Wednesday, August 3, 2016

19 Weeks - Here We Go Again

Yep, pregnant again.  And this is probably the last time, considering it's our last frozen embryo.  I've been such a slacker and haven't blogged in over a year.  I'm disappointed in myself because I really like being able to look back at these memories.  I'm hoping to get better about this and start blogging more.  I want to be able to look back and remember all the fun (and sometimes not so fun) times we had.

So, I know that you're all ready for some pregnancy details.  We found a fertility clinic down here and met with the doctor.  All the testing leading up to the transfer went well, with no issues.  Even shipping the embryo down here went off without a hitch.  Transfer day was April 11th and went well.
Isn't that such an amazing sight??  It just blows my mind that babies start out like that.  It's such a miracle when you can see their beginnings.

The pregnancy has gone well, for the most part.  I kept waiting and waiting for morning sickness to hit, but it seemed like I might be getting lucky.  Until, we had a very large scare.

In mid-May, Drew, the kids, and I traveled back to Illinois for a few days.  Then, I left for a girls' trip to Florida for a few days.  I got on the flight to go from Florida to Illinois and didn't have any problems.  Drew and the kids met me at the airport in Chicago, and then we got on a flight to travel back to Houston.  The flight was full, and it was a miracle we made it on.  I sat with the kids in a row, and Drew sat up in the cockpit.  When we landed, I stood up and my pants felt wet.  It thought maybe I had sat in some water that Annelise spilled or something.  I went to the bathroom and discovered that it wasn't water, but blood, and a lot.  Enough that I had soaked through my pants.  Cue panic!

I told Drew what was going on once he had made his way back to us.  We gathered all of our stuff, and made our way down to the baggage claim.  Once down there, I changed my clothes, and called the RE's office.  They wanted me to come in right away.  My heart was in my stomach the whole drive to the doctor's office because I just knew that I had lost the baby.  You don't have that much blood and everything is just fine.

Imagine my relief when we got to the doctor's office and saw a healthy heartbeat on the ultrasound screen!  The doctor couldn't see any reason for the bleeding and said that sometimes stuff like that just happens.  For the record, I'd much prefer for stuff like that to NOT happen again!!

Since then, it's been fairly uneventful.  Morning sickness did set in, but nothing major that some good meds won't help.  I'm (obviously) getting bigger.  I've had some bad round ligament pain that is the worst at night when I'm sleeping and it makes it painful to roll over.

I felt movement for the first time in my 13th week.  I felt some outside kicks during my 17th week, and Drew was even home to feel them too!

Next week is the anatomy scan.  This time, we've decided not to find out the sex.  I'm a little more excited about this than Drew is.  I said after we had Harrison, that if we get blessed with another baby, that I wanted to wait to find out.  I don't think Drew actually thought I meant it.  I saved everything from both kids, so I have clothes and blankets.  I'm sure I'll have to get a few things since this baby will be born in December and all the boy stuff I have is summer clothes.

I also want to try for a VBAC.  I have picked a doctor who supports VBAC and she determined that I would be a good candidate for it.  I have my fingers crossed, but I know that things don't always go as planned and I'm okay with that also.

I've actually been very good about doing weekly pictures.  My weeks change on Wednesday, and I have a book study group that I meet with on Wednesday mornings.  So, I usually look presentable to take a picture.  This baby might have the most pictures out of all three!  And on the correct day too!

Now, let's just see if I can blog (a lot) more than I have!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Greetings from Texas!

Well, we did it!  We're officially Texans!

Last week, we packed up our home, loaded everything into a truck, and moved our lives to Houston.  So surreal!

On Tuesday morning, Drew picked up the truck and we spent the rest of the day packing up the house and loading it into the truck.  We had to leave some things behind, like our bedroom furniture, the love seat, some toys, and other random miscellaneous stuff because it just wouldn't all fit into the truck.  I wasn't too sad because they were all things that could either be replaced, or needed to be replaced soon.

Very early Wednesday morning, Drew's mom, the kids, and I drove to the airport and flew down to Houston.  Drew, his dad, and my brother drove the truck and our van down, with the animals inside.  Drew picked up the keys on Monday, and was able to bring his stuff from his apartment over to the house.  So, we had air mattresses to sleep on and a few other things here.  The guys showed up here at about 3:30 AM Thursday morning.  Everyone quickly went to sleep!

A few hours later, the kids were up, cable and internet people started arriving, and Daughtry and Eric were landing.  The guys started unloading the truck around noon or so and had it all unpacked in record time.  I was shocked at how quickly they knocked it out.  Honestly, I think the heat had everything to do with it!  And I don't blame them one bit.  I didn't want to be out in it either.

Speaking of that, the heat here is insane!  My skin feels like it's going to melt off!  And it's hot from the time we get up in the morning.  It never seems to cool off.  It's going to take a little getting used to.

Everyone was gone by Sunday afternoon, and we've just been trying to settle in since.  We have lots of boxes to unpack, and furniture to arrange, but I'm so glad that the hard part of the move is over.

Here's the outside of the house:
I'll take more pictures of the inside as we get things unpacked and arranged.

