Category Archives: Cute Baby Stories

Midnight Ramblings

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Tonight, you looked up at me while daddy nuzzled his nose into your neck. He was tickling you. Your face was full of laughter’s wrinkles and dimples. You squealed in delight “Do it again, daddy! Do it again!” I smiled down at you, my heart bursting with love, as I committed your tiny face to memory. Motherhood is pure joy. And it is equally painful. This season is fleeting, and that’s perhaps the hardest part of it all. Not the sleepless nights, tantrums, teething or sicknesses. No, the hardest part is that it’s passing by at an alarming rate, with nothing to be done about it. It’s like water flowing through your hands. You can never really stop the flow. No matter how you arrange your hands, the water always finds a way to flow out, as it should, and disappear. And so this season of motherhood flows away from me. Each day, you grow more independent and you need me a tiny bit less than you did the day before. It hurts, but I also know it is good. Perhaps bittersweet is the word to use here? I am thankful for the nights like tonight, when I can feel God nudging me to commit you to memory. I know I’ll cherish who you are in the morning, but I also want to remember every little detail of who you are right now. I want to remember the way you look: the dimples that appear when you smile and your mint green eyes, covered up by those long, black eyelashes. I want to remember the tangy scent of a toddler boy, mixed with that faint baby smell that is all too quickly fading away. And I want to remember how you’re just tall enough to turn on the lights by yourself, but still small enough to fit into my arms. I want to remember everything. My hope is that when you’re grown, I’ll be able look back, without regret, and know that I fully cherished who you were today.

Two Years with Harper

 

I don’t really know how, but he’s going to be two tomorrow. TWO, y’all! Really?! It just doesn’t seem like it has been two years since I first laid eyes on my little baby boy. I’ll never forget that day.

Moments after he was born. He looks thrilled to be here.

A picture of me and Harp (on the left) compared to me and my mom (on the right). I love the (completely unplanned) similarities in these pictures.

I think this was the morning after his birth. So in love, and feeling like I had been run over by a semi.

And this was our first night home from the hospital. After being up until 5AM in the morning because the child would NOT sleep in his bassinet. We finally caved and put him in bed with us where he slept peacefully for 2-3 hrs lol. Itty bitty cuddlebug.

That first week was sorta horrible. I remember thinking I would never sleep or feel normal again. I cried constantly and asked “what the hell have I gotten myself into?” Ahh…hormones and sleep deprivation. They make for a lovely combination.

All of my mom friends who visited looked at me with sympathy. They knew what I was going through, and each would encourage me by telling me that the first five to six weeks are the hardest and then it starts to get better. I remember cringing each and every time I heard someone say this. Five to six weeks felt like an eternity. I wondered how I would ever make it.

And then I blinked and two years passed. Two years containing some of the absolute best moments of my life. Harper has been such a blessing to us. The more we get to see of him and the type of person he is becoming, the more we love him. He’s basically the bomb dot come in our book.

Now…I don’t want to make this a super long post, but I do want to write about some of the things he is currently doing. Not milestones or anything like that…just things that I want to remember.

So here goes.

He sings. All…the…time! I love it. He even has his own little tune that he hums whenever he is doing something throughout the day – we call it Harper’s song and we hum it now too. Some of his favorite songs to sing are We Are Never Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift), Two Tickets to Paradise (Eddie Money), his ABCs (doesn’t quite know how to pronounce all the letters, but he tries and it’s adorable), and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

He doesn’t wake us up in the mornings anymore. Seriously. I have to set an alarm because he will sit and play in his crib (without making a peep) all morning if I let him. He just started doing this when we moved back to Alabama so we’re going on about two months of it now. I set my alarm for 7:30 and always wake up to silence. And even though every morning is the same, and he is ALWAYS awake when I go in there, I still think maybe…just maybe…he will be asleep. But as soon as I open the door he starts cracking up, stands up and starts jumping in the bed. It’s hilarious. I have no idea what time he actually wakes up, but my guess is around 7AM. What’s crazy is that sometimes when I go to get him, he will lay back down (I’m so huge pregnant, that I can’t pick him up while he’s laying in the crib). I’ll ask him if he wants up, and he’ll tell me no! I guess he just loves his bed…a lot?

