Harmon's Haven

Meet amazing dad Robbie, mother-in-training Jesika, 7 year old best big sister Bree, 5 year old boy in every way Gabe, 3 year old who thinks he's 10 years old who makes us all laugh McKay,
and 9 month old sweetest Quinn Marie...the Harmon Family!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our First Harmon Family Thanksgiving

Yup that's right, this year it was just our little family for Thanksgiving...and it was wonderful! Of course I couldn't listen to certain Christmas music while I was cooking because it was making me homesick, but besides that we were so happy to be just our little family! The day started watching Robbie in the ward Turkey Bowl. He was awesome! He either scored or threw at least seven touch-downs! That's my man :) Bree made a new friend named Ty - I love watching her play with children who are a little older than she is (if they are a good influence of course) because she tries to do everything they do! Ty would run down the hill and say "Weeeeeee" and Bree would be right behind him with her little "Weeeeee"...Ty would pick up sticks and throw them in the little pond and Bree would do the same...they had a blast. The weather was perfect and it was great fun for all of us!

Then we came home for a light lunch, nap for Bree and cooking for me! (Robbie wanted to help, but I wanted him to enjoy the meal...and then he could do some work stuff.) The only unfortunate part was that the fire alarm went off in our building only 1/2 hour into Bree's nap! Fortunately my pumpkin pie was only half way done and didn't burn while we were outside waiting for the fire truck. Then Robbie had set up for us to go help out at a rest home. We thought it would brighten the resident's day to see sweet Bree...and boy did it ever! We helped set up chairs and then visited with them while they had a little concert. Bree was the star of the show! The chairs were set up in a circle and so Bree had the whole dance floor to herself! The sweet ladies clapped along while Bree just danced and danced. So cute!

Then we decided to take Bree to her first movie. We thought it would be fun to see Madagascar 2, and it was a really fun movie, but Bree just isn't that into movies and didn't want to sit for long. And it didn't help that she had wet her pants right before and I hadn't brought extra pants (hey I was trying to be optimisic cause she'd been doing so great!), so when she was sitting we wanted her to have a blanket on. (It was funny, she wet her pants right as Robbie was setting up the camera to take a little family picture. He quickly put her on his lap and we took a picture and then he felt the wetness... oh the joys of potty-training!)
After that we came home, finished up the meal preparations and sat down for a delicious candle lit Thanksgiving meal of mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberries, stuffing, homemade rolls (my best yet!), jello salad, and green beans. It was so perfect because it had just gotten dark and just felt so cosy. Bree was pretty tired because it was getting late, so we put Bree to bed and then got to enjoy our pumpkin pie just the two of us. It was such a fun day! Though being with all of our family would have been the best, this will be a fun Thanksgiving to remember! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

First I just have to say, We are so blessed!! I love this time of year and all of the things I am reminded to be so grateful for. The leaves are almost gone, the weather has turned cold, and Christmas music is filling our house! Bree asks me several times a day, "Fly airplane? Go Utah? See Mama Papa?" While I wish I could tell her, "Yes, today is the day!" it is exciting that we will get to 'fly in an airplane to Utah to see grandmas and grandpas' and the family we love in only one month!!

But before I get carried away with plans for the holidays, I'll catch you up on the fun things we've been up to this month!

Boy did Bree LOVE Halloween this year. She was the cutest little ladybug you ever saw! (Robbie was probably the ugliest cowboy and I was the scariest pregnant lady :) Bree loved "daddy's silly teeth!) We had a ward trunk-or-treat the weekend before and though Robbie only took her around to ten or fifteen cars, she thought the candy in her bag was the best thing ever! Now she wants to go trick-or-treating every day! The only thing I didn't expect was her fear of people in masks. The week before we were playing at the playgroud and a little boy was dressed up like Batman...she ran to me so fast and didn't want to play anywhere near where he was. Then at the ward party there was a guy dressed up like Chewbaka (from Starwars)...you would have thought he was the scariest thing ever! She ran over crying and was so scared! She clung to me and wouldn't let me or Robbie put her down until she was outside and couldn't see him. The rest of the night we talked about how Chewbaka was just a nice bear. So a couple days later we called our friend and asked if he still had the costume and if he wouldn't mind if we came over to visit. We practiced how Bree was going to say hi to the nice bear and she was excited to go see him...well as you can see she still wasn't thrilled. But the funny thing is they only live a few buildings down from us and every day (no joke) when we pass his building she says, "Chewbaka's house!" She still talks about him!

