I can't believe Harper is only 11 weeks old; it feels like she should be so much older!  Especially since she's starting to move and "talk" more.  She reaches for toys and can activate their sounds, she jib jabs when she's in good moods, she smiles when we smile, laughs when we laugh, and can mimic sticking her tongue, which is my personal fave.  I just love this happy littlle person she's becoming!

Still keeping busy at work, and am loving my second job at the cupcake shop.  Slowly learning new things, otherwise having a good time chatting with Amanda and helping customers...and purposely giving them wrong information, ha ha Braggs! 

I have never been a coffee drinker, I just don't like the taste...since going back to work I have found that my morning breakfast tea just doesn't do the trick, and am dragging around half asleep all day.  So someone suggested a Starbucks frappuccino, since it's not overly "coffee" tasting.  And now I'm hooked, it's like chocolate milk with a little bit of crack. And it's only 100 calories, so it's not ruining the diet I'm trying to stick to.  Also slowly trying to wean the Kants off of processed chicken patties and nuggets, and into veggie patties and nuggets.  So far I've been the guinea pig, and I gotta say, they aren't half bad.  Stick it on a bun with some pickles, and you can't tell the difference.  The texture looks about the same, since both are processed from other things. Erich will be the true test I guess, since he loves him some chicken patties.  Next step will be moving from french fries to sweet potato fries...Although, they're all fried, so I guess it shouldn't make a difference. 

For Christmas last year we received a home renovation "gift card" from my inlaws, and we've been slow in using it.  The sad thing is, we know we want to get a new sink with it, it's just the pregnancy and addition to our family has made it difficult to go look.  We went this weekend to some showrooms, and damn.  Sinks are pricey, especially when they are trying to sell you new countertops and drawer handles and cabinets...yikes.  I think we'll stick with Lowes for now, where they don't bug you to buy 2 grand worth of stuff.  Although, new countertops would be sweet, I hate ours.  I want granite baby! One thing at a time I guess.  We also need to work on baby proofing our upper level--we have a straight banister that  overlooks the living room, and the spindles are pretty far apart.  Our first idea was to just cover it up with plexiglass, but then on second thought, do I really want to be cleaning dog noses and kid noses and dirty hand prints for the next 5 years?  Probably not.  So, we're on the hunt for new spindles, which we will need to finish and stain and hopefully somewhat match the wood in our house.  Not really looking forward to that project!

Harper is doing really well at daycare, they think she's great and I hope the feeling is mutual.  They especially love her outfits, so I guess that's a compliament for me.  I love dressing her, she's like my little Barbie doll!   And she has more than enough clothing to never wear the same outfit twice for a while.  I did get her a cute winter suit, and some jeans at the consignment shop.  I love that store--Once Upon A Child--but they need to get real with some of their prices.  Just because it came from the Gap or Gymboree does not mean you can charge $13 for a used outfit, I don't care how adorable the dachshund on it is.
I also witnessed the worst reaction to a tantrum in public.  Two year old didn't want to try on some pants, but the mom kept pushing it.  Then he went crazy with screams and cries; the mother held him close and just kept telling him she loved him and he needed to get it out.  Seriously? Does he need to get it out in the middle of the aisle?  How about outside...in your car?  Or better yet, at home?!  Erich says I shouldn't judge, but I've dealt with tantrums with nieces and nephews and daycare kids, and not taking action only tells them they're going to get hugs if they do it.  If Harper ever did that, I'd leave the store and take her home.  I feel like when they're that age, getting to go to the store is a reward, and if you're going to throw a tantrum, you don't get that reward anymore. Ah, can't wait for that!!

My Sister and Nephew at the Zombie Walk
Sleepy Cole and Sleepy Harper
What Abbey does after I get up!
Cute big girl outfit!

Smiles for Dad!

My daddy dressed me!

Ethan finally got to feed her and found it very overrated!

Cupcakes make her smile!



Well, our first week of daycare and work went great!  Harper really seems to enjoy herself there, she eats and sleeps and plays well.  And I've been busy at work so it keeps me from dwelling on her all day.  We had her two month check up on Monday; she weighs 12 lbs 2.5 oz, and is 23 inches long, both in the 75th percentile.  Her head size, which escapes me, was in the 50th percentile.  She has great neck control, and everything else looks good.  She also took all 5 shots like a champ!  She cried some, but I think part of that was hungry cries...we agreed that we've heard her cry worse when her dinner was late!

