Saturday, September 27, 2014

1 Month Old

Little brother has survived his first month at the Edwards' house outside of the womb.  Quite a feat when you consider how much his big brother loooooooves to love him!  I have a feeling these two boys are going to grow to be the best of friends--if, that is, I can continue to keep Harrison from being hugged to death in the meantime.

Harrison is what we affectionately call a 'high-maintenance' baby.  He loves to be held, always wants to be in the room where the action is, and falls asleep best when grasping two of mommy or daddy's fingers with his tiny little hands.  This means that during my maternity leave, mommy is getting in lots of snuggles (but not a lot of laundry is getting done...then again, laundry has never been my strong suit, so now I have an excuse).

We do think our littlest boy is having some struggles with acid reflux--hopefully we can get that straightened out soon.  I've done lots of research (aka--googling) about acid reflux in babies lately and I read that some babies nurse less when affected by reflux because they associate eating with pain, but other babies nurse more to keep the flow going downward.  Harrison falls into the latter category, which is great with me (another excuse not to do the laundry), but gives us a tough choice trying to choose which of his chins we like better!  He's plumping up like a little butterball.  Love it!

We love you buddy--can't wait to get to know you more and watch you grow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Trash Wars

Incredibly, this post has nothing to do with my brand new, precious, adorable, baby.  And I guess that's good considering the title of the post has the words 'trash' and 'wars' in it.  There will be lots and lots and lots of posts about Harrison, but for now I have another story to tell.

We live in a small, quiet subdivision with a home owners association that for all practical purposes simply exists to keep the gate at the front of the neighborhood serviced.  There are occasional meetings for the HOA that no one ever goes to and sometimes signs at the front announcing garage sales, but other than that, for two years (aside from paying dues) we've not heard much from the HOA.

For this reason, we were quite surprised one day in August when we received a citation in our mailbox from the HOA--a $50 fine was being imposed upon us for "failure to properly store our trash cans."

Confused, I called the number on the paper.  The woman on the line explained to me that our HOA has a rule that trash cans must be stored out of view of the street at all times.  We had been fined because our trash cans were neatly stored on the side of our house.  Hmm...

After more discussion with the woman, we came to an agreement that our citation would be revoked since we had received no warning about this rule and since we wanted to file an appeal.  She also let slip that we weren't alone--about 75% of our neighbors had received a similar citation, and about 100% of them were hacked off about it.  I was pretty incensed, too, but I tried to be nice on the phone as I planned the wording for my appeal.

Below is the appeal that I wanted to write.

To whom it may concern:

Are you kidding me?  You don't have anything better to do than to go around checking on the location of people's trash cans?  It's not like we parked them in your front yard--they are on our property, out of the way, and not bothering anyone! 

You know what would be a better use of your time?  How about you fine the people who go dove hunting in the tiny greenbelt directly behind our house, or cite the folks who live right at the front of our neighborhood and have about 4000 different plants in their 200 square foot front yard.  (It does not look good.) 

Maybe there are even projects you could put your time toward that would benefit the neighborhood instead of make everyone mad.  You could host a block party or a recipe swap.  Life could be fun and we could all act neighborly.  But instead you have chosen to become the trash can police.  Well, somebody call the WAH-mbulance because I'm gonna cry about it.  I'm 9 months pregnant and I don't have the strength, energy, or desire to drag my big huge trash can back and forth from the back yard each week.  And as for the suggestion that we stow them in our garage?  Well, once I have my baby's and my toddler's diapers in there sweltering in the Texas heat, what will that stench do for property value?



Of course, I didn't write that appeal.  I wrote a very nicely worded, respectful, responsible appeal and they responded with a big, fat 'no.'  So now there sure is a big trash can full of two stinky boys' diapers in our garage every day, cooking in the heat.  We're basically going to have to fumigate the property before we sell it. 

HOA-1, Edwards-0

Monday, September 8, 2014

An Early Arrival

Well, hello there, my poor and abandoned blog!  I’m going to make an attempt to revive this site, if only to show Mr. Harrison that we took a few baby pictures of him, too.  We don’t want him developing second child syndrome so early!

So without further ado, here is the story of Harrison’s entry into the world, minus a few gory details.

