Friday, November 26, 2010

I love fall. Perhaps because I love leaves or "leaf-is" as my sister Hannah calls them. I'm not sure, but from what I can tell, she's not saying it right. At least, not like how Mommy says it. Oh well, who am I to say anything? I'm only 2 and 1/2 and still call myself "Gant." But whether you call them leaves or leaf-is it doesn't change the fact that they ARE SO FUN. Who knew? I would have stopped playing in my play kitchen a long time ago (oops, I mean, um, playing with my monster trucks and toy guns) in order to go live it up in the leaves. There are so many possibilities with leaves. You can rake them. You can shovel them (that's my favorite). You can throw them in the air...or at your sister. You can JUMP in them (another favorite), you can crunch them between your fingers, you can make a picture display out of them (NOT one of my favorites, I opted out early on this activity and left the leaf arranging to the girls), you can feed them to the ants according to Hannah (again, not so sure about this one either), you can make leaf hats out of them (I give all credit to Hannah for my lovely leaf hat...please contact her, not me, if interested in one for yourself) or IF YOU'RE A PICTURE HAPPY MOM you can take lots and lots of pictures of your kids playing in them. However, if you so choose to do this, realize that we aren't going to stop very long so you can get a clear shot because LEAVES ARE TOO MUCH FUN to sit still with. I'm just sayin.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have much to be thankful for here in the Harman Household. I am thankful for my wonderful husband and these three great kiddos the Lord has blessed us with. I am thankful for a husband who works hard to provide for his family, who loves his kids deeply, and who gives sacrficially to us all. I am thankful for three amazing kids. I am thankful that I am able to stay at home with them and invest in their lives. I am thankful for the Lord's great provision for our family that has allowed me to stay at home. I look back over the past few years when money has been extremely tight and, like many of you I am sure, have wondered where it would come from. Yet, the Lord provided. Again. and Again. and Again. Thank you, Lord. But, I am most thankful for what the Lord provided 2,000 plus years ago. Redemption. Through Christ. It is the most humbling of provisions. It is a provision that was necessary because of my sin, my enemity against the holy God. It is a provision I could never provide. Only Christ. He lived that perfect life I can never. And he took on that punishment I should have. And through his life, death, and resurrection He provided the relationship that was once impossible. Now, as He has drawn me to Himself, I have been given LIFE...abundant life. Oh that this truth would transform me. For "we are TODAY accepted in the Beloved, TODAY absolved from sin, TODAY acquitted at the bar of God. Oh! Soul-transporting thought. (Charles Spurgeon)." I pray that this truth would be my joy and would overflow into thanksgiving to the Lord, not just on Thanksgiving Day but on every day.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Three Amigos

We just love our Kate. We get most excited when she's awake. Grant often shouts, "Kate's eyes open!" We keep her company in her yellow seat if Mommy has to make lunch or dinner. She likes it. I often tell Mommy, "Kate likes me." And she does. I mean, just look at the way she's gazing at me while I caress her face. I think she wants to be like me when she grows up.

Grant loves to help Mommy when it comes to caring for Kate. He gets the diapers and wipes...oh yeah..and the changing pad because Kate has had many, many, um...well...episodes while Mommy changes her. I'm thankful Grant enjoys this job. You know, he's still quite green when it comes to this new baby thing. It's his first time in the role of an older sibling. As for me, I got my fill of running for diapers and wipes when Grant was born. Been there, done that. It ain't all it's cracked up to be. But I'm not telling Grant that. Nope. As long as he stays eager, the less often I'm asked to do it. It's a good situation.

So, here we are, the three amigos. I think we're going to make a good team.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mommy's Moment: Christmas on a Budget

Who isn't on a tight budget these days? With Christmas coming along I'm always trying to find extra ways to save. Thankfully, as usual, Swagbucks has pulled through. I noted several months ago that I got Hannah's three gifts for almost free thanks to the Amazon gift cards I received through Swagbucks. I've been working on Grant's gifts. A couple of months ago I grabbed the Tag Jr. for free for Grant using the Amazon gift cards I used via Swagbucks. Today, I crossed his second gift off of my list, the Fisher Price Stand n' Play Rampway. I paid $5.60 out of pocket for a $40 toy. I am so thankful for Swagbucks. If you haven't joined, it's simple. You can join through my link below. All you have to do to earn bucks is use their search engine. There are other ways through shopping, taking surveys, watching videos. But my primary source for Swagbucks is the search engine. I win every few searches. I am not lying when I say I've earned at least $400 through Swagbucks. Also, once you join, get friends to sign up under you. You win every time they win up to 1000 bucks. So of course, I'd be thrilled if you clicked on my link below and signed up under me! :) Honestly, this is how I fund a lot of our Christmas gifts and birthday gifts.
Another way to save BIG on Christmas gifts for future Christmases and birthday gifts is to buy during this season. Obviously we already are. But, I came into this Christmas with most of my shopping already done. SO, I am taking advantage of all the GREAT deals out there during this season to stock up on some extremely cheap gifts for future birthdays and Christmases (this works best when shopping for small children who yet to have an opinion regarding what they want for birthdays/Christmas). Also, after Christmas keep your eyes open for Target's major twice a year sale. THIS SALE IS AMAZING. They mark down a lot of toys to 75% off! It isn't advertised so you just have to watch. But I use this sale to mark off gifts from our birthday/Christmas list. Many items are less than $5!
To avoid overspending I keep a Word document with all the people I know I will need gifts for. Once I find a gift for them, I put it by their name. So, when a sale comes around, I use that list to see who I do and don't have a gift for. Sales are great but if you buy when you don't need a gift then that's money down the drain no matter how cheap it was. I have to remind myself this often so I make sure I'm making wise decisions. It's fun to get something cheap but not worth it if there is no specific idea of who/what it will be going toward.
So, those are my thoughts on saving money for Christmas and other special occassions. My husband works hard to provide for our family so I want to be wise with the money he makes. This is just a small way I can help financially.
Again, click on the link below if you have yet to sign up for Swagbucks. You won't be disappointed!

