Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School

This week marked the beginning of a new school year. In the past, a new school year meant a fresh start, a renewed spirit, an excitement filling my stomach with butterflies. But this year is different. Adventures abound this week for so many. Whether it’s teachers preparing for a new group of kiddos to walk through their doors; students gearing up for new classes, new teachers, and new friends; or parents saying goodbye to their littles for their first day at kindergarten, not knowing who it’s going to be harder on...them or their babies. And as I watched my friends go back to work this week, wishing them good luck and small classes, I was preparing for my own adventures to unfold.

Monday morning while school buses were rolling down streets for the first day of school, I was sitting at home for the first time in about 22 years. It felt strange. I sat with my cup of coffee and stared out my front windows, watching the calm morning pass. It was a time of reflecting and thanking God for all of the blessings in my life. I am so thankful to have this opportunity to be at home with Harper; I know there are so many moms out there who would do anything to stay home but circumstances won’t allow it. How blessed Harper and I both are that we have Neal working hard so that we can have this time together. All week I’ve been thinking of all things that I’m looking forward to while I stay home with Harper.

I’m so thankful I get to be there for all of her “firsts.” The first time she rolls over, crawling, laughing for the first time, her first steps. I’m excited about play dates and conversations with other moms; putting her down for naps and being the first face she sees when she wakes up from them; watching her personality blossom as she gains new perspective on this big world she’s now a part of.

I’m glad I’m the one that will get to wipe away her tears when she’s fallen down or is getting new teeth or has a fever. I’m happy that when she’s sad, I’ll be the one to cuddle her and make her feel better.

And I’m glad that at the end of the day, I get to sit down and hang out with these two.

Life doesn’t get much better than this.

So even though there’s a small part of me that misses the challenges of teaching middle schoolers about grammar and literature, responsibility and time management, or knowing that I’ve made a difference in a seventh grader’s life; I know that I am exactly where I’m meant to home with Harper, teaching her about life and love.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A "Different" Reaction

I just got pooped on. You know what my first reaction was? Take a picture. Don't worry, it was not photoblog worthy/appropriate. But it's amazing to me how my perception/reaction to things has changed now that there is an adorable babe involved.

You want me to go diaper diving and find the one with blood in it? No problem. Poop shoots three feet from changing table to bed skirt? Amazing. I couldn't do that. Babe's been crying for an hour? At least it's an adorable cry.

Getting out of bed in the middle of the night is not nearly as bad when there is a sweet smile greeting you from the crib. The second, third, and fourth time? As long as that smile is there, I could do it a dozen times.

These pictures have nothing to do with this post, they're just my visual reminder of why I don't get grossed out anymore when I have someone else's poop on my leg or how I can get through the day on limited sleep.

Someone should come up with a book called, "You Know You're a Parent When..." I'm going to start compiling a list of all the things parents do for their kid...I'll make millions. And to all my friends who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant...don't worry, this may completely terrify you now, but I'll feel the same way when it's your own kid.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I've Got a KID!!

There are times when something catches my eye and I have one of those “holy-smokes-I-have-a-kid” moments. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m pumping gas and leave my kid in a baking car and realize, I could be changing her diaper and kissing her cheeks and after the millionth kiss, I remember, “Holy cow, this babe is mine.”

This happened the other night while I was picking up around the house. I was standing in our guest bathroom and looked up and saw Harper’s bathing suit hanging from the shower. We had gone swimming at the Williams’ that afternoon and hung them up to dry when we got home. But it wasn’t until a few hours later when my brain wasn’t going a million miles a minute that I saw it for what it really was...there are three of us now.

Whether it’s three bathing suits hanging up to dry instead of two or lazily laying out on a blanket watching my girl take in this bright new world, Harper has changed our lives.

This weekend the weather finally cooled off enough to enjoy being outside. We actually went for walks in the middle of the day, and Harper saw her first raindrops ever. She’s been here for 67 days without a single drop of rain. Saturday evening we took a blanket outside and enjoyed the cooler weather, watching Harper kick and listening to her “talk”. After a week without Neal (he was at training in Orlando all week), relaxing this weekend with him was definitely refreshing.

Remember when I mentioned swimming at the Williams’? My girl was adorable. I got her a swimsuit for all the swimming we do (can you read sarcasm on a blog??), and Becky/Nonnie got her a cute floppy hat to protect that precious, porcelain skin. She definitely takes after her momma...

Two seconds later...

That’s what we’ve been up to lately. I asked Neal to start taking pictures of Harper and me too, because otherwise 10 years down the road she may never know I existed. Ha!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2 Months!!

It's weird...part of me can't believe it's been two months since Harper was born. The other part of me can't remember life without her. She is growing and changing every day. There are days when I'll put her down for a nap and when she wakes up, I'm 100% positive that something is different about her.

This month Harper has taken her first (and second) trip to Austin. She did great in the car both times (the second trip it was just the two of us...brave move, but she was awesome). She's taken her first dip in the swimming pool, and seeing as how she was born in the hottest summer in history, we're looking forward to many more. She had her first playdate which consisted of putting her and Andrew Erman on a mat and taking pictures of them, but counts.

She smiles all the time now, and is starting to talk more too. I can't get enough of her coos and am so looking forward to hearing her laugh. She's a big fan of peek-a-boo and could stare at a fan/light all day. She'd be happy standing all day if we let her. She's a big girl and prefers being upright to being held like the sweet baby she is. Tummy time is still a struggle, but we're still working on it.

In true Dickson fashion she is long and lean! She's 10 1/2 pounds and 23 1/4 inches long. That's the 50th percentile in weight and 70-90th in height.

And because I can't get enough of her smile, here are a couple more shots from our photo shoot yesterday...she was totally showing off!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Mom Happenings

Being a new mom is tough. In the beginning you have all your help there--cooking and cleaning, running errands...basically doing everything you used to do so you can sit and nurse for 27 hours a day.

Then your help leaves and it's just the three of you. You get used to doing things one handed pretty quickly at that point. Not only do you start to figure each other out, but you start to figure out how to do the rest of your life, too.

And then one day your husband goes back to work, and it's just you and the babe (Oh, and did I mention all those things about the babe that you "had figured out"? Yeah, she's gone and changed it all up again).

So what's a new mom to do? First of all, enter girlfriends!! Thank goodness for good friends. Whether they're bringing you Sonic drinks and keeping you company; introducing you to Mommy/Baby activities like Baby Bounce or MOPS; planning mid-day/mid-week playdates; or inviting the whole fam over to get out of the house for an evening...girlfriends will save your life!

Here's our first playdate with sweet Andrew Erman. Andrew's mom, Julie, is from Panhandle and it turns out we probably live closer to each other here in Dallas than our families do in Panhandle. Andrew was born only two weeks after Harper. They were meant to be buddies, that's for sure!! Plus, for us "new moms" it's great to visit with someone who's going through the same things you are at the same time as you...lots of funny "ME TOO!!" conversations!

As a new mom, the other thing I find myself fascinated with lately is how much Harper is growing and changing. She's starting to focus a lot more. And I think she's starting to be quite fascinated with herself as well!
She's pretty proud of herself!!