Sunday, June 30, 2013


Ellie went to Harry Potter camp a couple weeks ago where she learned how to do magic through science.  Ever since then she has been using her magic words to accomplish her magic. Her magic words?  Are they "hocus pokus" or "abra ka dabra?" Or no.  Those are the silly words of older generations. Ellie's magic words are always "la boocha!" She has been saying "la boocha!" to help her do things like cartwheels or when she reveals an item hiding under a blanket.

Friday, June 28, 2013


In May we decided to introduce the girls to the concept of setting goals.  Ellie's goals were:
-  Finish Level 2 swim class
-  Ride a bike
-  Get better at the monkey bars
-  Do a carthwheel

She finished Level 2 swim class, which she was super excited about because she knows she can be in the dive class once she proves herself in Level 3.  She has replaced the goal with the goal to get into Dive Class.  Woop woop!

This week we worked on another goal.  Check out her cartwheel at the beginning of this week's gymnastics camp.

And her very first real cartwheel!

And now Ellie's cartwheels at the end of the week.

I think it has been so fun helping Ellie make and reach her goals. I am so pleased to see herself so proud of her accomplishments and all at a young age!  Wow!

Girly Girl

Addie still refuses to wear anything except dresses. If she doesn't get to wear a dress then it's a bad day for all. Sometimes I think this girl has the wrong mommy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bras 101

Addie: What are you doing?
Mommy: Putting my bra on.
Addie: Bras are to cover our boobs right?
Mommy: Right.
Addie: And they are there so that when someone wants to play with our boobs and they lift our shirts, then they are still covered.
Mommy: ....
Addie: But we don't let people play with our boobs because they are private spots.
Mommy: That's right.
Addie: So if they want to play with our boobs it's ok if they just play with our belly buttons instead, right?
Mommy: I suppose so.

Ellie's First Boyfriend

I returned from our trip to an unexpected surprise. "Mommy, guess what! Even though I'm only 6 years old, I have a REAL boyfriend!"

Oh my... I can honestly say I'm not ready for this. Not only does Ellie have a boyfriend but he doesn't even have a cutesy name like Jake. No, her boyfriend's name is... WOLF. You might as well call him Spike for all I'm concerned.

My mom says that when she went to pick Ellie up from camp last week, Wolf approached her and asked very nicely, "Can you please wait a couple of minutes until my Mommy picks me up? I want to give Ellie my phone number. I know my number and I know how to spell my first name but I don't know how to spell my last name. Can you please wait until my mommy gets here so that she can help me spell my last name?"

Sigh. I'll be honest. I kind of wish I was there.

According to Gramma, Ellie wanted to call Wolf right away but she was patient and waited until they got home. When she did call him she got the voicemail and left a very grown-up message. "Hi, this is Ellie. I was just wondering if you could ask Wolf if he would like to be my boyfriend. Um, I guess I will try to call him again tomorrow. Thank you. Bye."

The next day Wolf and Ellie talked on the phone for 5 minutes or so and decided that they are indeed an item.

I asked Ellie to tell me about Wolf. He has blond curly hair and blue eyes. Cute. He is an older boy at age 7. She says that she really likes how he is super nice and says nice things to her. He invites her to play with him and doesn't tease her like some of the boys. It brought to mind the common mistake that parents (myself included) make with their daughters when it comes to little boys who tease them. "Oh, they're just being mean to you because they like you." How horrible is that advice? No wonder so many little girls grow up to be in abusive relationships. But alas, that's not the point here. I told Ellie that I was proud of her for picking a boy who is really nice to her because that is really important. Her response was "Yeah, Wolf is a good boy. I'm glad he is in my life."

We've yet to hear from Wolf since Saturday's conversation but Ellie is looking more and more grown-up every day. Sigh.

Comparing Weekend Notes

Mommy and Daddy went out of town last weekend and I must say that the girls are way too easy to miss these days. When we got back home, though, it was well worth the time apart. The first thing out of little Addie's mouth was "How was your trip?" It wasn't "Did you bring us anything?" or "Let me tell you about my week." That girl has an incredible ability to simply care about other people.

Ellie and I had a fantastic bonding session where we told each other about our weekends. She told me all about her weekend at Harry Potter camp and how her team (the Hufflepuffs) won the championship by getting the most points. They played Quittich and learned how to do magic through science. She had a blast.

Then it was my turn. I told her how nice it was to finally meet some of my friends and how fun it was to see so many people so excited to help other people get healthy. It felt like a grown-up conversation with lots of give and take. She was just as excited and interested in hearing about my weekend as I was with hers.

I don't think I've mentioned this recently, but it sure has crossed my mind a lot... I am LOVING this age.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Long overdue, I have finally published a children's book. Woop woop! This one is about Ellie meeting her special gnome (Gniffer's Gnomes). I love love love the way it turned out and more importantly, so does Ellie. We got a proof copy of it and she quickly volunteered to read it to her sister. Ellie has known for a while that I've been working on the story about her so in a way it was not anything unexpected. Until, that is, she reached the end of the book where she saw a picture of herself. Then she FREAKED OUT. "I'm in a book! I'm in a book! Daddy, look! I'm in a book!"


Bocci Ball

Bocci Ball - a camping tradition.

This year Addie played too and was actually quite good - when she remembered to take a moment to aim.

Grampa would have to pull out the measuring tape when things got close.

But no matter who won, Addie was there to give them an excited celebratory hug.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Camping 2013

Apparently I now consider ourselves to be pros at this whole camping thing. It didn't even occur to me to take photos of the girls helping to set up the tent until it was all said and done and Ellie asks "But what about the helping-put-up-the-tent photos?" Huh. Go pretend to help again.

It didn't take Addie much time before she started finding treasures to share with Mommy. There is something about this photo I love. Look at her eyes!

