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 {month two}

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{alligator: Jellycat // cardigan: Old Navy (old) // onesie: Carter’s // shorts: babyGap (old) // tights: babyGap (old)}

{month two} Another month has flown by! As they say, the days are long but the months (or years) are short. This is so, so true about being a mother of (very) small children, especially more than one.

Most recently Daphne had her 8 week check-up and it went really well. She is hitting all of her milestones (head control, moving eyes to follow objects, reacting to sounds and voices, cooing, smiling, etc.) which is always reassuring to hear though we didn’t really have any doubts. She is growing well, albeit not as quickly as Eloise did which is a little crazy since Daphne had almost a full pound over Eloise at birth! Daphne is in the 75th percentile for weight and length (22.75 inches) and the 50 to 75th percentile (not sure why such a wide range here) for head circumference (38.9 cm). She doesn’t feel teeny tiny anymore, but I definitely notice the difference in head size between the girls!

Along with all of the milestone checks at her appointment came her first set of vaccines. So basically the saddest thing ever. Eloise was always such a champ with shots, even from this young, so I had pretty high expectations. Daphne took the oral vaccine like a champ and made a few funny faces since it is the only thing she has had other than breastmilk! Then came the injections… she missed the first one completely (the nurse was super efficient), but was pretty hysterical for the second two. I was able to get her cuddled and with her paci pretty quickly and she calmed down in just a few minutes. And then she slept. Solid. (I do remember that with Eloise too!) There was a bit of fussing with later diaper changes since her little legs were tender at the injection site, but nothing too bad. I did notice that she felt warm later that evening, but not enough to take her temperature. The nurse had warned us of fever as a possible side-effect, so I was more aware of it than normal. By the next morning though, Daphne was definitely hot! I took her temperature and it read 100.3 degrees twice. And, of course, I panicked! Our medical baby book (it’s like an encyclopedia that a doctor friend sent when E was born!) said that if a newborn’s temperature hit 100.4 degrees that it was into the doctor, no exceptions, so I was fairly certain at the time that we were going to be making a trip to the doctor/hospital. I kept monitoring her temperature (like a crazy person) and nursed her since she had to eat anyways. And luckily, she cooled down over the course of the feeding and was back down to below 100 by the time we were done. Phew!

During the day, Daphne is mostly cap-napping, though she will sometimes give me one really good nap (especially if I am wearing her). She is following the EAT PLAY SLEEP routine really well though she sometimes briefly “passes out” (aka milk drunk) right after or at the end of a feeding. I usually give her a few minutes to snooze and then change her diaper which generally wakes her up. She is still awake quite a bit between feedings and has enjoyed time on her play mat. I set up a mirror so she can stare at herself which is insanely cute. I am working on incorporating more tummy time, but it’s harder to do when you have a toddler who also needs attention. I remember doing a few minutes of tummy time right after a diaper change with Eloise and need to start doing that with Daphne.

At nighttime Daphne has been really pretty good. She almost always goes into her Rock N Play (next to our bed still) awake after a nursing session and a bottle, and falls asleep (usually) while I am getting ready for bed and setting up my pumping stuff for the next morning. I have noticed that especially at this time she doesn’t want her paci and falls asleep well without it. This is awesome and I am very much encouraging this! She is still sleeping pretty solidly (sometimes without a peep!) until 4 or 5 am, and then she starts to stir and fuss and grunt a bit. Almost always I can give her the paci and a little rock, and she is back asleep, though it is a really light sleep until we are up for the first feeding around 6 am.

There are lots of coos and squeals and smiles these days. THE BEST! She has such a sweet personality (it seems) and we are all enjoying interacting with her lately. She LOVES Eloise and intently listens to her, especially when Eloise sings to her while she is getting a diaper change. Seeing the girls together makes my mama heart so happy and makes the tough days worth it!

