Friday, July 29, 2011

If I could keep you little...

"If I Could Keep You Little"
Written and Illustrated by: Marianne Richmond

If I could keep you little,
I'd hum you lullabies.
But then I'd miss you singing
your concert's big surprise.

If I could keep you little,
I'd hold your hand everywhere.
But then I'd miss you knowing,
"I can go... you stay there."

If I could keep you little,
I'd kiss your cuts and scrapes.
But then I'd miss you
learning from your own mistakes.

If I could keep you little,
I'd strap you in real tight.
But then I'd miss you swinging
from your treetop height.

If I could keep you little,
I'd decide on matching clothes.
But then I'd miss you choosing
dots on top and stripes below.

If I could keep you little,
I'd cut your bread into shapes.
But then I'd miss you finding,
"Hey! I like ketchup with my grapes!"

If I could keep you little,
I'd tell you stories every night.
But then I'd miss you reading
the words you've learned by sight.

If I could keep you little,
I'd push you anywhere.
But then I'd miss you feeling
your speed from here to there!

If I could keep you little,
I'd pick for you a friend or two.
But then I'd miss you finding
friends you like who like you too!

If I could keep you little,
we'd finger-paint our art.
But then I'd miss you creating
stories from you heart.

If I could keep you little,
I'd push your ducky float.
But then I'd miss you feeling
the wind behind summer's boat.

If I could keep you little,
we'd nap in our fort midday.
But then I'd miss you sharing
adventures from camp away.

If I could keep you little,
I'd fly you with my feet.
But then I'd miss you seeing
sky and clouds from your seat.

If I could keep you little,
I'd keep you close to me.
But then I'd miss you growing
into who you're meant to be!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Magic Rocks

I have to say that Ellie and Addie have some pretty cool grandparents, and Grandpa has outdone himself again. He has created a wonderful game that I think is brilliant. It's called Magic Rocks. He bought some chocolate candy rocks (the kind that look real) and turned them into a math game for Ellie!

Here's how it is played...

Supplies you need: 10 candy rocks and one real 1 that looks similar.

Step 1: Lay out 10 rocks in a line and ask Ellie to count them.

Step 2: Separate the rocks into piles, talking about the math problem you're setting up. For example... If we have 10 rocks total and then we take away 2, how many do we have left?

Step 3: Ellie gives her response. She's able to count them or just come up with an answer, which ever she feels comfortable with.

Step 4: Regardless of her answer, she gets to eat a rock and it's Grandpa who hands it to her. However, if the answer is right, the rock "magically" turns into chocolate. If her answer is wrong, it's just a hard rock. He's sure to talk it up a lot with words like "Go slowly, be careful when you bite" in order to get her nervous about biting into a hard rock.

Step 5: Continue until all the rocks are gone (with of course, the exception of the hard rock that you conceal in your hand).

Step 6: Ellie stands up and runs to Mommy and Daddy bragging that she only had to eat a real rock only once!

DISCLAIMER: I'm sure it's obvious, but she never actually eats a real rock. She bites into it and is disappointed that the magic didn't work because her response was wrong, but then hands the rock back to Grandpa. Ellie is old enough to know that we don't eat rocks for real. Unless they're magic.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sign here please

After sharing this story with quite a few people, I thought that getting it in writing might, someday, come in handy. That way, when the appropriate time presents itself, I can lock her in a tower and fall back on the fact that it was her idea and the signed contract means she has no legal course of action to take.

Ok, so it's not a fool-proof plan, but I have a decade to iron out the details, but here's to wishful thinking!

Monday, July 25, 2011


We went camping a couple weekends ago and I am so thrilled that it's getting easier and easier each time. It's not quite perfect yet, but I have high hopes for cheap adventures into the woods in the future!

Ellie has become a pro at helping to set up the tent! It's such a wonderful thing when they get old enough that their "Help" is actually helpful!

