Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

I won tickets on the radio a few months ago to see Chelsea Handler live for her comedy tour that came through Houston Friday night. Jeff & Katie kindly offered to babysit (like 0.2 seconds after I told her I won the tickets, ha!) so me and the Hubster could enjoy a nice date, just the two of us. I don't get to watch her show anymore since we canceled cable last year, so I was beyond stoked to get to see her in person!

 No signs of baby vomit and I even combed my hair. SWEET!

We made it into Houston early enough to grab some dinner at Hard Rock. When I say dinner, I mean cramming into the overcrowded bar and devouring an extremely overpriced plate of nachos. But on the upside, we had a reunion with a couple of long lost friends!


 Stella and XX, it's been a while.

We had really awesome seats. I think we were in the 10th row, or something like that. Usually at any type of concert or game we are in the nosebleeds because we're so cheap, so this was a nice treat!


Oh, how I heart Chelsea.

We had a fabulous time. You don't realize how refreshing a nice night out can be until you actually do it. It was so great to laugh at obnoxious, offensive, grown-up humor. Don't get me wrong, I L-O-V-E getting giggles out of my baby love, but it was a blast hanging out with my hubby and refueling our relationship sans the kiddo. Which of course included a fair amount of talking about said kiddo, but that's beside the point... ;) 

Just a little eavesdropping...

And this is what I heard when Rick was playing with the baby:

This little piggy went to the market.

This little piggy stayed home.

And this little piggy ate....PORK CHOPS.

This little piggy had none.

And this little piggy...this little piggy killed his brother for eating his own kind because cannibalism is wrong, buddy!

Good thing Rick is teaching Harrison valuable lessons from an early age. Ha!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

I tried to get him to smile, but this is the best we could do:



Because 2 seconds later, he did this:



So we changed. But sadly, still no smiles. A giant milk-gut, but no smiles:



Maybe Harrison is just not a very big fan of the earth? It couldn't at all be because he refused to take a nap this afternoon. Or the fact that I've been shoving a camera in his face all day. No, that couldn't be it...

Hope you all did something earth-friendly today. Reduce, reuse, recycle, and all that good stuff. {that means you, Aunt Katie.}  :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Life lesson: remember to laugh!

I foolishly decided to give the chest carrier another try today. Harrison has been pretty demanding and fussy lately, and I desperately needed to get caught up on the house cleaning. So I figured it would be a good idea to strap him in and get to work.  The baby would enjoy being "held," and I was hopeful at tackling A LOT of chore neglect.

Which was a fabulous plan for about 90 seconds or so.

As I was making the bed, it happened. Harrison, also affectionately referred to as Old Faithful, spewed profuse amounts of baby vomit all over the comforter, sheets, and pillows. The dryclean-only comforter, I might add. You would think by now I would be used to it, right? But each time it happens, it is still just as shockingly disgusting. And after being drenched by him myself several times already this morning, the puking on the bed just about caused me to emotionally snap inside. But then, as I was processing what had just happened, I heard the cutest little belly laugh from the cutest little baby. And so instead of plunging off the mental ledge, I joined in and we laughed together until I had tears running down my face. You know, the good kind!

Which is EXACTLY what I needed today. The past couple of weeks have been very challenging. Partly because Harrison has been sick and not his normal, happy self, and partly because the newborn euphoria has settled in to the reality of everyday life. On good days we have lots of fun playing and laughing and being silly, and I try not to think about all of the mounting tasks I wasn't able to get to. On bad days I question whether I made the right decision to stay home with him. And then the guilt rushes in for even thinking that. 

It's just that it seems like all I do all day every day is breastfeed and pump and clean up vomit off of EVERYTHING and give baths (and if I'm lucky, I'll get a shower, too) and do laundry and clean bottles and change Harrison's clothes and change my clothes and beg the baby to take a nap and let the dogs outside and let the dogs back in and entertain the baby (which isn't always successful) and do more (ENDLESS) laundry and run errands and get dinner ready and attempt to clean the house but never even seem to make a dent and, well, you get the point. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

It's not that I mind doing it -- obviously, these are common responsibilities of motherhood -- it's just that I feel guilty for not enjoying all of it. I know that I am incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to stay home with him. I love my child more than I ever knew a person was capable of loving anything. But sometimes I find myself questioning my competence and feeling overwhelmed and lonely and wonder if maybe I just wasn't cut out for being a full-time mom. I'm definitely no June Cleaver. Sometimes I feel more like Roseanne. Who wasn't a stay-at-home mom, but you get my point. I just sometimes feel like I should be better at this.

