Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How does this even happen?


Dirty children used to be one of my pet peeves. I always told myself I would never let my own get that way. Don't get me wrong, I thought there was a time in a place to play in the dirt, but generally I really found the sticky fingers, crusty faces, and gunky noses to be kind of annoying. And the sight of moms trying to improvise bathtime with the old lick-her-fingers-and-wipe-down-their-face? Disgusting. All those germs...ick!

God has quite the sense of humor, doesn't he?

uh, I think I may need a napkin.

How does this even happen? I left him in his clothes because I just knew that this would be the one time that I would be successful at keeping him somewhat clean. I start off every feeding with that hope, and I still don't understand why it's somehow impossible. But Harrison always wins...


Let's go ahead and get the fingers in on the action.


Make sure we get the hands nice and good.


I don't think my shirt is dirty enough.


Can't forget about the ears and hair!



Hmmm. Seems like I'm forgetting something.



 Oh yeah. Your turn!

Anybody have a straight jacket that I could borrow? Please?

 I've been given quite a bit of perspective on the subject of dirt and filth and children over the course of the last 9 months. It's pretty hard to be a snob about it all when I think there's a good chance that mine would take the medal for most disgusting. I even have to admit that I've resorted to the finger-lick-down method numerous times myself *shudder*. And even though I still find all of it fairly revolting (all those germs!), I just can't help but to be in love with those sticky fingers and crusty face and gunky nose.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tana Banana




Happy birthday to one of my oldest friends! Old meaning we go way back, not old meaning she's...old. I can't tease her about that because she is 5 months younger than me. We were just talking the other day about how she used to take such pride in the fact that she's been the baby of the group but then laughed about it because when you get to our age 5 months just doesn't really matter anymore. Ha!

I love it when my loved ones have birthdays. I really enjoy taking the time to celebrate them and reflect on our relationships over the years and of course I just have to get all nostalgic and sentimental and break out the old photo albums. Remember when I said that Tienna and I go way back?

Mrs. Missal's 4th grade class

Can you spot us? I'll give you a hint: she's got on a pair of pretty awesome white high tops and I'm rocking a super hot head band. We were such fashionistas! 
And here we are the next year in 5th grade:

 Mrs. Welsh's 5th grade class

In this picture, we continue to impress the cameras with our style. Especially those bangs -- it's okay to be jealous. I remember that fleece hoodie quite well. It was my favorite and I'm pretty sure I wore it just about every other day or so. 

Here are some more pictures of my BFF throughout the years:

10 years old, I think
7th grade

Oh! And then I came across these goodies when I was digging through my pictures. We were probably 12 or 13 in these, and we had gone through my grandma's clothes and makeup and wigs and played a little dress up, trying our best to recreate a little Marilyn Monroe-ish style:



Like our fake moles and serious expressions? Ha ha! I laughed so hard when I found these. To this day I still don't think my grandma knows we raided her closet. ;)

I had to post this picture because my brother has had such a crush on Tienna since he was like 5 years old. Can you just see the glimmer in his eyes in this picture?!



We were so mean to him, too. Poor guy was the victim of a couple of bored girls who were in need of some free entertainment. One time we tricked him into thinking that she was his girlfriend and then got him to do all kinds of stuff for us.You know, stuff like this:


When we weren't being mean to our little brothers, we were probably listening to some All 4 One or talking about boys or eating Velveeta shells & cheese or crying on each others' shoulders or laughing uncontrollably or or making up a dance to a Janet Jackson song or trying on each others' clothes or writing each other notes in class. We've been there for each other during some of our toughest times and even though we've lived in separate states longer than we haven't, I know without a doubt that we'll be friends for the rest of our lives. She's one of those people that you can see how genuine her heart is the moment you meet her. I'm so blessed to have her as a friend.

Here's my Tana Bear at my high school graduation:



And here we are on a Caribbean cruise together. It was such a blast and I don't think I've ever eaten more in my life. Or laughed as hard. The mental image of Tony and Rick in a dance contest will be forever burned into my memory.






She was such an amazingly beautiful bride. It was an honor to get to stand up with her and witness her marry her soulmate. Of course Rick would probably argue that Tony is his soulmate and not hers, but that's a post for another day. LOL! ;)




I was so happy when she got to meet Harrison. We've been friends since we were 9 years old and used to daydream about the day we would get married and have children, and it's so sweet to get to share our dreams coming true with one another. (Now Tienna, if you could please hurry up and make a baby friend for H that would be great. Okay? Thanks.)


