Harper in action.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Harper has learned the difference between inside and outside. Unfortunately for us, she only wants to be outside now. As soon as she wakes up in the morning she's asking to go outside.

As soon as we get her home from day care she wants to go outside. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, screaming and crying. She doesn't ask for mommy, doesn't want daddy. She wants to go outside.

Sometimes we'll take her out onto the balcony patio we have. This is not what Harper means when she says, "outside" (or more accurately, "owshide"). Harper has a very specific intent when she requests to be outside.

To her, outside means getting in the swing we have hanging from the tree in our front yard. She loves to go really high in her swing for about ninety seconds. Then she starts frantically signing "all done". As soon as I let her down from the swing, she runs over to our side yard and waits for me to open the gate.

Her first stop is typically the ladybug sandbox. She scoops sand pours it into this funnel thing which spins a paddle wheel as it falls through. Next, she likes to go into her playhouse and stand at the sink. She rubs her hands together and says, "wash". She will also usually ring the playhouse doorbell a few times just to make sure it's still working.

Next she'll go down her little slide once or twice, point to one of the neighborhood cats and say, "shishy", which is how she says "kitty" (as well as "fishy" as when she asks for her favorite Goldfish crackers). She also points to the fish wind chime that hangs outside our neighbor's window by the side yard and says, "shishy" (which is also how she says "kitty").

So at 3:00am, when Harper starts crying to go outside, it's nearly impossible to calm her down. We have to distract her or something and we're usually up anywhere from one to three hours. Harper still has a really hard time sleeping and almost never sleeps undisturbed between midnight and 6:00am.

McCall was lamenting the other day the fact that she taught Harper the difference between inside and outside. But at least this way we know what she wants. It would be so much worse if we just couldn't figure out what she was crying for. At least in theory.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


What a week! I don't even know where to begin. The beginning just seems so contrived. EVERY story begins at the beginning. Except those tediously obnoxious stories that begin somewhere in the middle or even the end! Get over yourself, just start at the beginning like a normal story.

We had plans to visit my brother, Joel, and his family in Minneapolis for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Harper Jo got sick so we postponed our flight a few days. We ended up having Thanksgiving dinner with old family friends, the Sunukjians. Harper Jo didn't get better, though, and it turned out she had a mild case of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. So we canceled the flight we had previously postponed.

This left us in a bit of a quandary. We had nowhere to go, nothing to do, a week in which to do it, and Harper Jo the whole time. That's right, she was barred from daycare for 10 days. I guess I'm thankful for that policy, but it sure bit us at the worst time. I started thinking about last year when we went down to San Diego the weekend after Thanksgiving. We had a such a great time. Then McCall's grandmother suggested we take a quick getaway to San Diego.

We Pricelined four star hotels in San Diego and got the Hilton Resort Mission Bay for a reasonable rate. We booked two nights and had a plan: we would drive down and spend the day at the SD Zoo, sleep, the next day go to the SD Wildlife Park, sleep, return home.

Then, and I swear I'm not making this up, we get a call from Harper's agent. She has an audition for Mattel the second day of our mini-vacay. Get on the horn, change nights, new plan: audition, drive, zoo, sleep, park, sleep, home.

The audition ran later than we estimated. We made it to the zoo about an hour before it closed. We had planned to become members either way, because then we got free admission to the wildlife park. So we went in and made sure there were still animals at the zoo, then we left.

At that point the plan morphed to: eat, sleep, zoo, sleep, park, home.

The zoo was a blast. We had a great time and saw all of Harper's favorites (ducks and flamingos, which she refers to as "mingos"). We rode the Skyfari lift three times and we even saw some Great Pandas.

That night we went ate a nice a restaurant/bar called Saska's. They the had the Cowboys and Packers game which was only available on the NFL Network and therefore not available at the Hilton Resort Mission Bay. After dinner, McCall took Harper back to the room while I finished the game. The Cowboys improved to 11-1. The best record in franchise history. Meanwhile, Harper randomly threw up all over McCall and the bed. I wasn't sorry to miss that one.

Friday morning we woke up the strangest thing. There was water, and it was falling. From the sky. It was like the clouds were crying. It'd been so long since I'd seen it, I almost forgot the word for it. Horrificallytorentialdownpour.

Rain hit us like we stole its lunch money. We checked the Weather Channel and all of SoCal was getting drenched. The plan: pack, leave, check out wild life park, eat, determine new plan.

The wild life park seems like it would be a lot of fun on a beautiful day. Yesterday it was the most miserable place on the planet. There was no place to sit down and have a meal indoors. We were there about 10 minutes and called it a bust. Somehow, we spent about $40 there.

The rain was really furious. We found the nearest diner and stopped to eat. The TV reception kept going in and out due to the storm. Thankfully, be the time we were done it had let up a lot. We drove home pretty exhausted. Harper was a handful the whole time.

But all in all, it felt like things really worked out the way they were supposed to. We had such a great time at the zoo, and San Diego is so nice, plus the Cowboys won. It's really hard to complain. It's also really hard to come back. But at least we can put Harper back in day care!