Search & Win

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mommy's Moment: Survival Mode

Most of you with children know the first several weeks after having a baby you are operating in survival mode. I'm in that mode. Thankfully, this survival mode has been less dramatic than that after Grant's birth. Let's face it, Grant was a handful. My biggest struggle was his extreme fussiness, especially in the carseat. Kate has avoided that extreme fussiness. I am thankful. Very, very thankful. This go round my survival mode is more geared toward Hannah and Grant. I am scraping by with focusing on them. If I get them dressed and Grant's morning diaper changed BY lunchtime, it's a good day. A day ago, after Grant's AFTERNOON nap I realized I hadn't changed his diaper ALL day. The dramatic sagging reminded me that, yes, his diaper was full. Extremely full. Poor guy. Due to survival mode there has been much fighting between the two. They're bored. Hannah reminded me the other day "we've got to get back to schooltime." Oh how I want to. I long for a state of normal and for some structure for their little lives. But, the pieces of our fragmented days are slowly coming back together. I've finally got a workable plan to stay on top of our ever increasing laundry. I'm back to cooking supper. We're back to our weekly grocery store visits. Our days resemble a bit of normal. Part of the puzzle I desperately want to try to reincorporate are organized activities with Hannah and Grant. It's not school time but it's what will have to work for now. I'm trying to find something simple to do with them a few times a week. A couple of weeks ago we glued these pasta pieces over the first letters of their names. It was a hit. Best part: it kept them out of trouble for a good thirty minutes. Hopefully by the first of the year I can reincorporate "school time." I've seen some great ideas that I want to use. But for now, I'm still operating in survival mode. And I'm learning to be okay with that.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dreams DO Come True...

Are you paying attention? I have to get close up so I know that you are. I, Kate Irene Harman, would like to say that I have SMASHED the Harman track record of low weight gain. Today I weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs. 9 oz (still 3 ounces shy of Grant's birth weight). YES! I gained OVER a pound in two weeks. That's two outstanding visits for weight gain. To some of our newer readers, this may seem like no big deal. However, if you've followed us for years you may remember first, Hannah. She had a hard time gaining weight. Apparently Mommy and Hannah made many weight visits the first several weeks. And then, then there was Grant. Let's just say having the "failure to thrive" box marked on his chart sunk Mommy's heart. She surrendered nursing to the formula bottle. But today, today folks we have VICTORY. We've made it through those first trying weeks without hearing comments like, "you need to be nursing more," or "you'll have to supplement with formula," or "feed that baby some MEAT (just kidding)" or "we may have to do some tests to make sure everything is okay (that was the worst for Mommy)." So, today we celebrate. Cookies it is at snack time...well for me it will be a midnight snack.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's me, Kate. You know, the new kid on the block. Just checking in. Not much new going on for me. I'm doing the usual, eating, LOTS of sleeping, and, well, you know...the part that comes after the eating. Here's a new fact about me. Little boys have NOTHING on me when it comes to the distance they can shoot their pee pee. Nope. I've gotten Mommy's short sleeve shirt sleeve. Perhaps they should make some kind of pee pee tee pee for girls though they'd have to get innovative since a tee pee wouldn't work too well.
I go to the doctor Monday. Mommy is a bit worried. It seems I'm falling into the Harman baby eating pattern. I'm real sleepy and even after an hour and a half of all sorts of techniques they tell parents to use when rousing a sleepy baby, I still manage to stay pretty drowsy. Apparently Mommy's epidural can stay in me for quite some time. Hopefully, for all our sakes that epidural will leave my system soon! We'll keep you posted on that. Oh, and Hannah and Grant have to get a flu shot because of little ol me. Sorry guys. Thanks pediatricians for causing a rift between me and my siblings. Way to hinder that new relationship. "Hi, I'm Kate, your new sister. Because of me, you have to get a shot." Wow. That doesn't go over too well with the sibs.
Ta-ta for now. Hopefully next post I'll be bragging about my B-I-G weight gain. A girl can dream right?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What We've Been Up To...

