Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday Smarty Pants

Here are some random pics from today. Nick and Kate did some gardening this morning before it got too hot. For those of you not spending time on the scorched earth that is presently Minnesota, it has been over 100 for days now. Well high 90s usually and then the heat index brings it over 100. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 102 WITHOUT the heat index! Crazy. I think Al Gore is doing the happy dance that the planet has cooperated so well in supporting the release of his Global Warming movie. I know we should try to do more things like ride bikes and walk to save energy, but who can do that when it is 102 degrees and they are as white as me?!!!

ANYWAY, I digress. The point is, Kate and Nick did some lovely gardening work in the 9am 85 degree weather! I got to stay inside where the freckles don't melt off my face. Along with Liam. We sat by the window - he in his swing - and watched the Harris laborers. Kate loves her pink shovel.

Here is a fun story about Kate and her gardening, which she has done with me repeatedly but I never get the good stuff like Nick does! They were replenishing the mulch under our cherry trees when Kate pointed out one sad withered branch hanging down. No surprise in this heat! The whole thing was brown and all the leaves had shriveled into little cocoon-like spirals that pointed straight down. Kate misunderstood the state of the branch and instead said "Look! Daddy! A Chrysalis!" For those of you who do not recall the exact workings of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly - the chrysalis is "the pupa of a moth or butterfly enclosed in a cocoon". I know this because I looked it up. My brain pretty much recalls "The very hungry caterpillar" process of Bug with lots of legs - cocoon - prettier bug.

So we all got a lesson from our in-house entomologist, Kate. What a wonder she is!

Super Liam

I think I may have my hands extra full soon! Liam is quite the mobile 4 month old - well, almost 5 months! He now rolls fully back to front to back like a barrel - he can roll across a room. And tonight a new milestone - he "crawled". I put that word in quotations because he was not up on his hands and knees. But he combat crawled across the whole room! Scooching on his tummy using his arms and legs to propel him to grab a toy. Once he had the toy and tired of it, he just kept on going. By the end he was grunting and screaming as if his life depended on just. Making. It. One. Inch. More. Arrgghhh!

Nick and I just stared in awe and then looked at each other with a gleeful "uh oh" expression. No more plopping Liam down on his play blanket and having him be content to play with his own toes! The boy is on the move! Look out world!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

So Big!

Kate is growing more sweet, sassy and cute every day - in my humble opinion! I marvel daily at the way she forms her sentences, her imaginary play scenarios with all her toys, and even how she draws, dances and sings. She is this little amazing person and I love her so! Here is a pic of her latest artistic masterpiece and her first day wearing "big girl braids". They are a tad messy - with my RA it is tough to do braids - but it was fun to see her looking so grown up!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Kiddie achievements

The kids are geniuses. It is official. Please observe the lifelike and detailed aquadoodle drawing penned by Kate. Also please take in the astonishing gymnastic feats of Liam the 4 month old as he demonstrates his amazing ability to roll over. Please also note Kate's look of total disinterest as he does this - that is because he does it so often lately that the novelty has completely worn off for her. But please do not let her passive reaction inhibit your own gasps of awe and amazement.

Theta Girls

This weekend I attended the bachelorette party of one of my sorority sisters, Angela. There is a group of seven of us and we have successfully seen each other - as a full group, or sometimes just partial - at LEAST once a year every year since we graduated from college. They are the most wonderful, supportive, beautiful and FUN women. I am so blessed to know them and it is always such a joy to spend time with them, no matter how brief. I always leave with sore cheeks from smiling and aching abs from all the belly laughs. These women are a part of my heart and a huge part of my life even with great geographic distance between us. And oh my GOSH do we all have fun! Cannot wait for Ang's wedding! :) Aren't they all just gorge (in the words of my fave Project Runway star and favored clothing and perfume designer Michael Kors - means gorgeous!).

