Thursday, September 22, 2011

Home Alone

It started out to be such a great night. Amanda had a pharmacy class in Brevard and had to leave just after I got home from Western. It would be the first night that Harper and I had spent alone together. Sure we had spent entire days together many, many times, but this was to be the first night it was just she and I.

I haven't blogged in quite a while and so much has happend. She has rolled over onto her stomach and then returned to her back (she's not crawling yet however), and most recently she has started eating solid foods like rice cereal, oatmeal and her favorite, sweet potatoes. That meant that this night we would be eating together and then I would give her some milk and put her to bed all before her mother got home.

We had a ball eating the sweet potatoes. There was lots of talking and foot kicking and red goop all over her face. After dinner we laid on the floor and played with Sophie the Giraffe and Gary the crazy winged monster. I got my guitar and we sang some songs and there was lots of laughing and rolling over. Oh what a joy it was to be a father and bask in these precious, fleeting moments.

At 8pm Harper began to get a little cranky and I knew it was time for her pre-bed nursing and then the nighttime routine. I got a bottle ready and while it was heating up I took her upstairs to change her into pj's. The changing initiated some crying as her hunger set in and when I left her to return downstairs to get the milk it turned into a full wail. I grabbed the Boppy (nursing pillow) and set up on Amanda's side of the bed to try and give Harper some familiarity with her nighttime routine thinking the smells and views from that side of the room might soothe her.

Seemed to work. Halfway thru the bottle her eyes were closing and there was only the intermittent suck on the nipple. I thought to myself, "This is going to be a breeze. She'll fall asleep in my arms, I will quietly take her from our room to hers and put her down." Well it should come as a surprise to no one that it did not go down that way. As I tried to take the bottle away from her she quickly reached back out and began to cry. "Ok, we'll finish the bottle then." From here on out the last 2 ounces were sucked down ferociously. While I had hoped she'd get to the end and be tired again, I could quickly see she was going to finish this thing and expect more.

What to do?
        All the milk is downstairs...
                The prep is at least 10 minutes...
                        She's had almost 5 ounces...
                                It's time for bed...

As expected she finished the bottle but wanted more. The wails began in earnest and I thought to get up and walk her around to try and calm her. This worked just a bit to quiet her and so I tried to lay her down in the crib and turn on the mobile. Again, my hopes were high. There were occasional squeals and then she would quite for a moment. I went downstairs and turned the monitor on hoping to practice a bit more on the guitar. As the mobile's song ended the occasional squeal turned to a constant cry and within moments it was a torrent of horrific screams. I thought to myself, "Be patient Peter, she'll cry herself to sleep." As our house is pretty open I turned off the monitor as I could hear her clearly in her room without amplification. The screaming continued. I could hear her voice getting hoarse and could close my eyes and see her in my mind thrashing in bed with tears rolling down her face.

Click for Audio of Crying

After what felt like eons but was probably only 5 minutes, I could take it no longer and went up to her. I took her out of the crib hoping a walk around upstairs would quiet her down but nothing seemed to work. The damage had been done and she was upset. Harper's whole routine was out of whack and to make matters worse her mother was nowhere to be seen. I am certain this fact alone was the most upsetting. For 5 and a half months she had gone to bed after being in the comfort of Amanda's arms and now everything was different.

"Maybe she's still hungry," I thought and put her on the bed and went back downstairs to heat half a bottle. With 2 warm ounces in hand I settled back into Amanda's side of bed and tried to feed Harper. This worked only somewhat as she would take a few sucks and then spit the bottle out and break into screams. After five minutes of this I began to smell something foul and thought something serious had happened down below. I put her on the changing towel on the bed and took off her jammies. The pungent smell was unmistakable and I got the wipes and a new diaper ready. As I took off her soiled diaper it was clearly a 3 day poop and I thought that this would be a relief to her. She was still wailing as I wiped and and open the new diaper. That is when the sweet potatoes from earlier made their exit. Moving with the consistency of Hawaiian lava into the sea, the slow orange ooze kept coming as I frantically kept running back and forth for wipes. I pulled off the pj's as quick as possible and moved them out of harms way. The changing towel was now soiled and Harper's feet we getting mixed up in the poop.

