| thirty-six // fifty-two |

Because we went to the zoo…again…but we have found that this really is our family’s happy place since moving. Saturday took a turn that left Daddy’s head spinning between a nasty DMV visit and ended with a crashed iPhone, we needed a day to turn things around!

Going back to work has been great, I am definitely a mom that loves working and being a mother, but I won’t lie that I miss having each of my days dedicated to this little jumping bean. Unfortunately Daddy is getting stuck with the toddler tantrums and keeping the dog and baby separated…any advice on that is more than welcomed! Dad goes back to work in two weeks and then we will begin daycare for the first time. I am excited and nervous about what will happen to our independent, yet delicate, little girl after she attends. I know how tough other little kids can be, but know it’s time to start. Sigh, parenthood man.

// happiest moment //

Harper looked at me while we were lying in bed together, wrapped her hands around my neck, stroked the back of my head and said “I love you mommy.” 

I would be lying if I said there was not a surge of emotions, a stream of tears and then giggles from my confused daughter who said, “mommy’ funny!” This was a moment I will treasure forever and ever.

// most embarrassed mamma moment //

It didn’t happen in public but it still was not a proud mama moment nonetheless. Harper was sitting on the potty, upset I would not give her another 12 jelly beans, when she grabbed both sides of my head shaking and screamed red-faced “MORE JELLYBEAAAANNNSSSS!” 

And there is that terrible two year old. If the two moment above didn’t describe the balance of toddlerhood I am not sure what does!

| thirty-five // fifty-two |

Because we had big plans for the weekend but then mama got hit with a hell of a cold, think swimming in a sea of tissues and mucinex cold, so we stayed home. We helped Grandma bake cookies using her childhood cookbook, went for a walk along the water and mom caught up on her Harry Potter.

This week was also my first full week back to work, and Harper is definitely adjusting to the new routine and having Dad as the primary caregiver. Mama is the rule-maker so the “routine” has been a bit deconstructed. She is also testing her two year old limits which is testing Dad’s patience, this was not helped by being stuck in bed with the death cold! 

We had a big weekend planned, exploring a music festival in a new hood, getting to an apple orchard and a flea market for Sunday. While it’s always nice to take a step back and relax this girl seems to thrive in the hustle and bustle. Luckily we all survived, and we are finding staying at Grandma’s is giving us special access to her year’s of experience with an excited two year old!

Monday starts a new week and we are already planning next week’s adventures!

// favorite new TV show //

Sid the Science Kid has entered our morning PBS rotation and Harper is hooked! Not sure my feelings yet, but I am going to say I kinda felt like we needed some new shows! Also am I the only parent who doesn’t get Paw Patrol?! We tried to watch it this weekend and Harper was not a fan…

// the struggle known as potty training //

Before we were Ohio bound Harper was on the panty track! She had dry diapers between changes and was asking to use the potty…fast-forward three weeks and we are back to potty fights and full diapers. I hate to say it but she even pooped in the tub about a week ago!

Am I a potty-training failure? I feel like the inconsistency from Daddy is killing this girl’s potty game but not sure how to start again!! H-E-L-P

| thirty-four // fifty-two |

Because we have lived in Columbus barely three weeks and this is our second weekend at the Zoo! After a surprise day of torrential rain we decided we wanted to spend a day celebrating our anniversary with our little family unit, and since our first trip (last weekend) this little nugget has been asking non-stop to see the animals. 

Unfortunately this trip was overshadowed by someone’s 3am wake-up call that was news to me, but we made the most of it! I right this right now curled up in the tub, soaking in lavender bubbles getting ready to drift off into dream world since tomorrow marks our first full week with our new “routine.” I remember my early twenties and routine sounding like a four letter word, but know I realize how much little ones crave this, and parents really need it for sanity…the struggle is real people! Hopefully October will end the craziness for a bit and we can focus in on getting settled and moving into our new lives.

PS…does the last photo have the best photo bomb or what?!

// favorite parent //

If a picture is worth a thousand words than its one word on repeat, “daddy!” It’s  alright though I still feel pretty selfish about the breastfeeding months being predominantly mommy.

