Where Did 9 Months Go?

9 Months

9 Months

To say the last 9 months have been busy is an understatement.  From the lack of posts, I think it’s clear, not only were we busy, but time seemed to move at an oddly rapid pace.  It’s funny how the more pregnancies you have, the faster each one goes by.  Granted, you’re increasingly busy with each child, but now that it’s over, it seemed nearly unnatural.  Forgive me as I journey back over the past few months…. for there are moments I don’t want to forget. As I think back over my pregnancy, I feel so lucky to have had such a good experience overall.

I baked a baby girl for 9 months, and after all that work, she really did come out a girl. It literally took 3 ultrasounds to convince me with 99% certainty that the baby in my belly was a girl.  And when she finally arrived and I was hurdled over the threshold to 100% positivity, I was overwhelmed with joy.

We raced and camped and raced and camped.  George won the PRO series for his class, which meant many nights sleeping in a trailer and roughing it in the dirt. I’d be proud of that feat anytime, but especially walking the track with 2 little boys and a large belly.

We travelled to Vegas, and every morning I woke up feeling like a champ, volunteering to run for coffee and pastries in the gorgeous sun as others hid in their dark rooms. What’s even more important, I had an awesome time.  I was nervous beyond belief to “party” in Vegas at 7 months pregnant. The usual just wouldn’t do. But to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation, laying by the pool with a belly, and drinking fancy non-alcoholic cocktails.

Quentin played soccer and the boys both started wrestling. We began wrestling late in the season, since it overlapped with soccer. Boy was this a different, but fun experience.  Wrestling has always been one of my favorite sports to watch because it’s so intense.  Amplify that times 100 when it’s your child.  I’ve never been so proud, excited, and terrified in one moment as I was when they stepped out onto that mat for their first match. Both boys did wonderfully, and now, our living room is full of legit matches as opposed to the standard bum rush wrestling we had been used to.

We bought a new house (provided everything closes as expected)! It was a bit of a surprise, but the stars just aligned and everything fell into place.  If you know our real estate history, you know that’s kind of luck is a rarity for us.

This post turned more into a year review for the Harding’s, but it was important to me to try to get this down. Looking back, it’s been an eventful time in our lives, and now that our little one is here, we can’t wait for the new experiences coming our way.  More to come soon on her arrival.


My sweet loves.

My sweet loves.

I have had a Pin-spiration Revelation.

There are many ideas from Pinterest I have vowed to get crafty over, save money on, or promised to plant.  Most of them remain lofty goals on my virtual pin boards.  The ones I take the most action on, usually also provide a dent in my wallet, as opposed thifty solutions. However, today I saw a fun post that inspired me to take action, and not with money.  One mother asked her children simple everyday questions and recorded their answers.  A different type of time capsule, and very in line with the purpose of this blog.

Tonight, I sat down with my boys (Quentin 6, and Kaden 3) and recorded their responses to 21 simple questions.  Here’s a deeper look into my world, through they eyes of my sweet boys.

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?

Quentin: “I’m nice.”
Kaden: “Uh…. Poop, but I say that on accident.  Love me.”  [For the record, I don’t believe I ever say poop…but….]


2. What makes Mommy happy?

Quentin: Giving her a hug and a kiss.
Kaden: Nose kisses, kisses, and hugs.


3. What makes Mommy sad?

Quentin: When someone gets hurt.
Kaden: When someone is mean.


4. How does Mommy make you laugh?

Quentin: By playing jokes on me.
Kaden: When you give me candy you make me laugh.


5. What was Mommy like as a child?

Quentin: Uh… I don’t know. Where you playful?
Kaden: Be happy.


6. How old is Mommy?

Quentin: 30
Kaden: 5, wait 100!


7. How tall is Mommy?

Quentin: 30 inches, are you lower than that?
Kaden: 14!  Yeah, got it.


8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?

Quentin: Having a family day.
Kaden: Scratch your back.


9. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?

