Saturday, November 28, 2009

She's so talented!

If you have been in my life for a long time, you may remember that our old dog, Sophie, used to push a basketball around the backyard for hours & HOURS! It was great exercise and it turned into a great game for her!

Well, at the GEAR sale last week, I found this mini basketball & thought that Minnie might like it. The problem Minnie & toys is that she wants to puncture every toy I give her OR she wants to pick it apart with her teeth. I can't tell you how many toys I've thrown away because she starts tearing them into little pieces & swallowing them. {Does anyone have suggestions for this?} I thought this basketball might do the trick. I could teach her to push it around & it's too big for her to bite through. Check out the video ... she's definitely trying to sink her teeth into it!

Here is her latest trick from today! I can't leave my blinds open too much in the dining room because Minnie likes to bark at EV.ERY.THING. that is outside! Squirrels, people, cars, people at the mailbox, landscaping crew, leaves, cats, EVERYTHING! I know that my neighbors and can hear her and I know that you can hear her from the street, so I try not to temp her too much.

This morning, she was so intent on getting closer to the action below that she decided to jump up on the window sill. It's only 4 inches wide, so I'm not sure how comfortable it is to sit up there, but she seems to like it. The first attempt landed her on the floor on her side. Thankfully, she figured it out this time for the video! What is it about schnoodles that make them think they are part cat?

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009


One of my all-time favorite videos of Ellen is from when she was just a few months old.

The video shows her hilarious reaction when Mere is making funny noises! Ellen figured out causes & effects very quickly!

Tonight, Minnie & I went over for dinner and to play a bit with Ellen before her bedtime. She knows EXACTLY what is going to happen when Minnie gets close. The two girls get SO excited to see each other, that they can hardly contain their excitement. Ellen starts shaking about and Minnie immediately runs up to Ellen to lick her hands, face, arms, feet ... whatever she can get ahold of.

Ellen has started to push away Minnie, but tonight she had a new reaction. She actually squirmed & winced before Minnie got to her because she knew was was coming!

I now present exhibits A and B:

Too funny! Ellen was such a good girl tonight. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my child. She's started this new let-me-bark-at-every-noise-I-hear-because-I'm-the-neighborhood-watch thing. SUPER annoying ... and doesn't work well in a house with a sleeping baby! The barking, paired with the non-stop, germy licking of all of us were too much for me! That might have been one of Minnie's last visit's to M&E's house for a while. Maybe she'll learn her lesson.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still playing catch-up

I feel like I've been playing catch-up since I returned from my 7 sick days. Being gone from work when you are sick is SO MUCH WORK when you are a teacher. In many other jobs, if you are sick, I assume you don't need to leave plans for others while you are gone. I bet you might need to leave instructions or directions to find things, but you don't have a substitute for the day coming in to do YOUR job. Granted, I've only had a job as a teacher ... but I'm guessing that is how it works.

Sometimes when I don't feel well, I'd rather just stay at work than make lesson plans and directions for a substitute. I'm so anal that I tend to over plan and write out more details than necessary. You never know what kind of a substitute you are going to get in your room. I'd rather leave too many instructions than not enough and return to things not done correctly.

Thankfully, of the 7 days I had to be gone (plus one more day for a curriculum meeting), I had only 3 substitutes. 1 was our building sub who knows the ins & outs of 4th grade ... 1 was just for the first 1/2 day when I came but had to leave with a fever ... and 1 was there for five days. She even cancelled other jobs to come back to my class when I found out I had to stay home longer than planned. She was GREAT!

Long story short ... I've been back at school for almost five full weeks and I STILL feel like I'm playing catch-up. I've stayed late at work almost every night. I hate being the last car in the parking lot, but I have a hard time being productive during the day when I'm surrounded by friends, students, to do lists and more!

Minnie's gotten the short end of the stick because I've been working ten hour days and when I get home, it's too dark for a long walk. Poor baby!

I keep thinking things will slow down ... let's just hope it will happen sooner than later.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

No pictures! No pictures!

Ellen is already aware of the paparazzi ... now that she's famous!

In case you didn't hear, Ellen was the Grand Prize winner of the Kansas City Star's Cutest Costume contest. Say that three times fast. Molly got the call early today and by the time we got home from shopping & running errands, they had already posted the news online!

Check out this screen cap. There is our little salmon sushi roll ... on the front page of the website! The other winners had some GREAT costumes, too!

Thanks to all of you that voted for her online. I'm not sure how Ellen will top her first Halloween, but I bet Molly already has some idea in the works! :)

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Best Sushi In Town???

Okay ... that's not really what we are voting on, but we are voting on who was the Best Dressed Kiddo in KC this Halloween!

Miss Ellen is one of the 166 entries in the latest KC Star contest.

She would LOVE to win and she's begging you for her vote! :)

Here's the scoop:
  • She is submission #139 out of 166 of KC's best dressed kids. {You should seriously check out her competition. Some of the pictures are so blurry you can't even tell if it's a pic of a child or a magazine picture! Ellen has a real chance to win!}
  • The winner is the photo with the most number of votes. Voting is open from Wednesday, November 4th at 5:00am - Friday, November 6th at 5:00pm CST, once per day. {It's not too late to get a vote in today!}
  • You do have to register on the site to vote (wah, wah, wah). Be sure to check the box to not send any unwanted emails. After the contest, you can send an email to privacy at to remove your email from their list.
Here are the links you need:

Click here to REGISTER (it took me a while to get my confirmation email ... don't give up! It will come.)

Click here to VOTE!

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Completed while waiting for Trick-or-Treaters

I spent my Halloween evening with the Chittums, enjoying some yummy veggie soup, salad, bread & sweet treats.

Earlier in the day, I hung out with family & took about a trillion pictures of Ellen's first Halloween costume. You've GOT TO follow the link to see her cute, homemade costume! Jill had mentioned that she'd like to do a jigsaw puzzle, so while I was at Mom & Dad's I picked one up. I LOVE completing puzzles and the one I chose was one of my favorites growing up.

This particiular puzzle is called a Talking Jigsaw Puzzle. The picture on ours is an office building, but apparently they were made of a high school, hospital, hotel and other locations.

What is unique about these puzzles, is that the picture on the box is NOT the actual picture of the completed puzzle. They've jumbled up all the "windows" on the building so you don't know what the puzzle is supposed to look like. You have to read what is happening in the windows to figure out where all the pieces go. Here is an example:

You can see that these two people are talking so they would go side-by-side, but then we also had to use all the other clues to figure out what rooms & floor these people were on. There were 9 floors in our office building and 12 rooms on each floor.

Jill was in charge of the details. She would use the puzzle box to put together the individual windows. I was in charge of the big picture, so I would read all of them to figure out their exact location. There IS a way to check your progress. You can turn over the pieces (which are all the same size & shape) to see if the words "congratulations" match up where they are printed many, any times!

It only took us about 3+ hours to complete. Yes, I realize we are missing 3 pieces, but apparently when I was little, I marked the locations for the 3 missing pieces on the box. That helped so we knew when we were actually done.

This was a fun way to pass the time ... I wish that I had more of these, but after searching for a link to share, I've realized that they are no longer made and the ones that are for sale are going for $30-$70 each. Yikes! Thanks, I think I'll pass.

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