Things They Say

11.03.2010 | |

If there was one thing I know I will regret, it's not writing down nearly everything that comes out of Harper and Rilke's mouth. Kids are so full of adorable phrases. Every mispronounced word and innocent thought is so precious. Here are a few from the past year...
Harper and Rilke

Harper opened his bedroom door for the first time ever (after being put to bed), peeked his head out and said "Mom, I think Rilke has to go pee pee on the potty." My hero!

Harper: "Mom, what's today? Is it Thursday or Tuesday or Threesday or Foursday or Elevensday?"

Right after Rilke got her hair cut, Harper said, "Oh my gosh Rilke you look so adorable! You look just like an old lady!"

Instead of saying "Winnie the Poo" Rilke says "Winnie the Poop" and the next day refers to the bear as "Doggie Poop".

Harper: "Her name can't be Jasmine, she's a girl, her name is Jazgirl."

Harper: "Mom! Rilke scratched me! My blood is leaking, it's just swimming out!!!"

I put pigtails in Rilke's hair and when they curl under and tickle her ears she gasps "Mom, there's a butterfly in my ear!"

Harper: "Mom, do all wishes come true? Last night I wished we would go to New York today and it didn't come true. (Tears in his eyes) I will make that wish again and maybe it will come true but if it doesn't I won't wish it anymore (sniff sniff). I will wish a different wish."

Harper said "Bo and Luke made a wrong landing in the General Lee. This is NPR News."

Rilke: "Mom, may I have some cereal with no thank you milk?"

Rilke looked up from her bowl of Cheerios across the table to Harper and said "Harper, you're my best friend." Then Harper said "Mom! Rilke just said I was her best friend! She's never said that before!!!"

After dropping Harper off at pre-school one morning, a sad Rilke said "Mom! My brother's gone! I feel so missed it. Where did he go?"

Rilke: “Harper, you’re my best sweetest!”
Harper: “Oh Rilke, that’s so sweet it makes me want to marry you! Don’t worry mom, that’s just an expression.”

Rilke: “I’m going to take everything to my birthday!”
Harper: “Rilke, you can’t take everything, just some things”
Rilke: “Can I take my teddy bear?”
Harper: “No. A bear would eat the whole cake. You can bring a puppy.”
Rilke: “Can I bring my pillow?”
Harper: “You can bring half of it.”
Rilke: “OK.”

Harper runs into our bedroom at 6:30 am and says “Mom, Dad, the moon is golden! Come look! I already thanked Jesus.”

Lastly, some of the words Rilke used to mispronounce. Sadly, she doesn't anymore...
Bruth the teeth, pacuz, foom instead of spoon, You thagot!, and referring to Grandma and Grandpa as “My Grandpa and Grandpa…”

A Moment to Gush About My Baby

10.18.2010 | |

Today Harper is exactly 5 1/2 years old. Five has been a big number for us. So much has happened since April. First, our baby boy learned how to swim this summer. We are so proud of the effort he puts into getting across the pool. His little body works so hard to get to the other side.
Then, in August Harper started Kindergarten. We prepared ourselves for a tough adjustment period, especially with Harper being in the Dual Language Program. Thankfully, it hasn't been tough at all. I know there will be bumps in the road along the way but our little man is off to a great start. Just yesterday he told me there were "siete dias de la semana"!
Just a couple weekends ago we took the training wheels off Harper's bike. Our neighbor started riding a two-wheeler and I think Harper was inspired. I never could have predicted this. Harper is such a cautious boy, I figured it would be years until he was ready. Again he surprised us. First he struggled to gain his balance, then he struggled with the weight of his bike. After he figured that out he quickly mastered stopping and starting on his own. Now he zooms around with his friends and has so much fun.
The other thing we've been working on is reading. After the first month of school Harper's teacher explained to me that she would like the kids to be able to read Level 1 books by the end of the school year and that Harper can currently read Level 2 books. I have to give credit to the book we are using. It definitely it accomplishes the task of teaching the basics of reading. Harper also gets some credit for his determination.
I know I sound like a super proud Mama. I am! This is our first time through all of this. There is so much mystery and excitement that goes on with having school aged children! We are definitely enjoying almost every minute of it.

Rilke's 1st Day

9.08.2010 | |


This year our baby girl will be going to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Last year she accompanied me every morning as we dropped Harper off at preschool. Every day we would bring Harper inside, say hello to the teachers, hug Harper, and then say goodbye. In the afternoons, when things were less rushed Rilke would wander around Mrs. White's classroom while I collected Harper and his things. I would spend time talking with the teachers and Rilke would make herself at home playing with toys and visiting with the little girls over by the doll house. We fell in love with that preschool which is why I enrolled Rilke in the 3 year old class.



By the time the first day of school arrived Rilke was ready to get to it. She told everyone about her teachers Mrs. Dawson and Mrs. Hennings. She has a friend in her class and other friends across the hall so she's always seeing familiar faces.

As we were getting out of the car in the parking lot Rilke looked up and said "Mom, will you protect me?" I nearly passed out. Although I wanted to promise to protect her every second of every day for the rest of my life, I know she really just needed me to carry her across the parking lot and then hold her hand until she felt ready to be on her own. Josh and I walked her to her class room, smothered her with hugs and kisses and then we watched her wander in and head straight toward a bright yellow pile of play-dough.