I'm so excited to call Texas home now.  This is going to be an exciting new adventure.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Twelve Months - Harrison

Dear Harrison,

I simply cannot believe that today we are celebrating your first birthday!  Where did this year go?  It flew by for me.  I just keep thinking back to a year ago, and the anticipation that I felt waiting to meet you, and knowing how much all of our lives would changed once you came into this world.  I knew that your sister was about to get a great gift by having a younger sibling.  I knew that I would love you as much as I loved her.  I never once doubted that my heart could love enough for both of you.

This month you mastered crawling and pulling up and walking while pushing things.  You speed around the house now.  You took two, very hesitant, unassisted steps towards me one day.  That's it.  All other walking is cruising along furniture, or pushing objects.  You doubt your ability to do it.  I know that you'll get it.  It's cute to watch you contemplate it.

One day, you picked up Annelise's water cup, tilted it up to your mouth, and drank right out of it.  I never taught you or showed you how, but you knew exactly what to do.  Probably from watching Annelise.  You like to drink water, and I give you some at meal times and in between meals.
Eating is still hit and miss.  Some days you seem to love everything and gobble it up faster than I can feed you, and some days you seems irritated by food and only eat the bare minimum.  You don't like plain fruit at all.  What's the deal with that?  I still give you a pouch or two a day to make sure that you're getting some fruits and veggies.  Crackers are a big hit.  Any kind of cracker is usually devoured pretty quickly.

You sprouted a couple more teeth this month, both of your upper lateral incisors.  These teeth were a little harder for you to handle than the first few.  You were definitely whiny and cranky, and ran a low fever.

Sleep is still amazing!  I thank God so much that you are such a good sleeper.  Nothing has really changed routine wise from last month.

We do have some work to do in the speech department.  You babble and screech a lot, but don't really have any words.  Occasionally you'll say "mama", but it's hard to tell if you associate it with me, and occasionally you'll say "dada", but again, I don't think you necessarily associate it with Daddy.  That's it for words.  You say the "ba", "fa", and "ya" sound sometimes.  You don't even sign, even though I consistently sign "milk", "more", "eat", "please", and "water".  You understand what I'm saying, and I can understand that you would like something by your body language.  When I ask you if you want something, you straighten your legs and wiggle your whole body.  It's pretty adorable.
You and Annelise are an absolute riot!  You both love each other fiercely!  She loves to come get you in the morning once you've woken up, and you always have a huge grin for her.  If Annelise has gotten in trouble and is sitting in time out, you just can't resist crawling over there and seeing what she's doing.  You both are going to give me a run for my money once you're able to keep up with her.  I love watching your relationship grow and change.  I hope that you always remain close.

You weigh 21 pounds 8 ounces and are 28 1/2 inches tall.  You are the exact same height that Annelise was at one year!  You are still in 18 month clothes and size 4 diapers.  Both have plenty of growing room.

My boy, I just simple can't believe that you are now a year old.  You aren't my little baby anymore, even though I'll still act like you are sometimes.  I have so enjoyed watching you grow and learn and change this past year.  I can't wait to see what the next year holds.  If I've learned anything from your older sister, it's that the second year flies by much faster than the first.  Don't grow up too fast, ok?

Love you forever,

Friday, June 12, 2015

We Do Exist, Sorta

Believe it or not, but we actually do stuff, and have things going on besides the monthly letters that I write for Harrison!  I know it doesn't seem like it since it's been pretty darn quiet around these parts.  Drew is working in Houston at his new job.  He just finished up his 6 month probation, and his leads are all very happy with him and his work.  So, they'll be keeping him around.

Of course, that means that we're moving to the Houston area.  I'm excited and terrified and, if I'm being honest, a lot of other emotions.  I'm excited for this new chapter, but I'm terrified to move to a brand new place where I don't know anybody.  It's definitely intimidating.

Our house has been on the market for quite a few months now, and we've had no offers.  Drew and I have decided that it's time to look for renters for it.  We don't really want to rent it, but I don't want to live apart from my husband anymore.  I want my family back together.

On that note, the past six months have been challenging to say the least.  I'm a "single" married mom to two young children, a threenager and a baby.  Every day is a marathon to get through.  Some days are slightly easier than others.  But, it's still been very hard.  I do enjoy being a stay at home mom, but I would enjoy a little break from the kids too.  It's hard to recharge when I don't get any alone time.  I keep telling Drew that I need a vacation.  I want to take a little girls trip when Harrison is weaned.  (I honestly see that happening sooner rather than later.  I'm doubtful that he'll nurse as long as Annelise.)

So, I'll try to get a little better about blogging about our life here.  I do so enjoy blogging and being able to look back and remember the moments.  Life has just been absolutely insane lately, and I don't really see it slowing down.

And since every post is better with a picture, here's some good old sibling love for you!
(No babies were harmed in the making of this photo.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Eleven Months - Harrison

Dear Harrison,

Buddy, we are just one short month away from your first birthday!  Can you believe it?  I certainly can't!  This month has definitely been the most fun with you and I think that you've been the happiest you've ever been.

