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!

1 comment:

Jaccob, Gabby and Isabela said...

taylor, i love reading your blog posts! they are always so entertaining (except of course for those which are more serious in nature) but anyway i think you catch my drift! i love your style of writing, maybe because it kind of reminds me of mine, or at least i like to think so :) i'm glad harper is growing up so wonderfully! that's all we can ask for as mothers, to see our babies growing as healthy as can be :) oh and don't worry about the crawling, isabela didn't start crawling until she was like 10 months! walking followed at around 15 months...believe me i understand where you're coming from, it's frustrating and scary to think that your child can be behind. but in this case, i wouldn't worry about it :) i'm sure harper is right on track!!!


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