Friday, September 16, 2011

2 Month Birthday

Harper turned 2 months old last Sunday. She had her first full day at school on Monday and did great, according to her teachers. Slept, ate, got cuddles, and did tummy time with no fussing. She had her 2 month doctor appointment on Saturday and weighed in at respectable 13 lb 8 oz and is 24 inches long. For perspective, Spenser currently weighs 28 lbs. Other than a mosquito bite on her forehead, her doctor says she looks perfect. She is rolling over and has developed her social smile.

If it is before 6:30 AM when everyone is waking up, I'll bring both kids into bed with me for some extra snoozing. This particular morning, I was wide awake after they had both went back to sleep. I snuck out from in between them to take an uninterrupted shower. When I came back, this is what I found. Harper is going to grow up being one tough little girl.

A good shot of her gorgeous baby blues. Still too soon to see if they will stay.

Another good shot of her eyes.

Trying to catch her smiling here. She gives no warning and the smile is usually gone before I can grab a camera. I was lucky to catch this sideways look at it.
We recently discovered that she is happy with a pacifier in the evening instead of a 3 hour nursing fest. She's all swaddled in her Moses basket, ready to go to sleep. She's wrapped in a blanket crocheted by one of the paramedics in the ER. Lately, she has been sleeping 12 hours at night, with one little wake up at 4 am for a snack.

Chewing on her arm as a light snack.

We have a picture of Spenser playing incognito baby, in which his outfit blends into the pattern on the bouncy seat. As I going through the photos I took this morning, I realized that Harper was trying to pull a similar trick.

Just a nice picture of my handsome boy while he is not running around like a hurricane.

From this morning...Spenser loves to play in the trickle of water we leave running from the faucet for him. He fills up the cup, dumps it out, refills it, drinks the water, spits the water out. It's endless fun for him, though the kitchen floor is always half swamped by the time he is done. Guess it forces me to mop and keep a clean floor.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


On Wednesday, Harper was doing tummy time and rolled from front to back on her own...only about 2 months early!

That same day, I made an attempt at grocery shopping with both babies at once. Spenser was in a particularly cooperative mood and stayed in the cart. I was wearing Harper in our mei tai carrier. A sweet lady who looked to be about 90 years old was cruising by in her electric scooter when she stopped us. She was quite taken with the babies and mostly enamored by Spenser. After asking permission, she gave him a lollypop for being so cute. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the attention, but happily took the candy.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Natural and manmade disasters

We've been busy at the hacienda with a little earthquake, a burst storm and a hurricane named Irene. The earthquake measured out to 5.8 and it's epicenter was about 30 miles to the south of us. Spenser was at school, C was in DC and I was home with Harper when the house started rumbling and shaking. At first, I thought it was a military aircraft going overhead. We are in a flight path and this happens not infrequently. When I realized that this was not just overhead noise, but the house was actually making the noise, I grabbed up Harper and ran outside. I ran further when I realized the deck I was standing under was swaying. A few seconds later, it was all over. Other than being shaky from adrenaline overload and a few pictures that fell over, everything was fine. A few days later, I left the house to pick up Spenser. I had Harper in the back and was texting back and forth with C about the evening. It was threatening to rain at the time and I had a few errands to do before I got Spenser. It had started raining and blowing when C told me to wait in town for a while because the storm was so bad at the house. About the time that I arrived at the school, the storm hit town. I ended up sitting in the hospital parking garage because it is sheltered there. We had 60 mph wind gusts and pouring rain. It knocked out the electricity and the hospital had to kick over to using the generators. It also knocked out cell service, though I could still text C. Harper and I nursed in the dark for about 20 minutes before the storm blew over and I could pick up Spenser. We had plans for that weekend to run down to Virginia Beach as a quick end of summer vacation/birthday getaway. Unfortunately, Irene put a big dent in that plan. To make up for it, we were able to visit Virginia Beach on Labor Day weekend for a nice little family vacation.

We stayed at a Marriott Courtyard on the south end of the boardwalk. We sprung for a suite so Spenser could have some running room and we ended up with two balconies. This is what we woke up to....a beautiful sunrise and a manicured beach.

Spenser was really excited about the water and the sand. He had never been to a beach before. After changing out of our jammies, we had a fabulous breakfast at Doc Taylor's , a local, hole in the wall that was just a couple of blocks away.

Sleeping Beauty in the king size bed.

We rented a cabana and lounge chairs to keep Harper out of the sun. It also gave us a nice protected place to nurse as well as keep our belongings tucked away.

Harper did the best thing one can do on a beach....snooze.

Spenser loved digging in the sand. I loved looking out at the water and seeing dolphins play just beyond the waves. They were so close in that people were swimming near them.

The sand was weirdly sticky and hard to get off the skin. We did venture down to the waves. It was pretty rough and I'm not sure how much of that was left over from Irene. Spenser and I would go in about ankle deep and get splashed by the waves. Any deeper than about mid thigh was too rough and dangerous for me to take a squirming toddler. As an example, there was enough surf that people were out surfing.

Spenser had a lot fun making us chase him around the cabana. The people behind us thought this was hilarious.
After lunch, we ventured down to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. There are two buildings of exhibits, a nature walk, IMAX theater and a boat ride. We opted to see just the first building. This place is very well done. Lots of scientific information in a kid friendly and interesting format. I got to pet a ray, a horseshoe crab and a starfish. Spenser wasn't ready to be that brave yet....

though he and C were brave enough to be swallowed up by this shark! hehe

He was pretty fascinated by this harbor seal swimming by in the tank in front of the building. The aquarium does a lot of rescue and rehab of injured wild seals and has been able to release quite a few back into the wild.

The next morning, we hit the Pocahontas Pancake Shop. If you are ever near Virginia Beach, go. Just go. It is a local institution. It is wonderful. Spenser and C loved their pancakes. I had a perfectly done stuffed french toast. Go early because it gets crowded and a line forms. The decor is not to be missed. We spent the rest of the day at the beach and exploring Virginia Beach. We had dinner at a great Cuban restaurant called Mojito Cafe. It is tiny inside, but the food and service is wonderful. Spenser ate more of my dish than he did of his. He was grabbing handfuls of rice off my plate and signing for more of my pork. After some ice cream and a walk on the boardwalk, it was time for bed and home in the morning.

Last family self portrait on the balcony before we leave.

Spenser has been fascinated by our bicycles recently. He's not quite ready to pedal his tricycle, so we thought we would try a balance bike. It showed up on the day we left for Virginia Beach, so we put the bike together upon our return. He is soooo excited about it. His legs are not quite long enough to reach the ground when he is sitting on it, but he can stand and walk with it. It even has a hand break and kickstand just like the big kids' bikes do.

This morning, he was trying to put his shoes one. A valiant first effort, but they look a bit painful to walk in. I put his socks on him and helped him straighten them out.

Now, for my man made disaster. We have been talking forever about replacing the ugly, dated sliding glass doors on the bottom patio. We finally ordered the door shortly before Harper was born. Because the size of the door is odd, it had to be custom built. They showed up today to install it so this is what my basement exercise room looks like. The giant blue tarp is up because it is POURING rain and it is expected to continue raining for the rest of the day.

It took them about 4 hours and they just left. Here is my beautiful new door. It matches the sliding glass door I have on the deck directly above it. We just need to paint the trim and remove the hardware from the vertical blinds.