Thursday, November 12, 2009

Au Revoir, October!

Every time the 28th comes around, I realize two things: (1) Harper is another month older; and (2) our blog has gone an entire month without being updated. It's funny. After I resigned from my job at esd&associates in February, I remember thinking, "Oh, my gosh, I'm going to have so much TIME now. I'll have time to cook, clean, run errands, work on projects, update the blog, etc. I'll have time to do EVERYTHING!" And I did have time to do seemingly everything…for about three weeks. Oh, it was so wonderful! Every day Bitterman & I went for a two-mile walk; I worked on "the baby's" nursery and baby book; the house was clean and on its way to looking "settled in"; the laundry was ALWAYS done; and every night when Jeff came home, the two of us sat down at our kitchen table, turned off the TV, and talked about our days while we enjoyed a delicious home-cooked meal. This lasted for three weeks. Then I was placed on strict bed rest…and, well, you know the rest!

Needless to say, time has become quite the commodity again. I find it hilarious now, looking back, that I thought I'd have loads of time as a stay-at-home mom. I wouldn't trade my job as "Mommy" for anything in the world, but let's just say that the husband is no longer allowed to ask, "What did YOU do today?" Spend 30 minutes with a seven-month-old, and that question answers itself.

So the point of all the above is that I'm sorry I haven't updated. I feel bad about it—I really do—but at the same time, I don't see it changing anytime in the near future. Our absolutely HEINOUS schedule has been part of the problem over the past few months. First, we had Danny & Mel's bachelorette/bachelor parties, couples shower, and wedding. Don't get me wrong: All of it was a blast—but still, when you are the parents of a new baby, you have to conjure up a lot of nonexistent energy to embark on three weekends' worth of fun. Then Harper & I both got sick with colds during the middle of October. Then we had Halloween, complete with a Halloween party here at our house, and another wedding the following weekend. Things are pretty clear for a couple of weeks, but the week of Thanksgiving everything gets crazy again. We're doing Thanksgiving dinner over at my parents' house because my uncle, cousins, and who knows who else are all coming in from out of town. The day after Thanksgiving is my mom's birthday. The day after THAT is my ten-year high school reunion. The following week, on December 3rd, is our four-year anniversary (FOUR YEARS!), and at some point that week, we will be having family Christmas portraits/Harper's nine-month pictures done over here at our house…which means the entire house needs to be decorated for Christmas by then.

Somewhere in there, I need to buy/wrap Christmas presents for everyone, plan something fun to do for a mommies/babies get-together at the end of December, and figure out plans and meals for Christmas. My in-laws are going to be spending Christmas here with us this year, so I want this holiday to be extra special as it is Harper's first Christmas and the first time Jeff & I get to spend Christmas among both our families. I'm looking forward to it, but obviously I have a zillion things to do before then, and I can't believe it's already nearing the middle of November.

Anyway, this blog update is supposed to be about Harper's seventh month… Excuse my tangent!

First things first. These were her stats at our last doctor's appointment on October 29th (the day after she turned seven months old):

Weight: 16 lbs. 13 oz.
Length: 26 ¼ inches
Head Circumference: ??? (They don't measure head circumference during sick visits.)

Milestones during Harper's seventh month:

  • Harper discovered—and fell in love with—her feet:
  • She also saw a lizard for the first time and had no idea what to think!
  • Harper learned how to stand by herself while holding onto something for support (e.g., Daddy's leg, the coffee table, etc.):
  • As previously mentioned, Harper caught her first cold. We are very lucky that it was super mild. She never ran a fever or even acted like she felt sick; she was just sneezy, stopped up, and congested. A few days of decongestants and Infant Tylenol, and she was back to her old self.
  • With the exception of carrots, Harper tried ALL of the remaining Gerber "First Foods" that we didn't get around to trying last month. Jeff & I remain puzzled as to what she actually likes and doesn't like. Sometimes she seems to enjoy certain foods; other times she acts like she despises them. From what we can tell, prunes, bananas, applesauce, pears, green beans, and sweet potatoes seem to usually fall in the "like" category. (See? Sweet potatoes were in the "definite dislikes" group last month. Turns out she actually seems to like them most days!) Definite dislikes are cereal—rice or oatmeal, it doesn't matter—peaches, and peas, though, like I said, sometimes she seems to dislike EVERYTHING. Rarely does she finish the entire little carton of baby food. Most of the time she starts getting antsy, turning her head, and/or spitting her food completely out when she is about ¾ of the way through with the carton. Here she is enjoying some green beans:

    And here is Harper explaining to her stupid parents that clearly she is DONE eating sweet potatoes and bananas:

  • Harper also had her six-month portraits done by the Picture People. We are thrilled with how they turned out, and the photographer was too! In fact, some of her pictures are now on display at the Picture People studio in La Cantera! My little model!
  • In the spirit of her first Halloween, Harper visited the pumpkin patch on two different occasions and allowed Mommy to take zillions of pictures:
  • During our trip to the pumpkin patch at Milberger's Nursery, Harper also spotted her first butterfly and dipped her hand in a water fountain for the first time:
  • Harper also went on her first "road trip" when the three of us ventured to Austin to congratulate our dear friends, Kris & Carrie, on the birth of their son, Josh. We were extremely relieved that she slept the entire way to and from Austin! Here are a few pictures of Harper & Baby Josh during their first meeting in the hospital:
  • Occasionally Harper will laugh so hard that she squeals. It never fails to crack us up.
  • Of course, the biggest milestone during Harper's seventh month was that she celebrated her first Halloween. We kicked off Halloween by venturing over to the shopping center behind our house, which was holding a neighborhood Halloween festival. Harper, along with 100 or so other neighborhood kids, dressed in full costume, met the Spurs Coyote, and peered in the windows of the "moon bounce" to see all the older kids jumping. Here are a few photos:
  • Later that night, Jeff & I had a few friends over for a small Halloween party at our house. Everyone dressed up, and we had a blast. Harper went as a black kitty cat with a white chest, white paws, and a pink bowtie. She was an absolute dream. Jeff & I, on the other hand, went as Jon & Kate Gosselin, complete with Kate's funky hairdo and Jon's Ed Hardy shirt and diamond stud earrings. We were quite a sight:

    We were, however, completely outdone by our friends… Mikey went as an Army soldier, and David went as a Mexican cowboy:

    Tori went as Jimi Hendrix:

    But Danny & Melanie, who went as a snowflake and a Christmas tree, took first prize concerning costumes. Every time the doorbell rang, Melanie would answer and greet the trick-or-treaters with "Merry Christmas!" The looks on their faces were priceless!

Funny/new/miscellaneous things Harper started doing in her seventh month:
  • Harpie can now ROCK her Jumperoo! She loves playing with the toys around the edge and really gets going whenever she bounces. It's now become one of her favorite toys (and Mommy's, too, because it gives me some time to put on my makeup!):
  • Bitterman continues to be Harper's favorite member of our family. She absolutely lights up whenever he enters the room, and the mere sight of him can calm her down from even the most hysterical crying spells. She is especially taken with his mouth. She loooves to see his tongue and thinks it's absolutely hilarious whenever he pants, whines, or "talks."
  • Harper continues to LOVE music, just as she has ever since we brought her home. She loves playing with her touch-key, light-up piano, and she cries if we turn down the music whenever we're in the car. The easiest way to make her stop crying whenever we're driving somewhere? Turn on the radio. Instant silence.
  • Harper adores all things shiny—the phone, the remote control, Mommy's camera, etc. "Spin the Phone" has become one of her favorite games:
  • Experimenting with different sounds has been a huge part of Harper's seventh month. She jabbers and babbles and squeals often, and thank goodness, the frustrated "mmmms" and "Mmmma-Mas" seem to have been put on the back burner for now.
  • Harpie continues to do "the running woman" whenever she's super excited. It can make diaper changing a little bit more challenging, but it's impossible to get frustrated because she looks so cute when she's doing it:
On a more serious note, Harper is almost completely "caught up" in terms of both her physical and cognitive development. Developmentally, she is only slightly behind other children. Sitting up without support is the only thing she can't do that most babies her age can do, but that has more to do with her torticollis and lack of core muscle strength than her prematurity. Likewise, she isn't crawling just yet, but Harper's physical therapist assured us that most babies begin crawling between eight or nine months, so she's still on track to hit that milestone in the next few months.