Still fits of uncontrolled screaming

As what seemed like the last of the ooze came out I went for a clean diaper. I lifted her legs to slip the diaper under and the liquid projectile poop came flying at me. I was lucky to avoid any clothing saturation but it was too late for her hands and feet and legs. Without thinking I picked up her naked body and took her into the bathroom. Laid her on a towel and got water running in the baby tub. Luckily that last squirt was the last of the poop. I got her in the tub and we did a quick scrub. I dried her off, put on a fresh diaper and we went back to the bed to finish the last ounce of milk.



I have rarely been so aware of the precious sound of silence. She lay there in my arms, quietly sucking the bottle and making the occasional sigh. How quickly it had gone from crazed panic to perfect calm. How quickly I had gone from wanting to sell the child to the gypsies to basking in the wonder that is my daughter.

I'm quite lucky.

Our bedroom still kinda smells like poop.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Daddy Day Care

It's official... I'm Mr. Mom. Amanda went back to work last week and Harper and I have been flying solo during the day. I was quite scared the first morning Amanda left but I have to say that so far things have gone pretty well. In a short time Harper and I have worked out a pretty good little routine. After her final morning nursing and once Amanda leaves she takes a little nap that allows me to attend to some emails, clean dishes and maybe get a little reading in or some school prep. We then have our first bottle time and let me take a moment here to sing the praises of the bottle warmer. When we got it, Amanda and I worried it would be too much of a luxury but this thing is awesome!!! Harper has gotten used to the sound it makes so she knows food is coming and will calm down a bit if she is having a meltdown (more on that later.) After the first bottle we have some daddy/daughter time and play on the floor or bounce on the knee or something rather monotonous and mundane but purposeful. This is when we get to know each other and spend a lot of time talking and smiling. These are the moments when all of the difficult times seem to fade from memory (again more on that later). It is also after the first feeding that we will get a bath if necessary.

I've gotten pretty good at the bath time ritual if I might say so myself. We (I) sing lots of silly songs together and laugh at all the nooks and crannys that we must get clean. I'm pretty creative during this time and need to start recording myself as there may be some golden childrens songs being written in that tub. Watch out Wiggles!!!

After a bath there is usually a mid day nap, often for both of us. This has been the time that is difficult for me to get motived to do anything of substance. If not napping I lie on the couch and watch tv or surf mindlessly on the internet. I set out just to have some lunch and be lazy for half an hour but before I know it an hour or more has gone by. It is amazing to me how time flies by during the day.

Harper usually wakes to let me know when we need to have the afternoon feeding and I warm a bottle up. Recently, DeDe has been coming over to relieve me at about 4:30 so I can go up to play rehearsal in Burnsville. This has worked out very well so far and gives me some indication of what it will be like in the fall when I go back to teaching full time and Amanda is working in full swing at the Pharmacy.

That's pretty much our day. I like to get her out for a short walk in the morning if it's nice and not too hot or we may run an errand or two in the afternoon. She hates getting in her car seat but once we are on the move she does really well in the car or strolling around Target. We have a really good time together, or so it seems to me.

So that's all the good. But with the good must come some of the bad. Parenthood, I am quickly learning is not all sugar and peppermints. I think that may be grandparenthood. There have been times when both Amanda and I have really struggled, and the temptation to just lie Harper down on the floor and run out of the house screaming has been very strong. She will on occasion break down and have a complete and total meltdown. She is like a wind up toy and her energy will send her arms and legs into fits of wild movement. It is during these times that she falls apart and clean diaper and full belly be damned, she will scream like her world is coming to an end. I have gotten over the stupid notion that she doesn't "like me" but at times I feel like she clearly "hates me". In an effort to try and calm her, I often will hold her in such a way that constricts her legs from kicking out so much and I have never heard such blood curdling screams in my life. I know I am not hurting her because within a few moments of stopping her flailing legs she quickly exhausts herself and calms down. These "moments" however are agonizing for both she and I. She looks at me like I am destryoing her world and I fear these will be the deep seeded memories she will try to explain to a therapist in 25 years about why she is claustrophobic.

