Oct 24, 2010

The Latest

Let's see, what's going on with the Harrison's these days??

Well, the biggest news to report is that our sweet boy Ethan graduated officially to his "Big Boy Bed". His crib is a 3-in-1 and so we converted it after he woke up Saturday morning to the toddler bed. I remember reading somewhere once that it's a good idea to have their first time sleeping in the bed at nap time and not the first time at night. That made sense to me. He picked out new bedding (thanks Grandma Jude) which he loves. It is so cute to see him growing up and in a little bed now but I'm not gonna lie, I started to tear up a little. I can remember him as a newborn like it was yesterday and in less than 4 months he'll be 3! Ahh!

Here's a picture we took of him in his new bed, although he is facing the wrong direction - haha. Can you say big boy?

He's adjusted extremely well which I am so thankful for. I was praying it would be a smooth transition and we wouldn't have tears or crying wanted to come downstairs. It was so cute too because in 8th grade I got this stuffed animal, a bear, that I used to sleep with. It has seen better days but I let Ethan sleep with him and he loved him. When I went to get him in the morning he only wanted to carry down "bear", not his blanket, which was a shocker! He always wants his blanket...so, it melted my heart ♥

Ethan really is growing up. I look at him and feel so blessed that he is full of life, joy, laughter, health and is just so cute and silly. We love his personality and I couldn't imagine having a son I loved any more. He's just the sweetest thing and I'm so thankful he's mine.

He's talking more and more too, which is so great. He still struggles pronouncing certain letters and words and he still talks in his own language a lot but he's definitely improving, saying more and more each day and is starting to put sentences together. We continue to read with him and work on his sounds everyday. He can count to 10 now (it's so cute) and he is very good with his colors. I swear I went over them with him one day and he picked up on them so quickly. His love for music is so evident. It always has been. He's loved it since he was really little and I love that it is such a big part of who he is. His favorite thing to do is watch You Tube videos whether it's "Happy Day" over and over or listening to college football fight songs. He just loves music. He is flourishing and I thank Jesus so much.

Gracelyn is growing so much too. She is constantly copying everything Ethan does and she is so confident in herself, independent and fearless. While it makes for some stressful moments on mom and dad some days we love that she has such a fiesty personality and doesn't seem to get her feelings hurt easily. I'm kinda that way, was as a kid also so I like that she has tough skin :) She amazes us daily. She talks a lot, repeats words really well and she just grew up really fast on us. Both Jeremy and I have talked about how we feel she went from baby to toddler so quickly. She walked early, she's talking early, she could climb early - so yeah, she just has grown up so fast. I feel like I blinked and she suddenly went from a baby to a kid. Ya know? Makes me a little sad, but of course thankful for healthy children who are growing. So, so thankful for that.

Here are a few pictures of my adorable children. I just adore these photos. I look at them and want to cry. I'm so blessed.

Ethan not happy mom is taking a picture of him this early in the morning...But mom thinking his bedhead was too funny not to photograph.

The kids have been sick since Friday. They've had colds and coughs. Their eyes were getting icky and then Ethan's one eye started to get a little red. Brady, the little boy that I watch, has had all the same symptoms so sadly the kids got it. I was holding off on taking the kids to the doc because she took Brady to the doc three times for it and they just kept saying cough and cold and it's a virus and to just let it run it's course.

Anyhow, I decided to take them in today and not only do they have a virus but they also have pink eye! Blah. That's a new one for the Harrison kids. I knew something wasn't right when I see all the green ick in their eyes building up and then the redness. It is extremely contagious so they can't be around anyone for a couple days. We got some eye drops that are antibotics and the doc said within 48 hours their eyes should be cleared up.

They really have been acting like themselves for the most part. Pretty happy. But, Ethan did have a fever Sunday night, but it was gone by morning. Poor G has really icky diapers and threw up in the night last night. So glad she woke up crying and that I went up to get her. Poor baby. But, nothing since. So, now just the cold, cough, pink eye and then icky diapers for G. Brady has been sick with this for weeks so it sounds like this may drag out for a bit.

Well, one thing I know forsure, I am so thankful it's nothing serious and that my babies are healthy minus your common winter sicknesses. I know I know, it's not winter yet...but, you know what I mean.

Nothing else much new. Just taking care of my sweet babies and enjoying the life that God has blessed me with. Hope you all are having a great week!

Stay Blessed!
Momma Keri ♥

Oct 16, 2010

7 things about me :)

I was tagged in a blog post from my sweet friend Claire with 7 questions to answer about myself that she asked. So, here you go friend, thanks for the fun little game :)

1. What is the one thing you can always do that "brings you back"....? (i.e. when you're really stressed or upset, what one thing helps you re-focus and find your feet again?)

Many things. Of course reading my Bible and spending time with Jesus would definitely be my first answer. He fills my life with joy and hope. I would also have to say talking to my hubby. If I'm ever upset about anything he always knows exactly what to say to comfort me and I always feel so much better. I love that man! And lastly, an ice cold Coca-Cola :) I love that stuff!

2. Who is someone you know personally who has qualities you want to emulate? I would have to say my close girlfriend, Brooke. She is pretty much one of the most amazing women I have ever met in my life. She's an amazing wife, mom, friend...she challenges me in so many areas of my life. As a wife, mom, friend, daughter of God - so glad God brought us together.

3. What is the best time of your day and why? Hmm, not sure that I have a best time. I guess I would say getting my kids up in the morning. I love how happy they are to see me each morning (Ok, sometimes Ethan gets mad I'm not Daddy) and I love the "I just woke up" look, their warm cheeks that I get to kiss a hundred times. Favorite! I also love getting into bed at night...now that my clean, warm flannel Christmas sheets are on the bed :)

4. What is your all time favorite song... your anthem? Wow. Favorite song of all time? That's a tough one. I think I'm gonna have to go with Amazing Grace. Yes, it's an oldie but such a goodie! :) My very favorite is Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. I cry even thinking about that combo.

5. What is a dream you have that has been put on the back burner? Hmm. I kinda pursued one of my dreams a few years back (starting an in home daycare) so I can't think of any others. I'm married and am a momma, those were two dreams of mine that have been fulfilled also :)

6. What makes your husband the perfect man for you? His love for Jesus. He's always been a Godly leader and I admire Him so much. We are just the perfect fit, we think a lot alike, he likes chick flicks like me (hehe), he is sweet, thoughtful, caring and compassionate...he makes really cute babies...umm, the list could go on and on ♥

7. What's one thing can make you smile no matter what? I'm cheating and listing two things. Ethan and Gracelyn. They have brought so much joy to my life, they are such gifts from God. No matter what kind of day I'm having, they can make me smile instantly by their cuteness, silliness, and sweetness. I love being a mom!

Hope you enjoyed reading these little tidbits about me :)

Oct 13, 2010

I love my friends!

So last night was my mom's night out, which I planned :) There were 6 of us mommas and we started out the night by having a quick dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. Yum! We then went and saw "You Again" which I must say is a super cute movie, funny and most importantly clean! Not an easy combination to find these days, that's forsure.

The movie was over by 9 and so a few of us headed over to Starbucks after to chat. It's so funny because I've never liked coffee and have always wished I could find something I like at Starbucks. You know, so I could fit in to the cool people club ;) I love hot chocolate but have never liked the hot chocolate at Starbucks either. Well, my girlfriends suggested Peppermint Hot Chocolate and let me tell you, I am addicted! It was so so yummy and I left so excited that I now have a drink I like there...although it may not be the best thing seeing as Starbucks isn't the cheapest place around. Ha.

The 3 of us girls that went sat down and pretty much talked until they kicked us out at 11pm. It was such meaningful and deep conversation about our lives and I loved every second of it. I love quality time with friends, it is much needed and so important. My one girlfriend and I left together and then chatted in my car for another hour which I loved. I feel like we could talk forever. She is one of those friends who I feel like I can totally be me with. We get each other. We have so much fun when we're together, always laugh but yet we have that closeness and meaningful conversation too. And we are both mommas so we share that also. She reminds me a lot of one of my old best friends (Yes, I'm talking about you Agnes (and no, that's not really her real name. Ha)and it warms my heart. God has blessed my life with such amazing, Godly girlfriends and I'm so thankful!

That's all for now, folks. Oh, and one more thing, anyone wanna bring me a Peppermint Hot Chocolate from Starbucks? :) It totally reminds me of Christmas time too...Peppermint Hot Cocoa...which I so love! I just love Christmas and everything that goes with it. Ok, minus Santa. But everything else about the season I love. It's my very favorite time of year.

I can't wait for our next mommas night out, it is already in the works for November. We all decided we should make it a monthly thing, after all, us mommas need it and deserve it!

On a side note, I must just tell you all how adorable and cute my little boy is. Each morning when I get him up we come downstairs and I let him pick which cereal he would like for breakfast. The choices are usually Kix, Life, Raisin Bran or Crispix. Something like that. It's so cute because I'll take all the boxes out for him to see, ask which one he wants and he first says, "Uhhh...." like he's thinking. He then looks at all the boxes carefully (after all, this is a big decision) and then he looks at me and gives me the cutest, most precious, biggest smile. He does it every morning. It's like he gets excited that he has all of these choices to choose from. It's just soo cute and he melts me!

Stay Blessed,
Momma Keri ♥

Oct 11, 2010

Sweet Sleep

I have some very happy news.

My sweet 16 month old girl is finally sleeping through the night! Yay! It feels amazing to actually sleep again.

A week ago today I made the decision it was time to let her cry it out at night. We had to do this same thing with Ethan. The first few nights are not fun and your heart breaks as their momma BUT it was needed. We did it with Ethan at 13 months.

I had been weaning her from nursing during the day over the past couple months but she would still get up once, sometimes twice in the night wanting to nurse back to sleep. It had become a comfort for her. We would have done it sooner but a couple months ago she was really having a hard time during the nights as she was cutting 4 molars. Ouch! So, nursing was really my only way of comforting her during those nights. Ok, and a little orajel and tylenol helped too.

So, Monday night I decided it was time. Time to let her cry herself back to sleep and not nurse. I think I put it off for awhile also because she may be our last baby and knowing that I may be done nursing forever just made me a bit sad. It is such a bonding experience with your baby. So, she cried for over 2 hours. I went up there twice. Once to rub her back and the other time I held her and rocked her for a few minutes and then laid her back down and walked out. I felt so bad because she was whimpering and looking at me with her big beautiful eyes and saying, "Muhh, Muhh". She wanted milk, she wanted to nurse.

Tuesday night she only cried for 40 minutes. Still a very long time as her momma but much better than the first night. I went up there after 40 minutes and held her and rocked her again. For me the key was not caving and nursing. It was so cute because she recently has fallen in love with this baby doll my aunt found at a garage sale.

YESSSS! She may be a little girly after all. :)

So, I had the brilliant idea to ask her if she wanted to sleep with her baby. She stopped crying, her eyes lit up and she said, "Bebe...Bebe" So, I grabbed her as we made our way down the stairs in the dark to search for her bebe in the toy bin. She was so happy once it was in her arms. So, I took her back upstairs, laid her down with her baby and covered her up with her blanket and she cried and was mad at first but 30 seconds later she stopped. After 40 minutes of crying hard, the baby did the trick! I couldn't believe it and thought it was just the cutest thing ever.

She has pretty much been sleeping through every night since. She did wake for a minute last night and cry so I went up there and just held her for a minute and laid her back down with her bebe and she went back to sleep. We knew she would be easier to adjust then Ethan did at her age. When we did it with Ethan he wasn't eating during the night he simply woke up multiple times in the night wanting ME. He's always been our sensitive child. But, it only took a couple nights of crying for each of them and that was it.

It has been really nice to get some good sleep again. I have a lot to catch up on. You know, the last 3 years or so :)

Here is my sweet Grae with her bebe. Aren't they so sweet together?

And then here are two amazing pictures of my babies. Seriously, I still look at them each day and am in awe. They are beyond cute and I am beyond blessed to call them my own. I just love these moments. The moments of them lovin' on each other and being best buds.
Blessed to the max,
Momma Keri ♥

Oct 6, 2010


Where do I start?

I feel like God has been speaking to my heart lately about my role as a mom. The kids were napping and I grabbed my Bible and plopped myself down on the couch. I needed to spend some time with Jesus, being quiet and listening to what He wanted to speak to me about and teach me. I opened up to Psalms. I quickly came across this passage: "May our sons flourish in their youth like well nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace."

Hmm. That's a cool verse I thought to myself. I don't remember ever reading that before. Or perhaps I read it before I was a mom and so it never stood out to me. Well, it stood out to me big time today and I feel like God gave me so much insight through it.

Flourish: To thrive, influence, excellence, prosper, to be successful.

Youth: The condition of being young. Early life.

Let's stop there and talk about the first part of that verse. What a beautiful prayer for our sons. Don't we all want our children to flourish? I know I do. And I'm not talking about wanting my kid to be the best in soccer or track, or the best drum player or singer or to get all A's in school. Sure, we all hope our kids flourish in some of those things too, but, that's not what I care about most. I don't believe that is what the verse is referring to. Our children excelling in "activities".

So, I read that verse and immediately pictured Ethan as a teenager. What I imagined and pray for is that Ethan flourishes in his love for the Lord. I pray He flourishes for Jesus everywhere He goes and that he's not ashamed to stand up and go against the flow. I pray that he influences many and thrives in all the talents God gives him.

Now, the daughters.

I thought to myself, "May our daughters be like graceful pillars? Carved to beautify a palace? What exactly does that mean?"

Pillar: An upright shaft, used as a building support. Standing alone. A chief support, a pillar of the community.

Carved: Design. To form.

Wow, that gave me so much insight and again I found myself picturing Gracelyn as a young teenager. My prayer over Gracelyn is that she grows up to be strong in the Lord and confident in who God has called, designed and formed her to be. And that she is graceful. That she is upright and can stand alone in Jesus. That He is always more than enough for her. That if kids make fun of her in school for talking about Jesus and loving Him that she won't care and that she will stand upright, and be a pillar of the community for Jesus!

I read this verse over and over...trying to get everything out of it that I felt God wanted to show me. And then it hit me. Who does Ethan and Gracelyn look up to? Who is their role model? If they are to flourish and stand upright, who is going to teach them these things??

And daddy too.

From this one verse I feel like God spoke volumes to me about my kids and who I am called to be as their mom. See, mom means many things. Mom also means wife, friend, daughter, sister. All of those relationships fit into that little 3 letter word, M-O-M. Why? Because they see all of those relationships in my life.

It then made me sit and think about my life. The choices I make, the things I watch, the words I say, the things I listen to, the way I dress, the way I view myself...my worth in Jesus...my kids are watching. They are watching my every move. They copy everything I do. They want to be like me.

They want to be like me. Gulp.

I feel like God is challenging me to really re-evaluate my life and I needed it. My times with Him have not been consistent and they need to be. Not because I "have" to read the Bible and spend time with Him but because I want and need to. I need to be in the Word daily to be the wife, mom, sister, daughter and friend that God has called me to be.

While we all have regrets in life, I pray that in 20 years I can look back and think about when my kids were little and not have many. I don't want to have a list of regrets and things I wish I would have done or not have done with my kids. Ya know? I want to live life to the fullest, in all that God created it to be and I want to cherish, savor and soak up each moment with my kids.

Some days it's tiring and draining...being a mom. However, I can pray and ask God for strength...ok and maybe sanity too and I know each day matters to them. Each day matters to my babies. And one day when they don't like me and don't think I'm cool I will wish they were little again and adored me. Of course I pray they never think I'm not cool...but, pretty sure they will at some point :)

I am a stay at home momma and sometimes it can be easy to fall into the trap that I'm not making much of a difference.

I'm just changing diapers, feeding the kids, cleaning the house, doing laundry.

That is completely a lie from the devil. We make a HUGE difference in our kids lives. Whether we are a stay at home mom or working mom. We are shaping them and molding who they become. What an amazing opportunity we have to pour into our kids. We are making a difference.

So, it just feels good to re-evaluate my life a bit and I feel God is speaking to me in so many ways and just showing me and teaching me things I need to change to be who I am called to be in all of the relationships in my life.

It doesn't mean I'm never going to fail again and make mistakes...it just means that I have a huge part to play in who Ethan and Gracelyn become and I needed that awakening to realize just how serious that is and what that means.

Here are my babies. The ones I am called to raise, teach and mold. I pray that God continues to raise me up to be the mom I am called to be. We are making a difference.

Living today to the fullest,

Momma Keri ♥

Oct 1, 2010

Happy October!

Is it just me or does summer go by faster than any other season? I can't believe October is already here. It's been a summer full of mixed emotions for me, that is forsure.

Our vacation was wonderful. We really enjoyed ourselves and it was so nice to get away for a week and just relax, spend time with family and have fun. The condo was beautiful. We loved everything about it. Everything in it just seemed to be high quality, which is always a plus. We set up a portable crib for Ethan (he sooo loved sleeping in the same room as us) and then Gracelyn was in her pack n' play which was set up in the closet. We had a huge closet so it worked out perfectly. The kids had a good time and kept us busy, as always :) Aunt Kristy babysat two nights for us so that we could go out, which was very nice. Thank you Aunt Kristy, we love you!

My friend Josh got married the Saturday we left for our vacation and I was so sad I couldn't be there. As was he. The good news was that he honeymooned across the street from where we were staying. HA! He had called me up months early wondering if I had any ideas where they could go. I told him that we were going to Virginia Beach and that there was a lot to do in the area. So I told him a website with tons of different places and they found a place and it just happened to be directly across the street from our place. Too funny. So, we took them out to dinner one night and talked about their wedding (which sounded beautiful and perfect) and just caught up. We then went out for ice cream after and boy was it yummy! The place we went to is rated top ten in the country! All their ice cream is home made of course and really yummy. I was in the mood for a shake and so I ordered a vanilla shake. I didn't realize until after Josh ordered his much cooler shake that you could get a shake made in ANY of their flavors. Which was many and all sorts of cool flavors. Josh thought it was so funny that we went to this amazing ice cream place and here I order a plain vanilla shake. Oh well, it was still very yummy and we went there more than once :) They then came back to our place to hang out and play this game "Mafia" with us that is sooo much fun to play in big groups. They stayed until like 2 in the morning and we had so much fun together. I am so mad at myself though because I totally forgot to get a picture of us together! I brought my camera to the restaurant, left it in the van and totally forgot about it. Boo! Anyhow, it was great seeing them and we felt quite special that they dedicated a day to us on their honeymoon.

The boys went golfing a few times, we swam in the ocean, laid on the beach, went to the Virginia Aquarium (just me, my sis and cousin, the kids didn't go), shopped, it really was so much fun. One day we went to the actual Virginia Beach where they had a sandcastle contest and arts and craft show. It was so much fun! These people came from all over the world to do the sand castles and wow, they sure were amazing! I took pictures of all of them but will just share my two favorites.

One night Jer went out to dinner with my bro and sis. I had put the kids to bed and was laying in our room on our bed waiting for them to fall asleep. I was lying there alone...in the dark...when the tears hit me like a wave.

We lost the baby.

I had hopped on facebook earlier that night and saw a friend post her ultrasound pic and then another friend talk about her pregnancy cravings and I'm sure that triggered the emotions a bit. I just laid there and cried...probably the hardest I've cried since it all happened. It took me off guard but I didn't fight the tears, I knew I needed to get them out. I feel such a deep sadness when I think about how Ethan and Gracelyn were both the size of the baby that we lost and how much I love them and how much joy they bring to my life. When I think about how I would have loved this baby just as much, it's hard to stop the tears from flowing. I wonder often if it was a little boy or girl, would he/she have had big eyes like my other two, would I finally get a little redhead? While I feel God has given me so peace throughout this time in my life I have come to realize and understand that I am not done grieving and probably won't be for awhile. While I have more good days then bad, the bad still come and I've learned to just accept them and ask God to carry me through. He always does.

I'm so thankful it happened as early as it did in my pregnancy. The longer I would have gone the harder and harder it would be. And yet, I still experience that deep feeling of loss. 7 weeks, 5 days. That was still my baby. Ethan and Gracelyn's little brother or sister. I daydream often...wondering what he/she would have been like being a part of our family. This past week has been a bit emotional for me also at times as it marked 1 month of losing the baby. I know I will see my little one in heaven one day, but my heart still aches to know him or her here on earth.

Alright, moving on to some happiness. Here's a funny story to share.

So this past week we took a family trip to Meijer to grocery shop. Ethan was walking next to our cart when suddenly he ran off into one of the aisles. I was busy finding items on my list but he excitedly ran up to Jeremy with something in his hands that he wanted us to buy. Any guesses? ......well, I'm pretty sure you would never guess this.

Pigs Feet. That's right, he was all excited and handed Jer a jar of pigs feet. We couldn't stop laughing.

I will leave with a few of my favorite photos from our vacation. Enjoy!
Pretty girlGrae and Aunt KrisElizabeth and EthanThe boysThe girlsEthan trying on Nathan's glasses...perhaps a glimpse of the future? :)Ethan looking like a studGracelyn's "cheeeese" face And then the pic of our Virginia Beach Gang

Hope everyone is having a good start to their week! I know I am!

Momma Keri ♥