Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hug Your Babies.

I was heavily drugged and not even a little bit clear-headed when Harrison was put in front of me for the first time, so I didn't have this explosion of emotion and love that everyone talks about when they see their baby for the first time.  I loved him, of course...I just didn't know how to form a word or a thought in that moment other than, "don't barf, don't barf."  And that was taking everything in me.  A few hours later when they woke me up and had him with them to hand to me for the first time, they didn't even give me a minute to wake up a little and hold him before it became all business.  This is how you nurse and you want to shove this here and do this right now and hold his head like this!!!  I really got robbed of those first moments.  I'm not bitter though.  Over the next couple of weeks, I really got to fall in love with Harrison and get to bond with him for the first time. I thought I couldn't love anyone more than I loved him right then.  I was so wrong. 

I love this boy more every day, and when I wake up every morning feeling like it couldn't even be possible to love him more, and then go turn on his lamp and watch him groggily roll over, sit up and reach for me with his eyes barely open...I just get knocked over with an even bigger dose of love than the day before.  The tiniest, most insignificant things make me so happy.  Watching him sit on the floor of the kitchen and eat a popsicle.  Watching him play for a minute when I pick him up from daycare, and he doesn't know I'm there yet.  When he eats his dinner and says, "Mmmmm!" after every bite.  When he gets home from school and immediately starts asking for the dog.  "Ah-yer?  Ah-yer?"  Which is the best prounounciation of Oliver I've ever heard, by the way.  The way he walks around hugging a stuffed animal and patting it on the back.  His dance moves.  I have to catch my breath sometimes when I think of him or watch him do something new.  He is far and away the best thing I have ever done and the reason my life now has life in it.  I want nothing more than the priviledge of watching him grow up into a happy, beautiful man.  

Today is April 19th.  The anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, in which nineteen young children and babies were killed.  When I think of how much I love my son, and how much he has given me in just one year, and then think of how it would feel to lose him like heart hurts for everyone who lost someone that day, but it's agony to think of the ones who lost their babies.  My heart goes out to them, because I know that even after all this time, they are still hurting...especially today.  

Lately, I am reminded more and more to never take for granted this gift I have been given, and I make it a point to thank God every night for my son and ask Him to watch over him and protect him.  I may still have some traces left in me of the selfish person I was before Harrison, but he has softened my heart and taught me what it means to love.  I pray I get to tell him that every day for many, many, many years to come.  

Monday, March 19, 2012


I was raised a certain way, to believe in certain things and how they should be, and while there are some things I outgrew or decided against as I became and grew into my own person, there are some things that stuck with me and still hold true for me.  I am currently in a situation that causes me to go against one of those beliefs, and it is becoming less and less comfortable for me as time passes.  But what do you do when one person believes one thing, and the one person believes another, and there isn't a "middle of the road"?  There isn't a compromise on this one.  It's just one person getting their way, while the other one doesn't.  

And how does this translate into my parenting?  How do I tell my son to never compromise his values, when that is exactly what I am doing?  I get this horrible pit in my stomach when I think about it. I don't know how to be anything other than myself...but pretending that things are ok that I don't think are ok is not me.  But complicating things definitely is, and so why should it come as a surprise that I find myself here now?  

I love my little boy more than I've ever loved another human being and there is nothing in this world I wouldn't do for him.  The last thing I want is for him to grow up using me as an example of how not to be, like I did with my parents.  People always tell me I turned out so great for coming from the situation that I did.  First of all, I'd like to just be told that I turned out great for once and leave it at that.  Not to have my successes be measured against my parents' failures.  And secondly, it's sad when someone has a decent life only because they made a decision to not be like their parents. God forbid I ever put my own son in that situation.  

