Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Break 2012!

It is with great sadness that I tell you my 2 weeks of Spring Break are coming to an end. Lesson plans are done for the week ahead and my alarm is set for 4:30am.

Unfortunately, Stevie was out of town for the majority of my time off. First he was in Vegas for March Madness then he was off to a bachelor party weekend in Palm Springs. We sure are glad to have him home.

Here is what Spring Break 2012 consisted of:

As you know we spent the first weekend in Phoenix for a friend's wedding and went to the Phoenix Zoo.

Upon returning to Tucson we spent a lot (and I mean A LOT) of time reading stories and playing school.

The girls and I attended a storytime at Agua Caliente Park. The storytime was a bit weak but the park is beautiful and different.

We had SNOW! Okay, so it was technically graupel (snowflakes and water crystals frozen together) but to us it was SNOW! On this day we also experienced Shyla biggest public-tantrum as we tried to buy a few things from Michaels. I would tell you about it, but I have already blocked it from my memory.

We went to 2 storytimes at Mildred & Dildred. This storytime seems to be Shyla's favorite. It is short, but there is a good mix of stories and songs.

And we visited the Reid Park Zoo once. We are super excited to see the new elephant exhibit which opened this past weekend. Our 2 elephants were sent to the San Diego Zoo (we have been talking about Uncle Dan and Aunit Erin taking good care of them) and we acquired 5 new elephants for this new exhibit.

We walked Sabino Canyon twice. I'm relieved that Shyla will now sit in the stroller so I can get some exercise. In fact, she actually understands the difference between Mommy getting exercise and when we just go for a stroll and she can walk. Forty minutes is about her max, though, so when we go places like the canyon, I have to plan accordingly so I know when to turn around.

And we began the next session of swim lessons. There are no pictures of the actual lessons this time because I am in the water with Harper while Shyla is in without a parent, just with the "big kids" as she says. This session (knock on wood) is going amazingly well!

We went to the Children's Museum twice! Once we made it for Wee-Play which consists of a story and a craft but Shyla's favorite part by-far is the pretend grocery store.

I got a completely bogus, $62, parking ticket at the museum for being pulled too far past the meter.

We participated in the Cystic Fibrosis walk in honor of the beautiful Ellis Rose. She is the 1-year old baby to our friend Kristina. While there we took a really blurry picture of Shyla with Wilma the Wildcat.

We took many walks in our neighborhood and recently stopped using the carseat with the stroller. This makes it SO MUCH lighter and easier to maneuver and I think Harper likes it better too since she can see where we are going.
Also, if you look closely you can see Baby Sunny sitting behind Shyla.

Shyla took an interest in riding her bike, finally!

And Harper decided to skip straight to the car.

I don't have any pictures but we also attended the birthday party for Shyla's friend Samantha. This was Shyla's first birthday party that wasn't for a family member or for the child of one of our friends. Samantha is Shyla's friend. How can I have a baby old enough to have her own real friends?

And, more than anything, we simply enjoyed being around each other.

Here's hoping this 9 week quarter goes quickly and smoothly so I can get back to my girls and what I love most.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Can Do It Myself!

Shyla is 2 years and 10 months and, therefore, she can do everything herself.

I blame this book:

She specifically wants to dress and undress herself. Including pull-ups and shoes. I have very mixed feelings about this. I love her independence, but I hate that she's growing up so fast. I love that she wants to try everything, but I hate that she gets frustrated and mad if I try to help. I love how cute she looks with backward/insideout pants (see above pic) and shoes on the wrong feet, but I hate how long it takes to get ready.

In just about every aspect, I continue to be in awe of this little girl!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Harper & the Bottle

As I have mentioned, Harper's last feeding of each evening is a bottle of formula. The takes place immediately following bath time. In fact, she wants it right after her jammies are on, so I try to make sure the bottle is made and ready for her before we even get into the bath.

However, because Stevie is rarely home for bath and bedtime, and because I only have 2 arms, it's been a stressful time. I've been forced to let Harper cry while I get Shyla out of the bath and into jammies. (Truly this probably only takes about 5 minutes, but when you are listening to your baby cry it feels like an eternity!)

But, we have reached an important milestone that has made this time of night SO MUCH EASIER! Harper can now hold her own bottle!

So, although I'd much rather give her the nighttime bottle like this:

She can now do this while I tend to Shyla:
It is amazing how one little change can affect our routine so greatly!

This milestone has also made driving a bit easier as I can hand her a bottle of breastmilk, if I have it ready, rather than pulling over to nurse her or listening to her cry. Additionally, I have been able to take some longer walks because, as long as I have a bottle of breastmilk ready, I don't have to worry about being back in time for her next feeding.

Way to go Harper girl!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Time to lower Harper's crib....

On Stevie's honey-dew list today: lowering Harper's crib.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Harper is 8 Months!

Today my sweet Harper is 8 months. I cannot believe it has already been 8 months. That is 2/3 of a year!

She has made our hearts so happy and has made our little family feel so complete.

She has been fighting a cold and thus not sleeping or eating really well. When she breathes you can hear the icky stuff in her nose and chest. She is not a fan of the boogie-getter that we've been needing to use frequently.