I think "mom guilt" is pretty common. If I had gone back to work I would feel guilty for leaving him at daycare. I guess I just wasn't prepared for the solitude. I have always been a homebody by nature, but that was when I had a little something called me-time or had Rick here to hang out with. It's been such an adjustment going from the structure of a super-busy, stimulating work environment to being home almost 24/7. I'm used to being able to shift gears at the end of a long work day and leave my troubles at the office. It's hard not having an outlet for my frustrations or even just having another person to talk to (who comprehends what I'm saying and can actually talk back). I know that staying home with him is what's best for him, but I sometimes wonder if it's what's best for my own sanity. Not that I was ever really sane to begin with.  :)

I think the problem is that sometimes I forget to take a step back and look at the big picture. Today, Harrison helped to put things in perspective for me. Yep, a 4-month old taught me something, ha! He reminded me that every now and then it's really important to just take a deep breath and shrug my shoulders and realize that the majority of things that I let get to me simply don't matter. Sometimes the best medicine really is laughter. My house doesn't have to be spotless. No project or errand is more important than getting in some good quality time with my son.  And it's pretty hard to be a Negative Nellie when you have this silly goofball covered in his own filth:


Huh? What? I didn't do it! 


Okay, okay. Maybe I did. But you have to admit that it's pretty funny!


So today I stopped holding my mom-standards so high, cut myself some slack, and just enjoyed being with my babe. Spit-up and all.

Fatty McButterpants



Has it really been a year already? I don't know how, but today is our nephew's 1st birthday! He's no longer an itty-bitty baby anymore. Well, I guess he never really was itty-bitty, seeing how he was 10 POUNDS at birth {yes, my SIL is amazing}! Now he is a mover and a shaker and becoming just the cutest little toddler ever!

Happy Birthday, Cavan! We love you!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A good day!

I thought I'd share a few pictures of our morning.

 The water was reeeeeally cold. Like straight-out-of-a-firetruck cold, because that's what it was.  The water source outside wasn't working right and they didn't have a way to fill up the basin, so at the last minute one of our church members called up a few of his fellow firefighters and they came to the rescue. So nice of them!













We had the privilege of being baptized by our small group leaders. Jeff and Katie are such great friends and we are so blessed to have them in our life.




Afterward, we went to lunch. It is very fortunate that I'm the one behind the camera. I'm pretty sure my wet hair and streaky makeup was scaring the people around us.



We are so grateful to have such wonderful friends and family. Thank you all for being a part of our special day. We love you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My story.

On Sunday, Rick and I are getting baptized. It's something we've talked about wanting to do for a while now. We filmed our testimony videos earlier this week and it was just as excruciating as I was expecting it to be! Can you say stage fright, anyone? Anything that involves me talking in front of a crowd or a camera makes me want to get down on the floor and curl up into the fetal position. The sad part is that my anxiety about the video is the biggest reason I've put off going through with it. Our church doesn't require that you film a video, but they do encourage it. And it makes sense - hearing about somebody's spiritual journey is such an inspiring thing. So I finally decided just to suck it up and share my story and I'm really glad I did. Even if I do still feel like crawling into the fetal position just thinking about everybody watching the video on Sunday.

I know that I am called by God to share my faith with others, but if I'm being honest, talking about religion has never come easy to me.  For some reason I have a lot of insecurities about sharing openly and putting my vulnerabilities out there for everyone to see. There are other reasons, too. I'm afraid that my words will get jumbled and I won't do Him justice. I'm scared that I'll offend somebody or come across as arrogant or judgmental. I'm worried that my Bible knowledge is inferior and I won't know what to say or that there will be awkwardness or tension or confrontation. All of these reasons are pretty lame excuses, though. God has done amazing things in my life and blessed me with far more than I could ever deserve. I finally realized that what I say doesn't have to be perfect or powerful; it doesn't even have to be convincing. I'm not here to preach to anybody. I'm here to simply share my story with those who might be interested and to bring glory to God in doing so.

I grew up going to church off and on as a child, but I hated it. I never developed a personal relationship with God and I didn't understand what it meant to be a devoted follower of Jesus. As a teenager, I felt like my world was falling apart. I won't go into too many details, but I was in a new high school in a new town in a new state. My dad was losing a battle to alcohol and drug addiction and our family was torn apart by it. If you have ever been close to someone with an addiction problem, you know that it involves much heartache and helplessness and rejection. I remember feeling so mad at God and betrayed by Him because he didn't resolve the situation the way I begged Him to. And I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of emptiness in my heart that left me completely broken.