Daphne doesn’t mind the car seat too much and is mostly a content little passenger. Sometimes she gets fussy getting into the car seat, especially if she is close to a feeding time or is awakened from a nap to get into the seat, but as soon as she is buckled in and rocked a bit she calms down. And if she isn’t calmed down by the time her seat is installed, she almost always does once the car is moving. The trick though is that you have to keep moving and hit at least 40 mph – ha! Seriously.

Nursing is still going well and we haven’t had any issues with the bottle either. Daphne is still a pretty long nurser (20 minutes per side each feed) but it is nice to have built-in “breaks” although Eloise hasn’t quite gotten the fact that I am really limited in my ability to help her or play with her while I am feeding… maybe someday. Daphne loves to eat and gets really mad if she is hungry and isn’t nursing or if I have to switch sides. She also has really late burps still, even right before I start the next feeding I have to burp her! Such a change from Eloise who hardly ever burped.

And lastly, Daphne is so gassy still! Her doctor reassured me that it is totally normal, but sometimes after a feeding her tummy is so tight I think she will burst! Also, she has the biggest toots. Seriously. Most times I can’t believe that something so small can make such a loud noise!

{weight} 11 lbs, 9 oz.
{hair} blackish brown.
{teeth} none.
{eyes} dark grey/brown.
{clothes} newborn pants, 0 to 3 months, 3 months (Carter’s), some 3 to 6 months.
{diapers} size 1{from the honest company}. we are taking a break from cloth (Lil Joeys) for the moment since D’s leg’s are still too skinny and the diapers don’t fit right.
{feeding} nursing every 2.5 to 4 hours during the day, starting around 6 am. feeding sessions last around 40 minutes (20 per side). last feeding of the day is around 9:30 pm which is regular nursing plus a 1.5 oz bottle of pumped milk and no middle of the night feeding!
{likes} nursing, riding in the car (usually), her big sister, singing, lights, paci, being swaddled, being bounced, sucking on her hands.
{dislikes} sponge baths, loud noises, diaper changes, having gas, being naked getting dressed (a shirt or onesie pulled over her head).

{nicknames} Daph, Bug, Snorty, Baby D.

And see Eloise’s two month update here (wearing a very similar outfit – I swear I am not doing this on purpose)!

Happy Two Months Daphne!

M

 

daphne {month one}

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{alligator: Jellycat // onesie: June & January // jeggings: Levi’s (old)}

{month one} This was the fastest and slowest month ever… except for maybe the first month of Eloise’s life!

Daphne is doing so well and it seems like she has been part of the family forever. And even though life is much more chaotic now than it was just a month ago, I wouldn’t change a thing! Also, having 2.5 years between the kiddos is awesome. Eloise is pretty independent and can do a lot of things on her own (which she prefers) and is also super helpful, especially since I feel like I am nursing all day long!

While not quite the marathon nurser that her sister was, Daphne still takes her sweet time during feedings. And most of the reason is because she is still so sleepy. Seriously half the time (at least) Daphne is snoozing while feeding. She still has what I call “newborn narcolepsy” in that she can instantly fall asleep! One second she will be looking around or looking right at me, and literally the next second she is asleep. I am hoping that in the coming weeks as she is awake more and more that feeding sessions will begin to shorten so that I have more time between feedings.

Daphne’s nails are growing like weeds which is good since it is a sign of being healthy but much too quickly for us to keep up. I swear even if we trimmed them every day, she still would have long nails. So, we try to keep gloves on her hands if we haven’t just trimmed her nails to avoid her scratching her face and chest. Most newborn onesies, rompers, and sleepers have gloves built-in which is awesome! I am hoping the rapid pace of her nails slows soon so that I don’t feel like she needs gloves all the time and can have access to her hands more!

We introduced a pacifier pretty early (in comparison) since nursing has been going well and Daphne has taken to a bottle well. Luckily, we were just able to use Eloise’s old ones, though you shouldn’t tell Eloise that since we told her her old ones disappeared! Daphne definitely likes a paci shortly after a feeding to help her go to sleep. Once she is asleep she will spit it out, but especially when she is fussy, a paci is tremendously helpful! Also, we just got a Nubbawub pacifier for her since it seems to help keep it in her mouth a bit longer. Honestly I sort of thought they were silly when we saw them before, but the little animal really does help keep the paci in her mouth since she sort of has something to hold onto; on the other hand, it also gives her something bigger to rip out of her mouth as well.