Quentin: Goes to work.
Kaden: Go to work.


10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?

Quentin: A great singer. [See George! I’m awesome.]
Kaden: Piggy back rides on your neck.


11. What is Mommy really good at?

Quentin: Cheering me on when I’m riding my dirt bike.
Kaden: Playing Spiderman.


12. What is Mommy not very good at?

Quentin: Riding a dirt bike. Or magic.
Kaden: Playing Tea Party.


13. What does Mommy do for her job?

Quentin: Helps people know how to work a computer.
Kaden: Going shopping. [hah!  I wish!]


14. What is Mommy’s favorite food?

Quentin: Pancakes. [Funny, since I am eating Paleo]
Kaden: Strawberries.


15. What makes you proud of Mommy?

Quentin: When she does something nice.
Kaden: I don’t know.


16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?

Quentin: A BeyBlade one.
Kaden: Dora


17. What do you and Mommy do together?

Quentin: Cuddling on the couch.
Kaden: Go bye-bye with you.


18. How are you and Mommy the same?

Quentin: We both have green eyes.
Kaden: Uh… penguin heads.  [hmmmmm…]


19. How are you and Mommy different?

Quentin: You’re bigger than me.  Your 30.
Kaden: We match.


20. How do you know Mommy loves you?

Quentin: Cause she gives us kisses before bed.
Kaden: 100! [he throws his arms out wide and smiles]


21. Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go?

Quentin: To Target!
Kaden: To the zoo

I must say, I learned more about myself than I expected!  If you have kids, and can keep their attention for 21 questions, I recommend you give this a try.  I can only imagine how the answers will change over time.

Like Bobbies.

Motocross Babies.

My Motocross Babies.

For the longest time Kaden has referred to his big brother as Bobbies.  When he first started to call Quentin Bobbies, because he couldn’t say brother, my husband and I would try to help him say the word properly.  My sweet, stubborn son would have none of it.  “Bobbies!” he would shout back.  So…. needless to say, Bobbies is a nickname that has had some serious staying power.  Quentin doesn’t usually let anyone call him Bobbies except for his baby brother.  Kaden is now 3, and fully capable of pronouncing his brothers name, but Bobbies still sticks.  I love it.

As I was cooking dinner this evening, I heard Quentin and Kaden up to something mischievous.  Parents, you know what I’m talking about.  Sometimes you just know. For Christmas both boys received new dirt bike gear.   “Mom!” Kaden yelled from the bedroom.  “I want like Bobbies.  LIKE Bobbies!”

The boys had drug out all of gear and were suiting up, race ready. When I say race ready, I mean pants, jersey, gloves, goggles…. and Kaden was in need of assistance with his helmet to be “like Bobbies.”  Such brotherly love.  It’s clear Kaden admires his older brother, and together the two are such an unstoppable team.  Of course I helped Kaden gear up the rest of the way “like Bobbies.”  The boys sneak back to their room and imagine, with fierce and admirable intensity, they are racing the most important race of their lives.

Just another random Thursday night at our house, where we are geared up and geeked up for dirt bikes, while imaginations run wild.  I hope my babies never lose the ability to dream in color.

Expect the Unexpected

Kaden the Sneak.

Kaden the Sneak.

Recently, I started going to hot yoga again.

I love the warmth, and cleanse, the hard work, and of course the sweat… And sweat you do in a room of 105 degrees.  The class I have been attending takes place in the evenings, so usually my sweet boys (all three, including my husband) are asleep when I get home.  One night, not so long ago, the house was an unfamiliar silent as I walked in the door after class.  I checked on my sweet family and they were all fast asleep, cuddled together in my bed.  I kissed each one and headed in to take a quick shower, still nearly drenched from class.  As I showered I cleared my head and tried to silence my usual busy mind.

Refreshed, I dried off and ever so quietly turned the bathroom door gently and slowly so as not to wake my sleeping loves.  I squinted my eyes, trying to focus in the dark room and pulled the door back towards me when….


