Thursday, April 29, 2010

beautiful little nico

more beauty again today! another one of my cousins (i only have 4) had her baby this morning. nico alexander was born at 12:49 am weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces. congratulations, amy & kenny & big sister giana! (yes, coincidentally, both of my girl cousins married kenny's.)

more littles to snuggle.

take me out to the ballgame

i'm usually a stickler for schedules. usually. i really try my best to keep with harper's nap schedule and bedtime as much as humanly possible. this is mostly due to my own selfishness, as i am typically the one she calls out for in the middle of the night when she's had a restless sleep. i like my sleep, what can i say. and harper does, too. come nap time or bedtime, we don't really have to fight to get her to drift off to dreamland. so when an opportunity comes up or an invitation is offered, and it interferes with her schedule, i have to once again ding the bell to start the round of the battle within myself. part of me says it's a fun/good/great/exciting opportunity. screw schedules. let's go! while the other half of me says that's not something we should do because harper's schedule will be off and she'll be a bear the next day. enter tickets to the detroit tiger's game...on tuesday at 7 pm (her bedtime) a suite.

i grappled with this decision. michael was all for it. his mom got the suite tickets from work, so harper would be able to stretch her legs around a large space and stay warm, but also experience her first tigers baseball game. being a libra, i'm always trying to find balance. going back and forth on the pendulum weighing my decision, and sometimes just never ever coming to a conclusion (because i'm so indecisive). i at first told him no, it wasn't a good idea, especially on a tuesday when we had work and school the next day. and then, i called him back and said what the heck. it'll be fun and we'll only stay for a little bit.

needless to say, i'm glad we went. we got to see grandma & grandpa (harper is always asking where grandpa is), auntie kelly, auntie jen & pat. even though it was a bit chilly, we got to see a little bit of the game. harper sidled up on grandpa's lap and cuddled in close while she listened to him call out the hits and strikes, the fly balls and home runs. we got to ride the merry-go-round a couple times (harper didn't want to get off). we snacked on traditional baseball game food- hot dogs, soft pretzels and beer. and we received an official first tigers game certificate along with a poster of miguel cabrera, which will totally match the decor of her pink, brown and green polka-dot and striped bedroom. totally.

sorry for the turn of the camera in this video clip which makes you have to subsequently turn your head to the left in order to see the rest of it. michael was practicing using his new iphone (happy early father's day!)

we left around 9, and i think i crashed in the car well before harper did. i could hear her in my subconscious singing herself to sleep as she does every night in her crib. i think i was trying to catch a few extra zzz's in the event that she did wake up that night. but she didn't. i was able to carry her from the car to her bed without her waking up (we were well prepared and changed her into her pjs at the game-another advantage to having the space in the suite!). wednesday proved to be a little sleepy, but we just did bedtime a few minutes early and all is well. well, that is, until she stayed home sick today with croup, but i don't think it's related...or is it. oh no, here we go again. ding. ding.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


i've been thinking long and hard all weekend what to title this post. i thought i had it friday night, then saturday came, adding something different to our weekend, and the title changed. and finally, tonight, i came to the conclusion that this weekend just made me {happy}. in a comfortable place and enjoying life. just happy.

it started with an impromptu bbq with friends (and neighbors) friday night, which kept the kids up late with a fire in the fireside pit and roasted marshmallows. we're just so lucky to have such wonderful friends that live 3 houses down.

harper loves mr. chad

the return of this beer marks summer, and makes my husband a very happy guy.

and to see harper and hunter together is just adorable.

hunter fits right into our family.

saturday, i got motivated to clean house. literally. i put harper down for her nap and got on my hands and knees to scrub the floors. laundry was washed and folded. floors were vacuumed and mopped. dishes were cleaned and put away. dust bunnies were banished. puzzle pieces that have been missing since last june were found! candles were lit and i could finally relax in my peaceful, clean surroundings. it's amazing how a clean house can lift your mood. i let it go just to make sure i enjoy what's truly important and spend time with harper, but sometimes, enough is enough. i love a clean house.

and i also love walking in the rain with my girl. she's smart enough to know how important daily fresh air is, despite the constant rain this weekend. so we donned our boots (have to get her some wellies and a pint-sized umbrella) and walked in the rain. clean and refreshing. (except that my camera was in the wrong setting, so i got zero good pictures of her.)