The most WONDERFUL news is that Harper's physical therapy is going very, very well. Her torticollis has improved to the point where she now has full—and more importantly, equal—range of motion on both sides of her neck, and she is strengthening her core muscles more and more each day. We're hoping to complete all of her physical therapy by the end of December, and apparently at the rate we're going that's not an unreasonable goal. Obviously Jeff & I are super relieved that everything is working out so well. We want things to be as easy as possible for our baby girl…

Which is why we are hoping that her bottom little teeth will pop up soon. Our poor baby has been teething for months…despite the fact that she doesn't have any teeth. She is constantly drooling, gnawing on her fists, and biting anything she can get into her mouth, and she has days where we can tell her gums are absolutely killing her. Needless to say, we keep Orajel on hand at ALL times. I am hoping that Harper will take after her daddy instead of her mommy where teeth are concerned. Apparently Jeff's arrived when he was six months old, about the same age as most babies are when they get their first tooth. My first tooth, however, didn't come in until I was 13 months old. My parents were so worried about me that they took me in for x-rays just to make sure I actually had little tooth buds underneath my gums. Apparently soon thereafter my first tooth popped up, and the rest of mine came in within months. For comfort's sake, I can't wait until Harper gets her bottom two teeth, but I have to admit, I will REALLY miss her gum smiles:

Someone is awake and upset... Duty calls! Until later!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Six months!

*I started writing this last Thursday but didn't get a chance to finish it until today! Sorry!

I haven't updated the blog in awhile, but that's because things have been super busy around here. The weekend before last was Danny's Bachelor Party and Melanie's Bachelorette Party; this past weekend was the Couples Shower in Fredericksburg; and this coming weekend is the wedding in Marble Falls. I'll write at length about all of these events after the wedding.

In the meantime, Harper turned six months old on September 28th, which also happens to be the day that I first met Jeff SEVEN YEARS AGO! Crazy! I remember it so vividly that it seems like yesterday, but he's been a part of my life for so many years now that I honestly can't remember what my life was like before he walked into it.

Anyway, I don't have much time to write today because I have so many things to do to get ready for this weekend, but I wanted to jot down a little bit about Harper's sixth month before I forget it all!

She went to her six-month well visit on the 29th, and Dr. B is thrilled with her progress. Here are her stats:

Weight: 15 lbs. 3 oz. (between 25th and 50th percentiles)
Length: 25.75 in. (50th percentile)
Head Circumference: 16.875 in. (between 50th and 75th percentiles)

I was kind'of amazed at this, because she has clearly grown sooo much in the past two months. Which, yes, of course I already knew, but when you're with someone every single day, it's harder to really see the difference. I can't ignore her stats, however...

At her four-month checkup, she was in the 5th, 7th, and 9th percentiles for weight, length, and head circumference, meaning that 90 to 95% of four-month-old babies were bigger than she was. Now she's totally in the normal range. And when you adjust for prematurity (e.g., use her developmental age—four-and-a-half months—for the calculations instead of her actual age of six months), she's actually a pretty good-sized girl! Super tall and within the normal range of weight. For her sake, I'm hoping that ratio follows her for the rest of her life! LOL. How nice would it be to be about 5'9" and 120 lbs.?!

Dr. B was very happy with Harper's growth and thought she looked great, so that's why I was slightly shocked when he said that she should see a physical therapist.