You finally figured out how to crawl!  It was very slow at first, and you wouldn't go far, but every day you got better and went further and further.  I loved to watch you cautiously try to figure it out and put your hands in front of each other and move your legs forward.  It took so much concentration.  You started crawling at the beginning of the month, and by the end, you're flying around the house!  You can get where you want to go quickly.  You're a pro at pulling up now too.  You use the walker toys and Annelise's shopping cart to help you walk around the house.  You also push around the activity table, Maya's food bowl stand, laundry baskets, and anything else you can get to move.
You have started to be a little troublemaker!  You know the things that you are not supposed to do, like get into Maya's bowls, but you crawl over to them every time you're in the kitchen.  I'll look at you and say, "Harrison, no sir" and you'll stop crawling, sit yourself up, look at me, and grin.  Then, you take off crawling towards the bowls again.  You naughty little boy!  It makes me giggle a little bit.  You like to get into things more than your sister did.  She never messed with cords or outlets.  You, on the other hand, are obsessed with them.

You tried lots of new foods this month, and you seemed to love everything.  Cheese, oatmeal, animal crackers, mostacolli, "baby cheetos", goldfish, it was all a hit.  I usually give you yogurt and Cheerios for breakfast, and then nurse you afterwards.  Dinner is a pouch, some cheese, and some crackers.  I'm working on coming up with some options for fruits and veggies for you to eat on your own.  You don't seem to be a fan of fruits on their own.  You might be better with them now since you're eating better.

Sleep is still going very well.  Naps are hit and miss.  Some days are good, some days are bad.  Night sleep is awesome!  I give you dinner around 5 PM, then I get you ready for bed around 6 PM.  You are usually sleeping between 6:30-7:00.  You wake up in the morning between 6:30-7:00 AM usually.  Definitely awesome!!  I'm so thankful that you've become such a good sleeper, especially since I'm here by myself most of the time.
Words are pretty non-existent.  Occasionally you will say "mom" or "mama".  That's about it.  You've starting saying "da" a little more frequently, but you don't associate it with Dad.  You don't talk a lot at all.  You screech and squeal and whine, but that's about it.  You have your paci in your mouth often, so I'm sure that attributes to the lack of words.

You are wearing 18 month clothes, but they are still a little big.  You've definitely slowed down your growth the past months.  You are still in a size 4 diaper.  I bought you a pair of sandals that are a size 4.

I just can't believe that we have one more short month until we are celebrating your birthday.  You are so much fun and I love to watch you grow and change and learn.  I love you more than words can say!

Love forever,

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ten Months - Harrison

Dear Harrison,

I'm not sure why, but turning double digit months always makes me a little sad.  I think it's because I know that your first birthday is right around the corner.  I know that I will blink and it will be here, and you'll no longer be my "baby".  I've started thinking about your birthday party and putting ideas together.  I'm very excited for it!

You sprouted three more teeth, and now have four total, the two middle on the top and the two middle on the bottom.  I'm so used to seeing your gummy smile that it still catches me by surprise to see your teeth.  You have bit me a few times while nursing.  I'm not a fan!  I'll tell you to stop biting and if you do it again, I'll make you stop nursing.  Usually by that point you're done eating and just playing around anyways.  I'm going to have to get some crib rail guards for your bed.  I can see little beaver teeth marks on the side where you stand.
You are starting to eat pretty well.  I'm still taking it slow with you, but I've introduced a few new things.  You have had some scrambled eggs and bread now.  Eggs you weren't so sure about, but you loved the bread.  I think it helps that Dad feeds you.  You always seem to eat better with him.  You still love yogurt, applesauce, and the pouches.

Mobility is coming soon!  You pulled yourself to standing in your crib the other day.  I lowered the mattress down as soon as you woke up from your nap.  Now, you can pull up on most things that you are close to.  You got onto your knees and then sat back down one day.  I know that you are going to start crawling very soon!  I can see you thinking about it and trying to figure it out.  It will click very soon, I'm sure.

All of a sudden, you are sleeping much better!  Nighttime is going well and even naps are pretty consistent.  I have noticed that you don't like to go to sleep unless you get some milk first.  You definitely know the routine to things.  You usually wake up around 6ish, but some days you will sleep a little later.  Some days you take two naps, and some days just one.  I still start getting you ready for bed around 6-6:15.  It works well, even though sometimes it would be nice to not have to have you down so early.

You finally clapped the right way, and you love clapping now.  You will constantly clap.  It makes me laugh because I think that's how you try to tell me "yes" to something.  If I ask you if you want milk, even though I sign "milk", you will still clap your hands.  I sign "more" to you too, and I think that you'll pick that one up quickly.
It's starting to be a challenge to change you because all you want to do is sit and stand up.  You have no time for that laying down business.  I try to distract you by singing, giving you toys, or playing with you.  But, I definitely have to make changing you a quick job.  I can get you dressed and everything else with you sitting or standing, but a diaper needs to be done laying down.  I usually take your pictures without Daddy because he's gone.  This month was HARD!  All you wanted to do was stand up and move.  You were definitely interested in my camera.

I am beginning to transition you to 18 month clothes.  They are still a little big.  You are still in a size 4 diaper.

