Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brandon's Pictures

So now that Brandon is 2 weeks old, I have figured out how to sneak in a minute or two to post pictures. This is just minutes after he was born. I was definitely crying.

Proud Papa 3rd time over... I love watching these 2 together. They definitely have a special bond already.

Emma has been a SUPER big sister and LOVES to be called a "Big sister." She loves baby Brandon and is a great helper for mom.
Nate has told me several times that it is not my baby, but his. He absolutely adores Brandon and can't keep from touching him or talking to him. Although at times I am bugged by this and would prefer he leave the sleeping baby alone, I know these are moments to be cherished.
I don't know if its "3rd times a charm" or what, but I am LOVING this little guy and feel like as a mom I am figuring things out much more quickly with this one. He is so cute and cuddly. He is a sweet little guy that has brought much happiness to our home.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baby Has Arrived!!!

Pictures will follow... but until then, we're excited to welcome Brandon Donald Harris into our family. He arrived Sunday at 12:44 weighing 9lbs. 1 oz.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pushing Isn't Against the Rules At Our House . . .

IF you are pushing your sibling down the street in a big red car.

I couldn't help but laugh as I watched the kids playing outside yesterday. The weather was perfect and they couldn't have had more fun taking turns pushing each other. I had to sneakily take this video through the window so as not to disturb their getting-along.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Halloween 2009

I know I'm more than a little late posting these, but better late than never, right? This year Halloween was kind of on the back burner since I'm super pregnant, Andrew's super busy at work, we just moved into a new house...oh yeah, and did I mention I was in the hospital for 2 days, just 2 days before Halloween? Yeah, kidney stones and pregnancy make for a lot of fun. But enough about that, let's just say, we made due with the hand we were dealt and made the best of this year's Halloween (thanks to SUPER DAD I might add).

Nate as Darth Vader...he loves the bad guys

Emma had a really cute witch costume which she refused to wear, choosing the dress up Tinkerbell costume she got for her birthday this year instead.

She was a sport though and let me do her whispy Tinkerbell hair.

We had a great time on Friday night at our church's Trunk or Treat. Saturday morning Andrew helped us carve our pumpkins and we took the kids out again for a short bout of trick or treating on Saturday night.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reading Nook Re-Do

While Andrew is away, Julie will PLAY... or redecorate, that is! Normally when Andrew goes out of town, I plan a project to keep myself busy so I don't miss him too much. I usually paint. (remember the RED family room, or the GREEN kids room??) Well, Andrew left on a business trip last night and I'm just too tired to paint. So what to do???

Our "reading nook" usually looks like this:

Or better yet, like THIS:

After a trip to the home improvement store with Emma, 20 minutes with a drill, level, and screwdriver, it now looks like THIS:

Ta Dah!!!

You'll never guess what material I used...RAIN GUTTERS!!!

I LOVE IT!!! Hopefully it will keep our books off the floor. And really, it only took me 20 minutes!!! So I guess I'll need to find another project for the remaining days he's gone... any ideas?

I got my inspiration and instructions here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

61...Make That... 54 More Days

The kids found Andrew's stapler today and wanted to staple something...anything.

For the past few days I thought it would be fun to make a baby countdown chain. Thanks to my Dear Doctor for setting an induction date, I know I only have 54 days left!!! That's right folks! I will be induced on Monday, Dec. 7th...if all goes according to plan.

For those of you disgusted by me and my LOVE of modern medicine right now, rest assured knowing that both Nate and Emma came more than 1 week early (which is my induction date) (Nate, 14 days early, Emma, 10)... so chances are this baby will come NATURALLY anyhow. But at least I can pretend I'm cutting it short especially since I'm already looking full term...hence, no pics of me. I think this chain MIGHT wrap around my belly once,
but maybe not... just kidding... I'm not THAT big, although when someone asked me my due date 2 weeks ago, they then followed up with, ARE YOU HAVING TWINS???

