Friday, December 27, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Ellie: what are those people called who run and swim and...
Ellie: No. They do sports and stuff?
Mommy: An athelete?
Ellie: No. The people who do all the REALLY cool stuff?
Ellie: YES! I want to be in the Olympics when I grow up! And now that I can dive into the water, I am ready already!
She ran out of goals. We started them in May I think and since then she had averaged crossing off one goal every king.
Complete level 1 swim class - CHECK!
Do a cartwheel - CHECK!
Ride a 2 wheel bike - CHECK!
Complete level 2 swim class - CHECK!
Master the monkey bars - CHECK!
Complete level 3 swim class - CHECK!
And now, the moment we have all been waiting for; the ultimate goal of all goals...
Get into dive class - CHECK!
This girl ROCKS!
How many of those items can you do? In all honesty I might be able to do only 3 of them. Notice the question in the tone of my voice. It is so strange to have your child surpass you in so many ways! And do soon!
Ellie wants an American Girl doll for Christmas this year. The way she describes it is that it's a doll with an American flag dress. The skirt is red and white stripes and the top is blue with stars.
Little does she know what an American Girl doll really is and little does she know just how close she came to getting one. Mommy originally bought the girls each an American Girl doll but it didn't take long for the buyer's remorse ($110 each) to set in. In the end, the dolls were returned and cheaper versions were bought.
As luck would have it... Ellie's cheaper doll came with a dress that has a red and white stripe top and a blue shirt. Score!
Addie walked up to Mommy from behind, put her arms around Mommy for a hug....
Mommy: Oh that feels good!
Addie: X marks the spot! (tightening her hold by choosing her arms)
This girl has a natural ability to say the perfect thing at the perfect time. It makes me smile and laugh every time.
I absolutely love the words that kids make up yet they make perfect sense. My recent favorite comes from Addie...
I like all the colors of the rainbow but-cept black.
Daddy is ready but-cept his shoes.
I think it's time to pay but-cept I think it is bedtime instead.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Friday, November 08, 2013
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Monday, November 04, 2013
Friday, November 01, 2013
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
For as long as I can remember, Addie has always LOVED to wear dresses and skirts. She says that they make her feel so pretty and nice. She was born to love dresses. So imagine my shock that ever since she turned 4 on her birthday a week ago, she has been wearing PANTS more often than not. When asked why, she responds with a question in return. "Do I look like a teenager?" All the while, with a sly grown-up look on her face. I admit, when she wears a pair of jeans, there is no sign of my baby girl. Just a kid that has taken her place.
Today when Ellie rode the bus home from school, she walked herself home, came in the door, and without saying much more than a "Hi, how was your day?" she went to the kitchen, got a piece of bread out and a plate. Then she proceeded to make herself a sandwich for a snack. She even made me one too because she could tell I wasn't feeling very well.
When did this happen? When? Tell me!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Ellie shares with Daddy and they have a competition over every bite, often stealing from each other's spoon.
Addie shares with me and is so generous that she gives me the first and last bites and even the large cookie pieces.
Life is good.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
And thus she's bored with what they're learning now. Sigh. Unfortunately I do not think there is a good short-term solution. She will be changing schools soon but I think we'll come across the same problem there. We would like to get her into a Charter school but most likely can't do that this school year. I have found some math games that she can play on my phone but beyond that I'm not sure I have many options right now. Wish me luck in keeping this girl challenged!
Friday, October 11, 2013
I loved that in going into Addie's room, and giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek, a great big smile comes across her face.
I loved that in going into Ellie's room, and giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek, she groans a grumpy "quite bothering me" sort of groan and snuggles back into bed.
Complete opposites and I love them both.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
I asked her how it felt to be 4 years old and she just grinned and reassured me that someday she will be my baby again.
Daddy asked her what she wanted for breakfast and it was a small miracle that he was able to give it to her, considering how little food we really have in the house. A few minutes later they were served a plate of green eggs and green ham. Nicely done, Daddy.
