Wednesday, November 22, 2017

16 Months Old!

Sweet Eloise Jane, today you are 16 months old!

This past month has been marked by exponential growth with your language, your movements, and your awareness. It's crazy when I can see you growing right before my eyes- and makes me re-realize how fast this part of toddler hood flies by! You are still a little engineer who loves to study things and quickly figures out how they work. You are attracted to cause and effect type toys- things with buttons, knobs, levers, music, etc.

Here are your official 16 month updates!

How old? 16 months today

How big? You are most comfortably wearing size 6 diapers, size 5 shoes, and 18-24 month or 2T clothing.

Sleep? You are slowly but surely starting the transition to one nap! If your first nap (which still begins around 10am) goes until after 12pm, we usually skip the afternoon nap. Some days you definitely need a late afternoon snooze, but more often than not you're OK until (an earlier) bed time. You still sleep well through the night.

Food? This was a big month in that you are now officially weaned! I cut out the last remaining morning nursing session just after my birthday. I was curious how you'd react when I greeted you with a bottle of milk in the morning, but you were like: WHATEVER- give me the MILK! No big deal at all. And so it is! My migraines have come back with a rampage after this weaning as my hormones are starting to restructure themselves.

One funny thing: you really love tart things, like lemon slices!

Teeth? You've added another bottom molar, for a grand total of 11 teeth!

Potty? You sit on the potty after every sleep and before bed. Almost always with me your #2's will be on there; however when with a nanny or Papa you just as often won't go on the potty and will save it for a special present in your diaper.

Words? SO many new words this month! It seems every day you're saying something new or connecting something on a deeper level. A few new words of note: up, toy, Emma (nanny), go, yum (while eating- so cute!), apple, uckie (yucky), okay, poo, shoes, baby, key, was dat? as you point to different things. You also greet me with a "hi!" or "hello!" when I come into your room in the morning or after a nap.

And? You are FINALLY saying "Mama" with intention! Hooray!

You just started singing along to songs, which is soooo adorable. I can tell what song you are singing by the combo of beats, sounds, & tune. You'll do Twinkle Twinkle and also The Wheels on the Bus.

You're also quite adept at these party blowers!

Movements? You are getting so much more capable of climbing up and down hills, small steps, your slide ladder, etc. You have a really slow and steady command of your body, and overall a really good awareness of yourself in space.

New Skills?

*This month you've started noticing things ABOVE you a lot more- branches, fences, etc. You can now simultaneously keep track of things above without tripping on things below!

*Making cheese faces for photos! This one kills me- it's SO CUTE!

Favorite things?

*Our Sandbox: you recently "discovered" this and love to bury your toes in there.

In this shot you get a great look at your hairline too- all the hair is growing in the back, and juuuust starting to fill in from the front.

*Climbing! You LOVE to climb up on tables and chairs, and especially on Iyla's art table, where you can more easily eat her art supplies.

*Your doctor kit: you call it "doc-kit" and love to layer 2-3 stethescopes around your neck.

*Your stacking penguins. You love this set of stacking penguins we have- stacking them and arranging then in your play barn or in a play car. You'll actually sit them all upright in the car like they are going for a drive!

*Your sister. You run around the house shouting "I-YA!" and love snuggling with her and getting into all of her toys.

We love you so much sweet  Eloise Jane! Happy 16 months to you!

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Holy hell was this a ROUGH week.

 Eloise's face says it all

Let's recap, shall we?

BC was out of town for 7 days.

Iyla was down for the count (and home from school for TWO days) first with pink eye and then with a virus that had (and still has) her bedridden with a fever.

Poor buddy also developed a random rash on her mouth
Eloise is in the height of separation anxiety, clinging to me at all times and making it near impossible to make meals or get anything done.

 Reasons my kid is crying? Because I stepped back to take this photo.
This separation anxiety is NO JOKE and NO FUN for anyone.

