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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Neighbors

Today's post is brought to you by the letter R. R for random.

Every now and then I wish that we had more kids in our neighborhood who are the same age as ours. Sometimes I look at the setup that my sister has with Adam's kids and their neighborhood and I get a little jealous. There are young children everywhere there and therefore lots of oppoturnities to have friends near by.

However, lately I've been finding myself more and more appreciative of the setup we have. No we don't have many kids the same age as Ellie and Addie, but one would have to presume that they will come out of hiding once Kindergarten starts and Ellie starts to ride the bus. Surely there are kids hiding in their houses that we aren't aware of. I've seen them from the corner of my eye.

And then there is Olivia. She's our next door neighbor and is beyond sweet. I remember when we first met her (just about to turn 7) we said "If Ellie is half as sweet as Olivia is, then we've done something right." I think we're on the right track.

But 3 years later and Olivia is still great. She LOVES to play with our girls. She actually ENJOYS it and doesn't see it as "a chore" to hang out with them even if they're so much younger than her. The result is magical. Ellie will go on bike rides around the block with Olivia. Addie will draw chalk pictures on the sidewalk with her. There are even times when Olivia "watches" both girls and keeps them both entertained while we take a break.

Olivia... we so very much appreciate you. I love watching how my girls look up to her as the "cool big kid." And I love being able to relax a little too.

Anyway... that's my random thought for the day. The end.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tid-Bits

For the most part, Ellie is pretty good at sharing her stuff with Addie, but it made me laugh one day when was passing out candy and said "I will share. One for me and one for me."

One of the things I love about living in Gunbarrel (North part of Boulder) is the hot air balloons that take off nearly daily from a nearby park. Ellie loves them too and told me recently, "Hot air-o balloons are very special to me because dey make my heart sing." I couldn't have said it better.

I love how when you take Addie to Gramma's house, she automatically goes over to the shelves and starts handing you the stuff to put onto higher shelves. She knows how to child-proof places.

I love how Addie seems to enjoy my new stained glass photos as much as I do. She points to them and babbles a little every time she sees them, just to make sure you see them too.

I love that when I went to go wake up Ellie the first morning after we got back from England, she gave me a great big sleepy smile and then put her arm around me and went back to sleep.

I love that when Addie saw a picture book of bears at the book store, she squealed with delight and ran as fast as she could to the book to show us.

I love the fact that the first time Ellie ever tried the climbing wall at the rec center, she made it all the way to the top and rang the bell! Sometimes her courage astonishes me.

I think it's a bit strange how Addie insists that all dolls (including the Barbies) do NOT wear shoes. I wonder why.

Is there anything better than ice cream wars, where Ellie and Daddy fight over who gets the next bite, inevitably resulting in lots of laughter and giggles, perhaps even a snort or two, ice cream coming out of your nose or a toot - all of which create even more laughter? No, I guess that's as good as it gets.

I love how whenever Ellie sings the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" she bends over and pats her butt like the dog does in this video. Then proceeds to laugh and laugh, because let's face it... it's pretty darn funny.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Big Sister Quote of the Day

When sharing her cherrios with Addie, Ellie said "Here you go, Addie. You get the very last ones because you are my favorite friend. You are bigger now and bigger means you play more and more wif me, so you get da last cherrio."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Once Upon a Time...

... a princess was born into the world. She was a beautiful child with a kind soul. She was my princess...

... and my princess grew and soaked in the world around her. She showed me how incredibly beautiful and magical the world can be through the eyes of a child...

... and time continues to pass as the princess learns new ways to laugh and be silly. And when she smiles, the whole world stops and stares for a while - just like the song says.

In all seriousness, these photos have become more meaningful to me than most of the others I have taken. Perhaps I always knew they would, but seeing the results just solidifies it for me. Ellie has changed so very much and I love that I have been able to capture it in such a stunning way. Every time I look at the progression (and trust me I've done that a lot in recent days) I get tears in my eyes. The words aren't there, but the deep feelings certainly are.

But when is the changing going to slow down? It wasn't long ago that she needed to be held up to stand, and even more so for when she was proud to learn how to spin like a princess. Now she can do it all - jump, twirl, stand on one foot... as long as it's fun Ellie can do it by herself. At this rate, the next picture (in a couple years from now) will be of her flying!

Her smile is so uplifting, I'd do anything within my power to make her smile. I know that my own life is all the more fun every time I get a glimpse of her happiness.

So yes, I can already predict the future of my daughters being slightly annoyed by my insistence to get a princess photo every couple years, but I hope they know how much it means to me. I want to be able to capture their youth and innocence. This is the sweet life and I want to gobble it up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Daddy's wandering eyes

As a family, we usually go to dinner every Friday night and Daddy usually prefers a sit-down restaurant. We explain this difference to Ellie as a restaurant where a waiter comes to the table and brings us food.

The other day we were at a restaurant where you stand in line to get your food, and then bring it back to the table. It's a magical place where EVERYONE in the family loves the food. Those places are few and far between.

Ellie: I ree-ah like dis restaurant.
Mommy: Yeah, we all like this restaurant.
Ellie: Yeah, we all like dis place 'cept for Daddy.
Mommy: Daddy doesn't like this place?
Ellie: No.
Mommy: Why not?
Ellie: Daddy doesn't like dis restaurant because he ree-ah ree-ah likes waitresses.


DISCLAIMER: The "waitress" thing is how I explained it to Ellie - Daddy likes waiters too. He likes that where there are waiters, there is beer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Big Sister Quote of the Day

Ellie has been saving up her quarters to buy a horse stuffed animal that she really wanted and she FINALLY had enough money to buy it all by herself! That's almost $9.00!!!

Ellie: Ok, so what we're looking for is a horse.
Mommy: I'll help. How about this one?
Ellie: No, I'm looking for a brown horse.
Daddy: Like this one?
Ellie: Yeah! Look Mommy! Daddy found it!
Mommy: I found one too!
Ellie: Hey, I have an idea! Dis one can be for me wif my own money and dis one can be for Addie.
Mommy: Oh, sweetie, Addie isn't old enough to have her own money yet so I don't think we can buy her one too.
Ellie: No I mean wif my money!
Mommy: But you only have enough money to buy one.
Ellie: Hey! I have an idea dat is a good one! How about I buy dis one wif my own money and DEN I can save more money and buy one for Addie!
Mommy: Oh, that would be very nice of you!
Ellie: Did you hear dat, Addie? I can save my monies so dat you can have a horse too!

Later after buying the horse and getting some change back from the cashier...

Ellie: Look, Daddy! I got some money back and I can already start saving for anoder horsie for Addie! See?

I'm telling you, this girl is an amazing sister. It was a big feat for her to save for the first horse since she has the potential of earning a maximum of 8 quarters in any given week (Ha! Like that's ever going to happen), let alone her offering to do it again for Addie's sake!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ask Nicely

Addie: Ba ba?
Daddy: Do you want the ball?
Addie: (nods) ba ba.
Daddy: You have to ask nicely.
Addie: Ba ba.
Daddy: Can you ask nicely?
Addie: Nice-shly.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daddy can you hear me?

Daddy is away again for a short trip for work. Tonight while I was getting the girls ready, I noticed that Ellie disappeared into my room for a while. When I went to see what she was up to, I found her standing between the curtain and the window, talking to herself, almost, but not quite in a whisper. When I asked her who she was talking to, she shyly giggled and said "No one."

After I was done putting Addie to bed, I found Ellie at my window again. This time I snuck up behind her so that I could hear what she was saying:

"... and so if you can hear me, Daddy, I want you to know dat I was just stinking about you and I love you forever. And I'm your girl. Forever. And if you can hear me, I love you very much. Forever. I forever love you and I miss you. Oh, and if you can hear me, Daddy, thank you for being my daddy. You are forever a good daddy. I wish for you to forever love me. I don't know if you can hear me, but I still love you and I miss you and when you come home I will still be here. And den I will give you a hug and play wif you. Can you hear me? I hope so. I hafta go to bed now, so night night, Daddy. I forever love you. Here is my hug..."

OH. MY. GOD.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

White girls can't dance

Ok, so the title of this post is a little harsh. I know quite a few women who are great at dancing and they make it seem so easy. I myself was once one of those women, during my swing dancing days. I have since realized how so much of it is 1. practice and 2. having a good leader. Ha! I can follow like a pro.

I remember years ago seeing this video (though I swear it was longer the first time I saw it) and I knew that someday I HAD to get videos of my girls dancing.

video

You'll be happy to know that I FINALLY got it on video! And now you understand today's title. Sigh. Perhaps it's the engineer genes?

Monday, May 16, 2011

A lesson on letting go

I guess part of growing up is learning how to let go. I see my little girl playing with Snowball and I am surprised by how difficult it is for me to just sit back and let her explore the playground with her new friend. Does she know how special Snowball is? Does she know about all the adventures the two of us went on when I was just a little girl myself? No, of course she doesn't. Addie just sees what I saw - an adorable little polar bear ready for a hug or adventure. Addie doesn't notice the slight gasping sound that comes from Mommy's mouth whenever she drops Snowball. She doesn't pay any attention to Mommy brushing off the dirt and does not hesitate to squeeze the bear as tight as possible for a hug. And so Mommy keeps her personal turmoil inside and allows Addie to have this innocent moment with a new friend, just as a child should be.

And no, this day was not just a lesson on how to let go of childhood treasures, but how to just let go in general. In so many ways I feel like Addie is growing faster than her sister ever did. I know this to be true because I see her trying to do, not only things her big sister does, but also things her big sister has yet to conquer.

Like the swings. Addie loves the swings and is not intimidated at all by the big kid requirements of holding on. It's me who has to remind myself that it's time to let go and let her swing to her heart's delight. Even if I don't push her as high as I could, I know that the day is close when that will happen as well. My baby really wasn't a baby for long, was she?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Caterpillars

Last weekend we were at Gramma's house for Mother's Day, but we didn't expect to become a family of caterpillars! It was fun for all. We scooted around or tripped over our feet while giggling. Of course Ellie insisted that she was a baby caterpillar and Addie wanted to join in the fun. Then some of the bravest caterpillars rolled down the hill over and over again. I'm sure this will not be the only time we play this game.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

LIttle Sister Quote of the Day

Ellie: Mommy, Addie just pinched me.
Mommy: Addie, we don't pinch our friends.
Addie: (pinch)
Ellie: Owie! She just did it again.
Mommy: NO! WE DON'T PINCH OUR FRIENDS! NO!
Addie: (slow motion, you see it coming and it breaks your heart... cries)
Mommy: Oh, do you feel bad for pinching Ellie?
Addie: (crying, nods her head)
Mommy: Do you want to give her a hug?
Addie: (nods her head and gives Ellie a big hug)
Ellie: Thank you, Addie. We don't pinch our friends, right?
Addie: (nods and hands Ellie Bun Bun Bear)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time for Electrolysis

Ellie: Why do you have hair in your arm pits?
Daddy: Everyone has hair in their arm pits when they grow up.
Ellie: Oh.
Daddy: And boys have hair everywhere. See my tummy? It has hair.
Ellie: (VERY proudly) When I grow up, I will have lotsa lotsa lotsa hair on my BUTT like Mommy!
Daddy: (trying, but failing to not laugh)
Ellie: Daddy, are you laughing because Mommy has a hairy butt?


DISCLAIMER:
It may or may not be needed, but erroring on the safe side... In my defense, Ellie does not understand the differences between the front and rear private parts. It's all "butt" to her. Having said that, please go ahead and continue to laugh.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mommy's Day 2011

As far as I'm concerned, Mother's Day is a process. I always want to fit so much into one day that it's not really practical to expect it all to happen. So, this year, Mother's Day spanned approximately 2 weeks. Don't laugh. It all worked out great as far as I'm concerned.

First on the list: Matching dresses for pretty tulip picture with me and my beautiful daughters. I get a kick out of how much they both enjoy wearing the same thing as me. It makes them feel special. As for the picture - I have to update my Facebook profile picture at least once a year, right? Check.

Second: Get family picture. This certainly does not happen often enough and so Mother's Day seems to be a good time to force the matter. Check.

Third: Get generations pictures. It's so apparent that both of these beautiful ladies absolutely love to be a grandmommy. Check.

Forth: Get "cousins" picture. These kids are too cute together, but get them all in the same picture? Ha. Good luck with that one. Check.

Fifth: Get flowers. How beautiful are these baskets? OMG. I love them. And Michael even went one step furhter and surprised me with flowers for my window boxes outside of my bedroom! Check.

Sixth: Amazing Niffer present from my Michael. He did a FANTASTIC job of remembering something I've wanted for years, and I LOVE the results. I especially like how the sun comes in the room at the same angle as the photos - so cool! Check.

Seventh: Release some butterflies into the wild so they can be happy. Wave bye-bye to each one while wishing them well. Please excuse the butterfly porn. Check.

Eighth: Splash around in sprinklers. Ellie had a blast but the verdict is still out for Addie.

Ninth: Treasures, each made with loving little hands. A MUST-HAVE for a happy Niffer. I love the one-eyed Ellie holding hands with Mommy and her updated list of why she loves me. Check.

"I love my mommy because:
- I like about her that I snuggle her
- I like playing with her
- She is very pretty and she looks like a Mommy"


Tenth: Get grandma photos. I absolutely treasure how much my girls love their grandparents, yet amongst the fun I often forget to take photos. Check.

And last, but not least: Bed time hugs from my girls and relaxing hour or two watching something with my love. Check.

I had a fantastic Mother's Day even if it took two weeks to fit it all in. I wish I had gotten a photo of me and my sister, but I suppose that's starting to borderline asking for too much.

Oh wait! I snuck one of those in too. Go ahead and say it. I'm a spoiled Niffer.

Friday, May 06, 2011

WANTED:

One little girl, approximately 3 feet tall, with brown eyes and a round belly. She often wears pigtails in her hair, though she also loves to wear over-sized hats. She loves to give hugs to everyone around her, whether they be friends, family or strangers. The bandit also loves to pucker up, and has been seen kissing every image of a baby (person or animal) depicted in story books. Witnesses say they recall seeing the toddler waving to them at a restaurant until they felt obligated to wave back. Though not a big talker, she has quite an accent: "hut dug" is "hot dog," "pincess" is "princess," "buh bug" is "bye bye," "up-ff" is "up," and "ah duh" is "all done." She has also been known to say a sing-songy "Hi!" whenever she sees an animal, big or small. She loves to wear princess dresses and sparkly shoes and can often be found following every action that a slightly bigger version of herself performs. Generally, a good natured person, she can occasionally set one in their place with a distinct grunt. This little bandit has been charged with crimes of eating too much food and has the reputation of "fastest eater in the West." Known to run away in giggles if one tries to capture her, it is recommended to wait until she falls asleep. However, beware of the large quantity of teddy bears surrounding her, standing guard during during the night.

If you ever see her, please inform officials or anyone else with in sight. She is a sight to be seen and should be regarded with a high level of awe.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Big Sister Quote of the Day

While getting Addie dressed in the morning...

Addie: Appa!
Ellie: Look Mommy! Addie just said "apple!"
Mommy: Are you sure?
Ellie: Yeah, she just said "apple!" Did you hear?
Mommy: Yeah, but why would she say that? We're getting dressed. It seems a bit random, don't you think?
Ellie: But she said "apple" and she's getting so big. I'm so pwoud of her. Good job, baby. Good job! Daddy! Daddy! Addie just said "apple!"

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ellie's getting married

Apparently one of her teachers recently got engaged so the topic of marriage is a common one in Ellie's life right now.

Ellie: Mommy, do you know why I have a ring?
Mommy: No, why?
Ellie: Because I'm getting married and I filled up my sticker chart!
Mommy: Oh, good job! Who are you going to marry?
Ellie: Umm.... Daddy!
Mommy: But I'm married to Daddy.
Ellie: Dat's ok. We can share him and when Addie gets bigger, she can marry him too.
Mommy: All of us?
Ellie: Yep, we can all share.
Mommy: When you get bigger and meet your own prince, I don't think Daddy is going to marry you, but he has another very important job.
Ellie: Why?
Mommy: It's his job to walk you to your prince on your wedding day. It's called "walking you down the aisle."
Ellie: Oh.
Mommy: And it's Mommy's job to sit in the front row and cry.
Ellie: Why?
Mommy: Oh, don't worry. It'll be happy tears.
Ellie: Why?
Mommy: Because I will be happy that you have found your prince but a little sad that you will no longer be my little girl.
Ellie: But I don't want you to cry because it will take away all my energy.
Mommy: Oh, I certainly don't want to take away all your energy on your wedding day!
Ellie: Don't worry, Mommy, even dough I will marry my prince, I will still love you.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

I'm sure I wasn't the only child who worshipped the strawberry ground that Strawberry Shortcake walked on. I was PISSED when my mom had the nerve to paint over my Strawberry Shortcake desk so that it would match my room, but that's a whole other story. You'd think that after all these years I'd look at Strawberry Shortcake with fondness but would be able to step back and acknowledge that she is no better than the next cartoon mega-star. But then again, you'd be wrong.

It all started a couple months ago when Ellie wanted to watch the latest Strawberry Shortcake: Sky's the Limit movie and fell in love with it. Then we had to (ok, **I** had to) buy her some Strawberry Shortcake dolls for her birthday. That's where the mistake really occurred. As soon as I opened that plastic packaging seal, I was overwhelmed with the wonderful aroma of 80's plastic strawberry scent. I HAD NO IDEA HOW MUCH IT WOULD AFFECT ME. I spent the next hour sniffing the little doll in the corner by myself, happy as a little strawberry nymph. That's the best way I can describe it, but just imagine lots of snorting of strawberry goodness. I'm sure the stuff is addictive.

Ok, so the scent is a big one, but it's not the only reason I still like Strawberry Shortcake. I like how she takes on challenges and yet understands the value of friendship. I like that she's adventurous and doesn't let her size stop her. I like how she encourages her friends and cheers them up. Most of all, I like all of her hats. Anyone who knows Niffer knows that hats are a very good thing.

And the best part? It's not just Strawberry Shortcake who is cool enough to wear hats! We started letting Ellie watch some of the cartoon series and I discovered that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER FRIENDS WEARS HATS!!! How cool is that?!? You can't argue with that sort of role model!

Anyone who has so many friends with hats must be a pretty cool chick. That's my personal opinion as I sit here and snort strawberry scented plastic. One of these days I should actually buy one for Ellie since this Strawberry Shortcake is mine, all mine!