I am totally awed by the super human sound of a baby's cries. I feel at times like my eardrums are bleeding and I don't understand how those high decibels don't hurt her ears. I have heard that crying helps to develop the lungs of a newborn and I am thinking she will go into swimming because I am certain she will be able to break all sorts of breath holding records. They say that the baby feeds off the energy of the person holding them and I do my best to sooth my heart rate and emit a sense of calm control but that is next to impossible when this scream machine is yelling less than a foot from your face... WAHHH WAHHH WAHHH WAHHH WAHHH WAHHH WAHHH ... deep breath ... WAHH WAHHH WAHHH

But as I mentioned above, eventually the crying does stop and shortly after a few minutes of cooing or smiling at her daddy I've forgotten all about that totally crappy meltdown in the not so distant past. I am also thankful that she is not colicky. I have heard stories and I think my complaints are pretty mild compared to many other parents experiences.

My first Father's Day was a wonderful experience. The Friday previous I took my Dad to see Phish in Charlotte and we had a fantastic time. I really wanted him to experience this strange musical phenomena that has consumed so much of my time and money over the last 18 years. I really think he "got it" and seemed to enjoy the music as well as being fascinated by the "lot" culture created by hordes of fans following this group around the country.

I mention this only to express how lucky I feel to have a relationship with my father that makes such experiences possible. We have done so many unique things with one another and I believe as I have grown into an adult and father in my own right we have grown to appreciate our differences and take advantge of our similarities. I hope that by the time Harper is in her mid 30's we will be enjoying a similar type of relationship. Certainly there will be many difficult moments between now and then and no doubt watching a girl mature into a woman will hold different challenges than a boy growing into a man. Still, I hope we will have the sort of relationship as adults that I have with my folks and Amanda has with her parents.

But in truth, all of that is a looong way off and there is no sense in putting any mental effort into something so unpredictable and so far away. I have this beautiful young child that needs me to focus on her right now and teach her and learn from her everyday. Speaking of... she has given me more than enough quiet time to write this blog. Time to attend.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

They grow up so fast

Well it's been a little while since my last blog post but so much has been happening I thought I'd wait and combine Harper's adventures of the last few weeks. She has grown so much it is really amazing. She gets longer and heavier and every day is more and more alert. She really studies Amanda and me now and I think the smiles are becoming more and more genuine. Still, we are all figuring out how to communicate with one another. The "hungry" cry is much clearer now but some of her other fussy outbursts still baffle her mother and me. Clean diaper... check. Full Belly... check. Trying 30 different kinds of holds... check. And still we will have big cries. Amanda thinks it might be growth spurts and with the speed at which she seems to be growing I would not at all be surprised if those bones hurt as they stretch out.

We had our first lengthy road trip to Amanda's parent's house in eastern NC. Usually the trip takes right at 5 hours but with two stops for feedings it took us about 6 which is actually a little less than we expected. We are fortunate that Harper does well in the car. She just kind of shuts down and is very quiet and still riding in the back seat. After the second feeding and more than 5 hours into the trip though I think she had hit her saturation point. She did not want to go back into the seat and wailed for about 1/2 an hour down the road. She can't really stretch in that car seat and it was too much. She is very much like her mother in that regard. When it's time to be done with the car it is TIME TO BE DONE WITH THE CAR!!!

Thankfully we were on the last leg of the trip and she was soon stretching out in her Grandaddy's arms on the recliner. Amanda's mom and dad are such natural grandparents. They love Harper so much and just want to rock her and talk to her every moment. Mama took off from work for a few days just so she could spend time with her grandchild and was such a proud Grandmama showing off the latest addition to the family.