Happy Birthday, Tienna! I love you so much and hope you have a fantastic day!




Sunday, August 29, 2010

The day my child ate poop.

I bet you wouldn't believe this given the amount of blogging I've done on the subject of poo lately, but before I had a baby the thought or sight or smell of it set off my gag reflex in an instant. I was in denial about the thousands of diapers that were in my near future and prepared myself for motherhood by convincing myself that I would handle the wet diapers while Rick tackled the dirty ones. I just knew that God was going to bless me with a baby who would wait until his dad got home before he was allowed to go #2. Not too much to ask, right? Ha! Then Harrison arrived and thought he'd do his momma a favor by making her face her fears head-on by giving me quite the crash course in the subject. Thanks, Baby Love.

Anyway, on to the story.

So I recently picked up a box of wheat teething biscuits for H to munch on and was glad to see that he loved them. They make a horrible, gooey, mushy mess, but keep him occupied while I'm trying to clean up after meal time so they are a winner in my book. After he was finished, I wiped all of the nastiness off of his face and hands and then took him to his room to change his filthy clothes and diaper. Now, my son HATES having his diaper changed. Every time I have to wrestle him into submission all the while trying to swap out the diapers and keep his hands off of his goods until I can get the fresh diaper in place. This time I did it in record speed and was pretty proud of myself given the amount of fight he put out. That's when I noticed that I missed some of the wheat biscuit sludge on his face from the earlier wipe-down. No problem, I thought, as I wiped it off of his lips with my finger. No problem, that is, until I quickly realized that my finger was now covered in something brown that wasn't wheat biscuit sludge. He had apparently somehow managed to stick his foot in his dirty diaper without me noticing, and then stuck the same foot in his mouth and happily began chewing on it.

Yeeeeah. Believe me, I know.

Just try to imagine my horror when I realized that my baby had very likely just ingested his own poop. Immediately I a) contemplated calling CPS on myself, because OMG I just let my baby eat his own poop; b) considered bathing us both in a soothing mixture of hand sanitizer and Lysol; and c) smiled and pretended like nothing out of the ordinary happened, especially something as disturbing as my baby eating his own poop. Yep, c) prevailed, at least until I could mentally process the incident without immediately feeling the need to resort back to a) and b). Sometimes denial is the only answer!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I don't know.

Let me preface this post by acknowledging that I am completely irrational and emotional and some could debate that I'm even a little bit loony. I'll just blame it on the hormones from breastfeeding and the fact that I put entirely too much pressure on myself.

There. Got that out of the way.

I had somewhat of an emotional breakdown this morning. Rick and I have been talking a lot about the plans for our future and keep having the dreaded should-I-go-back-to-work-and-if-so-then-when-and-oh-yeah-where-will-I-go-and-what-will-I-do-and-will-I-really-be-able-to-leave-my-baby conversation lately. We keep asking each other the same question, "what are we going to do?" and keep coming up with the oh-so riveting and decisive answer, "I don't know."  Over and over. Which is kind of a problem.

The original plan when we decided I was going to stay home with Harrison was that it would be for a year. That's what we had budgeted for and that's as far as we thought about. I was just so thrilled to leave my job for my baby that a year sounded like never-ending bliss. Well there are only 3 months left of that never-ending bliss and now I'm feeling a lot of anxiety about what to do next.  Due to ridiculously expensive healthcare and, you know, wanting to have food to eat in the future, I've been stressed out about the whole situation and the need to come up with a decisive plan.

I had visions of what life would be like as a stay-at-home-mom, and I have to say that reality has proved to be much different. I don't have it together nearly as much as I just knew I would, with all this extra time I would have on my hands not working. Ha! Extra time. That's just funny. The truth is, I actually find myself missing work sometimes. I miss getting out of the house and having time to get lost in my own thoughts and be able to accomplish something without getting distracted fifty million times in the process. When I'm up in my elbows in baby food mush and have spit up in my hair and am fighting with my baby every time it's time to change his diaper or, heaven forbid, try to put clothes on the strong-willed,  independent, STUBBORN child, I often miss enjoying quiet lunches at my desk and having pleasant conversations with customers and colleagues. When I'm vacuuming every single morning because I live in a zoo and when I feel like it is physically impossible to catch up on the copious amounts of laundry that come along with a reflux baby, I miss my mind being challenged and the pats on the back and the "good jobs."  I knew I was good at what I did in my corporate life and I took pride in my performance. Now I find myself questioning my competence as a mother and wife almost on a daily basis.