i ended saturday night at borders picking up some new books of interest with my brother-in-law's friends and family discount. a knitting how-to book. a manual about my digital slr camera. a new cookbook from cooking light with only 5 ingredients in every recipe (my kind of cooking!). an interesting read about nutritionally deficit disordered children (thank you, christina). and a new bedtime story for harper. books (and discounts) make me happy.

sunday morning brought an early trip to the airport for michael (4:45 am!), as he took his brother and girlfriend to catch their flight to florida for a 7-day cruise. he made it back before 6 am, and since no one was up, he decided to go back to bed. he still wasn't up by the time harper and i awoke, so i stole her away for a mommy-daughter early bagel breakfast to allow him some quiet sleep. we rolled in our pajamas, hair undone and relished in a blueberry bagel with strawberry yogurt cream cheese and milk for her/coffee for me. and i just stared at her, so thankful that we have these times to be together. thankful that she's mine. amazed that she's 21 months of amazing little girl who i can pretty much have a full-on conversation with. absolute happiness.

i love seeing this happiness in my rearview mirror.

and later, a brunch with some new friends. delicious food (sausage and leek casserole, fruit salad, and dark chocolate raspberry muffins), fabulous company and a charming old home in a quaint little suburb. thank you, peri and matt!

a few rough points, most specifically a no-nap sunday and crankiness ensuing full throttle at harper's bedtime, another busted lip in the exact same spot as last weekend (she's still beautiful), and a long, cathartic run that had me weeping tears on the treadmill, literally.

but overall, a belly-full-of-your-favorite-comfort-food-while-doing-whatever-you-love-best kind of happiness of a weekend. hope yours was happy, too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

how to eat fried worms

happy earth day! in celebration, harper and i whipped up some dirt dessert. here are the instructions...

step 1: pour milk and jell-o pudding mix into bowl.

step 2: add some cool whip for extra whippiness. stir.

step 3: stir some more, just because stirring is fun.

step 4: place oreos in a ziploc baggie and use a rolling pin to crush those little sugary circles into a million pieces of "dirt".

step 5: spoon some "dirt" into the bottom of your {washed} clay pot.

step 6: spoon the pudding mix on top of the dirt. be sure to get nice and messy.

step 7: wiggle some gummy worms into the mix so they're hiding.

step 8: add more "dirt" on top, and voila! dirt dessert. delicious!

oh, and don't forget to enjoy a whole cookie after you've completed your masterpiece. mixing and mashing is hard work, you know!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


"the soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears."

from a native american saying

for the second night in a row, i was away from home at bedtime. i didn't get to rock my harper bean to sleep, sing her songs, read her books, reflect on her day, kiss and snuggle her one last time before the sleepies crept in. and when i called my mom on my way home to ask her how their park date was, she told me that as they were getting ready to enter the park, it started to sprinkle and they had to turn back around for home. and i thought to myself, in everyone's life, some rain must fall.

i was sad that she didn't get to play on the swings and slides, as she is always requesting lately, and sad that i wouldn't get to see her until morning light. but then, as i was driving home, i spotted a rainbow. and i was inspired by seeing my first colorful ribbon of the rainy spring season to take a picture of it with my phone (yes, while i was driving. shame on me.)

can you see it in the distance?

when i walked in the door, i asked michael if she was asleep. we peeked at the monitor and noticed her hands were still moving, rubbing the silky ribbons of her taggie, thumb in mouth, easing herself to sleep. i took inspiration from the rainbow and headed into her room for some missed snuggle time. her eyes were open and she was lying on her side. when i walked over to her crib, she looked up at me as if to ask "why are you coming into my room when i'm not crying?" and then "where did you come from, mommy?" i rubbed her back and asked if she wanted to rock with mommy for a little bit. she grabbed her taggie and stood up.

i held my beautiful baby in the crook of my arm, where she still fits perfectly after 21 months, and rocked with her while i told her how much i loved her and how i missed her. i asked her how her day was, and she didn't miss a beat. it's raining. harper all wet. nana all wet. she just amazes me.

