Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Milestones

Abigail makes us smile and laugh. She is such a blessing and great joy. There are times when I am so excited to pick her up that these euphoric feelings start welling up inside of my heart; they take my breath away. And so I praise God for the little munchkin in our lives.

Abigail has recently hit a few more milestones. Her head control is improving, though she still needs lots of sitting up supervision. She is tolerating tummy time much more now as a result, though when her neck and arm muscles get tired, she gets quickly frustrated. She has also been putting some weight down on her legs, and she really likes to be held in the sitting and standing position. She's beginning to recognize my voice and turn in my direction, and just yesterday she starting making some wet razzing sounds (in addition to her coos). I think these "wet" sounds are a result of all of her drool (which is a new thing). So at 13 weeks (yesterday), she's doing very well. She still isn't rolling over yet, but that will come with time. My What to Expect the First Year book says that might not happen really well until month 5. She hates being on her tummy so much that it doesn't surprise me:)

She is also sitting up more in her swing, and we ditched the head cushion (as her head was too big and it was making her ears stick out). She's now enjoying the swing more than her play mat on the floor.

I love this picture of my man and my little girl. Daddy is so funny:)

Daddy is enjoying himself too.

Two happy (and tired) Harms ladies:)

Abigail was just woken from her nap (for bathtime...and a late night snack)

Meanwhile - it's a sleepy day here in Houston. Rodney left for the airport early this morning for a one night trip to Midland, in West TX. I rolled out of bed at 6am to feed Abigail, but she was still asleep, so I crawled back into bed until I heard her 45 min. later. And we both took long morning naps (I still have a wee headache...). We have a big weekend ahead of us. We're having people over for dinner on Friday and a missionary friend, Barb Becker, is coming to visit Saturday through Monday. Today will be the sleepy day and tomorrow, I'll be productive:)
Hope you enjoy the video. It's a bit longer than normal:)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Truth for my soul, explosive diapers, and homeade tamales

Rodney, Abigail and I had a busy day today! Our good friend, Marisol, graduated from the College of Biblical Studies today. Her education was put on hold with marriage and a baby, so it was most exciting to celebrate with her today...

The surprise -- We got to listen to Norman Geisler give the commencement address. I was challenged. He quoted AW Tozer (this is the Katie Harms paraphrase...): What I believe about God is the most important thing about me. He then went on to say that our beliefs have consequences.

I was challenged -- and go figure, my reading today was in Romans 1. I confess that I so often exchange the truth of God for a lie and am self-serving (rather than God glorifying). It's been an especially hard week for my soul. I have not been casting all of my cares on the Lord, who cares (immeasurably more than I can ever know) for me.

So I was so thankful for timely truth :)

And as far as explosive diapers today -- Abigail had two. I don't mind when she has them at home, but out in public, it's oh so much more difficult. Leakage on my pants, Rodney's shirt, yuck yuck yuck. Poor little Abigail. I only had one change of clothes (note to self for future) but one explosion was only minor...

But it was a good day;) I got more practice feeding on the go, though I did find quiet places to retreat. I still have a long ways to go before Abigail and I are pros at feeding on the go;)

And...the most amazing part...

Tamales -- they are wonderful.

Marisol's parents are from Mexico, and her dad is a pastor of a small Hispanic congregation. So I ate authentic tamales. They are delicious and so cool! They wrap them in corn husks...who knew? I am still full from the delicious fare this afternoon. Yum!

And I can't end this "spilling of my thoughts" without saying how excited I am that I am now an aunt! Evalina had Miss Eleanor Jane early Friday morning. We can't wait to meet you in May, Ellie.

The cousins Abbie and Ellie are two blessed little ladies.

And of course -- what is a Harms blog posting without pictures?

Abigail on my lap earlier this week -- cute

You can start to tell that I really am trying to walk everyday in the Houston sunshine :)
"Yum, my hands taste so good." Yes, she has her hands in her mouth all the time now. I think she's going to learn by tasting everything.

"Hey mom, look how flexible I am!"

Aren't I cute!

Friday, April 24, 2009


-- found this encouraging this morning (excerpt by J. Carattini)

Whether the journey of faith is a dramatic miracle or more like a gift that requires some assembly, we are put together by the one who knows us best. “Man is born broken,” quotes Lamott. “He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.” In his care for all of our many pieces, God reveals Himself as the God who is there....“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:1).

--I need glue for my brokenness.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tummy Time

She's starting to use her arms to lift up her head. I'm hoping that this new skill will help strengthen her little arms so tummy time won't be such an ordeal.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What is Babywise?

Babywise -- comes from the book "On Becoming Babywise - Giving your Infant the Gift of Nightime sleep" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucnam. It's what they call a parent directed parenting approach which basically trains your child to fall asleep on their own. My doctor actually told me to start letting Abigail cry herself to sleep at night when she was two weeks old. It was the best (and most difficult) advice I've gotten so far. You let them cry for 20 min., and if they are still crying, you check the basics (diaper, burp, hungry -- you know if they're hungry if they already ate). Abigail doesn't even fuss now when we put her in bed (awake) at night. She's usually asleep within moments. She actually often will smile up at us when we put her in her crib because she wants to sleep. The key is recognizing her "tired" signs...

