Monday, August 30, 2010

Final Pictures
















Don't be fooled...though this is our last post dedicated to our Beach 2010 trip...there are MANY more pictures. But we're all tired of posting them. Mommy just made a free photobook through Shutterfly, so if you're ever in the neighborhood and are DYING to see the rest of the pictures (which we know you are) then you can browse through that. We'll call this our farewell post to the beach. Some of the highlights yet to be mentioned from our trip:

Grant chasing bird after bird after bird on the beach.


Finding "sea shelves."



Getting Rudy (my new stuffed dog) and Blue Bear (Grant's new stuffed bear that matches is red stuffed bear) in Savannah. These were our treats Daddy let us get. What else do you think two stuffed animal lovin' kids would pick out for their treat? By the way, this is the first time EVER I've actually successfully named a stuffed animal. In the past it's been, "bear" "doggy," "baby," but I'm grown up now and grown ups give real names to their loved ones. So I hear.



Our van, "The Big Bad Wolf" getting hit in the grocery store parking lot.



Building sand castles before the tide washed them away.


Catching a fish and throwing it back in the water.


Watching out for jellyfish.

Drawing Jesus in the sand (we just may have to post this masterpiece).


And lots and lots of more fun in the sand and water!!










Can't wait to go back!










Friday, August 27, 2010

Mommy's Moment: Swagbucks and More




I haven't blogged lately about Swagbucks. Most of you are probably happy about that. But even though I'm not blogging about it, I'm still searching away and earning points that in turn earn me Amazon gift cards. Tonight I just finished up with Hannah's Christmas shopping using my Amazon gift cards. I ended up giving in to the Leapster craze and ordered her the Leapster 2 and a digital kids camera. I'm hoping the Leapster will help during her new "rest time." She's been loving their kids' laptop that, in comparison to Leapster, seems outdated now. And, I love anything educational and fun. However, it seems that my expectations for her new toys are often unmet as she shows disinterest in some of the things I think she'll love. So we'll see. Thankfully, out of pocket, I just put out $3.71 for these two items. I also snagged a toy microwave for her kitchen at the Target clearance sale for $5 as well as some stocking stuffers. So, I can say, I am COMPLETELY done with Hannah's shopping. Hooray!
How does this happen? Well, of course, through Swagbucks. I just search the web using their browser and earn points. Once I hit enough points, I get me a $5 Amazon card. Recently, I'm earning $10 a month. Obviously this doesn't go too far. But I have other methods too. I am a member of MyPoints. I click on emails and earn points. I also can get points by searching the web, doing online shopping via their site, and taking surveys. These points eventually translate into $25 Amazon gift cards. Honestly, I usually get 2 a year...maybe three. Finally, I've just started taking surveys through Lightspeed Panel. I get one or two a day. If I qualify for a survey and take it I get so many points. And, of course, these points turn into $25 Amazon gift cards. I have been doing it a couple of weeks and am already super close to a gift card. I'm thinking this may be my best earner. I usually will take a survey during the kids' naptime or at night. So, combine all of those together and I build up my Amazon gift card balance. I strictly use my gift cards for the kids...birthdays and Christmas. And, we don't buy a lot of presents (3 per kid and some stocking stuffers for Christmas). I've gotten in a groove with each of these outlets so it doesn't take ample time out of my day. If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) then you can click on the button below to get started. And if you're interested in MyPoints or Lightspeed Panel then let me know and I'll send you an invite.
I am thankful to be able to help out in little ways. It may not be much but it's nice to know when Christmas rolls around that we don't have to break the bank to get presents. . .especially now that we will have three little ones to celebrate with!

Search & Win

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Takin' Care of Business












I think safety is important. Lifeguards are important. So, I, Hannah Harman, took it upon myself to be part of Baywatch. . .censored, family appropriate Baywatch. Board by my side, I monitored the water. I thought I spotted a shark but only to realize it was a "sea shelve." Man. When times were slow, I took care of my board. Made sure it was in tip top shape. And I practiced my mounting technique (in the shallow water of course). Yep. It looked like I was ready to take on the next emergency the ocean would throw at me. Now, if I could just conquer my fear of the waves and perfect my swim strokes I'd be fit for the job!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hittin' the "Beach"












Pure joy. Finally, the "real" beach. I won't lie, Grant and I were a bit hesitant about the waves. It probably didn't help that Mommy reminded us several times to watch out for jellyfish. There were a lot. I found contentment lying in the sand as the small waves washed over me. This, however, proved to be a problem in the "sand in my swimsuit" department. Grant found greatest pleasure right next to Mommy or in Mommy's arms. Imagine that. He enjoyed splashing right at the edge. We both enjoyed running free on the beach and into the very shallow part of the ocean as well. Grant managed to leave the beach each day covered in sand. Head to toe. He loved to throw it and dig in it and a few times, eat it. This turned out to be a bad idea. Thankfully he enjoys the taste of salt water because that's all Mommy had to wash his mouth out.