All in all Harper did very well. We were worried that the unfamiliar new place and the excitement of seeing so many new people might set her off but she was for the most part a little angel. On Friday however we did have a moment late at night. For some reason the child slept only about 1 hour out of 14. We could not get her to take a nap all day. Mama's sister Eleanor had come for a visit as well as her Aunt Pam from across the street. He Aunt and Uncle and cousins came over and it was just so much stimulation Harper got really wound up in the evening. Once it was bedtime she was not going down and we had to try and soothe her for hours as she wailed and wailed. I felt bad because we didn't want to keep everyone else up in the house but eventually she went down and slept all the way through the night.

That was really the only issue of the whole weekend. The drive home was fine although we pushed it by only feeding once and by the time we were a little over 20 minutes away from the house, Harper let loose with hunger cries. As soon as we got in the driveway Amanda took her out and upstairs to feed.

The Monday after we got home our family friend Kristen Garvin and her husband Pete came down to dinner with my parents. They brought their dog Moxie with them and their 16 month old son Max. Max was the coolest little boy and gave us a good idea of what to expect in a little over a year. He was wide open, always looking for something to pick up or bang or play with. Our house it seems is already fairly well baby proofed. There was not much he could get a hold of that was too breakable or he could pull down on himself. Don't get me wrong, we need to plug the outlets and move my guitars, etc, but still I think we are off to a good start. It was also nice to have a dog in the house and I hope in a year or so we may look to get a canine.

Amanda's sister Steph came for a visit on Wednesday and stayed for five days. It was great for both Harper and Amanda. She and Amanda rarely get time alone with each other as when ever we get together it is always a family affair. It was tough as Amanda had to feed often but they were able to get away for a few hours each day to shop and hang out. It was also a great opportunity for Harper to get to know her Aunt in a relaxed atmosphere where she could hold her to her hearts content. I'm really glad she came as the next time she comes it will certainly be with Alex and Abby and the trip will be non stop excitement.

Amanda and I were fearful we were boring Steph to tears. Harper is growing so much she is feeding about every two hours so it meant we couldn't really do a whole lot far away from the house. Almost every night Steph was here Harper would have a spell from about 10pm to 1am. It was really tough and very draining on Amanda. For whatever reason at night Harper would just not want to eat and was fidgety and upset. We just didn't know what to do. During the day she was perfect and quiet and then like clockwork every night she would fire up and nothing we tried seemed to help. These are the moments that you hear about from other parents. The battle scars of parenting.

Lately though she has gotten a bit more fussy during the day and is settling in at night. She actually slept for over 7 hours last night. It was a bit unnerving to wake as the sun was coming up and hear Harper's early hunger whines. I asked Amanda if she fed her in the middle of the night and she said no and was as surprised as I was. She looks healthy and ate fine this morning so I think everything is just fine. Amanda is going to try and start pumping this week so we will get a good idea of how that will work and I can start feeding and hopefully take some of the burden off Amanda.

Oh yeah, I gave Harper her first bath!!! I will admit I was very nervous. So much to be aware of from not getting water or soap in her eyes to being vigilant about keeping her heard above water. Not to mention worrying she is going to poop in the baby tub. But all went really well. The first time Amanda watched me and guided me. It is tough for me as my height makes it hard to bend down to the sink to wash her hair or bend way over into the tub to scrub her body. I will have to figure out my own system. The second time Amanda was taking a shower so I bathed Harper all by myself. We had a lot of fun and talked to each other and laughed and smiled.

Well, I just heard a diaper explosion so I've got some changing to do. Looking forward to what Harper will teach me today.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

1 Month Old

Time is very different these days. In many respects it goes by very fast. Often, Amanda and I both remark as the sun goes down, "where did the day go?" And at the same time it has been a VERY long month.
The nine months leading up to this angel seemed to fly by and now it is hard to believe it has only been four weeks since Harpers birth. Long weeks, but wonderful weeks.

