S: Clayton's Baby Shower -- 2011
BC: We love you Jessica and Brandon and want to Welcome Clayton into our family!
FC: Congratulations Jessica and Brandon
1: Jessica and Brandon, You are about to embark on a journey without end. Raising children is a wonderful, frustrating, exciting, hysterical, (insert your adjective here) thing you will ever experience. There’s no instruction manual that will cover every possible scenario of raising children. They break the rules all the time and you will just have to go with the flow and develop your own style in raising Clayton. We thought it would be fun to have others that have raised children relate some of their experiences to give you an idea of what you’re in for. These stories show that you never know what can happen or how they will react to different situations. Good luck with Clayton! Love, Dad and Staci
2: Jessica has never been a good sleeper. There were few things that could get Jessica to sleep when she didn’t want to. There was one exception – the car. Once her mom went back to work we found a place very near where we lived where she spent the day. One of us would pick Jessica up on the way home and amazingly, Jessica would fall asleep in just the few short minutes it took to drive home. Really, this was only a mile or two to get home. We used this trick every once in a while we lived in Independence, KS. Jessica would be fussy or unable to sleep so we would load her up in the car seat and a short trip around the neighborhood would do the trick. We got pretty good at taking her out of the car seat and into bed without waking her back up.
3: There is an important day in every child’s life – the day they want to remove the training wheels from their bicycle. First you must be physically ready. Good balance and coordination skills are a must. Jessica was always very advanced for her age in strength and dexterity. I think she could tie her shoes before she could speak. Jessica had awesome control of her feet and was way ahead of other kids on the soccer field. She was great fun to watch as she moved the ball down the field and faked out her opponents. So, when Jessica said she was ready to remove the training wheels – I thought this would be the easiest lesson in the world! The wheels cam e off and Jessica donned her helmet. We went out to the middle of the street and she vaulted onto the bike – ready to begin. Jessica’s bike had a banana seat and an easy place to grip the back to hold her steady. She wasn’t heavy and it was easy to hold her steady until she was ready to go. Jessica said she was ready to begin, so as I held onto the back of her bike, I pushed while still holding on and Jessica began to pedal. We hadn’t gone very far when Jessica was going fast enough that she could go on her own. She went about 20 feet and drove into a yard and fell over. She turned around and yelled “You pushed me”! I took the blame and asked her to try again. She got back on the bike while I held it and we started down the street back towards our driveway. I let her go and she went a little further but again crashed on the curb by the driveway. She caught herself on one leg but threw the bike down and yelled at me again that “I was pushing her”. She then stormed down the driveway towards the house. I’m pretty sure that was an end to trying to ride without training wheels for a few weeks! The next time she tried though she got it almost immediately (since I wasn’t pushing her) and I couldn’t help but wonder what it was going to be like to teach her how to drive a car!
4: When Jessica was probably only about 2 she would always get out of bed. She started early with simply climbing out of her crib and would come in the bedroom to wake one of us. After a while though she knew that she would just be put back in bed so she wouldn’t wake us, she would just stand by the side of the bed. There’s nothing that compares to the feeling that there is a “presence” by you and open your eyes to have a wide eyed two year old a few inches away from your face. Now, we were both wide awake! Once my heart rate settled back below 100 a bottle of milk or juice would help settle her down and back to sleep...and me too!
5: On our move from New Jersey to Kansas City, while staying at a hotel I guess I decided at 5 yrs old that I really wanted to swim. So, I jumped into the deep end of the pool. As I sunk to the bottom, Grandma Dee jumped in fully clothed with her non-water proof watch, and fear of getting her head wet, to bring me back to surface. I guess that is why they stuck me in swim lessons once we were settled in Kansas City. Your cousin Nic loved vegetables. One family gathering while he was in his high chair eating, with a face covered with mashed potatoes and spoon in hand he smiled and said, “MMMMM MMMMM love those peas.” You would have thought he was eating a chocolate fudge Sunday by the satisfying look on his face.
