Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Dear Hadley and Harper,

Of all the things I want for you, my greatest wish would be that you have friends. Not just friends that keep you company, but friends that help you forget about yourself for a little while. Friends that make you laugh when you're stuck in a traffic jam for four hours with no end in sight, but it's OK because you're singing along to the songs you loved when you were 19. Friends that after 10+ years of living apart can pick up right where you left off - like you were in the middle of a sentence and just had a little interruption.

Right now, I'll be that for you. I'll try and set up an home where you can be yourself and hopefully enjoy each other's company.
But someday you will want to go off on your own - to the beach, to college, to Breckenridge - and I hope that the friends you go with, or the ones you meet will make you happy.
We'll do our best to give you an interesting childhood.

We'll have tea parties with Goofy.

We'll take you places like the Air and Space Museum.

But before we know it, you'll be ready to see the world, and you'll want to do it with your friends.

So when that time comes, I hope the friends you have are the ones that you can be yourself around. You may even find parts of yourself while being around them. Until then, I'll be the one to document the stuff you do.

Until you can do it yourself.

Love, Mom

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Port Discovery

Today we took a trip to Baltimore to check out Port Discovery, which is a museum for kids. It proved to be a huge hit with the H's. There is a three story climbing structure that runs through the center of the museum which was our first stop. Here's a shot of me and Hadley about to embark on our climb.
I've never seen anything like this thing in my life. There are no stairs to climb up. It's pretty much all netting. I found myself humming the Diego theme song while we were climbing. He would love this thing.
At one point you can stop climbing and choose to go down a slide or go up to a tower. Hadley thought she wanted to go down the slide, but after looking at it and seeing that it is pitch black when you sit down, she opted to do something else. So we went to find Harper and Jesse instead. Here's a picture of the slide. I don't know if it does it justice, but it really was quite intimidating.
Here's another shot of where the slide begins. Again, you can't appreciate the height, but it might give you a sense of what Hadley climbed on.
There are different rooms in the museum that the girls could play in. Hadley and Harper really liked this room:

(Sorry this one is flipped)

There was also a few tunnels to crawl through and a much smaller climbing structure with a less intimidating slide to go down.

Jesse liked the spider web.
We stopped by a room called "The Oasis" for a little story and singing time.
This is what Harper does during the Romp n Roll class too. She climbs all over me, decides to crawl a few feet away from me, then turns around and body slams herself back into my lap.
After awhile Harper decided she wanted to play with the cows, etc instead of listening to stories.

And then she thought it'd be fun to climb into the bin that all the animals were in:

And then there was the water room.

Not a bad way to celebrate being married for 11 years.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year, New Classes

The day Harper went into the ER was the day Jesse and I decided we would take Hadley out of preschool until the following fall. The four of us were simply exhausted from fighting colds every other week since Hadley started school. I'm sure once Hadley starts school again in the fall we will be fighting all kinds of fun illnesses again, but for now we needed a break.

Having said that, the three ladies of the house need something to do in the daytime otherwise we'll go crazy. So I signed Hadley and Harper up for a class at a place called Romp n Roll. It's a lot like MyGym, I suspect, but it's closer to us. Hadley is taking a painting class, and Harper is taking a tumbling class.

Each week Romp n Roll has a "theme" that they focus their activities on. One week is was fish and this last week it was monkeys. Here's what Hadley made in her class the week of the fish:

Not too shabby, if I'm allowed to say so.

Hadley's class is a "parent drop off" class, so I didn't get pictures of her in action this week. I'll try and sneak in there sometime and snap a few shots in the future. I did, however, get a lot of pictures of Harper in her class.

The above pictures were taken during "free time." We start the class in a little corner of the gym with a curtain drawn so the kids can't see all the equipment. Very wise move, I must say because once the teacher opens the curtain to reveal this room, the kids go nuts. Anyway, we have a little greeting time, and the teacher tells us what we are going to focus on (yesterday it was upper body strength and I think trying not to drool on everything). Then she lets the kids loose.

