Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So You See She's Not Always in a Stroller....

Here are a few videos of Harper hard at work:



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And here is a video that explains why I usually keep Harper in the stroller:


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Finally, here is one more with Harper doing just about the same thing, only doing it with a different toy:


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Harper is trying very hard to figure out how to crawl. She is so close, but one of her legs wants to stay put and she doesn't understand how to get it out of the way so she can push herself up to all fours. It's fun to watch her try and figure it out, but she gets frustrated at times. She is different then Hadley in that way. Hadley never really seemed to care what she could and couldn't do. She's always been happy to be at whatever stage she's been at.

Another way Harper and Hadley are different from each other is during story time. Around six months, we started reading to Hadley before she went to bed. She usually sat on our laps and listened to the stories we read. Before she could talk, she would sometimes put her hand on a page to let us know she wanted to check it out for a bit longer. When we read to Harper, it is almost like a wrestling match. She wants to see, touch, and eat the book. The funniest part about our reading time together is the minute one of us says the title, Harper starts laughing. It doesn't matter what title it is, she'll laugh at it. This gets even more interesting when I'm reading to both of them before their afternoon nap. Harper starts laughing and Hadley will join along, but you can tell it's just a "courtesy laugh" and clearly Hadley is confused as to what is so funny about the story.

As for Hadley, well, she says hysterical things every day. Here's a conversation that took place on Monday evening when we were trying to get Hadley to use the potty before we took her outside. The conversation started in our bedroom with Jesse asking Hadley if she'd use the bathroom so we could all go outside. She told him no, she wouldn't, and walked down the hall. After a bit, Jesse called for Hadley but Hadley wouldn't respond. She was now in the living room playing with Harper. I said, "Hadley, Daddy wants to talk to you." Hadley yelled down the hallway to our bedroom, "Whadya wanna talk about, Daddy? You wanna talk about the potty that I don't want to use?"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Midmorning at the Museum

Uncle Geoff came to visit us for the weekend, and accompanied us to the Natural History Museum in DC. This is a great place to take a toddler because there are all sorts of fun things to look at and touch.

Here we are standing in an exhibit that scientists at NOAA developed. Jesse wanted to check it out to make sure everything was up to par.

Of course, it's always exciting to sit in a new chair, no matter where one is.

Looking at bees. Look how brave I am! And don't I look like I'm thoroughly enjoying myself?
Checking out the world's largest caterpillar. He spoke English, Spanish, and a little Latin. The lady is holding out her hand for Hadley to touch it if she wants. It took a bit, but she gave him a little pat pat.

In front of the Capitol.
We took this picture on the way to a Merry-go-Round that Hadley spotted on our way to the museum. She told us she wanted to ride on it. You can imagine the disaster waiting to happen we all thought that experience was going to be since you can't get off of it once it starts. But Hadley and I got on together and she enjoyed herself for the most part. There was one point where she told me she wanted to get off because she was dizzy, and that made me quite nervous, but she must have gotten over it, and I'm relieved to say this won't be an entry about being thrown up on.

Having an in-depth conversation about the way this thing works. Don't I look like I know what I'm talking about?
On Sunday evening, we went over to a friend's house to splash in their pool and have dinner. Hadley had a very good time playing in the pool and at the water/sand table.


And here's one of Harper...in a stroller. I'm sorry all my recent posts have been of Harper being in a stroller. I promise she isn't always in one.

You can always tell when Harper is really excited when her legs are straight out like this. She loves watching Hadley jump, and I think that's what Hadley was doing when I took this picture. Harper is steadily growing out of her clothes, faster then we can bring the ones we had packed away in. While Hadley weighed more at Harper's age, Harper is longer then Hadley was. Currently, Harper is wearing 12-18 month clothes, and some of them are too tight.

It was a great weekend, and we were back to just the three of us this morning. The girls and I ran some errands then went out for lunch together. On the way home, Hadley started singing, "The Wheels on the Bus" only, instead of a bus it was an ambulance. I joined in and Hadley said, "No, no, no, Mommy. I'm just singing it."
"OK." I said, and Hadley took a deep breath and started over. Then she said, "OK, Mommy, you can sing with me now." So I joined in. We sang this song all the way home until she said, "Mommy? How about you just sing it by yourself?"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Good to Share

Yesterday, we went to Silver Spring to meet Jesse after work and play in the fountain that is sort of in the "center" of the downtown area. Here are some pictures:


I'm so happy even though I have no teeth!

The pictures are really an excuse for posting what I really want to share here, and that is the conversation Hadley, Jesse and I had tonight. Harper was on the floor happily playing with a large blue basket when Hadley sat down in front of her and faster then you can say, "Give it!", took it away from her. Jesse and I both exclaimed, "No, no, Hadley! Harper was playing with that! You need to share!"

Hadley thought about this for awhile and said, "How do you share it?"

