Friday Five

We missed last week’s post because we were at the beach! We have had a pretty good week over at the Harpe household. Reality hit us hard coming off of vacation, and next week we head to Basecamp, so it was nice to have a normal week back on routine!

Taking Care of Pop:

My mom has been out of town on vacation with my sister and her family, so my dad has been on his own this week! Bryant has enjoyed walking their dogs in the mornings and visiting with Pop in the afternoons! We even ran into Pop out on our evening walk one day… We love living close to my parents and I’m so thankful Bryant gets to spend so much time with them day to day!

Bryant’s Bouncer is linked here: https://amzn.to/2l9uhAP & his Stroller is linked here: https://amzn.to/2l7f6Ij

Baby on the Loose

Bryant is into everything these days. I absolutely love this phase because he’s so curious and full of wonder. He definitely wears me out; I cannot take my eyes off of him for a second! But, it’s still so much fun.

New Foods!

Bryant LOVES to eat. I have really enjoyed letting him try new foods and seeing his reaction! This week we tried watermelon for the first time and I really think he could have eaten half a watermelon on his own. He loved it and kept banging his hands on his highchair for more! Watermelon is B’s favorite fruit, so he was excited that Bryant liked it as much as he does!

Walking, Walking, Walking

It’s been SO hot, but I’ve been trying to make an effort to get outside regardless. It’s good for both of us to get out of the house, and I need the workout! We have been trying to go in the morning before it becomes unbearable outside, but sometimes we just suffer in the evenings. I’m the one doing all the work, so Bryant is really living the dream : )

New Toys!

This week Bryant has gotten a few new things to play with and this is definitely a new favorite! This is really his first toy that makes a lot of noise (much to my dismay), but he LOVES it. There are so many buttons to push and things to look at, so it’s nice to distract him when I’m trying to get anything around the house done. It’s also nice that it is teaching him letters, numbers and colors along the way!

Here’s the link to the walker: https://amzn.to/2l74OYx

Bryant's First Beach Trip

Happy July! We had a busy beginning to our month, starting with a trip to the beach! We hadn’t planned on taking Bryant to the beach until he was a little older, but when Bill’s family invited us on their family vacation, we decided to tag along.

Truth be told, Bryant only spent about an hour on the actual beach… Little guy couldn’t hang much longer than that! But he absolutely loved the water and playing with his daddy!

Bryant is teething, so his moods were a little hit or miss. Along with the long day of traveling, it took him a little while to get adjusted to his new environment. He is usually a happy baby about 90% of the time, but the trip took a toll on his little self! He didn’t sleep great the first night, so the next morning, we let him get a nap while we headed to the beach for a little baby-free time while Bill’s mom stayed with him in the condo.

I wish I had gotten pictures of Bryant in the actual ocean. I stayed back at our chairs so I could give Bill one of Bryant’s “firsts”… He loves to swim in the ocean and I am definitely more of a lay on the beach person, so I thought this would be a special moment for him and his boy!

Bryant loved the water! He was babbling and splashing the whole time. He is definitely going to be a fish once he learns how to swim!

Once he came back over to our spot on the beach, we put him in this bouncer my mom found on Amazon.
I will link it here: Summer Infant Portable Activity Center

He never quite got the hang of the bouncing, but I really liked the seat because it came with a bag so you could carry it easily, and it popped open and closed really easily! He loved all the toys that were attached to it, and I especially like that it had a sun shade! Even under the tent, you can’t be too careful with the sun on the beach. We have even used this in the yard since coming back from the beach, so I definitely recommend it!

After about an hour, we were done. I love this picture so much! It was hot, we were all sweaty and Bryant was ready for a nap.

After we all showered and rested up, it was time for dinner! It was 4th of July and Bryant was definitely the best dressed… as always : )
Sweet boy ate crab legs for the first time and tore them up!