If you’ve been around me at all during this pregnancy, you know that it has not been an easy nine months.  I was nauseated for about 24 weeks of the pregnancy and had no appetite for about 30 weeks.  I had back pain, sciatic nerve pain, acid reflux, and pretty much every other pregnant lady malady known to mankind…all while taking care of a very rambunctious toddler.  Needless to say, I was very ready to be un-pregnant by the time I reached the ninth month.  Harrison was due on September 10th, but all along I had guessed that he might arrive a bit early (I was guessing late August or very early September), but by the end I had started to think that it might be more wishful thinking than premonition.


On the morning of Wednesday, August 27th, I woke up and went to work like any other day.  On Wednesdays I work an early shift, so after finishing at 1 pm I went to pick up Carter from daycare.  As I put him into the carseat I felt the distinct sensation of my water breaking.  After getting Carter buckled in, having a mild panic attack, and changing clothes into my spare outfit that I had with me for such an occasion as this, I headed back to Temple and toward the hospital.  I checked in with Jeffrey by phone to let him know what was going on and he started making arrangements at work.  Thanks to great friends and family, I had babysitters lined up for Carter in only 2 phone calls.  I warned my doctor by text message that I was on the way in (isn’t technology handy?) and arrived at the hospital at around 2:45 pm thinking, “August 27th is the day I get to meet my second son!”  I was 38 weeks exactly.

After a quick exam from my doctor, we were ushered over to the labor and delivery area of the hospital.  At first my contractions were coming very frequently, so we waited a bit to see if true labor would begin on its own.  Sure enough, after about an hour the contractions spaced out and became more rhythmic (and more painful!), and the next time the doctor checked on me she recommended that if I wanted an epidural I should go ahead and get one. 

You don’t have to tell me that kind of thing twice.  I ordered up my epidural and looked forward to a mostly painless delivery.  Little did I know…

I had heard women tell stories of epidurals ‘not taking’ or only working on one side but I figured that it wouldn’t happen to me.  Then it happened to me.  To be fair, there was a significant portion of the time I was in labor when I can say I was totally comfortable, and I’m very thankful for that, however, during the time from 8 cm to 10 cm I went from ‘this pain is tolerable’ to beyond tears, eyes and teeth clenched tightly, involuntary writhing on the bed kind of pain.  At one point I asked the nurse to get the doctor to check me again—surely I was at 10 cm by now, right?  The doctor came in and said, “You’re about nine and a half centimeters.”  I said as nicely as I could through gritted teeth, “You must be mistaken.  Measure again—we need to get this baby out.”  (I’m sure my doctor appreciated my telling her how to do her job.  Oops.)

To the anesthesiologist’s credit, she worked very hard to get me as comfortable as possible during that time, and miraculously managed to get me completely numb just in time for the pushing phase of the delivery.  I’ll need to add her to my Christmas list for that.

It was fairly quiet in the delivery room.  I guess that it was around 10 pm when I started pushing and it seemed that much of the hospital had gone to sleep.  In our delivery room several people with various jobs bustled around but the only sounds were my doctor’s encouragement, my nurse’s soft voice counting to 10 to synchronize my pushing with the contractions, and Jeffrey’s steady reassurance that progress was being made with each push.  This stage of the birthing process has such an otherworldly feeling to it for me.  It is as if it exists outside of time—in a haze of emotional and physical extremes.  Looking back on it now it has a fuzzy, shapeless quality and is almost impossible to describe.  Some may attribute this to hormonal changes and chemical upheaval in the body, and certainly I believe that is true, but also there is a certain reverence in the very air while new life is being brought forth into the world that takes you to another place.

But suddenly a sound broke through the haze and time started ticking again and my memory is sharp and clear as my second child, my Harrison Jeffrey, was born.  At 10:18 pm on August 27th, 2014, Harrison was born.  We laughed a little as the doctor tried to untangle him from the umbilical cord he was wearing wrapped around his chest like a little sash.  We stared wide-eyed as he was placed on my stomach.  Welcome to the world, baby boy.

The rest of the night was a bit of a blur as we got everybody cleaned up and ready to transfer to the post-partum rooms.  Harrison briefly met his grandparents before we all went to sleep. 

What an honor to be a part of your very first day, Harrison.  We love you and we’re so glad you’re our little boy.
Harrison Jeffrey Edwards
August 27, 2014
6 lbs, 15 oz
19.5 inches

Our first family picture with all FOUR!