Buddy, I love you so much!  You are starting to interact and move and be so much fun.  I just can't believe how quickly ten months have flown by.  You make my heart happy!

Love you forever,

Friday, April 3, 2015

Nine Months - Harrison

Dear Harrison,

My sweet boy, it's hard to believe that you are only three short months away from celebrating your first birthday!  How can you be so close already?  Weren't you just born three days ago??

You have finally decided that I'm not trying to kill you with food.  You absolutely love yogurt.  Annelise is not a fan of sharing her yogurt with you.  I'm going to have to buy a ton more so that you both can each get your own.  You also like the Earth's Best pouches a lot too.  However, anything solid, and you still think I'm trying to kill you.  You make the worst faces and spit it out.  If you do happen to like something, you gag on it pretty badly, and often make yourself throw up from it.  It's hard for me to watch.  I gave you some ice cream at Annelise's birthday party, and of course you loved that.  I'm glad that we're starting to make a little progress here.
You can sit yourself up from a lying position now.  You mainly do it in your crib when you are supposed to be sleeping.  You haven't really figured out how to lay back down yet, so you just slump over and fall asleep.  It's kind of adorable!

You show no interest in crawling.  However, you have started to try and pull up on things.  You don't actually make it up, but you try so hard.   I think it's just a matter of you building your strength up some and you'll pull up.  It's so adorable to watch you try and become mobile.  I just can't wait until you start crawling.  You may not crawl, but I have a feeling that you'll be doing some sort of moving soon.  I think that you'll be much happier when you can get around yourself.  You always want to be in on the action.  Your sister is going to love it too, until you start getting into her stuff!

Sleep is still so-so.  You've started sleeping in a little later in the mornings.  I've also started putting you to bed just a tiny bit earlier.  I start getting you ready sometime between 6:15-6:30 PM.  You still get a bottle at bed, and you're usually in bed by 7 PM.  It helps to have you down by then.

You got some teeth!  Your first tooth poked through a few days ago.  It's the upper middle tooth on the right, and the left one is not too far behind.  I joked that you got some bunny teeth in time for Easter.  You like to bite on the clasp for your pacifier now that your teeth have popped through.  I could definitely tell that you were in some pain with them.  You didn't like me to touch your gums.  Some tylenol helped.
I think that you might be trying to clap.  You bring your hands together and then sort of shake them up and down.  I have started signing to you a little bit.  You just look at me like I'm nuts.  But, if I say "milk", I can see your eyes light up.  You definitely know what that is.

You have started to be more verbal.  You've had "mama" for quite some time, but now you've thrown in some "ba", "da", and "ya" with it too.  And some screeches!  I love to hear you talk and babble.

You weigh 20 pounds 11 ounces (52nd %ile) and are 28 1/4 inches (49th %ile) tall.  You are still in 12 month clothing and are wearing a size 4 diaper.

As you grow older, I grow to love you more and more.  I just can't believe that you've been here for nine months already and that I am going to start planning your first birthday party.  Slow down my boy!

Love forever,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Three Years - Annelise

Dear Annelise,

Another year has flown by and you are another year older.  When I look back at pictures of you from last year, it's hard to remember you like that.  You seem so little, yet, at the time, you seemed so big!  I can't believe how much you've changed physically since then.  It's so fun to compare pictures from a year ago.

It's so fun to actually talk to you now.  You are almost to the point where we can have conversations.  You still have a little bit of work to do, but your speech has dramatically improved.  In fact, I would say that in the past two months, you've had a huge increase in your speech.  You form words better, and speak them better than you used to.  There are still some words that you pronounce incorrectly.  Yogurt is the biggest one.  You say "weegurt" and I absolutely love it!  I took a video of you a few weeks ago pronouncing some words that I thought were cute.  I should take a video of you saying your name and a few other things, just to have for memory.  I know that all too quickly, you will change, your little voice will change, and I won't be able to remember it.

We have been working very hard on asking politely for things, instead of demanding or whining.  Some days go very well, and some days don't.  I usually make you stop and ask again nicely if you fail to do it properly the first time.  I don't let you have things unless you ask nicely.  For the most part, we have a pretty good understanding of that.  Sometimes you really want something that I won't let you have, and that doesn't make you very happy.  I know that you're still trying to figure out all your big emotions.  Some days my patience is better than others.  Same goes for you.  We will still continue to work on it.
You are very polite when we go out in public.  (Most of the time.)  You do a fantastic job of saying "thank you" when you are given something, someone holds the door for you, or anytime the situation warrants it.  That makes my mom heart proud!  I have worked very hard on teaching you manners, and you have done a fantastic job of displaying nice manners.  People will frequently compliment me on how polite you are.  I want you to know that we notice and we appreciate it.  I often tell you thank you for being so polite.  You will tell me thank you back, and then I explain that you should respond with "You're welcome".  You don't fully understand that yet, but we're working on it.

You became a big sister this year.  From the first moment you met your brother, you loved him!  You always want to hold him, feed him, rock him, touch him, pick him up, anything to be around him.  You aren't always supposed to do those things, but you want to anyways!  I have loved seeing you and your brother together.  He loves watching you.  He is going to look up for so many things, and, as his big sister, it's your job to teach him things that you know.  I think that you are going to enjoy teaching him things.  I think that you'll love playing with him even more when he becomes mobile.  I love how fiercely you love him.  I pray that you always love him and have a close relationship.

