Saturday, June 30

9 Months {of Harper Lovin'}

Harper Alan turned 9 Months on June 29, 2012.  Crazy!

Here's what our big girl is up to:

Weight: 17lbs 11oz. {29%} 
Height: 27 1/4 {40%}
Head: 45 cm {78%}

Diapers: size 2, Nighttime size 3
Clothes: can wear 6 months or 3-6 months, am going to wash and try the 9 month clothing I have!

Food: Still on Similac Alimentum and takes 26 oz. a day. Harper was a great eater until about a week ago. Now she's all of a sudden basically refusing to eat?! Who knows. But she was eating cereal twice a day, fruit twice a day, and a veggie 1-2 times a day.  Harper has eaten a few real fruits that have been cut up - watermelon, strawberries, and cantelope.  The doctor told us to start soft table foods since H seems to want to be an independent eater!

Teeth: H has her two bottom teeth, but we found out she's teething with her two top teeth at the appointment!

Sleep: Harper goes to bed around 8-8:30 and sleeps between 7:45-8:10.  She's pretty much on a nighttime routine and if it's at all off it results in crying out for about 10-30 minutes in the middle of the night or having a hard time going down (resulting in CIO, which I hate).  It's so weird to me that she can't tell time, yet we can put her to bed 20 min. late and she knows?!?!?  As far as naps, we get one good one in the morning (good for her - 1/1/2 to 2 hours) and the afternoon nap is touch and go.

Activities/New Things: Harper still loves being out and about.  She is SO stinking good and it just warms my heart to not have to worry.  She is a 'creeper' though and just stares at new people or the table beside us in a restaurant! ha!  She loves to be around other kids and is just fascinated by watching them, too.  She loves her cousins and gets to be around them lots and we've made a few new friends for her at her Gymboree class.  Her favorite thing to do is still CLIMB. The girl is a monkey.  Too bad I have had her b-day theme planned since she was 4 months or I would have totally changed it to a monkey theme!!!! She absolutely has no fear and climbs anything and everything.  She squeals with delight and gets so proud of herself!  Harper has also gotten VERY good at standing on her own.  Since she was very young she has preferred to stand and play with a toy rather than sit, so this is not surprising.  She's got great balance and can stand, stand holding a sippy cup or toy, or push off from the ground and stand.  Harper has taken a few steps without holding on, but falls quickly.  I'm not trying to push her into being an early walker. :)  She does love to walk with you holding her hands and is kind of fast!  She also loves her walker toys the best. Sometimes I hide those for a little while. Whoops.  She also loves banging toys together and the noise doesn't bother her at all! Harper is also a huge fan of the pool and loves to splash and kick - but she gets very upset if she is splashed in the face!  Another new thing is that she has found her hair! She pulls and tugs on her hair a lot. It's pretty funny...except...she's starting to rip out her bows! Agh!! I keep telling her she will look like a boy, but it doesn't seem to upset her in the least. :)

Talking/Understanding: Harper used to say Dada and Mama, but now, pretty much everything is Mama. She does say Mama with meaning, but she also says it all.the.time. Remember the night waking...she loves to say it then! :)  Did anyone else feel at this age so weird that your baby is like a human being? I mean, she actually understands things we say and I just think it's so weird.  Right now, we are working on listening skills (haha). So, I tell her to go get her book and bring it to me AND SHE DOES. I tell her to crawl up the ramp at class AND SHE DOES. When she is getting into something she shouldn't (like the fireplace) I tell her "Not for Harper" and she turns to look at me and stops. WEIRD. It kind of freaks me out but I love it.  She's so real! HAHAHA  She is back to loving her books (we took a hiatus because she never would sit still).  She especially loves the flap books or button books.  She remembers where each button is or flap is on each page and squeals with delight when it's her turn.  We also have this barn book that makes animal sounds and she makes a sound after each button. Too cute!  She makes a "brrrr" sound with her mouth a lot. Usually when she is motoring around with her walker or crawling. It sounds hilarious.

