Babies

Harper Turns Nine - A Pandemic Birthday Adventure

Earlier in the fall, we had discussed having a small birthday party in the park with Harper's friends - much like we'd done all summer, with bikes, masks and lots of space and fresh air. Then it became clear that we needed to think different with Covid numbers going up and lock down restrictions in place. So the Drive-By Pandemic Party became the thing. Disappointing to be sure, but so much better than nothing at all. And I think it went well.

The Birthday Girl asked for a Baby Yoda themed party. DONE! (Honestly I thought it would be Harry Potter again! Happy to move on from that.)

So Baby Yoda for the win!

First there was party prep on Saturday and BIG ASS BALLOONS. Because why not.

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Kurt bought Harper some old school gifts.

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We put together gift bags for the kids who were going to come by. We made sticker packs and Harper drew on each of them. There were Baby Yoda cups and stickers and gummy frogs in each gift bag, plus homemade cupcakes for everyone to take home.

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The morning of:

We start with the traditional balloons and streamers on Harper's door.

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Then we moved on to opening presents:

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Did we got a little overboard? Maybe. But to be clear - 3 of these gifts were from other people. We gave Harper six presents: 2 were books, 2 were board games and 2 were items of clothing she so desperately needed as she's grown out of everything! All in all, very practical.
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Then pancakes - Found the batter mix with this on it. When did that happen? I think it was some random school morning a while back - Hilarious.

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Note to self - next year do the numbers backward so they look better when finished cooking.

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Grace sent nice presents and one was this WEINERMOBILE WHISTLE!!!!!! She got to see the WM in person a few weeks ago.

I was so excited! Harper was all: "meh" so I said: GIVE IT. It's mine now. Thanks Grace!
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Then on to frosting cupcakes! We made the cakes the day before and did buttercream frosting the morning of.
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Green for Baby Yoda theme...

Harper did all the frosting herself.

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Kurt worked hard to set up the drive-way drive-by "Party" venue while we were decorating and getting other stuff ready.

Ready to party!

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Street party art:

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Waiting...

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Waiting...

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The party starts!
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We love our friends!!!
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At one point there were about 12-15 people standing around our driveway/in the street (all masked, and all standing at safe distances) and it was so bittersweet to only be able to wave and chat loudly, then send them on their way with gift bags and cupcakes. I'm go grateful for all our friends who were able to make it over!

And then we were tired.

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We cleaned up, then Harper opened more presents.
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Then we had burgers and pie and played LIFE.
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For what it was - Pandemic Birthday with Lock Down regulations in place - not too bad, all things considered.Harper is a lucky lucky girl and I'm so glad we could make it special in its own way.

The days go slow, but the years fly by.

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UPDATE: I forgot to add the invite I made for the party:

Copy of Harper 9th Birthday Invite

 


Bye Bye Bibs and Perfect Sundays

I was cleaning up my computer desktop and found this image:

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It's from October and represents a Perfect Hilarious Family Sunday. All of us on the bed playing Hot Wheels. As you do. Hopefully Kurt will not try to recreate this scene with the new slot car track he Harper got for Christmas.

I love this picture. Pure relaxed fun.

 

When we moved out to remodel the house, things that had been jammed into the tiny old kitchen ended up at the new rental. I cleaned some stuff out, donated them to charity, etc but some stuff stayed. Like these bibs which were on a magnet on the fridge.

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When we moved back to our house, these got donated. Harper hadn't really used a bib in ages, but somehow they stayed. They are one of the last baby things to go from the house. The other is the monitor which I'm weaning Harper off of. If I'm honest, I'm weaning myself off of it. It's really been a year or two too long to still have a monitor. Harper is adjusting to not just calling my name at night. I'm the one who jumps when she opens her door when we are watching TV after she's gone to bed to say, "Mama, I want to read a book." For some reason she needs me to come in and watch while she picks books to "read" then get back into bed with them. It's sweet and why I ever tell her no to reading?

At the doctor for Harper's Five year check up, the nurse asked her to put on a paper gown! OMG it was really Big Girl time. Additional cuteness was when the doc when to check her ears, on her own, Harper held her hair away from her ears for him. Adorable.

Next year is a new year with some travel and then kindergarten to look forward to. Yowza.

 

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Lessons Do Sink In

IMG_3360Very proud of Harper.

We went to the Aquarium of the Pacific and I told her she could have a new toy from the gift shop. I also told her that meant when we got home, she had to pick one of her old toys to give away. (We say "to give to babies" for all things that she's outgrown.) It was a long drive home after the Aquarium and lunch but the minute she got in the house, she went straight to the toy box and picked out a toy for me to give to babies.

