Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Little {Big} Moments

I always remember my mom telling me that I would never know how much she truly loved me until I had children of my own one day. She was so right. I always knew her love for me was enduring, forever and unconditional but I didn't know that when she looked at me it was as if she was looking at her heart living on the outside of her body. That's how I feel about my heart now lives on the outside and that if I loved him even an ounce more I could explode. It's indescribable. I hope I show him that love every single day.

The past few weeks have been challenging as he is teething, has had a chronic ear infection and hasn't been sleeping well. We are all exhausted and irritable. He is also becoming very independent and that little dare devil isn't scared of anything. He is climbing, opening baby proofed cabinets and has recently learned to open doors. Even the door to the dryer which is heavy and it's his new favorite place to hide and play. I have begun to feel like a referee between him and the dog. I am the constant sayer of the word "no" and the rule enforcer. I am always telling him he can't do something that I swear I told him just 10 minutes prior not to do. It's not a good feeling. I feel like I am discipling him more than I'm loving on him. I know discipline is part of showing him love and teaching him right from wrong but some days it can leave you feeling defeated and like you're stripping him of all his little boy fun. It's all part of it but this first time momma is figuring it all out.

Yesterday, I had to take him to the ENT to have his ears checked out. There were several tests in which he had to be held down for and he didn't like it not one bit. There was screaming and tears. There was also a lot of waiting in a not so kid friendly environment. It was challenging and I was fortunate that my mother-in-law was able to go with me to help entertain my rowdy little man for the two hours we were there. Because I had to hold him down and keep him from moving, I instantly became his enemy and not the person he wanted to hold him and console him. That's also part of being a momma. I knew the things I was doing to him were the best thing for him. There were necessary in order to make him feel better and to get him healthy. But, as they get older and they understand what you're doing to them it's hard in that moment. It can break your heart because what they don't understand is that it's all for their benefit even if in that moment it feels like torture.

Today, he and I have been able to have some good quality time together. He had another rough night and gave me an early wake-up call. He got sick at breakfast and scared me to death. So, at nap time I did something I never do during the day. I let him lay in bed with me and we took a nap together so I could keep a close eye on him. But, the little {big} moment happened while we were rocking. He was facing me with his little chubby legs wrapped around my waist. He was stalling as usual but this time I didn't care. He took his sweet baby hands and put them on my cheeks and through his pacie gave me a big ole kiss. Tears weld up in my eyes and I let out a little chuckle. Then he started laughing and repeated this precious sentiment at least ten more times all to my great delight. It was as if God looked down on me and said little're doing just fine and that sweet boy of yours loves you to pieces even when the moments seem difficult. He knows you are his first love, the kisser of his boo boo's, his biggest cheerleader, and the one who will stay up all night and stare at him when he's sick to make sure he's ok. He knows that even when he's getting in trouble it's because you love him and don't want to see him get hurt. I so needed that moment just between my boy and I. A moment when no one else was around and he was showing me his love. Those little moments are BIG ones to me. They're the ones I'm trapping down deep in my heart and will never forget. They're the ones that one day when he's all grown up and doing his own thing that I can look back on and cherish forever.

I live for those moments. Just he and I. This gift is the greatest and I pray that all you other momma's out there get those moments with your children too. The ones that make your heart swell with joy and that remind you of God's great and constant love for His children.

Friday, February 28, 2014

He's Growing Up (16-17 Months)

One night last week, I had dinner with my in-laws and Hatcher while the hubby was out of town on business. Hatcher & his Granddaddy went on a walk around the restaurant while we waited for our food to arrive. I remember glancing around the corner of the booth watching for them. What I saw next wasn't what I expected. When they rounded the corner, Hatcher was holding Granddaddy's hand walking along beside him (he was being held when they walked off) and he looked so big. It was like he morphed into a big kid in the two minutes since they left the table. I thought to myself...he isn't a baby anymore. He's growing up.

There have been many instances over the last few weeks where I've come to the realization that my baby is most definitely a toddler now. It happens so quickly. He went from being a little baby who needed my help with everything to a growing boy who still very much needs my help but doesn't always want it. He is Mr. Independent, I can do it myself momma!! My heart aches because I miss the little baby he once was but I'm overjoyed with each new milestone he accomplishes and am so proud of the little man he is becoming. He is so smart, funny, silly, and most of all loving. He loves to show us his love and he even likes to show love to complete strangers, cars even. At Publix last week, he blew kisses to every parked car we passed as we walked out with our groceries to load them in the car. My heart could explode! He has also started saying "momma" and then offering me a hug complete with pats on the back and him saying "hmmm!" It doesn't get much better than that!

