eloise {five years}

{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // dress: Hanna Andersson (old) // crown: Meri Meri}

{five years} Five years. I just can’t even believe it was FIVE YEARS ago that Eloise was born. I’ll never forget the moment that she made me a mama, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

This girl is smart, hard working, kind, and such a helper! And she’s been waiting and waiting (and waiting) to turn five (especially since all of her school friends are already five) and she’s SO EXCITED! We were counting down the days together (for the past two weeks!) and she’s been telling basically everyone we’ve seen, stranger or not, that she is just about to be five. I think this is the first time she’s really understood her birthday being a day that she turns a year older – it’s been so fun to see!

This has been such a big year for Eloise as she was in Pre-K and had such a fun time. I was a little worried back in the fall because she was starting at a brand-new school with other kids who had spent many years of preschool together, and was also the youngest, by 4 months. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when all of your school friends are 4 to 10 months older than you, there’s a difference! At first, I really noticed a maturity difference between Eloise and a lot of her classmates, but that quickly diminished. Eloise truly loved her friends and teachers, and really enjoyed the “academic” part of Pre-K which was not part of her old, play-based preschool. Her teachers would send home optional homework worksheets a couple times per month. These were practice writing sheets, numbers, sight words, etc. On the days that these worksheets would come home, the first thing Eloise would do was sit down and ask me to help her. She LOVES all of the worksheets, workbooks, and flashcards she can get her hands on!

As I have mentioned in a few weekend posts this summer, Eloise learned to ride a pedal bike at bike camp. We are so, so proud of her and all of her hard work teaching herself to ride with pedals. I credit putting her on a balance bike for the past two years and then skipping training wheels altogether. Plus, her scooter helped with balance and control tremendously. I wouldn’t necessarily say Eloise is super “physical or athletic” but she was really interested in her bike since she got it as a early birthday present in June. I worried a bit about her shyness at bike camp since she didn’t know any other friends, but she did so well. Seriously, we took her out around the block on her bike after her second morning of camp, and it was sort of a disaster. She couldn’t keep the bike handles straight and kept pedaling backwards (which is the brake on her bike). Aaron and I were both like, “Welp, maybe she can go to camp for another week?” I was so nervous she was going to be that kid that went to bike camp for a week and didn’t learn to ride! But when I picked her up the next afternoon (after her third morning) something clicked and she was off! She can even start on her own which I know takes some time to learn. Plus, I feel like I am so excited for Eloise since so much world just opened up for her now that she can ride a bike. Don’t you remember that as a kid? It was such a big deal!

Eloise also started swim lessons in the spring and is continuing them into the summer, though not as rigorously. I personally feel like it is my moral obligation to make sure my kids can swim just from a safety perspective. I hope that they enjoy swimming, but even if they don’t do swim team or anything else in the pool, it is so necessary for them to learn. Late last winter Eloise was showing signs of being afraid of water and not even wanting bath water splashed on her face. So we did pretty rigorous lessons this past spring (four times per week for 6 weeks) and it helped her be so much more comfortable in the water. At the end, she was even swimming with her face in and kicking with arms and legs. It was amazing! We took a few weeks off this summer right at the end of school, and we knew she would lose her skills quickly, so we just started back into twice per week lessons for the rest of the summer. Fingers crossed we can get her swimming soon!

Eloise has always had quiet time in the afternoons while Daphne naps. Generally this is from about 1:30 to 3:30 or 4. She will play quietly in her room with books and a bin of toys or puzzles and art stuff. On occasion, maybe once or twice per week, she would nap too. Recently though, in the past two weeks, I have given her the option to have quiet playtime up in the living room to prevent her from napping. We were getting into this vicious cycle of her napping in the afternoon, then being super grumpy when I woke her up (and for the rest of the day), delaying falling asleep until 10 or 10:30 pm (!), and then being grumpy when I woke her up at 8 am the next morning. Rinse and repeat. For days we were just hanging around the house, it wasn’t terrible, but most mornings this summer we have had camp, or swim lessons, or a play date, or doctor’s appointment, so grumpy Eloise meant really hard mornings (and days) for everyone. This won’t be so much of an issue once she starts full-day school in the fall, but for now, we are just adjusting and making sure she doesn’t take daytime naps!