Ellie spent quite a bit of this trip playing in the dirt, but take note of the chain that is clipped to her pants! Yep, she's our new doggie. As well as getting really dirty, she spent that time tied to a tree. Her choice, not ours.

She also walked Merlin a couple times. He's such a good dog when we're out away from his "known" home. I love it when Ellie steps up to be with him.

And how did Addie do? Well there is still room for improvement on the "must sit on Mommy's lap" attitude, but she was MUCH better than last year. I'm sure she enjoyed it.

But her absolute favorite thing about the trip was the blueberries. You have to chuckle at this photo. Go ahead. I'll wait for you to finish.

But she also loved being able to run and be free. Addie has certainly always been more independent and willing to explore than Ellie ever was, and it was nice for us to not have to worry about her wandering off quite as much.

As for Niffer, I have to say that seeing rainbows above the trees... and smelling the scent of freshly fallen rain and pine needles... I miss living in the mountains.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Choosing a name for Baby

Choosing a name for a baby can be very difficult. Every new parent knows how hard this process can be.

Ellie: Mommy, dis is my baby and I'm trying to stink of what to call her.
Mommy: Oh? Picking a name for a baby can be hard to do.
Ellie: Yeah but I'm not sure what to call her.
Mommy: How about Kenna?
Ellie: No. I want a pretty name for her.
Mommy: A pretty name like Brielle?
Ellie: No. A really pretty name like for a princess.
Mommy: Aurora?
Ellie: No. Dat's a princess, not a baby.
Mommy: Elizabeth?
Ellie: No, dat's not pretty.
Mommy: Jessica?
Ellie: No. Dat's not pretty ee-der.
Mommy: Oh.
Ellie: Oh! I know! How about Sings-A-Lot?
Mommy: Singsalot is a pretty name.
Ellie: Yeah, I like that.
Mommy: Why did you pick Singsalot?
Ellie: So dat when she gets bigger and a real princess she can know how to sing.
Mommy: That makes sense and it is a very pretty name.
Ellie: No. I want a REE-AH long pretty name.
Mommy: Longer than Singsalot?
Ellie: Oh! I know! I will call her Singsalot-Dancealot-Prettyalot.
Mommy: Wow. I don't think you could get a prettier name than that.
Ellie: Yeah and den she will grow up to be a very polite princess and nice to everyone.
Mommy: Because she has a good name?
Ellie: Yeah.
Mommy: You chose well then.
Ellie: And now I need a nickname for her.
Mommy: Why?
Ellie: So dat we can snuggle?
Mommy: Like you're my "Ellie-Bunny?"
Ellie: Yeah.
Mommy: I think a good nickname for Singsalot-Dancealot-Prettyalot might be Sing-Songy.
Ellie: No. I like "Ellie."
Mommy: Like the nickname I have for you?
Ellie: Yeah, it's pretty. Can I call my baby Ellie?
Mommy: Sure.
Ellie: No. Dat's my name, but it's pretty.
Mommy: How about something that sounds similar? Like Nellie?
Ellie: YEAH!!!! My baby's name is Singsalot-Dancealot-Prettyalot and when I want to snuggle wif her, I will call her Nellie. Is that a good idea?
Mommy: Sounds perfect to me.
Ellie: Whew. Dat was hard.
Mommy: Yes it was, but you chose a wonderful name for your baby.
Ellie: Thank you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Ellie work up super early today, which she has been doing a lot lately. When this happens, it's hard for her to have the patience to allow me to get ready for the day (which I usually do BEFORE coming to get her). Combine that with her being tired, it makes for a very difficult morning routine.

Towards the end of it...

Mommy: ACK! You girls are driving me nuts this morning! Nuts!
Addie: (Smiles)
Mommy: Nuts!
Addie: (Big smile)
Mommy: Nuts I tell you! Nuts!
Addie: (giggles)
Mommy: Nuts! Nuts! Nuts!
Addie: Nuts!
Mommy: Nuts!
Addie: Nuts! (laughs and laughs and laughs)
Mommy: Ok, your shoes are on now.
Addie: Nuts! (laughing and laughing and laughing)
Mommy: Go tell Daddy "Nuts."

