Just Another Day on the Farm

Well, our backyard, anyway.  Harrison pretends it’s his farm A LOT.  The play set is his barn: the top is the hayloft, and the bottom is the stalls for the animals.  His wagon is his trailer.  It seemed fitting that Harrison wanted a farm theme for his fourth birthday.

Party planner, I am not, but I enjoy having family and friends over; especially, for a birthday celebration.  I had fun with this one.  My favorite thing may have been the invitations we used.  We ordered them from sunnysideprintparty on Etsy.  I was flabbergasted Harrison didn’t choose the green tractor.  Usually, if it’s not John Deere, it isn’t a tractor.


I ran all my ideas by the “boss” (a.k.a., Harrison) to make sure he actually liked everything. I didn’t want to have a birthday for him that wasn’t really for him.  He picked out the invitation from several choices I found.  I was good to myself and kept it simple this year.  Instead of a cake, I made cupcakes and put plastic farm animals on top. (Okay, full disclosure: I also made a tractor cake, but that was in a cake pan, and for his family celebration.) I didn’t put out a lot of food because the party was early afternoon. Just apples, oranges, and popcorn.  I made apple cider to drink.  See.  Simple.  I did learn that I should inform people they can eat the food when I make a display like this.  Apparently, people thought it looked nice and was just decoration.


DSC_0083We planned several activities to keep the children busy, and I really didn’t need to.  The weather was beautiful, so everyone pretty much played outside.  Nice to not have a lot of young children running around the house.





No one played "pin the wheel on the tractor", but David worked hard on it.

No one played “pin the wheel on the tractor”, but David worked hard on it.

The birthday boy had a great day, and I’m left feeling cliché.  Where did the time go?  How is my little baby already 4?! Le sigh.


photo 1

photo 2


Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us.  It was a wonderful celebration.

“Oh, I just can’t wait to go trick-or-treating…”

You have to sing that to the tune of “Oh, I just can’t wait to be king”, from The Lion King.  (Please.  Otherwise, my title doesn’t work, and I try really hard to make catchy titles and am incapable.) The reason you have to do that is because my boys dressed up as a lion and bird for Halloween.  Harrison has seen The Lion King once, and he still remembers Simba.  He said he wanted to be Simba for Halloween, but he had to be grown-up Simba so people didn’t think he was a lioness (obviously).  It just so happened Beckett was a bird since I got his costume on clearance after Halloween last year.  It worked.  Beckett became Zazu. And, I did just have to look that up.  Until now, I have just been saying, “Beckett is the bird from The Lion King.”.

While not one to spend much on Halloween costumes since the costume is typically worn for a very short amount of time, I was okay with $20 for the lion.  Harrison wore his Cookie Monster costume all. the. time.  I am slightly disappointed he only wore the bird wings I SEWED two or three times.  He had already worn the lion costume 3 times before Halloween.  Plus, Beckett got a huge kick out of Harrison being a lion and coming after him.  This allowed me time to accomplish things like making dinner or spraying a diaper.

Perhaps you saw these adorable photos of my boys floating around:

IMG_4342 IMG_4343 IMG_4344 IMG_4341

Halloween day came, and it rained.  And rained.  I was starting to worry about trick-or-treating.  We decided that at the very least, we would let the boys put on their costumes and go to a few houses in our cul-de-sac and then do some fun stuff at home.  Before any of the action, we had to get some pictures. Notice that while both boys can smile, they appear incapable of smiling at the same time.  At least not while I am taking their picture.

DSC_0168 DSC_0169 DSC_0170 DSC_0173 DSC_0175 DSC_0176

Fortunately, it was just misting when we headed out, so we did our entire street before heading back home.  It was just right for the boys.  Beckett wasn’t getting any of the candy, anyway, and Harrison was only getting a few pieces.  You would’ve thought we went all over the neighborhood, though. Since the weather was a bit crummy, there weren’t too many people out, so the boys were getting huge handfuls of candy.

Overall, Halloween was a success.  The boys had fun, and I enjoyed just seeing them in their costumes.  A little rain didn’t stop us from our treats.

