Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Happy Friday off to those who don't. The past two weeks have been a bit crazy. I think I'm starting to say that more and more, indicating to myself that every week has become crazy.
I was lucky enough this year to get a full two weeks off of school for Christmas and New Years. Over the past week, I've done almost nothing. We hang out at home and take care of Harper, which works very well for me. I would have thought I would be bored, but that is turning out to not be the case at all. She's always hungry, or always needs to be changed, or always wants to be held, which I am happy to help with. They say that having a child changes your life completely, but I didn't really believe them. Now I do.
Harper had a doctor's appointment this week where we, once again, got to converse with the Indian version of Antonio Banderas. He's a very nice guy, but it seems like he would be more at home as a pediatrician on a soap opera. He's suave in a way that real people are not. He wears Nautica turtle necks, snake-skin loafers and easily spends more time on his hair than most people do driving to work. With all of that said, he seems like a very good doctor and he is very nice and always happy to answer the questions that we pose.
He blows into the room, looks at the baby while looking handsome, tosses his perfectly blow-dryed hair, smiles, then blows out again, saying things like "Your baby, she is doing very well. She is a beautiful baby. I want to dance with her!" Not really, but he says those things in my mind.
Harper is now 20 1/2 inches long and weighs 8 pounds, 14 ounces. Her weight is a little low for her age, but it's within the parameters of normal, and is the perfect weight for her length and head circumference.
She spends much more time with her eyes open and looking around. She still doesn't respond to stimulus, but she follows faces and Dr. Banderas tells us that this is normal and that she should start responding more during the second month. I was lucky enough yesterday to take a picture with my phone of her smiling just a little bit.
She's so cute it hurts! Sara asked a question the other day and prefaced it with "I have a question, and I know that you're going to tell me it doesn't matter and that we don't need to worry about it for a long time, but I've been thinking about it anyway." She wanted to know my thoughts on how we would do Harper's hair. After giving a long, slow blink that my college friends hate so much, I told her I think we should do little pigtails. We should do this in a year or so when her hair is long enough to do it.
Yesterday, having waited until the last minute to finish my holiday shopping, I ran over to the Westmoreland mall at 8 in the morning. I was in good company with all of the other deadbeat husbands and dads who woke up and said "well, shit. I ain't got nothin' fer ma little 'uns or ma old lady." In all fairness, I've known what I wanted to get Sara for a while and just haven't found the particular style that I thought she would like. Luckily, I found it yesterday. On my way out, I stopped at Border's to look at their selection of children's books for Harper. I lucked out in that they had copies of most of the books I loved as a child, including Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, There's a Nightmare In My Closet, and The Five Chinese Brothers.
It has been easy to avoid buying her toys because she doesn't react to things that squeak, ring, ding, beep, squawk, bop, zoom, whir, whiz, pop, drip or ping. I think it's very important to have a nice collection of children's books, not just for the development of her vocabulary and love of reading, but also for my own sanity. If you only have two books in the house, she'll want those read over and over because there are no other options. If she's going to have the same book read over and over, I would rather it be because she loves the book.
Sara and Harper have come out of the bedroom, so I'm going to finish up, but I do have one final thought. It is very weird to say her name out loud. I've picked up the habit from Sara of referring to Harper as "Baby Girl." I don't think it makes too much difference now, but I really need to start using her name when I'm talking to her.
Time to don my HazMat suit and change her diaper. I hope everyone has a great vacation.