This boy loves his daddy something fierce. He is always smiling when he’s with him. We really enjoyed sitting on the balcony in the mornings just the three of us. Bryant was so sweet just taking the world in. He is so curious and studies every sight and sound… And he loves the pool! He was kicking his feet and splashing the entire time! He loved the little octopus on this float my MIL got for him and I think he could have stayed in there all day!

You can get his float here: SwimWays Baby Float

I love being this boy’s momma! We had so much fun together and I’m thankful for this time away! He is just growing up so fast , and I am trying to soak up every stage. Packing up to head home was bittersweet, but we were all kind of ready to get back to our own beds and routine.
On the way home, we stopped at the outlets, which secretly may have been my favorite part of the whole trip : )

This sweet boy just needed a bottle before we hit the road, and he was out like a light! Look at that grin! He really was a champ on the long drive home. We only stopped twice; once for a bathroom break and diaper change, and then once to grab a late lunch!

Our lunch stop was in Augusta. I asked my friend Bekah for a recommendation since she used to live there, and she pointed us to Tako Sushi. It was Asian-Mexican fusion, and it was to die for! Sushi and Chips & Salsa at the same place? Sign me up!

PS: Find someone who looks at you the way Bryant looks at guacamole.

All in all, it was a fun trip for us and I can’t wait to take Bryant back to the beach!

Random product links for things we used and loved on this trip:

Teething Ring: https://amzn.to/2LJExLg

Baby Sun Hat: https://amzn.to/2XB01RB

Baby Sunscreen: https://amzn.to/2Xv9gxW

Disposable Bibs: https://amzn.to/2LHPcGo

High Chair Cover (similar): https://amzn.to/2JmXwtG

Taggie (The best toy for the car/stroller! Bryant LOVES his!): https://amzn.to/2xFnvWc

Friday Five

This week has been super busy for us but so good!

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Father’s Day Weekend

We didn’t really have any specific plans, which is our favorite! I let B pick what we did since it was his weekend, and since Saturday was such a pretty day, we headed out to Bartrum Forest to go walk with Bryant. The trail was rocky and that really wasn’t fun with the stroller, so we didn’t make it too far.. but it was still a fun little outing for us!

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Swimming

Bryant is a little fish! He loves the water. My aunt and uncle moved to town last summer and got a house with a pool! We love going over to visit and I’m so glad Bryant likes swimming. He was practically jumping out of this float to get in the water!

House Groups: Week 2

On the menu this week was pizza. I tried my best to make it fancy : ) I absolutely love the picture of Bryant right in the middle of all the boys!! He loves having them all here and I’m thankful he has such a good group of guys to look up to!

Cousin Time!

My nephew Mack came to visit for a few days this week and it was so fun! Now that Bryant is more alert and not just a little blob, Mack is a lot more interested in him. I cannot wait to see them grow up together! I have such fond memories of me and my sisters and cousins running around and terrorizing our family, so I hope they have a similar experience!

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7 Months

My baby turned 7 months old this week! He is getting so big and it feels like he changes every day. He is crawling now, and eating real food at all 3 meal times. He hasn’t outright hated any foods, but he especially loves avocado, squash and cantaloupe.

I am so grateful that I get to stay home with him and experience every stage of his life.

He is just so sweet and truly the best baby!

The Thing About You

The thing about parenting is, nothing can prepare you to become a parent. People give you ALL the advice. Advice about pregnancy, advice about birth, advice about babies and advice about children. You read the books and the blogs, you do your best to ask the “right” questions and notice the right things, but, nothing can truly get you ready.

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I remember when we found out we were pregnant like it was yesterday. I knew something was different, so after work, I went to buy a test, and waited for you to get home. I just knew it would be negative. I set a 3 minute timer on my phone and before a minute had even passed, I saw the word… Pregnant.

I ran back to the den and I couldn’t even get the words out. You saw the test and we both started crying. We knew our lives would never, ever be the same.

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For a while, it was just our little secret. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but we made a promise to one another to keep it between us as long as we could.

