my weekend in pictures.

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{Finally found some time to start packing for our Boise trip and SO excited to use our Walker Family Goods duffel. My friend Lex that I grew up with started this company with her husband and it had a really successful kickstarter. I love this bag already and am already eyeing a pink one! It is perfect for packing both girls.}

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{A big purple dinosaur joined Daphne and me on our post-lunch walk.}

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{We had our monthly family dinner with the Sadliers’ and had the best time, as usual. It’s so fun that the kids all play together (for the most part).}

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{A sunny and dry Saturday means yard work for Papa and Eloise. There were so many leaves and tree debris down in the yard from the crazy windstorms we had earlier in the week.}

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{Just got this book and I am super excited to get into it. Getting a jump-start on New Year’s resolutions I guess!}

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{Bedtime with the girls.}

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{We woke up super early (okay, early for us, it was 5 am) to get on the road for Boise. Driving thru Snoqualmie Pass and realizing just how gorgeous our state is.}

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{We stopped in Pendleton, Oregon for lunch and got some wiggles out at a local playground.}

{And Daphne LOVES the swing! She has only been in one one other time but didn’t laugh and giggle like this. Eloise has never really liked swings so I haven’t tried it with Daph too much. Apparently I should change that!}

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{The girls playing together. Okay, truth: Eloise setting up the dollhouse and Daphne wants to join in on whatever she is doing!}

We spent all day Saturday cleaning up the house and packing up, and then all day Sunday driving to Boise to spend Thanksgiving week! I am completely in denial that it is already the end of November (what?!) but excited to celebrate Turkey Day with my family and then head home to DECK THE HALLS for CHRISTMAS!

How was your weekend?

M

This post contains affiliate links.

traveling with littles // our travel essentials

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Since I posted about our Mexico trip (over on Instagram and on the blog) I have had TONS of questions about how we traveled with the kids, what we took, and tips from the trip. So, I thought I would just put up a big post with links to everything so I wouldn’t have to type and text and respond with the same things to everyone. Plus, this is a great reference for me because as much as I love traveling, the actual act of traveling gives me a bit of anxiety, especially in the day or two before. It’s mostly the preparation, which is sort of counter-intuitive since I am such a planner, and the lists and lists of things to pack and to-dos before we leave (like I will stay up all night cleaning the house and doing all of the laundry the night before so I come home to a super clean house).

Any-hoo, onto our travel essentials. Obviously it depends on your kids, your routine and every day necessities, and your own preferences, but lots of these things work for most of the littles. Also, I have tailored this to air travel, but many of the same things are true when we drive.

Something that I had growing up was a travel backpack which was a backpack full of toys and things that I only got when we traveled. (Thanks Mom & Dad!) And this is something that we started when Eloise was tiny and continue to do. Guys, it’s magic. These are special toys that she only gets when we drive or fly, so they are really special every time. It really doesn’t have to be anything crazy or over-the-top, and remember that they have to really be small enough for your littles to carry (or else you will have to carry it!). Right now these travel-only toys include: this Doodle Pro, these Mermaid stickers, flashcards (from the Dollar Spot at Target), these headphones, coloring book or paper and crayons, and this kids’ digital camera we added as a new surprise for this most recent trip! I also include a small snack in the front pocket of her bag (usually a bar and a pouch).

I try to have Eloise carry some of her own things, but since her backpack is so tiny, realistically I have to carry some things. I generally put her stickers, a small book, her headphones, and her lovie and blanket in her backpack, and then I carry everything else. This trip I took my diaper bag (I have this Skip-Hop one which I am LOVING right now because pockets and over-the-shoulder handles or cross-body – necessary with two kids) and this awesome Lo & Sons bag (Deluxe Small). And then Aaron carries a bag too, currently this Miir backpack which is also awesome! Between all of those bags, we can usually fit everything we are carrying on the airplane without it being too obnoxious! I put all of the essentials that we will more than likely need during the plane trip in my diaper bag (diapers, wipes, water bottles, pacifier) that goes under the seat, and then at least one of the other bags goes up into the over-head bin (and includes things we don’t need immediately like extra clothes, snacks, etc.).

