Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ellie and Grandad at the River

These pictures were taken at the end of February when Leif's parents came to visit one afternoon.




Friday, March 13, 2009

Stalling Tactics

Eliana doesn't really like going to bed. A few days ago she was up to her usual stalling antics, and she went through the usual routine.

"I need you to snuggle with me."
"I need a drink."
"I need something to eat."
"I need to give you a kiss and a squeezy hug."
"I need to tell you, 'I love you; see you in the morning'."

After none of those stalling tactics worked and I left her in her darkened room, in bed, she ramped up her game. From the living room I could hear her calling...

"I forgot to tell you something!! I forgot to tell you something!!"

I went in to see what she was so desperate to tell me. She just started rambling about nothing in general, trying to keep me in her room with her.

"Goodnight, Eliana," I interrupted, "You can tell me your story in the morning. I love you."

And back to the living room I went. A few moments passed before her next idea hit her...

"Mommy! Mommy! Come quickly!"

I ignored her. She got more desperate.

"Mommy! Mommy! Come quickly! Come quickly! Ellie's afraid of her pajamas!!!"

She managed to say this with such desperation that if I hadn't known she was stalling I might have believed her. After a few more ignored pleas I was greeted by a little girl grinning in the living room, footie pajamas fully unzipped. I zipped up her pajamas, she got in trouble for getting out of bed, and I tucked her back in.

That was all I heard of her that evening, and she fell asleep just fine.

But really, when did her stalling tactics get so sophisticated? If she's doing this at 2, what do I have to look forward to when she's 7 and doesn't want to go to bed?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Drawing Letters...

Ellie loves to draw. I mean, she LOVES to draw. So yesterday morning she was drawing little squiggles, some of which looked like letters. She drew a "U" and a "D" and a "P". Then she told me,

"This one is a P. It's a P for Poppy!"

Out of curiosity, I asked her if she knew a word that started with M.

"Mommom!" she excitedly told me.

Then I asked if she knew a word that starts with E.

"Ellie Wickland is a word that starts with E." she told me.

Maybe she's getting the hang of letters and words after all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Some of the Sights of Butte

I think I mentioned a while back that we took a little family trip to Butte on afternoon about a month ago. We took a few random pictures while we toured the sights of the old town, and it was kind of fun! Here are some of the things we saw...

Butte, MT

Butte, MT

This is the old M&M cafe. I guess it's been open 24 hours pretty much ever since the mining town was big. It's been around since 1890, and is a pretty good place to visit if you want a taste of Butte culture, or so we're told.

While there are lots of beautiful old brick buildings in Butte (it is very different from most Montana towns in that way), I'm not sure the sights we saw led us to believe there is that much culture left in the Copper City. Here is some of what we saw...

Butte, MT

Remnants of the old mining town still looming...

Butte, MT

Old businesses that look like they just stopped being (this is a law office, in case you can't read the sign above the door....)

Butte, MT

And a church-turned-movie-theater. I can't say that I've ever seen this one before. I've seen plenty of grocery-stores-turned-church-building, but this I just stopped and gawked at for a while.

But there were some other cool sights about the town, too, and lots of old buildings that were fun to look at...

Butte, MT

Butte, MT

Butte, MT

We wanted to take Ellie to go see the Berkley Pit, but it was closed for the season. We also wanted to go tour Our Lady of the Rockies, but I think it was closed because it was Sunday. The restaurant we were originally going to eat at was closed because it was Sunday, too. I think next time we will have to go on a weekday or a Saturday. Still, it was a pretty good afternoon. Pretty good indeed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I am Ellie's friend.

Today I made Eliana take a nap because she was extremely grumpy. It took her quite a while to go to sleep, so I had to wake her up because I had to be someplace at 4. When I woke her up, she smiled at me and said, "I want to give you a kiss." Then she kissed my cheek and whispered, "You're my best friend." That's about the sweetest thing I've ever heard.

About an hour later we were at the community center setting up for a home-based-business show and Ellie was playing with two other little girls she'd met. They were exchanging names when I heard Ellie say to one of the girls, "And this is my good friend, Mommy."

I am Ellie's friend. =D

(As a side note, my daughter tells me that her name is NOT Eliana. It is just Ellie Wickland.)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Another Ellieism

"The biggest dinosaur in the whole world is the dinosaur rex!"

This is what Ellie told me this afternoon.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


I'm sitting here listening to Ellie chatter to herself, and I am reminded of just how many cute things she says on a daily basis. Most of them don't even make it to the blog, but I figured I'd take a couple minutes and put some of them on the record:

Right now I'm listening to Ellie say to herself, "PBS kids dot org" over and over. (Perhaps she watches too much PBS in the morning?)

Any time Ellie wants to spell a word, she spells it the same way, and has for months. It's always "A-O-I-A-K". I don't know what it means or where it came from, but she will repeat that letter sequence over and over and over while she's playing or drawing.