Harper is the only kid in the class who isn't walking yet, but she gets around fine. And like Hadley, she doesn't want to sit next to me during circle time. With Hadley, she wants to be in on the action so she'll get as close to whoever is leading the activity as she can. With Harper, once she sees what the teacher is doing, if she's interested in it, she'll be a team player and do the activity. If she's not, she remove herself from the group circle and go find something better to do. Hadley is my little "let's all do everything together it's going to be so fun" cheerleader. Harper is the "you guys go ahead and do whatever you want, and maybe I'll join you if I feel like it" gal.

L'il Jesse. If I had a nickel for every time someone gave me a confused look when they learn I'm the mother of Hadley and Harper I'd be buying Starbucks free for life.

Here are the kids picking out musical instruments.

And a few videos:

After the class ends, the girls and I head over to the library to pick out some books. It ends up being a nice little outing.

I signed us for a MOPS group near us, so we'll see how that goes. And on Thursdays I've been taking the girls to the gym with me. I don't like to take them every time I go, but once a week they come with me and they seem to like it. The key to Harper being a happy camper is that she can't see me leave. If she does, we're all in trouble because not only will she cry, but all the other kids start to cry, too. This happened once and the ladies called me out of my class. I was all set to take the girls home when Diego came on. Harper is in love with Diego. If she can't have mommy, Diego is second best (or maybe first, I don't want to know).

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Price of Freedom

The big news from this weekend is that Hadley is now sleeping in a "big girl" bed. She was in one at both her grandparents' houses, and she sleeps in our bed at nap time, so it seemed that it was time to transition the crib into a bed that she can get in and out of all by herself.

I'm having trouble with the "get in and out of all by herself" part. Some of you know that I have a small fear of things that go bump in the dark. I learned over the weekend that I am also a little scared of "shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, pat, pat, pat" and then a face looking at you waiting for you to wake up at 1am. "I have to go to the bathroom." Hadley says as she stands next to our bed. I know it's pathetic to be freaked out by one's own daughter, but I am.

About 4 hours later, we hear Hadley shuffling around our place again. Jesse gets out of bed and asks her what she's doing. She can't really say, so he leads her back to bed where she sleeps (or just lays there?) for another two or three hours.

Last night it was a little better. Although, about 20 minutes after we put Hadley to bed, she came running out of the room with a backpack. I said, "What are you doing?" She told me that she just needed to put the backpack away before she went to bed. Jesse and I watched her hang the backpack up, and then proceed to run back to her bedroom. I said, "Do you want one of us to put you in bed?" She said that she didn't, but Jesse walked in after her. When we went to bed later that night, Jesse went in to check on her and Hadley was standing up on the mattress. He asked her what she was doing, and again, she couldn't really tell him. He took her to the bathroom and then back to bed where she stayed until a nice 7:30 this morning.

Hadley loves being in a "big girl" bed. In the afternoon yesterday, she lined up all her "kids" in the bed and read stories to them. She told me she was putting them to sleep.

I think being able to get in and out of bed freely is a novelty that will hopefully wear off soon. I think Hadley thinks it's pretty cool to be able to get up when she wants, but doesn't quite know what to do with herself when she's up. It figures she wouldn't know what to do when it's pitch black and nobody else is up.

At any rate, that's Hadley latest achievement. So what's the next big thing? Loosing teeth? Riding a bike? Telling me she's ready for makeup?

As for Harper, she's my little demolition baby. It astounds me the mess that she is able to create in so little time. See what I mean?

She did this all by herself. Hadley had nothing to do with it. In fact, she won't set a foot in here when it's like this. She might go and get something, but she'll bring it out and go play with it somewhere else.

"Hmmm....if only I had somewhere to put this down."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sing We All to Thee

Our New Years' Eve was spent with some really good friends from our Calvin days, and we had a fantastic time with them.

The kids played very nicely together.....

while the adults discussed the latest controversy at Calvin. We were specifically wondering what it means to be an advocate (and whether or not we had to stop watching Glee).

Who, me? I'm not tired!

The next day the girls went out to a movie and the guys stayed in to watch football and play with the kids. Here's a picture of the whole gang:
Not a bad looking crowd, if I do say so myself.