Saturday, September 22, 2018

To Eloise at 26 Months Old

Sweet Eloise Jane, today you are 26 months old!

At 26 months, you are fiercely independent. Your most common phrases are "BY SELF!" and when you don't want to do something, you'll say "NO THANK YOU!" or "NO MA'AM!" or "NEVER!"

Getting your cooperation to do things like put on your clothes or get into a car seat are getting increasingly hard. You use your entire body to object, screaming and twisting and lately yelling "THAT HURTS!" even when no harm is being done. You know how to get attention- that's for sure!

This past month saw you beginning symbolic imaginative play. It's the cutest thing! You'll hand me a toy (like an animal or dolly), take another toy, and start making your toy talk and interact with mine. Usually you'll start by saying "HEY!" and then our toys will climb up your leg, slide down, go to the park, etc. I've also heard you playing by yourself with toys, and will overhear you making them say "Whatcha going, goof?" or "Go to time out!" or "Whatcha doing bug?" It's hilarious.

You also have a great sense of humor. You love to change words in books to get a laugh; for example, in The Very Hungry Caterpillar you like to read the page with all the food pictures BY SELF- saying things like "eat Iyla!" or "eat pee-pee!" instead of "eat ice-cream or pickles, etc." You also like to be silly and change words to songs, as seen in this video:

This month also brought big changes to your schedule. In August you began a full-time program at a Montessori school M-F, 9am-2:30pm. Before you began I was already having hesitation about you being in full time school, but wanted to give it time for both of us to adjust to. You never had tears at drop off, but as the days went on you did cling to me a bit more when it was time for me to go.

I noticed that every afternoon and evening you were FULL of emotions and not yourself, having more meltdowns than normal and seeming tired and off. You also never talked about going to school or about your teachers, and instead on occasion would ask "see Ben?" who was your teacher over the summer at the sweet little Garden School. Many mornings when I'd say we were going to school (at Montessori) you'd say "NO!"

Last Monday Garden School sent out an email to all families that we were copied on saying something along the lines of: "Get ready for a week of rain! We'll be out playing in it so please send clothes accordingly." Meanwhile at your Montessori School rainy day drop offs were inside, with the same 2-3 children crying loudly (a few kids really were struggling with separation anxiety), and no outdoor play was to be had.

My heart tugged.

My instinct was that you needed more time outdoors AND more Mama time. 

And so I was conflicted. I was seeing signs that this wasn't the best fit, and I was also missing you quite a bit. In the 3rd week of Montessori school I reached out to the Garden School you used to attend to see if they by chance still had any openings. Lo and behold they did have a 3 morning/week spot open and I had to make a decision fast!

I decided to send you to Garden School one morning last week to see how it went, planning to then send you back to Montessori the following day before finalizing my decision. When we got to Garden School they had 2 new bunnies all the kids were feeding, and you could hardly be bothered to kiss me goodbye!

The following morning- unprompted- you asked: "see Ben?" I replied "soon! Would you like to go play with Ms Heather (Montessori teacher) today?" to which you quickly said "NO MA'AM!"

And so it was.

I was SO grateful you gave me that clarity yourself. I kept you home that day, officially withdrawing you from Montessori and enrolling you back at the Garden School. I also got a membership to the Children's Museum and signed you up for weekly music and gymnastics classes.

We are now one week into the new schedule, and this has been the best thing for both of us! You are happy and balanced, and I am loving having more time with you. : )

Here are a couple sweet shots of you and a buddy at Garden School:

And some cute shots from your previous Montessori School:


In other updates, you have been loving books lately! Your new nap/bedtime routine involves snuggling in your chair while reading book after book. Your current favorites are "Mommy is a Warm Soft Kiss," "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," "Color Kittens," and "Fancy Nancy." When I get you up from sleeping you'll say "Snuggle Weezy BY SELF"- then give me a hug and kiss before I plant you onto your chair and sit beside you to read.

Your naps have been short the past week- it seems when you wake 1 hour into the nap between sleep cycles you are having trouble getting back to sleep, which often equates to a very overtired and fussy kiddo! I'm hoping it's a brief sleep regression and your longer naps will return soon!

Here are some more updates from the past month in video and photo form:

When you want to balance on something BY SELF, you will either hold your OWN hand, or better yet- hold your hair! Haha.

Papa took you and Iyla rock climbing and you both loved it:

Here you are exploring the water fountains downtown while Iyla was in theater class:

You continue to LOVE your weekly swim lessons with Mr. John! You can hold your breath for 10 seconds and swim quite far, and in the past two weeks you've also mastered your solo back float:

This is you exclaiming "oh my gosh!" when you saw a bus next to us. I'd never heard you say that before! I tried to get it on video, it was so cute.

A dinner date to Launderette with Mama:

Climbing the neighbor's fence to peek at their kitties and getting stuck on top:

We attended a morning at Free Forest School, where we hiked at Mayfield Park- climbing trees, rocks, and wading in the stream:

Weekend breakfast out with Papa, cousin Sammy, and Iyla:

Goofing around:

Amazing morning hair:

I've been loving your hair in a ponytail!

Playing the Endless Letters game on your IPad- which you LOVE! Here I caught you laying down, pants free. ; ) You still prefer to be naked if given the chance!

Trip to the Austin Zoo- you and Iyla both LOVE animals!

And a few more shots from the past month:

Happy 26 months to you, sweet girl. We love you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Eloise's First Day of Montessori!

Eloise has started at a new school too! She is now attending Iyla's old Montessori school full time.

The week prior to starting, her teachers came for a home visit and we got to spend two mornings playing in her new classroom. Eloise was happy and confident, and even went potty (both 1 and 2) on the classroom potty!

We tested out our new school supplies:

And then at last the day was upon us! Eloise cooperated for photos as well as might be expected for a 2 year old:

When we got to the school, she exclaimed "I 'cited!" and marched in like she owned the place.

She happily got to work playing on the playground with new friends:

Hoping for a great year for my sweet baby girl!