Today we took Harper to my student Tina DeSoto's graduation party at a vacation spot her parents own called Bear Lake. It was a beautiful day and the venue was gorgeous. It was a small gathering of Tina's family and some friends and other teachers and we could not have had a better time. The BBQ was quite tasty and there were lots of laughs. Amanda told the story of my ibuprofen overdose and brought the house down. She doesn't think she tells a good story but she had everyone in stitches the whole time. This is definitely one of those yarns that Harper will probably have to endure her entire life. The sort that she'll hate when growing up and then share with her own kids as an adult.

Harper wore a very pretty dress and her new shoes she got from some Smith (Kropp) cousins but unfortunately (or fortunately) she slept the entire time in her stroller and we never got a picture of her or the party. Maybe Tina's brothers who were taking lots of photos got a couple of choice shots. The picture we took of her before going to the party will have to suffice. Still, she was the hit of the party even in her sleep.

Tomorrow is Mothers Day. It already feels like it has taken on a new meaning for me. I have a greater appreciation for my own mother now that I really understand the trials and tribulations of pregnancy & childbirth as well as being amazed at Amanda's courage and fortitude as she rears this child and is in a constant cycle of feeding and sleeping. It really is amazing. I think the only reason that men have been able to maintain their "power" in the church or business or politics or whatever is by the sheer fact they have more time. Fatherhood and motherhood are certainly not equal terms.

But still... fatherhood is pretty good:)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bad Man Dead


As I imagine (and hope) that you will read this as an adult and maybe share with your own children, I think it is important to not only document the milestones of your own life but also those moments in history that will no doubt shape the world you live in.

Late last night as your mother and I were watching TV, your mom who was checking Facebook on her phone (you may have to look those things up) let out an audible gasp and informed me that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. I have no doubt that his name, like Hitler's, will forever be associated with the worst sort of evil and that you will study his terrible deeds and our country's dark moments and great triumphs in your history classes.

I think the only reason I mention it is that as we watched the 24 news cycle cover his death today I often stared at you sitting in a state of blissful ignorance only getting upset at an oncoming poop. Many months ago your mother and I talked about whether it was right to bring a child into this world. A world where such an evil man could exist and where there was so much hurt (wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), devastation (tsunami's in Japan and tornados in Alabama), and political turmoil (don't even know where to begin). But as I stare into your precious, uncorrupted eyes I know that I am responsible for leaving a world to you that is the best I could have made it, and that your mother and I are responsible for raising you in such a way that your moral core is free from evil and judgement of others.

There will be more bad men in the future. There will be more wars and terrible natural devastation. You will see things that will make you inextricably sad, but as you will learn from your DeDe as you grow up, there is much more hope and beautiful things to live for and revel in.

You have the power to create the kind of world you want to live in.

Your mother and I created the world we want to live in.

A world with you in it.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Day

Yesterday Harper turned three weeks old and told us how excited she was about waking up at 4am and watching live the nuptials of Kate Middleton and Prince William. Well not wanting to disappoint, her mother made her a fashionable outfit to celebrate the day and having slept in just a bit we all found ourselves around the tele at 5am this morning taking part in all the pomp and circumstance.

And what a wedding it was. An early post feeding bout of crying was clearly Harper telling us how upset she was that she did not have an appropriate hat to wear. But once she saw Kate in her stunning dress and the service in Westminster began, Harper relaxed and was obviously moved by the pageantry of it all. Towards the end we all got a little emotional by the vows (Harper at times truly inconsolable) but the long carriage ride was a great moment for Dad to have some wedding cake (seriously I bought cake and champagne at Ingles last night:) and we all toasted the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She thought the 2nd kiss was much better than the first and was very excited to see the Queen in her canary yellow hat and dress waving to the crowd. Harper could have sworn she saw one of the young ring bearers from the balcony say, "It's really is fun spending time with the Royal Family."

After a mid morning nap we went out on the town running a few errands to Babies-R-Us and a meal at Burgermeisters, but Harper couldn't wait to get back in time for the evening news to see all of Diane Sawyers wrap up of the days events. It was all a little overwhelming and she finally conked out in daddy's arms having had one of the most exciting days in the full 21 that she has been with us.