Then our nanny called in sick with a fever Friday. This saw me scrambling to get alternate care, as I had a full day of appointments set up. One of those appointments was a school tour for Iyla, which I knew another Mama friend was attending. We ended up having her babysitter (which was a newish one for her and one I'd never met!) come to our house to watch Iyla + Eloise + my friend's two boys. You know you are desperate when your only thought after leaving your children with a stranger is THANK GOD AND SEE YA LATER!

 They survived

Unfortunately I did not have help Friday afternoon, so decided to be brave and bring both girls to my eye exam.

What could go wrong?


I had thought that by bringing snacks and toys and videos Eloise would stay occupied, but I had underestimated the power of SEPARATION ANXIETY. Holy hell. That kid was on my lap the entire time either fussing or squirming or grabbing ALL THE EQUIPMENT. There was NO way she was going to let me set her down.

Also? I got a traffic citation for looking at my phone while STOPPED AT A RED LIGHT.

Also? I had no less than FOUR ocular migraines throughout the week.

Also? To add insult to injury it was absolutely gorgeous out yesterday, and here I was completely trapped at home due to being solo with a sick kid.

 How poor Iyla spent the majority of the day while I tried to keep an energetic 15 month old entertained.

This Mama is SO DONE.

BC got home late last night, and I'm taking the day to breathe, run errands, & attempt to replenish from a week that drained every.last.ounce of my reserves.

All I can say is I SURVIVED.

Serenity now

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Happy 5th Birthday Iyla Grace!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are FIVE YEARS OLD! This is the first age that feels "old" to me, like  a rite of passage from being my sweet baby/toddler to being an independent BIG girl. It's bittersweet for sure!

At 5 years old, you are full of imagination and LOVE play acting. You are affectionate, silly, charismatic, fiesty, impatient, generous, loving, empathetic, creative, joyful, & a rule follower.

When I asked you what you wanted to do today for your birthday proper, you decided you wanted to go pick out new shoes, go rock climbing, and have dinner at the Launderette. And so it was!

Here are your official 5 YEAR old updates!

How old? 5 years today!

How big? You fit into most 5T clothing and currently wear a size 10 shoe. You are still a tiny little thing- very pixie-like in your petite stature.

At your yearly checkup you weighed in at 36 pounds (25%) and 42 5/8 inches tall (50%). You were SO courageous for your shots- you cried before and after the shots themselves, then we went promptly to the ice cream store, which truly makes everything better!

You had your birthday circle at school last Friday, where you carried an Earth around the sun 5 times to represent each year of your life. This was followed by all of your classmates giving you "wishes" for your next year. Note the outfit you chose to wear for the occasion, complete with a hood! : )

Favorite foods? Right now you love: Cliff Bars (peanut toffee buzz), "mama eggs" (eggs scrambled with spinach, onions, & cheese), pancakes, almost all fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, watermelon), asparagus, carrots, broccoli, green beans (you like to pretend they are caterpillars!), mac n cheese/pasta, chicken, cheese, grilled cheese, apple sauce.....and of course treats like donuts and popsicles!

Favorite clothes? You are a girly-girl through and through and typically choose a dress to wear each day- the more extravagant, the better! You'd wear a formal dress every day if you could.

You also love wearing your pink tennis shoes

Hair? You are VERY particular with your hair and go through what seems like month-long phases. Right now you are in a bun phase, with the oh so occasional set of ponytails thrown in for good measure.

Friends? You have two favorite friends at school- Fiona and Eila. You also love to play with Evie, Nevie, and Avery from your music class, our neighbor Juliette, and your oldest friend Sabine!

Your music class buddies at a gathering celebrating your teacher Mr. Walter (who retired)

Birthday party with school friends

Sleep? You are consistently the first one up in the family every day! We've had to come up with rules about playing quietly in your room until Papa and I wake up. When you first come in, you love to snuggle in our arms, which is the sweetest. Then you'll climb up on the bathtub walls and sink counter tops pretending to be a cheetah or lion and put on shows with your stuffed animals.

At school you still nap each day, and on the weekends we try to enforce "quiet time" in your room, and about half of the time you'll nap then too.

