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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If the stars were mine*

If the stars were mine
I'd give them all to you
I'd pluck them down right from the sky
And leave it only blue

I would never let the sun forget
To shine upon your face
So when others would have rain clouds
You'd have only sunny days

If the stars were mine
I'd tell you what I'd do
I'd put the stars right in a jar
And give 'em all to you

If the birds were mine
I'd tell them when to sing
I'd make them sing a sonnet
When your telephone would ring

I would put them there inside the square
Whenever you went out
So there'd always be sweet music
Whenever you walk about

If the birds were mine
I'd tell you what I'd do
I'd teach the birds such lovely words
And make 'em sing for you
I'd teach the birds such lovely words
And make 'em sing for you

If the world was mine
I'd paint it gold and green
I'd make the oceans orange
For a brilliant color scheme

I would color all the mountains
Make the sky forever blue
So the world would be a painting
And I'd live inside with you

If the world was mine
I'd tell you what I'd do
I'd wrap the world in ribbons
And then give it all to you

I'd teach the birds such lovely words
And make 'em sing for you
I'd put those stars right in a jar and
Give them all to you

* Lyrics to "If the Stars Were Mine" by Melody Gardot


Sometimes I hear the lyrics to a song and think, "That poem fits me so perfectly, it's as though I wrote it myself. I COULD HAVE written that!" And sometimes I wish I had. And sometimes I share the song with my girls and Ellie thinks the singer sounds like a turkey when she is singing the skat portion of the song. And sometimes it just seems fitting to label the song The Turkey Song for no other reason than it makes me smile to do so. And sometimes my heart physically aches from being so happy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tid-Bits XV

I love how when Addie is sleepy she will play for a couple minutes and then lay her head down on the floor, pillow, or most likely my lap or chest, for 10 seconds and then get up as if refreshed and ready to play again.

I love how Ellie looks at her Bun Bun with such adoration and tenderness when she pretends that Bun Bun is her baby. One - it shows how sweet Ellie is and Two - it shows how she views I am with Addie. Both good.

The other day while Ellie was pretending to tell a story (I have no clue what it was about) and ended the story with "and Mommy specially loves you." Specially. I love it.

I love how Addie bobs up and down to the beat of the music when you put her behind the wheel of the car. She already knows how to rock it.

I love how Addie seems to give me huge kisses as her way of telling me that she wants to be breast fed.

From the mouth of Ellie, Unicorn helps out - "I have magination (imagination) in my tummy so dat means I can help you!"

I love Ellie's emerging sense of humor... "Would (wouldn't) it be funny if I don't have PJs all day long?" or "Would it be funny if I had a bed up dere (pointing to the ceiling)?" or "Would it be funny if turtles could fly?" or "Would it be funny if a cat got a haircut, without fuzz?" Always expecting me to say something like "Oh my gosh! That would be pretty silly!" and she would confirm with "Yeah!"

I love how instead of saying "How cool is that?" Ellie shortens it to "Cool is dat?"

When making a tower of blocks (complete with staircase) for Addie to knock down, Ellie said "Why do we need stairs? So the prince and princess go down when dey are done singing."

I love that Addie now shares with you. She gives you her pacifier, food, cups, spoons... all with a friendly "Eh?"

Addie has said her first wordish wordful type sound... Daw-da. But it's said in a VERY "DOGGIE!!!" sort of way.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cosmos

My neighbors have cosmos flowers in their yard. I LOVE them. They just seem so simple and so happy and a little bit on the wild side.
In their yard, they grow like a big bush, taller than me.
I love the pink and white colors that the flowers have - all mixed together.
They remind me of our old house in Maryland. I, too, once planted cosmos flowers in the backyard pots...
...and in our flowerbeds. Seeing them again makes me miss that house. It was our first REAL HOME. The one that Michael and I tore apart and put together JUST how we wanted it to be. We loved it. And occasionally I miss it.
And seeing the flowers in my neighbors' yard makes me realize that I have issues. Apparently, along with daffodils and cherry blossoms, cosmos flowers also make me think of Ellie because it was right after she was born that I planted my lovely cosmos flowers.
I have issues. Maybe it's not just me. Maybe every parent looks at anything beautiful and thinks "That's just like my child."
Or maybe it is just me. Regardless, this girl really IS beautiful...
...both inside and out. Even if she is just humoring me with letting me take so many photos of her.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sidewalk Art II

Happy Spiders:
Ellie: My spider is happy! Is yours happy?
Mommy: Yep, this one has a smile too, just like yours.
Ellie: (squeaky spider voice) Will you be my fwiend?
Mommy: (squeaky spider voice) Sure!
Ellie: Ok! Let's play!
Mommy: Can I make this one be a sad spider?
Ellie: Why?
Mommy: I don't know. Maybe he's not happy.
Ellie: But if he is sad because he has no fwiends, dere are a lot of fwiends right here so he is happy now. Ok?
Mommy: Ok.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day XLVII

After listening to Addie cry for a quite some time in the car seat...

