Monday, April 27, 2009

LA Times Festival of the Books and Free Food

This past weekend Tom and I took Harper to the LA Times festival of books in Westwood so that she could see a couple of the characters from Yo Gabba Gabba. If you aren't familiar with this show, it's a children's program that involves some silly characters and lots of music (including bands that we like such as The Shins and Of Montreal). Harper enjoys watching this occassionally and we think that it's all right. It was actually created by one of the members of the Aquabats, Christian Jacobs, who also happens to be LDS. Harper wasn't really sure what to think about all of the kids jumping around, but she did her share of bobbing to the music.
Today KFC had a promotion for their new grilled chicken by offering a piece of free chicken for every customer. Since we live within easy walking distance and Harper and I had some time to kill, I thought it would be worth checking out. I don't think I've been to KFC in over 10 years because I don't like it . . . at all. But I was willing to give it a try.

We arrived at 12:40 and there were about 20 people in line in front of us. People started chatting and someone asked, "You don't have to buy anything to get the free chicken do you?" To which a couple of people replied that they didn't think so. Then several people commented that they definitely weren't going to buy anything, they just wanted the free chicken. I thought it was interesting that every single person ended up buying something in addition to the free chicken. I guess you win KFC.

When I got to the front of the line, the cashier asked, "Leg or thigh?" I asked if I could have a chicken breast, and they told me that I could but they would rather give me a cheaper piece of chicken. I got the breast.
By the time I sat down with my food it was 1:10. The chicken was not very warm and it was pretty dry. I don't eat much meat, especially of the bone-in, skin-on, fast food variety, and I felt sick afterward. I think it will be another 10 years before I hit up KFC again.

Stay tuned for tomorrow . . . free chicken from El Pollo Loco for the Taste the Fire Challenge.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Harper has a new cousin!

Gavin Gregory West
born Monday April 20th
7 lbs. 5 oz., 21 inches long

My sister had her 2nd child on Monday so Harper has a new cousin! We can't wait to meet Gavin when we go to Utah in July.

In other news, Harper had her 12 month appointment this morning. She weighed in at 18 lbs. 13 oz. and is 28.75 inches long. She is so little! That puts her between the 10th and 25th percentile for weight and just below the 50th percentile for height.

Harper's 1st Birthday Party

Tonight we had Harper's first birthday party. She wasn't feeling 100% because she has a cold and she got shots today at her 1 year appointment, but we all still had a good time. I have been really stressed about the party because I was worried that nobody would come or that something would go terribly wrong. But so many people came and it really turned out great! We are so blessed to have so many friends who live nearby, thanks everyone for coming to support Harper! The above photo is of Harper when we were singing Happy Birthday. It was too windy to light a candle, but she loved all of the attention.

Here are some more photos from the event:

Tom, Harper, and Avlynn on the see saw. Harper LOVED this and got upset when Tom had finally had enough after twenty minutes.
Harper just poked at her cake a couple of times and wouldn't even taste that, so no fun cake eating photos. She did enjoy some cookies and cream ice cream.Laura and her little girl Ella.
Jenna and her daughter Clare.
Harper and her friend Braden. Jaime and her son Gaige, who is four days older than Harper.
Laura's cute son Gordon.
Also in attendance were Melissa and her kids Taylor and Luke, Morgan and her kids Henry and Kate, Nessa and her girls Reagan and Riley, Lori and her kids Avlynn and Grant, Lauren and her kids Alex and Austin, and Rebecca with her little girl Gwen.

Harper is one popular little girl :) Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Harper!

Wow, I can't believe it has been a year already. We feel so lucky to have Harper in our lives. She never ceases to amaze us with how much she already knows and understands, how funny her little personality she is, and how loud she can squeal. Unfortunately she woke up with the sniffles this morning and spent most of the day wanting to be held and then sneezing all over us. Despite that, we still had fun going for walks and going to see the dogs at the pet store in the mall (she loves dogs). Here are some things that have been going on with Harper lately:
  • We have been struggling to get Harper to eat non-pureed foods, but we have found one thing that she loves: cream cheese sandwiches. I know it's kind of weird, but she eats one of these every day with her lunch and she will just sit quietly in her high chair holding her little sandwich in her hands taking tiny little bites for about 20 minutes.
  • We recently noticed that Harper no longer gets mistaken for a boy. Yay!
  • Harper loves to wave and say hi to people. We will just be standing in line at the grocery store and I will look at her and see her waving at the people behind us.
  • She also loves to swing. We usually make at least one trip to the swings every day.
  • Harper has absolutely no interest in walking. Her pseudo-crawling method has become faster and more efficient and she pulls herself up pretty well, but she is very timid about taking steps.
  • She is a daddy's girl.
  • Even though she is perfectly capable of saying "dada," she leaves off the first "d" when referring to Tom and the first "m" when saying "mama."
  • She likes to give hugs (putting her head down on your chest) and kisses (biting your nose, I don't know why she does this).
  • She enjoys standing, playing, and dancing along with her new music table that my Dad got her for her birthday.
Tomorrow morning we will go to Harper's 12 month appointment, then we are getting together with Tom's parents, and then having a little birthday party with some of Harper's little friends. I'll post some photos of the festivities tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Santa Barbara