He’s a good great helper. For his age, he helps me out a lot. If something needs to be thrown away, all I have to do is ask him to throw it in the trashcan and he does it. He’ has even started throwing his own trash away without having to be asked on occasion. He helps me put dishes away (I just started letting him about two weeks ago). Of course, they aren’t always perfect, but I love that he helps. He helps me put my shoes on. If he knows we’re leaving, he will run and grab them and put them on my feet (I wear flip flops every day so that helps lol). He also helps with getting himself dressed.

He loves people. He will say hi/hey to anyone. He loves going to the park and running up to other kids to tell them hi. It’s super cute! I babysit another little boy (Cole) 2-3 days a week, and he absolutely adores him. He cries whenever Cole has to leave. It makes me glad that he’s about to have a permanent little buddy. I think he is going to rock at being a big brother. I hope he and Emrist will be BFF.

He’s still super attached to bunny, but he has now added two more to the mix – doggie and bear. I hope this means that if we ever lose bunny, we’ll have two good backups that can make up for it. Hopefully we’ll never have to find out.

His favorite foods at the moment are chicken, eggs, bread, clementines, cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, cheese, cauliflower, cereal, and fruit gummies. His favorite activities are walking, going to the park, taking a bath, and reading books with daddy. He is constantly asking to go outside. He’s obsessed with our car (and with trucks, tractors, airplanes, helicopters, and trains).

In a nutshell, he’s 100% boy and he’s a kind person. I’ve been warned by many that he’ll soon become a monster (somewhere between age two and three) so for now, I’m soaking up all this sweetness in case it does disappear for a while 🙂

Finally…just like any cheesy mom, I made a video slideshow of pictures from the past year. Now…about the music. There’s this song by Watermark and it’s called Noah’s Song. They wrote it for their son and it says his name at the very beginning of the song. It perfectly describes my Harper, so I decided to use it for the slideshow. The fact that it said “Noah” at the beginning drove me nuts, so I just *had* to cut it out. That’s why the volume kinda fades in the very beginning. Just FYI.

I’ll shut up now. Here’s the video:

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:


Before


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!!

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:

Beautiful!

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.

Baby Signing Pt. 2

Harper said his first word “eat” a little over a week ago. I was unsure if he was really saying what I thought he was saying, so I watched him for a week just to be sure. He already says things like mama, dada and baba, but he doesn’t really use them properly just yet. When he said eat or “eeeeeeeeeee” it was always at the right time, and most of the time he would also do the sign for it. Still I wondered.

After watching him for a week, I realized he was in fact saying it. How he said it depended entirely on his mood and how hungry he was. If he’s a little hungry, he just points at his mouth and says it. If he’s very hungry, he doesn’t bother with the pointing, he just whines “eeeeeeeeeeeee” over and over again.

Anyways, my friend Misty requested a video of this, so here it is:

Some of you may remember my first post about baby sign language. I’ve been sort of lax on the signing here lately. I still do it, just not consistently.

Close to a month ago, I went to my friend Theresa’s house to hang out for a bit. Her daughter is about two months older than Harper and very active! She started walking at nine months (correct me if I’m wrong on that Theresa)! Wow!

Anyways, whenever she wanted something to eat, she would walk up to Theresa and point to her mouth. It looked like a super easy sign to teach Harper, so I decided to try it. This time I threw some consistency into the mix 😉 At all of his meal and snack times, I would just point to my mouth and say “Do you want something to eat?” and then I would hand him whatever it was he was eating. It took about two weeks for him to catch on. And there’s a possibility that he was doing it before then and I just didn’t realize it!

I’ve always tried to talk to him like an adult, and it seems like he’s really beginning to pick up on what I’m saying. It’s so neat and it should make signing even easier for him to learn. And vice versa, I also think that signing will help him expand his vocabulary. I believe that if I had just said “eat” without doing the sign, he wouldn’t be saying it yet.