STROLLER, CAR SEATS, AND CARRIERS

Even though our every day stroller is pretty compact (we have the Bugaboo Bee) it seemed too bulky to take on the trip. I wanted something that either girl could sit in that would be easy to maneuver around the resort. But I also didn’t want a super cheap stroller that would break during the trip. So we settled on this umbrella stroller and it was perfect! It fit either girl, laid back for the occasional nap, had a pretty big storage basket underneath, had a cup holder (bonus!), and folded to be pretty compact. We took this stroller with us in the airport and then gate-checked it. Though not necessary, I like to put gate-checked items into bags and this one was perfect for an umbrella stroller!

We weren’t planning on doing any extra driving while in Mexico, but since we did have to get from the airport to the resort (in a vehicle) we brought both of the girls’ car seats. We don’t use them on the plane (see below) but I didn’t feel comfortable being in a vehicle without car seats, despite the assurances that Mexico does not actually require car seats for children. (Um, yikes, but that’s not the point here.) So we checked the car seats using these car seat bags. Obnoxious, yes. Practical, yes. The bags have backpack straps (which Aaron can use; I, however, will fall over backwards!) and are big enough for the seat plus we always put diapers in the seat to save room in our luggage! A note about international travel and car seats is that other countries, including Mexico, don’t have locking seat belts, so be sure to take these brackets which will “lock” the seat belt!

We also took both of the carriers for the girls (the Tula and the Ergo) since we both can use them and Aaron can still carry Eloise in a carrier. In hindsight, we should have just brought one since the Ergo went unused during almost the entire trip. (It was WAY too hot to use the carriers when we were in Mexico, for the most part!) But, we find the carriers really helpful when we are getting on the plane because it frees up both sets of hands to carry bags. And as much as I love my Solly wrap, in the past it has been too tricky to try to get Daphne in and out of it as the other carriers (though I loved it when D was a newborn).

PLANE

Getting on the plane with littles is always an experience. And one that gives me anxiety. I just want to be on the plane with my luggage stowed and seat belt fastened. So I make sure that we get any gate check bag tags that we need (for our stroller and sometimes our infant car seat, but not this time around) as soon as there is someone at the gate counter, and then I wait in the immediate boarding area in case there are any updates about the flight. And there are differing opinions about this, but our system is to get on the plane as early as possible! That generally means we board with the “families or passengers that need extra time getting down the jet way.” For some airlines this is the very first group to board, and for others it is after all of the gold, platinum, whatever flight status passengers get to board. But, long story short, we get onto the plane with the girls before 95% of the rest of the passengers.

Once we find our seats, I get in first to sit in the window and then Eloise will get the middle seat. I wipe down everything (tray – both sides, arm rests, window and wall) with a disinfecting wipe. My girls, especially Daphne, lick and touch everything. So there’s that. While I am disinfecting, Aaron is installing the CARES harness that we use for Eloise onto the seat; it is a loop that goes over the seat, but requires the tray to be put down for tightening, and then provides an upper harness that loops into the regular airline seat belt. Again, there are many differing opinions about how small children should be restrained in an airplane, but we have chosen to have lap infants (before age 2) and then use the CARES harness (rather than hauling a car seat on the plane). And then Daphne sits with me during pre-boarding and then during take-off and landing, just in case she won’t take her paci and needs to nurse.

Before I had littles, I didn’t put anything in the seat back pocket. But now, I load it up with wet wipes, water bottles, books, snacks. When you have a baby on your lap, it is difficult to get a bag out from under the seat, so I try to get most of what I might need during the flight out where I can easily reach it. And then we use the under the seat space at Eloise’s seat to store one of the bigger carry-ons that has things we will need during the flight, and the other carry-on goes up into the overhead bin. That leaves Aaron with no bags at his feet so he’s a bit more comfortable (since his knees nearly hit the seat in front of him).

 

PLAY

Even on a short flight little ones need something to do, so we try to bring entertaining things to keep them occupied for as much of the flight as possible. Like I mentioned above, we have special airplane toys/items that only come out during travel, so they tend to keep Eloise occupied for a little longer than normal. In addition, I bring a few small board books or magazines for her to read or to have read to her. For Daphne, I brought a few soft toys and books, but avoided anything that squeaked!