You usually go to bed between 7:30/8 each night, and have been preferring to sleep in your tent for over a year now! You have it completely set up with books, stuffed animals, random toys, your water bottle, a flashlight, & a package of wipes. You snuggle your teddy bear to fall asleep, which is just about the cutest thing in the world.

Last night after your party, on the eve of your 5th birthday, I asked if I could rock my 4 year old one more time. You happily obliged and climbed into my arms, and within seconds were sound asleep. As I kissed your face I could see that sweet baby girl I brought home 5 years ago. My heart was melting.

Weekly routine? You are in so many fun activities right now! Monday-Friday you go to your sweet Montessori school from 8:15-2:30. In addition to that:
Tuesday afternoons: I pick you up and take you to Theater class, then you and I have a date night dinner out while our nanny has dinner with Eloise.
Thursdays you stay later at school to have golf lessons, then Papa and I have a date night and you and Eloise play with your nanny Veronica
Friday: you and Eloise both have swim lessons at 4:30, then we meet Papa out for Mexican food!
Saturday: you have 11am dance/tap that usually Papa takes you to, followed by a trip to the donut store.
Weekend mornings Papa takes you and Eloise out to breakfast and the park while I head to a local coffee shop to work and catch up on any errands that need taking care of.

Favorite things?

*Hands down your very favorite thing in the world is pretending/make believe and dress-up- all day every day! I swear you begin every sentence with "pretend......" and then launch into a script with a magical world you've concocted, telling us what characters we are and what our lines will be. And whoa be it if we get the lines wrong! You live in your imagination, and are constantly in character. You are a bonafide actress, producer, and director!

*Drawing and coloring are also favorite pastimes right now! You love to draw pictures of people and color in your coloring books.

*Play animals! You almost NEVER play with baby dolls, but can almost always be found with a stuffed animal family or with your small plastic animals. You set up zoos and love to collect all the animals of a species or family together. For your birthday this year you were very specific in wanting a stuffed animal lion family (check) as well as a stuffed kangaroo with Joey (check!) You also requested an Elsa doll (which you got but which I suspect she will be forgotten sooner than later). ; )

*Books! You have adored books from the moment you came into this world! You will sit quietly looking through your stash and always have many books strewn about in your tent for night/morning reading. You've recently started loving toy magazines that come in the mail, and will circle the items on your 'wish' list. We also somehow have a subscription to Highlights magazine, and it's a fun day when a new one arrives, as you and I will sit and read it cover to cover, doing the activities together.

*Climbing! You love to climb trees, poles, and visit our local rock climbing gym! There is a little tree in our front yard you love to scale, pretending you are a lion or cheetah.

*Swimming! This is still a HUGE love of yours. In swim lessons you are working on the crawl stroke, back stroke, and treading water. You now wears goggles while in the pool and in the bath, and love pretending to a a mermaid, dolphin, turtle, etc. You love being underwater, and it is truly one of your very favorite happy places.

*Videos! You love watching movies and shows on your iPad.

*Your sister! You truly love Eloise, which melts Papa's and my hearts constantly. You love to snuggle her, read to her, and play with her. You've always been so patient and loving with her, and I truly hope you two continue to be buddies throughout your lives.

You are so smart, and have always had a penchant for picking up vocabulary. In that spirit, here are a few of my favorite recent Iyla-isms:

"That's a re-phew!"- combining "Phew- what a relief!"

"I can dread water now!" - as she shows off her new skill of TREADING water.

"The music is coming out of the rodeo!" -referencing the stereo.

Also? You have THE most amazing eyelashes in the world. Dark, thick, and long:

We had your birthday party yesterday, complete with cupcakes, a petting zoo, & pony rides! You had a Lion Guard theme, and loved every minute of the gathering. Some of your favorite presents this year were a Mermaid tale from Grandma and Grandpa, a kangaroo family from Mimi and Grampy, a lion family from us, and a Hatchimal animal from Aunt Sheri.

Here are a few more pictures of all of your recent adventures:

We love you so much sweet Iyla Grace! Happy 5 years to you.