Monday, October 25, 2010

Big Brother

I'm a big brother now. With that comes responsibility. I've got to watch out for Kate. Make sure no one picks on her. It's a big job. But I'll do it. I love my Baby Kate. I love to kiss her. I love to touch her. I love to look at her. It bothers me when her eyes are not open. When her eyes do open, I say "Baby Kate's eyes open!" And then I proceed to put my face as close to her's as I can. I hear babies can't see too well at first. The closer you get the better. So, I get real close. Some of you have been wondering of my adjustment. Some, I know, thought I may be a little jealous. Well, I'm here to tell you I'm not. I can't be. I'm her big brother. How can a jealous big brother take care of his little sister? No, I've put childish things aside and put on my big boy pants. And big boy pants are what it takes to make sure my little sis is well taken care of!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A New Blogger to Report

Hi, I'm Kate. Apparently I'm supposed to be "blogging" about my life. Well, I'm just 1 week old. I'm not too sure what blogging is. Cut me some slack as I get a feel for this new endeavor. Most mommies just expect their babies to eat, sleep, and poop. Not my mom. Nope, she expects me to eat, sleep, poop, AND blog. Phew. High expectations must run in this household.

I'll start my first blog post by telling you a bit about myself. And, seeing as though I'm only one week, it won't be very long so for those of you with a ton of things to do, this shouldn't keep you too long from them.

*I love to be swaddled. It seems that being the third child, I have the priviledge of experiencing Mommy's mastery of the swaddle. It seems she never quite mastered the technique with Hannah and Grant but she was bound and determined to get this thing right with me. I must say, she did. And I love it.

*I have a droopy eye. . .not permanently, I hope, but droopy nonetheless. They call it a blocked tear duct. I call it a fat, swollen eye that oozes goop everytime I try to sleep. Mommy has mentioned it to the doctor three times and made a call after hours about it. It still seems I have a blocked tear duct that has to run its course. It just makes me look I handled a mean punch at just one week. I like to think I won.

*I'm a pretty good eater I like to think. It seems I'm excelling more in this area than Hannah and Grant did at this age. Although, my love for sleeping is at odds with my love for eating. Lately sleeping has been more persistent and because of this I've been stripped practically naked, had air blown in my face, been forced to do baby situps, and been tickled a bit on my head.
*I have two siblings. One who has been very sick and been told to stay away from me. Because of this I have yet to fully bond with her. She seems great though. The other, well he's a bit enamored by me. He gives me kisses and keeps insisting on touching my eyes (I think he's intrigued by my goopy eye). When told no by Mommy he proceeds to touch my ears and my fingers. I think I'll like this guy but he does intrude into my space a bit. In fact, he managed to break my favorite spot in the house...the blue bouncy seat. I liked to think of it as my calm space. Thanks to Grandma though, I got a brand new special seat that surpasses my old one. And with it came my little yellow bunny.

So, there's a few things about me. Life's been good thus far. I like my family. I like my bed. Hopefully I'll like blogging too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mommy's Moment: A Baby Story

We officially have our own "A Baby Story." Most of you already know that last Thursday, October 14th, little Kate Irene Harman entered the world at 1:59 pm. Her weight: a pleasant 7 lbs. 8 ounces! Hooray! She was 19 inches long. Overall, the delivery couldn't have gone any more smoothly. We went in last Wednesday afternoon to start the cervidil. We arrived at 3 pm. The cervidil FINALLY went in at 6:15. I know that time well because it was the most uncomfortable part besides the contractions after they broke my water. The nurse informed me I had to lay flat on my back for two hours for the cervidil to get settled. Well, contractions started. They weren't unbearable...but when you're lying flat on your back with no option to move, the pain was pretty miserable. Thankfully a different nurse came in and wondered why in the world I was lying on my back. She informed me I could readjust to deal with the pain. She was my hero. The rest of the night I had consistent contractions with no sleep. But, I figured, this is what I'd be doing at home if I had gone into labor. The next morning they got me on pitocin early. Shortly thereafter, they broke my water. The contractions were miserable. My next hero came in very shortly after...the anesthiesologist. By 9:00 am I was feeling good. By 1:00 pm the wonderful nurse told me I'd have my baby by 2:00. My epidural was not magically working at this point. I debated on getting a top off but the nurse said that the baby would be here in less than an hour. She was right. I started pushing at 1:50. I was a bit nervous because by this point the contractions were very noticeable but once I figured how to work with wasn't so bad and by 1:59 Kate arrived into our world! It's the best feeling to see that baby come out. What a miracle and what a blessing to experience that. I am thankful to the Lord for a smooth, easy delivery. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement throughout the process. It meant a lot.