This kid is a pretty great sleeper. KNOCK ON WOOD! Since her first night she has slept at least 4 hours and has continued to stretch it out. I was nervous at first since you really aren’t supposed to let tiny newborns go more than 3 or 4 hours between a feeding, but since Daphne’s weight very quickly rebounded after her initial drop, we got the okay early from her ped to just let her sleep at night. Phew! A swaddle is basically key to getting this little one to sleep though. After some awake time, she generally will fuss a bit until she is swaddled up and given a paci. In the morning and early afternoon is her best time for a nap, while later in the afternoon and evening she tends to nap less and fuss more between feedings.

I had mentioned in a weekly update that Daphne is sort of already on a schedule even though she is so little. It really wasn’t my intention, but when you have another child who is on a schedule and has time specific activities (preschool drop-off and pick-up, and naptime) it sort of ends up working that way. And especially since Aaron is back at work.* But even without a schedule, we try to do the EAT, PLAY, SLEEP routine that BabyWise is so (in)famous for. Since Daphne is so little still, I don’t mind if she does fall asleep right after a feeding, but she generally follows this pattern of activity which we found really helpful with Eloise since I think it helped prevent the need to eat in order to go to sleep.

I also mentioned that I was already pumping this time around. My jaw dropped when the ped first mentioned pumping in Daphne’s second week, but it has been a good way to get my supply up and stabilized, and start a freezer stash. I am pumping just twice per day now, once in the early morning after Daphne’s 6 or 6:30 am feeding (but before Eloise is up between 7:30 and 8) and again right before I go to bed after Daphne’s last feeding. Pumping stinks, I will admit, but I have been pretty happy with my new Naya pump and also found a really good lactation cookie recipe! If you are a new mama I am happy to share!

{weight} 9 lbs 12 oz (50th percentile).
{hair} black. and a faux hawk just like big sister!
{teeth} none.
{eyes} dark grey/brown.
{clothes} newborn, 0 to 3 months, 3 months (Carter’s). any pants bigger than newborn are way too big!
{diapers} newborn {from the honest company} and cloth (g-diapers in a size small and Lil Joeys cloth).
{feeding} nursing every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day, starting around 6 am. feeding sessions last around 40 minutes (20 per side). last feeding of the day is around 11 pm which is regular nursing plus a 1.5 oz bottle of pumped milk and no middle of the night feeding!
{likes} nursing, riding in the car (usually), her big sister, singing, lights, paci, being swaddled, being bounced, sucking on her hands.
{dislikes} sponge baths, loud noises, diaper changes, having gas, being naked.

{nicknames} Daph, Bug, Snorty.

Happy One Month Daphne!

M

*Lots of you have asked about Aaron’s paternity leave. He gets 12 weeks of (paid) leave which is very generous and we feel very lucky. He took vacation time when Daphne was first born, but much like when Eloise was born, we decided it would be best if he delayed his leave until the baby was a little bigger (he has one year to take the leave). So the plan now is for Aaron to take 6 weeks this summer and 6 weeks at the beginning of next calendar year. This will allow for us to travel or just enjoy being at home together without worrying about Daphne being too young (immunizations) or feeding around the clock.

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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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eloise {twenty-seven months}

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{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // chambray shirt: Carter’s // pants: Carter’s (similar) // socks: Carter’s (old) // beanie: June & January}

**also, I couldn’t choose just one picture for this month, so here are two!**

{month twenty-seven} Holy cow you guys, how has it been an entire quarter since Eloise turned two? In case I didn’t ever say, I have decided to do quarterly updates for Eloise since we are doing weekly pictures and posts for Baby Foot (which will continue thru the rest of my pregnancy and then that first year!). I was just reading back over Eloise’s two year post and she seems like a totally different kid! Okay, here’s a quick re-cap of the past three months:

Eloise has been “mean muggin'” since before she was one, but now she says “mean muggin'” while she does it. And it’s hilarious! She has the best looks.