Bathing Beauty


Mommy says she hopes this isn't any indicator of a future career.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Brighter Visit to the Pier











We made a second visit to the pier one afternoon...this time sporting our new Tybee souvenier t-shirts. Aren't we a sight for sore eyes? As you can tell, we were in better spirits. The weather was looking up and the next day we would finally hit the "real" beach. Grant's favorite site on the pier...the birds that would randomly land on it. Actually, the birds were Grant's favorite site on the whole trip. Who knew? Perhaps he takes after his Papa. Mommy says apparently Papa enjoys birds. Grant found great delight in chasing those babies, so much so that he would lose all clear reasoning and find himself quite a distance away from us. I did hear Mommy bribing Grant with birds too. On our long walk back to the car when we went to the big beach Mommy would entice Grant to hurry along by pointing out seagulls in the distance. That got Grant's feet a moving as he crouched down and ran toward them. Thankfully this method worked, otherwise we probably would still be walking to our car. So, I'm glad Grant likes birds.

A Stop on The Road




Daddy loves salt water marshes. So, on our way back from The Crab Shack (recommended by Mommy's friend Mrs. Erin) we stopped for a quick picture. As you can tell it was quick because I, Ganc, have no shoes on. That's how I like to roll in our Swagger Wagon. Speaking of no shoes and The Crab Shack...their motto is "Where the Elite Come to Eat in Bare Feet." I knew I'd like that place. And eat in my bare feet I did. And this time, I wasn't told to put my shoes back on. We also enjoyed watching alligators, exotic birds, and a few cats, all residing at The Crab Shack. . .just in a different section. Don't worry.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mommy's Moment: We Interrupt These Pictures...


It's almost 2:00. I sat down last night to plan my day. If I have a plan my day goes smoother and I get more accomplished. At least that's the hope. Well, like I said, it's 2:00 and I have yet to accomplish ONE thing off of my list. But, I've been busy. Busy with things I had no intention of dealing with today. What has preoccupied my time? The unexpected.

The container of colored word tiles that Hannah and Grant gravitate to like kids in a candy shop was lying empty on my floor.

"Hannah, where are the color word tiles?" I ask because they are NO WHERE to be seen.
"Under the bed," she answers with a little grin.

Not a huge deal...except if you're pregnant and they are laying the farthest from reach.

"Hannah, you have to get under there and pick every bit of those up."
"But Mommy, I'll get stuck.." and then big tears.
"You should have thought about that when you and Grant threw them down there."

A brilliant idea pops into my mind. I give her our extended feather duster pole to drag them out.
I go to change Grant's diaper. Screams proceed a frustrated girl..."I can't get them out! Grant did it too. He needs to help."

We rejoin the dramatic child. I lay on my side trying to use the feather duster pole. We get a few out. Grant eagerly places them back into the container. This method will take light years. Soon, Hannah thankfully discovers a new found excitement for this game. She manages to shimmy her body under the bed. Out come the colored tiles...along with other treasures that have been lost under the bed. Looks like she and Grant have it under control. I go to dry my hair. Then...a shrilling, shrieking, scream exits from beneath the bed. Somehow Hannah manages to think she is stuck. I persuade her to throw out some colored tiles while she lays there. Might as well make as best use of this situation as we can. But clearly, there's an easy way out. She refuses to agree. So I then try to drag her as I lay on my side. She bumps her head. That's it. I lost any leverage I had. Any words of advice or attempts to pull her out have vanished. She's in this thing alone. So, what's a mom to do? Take a picture of course!
Minutes roll by...time is passing...that kitchen floor still waiting to be mopped, those shirts of John's waiting to be ironed, my bed waiting to be made and what are we doing...laying on the floor, one serving as a hostage negotiator, pleading with an over emotional child to come out from under the bed, the other, a hostage to an apparently relentless bed who refuses to let her out of its evil grips. And then there's Grant, who sits by my side through it all.

Soon, I've had enough. Enter the surprise attack. I come from behind. Grab her legs (in white tights might I add that she was determined to wear today) and pull. She shrieks, yells, cries but lo and behold, the attack proved successful. She has been pulled from the bed's tenacious grips. I cuddle her as though we've survived a firey crash. All is well. And it's already time for lunch.