Some Fall Fun

If you know me, you know I like a schedule. Especially, for the boys.  It has been, and still is, very hard for me to deviate from a schedule when it comes to them.  I have this character flaw trait that can make it very very (you see where I’m going with this) hard for me when things a.) do not go according to plan, b.) do not have a plan, or c.) do not go according to plan.  That being said, I am continuing to work on that and not let the little things get to me as much.  I can’t say it won’t get to me at all if things go awry.  I’m a person who can compromise and go with the flow when I am not constantly being asked to compromise and go with the flow.  When it’s always that way, it starts to seem like there’s never a plan.

So… I am trying to be better about planning things that deviate from our typical routine.  We do a lot with the boys at home and other places, but I sometimes feel like we’re not experiencing the place we live enough.  I am still learning about “annual traditions” and where to do stuff, even though we’ve been here for almost two years.  Now that Harrison’s been in school a full year, and I know more parents, I am making more friends, and they are great resources for where to go/things to do.

I also feel like I am more in touch with how the boys deal with deviations and what they can handle.  That is so critical, in my opinion.  Pinterest is an awesome resource, but I am really not about gathering up a lot of materials to have my almost-4-year-old complain about the cool idea I was for sure would be an awesome bonding experience. I  am not about forcing fun and continuing to do something when two children (or even 1) is/are whining and complaining. I think “forcing fun” is an oxymoron, don’t you? It’s not fun if it’s forced.

One thing that isn’t really just for Fall; rather, something we do almost every Saturday, is enjoy the Farmer’s Market.  We pick up a lot of our food for the week, and we have an awesome opportunity to show the boys, and talk about, seasonal produce. Plus, we are outdoors, and it’s really about taking in the sights and smells of the season. Last weekend, just Harrison and I went, and he picked out a white “ghost” pumpkin.  He was so excited about getting it home and drawing a ghost face on it.

Four weeks ago, we headed to historic St. Charles and went to Oktoberfest.  We went last year and really enjoyed it, so we wanted to go back with the boys again this year.  Beckett is transitioning to one nap/day, so we decided to try keeping him up in the afternoon.  He did great, and it just meant he was ready for an earlier bedtime.  Both the boys loved walking around and seeing all the different vendors. They got to ride a train, and Harrison loved watching the wood carvers.  Anyone with any kind of tool is okay in his book.  I’m pretty sure the boys enjoyed the food, too.


Try no to look at the camera too much, Harrison.

Two weeks ago, we decided to take the boys to get pumpkins.  I asked around, and it seemed like there were a few places worth checking out near here.  We ultimately decided on Rombach Farms in Chesterfield because it was the closest.  The funny thing was that as we got off the exit, I assumed all the traffic was for the new outlet mall. I was wrong.  Many people wanted to get their pumpkins that weekend. Other than parking, everything went smoothly.  I have to say, I’m glad Harrison isn’t quite 4.  That seems to be when you really have to pay for things.  Thankfully, other than the hay ride, Harrison didn’t want to do much of the other things you had to pay for.  We mostly walked all over the pumpkin patches and marveled at how big the pumpkins were.  Here were my attempts at capturing Harrison.  He takes direction well.

IMG_4437 IMG_4440

After getting our pumpkins, we treated ourselves to coffee at Kaldi’s and then everyone had ice cream at Oberweis.  This was a first for us.  Not ice cream, mind you, just eating at Oberweis.  It seemed my choice (apple strudel) was deemed the favorite. Beckett kept yellingasking me for “bite, please”, and Harrison didn’t want to get left out.

IMG_4436 IMG_4438 IMG_4439

So, that was a little recap of a few of the things we’ve done this fall. We’ve been up to some other things, too, but I’ll save those for another post.  Have to keep you coming back for more (10 or so people who I know read this).

