eloise {last day of preschool 2018}

Eloise_Last Day of Preschool_2018Eloise_Last Day of Preschool_2018_2Eloise_Last Day of Preschool_2018_3

Gosh, the last day of preschool? I am not ready for this. Eloise has been at the Birch School for the past two years and is headed to a new school next year for pre-K. We have LOVED the Birch School and her three teachers, and will be so, so sad to leave this amazingly loving community. But, I know there is so much in store for Eloise at her new school and I am excited to see her thrive there too! Pre-K though, wasn’t she just born? Continue reading

eloise {three & a half years}


{lion: jellycat via nordstrom // dress: old // pants/skirt: Cat and Jack for Target}


{And the outtake! This is such an Eloise goofy face!}

{three & a half years} Oh my, I can’t believe Eloise is 3.5 years! She seems so, so big these days and wise beyond her years. It is such a joy to witness this joyful little soul explore the world.

Over the past few weeks Eloise has been putting herself down for a nap in the afternoon during her quiet time, which I have shared a few pictures of. It is amazing that she can go from playing and singing to completely asleep in about 10 seconds. If she does fall asleep, I usually let her snooze for about 30 minutes, because she is obviously tired, but if I let her sleep too much longer than that she is awake until 10 pm or later! No bueno. When she isn’t sleeping though, she does so well playing quietly in her room. She reads books, plays with her dolls or magnaformers, or changes her clothes. Eloise has also, recently, been cleaning up her room! She makes her bed, and organizes her toys in the baskets as well as the clothes in her drawers and closet. Yep, she may be slightly Type A from her mama!

At Thanksgiving and then again right after New Year’s we took two separate road trips to Boise which meant 10.5 hour days in the car. I talked about our trip a little already, but Eloise did so SO well on these trips. Partly because she was excited to get to Grammie and Paga’s house and partly because she really loves to travel (and has never minded the car). Eloise busied herself with coloring and reading during the long hours and only watched about four 30 minute shows in total over the 40+ hours of driving! She would, if we let her, watch shows and do screen time the entire trip but we are pretty strict about how much time she gets. And, like with plane travel, we exhaust all of our other options for things to do before we offer screen time. We feel really lucky that she is such a great little traveler!

These past months we also had Aaron home on the second-half of his paternity leave which was 6 weeks starting in mid-December. He usually takes quite a bit of vacation around the holidays, but it was really lovely to have him home for these weeks during a busy time. Eloise preferred if Aaron took her to school and picked her up, so we let that be their thing when she had school days. Aaron is also the first person that Eloise asks for in the morning, so with Aaron leaving before the rest of the house is up now has been a bit of a change. But, Eloise just had the BEST time having Papa around for those weeks!

Eloise also started ballet which you may have seen pictures of in our weekend posts. We found a great little studio over in Fremont which offers pre-ballet for 3 and 4 year olds. Plus, it is a kids-only class which means it’s sort of like childcare, right?! The teacher (Ms. Aminda) is so great with the kids and the class is set-up so well for Eloise’s age and attention span. She tends to stop participating when she sees me watching thru the classroom window, so I try to give her space to be herself and just quickly check-in to see if I can watch her being an impossibly adorable ballerina. There is a mix of songs and play along with learning basic ballet positions and techniques. Plus, the stamps at the end of class are Eloise’s favorite part! The sessions are 6 weeks and Eloise just started her second session of Saturday morning classes. We are planning on keeping her in ballet until the late spring and then I am hoping to find a good swimming lesson to get her into. If you have any advice about swim lessons for this age, I am all ears!

And related to ballet, Eloise LOVES to dance. Any time she hears music, or even when she doesn’t and is just singing to herself, she is always moving her body. She loves to have dance parties at our house and had the BEST time at my cousin Micah’s wedding in January. I will be sure to share photos and videos because it was so sweet!

