The Love of a Child


From the moment they are placed in your arms on their very first day of life, you have that sense of closeness. It’s not something you can really explain, but somehow, even in their ignorance, you feel their need for safety, to feel you close by. In a small way, it is how they are saying “I love you” before they are every really able to. But as the days roll into months and then years and their vocabulary goes through the roof, that first time they utter those three beautiful words, your heart will melt all over again. 

I am not ashamed to say that hearing my daughter tell me, “I love you daddy” brought a very hazy, wet glaze to my eyes. You love them so much, unconditionally, from the very first moments, but to hear the reciprocation, makes you want to love them all the more. 

Rollin In Style!!!

Yesterday I posted a letter to Harvie about her Attention to Detail and I shared a photo of her trip to the grocery store in her cute outfit. Since then I have discovered even more photos and videos that my wife had that I was unaware of. So for your enjoyment, here they are.  

  This drink was not as good as she made it out to be.

  

 This grocery cart was actually Harvie’s first Christmas gift this past year from her future uncle JonBoy. He gave it to her early because he was shipped out for Marine Boot Camp at the beginning of December. If you are the praying type, keep him in your prayers.

 
 She was really strutting her stuff that day. I can’t believe how big she is getting!

 

Daddy & Harvie Photo Op

I love spending time with my little angel, and from the looks of it she enjoys spending time with me as well. These were so cute, I just had to share! If you would like to make your own photo collage like this one, with special effects, head on over to PicMonkey. It is a great site!

Daddy's Little Angel

Blogging 101: Who am I, and why I’m here?

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

I’m a Husband, a Father, a Christian, a Cook, a Graphic Designer, and now I’m trying to become a blogger. As to why I’m here, I haven’t really decided that myself yet. I guess the real reason why I created my blog was because I wanted to write down the memories that I have with my daughter, who is almost six months old, so that I can share them with her later. Most of the time, I try to write my blogs as if I were talking directly to her, except for entries that wouldn’t really apply. In a way, this is a milestone book.

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

As I have started publishing posts, it has become more and more of my thoughts and experiences as a new parent. A way for me to share with the world my thoughts and feelings. I do it publicly because I want to contribute in some way to someone else. Perhaps even to my own children when they reach my age. If there is something that I have learned a long this parental path that can be of some use to someone else, then I will feel as if I have given back in some small way. Most likely, however, this will be a resource for myself, so that when I  have my second, or even third child, I will avoid making the same mistakes.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Currently I have several categories I am writing in.

  • 52 Reasons Why I Love Your Mom
    • I want my daughter to know the importance of loving your life partner. These are weekly posts, that I publish on Fridays (or attempting to, as I’m still working out the kinks in my calendar) that are small blurbs about why I love my wife. You can find them under the Husband Category in the menu at the bottom of the page.
  • Letters to Harvie
    • These entries, which a lot of the time include videos and pictures, are written as needed and are milestones as well as thoughts that I want to share with my daughter, as the time is quickly passing me by. This are generally written as informal letters. To Harvie, from Dad.
  • Words of Wisdom
    • These are also informal letters to Harvie, but are specifically an important piece of advice I want to share with my daughter. I haven’t set a schedule for these yet but I would like to write one once a week, perhaps on a Tuesday.

Anything that isn’t in these three categories, are more general posts and would fall under the best suited category such as husband, father, blogger, cook, etc. As far as anything else I write on my blog, it is still very much up in the air. I am hoping this course will help me gain some clarity as to what else I would like to try to do.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

I have been using the WordPress reader, along with tags, in an attempt to connect with other new fathers, as well as experienced ones, to gain some insight, and/or inspiration. Along the way, I have found mothers, christians, cooks, among other bloggers who I have also come to love.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

The only goal, as of now, that I would like to have accomplished throughout this year, is to establish a small blogging family that shares their thoughts, opinions, feelings, experiences, etc. I have another goal that has started to form, but I haven’t completely fleshed it out yet. If this blog is successful, another goal I may want to attempt is to create individual blogs for my other children so that I can personalize each and every one. Like I said I haven’t had a whole lot of time to give this much thought.

Hopefully this has been informative. I hope to see you out their soon. Be sure to like and leave your thoughts and comments below. If you have any suggestions of things you would like to write about, feel free to let me know. Otherwise follow me and watch my wonderful baby girl grow.

 

They said it gets easier.. They Lied

Dear Harvie,

This statement is so true. Mother’s are wonderful beings. Full of patience, compassion, endurance, and most of all love!

