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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Everything


With Aunt Erin deciding to celebrate Hanukkah this year, combined with having to spread out Christmas and birthdays to span a few weeks so that each set of grandparents gets "their" day... well "Merry Everything" just seems to be a perfect theme for us this year.

So, Merry Everything to all and to all a good night!

P.S. I have no idea if I'll be posting next week. GASP! We're going to visit Grandpa Lou and Grandmommy Jeanne... busy busy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A year in pictures

A couple years ago I posted photos of Ellie during the year that she changed from a baby to a little girl. Perhaps it is because of all her hair, but I feel like Addie is already there. Someone please slow this girl down!

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day LVI


I've metioned before that Addie's teachers say Ellie is a VERY good big sister, and here is another story I was told...

She is very proud of her baby. When Ellie is playing on the playground and sees that Addie's class is coming outside, she asks the teachers "Where is my baby?" And all of Ellie's friends gather around to see her baby and take turns touching Addie through the fence (younger children are in a fenced off portion of the playground). Eventually her friends lose interest, but Ellie remains behind. And together, both Addie and Ellie play with their buckets, filling them with rocks and dirt, each on separate sides of the fence.

Awww. It's enough to make any Mommy's heart melt!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Everybody needs a rock

We went to Gramma's house yesterday for a shmorgasborg of holidays. It was my mom's birthday but we also celebrated "grandpa" Cary's birthday and Christmas. We were all there... Adam, Aunt Erin, Audrey, Clive, Uncle Jacob, Gramma and Cary were all there. We had a fantastic time and the girls were just plain cute.

But the highlight of the day, for me, was Cary. I love that he is back in our lives now and I love that he knows his Niffer so well. He got us the most perfect book (actually three books, but one is absolutely PERFECT). It's so perfect, in fact, that I have to share it with you!

But before I do, a little bit of background. I used to have a rock. His name was Bob. No, not Bob. Bob. It's all in the pronunciation. Bob was an excellent rock. I met him on the coast of Washington State and brought him home with me. Bob spent almost 6 years with me. If he wasn't in my pocket, he was in my hand. He was a good rock but sadly one day I lost him. I was crushed.

And now you know a little more about Niffer. A part of Niffer that Cary already knows so well. And so, without further ado, here is the most perfect Niffer book...

"Everybody Needs a Rock"
by Byrd Baylor with pictures by Peter Parnall.

Everybody needs a rock.
I'm sorry for kids who don't have a rock for a friend.
I'm sorry for kids who only have
TRICYCLES BICYCLES HORSES ELEPHANTS GOLDFISH THREE-ROOM PLAYHOUSES FIRE ENGINES WIND-UP DRAGONS AND THINGS LIKE THAT -
if they don't have a rock for a friend.

That's why I'm giving them my own TEN RULES for finding a rock...
Not just any rock.
I mean a special rock that you find yourself and keep as long as you can -
maybe forever.

If somebody says, "What's so special about that rock?"
don't even tell them.
I don't.
Nobody is supposed to know what's special about another person's rock.
All right.
Here are the rules:

RULE NUMBER 1:
If you can, go to a mountain made of nothing but a hundred million small shiny beautiful roundish rocks.
But if you can't, any place will do.
Even an alley.
Even a sandy road.

RULE NUMBER 2:
When you are looking at rocks don't let mothers or fathers or sisters or brothers or even best friends talk to you.
You should choose a rock when everything is quiet.
Don't let dogs bark at you or bees buzz at you.
But if they do, DON'T WORRY.
(The worst thing you can do is go rock hunting when you are worried.)

RULE NUMBER 3:
Bend over.
More.
Even more.
You may have to sit on the ground with your head almost touching the earth.
You have to look a rock right in the eye.
Otherwise, don't blame me if you can't find a good one.

RULE NUMBER 4:
Don't get a rock that is too big.
You'll always be sorry.
It won't fit your hand right and it won't fit your pocket.
A rock as big as an apple is too big.
A rock as big as a horse is MUCH too big.

RULE NUMBER 5:
Don't choose a rock that is too small.
It will only be easy to lose or a mouse might eat it,
thinking that it is a seed.
(Believe me, that happened to a boy in the state of Arizona.)

RULE NUMBER 6:
The size must be perfect.
It has to feel easy in your hand when you close your fingers over it.
It has to feel jumpy in your pocket when you run.
Some people touch a rock a thousand times a day.
There aren't many things that feel as good as a rock -
if the rock is perfect.

