Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Month of Thanks (Nov. 9th-13th)

Month of Thanks



Friday, November 9th

Today was one of those days. You know, the kind where your life is obviously the worst because the boots you want to buy are out of your size and your baby is fussy and work is hard. And even though in the back of your head you're thinking "Jessica, I think you're over reacting just a tad...", you're still silently ranting, justified because how dare the world treat you this way. You REALLY want those damn boots. Yeah. Kind of pathetic. Later in the day I made myself take Harrison on a walk and we ended up literally smelling the roses. They were delightful. And it was kind of the highlight of my day. So I'm thankful for the little things that are normally overlooked but that when noticed, bring enough beauty into your life when you're having a bad day to make you smile a little. Thankfully by the end of the day my funk was over (butIstillreallywantthoseboots).



Saturday, November 10th


So I'm kiiind of in love with the new HEB, which opened yesterday. It's literally two minutes down our street and it's brand new and shiny :D We've been shopping at an HEB about 10m away from our apartment that's over 20 years old and was getting ready to close, which means for the past month or so they've been out of at least 3 or 4 things on my grocery list every time. So it was really nice to get everything we needed this time around. Not to mention that it has a lot of bonus sections that the old store didn't have, like the healthy living aisle where you can pour your own bags of anything from rice to granola to dried fruit. Or grind your own peanut butter. How cool is that? So I love our new store, but I'm most of all thankful for a pantry/refrigerator full of food that keeps my family fed and healthy and happy. ...But did I also mention it's shiny? :)



Sunday, November 11th

Once it became apparent that Harrison was no longer going to sleep/sit quietly in his car seat during church (Charles had to miss quite a bit of a few sermons to go walk around with him), we decided it was time for big boy church! Aka Sunday School. Aka swing/play/sleep for 45 minutes. Learning about Jesus will come later ;-) They have rotating volunteers but for a good while now the main two have been a man and his wife who are super super sweet and always excited to see Harrison. The nursery has what Charles and I call the "Baby Matrix", which is essentially a circle of swings, rocking chairs and exersaucers. Harrison really enjoys going (they say he rarely makes a peep!) and it's nice to be able to sit through an entire service without an interruption. But by the end I'm ready to hold him again and give him lots of kisses :)

Monday, November 12th

I'm thankful for a healthy baby and a very patient and understanding husband. Today we took Harrison to an orthopedist because our pediatrician wanted to make sure the slightly more pronounced bowing in his legs was nothing to worry about. Sure enough, they were just fine & we went happily on our way. To the check out desk. Where I found out my insurance doesn't have copays for specialist visits. Which means we paid $180.00 for a 10 minute doctor visit when nothing was wrong. At that point I kind of lost it and shut down a bit. I cried. I was moody. I was mad. I felt like we threw $180 (that we don't have) down the drain. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a tad dramatic. My darling, wonderful, great-man-of-a-husband didn't say a thing. He hugged me. And kissed me. Told me I was beautiful. And gently explained that we didn't waste that money because we made sure we have a healthy baby.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Month of Thanks (Nov. 4th-8th)

Month of Thanks


Harrison Oliver, 1 day old

 Sunday, November 4th

It's about to get all mushy up in here. Today I'm so thankful for the gentle reminders of how precious it is to be a mother. I originally had something else picked out for my daily thanks, but then as I was feeding Harrison before bed he fell asleep in the crook of my arm and suddenly I was taken back to the day after he was born. He had fallen asleep in the exact same position, mouth wide open and everything, when everyone stepped out for a moment and it was just me and him in the room. I remember experiencing such extreme feelings of love and wonderment as I looked down at such a tiny human, which surged through me again as I held him tonight, 7 months later. It was all I could do to not collapse in a giant ball of tears. Motherhood's trippy, yo. It's exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating, eye opening, emotional, crazy and peaceful. And I am so thankful for the experience.


Harrison LOVES being outside!