and then i traced her face. i remember my grandmother doing this to me as a child (heck, even as a teenager). she'd sit on her yellow and brown flowery couch, and i'd lay down with my head in her lap and ask her to tickle my face. she'd trace circles on my cheeks, up over my eyes, between my eyes and down my nose, back over my cheek and around my mouth with her fingertips. over and over and over. it was the most comforting feeling in the world. her wrinkled hands, aged with love, smoothed the worries and the sorrow that i carried in my face. those simple, quiet moments together are some of the most wonderful memories of my grandmother. and definitely something i wanted to pass along to my children.

i sat there in the dark, in her room, rocking in our chair, tracing the curves of her innocent face. she giggled at the tickles when i'd make it back around to her mouth and chin. and i couldn't help but thank the heavens for showing me a rainbow today. i would have missed this beautiful time with her had i not decided to forget-about-routine-bedtimes and putting-herself-to-sleep for just tonight and steal an extra moment. those first few minutes of our rocking, we just stared into each other's eyes with smiles on our face. i missed her and she missed her mama. she just seemed so happy and surprised to have me creep into her room and capture her for a little extra while. and i was delighted to have banished the rain and captured a rainbow.

Monday, April 19, 2010


there is so much beauty today. and i'm still so inspired by that darn song playing. can't get enough of it. so, here are my beautiful monday things.

first off, ch-chck. (that's the sound of me marking an item off my accomplist.) i donated blood today. shots, blood and the sort have always made me squeamish, but i swore that one day, i would do it. knowing i can do something to help save someone else is helping me get over this hurdle. after pregnancy, labor and birth, my squeamishness has decreased, but i felt i needed something more to push me over the last bump in the road. last month, that happened. harper goes to a daycare that has several locations around the area. there was a sign posted a month or so back that a little girl around harper's age in another building was diagnosed with leukemia in december, and the family was asking that people sign up if interested in donating blood so that the red cross would hold a blood drive. they needed 45 participants to commit in order to get it going. i signed up and rallied my family members to sign up as well. there were enough participants, so they scheduled one. for today. and i went. and i made it through. i got to the car afterwards and just cried. i cried for the little girl who had to go through chemo. i cried that it could just as easily be my baby. i cried for myself, selfishly that i did something i never thought i would do, and lived to tell about it. thirty has been an amazing year so far, from my first running race to my first blood donation. and it's not stopping.

another beautiful thing that i am loving right now is the way we can sneak a kiss out of harper even when she resists. the second she slyly says no, my lower lip juts out and i tempt her with a plea of "mommy's sad." she just can't live with this fact, so she puckers up and plants a big wet one and immediately proclaims "happy!" and we can repeat this over and over and over until we've exhausted kisses. how she knows her kiss can turn a frown upside down, i don't know. but i don't question it. i just relish in it's adorableness.

i gave her mini chocolates today, just because as i was sitting on the floor, she got in front of my face, hands on her knees, knees bent as if she was bouncing to a song, and so sweetly looked into my eyes with the most endearing plea "chocolates?" i couldn't resist. we've been home all day, fighting a cold (or allergies?), but enjoying the loungey day. pillows have come off the couch. fresh waffles were whipped up this morning. toys have been touched outside. i love my job, but it's so difficult to go back after spring break. it's like a teaser, then you return and have to work those loooong few months before summer vacation. i so enjoyed our day off today, and am looking forward to more of them in just 2 short months. that will be beautiful.

and finally, there is more beauty in the world today. my cousin, katie, gave birth to a sweet baby boy. collier kenneth was born 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 20 inches long on 4/19/10 at 9:45 pm. i can't wait to snuggle up this bundle of love. congratulations katie & kenny!

how much more beautiful than that can you get?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

beautiful littles

our little harper at age almost-2 and what we love about her...

*she sings her abc's

*how she calls out for her taggie, as in"taggie where are you?" when she needs some good taggie lovin', and how she even cries out for it in the middle of the night when she can't locate it in the dark

*how she has started to make excuses before bed- "i need water," "i need a change you" (nappie change), "i need milk," "i need coffee" (yes, coffee. we heard that one over the monitor one night. does that mean michael and i drink it too much?)
*how she cleans up, while singing the clean up song, the minute i give her a warning that it's time to go in the car/go upstairs/go inside/go eat dinner. well, this doesn't happen all the time, but it does quite often.
*how she's starting to use please and thank you, all on her own (after much modeling)
*how she's starting to say i'm thirsty after she guzzles down her milk or water
*her mdt (morning down time)

oh, and...