This Is How We Do It: Why Montessori Education

This is another post that falls under the category of “getting it down for my own sake” (i.e., for me, not you).  It’s not meant to bring anyone over to Montessori; although, that’s a nice bonus if it does.  I am not writing this because I think Montessori is The Way, nor am I implying that a Montessori education is suited for all children.  I have found that I am/we are getting asked more frequently about Montessori and why we chose it for Harrison. It’s nice because we have now been a part of the school community for almost 18-months, and parents are asking us how we like it and what we think.  In the past month, I have had email and face-to-face correspondence with families considering Montessori.

It’s also a bit frightening. There are all these outward/concrete reasons we chose Montessori, but there are also many internal reasons we chose Montessori, and I am not always eloquent at describing that part.  And I kind of feel like that’s the most important part.  That’s the part I want people to know about, but I realize it’s probably different for everyone. It is very much a personal decision you make for not just your child, but your family.

I had long found the idea of Montessori appealing.  I first experienced Montessori while working as a speech therapist.  I treated a little girl in her Primary classroom at a Montessori school.  I remember being awestruck by how fluid everything seemed in the classroom. A class of 20+ pre-k/kindergarten age children was operating smoothly.  An image that stuck with me was this one little girl who had been working on a puzzle (perhaps a puzzle map) and when finished, got up quietly, placed the puzzle back where it went, and chose another material.  The Directress was working with a small group of children, but many of the other children were working independently with materials.  I remember talking to David about it when we were both home, and that was that. Harrison wasn’t even a twinkle in our eye at that point, so that experience was tucked away for later.

Fast-forward to Harrison being almost 2 1/2.  For many reasons, it was becoming apparent to David and I that he needed a more academic environment.  Harrison was also quite the social child (and still is), and he needed something outside of home.  Not being the homeschool type, I quickly realized we needed to look into something more structured for Harrison.  We specifically wanted a school environment.  We weren’t necessarily ruling out preschool, but we know we didn’t want daycare.  After all, I was at home.  We didn’t want to pay someone to watch him. I mentioned Montessori to David, and we looked into our options near us.

Here’s some things that came into play for us:

  1. Harrison is very intentional.  He typically has a specific “end” in mind.  You can’t just give him anything and expect him to be content.
  2. Harrison likes to be active.  If he is interested in the book/activity, he will sit for a very long time or stay with something to completion, regardless of time.  If he isn’t interested, good luck. He needs to be allowed to make choices.
  3. Harrison enjoys work; especially, purposeful work.  It’s even better if this work helps someone else. We wanted him to be someplace that would give him the tools to accomplish the work he so often sought.
  4. Harrison enjoys interacting with other children. He loves playing, but he also enjoys asking questions and learning from other children. A mixed-age classroom sounded ideal.

Those are/were some of the key playing points. When we toured Harrison’s school, we were given the book, Montessori Madness by Trevor Eissler, to read. I highly recommend it. It’s not a book on Montessori philosophy; it’s a book written by a parent who chose Montessori for his child, and why. It’s a parent-parent perspective. I liked that because I’m not really the type of person who’s going to call a bunch of parents asking what they think.  I am totally fine with someone asking me, though.

Really, Montessori just felt right.  Maybe a lot of it had to do with the particular school Harrison attends. That certainly helped.  Harrison was so quickly welcomed at his school.  As in, he walked into the classroom during our tour and at least two children came up and took his hand and showed him around the room.  He maybe looked back once.  Nothing is quite so bittersweet as seeing your first child so happy to leave you.

Now that Harrison’s into his second full year at his school, I can confidently say we made the right choice. Honestly, I could say that after his first few months.  His teachers are wonderful.  He is cared for and taught wonderful lessons.  He is respected and trusted.  He is LOVED! I don’t mean, “Oh, we love Harrison.  He’s so sweet and funny.” I mean, he is loved as their own.  And, Harrison loves his teachers.  Seriously, there was a time last year when Harrison would call me both of his teachers’ names before he got to, “Mommy”. I was third fiddle!

So, there you have it.  Why we chose Montessori education.  As we learned, it’s much more than an educational philosophy. It’s a way of life, and it’s playing a big role in our family life.  That’s another post, though.


