Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tiny Dancer

Kate attended her FIRST DANCE CLASS today! Her former dancer Mom could barely contain her own excitement! I tried to keep it cool and casual as I have vowed to not press Kate into anything and to not live vicariously through her! :) However, she loves to dance and bops all over the house as it is, so it was a no-brainer to channel some of that activity into a Creative Movement class! She was very excited to go and select a "dance outfit" and actually asks to wear it around the house, even. She had a great time with the other kids in her class and "Miss Amy" her instructor. She was a very TIRED dancer after class as evidenced by these pics. I had brought Liam to our room to change his diaper and when I came back in the living room I found little miss Kate fast asleep in her ballerina clothes. It was all I could do not to sweep her up in my arms and snuggle her. Well, we are all looking forward to a summer of dancing and I cannot wait for the last class of this session in 8 weeks when I get to watch the progress! As it is, parents are not allowed in the classroom as it distracts the kids. I take Liam and walk on the track nearby while Kate twirls inside.

Liam is Eight weeks old today!

Here are some pics of our BIG baby! At eight weeks old he is already over 13 pounds and is wearing 3-6 month clothes....he is too sweet. So snuggly and such a big eater! He has even provided us with a few genuine smiles by now! Not just gassy ones! :) We are just crazy about him.

Liam at 5 weeks old

I am a little behind on the picture postings, but here is Liam at the beginning of April, 2006.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

All is well

It has been an incredibly hectic and stressful week, but I am happy to report that all is well! First, and most importantly, my niece Mia is doing wonderfully well. She had MAJOR surgery where portions of her intestine were removed entirely and then her whole small intestine was "rerouted" and attached to her abdomen due to malrotation. She also had her appendix removed, the cyst removed, an umbilical hernia corrected, and a cyst from her head removed. More info is available by following the link to her care page on my previous blog entry. She was on all kinds of tubes and monitors and now sports a scar that goes horizontally across her abdomen from one side to the other over her belly button. BUT she is now out of the hospital and is doing remarkably well. She is a strong, brave little girl with strong, brave and loving parents. I am in awe of their composure and grace during such a trying time. I know it is all relative, but I crumbled at a little baby virus that Liam had! :) I am just so proud of Erin and her beautiful family. I know they had a lot of prayers and support and I am grateful for it all. God does not guide where He does not provide!

With that blessing, I also celebrate the success of my non-profit. Throughout the concern I was experiencing with Mia and the Morris clan, I still had an event that was a year in the making to tend to. The media coverage was amazing! I was on the local NBC morning news show 4 times, with 5 or 6 teasers - all shot live from my house Thursday morning. It was fun! The reporter was terrific and really helped me feel comfortable being interviewed. I have a huge respect for news folks now - they really have to think on their feet and be so articulate. They must be great conversationalists at cocktail parties! :) Anyway, the TV coverage was great and we got TONS of hits on our website as a result and already requests on how to donate merchandise are pouring in. Wonderful! We also had two newspaper articles about us last week.

The best part, though, was a successful event! Almost all the girls left the event with a dress of their dreams - complete with shoes, accessories, and even make up! One girl did not get one because she had her heart set on an orange dress and we did not have an orange dress. Another girl had a dress from us last year that she loved, but wanted some accessories. We had make up demonstrations and hairdressers giving complimentary prom updos at the event, so girls were trying on gowns with glamorous hair! It was so fun. The volunteer force was large and really skilled and the event went so smoothly! I loved seeing the smiles of the girls we helped - and also the smiles on the faces of the volunteers as they experienced the heart warming day. I will admit that it is a LOT of work and there are days when I question my sanity in taking this job on. The compensation is all in the faces of those girls, though. That is why I do this. Thank you to all my friends and family who have helped, listened, contributed, supported etc. Special thanks to my husband who has helped with the kids while I was hosting board meetings, carried dresses up and down from the basement, and been a shoulder to cry on and active listener as I vented. I am so lucky to be a part of this organization and to have the support in my life to make it possible.

There is lots to do with Ever After as we follow up this event and try to profit off the media coverage. I am looking forward to a busy and successful year ahead! But also looking forward to some down time after such a crazy week.