Kaden, whom was sleeping angelically prior to my shower, was standing directly at my feet.  He spastically jetted his arms up at me, fingers wide, the smile on his face even wider.

He scared me to death.  It was one of those scared kind of moments where afterwards, when you calm and realize there was nothing to be afraid of, you get instantly mad.  Needless to say he was very proud of himself, and my relaxed state of mind was no where to be found.

Now, of course, I think it’s hilarious.  Just a reminder, expect the unexpected with your babies.  You never know what mischievous plots they are strategizing in the dark….

I Yam.

Recently Kaden has started to respond to nearly all of my motherly requests with the following matter of fact statement:

I Yam.

“I Yam.”

Naturally, he means, I am.  He says it fast and with authority.  He usually fires at me, “I yam, Mom, I yam.”  Mind you, he usually is not doing what I have asked of him.  The other evening we were cuddling on the couch, way past a suitable bed time for a 3 year old.  “Kaden, you need to close your eyes,” I whisper at him, as I loving stroke his forehead of blonde hair.  Without missing a beat he retorted, “I yam, Mom,” his eyes never leaving the television screen.  I smile to myself, chuckling inside at the inflection in his voice.  A couple more minutes pass.  “Kade, you need to close your eyes,”  I push, more firm this time.  “I yam mom.”  I quickly inform him, “your eyes are wide open.”  He thinks for minute, looks up at me with his big blue eyes and says, “you’re not closing your eyes.”  True.  Very true.

“Kaden, that’s because I am the Mom,” I say, thinking I’ve outwitted him with a simple answer.  “I yam a Mom too,” he responds, so matter of fact like that I am taken aback.  He continues to stare at the TV.  I can’t help but admire his quick thinking.  If being a mom means you don’t have to follow the rules, it was worth a shot to try to pretend to be one.  “Nooo…my son, I am THE Mom,” I coo back.  Thankfully, he’s satisfied with that answer.

After one more time coaxing him, he relinquishes to my requests, snuggles into me, closes his eyes, and falls to sleep.  Special exchanges like this remind me how lucky I am to get to experience this special bond with my children.

I yam lucky.


Where Does the Time Go?

Cherish each moment.Such a cliché question.You’d think after asking this question year after year, by many a different person, we would figure it out. And yet, it still remains a mystery. At least to me it does.  Quentin is getting ready to start Kindergarten in the fall. How did he get this big? When did it happen? I feel like I am stuck in some strange time continuum.  As I recognize Quentin is more than ready for his new adventure, I also recognize I am more worried that I am the one not ready. As the control freak I know I am, it also tears at my heart-strings knowing whether I want Kindergarten to come or not, it’s not up to me to control.  It’s coming for me regardless.

Just a bit ago Kaden, my baby, turned 3.  I sometimes wonder if he really is the only 3-year-old (a big 3-year-old mind you) who gets carted around often by his mothers choice because he is my “baby.”  He’s a pretty big baby.  He wears big boy “underwears,” is potty trained, can drop in by himself and ride the entire track at a BMX park on a strider, and yet,  I feel the need to cart him around occasionally just because.

These emotions feel so intensely personal, even though I know many other parents have walked in my shoes before.  Cherish each second.  Each hug.  Each kiss.  Each scrape and bruise.  Breathe it.  Roll in it.  Dance in it.  Sit silently with it.

Babies grow up.

Though this post is less about remembering a particular moment, it certainly speaks to my current emotions. A little self reminder to bask in every single moment.

Let’s live in the present, because it escapes us quicker than we even realize.

Mom…. You are like a Ninja.

It was a morning like any other normal morning in our house.  I was running around trying simultaneously to get dressed (and to match my clothes none the less. I’ve been known to leave the house in at least one, accidental, outlandish item that I must rock with confidence for the rest of the day, full on knowing it was a fashion blunder due to my inattention in the mornings….), finish my hair, dress the boys, make some lunches, change the cartoon channel at least once, and feed the dog —  at the same time.  As I finally plopped down on the couch to pull on “my” socks, Quentin looked at me sideways.

