Tuesday, December 20, 2005

See my teeth?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Big Updates

I didn't want to post it prematurely, but it's now official. Harper can roll over at whim. She first did it on Thanksgiving, but I wondered if it was a fluke. Over the past couple of weeks, she's perfected the art and it is so exciting to set her down on her back, leave the room for one minute, and return to her reaching for toys on her tummy. (It's also fun to watch, but there's something neat about coming back to her in a different state... Maybe it's because it is that much more clear that this is really something she's doing on her own.)

Harper had her second round of immunizations yesterday. They went a little better than her 2 months shots. She still cried loudly, but calmed quicker. This time E and I knew to sing her songs to her. They have miraculous power to calm her in any distressing situation. (She's a music lover like her Mom and Dad!)

Dr. Nagatani was pleased with her growth and development. She's now 26 inches long (97th percentile) and she weighs 15 lbs. 6 oz. (85th percentile), so she's long and relatively thin. She squawked for him and he laughed about how loud she is. He asked if she's laughing now and we said YES! She's really developing a nice sense of humor and clearly knows when Mom and Dad are teasing or playing with her. It's super fun.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

4 Months!

Harper turned 4 months old yesterday and we had much to celebrate. The big news is that Mommy gets to stay home with Harper thanks to Ethan's new job; that was our gift to the girl. Sweetie that she is, she reciprocated the gift-giving: a little white tooth is peeking out from her gums!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I am typing with one hand as Harper nurses for the seventh time this morning. She goes through days where she wants to nurse constantly and wants to be held the entire rest of the time. I've attributed it to growth spurts, but that doesn't make it easy to get through (for me or for Harper)!

Yesterday I was ambitious and tried to run a few errands in one outing-- drop off suit at the cleaner's, stop by Casual Corner's going out of business sale, buy a tie at Gottschalks for the Christmas tree auction, and stop by Target for deodorant, diapers, and batteries. I was feeling proud leaving the house because Harper had a full belly, she was in a clean diaper, and even poised for a nap in the car if I was lucky. Thngs were smooth sailing-- went by the cleaner's, got a good parking spot at the mall, changed Harper's huge poopy diaper without getting any poo on her outfit, and even got to try a couple of things on at Casual Corner while Harper held her stuffed cat and chatted with me in her stroller. I found the perfect tie for Ethan right away. We made it to the checkout line at Gottchalks before things fell apart. I had taken her out of her stroller because she was getting pretty vocal about wanting to be held. We were looking at ourselves in the mirrored column by the register, smiling. Harper was sucking her fingers, as usual. All of a sudden I hear the familiar gag sound from my girl.

For the last month, she hasn't thrown up when she gags like that. It seemed she'd learned from the twenty times she vomited that way in month two that removing the fingers saved us all a lot of headache. But somehow, she regressed. Perhaps it'd been so long she'd forgotten again. I grabbed a burp cloth to wipe her wet chin. About 5 % of me though she might hurl. A moment later, up came the belly full of milk in about five heaves, the last of which made Harper strain, poor babe. Vomit was all over me and her, as well as the ground near us. I wiped what I could, paid for the tie and raced out of the mall. Harper squealed and squaked as we left, obviously not traumatized or sick.

We went home. I changed. I bathed her and put on fresh clothes. I nursed her because she had an empty belly. Determined to finish what I had intended, I packed up for Target. As I clicked Harper's car seat in the back of the car, I heard her do more poos. We went back in, got a new nappy, and finally left for my favorite store. The shopping experience was benign. We came home. E was researching for a paper and Harper was fussy the rest of the evening, basically wanting to be attached at the boob all night. We tried a different type of bottle; she rejected it. We settled in for the long nursing session around nine.

Most nights are like this: Harper sleeps from, say, 10:00 to 3:00, nurses, Dad changes her, sleeps again until 6:30-7, same drill, sleeps again until 9:30-10. Not too painful for Mom & Dad. Last night was not so. H slept in 2 hour blocks all night, reminiscent of her newborn days. This morning, on our walk down the hall to change her diaper and start the day I heard her gag. We raced over to the bathroom sink, and I caught most of the vomit this time. What is up? After cleaning her up and dressing for the day, Harper nursed for about an hour solid.