So I did what I could. In an attempt to regain security, I attempted to regain control. After high school, I met a wonderful guy and convinced myself that if I could make him love me then I'd feel whole again. I started college, and convinced myself that if I could just get my life in order then I'd find peace. So I buried myself in my relationship and in my studies and in my job and any other distractions I could find along the way. I was busy chasing dreams and controlling my life quite nicely, and everything went along as planned. 

I graduated college and got married in the same busy month, and my career was blossoming. Everything was right on track. But as I finally began to slow down a little and the dust began to settle, I quickly realized that the feeling of emptiness -- the void in my heart that I had been running from for several years -- was still very much there.

At that point, Rick and I had been attending our church for about 2 or 3 years, but always pretty casually. But as I searched for fulfillment, God began to stir my heart. Every Sunday I left church in tears because I felt like the sermon was written just for me. They weren't tears of happiness, though. I was seeing glimpses of what my life was missing because I refused to give up the control that I thought I needed. I knew God was pursuing me, but I was still too stubborn and prideful to give in to Him.

It wasn't until the following year that things began to change for me. We finally took the plunge and committed to join what our church calls a small group, and despite my initial anxiety about doing so, it ended up being one of the best decisions I've made in my life. It was there that I was able to witness what an authentic relationship with God looked like through the awesome fellowship and transparency of others. And we made some great friendships that I'm certain will last a lifetime. {shout out to my bestie!}

I remember looking around the room one night at group and I could just feel God's presence there. And then I had an epiphany. It suddenly clicked in my mind that surrendering to God was not a sign of weakness and it did not mean defeat. Humbling ourselves to God doesn't mean we lose, it means we're set free. It is how we are designed - we are made to be His followers. And so that day, I vowed to devote my life to the Lord.

It really was such a freeing moment. I had been wasting so much energy trying to control my life, when in reality, I never had any control to begin with. All of the burdens I was stubbornly refusing to let go of were gone. All of my baggage, my worries, my guilt, they were wiped clean in that moment and I discovered the unconditional love that I had been searching for. The kind of love that only God can provide. Because of the work Jesus did for us on the cross, I have been reconciled to God, and through His grace, I have hope. And while I know that we are not promised to be spared from suffering and that I'll likely experience difficult or painful times in the future, I have such peace knowing that in those times God will be my source of strength, comfort, and endurance, and that he will never abandon me.

So there you have it. My very ordinary story of how I came to know my extraordinary Maker!



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Michelle, my belle.

Today is my cousin's birthday.

I love her to pieces.

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

I won't tell you how old she is, but here are a few pictures taken last year when she turned 30.  ;)



 
 What gift says "we love you" and "you're not old, we promise" more than a Golden Girl's shirt and a package of Depends? 

Can't forget the candles that spell out "O-L-D"


 And the lighting of the candles that almost warranted a visit from the fire department.

Hehehe. I love teasing people who are older than me. :) 

Love you, Michelle! Hope you're having a great day!


The adventures of cereal.

I mentioned that Harrison had his 4-month checkup last week. And my boy apparently wasn't too pleased about it - he managed to puke AND pee all over both the doctor and me. I'm thinking maybe he knew he was going to be getting shots? Anyway, the doctor was a little concerned about his reflux (I'm sure getting barfed on helped form his opinion). He's still above average for weight, but his percentile average has dropped which indicates he isn't keeping enough food in his tummy. He said if it doesn't seem to get any better within the next 2 weeks while we introduce solids then he wants to put him on a prescription. He suggested feeding him rice cereal 2 times a day with a spoon (and not at night so we don't have another choking incident).

So we experimented!


Do I eat this?



Harrison vs. Cereal



First spoonful...



Not sure what to think....



Round One goes to Harrison!



But wait. Let me think about it some more...



Maybe I do like this, after all!


He's been quite the amusing child at feedings and makes the funniest faces. At first most of it ended up all over him instead of in his belly, but he's starting to get the hang of it now. Now let's hope it tames down the reflux so we can avoid medication!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sickness lingers.

