Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Letter: Month Seven

Dear Harrison,
Today is bittersweet for me. I am beyond thrilled that you are seven months old, and I have literally had the absolute best summer EVER, but today I start a new school year. 
I am not ready for summer to be over yet.

The one thing that is getting me through the thought of missing you ALL DAY long today is the fact that you are going to be spending time with my dear friend Hilary whenever I’m at work. She and I have known each other since we were in middle school and she cannot wait to take care of you! You’ll be playing all day with her son Landon (who I’m sure will be one of your good buddies growing up). He was born in May, which makes him about eight months older than you. He’s busy and such a sweet boy, I am so excited for you to spend so much time with him this school year because I know it’ll be very entertaining for you to watch all of the things he can do! I’m sure you’ll learn all about being a busy boy from him. Knowing that Hilary will be taking such good care of you and Landon every day makes me so thankful. Not every mom gets to take her little one to a friend to watch while she’s working. Your Daddy and I feel very blessed that you’ll be in such wonderful hands!
Well my chubby boy, you are such a sweetie. This month has been a hard one for my family because your Great-Grandpa had a stroke and has been in a rehabilitation center for several weeks. We have been spending a lot of time visiting him the past few weeks, and I really don’t know who has loved it more, you or Great-Grandpa. He has a picture of you framed in his room and he loves looking at it.
Every time you come in the room he absolutely lights up. It’s so sweet to watch him talk with you. He calls you his “little pussycat” which is kind of silly, but he loves cats more than anything, and it’s the nickname he gave you before he got sick so hearing him call you that is extra special. The other residents where he lives also get a kick out of seeing you. I think it’s a combination of your blue eyes, blonde hair, toothy grin, and your ultra chubby legs that brings everyone in the rehab center so much joy.  Last week we met Trudy and Virginia, two older ladies who just couldn’t stop gushing over how precious you are. No matter what, you are always so happy when we’re there—even when you were getting new teeth (in the past two weeks you’ve gotten three teeth! Holy cow Little Mister…for your sake I hope the next tooth takes a little time before it comes in).
Aside from all the time we have spent visiting Great-Grandpa (and Great-Grandma, or Gigi as she likes to be called) we have also spent lots of time enjoying each other’s company this month.  We have gone on many walks, practiced rolling, played with toys, read books, and laughed a lot.
You’re so chatty these days. You make lots of fun sounds and giggle all the time. You are SUPER ticklish on the back of your neck, and under your armpits and chin. You can sit like a champ…I’m pretty sure if I let you, you could sit all day and play with toys or just your hands and feet. When you’re on your tummy you can push yourself up really well. Sometimes it looks like you’re doing push-ups. You still haven’t rolled without assistance, but you barely need any help so it’s not that you can’t do it but more like you know we want you to and you just won’t.
This week you’ve started to wave with your hands. I don’t think you know that it’s a wave, but you see us opening and shutting our hands at you, and have figured out that you can do it too. It’s so adorable. We have also been teaching you “more” and “all done” in sign language when we feed you and today you finally showed your Daddy “more” (you did it once last week for Grandma Lamb and I, but Daddy didn’t believe it until he saw it for himself).

You’ve got three teeth on the bottom, one side top tooth, and one of your front top ones just broke the skin today. If the other top one doesn’t come in soon you’ll have a jack-o-lantern smile because there’ll be a gap on top. We’ll see…
Even with all the pain you’ve had cutting these teeth, you have remained one of the most relaxed and happy babies I’ve ever met. You seriously just go with the flow and seem to be happy no matter where we are or what we’re up to. Oh Harry, you are just such a source of joy to your Mama! J And everyone else in your life!

Well Harry, even though summer is over I promise this next month will be a good one too. Fall is really my favorite season of the year and I am SO looking forward to watching you take it all in, the crunchy leaves and all of the holiday festivities. I know you’re going to love it all.
Love Always,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Small Details

Everyone asks me who I think Harrison looks like. In all honesty I have a hard time telling whether any baby looks more like their mom or dad (unless the baby is a spitting image of either parent). I think Harry looks a lot like many different people in our family.

He gets his blonde hair from his Daddy's side (Josh was a very blonde little boy). But my sister was really fair too, and so were both of our mom's.

He has hairy arms, legs, and toes which come from my family, especially my Grandpa Horner (he's the hairiest person I've ever met).

I think he has my eyes.

And there are moments when he looks just like my brother Griffin when he was a baby too.

