Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

2007 was a very busy year for our family! Since Harrison was born in December of 2006, most of January was spent at home, adjusting to a new baby. Additionally, Matt decided in January to go back to Harding and start his Masters in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning. He too 6 hours in the spring and life got even crazier!

In February, Matt was approached by his administration about applying for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. This began six weeks of him working over time (with some help from me) to get his entry ready. This entailed videotapes, letters of recommendation, samples of student work, etc. Then we sat back and waited to hear.

In March, Harrison was accepted for a research study for his GERD. We were able to get some amazing medicine which helped him feel better and keep most of his food down. This made me soooo much happier!

In June, Matt began teaching summer school for the second year at Math Journeys in Little Rock, along with taking another 6 hours of grad school. We also received word in late June that Matt was chosen as a top three finalist for the Presidential Award. This is a HUGE honor and I am soooo proud of him!

In July, my little girl turned 3! We celebrated with a family party and I'm still amazed at how fast she is growing up! She's such a sweet little girl and I love being home with her each day.

In August, Matt started back teaching for his third year in Cabot. He also started taking another 6 hours of grad school. Additionally, Matt began the extensive work complete his National Board Certification -- something that only 2% of teachers nation-wide have! He'll put in over 500 hours before the work is complete and sent in to be graded! Additionally, Madeleine started preschool for the first time and has had such fun learning and making lots of new friends.

In November, Matt and I were able to slip away for a weekend in Dallas. We had a blast doing some early Christmas shopping for the kids and getting some MUCH needed rest. Matt even got to experience the Cheesecake Factory for the first (and definitely not last) time!

December was a super busy month for us! Harrison spent a good portion of the month sick with croup and ear infections, but other than that is still his happy, joyful self! He turned one on the 22nd and I can't believe how fast this year has gone! Harrison has been absolutely pure joy from the first moment! His bubbly, laid back personality charms everyone he meets -- and the dimples help too! We celebrated with a family party, which he throughly enjoyed! Additionally, Matt reached the 1/2 way mark for grad school -- and he's got a 4.0! I'm so proud of him! Santa found our house and Christmas was a blast - Madeleine is already talking about next year. :)

All in all, 2007 was a wonderful year for us & I hope for your family, too. And, since I'm a numbers person, here's a quick review of our year in numbers.....

5......number of words Harrison knows cousins

7......paci's lost

11....average number of hours Harrison sleeps!

14....weeks Madeleine survived without a paci this summer

18.....hours of grad school Matt completed

47....gallons of ice cream eaten

8,941.....books read to my babies

12.....books I've read for me

2,191.....number of diapers used

9,122...."I love you's."

224.....trips to gym

401.....pots of coffee

18, 257....hugs and kisses


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Santa Came!

Christmas morning at our house was SO MUCH FUN this year! It's such a magical time of year to me. I think this year was even more special, being able to see it through Madeleine's eyes. This was the first year that she really understood what was going to happen when Santa came & her excitement grew every day. Christmas really is more fun when you have little ones and everything you do is for them. Christmas morning was pretty exciting! Madeleine came out, walked over to me, put her hand over her mouth and just pointed at what Santa brought! She finally said, "Look, mommy." I told her to go see it & she just took off running, yelling "my dollhouse, my dollhouse!" It was great! Then she ran into Harrison's room and told him, "come on Harrison, Santa brought something for you, too!" So sweet -- she didn't want him to miss out.

Here's a picture of the haul they got!

Harrison got the FisherPrice musical stand & he loves it! The mirror is his favorite -- he'll sit in front of it and "talk" to himself!

Madeleine got a dollhouse and a drum -- the 2 things she asked for, along with some other things! I also got her a "cleaning set" because she LOVES to clean with me! And, she usually uses baby wipes, so I'm hoping this will be better. She actually went into her bathroom christmas morning, closed the door and said, "I'm cleaning! Don't come in!" Hehehehe!

Harrison loved his new riding toy!
And, he loved Madeleine's drum, too!
Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jamie got him some new books!

This year I decided that Madeleine needed to get something for Daddy and Harrison, so she could learn the joy of giving as well. We went and picked out a Cabot Panthers hat for daddy and she helped me wrap it and put it under the tree. She knew which one it was and was so intent on keeping it a secret from him! Needless to say, he loved it.
I didn't take too many more pictures of the day. I wanted to enjoy they day and fill it with memories, instead of always being behind the camera. This year was a little different for us. In the past we've gone to my parents for Christmas Dinner, but this year, since my mom just had back surgery, they came to us! It was really fun, but A LOT of work! It's no easy feat to pull off cooking christmas dinner with two little ones! :) I've already decided that next year we're going back to the old tradition! Ha! But, it was really nice for the kids to get to stay home all day with all the stuff Santa brought and just bum and relax and have fun.
I can't believe I'm posting these pictures, but here's the trash from our Christmas! We actually filled 10 lawn & leaf bags! Ha! Although, I have to add that we did have Harrison's birthday stuff thrown in there, too.
Yep, that's the trashcan along the wall. Poor Matt couldn't go anywhere -- his car was burried! :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Grammy, Pops and Uncle Cameron came over to exchange gifts and have dinner with us. I made a big pot of chili and some queso and we just hung out and chatted and watched the kids play. Madeleine got some My Little Pony things and Harrison got a HUGE dump truck filled with Mega Blocks. They both loved their gifts!