Sweet Baby & Mama

I don’t think it gets easier. I think that we just adapt. We adapt to the sleepless nights, the nonexistence of silence, we adapt to our messy lifestyles and our loss of freedom. I do love my sweet baby and i love being a mother. But i know it wont get easier. Even though she takes all my time, money and existence. She is the best thing that ever happened to me. day by day i fall in love with this little creature!

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Changing Stations & Gawking Onlookers

Daddy Rant

Do you know how hard it is to find a changing station, especially in a mens bathroom? Well if you are a father like me, who wants to play the active daddy role, then you know what I’m talking about. It is so aggravating to be lugging a poopy baby in one arm, and a diaper bag in another, while hunting down that which does not exist. What do men do when they are alone with their baby.

Changing Station A rare commodity for men to find.

And as frustrating as that is, when you actually do find a changing station in the mens bathroom, such as the one that is in my local Wal-Mart, they put it out in the open instead of in a private stall. The last time I took my daughter in there to be changed, it was like being in downtown Chicago during rush hour. There were those that were taking care of business, while others were simply parked in the intersection waiting for their turn.

Guys just because you are waiting for an empty urinal, doesn’t give you the right to gawk at my daughter while I’m taking off her clothes. She is a baby for gosh sakes. Mind your own business, and focus on yourself.

End Rant!

New Favorite iPhone App: TwoDots

Once again, I was browsing facebook on my iPhone, while I was trying to get my little baby girl to sleep, and ran across another cool thing. TwoDots. The Best thing since Tetris. I literally sat and played this thing for like an hour just now and won like 16 levels in a row. I have always loved puzzle games and this one definitely fits the bill. I found my new addiction. All you do is simply connect the dots in any way you can, aside from going on angles. And if you complete a square you clear all that colors dots from the screen. Like any game, with each passing level the challenges get a little harder. If you haven’t heard of it check it out. Let me know what you think below.

Late Nights

Another late night with the baby. She never seems to want to go to sleep. I have to fight tooth and nail to get her down, and even then I have to constantly have white noise, music, and a rocking motion in order to maintain that slumber.

I guess I should enjoy these nights, because one day in the not so far future I will be up all night again. Only this time, alone and wondering where the heck she is, who she is with, and when she will be home.

What am I saying? My beautiful angel would never do that to me. Well good night all. Time for some much needed shut eye.

Pregnancy Stressors – Men’s Edition

Pregnancy can be a really scary thing, especially for first time fathers. Frankly, the thought of my wife pooping out a baby, terrified me. Not to mention that I would have to participate. The unknowing just gave me the heebie jeebies. So for all those expecting fathers out there who are really freaking out right about now, here was a couple of things that helped me.

Communicate With Your Partner
Tell your girl how you feel. I remember I was afraid of telling my wife, because I didn’t want to stress her out, or making her feel like her problems were less important than my own. After all she was the one going through all the major changes. In the end, however, I discovered we shared this fear, and knowing you aren’t alone helps make you stronger.

Don’t Watch Birthing Shows
I don’t know why my wife took up such an interested in birthing shows during the pregnancy. Perhaps it was a way for her to be able to relate to others that have gone before. Or maybe it was because she wanted to know what to expect in the upcoming months.

One of her favorite shows was A Baby Story, which aired on TLC. She would watch it constantly. And many times she wanted me to join her. Man, let me tell you, I tried, but to me, it was like watching those horror movies where the music alone has you on the edge of your seat waiting for something to jump out at you.  I mean come on, it was on TLC, so of course there had to be as much drama in the show as they could cram in. So every episode, had its major complications with the birth, and watching only freaked me out further than what I was. I didn’t want to know all the things that could go wrong. Let me deal with that when that moment comes, not before!

Educate Yourself As Much As Possible
With the above being said, what I don’t mean is go into the labor and delivery room not knowing anything. That would be crazy. Take these long drawn out months of pregnancy to learn a thing or two. I remember right after my wife and I found out she was pregnant we started attending some birthing classes. We figured, why wait, the more you know, the better educated decisions you will make.

You should also do your own research online. Birthing comes with a lot of options, and sooner or later your wife is going to come to you for your opinion about a lot of things, such as circumcision, breastfeeding or formula, natural or epidural, etc, etc. The farther ahead in the game you are, the less you will feel bombarded when all these things are thrown at your face.

Another good thing you will discover by researching and taking classes, is a lot of options that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. After attending our first birthing class on SIDS, I discovered our community also had a father-to-be support group, in which expecting fathers would get together, hang out, grab a beer, shoot some hoops, and be each others support system. I was really excited about this myself, but unfortunately was not able to participate in it, due to the fact that we had to move shortly after this class, and was no longer in an area that offered it.

