eloise {last day of preschool 2017}

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{letter board: Letter Folk // jammies: Burt’s Bees // lunchbox: PackIt // sneakers: See Kai Run (similar)}

It’s hard to believe that it has already been an entire school year since this picture was taken on the first day of school! But then, Eloise grew up so much over the past months.

Eloise has absolutely LOVED school and looked forward to it each Monday and Wednesday morning. She had amazing teachers and friends, and really thrived in the environment. I was worried since she was so little when she started (barely 2) and just potty trained, but after a few tearful drop-offs, we got into a good rhythm and never looked back. To say that Eloise made progress this year emotionally, socially, and academically* is an understatement. We are very excited for Eloise to return to the Birch School in the fall, going 4 mornings a week!

I am not entirely sure Eloise understands what summer vacation means, but we are looking forward to lots of summer adventures both with Papa (who has a few more weeks at home with us) and with Daphne and me. Also, it was “spirit day” at school today and PAJAMAS were the theme, hence why Eloise is wearing jammies. This was probably the best case scenario for Eloise though because if she could stay in her jammies all day, every day, she would (definitely gets that from her Papa and not from her Mama!).

Happy summer vacation Eloise!

M

*There isn’t any academic curriculum, per se, at the Birch School, but Eloise has picked up on “academic” things nonetheless. She is a lover of knowledge with a great memory, so numbers, letters, colors, etc. come at great ease to her even without anything formal.

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daphne {week 15}

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{letterboard: Letter Folk (Poet) // romper: Cat & Jack for Target // moccasins: Freshly Picked}

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{And the outtake with big sis Eloise. I love how Daphne is looking at her; she ADORES her big sister! And Eloise’s “cheese” face is hilarious. You would think after almost three years of weekly and monthly photoshoots she would know where the camera was…}

{week 15} Daphne is such a drool monster these days. I have been putting little bibs on her that I made for Eloise (but that E wore when she was much older as I recall) on Baby D during her wake times because I don’t want to have to change her multiple times per day. She will completely soak thru a bib in one wake time! And along with the drool has come gnawing on her (right) thumb. She doesn’t suck on it, but chews on it with her gums. I keep feeling for teeth, and nothing yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this kiddo got teeth as early as her sister (which was around 5 months)!

Naptimes have been going well, knock on wood, and have been consistently in her crib. Yes! It helps that we have been homebodies recently so a good daytime nap routine has been easy to have, and I have been very deliberate in putting Daphne down for a nap in her crib. Some naps she does great and other naps she spends part of the time in her crib and the other part in her Rock N Play, but she is sleeping well and that’s what’s important. I am just starting to think about some of the big changes to sleep that are on the horizon (like within the next few weeks) including unswaddling, crib all the time, sleeping in her crib/room at night, and dropping her last “daytime” feeding, but before I do any of those, I am really trying to get a good naptime thing going. I know first-hand (with Eloise) what it’s like to have a bad sleeper and am so (SO) thankful to not be having the same trouble. And pray for us as we head into month four and the dreaded four month sleep regression…

Daphne is still as happy as ever and it’s the best. Eloise was also a really happy baby, but I do think Daphne might be just slightly happier! She’s calm and relaxed and very chill almost all of the time, and is rarely inconsolable.

Also, 15 weeks is one of my FAVORITE weekly pics of Eloise – those CHEEKS!

Happy 15 weeks Daphne!

M

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eloise {thirty-three months}

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{peplum: June and January // leggings: Old Navy (old) // chambray: Carter’s (old)}

{month thirty-three} This kid! How is she almost three?! She definitely has an opinion and is not afraid to tell you, like how she didn’t want to take a picture yesterday in the glider with Leo and thankfully Aaron captured this one of her when we were in Indiana!

Physically Eloise is a pretty big kid, bigger than most of her friends. I suspect she will be a few inches taller than me (hopefully you get longer legs kiddo!) and she has always been bigger than average on the growth charts. She runs everywhere which results in lots of tumbles and falls… She has mastered going up and down the stairs, and will finally be tall enough for her balance bike this spring and summer which I hope she enjoys!

Eloise’s hair is so, so long and very fine. It has grown out in layers and is half-way down her back! Up until recently she has been afraid of getting a haircut, almost to the point where it upsets her, so we have continued to tell her that she doesn’t have to have one and we can wait until she is ready. I am getting my hair cut when we visit Boise in July and she may choose to get it cut then (since she wants to basically do everything that Mama does). She doesn’t like ponytails or pigtails (though we can incentivize her with looking at photos on a phone if we need/want it up) and tolerates a bow clip to keep her bangs back. Most of the time though her hair is down and always in her face!

