One minute she is adorable and innocent:
…and 2 minutes later she does this:
Today for lunch Harper devoured vegetarian sushi rolls. I can't explain what a shock this was to me since for the past month she has eaten nothing but cheerios, twisty noodles, and yogurt. When she whined and reached for my sushi I assumed it would end up on the floor, but it turns out that she loves it! What was even more shocking is that she peeled the seaweed wrapper off and ate it separately – and I thought she hated all things green! I guess we successfully passed on our love for all things Asian. Here are some photos just in case you don't believe me.
This year we hosted our inaugural family Thanksgiving. It was actually the first time we've ever hosted any kind of holiday meal, so we felt the full combination of nerves/ excitement/overwhelmed-ness! Despite our visions of disaster, everything went off without a hitch, and the food was pretty darn good (in my humble opinion). The holiday started off with a poultry-free pre-Thanksgiving dinner at Uncle Ron and Uncle Jhoel's house in Alexandria. While Harper didn't really appreciate Jhoel's authentic Filipino food, she absolutely loved his key lime pie and was eating it off of his fork! She ended the evening with a naked cavort through their living room. I'm sure she will appreciate these photos when she is in high school.
Thanksgiving day started early, with a 6:15 wake-up call from a very hyper 10 month old. Harper had lots of family to entertain her while I cooked a very southern Thanksgiving meal – I think she actually spent most of the day watching Daddy and Uncle Jared play Guitar Hero 3! Ron and Jhoel showed up mid-afternoon with their turkey fryer and we had a turkey cook-off on the patio. I have to say I am a huge fan of anything that reduces the turkey cooking time to 40 minutes or less, but both turkeys were delicious. Harper particularly enjoyed the yams and spent most of the meal playing "I'm so big!" with the table.
Thanksgiving Day ended with a very long bath – it took a while to get all of those yams out of her hair!
Portman's grandparents "Gaga" and "Pop-pop" came by to visit today on their way to NC for the holidays. The last time they saw Harper she couldn't even crawl! She showed off all of her skills and spent a good part of the afternoon tapping Pop-pop on the head with a sand rake. She loved Gaga's cookies, as you can tell by her face!
Harper loves to make trumpet noises, and recently her favorite place to do it is in the bathtub. Last night's bath was just one big trumpet concert!
This past week Portman attended a conference at Microsoft in Seattle, so Harper and I trekked down to beautiful Black Mountain, NC to visit my grandma (and Harper's GREAT grandma!) Abie. Lucky for us Harper's "Lala" came along and kept her company in the back seat for most of the ride. Although she didn't sleep much, Harper was so good on the long car ride and spent most of her time tossing Cheerios all over the back seat.
Abie was so excited to have us visit and we met lots of her friends at Highland Farms, the community where she has lived for the past 10 years or so. I particularly enjoyed introducing Harper to two of Abie's friends from Africa – I think it is so neat that not only is Abie still in touch with her childhood missionary friends, but they actually live together!
We also took a trip down memory lane and visited Montreat, where we spent several summers growing up. Montreat is a really special place for our family because not only did Luke and I (and our cousins) spend summers there, but my mom AND Abie, when she was a teenager, spent many summers there when they were on furlough from Africa. Montreat was purchased by the Presbyterian church in the early 1900's and hosted missionary conferences every summer. Families would fly in from all over the world to attend the conference, and my mom and Abie were telling me stories of all the trouble they used to get into! What was particularly shocking for me was seeing how smallI it looks now – the lake that used to seem so huge to me is actually pretty tiny! I was happy to see that the swans still live there, so we took lots of pictures of Harper watching a very aggressive swan. He kept trying to bite us! Our last stop at Montreat was the playground where Luke split his chin open and had to get stitches. Honestly that is one of our most memorable moments from Montreat! Harper played on the swings, not the fireman's pole, and ate a soy cracker while swinging.
We also visited the Folk Art Center and Biltmore Village in Asheville. The highlight of that trip for Harper was getting to push chairs around the lobby of the craft center. She wanted nothing to do with local artisans – an old chair on a concrete floor was all she needed:
We celebrated Lala's birthday at the Red Rocker Inn, which we apparently ate at as kids, but I don't remember. The meal was a huge family-style southern spread, and Harper ate enough biscuits to satisfy her for the next couple of years! It was a long week with lots of driving, but we had a great time. Can't wait to visit you again, Abie!
Harper turned 10 months old today and once again her dad insisted on singing Happy Birthday to her. This time we mixed it up and threw in "you look like a monkey and you smell like one too." We are such loving parents! In honor of her big move into double digits, we thought that we would provide a list of her accomplishments up to this point:
This is Harper walking using her toy walker, but if you look closely at the end she lets go and walks on her own over to her toy cubbies. She often takes little steps but refuses to walk for long. I guess it's still easier and faster to crawl!
Portman and I didn't want to be those creepy parents who walk their infant around the neighborhood trick-or-treating when she clearly can't eat candy, so we decided to spend Harper's first Halloween in Charlottesville. Every year UVA hosts trick-or-treating on The Lawn and this year over 2,000 kids showed up! Harper's friend baby Katelyn came with us and it was the perfect place for babies. People were coming up to us all afternoon and asking if we were in a playgroup – how I wish we lived in Charlottesville! We lived up to the first-time-parents title and took almost 200 photos; here are some highlights:
Harper and Katelyn eating leaves, even though we explained that candy is better.
View of The Lawn from the Rotunda.
Rotunda, dinosaur tail.
Dad, Harper and Uncle Jonathan.