Category Archives: Baby Videos/Photos

17 Week Appointment & Mosquito Bites

Okay. So I’m trying not to only talk about my pregnancy here. However, one day, many, many years from now, I’d like to have my blog professionally printed off for my kids. I just think that would be a neat little keepsake (they may think otherwise, but whatevs). With that being the case, I want to document everything I can about my pregnancy without it being super annoying to the people who currently read my blog.  I’ve decided to try and cram everything into one “pregnancy” posting about every four weeks, or after every check-up. This is my first…expect the next one around the end of July 🙂

Note: that should read *aversions. And I got the turnip photo from here.

I had my 17 week check up this past Friday. I should’ve had a check up at 16 weeks, but couldn’t fit one into my schedule then. As a result, my appointments are all off and falling on odd weeks. Now, I won’t have the anatomy scan until I’m 21 weeks, instead of 20 weeks. The fact that I could technically find out what I’m having at this very moment, but have to wait almost another entire month, is KILLING me!

My appointment went really well! The baby’s heart was beating at 148 bpm – it’s always so reassuring to hear that sound – I hadn’t gained any weight (waaaaaa-hoooo!) and my blood pressure was 112/72. It was all so encouraging. I can only hope the rest of my appointments are just as good! 🙂

My dear friend Theresa kept Harper for me during the appointment (THANK YOU!). She has a daughter that is two months older than Harp. They are BFF.  

See. Aren’t they cute?

We had a last minute family get together at Benji’s grandmother’s that evening. The mosquitoes must think Harper is super sweet because they always eat him up no matter what I do. Despite having bug spray and light clothing on AND bug repellent torches burning all around us, they still bit him. They got him on the legs and on his right ear.

When I got Harper up for breakfast the next morning, I did a double take. I was looking at him straight ahead and his ears were….crooked. One was much, MUCH bigger than the other.  He looked like Alfalfa from Little Rascals. For a moment, I actually thought that his ears had had a growth spurt overnight, and the one ear had just left the other behind (ridiculous, I know!). But then, I remembered the mosquito bite. I’ll blame my stupidity on being groggy. Well…that and pregnancy brain.

It’s pretty hilarious that I didn’t think about the mosquito bite right away because Harper had actually been bitten near his eye the week before. That bite left his eye swollen for about three days:

His eye doesn’t look bad compared to this:

Amazing, right?!  His ear was completely better by Saturday, and never seemed to itch or cause him pain – thank the Lord! We’re very fortunate to have a nurse in the family (hey, Marcy!) so that we don’t have to rush to the doctor whenever something like this happens. Hopefully, he won’t always react to mosquito bites this way :-\

It’s finally happening!

When Harper’s pediatrician told me he may walk later because of his huge noggin, I really didn’t think he meant this late. I was thinking he’d probably start between 13 and 14 months. Haha…yeah…right.

Around his first birthday, I googled the normal age range for babies to start walking. It’s 9-18 months, ya’ll! That’s a huge gap! I also asked around to see when folks started walking in my and Benji’s families. Me and my siblings were late walkers. We all ranged between 13 and 16 months. (My sister was the only one who showed signs of walking early. That is until she broke her femur bone a little while before her first birthday and had to be in a full body cast for weeks.) Benji also had an uncle who didn’t walk until 18 months. After hearing this information, I just knew my baby bird was going to wait until the very last minute to start steppin’. Oh, my poor, poor back!

I was close in my guesstimate. He’s now 17 months (one month shy of the normal range) and he just recently started taking steps about a week and a half ago. His first real steps were on March 11th (my grandfather’s birthday). He walked for a golden coin. Yes, my son will walk for money.

He still prefers crawling to walking, but we’re getting there. Hopefully, this time next month, my lower back will begin healing from the past six months of toting 25+ lbs around. Halle-freakin-lujah!

Nothing Gold Can Stay

I never get to hold my baby anymore. If he’s awake, he’s roaming around, discovering, touching and destroying things. If he’s asleep, he’s in his crib – he won’t go to sleep if we’re holding him. Just won’t do it. 

He fell asleep in the car today and I managed to get him out without waking him – what an achievement! Instead of putting him straight into his crib, I decided to sit in the rocking chair with him and do that creepy parent thing where you just stare at your child and think “how are they mine?”

I was reeeeeeeeeeeeaaaally soaking it up – the sounds of his breathing, the innocence of his face, the small jerky movements of a person falling into deeper sleep – and then I started thinking about stuff crap.