Harrison’s Gems

IMG_3264It’s been a while. Too long, really, without a post full of Harrison’s wit and funny conversations with us. We really do have to try hard not to laugh sometimes. Harrison may say something without any realization that it’s funny (or slightly inappropriate), and we try our best to respond appropriately and with the same honesty with which he talks to us. Without further ado…

Watching me sort laundry:

H: That’s for your breasts (seeing my bra)

M: flabbergasted and just not sure what to say. Wait for it…

H: I’m not talking about your breasts, just saying that’s for them. (Glad you clarified)

In the bathroom stall at Whole Foods

H: Those are beautiful pink underwear you have, Mommy. (The woman in the next stall chuckles audibly.)

Woman who was in next stall: He’s so cute! (Hmm, not what I was thinking.)

At the pool with David

H: I think I peed in the pool, Daddy. I’m not sure, though. No, I didn’t pee in the pool. I think it was just the water coming out of my shorts.

At dinner

H: I need to go on a run after Beckett goes to bed.

M: But, that’s your bedtime, too.

H: Oh, well I will go after dinner.

After dinner, and we’re in the back yard.

H: I’m running around the yard. It’s a long run. You need to cheer for me. 

Helping me make pizza

H: Can I have some cheese?

M: No. I need it for the pizza.

H: But, it’s right there in the bowl, and I might want to sneak some. 

Harrison is full of this stuff. In case you’ve missed any of his “gems”, you can read them here, hereand here

This is how we do it: Why Food Matters

I want to start a bit of a series on why our family has made certain choices, and I felt food was the place to start. This is probably one of those posts that some (or many) of you may choose to skip.  I wanted to write a post about why we choose to eat the way we do because I felt like I needed to “get it down on paper”. I’m not writing this to educate or convert anyone to eat the way we do.  I understand people get sensitive when it comes to food.  No one likes it when someone rattles off a list of facts about the food or drink they are putting in their mouth.  Believe me, I do it to David often (not so much anymore), and he puts up with it.  He’s my husband, though.  I try not to say anything to others unless asked. That rarely happens, so I don’t say anything.  Like I said, this is for me/us.  I guess I feel by getting it all down, I can continue to hold myself and our family accountable for what we eat and drink.

Food has been an issue for me since junior year in high school.  I honestly cannot pinpoint when I started to be concerned with my body image.  I was always a little self-conscious (middle school teasing, anyone), but it kind of hit me hard in high school.  Anyway, I found myself being too concerned about calories and working out, but not necessarily ingredients or where my food came from. I cared about food, but not in a good way.  Even though I was working out a lot: running, strength training, climbing, Pilates, I still struggled. I didn’t like the occasional guilt I felt after eating certain foods.

When David and I decided we wanted to start trying for a baby 5 years ago, I started to care some more about the types of food I was eating.  I picked up a book called, The Fertility Diet, because I REALLY WANTED A BABY.  I was already eating well, but I found myself surprised by some of the suggestions, like eat whole fat, real foods (whole milk yogurt, real butter).  At that time, I thought to be healthy, you should drink skim milk and eat low-fat yogurt.  I was already eating lots of nuts, fish, and vegetables, and limiting red meat.  I just had to wrap my mind around the full-fat items, even though I knew they were healthy fats.

Once I was pregnant with Harrison, I also started to become more concerned with how my food was made (organic vs non-organic and real vs processed foods).  I already knew a lot about additives and food dyes from various research I read for work.  For me, there were/are some scary statistics out there, and it wasn’t worth the risk for me.  Being mindful of what I was eating was one way I felt I could give my baby the best start possible.

Once Harrison was born, I was very mindful of what I was eating and drinking because he nursed.  When he was ready to start solids, I tried hard to make a lot of his food, and if I did buy baby food, it was organic.  I made sure David and I ate well because Harrison was present at meals, even if he wasn’t eating them.  I didn’t want to eat something I couldn’t offer him (barring foods that weren’t age-appropriate; nuts, sushi, etc.), and I didn’t like the idea of telling him to eat one way, while I ate another. This was slightly harder on David who didn’t understand why we couldn’t just have chips or Little Debbies in a hidden drawer or shelf Harrison couldn’t see.  I’m not saying we didn’t have nice chocolate or “treats”, but it wasn’t that hard for me to not have junk food.

