Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Year of Harrison

Dear Harrison,

One year ago today, you entered our lives. You came a little too early, though. I went in to the doctor for my regularly scheduled 36-week OB appointment, and my blood pressure was too high, so Dr. Fab surprised both Daddy and me by saying, "Well, today is baby day." So, off to the hospital we went, and about 24 hours later, you were born.

Coming a month early wasn't very easy on you, though. You had low blood pressure and you couldn't quite get the hang of eating, so you spent four days in the NICU at the hospital, learning how to eat and basically getting the hang of life on the outside. We all were so relieved when we were able to bring you home, and even better was that you came home on my birthday. You were the best birthday gift I could ever ask for.

During those first few days at home, you spent lots and lots of time on the Bili Bed, since you were pretty jaundiced. We called you our little glow worm.

Soon, though, you recovered from that rough delivery and we were able to hold you and love you all day long. Your sister really cherished you from the start, and some of her favorite times in those early days were when she could sit down and hold her beloved little brother.

As you continued to grow, your little personality began to shine through. You just loved to sit in your bouncy chair and look around, especially at anything on the ceiling, and smile at whomever took a moment to play with you.

Summer came, and you loved to spend time outdoors. One of your favorite things to do was to ride around in the baby carrier at the South Shore Farmers' Market. Everyone always stopped to marvel at how cute you were. We had to agree.

Also, during the summer, you started to learn to move around. You would roll over whenever we laid you down on the floor. You loved to lay on your tummy and lift up your head to look around.

When you were six months old. you started eating solid foods on a regular basis, and much to our delight and surprise, you loved just about everything we fed you. In fact, you're still an awesome eater and we have no reason to think things will ever be any different.

As summer turned into fall, we continued to let you enjoy the outdoors by taking you out on the lake on Grandpa Kohlbeck's boat...

...and then in September, we enjoyed having you with us for the first time during our yearly family trip to Apple Holler. You loved to watch us pick apples off the trees as you snuggled up in your stroller.

Late last fall, you became mobile, and whoa baby...batten down the hatches. You are in to EVERYTHING.

Oh my little boy, today, one year after your birth, I just can't imagine my life without you. You have brought so much love and joy to me and to our little family. You are so funny--you make me laugh every single day. You are such a sweet, good-natured boy and everyone knows it. You are an absolute joy, and words are not enough to explain how much I love you. Thank you for coming into my life and for being wonderful, adorable you. Thank you for this awesome year and I am so excited to watch you continue to grow. I look forward to being by your side throughout all of your journeys. Happy birthday, my little man.



*also posted to

Monday, February 22, 2010

You Might Think I'm Crazy...


If you read my other blog, One of Each, you have read recently that Aaron and I have been vacillating back and forth, agonizing and trying to decide whether or not we would be trying to conceive a third child in the near future. Well, yesterday we effectively ended that decision-making process, at least for the next year or so, because Aaron and I both registered to...

...get ready for it... the Disney Half Marathon on January 8th, 2011.

Yep, you read that right. I will be getting up uber early (the race starts at 5:50am Eastern time) and running 13.1 miles. On purpose.

I've been running several days a week for a few months now and I'm able to run about four miles comfortably at this point. I have almost eleven months to get myself to be able to handle those additional nine miles...I think I can do it. Right? Stop shaking your head at me.

I'm excited for this. I love the way that running makes my body feel. Sure, my knees hurt sometimes and it's tiring and difficult as hell, but I feel strong, powerful, and graceful, and that's saying a lot for me. And, I am excited to be going through the training and buildup and the actual run with Aaron. I think this is going to be something really cool to experience with one of my absolute favorite people in the world.

Plus...we don't have to make a decision on baby #3 until at least next January. By that point, we might actually be able to make up our minds.

Monday, February 08, 2010

My Little Snow Bunny

Grace loves, loves, LOVES to ski. We took her skiing for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and she took some lessons to get comfortable on skis and to learn some of the fundamentals. She did well, so we decided to head back to the ski hill this past weekend to let her try out some of the bigger hills. She started out the day on the bunny hill:

Grace did so well on the bunny hill that she was bored by lunch, so after she fueled up with some tasty food, she decided to try out a bigger hill. She started out by getting on the chair lift with Aaron...