Before each trip, Aaron will pre-download shows (Daniel Tiger, Mister Roger’s, and Sesame Street are the current ones) onto either his phone or one of our computers. This way we don’t have to worry about Wifi on the plane or any sort of buffering during the show. We are pretty strict about screentime with Eloise during our normal life, and during traveling, we are equally strict. She gets to watch one (maybe two) shows of her choosing during a plane ride, but only after she takes a nap. It is amazing that a toddler can go from “I am not tired. At all.” to sleeping in a matter of minutes if it means there is a show on the other side! We don’t always get the longest naps, but we make sure she naps before a show. And, also, we try to exhaust every other possible entertainment method for Eloise before we let her watch a show; that means reading stories, snacks (so many snacks), walking up and down the aisle, going potty, etc. We know from other parents that if you offer a show too early in the trip, the only thing your toddler wants to do is watch a show!

 

FOOD

I bring tons of snacks on trips, always. Even before kids. I guess I worry about being on a plane or in a hotel room without food! I tend to make a big trip to Trader Joe’s a few days before a trip because it has the BEST snack foods. And snacks don’t have to be unhealthy. We do a lot of trail mix, dried fruit, and other healthier snacks so that I don’t worry as much if that is all Eloise will eat on the trip.

One thing that we do bring that we don’t have normally (so it’s special which magical for toddlers!) are food pouches. They are heavy but really convenient and if you have kids, TSA doesn’t make a stink about them at all. For a flight, I will put one into Eloise’s backpack for her to find and then let her choose when she wants to eat it. But I do limit the amount of pouches to one per day for Eloise. Daphne, on the other hand, was young enough on our trip that we were still transitioning between purees and BLW (baby-led weaning). So I loaded up on pouches* and brought enough for one pouch per meal since I didn’t know what the food situation was going to be.

*Since I don’t normally buy food pouches, I was overwhelmed (an understatement) when I went to Target to buy them for the trip. Holy cow there are about 100 brands, even if you are only looking at organic ones! So, I started reading the labels. Many pouches (and other baby foods and drinks even) use apple sauce/puree as the main filler with only a small amount of the other flavors. My test for pouches was to find ones that were (1) organic and (2) weren’t apple sauce. And I ended up finding these Happy Baby Clearly Crafted Stage 2 that fit the bill and were in a clear pouch (bonus!) with lots of interesting flavors. Like I said, I loaded up and ended up bringing enough for 2 or 3 every day which was so, so heavy going down to Mexico, but Daphne ate them all during our trip and we didn’t have to haul them back (except the ones I saved for the flights home).

Along with TJ’s snacks, we also like Ella’s Kitchen snacks, Bambas, and Larabars (mini). We don’t usually let Eloise snack much during the day because it just destroys mealtimes, but when we travel (and especially when we fly) we are super lax about snacking. We ended up being able to get food really quickly at the resort in Mexico because there was a food buffet open almost all day, but sometimes waiting in restaurants for a meal is hard, so I always have snacks or a pouch in my bag.

 

SUN AND SAND

One thing I was dreading with the hot weather in Mexico (and also just summer in general) is sunscreen. I loathe sunscreen but the alternative is worse. I am also really picky when it comes to sunscreen and will only use physical sunscreen which means almost all of the cool sprays, mousses, dry-touch ones are all no-nos. Our favorite for the past few years is this non-aerosol spray from Babyganics which we all use. And I also picked up this Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc for our trip after reading really good reviews on it, and I really liked it! Aaron wasn’t sold on it, but the smell was amazing. Neither one of these sunscreens are super white and greasy which is what I am looking for. And be sure to test sunscreen on an arm or leg of your babies first to make sure there isn’t a bad skin reaction! Daphne wasn’t able to wear sunscreen all summer-long (because she was under 6 months) but thank goodness she was old enough when we went to Mexico and that she wasn’t allergic to either sunscreen we had.

