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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday XLVI

Rockin' It 101

Ellie: I wanna wear a dress today!
Mommy: Ok, let's pick one out.
Ellie: Can I wear one that poofs out like a princess?
Mommy: No, sweetie. Those are too fancy for school.
Ellie: How about dis den? Does it poof out?
Mommy: That's a dress for the spring time and you might get cold.
Ellie: But I wanna wear it.
Mommy: Ok, we need to wear tights with it then. Oh no, there are no clean tights.
Ellie: I have an idea! How bout we wear pants underneathe the dress?!
Mommy: Great idea! Let's put on long sleeves and pants and then the dress on top.
Ellie: And I want to wear my princess crown.
Mommy: Ok.
Ellie: Oh I know! I want to wear bof crowns.
Mommy: Ok.
Ellie: And I wanna wear my pink socks! And princess shoes!
Mommy: Ok.

The result... Long sleeve black shirt, black pants, red short-sleeved dress, pink socks, white fancy wedding shoes, a red bandanna, and a jeweled crown.

Mommy: You're rockin' it!
Ellie: No, Mommy. I need sunglasses for I can be rockin' it. (grabbing purple heart-shaped sunglasses and putting them on) See? NOW I'm rockin' it!
Mommy: Oh I see.
Ellie: But I don't want to rock it right now. (taking off her glasses) I just want to be a princess.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gramma Gable Gobble

I have been wanting to write this post for a long time but also avoiding it at the same time. Why? I'm not sure. I think that in many ways the relationship between my mom and my children is the one that means the most to me. That's not to say that the other grandparents aren't special, but I think that since I'm personally the closest to my own mother, seeing her interact with my children moves me in a different way than the others. And part of me is fearful that I can't find the words to give their relationship justice.

But oh how special it is. My mom is an amazing grandmother and watching her with my daughters is something of magic. I always knew that my mom would enjoy being around the grandchildren, but I had no idea... NO IDEA... how much my daughters would love being around her too. There is no doubt in my mind that my mom brings as much joy to my daughters' lives as they do to hers. It's really incredible to watch.


If Nana's specialty is always coming up with educational activities for the girls to do, Gramma's specialty is including Ellie (and I'm assuming Addie as she gets a little older) in her everyday life. Gramma volunteers to have the girls spend the night so often yet she has somehow found the secret to still accomplishing her To-Do list. If she needs to plant flowers, she has Ellie help her plant flowers. If she needs to paint, she has Ellie help paint. It makes Ellie feel so grown up to know that Gramma trusts her enough to do the work herself.


What I love most about Gramma is her sense of play. She is silly with the girls and they soak it up. She turns everything into a wonderous adventure where she often asks "Have you EVER seen anything like this???" and makes Ellie feel like they're discovering things that are new and exciting for BOTH of them. She shows Ellie how to play and use her imagination.


One way that Gramma has taught Ellie how to play is in friendly name-calling. Gramma often calls Ellie "Ellie Gable Gobble" and Ellie does the same in return. "No, you're da Gramma Gable Gobble!" When Gramma asks, where's Ellie Gable Gobble? Ellie says "Here I am Gramma Gable Gobble!" And it's not uncommon for me to answer my phone only to have it be Gramma calling to talk to Ellie Gable Gobble. It's a special thing just between the two of them. It's obvious that it's done with lots of affection.


Here is a Gramma who loves her job, and she's so good at it. I'm looking forward to seeing how Addie will follow her sister's steps and have a fantastic relationship with Gramma too. Gramma Gable Gobble, we love you very much!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ellie the tour guide

Mommy and Daddy recently went to Cambridge for a short/long weekend. I suppose now is as good of a time as any to introduce our Treasure Hunt Blog... one I wish I had started years ago. You can see more pictures of our Cambridge trip there.

In the meantime, Ellie got a hold of our camera and decided to tell us all about the pictures that were on it. As she scrolled through them, her descriptions went something like this...

When I was born'd, I lived in dis house. See? Dat's where I was born'd when I was a baby.

And when I was a baby, I was just walking in dis house. See da house? I learned to walk when I was a baby in dis house.