Harrison was, and still is, our little foodie.  I don’t buy into luck, so I credit his choices to the decisions we made early on.  Sure, there are times he doesn’t like things we make, and we have to remind him that we always try one bite.  We don’t force food. I could, and probably will, write an entire post on our approach to food with the boys.  The point here is that Harrison makes good food choices. When I asked him what he wanted for lunch the other day, he chose turkey roll-ups, pepper slices, dried cherries, and yogurt.  The boy loves sushi!


I can already tell Beckett is going to be our more picky discerning eater.  The boy loves avocado, sweet potato, chickpeas, any kind of meat and fish, all fruit; but, put most vegetables in front of him, and he’s not having it.  I find that we have to expose him to vegetables numerous times, and in many forms before it becomes palatable.  He will eat eggplant parmesan, but not eggplant in pasta.  Presentation matters for him.  I see both boys judging Iron Chef one day.

Suffice it to say, I prefer my family eats whole, real foods.  Processed foods don’t really have a place in our house.  Most people who follow this type of “rule” in their house have likely read at least one Michael Pollan book.  My favorite is, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.  It’s pretty simple: “Eat food.  Not too much. Mostly Plants.”. I have found label reading to be imperative, and I like to know where my food comes from and how it’s treated.  Organic, as I am learning, isn’t enough.  Sometimes, it doesn’t have a lot of merit.  Plenty of the local farmers at our farmer’s market sell “organic” food, but they haven’t paid a lot of money to be certified.  I’ve learned to get over my shyness when it comes to asking questions.  It’s my money, and if someone wants it, they can answer some questions about the food they are selling.  If I don’t like the answer, or they can’t answer my questions, I move on.  There were some gorgeous raspberries (at a good price) that I passed up this past weekend because the woman told me they had sprayed some pesticides on them.  I didn’t need raspberries that badly.

I have also found I feel better eating the way we eat.  I feel satisfied after a meal, and not like I need to lay down because my stomach is too full.  I have more energy.  I may get sick once or twice a year, and when I do get sick, it usually doesn’t last more than a day.  Harrison has been sick maybe 4 times since he was born, and Beckett just once.  I don’t think all four of us were born with some super immune system. I think we take care of ourselves.

And, I do make treats. I love making food, and baking is one of my favorites.  I feel like a common misconception is that our family, or our boys, are being deprived.  It is not like we don’t do cookies, chocolate, ice cream, or whatever.  I do cookies with real butter, whole wheat flour, and maple sugar.  I make chocolate bites with steel-cut oats, flax-seed, and hazelnuts. I make our own popsicles.  Have you seen my Instagram feed? Full of food photos. I have made ice cream. It was with full-fat coconut milk and vanilla beans.  No, I don’t spend all day or even hours in the kitchen.  No, I don’t spend a lot of money to make these things for our family.  I don’t make them to try to be the best mom (I don’t think anyone outside my family even cares). I do it because I control what goes into the food, and I care what my family eats.  I involve the boys. Mostly Harrison at this point, but I talk to Beckett while I make things.  I want my boys to know what is in their food, and I want them to know you should know what’s in your food and to ask questions.  Harrison already talks about how food is too salty or sugary.  He picked up gum balls at Target the other day, and just when I was fearing he was going to ask for them, he told me, “We don’t eat these.  These have too much sugar, and these aren’t real colors.”. I was happy.

I work hard on this.  I do not think a cookie is a cookie.  I don’t think all ice cream is created equal.  I do not think bread labeled “whole wheat” is necessarily healthy.  Have you read the laundry list of ingredients in some of that stuff?!  I also don’t think you should be worried about food.  I am creating healthy habits in my boys.  They can access food whenever they like (and they like).  I don’t offer food for good behavior or use it to get the boys to do something.  I never tell them they can’t have something because they didn’t “earn” it. That’s not what food is for. Food is to nourish our bodies. It should taste good.  I just happen to think a lot of it tastes good without adding a bunch of other stuff to it.