Anyway, this is mostly me venting and definitely getting a little more personal than I like to, but welcome to my diary.  I had to be able to say it to someone

On a lighter note...maybe I'm not the best person on the planet, but my family sure is!  My aunt and three of my cousins came to visit this weekend and we had such a great time!  Especially Harrison, who absolutely adored the boys and was so sad to see them go.  There is nothing better than having a house full of people that leave a void behind when they go.  We miss them already.  My dad may be wasting a spot on this planet, but I definitely lucked out with the rest of my fam, they are truly my home.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Harrison's birthday came and went and unfortunatly, no party took place.  He ended up with a terrible cold and pink eye and gave the cold to both of us, and as of today, March 1st...we are still getting over it.  TERRIBLE cold.  It was the worst not having a party for him, although we did celebrate a little bit the night of the would-be party with some friends and family.  After H went to bed, of course.  Thankfully, he is now over it and soon,  I'm getting him a cake and balloons and we're singing "Happy Birthday" and he's wearing his birthday shirt.  I don't care if it's a month late, you don't miss your child's first birthday!

Last week, our little man transitioned to the next class at his daycare.  He spent a little more time in there each day.  It's been sort of a struggle because his very favorite teachers are no longer his all-day best friends and it's obvious he's a little sad about it.  He loves to play with the "big kids" but then he loves to go back to his room and cuddle with his teachers and run the show.  His new class has a daily routine, that includes naptime on a mat - which he thought was the dumbest idea ever at first, but he has now napped with them two or three times. He even got to go play on the playground outside and ride on the bouncy horse, and he sat still in his teacher's lap to listen during storytime.  No one wants to accept it right away, but he's definitely not a baby any more. So bittersweet.

The one thing about his growing up (too quickly) that is turning out to be so much fun, is feeding him table food for every meal.  Oh, and not buying formula or baby food has put a little cushion back in our bank account. Not complaining about that either! This past weekend, Harrison went out to breakfast and had his own plate of pancakes, then a turkey sandwhich for lunch, a few bites of cake (his first ever) at his friend Dillon's party, and chicken fingers with fries at dinner.  I think we were so excited about him eating with us that day that we forgot all about healthy.

Oh, and one more thing.  He took his first steps.  ON my birthday.  What a great kid!  He has taken many more since then.  It is his new favorite trick to show off.  So much so that when we would not allow him free run when we went out to dinner last night so that he could show all of his fans at the restaurant how talented he is, he decided we were idiots and threw a giant fit and dinner quickly became a "to-go" order.  He's so cute :)

As for me, I've decided, a year after giving birth, that it's time to get rid of the baby weight and get back to my fighting weight.  Getting prepared to chase a little boy around too.  It's going to require a lot of stamina and a smaller butt, so Peyton signed me up for a 5k in April and I've been training for that and supplementing with workouts with my favorite girl-body, Jillian Michaels. I told her I would be back, and I am!  But you know...last time I got in really good shape, I ended up pregnant.  Just saying...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Big Day Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, little Harrison becomes a man.  He turns one year old.  Clearly, he did not ask my permission to do so, but I suppose a man his age doesn't need his mother's blessing quite as much as he used to.  That's proven every time I tell him not to do something and he gives me a big cheesy smile right before he does it again.  Turns out "NO" is a pretty funny word.  To him, at least. And to the dog.  

Speaking of the puppy, Harrison's first birthday gift has turned out to be a huge pain in the arse, but somehow, we love him.  He's pretty cute when he's not peeing on the floor after giving us 3.2 seconds to get to the back door to let him out, or chewing up Harrison's favorite toys.  He's very specific in his preference.  It has to be a favorite toy, or it just doesn't taste the same.  He also likes useful items, and shoes.  So yeah, he's just like every puppy on the planet.  Oliver has some real selling points, though.  Like the way he just sits there and takes it as Harrison tries his hardest to remove his ears with his bare hands.  Or when Harrison takes his bones right our of his mouth (they both prefer the other's toys).  Oliver just lets him.  That was the hope we had when we got such a young puppy, that he would grow up with baby Harrison and just think this is the way the world works until they both get a little older and grow out of torturing each other.  So far so good.  

