Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and weekend! We had a wonderful time staying here in Mississippi. Since I just started work, I didn't get any days off except Thursday (what happened to getting the whole week off like the last 24 years of my life???). Still, we had a great time seeing family here and managed to eat a miserable amount of food! Here are a few pictures from Harper's 1st Thanksgiving (which also happened to be her half birthday...I can't believe I have a 6 month old!!)

Harper's first try of Cool Whip!

Of course she needed something to wash it down:)

After stuffing ourselves, she wanted to do a little Black Friday shopping

Here is a link to more pictures Harper has hit some milestones in the last week or so...her first tooth FINALLY broke through and she has started "crawling". Well crawling may be a little strong...she gets on all fours and inches around, but its a start!

I hope to be better at posting during the next few months (since it is the holidays)! We are heading to Memphis this weekend for me to run the St. Jude 1/2 Marathon again and spend time with Nick's family, so check back for more posts/pictures!

Love you all!
Nick, Rachel, and Harper

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Fall Y'all!

Hello friends! Hope that everyone is having a wonderful Fall so far. We are starting to enjoy the cooler weather and leaves starting to change here in Mississippi. A lot has happened since I last blogged, so let me catch you up. I took my licensure exam on October 27th and found out I passed the 29th. I took a Physical Therapy job at one of the hospitals here in Jackson, and start MONDAY....real world here I come!!! So I have been rushing around doing everything that needs to be done before I start...I have been a daycare registering, vet taking, dentist going, clothes sewing fool:) I am also running the St. Jude half marathon again in December with some girls from church, so TRYING to get back in shape!

Nick was scheduled to take his engineering exam on Friday the 29th. His exam is different than ours: it is only given twice a year in Vicksburg, is 8 hours long, and you can bring any materials you want in with book. Well, Nick left our house around 6:00 to be there for the 7:45 exam time. When it came his turn to enter the test, they would not let him in to the exam because his driver's license expired 7 days before on his 29th birthday!! He was soooo frustrated, and I was too! So now he has spent time studying, paid money, and can't try again until April. I felt awful for him!
In the last month when we WEREN'T studying (which was rare) we...

watched football...
(the look on their face shows you how our Rebels have been doing:()

Carving pumpkins...

Enjoying the fall weather...

Nick's parents came to visit and brought Harper a toy chest that he built for her...

Dressing up for Halloween...

The first picture is of our friend Carrie and her baby boy, Grady, who is a few weeks older than Harper. Grady was a pea in a pod, and Harper was a football:) She also wore the costume Saturday night to the Ole Miss vs. Auburn game (I forgot my camera)...and was a big hit. One good thing about a baby is an excuse to leave a football game after 3rd quarter when you are getting killed without looking like "just a bad fan":)
It is so much fun to see Harper get more and more personality. She is such a happy baby! She is over 5 months old now! She is already wearing me out...I don't know what I will do when she can walk! She wants to crawl so bad, but can't quite figure it out so she just rolls or belly crawls everywhere. She can sure move though! She has started choking down her green veggies now, but her favorite foods are carrots and avacado! We started applesauce yesterday and it was a HIT! I couldn't shovel it in fast enough:) She has now graduated to her high chair that GG and GPaw gave her...
Abby just sits like an alligator under a bridge waiting for something to fall.

You may ask, "don't you have another dog? where is she?" Why yes, we do. I took the girls to the vet for their yearly shots and checkup today and Jovi had to stay overnight because she flips out when they try to cut her nails. They are going to sedate her to do it...does anyone have a prescription for doggy Xanax??? Haha...such a "special" dog:)

Well, thanks for checking in on us! We love you all!
Nick, Rachel, and Harper

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Peas, Please!

Hello friends! I hope everyone is starting to get some awesome fall has been beautiful here this week! We even broke out one of Harper's hats this morning when we were outside!

Well, as I mentioned last post, Harper had her 4 month check up (and shots) on Monday. Here were her stats:
Length: 25.25 inches (80th percentile)
Weight: 14lbs 5 oz (70th percentile)
Head Circumference: 40.5 cm (35th percentile)
Our pediatrician said everything looked great and after assuring me that head size is not indicative of brain development, I felt much better:) He even said that her strength and development was that of a 6 month old! As we were talking about her "rolling off the bed" incident, Harper took advantage of this opportunity to show the Doctor her rolling trick (luckily he caught her by the leg before she rolled off the exam table!) She took her shots like a champ. Didn't cry at all with the first one, but the second one burned and she let loose!