Things haven't changed too much in the sleep department.  You still go to bed between 8:30-9:00 PM and wake up anywhere from 6:30-7:30 AM.  Most days, you still take an afternoon nap lasting anywhere from 2-4 hours.  On days that you skip a nap, watch out!  You are definitely cranky.  However, if you are entertained and stimulated enough, you can be ok skipping a nap.  I don't like to make a habit of it, but sometimes we have stuff to do, so a nap doesn't happen.

Daddy and I gave it a good effort to try and get you potty trained, but you weren't really on board with it yet.  There were times when you did a great job, and times when you were too busy doing something else and had an accident.  After a few accidents in a row, I threw the towel in and decided to give you a little more time.  You understand the concept, you will go on the potty, you just have a hard time stopping what you're doing to go when you need to before it's too late.  I'm hoping that you'll be ready for it soon.  I feel like, with everything else that has been a transition, you need to decide you're ready and then you do a great job at it.  I know that I'm ready for you to be done with diapers!  I might give it just a couple more weeks and then give it another push.
We've had a taste of what other parents call "threenager".  Let me tell you, it's not very enjoyable.  The talking back is at an all time high!  You point your finger at me and say, "You stop it".  I am not a fan!  I approach it the same way that I do when you ask for something impolitely.  I tell you that you need to talk sweetly to me and once you start talking sweetly we can have a conversation.  You don't always change your attitude right away.  Sometimes it takes a time out for you to relax a minute.  I've found that putting you in your room seems to do a fairly good job.  You take a few minutes to calm down, and then come out and apologize.  As fun as you can be at this age, this age is also very hard for me.  I admit that I'm not a good toddler parent.  It's a lot of work for me to keep my patience with you, especially when you're talking back and yelling at me.  We're both working on it, and some days are better than others.

Daddy and I put you in a gymnastics class, which you absolutely loved.  We only took one session, but you still ask for it sometimes.  I wasn't that crazy about the class.  I like Kindermusik better.  I just signed you up for another Kindermusik class and you're excited to go again.

A big adjustment that we have had to make this year is that Daddy got a new job and is working in Houston right now.  He travels back home on his days off.  You miss him a lot and I can tell that it's hard on you with him being gone.  You always ask how many days until he comes back home.  When he is home, you act out horribly.  You are a completely different child when he's home, and it's not good!  I know that it's because you miss, and because you want attention, and because he lets you get away with stuff that I don't.  It's stressful for all of us.

We've gone to Houston to visit twice and you love it.  You are in the best mood when you know that you are going to get to fly on an airplane.  I love that you are such a good little traveler.  You never act up, you listen very well, and you have a great time!  I look forward to taking more trips with you in the future.  I hope that we can take a lot of mother/daughter trips.  I feel like you are going to love traveling, just like me.  You don't like to nap when we travel and just want to go, go go.

You weigh 35 1/2 pounds (88th %ile) and are 38 1/2 inches (81st %ile) tall.  You are wearing 4T clothing, and I have bought a mixture of 5T and 4 for summer stuff.  You wear a size 6 diaper, and a size 8 shoe.

My girl, I just can't believe that three years have flown by since you were born.  Sometimes it feels like just yesterday.  I can still remember the anticipation waiting for you to arrive.  I love spending days with you and watching you grow and learn.  I am so blessed to be your mom!

Love forever,

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Eight Months - Harrison

Dear Harrison,

Another month has flown by and you just keep growing and changing right before my eyes.  One of the most exciting new developments, at least for me anyways, is that you said "mama".  At first I didn't know if you associated it with me, but you definitely do.  You will say "mama" and then when I look at you, you get a huge grin on your face.  Most of the time you only say it while you're whining, but you have said it a few times when you're not whining.  You have also made the "ba" sound.

You have been sleeping on your belly and you seem to prefer that the most.  At first, you rolled onto your side and slept like that, but then when you rolled onto your belly, you would wake up and freak out.  Now, you almost immediately roll onto your belly and stay there all night.  Sleep is going fairly well, with typically only one wake up before you're up for the day.  You still get a bottle before bed.  Recently, you haven't been falling asleep while you eat.  However, once you're finished eating, I give you a kiss and put you in your bed and you fall asleep.  I'm proud of you!  I've even done that during some nap times.  You don't fall asleep nursing, so I just put you in bed.  Most of the times for naps you fuss or cry some, but you go to sleep quickly.  I think that you just don't like being alone.  Well actually, I know that you don't like being alone.  But, you fidget and wiggle when I rock you, so I just put you in your bed.
Changing your diaper is starting to get interesting.  If you're on your changing table, you twist yourself around and try to reach whatever you can behind you.  I keep a few things on your table which help hold your attention for the few minutes that it takes to change you.

You have no desire to crawl or become mobile at all!  If I put you on your belly, you tolerate it for a few minutes, but don't try to move at all.  You never even really try to roll around.  You'll figure it out.  I know that once it clicks, you will love being mobile.  I have a feeling that you are going to be into everything!

