grammy & papa got harrison a vintage fire truck for his birthday. it's pretty special and will be a treasure for many years (and children) to come! harrison loved pushing it around the house, into the walls, into our chairs as we ate dinner. you know, typical "boy" activity.
opening more presents. the boy got spoiled.
jer and i have decided, however, that we are no longer going to keep fisher price in business. harrison is far more interested in the random, every-day objects that make up a house.
we are all standing around him, singing "happy birthday". he wasn't quite sure what to think about that.
he went in with his left hand first. now the right hand is getting some action. yum yum.
the birthday banner that will become a tradition each year. (the number one is just cut out of paper and pinned on - easy to change with each birthday). i think my in-laws thought i was joking when i told them that the birthday banner will fly high during the week of my son's birth (and that he will dine on the traditional "you are special" plate)...for the rest of his life! are these birthday practices not known to the entire world? is it just a bartlesville thing?
the balloons...which are now floating on my ceiling. and the highchair...which was cleaned to a spotless shine before the party.
welcome to the party!
pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. to die for. and, yes, i was trying to sneak vegetables into my son's first sweet treat. jessica seinfeld would be so proud.
it may be hard to see, due to the crazy mis-organization of my kitchen cupboards, but that is a little boy. well, i suppose it is, actually, just the bottom half of a little boy. mr. curious' top half was in "endless cabinet space land". please notice the one-sock-on and one-sock-off mood we've been in lately.
yes, it's 3:30 in the morning. yes, i'm awake. yes, i'm online...desperately checking to see if anyone has posted something new so that my mind has something to think about other than the fact that it's not sleeping.
BUT, because i am up-to-date on all my blog reading (aka: because no one has posted anything new in the last 12 hours. come on, people, help a girl out.), i'll write about my lovely day with harrison.
attempting to get his one-year photos taken.
at a professional studio.
actually, maybe i won't write about it. because, now that i think about it, i'm sure that's why i am not currently asleep. i was so immensely exhausted after the one-and-a-half hour ordeal...i think i'm experiencing something called "too exhausted to sleep". in baby terms, this phenomena is called "overstimulated".
thank God for grammy, who went into battle with me. if it wasn't for her help and support (and continual laughing at how darn "cute" harrison was being), i may never sleep again.
by the way, "cute", in that last sentence, means "demanding, clingy, and whiny". which, somehow, really was cute. well, for brief, intermittent, moments anyway.
short story shorter: we got a few pics. click here to see one. not one we ordered because he's not actually looking at the camera. or smiling. but, in case you cannot tell, he's saying, "SO BIG!"
that was one of the brief moments.
it is now my belief that harrison will grow up to be a male model. a very high maintenance one.
one year ago today, at 9:28 am, our family grew from two to three. what an amazing experience that was! i remember feeling, and i still feel, so privileged that God would allow little-old-me to be apart of something so miraculous.
as i stated before, i was past due, so i thought i'd make the best of it. it was a friday night and we invited jer's brother, zach, over for dinner. i made stuffed pork chops. after dinner the boys went to do "boy things" and i vacuumed the house. we eventually settled down to chat and i casually told zach, "it's going to happen tonight". no fear. no worry. no excitement or anxiousness. just a plain, simple fact. and i was right.
we climbed into bed at 10:30. by that point in my pregnancy i had to give myself a serious pep talk before getting into bed each night. our bed is really high and it took major effort to heave my body up. jer always laughed. a very supportive laugh, of course. but we weren't laughing when, at 10:45, i had my first contraction. i wasn't too worried because we planned to wait until they were 2-3 minutes apart before going to the hospital. and, for some reason, i expected them to start slowly. every 30 minutes...then every 20 minutes...then every 10. i suppose i was hoping to ease into it.
nope, not me. my contractions were 5 minutes apart from the get-go. and there was a TON of pressure...and bleeding. (sorry if that's TMI). we called the ever-wonderful, ever-knowledgeable, ever-present 24-hour nurse hotline. "get to the hospital", she said. she was concerned about the pressure.
off we drove. contractions getting worse. contractions are not fun. i was breathing, though. thank God for breathing. arrived around 11:30, were put into a very lovely birthing room. i was very much looking forward to getting into the whirlpool tub. but my dream of easing the pain of contractions with the firm pressure of a water jet would not be realized.
they hooked up the monitors and checked me over. i was only dilated to 3.5. are you kidding me? i'd been at a 3.5 for a week! but everything was good. jer was being very supportive, just like we'd practiced. he rubbed my back during contractions. and i kept breathing. then, in the middle of a contraction, jer decided it would be nice to make conversation with the labor & delivery nurse. "do you watch grey's anatomy?", he asked. this did not make me feel very comforted and i yelled, "do not talk during my contractions!". hmmm. after the pain and pressure subsided, i apologized to my sweet hubby and to the nurse. but they still were not allowed to talk during my contractions.
