Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baby Ritchie #3 {39 weeks}

Remember this post where I had you all convinced that I was saying good-bye to the blog when really I was just saying good-bye to my feet (translation:  I'm pregnant)?  Well, I thought that now that I've officially hit 39 weeks and am probably the biggest I'm going to get, that I should probably give you an update on the whole feet thing!

As Harrison would say "Where'di go?!"

It won't be long now!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

HP Ritchie {18 Months Young}

Since my last “month-by-month” Harrison post (about 3 months ago), I’ve been keeping a list of memories/milestones in my phone with the intentions of compiling them all into my big “Harrison is 18 months old post” here on the blog. At this stage in the game, it feels like he is changing on a daily basis, and I knew that if I didn’t write things down along the way, that they were bound to fall thru the cracks. Harrison turned 18 months old the day after Christmas, and just as I was (finally) getting ready to put this post together…tragedy struck. My phone decided to take a wild ride through the washing machine, taking my list and everything else along with it. I’ve spent the past few days trying to reconstruct my long list, and while there are undoubtedly some things that were left off, I think that this post will paint a pretty accurate picture of little Harrison as his feisty 18 month self. (On a side note – I've written this entire post once already.  It was long…it was good…then it disappeared. I think there are little technology trolls out there trying to make me lose my mind!!)
Go Go Go: Harrison at 18 months is a constant flurry of activity. He is go, go, go from the minute he wakes up in the morning until we lay him down at night.  He loves to run, throw balls, spin in circles until he’s dizzy, escape up the stairs unnoticed, jump on things he shouldn’t, be chased by his daddy and play “bas-keh-ba” (basketball).  Giggles come easily, messes follow wherever he goes and his personality is shining brighter than ever.  
Trucks Trucks and more Trucks: As you can probably guess by the intro…our little guy LOVES trucks. Actually, trucks, cars, tractors…anything with wheels!  He constantly "vrooms" his arsenal of trucks around the house and is wearing out the pages of his many truck books (which we read more than mom and dad would ever choose to!)   Thanks to them, he can correctly identify a firetruck (and make the siren sound), dump truck, school bus, bulldozer...even a cement mixer!  Our favorite, though, is when we hear an excited "WHOA!  A PICK-UP" coming from the back seat as we drive through town! 
Rub-a-dub-dub: Bath time is one of Harrison’s favorite parts of the day. As a matter of fact, you can’t even say the b-a-t-h word in his presence without him making a bee-line for the stairs. Lately there has been lots of splashing, swimming on his belly, kicking his feet, blowing bubbles….and THANKFULLY….a whole lot less pooping! I can’t wait to get this little water baby back in the pool where he belongs!
Chatterbox: I don’t have a whole lot to compare him to, but I’m pretty sure that Harrison has a lot of words for an 18 month old (am I a proud, bragging mama or what?!) But really, the kid never stops and will try to repeat most everything. It seems like yesterday we were celebrating his first “real” words…and now we frequently catch ourselves giggling as he puts together simple sentences like “Ima meth” (I’m a mess) or yells “Go Packers, Go Go Go” whenever he sees a football game on tv. Feel free to skip a head to the next bullet point, but for my documentation purposes I feel like I need to include a list of his words/phrases at this point.

{Mama/Mommy, Dada/Daddy, puppy, baby (meaning both baby and our dog Maybe), hat/hot/heart (they all sound the same), uh-oh, car, beep, Pepper (my sister’s dog), Aggie (my sister), Aubrey (my neice), up, ball, bear, pick-up, muck (milk), all done, cookie (he had a cracker in the car one day and now asks me for a cookie every time I put him in his carseat!), cracker, pretty, no-no-no, night-night/goonight, click, bear, footie, boo (for both ghosts and cows!), Hawwy (Harry), biaper (diaper), hi, bye-bye, PopPop, nana, owww, a-meh (Amen), tee-tee-tee (1-2-3), two, whoa, where go?, kiwi, various animal sounds (kitty, puppy, sheep, duck, horse, bee, anything that roars), Elmo, tar (star), hockey, wawer (water) and a few more here and there!}

Playing favorites: I always thought that there would be no better sight than seeing Matt and our sweet little Charlotte playing together...but I must admit that this whole father-son thing is pretty awesome as well. Yes, Harrison still has a soft spot for his mama, but his eyes absoltuely light up when he sees his Matt. They can frequently be found chasing each other around the kitchen, shooting hoops, working on their golf game, or just snuggling while watching cartoons together.  My 2 guys are most definitely 2 peas in a pod and they make this mama feel blessed beyond words!
On his own 2 feet:  I realize that all kiddos go through a phase where they like to play with shoes, but Harrison's fascination with all things "footies" really takes things to a new level.  Most mornings his first words to me are "Issa footie" while grabbing his feet.  Need a distraction during a diaper changing melt-down?  Ask him where his footies are.  Forget to put socks on him?  No worries, he'll bring you a pair and sit on your lap until you put them on.  Right foot on the table during dinner?  You mean that's not normal?   