We spent this past weekend in York for Great Grandpa Kant's 91st birthday.  We had fun swimming at the pool; all the boys end up trying to outdo themselves on the diving board, and then the little girls try to mimick their older cousins, uncles and fathers.  Harper hung out with Great Grandma in the shade, but I think she wanted in the water :)  Then we had cake--delicious cake, reminiscent of our wedding cake--because its the same stuff made by the same person, and we will get to have it at virtually every family gathering on the Kant side...score!

My 30th birthday is slowly approaching next month.  I've decided to celebrate in style...at the concert cove with Huey Lewis and the News!  Some friends from work were going, and it falls on my birthday, so I took a few days off and decided to go.  It'll be my first full night away from Harper, eek!  Then the following Tuesday Erich and I are going to Omaha to see Dave Matthews, and spend the night again at the boats, while Grandma Cindy does an overnight gig...that's another eek! We'll see how I do.

My friend Amanda has her own cupcake shop--the best one in town!  Last week she was featured in the Ground Zero--a supplement to the paper here in Lincoln which reviews movies, restaurants, etc.  It was a great review with ridiculous results; she was virtually sold out all weekend long!  Her shop had a line around the corner when she opened on Friday, and it sounds like the craziness didn't stop until she closed up on Sunday--she also sells at the Lincoln Farmers Market--sold out there too!  So, she's getting busy, and has asked for reinforcements--so I'm going to try my hand at helping out.  I'll be learning all her secrets, so then I can open my own shop and see "gourmet miniature cupcakes"...mwa ha ha!!!  I know you'll read this at some point Braggs! 

Enjoy some pictures from this weekend and earlier this month; I haven't had a ton of photo time with her since I've been back to work :(

in the crib Erich & his brother used, as well as the clown mobile...



Well, we've made it through half the week, and I am exhausted!  I forgot how much I hate getting up in the morning; if would be helpful if my baby alarm would go off when I want it to, instead of an hour before I need to, or just as I'm exiting the shower.  I had a slight meltdown Sunday night thinking of taking her to daycare and going back to work...I kept trying to think of ways to save money so I could stay home.  Erich has narrowed it down to winning the lottery, le sigh.

Daycare is going good; they're really nice and have a good teacher to infant ratio.  It helps that she's been in a good mood when I drop her off so far.  Yeah, I drop her off, I got the raw end of this deal!  It makes more sense for me to drop her off since it's on my way to work--kind of--and Erich gets off earlier than me so he picks her up.  I feel out of the loop getting the details of her day secondhand.  Today was my halfday, so I picked her up early and it was good seeing her there, totally content playing on the floor.  Apparently they just love her, she's got a great disposition, and is very advanced for her age.  Well, we knew she was perfect, now it's not just us advertising that.  :)

Work has been weird; I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, and trying to remember what the heck I was doing two months ago.  Plus I have people asking how it's going, do I miss Harper, etc...I'm getting busy already, so that should help keep my mind off not being with her during the day.  The first day was a long one!  I also can't believe how fast time goes by once we get home; I get home, snuggle and feed her, eat dinner, snuggle and feed her, maybe watch part of a tv show, go to bed, wake up to snuggle and feed...rinse and repeat.  Erich was nice enough to handle the middle of the night feedings Sunday and Monday, and then  I took on last night...it wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't a light sleeper--everything wakes me up, every noise, every movement  I hear from the monitor.  So, once she moves,  I'm up...it sucks, especially when I have to get up and be an active member of society.

So, since I had my short term disability extended with my surgery, I now have a plethora of vacation days, and not sure when I'll use them.  I can carry over 5 days into 2011, but that still leaves me with 12...I don't want to waste them on a lazy day at home, but we aren't planning any trips outside of the Dave Matthews concert next month--good music, good food, some gambling and drinking, good way to celebrate turning 30!

Here are some pics from her baptism a few weeks ago...

love this shot of the fam...

my niece Hailey and Harper...our "H" Girls!

Close up on her baptismal bracelet from Auntie Heather


It couldn't last forever...