One of the best parts of things working out and having such positive news is that I got to share the success with my friend, Stacee. She is one of my best friends and lives in Boston (insert jealous face here :). She came for a visit this weekend, leaving her wonderful boyfriend and adorable dogs behind to help me out at the boutique event and spend the weekend with Nick and me and the kids! It was SO great to see her and it was such fun. God Bless her for putting up with toddler attitude and baby meltdowns in restaurants! Instead of typical activities that we USED to enjoy such as dancing at clubs and having cocktails in some cool urban lounge, Stacee jumped right into my life of dancing with Kate to the iPod tunes and sipping a glass of wine as we prepared chicken nuggets for Kate and prepped the backyard BBQ. Instead of old habits of ignoring the animals that are creepy guys on the club scene, we strolled with the kids to seek out animals at the Como Zoo! :) I must admit, I prefer marveling at the gorillas to the "euro guys" in their tight armani black tshirts that so often plagued boston in my days there! :) Life changes, but good friends roll with it and love you - thank you, Stace.

So - now it is back to "normalcy". Other adventures are on the horizon and I will greet them as they arrive. But for now I am loving Liam asleep, in his baby swing with Kate coloring in her Dora coloring book and singing a made-up song to herself. Sigh of contentment.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Live! From Saint Paul! It's Thursday at the Crack of Dawn!!!!!

Exciting news! As many of you know, I am President of a Non-Profit Organization based here in the Twin Cities. (See for info). Our annual event, what we work all year for, is this Friday and it promises to be a huge success! We have tons of inventory and are so excited for a terrific day.

Well - now the local NBC affiliate's morning show wants to do a piece on us on Thursday! They want me on it. They want it LIVE. They want it satellite fed from MY HOUSE!!!! And not just my house - my basement.

Let me explain my fears.

One. It is live. Live. LIVE! Ack! Exciting but scary! What if I sound dumb? What if I have dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep because of Liam?

Two. I have four live spots on TV in a major market and I weigh the most I have ever weighed, not being pregnant. I know, I know - "you just had a baby!!!!" Well, Minneapolis/St. Paul does not know that! I have NOTHING to wear! :)

Three. They want to film in my basement. MY BASEMENT! For those of you who don't know what my basement looks like - and most don't because I am ashamed of it and allow few people to witness the disaster that it is - I really hate it. It is unfinished, cement floors, open ceiling, cement block walls that previous owners painted blinding yellow. It is also tiny and quite packed with stuff. Especially with the 400+ gowns, 100+ shoes, and many many accessories that comprise our wonderfully amazing inventory - which is entirely housed here at the Harris household.

I think that is part of the angle of the story - "local women sacrifice time, money and basement space to help young teens".

Four. My neighbors on my street are going to flip. As they awake to a news team satellite truck parked in my front yard, the tongues will start wagging before the coffee is even brewed! They will think I went berserk, or that we were robbed or something - God forbid - and that we are the morning news! :) I predict a steady flow of "just dropping by" visits from the neighbors on Thursday to get the scoop. I know this because this happens whenever vehicles of the truck variety park in front of our house. This has happened a. when we got new windows b. when we got new kitchen cabinets c. when the Orkin guy came for a visit (I hate bugs) d. when our new kitchen appliances were delivered e. when the contractor was working on the kitchen. (Side note - I repeatedly have been asked the question "Oh, you are getting ______ done, eh? How much did that run ya?" Is it just me or is that a really rude question to ask? My neighbors are AWESOME and we love our block, but that question never fails to surprise me).

Anyway - I am not REALLY complaining. It is such a great thing for the organization! Our goal is to grow the number of teens we can help and exposure should help us attain that goal! Plus, maybe there will be the benefit of someone seeing the piece, taking pity on me and my basement, and offering to donate climate controlled storage space in which to house our inventory! :)

So - if you are in the Twin Cities, feel free to watch me try not to make a fool of myself on television at the crack of dawn on Thursday the 20th on KARE 11. For those not here, keep checking as we will probably link to the taped feed somehow.

Wish me luck! If this is my "15 minutes", I will take it!!!!

Prayers and Special Thoughts Requested

My sister's 6 week old little girl (and our god daughter), Amelia, was born with some complications. She has a cyst or growth in her abdomen that has doubled in size since her birth a short time ago. She also has some kidney complications. Amelia is undergoing surgery today at Children's hospital in Chicago. Erin, Nick, and Jack are staying at a hotel right near the hospital as Amelia will be in the hospital anywhere from 3 days to a week or more, depending on how surgery goes. It is my understanding that we will know more about what the growth is and what is going to happen/how it is going to go once the doctors get in there. Apparently it is growing as part of the wall of one of her organs which could complicate things.

Other than the growth, Amelia is healthy and strong and should tolerate surgery well, but still she is so tiny and I know it is just breaking Nick and Erin's heart! My mom is there with them to help out. To stress them out even more, their beloved dog, Dutch, got very sick on Sunday and is ALSO in surgery today back in Michigan and they had to leave him of course.

But positive thoughts are powerful and I would appreciate some good energy vibes sent their way! ;) Below is the info on Amelia's care page if you would like to see it.