RULE NUMBER 7:
Look for the perfect color.
That could be a sort of pinkish gray with bits of silvery shine in it.
Some rocks that look brown are really other colors,
but you only see them when you squint and when the sun is right.
Another way to see colors is to dip your rock in a clear mountain stream -
if one is passing by.

RULE NUMBER 8:
The shape of the rock is up to you.
(There is a girl in Alaska who only likes flat rocks.
Don't ask me why.
I like them lumpy.)
The thing to remember about shapes is this:
Any rock looks good with a hundred other rocks around it on a hill.
But if your rock is going to be special it should look good by itself in the bathtub.

RULE NUMBER 9:
Always sniff a rock.
Rocks have their own smells.
Some kids can tell by sniffing whether a rock
came from the middle of the earth
or from an ocean
or from a mountain where wind and sun
touched it every day for a million years.
You'll find out that grown-ups can't tell these things.
Too bad for them.
They just can't smell as well as kids can.

RULE NUMBER 10:
Don't ask anybody to help you choose.
I've seen a lizard pick one rock out of a desert full of rocks
and go sit there alone.
I've seen a snail pass up twenty rocks
and spend all day getting to the one it wanted.
You have to make up your own mind.
You'll know.

All right, that's ten rules.
If you think of any more write them down yourself.
I'm going out to play a game
that takes just me and one rock to play.
I happen to have a rock here in my hand...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Believe

I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland... my favorite! My already high levels of Christmas Spirit were heightened even more. Then I was brought to tears.

This story is to blame. The thought that there are so many children writing letters to Santa, asking for clothes instead of toys, sometimes for a different family member, not even themselves... It's heart-breaking. And what's worse... The increase number of letters written by parents asking for the same. Parents writing to Santa.

I'm going to help. I have to help. I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE: Very frustrating. Apparently because of a s.e.x. offender incident in MD, the post office is no longer allowed to give out information about children. Only a couple dozen locations, none of which are in CO, go through the effort to assign codes to the children so that "Santa" doesn't have actual information on them. And go figure, "Santa" has to arrive in person to pick out a letter. So I can't help from afar.

Bummer. I know there are other similar options out there, of which I may still help, but I was REALLY looking forward to responding to an ACTUAL letter to Santa. Sigh.

Catch 101

Daddy and Addie were playing "catch" the other day. Daddy was rolling the ball to Addie and she would roll it back. She was kneeling on the floor, sitting on her knees and things were going well... until the ball rolled through her legs. She looked down and tried to reach for it between her legs with one hand. When that didn't work, she lifted the other hand to reach for it.

Did you catch the problem? No, she never put the first hand back down. The result was a nice face plant to the hardwood floor. My guess is she won't be doing that again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day LV

Not quite a quote... but I love the story anyway.

Ellie: (sadly) Mommy, I have someping to tell you.
Mommy: What?
Ellie: Yesterday (i.e. earlier today) Addie's teachers just tell me dat I couldn't play wif her.

According to Addie's teachers, Ellie is a fantastic big sister. When Addie's class goes out to the playground, Ellie's class is outside at the same time. Apparently Ellie will leave her friends to come over and give Addie a big hug. Then she started showing Addie some of the toys on the playground (in the toddler area), at which point the teachers told her she had to return to the big-kid playground. Though she's sad that she can't play with Addie, Ellie continues to stop what she's doing to give Addie a hug whenever she comes out to the playground.

And... rumor has it that after these hugs started, Addie has had a much easier time with the playground. Apparently she didn't like the playground at all during the first few days.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The power of hug pajamas, continued

Ellie: Mommy are you sad?
Mommy: A little.
Ellie: Why?
Mommy: Since Addie didn't sleep very well she has the crummies and it took a lot of my energy today.
Ellie: I know what will make you happy!
Mommy: Oh, you do?
Ellie: Can I wear my "lotsa hugs" pjs?
Mommy: I don't know if they're clean.... let's see... We have "Bee Happy" pjs.
Ellie: Yeah, dat will do.
Mommy: Ok. Let's put them on.
Ellie: Ok. Now see dis? Dis says "Be happy" and if I be happy, I haffa give you a hug. If I give you a hug den I will be happy!
Mommy: Oh, that's what always makes me happy too!
Ellie: I know dat! And did you know dat I know dat?
Mommy: Yep. You're really smart.
Ellie: I know.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Poop attack of December 2010

I can't seem to find a post about it, but I recall the Diaper Explosion of May 2007...

