Monday, June 30, 2014

Celebrating TWO {digger-style}

This year we celebrated Harrison's birthday in the most fitting way possible - with LOTS and LOTS of trucks.  Diggers, dump trucks, backhoes, name it, he loves it!  

When Charlotte turned 1 I made a challenge to myself to always make my kiddo's birthday cakes.  I'm not usually one to pat myself on the back, but I think this one turned out pretty darn good!  A special thanks to my oh-so-talented hubby for making me orange cone candle holders.
 Even little Max dressed for the occasion in his best tow truck outfit!
 I'm pretty sure his wish was for us to give him that truck back!
 The shades stayed on all day long.  

Sunshine.  Good food.  Great company.
And most importantly...another amazing year Mr. Harrison.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Harry's TWO!

Two.  Two.  Two.

I keep repeating it to myself thinking that it will make this feel more “real,” but the truth is, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that this teeny tiny little baby could be 2 years old already. 

I love this age so incredibly much and I never want to forget all of the adorable things Harrison says and does on a daily basis.  He's learning so many new things and becoming such a creative and independent little guy.  I love watching this transition into the role of "big boy" play out in front of me...I just never realized how quickly it would happen!  It's like I blinked my eyes and all of a sudden my squishy little baby was running circles around me!

Here's a quick rundown of our little birthday boy at 2 years old...

You are so smart, Harrison.  SO smart.  Like speaking sentences smart.  Four syllable words smart. Singing full songs (ABCs, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Old MacDonald) smart.  Pointing out my “eye-bows” and “finner naiws” smart.  You never cease to amaze us with the things that come out of your mouth!  You love to read books, have an incredible memory, and can count past 10.  People hear you talk and almost always ask “How old did you say he was??”  Smart I tell you.  Smart.  You must get it from your mom!
You are a little comedian and make us laugh ALL OF THE TIME!  The things that come out of your mouth.  The little side glances you give when you want to see if anyone is watching.  The way you "woll down da hiw" in the back yard like its nobody's business.  All entertainer, all the time.

You are ALL BOY.  Trucks.  Balls.  Dirt under your nails.  Stinky feet.  Burps.  You basically fit in to every little boy stereotype there ever was.  "Farm" life has been absolutely perfect for you and we are so thankful that we have so much space for you to explore and to burn off all that BOY energy.
You are such a good big brother.  We thought we were going to totally rock your world back in January when we brought Max home from the hospital, but it hasn't seemed to phase you.  You greet him every morning with a "Hi Max!" and give him sweet kisses before bed.  You just recently started showing a real interest in him, asking if he can get in your bed, laying beside him on the floor to play.  I can't wait to watch the relationship between the two of you grow.
Boy oh boy do you ever love your daddy.  The minute he leaves the room you ask "Where daddy go?" and when you see him again the best grin takes over your face.  You're two peas in a pod...or as you would say "two boys in hats."  There's nothing in this world that makes me feel the way I do when I see the two of you together.   You chase each other around the yard, go on lawn mower and ATV rides together, practice your slam dunks in the driveway...and he loves it all just as much as you do.  I sure do love my two boys in hats.
Despite all of your sweetness, you definitely have a feisty side.  We’ve started to see more of those terrible twos come out when things don’t go your way.  The following have become quite popular phrases in our home lately.  “Harrison, we don’t spit.”  “We do not hit our friends.”  “The puppies are our friends.  We don’t hit our friends.”  “Do you need to go sit on the couch?” “I’m not going to tell you again, sit on your bottom/don’t bang your fork on the table/No hitting.”  “Go tell mommy/daddy/Aggie that you’re sorry.”   95% of the time you're pretty happy-go-lucky...but those other 5%?  Whoa.

I could probably go on and on forever - You got your first "driveway haircut" by your aunt Lindsey and did SOOO well with it.  You love to play in the bathtub and with the hose, yet today you told me on our way to the splash park that you are afraid of water.  Lovely.  You've been rocking a 2T on top for awhile now...but have some short little legs that are best suited in 18 month bottoms.  You will eat most anything, but have a strong preference for M&Ms, donuts and cake.  I often hear you say "Boogers....yucky....that's gwoss" as we are riding in the car.  I don't even want to know what you're doing back there. You answer "yeah" to most any question,  except when I ask you if daddy is funny....I worked long and hard to train you that the correct answer to that one is NO!  You're starting to "get" friendship and will frequently stop playing to ask me "Where Mason go?"  It's so fun to watch you play with other kiddos!  Just like daddy, you love to wear hats.  A cowboy hat.  A baseball hat. Max's too-small-for-Harry's-head hat.  It doesn't love them all!  

