Thursday, January 19, 2012

Me & My Buddy's been a long time.

Life is chugging along at Casa de Rancourt. Harper's school just started the second semester and she LOVES it. Not once has she not wanted to go. She barely needs me to stick around anymore.

And she's turning 4 in a few short weeks. It's hard to believe that 4 years ago I looked like this. With a little being in my belly and no idea if it was a boy or a girl. Then our lives changed forever and here we are. Unbelievable.

Harper's school days allow me to spend some extra special mommy-time with Paisley. Without siblings myself I don't have a lot of experience in handling the daily balance of giving 2 children the attention they need. So thankfully while Harper is enjoying her mornings at school Paisley and I are off adventuring. The photo here was taken in Woodstock. We regularly attend story time at the library, walk around the local shops and recently we signed up for Paisley's first music together class.

Paisley is her own little determined person. Girlfriend will carry a chair from the kiddie table over to where I'm cooking dinner 100 times if I keep moving her back out of the way. I put the chairs up long before we get to 100 but I'm certain there would be no stopping her. This attitude is going to serve her well in long as she and I can survive it at 1.

The girls are becoming such close pals. Harper's favorite game is "I'm the mom (her ALWAYS), you're the (Dad, Neighbor, Big Sister, Grandma - I'm the neighbor ALWAYS), Paisley's the baby." Every now and then she and Paisley are sisters but she's the big kid sister. Sometimes when she's the mom I say her name 50 times and tell her Paisley has a stinky diaper and she needs to change it. I'm not sure if it makes her appreciate me more but this lady loves to be a mom. We have playdates with our friends and if they have a baby in the family that is all Harper wants to do. Lucky for her we have baby Wes & Porter and we see them at least once a week. She even gets to give Wes his bottle sometimes. Lucky girl. Paisley is showing a love for babies too. She wants to kiss them a few times to many and she happy pats them with that slightly too hard movement of a 1 year old. Soon enough'll be able to cuddle those babies right up just like sister. Until then...enjoy being the baby.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Harper's 1st day - with parents
Have I mentioned that Harper started pre-school this September? By now it feels exactly how our routine has always been but it was a big adjustment for us. And by us I mean me.

Harper will turn 4 in February, that means that this is actually her pre-pre-school year.  Which to me means there's really  no great reason for her to go this year.

Except that she LOVES her school and we do to. She is going to pre-school where I took her to morning garden every Friday last year. She has the same two teachers and feels so comfortable. She is loving every minute and becoming such a grown up little person. It's tremendous to watch.

I met this new milestone with a lot of tears. Not out of worry for my little person but out of nostalgia for simpler times. Times without Paisley even, when Harper and I had no agenda and did everything together. In my 3 1/2 years of being a mom I've never looked back and wished for the past. Even now, I wouldn't change anything about either of our girls and it's nothing but amazing to watch them grow and develop. Every stage is better than the last.

So after my two straight days of tears, here we are. Loving pre-school and so happy with our decision. Harper is an amazing big sister but Paisley is at a very exploratory age and if Harper's doing something she wants in. Even if that means destroying something Harper's been working on. This time apart has been good for them and I get to give Paisley a little taste of what it was like for Harper to have mommy all to herself.

For our family pre-school has done great things.  But I'm still happy to know I'll have these girls all to  myself in the summer.

Harper's 1st day all on her own. Our beautiful big girl!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Fun

I was not ready for fall. I needed the warm summer air and hot mid-day sun to stick around just a little while longer. My hopes were met with one very recent "heat wave" where it was nice and chilly in the mornings and night but got down right hot in the middle of the day. But it has passed and now fall is upon us.

We have kicked off the season with an apple picking trip and plan to go pumpkin picking this week. We usually go apple picking every year, this year, Harper dressed herself and insisted on wearing her sisters headband. Oh boy. She does a lot of outfit choosing...this was one of her first missteps.

Harper is becoming such a little lady. She wants to help and for the first time she's actually helpful. She can help me cook or prepare dinner and I recently ordered these choppers that they use at her school to cut carrots. They are safe for tiny fingers but still cut carrots.

She is so fun to be around and holds a full conversation with you...and her memory is amazing. You can't sneak anything by this little lady...she's unreal. I also can't get over the things she remembers from the past. She surprises me a lot.

In this picture Harper was helping me make some pretzels for an Oktoberfest party we were going to. She coated each pretzel with egg and butter and shook on the salt. They were delicious!

Paisley is at such a fun stage. Her and Harper and just starting to really be able to play and enjoy each other's company. It's so fun to watch their relationship develop. Paisley loves her sister...she is obsessed with the hair clips Harper wears and sometimes tries to pull them out of her hair.

She becomes so interested in new things. She is showing a preference to a few specific toys and really enjoys the play kitchen. She is finally starting to show more of an interest in books and brings me her board books sometimes to read. Paisley is growing her vocabulary and has added doll to the mix. She is doll crazy like her sister and especially loves the little dolls we have, I think because she can carry them easily and cuddle them right up.

She is super cuddly and will nuzzle in and give you a huge when you least expect it. Duck face has turned into a kissing face and she gives kisses all the time.