Potty training is still going well and is actually better after Daphne’s birth, despite warnings from both her pediatrician and my midwife (and a slew of other people) that a new baby would (or could) cause a regression. Eloise is consistently pooping in the potty now (though she still gets an applesauce pouch as a treat for that) and self-initiates almost all the time. We have had a few accidents in the past months, but they are all because we (both Eloise and either Aaron or I) have just lost track of time or she is consumed in playing. We aren’t quite ready to try nighttime training since it requires wake-ups in the middle of the night, but will probably try this summer while Aaron is on paternity leave since I think she is much more ready now (rather than when we tried around Christmastime last year).

Eloise loves being a big sister to Daphne and calls her “my baby.” She is (overly) helpful with everything from giving Daphne her paci to getting me a diaper. There are lots of hugs and kisses too. The first thing Eloise asks about when she wakes up from a nap or in the morning is Baby Daph-A-Nee!

All of the sudden Eloise has engaged in so much imaginative play and it is so fun! She pretends to be: a mama (to Baby Stella from nursing her to going to the grocery store), the mail man/person (she loves our mail man Teddy), to a cook (making lots of coffee and chopping vegetables), to tea party, to a librarian (reading me or her stuffed animals and dolls a story), to being Dr. Lower (with her doctor kit Daphne gave her at the hospital). And most recently she was playing with her cousin Charlotte and they were pretending with this little dog and cat play set at Nana and Papaw’s house as well as playing “bakery” at the playground (Eloise was baking pizza, but her oven was broken!).

Eloise has an amazing memory (as most kids at this age do) and remembers absolutely everything! She will hear something one time and will then remember and tell you like 3 weeks later. And she has also started memorizing books. While she LOVES to have stories and books read to her, she will “read” to herself and flip thru the pages of the book while reciting the parts that she knows. It is crazy that she knows some stories verbatim!

I think one of the most fun things about having a two-and-a-half year old is how much their language is developing and the funny things that they say. And Eloise is such a talker, so communicative, and is so, so funny! So here are some of the things we have been hearing lately:

Eloise LOVES jokes and tells them all the time. Here is one of her original jokes: “A cow walks into a barn and the barn-tender says ‘You forgot your tulips!'” (Based off of Aaron’s joke: “A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says ‘Why the long face?'”

We talk a lot about feelings and emotions, a lot in part to Daniel Tiger. Eloise now says “Grrr! I’m frustrated.”

“Oh gosh!” when something surprises her.

“Dang it!”

“Um, that’s not good.”

“That’s a good idea!”

“You can help me with this. It’s tricky.”

“Can I have more [fill in the blank] darling?”

“I am playing silly.”

Me: “What language are you speaking?” [When she is speaking complete gibberish.] Eloise: “I don’t know.”

Indian-applesauce (for Indianapolis). Though when Aaron said this the other day, she corrected him saying “Papa, it’s Indianapolis!”

When the crayon she was coloring with didn’t work: “Mama, this crayon doesn’t have any more purple in it! My purple has no purple in it! Help!”

And finally, Eloise sings all day long. It is the sweetest! And she is the best at mash-ups (combining songs together). One of her favorites is “Oh my darlin'” which is truly the saddest song ever; have you ever paid attention to the lyrics?

{weight} I would guess 32 or 33 pounds.

{hair} dark (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 20 teeth and molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  2T, 3T and some 4T.

{diapers} POTTY TRAINED! size 2T/3T underwear during the day and honest company size 6 diapers for naptime and at night.

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

{likes} school (her friends and teachers), talking walks around the neighborhood, coloring, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, football, yelling, Duplos, digging in the dirt, splashing, counting, chewing on her toothbrush, the mailman, any person outside on the sidewalk, bubbles, sidewalk chalk,  buckles, jumping, watching out the front window (dogs, kids, trucks), books, mama & papa’s cell phone (photos or FaceTime), singing & music, dancing, Sadie, bath time, shoes, mama’s bag, clapping, putting things inside a bag or box, taking lids off of things, talking, helping with anything & everything, when Papa comes home from work, airplanes/trains/buses.

{dislikes} not being included, having something taken away from her, being hungry, getting into the carseat, getting out of the carseat, not being able to do something herself.

{nicknames} Bug, E, Wheezy, E-Lo, Ellie or Elle.

Happy thirty-three months Eloise!

