Friday, July 31, 2009


Abigail now prefers to sleep on her tummy. I lay her down on her back to sleep and always find her on her tummy, happy as can be. So I've concluded that our munchkin is a drama queen! While I'm sure she didn't enjoy being on her tummy during her first six months of life, I've come to the conclusion that she didn't like her tummy time because she felt trapped in one position. Now that she can move around and roll to her hearts content, she settles on her tummy because she knows she has a choice in the matter...

I am currently doing laundry, getting the house in order and packing for a weekend up to Dallas, where we will join Megan and KC at their new house! Hopefully, we will also get to see the Havengas, our friends from Illinois who just started school in Dallas. And of course, we will be picking up parts for the Jeep (engine parts...) on the way. No road trip is complete without Jeep parts these days!

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Abigail is becoming quite the little chatterbox. She has one volume - loud - which says to me, "Mom, you need to pay attention to me!"

We're working on sitting up. At her best, she cans it for about 8 seconds:) Now this isn't her best, but I didn't have time this morning to video her best...enjoy!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Six Months

Abigail is six months old, and oh how the time flies. She is becoming quite the little mover now that she's mastered rolling over. Rarely do we find her in the same place where we left her in her crib, and she is bound and determined to move around on the floor, just because she can. She still loves her walks and recently graduated to the "big" stroller.

She is fascinated by everything. Here she is playing with the washcloth after getting cleaned up after dinner.

I really do think her teeth will pop through soon. We've had a few rough days - short naps, hands in mouth constantly, and fussing even at bedtime (which she hasn't done for four months...), so I think they'll be here soon.

I always grab the camera too late! I love to hear her laugh and whenever I go to capture her cute little chuckles, the initial thrill of our antics have passed. But it is fun to hear Rodney's repertoire of baby noises!

Rolling over...

She likes to sit with us during mealtimes. You can even hear me chomping on my food (quite loudly...), which amuses our little munchkin! We have a happy little girl.

Lake Tahoe

So it's been decided, the Harms family is going to have to vacation out to Lake Tahoe:) Rodney's trip had flexibility for some running and swimming by the lake. Then on Friday night, his good friend Andy drove out from California to spend the day with him on Saturday. The boys went on a many mile hike, swam in some high altitude snow fed lakes, and enjoyed dinner before Rodney caught his red-eye flight back to Houston. They went off the path during their hike, and Rodney returned home with scraped up legs, torn shorts and stories of a grueling vertical hike/climb:)

So we had a relaxing Sunday here in Houston - lots of sleeping:) Abigail and I are happy to have you home, Rodney!

Rodney taking a break on the ascent...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

just because...

We have had a quiet week here in Houston - spending time with friends, taking evening walks (it is a BIT cooler here in Houston -- we no longer have a heat index of 110) and enjoying movies, desserts and boardgames. At 5 1/2 months, she is doing quite well. We're still working on sitting alone and tummy time:) But she can now officially roll BOTH ways, though she only rolls uncoaxed from back to tummy after fussing and with great determination to get something out of reach:)

Rodney leaves for Lake Tahoe on Wednesday and will get home early Sunday morning. I had to get Abigail ready for bed by myself last night because Rodney was doing some car trouble shooting for a friend. We do okay, Abigail and I, but we miss daddy's bathtime extraordinary skills (and muscles -- she is getting quite heavy these days). So if you think of me this week, I'm going to get to be a single mom for a few days...

Enjoy the pictures and video!

This is about the best she does on her own right now (and for only a short time!)... It sure is fun even color coordinating her diapers! I think this is my favorite FuzziBunz color...

Her hands are almost always in her mouth or looking for something to stick in her mouth.

Hello friends and family! Okay, so she wasn't actually waving, but she sure looks cute all the same! You wouldn't know it, but she wasn't a huge fan of the overalls. They didn't stay on her very long...

I love love love this Baby Bjorn Bib. It catches everything that she spits out of her mouth, and at the end of each feeding, it is rinsed and ready to go for the next feeding. Abigail also likes to try and chew on it in between bites, which doesn't work so well. So we're working on learning some highchair manners...Yes, even Abigail wants her own way too;) So it is quite timely that I just started the book "Shepherding a Childs Heart".

I love this video because it helps everyone understand that Abigail likes to play with her pacifier, just not suck on it. It did, however, help her last through about 15 minutes of the sermon on Sunday, but she did last at the back of the sanctuary, which is better than in the foyer:)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also , and he praises her. Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31: 29-30

My mom turns 50 today, and I wish I could be with her in Illinois to celebrate.