But aside from that, she is doing just perfectly!

She has no problem sitting up these days and is crawling, still army style, all over and quickly. She is vocalizing and giving big belly laughs. These laughs are especially brought on by Shyla, and sometimes when she is throwing a tantrum or something else undesirable.

There are still no visible teeth in that little mouth but buckets of drool! As a nursing mom, I would like for her to stay toothless for as long as possible!

In addition to breast-milk she is getting about 6 ounces of formula each night, rice cereal and a pureed fruit or veggie twice a day, and she is working on getting puffs from her table into her mouth.

She weighs just under 16 pounds. Bathtime is still a highlight of the day and her eczema cleared up nicely when we replaced her soap with Dove and her lotion with Eucerin.

Smiles and cuddles are abundant. She still watches Shyla with admiration and a longing to be doing whatever she is doing. She listens intently during the storytimes we attend and while Shyla is reading to us at home. And she loves to watch and listen as Shyla and I sing our silly songs and do our silly dances.

Although I am on Spring Break for 2 weeks so both girls are with me everyday, she is still doing really well when she goes to daycare. She likes to watch the other kids there and the teachers always tell me how easy-going she is.

Eight months....and I have been amazed by her each and everyday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another Phoenix Weekend!

We recently spent another weekend in Phoenix for a quick family vacation. This time it was centered around Abbie's wedding to Mike. Abbie is Beth's baby-sister and since Beth is like a sister to me, I guess that would make her my baby-sister as well.

We left on Saturday morning and went straight to the Wildhorse Resort where we, mistakenly, thought Shyla would take a nap before the wedding.

Instead we explored the grounds and got some wiggles out from the car-ride up.

Then it was time for the wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony.

Although she was tired, Shyla danced all night. She literally danced from 6-9 PM. It was crazy and fun to watch and I seriously think Stevie had never looked more proud of his little girl. There is a video at the bottom of this post for your viewing pleasure.

Harper, obviously more like Mommy, gripped onto me as soon as the music got loud, then slept on my chest for the rest of the evening.

Not that this picture needs a caption, but Shyla passed out in the car after the wedding.

Sunday morning we got a good breakfast ("good for our bones" as Shyla would say) then headed to the zoo.
This time Shyla got to ride a camel. I was so proud that she did it all by herself. There is a video of it at the bottom of this post.

She rode on Stevie's shoulders and waved every time the tram went by.

It was, again, a no-nap day but after so quiet time in the hotel room Shyla and Stevie spent some time in the pool and even went down the (super slow) water slide.

That night we went to the Pita Jungle for a healthy dinner then back to the hotel for bedtime.

Unfortunately at about 11:30 PM Harper woke up, feverish and fussy. We tried, unsuccessfully, to comfort her and get her back to sleep until about 4 AM. Then we made the decision to head home. We got home about 6 AM which meant we had the full day ahead. We got some rest then headed out to lunch with Grandpa Steve for his birthday.

All in all it was a great weekend! We got to spend lots of time together as a family, with is all that matters!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Break!

To celebrate the 2 weeks of Spring Break that begin today, the girls and I went to Dunkin' Donuts on Friday morning before work.
These are the things I'd like to do this break:
  • Spend as many possible minutes enjoying my girls.
  • Run on as many days as possible, even if short outings. I'd like to get in about 20 miles before returning to work.
  • Pass my upcoming math test. I'm not too optimistic about it and I actually won't receive the results until mid-April, but I'm taking it on St. Patty's Day so I'll have the luck of the Irish with me.
  • Visit with Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Pop at least once.
  • Get back on the Weight Watchers train.
  • Spend as many possible minutes enjoying my girls.

Where's Shyla?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Harper likes prunes!

Shyla really liked prunes too so I was not surprised that they were a hit this evening!

Storytime at Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Pop's

We love to go visit with Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Pop! I think I mentioned this before, but those visits were a huge benefit of my maternity leave. It is so important for them to be a part of the girls' lives and so important that the girls know them well.

Last weekend they invited us all over for breakfast. Or, rather, I think my dad actually invited grandma to cook for us all, but same difference.

The kids had a great time and, of course, entertained the adults. When they took a moment to read a book together, Chelsea quickly snapped this photo!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Harper's 1st Swim Lesson

Alternate title: Stevie's legs are more tired than after Ragnar.

This morning Stevie and Harper did her first swim lesson today. This immediately followed Stevie and Shyla's last Happy Feet class.

After the swim lesson he was complaining that his legs were tired. I guess a 200 mile relay race across the state of Arizona has nothing on these activities we put our girls into.

Harper, our little platypus, looked adorable in her swimsuit and was ready for her lesson!
Not surprisingly, it was a total success!
She practiced kicking, back-floating, and blowing bubbles.
The only part she wasn't fond of was when she had to get out (it was cold) and then jump back in.
Big sister Shyla sat with me and cheered for Harper and sang the songs that they were singing in the pool. (She even forced me to clap for Harper when I wasn't clapping.)

Last week Shyla became a flounder which means she no longer needs a parent in the pool with her. She has done awesome with the transition. She is the only girl in her class and she is the best listener of the group. I may be a little biased, but I dare you to come watch, you will definitely agree!