And now I'm doing the daytime routine, which is eat, play, sleep. I actually just put her down for a nap, and she literally only fussed for about 5 seconds. She's MUCH happier now that I've implemented the full routine. She used to be really fussy in the evenings, and she refused to nap (so I had to let her was well worth the parenting trauma of letting her cry...which is VERY hard at first).

She's such a good sleeper and such a happy baby when she's awake, that if she were to have a fussy day or not sleep well, I would know there was something wrong or out of the ordinary. But our little girl has been healthy so far...

I hear that new teeth, growth spurts and routine busters (traveling etc.) tend to break the routine, but children tend to settle back into the routine within a few days:)

For all moms to be or moms with kids that don't sleep -- I would at least recommend reading the book, even if you want to try the other approach (attachment parenting -- carrying your baby around all the time, nursing baby to sleep, rocking baby to sleep). To each her own:) At least from my perspective, Rodney, Abigail and I are getting great sleep, which makes us better parents (and better husband, wife, etc...).

Critics of Babywise say that it isn't natural to let a baby cry self to sleep. Abigail is even more cuddly now than she was four weeks ago. She loves being held, talked to, sang to, etc. And other critics say that Babywise's approach to feeding (every 2-3 hrs. at first and then every 3-4 hrs) doesn't pay attention to what the baby might really need (what they call "on demand feeding"). The reality is, physiologically, my body won't produce enough milk for her to nurse every hour. However, Babywise would even say that flexibility is "key" and it's okay to break the routine every once in a while. I occasionally do if she's "out of norm" fussy or just appears hungry...She often refuses to eat except when she's hungry.

Anyways. The can of worms has been opened:)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thoughts on being green, mommyhood, and other randomness...

I have spent the last hour and a half researching cloth diapers. Yes, I'm thinking about switching over. I'm on a recycling kick (now that we've finally found a place to recycle), and I can now understand the true impact one little baby can have! We change so many diapers! Pre-Abigail, I was overwhelmed with mommyhood. It took all of my strength just to prepare for her - shopping around on craigslist, reading my What to Expect the First Year and Mayo Clinic's Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy (and delivery -- I re-read that chapter probably 15 times!!!). Cloth diapering was low on the priority list. And I'm glad we used disposable for these first three months. I was too zombie-like after my c-section to be very useful around the house...But now I'm considering it, so if you have any thoughts (experiences, brand ideas, etc.), I'd welcome your thoughts.

And I am a firm believer in Babywise. After following its principles, Abigail is a model Babywise little girl. She's sleeping and oh so much happier now that I've finally worked naps into her routine (before I let Abigail decide when she wanted to fall didn't work and I always had a crabby baby on hand). It is best for both of our moods:)

I'm also a firm believer in Mylicon. She is much happier, far less fussy in the evenings (and passes her gas to her hearts content).

And as far as Abigail's little blossoming personality, she is become very inquisitive. As I nursed her this afternoon, she spent much of the time distracted, looking around the room, smiling up at me, and trying to suck her thumb and nurse at the same time (nope honey, you can't have the best of both worlds...). It sure is fun to watch her grow up.

And on a side note -- Rodney and I recently discovered . This afternoon, I typed in "George Winston" and have been listening to lovely piano music. But we enjoyed a Sara Groves mix this morning before church and a country music mix last night. You type in an artist you enjoy, and you get an interesting mix of music. You can then rate the music (thumbs up or down). We've enjoyed "no-commercial" radio here in the Harms house:)
So that's all for today...I have laundry to fold...and smoothies and popcorn to make for dinner (yum).
fun with daddy

waking up...

cute little legs

Friday, April 17, 2009

Play Time and Daddy Time

We have been enjoying spring here in Houston, TX. The weather has been picture perfect this week (though today we are having thunderstorms). My shoulders are actually a wee bit sunburned after a long walk, followed by chatting with my neighbors underneath the hot sun. So out came the aloe vera on Wednesday! I am looking forward to using the pool this summer with Abigail. She still has a few months to go before she'll be ready for the pool, but by July and August, I hope I'll be sunkissed and she'll be a happy water baby.

Abigail is still doing really well at night. She is regularly sleeping from about 10:30pm to 7am, which is a huge blessing. I've been staying up later at night, though, so it's my own fault if I'm tired. The munchkin is certainly a happy sleeper. She does really well with her morning and afternoon nap, though she still hates her early evening nap -- unfortunately for Rodney, that's just about when he gets home from work. We had a few hard evenings this last week. It just reminds me to thank God that she hasn't been colicky (and is just fussy when she's sleepy or burpy). She's growing up so quickly! I can hardly believe that she's almost 12 weeks old.

This is what she does when she's tired of tummy time (after about 5 minutes). She buries her face and cries. Poor thing. You can probably imagine me saying, "This hurts me more than it hurts you..."

She is getting more used to the Baby Bjorn, and we have enjoyed taking her for walks (sans stroller).

I caught my two favorite people at the end of their reading time...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

Just wanted to post a few pictures of Miss Abigail.