And see dis picture? It's Mommy and Daddy and our door. See da dingbell?

And see da bridge? Dis bridge just FALL DOWN! It fall down into da water!

And see da water? Dere are CROCODILES in da water! Be very careful!

Stha end. Wanna hear anoder story of when I was a baby?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful

One great big smile that tells everyone in the room, "My mommy is here now. I get to go home!"

One sweet little voice telling me, "I was missing you today!"

One kind soul whose breath is the last thing I hear as I fall asleep at night.

So much more to say but all I can think of is "Life is good."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scrap Books

I did a major update on the pictures of my scrap books. Check them out! I'm loving them, even though I'm forcing myself to cut back... the girls do not need 18 scrapbooks by the time they go to college!


Ellie is Three Years Old
Ellie is Two Years Old
Ellie is One Year Old
Ellie's First Year
My First Pregnancy

Addie is One Year Old (a work in progress)
Addie's First Year
My Second Pregnancy

Mommy and Daddy (always a work in progress)

Addie walks everywhere

Look who is walking everywhere! I absolutely love the tongue and the sound effects.

And now Addie is getting into everything! Luckily, she seems to be a pretty neat and puts the item back MOST of the time when she's done. Too funny.

She is such a little girl now. OMG. Look at her!

And the whole "walking" announcement wouldn't be the same without some videos. Enjoy. I certainly did.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tid-Bits XVII

I love how as soon as music turns on, Addie bobs up and down just a little bit.

I love how Ellie has perfected the chair dance. Her shoulders bounce up and down whenever she's rockin' to the music in the car.

Every time I go into the bathroom at our house I get a smile on my face because our toilet paper is no longer kept in a role next to the toilet. It's kept in a big heap on the floor because Addie loves to unroll it.

I love how social Addie seems to be getting. I seem to get lots of compliments from random parents of other babies at school, all saying that Addie loves to play with them when they come in to pick up their own children.

I love how after dressing up as a princess, Ellie starts to dance and sing, only to be interrupted by a wedgie, to which she said "What a mindent... My panties are stuck in my butt... Ok... It's fixed now." Then she continued to sing her princess song and dance her princess dance.

I love how excited Ellie is to show me beautiful things. "OH! Oh! Mommy, come quick! Have you ever seen a sunrise like dat before?" and "WHOA! Check out dat tree! I just love the colors!" and "LOOK! LOOK! The cloud is purple. Is as pretty as I ever seen!"

I love how after observing older people blow into a flute, Addie sticks it in her mouth and hums.

I love how much Addie adores her stuffed animals. So much more than her bigger sister. She'll grab a bear and give it a huge hug, maybe even tackle it to the ground, then hand the bear to you and move on to the next one. She LOVES to bury her face into her bears and will even collapse onto them when she's tired.

I love my daughters' dancing styles. Addie will be sitting on the floor and will rotate her body clockwise then counter-clockwise. Ellie will usually do what she calls the "chicken dance" but it's more of a shoulder dance. She lifts her left shoulder then her right. Sometimes she has her arms bent up for "chicken wings" but not much more than that.

I love how Ellie always defaults to yelling "Pickles and Bananas" when you take a video of her.

I love how Addie stretches out her toes, as wide as they can go, before you put socks onto her feet.

I love how Addie says "Da!" instead of "Boo!" when she is playing peek-a-boo. She also says "Da!" when she blows kisses.

I love how Addie has learned the game Oh-Oh and says "Ah-Ah-Ah" when she drops something. At school, the babies all sit in a table that has a line of chairs inserted so that all the babies sit and eat i in a line... one day Daddy went to pick her up and she was sitting at the table with the spot on either side of her completely empty (chair, let alone baby). It turns out she discovered she could pick up the chair and drop it onto the floor. The teachers said she did it with a very apologetic "Ah-Ah" after dropping each one. Ha!

I love that when Ellie's class went out to their pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins (think apple-sized pumpkins), Ellie chose the smallest pumpkin she could possibly find (think grape-sized pumpkin) for the one she wanted to keep. She insisted that she wanted a cute baby pumpkin.