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Laundry Thoughts

So normally I HATE folding laundry. I will shamefully admit I have been known to leave loads of clean clothes in the dryer til we've practically worn them all... or left a clean load in a basket until its nearly empty because we've picked through it for several days to find what we need. (Pathetic, I know.) But a few days ago as I was folding a "white" load, the most dreaded of all loads, I couldn't help but smile as I began folding some new pairs of Nate's socks. You see, I recently bought Nate some new socks for back to school. All summer long he's stuck to his flip flops except on Sundays so I've rarely folded socks for him over the past several months. Also, I've recently been getting excited about our new baby boy and have been buying 0-3 month socks for teeny tiny feet. Seeing these 2 sizes side by side made me realize that every mother before me has been right. Time flies too quickly when the kids are small. It is so bittersweet. It's been fun to see Nate off to school and realize what a "boy" he has become. But there's still a part of me that misses the baby in him. It is slowly disappearing day by day as evidenced by his new BIG SOCKS!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sneaky Emma

A few days ago I walked into Emma's room and this is what I found.

She was sneaking a 16 oz sprite, sipping away on her bed while watching cartoons.

When I got out of the shower this morning I walked into the family room to find this...

She had moved on to BIGGER and better things...a 2 liter of orange soda, chugging away while watching cartoons.

Should I be worried??

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Last First Day of School post...I promise

In my never ending (and impossible) attempt at being the "perfect mom" I had the great idea to have Nate return home from his first day of school to freshly baked homemade cookies. Unfortunately, I also jam packed my day full of things I was looking forward to getting done, "with only one child." Emma and I were out and about all day and never had time to step foot in the door, much less bond over our idealistic cookie making. Add to that the fact that I realized I have no kitchen aid (my go to machine for cookies) much less a hand mixer in this furnished apartment, so there was no chance of real home baking because I will be the first to admit I'm too modern (or stubborn, or spoiled) for hand mixing! So instead, we bought these delicious pink sprinkled sugar cookies and devoured them with milk and a side order of conversation of how the big first day went. All in all we were all pleased.
So I may never win an award as mother of the year, but don't you just love those so-not-good-for-you pink pretties?? I do.

Monday, August 31, 2009

All Apologies

When I wrote my last post, in my mind, it was pretty funny.

Unfortunately I think I made some of you cry along with me.

So sorry for this.

I really just thought my reaction was completely ridiculous and could only be explained by a surge of pregnancy hormones. Really, who does that?

Anyhow, Nate had a good first day at school with some ups and downs: He loved playing outside, but he didn't get a turn on the swings. He liked going to lunch, but spilled yogurt on his shirt and was told he had to learn to open all of his own lunch treats (which he CAN do, but doesn't THINK he can). He learned a new song, but did NOT want to say the pledge. He is so funny. He really liked the story and accompanying art project they worked on, but he hated putting his head on his desk for quiet time. All in all I think he gave me a pretty good report on the first day, but has made funny comments like, "I liked school, but I'm never going back." Or last night in bed, "I'm not going back to Kindergarten. I'm going to go to 2nd grade with the 6 year olds." Again, so funny. I love that little guy.

Lastly, I'm happy to report we walked him to his class this morning and we were all smiles. No breakdowns in the car afterwords, much to Emma's satisfaction.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pregnant Moms Should Be Banned From School

So today was Nate's first day of kindergarten. (If you haven't seen below, take a look at the last post for some cute pics) All was going well. I got up early. Got ready. Made a fabulous breakfast. Helped Nate get ready. Made sure I didn't leave anything behind for my day's unusually busy schedule. And we were off.

We made it to school with plenty of time to walk Nate in and get him settled. We were in his classroom for about 5 minutes. I was proud of how I was handling this whole situation. In my mind I was thinking, "This isn't so hard." Nate quietly took his seat and I turned to confirm with his teacher the time I was to return to pick him up. As she was answering my question I felt it start.

Tiny tears were filling my eyes.

Still, I was strong.

I WILL NOT CRY in front of my child. I WILL NOT!

I crouched down and whispered to Nate that I love him and I knew he would have a good day and I would see him later.