And a few minutes later, around the corner and down the hill she came.

Aaron told me she only fell down once! She tried that bigger hill a couple of times and loved it, and at the end of the day, she invited her mama to join her back on the bunny hill for a few more runs...

I look much better than I actually am. I fell down at least three times, and each time, Grace stopped to offer her help to me. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Sister Ate My Poop Once. True Story.

I originally posted this on my milwaukeemoms. com blog, but it cracked me up so I am posting it here, too...

I promise that the title will make sense in a moment, so try not to be grossed out and please keep reading. :-)

Yesterday was a really hard day in Mommyland. Harrison has RSV and he's also teething, so we're running pretty short in the sleep department around here. He was up for two hours the night before, screaming and writhing around and just generally miserable. And then yesterday Harrison would NOT go down for a nap, despite the fact that he was so exhausted he could hardly keep his eyes open. I'd have him asleep in the rocking chair, then I would lay him down and he would scream and scream until I finally gave in and picked him up. Then he did that like five more times. At one point in the morning, Harrison and I were both crying, Harrison because he was a tired, snot-nosed, coughing, needy, oh and by the way TEETHING hunk of sick and I because I was running on very little sleep and at the end of my rope. I even emailed my mom in the beginning of the day, which I rarely do because I know she's busy at work, to vent a little and illicit maybe a little piece of advice to keep me going.

Then, in the afternoon, my husband and I took Grace to the pediatric dentist for her first piece of orthodontic work. I know, she's young, but Grace has a severe underbite and her dentist recommended that we start fixing that before her adult teeth arrive so we don't have to worry about manuevering around them and possibly the need for surgery. We've been prepping Grace for this event for weeks. My husband had a very similar procedure done when he was a child, so he took off work just to be at the appointment for her, to coach her through it. So, Grace had a large metal appliance--that sits at the top of her mouth--cemented to two of her top teeth. In a few weeks, we will return to the dentist and they will adjust it so her top jaw continues to expand. Then, a few weeks after that, we will go back and they will fit Grace with headgear that she will need to wear every night for a year or more.

Grace seemed fine with this whole ordeal until supper last night. I prepared her favorite meal --a cheese quesadilla--and she was super excited. But after her first bite, she realized that this stupid piece of metal in her mouth would make eating (and talking and swallowing) a challenge, and after she got a piece of tortilla lodged under her appliance, she started to cry. And oh, (the tears are welling up right now for me) how I felt so, so bad for her. It's hard enough being a five-year-old girl without having to deal with your eating habits and your speech changing. I asked Grace what she wanted to eat, and she whimpered, "Something soft!!" So, I ran to the store, crying the whole way, to pick up some tomato soup and chocolate ice cream so that the poor kid wouldn't starve. Grace managed to choke that food down, and I made sure we had enough soft stuff around to carry her through until she gets used to this.

After the kids were both in bed last night, I sat down on the couch, feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. I wanted to have a glass of wine and maybe a good cry. And then I remembered a story that my mom once told me. It made me feel better almost instantly, although I'm sure that wasn't my mom's intent when she told it to me.

My younger sister, Jennifer, and I are almost three years apart. One day, when I was potty training and my sister was newly mobile, Jenn was peetering around and she encountered my little potty chair sitting on our bathroom floor. I had just used the potty chair and my mom hadn't had a chance to clean it out yet, and Jenn, being a curious little one, decided to do what babies do and scoop up some of the yuck from the potty chair and put it right in her mouth. And this is where I gag just thinking about it, and then I laugh out loud because if you knew my sister now, she's so not a poop eater.

The point is that all moms, even my mom, who I consider to be choice among moms, have a crappy day (pardon the pun) every now and then. Yesterday sucked big time, but there is hope today. Harrison is currently fast asleep and I am comforted by his little sleep noises. Grace was able to get through her breakfast of oatmeal and applesauce this morning with only a little bit of trouble. Things are looking up.