany the blow-by-blow action.

This is Harper's idea of a good time.

She can recognize and name nearly 15 different species of dinosaur.
She knows the name and sign for just about every animal you can think of. "Turtle," you'll say. "Box turtle," she'll correct. The same goes for Beluga whales, Orcas, Brown bats, etc. She's got more brains than she knows what to do with (thankfully).
Nudity is big. She’ll take her pants off whenever the mood strikes, although this may be genetic (no wait, I’ve said too much). Today she got her pants completely off at the Children’s Museum when I turned around for a mere second to put somehing away.

She will tell you what she has drawn. That brown scribble? A snake, obviously. The yellow blob? A heart. The purple streaks on my end table? "Puppy. Puppy." she repeats. 

She can climb up the chain ladder at the park to the upper platform of the jungle gym. It is heart-stoppingly thrilling to experience first-hand. I nearly threw up the first time she did it.
She is starting to sing. Amongst her favorites are The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and The Secret Life of Six. The latter may have been heavily influenced by yours truly.  
Not my favorite TMBG diddy but solid, none the less:
She is using more pronouns. There’s a lot of “I” and “me” which, I understand, is a precursor to “Mine, mine, MINE!!!”
She likes to walk the dogs. By herself. Backwards. We have to set aside painfully large chunks of time for a simple walk around the block.

She is just a genuinely sweet kid. She loves to cuddle and give kisses and hugs. 

She also has the best smile in the entire world (complete with dimples). 

Anyway, Harper’s birthday was this past Monday, but the celebration started Friday night with a trip to the Tampa Museum of Art (for me the party actually started Wednesday night as I spent hours molding and baking her cake topper- but I’m getting ahead of myself).  

The Tampa Museum of Art. Not bad. Not bad at all, Tampa.

I’d been meaning to take her for a long time; pretty much ever since she was born (especially because they have free admission every Friday from 4:00pm-8:00pm). In fact, we had actually gotten in the building 3 or 4 times prior to Friday, but poorly timed meltdowns necessitated our immediate departure. But Friday was the night!

Both the permanent and traveling collections are displayed on the second floor of the museum, and the first exhibit room you enter is a display of Greek and Roman antiquities. Across the room is this statue…
Poseidon. All of him.
… which Harper stands pretty much eye-ball to groin with. So of course, the first (and inappropriately loud) word out of her mouth was, “Penis!” And, of course, the UT students snickering next to us just made it a game. So every 3-5 minutes or so of our laborious 20 minute visit was punctuated by an enthusiastically proud, “Penis, mommy! Man’s penis!” Yes, honey. You have a wonderful vocabulary and a keen eye for anatomy.
We held the party at Kate Jackson Park in Hyde Park.

Anyhow, the next morning was the day of her party but we all awoke late so we decided to get some bagels and head over to the park where the party was going to be held. Brad, Harper and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast while waiting for her guests to arrive. Harper looked super cute in her brand new, hot-pink, Astronaut-Dinosaur Riding a Rocket Ship in Outer Space T-shirt that was made especially for her (I love etsy) and matching hot pink hair bow (she has just enough hair now to keep it in place for short periods of time).
Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast! 
Our pretty birthday girl looking very serious. Contrary to this photo she really did spend most of the day smiling.
Look! A hair bow! In her hair!
I had to special order this in silver on hot pink. Why do boys get all the good T-shirts?
We decided to buck a traditional party and, in lieu of gifts, we had guests bring potluck items. All of her little friends showed up with their parents in tow and enough food to feed an army. Not a small one, either, but a regular sized army. One that could invade a country. The kids in attendance were Julissa, Amaya, Fiona, Ethan, Linnea, Cevan, Grey, Ava and Zoe (although you'd never know it to look at the pictures. None of them could stay still long enough for a group photo.) Along with their parents it made for quite a crowd. Even Harper’s sitter came by with a little gift!

