Happy Eleven, 1-1, 11!

Dear Addikins -

Today is the first day of what I consider the “start of the slide into teenagerdom.” When you are just 10, still in elementary school, it kinda feels like you are just “a big kid.” A larger version of the toddler, or little kid, you used to be. But today marks that magical day when you hit tweendom…definitely not just a “big kid” and oh so dangerously close to being a teenager. And frankly, I’m just not really sure how I feel about this development yet.

DSC_7260But then I watch you as you fit in so perfectly with Em and her friends, your seamless introduction to middle school, and this new found confidence that you seem to ooze, and I know…you are ready. And it helps my heart limp along just a little, knowing that this is how it should be. This is you stretching your wings and figuring out who you are going to be. DSC_7277

This past year I think has been one of the biggest developmental years for you. You have literally blossomed right under our noses. From sprouting a few inches to finally making it on pointe, it has been an amazing year watching you grow into a beautiful, confident young lady.


And I so admire your tenacity and determination. When you make up your mind to do something…you charge full steam ahead. It doesn’t always work out the way you’d like, but I hope you never lose that sense of adventure and willingness to just try. DSC_7245

I think the coolest thing about parenting is seeing mundane, everyday things through your kids’ eyes, and watching the world through you the past 11 years, Addikins? That has been a true gift and an incredibly fun journey so far. I can’t wait to see what the next steps in your adventure will bring.

Happy, happy Birthday, sweet Rosey Toes.
We love you with all our hearts.
Mama, Daddy & Gracie

Peace. And Quiet. Very Quiet.

Today, (finally!) Addie got to start school. She is doing M-W-F this year and is thrilled to be going to school even more than she got to last year.

We met her new teachers (one of them is her Sunday School teacher) on Monday and every 30 minutes or so since then she has asked, “On this day, do I get to go to school?” (I LOVE that she always says that, “On this day…”)

(Apparently I am in love with parentheses today, too.)
(I think that is what happens when you are giddy with a quiet house all to yourself.)
(Okay, I’ll stop now.)

So anyhow, on THIS day, was Addie’s first day. The requisite first-day-of-school-under-the-tree-photo…


And the first survey of her new classroom before kissing Mommy and Daddy goodbye and dismissing us…


What a difference a year makes! Look at her on her first day last year, she looks so little and just a “toddler!”

1st day of school

And now we have this gorgeous, all grown-up looking girl. There wasn’t even a discussion if Bear should accompany her to school. She is a big kid now.

DSC_0095 copy.jpg

No tears from anyone this year. I helped with the Parent coffee, ran to Em’s school and volunteered in her classroom and am now enjoying my own coffee and catching up on emails before I go pick Ad up. Two happy, in school girls?

A mama could get used to this.

An Addie report

So I don’t want to leave my last post up all weekend – that is kinda a bit of a downer trip. And J. and I decided that we need a little diversion and are heading out of town for the weekend.

Plus, I have to brag a little about Addison since it feels like I do an awful lot of complaining about her and her astoundingly stubborn, excuse me, her independent streak. We had her parent-teacher conferences yesterday, and apparently Addie is quite the little angel at school. Her teachers had nothing but great stuff to say, we are talking – gushing here. Granted it is only preschool and I don’t think her teachers have a bad thing to say about anyone, ever. But still, she got almost all “fully mastered”s in her development skills and her teachers wrote this about her:

“Addison is a happy, self-confident girl who truly enjoys all aspects of her day at school. She is open, curious and interested in all activities and experiences offered to her. She is a fun and creative friend, making her a very sought after friend. She is kind and inclusive, but never gives herself away. She is bright an aware of all that is happening around her. We appreciate all she brings to class and are so happy she is here.”

Awwww…thatta girl!

So funny...

It is amazing to see her emerging as her own little self. She surprises me daily with something she knows or says. And even if what she says isn’t always correct, she manages to keep us laughing.

This morning at breakfast Em was being silly and eating her hard-boiled eggs like a puppy (at least I think that is what she was trying to do) and she bit into an egg and kind of did a “grrrr” sound, like she was ripping the flesh right off of the egg. Addie shrieked with laughter and said -

A: “Emma, you’re a cannibal!”
(J. and I both looked at each other in shock. How did she know that word? And she was using it almost in the right context, too!)
M: “Ad where did you hear that word? How do you know it?”
A: (grinning from ear to ear) “I don’t know.”
E: “Oh, I think I know! From our pirate book. They talk about cannonballs in it.”

Ahhhhh! Cannonball. Of course. J. always calls Addie “cannonball” when she is barreling through the house and acting all rough and tumbly, too. That makes sense, although “cannibal” certainly could have worked as well.

Crafty Tuesday

Yeah…so…about last week. I kinda forgot to post anything, and honestly didn’t really have anything to post anyhow.

And this week? I don’t have anything to post anyhow.

I do have some stuff in the works (Aunt Laura and Carey your bags are coming!) but since I didn’t get them out in the mail, I don’t want to spoil the surprise by posting them today.

I am finally getting through all of the feeds in my reader from last week and getting caught back up, so I am anxious to see if you all have some goodies for me to check out this week.

Now, on to some other business…

A certain little someone in our house is turning six in a month. My God, did you hear me? Six! SIX!

What are we going to get her for her birthday?

Almost six?!

Besides new jeans (because she has grown like three inches in the past month) or a brick (for her head to make her STOP growing) – what is something fun that six-year olds like these days? Any ideas?

Addie-tude ~ Best Shot Monday

I know someday her iron will, independent spirit and stubborn streak is going to serve her well. And, yes, I do want her to grow into a strong and liberated young woman…


But, whew boy!

If I hear “I wanted to do it, Mama!” one more time before she dissolves into yet another fit of tears…I may just throw myself off of the top of that jungle gym!  (AND, she is now big enough to open the car door from the outside by herself. How on earth did that happen?)

I mean, just look at this Addie-tude! I think this photo pretty much says it all. She is a 3-year old girl on a mission!


And I wouldn’t change one tiny piece of her for anything.
Find more photos that say it all over at Tracey’s new spot today.

When I grow up…

We were lying in Addie’s bed reading books the other night and Em and Ad decided that they are both going to go to the University of Michigan, and they are going to go at the same time so they can be there together.

(So which of our relatives would like to take them in for a few years so we can get in-state tuition? Even then…times two…aye!)

And Addie wants to be a fireman (firewoman?) and Emma wants to be an “ambulance doctor.”

Look what great public servants we are raising! Although to be fair, Em also wants to be a teacher, a ballet teacher and an astronaut, and I’m sure it will change again within the next 24 hours.

Speaking of professions, while we were walking to pick up Addie from school today, Emma had her American Girl doll (Elizabeth) and we discussed parenting styles…

E: Mama? Don’t you think I am such a good Mommy to Elizabeth?
M: Yes, I do. Where did you learn to be such a good Mommy?
(Oh, come on! Of course I was fishing here…tell me you wouldn’t have said the same thing!)
E: From you!
(See! Absolutely the right answer! Good girl, Em.)
M: Hmmm…well, I’m not always such a good Mommy.
(Guiltily thinking back to about 5 minutes earlier when I was very impatiently trying to herd Em and all of her crap out the door!)
E: Yeah, well sometimes I have to yell at Elizabeth too!
(Fantastic. Yes, maybe this week isn’t going as smoothly without J. as I had imagined.)


But at least Emma isn’t drawing pictures on her homework of me like this! (You have to read the description below the picture – I’m still giggling over it!)


And, I know.  These photos have absolutely nothing to do with the post – they are simply gratuitous pics for Daddy.

We miss you!
-Your Girls

One Smart Cookie

Dear Emma Grace,

It isn’t the Christmas lights causing that glow you can see surrounding our house this week, it is the beaming that can only come from the very proudest of parents.

You received your very first report card on Friday. When we had talked with your teacher last month at conferences, she had explained that we shouldn’t expect to see all “4s” and “5s” on the first report card. We are supposed to take the entire year into account, and we would see progress throughout the year as you worked against the benchmarks.  Your teacher actually said, “if they had 4s and 5s on the first report card then you’d have to wonder what they were doing in kindergarten, and why they were not already in first grade.”


Um….guess what?

Yeah, you got almost all 5′s on your report card (you did get all 5s on Reading and Listening and Speaking), a 5 = Excels in grade level standards. Plus there were a couple of 5s and a few 4s in Math, a 4=Meets grade level standards. I’m afraid you may have inherited Mommy’s horrific math skills, (sorry ’bout that) but still…girl you are smart! Not that we didn’t already know that, but it is nice to have some validation.

tree hugger

Your teacher also wrote in the comments:

Emma is a happy and cooperative student. She is always eager to participate and perform her leadership responsibilities. Emma demonstrates good listening and organizational skills which allows her to complete her work neatly and accurately. She is a good friend to her classmates and is well liked in return.

trying on an angelic pose

Awww….that’s my girl!

We are so very proud of you, Peanut! I hope your thirst for knowledge continues throughout your life and you never lose that excitement for learning.


I’m a big girl now.

Last week I was reading the Sunday paper…um, ok. So really my version of reading the paper = I just scan the front page, maybe the Image or Home section, and then move onto the real reason for the Sunday newspaper, the ads.

Anyway, I was looking through the Target ad (really the only ad that matters) and suddenly it struck me and I blurted out, “Hey! Do you realize we never have to buy diapers or pull-ups ever again!”

J. looked up from his paper (he was more than likely reading the “real news” or at least the Sports or Travel section) a little surprised at my outburst. “Um. Yeah. I hope not, at least.”

Clearly not as excited about my revelation as I was. But Addie has been full-on in big girl panties at night for well over a month with not one accident. I’m beyond proud of her! She decided that one night that she was a “big girl, not a baby, Mama!” and we have not looked back since. I’ve said it before (and I’ll say it again because it bears repeating) the “magic” in potty training is just being patient until the kid is ready. Because anything up to that point is just wasted energy.

I actually had planned on putting a pull-up on Addie while we were on our cruise because I figured she’d be tired, in a strange bed, and hadn’t been doing the underwear at night thing for very long before we left, and I didn’t want her to have an accident. But…I forgot to pack them. So, by default we slept in underwear the whole week and didn’t have a single problem.

The night we got back into town, we had been at the airport/traveling for well over 12 hours that day and she had fallen asleep. J. carried her upstairs and put her on her bed and I wrestled her out of her clothing, trying not to wake her up, to put jammies on her. (She had been playing in the airport and plane all day and um…ewww. ) I figured she had had a lot to drink, but hadn’t hit the bathroom, on top of that she was extremely tired all of which could potentially be a recipe for disaster.

So I tried to put a pull-up on her but as soon as I got one leg in, she sat straight up, wide awake and exclaimed, “NO, Mama! No diapers! I need my big girl wears!”

I tried to explain to her that I thought she might have an accident because she hadn’t gone to the potty. She slid off the bed and marched into the bathroom saying the whole way, “NO I won’t. I need my big girl underwear!”

Finally Mama got it through her thick head, we are not going back from where we came. We are done with any thing that has to do with diapers.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we are completely problem-free. We had a little funny incident while on our picnic yesterday:

A: “Mama! My underwears gottasome problem!”
E: “Oh, I think she has a ‘bushie,’ Mama.”
M: “A what??”
E: “A ‘bushie!’ When your underwear goes up your bottom kinda?”
M: “A wedgie?”
E: (Peals of laughter) “Yeah! What did I call it?” (More laughing…)

Yeah. I think a “bushie” is something entirely different.

