Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, My Little Love

Happy 2nd birthday to the little love in my life.  I hope your day is filled with laughter, excitement, good food, and a whole lot of love.  You make my life so much better each and every day.  I love you always and forever, with all of my heart.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Artsy education

I've been trying to do some research into Waldorf and Montessori education at the preschool level.  I've been trying to implement some of their styles of learning and teaching into our everyday.  I'm also trying to do this with as much homemade materials as I possibly can.  

As you can probably tell from earlier posts, I get a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest.  There are also a few blogs by fellow mothers that I find inspirational; some put my efforts to shame!  But I still try.  And I'm still learning.  I don't necessarily follow the rules exactly, but I use them more as guidelines at this stage in Harper's development.  

I'd love to eventually homeschool our child(ren), though it will take a bit more persuading to get Wade on board.  I realize that there will be challenges ahead and maybe the best thing for our family would be public or private education, but for now I'm going to continue doing my research and doing the best that I can with Harper while we're still home together.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My First Sweater

I finally finished knitting a sweater for Harper. 

It's not perfect and I had a lot of difficulties with it.
Please disregard the liquor bottles in the back.  Ahem.

But you know what?  I'm damn proud of myself.
I made her wear it two days in a row :)

So proud, in fact, that I'm making her another one.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Okay, so this was from Pinterest, too...

This was a breakfast for Harper, by Harper.  This child of mine loves cheese, eggs, butter, and chocolate milk.  So what better breakfast than one that involves most of her favorite things? (I excluded cheese from this, only because if given a choice, that would be all Harper would eat.  She loves it so!)
So I taught her how to use cookie cutters.  I gave her her own piece of bread and let her select what size cutter she wanted to use.  I let her help me scramble the eggs.  She helped to butter the bread.  

And then, of course, she helped me to gobble it all up.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quiet Mornings

There's nothing quite like a smiling face, bed-head, and a darling (almost) two year-old on a quiet morning.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Yes, I am one of those people who is addicted to Pinterest.  I just can't help myself.  I've pinned and liked so many things I hardly think I'll be able to go through them all.  But every once in a while I'm able to remember some really cool thing I pinned and do it in real life!  (Must be all that DHA from my multi-vitamin kicking in, finally).  Anyway, the other morning I was all excited because I was going to be a cool mom!  And let my kid paint with colored shaving cream!  In the bathtub!  And perhaps help her to learn along the way!  Go me!

Then I realized that my husband uses a shaving cream warmer (thanks to his wonderful (at the time girlfriend) wife who bought it for his birthday one year) (I told you I'm awesome!) and you have to take the top off the shaving cream to put it into the warmer.  Problem #1.  I had to put the shaving cream back into the warmer, without plugging it in, and firmly push the button down while the cream slithered out  Meanwhile, I have to distract Harper with something else to do because, hello?  Didn't I just say we were taking a bath where we get to do something incredibly fun?  And now we're not?  C'mon mommy!
Then, I couldn't find the food color.  In my quest for making our lives free of processed food, I hid it from myself.  Why?  I don't know.  The only reason I kept it was to be used for crafts anyway.  (Perhaps the DHA isn't working as well as I thought...?)

I next realized we don't have any paint brushed.  Oops.  So I dug around my kitchen until I found a cooking brush (for basting?  for what exactly?).  Problem #3 solved.
I finally got Harper into the tub and showed her what she could do with the brush and "paint" when I then thought, "Uh oh! What if this stains the tile?  Or the tub?"  and in a very not-so-great parenting moment I washed off part of Harper's "painting" just to make sure.  Thankfully, no damage was done.

And finally, Harper starting freaking out when a blob of the blue shaving cream landed in the water and started floating towards her.  I hadn't even bathed her at this point (obviously, since I was trying to be so cool and let her have some fun firth), so I had to quickly let the water drain out and re-fill the tub so I could clean her up.