Harrison giving Grammy some good lovin'

Harrison using his new dump truck to try and climb on my coffee table!
They loved the box the truck came in! Ha!
At preschool, Madeleine made some "Magic Reindeer Food" (oats and glitter) to put out on Christmas eve. The oats are for the reindeer to eat and the glitter is to light their way to our house! How cute! She was so excited to put it out and I think we'll definitely be making our own next year! Here are some pictures of her diligently putting out the food.....

Then we headed back in to read The Night Before Christmas by the fire with Daddy. You can't see it well, but they're both wearing their new Christmas jammies. I also got some great video of madeleine reciting this with Matt that I'll try and post later.

Then it was time to put out our milk and cookies for Santa. Madeleine helped ice them and carried them by the fire. She was soooo excited!! As I was tucking her in, she told me "mommy, you and Daddy have to go to sleep now so Santa can come." How cute! It took her all of about 5 minutes to fall asleep, she was determined!

Christmas Eve Eve

Our family has a tradition that sometime during the christmas season -- on a good clear, cold night -- we bundle up and head out to look at lights. We always stop by Baskin robbins for some Winter White Chocolate Ice Cream (the best!) for Matt and me and some Chocolate for Madeleine. Then we head out to look at lights while we eat our snack! It's something we all look forward to and something Matt & I have been doing for several years. This year we tried the Sherwood Forrest lights and it was great! Madeleine LOVED driving through it and listening to Christmas music. She's learned "Here comes Santa Clause, " "Jingle Bells," "Santa Baby," "Baby it's cold outside" and "Jingle Bell Rock" this year! So we just sang along and looked at lights. Harrison even seemed to really enjoy them, too!
Here's a picture of madeleine and matt, getting ready to go!

Fun Times?

I'm going to blog about our christmas going backwards starting with what's happened today. Harrison started getting really fussy on Christmas eve and running a fever. We gave him some Motrin and he seemed better and was fine on Christmas Day. Then yesterday the fever was back with some major fussiness. He cried every time we put him down and he wouldn't sleep. Then last night he screamed -- very loudly -- every time we put him in his crib. He might sleep for 30 minutes then he'd be up again crying. The whole time I'm thinking, this is NOT my baby! He's never done this before, but other than a minor cough and the fever, he had no symptoms. So, after he cried all night I decided to take him to the doctor this morning. As I was dressing him, I noticed he had a lot of ear-gunk and one ear was really red. So, we head to the doc. The nurse kept asking me if he had tubes in his ear since there was so much stuff coming out. :( The doc examines Harrison -- along with his 102 degree fever -- and comments that one ear looks a little infected. Then, he checks the other ear.....yeah, his eardrum has burst. I felt soooo bad! His little ear canal was full of puss from his eardrum and the doctor said it looked really bad. He never once, in the past 3 days has pulled at his ear, so I didn't even think about it being an ear infection!
Additonally, I have gotten a touch of the croup the kids have had & I've lost my voice! So, that sweet doctor hooked me up with a steroid shot so I can have some energy and get better! Gotta love that!
So here's a picture of my sweet boy -- finally asleep!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Big "One"

Yesterday we celebrated Harrison's birthday with a family party. I debated over having a big party; but, in the end, I decided to just have a family party so I could enjoy his day more, too. :) We had a great day! We started the day by letting Harrison open his presents from us -- with a LOT of help from Madeleine. She pretty much opened every gift and had a bit of a hard time understanding that they weren't hers.

We bought him the Fisherprice Animal Train which he LOVED! I highly recommend this!

He also got a hammer which he loves to bang on everything & put in his mouth!
I decided to make his cake. I think it turned out pretty cute. It's party time! Harrison wore an adorable little outfit my mammy got for him. Isn't he cute! He loved the party and having everyone here loving on him. He is such a ham. :) After blowing out his candle when everyone clapped, he just waved and grinned at them!

I bought a little cake just for him. He actually liked it! He ate some of it -- probably too much since he threw it up late last night! Yuck!

Overall, it was an abolutely perfect day. Harrison was able to be surrounded by all the people that love him and celebrate with them. He actually seemed to have a lot of fun! He got lots of new toys - yay! And, he got some new squeaker shoes and baby uggs which he's already wearing. :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Precious One!