Since Kate has come home, it's continued to be a pretty smooth adjustment. Part of this I know is due to my mom being here for a week. She's helped a ton and always makes these first several days more bearable. And also because, so far Kate has been an easy baby. She isn't fussy very often. Grant was SO FUSSY those first two weeks. I'm thankful to be spared that so far. And nursing has come easily so far although we're hitting a few bumps in the road now. Waking a very sleepy baby to eat is such a headache. Baby situps, wet cloths, undressing her down to her skimmies, etc. etc. etc. is a reminder of feeding Hannah four years ago. BUT, the good news is that her weight looks good. HOORAY. Last night she slept two four hour stretches in her crib. The first several nights we slept on the couch together. I was desperate for sleep and this was about the only gurantee I had of some sort of sleep. Thankfully she's finding comfort swaddled in her own crib now.
Hannah and Grant are adjusting well...Grant, suprisingly moreso than Hannah. He's been perfect. He loves to kiss her. Hannah has been sick since we got home from the hospital. Today was the first day she was somewhat back to normal. But being sick has made her extra clingy and emotional. I'm looking forward to having my normal Hannah back!

So, here we are...a family of five now. What a blessing each of these little lives are. I am honored to be given the role as their mother. It's a hard, demanding job but a job I wouldn't trade in for anything.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mommy's Moment: A Farewell to Pregnancy

Farewell pregnancy. Farwell Restless Leg Syndrome. Farewell heartburn. Farewell sciatica. Farewell maternity clothes (well most of you). Farewell nausea and extreme irratibility. Farewell countless bathroom trips. Farewell big tummy. Farewell awkwardness. There will be no affectionate feelings toward your departure. My only affectionate farewell I give to my sweet baby's movements across my belly. Your presence will be missed but your arrival is highly anticipated. Sweet baby it is time for your arrival whether you like it or not.
I had hoped this baby might be as anxious as me to get this process started. It appears it is not. Hannah and Grant had already begun making their moves by this point in pregnancy. Not so much with this one. Perhaps this will be a patient, content baby...that rarely cries and who loves to sleep contentedly at night in its crib and who is completely satisfied with nursing. A parent can dream right?
We head out tomorrow afternoon at 3pm to get this process started. Part of me feels guilty for forcing this baby out. But then I remind myself that we are doing this to protect me and the baby from a possible difficult and harmful delivery if we waited. I know, I know, if you're like EVERY other person in the world then you look at my belly and say there is no way that is a big baby. Perhaps you and the world are right. I agree in that I don't think it will be as big as Grant...thankfully. My neighbor guessed a 6 pound baby. I will laugh if this squirt comes out weighing 6 pounds after all the stress over its weight! However I will be thrilled at the same time because pushing out a six pounder is much easier than pushing out an almost ten pounder! I've had the priviledge of experiencing both.
I'm excited to see the end of pregnancy. Lately I have felt sick and EXTREMELY irritable...John and the kids can attest to that. I am excited to meet our new baby. I'm excited for Hannah and Grant to finally see their new sibling they have so eagerly waited for. And I must say, they are quite prepared. I've been watching A Baby Story on TLC. For some reason I love watching it when I'm pregnant. Call me crazy. Well, I'm not the only one. Hannah and Grant are glued to that show. Here's Hannah's commentary on my delivery thanks to the wealth of information she's been fed through that show:
"You're going to go to the hospital to have the baby. And you will push it out. You will cry but it's a happy cry."
And she's made comments about how there will be no pants on to have the baby and how it will hurt. But she's okay with it all. As for Grant, he ain't skeerd either. Perhaps we have a future OBGYN on our hands because upon waking up from his nap today I asked if he wanted to watch the Backyardigans or A Baby Story. He chose A Baby Story. Yep, that's my boy.
Grant. I think losing his "babyhood" is the saddest thing for me about having this third baby. When I had him Hannah grew up in an instant. She was now the big sister. I put responsibility on her she had never had before...and she was just 20 months!! So I shed a tear tonight as I thought of Grant now growing up in an instant. As soon as I see that newborn Grant will soon become a big boy. That saddens me a bit. But I think he'll adjust to his role marvelously. He loves all the babies at church. . .a lot. I think he'll love this one too.
So, those are my thoughts. They say by Thursday this baby should be here. Hopefully it will be a smooth process without any drama. That's what we're praying. Can't wait to share the news with you!
Oh and feel free to place guess on how big the baby will be...the winner will receive a full day's worth of changing its diapers along with an overnight stay in the nursery to feed it (I can forego breastfeeding one night)! Good luck! ;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 2010

Grant, moments before falling.
Petting and adoring the horse.

