Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beginning Traditions: The Pumpkin Patch

I never paid much attention to family traditions before Harper was born. Wait. That's not true; I always had to open presents on Christmas morning, not Christmas Eve, and...yep, that's all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure there are more, but as a little girl I don't remember looking forward to certain days of the year because of the traditions that came with them. But I want to create traditions for Harper; ones that she'll look forward to every year. I want Harper to look back on her childhood and remember the Special Day plate, Easter Egg hunts, dates with Daddy, opening Christmas pajamas and a new tree ornament each Christmas Eve, and finding the perfect pumpkin every year. I want her to remember the special memories we created by celebrating big and small days in big and small ways. 

So this week, Harper and I headed to the pumpkin patch with the Corders as a new tradition. Sure, I let Preston pick out our pumpkin this year, but before too long it'll be Harper's turn to wander the aisles and pick out the perfect orange gourd. 

How ADORABLE is Graham in his little lion costume?! 

Preston takes good care of the littles!

Oh, those hypnotizing blue precious!

Graham was way more cooperative with the camera than Harper. But some new material for the blog is never a bad idea, right?

I know that Harper isn't going to remember her first trip to the pumpkin patch or her first Christmas morning (or her second or third either), but the traditions are just as much for me as they are for her. I'll look back on these pictures and know that I did everything I could to create a special childhood for Harper. And one day Harper will look at these pictures and know that her mom loved her more than anything.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guatemala Girl!

My friend Paige is in Guatemala right now working with a non-profit that benefits children with cleft lip and palettes. She is incredibly brave for going on this adventure all on her own, and I finally got a chance to catch up with her this month after nine months away. Anyway, awhile back another friend of mine, Katie, went to visit Paige and brought back two beautiful dresses for Harper. The first one fits perfectly, just in time for fall. She's still got some growing room in the other, which is perfect! Anyway,  Harper modeled the dress beautifully for a little photo shoot in the backyard. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

No Words...Just Harper

I have nothing to say...just pictures to share. The last one makes me laugh...she's either tattling or there is an "Oh, no she di-dint..." in there somewhere. Please to enjoy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Harper Outtakes

So during my little "moment" last week when I was trying to remember Newborn Harper and relive the last four months, I found some amazing outtakes of Harper mixed in with all her sweetness. Oh, the hilarity.

I mean this is just gross...Meg and I actually get a good picture, and Harper goes and screws it up with her spit. She would.

 I'm pretty sure this is her "I am refusing to smile or acknowledge the camera in my face" face...

And her "What...What did I do?" face...arms out and everything.
She's really starting to work those eyebrows...keep your eye out...

 And this is just scary. I mean for her, I guess.

She's already started cheesing it up for the camera.

And of course...Drew screws up another picture. Weird.

And a confession of my own blooper from last night...I washed a diaper. Like, in the washing machine. What?! I know. How does that even happen? I have no idea where it came from or what was in it prior to the wash. But what I do know is that that thing absorbed a lot of water. And then exploded. Because all the gooey gross water absorption gel stuff was in my washer. Gross. Anyway, immediate rewashes are always fun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mini Milestones

I was reading my monthly Parents magazine this morning with my coffee (while my daughter slept until 9...God bless her), and there was an article on ‘mini-milestones’. The writer pointed out that amid the bigger milestones like first steps and first birthdays (which will inevitably include millions of pictures, crazy grandparent excitement, and a waterfall of emotions for one proud mama), “there are also many powerful little milestones that sneak up on you. Often you don’t realize you have encountered one until it is taking your breath away--or slipping past so fast you don’t notice you’re missing it.” 
Well, my breath got taken away this week by one such “mini-milestone”. We went to Harper’s four month check up and got the go-ahead to start solids with her. Great. Sounds like fun and a complete disaster at the same time. We had the new high chair, the right spoons, bright little bowls with fishies on them, and made a special trip to the store for the perfect, doctor recommended rice cereal. 
This is her "You want me to do WHAT with the WHAT?" face...
Neal claimed first feed, and I relunctantly agreed. However, I morphed into control freak mode as soon as it was time, and Neal got the message loud and clear when I snapped at him, “This is a BIG deal for me!” Yikes. Needless to say, he took over the roll as photographer and videographer so I could have this moment feeding my daughter for the first time. 
We were right: it was a complete disaster, and wildly hilarious at the same time. The cereal was like water, and out of a dozen or so spoonfuls, I’d say half of one may have stayed in the mouth. 

But it was afterwards that I had to go have a moment alone to process this “mini-milestone”. When did I get a child old enough to sit in a high chair and eat from a spoon? Where did my baby go that used to lay in one spot, loved to be held, and stared longingly into my eyes while she nursed? The time spent feeding her before was “our” time...bonding with each other like only a mother/child can. Now I have this sweet, precious girl who is rolling all over the place, hates the very swaddle that kept her safe and warm for the first three months of her life, and couldn’t care less about bonding with mom over “lunch and dinner” (there are exciting noises, colors, and new distractions that turn those lunches and dinners into outright nursing strikes). 

