The Big 0-2!

Harrison turned 2 last Wednesday, and we had a fun time celebrating. It was a little more fun (for him, anyway) this year since he could understand and appreciate what was going on. Tuesday night, David and I wrapped presents and decorated for the birthday boy. Nothing too elaborate. We put some balloons on the staircase leading downstairs and decorated his chair at the table with streamers and balloons. I thought about a birthday crown, but visions of him ripping it off last year kept me from it. Perhaps I will work on a cloth one, so it’s okay if he pulls it off. I digress.

Harrison must have known it was his birthday because he was up a little earlier than usual the next morning. He immediately saw the balloons and just wanted to play with those, but we eventually got him downstairs where we had set up his presents in the living room.  Last year, we could’ve just gotten him tissue paper and boxes, but this year he was a little more interested in what was inside the bags and boxes. The hard part this year was getting Harrison to open another gift instead of just playing with the item he just opened. He seemed to think we were taking that gift away by making him move on. His favorites were a bubble mower (although he has no idea bubbles are part of it), a Tonka truck play set, and his Tag Jr.

After opening presents, Harrison got to play while we made his breakfast request: blueberry and raspberry waffles and bacon. We brought his waffle out with a 2 candle in it and sang, “Happy Birthday”, but he seemed to think we were going to make him eat the fire and/or candle and was not very happy about that. David helped blow out the candle, and a crisis was averted.

David had the brilliant (insert sarcasm here) idea of going to the zoo that morning. We hadn’t said anything to Harrison about it yet because the weather hadn’t been ideal the past two days, and we weren’t sure what his birthday would bring. Well, it wasn’t raining, but it wasn’t exactly ideal. We still braved the cold; it was maybe 45 degrees. I am glad we went because Harrison loved it, but we will have to go back when it’s warmer and more of the animals are out. We maybe saw a third of the zoo, and I made sure we checked out the bugs and birds (both were indoors).

Checking out the hippos

We came back home for lunch and nap, and, unfortunately, David had to leave on a business trip that afternoon. I got particularly emotional because I hated that David had to leave on Harrison’s birthday, and I felt bad that he would wake up and David wouldn’t be here. Aunt Katie stopped by that night to see the birthday boy, though, and he enjoyed that.

We were back in Mexico for a friend’s wedding on Saturday, so we figured the weekend would be a great opportunity to have Harrison’s party with family. We ended up having both sets of grandparents, as well as Great Grandma Cooper, and most of the uncles (no Uncle Kevin) and Aunt Katie to David’s parents’ Sunday afternoon and evening. It was a great time, and Harrison enjoyed his Cookie Monster cupcakes. It was a wonderful celebration for our now 2-year-old.

18 Months

Man oh man, my our little man is not so little anymore. At his 18-month appointment last week (I know, I can’t keep up), he measured 34 1/4″ tall and weighed 27 lbs, 6.5 oz! Funny side story about Harrison’s recent well-check. We totally forgot to schedule it until I realized he was 18 months, for the past 2 weeks, and hadn’t been to the doctor yet. Fortunately, we live in a relatively small town, and his pediatrician was able to see him just 2 days after we called. Proud parent moment :).

Harrison is doing so many new things on a daily basis, that it’s hard to keep track. Let me attempt a short list.

1. The hair is getting longer. We haven’t cut it since Christmas, and it’s flipping, curling, poofing… I love it!

2. Moo-moo. Baa-baa. Harrison is getting great with animal names and sounds. He has always been in love with dogs, but his favorite is “Puppies!” “Puppies?”  “Puppies.”. He names doggie/puppy, cat, horse, cow, bear, tiger, sheep, and duck. He knows the sounds for all of those plus elephant. Oddly enough, he can’t say “elephant” ;).

3. Harrison loves playing games. The cutest is when he goes into his closet or backs into the bathroom downstairs saying, “Shh. Shh.”. He sometimes waits for us to ask, “Where’s Harrison?”, but most of the time, he can hardly contain himself and just runs out of the closet/bathroom laughing and yelling.

4. “I’m a mess!”. Harrison’s favorite pastime is tearing paper, throwing food, spilling water and saying, “Mess. Mess.” Exhibit A:

I get a lot of this. Making a mess to clean it up.

5. Paci-free. All pictures in the past 5 weeks have been paci-free. I guess you could say that was true for a while since Harrison had only been getting a pacifier when he was asleep, but it has been gone permanently for 5 weeks. Fortunately, it was a smooth transition. He had it way longer than he needed. I think we needed it more than him. He would chuck it most of the time or immediately say, “Here go” and hand it to us in the morning or after nap. He talks a bit more sometimes before falling asleep or wakes up a little earlier in the morning, but that’s okay.

