Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Look Inside

Anyone tired of house posts yet?  So much has changed in just two short weeks and my camera has been working overtime trying to document the whole process.  Last week we were thrilled to see that the main floor of our home had been framed...just imagine our excitement when one week later we pulled up and saw THIS!

We stopped out on Thursday afternoon and were surprised to see that they were working away despite the frigid temperatures.  We too braved the cold and decided to take our first official walk through our future home.  

The main floor is very open.  I'm standing in the kitchen looking into the living room.  Off to the left is the dining area (2 pictures down) and to the right is the entryway, office and stairs leading up to the bedrooms.
There are 6 large windows across the back of the house that will frame a pretty awesome view.  Now if I can just teach the dogs to keep their wet little noses off of them!  The 3 windows below are in our dining area. 
The remaining 3 are in the living room (boarded over in this picture). 
 My future closet...it's probably definitely a little excessive, but it's open space above the garage that would have otherwise been wasted.  I've been told that I'm not allowed to fill it up.
 Harry's future big boy room!
 I might just have to watch the sunset from my closet every night!  Beautiful!

On January 14 I posted pictures of a framed in basement.  Two weeks later we have a structure that paints a pretty good picture of things to come.  Pretty darn amazing.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lucky Number Seven

Here's a little something to give you an idea of what this past month has been like in the Ritchie house....

Yesterday Harrison celebrated his 7 month birthday.
Tomorrow we are finally getting him in for his 6 month well-visit!

Time is absolutely FLYING by these days...it's really quite bittersweet.  I'm SO anxious for summer so that we can finally settle down in our new house and unpack the boxes that have been in storage since August 2011, but I feel that by willing June to get here faster, I'm in a way wishing away the months until Harrison turns one.  How can I tell time to "hurry up" and "slow down" all at the same time????

My sweet baby boy,

Your seventh month, much like each of those before, was nothing short of amazing.  Each day was filled with new milestones, sounds, movements and LOTS of smiles.  Here's a little more of what you have been up to...

You have perfected the "scariest" sounding monster voice.  

You experienced your first sick visit to the pediatrician after you woke up one morning with a very croupy sounding cough.  Luckily we got you into the doctor right away, loaded you up with some steroids and seemed to catch things early.  In true Harrison fashion, you remained happy through the whole ordeal!

You've developed an aversion to sweet potatoes.  Normally you are our little piggy who will eat most anything...but break out those darn sweet potatoes you immediately purse your lips together.  Silly boy!

Much to our dismay (and paranoia), you have officially transitioned into a belly sleeper.  For a while I would sneak in and roll you over to your back, but within about 30 seconds you would manage to find your way back the other direction.  

You are quite the conversationalist.  You've been experimenting with different sounds for quite a while now, but within the past few weeks you have started combining them more.  Mom and Dad LOVE hearing all of your crazy stories!

You love to suck on your bottom lip.  

You definitely LOVE your daddy.  When he's around you flash your biggest smiles and give your best giggles.  

You've taken special interest in your puppies this month.  They just ignore you for the most part, but it will be interesting to see how much they like you once you're mobile.

I used to think that you were going to grow up to be an Olympic swimmer, but lately I've been leaning more toward a long jumper or high jumper.  Boy oh boy do you love to JUMP!  You jump in your Jump-a-Roo, on our laps, against the side of the chair when we feed you...basically wherever you can find a firm place to plant your feet.

Sitting upright is still a work in progress.  You will "sit like a big boy" for bits at a time, but with so many exciting things going on around you, you get distracted.  You did really well during our monthly photo shoot, so I know it's just a matter of time.

You are constantly on the move...rolling from here to there, kicking your legs, flailing your arms...you name it!  One of these days you'll put it all together and really take off!  

We spent lots of time in the "Harrison" chair this month working on our sitting.  Translation...I took a lot of pictures!

The "official" 7 month birthday pictures (pants optional)
ALWAYS chewing on his fingers
Happy boy after a nap.  Please disregard the food on his shirt and the bright blue socks! 

