Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Harper hits 8 months!

Our little buddy has been doing so great. His personality just shines through and he is becoming more and more active every day. Leading up to his 8 month milestone he really developed a great taste for all foods - minus peaches for some strange reason. He loves green beans, bananas, chicken, turkey, blueberries, squash, pumpkin - the list goes on and on - again, except for those peaches. Maybe someday he'll change his mind. Though if there is a food he isn't going to like, I'll take peaches over anything green any day! :) 

On the mobility front he's just a total rolly polly! He isn't crawling yet - those arms and legs need to grow just a little bit - but he sure knows how to get from point A to point B by rolling his way there! It's pretty funny and you definitely can't let him out of your sight - who knows where he'll roll to! 

He is very engaging and lets you know what he's feeling - there's no doubt about that. If you aren't paying attention to him - he'll let you know. If he's hungry and you're taking too long to get him another bite of food - he'll let you know. If he's soooooo happy to see you in the morning - he'll let you know. It's great watching him learn to communicate, and even though he isn't using real words yet, he definitely gets his point across. The best is watching him interact with Adam - if he can get Adam laughing at something he is doing you'd think he'd won the lottery. Those sweet boys are already the best brothers ever. 

There isn't a check-up at 8 months, but he did see a pulmonologist a few days after the 8 month mark just to check on some wheezing that he has - it's nothing to worry about they said but we did get a nebulizer to have on hand if he is ever sick and the wheezing gets worse. At that visit he weighed in at almost 19 pounds. Big, happy, healthy, chunky 8 month old! 

Happy 8 months you gorgeous blue eyed, blonde haired angel you! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

March for Babies...

It wasn't long after Harper was born that I got a thank you card in the mail from a good friend of mine whose daughter has type 1 diabetes - he was thanking me for donating to their walk to raise awareness and money to find a cure for that terrible disease and at the end of the thank you note he wrote "let us know when it's time to raise money for the March of Dimes." While we had already met the March of Dimes rep in the NICU we had yet to really feel and experience all that they would do and continue to do for us through Harper's journey. So of course when it was time to start raising money for them - that's exactly what we did. 

Team Harper Gribbs had all kinds of support from friends, colleagues, old colleagues, friends of friends (some of whom I don't even know, wow!) and of course family. We raised over $5,000 and were one of the top family teams for the Northern VA march. It was quite overwhelming to see so many people taking an interest and lending their support. 

We felt first hand the great work that this organization does and we know Harper is healthy and thriving in part because of the research they have supported. We also can never forget the ways in which they supported us as a family during Harper’s 60 day stay in the NICU. Everything from goodie bags to a recordable story book that Adam could read and record so Harper could hear his brother’s voice before he was able to visit and even a baby shower that they threw for other moms and me which was a fun and necessary distraction from the reality we were all facing. Being able to begin to give back is such a privilege and I'll look forward to continuing to support this group for years to come. 

We were lucky to have the Harpers come up from Myrtle Beach for the weekend. We also had friends and family all set to march with us as well. We even got Team Harper Gribbs shirts made thanks to a colleague's wife who donated them to us. 

Sadly the day of the march the weather was pretty crummy. Lots and lots of rain was falling but that didn't stop (some of) us from still marching. They shortened the walk as a result of the bad weather, which was good news for Adam who wasn't exactly looking forward to the 4 miles it was originally going to be. They still had a big gathering of folks before the march and we happily saw some of the doctors and nurses that took such good care of Harper - including nurse Jenny, one of our favorites from Fairfax and Dr. Baker - our hero at Fairfax who was so kind and reassuring, spending quiet time with us answering questions we hadn't even asked yet he knew we were looking for the answers anyhow and Dr. Silk who was the first neonatologist we met when we got word that we would be delivering Harper - he was also Harper's main doctor at Fair Oaks. 

After the march we dried off and headed home for a little celebration we hosted in honor of our super hero - Harper. We felt this was a great opportunity to say Thank You to those who supported us through these past 8 months - and really, a good excuse to buy a big yummy cake from Wegmans! I put up a photo collage of Harper's journey and some of the art work that Adam had made for him that used to hang on the walls in the NICU. I've yet to take it down.

Even with the rain this weekend was one of the brightest we've had since Harper was born - surrounded by friends and family celebrating life and most of all, celebrating a little boy who brings big smiles and light to everyone he meets. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Adam's Garden...

Adam has been asking us to put in a garden for him since they started their garden at school a few weeks back. Don't let him fool you - it's not because he has some crazy desire to grow his own vegetables to eat - no, he wants this so he can set up a farmer's market on our driveway to sell said vegetables. Ah Adam - our little businessman! 

With some advice from Poppy on the best veggies to plant for a novice gardener and budding businessman, Adam & Andy got to work building garden boxes and planting their crop. On the docket were tomatoes, radishes (random, but Poppy said they'd be ready to harvest in about a month - we're looking for some quick victories here), carrots, cucumbers, & sunflowers (that last one was a surprise for me as Adam knows how much I love having sunflowers in the house.) 

We're looking forward to watching the garden grow - and hopefully in a month Adam will have his first crop to sell - he says he's hoping for $10 per vegetable - so we may need to work on his business plan - regardless I like his gumption! 

Stay tuned... 

Baseball - Finally!

What a baseball season this has been - rain has kept the players off the fields for far too many practices and games, but a few weeks ago we did get one game in - and our Nationals proved they've been learning a lot about the game and put forth a great effort against the Braves. 

Harper was the cutest cheerleader of them all - and I think Adam benefited as he had some awesome at bats and did some decent fielding as well. 

There's still much for these Rookie League kiddos to learn - but they are doing the best they can with the wet weather we've had. Hopefully this weekend we'll get in a few more games - though rain is yet again in the forecast. 

Let's go Nats! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

An American Girl Birthday for Olivia...

I'm so lucky to have an adorable niece who I can re-live the girly parts of my childhood through. For her 6th birthday I got to do that in spades as we surprised her with a trip to the American Girl Store for lunch and a wee bit of a shopping. :) 

I couldn't resist bringing my American Girl, Kirsten, along for the ride and Olivia had her Bitty Baby, Wendy, with her. Sure I may be 33, but that day I was 8 again - and that was ok. 

It really is an awesome experience - they have thought of all the details, including cute hair ties that serve as napkin rings but that you can take home with you - high chairs for your dolls and tiny cups and saucers so they can dine alongside you - cocktails on the menu for the moms (aunties & grandmas) and of course chocolate milk for the kiddos - doll holders in the bathrooms - and of course a store filled with every imaginable outfit, accessory, book, video, doll, etc. that any girl would love to have! 

We had so much fun shopping with Olivia and letting her pick out some new clothes and accessories for Wendy. I'd say Olivia left there quite happy with all her big red bags! 

After the American Girl Store we let the boys in on the celebration with cake, ice cream and more presents back at their house. 

A perfect celebration for a perfect little girl! Happy birthday Olivia! XO