Because we were going to be at the beach, I brought along our little anti-UV pop-up tent that I picked up at the Nordy’s Anni Sale this past summer. It didn’t get as much use as I thought since Daphne was so little this summer and we mostly just stayed out of the sun, but it folds up small enough (and flat enough) that we were able to get it into our suitcase for this trip. To be totally honest, we only used this tent one morning while we were in Mexico, but it was still worth it! I was able to keep Daphne out of the sand since she would just eat it and be covered in it (between the sunscreen and her hands in her mouth all the time) which was amazing! We have previously rented a big tent for the beach when we went to Maui and it was awesome for the beach!

If it is sunny and hot at all, my girls are used to wearing sunhats (at least Eloise is). Since neither will reliably keep sunglasses on, sunhats are the way to go. We love this iPlay one since it is super lightweight, dries quickly, and breathes. Plus, it is adjustable and has a chin tie (which is necessary for a baby who tries to pull it off). Eloise had a dark navy blue one when she was one, but I quickly discovered that the dark color got hot in the sun. So she and Daphne both have white ones. There is also this one that has more neck coverage. And in addition to a sunhat, we wear lots of sunshirts near the pool or at the beach. We have one from Crewcuts (J. Crew’s baby line) and Honest Co. but I have also been liking the ones that come with the bathing suit set (like Cat and Jack for Target). Often I will bring an extra sunshirt along in my bag and then can switch out the girls’ shirt if we are going to be in the sun so I don’t have to slather on quite as much sunscreen!

SLEEP

Ah, elusive sleep. Especially when you are traveling, sleep is elusive. We have two really good sleepers, but traveling and being away from home and in a new place can be disruptive! We try to mimic our sleep routine and schedule from home as much as possible when we are traveling. Same jammies, same lovies, same pacis, same/similar sound machine, same sleep sack.

We have this travel sound machine which has been good for the past few years, but we have been having trouble with batteries corroding in it, so I am on the hunt! Basically, I want something that is lightweight and can give us the sound of rain (that’s our preferred sound) all night long (so no timer). If you have any recommendations on a good travel sound machine, I am all ears!

And since Eloise had been recently night-time potty-trained, I brought along this waterproof mattress pad cover which is the one that we keep on her bed at home. Luckily, we didn’t end up needing it, but I will probably still bring it along with us for our next few trips since it folds up like a small blanket.

And for Daphne, I ended up bringing an extra blanket for her which I used on the plane while she napped and then hung on the side of the pack n’ play while we were in Mexico. I wouldn’t normally hang a blanket on the side of a pack n’ play but in this case we were sharing a hotel room so I needed to put something up to block Daphne’s view so that she would sleep. We put her over on the other side of the room (from the beds) to give her some space and quiet, but the sides of the pack n’ play are mesh… so we hung a blanket over one side and a towel over the other and it worked really well (the other two sides were facing the wall and the sliding door with curtains). At this point (one month later) Daphne probably would have pulled that blanket and curtain off the sides since she can now stand up in a crib, but at the time it worked!

PASSPORTS AND TRAVEL DOCS

When we decided to book our trip to Mexico for the entire, we knew it would require passports for the girls. Even though we don’t have any other international trips planned as of now, it’s nice to know that we can plan a last minute trip or take a drive across the border if we need/want to (Canada is just about 3 hours north). Plus, passports for littles are insanely cute and good for 5 years. We took our own pictures using the Murphy bed in the guest room/office for the white backdrop, and then printed them at Walgreen’s.

{Side note: This section is about vaccines. We have decided to vaccinate ourselves and our children which is a personal decision. This isn’t a post meant to be pro-vaccination, but just to explain what our process was regarding travel and vaccines.} And since we were traveling abroad, I did ask our girls’ pediatrician about any extra vaccines they may need before the trip since other countries have different exposure risks than we do domestically. He told us that Eloise was good-to-go since she is up-to-date on her vaccines (thru three years), but that he recommended that Daphne get an early booster of the MMR (which isn’t started until after one year) because there is a high risk of exposure when you travel internationally, specifically in international airport terminals. Also, since it was early October when we left for our trip, we all got our annual flu vaccines before flying.

And finally, be sure to research any other documents you might need on your trip, depending on where you are traveling, including any required visas. I also took pictures of our passports as well as scanned them and saved them to our cloud storage (just in case they got lost) and took a copy of the girls’ birth certificates and vaccine records (which I always have with me).

What are your travel essentials?

