Sunday, February 28, 2010

easy like sunday morning

today was a good day. i am happy when i get to the end of a day, and feel we got something accomplished. there used to be many a day where i'd wonder what did we do today? but today was not one of those days. today, we enjoyed the comforts of our home, made a mess in the kitchen and took a walk with maximus. michael and i also enjoyed some adult time at a bowling event later in the afternoon sponsored by his work, while harper got some qt with my second cousin and one of our regular sitters, sarah.

my friend, kellie, posted a link on her blog about how to make the best muffins ever. so i thought we'd give it a shot and see if the claim was true. harper helped me whip up 2 batches- apple & raisin and blueberry & white chocolate chip. harper enjoyed sampling the ingredients and taste testing, in addition to pouring and stirring. and when all was said and done, we sat on the kitchen floor and savored the warm gooey muffins straight out of the oven. and the verdict by the family was that they were absolutely delightful and will definitely be made again.

in the craziness of our typical days, it feels good to slow down and enjoy the beautiful little moments of our weekends.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


ever since harper helped to build a snowman at school early this week, she can't stop talking about him. big snowman! i see him? has become a favorite phrase lately. so, what's a mom to do, but build our own little version in our yard. the snow that day wasn't nearly as packable and rollable as it was during our snow day on monday, but we managed to create a pint-size version of her school friend. knowing he'd get lost in the deep snow, we set him on our porch. harper lent a helping hand with the twig hair and filling in the holes with more snow by patting it with her mittens. after we finished, she kissed him adieu and bid him goodnight and went inside.

and then she stared at him out the front door, checking to make sure he wasn't going to move.

Friday, February 26, 2010

beautiful little roses

i am breathing a huge sigh of relief, but also releasing a lot of pent up emotions and tears today.

first off, i love my pediatrician's office even more after today. a big thanks to them for not making us wait through the weekend plus 3-4 additional business days to hear whatever news was going to be dealt. my phone rang at 8:30 this morning. it was the nurse, calling with the results, a mere 16 hours after harper's last blood test. needless to say, i was impressed. the lead levels came back normal. the words so there is no concern about lead poisoning were heard, and my mind was instantly put at ease. i started to dial michael, and the tears started. happy tears. emotional tears. yesterday, i had begun to put my battle armor on, and i can't tell you how elated i was that i could start taking it off today. i'll put it away until another time.

we found the roses, but we also snagged some additional thorns.

we learned from my michael's mom last night that jen and kelly's dog, bailey, passed away yesterday. bailey lived a long and happy 12 years. she was loved by so many people, and she loved everyone in return. bobos, as she was nicknamed, had such a genuine and sweet spirit. she had gone through a few home changes before jen adopted her at 9 months old, but she was loyal to the core. she will truly be missed.

i'm looking forward to spring, and the return of some beautiful flowers.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


my recent posts have been about the positives, and the joys in our lives. and there are plenty of those. but i occasionally need reminders that life isn't always so perfect. life isn't always a big, beautiful bouquet of roses. sometimes there are thorns. and today, i found some.

i scheduled an appointment with harper's pediatrician for this morning. she's been congested for the last 2 weeks, and i've noticed it in her eyes more than before. she's also been more lethargic, grabbing her taggie and blanket and curling up with her thumb in her mouth even minutes after she wakes from a full night's rest. something just didn't feel right.

i've heard many times that you are blessed with mommy gut when you become a parent, and i've found that to be true. i was so glad i listened to my mommy gut today.

i had been putting off calling the doctor. putting off having to take her to the pediatrician's, knowing full well that she would cry the second we walked back to the exam rooms. she has a memory of this place, and it's not pleasant. but mommy gut took over, so we went. she was scheduled for an exam and also for 2 immunizations. but her lethargy was a big concern of mine. so, seconds before the pediatrician left our room, after she had already diagnosed her with an ear infection, my gut was kicked and i blurt out what about a blood test? she's never had one before. might that tell us anything? would you recommend it? the doctor looked at her computer, and saw that one would most likely be recommended at her 2 year appointment in july, but that it wouldn't hurt to do one now and rule out possible anemia as a reason for her lethargy.

harper was amazing during her procedures. she cried like you wouldn't believe, but she did not flinch once. not through her capillary blood draw from her finger, and not from her shots in her thighs. she inspires me in ways i never expect sometimes.

literally an hour later, the doctor's office called and informed me that harper's blood results were back. her cbc was normal, but her lead levels were elevated to higher than normal and expected. they wanted me to get a full venous blood draw. mommy gut.

my mind would not focus on the afternoon. it was all i could do to not watch the clock until 3:30 hit and i was off to pick her up and drive her back to the lab for more painful memories (for me). and again, my little soul showed no hesitation among her tears. she held her arm out for the nurse, accepting of what she was going to do, trusting that i had her best interest in mind, as i'm holding on so tightly to her. it was over in a few minutes. and she was easily redirected with suckers and stickers. me, on the other hand, can't be so easily distracted.

