Friday, January 29, 2010

Zombie baby

The other day we watched The Descent. It's basically a scary movie about a bunch of tough $#!+ girls who go caving and end up getting killed off by zombie like creatures. I don't think I would recommend it.

We had poor timing in watching the movie too. Addie lost her voice and when she complains she sounds JUST like the zombie creatures in the movie. Since we could hardly hear her cry we decided to let her sleep next to our bed. Bad mistake. I had zombie attacking baby dreams all night long, combined with babies turning into zombies and taking over the world dreams.

Don't let her cute face fool you. Look at her - you know she's thinking "My plan has worked... Soon I will rule the world!"

CORRECTION: My husband informs me that the creatures in the movie were more vampire like. If you crossed a vampire with a zombie and throw in cannibal, you get the creatures I'm talking about. But I'm sure without that explanation, you still could have imagined the sounds they make and be right.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Time to start working out

Ellie: What's wrong, Mommy?
Mommy: What do you mean?
Ellie: What's wrong when you go like dat? (leaning over and making a funny look on her face).
Mommy: I have no idea. (so I leaned over like she demonstrated).
Ellie: See? What's wrong right dere?
Mommy: Oh, that's my fat on my tummy bulging when I lean over.
Ellie: But why?
Mommy: Remember how I had a big tummy when Addie was inside of me?
Ellie: Yeah?
Mommy: Sometimes it takes a while for the skin to go back to normal.
Ellie: You be better soon?
Mommy: Yes, I'll be better soon (I hope).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


After reading a princess book where they get married and live happily ever after, Ellie says to me:

Ellie: When I get married, I want to wear the funny dress too.
Mommy: You want to wear a big white princess dress just like her?
Ellie: Yeah! No, no. I know! When I get married I want to be a tiger and I will scare people.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Daddy can't come with us

Mommy: Daddy can't come with us.
Ellie: But why?
Mommy: He needs to stay here to watch Addie.
Ellie: Oh. Daddy, you can't come wif us because you haffa watch Addie?
Daddy: Yeah.
Ellie: And you can't come wif us because you don't have black shoes on.
Daddy: Oh?
Ellie: Mommy has black shoes. Aunt Air-yin has black shoes and I haf black shoes.
Daddy: I see.
Ellie: We're rockin' it!
Aunt Erin: Yeah, you go Girl!
Ellie: We're rockin' it, right Aunt Air-yin?
Aunt Erin: We sure are!

Tackling Daddy

Ellie: I'm a big girl now and dis is what big girls do.
Daddy: Ugh.
Ellie: Dis is how big girls do it.
Daddy: Ugh.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Daddy is coming home today!

Today Daddy comes home from Japan. Thank goodness! I've discovered that I'm a much better Mommy when Daddy is around. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be a single parent, let alone one of two kids!

Ellie misses Daddy terribly. And in an abstract way that she probably doesn't understand, she misses her Mommy too. Soon, little girl, soon things will go back to normal.

We were able to use Gmail's chat a couple times while Daddy was gone and Ellie loved being able to talk to him on the computer.

When Daddy told her that he is coming home in a couple days, she said "Mebee when you come home couple days, you can take clothes off and run around and play with me." Umm... maybe Daddy will just run around with his PJs on instead. She seemed fine with that idea as long as there was still playing and she could still have her naked time.

When Daddy told her that he had a present for her, Addie, Mommy and Aunt Erin, Ellie said "When you get home I can open my present? And I can open Addie's present too? She's too little to open presents. That would be silly - Addie opening presents. That would be silly baby."

Seeing double?

I think this is a good example of how older pictures of Ellie (above at 8 months) look very much like Addie (below at 3 months). Strange, isn't it?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010


Ellie: Mommy, I have a present for you!
Mommy: Oh, you do???! What is it?
Ellie: Affa I'm done going pee-pee I can run around naked for you!

Big Sister Quote of the Day XXIV

Ellie: Hi Addie! How are you today?
Addie*: I'm sad because I'm crying.
Ellie: Would you like a bun-bun?
Addie: Yes please.
Ellie: Here you go. One bun-bun for you and one bun-bun for me.
Addie: Tank you!
Ellie: Welcome. Are you happy now?
Addie: Yes.

* Voice of Addie provided by Ellie (imagine a small squeaky version of her own voice).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gotta Love Colorado!