I said, "You have to wait until Harper is done with it, or come up with a game where you both can play with it at the same time."

This is what Hadley said, word for word, and I am not making this up:
"Hmmmm....why don't we play a game where I take this away from Harper?"

Jesse looked at me and said, "She's clever. You have to give her that."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trying to Beat the Heat

This won't be a post about sick or hurt kids, however, I will take this opportunity to complain once again about the DC heat. I hate the month of August. I never really enjoyed it, but the heat here is insane.

What makes it the most difficult is going anywhere in the afternoons after the girls wake up from their naps. The car gets so hot that the seatbelt straps burn their legs. Plus, they are just drenched in sweat by the time we get anywhere.

But it's not fun to stay inside either, so yesterday after Hadley and Harper woke up, we ventured out to the mall. I figured we could walk around a bit, play in the indoor park, and let off some energy before dinner.

One of Hadley's latest questions now when we get in the car is, "Do we need to drive on 270?" (Yes, she knows the number to the highway.) She doesn't like 270 because we drive too fast and her seatbelt gets tight (that's her explanation). Hadley does not like going fast at all. She doesn't like it when the car goes over bumps or anything that prevents the car from going smoothly. However, we are frequently on 270 so the answer is usually, "Yes." To this Hadley says, "How about we just walk?" This is an important little piece of anecdotal information for later on in this entry.

Anyway, when we got to the mall, I want to make sure we got a spot in the shade. So I parked here:

And the mall is over here:


That's alright, it was worth every step to not have to enter into an oven on our return.

So we looked around in a few stores to see if there was anything we had to have until we came upon the first little playground thing. I stopped the stroller so Hadley could check it out.

This is the point in the story where the information regarding Hadley's issue with 270 comes in handy. After climbing in all the locomotives, plus Clifford the Big Red Dog (I'm not sure why he was there among the helicopter, spaceship, car, and police car), Hadley asks, "Hey do these things move?" I told her that yes, they move, but I wasn't sure she was going to like it.
"I want to try it." she says.
"Hadley, I really don't think you're going to like it."
"Do they go really fast?" she asks.
"No."
"Will I go up in the air?"
"No."
"I really want to try it, Mama."
"OK." I say. Here's what happened:



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Later, we went to a little merry-go-round that was very cute. Hadley liked climbing all over it, but she made it very clear she did not want it moving.


Meanwhile, Harper had a great time riding around in the stroller, watching Hadley play, and playing with her new favorite toy, the diaper wipes:


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It was a nice little outing. I wondered as I strolled the girls around yesterday afternoon, if these trips would be the easiest trips we'd make to the mall. I think that in a few years I might be wishing for the days when I had to lug the stroller out of the car, and sit and watch the girls as they run around. Instead of Hadley begging me to let her ride on the helicopter, she's going to be begging me to buy her a pair of skinny jeans (Oh, please let those things go out of style by the time the girls are in middle school. They are so ugly!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bound to Happen

These days if we want to go to the park, we need to go when the crickets are still up, which is convenient since I think my girls have died if they are sleeping past 7. So this weekend we headed over to the park to play first thing in the morning so we could get there before we could worry whether or not the slides would melt in the heat (talk about leeching!).

Here are a few pictures:



This park is an excellent park, but it is pretty advanced and it gets crowded. We had the place to ourselves for the most part, so it was easy to follow Hadley around, up and down, and through all the equipment.

And as exciting as a day at the park is, the weekend had more excitement in store for us, and that was our first trip to the ER with Hadley.

Recently Hadley has taken an interest in the jar of coins that we have in our bedroom. I think this is because of two reasons: 1)we play "store" with her cash register and we just have dollar bills, no coins, and we have to have a rather lengthy discussion every time about why we don't have coins in the cash register (you would think that "because it didn't come with coins" would be enough, but it's not). 2)on an episode of Dora, she plays with or uses coins.

We have told Hadley numerous times she is not allowed to play with this jar, and it's not like we have it sitting on the floor with lights shining down on it and heavenly music playing "come and play with me dear Hadley." She can't reach it, and she has to go out of her way to find it.

But where there's a will there's a way, and this weekend Hadley found a way to not only get the jar of coins, but she also managed to drop the entire thing on her foot. And that is why Jesse rushed Hadley off to the ER. I won't go into detail, but her big toe resembles another certain someone that I know who likes to play basketball, and his name rhymes with "Schmeoff."

So here is a picture of Hadley after her return from the ER. There were no broken bones or anything like that. Just a very bad bruise.

