Well, I'm writing this post a day early because we leave to Germany TOMORROW! Crazy! Harrison is also 11 months old today. Hopefully I don't forget to post pictures... actually, hopefully I don't forget to take pictures when Harrison wakes up from his nap. I'm foregoing packing right now to write on my blog. I know that some may say that is a frivolous decision, but, honestly, I will not remember the frantic packing before my trip (well, at least I won't be able to differentiate the frantic packing before this trip from the other frantic packings before trips!). I will, however, regret if I don't take the time to post some of my thoughts and, of course, pictures from this week of Harrison's life. I know that some people may think it's ridiculous that I have documented my child's life weekly over the past 11 months. I will say that having this blog from the first year of his life will be priceless to both he and I in the future! I have already loved looking back and remembering the milestones in his life and all of the changes that have occurred that I have already forgotten about!
I am so grateful for this little sweet boy in my life, in spite of the fact that this past week (truly, this past MONTH) has been marked by many sleepless nights on Harrison's part. He has been slowly but surely getting in his top 4 teeth and I'm telling you, these are buggers and have been hurting him so badly! I feel so bad for him and also exhausted from trying to end a school year, coordinate an international exchange, be a wife/home maker, work full-time, AND be hardly getting sleep on top of it. I am a rock star, if I do say so myself. No, I'm not perfect, but I have done all of this and I am proud of what I have accomplished in spite of the problems that have arisen along the way! I really think that all moms are rock stars! What a comfort they are to their babies with their positive, do-whatever-it-takes attitudes to help their families be happy and comfortable. I know that I could not have done it without my Heavenly Father through lots of prayer. Some nights I have prayed and prayed and prayed and not gotten the immediate Harrison-fell-asleep-right-after-my-prayer answer I wanted. I have been overwhelmed, fatigued, and frustrated. Sometimes I have felt like God wasn't there to answer my prayer or was simply choosing not to help me and my son. I know that isn't the case, but in my exhausted state of mind, that is how I have felt. I'm sure I am not the only one who has been there! Sleep deprivation wears on you. I know that God heard my prayer and provided me with the strength to do what I needed to do in spite of the situation. He didn't take away my burden or help my baby get to sleep, but he helped me through. As I prayed, the thought came to me that maybe God wasn't helping Harrison get to sleep right away for a reason. That maybe I needed to learn something through all of this. I'm not sure if I am more or less faithful now. My sleep-fogged brain is still taking over most of my rational thoughts. I do know that I have a little more clarity now to say thank you to God for helping me endure what I didn't think I could endure for one more minute. And, although it sounds crazy, thanks be to God for helping me not be angry at my son (even though sometimes I really wanted to be!) for being awake. I'm grateful for the perspective that He has given me and the reminder that He has given me of the precious little sweet son that I have the opportunity of raising. I am so blessed to be his mother!
Thoughts this week:
- Harrison has been squinting his eyes sometimes when he laughs or smiles. It's really cute!
- Harrison has started to "jump" in his bed when he wakes up. Man, this guy is hand full! He definitely keeps us on our toes. They other day when I realized he was bouncing on his crib mattress was funny. I was laying in bed a little longer just willing myself to wake up for the day to go get him when I heard this bump noise coming from his room. I flipped on the video monitor and, sure enough, he was bouncing in his bed!
- I've been working with Harrison for the past few weeks or so trying to get him to say a few animal sounds. So far, we've got "roo roo" for a dog and "ss-ss" and sticking out his tongue for a snake. He loves mimicking sounds, words and word intonations! Last night, he was turning on and off the light in the bathroom and I was working with him to teach him "on" and "off." He kept copying my intonation and vowels until finally he said "offff" emphasis on the "f" sound! Success! It was so cute!
- Harrison will say a few other things like "buh ba" for bye bye. This morning, he said "Hi da" when I said it to tell his dad that. It was so cute! I really think we're going to have an early talker on our hands! He already loves saying funny words in his made-up baby language. I love when he talks. His voice is so precious to me.
- Harrison knows SO MANY commands. It's amazing to me what he understands. When I want to switch him to the other side when nursing, I simply say "switch" or "let's do your switchies" and he will come off to go to the other side. He also knows what "bye bye" means. Last night, I said let's go bye bye and picked him up. He was kicking his legs and was so excited. I forgot something in the kitchen and he started crying when I started walking into the kitchen to get it. When we started walking towards the door again, he got so happy again!
- Speaking of... this boy LOVES being outside and getting dirty!
- Harrison LOVES to crawl in and out of any little space. Last night, he figured out how to get our vent cover out in our room. He then tried to crawl into the heating duct! Silly boy!
- Harrison also LOVES cars, motorcyles, and trucks and laughs at their sounds! It is hilarious to watch him when he hears a vehicle and turns immediately around to see where it is and crawl towards it!
- This guy is an animal lover! A week or so ago, he was so sad when his grandma left. We were waving to her near our neighbors yard when their cat walked up. I set Harrison down on the grass and he was SO happy to just watch it and try to pet it. He does that with dogs all the time and smiles so big when he sees them! I definitely see a dog in our family's future, especially since Evan and I both love having dogs too!
- In preparation for our trip, Harrison had his first dose of Benadryl yesterday as per doctor's suggestion for the flight. I'm not so sure we'll use it, but we at least know it worked somewhat to help him fall asleep faster. Pray for us for our flight tomorrow!
- I finished the school year on Wednesday and feel already like a burden has been lifted! It is SO NICE to not have to worry about running back and forth from home to nurse Harrison and to worry about who is going to watch Harrison. I'm still debating about what I'm going to do next school year. I have FOR SURE decided I will not be working full-time, if at all. I'm just not sure what is right for Harrison, Evan, and I for next year. Evan is working as an LPN now near our town. I could quit teaching, even though we'd be strapped for money. He HOPEFULLY will start an RN program in January which will take 1.5 years. We'll see what I end up doing next year. Either way, this is the LAST YEAR that I will work full-time for many years to come. YAY for being home with my baby more!
- Last thing... as we approach Harrison's forthcoming first birthday, I am going to enjoy this last month of "baby-hood" as much as I can! I really am enjoying every stage thus far, and especially love how active and interactive this sweet boy of mine is! So blessed to be his mother and that he chose me. :)
First time ever wearing shoes and is not so sure about them!