Friday, December 6

attention: santa

this year, for the first time, we had the girls tell us lists of what they wanted for christmas so we could send letters to the north pole with our elves.

wait, you remember the elves, right? cookie was our elf last year and she was so fun we decided we needed another, and the girls named her dot (short for polka dot). (note: poppy originally wanted to call her cinderella, but she has several cinderellas and wants to call everyone cinderella, including her pretend baby sister, so we went with a more original name.)

 cookie and dot arrive

cookie and dot have already been a lot of fun, but a couple of mornings ago they weren't able to make it back from the north pole. the night before the girls refused to go to sleep until it was almost ten and they'd had a couple of time-outs. we even had the elves call and tell them to go to sleep but the girls were too busy playing dress up and making pretend birthday cakes. in the end the elves were just too tired to make the long trip back and had to stay at santa's all day (uh oh).

 they brought snow!

 they girls are so amazed by the elves

stuck at "the north pole"

good news: we're back in action and ready for more fun. i hope we can keep up the good attitudes, because these girls sure do need some help in that department. i'm not sure if it's cabin fever or the holiday crazies but they sure have had a hard time when it comes to listening these past few weeks.

 they wrote us a special note on the chalkboard
 they decorated the little tree
they gave us a list of holiday books to get at the library

anyway, without further ado, here are their lists as told to me (with a little prompting/translating from us - you know, asking questions and the like). also, they hadn't done this before, so they were a little unsure about what was going on (you mean we get to ask for stuff? he doesn't just bring whatever he likes?).

dear santa,
i would like a bathtub, a baby bed, a potty, a mommy & daddy bed
for the dollhouse and i would like a new rapunzel dress,
a new lightbulb, a food cutter and a new stable, too.
i would like even a new cookie cutter. a new flowered cookie cutter.
well i would like candy, too.
love, eleanor

dear santa,
for christmas i would like cake, a pink elf too,
olivia books (mhmm!), three cinderellys, pink candy, and that's all.

notes for grammies: 
ellie is getting a couple of things that will cover the "food cutter" and "cookie cutter" requests. we are also getting a new nativity set that is for play, that's what she meant by "stable" (they played too hard with the tiny one we had and two wise men are missing heads this year). she does want new dollhouse furniture and i have no idea what she means by "lightbulb."
apparently anything "pink" will make poppy happy.
i'm sure we'll talk more about this before christmas, but i thought i'd give you some insight into their little minds. and they don't need much.

the elves made us breakfast yesterday. said ellie: "let's hope they make this again tomorrow!"
it's the little things that make them smile.

i can't believe christmas is right around the corner.
please say a little prayer that these girls won't get any coal in their stockings (just kidding)(mostly).

Friday, November 29

two years old!

our beautiful little girl turned two last week. can you believe that?! two! 

we celebrated all weekend with her and it couldn't have been better. on her birthday we visited the zoo and, despite the chilly weather, it was a great day. the girls loved feeding the little birds and probably would have been satisfied just doing that the entire time. we had a dinner of pizza, her favorite. we had a big pink cake, because every time i asked her about her birthday she would say "PINK! PINK CAKE!" and i just had to make that dream come true. (adorable: we lit the candles and she immediately blew them out, before we could even sing.)

a little about her lately:

she is in full on little girl mode. she loves dress up, jewelry, princess, dolls, ponies, etc. she's still pretty rough and tumble, though, and likes "nunuh tuhduhs" (ninja turtles) and "pewpews" (guns). she loves "pwaygrounds" and can spot one from a mile away. if we are going anywhere, she always asks to stop at the playground while we're out. she and ellie are very active. it seems like she and ellie hardly ever walk, they prefer to run/jump/climb. they basically travel by parkour. they're both very active emotionally, too. they're so dramatic right now, too. when they are upset they'll say things like "i just can't do this right now!" (poppy's version is "can do dis!") and when they are excited they both let out high-pitched squeals and jump up and down. they love getting pretend scared and will let out great screams, usually in public. needless to say we get a lot of stares (and laughs) when we go out. they use their imaginations all day long and i love to hear what they're thinking.
one of my favorite things about poppy is her silent anger. when she gets hurt, whether it's physical or emotional, she will walk around dejectedly and sometimes just flop onto the floor and close her eyes, much like this clip from arrested development. it is so hard not to laugh, especially when i know she really is hurt. she doesn't always do that, but that's what she does in public. at home she'll just belt out a long string of scream-words that don't really make sense but she sounds very upset. my other favorite thing is that sometimes she puts her hands over her mouth when she laughs, like a shy little lady. it kills me! 

and speaking of which, she definitely has her own little language and i understand most of it but not quite all. i love to hear her say the princess names: "cindawelly! mehrda! no white! punzel!"

some of her catchphrases: 

"ah love it!!" or "oh, i lyke dat." (it's that long, southern "lyyyke")
"yeah, nummy nummy!"
"uhhhhh, wussatt?" (what's that?)
"daaaaad" (i love that she is calling him just "dad" lately.)
"check it ouh" (check it out) or "fine ouh" (find out)
"'mon. follow me!"
"dat's MINE!"
"no! don't do dis!" (when i buckle her in the carseat, etc)
"yay! fwends!"

she loves when you say "!" with her and then point at each other. she'll say it and then laugh so hard and say "again! again!" if you let her ride on your back like a horsie she will deem you her "best fwend!" and she especially loves her "unkies" (uncles) and poppop for that reason.

she has really sweet moments when she will run up and hug people tight, pat them on the back, and give them kisses (and she always goes for the lips). she still has a hard time waking up and just wants to snuggle for a while, really tight. i love that. i have such mixed feelings about her growing up. i guess i'll just take as many snuggles i can get while the getting is so, so good. :)

two years ago i was dreaming about my brown-eyed baby. she's better than i ever dreamed.  
penelope elizabeth, you're amazing. i love being your mommy.