She sings the alphabet every time Aaron or I spell something that we don’t want her to hear or repeat which is quite a bit these days. And, she has learned what a few of the spellings are, so we have had to come up with code names for words like: walk, bath, and applesauce.

Eloise is still obsessed with books! We read quite a few throughout the day and at least one or two before naptime and bedtime too. She has memorized many of her favorite books and reads to herself and her dolls or toys which is impossibly cute.

She uses a fork and spoon at all meals, though sometimes her fingers work just as well. Unless it is making a huge mess, I try not to be too strict about using a utensil if she refuses (picking my battles!). But generally she is excited to use them and wants to use the exact same thing that Mama and Papa use. Plus, she has learned to set the table. You guys, this is huge and I am so proud. I will put the utensils that we need (except for sharp knives) on the corner of the dining room table, and Eloise will come over and move all of the utensils to everyone’s spot on top of his or her napkin. Emily Post would be so proud!

Sometimes (especially if she is trying to be funny) Eloise says “MOM!” to get my attention. Or she will just yell it for fun. It gives me a good glimpse into her teenage years I think.

Eloise can count from 1 to 20 in English, and 1 to 10 in French, Japanese, and Spanish. She is equally obsessed with counting as she is with saying her ABCs, and counts everything.

She tells us she dreams about paradise and butterflies after she wakes up from naptime or in the morning. Paradise always includes: Mama, Papa, Grammie, Paga (what she calls my dad, or her version of Grandpa), Kilo (my dad’s horse), Yaya (my sister Anya), occasionally Sadie and sometimes a few other characters. And the butterflies are always green, blue, and purple.

Speaking of purple, Eloise is obsessed! Seriously. Every morning she picks out her underpants and socks for the day, and she wants her purple ones. She has about three pairs of purple underwear (maybe four or five if I can convince her that the smallest little bit of purple actually makes them purple) but only one pair of purple socks. So she is always stoked on laundry day when her purple socks are clean! Needless to say, she needs a few more pairs of purples socks and underwear… I sort of love that she loves purple since I too like it (plus, it is the color for UW so in this area it is perfect!) and Aaron loves it because it isn’t pink! We will see how long this obsession lasts, but I don’t see it ending anytime soon.

Eloise is always singing songs: when she is playing, at mealtime (which I am really trying to stop), in the car, and when she is falling asleep. Twinkle Twinkle, Are You Sleeping (Brother John)? (though we usually since the French version), The Wheels on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, songs from school are the current favorites.

And probably the biggest change in the past three months is that Eloise is potty trained! I had hinted previously that I was going to do it at the end of the summer, but wanted to keep mum since I didn’t know exactly how it would go. I am going to be honest and say that there were some rough times and times that I thought I would be happy for her to be in diapers forever, but we have turned a huge corner and Eloise is a champ! We rarely have accidents during the day and Eloise is self-initiating all the time. She is still in diapers at naptime and bedtime, though that is only because I am not willing to take on night-time training just yet; we have a loose plan to try to night-time train in December or very early January, but are just going to play it by ear since there are a lot of big events and life changes on the horizon for this kid. Plus, in total honesty, I don’t want to have to wake her up to go potty in the middle of the night when she would otherwise sleep completely thru the night and I am seven (plus) months pregnant. So I will keep you up to date on that! For those who are curious, we used the book Oh Crap! Potty Training which I cannot recommend enough! It was super comprehensive and broke things down into blocks (not days) which I appreciated. Plus, it discouraged the use of rewards which is really in-line with our parenting philosophy. If you are needing to potty train a toddler, pick this one up!

Eloise is learning her shapes and colors, and is pretty good at identifying at this point. I try to teach her without doing rogue drills, so we talk about things that we see and what shape or color it is. And now Eloise points things out on her own.