Ellie: Mommy?
Mommy: Yeah?
Ellie: Dis is my sister.
Mommy: Bun Bun is your baby sister?
Ellie: Yeah. Bun Bun is my baby sister and Add-line is your baby sister.
Mommy: But I thought Addie was your baby sister.
Ellie: No. You can have her. It's your turn now.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why would you put that kind of pressure on a child?

When I first toured Ellie's daycare, I was impressed with what the kids knew before going into kindergarten (letters, a few words, very simple addition, etc). I wrote an email to the Mommy Group in Boulder asking what was normal for kids entering kindergarten.

Fast forward to last week, while having lunch at Old C's with Daddy... Ellie wants to play the games on her children's menu. The conversation went something like this:

Ellie: Let's play dis one now!
Daddy: Ok, let's see. Oh, this one could be tricky.
Ellie: Let's do it now! Can you show me?
Daddy: Ok, it's a word game. The first word is "History" (clue was "students learn dates and events from this subject"). Let's spell HISTORY.
Ellie: Ok.
Daddy: What's first? What letter makes a HHHH sound?
Ellie: Ummm.... H!
Daddy: Good job! What comes next? HHHHH-III?
Ellie: Umm... don't know.
Daddy: I'll draw it. What letter is this?
Ellie: I!!!
Daddy: Yep. What comes next? What letter sounds like SSSS?
Ellie: S!
Daddy: Good. What letter sounds like TTTT?
Ellie: T!
Daddy: What letter sounds like OOOO?
Ellie: O!
Daddy: Last letter. So far we have HISTOR... HISTOR-EEE. What letter makes that sound?
Ellie: E!
Daddy: Very good guess but when that sound comes at the end of a word, it's usually a Y that makes it.
Ellie: Oh.
Daddy: Look! We spelled out HISTORY. H-I-S-T-O-R-Y. HISTORY.
Ellie: OK. What's next?

(Next came MATH... with similar results. Almost always being correct on the first guess. If not, then the second.)

Ellie: What's next?
Daddy: I think you can guess this clue. The clue is "You _______ books." What do you do with books?
Ellie: I don't know.
Daddy: Do you sit on books?
Ellie: No way!
Daddy: Do you eat books?
Ellie: No way!
Daddy: Hmmm... then what do you do with books?
Ellie: READ DEM!!!
Daddy: Good job! Let's spell the word READ. What letter makes the sound RRRR?
Ellie: Umm.... Ummm... R!

(continue with similar results, spelling out READ... A little help from Daddy with the silent A)

Daddy: Ok, the next word is something in your head that makes you think.
Ellie: BLUES CLUES!!!!
Daddy: Nope. It's called your brain.
Ellie: What color is your brain?
Daddy: I think it's grey, but that's a good question. Ok, let's spell the word BRAIN. What letter makes the BBBBB sound?
Ellie: Umm... I don't know.
Daddy: BBBB-Brynn. BBB-Bumble. BBBB-Bat.
Ellie: B!!!

(continue to spell the word BRAIN)

Daddy: Ok, the last word is STUDY. Do you think we can spell it?
Ellie: Yeah!
Daddy: What letter makes the sound SSSS?
Ellie: Snake!
Daddy: Yeah, what letter is that?
Ellie: S!
Daddy: Good. Next is a TTTTT.
Ellie: T!
Daddy: Next is an UUHHH. Like UUUHHH-ncle David.
Ellie: U!
Daddy: DDDDDD.
Ellie: D!
Daddy: EEEEEE.
Ellie: E!
Daddy: Remember, it's the EEEE sound, but it's at the end of a word.
Ellie: Umm... umm... Y!
Daddy: Good job, Ellie! We just spelled out all the words! HISTORY, MATH, READ, BRAIN and STUDY!
Ellie: Mommy! Look what we did! We just spelled all da words! I just did it all by myself but Daddy helped!

