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.


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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

“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.

Our 4th

We had a fun 4th of July this year. We ended up going out to David’s Grandma Bunge’s and having a nice time with the Bunge clan.

Harrison helped me make some mini fruit pizzas.



Harrison got to play on the farm and ride around on the Gator.  Good food was involved, and everyone had fun just spending time together.

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There were a few fireworks (nothing big).

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Harrison wasn’t too sure. Once he warmed up, he awaited each firework with eager anticipation.

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I think one of my favorite photos from the day was this one I took with my phone on our way home. We offered to take cousin Jenna home so she could go to a friend’s house. She certainly earned the ride.


Best. Dad. Ever.


I think that about sums it up. Shortest post ever.




…Of course not! First of all, I am not a woman of few words. Second of all, I can’t let Father’s Day pass (too much longer) without informing the masses about my most wonderful husband.  See, in my opinion, and our boys’, David is the Best. Dad. Ever.  And that’s all that really matters. He is the best dad our two boys could ask for.  He also happens to be the best dad I could have asked for for them.  Good thing.

Days like Mother’s and Father’s Day are pretty important around here. I get just as excited plotting planning for this occasion, as I do for birthdays or other holidays.  There’s just something about putting together a day devoted to the man who helps you raise your children. I think it’s extra special around here because we happen to have two boys. I can only hope they continue to desire to be just like their daddy. 

We didn’t give him breakfast in bed, but we did let David pick his breakfast and hang the card on the door. We are nothing if not fancy-schmancy around here. My original plan was to let David “sleep-in” while Harrison helped me with breakfast and Beckett played. As it turned out, both boys ended up in our room playing with Daddy. It was really kind of perfect because what better way to start the day with your boys who want nothing but to spend time with you? I could hear them laughing and reading stories while I made breakfast. Um, it was like I planned the perfect father-son bonding time. You know, except for a few thuds and crying (I kid, I kid…).

We gave David a few cards and gifts after breakfast.  Harrison was excited about giving David his cards since he pretty much picked them all (yes, there were multiple) out.  He also loves “helping” people open gifts.

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I’m sure you notice David wearing two different shirts. He’s such an awesome dad, that pretty much as soon as he opened the t-shirt at the beginning of this post, he changed into it.  He also read the books the boys gave him more than a few times to Harrison (while Beckett walked around with one of the cards they gave him). That last picture is David reading an “About my dad” questionnaire Harrison answered. I started this with Harrison last year, and I hope to continue it with him, and Beckett, throughout the years.

The rest of the day was full of fun (park time), relaxing for Daddy (while Beckett napped, and I took Harrison on a walk), and special treats. We had our first ever crab boil, and a 7-layer s’mores cake was involved. The cake may have been David’s favorite part.

More than gifts or this post could ever say, this day was to celebrate the wonderful way in which David is a father to his sons.  I count my blessings every day that I married him and that my boys get to know him as their father. We love you, David/Daddy!

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Day Trip: PaPa and Grammy’s House

Now that it’s summer time, and Harrison is out of school, I like to take him places to keep him busy (especially with Beckett still napping twice/day). I am blessed to be afforded this luxury since David is usually working from home. All of our trips so far have been “local” (library, parks, the zoo). This time, though, we headed to Mexico (Missouri) to visit my parents; the aforementioned, PaPa and Grammy.
We headed out yesterday mid-morning, and we were back this afternoon. This was just long enough to spend quality time with my parents and let Harrison be the center of attention. It was a nice trip.
Pretty much the first thing Harrison does when we get to my parents’ is get his bin of trucks toys out. His favorite is a Fisher-Price Western set my brothers and I played with. The indoor play didn’t last long. He quickly wanted to head outside. He helped Grammy pick flowers and picked up sticks around the back so PaPa wouldn’t run over them with his mower.


This wore him out enough to actually fall asleep during his rest time. Or to be very very quiet, at least. He did mention something about roly-polies to my mom when he came up. I personally think he slept. He is not one to remain quietly in a room for over an hour without being asleep.
I was able to visit with a good friend who happened to be in town for a few days. It’s always nice when those things work out. She and her husband just celebrated 8 years of marriage, and are headed on a weekend trip to celebrate. Have fun you two!
Harrison barely made it out of the bathroom before he was outside again. This time, there was golfing, hauling, digging, and climbing involved. Sometimes I wonder where his “off” switch is. Seriously. I want to find it and power him off for a few hours during the day sometimes.
PaPa grilled, and Harrison tried to eat all the chicken. I think he ate two drumsticks, half of a small breast, and a bunch of grilled vegetables. Then he remembered he had water, and guzzled a huge glass of that. I was worn out just watching him eat.
Today, was a lot of fun. We headed to Plunkett Park with Grammy for a little bit. Harrison dug in the sand and then wanted to go hiking. He pointed out the ants.

