Friday, September 11, 2009

Out of order--Omaha Zoo

Summer was quickly drawing to a close for us, so the week before we all went back to school we decided to take a day trip to the Omaha Zoo. We'd never been, even when Jeff and I lived there, and were anxious to take the kids to what was supposed to be a really great zoo.
My mom and dad kept Reese, so that was really helpful, because we never could have had the fun we did if she'd been along needing to eat and sleep like she does.

I forgot to mention that Spiderman and his Teddy, I mean "Spiderbear" came with us!

The boys had a great time! We saw lots of cool animals, but loved the aquarium best. There were large sharks and stingrays in the tank that went up over our heads--a really neat experience.

We rode this cable-car ride across the zoo...Jeff hung on to Grant for dear life. He's a little fearful of heights, but was more fearful that wiggly boy would wriggle right out of the seat!

I'm glad we took the time for a quick little getaway as our last hurrah to this went too fast!

Exersaucer time

My work schedule has been keeping me busy each day here at home (really? Maybe that's why I haven't blogged in several weeks...). Fortunately, Reese is a happy girl who isn't too picky about where she's hanging out while Mom works. This past month, we tried out the exersaucer. She's had lots of fun looking at the bright colors, chewing on the toys, and figuring out how to be upright. I'm grateful she's able to spend some time without being talked to and held. It's just a bonus that she loves it!

4-5 months

During the past few weeks, Reese got to try out cereal and some baby food.

We're working on keeping her hands out of her mouth now, but at first that was all she wanted to do. She did a lot of spitting the food out, but seems to enjoy it now.

Her favorite appears to be applesauce mixed with her cereal in the morning, but she eats her veggies quite well too.

Now we're dealing with teeth as well, so it won't be long before she's able to eat big-people food!

First Day of First Grade...only a few weeks behind!

We now have an "experienced" elementary student living in our house.

Blog fodder

Grant gives me SO much blog fodder...

He likes to drink "Atorgade" instead of Gatorade
He called me into the living room while I was working because "Urglur is on! Urglur! Urglur!"


"Wordgirl" was on.

He does everything now with "Teddy." And many of his requests come though Teddy as well. Pictures to follow.

He's tough not to love, I'll tell ya that.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Grant says...

Grant has been occasionally waiting "too long" to go to the potty. Who can blame him, there is SO much to do this summer and stopping for a potty break is so not cool. It's happened a few times in the past couple of months and we've had several talks about it, reminding Grant that it takes much longer to change pants and clean up than it does to stop and run to the bathroom.
Jeff went swimming the other day and came home in his wet trunks. Grant ran up to him and hugged his legs. He then stepped back and said, "Dad, your pants are wet. Did you wait too long?"
It was all Jeff could do to answer with a straight face, but at least we know our message is getting through!

Halloween July?

If you needed more proof that Connor was my child...he is already planning his Halloween costume. Most people may not know this about me, but coming up with an original and great idea for a Halloween costume probably caused me more stress during my childhood years than just about anything else I can remember. I recall spending hours (really? Not sure...but it seemed like it!) dreaming up and discarding wild ideas, remembering that I would rather not depend on mom's sewing or having to buy anything. I had some great costumes over the years that my mom made for me--Mickey Mouse, a bunny rabbit, but overall I felt that my costumes needed to consist of things already found in my home with minimal extra work. It really was a project every year that stressed me out right up to the end as I second-guessed my choice of costume. I even remember one year being one thing at school and another to trick-or-treat. See, my indecisiveness runs deep.
Back to Connor's plan, though. He was sitting out back reading the other day and I went out to see him. He told me he had a great idea for Halloween. He wants to take a Jack-o-Lantern out trick or treating with us, but we need to cut out the bottom of it. His plan is to make his head "disappear" into his shirt and hold up the jack-0-lantern just as each door is answered. I told him it was a funny idea, but would probably scare all of our elderly neighbors. He told me that was what he planned on. He'd yell "trick or treat!" and they'd see his head "disappear" and would be so scared they would drop their bowl of candy. He would then be able to get extra large quantities of candy from each house. Very creative, huh? Not sure how or if we'll do this. I'm not sure of the feasibility of carrying around a jack-o-lanterns, but we'll see. Hold on to your candy bowls!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


All is well, but Grant got whacked with a baseball bat last Sunday. He was crying--a little. I was screaming--a lot. All I saw was Jeff bringing Grant in the door with blood on his face and heard Marjie telling me, "Grant got hit with the baseball bat."

After a few deep breaths, we saw that it was a gash in his eyebrow and took him to the emergency room. He was a CHAMP there. It probably didn't hurt that everyone who passed by our room felt the need to come in and tell Grant how adorable he was though. The dr. gave him a shot and two stitches. That tough kid didn't flinch. He was begging to play baseball again from the moment we left the house to go to the hospital...and had a short game of catch upon his return. We're so glad he's all right and that he's learned the valuable lesson of not walking into another kid's batting swing!


Baseball season has come and gone, but I thought I'd upload some pictures of Connor and his team. It was another great year. We just love his coach and the parents and kids on his team--2 more years we'll all be together, so we're looking forward to that. Jeff was able to help coach this year and both he and Connor had a great time together.