The pediatrician said that since everything with her development looked great we may want to go ahead and start her on "solid foods". After she mastered the spoon with rice cereal, I broke out my blender and got to puree-ing. I made peas, green beans, avocado, broccoli, carrots (Anything I had laying around that I thought could be baby food). Of course I had to freeze them all because you can only introduce one food at a time...i guess I got a little excited:) Anyway...we picked peas to be the magical first food and grabbed the video and regular camera.

So excited to try something new!

Not so sure about this...

What in the world????

This may take some time:)

Everything I read told you to feed them their milk first, so they don't fill up on the solid foods at first. So after feeding her, her whole night time bottle we decided to try the peas...rookie mistake. The peas triggered her gag reflex which then invited her entire bottle to come up with what little peas she got down... I will spare you those pictures, but lets just say her bumbo seat ended up in the shower:) Guess this will take a little time.

Every day she seems to get more and more active! I am already dreading chasing her around, but it is still so fun to see:) Here she is in her sassy seat...she LOVES it! Especially to watch Abby and Jovi run around her.

This morning we were out on the porch and it was cool so I put her hat on (she looked so cute)! Of course then she soiled her outfit, so soon she is wearing nothing BUT her hat (which is her favorite way to be:)
We are now all watching the Ole Miss game (GO REBELS!!!!). Hope everyone enjoys their weekend! Thanks for checking on us, we love you!

Click here for more pictures on picasa!

Nick, Rachel, and Harper

Friday, September 17, 2010


Hello friends! I'm not even going to address the fact that I have not blogged in so long, y'all have seen over the last year how bad I am at this. I am, however, going to try to be better about just doing short posts to let you know what we are up to and what milestones Harper is hitting:)

I will start with the easiest thing to talk about...Harper! We now lovingly refer to her as "little toot". This is because she has started showing us her little personality, the fact that she IS boss, and can have quite the attitude! It is so much fun to watch her become more and more of a person everyday...such a blessing:) She is now 3 1/2 months old and about 14 pounds (not sure on length, but we go to the doctor in 2 weeks and I will be excited to find out). She has been rolling from her back to her tummy, and started rolling from her tummy to her back last week! She is definitely a mover and a shaker! This week we had a scare as we left her in the center of our king-sized bed and turned our back for literally 2 seconds and she army crawled off! After checking every inch of her body and getting a BIG smile, I knew she was ok. I cried more than she did over it:) So with that trick, she lost her privelege for unsupervised play on ANY raised surface! She has also lost the privileges of being in her swing or baby seat without the seatbelt on (she turned over in it and was swinging face down last week). Needless to say, we are learning as we go:) She is mostly all smiles during the day, which makes it hard to do anything BUT play with her!

That leads great into my next update...

Me. No, I have not gotten a job. No, I have not taken my licensure exam. No, I have really not studied much. Yes, Nick is going to kill me soon:) I have, however, signed up to take the I will take it sometime in the next 60 days! Prayers are appreciated! I have, however, been spending my time running (I am doing the St. Jude Half Marathon again in December), sewing a little, and playing with Harper:) It's amazing how this can FILL UP all my study time!

Nick will also be taking his Professional Engineering exam in October, so our date nights will soon have to be study date nights...YUCK:( He has also been spending time doing some woodworking. He made this beautiful table from reclaimed lumber (pictured above). It's beautiful, but of course, he is going to sell it! He has also bought some old doors and other wood to build some more pieces...he is quite talented. I will show you pictures of more items later!

Well thanks for checking in!
Love you!

Nick, Rachel, and Harper
P.S. Sorry all the photos are at the top, and not within computer was acting funny and I was impatient:)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crazy, Wonderful Life!

So sorry that it has been almost 8 weeks since my last post announcing the arrival of Harper. Between settling into life as parents and not having internet at our house for a while, blogging has just not fit in!

Nick and I are adjusting to parental life fairly well! Harper has been an overall pretty good baby (of course she has her ups and downs), but a JOY all the time. Even when we resort to driving her around at 3:00 am, I still feel so blessed to have had this opportunity! The first 2 weeks were a breeze! All she did was sleep and we had food galore brought by sweet friends and neighbors and Nick had the first week off. Real life set in at week 3 which included not wanting to ever be put down, napping no more than 10 minutes at a time during the day, and general fussiness. She hated her swing, she hated her play mat, she hated her crib, she hated to be held while sitting down. The only thing that was always a winner was bouncing on my exercise ball with her! I couldn't help but laugh when I walk in the living room at 1:00am to see Nick in the living room in his boxers, watching ESPN and bouncing on my exercise ball! Even to this day, though we seem to "be out of the weeds", the ball is still our go to:)
She also LOVES bathtime!