Personality: I love my girl's personality and disposition, but I think it's changed in this month.  I am not sure if it's the age and that they are starting to have more stranger anxiety or if it's that she's with me all the time instead of her sitter - but she is very clinging to me.  {doc said it was totally normal for this age and expected} She would once go to anyone but now she has to warm up to almost everyone.  She used to instantly smile at anyone but now, again, she sometimes takes more time to warm up.  I really hope this changes. I honestly do not want her to be shy! I was such a shy kid and it's so hard!  But all in all, she's a super happy -full of life girly and I couldn't honestly ask for a better baby! I know I am blessed!
... and on that note I will tell you we think she's already throwing TANTRUMS! For real? Does this happen this early?!  When she has to get a diaper change it is like the end of the world.  She throws her head and body back and bawls until it is over or tries to crawl away. I mean, who wants to sit in their poop all day?Not me. I'm getting better with the art of distraction {aka letting her eat my cell phone} but I think it is just redonkulous. Again, doc says it's normal for a super mobile baby like Harper.

What do we do with our Time?:  Well pretty much every day is an adventure. We play at home, usually go shopping somewhere, go to the pool, or go to a friend's house. We also do lunch dates with others..and just the 2 of us, too! :)

And here's her pics...sooo not like they used to be!!!!! :(

Wednesday, June 27

9 Months {for Momma}

Here we are, approaching Harper's 9 month birthday.  It's funny to think I've had her here with me the same amount of time it took to 'cook' her {i know, i know, it's really 10 months...}.

So, how has our lives changed in 9 months?

*Our life is crazy chaotic and perfectly simplified all at the same time.
We once could go and take Harper anywhere at any time and not worry about it. But now that she's older, we are on more of a schedule and have to keep naps and bedtimes on the routine.  As a teacher, I know this is the very best for a child, but I cannot lie and tell you it's easy to become so simplified!

*My Own.
I have my own family. Harper is mine. Brian is a Dad. We, together, are a family.  Brian and I were a family when it was just to 2 of us, but now we are a family of 3.  Decisions and choices are made for the 3 of us first. I love that feeling.  I love the feeling of having Harper as my daughter.  I've actually come to love knowing that *right now*{summer} I'm never alone...I always have her with me.

*It gets easier.
No lie. I thought that first month was the hardest ever. And it was. But it truly gets easier or maybe you just grow into your new normal.  Being a Mom is so hard and so fun all at the same time.  I love how she rewards me each day. I love how I can tell I'm teaching her things and she's learning to be her own person. I love her personality.  It's so weird to see her at this age. She understands things we say and watching her play and learn to be so mobile is so fun.

It took me 9 months to gain my weight. I haven't lost all of it, but I am getting to be ok at where I am. However, I cannot fit into several of my pre-pregnancy clothes.  My body is just different now. I have curves that I never had. I actually have boobs for once {ha!} and my hips have widened as a result of a v-birth. You know what? It happens. And I am finally starting to see my body as it's meant to be seen after a child. I carried her to life. I grew her inside of me. So what if I can't wear size 0 anymore. Isn't there more to life than trying to starve myself into being who I 'once was'? I'm not that girl anymore. I'm a woman and a Mommy. One who is proud to have been given the gift of childbirth.  Yes, I'd love to be skinnier and of course I look at other Mom's who are thinner than me, but, at the end of the day, you just have to let it go.  I also have a lot calmer sense about me which is GREAT. I'm sure everyone around me likes that better, too!  I feel like I'm so busy or I spend so much energy on Harper that at the end of the day, I cannot obsess over little trivial things like I used to. I do love that so much!

It's so disheartening that this is a real word these days. If I've learned anything in these past 9 months, it's that each Mommy does what she can for her family. Sure, I judged while I was pregnant and before I was pregnant. But I can PROMISE you this, I do not judge now.  Does it get to me when people judge me? Oh yea. But the thing is, we need to support each other because it is honestly the hardest and the most IMPORTANT job in the entire world.  The most hurtful is when people you care about judge you.  It's really hard and I think it's hard on friendships when you feel like you're being judged.  I'm not sure if it's because of everyone always trying to be the best, but I sure hate it!