Yum yum yum:  Over the past few weeks, we've started tp see the picky/stubborn side of Harrison come through in the eating department.  One day he'll love something, and the next he's all "no no no," head shaking and pursed lips.  Stinker.  We're doing our best not to cater, but it's sometimes harder than I expected.  Lord knows by looking at the size of his belly, the boy ain't gonna starve!  At 18 months he's great with a fork, getting there with a spoon, but prefers to hold them in one hand while he eats sans utinsils with the other!
Just a little more:  In an attempt to prevent an already long post from becoming even longer, here's a quick run down on a few more things H has been up to!  He started a new daycare this week.  There are more kids his age, more structure, and an indoor gym for him to run around in like a maniac.  What's not to like?  He's not big on snuggles, but boy does he dole out the kisses (each accompanied by a big "mmmm-ahhh!")  I even caught him kissing a stuffed horse in the basement the other day!  Speaking of kisses, he met his future girlfriend back around Christmas (too bad she lives all the way in Alaska!).  He is proficient in sign language...well...one word anyway.  He can sign "more" with the best of them!  He thinks that computers, iPads and iPhones exist for the sole purpose of watching Elmo videos and will stop dead in his tracks if he spots the Wiggles on tv.
We are loving this age so incredibly much and wish that we could bottle up all of the cute things Harrison says and does on a daily basis! I can't even begin to put into words how much we love this little guy.  

Happy 18 months, Mr. Man!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Baby Ritchie #3 {36 weeks}

Hello 2014! 

That feels absolutely crazy to say considering it feels like just yesterday we were making Thanksgiving plans.  Am I right?  How did we get to 2014 so fast?  But here we are, 6 days into January and staring some major life changes head on.  January is going to be a BIG month for the Ritchie clan.

We ushered in the new year on a pretty low key note.  Strangely enough, a woman who is 8 months pregnant and her husband who has to work at 3AM the next morning don't get too wild and crazy on New Year's Eve.  Instead, we enjoyed a relaxed evening (me in my pjs) with family, ate a yummy home-cooked dinner and played games until the clock struck midnight.  Approximately 2 minutes later, we escaped upstairs and were both asleep the instant our heads hit our pillows!  Wild and crazy?  Maybe another day.

A very quiet start to the year, indeed...but exactly what we needed knowing how this month is going to end.  You see, we're taking the "fresh starts" and new beginnings of January to another level by welcoming our second baby boy into our home.  It's pretty much the opposite of the old phrase "In like a lion, out like a lamb!"  I'm 36 weeks today, and before our eyes see the light of February, our little family will be one member larger.  I'm not quite sure how to wrap my brain around it all!

At 36 weeks...

-I learned that Target brand Tums are quite possibly the worst generic Tums ever.  Brand name ones are okay...but the Hy-Vee generic definitely takes the cake!  These are the things you discover when you pop a handful multiple times throughout the day.  Damn you heartburn.

-I own one coat that actually zips over my belly...which is awesome considering that its -10,000 degrees outside today.

-My sweet tooth is still in full effect.  Cookies?  Sure.  Cake?  Why not!?  Brownies?  Crap, now I want a brownie.  Or maybe some Hot Tamales.

-Sleep has hit a rough streak.  A body pillow helps, but I can't sleep on one side all night long, and rolling over poses issues all its own!  Combine that with my constant trips to the bathroom and you get some pretty disruptive sleep.  Naps on the other hand...naps I can totally do. 

-"Raymond" is pretty quiet for the most part...nothing like the 24/7 acrobat that his big brother was.  When he does get excited, though, he takes it to the extreme.   

-Harrison, while totally oblivious to what's going to happen in a few short weeks, does know that a baby lives somewhere in the region of his mama's belly button.  Sometimes he'll put his hands on my belly when I ask where the baby is, other times he just pinches my belly button (which decided to be an outie this go round).  It might be a bit of an adjustment for him, but his unsolicited bump kisses tell me that he's going to be a pretty amazing big brother!

36 weeks - Baby Ritchie #3 {a.k.a. Raymond Casanova}

I got a call today that made me "officially on the books" for my scheduled c-section.  Want to know when the big day will be??  Tough luck.  Some will know ahead of time (don't worry mom...you'll know in due time).  The rest of you will have to sit back in suspense and wait for the big announcement.  Having an actual date (pending Raymond's plans) has freaked me out a little bit and I've spent a good chunk of the day wondering how this whole thing is going to work.  What will be come of our perfect little routine?  Will my recovery be as easy as the previous 2 have been?  How the heck to I take care of an 18 month old after major surgery?  I know, I know...we have lots of help available....but my mind is still going a mile a minute.  Prayers for this mama's heart would be much appreciated.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Boy and His Bear

Once upon a time, there was a sweet smelling, fluffy bear named Charley.

Charley was looking for a new friend, and it didn't take long before she found and  moved in with an itty-bitty boy named Harrison.  At first Harrison didn't really pay much attention to Charley Bear, but as time passed, he fell crazy in love with her.  He loved to snuggle with Charley Bear and would kiss/suck on her nose at night until he drifted off to sleep.

