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!