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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Victories

In parenting, you have to soak in the moments of small achievements. This Halloween was filled with them.

1. I convinced both of my girls to be something OTHER THAN a princess. Granted one had to be a MAGICAL unicorn (don't you dare forget "magical") and the other had to be a BABY dragon (my girls are into their adjectives), but it's an achievement all the same.

2. I turned a horrible sickly floppy-horned unicorn costume into a masterpiece complete with swirling upright horn AND lush sparkly hair. No unicorn of mine is going to have a floppy horn! Please, no applause. It's really not necessary. No really, it was nothing.

3. I got a perfect picture of the two, which every parent knows is easier said than done, especially at this age.

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4. And I actually managed to get them wagging their tails! Score!

In all honesty, the girls loved their costumes and I loved watching them. If someone at their school Halloween Party said "Awww, look! It's a dragon," Addie would turn around and say "Baby dragon. Hi!" Then she'd give them a hug. And since 90% of her friends were princesses, Ellie got a kick out of being the only pet unicorn around.

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At home, the girls were pretty silly chasing each other.

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Or just frolicking around like magical unicorns and baby dragons do.

And of course, Mommy gets a kick out of how great these two are together. They make me smile, in case you can't tell.

Tonight is Addie's first time Trick-or-Treating... stay tuned for more...

Friday, October 28, 2011

The most stupid argument in history

In the history of parenting, I think this tops for the stupidest argument of all time...

Ellie: But I want a special friend to snuggle with too.
Mommy: I'm sorry. There isn't another animal for you to snuggle with. All we have left in Daddy's car is diapers.
Ellie: Ok. I want to snuggle with a diaper please.
Mommy: A diaper? Uh, ok. Here you go.

That night ...

Daddy: Ok, time for bed.
Ellie: Can I sleep with my baby diaper?
Daddy: No, it's a diaper.
Ellie: But it's my baby and we are snuggling.
Daddy: No, it's a diaper. Pick a friend to sleep with.
Ellie: But I want my diaper. I love my diaper. See? It's my baby?
Daddy: No, it's a diaper.
Ellie: But Daddy this is very important to me. Can I please sleep with the diaper?
Daddy: Ugh. Whatever.
Ellie: Thank you. This is my most special friend forever. Can I sleep with my diaper for every night?

The next day...

Ellie: Daddy?
Daddy: Yeah?
Ellie: I don't want to sleep with my diaper any more. It's old and yucky. Is that ok?
Daddy: Of course.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tid-Bits

I love hearing Addie say "I love you, Mama" on the phone. It's more like "I lu lu Mama." I recall Ellie's version was more like "I lubui."

I got a kick out of how much Ellie's mannerisms affected us even when we were far from her in Europe. We'd see something neat and say something like "Cool is dat? Mommy, cool is dat?"

I loved to hear Addie say "Lo Mama" on the phone. She's getting so big. "Hello, Addie! Mommy loves you!"

I had to giggle at some of the signs of being parents even while on vacation. For example, when a bird was begging for food from a person we just met while traveling, Michael said something along the lines of "Look at you, you're catching some princess vibes," referring to how animals talk to princesses. Only a father to young girls would have a thought like that.

Ellie: We can't eat dose berries because THEY. ARE. VISIBLE! They are poisonous, right?

On seeing headless mannequins at the store, Addie points and giggles and says "Owie head." I suppose she has a point.

I chuckle every time Addie asks to watch her favorite YouTube video: "Elmo cock?"

I get a kick out of Addie hiding behind my back.
Mommy: Where is Addie?
Addie: Don't know.
Mommy: Is she over here?
Addie: Noooo.

According to Ellie, the correct word for "bra" is "boo boo straps."

When Ellie was younger she insisted that the Beast from "Beauty and the Beast" was a "funny giraffe." Addie insists it's Mommy.

Addie speaks in whispers. We thought she wasn't talking much at all, but when Ellie was gone for a couple days we suddenly could hear Addie talking. Whispers, but she says a lot. Go figure.

I love how much the "Moon song" has meant to both girls. Ellie used to sing it when she missed Daddy when he was gone for work. Addie simply insists on singing it every night. "I see the moon and the moon sees me and the moon sees the one that I want to see..."

I love that even at the age of two, Addie still kisses all the animals in our "I Love You as Much" book. I need to get it on video.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A day on the farm

There is nothing better than a nice day at the farm. Well, take away my allergies to the horses and that statement could actually be very true.

It's especially nice to get moments of pride for my children, who are confident enough to try new things... like riding a horse. All. By. Themselves. They loved it. $10 less rich, at least we got pictures.