It's a conundrum though for a new mom, these milestones--big or small. You want your baby to be "advanced", to reach every milestone when the books say she will (or before). And all the while you're thinking, She hasn't rolled over yet...the neighbor's kid rolled over two weeks ago...she's not grabbing at anything...what's wrong with her? And then all of a sudden she rolls over/grabs something/eats from a spoon and you're left with the feeling that time is going too damn fast. 
Just for a moment this week, I needed time to stand still. I needed to cradle my baby a little longer at night while she drifted off to sleep. I know I have to accept the fact that before too long she’ll be crawling, and walking, and talking (yes, I realize I'm jumping the gun a little, but it crosses my mind every day). Don’t get me wrong...I’m so excited about those big milestones. Heck, I was excited about this mini one...I just didn’t realize how much it was going to take my breath away. And I pray that I have the presence of mind throughout Harper’s life to not let the other mini-milestones “slip past so fast I don’t even notice them.”

Another "mini-milestone": she can sit up unassisted for a few seconds now...such a big girl!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4 Months

Dear Harper,
      Do you know how crazy I am about you? Do you know how much I love you? That I would do anything for you? Do you know how much I love getting you up in the morning and after naps, seeing that smile widen like you've never been happier to see someone in your whole life? Do you know how much I look forward to each day, to see what new tricks you've got up your sleeve, what that little mind and body are working so hard at each day? Do you know that you are a lucky lucky girl, with parents who love you more than anything? 
   You've been working hard this month at growing and have had lots of fun adventures with old and new friends. 
Playing with those Crazy Mays. 
Ellie's teaching you all her fun tricks too.


You saw your first Ranger win this month; you were a big fan...and by big fan, I mean you slept through the last 6 innings. It was fun having you at the ball park because it has so many fun memories for your daddy and me. I'm glad you finally got to share in those with us. 

You're getting big enough now to play with new toys. You're grabbing things (putting them straight in your mouth) and rolling over (barrel rolling is more like it). You've already got places you've got to be and if rolling will get you there, so be it. You're so much more alert these days which also means you're so much more distracted. We have to go into a dark/quiet room now for you to eat, otherwise there's too much around you that you're more interested in. But the dark and quiet is okay with me because that's just more "us" time that I relish in. You've made me put away my own distractions so I can focus on you, helping you grow up to be strong and healthy. 

Speaking of strong and healthy, you were a champ at your four month check up. You weighted twelve pounds eleven ounces and were 25 1/2 inches long. Dr. Linderman said you were a "crazy long baby." But what else would we expect from the newest Dickson...long and lean...just like your parents. 

You had your first cold this month which didn't seem to bother you too much, but worried your momma a lot. We snuggled all day that first day, and after that you were may have sounded like an old man when you were breathing, but no worse for the wear. 

Harper Louise, you are the light of my life, the joy of my heart. I've had a few moments this month where I wanted time to stand still. I want to relish in your baby-dom a little longer, because before I know it you'll be crawling then walking then talking then going off to college (okay, a little dramatic, but sometimes I feel like that). I love spending my days with you and watching you sleep at night. You are an amazing creature of God that I know is going to bring even more light and so much more joy to our lives. I love you, sweet girl. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What a Difference a YEAR Makes...

Around this time last year I had a secret...a BIG one. I remember it all very vividly. 

The morning of October 22, Neal and I had our very first sonogram. Only my sister knew about the pregnancy, and I had this irrational fear that my heart wanted a baby so badly that my mind was playing tricks on me, despite the dozen or so pregnancy tests I'd taken since the first positive showed up. There was just a little blob on the screen, but the nurse assured us that that was most definitely a baby. I was on Cloud Nine. 

Everyone else in Dallas was pumped because the Rangers were in a wild race to the World Series. That same night we had tickets to Game 6 of the ALCS, Rangers versus Yankees. Colby Lewis pitched eight innings. We sat in the home run porch and watched the rain come down in the early innings. Rangers had never won a playoff game before that year, and there had definitely never been any World Series buzz. Ninth inning, Neftali Feliz came in, Alex Rodriguez was at the plate with two outs. He strikes out swinging. 

Rangers win the ALCS!!! They're going to the World Series!!! WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!! 

It was the coolest day of our lives; I don't think either of us will ever forget it. The people around us had no idea what joy I had in my heart; but that night confetti flew, fireworks burst, champagne was everywhere...for most, it was because the Rangers had just made history. But for me, 51,404 people were celebrating our future alongside us!