I love how proud Ellie is to "know all the words" to the songs we listen to. I don't have the heart to tell her that most of the words she sings make no sense, but she does manage to sing through entire songs.

Addie went to Bounce Town for the first time a couple weeks ago. She LOVED it. Ever since, she has decided that I am her personal trampoline. Every time she sits on me or crawls up to me, she starts bouncing and bouncing and bouncing.

I love how when Ellie sleeps with me, we always sleep sideways on the bed. It's more fun that way.

I love how Addie leans her forehead in for a kiss when you announce you want one.

I love how Ellie brings home rocks from the playground and claims they're "special rocks." She once even found a heart-shaped one "I found it specially for you Daddy!"

I love how easy it is to make Addie laugh. An exaggerated expression or funny movement is all it takes. Repeat said expression or movement again and again, and you have yourself a fantastic giggle monster.

I love how Ellie loves to tell secrets. She'll ask me to tell her a secret and I'll whisper in her ear something like "The pig is pink, not blue." Then she'll take a turn and whisper in my ear "The cow jumps and eats at the same time." The longer we play the game, the more ellaborate her secrets have become. My personal favorite was when she said, "Ogres live happily ever after wif donkeys. Shhh! Don't tell anyone!" This results in a lot of smiles between Mommy and Ellie, as though we're in our own little world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Niffer's future

Long ago I told Michael that I could not marry him unless he agreed to be a cute old man some day. No, that was not my response when he actually popped the question, but it was a well known contingency. I have always felt that having him in my life is the one thing that matters most.

Now with our kids around, that statement is a little more fuzzy. I can't imagine my life without my daughters, but it still all goes back to it being Michael who gave them to me. He doesn't get nearly as much credit on my blog as he deserves.

Where am I going with this? I want this to be us in the future. An old couple wins $11M, keeps only 2% for themselves, gives each member $100k and then donates ALL the rest. Their attitude? "We have each other and that matters the most."

It's beautiful. It's what I want for Michael and I. The knowledge that we just need each other, and to be able to help so many others in need... that's what I want. Lottery or no lottery (it would help if we even played the lotto in the first place). I want my Michael, my cute old man, by my side while I go out and save the world, one donation at a time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day LIV

When Mommy and Daddy were in England, Ellie called us to talk to us. There were a couple statements that stand out in my memory that I have to share.

Ellie: I was missing you today!
Mommy: Oh! I was missing you too!

After telling her we loved her, we hung up the phone only to have it ring moments later.

Ellie: I forgot to tell you someping!
Mommy: Oh? What's that?
Ellie: My baby is walking EVERYWHERE!!!

Sure enough, Addie is walking. When I left her Thursday morning, she was crawling 90% of the time and taking just a few steps. When I saw her Monday morning, it was reversed. I'd guess 80% walking with crawling 20%. Sigh. Why do they have to make these huge changes when you're out of town?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hats and cups

While Addie and I were playing with a sippy cup and its lid, I placed the cup on my head and announced "Hat!" expecting Addie to take it off my head. Instead, she looked intently at the up-side-down cup o my head for a moment. Finally, she picked up the lid, handed it to me and asked "If that's a hat then what is this for, Mommy?"

Of course, the sound that really came out of her mouth was "Eh?" but I knew what she meant.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Franglais

Lately Ellie has been so proud to know all the lyrics to her songs, including the French ones.

Lyrics to a French song repeat the following line a few times:
Paris ne s'est pa fait en un jour.
Paris ne s'est pa fait en un jour.

Ellie's translation to English:
I need a sip of it on my shoe.
I'm gonna fit my shoe on my foot.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Abroad

This last weekend I was in Cambridge (ENGLAND!!!!) with my Michael. He was over there for work and I tagged along. It was kind of our mini celebration for having reached the end of our infancy stage in parenting. No more infants. It's fantastic.

We both love Europe and traveling, and this time was no exception (even though it was a short trip for me). After doing some walking around and seeing some of the colleges (him before I came into town, and me waiting for him to get out of his class) we each individually thought "OMG! I want to go to school here!"

And then admitting that wasn't very likely for us right now, we both individually thought "We should tell the girls that we will pay for five years of college as long one of those years is abroad." It doesn't have to be Cambridge. Just abroad.

