Sunday, October 30, 2011

Edgewater HS Homecoming Parade

Nope...we didn't go to High School there and we don't live by it. But we had friends going, and it sounded like a fun outing. And it was! The kids enjoyed watching the high school kids and getting candy, and the adults enjoyed a beverage and watching.

Halloween Games

When I unpacked the Halloween decorations earlier this month, the girls found this witch hat toss game. They thought it was very funny to tie the hat to Brooke's head and toss the rings.

Catching Up on October

We've had a very fun and busy month around the Harris house. I took the time today to download all the pictures from the month. A few weeks ago Reilly and Charlotte were supposed to go swim with the manatees, but it got rained out - so we had an early pumpkin carving party instead.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'd Give My Kids the Shirt off my Back...

...and I did!!

Brooke falls asleep easily when she has her blankie. She has always been that way. She often puts it over her face and when she does she is out in a couple minutes.

She also falls asleep easily in the car. Sometimes I have been out trying to get her to sleep and she fights it...so I find some kind of shirt and give it to her.

Well this weekend.....I cleaned the car.

Tonight I drove her home from a late dinner, hoping to get her to sleep...and she just kept fighting it. And...NOTHING in the car.

Luckily it was dark. Because I had to give her the shirt...off...my...back.

She fell asleep...I pulled in the driveway...and ran into the house before the neighbors could see.

The sacrifice of a mom.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life's Lessons

In the weeks and months following Brady's death, Mike and I had multiple conversations about what role Brady would play in the future of our family. That may sound odd, but as our firstborn, our life at that point was much different than we knew life would be down the road. We knew - even in the early moments following his death - that the right thing to do was to have him be part of our family.

Our biggest fear was that we would go on to have this family and that our future kids wouldn't know that Mike and I shared our heart with another child. One they never got to meet or play with. But the truth was, is, that we do share our heart. I love all three of my kids very much, even if Brady isn't with us. And for me to hide that from Reilly and Brooke would have been wrong. I wouldn't have been able to share all of myself with them, and they should know who I am, and why I do some things I do.

Fast forward....

Now that I'm living 7 years in the future, I can say we are exactly at that point where I'd imagine we would have been. We have two healthy and beautiful kids who are growing up more and more every day. They are inquisitive, they ask questions and they want answers. A couple years ago we started making Brady part of the regular conversation. Reilly doesn't remember a time when we didn't talk about Brady. He is her brother who died and she never got to meet. Thankfully, I think we have done a very good job. She happily asks about him, wants to see his picture, wants to understand what happened and thinks about him. As an example...the other day I was picking her up from school and we were riding along in the car talking about our family in California. She said to me, "Mom. I miss my family in California," and then she paused. "But Brady...he holds a special place in my heart."

Moments like that I am confident we made the right decision.

However....

Other moments I cringe. You see...the flip side is that people who we know today don't all know about Brady. We feel very comfortable talking about him, and are happy to do so if asked. But socially, we find it's not a good conversation starter to talk about him. So unless the conversation comes up, many people we know today - don't know. So one fear is that Reilly will be somewhere, like school, talking about her brother, and people will think she is nutty.

So last week we were at Synagogue for the Rosh Hashanah Family Service. We were in the Chapel, sitting with about...oh, I'm guessing....100, 150 people? The Rabbi was doing a great job getting the kids involved. He kept asking questions to prompt the kids and then he would let them answer using the microphone. He was asking things like, is G-d at your school, is G-d in your home...you know, standard thought provoking questions to get kids to think about religion. I kept trying to get Reilly to answer his questions, but she couldn't quite get up the courage.

That is until the Rabbi asked this question. "Have any of you had somebody you love die?"

Bless her heart...Reilly got up the courage. She was sitting on my lap and it happened in slow motion. Her arm jolted into the air, like she had just been asked if she wanted to go to Disneyworld and eat candy all day long! And as if it was scripted, the Rabbi was looking right at her and smiled. Immediately he started walking towards her with that microphone. I couldn't stop it....

The Rabbi said, "who did you lose?"

Reilly answered without hesitation and with a proud voice into that microphone, "My brother."

I'm pretty sure the Rabbi was expecting, my Grandma, my dog - you know, the ones you would expect. He seemed a little caught off guard, as did the other 149 people in the room. He asked her a couple follow-on questions and she answered proudly.