Pamper Your Partner
Make sure to spend as much time with your wife as you can. Give her a massage. Bring her food. Do anything she asks, no matter how crazy it sounds. By doing this, you are helping to alleviate some of her own worries, by being supportive. This is good, because a lot of times we feed off the stress of others. So the happier she is the less stressed you will be.

Plan In Advance
The more you plan the less you have to worry about. This topic is a broader one. It doesn’t just mean have the hospital bag packed and in your trunk at all times. It also means spend some time with you partner discussing things, such as your birth plan, or finishing your early registration.

Another big one, is knowing what sort of things she expects from you during labor, and also what sort of things she will find annoying, so you know what to avoid. These are always a good thing to know before you get to the hospital and will make for a lot less yelling and gnashing of teeth.

Practice
If you attend birthing classes like my wife and I did, you will learn a lot of techniques that you can utilize during the long hours at the hospital, some of them are fairly easy, while others are more effective, but require a lot more finesse. Practicing these techniques at home will not only give you a good sense of what it will be like during labor, but also will give you an opportunity to help relax the mother-to-be. And like I said before, the happier she is the less stressed you will be.

I am sure there are other things out there that you can find on the web, that can help relieve some of your own pregnancy stressors . If you run across any, or have some of your own from personal experience, leave me a comment below and tell me about it. I would love to hear from you.

Encouraging Legacy

Wedding Photo
Life is so precious, If we don’t make the most of the short time we have, we will always regret it for the rest of our lives. Today I was reading a wonderful blog about a mother with cancer who still stays encouraged and tries to encourage others even though things are not always the best for herself. It reminded me of my grandmother who passed away from cancer back in October of 2012 only a few months after my wife and I were married.

She use to handwrite personal letters of encouragement to me all the time while I was away at school. Most of the time just to let me know that she hadn’t forgotten about me and was praying for me everyday. I regret not calling her more often, or writing a simple note back in reply. I did on occasion, but not nearly as much as I should have. Gosh, I miss those letters. Ever last one of them has been carefully stored away to be read again when discouraging thoughts start to creep in.

Like this blog mother, she too made it her personal objective to encourage others. The thing that was most important to her, was her family. She would do anything for them. She supported their dreams, their aspirations. She was always excited about every little thing that they tried to accomplish. Even though most of the time she was hurting and tired, once we walked through her doors, Her tears and frowns were stuffed in the back of the closet and her Sunday best would come out.

One afternoon, at the hospital, shortly after she discovered she had cancer, my wife and I were visiting her along with most of my side of the family. We were talking about how we hoped there would be the small pitter patter of feet in the near future. I don’t even know how the subject came up. At some point, one of them asked what we would name them if we had a little girl. We had been tossing several names around, none of which were completely serious because at that point in time, we weren’t really trying. Both of us were still in college and we were wanting to wait until we graduated. My wife and I, being the sentimental couple that we are, had decided we really liked the name Harvie Sue. Partly because my wife has always liked her grandpa’s name, Harvey, and partly as a joke because everybody else in my family never really cared for my grandma’s name, Sue, especially my grandma.

“A girl name Harvey Sue?” they all said, jokingly. We all laughed and the conversation continued and was total forgotten about. A week or so later the doctors informed us that they were going to perform an invasive surgery that would tell them the extent of the cancer. And because of my grandmother’s age, they told us that it might be a good idea to say our goodbyes, beforehand. So each individual family, with tears in their eyes, went in beside her bed. I’m not sure exactly what she said to each of them but, I didn’t have too. The look in her eyes showed that she had once again put on her Sunday best, and encouraging words would soon follow.

When my wife and I went in, she looked at us with a smile on her face, and before we could say a word she said, “You know, I was thinking about that baby girl’s name. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. Don’t worry about what the others think. I would be honored to have a little one named after me.”

She came through her surgery without any complications and was with us for almost four more months, but that conversation was one of the last few I remember about her. After she was gone, both me and my wife decided that when we did finally have kids, if the first one was a baby girl, her name would be Harvie Sue. And in 2014 at 1:17am on April Fools Day, our little Harvie came into this world. And everyday when I look into my daughters eyes I’m reminded of my grandma and the legacy of encouragement she left behind.

If there has been someone in your life who has always been a source of encouragement, tell me about it in the comments below. And if they are still around and still encouraging you, give them a call, write them a letter, tell them exactly how much they mean to you.