Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wow, has it really been almost 2 years since I’ve updated the Harman blog?! Rob has been not so subtly dropping hints that I have neglected my record keeping duty. “Oh that would be a great thing to add to the blog….” So for our anniversary, I’m making an effort to catch up slightly.

Um well, in the last 2 years…we had another baby. Bradley Thomas joined us on May 17, 2016. Kids ADORE him! And yes, that’s all 3 boys born in May. It’s a fun, busy month!

We moved into a new house in October 2016. More space, yay!

Cubs won the World Series. Whoa.

We visited Wrigley after, so exciting!

Kids started a new school in October - Roosevelt Elementary in Park Ridge. They did great, but not without some hiccups. Thankfully Brett and Bailey are both smart, cute, likeable kids! So they actually had 2 firsts days of school...
Oriole park in Sept


While transitioning to our new house, we had a week or two of either living at a hotel or living out a suitcase in the new house with no furniture. It was an interesting time...

Thankfully the hotel had a starbucks...and a bar :)

The previous owners bought the kids a baseball set and had it set up when we did the final walk through. It was very sweet and helpful when the kids needed something to do!
Rob tests out HIS spot on the couch...

Bailey's class made her a goodbye book....this one made us laugh.
"Mom isn't S-H-I-T a bad word?"

Thankfully the baby, at 5 months, was super flexible. He just fell asleep wherever, whenever he needed to:)

Kid Catch ups

Brett just finished the 3rd grade and turned 9! I really can’t believe he’s 9. It just doesn’t seem possible. I look at old pictures and feel like he was 2 yesterday! He has really enjoyed watching baseball this year. We typically let him finish watching Cubs’ night games in our room when the other littles go to bed. He started collecting baseball cards and plays some baseball game on his kindle any chance he can get. That and Madden Mobile (a football game). He’s constantly telling me what players he’s traded and who made a great play. I often have no idea who he’s talking about. For his birthday this year, Rob took him and 2 of his buddies to a Cubs game (on a school night!). Ironically Brett picked a friend from each school to join him. He said he knew they would all get along, he was right! Rob said they had a great time and didn’t want to leave their seats to miss a single play! Brett would run down to the edge of the field in between each inning trying to get a ball. Every time he would come back to the seats empty handed. After Anthony Rizzo got the 3rd out in one of the last innings, he ran back to the dugout and flipped the ball up into stands. Rob said Brett was deflated (and Rob annoyed) when a tall twenty-something guy grabbed it. Soon after, the young guy searched the stands for Brett and gave him the ball. Cubs lost the game, but Brett said it was the best time. Brett did wrestling and baseball again this year. He is really excited to do a football camp this summer and flag football in the fall.

Bailey is 7 and just completed 1st grade. I read in the last blog that she grew 3 inches in a year and we were all blown away. Well she did that 2 years in a row and then another 1-2 the next. She grows out of clothes so quickly! I’m currently buying her size 10! She is SO outgoing, sociable, caring, active and just honestly non-stop. Within 2 weeks in the new school she begged me to join the school’s talent show. I didn’t know who in the school to talk for her to be entered, I didn’t know any of the kids or parents that she was grouped with…but it didn’t matter. There was singing, dancing and performing involved; she was in! She continued her dance class. She goes to gymnastics once a week. Bailey started soccer this spring and LOVED it. She was devastated when her activities overlapped and she couldn’t go to everything! Or God forbid, Brett had a game or practice the same time she did and not everyone was available to watch her! This summer she has continued her hectic schedule. She has already completed a Cheerleading camp and a Hawkettes (dance group) camp, she is now doing a gymnastics camp and will be doing a performance camp at the end of summer.
I was so impressed how well she jumped into a new class this year and made friends so easily. She and Brett both tested to be placed in an accelerated math program for next year. Brett was sick this spring and missed close to a week of school. I would email his teacher and ask if anything needed to be done; they could send it home with Bailey. I later spoke with Brett’s teacher who commented how mature Bailey was, and how seriously she took her job to help Brett. See sometimes they get along.

