Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ballerina Harper

Today was Harper's first ballet class and she LOVED it. I was so proud of our girl. She was 100% committed, trying to do everything the teacher modeled, answering questions, thoroughly enjoying herself.

It was a very happy surprise this morning when we arrived to find that Sydnie Tyler was in Harper's class! We were so pleased that the girls get to share ballet. They stuck together through a lot of class.

It was also extra cool that Teresa (Lee) Vidak helped Harper a lot today. When it was time to learn how to skip, Harper told her, "Excuse me, my Aunt Carie showed me how to skip already!" I also heard Harper tell Teresa that her mom had taught her first position when Teresa instructed the girls to stand that way.

Her leaps were more like hops, but you couldn't fault her effort or enthusiasm.

We were all impressed with Harper's bravery (including Harper) when Harper hung from the bars.

She had a great time and we are very happy she's begun ballet. It is such fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Harper, circa 1982

Tennis phenom Harper Sequoia

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Harper was very happy to have her big cousin Caroline spend the night with her last week while the rest of Caroline's siblings were away at camp. Harper adores Caroline and looks up to her very much. She likes to think of them as both-big-school-girls and Caroline is kind and gentle enough to let Harper think that they are in the same league. It's funny to watch both of their faces when they play together-- Caroline's sometimes reveals a confused amusement when Harper wants to pretend something very random, and Harper's face shows a real admiration for her wonder of a cousin.

I like this photo because you can see that expression of amazed love on Harper's face here. I got the girls matching outfits for fun (this is their second matching outfit and they don matching crocs often, too).

Here are a couple more photos of the recent girl. She helped Daddy wash our cars this weekend and she also washed her own car in the process. She had a great time.

Ever since the trip to the aquarium, Harper has loved her baby otter souvenir. Here she is with it "in her sutemi" (baby carrier).

Fran and David Lieberman visited us this week, long time friends of Arlene's who live in LA and Palm Springs and who hadn't seen Harper since she was one and had never met little Jack! They brought both kids thoughtful gifts and although Harper started the evening "feeling a little shy", she quickly lost that and played all night with David and her new dolly baby that cries and laughs. Here are some cute ones of them.

A couple days ago was Harper's actual birthday-- she's officially 3 years old. She spent the night with Grandma on her birthday eve and the next morning I came over with Jack and pinned a ribbon on her to commemorate the important day.

Grandma made matzah brei for breakfast, but girly gorged herself on a breakfast of mostly blueberries. We hung out at Grandma's in the morning (me, Jack, girl, and Grandma) and then Grandma treated us to Red Robin for the girl's special day. She left with a green balloon and was delighted and surprised when the servers sang to her. After naptime, we had the Correas over for dinner (grilled chicken and sausage with a really yummy pasta salad) so Harper got to play with Rylee that night. She's looking forward to her party on Saturday!

11 months old!

Jack Jack is officially a walker! He is getting better and better all the time and can now walk across the room, pivot and turn himself 180 degrees and return. His only trouble is standing back up after he's fallen down. If he isn't near something he can pull up with, he will scoot his way to something. The result is that he's doing about 90% walking, 10% scooting these days. It is crazy how quickly the scooting/crawling phase is gone. I am going to miss his peculiar crawl-- that downhill skiier style pulling forward with his feet, dragging on his bottom. He's gotten fast at it, too! Those days are waning and as excited as I am about his new walking confidence, I am also savoring the scoots when he does them.

Here's one of the last looks at Jack doing his classic scoot.

Jack continues to be a super musical guy. He can't help but bounce to any rhythm (musical or not) that he hears. Last night we took Johnathan to dinner at Big Bubba's Bad BBQ restaurant and at some point toward the end of our meal, a rockin' song came on and two guys dressed in black did a routine of mostly popping and locking. Jack LOVED it; he bounced along and even turned around twice during it to smile proudly at Dad, as if to say, "Are you seeing this, too? Isn't this great?" Harper's about to start ballet, but we're thinking maybe Jack will be a dancer, too! Or maybe he's just very musical... he also sings a lot and even has a favorite song ("This is the Way We Get Up in the Morning" by Hap Palmer... curious thing that my two kids' first favorite songs were both by Hap Palmer-- he must have some sort of special baby appeal). That song has a lot of "ooooo"s, and Jack sings along with those parts, ooooing from his little car seat and bouncing wildly.

Meal time is definitely more finger foods lately, but he still eats some baby food (snuck in between his cracker bites, when his mouth sort of involuntarily opens in anticipation of his next bite). He doesn't eat as much thick or chunky stuff as Harper did at this age, but that is because he has half as many teeth! To keep him regular, he has some pureed prunes about every other day. Here he is with a prune mustache.

He still only has four teeth, but he's clearly working on the bottom two to flank the two in the center. His left is further along than his right... maybe he'll have six teeth by his birthday.

Jack communicates more and more as he gets bigger. He's definitely been focused on conquering the walking more than talking the past month, but he's also picked up a few words. Besides the things I've previously reported, he can do "cheers" with his sippy cup,

swing his arms for "monkey", open and close both sets of fingers together to make the pinching arms for "crab", hold a block or other object by his ear when I sing "I called you on the telephone", knock on surfaces when I sing "went to your house, knocked on the door...", splash in the bath when I tell him to, say "boo" when we play peekaboo, smack his lips to tell you he's hungry, direct his eyes at a person when you ask him, "Where's ________?" (He knows all of our families and most of our friends' names, apparently.) He's also pointing a lot more and makes it very clear that he wants something by pointing right at it, bouncing and vocalizing his impatience. The other day I showed him a few shapes with the wooden blocks: the square, the circle, the triangle, and the rectangle. I left many blocks out around him after I'd repeated it a couple times and then I asked him to put each shape in the box. He got them right about 90% of the time. I thought that was pretty good for not having the same kind of undivided lesson time that Harper used to enjoy. She learned her shapes right at age 1, so I definitely think Jackie is just as cognitively capable, but he's a different kind of guy.

Jack doesn't perform as much. He isn't as eager to please, much more internally motivated. However, he is definitely easily upset if he thinks he has displeased you! He knows the words "no", "don't", and "not post to" mean that he's done something he is not allowed to do and he will often burst into some crazy crying when he hears it. The result of that is that I don't like to see him so upset and I am tending to just divert or distract Jack from the things he can't/ shouldn't do.

The boy remains very lovey and enjoys giving kisses. Last night, Jack alternatively gave me and Ethan kisses-- back and forth between the two of us. He leans his head over on us when he feels tired or wants reassurance. Despite our attempts to put Jackie in his crib at night, he wakes pretty quickly and joins us in our bed. Knowing he's our last baby and having been through this before, E and I have more patience about things like sleep and we know he won't be in our bed forever. I am soaking in his babyness because already (little walker!) it's passing us by and someday I know I'll miss it.

Here's Jack giving Daddy his "bye bye" kiss in the morning as E leaves for work. Jackie always gets excited and gives kisses, says bye bye and waves to E. He even wants to follow Daddy outside and watch him until he's gone down the street each day.

Here's another lovey with Daddy picture. Look at that contented face.

And here's the boy with one of his best friends, Jovial Blair. We had the Blairs over for dinner the other night and it was funny that the two little ones looked like they were dressed for Sadie Hawkins dance... extra funny because after they said that, we remembered that I had taken Heath Blair to Sadie's in high school! Crazy.

Here's bathtime Jackie showing us his fish.

In preparation for his upcoming first birthday, the boy (quickly) learned how to answer the question "How old is Jack?" or "How old are you?" with the classic one finger point. It's charming!