The Hayride

Our happy faces upon first arriving...

Yesterday was a busy day. Let me preface this post with that. A busy day means no naps. Keep that in mind please. It seems Mommy didn't. We started the morning running to the library to return books and check out their book sale. It seems we may be the only family left in Henry County that still has a VHS player. That means JACKPOT for us. We found The Wiggles (Grant's favorite group), Veggie Tales, and a princess movie. One FULL bag of VHS's: $1. AWESOME. Welp, then we headed to Hayden's birthday party in Conyers. Let me just say, it was a blast too. Playing outside, eating delicious food, and watching presents be opened. . .you can't beat it. Well, that is until Mommy tells us we're going to meet Daddy at the pumpkin patch on the way home. NO WAY! VHS movies, a birthday party, and NOW....THE PUMPKIN PATCH! You've gotta be kiddin' me. Our days usually are pretty boring. So, we load back into the van and head toward more fun! Except, it seems our lack of naps is catching up. A sleepy Grant insists on having his blankey. No problem. It's right next to his seat. Not for long though...Mommy manages to HURL it (by accident we think) to the back seat of the van. So, the afternoon of meltdowns begin. Grant loses all control and screams. and screams. and screams. I lose all control too...of my eyes...and fall asleep amidst the screaming. Well, finally we arrive at the patch. Grant now calm, me now awake, we step out into the October heat. And we're off. We enjoy a nice fall hayride in what Mommy would say is sweltering heat. I see my favorite characters in the woods. Then, off to the petting zoo. We pet a horse, see some pigs, and smell lots and lots of poo poo. Finally, we head to the Jump Zone. The Jump Zone wasn't an option for me last year. This year, it was. My dreams over the past year have been of me jumping in the Jump Zone at the Pumpkin Patch. So needless to say, I was fired up about finally arriving at my perfect destination. For me, it started well. For Grant, it didn't. Meltdown number two for him occured after he fell on the big trampoline. And, then meltdown number three occured when he climbed to the top of the jumpy slide only to decide he did not want to slide down. As for me, my first meltdown (that continued until we arrived back at the house) occurred when an overheated Mommy and a worn out Daddy told us it was time to pick out our pumpkin and leave the Jump Zone behind. This WAS NOT OKAY. I ain't skeerd to show my disapproval. So a crying, sweaty, dirty Grant and a tired, a crying, ungrateful, pouting dirty Hannah along with a 9 month pregnant, overheated Mommy, and a tired Daddy went to pick out our pumpkin. Except, no one but Mommy wanted to pick out the pumpkin. Therefore, there are no joyous pictures of us running to find the perfect pumpkin this year. Our visit ended with Mommy just grabbing a pumpkin and paying for it. Discipline for my attitude was promised upon returning to the van. The cashier sensed my unhappy heart. In efforts to cheer me up she gave me and Grant some stickers and a necklace. However, upon analyzing my necklace when arriving home...Mommy threw it away. It seems my necklace said "sexiest costume." Apparently that's "inappropriate" as Mommy said. I didn't even know I had a costume on. So, our visit from the HOT pumpkin patch ended with me crying and mad at Mommy and Daddy for making me leave the Jump Zone and the pumpkin patch along with my promised discipline upon arriving to the van. Needless to say, the ride home was a quiet one, Grant asleep and me with my mouth shut for more discipline was promised if I chose to complain again. So, Pumpkin Patch 2010 may not be as fondly remembered as last year's visit. But, it most definitely will be remembered.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Little Ballerina

I'm back. I know you missed me. What else have I been up to, you so eagerly ask? Well, this past Wednesday I started my ballet lessons from Miss Anna, a friend from church. I LOVE IT. I loved it so much that I didn't want to leave. I learned all sorts of things, like a pirouette and some other dancey word I can't pronounce quite right. Mommy doesn't know all the dance lingo so she's not much help when it comes to decoding my misunderstandings. I've also continued to use my tongue to help me perform to my full potential. Mommy is beginning to wonder if dancing will be my talent. . .apparently it's appropriate for basketball players to stick out their tongues when they perform but not so much for a ballerina. But it seems I lack the height to excel in basketball...however, I must say that my ball handling skills are quite sharp. For now, I'll stick to dancing, even if I do need a little pruning.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Mommy's Moment: Pregnancy Update