Then the weekend of actual Halloween we took a trip to Nashville, TN. Robbie had a conference there and so we decided to make a family trip out of it! The drive, though 8 hours long, was just gorgeous!! We drove through Ashville, NC and the hills of TN at just the perfect time to see all the leaves in their Fall glory. Oh it was beautiful! While Robbie was in his conference during the day Bree and I ventured out to the Nashville Zoo. Such a blast! The highlight for Bree was the playground...she LOVES to play at any kind of playground and can climb most anything the big kids can. But this wasn't your ordinary playground (where mom can just sit and watch), this was like the mammoth of all playgrounds! So while Bree was weaving in and out of the routes and tunnels and caves up to the slides, I had to be right behind her! Otherwise there were so many other children and the jungle gym was so huge that there wouldn't have been no way to keep my eye on her! And as you can guess, with a belly getting as large as mine that didn't last too long :) So we stayed with the swings and the bouncy house, which was great! We also saw the beautiful Opry Hotel, went out to a fun dinner, checked out the Farmer's Market (my favorite thing!) and a ran around at a huge park. Short trip, but lots of fun!

Disclaimer: If you are eating food at this moment or are prone to getting sick when you read about human waste prehaps you shouldn't read this :) Well, I held off on writing about this until I could write positive comments :) The past couple of months I was really feeling like Bree was ready to potty-train. And though she's not two until January I decided I could help us save money by not having two children in diapers, she was showing signs of being ready and able, and I thought that it would be better to do it now, a couple months before the baby comes, when I still have the energy and to give her time to get used to it before the big change of having a baby brother comes. So, I did my research, chose a method (Potty-Training in Less Than A Day), cleared my schedule for the "big day" (November 6th), and we set off. Well, the first part of the method is you have the child teach a doll how to go potty in the toilet. This was great. She loves dolls and was SO excited about teaching the doll, giving her rewards, etc... I was thinking, "Awesome! This is easy!" Then came the first accident. I had been giving her lots to drink in order to make lots of opportunities for her to go, and fully expected a couple accidents to start. No big deal. We talked about where we go potty (she had gone in the toilet before and knew what it was like), did all the things I had read about, etc... Well, I didn't expect the next EIGHT accidents! After the last one I was a wreck. I just broke down bawling. I put a diaper on Bree and called my mom. Maybe Bree wasn't really ready? Was ALL of my carpet going to be potty-stained? Why couldn't children come already potty-trained??!! My perfect plans had been ruined.

Well, I did a little more research, called a few friends and after a much needed nap (for both me and Bree) we took a different approach. I decided that I just needed to figure out what worked for Bree...not just do some "method", but tailor to her needs and personality. I started just taking her to the toilet about 15 minutes after she had something to drink. We took books and read and sang songs, and I would have her sit there until she went potty. Sometimes it was immediate and sometimes it was like 20 minutes. But that afternoon she went in the toilet three times (even poop) and didn't have any accidents! We even left the house and went out to the play-ground for a little bit! I was so happy. It's now been a little over two weeks and I'm not going to say she hasn't had an accident since or that it's all been happy and easy, but she is doing well and I am so proud of her. I still do a lot of the prompting if she's had a meal or something to drink, or any time we are about to leave the house or right when we get back from somewhere. She sometimes tells me she needs to go, but often resists ...this is how it's been this week: Me: "Let's go in and go potty!" Bree: "No Bree go potty." Me: "Ya let's just try. Would you like to use the big toilet or the little toilet?" "Big toilet!" and she almost always goes. She is getting better at telling me when she has to go, but if she's playing with friends or toys she simply doesn't want to take the time (I have learned that she knows, she just decides she doesn't want to... the little stinker!). I am learning so much patience and after a week and a half of letting accidents ruin my day (seriously I would get so bummed and think, 'she'll never get it!' and go read Elder Uchtdorf's talk on Hope!) I decided that I needed to focus on her successes and not her failures! If I get down every time she messes up then it only makes my life harder! She just puts on clean pantys and goes on with her day! :) I have been trying to just take joy in helping her learn and make her feel successful for doing so well. If Heavenly Father threw up his hands and thought, "Oh she'll never get it" every time I messed up he would be very, very depressed!! I am grateful that I get to learn these lessons when my child is young so that when she really does mess up when she's 12 or 16 or 25, I will know that it's not the end of the world. There will have been so many sucesses in her life that we can just learn and move on from the mess ups.
I love being a mom! Thank heavens there is always a light at the end of every trial... Oh I have so much to learn!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall Break