M

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daphne {week 37}

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{letterboard: Letter Folk (Poet) // sweater: babyGap (old) // leggings: Target (old) // quilt: made by Amanda}

{week 37} Guys, Daphne is on the move. Like big time. I know I mentioned it in her monthly update (and probably every weekly update!) but it’s so true. Every day I think she gets faster and more confident in her ability to move. Crawling is her preferred method of travel and she is starting to pick up some serious speed. She hasn’t gotten close to the stairs yet, but I think we will need to be putting the second gate up soon (we will put it in the short hallway upstairs).

And along with always moving, Daphne does not like to be flat on her back. So I am surprised we can even get any weekly pictures at all. And if you saw the outtakes, it is all of her rolling around and crawling away! Even during diaper changes, Daphne crunches her head up and doesn’t want to lay flat.

There are lots of giggles these days, especially for tickles or for Eloise. We also got some giggles when I brushed Daphne’s teeth the other night. She has the sweetest little laugh!

Daphne is working on sounds and currently says: mama (but not in context), mimi, and nang nang (when she is hungry and bangs on her tray for more food). We are also working on signs with her (eat, more, milk, all done, please, and thank you) and Eloise has been really helpful in teaching her.

This girl loves food. Seriously loves. She eats anything and everything, and will eat until we cut her off. We keep a plate of her food on the table and then move pieces to her tray (or else so much of it will hit the floor) and she will bang on her tray and whine if she sees something on the plate that she wants to eat. But really, she loves (roasted) brussel sprouts and cauliflower as much as she loves kiwi and blueberries.

And here’s Eloise’s 37 week update.

Happy 37 weeks Daphne!

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{After a very trying week, this sister love was exactly what I needed. Seriously, is there anything cuter?}

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{Lots of new products hit the Shop in the past few weeks, including cards and mini flags. I feel so behind, but better late than never I guess! And working to get out Christmas flags and cards out soon.}

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{Ah, this girl. The sweetest little bug!}

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{Family bath time. Being able to bathe the girls together is a game-changer and they both LOVE it!}

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{Saturday morning we had a PEPS play date, and this was the first time Daphne could really play with the big kids. She just started pulling up on the play kitchen (we have this same one) and she is so excited!}

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{Cooking with Aaron for Friendsgiving.}

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{Friendsgiving this year was filled with babies! This is the only photo I took so I think that is a good sign we had a good time. Thanks to the Andersons for hosting this year!}

{In case you missed it on my Instagram and Facebook, Eloise the ballerina. She has ballet classes starting next month, so I got her tights and shoes which she, of course, had to try on. I am SO excited to see her as a ballerina!}

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{Sunday morning play time. Eloise is always so excited to see Daphne every morning. Love them!}

It’s been a crazy and trying week (I may delve into details at a later time, but for now, I am moving on!) but we had a pretty good weekend with these sweet girls of ours. We saw lots of friends and celebrated Friendsgiving! How was your weekend?

M

eloise {three-and-a-quarter years}

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{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // top: Cat and Jack for Target // leggings: Cat and Jack for Target // socks: Cat and Jack for Target // watch: Timex}

{three-and-a-quarter years} Gosh, Eloise seems so much older than when she turned three just a few short months ago. Her communication and language skills are astounding. We are definitely dealing with some sass and some dreaded three-nager behavior, but Eloise is mostly just a sweet little one who is always skipping and singing a song. Aaron says “she always has a song in her heart” and it is SO true! She’s the master of mash-ups (like old-school Glee) and mixes up songs.

We still have bedtime meltdowns, but it comes in waves and is mostly manageable. The girls have staggered bedtimes now, with Daphne going down earlier, which I think helps. Then the focus is on Eloise. There is a pretty good routine regarding the things that need to be done (teeth and hair brushed, potty, jammies, two stories) but the order is up to Eloise for the most part. We also use her stories as “rewards” in the sense that bad behavior can lead to losing stories. Usually Eloise will lie in bed and read (look at books) and play around (like dress and undress in whatever she can find), sometimes for hours. Seriously, we do bedtime around 8 pm and some nights she is up until 10:30 or 11 when we go to bed!