I listened to him calmly explain that Harper has a tight muscle on one side of her neck which limits her range of motion in that direction. In her case, she can turn her head completely to the right but isn't quite as flexible if you try to turn it to the left. The medical term is torticollis, which basically means "head tilt" or "wry neck," but Harper's head doesn't actually tilt; she just doesn't bend her neck to the left as easily. Anyway, there are varying degrees of torticollis—sometimes it causes kids' heads to become flattened or sloped in different places—but luckily Harper's is very slight and her head is perfectly round!

What's funny is that children with torticollis tend to look in one direction more often than the other, and as soon as Dr. B said that, I knew he was dead-on with the diagnosis. Harper has ALWAYS turned her head to the right and looked at things on her right side more than her left. I noticed it early on, but because she'd been diagnosed with ROP—and because her LEFT eye didn't fully heal as quickly as her right eye—I didn't really think anything of it. I just assumed that she tended to look to her right because she could see out of her right eye better than her left. Turns out it has to do with her tight little neck muscle. Way to go, stupid Mommy!

Of course I spent yesterday freaking out about all of this and worrying myself sick over all kinds of ridiculous possibilities only to take Harper to the physical therapist this morning and have her tell me that essentially Harper is right where she should be developmentally, here are some stretching exercises that Jeff & I should do with her at home, and we will probably only need to take her to physical therapy for a couple of months. Once a week for a couple of months, at that!

So I am relieved and my husband is enjoying every opportunity to scold me: "See? I told you everything is fine and there's no reason to worry!" Annoying, yet true.

The rest of our visit with Dr. B went really well. Harper had to get her six-month shots, but she handled them better than she did last time, so I was one proud mama. Her iron levels have almost completely normalized, so she is no longer anemic; consequently, after we polish off the current bottle, we will no longer have to give her any iron supplements. All of her tummy issues have disappeared over the past few months, so we no longer have to give her a daily antacid. Big steps in the right direction!

Big things that have happened in the past month:

  • THANK GOD, we have finally established some semblance of a schedule! This is WONDERFUL for Mommy (and Daddy, too, of course, but mostly Mommy!). My favorite news is that Harper is now sleeping through the night consistently, which is amazing. This started last week. Before that, she would sleep through the night, but it was always random. She would sleep eight hours one night, wake up at 4:00 A.M. the next two nights, sleep ten hours the next night, etc. These days, she gets up whenever it starts to get light outside—somewhere around 7:30 or 8:00 A.M.—goes to sleep around 9:00 P.M., and takes two one-and-a-half- to two-hour naps somewhere in between, usually one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
  • Harper began eating solid foods for the first time in her sixth month. We started her on rice cereal. She was, contrary to the picture below, not a huge fan. Don't let the smile fool you!

Dr. B wants us to continue trying to feed her cereal even though she doesn't seem to like it, so we've recently switched to oatmeal cereal instead of rice and are now mixing the cereal with apple juice instead of formula per his instructions. We've also started her on a few different baby foods. She likes—and by "likes," I mean "tolerates"—squash and bananas, but HATES sweet potatoes and peaches. This is baffling to me, because I insist on testing everything Harper eats before she tries it, and OMG, baby food peaches are DELICIOUS! She's crazy!

Anyway, we try to feed Harper solid foods three times a day—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—but that doesn't always work, mainly because it's pretty much impossible to do it anywhere outside of our house right now. First, solid food feeding time involves stripping Harper down to a diaper and bib. Not exactly something we want to do in public. Plus, she is still learning to eat off of a spoon. Coupled with the fact that Harper is an extremely tactile baby, this basically means that feeding times turn into big fat messes pretty darn quick! Case in point:

Other milestones from her sixth month include:

  • Grabbing objects and bringing objects to her mouth
  • Touching her toes
  • Doing the "Running Woman" whenever she's super excited

  • Laughing—usually at Daddy
  • Standing and taking practice steps as long as we help her balance
  • Rolling over consistently

  • Playing with the little toys around her Jumperoo
  • Using her ab muscles to lift her legs straight up in the air and then slamming them down onto her crib mattress, usually knocking off her monitor camera

  • Saying "Mmmmm" and "Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma" when she's frustrated and wants something, although she doesn't seem to correlate me with "Ma-Ma" (I guess that's a good thing, given the context!). Also says "nay-nay-nay-nay."