So there you have it, baby boy.  Month #7 in the books.  Each day is an adventure, a blessing beyond comprehension.  We love you so very, very much!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Movin' on Up

Maybe a better title for this post would have been "Buildin' on Up" instead of "Movin' on Up".  There's been a whole lot of activity going on at our lot recently and every day as I drive by (yes, I detour so that I can check it out) there seems to be something new completed.

Matt and I made a trip to Omaha on Tuesday for official house business.  We picked out everything from windows, interior/exterior doors, banisters, toilets, faucets....you get the point.  It was a very productive day!  Luckily Matt and I have very similar tastes when it comes to this sort of thing.  It makes the process a whole heck of a lot easier.

When we drove by the house on Tuesday we were thrilled to see that the ground floor was starting to take shape.  This part of the building process goes SO quickly and it's fun to watch the bones of our future home being constructed.

By Friday evening there had been some major changes.  After work it's always a race to beat the setting sun, but it was just light enough for me to snap a few pictures.

This is the front view of the house.  Going from left to right you can see the front-facing single stall garage, followed by the side-facing double stall.  There will be big windows cut into that big mass of wood eventually. The first opening as you move beyond the garage is the front door, followed by a window opening to our office.  The second floor is well on it's way and with another week of "mild" January temperatures I'm sure that we'll have a framed roof before you know it!

This week we're planning another trip to Omaha to check out flooring, shower tile, countertops and cabinets.  So many decisions, but I'm loving every minute of it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Little Something on Your Face

It seems as though Harrison requires a lot of BATHS lately.  

He loves him some carrots!
This little piggy ate a WHOLE banana the other day!
Little Boy Blue...berry
Saving a little snack for later.
Sweet potatoes = hands to the face.  There's just no stopping it.

After our feeding challenges with Charlotte, Matt and I are thankful for Harrison's healthy appetite.  He LOVES dinner time and has the rolls to prove it.  Just imagine how chubby he would be if more food actually made it into his mouth instead of all over his face!  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weighing on my Heart

Sweet baby girl,

Something pretty big happened in our house sometime in the past 2 months. Something that has my brain/heart working overtime.  

It started back in October when I took your baby brother to his 4 month well-visit.  His visits are always pretty routine...weight, developmental assessment, shots.  This one was no different.  He was given a clean bill of health and we were on our way.  The first thing I did after we left was call Daddy and let him know what a BIG little boy we had.  At 4 months old he had already surpassed the 15 lb mark.

Fast forward 2 months... 

Two weeks ago I took Harrison to see Dr. Whitcomb because of a nasty cough.  He was due for another well-visit and one more round of shots, but all of that had to be put on hold due to the fact that he was sick.  They did weigh him, though, and I was startled to see 18 lb 15 oz flash before me on the scale. 

15 lb.  
18 lb.  

Somewhere in between lies 17 lb 8 oz...the weight you were the last time I held you in my arms.  I had just weighed you the night before.

I didn't expect for Harrison to get there so quickly (a whole 6 months faster than you did) and a part of me hurts knowing that I didn't realize it at the time.  There isn't a day that passes where I don't ache to feel your weight in my arms again.  I want so badly to have one more chance...to remember how you felt snuggled in my arms...to experience that physical moment one more time.  I wanted to hold your brother when he was 17 lbs 8 oz, close my eyes and imagine that it was you in my arms.   I realize that that may sound unfair to him...but it's true.  There's no good way to explain it.  

Maybe it's a good thing it passed unnoticed.  
Maybe God was trying to shield my heart from the grief that it would have triggered.  
Had I known, I'm sure I would have been a mess.
I'm sure I would have felt torn in two.

I miss you, Bear.  All 17 lbs 8 oz of you.

Loving you beyond words or explanation, 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Taking Shape

A week or so ago Matt got a text from our builder letting us know that the next available house framers would be heading our way!  EEEEE I was so excited when he called and let me know.  On Saturday we were back in Omaha and decided to swing out to the lot, hoping to see that things had started taking shape.  I was secretly hoping to pull into the development and see the shape of our 2-story abode towering over us...a girl can dream, right?  