In this picture she's about to sneak up on her unsuspecting sister and grab her book so she'll pay attention to her. Oh boy!

Paisley had her 12 month check up and she weighs 18 lbs and is 28" tall. She barely gained since 10 months because she's so busy and is now running all over the house. I can't say I'm surprised.

Right now I'm working on organizing the toys so they are easier to play with and put away and getting rid of stuff that is no longer age appropriate. It's going to be a long winter indoors and I want to be ready!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Celebrating A Year

We recently celebrated a year in the life of this little girl.

Easily the fastest year of my life and by far one of the most challenging and enjoyable. Paisley's arrival made our family complete. She taught me that a mama's love grows when a new baby arrives, rather than being divided. She made Harper a big sister and that girl was made to be a big sister. She is loving, thoughtful, inclusive and gentle. Their friendship is growing each day and it's a joy to watch.

So last weekend we celebrated Paisley and we celebrated us. And what better way to celebrate than with a party full of family and friends.

My parents were kind enough to host since Will, Paisley and I went to a wedding on the Cape on Paisley's actual birthday and our anniversary. So on Sunday their house filled with kids running and adults chatting and catching up.

Paisley loved hearing us sing Happy Birthday to her. Her mouth got wide and her eyes lit up. We sang for several days because it made her so happy. She wasn't as big of a fan of opening presents but girl will have that down at Chirstmas.

She hated the cake. Everyone teased me for making Harper a cake with avocados and cream cheese frosting with very little sugar but Harper ate that cake up. Paisley's regular cake with store frosting was a little too sweet for her and she wasn't a fan.

But don't worry...the big kids LOVED it!

Earlier in the week we had a party with friends. Of course I didn't take a single picture but you can read more about it here at my friend's blog Rub Some Dirt On It.

Celebrating Paisley

Paisley's first birthday cake

Dinosaur cups and stickers for the kiddos

Annie & Paisley

 Pre-party nap...girl needs to rest up for such exciting events!

Happy Birthday Paisley Bryce. We sure love you!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vacation Take Two

This year has been a little crazy for say the least. Will is in paramedic school takes up at least one day of his week and now that he's doing clinical hours things have been much busier.

This is in addition to the huge home improvement project of putting in all new hard wood floors on the first floor of our house and taking out the wall between our kitchen and dining room.

Harper started preschool three days a week which changed our schedule even more. We all agreed that our vacation in June (although amazing) was not enough vacation for the summer. So we planned a weekend away with some fire department friends in September.

Will and I have lived a few places in our 6 years of marriage, Boston, Virginia, Brattleboro and Quechee/Lebanon. To say the least we are happy not to be moving again anytime soon but we are also blessed for the amazing people who have come into our lives along the way.

In Lebanon we have made some really great friends through Will's work. They aren't just work friends that you spend time with a work functions. They are real friends that we want to spend lots of time with. Our friends Michelle and Jimmy have a son who is just 2 weeks younger than Harper. We would want to spend lots of time with them anyway but our kids make it even more fun.

So we went with them to Maine to a place where they had stayed before. We ate good food, saw some sights, played on the beach, flew kites and found a zoo that was much more fun than it looked from the outside. It was a super fun and busy trip and we loved every minute of it.

Zoo watching on Daddy's shoulders

Feeding the goats

Most amazing butterfly I've ever seen

Flying kites - Harper flew her first kite at a puppet show in Putney with my dad...ever since we've been excited to do it again. The windy beach day proved the perfect opportunity.

We had as much fun flying it as she did

Elephant ride

Best pals

Daddy & Paisley at the beach

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Duck Face

Paisley has started making this face that we lovingly refer to as duck face. She does it ALL the time. And yet capturing her on camera has proven to be rather difficult.

At first we thought we were going to have to simply show you an example of Harper copying duck face.

But then we got lucky...and Paisley did some repeat duck face that we were able to capture. You may think this face looks more like she's puckering up for a kiss but then you clearly have never been lucky enough to get a kiss from miss P (or any other 9 month old I imagine.) Her kisses come from a wide open mouth. They are awesome.

Without further delay....Duck Face....

Besides the novelty of trying to capture duck face on camera it's just so darn cute we encourage it. But sometimes...if you're really get this face:

This one is the real favorite. She's so awesome!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Vacation

In June we went on our first ever family vacation. We tried to organize the whole Gatz family and ended up with a decent turn out. Next year we'll get everyone!

There was 7 nights of this:

As well as 7 days of this:

We had a carrot and kid loving donkey for a neighbor and the beautiful Lake Champlain at our doorstep. Thanks to some friends from the fire department we had two kayaks and some amazing weather. We went on a few adventures but spent a lot of out time enjoying the beautiful house. It was an awesome time.
Harper had the best time with her cousin Owen. It was amazing to watch them play. They got along so well and had a lot of fun together. It was really awesome. You may be wondering where all the pictures of Harper are...she was much too busy to do much posing...I did my best.
I was reminded how much fun cousins are on this trip. Not just Harper and Paisley's cousins...but my cousins too.
Here's hoping we can make this happen every year!