Last week was HEAVEN!! Robbie was off of school for the entire week!! It was wonderful having him around so much. Bree has always loved her daddy, but after a week of having dad around now she just wants to be right by his side!! It's so cute to watch! We started off the week with some canning...apples and tomatoes were so cheap at the Farmers' Market, and since I am working on building up our food storage, that I decided to make an attempt. Bree was such a good helper! Thanks to having dad around I was able to make quarts of apple-sauce, tomatoes, de-hydrated apples, fruit leather, and even some apple-butter. The applesause is SO yummy, and I didn't even add any sugar! I haven't tried the tomatoes yet...so I'm crossing my fingers that they taste ok! (I put all the tomatoes in the front row above our cabinets cause they match my kitchen!) While I was canning, daddy had the idea to make a fort. It's Bree's new favorite thing! She loves to read books in there. And Bree has always been a good helper with the laundry, but this week she found something else fun while I was putting away clothes :) But probably most fun was that we were able to go camping!! The weather was beautiful, even warm enough to play at the playground and swim too! Bree has recently become a little monkey and likes to swing on anything and everything! She hasn't slipped yet! After some fun in the water we made our camp and Robbie made some delicious tin-foil dinners, followed by S'mores of course! We all snuggled in our little tent and watched The Jungle Book on Robbie's laptop before falling asleep to the sound of a light rain. Bree actually did quite well, except for the hour she was sleeping on Robbie's legs and he couldn't turn over :) When we woke up in the morning the weather had turned chilly but it was perfect! We had some yummy oatmeal, cleaned up camp and headed home. On Saturday I had to be gone for most of the afternoon, and when I came back Robbie had made dinner AND bought me flowers! He called it our Fall Break celebration. I was so sad our week with Robbie was over, but it was a wonderful week filled with fun memories!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall is coming!!

So I am getting quite anxious for Fall to come...it's been so nice these past couple of weeks with tons of rain and cooler weather. I love it! We love being outside any chance we get. One nice thing about being outside though, is that Bree can't get into stuff! She loves mommy's lip-stick... And has recently began wanting to wear mommy's earings... She even got into my knitting yarn (darn it Mom, Liz, and Sarah...I guess I can't finish that scarf!) After a good rain we get a huge puddle right next to our building. It's so fun!!

Bree LOVES splashing!

But probably Bree's favorite thing is her new little toilet. She would sit on it all day if I would let her. Of course only once has something come out (and she was completely surprised!), but it's been fun for her to get excited about potty training...which we'll attempt next month. Oh and we can't forget her other favorite thing to do, especially first thing in the morning, "rocky rocky"! Oh life is SO FUN with Bree!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back in North Carolina

It's good to back in good ol' NC! Though we are sad that Robbie is busy back in school, Bree and I have been able to spend a lot of quality bonding time :) We have been doing A LOT of dancing :) Bree loves turning, sliding, skipping, jumping...but her most recent love is falling! Yes, falling. She'll fall, then want "mommy fall?" or "daddy fall?".It works out nice when I'm not feeling very well cause she'll just jump off of me while I'm laying down :) It's fun to see what entertains her. But though she loves dancing we're glad to see she also LOVES kicking the soccer ball! She has also been singing along lately. Her newest song we call the "Applesauce Song".She made it up herself :) Bree also has found a new love for stuffed animals! Not just any stuffed animals, but a new
"moose" from Oma Phyllis and Opa Rollie. (Ok, so after I told her it was a moose I realized it is actually a reindeer...but she was doing the cutest moose noise so I decided to let it be a moose :) This is the first stuffed animal she has liked, and now she takes it with her often!
It has been raining a ton since we've been back...and here it doesn't just rain, it down pours like you've never seen! But that hasn't kept us in the house!
Also since we've been back I have been trying to trade babysitting with moms who have young children so that Bree will get used to having a baby around. It's been so fun because Bree is SO SWEET with every baby we have had here! She loves to feed them cheerios, crawl around on the ground, and loves to make the same noises. It's made me a little less nervous about having number two! Except for that she tries to pick them up...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thank you Northwest Airlines!!