*Update: I wanted to add links to a few blogs I follow. Both are filled with information on why to make a switch to real, whole foods and how to start. There are also plenty of recipes.

Also, here is a good post on the importance of “junk food”: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/03/21/the-importance-of-junk-food/


I was getting ready to write up another post about Harrison and our wonderful conversations, and I realized I rarely post about Beckett.  I think the last time may have been his birth.  He pops up in photos and other posts, but never a post devoted to him.

Here’s the thing. You have your first child, and you (well, me, and I’m guessing a lot of other moms) compare him to charts, books, and other children his age.  You ask other moms about their children (secretly taking mental notes about whether your child is doing the same thing or more), and you talk about your child (mostly to share, but also to brag).  I hope I don’t sound terrible.  I’m just being honest.  I am pretty sure I may have quizzed Harrison on his body part identification abilities after a play date.  In all seriousness, it can be very easy to get caught up in comparing your child. You worry about things.  Well, you do if you’re me.

Then you have another child.  For us, that was our sweet Beckett.


From the moment he was born, he was different than Harrison. To start, he was over two pounds smaller.  Made for a happier mommy in terms of labour, but made for a worry-wart when it came to monitoring his growth.  He also had stomach issues and needed some extra TLC from us.  It was hard not to compare him to his older brother, but it was making things very hard for me to do so.  I had to learn to stop comparing and just focus on Beckett.  When I did that, I realized he may have had some stomach issues, and it may have made things a little more difficult, but he was healthy. Beckett was beautiful, and he was all we hoped for and more.   He still is.

Fast-forward 16 months (otherwise, you would have to read this in installments), and we are right here. Beckett continues to bring joy to our family.  He has untold love for his big brother, and it is the.best.thing.  I wish a picture could capture how he lights up when Harrison comes into a room.

IMG_3718 DSC_0019


Beckett has always demonstrated this tenderness that is hard to describe. When his older brother is upset, he will stop what he’s doing and go give a hug and kiss.  He loves to check in on people and give random affection.  He will offer toys or stuffed animals to make other children happy.  This boy is going to make things happen with his extreme love for people.


Beckett is a pleaser.  He seems to make a concerted effort to do what we ask and help out.  Things may not go exactly where they should, but he understands he needs to clean up and put away.  Shoes may not be perfectly placed, but he knows where they go.  If he sees me closing one door, he will walk around closing any other open doors.  His new thing is to go around pointing out any crumbs or mess on the floor and say, “Uh-oh!”.  Many times he will pick it up and throw it away.  A few times, he may have tried to eat it.  Just a few…

IMG_3431Beckett is very independent.  Sometimes I just watch him, amazed at his capabilities and ingenuity.  He was drinking out of an open cup at 9 months.  Before he was walking independently, he would push his walker until he was next to another object he could cruise along.  Instead of getting upset when his walker became stuck, he would finagle it until he could move it again. Nowadays, you can find me nervously awaiting what he’s going to climb next. If we blink, Beckett is in our room scaling our bed.  He is strong, and fast!

My (second) little man works hard and perseveres.  Of course he gets upset. After all, he’s a toddler.  But, he sticks with things.  I took a video of him doing his stacking rings a few weeks ago, and I smile every time I hear his little “ha” when he figures it out.  Beckett is very proud of himself for his accomplishments.  Sometimes, he claps for himself, but often it’s a little smile, and then he moves on.  I get such joy just watching him do things.

All of this to say that I see so much more now that I’m just observing Beckett in his environment, rather than occupying myself with what he should be doing and comparing him to Harrison at the same age.  The truth is that there are probably things Harrison did that Beckett doesn’t do, and there are probably things Beckett does that Harrison didn’t do.  I don’t think any more or less of my boys for these things. They are individuals.  IMG_3673 It’s been a whirlwind 16-months! Once again, I find myself wondering where the time went.  I don’t feel like I’m missing things, though. Even though I may not know what day (or month) Beckett uttered his first word or got his first tooth, I do know which tooth came in first, and which word he said. I also know that I love how he says, “Mah-muh!” and smiles as he runs toward me to kiss me.  Such a sweet boy.