You still aren't crazy about food.  I try to give you tastes of things, but you just aren't interested.  However, we all went to lunch at Olive Garden one day and I let you have a taste of my chicken and gnocchi soup.  Oh boy!  You absolutely loved that!  I couldn't spoon it into your mouth fast enough.  Same with crawling, I know that once you are ready, you will love food.  I mean, you are your father's child after all!
I am so anxious to see what this next month holds for you.  I know that the next few months will be so full of exciting changes.  I'm sure that you'll start teething, and becoming mobile.  Things are about to get so fun.  I know that your sister is going to be thrilled when you start moving around.  She's so anxious for you to keep up with her!  Her thoughts might change a little bit when you start getting into her stuff though.  She'll still love you fiercely.  We all do, buddy.  We all love you fiercely!

Love you forever,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pirates and Princess

I was talking to Drew this morning and I told him that I really wanted to do something fun today.  The kids, particularly Annelise, have some cabin fever and need something exciting to do.  I remembered that today is the Disney Jr Pirates and Princess show at the BMO Harris Bank center.  I looked up tickets and ended up buying some.  I spent way more than what I wanted to for a fun afternoon, but, now that it's all said and done, I would spend it again in a heartbeat.

Annelise had the best time!!  As soon as I purchased the tickets, I told her that we were going to go on a date.  She asked if Harrison was going to come and I told her that it was just going to be a date for her and I.  Drew's parents came over to watch Harrison for a couple hours.  She was beyond excited!

We parked in the parking garage, which freaked her out a little bit, but after I explained what it was, she was ok with it.  We walked inside and I started looking for something fun to get her.  We landed on a snow cone in a special cup.  She loved it!  I, however, was not stoked about the $12 price tag!!!!  But, she was happy, so I digress.

We found our seats and sat down to wait for the show to start.  Ten minutes to show time and Doc McStuffins came out to do a little skit.  It was pretty cute.

The show started with Mickey and Minnie coming out and talking to everyone.  Then, Princess Sofia started.  The show was like watching a live episode.  I didn't really know what to expect going into the show, but I really like.  They had the actual character's voices playing on a track and then the actors just lip-synced along to it.  I thought that was neat.  The "episode" was cute and had to do with Sofia needing to find a gift for the friendship festival.  Annelise sat and watched quite intently the whole time.

When Sofia was done, she immediately asked for more.  I explained to her that it was a short intermission, and that Jake would be coming next.

Once Jake started, she sat and watched that so well also.  I couldn't believe how much she was actually enjoying it!  She was a little disappointed when it was over and we had to leave.  I promised her that we would go on another date again.  I'm excited that she's getting old enough to enjoy fun outings like this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Clean Chompers

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I had a small hole in one of my teeth.  I called the dentist to get it looked at and had to wait almost a week before I could get in.  It was a cavity, of course, and it turned out that I had another rather large cavity next to it.

Here would be a good time to say that I hate my teeth.  I always have cavities, despite twice daily brushing and the occasional flossing.  I try to take good care of my teeth, but my teeth just don't care.  It's rather annoying.  And getting cavities filled is not a favorite pastime of mine.

So, the dentist filled the original tooth, and put a temporary filling in the other one.  She said that we would just monitor whether it gave me pain over the next couple of weeks to determine whether to put in a permanent filling or do a root canal.  Before this point, I didn't have any pain associated with that tooth.  After the drilling and temporary filling, there is some pain at times.  More annoyance!

Once I finished with the fillings, I made appointments for Drew, Annelise, and I to get cleanings.  Today was that day.  It was exciting because today was Annelise's first trip to the dentist.  I spent a lot of time talking it up and making it sound very exciting so that she wouldn't be scared.  She was absolutely stoked to go.

I went back for my cleaning first and took her back with me so that she could watch.  She sat right next to me and watched very closely.  Once I got done, I took her over for her turn and Drew went for his.

I asked her beforehand if she wanted to sit on my lap or by herself and she pushed me away and said she wanted to sit by herself.  She climbed up in the chair and sat so patiently.  The hygienist's name was Ann and she did such a fantastic job of speaking so calmly and explaining everything to Annelise.  She showed her all of the tools and what they did before she used them on her mouth.  Annelise just sat and watched and did as she was told.  I was amazed at how well she handled it all.  She chose birthday cake for her flavor for toothpaste and seemed to like it.
I did learn a few things during her cleaning.  Her back molars have very deep ridges, which I sort of knew because they are a bitch to brush clean.  Ann also said that the space between her teeth is a very good thing.  That means less junk can get stuck between them and cause decay.  She also told me that for every month past the 6 month average that babies get teeth, can equate to about 3-6 months when comes time for the teeth to fall out.  Annelise was 9 months old before she got her first tooth, so she might be closer to 7 before she loses her first tooth.  This is a good thing because that means there is less time for decay to set into those adult teeth.  That also means that she has a greater chance of being old enough to be a better brusher to help ward off decay.  Interesting!