“Mooooom,” he calmly asked.  “Are those Daddy’s socks?”  When I want to wear boots, I’ll often steal my husbands tall, grey argyle socks.  I love them.  It drives him crazy that I wear them, but I do it anyways.  “Yes,” I said as I continued to pull them on.  “Does he know you are wearing them?” he pressed.  “Nope,” I responded with a smile. He squinted his eyes slightly and smile danced across his face.  He raised his little eyebrows, “You are like a ninja” he whispered.  With that he turned and walked away, but not with one final parting comment.  With his back turned he said “You are verrrry sneaky.”

I laughed out loud.  I was stunned and somewhat proud at the same time.  To be called a ninja is a very high compliment in my mind, especially coming from a 5 year old boy.  How sweet and innocent.  He compares my stealthy sock stealing with the qualities of a ninja.  Oh the innocence of a young creative mind….

Hold you. Hold you.

I like to imagine all parents do this, but perhaps I am just rationalizing my crazy ways….

Hold you, hold you!When one of my kids creates a common saying,  it becomes common to the family, regardless if it is proper English or if it makes sense.  Sometimes I even incorporate it into my everyday interactions with other people.  It becomes a part of my regular vocabulary.  Although encouraging these special sayings is not necessarily teaching my boys the “correct” way, I selfishly continue to encourage “their” way because it fills my heart with joy.  For example — Quentin used to commonly use the word “my” instead of “I.”  He would confidently state, “MY do it!”  I loved it.  It was used throughout our house day in, and day out.

This one I will always cherish — Kaden can’t say the word brother, so he refers to Quentin as “Boppies or Bobbies.”  The entire family now calls Quentin by the same name at times, although I know Quentin really only likes it when Kaden refers to him by that name.  He has even stated “Mom, I will sure miss it when Kaden doesn’t call me Boppies anymore.”  I secretly hope he will always refer to him in that manner (at least within the home).

And finally, Kaden recently started saying “Hold you. Hold you!” with his arms outstretched, smile gleaming across his face.  I’m certain this comes from my asking him “Do you want me to hold you?”  Or, “Can I hold you?”  I love this.  In a way, I guess he really is holding me too as I scoop him up and hold him so tight.  So, I encourage this behavior, and I’ll continue to encourage him to say it as long as I can.  “Hold you, hold you!”  I say throughout the day as I repeat his actions back to him.

These are the things I want to freeze in my memory, and never let go.  These are the moments I know I’ll miss one day.  For now, I am hoarding them, collecting them with all my might, and storing them deep within my soul.

May I never forget.

I’m Dancin’ Mom!

Quentin, my dancing prince.

The Move Master.

When we were in California we went out to dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack.  If you have never been there, it’s a fun place to go, and the atmosphere is kid friendly.  Loud music, crab cracking bibs, and the servers dance every once and awhile.  As we were cracking some crab legs I looked over at Quentin and realized he looked like he was doing the classic “potty dance” with his left hand strategically placed over his boyhood.  “Quentin, do you have to go to bathroom?” I asked.  He looked back at me with intention, and said “No.” 

“Are you sure, Quentin?” I pressed, not convinced by his initial remark.  “I’m sure mom, I don’t have to go!” he said with frusuration in his voice. 

“Then why are you grabbing yourself?!” I countered.  He dropped both of his little arms to the side of his skinny body, cocked his head to the side and said “I’m dancing like Michael Jackson!”  Sure enough when I took a moment to really take in my surroundings I recognized the all to familiar “Thriller”  blasting throughout the restaurant.  Oh geez!  This is definitley not the kind of dance moves we are looking to promote, but you can’t deny MJ was the master of dance. The things our children pick up on, and so young.  My little Michael Jackson extraordinaire.  He get’s it from his momma!  Errrr… actually I can’t take all the credit, only 90%.  George can get down too.