Photo taken by Paul Richman

I recently befriended a guy who has gotten into photography as his retirement plan (what a fantastic idea). I wanted to share the photo above because it's simply perfect. I don't think it would be possible to ask for anything more from a photo. The flatirons in the background, the fall leaves on the trees, the geese in the sky, the balloons in formation and all that included in the reflection in the water - Perfect!

This was taken just a couple miles from where I live. Up until a couple years ago I was certain that I wanted to raise my children in the mountains somewhere west of Denver (or Boulder). I grew up in the mountains and loved it and always thought I would return to do the same for my children. That was until I had a job for a few months that required me to have a 45 minute (or more) commute. It was the commute that shattered my perfect vision of living in the mountains.

That dang commute! It didn't take long for me to realize that I wanted more out of life than all that. I wanted more out of life than living in a house with a long driveway, hidden in the trees, with a stream going through the property, with possibly a view of some snow-capped peak, surrounded by buggling elk in the fall and wild flowers in the spring. I wanted more. I wanted more time with my children.

The problem with a long commute is that it takes away valuable time with my children. Maybe when they're older, but right now I can't imagine spending two hours a day in the car when that time could be spent with them.* They go to bed so early that I only have a couple hours a day to cherish them. I'm not willing to give that up.

That being said... I only recently started to appreciate how incredibly beautiful it is when you live further from the mountains. Being able to see the mountain range in the distance is much prettier than I ever gave credit to in the past. It's different than being IN the mountains, isn't it?

And take this picture... That's where I live! I ended up living in a beautiful place, didn't I?

* OK, you caught me. I live a 5 minute walk from work but have a 45 minute commute because we transferred to a daycare in Longmont. It's freakin' $800/mo cheaper than the one down the street! Besides, it doesn't really count when I have the kids with me half that time - the conversations I can have with Ellie in the backseat make me smile enough that somehow I don't mind the commute.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day XXIII

Ellie: Mommy, let me tell you someping. Come here for a mindunt.
Mommy: What?
Ellie: I want to gif Addie a kiss and a hug.

Wordless Wednesday XXIV

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day XXII

After a frustrating few minutes trying to put Addie down for a desperately needed nap while Ellie desperately felt like she needed my attention, I had a talk with her about how Daddy is going to be gone for an entire week (he's going to Japan - it should be a character-building week for me) and I would need her help...

Addie: Wah. Wah.
Mommy: Oh oh. Addie lost her pacifier. I'll go give it back to her and I'll be right back.
Ellie: Ok.
Mommy: (returning) I'm back now.
Addie: (after a few minutes) Wah. Wah.
Mommy: Oh oh. She's crying again.
Ellie: Mommy, let me tell you someping. I help you now. I go gif Addie her pacifier. I be RIIIGHT back.
Mommy: You're going to do it for me?
Ellie: Yes. I be RIIIIGHT back and afa I'm back, I give you a hug.

And that's what she did. She went upstairs, gave Addie her pacifier and came down and said "Now I gif you a hug." Addie didn't hold up her end of the deal, but Ellie gets points.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day XXI

"Addie, please don't cry. That will make me sad."

Social disgrace

Poor Addie. Every time she tries to be social, she ends up spitting up. Every single time. Imagine how this is going to effect her social life...

Hot boy: Hey there, what's your sign?
Addie: [sputter]
Hot boy: Uh... never mind. (turns away)

Cute boy: How you doin'? (must be said like Joey in Friends)
Addie: [puke]
Cute boy: Uh... feel better soon? (walks away)

Boy with great eyes: I love your eyes, what's your name?
Addie: [barf]
Boy with great eyes: Are you ok?
Addie: I think I got some in my eye.
Boy with great eyes: See ya! (runs away)

Muscular boy: You look like you fell down from Heaven.
Addie: [gag]
Muscular boy: Uh, not you. (looks for another girl)

Addie's friend: Look at that cute boy
Addie: [drool]
Addie's friend: You got that right! Here, wipe your drool off, girl!

She may have problems talking to the boys when she gets older, but at least she can always fall back on her good looks:She can perfect the "shy girl in the corner" look. There's still hope.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

If you think it's so great, you do it!