The tiny tears were invisible to him. My voice was steady.


I grabbed Emma's hand and we walked out of Nate's class. Emma was upset because she didn't say goodbye. From the hallway she yelled, "Bye Nate!" He turned around in his chair, gave us a big smile,and waved happily to his sister. And it got worse.

The tiny tears became HUGE TEARS.

I now had to navigate out of the school without letting those HUGE TEARS come out of my eyes.


Luckily no small children walked in front of me, because my vision was so blurred by the HUGE TEARS that I would have run them down.


Thank goodness for the carpool crossing guard who guided us safely across the school drive way or I would not have seen a car coming thanks to those HUGE TEARS.

We made it to the car and I quickly strapped Emma in, returned to my seat and closed the door.



Uncontrollably, like a huge catastrophe had just befallen us, like a loved one had just passed on unexpectedly, like every bone had shattered in my body. I was full on sobbing in the car.

Poor Emma in the backseat was trying to console me and was questioning my emotions. And to be honest, I really don't know what overcame me. All I can say is, pregnant moms shouldn't be allowed to take their firstborn child to his first day of kindergarten!

Nate's First Day of School

So we started off our "back to school celebrations with early morning french toast. (Nate's favorite breakfast) Don't you LOVE Emma's bed head?
Nate loved piling up multiple pieces on his fork. Yum!
The infamous "First Day of School" be cherished forever!
Emma wanted in on the action too. She was just as excited about Nate's first day as anyone!
And one more outside to go down in the history books!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten....umpteen years ago...

Julie, age 5, West Elementary, Morristown, TN
Andrew, age 5, Old Orchard Elementary, Newhall, CA
Thought it would be fun to take a stroll down memory lane on the eve of Nate's first day of kindergarten. Be sure to check back in tomorrow to see Nate in his memorable "first day" pic.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fires and Devils

We haven't been up to much lately, hence no blog posts. However, last Thursday as I was helping Emma fall asleep for her nap, I kept hearing sirens. I heard them over and over and they didn't seem to trail off. They would get really close, then stop. Sure enough after she was sound asleep I peaked out onto our balcony and this is what I saw.

That's right. Those buildings are across the street from us and there was a fireman on a tall crane spraying a fire! (To clarify, the buildings weren't on fire...the land next to them was.)

I could only see the peak of flames occasionally, but there was definite smoke.

There was another fireman in the distance spraying it from another direction. After about 2 hours they were able to put it all out... but it gave Nate and I something to do during our otherwise uneventful "quiet time." I guess leaving California didn't remove us from fires.

In other news, I've caught the sewing bug again and made the kids some dress up capes. I had a pattern with several options of capes and let them choose which one they wanted as well as the fabric. True to their personalities, Emma chose the queen cape, while Nate chose the devil. (Not that he is a devil, but he sure likes to play devil's advocate sometimes and get into trouble!)
After I sewed the faux fur onto Emma's she said, "Mom, this looks like a Santa cape." I still need to add black "spots."

Nate's pattern included a hood with horns...I'm contemplating making it for Halloween...we'll see. I don't really want to take this TOO far!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ooops! I should have updated last week...

So 66% of you were right in guessing BOY! We're super excited to welcome a new baby boy to our family sometime in December. All went well with the ultrasound and both kids are super excited to have a new brother. Now the name game begins...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What is Harris Baby #3?

We have our big ultrasound tomorrow and we've decided (after much deliberation) to find out the gender. Go ahead and take the poll to the right to guess what it will be. We have one of each, so you probably have a 50% chance of getting it right. Stay tuned for an update with real results!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Fish Emma

Emma completely shocked us a few weeks ago when we jumped in the pool after the beach. I didn't have her floaty so I thought she would just stay on the steps... NOPE. We had NO IDEA that she can totally swim. Here's the proof:

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Baby is 5!

For Nate's 5th birthday I thought it would be fun to go back in time and reflect on the last 5 goes.

Nate on the day of his birth.

Nate's 1st birthday party with family at our apartment in California.