After walking Ellie to the bus stop, I told Addie what the plan was for the day. It wasn't anything super special. Get treats for her classroom, drop her off at school while Mommy ran a couple errands, Mommy would pick her up early, come home to play some games, take a nap, then go to the store with Gramma. After laying the plan out, she had a great big grin and very sincerely sighed and said "Thank you, Mommy. Thank you." The girl is 100% sweet.
I think the most note-worthy thing to post about, though, was her reaction to Ellie. They get along very well, but usually it's because Addie is willing to go along with whatever Ellie says to do. Addie knows how to humor Ellie, even if she doesn't agree with her. But her birthday was different. Ellie was trying to talk Addie into doing a race to see who got to keep the big present. Addie knew the present was hers and didn't want to fool around with a silly race that she knew Ellie would win. As such, she said no. Ellie kept begging. Finally Addie said, "I don't have to. Today is my birthday and I can do anything I want... with good choices!"
LOVE that she stood up to Ellie and LOVE the disclaimer she tagged onto the end of her out-of-character "I can do ANYTHING I want" statement. This girl is so mature - definitely a wise old soul.
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Monday, October 07, 2013
"Hi. My name is Ellie and I was just calling to tell you that you don't need to pick me up from school because I am running errands with Jennifer, who is my mommy. I hope you get this message soon because I don't want you to worry about me. Anyway, I love you!"
Friday, October 04, 2013
Ellie: Oh my gosh! It's snowing!
Mommy: Big fluffy snowflakes!
Ellie: It's so pretty!
Mommy: Big fluffy snowflakes!
Addie: Mommy, can we snuggle?
Mommy: Big fluffy snowflakes!
Ellie: Is it winter time yet?
Mommy: Big fluffy snowflakes!
Addie: No, it's fall time because it's my birthday some time!
Mommy: Big fluffy snowflakes!
Ellie: Mommy, why do you keep saying "Big fluffy snowflakes?"
Mommy: Big fluffy snowflakes!
Addie: Mommy, can you please stop because you're giving me a big fluffy headache!
Thursday, October 03, 2013
And, of course, I like saving the best part for last... HOLY MOUNTAIN VIEWS, BATMAN!!!
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
I love that she understands that this family takes care of each other, and that it's important to look out for those smaller than yourself.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
His gift for me? A journal that he wrote in every day for the last year. Every day he wrote about the things that he loves. Most of them were about things I've done, but many of them were things the girls have done. It was quite a feat - writing every day for an entire year - but the result was magical.
With the layoff, floods, down-sizing, etc... I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately and some of it has taken me by surprise. I really feel like Michael and I have made great strides this year in defining our priorities and living life to stay in alignment with them. So some of the thoughts that have come to mind in the recent weeks have taken me by surprise. Here are some, in no particular order:
In reading his journal there were a few references to how much Michael loves my blog and how we're documenting the things we love about parenthood, and how the little stories brighten his day and help him stay focused. In reading these entries, I was hit with the feeling of "Oh yeah! I love writing in my blog and I haven't been doing a good job of that lately." I've been a bit ho-hum on the whole parenting front. I wonder if the two are related. In trying to accomplish so many other things, the blog has kind of suffered for it. I really feel like that needs to change back.
Had you asked me a couple months ago what I would do if I was laid off, I would have said I'd jump all-in into the Beachbody coaching business. It would be, and is, so rewarding to help people reach their fitness and health goals, while attacking a real honest world-wide problem. So, it came as a surprise to me that when presented with the opportunity to do just that, I don't want to. I feel strongly that I'm not ready to give up my engineering background just yet. The engineering world has not seen the last of me!
Additionally, Michael has been more and more stressed by the business. What used to be the REASON he was able to improve his outlook on life and his priorities, now has become a hinder on those very same things. He has a family history of anxiety and mental break-down issues, and has started to feel some of those symptoms of anxiety for no apparent reason, other than it appears to happen when thinking and stressing about the coaching business. It's not worth it to us to risk going down that stress path. So, we are probably going to give up the coaching business all together.