M

daphne {newborn and family photos}

Happy Friday! I will at some point get back to my standard Friday I’m in Love posts but today I wanted to share Daphne’s newborn photoshoot! {I wanted to wait until I knew which photos we were using for Daphne’s birth announcement before sharing here. Our good (and very talented) friend Brenda designed the announcements – she did Eloise’s too! – and I just sent them to the printer so I hope to have them in the mail by the end of the month or sooner!}

Daphne was almost a week old when these photos were taken, and in lieu of doing a traditional newborn one (like I did with Eloise), I opted for a family shoot that was at our house so that we could get professional photos of our new family of four and I wouldn’t have to leave the house (HUGE bonus since with Eloise I trekked way down south to Tacoma!). And while I do love the look of Eloise’s posed newborn shots, I really am loving the more relaxed (non-staged) feel of our shoot this time around.

A few random notes: Daphne looks so different in some of the pictures here, almost like an entirely different baby (which is totally true with all newborns!); even though the last thing you want to do is drag yourself and your brand-new baby to a photoshoot, you should do it, even if it isn’t a professional and just someone with a nice (not a phone) camera take a few pictures (you will cherish them later!); and (related) if you are ever on the fence about getting professional photos taken (we usually get ours done for Christmas cards each year), do it (it’s expensive, but I have never, ever regretted it!).

If you are in the Seattle area and are looking for a professional photographer (for babies, weddings, etc.) I highly recommend Meg! She was so sweet, and amazingly talented, and I am so IN LOVE with these photos.

{Prepare for photo overload since I definitely could not choose just a few to share! Deciding which ones to have printed is agonizing…}

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Wearing: {Eloise: jeans: Gap Kids // bow: A Little Lady Shop} {Daphne: grey swaddle blanket: Lou Lou & Co // silver swaddle blanket: Aden & Anais} {Misha: chambray dress: Madewell (similar)} {Aaron: shirt: J.Crew (old) // jeans: Bonobos}

Have a great weekend!

M

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eloise {thirty months // two & a half years}

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{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // tee: Old Navy // leggings: Cat & Jack for Target (similar here and here) // bow: Hadley Girl (similar)}

{month thirty} Holy two-and-a-half years! I cannot believe we are even here. Seriously. I know Eloise hasn’t been a baby for a long time, but my mind cannot comprehend that she was born two-and-a-half years ago! I digress… here’s a recap of the last three months:

Eloise still loves Hide and Seek (see the hilarious video of her here if you missed it!) even though she can’t contain her excitement to stay hidden long enough to be found. She also really loves playing Peek-a-Boo these days, either with her hands or a blanket.

There is lots of singing during the day and Eloise almost always insists on music being played while we are in the car or in the house if we are hanging out in the kitchen. She sings a lot at school too, but is always singing to herself during her play time or even before she falls asleep. She is really into changing the lyrics of songs too, or mashing them together (two or three songs become one!) which really surprises me. She is really understanding the words of songs which is super cool. Her favorite personal renditions are: “We all live in a PURPLE submarine!” and “Grammie Had A Little Lamb.”

Eloise is also really grasping shapes these days and comments frequently about seeing different shapes in her food. She also is amazing at recognizing letters in books, letters, or out-and-about; she can tell you if something is a letter (versus a number or a symbol) but really can identify: E M P R G S and L. (Not a coincidence that most of those letters are in her name, or other people’s names – like Mama, Papa, Grammie.)

Something else I have noticed recently – which I think is also from school – is that Eloise will tell us that things are “similar” or “different.” And this can be anything – colors, dogs on the street, fruits or vegetables, a character in a book.

Eloise, much like her mama, is pretty Type-A already and is already has a fondness for lists! She likes to count things on her fingers, but also list things (or events) on her fingers; like “one – Eloise go to school, two – stories with Mama, then – naptime, then – Papa comes home.” And she makes this great face while she is thinking of things that I have been trying to capture in either photo or video! She sort of wrinkles up half of her face, it’s the cutest!

The past few months Eloise and I were enrolled in a Mama and Me dance class at a local dance studio. One of our PEPS friends told us about it since it was a free 9 week class session (normally classes are about $20 per class – yikes!) and so we joined on Friday mornings with our PEPS friends. The class was pretty structured in that we did the same basic things and songs every single time; a little repetitive for the mamas but great for the toddlers. Eloise mostly participated, though sometimes wanted to just be on my lap or have me hold her, but still sings all of the songs when we are at home. She is too young still for any real dance or gymnastics class (especially without me being involved too) but seems to really enjoy the classes that we have been able to take here and there. I am hoping once Baby Foot is a little older, I can figure out a good dance or gymnastics program for Eloise to enroll in.