“I need to fold the towels. I need to do the dishes. Man…I REALLY need to wash my hair…it’s gross. This is me time. I need to use it while I have it.” etc. etc. etc.

And out of no where “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost popped into my head. I saw Harper as a young boy, a teenager and then as a man on his wedding day. Before I knew it, I was crying because I realized a day will come when I won’t be able to hold him anymore. A day will come when I’ll have to let him go.

I’ve always known this, I just try not to think about it. It’s one of those truths in life that, while being good, still hurts like hell. Today I was thankful for the reminder though. My days are numbered and I need to live them. I need to soak up every moment with my little boy. And I need to cherish the moments that I am fortunate enough to spend holding him because I’m not promised anymore.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


Harper’s 1st Haircut!

I love my boy’s wild and crazy curls. The thought of cutting that beautiful hair just killed me! I didn’t think we would cut it for a really long time, but after we took Harp to see Santa and I saw this picture, I decided it was time. He was beginning to get a mullet in the back…crap!

I asked for some suggestions on where to take him and a friend from my Virginia moms group suggested that I take him to Snip-Its in Charlottesville. It’s a salon just for kids and they have a “1st Haircut” package. Your kid gets their picture made, they get a certificate and a toy, and you get locks of their hair for the baby book. It was pretty spankin’ awesome!

Here are some pictures:


Haha…I love this one!!

Harper feeding the stylist his comb.

The certificate

The picture they took…he wasn’t interested in the camera at this point

And this is the finished product. He looks so grown up!

The stylist cut it shorter than I wanted her to, but I was prepared for this. Harper did really great while we were there. He never once freaked out and only tried to grab the scissors a few times. I’m really glad we chose Snip-its! It was a great experience!!


With Harper being a lot more aware this Christmas than he was last, we decided to start some traditions that we want to do with him (and our other kiddos) each year.

Tradition #1 – Get a picture with Santa

Harper had his picture made with Santa last year when he was itty bitty. It’s amazing how much he’s changed in a year! We’re going to take him for a picture each year until he thinks he’s too cool to do it anymore. After that, I’m going to make a scrapbook or maybe even a giant holiday frame to hold all of the Santa pictures. I just think it’ll be neat to see the progress between each photo 🙂

Tradition #2 – Five gifts


I decided to do this for each of our kids mainly because I like the idea of setting limits for myself. I LOVE giving gifts and have the potential to get really carried away with it. With this, not only will I have an idea of what to get each year, but it will also (hopefully) prevent me from going absolutely nuts with my gift giving. The idea is that you give your kids four gifts: a want, a need, something to wear, and something to read.

This is a picture of Harper’s “four” things for this Christmas:

He got a green hairbrush that folds up into a ball (a need), a wooden block set (a want…although we did have to guess at it this year), a toboggan, winter coat and socks (something to wear) and two books.  And see what I mean?! We even went over a little bit even though we had limits.

You’ll notice that when I wrote Tradition #2 up top, I wrote five gifts, instead of four. That’s because I want to add a gift to the list – a gift to give away. When Harper and our other kiddos are older, I want them to be involved in giving to those that are less fortunate. We will have them pick out a gift for a needy child and then give it away, probably through Angel Tree, Toys for Tots or something like that. I think it’ll be a neat way to teach them to care for the poor.

Tradition #3 – Memory Jar


When I was 18, I made one of these for a dear friend of mine. For the life of me, I can’t remember where I got the idea from, but I know it wasn’t Pinterest, as Pinterest wasn’t around in 2004.

For our family, I’ll have the memory jar set out in a special place throughout the year. It’ll have a pen and slips of paper beside it. Whenever something happy or funny happens, or just something we want to remember, we can write it on a slip of paper and stick it into the memory jar. On Christmas or New Years (haven’t decided which one yet) we’ll read through all of our memories from the previous year. I plan on buying some wine racks to display the jars on. The year will be written on the top of the lid, so you can pick and choose what year you want to read, and just pull it from the wine rack.

So…those are a few of our traditions. What are some of yours?

That time Harper projectile vomited on Benji…

If you’re a Facebook follower, then this isn’t new news: Harper is sick. He developed a cough on Saturday night, but we didn’t really think anything of it. His pediatrician previously told us he would probably have a “croupy” cough several times during the winter. He told us that Harper reacts to the common cold by developing “croup” so we assumed that this was what was happening.