We've spoken about what he would do with his time and we've come up with a few options that will really focus on the family AND his engineering career. So I am pretty excited about that. He is in a good place and feels like Beachbody and the people we've met deserve the credit for that, but it just got to a point where it was having the opposite effect on our lives than it was intended to do.
So that leaves the gnomes... I love the gnomes and their magical effects on me. I will be focusing on my gnomes again and that makes my heart sing.
As for my career, like I said... the engineering world hasn't seen the end of me. Wish me luck!
As for life in general, we've had a really big pull on our hearts to simplify. It's something we've been thinking for quite some time. I think it started when we visited my pen pal in Germany and saw how incredibly simple she lived her life. In a place that was smaller than my living room / kitchen area, she had everything she needed. Instead of it feeling crammed like we expected, it felt relaxing. It made us realize how cluttered our lives have been, even though we felt like we have done a pretty good job of living below our means. We won't go to the same extreme as what Katya lives. After all, this is America, where we simply have TONS of space that Europe does not.
But we do have a significant pull on our hearts to down-size and simplify our lives. As such, we're putting the house on the market. Once it sells, we will move into a smaller place (currently our house is 3,000 sq ft w/ 5 bedrooms and lots of extra space, and we're thinking we need 2,000 sq ft w/ 3 bedrooms and a place to exercise). We will take the remainder of our equity and use it to purchase another rental investment property. There is something about the concept of having a little place that is full of things I love that appeals to me. In our current home, the mode of operation is "We have space to fill, so we need to buy something for that corner." Instead, I want to live in the mode of "I only have so much space, so let's be sure everything in it is exactly what I want." Instead of filling the empty space with more stuff, I want to fill the space with cherished belongings.
Am I weird?
Maybe. But sometimes that's the conclusion that comes out of a major soul-searching session like the one I am still processing.
(A few minutes pass and Ellie obviously forgets that plan...)
Ellie: Let's go over here and watch the show!
Addie: NO! I am the bride. I AM the show!!!
Luckily we're ok and relatively unaffected. Ellie's school was severely damaged so she'll be attending a YMCA camp for a few weeks. Not ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, we're lucky.
I have to say that my girls were pretty awesome when the floods happened. I doubt they really understood what was happening but I tried to show them pictures to keep them updated. I LOVED that upon hearing what happened, the first thing to Ellie's mind was if her best friend Brynn was safe. She insisted we send Brynn's family a message to find out. Of all the people to be concerned about, it goes to show how strong their friendship still is if Brynn is the first person Ellie thinks of.
My thoughts go out to those who were less fortunate than we were, but that goes for people even beyond the reach of the floods.
Mommy: Are you surprised at what the baby bunny wanted to be?
Ellie: No. I want to be a mommy when I grow up!
Mommy: I think that's a great idea, but you know what's really exciting?
Mommy: You can be a mommy AND something else. You can be a mommy AND a vet!
Ellie: Like you're an engineer AND a mommy!
Addie: And the tooth fairy!
Mommy: Ellie, if we're at the continental divide, can you guess where the water goes from here?
Addie: (interrupting any chance for Ellie to answer) DOWN!!!
Can't argue there.
That being said, sometimes her pride stretches the concept of science....
Addie: Mommy, did you know that Nana is Daddy's mommy and Grandpa Lou is Daddy's daddy?
Mommy: I did know that.
Addie: And Mommy, did you know that Nana once thought that Grandpa Lou was her pince but den she changed her mind? And now Grandpa is her pince! Just like in Shrek, right?
Mommy: That's right.
Addie: Did you know I understand how she did that?
Mommy: I'm glad you do!
Addie: Mommy, is that called science???
Hmm... I suppose in a way it is. Psychology at it's finest, right?
Thursday, September 05, 2013
How fortunate I must feel if when told I am being laid off, the first thing through my mind is "oh crap! I hope John's job is safe. He is the only income provider for his family. What about Mark? He just bought a new house and is a bit house poor." How fortunate I feel knowing that my first thought was NOT "omg how are we going to pay the bills? " or "how will we manage? "
I am fortunate even if turned up side down.