Ha! Yes, we're living vicariously through our children, but that's one of the most important jobs parents have, right? To want more for their children than they had. Besides, there are worse things than a free education and being forced to travel to Europe for it. These girls have it good.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day LIII

On Halloween, while explaining to Brynn's mommy why Addie wasn't joining us, Ellie said "My baby is not big enough to go trick or treating. But she's getting bigger every day! Just yesterday (earlier that afternoon) she was walking now for the first time! I'm so proud of her! Maybe soon she will be ree-ah big to go trick-or-treating wif me."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The end of an era

Ellie has kissed my breast 9 times in the last 12 days. Oh yes, I've been counting.

I stopped breastfeeding Addie 12 days ago and am finally almost, but not quite, pain and lump free. Go me!

When I stopped breastfeeding Ellie I was rock hard for two weeks straight. I could barely stand the touch of my shirt against my breasts, let alone anyone accidentally bumping into them. It took me over three weeks to fully recover. Crazy.

This time around, it's not nearly as bad. I wouldn't say I'm walking around with hard melons but I have been tender. And whenever Ellie accidentally bumps into me, resulting in an unexpected shriek from her Mommy, she gently kisses my breast and pats it, claiming it's now ok.

Quite honestly, I don't ever know how to respond to a child kissing my boob and patting it affectionately... so I can think of nothing to do other than to count the number of times it happens.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

In a relationship? Wanna be my friend?

Ellie has now been to 3 weddings and got to meet 3 REAL princesses. I want that same experience for Addie but I fear that I'm out of friends. All my friends are married or will be soon. Are you dating someone? Do you see yourself getting married 1.5-2.5 years from now? Wanna be my friend?

Big Sister Quote of the Day LII

Mommy: You and Addie are both going to spend the night at Gramma's house.
Ellie: Why?
Mommy: Because Addie is now big enough. Isn't that exciting?
Ellie: I'm so 'cited!
Mommy: Addie may be a little scared. Will you help her?
Ellie: Yes. I will keep my baby happy and I will help keep her safe too. And I will show her how to watch movies at Gramma's house. And how to plant flowers. And where the potty is. And where my bed is. And where Gramma's bed is. But where is Addie's bed?
Mommy: She'll be sleeping in a little crib.
Ellie: Oh! And I will show her where her crib is and give her Bun Bun Bear if she gets scared.
Mommy: Oh, thank you! I knew you would help show her how it's done.
Ellie: I'm da big sister and I know dese sthings.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Ellie gives a toast

I was in another wedding on Saturday. This one I made the invitations for and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how they turned out. If I were to redo my invitations, they'd be more like this. I saved the best ones and put them in a frame for the bride and groom. They loved it so much that they put it up for display during the wedding. Yay! Niffer done good.
To say that the wedding was beautiful just doesn't do it justice. The bride was gorgeous and I couldn't stop staring at her all day, wondering if I was that beautiful and radiant at my wedding. I'm told I was.
But of course, that's not why I'm writing. I have to write about my Ellie and her THIRD wedding! I so badly wish I could post some of the other pictures I took but sadly they're in Aruba now. Ugh. When the beautiful bride comes back I'll try to be patient with her emailing them to me.
Of course Ellie loved the wedding. She loves seeing real princesses and was particularly excited about Miss Jen being a real princess. Though she didn't have any flower girls, Princess Jen still wanted to make the day special for Ellie by giving her a crown. I was shocked to know that Ellie knew this was the plan (did I say something to her?? I don't think so). After the wedding, she came up to me and said "Mommy, I want to give Princess Jen a hug now. And get my crown. But I want to give her a hug first and den get my crown. Ok?" She was so sweet with Princess Jen and Prince Jason - I'll have to post those pictures in a few weeks.
But Ellie loved her crown. Add a napkin tied over her shoulders and she was transformed into a pretty pretty princess just like Princess Jen. In many ways the evening went exactly like you'd expect. Ellie felt so grown up staying up so late and insisted that even though she was tired, she had to wait for the princess and the prince to dance and to eat some cake. The princess and prince shocked the crowd by doing a hip-hop routine as a complete surprise. It was excellent and has been the top of the list of things Ellie mentions about the wedding since. "When I get bigger and I find my prince I wanna do a funny dance wif him too!"
But the thing that I really want to focus on was the toast. My Ellie is incredible. She pushes me to be a better person all the time and often motivates me to do things that are completely out of my comfort zone. Case in point? The toasts. First the best man gave his toast and Ellie said "I wanna have a turn wif dat!" Then the maitron of honor gave a toast and Ellie said "Can I have a turn?" Then the maid of honor gave a toast and Ellie said "Please? I wanna talk into dat sthing for the princess too!" I finally asked her what she wanted to tell the princess and prince and she said "I don't know." I told her that she had to decide before she could have a turn. Finally she decided what she wanted to say and asked nicely for a turn. It never ceases to amaze me how bold and confident my little girl can be sometimes. I on the other hand, felt completely akward but since I was wearing a bridesmaid dress, I figured I had the right to stand up and grab the microphone too, right?