I had to share one of the neatest things that has happened to me. This past week Bree and I flew back to North Carolina. Robbie drove back (poor thing) our car and some belongings two weeks earlier to get back for school...I don't know what in the world we were thinking having me stay an extra TWO weeks, but we are NEVER doing that again. It was way too long. Bree started thinking she could only see daddy on the computer! We left for SLC around 9:30 AM, then flew the first leg to Detroit. Though Bree didn't sleep a wink until the plane landed in Detriot (literally as we hit the run-way her eyes shut!), she was very good thanks to the games and books Grandma Robin sent us with! (Seriously Robin you were a LIFE-SAVER!!) We had a four hour lay-over in Detriot which was long, but they had play places and moving side-walks so I knew Bree would be entertained. Well, after an hour we found a neat water fountain and Bree got so excited. It was fun to look at until Bree thought she was at a water park and got her shirt completely soaked! Since I forgot to bring an extra outfit I thought it best we leave the water park. I went to check where our gate was but found it wasn't posted yet, being still three hours away from departure time. Bree was getting a bit cranky at this point because of not having a nap so I went to an information desk just to find our gate so that we could be in the correct terminal while we were waiting. I inquired and the man asked for my ticket. He looked at his computer and as he sighed he said, "Looks like your flight is going to be delayed." Yup, I lost it. I just started bawling. We already weren't going to be home until 11 PM and now it was going to be later! A longer wait in the airport and a longer wait to see my husband!! I tried to turn away so he wouldn't see the tears but he said, "I see you have a middle seat, let me move you to the window." I muttered a small thank you, just trying to stop crying. As he handed me my new boarding pass he said, "And here are three $5 meal vouchers for your wait. I have traveled with our three year old. I know what it's like." Honestly I had never had an airport meal voucher and thought, Thanks, but what am I going to want to eat on the plane at midnight?! Still I said thank you and was grateful for his kindness. As I walked away I just couldn't stop crying, thinking of being away from Robbie for that much longer and having to entertain a tired child in the airport for FOUR MORE hours!
Well, we found some empty aisles off to the side and I gave Bree some candy, told her to run to the window and I called Robbie. He of course was totally positive and told me that the time would go by quickly :) and then I mentioned the meal vouchers and he said, "How neat!" I replied my same ungrateful thought from earlier and he told me that actually the vouchers could be used anywhere in the airport! Wow! That lifted my spirits and Bree and I went to find something good to eat. Then, while on our way, Bree fell asleep in the stroller! I had some time to relax, enjoy some food, and even watch the news on the airport screens (that's when I wished I had a book, but I learned that when traveling with a child books only take up space cause I never get to read!). Bree didn't sleep long, but the rest of the time went quickly and soon we were getting on the plane. I looked at my seat number and it said 1D. I walked down the aisle and realized that the numbers started at 5A? So I walked to the back of the plane thinking perhaps the numbers started over, but when they didn't I asked the flight attendent and she said, "Oh that's first class." WHAT? That sweet man at the information desk not only gave me some food vouchers but moved me to first class!! I couldn't believe it. I wanted so badly to run and thank him but there was no way. The front row had so much room that Bree could stand in front of me and play...she didn't sleep again (and it was 11 PM!), but it was ok because she was so good! The sweet man next to us was a grandpa and he and Bree "talked on the phone" during much of the flight :) He with his phone to his ear and her with her play phone. It was so cute! Needless to say I am more then grateful for that dear man at the information desk and have prayed for him many times. Someday I hope that I can pay that kindness forward, because boy did it save me that day!

It's a...

...BOY!! Don't be offended that I haven't even posted that we were pregnant, just be happy that I am posting at all :) Yes we found out a week ago that a sweet little boy will be joining our family next!! We are due the end of January and couldn't be more excited. This picture is from the 12 week ultrasound. SO NEAT that they can do 3-D pictures now! My sister Sarah and my brother Michael (and Robbie of course) came with me to this appointment. It was so fun having family with me. We just returned to North Carolina this week and found out that many of my friends are also pregnant! Though we lOVED being with family for the summer, we are so happy to be back in Chapel Hill with our own little Harmon family again.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's about time!!

Ok, ok, I have no excuses for not writing for a couple of months. However, being here in Utah with family has made it harder to spend time on the computer, AND the #1 reason I do a blog is for family to know what we're up to. So for the family who we aren't with and who we don't really see even though we're in Utah, I'm sorry!!

