Friday, April 29, 2011

Pillow Talk

I like pillows. A lot. I gather all the pillows around the house to make my masterpieces. Inside, I like to make a pillow house, though I get frustrated. They fall. A lot. I cry. A lot. Other times I make a pillow path across the floor. Grant and I like to lay on them. But, more than that, we like to jump on them. Well, the other day while Mommy was distracted, I gathered some pillows (from our beds) and took them outside onto the sidewalk. What says comfort like wonderful, soft pillows under a warm, sunny sky? I thought it was perfect. However, Mommy wasn't as thrilled. But, she still managed to take some shots of me before we had to take them back inside.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Homeschool Diaries: Fish, Gumballs, and Hippos

A little late posting our homeschool update...three letters late. But we're trucking along.

The Good: Lots of good to share that I am so excited about. We are creating word families. So far -ed words and -ad words. Hannah is a master rhymer. She may just be the next Busta Rhymes. Yep. She's that good. So when it comes to word families, well, we have some fun. The highlight has been watching her point out words when I ask her to find them. She was so excited to find "dad" when I asked her to locate it on the list that she practically bombarded John on his return from working to exclaim "I can read 'dad'!"

Also, we've improved in our cutting skills, thanks to a tip from Grandmama. Thumbs up. What has been a major frustration for me and Hannah has made a turn for the better. So much better that all Hannah wants to do is cut. She still needs lots of direction but we've come a long way baby. And Grant, well that little guy will probably catch on to cutting much faster than Hannah did.

On a patriotic note, Hannah and Grant can recite most of the Pledge of Allegiance.

All in all, I'm seeing some progress and it's exciting.

The bad: Well, I'm still trying to manage occassional meltdowns (from me and Hannah). I'm also trying to teach Hannah and Grant that we do not sit on the tables nor stand in their chairs. As a public school teacher, I would not obviously allow that. But then again, we're not in a public school setting. Also, we're still only on the letter H. My goal is to complete the alphabet by the end of the summer. That's helping me stay on task. Most often I am teaching in my pajamas because, well, I just can't muster up enough umph to get out of the bed early enough to shower beforehand. Therefore, showers are happening much later in the day. Time management is always an area of "needs improvement" for me.

The funny: Did I mention Hannah and Grant were standing in their chairs and sitting on the table? Hannah still manages to wear her swimming attire to "school." Grant manages to wet the floor every so often at "school." Funny? Well, better funny than disturbing. Perhaps we're not making a great case for the "socially awkward" card that gets played when it comes to homeschooling.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Conversations with...Grant

Grant. My little buddy. He is a passionate, firey little guy. The cuddle bug of my bunch. His words can melt my heart.

Just today...

I'm taking him in from playing outside in the sprinkler.

Carrying him up the stairs: "Mommy I like when you hold me. I like to put my arm on your arm."

The past several days...

Me: Why do we celebrate Easter?

Grant, emphatically: "He came back!"

The past, oh, hundred days...

Grant: Mommy, I pee pee-ed/poo pooed in my pants.

Me: Grant, why do you keep doing that?

Grant:I don't know.

Me: Do you care?

Grant: no.

And so many days,

"Mommy? Love you."

Friday, April 22, 2011

What We Do For Fun

What do you do for fun? We feed cows. And some donkeys. Well, when I say we, I mean Ada and me. Grant's a scaredy cat. And Kate, well, she's too little as is baby John. What says Friday night fun like riding in the back of a truck down a dirt road and stopping to feed cows? Okay, yes, Mommy is from Alabama. AND it just so happens that so are Mrs. Laura Beth and Mr. is fitting. And we did have shoes on. Or did we? I can't remember. But I do know we all had fun. Who's up for some cow tipping next Friday?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mommy's Moment: Zoo

Exhale. Today. Today, I came close to losing my mind. Take three kids to the zoo? No problem. I was a teacher. I took a whole class to the zoo before. Three kids, piece of cake. Ha. Ha, Ha, Ha. Taking my three to the zoo, became a zoo in and of itself. But before I move on, my deepest thanks to my great friend, Kim, for bringing us along on her pass. I am grateful. Grateful to spend time with her and her kids. Grateful to get out of the house for a bit. Grateful because my kids got to experience something they hadn't gotten to experience before.

