Wednesday, May 29

lights! sirens!

we've been out and about over the past few days and we've had a couple of opportunities to meet some of the officers and firefighters who serve our community. the girls really loved meeting these everyday heroes who help to keep us safe and happy. they always get excited when they hear sirens and they beg me to follow them so that they can see their favorite helpers in action. daddy was also pretty excited about getting to hang out in the firetruck, too. he likes having kids because he has an excuse to do fun stuff like this. 

oh, and ellie was mad at me for putting a sticker/badge on her dress, so she grumped about the firetrucks for a few minutes. typical ellie. she ended up a lot happier than she looks.

it's actually funny that they still like the police so much, because after one of them told us about how he patrols our neighborhood at night i started telling the girls that they have to get to bed before the policeman drives by and sees that they are still awake. 
yes, i do use the police as a threat. 
no, it doesn't scare the girls one bit. not much does.
they're as brave and stubborn as they are cute. 

Monday, May 20

tiny dancer.

ellie had her first dance recital on saturday.
it was amazing.

we started the class because of a great (really great) deal on groupon. i wasn't quite sure if we were going to keep going, honestly. ellie had a really hard time listening some days, but she is only three so that's expected. also, we had paid for 10 classes so we were going to do those 10 classes (darn it!). by that point, ellie would be so excited for class and cry all day monday until it was time to go. i knew she was learning, too, because she was using french words and doing moves that i certainly hadn't taught her. 

ellie's sweet teacher was so patient. it couldn't have been easy,  especially since they started with 10 girls under the age of 4. ellie even got kicked out of class one day because of her crazy antics. by the end there were only three and it got easier for the girls and their teacher.

three of my favorite moments from class: 

1. miss s kept telling the girls to "glue their feet to the floor" or something. ellie didn't like that at all. she refused to dance and i finally went in and asked her what was wrong. she told me something about gluing her feet to the floor and i told her that the teacher didn't really mean it, that it was just pretend. i said there was no glue, it wasn't real. so when ellie went back into class she marched straight up to miss s and yelled "you don't even have any glue!" and then went back to dancing. 

2. one afternoon the girls wouldn't get off the floor. they told miss s that they were snakes. luckily, it was toward the last few weeks of class and miss s had figured out how to deal with these little girls. "okay then," she said, "i need you all to slither over here for me, please."

3. during stretches, i would always see ellie rolling around on the floor instead of stretching. i couldn't understand why she wouldn't do it, since she was always doing her stretches at home. then i listened to the music - it was from the little mermaid. ellie was "swimming" on the floor instead of stretching. 

so i have a video from the dress rehearsal. it's better than the actual recital, i guess, because the poor little girl in the middle ended up having a meltdown on stage and the director of the studio came out to dance with the girls. ellie finished the routine pretty gracefully, but it was sad to watch the other girl. she was the one who had been the best in practice! ellie loved being onstage in a real theater. she literally screamed the whole way home from the dress rehearsal because she wanted me to take her back to the stage. when the audience clapped for them during the recital she was beaming! when they came to take a bow you would have thought the whole show was about her, the way she hammed it up. this isn't the last we've seen of our little ballerina. 

ellie's the one closest to the dance teacher, but you'll probably pick her out no problem. 

and by the way, am i not so blessed to have not one but TWO beautiful girls? 
look at poppy waiting outside for the show to start. my little dolly (and her daddy).

Saturday, May 18

mother's day weekend (one week later...)

we had a really fun weekend. we took the girls camping (for the first time!) with a big group from church on friday night and we were able to play and eat with family saturday & sunday. 

and here are some pretty good quotes:

when it was time to get ready for bed while camping, i took the girls to van to change clothes. they both got right in their carseats and ellie said, "mom, it's time to go home and sleep in our nice, cozy, warm beds." it took a little while to get her used to the idea of sleeping in the tent, but she didn't scream or cry. she was just nervous. once they fell asleep, both girls slept all night just fine. 

we woke up to some noisy geese in the morning. poppy stood up at the tent door with sleepy eyes and looked confused. "do you hear those geese?" i asked. "uh-huh," she said. then she gasped with her mouth open wide, rubbed her eyes and said, "wha happen?!" 
baby hangover i guess?

on saturday we asked ellie what grammie might want for mother's day. after some thought, she said: "we need to go to target and get grammie a little merida." 
(a little princess doll from the movie brave.)
at the store we double-checked to make sure that was what she wanted to buy, and she said "grammie needs this merida! she told me!"

on mother's day, ellie told me she wanted to have "a mother's day, too."

grammie got some beautiful bracelets for the girls, but when she gave one to ellie,  ellie said,
"i'm not going to wear that. sorry." 
it was so matter-of-fact we all had to laugh. 

and on the way home sunday night, she started talking to daddy about his mustache that he shaved off last week. first i should mention that ellie liked it so much that she wanted one, too. i told her that girls don't have mustaches, they try to get rid of them. anyway.

ellie: "daddy, i miss your mustache."
daddy: "oh really, did you like it?"
ellie: "yes! grow it again! grow it back!"
daddy: "maybe i can work on that."
ellie: "daddy, are you a girl now? you don't have a mustache anymore so you're a girl. girls don't have mustaches."
daddy: "well, they don't like to have them."
ellie, truly concerned: "daddy, are you going to start dressing like a girl now?"