i'm LOVING this new song that's playing on my playlist. i discovered it friday on my favorite blog, and can't stop listening to it. hope you enjoy it, too.

what we're lubbing

nope, not a typo. harper likes to tell us i lub you when we kiss her goodnight, or even just randomly. it's the best feeling in the world. so, today, i'm dedicating my blog to all the things harper is lubbing right now, and some of the things i'm loving about her. a pseudo-beautiful littles post, if you will. just because my heart is happy. the blahs from last weekend have been banished. and we're living our life.

harper lubs...

chocolate. my goodness, if that girl could sleep in a barrel of mini m&m's, i think she would jump right into that opportunity. it's an addiction. most likely passed on from mommy's mega-sweet-tooth genes. it's not one we indulge in quite frequently, but when we do, look out. look at the bright side- it's how she learned her colors.

bubbles. the girl digs bubbles. trying to blow them through the wand. popping them. watching them float away. she becomes mesmerized.

ice cream and froyo. it's true, i don't deny the girl the chance to score some cold, frozen happiness served up with a spoon. i love it just as much, if not more. i'm always pondering in my head when the next time i can go get a chilly treat is. i just can't help myself. i guess it's why i run.

walks outside. she loves to climb in her stroller, but after a few minutes, she just wants to get out and use those legs. she wants to walk. she wants to run. she wants to go up and down the hill of our neighbors driveway. and she wants mommy to walk right alongside her. i love that.

helping mommy bake and cook. lately, she's been asking to help make dinner. i see why- she gets to taste and make messes along the way. i love sharing this time with her and i'm learning to care less about the mess we make. i'm always looking for great new recipes, fun cooking projects. i love to make something and watch people enjoy it. never used to be a good cook or baker, but i think i'm getting better. and i hope i'm fostering a lifelong love in her. at least fostering an enjoyment of mess-making knowing that it can always be cleaned up later.

airplane rides. not the real deal. the feet on her tummy kind. this is a new thing. there are so many fun activities, small as they may be, that i often forget to do with her. i had them all in my head before she was born. the books we would read. the songs we would sing. the rhymes we would recite with hand movements to match the words. and slowly, they're coming back into my head and we're accomplishing them.

her daddy. there's just something about daddy snuggles. he's wrapped around her little finger. and it's adorable to watch.

i'm loving...

the words that are just growing exponentially these days. she's putting sentences together like i couldn't have imagined for her age. and asking questions. where'd it go? what's that? the way she speaks amazes me. the songs she sings, remembering most of the words and making up some when she can't, the way her pitch rises and falls at the exact right places. her independence. the fact that she can now put on her purple shoes. all. by. herself. that she picks her vegetables to eat instead of the meat.

the way she stands on her tippy-tippy-toes to reach something way up high.

that she can be a girly girl and ogle over shoes and say things like cute and pretty one minute, and be a dirt-digging, sand-castle-building, want-to-be-outside-every-minute-of-the-day the next. she's a good mix between mommy and daddy.

her smile. her laugh. the way she says i lub you. her fingers. her toes. her baby blue eyes. her.

do you love her fat lip? she slipped on the hardwood and her tooth made a nice cut. she looks as if she just exited the boxing ring. my tough little cookie.

i count my blessings daily for the fact that she's mine. i'm her mommy. i get to keep her for the rest of our lives. i get to cuddle and kiss her whenever i want. i get to watch her grow up and enjoy all the moments in her beautiful little life. i won the lottery the day she was born. how lucky am i? how thankful i am.

there is laundry to be done. towels to be refolded because harper wanted to "help." there are dishes in the sink. dust bunnies are tumbleweeding across the floor. mail to sort through. dinners to be tackled. but, what we've accomplished today seems sufficient. our training run is complete (30 straight minutes! and there were so many times i wanted to stop, but michael wouldn't allow it. and i'm so thankful for him, motivating us and keeping us pressing on. kisses to my husband.). the carrot cake that i started to bake on friday was finally frosted and completed today, just because you don't need a special occasion to have cake. i've showered. the grass has been cut. umm, well that's good enough for a sunday, i guess.

i'm learning to enjoy the time we have together. so what if there are dustbunnies and piles of laundry. there's love, and that's what counts the most.

would love to hear what you're lubbing these days, too. after all, happiness doubles when you share it.