Friday, February 27, 2015

An update on our lives

I thought maybe I'd share a picture-less update on where we're at right now with life. My 3 year contract is up in May. I really can not believe we've almost been here that long. Over the last 6 months or more we've been all over the map of what our plans were. From moving to a camper to buying a house here to moving to Utah immediately to whatever. I alluded a couple times of some job searching in the last few months. We had a couple interviews in Utah over Christmas and I had that interview in Vegas last month. I actually got offered all of them. We turned down the two Utah ones - we've still just got too much loans to feel like we can take that much of a pay cut. Vegas was very promising. It seemed like a great job and we were loving the idea of moving to Vegas for a lot of different reasons. We had all but said yes to them and were thinking of moving in the summer after Tanner hit his 3 year mark. But then my boss and the CEO of the hospital said they'd make it worth it to me to stay. We just lost one of our good, big time ER docs who covered almost half of the month. That hurts. And the other PA that worked kind of "opposite" me has her last day in a couple of weeks. It's not a good time to be losing people. Luckily they like me and were willing to match the Vegas offer. We just can't say no to that. Tanner has a great job here and he loves it and I really like my job too. My schedule is gonna be a little different. We are gonna try and have me work almost the full first two weeks of the month and then pretty much off the last half. I'll get to work with two doctors I really like and trust and who know what they are doing, instead of a slew of random, non ER docs from who knows where that don't know the computer system or don't work very fast, etc. So that part is good. And I'll only be doing 10 hour shifts those first two weeks and then maybe pick up a couple more 12 hr shifts. We'll see how that goes over the next few months. 
Bad parts of staying are we don't love the trailer and Williston really just isn't where I want to raise my family and build roots. But we feel like if we can sacrifice and stay up here 2-3 more years, we will be completely out of debt with a great nest egg. It just will be better for the long run and our futures, etc. And with oil prices dropping and a lot of people in the oil field losing their jobs, we feel very blessed to both have very stable jobs, despite what happens to the price of oil. 
There are sometimes I get really sad about thinking about staying here longer. I miss so much about home and being by family and I feel sad our families miss out on so much of Harvey.  Then I wonder if the great money is worth it. But then really I think this place has been such a great blessing to us for becoming  free of debt. And it's not forever. And we really don't hate it here. So. That's where we are at. Here. In Williston for another short little stint and hopefully we don't go crazy in our trailer :) Haha. Good news is our drug dealing, gun stealing, miserable neighbors are gone for good!  It is really nice to not be constantly stressing, wondering, trying to decide what the heck we are going to do. We've got our plan and we really do feel pretty good about it. Soooo - if people need to visit anywhere around here - Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, International Peace Gardens, etc etc - do so in the next couple years - we'll meet you there!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Birthday Party vs. Valentine's Day

I'll just come right out and say what the winner was. Definitely birthday party. I don't think Tanner or I are big V-day people, and since that day was just about the only one that would work for a party, we had very little pink and hearts about the place. We didn't really have that many decorations at all. A banner and some blue and green balloons, which we discovered Harvey was TERRIFIED of. Like shrieking, crying, I'm about to die kind of scared. Oops. Sorry bud. It did get better through the day as all the kids were playing with them and him and eventually he got over it and now is still kind of playing with the remnants. Whew. That was a close call.
 I made homemade bread that morning and we had a sandwich bar. It turned out awesome I think. Tanner upped the ante a bit by suggesting we buy fancy honey's and cool honey comb's to dispense. It was a great idea!
 (My pictures of the whole day were less than desirable...oh was chaotic in a GOOD way!) So yeah, we had like 5 different types of flavored honey, 2 kinds of jam, crunchy and creamy pb, and nutella and banana's. Then a bunch of fruit, chip assortments and juice and water for drinking. Yum! And then I made sugar cookies and chocolate cupcakes for dessert. Food was a big success I thought. And we had a good turn out. We were going to do it a few different places but in the end just tried to make it work at our house. We would have invited a few more friends but we were already about to maximum occupancy in our little trailer. I think including kids we had about 25 people at one time. And close to 15 kids. That's a lot in a small space! But it was so fun!