Well, my final week of maternity leave is coming to a close...these 8 weeks went by too fast!  I don't think it helped matters that I spent at least a third of the time either in the hospital or recovering.  I wish that insurance companies would understand this, and view maternity leave as a time of bonding, instead of a time of healing--this is BS...I don't know if I will ever fully recover from the mental scars of my C-Section...almost dying kind of does that to a person.  I look at Harper and Erich sometimes and think how lucky I was to be sitting there watching them.  But, enough about that sappy stuff! 

Speaking of insurance companies, the place that handles our company's short term disability--who shall remain nameless--has the worse customer service I have experienced in a very long time.  My intital claim was quick and painless, as it was just maternity leave.  I would be given 6 weeks of paid time off, then it was up to me to use my own vacation time for anything additional.  This covered me until 7/20, at which time I was willing to use 10 more days of my own vacation time.  I should also mention that in order to activate the claim, I had to use 5 vacation days, then STD kicked in.  So, it worked out in my benefit that my gall bladder needed to be removed--since I hadn't returned to work yet when the condition began, it was considered in the same claim--yahoo!  So, I was excited to learn that I wouldn't need to use any additional personal time. 

Now, I had some follow up questions for my representative, who assured me I could call her anytime with concerns.  I wanted to know if, a. they had received the necessary ppwk from my surgeon, and b. how long my STD was being extended (so I could decide if I wanted to further extend my leave).  I began this quest shortly before the surgery was done...it has been almost two weeks  (tomorrow) since the surgery, and I finally was able to talk to the gal...and I'm am sure the only reason she finally took my call (instead of letting all my previous calls go to voicemail so she could ignore them, as well as the email a coworker sent her asking to call me from another call) is because I pulled the manager card.  Working in customer service has told me one thing, if you want action from someone who is on a recorded line, ask for their manager.  9 times out of 10, you will get some progress.  I was able to get my questions answered, as well as a follow up call later this evening.  I was glad to get this settled, and now I have like 17 days left to work with for the rest of the year, which never happens (I tend to squander my days off at the beginning of the year, and generally have none left to use at year end--let alone carry over or be conmpensated for).   Hopefully Harper stays healthy and I can have some extra days next year.  One thing I'll say for my employer, our PTO is excellent!

Tomorrow we're going to try and visit the daycare before the big day, so we can drop off some items and get the lay of the land...I say "try" because the gal hasn't returned my call yet...do you see a trend in my life??  I'd prefer to have things ready to go Monday so it can go smoothly, instead of getting last minute things figured out while I'm trying to hold it together and leave her there.  I still haven't decided if I can handle dropping her off, or if Erich will get that lovely task.

We have instant stream on our wii, and I have become addicted to the show Weeds...I love it!  In two days I've made it through three seasons; Erich asks if I do anything else during the day.  Luckily Harper enjoys the show as well...I guess we're both Mary Louise Parker fans!  I never really knew what the show was about (aside from the obvious) and I think it's pretty funny and addictive.  A suburban drug dealer who gets blackmailed pretty much everytime she turns around--that plotline is getting kind of old. It also stars Kevin Nealon, who I never really found very funny, but I think he's great on this show...a pothead city official CPA who speaks his mind and hates chain restaurants :)  Good show, check it out.  Yet another show I'd need to get cable for!  (The other being True Blood, which I buy the dvd before seeing the season because I just assume I will enjoy it). 

I had a lot of tv watching goals while I was on maternity leave--this instant streamer left me with a lot of options. This has been the first week I've been able to sit and watch something other than bits and pieces of Greys Anatomy during the day.  My boss had said I'd be getting lots of my TV watching done during the nighttime feedings, but I disagree.  I prefer to feed Harper in her room, in semi darkness, with a lullaby cd.  It ensures she'll easily go back to sleep.  It sounds mean when I say it, but at night I'm like, "Don't talk to her! Shh!".  Not that she wants to hear anything we have to say at that point, she just wants her food! 

Speaking of, I hear her calling my name, so I shall leave you with this and some photos!
asleep during our first zoo trip

our first pair of pants!

I think she looks like a dolly here, still no smiles!

abbey loves bumbo time! harper isn't too sure about it

it definitely makes her sleepy!