It was a warm spring morning and I was entertaining a friend in town. We stopped to nurse Baby Ellie in the car before heading to our next destination. Baby Ellie pooped as she often did when feeding. I didn't think much of it and waited until she finished eating. When I finally did see the damage, it was EVERYWHERE. Not only did it escape her diaper and clothese, the mess was all over the back seat and all over my pants. I had never seen anything like it.

I spent a lot of time cleaning it up and trying to pretend like it was no big deal (I didn't want to scare my friend away from parenthood) and we went off to pick up Daddy from work. When he got in the car he asked why the baby was naked in her carseat. I responded with "Don't ask." Once we got home, I quickly headed upstairs to change my pants. Michael noticed and tried to warn me. It looked as though it was ME who messed my pants. Oh. My. God. It was the nastiest experience EVER.

Until last night.

Daddy now holds the record for experiencing the nastiest thing ever. Ellie had to go potty and apparently Addie followed her into the bathroom. When she came back out she was smacking her lips. "Maybe she ate some toilet paper" Ellie suggests. Upon further inspection Daddy found poop smeared EVERYWHERE in the bathroom. It was on the door, cabinets, floor... everywhere. The problem? Apparently Addie's diaper wasn't put on well and it fell through her pants. And as any toddler would do, she was curious about the substance. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Look at all that hair!

What goes around comes around. I remember being somewhat jealous of Brynn (Ellie's best friend) for her beautiful hair. Ellie didn't really have much hair until she was 18 months old. I was the Mommy who looked at Brynn and said "Just look at all that hair!" And Brynn's mommy would beam at my comment.

Now it's my turn! Addie has a TON of hair! And I have cut it three times already. Different than her big sister, Addie's hair is long on top and short in the back (Ellie's was the opposite when it finally did grow). And she's adorable! And what's even better is that Daddy has heard other parents say "Just look at all that hair!"

And I just adore the pigtails.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The power of hug pajamas

Ellie: Mommy? Do we have any pjs wif "Hug Me" on dem?
Mommy: Hmm... I don't know. Let's look.
Ellie: Ok. I want to wear my "Hug Me" pjs.
Mommy: Well we have pjs that say "I love hugs." Is that good?
Ellie: Dat will do.
Mommy: Ok. Let's put on your hug pjs.
Ellie: (in a mysterious voice) I wonder what will happen when I wear dem!
Mommy: I don't know!
Ellie: I wonder... Let's hurry so we find out.
Mommy: Ok. They're on.
Ellie: I wonder what will happen!
Mommy: What's going to happen?
Ellie: Dis!

Ellie runs towards me and gives me a huge hug that knocks me to the floor. We roll around a bit and I tickle her and tell her that they're my favorite pjs because I love her hugs. She laughs and laughs and says she just can't stop hugging me when she wears them.

These are the moments.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Daycare is amazing

I have always been impressed by a good daycare. And I think we've been pretty lucky with the daycares we've been to. This one is no exception.

Addie transitioned to her new room last week. She spent a couple hours in the new room every day. Thursday was her first day to take her nap there and Friday was her first full day in the new room. No, that's not why the daycare is impressive. Let me finish before you interrupt.

It's the drastic change we see in Addie that impresses me. Even after that small amount of time in the new room, she has suddenly sprouted with new skills. She LOVES LOVES LOVES to "spin" around in circles. It's more like pivoting than actual spinning, but it's a talent that Addie is obviously proud of that she must have learned from the older kids in her new room.

She also has made a huge leap forward on the sign language front. Over the weekend she was suddenly using "drink," "more" and "all done" on an almost consistent basis. I've also noticed her signing "milk" and "please" on a couple occasions. ALL AFTER SPENDING A PORTION OF A WEEK IN A NEW ROOM.

I'm telling you... the single best thing about daycare is the interactions the kids get with each other. Peer pressure and learning from each other are definitely good things right now. I love it.

And I love how quickly my daughters learn. They are amazing little girls.

Now if only we can get back to having Addie sleep until 6:30 or 7:00. Part of transitioning to the new room means she's on one nap instead of two, which means she's more tired than usual, which means she sleeps worse at night, which means she thinks it's a great idea to wake up at 5:00, which means we need to show her the error of her logic.