Eloise’s bi-annual visit to the dentist was in December and she was awesome! Aaron was able to come with us and I think that helped. The office is super kid-friendly (it is only a peds dentist) with toys and prizes and TVs on the ceiling. She really hasn’t been into the TVs at all, but still did really well. She got a clean bill of health, and the dental hygienist was so sweet and gave her a big prize for giving up her pacifiers! I picked out the Daniel Tiger figures for her as the big prize since she has been really into the show recently (she watches an episode about three or four times a week). And then twice a day we brush our teeth and Eloise is really good about it. She still chews on the toothbrush more than we like, but does let us help her at the end (thanks to the Dentist who told her she needed to let Mama and Papa help).

And as if she wasn’t cute enough, Eloise started saying “I need you” if she wants you to stay, like at naptime or bedtime. We do our best to let her fall asleep on her own, but she always wants one more story, or song, or cuddle, and when you get up to leave, she will say “I need you!” and it breaks your heart a little. Or if we are busy doing something and she needs your attention, you will tell her “Okay, give me 2 minutes,” and she will say “Mama, I need you!”

Because a lot of things are changing, mostly that Baby Foot is going to be here before we know it!, Eloise has been very in-tune with being a “big kid.” Before I was a parent, I thought the whole “big kid” thing was sort of weird, almost belittling to toddlers and young kids. But I totally get it now. Eloise is all about being a big kid and we can see the way it changes her behavior or makes something more interesting. And she almost always wants to be a big kid! On the flip-side though, she has also learned that she is “too little” for some things too. Mostly it is a height thing where she wants to do something and she is “too little” to reach it. Or she also has been pretending that she is a baby, and then she is “too little” to do anything!

Along with using a real plate and utensils at mealtime (no plastic stuff around here!), Eloise has been using a real glass for milk at mealtime. We still use a sippy cup and of course her water bottles with the straw, but especially at lunch or dinner time when we are at the table eating all together, she drinks out of a real cup. I picked up these tempered glass ones which are a great size for her. Plus I can stick them in the dishwasher, which I won’t do with any of her plastic sippy cups or water bottles!

As you know from my weekend posts and other updates, we were in the process of getting Eloise’s big kid room ready to go. I wanted to move her with ample time before the baby came, just in case we had any big issues with her not wanting to move, so we moved her just after the holidays. She was already in a toddler bed (her converted crib) and was doing really well in it, so transitioning to the big kid bed (a twin) was a little easier. We tried the transition at a naptime which may not have been the best, and she ended up taking two hours to go to sleep AND ended up back in her crib (!) but after that, we haven’t had any issues with her. She sleeps well in her new bed and even though it is low to the ground, we keep a pillow on the edge and she has yet to roll out! At first she didn’t get out of bed without Aaron or I in the room (which is how she was in her converted crib), but now we will see her on the monitor get out of bed to look at her books or try to find her monitor on the top of the dresser or other toddler shenanigans. It is mostly harmless and the funniest thing is that she knows she isn’t supposed to get out of bed because if she hears you coming down the stairs, she will scamper back to bed and lie down! But, it is a balance because if you get downstairs and she thinks she is in trouble (for being out of bed) she will cry and cry (this kid is like her Mama and does not like to be in trouble!). But the entire transition from the nursery to her new room went really smoothly. She still likes to play in the nursery and we still use the changing table twice a day, but she is really happy in her new space!

And unlike most toddlers we know, Eloise loves the Ergo! Since I can’t wear it right now, it is a special treat for Eloise and Papa to get a chance to snuggle together. She asks for it all the time and is always really excited when Papa goes on an adventure with her and they get to use it, like when he took her to school the other day and they took the bus! She talked about it all day long. It is the sweetest.

And finally, Eloise loves (LOVES) temporary tattoos – as you can see on her hand in this month’s photo) and hand stamps. Her tattoo obsession started in the early fall and she pretty much likes to have a tattoo on one of her hands all the time. I try not to let her have one all the time and make it a special treat for her. But she also loves stamps on her hands and really does have them on all the time between getting one at school twice per week (including on her belly!) and then one at library story time (and also at dance class when we were going).

Here are some photos to share from the past quarter that you may or may not have seen already!

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{Helping the teacher make play-dough at daycare one day. She occasionally still goes to a full day at daycare, but since we are in the midst of cold and flu season we have mainly stayed away!}

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{Look at that Mohawk! Eloise and Papa shenanigans at bathtime.}

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{Eloise saw the dentist in December – she goes twice a year! – and did so well.}

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{After dance class one day. She is obsessed with her tutu (or her “ballerina skirt”), those are shoes from when I was three, and she gets three different magazines in the mail each month (or so) and it is her very favorite day!}

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{From her half-birthday celebration at school this week since school won’t be in session for her August birthday. Her school loosely does the Montessori birthday ritual which involves walking around the globe and a candle.}

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{More birthday celebration at school. It was also spirit week at school and Pajama Day was the same day. Her teachers and friends made her a big birthday banner which she insisted on hanging in her room (I promise to share photos of her new room soon!) and she is obsessed!}

{weight} 31 or 32 pounds.