So I did. Because my Ellie wanted a turn so badly, I stood up and gave a quick little toast so that I could hand the microphon to her. She was excited but got a slight case of stage fright and couldn't remember what she wanted to say. I whispered a short reminder into her ear and she spoke into the microphone...
"You're a very pretty princess and I hope you live happily ever after."

Go ahead... say your "AWWWWW!" The rest of the room did too. Perfect.

Friday, November 05, 2010

My Ellie at school

I don't get to watch my Ellie play with her friends at school much. Usually I read a book and have to pry myself away from her or drift away slowly before heading to work, but the other day her teacher came early (and thus I could drop Ellie off in HER classroom) and I watched for a few minutes while my little girl played with Brynn and Wesley as though she had forgotten that I existed.

I felt a little strange just staring so I explained myself to her teacher saying I love to watch her play because I don't get that opportunity very often. Her teacher responded with the most kind words.

Teacher: Oh, Ellie is very social. She gets along with all the kids and has no problem playing with anyone.
Mommy: Really? She's social (I have no idea where she got that from, perhaps the mailman... J/K)? Tell me more.
Teacher: Oh yeah! When she's in a group of girls, she's almost like the mother... she says "Let's go over here" or "Follow me this way." She's leads them along. She's a good leader.
Mommy: (silent but soaking it in)
Teacher: And she is very good at being helpful. She always helps her friends take off their sheets from their mats after nap time or helps them get chairs for craft time.
Mommy: (silent but soaking it in... don't stop)
Teacher: And when we have a new child come into the classroom, Ellie is just one of those children... There are certain children that you can TRUST to help make the new child feel welcome by showing them where the bathroom is or holding their hand while we walk down the hallway or showing them how to get water into their cup... You can just tell who those children are and Ellie is definitely one of them.

Sigh. My Ellie is one of the good ones. Teacher said so.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A tribute to Bun Bun II

I wrote the original Tribute to Bun Bun thinking, "surely we have to be nearing the point when Ellie will choose another favorite furry friend." Boy was I wrong. Bun Bun is not only still around, but she is STILL Ellie's most prized posession. It does not appear that Bun Bun is going anywhere any time soon.

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Bun Bun has sprouted quite a personality in the last 6 months or so. She loves to dance...

She loves to sleep...

She loves to travel...

She even loves to go camping! She is always with us, or at least near by.

Ellie has drawn pictures of Bun Bun...

And has requested pictures be drawn of them together.

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I love how Ellie pretends that Bun Bun is her baby. Whenever we've gotten her a real baby doll (whether it be Naked Baby, Sophie or even Ellie) Ellie's interest in the doll eventually fades. Ellie's motherly care always goes back to Bun Bun.

I simply ADORE the look of endearment and tenderness that Ellie has when she looks down on her "baby". It shows me that my oldest daughter understands the love that a Mommy has for her baby. It shows me that I'm doing something right.

And speaking of doing something right... originally we got seven Bun-Buns (yes, this is the FIRST photo of ALL of them together) because they got nasty from Ellie sucking on their arms. She would get a new clean one every day. Those days are gone and now Bun-Buns are readily available. Where am I going with this? Why was that "doing something right?" Well...