Wordless Wednesday XLVII

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

One of these is not like the other

Recently Ellie had an announcement to make. With a sheep stuffed in her PJs and a hat on, she crawled up on the couch and announced, "I have a baby in my tummy. She will be borned in TEN weeks! And I have a hat. And I have a 'mote so I can watch TV. I'm Daddy now."

Monday, December 06, 2010

Nicknames

One of the reasons we picked Ellie's name is that we LOVED the name Ellie but we didn't want to have that be our daughter's full name. We really liked the idea of calling our little girl "Ellie" and yet still allowing for a more grown-up nickname of "Lori" if she ever decides she doesn't like her full name.

Similarly, we liked how Addie's name can have "Addie" for a girlish nickname and "Adel" for a more grown-up sounding name.

So it may come as a surprise to you, but we rarely call our daughters Ellie and Addie. For the most part, we use their full names mostly because that's just "who they are." Their names seem to fit them so well.

I did, however, order matching dolls made for the sisters after Addie was born. I found them at the Lovies For My Babies Etsy shop.And their names are Ellie and Addie. My daughters know who these dolls are by name, but they don't know that the names are really for them.

It has only been recently that I've discovered I sometimes do use nicknames for my daughters. Yes, every now and then I actually use the name "Ellie" but I've yet to use "Addie."

More commonly I have noticed I call Ellie my "Snuggle Bunny" or my "Ellie Bunny." I'm guessing it's because of her on-going love for Bun Bun. And similarly, I've caught myself calling Addie my "Snuggle Bear" or my "Addie Bear." Again, I'm guessing it's because of Bun Bun Bear and her love for her teddy bears.

Interesting, don't you think? I don't use "Ellie" or "Addie" much on their own but combined with bunnies and bears, I apparently can't get enough of the nicknames. Go figure.

Friday, December 03, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Though not a single one of my pictures shows the girls decorating the Christmas tree, I swear that is what we were doing last weekend. It was Addie's first time to participate in the tree decorating and she had a lot of fun.

This girl LOVES to climb (we never had that problem with Ellie) so it came as no surprise to us that as soon as we brought out the ladder, she was on her way to the top of it. Once on top, she squawked a couple times at the pretty tree in front of her.

She also loved to get into the boxes and made sure that they were clear of any annoying contents. Really, any contents were annoying.

And Addie loved the tinsel...

No, I mean she LOVED the stuff. She couldn't get enough of it.

She also couldn't get enough of Princess Ellie.

Princess Ellie discovered that the tree skirt makes a fantastic princess coat, just like Belle.

video
And the best part was how much it poofs out when she spun!

video
She also loved the tinsel and tried convincing us all that she was really good at jump rope. She has me convinced. What about you?

While we were busy decorating the tree, Princess Ellie was busy with her own tasks. She took the responsibility to use up ALL of our tinsel and decorate the dining table with it. She called it her "Forest of Color" because it was "very colorous." What a great word.

We also got the girls their special ornaments. On the way to the store, Ellie and I discussed what type of ornament she wanted and we both agreed that she should look for one with two friends because she and Brynn were such great friends, and they had their first sleepovers together this year. At the store we found some perfect penguins. One even has a blue hat (Brynn's favorite color) and one has a green hat (Ellie's favorite color).

I searched and searched for an ornament that would be a good "first steps" ornament. Here you see a wobbly reindeer (you push the bottom and he falls down). Works for me.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Bun Bun's middle name

Ellie: Mommy can I bring two aminals to school today?
Mommy: No, let's just bring the one amadillo.
Ellie: But I want to bring two aminals.
Mommy: You already have two animals at school because Bun Bun is there.
Ellie: No, Bun Bun is not an aminal. She's my special fwiend.
Mommy: But Bun Bun is a bunny. Aren't bunnies animals?
Ellie: (smiling) Oh. I know! We can have Bunny be her middle name!?
Mommy: So Bun Bun's name is Bun Bun Bunny Vincent?
Ellie: Yeah because Bunny is her middle name. Her name is Bun Bun Bunny Vincent, right?
Mommy: Sounds good to me.
Ellie: Me too.

So there you go. For those of you who were curious, Bun Bun's full name is Bun Bun Bunny Vincent. I suppose that Bun Bun Bear already has a middle name. Huh. Who knew?