One reason she is staying up so late (other than the fact that her wake-up time is still late at 8 am) is her afternoon nap. She was going down between 1:30 and 2 pm, but usually didn’t fall asleep until 3 or even 3:30 pm. And then we were expecting her to be sleepy and go to bed at 8? Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. So on the days that she wasn’t napping, we noticed she would fall asleep by 8:30 or so. Just in the past week or so, we have changed “nap time” to “rest time” and she goes down at 2 pm in her bed with books and I get her up around 3:30 pm. Some days she naps (and then is up late) but most days she (pretty) happily reads during this time. For me, this time is incredibly important because it is the only time when both girls are in their rooms and I have time for myself (usually its 90 minutes).

Eloise is still an amazing big sister. We are having more moments where Eloise is grabbing toys away from Daphne that she doesn’t want Daphne to have, but generally things are still very cordial. It is best if I can find some way for Eloise to help me or be a part of what I am doing with Daphne. Or else we get some jealousy for sure.

Right before we left for Mexico (like three weeks before) we decided it was time to night-time train Eloise. She was telling us that she wanted to wear underpants to bed and didn’t want to wear diapers anymore, and she wasn’t wearing diapers at nap time and was doing great! So, we sort of just went for it and told her that she could get up out of bed if she had to go potty, and we woke her up twice (once around 11 pm and another time around 2 am). Aaron was doing the middle-of-the-night wakeups because he can fall asleep so quickly whereas it would take me an hour to fall back to sleep! No bueno. And things were going so well. We had the occasional accident, but generally, it was so good. And we went to Mexico and planned on keeping the same structure. The first night went well. And then the second night when Aaron woke Eloise up, she had some kind of night terror or something and just was screaming and crying, for like 45 minutes, and would not sit on the potty. So we just calmed her down and put her back to bed. And the third night, the night terror happened again and she had a meltdown on the bathroom floor. So after that, we decided not to wake her up and see what happened. And she was great all night the rest of the trip!

And now that we are home again, we haven’t been waking her up at night and she has been mostly great! There are a few times she has had an accident because she either couldn’t get to the bathroom fast enough or was asleep and started peeing, but not even once a week I would say. The biggest thing we are dealing with on this front is that Eloise will not (WILL NOT) get out of bed on her own to use the potty. So she’s had an accident before because she is waiting in bed and calling for one of us to come and help instead of just getting up and going to the bathroom. It’s not the worst thing (because it also means she stays in bed during “rest time” and doesn’t suddenly appear in our room or upstairs during the night or early in the morning) but we are working on it.

Speaking of Mexico, Eloise is an amazing little traveler. She always has been, but this was a really long haul and to some place that was really very different than home. The flight was good and she only had one melt-down in all four flight legs. She napped, albeit not really a long time, but some. Once we got to the resort, she was friendly to the staff and even started speaking in Spanish, asking for her water (agua) and milk (leche) or saying please and thank you. And she had the BEST time with family. It was Aaron’s family from the midwest that we see only once per year and only for a short time when we do. So having a few days with everyone was huge for her, and she really enjoyed the company: lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Eloise is in her second year of pre-school (at the same school she was at last school year) and she LOVES it. Seriously. She goes Monday thru Thursday mornings and every single Friday (when she is home with me and Daphne) she asks if she can go to school. It used to make me a little sad, but now it makes me happy because she just loves her school and her friends and teachers so much! We are a little bummed that her school doesn’t do pre-K, so she will start at a new school next year (before she starts kindergarten the following year!) and we are just getting into the whole routine of applications and school tours. Gosh, there are so many different schools and boy is it expensive! But, I think we have it narrowed down to two and I hope we like them and they end up being a good fit.

And the newest rendition of Things Eloise Says:

Hanitizer: hand + sanitizer.

“Mama, I really like Daphne. She’s so cute!”

“I always drink coffee in the morning. And beer in the evening.”

Telling Aaron about (diaper pail) deodorizers: “Mama bought these to make the diaper pail feel better.”

In her room looking around: “Eloise what are you doing?” “I was just pondering.”

“The people on the bus say ‘thank you driver!'”

“What if the dish ran away with the spoon?”

“My boobies really hurt.” (Talking about nursing her doll, Stella.)