Ugh, people. Ugh. It sucks being a member of a sick family.
Since I know hearing about sickness is never fun, I start off with a picture of how we spent our ENTIRE day on Thursday, puke-bucket and all.

I'll try to spare the details and only give you enough information to know what happened:
- Addie got sick Tuesday night.
- After hours nurse told us to take her to the ER to check for dehydration.
- We were at the ER from 11:30 PM to 3:30 AM trying to convince Addie to drink rather than sleep.
- Wednesday both Daddy and me stayed home from work to recover some sleep.
- Wednesday night Ellie was up all night puking. Literally ALL FREAKIN' NIGHT.
- Thursday Ellie and Addie stayed home with me, on the couch the entire day.
- I got sick.
- Daddy came home from work early because he was sick.
- We drew straws to see who would be up all night puking, he lost.
- Addie has woken every two hours at night since - Mommy needs sleep.

There were some funny moments, though. When I suggested that Ellie stand by the toilet in case she needed to throw up again, she responded with a strong "NO WAY! I'M GOING BACK TO BED!" like she didn't think it sounded fun at all to puke again. We laughed because the tone of her voice definitely said, "If you think it's so wonderful, you stand by the toilet!"

Luckily the bug that attacked the family was a fast one. We're all feeling much better now, aren't we girls?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A child's digestive system

Ellie: Look, Mommy. All my cold stuff is gone.
Mommy: I see that. Your slushy is not just juice.
Ellie: Yeah. Is warm now. All my cold stuff is in my tummy now.
Mommy: In your tummy?
Ellie: Yeah!
Mommy: Why is it in your tummy?
Ellie: Because I drank it all gone!
Mommy: Oh.
Ellie: And now, is taking a nap!
Mommy: What?
Ellie: My cold stuff is taking a nap in my tummy!
Mommy: Is that what happens after it goes into your tummy?
Ellie: Yeah!

Big Sister Quote of the Day XX

"No, Addie. You can't have peas for dinner. You too little. You only eat milk from Mommy's boo-boos... And you haffa be ree-a ree-a careful wif Mommy's boo-boos."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tid-Bits VII

I love how when infants have a great big giant yawn that never seems to end, they complain afterwards. It's like they're saying, "OMG, Mom! I couldn't close my mouth! It was horrible! Did you see?"

I love how children have complete faith in their parents. They will throw themselves around and towards the ground in awkward positions, totally expecting you to catch them and keep them safe.

I love how Ellie sings the moon song with me. "I see the moon (point to the moon on the ceiling) and the moon sees me (point to / poke ourselves) and the moon sees the one I want to see (point to / poke each other)..."

I love how my Niffer handle (the loop on the side of Michael's pants) has become an Ellie handle. She likes to hold it while they walk together - through the park, parking lot or grocery store.

I love how if something happened in the past, then it was "yesterday" and if something is going to happen in the future, it'll be "tomorrow." This is the case even if we're talking about something happening only a couple hours from now.

I love how Ellie never really learned to run fast. She just runs with more motion - practically walking. She pants more, though, so that still counts.

I love how Addie seems to both calm down and get more excited whenever she hears my voice enter the room.

I love the huge smiles that Addie gives me when she first wakes up. I love to know that she enjoys seeing me first thing in the morning.

I love how cars drink "grass" when they get thirsty. Apparently it's not just for cows now.

I love how soy milk is "snowy milk" and eggnog is "egg milk."

Big Sister Quote of the Day XIX

Ellie knows exactly where Bun Bun Bear goes - with the baby. One morning, actually quite some time ago, she found Bun Bun Bear on the floor in Mommy's room. She knew where it went! She picked it up and ran into the baby's room - tossing Bun Bun Bear into the crib. Then she left and closed the door behind her.

Meanwhile, Addie is sleeping peacefully in her crib until she is attacked by a Bun Bun Bear and hears a huge bang of the door slamming afterwards.

It was one of those slow motion things where you can totally see what is going to happen but you just don't have the time to do anything about it. Daddy said "Oh, look what you did, you woke the baby" and Ellie looked confused about what the problem was "I just trying to give Bun Bun Bear to Addie."

We apologized to Ellie for responding so quickly and harshly but explained to her that we needed to start being quiet when the baby is sleeping.