Over time, all of Harrison's loves took their toll on Charley Bear.  She became less and less sweet smelling, less and less fluffy.  She was down right raggedy.  But that didn't change Harrison's love for the sweet bear....if anything, it made him love her more.

Harrison's mom tried to be sneaky, replacing the original Charley Bear with an "understudy," but Harrison was much too wise to be fooled by tricks like this.  As a matter of fact, Harrison decided to turn the tables on his mom and made the decision that he was actually a 2 bear kinda guy...one to hold and one to kiss!  And while there were now 2 of them in the mix, the original Charley still ranked supreme.

One day, after he had been giving Charley Bear slobbery kisses for close to a year, Harrison's parents noticed that the material connecting Charley's nose to her face was wearing dangerously thin.  They kept an eye on that little nose, until one night, his mom went to check on the sleepy duo (or trio!) and noticed that the nose had been flipped inside out.  With a heavy heart, she removed Charley Bear from Harrison's bed and crossed her fingers that he didn't wake up panicked at her abduction in the middle of the night.  The next morning, Harrison woke in tears muttering the question "Bear?"  Sob...it broke his mom's heart.

Harrison's mom and dad knew that something had to be done, but the question was "What?".  Totally take Charley away??!  They weren't quite ready for that, and neither was their little boy.  Instead, they made a joint decision to finish up the job that Harrison had started.  Dad got the scissors, and moments later they had a noseless bear on their hands.
The hole left behind by that little nose was much larger than either of them expected and required some pretty significant repair.  The surgery was long and tedious, but before Harrison knew it....Charley Bear was back in his arms.  He gave Bear, with her new and improved (and gigantic) felt nose, a curious once over while his mom and dad stood by with fingers crossed.    
And before they knew it, the slobbery kisses resumed. 

All was well with the boy and his Bear.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

HoHoHo! Christmas {2013}

Brace yourselves...this is going to be the mother of all Christmas posts with pictures galore.  We had a VERY busy stretch of holiday celebrations and still have a little bit of that "hangover" feeling as we try to recover from it all.  That being said, amidst the hectic schedules, stuffed bellies, and not enough sleep, our Christmas was absolutely perfect.  We got to spend some much needed time with our families, as well as enjoy a little quality time as a family of 3.  Harrison was a trooper through it all, and loved being the entertainment at all of our gatherings.  

We kicked off our holiday preparations by making sugar cookies for Santa.
Harrison proved to be more interested in EATING the dough than anything else, and was soon covered head to toe in flour.  That's when I wised up and reassigned him to cookie cutter surveilance on the floor! 
By the time he woke up from his nap that afternoon, the cookies had been magically decorated and were ready to eat!  It was Harrison's first sugar cookie experience...and it was most definitely a hit!
Classic Harry and his "footie"
The weekend before Christmas we had the chance to celebrate with this crazy group at NamNam and PopPop's house.
Every year we get together, eat pizza, open gifts...and really just enjoy each other's company.  Traditions (movies, pedicures, etc.) have evolved with the addition of our kiddos, but it is always guaranteed to be an evening full of great conversation, laughter and memory  making. 
Just for the record...that was NOT Harrison's present.  He spotted the trucks and made a bee-line for them.  As a matter of fact...he did that with most presents that his cousin Benson opened.  Looks like we're going to add "be better at sharing" to his list of New Year's resolutions!
This year we celebrated Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family.  I'm constantly amazed at how much the Bogler family has grown...and it seems like there is no stopping it!  In 2014 we'll be adding 3 more kiddos (so far) to the mix!  Of course, we went to take the first picture of the night and my camera died.  We'll settle for one family iPhone snapshot!
After staying up WAY too late on Christmas Eve, we peeled ourselves out of bed the following morning to check out our Santa goodies under the tree.  Harrison found a stocking full of goodies, some trucks like the ones he tried to steal from his cousin Benson a few days earlier, and his very first set of golf clubs.  I'm not sure who was more excited, Harrison or his dad!
After a quiet morning at home, we made a quick stop at Grandma Debbie's before heading over to Matt's mom's house.  We wanted to have the chance to wish everyone a merry Christmas in case we didn't make it back at the end of the night.  We hate to rush, but in my mind, a quick trip is better than no trip!
Harrison got some new "Bs" (letters) and some other toys for the bath tub.  They're definitely a new favorite!
Our next stop was to Matt's mom's house for lunch and more good company.  Somehow our stocking stuffers always transition into some crazy game/competition at this Christmas.  This year, 4 grown men used inverted insulated ice scrapers and used them to throw/catch fake snowballs.  Matt thought his accuracy was heightened with the use of these "golf ball finder" glasses.  Weirdo.
Who cares what is IN the box...H was more interested in being ON the box!
Caught sharing.

As per usual, the holiday season was a total whirlwind.  We woke up early, stayed up late, ate too many cookies and laughed until our bellies hurt (mine was constantly shaking like a bowl full of jelly baby).   Yet despite all of "busy," we still managed to sit back, enjoy our family time and soak in all of the magic that Christmas brings with it.  Merry (late) Christmas, everyone!