I remember one night after dinner we went to WalMart and we went down the carseat aisle — strictly out of curiosity — but the whole time we were looking over our shoulders to make sure no one saw us.

It was so hard to keep it a secret, but looking back I’m so thankful for that special time.

The thing about pregnancy, is it goes by so fast — and at the same time, it lasts for 3 years.

But, pregnancy really was so kind to me. I enjoyed every minute. (Until my lips swelled and I looked like I got bad lip injections , but whatever) And you were so good to me, too. Every craving, weird mood, and nesting project - you were there. And with a smile on your face most of the time! You helped me create the perfect nursery for our future son, went to every doctor’s appointment and stood strong with me when everyone in our lives wanted us to find out our baby’s gender : ) You made me feel confident in myself as a mother when I was feeling insecure, and helped me see the meaning during the seemingly mundane moments of pregnancy. It was such a special few months. I really do miss it sometimes!

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I love this picture. Most people don’t know about all the moments that lead up to this. From timing my contractions on the couch, to waking up at 3:00AM when my water broke… To going to get us Bojangle’s on the way to the hospital and yelling at the drive thru lady “We’re going to have a baby!”

… And then came the decision by our midwife to move forward with a c-section. I know how scared you were in this moment. But you stayed strong for me and our boy.

You held my hand through my surgery, and prayed and sang over me during the chaos in the recovery room. I have never felt love like I did in those moments. They were some of the most terrifying moments of my life, but also some of the most meaningful.

The thing about giving birth is, it’s anything but glamorous. I was so sore and drowsy from my surgery, you had to do everything. Every diaper, every bottle, every middle of the night wake up. I knew you were exhausted in every way, and I was helpless to do anything about it. You helped me get in and out of the bed, go to the bathroom, take a shower, and even eat. And you never complained.
You never snapped at me or blamed me. You never got outwardly frustrated with me or Bryant — even though I know you had to be ready to shake both of us in your mind.

Looking back, I know they weren’t fun. I know they were long, hard, and exhausting. But I wouldn’t change a thing about them.
I realized how much you loved me, and how much you loved Bryant from the moment he came into the world.
You took the role of husband and father so seriously, and in turn made me better.
Growing up, I never had dreams of being a wife or even a mother. I just knew that’s what I was supposed to do.
But you made me realize that dreams I didn’t even know I had were coming true.

The thing about coming home is, all bets are off. No more nurses, no more doctors and no more visitors.
It was just you and me and baby makes three.

I think as I get older and reflect on the past, some of the most significant days of our life together will be the weeks after we got home from the hospital. I struggled so badly with post-partum anxiety. They were truly some of the most trying times of my short life. I felt trapped, I felt alone, and I felt like I would never be myself again. But you were right there through every moment.

You listened to me cry, talked me out of wanting to drive myself to a mental hospital (more than once) and constantly encouraged me in my new role as a mother. As tired as you were, on top of starting a new job TWO WEEKS before Bryant was born, you never once complained to me or about me. And an even more significant moment for me was when you completely supported my decision to talk to my doctor about medication. I believe a lot of women are hesitant about this because they are afraid of the judgement or stigma regarding anti-depressants, even from their spouses... But you never made me feel silly or crazy or like I was bad mom for needing a little extra help to make it. I’m reminded daily that this was the right choice for our family. And I will always credit you for giving me the final boost I needed to take that step.

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But, that’s the thing about you.

You know. You see. You pay attention.

You recognize the things that make me me. You are committed to me. You put me first.

You are loving

You are kind.

You are good.

And I truly cannot imagine a better man for Bryant to look up to as a father.

I hope he sees your quiet strength. I hope he learns that you don’t talk much, but when you do, he should listen.

I hope he gets your patience, your wisdom and your steadfast heart.

I hope he learns to love and care for the people in his life the way you do.

He’s got big shoes to fill.

Happy Father’s Day, B.

I love you.