Brayden is 4. He’s still crazy, hard to contain, adorable and loud. He loves Transformers, Power Rangers, Turtles and dinosaurs. He requires a dino shirt daily. He genuinely gets excited when I do laundry and we put his clothes away, so he can pick his favorites. We started speech therapy with Brayden this year. The kid talks non-stop but there are some sounds he is replacing/substituting. We discovered he has a little tongue-tie, preventing or making it difficult for him to say certain sounds. He actually does a great job trying to get you to understand if you are having a hard time. Brayden will say, “No you don’t understand me” and then he may use another word or describe it another way. We are also working on his quick to rage temper. The speech therapist was working with Brayden on his control of emotions, explaining that there are big problems, medium sized problems and little problems. The size of the problem requires different size of response. Apparently he told her, “Well all my problems are big”. The conversation continued when Brayden said he knew a great example of a big problem…like when he jumped off the hospital bed when mommy was in the hospital getting Bradley out of her belly and his head spilt open and he needed stitches. The therapist said “oh yeah that sounds awful, did that really happen?!” To which I said, “oh yes…” At least we had already had their pictures taken with the baby! It’s funny now to think about it. The room was crowded and the kids were getting restless, so grandma and grandpa were going to take the kids to lunch. Brayden goes to jump off the bed but his foot got caught in the handle of the pull-out, leaving him diving head first into the corner of the solid wood bassinet cart for the baby. Rob picks him up and blood is just everywhere. I waddle my 1 day after delivery body into the hallway and say we need a little help. Well maybe I should have clarified, because they thought something was wrong with the baby, calling some sort of alarm. Soon 7 or so hospital people are rushing into our room. One doctor with a briefcase looking thing said he was from “airways” asking if we needed him. I said no, it’s the toddler. After some packing of the wound, they put Brayden in Rob’s lap in a wheelchair and pushed them down to the Children’s emergency room where he was given around 20 stitches in his forehead. The subsequent nurses would ask how Brayden was doing before asking how I or the baby were doing… Welcome to the Harmans baby Bradley!! :)

Bradley is awesome. The kid has been going with the flow since he was born. There has been no set nap or food schedule. We have yet to child proof the house. The other 3 literally fight to be the first to hug him or talk to him in the morning or after school. He only says ‘dada’. For everything but especially for Rob. He is started to gesture for things but so far it’s just a yelling until you guess what he wants. He bites more than any of the others ones did. And typically just bites mommy. He bites when he’s mad, when he’s excited and when he’s He may have been the biggest baby (9lbs!) but he’s the smallest Harman toddler. Daddy says he will be tough even if he’s short!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer finally!

There is never enough time to get everything done! I’ve started this post a number of times. School year was very busy! I was watching 2 additional kids this school year so there were either 4 or 5 little ones every day! Kids were in school until mid-June so it felt like a late start to summer. We've tried to make it up!

Brett finished 1st grade with all A’s. Rob let Brett pick dinner the first time he brought home a straight A grade card; Brett did not forget this each additional time. He’s officially a reader now! I don’t know why I still get surprised when he reads something off a sign or the t.v. He has such an inquisitive mind; he wants to know about everything! He was named “Rocket Man” at his 1st grade awards assembly, the teachers commented that he runs to get everywhere and always has to be the fastest! He did an after school art class most of the year with Young Rembrandts, which he really enjoyed. He often asks to do crafts at home or will just grab paper to create pictures. I do not have this gene. This is something from his father’s side. Brett did floor hockey and wrestling again this year. He is finishing up baseball, as well as, gymnastics and tells me he’s excited to sleep in for the rest of the summer!

Bailey’s spring was quite eventful. In efforts to prepare her for all day kindergarten in the fall, I signed Bailey up for park classes after her pre-k. She was doing pre-k 5 days a week with the elementary, playschool 2 days with the park, an art class, and a young science class. No wonder she still napped if she had a free afternoon. She loved the idea of packing a lunch on her long day like Brett. She would ask me the night before what I thought I would pack for her. She was such a great helper with Brayden and the other 2 girls we watched. She loves to draw and would come home with 5-10 pages of things she drew or wrote on every day. And you better believe mommy better not throw any of them out!! Bailey may end up being our tall one. At her check-up this winter, we found out she grew over 3 inches in the last year, the doctor said she is on pace to be 5’7-5’8! She is head and shoulders taller than all of her friends in school.

Brayden is a 2 year old monster. A lovable, energetic, smart, hilarious, independent monster. He really is funny…and very challenging at times. I recently took him for his 24 month check-up, he is in the 50th percentile for height and weight. The doctor we saw was not our normal pediatrician so was asking a ton of developmental questions. Can he run? “yes”. Can he run well without falling? “yes, he runs away whenever possible”. Can he climb? “yes, he climbed on top of tables and furniture before walking.” I often walk into the room and find him on top of the back of the couch looking out the window for Brett to come home. He loves anything that Brett is into; legos, Star Wars, football, wrestling, nerf guns, Dusty from Planes and now dinosaurs from Jurassic World! Brayden insisted that he pack his own backpack when Brett and Bailey were getting ready for school. Brett had a small preschool shark book bag that Brayden has taken over, every morning I would find the bag full of his favorite toys, pacifiers and a snack that he grabbed from the pantry.