If I'm being completely honest, the transition from working to staying home has felt in many ways more of a sacrifice than as a pleasure. Please don't misunderstand me; I am so extremely grateful that I get to spend these fleeting moments with my baby. I absolutely adore him and love getting down on the floor playing with him and kissing him until he's annoyed with me (which takes like 2 kisses) and just experiencing life through his eyes. I just get lonely and really miss feeling appreciated and important and smart and like I have an identity outside of motherhood. Of course Rick does a great job of showing appreciation but it's just not as gratifying as having tangible evidence of a job well done. Right now my job performance is measured by a loaded dishwasher, empty laundry baskets, and a clean and fed baby. Well, at least I try for the clean baby part but he refuses to cooperate with that one.

All of this to say that this morning, when I finally realized that it's very likely that I'll need to go back to work to contribute to the family financially again, I just lost it. I cried and cried and cried and I'm crying right now typing this because while I have numerous moments throughout my days where I want to pull my hair out, the bottom line is that I don't want to leave my baby. While sometimes I feel like this is the most selfless and sacrificing job I've ever done, I know in my heart of hearts that it's my favorite job I've ever done. While I know that there are plenty of trustworthy daycares and that he probably won't even miss me, I also know that nobody else can take care of him the way his mommy can. While I know that there are millions of working moms out there and everything will in fact be okay if I have to become one of them, I also feel like being a full-time mom is what I'm supposed to be doing in this season of my life and that in a small way, I'm failing us both by going back to work. I know that his babyhood is flying by and soon he's going to be a little boy and then a big boy and then out the door to college, and I want to be in these moments with him as much as I possibly can.

So to summarize, sometimes I feel like I really want to go back to work, but I really don't want to go back to work. Makes sense, right? I'm pretty easy to please. See, I told you I was irrational and emotional and a little bit loony.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wait! Are you HARRISON'S mom?!

I have to share a funny story. Actually, it's two stories for the price of one. Lucky you! :)

So, last night I went to the first meeting of a new women's small group. We were going through introductions, and I went on my turn. After I finished, Mindy wanted to add the story of how we met, since it's kind of a funny one. To keep this story short, I'll just tell you that two of Mindy's four kids had reflux (one of which is about 2 months older than H) and so our first chat included a lot of venting frustrations and understanding nods and a certain amount of sympathy for one another that only momma's of spewing babies could exchange.

As she finished the story I added that, yes indeed, it has been a rough journey so far concerning the endless spit up, when all of the sudden I hear somebody say,

"Wait! Are you Harrison's mom?!"

Why, yes. Yes I am, actually. It turns out that she works in the nursery at church and put two and two together. She told us that every Sunday they prepare for his arrival and break out the beach towels and prep the volunteers. Those poor people. I'm so grateful that they still love on him they way they do after being covered in his vomit each week.

The second story is pretty similar. My mom works with a lady that goes to our church but I don't think we've ever met. Mom was trying to describe us to her coworker to see if we sounded familiar. She mentioned that we have an 8 month old baby, who is pretty chubby and spits up a lot. Again,

"Wait! Is your grandson Harrison?!"

She usually volunteers with the older kids in PeeWeeVille, but on Mother's Day she helped with the babies. I distinctly remember when I picked him up that morning, they told me that he had gotten one of the workers pretty good. They said that they tried to warn her, and that "just because he only drinks 4 ounces of milk doesn't mean that he won't spit up 24," but she brushed off the advice and was totally shocked when the warnings materialized all over the poor lady's shirt. Yep, my mom's friend was that poor lady.