6: Inept Parenting 101 Jerry and I were 17 and 18 when Diane was born. Why they let us out of the hospital with her is still a mystery to me. This was before the age of parenting classes. To give you some idea of how young we were and looked when Jerry went to buy cigars for the guys at work the woman behind the counter ask him if they were for his Mother. We had a copy of Dr. Spock’s baby book and that was all, and we were living in Los Angeles, far from any family or friends. To show our level of incompetence, Jerry ran out of gas on our way home from the hospital. He had to leave Diane and me in the car while he went for gas and I had to slide behind the wheel and pump the gas pedal to get home. Clearly, Diane was in good hands. Somehow we muddled through; I remember a lot of crying.mostly mine. And after a year we decided we needed some help with this project and returned to KC. I went to work and Diane was in the care of her Grandmother during the day. This was probably life saving for Diane, because my Mother thought the sun rose and set in her. Once, Diane peeled some wallpaper from the wall and when I tried to reprimand her, “Grandma,” said, “Oh, its just wallpaper”. Once, when Diane was about 2 and we were living in a large apartment complex, the little girl from downstairs who was about 8 years old liked to play with Diane. They were right outside in the back yard so I could watch from the kitchen window. Well, a few minutes later a look out and no kids. I went downstairs and the little girl had gone in and left Diane outside. I went out and started franticly looking for her but she was no where in sight. The complex had these big wide sidewalks that went everywhere but I had no idea which direction she might have wandered and I was by myself so I was just running and calling about half crazy. When a car pulls up and Diane is the back seat, the people had seen her walking up the sidewalk “all two years old” and put her in the car to see if they could find her owner! I think they call Child Services for things like that now.
7: Then we bought a house and when Diane was 4 I got pregnant with David. Little did I know the challenges that awaited me. David was born in June of 1962 and was a good baby for the first year or so, but as soon as he could move on his own he was a holy terror. He threw whatever he could find in the toilet, checkbooks, pencils, stuffed animals etc. Jerry had to remove the entire toilet twice because David learned to flush also. Word to the wise, pencils do not flush. His mastery of the word NO! and MINE! Were nothing less than amazing. It soon became obvious that David had quite a temper. I am talking about running into walls with his head extended “full tilt” when his needs or wants were not met. He would run into them with such force that pictures on the wall would shake. You could drag him away from the wall and he would promptly get up and run into it again. Being the “good parent” that I was I quickly ascertained that this was probably not good for the house or his head. I looked in baby books and etc. This was pre-internet, and I could find nothing about a 2 year old with a temper that rivaled the Incredible Hulk. He was also extremely ridge in terms of having to have the same plate every night for dinner (yellow melmac) sitting in the same place at the table, and you didn’t dare change the TV channel if he was in the room. It didn’t matter if he was watching it or not. Things were to stay the same.no matter what. One manifestation of this was the change from summer to winter clothing or winter to summer. Once you got him to make the transition from long pants to shorts (which took about 2 weeks of temper tantrums) he then would not change in the fall back to long pants. It was such a phenomena in our house that Diane wrote a paper for school called “My Summer Brother”. | The status quo was the order of the day! Well, the head ramming continued and I talked to his pediatrician and he suggested I swear this is true, that when David did one of these head charging incidents to throw a glass of cold water in his face. Well, I was desperate so the next time it happened, that’s what I did. Well, he looked at me and spit and sputtered and got up and ran into another wall. I refilled the glass and threw another glass of water. David looked up and spit and sputtered some more got up and ran for another wall but didn’t hit it with quite the same enthusiasm as the previous two times. I got another glass of water and threw it again and by this time I was a complete basket case. David got up and made his way to another wall and hit it and sat down. I gave up I just couldn’t do it again. But interestingly enough he never did it again. He had won the battle but decided the war just wasn’t worth it. I’m not saying his temper was gone but the head banging into walls was no longer the method by which he expressed it. They were such a pretty children, David with a sturdy build and tanned skin and big brown eyes whereas Diane had snow white hair with big blue eyes. I often give credit to David’s kindergarten teacher with socializing him to world. Diane had been at that elementary school for 5 years and they didn’t know my name. David was in kindergarten for two months and I was on a first name basis with Mr. Lamb, the principal. My children were fortunate to having loving grandparents close by, good schools and a model from their father of a strong work ethic. I am extremely proud of the loving, successful adults they have both become.
