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

pinterest-christmas

family pictures {2016}

Like last year, we had The Happy Film Company shoot for our family Christmas cards. I chose Gas Works Park this year since I thought it would be a fun backdrop with an active toddler and wouldn’t be a repeat of our Greenlake shoot last year.

We ended up getting rained out on our original shoot date, but the day we rescheduled was nice and sunny (albeit a little windy)! And since I didn’t want to do another round of professional pictures for a maternity shoot, we did a few bump pictures too (even though I was not showing very much!).

My favorites ended up in our Christmas card, but here are a few others from the shoot!

{My dress: Zara // E’s dress: GapKids (similar) // E’s vest: Old Navy (similar) // E’s boots: Old Navy (similar) // E’s tights: GapKids // E’s bow: A Little Lady Shop // Aaron’s shirt: Nordstrom (old) // Aaron’s sweater: Banana Republic (old) // gold moccasins: Freshly Picked}

Do you do family pictures every year?

M

This post contains affiliate links.

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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Happy Halloween {2016}

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{Eloise wasn’t sure about all of the costumed people at our neighborhood parade, but she seemed to be soaking it all in from atop Papa’s shoulders!]

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{The Roosevelt High School drum line led the annual neighborhood parade. It is such a fun tradition!}

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{I decided to make Eloise a special Halloween basket filled with non-candy goodies that she traded in her trick-or-treat bucket for (after getting lots of good advice from mamas on Facebook – thank you!) and she was obsessed! And a few weeks ago Eloise and I made a chocolate Halloween house (from Trader Joe’s) which has been decorating our dining table!}

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{Mama, Papa, and Eloise pumpkins. I asked Eloise which shapes she wanted for each part of her pumpkin’s face and this was the result!}

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{Eloise and I before we headed over to the parade. The sweetest pumpkin ever!}

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{We were trying so hard to get a “cheese” out of her, but alas, the stoic Eloise pumpkin.}

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{And football was on tonight (her favorite after Daniel Tiger!) and she found a fun new TV viewing position while she snacked on trail mix from her Halloween basket before (a late) bedtime.}

Halloween is way more fun with kids!! Eloise is just understanding the idea of trick-or-treating and we practiced a lot in the past few weeks. She wore her costume a bunch this past month, including to school where she joined all of her friends who were dressed in costume as well. It was a bit overwhelming tonight for her to be out since we have so many kids roaming around the neighborhood, but Aaron took her to our neighbors’ houses that she knew. Plus, Aaron and I get first dibs on her candy stash, with the rest either being frozen for later or given away!

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

And if you are curious, here are the past few years of Lower Halloweens: 2011 // 2012 // 2013 // 2014 // 2015

Oh, and Eloise’s costume is from Pottery Barn Kids (that beret basically sold me!) but it isn’t available online anymore!

M

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eloise {first day of preschool 2016}

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{letter board: Letter Folk // top: Cat & Jack for Target // leggings: Cat & Jack for Target // lunchbox: PackIt // sneakers: See Kai Run (similar) // bow: Hadley Girl (similar)}

Eloise started her first day of preschool today!

We didn’t know for sure that she would be starting this fall since she was on the waitlist since last spring, but we found out a few weeks ago and have been pretty excited about it. Her school is a small, 12 student school that is run by a former school teacher out of her home in our neighborhood. It is geared specifically for 2 to 4 year olds to attend for one or two years before spending their final year before kindergarten in a pre-K program. And this is exactly what we wanted for Eloise! She will spend Monday and Wednesday mornings (9 AM to 1 PM) at The Birch School with two teachers where she will play outside, have crafting time, singing, etc. It’s great for Eloise to have some social time with kids her age & be in the care of other adults, and it is great for me to have some time to work on the Shop or get things done around the house or have one-on-one time with Baby Foot come February!

Eloise was SO excited about taking her lunch in her new lunchbox, having a new ladybug water bottle (thanks Grammie!), and having a new outfit to wear on her first day. She was a little nervous in the car this morning when she realized she was actually going (I asked her if she was excited about going to school and she said “No!” and shook her head…) but she started playing as soon as we got to school and didn’t make a huge deal when I left. Not even any tears (from either of us)!

Happy first day of preschool E!

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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