i'd been laboring for about an hour when "happy's" heartbeat dropped. i did not know anything was wrong until, literally, 7 people ran into the room, and a man i'd never met instantly became my "friend" as he was checking to confirm that i was still at a 3.5. they weren't certain what the issue was, but assumed that the occasional contraction just "crunched" the baby a bit too much, making his heart rate drop. they were not too fearful because our baby boy really looked and sounded like a champ, and recovered from the drop very quickly. but, this meant i had to stay hooked up to the monitors, and was not allowed to get out of bed. i was okay with that...i just assumed i'd be able to get up, and into the whirlpool, eventually.
then came the 3-minute-long contraction. now, when we attended our birthing class, the very nice, yet very honest, instructor warned us about some of the longer contractions. she said they may even last up to 90 seconds. i didn't think 90 seconds sound all that bad. and, really, the contractions went as quickly as they came. i was okay with the contractions. it's all the pressure that was killing me. but 3 minutes?! now that's just mean! our nurse commented that it is a rarity and she thought i was a champ to make it through. "happy" didn't make it through so well, though. his little heartbeat slowed again.
this happened one more time during the course of the night. and, now, the doctor's were mentioning the word "c-section". i'd been laboring for 7 hours, was only dilated to a 5, and they were concerned about "happy's" heart rate dropping again. the question of an epidural came up and i really struggled with it. in the end, i chose to get one...and it really worked out to be the right decision. (had i not gotten an epidural, they would have needed to give me a general anesthesia and i would have missed our son's arrival altogether).
let me just say this. i wanted to name our son after my anesthesiologist. epidurals are THAT good. i was able to sleep for two hours, which i desperately needed. and, after all is said and done, when the nurse massages your uterus to make it shrink, the epidural makes it not hurt as much. it still hurts, but not as much. really, can they legally use the word "massage" to describe what they are doing? i think that could be considered false advertising. it was certainly like no massage i'd ever received before.
so, after sleeping for a bit, the morning shift change occurred. we said good-bye to the nurse that helped us all night and hello to the nurse who would help welcome our boy. the doctor gave us a serious chat about considering an elective c-section. he was certain i was going to need one anyway, and told us we can take the "risk" out of it if we don't get put into an "emergency" situation. he gave us time to think it over, but told us if "happy's" heart acted up again, we were going to get him out.
jer's parents were able to come back to the room. as we were chatting, the alarm went off - warning us that "happy" was not so happy. i rolled onto my left side, the team came in and wheeled me to the operating room. because "happy" recovered so quickly, the c-section did not need to be an emergency. it did not feel scary or rushed. the anesthesiologist could not believe how calm i was - really great heart rate and blood pressure. i, honestly, was absolutely fine with everything. i knew i was going to meet my son and that was all that mattered to me.
jer took 3,000 pictures. of everything. it's pretty amazing to see how they pulled harrison out of my body. and there he was - our perfect boy. apgar scores of 9 and 9. 7 pounds, 15 oz. 19.75 inches long. healthy, strong, cute and very alert. harrison was here!
and he's every bit the same today as he was that first moment. healthy, strong, cute and very alert! we praise God for blessing us with such an amazing treasure!
it's april. in the white household that means two things: harrison's birthday and the masters tournament. those items were not necessarily listed in order of importance. fortunately for me (and for harrison), the masters always ends before harrison's birthday. thus, the two do not have to compete for daddy's attention. God sure knew what he was doing when he choose to keep me pregnant for three extra days. at the time, i did not properly thank Him for that foresight.
for days before my due date i waddled up and down the street for hours, ate the spiciest food known to man, cleaned and re-cleaned, and rearranged the nursery furniture again and again. i'm sure i muttered many things under my breath...but "boy, God, i really love the fact that i'm more than 40 weeks pregnant with no end in sight" wasn't one of them.
but now i will give credit where credit is due. God, you really are all-knowing. because, clearly, if harrison had been born on the 11th instead of the 14th, my dear husband would insist on having a golf-themed birthday party each year. complete with an official airing of the master's tournament.
by the way, vacuuming is an excellent way to bring on labor. and, really, what pregnant woman doesn't want to vacuum everything in her home before bringing her newborn into the world?
