Oct 30

Conversations with Har #3

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Now that Harlan is in school, our time alone together is few and far between. Over the summer we had at least an hour to ourselves in the afternoon while both Macks and Avery slept. We’d talk, play outside, and do whatever her heart desired with just the two of us. One of my favorite things to do with her was to just sit down and talk. She has a wild little imagination, that girl. One that loves to tell stories and ask questions.

Conversations with Har started out as a quiet lunch at the American Girl Cafe. It’s now one of my favorite series that I have on the blog.

These past few days Harlan has had early dismissal at school leaving the afternoon with just the two of us while the other two kids sleep. We sat and talked, she told me about her friends at school and of course how excited she is for Halloween tomorrow. I decided to ask her some questions just to see her response. I love that her answers give me a deeper understand of just who my Har is.

1. What is one thing you would like to learn how to do? 

Harlan: I would like to learn how our bodies grow.

My thoughts: I honestly wasn’t sure how she would answer something, but was sure it was going to be something girly like dancing or putting on make-up. Her answer made the science-geek side of me very happy. 

2. What do you love most about our family? 

Harlan: That they color with me.

My thoughts: This is what I love about kids. I’d think that she would have said some big thing that we do together, but she’s proving that it’s the little things that have the most impact. A great lesson for all of us.

3.  What are you most thankful for?

Harlan: I’m thankful that we all sit together as a family at the table.

My thoughts: We don’t do this as often as I’d like because our weekday schedules are crazy with MacKay’s commute, but we do make sure to do it on the weekend. I really love it, too. The coversations that we have at dinner are some of the best. I’m thankful too, Har. 

4.  What is the best thing about being 5-years-old?

Harlan: ::Her eyes lit up and she gave me a big smile when I asked this question.::  That I get to paint.

My thoughts: She loves being five-years-old because she thinks she’s so grown up. She painted when she was four, but clearly painting at five is a much bigger deal.

5. What has been the happiest day of your life?

Harlan: When I first got my Isabelle doll.

My thoughts: At first I was expecting her to say when Avery or Macks was born, but she went in the complete opposite direction. At first I was a little surprised at her answer but after some thought I can completely understand where she us coming from. Isabelle is her American Girl doll that she got for her birthday. I remember the first American Girl doll that I had when I was little – Kirsten. It was a big deal for me, just as it is for her.

6.  What is your favorite movie of all time? 

Harlan: My favorite movie is Frozen because Elsa strikes Anna.

My thoughts: This comes as no surprise because we’ve seen Frozen 3,493,849 times (at least it feels that way.) But what I found completely odd and still has me perplexed is the reason she gave for loving this movie so much. I’m hoping she just got some of the movie confused and really meant was that Elsa saved Anna. Yeah, that’s what she meant.

7. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Harlan: I want to be a Disney Princess. Aurora.

My thoughts: Of course you do. Why be a doctor when you can be Princess Aurora at Disney World?

8. Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?

Harlan: Fly because then I’ll see the whole world.

My thoughts: That sounds amazing. Please take me with you.

9. If you could go on a vacation anywhere, where would you go?

Harlan: I would go to Florida to go swimming.

My thoughts: That sounds lovely right about now. 

10. What is your favorite thing about mommy?

Harlan: ::giggles:: ::giggles:: That she takes me to school.

Me: That’s your favorite thing about me?

Harlan: Yeah. ::giggles::

My thoughts: Did you notice I tried to ask again to see if I’d get a different answer? Yeah, I was waiting for her to say my cuddles or my kisses. Or maybe the way that I sing her a song before bedtime. But I guess she just loves the way I drive so that I can drop her off for the day. Not so fast, Har. Not so fast.

 

 

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Oct 28

The Incredible Bond Between Siblings

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Yesterday was one of those tough parenting days. Mondays are always hard for me to begin with, but yesterday was particularly so. I was up to my eyeballs in deadlines (many of which I missed from last week) and Harlan woke up not feeling well. I was late getting Avery to school and of course as soon as we get there Macks decides to have a diaper explosion that managed to get over every single piece of clothing he had on.

After dropping Avery off at school, I always come home to put Macks down for his morning nap. It’s one of the only times during the day that the house is completely silent and I can have some uninterupted time to myself. But yesterday morning he decided to fall asleep in the car on the way home. Normally, I’d just quietly take the car seat out of the car and bring it in for him to sleep in, but as soon as I opened the door his eyes popped open. I tried to quietly get him out and bring him to his room to go back to sleep. Surprisingly that didn’t happen.

This rough start only set the mood for the rest of the day. Macks was so cranky (probably from lack of sleep and teething) and did not want to be put down at all. I tried to get all of his toys out to play with him on the floor, but he just wasn’t having it. So I spent my morning walking around the house trying to keep him entertained and not fussing.