{hair} dark (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 20 teeth and molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  2T, 3T and some 4T.

{diapers} POTTY TRAINED! size 2T/3T underwear during the day and honest company size 6 diapers for naptime and at night.

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

{likes} school (her friends and teachers), talking walks around the neighborhood, coloring, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, football, yelling, Duplos, digging in the dirt, splashing, counting, chewing on her toothbrush, the mailman, any person outside on the sidewalk, bubbles, sidewalk chalk,  buckles, jumping, watching out the front window (dogs, kids, trucks), books, mama & papa’s cell phone (photos or FaceTime), singing & music, dancing, Sadie, bath time, shoes, mama’s bag, clapping, putting things inside a bag or box, taking lids off of things, talking, helping with anything & everything, when Papa comes home from work.

{dislikes} not being included, having something taken away from her, being hungry, getting into the carseat, getting out of the carseat, not being able to do something herself.

{nicknames} Bug{s}, Love Bug, Baby Bug, E, Wheezy, Kiddo, Love, Bugaboo, Ellie or Elle.

Happy 30 months Eloise!

M

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Pinterest Christmas {2016}: Toddler Ornaments.

Welcome back to week two of Pinterest Christmas! {See last week’s post here.}

Sidenote: Sorry guys, this post was supposed to go up last week and I apparently never posted it!

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Eloise does a lot of art projects at school, comes home covered in paint, and then we hang all of her creations on the front living room window. I love that she is doing art at school because it is one activity that this type-A mama can have trouble doing at home. But, I thought it would be fun to make a few simple Christmas ornaments for the tree this year with Eloise.

Cute button tree ornament for the kids to make

{original Pinterest link – Hands On As We Grow blog}

pom pom christmas tree craft

{original Pinterest link – Happy Hooligans blog}

I knew that I needed to keep things simple, so I kept the supply list short: felt, ribbon, buttons, pom poms, popcicle sticks, and glue.

I cut out the Christmas trees and wreaths out of felt and then had Eloise point to where she wanted to put either a button or a pom pom. Then I put a big drop of glue and she placed the button or pom pom down. It worked pretty well, although Eloise was much more interested in holding (and squeezing!) the bottle of glue… anyone know of toddler-friendly glue?

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By the time we were done decorating the trees and wreaths, Eloise had pretty much lost interest since I wouldn’t let her handle the glue, so the triangle popcicle stick ornaments are pretty bare. For those I just glued three sticks together on the ends to form a triangle and had Eloise place the pom poms. Once all of the ornaments were dry (overnight), I had Eloise pick out the ribbon color and I strung each ornament onto a piece of ribbon. She was excited to hang all of the ornaments on the tree which made all of it worth it!

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This was definitely a super-easy toddler craft and I am really glad we did it.

And be sure to check out what Kendra’s up to all December long over on The Gilbertson Family! {Here’s her first Pinterest Christmas post!}

Do you have homemade ornaments on your Christmas tree?

M

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Eloise meets Santa {2016}

Per tradition, Eloise and I joined her friend Beatrice and her mama earlier this month to meet Santa downtown at Nordstrom. We loaded the girls into the car and headed down in the morning with Starbucks in hand hoping to beat the rush. The line wasn’t awful this year and it took just over an hour.

As we got closer to the front of the line and Santa came into view, Eloise was super interested in seeing the other kids sit on his lap and ask him for what they wanted for Christmas. I was hopeful but since Eloise had already told me that she didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap, I knew I wasn’t going to push her.

And by the time we got up to Santa, she was clinging to me like a baby monkey. Her friend Beatrice went first, but ended up in tears which made more Eloise upset. Somehow though I managed to get Eloise on a rocking horse and the photographer distracted her enough to move her back towards Santa and actually get a smile! And Eloise asked me to tell Santa what she wanted, so I made sure he got her list: 2 monkeys, a pickle, and a giraffe. Seriously. She talked about it the entire week before we went to see him!

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Maybe someday Eloise won’t be terrified of Santa? But then she also has been talking about Santa ever since she saw him… it’s a little confusing. And she kept asking where he parked! I told her the only place the sleigh and his reindeer would fit was on Nordstrom’s roof.

At what age did your kiddos get excited about seeing Santa?

M

And see Eloise with Santa for the past two years: 2015 & 2014.