Monday, December 31


things have gotten pretty crazy around here. if you haven't heard yet, we joined the stitches club! ellie had a little accident last thursday and it threw off my big plans for posting on the blog.
i'll tell you that story and more holiday and 2012 fun later, but for now let me finally publish the post about our little cookie.

our wonderful friends gave us an elf this year. 
if you haven't heard of elf on the shelf, 
here's a quick primer: 

well, our friends must know us well because this little elf was a huge hit!

ellie named her cookie and she sure entertained us in the days leading up to christmas:

cookie arrived with a note for our family,

she made friends with the gnomes,

made a winter wonderland in the kitchen,

had a sleepover with the girls,

she used some climbing skills to write a note,

suggested we go out for donuts,

reminded us of the true meaning of christmas,

and brought tickets for a polar express ride and new jammies on christmas eve! 

we're really going to miss her! 
daddy thinks maybe cookie should send postcards throughout the year while she's on her vacation...
i think she just might. 

and she might also bring a friend with her next year.

Wednesday, December 26

merry christmas (boxing day style)

here we are, one day after christmas and getting back to life. 
but we don't want to!!

oh christmas, you were the best.

sleepy christmas morning faces

so excited!!

santa* brought exactly what ellie wanted (a train and shoes)
and what poppy "wanted" (a baby doll).

(*it is unclear whether ellie actually believes santa is real or not. she talks about him and all that, but she interchanges "santa brought this" and "mommy and daddy gave me this" and even said something about daddy and santa being the same... well, i don't know. nor do i care. i am fine with her believing that santa is a just a fun tradition.)

mommy and daddy gave the girls a dollhouse that we will build together and they can help decide how it looks - it will be totally unique and all theirs. mommy and daddy may be more excited than the girls about this? we just finished the primer paint and we're about to start in on the details. yay. 

all the grandparents and aunts and uncles (and those friends that are family) really brought it this year. really, our family is so blessed.

(i'll be taking this...)

our holidays truly have been merry and bright.
these girls are as happy as can be and so much fun!

i'm working on posts about 2012 in summary, a christmas-y edition of ellie quotes and, of course, cookie. if you don't know about cookie you better get your buns back here and find out later this week! 

ho-ho-hope your christmas was great!

(say merry christmas!)

Thursday, December 13

adventures over the holiday.

thanksgiving morning

i have just a few more pictures and a story from the holiday weekend before christmas hits and this all becomes irrelevant. 
we really had so much fun.

on our way to thanksgiving dinner

kroger adventure!

we have a favorite kroger (grocery store, same as smith's for you western folk) here in athens and both ellie and poppy like to go there. it is next to daddy's work, they have double seat carts for the girls, i know where everything is and write my lists so we can zoom through. we even have favorite cashiers. on the wednesday before thanksgiving, daddy's car wasn't working so we bundled up to drop him off at work at 6 AM and then headed to kroger, since i knew the girls wouldn't go back to sleep. it was perfect, too, because the store was empty and i knew it would be a madhouse later in the day. the girls were behaving so well and looked so cute in their little jammies and, wouldn't you know it, miss b (our most favorite cashier) was there to check us out at the crack of dawn. 
as we were paying, ellie saw some of the employees going upstairs to the offices and breakroom. every time we visit she asks me what is upstairs and when can we go up there, too. i always tell her that if she gets a job at kroger she can go up there. as we were talking, miss b overheard and asked if we would like a special tour of the mysterious upstairs! are you kidding? yes. 
so we went up, saw the breakroom and computers and employee bathrooms (exciting, i know). we got to see the whole store from up high and we even rode the elevator down (p.s. - smooothest elevator i've ever been on). ellie had the time of her life. when we came back down, she immediately wanted to go up again like it was some kind of carnival ride. she cried when we left the store (i'm serious, she loves kroger). 
that's the very reason i shop at that particular store and not the one that is closer (but busier and less friendly) - the people there are great! we're so blessed to know so many people who love our girls and want to make them smile.
(and as we were coming home we got to see the sun come up and the sky was bright pink and purple. i think it was possibly ellie's best morning ever - and one of my best mornings, too.)

playing with birthday presents first thing on poppy's big day

lunch with the birthday girl: leftovers

we also visited a couple of local parks, hiked a little and enjoyed the weather. 

we all watched "princess brave" so there was a lot of talk about bears in the woods (aaaaaahhh!)

daddy, poppy and judge got ahead of us a bit

we found the bear! 

i promise we're done with thanksgiving now. 
i'm going to get back to sending christmas cards!!

Friday, December 7

rainbow cake//ellie stories.

here are some pictures from poppy's party, including the rainbow cake that ellie insisted poppy wanted. 
for a month before poppy's birthday, she would tell complete strangers about poppy's birthday and say that she was going to have a red and yellow and blue and green (you get the picture) cake. luckily i had seen this rainbow cake a long time ago and used their method but not recipe (ours was full fat/full sugar).

we made it look like a cloud on the outside. get it?
anyway, the marshmallows actually made it taste even better.

(ready for cake!)

(i think cousin jonjon was giving her tips on how to eat cake)
(and cinderella photobombed the picture)

(about to open presents)

(hey! we technically got a couple pictures of the whole family!)

