Monday, March 31, 2014

On filling buckets

After a brief conversation about why it's important to remember peoples' names even though it's not always an easy thing to do, Ellie told the waitress that she had a pretty name. As the waitress walked away, here is how the conversation concluded...

DADDY: Do you think that filled her bucket?
DADDY: And did it fill your bucket too?
ELLIE: Yep, (pause) and by the way, I am SO glad that I taught you about filling buckets!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Couch potato

Addie quote when Daddy rolled her up in her blanket and threw her on the couch: "I am a couch potato!"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Grandparents are Special

Ok, so this isn't specific to my girls, but it did make me laugh. I could see so many of these things coming out of the mouth of one of my daughters, so I thought I would share. No doubt grandparents are special.

1. She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, "But Grandma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!" I will probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye....

2. My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 80. My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

3. After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was THAT?"

4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like. "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo and I said, "No, how are we alike?'' "You're both old," he replied.

6. A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a story. "What's it about?" he asked. "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

7. I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"

8. When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

9. When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised "Mine says I'm 4 to 6."

10. A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. "That's interesting." she said...."How do you make babies?" "It's simple, "replied the girl." "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."

11. Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked. "Sure," said the young boy confidently. "It means carrying a child."

12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back," said one child. "No," said another. "He's just for good luck..." A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs," she said firmly, to find the fire hydrants."

13. A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. "Oh," he said, "she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her. Then, when we're done having her visit, we take her back to the airport."

14. Grandpa is the smartest man on earth! He teaches me good things, but I don't get to see him enough to get as smart as him!

15. My Grandparents are funny, when they bend over, you hear gas leaks and they blame their dog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Definition of "Awesome Great"

A brave 4 year old who got three shots and didn't cry a single tear, proudly says "Daddy, I did awesome great, didn't I?"

Yes you did. I don't know any other kid who can say they were able to do the same.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Birthday Surprise

I once asked Ellie what she wanted to do for her birthday party this year. I think she was in a bad mood at the time and just told me to surprise her. So I am. Now she's wanting me to let her in on the secret. And I'm not.
With as many kids as we're inviting for the two girls, it should be a nice combination of utter chaos and complete craziness, with a hint of insanity. We may regret it in the end, but it should be fun until then!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Miracle Bra

Addie says, "Mommy you look like a real princess because princesses have big boobs you know!"

For my mom and sister, I follow up with "It's a mur-acle!"
For anyone else reading this post, I follow up with a sarcastic "Thank you, Disney!"

Friday, March 21, 2014


The Avs lost their game...
Addie: Don't talk about it. It's too sad.

Sometimes I am taken by surprise...
Mommy: Who has been your favorite teacher so far?
Ellie: You! You teached me lots of things!

Perhaps a sign that she has too many stuffed animals...
Showing me her baby doll, Addie says "Do you want to see my pet baby?"

I recently went to get my vaccines updated and brought the girls with me. It turns out that Addie needs hers updated too, which left Ellie as the only one who didn't need to get any shots. Of course, she was also the only one who really wanted shots. HUH???

Addie: I like this color. It's turtle-quoise.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Technology Advancements in Dentistry

A few days ago Ellie & Addie were pulling on a blanket. Ellie's grip slipped (which means Addie won... Yay?) and she fell and hit her mouth on the table. Her front grown-up tooth was bleeding and chipped. Of course she freaked out. And of course she made the most of getting as much sympathy as possible from Addie.

Later that evening, I overheard Ellie explaining to Addie just how bad the situation really was.

Ellie: Addie, you don't understand how bad this might be! I have to go to the dentist and he might say that I have to get a new tooth! And if you get a new tooth, it isn't like the teeth you already have. This was my grown-up tooth so I can't grow another one and if I have to replace it, it will have to be a WOODEN tooth!

Addie: What's a wooden tooth?

Ellie: A tooth made out of wood!

Addie: Oh no!