Curious Kate

Kate has recently been hearing a lot about her body due to potty training. I guess it must occupy a lot of her thoughts since she has seen her body in action in a whole new way now that the diaper is off! She has been asking a lot of questions about what parts of her body are and what they do - pretty much only while she is actually on the potty and things are happening, if you know what I mean. I have just been quite frank in my answers of what body parts are and what they do. I don't make a big deal about it, I don't want her to be ashamed of her body, but don't want her necessarily running around showing everyone either you know?

Anyway. Her new found abilities and new words are interesting to her now not just while she is in the bathroom. Today I was putting Kate down for a much needed nap (it took a couple of days to get over the late night ice cream insanity that put her to bed around midnight the other night!). She looked so sweet all snuggled in her cozy bed. I leaned down to kiss her goodnight and she said "Mom? I have a question for you!" I said "What, sweetie?", fully expecting her to ask for water, a song, a story - anything to delay naptime. Instead, with furrowed brow she asked me "Where did I come from? From Mommy's belly like Wiam?" I told her "Yes! From Mommy's belly, just like Liam. We loved you so much in our hearts and God gave us you!". She smiled and seemed satisfied with the answer. Then she asked right away, with a little mispronounciation, "And did God give me my Pagina?" while pointing to her pants.

Ok. I almost lost it. Where to go with this one? I played it cool, answering "Yep! God made ALL of you!" More rapid tucking into bed. Quick kiss goodnight. Quick about face to exit while calling out "nighty night! Sleep tight! Love you!" in some strangely high pitched strangled voice because I was trying SO hard not to laugh! She was SO serious about that question. And my answer apparantly met with her satisfaction. We'll see what other body questions come up - I know it is not the end of them.

This is not the first time we have had a good laugh at Kate's use of body part terminology. When she was a bit younger, she basically referred to the whole diapered area as "her butt". Fine. No prob. Then one day she grabbed between her legs and said "Mommy! My Trash hurts!". Shocked, I asked her to repeat herself. "My Trash Hurts". I immediately began to wonder who on EARTH taught her to call her privates "Trash" and WHY they hurt? My heart began to beat out of my chest. I took a deep breath and asked her to explain. She said "I have a wittle trash on my butt". OOOHHHH!! She had A RASH. Her RASH hurt. Ok. Breathe. Get the diaper cream out. Explain the difference between Trash and Rash. Problem solved. But funny.

Kate has also taken a recent interest in the difference between her and Liam when it comes to what is beneath the diaper. She proudly announces "I SEE WIAM'S PENIS, MOMMY" often when I am changing his diaper. I just calmly acknowledge her observation (If I don't, she will repeat in incrementally louder tones "I see his penisI I SEE HIS PENIS" until I credit her discovery). Then I move on to another topic. This has not really deterred her from trying to get me to be super impressed by her knowing what a penis is. She still shouts it to the mountaintops at various intervals. And if someone else happens to be in the room - particularly friends or relatives - while I am changing Liam, then she most definitely crows about her knowledge of Liam's equipment. On a recent visit from my Mom and Erin, Kate shouted during a diaper change "LOOK NIA AND AUNTIE ERIN! IT'S WIAM'S PENIS! IT'S HIS PENIS! HIS PENIS! PENIS!" When met with mild disinterest, she then decided to make up a lie about the Penis to try to get them to pay attention. There is no way she could have known that the lie would cause such laughter when she pointed and shouted, "LOOK! HIS PENIS IS GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER!!!!!"

OMG. I thought I would faint with laughter. I thought all of us would. Sadly - Kate got JUST the reaction she wanted. A BIG REACTION. She was so proud. In between gasps for air, I told her that was a fib and it was NOT getting bigger and bigger....Kate moved on. But we all get the funny in that.