  • Gurgling, razzing, and has just started sticking her tongue out to experiment with different sounds
  • Stomping
  • Teething—no teeth yet, but is constantly drooling and chewing on her fists and fingers
  • Met "Uncle Tori" for the first time
  • Swung in her outdoor baby swing and, again, contrary to the picture, seemed to really like it!

She looooves…

  • Bitterman—Harper adores Bitterman; she loves to watch him play fetch with Daddy and especially enjoys it when we let her get close enough to "pet" him.

  • Her Daddy—she laughs at Jeff more than anyone else and literally lights up whenever he gets home from work.

  • Playing games with Mommy—especially this one, which culminates in kisses around the neck:

And listening to Mommy sing/act out "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes":

  • Musical toys
  • All things shiny—especially the telephone, the remote control, jewelry
  • Books—one of her new favorite pastimes
  • Standing—most of the time Harper refuses to sit and insists on standing up
  • Balding men! She smiles at them whenever they appear on TV, especially Kevin O'Leary from "Shark Tank" and Dr. Phil. She is also a huge fan of Oprah. She smiles at her often.
And, of course, we kicked off football season at the beginning of September, so Jeff & I have been at war over Harper's collegiate outfits! Actually, not really. It's gone a lot more smoothly than I expected, although we did have to lay down some ground rules. They are:
  1. Aside from Texas/OU weekend, we alternate weeks.
  2. Harper is not allowed to wear gear from either team during the Texas/OU game.
  3. Harper will ONLY wear stuff that represents the winner of the Texas/OU game for the rest of that weekend. May the best team win!
Here is our daughter at the center of her parents' age-old college rivalry:

And here are some other super cute pictures from her sixth month!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oprah's 24th Season Kick-off Flash Mob Dance

This is seriously one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I can't stop watching it:

That's not just cool, but inspiring. So soon after the eight-year anniversary of September 11th, this video should serve as an excellent reminder to us all--that, united, people can make awesome things happen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Five months gone by!

I wonder if I ever won't be surprised by Harper's age. On the 28th of every month I am shocked by whatever age she is. When she turned three months old, I could not believe it. On her four-month anniversary, I was flabbergasted that 1/3 of an entire year had already passed since her birth. She turned five months old on the 28th of August, and again, I was shocked. I see the pattern, and I'm curious if ever a time will come when I look at her and say to myself, "Yeah, [insert random age here]. That sounds about right."

I'm thinking not. I'm thinking I'll be standing in line with her at the DMV on her 16th birthday and saying out loud, "No, but how can you be 16 already?! You were just born YESTERDAY!"

Like it or not, she's getting bigger every day. And although her age and size may always surprise me, I don't regret that she's changing. I refuse to be one of those people who are sad on their child's first birthday because they no longer have a little newborn baby. I like looking forward to the next stage and seeing what the future holds for Harper. In short, I'm enjoying every minute of this.

Well, except when she's screaming crying mad, which is not so bad unless she decides to be that way for HOURS ON END. One of the fun byproducts of teething.

Yes, Harper is, in fact, already teething. She hasn't physically cut any teeth yet, but she has all the signs: drooling, chewing on her fists, generally acting irritable, biting down when a finger is inserted into her mouth, crying for a paci only to spit it out seconds later, etc. We've stocked up on infant Tylenol and Baby Orajel, and that seems to alleviate some of her pain at least temporarily. I didn't have teeth until I was 13 months old, so I'm completely shocked that this is happening so soon…and a little worried about how long it will go on. From what I've read, the first couple teeth are the most painful for babies to cut; apparently they kinda get used to the sensations after that. I hope so, for everyone's sake.