The last month has been very busy for us and we don't seem to be slowing down any time soon! Hatcher got to enjoy his first snow, an ice storm and then beautiful spring-like weather all within a 2 week period of time. He was a big fan of the snow and had a ball playing with his puppy dog and throwing snow balls. We adults enjoyed it very much too!

We are now climbing everything...chairs, gates, cribs, tables. It's constant, full force every single day. Where does his energy come from?! I am constantly afraid of him getting hurt but I also have to let go of that fear and let him be a little boy. Easier said than done for this over-protective mommy! He is so proud of himself when he is finally sitting or standing on whatever he chose to climb.

Bath time is more fun than ever these days. He has learned to lay on his belly and put his face into the water while blowing bubbles. We didn't teach him this, he just started doing it all on his own. I think we'll have a little swimmer on our hands for sure.

Copycat seems to be his new favorite game. He has learned to count to 3...probably because he heard me do it about 100 times a day because he is into everything!! He can tell you what a cow and a rooster say. Recently, he learned to put his finger in his mouth and pull it out making a popping noise. It cracks him up and he does it over & over again.

The boy still loves to eat and doesn't back away from the table often. He has decided that vegetables are no longer a favorite so that has been a challenge lately. We bought him a little plate that's divided into sections and he is doing really well with it. He doesn't turn it over until he's finished eating. We are slowly transitioning him to sit at a booster seat at the kitchen table. It's a challenge because it makes it much easier for him to feed the dog so we are doing it slowly. He also got a sippy cup with a straw that he's obsessed with. Both the plate and cup are from Target and were both less than $2.99.

Along with this spring-like weather we've had recently (until the past two days), means more outside play time! He loves playing in the back yard with Dooley and riding his wagon or pushing his lawn mower around the cul-de-sac we live in. It's so cute &  he loves talking to the neighbors and their animals. He got his first set of skinned knees out there last week. He likes looking at his boo-boo's and touching them. His Daddy told him he looked like a real little boy with those skinned up knees! I wanted to cry when he got them & his Daddy cheered for him. So funny!

Keep us in your prayers please as we take Hatcher to the ENT next week. He has had his fair share of ear infections over the past 6 months and this last one has lasted for two weeks! We have been on 3 different antibiotics and he's still not 100% better. Praying we can find a solution without having to get tubes.

Although, this sweet boy is growing up he will still always be my baby! Watching him become a little boy is such a joy to me and Johny and we can't wait to see what the next few years have in store for us!

Loves riding the race car buggy at Publix!

Watching his first snow fall!

Snow fun! :)

Family pic in the snow!

Proof of the climbing

Eating his breakfast on his new plate & booster seat!

outside fun on his 17 month birthday!

Lunch date with friends!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hatcher's Play Time Favorites

I thought it might be fun to provide a list of the toys Hatcher is really liking right now. If you're like me, you are often trying to find new and exciting toys or ideas to entertain your little one. Many of these are not things we have bought him but things that he was given for either his first birthday or Christmas. Hatcher is full of energy and goes 90 to nothing all day long so it's nice to have an assortment of toys for him to play with to keep his attention.

Hands down his favorite toy by far is this Sesame Street Elmo guitar. It lights up and play several different songs. This is the toy he goes to first in the morning and has even started bringing to the breakfast and dinner table! If you have a little one that loves Sesame Street, this is a fun interactive toy for them!
Buy it here

I'm a big fan of this Little Tikes lawn mower because it's great for indoors and outdoors. It has a pull string that allows the child to crank up the mower as well as a gas can to refuel when needed. The fun balls on the top pop and make loud noises when the mower is being pushed.
Buy it here

This Vtech grocery cart/kitchen in one is super cute and has many features that will help your child learn and a toy they can grow with. While Hatcher doesn't fully understand all of the features right now, he loves to play with all the pretend food and pushing the cart around the house. Some of the cool features for this toy are that it tells the child which foods to cook and what buttons to press and it reads the grocery list aloud and tells them what to put in the cart next.
Buy it here

The Vtech Alphabet Train is so cute and Hatcher has enjoyed it a lot. This toy is very interactive and they can push it and ride it. A great way for your child to learn the alphabet!
Buy it here

Oh, the cozy coupe!! By far, Hatcher's favorite toy. Hatcher is just getting the hang of making it go forward but he has going backwards down pat. He likes to just sit it in and "drive" and blow the horn. A great toy for indoors or outdoors in my opinion. We don't have the perfect driveway for using it outside so letting him play with it indoors has been a great solution.
Buy it here

The Fisher Price Little People cchool bus is another absolute favorite! Hatcher loves anything with wheels and with the plus that this one plays music and makes noise, what's not to love?! He carries this toy all over our house & has even brought it to the kitchen table for breakfast a few times! :)
Buy it here

This fun Disney ball pit brings loads of fun & laughs in our house! It's compact design makes it suitable for any bedroom or playroom. Hatcher has really enjoyed this since he got it for Christmas. It comes with about 20 balls but we added some additional ones for added fun!
Buy it here

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rookie Moves

As parents we don't always have it all together, at least I don't. Some days, I feel like I really succeeded and can give myself a pat on the back. And on other days, I feel like I have failed. I couldn't juggle it all and felt like I needed to apologize to my son for failing him. I guess that's all very normal. We can't always be super heros and get it all right. That being said, this weekend I made what I would call two rookie moves. Things as a mom I should have known better than to do. This is my first rodeo though so I get to make some mistakes along the way.

So, we are always looking for new and fun things to do with Hatcher. Something to change it up a bit and give him some new adventures to experience. My best friend, Becky, gave me the idea to do shaving cream paint in the bath tub. It was super easy and fun. I'll include the "recipe" for how to make it below. After dinner, we got everything together and got Hatch into the tub and introduced the paint. He LOVED it and had a blast! We put the paint into a 6 cup muffin tin I picked up at the Dollar Tree. Once all the paint was gone, he wanted to hold the tin and fill it up with water and then pour it out. I thought there was no harm in this and let him have at it. Well, apparently there was a sharp edge and he cut his middle finger. It was a small cut and wasn't very deep but this cut bled forever!

So here's rookie move #1...I had ZERO band aids in my house! Are you kidding me? I'm a mom now, band aids are a given to have in the medicine cabinet. Yep, I had none...zilch...nada. Total mom failure! So while my son bled all over his bath towel, changing table, pajamas and had wiped blood all down the walls of his bedroom my husband had to run to the drug store to buy bandaids. I have to hand it to Hatcher, he was a trooper. He never cried. He struggled at first to sit still so mommy could apply pressure until Daddy got back but he managed. Thomas & Friends and a cold cup of milk to the rescue!!

Y'all this finger bled for an hour & a half. This little bitty cut bled like he had chopped his finger off! He was bleeding through band aids and it was way past bedtime. Thankfully, Johny's cousin is a nurse and we texted her and she told us what to go buy to stop the bleeding. So finally, after two trips to the store the bleeding finally stopped and we could go to bed. So, lesson learned here...NEVER EVER make the mistake of not having band aids in your home with an accident prone toddler running around!

Rookie move #2...taking your child to church without a change of clothes. In my defense, I honestly thought we were past this. It hasn't happened in at least 6 months. We are no longer using a diaper bag and instead he got a back pack for Christmas. You just can't fit as much in it so yesterday morning I chose to forego a change of clothes. Big mistake! During his two hour stay in the nursery, where I believe he cried a large portion of the time he also wet through his diaper and soaked his clothes. Thankfully, the church had some spare clothes and found something that somewhat fit him. Poor baby! Lesson learned here, always pack a change of clothes for your child. Things happen and you should always be prepared!

So I went easy on myself after two rookie moves. I laughed it off and realized that sometimes we just don't have it all together. I don't have it all together most times but I can fake it with the best of them.

Shaving cream paint recipe: Here's what you'll need.
-Muffin tin
-Baster brush
-Shaving cream (I bought the type for sensitive skin and it was unscented)
-Food coloring

How to make it:
-Squirt shaving cream into muffin tins and then put one to two drops of food coloring into it. Mix well with a tooth pick.

I bought my muffin tin, shaving cream & baster brush at the Dollar Tree & spent less than $5. Hatcher had so much fun and it cleaned up very easily.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

15 Months

On Christmas Eve, we also celebrated Hatch turning 15 months old. The amount of knowledge a child can gain in 30 short days continues to amaze me. They really are like tiny sponges.

We went for his 15 month c/u at the pediatrician's office the week after Christmas. He weighed 25lbs 11 ozs (90th%) and was 33 1/4 inches tall (off the charts)!! Dr. Smith says he's going to be a big boy! He'll definitely be tall like his Daddy if he continues growing like he is. He had to get 3 shots and although there were some tears he handled it pretty well. Those shots sure do get harder for the parents as the child gets older because they understand what's happening and holding them down just feels so wrong. But, I am a big advocate for vaccines and I believe all the pain they go through is worth it in the long run.

Hatcher is getting his 4 molars in and to say it's been tough on him would be putting it lightly. At his 12 month c/u, his doctor said he was beginning the process of getting them and that his gums were very swollen. Fast forward 3.5 months and those teeth have just started breaking through the gum. It has been no fun at all for anyone involved. The sleep we had begun getting used to has become a thing of the past and temper tantrums are at an all time high. I will say though that since they've broken through things are starting to calm down a bit. He's beginning to sleep better and he seems to be tolerating it better. We usually alternate between giving him some Motrin or Benadryl before bedtime to help him rest and to calm the pain down. He likes chewing on frozen teething rings and his fingers seem to be his favorite teething pain reliever. We tried using Orajel for a few nights and after getting bitten multiple times to the point of tears (on my part), we stopped doing that. It just wasn't worth it. Maybe I'm being a baby but no one likes to be bitten!

We are beginning the process of dropping his morning nap. A friend recommended trying it to see if he might start sleeping better at night. We did it for the first time yesterday and he took a 2 hour afternoon nap. He went to bed at 7:30 and slept in his own bed without waking up until 5:00 and then slept with us until 7:00. We will take it!! Round 2 today and so far so good!

He has learned a new favorite song, Old McDonald. He loves the EIEIO part and will sing it over & over. It's the cutest thing! He learned it in one day and I was shocked. We have also been learning body parts and we have gotten "nose" down pretty good. Now, we're working on "eyes."

When Hatcher takes a nap or goes down for the night, Dooley has to get in his kennel because he's a barker and barks at every car, squirrel or leaf that moves outside of our house. So, he gets a milkbone and takes a nap while Hatcher naps. Hatcher's new favorite thing is to get the treat out of the jar & he has to walk Dooley to his kennel and give him the treat. Then he tells him "bye-bye!"

Every month just gets more fun and the more he learns to do the more amazed we are with him. Below are some pictures from the past month. Enjoy!

Playing with his new farm he got for Christmas

Walking in Daddy's boots!

Vacuuming at PaPa Outlaw's house. He's a good helper!

A little risky business!

Successfully got his sippy cup!

Loves walking his puppy on Dooley's leash

Story time with Daddy

Stinker face!

Feeding Dooley 

War Eagle!

Sitting in his chair from Santa while watching Thomas

Cutest little lion!

Wagon ride!

Sporting his Gamecock gear for our South Carolina family!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Holidays 2013

The holiday season for us this year was so special. Of course, we had Hatcher for the holidays last year but this year he knew more about what was going on and was so fun to watch. We were so blessed to be able to host both Thanksgiving and Christmas at our home this year. It really makes you feel like a grown up when holidays are no longer spent in your parent's homes because you want to start making memories for your child in their home. Our families have been wonderful accomodating us with this change and we are glad that we are able to have both sides of our family together at once. For many years like most families, we shuffled between Macon and LaGrange for the holidays to make sure we got to see everyone. I have always enjoyed that but I also am enjoying not having to drive all over the place!

Thanksgiving is Johny's favorite holiday...I can't imagine why...the FOOD of course!! So we had a traditional Thanksgiving feast and then enjoyed the afternoon spending time with one another. It's fun learning how to cook the famous recipes of those that have come before us and keeping them in the family for the future. I have to say Hatcher was a big fan of his lunch and dinner!

Christmas took on a whole new meaning this year! Buying for Hatcher was fun for all of us I think. The child got SO. MANY. NEW. TOYS!! Such a wonderful blessing but our house is literally busting at the seams with toys. He loves it and that's all that matters. We had my sister and both sets of parents here for Christmas morning so everyone could see Hatcher's face when he saw what Santa brought him. I think he was more concerned with why everyone was here so early and staring at him!! Once he saw the toys though, it was on! He played his little heart out so much so that he slept right through lunch. Poor guy. But don't worry, he got to eat when he woke up and he enjoyed it. After lunch, he got round two of his gifts from all of his grandparents, great grandparents and aunt. It was a blast to watch and I honestly can't wait for next year already!

Here are a few pictures capturing our sweet little love on Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Hatcher's artwork for our table scape!

Hatcher & Aunt Britney

My little family! :)

Hatcher with Poppy & Grammie
Hatcher's Granddaddy & Nana

Hatcher with Santa at Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens

Baking cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve

He was the taste tester! :)

And then he ate Santa's cookies!!

LOVED the Thomas train Santa brought him!

Playing in Poppy's hat

Our family on Christmas Day

He was so pumped about his wagon that he was squealing with excitement!

How cute is that backpack?!?!

Watching Thomas on tv while sitting in his wagon!

That boy loves his Aunt B!