One of the biggest things that has happened since last fall has been that Eloise will finally get herself out of bed to use the potty in the morning if she is awake and needs to go before we get her up! Guys, this is life-changing. We already sleep in pretty late (our normal wake-up time is 8 am) but in the past, Eloise will just yell from bed that she had to go potty. A super fun thing to wake up to! But now, she will walk down the hall, use the potty, wash her hands, and go back to her room to read until we are up (which on Sundays is usually around 8:30 since that is our sleep-in day)! We are really proud of Eloise since she just started doing this on her own a few weeks ago.

And, last fall we were doing the preschool tour thing since we needed to find a new school for Pre-K, and the good news is that we found one! It is right down the street from her current school and after the tour, we love it already. Eloise’s weekly schedule will basically be the same, Monday thru Thursday mornings, but then we will more than likely add Friday mornings which is a Spanish immersion program. This new school has a good Pre-K curriculum which I think will ready Eloise for Kindergarten without being crazy-academic focused and will allow her to still have a lot of time for physical activity and creative time (either play time or art and music). And then we also took a tour last week of an elementary school that we would love for the kids to attend. Without getting into too much extra detail now, it is a public school but you have to apply to get in. We don’t have to worry about anything related to Kindergarten for another year, but I definitely teared up when we walked into that big elementary school for the tour!

And the newest rendition of Things Eloise Says:

“Papa, I don’t want you stretching your arms. I don’t want your arms to break.”

“I love watching these.” (The advertisements on TV. She’s a marketer’s dream.)

Kitchen timer goes off. Eloise whispers: “Aaron, can you go check on what’s in the oven?”

“For Christmas can I get seeing glasses? Not sunglasses, seeing glasses so I can see where I am going!”

Aaron and I were trying to get out of a store without buying anything so we told Eloise we didn’t have any money with us. Aaron: “I didn’t bring any money, did you bring any money?” Eloise: “No Papa, you just use a card!”

“Eloise, what is your favorite color?” “Pink.” “Since when? (It is usually purple.)” “Since my birth.”

“Did you already get married?” Eloise asks me and Aaron. “I wanted to get you a card. Bummer.”

Looking out the window. Eloise: “Bird, what are you looking for?”

“I call them pea beans.” (Pea pods.)

Scream cheese is string cheese.

Me: “Do you just repeat everything that Mama says?” Eloise: “Apparently.”

“How did he get grass in his truck?” (She saw a truck carrying a load of hay.)

“Mama, when I get married will you and Papa buy me a ring? That fits me? And maybe it could be from Target?”

Playing “store” with Daphne: “It costs three dollars and fifty-five bucks!”

“I can’t even believe it. I can’t even bless my heart!”

“Please can I have some cold water, Papa? You have to say ‘please’ otherwise it’s demanding.” (Oh my gosh, Aaron and I were dying over this because she said it so matter of factly.)

“It was in my imagination.”

We have a new babysitter (for date nights, yay!) who is an au pair for another local family and is originally from Columbia. Eloise says she is from “Columpia.”

“Mama, my foot hurts. Right here. It’s crispy!” (I don’t know what she meant by “crispy” but I think it was part of her ploy to get me to carry her!)

{weight} 35ish pounds (my guess); height: 37.5 inches

{hair} (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 20 teeth plus four molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  some 3T, 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 & a half years Eloise!


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Pinterest Christmas {2017} : Photos with the Christmas Tree.

Welcome back to the last week of Pinterest Christmas! {See week ONE and TWO here.}

It is a stretch to call this a Pinterest Christmas project because it is just a photoshoot with the girls in front of the Christmas tree and with lights, but since there are a zillion posts about how to take pictures with Christmas trees and with lights, I am just going with it! Mostly it is helpful to reference any of those posts to figure out what manual settings you should set your SLR camera to in order to capture the glow of the Christmas lights in a dark-ish setting without being too blurry.

So without further adieu, we head into the Christmas weekend with a ton of pictures of the girlies!


And see Eloise’s Christmas photo shoot here.

Outfits: {Eloise: jammies: Hanna Andersson // hairbow: Adaline’s Bow Line // Santa hat: made by Aunt Kelly} {Daphne: jammies: Hanna Andersson // Santa hat: made by Aunt Kelly}

Did you take pictures in front of the tree this year?