I was actually quite surprised by how much Ellie enjoyed the challenge of lassoing the pretend cows. She liked the challenge of catching the cow.

And I enjoyed watching her try over and over again until she did. Sometimes I feel like she's so big.

Addie, on the other hand, just enjoyed running.

And running.

You'd be proud of me for FINALLY getting a photo of Addie with little Lilah. These two might become best friend by default since their older sisters spend so much time together, but I am appalled at the fact that they are both over 2 years old before I finally could get a photo of them together. C'est la vie, je suppose.

Of course, we got a classic Ellie and Brynn hug photo. To this day, Ellie hugs her friends with such muster I'm surprised they don't fall over. It's so nice to see that these two girls still mean so much to each other after all these years.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shopping with Daddy

While shopping with Daddy, Addie went up and down the aisles with him, pointing at every item and asking, "Orange juice? Noooo...." Apparently she got quite a kick out of it because she continued through the entire store. Daddy decided that she was so cute that he finally broke down and bought her orange juice. When she saw it, she said "Orange juice? Yeah! Cart!" and promptly pointed for him to place the juice into the cart.

He's whipped.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A belated birthday party

Last weekend we have a small get-together with some of our beloved family members to sing Addie the official "Happy Birthday" song. Addie, of course, got some balloons...
... and couldn't be any happier.
Nor could she be any prettier. Just sayin'.
All week Addie has been practicing her response to when people ask how old she is. "How old are you, Addie?" and she proudly raises her fingers and as quiet as a mouse, responds with "Two!"
We had the cake, which Addie insists that everyone knows it's HER cake.
And Ellie helped Addie open her presents.
Actually, in all fairness, Ellie was a wonderful big sister who was completely supportive of her little sister having her special day. She told Addie a few times just how proud she was that she was a big girl now.
A big girl who adores butterfly wings and princess crowns and giving hugs. Yep, she's a keeper.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Every now and then...

... a parent is entitled to a moment of brilliance.
Ellie got Addie a Tinkerbell doll for her birthday and so far it has been a big hit. Yesterday when I woke Addie up...

Mommy: Ok, Addie, come lay down here and we'll get you dressed.
Addie: Ginker Ginker gurn?
Mommy: Oh, is it Tinkerbell's turn first?
Addie: Yeah.
Mommy: Ok, come lay down with her too. Let's change your diaper.
Addie: Ginker Ginker diaper.
Mommy: You want Tinkerbell to have a diaper too?
Addie: Yeah!
Mommy: Tinkerbell doesn't need a diaper. Tinkerbell is a big girl and goes pee pee on the potty.
Addie: Aye-yines gurn go pee pee potty?
Mommy: You want to go pee pee on the potty with Tinkerbell?
Addie: Yeah!

And so we did, we sat Tinkerbell on the baby potty and Addie sat on the toilet and did her stuff. It was awesome. Some day soon. Some day soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ellie's Art

Ellie keeps advancing her drawing skills and I really question whether or not I will ever get tired of seeing her creations.

Ellie made some cards at Nana's house. I recently showed her how to make butterflies and she just took off, a butterfly making machine.
This one she made all by herself. I love the rain. It's such a perfectly innocent drawing.
Flowers for Nana, under a rainbow. This girl is an expert rainbow maker. I've noticed that recently all her rainbows have the correct order and colors.
She does have an annoying little habit of folding her masterpieces into cards, but I liked how she insisted on writing a message. She already knew how to spell the word "love" but I had to tell her the other letters.
Three spiders in a web. One is happy, one is sad and one is scared.
And then there is the giraffe for Daddy, Mommy, Ellie and Addie. I think I like pet giraffes.
A tree surrounded by flowers and "the colorful sky." This was the first picture Ellie came home with that had labels (though they're upside down, silly teacher).
Sketching a still life. Ellie helped me write labels on each of the items she drew a few weeks ago. I don't know what a skinny stick, pokey stick or a photo strap is, but that's what she said she drew. Note she added the butterflies... I like how they've evolved into having smiley faces.
And another one of my favorites. It's Mommy, Addie, Ellie and Daddy standing under a rainbow sharing flowers. We're all wearing clothes, but you can see we're very happy.
Ellie insisted that I write "Make you think of me" on the back of the picture so that I think of her when I see the drawing hanging up at work. Then she wrote "Love Ellie, To Mommy" by herself. My heart melts at the fact that she can write "I (heart) U" even though she thinks that's how you spell "love."
Ellie so proud of her most recent sidewalk art.
Notice the new style of legs! I think it looks like we're all walking! I love that she drew us holding hands, walking down the sidewalk together.
Hmmm.... Come to think of it, now that we all have wonderful bodies and legs, we seem to have lost our arms and hands. Oh well, at least we're always a happy family. I'm going to have to get me a rainbow dress, though! That looks like fun.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hop Scotch

You gotta love drawing funky (but completely practical) squares on the sidewalk on a nice sunny day.