The most precious gift in the world! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hatcher 12-14 Months

As my sweet boy is getting bigger, it's hard to stay as up-to-date on my blog as I would like. To say he keeps me busy and on my toes would be an understatement! The past two months have flown by and Hatcher is learning at warp's speed. It is amazing how much these little ones can learn in such a short period of time. He is at such a fun age and his personality is contagious! He can go 100 miles a minute and I will be so exhausted by the end of the day, I can barely hold my eyes open. But once he's asleep and I've had time to unwind, I miss him so much! He is so loving and gentle yet 100% boy and into everything and anything he can get his hands on; especially the things he knows he's not supposed to get into. Isn't that how it always is, though? Here's a snapshot into what he's been up to lately and the fun things he's learned to do.

-He LOVES to eat. I swear to you he can eat like a grown man. I try not to worry too much though because he's so active that he's working off all of those calories he's taking in. Lucky for us, he likes to eat healthy food and the occassional not so healthy foods. He isn't a picky eater at this point and will eat anything you put in front of him. He can be a bit agressive at the table because he gets impatient when he wants more but he has learned to say "please" or as he says it "peeaassse." We have also taught him how to sign for "more" and that has worked nicely most of the time especially when we're in public.

-Sleeping has improved somewhat over the past two months although some nights aren't as great as others. For about 3-4 weeks now, he's been sleeping through the night in his bed. He typically wakes up about 5:30 and gets in bed with us until around 7:00. Some nights though, he's up and down and ends up sleeping with us because it's the only way he'll calm down and rest. We've learned to pick our battles and this is one that we feel he'll eventually grow out of but we're not pressuring him. We didn't start doing anything differently and he started sleeping better all on his own. I know this is a hot button issue for a lot of parents but co-sleeping has worked for us and honestly a well-rested baby and mommy makes for a happier day!

-He's starting to say more things. Although he doesn't say many words, he is very "talkative" and has lots to say. I have no idea where he got that from?!?! He can say...momma, daddy, dooley, please, hello, hey, and bye-bye. And he has also said "go dawgs" or at least that's what he's trying to say much to the delight of my hubby! :)

-He has 8 teeth and is currently getting his bottom molars in on both sides. Hence, a few sleepless nights and some intense irritiablity. Yikes!

-Things he enjoys playing with: Elmo guitar, Cozy Coupe, VTech Alphabet train, trucks and tractors, lawn mower, Little People school bus and his sports activity center. He loves to pull down all of his books & flip through the pages. Still not a big fan of sitting still long enough to read a book from cover to cover but we do attempt it. He loves bath time and has the best time splashing the water. He has also started putting his face down in the water and thinks it's hilarious. Hopefully, that means he'll enjoy swim lessons! He will steal an iPhone in a hot minute and he talks to Siri very often. I think she's confused most of the time. He loves to play football with his Daddy and I love hearing him squeal and laugh.

-Sweet boy loves playing in the laundry room and helping Mommy put clothes in the dryer. He also enjoys playing in my pantry and is constantly strewing food all over the house. It is both funny and annoying. If a bathroom door is left open, he will flush the toilet at least 5 times. He likes to give his puppy, Dooley, treats and loves for him to chase him around and play. He thinks Dooley is so funny and is obsessed with his tail. Dooley is not happy about that.

-My sweet angel has been sick a good bit the past two months. He has had two ear infections one of which was a double ear infection. He also had walking pneumonia and was very sickly for two weeks. He passed that on to several people and our household was under the weather for several weeks. I hate seeing my boy sick and feeling poopy. Glad we are on the mend...if these teeth would just hurry up and come in! :)

-His favorite tv shows are Sesame Street and Thomas & Friends.

-He learned to blow kisses recently and it's the most precious thing ever. He gives the absolute BEST kisses and hugs in the world! Melts my heart every single time. He can get away with ANYTHING with a good slobbery kiss and he knows it too!

We are so excited for Christmas! I cannot wait to see him on Christmas morning. I'm sure there will be a special twinkle in his eye as he sits in front of the tree opening his gifts from Santa and family! And although that part is exciting and fun, I always want him to know the real reason for the season and that of course is the birth of our Lord & Savior. I also want him to know that it's better to give than to receive. I don't want him to always think of the gifts he's going to receive at Christmas. I pray we can always instill those values in him as he grows up.

His 15 month check-up is after Christmas and I can't wait to see how much he's grown in the past 3 months. We'll update then! :)

Merry Christmas to all of you & God bless you in the New Year!

His first goose egg & being sick all in a two day period. Poor baby! 

Helping Daddy work!

What a stinker! :)

Picking out the perfect pumpkins at the pumpkin patch!

So silly!

Our scary monster on Halloween!

Halloween 2013

Outlaw Family Reunion in Dublin

Serenading me with Elmo's World!

War Eagle!!!