*Our Days.
I love our summer days together.  I was a little nervous about being home with Harper this summer.  Maternity Leave was kind of hard with her colic, but this time around it's so much fun.  I had planned to get her in some type of Mom's Day Out or little class without me a couple times a week, but I haven't even looked in to it.  I don't actually want to do things without her! My Mom has kept her a few times when I've had to go to work things and that has been great...but I haven't chosen to be away from her for a period of time yet.  I was also hoping that being with her all day every day was going to make me feel like I wanted to get-away with Brian {which I think he was hoping, too} but I haven't! I still don't like leaving her all night. I wish I did, but I just don't yet!
I also feel like we are doing all the fun things we had talked about last summer when I was pregnant and I'm loving it.  I love how easy going Harper is and how much she loves getting out and doing things.  This time right now is just so much fun!

*Our House is a Mess.
And I wouldn't have it any other way! YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT!  We've rearranged, moved things out, and moved things in to make more sense for Harper. I'm SURE I had said before that I wouldn't do that, but my girl is a wild child and I want her to have a "safe" area to play in! I actually look at the toys now and love it because it reminds me of the fun we had during the day.  I do pick them up, just to get them back out again, but it just doesn't bother me like I thought it would!

This 9 months sure has flown by a lot faster than the 9 months I was pregnant! :)

Sunday, June 24

the {medical} box

A few have asked me to tell about this little here ya go!

I keep all of Harper's 'medical' items in one box.  I think it's SO much handier than trying to find a bunch of stuff in the cabinet. Plus, it's all in one place!  But that might just be my teacher-mentality: everything needs to be in a bin or a ziplock baggie!  I used my cricut to put the little ambulance on, but if you don't have one, you could just purchase a scrapbooking sticker or a hospital item and place on there!

I also gave a version of this to a friend for her baby shower gift. I think it's a great idea, as we really didn't own too many of these items until it was too late so to speak and Brian was out at Rite Aid or BRU getting items after the fact!  We also took this handy thing on vacation and it was great!

What's in it?

*Baby Rub {put on bottoms of feet if has a cold, we rub it on H's chest each night to help with KY allergies}

*Pedia Care {you can use this more than tylenol for a young age}

*Boogie Wipes {totally LOVE these, so soft on their tiny nose}

*Baby Orajel

*Little Ones Saline drops {great for stuffy noses}

*Highlands Teething Tablets

*Mentholatum {rub on scrapes to help heal faster}

*Teething brush/massager {every baby needs this!}

*A+D Ointment

*Desitin {we use this nightly...just in case!}

*Johnson and Johnson Nighttime Lotion

*Johnson and Johnson Vapor Wash {great for colds!}

*Dr. Brown's teething paci {looks so weird, but hits even the back molars!}

What are some of your favorite go-to products when your baby isn't feeling like herself?!

Sunday, June 17

I love Summer!

Man, I've been trying to write a "first week of summer" post for about 3 weeks now! I just don't have any blogging mojo in me right now!  But, I'm loving summer SO much! It's so incredibly different than any years in the past, but it is great.  Harper definitely keeps me on my toes ALL DAY LONG! I've worked hard on getting her to nap consistently...but the morning nap is about all I get.  Afternoon nap is hit or miss.  *Remember, we are talking about my girl here, the one who has never required that much sleep! ha! But, she's sleeping great at night - about 11 hours and she's still happy so we are ok with it!

