Thursday, December 8, 2011

Florida Memories

Harper and I just returned from a week long vacation to Southwest Florida to visit family.  It was Harper's first time on an airplane and she did amazingly well on all four flights, no melt downs or freak outs whatsoever.  She did actually poop on every single flight, I don't know if has to do with the pressure, but by the third flight, I was just cracking up.

Harper got to finally meet her Aunt Katie and cousin Sienna (who is nine months older than her).  It was extremely important to me that Katie and Harper got some bonding time and we also did a cute photo shoot with both girls together on the beach in Santa hat's and diapers.  

We had a great week visiting with family and trying to relax.  I think I was able to relax as much as possible with a seven month old baby, but it was awesome for Harper to meet her Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Great Grandpa.  I got to spend some time with Cathy and Marnie, my Aunt Leah's Mom and Wife, which was so important to me.  Leah Fields has been the best friend to my Aunt Meghan since I can remember, and for many years her and I have shared a really special connection.  I am not really sure why, but being around her softens my spirit and she is so full of love.  I was glad to have the opportunity to stay with and get to know Marnie and Cathy better at Leah's house.  Her son Hollis is  1, so the house was fully baby proof and accessible for Harper and I.   

I got to also celebrate my Aunt Meghan's 30th birthday weekend with her and her family.  Aunt Meg is Mom's youngest sister and she is also one of the most thoughtful people I know.  My daughter was obsessed with Meghan's daughter Meah, who has the magic baby touch of her Mom and Harper cracking up all week.  We had a really nice dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse with all of the friends and family there on the night I arrived.   My sister is going through a rough patch, and it was nice to see that the family is really supportive of her and that she has them to lean on. 

My Grandpa Mulvenna is one of my favorite people on Earth.  Grandpa always finds a way to make me roar with laughter and almost tear up because he cares about his family so much.  His eyes have always been honest and he actually listens to you.  For him to meet Harper was extremely important to me, as I don't have any memories whatsoever with my Great Grandparents and since I don't have a Dad or Great Grandparents for her on my Dad's side, it's important for her to know my Mom's parents.  Now Harper has met and engaged with both sets of her maternal Great Grandparent's, and Grandpa Mulvenna.  She will get to meet her Great Gramma and Grampa Decker this upcoming summer.  I want to do a photo collage for her with each Great Grandparent once she does. 

Perhaps the best part of the week was seeing Harper engage with other children.  She hasn't really been around other kids that much here, and she LOVED being around the kids and having them play with her.  I was a bit nervous, because anytime a kid cries at the pediatricians office or somewhere in public, Harper would start crying too.  But around her cousins, she was OK and just moved on to the kid that wasn't crying and continued playing.  I hope she is able to get into some kind of play school or something like that in a year or so, that way she has a day or two a week to interact with more kids her age.  

Today, I've got a laundry list of things to do before going back to work tomorrow.  I have to finish this stupid driving school from a ticket I got a few months back, get groceries, start looking into new places for us to move, and move down the notches on Harper's crib to the next setting.  My beautiful girl is growing so fast.  Last night Brinn called me into the bedroom, and there she stood pulled up on her arms trying to stand up inside of her crib.  She is also full blown crawling and moving around a rapid speed.  She is very active.  My Florida family was surprised at how little she sleeps during the day.  All of the little cousins nap for 1-2+ hours at a time, whereas Harper only naps twice or three times a day for 20-30 minutes.  She has never really been a big day sleeper at all.  She is also starting to find her voice, screaming and making cute repetitive noises.  It's hard to even fathom how fast she is growing, just the differences between 6 and 7 months are astounding!  And I know it only get's faster from here.