Eloise is growing like a weed. FOUR inches in the past year. It’s crazy. I can tell she is in a growth spurt now because of her appetite. She doesn’t have the biggest appetite, generally, and is more of a breakfast eater while the other meals are much smaller. And often by dinner, she is just picking at her food. But as of late, she is devouring everything on her plate for every meal and then asking for seconds and thirds! I can tell her arms and legs are growing long by the way her pants and shirts are fitting. She is going to be as tall as me soon!

Eloise has always loved being a big sister and really has the personality for it since she loves to help. Even with the fighting these girls go thru in a day, Eloise truly, truly LOVES Daphne. It just melts my heart to see how much love there is between these sisters. Eloise always wants to help Daphne, for better or worse, and always wants to wear matching jammies! I hope that never stops.

And lastly, Kindergarten. As I have mentioned previously, we went back and forth all winter and spring about whether Eloise would go to Kindergarten this coming fall or if we would find another Pre-K program for her. At the beginning of the school year I was worried about her being so much younger than her peers, but by the end of the school year, I knew we had made the right decision to send her. She’s young in a lot of ways in comparison to her just older friends, but she is determined and so, so smart. I know she is going to LOVE Kindergarten and all that it brings. The school that she is going to attend is really focused on the social and emotional well-being of students, almost more than academic markers, which is such a good fit for Eloise and our family. Plus, she is so excited that she gets to ride the school bus every day! (This is something I am embracing because it means no drop-off and pick-up with two kids (YASS), but Aaron keeps joking that I will follow the school bus to school in our car! He may or may not be right about that. Ha!)

Birthday Interview. {I am hoping to do this interview every year to see how the answers change!}

What is your name? Eloise.
How old are you? Five!
What is your favorite thing to do? Be with Papa and Mama.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A veterinarian.
What is your favorite food? Strawberries.
Who do you like to spend your time with? Mama and Papa. And Daphne.
What do you do really well? Building Legos.
What makes you laugh? My sister when she’s funny.
What is the best time of day? Daytime.
What are you afraid of? Coyotes. And scary monsters.
Who is your best friend? Everyone.
What do you like to do with your family? Have popsicles and ice cream.
What do you love to learn about? The Earth.
Where do you like to go? To get popsicles and ice cream. Seattle Pops and Molly Moon’s.
What is your favorite book? All of them!
If you had one wish, what would it be? A thousand pennies in a penny bank!

And the newest rendition of Things Eloise Says:

To Daphne while they are playing: Isn’t it so nice that we get to hang out together? That we can just chill out and relax?

To her old preschool teacher: Amazon pick-up is the best. They just bring out your groceries and you don’t even have to get out of the car!

Reading a book to Daphne: Once upon a time there was a king and a princess. Sorry, I misspoke. There was a king and a queen.

Talking about the “home team” from “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” song: “I don’t really like the Patriots. Actually I dislike them. Because you aren’t supposed to say the word *whispers* hate!”

Eloise was looking at a bank statement for her savings account since it comes in the mail addressed to her. She wanted to know what the zeros meant. I told her “Oh, that just means you don’t have any fees.” “Mama, what are fees?” “They are like penalties.” “Oh, like then someone is mean in football?” “Yeah, like that!”

Aaron came home from work and asked Eloise about her day: “It was perfect!”

{weight} 40 pounds; 3 feet, 6 inches

{hair} (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 20 teeth plus four molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  4T, 5, or 4 to 6 (which is a kid’s XS).

{See her grow up: birth story // one year // two years // three years // four years}

Happy Birthday Bug!

M

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