Addie gets up, goes to the kitchen pantry, grabs the large jar of mixed nuts, walks up to Daddy and states proudly "NUTS!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I love how Addie says hi to everything she loves to see. She sees hot air balloons - "Hi!" She sees a dog - "Hi!" She sees a train - "Hi!"

I love how Ellie will go up to a complete stranger and just to tell her "Excuse me, I think you're really pretty." I've had the pleasure of witnessing it a handful of times. I especially love that the girls she think are pretty enough to deserve such a compliment are not always the ones I would have picked. My Ellie is amazing.

I love that when Addie likes something, she says "I do! I do!" even if you haven't asked "Who wants... ?"

I love that, while looking through binoculars, Ellie will continue to speak loudly until she sees an animal. Then she'll start whispering.

I love when Addie walks with purpose, she swings one arm while the other stays stationary.

I love that when my girls are watching Tangled, they both sigh with "Ahh!" and "Ohh!" when the lanterns are lit.

I love it how when you ask "Who wants to do..." Addie puts her hand on her head (raising her hand) and says "I do!"

I love that Ellie will proudly announce "Look Mommy! I didn't get my dress too dirty!" while standing in front of me in a brown dress that I swear was white that same morning.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Big Sister Quote of the Day

In trying to get Ellie to move faster this morning...

Mommy: I wonder what Ellie will do next. Do you think she will get her clothes on or go potty?
Addie: (stares at me)
Mommy: I think she's going to... (pretends to whisper in Addie's ear)
Ellie: What did you say to her?
Mommy: I don't know. Let's see if I'm right.
Ellie: But what did you think I am going to do next?
Mommy: (sigh) I told her that I thought you'd go potty first.
Ellie: And Addie stinks I will get dressed first?
Mommy: Yep. I wonder which one of us is right.
Ellie: Hmmmm... (giving it an audible moment of thought, she finally puts on her clothes).
Mommy: Oh no! Addie, you were right! I was wrong!
Ellie: Mommy, do you know why I picked getting dressed first? Do you know why I picked Addie?
Mommy: Why?
Ellie: Because I love her the most. I love her the best.

Friday, July 15, 2011

True Companion

Once upon a time when Daddy and I were trying to pick the song we would dance to at our wedding, we struggled a little on the perfect one. In the end we chose "Everything I do, I do it for you" by Bryan Adams because of the following lines:

Look into my eyes, you will see what you mean to me.
Search your heart, search your soul
and when you find me there you'll search no more.

Michael, however suggested the song "True Companion" by Marc Cohn, and even though we ended up not officially chosing the song, I always tear up whenever I hear it on the radio (which, by the way, seems to be often lately for some reason).

Baby i've been searching like everybody else
Can't say nothing different about myself
Sometimes i'm an angel
And sometimes i'm cruel
And when it comes to love
I'm just another fool
Yes, i'll climb a mountain
I'm gonna swim the sea
There ain't no act of god girl
Could keep you safe from me
My arms are reaching out
Out across this canyon
I'm asking you to be my true companion
True companion
True companion

So don't you dare and try to walk away
I've got my heart set on our wedding day
I've got this vision of a girl in white
Made my decision that it's you allright
And when i take your hand
I'll watch my heart set sail
I'll take my trembling fingers

And i'll lift up your veil
Then i'll take you home
And with wild abandon
Make love to you just like a true companion
You are my true companion
I got a true companion
True companion

When the years have done irreparable harm
I can see us walking slowly arm in arm
Just like the couple on the corner do
'cause girl i will always be in love with you
And when i look in your eyes
I'll still see that spark
Until the shadows fall
Until the room grows dark
Then when i leave this earth
I'll be with the angels standin'
I'll be out there waiting for my true companion
Just for my true companion
True companion
True companion