I had high hopes. Hopes that including spending time at each exhibit talking about the animals, watching them in their habitats, and even finding animals that start with different letters of the alphabet. I hear you laughing. Keep laughing. Because of course, that NEVER happened. Instead, within in minutes of arriving my dear, sweet, precious Kate LOST IT. I brag about her a lot. Today, I won't. In the midst of massive lines of school children and other strolling moms and dads with better behaved kids, I pushed through with Kate screaming. And who was there to echo her cries? Mr. Grant. You see, I needed his blanket. I was going to crawl into a corner and hold tightly to it, hoping all the problems would go away like they always seem to do when he cuddles with it. But seeing as though DFACS may intervene I decided for a more practical use, to block the sun from glaring into Kate's screaming face. Perhaps that will calm her down. Well it didn't. It did fire Grant up. So, there we roll, past the lions, elephants (heck I don't even recall what animals we passed by in those moments) with two of my little animals making their own exhibit of themselves. I was reliving our Walmart runs all over again. In desperation, I picked Kate out of the stroller. Silence. Go figure. Believing I was stronger than I am, I decided to TRY to stroll Grant (it's a double stroller) with one hand while holding Kate in the other. We only made it to the next exhibit. Grant, too heavy for me, rode in 32 week pregnant, Kim's stroller while her two walked with Hannah. Doing something I always frowned upon during my "oh so wiser before I actually had kids" days, I carried Kate on my hip while pushing an EMPTY double stroller. Yes, I was one of those moms I passed judgement on years ago. Did I say motherhood is humbling? Gulp. I swallow my pride again.

And, while we're talking about doing things I'd never thought I'd do, let's add another to the list. I breastfed in public. I hold NOTHING against moms who do this, I am just super self conscious and often opt to do it somewhere in private. Not today. I did not have that luxury. Thankfully, my "Udder Cover" came in handy. Go ahead, laugh. That's what they call it. So I sat, hoping to appease my ever so fussy Kate while looking carefully at each side of my "cover" to insure I was fully covered. It worked. After lunch was had by all I will say the trip calmed down a bit. Kate slept. Grant forgot momentarily about his "Blankey Boy" and found excitement in all things animals. Hoping for those Kodak Moments, I kept my camera in hand. Yeah. It didn't happen. It was all I could do to help corral our kids and make sure they didn't end going home on a school bus with kids in red shirts. By the time Nolan had to go to the bathroom again, Kim and I looked at each other, both thinking the same thing but hesitant to say it..."Let's Go." We said our goodbyes. We walked our separate ways. By the time my crew made it to the van crankiness set in. Hannah complained her legs hurt. Grant remembered Blankie Boy and insisted on taking it back from Kate. Mouths were thirsty. Heads were aching. Within 5 minutes of leaving the zoo, two little heads with eyes closed bobbed to the side in the back. Kate, on the other hand, squealed in delight. I do believe she was the most excited of all to be making our way back home.

Happy Zoo Day. We'll be returning when Kate is three.

Monday, April 18, 2011

One Thousand Gifts: 31-40

Thankful. It's Monday. A reminder of thanksgiving. I sit. Contemplate. Why should it take this long to create a short list of thanksgiving? Why is my heart not naturally inclined to "give thanks in all circumstances?" But I will write. I will stop. I will remind myself of the Lord's goodness in my every day.

#31: my children's laughter, the sweetest sound I know and a reminder of the Lord's goodness to me through these three precious lives I get to encounter every day.

#32: a pantry that is full of food and a freezer that overflows, a reminder of the

Lord's provision for our family.