6. Morning runs. Not really a milestone, but Harrison loves going on runs with his daddy in the mornings. Here’s a little shot of him ready to go.

7. Book worm. Harrison loves climbing into chairs and sitting there with his stuffed animals and a book. It’s really cute when he mimics words and actions that we use in the book. He likes, Happy Dog, Sad Dog and Oops!

8. Harrison is very into body parts and naming them. Here he is smooshing my mouth.

I couldn’t believe when David told me Harrison’s next appointment wasn’t until he turned 2. I’m use to appointments every 2 or 3 months, and now he doesn’t go for another  6 months. How will I know how tall he is or how much he weighs?!

Here’s one last shot. I couldn’t resist. The shirt reads a little too true.

Making a mess is our new "thing"

15 Months, Baby!

(well, almost 16 by now), although Harrison just had his 15-month well check about 2 weeks ago. Time sure flies, and Mommy wants it to slow down a little bit. We were on a walk the other day, and I commented to David how I couldn’t believe how Harrison had grown. I brought up last Mother’s Day when Harrison was 6 months, and David told me, “Don’t cry, Mommy (for Harrison), I’m only 6 months old.” And, to that, I replied, “Yeah, but to me he’s ‘already’ 6 months old.” Well, here were are about 10 months later, if you can believe it. Anyway, back to Harrison’s well check. Not surprisingly, he was 33 3/4″ tall (>95%) and 25 lbs, 13 oz(70% for height). He took his 3 shots like a champ, even if he didn’t like them initially. Daddy did great, but Mommy always struggles a bit. I was trying so hard to put on a happy face and entertain Harrison. I have to give kudos to the nurse for being so quick about it. Just as quickly as he started crying, Harrison was smiling and talking. Plus, can you really complain when you get shiny silver band aids on your battle wounds? (I think not) The doctor was a little concerned about these pimple-like bumps on the back of Harrison’s right leg. She said it looked viral, but he seemed fine otherwise. She recommended a 1% Hydrocortisone 2x/day along w/ his Cetaphil. We also changed his bath soap/shampoo to baby Aquaphor. Apparently, he’s sensitive even to the Method baby and Burts Bees soaps. Our little man has beautiful, but very sensitive, skin.

So, this is what’s going on now that Harrison is 15-months:

1.) Harrison is walking/running everywhere any time he gets the chance. The only time we get to hold him is when he’s tired. This is great for the most part. When we arrive home, we get Harrison out of his car seat and set him on the driveway to walk to the front door. Most of the time this is where he goes, but sometimes he heads toward the backyard. This makes for longer trips to the house, but it’s worth it for allowing Harrison his independence. Plus, it frees up my hands to carry everything in instead of making several trips or looking like a circus act as I juggle child in one arm and 5 other things in the other.

2.) Harrison’s hair continues to grow, and it’s still not clear whose hair he has. We both had lighter hair as toddlers, but Harrison seems to have more hair than I did at that age. He also seems to have David’s cowlicks. He’s had one hair cut (back at Christmas), but already needs another one. That hair doesn’t want to stay out of his eyes. I like the “crazy bird” look, but David wants to tame it a little bit.

3.) Our awesome eater is becoming a little more of a picky eater. I know this is common for his age, but it’s still not without its frustrations. Harrison now scoffs at foods he eagerly anticipated just one or two months ago. He bats spoons of lovely vegetables out of our hands. He looks at us with a certain je né sais quois before throwing handfuls of food on the kitchen floor. David and I are walking a fine line between refusing to be short order cooks and making sure Harrison gets enough to eat. We just stick with what we’re doing since Harrison seems to regulate pretty well. It does help if we all eat together and eat the same thing. Sometimes we find ourselves feeding him and then eating after he goes to bed because we’re trying to make sure he gets to bed around 7, and a dinner for everyone just isn’t happening before that. We seem to struggle most when that occurs.

4.) The teeth keep on coming. I think at 12 months, Harrison had 8 teeth, working on 10 and 11. Now he has 12 teeth, working on 13, 14, and 15 possibly. I just spotted a lower canine this morning, which likely ties into #3. We find that Harrison is pickier about food and develops irregular sleeping patterns during the day when he’s teething. He’s also been seeking a lot of oral input lately from his fingers and toys.