I think it's near perfect.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mommy's Place in Life

Ellie: Hey! I have an idea! How about I be Rapunzel and Daddy can be my prince and Addie can be my ca-mee-lynn because she is my best friend. Does that sound like a good idea?
Mommy: Sure, but who am I?
Ellie: Oh, I know! I have the perfect sting for you. You can be the horse! You are a perfect horse. Good job, Mommy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bun Bun's Replacement

If I had written this post a week and a half ago, I would have said that it seemed as though suddenly Bun Bun had been replaced. One night she was still Ellie's most treasured posession, just like the last 4 years. The next night she was no big deal. Well that's not quite true. Ellie would still acknowledge that Bun Bun is special but she wanted to put her (all of them) into a special box to keep them safe forever. I even purchased a special box and went around gathering all the bunnies together.

In asking Ellie why she no longer liked Bun Bun the best, I found her answer to be quite interesting. "Because she doesn't really have legs in the real world." She had a point.

I bet you're curious about who Bun Bun's replacement was. Ellie has become quite attached to Lamby, the sheep we bought in Paris when I was pregnant with her. This is a tough one for Mommy and Daddy because that sheep means a lot to **US** yet Ellie would love to take it everywhere she goes, epecially for naps at school.

Alas, as thrilled as I am that she loves her special sheep and that she seems to just KNOW that the sheep has always been special for her, we haven't been able to get to the point of being ok with Lamby getting so dirty. Perhaps having 7 Bun Buns spoiled us? There's only one Lamby.

But that was a week and a half ago. Before she surprised me with wanting to take all her Bun Buns to Heritage Square for our special date. It seems that seeing all her bunnies in the same spot has rekindled her love for the little friend who has always been around.

I suppose the day is approaching when Bun Bun really will be replaced. I'll miss Bun Bun when the time comes. Sigh. I think this will be harder on me than my Ellie.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The rest of the story...

Mommy: Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest, picking up the field mice and bopping them on the head.
Ellie: Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest, picking up da flowers and den he died.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Corn on the Cob

Ellie was eating some corn on the cob and doing it completely wrong. You know the correct way to do it is like a typewriter. You bite across the row and then ding! You go back to the next row down. Everyone who has ever seen Saturday morning cartoons know that.

There's my problem I suppose. Ellie has never seen Saturday morning cartoons, let alone will ever really understand what a typewriter is.

So when I was sharing this deep thought with my husband, I said "Ellie will never know that the proper way to eat corn is like this... (bite bite bite) Ding! (move hand over to the next row down)" he was in agreement.

But then Addie put up her hands and went through the correct motions: bite bite bite "Ding!" and moved her hands back over. Perhaps there's hope for their generation after all.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Bye Bye Addie

Last week Daddy took the girls out to dinner. The girls sat on the opposite side of the table from him and neither had a booster seat. Addie should probably have one but sometimes it's difficult to get her to do something that Ellie isn't doing as well.

Some time during dinner Addie started to slip off the seat. Daddy recalls that she got a look of great concern on her face, looked at him and said "Bye-bye!" as her face disappeared under the table.

Hehehe... even now I chuckle at imagining it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Happy July 4th!! (Part 2)

July 4th was another beautiful day in Colorado...

... Uh, I mean Nifferland.

And this time I got to spend the day with Addie while Ellie went to catch butterflies with Nana. Addie and I went to the park.

I realized that I don't get to do this very often. Usually Ellie is with us so it's hard to focus on Addie, so I treasured the opportunity to get photos of just her having fun. And I have to tell you, this girl knows how to take a photo. She is an expert at saying "Choose" (aka cheese) when asked to smile. I don't recall Ellie ever being that willing to have photos taken of her.

Like any child, Addie loves the swings. Unlike most parents, though, I refuse to give up trying to take great swing shots.

It's always so frustrating trying to get a shot of a child on a swing with a smile and in focus, but when you do... it's gold.