Friday, November 8

corn festival(s) part one.

we have this great local farm with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and activities in the fall. in the late spring it's all about the strawberry picking. get this: we had never been! well, we went once in the fall, but we only rode the wagon around once and didn't even take a second look at the pumpkins. ellie didn't care, she was barely 18 months old.

this year we ended up going twice, so i guess we we made up for lost time. the girls are at this perfect age for having fun and being interested in everything. basically anything is a good time when you're with them. we went to what ellie dubbed "the corn festival" first with some friends (it was so hot and sunny we all got sunburned) and then again with ellie's preschool group (and it rained on us most of the time) and each visit was so much fun.

these pictures are from our sunny, sunny day:

Wednesday, November 6


 i did not tell them to pose like this. they are seriously gazing at each other lovingly.

i really overdid it. i've always made costumes for the girls, but this year i got a little too ambitious. the girls are finally in a stage where they can entertain themselves and leave me alone (for longer periods of time, at least) to do big projects. so when ellie got her heart set on being merida from brave, i found a pattern online and made it into my own. i didn't want poppy to be left out, so i got an equally intense snow white pattern and told myself i could do it.

well, several trips to the fabric store for the right materials, lots of ripped seams, lots of interruptions, lots of chocolate, and some long nights later, i did it! they turned out really nice, and they are washable and durable so they girls can wear them for dress-up, too. part of me is more than ready for the next sewing project and the other part of me hopes that next year's costumes can be done with some makeup and a hot glue gun.

 we get this face a lot lately.

as usual, the days leading up to halloween were so exciting. every time we went to the store we had to visit "the spooky aisles" and the girls would shriek and laugh and want me to tell them about all the "pooky" and "cary" stuff. on halloween day we walked past a woman dressed as a witch at the store and the girls immediately started screaming their very best screams. i didn't even see her until they started screaming and the poor woman was so startled. then the girls started laughing and i explained to the witch that they loved spooky things and being scared. i think it made her day.

she loved that it was a good dress for spinning. 

the girls did trunk-or-treating one night and regular trick-or-treating the next, with a halloween party in between. it was just about a full 24 hours of partying. we're so lucky to have so many things to do and such wonderful people to do them with us.

on halloween night, we trick-or-treated in grammie and popop's neighborhood. ellie got tired pretty early and told me she wanted to go back to their house.
"what about candy?" i asked.
"i can just get candy from poppop."
how about that for strategy?

they both ended up helping with handing out candy and i think they enjoyed it more than trick-or-treating. they were yelling at kids in the street to come get candy. poppy kept saying "kids! come ova heah! kids! come on!" and she handed them candy out of her own bucket. ellie helped herself to the candy while she waited for kids to come by (and i think that's another reason why she liked handing it out). they were so sweet, i think my heart almost burst. toward the end, ellie said, "this is a great night."

she was right.

Monday, November 4

falling for fall.

this past month fall fell, and we fell for it. hard.

we've soaked up every last minute of corn mazes, pumpkin patches, halloween parties, football games, and beautiful days at the park.

i've got a bunch of great pictures from our many events. i'm having a hard time deciding what to post first, and i'm working on all the posts right now.

today i have sneak peek with a few quotes, because these girls... oh man. they keep me on my toes.

 some of poppy's newest catchphrases:
 "follow me!"
"yeah! awright!"
 (she gets pretty excited.)

she's starting to speak in real sentences now, and i can understand about... 85% of what she is trying to say.
last week she she was crying and came to me:
me: "poppy, what happened?"
poppy: "ah bumpah mah head." (bumped her head)
me: "oh, i'm sorry, what were you doing?"
poppy: "runnin' awound ih suhcuhs." (running around in circles)

and another morning she came into my room asking for something that, for the life of me, i could not understand.
"nuhnuh tuhduhs, mommy!"
another what?
what turtles?
she patiently repeated it for about five minutes later i finally understood that she wanted to watch ninja turtles.

as far as ellie goes, one word: sassy.

after gymnastics, we usually head to the playground for a few minutes before we head home. one day we made other plans and we weren't heading to the playground. after class, i watched as ellie stood up in front of everyone and announced: "we will not be on the playground today. we are going to make cookies! see you next time!" then she came to me and said, "don't worry mommy, i told my class that we can't play today." yep, you did.

lately when she says something rude, i try to correct her and tell her how she can express herself politely. it's totally backfiring, because not only does she have a polite/sassy reply, she imitates my tone. instead of saying, "let's go already!" she says "i'm sorry mommy, i thought you said we were about to leave." sheesh.

oh my children. where do they get this stuff?

keep on the lookout for the rest of our fall fun. :)

Friday, September 27

rocky mountain high, part ii

ever since we went to utah, ellie talks about it. a lot.
and asks if we can go back today. or tomorrow.
and talks about real (and make-believe) adventures in utah with her grandma and grandpa.

since i hear there is snow on the utah mountains already, i thought i'd post a few more pictures from a sunday drive with grandma and grandpa in provo canyon. it was beautiful. and poppy slept the whole time, which was equally beautiful.

here are some memories:

ellie loves utah so much, she even made a proclamation: 
"did you know? i belong in utah."

i'm telling you, we should have teleportation by now.
it's just not fair to me, the one who has to break this girl's heart every day.