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Friday, April 10, 2015

Nellisms, vol. 4

I've had a growing collection of quotable quotes from this girlie for a while now, and it would be a travesty not to inflict them on you.

Nell these days.  She likes playing her "villeein," jumping around like crazy, and her favorite number is "six ellellen."  The fact that she calls cornflakes "snowflakes" is indicative that the deprived child has had cold cereal all of a half dozen times in her life.  And when we had ice cream recently, she nearly lost her mind with excitement, jumping up and down and exclaiming about how we had also had ice cream ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!  Which was last May.  Further proof of deprivation, but also of how frighteningly remarkable her memory is.

One snowy morning back in February:
Sarah: "I'm going to make some hot chocolate!  And Aunt Hannah is going to drink some with us; it'll be a hot chocolate party!"
Nell: "And Uncle Andrew, too?"
Aunt Hannah: "Actually, Uncle Andrew doesn't like chocolate."
Nell: "Oh okay, so he will just have hot."

* * *

After spilling some water at the dinner table:
Nell: "I swallowed mine water onto my lap."

* * *

After coughing:
Nell: "Poor Nell.  She's so sick."

After Marie coughed:
Nell {condescendingly}: "Mawee we always cough in our elbows all wiiiight?"

* * *

Sarah: "I need you to sing more quietly, because Marie is sleeping."
Nell: "I'm singin' loudly!"
Sarah: "I know you are.  Could you please singly softly?"
Nell: "But loud is part of the song!!"

Upon examination of the small hole into which Mr. Potato Head's shoes can be inserted:
Nell: "Look Mama!  It's Mr. Potato Head's bottom.  See?  Oops!  Oh no, Mr. Potato Head, you're peein' on me!"
Sarah: {not sure whether to laugh openly or to quietly encourage imaginative play; ended up laughing.}

She is so polite sometimes it's almost weird.

One morning at breakfast:
Nathan: "Did you help Mama make these pancakes?"
Nell: "Yes I deed! ("did")"
Nathan: "Thank you, they're so yummy."
Nell: "Oh thank you Daddy.  You make me so happy."

At lunch:
Sarah: "Would you like some olives with your lunch?"
Nell: "Yes pease that would be lovely."

At dinner:
Nell: "What's this Mama?"
Sarah: "Those are brussels sprouts.  They're sort of like teeny tiny balls of lettuce."
Nell {eats one}: "Oh, I love it! Thank you so so much!"

But there was also this:

On St. Patrick's Day:
Nell: "What is this stuff called?"
Sarah: "That's sauerkraut."
Nell: "Well I don't like this sauercrap."

One night when Nathan walked in the door:
"Oh Daddy yay you are home!  I love you so much in my heart and in my life!"

One night when I had tucked her in bed and lay down beside her for a minute:
"I love you Mama.  I love your heart."

And earlier tonight at dinner:
"I love your hair, Mama.  I love your cheeks.  I love your ears.  I love your eyes.  I love your nose.  I love your eyebrows."

* * *

About ten times a day:
Sarah: "Why are you fussing right now?"
Nell: "Because I love you."
Sarah: Maybe you could find another way to show it?

While I was getting dressed:
Nell: "Oh wow Mommy you are so big.  Wow wow wow."
Sarah: ...

* * *

After she ended up sleeping in bed with us for the third night in a row due to sleeping miserably because of a cold:
Sarah {tired, very tired, slightly exasperated}: "Tomorrow night you need to sleep in your own bed again, do you understand?  This is the last night we're doing this, okay, Nell?"
Nell {snuggled close, her face inches from mine, smiling sweetly}: "Are you so so happy Mama?"
Sarah: "......You're pretty good at understanding emotions, but you're not at one hundred percent yet."

A dozen times a day, while approaching Marie with a stethoscope or other doctor's device:
Nell {ominously}: "Okay Mawie, this is not fun for you."
Marie: {blank stare}

When Nell says "monitor," it comes out sounding like "matador," so "Where is the baby monitor?" is "Where is the baby matador?"  And I usually reply, "Where IS the baby matador?"  Because that is something I would like to see.