Sunday and Monday didn’t really change our minds. On Monday, Harper puked for the first time ever. That’s right, folks! He’s been vomit free since 93 (another HIMYM reference)…or for the first year of life at least 🙂 I wasn’t concerned over the fact that he puked because it was after a coughing fit. He basically coughed and coughed until he gagged and then well…you know the rest. Monday night he refused to eat. He did take a bottle, after which we put him down for the night. And then, our worst night in the history of Harperhood began.

Harper woke up screaming every 30-40 minutes…pretty much all night long. It was exhausting. And did I mention that I was sick too (thought it was a cold, but now I’m thinking bronchitis)? Benji and I took turns with him, but I still thought I would die. At one point, I realized that he was happier while sitting up instead of lying flat. I raised his mattress with a pillow and that helped tremendously! After this discovery, I concluded that he must have an ear infection. A trip to his pediatrician’s office the next morning confirmed an ear infection and RSV – geeez!!

So now to the title of the blog-o! After actually succeeding in getting Harper to eat last night, we took him upstairs for a bath. After bathing him, and getting him dressed, I handed him off to Benji so that I could go hang his towel back up. While I was in the bathroom, I heard “HELP!! ASHLEY!!!” Being sick and slow, I did not run into the room. I just said “what do you need?” And in reply, I got another panicked “Help!” It sounded a little more serious this time, so I “rushed” into the room to find a scene from The Exorcist. Benji was holding Harper and well…puke was going everywhere, including on him.

Honestly, it was quite impressive. I didn’t know Harper had that kind of power in him lol. Eventually the puke fountain stopped and we got everything cleaned up (yeah…that took a while). Harper had a smirk on his face the whole time we were cleaning up and would giggle at us occasionally. Little booger.

All I could think after that little episode was thank God Benji was the one holding him (haha sorry babe)! I’m a chain puker, so I don’t think that would’ve ended well, had it been me in his place. Thankfully, we haven’t had anymore vomits today. I’m hoping to keep us vomit free for at least another year. Please, oh please, oh please let it happen!

At least Harper is a happy baby, even when he is sick. He smiled a lot yesterday. I took this while we were cuddled up together on the couch:

Gosh. I love him.

Ten On Ten!

(If you click on the image, it’ll take you to one of my favorite blogs!)

So I haven’t done this since June!! I always plan on doing it and then completely forget about it! Today was different though. Yeah…I still forgot, but I happened to open Google Reader while the babies were napping and was reminded of it! Yippee!

Here is my first (and last) Ten On Ten post: Ten On Ten – June. Basically, on the 10th of each month, you take one photo an hour for ten hours. It’s such a fun way to document your day! I didn’t have my SLR camera with me today, so I just took pictures with my iPhone and made them look pretty with my Instagram app. You can read about that here: My Favorite iPhone App (it’s free!)

And here’s my day:

 Surfing the net while babies sleep

Babies still sleeping – starting to get bored!!

They’re awake! Yippee!!

Walking around with mommy

Theresa & Aylen come for a visit!

Dog vs. Scarecrow (RIP)

Resting after the scarecrow smack down

Going on a walk.

Me & P

Naptime again!

I took that last one about 30 minutes before I was supposed to, but I couldn’t chance waiting. I only have time to blog while the babies sleep 🙂 I hope you guys enjoyed this post – go check out A Bit of Sunshine, if you haven’t already!

My Favorite iPhone App (it’s free!)

I’ve been using the iPhone for a little over two years now and I’ve found a lot of good apps along the way. A while back, I downloaded a photo app called Instagram because one of my friends posted an Instagram photo to Facebook that I really liked. Unfortunately, I totally forgot about it once it was downloaded and I didn’t use it for a pretty long while. I rediscovered it about month or so ago, and I’ve been playing around with it more and more since then. Let me just tell you, folks…it is awesome! Not only is it awesome, but it is also FREE!

I just wanted to share some before and after photos I’ve done with it and to tell you to download it if you haven’t already 🙂 It’s super fun!















Bedhead Before

Bedhead After





So…there you have it! It’s just a nice, simple way to turn an “alright” photo into an awesome one! I kind’ve love it…a lot.

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…

Cry tears of joy, that is. Good Lord, this is late! If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you’ll know that we had Harper’s 1st birthday party on October 23rd. It…was….AWESOME! We had it at Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet, Virginia and were impressed with how it turned out. I was so impressed that I even mentioned having it there again next year to Benji.