The summer has been a BLAST so far! We have loved having everyone be around Bree so much more then if we were still in North Carolina. Bree has been up to visit mama and papa Harmon at least five times, which is a blast every time :) Bree especially loves her golf clubs and can really hit the ball! And she loves bring around the horses! We can't wait until Aunt Brookie has her baby so we can have a cousin when we're in town!
One of our new favorite things about St. George is that they have these new splash pad things at the parks! Bree loves cooling off when it's so hot outside!
One of Bree's new favorite songs is, I love to see the temple (which she calls "pemple"), so we try and take her to visit since there is a temple so close here. (She definitely likes the outside better then the inside of the Visitor's Center!
And one of Bree's new favorite places is Lake Powell! We spent a whole four days out there a couple weeks ago with my family. And oh what a blast! The weather was perfect and Bree just loved the water. Bree loved riding on the boat any time and was such a good sport. She wasn't the biggest fan of tubing, (beacuse water would get into her eyes) but she rode on the jet ski like a champ! Something funny we did was my brother Mike had just returned from a study abroad in Israel and he brought some mud from the Dead Sea (is that legal?). The mud there is very mineral rich so of course we all lathered up! It was so funny.
The best part though was spending FOUR straight days with Robbie! No work, no school, nothing to do but be with us! It was the best! We LOVE summer!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fun week at the Harmons...

So I finally got excited about sewing something and got out the sewing machine I got for Christmas. Bree loved playing with the packaging, while I made a few little dresses! I love my sewing machine! The dresses were quite easy, and there's nothing like sewing to make you feel ultra domestic (even if you're not :)

Here is a picture of Bree eating some vegetables...I am so grateful she loves vegetables! It's hard not to take pictures of her when she is so dang cute!!
Then Robbie and I got to do two super fun things this week. First on Wednesday we went to see STOMP. UNC has so many great groups who come and do shows and student tickets are only $10! So we take advantage. They were so amazing! What a great show.
But then on Friday night as a combined Birthday gift from Robbie's parents we went down to Charlotte and saw WICKED!! Holy cow it was awesome! We LOVED it and highly recommend it to any of you who have wanted to see it! Good music, great voices and acting, and such a neat storyline. Thank you Mark and Robin!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Break Trip #2!

What a wonderful trip! My parents and sisters Lizzy and Sarah came out to NC for the latter half of Spring Break. What a blast! We were able to spend three days in Southern Pines on the beautiful National Golf Course. Though the golfing was great, we made some delicious meals, and Bree could see ducks every day, the best part was just being together! The only thing that could have made it better was if my three brothers could have been there too! Bree of course loved Grandma Carrie. But the best thing was that Bree LOVED grandpa! (You have to know that when we went home for Christmas break, whenever she saw Grandpa Henderson she just screamed...and it lasted for two days! He was devastated!) So Grandpa couldn't have been happier. That's probably the only hard thing about living so far away...Bree doesn't get to know her grandparents or aunts and uncles. We can't wait to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa Harmon so that Bree can know them too!

Oh it was just gorgous weather too. You should have seen Robbie golfing! He was awesome! There were so many great pictures though you have to go to our picasa site to see them: http://picasaweb.google.com/robbieharmon
Such a wonderful trip!

Spring Break Trip #1!!

We love Washington DC!! Robbie's brother Tanner is doing an internship up there for the semester and so we decided to do a short trip up to visit him. Tanner hadn't seem Bree since Christmas (and she wasn't walking then) so he just couldn't wait to "hold hands with Bree while she walks". It really was so cute :)

Since Robbie and I both lived in DC at one point in our lives, and have even visited there since, we only went to one museum. Bree thought she could just walk around by herself, she never needs help! She loved pushing the buttons, and looking at the animal pictures with dad. We also went to the Zoo, which was awesome except that it rained the whole time so we didn't get many pictures. We went to see the pandas first and Bree got all excited when she saw it and started shouting "dog dog" while doing the sign. She did the same thing for the gorillas and the wolves. It was hilarious! (At least she didn't for the elephants and the birds!)
One of the best parts of the trip was trying out our new stroller! We just got a BOB jogger (it was a birthday gift from last year) and we LOVE it! We went running in the rain both mornings because it has a great cover for Bree.

And she loved looking at dad throught the little window.

Another fun/funny experience was that a guy in Tanner's ward is a speech writer for the President, so he arranged a West wing tour of the White House for us. Well, that would have been great, except that it was right in the middle of when Bree should have been napping.

You can see how much she enjoyed the tour! It was hilarious (well, actually it was awful at the time, but hilarious now looking back), but she actually threw quite the tantrum and screamed most of the time! I couldn't blame her, but it was a bit embarrassing! We had such a blast with Tanner! WE LOVE DC!!