#33: a messy house, a reminder that life is lived here, fun is had, imagination is


#34: dirty feet, a reminder of warm, sunny days spent outside enjoying the Lord's


#35: dirt roads, a reminder of peace in the midst of a fast paced world

#36: sore muscles and feet, a reminder of my able body to move and run, a luxury

some do not have.

#37: tired eyes, a reminder of a baby whose needs I am able to meet through

snuggling and feeding in the middle of the night.

#38: worship music, a reminder of the character of God when I don't have time to sit

and read His word.

#39: a great camera, a reminder of ways I can capture sweet memories with my


#40: a great camera, a reminder of my husband's love for me as he saved for months

in order to surprise me with it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Please Don't Go

No. Wait. Don't leave. You're at the right address. We know. You thought you were perusing a J. Crew site. Yeah. We get that alot. With our killer magazine poses, it's a mistake anyone could make. But it's just us, Hannah and Grant. And, if you gaze long enough, you'll discover that real fast. Did you see what Hannah is wearing? Sheer lack of style. My thoughts exactly. Can you believe Mommy let her out of the house? For Mommy's sake I'll confess the look was totally inspired by and executed by Hannah. It's a miracle I let her get close to me, let alone take a picture with me! But, as usual, I was lookin' good. What says carefree and cool like some atheltic pants paired with an awesome bug shirt? Bug shirts are my favorite...along with dogs, frogs, anything Cars or Toy Story...well, the list could go on. But the point is, I've got style. Style my sister does not have. And, if it weren't for her, well, I'm thinking more people would be falling for the J. Crew bit.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


In the words of Ray LaMontagne I sing my tune,

"Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble,

Trouble been doggin my soul since the day I was born..."

Yes, it seems trouble follows me. You see, I feel deeply. Way down deep. Into my soul deep. So deep that my wails, like Ray's soulful cries, fill the house. I'm a bit dramatic. But that's how us soulful cats are. Dramatic. Can someone tell my Mommy-O that?

Cause "feels like everytime I get back on my feet she come around and knock me down again.."

No. Not abuse. But it seems everytime I get it back together, something happens, and boom, I'm in trouble again.

So, I sing my soulful cry.

Blog Star

It seems I'm getting a lot of air time lately. On the blog. Not on the basketball court. Immobility equals lots of camera time. And, more pictures means I've gotta come up with more to talk about. Well, big news today. I'm 6 months old. Yes, I've reached that special milestone. I'm halfway to one. Tomorrow I go for my check up. That is, if these allergies (so we think) clear up a bit. Darn, no shots for me tomorrow if they don't. Anyone know how to sneeze on command?

As of late, I've been rolling over. But, of course, you've already seen that. But what you haven't seen is my ability to semi-sit on my own. You know, where you lean forward, Mommy's hands out just enough distance to grab ya if you start teetering. I've found in the process that I'm good at bending in half. In fact, I can stay that way for awhile. Mommy was impressed. Of course, we have pictures to document that special feat. And of course, I'll be back with further commentary.

Sleeping through the night. Ha. I still like to wake Mommy up once every night. It seems she's growing weary though. The fact I had to cry it out last night let me know, my game may be ending. Apparently, I am way behind par in regards to Hannah's and Grant's amazing abilities to sleep through the night. I'm oh, four months behind. I just find that I need a little more one on one time with Mommy. And, being the youngest it seems my only chance is between 2 am and 3 am. Go figure.

I'm eating lots. I love squash. I love carrots. I love pears. I love applesauce. And, I love to make a mess with it all.

And, seeing as though the pictures have uploaded, I'll end my rambling here. Because, really, who is that interested?