Harrison's other birthday present is his party.  The giant, over-the-top party that I swore I would never waste on a one-year-old?  It's happening.  Just sort of took on a life of it's own and I'm not really big on confrontation (especially with a powerful, unseen entity) we are.  Thirty-ish guests and a few dozen balloons.  What are ya gonna do? He's my only child, will probably always be, and even though I'm already planning next year's no-one-is-invited family dinner at home with a cartoon movie, it's probably going to somehow end up like this next year too.  So I'm just going to sit back and let it happen and take around 468 pictures and have a great time watching Harrison have a great time.  

Feels a little weird though, celebrating that our little baby boy is growing up.  I guess that's the whole point of having a child - to raise them and help them grow, but I just think the baby stage could last a little bit longer.  But no one asked me, so it is what it is.  He does get cuter every day and keeps surprising us with things he's learning.  It gets better and more fun all the time, so I guess my aging child isn't such a bad thing.  He just better NEED ME until I say it's ok not to.  Don't hold your breath, Harrison.  Mommy's not giving permission for that in this lifetime. 

Happy early birthday, little man.  How old are you turning tomorrow??  Yep.  Genius.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Lost Art of Kindness

I don't think I remembered to make any real New Year's Resolutions this year, which is fine.  It ends up being a list of things I never got around to anyway.  And in the same way that  romance can happen on days that aren't Valentine's Day, I think that change can happen on days that aren't New Year's.  Which brings me to my actual point.  

On Christmas Day, while attempting to nap between the many Christmases we had scheduled that day, the TV was already on in the bedroom and I left it on for no reason at all. Even after realizing that I was trying to snooze to the tune of a Joel Osteen sermon, I left it on.  I was being that lazy.  Incidently, after relaying what I'm about to tell you to my grandmother, her response to me was, "Oh, that Joel Osteen...he's not a good man."  Way to miss the point, Grandma.  But I digress.  And in case you feel the same as she does, this is about the message, not the messenger.  

Joel was talking that morning about something that turned out to be interesting enough to keep me from being able to fall asleep, but something that is also not a new concept in any way.  It's just completely ignored.  I noticed it being ignored in a huge way this morning, which is what reminded me of this, and is why I am thinking about it and writing about it now.  MAN, I am rambling today.  On with it.  

When a stranger is rude to you, when someone flies off the handle for what seems like no good reason...when a person is throwing negative energy like daggers in every direction, most people's first reaction is to give them the same thing right back.  It's the easiest thing to do.  Then you end up with two pissed off people, who are probably going to walk away from that situation and spread the attitude around.   Ok, so basically, this is "How To Be a Jerk and Take the Rest of the World Down With You 101." (Obvisoulsy, I am paraphrasing - figured it would seem more natural than UH POWUHFUL SUTHUN ACCEYENT, MY BRUTHA).  But the thing is, no one seems to take a moment to think and realize that they really don't know that person's story.  You have no idea what is going on in that person's life, how they got there, what put them in this horrible why take part in antagonizing that person with your own horrible attitude and bad reactions?  What if the girl ringing up your groceries is being a sourpuss because she found out her mom has cancer but her boss wouldn't give her the day off?  She'd probably feel better if you ignored her bad mood and smiled through your two minute transaction than if you reciprocated her unfriendliness.  What if the overweight guy who is putting away an entire cheesecake at the next table is celebrating because he's lost 100 lbs so far?  Do you think he needs your judgement and ridiculing?  Or does he deserve a congratulations and a high five?  

I guess it boils down to "You can't know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes."  And yet, we act like we know everything and everyone.  We know that person shouldn't be doing what they're doing, we know they don't deserve what they have, we know a person in their occupation has to be happy at all times.  We know that person isn't having a bad day, she's just a bitch.  And she has no right to be a bitch because we know there's nothing going on in her life that would make her that way.  Don't we just know it all?  

Except we don't.  At all.  Apparently, we don't even know how to treat people anymore.  We fight fire with fire on a daily basis and don't wonder why it doesn't get us anywhere.  We yell at other drivers and give dirty looks to struggling teenage mothers and laugh at fat people.  I'm as guilty of all of it as anyone else, and I really find it disgusting.  

So my new "resolution", for lack of a better word, is to try to be nice.  Try to be above all the anger and rudeness.  Try to be sympathetic.  Try to make things better.  And more importantly, to teach my son the same things.  