From the park, we headed to Brick City Bistro. So many yummy scones, so little time to eat them all. We went with butterscotch.

After carb-loading and coffee drinking (not Harrison), we walked down to another local shop, Scrapbook Store and More. Harrison had fun building puzzles while my mom and I looked around. Harrison somehow convinced Grammy to get him something. We spent a good half hour in there just looking around and talking to the owner. I was reminded why I love a small(er) town so much. Harrison was quite the charmer.
After some lunch and more playing, it was time for us to head back home. It didn’t take too long before Harrison was asleep and doing his own Napoleon.


Our Memorial Day Weekend

Like most things, I am just getting around to our Memorial Day weekend almost 2 weeks after the fact. It was a nice weekend. By that, I mean it was full of the essentials. You know: good food, family, fun… (Yes, those are in the right order.)

Friday night, Harrison planned dinner, and we had a movie night. This was a special night for him, as he had just finished another wonderful school year, and we had told him we were having a night for him. He chose homemade fish sticks, sweet potato fries, and asparagus for dinner, and Ratatouille for our movie. We even had popcorn. Harrison loved it!

Saturday, we all enjoyed lunch at Trailhead Brewing Company in St. Charles. We hadn’t eaten there yet, and my older brother was able to meet us. That’s always awesome in Harrison’s book. Not that the rest of us don’t enjoy my brother; Harrison just really really loves when he knows Uncle Scott will be somewhere. It warms my heart.

IMG_3259 IMG_3260Beckett…not so much.

IMG_3262Just kidding. Beckett just had his eyes on more food.

I also happened to capture one of my new favorite photos of Harrison.

IMG_3264Saturday was our pizza night. We used the bread machine I got for Mother’s Day. I am in love! I was already loving making our own bread, but I was officially in after making pizza dough. The ease of the bread machine combined with the technique from The Splendid Table, makes some pretty darn good crust.

Sunday, we drove to Marthasville to David’s grandma’s house. We spent time with David’s parents, his great-Grandma (obviously), and his Aunt Pat and cousin, Jenna. Harrison played around on the farm, rode the gator with Grandpa and Jenna, and walked Maggie. Beckett mostly slept, but he sure enjoyed playing with everyone when he was awake.  I think David and I enjoyed being able to just sit and talk with everyone.

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Monday, we stayed at home, and Uncle Scott came over to eat with us. I told you food was critical to a good weekend. David grilled, and the boys played outside. We tried to take a walk to the lake nearby, but the weather deterred us. That just meant wrestling Uncle Scott in the basement. Poor Uncle Scott.


It was such a wonderful weekend! Long weekends are always nice, but fill them with family and good food, and they are even better.

A Birthday Fit for a {Little} Man

Well, Beckett’s birthday was three weeks ago, but I’m just getting back into this blogging thing (remember), so better late than never. Many of you probably already saw pictures from Beckett’s birthday, and may have gathered there was a theme to it. We went with a “Little Man” theme. Yes, that seems to be the trend right now, but that’s not why we did it. See, we have always referred to our boys as our little men. Harrison was, and still is, our first “little man”, and Beckett followed suit. Although, he mostly goes by “Beckett Bear” (not sure exactly why). It was only fitting Beckett’s first birthday would have a little man theme, and I can’t help that lots of people are doing it. I am thankful for all the inspiration out there. No point in reinventing the wheel.

While I purchased some items (mostly food), I used a lot of what we had or free printables that were out there. As our guests arrived, they were greeted at the door with this awesome sign I found via Mama Miss. I actually didn’t take a photo of this, but it looked pretty similar to her image. I didn’t tie any ribbon on mine, though, and I used a bigger embroidery hoop to make it more substantial on our front door.

As everyone came into the house, we had David’s home office set up to receive Beckett’s gifts. We did this for Harrison’s birthday, too. It makes it nice to keep the gifts “out of the way”. It wasn’t an issue for Beckett because he just turned one, and he isn’t concerned with all of that, but once you hit toddler age, it’s nice to have a place to put gifts that isn’t the center of attention. We just closed the doors at Harrison’s party until it was time to open gifts.


The streamers were so easy to make, and I loved how they turned out. Here’s the tutorial I used. I put some in the kitchen, too, but I think it might have had an even cooler effect if I’d hung them all here. I was even thinking an ombre effect would be awesome. I did this the morning of Beckett’s party, though, so I didn’t have that kind of time.