Always with the tongue...

A bit of this, a bit of that

I can’t believe it is Friday already. I have been dreading this week because it was Emma’s spring break and I figured that there might a little too much “togetherness time” and, more than likely, only one if us would be left standing by the end of the week.

Instead, it has been a little preview into what our summer is going to be like, I think.
And by the way, when did my 2 and 4 (almost 5) year olds acquire a bigger social life than I have?

Seriously. We have had 2 lunch/park play-dates, one play-date at our house, one at a friend’s house, and one aquarium trip already this week and we have another play-date scheduled for this morning. Every day, a different kid. It has been crazy. But it has made the week go by very quickly and has kept the kids alive and entertained, so I guess I can’t complain.
(Well, I could – but does it really ever do any good?)

It has left very little time for me to do real work, blog, or any sort of work that might resemble housework. So today will be catching up on all of those and planning some sort of birthday party for Em.

Gah! I think I have been in denial that she is turning 5. She is insisting on a High School Musical birthday party. So again, I will call on you, my internet friends, for some clever ideas for the HSM party. We are going to have the Wii karaoke game that they got for Christmas, but I need some fun game ideas, craft ideas, food ideas. Any thoughts?

What else? I need to start carrying a notebook (like Em does) around with me. We have had some pretty funny little conversations this week, and I’m now drawing a blank on most of them.

Addie is insisting on calling the drain (bathtub drain) – a “dream.” No matter how many times I correct her she will say at least once during bathtime each night, “Is my (ring/washcloth/baby) going to go down the dream, Mama?” Last night she was looking intently at the drain and said, “Am I fit down the dream, Mama?” and before I could answer she laughed and said, “Nooooo, Mama! I’m too big for that dream!” Too cute.

Emma has learned how to be “helpful” while we are driving. She will screech “Stop, Mama! There is a stop sign!” And she doesn’t miss any, either. It makes driving so much more of an adventure than it already is in L.A.

And she carries little pieces of paper, or notes, around with her everywhere. “Mama, how do you spell….” is the most asked question in our house (and car) at the moment. She furiously writes out all kinds of notes to everyone. The Easter Bunny brought a little spiral notebook that she can keep all of her treasured writings in and there are pages of words already that she has written out over the past week. She definitely recognizes quite a few words and is getting much better about sounding others out that she doesn’t know.

I think she is going to be much more mathmatically inclined than I ever was. She is obsessed with adding numbers. J. is teaching her all kinds of math tricks, and the Easter Bunny also brought her a little first grade math workbook (aw, don’t give me that – she got plenty of candy, too!) that she loves, she just sits with her head bent over her “work,” counting on her fingers, lost in her math zone. Crazy kid.

The other night we were out to dinner, and we were eating at one of the tables outside. There was a small group of protesters that were setting up their tables and signs right near where we were dining. One of the signs had a photo of a soldier that had died, and all of the posters had some derogatory remarks about Bush, the Iraq war, and the soldiers that had lost their lives. I was watching Emma as she was taking the whole scene in and I was willing her not to ask me what the sign said – especially the one with the soldier on it.

Instead she turned to J. (ha! my mind trick worked!) and said -

E: Daddy, what does that man’s sign say?
D: Um…it says Happy Easter!
E: No, it doesn’t Daddy! I know how to spell Happy Easter. What does it say?
D: It says we only have about a year before we will have a lot of explaining to do.
E: Daddy! What does it say?
(At this point J. looked a little lost for words and was obviously looking for someone to bail him out.)
M: Remember when you went and helped me vote for a President and we talked about what the President does?
E: Yes.
M: Well, that man doesn’t agree with, or like what our President is doing.
E: Oh. Ok.

Whew. Long, uncomfortable discussion averted. But J. is right, it is coming those hard talks they are all coming, much sooner than I would like.

Just a little note to Aunt Carol, too – hope you are having a wonderful birthday today and wishing you lots of happiness in the upcoming year!