Nate just days after his 2nd birthday.

Nate enjoying some yummy cake at a small 3rd birthday party at our home in California.

Nate's 4th birthday where he debuted his razor scooter moves.

Nate enjoying his birthday breakfast of "rollyups" this morning.
We'll post more pictures of the day's festivities later, but for now,
Happy 5th Birthday Nate!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Love My Job

This morning I woke up to noises in the kitchen. Knowing Andrew had left for work a few hours earlier I was curious as to who it could be. I listened intently to sounds of dishes knocking, silverware clattering and cereal pouring. A minute later a cute little 4 yr old face appeared beside my bed with a bowl full of apple jacks and milk. Nate cheerily said, "I made you breakfast, mom!"
He handed me the bowl then proceeded to make himself a bowl of cocoa puffs. He returned bowl in hand and joined me in bed while we watched a little tv together munching on our cereals. Life is sweet.

Since we've moved into the temporary condo Emma has been a little anxious about sleeping by herself in her large king sized bed. Each night she asks if I will lay with her so she can fall asleep. Some nights I have other things I need to do, or want to do, but when I give in to her pleadings we share the sweetest moments. One night I mentioned to her that she's a little cuttle bug.
She has quickly picked up on this and now asks, "Mom, will you lay with me? I'm your little cuttle bug." She knows what melts my heart. And anyone who knows her knows that this is true. She is the sweetest, cuddliest, huggiest, kissiest little girl, even at times hugging strangers. (We'll have to put a stop to this before her teenage years, but for now it is so endearing.)

Which brings me to the point of my post. I love my job. Although at times it is rough and I want to run for cover, there are many moments that I cherish. One of my favorites talks was given by M. Russel Ballard at a conference for our church. In speaking to mothers he gives advice on reducing the pressure and enjoying the family more. He says, "First, recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction." This has been so true this summer as I've had a lot more time to enjoy the kids and the true JOY they bring. I love you Nate and Emma!

Here's a link to that talk if you're interested... its great for all moms, dads and kids!

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th Family Beach Trip

For Independence Day, we decided to go to the beach as a family. The kids and I go quite a bit, but somebody has to work in this family, so Andrew can rarely go with us. The kids just can't get enough and could stay there forever.
Andrew was only able to sit and relax for a few minutes before the kids beckoned him to help dig big holes, build sandcastles, and help body board, all of which he did happily.
Of course, there are no pictures of me (thank goodness, I WAS in a swimsuit, after all) because I was the family photographer of the day. But Nate was sure to let me know that having his picture taken is another one of the things he has outgrown, as evidenced by his facial expression in the picture below. "No pictures, Mom!"
On a personal note, I must say this was my favorite Independence Day so far. We had a great day as a family. Not only did we go to the beach, we also swam in the pool twice, went on 2 family walks, had ice cream, watched fireworks and ate delicious watermelon. Though we didn't do anything "over the top" we really bonded and had a great time in each other's company. I am so grateful for all the freedoms and conveniences we enjoy in this country and all those currently and in the past who serve and protect our country to keep it that way.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Southport Ferry

Last Monday the kids and I took the ferry from Southport to Wilmington so we could visit the NC aquarium.
Nate and Emma were a little nervous to get out of the car, but soon enough, they were loving it. It was a quick 35 min ride to Fort Fisher in Wilmington. We saw lots of cool animals such as this albino alligator. I kid you not, it really is an albino alligator. They have to keep it in the shade so its skin doesn't joke.

Emma was brave enough to "tickle" some rays and horseshoe crabs.

My favorite part (which we couldn't get good pictures of) was when 2 divers entered the shark tank and gave a little program. One of the divers had a microphone in his mask so we could hear what he was saying. He taught us all about the sea life here in the Atlantic and gave us tips for not becoming shark bait. The kids got to give the other diver a "high five" through the 8 in thick glass while he was wiping the windows. It was great.
For anyone who comes to visit, we will FOR SURE have to take you for a ferry ride to the aquarium.