“Stella threw up three times in her car seat when we were at Natalie’s house. It was super stressful.” (This past spring Eloise was car sick and we stayed at an Airbnb house owned by a lady named Natalie.)

Grabs my hand: “We are going on a date! I am wearing lipstick and we are going on a date!”

“I don’t want to watch football. I want to watch appetizers (advertisements).”

“What do zebras say?” “Zzzz.”

Aaron falls asleep next to Eloise in her bed. He tries to get up after I go wake him up. “No, you are mine!”

Aaron leaves for work and Eloise comes back to the breakfast table after saying good-bye: “I am missing him.”

Mama: “When Daphne can sit better you can take a bath with her. Would you like that?” Eloise: “That would be perfect!”

“I am mad. I am sad. This is not my finest moment.” (In her book The Most Magnificent Thing, there is a part where it talks about the main character’s actions being “not her finest moment.”)

Trying to get a huge blanket into a little bag: “I need it to smoosh some more!”

“My belly feels better, but it feels a little aggressive.”

“Can you fix my straw in my water bottle Mama? It’s a little awkward.” (It was crooked in the bottle.)

“Where do pumpkins sleep at night? Do they sleep outside?”

Antennas: eye-tennies or eye-tenticles.

Papa: “Why didn’t I get purple shoes?” Eloise: “Because you are old. And stinky!”

“I have a baby in my belly. It is Mister Rogers.”

“I’m a Mama. I can do all the things.”

“This chair is woggoly Mama. It means it moves around a lot.”

{weight} 33 pounds (my guess); height: 37 inches

{hair} (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 20 teeth plus four molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  some 3T, mostly 4T.

{diapers} NONE!

{feeding} during the day, three meals, (sometimes a) morning snack, & (sometimes an) afternoon snack. cup of milk with every meal.

{likes} singing, dancing, taking walks around the blocks, talking to the neighbors, Teddy the mailman, school and her friends, Daphne, coloring, yelling, Duplos, digging in the dirt, splashing, counting, any person outside on the sidewalk, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, coloring, buckles, jumping, watching out the front window (dogs, kids, trucks), books, mama & papa’s cell phone, FaceTime (but she always wants to hold the phone), bath time, shoes, mama’s (diaper) bag, putting things inside a bag or box, helping with anything & everything, when Papa comes home from work.

{dislikes} not being included, having something taken away from her, not eating when someone else is, being hungry, TimeOut.

{nicknames} Bug, Love Bug, Baby Bug, E, Wheezy, Kiddo, Love, Bugaboo, E-Lo or Elle.

Happy three-and-a-quarter years Eloise!

{I am only planning on doing quarterly updates thru this third year, and then I will switch to bi-annual or annual updates. It just seems like she is still changing so much this year, and also the blog feels very Daphne-heavy given her weekly and monthly updates.}

M

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daphne {week 36}

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{letterboard: Letter Folk (Poet) // onesie: babyGap (old) // jeans: babyGap (old) // socks: Cat and Jack for Target // hat: Etsy (old)}

{week 36} This week marks Daphne’s first cold. It was inevitable with a seemingly early and bad cold season along with Eloise in school with other toddlers. Germs. So many germs.

But, even the runny nose, cough, and raspyness, Daphne is still in pretty good spirits. We started running a humidifier in her room last night which seemed to help with her (small) cough, but even before then, she wasn’t up much more (like once or twice) in the night. Other than the constant wiping of her nose (thank goodness for Boogie Wipes guys – these are the best!) Daphne really only seems “sick” because she gets fussier when she would already be fussy. Does that make sense? Like she is much more frantic and fussy right before a nursing session and then also right before bed time when she is ready for her bottle. Those are times when she would be fussy anyways, it just seems to be slightly more since she has this cold. All-in-all not so bad and I am hoping we can get thru it this week!

Daphne, as I have been mentioning, is all over these days and scarcely where you leave her just seconds after putting her down. She is crawling (at rapid speed) over to the coffee table and couch where she then tries to pull herself up. She can always get to her knees, but can sometimes get to her feet too which is slightly terrifying… And just yesterday she started cruising along the coffee table with Aaron, holding on and walking her feet. Yikes! Guys, I am not ready for walking yet. Not even close.