Harper the Hampster.

Harper has a new trick. He has figured out that instead of sucking on his bottle, he can just hold it above his head and let the milk drip into his mouth. Ingenious!

Here ya go:

Stop rolling your eyes. Of course I made a video of the new trick. I document everything! And of course I’m going to blog about it. What else am I supposed to do while Harper and P are napping?

Anyways, Benji said that Harper reminded him of a hamster yesterday. Hence the title of this post. This little boy cracks us up, that’s for sure! You’ll also notice in the video that he is holding the bottle with his hands AND feet. That reminds me of a monkey. Maybe we should call him Monster – get it? Monkey & Hampster put together?!?! I know…I’m cheesy. Shut up.

Hopefully one day soon Monster will be 100% on the sippy cup and he’ll drink from it like a regular person. Right now he just plays with it and slings it everywhere though. Fun times.

Watching Harper’s Face Change

Some of you may remember my Baby Project 365 post from a while back. In a nutshell, I’ve been taking a photo of Harper’s face every day since January 26th (his 3rd month-iversary of life). My plan was to continue taking a photo a day until his first birthday.

I was actually pretty awesome at remembering the photo every day. Sometimes I would remember in the middle of a Harper “right before naptime/bedtime” meltdown, so I’d snap it during the fit. Other times, I’d remember it while trying to clean food particles off his face. In the end, there ended up being a nice variety of Harper faces for the project.

Towards the end, Harper caught on to the fact that he could avoid my flash by not looking directly at my camera. The daily photo began to be a major challenge because he obviously didn’t enjoy it, and well…I could never get a picture of him actually looking at the camera. If I did manage to get him looking at the camera, he looked drunk.

I really thought I’d make it all the way to his birthday, but then he got sick in the middle of September. It made an already unenjoyable photo session even more difficult…so I just decided to stop.

I thought I’d feel bad if I didn’t make it all the way to his birthday, but I don’t. While I do love being able to see the change his face made from January through mid-September, I’m kind of glad I don’t have to worry about that daily photo anymore.

Anyways, here’s the finished product:

(WARNING. I’m writing about snot down below)

In other news, Harper is still sick. He has traded his wheezing in for snot rivers – seriously, people! SNOT RIVERS – but he seems to be feeling better at least. Today was the first time since Thursday that he was actually happy! I sure was glad to hear his laughter again.

Back to the snot. I have officially passed the “handling of something really gross” mom test. Before having a baby, there were several things that grossed me out that I thought maybe I could conquer if I loved the little human enough (pee, poop, spit up, etc.). Snot was always one thing I thought I’d NEVER be able to handle. I mean…it’s snot. Green. Gooey. Gross.

Since Saturday, Harper has had some major snot issues. (I feel like I shouldn’t be writing about this, but hey…I warned you up above, so if you’re still reading and get grossed out…it’s on you). He has pretty much had a constant stream running down his face. Anytime he sneezes, he blows snot rockets out of his nose. And sometimes, when he is just breathing, he blows snot bubbles. You get the picture. Gross.

As nasty as it sounds, I haven’t gotten sick over it once. In fact, today, while at the grocery store picking up some medicine, I did something really gross and really motherly. We were heading back to the car and I noticed the river (which I previously thought had dried up) was running down Harper’s face again. I didn’t have anything on hand to get it with, so without hesitation I grabbed it with my sleeve. I mean…how many cool/gross points do I get for that?!

I know this is lame, but when I got in the car and thought about what I had just done, I was amazed and kind of touched. Having Harp has completely changed me in the best ways. I just love him! I REALLY underestimated how strong that love and the desire to protect him would be. It conquers snot, y’all. SNOT.

It’s sort of unbelievable.

Cherishing the Moments.

My Harper does not like to cuddle. I’m not much of a cuddler either, unless we’re talking about Benji or Harp. I’ve never been a fan of hugs, and things of that nature (PS: side hugs are okay…just the full hugs bother me). Anyways, it seems my aversion to cuddles/hugs was passed on to my son. He seems to feel confined whenever we try to hug him. He doesn’t get mad, he just pushes us away. I think if he would’ve had full use of his arms at birth, he probably would have fought the cuddles then too. He definitely fought being swaddled. 