Mostly I just think he looks like himself.

There are two small details in Harrison's appearance that nobody would ever notice but Josh and I. My finger nails kind of curve out at the ends (hard to explain) but I noticed the other day that Harrison's do the same thing. And Josh has this little "tuft" of hair in between his eyebrows (blonde, so you hardly notice it) and Harrison has the exact same feature.

Having a baby is a crazy thing. I'm sure it'll really throw me off when he starts talking someday and says things just the way we do. I've heard that having kids is like looking into the mirror sometimes. I guess it's never too early for Harry to start taking in the way Josh and I handle things, interact with each other, etc.

Anyway, just wanted to jot down a couple of small details about Harrison's appearance that I don't want to forget.

Of note this week:

  • He's gotten his next two teeth in. Now he has a total of four, but five and six are starting to make their way down. His gums are swollen and I can see the start of these next teeth pushing their way to the surface.
  • Harry used the sign for "more" once this week while eating. My mom saw it too (so I'm not exaggerating) although Josh doesn't believe me. Hopefully he'll do it again soon for Daddy to see!
  • He has just noticed that his hands make a "waving" motion. You know the baby wave when the open and shut their fingers. He stares at his hand while doing it (but for some reason he keeps his index finger straight). He doesn't know that he is "waving" yet but it sure is cute watching him figure out how his body works.
  • Harrison is quite the star at my Grandpa's rehabilitation center. Everyone stops us when we go down the hallway to ooh and ahh over Harry's chubby legs and blue eyes. He is very smiley and seems to enjoy the attention. This morning we met Trudy and Virginia who were delighted to spend a few minutes chatting with Harry and I.
  • This is my last week of summer. I can't believe that Harry's first summer is almost over. While I love my job and am thrilled with the fact that my good friend Hilary will be taking (amazing) care of Harrison while Josh and I are at work this year...I'm still in denial about the fact that it's almost Fall. This week Josh has seven days off and we plan on enjoying every moment we can before the craziness of the school year begins...so if I'm not around here much, you'll know it's just because I'm getting extra snuggles from the two men in my life!
I'll definitely be back with Harrison's 7 month letter. Can't believe he's already going to be 7 months old. 

I did some cleaning today and reorganized my big storage closet upstairs. Despite my mixed feelings about summer being over so soon, I am excited to break out my Fall decor and share my favorite time of year with Harrison. This year the Holidays are going to be extra special!

Here's a photo to reward you for getting to the end of this long and random post!

Here's Harry at his cousin Zoe's birthday party a couple of weeks ago. Check out those guns!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reflecting on Thankfulness

Well, I'm exhausted. But thankful. SO VERY Thankful!

I am thankful for the sunshine (and air conditioning...if your house is sweltering come on over), for my husband, son, and family, for friendships and laughter, and for today.

Whenever something traumatic happens in life, it's such a good reminder to slow down and take things one day at a time.

Which is what we've been doing.

Taking things



at a time.

Since my Grandpa went into the hospital last Friday night, the items on my list don't seem as urgent as they did before. Instead of dusting, vacuuming, and putting the laundry away I've been cherishing time with people. We've spent many hours in the hospital, and now the rehabilitation center my Grandpa is staying in.  In the midst of heartache however, we have been able to share time with family and friends, cherishing the moment together.

Today my friend Carrie hosted lunch at her house. This is just one example of moments I am so thankful to share with people I love. While we were chatting around the table after lunch, Carrie snapped this adorable photo of Harrison and I.

This little chubby bundle of joy has literally brought joy to so many people this week - especially my Grandparents. In moments when my Grandpa has been so exhausted and overwhelmed that he couldn't even talk Harrison could still make him smile. 

One of the greatest things about being a mom is watching the way my son brings so much joy wherever he goes. Harrison is overjoyed with his little life and his attitude is literally contagious. He is such a happy boy and I am thankful that he has been able to make us all smile in the midst of many tears the past week.

Grandpa had a good day today, but like I said earlier, we're just taking things one day at a time.

Tomorrow we'll go visit him and I am sure we will find things to be thankful for. 

I could get focused on how worried I am about both of my Grandparents. 

Or I could complain about how today Harrison threw up all over both of us (like really threw up, out the mouth and nose).  Or about how I spent the past two hours trying to comfort Harry while he cried inconsolably (getting two teeth at once, and not feeling well to boot, makes for one tired/cranky baby).

