Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy 10 Month Birthday!

Today Harper is 10 months old!  She is getting so much stronger and, with a little support, can stand on her own for a pretty long time.  She is eating lots of yummy homemade food like chicken apple sweet potato puree that mommy makes her every week.  Harper loves to eat all types of food and everything is "mmmm" good to her.  She has found her voice and is saying mama regularly which is a relief because for a while there she was calling me Bob.  Everyone told us that it would just keep getting better as she got older and it most certainly has.  Harper is such a great baby and we feel so blessed each and every day that we have her in our lives.

Click on the link below to see Harper say mama.
Harper says mama!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Harper's First Trip to the Snow!

This weekend we took Harper to the snow for the first time. While dad was convinced it would only take us 30 minutes to pack, we spent 5 hours getting ready for our big family trip.  Harper did great on the long road trip and slept most of the way there.  We arrived late in the evening at our friend's beautiful Lake Tahoe home.  We hurried to get Harper's sleeping arrangements set up and prayed that she would find her new crib familiar with all of the blankets and stuffed animals we brought from home, and comfortable enough to fall asleep again.  It took a little longer than we thought, but she eventually went down for the evening.  We crept downstairs and had a couple glasses of wine to unwind from our hectic work week and long drive up, and then crawled into bed excited about our first day of skiing of the season.

No more than an hour of shut eye later and Harper started crying.  This was very strange because usually she is a great sleeper.  She has been sleeping through the night since she was 5 months old; what was going on?  We picked her up and soothed her back to sleep but she kept waking up and each time it got worse.  Her nose was getting increasingly stuffy and her breathing became labored until both of us were at the edge of the bed making sure she was o.k.  We hadn't lost this much sleep or been this scared since the very first night we brought her home from the hospital.  At 3:30 in the morning we debated to get back into our car and head out to the drugstore to buy a bulb syringe for her nose, or go to the emergency room....were we just being paranoid?  We weren't even really sure where we were, let alone how to get to the hospital and it hadn't stopped snowing since we arrived.  We decided it would be safest to take shifts watching Harper and holding her upright to help her breathe easier and comfort her so that she could sleep.  It seemed like the longest night of our lives.

Once the sun rose, the plans we had for the day changed.  Dad helped mom get Harper ready and figure out where the nearest after hours clinic was.  After we mapped out where we were headed, dad hit the slopes and the girls headed to see the doctor.  One hour in the waiting room, 3 nurses and 3 pharmacies later it was determined that Harper had croup (a serious and sometimes fatal chest cold that effects babies) and needed steroids in order to take down the inflammation in her airways so that she could breathe.  All the while, she had barely slept, missed her morning nap and couldn't get comfortable.....a mother's worst nightmare.  Once we gave Harper the medicine she needed, she conked out for the afternoon and got some much needed rest.  Perfect timing for mom to sneak in a half day of skiing.

The snow was perfect and the weather couldn't have been better.  We had a great time despite how tired we were and really enjoyed our first tracks of the season.  That night we gave Harper a steam shower and let her breathe in the cold mountain air (doctor's orders).  We had a delicious dinner and cozied up to the fire for our last night in the cabin.  We all slept much better that night and headed home in the morning.

Monday, January 3, 2011

We'll Miss You Papa

Jim "Papa" Doten • July 9, 1930 - January 3, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!


The first thing that came to my mind this morning was that I broke my promise to post on the blog every month. In the chaos that is December I forgot my own rule to contribute a little piece of literary context to my daughters first year of life. This morning I sat staring out the window at the endless gray expanse of the Pacific (We’re in Pebble Beach) and realized that I had also neglected to make a New Years Resolution, 0-2 going into 2011 didn’t sit well. The Holidays tend to stir up a variety of emotions within me but guilt usually wasn’t one of them.
            It has been over a year since Ryane, Laney and I sat on the cold floor and opened a little package that would completely change our lives. The present sat under the tree last year for over three weeks, which seemed like an eternity for someone like myself with the patience level of a two year old. Our ultrasound technician had kindly accepted our request to write the gender of Baby Siegel in a sealed envelope and gave no inclinations when I prodded her suggestions that “my little boy” was looking good on the monitor. The contents of the envelop alone didn’t have enough drama for the big reveal so Ry dropped the information off to our good friends, The Clarke’s, along with an outfit for a little boy, a little pink dress and instructions to wrap the appropriate clothing based on the results of the ultrasound. The package was delivered to our house a few days later and placed along side the other gifts as if it were just another sweater or pair of gloves. Every time I walked past it I had the urge to accidentally fall into the tree and in turn possibly catch a glimpse of the color of fabric within. In the end I never did peek mostly because I was convinced we were having a boy. Our “clairvoint” friend told us she had a vision and it was definitely a boy, the hocus pocus ring test my mother had claimed fool proof for years said it was a boy, my neighbor convinced that baby girls drained the beauty out of their mother told us that Ryane was a vision of maternal beauty and that it had to be a boy.
As we pulled the tiny pink dress out of the festive tissue paper all I could think was……oh boy?
One year later I saw the joy that Harper brought to everyone’s faces this Christmas and something changed for me. I’ll be the first to admit I have been more than a little scroogey the last few years. The excitement of he Holidays was replaced with the stress of having to navigate frantic parking lots just to be herded with the rest of the masses into some unruly and disheveled retail barn. People are overworked, underpaid, and generally overwhelmed and this becomes clearly apparent after spending a few hours Christmas shopping. I don’t like the music, I think the whole concept of Santa is a little conflicting and I don’t really care for eggnog. None of that mattered when I saw my Grandpa hold my little girl on Christmas Eve. As she played with her new Christmas Bear with her Mimi and Papa I remembered why the holidays are special. Life as I know it has changed and that seemed to ring very true on Christmas Eve as I carved the family turkey for the first time. I know that the New Year will bring many new surprises but as I think back and remember all the great moments, including Christmas (go figure), I think that an appropriate resolution for me would be to relax and enjoy. Life is short and if you get too caught up in all the distractions you might miss the beauty. To all my friends and family, I love you, Thank you for a very special Christmas and Happy New Year!