Friday, August 26, 2011

A little bit of crying...

My dearest Harper,

I know that you don't understand what today is about.  I know that you think I am not here and that I don't love you.  But I am here.  And I love you more than ever.  But child, we have both got to get more sleep!

Today, you woke up happy as usually.  Smiling, laughing, and so excited to see me.  What a beautiful face to wake up to!  We played and sang songs.  Then, when it was time for your nap, I let you cry.  Don't worry - I was crying with you.  It took 1 1/2 hours but you eventually fell asleep.  We did this three times today and each time I thought it would get easier.  I thought you might cry less.  But it did not.  And seeing you cry without the ability to make you feel better will never get easier.

So tonight, I am not going to rock you to sleep.  I'm not going to be able to stare at your beautiful blue eyes while I see you drift off to sleep.  I am not going to be sleeping with you on my chest in the rocker at 4am.  But I promise this is for your best interest.  I want you to be able to sleep, and sleep well.  My love for you and for your well being, as well as mommy's sanity, has gotten us to this point.

Tonight, we'll feed you your bottle and give you your bath.  Then we'll sit together and read a book with cute pictures and tons of colors for you to look at.  And then I'll sing you a song.  Most likely it will be just half of a song a few times over because I can't remember all the words.  And then I will kiss you all over your precious face and place in you in your crib.  I know you will cry.  You won't understand why I am leaving you.  And it will break my heart all over again.

But when I step outside your door, I will be praying for you.  I will pray that in times when I am not there for you, you'll feel comforted by The Comforter.  That Jesus will speak to your heart and let you know that He is your friend, your Peace, your Love.  And that you will be ok.  You will always be ok when you have Jesus.  Even when I'm not around.

Sweet girl, this is my lifetime prayer for you.  It starts tonight as a prayer for you to get good sleep and grow healthy and big.  It will continue as you go to kindergarten on the first day, turn 16 and drive off for the first time, go away to college, or get married and change your name.  In all of these circumstances, I will be crying and smiling at the same time.  Because even when it breaks my heart, it makes me smile.  And I will know deep down, that when I'm not around you will know that God is.  And you will trust in Him with all your heart because He has never and will never fail you.

I will love you forever and always.
Love, Mommy

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Klusman Family Reunion

We went to visit Carl and Gladys Klusman, my grandparents, last weekend.  I absolutely adore my grandparents.  They are still in love after 65 years, still have a sense of humor, and they love their family with everything they have.  They are getting older and my fear was that my little girl would never get to know the love of these two people like I had.  But when we walked in the door, it was all Grandma could do not to grab her out of my arms.  She was just as ready to meet Harper!  My Grandma is one of those wonderful, All-American Grandmas.  She always has homemade cookies made, pictures to show, and a game to play.  I remember so many things about growing up with them that I can't wait to pass on to Harper.

We left at 5am on Friday morning, somewhat dreading the 8 hour drive.  But God is good, and Harper slept the whole way there!  We got to Kansas in the afternoon and spent the evening hanging out with my grandparents and Aunt Pat and Uncle Don.

Us with Grandma and Grandpa

Aunt Pat and Uncle Don

My sister Kristen, her husband Brian, and their little boy Grayson also met us there.  They are smarter and flew to Kansas.  Sadly, Grayson got sick on the way from the airport to our grandparents house.  However, we had their suitcase in our car driving up.  So Gray had to run naked for awhile.

My parents were not able to go with us because they had some visitors coming to town.  So they sent my sisters, Taylor and Carleigh, with us.  What help!  It was nice to have people to keep Harper happy in the car and help with the babies while we were there.

Saturday morning was fun.  We all hung around the house and watched the babies.  Grayson is so fun in the mornings.  He eats a big breakfast, watches cartoons, and plays for hours with toys.  He is constantly making some kind of noise too.  And he's such a boy compared to little Harper.  It's fun to see all the little things that go on in people's lives when you see them from sun up to sun down.

Grayson and his toys - some of which have been around for over 30 years!