Adventures in Palm Springs

We were recently lucky enough to travel to Palm Springs, CA for week, with a stop at Disneyland for a couple of days. It was such a treat and definitely an experience we all will never forget.  Grandma played a huge part in making our magical trip happen, so I want to throw a quick “thank you” shout out to her!  The trip overall was fabulous, but it certainly had its fair share of “moments.”  Such a string of events was comical when it happened (because we had no other choice but to laugh and go on), but now looking back reminiscing I laugh even more, so I thought I would share.

  1. The night before we were getting ready to leave Quentin woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible earache.  Not good for flying.  Thankfully we were able to rush him to urgent care and get him on antibiotics.  Crisis averted. 
  2. Did I ever mention I was terrified to take Kaden on plane.  Quentin had flown before, and I was confident he would make it through, but Kaden…. He can’t barely make it through a shopping trip without asserting himself wildly in front of a crowd.  Luckily he did really well – mostly.  He fought sleep most of the way, finally succumbed to his dreams 15 minutes before landing, and promptly woke up when we touched down.  He was disoriented, tired, and wanted off the plane, immediately.  Thank you to all of the polite people around us who put up with a screaming child while everyone disembarked from the plane.  Crisis averted.
  3. The condo we stayed at was gated.  You needed a little remote to get in.  Some how we kept misplacing that little remote…  over, and over, and over again.
  4. We were planning on driving to Disneyland on Tuesday morning.  Kaden kept waking up with goopy eyes…. It started with just one, and then…. Sure enough it was in both.  Poor baby would wake up with his eyes stuck shut and reach for me whispering “eyes, eyes momma.”  We knew we had to take him to urgent care.  First we ended up at a Geriatric Dr.’s office, needless to say our directions had lead us astray.  When we finally ended up at the clinic Kaden was diagnosed with Pink Eye in both eyes.  Crisis….
  5. As I waited to pick up Kaden’s prescriptive eye drops (we had to fight 3 times a day to put in for 5 days!) I witnessed a crazy, old man accost the poor pharmacist like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  Yelling racial slurs, cussing up a storm…. You know, exactly what you’d expect to see on a calm Monday morning.  They didn’t have the eye drops at this pharmacy.  Thank goodness one down the road had them…..Crisis averted.
  6. Remote to get into the condo was lost, and found.  Crisis averted.
  7. Tuesday morning we were getting ready to leave and my mom’s dog Puck needed to be taken into an emergency veterinarian clinic.  They called in a prescription for him which was filled with less chaos than Kaden’s.  Crisis averted and we were on our way!
  9. We drove back after 2 wonderful nights… do you think we could find the remote to get into the condo?  Nope.  We finally found it later, after some clever work to gain entry into the condo.  Crisis averted … eventually. 
  10. On our final evening we went out to dinner at an awesome BBQ restaurant.  We all know Quentin enjoys dinosaur bones (ribs) so we ordered him a plate full.  He just stared at it, and said he wasn’t hungry.  At first I thought he was fibbing… I followed up with the curt – “if you don’t eat your dinner, you’ll get no dessert.”  It didn’t work. He finally told us his tummy hurt.  I took him to the bathroom to see if that would help.  It didn’t.  We sat around and chatted while the rest of us ate when suddenly a wave of motherly instinct crashed over me, and I just knew what was about to happen.  I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth quick enough.. “Do you have to throw up?” He said “YES!” and proceeded to throw up all over the floor of the restaurant – a couple times.  George scooped him up and took him to the bathroom.  Poor guy.  Needless to say our night was over.  No one else got sick though, and after only a couple more puking episodes that evening Quentin was fine for our flight home.  Crisis averted.

The End.  That’s the summary of the surprising events that will also ensure we remember our first full on family vacation with the boys.  Granted I’ve left out all of the fun we had in leiu of these funny happenstances.  Believe me, we had our fair share of fun too!  Never a dull moment, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.