An unexpected result of having so many readily available was that Bun Bun has taught my Ellie how to share. She has no problems sharing Bun Bun with friends, parents or even her little sister because there's always plenty to go around. In fact, for a while now Brynn has had her very own Bun Bun to take naps with at school. Think about it. Ellie loves Bun Bun more than anything else in the world, and she's willing to share her??? Crazy. But when even Ellie's MOST PRIZED POCESSION is easily shareable, it makes the idea of sharing other items seem so easy and fun to do. I credit Bun Bun for Ellie being a very generous little girl.

While we're on the topic of plentiful Bun Buns, remember how we had to amputate Bun Bun? As it turns out, there are three Bun Buns without arms and four that still have arms. Ellie has decided that the arm-less ones are girls and the ones with arms are boys. Don't ask for reasons. Some things just go without saying. But if the topic ever does come up, Ellie has been known to get very serious and inform people in a stern voice, "We don't put Bun Bun in our mouf because if we do den we will get sick and den da doctor will take Bun Bun and CUT his arms OFF!!!"

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Trick or treat... I need to pee...

It should come as no surprise that we went trick or treating with Brynn. Addie stayed home to man the door. She had no problem saying "Hiiiiiii" in a sing-song voice whenever the door was opened to the neighbor kids in costumes.
But Ellie and I joined Brynn and her sister. Lilah is 16.5 months old - 4 months older than Addie. Brynn dressed up as Little Bo Peep and Lilah was her sheep. Simply adorable. Ellie was proud to carry her green pumpkin, which she bought with her VERY OWN MONEY. Woah! Too cool!
Lilah would just stare at the big girls in awe. She held her own and kept up pretty well.
I loved how when someone asked the girls "Oh, who do we have here?" Ellie would respond "I'm a budderfly and my friend Brynn is Little Bo Peep." Then Brynn would pipe up with "Lost her sheep!" because we all know that's a very critical part of her costume.
The girls did very well this year. There were no scary costumes that made them want to go back home and whenever they got nervous, they'd reassure each other by saying things like "It's ok to be a little bit afraid, right Brynn?" or "It's just pretend, right Lori-elle?"
And poor little sheep. She tried to keep up with the girls but her legs were simply shorter. And if you offered to help her carry her bag of candy (which did get pretty heavy), then watch out! That little lamb has an edge if you dare take her treats away!
You know how kids have a tendency to not hold things back? Well at one particular house, Ellie rang the "dingbell" and then told me she had to go potty. I told her that after this house, we could go back to Brynn's house to use her potty. Then when the door opened, instead of being greeted with the typical "Trick or treat," Brynn blurted out "My friend needs to go potty!" and Ellie spoke up and said "Can I please use your bafroom?" Oh, girls. Way to say it like it is.
Little Bo Peep and her little sheep loving the sugar.
Once we got back and started eating candy, Ellie took her wings and hat off and announced "I don't need dis anymore. I'm done being a budderfly. I'm ready to be a pirate now!!"

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Budderflies and Cadderpillars

This year Ellie really wanted to match her baby sister for Halloween - that is, after I finally convinced her that she shouldn't be a bumble bee because Brynn would be something different this year. I figured that the years in which they will want to match are very limited, so I should take advantage of it now. So, we tossed around a bunch of ideas... Little Bo Peep and her sheep? A princess and her dragon? A flower and a bee? But the one that seemed to stick the most was the idea that Ellie would be a butterfly and Addie would be a baby butterfly. Ellie learned that those were called caterpillars.
I found a fantastic caterpillar costume and then made Ellie's to match. I think Ellie was impressed. Every time she put it on, she'd run around yelling "Fly! Fly! Fly!" She enjoyed watching the process of making the costume too. She helped me make sure that her costume had all the same colors as Addie's.
Ellie had no hesitation explaining her costume to others, "I'm a budderfly! And my baby is a cadderpillar! A cadderpillar is a baby budderfly! Maybe when my baby is bigger she can be a budderfly like me, but not right now. She's just a cadderpillar." A caterpillar with potential, perhaps, but still just a caterpillar.