Addie played on the playground too and got a kick out of scaring Mommy with her "BOO!" through the chains. After she would climb up, she would say "Yay! Yay!" I love seeing when one of my girls is so proud of herself. Sometimes she seems so old, yet other times she seems so young. It's hard for me to believe that when Ellie was this age, I was pregnant with Addie. Crazy.

I lied about the swing photos being gold. I think a great slide photo is even better and even more difficult to obtain.

But I did it. I got the perfect slide photo with static hair and all. Of course I didn't expect her to come down on her tummy and I had to do a quick catch after snapping the shot, but this is one for the scrapbook. Perfect.

My day with Addie was a little more low-key than my day with Ellie was, but it was perfect just the same. Some things I feel like I miss out on with Addie's childhood just because I can't spend a lot of time alone with her, so this simple day at the park was more than perfect. Niffer is one lucky lucky Mommy.

Now if only I could figure out how to have such days with both girls at the same time... A Niffer can dream, can't she?

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy July 4th! (Part 1)

This weekend Daddy was helping Uncle David with his kitchen and hardwood floors. That meant I had the girls for the weekend. Saturday went horribly. In fact, let's forget Saturday. The world is a much better place had Saturday never happened. It's official. In Nifferland, Saturday July 2nd, 2011 is missing from the calendar.

But Sunday?! Oh Sunday was a glorious day in Nifferland.

The sky was blue and Ellie and I went on a much-needed Mommy-Ellie date. Addie spent the day with Nana.

I took Ellie to Heritage Square. I got a kick out of our conversation on the way there...
Ellie: Where are we going?
Mommy: It's a surprise.
Ellie: You don't have to tell me. I already know.
Mommy: Where are we going?
Ellie: Here-teach Square!
Mommy: Do you know what Heritage Square is?
Ellie: It's a surprise!

Well for those who don't know, it's a small amusement park. Ellie loved standing up to the signs on each ride to see if she was tall enough to go on it all alone. She checked for Bun Bun too, but she would inform the operator that Bun Bun wasn't big enough and so her Mommy had to go. And Ellie is Bun Bun's Mommy. The operator would no doubt look at her in confusion but reluctantly agree to Ellie's conditions.

And on the rides where Ellie was too small, she was excited to learn that she could still go if Mommy went with her. "Maybe when I'm so big next time I can go all by myself!"

After a round of rides we decided that we needed a break so we shared a wonderful cup of lemonade. It hit the spot and Ellie thought it was a load of fun drinking from a cup with two straws! It's the simple things, I tell you... and I still love to see the world through her eyes.

Mommy's favorite ride was the Ferris Wheel. Sure it was cool to go that high, but really I liked the fact that it used up 6 tickets all at once! Way to cut down on the number of rides in a quick fashion! Ellie decided to go twice. Even better.

Somewhere along the way Ellie picked up a new pet. Meet fluffy. She's a magical pet. Sometimes she's a squirrel and sometimes she's a mouse. Don't know which one she is? Well without fail, she is whichever animal is the one that Mommy did not guess. Sigh. You can't win them all. Fluffy is a wonderful pet and makes fantastic "I'm happy" whistling sounds. She also has a long tail that is great for swinging her in circles.

So not your typical 4th of July, but it was just what Mommy and Ellie needed.

Alas, you can't forget why one should be thankful for living in the USA... When asked at school why she likes the USA, Ellie answered, "I like living in the USA because people are nice to me." Well, you can't argue with that one.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Which one is mine?

I always have to chuckle a little on the inside when I go to pick up the girls from daycare. All the children look the same to me so I almost always just stand in the doorway for a moment, looking around and wondering "Ok, which one is mine?"

Yesterday I was snuck up behind Ellie and put my hands around her eyes to surprise her. Alas, it was her who surprised me because she turned around and was not my Ellie. The real Ellie was off to the side wondering what the heck her Mommy was doing.

LOL... At least I have yet to bring home the wrong child.