Grayson and Grandpa

Saturday afternoon we went to my Aunt Barb and Uncle Jim's house and a ton of family came to visit.  At any point of the night there were at least 15 or more kids in the pool, ranging in ages from 1 year old to 16 years old.  So crazy!  We had a great time hanging out and visiting with all the cousins and aunts and uncles.

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Jamie
Their 1st son, Cole, was also colicky so they did a great job with Harper!

Grayson and Camden Bausher

Sunday morning was sad because we packed up and headed home.  It was a short visit but so worth getting to see the family.  Next year Harper will be able to do more and it will be so much fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Harper and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad, No Good Night

I got a message from my college roomate, Ana, that some girls from high school were getting together and wanted me to come.  I was SO excited.  It had been so long since I'd seen them.  Plus, a few had gotten married and had babies and I really wanted to meet them.  Here is the story of last night...

Harper was great all day.  Playing, laughing, sleeping, etc.  At 6, I gave her to Cody to feed while I got ready.  She did not take the bottle well, spitting up on him multiple times and crying most of the feeding.  Cody had to change his outfit 2 times before leaving.  After a dose of Colic Calm, we finally got out the door, 15 minutes late due to her crying fit.  As we got on the highway, we realized that our GPS was not finding the address.  Sweet.  I had looked it up and remembered most of the streets and figured we could just find it.  So on to Frisco.  As we were driving, she was sitting all sweet and quiet.  It was the first time she had been in her car seat and actually enjoyed it.  We were so happy!  Fast forward 20 minutes.  We are now lost in Frisco.  I found the first two streets but we could not find the third and were lost, frustrated, and listening to a screaming baby.  She got so worked up that she started choking because she was screaming so hard.  Finally, Cody pulled over and we realized that she had had an explosive blow out.  Awesome.  So we changed her in the car, finding poop in her car seat, all over her clothes, and all over her.  Back on the road, we asked some people where the street is and they say it's not in this neighborhood.  Call my stepmom Kristi to get directions.  It seems we had made a left instead of a right.  Cool.  Turn around and find the house in 3 minutes.  Ok, well we are here and all is well.

We get to Kelli's house and all the girls are there.  We hug, visit, and everyone thinks Harper is so beautiful.  A few girls hold her, even though she is being fussy.  I feel awful, apologizing for her crying and explaining how life has been lately with a fussy newborn.  They all understand, many had colicky babies too.  It's nice to have people how truly know how hard it is.  So we visit, talk, and it's such a great night.  We have been there 1 hour and she seems to be getting hungry again.  Cody feeds her and I eat dinner.  After feeding her, she gets more and more fussy.  We finally retreat to the baby's room and try to calm her down.  She is just not happy.  Fast forward 30 minutes and lots of crying, and we give her another dose of Colic Calm.  We finally just decide to leave because she is just not getting better.  We say goodbye, apologize again, and hope to see them again soon.

I sit in the back knowing that she will be crying most of the way home.  We get 5 minutes into the drive and she is screaming, gagging, and choking again.  We pull over and it seems we have had another blow out.  I pick her up to change her and this time get poop all over me as well.  Cool.  We clean her up and get back on the road.  We get 2 minutes down the road and she is just inconsolable.  We pull over and sit for 10 minutes hoping to rock her to sleep so she will sleep on the way home.  20 minutes later, she is quiet.  Put her in the car seat and she wakes up and screams again.  This is not working.  I tell Cody to just drive and hope that the speed on the highway calms her down.  We get 1 light away from Highway 121 and our light turns red.  Cody, not wanting to stop, turns right.  We then encounter 4 more lights that are all red, and a screaming baby once again.  We finally make it to the highway and it's closed.  That's right.  No entrance due to construction.  Seriously?  So we follow the detour that takes us back to our original spot and circles around to another onramp.  We sit there for about 5 minutes and Harper starts screaming again.  By this time we are beyond frustrated so I take her out of her car seat and rock her while we wait.  And wait.  And wait.  15 minutes later, we decide to follow a group of cars that is turning and going another way.  We drive and just decide to go to the next light and get on there.  We get to the next light, uturn, and realize there isn't an onramp at that light.  We turn around again and go two lights away and finally get on the highway.  We are finally on our way home.  It takes an hour and a half to get from Frisco to Highland Village, a total of 30 miles, 25 of which are high way.

