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!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

He's here!!

Monday morning, January 26th, 12:20 AM I awoke to some intense contractions. I didn't want myself to get excited and tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't and so I got up and walked around. Shortly after I got up I felt something coming out...yes! I went to the bathroom and it was the mucus plug (sorry if that's more than you wanted to know) and after going to the bathroom my water broke a little. WAHOO!! I went in excitedly and woke up Robbie and said, "this is it!" We got our stuff, took our monitor to the neighbors (so Bree could just keep sleeping in her bed...and don't worry, we live in an apartment so our neighbors are down the hall!) and went to the hospital. It was now 2:30 AM and they examined me, I was at 5 cm, fully effaced and was there to stay! Oh I couldn't believe it was finally here! The past two days had been really hard for me - Bree had come a week early, and so the whole past week I felt like he should be coming even though I was telling myself not to get my hopes up (but it wasn't working!). So though during the weekend I was a little bit down, after going to church on Sunday I knew that I needed to have that last bit of spiritual nourishment before the challenges of a second child came. So back to the hospital :) Robbie and I walked around the halls for a bit to try and get things going and the contractions really started coming. We debated about an epidural and decided to do it at about 4:30 AM. Oh it was wonderful! It was just so nice, Robbie did some homework and I took a nap, then we read a book together that we have been reading lately and it was just so fun hanging out together! They had to start a little pitocin drip after a few hours because I wasn't progressing very much, but then around 10:00 AM I was feeling some pressure and so the nurse came in and checked me. "Well," she said, "you're fully dilated and we can start pushing!" What? I was amazed! Everything had been so chill and I was feeling so good, except that I was starving. So she went out to get the mid-wife and actually didn't come back for 45 minutes! They got set up and I started pushing just before 11. I don't know why but I just LOVE pushing! I think it's partly because I haven't gotten to really work out for what seems like forever and so getting to push is just exhilarating! At 11:14 AM our sweet little boy arrived! They put him right up on my chest as they cleaned him off and I just cried tears of gratitude for getting to have him in our family. He was perfect. Robbie and I went through our list of names and quickly concluded that our little man was Gabe! Gabriel Robert Harmon. Robbie went home shortly after and brought Bree to see her new baby brother. She was so sweet from the start. Kisses all over and wanting to hold him right away. And she was thrilled that he would hold her hand :) (As if he had a choice!) We had a gift for her from him and she had a gift to him from her...hers was a little set of tea party dishes and oh boy, she pretty much forgot completely about Gabe once she got that! She loved it :) And the cutest was once she got everything out and set it up and informed us that she was making soup she brought over the first bowl and spoon and said, "Here you go Gabe!" It was so sweet.

We are home now and Grandma Carrie (WHAT A HUGE HELP!!) is here and things are so peaceful. I just look at my little guy and am so grateful I get to play a small part in his life, and SO grateful that he gets Robbie for a father. I love watching him with Bree and Gabe and don't think they could find a better daddy anywhere! Gabe definitely has Robbie's chin and it will be fun to see what he looks like as he grows older. What a blessing to have the gospel of Jesus Christ to guide us as parents! I know there will be hard times (like when my milk comes in tomorrow!) but I know that there is nothing more important than family and am excited for all I am going to learn being a mother of TWO!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

~Friends are blessings~

Last Saturday a group of dear friends had a Baby Shower for me. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful gathering! Living far away from our family has given us such a great opportunity to make some wonderful friends. And as I sat there looking at all of the wonderful women I am blessed to know I realized how much I really learn from each them! I couldn't help but feel so much love for them! We met at California Pizza Kitchen (it was perfect, we had our own little spot at the back of the restaurant) and had a delicious lunch and wonderful conversations. The gifts were great and the advice I got was perfect! I just love each girl who was there and am so grateful for friends!

I thought I would pass along some of the advice I received:

-Exercise in the morning, it will give you energy for the day (oh I can't wait until I can exercise normally again!!), get out of the house and play with friends.
-Read to Bree when you are nursing baby boy so she won’t feel neglected. (I think Bree will love that!)
-Maybe the best thing would be to remember that you can never have enough photos, things written down or forgiveness. (Talk about great advice for anyone!)
-Don’t compare your children. Milestones are different for every child and they all eventually learn to walk, ride a bike, talk, etc… Enjoy every minute!
-Give Bree as much attention as you can while the baby is small. Help Bree fee like the baby is her baby too.
-Follow the spirit. He is the Lord’s son, so he will direct you with your sweet boy. (I love that...really that's the only way I have any hope of knowing what to do with TWO children!)
-In Japan they say talk to your baby a lot even when they are too small to hear and talk. Sleep with him whenever you can! (That was from my dear friend who is from Japan.)
-Follow your instincts. Do Parent-child date nights, and let the child pick the activity. So fun! Have the baby bring a present home to the older siblings from the hospital.
-Let Robbie be in charge of breakfast for Bree and do bath time so you can have a break. (We already do that and it is the BEST. Robbie is so wonderful to take care of bathtime and bedtime and it gives me such a wonderful break in the evenings! I love you Robbie!) Do “mommy-daughter and daddy-daughter dates. Getting that alone times becomes really important. Put Bree in charge of as much as possible, like choosing baby’s outfit or bib…
-You won’t have time to do all the things you want to do, but some how you do end up with the time for all the things your need to do. Also, you’ll never go to the bathroom by yourself again. (Ha, that's already a rarity. It is so cute though when Bree pokes her head in and exclaimes, "Good job mommy!" Ever since she has been potty trained we always say, Good job Bree! when she is successful...and now she says it to us when we go. So cute!)