But after sitting down and reflecting on the things I am thankful for today, I am not worried or frustrated. I know I could let my Grandpa's health get me down, but choosing thankfulness has helped me put things in perspective. 

Today I'm choosing thankfulness, instead of _____________.

.    .    .

"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:27 (TNIV)

"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today" Matthew 6:34 (NLT)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Counting Blessings: My Grandpa

Well the past few days have been overwhelming to say the least. My Grandpa has been in the hospital. For years now he's struggled with dementia, mostly just failing to come up with a word or name when he's trying to tell a story.  But on Friday evening things changed drastically.

He didn't know where he was, or who my Grandma was (his wife of 50 years). He kept demanding that she take him home and wouldn't listen when she told him that he was home and that she was his wife.


Turns out he doesn't really have demntia. And he didn't have a stroke.

My Grandpa has a blockage in the arteries in the back of his brain. He remains confused (although he does know who my Grandma is now, thankfully). Sometimes he knows where he is, but most often he says things that don't make sense.  He has always been such an intelligent and articulate man, so seeing him like this is hard to say the least. And the sad thing is that it doesn't sound like there is anything that can be done to fix the problem or return his mind to its former state.

I find myself crying and laughing. It's all you can do. Especially when he tells us that the reason he is in the hospital is because of a plane accident in which he (the pilot) had to land the airplane on the roof of the airport. He has claimed to be a Lutheran Bishop (even though he was really a Presbyterian Minister for much of his life).

Probably the hardest part is when he sees things that aren't really there (like pictures on the wall, and cats in the room). We're pretty sure he was eating one of his favorite ice cream bars last night even though he was just grasping for air.

Please pray for my sweet Grandpa and my Grandma during this time. We are trying to figure out a plan for the near future which will include rehab of some sort.  My Grandma is tired, but supported by family and friends. I'm sure you can imagine how scary and overwhelming it all is to her though.

Even though I'm not sure he knows exactly who Harry is, he is really enjoying seeing him each day. I am SO THANKFUL that it's still summer vacation and I can spend my days with my Grandparents.

Life is so short and I find myself thanking God for all of the many blessings I enjoy each day. My Grandpa has lived 80 long and fulfilling years and I know that someday he'll be returning home to be with Jesus. Knowing that he will have a new mind and new body that works perfectly brings me so much peace and hope, even when it hurts to watch him like this. More than anything else, what I know about my Grandpa is that he lived his life as a follower of Christ and I am comforted to know that he will be able to not only meet Jesus face to face, but also worship him eternally in a place with no sickness, pain, or tears. I really can't imagine watching my Grandpa like this without the hope of Jesus.

Here is a picture of my Grandpa holding little Harry when he was about a month old.  Grandpa's eyes were closed, but I love seeing him holding my little guy.

Today he kept telling Harrison, "We're going to be good friends, you and I".

It makes me tear up just typing it out.

I'm so thankful for my amazing Grandparents.  And thank you so much for your prayers!

Friday, August 10, 2012

10 on 10 :: August 2012

Here's my 10 on 10 set for this month. I decided to make a collage of my photos using a fun (and free) photo editing program called PicMonkey.

Check out more installments of 10 on 10 here.

Enjoy :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Today I...

...washed a load of baby clothes + a disposable diaper. Not sure how that happened but it took a couple more washes to undue the damages. Thankfully it was only a wet one!

...got a haircut.

...finally started using my new meal planning system (which deserves its own post, maybe later this week).

...saw a coyote in our backyard.

...enjoyed Harry's baby giggles and rolls. He's so much fun to hang out with!

...baked (and ate) way too many cranberry orange scones. When will I learn that I have zero will-power when it comes to scones?!

...paid some bills and sorted through the mail (two of my least favorite chores).


...had lunch with some very special family friends. I should've taken more pictures but this is the only one I managed to snap:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fresh Rhuberry Crisp (with a celeb sighting on the side)

Today my friend Sarah invited me to meet her and her daughter Evelyn at the local Rhubarb Festival. It was sunny and the Rhuberry Crisp was to die for (thanks Sarah for the invite and the treat). Another friend of hers brought her son and the three of us had a fun time walking through the vendor's booths. But the highlight was meeting a contestant from this past season of The Bachelorette. Josh watched more of this season than I did so I asked Doug to autograph a picture for Josh.

I only managed to take two photos with my phone to document the day. Here they are via instagram (I love that app...you can follow me @knmatt).