 We all love you so very much and feel blessed beyond words at the joy you have brought to our lives.  Every day is an adventure and our world is most definitely a better place with you in it.  

Happy 2nd birthday, Harrison Paul!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Lovin'

This time of year is truly my “bliss.”  Warmer temperatures, sun-kissed skin, the sound of little boy giggles filling the air as Harrison “woes down da hiw” (rolls down the hill) with his daddy.  We spray hoses, take frequent “ABB” (ATV) rides visit our neighbor’s horses, and make nightly visits to our blackberry bush in hopes of spotting that first delicious fruit.  It's absolutely perfect.  Summer evenings on the "farm" are exactly as I envisioned them to be.  We play outside as often as possible, and push back bedtimes in order to soak up every precious moment of daylight before the sun goes to sleep for the night.  

Oh, sweet summer, you are good for my soul.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ten Things {2014}

Father's Day 2013 fell during a very busy time for the Ritchie family.  We were preparing for a big move, chasing an 11 month old all over kingdom come, and I was secretly growing baby #3.  In the shuffle of it all, my annual "Ten Things You Should Know About Your Dad" post took a backseat.  Well, I'm happy to say that this year, despite all of our continued craziness, I've re-committed myself to the list!  Some items are silly, some are serious...but combined they paint a picture of the most amazing husband/dad we could possibly ask for!  

Harrison and Max, here is this years "List of 10"....

1.  I'm not 100% sure why, but your dad snaps in the shower.  It's the funniest thing.  I'll be lying in bed and all of a sudden hear the click click click of his fingers sliding across each other.  What a goof!

2.  When mommy sees a bug/spider in the house, my hunter's instinct kicks into overdrive and I can't rest until I've squashed the little bugger.  Your daddy, on the other hand, doesn't kill bugs.  When I question his reasoning, I usually get the response, "What did they ever do to me?"  Instead of frantically smooshing them in a wad of toilet paper, he catches them and sets them free.  What a gentle soul...

3.  As much as I love him, sometimes your daddy drives me when he swears that he has gout (ps-he does NOT have gout.)  He also has a variety of other "ailments" such as peri-umbilical hyperalgesia....translation:  he doesn't want me to touch his belly button.

4.  Daddy's biggest, irrational fear??  Zombies. I kid you not.

5.  He has a little bit of a plant obsession.  Since we moved into our new house he's put hundreds, yes HUNDREDS, of plants in the ground.  I've heard him say on more than one occasion that he's "hanging up his trowel" for the year, only to find him back at it a week later!  

6. Your Daddy definitely out ranks me in the world of Play-Doh.  I make a pretty impressive pancake, snake and snail (snake rolled up), but he goes into crazy sculptor mode when he plays with you.  One day I heard him say he was making a duck...I didn't think much of it...but then I saw the darn thing and it was perfect.  Perfect.
7.  Daddy has a closet full of clothes that he never wears.  Give the man a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and he's good to go.  In the summertime its cargo shorts and a "well worn" cut-off t-shirt.  I came downstairs about a week ago and he said to me "can you tell who I dressed Harry like?"  Low and behold my little boy was a daddy mini-me.  There was also the day when he came down holding a perfectly good shirt from Harry's closet and said "do you mind if I cut the sleeves off of this??"  Sigh.

8.  He can go from WIDE AWAKE to asleep on the couch in a span of about 5 seconds.  One minute we'll be having a conversation, the next his eyes are totally bloodshot and he can hardly hold his head up.  I've never seen anything quite like it.

9.  Your daddy is reliable.  He will ALWAYS be there for you.  Always.  He's true to his word.  Sticks to his promises.  Never flakes on a commitment.  Gives everything his all.  That is never more true than when it comes to his family.  If I could pick one quality that I hope he passes on to both of you, that would be it.  
10.  Most important of all, your daddy LOVES being a daddy.  He loves to make you smile and is the best at making you laugh.  You are his #1 priority and he would move Heaven and Earth to give you the best life possible.  I'm not sure who is for having such an amazing Daddy, or me for getting to sit back and watch his love for grow every single day.
A few more of my favorite daddy moments...