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Eloise & Daphne meet Santa {2017}



This year we kept up the tradition and ventured downtown to the Nordstrom Flagship store to see Santa. Each year we try to go pretty early in the month, but even though we went on the 8th, it was SO busy! You can’t make a reservation, but you can put your name on the waiting list to get a text message so you don’t actually have to stand in line for hours and hours and you can shop around.

We got there 10 minutes after opening (which was a Christmas miracle!) and there was already a long enough wait that we had to put our name on the waiting list… and we waited about an hour before we got the text to come to Santa’s shop, and then we waited another hour (!) in line. Seriously, we were getting antsy. But the girls did so, so well and Daphne even snoozed a bit while we waited (and it was her morning nap time, so that was good).

Eloise had already told me beforehand that she didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap, so we decided she could ride on the rocking horse again (like she did last year). And Eloise also asked Santa for a baby stroller, a scuba diver (that came out of nowhere!), and a chew toy for Baby Daphne. And then, very surprisingly, Eloise let Santa give her a hug!

As you can see, Daphne wasn’t really thrilled to see Santa. She was sleepy and I figured she would either be crying or have a paci in her mouth, but we just got stoic Daphne (which is rare).

See our past visits with Santa here: 2014 // 2015 // 2016.

Outfits: {Eloise: top: Cat and Jack // skirt: Oshkosh // shoes: Cat and Jack} {Daphne: sweater and skirt: Cat and Jack // moccasins: Freshly Picked}

Did you visit Santa this year?


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family pictures {2017}

As we have done every year for the past few years, we had a family photo shoot last month which was actually our second for the year since we also did family photos right after Daphne was born. But, it was really different to be a family of four (well, five with Sadie who joined us for the first half of the shoot) and fun to see the girls as they have grown since the spring.

I wanted a different vibe this year since we have previously used parks as a background, so we headed to South Lake Union which has an urban vibe. There was SO much construction (a very it neighborhood these days) and it was super noisy, but we found some quiet pockets.

And prepare for photo overload!

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Guys, family pictures are the BEST!

If you are local to Seattle (or the area) I highly recommend Ashley Vos Photography. It was the first time we worked with her, but she came recommended by a friend, and we were really happy. She also was the one to suggest shooting down at South Lake Union which was a great backdrop for us!

Happy December!



Aaron: Hugo Boss jacket (old) // Gap button-up

Misha: J. Crew Collection shirt // Madewell denim

Eloise: The Dress Shop buffalo check dress // Adaline’s Bow Line bow // Old Navy boots (similar)

Daphne: Peek Kids dress // Old Navy cardigan (old) // babyGap tights // Freshly Picked moccasins

eloise {three-and-a-quarter years}


{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.}


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Happy Halloween! {2017}

Happy Halloween from the Lowers!


{And this is was a definite fail on my part. I off-centered the cherry and frosting on the headband (it would’ve been so cute if it would have stayed like that!) but it was too heavy and kept falling off…}


Eloise decided a while ago (like in the summer) that she wanted to be a cupcake. And I waited for a while to see if she would change her mind. But she didn’t! And her only request was that it be purple (surprise). I looked at a few places to see if I could find a pre-made cupcake costume, but there weren’t very many, and of the ones that were available, I just didn’t like any of them… they all looked a little cheesy! So, I searched Pinterest and found quite a few tutorials. I ended up using this one. I am super happy with the way it turned out, but practically it was a little cumbersome for Eloise to actually trick-or-treat in. Almost everyone in our neighborhood has stairs, and that was a bit of a challenge. Half-way thru the night she came back and I offered for her to change into her pumpkin costume from last year. Much better. So, note to self, easy to walk in Halloween costume is a requirement!

Eloise did really well this year for Halloween saying “trick-or-treat,” “Happy Halloween,” and “thank you” when we were at each neighbor’s door. She is usually pretty reserved when we see people we don’t know, so I sort of expected she would be that way and hide behind either Aaron or me, but it wasn’t the case at all!

Happy Halloween!