Brayden can throw a decent fit for whatever reason. I’m learning though, that he does well if you tell him what will happen in sequence. I don’t remember the other 2 being able to do this at his age. He can ask for something over and over….but if I tell him for example “after night night (nap), we’ll go get Brett from school, or after Brett and Bailey’s swim lesson, it’s your turn”, he does much better. He often uses this technique to ask for what he wants. “When dinner done, Truck on T.V?!” Then he will tilt his head and grin. He is incredibly cute when doing so hard to argue with!

Harman kiddo Mini’s
Brett gets set on things. For a couple weeks he wanted me to make him math tests. I was fine with this, but not when he woke me up at 6am on Monday morning to do so. I also had to grade it immediately to confirm he got them all correct.

When changing Brayden’s diaper, he yelled out “AMEN!”

Brayden frequently would blame other babies for stinky diapers. “Brayden did you go potty?” No, baby did. Abby poo poo.
The funniest was in Ohio when I asked and he said “no, grandpa poo poo’d”

Brayden has been the most inconsistent child with sleeping at night. He will go through phases of sleeping all night and then 7 days straight of waking up multiple times. This can get tiring. After a good night, I said to him “Brayden you slept all night in your bed! Good job!!” and gave him a high five. He said “mmm hmmm, mommy ache…” Oh did you give mommy a break?! “Mmm Hmmm!”

This brings me to another topic. Brayden for the longest time refused to say “yes” or “yeah” to anything. He would positively reply and say “mm hm” but FINALLY started saying “yeah” last month.

I was having the kids pick up their rooms. I went to check their progress and see Bailey shoving clothes under her bed! When I asked what she was doing, she said “the only thing I know how to do is hide things under my bed!”

Brett was getting on me about wanting a hot breakfast before school. I explained, if he and his siblings got up in time and I didn’t have to remind them 10x to get ready for the day, I would be able to make something other than cereal. He tried for about a week and then finally he was ready by the agreed upon time. “Thanks for the eggs and sausage mom, will you be making this in 11 days?” It was 11 days until his 7th birthday. Brett had quite the countdown for his birthday this year. He dropped many hints!

Brett said this spring “maybe we should move so we don't have to cheer for the Bears since they are so bad”.

Bailey is still a little drama queen! We had just talked to grandma from Ohio and she said she had a little cold. We were doing prayers that night and Bailey says “hope grandma is ok…and can come home from the hospital (she was not in the hospital). What would grandpa do?! Who would make us all the fancy meals?!”

I was sitting on the floor feeding Autumn while Brayden and Abby were in their high chairs. Brayden kept saying “done hotdog done!” I told him good job and asked him if he wanted more. That did not satisfy him. He said it over and over. I stood up so I could see him. He had plenty of food on his plate…and said “done hotdog DONE!” Then I realized, he was trying to get the hot dog on his fork, he was telling his hot dog to “COME ON!”.

“Brett do you think I like getting kicked in the back as you are climbing over me?”
Brett – “what? I thought you like back rubs?”

Brayden is another snuggle bear. When sitting on the couch, he has to sit so close he’s basically on top of you and links his arm in yours. And when sleeping by us, he has to be touching; either a hand on my face or neck or he wraps his tiny arms all around my neck! It’s all nice and sweet until you are woken up by a swift head butt to your nose because he’s trying to get closer on your pillow!

Brayden is talking so much now! Common phrases "(name, toy) where ARE you?", "Mama, what you doing?", "Noodles for dinner please??", "Daddy at work", "Brett Brett, Bailey c’mon!". If you ask him if he needs a new diaper, he says “No, I ok”. He loves music and singing in the car. Every song is “me jam!” Brayden will act like he’s fallen off the couch and yell “help me help me!” He was obsessed with the Planes movie at his birthday. He would carry his “Dusty Crop-hop-hoper” with him all over the place. He loves the cars characters but calls Lightening McQueen, “King guy”. It took a while to figure that one out. He used to call all cars “guys”, and all he could say of McQueen was ‘king’. So now we know “king guy” is something we need to find often. He loves dinosaurs from the Jurassic World movie. He has not seen this but hears about them from Brett. He can name all the dinosaurs. He has multiple “Echos” that he takes in the car, in the tub and in bed!

Brett is very competitive. This summer is constant games of Uno, Go Fish, Battleship, etc. He is not great about losing….we are working on this.