Ok - enough of the incessant genital talk. What has HAPPENED to this blog?! Poops, pee, penis's and Pagina's?!!!! Hey, all these "P" words are just part of the big "P" word that is our life "Parenthood". And Praise God it is all so wonderful!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Twinkles Update

For those of you who have chosen to read the "twinkles" saga, I have an update. Kate did what she had to do, finally!!!! As promised, her Daddy took her out to the ice cream shoppe immediately following the deed. Hence, it is 9:30pm and they are off having ice cream right this minute! Hey - we had to follow through. The hyperactivity that is sure to follow and make for a late night is well worth it. Now hopefully she sticks with this trend and has conquered whatever fears led her to show her most stubborn streak to date. Also, hopefully, this will be the end of discussions of toilet matters on my blog! More and more as a Mom I find myself saying things and doing things I never thought I would say or do. From "Because I said so" to potty tales. -Sigh- Thanks for putting up with me!


I know I have been M.I.A as of late! That is because I have been in the land of potty training with Kate! I have to admit I was REALLY dreading it. I was so tired of hearing from various people "oh, I trained my child on one bag of M&M's!" or "I trained in one day or one weekend". It just put pressure on me! :) Being the competitive gal that I am, I felt I had to do as well or better than that! Hee hee No pressure, Kate! :)

So I finally started the training last Thursday. Warning for those who don't care to read about "tinkles and poopies", but they will be discussed in the following sentences! Anyway, Kate had three accidents Thursday morning of wetting her "big girl underwear", but has gone "tinkles in the potty" every single time since then for a straight week! She got it pretty quick and got more than a few chuckles out of me as she called out from the bathroom "Mom! I'm doing it! I'm going twinkles!!!" (instead of tinkles!) She is darn cute. As a reward she got to have mini-chocolate chips because they were in the house already as opposed to me going out to buy candy. She NEVER gets candy, so this is a big deal for her. One problem though, lest you think I am bragging on my daughter's rapid potty training accomplishments. She will not, and I mean NOT go poop in the potty. The girl has amazing control because she refused to poop at all anywhere for almost three straight days. Not sure what the issue is. She waits until we put her pull up on at bedtime and then goes in the pull up before bed and then we have to change her pants again. I have tried everything. Her fave thing in the world is ice cream and she rarely gets it - she has been promised a trip to Grand Ol' Creamery with her Daddy if she "does her business" where she is supposed to, but still nothing. Hmmmm....we have tried bribery, encouragement, and just acting like it is no big deal and figuring she will figure it out. Nothing has worked yet. She picked up the first part of potty training so quickly and easily. Oh well. I think that we just need to let her figure it out on her own! Hopefully she will learn before she starts preschool at the end of August. The good news is, she will not go in her big girl pants because she does not want to dirty them, but I don't want the poor thing to develop some sort of medical issue from holding it for so long!!!

So - our big girl is on her way - here's hoping the potty fairies will help kate figure it all out! I am so proud of her, though! A world without Kate diapers - almost!!! Any advice on the current dilemma is welcome.

You know, I just read back over this and I'm pretty sure that Kate, upon reading it as an adolescent in the future, will want to kill me for publicly writing about her toilet habits. Sorry, sweetie! I'm just so proud of EVERYTHING you do!!!! Even "twinkles"! :)

Monday, July 10, 2006

A-Camping We Will Go!

Kate had her very first sleepover/camping trip. We have some great friends here, the Dunn Family. Their daughter, Maggie, is Kate's age and they have been buddies since before they were even a year old. Erin Dunn, my dear friend, had twins last fall and so our youngest are close in age as well. Tim and Nick are friends and we all just generally have a great time together! We even share a passion for the Boston Red Sox as they lived in Boston at the same time we did, though we did not know them then! Anyway, Tim got a great camping tent for Father's Day, so we all decided that the Daddys would take the girls "camping" in the Dunn's backyard. The girls had a blast! During the afternoon they swam, played on the swingset, blew bubbles and just ran around having a ball. After a BBQ where the girls devoured ears of corn on the cob, Tim built a fire in their fire pit (did I mention they have the greatest backyard of all time?) and we all made S'Mores. Though the girls just wanted to eat plain "Marshum-mewwos" as Kate calls them. Finally the Dads and the girls settled into their sleeping bags for a night in the backyard! Nick says that Kate slept great and believe it or not, even with the sunrise at 5am or some unholy hour, the girls slept until 8am in the backyard!!!! Too fun! Kate has not stopped talking about it. Thanks to the Dunns for a terrific time! Here are some pics:

Maggie and Kate - such good friends!