Harrison’s Gems

IMG_3264Harrison’s back with more wit and hilarity. A few observations:

  1. Harrison likes to start things with, “Oh…”
  2. Why is he talking about Facebook? I think I mentioned “Facebook” to him one time when I was looking at pictures on there. Memory. Of. An. Elephant.
  3. He is too good at excuses/reasons/whatever you want to call them for why he is or isn’t doing something. I am pretty sure I should be very worried. He’s not even 4.

Overheard by me while all the boys were in Harrison’s room:

H: This is just a rock show for boys and men.

David: No. Mommy can come, too.

H: No, girls can’t come to shows with guitars…The parking lot is bumpy. They don’t like the bumpiness. 

H: I have to go to New York for work. I won’t be back for your birthday. 

Me: That makes me sad. 

H: Oh, I will wish you, “Happy Birthday”, on Facebook. 

Me: Doesn’t Mommy deserve better than that?

H: Oh…I will call you on the phone. (Gee, thanks.)

Stops on his way up the stairs and holds his foot.

Me: Harrison, are you okay?

H: No, I’m having trouble going upstairs. My foot is giving me pain. (He was fine. Just empathizing with PaPa.)

Picking raspberries with Mommy.

M: Are you going to pick more raspberries?

H: Oh, my back is bothering me, and the prickliness hurts my fingers. I will just eat them. 

Upon coming into his room during rest time. 

M: Why is your closet light on?

H: I was putting star stickers on my wall to make my closet beautiful. I got them out of my backpack. 

You can catch up with what Harrison’s been saying over the past few months, here, here, and here


“They say it’s your birthday…”

So, I turned 31 a few weeks ago. Hopefully, you wished me, “Happy Birthday” on Facebook. If not, we are clearly not the best of friends. I kid, I kid… Seriously, though, it was a great birthday. I already told you what my most-awesomest husband whipped up for me in this post. I didn’t really talk much about my actual birthday. Spoiler alert: that’s what’s about to happen, so if you’re not interested, you probably should stop reading now. There’s some mention of my adorable children and dashing husband, but this is mostly about me. There’s no diy projects, either. Sorry.

So…. David and Harrison made breakfast: crepes and eggs. I would show you a picture, but those babies were gone lickety-split. I got to open my cards and gifts afterward. They were sweet, and Beckett’s involved food. David whipped up some chocolate-peanut butter concoction and had Beckett put his hand and footprint in it. I later told him I saw said gift in the freezer and almost told him I thought something odd was happening to it because it appeared to be rising in the center. Turns out that was just after Beckett left his imprint. I also asked why he felt the need to stick our son’s hand and foot in food, and he told me that he thought it would be nice to personalize it. Well, either way, it was delicious.


I swear the boy doesn’t know where to put his hands. That shall forever be his excuse.


Yes, Beckett has on Halloween pajamas. Don't judge.

Yes, Beckett has on Halloween pajamas. Don’t judge.

We headed to Cottleville to VB Chocolate Bar, and got some coffees. Um, if you haven’t been there (and can), GO. Sure they have nice chocolates and cocktails, but the coffee is uh-mazing. I got an iced lavender and (drawing a blank) latte. Now you have to go to find out what it was. We got a family picture, and I got a picture of me with the boys. You know it had to be my birthday.



Don’t get too excited, Beckett.

Afterward, Harrison and I went to Faust Park for the rest of the morning. He rode a purple dinosaur (thankfully, not Barney), and I had a conversation with a 9-year-old, 4th grader, who is the youngest, but smartest in his class. He also wanted me to watch him climb and jump off of everything. This was the 9-year-old complete stranger, not my son. I asked him at one point where his mother was, and he told me in a meeting. Fortunately, the meeting was on a picnic table not too far away. I still felt the need to tell her when we left to enter the Butterfly House. You know, in case she was relying on me to watch her son.

IMG_3692After The Butterfly House, we met David and Beckett for lunch.



I did a little shopping on my own for the afternoon (whoop, whoop), and then we all had birthday cake that David and Harrison made. So much food. Apparently, people in this house think food is the way to my heart.