Anyway, Harper makes amazing progress with every month that goes by, and Jeff & I are constantly awed by her growth. At the time of her four-month vaccinations on July 29th (the day after her four-month birthday), she weighed 11 lbs. 8 oz. and measured 24 ½ inches. Over the next two weeks, she gained a whopping two pounds, weighing in at 13 lbs. 8 oz. on August 12th. (Can we say growth spurt?!) We won't return to the doctor until the end of September, so we're not 100% sure how much she weighed at the time of her five-month birthday on August 28th, but according to our scale, she now weighs exactly 15 lbs., which sounds about right. To us who handle her on a daily basis, it is quite obvious that she has gotten considerably heavier and longer in the past month. We're now in the process of yet another growth spurt. How do I know? Because growth spurts SUCK! They are like reverting back to Harper's first week home from the hospital ALL OVER AGAIN! She is starving and wants to eat ALL THE TIME! Like, EVERY TWO OR THREE HOURS. Even in the middle of the night. It's insane!

Between the growth spurts and teething, Mommy & Daddy have been pretty tired lately. However, watching our daughter grow and develop into a little person more and more each day is so totally worth anything we have to give up. It's a cliché, I know, but when we peek over the edge of the crib to see a bright and shiny, blue-eyed baby girl contort her face into a giant, gummy grin the moment she notices our presence, suddenly it's all worth it. Every minute of the sleep we sacrifice and every bit of the stress our nerves must endure, it's all worth it. We joke with each other that giant gum smiles, first-time giggles, and other generally cute behavior must be God's way of making especially difficult phases bearable for the parents.

And in a way, watching Harper get bigger is even that much more fun for us because she was a preemie. We can hardly fathom that this big ol' butterball of a girl is the same tiny baby who lay there so helplessly in her isolette not so long ago…

In fact, she has now outgrown all of her 0–3 months clothes (even the Gymboree and Baby GAP ones!) and is starting to outgrow some of her 3–6 months clothes as well. And let me just say, I never really understood why my mom held onto all of my baby clothes or why she acted so sentimental about a bunch of outfits…until I had a baby. Now I totally get it. I am quite aware of how ridiculous this sounds, but I am literally heartbroken to have to pack away some of these outfits. There are some that I know I will NEVER be able to give away or sell. I just can't imagine it. My husband looks at me like I'm crazy when I tell him this.

OH! HUGE NEWS! Big, big, big, big, big, big, wonderfully awesome news!

On the 21st of August, Harper had her FINAL appointment with the retinologist. Her eyes are now fully vascularized, which means the ROP is completely gone in both eyes! I cannot emphasize what a huge relief it is to know that (1) her retinas are back to normal; and (2) she doesn't have to endure any more retinal exams. We still have to take her for periodic checks with a pediatric ophthalmologist just to make sure her vision is OK. Former ROP patients can develop problems with vision as they age, such as near-sightedness or strabismus ("crossed eyes"), but the latter is rare and likely would be already apparent by now. Harper hasn't crossed her eyes since she was a newborn, so I'm not overly concerned about that possibility. She may end up needing little glasses as a child, but that is not a big deal AT ALL. I can't help but think of that horrible retinologist we saw the first time who terrified me with the possibility of blindness and had me leaving the office in tears… Half of me wants to laugh, roll my eyes, and forget he ever existed, and the other half of me wants to flip him the bird.

Other milestones/favorite pastimes during Harper's fifth month include:

  • Watching TV (or at least trying to!)—In the past month, Harper has become obsessed with the "big black box of people and colors." She strains to turn toward the TV whenever we are holding her and smiles at the faces of people she thinks she knows. This past weekend, she grinned at a football player who seemed to resemble "Daddy," and while Daddy was watching his new favorite show "Shark Tank," she smiled a great big gum smile at Kevin O'Leary. For those who don't watch the show, he is by far the meanest "shark" on the show, the one who routinely shoots down every entrepreneur's idea and kinda makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a saint. I don't know who she thought he was, but she smiled and giggled at him like he was one of her favorite people in the world. It was hilarious.
  • Smiling/laughing—She's still our little thinker, but she's also become Miss Smiley during her fifth month. Harper not only smiles spontaneously—at the fan, at faces on TV, etc.—but she smiles in response to our smiles. She's also starting to laugh when tickled or when smiling alone just doesn't cut it!
  • Sleeping through the night—It still isn't happening on a consistent basis (although I can partially blame her growth spurts for that), but Harper slept through the night—like a whole ten hours—about four or five times during her fifth month. It was absolute ecstasy to Mommy!
  • Jumping in her Jumperoo—After much deliberation, we decided to get Harper a Jumperoo instead of an ExerSaucer, mainly because she loves to stand and use her legs so much but also because more people recommended the Jumperoo. Her Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo arrived while Daddy was away on business in Jacksonville, so I assembled it myself (round of applause, please!) and let her check it out. Harper was a little leery of it at first, particularly the bright red toucan that hangs overhead, but she soon found it tons of fun. She is not quite big enough to reach the floor yet, so Jeff & I have put a pillow under her feet so she can touch. Here are a few pictures from her first encounter with the Jumperoo:
And here she is in her Jumperoo one week later:

  • Rolling over—I keep thinking that Harper is going to be one of those babies who skips crawling completely. She continues to despise "tummy time" and instead prefers to "stand" and "walk." However, Mommy continues to push "tummy time" because apparently that's what you're supposed to do. (Although I have to admit, I HATE doing it—forcing her to do something she doesn't want to do, that is. It makes me feel like some crazy stage mom. "Toddlers & Tiaras," anyone?) This past month, she made a huge achievement… She rolled over! Not just once, but OVER AND OVER AGAIN! She can only do it in one direction, but I am incredibly proud. "Tummy time" finally seems to be paying off.
  • "Talking"—The screeching, cooing, and "razzing" continue, mostly in the morning or whenever I'm changing her diaper. They never fail to crack me up completely. Here is a video of our little jabberwocky, chatting away while I'm attempting to feed her a bottle:

  • "Standing"/"walking"—As I said above, Harper loooves to stand up and take "practice steps." She will attempt to stand on any hard surfaceyour lap, the counter, the table, doesn't matter. Of course, she still can't properly balance herself to stand unassisted, but we are absolutely amazed that she can support all of her body weight for five or so minutes at a time without buckling. She's getting so good at standing that we are now able to hold her by the hands while she supports herself:
  • Watching and touching Bitterman—Harper is completely captivated by Bitterman. She stares at him with a look of amusement and wonder on her face, as though she KNOWS he is not human but, hmmm, what else could he be? He looks so different from the rest of us! It's precious. Bitterman is incredibly tolerant of her and eager to get as close as we'll let him get. He loves to lick her hand (which, of course, we then wipe off with a Baby Wipe), and she seems to find this funny. I usually take her hand and have her "pet" Bitterman's back while he is lying on the couch next to us. She seems to enjoy the sensation of his fur beneath her fingers, and Bitterman doesn't mind at all. I can only imagine how much fun those two will have with each other as Harper gets older.
  • First sound/word?—Harper's newest claim to fame is making "mmmm" sounds. I was absolutely delighted when she followed strings of "mmmm"s with something resembling "Ma-Ma" until I realized that it is not a term of endearment but one of frustration. Whenever Harper is about ready to melt down, the "mmmms" and "Mmmmma mas" start. Just what every new mother dreams of: Realizing that your child reserves "Ma-Ma" for when she's extremely mad, frustrated, and on the brink. I'm honestly not sure whether to count this as her first word. While "Ma-Ma" may not refer to me, it definitely means something. Jeff & I just haven't figured out what yet. Meanwhile, Daddy has started in with the "Da-Das," although Harper just kinda looks at him like, "Sure, Dad. Whatever." I'm afraid it definitely won't be the last time she gives him that look!

I feel like I'm forgetting a bunch of things, but Miss Harper is now awake, so I must wrap up this entry a little sooner than I'd wanted. Sorry! Here are a few pictures from her fifth month until next time:


Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker