Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas with the Family

The newest addition to his Hess collection

Adam and Aunt Boo (Amanda) helping Harrison open gifts

Playing with his new Clemson soccer ball

mastering his new bike
On Christmas afternoon, we headed to Charleston to celebrate Christmas with Adam's family. Harrison got to spend time with the whole family and had the time of his life...including getting lots of fun goodies. On Christmas Eve, we got to spend time with Grandpa Gus and Grandma Linda. Lastly, we got to spend time with Puff and Karl last night where Harrison was more than enthralled with Karl's new train set. Family, thanks so much for loving our sweet son so well. It was a joy to get to spend time with each of you over the holidays.
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Christmas Morning

Hanging out in new sleeping bag with his buddies
First jump on the new trampoline Giving his bike the inaugural spin

H opening stuff from his stocking

His favorite gift that was in his stocking was his first headlamp.

Harrison pulling out his Santa gifts

Well we had our first Christmas morning at our house since we have been married. And let me tell you, it was worth the wait. We made cookies and left milk out for Santa and since Santa has a particularly large belly this year, the cookies were a big hit. Harrison was emphatic about Santa leaving a cookie for him in the morning (which was the first thing he asked about I woke up bright and early because I was so excited about Harrison getting to experience Christmas morning. Harrison gets three gifts from Santa and one from mom and dad. We do three gifts for multiple reasons, but the genesis of it is because when Jesus was born, he received three gifts and as we try to instill the real meaning of Christmas to Harrison, that is a great jumping off point for all of our discussions. Plus, he gets so many gifts from family, that there really is no need to give him anything else. Santa filled his stocking and then brought him a sleeping bag, a bike, and a toy plane. We gave him a trampoline. He loved all of his gifts (except for the socks and fork and knife set that were in his stocking...but that is understandable).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two Weeks from Today

Well, apparently, we are going to have a new member of our family in exactly two weeks from today. I visited with my OBGYN yesterday and we scheduled an induction for January 5th. It's a little crazy. I hoped with this one I would go into labor naturally, and I realize that can still happen. However, because of our distance to the hospital, we are a little nervous about delivering on the side of the road. We still might change our minds about the induction. I recognize that I have options. But once you get to this point in your pregnancy, when the option of having your baby "out" instead of "in" is on the table, it is hard to not jump at the opportunity. We actually had the option of Jan 3 or Jan 5 (my doc is on call both days), and it took a lot of effort to select the 5th. Again, the option of him being out seems WAY better now. I doubt we'll change it, but who knows. That will be four days prior to his due date. And with Harrison, I induced six days early, and we are so thankful that we did, because I would have had to have a c-section if I waited another day. Right now, I'm praying that he comes on his own between Jan 2 and Jan 5th...that's pretty specific. I realize that. Still going to pray for that. I'm also praying that if he does decide to do it, that we can all make it to the hospital with him still in my belly. That doesn't seem like too much to ask. What I do know at this point is that I am so excited to meet this guy. I haven't seen him since my 20 week ultrasound (which was really at 18 weeks), and I'm hoping he looks more like a person than the alien he looked like then.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Playing with Our Flip

I've officially given in to incessant television marketing (well, I've actually done that a long time ago, but I've done it again). I've seen a million commercials for a Flip and I told Adam that we needed one, obviously. Well, lucky for me (and him), he has one for his restaurant that I have now taken over and claimed for myself. I love it. I've got many years of tormenting my children (and husband) ahead of me and I cannot wait!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sick, but oh so cute

Along with the rest of the world, it appears that the boys in my house have come down with something. Harrison's energy level hasn't gone down, but he has something going on (which I sort of wish, for the sake of his super-pregnant mom, he would slow down a bit). And sweet Adam has flu-like symptoms (which I think may just be a bad cold... at least, I'm hoping for that). I hate that Adam feels badly. And I want him to get better soon as we are going to be having a baby in the near future (hopefully not any day, like it feels). But seriously, look how cute they are...even though they are sick.
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Christmas Play 2010

Harrison's school had their annual Christmas play yesterday. It was so darn cute and from what I can tell, it is the same every year. Apparently, as the kids grow up through the school, they really look forward to playing certain parts in the play. The 2 1/2 year old class played the roles of the Heavenly Hosts. They had a little role. In fact, I think all they asked them to do was to stand up front and sing. Harrison got the standing part down. And frankly, he got the singing part down, but he decided to not sing one word during the whole performance. That's fine by me. He has been gracing us with his renditions of "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," and "Joy to the World" throughout the week at home. But the performance made me laugh...really hard. So hard, that I cried. The little boys were just hilarious. Oh and the picture of Harrison with the other two boys at the bottom was after the play was long done. They ran up on stage and went nuts. These are the boys that Harrison says he "play fights" with at school all of the time. Knowing that these boys are going to grow up together makes me cherish this picture.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Cooking with H

Harrison and I have been doing lots of cooking recently together. He is a lot of fun to cook with, and it is a really good lesson for patience for me....a lesson that I cannot learn too often. Just the other day, when I took these pictures, here is how a portion of our conversation unfolded.
M: H, take that bowl off of your head. I have to cook with it and I don't want your hair in that bowl.
H: Nope. It is my hat.
M: If you don't take it off of your head, I'm going to have to take a picture of you (which usually results in a NOOOOOOO).
H: Okay, mommy. Cheeese. (See top two pictures)
M: Oh, let me get one more so I can see your whole apron.
H: No mommy. No more pictures. I take bowl off my head. (snap picture #3). Mommy...listen to me. I said no more pictures.
M: Oh, it is cute. You are so cute, Harrison. Do you want to see it?
H: Mommy. No. Why you not listen to me? Me took bowl off my head.
I'm fairly confident this is the first time he has ever asked me a question about listening to him. But I have a hunch of where he gets it from...
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Final Countdown...

Harrison as the life of the Chick-fil-A Christmas Party. And of course, I forgot my camera, so this is taken with my phone.

Well, I'm on the home stretch. As I write this post, I'm straddling the 35/36 week mark. Because I'm most likely to be induced, I would imagine I have exactly four weeks left. If all goes according to Adam's prediction, baby Fisher will make his appearance on December 28th. I'm thinking January 4th. For 90% of this pregnancy I've been hoping to get as close to my due date (Jan 9th) as possible so I can get his birthday as far away from holidays as possible. All of that has changed. I want him out. And I think I want him home too. The jury is still out on that one. I mean I do, but I'm not sure that I'm ready for it. For the past couple of days, I've been battling a sinus infection, and since I can't take any medicine, it has left me relatively miserable and without sleep. I don't think I signed up for the lack of sleep...yet. In addition, being fat has its drawbacks. Most importantly, I can't do half the things that I want to. My belly gets in the way...or my inability to catch my breath plagues all activities. I was telling Adam that I don't remember being this miserable with Harrison, when I figured out, that having Harrison around makes it harder to be large. When I was this pregnant with him, I was only responsible for keeping myself alive. Now, not only do I have to make sure H is alive, but I have to change his sheets frequently (which has bed rails), dress him, play with him, and get him in and out of the car. These seemingly mindless activities, are 100x times harder when you have a lot of extra weight on you.
I'm not complaining. Well, yes I am. But I'm so thankful to be pregnant. I was reminded the other day by my small group leader that I had a miracle baby inside of me. How quickly I forgot! We defied the odds and got pregnant! So, I'm super thankful for this time.
For now, I'm just trying to prepare for all things "new." With the new year, we will have a new baby, a new blog, and just a totally new dynamic to our family. I'm filled with excitement as I think about Harrison becoming a big brother. He is more and more into it everyday. I think having Fisher's nursery "set-up," (which I use loosely), has made Harrison realize that Fisher is coming sooner vs later. Multiple times a day, he lifts up my shirt to look at my belly, rubs his head on my belly, and says, "Love You Baby Fisher." Ah...melts my heart every time. I'm so thankful that Fisher is going to have a brother like Harrison...what a lucky kid.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This has been a super-fun thanksgiving celebration for our little family. I've been reminded over and over again how thankful I am for my AMAZING husband, sweet boy, and this bundle of craziness growing in my belly. I'm also super-thankful for maternity pants while eating a thanksgiving meal. We kicked off the celebration last Tuesday at Harrison's school with a parade of pilgrims and Indians (or turkeys in my son's case) and a thanksgiving feast for the kiddos afterwards. Harrison loved the hat they made him wear....loved it so much that it has made a trip to Wal-Mart, Piggly Wiggly, the trash dump, and Chick-fil-A for the past couple of days. Pretty much, 75% of the time that H has been awake, this turkey has been on his head. I'm currently plotting its demise right now.
Adam and I also hosted our first Thanksgiving at our house, which was a lot of fun (tiring) and much-less stressful than I anticipated. I made Adam promise me to take the whole time off of work and help us decorate for Christmas, and set-up the baby's nursery starting the day after thanksgiving...and so we did. Well, mainly Adam did it. I'm a little to big to even string lights on a tree. My husband is truly a saint, and even when I think that I would throw in the towel in dealing with me, he just continues to serve me with a smile. I have no idea how he does it, but I'm sure glad he does. Sadly, I neglected to take pictures on Thanksgiving or of us trimming the tree.
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Festival of Lights

Puff and Karl took all three of us on a date last weekend to the Festival of Lights on James Island. This is the first time that I have been probably since my sophomore year in college. And it was 100 times better than I remember. Don't get me wrong...it was fabulous when we loaded as many people as we could get into one car, but I don't ever remember stopping to get out at Santa's village. There was so much to do there. We road on a train, I ate a funnel cake (which I am sure God created especially for me), and roasted smores. It really was so much fun (and cheap) and I can't wait to do it again. Harrison loved it and I'm thinking that if we can get to Charleston again, we may do it again.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Avoiding Middle-Child/Second-Child Syndrome

When you have your first child, everything is new and exciting. And the same goes with your pregnancy. Although every pregnancy is different, your second time around, it kind of loses it luster. Maybe that isn't the case for everyone and it is a bad generalization, but that has been my experience. With Harrison, I had the nursery painted and set-up, ready to go three months ahead of his arrival. Now, I haven't even thought about it...except that Fisher gets what Harrison had as that makes the most sense. I also did an elective 29 week ultrasound with 3D/4D images so I could see sweet Harrison's face again. Now, I'm rounding the corner to 33 weeks and I've passed the time where you can really see them (as they get too big soon). Don't get me wrong, I really want to see this little fella in my belly, but I just can't justify spending the money on it or a new nursery, new clothes, and as my previous post suggested, the time for a blog. I have to constantly remind myself that this is the last time we are going to do this. About 15 times a day, I remark to Adam, "Oh my gosh, did you see my belly? He must be doing flips...come feel it." And lo and behold, Adam can almost never feel it. The other night I had to say to him, "This is the last time I'm going to be pregnant. You have to come feel this. We won't get to do this again." And this is a new experience for me since I hardly ever felt Harrison move while Baby Fisher seems to be brushing up on his acrobatics about every 30 minutes.
So, it's easy to see how kids get a middle-child syndrome (or 2nd child syndrome, in our case) complex. I'm starting to give Fisher the short end of the stick and he hasn't made his debut into the world yet. I'm sure there are a lot of naysayers out there who think that it doesn't exist. Maybe you know of an isolated case, but for the most part, it does exist. Ask some middle children. I'm not one. I was the baby...the preferred in the pecking order. It almost seemed like I was an only child at times as my sister and brother were 5 and 7 years older than me. So, I'm not complaining as a middle child; I'm just making observations.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

New Blog Name Suggestions

Okay, so I'm at that point in my pregnancy when I feel overwhelmed/exhausted all of the time. I think the holidays are making it a little bit more intense, but I'm okay with that. I love Christmas more than words can explain. When everyone else grumbles about Christmas decorations and music after Halloween, I just get really happy.
So, one thing that is on my to do list before the New Year, is to come up with a new blog name. After all, we won't really just be meeting Harrison Brantley. I've actually toyed with the idea of discontinuing the blog about my kids as it does take a little bit of time to do. However, after Year 1 of H's life, Adam had my blog turned into a book and it is literally the best baby book ever. We also have Year 2 done. And I love them. I love looking back at them. So, my desire to quit is squashed by the idea of documenting my kids' lives. I hope I can do it as long for Fisher as I have done for Harrison, but I just don't know. Anyway, so I'm seeking some creative input to document my boys lives. The only thing that comes to mind is The Brantley Boys...but that is just not cranking my tractor, if you will.
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Saturday, November 6, 2010


I love traditions. I respect them and the value they hold to people. In the craziness of the holiday season, I feel like traditions are something I want to grasp hold of tightly. When you get married, it is interesting to see how traditions from both the husband and wife's family make it into the new marriage. Some have to fall by the side. And when you have kids, it is a peculiar feeling to me that we feel the need to start new traditions or even highlight ones that you grew up with. On a later post, I'll mention more about Christmas. I do know that in the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, I want Harrison to always be a part of "giving back" to someone or something. When our kids are older, I'm thinking that we are going to volunteer at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. I've always heard of families doing that, and I've thought it is so cool. Anyway, I decided that each year, Harrison and I are going to do an Operation Christmas Child box for another child his same age/gender. I thought it would be fun for him to get to pick out toys for someone that isn't as fortunate as we are. And secretly, I thought it would also be a good idea for him to see someone else getting toys other than him. So, we went to Wal-Mart to fill up our box. On the way there I explained what we were doing, "Harrison, we are going to buy some toys for a little boy doesn't have as much as you do." And then I asked him what he wanted to get and he mentioned mostly dump trucks. When we arrived at Wal-Mart, we had to return something first and the ladies at Customer Service asked Harrison what he was shopping for at Wal-Mart. He immediately replied, "toys." Right or wrong, I was embarrassed because I didn't want them to think I was just spoiling my child with toys. So, I inserted, "we are getting toys for a boy that is less fortunate, right Harrison?" And he said, "Uh-huh...toys for baby Fisher." What? How did he interpret a boy that doesn't have as much as he does as Baby Fisher? I explained to the ladies who Fisher is and that we were NOT buying him gifts. They got a good laugh out of it...as did I. However, I'm a little concerned about Harrison's current perceptions of Fisher.
While actually shopping for the toys, Harrison did not really like the idea of giving the toys away. Even though he is such a sweetheart, it was a great picture for me of our own selfish hearts. The idea of giving up something for yourself is great, but when it actually comes down to doing it, the act is much harder. Now that we have done it and turned it in, Harrison is really glad he did it...I think. So, there you have it...one of our new traditions.
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A Few More Pictures From Our Trip...

Here are a few more pictures from Bluffton. We went to visit another jewel of the lowcountry, Spring Island, where Harrison got to visit with horses, touch a snake (not my favorite part), and play in another tree house. These little resorts in the Bluffton area have done it right with their tree houses. When we arrived at the stables, the lady who was managing it said we were welcome to look around, but not to run around too much and make lots of loud noises (as to not startle the horses). Well, that is next to impossible with Harrison...as you can see, he was all over the place.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Palmetto Bluff

H and Adam on a trolley parked in the town square area
Harrison standing on ruins from the original house...and saying "cheese" as loudly as he can
Again, a little too much enthusiasm saying "cheese" in such a quiet environment
Bubba & Boo on the Palmetto Bluff tree house that Harrison wants his dad to build in our backyard
The zip line outside of the tree house

While on our trip to Bluffton, we made a special outing to Palmetto Bluff. Let me tell you, if you haven't been there yet, pick a weekend to stay there (save some money) and go on a trip there with your honey. I'm currently trying to get my husband to take me there. This place is beautiful and super-peaceful (until Harrison arrived). I don't know if they have filmed movies here, but they should. This place really is incredible. While it was loads of fun for H, I might would leave the kiddos at home for the Palmetto Bluff vacation. Hopefully in the near future, I can report on the status of their Spa.

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