It was such a wonderful shower! I love you girls!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Highlights

We had a blast this Christmas! We were able to go to Utah for 9 days; we were in Provo from the 19th until the 22nd and then went to St. George until the 29th. There was tons of snow in Provo and Robbie couldn't have been happier! He couldn't wait to put on all the snow gear and take his daughter out to play...well, as you can tell she wasn't a huge fan :) Maybe next year she'll love it! I think there were a couple days when Robbie cleared the driveway more than once...and he was in heaven! We'll probably eventually end up living somewhere that has snow, for his sake :) Robbie's sister and brother were also going to be with in-laws for Christmas so we had the Harmon family Christmas a few days early. It was so great! We did something neat this year where Mark and Robin (Robbie's parents) sent us all $50 a few weeks before Christmas for all of us to do something for someone less fortunate. Then, before we opened gifts to eachother we went around and shared our experiences. It was really neat for the entire family and I think brought us all closer. And the best part was that besides exchanging gifts with the siblings there were only a couple other gifts given. It was really a more meaningful Christmas because the more memorable part was the time spent together...and not the gifts. Some other highlights were Bree getting to go to the Bean Museum with Grammy and Grandpa while Robbie and I were packing to go to St. George. She would go up to every animal and roar... "Raaaahhhh!" And we finally got to meet our new neice/cousin Gracie. Bree felt so special and wanted to hold her and give her kisses every time she cried. Oh we had a great time in Provo. Thank you Harmons!

Our Christmas in St. George wasn't necessarily white, but it sure was wonderful! My brother Taylor came home from serving a mission in Russia and it was so great seeing him! I was pregnant with Bree when he left so it was so fun having Bree get to know and love him. (First thing he said when he saw me was, "Haven't changed a bit sis!") It was fun having the real Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and both were filled with fun! Some highlights:
The Penny Game (this is a Christmas Eve tradition in our family...so fun and hilarious. It goes like this: My parents have several wrapped gifts on the table in front of us. Everyone is given 50 pennies. The first person chooses a gift (but is not allowed to touch it, shake it, move it) and the bidding begins. The highest bidder wins the gift and opens it. Now the fun part is that only two or three of the gifts are actually something good, the rest are all gag gifts from the dollar store. Robbie is notorious for winning the best gifts and this year he won an IPOD for 26 pennies! I on the other hand won a basket, candy, and some plastic fighting gear from the dollar store. It's always so fun to see eachother spend tons of pennies on the funniest things, and then others win gift certificates and ipods!);
We borrowed "Rock Band" from our neighbors (thank you Copes) and had a blast. Robbie was the best on the drums; Bear Paw breakfast...my favorite place! (So yummy!);
Skiing at Brianhead (of course I wasn't part of that, but the guys had fun!);
Bree deciding that she wasn't going to sleep until 3:00 AM (how random? It was the weirdest thing cause she's always a good sleeper. We tried everything, letting her sleep with us (and we NEVER do that), taking her to the bathroom, just letting her hollar. Finally we just shut the door with her in her bed and went and slept on the couch so we couldn't hear her. Something to remember I guess...or not);
Grandma's New Playroom!! This was the highlight for Bree. My mom and sisters painted and finished a little loft upstairs off of my sister's room and made it into the cutest little playroom! Bree was in heaven! (I'm sad I didn't take any pictures!) All she wanted was to "go upstairs" and play. Thank you Grandma!
Just being together was of course the best part of all. (Even though we are missing my brother Kurt who is on a mission in Finland) Families are the best!
It was the perfect amount of time away and then we were ready to come back home to NC. Robbie and I decided to save our gifts until we came home and we celebrated just the two of us on New Year's Eve. It was perfect. Our own little Christmas. I have the most wonderful husband who treats me like a queen. And I surely don't deserve it! Life with him just gets better and better every day!
2008 has been great...and we're excited for 2009!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pre-Christmas Fun~

We love December! There are so many fun things to do...
like getting a Christmas tree... (ours wasn't this big, but we found a perfect little one for our apartment!)
Going to a Christmas parade... (this was Bree's first parade and she LOVED it! She especially loved the candy :) and the marching bands! I thought I would take a picture by the fire truck because I realized that we're probably the only ones who have blue firetrucks! Go UNC!) Decorating the Christmas tree...
Having a fun date/celebration for Robbie finishing his finals... (He took a picture of our meal because he was impressed with my coconut shrimp...so easy and healthy cause it's baked, not fried! Yummy with a little mango salsa and side of canteloupe!) And of course all of the Christmas preparations, caroling, and getting ready to go see family was all so fun too! We can't wait to go to Utah!!