The Worst Question

I can picture it like it was yesterday.  Me, Henry, and Harrison were sitting at our dark brown dinner table.  Brandon was out of town for work, again. It had been a long day of playing, rocking, feeding, screaming, coping.  I was counting down the minutes until it would be bedtime and I’d finally be alone. I set Henry’s paper plate of peanut butter and jelly in front of him.  Harrison had been crying for nearly ten minutes by now. Why? I’m not really sure, and I doubt he was either. But he was mad and he wanted everyone to know it.

I tried to feed him bites of the mashed potatoes he normally scarfed down.  He screamed more. I tried to give him a bottle filled with watered-down apple juice.  He slammed his tiny fists down onto his highchair tray. Over and over he screamed until he was so red in the face, I thought he was going to choke.

Read More
Harrison : 09 Months

9 months! We’ve survived nine months - all of us! And just as last month, things are still improving month over month. You’re a happier baby, month over month. You’re a more flexible baby, month over month. You are so fun to watch these days. You are obsessed with the kitty, just like your brother was. You crawl to him, and open your mouth like you’re either going to kiss him or eat him. And then you rub your head along his fur. He doesn’t seem to hate you as much as he hated Henry, or, he’s just sick of fighting :) Either way, it’s so fun to watch you chase after him.

Read More
Harrison : 08 Months

This was a month of first’s. You got your first two teeth (on the bottom). You said Mama for the first time (I will forever be glad that at least one of my two kids said Mama first). You are THISCLOSE to crawling but somehow still manage to get yourself around a room - I suspect a bit of scooting when no one is looking. You also got your first flu shot - and I didn’t even realize she had given it to you because you didn’t make a peep. I think it’s possibly those massive thighs of yours - couldn’t even feel it.

It’s been a great month.

Read More
A Thank You Note to My Son

Over the past eight months, you have often had to play second fiddle to your brother. At first, it was the newness of it all as your dad and I tried (often unsuccessfully) to juggle this gigantic shift in our lives where we now had two kids to take care of.

After that, and for quite a few months in a row, it was that Harrison was a HARD baby. He didn’t sleep, he cried a lot, and we were beyond exhausted. We snapped at you a lot in that time, and we often didn’t mean to. But we were frustrated, angry, sad, and sometimes just miserable. And we took it out on you. When you asked us a question, or needed help with something, or got upset like any other four-year-old does, we snapped because we couldn’t take ONE MORE THING.

Read More
MOTHERHOODSarah HartleyComment
Our Own Private Kingdom

The breeze is blowing through my hair as I push the purple double swing. I'm watching both boys, and they're both grinning, holding tightly to the metal chains.  Henry leans back and forth, trying to propel them higher in between my pushes.  It's quiet aside from the squeak of the chains and the babble between two brothers.

Read More
Harrison : 07 Months

I can't stop thinking about how different of a baby you are these days.  From the first 5 or so months of your life to now, it's like we have a completely different baby living with us.  And let me tell you, we're all so much happier these days - you included.  You're a HAPPY baby now.  We even have strangers stop us, you give them that incredible grin you have, and they remark about what a happy baby you are.  And finally, I'm able to say "yes, he is".  Plus, we just have a lot of people stopping us to tell you how beautiful you are.  It's those big blue eyes man, so much like your brothers.  Between the two of you, you guys are always turning heads when we're out.

Read More
Henry as a Big Brother

I remember the moment that Henry met Harrison.  It was one of the best and also scariest moments of my life.  Leading up to Harrison's birth, we talked to Henry about how life was going to change and tried to make him understand (as best a 3 year old could) that things would be different.  But still, I worried.  So on that day when he walked into the hospital room, my heart was racing.

Read More
Sarah HartleyComment
I've Been Beating Myself Up

There was a time, not long ago, where I felt in control of my life.  Every day I got up and I knew what would happen, I could guess how I would feel, and I counted on that.  I can pinpoint when that changed.
It was January 30, 2018 at 3:29 pm.  
That is the exact moment that a beautiful little boy (who I was so convinced was a girl) came screaming into my life.  We named him Harrison.  And since then, over these last six months, I've felt anything but in control.

Read More
Harrison : 06 Months

Oh sweet buddy, this last month was SO MUCH BETTER.  It's like you're a new baby.  Like we're a new family.  We're all so much happier because... YOU SLEEP NOW!  Granted, you still aren't sleeping through the night, but sometimes we get six or seven hour stretches and it's like I don't even know what to do with myself.

Read More
He's My Last Baby

I knew I was supposed to put him down.  We're sleep training him after all, and I'm supposed to put him down while he's still sleepy.  But for some reason it just hit me.  Harrison is my last baby.  I'll never have another baby of mine at 5 months and 24 days old.  Tomorrow he'll already be another day older.  I felt the tears prick my eyes.

Read More
Thoughts From a Rocking Chair

It's just you and I sitting in the squeaky, hand-me down rocking chair, the same way it's been approximately seven thousand times since you were born five months ago.  It's just you and I.  The house is still and quiet.  We're rocking back and forth, back and forth while you gulp down a 6 ounce bottle as if you haven't eaten in days.

Read More
Harrison : 05 Months

Well, this wasn't quite as good a month as we had hoped.  Towards the end of the month we FINALLY got your belly issues resolved after having been on medicine most of the month.  But we're still working through an issue with your legs while you're sleeping.

Read More
Mothering as an Introvert

I am an introvert through and through.  Though I may not have had the name for it early on, I always knew that I felt physically drained from being around people for long stretches of time.  Groups of people intimidate me.  Having to make small talk makes me want to hide in a corner.  And I need time away from everyone in order to feel like myself again.  For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me, so I just kept pushing myself to be more "normal". 

Read More
I've Been a Work at Home Mom for 2 Months

It's been nearly two months since I left my corporate job to stay at home with my boys and run the magazine from the comfort of my bedroom.  I don't know if it's because I only went back to work for two weeks following my maternity leave, or if that's just how life goes when you stay at home, but it feels like I've been gone from the corporate world a lot longer.

Read More
Harrison : 04 Months

I know you aren’t supposed to wish away time in your baby’s life because it all goes so quickly - but I think we can all agree that we’d be okay with forgetting this past month ever happened.  It was another rough one.  Really rough.  There were a lot of tears throughout the month and they weren’t all from you. 

Read More
The Fear of Failure

When the word fear comes to mind, I tend to think "I'm not scared of much, really".  But then as I sit with the question and analyze it all a bit more, I realize that isn't true.  I'm fearful, terrified really, of one big thing that affects different parts of my life in many ways.  Failure.

Read More
Harrison : 03 Months

Today you have been in our lives for three months but it feels like a lifetime.  I won't lie, this has been another really hard month BUT things seem to be slowly improving.  Or, at least we can hope.  We may have finally figured out your belly issues and you're slowly starting to sleep more and more.

Read More
The Start of My Next Chapter

Today is the close of one chapter and the beginning of another. 

Ever since I was old enough, I have worked full-time.  Throughout college I worked while going to school, with a new job ready for me as soon as I graduated.  The longest absence I’ve taken from the working world was for the maternity leave I had with both of my sons.

Well, today I’m leaving behind the corporate world as I step into a new chapter of my life.

Read More
The Middle of the Night

His cries pierce the deepest sleep I've had all night.  I look at the clock.

Damn, it's only been 45 minutes this time.  It's the fourth time I've been up with him since we went to bed a few hours ago.

My feet hit the floor with a thud.  I run into the door frame with my shoulder.  I stumble down the hall.  I'm in a fog, moving strictly on autopilot.

Read More