So, Harper-girl is a freaking crazy baby! ha! She is soo stinking adventurous! She's also a very strong little girly we think!  She is so bored with crawling already and tries to walk everywhere.  Except...she doesn't know how...which led us to a HUGE goose egg on her head the other day! EEK!  She also is in to everything, climbs everything, stands like a big girl, walks on her walking toys all over the house, and squeals all day with delight! It's great! She's also such a water baby - which I love!  Mostly we just hang out in our baby pool because it's easier than getting all packed up and going to the pool! But I am definitely more exhausted than I've ever been! ha! Summer is also super fun because I feel like we are doing all kinds of cute family things in the evenings and weekends with our little baby! It's what I'd hoped for when I was pregnant... and I'm just loving that right now SHE is my only responsibility!

Anyways, here's just a few pics of what we've been up to lately...

morning playtime is my favorite!

first time in the church nursery! {and a bow in my hair!}

can you see her goose-egg?

she LOVES button books!

when she rides this (she gets pushed) she goes "brrrr" like a car! it's too funny!

we've completely rearranged our home! no more coffee table, bumper corners everywhere...

in the height of teething...everything goes in the mouth!

ha, this is a terrible picture, but I was trying to get her cute bottom 2 teeth as she was laughing!

Hope your summer is off to a great start, too!

Friday, June 15

our new member :)

{no you freaks! i am NOT preggo. hahaha HELLO, I need at least 5 days of straight-through-the-night sleep before we even entertain that idea! ha! apparently I need to be a little more honest about my wild woman?!?! :)}

However, we did just add this cutie to our family.

Meet Jusufu Paul. Isn't he adorable?  He's from Sierra Leone, Africa and he's 3 years old.  Let me tell you a little about his living conditions...

Sierra Leone
 Sierra Leone lies on Africa’s Atlantic coast between Guinea and Liberia. The landscape includes eastern mountains, an upland plateau, wooded hills, and coastal mangrove swamps. A rainy season runs from May to November and a dry season runs from December to April.

US Comparison to Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone United States
Land Mass
3,794,083 sq miles
Life Expectancy
48 years
78 years
Infant Mortality
Literacy Rate
School Enrollment
Access to Safe Water
Average Annual Income

This has been something that I've had on my heart for a while. When I mentioned it to Brian he was completely on board.  It's taken us a few months, but for now, we've found what we we're looking for.


Let me tell you WHY we want to do this and why it's exciting for us:

In the society and the circle we seem to live in, we are by no means rich.  Actually, we are probably pretty low on the totem pole!  However, in all reality, we are completely-no mistakenly rich beyond measure. We know the love of God. We have a roof over our heads and food to eat. We {I} buy things relatively that I want.  I, on average, buy my daughter something weekly whether it be {smocked} outfits or toys.  My husband and I definitely don't live in our dream home, but it's nice, comfy, and quaint.  So, yes, actually, we are rich. ha!  We tithe our biblical percent from each of our paychecks every 2 weeks.  We give extra when charity events come around and so on.  But, are we really giving?  Are we sacrificing? Not really. Of course, we could save the money we are tithing and use it on ourselves, so we could pretend that's sacrificing.  But even then, are we sacrificing anything? For us, no.  So OUR decision was to do something that means a lot to us and make it meaningful to our family.

We love children and there's just something about them we adore. Yet, I am so not trying to have a house full. :)  So, with Jusufu and the program {we researched a lot!} we are using, we actually get to interact with him and watch him grow.  We give a monthly amount and then have opportunities to give more {like buy a few extra goats for his family or community, buy school supplies, etc.}.  We are allowed to correspond through letters and use pictures.  Although at this time, we are unable to talk about Christ, we can pray for Christ to get to Jusufu.
And you know what the best part is??
Jusufu is going to be Harper's sort of *brother*.  Through him the possibilities are ENDLESS of what we can teach our girl.  Can you imagine?  We've prayed and seen in the future that we can show Harper that yes, there ARE people who do not live like you.  There are people who live better, and worse, and that it's not about monetary items.  Now, please do not get me wrong: I like nice things just as much as the next person: but this is just an entire different element to use as a teaching for Christ tool that is the right fit for OUR family.

Anyways, we are so excited about this and really look forward to the future and what is to come with our little guy!

Will you join us in praying for him?


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