Happy Father's Day, Mathew!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Three of a Kind

Charlotte was 2.5 months old before we were able to get our first set of professional pictures taken of her.  She was in the hospital for the 1st month, and then came home with a wound vac on her chest that made photos a little...well...unsightly?  By almost 3 months, though, she was all healed up and ready to go....and my oh my were we all blown away when we first saw the beautiful images from our session.  The one below quickly became a favorite.  It captured her signature "serious" look, he AMAZING eyes, and hello?  Do I even have to mention the hair??  And look at that little curled finger!  My heart is melting.  

Candace Ann Photography, Sioux Falls

After Harrison was born, I knew that we needed to keep with the tradition of the simple black background shot, and hoped that his "headshot" would capture his personality as well as Charlotte's had.  The kid didn't disappoint!  He flashed us this perfect open-mouthed grin that just screams Harrison.  It just proves that this little boy has been a total ham since day 1!

Amanda Fish Photography, Omaha

And then there was Max.  Sweet, sweet Max with his poor thinning hair, adorable little ears and the sweetest smile ever.  We had to work HARD for those smiles on the day of his session, but looking back on the pictures, it was worth every silly sound and goofy dance.  They turned out SO SO SO good and this picture is 100% Max.  

Samantha Lupo Photography, Omaha

Our 3 kiddos.  All strikingly similar.  All uniquely their own.
This mama has a proud, happy heart.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Maxwell Thane {4 Months}

Four months have passed since we welcomed "Baby Max" into our family.  On one hand it seems like yesterday, yet at the same time I feel like he's been here forever.  Our transition to a family of 4 (+1) was relatively seamless and we feel so blessed to have yet another little boy keeping us on our toes.  

Here's whats been going on in your world this past month, Mr. Max!

ZZZZzzzZZZ:  Mr. Max, you are a total rockstar when it comes to sleep.  You are consistently in bed between 7-7:30 and most mornings we don't hear from you until 6.  When you wake, mama usually comes into your room, changes your pants, gives you a bottle and PUTS YOU BACK TO BED!  Yup, you go BACK to sleep until it's time to go to school.  Its a fantastic little routine.

NomNomNom:  Your hands are constantly in your mouth.  You chew on them throughout the day and usually suck them quietly as you fall asleep at night.  It makes for a whole lot of slobber, but it's pretty adorable slobber.

Lazy Bones:  You still aren't rolling over.  Front-to-back.  Back-to-front.  It's all just too much work when you know someone will eventually get you to where you want to be.  

A Big, Big World:  You're definitely starting to pay closer attention to the world around you.  You are mesmerized by your puppies, adore your big brother, and absolutely love to people watch.   As you soak in more and more of your surroundings, we're starting to see the sweetest little personality emerge from you.  You are quick with a smile and love to tell us lots of stories.  

Summer lovin':  We've been spending lots of time outside now that the weather has finally warmed up. You seem to love the change of scenery after being cooped up all winter.  And while you spend most of your time camped out in the shade, you still get the benefit of some much needed fresh air.  You're still trying to get used to the whole double stroller thing, but when the stars align (good nap/full belly), you really seem to enjoy yourself. 

Stats:  Mommy still needs to schedule your 4 month well-visit (where does the time go?!), so I don't have any "official" updates on height and weight, but its pretty obvious that you're growing like crazy!  You are rockin' some awesome thigh rolls these days, along with a double chin that traps all of your drool.

MishMash:  You For not rolling, you've sure figured out a way to move around your crib.  Most days I find you with your face smooshed up against the crib rails.  You have quite the grip....which you love to test out on my hair.  Speaking of're is finally starting to fill back out.  No more old man hairline!  

Our 4 month pictures proved to be the most challenging to date.  Max doesn't quite have the strength to sit up on his own, but has enough to propel himself sideways/forwards.  I attempted to take them when Matt was at work one day, and quickly realized that I was out matched.   I couldn't move more than a foot away from him...and at one point he may have somersaulted out of the chair.  Thank God for my cat-like reflexes!  You love your jump-a-roo (or as big brother says "jumpin' in da roo") and to play with your moose.

That smile...!
The reason behind the somersault.  Why bring a giraffe to your mouth when you can take your mouth to the giraffe?
And down we go!  Feet are such a distraction.

Happy 4th month little guy!