If you ask Eloise what time it is, she will tell you it is thirty-teen. Hilarious!

And another big thing that happened (in September) is that Eloise doesn’t use a pacifier anymore! We had restricted it to sleeping time (with the occasional exception like if she was sick, really upset, or we were travelling or out late) since she started really sleeping well (around five or six months). But, she became pretty attached to it. Our pediatrician had recommended we give it up right at two years, though our dentist said that since she was using the Soothie pacifier, it was fine for her to use it up until three. Though we knew it would change her sleeping (at least a little), we both felt like we wanted her to give it up and have a nice big break without it before Baby Foot is born. One night we had her put her doll Stella’s paci in a jar because Stella was a big kid and didn’t need her paci anymore; and then we had Eloise put her four pacis in the same jar the next night. We kept the jar in her room up on a shelf where she could see them but not get to them for about a week, and then they mysteriously vanished! It was a rough couple of nights and really took just over a week for her sleep to get back to “normal” but we did it. She didn’t ask for her paci nearly as much as we thought, but wanted many more cuddles before bed. We have noticed that it takes much longer (like 45 minutes to an hour sometimes at bedtime) for Eloise to fall asleep even if we have adjusted the time she goes down, but other than that, she is sleeping really well. And honestly, she is sleeping better thru the night because she can self-soothe without having to find her paci in the dark or having one of us go in there and stick her paci back in her mouth!

Shortly after the paci went away, Aaron converted Eloise’s crib to a toddler bed. This is really just taking off one side and having a small guard rail. We weren’t sure how it would go, but again, with Baby Foot’s impending arrival (and us not wanting to buy another crib!) we decided to go for it and see how it went. One night after dinner Eloise and Aaron went down and she watched him convert the crib, and boy was she excited! She even came up and wanted me to go back downstairs to her room so she could show me – so cute! And she is still pretty excited about it. She likes to climb in and out by herself (although she will stay in bed all night and until one of us comes in in the morning!) and have all of her blankets and animals in bed with her. She doesn’t move around nearly as much as she did when she was in her crib, staying in the top third of the bed. The only tricky thing I see is that she stays up near where the guard rail is, so we may have some rolling out of a twin bed once we make that transition (we are thinking January for that). Having her in the converted toddler bed has made it so much easier for me to get her in and out of bed (since I was having trouble lifting her up out of the crib if she was laying down flat), plus it allows us to more easily night-time train her and then eventually transition her to a twin bed.

And lastly, as most of you know, Eloise started preschool in September. The first two weeks of drop-offs were really rough, but now Eloise is off and playing by the time I head out the door. She is excited to go to school and really loves her teachers and her friends. While it isn’t a Montessori school, it shares similar principles which is perfect for Eloise and for us. She brings artwork home every week and they are all hanging proudly in our front window (though I am going to have a special place in her room for art once we move her in a few months). She has learned so much in terms of basics (colors, numbers, letters) but also sharing with others and being able to respond and respect other adults. We are always amazed what she comes home talking about; just last night she talked about the moon waning and waxing as she moved her hands open and closed!

It has been an amazing three months with this little gal and she is such an awesome kid!

{weight} 30-ish pounds.

{hair} dark (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 20 teeth and molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  2T, and some 3T.

{diapers} POTTY TRAINED! size 2T 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. sippy cup of milk with every meal. eloise is really starting to master using a small cup for water too, so we try to offer one with at least dinner & sometimes snack time.

{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, singing & music, dancing, Sadie, standing, FaceTime, bath time, shoes, mama’s (diaper) 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 27 months Eloise!

M

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eloise {month twenty-four // two years}

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{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // dress:  Tucker and Tate via Nordstrom // hat: DIY from last year’s birthday // Grovia Magic Stick*}

*this is the only thing other than my phone that would make her sit still for the picture…

{month twenty-four} How has it been a year since this update?! Eloise turns TWO today & it’s blowing my mind. In some respects it feels like she has been two for the past few months since her growth & development has really taken off, but in others, it seems like she is just my tiny, little baby. This Babble article is a really good summary of what this second birthday is like (minus having the second child) which is so, so different than that first birthday! (I cried so much reading this, so be prepared!)