So there you have it folks.  The idea was good in theory, but, as my husband says, proper planning prevents poor performance!  And I definitely was ill-prepared.  I also scarred my child for life a little bit more, thus deflating my awesome ego for the day.

Onto the next Pinterest challenge!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celebrating (almost) Spring

I think it has been a crazy winter for just about everyone no matter where you live, no?  We've had a very warm winter, to say the least, and I know I've mentioned that in previous posts.  Today didn't start out particularly warm and sunny, which was unfortunate for the walk we took.  But it ended up being a very lovely day!  We were in the 70s with sunny, blue skies this afternoon and we took advantage of it!  

I threw open the doors and windows, then we promptly went out of doors for the rest of the day!  Harper has always been an outdoors kind of girl and I'm all about enhancing her love of it.  

We closed our eyes and listened for sounds we could hear.  

We watched the birds fly and the bugs crawl.  

We wandered the yard with bare feet and realized how soft they are (time to start toughening them up, I guess!).  
(Cloth diapers are unflattering when viewed from this angle, apparently.)

We spread a blanket on the ground and relaxed.  

We slid down the slide and swung high on the swings.  
"'moochies" from my love

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I've been trying to find ways to simplify all areas of our life.  We've cut out almost all processed foods, I've been adopting a more Waldorf-like atmosphere in our home (more on this to come), and I've been trying to make our "routines" more simple.  I don't have a set schedule that we follow everyday.  We usually take our time saying good morning and rising out of bed followed by a slow transition to the kitchen for breakfast.  We spend our days either on the go running errands and meeting people for lunch or we stick to the house where we read, listen to music, play with blocks/trains/animals/dolls/instruments, or (if we're lucky at this time of the year!) play outside.  Harper is also into helping me do chores throughout the day.  After all of that (with a little nap thrown in somewhere), we make and eat dinner.  

And that's a very brief overview of our days.

And then there's nighttime.  It used to be a time I dreaded, back when Harper had colic.  Then I tried a more regimented schedule that lasted just a few short weeks.  Between my night classes and Wade's, it was just too difficult.  Our current bed time "routine" is working pretty well and has Harper asleep the majority of the time within 30-45 minutes.  It's like this:

- Take vitamins, let dogs out one last time, last drinks of water, and potty time for everyone

- Dogs in their bed and everyone puts on their jammies

- Snuggle down in bed with a couple of books that get read no more than twice each (otherwise she'd stay up all night looking through them!)

- Lights off and we sing songs like "The Wheels on the Bus" (of course!), "Six Little Ducks","You Are My Sunshine", and "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean."  What's really great about this is that Harper has recently started singing these songs along with me.  I've even heard her singing to herself or her animals/dolls while playing.  Cutest damn thing EVER.

Some nights, if she's worn out enough, the singing alone is enough to soothe her to sleep.  But if she's particularly wound up, we snuggle up next to each other and she has to hold my hand(I love holding her hand, but this is something she has to do for security, I think)(or rub the skin under my neck which becomes unbearable after awhile), and I usually have to redirect her several times to lay still and close her eyes before she falls asleep.  We have had very little tears doing this.  If she does cry it is because she A.) Doesn't want to go to sleep, even though she's beyond tired or B.) Doesn't want to put on jammies so we just wear a diaper and t-shirt.  Obviously, this is all subject to change as we approach new milestones, but, hey, it works right now and I love it.  It's happy, peaceful, and honestly fun!  Having her in our bed is something I will always remember and cherish.

P.S. Harper has lately become very into what belongs to whom.  At night we have to identify which pillow belong belongs to Momma, Daddy, and Harper.  And heaven forbid if one of us is on the wrong one!  Still, another absolutely adorable thing she does.  But then I'm biased, right?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

23 Months

Harper - 
   You're just a few short weeks away from turning two years-old.  I'm incredibly excited.  You are expanding and growing and learning every moment of everyday.  You are, without even knowing, teaching me along the way.  There are many days where we struggle together, but each time we come out better than we were before.  You astound me with how much you're absorbing: ABCs, the lyrics to songs, realistic make-believe play (with dolls, trains, household chores, etc).  You're speaking in small-ish sentences and there are always a few words that just about anyone can decipher.  Of course, most of the time they just look at me for translation.
    You're very into modes of transportation (which our trip to California helped to bring to life!)  Trains are by far your favorite, but you also love school buses (you call all buses and many other things "boo buses," which is really adorable), planes (you especially love to see the planes from the small airport nearby fly "up in da skies" as you say), and big trucks.
   You're starting to learn your colors.  The thing is, when we ask you what the color of something is, you always answer "blue."  However, you will point at things and say the correct color.  I know this in not a fluke because it happens quite often.  This is similar to when you first started to learn what sounds animals make and you always answered "moo."
   You're also starting to learn how to dress yourself (though not always successfully) and you're learning right from left.
   I know I say this every time, but this is such a fun age!  Even on the difficult days there's always some sort of fun to be had or love to be shared.  I'm so thankful that I've been lucky enough to be part of your life everyday for the past 23 months.

I love more forever and always, with all of my heart,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crazy Weather

Our weather last Friday went from rain, hail storm, heavy rain with lightening and thunder, to sunny with birds singing.  All the while remaining at around 60 degrees.

I'm ready for summer.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy (belated) March

So it's finally March.  It's almost spring!  (It's almost Harper's 2nd birthday! YIKES!)  It's been a pretty mild winter.  There have been very few snow showers and almost no accumulation (at least none that lasted very long).  We've had more thunderstorms than we did last summer.  But all we can say is, "Hey, it's Indiana."  If you live here you know that's true.

We usually celebrate the warmer days by going to the park.  And that's just what we did this week, knowing that the days following would be rainy and cold.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Home Again

We made it home late Tuesday evening...just in time for me to go to class (I know, I know!  I am a model student)(who actually only read one part of her reading assignment).  It was a pretty fantastic trip.  We did lots and lots of walking: around Seaport Village, the Gaslamp Quarter, the San Diego Zoo, and a day and a half at Disneyland.  And so because I'm a bit lazy, I'll just do a little synopsis of each thing we did:

Wednesday night: got to our hotel around 11:30 pm and passed.out.

Thursday: spent the day walking around Seaport Village looking at the shops, eating, walking some more in the Gaslamp Quarter (which would be a really awesome place for a date night...they have rooftop restaurants and bars!), and then promptly passing.out

Friday: Met up with Sarah and Charlotte at the zoo.  We saw some animals, petted a couple, watched the girls climb on everything, and did a lot of talking.  It was a really terrific time and I hope we get to meet up again with them in the not too distant future!  

Saturday: Harper and I did A LOT of walking this day.  All I wanted was a pair of flow-y pants.  I didn't think it would be too hard to find a pair since we were near beaches and water.  I guess I was wrong.  So we spent all day walking and looking for a stupid pair of pants for me to wear on a yacht that my mom's work invited us on.  I was to meet her at 5:00 and I finally found some pants at like 3:00.

Sunday: Took the train to Anaheim, checked into Paradise Pier Hotel and went to Disneyland for the first time.  Harper was amazed!  She was just in awe of all the Mickey Mouse.  I swear she pointed out every shirt, hat, sign, or building that had him on it.  She was star-struck when she met Tinkerbell (who was totally awesome and did an excellent job in character).  She loved It's a Small World, the tea cups, and Dumbo.  Depsite the fact that Disneyland is tiny compared to Disney World, it was fun experience overall.

Monday: Spent part of the day at California Adventure, but since most of the park was closed for renovation, there wasn't much to do.  The Aladdin play was pretty fabulous and definitely worth the ticket price (although Harper slept through the whole thing).  We weren't terribly upset when it started raining and we had to go catch our train back to San Diego.

Get ready for picture overload!  These are just a few snapshots I took (if we're friends on Facebook you got to see some of these and more, you lucky devils!)