To those parents who emailed me nasty letters saying you would never consider sending your child to a daycare that focuses on that style of learning, kids should be allowed to just be kids without worrying about the additional stress of letters and numbers... well all I have to say to you is BAH. In the wise words of Madeleine to the tiger: POO POO.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Smiley Faces

I think our practice is starting to pay off. These were actually drawn (at school) earlier in the month but I didn't get them until later. But check it out! Her teacher said all she did was draw the circles for the kids and then asked them to draw out a feeling (sad, happy, excited, etc). The kids did the rest. When I was asking the teacher the level of interaction she had on the project, she said she didn't give Ellie any instructions other than that. That means Ellie drew the smiley faces AND the bodies ALL BY HERSELF!!! Though the teacher did have to prompt her by asking "But where do the ears go?" (Note the tiny circles for ears) Regardless, I'll take it! Way to go, Ellie!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boys and girls

Ellie is at an age where she is still trying to figure out the differences between boys and girls. Recently when she walked in on Daddy peeing, she asked "Can I see your flute?" At that point, Daddy had already zipped up and didn't really feel a strong urge to pull it out again, so he said no. In a reassuring voice, she responded with "But I won't pull it off. I promise."

Later that night she walked in on Mommy going potty...
Ellie: What's dat called? (Pointing between my legs) Is dat a bajima?
Mommy: Va-gina? Yes.
Ellie: Do I have a Vad-jima?
Mommy: Yes, all girls have va-ginas.
Ellie: But not Daddy.
Mommy: That's right. Daddy's a boy.
Ellie: Daddy does not have a babima. What's called his?
Mommy: Daddy has a pee-niss.
Ellie: Oh. Everyone has a pajima cept Daddy. Daddy has a pee-ness.
Mommy: Actually all boys have a pee-ness.
Ellie: But dey can't sit down to go potty like we can! So dat's not good.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunflowers

Much like the spring daffodils remind me of Ellie, the late summer sunflowers make me think of Addie. All summer long I've been excited to see the fields covered in sunflowers like they were last year, but much to my great disappointment the fields remain empty. Perhaps the farmers cycle through the fields and thus don't grow the sunflowers every year? All I can see now are the wild flowers that grow on the side of the road (still pretty, but they kind of lack the BAM! feel).

As disappointed as I am that the great big fields filled of great big cheerful flowers aren't out this year (though I did drive by one the other day... way up north of here), I am very glad they were there last year. I want to be able to think of my pregnancy with Addie whenever I see the big flowers, and if that's not every year then it will be all the more special when it does happen.

But for now I have my own little sunflower to brighten my day...

6 months old

8 months old

10 months old

Monday, August 16, 2010

The World According to Ellie (3 years old)

I've been waiting a very long time to post this. I got the idea from this book I found online. I figured that I could save money and make it more personal if I just wrote about it on my blog. So without further ado, I present you with the World According to my Ellie... All answers and drawings are provided by Ellie herself, with a little help from Mommy.

My name is LORI-LELLE VINCENT

I am TREE years old. STILL?

This is how I write my name:

This is what I look like:

I have LELLOW... NO, BLOND HAIR. DA SUN MAKES IT LIKE DAT. I have BROWN EYES - JUST LIKE MOMMY! AND DADDY HAS BLUE EYES.

The people in my family are MOMMY AND DADDY AND ADD-A-LINE AND MERLIN. AND DERE IS GWAMMA AND NANA AND GWAPA AND PAPPY AND GWAMMIE AND AUNT ER-YIN AND UNCLE DAVID AND UNCLE JACOB. OH YEAH, AND GWAPA BLUE AND GWAMMA DEANE.

I love my mommy because SHE IS PRETTY. I LOVE GAMES WITH HER.


I love my daddy because HE LIKES TO PLAY WIF ME. HE LIKES TO SNUGGLE WIF ME.


I love my baby sister because SHE LAUGHS AT ME. SHE IS REE-AH GOOD AT CRAWLING.


I love Merlin because he is soft and HE LOOKS REE-AH REE-AH FUNNY.


My favorite toy is BUN BUN. I love Bun Bun because SHE'S MY BABY. SHE'S REE-AH SOFT. WANNA SEE?


My favorite friend is BRYNN. I love Brynn because SHE LIKES TO GO TO BOUNCE TOWN WIF ME. SHE LIKES TO CATCH ME. SHE IS MY SPECIAL FWIEND. WE ARE FWIENDS FOREVER.


The best things about me are I HAVE A BABY SISTERY and I'M A PWINCESS.