5.) Little man is talking a lot – to us, to the dogs, to the neighbors, to random person at Target… He also likes to chat with his toys (which is extremely adorable). We by no means understand everything he is saying, but he says it with such emotion and passion, that we feel like we know what he’s talking about. Not to say that Harrison doesn’t have some intelligible word approximations and words (some of these may be repeats from 12 months): “nigh-nigh” (night-night), “nilk” (milk), “daddy”, “mama”, “hi”, “dye” (bye), “down”, “no”, “no” (nose), “eye”, “socks”, “shoe”, “duh” (door), “ta ca” (trashcan), “I cea” (I clean), “moo”, “yum”, “woof”, “yeah”, “ba” (ball), “nana” (banana; sorry Nana), “appuh” (apple), “oguh” (yogurt), “pease” (please), “muh” (more), “wahwuh” (water). He still signs “more”, “please”, and “all done”, which is very helpful when his words aren’t as clear or he gets frustrated.

6.) Harrison has become quite the little helper. He is all about wiping his hands and face after meals & wiping his place mat, which is good after the mess he can make (see #3). When he gets down from a meal, he also likes to take a swipe of the floor to clean that, too. He must throw his trash away, of course. And we already have him learning where the recycle is for when items go there. It’s so awesome to have him helping (mostly). He will also put his clothes, along w/ shoes, toys, etc in his laundry bin and put toys away. His receptive skills continue to delight me. I will tell him, “It’s time to go upstairs for bedtime”, and he knows he has to put his toys away and then he heads upstairs to his room.

7.) Sometimes, Harrison can be a little monster, but we know that this is something we all have to suffer go through, and we’re working with our little man. We ignore unless he might hurt himself, so the tantrums tend not to go on too long. We are also working hard to tell Harrison what to do or what he can do instead of “No” and what not to do. This seems to benefit everyone.

8.) Harrison likes to hand out the hugs and kisses. Mostly to Mom and Dad (which is fine by us), but he will blow kisses and hug others when asked. The other day he got plowed over by someone, and, although he was upset, he reached out and hugged the other little boy. I was very proud at that moment, and I just had to hug him back. He seems to think when I want a kiss that I am leaving, so he will start telling me, “Dye-dye”. Granted, I always request my hugs and kisses before I leave, but sometimes I have to tell him, “Mommy’s not leaving. I just want your good lovings.” :).

So, 15 months, and I wouldn’t ask for things to be any other way (okay, no tantrums would be nice. Who are we kidding?). Harrison is a very loved little boy, and he definitely shows his love to us.

The Big 0-1!