Once Annelise's cleaning was done, she got a goody bag filled with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a timer.  She loved getting her own little bag.
After the cleaning, we went upstairs to get checked out by the dentist.  I have another two cavities to get filled.  (@$&^#^&^$^%&$#@!!!!)  Annelise got a good report.  We need to watch those back molars carefully because it will be easy to get cavities given how deep they are.  She will probably be a good candidate for sealants, but we'll reevaluate in 6 months.  Dentist also said that she needs to ditch the paci.  She only has it while she sleeps, and I knew that it was getting time for it to go anyways.  I'm not going to rush it right now.  She is still VERY attached to it, and I'm doing this parenting thing solo for the majority of the time.  We'll get rid of it, it just might be a couple months.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Seven Months - Harrison

Dear Harrison,

This past month has been so exciting to watch you develop.  I love to sit and watch you explore.  I can see your little brain trying to figure things out.  It's neat to watch you move and manipulate things.  I'll sit you on the floor with some toys and you will look at something and go after it.  You've gotten very good at grabbing things.  Those things usually go straight into your mouth, which is to be expected.

However, there are certain things that you don't put in your mouth.  Want to know what that is?  Food. You don't put food in your mouth!  What is wrong with you?!?!  I have started trying to give you solids and you have hated basically everything that I've tried to give you.  Pureed squash, applesauce, pureed carrots, oatmeal, banana, strawberry, puffs, pickles, mashed potatoes, granola bar.  You have hated it all!  I have given you one thing that you have seemed to actually enjoy.  A peanut butter cracker.  Oh, and let's not forget about the small taste of whipped cream, that I thought was ice cream, that Daddy gave you at Rainforest Cafe.  You really liked that, of course.  How can you hate all foods?  You are so very interested when we eat and reach for us, as if you want a bite.  But, whenever I put the spoon near your mouth, you turn away and want nothing to do with it.  I'm going to keep trying and hope that you eventually start to like things.
You have started growling this month.  I think it's absolutely adorable.  It always makes me giggle because your sister did the same thing.  You also scream/screech a lot.  Occasionally, you'll make the "ma" sound, and it's usually done as you're whining.  I say "mama" to you a lot and try to get you to say it back, but you usually just grin at me.  Good enough!

You went on your first plane trip this month.  We flew to Houston to visit Daddy.  You were a pretty good traveler.  The descent hurt your ears, and you cried, but that's totally expected.  Once on the ground, you were fine.  You grew sick of being in your car seat while we were traveling.  I tried to keep you out, or wear you as much as I could.  You like it when I wear you now.

We have to talk about sleep, don't we?  I feel like we really haven't had any improvements in this area.  You wake up 2-3 times at night.  At your first wake up, I change you, because you're usually pretty wet.  If it's after 3 AM, I'll nurse you and you fall back to sleep.  If it's before, I just rock you back to sleep.  Then, you usually wake up again a couple hours later.  I nurse you again.  Depending on what time it is, sometimes you fall back to sleep, and sometimes you're up for the day.  Naps are still pretty consistent.  Occasionally there will be a small hiccup, but you usually get right back on track.  You nap somewhere around 9:30ish AM for maybe an hour or so.  Then, you nap again around 1:00ish PM for a couple of hours.  You no longer take a third nap, and because of that, you are typically pretty cranky long about 6:00 PM.  I try to keep you entertained until about 6:45 PM and start to get you ready for bed around then.  You're typically down to sleep by 7:30 PM.
You have also started to sleep on your side.  Sometimes, you even roll onto your belly.  You've slept on your belly twice for a few hours.  When you wake up though, you hate it, and let me know by screaming your head off until I come rescue you.  Buddy, you can flip back over.  I've seen you do it.  One night, you flopped your legs all around and managed to rotate in a complete 360* in your crib.

You definitely love your pacifier now.  You sleep with it, and have it in your mouth for a good portion of the day.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  On one hand, it keeps you from squawking and complaining all the time, and it keeps the drool to a minimum, but on the other hand, it prevents you from talking as much, and I don't get to see your smile.  You have gotten good at picking it up from where it's hanging from your bib and putting it in your mouth.

I love that you have started to put your head down on my shoulder, almost as if you're giving me a hug.  Those sweet little moments make my heart burst with love.  I am so thankful for you and for all the joy and happiness that you bring.

Love you forever,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Six Months - Harrison

Dear Harrison,

This month has had so many fun and exciting changes!  I just can't believe how big you're getting.  Both in size and in your development.  We celebrated your first Christmas this month.  You won't remember it at all, but it was fun for the rest of us.  You actually really seemed to enjoy tearing the paper off of your presents.  It was so fun to watch you experience something new.

I took you to a Kindermusik class for the first time with Annelise.  You seemed to enjoy yourself.  I can tell that you like music, because you like when Annelise and I sing.  I plan on taking you to more classes and I hope that you grow to love them like your sister does.

You can sit all by yourself now.  I started working with you shortly after you turned five months, and within a matter of just a few days, you were sitting very well on your own.  Your strength gets better every day.  Every once in a while you'll have a little balance issue, but not too often.  I feel pretty comfortable leaving you to sit on your own.  But, I still try to avoid a hard surface, like the kitchen floor, just to be safe.
Remember how last month I said that I hoped to be talking about what a great crib sleeper you are this month?  Well, I got my wish!  Daddy worked with you on getting you to sleep in your crib and you adjusted amazingly.  I think that you were ready for it.  You like to sleep with your arms all sprawled out, but sometimes you tuck them behind your head.  You only sleep on your back.  One time, I laid you down and as I did, you turned on your side a little bit.  So, once you slept on your side, but that's it.