She's doing better now. Currently, she's reaching for toys in her ExerSaucer. Although trying at times, I wouldn't trade my time with Harper for anything-- vomit and all. Must be love!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Harper is sleeping on me as I type this on the laptop in the living room. It took her the span of two songs to relinquish her hold on wakefulness and give in to sleep. I stood in front of the funky silver mirror and watched the fight as I swayed persuasively, trying to coax her into a nap.

Harper has expanded her range of "talk" lately to include sounds that mock the rhythm and flow of language. She still gurgles and squeals from time to time, but she'll more often string together m's, n's, g's, and b's with various vowel sounds in between.

She doesn't like most strangers. E and I think her way of handling it is kind of funny. When approached with the usual "gootchie goos" by an unfamiliar face, she doesn't turn away as one might guess a shy child would do, nor does she lean into her mom or dad for security. Instead, Harper just starts crying right in the face of the well-intentioned stranger, maintaining eye contact as if to deliberately communicate her dislike confrontationally.

She is getting really good with her hands. She reaches with greater accuracy now (i.e. touches my wedding ring or my nose) and plays with small stuffed animals. She grabs with both hands and plays with toys that way. She also reaches for the pictures in books. She tries to grab my plate or my cup if I'm holding her while I eat, so we have to be careful now to watch what is within her reach.

She's been sucking and chewing her hands like a mad woman, entering the perpetual state of teething that is characteristic of babyhood. Who knows how long it will be until we see that first tooth but her gums are definitely swollen and she likes to chew on my hand or hers for relief. She momentarily tries her toys in her mouth sometimes, but doesn't seem to like them as much as she likes flesh. Similarly, she's not one to enjoy a pacifier or a bottle. She's a purist: breast or hand only.

When I hold Harper these days, she seems to hold me back. She grabs onto my arm, shoulder, or hair and it feels like a hug. It is so fun to just be together everyday and I'm trying not to think about January 3rd when I have to go back to work. I savor our hours of closeness, playing, sleeping, singing, talking, reading, just loving one another. What joy this is.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Third Month Update in Baby Book

Harper was immunized at the beginning of the month, which caused her to be susceptible and catch her first cold - poor baby! She's been congested and sneezy most of the month, which makes it tough to nurse well sometimes. As she becomes more aware of the world around her, Harper is fascinated and distracted by objects and her hands or feet often. She talks a lot and has a wide gamut of sounds. Lately, she likes to screech (Dad says like a pterodactyl) or blurt with her lips like she's playing a trumpet. She likes to play on the ground with Mama, reading books and reaching out for rattles or toys. She also enjoys her new toy, the ExerSaucer . Lately, Harper has slept more on her back between Mom and Dad (most of the night) or she also enjoys sleeping in her swing. She's got a little bald spot on the back of her head now from sleeping this way. Harper has started drooling more and makes spit bubbles. She can hold herself up when lying on her tummy, and seems proud of herself when she stands up tall on surfaces.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Harper has been hitting the books pretty hard these days. She appreciates a good story almost as much as she enjoys soft, crinkley pages. Fuzzy Bee is the current favorite. She is reading about Fuzzy Bee's friends, Ladybug and Worm, in this photo. In addition to loving some quiet time with a book, she is also more and more vocal all the time. She likes talking to Mom and Dad all day long and you can really tell that she is expressing herself very clearly. Bored or sad talking is very different from happy "Good Morning" talking. She is always super happy, smily, and cute when she wakes up in the morning. She seems to really be happy just to see Mom and Dad's faces. Speaking of faces, Harper is also really into grabbing faces these days. She likes to reach for and grab onto lots of things, but seems especially happy to grab Mom's face or Dad's beard. If she is not playing with or reading a good book with her folks, Harper enjoys spending larger chunks of time in her new ExerSaucer (yet another hideous, giant, plastic piece of furniture that we tolerate because of the smiles on our girl's face when she plays in it).
Further proof of Harper's brilliance: according to the literature, babies should smile at their image in a mirror and respond to their name at four months, Harper has been enjoying her reflection for several weeks already and has recently started to respond to her own name too! Brilliant no doubt.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Can't tell if Harper or we are more proud.
Harper is powering through her first cold. It started after immunizations (made her susceptible) and has persisted for about 10 days now. We thought it was allergies at first (and it may well have been) because her eyes were red, her snot was clear, and she sneezed a lot. They're shaking the walnut trees and as any good Valley person knows, that wrecks a lot of people. But then she added fussiness to her symptoms. She just wasn't comfortable, and wasn't her usual cheery self. We got through those sorta sad days. Now her snot is thicker, but she is happier and back to talking and smiling all the time. I brought her in to see Nagatani yesterday. (He knows us pretty well already!) Since her snot was thickening and her chest sounded congested, I figured I'd better just go to the doctor to be sure... it's worth the $10 copay for peace of mind. I was pretty sure this was nothing serious, but I'd rather err on the safe side. He confirmed it is just a cold and told me to use a humidifier and to drop some saline in her nose before using the nasal aspirator. Harper hates that, but it does help to suck some snot out, especially in the mornings. Nagatani again remarked at her how alert and strong she is. "Just 2 1/2 months old... she seems to be listening to every word I say!" Harper squirmed around when he put the stethescope to her back to listen to her lungs and tried to shake her head away when he stuck the instrument in her ears to check them. "Only 2 1/2 months and already difficult to examine!"