I decided to make the Stegosaurus cake topper pictured above (found on etsy, of course. I love etsy) but it turned out to be much more of a project than I had envisioned. Mainly because I had never made anything with polymer clay before. And it is likely I never will again.
If I had bothered to check the directions before I started making the stupid 8 1/2 inch long Stegosaurus I would have known that it takes 1 hour to bake every inch of polymer clay (which is why, I later surmised, the one in the picture above is only 3 inches long). Add to that the 2 1/2 hours it took me to mold the polymer clay, plus the time it took to watch a frosting tutoral on youtube (yes, a frosting tutoral. And not once but TWICE), bake, frost and decorate a triple layer birthday cake and what you're looking at here is nearly two full work days. Who do I talk to around here about getting paid?    
We sang happy birthday and had cake and then enjoyed snacking on potluck items while chasing the kids around the park. As a finale we got them all changed into their miniature swimsuits so we could chase them around the water fountains. It was a great cardio workout after all the food and the kids had a great time.  

Ethan and Harper

Ava's back, Harper in profile and Zoe's back. I'm telling you, it was hard to get those kids to stand still for photos. 

Mommy Laura in the action with Harper, Ethan and Ava. 

Handsome Cevan getting some sun.

Harper and Ethan.

Harper's attempt to drink from the fountain (which I did put the camera down to stop) gave Zoe an opening to grab the basketball. 
On Sunday Brad put together her Super-Duper Birthday Extravaganza gift from us… a tricycle! We are sure it would have been a bigger hit if her legs were long enough to actually reach the pedals. Soon enough.
Isn't this the coolest tricycle you've ever seen? It was Brad's idea to get it for her. We almost bought her a push bike... until I saw her try the neighbor's out. Let me just say she's not quite coordinated enough for one yet.

And speaking of hits, we also opened the gifts from the grandparents. She really loved all the books and her new garbage truck but Nana won this year for favorite gift with a Dinosaur Train coloring book and colored markers. Harper has literally slept with the coloring book every night since opening her gifts.
Serious concentration is required when coloring in the Dinosaur Train coloring book.
Thank you Grandma, Grandpa, Nana and Pa!
In the end it was a perfect celebration for our little pumpkin. I can’t believe she’s already two years old and I can’t wait to see what this next year holds in store for us. I guess we’ll find out. Soon enough.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Electoral College

Harper loves The Phonics Song and has heard it so many times that she has it completely memorized. The phonics are sinking in, too. The past couple of weeks she’s been substituting the lyrics for other words that start with the same letter. For example, last week instead of, “K is for K-K-kangaroo” she sang “K is for K-K-kitten” and “D” was for “D-D-daddy” not “D-D-dog.” But she really surprised me yesterday morning with “O is for O-O-Obama.”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Booker Happenings

Last night as Harper was getting ready for bed I heard her giggling in the dining room. Suspicious, I poked my head around the corner to find her brushing Willa’s teeth… with her new Crayola toothbrush. Yuck.

Then, this morning it was Brad’s turn to get Harper out of her crib and dressed. While I was sleepily grappling with the idea of getting up for the day I overheard Brad in the kitchen saying, “Harper, do you want some coffee?”  Not cool, Brad. Not cool.

How could you say no to this face?

Please let us know if you have any leads.   

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cute Ending

Harper stopped taking naps a week and a half ago. I still optimistically put her in her “naptime pajamas,” read her a story and put her in her crib every day by 1:30. But instead of sleeping she spends the hour protesting her incarceration by throwing all the toys and bedding out of her crib, yelling my name over and over and, for the finale, stripping all of her clothes off.
Today, however, when I finally conceded, I was surprised to find her standing in her crib fully clothed... until I noticed everything was on inside out and backwards and her cute little diapered butt was sticking out. I guess she’s been using her downtime to practice dressing, too. I am so proud!
P.S. Can you believe she'll be two years old in only ten days?!?!? Where does the time go?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's That Time Again...

Harper's birthday is right around the corner so we spent the morning making her invitations. I traced a (very) simple outline of a dinosaur on each card and then Harper enjoyed coloring them in. I love that each one is special and unique. I also love how she concentrated on the heads, tails and feet. What else is noticeable on a dinosaur, anyway? They turned out pretty cute, especially considering that I am trying to get them out today because they are so late.

I can't believe my little girl is almost two.