Monday, August 30, 2010

Family Fun Weekend

Grandma Cietek and Aunt Monique came down to see the babe and have a little fun in Country Music City. They adored spending time with Harper and spoiled her rotten:) With clothes and jewelry, hugs, kisses, and lots of good food! They cooked our favorites and stocked our freezer full of pizza, meatballs and tomato sauce that makes you wanna smack your Momma. Not really!
At the pool

We had a blast and we will miss you, especially Harper and Moss!

The Country Music Hall of Fame

Sunday after Birthday Bash

On Sunday after Harper's birthday party, she and Daddy had fun time while my Mom and I made lots and lots of sauce. Tomato sauce that is, with lots o tomatoes! I'm thinking we probably had 30-40 pounds of tomatoes and now I have b e a utiful tomato sauce stocking my pantry shelves. This is my first canning, in my home, with all my new fancy canning gear. I say fancy because the gear is quite basic and very simple to use. All I needed, was my Mom to be here and hold my hand I suppose! Next time around, I will be flying solo.

Fancy Baby

Can you even believe how adorable this ensemble is? My sister bought her this for her birthday! LOVIN IT!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mini Milestones Everyday

Harper has blossomed so much over the last month. She took her first steps when she turned 11 months old and by her 1st birthday, she is practically running when she doesn't bobble over and fall with reckless abandon. Yesterday, I asked her if she wanted to eat and she held her hand up to her mouth and signed to me "Eat". I was thrilled because the one and only sign she uses is "all done". We work on "more" all the time but she basically just screams! Also, Grandma Cietek and Aunt Mo "Miny" came in town for the weekend yesterday and she expressed her ability to shake her head NO, for the first her GRANDMA! Not what I was hoping for for a first in the milestone category but it has been quite funny watching her explore her new form of communication today.

The morning after her birthday I found her in her "toy store", as her G-Aunt Miny calls it, hugging one of her baby dolls. So sweet and I was so glad she wasn't throwing her across the room! I fixed a room for all her toys and books in the front of the house but really all she wants is Moss' toys in the other room. Go figure, but it is wonderful to see her exploring and learning. She also loves to bring you a book and plop right down in your lap so you can read it to her...of course jumping up less than a minute later and moving onto the next project. Told you that's why I love rocking her to sleep at night! It always last more than a minute!:)

Oh, PS, the best milestone. She gives the BEST hugs lately. Like the kind you know she means it with her generous mouth open coming at you with a larger than life smile, arms wide open, and falls into your arms!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Photo booth at The Bash

Who knew Photo Booths were so fun! I made the back drop and Angela and Will provided the props and pictures! This was hysterical and sooo ridiculous. I LOVE the photos and hope you do to!

The Big 1 Bash

The party was a hit and we all had a blast. I suppose 20 families or more came to the house yesterday to celebrate Harper's first birthday! She enjoyed her gifts, undecided about all the attention, and loved her cake.
I must say, I think my gift won favorite of the day!! Bob and I gave her a wheely bug, bumble design, and she absolutely loved it. She really didn't want to get off of it but found time to see a few of the other gifts and friends that came to see her.
The cakes were amazing! Jessica Mobley at Cake-ology in Franklin designed and made these beautiful cakes, Harper Elle especially loved the chocolate posie flower on her cake! She picked up the posie and began licking the chocolate like she knew exactly what she was eating!
She played hard, the guest played harder, and Mom and Dad thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We love and thank all of our friends and family for traveling, devoting their precious time and energy, and making it one of the most memorable parties I have ever been to. I suppose I'm a little partial. But when a 6 year old left the party she screams, "this was the best birthday party." And when a 36 year left the party he states, "this was the best party." I thought to myself, mission accomplished! Whewww, I only have two words. AMAZING and EXHAUSTED!

All photos courtesy of Angela Bowden and Will Zuill. They are my talented and generous friends who made the party so stress free for me.......why?.....because I wasn't busy taking the 1,000 photos I normally would. THANKS SO MUCH!

Birthday Dinner August 16

On the evening of Harper's Birthday, we celebrated in style. We picked her up a little early from daycare in hopes of some quality family time and a nice meal together at 5:30! That may be the norm for most but if we eat this early, by 8:30 we are digging around in the kitchen to see what else we can find. We came home and gave Harper her gift, she tore a little paper off the box and then tried to eat it. Then we spent the next 30 minutes trying to get a few good pictures and video. Truthfully, on a Monday evening, I'm not sure WHAT we were expecting of the little one. We gave up and headed straight for the kitchen. We made spaghetti with homemade sauce and Gigi's Cupcakes for dessert! She LOVED the spaghetti and DID NOT LOVE the cupcakes! Bob kept trying to feed her the icing, which is his favorite part, but no success. We polished off the cupcakes and tucked her in. Unbelievable that only one year ago we were celebrating her arrival into the world. Time flies and I'm trying to enjoy every minute!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy 1 year Birthday Harper Elle

At 6:00AM, Bob and I greeted Harper with a huge birthday hug. I can't believe a year ago we were in the hospital waiting for her to arrive. She is full of energy, life, and spunk. Her tutu fits her and these shots are her normal morning routine with a little flare.
Squeezing the tutu in the car seat gave me flash forwards of dress up, dance recitals and drama, drama, drama:)
Playing at school, I plan to drop by with cupcakes later.
Whenever I put the tutu on this morning, she started swishing it back and forth.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

April's Baby Shower, and this makes lucky 13!