You have zero interest in rolling.  You despise tummy time, and will usually only tolerate it for a minute or two.  If I'm being honest though, I don't make you do it nearly enough.  I'm going to have to start making you do tummy time more though so that you can learn how to get into the crawling position and learn to crawl.  I'm sure that you'll do it in your own time, but I know that you'll enjoy learning how to become mobile.

You finally kicked the sickness that hung around for about six weeks.  I took you to the doctor earlier this month to have you checked out and he said that it was just a common cold and that it can last a long time in babies your age.  Now that it's finally gone, you've started talking again.  I missed hearing your little coos and screeches.  You don't have any recognizable sounds or syllables, just screeching.  I will look at you and slowly say "mama" and you watch me so closely.  You have also developed the habit of spitting your lips.  I mock you back and you think it's hilarious.  When I blow raspberries with my tongue, I can see you trying to figure out how to do it with your tongue.  You're so cute when you're trying to concentrate!
I gave you some solids yesterday.  I bought a few containers of pureed foods, and decided to try some squash first.  I put a bib on and you spent more time trying to eat the bib than the food.  Once I was able to get the bib away from your mouth, and get the squash in, you just kept spitting like you do.  I think you liked it, you just weren't sure how to use the spoon and eat it.  Doing purees is definitely not my idea of getting you to eat solids.  I plan on moving on to more of a baby-led weaning approach this month.  I think that you'll enjoy eating food.

I just switched you into 12 month clothing.  You are still wearing a size 3 diaper.  You weigh 19 lbs 1.5 oz (74th percentile) and are 27 inches (67th percentile).

I can't believe that a whole half a year has flown by and that you are already six months old.  I always tell new parents that the first six months are so hard with all of the different changes, but now we've made it through.  I know that there will be more challenges coming, but we have a lot of the hard stuff behind us.  I love you so much buddy!

Love always,

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking Back

The end of the year is always a time for reflection.  The expectations of the coming year are exciting.  I usually spend the week between Christmas and New Years thinking about the past year.  All of the changes, memories, good and bad times.

We had a great year!  We welcomed Harrison to our family in July and he filled a spot that we didn't know existed.  It's been amazing to watch Annelise embrace the role of older sister.  I love watching the two of them together.  She loves him fiercely.  Although, sometimes too rough!  He watches her with such wonder and amazement.  I look forward to watching the two of them together everyday.

Drew changed jobs, and then changed jobs again!  Hopefully this last change will be the last one ever.  He is working for a great company that he plans to retire from.  That's so exciting.  Of course, with that new job came the news that we would be moving.  Houston is waiting for us, whenever our house here sells.  I am saying so many prayers that it sells quickly!

This coming year is going to be so full of changes.  A big move, a new state that I've never been to, two young kids growing up, and making memories as a family.

Goals are usually set at this time of year, and I'm no different.  I want to work on blogging more consistently.  Life is flying by and it's hard for me to remember it all.  This little piece of the internet is a place for me to document life so that I can look back and smile and remember all of the times.

I plan on working on me a lot.  My patience is the suck and my time management skills could use some work.  I need to remember to count my blessings.  Someone posted a saying the other day, "There are people who would love to have your bad days".  That is so true.  I get very overwhelmed with the task of taking care of two young kids basically by myself, and I let my frustrations get the better of me.  There will be bad days, and I need to take them with the good days.  I am so blessed to have the two children that I do.  It wasn't too long ago when I was deep in the trenches of infertility praying for these days with these kids.

I want to make memories as a family.  I want my kids to look back and love the childhood they had.  Simple things make them so happy.

I am so very excited to see what this next year has in store for us.  God does amazing things and has amazing plans for us.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Again

Today we celebrated Christmas with Drew's side of the family.  Unfortunately, he couldn't be here since he's already working in Houston.  Harrison was sleeping when we started, and since we didn't want to wait any longer, we just went ahead without him.  He woke up towards the end and joined our festivities.
Drew's grandma always gives everyone Turtles as part of their gift.  I love it because I like Turtles but never buy them for myself.
Backstory - The shower head in Jess and Eric's guest bathroom is awful!  It's probably original to the house, their house is fairly newer, but it's just a general shower head.  And it sucks!  Drew's parents got them a new shower head and, I don't know about everyone else, but I'm excited about it!!!
Wes was a little upset when he saw that Annelise had gotten one of these.  Apparently, it had been on his list.  Annelise, on the other had, didn't really care much about it at all because she has no clue what it does.  He did end up getting one.
It's so painful to have to take a picture together!
His face!!!  I die!!!  I just love the excitement that he has!
And the flip side!  What's Christmas without a little tantrum?
Poor second kid gets jipped with all cell phone pictures!

We had a great Christmas, and the kids were spoiled rotten, of course!