I went to get Ellie dressed a couple weeks ago and I pulled out some green pants to wear with a green and pink flowered shirt. As soon as she saw the pants she threw herself on the ground in a fit and cried, "Nooooo! Those are BOYS' pants!!!" (Yet she had no problem with them when Leif pulled them out for her to wear a couple days later.)

That same week I tried to put Ellie in a pair of jeans and she cried, "But Mommy, I want to be BEAUTIFUL!!" when she rejected the jeans. *sigh*

If we tell Ellie a word, she can usually tell us what letter it starts with. For example, if we ask "What letter does 'Ellie' start with?" she will tell us "E!", or "What letter does 'purple' start with?" and she will tell us, "P!".

I tried to get creative with the above line of questioning by asking, "Ellie, what is a word that starts with H?" She stopped, thought about it, smiled, and answered with a resounding, "POTATO!" I think we need to work on that one a bit. =D

I told Ellie that we were going to her friend's house for dinner tonight and asked her to guess which friend. She was having trouble, so I tried to give her a hint by saying we were going to see, "Caaaaa...." to which she responded, "Mary Kay!!" Ha ha! We are going to Caedmon's house.

Ellie has had a bit of an attitude lately and hasn't wanted Leif to talk to her. When he'd try to talk with her she'd say, "Don't talk to me, Daddy!" After getting in trouble for saying that a few times she changed her tune and started saying instead, "Don't hear me, Daddy!"

I got my first real word clarification this morning. I told Ellie that she did something often and she looked at me quizzically and asked, "Often? What does 'often' mean?" I'm not sure I did a good job explaining what often means, but she seemed happy enough with my explanation.

Today in the car Ellie started to tell me something, and she started by saying, "Actually... "

Ellie pretty much talks non stop unless she's sleeping or in front of the television.

She also makes up silly songs.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


About the same time that downtown Bozeman was blowing up, I was posting about how nice it is to live in a sleepy little town over on my blog.

An explosion on Main Street

This morning (less than 2 hours ago), one of the restaurants downtown blew up. As in BLEW UP. The restaurant was called Boodles and I've heard it was a very nice restaurant, though we'd never been there. Chances are, though, that if you've ever visited us here in Bozeman, we've taken you to The Pickle Barrel, which is a long standing favorite. It was right next door to Boodles. Here's what the scene looks like this morning:

The Pickle Barrel (and the Rockin' R bar) is the green building on the left edge of the picture. To see a comparison shot of what it looked like before, click here. While this is definitely devastating for Boodles, there are a lot of area businesses that have some sort of damage from the blast. That means a number of them will probably have to shut down for repairs, and even if insurance covers the bulk or all of the repair costs, that is still lost income for businesses that may be struggling in this economy anyway. I'm curious how they will all come out of this.

UPDATE: There are actually 3 storefronts that are completely gone in this picture. The first is Boodles, the next is Montana Trails Gallery, and the third is Lilly Lu. Lilly Lu is owned by a friend and faithful attendee of my scrapbooking classes, Sheryl. Another friend and scrapbook class attendee was also employed there, Lisa. My heart goes out to them as I consider the challenges this will bring them!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A new look

Ellie in Butte

We went to Butte for an afternoon a couple weekends ago, and I think Ellie discovered a new look. Every time we tried to take a picture of her, this is the face she gave us...

Ellie in Butte

Ellie in Butte

Ellie in Butte

Ellie in Butte

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Plunger Hat

Plunger Hat!

I came home from Walmart yesterday with a plunger. Immediately, Eliana picked it up, put it on her head, and told me, "Look! This is like a hat!" She was very silly about it and wore it around for a few minutes. Then, something crazy happened - she actually posed for a picture. This picture:

Plunger Hat!

It's not the best picture by any means, but she DID want her picture taken, and she DID stand still while I took it. Then she wanted to see it on the camera. She was very proud of her hat.

Plunger Hat!

She was so proud of her hat, in fact, that she didn't want to take it off. She didn't want to put it away, especially after Daddy explained that once we put it away she could never play with it again. I listened to him explaining what a plunger is for and why she couldn't put it on her head and how sad her voice sounded that her hat was going away. It was a very funny conversation for a bystander, especially one who was glad not to be on the instructing end of the conversation.

And so, like any good mother, I just sat there and laughed. And laughed. And offered no helpful suggestion or words to back up what my little girl's Daddy was telling her, other than my muffled laughter. (And I just hope that laughter doesn't come back to get me one of these days when she tries to use the plunger and THEN remembers that it is her long lost hat...)

Hiking Ousel Falls

Hiking to Ousel Falls in February

Yesterday we went for a little snow hike with our friends Ben, Cathy, and Lily. As you can tell from the picture above, we had a beautiful hike in the frozen woods - lots of snow, flocked trees, and frozen water falls!

We even got Cathy to take a few family pictures for us!

Hiking to Ousel Falls in February

Hiking to Ousel Falls in February

Hiking to Ousel Falls in February