And yes, Mommy fiddled around with the pictures some. That's why they look, uh, different.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I love my Kate. I think she loves me. How do I know? Well, everytime she sees me (well just about) she lets out a BIG squeal and a gummy smile. I think I'm a good big sister. I watch her a lot for Mommy. You know, while she goes to the store. JUST KIDDING. I'm her playmate while Mommy makes supper, lunch, or breakfast. I keep her entertained while she's waiting on Mommy to pick her up out of the crib. I make loud, squealing noises that I've found only she appreciates. Mommy does not. She enjoys my dancing. But, who doesn't? I help her roll over whether she wants to or not. And I talk, a lot, to her. It seems she's about the only one who appreciates my verbose speech. She never tires of it. So I confide in her. She can keep a good secret. But maybe that's because she's a locked vault. She can't talk. I'm not quite sure how that will work when she actually learns how to talk. I'll let you know.

Monday, April 11, 2011

One Thousand Gifts: 21-30

Today I am thankful for:

#21: a meaningful talk with a good friend

#22: warmer weather

#23: a park that's walking distance from our house

#24: God's irretractable love for me because of Christ

#25: birthday cake

#26: the number of times my children tell me they love me each day (and they are many)

#27: Kate's easy going personality

#28: new clothes thanks to some birthday money

#29: Grant's poo poo potty success ON MY BIRTHDAY (the best present ever)!

#30: 3 new leads for John's business

Yellow Squash and Kate

Do you like squash in your nose?

Do you like squash between your toes?

Do you like squash in your hair?

Do you like squash everywhere?

I do like squash in my nose (though it lacks an appealing smell).

I do like squash between my toes (it's squishy).

I do like squash in my hair (I hear it makes it real shiney..wait maybe that's mayonnaise).

I do like squash everywhere.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mommy's Moment: 10 Year Rewind

Today I am 30. Maybe I'll feel better suited now driving my van with three kids in tow. Maybe not. I don't "feel" thirty. But what does thirty feel like? I remember seeing commercials of a show called "Thirty Something" when I was little and thinking, wow, they're old. Now that I've entered this new age group, I'm not so sure about that. I don't feel much different from when I was in college. Okay, maybe a bit. The fact that it's 8:00 pm and the bed is calling me isn't quite how I felt in college. But as I move into the thirties, I reflect on my twenties because, man, a lot happened in a span of those ten years.

I traveled to Thailand for two months. My first true "out of the country" experience. I haven't ridden a plane since.

I graduated college.

I got my first professional job teaching 2nd graders at Anna K. Davie (which no longer exists and that makes my heart sad).

I got married.

We moved to a new city.

We bought a house.

We got a dog. He's no longer with us.

I gave birth to three children.

I had one miscarriage.

Our family lost three of my grandparents.

We got a van. Yes, this definitely is a major turning point. I could write a post solely on this. Okay, I have but there's more. You know, when you get a van, you don't feel so cool anymore cruising with the windows down, listening to music by yourself. I had to remind myself that I must look like a really hot (meaning sweaty not good looking) soccer mom trying to get a breath of fresh air versus a hip chick taking a cruise.

Did I mention, I had three kids? I think that calls for double listing.

John lost his job.

John started his own business.

And in the midst of all these events, life happened. Sadness, happiness, disappointment, gratefulness, excitement, contentedness, lots of great friendships. My twenties were good. I have been blessed by the Lord in so many ways as I look back on those ten years. Even in the times that were hard, the Lord taught me and refined me. And, I must say, I doubt any other decade will be as full of life changing events as these.

I see the thirties as a "settling" in to these major events. Growing in marriage. Growing in motherhood. Growing into our home. Making it more and more a place of refuge for our family and friends. Growing in this new business endeavor. Growing in all the things the Lord has taught me/us in the past ten years and looking ahead to what He will be teaching me/us in the years to come.

So with that said, farewell twenties. Thank you for the ride.