I love you mom, and here are just some of the reasons why I love you (in no particular order...):

1. You helped form in me a love for reading. When we were very young, you would read classics to us before bed - The Jungle Book, Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, Rikki Tikki Tavi, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe...When we were older, you would bring us to the library every week to check out books.

2. You are always available to talk. I'm so glad we're on the same cell phone plan!

3. You never complain! I remember there were days when you would feel sick with the flu, recurring sinus infections or just having a crampy day. You never complained. I remember on a few vacations in Japan and Belgium when you would be throwing up into a soda can and we hardly even knew.

4. And when we were sick, you would sleep with us in the bathroom on the hard floor. During the day, you would bring us movies from the library along with chamomile tea, soup and jello.

5. You're the most down-to-earth person that I know. You can talk to anyone - you don't see language, cultural and socioeconomic barriers.

6. You taught me how to love and care for my family through food! Rodney rolls his eyes sometimes when I serve multiple course meals to him and guests. There can never be enough food (or desserts!) on the table.

7. When we were kids, you always swam with us at the public pool during the summer. You led the way in belly flops and but busters off the diving board!

8. You sat up with Abigail during the night, helping me change and burp her. You literally laid on the floor in the nursery to keep me company while I would nurse her. And then you would wake up bright and early in the morning to bring me tea or decaf coffee, regardless of how tired you felt!

9. You always ran around with us kids in the backyard - playing basketball, throwing a softball, playing hide and go seek. You and dad were the best playmates around.

10. You're a servant. Growing up, I got to see firsthand a woman who loved her husband, her kids and her family. I'm so thankful that you still love dad and you continue to be patient with your kiddos - extending grace and mercy when needed:)

I love you, mom, and am so thankful that the Lord gave me such a great mom.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

slowly but surely

day 2 of solid foods...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Abigail has had a lot of "firsts" this last week. Last Friday, I started Abigail on her first solids, and since Rodney had the day off, it was a family affair! She did quite well. She seemed to like the taste of the rice cereal, opening her mouth again and again, though on the first day, she didn't quite seem to get the hang of swallowing. It was a messy and fun endeavor for all involved - mom with the spoon, baby with gooey hands and face and dad with the video camera.

Day two was less messy - but not much. She did swallow some, and now when she's not eating she's starting to make new noises with her tongue. She's becoming more aware of lips, mouth, etc., so maybe we'll start hearing some more sounds soon too.

I still haven't gone to more than once a day. She's still getting the hang of solids, but in the next few days, it will become more and more a part of our routine. Once we've gotten used to rice for a week or two, we'll introduce vegetables (peas probably). Yum!

Another first this week was rolling over. Abigail mastered rolling from her tummy to her back yesterday (Tuesday), and proceeded to roll over 7 times. Now she rolls over as soon as I put her on her tummy, so I roll her back over much to her chagrin. She's becoming quite the rolling over expert. Now we'll start working more on back to tummy, though she doesn't have as much motivation for this milestone...

And the final first - Rodney propped Abigail up against the couch on her feet. It almost looks like she could take off walking! We stayed close at hand because occasionally she does lean to one side and needs rescuing. She sure likes being on her feet.

My worries are laid to rest, but I pray that I learn my lesson and give all things to the Lord. For I know other worries will creep up with each stage of life. May I entrust all things, all people all circumstances to the Lord of all Creation, the light of life.

We're having fun with solids, as I'm sure you will be able to see in the videos. Enjoy!

Note: Will try to upload another video later -- I have tried four times...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Learning to Trust the Lord

It has been a challenging week for me and Abigail. Her teething has picked up intensity, and Abigail makes sure that we all understand that she's not super happy. Thankfully, she still sleeps really well, and maybe just maybe the teeth will pop through soon.

On another note, while I was talking to a nurse on the phone about the teething issue, I also brought up her developmental milestones. She is hitting all of her milestones except for her gross motor development. Even though she spends time on her tummy everyday, she is still not rolling over. Around 2/3 months they should be able to roll from tummy to back, and they learn back to tummy around 4/5 months. She also still has some head lag and isn't near sitting on her own (though the nurse did inform me that this doesn't need to happen until 6/7 months). In the conversation, the nurse mentioned that Abigail will need to be assessed by the ECIS (Early Childhood Intervention) if she doesn't meet these milestones soon.

I proceeded to do what I do best - go on the Internet and freak myself out. I think I have just enough of a science background to be dangerous. Tears ensued, and my poor hubby spent a good chunk of Tuesday evening consoling me. Worry is definitely one of my vices.