With her sights clearly set on the still single Prince Harry, Harper drifted off in to dreams of her own royal days. Most likely taking place in the near future somewhere in Orlando.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Harper's 1st Easter and it was a sweet one. Her Gramps and DeDe came for a wonderful ham supper and brought an Easter Basket filled with bunny ears (the non sexy kind) and books and these great letters to put on her wall that spell her name. Wish we could have also been with her other grandparents and cousins and Aunt and Uncle but we will get back east for a visit soon I am sure. Her Grandmama sent her super cute spring outfits that she is a little small for right now but it won't be long before she grows into them. Also got to speak with my Unlce Derek who sent lots of well wishes from all the Baltimore Savage's. I can't wait for her to meet them all.

Before everyone came over this morning I took a nice long walk with Harper down by the lake while Amanda showered and got some much needed solo time. On the way I stopped and spoke with our neighbors Luanne and Chris who have 4 and 14 month old daughters. They are really great people and it will be a great place for Harper to grow up in as she will have lots of friends.

In the afternoon, while she took a long nap in her vibrating seat, we all watched the terrible comedy Balls of Fury and had lots of good laughs at its stupidity. Gramps and DeDe left and we are hoping to take another family stroll tonight as it is simply gorgeous outside.

Back to work tomorrow after a great break. This time with Harper and Amanda has been so wonderful. As I get to spend the long days with them I feel like each moment they both teach me something new and I hope I am becoming a better father and a better husband. I am truly thankful for these great blessings.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daddy's Little Drug Problem

Time sure does fly when you're having fun and not getting much sleep.

It's been two weeks now since Harper was born and she has already changed so much. We took her to the pediatrician today and she has gained nearly a pound and got a big thumbs up from her doctor. Amanda and I still feel like we don't have a clue what we are doing so the reassurance from Dr. Fogleman that we are doing a "great job" did a lot for our fragile parental egos. Although she did tell us that before I told her the story of the previous night.

I had mowed the lawn yesterday and after an early afternoon rain, the sun was high and it was very warm and humid. I guess I haven't been doing a good job of hydrating as when I was finished I came inside and had a strong headache. Headaches are not a normal occurrence for me and as I'm a bit of a wimp I was complaining and generally being a whiner. Amanda asked me to change Harper's diaper and I guess I let out a pretty audible groan (I am hoping Amanda will share her side of things) so she told me to "forget it" and went upstairs and did it herself.

15 minutes later when she came back downstairs I was still being a brat about my head and Amanda curtly told me to go upstairs and take some ibuprofen and deal with it. Reluctantly and probably very dramatically I got off the couch and went to our bedroom bath and grabbed the ibuprofen right off the counter where Amanda said it was. I took the requisite 4 pills, drank some water and went back downstairs to make dinner.

Cracked a beer and cooked some chicken on the grill and as Amanda was getting the pasta ready she got a call from her Mom and told me to go ahead and eat. Chicken was quite good actually but I was really feeling super drowsy. After I ate I actually pushed my plates out of the way and laid my head on the table. I knew this wouldn't fly with Amanda so I got up and made my way to the couch. It was everything I could do to keep my eyes open. My legs hurt. My head hurt and I was certain I was beginning to get the flu or something like it. I could hear Amanda in the kitchen banging pots and making sure I was well aware of how frustrated she was with me. But then I was getting frustrated because, well, I was sick right? and I just couldn't help right now. According to Amanda, (again she really must share her side of this) as she was cleaning all the dishes, and putting away the leftovers, Harper, who was in her swing started howling and Amanda asked me to get her. I did not. I don't really remember any of this. I think by this point Amanda was planning on kicking me out to the curb.

At some point (I think it was only 9:30 by now) I must have gotten off the couch and gone upstairs. I knew I was in for it as I had been about as worthless of a father as I could be. Next thing I remember is Amanda waking me up at 4:30am asking me to change Harper's diaper which apparently I did but have no memory of. This morning, after what felt like an incredible nights sleep, I woke up feeling a bit hungover but I had only had one beer. Thinking it might of been the combination of not having had a beer for many weeks now and the dehydration from the day before, I got out of bed and started going about my day.

