Monday, April 29, 2013

Mr. Double Digits

Mr. Harrison hit the 10 month mark this past weekend!  He's officially a double-digit man and is trying his best become a big boy despite my best protests.  Ten months is such a fun age and we are trying our best to enjoy every single second of it.  

To my not-so-little, little boy,

Month #10 has been a big one for you Mr. Man...and for your mom and dad as well.  So many of your "firsts" this time around are "firsts" for us as well.  We've never had a crawler in our house before, never had a child that could go from their belly to sitting, never needed a big kid car seat or to drop the crib to its lowest setting...never, that is, until this past month.  

Here's a little peak at what you've been up to...

You are absolutely, positively, 100% BOY.  You talk like a monster, fart in the bathtub and throw everything that you can get your chubby little hands on!  

After many months of rolling from here to there, you finally took the plunge and decided that it was time to crawl...mostly chasing after things that you shouldn't be (remotes, dog toys and food bowls, alarm clocks).  You aren't pulling up on your own yet, but love standing to play.  You're balance is getting better and better every day!  

All of your big boy activities make you work up an appetite!  You are eating 3 solid meals a day and prefer feeding yourself over spoon feeding.  Favorites these days?  Peas, squash, mandarin oranges and Greek yogurt to name a few.  
Your personality is shining brighter than ever.  I'm not quite sure what we did to deserve such a happy, content little boy, but that's exactly what you are.  You are quick to smile, full of giggles, and a little bit of a show-off when you have an audience.  You're a top-notch raspberry blower and shake your head "no" at absolutely everything.

You are a total chatterbox and have perfected "da-da", "ba", and sometimes "ka" sounds.  When I encourage you to say "ma-ma" you usually just scowl at me then yell DA-DA-DA as if you're trying to prove a point.  

You should win an award for being a champion sleeper!  On days that I'm home with you, you take a 2 hour morning nap, and another hour snooze in the afternoon.  You're usually in bed by about 8 PM, and we don't hear from you again until 7 the next morning.

You're finally showing an interest in reading books with mommy and daddy.  For the longest time you would just grab them out of our hands and chuck them on the floor, but now you'll actually sit through multiple stories at a time.  That makes for one HAPPY mama!

Other random 10 month happenings:  You found your (and mommy's) eyelashes and like to pinch them with your chubby little fingers.  You suck one side of your top lip.  You're still in a size 3 diaper, but have graduated to a bigger wardrobe.  It takes a 12-18 month top to cover that big ol' belly of yours!  You'll clap mommy's hands, but not your own.  You hate the feel of grass on your bare skin.  You went swimming for the very first time...more on that in another post!  Did I mention that you like to yell?

It has been a busy, busy month, Harrison and I don't foresee any slowing down in the near future.  You definitely keep us on our toes, but we wouldn't have it any other way.  


Monday, April 22, 2013

Hair Gel and Pickles

I'm just going to come right out and say it....our son is extremely popular. 

With Matt and I both having weekend work commitments, we've had to rely on others to help us out with Harrison.  As much as I hate that, I know that there are lots of people anxious to get some one-on-one time with our little guy and we get lots of playdate requests!  This past Sunday he went to my cousin Erin's house and judging by the pictures she sent me, I think that he had a good time.

Happy, happy Harrison. 
Sometimes he just STOPS mid-roll.  Who knows.
I should have anticipated that staying with Erin would mean a trip to H'Erin's. 
Holy hair, buddy!
The caption that accompanied this photo??  "Hey, ladies..."
Apparently he likes pickles.  Who'da thunk!?

I love that our move back to Nebraska allows Harrison to spend special time with family.  He is constantly surrounded by people who love and care for him like he was their much love.  Thanks Albers family (and all of his visitors throughout the day) for taking such good care of our little boy.  He had SO much fun!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Holy house progress!  I stopped out to take a quick walk through the house on Saturday afternoon and almost fell over when I saw how much work had been done since I had last been there. I knew that things would get a little more "real" once we had actual walls, but wow...who knew that a girl could get so excited about drywall?!   

Future kitchen and open dining area with sliding door leading to the back porch.  
A head-on view of our future kitchen.  I'm already daydreaming about what our first home cooked meal will be (and who will come over to cook it for us!)
I can't wait to sit at our new and improved dining room table (more on that another day) and look out these window at Charley's garden.  The light in this house is incredible!
Front door - Office to the left, stairs to the right
Scared of heights?  Then don't come over to our place just yet!  They had to take the make-shift railing down while they were dry walling and now its just a big, open death trap.  The two doors in the picture lead to the guest bedroom (right) and Harry's eventual big boy room (left).
Master bedroom...zzzzzzz....
 I still have to laugh every time I see my closet.  Maybe we'll turn it into an income property to help lower our mortgage--any takers?  
Another view of the front door with the office to the left.