Ellie: So you can see, this is very serious!

And just so that you aren't too worried, the dentist said that the tooth is fine. As teeth grow in, they actually have ridges across the top that eventually wear down to the flat teeth you have today. She basically chipped one of those ridges, which would have likely worn down with time anyway. Whew.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Good advice from a song

Say what you want to say,
And let the words fall out.
Honestly I want to see you be brave.*

* Lyrics from the song "Brave" by Sara Bareilles

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Retorts 101

Mommy: Your hair is getting darker and darker!
Addie: Your hair is getting grey-er and grey-er!

Monday, March 17, 2014

5 Love Languages

A week or so ago I posted about the 5 Love Languages and which ones I thought were Ellie's and Addie's primary methods of feeling and expressing love.

I said that Ellie's top two were likely Words of Affirmation followed by Receiving Gifts.
I said that Addie's top two were likely Quality Time followed by Physical Touch.

I'm here to admit that I was wrong. Yes, I know. It's a shock. It happens so rarely. Ha! I wish.

After actually LISTENING to the entire book and paying more attention to not only the things that the girls enjoy doing, but how they express their love for me and others, as well as what they request from me and what they complain about, I've changed my mind.

Now I think that Ellie's primary Love Language is Physical Touch, followed by Words of Affirmation. I now see that this is definitely her way of showing me that she loves me. Since Physical Touch is probably lowest on my list (and Michael's), Ellie's gestures of love have often come across as clingy or invading my space, but she's DOES IT ALL THE TIME. When she talks about how her day went, it's often filled with examples of words (good and bad) that her friends shared with her throughout the day.

I now believe that her secondary Love Language is Words of Affirmation because she definitely keeps score. If I compliment Addie, she needs a compliment. I encourage her a lot and she has no problems returning the compliments. She is always using her words to tell us why she feels loved and why her family is so special.

As for Addie, I still believe that her top two Love Languages are Quality Time and Physical Touch but I am not sure which one trumps the other. I feel even more strongly that I understand why it's so hard for her to move quickly in the morning. She wants to take her time and be WITH people instead of alone. When she speaks about her day, it's often filled with examples of things her friends did WITH her.

On the other hand, I also think that Physical Touch is very important to Addie. Her initial reaction to saying she's sorry is to give people a hug. If her sister is down, she reaches out to touch her. She is quick to give comfort through touch and just as quick to accept it.

So... Thoughts? I would love to know your observations and see if you agree with me. Obviously everyone needs to receive all 5 types of Love Languages, and they also use all 5 to show their love. I'm trying to narrow it down to the top contenders in hopes of giving me a tool to use to treat the girls as individuals who are different yet equal. If you disagree, I would love to know examples and why! Please share.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Self-Motivated Self-Discipline

Daddy had a talk with the girls the other night. They had spent the evening forgetting their manners. Daddy reassured them that they weren't in trouble. Ellie said "I know what you're doing. You're just expressing your concerns."

Anyway, what I found to be particularly interesting was Ellie's solution...
Ellie: Daddy, in the morning can I have a piece of paper and a pencil?
Daddy: Why?
Ellie: My friend, Sage, forgot her manners at school and the teacher had her write them down. I think I need to write my manners down on a piece of paper to remind me of what they are.

In the morning, she even reminded Daddy a few times to give her the paper and pencil. Then she ended up following it up with yet ANOTHER related activity. "I'm going to keep score! I'm going to keep track of how many times I can say "Please" and "Thank You" and "No Thanks" today!"

Daddy says he thinks she might have overheard Daddy encouraging Addie with "I bet you could say Please 100 times today!"

Apparently Ellie accepted that challenge.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mommy's Headache

Mommy: My head hurts. It hurts right here. All day it has felt like I have someone pounding on my head.
Addie: You do! No, really! You do! I learned this in school. There really IS someone pounding on your head on the inside! He has a little hammer because he's little because he fits inside your head. He's knocking on your head with his hammer!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Taking care of Daddy

Daddy recently had PRK corrective surgery done to his eyes.  For a few days he had to keep his eyes closed and practically lived in a dark cave as much as possible.  I LOVED watching how the girls responded to this.