I have also managed to stay on the phone talking to the insurance company regarding our outrageous deductible as well as trying to get in touch with the car place who has yet to send us our information needed to get our car tag which we were supposed to have on our van yesterday.

And, here I sit, blogging as they nap while my floors still need swept and mopped, John's shirts still need ironed, my bed sits unmade, and there are still colored tiles sitting beneath my bed. Plans are good but you can never plan for the unexpected. And I've found the best way to roll with the unexpected is to just laugh otherwise I'd be pulling my hair out.




Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Real Beach





The first two days we were at the beach it rained. A little disappointing. Mommy and Daddy took us to the pier one evening. It was there we layed eyes on the "real beach." The waves were crashing. The sand was never ending. The ocean went on and on. I wanted on that beach. Fast. But we didn't have our suits. And it was almost supper time. I didn't care. I was quite the pickle. Frowns all around. The highlight of our first pier trip...watching a man catch a little shark. WOW. I want to go fishing now. Daddy is happy. And two days later I would be happy because (yes it rained the next day too) we would be on that beach.

Uncertain


I was a little uncertain about the waves. Thankfully, as you see behind me, this was as big as the waves got near our condo. When the waves were non-existant I was thrilled to be in the water. I liked to splash and jump and run. I'll show you my Baywatch running pictures soon. Oh, and for those of you who haven't seen yet, this is my new "do." It's close to a Mr. Clean look (Mommy had a bit of a run in with the clippers and the only option was to shave it). I must say, it was a refreshing cut for the beach. And, thankfully, Mommy and Daddy super coated my head with sunscreen each day. In fact, I still smell like sunscreen. One can never be too careful. And, excuse my belly, we just ate.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Serves Up"





A luxury at the Savannah Beach and Racquet Club (at least in our room) was this baby...my boogie board. It didn't leave my side. . .on the beach at least. Check out the awesome dolphins that grace its surface. I rode some mean waves on it. Well, okay, Daddy pulled me because the waves were basically non existant on the beach by the condo (little did we know that staying on the south end would have been a much better choice...we finally made our way to that beach...more pictures later). I still didn't lose my enthusiasm though. I yelled "Serves Up!" as I ran to the ocean, boogie board in hand (that's what my Backyardigan friends say when they're at the beach with their "serve" boards). I'll miss that boogie board. I hope the other guests treat you as well as I did, buddy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Prestigious Savannah Beach and Racquet Club


It's me, Grant or, as I call myself, "Ganc." This was my and Hannah's sleeping quarters at the prestigious Savannah Beach and Racquet Club (don't let the name fool you). Our room was nice, but nothing fancy as the name may imply. You can easily perceive this by looking at our bunking situation. . .a shipmate bunk minus the top bunk. . . in a hallway. Good thing Hannah and I are small...otherwise, this wouldn't have worked. But then again, did it? If I recall, the first night I found myself on the floor...the TILE floor to be exact after much wiggling atop this "bed." I am a wiggler at night. I like my freedom to move as I please. However, this arrangement wasn't conducive to my habits. My strong muscles managed to push the chairs away as I made my plummet to the ground. The hard ground. Needless to say, Mommy came to my rescue and after a quick recovery I found myself dozing off to dreamland in my shipmate bunk...with Hannah at my feet. Thankfully, this was the last time I fell out. This may be due to Mommy's readjusting of the chairs or the fact she woke up several times at night after hearing the chairs screech across the floor as my muscular body again tried to wedge itself between the chair and the "bed." Or it could have been my embarrassment that kept my body clear of the floor after Hannah had mindlessly yelled at me in her sleep to "be quiet!" after suffering my dramatic fall. Who knows. But Hannah wasn't exempt from accidents. Nope. I do recall her wetting the bed one night. And did I yell at her? No. In fact, I was still willing to sleep in the "bed" after her accident. Between the dramatic fall and the embarrassing bed wetting experience, I'd say our shipmate bunk was quite the place for some exciting adventures on our beach excursion.

Back From the Beach


Sorry for the lack of posting...we were getting our groove on at Tybee Island. It's a beach. It was great. I miss it. So, to rekindle those warm (or let's say sweltering hot) fuzzy feelings, we'll post a look back at our amazing beach adventure...my and Grant's first ever. Stay tuned! You won't want to miss it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mommy's Moment (Again): What I'm Reading

Most of you who are around me know I'm not an avid reader. I love to read. I enjoy it when I do it but it's not something I consciously make time for. This is probably because usually when I start a good book it's hard to put it down. I read The Time Traveler's Wife a few months ago. It consumed me. I loved it..though some parts a bit racey...okay a lot racey. But all in all the storyline was great. Anyways, I read this book in 3 days...400 pages. It just consumes me. So I steer clear of novels because of this. However, one book I've been chewing on for a couple of months now is Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

It's not a novel. It's a book centered around heart oriented discipline for your kids according to Scripture. Can I just say, it's great? Lately I've found myself baffled at disciplining my kids. Before kids, I thought I had it all down. I knew what I'd do, how I'd do it and it would be simple. It was pride. And I've been very humbled lately as I've fallen on my face and eaten my own words and ideas on discipline. I realized my ways were futile. I'd heard of this book for awhile and had wanted to read it. I borrowed it from a friend but I'll be buying my own to have on hand. It's been so eye opening and refreshing. The author fills her pages with Scripture as she focuses on training the heart, not the behavior. In my own words, you're dealing with the sinner, not just the sin. Our children need to see their need for Christ. We need to call disobedience what it is, sin. We show them that through God's Word. We ask heart probing questions when they sin. We encourage them to then respond according to God's Word. We do it in love to point them to Christ. It's been so convicting for me because in looking at Scripture I again see my own sin as I deal with my kids. Thankfully God is a gracious God whose mercies are new every morning...for me and my children!

I can correct my children's behavior all day long, but if I'm not dealing with the heart, where the behavior stems from, I'm only creating a Pharisee...a person who looks great on the outside but whose heart is dirty. The beautiful thing I love that she writes is that of course it's the Lord who does all the work. All He asks is that we are faithful to obey His calling as parents and trust that He is at work in our efforts. That's all we can do for it's the Lord that changes hearts. But He does that through His Word. How do they hear His Word? Lots of ways, but for my littles...mainly through me who spends every waking minute of the day with them. Disciplining the heart opens up a huge door to speak Truth to them (and me).

This method is time consuming and exhausting. Not only does it involve a rebuke (most often in my house accompanied by a spanking) but it also involves talking with your child about how their behavior was disobedient and backing it up with Scripture...then followed by the child modeling the correct behavior. Finally praise and encouragement. Most days I fail several times simply because I run out of energy, am preoccupied with something else, or plain just don't want to deal with it. But it's worth it. The Lord has called me to be their mother. He has called me to speak Truth to them at all times. I stay at home because of them...to invest in them. This is a priority. My prayer for my kids has of course been that the Lord would draw them to Himself and that they would have a love for His Word and that they would use His Word as a sword against the evils in this world. That it would be the standard by which they judge all things. Heart oriented discipline sets a groundwork of Truth that I pray the Lord would use to transform their hearts into a heart of flesh. And that it would transform their way of thinking. And I know that in the process it will be doing the same for me.

If you're like me and in a season where you're at your wits end in how to discipline...this book takes God's Word and clearly communicates how to apply it in disciplining your child...not so you look like you have a obedient child...but to fight the sin that dwells in his heart and lay a foundation of right, Biblical thinking that will automatically transform behavior.

Hannah still talks back, whines, hits, disobeys (as does Grant). . .but I pray the Lord is using His Word to slowly change their sinful hearts into one of repentance and trust.

Mommy's Moment: Pregnancy




Pregnancy is a funny thing. After stepping out the back door to throw the trash away and almost falling on my face thanks to my finicky sciatic nerve, I had to laugh. My body feels as if it was years, and I mean A LOT of years older. I generally now take three pills a day: iron, prenatal vitamins, and Zantac. Again, not typical in my daily non pregnancy routine. My hamstrings feel as though I've run a marathon every day. I constantly tell my kids, "I just need to sit down." Then when I get up, I almost fall down again thanks to my sciatic nerve. And then, there's this odd sternum pain. Yes, sternum pain. It visits me occassionally in the middle of the night. It's as if someone has sat on my chest. It feels bruised. I felt a bit odd calling the nurse to make sure this wasn't a big deal. I didn't want to sound like a hypochodriac. I'm sure I did. But, what the heck? Sternum pain? Perhaps it's related to acid reflux...my new companion who never leaves my side. Perhaps it's due to that sinus infection/ear infection I had a month ago...again infections I usually get only when pregnant. It's a mystery. Then my left side of my back always hurts. Yes. No stretching or massaging helps much. It just remains a constant nag. Restless leg syndrome...it's real. . .despite John's severe skepticism. While resting on the couch I can't help but feel the intense need to shake my legs...yes shake them all about... finally, only to give in to standing up...which, as you know, presents the sciatic nerve problem that almost catapults me back down. And the funny thing...my stomach isn't even that big. Yet the pain is real. And then my iron is low. I was waiting for the iron supplement to boost my energy high. To feel almost super human like, being able to move through the day at super human speed while accomplishing all my tasks at hand. Still waiting. The house is still in disarray. And to top it off, the past few days I've even felt contractions. Something I never felt with the others until close to D day. I just have to laugh. I know every pregnant woman goes through this. It's just...crazy. But well worth it. I am so thankful to go through each of these pains with the anticipation of the arrival of a new life. It's just crazy what we're willing to go through to get that little baby. So, about ten weeks to go til we meet our little bundle. Hopefully this body will make it. . .even if it does require a cane.

And for a brief pregnancy update that doesn't include all my ailments...I'm now measuring small. Yes, small. Good news, yes. However, I was informed if I'm still measuring small next visit then they'll do an ultrasound. GOOD GRIEF. An ultrasound if I'm big, an ultrasound if I'm small. . .come on! I'm sure baby is fine. I feel him/her (really thinking her) move all the time. But I'm thankful for them to check just in case. Apparently low amniotic fluid can be the cause in measuring small, however, I don't think that's the case here. This pregnancy has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I hope if this IS a girl...she's not a drama queen!

And, for your viewing pleasure, me at almost 30 weeks.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Waiting...





Waiting. For. 3. Months. It's a hard thing to do. Especially for a 3 3/4 year old. What am I waiting for you ask? The beach. Mommy and Daddy told me MONTHS ago that we were going to the beach. Little did I know it would be THIS LONG before we'd finally arrive upon the date. Mommy said August. It was May. Then June. Then July. And now, finally it's August. But, I'm still waiting. It must be getting close now. We talk about it every day. We count the days on my calendar. My heart is racing. Mostly about sharks. I talk about sharks every day. I explain to Mommy, or anyone in close proximity (today Mrs. Laura Beth) that if we get our heads bit off by sharks we will have to go to the hospital to put them back on. I think about sharks a lot. Mommy says we probably won't see one. PROBABLY. So, she's saying there's some hope. Sharks like to bite. So I won't get too close if I see one. I even picked out a shark book for my free library book I got for reading this summer. This book said you don't want a shark at the dentist. I asked Mommy why. So anyways, hopefully we will be beach bound soon. I can't hardly wait much longer. Mommy says we'll head out Saturday. It's high time I see what all this talk about the beach is about...and I'm crossing my fingers I get to meet a shark. I'll keep you posted (unless I'm in the hospital reattaching my head).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

At Grandmama's and Grandaddy's












For the official Fourth of July we went to Grandmama's and Grandaddy's house. My great cousins, Anabelle, Wyatt, and John Mark were there with Aunt Dani and Uncle Daniel. So were Uncle Tim and Aunt Bethany (who will be giving us a new cousin within the next month!). We had a blast. We did some sparklers, ate some ring pops, and played outside. It was a great way to spend the Fourth!!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Happy Fourth of July (A Month Later)







































Sure, it's August. Kids are back in school (not us). Fall clothes are in the stores. Summer fun is winding down. But we'd like to take this time to say, "Happy Fourth of July!" We spent the Saturday before the Fourth at a fun place, an old battlefield. What made it so fun, you ask? Let me tell you.


1. Riding the BIG inflatable slide. MY FAVORITE. One may look at little old me and take me for a weenie. Let's face it, Mommy is. But not me. We started the evening on a small inflatable obstacle course. The slide was great, but let's face it, a bit small and amateur. So, Daddy let me go on the GIANT slide (not pictured here). I had tons of fun going down it again and again. The best part for Mommy and Daddy...it was free! The worst part...well...for Grant...he was too small to ride it. Hence, the crying face.



2. Going to jail. Okay, so I'm obsessed a bit with jails. We pass one every now and then when we run errands. Mommy says it's for people who broke the law. I don't get it. But I remind Mommy every time we go past that they "broke the lock," and that "they can't play because they lost their priviledge." So, I thought I'd like to try this jail thing out with my good buddy Grant alongside. It wasn't so bad. I still think I'll stay away from those locks though.


3. Drinking beer (Root Beer). It was tasty. I think Grant enjoyed it the most however. He couldn't get enough. We may have to keep an eye on him and this possibly obsessive behavior though.


4. Waiting for the fireworks. Okay, it was a long wait. But well worth it. Grant tried to pick up some ladies with Mommy's sunglasses. I told him that wasn't cool. Ladies glasses...not going to get the job done. He finally realized it when no one approached him. He's got a lot to learn.


5. Watching the fireworks. By the time the fireworks finally started...Mommy was tired of taking pictures. Therefore, just imagine in your mind Grant clapping incessantly and me talking non stop as I analyze each one and insist that they are not flowers (one girl in front of us kept saying they looked like flowers).