To visit the CarePage, please click the link below:

(If you cannot click through this link, please copy and paste the
entire URL into your browser's address window.)

...or you can use these manual instructions:

1. Go to
2. Click "Visit a CarePage"
3. Register (first-time users only)
4. After you've registered, enter the exact CarePage Name below:


Friday, April 14, 2006

To top it all off....

As mentioned in the previous post, we are in the land of baby yuckiness here. As a cherry on top, I now have mastitis! See what happens when I air problems on the blog instead of sticking to the regular fare of smliing children and funny tales? :)

Mastitis is SO NOT FUN.

My kingdom for a long nap and a cold shower. No, a hot one. No, a cold one. no.....Ahhh, fever cycles!

The Bright Side:
-Antibiotics are awesome
-Weight loss through fever sweats
-It is not contagious!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What day is it? What's a shower again? There are clothing items other than sweatpants and old college T-shirts?

Ok - so the sterotypical image of a new mom is being played to the maximum here at the Harris household. I would have thought it more likely to have occurred right after Liam's birth - and I certainly had my moments - but I am the definition of frazzled mom to a newborn and mom of a toddler right now. I think Nick has come home from work the past couple of days thinking "Where is my wife?" "What has happened to my home?" "Why is my daughter wearing pajamas at 5pm?" "Why is my WIFE wearing pajamas at 5pm?"

Though, bless him, he would never say so or let on as much! :)

It is true. I am a mess! :) We have been hit by a disgusting baby virus that has entrenched us in VERY messy diapers up to our elbows, multiple baby barf episodes, and lots and Lots and LOTS of CRYING. Poor Liam has a bug of some sort and it is refusing to be squashed.

So here I am in the land of pampers and pedialyte galore. Kate is wondering what the heck has happened to her mom and brother and Nick is doing whatever he can to help. It is craziness here. I cannot help but wonder how this happened? With Kate as a baby I was overly cautious and barely left the house for the first 6 weeks, fearing that her tiny baby body would be attacked by the big bad world's nasty germs. She remained pretty bug free for almost her whole first year. NOTHING like this nastiness that Liam has. When Liam came, I fell under the typical "seasoned mom" spell - taking him out and about with Kate and I to storytime, Target, playgroups.......thinking I was all cool, and oh-so proud of how I was handling the "two kids" world. I know I shouldn't blame myself - but look where I am now! Argh!

To top it off, Kate just told me "Mom - I think I need to go lie down, I don't feew so good". When I asked her what hurt she rubbed her stomach and said "my bewwy".

INSERT image of me on my knees, shaking my fists at the sky, screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO"!!!!!

Whether Kate really is getting this bug or she was trying to garner sympathy after seeing Liam get a lot of constant attention (which has to happen when you have 5 diaper changes in an hour, complete with three outfits going in the wash from being dirtied) remains to be seen. Please pray for us! :) No, seriously. Pray for us.

I write this not to have people feel sorry for me, or to whine (though the effects of writing ARE rather therapeutic). It is just life! Someone recently mentioned that it seemed our life was rather "Norman Rockwell-ish". I challenged myself - do I really only mention the happy blissful moments? Well, mostly yes - but not because I want people to perceive my life as one's is. I write about them because joy is what feeds me and I want to share that! Also, I don't want to burden people with complaints. I mean, there are so many WORSE things in the world - who am I to complain when blessed with so much. And anyway, does anyone REALLY want to read about stressful sickness and baby poop and puke?

So I figured I would give it a try....the poop and puke aspect of our lives is now officially on display. Sorry if it is too much information! :) This too shall pass and we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming of adorable Kate antics and happy healthy baby pics in a number of days, I hope.

Wishing you all health, health, and health. It really stinks to have any part of it missing! And I do mean STINKS in the literal and figurative sense here.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

After Liam's Bath

Liam LOVES his baths! He just becomes completely serene. These pics were taken after a bath....smelling so sweet and clean and so snuggly!

Sibling Snuggles

When Kate wakes up in the morning, one of the first things she asks about is Liam. If he is in my arms, she wants to cuddle him immediately! If he is downstairs, she wants to get downstairs right away to see him. She is just crazy about him! Here are some pics of Liam snuggling with Kate in her big girl bed.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You......

A lot of people have been asking for Before and After pics of the house after all the work that we (read: Nick) did on our tiny bunglaow. I am working on loading the pics, so be on the lookout for "Extreme Home Makeover: Harris Edition". Also, more pics of the kids will be posted as well. Things have been so busy here with trying to figure out the schedule of two kids and also my Non-Profit annual event is in two weeks so I am swamped with that. Updates are coming soon!