Monday, November 5th


I'm thankful for fresh air! Being cooped up in the apartment all day with an energetic baby can become claustrophobic fast, especially if the only voice you've heard since your husband left for work is your own, blabbing to your kid like they're the one person audience to your midday talk show. Sometimes they think you're funny but most of the time they stare at you like you're a dummy. Often the day moves almost too quickly, between the cycle of feedings, nap times and diaper changes and before you know it it's almost 5:00 and your husband's going to be home again soon. And that's when you realize you haven't left the apartment all day. But today Auntie Chelle came to visit and we went on a walk to the park. It felt amazing outside and it was nice to breathe in that fresh air before shutting in for the night.


Tuesday, November 6th

Despite a nation divided and an unfortunate number of people using politics as an excuse to act rudely and inappropriately to one other, I am extremely thankful for our freedom to actually decide our leader. I'm thankful for being able to say what we think, choose the things we believe in, stand up for those beliefs, and live in a country that is by most accounts FREE. The greatest gift a person can have is free will and I'm thankful to live in a place that upholds that gift and the men and women who continue to fight so that we may maintain it. I'm hoping, now that the election is over, that people will remember this instead of focusing on bashing those who do not share their beliefs - even though through freedom we have every right to do so.



Wednesday, November 7th

I'm thankful for waking up to the sound of a happy baby talking to himself in his crib rather than hearing whining/crying over the monitor! Today Harrison woke up around 6:00am to feed and went back to sleep until about 8:45. When Charles and I woke up shortly before 9:00 to him on the monitor, it was so nice to hear him babbling away to himself rather than being definitely set the tone for the day! Plus, the bonus was obviously the fact that we didn't get up until almost 9:00. Charles didn't have to go into work until 11:00 and I use Harrison as my alarm clock, so it was a treat to be able to sleep in a bit. I love going into his nursery in the morning because even if he is being a little fussy, as soon as I walk in, turn on the light and say "Good Morning!" he gets all smiley and starts kicking like a mad man. Great way to start the day!


Thursday, November 8th

I'm thankful for the days when Charles is off of work and he gets to stay home with us. On weeks like this one, he works on Saturday, which means he gets a day off during the week. So it's like that feeling when you got to stay home from school as a kid...almost like cheating in a way. Except, you know, not. :) But it's nice to have another adult to talk to and to have someone helping take care of Harrison - especially when I'm trying to get some work done! It helps keep the day interesting and both Harrison and I are happier when he's around, so it's a win win :) When Charles stayed home for the week or two after H was born it was the best. You'd think we would've been read to kill each other after spending 24/7 together, but I hated it when he finally had to go back and so did he (to a degree, though I suspect he also found it a tad refreshing!).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Halloween Harry!

Imagine with me, for a moment, that it is not November 5th. It is instead October 31st and a post about Halloween is still relevant, mmk?

I do have to post a disclaimer here that if you are not a fan of Harry Potter you might want to skip this one. Just go along your merry way and come back some other time. Though you will miss a lot of pictures of a ridiculously cute baby. Just sayin'.

So from the time Harrison was about a month old, I knew that I was going to dress him up as Harry Potter for Halloween. His hair just kept getting longer and longer and at the time it was still pretty dark. His name was Harrison, which could be shortened to Harry (though we're not exactly encouraging that nickname...a name like "Hairy Combs" probably earns you a lot of time in a locker). Also Harry Potter is kind of my jam. It was obviously meant to be.

So despite the fact that he's now pretty much blonde, I was determined to make it happen, cap'n! And make it happen I did.

How freakin cute is that. I know. I'm biased. But look how glorious those glasses are. They make me giggle every time I see them. We had a bit of a snag the first time he wore them because they wouldn't stay on and he didn't like us constantly readjusting them, but then I wrapped a pipe cleaner around the back and voila! Instant head piece and Harrison was like "okay, whatever." I'm only about 4% convinced they messed up his eyesight. So worth it.

He had a scar at one point but he kept sweating it off. Ah, well. Remember, we're pretending.

