Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve, JV version

Piper's very best friend, and almost-birthday-twin, Cadence, came over for New Year's Eve tonight.  The girls decided they'd celebrate with Rio de Janeiro, and go to bed at 7.

Before the big countdown, they got to enjoy all of Piper's Christmas presents.  Man, oh man, were the balls fun! 

They particularly enjoyed playing with the bling-y tinsel, which made for a great photo opportunity. 

Mommies and babies!  We love you girls!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can't control the cuteness!

Piper got a very special visitor on Monday!  Our friend, Sawyer, from Wyoming came down for a visit, and it was so much fun!  Sawyer was born the day after Piper; this play-date was destined!

The girls were a little timid at first, but seemed to really enjoy each other!  They talked with and watched each other very closely.

Sawyer definitely needs to teach Piper a thing or two about hair growth.  Piper thought that her hair bow was very pretty; Sawyer politely informed Piper that she needs something more substantial to actually get the bow to attach to her head.  Piper's secret for bows (which is another post in itself, if I get brave enough to put the information on here...  lol) would not handle that pretty of hair things!

...too bad they don't make baby Rogaine...

By the time Sawyer and Magan were leaving, the girls had certainly made friends!  

...and, like any good girlfriends, holding hands by the end!

Thanks for making the trip down to our house, Magan and Sawyer!  It was so fun getting to see you!  And we'll definitely have to do it again sometime!

When I grow up, I wanna be... (Number 2)

(you may need to click to read)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas is here, bringing GOOD CHEER!

Wow!  What a week!  I think it's going to take a few weeks to recover from all the excitement, but it sure was fun!  Thursday, Luke's parents and siblings came over to the house for dinner.  We opened some presents, and all went to church together for Christmas Eve service.  We went out to Jake and Courtney's church, since Jake plays in the band there.  It was really fun getting to see him play!  And (almost) best of all, Piper got to play with all of Jake's instruments afterward. 

We did learn, however, that "candle light service" is insympatico with an infant.  One candle, three people.  We were just conserving, you know?  Piper really enjoyed all the lights, and is partial to Christmas music, so she fully enjoyed herself.

After church was over, it was home to put the baby to bed and get ready for Christmas morning.  I have always loved Christmas morning.  Sure, there are presents, but to be honest, I always loved going to Grandma's, having breakfast, and spending the day with my favorite people.  We have no agenda for the day (other than making sure dinner gets ready); it truly is a day to just enjoy each other.  I love it! 

...and it was only made better by having our little one around this year!

You all know that Piper's not spoiled.  At least that's the story we tell.  But...  She had so much fun!  She learned how to open the presents if you gave her a loose tag to hold on to.  And she loved the tissue paper.

The paper was fun, yes, but not quite as much fun as her new ball pit!

And she also got a new all-terrain vehicle, with specially-made sides made by my dad, for those trips to the parks, lakes, and open space near our house!  The best part is that her Bumbo seat fits right inside!  It was too cold to get out this weekend, but it's supposed to be warmer next weekend, so we'll have to take it for a test ride!  She is very excited.

Piper refused to take any kind of a decent nap all day long, so by the time we left that night, she was completely cooked and fell asleep as soon as we got home.  What a day!

Saturday we headed out to Luke's parent's house for a get-together with all of their families.  Piper slept through a lot of the afternoon (thank goodness!  she needed it!), but was very excited to wake up to everything going on.  And she definitely remembered how to play the tissue-paper game.

To top it all off, we ended the weekend with church, lunch, and my dad's family's Christmas this afternoon.  And then, like any self-respecting, mature parents, we ended the evening with several hours of Rock Band, soup, and cupcakes with some friends.  

It's amazing how having a baby around can put such a different glow on the holidays.  We are so thankful to have her here with us this year!  It really adds a whole new layer of appreciation for the true "reason for the season". 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that you got to enjoy your families as much as we did!  Merry Christmas!

Daddy Dearest, by Piper

Today is Daddy's birthday.  Mommy told me how much she disapproves of it being so close to Christmas.  But I think it's okay, because it means more parties for me!

I love my daddy.  He always makes me happy and protects me.  And he's always willing for a cuddle session, too!

And between you and me?  I have Daddy wrapped around my (very) little finger, and have for quite some time.  He can already not tell me "no".  I'm sure that will come in handy for a long time to come.

Happy birthday, Daddy-- can I have some of your birthday cake, please

Friday, December 25, 2009

...and to all a good night!

Here's to a very Merry Christmas full of laughter, love, and JOY, as always!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Baby SITTERS Club!!!

Look at our little girl!  Can you believe it???  Barely 10 pounds and SITTING! 

Okay, so admittedly, a lot is still dependent on if she feels like it or not, and she doesn't do it terribly long or very often (although she did it for about 15-20 minutes here!), and it helps if she's on something other than the hard floor (I blame it on her non-existent bottom), BUT, she CAN do it! 

...apparently she wanted to wake up an hour and a half earlier this morning just to show me. 

I think I could have waited.  I think

Happiness is...

...having a Great Grandpa to spoil you!

I always loved a picture on the wall at Grandma and Grandpa's house of Grandpa feeding my brother a bottle when he was teeny.  He had the same face then as he does here with Piper. 

Grandpa has always been one of my favorite people.  Always.  Justin and I would fake being asleep when we were at Grandma and Grandpa's house so that we could stay the night.  Of course, I'm sure that we fooled no one, but it worked either way.  We'd always wake up to peanut butter pancakes, made by Grandma and the leftovers fed to the dogs in an ornery way by Grandpa.  They took us on trips to Cody, Yellowstone and Pikes Peak, to name a few, where we made memories that we'll never forget.  I remember sneaking out of the house with Grandpa to get Dairy Queen Blizzards, only to return to the house where Grandma had lunch waiting.  And getting in trouble for it.  And being up in the mountains, in the freezing snow, eating ice cream cones, with two scoops, of course, and watching Mom and Grandma look at us like we were nuts.  Which we probably were.

Grandpa's birthday is today, and I couldn't be happier that our daughter will get to know her grandparents like I know them.  I'm so thankful for all the love and support we've gotten from Grandma and Grandpa, particularly this last year.  We are so blessed to have them so close, and we know how lucky we are to have such a close bond with them.  We love you guys SO much!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's the most wonderful TOY of the year!

Piper has one toy (okay, two toys that do the same thing, but look different) that have been favorites for several months.  Their nicknames are "happy-makers", because, no matter what, they can get a smile out of her.  They distract her during therapy, entertain her when we're out, and give her someone to talk to when she's bored. 

"Red" and "Ellie" are her friends.  And she loves them dearly.  They are so fun because they sing, vibrate, and scooch across the floor.  The problem is that they don't move across the carpet because there's too much friction.  So, we put it on something hard and sent it scooching toward her, head on.  This is the anticipation, eagerness, and happiness that ensued.

Too bad there isn't a happy-maker for heads-of-state.  I'd like to see this face on Putin, myself.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oral Dexterity

I'm sure that as the years go by, my brother will find many things to teach Piper, and I'm willing to put money on the fact that I won't approve of anything everything.

Unfortunately, Justin has already taught Piper about her tongue.  And since they haven't had any unsupervised visits, I'm assuming the teaching was accomplished by osmosis.  

See-- Justin has a tongue.  I mean a serious tongue.  And Justin, being the ever-giving soul that he is, decided to pass that gene to my daughter.  Thank.  You.

There is one good thing that has come from it, though.  Piper has a very "expressive" mouth.  She seems to explore her environment with her tongue, and we can gauge her mood by how active her tongue is.  So where's the good news?

We can't stop laughing.


And it started early.  Really early.  In fact, during the ultrasound where we found out about her Duodenal Atresia, she was sticking her tongue out.  Far.  After she was born, she had all the tubes in her mouth until her stomach healed.  After they were pulled, and when she was ticked, we started seeing her little tongue on a regular basis.

almost 2 weeks old (about 3 1/2 pounds)

We started laughing that maybe she was part lizard-- you know, how they taste the air to figure out their environment?

Then we started worrying that it was actually true.

3 1/2 months old (about 6 1/2 pounds)

We've slowly come to the conclusion that she is way too cute to be part snake.  So now we just laugh.

5 months old

Constantly.  And it doesn't help that she's become a pro at blowing raspberries.  How can you not laugh at that?

Just so long as we can keep Justin from teaching Piper how to do his "tricks" with her tongue, we'll be doing okay. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Grandpa!

Tonight, Piper celebrated her Great Grandpa's 80th birthday.  There was food, and people, and food, and decorations, and food.

Piper partook in meaningful conversations--

...and then she cried.

She got stuck inside a Santa hat, because someone thought it'd be cute--

...and then she cried.

It was Grandpa's birthday, but Grandma gave Piper some presents, too.  She got some red newborn-sized shoes that we're sure will look very cute for Valentine's day.  And Piper got her very own Christmas stocking, too!  Grandma's been working very diligently to get it ready for Christmas.

Piper was a big fan--


It was very fun to see everyone tonight, and even though we had a grumps-a-lot among us, everyone had a really nice time!

...and yet another disclaimer:  No, we do not usually dress our child in onesie t-shirts when it's 30 degrees outside.  But she got stripped when we were trying to figure out why she was so upset, and I thought that maybe her grumpiness had to do with her clothes.  Too bad I didn't get any pictures before she got stripped-- she was dressed to impress for the party.  sigh...  Oh well, I'm sure she'll be cute again sometime...  :)


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Princess Practice with Piper

"P" is for "Plucky"

Piper has turned into quite the little daredevil.  And as all princesses know, sometimes it's important to reach outside of your comfort zone and try something new.

She has some new games that she loves.  She likes to stand on your lap when you're on the glider, and, when you're all the way back in a glide, she leans all the way back in the opposite direction.  Oooooh that's fun.

She also has decided that she likes to "fly" on the shins of your legs when you're laying on the floor. 

*Disclaimer:  this is Piper's face when she's trying to belly laugh.  I don't think she's quite figured out the oral requirements for those big, deep down laughs, so this is what we get when she's trying.  The problem is that she thinks it's hilarious when we belly laugh, which causes this face.  That, in turn, causes us to laugh even louder.  I'm fairly certain that we would all be institutionalized if anyone caught us in the middle of one of these episodes. 




Sibling Love

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Since it's Wednesday, Piper had her weekly visit from OT Becky.  We also met with Piper's coordinator, Karissa, from North Metro, to discuss her goals for the next six months.  She's grown, a lot, since the last time we met about a month before Piper came home from the hospital.  At the time, we were hoping that she'd learn to eat.  And because she was still so tiny (only about 36 gestational weeks, and a little over 4 pounds), we weren't too sure what she was going to be able to do.  The only two goals she had was to take half of her feedings by mouth, and start participating in social interactions.  Check and Check!  She left the NICU able to fully feed herself, and the social interaction part?  She's been able to do that forever. 

So, for the next six months, her goals are to be crawling, babble m's and d's, increase her signing vocabulary, and be able to eat foods that dissolve, like those puffy cereals.  It's kind of fun to get a picture of what she'll (probably) be doing in a few months. 

...and the crawling business?  I was fairly certain she was going to take off this morning.  Her back half is completely ready-- for several weeks now, she'll get her knees up underneath her and has the left-right motion under control.  Now if her little arms will just catch up.  Her arms have always been her weakest spot, so we're working on those really hard.  It's so funny, because she actually gives herself a little rug burn on her little nose when her arms give out.  Silly girl! 

This is from a few weeks ago, but about the only decent picture I have of her up on straight arms!!!  She's certainly trying to go somewhere! the only question is if we're ready to have a 10 or 12 pound crawler!!!

Piper von Trapp???

What do you think-- if they do a remake of the Sound of Music, I think Piper's a shoe-in as a von Trapp kid.

...either that, or a Dutch princess.  Wait, how many eons has it been since the Dutch have had a princess?  Maybe it's time...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree

It never ceases to amaze me how many of Piper's attitudes and mannerisms seem to be innately programmed into her little head.  For instance, Piper is all girl.  Minus, of course, her desire to lick the dogs, and that she doesn't seem phased by slimy, dirty things to feel.  If you ask her if she's pretty, or cute, she curls up and shows her coy, shy face.  She loves to put clothes on (no joke- you should see her smile!).  And, whether she likes it or not, she will grow to love shoes.  All girl.  For now, anyway.

And recently we've discovered that she somehow knows the joys of the holiday season.  She loves to look at Christmas trees wherever we go (we had to wait for the loud music at church to end today, so we went to all of the trees in the foyer looking at the lights- she loved it), poinsettia plants are beautiful...  Ornaments?  Yes, please!  But best of all has been her reaction to Christmas music.  For some reason, it's like it makes her insides dance.  The old, good stuff, like Nat King Cole, or songs with full orchestras.  None of the modern junk for her, no way!  And she particularly loves anything with a trumpet (Luke played the clarinet in the Marine Corps band when he was enlisted; he also plays the sax and flute, so of course we'd have a child who doesn't like those...).  She starts singing with it, and gets all jiggly when it's on.

It's only made better when she gets to play under the tree.  Together, the two make an unbeatable combination for happy-making. 



Hmmm...  Maybe we should rename the song "Rocking under the Christmas tree"!