The other day she found Bun Bun Bear on the floor again and went to put it away in the baby's crib. This time whispering, she asked Mommy "Is ok? I just trying to give Bun Bun Bear to Addie." I responded with "Yes, sweetie. It's ok. Thank you for asking," to which she whispered "Welcome!"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

NOT OK (continued)

Thanks to both Salina and MJH for posting responses to my post a few days ago. I wanted to respond to both of them and "adjust" what I said last time.

First, mostly in response to Salina - I do think that disciplining other people's children is such a tough subject. Like you, I'd like to think that if I didn't witness my child doing something, I would have no problem with a parent attempting to discipline her. But, that being said, you hit it on the nail when you admitted that you were more fearful of what you were doing when you actually had to physically *touch* the boy you were talking to. I say that I would have no problem with a parent who witnessed something happen disciplining my child, but that's making one big assumption: that their form of disciplining closely matches mine. If a parent were to spank my child or even aggressively pull her over to force an apology out of her, I would be pissed.

Likewise, with MJH's example, if that parent didn't actually witness anything herself either, I'd be pissed. I'd be curious to know how MJH feels about other parents attempting to discipline his son #2. Is it a relief for him? MJH, you mentioned that your son has to experience things himself and tends to not believe it when you tell him something. Does that mean he'd believe it more if it came out of the mouth of another child's parent? Would that upset you?

Now, in response to MJH's post, I agree that it was wrong of me to assume that the boy's foul language came from his parents. It could have just as easily come from older children, school or even TV. I guess there are aspects of my family's history that make it easy for me to automatically assume something is wrong domestically.

I feel like if I were the mother in your example, I never would have suggested how you handled your son. I think that you, as your son's parent, should know what happened (though I realize in your specific example, she didn't know either), but beyond that I don't think it's any of my business. From my perspective, I feel like it is my place to make sure that my children see that I can and will stand up for them (if needed) - beyond that it's totally up to you how you deal with the information of what your son did.

I definitely liked how you didn't get mad at your son right away. I liked how you told the mother that you'd talk to him. I like that you wanted to get his perspective on what happened because that just seems to show your son that you respect him. On the other hand, I also like that you don't automatically assume that your son is telling the truth. I'm sure many parents fall into that trap. Having your older son earn your trust and then standing up for #2 seemed like a nice fit.

In the end, I think that *if* the boy's parents had gotten mad at Salina for how she reacted, then she had every right to say "I'm sorry you feel that way, but you did not see what happened." And I think that the mother in MJH's example went overboard by telling him how he should discipline his child. Forget the fact that she fell into the trap I mentioned before, of automatically assuming her child was innocent, and then to not do anything herself to try to keep her daughter away from your son... I think that even if I was convinced that my daughter did nothing wrong, I would try to make sure she stayed away from the "boy who hit her."

So... when situations like this arise, do we kindly discipline the child or do we tell the parents about the situation from our perspective and leave it up to them?

Mixed feelings

It appears as though we have ourselves a thumb-sucker.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A thank you - regarding Santa

Thanks Salina, Spleeness and MJH for responding to my Santa post a couple days ago. The combination of your responses made me feel much better about the whole topic.

Salina - I liked your perspective about how it's really not much different than teaching our kids to use their imagination, and I liked the reminder that St. Nick was a real person.

Spleeness - I liked your reminder that every family is different and that there are lots of people who grow up believing in Santa but still have strong relationships with their parents. Ok, you didn't say all that, but that's the message I got. lol.

MJH - I liked your down-to-earth rationalization of it. You tell your kids Santa **IS** real because he is. You're Santa. I like that. I'm real enough to eat the cookies that the kids leave for me on Christmas Eve.

Next year, dangit! We're making cookies!

Wordless Wednesday XXIII

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Ellie: Look at me! Look at me! (standing trying desperately to balance on one leg)
Mommy: What are you doing?
Ellie: I'm a mango! I'm a mango!
Mommy: You're a flamingo?
Ellie: Yes. I'm a mango! I'm a naked mango!

A taste of my own medicine

Mommy: Ok, it's time to go upstairs now.
Ellie: No, Mommy. Axe-k wif manners.
Mommy: Ellie, can we please go upstairs?
Ellie: Try again.
Mommy: Ellie, can we please go upstairs now? Please?
Ellie: Dank you for asking like a big girl! We can go now.
Mommy: Thank you.
Ellie: Welcome!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day XVIII

Addie: Squawk. Ack. Wah.
Mommy: Addie, are you having issues?
Ellie: No, Mommy. Addie is too little to ave shoes!