…as my brother, Stephen, put it. Harrison turned 1 last Tuesday, and he went for his 12-month well check today. David and I can hardly believe it’s already been a year. Harrison has changed so much in this past year, I don’t even know where to begin. I think I may just rattle off what comes to mind and come back and edit as needed. Those who know me may think I write rough drafts before actually “publishing”, but I typically write these things on the fly. (Gasp!) Alright, people, hold onto your seats, because here we go:
1.) Harrison weighs 24lbs, 6 oz. He weighed in at just 7 lbs, 13 oz at birth, so he’s more than tripled his original weight! That puts him in the 75% for weight based on his height, which is…drumroll please
2.) 32″. Little man has grown 10.5″ in the past 12 months. He is >95%. David is definitely his daddy :).
3.) Stand up, be proud, shout your name out loud… Harrison decided that he could stand independently now that he’s 1. Seriously. 1, maybe 2, days before his 1st birthday, Harrison stood up in our bedroom using the bench and then let go holding a toy in his hands. On his actual birthday, he stood up 2 or 3 times while our neighbors were over without holding onto anything. When we were in MO this past weekend, he showed off his skills numerous times. I’ve got picture-proof, people!
4.) Cruisin’: Harrison isn’t walking yet (not worried at all about that), but he cruises along the furniture and walks along the room pushing his toys. Just yesterday he decided to walk sideways while pushing his lion. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he’s walking because he is finally walking toward us or others while holding hands, but for now, we’ll be content with where he is.
5.) Monkey child: Harrison climbs everything. The child will make attempts to climb on, over, and in everything. We’ve caught him in his toy baskets on more than one occasion, and just the other day he used his LeapFrog table to walk over to the ottoman and then proceeded to step onto the ottoman. He also tries to scale his gate. There is nothing for his toes to cling onto, but he will grab the top of the gate, pull himself up and have his feet flat against the mesh lining. A little scary how strong he is. One morning he appeared to be doing chin-ups. That’s impressive since Mommy can barely pull one of those off.
6.) Say what?!: Harrison likes to talk – A LOT. This is great since I’m a speech therapist, but still no “mama”. Actually, I hear it when he’s really frustrated and when he’s giving kisses, but it’s mostly “dada” this and “dada” that ;). I use that to my advantage, though. Harrison produces good approximations of “thank you”, “hi”, “yay”, “dada/dad/daddy”, “do” (dog), “duh” (done), “go”, “dai” (bye), “uh-oh” and “oh”. He is my little talker; when he wants to be.
7.) What’s your sign?: Harrison is consistently signing “more” and “all done” and shakes his head no (of course). He also puts his arms up for “so big”. He sometimes points at things or shrugs with his hands out for “where?” or “I don’t know”. He’s also good at waving “hi” and “bye”. It’s very cute.
8.) Hungry man: Still our good eater. B/f today consisted of bagel with cream cheese, banana and milk; lunch – turkey, mango, and veggies + milk; snack – blueberry yogurt; dinner – whole-grain blueberry waffles, eggs, and mango + milk.
9.) Moo – Harrison started drinking whole milk mixed in with breast milk last week. We are at 50-50 right now, working our way to 100% cow milk. I’m still pumping, so he’s still getting the “liquid gold”. We are working hard to get him to drink strictly from a cup or sippy cup, but he still prefers his bottle at times. He drank from a sippy cup during dinner, but wanted to finish his milk from the bottle afterward.
10.) Work hard/play harder – You can constantly see those gears turning in his brain. I love how our little man figures things out and observes so closely. He is quite the sponge and loves to learn new things. This is good – stacking cups, playing with cars, feeding himself and bad – climbing over the baskets to escape previously inescapable areas, climbing furniture, going up/down stairs, chucking cups and food halfway across the room, tantrums because we won’t let him do everything himself even though he can’t really do it…
11.) Chomp-chomp – Harrison has 8 teeth and working on more. His doctor informed us today that his molars were coming in. Awesome! (insert huge sarcasm) This has made Harrison love crunchy foods and chewing. Unfortunately, it also means some biting. Look at #10 for what happens when we don’t let him bite :(.
12.) Book worm – Harrison has always loved books. I think this is because David read to him before bed since he was born. Even when he didn’t want to be held for story time, Harrison still looked at the pictures when we read to him. Since he could sit, we would find him trying to turn pages in the books, and now he will go get a book and sit and flip through the pages while “reading” it (babbling, laughing, yelling). His favorites are “Goodnight, Elmo” and “I love you through and through”. He also enjoys eating his books.
13.) “Boy you look good, won’t you back that thang up…” A couple of months ago, Harrison started backing up. I guess David had noticed this earlier, but I didn’t notice until one morning when I finished feeding him and he sat up, turned around, lay on his stomach and began scooting back toward the edge of the bed to drop to the floor. He’s a pro at it now and does it everywhere. This past weekend after mastering going up the stairs at Grandpa and Nana Bunge’s, he mastered going down them backward. Man oh man!
I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff that I will come back and add. That’s it for now, though. Here’s a little slide show of how much Harrison’s grown over the past year.

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Nine Months: Already?

I can’t believe it, but our little man is 9 months. Here’s what he’s up to:

1.) “Little” is pretty much a relative term. I mean, Harrison is little compared to us, but not exactly by baby means. He weighs 21 lbs, 4.5 oz (70%) and is 30 1/2″  (95%) tall. We transitioned to a convertible car seat a few weeks ago. He better not be out of that any time soon. The infant car seat was a gift, but this we considered more of an investment in our future ;).

2.) Crawling. Harrison is a full-blown crawler! He started making attempts Memorial Day Weekend, and within a week was on all fours and cruisin’ around. Now he’s a speed demon who cannot be contained. Believe me, he even grunts and growls as he charges you.

"Here I come, Truman."

3.) Stand tall. Harrison is pulling up on everything he can to stand up. This started inconsistently over a month ago when we discovered him greeting us at the side of his crib after a nap. This turned into a bit of a game. Mommy and Daddy would put him down for naps and he would immediately roll over, crawl to the side and pull up. We’d think, “Did we leave the door open? He sounds very loud.” Nope, he was just standing up close to the door.  Thankfully, that didn’t last long once we realized he wanted our attention and nothing was wrong (i.e., we let him be and he didn’t want to play anymore). Now, Harrison just needs something to steady himself on and not really to pull up on. He will put his hand on the windows or doors and stand up. I think we may have a walker by 10 months.

4.) Little monkey.  Harrison wants to climb now, and he honestly believes in his heart of hearts than any and everything is climbable. He will put his hands on the top of his gate enclosure and try to use the teeny-tiny mesh holes to put his feet on and climb up. He is not successful, but he actually manages to pull up. He’s very strong!

"I got this. No problem."