So I guess the moral of my post is that we did good. While at times it may make people uncomfortable...she knows her brother, she loves her brother, and his death is natural to her. She will never be caught off guard to hear the story. He is in her heart and lives on because our family loves him and thinks of him every day.

And as later this week is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day...we remember our angel, Brady through this funny story. And his cousin, our other angel - Alexis.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

We've lost a 2nd tooth!

Just days after losing her first tooth...Reilly has lost her second. I'm pretty sure this one was being held in by the other. Because as soon as the other one was lost, this quickly loosened up. And once again, Mommy came in and pulled it out very easily! I'm getting so good at pulling that I'm thinking about charging for my services! Anybody need a tooth pulled?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ouch

Poor Brookie had a bad fall in the parking lot at school, she hurt her chin. She cried and cried...and earned herself a yummy Starbucks! Would you believe that she fell again later in the night on the coffee table and hit the exact same spot?? Poor girl!

High Tech

Me: I need to remember to ask your teacher to send that form home. Reilly: She has a phone...just text her!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Secret Agent Buzz

Reilly said to me today... "Do you think Buzz is like Perry the Platypus?" Me: "What do you mean?" Reilly: "Do you think he is a secret agent and leaves the house?: HAHAHA

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reilly's First Loose Tooth

Reilly's tooth has been loose for a couple of weeks. I don't remember teeth taking this long! But now it is REALLY loose.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brookie Time

Reilly has started Sunday school...which means on Sunday mornings we now get fun one on one time with Brooke. This week we took her to the Orlando Science Center with her buddy Toby! They had a great time exploring around.




Friday, August 26, 2011

Charlotte and Reilly

Reilly is very excited to have her good friend Charlotte at her school. They aren't in the same class, but they are next door to each other. So often Reilly likes to stop to say hi to her after school. Here is a picture of them together in matching uniforms!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

After School Adventures


I've changed my schedule at work so I can pick up the kids in the afternoon. This means I leave the house before 6am...and then I pick the kids up at 3pm. Its great to be able to do this. But it does mean that I need to have some *skills* I haven't had in the past. Just how do you keep the kids busy without being cranky for several hours in the afternoon? And how do you keep mom from being cranky??

On the second day of school I discovered a very good way to meet those objectives. I stopped at Starbucks!! The girls got a nice treat and so did Mom :-)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School

The kids started school last week. Reilly started Kindergarten and Brooke started Preschool. They have both been in school since they were babies, at the same place, so I was not intending for this to be that "Oh my gosh!" moment. But at back to school day, I found that it was one of those moments for me. I think it was a combination of the new school and the thought of Kindergarten, but I certainly had to catch myself so I wouldn't cry!!!

We are now a week in and both kids love school! They are still adjusting, but they love it. For Reilly the biggest adjustment comes from the fact that she is the only kid in her class that did not do Pre-K at that school last year. So there are a lot of existing friendships, which makes it hard. She had a GREAT group of friends for the past few years at her old school and she misses them a lot. Luckily she still sees some of them at Sunday School...and we are scheduling playmates with the others. She will adjust, I know this - but it weighs on me and Mike...will she make friends?

For Brooke the adjustment is more about the schedule. She has been moved to no nap. She doesn't make it all days. Often she falls asleep in class. One day I came in and she was passed out on the floor. She also has been having potty accidents. But this too will adjust :-)

Here are a few pictures!







Monday, July 25, 2011

Reilly's Swim Team

Reilly did swim team last year with the Minnows - but this was her first summer as a Shark. The difference is that as Sharks they have swim meets. It was very enjoyable to watch her start to get the idea of competition. The first 2-3 meets she really didn't get it. She got to the end of the race, they handed her a ribbon. Her friends all wanted the purple ribbons because they were pretty. But the parents laughed because purple ribbons were 6th place. Reilly got a few of those ;-)

By her 4th meet she was starting to understand that blue ribbons were first place. But that still didn't mean she was competitive. She was doing fantastic, don't get me wrong. But she stops regularly during the race. Not just to have a break...but to grab a hair clip off the bottom of the pool or to chat with her friend on the sideline ;-)

The only stroke she didn't stop on was back stroke!! She is fantastic at it!! I'm looking forward to watching her grow as a swimmer. It seems to be something she really enjoys.