Ellie took a practical stance to helping out.  She loved to help him cook.  She also took it upon herself to read him books, specifically Star Wars.  She offered to feed him, though he politely declined thinking that it had too much potential for disaster.  I'm sure he wanted food in his mouth instead of his lap.  She would offer to lead him around the house and retrieve items for him.

Addie was much more playful in her approach to help.  He would be laying on the couch and suddenly he would have a penguin stuffed in his hands.  "Is this a penguin?" He would ask.  Addie responded with "No, it's a stuffie!"  She would play with him.  She would get a kick out of him tickling her and then not knowing where she was if she got out of range of his reaching fingers.  She liked to sneak up on him and surprise him.  And she really got a kick out of telling him to look at something and then reminding herself "Oh yeah, you can't!"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Family TMI

Some memories are easy to blog and share. This is not one of them.

But sometimes life hands you these real moments, mixed in with the others.

Let me set the stage...

I'm putting Addie to bed, tucking her in and giving her hugs and squeezes. Out of the corner of my eye I see Daddy doing the same for Ellie. Then I see him drop to the floor and Ellie is laughing so hard I find myself wondering if she should get up and use the restroom again. I continue to give Addie her hugs, and then go in to Ellie's room to do the same for her. She is still laughing so hard that she is crying.

I walk in and nearly pass out. There had been a major human gas leak incident and to the best of my ability to think in the moment, it seemed to me that it originated from either her or Daddy.

It is so bad that I couldn't stand. I fell to the ground. Ellie laughed even harder. I couldn't even give her my hug.

In an emergency situation, like fire or a human gas leak of extraordinary measures, it is important to remember the rule: STOP. DROP and ROLL. That's what we did. We dropped to the ground and tried to escape through to the hallway.

Unfortunately when I tried to stand in the hallway, I couldn't! The gas leak had permeated through to the hallway and was spreading! I vaguely recall looking at Ellie (still laughing) and thinking the air between her and I seemed thick and visible.

There was no chance I was going to be able to complete my hug mission, but the girls insisted. Gathering all my strength, I took a deep breath (keep in mind, I was still as close to the floor as possible... literally) and stood up, rushed in for a quick hug and then quickly back to the hallway, dropped to the floor and breathed in where the layer of air was still below completely toxic levels. I repeated the effort with Addie.

I doubt the girls realized the seriousness of the situation. The human gas leak was so bad that the air quality was toxic, I'm sure, but did they stop laughing? Heck no! In fact, to this day I'm left wondering if they laughed themselves to sleep that night.

Maybe it was a laughing gas attack, but whatever it was, the stuff was lethal.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Credit for Ingenuity

After going back and forth with lots of examples of rhyming words, Daddy decided to ask a trick question...

Daddy:  What rhymes with "month?"
Ellie:  Humph!!!

You know, like the kangaroo in Horton Hears a Who.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Due Credit

FINALLY Mommy gets credit for the girls learning something. Usually the girls give the credit to their teachers or friends, but NEVER Mommy. Until now.

Addie's lesson, credited to MOMMY:
Remember the good and forget the bad.

Ellie's lesson, credited to MOMMY:
It's not their choice whether I am happy or sad. It's MY choice.

If the future holds the opportunity for the girls to get up on stage for a prestigious award, perhaps there is a chance they will thank their mommy, though likely right after they give due credit to the little people.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Our Lifeguards

Addie:  Is Ellie going wif Day and I am going wif you?
Mommy: Yep.
Addie:  Good because you both deserve a lifeguard to be wif you!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Friendship Woes

It must be the age.

