holiday fun

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas and was particularly excited this year since it was Finn’s first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family of 4. Last year, I was so sick (and pregnant) and it kind of took all the fun out of the holiday. It’s hard to believe in the span of a year, we had a baby and now he’s big enough to sit up and open presents.

We started the holiday season by decorating our tree on Thanksgiving weekend and then I started the myriad of holiday photos of my kids. I just can’t get enough. But they sure had enough. “Ugh! Not another picture, Mom!”

This one of Finn might be my favorite of them all. Bah hum bug!

Finnegan

But he eventually relented and let me snap away. Cheese!

Finnegan

Finnegan

I used these for our Christmas card.

Finn and Harper

Finnegan

Harper

Harper

Harper

Harper and Finn

Harper and Finn

Finnegan

Santa hats

Baby's 1st Christmas

My little elf

We went to a big electric train set display in downtown Round Rock and stopped for a few pictures outside where they had a giant tree and giant ornament.

Giant x-mas tree

Giant x-mas tree

A giant ornament

There was a big stage that Harper kept running over to and doing her happy dance for us.

Dancing on the stage

Electric trains

Electric trains

Electric trains

Our annual santa hat picture!

Santa hats

And this is blurry, but I caught them sitting together under the tree and giggling and thought it was so cute.

Looking at the presents

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A Day at the Museum

While Barb and Tod were here for Thanksgiving, they took Harper to the Children’s Museum while I stayed home with Finn. She always loves it there and it’s a great way to burn some energy. I’m so glad Tod took all these pictures so I can see how much fun she had.

There’s an outdoor climbing structure that she’d never really climbed on before.

Harper at the Children's Museum

It’s pretty high up, so I was quite impressed to hear she made it all the way to the top! I love the thumbs up she gives them when she makes it to the top.

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

There’s also this cylinder that blows scarves and I’d never seen it before. These pictures make me laugh at how excited she gets feeling the scarves land on her face. Pure joy.

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

She tried the water room this time too, but wasn’t as big a fan.

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper and Gram had fun making shadows.

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

Harper at the Children's Museum

soccer buddies

These two love to match in their Fulham jerseys! This is Harper’s 3rd one. Drew feels it necessary to buy the new version every year…

Soccer buddies

Soccer buddies

Here are the previous years:

Christmas 2014

Two Fulham Fans

I already devote a good chunk of our closet to Drew’s soccer jersey collection, and I’m afraid I’ll have to do the same in the children’s closets!

Soccer

Soccer

Soccer

GOAL!

Goal!

Soccer buddies

Soccer buddies

Ok ok. I have to admit they are pretty darn cute.

Chilling with Dad

toddler talk – part 5

“Where’s my camera? I need to take a picture of my baby.”

I need to take a picture of my baby

She was disappointed that her alphabet puzzle didn’t come with enough R’s.

There's only one R in this puzzle!

She calls Barnes and Noble “Barnes in Oble.”

I asked Harper to hand me something while I was holding Finn and she said (with nothing in her hands), “I can’t. My hands are full.” She then immediately turned to grab the two closest things on the couch – a remote and burp cloth – and held them up to show me.

Checking Finn's heartbeat

Mommy: “Exercise is good for our bodies and so are fruits and vegetables and vitamins.”
Harper: “And candy?”
Mommy: “No, candy is not good for our bodies.”
Harper: “It’s good for my arm?”

Mommy: “Daddy’s stuck at work”
Harper: “Oh no! We have to help him!”

No packages in here

Mommy: “Your shirts are getting too small. We need to get you a bigger shirt.”
Harper: “I can just borrow Daddy’s shirts.”

We had mozzarella sticks one night and she asked if they were fish sticks. After correcting her, she still called them cheese fish sticks.

Swinging in the baby swing

When she’s in a certain mood and you ask her what she did at school that day, she’ll huff and say “Ugh, nuffing.”

Mommy: “What comes after Halloween?:
Harper: “Um, I don’t know.”
Mommy: “On what holiday do we eat turkey?”
Harper: “Um, Mother’s Day?”
Mommy: “No.”
Harper: “Um, Nuffing day?”

One day she was pretending to sleep in my bed and then she’d pop up and gasp, “It’s coronation day!” (A line from Frozen.)

Pretending to sleep

At bedtime each night, after books and songs, she’ll say, “Stay and talk to me.” So Drew and I will both take turns lying with her and chatting. She’ll say, “Let’s talk about movies.” And it’s usually Rapunzel or Ariel and she wants to narrate the plot of the movie. Once in a while, she’ll say, “Let’s talk about Mother’s Day.” Recently, I overheard Drew explaining the plot of The Royal Tenenbaums and later he told me they agreed to take turns talking about each other’s movies.

Playing with stamps

“My allergies hurt. I have allergies in my mouth.”

She chased Maeby under the table and said, “She’s just a little grumpy.”

Taking Finn for a stroll

One the way to school:
Harper: Yawn “I’m tired.”
Mommy: “Why are you tired?”
Harper: “Because my tummy’s full of water.”
Mommy: “Oh.”
Harper: “And milk.”

At dinner one night, I paused to clap for Finn to engage him while we were eating and she said to me, “Hey! Eat your dinner!”

Trying on her new boots

When Drew asked her to do something, she said, “Just a second. You have to be patient, Dad.”

Washing my car

Washing my car

She was playing around and put her lovie in her shirt and said she was having a baby girl named Lois.

Wearing my cardigan

“Mom, are you talking to yourself?”

“We can say ‘Oh gosh.’ That’s a happy choice. We don’t say ‘Oh dammit.'”

Her mean face

She calls us sweetie all the time – sometimes in order to get herself out of trouble. Like, if we asked her many times to pick something up she’ll say, “Just in a second, sweetie” or “Maybe tomorrow, sweetie” or if Drew misplaces his phone she’ll find it and say, “There’s your phone, sweetie.”

She hasn’t caught on that you need to say the word “done” after “almost” so she’ll say, “I’m almost eating.” or “I’m almost watching my movie.”

Tennis guitar

At school, they are apparently told not to lean back on the legs of their chairs, so she will not allow Drew to do it at the dinner table. She’ll say, “Feet on the floor, Daddy.” So any time Drew starts to stretch back, she’ll look down on the floor to make sure the legs of his chair are flat and she’ll say, “I’m checking you! Ok, you’re just stretching.”

Wearing my boots

We went out on the patio to look at the Christmas lights hung on our pergola and she said, “It’s magical!”

Roasting marshmallows

Harper Cate

Before I began recording this video, I had said, “Guess what? Gram and Toddy are coming next week!” And she yelled, “YAY!!!!” I wanted to get her excitement on video, so I told her to do it again and this is what I got:

Silly girl

Silly girl

(Last two photos courtesy of Tod “Toddy” Oles)

harper is three!

Our little baby girl is three years old! Already? I seriously feel like we just celebrated her 2nd birthday – this past year has been a blur. But when I look back at pictures of her last year, she has changed so much.

She is a charming little girl and has lots of friends at school. She’s turned into quite the leader since she’s the oldest in her class. She is still pretty shy when she meets people or at morning dropoff, but she warms up quickly. She gets herself dressed and asks to put a dress on every day after school. But she also loves wearing her Fulham soccer kit (just like Daddy’s) every Thursday for soccer. She is starting to make up songs and sing to herself as she plays, make up words, and read books to herself (narrating what happens on each page.) She’s a big fan of Disney princesses – her current favorites are Merida, Rapunzel and Anna/Elsa. She’s generally very well behaved and when she has a rough evening it’s always because she didn’t nap at school. Her favorite food by far is shrimp. She always requests “shrimp and noodles” for dinner. She’s not at all a picky eater. She eats pretty much anything we put in front of her. This past year we’ve noticed more and more that she is very detailed oriented and particular about certain things – she definitely gets that from me. And she’s very good at negotiating what she wants.

We had Drew’s mom here for Harper’s birthday so we did a little celebration at home the night before Harper’s party with her friends. Harper had requested a pink and purple Frozen cake and luckily my grocery store offered exactly that! So I decorated the dining room with a few Frozen details and balloons – she was thrilled!

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Before dinner, we took her outside to see her present – a trampoline! Drew took a few hours putting it together and she thinks he “made” it for her. She loves it!

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

After she got good and sweaty, we came in for dinner and cake. She was pretty psyched to have three candles to blow out!

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

She was licking all the frosting off and I said, “Eat the cake, sweetie, that’s the best part!” And she looked at me and said “That is NOT the best part, Mom.”

Harper's 3rd Birthday

After cake it was time to open gifts!

Harper's 3rd Birthday

A baseball glove and girly accessories!

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

She got princessy things, books, walkie talkies (these will be helpful to me too!) and clothes.