Harlan’s cough only got worse and unfortunately there wasn’t much I could do but give her lots of love (and tell her to stay away from Macks and A.)

Of course as soon as we get in the car to go pick up Avery from school Macks falls asleep, which means that his afternoon nap at home was no longer happening.

We spent the afternoon much like the morning. While Harlan and Avery napped, I tried to entertain Macks in every way I knew possible. All of my old tricks weren’t working and he’d fight me every time I’d try something new. By 3:00, I was ready to throw in the towel. It was then that I heard tiny little footsteps coming from upstairs. Our little A had woken up from her nap and was rushing downstairs like she does every afternoon.

As soon as Avery came down the stairs, Macks’ face lit up. He squirmed out of my hands begging to get on the floor so that he could be with her. She sat on the floor with him and he crawled over to her laughing and playing. All was right in his world again.

When Macks started crawling it was as if the doors to a new world opened for him. He saw his sisters in a new light. While he loved the attention that they gave him nearly all the time, it was very much one-sided. But now he can give them that love in return.

Macks and Avery sat on the floor giggling for over an hour. Avery spoke to him in her “itty bitty baby voice” like she always does and Macks proceeded to treat her like a jungle gym and crawl all over her.

I was able to knock a couple of things off of my to-do list as my heart filled with love watching those two play together. That’s when it hit me – sometimes, no matter how hard we try, all they really need is one another.

And suddenly, all was right in my world again.

 

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Oct 24

Trick-or-Treat: 5 Reasons I Can’t Wait for Halloween in the Suburbs

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This Halloween is a big one for our family. It’s the first time that we are doing the traditional suburban trick-or-treating. The girls have been talking about it for weeks. They see all of the scary decorations in our neighborhood, have talked about it with their friends at school, and even picked out their Halloween costumes months in advanced.

Pottery Barn Kids sent the kids their costumes and they could not have been more excited to try them on. After looking through the catalog dozens of times, they decided on what they were going to be this year – The Princess and the Frog and a fairy. Can you tell Harlan had something to do with Macks’ costume? Anything she can do to have him involved and she jumps at the chance.

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We’ve had these Trick-or-Treat Bags since the kids first Halloween, but this is the very first year that they will be able to fill them up by going door-to-door. In previous years, we’ve gone to a street in our neighborhood in Manhattan, that was lined with townhouses, but it was was filled to the brim with people. While it was fun for the kids, it was an absolute madhouse. You had to push and shove to get through the crowd and get to each door. The girls accomplished their goal of getting candy, but it felt like we ran a marathon just to do it.

This year, things are going to be quite different. Here’s why I can’t wait to do Halloween the suburban way:

1. The Decorations – We’ve never been able to decorate for Halloween because the outside of our apartment went into a hallway. Even in our neighborhood in the city, there was very little Halloween decorations. This year we’ve already scouted out our favorite houses with the best decorations. We’ve seen scary pirate ships, ghosts, huge spiders, witches, and more!  The girls can’t wait to stop by on Halloween night for trick-or-treating.

2. The Calmness –  Halloween in the city is crazy. It’s a big deal to a lot of people and they go all out. Unfortunately that makes it a busy scene for all of our littles. While I expect to see a lot of people this year, it will be a lot more family oriented and we won’t have to push and shove just to get to the front door.

3. A Start of New Traditions – A couple of days ago we came home to find a treat by our front door telling us that we had been “Boo’d.” One of our neighbors had left a bag of treats for the girls and then we had to pass it on to two other neighbors. I don’t think I could wipe the smile off of my face for at least an hour. We already have plans to go to a friends house for dinner before hitting the streets this year. I hope we continue things like this year after year. This is what suburban life is all about.

4. The Costumes – I’ve never dressed up for Halloween with the kids because it was always too stressful trying to fight through the crowds while still keeping an eye on the kids. This year, the girls wanted us to dress up with them, and for the first time I thought…why not? They’ve picked out what they want us to be and we are all set to join the fun with them!

5. Trick-or-Treating – What is Halloween without the tradition of trick-or-treating? This year we are looking forward to going to actual doors of houses and not having the doorman at apartment buildings hand us the candy. Growing up, I have some of the fondest memories trick-or-treating from door to door with my family and friends and I hope the same for my children.

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We hope you have a Happy Halloween!

{Disclosure: We did receive these costumes as a gift from Pottery Barn Kids. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!} 

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Oct 20

The Wild Child

Macks is officially on the move and has now shown us a new side to his personality – the wild child.

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Oct 15

Let’s Talk About It

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day and I’m sharing my story of loss and why I had to speak out about it.

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