For some reason, Rob had the kids saying “Sir, yes sir!” one weekend. That Monday, Brayden said it to me. I said, “mommy’s a girl so you would say Ma’am.” So he yelled “SIR, YES SIR MA’AM Mommy!”

Brett “Mom I wouldn’t try the Kragle out on you if we were legos.” Please refer to Lego Movie.

Bailey loves to work on things. She often tries to make things a mystery that she’s figuring out.

Brett- “Mom I love your egg sandwiches. Like, I'm in love with them. I could marry them. Actually maybe I'll just live with you when I'm an adult and you can keep making them for me”. I told him I would always make him a sandwich if he asked even if he was grown.
“What if I'm like 86?”
Me – “yes when you are 86”
Brett- “oh you'll probably be gone by then”

The school had a horrible year with lice going around. We were lucky but we had weeks of me combing and checking their hair in the morning and night. Bailey was clearly over it “Ugh! Are we checking for lice AGAIN!? What, do they just like living and feeding off of hair? Why can’t they just go to China?”

Bailey was pushing my patience one afternoon. I was trying to get things done while the younger ones were napping. She asked for a snack probably 20 times. On the 21st attempt, I didn’t answer. So she said, “Mom, can I get a snack…or do you want Elsa to freeze the house?....Would you like the house to be all cold or would you like to get me a snack?” Ok, this time she wins for creativity.

Brayden can you please eat your strawberries?
“no, I’m batman!”

Soaking up as much summer as we can before school starts!!

Winter 2015

Spring 2015

Summer pictures 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015


I have lacked on my posting. My husband is the first to point out. It’s just so hard to keep up with everything the kids are doing! We have a lot going on!
Over the summer we took a family vacation to Suttons Bay, Michigan again with Grandma and Grandpa Wood and some of our cousins. It’s becoming the kids’ favorite week! We were able to stay at the same house that we did the previous trip. It was a great week of going to the beach, swimming in the pool, riding bikes and playing games. We were there for 4th of July and the Cherry Festival. Mommy and Auntie Kylie took advantage of a couple wine tours during nap time. It was a win-win all around!

The rest of the summer was full of swimming lessons, Legoland trips, museums, T-ball and picnics at the park. We spent a week in Ohio with grandma and grandpa and got to spend time with our Ohio cousins. Mommy and daddy even got away for a couple of weekends, a night downtown and a trip to New York. Mommy came back rested and relaxed, kids weren’t really sure why? :)

Brett is in 1st grade. He is doing great. His confidence in reading has really improved and he blows us away with what he can read. He still loves manipulating numbers and constantly surprises me in how he plays with them in his head. At his parent teacher conference, his teacher remarked about what a kind, good kid he is. Wonderful to hear, you never know how your child acts when you are not around! Brett played floor hockey at the park district during the fall and is doing wrestling again with Daddy as the coach with the Maine Eagles. Brett loves playing football during recess, putting together Legos, learning Chess from grandpa and Star Wars.

Bailey is in Pre-K. She goes 5 days a week for the morning. A big change for her but she is doing well. She is making friends and I love hearing what she is learning in school. She has an incredible memory for songs and remembering lines verbatim. Which has come to kick me in the butt a few times, I have to be mindful how I say things! Not only does she take things literal, she remembers them exactly! She participated in tumbling again and took an Arts and Crafts class at the park this fall. She still loves the movie Frozen (Elsa specifically), dancing, drawing (hundreds of papers around my house!), American Girl dolls and pink dresses.

Brayden is now 20 months and is hysterical. He is OBSESSED with football and tackling. You may think I’m exaggerating; his first words were ‘Mama’ and ‘football’ in that order. We didn’t hear anything else for months! He has about 10 footballs around the house. When daddy walks in the door, Brayden gives him a tackle/hug and then runs to get a football. He constantly asks for football to be on the tv…that or Mickey. He is still very dependent on his pacifiers. He prefers to sleep with 1 in his month and multiple in each hand. He loves Mickey Mouse, apples, dinosaur books, trains, Olaf from Frozen, and running! Any chance he gets loose, he runs straight for Brett’s room to get his legos off the desk, especially the cars Brett has built. Brayden will play with it, drop it or throw it, say uh oh and then give it back to Brett to fix. Over and over. Brett is so good about not getting upset and just plays along.