The official house calendar looks pretty busy for the next few weeks with cabinetry, trim and wood floor installation.  Before you know it, it'll be moving day (any volunteers?) and we'll FINALLY be settled in our home sweet home.  Those brand new walls of ours are going to hold so much love! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Permission to Proceed

We PASSED inspections!!
Ok, so "WE" might be giving Matt and I a little too much credit...really "WE" had very little, if anything, to do with it.  Regardless, those two stickers give us the green light to take some major steps forward in the home building process.  If all goes according to plan, by the end of next week we'll have insulation in and drywall hung...then the FUN stuff starts!

While most of the work being done has been pretty boring (plumbing, electrical), there have been a few exciting things happening as well.  

Our fireplace was installed just last week.  Beautiful, right?
And the weather warmed up enough that they could start working on our stone.

There have also been some big changes taking place AROUND our house.  I'll show you some before and afters of our outdoor transformation, but first I think you need a little bit of background.

About a year and a half ago Matt and I purchased a 3.2 acre lot in Gretna, NE.  The lot had previously been developed, but the house that was originally there fell victim to a very unfortunate fire.  The house was a total loss, and the owners decided to sell the lot.  That being said, when we took possession of the land, it came equipped with a lot of "bonus features" existing well, septic system, buried propane tank, and a WHOLE LOT of landscaping.  
When we purchased the lot in November 2011, Matt and I were still living in South Dakota and the lot became somewhat neglected.  When we moved to Nebraska last June, life got extremely chaotic and the neglect continued.  To say that things were out of control might be the understatement of the century.  I'm pretty sure that we owe the whole neighborhood a few cold ones in return for them putting up with our eye sore of a yard.   

Here's what our berms looked like last summer before Matt busted his butt cleaning them up.  Those are weeds, people.  Weeds.
After about 80 hours of weeding in 95+ degree temps (no exaggerating on either account), things were looking much better...but there was still a lot of work to go!

Last week Matt had a few days off and decided that it was time to tackle the berms once again.  On Wednesday he rented a trencher and cleared out an edge around our behemoth berms.
The next day we had TWENTY yards of mulch dropped of in our front yard.  Matt started working at around 8:30 that morning and was still there at 6 that night when Harrison and I stopped by before heading home.  When it was all said and done, only one of the two berms was completed.

The before...or as Matt called it..."No Fun Land."  
Good for catching trash, but not much else!
My mom even volunteered her services and helped cut back all of the old plants.  The jury's still out as to whether or not they will come back after Weedfest 2012.
On Friday I got to join in the fun.  While I was glad that I was finally able to help, I would have appreciated if Mother Nature could have gone a little easier on the wind.  We were total dirt balls by the end of the afternoon (I'm still blowing mulch out my nose)...but we finished! Talk about a rewarding feeling!

Berm #1
Berm #2
Me in my safety goggles and high school track sweatshirt (sorry HCHS, it was just too comfy to return) wonder Matt fell in love with me! 
I love this guy.  He worked SO.FREAKIN'.HARD. to get these back in shape.
June is creeping closer and things are officially starting to feel a little more real.  Soon we'll be able to unpack our boxes and surround ourselves with a much needed sense of familiarity.  We've been living in a constant state of crazy for the past 2 years...and while I know that a new house isn't going to fix the broken pieces of our hearts, I do believe that it will provide some level of healing for our family.  We so desperately need to feel settled again and to start establishing have a place we cab finally call home.   

Just the thought of it makes my heart smile.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bring It On, Spring!

Spring fever had OFFICIALLY taken over the Ritchie house.  We've been going on walks, spending more time outdoors and letting the fresh air flood our house.  Harrison is loving the change of scenery, and I'm loving the way that his chubby little arms look in short-sleeve shirts!

Watching Daddy work in the garage on a special project.  
 Sunny 70 degree Saturday.  Daddy's out golfing and we're soaking up some backyard time. 
 Shortly before we moved back to Nebraska, the AWESOME people at my old job held a baby shower for Mr. Mister and me.  This quilt was one of the gifts we received that day.  As we played outside under the warm sun this afternoon, I told Harrison all about his "South Dakota family" and how much I miss them.  I think a visit is in order!

Each knot represents a prayer that was said for you.  

Happy weekend, everyone!  I hope that you are all enjoying a little sunshine of your own today.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Less Hairy Harry

Last week I bit the bullet and took Harrison in for his very first haircut (other than the little trims that I had given him here and there).  I thought that we could make it to the 1 year mark, but his long wispy baby hair was getting a little out of control.  He's a super cute kiddo, but even he was struggling to pull off the whole baby comb over thing!  As much as I wasn't ready for him to look like a "big boy," I knew that it was time to clean things up a bit. 

The before - He was a little skeptical about the whole cape situation.
 He was SO curious and just wanted to watch the pretty lady cutting his hair :)
 Comb = perfect distraction.  
I love how he's peeking around her hand to look at the camera.
 Nom Nom Nom
Tear...he looks like such a big boy...My handsome little big boy!