I've been experiencing technical difficulties posting some pictures on shutterfly-- talked to customer service and I'm waiting for a call back. I should get the next album up today or tomorrow. It'll be called "Harper reaches milestone" because she has! She quite purposefully reached out, grabbed, and shook a rattle the other day and I caught it on camera. We played that way for about 20 minutes-- very fun. In a couple of the shots she's smiling really big (proud of herself) because I was positively reinforcing this behavior with loud squeals and high-pitched praise. It is so fun to watch her grow up!

I laughed at myself this morning because I too reached a milestone as a mom. I found myself using the sleeve of my sweatshirt to wipe Harper's snotty nose, as I've seen Carie do for one of her sick kids.

On another note, Harper has just about mastered the thumb sucking. She only gags herself about every 20th attempt now, and quickly removes her thumb before she pukes. She was worrying me there for a while-- the vomiting-on-mom was getting old and I was anxious for that coordination to kick in. It finally has! We think she may be teething because she loves that thumb and is drooling now too. Carie says the drool could mean teeth show up next week or two months from now... you never know.

Harper continues to be a great joy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Harper's doctor visit went fine. She was weighed and measured. She weighs 12 lbs. 11 ounces (90th percentile), and is 24 1/4 " long (95th percentile) so we were right-- she's giant. Dr. Nagatani said, "She sure is social!"

The shots were tough. Two in each thigh. Big tears and loud loud cries. It was nice to have both parents there. She nursed for a while afterward and that seemed to comfort her into a nice nap. In the evening her temperature got up around 100, and she was fussy (obviously not feeling tip top) so we gave her a dose of infants' Tylenol. She seems fine today.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Harper is very talkative these days. She can sit and have a conversation for about 10 minutes. Of course, "talking" consists of coos and gurgles and squeals. Her eyes light up and you know she is really trying to connect with you. It's very fun. Sometimes her need to converse gets in the way of nursing-- she pulls away and just wants to engage for a while before resuming her feeding. Another effect of Harper's talking is that she cries less. Often she'll protest with upset-sounding coos (as well as upset-looking body language) for a while before launching into the full blown cries if her need wasn't met. This happens most often when she's locked in her carseat and wants out, or if Dad is changing her in the middle of the night and she would prefer to eat first!

We're convinced she's brilliant. Tomorrow she goes in for immunizations... wish us all luck!

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Happy Birthday Harper! - Two months today - amazing.

I will work on living up to the blog's description, trying to at least provide sporadic updates. Be sure to check out the newest photos Harper's mom posted to shuttefly. There are some great shots of Harper sucking her thumb, her newest trick. She slept last night in a cute pink sleeper with a collar that made her look like a vampire: "Count pinkula". The outfit is a 3-6 month size and she is almost too long for it already.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Harper will be seven weeks old tomorrow. She's giant, and without a doubt the cutest baby ever.