I ended up talking to my mom (and ECIS) on Wednesday. My mom reminded me that I didn't take my first step until 15 months, Daniel was slow as an older toddler, and the boys both needed help with speech. Rodney wasn't exactly the specimen of coordination as a child either. The ECIS nurse was also WONDERFUL. She basically told me to put Abigail on her tummy and let her cry and work hard. I've been putting Abigail on her tummy since she was itty bitty, but I needed the extra encouragement to persevere during gymnastics with mommy. There is a new intentionality to tummy time.

Yes, I am learning to trust the Lord, and holding Abigail with an open hand is hard to do. It's easy to say to God, "My faith would falter if anything ever happens to my little girl." And yet, serving and loving the Lord, with a joyful heart, no matter what comes my way is the true mark of faith. A few weeks back, I sat through a sermon on Abraham. For years, God didn't bless him with a son, and even when Abraham died, all of God's promises had not been fulfilled in his life. It's easy from a birdseye perspective to look down and say, God met ALL of his promises. But what must Abraham have felt? Most certainly he felt abandoned by God at times - the deal with Hagar is proof of that. And yet God still blessed Abraham with Isaac - what a beautiful picture of grace.

My heart is pretty wretched, and as a wife and mom, I have TONS to learn about yielding all things to the Lord, trusting Him in all things, and worshiping Him as the Sovereign Lord. I thank God that His grace is sufficient in all things and His power is perfected in my weaknesses.

So that's what has been on my heart this week --

And because it's been hard, my prince of a husband has stuck close by my side this week. As a result, we've played a lot of Scrabble and watched movies in the evenings. I am a blessed woman. So I've included some pictures from our week to end this post on a cheerful note...

Abigail "playing" with mommy and daddy.

we have quite the competition going...rodney tends to win more than I do (arrgghhh)... and note that Abigail now has one of her teething toys instead of the scrabble game piece.
Abigail is much happier when she's close to us. Here she is joining us for dinner.
And some big news: I'm going to start her on rice cereal tomorrow!!! I was going to wait until 6 months, like most BF moms I know, but I think she's ready now. She's hungry, been waking up earlier in the morning, and has an all-things-mouth fetish...

Isn't she beautiful!

The good news is: she does really well standing on her own. She loves to be on both of her feet...she just needs a little help with her other motor skills.

This is one of my favorite new shirts (it is super soft)-- I hit the jackpot on Craigslist last week and Miss Abigail has clothes through 18 months sizes, though she'll be wearing them long before 18 months rolls around. She's quite the chunky little girl. I also picked up another batch of cloth diapers on Monday. I picked up some BumGenius 3.0 and BumGenius organic all in ones. I love them both. I think cloth diapers are adorable. Here she is sporting a FuzziBunz pink diaper.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The First Fourth

We have had a most marvelous weekend! And Abigail officially loves my dear friends as much as I do. Abigail was all smiles for Megan and KC this weekend and was spoiled by lots of hugs and kisses. We played many hands of Rook, ate pie (strawberry and key lime), grilled out, chatted into the early morning and hit the pool. We even were able to catch some fireworks for Abigail's first Fourth of July. She was fascinated by the light and the noises - so we'll be ready to hit the big time fireworks downtown next year:)

It was refreshing having Megan (and KC too) stay with us. She has been a blessing in my life for almost eight years now. We've seen how God has closed and opened doors in our lives, and I'm so thankful that we're close enough to spend some together. Living so far away from home has been difficult, but I am thankful for the blessings that the Lord does give us here in this foreign land of sprawl and southern drawl. And yes - Texas is its own land:)

Miss Abigail "tolerated" swimming for about an hour. She was so tired on our way back to the apartment and fell asleep quickly after she settled into her bed with a full tummy and dry clothes:) She looked adorable in her new swimming suit, if I say so myself:)

I love you, friends!

Our happy little girl...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Yum - that sure tastes good!

The week has flown by! I can hardly believe that Friday is here. Megan and KC come in late tonight to join us for the 4th, so it will be a busy and exciting weekend! Abigail is still fussy (though you wouldn't guess it from the pictures...) -- I am told that teeth sometimes take a long time to come in, but I'll let you know when they do:) But all in all, it's still pretty easy to make her smile. She loves her Sophie the Giraffe and chewing on everything. I've been keeping her with me in the baby Bjorn more often now (because she's generally happier with me), so she gets to help in the kitchen and around the house. Who knew that strawberry containers and carrot peels were so fascinating?? She is starting to hold herself up by herself now -- though we keep a hand close by because she's still pretty unsteady on her feet. And occasionally I think I hear some consonants in there with her babbling vowel sounds:) She's awake and antsy, so I'll keep this short. Happy 4th of July!
Look at me, Mom! I'm getting soooo big!

Where is Sophie?

just like corn on the cob

standing and playing with daddy...