Amanda and Harper slept in for a long time and finally Amanda asked me to come upstairs and look after the baby as she took a shower. I knew I had been a waste last night so I apologized to Amanda and she went into the bathroom. About a minute later she came out and said "which ibuprofen did you take last night?" I wasn't sure what she meant by "which" and I told her the one on the counter. I could see the lightbulb grow bright over her head and a smile being to creep on her face as she told me I took the Ibuprofen PM with Benadryl. "How many did you take? she asked. "Four" I said and at that point everything had become crystal clear. I had totally and unknowing drugged myself and the added beer certainly did not help matters. It seems I have been forgiven although I must admit I feel pretty guilty cause I know how I get when I am tired like that. I must have been a jerk. It has however led to a new house rule which is that Amanda from now on dispenses all drugs to Harper and me. Seems like a good idea seeing that she is a pharmacist and all.

Some other exciting things happened this week. We took Harper on her first stroll and met lots of nice people on the block. Spring is really coming fast and there are beautiful dogwoods and rhododendrons flowering everywhere. We met one little girl down the street who just turned 1 so it is nice to know Harper will have some neighborhood friends.

Car rides seem to be the ticket to get her to sleep and our proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway I am certain will come in handy. We are also getting out and about although whose idea was it to make car seats so darn heavy. How about some carbon fiber? Oh yeah, the Sleep Sheep is our new best friend. It puts Harper, Mommy & Daddy all out lickety split.
Without the benefit of pills;)

The picture at the top of this post is of Harper in the fabled "Pennsylvania Turnpike" tshirt. The story goes that when my older brother Chris was born, my Uncle Derek (Dad's brother) was on his way to come and meet the newest Savage. Being on the road his only option for a gift purchase was at a rest area. He got a toddler T that had a picture of a tunnel and said Penn Turnpike on it. It was a little big for the newborn Chris but none the less became a legend in the family and Mom put it away for future Savages. It has now been passed down and will be worn with pride by Harper Maguire who will carry on the memory of her uncle and Irish namesake, Christopher Maguire. If you look around the collar of the shirt (click it to enlarge) you can see that Chris wore it well!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Week Old!!

It is simply amazing how quickly time flies by. Amanda and I were looking at toddlers in the swings in our neighborhood today and Amanda remarked that we would  blink and Harper would be that big. I believe her. Harper has grown so much in just the past week I am amazed. I am doing my best to savor each and every moment as I know that before I realize it I'll be taking her to her first day of school or letting her take the car or watching her graduate from college (fingers crossed).

Everyday Harper changes. She spends more and more time awake and it is fascinating for me to watch her open those big eyes and begin to figure out the world. I want so badly to know what is going on in that brain as she has started to respond to specific voices and I think has begun to smile. I still feel inadequate at times but I think so much of that is just that she is really in such a helpless state. Harper is just a little alien, not really doing much of anything but eating, pooping and sleeping. And still I am mezmerized by her. Not being used to the cries of a small child I have at times thought "she doesn't like me" which I know is ridiculous. These thoughts have gotten better as the days have passed, but I think early on I just was being a little too sensitive.

Oddly, Harper seems to be very much the opposite, just taking everything in stride. She really doesn't seem to cry all that often except for the essentials like food and sleep. For me it was a milestone when she made it through a diaper change without wailing but now that behavior seems commonplace. I'd like to believe it has something to do with the fact that I have become a bit of a diaper changing grand master but I also think she is beginning to show signs of personality. When she is naked she is happy as a clam in mud. A trait I hope she gets in control before her freshman year of college or a summer at Pocono. She also does not like to be wrapped in a blanket. She is big on moving the arms and legs and around. With all this need for freedom however she does not appear restless. On the contrary, she seems quite content most of the time.

It's been an exciting week for the little munchkin. She had her first Dr.'s appointment and got all A's. We had a big grandparents dinner with both sets which provided much stimulation. She's had a car ride and we think the first stroller walk will be this weekend. Don't worry world, I am documenting every moment.