Thursday, July 21, 2011

4th of July

We had a great time on the 4th of July hanging out at the Davis'. They had their annual party and the girls were soooo excited! It's fun as the kids get older and can start to enjoy the parties and holidays. Both girls really like the fireworks and sparklers. Brooke didn't quite make it up for the late night version, but Reilly did. She was the last kid awake and enjoyed every last minute of the fireworks.







Thursday, June 23, 2011

Father's Day

We had a great Father's Day last weekend. We took Mike to the waterpark with the Davis'. The kids were very well behaved and the older kids really had a fun time trying new things. Here they are on the zip line!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ummmm...how did that happen?

I just gave relationship advice to Reilly. YES, the boyfriend/girlfriend or girlfriend/girlfriend kind you are thinking of.

I'm pretty sure she turned 5 like 21 days ago....so somebody please tell me how I just had THAT conversation with her? I'm pretty sure it was the first of many times I'll tell her that there are plenty of fish in the sea, she'll have many boyfriends (or girlfriends) over the years, she'll find the right person later in life.

ummm....breathe mommy, breathe. Yes, you just had THAT talk.

Monday, June 13, 2011

First Day of Camp

Today starts the first day of camp. For Brooke that means swimming every day and lots of fun memories. For Reilly, it is a milestone. She is officially done with Preschool and is preparing for Kindergarten. Starting today, she swims twice a day. 8:00 a.m. Sharks Swim Team, and mid-day swim time with her class. And starting today, there is no more napping as they prepare for Kindergarten. She is a big girl now...which means pick-up will be ohhh so fun as we transition and get her used to a regular schedule which includes no naps. Both girls were looking forward to 8 weeks of fun!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Reilly!

Reilly,

5 years old?!? How did that happen. Somehow 4 sounded like a baby still, 5 sounds like such a big girl! You are such a sweet, loving girl. You care about all others around you - friends and family. You have lots of friends and are very social.

At home you love to help us around the house, help your sister and hug mommy and daddy. You really love your sister and love taking care of her - even if she isn't always so nice to you ;-). You help her get dressed, you brush her teeth, you help her with her boo-boos and you love to snuggle with her.

You love spending time with your Grandma and calling Grandpa and Nana and skyping with Ben and Charlotte.

At school, you love art and dance. You are the tallest girl in your class...in fact there is only one kid taller than you, and he is 6 months older. You are the light of my life. I love you!!

-Mommy

5th Birthday Breakfast

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reilly's Preschool Graduation

Reilly graduated from Preschool last week. I had no idea I would be so emotional about it, but I really was! I started to cry when she walked in. They were very cute and sang several songs before getting their graduation certificate. Here are some highlights. Reilly is on the top row, in red, second from the left.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Slip and Slide

The girls have been playing with their slip and slide already for the past two months. And as I catch up on photos....I found these two from the end of April. Here is Reilly with Cousin Maera.



And here is Reilly, Brooke and Mitzvah Dooby.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Love

I'm cleaning out pictures and trying to catch up...and I came across this picture from last month and smiled.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Boker Tov Brooke

Brooke came busting out of the playroom last night, drum in hand, singing a rousing addition of Boker Tov! (Good morning in Hebrew).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Grandpa's Visit

Grandpa was here last month and the girls had so much fun with him. They really enjoyed going to the park with him and playing with all their toys. Reilly talks about Grandpa all the time, but we weren't sure if Brooke would remember him this time. i don't know if she remembered him, but she took a liking to him immediately and loved on him!!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ms. R

When I was in kindergarten I lived literally NEXT to my elementary school. So I would spend weekends on my bike and with my friends (Monica and Jonathan) at the school. I remember spending a great deal of time specifically on those weekends inside the kindergarten playground. It was fenced in and locked, but my sister and I used to hop the fence, or climb the tree and then jump down on the other side.

There were these large wooden bins that were probably 8 ft wide, 8 ft long and 6 feet tall (maybe it wasn't that big, I was small). Wendy and I would climb that and lay up there and play up there, it was such fun.

OK, OK so this blog isn't about me...to my point. Sometimes if we jumped up high, we could also see inside the classroom. And sometimes on the weekends, we could see next week's letter person! You know the letter people right? Back then they were balloons and they came with a cassette tape that taught you about that letter. I looked forward to those letter people each week, they were magical!