I am good at spinning...
video

... standing on one leg...
video

... and swimming.
video


My favorite color is GWEEN:
My favorite food is CHICKEN NUGGETS.

My favorite animal is A LION.

My favorite song is DA I LOVE YOU SONG! ("Say Hey" by Michael Franti)

My favorite book is THE SLEEPING HOUSE, WHERE EVERYBODY'S SLEEPING!

If I were a superhero, I would be ARIEL.

When I grow up I want to be TINKERBELL! NO... NO... ANGE-O-LINA BALL-O-INA!

My favorite place to visit is NANA'S HOUSE.

The most beautiful place I have ever visited is GWAMMA'S HOUSE.

I would like to help the world by... YOU KNOW DA RULES. IF WE ASK-A-NICK-KLEE HURT SOMEONE WE HAF TO SAY WE ARE SORRY. AND WE DON'T TALK WITH FOOD IN OUR MOUFS.

How many people are in a hot air balloon? SDIRTY FIVE.

How many people are in the entire world? SIXTY FIVE. ASK ME HOW MANY PEOPLE DERE IN DA SUMMER!

How many people are there in the summer time? FIFTY FIVE. ASK ME HOW MANY PEOPLE IN DA HOUSES!

How many people are in their houses right now? SDIRTY HUNDRED. NO, TEN! NO, TEN SDIRTY TWO HUNDRED!

What we will remember most about Ellie at this age is...
You are so proud to be a big sister and you take it upon yourself to make sure Addie is as happy as possible. You absolutely adore your best friend, Brynn. The smiles that the two of you give each other are so big and contagious. There's nothing else like it in the world. You are a very serious little girl, but you like to tease us and play certain little games with us. You love to read books and are very proud that you know some of them by heart and can read them to your sister. Whenever you're in a new, unfamiliar setting, you usually stand back and take it all in before deciding what to do, but to our surprise you're also very brave and have no problems with things like swimming (with a life jacket) or walking across a balance beam, even though many other kids might. You absolutely adore your grandparents and get super excited to visit either Gramma or Nana and always assure us that you will be back really soon. You are very smart and know so many numbers, letters and even the spelling of some words. You are very confident and very tender. You have a beautiful soul and you make Mommy and Daddy smile every day with the things you say.

You know how life works: First you grow up. Then you find your prince. Then you kiss for this <----> long. Then you are married. Then you spin and dance. Then you live happily ever after.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ellie's Art II

Drawing with Ellie has quickly become one of my favorite things to do.

Let me clarify... For the most part, Ellie does not come up with the drawings herself. We sit down and she tells me what she wants to draw. I then give her instructions like "First we need a circle for the body" and "now we need a straight line from this point to this point." She does what I tell her to do. It's a challenge for both of us. Sometimes it's hard for her to do what I instruct her to do, especially if it's a complicated picture. And sometimes it's hard for me to turn the results of her doing exactly what I requested into the picture she wanted.

The more we practice, the better she gets. For example, she now knows how to draw grass and she knows that we almost always start with a circle for the body. And she usually puts in the eyes, mouth and hair without being told how. If I provide dots for her, she has very little trouble whooping from one to the next to make things like trees or clouds. She knows that if she draws a bunch of straight lines in different colors then it becomes a rainbow.

But the rest of the details, she still relies on me to show her the tricks. Regardless, I love it. I love showing her that she can accomplish something. I love the pride she gets when we finish a picture and it actually LOOKS like the animal we set out to draw. And I love seeing how quickly she learns and how every time she does a little more on her own.

Anyway, without further ado... here is the next batch of pictures from Ellie's drawing pad:

Hot air balloon, complete with surrounding clouds. Ellie drew the balloon with stripes and basket. I colored in the balloon and she colored the basket. Then she decided the picture needed clouds.

Our second tree. She likes the "whooping" action I showed her (the trick to making trees, flowers and clouds). Again the tree includes a door for the squirrels but this time it also has different colored apples. Ellie helped me color in the apples and she colored the trunk. One thing I've noticed about her drawing is that often times she doesn't think about changing colors before drawing something else (note the brown apple... she drew it after the brown trunk). I wonder how much this plays into her not being able to draw pictures on her own yet?

And here is our octopus. Note the eyes and smile and lots of hair. Ellie insisted that the octopus had lots of hair. This is another good example of how she doesn't think to change colors when she draws something new. See how the smile is the same color as the eyes? You can hardly tell it's there. It's just an interesting insight about the thought-process of a three year old drawing pictures.

Oh, this is the one I'm most excited about! Bun Bun! We drew this on the plane to Pappy's house and it turned out so much better than I had hoped for! She did it all! I instructed her on what to do, but she did all the work, including coloring her in. I love the fact that we included Bun Bun's whiskers and even a flower on the pink part of the blanket. This is by far my favorite drawing to date. LOVE it.

And sadly, though not surprising, after Bun Bun Ellie just started losing patience or motivation. Here's a frog, though it started out as a monkey. Ellie drew the body, head and eyes and helped me color it in. I drew the hands, legs and pupils. She just did not want to finish it herself.

Same for our parrot, Maggie (Grammie's bird). Ellie drew the body, legs and two tail feathers before giving up. I'm thinking we need to take a break for a while. After drawing nearly every evening for a couple weeks, I'm sure Ellie needs to take a step back and do some other activity. Really, I can't blame her for that. We've drawn a TON of pictures in a short time!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Batteries need recharging

I actually had a couple of great posts planned for the next couple of days, but they require uploading pictures from my computer - my computer that is at the bottom of a pile of stuff that is covered in plastic in my basement - the basement that after 2.5 years FINALLY has it's first coat of paint on the walls. So... maybe I can start posting pictures again in another 2.5 years when we're done applying the second coat.

Meanwhile... you'll just have to settle for a cute little conversation with Ellie. Darn.

Mommy: Ellie, do you want to go to the park with me?
Ellie: Yeah! Yeah!
Mommy: Do you want to walk or drive?
Ellie: I know! I have an idea!
Mommy: What's that?
Ellie: How bout I ride my bike?
Mommy: Oh, that sounds like fun but if you ride your bike to the park, you HAVE to ride it all the way back home.
Ellie: Why?
Mommy: Because Daddy isn't coming with us and your bike is too heavy for me to carry.
Ellie: Ok, I will.

Mommy expected the trip to the park to be quick because Ellie was so excited to go on the swings, but to my surprise it was quite leisurely... I'd stop to show her some fuzzy leaves and she'd stop saying things like "I sdink my bike needs to be fixed. I will fix it wif dis grass." From what I could gather, she was using the grass to check the depth of the treads on her wheels. When we got to the park, we left her bike in the "parking lot" and played for a while. When we decided it was time to go home, she went to her bike and thanked the parking lot for keeping it safe, and said "We will be back soon, parking lot. We will be missing you." And of course, it came as no surprise when she tried to convince me she was too tired to ride the bike home...

Ellie: Mommy?
Mommy: Yeah?
Ellie: I sdink my bike is not working anymore.
Mommy: Oh no! What happened?
Ellie: I sdink da batteries are dying.
Mommy: That's probably true.
Ellie: I sdink we need to change da batteries so dat my bike will work.

Needless to say, it took a lot of creative games to get the girl all the way back, but we made it!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coming to a theater near you*

video
A typical love story. Boy meets girl. Boy feels like he's clumsy compared to the gracefulness of his girl. She seems to just spin in circles around him but they know they were made for each other. What they don't know is the impending doom that their future holds. When the girl is attacked by a giant monster from another world, he sacrifices his own life to save hers. After he's gone, she picks herself back up again and moves on with her life, not realizing that the monster will return. But this time, she knows what to expect. Will she meet her end too? You've seen love stories before, but you've never seen it told like this!

* Please tell me you read this with the movie trailer guy's deep voice in mind.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Sidewalk Art

I thought some of these pictures would make a perfect Wordless Wednesday, but then I decided that I liked the story that goes along with it too much...

A week or so ago Ellie and I decided to draw some pictures on the driveway. She laid down and I traced out her body. She then asked me to draw pants and a shirt on her (just the lines) and she went on doing all the rest of the work.
I was actually quite impressed. She did the eyes, mouth and hair all by herself without even asking me for directions. She colored in the shoes, pants and shirt all by herself too and was proud that she mostly stayed in the lines (I guess she just needed a huge coloring space). She did ask me how to draw the fingers but she did the work.
Ta da! It's Ellie and her self-portrait. I love the look of pride on her face. She was pretty excited about her drawing that she decided it was Mommy's turn...
After I laid down and she traced around my limbs, this is was the result. Hmm... I think I need to lose some weight because I think it looks more like an elephant than a mommy.
See? Maybe the next lesson should be how to trace around items. But in the mean time, I am REALLY enjoying drawing with this little girl. FUN FUN FUN.