We spent the day in Santa Barbara today. I had never been before but. . . wow, can I move there? I loved it. The reason for our visit is actually really random. A couple of months ago Harper and I flew to Salt Lake for my brother's mission farewell. On the flight there, we sat next to a very nice girl, Christine Olson, who is a photographer and I chatted with her for part of our flight. I have been thinking about getting some 1 year photos taken of Harper, so a few weeks ago I found her blog (thanks to Google) and asked if she'd be willing to do the photos and luckily she agreed. So today we headed up to Santa Barbara where she lives.

This morning was amazing. Christine was so nice and sweet (and patient) with Harper and she even already sent me a few photos so we could have a sneak peak.WOW! I am so pleased with the photos and am so excited to see the rest of them. I have been looking forward to this for the last several weeks and I was not disappointed. We had a great time!

Another reason that we went to Santa Barbara (because Christine had been perfectly willing to come to LA to take the photos) was because my best friend from high school, Cynthia, has lived in SB for over a year and I am a terrible friend and have never visited her. So we met up with her and her boyfriend Eric and had a delicious Indian buffet at Spice Avenue. Then Cynthia gave us a tour of The Granada where she is a manager.
I will leave you with some photos from our visit to the Santa Barbara mission. It's great to live so close to so many fun and interesting places, we need to take better advantage of them!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

We began our Easter festivities at an egg hunt that at our apartment complex. Well, actually Harper slept through the first half and we just showed up at the end. We will have to save the egg hunting for next year.

Here is Harper in her Easter dress yesterday. I had planned to get a cute little photo of her, but apparently she was too tired (we have been having nap issues). So here is a photo of Harper napping in her Easter dress.After church we went to Redlands to Tom's aunt's house. We had a delicious dinner and then Harper got to hang out with her cousins. We're so lucky to have some family close by because we miss the rest of our family so much!We've got a couple of exciting weeks coming up. Harper's birthday is next week, Tom's classes finish next week, and my sister is going to have a baby sometime soon. Tom's graduation is on May 8th and anyone who wants to come is invited. Tom is very excited to be done with class, but we got his Barbri study materials for the bar in the mail today and wow, that box was heavy. . .

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

the times, they are a changing

Just when things seem to plateau for a while suddenly your life experiences rapid change. After lamenting that basically everyone in Harper's age group at church has figured out how to be mobile (even babies months younger than Harper can scoot around) she has finally jumped on the bandwagon. The last couple of weeks we knew some kind of mobility was incoming because she has just been stretching more and more to get at objects out of her reach. Towards the end of last week it was getting ridiculous how far she could reach without leaving the spot she was sitting at. She was like Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four.

On Sunday she finally had a breakthrough. You'll notice earlier I didn't say crawl, but rather she's figured out how to be mobile. She has always hated tummy time and despite our best efforts to help her enjoy being on her stomach more we finally just accepted that Harper was going to walk before she could crawl. Harper had other plans. Her breakthrough moment involved discovering how to stay indian style (her favorite position) will propelling herself with her right leg. If that sounds amusing, it is. The funny factor continues to go up as she gets more confident about her ability to go from A to B using this method. I caught a little bit of it on film as well as some of the aftermath of what we are looking forward to now that she can move around a bit. Click HERE for a higher quality (we bought that HD camcorder for a reason!) version or just watch the low rez version below.

Harper Can Crawl! from Thomas Jackman on Vimeo.

Harper's other ability that she figured out all of a sudden is how to sit up after being on her stomach. Before she would just cry until we sat her up or if we weren't looking she would flip over onto her back (where she still can't sit up from). Now, she just pulls her feet forward a bit and basically sits down onto her butt. AWESOME! She frequently ends up on her tummy when reaching for stuff so now she can self correct the problem instead of crying to Mommy and Daddy for help.

Another thing we noticed on Sunday was that Harper is FINALLY getting her first tooth. For a while there we were convinced Harper was going to be toothless and immobile until long after she started talking to us. This also explains why she has been such a stinker for the last 11 months. She had that tooth coming in! (Well, I guess it just explains the last day or so) The times, they are a changing!

Friday, April 03, 2009

3rd Anniversary

Last week Tom and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary. We spent the morning at the farmer's market, and then went to The Counter (this is where we also went for our 1st anniversary) for lunch. Harper enjoyed some sweet potato fries:
And then later last week we went shopping at the Grove where Harper tried on some hats:

And had her first taste of ice cream. After we took this video she ended up with hives on her face, but we're not sure what she was allergic to in the ice cream. Any ideas?

Untitled from Erica Jackman on Vimeo.
Since last week was actually Tom's spring break, we got to spend the whole week together. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend our anniversary.