4.) Chomp-chomp: Harrison has 4 visible teeth (upper/lower central incisors) and is working on an upper lateral incisor (at least). The bottom teeth just appeared without bothering him, but the upper ones took longer to come in and didn’t make for a happy baby at times. He wanted to chew everything and wasn’t satisfied by what he would find. The mesh bag with frozen bananas and peas worked well. These teeth are making Harrison more interested in foods he can bite and chew and make the cooking process for him a bit simpler. Now I can pretty much just cook/steam food up and mash it all together and skip the blending process. No worries about whether it’s chunky. One of his favorites right now is pasta Bolognese (I seriously think he eats better than we do).

5.) “Duh-dah-dah-dah”: Little man is talking more and more. His favorite is “dah”, but we also hear “mmm” and “bah” and “nah” occasionally. Now he’s experimenting with stringing syllables together and changing vowels. He will say “daw” and “doh” and add different inflections. He has even said “ah duh” a few times.  Even though it was appropriate and seemed like more than a coincidence, I guess he’s not saying “all done” quite yet. It’s great to have a conversation with him. One of my favorite things is when we talk on the way home from his sitter’s each day.

6.) Here’s your sign: Harrison is signing “more” and “want” on the regular and “all done” some times. He’s also waving. Occasionally the giant up and down wave will be more  refined and he will just use his hand and wave his fingers up and down. It makes Mommy so happy to have him wave at her when she comes to get him. It’s funny because at times he will start waving  when we knock on his sitter’s door. He knows she’s coming, but doesn’t quite understand she can’t see him waving yet.

7.) Bang-bang: Harrison loves banging toys together and opening/closing things. He loves exploring and discovering how things work. I love watching him figure things out. He really enjoys putting things under something else and then getting down on the floor and looking for it. I may be biased, but I think he’s very smart.

8.) Laughing machine: Harrison loves to laugh. In fact, I’d say he is one of the happiest babies around. Mommy feels pretty darn hilarious when she plays with Harrison. All I have to do is make a funny face (I swear it’s different from my normal face), and Harrison cracks up. Just today he laughed because I pretended to sneeze. He also laughs if I just turn my head and then snap my head back around and look at him. I got that one from David.

Oh, I love my baby boy so much! It’s such an adventure with him, and one I am glad to be taking. Happy nine months, Harrison!

I'm not up to anything...

A Week of “Firsts”

Okay, maybe a week and a half is more accurate. At any rate, Harrison has started doing many things in the past week that he was not doing before. Little man is now climbing! It took all of a week for him to go from occasionally pulling to stand to using everything in sight to help himself up, and it took less than a day for him to figure out how to climb. This happened while we were at my parents’ home last week. I was thinking how perfect it was that they had a sunken living room so that Harrison could just crawl around and play without much worry. WRONG! That little booger almost immediately crawled to the edge and pulled up to stand. Then he starts “kneeing” the edge trying to figure out how to get up into the hallway. It was so cute to watch him try various maneuvers. He was even trying to grab the carpet to help pull himself up. That was very interesting since my parents have short carpet and there’s not anything to actually grab, per se. By late afternoon, Harrison was lifting his leg up and with a little assistance (my leg to pinch :(), he was getting up and over. The next day he didn’t need help (especially when Mommy left his view and he wanted to find me fast). Needless to say we were all amazed, and Daddy was very surprised when he arrived a few days later.


Harrison also started waving. This one baffles me, because we haven’t really “worked” on this. People always tell him “goodbye” and seem to wait expectantly (Come on people, he’s 9 months old. He’s not going to tell you “bye”). Well, this past Monday as David’s parents were leaving after seeing us off my dad was holding Harrison at the door and saying, “Bye, bye Nana and Grandpa.” Then I heard him say, “He’s waving!” I missed it, but I believed him. PaPa was so proud of Harrison :). Then, on Wednesday, as we were leaving Marissa’s, Harrison moved his hand up and down when she told him “bye”. He did it again yesterday morning when David walked in his room and as we were leaving Marissa’s today. I would say he’s now waving. Hoorah!
Harrison has added some other hand movements, too. He has been signing “want” pretty consistently for a month or longer, but we were still helping him sign “more” with hand-over-hand prompts. He had maybe signed it once or twice pretty clearly on his own. Well, the other day I was asking if he wanted more and signed it, and then he brought his hands together. He did this each time I asked and has been doing the same thing the past 2 days. We’re still working on “all done”, but he has done that a few times, too.
We are constantly amazed at his abilities. Just when you think they don’t quite know something or understand, they turn around and show you they do know and often times even more than you thought.