An exciting night, turned awful.  We got home with a screaming baby, a mom covered in poop, and a dad that hadn't gotten a chance to eat dinner that night.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Harper's Summer Activities

Harper is 6 weeks old and getting to be such a big girl!  She was 9 lbs 7 oz and 22 in at her 4 week check up.  So we are guessing she is over 10 lbs by now!  She is definitely not on a diet.  She is getting so big that she is already out of her newborn clothes and she didn't even get to wear most of them.  

She has recently started doing a few new tricks, and they are so cute!!!  She smiles, really big.  She can laugh and coo.  She can follow objects and people with her eyes and focus really well.  And she recently found her thumb when she finally unclenched her fist - who woulda thought?  Some days she sleeps all day, some days she's up all day.  But unless she isn't feeling well, she is a very happy baby.  Sadly, sometimes we can physically hear all the air bubbles in her stomach and we know she doesn't feel good.  It's so sad!  But we can tell that she is slowly getting better and that soon she will be over all this.

4th of July was her first time to meet cousin Grayson.  They are so cute together.  Grayson already loves her very much.  He always wants to look at her and can point to her when you ask "Where's Baby Harper?"  

Kristen and Grayson, Me and Harper

Grayson giving Harper a kiss

Aunt Krissy inspecting Harper.  This was about 1 minute before she pooped really big and astonished the entire family with how loud she can be!

Harper at 2 weeks with Daddy

Harper's first visit with Great Grandma Ruth and Aunt Martha (and Uncle Reed).  They were visiting from Florida and fell in love with her instantly.   Harper was 4 weeks old.

Grayson wanted to hold Harper.  He loves her.

Ok...wait!  Take her back!

We were very worried about Maggie being jealous of Harper when we brought her home from the hospital.  Little did we know that Harper was her baby, not ours.  She is very concerned when Harper cries and is constantly licking her feet to make her feel better.  And when she is really upset, Maggie whines like she is sad too!  

Maggie doing tummy time with Harper.  No matter how often I tell Maggie to get off the blanket, she has to have some body part touching Harper's blanket.

Harper crying because she doesn't like tummy time and Maggie trying to make her feel better.

At 4 weeks, Harper met her Great Grandma - Nana.  Her name is Victoria Elizabeth Hempkins, and it's where Harper gets her middle name.  She is a wonderful woman who loves the Lord and her family.  She is absolutely amazing and we love her.

4 Generations of Hempkins

Nana thought she was perfect!

This is Cody's green blanket that Nana made for him when he was born.  
Now Harper gets to enjoy it.  :)  

The other day, Tim and Tina Lulfs came to visit.  They are family friends that we have known for 18 years.  We all went to church together growing up.  My sister Kristen and I babysat for their two kids, Erin and Andrew, for years.  Erin was just 6 months old when we met and she took her first steps in our house.  She graduated high school this year and is going to college in Alabama.  I still see her as a little girl, but she's all grown up.  She wasn't here that day because she was doing mission work in Haiti, working as a nurse in a clinic down there.  This family is like my second family and it was so good for them to meet Harper.  

Me, Tina with Harper, Tim, Kristen with Grayson

We have now tried 4 different swaddles.  This last one isn't much better.  Harper is just too strong.  She can get out of anything.  And it seems that her crib incline might be a little to steep.  She moves down about 12 inches every night.  Hmmm...

Last, we finally made it to church!  Harper was 4 weeks and it turned out to be a great Sunday.  I guess God knew how badly we missed going because Harper was very well behaved and it was timed perfectly with her feeding.  Plus, she finally got to wear a cute outfit!