I like that Ellie finds enjoyment in the more traditional and simple games.

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Apparently this game is called exercising and Addie was sure to confirm it was exercising for her too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

So entire

It's no secret that kids say the cutest things. My most recent favorite is Ellie's "so entire." Here are a few examples:

This is my baby. She's so entire cute!
It's not time to wake up because I'm so entire sleepy!
Look at that sunset! It's so entire pretty!

And my personal favorite, she was our little supportive cheerleeder while playing Wii with some friends last weekend, saying "Oh!!! So entire close!" every time a player didn't quite get the shot perfect. It was such a hit that the adults continued to say "Oh! So entire close!" long after Ellie fell asleep.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Me too too

Mommy: I had a lot of fun seeing the balloons and visiting Mrs Jen and seeing G. and O!
Addie: Me too!
Mommy: You had fun too?
Addie: Yeah! Bun Bun too too!
Mommy: Bun Bun Bear had fun as well?
Addie: Yeah!

P.S. Jen, not quite, but similar to the classic Toot.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our simple family vacation

Many times it's easy for me to judge the quality of a vacation on how many photos we end up bringing home with us, but that was not the case for our trip to Albuquerque this last weekend to see the Balloon Fiesta. Instead, we came home with shockingly few photos, yet it might have been the most enjoyable and relaxing trip we have ever taken with the girls. We were able to see some good friends (though we did not have time to see everyone we knew in Albuquerque - I'm sure you understand) and had only one activity on our agenda - seeing the balloons.

That's it. One activity for the entire long 4-day weekend. However, amongst the relaxing with friends (while the kids entertained themselves - OMG!!!!) we managed to work in that one official activity.

So here are some of the highlights to our trip...

Arriving at Miss Jen's house to see that each of the girls had a princess crown with earrings!!! waiting for them...

Miss Jen putting make-up on the princesses...

Ellie playing Wii for the first time with Mr. Jason. I particularly like her bowling style...
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And last, but not least, hanging out on the couch realizing that our kids are old enough to entertain themselves and play with each other. The fake smiles are a hoot...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Addie!!!

Yesterday was your birthday. My baby is 2 years old. MY. BABY. IS. TWO. YEARS. OLD.

We actually spent a long weekend in New Mexico visiting a couple dear friends (more on that later) and we spent most of Sunday on the return ride home. Miss Jen painted your (and your sister's) toenails and fingernails your favorite color - blue and then we were off for the 8 hour drive back home. No, it doesn't sound terribly exciting but seeing the balloons at the balloon fiesta and having a small party next weekend will make up for it. That's ok, though, because that's how you roll. You're very much a "go with the flow" type of girl. You're cool like that.

Though the drive was long, it was actually quite fun. You still adore your big sister. It seems that all Ellie has to do is say a word followed by some silly facial expression and it gets you every time. This time we spent quite some time laughing at Ellie asking you "Do you want more juice?" and would respond "No!" and then she would look up at the ceiling with a sly look on her face while you burst out in full laughter. When that finally settled down a little, you turned the tables and asked Ellie "Mo juice?" and would do the same thing. I'm telling you, this there is nothing better than the adoration you and your sister have for each other.

You are probably one of the most easy going, carefree souls I know. You are still incredibly easy to put to sleep. Just read you a book, tuck you in and sing you a song and you're good to go. Even the transition to your big girl bed was a piece of cake. If the answer to one of your questions is "No" then as long as you know we understood your intentions, your response is typically a very polite "Pease!" followed by a simple "Tay."

You are so passionate and live so big for such a small person. If you get upset, though, we can watch you try to hold it in and try to calm yourself down. Many times you do. If you can't calm down on your own, you'll turn to us for support before finally breaking down. But even your worst break downs, with tears so big it seems that you could drown in them, don't last long. You are almost always your smiley self soon afterwards. Seriously, girl, you do such a good job of keeping your cool that sometimes I'm convinced you're an old soul.

Because you're so mild mannered it has taken a while for us to see what some of your favorites are. Your favorite stuffed friend is Bun Bun Bear (which I love since it's a gift from your big sister the day you were born), though your baby blue dragon (a gift from Mommy and Daddy from our trip to Oxford, England) comes in a close second. You love being surrounded by all your stuffed bears (all 10 or so of them) when you go to sleep, and you insist on always sleeping on your big puppy instead of your pillow. Your favorite color is blue, though we didn't know that until AFTER we gave you a rainbow big girl room. Your favorite book is by far "Blue Hat, Green Hat" and you can practically read it by yourself.