8: How about 30 years later I diagnose Amir with lactose intolerance and Kristen as a baby was colicky and cried all day. If I knew he was lactose intolerant my baby would haven't cried for 6 freaking months. | Regarding baby boys make sure that his penis is placed in a downward positionwhen diapering or you'll get sprayed when changing the diaper and after peeing be prepared for them to crap their pants. | When Kristen was 6 I was pregnant with Kameron and told her she was having a brother and she started crying. She said I don't want a brother boys are rude!.. A few months after he was born he was a chubby baby and I overheard her say"I dont want a fat brother you have to start doing pushups"
9: Tyler. He was always up to something and loved to hide from me. Did that a lot when he just had his bottom padded from doing something I had told him nearly 100 times to stop. But he would take out my pots and pull out cabinet draws in order to climb up the cabinets and on top the refrigerator. Above all refrigerator are cabinets. Well I could never reach those so rarely put anything in them. He found that out one day and begin to build him a way up to that cabinet. Looked like a great hiding place to him. Well, I came into the kitchen and could hear him giggling. So I started calling his name to see what he would do. Tyler where are you, Tyler he just kept giggling. So I got a chair and open the cabinet doors and there he was. You found me, Me Mommy! He always called me Me Mommy!!! So look out if you come into your kitchen and draws are open and pots on the cabinet near the refrigerator you might have a little boy up there.
10: HELPFUL TIPS From the Harribsons: * Read the book "On becoming baby wise" by Dr Ezzo and follow it very strickly...you will have the happiest baby ever! This worked wonders with Adam. I didnt have it for the other two but sure wish I had. * Forget about all the chores and SLEEP when the baby SLEEPS. * Make up several bottles at a time, you can refridgerate formula and you can freeze breast milk. This saves lots of time and energy and allows others to help out with the feeding. * Keep a bucket of water with Baby Detergent in the laundry room at all times and put soiled baby clothes/spit up rags in it untill ready to wash. This keeps the clothes from staining so bad! * Don't try to keep the house super quiet when the baby is sleeping. They will be used to noise and will then be able to sleep ANYWHERE! Finally * When your little artist draws a picture on the wall with crayons...don't get mad, frame it and cherish it right where it is!
11: BABY KARAH The first few months of being home with the baby you find that there are days that your so busy and tired that you haven't even had time for a shower. To remedy this I decided that I would wait to take my bath at night when I knew Karah's dad would be home. Then I decided that for bonding, Karah and I could take a bath together. So each evening I would run a warm bath and lay her on my legs and we'd have a nice calming bath together...it was precious! UNTIL that one night when all of a sudden, right in the middle of our nice calm bath she took a big POO on me and all I could do was sit there in it until her dad came to get her! No more bonding baths after that! When Karah was about 3yrs old she could throw the biggest temper tantrums ever! One day while grocery shopping she got mad because I wouldn't let her out of the basket. She then proceeded to make a huge scene and I was so mad that I picked her up while she was kicking and screaming and carried out of the store (leaving a full basket in the middle of the aisle) holding her like a football all the while she was yelling at the top of her lungs....I'LL BE GOOD, I'LL BE GOOD, I'LL BE GOOD!... she knew as soon as we got outside it was spanking time! People were staring and shaking their heads, its a good thing there were no camera's in the parking lot in those days! Karah always had her own language going when she was little. She got words all messed up but in really funny ways. For example: Hippopotamus was Hiccopotamus, your Infusing me instead of your Confusing me, Pasghetti instead of Spaghetti and Mosquito grill instead of Mesquite grill...etc. But the one I love the most was when she was 3rs and we went trick or treating to my grandmothers house and when grandma opened the door and asked what Karah was she eagerly replied " A Hicked Witch". We still tease her to this day about that one!
12: BABY AARON When Aaron was a month old, Michael came home from work one day and was on the couch with him. Aaron needed a diaper change so I told Michael to just do it on the couch (because I really didn't want to and because he hadn't changed that many diapers in my opinion) so as soon as Michael got his diaper off Aaron squirted Michael all over his work clothes with running yellow baby POO! It was so funny cuz Aaron was actually smiling while Michael was just sitting there with poo all over him not knowing what to do! I could hardly help because I was laughing so hard. When Aaron was little and just barely potty trained I saw him go into the bathroom. I was so proud of him for going all by himself that I decided to just wait outside and see if he could go without my help. After what seemed like a long time I decided I'd better check on him. He was grunting so loud I could hear him with the door closed! I almost started laughing but instead I just opened the door a little and asked if he were OK. Still grunting he replied "I think...I have...CONSTELLATION".....then I really was laughing. One sunny summer day I let Michael take Karah and Aaron to the Harper Landing Pool (without me for the 1st time) and Aaron was just 1 1/2 yrs old. The next thing I know, they're all back home and Michael tells me that Aaron almost drown...and was sitting at the bottom of the pool just looking up at daddy! I asked what he was doing that he didn't noticed his baby boy on the bottom of the pool? He reluctantly replied "talking to the life guard" who happen to be a cute young girl! Needless to say, that was the last time DAD was allowed to go with the kids to the pool alone.