Eloise continues to talk up a storm these days & is really into the alphabet & counting (in all languages!). When she is playing or is in the car, you will hear her chatting with herself or her toys. It’s the cutest! And so much of what she hears from me (her memory is insane) I hear her talk about. Like when we are going up or down the stairs, I hear her frequently say “careful” which is exactly what I say to her! Now I am super conscious about what I tell her & the tone I use since it is obviously impactful! And just in the past few weeks, Eloise has really started using sentences which makes her seems SO old! I knew it was right around the corner, but I swear we just woke up one morning & she was saying three to five word sentences (that actually make sense!).

Eloise is very polite, saying “please” and “thank you” without prompting (most of the time), and she also says “bless you” if she hears someone sneeze. Seriously this kid. She has always been pretty empathetic towards others & is especially that way if me, or Aaron, or one of her friends is sad or hurt. She is the first one in line to give you a hug or kiss to brighten your day! She has the sweetest little soul.

Meal times are still going well as Eloise has maintained an appetite for such a broad range of foods (please don’t let this jinx that…) and we continue to introduce all different types & flavors of food. The exception is sugar. We really haven’t introduced any type of refined sugar because not only does Eloise LOVE fruit so she gets natural sugars, but there is absolutely no nutritional value in refined sugar! So, we’ve decided to hold off a bit longer on introducing any added sugars, desserts, or ice cream for at least another few months. We never want Eloise to feel like she can’t eat dessert or birthday cake with friends, but since she has no idea what it is yet, we are taking advantage!

As I mentioned above (sort of) Eloise loves to go up and down the stairs. And while she doesn’t go up and down them all day (I love that you can’t see them from our living room or kitchen!) she does appreciate a good stair climb. Over the past month or two, Eloise has opted to climb up and down facing forward, rather than crawling which is the way she learned. Much to my dismay, she loves to climb the stairs like a big kid. The handrailing is still a bit too high for her, but she is good about holding someone’s hand while she climbs up or down. It still makes my heart race to see her do it, but she is a pretty good little stair climber!

This past week I finally introduced TV to Eloise. She had a vague idea of it since we will turn the TV on during football season & she will see it while we are at a restaurant or occasionally while we are visiting someone else, but her TV screen time was basically nil. We were pretty firm about waiting until she was two to do any type of screen time & I think we were really successful in that & I am glad that we waited. Now Eloise gets one 20 minute episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood in the afternoon which is normally watched while I start dinner. The first two times we watched the show & I tried to turn it off, she completely lost it & had a meltdown. But before I started the show on the third day, I reminded her that we got to watch one show & then we would be all done, and after the end credits came on, we said “good-bye Daniel Tiger” & I turned off the TV & there were no tears! Now Eloise will tell me throughout the day that she gets one show.

Along with the TV thing, we have found that generally if we talk Eloise thru what her expectations should be for something, things go much more smoothly & we can prevent meltdowns. Like with bedtime, we have the same routine which is done in basically the same order every night. Once we finish one thing, we ask Eloise what comes next & she will answer & start to do it. This prevents frustration for her (& for us) & gives her some control of what’s going on; and at bedtime especially it prevents her from doing anything & everything to delay actually going to bed!

Eloise is such a joyful child & it has been such a privilege to watch her grow-up these past two years. And while we are beginning into the “terrible twos” (which is actually a phrase that I loathe & really try not to use!) I know that these coming months & years will be the best! I spend more time with Eloise than anyone else & she is the best companion.

{weight} 30-ish pounds.

{hair} dark (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 12 teeth plus four molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  18 to 24 months, 2T, and some 3T.