so there you have it. glimpses at our weekend.

my girls eating watermelon with their adorable cousin on mother's day. 
(it's warm enough to eat watermelon outside!)

above all i got to enjoy time with some of the people i love most, which is what mother's day was about for me this year. it isn't just about honoring mothers and what they do, it's recognizing that we are all here because of (and some in spite of) our mothers. it's truly one of the few things that all people have in common, along with breathing air and feeling love. the women in our lives are key to our human experience. we are who we are because of the people around us. my mother brought me into this world and allowed me to be her daughter. my family allowed me to be a sister, a granddaughter, a cousin, a niece. my children allow me to be a mother. my husband allows me to be a wife. they allow me these experiences and it is up to me to learn, grow, and love as much as i can from them. 

thank you to all the people who continue to be part of my life, my experience. 
you mean more to me than you can ever know. 

Friday, May 10

thank you notes.

remember when i did these before?

i just like 'em. so i'm doing them again. with some totally random pictures throughout.

thank you, hanging basket, 

for keeping my apples free from bruises and tiny teeth marks. it was starting to seem like there were giant fruit bats secretly living in my house.

thank you, target, 

for providing what i like to call "the rollercoaster cart" for my children. sure, it's like navigating a big rig through downtown atlanta, but being able to strap my kids in with those five-point harnesses and stuff their mouths with popcorn and pretzels while i peruse all your junk without fear of them climbing out and breaking something/themselves is totally worth it. someone even said my children were "very well behaved" during our last outing, and we all know that isn't usually the truth.

thank you, garage door opener, 

for allowing me to get my groceries and children and all of their stuff into the house with so much ease and without getting as wet when it rains. i also enjoy not having to drag yucky garbage bags through the house to get them to the can.

thank you, new oven, 

you may have a ghetto setup but you were so cheap and the opportunity to buy you from friends (oh my gosh, thank you for having this sitting on your carport!) couldn't have come at a better time. best of all, you work!!! having an actual working oven for the first time in over a year is priceless. bread! donuts! a 9 x 13 pan! a whole bag of chicken nuggets cooked all at the same time! i mean, i did have pretty mad skillz when it came to working with that tiny convection oven but i was unfulfilled. did i mention that you have FOUR working burners on top? that's twice as many as i had previously been using. it's bliss. ah, the little things.

and thank you a million times, husband, 

for installing aforementioned garage door opener and oven and changing my life twice in one month.

p.s. -
again, i like jimmy fallon.
funny story: ellie always thinks that they are announcing "jimmyyyyyy fowler!" (aka her daddy) every time we watch clips of it. she may think that her dad is a late night talk show host.

if you haven't seen this chickeneers clip:

you should watch it. seriously, he is the most good-natured late night host there is.
and if it doesn't make you smile, you might need to see a brain doctor.

Wednesday, May 8

best friends.

we split the two girls into separate rooms several weeks back, hoping it would help them sleep 
(help US sleep) (help ME sleep). 

it helped ellie the most, but she was also adjusting to life without naps and, later, without paci. poppy... not so much. she woke screaming in the night, "mommy! mommy!" and would cry "no! no! no!" every time i put her in bed. i would rock her, i would let her fall asleep on the couch and stealthily switch her to her bed, but without fail she would wake up again screaming - and usually just a few minutes after i had fallen into a deep sleep. do you know what that is like? you know, you wake up nauseous and angry and confused and dizzy? it's terrible. it was terrible for everyone, except ellie. 

(around midnight the cuteness wears off)

so the husband went out of town for a few days last week for some business training and i decided to put them back in the same room. i figured at least they wouldn't be waking him up if they didn't sleep well during the experiment (he wakes up really early for work, at least i have chance to try and sleep in a little). i thought i was probably/most likely crazy, but i was willing to try it. 

you know what? it has been working. like a dream. remember sleeping long enough to dream? ha. 
the time apart was probably a good break, but they need each other. the first couple nights, poppy fussed a little but when she saw that ellie was there she settled right down and went to sleep. and slept. all night. one night ellie fell asleep before poppy did and all i had to do was show poppy that her big sister was asleep and she was satisfied. not one tear that night. she even woke up in the night and went back to sleep because ellie was there! 

now they still don't always stay in bed all night, but there is so much less screaming. little to no screaming, in fact. and even though most nights one or both girls end up in bed with us for a little while, lately they both cuddle back to sleep so i don't mind. 

yesterday, poppy was in bed with me and we heard ellie wake up across the hall. 
"poppy? poppy? where did you go?"
poppy perked up immediately. "ay-eee! ay-eee!"
"do you want to go get her?" i asked. 
poppy nodded, and i helped her scramble down from my bed. 
they each opened their doors and met in the hallway.
"hey!" ellie said.
"hey!" poppy said. 
and they ran down the hall together to play. 

i told the husband that adorable story and he said:

"we've done the greatest thing we could do, we've created best friends for life."

he's right. 
there is nothing more special than those two and their love for each other
(even if they don't always remember that they are best friends).

best friends forever.