He’s been going to sleep on his own since about four months of age. All I have to do is lay him in his crib or pack & play, hand him his bunny and he goes to sleep. I’m so happy that he does this, but I also miss being able to rock him to sleep (he won’t let me anymore). He’ll sit in my lap and let me hold him, but he won’t fall asleep on me…ever! He just looks around and studies everything in sight.

Today I had a rare moment with him. I had been out all morning with my friend Jennifer. We went to yardsales, ran errands and then we decided to go to lunch. Harper hadn’t had his morning nap, so he was very tired. He fell asleep in the car and when I picked him up to go inside the restaurant, he woke up, and then laid his head down on my shoulder and went right back to sleep. I know it’s probably stupid to blog about it, but my heart got so warm and fuzzy. It was just…special. We went inside and ate and my sweet little boy slept on my shoulder almost the entire time…even while I was eating a hamburger over his head.

Of course I took a picture of the sweet moment, because who knows when/if it’ll ever happen again:

I LOVE HIM.

Growing Boy.

Last night I sat down to blog about my soon-to-be ten month old, but got distracted and ended up not doing it…opps. I had a smallish freak out moment this past Friday because I realized in one week, Harp will be ten months old. That leaves two months to plan his birthday party. When Friday rolled around, I hadn’t really done anything besides pinning birthday ideas on Pinterest. I had a lot of ideas for invitations, cakes/cupcakes, party favors, etc. but I had one major problem – I didn’t actually know where I was going to have the party. Our house is a great size for us, but it wouldn’t be suitable for his birthday party. Not having a location was the main reason I hadn’t done any “real” planning, but on Friday, I decided I needed to do something beyond Pinterest!

Pretty much out of nowhere, the idea to have Harp’s party at a local pumpkin patch came to me. His birthday is in late October and a lot of the kids attending will be older children, so having it at at a pumpkin patch would be perfect! I wasn’t sure if pumpkin patch farms do birthdays, but I researched it and luck would have it that the one closest to our house does – thank you, Jesus! Through just a couple of e-mails, I managed to get a date booked – Yippee! It’s a really great price and they pretty much do everything for you. The package includes a party hostess, themed decorations, plates, cups, napkins, etc. They also provide cupcakes/donuts and each child attending gets to pick a pumpkin from the patch to take home – it was just too good of a deal to turn down. This leaves me with sending out invites (I’ll probably make them myself) and getting/making his personal birthday cake. So it’s going to be easy breezy and I am WAY excited!

Here are some things Harp has going on for him nowadays:

* He has four new teeth coming in on the top row. Two (his k-9s) are already through the gums and the other two are just beneath them, but visible. He also has one coming through on the bottom row. They all started coming in at the same time, but he has managed fairly well…thank goodness! I didn’t want a repeat of Mother’s Day weekend 🙂

* He appears to have a favorite color. Any time we give him a choice, he always picks green. It’s really cute.

* He has super curly hair. He’ll probably need a haircut soon, but I’m going to let it grow out because I think little boys with long hair are adorable.

* He is very verbal. He isn’t saying words just yet (beyond da da), but when he is mad or upset, he’ll make a series of noises and it sounds just like he is yelling at you. It’s hilarious!

* The kid hates having his diaper changed. Oh…my…gosh. Throws a fit every time.

* He’s starting to pull on us to stand up. This is really neat because he hasn’t started crawling yet. I’m beginning to think he may skip that stage (Benji did).

*If you take anything away from him, he gets very upset…and he lets you know about it.

*He loves to swing with mommy and daddy

*The last one is actually a little annoying…especially when we are out to eat. If he sees anyone eating, he wants to eat…even if he has just eaten and is full. I made a video of him doing this tonight. He had already eaten and Benji and I sat down to eat and well…he didn’t like it:

So…there you have it! I can’t believe he is about to be TEN months old! Time is flying!!

Nite y’all.