{diapers} full-time cloth {bum genius pocket, & elemental and grovia hybrid with organic soaker pads} & honest company size 5 diapers at night with a bum genius diaper cover. **for about the past two weeks, however, we have been doing all honest disposables since I am SO tired of cleaning poopy diapers. I absolutely love cloth & will do it with any future child(ren) but until we start potty training at the end of the month, we are in disposables!**

{feeding} during the day, three meals, morning snack, & afternoon snack. sippy cup of milk with every meal. eloise is really starting to master using a small cup for water too, so we try to offer one with at least dinner & sometimes snack time.

{likes} coloring, yelling, Duplos, digging in the dirt, splashing, counting, chewing on her toothbrush, the mailman, 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, toys that squeak or rattle, singing & music, dancing, Sadie, standing, FaceTime, bathtime, shoes, mama’s (diaper) 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, diaper changes, not eating when someone else is, being hungry, getting into the carseat, getting out of the carseat, having a poop in her diaper (& sitting).

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

Happy Twenty-Four Months Eloise! These have been the very best two years ever!

M

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eloise {month twenty-three}

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{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // top: babyGap (old) // leggings: Target (old)}

{month twenty-three} You guys, twenty-three months? How did this happen? Eloise definitely seems like a toddler these days, but I am not prepared for a two year old!

Building on last month’s counting, Eloise can now count in French almost completely unprompted. She usually forgets four (quatre) but every other number she knows & in order! We are still working on counting in English, Spanish, and Japanese, but French is her absolute favorite!

Eloise talks & talks all day long, unless we are with new people & it takes a bit longer for her to warm up. One of her new favorite things is to talk in “ing” verbs: singing, walking, talking, holding, eating, etc. She is always verbalizing what she is doing, what she wants to do, or what she sees someone else doing with an “ing.”

More and more Eloise has started to play with other kids, rather than just parallel play which is what happens when babies are young. We still have weekly & monthly playdates with our PEPS groups, plus Eloise got to see almost all of her cousins on Aaron’s side just this past few weeks, so there have been lots of opportunity to interact with other kids her age. She does really well, I think, socializing & sharing, especially since it is so new & she does spend a lot of time with me playing independently at home. At some point Eloise will be in pre-school (either this fall or winter probably) and I think she will do really well!

When it comes to doing anything, Eloise has decided she wants to do it herself. Typical toddler, right? Getting dressed, brushing her teeth, turning on the bath water, walking down the stairs, buckling her car seat. You name it, she wants to do it herself! As long as I give her some control or let her try for herself first, she will accept some help from Mama!

Lots of people have asked about whether Eloise has had a haircut & the answer is no. And I don’t have plans on cutting it anytime soon! As you can see from this month’s picture, her bangs are finally growing out! They are still in her face quite a bit, but we are nearly to the length where I can tuck it behind her ear. It is long enough to put in two awesome pigtails or one ponytail which has been really nice for the summer since she still runs warm. She also has a pretty serious cowlick that isn’t really visible when her hair is parted, but when you try to put it straight back, it rears its ugly head.

Eloise still really loves books. Her favorite series is the Hello, World series: London, Paris, New York, and San Francisco. She points out the opposites in London, the shapes in Paris, the colors in New York, and the numbers in San Francisco. It is pretty amazing how much she has learned just thru bedtime reading.

Busy, busy & constant motion is basically Eloise now. A blur. She loves to run & thinks you are supposed to yell when you run which is pretty entertaining. I don’t see her stopping anytime soon!

{weight} 30-ish pounds.

{hair} dark (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 12 teeth plus four molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  18 to 24 months, 2T, and some 3T.

{diapers} full-time cloth {bum genius pocket, & elemental and grovia hybrid with organic soaker pads} & honest company size 5 diapers at night with a bum genius diaper cover.

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

{likes} digging in the dirt, splashing, counting, chewing on her toothbrush, the mailman, 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, toys that squeak or rattle, singing & music, dancing, Sadie, standing, FaceTime, bathtime, her snack cup, shoes, mama’s (diaper) 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, diaper changes, not eating when someone else is, being hungry, getting into the carseat, getting out of the carseat, having a poop in her diaper (& sitting).

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

Happy Twenty-Three Months Eloise!

M

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