13: BABY ADAM When Adam was born my mom and brother came to stay with us so they could help take care of the kids while I was recovering from my C-Section. While I was sitting on the couch and Uncle Randy and Aaron were eating lunch at the table Aaron, with his little nose all wrinkled up, looks me and yells "mommy, I think baby brother needs his diaper changed" to that, my brother starts grinning and tells Aaron "sorry buddy, that one was me". I had to put a pillow up against my stomach to keep the stitches in place because I was laughing so hard and hurting so bad all at the same time. My brother aka Uncle Randy is known for his flatulence. One day while visiting and when Adam was a toddler he and Uncle Randy were playing on the couch when my brother let out a really loud and stinky fart! Adam gave him a dirty look then jumped off the couch and ran to the back room. Moments later he ran back into the living room with a diaper in his little hand and threw the diaper at Uncle Randys face. Adam may not have been able to talk but his actions spoke volumes!! Its was hilarious! Uncle Randy needed a diaper change. Adam has always been a little monkey but when he was just a little toddler we were at home and he was running around the house while I was busy cleaning. I realized I hadn't seen him or heard him in awhile so I went looking for him. I search the entire house, calling his name, but no Adam. I was beginning to get frantic fearing maybe he got outside some how when I heard this little muffled voice say "I in here". I once again searched every room and when I opened the laundry room for the second time Adam popped his little head out the washing machine and started laughing and saying "I here mommy". He was playing hide and seek! This was the first of many Hide and Seek games he would play that would make me panick and gain gray hairs!
14: 1) When Michelle was like 4 mos. old.............she was left with her dad babysitting her for the day while I went shopping..........and I drove up and saw Michelle being hosed off because she had pooped in her diaper soooooo bad that her dad couldn't stand it!!! Thank God it was summer because the poor child was naked being hosed down!!! lol
15: 2) Another time when Michelle was maybe 6 mos. old, she was sitting in the grocery cart and I had a FULL cart of groceries and we went down the ramp to go to the car.............and the basket tipped over with Michelle, of course, hitting the pavement!!! Ohhhhh my lord, I felt like such an inadequate mother!!!!! Of course everyone ran to my rescue to help her up. Uggghh 3) Jonathan was only 2 days old, and first day home from hospital, and I had him on the bed changing him, and I just turned around for a minute to get him a diaper, and there he was.....on the floor!!! Ohhhh I felt soooo horrible!!! They are verrrry quick!!!! 4) When Jonathan was born, they laid him up on my tummy to say hey and what did he do???? he pooped on me!!! What's up with that???? Good thing that didn't end up to be any indication of a bad kid!!! He's a pretty amazing son!! 5) When Jonathan was maaaaybe 2, we were at a great resort, on vacation, and we were walking around the pool area and of course there was a restaurant with allll the people sitting next to the glass. Well.... Jonathan decided to play on the railings surrounding the pool area, right in front of the restaurant, and slipped his head through the railings!!! And of course couldn't get it out!!! Ohhhhh my lord, what a panic situation because he started crying and were afraid his head would swell
16: We were on vacation in Hawaii and Mom and Dad told us not to play in the Koi fish pond at the Honolulu airport. We did it anyway and I fell into the pond. My maxi dress was soaked and we had to get on the plane immediately. Thankfully the flight attendants took my dress and dried it...and I sat in first class in my undies.
17: When Staci was about 3 she wanted a "Rudy the Robot". She had seen it many, many times on a commercial on TV and thought it was the greatest thing in the world. It was all she talked about and wanted for Christmas. Well on Christmas morning, after Santa had left all the presents, she was so excited about "Rudy" until was pushed the button to make him walk, well she got up off the floor and ran away crying because he scared her so much. It wasn't funny at the time however in the years following when we looked at the movie film we all got a great laugh | Bruce was about 5 and in kindergarten when he wanted some "work boots" for school because some of his little friends had them. Well we bought them and laughed as he walked down the street watching his feet as he walked. They were his "verk boots" and he was very proud of them. | Kerri was about a year old and really wanted to walk by herself. We were living at Ft. Benning at the time and some friends Ray and Kay Holbert, used to come over in the evening to visit. One night Ray and Ed decided it was time for her to walk so they sat on the floor and had her walk back & forth to them until she could do it on her own. | Robyn being the youngest got teased a lot by the others especially Bruce. One time he talked her into eating a cookie, however it really was a dog biscuit. She got fed up with them quite a bit and one time packed her suitcase and left home for the tree in the back yard by the dog house.