I am sorry she got hurt. I felt miserable the rest of the day and kept going over how I could've prevented it. What really got me was that I couldn't go with her to the ER (I stayed at home with Harper, and Jesse went), and then seeing her come home with the hospital bracelet around her wrist. But she is fine and just as happy as ever, so we are all thankful for that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Splash Park and Double Ear Infection

I'm doubling up entries hence the title. Over the weekend, we took the girls to a splash park in our neighborhood. For about $5, you get an all day pass to run around like a crazy person in all different kinds of water fountains. We took a few pictures, but it was so hard to get any good ones because Hadley never stopped moving. But it's a great park, and what's nice is you can leave and come back if you want. Plus, it's in the middle of a giant park with lots of trails. Harper and I went for a walk around the area for a bit while Hadley and Jesse played in the water. Here are a few pictures:
I think she's trying to get a drink here:

Taking a rest in the little tent:

I don't have a picture of Harper at the splash park because she hated it. I think the water and the screaming kids were too loud for her. Hadley was like that at this age as well. She liked taking baths, but we took her to the ocean when she was around Harper's age and she was pretty scared of it.

However, here is a picture of Harper and her Daddy on Monday night:

Harper has an ear infection in both ears, so she's had a rough time of it the past few days. Although, she has been quite happy for the most part. It's just that minor detail of getting sleep that seems to be causing trouble. On Monday she took her normal morning nap, but that was it until 6 at night when she was sitting on this chair with Jesse and just dozed off. Believe me, I tried to get her to sleep! Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that Mama does not mess around with nap times. My life is scheduled to a tee around the girls' naps. We have none of this "they'll just sleep in the stroller or carseat" stuff. Anyway, Harper didn't want to take an afternoon nap and I'm sure it had something to do with her ears. So she played quite happily for several hours in the afternoon and then fell asleep around the time Jesse got home. Needless to say, I was a little frazzled on Monday evening. I don't do well when the plan is foiled. But here we are on Wednesday and the ladies are fast asleep for now.

Here's one more picture of Hadley eating dinner last night. I mentioned earlier that she wears this purple hat on a daily basis, and I was not exaggerating. Apparently it wasn't too hot to wear a winter hat, but it was too hot to wear her dress appropriately.

It takes "Girls Gone Wild" to a whole new level.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Afternoon Activities

Hadley and Harper go down for naps at the same time in the afternoon, but Harper usually wakes up before Hadley. Recently, I've been sitting her down in the living room with a bunch of toys and she is quite happy to play for awhile.

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When Hadley wakes up, the girls usually enjoy a snack together before we move on to the next thing. Yesterday they both got some messy treats that they both thoroughly enjoyed: a popsicle for Hadley and a teething biscuit for Harper.
"Hey Harper, you got a little something on your face....."


It might be obvious from the picture that the girls are watching TV. However, they are not watching Diego, Dora, Sesame Street, or Mickey Mouse. Somehow I managed to convince them to watch Mama Mia! Hadley liked the boats and water, and both of them liked the singing and dancing. Personally, I think it was Colin Firth.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

And Now It's August

It was right around this time of year when I would have a dream that I was in my classroom with no clue what to do with the kids. They would be running around and screaming, "What are we going to do today?" And I would be frantically looking for my lesson plans saying, "I don't know!" I don't have those dreams anymore. Now, I'm lucky to just be sleeping. But we won't dwell on that. Instead, let's take a look at the scene from Saturday morning this weekend:




Jesse set up the DVD player so the girls could watch Sesame Street on the porch on Saturday morning. It was quite cute seeing them sitting next to each other. Later on in the day, we went to Rockville Town Center to let Hadley run around in the water fountains. This is always a fun thing for Hadley to do, but yesterday there were break dancers on the stage and Hadley decided she wanted to join them. Hadley and her little friend here had fun running in between the rock area and the water fountain area.


After running around in the water, we ate dinner at a cute little Italian restaurant down the block. The three of us split a pizza. Harper had sweet potatoes, cereal, and fruit. While we were waiting for our food, Hadley dug into the sugar packets as always and played with them for a bit. What was new to the table this evening were the red pepper flakes. Hadley wanted to play with those, but we told her that probably wasn't a great idea. This explanation was not satisfying to her, so this became the perfect opportunity to tell her about the time I tried red pepper flakes when I was not supposed to. In my best story telling voice, I told Hadley about the time I was in preschool and we were gluing different spices onto paper. The teacher told us over and over again not to eat the spices, especially the red pepper flakes. I just could not resist and put some in my mouth. The pain was so bad but I didn't want to tell my teacher what I had done because I didn't want to get in trouble. So I sat in my cubby until the pain went away. This story did not scare Hadley so much, but she was captivated. She requested that I tell the story three more times, and then proceeded to put red pepper flakes all over Jesse's pizza.




Speaking of stories, Hadley wanted to act out the book Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss, and Jesse being the good sport that he is, kindly obliged. Of course, Harper wanted to get in on the action as well, and she jumped herself silly in the exersaucer. After watching the video, you might agree that she is too big for it. Also, as much as it looks like it, Hadley is not texting.



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