April Nodine, 6 months preggers with only 3 to go!
Doesn't she look amazing!

Baby showers are soo fun, especially when it involves pedicures, sangria, and great friends. April Nodine, one of my besties, was hosted in Nashville yesterday for a baby shower. Michelle Corley and I were ready to plan a big bash but April insisted on intimate. We started out at Venetian Nail Spa for a little pampering then over to The Cheesecake Factory for indulgence. She got lots of goodies from all of us and plenty of laughter for baby boy Nodine to get in some exercise. We decided this is the best way to celebrate a new baby, forget the balloons, silly shower games that either embarrass or stress out the mom to be, and ridiculous nursery rhyme games that no one in our generation knows! I'm not trying to knock traditional but let's face it, wouldn't you like a kid free day and cocktail?...hmmmm:) Out of all my college buddies, this will be baby 13, that's why it took us sooo long to figure out the secret of a stress free Par-tay!
Breags and Kelly

Breags and Kelly's Pampered Toes

Michelle Corley Brian Breagel Kelly Crowe Momma: April Nodine Whitney Mardis
Rondalyn (April's Sister) and Me

Kentucky Pool Party in July

Sam John Riley William, little boys love cupcakes!

Whitney, one of my many girlfriends from college, hosted a pool party and Harper and I attended last Saturday......the last day of July. The summer seems to be flying by and so does my time with my friends. We went up Saturday morning and trucked around Louisville seeing new homes, new babies, and ended the day with a new pool party adventure with Harper. She is quite wiggly these days and such a Momma's girl. All the other Dad's and Mom's tried to relieve me but she wasn't having it!

Kate, little girls love them more!

I had a blast catching up with everyone, the times when I could finish a conversation with someone. The thing is, when you are with such good friends, the fact of just being with each other is the best part. We have been friends for a long time and now we have 12 kids between the 7 of how times have changed! I suppose evolve is a better word, my friends are great friends, good people, and a whole lot of crazy fun. Now, they are all of that but just add GREAT MOM's. It's actually really cool and the best chapter in our lives so far.

Sarah Jennifer Lucy Whitney Michelle
April ME!

After I got home on Sunday, I told Bob I felt very tired and I thought I needed to lay down for a few minutes. Three hours later, I woke up in a complete fog. Needless to say, it's the most rewarding but hardest work you will ever do. Yes, parenting is what I'm talking about, well actually single parenting I should say. It really makes you appreciate your side kick and I have a really good one.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Harper Elle 11 months

Morning Hair

Our sweet girl is rocking our world. This is the best way to describe the last several weeks. Since vacation, Harper has changed almost daily and I don't feel like I can keep up. She has been sick with bronchialitis and her 5th ear infection. Honestly, you would never know when the kid has an ear infection, but the other can we very scary. She stood up and took her first step on July 16th, the day she turned 11 months. The next week, 2 and 3 more steps. I can officially say that yesterday, August 3rd, she is sort of, almost, actually WALKING. There it's out, I am really struggling with this whole growing up thing.
Afternoon Fun

Her mannerisms are the same but magnified. When we go to bed at night, she still sucks her thumb as I rock her to sleep. But now, she claps her hands together for awhile and laughs as her tiny exhausted face drifts off to sleep. It is my absolute favorite time of the day now, it is our peaceful time together. Whoever said you can hold your child too much probably had at least 20 kids climbing on them everyday. She is so active now, I soak up all the lap time I can get. She is biting at daycare but MAYBE because she is getting 6 teeth at once. In the last 2 weeks, she has cut her top molars and another bottom tooth, this week she is working on the bottom molars and another bottom tooth. Bob asked me the other day if she was going to get kicked out of daycare, and I really didn't know how to respond. I asked Ms. Sarah and she smiles ever so sweet and said of course know...she's not the ONLY biter in here. Wheewww, we are good, our babe is normal.
Uncle Breags Wants Her to Grow So Fast
On the weekends we are hustle and bustle, trying to check off all of the things that do not seem to get done during the weekend. Harper loves to go to the Farmer's Market, grocery, restaurants, okay just about anywhere there is food. She is such a great eater, anything from eggplant to spaghetti, she digs in. She has learned to scream, AS LOUD AS SHE CAN, when we are preparing her meals. I am trying to teach her to sign and say "MORE", but it has not worked yet. She feeds herself and when she really likes what she is eating it almost sounds like a little chipmunk munching down on all the little treasures he has found. Her TEETH, which she has 9 at this point, are put to great use.

Painting Day at School

I don't know where to begin talking about her daily activities at school. Each day I get to pick
her up is some new story that inevitably makes my eyes bug a bit, giggle, and shake my head. Harper loves
all the other kids so much, she bites them.....and her teacher! When the other kids are crying, she crawls
over and hands them a toy, particularly a duck, and when they are finished she takes it back. Loves
going outside and pushes the extra large carts around because she thinks she's so big. But the best
part is when you walk through the door to pick her up and she can't crawl fast enough to see you.
Ahhhhh, it's like my friend says, "a little piece of Christmas everyday."

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