Trying all the flavors!
The party spilled into Harv's room and the living room. We did presents really informally. He got some cool trucks from the babysitters family. A V-tech toy and baseball bat/tee from the Mabeus'. Some duplo leggo's from the McBrides some fun personalized trinkets and treats from all the McMillan kiddos (so sweet) and puzzles from the LaPierre's. Very very nice! (Oh - and his package from Mimi and Papa and grandma Elaine came last week too...awesome alphabet magnets, some construction bath toys and some books. Elaine sent a super cute baseball outfit!)
Christine Higgs and her 3 kids, Riley, Braylen and Camden

4 of 5 of the McMillan kids and Wyatt LaPierre (in the hat)

Camden, one of the babysitter's kids,LOVES him!!
Then it was cake time. He was super stoked on getting back in his high chair so it was a rough start...enjoy the progression...

Then it was ok. And someone gave him a knife (he loves utensils) so then it was just him stabbing it mostly. Here's a couple videos. It wasn't the most exciting cake smash encounter but he was still cute.
And this one is short and especially funny!
Are you caked out yet!? I'm really glad we ended up doing something for his day, even though he doesn't care. It was fun to enjoy a big milestone birthday with people we love, especially since we couldn't be with family.

The end of the day we did get to go on a date. We got a babysitter and went to dinner at Sakura and got some yummy hibachi food. Always entertaining and Tanner and I both caught our flying food on the first try. That part of hibachi always gives me a little anxiety :) Then we went and saw a movie. It was a fun night and maybe one of if not the first real live date we have been on since Harvey was born. That sounds crazy but it really might be true. Happy birthday Harvey and on the side, happy love day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

One year...WHAT!?

What a huge milestone we have made it to as parents. And as a Harvey - although I don't think the significance sunk in as much with him. I have mixed feelings. At times I can't believe that it was just a year ago that we were in the hospital and he was the tiniest thing ever, and other times I can't believe he's only been in our lives one year. I do want time to stand still. This time is SO much fun. But I still get so excited to watch him grow and learn. I look forward to experiencing his future!

I have to kind of combo this blog with his developments of the last month and also plenty of  pics of birthday stuff :)
He is so much better at napping. It feels like we actually have a routine now...after one year. Haha. Sheesh. Sleeping at night is still great and life in this department is finally a stress free zone! Love it. I even think we are about done with nursing. I've been just giving him bottles before naps and nursing him at night. But I work the next few days so I think he's gonna be all bottle soon. And he's taking half whole milk and half breast milk like a champ. I am sad about this but I think I'm also ready. I am pretty tired of pumping. I think if I was home all the time it would be different, but work is crazy busy all the time and it's hard to step away to do that. I am so so grateful though that nursing was easy and successful for me, and that pumping was productive and relatively fast. I was very very blessed in that department. I really loved breastfeeding and I'll miss those moments with my baby who practically is hardly a baby anymore...

Some of his loves are cars, books, swimming, balls, putting lids on things (tupperware or twisting them on and off water he LOVES that). He also loves steering wheels and pens and anything that shakes. His favorite foods right now I'd have to say are dried fruit (blueberries, raisins, figs and dates so far), those freeze dried yogurt bites, bread and pasta. His fruit and veggie eating has not been as stellar as I would like. Tanner introduced him to oreo's recently and he LOVED those!

He has been pretty good with oatmeal and dates

I have gotten him to enjoy some of my green smoothies which makes me really happy. But it's hit and miss. One day he'll pound something and the next day won't touch it. Weird.
I gave him a Popsicle for the first time a few days ago. I'm not sure he thought it was that awesome. Maybe a little too cold?