So it appears that our house cannot escape the cloud of sick germs and viruses and infections and general yuckiness that has transpired over us lately. Harrison was running a fever last week with a mild cough and congestion. Then he had his 4-month checkup and got his immunizations and it all went downhill from there. I am regretting letting them give him his shots while he already wasn't feeling well! We barely avoided a trip to the ER Friday night because he was extremely wheezy and was having a hard time breathing. Thankfully we were able to wait to take him to the urgent care clinic Saturday morning instead, because I've been to the ER here and it is NOT a pleasant experience (not that any of them are). Turns out he has bronchiolitis, which is caused by the virus RSV. After they checked his oxygen levels and gave him a breathing treatment, they sent us home with a prescription and we've been giving him 4 or 5 breathing treatments every day since then. Which are FUN for all, let me tell ya. I feel like CPS should show up at my door any minute now for inflicting so much trauma on my baby!

He's still coughing and congested, but feeling much better. But, of course, I caught what he has after just a mere week of feeling better from whatever crud I had a few weeks ago. Which makes my sick count up to 4 times this year. Now let's hope that we won't just keep infecting each other over and over and over. And that Rick doesn't get sick, too, not that he ever does. And not that I resent him or anything... :)

I haven't taken very many pictures this week since it seems sort of cruel to flash a camera in a sick baby's face. Here are a couple that I managed to snap over the weekend of Harrison enjoying the comfort of his Grandma Mary's lap:





Harrison and the rest of us really enjoyed his grandparents' visit! Next time he promises not to sleep the whole time. ;)

And now it's time to sign off so I can nurse us sicklings back to health. Once again, please send get-well wishes our way!

Monday, April 5, 2010

First trip to the zoo!

I realize Harrison is a little young to appreciate or even comprehend the zoo, but Rick asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it. I have always had such a love for animals and I hope H develops one as well. So, I decided that it was time to introduce him to the world of animals. I mean, we have our own little domestic zoo at the house, but that doesn't count!

I was really sick, but with the help of the mini-pharmacy in my purse I was able to stay medicated all day long, ha! It was gorgeous weather and the trees were all in bloom and the three of us had a great time - I couldn't ask for a better birthday! Of course, nothing could ever top last year when I found out I was pregnant, but believe me when I say that I'm pretty glad that didn't happen again this year!!!!

Here are a few pictures from our day:


We tried out sunglasses, but *shocker* they were too small for his head!  :)


 So we opted for the toddler-sized sun hat instead.


Sitting in the eagle's nest
 

The Hubster and me
 

 Harrison with his daddy


Um, what exactly am I supposed to do on this thing?


My little monkey and me in front of the giraffes


Thank you, boys, for making my birthday special! The day had a great ending which included grubbing down on some delicious BBQ (food makes me so happy, can you tell?) with the family. Thanks to Mom and Tim for dinner! And I'd like to point out that I picked the cheaper restaurant, unlike somebody we know....*cough*...Connor...*cough*cough*   :)
 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Reconciled.

 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.   Romans 5:1-2 (NLT)


I hope everybody is having a fantastic Easter! We just got back from church are are about to head over to Jeff & Katie's for our impromptu Easter lunch/dinner (Katie and I decided at the last minute to cook and went to the grocery store at like 8pm last night - ha!).  

Harrison is pretty unaware of his first Easter. Something about being only 4 months old? I didn't get him an Easter basket this year because he's a little too young to appreciate one. But I did dress him up in a sweater vest (of course)!  :)  


Happy Easter from the Boyds!

 
Harrison had his 4 month pictures taken yesterday. The shoot was short and sweet because somebody was really cranky and in desperate need of a nap. We went with the Easter theme:



 






I have been soaking in the meaning of this day and it is just so overwhelming. How blessed are we to have such love and mercy given to us! Hope you all have a great day! I'll leave you with a song they played at church this morning. I love this song and the lyrics are especially appropriate today.

In Christ Alone
written by Keith Getty, Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.


Friday, April 2, 2010

4 Months

Today my baby is four months old. Four months!



It's becoming unmistakeably obvious that he's not an itty bitty newborn anymore. No more denial for this momma. It makes me sad in so many ways, but at the same time I'm also really enjoying this stage of his babyhood!

Rick and I measured his length last night and I still can't believe he's grown so much since we took him home from the hospital. I mean, that was just yesterday!

He weighs 16 lbs, 0 oz.  {total gain since birth = 7 lbs, 3 oz (umm, that's a whole another baby...)}

He is 26 1/2 inches long {total growth since birth = 6 1/2 inches}


So Harrison, what have you been up to this month?


You are becoming quite the little social butterfly and are really starting to engage with people and interact with your toys. You love it when I sing to you and play peek-a-boo and itsy-bitsy-spider. In fact, you let out your very first belly laugh this month when I was tickling your chubby little tummy! My heart melted right then and there, and oh how I've been enjoying getting more laughs out of you every day since!