Kate ready for a night in her sleeping bag - don't forget the all important flashlight!

The girls worked out the kinks after a night of sleeping on the ground by doing a little post-camping yoga workout in front of a yoga DVD!

Liam on his Dad's lap.

Liam's First Food

We fed Liam his first rice cereal. He really was not a big fan of it and only had a few bites before a VERY loud protest! We are going to try again during morning hours instead of dinner time as he is generally more agreeable in the morning!

Best buddies

More pics!

Here are pics of Kate reading in the sun and of Liam and Mia being buddies!

Nia and Liam at the Children's Museum in San Antonio

Kate in San Antonio

Here are a variety of pics of Kate in San Antonio. She went to the Alamo, the Children's museum, and on a riverboat cruise! She loved every minute!

Liam's Baptism Pictures

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More pics from the 4th!

Family fun on the 4th!

Josh and Stephanie Hall with Mags and Nick (Josh was in our wedding 5 years ago!)

Ma and Pa Young and the Harris Crew.

Nick and his Granddaddy with Liam.

4 generations.

Fantastic Fourth in Farmers Branch!

Here are some pics from our visit to Dallas!

Kate, hand on heart, during the National Anthem.

Mom and her patriotic tots.

Cowgirl Kate!

Auntie Ava, Kate and Nick.

Out in San Antonio

Nick and I met up with his sister, Madelyn, and her boyfriend Joe for some beers and darts! Followed by a loooong walk (read: we were lost) along the RiverWalk! Such fun!


The Kappa Alpha Theta Grand Convention was an incredible experience! I met so many terrific people and the "six degrees of separation" that I encountered was eerie! More like one or two degrees! I sat by a woman from Pensacola who was high school best friends with one of my Theta sisters at Butler. I met another woman who was college roomates with a Theta friend of mine from my days as an advisor at Yale. Even after the convention, as I was visiting Ava at her job in Farmers Branch, TX, I met a woman whose daughter had been at the convention with me! Theta is a small and wonderful world! I feel so lucky to have been a part of the legislative process for the future of the organization! It was a blast, too! While I don't have a lot of pics, here are some. Someone else has all the pics of the late night post-meeting festivities at the nearby bar called "Steers and Beers" where many a karaoke performance ensued! :) ha ha

Here is a pic of all Gamma Thetas (Butler University Thetas). I did not go to school with any of them, but one is a recent grad and one is the current president. It was a riot to hear all about the goings ons and Butler and to hear that things had hardly changed! :) The other woman I am standing with is Hilary Stout and she is a former Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation president. Such nice women.

Leah (the Saint Paul delegate) and I having Margaritas after the awards dinner!

Here I am with two of my fave Thetas - Liz Hanselman went to Harvard and is former President of the Boston Alumnae Chapter of Theta (Ahhhh, Boston!) and Kory is the former president of the St. Paul Alumnae Chapter - representations of two of my worlds! So much fun!

This is me with Elizabeth Larson, the president of the Upsilon Chapter at the University of Minnesota where I am Recruitment Advisor. Elizabeth is holding an award that her chapter received at the Awards Banquet. I am particularly proud of the award because it is an award for most improved chapter in recruitment and membership selection for the past two years.....and I just happen to have been recruitment advisor there for the past two years, with Kory for one of them. So I am really proud of their accomplishments!

Take me out to the ballgame

We went with our friend, Ryan, to a Twins game! Ryan braved a ballgame with a preschooler and an infant! :) It was so great to visit with him! Kate had her first bit of Cotton Candy! :) Here are some pics.