I know that the last couple of weeks have been filled with posts that haven't exactly been the type that brings a smile to your face or makes you laugh, but I promise this is the last one of those for a while...

I'm definitely one of those people who thinks of witty comebacks or fantastic solutions minutes, if not days, after I need them. Recently I've had two experiences that left me speechless and not knowing what to do, but ask me about them now and here is how I would have responded:

Experience 1:
We're shopping in a store, taking advantage of the after holidays sale. Ellie is with us and even insists that she gets naked in the dressing room just like Mommy. When not in the dressing room, Ellie is playing with Daddy running back and forth in different parts of the store, but over all being very well behaved considering her age. Twice, I repeat TWICE, one of the store clerks jumped out from behind a rack of clothes and picks Ellie up in a attempt to play along. Let me repeat that - A COMPLETE STRANGER JUMPS OUT AND PICKS ELLIE UP!!!

My response:
I realize that the store clerk was just "playing" but seriously - it is NOT OK to ever just grab and pick up a toddler unless you want her parent to bash you for thinking you're carrying her away. However, she was just playing along, so instead of doing anything about it, let's turn it into a lesson for Ellie. Immediately after the lady picked Ellie up the first time, we should tell Ellie that if a stranger ever picks her up again that she needs to yell her best and loudest yell. The louder the better. Mommy and Daddy do not ever want a stranger to pick her up.

Experience 2:
We're at our favorite chicken place playing on the playground. Ellie is up in amongst the tubes and is just sitting at the top of the slide. Gramma playfully asks the other little boy in the room if he would go check on her. The boy sticks his head inside the jungle gym and yells "Hey, stupid b!+c#, where are you?!" Shocked, we asked him "What did you just say?" and he repeats louder "Supid b!+c#, where are you!?"

My response:
Kids will be kids and you can not control someone else's child. Seriously, it's amazing the broad range of politeness that toddlers have, isn't it? However, it is completely inappropriate for this child to call my daughter a stupid b!+c# and his parents should know about it. I will walk up to his father and mother (poor lady because you know where the boy learned such language) and say something like "Your son just called my daughter a Stupid b!+c#. I don't care how you handle the situation but I just thought you should know."

Sigh. Next time - darn it! I'll try to think of how to properly handle situations that upset me quickly enough that I can actually apply my response.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Happy 3 Month Birthday, Addie!

You probably don't want to hear what your parents were doing a year ago.

Friday, January 08, 2010

An unintentional interview

A few weeks ago, Salina posted a comment that sparked a topic for me...

"... have you gone back in your blog to look at what you blogged about Ellie?"

Yes I have. Honestly I didn't write nearly as often then as I do now. I have found that I go back to try to see when Ellie accomplished certain milestones and how much she weighed or how well she was sleeping. To my disappointment I didn't keep track of that stuff much at all, so I haven't been able to have solid numbers to compare Addie to. I just have a gut feeling. I *feel* like Addie is much bigger than Ellie was. When I look at their pictures I feel like Ellie's 4 month pictures look a lot like Addie's 2 month pictures. It seems like Addie is more alert - I don't have nearly as many pictures of her with funky "where the heck are you looking" glances on her face as I do with Ellie. Addie seems to look straight at the camera with her eyes wide open so much more than Ellie ever did at this point in her life. But other than that, I haven't done a lot of looking to see what I wrote about, nor have I tried to write about the same things. I feel like my life is different now and I should just write what it's like now. Again, having said that though, I write more now than I did then.

"Do you find yourself not as amazed since it's the second time around?"

This is a tough question. You're right - there are some things that I'm not as amazed by because I've seen them before. Both of my girls were very good at holding up their heads even as newborns. I marveled at that fact the first time and this time it's just a given. This time I didn't stress too much about getting my first smiles out of Addie at a later date than normal. Ellie smiled for the first time at 7 weeks (typically a baby smiles at 6 weeks) and Addie did it at almost 9 weeks. I didn't try to force one out of her because I knew the time would come and that it would come quick enough.

So in many regards, your question is correct. I do not find the same things amazing as I did last time. However, there are so many other things that I am constantly amazed by (and same goes for my husband). Most of these things revolve around comparing the two babies - and 99% of the time it's because Addie is easier than Ellie. We're constantly amazed that when Addie cries we can still hear each other speak. We're amazed that we can hold Addie - really just hold her without needing to be standing or rocking. We're amazed that it's relatively easy to calm her down. We're amazed that we've seen her PUT HERSELF TO SLEEP a few times. We're amazed that we can put her down AWAKE and she'll fall asleep. We're amazed that if she is unhappy, she'll complain for a while instead of instantly freaking out like the world is going to end. We're amazed that she can be in her car seat without crying. We're amazed that bottle feedings do not result in a battle of the wills. In a nutshell we're always so dumbfounded by how much easier she is than Ellie was and you can often hear one of us asking "How did we ever survive Baby Ellie???"

"What things do you want to make sure you do or talk about for Addie that you did for Ellie, so that she also gets to read all about her early life like Ellie will? I personally find it hard to balance writing about both of mine and being equal with pictures."

This is what I really wanted to write about (sorry for the long prologue - lol). Even from the beginning of my blog, I never intended it to chronicle my daughters' lives. I never wanted it to be a constant update of what's going on with them. For example, if I wanted to give updates on what's going on with them, I probably would have been bragging about how easy potty training went (which, btw, Ellie has been fantastic for almost two months now!). I probably would be able to look back and tell you exactly when Ellie rolled over the first time. Though I could see why such information might be interesting, I didn't want that to be what my blog was about. I want my blog to be about how much enjoyment they bring to my life. I want to write about the things that make me laugh or smile or just melt my heart, with the occasional topic that makes me question how to be a better Mommy. I'm not sure if that makes sense - that I want this blog to be about ME even though it's all about THEM.

In regards to giving each of them equal time - I'm making an assumption that it will even out. I talk more about Ellie now because she does more, but I'm assuming that when Addie gets older she'll do just as many things that make me laugh as Ellie has. Hopefully I will be able to pay attention to them when they happen. I do not stress about giving them "equal" time because of the assumption that it will even out.

That being said, the one thing I do want to be sure to do is scrap booking. I have done some amazing (tooting my own horn) scrap books for Ellie and I really want to do the same with Addie. I'm already disappointed in the fact that I just don't have the same number of pictures of Addie as I did with Ellie, but I am striving to give her wonderful scrap books as well. Maybe quality will make up for quantity? She may not have as many pages in her book, but I think the ones she does end up with will be more impressive. I am a bit obsessed with my scrap books and already it bothers me that I'm a couple months behind (that's what I get for having a baby right before Halloween and Christmas), but I make it a point to keep it up. I certainly don't want Ellie to have a 1 year scrapbook and Addie not. Speaking of which, I need to update my scrapbook pictures posted on my blog!

So I hope that answers your questions. In a nutshell I want this blog to be about the things in parenting that bring me joy. Daily, weekly or even monthly updates don't cut it for me. If Ellie doesn't do something that makes me smile or laugh for a period of time, then I don't write. And those times have happened. You, as a reader, don't see it because I schedule my posts to publish on different days than I actually write. Often I'll write half a dozen posts and then not write anything for a week or so. I hope that my assumption is correct and the "face time" that my children get on my blog will one day even out. I certainly hope that Addie doesn't ever read my blog and think that I cared more for Ellie or that Ellie made me happier, but the same can be said for Ellie.

Big Sister Quote of the Day XVII

Ellie: Addie, is your turn to read book.
Addie: Blah blah. Squawk.
Ellie: Good. Now I turn da page.
Addie: Squawk. Ah. Ack.
Ellie: Oh? Das interesting. Next page.
Addie: Squawk.
Ellie: Now is my turn to read da book.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Dear Ellie

I will never fully understand why it feels like words just can not describe how much enjoyment you bring to my life. You are one of the sweetest little girls I have ever known and I am so very proud to be your Mommy.

You are so very polite and you have a big heart. You often ask for things with a "please" and rarely forget to follow up with a "thank you." You'll give hugs to just about anyone even if you only recently met them. In fact, you even once told us that the waitress was your favorite friend and insisted on waiting to give her a hug before we left the restaurant. You often tell both me and your daddy that you love us and those are by far the best words I have ever heard.

You are also a wonderful big sister. Before Addie came into our lives I was concerned about how difficult the transition would be for you, but you really stepped up to the challenge. You often reassure Addie by saying things like "It's ok, Addie. your big sissa is here now." You always have a suggestion on how to help calm our baby down, whether it be the pacifier, Bun Bun bear or simply a reminder to feed her. You give your baby sister lots of hugs and kisses and try to tickle her. I know it's hard to play with a baby who doesn't respond much yet, but it hasn't discouraged you yet. I don't know why we ever worried in the first place.

You are so cute (and smart too). The tasks that typically concern parents seemed so simple for us. Potty training went so smoothly that I'm not sure what happened. All I can say is that it shouldn't have surprised me. You have always been a smart cookie and have always learned things so quickly.

I don't really know what else to say because no matter what I say, it just doesn't seem to be enough. I doubt you will ever really know how much I love you - maybe when you have a daughter of your own? I cherish the time we spend together and I am so proud of the little person you have become.

I love you!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Off to a good start...

Addie had a wonderful day at daycare yesterday. What defines "wonderful?" Well, she had four 4 oz bottles of milk. It took Ellie three days at daycare before she accepted a bottle from her teachers. And Addie took three naps longer than an hour and one short nap. Ellie often came home from daycare only having slept a total of 30 minutes. Wow. What a difference!

To Santa or not to Santa

I'll be honest, this Christmas was a little difficult on us, though probably not in the way that most people would think. What was difficult for us is the concept of Santa.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to deprive Ellie (or Addie) of the opportunity to believe in magic. The world is a magical place, but it's only as magical as we allow it to be. Shouldn't little children spend their childhood believing in things like fairies, princesses, magic frogs that turn into princes... and Santa? I want my children to believe in magic because it exists only as long as you believe it does.

On the other hand, we definitely want to have an open and honest relationship with Ellie (and Addie). It just feels wrong to lie to her, no matter how big or small the lie is. We want her to believe us and everything we say. We want her to trust us. It's as simple as that. Isn't telling her that Santa exists a big fat lie? Is that fair of us to do?

The compromise that Michael and I came to was to keep Santa but to try to minimize the additional stories we tell. For example, we can say that Santa comes and brings toys to good little boys and girls, and we can even provide him a means of entering the house (for us, a magical key because we don't have a chimney), but it stops there. We're leaving the elaborate stories of how we need to leave cookies for Santa, and oh look! Santa ate all the cookies! And what about the carrots for Rodolph? Well, if she wants to leave such things, then so be it, but we will try not to suggest it ourselves.

On the other hand, we're also not going to tell the other families what to say. If Gramma wants to make up stories about how Santa leaves notes thanking us for cookies, or if Nana wants to make up stories explaining why he comes to her house AND our house, then that's fine. It seems to me that it's up to them what words and stories they want to tell the grandchildren.

Is that a strange compromise? It's like we're still allowing the magical lie to continue, but we're hoping for it to not come directly from us? Do other parents struggle with this same issue? I'm curious to know how you guys feel about it and how you rationalize Santa.
P.S. Yes, in the top picture Ellie is indeed wearing her swimsuit under her dress. And yes, that dress is a Hawaiian dress Nana got her a while ago. But, hey! At least the complete outfit looks a little Christmassy!

Monday, January 04, 2010

I needed a little laugh today

Taken from xkcd

Dear Addie

This morning I left you at daycare for the first time. I guess it should come as no surprise that I'm finding the transition to be difficult already. I miss you already. You're not quite 3 months old but I already can not imagine my life without you. You are such a sweet little baby and you hardly give me any reason to complain about how tiring it is to have two children. I love how you let me just hold you - just like babies in the movies. Part of me wondered if that was possible. I love holding you so much that I have to remind myself to put you down for tummy time and when you decide that you've had enough tummy time, you barely complain. You're such a happy baby and, in general, you're easy to calm down. I love how you give me a great big smile when you first see me in the morning. I love how much you talk and how much you love watching your sister already. What I love the most is how the sound of my voice alone seems to be enough to calm you down. You and I - we make a great team, don't we? I miss you already but I can not describe how excited I am to see you grow and discover new things. Just like with your sister before you, I am positive that the next few years will be the best I've ever had. Mommy loves you very much.