Hello thirties, I'm ready to go.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Mommy's Moment: Potty Training

I use that term loosely. Potty training. Do you still consider it training when you are aware your son is still in his Pull-Ups from the previous night and it's 11:00 am the following morning and you've yet to act upon it? That happens a lot here. I sit on the couch with Kate. Grant informs me he's pee peeing. Instead of that "get up a go" tenacity I had several weeks earlier, I stay seated. At least he's in a Pull Up, I think to myself. So, when people ask me, "how's potty training going?" I usually respond with the fact, it's going...right onto the floor or in his underoo's. It's sad when your child knows the "wipe the poop off of the bottom" stance immediately and assumes position quickly after removing the soiled underware. There he stands, bottom in my face, hands on the floor, face peeking through his legs observing my every swipe, soon to inform me that he thinks I got it all.

The picture above was his reward after his first successful time on the potty doing his big job. I thought we had a breakthrough. This picture was taken several weeks ago. We've had one successful attempt since then.

It's a motherhood moment where I, yet again, swallow my pride. Hannah. Potty trained within a week minus the night time and nap time. Gulp. Grant, two months out, and, well, he's not trained. I'll be the first to admit, I'm the culprit. I am. I've grown weary in the process. But, like any motherhood moment, it will pass. I know my son won't always poop/pee in his pants. Surely. Not my son.

To put it simply, motherhood is humbling. I want to have it all together. I don't. And that's good. Because, according to the Gospel, I've never had it all together. If I had it all together, I wouldn't need Christ. And each of these humbling motherhood moments, and there are many...don't get me started on my nightime feedings with Kate...remind me of my need for Christ, my need for the Gospel. A reminder that Christ's "grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."

1 Cor. 12:9

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

One for the Record Book...

Getting fired up. Working it.
Can I do this?
Yes, I can!

Folks, we have one for the record book today. On this bright, breezy, April day, I, Kate Irene Harman, finally rolled over. That's right, Mommy DOES NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT have to feel guilty on April 15th, my 6 month checkup, when asked, is your baby rolling over yet? I pulled through. Or should I say, I pulled over? Eager at first to try, yet again, I started with pure joy. However, like all good rolls, it can get sticky in the middle. You know, when you get on your side and half of your stomach is touching the floor while the other half remains, well, not touching the floor thanks to that stubborn arm underneath? As you can see from my photos, I had a moment of panic. A moment of, can I do this? Will I fail yet again? Will Mommy be forced to hear those words she did with Hannah about possible, "physical therapy?" So, I pushed through. I gave it all I had. I pushed my body to the limits. And, it paid off. I rolled right over my stubborn left arm. I showed it who's boss. Look who's rolling now.

Happy Roll Over Day.

Birds of a Feather

What's wrong with this picture? Perhaps at first glance you may think it's the fact that Grant and I are not looking at the camera.

Go deeper.

Perhaps it's the fact we're taking a picture with a dead turkey. Maybe.

Or, it's the fact I'm looking straight at its backside, and a feathery backside at that, if that is indeed what I'm looking at. I'm still trying to figure it out, hence not looking at the camera.

No, maybe it's the fact Grant, ISN'T smiling. He's the boy of the bunch, isn't he supposed to love all things hunting, including dead turkey pictures with dad?

Nope, I think the biggest thing wrong with this picture, according to Mommy (and we all know Mommy knows best), is the fact that Hannah is BEAMING, behind a dead turkey.

Yes, Mommy's high hopes of Hannah becoming a star gymnast or budding ballerina, or heck, even a superstar soccer player is beginning to fade...right into this picture.

To further drive home mine and Mommy's point, shortly after the dead turkey photo shoot, Hannah was delighted to watch Daddy pluck and remove the breast meat from the bird. She even further solidified her future hunting aspirations by saying, "mmm Daddy, that looks so good," as he pulled out the breast meat.

What's wrong with this picture? Hannah. And perhaps Grant. We'll give him a few more years to display his maniless before we go so far as to say that. As for me, well, yet again, that's what's awesome about being a third born, the expectations have greatly decreased and well, I'll get away with practically whatever I want.