And to maybe spread the message to you as well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Harrison Takes a Stand

Harrison can now ride a surfboard!  I know, I know, we've been waiting for this day too!  Also though, he can stand in the living room, on the bed, at daycare and outside.  I'm sure there are other places, but these are the ones I've witnessed.  My little punkin' is sticking right to the schedule I gave him on Day 1, and is on track to walk at one year.  No sooner than that, though.  Because that would be off mommy's schedule and Harrison loves his mommy.  

I am truly greatful that I have not been chasing around a "toddler" the past few weeks or months and that I have been able to hold on to the baby stage this long.  Now that he's making some strides (ha. pun intended.) towards being even more of a little human, I have to admit that I'm a little excited.  Harrison does, after all, have a precious pair of legs and an adorable tush, and once those things are on display all over the place, his cute meter is going to burst.  Along with my heart.  Just when I think I can't take much more cute, he goes and does something new and I find out what I'm made of.  

I can't even imagine what this is going to add to his dance skillz.  He displayed some pretty sweet moves this morning to Billy Joel's "Piano Man".  Gah...he even has good taste in music.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Silent Treatment Over.

Several months ago, I got my feelings hurt and just shut up.  I had written a short story a long time ago, and submitted to a writing contest.  When they published the winners, which I had zero expectations of being a part of, I read the top three winning stories and was a little surprised to find that they really weren't all that good.  Not bad...just not very good.  So I decided to print them out, along with a copy of mine, and I let a couple of people read them and tell me what they thought.  I didn't mention that I had written one of them.  One lady brought the stories back to me, and asked what they were.  I told her they were part of a short story contest and I had just wanted her thoughts.  She said, "Well I hope you didn't write any of these, because they were all pretty bad."  

Yes, really. 

In the meantime, and pardon my French, I have come to learn that this woman is a real nagative bitch and a complainer.  Since then, I haven't heard anything positive come out of her mouth at all unless it's in regards to herself....she's one of I've decided, finally, to get over it.  Pouting session over.  

This does not change the fact that life is ridiculously busy and sometimes exhausting, so the updates may still be few and far between. 

I'm not sure I can take the time to fill in the blanks, but let's just say Harrison is bigger now.  And has more teeth.  He also has grown quite a bit of silky, curly blond hair, is getting ready to walk, and is the most beautiful little boy of all time.  The past few months have been filled with firsts...first Halloween, first Thanksgiving, first Christmas...all the fun days.  First pair of shoes, first bump on the head...he plays games with us, he dances better than most people I know, he gives the best hugs, kisses with his mouth open, has taken to cuddling with his stuffed animals, and knows how to use a phone. And how to use random objects as a phone.  He has some favorite TV shows, knows how to pat-a-cake, and becomes very flexible and acrobatic when diapers and clothing are being changed.  He loves to people watch, would rather ride in the "stuff" part of the grocery cart than the seat part, is not a huge fan of sharing Mommy or Daddy with anyone else, and he's never met a food he doesn't like.  He ignored the wrapping paper and boxes at Christmas, fully appreciating every single gift he received, he only says "Mama" and when he's really, really mad at me, and well....we love everything about him.  

Most nights, we fall into bed exhausted but happy.  And then we wake up bright and early before the sun comes up, still exhausted, but we get greeted to Harrison standing in his crib giggling and smiling and ready to jump into our arms.  

It pains me to think that his first birthday is right around the corner.  This year flew by and took forever all at the same time.  It feels like a lifetime ago that we were bringing him home from the hospital and our old lives without him are just a faded blur.  It;s hard to comprehend that this little ball of energy that can move faster than we can chase him and looks more like a little boy than a baby has only been here for a matter of months. When the world rang in the New Year, I saw so many people bidding good riddance to 2011 and cheering the opportunity to close the door on it forever.  I'm sorry for those people and whatever it is they went through, but I am happy to say they 2011 is when my real life started, when it found meaning, when I learned what love is, and when I realized how important the little things are, and how umimportant so many things I cared about before were.  Harrison is the best adventure I've ever been on, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for us.