So, I lied. One more Mommy's Moment! I've been so busy lately trying to prepare for the baby that I haven't even had time to take fun pictures. Hopefully that will change soon! I went to the doctor today and we have scheduled an induction for next Thursday, the 14th. I'll go in Wednesday for Cervidil (however you spell that) and then Thursday will be D-Day. The doctor was pretty adamant that an induction was best. . .especially since babies can gain up to a pound a week at the end of pregnancy. So, I'm trusting her opinion and going for an induction. Now, if baby HAPPENS to come before then, I won't mind one bit! I am just thankful to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can't wait to see what this little squirt is. My hunch is still a girl. It's hard to believe next week we will officially be a family of five. Phew!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Mommy's Moment: School Time

Okay, so this will be the last Mommy's Moment and we'll get back to the real silliness of life! But I wanted to share a bit of my heart as I step into this new, unchartered world of home schooling. I'll admit, many people have given me strange responses when I mention we may homeschool our kids. Honestly, I never thought those words would become part of my everyday vocabulary. A former public school teacher myself, I always envisioned our kids going to public school. However, my heart has begun to change over the past two years. There are days I've fought that change. What will people think of us? Will our kids be social outcasts? Do we come across as "holier than thou?" But the more I've delved into the heart of homeschooling and talked to friends who homeschool, I see a wealth of benefits that well out of it. I don't think one form of education is right or wrong. But I have felt this tug on my heart for awhile now and it gets stronger. . .even with resistance. And, expressing my thoughts on my blog is the best way for me to articulate why I am strongly considering homeschooling.

I want John and myself to be the major influence in our children's lives, especially at this young age. I want to present to them a Biblical worldview as we study all the Lord has created. I want to spend time with my kids. Enjoy them. Participate in their learning and discovering. I think homeschooling provides unique opportunities to explore the world in a way that public schools can't. We can pick up and go on field trips whenever we want. As a former public school teacher I know how much time is wasted in the classroom dealing with discipline and more importantly, administrative red tape. In a homeschool setting so much more can be covered in a shorter amount of time. And, unlike when I was younger, homeschooling has blossomed to provide group activities for my kids. They won't be social least not because of homeschooling! My plan isn't to bar them in our home for hours on end while they wear dresses and bonnets (of course not Grant). It's to take them OUT. Expose them to the world. Also, as a school teacher I was always frustrated with the anti-gospel message fed to kids. Obey, and you'll get a treat. At such a young age it teaches kids to obey for a reward. It slowly imparts a works based mentality. If I do good, I'll be rewarded. I challenged it when I taught but unfortunately, in a classroom full of 25 was the "best" method. This is a mentality that permeates our culture and fights the message of the Gospel.
All this to say, we may send our kids to public school. And I know God's grace will be there. And thankfully it's all about God's grace in each decision we make. If Hannah, Grant, and baby go to public school the Lord will give us wisdom in how to navigate through it. My hats go off to all the teachers who teach. It's a hard, hard job.
I could go on and on regarding my reasoning and thoughts behind the benefits of homeschooling. My intentions, however, are not to look down on those who have chosen the public school route. More than anything, I guess I would like to be better understood as to why we may choose this route for our family. I get flustered when challenged by others and often trip over my own words. I'm too often worried about what others will think of me. Writing is not threatening. Call it a cop out. It's easiest for me to communicate in this way. It's a hot topic that easily gets people stirred up and somewhat angry. It shouldn't. It's not about who's better or who's making a better decision for their family. It's about doing what you think is best for your family and doing it for the glory of the Lord. That truly is my heart.
SO, this is our first real week of "school time" as we call it. It entails simply an hour of our day. I'm starting small and simple. This week we learned about the letter A. Apples was our theme. We read apple books, made apple trees, apple prints, and learned an apple poem (Grant's favorite). We talked about astronauts, what they do and made a star picture. We talked about ants and went on an ant hunt outside. We did some adding with animal crackers. We practiced writing (a challenge for Hannah) and we read lots and lots about Adam and Eve (or Adam and "Steve" as Hannah continually says). And next I'm going to plop all their "creations" in a book to create our ABC scrapbook. Honestly, it's gone better than I thought. Like I said, all of this intimidates me a bit. But I have thoroughly enjoyed doing it with them. I LOVE teaching. I LOVE it that MUCH MORE when I can teach my own kids. And thankfully, they've enjoyed it. So next week, we're on to the Letter B. I'm already excited about the fun ideas I've found to share with them.