Thursday, May 31, 2007

I Fold

Kate had been playing pretty hard on the swing set and I was doing dishes in the kitchen while she relaxed on the couch. I came into the living room to find her fast asleep just like this. Toes to nose.

Play On!

Memorial Day Weekend could have been called "Labor Day Weekend" for Nick, Uncle Patrick, and our dear friend, Ryan (my buddy from college who happens to live down the street from us now!!!!). All three guys bravely took on the task of building a Swing Set for the kiddos! Wasn't that WONDERFUL of them?!!! There are plenty of places out there where you can order a playset and a crew shows up and assembles it, but frankly we saved money doing it ourselves and - let's get real.....I am married to NICK, the DIY King, so of course it had to be a full-on project for us. And I would not have had it any other way! It was actually a lot of fun (says the girl who did not even lift a hammer). It was such an all-american weekend. We peppered the construction with BBQ breaks, great music, and a steady supply of beer and lemonade. Nick paid special tribute to the laborious yard-work theme of the weekend by supplying his fellow laborers with what he calls "Lawnmower beer" (Pabst Blue Ribbon). The guys all really got into it and after tearing up sod, digging out and leveling a play pit, assembling MANY pieces, pouring mulch etc.....the kids were ready to PLAY!!!! Kate went absolutely NUTS....she was so excited. And Liam, as you can tell from the picture, REALLY loves the swing. In fact, he was in the swing for so long that when he got out, he had a little motion adaptation issue and walked around the yard like a drunken sailor; weaving and wobbling and falling down, laughing all the time. Thank you SO much to Uncle Patrick, Uncle Ryan, and OF COURSE to NICK!!! We are looking forward to spending the summer playing on the swing set in the yard. That is - AFTER Nick finishes his next project which involves tearing up the rest of the ghetto fence that the previous owners left us and replacing it with a fence that matches the rest of our nice wooden one. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Here are some recent pics.....

Liam crashed while playing! Isn't his tummy so darn cute?!

Here is Kate with our dear friend, and babysitter, Lindsay. She is part of the family and we are so sad that she is leaving the Twin Cities. Can you tell how much Kate loves her?

Liam and Kate with Lindsay - we all went out to lunch at Kate's favorite place, The Rainforest Cafe. Then we went to the aquarium...such a fun day!

Nick and I getting ready to go on a date!!! Alert the press!!!! :) We were fortunate to attend the Make-A-Wish Foundation's Ball. It was a black tie event and was really a nice night out. It was so touching to see all the stories of sick children having their dreams come true. What a great charity! It was also quite amazing to see the generosity of people at the auction. Really fun to watch!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Moonlight Serendae

I went to bed early last night! After gardening all day Sunday and a Monday full of mommy-challenges, I was exhausted by 9pm - which is VERY early for me. Good thing I got to bed earlier than usual. At 4am, Nick and I were awoken by soft strains of music over Kate's "baby monitor". She had gotten out of bed to turn on her stereo and we were graced with the sounds of her "Disney Princess" CD. First up, "Reflection", from "Mulan", made famous by Christina Aguilera before she was a genie-in-a-bottle-turned-drrrrty tramp-turned legitimate powerhouse songstress who dresses like a 40's pinup. I digress.

Kate's voice soon began sweetly chirping and warbling along to the song - again, at 4 o'clock in the morning - and Nick and I lay awake in the dark listening to her with huge smiles on our faces...."when will my reee-fwection shoooowwwww, whooo I YAM insiiiiiide". As she moved from Mulan into a song from "the little mermaid", I had to go upstairs and put a stop to it. She was not very happy about it, but #1, it was 4am, #2, if she woke up Liam it would no longer be so cute, and #3 she needed sleep because she had to be up for school in the morning - oh, and #4, despite me going to bed early, I still REALLY love my sleep and need as much as possible! :)

After a time, I managed to get Kate back down to sleep. The house was quiet and dark. I crept downstairs back to bed and snuggled in and was just drifting off in that perfect moment of sleep when....."NEEEIIIGGGHHH!!! NEIGH NEIGH NEIGH!!!!!". The monitor now emitted the equine expressions of one Kate "Pony" Harris, snug in her bed, pretending to be a horse.

I decided at this point that she was just going for a reaction, and ignored her. I had to put up with about 15 minutes of whinnying, and I lost that perfect sleep moment, but she eventually stopped and drifted off to dreamland. And then so did I. Unbelievably, Liam slept through the whole thing. Yeeeiiiigggghhh.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there!!!!!!!!! Mine has been terrific so far. The kids and Nick made me a favorite family breakfast - chocolate pancakes!!! yum!!! I got wonderful cards and gifts - especially the hand-painted flower pot from Kate! :) We are going to spend the day in the garden tilling and getting ready for some plantings in a few days....the frost danger here in Minnesota has not quite passed, believe it or not, so I want to wait a while on some of the annuals. But we may be planting some more hardy plants today. I never thought I would enjoy working in the garden as much as I do!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