Side walk-out
 What will soon be a front porch and the main floor

With a forecast full of "warmer" temperatures and void of snow/rain for the next week, I'm sure that things will start coming together quickly.  Its hard to believe that we're already over 1/2 way through our final year as renters and that there are only about 5 months until we move!  Yay for framed basements!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Harrison's Mini Vacation

The first weekend of December (yes, this post is a little bit late) Harrison went on a little weekend vacation to Omaha while Matt worked and I was in Kansas City for our yearly "Goeser-Schmitz-Mom-Sister-Aunt-Cousin" shopping trip.  It was the very first time that I had spent a weekend away from either of my kiddos.  Come to think of it...the only time that I had even spent a NIGHT away was when Matt would stay with Charlotte in the hospital.  Crazy, huh!?  

I was a little anxious about the whole deal.   Harrison on the other hand could have cared less.  He was having too much fun to even notice that his mama was gone!

He spent all of Saturday playing and snuggling with Grammy Vicki and Grandpa Steve.  He looks pretty miserable without me, right?
On Sunday he went to visit NamNam, PopPop and uncle Abe.  They took advantage of the uncharacteristically warm December day and went to the zoo!  He loved it so much that he even got a ZOO PASS for Christmas this year.  

Harrison had SO much fun with his grandparents, I had some much needed "mom time" and Matt...well...he worked.  I guess 2 out of 3 isn't bad!  Thanks to everyone who took such good care of our little man (and for texting me lots of pictures to help me though the weekend!)

Thursday, January 3, 2013


When we found out that we were having a little baby boy back in February 2011, I was pretty confident that aside from clothing, most of our current baby toys/decor/etc. would be reusable.  We tried to keep things pretty gender neutral the first time around and were pretty prepared when it was boy time.  Of all of the items that we have been "re-using," there have been a couple of hand-me-downs that have been a little harder on me emotionally. 

Hand-me-down #1:  Diapers

I was in the basement a few weeks back searching for a few items among our stacks and stacks of boxes, when I came across one that was full of diapers.  I froze for a minute, knowing that they were ones that were left over after Charlotte died.  I threw the diapers in a box knowing that some day we would probably have another baby and that they would come in handy.  Charlotte, our petite little girly, was 12 months old and wearing a size 3 diaper (she had very deceiving chubby cheeks!).  Her brother is now 6 months old and sporting those same size 3s.  Notice I didn't call Harrison "petite"!  Charlotte's sick heart had to work a lot harder than Harrison's healthy one...meaning that she burned calories at a much faster rate.  Combine that with her feeding struggles and you get a little girl in the 10th percentile for weight.  We knew that Harrison would likely be bigger, but a part of my heart is sad knowing that he's already bigger than she ever had the chance to grow.

Hand-me-down #2:  Highchair

This one was a tough one for me.  Last May we contemplated selling Charlotte's highchair and getting a new one for Harrison...there were just so many memories (good and bad) of that silly chair.  It was an observation point for many after dinner dance parties, countless photos, stolen popsicles and eating celebrations....all good things.  But those highs were also accompanied by the frustrations of feeding a little girl who flat out didn't want to eat, or wanted to eat but would randomly gag and empty her tummy.  In the end we kept the chair and I'm really happy that we did.  It's just another piece of Charlotte that we are able to share with her baby brother.

Charlotte - 6 months
Harrison - 6 months

Hand-me-down #3:  Special clothes

Sigh....another hard one.  Most of Charlotte's clothes are packed away in totes just in case there is another baby girl in our future.  Some that we deemed "Charlotte's and only Charlotte's" are safely stored in her cedar chest.  She did, however, have a few items that were "hand-downable" to her baby brother...3 items that I know she would have been proud to share.  

Charlotte - 8.5 months
 Harrison - 6 months
And yes, Matt is wearing the EXACT same outfit in both pictures....and not for the sake of making the pictures look the same.  The picture of Charlotte was taken on the day that the Packers won the Super Bowl, and that OBVIOUSLY makes it a "lucky" outfit.  If it's game day, he's wearing it!  Boys are weird like that.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about pulling these items out of storage...for some reason I had always thought of them as being Charlotte's.  I've had to remind myself that it's normal for little siblings to have hand-me-downs and smile knowing that Harrison's big sister is still very much a part of our home.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013