We had a turnout of about 35 people and it seemed that everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves while there. The party started with everyone going out into the orchard and picking apples. Afterwards, Harper (aka mommy & daddy) opened his presents and then everyone had cake. I enlisted the help of Harper’s aunt Marcy and uncle Nathan with cupcakes and the birthday cake. Nathan made the cupcakes because he rocks at them and Marcy made Harper’s cake. Here’s a picture of it:


The birthday party package at Chiles was $150 and included:

Ø  Party host to get things started

Ø  Reserved picnic table(s)

Ø  Container for each child to Pick Your Own fruit (in season)

Ø  Cup of frozen yogurt or ice cream for each child

Ø  Birthday Donuts and candles

Ø  Party-themed tablecloths, napkins, plates, utensils

Ø  Goodie Bags as take-home gifts

Ø  Special gift for birthday child

In my opinion, it was a steal. There are some amazingly talented mamas out there who would die to plan their child’s party, bake the cake and hand-make all the decorations. I am not one of those moms (I won’t lie though…I sometimes wish I was one of them). I dreaded just the thought of having to plan a birthday party….especially a first birthday party! I wanted the party to be good for everyone, not just Harper, and I really didn’t think I had it in me to do all that was required for that. That’s why Chiles ended up being the perfect thing for me. It took all the worry and stress off of my shoulders. They pretty much did everything short of sending out invitations. My friends…that was TOTALLY worth $150 🙂

If you’re living in or around the Valley, I highly recommend the orchard for birthday parties. Heck…I highly recommend that place for just a simple visit. It’s such a fantastic peace of earth!

One Year.

We made it through the first year! Wow. I consider this a huge accomplishment. We survived. Harper survived. We made it! In spite of the doubt and straight up not knowing what the hell-o we were doing at times, here we are, one year later, with an amazing kid on our hands. Incredible. Thank you, Jesus!

As expected, I’m feeling many different things today. I’m joyful because I have a beautiful, happy and healthy ONE YEAR OLD baby little boy. Then there’s a part of me that’s sad because he isn’t an itty bitty baby anymore. He hasn’t been a newborn for a while, but today it’s really hitting me that all that stuff is over…gone! Blows my mind! And at the same time, another part of me is SO dang happy that he ISN’T a newborn anymore!

I know. It sounds stupid. I miss it and I don’t miss it all at once. I miss him being tiny and cuddly. I miss the noises he used to make (click here if you want to here some of the cute noises). I miss the pouty lip he used to give me if I didn’t give him his bottle quick enough. I miss actually having to hold his bottle for him. I miss him sleeping on my chest.

I don’t miss the depression. the loneliness. Or the anxiety. I don’t miss being so anxious about him waking up that I couldn’t sleep. I don’t miss being so anxious about the possibility of him never waking up again that I couldn’t sleep. I don’t miss his 20-30 minute naps (the longer ones are so much better). I don’t miss the jerky movements that would wake him up ALL the time even though he was swaddled.

I could go on and on about the things I miss and don’t miss from that time. I think the hardest part about having a newborn for me, was just not feeling like myself, not knowing what I was doing and not having support because we were in a new place.

As most of you know, we moved four hours away from friends and family a week after we had Harp. I was recovering from a c-section and Benji was at a new job so he couldn’t take off to help me. I just had to tough it out through the pain and the emotions. To put it simply: it sucked 🙂

I never really shared what I was going through on my blog or on Facebook. In fact, if you were reading my blog at the time, you probably thought I was super happy. I certainly wanted to appear that way. I wanted to feel that way too…but I didn’t.

I had a few close friends that knew what I was going through, but other than that, I didn’t really talk about it. I wanted to seek help for PPD, but I didn’t have a doctor in Memphis. With a newborn on my hands, making a trip to the doctor for myself just seemed like one more thing that would make life harder. Looking back, I wish I would have sought treatment. Maybe then I would have enjoyed the first couple of months of Harper’s life.

Regardless…we survived. By January, I felt like myself again and I truly began to enjoy being a mom (I credit lots and lots of prayer for this). I didn’t feel like a zombie anymore and I was beginning to get the hang of things. I didn’t cry all the time and I began to feel happy about the sacrifices I was making for Harp. I guess it just took three months to get over the shock of someone else depending on me 100% for their own survival.

Before Harp got here, I really thought I knew what this mom thing would be like. I spent the entire time I was pregnant reading and researching, but I still wasn’t prepared for it. I really don’t think you can be until you’re here. It’s amazing. There are times when it’s easy breezy and then there are times when it is incredibly hard. There are so many things that I love about it. And a few things I don’t really care for, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

With all that being said, here is a little video I put together for Harp’s birthday. You knew I would. It’s just some of my favorite pictures from the past year.What an amazing year it has been!

Happy birthday, Harper! Your daddy and I are so blessed to call you our own.