We had a quiet Easter. Church. Rest. Sunshine. Delicious Food. Yup, that just about sums it up.

We couldn't coax a smile out of her...we didn't keep the hat on her long:)

Tummy time doesn't usually last very long. She still cries, and it is so hard listening to the desperation of her cry - "why mom...why??" But this is proof that we're working on tummy time...

This was Abigail at the end of the day (a very fussy day). She was sooo tired, and you can see a little tear in the corner of her eye.

And Abigail sleeps like mommy, happily on her side (even though she starts out on her back - she does sometimes stay on her back but not all the time...).

the jeep...

Rodney finally took pictures of his Jeep project on Saturday, and since he doesn't have several siestas woven throughout his day (as a precious baby girl gets her beauty sleep), I've decided to take on the Jeep Blog posting.

These first pictures are of the vehicle that Rodney bought for its body, seats, etc. Note: this is not the finished product, though it looks a lot like Rodney's end goal. He will be putting in a new custom built frame, new transmission and transfer case, a Cummins diesel engine and new axles. So Rodney still needs to mount the engine to the frame, etc. He'll be fabricating these...and then he will still need to come up with an exhaust system and a bunch of other stuff that I'm probably forgetting!

He already has the engine, axles and the frame (which are in the pictures below). He just finished painting the axles with a nifty paint that will help protect the metal from rusting. Since we don't plan on living in Texas forever, we will need to be prepared for salty, icy roads of Illinois! Once he fabricates the mounts for the engine, he will send the rolling chassy (sp??) in to have it galvanized.

And there may be a follow up blog (written by Rodney) with added or edited information! Enjoy:)

4BT Cummins Engine

Axle (front/rear...I have no idea...)

Custom frame (It looks much cooler in person. It really does. Very impressive.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Poster Child

I think I could send this picture in to Calvin Klein to use in their advertisements. I couldn't have captured a more happy girl in this picture -- but don't be fooled, my little lady has her fussy moments too. I just am usually working to get her settled (and not concerned about capturing her pouty, fussy face on camera).

I actually met some friends for lunch today, and she fussed quite a bit. Liesl was so gracious to bounce with her while I ate my food. So this posting is more for the benefit of Mom, Dad, Dave and Scott who leave to visit Daniel in Kenya tomorrow! Hooray for them (yes, I am slightly jealous)...They have one last blog posting pictures of their precious grandbaby...

And now precious baby abigail is fast asleep. She tired herself out (and mommy too, who is about to go take a nap...)

Monday, April 6, 2009


Everyday, Abigail reaches new milestones!

On Saturday, she "really" found her thumb. Now she finds her thumb when she's tired before falling asleep.
Today, she rolled over onto her side and stayed on her side contentedly for quite some time:)

And her smiles are bigger everyday. On Sunday morning when I went to pick her up for breakfast, I was greeted with many big grins. I even left her room to get the camera, and she was still happy to see me (sometimes tears say, 'I want to eat now!').
Last night when we put her to bed, she just smiled at us in her crib, knowing that she would soon fall into a peaceful sleep.

Or maybe it was just because she got to see Dad's Jeep. Rodney had been working on rigging up his Jeep topper in our garage.

Or maybe it was because she got to say hello to Grandma and Grandpa via video camera.

Either way...Enjoy!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

How About Them Bears

I was a Chicago Bears fan by marriage, and now I am a fan because I actually want to see the Bears win. The Bears finally signed a new quarterback for the upcoming season - Jay Cutler. Rodney and I are both looking forward to seeing someone else out there on the field.

And as far as bears go in the Harms household, Abigail is a big fan of the bears on her Winnie the Pooh swing. And we're a fan of the bears when we're about to sit down to dinner (which is exactly what we were about to do...).

Video Disclaimer - the video isn't perfect. Please forgive my novice video skills. I was trying to get the best look at our sweet little girl. I will do better in the future. I promise:)

9 week update - Smiles and Slumber

It has been a good week all in all. Abigail keeps me busy during the day, but she hasn't been keeping me busy at night. Sometimes she still wakes up once, but sometimes, she's stretching her sleep to 4 or 5 in the morning (but sometimes she still wakes up between 2 and 3). I am also starting to recognize faster when she is hungry, sleepy, bored or uncomfortable. But she smiles a lot now between all of her various emotions. I still have lots to learn :)

I am becoming more proficient at this breastfeeding thing to and am learning how to cope with blocked ducts, etc., though I confess that breastfeeding hasn't always been easy or without some surmountable frustrations.For moms who read my blog and are interested, I highly recommend the following web-site: They have great information (PDF files), and I wish I had known about the site pre-Abigail.

Friday night, we watched Slumdog Millionaire. We highly recommend the movie - it does a great job drawing attention to international humanitarian issues while not forgetting to weave a story about destiny, redemption and love.

Saturday Rodney finally got back to working on his Jeep. He's been really patient, and now we're finally starting to get back into routines. Hopefully, he'll be able to plug away, get his axles finished, and start getting the frame ready soon :)

She must be thinking, "Mom, you're so silly!"

She fell asleep last night after a long day of errands (and a full tummy).