My son is giving our family quite the reputation, apparently.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Ducky's Unfortunate Fate



{hmmmm...slightly disturbing}


{channeling a little Ozzy. We're gonna have to work on that.}


{What? Bathtime is over?}


{I don't WANNA get out!}


{I'd cry right now, but that would mean letting go of Ducky's head.}


{Poor Ducky.}

Monday, August 23, 2010

Go


For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Galatians 5:13-14

This past Saturday was our small group's Go-Op day, which is our church's slogan for service project. Our group tries to get out in the community and serve at least once a quarter. This time we worked with Brown Bag Ministries and I can't say enough good things about Crystal and her vision and how she's a living example of just how much one person can impact the lives of so many people in such a huge way.  She faithfully sacrifices her 1st and 3rd Saturday mornings each month, rain or shine, to help people in need. We bagged groceries and packed lunches and then headed down to Galveston to distribute them along with donated clothing and hygiene care packages to the homeless and needy. Our church is big on encouraging everybody to get out and serve others and how powerful of an experience it can be, and they are absolutely right. Of course the main motivation is to help others, but it's also such a rewarding growth experience to volunteer. It's great to build relationships with others in the community and to use our time to glorify God and to encounter Him as we seek to be Christ-like with compassion and love for people we have never met -- perfect strangers, yes, but our brothers and sisters in Christ.


It was an emotional morning. To see the horrible living conditions of so many people was very sad, but to see their gratitude and the hope in their eyes and to be able to pray with them was extremely moving. They were grateful for the food, yes, but I think even more significant was knowing that they have people out there who care about them and that they are not forgotten. You walk into the situation thinking that you are there to help others but in the end it seems like maybe they actually helped you much more. I'm a little embarrassed to admit just how much I needed to be humbled. On the drive down there we were all daydreaming about one day owning a lake house and how much fun that would be. We were dreaming of owning not just one, but two homes, while we were driving  to help people with zero homes. And not that wanting nice things makes you a bad person -- I'm not saying that -- it's just that I think it's so easy to get comfortable in our lifestyles and out of touch with the huge reality of poverty and suffering in this world, even as close as in our own backyard.

I've always had a heart for charity but never had the guts to get myself out there and actually do something until I joined a small group and had the encouragement and accountability. So if you are like me and have an interest in community outreach but need a little push, I would so encourage you to do it. There are so many great charities out there countless ways to help and I promise you will walk away feeling like it was time well spent. Here's a way to start.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lazy Sunday.

Today has been one of those perfect lazy days where you do just enough to not feel guilty or unproductive, but not too much to where you feel stretched thin. For the first time in forever it seems, I even got in a nap. Only 45 minutes, but so refreshing! After church we went to Olive Garden for lunch and I was just teasing Jeff about how he naps more than anybody I know (or at least ties with Ashley, haha :) ) and then I ate so much that I found myself in a food coma a couple of hours later. Rick went shopping to spend his birthday money and then to play volleyball with friends and so Harrison and I have just been hanging out having a great relaxing mommy & son afternoon.

I thought I'd share some pictures from the weekend. Friday night we went to Berryhill to celebrate Rick's birthday with some of our friends (for a guy who says he doesn't like any fuss, we sure have done an awful lot of birthday celebrating this week, ha!).




Harrison was happy to get in some Unkie Connor time.




And then Allen took his turn trying to charm the baby.




Don't let the above picture fool you. His laughter quickly turned into giant sobs because for some reason, he is really afraid of Allen. Every time he is around Harrison just stares him down and usually ends up in tears. So strange! Not sure what Allen did to my child when I wasn't looking, ha!




Jeff quickly came to the rescue but it took a while for H to calm down.






The fastest way to get a baby passed around from guy to guy is for him to just start crying. It makes them pretty uncomfortable! Jon was the next to receive Harrison, and was able to talk him off of his ledge. I guess he figured he was a safe distance from danger, aka Allen Forbis. Haha!



The only picture I have from Saturday is of Harrison and his friend Zion. They are only 3 weeks apart and hopefully they'll grow up to be great little buddies. We had a few friends from church over for dinner and the kids had a good time playing. So did the adults. The ladies dominated the boys in a game of Outburst. Sure, the scorecard said otherwise, but it obviously doesn't count because Rick is a well-known cheater.




Hope you had a great weekend!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Musically talented?

I just uploaded this video I took a few weeks ago and thought I'd share. Harrison decided to show off a new musical skill. I thought it was cute -- about the ONLY cute thing about his reflux. Plus I really appreciated that he kept it in his mouth instead of spitting it up on me or the carpet like usual.




Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Austin, Texas


I wanted to post some of the pictures from our trip before it becomes a distant memory and I forget all about it -- which is likely to happen at pretty much any moment now because these days I am completely scatterbrained. I feel like I still have "pregnant brain" (which interestingly enough, I read recently is a scientifically proven condition). I thought it was supposed to go away once the baby is born but mine sure hasn't. I guess maybe there's a thing called "mommy brain"? You know, where your kid drains all of the wits out of you while in utero and then refuses to give any of it back? If not I should coin the phrase because I definitely have a strong case of it!

Sorry, I'm rambling. See what I mean about being completely scatterbrained? And here is where I return back to my original focus.

Austin, Texas!

We had a great trip (with the exception of The Incident, which I am still desperately trying to mentally suppress). I was able to pull it all off and Rick was completely surprised and excited and it was great to get out of town for a few days. Driving through the hill country was so refreshing. The quaint little towns along the way are really neat and I love that at gas stations you can find old-fashioned treasures like this:

Ahhh

I wasn't sure how smoothly things were going to go considering we were traveling with a baby, but Harrison did really well!  It was a little tricky trying to get him to go to sleep in the pack & play since he could see us, but we just ignored him and eventually he fell asleep. He woke up a few times the first night but the second night he slept until 5:30 before waking up, which is huge for him. However, we didn't really want to wake up at 5:30 so into the bed the baby came where we all got some good snuggling in and a little bit more sleep. Or at least they did. My boys love to toss and turn and make it pretty impossible to sleep next to them.

Now you see us...


They even toss and turn in unison. Like father, like son.



...and now you don't.


I'm a little sad that Harrison outgrew his carrier so fast. It made running around a lot more easier because we didn't have to disturb him if he fell asleep. It seems like the poor guy would doze off only to be woken up 5 minutes later when we got to where we were going. He was a champ though and not too fussy about missing his nap routine (maybe because he hates his nap routine, ha!).




Sleeping on Daddy


After we checked into the hotel and got settled in, we headed to tour the Capitol. Neither one of us had ever been there before, and it was really interesting. Of course it would be our luck to visit it when they are doing maintenance and it has scaffolding all over the outside. Still a captivating sight though.


Walking up the Great Walk



Looking up the breathtaking rotunda



Zoomed-in to the ceiling. So pretty!



 Looking down from the top



Harrison really wanted to get in on a little Michael-Jackson-baby-dangling action, but his square parents ruined his fun.



Gosh, Mom. These poles are right in my way.


 
Senate Chamber


Throughout the rotunda, there are portraits of all of Texas' former governors. I found it so interesting that the first female governor was elected in the 1920s (only 5 years after the 19th amendment was ratified)!





The nerdy finance major in me found this antique adding machine really neat, too:


how did anybody ever survive without Excel?!


The rest of the trip included a lot of shopping, both at the neat shops in downtown Austin and at the outlets in San Marcos. Here's Rick, really stoked to be at Gymboree. And actually, I'm not being sarcastic. The store has a TV that plays children's videos and he zones out to it every time we go in there. Thank goodness there weren't a bunch of kids around this time because usually it makes him seem pretty creepy, ha ha!


This guy loves his TV


Sunday, we were blessed with good company. Ashley & Joel were in New Braunfels for a trip to Schlitterbahn, so we met up and had dinner.


I love these two!


The cutest boys in the world


It's funny, because we are starting to realize our days of going out to eat are coming to an end. We ate more fast food than anything because it's just not worth the time or money when you're dining out with a baby - it's very flustering. Kind of hard to enjoy your meal when you're constantly moving things out of reach or giving him stuff to distract him or worried that he's going to throw all of his cheerios on the floor or have a melt down before the check comes. But you know what? Totally worth it!



Who, me?


And of course this post wouldn't be complete without some chocolate decadence. It almost caused a diabetic coma, but every bite of it was pure bliss.





Yes, my friends. Chocolate-covered cheesecake! Love at first sight, no?  I think Harrison was a little grumpy since we wouldn't share. Which of course was only because he's too young for chocolate-covered cheesecake and not at all because we are greedy when it comes to chocolate.  :)



You losers are dead to me.


We did lots of other fun stuff but I'm having a hard time remembering since I didn't take pictures of everything. All in all, it was a great first family vacation (again, with the exception of The Incident)!
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