Fast forward 28 years, and Reilly is in Pre-K and has the letter people program. They are now stuffed animals and are just as admired by her and her friends as they were by me and my friends. This week marks week 26 for her of the program -- the last letter, Q! And to end the program they do a really cute event where Q marries U, because afterall they are always together. To celebrate, each child was encouraged to dress as their favorite letter person.

Reilly, obviously loves the letter R. But R, is Mr. R, so with some convincing I got her to let me turn her into the female version of Ms. R who loves ribbons and rainbows. Well, I didn't have rainbows on hand, so we went with ribbons.



I have to say that some of the parents went WAY out - but I thought we put in a pretty good effort. And I hope Reilly has fond memories of the letter people, just as I do!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Each year the girls celebrate Purim at school. They look forward to dressing up! This year I went to Brooke's shabbat and brought Reilly with us. We had a good time singing and dancing! We also went to a Purim carnival where the kids played games and got tatoos! They had a great time!




Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Training

We took in a nice spring training game at Disney....here is Brooke enjoying a PB&J while watching the game.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Honey I Shrunk the Kids

We have been enjoying Spring in Florida. The weather is perfect - we are out of the cold and not yet hot. So we took advantage of the fact that we live here and that it is 80 degrees in March - we took the kids to Disney for a few hours the other weekend. Here is a great picture of Brooke on top of the ant in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.



Brooke has quite the personality. She is stubborn as a mule, and a tad bit defiant. On days when I think about having another child, Brooke reminds me how challenging she can be ;-). The good news is that she is about 90% potty trained. She went two weeks without an accident...just had a couple off days, but seems to be back on, including at night! So I can't complain about that!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chocolate Party

It's birthday party season!!! And Reilly loves that!! Here she is with Doron at Doron and Livie's birthday party.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Daddy/Daughter Dance

Reilly and Mike went to (another) Daddy/Daughter dance this weekend. This time at Reilly's friend's church. She and Hope had the best time dancing, playing games and getting their faces painted!



Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, David!

David turned 5 last weekend, and what a FUN party! Reilly had a great time in the giant hamster ball and the foam pool. Here she is having a great time!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

School Performance

Reilly had her annual performance at school, the Red, White & Blue show in honor of President's Day. Such a difference this year from last - the kids were fantastic!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cooking School

Amy and I signed Charlotte and Reilly up for a kid's cooking class. We booked it months ago and the moms were really excited, so were the kids. We showed up, turns out the kids cook by themselves. Bonus! Amy and I got to go next door and have our nails done while the kids play. When we arrived back to taste the food and pick up the girls...the girls were ready to go and didn't care to eat the food. Charlotte, it turns out, liked the "chocolate chicken" recipe. Reilly, did not. She was ready to leave and didn't want to come back :-( Oh well. She did let me take one cute picture though - so it looks like she liked the place.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Difference

You hear about it...but you don't believe it. No two kids are alike.

When I was pregnant with Brooke people told me that. But I didn't really believe it. I compared the pregnancies, I compared their early days, and now I have realized I can't compare them. They are two different kids.

Reilly loves to hug. Brooke doesn't want to be touched.
Brooke loves ketchup, will eat it with a spoon. Reilly hates ketchup, doesn't want to see it on her plate.
Reilly is a rule follower. Brooke pretends not to hear the rules.
Brooke will choose veggies over a brownie. Reilly will always choose a brownie.

Two different kids with two different personalities - who both love each other.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brooke Loves Reilly

Brooke all of the sudden loves saying her sister's name - Reilly, Harris, Reilly, Harris. She also says EVERYTHING over and over again. So in the car this morning we were trying to get her to break it up a bit by making it a sentence. I captured one of those times on camera.

video

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Camping

We took our second ever family camping trip last weekend. You might remember we did our first one when Brooke was just a few months old and we loved it! So now that Brooke is through the toddler stage, we planned another one. This time we went back to Disney with 5 other families and we had so much fun!

We had a great time at the campfires, the kids rode their bikes and we even went for breakfast at Chef Mickey (I know, not very camping like!). It did start raining on the second day, so we set up a big tent that the kids could play in and hang out.

Chef Mickey:




Hiding from the Rain:


Reilly and Mason Feeding the Ducks:

The Damage from the Rain:

The Music (Sebastian):


Playing in the Rain: