Friday, November 23, 2012

Tid Bits

In an attempt to give Addie some quality one-on-one time with Gramma since she hasn't ever done so, I love that she asked "Why is my sister not wif me?" And when told why, she responded with "But I LOVE my sister!"

I love that we managed to reach the $10,000/year limit that my employer has for matching charity donations. That feels good.

I love that my husband, upon hearing a Broadway Musical song he knows (or even one that isn't from Broadway), sings as though he is the one up on stage instead of the one in the kitchen doing dishes. That same gene has been passed on to Ellie.

Today I'm thankful for my youngest daughter who was SOOOOOO excited about the plan to go to sleep and think of me, and I'd go to sleep thinking of her so that we could hug each other in our dreams.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today I am thankful for...

A husband who knows better than I do what gestures make me feel loved.

A 5 year old daughter who says "I am thankful for my family who pre-tects me and for my Bun Bun who is still with me."

A 3 year old daughter who says "I am thank you for the color purple!"

A hobby that has turned into a second business (Gniffer's Gnomes), yet remains very rewarding every time someone recieves a tiny pick-me-up I created.

A third business (Fit Folks) that is just as rewarding because we are helping people reach their fitness goals to be the best they can be, to have the energy their children deserve and to take care of themselves for once.

Life is good. Very good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Addie's Smile

Addie:  (crying) I'm too tired to wake up.
Mommy:  Oh I understand how that can be sometimes.  I feel like that sometimes too.
Addie:  I'm too tired to wake up.
Mommy:  Do you need me to help get your stuff?
Addie:  Yes.
Mommy:  Ok, I know your shirt is in this draw and your pants are here.  And your socks are here.  Where are your shoes?  Oh right, they're in the closet.  I think I know where everything except one thing is.  I don't know where your smile is?  Where did you leave it?
Addie:  (a bit confused) Uh.... Maybe in my closet?  ....  No....  Maybe behind my door?  ....  No....
Mommy:  Maybe it's under your pillow?
Addie:  (checking) No...  Oh!  I know!  It's in my pocket!
Mommy:  Well hurry!  Get it out and put it on your face quick before you lose it!
Addie:  (putting her smile on her face, with a great big smile)  I did it!  I got my smile back!

Works like a charm.

I'd like to file this away into my "golden parenting nuggets" bucket. It just seems to click with her. Another day she was upset and I asked her where she left her smile. She told me it was in her pocket, then fished around her pocket with her fingers to pull it out. She was still crying and I said "Don't put your smile on until you're ready." She waited a moment and then assured me "I'm ready now!" before putting her smile back on.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A glimpse at Addie in school

Addie is a silent leader, according to her teachers.  She's not quite as vocal as Ellie has always been, but her friends still follow her with great love.

One day on the playground she was caught sharing her bike with a friend.  The teachers gave her a sticker (which she later proudly told us about her example of how to be nice to friends).  Apparently since then she's been going out of her way trying to find toys to share with her friends.  And her friends have followed suit.  She even uses it to her advantage and encourages them to share so that they, too, can get a sticker!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Addie's thought on Elvis

Listening to Christmas music on the way home, Elvis Presley's song "Blue Christmas" came on.  Addie listened for a moment then in a confused voice asked "Mommy, is this a penguin singing?  Is he Happy Feet's Daddy?"

Ha!  Too cute that my daughter thinks of Happy Feet penguin before any real person.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Teenager Pants

Ellie got a bunch of pants. They were mostly jeans. I wanted her to try them on to see if they fit. She didn't want to. She said they were ugly and they would make her look like a boy. I asked her nicely to try them on to just see if she likes them. She tried them on and I asked what she thought. Ellie gave me a frustrated look and said her new pants made her look like a boy. They were ugly.

Quick! Niffer, think fast! She MUST wear these pants because... well, because... Just BECAUSE!!!

"Oh my gosh! I totally agree. You should take those pants off because they make you look like a TEENAGER!!!"

She hasn't taken them off since with the exception of changing into another pair of pants from the pile of new ones. She even sleeps in them and every morning the does her model show and coyly asks me "Do I look like a teenager?"

Ha! Score!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Addie's sense of humor

I love that little Addie's sense of humor is starting to show more and more as she grows. The other day at dinner time, she looked at her spoon then started shaking it like a salt shaker. Then she would pause and look at it with a puzzled look on her face. She repeated this until we asked her what she was doing. She got a great big goofy grin on her face and said "My spoon is empty!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I am beautiful

Inspired by this article, I am going to try to make it a point to tell my daughters that **I** am beautiful.

I agree with most of what the article says, though I've never thought about it before. It's easy for me to tell my daughters that they're beautiful. One look at them and I often find myself in awe. They're perfectly beautiful and I wonder if they will ever know it.

As for me, I've always had a high level of self-esteem. I'm not sure where it came from. I've always chalked it up to the way I was raised. That being said, I don't exactly TELL people this, and there have been times when I look at myself in the mirror and see someone far from the person I picture in my head.

I wonder how many times my girls have caught those moments of hesitation. I wonder how many times I've given them the impression that I doubt myself. I'd like to say this has never happened.

My girls look at me and see someone they strive to be like when they get bigger. That means I need to focus on being the person I WANT them to be when they get bigger. In every possible way.

I want them to still believe in themselves, instead of being taught to doubt themselves. The way I see it, if they think I'm the perfect example of what they strive to become, then if they sense the doubt I may have in myself, then they will grow to doubt themselves.