Today my sweet baby boy turns one. What a year this has been! One year ago today, when they placed this precious baby in my arms, I could never have imagined how much he was going to bless my life.
When I first found out that I was having a boy, my initial thought was -- A BOY! What will I do with a boy?! I'm from a family of girls & I'm what you'd call a "girly-girl," so the thought of a boy was pretty foreign to me. However, the moment I held him, I fell absolutely in love with my little boy. It's been fun to experience a little bit of what Matt has had with Madeleine, only it's mommy - harrison.

Now, I LOVE having a little boy. And, I have to admit, he's definitely a mommy's boy -- and I love it!!!! :) This time around, I've been more relaxed as a parent and I've just enjoyed being with him and watching him grow without all the worry I had with Madeleine.

Some of the things I love best about my baby:

Harrison is pure joy! He loves life and love people! He's curious about everything and is so easygoing (I guess some of that comes with having an older sister!). He is a snuggler. Each morning I go to get him out of his crib and first thing, he wraps his arms around my neck and buries his head in the crook of my neck for a big hug. Then, we turn around and wave and say "hi" to his mirror. I love this time!

I also love nighttime/naptime and our cuddles then. After his bottle, he'll snuggle on my shoulder and lay his head on me. Every little while, he'll raise his head up and look at me -- as if he's just checking to see that I'm still there -- and smile and lay back down. I love that!

Anytime I'm sitting on the floor he'll crawl over to me and stand on my leg with one arm around my neck. He will stay like this forever if I'll let him. He's content just to sit with me and watch what's happening.

He loves Bible class! His new thing (as reported by his teachers) is to dance and bob his head in tune to the singing! Ha!

He gives the sweetest kisses. He'll just out of the blue, come over to me and put both hands on my face and kiss me with one of those wet, slobbery kisses.

Anytime I put both of my hands on his cheeks, he put his hands on top of mine and holds my hands to his face. Love this!

He just loves Madeleine. They play together really, really well. He lets her boss him around (for now) and just follows her lead. They can spend hours closed up in her room and I'll just stand at the door and listen to them playing. It makes me want to smile and cry at the same time, it's so sweet.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that this has been a remarkable year. I worried so much about the adjustment of having 2 little ones in our home; and, while it's definitely been a BIG adjustment, I've almost forgotten what our home was like before Harrison. He's just part of us and it's becoming harder and harder to remember life before him. I find myself wishing that I could relive so many moments of this year, but for now I'm just trying to savor each day. So, happy birthday, my sweet little Harrison.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sick Baby

This has been a really long week for me! Harrison came down with croup on sunday night & has been one sick little guy! The doctor said that he's got a really bad case. He can't seem to settle into good sleep unless he's pretty much upright (translation: I'm holding him). Even then he wakes up coughing every 10 minutes or so and during the day he cries unless I'm holding him. Poor fellow! Needless to say the nights (and days) have been pretty long for me -- I've slept 7 out of the last 55 hours. I'm definitely counting the hours until Matt gets home tonight!

Christmas Pictures

Here are some pictures I took of my little ones in their christmas outfits!

Mr. Smiles!

Harrison is so happy! I took these pictures at dinner -- we were having chicken spagetti and he really enjoyed it. Look at that smile!

Harrison's New Trick

One day last week, Madeleine came running into the living room yelling "mommy, harrison's up to something!" I thought he probably was into her toys, and followed her into his room. And then my heart almost stopped! He was sitting ON TOP of his toy chest! He was laughing and laughing! He has learned how to climb up there! And, he's not far from being able to climb up on the furniture, too. Yikes!

Gingerbread House

This year I thought it would be fun to make a gingerbread house with Madeleine. I bought one that was already made & we just did the decorating. She helped me pick out lots of candy for the house and we waited until Harrison was napping and had a blast! It was such fun! She pretty much did it herself, with me just putting the icing where she wanted it. She worked on this diligently for a couple of hours and used most of the candy we bought -- and ate the rest! :) I love getting to do things like this with her -- just the two of us. She's very proud of her house and it has a place of honor in our kitchen. I tried to explain to her that it's not really for eating, but occasionally I'll notice that a piece or two is missing! Ha!

Madeleine's Christmas Program

Last week was Madeleine's christmas program at Wee Care. They've been practicing for it since the second week of school & we were all excited to see her up there. Her three yr. old class was dressing as snowmen & singing/ reciting snowman songs. Here we are just after arriving -- I love this picture of my family! We got there early to get seats right in the front.....
Then it was time to take Madeleine to her classroom to put on her costume. It pretty much went downhill FAST from there. She didn't want to get dressed, but finally we got the costume on. I was able to leave her and take my seat & she'd stopped crying. :) Then, when her class entered the auditorium she saw us & started crying again! She refused to perform and so I just held her and we watched the show. :( Here's the only picture I got of her in her costume -- I had to push her away from me and clicked the camera really fast!
What can I say? Hopefully, we'll have better luck next year!