I recall when Ellie was in the Brown Bear classroom (age 3-4) she had significant troubles with her best friend, Brynn. They had known each other for as long as they could remember and they were so close. It wasn't really a surprise that it was with each other that they learned many of their social skills, and during that time they struggled a lot. I remember Ellie coming home in tears on a fairly regular basis because she felt like Brynn wasn't being nice to her even though she was trying to be nice to Brynn. I even recall once suggesting to Ellie that she didn't need to be Brynn's best friend. Maybe she could have a different best friend, one who would be nice to her. She nearly bit my head off for suggesting such a horrible idea. For months Ellie's friendship with Brynn was a delicate balance between the unwavering title "Best Friend" and "I don't like you anymore," but in the end there was never a doubt that they would remain Best Friends Forever.

Now that Addie is in the Brown Bear classroom (though she's age 4), I see similar issues arise with one of her closest friends, Gabby. The difference, though, is how Addie handles it. Where Ellie was emotionally distraught, Addie is more matter-of-fact. She came home one day and announced in a sad voice (not in tears, mind you) "Gabby and I separated," as though it was a divorce. I asked her what happened and she stated (again, calmly) "I don't know. We just got mad at each other and decided we needed a break."

If you've read much of my blog, you know that Addie has always been mature when it comes to her emotions, but this is crazy to me. Not only is she able to hold back her emotions over an obviously sad situation, one that I know makes her sad, but she's ALSO able to refrain from BLAMING Gabby.

Did you notice the subtle difference? Ellie never understood why Brynn could be mean even though Ellie tried to be nice to Brynn. It was obviously all Brynn's fault, right? Addie, on the other hand, automatically took a part of the responsibility as her own. "We got mad at EACH OTHER." Follow that up with the very wise conclusion that they decided they needed a break, and you've found yourself with a Mommy that is wondering if she should take notes.

And just to give you an update on the Gabby situation, I found them reading books to each other when I picked Addie up yesterday. She even requested (more like demanded) that we needed to buy Gabby a soft blanket from the store just like hers. I asked her if she and Gabby were friends again and she thought about it for a moment and said, "We're giving it a try but taking things slow."

How is it that both my children can be so insightful and wise beyond their years, yet in subtly different ways, continues to baffle me.

Monday, March 03, 2014


Quote of the day...
Ellie: Your butt feels like love.

I love how the girls like short haircuts and do not feel like they need long hair to look good. In fact, I think that they view short haircuts as making them look older than they really are. From a practical standpoint, it alleviates the need to cry over lots of tangles - something we all appreciate.

I love how Ellie gives a little squeal of delight whenever she likes something you do or if you do something she thinks is silly. No words. No laughter. Just a squeal.

Song of the day...
Addie: Kiss the season Katy Perry. Fa la la la la la. La la la la.

I love how the majority of Ellie's stuffed animals (and even some of her ceramic figurines) have some sort of makeshift leash tied around their necks. Some of the possible leash materials include: long pieces of yarn, long handmade (by Ellie herself) rubber band bracelets, old ribbons that once were tied to balloons, shoe laces, tie wraps, cable ties, necklaces, or any combination of the above. Most of the time you will see these animals tied to her bed, dresser or even a doorknob so that they can't run away.

I love that it's also not uncommon to find Addie attached to a leash, sometimes seemingly randomly, walking around as though nothing were out of the ordinary.

I love how when Addie sings "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen, she sings with a really deep deep voice. She even has the country twang down!

Ellie found the lyrics to the Frozen soundtrack and was singing along with the songs. Everything went fine until she came to the duet. Listening to her trying to sing both sides of the duet at the same time made me chuckle.

How do you camouflage a screaming child? Stick them in with a bunch of other bouncing, screaming children and it's amazing how quickly they disappear.

I love that when at a party full of screaming kids having fun, the girls still choose each other as the one they want to play with.

I love how even after all these years, there is nothing Ellie enjoys more than spending time with her best friend, Brynn.