When I picked her up a few hours later she was very happy to see me and super excited about her new painting. The more excited Rilke gets the louder and squeakier she gets. I stood there listening as Rilke happily shrieked and shouted her way through the story of her day. Mrs. Dawson confirmed there wasn't a single tear from anyone in the whole class room. I breathed a big sigh of relief and then we headed out for some Maggie Moo ice cream.


Kindergarten day One

9.07.2010 | |

Harper's first day of kindergarten was a blur of nervousness and excitement (for me). We practiced getting from the front door to the class room over and over. We practiced his teachers names. We practiced how to open his water bottle. No matter how confident we were that he would like school there was still that nervous voice in the back of my head that worried about him getting lost, overwhelmed, or mistreated.



Josh and I were full of suspense when we picked him up on the afternoon of the first day. He hopped in the car and didn't say much. Finally he let us know that it was "GWATE!" Josh and I both wanted to hurl a million questions at him but we tried our best to pace ourselves.



I told Harper that on every first and last day of school we would go out for ice cream. He picked Ben & Jerry's. As we ate ice cream together as a family we took turns asking questions and tried to figure out how it went. It sounds like it was a day full of information and rules. In Harper's world that equals a perfect day.

New York 2010

8.25.2010 | |

Another great trip to New York. The kids and I arrived in New Jersey to the open arms of my Mom and Ariana. It had been a long and exciting day of travel and we were SO happy to see their smiling faces. It had been a year since we saw Ariana and a few months since we saw Oma. We started the week off by hitting some fun places for the kids.

Fresh off the obstacle course at Shannen Park.

Time to head home to set up the slip n slide and cool off.

Here we are at the Delaware River in Milford, PA. We splashed in the cold water, skipped rocks, counted the passing kayaks, and built stone walls out of the rocks and algae.

Here's Harper embarking on his first ever fire fly hunt. Kyle and Ari were so kind to run around the lawn and help him.

We were able to meet my friend Lisa and her daughter at the Greenville playground. Rilke, Kameryn, and Harper climbed on the playground, hiked the trail, built bird nests, danced on their pretend stage, and finished the morning with a race.

Next, we spent a few days celebrating the Summer with Poppy, Nanny, Uncle Alan, Aunt Leah, Emma, and Jackson. We arrived on Friday evening. Nanny and Poppy traveled up from Virginia to meet us there. Ithaca is always a ton of fun for the kids. We headed downtown to a pizza place for dinner. I was dark out and the kids were super excited about being up late. They didn't get to bed until almost 11 o'clock that night. By far the latest they have ever been up. The next few days were full of fun things like playing in the giant sand box, jumping on the trampoline, kayaking with Uncle Alan on Cayuga Lake, visiting Ithaca Falls, Stewart Park, playgrounds, Taughannock state park, playing with puppies, and wrestling beets out of the garden of course!

Jackson just days before his 8th birthday.

Caper the handsome little monster that we love so much!

Dinner at the Boatyard.

Swinging in the backyard.

It is awesome to have an older cousin like Jackson.

Oma and Ariana joined us in Ithaca and we headed to Little Leaf Orchard on a hot morning to pick blackberries, raspberries, and peaches.

We left Ithaca that night and returned to Westtown. We picked Josh up from the train station and got right back to having fun. Here we are in the back yard...Kan Jam! Just moments later Oma, Booma, and I went into the kitchen to get dinner started while Josh continued playing in the yard with the kids. We heard josh yell "Bear!" We ran outside to see a giant black bear walk past Josh, climb over the stone wall that's behind him and dissapear through the neighbors back yard. Welcome to upstate NY!!!

Back in Pennsylvania. Hiking and climbing the 245 steps to see the top of Dingman's Falls.

We spent the last few days of our vacation enjoying the wonderful New York weather. It was the perfect mix of warm and cool. We sipped cocktails on the porch, cooked dinner on the grill almost every night, ate outside, made campfires, toasted marshmellows, and set off lots of fireworks. On Sunday we enjoyed an amazing visit from Aunt Joyce. We were able to catch up on the past year and enjoy her yummy food and spectacular company.

On the last day of our trip we celebrated Rilke's birthday! Our baby girl is 3 years old. We decoated the kitchen and baked a pink cake. Oma showered her with many gifts, two of which were a Jesse doll and a princess dress. Needless to say it was a perfect birthday.

Heading into Summer

6.17.2010 | |

A few pictures to catch up...


A trip to Ft. Lauderdale to visit JaJa, Uncle Jona, and Uncle Jer. Swimming in the ocean, building sand castles, The Miami Art Basel, dinners out, dinners in, and a card game I will never forget.

Playing on the tennis court

Strolling through Research Park

Field tripping with Harper's class



Harper's 5th Birthday. The first of many times we will be bringing cupcakes to class.


Listening to live music downtown

A couple weeks into life at our new apartment

Swim Lessons to start off the summer with Coach Mark.




We'll be at the pool all summer long...

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