He's starting to show a lot of interest in his stuffed animals. He has two dogs that we keep in his crib that actually look just like Gus and Rozzi (it was Samson before it was Gus) and he loves the Gus one. He gives all manner of "loves" and hugs. Anything soft he comes up to he lays down on - which I think I made mention of in the Las Vegas blog. It's sweet.

 He's started pointing with one finger and giving a little, short "uuuhh" whine/type sound when he wants something. It actually is pretty effective but it will be nice when he starts using real words. I can't really say he has a word yet. Still the "uh" for uh oh and he says something that sounds like the last part of fish when we are by the fish tank, but that might be about the extent of his vocab right now. He is still very vocal, just like he has been his whole life, but it's his own noises and sounds. Love it though.
He loves climbing on stuff. And we are getting really really close to officially walking. He's taking probably 4-5 steps pretty easily. Today he went a little farther. I don't know when you officially say he's walking but he doesn't stand up on his own and doesn't walk unless it's in between people. We visited Tanner at work yesterday and we were trying to do it between Tanner and I but he kept turning and going to some of Tanner's work friends. It was pretty impressive. He gets REALLY excited about doing it so usually he's really off balance because he starts spazzing out. I need to get a video of it!

Here's some random pics...
He was pretty sick here a couple weeks ago. Usually his colds don't keep him down but he did NOT feel to good with this one. Poor thing. 

Watchin' golf with dad

Sweetest little hands ever
 One of the rare nights he has some issues at night. Dad offered to feed him a bottle. He has interesting holding technique. And great bed head :)

From floor to box to ottomon.
Everyone wants attention.

One of his favorite places to play lately. He was in there for almost an hour just doing whatever the other day. Sweet...until he starts dumping dog food all over the floor.

Our friend's the McBride's have a little Yorkie and Harv loves kennels, big or small. When we went to do his one year old photo shoot he got stuck in it. It was actually pretty funny. I was impressed he even got in there. And he really couldn't move once he was all tucked in.
There's a big Wesleyan church right by our house that did a big addition last year. There's a little playground inside that we had never been to. We went and checked it out recently. He had a pretty good time.

Now for a quick birthday breakdown. My parents send a package that we opened Tuesday morning so they could face time while he opened his presents. He got a couple new cars for his vtech go go smart wheels collection and some new track and also some awesome metal tonka trucks. A dump truck and bulldozer. He was pretty darn excited about those and keeps trying to climb in or on either of them.

We played with them a little more that day, and I imagine we are going to have a LOT more fun with them in the future. Tanner was even looking online yesterday at expanding the collection :)

This morning we did his presents before Tanner went to work. I'd say they were a success. Hopefully they keep him entertained for awhile!

I think I've finally figured out how to get videos to post here. Maybe. There have been a lot so maybe it's a good thing I haven't known till now. I just have to post this one because it's so adorable to me. Hopefully it works.
After presents we all enjoyed some tasty breakfast waffles. (so many pics of Harvey eating - so many cute and funny things happen in that spot!)
He got a toothbrush :) Exciting huh? And some bath toys. And we had a bubble bath for the first time today. We actually had about 3 baths today. He kept draining the water and not wanting to get out. So since it was his birthday and all, I just kept refilling it and letting him play.

We got out of the house and went to the gym. He played all over the playground and was loving it. And he got in his stair stepping workout.

 After dad got back, we went out to eat. He also got a new car seat. He's never been a huge fan of his rear facing one. I'm hoping facing forward will make longer car rides more enjoyable for everyone. He looked so tiny in it! The short ride he seemed to like the view though!

It is so amazing to me how much power such a little thing has to change a person. All my goals and dreams and fears and priorities and efforts and plans have changed and now revolve around this little human. And I wouldn't want it any other way. I mean, I'm still ME, with personal interests and self motivated desires, but I am definitely not the person I was before Harvey. And he motivates me to want to be better in every possible way. Sometimes I'm still not better but I'm so grateful for him and for his daily inspiration :). I love being his mom so much. Happy birthday little buddy. Mom and dad love you like crazy!