So I'm making a new commitment to my daughters. I'm going to have a healthy self-esteem, both internally and externally. I'm going to TELL them that I'm beautiful, because you know what... I AM beautiful and that's ok. With my flaws, it's still ok to be beautiful.

I want my girls to keep the self confidence that they show today. And in doing so, I need to show them that I am self confident myself.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tea Party Invitation

TRANSLATION: Tea party is here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

Ellie Writes

Can you read this?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Election 2012

Taken from Daddy's Facebook page:

The political musings of my kids:
Dad: Who should be president?
5 yr old: George Washington!
Dad: Good choice, for a corpse...what about you?
3 yr old: I dunno
Dad: Would you pick a donkey or an elephant?
3 yr old: I think I pick the giraffe
Dad: Also a good idea.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

My Sweet Daughters

Today I am thankful for my girls.

I am on travel for work and after having been gone for only a short hour, I already got a phone call from my Ellie. She just HAD to tell me that she counted 76 cars on the train that stopped them on the way to school! She just HAD to share.

And my sweet Addie. They called again before going to bed. I told Addie I missed her and she sadly said "Yes." Then I told her "I have an idea. How about you go to bed and think of me. Then when I go to sleep I will think of you and we can hug each other in our dreams?" She excitedly said, "Yeah! I go to bed RIGHT NOW!!!" before hanging up the phone.

I'm blessed.

Monday, November 05, 2012

What a Shame

Sadly these treasures got wet but they still remain treasures none-the-less:

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Heartache in Gnifferland

I am blessed beyond words, and so many ways that it would be pointless to attempt to list them all out in this post, so I'll just speak to one. My gnomes. Though this blog is usually focused on my girls, I feel like I need to get this out. I suppose it's fitting because it's my gnomes that have made this blog slip a bit, but that's besides the point.

Gniffer's Gnomes has taken off and has established such success that I'm still in shock over it. My fans love the gnomes because they give them a tiny pick-me-up and are always looking for ways to make the garden a better place. The demand for my tiny fuzzy gnomes and their personalized stories is so great that sometimes it's hard for me to maintain my enthusiasm because the feeling of constantly being "behind" and never being able to catch up threatens my ability to stay positive.

But then there are the reactions I get from people. It seems that these tiny gnomes have brought so many tears to people's eyes in the last year and a half. Yes, I've made more than my fair share of people cry, though they've mostly been happy tears (I hope). There is just enough in their stories to make a person feel really loved and cherish.

It's magic. And it keeps me motivated to bring as many gnomes to life as possible.

However, in recent weeks I've experienced some difficult times in Gnifferland, and it's for reasons that I was not prepared to deal with. I've dealt with people complaining about the long wait list, or the prices, or even not getting the details right. Those are easy hurdles to move past.

Though most gnome stories are uplifting and bring a smile to one's face, there have been some difficult topics that I've had to address as well. Sometimes one might make the argument that someone with an illness is in MOST need of a gnome to lift their spirits. I've been secretly proud of my ability to handle such sad and serious situations in a way that still keeps with the light-hearted character of a gnome.

But now enough time has passed that I have been faced with reality.

Last year I made this set (Bushels of Hope)for a family whose Daddy was suffering from a rare type of cancer. The thought was that they would each have a gnome to keep them company while Daddy stayed in the hospital for long durations. Sometimes Mommy would stay at the hospital with Daddy, and sometimes she would stay home with their little girl. A year and a half later I saw a status update on my friend's FB page, saying she was at her friend's funeral. "Nothing more crushing than hearing his 5 yr old daughter crying during the service."

And I found I was lost for words.

Earlier this year I made these two gnomes. What started out as a simple Gnome Give Away Contest for Patches, ended up with me making one for the winner's (a 5 year old little girl who suffers from brain cancer) little 3 year old sister as well (Patches #1 Fan). On the very same day as when I found out the fate of "Daddy" from above, I learned that Patches' Mommy had to make the decision that no parent should ever have to make. The had decided to stop treatment and let their beautiful girl live the rest of her life as pain-free as possible.

Again I was lost for words, though I knew my heart felt overwhelmed with powerful emotions. I managed to bottle it up until I saw a new update today.

Her Mommy wrote:
"the docs asked me if it came to it if i would want her incubated and have them try everything possible to save answer was NO, i do not want her on a tube where she cannot talk, i want her to be able to say she loves us if she is dying i want to be selfish enough to say i want to hear her last words to me dammit."

OH. MY. GOD. As a Mommy myself, this brutally honest sentiment is beyond powerful.

I did not ever have any direct contact with either of these people. In fact, I never once heard from them, nor did I expect to. I've always feared that my well intentions might be taken as an insult. After all, how can I expect a tiny 2" felted wool critter cure cancer?? How can a firm chuck of wool, no matter how cute it may be, help in such a sad situation???

No, I didn't know these people. Nor did I really expect my gnomes to cure cancer. However, for the day or two in which I was creating each of their gnomes, I gave them my heart. I put my heart and soul into their situation, even if just for a short period of time. They touched me. They may not know who I am, but I feel like they have become a part of who I am.

And so I guess it makes sense for me to feel a significant loss right now. My heart goes out to these families, whether they know it or not.

Again, I am so blessed in an infinite number of ways, in spite of Gnifferland being touched by heartache.