I had forgotten about in the hustle of getting home and emptying back-packs, etc. So when she went right to her room, it took me a minute to figure out what she was doing, digging through her toy box. Then she pulled a toy and said that one could go, but I had to convince her otherwise as it was the Totoro given to her by her cousin Jamie! Then she pulled out an old baby doll. Perfect. She then found the accompanying diaper and shirt and it was done.

Welcome new toy! Bon Voyage old toy!

Yay Harper.

 


Mother’s Day Portraits in Honor of Help a Mother Out

Hi friends - a charity that I support and volunteer for is having a fundrasier in honor of Mother's Day. Get your family portrait done and support a great cause at the same time. If you donate and come to the sessions, I'll greet you there and make you smile for the camera!


Los Angeles photographer and owner of Litetrap Studios, Michael Murphree, has offered Mother’s Day-themed mini sessions as a priceless gift for the moms in your life with all proceeds going to support Help a Mother Out’s efforts in Los Angeles. (Incredibly generous!)



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Portrait by Michael Murphree


For a donation of $100, up to 20 mothers and their children will receive a 15-minute portrait session on Sunday, May 17, two 5 x 7 prints, and a custom Facebook timeline photo.

Michael Murphree has 20 years of experience as a commercial and celebrity photographer, starting his career as apprentice to world-famous photographer Annie Leibovitz. It was when Michael had his own family that he fell in love with photographing his wife and twin babies. This led to the creation of Litetrap Studios, where Michael takes joy in capturing the special moments in other families’ lives with the goal of creating cherished heirlooms that pass on through generations.

The mini-sessions are available to up to 20 mothers and their children, and children of any age. Want a priceless memory of you with your own mother? This is a wonderful opportunity to have a true artist create a portrait of you, and help another mother out at the same time.

Studio space is generously provided by Books and Cookies, a bookstore and play space in Santa Monica.

To reserve your sitting appointment or to arrange for one as a gift to that special mom in your life for Mother’s Day, make your donation here. (If you are not available to come to a session, you can still make a donation to this great cause.)

Mother’s Day Mini-Sessions with Michael Murphree
May 17, 2015
Books and Cookies
2309 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
To purchase, click here
For more information please contact me or Kim Tracy Prince at kim@helpamotherout.org


Me And My Mom

Me&MomMay1967I still don't quite feel like "Mother's Day" applies to me. Except that I have a wonderful mom who I love and adore.

Here we are in May of 1967. My mom is Grace's age in this picture! Amazing.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you very much.

 


Two Years!

Wooohooo! 2 years ago right now (approx. 11 am) I was pushing and pushing but Harper said, "Yeah, I'm pretty comfy in here.." Luckily she seems much more comfortable out in the world now!

December 6, 2011.

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December 6, 2013

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(Yes, I am Captain Obvious when it comes to dressing her on her birthday...)

She's talking up a storm, sings to herself some times. Says nonsense phrases that crack us up. "Wee-oh wee-oh wee-oh" Lately she's saying "I got it!" (but it comes out more "I god id" which is super cute). She also likes to imitate me when I say "Careful Boo Boo" and then she'll say "Careful Mama."

She loves to run around and play with blocks and put on hats and brush her teeth. (God I hope that lasts a while!) My ego gets pumped when I say "Dinner time Harper!" and she gets so excited and comes running to the table. She eats lots of green beans and peas and soy beans. She loves cheese (that's my daughter!) and bread and salty crackers. She still sleeps like a champ and will just melt your heart with a kiss or a hug or when she looks over at me on the couch, pats my leg and says "Sit?" Which means, "Can I sit in your lap?" Mmmmm!!! So sweet. We are lucky and grateful and having a wonderful time.

So much more fun stuff to come!

Happy Birthday my sweet sweet girl!


366/2012: Day 366!!! Holy Crap I Made It!

When I started this project "366/2012" (which if you haven't figured it out yet is a photo-a-day during 2012 = 366 photos because it's a leap year...) I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep it going. But I did. I did miss a few days here and there, but hey, not bad for having a newborn in the house, then a full time job and newborn! Couldn't have done it without Kurt's photos from time to time as well.

Tonight's photo is this:

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Harper was asleep and we toasted our first full year of parenthood. Hooray for us, we made it this far!

Let's look back on the sweet Bubela Boo: here is Day 1 of the project, January 1, 2012:

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Oooooohhhh, she was only 3 weeks old and so little! Darling girl.

Time didn't fly for the first three months, though I will be honest and say we got a sleeper and we appreciate it every. single. day. But what a great year of parenthood.

Big thanks to Elise for suggesting the project, it's been a great time! Of course I'll be posting pics of Harper along the way in the coming year, but less often of course. Stay tuned!


Can't wait for Lucky '13!