i've shed some tears today, fearful of what i don't know. we have to wait until we get the results. and this could all be for naught. could all be a false elevation. but that doesn't stop my mind from thinking the what ifs. in my mind, i've already hired a lead inspector, changed out her toys, wallpapered over the paint, moved houses. done anything i can for my precious baby girl.

when your heart goes walking around outside your body, you do anything you can to protect it. and i hope to be able to provide her with a gardenful of roses to land in.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


i knew it would happen soon enough, but i didn't think it would be this soon.

my little peanut has slowly emerged as an independent spirit. a free will, do-it-myself kind of girl.

i shouldn't be surprised. i have always been told by my mom that i am independent, almost too independent. i like to do things on my own. and apparently, so does my offspring.

since harper started in daycare in september, she has learned more than i would have expected, one of them being patience (although this isn't always practiced in the comforts of home) as she waits her turn to be dressed in snowpants and coat to play outside. school has also fostered her independence, and encouraged her to try things out for herself while she's waiting. this, of course, rears its ugly head at 7:40 in the morning as we're getting ready to walk out the door.

this morning, i pulled her coat, hat and boots out of the closet and laid them on the floor as i always do. i do my best to offer choices, such as would you like your boots or hat on first? to allow her the ownership and avoid resistance. today, without even being asked, she ran over to her winter gear and proceeded to attempt to put on her coat. 1 minute. 2 minutes. she kept trying and trying, and when i asked if i could help, she quickly responded no. i stepped back and kept watching, amazed that she wasn't showing any frustration. she would pull the coat over her head, and then watch it fall to the floor. then she noticed her boots, and decided she'd try that instead. 1 minute. 2 minutes. 3 minutes. no luck, but not for lack of trying. the hat she can easily put on, and she did that repeatedly in between coat and boot attempts.

i asked her again if i could help, explaining that we needed to go to school (trying to rationally explain as best as a 19-month-old can comprehend). i knelt down on the floor and picked up her coat, and she ran away from me with a big smile on her face. game on, mommy.

it was all i could do not to curl in a ball on the floor crying. knowing i was in an endless battle. knowing i was going to be oh so very late to work. knowing i couldn't dare be angry at a girl who likes to do things for herself. this is what i had hoped for her, isn't it?

so instead, i bent over onto her coat, head on the floor, and began laughing uncontrollably. and harper came running over, curiously laughing at her crazy mommy lying on the floor. i picked my head up and saw the biggest smile on the face of my little sunshine. i hugged her tightly and kissed her plenty...and quickly eased on her coat, hat and boots.

the i's have been overwhelming lately, and i realize this is only the beginning.

i do it! i read it! i get it! i treat!

harper, I love you, and all of your glorious independence.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


2-22-2010. today we are celebrating.

we are celebrating michael, who turns 32. happy birthday to the most amazing husband and father. we love you more than you know, and are so proud of all of your accomplishments.

we are celebrating a snow day. harper and i didn't have to rush off to school this morning, and instead got to lounge in our pjs and enjoy breakfast seated at the table. michael even had breakfast with us because...

we are celebrating personal days from work, and michael's decision to take one and stay home with us. once he looked outside at all the snow that had fallen since 11 pm last night, and watched the news and checked the internet to see that my district had called it off, he crawled back into bed and informed me "you don't have school today. i'm not going to work." it was the best thing to hear at 5:30 in the morning.

we are celebrating time together, and our trip to the local park for some sledding and good ole winter fun. the snow did not stop the entire time we were there. i loved it. we stayed a good hour or more, trying our best to hold off harper's nap. she enjoyed being outside, and loved swinging, sliding, sledding down the hill, making snow angels, catching snowflakes on our tongue and eating mouthfuls of new fallen snow. to top it all off, we had the entire park to ourselves. it was a magical winter wonderland.

we are celebrating maximus, and his love of romping around in the snow with us. get him outside and toss snowballs in the air, and you'd think he was a puppy again. i love our dog. despite his constant shedding, he is a gentle giant, full of happiness and protection, trust and tolerance. he allows harper to climb all over him without flinching, and follows her wherever she goes.

we are celebrating hot chocolate, and enjoying some after playing in the snow and plowing the driveway while harper naps. oh, what a sweet treat (naps and chocolate).

we are celebrating dinner out and cupcakes in. a yummy meal and homemade red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. my little sugarplum fairy has decided that she prefers the frosting over the cake, complete opposite of her daddy.

we are celebrating a day of being together as a family. today is a day i wish i could put on repeat. but alas, time marches on. there will be many more days to celebrate, both typical and out of the ordinary. thankfully, we have the (hundreds of) pictures to remember our celebration day.