He kept trying to eat the wand and managed to get it in his mouth a couple of times, which is when I started worrying that I was going to end up poisoning my kid with 77¢ craft paint.

Speaking of the costume...It's about to get real nerdy up in here. His costume was largely a handmade effort, with a couple of cheap (or shall I say "inexpensive" to sound more distinguished?) things thrown in the mix.

The components:
1. Under clothes
2. Hogwarts robes
3. Gryffindor scarf
4. Gryffindor tie
5. Glasses
6. Wand

Under his "robes" he wore black pants (Walmart, like $4) and a collared white onesie (already on hand), to which I safety pinned the tie. I made the tie and scarf out of super cheap inexpensive broadcloth (as in $3.48 total) that I got at Hobby Lobby in red and yellow (1/2 yard of each). I got really lazy and instead of sewing everything together, I hot glued it instead. We keep it classy up in here. I used this tutorial for the scarf (except for, you know, the sewing part) and just eyeballed the tie. For his robes I snagged a shirt?thing? from Goodwill for a couple of bucks that was the perfect height. It was kind of a slinky material and felt robe-esque. I just cut the arms to length, cut it up the middle in the back (which conveniently had a little velco enclosure at the top, so it became the front), and taped a Hogwarts "patch" I printed off on the left chest area. Like I said: classy :D

As for the wand - it's paper. And hot glue. And paint. Yup. I came upon this tutorial and thought it was brilliant - and pretty much free, which I'm always a fan of. I ended up making three wands, one for each of us.

 Because we're all nerds :)

How was your Halloween?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Month of Thanks

So in an effort to 1. Get in the habit of blogging more often and 2. Finding joy in the little things around me (due to my seemingly increasing annoyance at things that really shouldn't matter), I've decided to put into effect:

Month of Thanks

I know a lot of people do this in varying degrees across social media, so pardon me if you find it cliche. I think it will be a good exercise and it will make the build up to Thanksgiving all the more exciting, at the end of which I will gorge myself on pumpkin pie. Yummm.

As a bonus, it will help me blog more consistently, which we all know, doesn't really happen. See I have this baby.....

Anyway, my plan is to post every couple of days with a recap of the little things (and sometimes big things, ya know, like family and junk). Since I'm a visual person I made that there graphic at the top (feel free to use it if you'd like to join in) and I'll be doing my best to post photos along with my daily thanks.

So without further ado...



Thursday, November 1st

I'm thankful for community - yes, the tv show too, which FINALLY got a premiere date #comeonNBC - but more importantly our church community. On Thursdays I have a women's bible study in the morning for about two hours, which not only gives me two hours of "alone time" (hey, any time without a 7 month old is alone time, even if it is around a couple of hundred other women), but it also helps me connect with some great ladies here in the area as we learn more about our Lord. Then in the evening we have our small group, which Charles and I (and Harrison) go to along with about 5 other couples. We've gotten to know them over the past 10 months and have been so blessed with their friendship. So basically Thursdays are like a Jesus overload. But the good kind.



Friday, November 2nd


I'm thankful for date night with my hubby! For the past few years we've always participated in "Comedy Night Done Right," which is what NBC calls their block of comedy shows on Thursday nights (currently 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, and The Office). But seeing how we're gone on Thursday evenings for our small group and Harrison isn't in bed until 9pm or so, we realized that CNDR wasn't a real possibility this year. At least on Thursdays. So a few weeks ago we started date night on Fridays - we pop some popcorn, sit in bed with our laptop, and stream the shows we missed the night before. I look forward to it all week!


Saturday, November 3rd

I'm really thankful for quiet time (and weekends in general)! I love my boys more than anything on this earth, but I'm home alone with a baby for the majority of the week and it can get pretty exhausting. Today both my husband and my baby took a 2+ hour nap (and if you know my kid, that's probably a sign that the apocalypse is coming), which meant the apartment was quiet and I was able to write this post. Holla!

Thanks, honey, for being my unsuspecting model. Don't worry, you're cute when you sleep :D