IMG_3712We all went out for sushi for dinner, and, I kid you not, we were there so early that the entire time it was just us. If that is not the difference between your 31st and 21st birthday, I do not know what is. Wait, maybe it’s the difference between having children and not having children… Either way, it was delightful, and I must end with a gratuitous shot of my little foodie using his chopsticks.

IMG_3713Oh, did I say there wasn’t going to be many photos of my two adorable children? I lied. They pop up everywhere.

Master and Commander (of the bedroom)

Shame on you if you thought this was going to be about something besides bedroom DIY.

We have lived in our house for almost 21 months, and haven’t really done much to our bedroom.  The only rooms we’ve pretty much finished have been Harrison’s and Beckett’s rooms. To be honest, I’m not sure when our room will be completely finished. If you haven’t seen it in person, let me tell you; it’s MASSIVE! It’s not exactly what we were going for when looking to move to a new home. We were pretty content with our previous bedroom. We would have been fine with the same size master, or perhaps a little bigger. I think two of our other bedroom would fit in this one, and that’s not including the bathroom and closets.

So, here’s what the room looked like before we moved in.

DSC_0068 DSC_0067

See. Ginormous! We added a few pieces of furniture since we first moved in: another dresser (yes, you read that right), a trunk, some night stands, a coffee table, and two chairs. Yep, we have a corner in our room akin to a sitting room. Here are some pictures. Pardon the mess. There’s a 3-year-old and a 15-month-old who like to be in our room.

From the doorway.

From the doorway.

Right side of bed.

Right side of bed.

Sitting area to left of door looking out.

Sitting area to left of door looking out.

Looking on into upstairs living space.

Looking on into upstairs living space.

Left wall toward front of house.

Left wall toward front of house.

Right wall with bathroom door.

Right wall with bathroom door.

We hadn’t changed the wall color, and even though there’s plenty of furniture, the room still looks empty. It really felt like a modge podge of items. We also didn’t have anything up on the walls except for the art work above the chairs. David hung those up just to have something on the wall. To brag about my husband (again), he put together that seating area before we came home from the hospital with Beckett. Anyway, back to the bedroom.

Pinterest was helping us find inspiration for the bedroom (decor, people), but we still hadn’t really done anything. Finally, a month or so ago, I mentioned to David that I would like to paint the bedroom for my birthday, and maybe pick another project (bedding, some type of wall feature, crown molding). Well, we decided on a paint color, and I knew David would likely be painting our room for my birthday. No spoilers, there.  Except, he went and made a tufted headboard.


Then, when I came home from a weekend in Chicago this past Monday, I discovered this:

DSC_0035 DSC_0037 DSC_0038 DSC_0041 DSC_0042 DSC_0044 DSC_0045 DSC_0047

Not only did David paint our room, he put up board and batten, crown molding, and made picture ledges. What’s even better, is that my dad, older brother, father-in-law, and Harrison helped out. Yep. Harrison and Grandpa B. made the picture ledges together. A whole slew of family were in on this (from parents to siblings and aunt and uncles). If I ever wonder how loved I am, someone please refer me to this post.

We still have a list of things to do:

  • Substantial rug under the bed (at least 8×10)
  • New curtains, or modify current curtains in some way. I do like the color.
  • Find some items (art or otherwise) to hang on the walls
  • Add two more vertical slats(?) of wood (one on each end) to the board and batten
  • Do something with the bench at the end of the bed. It doesn’t go anymore.
  • New duvet cover. The current one on our bed, while nice, is a coverlet we already owned. We like our down comforter, and comforter + coverlet = too warm in the summer.

Obviously, we can’t do all of those things at once, but that’s what we are enjoying about this house. We really rushed into things the first go-around, and while we loved our first house, we learned a lot along the way. I don’t think our room would have turned out this way at all if we’d jumped right in almost 2 years ago. I also think David needed that time to muster up the strength/courage to take on these projects. I am so thankful he did take these projects on. Seven years of marriage, and I’m still learning new things about this man.