Mommy is keeping busy helping our new baby Kate. We don't mind. For us that time translates into, let's see how much we can get away with before Mommy puts Kate down to stop it. So, Grant has taken back up hitting while I have managed to play the "damsel in distress card." However, that card is running out of currency I think. These pictures prove it. Order. No chaotic running around the house and leaving a trail of disaster behind us. Nope. Instead, the disaster is contained. In one room. One activity. Can we say we didn't fight during this activity? Nope. In fact, both Grant and I refused to cooperate at first. We both had fits prior to these photos (conveniently no shots of those tender moments are available). Am I supposed to share that? Nope. But, come on, this is real life. What kids sit happily in one spot for an extended period of time? Even the Brady Bunch kids fought (or so I hear). Ironically, we were making our annual Thankfulness Tree. We have a lot to learn about being thankful. Grant sure wasn't thankful when he couldn't use my gluestick. I sure wasn't thankful for the awkwardness of scissors and Mommy's determination for me to use them. Anyways, this post is growing by the minute. We finally got our act together, as you can see from our eager faces. I never did successfully cut the paper. But Grant and I both successfully put glue dots on the paper and stuck the tissue paper and construction paper along our tree. I, however, was more precise on placing the paper where it needed to go. Grant, on the other hand, needed continual direction from Mommy. It seems he hasn't quite grasped that leaves go at the top of a tree and not at the bottom. We finally completed our Thankfulness Tree. Now, each night we add a leaf with something we're thankful for. My contributions thus far: "celebration," "kitty (a story for another day)," "God's birthday (seems it's NOT this month to my disappointment)." Grant's contribution thus far: "sunshine." Yeah, Mommy's proud. Real proud.

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thes. 5:18

Monday, November 08, 2010

Drum Roll Please....

I have mastered the pump. Yes, I can officially swing myself. I don't know who's happier, me or Mommy.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


So, I was right all's a girl! And, if I'm being honest, I'm quite happy about it. I mean, I'd love another brother but I have BIG plans for my sister. We're going to share a room together, she's going to wear all my clothes, she'll go to ballet class with me and she can play with ALL of my toys. Thankfully, we're off to a good start. I think she loves me. Just look at her smile. Yeah, she's pretty special.

Friday, November 05, 2010

What About Me?

So everyone says Kate looks like Hannah. I beg to differ. In fact, I think I have Mommy on my side. You see, though I was more chunky, I think Kate favors me. It's our eyes. And our nose. Kate and Hannah match more in their size and coloring. So don't forget about me. Hannah isn't the only sibling to Kate. She's my sister too.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Who Am I?

Who am I? Which one is my sister Kate and which one is me, Hannah?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Bath Time!

Like my brother and sister, I have to post my first bath pictures. Not too many here, possibly because Mommy was holding the camera AND my head. I enjoy my bathtime. There's something about the water that is relaxing. It's the "taking me out after the bath" part afterwards that I don't enjoy. No sir (or mam). That cold air hitting me is like running into a brick wall (or so I would imagine).

Monday, November 01, 2010

And I'm Back...

Sorry for the hiatus. Our computer got a nasty virus. Apparently computers get sick too. Speaking of sick, I have endured my first cold thanks to having older siblings. I managed through it. Because of being sick I discovered the nasal bulb with saline rinse. NOT FUN. And I also experienced the humidifer or "fire" as my big brother Grant calls it. My health is returning and I'm feeling like myself again, which means I'm sleeping better (as you can tell from my stunning photo).
Do you like my shirt? Mommy's friend, Mrs. Sandra, passed it down to us. You see, she has a baby Kate too. . .just a couple of months older than me. This baby Kate had some rockin' shirts with our name on it. And so now I can sport it with pride. Thank you Gildes!
On another note, I had my 2 week appointment today. I weighed in at a whopping 8 lb. 6 oz. This is GOOD NEWS. It means I'm nursing well, something that is easier said than done based on Mommy's past experiences with Hannah and Grant. The get go wasn't so smooth with them. I'm glad to give Mommy a little peace of mind. Who knows, I may be the chunker of the family. No shots for this appointment, not for me at least. Mommy got the flu shot.
And, one more fun fact to leave with you today so you can learn a bit more about me. It has to do with my bowel movements so for the squeamish at heart, this paragraph isn't for you. Of course, as noted by my exceptional weight gain, I tend to poo a lot. I just don't do it at the right times. Yes, there are better times than others to relieve yourself. Apparently I haven't gotten that memo. The time NOT to do it is when your Mommy is in the process of changing your already soiled diaper. There are times Mommy has put three NEW diapers on me in a matter of 2 minutes because I know. I can't help it though. It feels so right. So, that's my homework for the week...self control and timing better intervals. What can I say, I'm a REAL STINKER!