Connor really improved a lot from last year. He hit the ball really well, even getting doubles and triples! He also worked on his fielding skills quite a bit and made some nice plays. In fact, during the last game of the year he made a great double play to end an inning. Enjoy the pictures!

Pics of Reese, June 2009

Well, she's growing fast! Reese is just over 3 months old now and is really a joy! She is a master sleeper--roughly 11 or 12 hours at night--and is super-cheerful during the day. She loves to talk--lots of cooing, giggling, and noises.

Big brothers are loving her, especially Connor. He tries to have a "conversation" with Reese at least once (usually more) per day.

Dad is even great with her, as is evidenced by the name I've given him..."Baby Whisperer." He always seems to know if she's fussing because she's tired or hungry. He is also much better than me about letting her fuss for a couple of minutes in her crib--and she inevitably sleeps for 3 and 4 hour stretches when he's home.

Check back in again, I'll keep taking pictures!

Swimming lessons

Both boys had swimming lessons for the past two weeks, and I am so proud of my boys!
Connor has become quite the fish and is using his arms so much more this year. He did very well and had a blast jumping off the diving board and swimming the length of the pool.

He was in a class of younger boys, though, and I was a bit disappointed that his teacher didn't work on diving with him at all. By the end of last summer he could do it! Oh well, I guess that will be a job for mom.

It's a blessing and a curse that I taught swim lessons all of those years. You'd think it would come in handy and I could teach my own kids how to swim, but not so much.

They don't think that mom knows what she's talking about.
Go figure. I have no idea where they get that.

Hush Mom.

And we're on to Grant's swimming lessons. He was something else this year, and he really didn't want to do lessons very much. The first couple of days he cried at the beginning of the lesson, and when he thought I might be looking his way, he was sure to frown really big so I'd see it.

His teacher was a cute 17-ish girl--Ashley. Miss Ashley did a great job with Grant, pushing him to keep doing more, but also making him comfortable.
On day 3, Grant was crying again, so the 40-ish pool manager (a very nice woman, but she's no 17 year old girl in a swimsuit) took Grant for that session. He SCREAMED! For much of the lesson. Finally, I walked over to the pool's edge and asked Grant, "what is wrong?"

"I don't like HER!"
"Do you want to go back to Miss Ashley?"
He was all smiles after that. He had gotten the cute girl back. As one of the dads from another class said after watching all of this..."that boy's no dummy! He wants the cute girl!"

So, Grant did not learn how to swim this year, but he did successfully manipulate his way into the arms of a cute older woman.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We're still here!

We're hanging in here at the Hardin house with three kids, it's just taking me a while to do anything that doesn't involve feeding or its byproducts--thus the month-long hiatus from blogging. Seriously though, we are doing great. Reese is six weeks old today and has grown and changed so much! She is smiling more now and has gotten really long. The boys have adjusted beautifully to having a baby in the house. They are expert "shush"ers because I told them that babies like that sound when they're upset.
Connor has lost even more teeth. He's missing 4 on the top row and just lost another one on the bottom row today. The tooth fairy is having a wee bit of trouble remembering what with her midnight feedings and all. Fortunately, if it seems the tooth fairy has forgotten, Mom gets right up and helps Connor look for where the tooth fairy might have put the money. By the time Connor has gotten up and gone to the bathroom, Mom has found the money and pointed out where it is. Crises averted.
We're in trouble if he ever really thinks about how that goes down.

Grant is just...Grant. He is hilarious and headstrong. Talkative and tons of fun. These are a couple of his latest funnies:

"Mom, come quickly! (said "quickwee") There's a river otter (said so garbled only Jeff and I can understand those two words when they're together!) in the backyard!"
I run in and see that it's a squirrel.
"No Grant, that isn't a river otter, it's a squirrel."
He has an overdeveloped sense of the absurd at this age and says, "Silly squirrel! What's a squirrel doing in our backyard??"

I guess he thought it was perfectly rational for a river otter to be back there.

And, on the same morning we had the following conversation.

"Grant, you need to get ready for school because Mommy has to get to the eye doctor."
He is concerned, "Why you have to go to the eye doctor?"
"Because the doctor needs to check out my eyes."
"Your eyes are above your nose and under your eyebrows. They're (Dey're)fine."

I love how his little mind works!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Arrival of Reese Mackenzie

This one is my favorite...I told the boys that "shushing" babies made them feel better, so big brother Grant got right to it.

Well, she's been here for over a month and I am just now writing about it. Better late than never...
I know these are out of order too, but at least they're on here! I've got some more updated pics, but thought I would start here and get to the rest another day.
Overall, we're doing pretty well--though we couldn't have made it without the constant help of our friends and family!
Reese is sleeping pretty well, but of course still up once or twice per night to eat. I am hanging in there, just hoping that she'll sleep through the night like the boys did--around 10 or 11 weeks. She is already almost 5 weeks old and it's hard to believe. She is growing and changing every day!

The boys are fantastic big brothers and super-helpful. I promise to write more later and of course upload more pictures!