* * *

To Marie, after a failed nap attempt:
Nell: "My goodness baby Wee you won't sleep you silly baby!  Yeah Mawie yeah!!  Stay awake forever!!"

* * *

After a sweet sisterly encounter with Ree:
Nell: "She loves me!  She loves me so much!  She was sa-milin' at me!  She's my girlie!"

Out of the blue:
Nell: "I'm strong in my life and in Jesus."

* * *

Sarah: "Nell, you are a sweet girl."
Nell: "No, I'm so so so tewwible!"

Monday, April 06, 2015


Happy Easter!

Since Nathan is director of music at a church, Easter Sunday morning found me getting up at 5:00 am, hurrying bleary-eyed children out to the car, and playing my violin in the church orchestra for three consecutive church services.  {Nathan's arrangements were glorious, as always.}  In between playing, I dashed back and forth between the different nurseries the girls were in to check in on them and nurse the baby as needed, and even found a few spare minutes to drink coffee and chat with people.

These sweet kiddos endured the very long morning as well as anyone could expect, and we made it home by around 2:00 for naps {for the kids, although I wished I could take one, too!} and dinner preparations.

As we often are on holidays, we were joined by good friends for food and conversation.  Ten adults, three toddlers, and three babies made for some good old-fashioned chaos.  The toddlers gathered plastic eggs filled with candy, stickers, and other such goodies.

We sat down to ham, potatoes, green beans, roasted carrots and parsnips, rolls, and a salad.  The dishes were a bit mis-matched out of necessity, and I realized as I looked at the set table that it's a lucky predicament to have more friends than one has matching dishes.

For dessert there was carrot cake, flourless chocolate cake, key lime pie, and more.

I made and tasted my first coconut cream pie.  Let's just say it surely won't be my last.

That was our Easter in a nutshell.  Sunday morning the house was the cleanest and tidiest it's been in a while, and now it's quite messy.  We are exhausted and I, for one, am a bit headachy from too much sugar {see above}.

Today, Monday, consisted of the usual post-holiday vicious cycle.  Decide to have a small piece of leftover carrot cake for breakfast with coffee because, after all, it's Easter.  Feel blah after eating said cake.  Resolve not to eat any more sugar.  Drink some water.  A few hours later, reach for a few of those dark chocolate coconut almonds.  Eat a few more than planned.  Feel gross and lethargic.  Resolve not to eat any more sugar.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Until all the sugary things in the house have been consumed, I'm sure.

I went for a run to assuage my guilt at eating so many sugary things.  It worked so well, I'll be ready to eat more sugary things tomorrow!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

an ode to my favorite thrift store

Okay, I'm not actually going to write an ode.

Misleading post titles aside, I have a borderline disturbing obsession with my favorite local thrift store, as anyone in this household could tell you.  What's not to love about a place where everything for kids is generally less than a dollar?  Slightly worn Stride Rite shoes for $1?  Yes, please!  Vintage smocked dresses for $0.50 apiece?  Thank you!  Winter jackets for a buck?  I'll take them all!

So, this post is dedicated to a few recent finds from our thrifting trip last week.  Nell was quite pleased to have a {mini Boden, not that the brand matters to Nell} tulle skirt to twirl about it.  It won't fit her properly for another year or two, but that doesn't stop her from putting it on over her jeans and spinning around the living room for now.

Another item of clothing for a year or two in the future.  A sweet pintucked and embroidered shirt from Gap.

The ladies at the thrift store ringing me up were so apologetic that this jacket/snow pants combo in perfect condition, which will probably fit Nell next winter, would be $3 altogether instead of $1 per item.  Weeeelllll I GUESS THAT'S OKAY.

 I know vintage isn't for everybody, but I always feel like I hit the jackpot when I find some lovely little old-fashioned outfit in amongst the Target and Old Navy clothes lining the racks.  Look at these sweet little rompers, that smocked dress, and that blousy little top!  $0.50 apiece.

This little Maggie & Zoe cardigan is a little big on Nell right now, but perhaps it'll be perfect for Easter next year!

And finally, just skip right over this if you're a little skeeved out by the idea of used swimwear, but how cute is this little ruffled suit?

This past trip I was only on the hunt through the kids' clothing section, but in the past, I've also found:

* a Restoration Hardware seafoam green silk queen sized duvet cover in perfect condition for $2.00.  Yes, that's TWO DOLLARS.

* six Restoration Hardware curtain panels for $1 or $2 apiece {I can't remember}.

* a bunch of little decorative ruffled pillows from Pier One Imports for $1 or $2 apiece, which are now enjoying their happy new home in Nell's bedroom.

* women's clothes for between $2-6 apiece, including a few items that have become favorites in my wardrobe.  I got a gray Boden wool peacoat for a couple of dollars this past fall!

* some great furniture finds, too!!

Some thrift stores seem to have unreasonably high prices, and I hate those kinds of thrift stores.  No, I'm not going to pay $10 for a worn out old pair of shoes or $30 for a used coat I'll have to pay to get dry-cleaned.  That stained onesie is not worth $3, and those women's jeans may be Gap, but they're from the 90's and no one wants to pay $12 for them.

In conclusion, dear Local Thrift Store, I love you.  Your inventory is interesting and always changing, and your prices are dreamy.  My idea of a perfect day is one in which my husband offers to watch the kids, I get an iced coffee, and I go browse your delightful aisles without having to worry about my children touching everything in sight.  Just a nice peaceful hour or three to look at all the wonderful things you have to offer.

Hint, hint, Nathan.  I bet I can find us a hundred things we never knew we needed, and all for under $30!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ree at Ten Months

Finding myself wide awake and up playing with a certain baby at 1:30 in the morning seems like as good a time as any to record some 10 month memories, I suppose.  We're on Night #2 of baby party extravaganzas from 11:30 or thereabouts until after 2:00 am.  No amount of patting, shushing, nursing, rocking, or walking will get her back to sleep until she gets up, grins, babbles, crawls around, and plays for a while, it seems.  My personal theory?  She wants some play time sans her older sister getting in her way.  Sorry, Ree, but this time of night isn't really good for me.  Can you go back to sleeping normally (which means waking every few hours but then actually going back to sleep!) starting tomorrow night?  Please?

But for now, I'll write.

I'm not sure it makes sense to have a "favorite age" for babies in general, but for this baby in particular, ten months has been a really, really good age.  Having met her lofty goals of pulling up, crawling, and cruising around furniture, she decided she could pay attention to the people in her life again, with novelties like sustained eye contact and babbling and giggles.  I've been loving it.

Her soothing object of choice when falling asleep is first and foremost a fistful of my hair, and should that be unavailable, she reaches her little hand up and clings to a fistful of her own as she sleeps.  It's the kind of sleeping gesture that parents and grandparents find adorable, and the rest of the world probably finds... uninteresting, I suppose.  Being in the former group, I find it hard to understand those in the latter, though.

"Who is this person stopping by our photo shoot?"

"Oh, it's Daddy!  I like that guy!"

"I love you, Dad... as long as you don't try to pick me up and take me somewhere away from Mom."

On the day she turned ten months old, a top tooth emerged.  Followed closely two days later by the other top tooth!  By the time she was over her most recent bout of illness {it's been a near constant thing this winter} and I took these photos, these two beauties were featuring prominently.

We canceled the order we had placed for baby dentures.  Phew.

She's still taking two naps a day, which often keeps us fairly homebound with a schedule consisting of: Breakfast, Ree's Nap, Lunch, Nell's Nap, Ree's nap and Mama's teaching, Dinner, Bed.  We are living it up around here, I tell you.

Would you look at that face?  It's a pretty good life.

The night partying babe is showing signs of giving up her wakeful reign of terror.  I'm going to seize the moment!  Wish me luck.

Dear Marie,

You are squishy and sweet and I can hardly wait for the weather to warm up so I can dress you in rompers and onesies with all that exposed skin to kiss all the time.  That's what's on my mind lately!  We're going to have such fun this spring and summer.  I promise.

Sleep deprivedly yours,