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

The next day we had her party at a local kids gym where she and her friends could run around and burn some energy. It was simple for me, I just had to bring cupcakes and favor bags! She had a perma-smile the whole time and loved running around somewhere new with all her favorite friends. It was pretty darn cute to watch.

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

The whole time, Finn was happy to sit with Gram and watch all the big kids run around.

Finn and Gram

We had cupcakes which were 75% frosting – so all the kids were sent home on a sugar high!

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

The following Tuesday was her actual birthday and more presents poured in from her loving family. More clothes, a stamp set, a baby doll with accessories and a Rapunzel dress (that she has worn every day since!) This girl was spoiled!

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

Harper's 3rd Birthday

It was a few days that she won’t soon forget. She still talks about her party and lists all the friends that were there. And we just can’t believe we have a 3 year old!

Harper - Years 1-3

toddler talk – part 4

It’s pretty funny when your child starts using your phrases and repeats things you’ve told them. Harper is turning into a mini-Mommy. Or a mini-teenager.

Watering plants

When I ask her to do something she’ll often say “Ok, I’ll be there in just a second” (and repeats that ten minutes later) or “hang on, Mom.”

When we remind her that she forgot to do something she’ll say “I’ll do it next time.”

Playing outside

Maeby was meowing, probably for food, and Harper said “Can you say please, Maeby?”

Margot jumped up on the windowsill and she said “Margot be careful! That’s dangerous!” And then later, Margot was running around like a maniac and Harper said “She’s being ridiculous.” (She learned that phrase from Daddy.)

Maeby was scratching the rug (again) and Harper said “Maeby’s not a good listener.”

When she’s playing, she’ll say “Hold this, Mom. I have lots of things to do.” She’s been really into putting all of her play kitchen foods into her backpack, but then makes me carry it because it’s too heavy.

Playing bookstore:

Playing bookstore

Mommy: “Will you help me give Finn a bath?”
Harper: “No. I’ll help you watch a movie!”

Mommy: “What comes after 39?”
Harper: “Um…”
Mommy: “40”
Harper: “That’s right, Mom!”

She calls hand sanitizer “hand tizer” and now we all call it that.

Blowing bubbles

Mommy: “We’re having spaghetti and texas toast for dinner”
Harper: “Monkey texas toast?”
Mommy: “No, just texas toast”
Harper: “Oh, fancy!”

Accompanied by sweeping hand gestures: “Those are my slippery socks. I can run and dance and slip! I can do lots of many things!”

Harper in a hat

Talking to Avery on her play phone: “Hi Avie! You doin’ good? Can we talk on the computer?”

“I have an idea! Let’s dress up like princesses!”

One sticker is never enough

Drew was playing with her hair and she asked him what he was doing and he said “Playing with your hair” and she said “My hair is not a toy!”

“Mom, I wanna kiss on you.”

I asked her what instrument she wants to play and I named pretty much every instrument in a school band and she said “no” to all of them, and then I started naming other ones “xylophone, triangle, maracas…” And she jumped in, “Maracas would be good!”

Playing outside

At daycare drop-off sometimes she’ll happily join her friends but other days she’s a bit clingy. So we tell her we’ll fistbump her through the window on our way out. Drew came up with that idea. So she’ll stand by the window until we get there and we fistbump and she’s all good. A couple of her friends now join her at the window for fistbumps – so I’ll fistbump each of them. Then other parents started doing it. One morning one of the moms said to me “I don’t know where this came from but he wants to do it every morning.” Yep, that was my husband. When Daddy and Harper fistbump at home, Harper says “Boomshakalaka” or “Boom goes the dynamite.”

When I pick them up at daycare, I get Finn first and then I bring him to her classroom to get her and she gets so excited to see him. Literally every kid in the room comes running “Baby! Baby!” and I have to hold him up so they don’t all grab at him. Harper will extend her arms out to block the kids from grabbing him. Haha. She’ll say “We don’t touch the baby.” (Just like her teacher says.) She’ll say “Hi Finny! I missed you!”

When I get Finn up from his naps she’ll say “Did you have a good nap, sweetie?”

Bath in the big tub

harper & finn

We had a little photoshoot in the park for Harper’s birthday party invitations. And brother wanted to join in on the fun.

Harper

Harper

Harper

Harper

Finn

Finn

Finn

Finn

Harper and Finn

Harper and Finn

But after a few shots, Harper had enough. “Ughh he’s too heavy!”

Harper and Finn

Finn was enjoying it though!

Finn

Finn