what many may not know is that in order to attend the masters - not play, just attend - you must become an accredited patron. that means you have to fill out an application form, complete with social security number. all the applications are put into a lottery system and, if chosen, your application is reviewed before an invitation is extended. as the good wife that i am, i have filled out an application on my husband's behalf each year since...well, actually, since BEFORE we were married. maybe that's WHY he married me. it must be the thought that counts, though, because jeremy white has not yet received an invite to go to augusta. that is why he "attends" from our living room.
and that is why he insists that harrison will, one day, get on the pga tour. and, of course, daddy will caddy for him at the masters tournament. and, then, after harrison dons the green jacket, we can all celebrate his birthday in peace.
i have come to realize that SAHMs need worker's comp. i mean, there are many hazardous duties involved with raising children. well, one child. one very active child.
take, for example, changing crib sheets. seriously. this is not an easy task. do you take the mattress completely out of the crib (which involves removing bumper pads)? do you leave the mattress in? i've attempted both ways. many times. and, really, any way you cut it, the work is simply back-breaking.
especially if you are attempting to stretch a "cheaper" sheet over the mattress. you know those 2/$5.00 sheets you buy as "back ups" for times when the good sheets are dirty. here's a thought: the 2/$5.00 packages should come with an ice pack and instructions "for use on aching body after applying sheet to mattress". because, really, without the ice pack...you're just getting a bargain of a backache.
i have rediscovered one of God's greatest inventions - the peanut butter twix. i have a thing for sweet treats...and i've loved the peanut butter twix since childhood. or maybe it was teen-hood. either way, they were taken off the market for quite some time, but i never forgot them. i cannot tell you how many times i've longed for a peanut butter twix. and the candy gods must have heard my internal pleas because i recently found them again as i was standing in the checkout line at target. the cashier must have thought i'd found a long-lost friend. the excitement was not containable. jer was with me. he was simply shaking his head in disbelief. i mean, how is it possible that someone can get so emotional about chocolate?!
thanks be to my sweet grandma gladys for getting me hooked on these delicious treats. just one of her many idiosyncrasies (of which, i will have to devote an entire post)...grandma gladys always seemed to have peanut butter twix on hand when we came to visit. or she would give me a box for christmas. yes...as a christmas present. as i said, that subject will take a completely different post.
back on to the important stuff....i know many famous/historical duos - batman & robin, mary & joseph, bonnie & clyde, ricky & lucy, tom & jerry. and i've experienced some seriously great food duos - coffee & cream, french fries & ketchup, pizza & beer (that was jer's suggestion). but i cannot think of a better duo - the pairing to beat all pairings - than chocolate & peanut butter.
by the way, the "new" peanut butter twix has a "cooler" package and a "hipper" name - twix p.b. and they changed the original blonde wafer to a chocolate one. still tastes amazing, but the original was perfect as it was. no need to mess with a good thing, people.
i don't think i adjust well to change. interesting that i've come to this conclusion because i've always considered myself quite mercurial. whether it's in a nightclub with a rock & roll band or in a 6th-grade girls bible study...whether in corporate america or at home...whether schmoozing with big wigs in vail or serving dinner to the homeless in a soup kitchen - i can adapt to most environments. i get along with, pretty much, everyone. i actually ENJOY different personalities and perspectives. so, yes, that's me...super rachel...able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
however...life changes are a different story. i'm talking about those major transitions that, actually, change your life. thus, you must change along with them. sure, most of the time, you have a choice about the impending change. getting married. moving to a new city. having a baby. leaving the workforce. but, even though you made a decision to make a change, the actually changing takes time.
i should have realized my issues with change years ago! leaving my stable, happy life in bartlesville and getting married, moving to denver, starting a new job, finding a new church, making new friends (all at once!)....well, it put me in a tailspin. my poor husband. it wasn't much fun for him to go to bed with a newlywed wife who cried herself to sleep each night. i am so very blessed that he was so immensely supportive! it took a good six months to become acquainted and adjusted to my new life.
this most recent change (staying home full-time) doesn't seem like that big a deal. i love being with harrison! and i love being at home! but, still, i'm beginning to notice some "symptoms" of the "life-change blues". for example, i haven't made a home-cooked meal in weeks. i've been sleeping 10 hours at night and still feel tired during the day (is it possible to get too much sleep?). i am not keeping the house as clean as i normally do. i dropped out of my college class because i just couldn't motivate myself to complete it. i haven't blogged in what seems like a LONG time.
it's just those little differences that are whispering to me, "you're not quite yourself right now".
i guess it is good that i'm now noticing these things and can work on them. isn't acceptance the first step in any recovery program? so...i accept my difficulties with change. but i'm also going to cut myself some slack and allow myself the time to "get back to normal". whatever my new normal may be....