// new habit //

Going around the room and asking people to honk there nose, sing a song or to karate chop the air. Imagine sitting in a room and “mommy sing,” “daddy sing,” and so on and so forth. If you try to ignore don’t worry a high pitch scream brings you back to her reality! 

| thirty-three // fifty-two |

Last week kind of ran away from us, really it was a nice thing. There was a million things happening and I completely forgot to post our weekly portraits, it was amazing how much happened in a 7 days span.

First…we had mom land a job, then we celebrated the babe’s birthday where my sister announced she was in labor, the next day a new baby girl named Madison graced us with her presence, we spent a WHOLE day at the zoo, and we ended the week with Harper spending time with Grandma’s Mommy and the rest of our extended family. 

Yes, all that happened in just 7 days!! Now I am back on the grind, sitting in a hotel room and reminiscing about our magical time together.

| thirty-two // fifty-two |

The first four days of Ohio living and we have been loving Ohio. It’s amazing how a move and change can just feel so right! We packed a lot into our first weekend since we found out this mama will be employed sooner than expected (yay!). 

Two things from our reunion were clear; one was that Harper has changed and developed so much in the week, and second was someone is in LOVE with grandma and poppa! Between all the ice cream, the dog, the multiple trips for Mexican, and the constant shower of love and affection it’s easy to see why she has enjoyed it. These last four days have been a whirlwind of unpacking, reorganizing, adventures and reconnecting. 

We did notice a new separation fear, for the first two days someone had to nap with her, almost sleep with her, or she would be manic. We are slowly phasing out of that, re-introducing potty training, and beginning to plan for baby cousin and  2nd birthdays!

// favorite past-time //

Feeding the dog from her high chair has become Harper’s favorite thing to do during mealtime. She claps, says yay, and the dog is happy. They have been in a bit of a power struggle the past week and we are hoping this new give and take relationship will help with that! Don’t bite the hand that feeds, literally!

// favorite new toy //

Harper got her birthday tricycle a few days early and even though she is about 6″ too short to petal she is in love with her new bike. She scoots it down the driveway, rings the bell and asks to sit in it. I must admit it’s a pretty sweet ride.

| thirty-one // fifty-two |

On Tuesday we spent out last day together as a family before shipping Harper off to her grandma’s for a week while we finished packing. We spent that last day with my husband’s family honoring the memory of his mom-mom and pop-pop. We gathered their ashes in a little tote bag and headed to the bay where they had spent many happy summers. We visited all their favorite spots, said a few prayers and then had a toast and ate some ice cream cake. 

It was a very emotional day for my husband who had been incredibly close with his grandparents and saw them as his parental figures. It was one of those days in your marriage you feel such strong empathy for this person you love, and feel so amazed to share an amazing connection with another human being. It was a beautiful last day, and such a great good-bye to this part of the country that has been such a huge part of my husband’s life. 

In just three days we will be reunited with our little one, and begin our new chapter in the mid-west. Together as a family!

// newest love //

Grandma is a hit! I am amazed by how quickly Harper has taken to my mother. As my dear friend said, “who wouldn’t love your mom!” Honestly, I was a little worried since I have never spent a day, let alone five, away from my little one. We had one FaceTime full of tears, but everything else has been “my grandma” and it makes me so proud of our little brave girl!

// most adorable //

My mom has a piano and was excited to show Harper. Needless to say it has been a hit!

| thirty // twenty-nine |

Because this week is all about getting ready for doe and fawn to head (mid)West. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind between rushing to get all the big packing done during naps, ending work, and having the air go out in my car. This little girl has been a trooper through all the change, and the reality of leaving her for five, yes count them FIVE, days while we finish our final transition from Philadelphia to Ohio. 

This portrait seemed appropriate considering the fact that it I can barely even reach for a camera or phone without a level-3 meltdown. Somehow during this little trip to Home Depot, when I learned why these little carts are little magic made in heaven, she asked to see the plants and allowed me to snap this picture. It also was great foreshadowing of our week ahead. 

Did I mentioned that I am needing to prepare for a 7 hour trip with this little one? Advice is encouraged…and needed!

// biggest “aww..” moment //

Harper went to give my husband his nightly hug, leaned in and said “I love you Daddy.” The tears came, we all hugged and she had no idea how much that melted each of our hearts.