Your favorite activities are doing whatever your big sister is doing, swinging on the swings at the park (especially with your eyes closed), giving people hugs, jumping at Bounce Town, swimming, splashing, taking a bath, walking around silly swinging your arms like a monkey, but no matter what you're doing it seems as though you have no fears. You are bold and so willing to explore on your own or just tackle a challenge that many big kids have trouble with.

You are very caring. It's not uncommon for you to come up to Mommy and start running your fingers through my hair just because you know it feels good. Perhaps you know that since it calms you down, it must calm me down too? You like to show me how soft your blanket is by rubbing it across my cheek and saying "Nice." You also need no coaxing to give people hugs when you notice they are sad. You give them freely without thinking twice about it.

You're a bit shy with your words. Perhaps it's because your sister talks for you, but you're starting to catch up. In the last month you have exploded with words and many 2-4 worded sentences.

From the moment you entered our lives, our lives have been so blessed. Never had we imagined a baby as sweet and easy as you. Nor have we imagined a little girl as loving and snuggly as you. Words can not describe the love that comes from how simple life seems with you in it. Perhaps your big sister says it best when she says "Addie, I love you and you are my friend forever." She also occasionally points out that you will always be our baby. Just sayin.'

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ellie's Sun

Ellie: Hello Mr Sun.
Squeaky Ellie: Hello Lori-elle.
Ellie: Sun, will you be my fwiend?
Squeaky Ellie: Sure, why not?
Ellie: Sun, you are my friend and I love you.
Squeaky Ellie: Danks. You are my friend too.
Ellie: Sun, will you be my sun forever?
Squeaky Ellie: Sure!
Ellie: Sun, I like you a lot. You are the prettiest star of all time! You are the closest star so you look bigger den all the odders, but I know you are still very pretty.
Squeaky Ellie: Danks! You are a pretty princess too.
Ellie: Sun, I have a dea! You can be my sun and make me warm for all time and I can be your princess for all time. Does that sound like a good dea?
Squeaky Ellie: Yeah!
Ellie: Hey Mommy! I just talked to the sun and we decided dat he would be my star forever and I will be his princess forever. It's ok dat he's a star because he's just a really close star. "Sun" is Spanish for "star" so it's ok. But I told him that I loved him and he loves me too!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Addie's Big Girl Room

I have to confess that I have been obsessed about this room for much much longer than I should have been. I admit that I was stressed about it because I had used up all my cute ideas on Ellie's big girl room (updated photos here), so I needed more time to figure out a game plan for Addie. More time. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I think I started making decisions in the first few months of Addie's life. If not that soon, then certainly by the time I decided that she did not have a favorite color like Ellie did (at a ripe age of 9 months). When a baby doesn't have a favorite color, the only logical (or insane) conclusion to come to is "do a rainbow room for her big girl room... when she turns 2.... in 1.5 years from now."

And so my obsession began. I was determind to do a BOLD rainbow room, but take a moment to do a Google search for such a thing. NO ONE DOES BOLD RAINBOW ROOMS. All bedding and decor for rainbows are pastel colors and that was not what I wanted, so I started piecing together my own ideas. The entire time I was fearing that there was a reason people didn't make bold rainbow room decor and that I would discover that reason once I put the room together and "GAH! Now THAT'S too bold!"

But the end justifies the means, right? I love the way her room turned out. SUPER SUPER happy Niffer here. We bought a fun bed from IKEA (when she's older, it can flip over so that she has a little play area underneath thta we will enclose). I think it's a perfectly fun bed for a young child.

The most important thing in the room is the beautiful quilt that Gramma made for Addie. Since I couldn't find bold bedding, we made one for ourselves. It wasn't easy for us since neither of us are used to going bold, but I do love the result. Because of the stunning quilt, Addie's room has a subtle rain-theme to it.

I fell in love with the rain concept. I thought it suited Addie perfectly, especially since her middle name is Rayne. And of course, you didn't expect me to decorate her room without the help of Etsy, did you? These wonderful prints were a custom order from the adorable Loxly Hollow, who took my ideas and brought them to life more perfectly than I had imagined.

The other corner of the room. Have I mentioned yet that I love the way it turned out?

I was most excited about the rainbow boxes with coordinating items inside. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Love.

And of course, no big girl room is complete without handprint art to remind Mommy of how little she still is, complete with a sister rainbow and a mommy fish.

We still need to put a cloud valence across the top of the curtains (not to mention disassemble the crib) and frame one more rainbow print, but other than that the room is complete.

So... what do you think?