Biggest news probably for the children - We took our first trip to Disney in October! After months of planning and despite Daddy’s skepticism, we had an awesome time! There was brunch at Cinderella’s Royal Castle, meeting all the princesses (ELSA!!), Star Wars Jedi Training, Space mountain and Splash mountain with Grandpa and Grandma, dinner at Chef Mickey, Frozen sing along show at Hollywood Studios, staying with our friends the Shemlucks, swimming with cousins, and topped off with Mickey’s not so Scary Halloween party and fireworks! It was so much fun! Seeing your children so happy truly outweighs any planning or financial stress!! Bailey is already asking when we are going next. Daddy did not say no….so I guess that means we should start planning and saving for the next trip!!

Kiddos Short Stories

Brett – “Bailey can you stop singing?”
Bailey – “But I HAVE to practice!”
Brett – “Then do it in your head.”

I was asking Brett if he was excited to start 1st grade. He said, “Yeah I am! It means I’m that much closer to being able to play dodgeball, you can do that in 3rd grade!”

I was so anxious the kids’ first day of school. I was thinking all the things I should tell them before they were off. “Be kind, do good listening, follow the rules, introduce yourself to new kids, etc.” I was running around packing lunches, finding shoes, and chasing Brayden. I came back, “ok, remember to be kind…”
Brett – “Mom, is this the same conversation again or were you not done with the last one?” I guess I need to add, do not smart your Mama!

Bailey came to me with pen marks all up and down her arms. She said she was decorating.

Apparently Brett checks out his lunchbox when he gets to school to see what he’s having. Another mom overheard him yell “yes!! She packed broccoli salad!” I’ll take that as a win!

Bailey told me I looked like President Business because I was so big. (Please refer to Lego Movie, but still kind of mean!)

Listening to kids..
Brett – “1 more”
Bailey – “No I want 2500 more”
Brett – “That’s not even possible”
Bailey – “Watch me”
Brett – “I am watching you, you aren’t doing anything”

I asked if Brayden was stinky.
Brett – after checking “He smells like bacon. I’m not kidding, he smells like my salami sandwich” EW!

Brayden kept running into Bailey’s room, I hear her say “Brayden you are getting on my last nerds!” Oh Bailey I think you mean nerves. “That too!”

Bailey was totally decked out in princess awesomeness for her first day at Magic Kingdom. We were having a girls’ brunch with grandma at Cinderella’s Royal Castle. She got to meet Cinderella first, get a picture taken with her and then meet lots of other princesses while we were eating. In the car on the way, I caught Bailey with her finger up her nose! Bailey stop picking your nose! “I’m doing it now, so when I meet Cinderella she won’t see any boogers!”

Brett was really excited for Jedi Training at Hollywood Studios the next day. Finally something non-princess for him to enjoy. Bailey asked to do it too, we thought it would be cute for them to do together. They put on training robes, practiced moves and then went to the stage. For some reason they were on opposite sides of the stage, this probably didn’t help. The ‘mentor’ gave them all light sabers and was showing them the sequence of moves to do when the enemies tried to strike. I could see Bailey getting a little of the moves was to duck. The mentor asked why would you need to duck…an eager student yelled so you don’t get your head cut off! Bailey looked terrified. Not a minute later, a door opens and Darth Vader walks out in all his glory. Bailey literally yelled NO, ran towards me and just jumped. I left the baby (mom of the year), crossed the forbidden yellow line and caught her in mid-air. She is in hysterics. Rob had to leave with her and bought her a storm troopers gun to protect her. Even after we left and getting into the car…”What if they know where our car is?!”

John Legend's All of me comes on the radio...Bailey 'oh is this my jam?'
Yes honey, this is your jam

It took a couple days to get kids back into normal routine. Bailey in particular struggled going to school one morning and was being very dramatic about it. So I was trying to come up with happy things to talk about. Remember the castle, and meeting Elsa and how fun the fireworks were? Bailey responded with, "yeah but that Jedi Training was HORRIBLE! Brett liked it. That was probably the best 15 minutes of his life!"

With our last night of Christmas break, I asked the kids what their favorite thing we did and their favorite thing they got,
Brett says – “Ice skating and nerf gun.” Plain and simple and he goes to bed.
Bailey says – “Well I want 3 questions. 1st the favorite thing I SAW was the up and down hills. Grandma’s driveway has the big hill. Every time I go down a big hill I think WHOA I’m going to fall off my horse and fall into the road and get hit by a car and die. BUT, that didn’t happen. THANKFULLY!"

This is what it’s like having a conversation with my children.

Here’s to more fun and adventure in 2015!


Wow, has it really been almost 2 years since I’ve updated the Harman blog?! Rob has been not so subtly dropping hints that I have neglected ...