we're due for another beautiful littles post, and i'm way overdue on a family post i started back mid-june following my uncle's funeral. is it really july already??
i'm really in need of a beautiful littles post, too. not that we're not enjoying our summer days of little to do, but because we're that much closer to 2 and the independence and personality is strengthening. some days, harper and i really challenge each other. surprisingly, though, i've kept my cool most of the time. i have a lot more patience than i ever thought i would for the purposeful not listening, the testing of limits mostly in the form of hitting or pushing mommy, the whining and the nos. maybe it's because i know she's most likely tired or hungry, or maybe it's because i know we only have until september 1st for this wonderful time off together. or maybe it's because finally being a mom makes me realize that i have to react in a way that will guide her and teach her. i have to show her what to do. if i screamed and cried and lost my cool every time she reared her lovely two-ness, well, then what am i showing her?? she's mine, and i have to parent the best way i can. but, boy oh boy, it's difficult and she's not making it a walk in the park.
so, here's my beautiful little things in our lives right now...
painted piggies i love getting pediures and painting my toenails, and harper showed some interest, so she chose her color and we painted. she tried to help, and ended up painting some of her toes, too, but we just wiped it off. and now, she loves pointing them out and showing them off. look at my pink toes, daddy! she is such a girlie-girl.
the movie theatre i also am a huge fan of going to the movies. i could actually care less what's playing, it's more about the act of going. of sitting in a dark theatre, popcorn and soda (ok, and candy) in hand and enjoying the big screen. we have a weekly play date with kellie and anna, and this last week was so hot, we were hesitant to do anything outside. so we found a theatre in town that offered kids movies for $1 per ticket (and harper was free!). anna and harper lasted quite a while, which was impressive. afterwards, we grabbed panera for lunch, which was where harper wouldn't eat, playfully kept slapping me on the cheek and arm, and repeatedly climbed on her diaper bag on the seat to see over the booth. and also where i slipped on the wet floor and received a lovely bruise on my kneecap and a bruised mommy ego to boot. when we got home and she resisted napping for 2 hours, i thought that would be the day i would lose it. but she finally napped, and so did i, and we both woke up more pleasant. thank goodness.
chocolate sandwiches...with friends we went over to bryce and graham's house to play, again too hot to go outside. so we played with toys in the cool basement, then moseyed upstairs for popsicles and chocolate sandwiches, i.e. nutella on whole grain bread. at least she got some protein and whole grains. bryce and harper shared his learning tower space at the counter, and graham enjoyed a few bites of his own chocolatey delight. i don't have to tell you that harper loved this snack.
old family pictures while browsing through some old photos with my mom and aunt before my uncle's funeral, i came upon this one and my mouth dropped open. my mom is on the left, and to me, harper is identical to her at this age. it's uncanny. i've been told several times that harper looked like my mom by many different people and i never realized just how much until i saw this. (i'm bummed these didn't come out larger, but i took a picture of the actual picture with my cell phone, sent it to my e-mail, saved it in iphoto on my computer, uploaded it into photobucket and then to blogger, so i'm not surprised.)
our garden it's immense and growing more daily. since i took these pictures, it has sprouted even more. we've been bombarded with lettuce and zucchini, and have had grilled zucchini and salads with our dinner more times than i can count (and again tonight). and just today, we noticed that we have our first cucumbers and tomatoes starting to blossom. i love that we can walk a few yards to the garden, with harper and her buckets in tow, and pick fresh veggies to be consumed for a meal.
and it's not a beautiful littles post without some type of food item. this time, it's swiss oatmeal. i first fell in love with swiss oatmeal while visiting my brother in d.c. he took me to corner bakery, and said that i would love it. cold oatmeal took a second to get over, but by first bite, i was hooked. i got the ingredients from their website and made my own at home. it's been tweaked over the years, and i think by now it tastes just like the original.
in case you're interested, here's the recipe: 1 cup rolled oats (cooked), 1 chopped granny smith apple, 1 chopped banana, 3 tablespoons currants, raisins or dried cranberries or cherries (i never measure), 1 cup lowfat plain yogurt, 1 cup skim milk, 1 tablespoon honey (or more to your liking). mix all together, dish out and top with sliced almonds and/or berries. it keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days. enjoy!
toy story and woody not certain how this obsession came to be recently, but harper can't get enough of toy story 1, toy story 2 and her woody doll that was passed down to us from eenee and gippin.
party preparation my girl is going to be 2 on saturday and we're having a party! and we're getting crafty here. i told myself after last year's party that i wasn't going to go overboard, but alas, i am. it's definitely smaller than last year's fiesta, but i'm not skimping on the decorations, the favors, the yummies, the activities. my dining room has morphed into party central. bags of cake and cookie ingredients, plates and napkins and favors for the party bags line the floor. cut fabric, paper, string and the hot glue gun have covered the table. we're surrounded by orange and pink. i can't wait til saturday. well, i can because i need a few more days to prep.
and finally, the most beautiful big thing of all is family. that's what life is all about. family knows you for the good and the bad. and they still love you for it. and more than our little 3 + dog family in our home is the extension of us. my uncle's passing brought our family together to celebrate his life. my emotions ran amok those few weeks. when i didn't think i had any tears left, i was proven wrong. but it was also such a joy to just be with family, share memories and laughter and tears, and know that we would all get through this sad time together.
my brother (on the right) with our cousin, geoff. their looks and mannerisms are so similar, it's uncanny.
after the funeral that saturday morning, my aunt invited us all over to her house for a bbq with a few of my uncle's favorite things. ribs, brats, german potato salad and killian's red. we ventured down to the beach for a little bit, reminiscing and remembering the good times.
kenny's dad and sister. they came in for the funeral, along with kenny's mom who was back at the house helping with dinner.
for some reason, feeling the need to be in close quarters, ethan played his video game under collier's play mobile. teppie joined him to watch, and then harper joined in the cuddles.
eating, laughing, washing dishes together, reading my uncle's diary which my cousin, dave, found while sorting through some old papers. just being together. it's what our family does very well. especially when going through such immense heart break, we find solace in each other. we are close, but this seems to have brought us closer. and being close is what it's all about.
**as a side note, please ignore the mish mash of photo sizes in this post. i seem to have figured out how to get the photo size i want, and for it to be consistent. look for it in future posts (and the most recent ones).