...and going on the boat:)

Now I have to brag a little. Starting at 6 weeks Harper started sleeping 8 hours fairly consistently at night!!! It was the best thing ever! At four weeks she did her first 8 hour stretch. Of course, I got NO sleep watching the monitor and going to her room several times to see if she was breathing! After a few a few nights like that, we have become spoiled into our new sleep routine. When we occasionally have a not so restful night, I have to remind myself of the many friends with one year olds who get less sleep than we do:)

The past 2 weeks have been a lot of fun! She has started recognizing people and noticing her surroundings. She will now tolerate her swing and playmat, and will even bat at some of the toys. She will reach and grab for things within reach, her favorite of which is MY HAIR!!! The most fun thing so far though, has been the beginnings of purposeful smiles! It melts our hearts when she looks straight at you and lights up with a big smile full of gums:) They are still rare, but she is starting to figure her body out and how it interacts with her environment! It is such an amazing thing to watch:)

The dogs have adjusted well with the new addition, and we try to still give them some attention (or at least remember to feed them:). They were fairly disinterested at first, but are slowly acknowledging Harper with occasional sniffs and licks. I think they are saving most of their attention for when she walks around covered in food and can clean up her high chair:)

Here is Harper with Abby before bed.

Playing on her playmat.

I can hardly believe that Harper will be 8 weeks old tomorrow! It has flown by and I am already getting sad with every ounce she grows feeling like the next time I blink she will be heading off to college...ok, so that is a little dramatic but It does seem to fly by already! She goes to the doctor next week for a check up so I can't wait to see how much she has grown. At her two week appointment she had already grown an inch and put on a pound and a half!! (20.5 inches and 8lbs 12oz) She had her first out of town trip last weekend to Memphis to see Nick's family and some of our Memphis friends. She did great, so we are venturing on a slightly longer trip to Arkansas the weekend after next! Jenn and Kyle, my sister and brother in law, are coming in town from Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday and we get to meet our neice, Reagan Faith, for the first time. She was born two and a half weeks after Harper. It will be so much fun to have them here and spend time with another sweet baby!
This is Harper with her Big cousin Kate from trip to Memphis.

Here are a few fun "photo shoot" pictures:)
Sorry this post is so long! I will try to post more often so I don't write a novel each time! Thanks for checking in! Click here for a link to our picasa site for more pictures!
We love you!
Nick, Rachel, and Harper

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Harper is Here!!!

As most of you have probably heard, our little girl is here!!! These last months of anticipation finally drew to a close last Tuesday, May 25. Although things did not go quite as planned, we could not be more thrilled with the outcome!
So, to fill you in, we went to the doctor last Tuesday for our routine 39 week appointment. I felt great and everything looked good, just a little bummed that it was looking like we were going to go past our June 1st due date. My doctor noticed on the labs that my blood pressure was 120/104 which she soon chalked up to a mistake since it was so bizarre and I felt fine. We scheduled everything for next week and on our way out the door she decided to check my blood pressure again to make sure that it was indeed a lab error. After taking it 3 times and getting a different, wild reading each time, she sent us down to get admitted to have them watch me for awhile. After getting to our room and set up, my blood pressure would not stabilize and my doctor came down and said we need to go ahead and have this baby because it seemed I was in early preeclampsia. So around 10:00 am they induced labor, but said get comfortable because it will probably be a long day. Here is Nick and I shortly after the news that we were getting to met our sweet girl today!
So several hours in I start getting really uncomfortable since contractions were coming really hard and fast due to all the medications and procedures done to induce labor. I decided to go ahead and get my epidural. The anesthesiologist came and afterward I felt a little better. Here I am, still waiting:)
The pain returned not long after the epidural, and the anesthesiologist returned to try to redose the medication going into the epidural 3 times over the next few hours before stating he had no idea why this was not working. By about 6:00 Tuesday night I was so uncomfortable and we were so exhausted (yes, Nick did his fair share of work too:)), they decided to try to take out the first epidural and restart to see if it would work. This one was also unsuccessful and we were forced to plan for a natural, unmedicated childbirth. I was terrified! Thankfully, Nick was there and an unbelievable support person and at 8:48 pm we welcomed the most beautiful little girl into our family!