Here they are in the kitchen. Hi, Dad!


The party really happened in the living room and kitchen. Although, I think if the food was in the entry way, that’s where everyone would’ve been. Seriously, my mom and mother-in-law made some delicious dips that were the hit of the party. Next time, I will just serve their dips with vegetable and crackers. I’m not joking.

While I do sometimes wish I had a kitchen I could close a door on when we have guests and I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I do love the open concept of our home. It makes it that much warmer and inviting. Nothing like your close family coming together to celebrate one of your children’s birthdays and enjoying good food and conversation. It truly was a celebration of life and the importance of family.


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You can see in the living room pictures, that we had some decorations in there, too. We made that chalkboard frame before Harrison’s birthday, so all we had to do was write a birthday message to Beckett. I just purchased pom-pom fringe at Jo Ann’s to decorate the frame. The tie banner had some of David’s old ties on it along with some pictures of Beckett over the past year. The pictures are from a cool site called Prinstagram. I ordered them before Valentine’s Day along with some mini albums they make. I love to do little things like that to draw people in and get to talking about different events. Always makes for good conversation.

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Another thing we did for Beckett’s birthday that we did for Harrison’s birthday was a photo album of pictures over the past year. This is a great way for us to commemorate Beckett’s past year, but it also served as a means for our guests to write birthday wishes for Beckett. I think this will mean so much to him when he’s older, and I love looking back after things have settled down from party mayhem and reading all the notes people left. I ordered this one from MyPublisher because I had a voucher from Living Social. They pop up all the time!

Here’s a few more detail shots. I made the straw bottles with empty bottles, straws I already had, and mustache stickers from the Dollar Spot at Target over Valentine’s. The plastic cups have washi tape on them that I already on hand. While I thought these made for a nice touch, most people just drank from a bottle (root beer or beer), and I didn’t need to do this. Oh well. I enjoyed it.

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The cake bunting I made with a free printable from here. I debated making a mustache-shaped cake or topping the cake with mustaches, but in the end, I didn’t want to go overboard with the theme, and decided a simple bunting atop the cake was the way to go.


The cake was just for Beckett, but big brother got some, too. I mean, how could we resist that face?



We didn’t leave our guests out (and we wanted a treat, too). I baked French donuts and donut holes and coated them with cinnamon and sugar. I normally don’t serve my donuts in paper liners, but this was to keep everyone’s hands from touching every donut when they chose what they wanted.


David helped me add the details to the root beer. I didn’t want to serve “soda” because I knew Harrison would want some. I also liked the idea of having beer for adults and “beer” for the kids. Harrison kept telling everyone he got to have a beer. I’m sure his teachers didn’t take him too seriously the following week at school.


I made this banner with plain chipboard pennants. I made one completely from “scratch” for Harrison’s first birthday, and I decided it was worth a few extra dollars to not have to cut all the triangles out this time. I was pleased with the result.


We didn’t leave Truman out for such an important occasion. He was the only one who took the bow tie seriously.

DSC_0067I won’t go into a run down of Beckett’s gifts, but I did want to share a gift Harrison gave him. He picked this out with Grandpa at a flea market. When I asked him why he chose a piano, Harrison told me, “I know Beckett likes music, and he will like the noise it makes.”. It was a winner.

DSC_0080Beckett’s party didn’t coincide with his actual birthday (that was a few days later), so we kept our family gifts until then. We still celebrated, but we just kept things low-key. There was cake, of course. What’s a birthday without cake?!

Harrison’s Gems


My sister-in-law gifted me a cute book before Beckett was born so I could record Harrison’s gems someplace other than Facebook. I was really happy to get this because I was sort of just relying on my memory, and that one’s fading faster than I would like (I’m blaming that one on the children).
Anywho, I thought it would be fun to share Harrison’s funny quotes and conversations, occasionally.

To David upon waking up from nap: “I need my hammer and screwdriver. I got some hammering and work to do.”

At the butterfly house: “It looks like that hexagon is blooming butterflies!”

Mommy: “What are you doing with Daddy’s flash drive and your (toy) laptop?”
Harrison: “I need my charger because I need to charge my iPad.”

In Trader Joe’s bathroom:
Harrison: “And you need to poop, too?”
Mommy: “No, Harrison.”
Harrison: “Poop, Mommy.”

Father’s Day: “You’re a pretty princess, Mommy.” (I had a dress on)

Reason for not wanting a bath: “But I’m not stinky!”

Harrison: “Do you know why monsters cry?”
David: “Why?”
Harrison: “Because they don’t know they’re scary.”

In line to get food
Mommy: “What are you looking at?”
Harrison: “The ladies.”