18: When your kids pick their nose, and they will, all kids do, just tell 'em to pick a winner! | Potty Training Zoe had such a sensitive stomach that every time she pooped in the toilet she threw up on the floor. Miles would hide in the other room to poop and if you approached him he would yell "Go in the kitchen" Emma sees no value in potty training, she can just climb up on her changing table and wait for service.
19: Funny things kids say Miles coming up the stairs and says "Jesus!" I say to him "Miles! Who says that??" (thinking of course that I would be busting daddy or grandma) but Miles responds "God." Miles says to grandma when he wanted her to get on the floor to play "Grandma, I wish you were new so you could get down on the floor to play" Imagine the scene...lots of bouncy blow up houses for kids to enjoy, one was a Fox standing tall where you climb in the front to enter the bouncy house...Zoe had a blast! When we returned home grandma asked her if she had fun to that Zoe responded, "Yes! I climbed in the vagina and jumped around!" Emma's first Halloween she was Super Girl...she found a lifejacket in the back of the car, she put it on and refused to take it off. So we went with it and she was Super Safety girl!
20: Birth story: Paul was due on his grandpa Jerry's birthday, March 4. We all thought it was great that this was the due date, and that he would be born around that time, and so it was stilla surprise to find myself in labor on March 3 rd, having just stopped work on the 1st. We went over to friends for dinner, started having contractions that were 7-8 minutes apart, and by 3 am, on the 4th, were 5 minutes a part, we went to the hospital at 8 am. I didn't know ahead of time whether I was having a girl or boy, but had been having 'girl' dreams. However when they hooked me up to the monitor when I got to the hospital, the heart rate was 120, which is on the lower side, making it likely my baby was a boy! Labor progressed normally and he was born at 5 pm on his Grandpa Jerry's birthday! We were all thrilled, and Grandpa never seemed to mind that from then on his birthday celebration wasn't his alone!
21: Paul and his grandpa loved to go fishing, a sport Paul still really loves. When he visited they often went out fishing, coming back and cleaning their catch then cooking it up for dinner. One time when he was about 4 or 5 they had been gone quite a long time and when they finally came back, he was coming up the back lawn by himself while Grandpa was docking the boat. He looked flushed and hot, and a little cross. When Grandma asked him how it went and if they got any fish, he just muttered "we just had alot of trouble with that god damned motor"! | When he was just about 1 1/2, we were at a party with people from work, at a park next to the lake, it is an area where the water is very shallow out a long way so was a fun area to take kids and have a cook out. At one point I thought his Dad was watching him, and he thought I was, and he was no where to be seen. He had bright white hair, so wasn't generally hard to pick out of a crowd. Of course we were worried he had headed to the water and was drowning, so the whole picnic party fanned out to look for him. Soon someone shouted he's over here - he was at onother picnic table, in the midst of a large Chinese family, eating a piece of chicken, like he was part of their group! I'll never forget the site of this white haired, white skinned baby in a diaper, in the middle of all these oriental people, just sitting eating like he'd been there forever!
22: In the kids say the darndest things category I remember when bringing him home from school at the beginning of a school year, in about 1 st grade, his telling me about the kids and what all had happened. His favorite thing to report was that one of his classmates name was Dick. "That's his name, Mom, Dick. That's what everybody calls him. Dick." He just kept saying it over and over, like it was a bad word he had permission to say, because it was someone's name!
23: Jessica was just little, I think around three years old. She was talking. We lived in our house in the Woodlands and my parents had come to visit. We were getting ready to go outside and Jess was looking for her shoes. She had taken them off and was playing with my Mom. Anyway, she's looking for the shoes and not finding them. She looked my Mom right in the face and said "Grandma, I can't find my damn shoes!" It was just hilarious. We tried not to laugh but it was so funny. She used "damn" just perfectly in her sentence. Of course, my Mom got on me for using bad language in front of my sweet little girls. You know, I remember this like it was yesterday. She had a little dress with a tiny blue print on the skirt and a knit tank top type top. She loved that little dress because it was soft and comfy. She wore little blue keds with it. She was wearing that dress and looking for her keds when she did this. She had her little "dorothy hamel" hair cut. Such a little cutie.