You also rolled over for the first time! I said in your 3 month post that you were REALLY close, and I was right. You did it the very next day. We had just gotten you out of the bath and before we could get the diaper on your cute little butt cheeks you decided to show off for Momma and Daddy. We are both pretty big dorks because we were so excited that we cheered out loud for our big boy! Which got a huge grin out of you, of course. I don't think you meant to roll over at the time, but you've done it several more times since.





You've been quite the busy little man this month. You had your first trip to the zoo, to Nasa, and to the rodeo. You're getting much easier to take places because you love to observe and just take your surroundings in. Although I must say that you are getting reeeeally heavy being carried around in your car seat.  I don't think we'll use the carrier too much longer, though. You're a much bigger fan of sitting upright, and before too long you'll be ready to sit in the baskets full time. Until then, you are giving me quite the workout!


Freedom! Wait a second, are these MORE straps??


Speaking of workouts, we have been taking full advantage of this beautiful weather we've been having, because I know it won't be too long before the unbearable heat shows up. I put my jogging stroller together the other day and we took it for a test drive. Luckily we weren't too far down the street before I realized that I didn't have one of the wheels on right. Oops!



My little jogging partner


Let's talk about sleep, shall we? Like clockwork, you quit sleeping through the night at exactly 3 months, and have only done so about 3 or 4 times since. You wake up around 3am, and I feed you and you go right back to sleep. I know it's because you are growing like a weed and aren't staying full enough on milk alone, so it's about time to start introducing you to solids. We'll see what your doctor says next week. Now, as far as nap time goes, you don't really believe in it. The most I can get you to nap during the day is for about 20-30 minutes, and that's after a big fight. However, yesterday you surprised me. I swaddled your wiggly body up like a burrito and you took a nap in your crib for 2 1/2 hours! I kept checking on you every 10 minutes because it was so out of character for you. Hopefully you enjoyed it enough to make it a habit?

A rare sighting...


Harrison. Oh, Harrison. Your reflux is as bad as ever. I really try to laugh about it instead of worrying or getting frustrated, but it's hard. Some people help to reassure me by saying that a lot of babies spit up like you do, but when I took you to a mom's group last week you threw up with such force that everybody in the room was wide-eyed and wondering if you were okay - even a few of the nurses. It's so hard to keep you (and me) clean and dry and I get so anxious when I hear you vomiting from in your car seat and there's nothing I can do because I'm driving. You really love to be strapped into the chest carrier, but it's not practical because then you throw up all over the floor (or even all over the stove when I was cooking dinner the other night - luckily you missed the skillet with the food in it!). Last week I overheard two ladies from the daycare in church talking about a baby with projectile vomit and I knew right away they were talking about you (and they were). Even when you're not visibly spitting up you constantly have it in your throat and mouth and I can hear you gurgling it all the time. The worst part, though, was when your Daddy and I decided to add cereal to your bottle one night recently. After you went to sleep, you started choking and gagging and it scared you awake and you started screaming. But trust me, it didn't scare you nearly as bad as it did me. I didn't sleep more than 5 minutes at a time for the rest of the night and haven't dared to give you cereal since. I just want you to get better and I pray for your healing every single day.


Mommy didn't even get one picture in before it was already time to change me.


You are definitely your father's son. There is something in your genes that causes you to be completely infatuated with the TV. Your dad zones out in the same way; I'm not sure if it's a family trait or just something to do with being male? You could sit and watch the tube for hours if I let you (which I don't, of course). I think Regis is your fave because the second you hear his voice you turn and stare. When we took you to a concert benefit at church your eyes got really wide and actually twinkled at the sight of the giant screens, ha!


I'M. IN. LOVE. *DROOL*


I know I mentioned your hair last month, but it's out of control! Ha! Little guy, you're starting to look like Gramps. You were born with such a thick head of hair and it is seriously falling out, and what's left is really fuzzy in texture. Except for your mullet - it seems to be hanging in strong! ;)


Don't make me blind you with my bald spot.


I think you might be teething already. I don't feel them yet, but you are pretty slobbery and have your fingers/fists/toys/blanket/anything-you-can-get-your-hands-on in your mouth all the time. I'm not sure if that's just a baby thing or if it's a sure indicator of your first tooth. 


 nom nom nom!


You continue to get more and more vocal each day. You coo and squeal and screech and giggle and we can't get enough! You're expressions are pretty priceless, too.


















Harrison, there's no way for me to express just how much we love you. Every day you bring us such joy and happiness and laughter and are the best gift that we have ever been given!
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