And there is also pulling up happening in her crib once she wakes up. I think she gets stuck though and once she is up on her knees, she can’t figure out how to get back down into the crib, so there is often some hollering that happens. Plus, she is still wearing a sleep sack at night, so it makes crawling and pulling up slightly more difficult, though obviously doesn’t prevent it! I am just glad we lowered the crib mattress a few weeks ago.

Since we got winter weather starting on Friday (snow and freezing temps already!) I pulled out all of our cold weather clothes and accessories. Luckily, I saved so many of Eloise’s old coats and hats, so we are pretty good on that front. However, Daphne does not like keeping a hat on her head. She will immediately pull it off, so I am amazed that we got this week’s photo with her hat on! It should make this fall and winter interesting…

And lastly, clothing. I get so many questions about Daphne’s (and Eloise’s too) clothing. I always try to link the things the girls are wearing in their updates, but with Daphne you may have noticed that so much of what she has says “old.” That is because she basically is wearing all of E’s old clothes, so three years later, that particular piece of clothing isn’t available. But, to answer the question of where I shop, mostly it’s babyGap (always a sale!), Old Navy (runs small and also always a sale), Cat and Jack for Target (obsessed!), June and January, and Hanna Andersson (for jammies). I (really) try not to spend too much on clothes for the girls (hence using all of Eloise’s old clothes) because we are in the phase still where Daphne is just growing out of everything! I hate to spend money on something she will only wear once or twice. But, it’s so hard because there are so many cute things out there! I also love shopping small and supporting (mostly) woman-owned clothing lines, like The Dress Shop, Hadley Girl (bows), and Childhoods Clothing. In terms of style and just my preference, I stay away from anything branded, love anything with stripes, and try to get things that can be mixed and matched, so pretty neutral. (This is basically how I try to dress myself too.) And for shoes, at least when the girls were little, it is Freshly Picked moccasins all the way. Daphne has inherited all of Eloise’s old gold moccs and until she is really walking, I won’t get Baby D any other shoes. And for Eloise, we love See Kai Run, Old Navy (for boots), Bogs (for rain boots), and Cat and Jack for Target.

Happy 36 weeks Daphne!

M

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my weekend in pictures.

{Some music time with the girls! Eloise is always (always) singing and Daphne loves rattles and the maracas we brought back from Mexico.}

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{Since we got snow (yes, SNOW!) starting on Friday, I was pulling out all of our warm, winter clothes, including this “snowsuit” that my mom bought when I was pregnant in case it was really cold when the baby was born. Needless to say, it was HUGE because it fits Daphne right now. But, she wasn’t thrilled about it…}

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{Sadie is living her best life. She thinks the highchair is magic because when the baby is in it, food just appears on the floor!}

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{We had family game night on Saturday but realized we don’t have any toddler-friendly games (hello, Christmas ideas!) so we played Legos instead. And Daphne is blurry because she is always moving. Always.}

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{World’s Best Papa right here. Eloise has been into taking her babies to the doctor (for hilarious “injuries”) and Aaron played the doctor this morning.}

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{This morning I hit up Trader Joe’s without the kids and before the crowds and it felt like a vacation. Almost. And there were so many impulse buys guys, like truffle butter!}

Just as we woke up Friday to snow (yep, it’s super early this year!), colds set in for Daphne and me. So we spent all day Friday and this weekend pretty much laying low and hanging out at the house. We didn’t have anything planned, so it worked out pretty well. Aaron got some raking and yard clean-up done between the storms and I took a 2 hour nap on Saturday! Plus, we finished Season 2 of Stranger Things after binge-watching it on and off this week.

It definitely feels like fall now that the weather has changed (it actually feels like winter) and that we have set the clocks back. Luckily though, we made out pretty well with the time change and Eloise slept until her normal wake-up time of 8 AM since she was up SO late last night reading before bed, and Daphne was up slightly before her normal wake-up time and Aaron snuggled with her for a bit so I could sleep until 7:30 this morning. Not too shabby. Especially since I know that a lot of those mama friends out there with little ones were probably up at the crack of dawn!

Feeling much better today and hoping to be back to normal to start this week! How was your weekend?

M