born 8:48 pm om May 25, 2010 weighing 7lbs 9oz and 19.5 inches long

The minute we met our sweet girl, the long, exhausting day was forgotten and an unexplainable love filled its place. This really was the most amazing experience either of us has ever been a part of, and feel so blessed that God would allow us to be a part of another one of his perfect creations.
The Bradshaw's and my mom were able to be there and meet her for the first time not long after we did. Unfortunately, my Dad had left Saturday to go to Sudan to help Samaritan's Purse with a crisis in which some of their employees had been kidnapped. We wish he could have been there, but he got to meet her on skype in the hospital the next day. Here are the proud grandparents!

We remained in the hospital until Thursday afternoon where we were flooded with love from friends and family coming to meet Harper. We have been home since adjusting to life and loving every minute of it! Here we are getting ready to leave the hospital.
Everyone told me that there is no way to prepare for the joy of motherhood. I usually took this as sarcasm because it was from sore, swollen, sleep deprived women:) But now I see there truly is no way to explain such a deep unconditional love you can feel for this new little being other than a gift from God and a demonstration of his love for us.
Thanks so much for checking on us! I will try to be more consistent and keep you updated as we settle in to life as a family of 3 (oops...5! I'm already leaving out Abby and Jovi:))!

Nick, Rachel, and Harper

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting CLOSE!!!

I know, I know...long time no post...sorry! The last few weeks have been so busy! We have had 3 showers, 2 weddings, finished PT school, had a garage sale, once a week doctor appointments, all while I am supposed to be "taking it easy":) It has been so fun getting everything prepared for Harper's arrival. Last post I showed you pics from my sweet Memphis shower, since then my best friends from Ole Miss and our Sunday School class also threw us showers. We have been so blessed with such wonderful friends and family to take care of us and felt so special and loved! Here is her room after with all of her goodies:

So after realizing we only have 3 WEEKS until she gets here, I figured I better get busy putting everything in its place. After several hours of sorting, folding and placing (it shouldn't have taken this long but squealing over every precious item, slows you down a bit) this is what she gets to come home to!

Other than hanging things on walls, her room is DONE...I still can't believe she is almost here! As I mentioned before, I finished Physical Therapy school last week and now am just waiting to walk across the stage at graduation May 21st. Although I have only had 2-3 days of free time, I am already going stir crazy! So I have picked up some arts and crafts:) here are some things I have been working on: (hope she has hair at some point!)

We finished up childbirth classes two weeks ago, and I guess we feel as prepared as we are going to be. And for Nick this includes keeping his eyes shut during every video. He did however pass infant care with flying colors! The husbands were given a doll and told to undress them, remove diaper, replace diaper, redress, and swaddle the baby. Nick was a pro at everything, until it cam to the swaddle. After staring at the doll a few seconds a light bulb went off in his head, as we watched him spread the blanket out and roll the child like a burrito. The instructor died laughing and made everyone stop and watch Nick's technique, as I beamed with pride:) It was so cute, and I will say his "swaddle" looked the best out of all the others! Here is him in action (sorry not very good pics):

Now for baby news! As I mentioned before we are now over 37 weeks! We spent yesterday at the doctor and got one last ultrasound. She was so squished in there and would NOT sit still, none of the pics were worth uploading. She is in the proper "go position" (as Nick calls it) and measured about 6lbs 15oz putting her in the 56th percentile. The ultrasound tech said that these guesses are usually within 1 pound either way, so she is somewhere between 6 and 8lbs most likely. We got to see a glimpse of her face, but could make very little out since she is facing my spine, it was still fun! Nick thinks she looked like she had a head of hair, I couldn't tell. I have packed a bag for her and me, the pack and play is set up in our room and the car seat is in the car. Every step makes all this more real but still somehow DRAGS on! We are just so anxious to meet her! This is us at 36 weeks, then the next is us at 37 weeks with Abby and Jovi.
Speaking of the "girls" I think they know something big is about to happen. They go into her room all the time to sniff around and I have even caught them taking naps in there. Abby even picked out a toy she wanted to borrow from Harper until she gets here. Unfortunately she has already broken it, but somehow keeps finding that same silly toy no matter where I hide it!

Well thanks again for checking in on us! Check back hopefully SOON, maybe the next post will have newborn pics!!!

We love you!!
Nick, Rachel, and Harper Bradshaw