(wearing her pretty new necklace from grammie and pop-pop. ellie helped us give her a snow white doll as a "birthday surprise." this girl had a great birthday.)


i need to post a few ellie quotes and stories, too. 

when ellie was mad at me: "you are such an INDIAN." (meant "idiot")

going through the drive-thru: "they need to get a diet cocoa for you, mom."

eating breakfast: "mommy, did you know that you are so pretty?" 

while a friend was at the house: "this is my other mommy. i'm going home with her. she's the best mommy."

after some other friends left with their beautiful new baby: "i hope they come back next year!" 

decorating the tree: "we need to put the shiny blobs on the tree!" (meant bulbs or globes, not sure)

randomly hugs me: "i love you, you dwarf. you dwarf! you're a dwarf princess!"

while driving: "that girl is jogging! where is her stroller? where is her kid? did she leave her kid at home?" (she has asked several times about that when she sees a woman - she'll ask where her kid is.)

keeps telling me people have babies in their tummy when they do not. at least she hasn't asked someone publicly about it... yet. she is also obsessed with pregnancy and labor. every other day she plays "having a baby" - she tells me "the baby is coming!" and goes to her bed and "pushes" a baby out of her tummy and then shows it off. in fact, that leads me to this one: 

ellie, with her babydoll, to husband: "meet your granddaughter!"
then our "granddaughter" had a baby and we started feeling really old.

she also asked the other day for "the cereal with the sunshine on it." it was raisin bran crunch. i explained to her that it had raisins in it and what kind of cereal it was and she insisted we get it (i bought the store brand). i handed it to her and she said "oh, mommy, i'm so excited! this is my favorite cereal! thank you so much!"
we'll see, i said. well, she tried it and loved it. "raisins! look at the raisins!" "ooo, crusties!" (meaning crunchies hahahahaha) anyway, maybe i'll take her word for it more often.

Wednesday, December 5

a trip around the sun.

i still can't believe our little baby penelope elizabeth is a whole year old. 

we celebrated with cake and ice cream after thanksgiving dinner. her actual birthday was black friday and we let her have the whole day - so we played, took naps (two!), ate, cuddled and played more. it was perfect and everyone had a relaxed, happy day. totally fitting for our sweet girl. 

i have been thinking about her and all the things i have to report for weeks but just haven't gotten to the computer to do it. (also, the computer has gotten reeeeeaaaaaallllly slow lately and it takes all day to do one post.) but! our poppy is so important to us and i want to remember her days as a little ball of fun.
(i'm posting some pictures today from an impromptu photoshoot when she decided to wear my hat. party pics will come later.)

her official appointment was yesterday. she weighs 21 lbs 2 oz and is 28 inches long. she wears clothes that ellie wore last winter, when ellie was almost 2 (and poppy was born). she still has very little hair, but what she does have is a light brown - i think my same color. i'm excited to see if it turns out curly or straight. her eyes are a dark, beautiful brown and she has long long lashes. she has all eight front teeth. she looks just like a miniature daddy and i love it. 

she is a happy girl. teething, getting a bump or a certain demanding big sister can naturally set her off, but she's back to normal after a couple of hugs and kisses. she has a little internal timer and will walk around the house whining and bumping into things when she gets tired, right on schedule. she has the best laugh and smile. it's still easy to get a smile out of her just by looking at her. she also likes to give mischievous looks and wiggle her eyebrows. she loves to give big hugs with pats on the back and some really sloppy kisses. she always says "maaah!" when she puts her big open mouth on your face. she is a snuggle weasel and sometimes i will be holding her on my lap or in my arms with no memory of how she got there.

she says a few things:
"dada" of course, "mama" sometimes.
"mamamamama" usually means more or that she's hungry.
"mine!" i wonder where she learned that?
"walk" when she wants to get down.
"wowowowowow!" or "ooooowow!" when she's interested. 
she says "yum num num" when she's eating.
she shakes her head yes and no, nods yes most often when we ask if she's hungry. 
when she is in trouble and i say "no no" she smiles and shakes her head no at me. 

she has her own little language and jabbers all the time. she has a really deep voice. it kills me, it's so funny. when she is being tickled she has a little machine gun laugh and it is so low. she also has a lot of squeaks and squeals and groans. her cries sound extra pitiful to me - she's a screamer. she likes to growl for fun and makes little ewok noises, cheeps and chirps. she loves to make people laugh, especially ellie.

she thinks she is a big kid like ellie. she follows her big sister and wants to try everything. she loves to play! she could play happily all day, but unfortunately she has an older sister who hates to share (we're working on that). poppy holds her own, though, and i have caught her tackling ellie or pulling her hair. sometimes it these girls act like professional wrestlers and it drives me crazy. 

she still gets up at least once a night to eat and loves food. she is a great eater and will try just about anything (as you saw in the thanksgiving pictures). sometimes when we are eating and she wants to eat she comes up and pretends to chew loudly until you share. some friends brought lasagna the other day and she ate three, maybe four helpings. she maybe ate more than i did! she's always moving, though, so she needs the energy. she climbs like crazy and loves to run. when anyone opens the door to the house she wants to go "out!!" and often brings me her shoes so that we can go outside. she loves playing with judge, too, and gives him lots of hugs and kisses. 

she loves: 

sitting in chairs
sleeping in the big bed
milk time
playing at the playground
getting dressed/dressing up
hamming it for the camera
smiling at everyone
playing cars and making "vroom" noises
reading stories
waving bye-bye
butternut squash risotto
listening to music
doing pushups with daddy
riding in the car
playing toys
making messes
yo gabba gabba
getting into cupboards

she dislikes: 

being buckled (after she's buckled she's fine)
having her nose wiped
when anybody takes something from her (especially if she isn't supposed to have it)
waiting for dinner

(can you spot the ellie?)

we love our girl so much. she's such a great little person. 
i can't wait to see what the next year brings.

poppy boo, we love you!