2 Legit 2 Quit

I don't feel comfortable "bragging on" my accomplishments too much. I love to give updates on my amazing children, and general overviews of what I am up to, but don't get too much into the nitty gritty of kudos for myself. I feel odd about it. BUT....I am really proud of some news coverage that "Ever After Gowns" has received lately. Our annual event was covered on Minnesota/National Public Radio during "All Things Considered" last week. The journalist did an exceptional job at conveying the message about what it is that we do - and how we differ from other similar organizations. I wanted to share it because I think MPR got the message better than just about any piece we have had so far. I think of how much this organization has accomplished in the past three years and I am speechless....the sheer NUMBER of volunteers - not to mention DONORS!!! - astounds me. The dedication and effort on the part of so many for the girls that we aid just fills my heart. How wonderful. Thanks to all of them - - and especially to my husband and family as they supported me in my efforts to make this a true blue company that actually seems to be working! :)

So - as HARD as it is. And it is HARD. A LOT of WORK that makes me think sometimes "what the heck am I DOING this for??!!!"....we are officially legit in my mind now and I can't just quit. Too legit to quit. Who knew MC Hammer was so wise?

Here is the link to the article. Click on the feature audio link to actually hear the broadcast....

Here is a link to Ever After Gowns and our press coverage which includes some newspaper and other radio stuff.....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Giddy Up

Just had to document this. Kate is pretending that her play-grocery-cart is a horse. She is holding the handle like they are reins and this is what just happened.....

"Mom, did you know that my horse traded her legs for wheels so she could go faster? That is why she has wheels and not legs. We're ready to HIT THE ROAD!!!!! C'moooooon! Hit it, girl!!!!" (She then made that giddy-up clucking noise). Then the horse (aka grocery cart) reared back with a great big "neeiiiiggghhhhhh". And they galloped down the hall.

I love it.

I Can't Even Handle the Cuteness!

Here is Kate, complete with tutu costume, singing along into her microphone with "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson. She loves that show.

Kate dressed in her best costume finery. The boa and dress are from her Aunties Madelyn and Ava. The crown is a staple. And no outfit is complete without pink galoshes, don't ya know!?!

Some pics of Kate and Liam as they were playing. Kate is really giving us the megawatt smile here! :) Liam is in major need of a haircut. I cannot bring myself to do it just yet. When it gets humid his hair gets all wavy and surfer-dude looking and he looks so cute and cool. I promise not to let it grow like Kate Hudson's son who looks abolutely ridiculous.

The kiddos are just bowling me over these days. They are too funny and sweet. Kate is such a big girl and continues to be into all things princess-ish. As for Liam, there are mornings when I go to get him up from his crib and I swear he grew overnight! He takes massive leaps development-wise....going from a few words and skills to a barrage of words and skills in just a few days. It is amazing to watch and so much fun.

Kate continues to make me giggle at her humor and marvel at her memory as well. The other day she mentioned how we went to a restaraunt that had "gold railings". After some questioning, we realized she was talking about the Hard Rock Cafe in Miami from our trip in March. She then talked to us about "the beautiful paintings made of lots of colors and lights" that were at the Hard Rock. We realized she meant the stained glass pictures they have of musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Madonna etc. We explained how stained glass worked and she listened attentively, nodding very seriously and then pronounced with great weight "Yes. They were MASTERPIECES." She then informed us that when she grew up she was "going to be an artist and make masterpieces". She is too much.

Liam is so big. He toddles everywhere now and has also become our little monkey. We had a little table set near the window and I ran downstairs to put a sippy cup in the sink for 2 minutes and came back up to find Liam STANDING on the WINDOW SILL of the second floor window - inside of course, the window was closed and locked. GOOD GOD!!!! He had climbed the table, stacked toys, climbed those, and clambered to the window. Needless to say, we have a new configuration of furniture in the playroom! I regularly find him standing on top of tables and couches, though, and attempting to scale other pieces of furniture such as bookshelves. His absolute favorite toy is a plain rubber ball, about the size of a volleyball. First thing he wants in the morning is his "Baw". He toddles around holding onto it saying "Baw" over and over, and delights in walking up to us and giving it to us saying "e-go" (translation: "here you go"). We say thank you and take it, but are immediately expected to give it right back to him, where he says "Tee-toe" (translation: "Thank You"). This can go on for hours, or intermittently throughout any given day.

Liam also has taken to talking on the phone. So to speak. He totters around holding his hand to his ear saying, in his adorable super deep voice, "Hewwwooooo, Hewwwoooooo". He also delights in blowing kisses with a big "mmwwah" sound, waving and saying "bye bye". He is a super eater and not really picky at all, which is a change after dealing with the picky princess! :) He loves to play and play and is not really fascinated by the television at all. Unless it is "Blue's Clues" in which case he is absolutely transfixed. He does all the sign language from the show and is just fascinated and thrilled by it. So cute. The only "vice" of Liam's is the bottle. I think we will have a hard time getting rid of that. Kate nursed, so it was not hard at all to eliminate the bottle from her life. Liam , because of his milk allergy as an infant, had to have soy formula through the bottle and is VERY attached to his "bot", as he calls it. We are starting to wean that away as it should be gone by 18 months, so wish us luck! Liam can be VERY STUBBORN and LOUD, so he will certainly try to make us pay! :)

Anyway, that is just some info on the kiddos. We are looking forward to the summer and the gorgeous weather that we are having is a nice preview! This weekend my flower order comes in, so I think we will spend Saturday planting in the garden if the weather is nice. Kate is a great help with that....she loves to work in the yard with us! Many more fun pics to come, in the meantime, enjoy these!