I actually don't have any photos of us, as a family, in front of a campfire. Oh wait... I guess that's no longer the case. Hehehehe. There is so much about this photo that makes me giggle.

Apparently camping is no longer a good excuse to avoid exercising either. Ellie got straight to her sit-ups. Mommy was impressed (and a bit jealous).

And of course, Addie had to join in on the exercising fun. She says it keeps her helfy.

All in all it was just as much fun as a family camping trip should be. Even with Addie's new-found hobby of experimenting with expressions for photos.

Addie's Drawings

Addie has started to become more and more interested in drawing pictures, which makes this Mommy very excited. That being said, I have to admit that I was a little shocked by the first drawing she drew for Daddy.

What is it? It's Addie (pink one to the left) in the dark and scared until Daddy (blue to the right) comes to save her. Um?? Are you serious? THIS is what you draw for the VERY FIRST self-initiated drawing you decide to make for us? Isn't that a bit deep for a 3 year old?

Her second drawing (this one is for Mommy) is MUCH more like what I would expect. Happy things like rainbows.

Monday, June 10, 2013


According to the section at the bookstore where we got Ellie's latest book, she's reading at a 3rd-5th grade level. We got her the first book in the Boxcar Children series and so far she's loving it. Such a good reader, we couldn't help but giggle when she started reading Chapter III to us... "Chapter I-eeee" heheheheh.

Sound Effects (Needs Improvement)

Addie: I think I'm going to toot now.... Ding!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Exceptional Living

Michael and I had a date night on Friday. He bought me a bouquet of red roses. Though it is always nice to spend time with just the two of us, the highlight of the evening was when we were on our way out of the restaurant. I saw a table with two little girls who were looking at my roses. I asked Michael if he would mind if I gave some of my flowers away. His response? "I was thinking the same thing!"

We spent the next 5 minutes going around the restaurant looking for little girls to give my roses to. I gave them all away except one. I carried my single rose with me for the rest of the night.


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

How I Celebrated My Big Day

What did I do for my birthday?  The way I figured it, I was given 86,400 seconds to celebrate so why not do so by doing the thing that makes my heart sing the most?  For many years now I've used my birthday as the day where I "save the world" by making all my donations to various charities that are calling to me.  This year, I decided to step it up a notch.  35 good deeds in one day.  Woops, now I just gave away my age.  Shhh....  try not to tell anyone.

Here are the results:

1. Drove girls to school & camp for hubby
2. Went back inside the house to get something for daughter #1.
3. Went back into the house AGAIN to get something for daughter #2.
4. Left big tip for lady at the bakery shop.
5. Bought muffins for 6 teachers at school, which ended up becoming....
6. Muffins for 12 kids in daughter #2's classroom.
7. Shared my new-found beloved drink (coconut chocolate) with daughter #1. This was a biggie for me. Yummy!
8. Donation to Best Friends Animal Society for a Gniffer's Gnomes fan.
9. Donation to American Cancer Society for a Gniffer's Gnomes fan.
10. Donation to Eagle Mount Great Falls for a Gniffer's Gnomes fan.
11. Donation to Autism Speaks for Gniffer's Gnomes fan.
12. Donation to United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham in honor of a Gniffer's Gnomes fan's son.
13. Bought my sister lunch (Ok, so she also bought me lunch, but I'm counting it!)
14. Left large tip for lunch waitress.
15. Bought Starbucks gift card for innocent bystander.
16. Donation to Wounded Warrior Project for 2 Gniffer's Gnomes fans.
17. Donation to Home at Last Animal Friends for a Gniffer's Gnomes fan.
18. Donation to SOS Children’s Villages Illinois because it brings tears to my eyes.
19. Bought an online friend a massage. She could use, and certainly deserves, a break more than many Mommies I know.
20. Agreed to host a catalog party to help a friend with her business. It counts since I agreed today, right?
21. Told 3 coaches from our Team Beachbody coaching team how much their mentoring has meant to me.
22. Tagged 5 of my all-time favorite pages from my Gniffer's Gnomes page and from my personal timeline.
23. Donation to Kristin Brooks Hope Center (suicide prevention) for a Gniffer's Gnomes fan.
24. Gave an unsuspecting, but very loyal fan a little gift.
25. Gave a 4 year old boy who shares a birthday with me a little gift.
26. Free shipping to an unsuspecting customer.
27. Gave a clay gnome to someone for their birthday today!
28. Left piece of candy and a note at an ATM.
29. Left a happy pick-me-up note on someone's car.
30. Gave piece of candy to random guy in coffee shop.
31. Called an old friend to catch up with him.
32. Had dessert and supported a friend in need.
33. Left happy note for waitress at restaurant.
34. Donation to Cookies for Kids' Cancer for a new, yet dear, friend.
35. Doubled up on many of the above, so it counts!

And what did I get in return? Of course I got some wonderful presents here and there - an Amazon gift card, some lovely napkins for our new patio set, a sundress, tickets to see Cirque de Soleil... But my most prized rewards of the day were my birthday hugs...

My birthday hugs are now hung with pride.

Last night as I fell asleep in my hubby's arms, I felt very loved indeed.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Sisters MUST be present

Addie: You are my bestest best friend and I love you more than the entire world!
Ellie: Aww, I love you too. You are my best friend too and the best little sister ever.
Addie: I was in Paris the odder day at my new house.
Ellie: You were?
Addie: Yeah I was dere to get married but I decided not to.
Ellie: Why not?
Addie: I decided to wait so dat you could see me get married. Was that nice of me?
Ellie: Yes it was! So let's go to Paris together and then I can see you get married. How's that?
Addie: Ok! And we can go to the top of the Eiffel Tower and say "I love you" to our princes, right?
Ellie: Right.