// death defying trick //

Her favorite thing to make my heart drop into my stomach is to ask to “walkies hands” then to “touch the window” which means that she wants to stand in our two story window but not have mommy hold her. So yeah, that doesn’t at all scare the crap out of me.

| twenty-nine // fifty-two |

Because this week we went to one of my favorite brunch spots to eat in a greenhouse, buy a plant, and do a little shopping. This girl was a picture of perfection during our brunch, only later our little toddler came out to play. But more about that later…

These next few weeks we are trying to squeeze in every favorite we have in this city. Terrain is my favorite place for brunch, mostly because of the fact you get to eat truffle fries in a greenhouse. I was excited to see all the beautiful flowers out for this girl to stop a smell. We bought a plant for our lovely sitter and played with the gravel. 

Wildflowers always hold a special place in my heart since my grandfather, who Harper got her middle from, always kept a beautiful garden in their backyard filled with pathways, butterflies and some of my fondest childhood memories. I love that this little one seems to feel the same since we had to stop to smell each one. Once we went from flowers to playing with gravel we decided to pack up and head into the city to bring Dad our leftovers. 

Due to lack of nap our visit to the city became an emotional one, and I know I may sound terrible for saying it but her crying face makes me so happy. It’s just the most precious and heartbreaking thing wrapped with sweetness. I know when we are elbow deep in those terrible twos I may not feel the same way but for now each cry makes my heart melt for more reasons then one. 

// life-ending addiction //

This girl with the phone has become epic. The meltdowns asking for mommy’s phone are those parent legends are made of. We gave her one of our old phones so she could see “pictures of baby” and test mommy and daddy’s phones seem to be all that matter. How have other people dealt with this? Seriously need some assistance!

// sweetest moments //

After much fighting now this girl asks for kisses. Before bed, in the middle of a conversation or sometimes when she just misses you. Be still my heart.

| twenty-eight // fifty-two |

My little beach bunny at Cape May. I cheated a bit and used the pictures I finally got around to editing from last week’s trip. In my defense it was a pretty epic trip that packed in a lot of fun, in a small amount of time. 

After getting twisted around by the surf and chomping on some ice cream, we headed over to Congress Hall Hotel to play on the lawn. When I was 7 months pregnant Dan and I spent three magical days at this hotel for our babymoon. We relaxed by the pool, hung out in a beach bungalow and really got to talk about becoming parents and what it meant to us. It seemed fitting that towards the end of Harper’s time on the east coast we would take her here. I will always have fond memories of this place and that trip!

// new obsession //

We have had a few thunderstorms this week and turns out Harper loves them as much as her mommy and daddy! She loved watching the sky light up, the sounds of the rain hitting the glass and the claps of thunder. She now asks to go to the window to touch the rain but seems bummed to see the sun. 

// toddler-ism //

This baby is refusing to sleep, or nap, or just chill! She is sooooooo tired but will sleep for 20 minutes and scream in exhaustion till about an hour after bed time. Think I need to look into a two year old sleep regression, this mommy is spent!

| twenty-seven // fifty-two |

Because today we spent the afternoon playing in the waves at the beach, and then celebrated someone’s good behavior  by some vanilla soft-serve covered in sprinkles. The fact that we are about 5 weeks from moving is really hitting me and while there are things I will not miss, our proximity to Cape May is in the top 5!

I love this place, I love that in under two hours I am at the ocean. The town is filled with beautiful Victorian bed and breakfasts, and basically looks like it is straight out of a 20’s postcard. 

Today we only had a quick visit. Just enough time to play for a few hours in the waves, eat some ice cream and do a small bit of shopping. In the past month I have seen such a vast development in Harper’s understanding and ability to communicate. You should have seen how fast her little feet hustled when I asked if she wanted ice cream!

// new talent //

A SPOON! We have been trying to have Harper pick up using utensils for the past few months. It hasn’t really gone past spearing a few apple slices. Today though I put a cup of ice cold soft-serve in front of her and she was an expert! It was done so well even that there was not one drop spilled. I guess this girl really loves ice cream.

// potty-training status //

Oh potty-training. You are such a fickle beast! After taking a little break after reaching a stalemate we started back up again, updating the frequency of our bathroom trips, rewording our potty talk and being consistent. We have had lots of days filled with dry diapers, but seen a HUGE increase is accidents. Mainly walking in to find a naked baby surrounded by urine or… well use your imagination. So ready for this part of toddlerhood to be over! Any tricks out there?