Saturday, August 29, 2015

Letter to Eloise: Year 3

Dear Eloise,
The moment that you walked into the hospital the morning after Preston was born you looked so much older to me.  I blinked my eyes and did a double take because I kept thinking,  "Wait, where did my little Eloise go?" I guess that moment was just a foreshadowing of what's to come - my little Eloise is becoming a little girl.  Gone are the days of #todderlife,  we are embarking on the new territory of #threenager.  You are the most independent, creative, funny, sensitive, dramatic, determined, and sweet little lady.  As Grandma Karen says about you all the time, "You are amazing!"

Most of the time, I don't think you are actually trying to be funny but you make me laugh multiple times every day.  After sneezing the other day, you told me, "Mommy, I need to go to the doctor because I sneezed.  My tummy hurts too and I need to go to doctor.  My tummy hurts right here (lifts up dress and points to tummy) hurts all the way to my bones."  I'm sorry that I laughed at you when you told me this but it was too funny.  Part of what makes you so funny or dramatic is the conviction you have when you speak and the flare for dramatics you have most of the time.  At the end of the day, I'm blown away by your creativity and imagination.  Whether you are playing by yourself or with others, your imagination shines through.  We love to watch you play with your My Little Pony characters and hear the stories that you come up.  I affectionately refer to this as the "Telenovela" in your head.  Your story lines have some real drama and emotion.  You could win an Emmy with the struggles you have these ponies going through!  Sometimes you will get very upset about something and when I ask more questions about what is going on, it's hard to tell if you are caught up in one of your little scenarios or if there is really something wrong.  The best is when you tell me, "I'm mad about you" or "I'm mad about everybody."  After a few probing questions, I normally figure out that there is nothing really wrong in real life.  Haha. 

It should be no surprise to us that you are a big talker given that who your parents are.  You love talking about your friends, what you did at school, and repeating back "lectures" that you have heard.  Sometimes, you even give us reminders about life's important lessons...

"I'm not going to pee in the pool.  It will turn the water blue and everyone will know you peed in the pool.  You have to tell your mommy or your daddy if you have to go potty.  If you pee in the pool, it will be all dirty."
"You can't poop in underwear."
"You have to spit out the toothpaste.  You can't eat it.  It is not candy."
"You're not a good driver Mommy. You drive too slowly.  Daddy drives fast.  Boys drive fast.  Girls drive too slowly."
"Preston does not have teeth.  He can't have snack yet.  When he has teeth, he can have snack.  Not my snack."

"You are NOT my best friend."  - Thanks for the reminder to have good parenting boundaries.

In addition to being a big talker, you have become quite the singer.  I'm sorry that we treat you like a clown some days and request that you sing various songs.  Your Daddy is proud that he taught you the Chicago Bears fight song.  All those nights of singing you that song during bath time paid off!  The best part is when you just start singing a song that you learned at school on your own.  Many times the lyrics are a little off and sometime transition to another song but if GLEE and Pitch Perfect taught me anything it is that "mash-ups" are what all the cool kids are doing.  You love your bedtime songs and request no less than 3 songs.   You have come up with your own names for many of the songs we sing and sometimes request songs that I have never heard of.  I always try to wrap up with "You Are My Sunshine"  but sometimes you are able to get one more out of me.  I can easily say No to many of your requests but it's almost impossible to say No to the cute little blonde girl asking her Mommy for one more song.  You won't always think that I have the best voice so indulge you, I will.  
Just like every kid your age, we are living in a constant state of "Why?"  Lord help me.  I can't even say, "I don't know" because you follow that up with "Why don't you know?"  I have tried to flip the questions on you a few times just to break up the constant "whys" but somehow we always manage to come right back to it.  If you aren't asking why, you are asking "what?"  The best part is when you notice something that another person is doing and you say, "What's that guy doing?" When your Daddy & I were arguing about something you asked me, "What is Daddy trying to tell you?"  Seriously.  If that doesn't make you take a breath in an argument, what else would.  Ah, kids.  As you can imagine, you have a lot of questions about Preston.  When is going to get teeth?  When is he going to have hair?  When is he going to turn into a girl?  What is he trying to say? What is he doing? Why is he crying?

Speaking of Preston, you have taken on the role of big sister with such grace.  You were so excited when you got to meet him for the first time.  When I think back to those first moments with Preston, you meeting him was one of the most precious moments of my life.  Seeing my two babies together was more than I could have ever hoped for.  I can picture that sweet smile you had on your face when you saw him like it just happened.  You really loved him from the moment you knew he was coming.  That love has grown more every day.  We really did luck out when it came to your jealousy.  Whether it was keeping you in your routine or making an effort to do extra special things with you, you have handled this big transition very well.  My favorite time of day with you & Preston is when I bring him in your room in the morning to wake you up.  You've never been a morning person but somehow you are the sweetest angel when you see him.  You instantly give him a smile followed by a little snuggle and maybe even a kiss.  For Preston, you are like the Sun to him.  He will continue to look up to you as the years go by.  Thank you for always looking out for him and making sure that he is okay.  No one gives him his pacifier or gets down on the floor and plays with him faster than you do. 
Just like your mama, you are a creature of habit.  You love your routine.  Every morning, you come into our bed and watch My Little Pony videos on YouTube.  It's become your thing.  Gone are the days of wanting to watch cartoons on the TV.  You'd rather toggle between 100s of My Little Pony videos and those weird videos of some lady opening toys.  When you get dressed in the morning, you almost always insist on wearing a dress.  While I do your hair, you brush your teeth and start the chatter of the day.  The final touch includes putting on your makeup or "lipasticka" - your chapstick.  Even during the summer months, your school keeps a consistent routine for the kids and you really enjoy it.  Being in preschool has exposed you a whole new set of routines.  You love doing the calendar at school and practicing the days of the week.  One of the things you love most about Preschool is the job you get every week.  For a gal who loves routine, this is right up your alley!  You've had all the jobs by now yet I'm pretty sure your favorite is the line leader.  No surprise!  As your Auntie Lo would say, "She's gonna run things one day."  I think part of the reason that you enjoy having a routine is because of your great memory.  I think you like recalling the details of how things are done and repeating it.  It blows my mind how you remember things.  Gone are the days of being able to trick you into doing something or trick you that we will do something "later" or tomorrow.  I've learned that hard way that you will remember those conversations and recite back my own words to me.  I believe this is where my mom would say, "Karma!" because I was the same way. 

I truly can't believe another year has gone by and we are celebrating your 3rd birthday.  Didn't we just meet for the first time when the doctor plopped you on my chest and you looked into my soul with those big blue eyes?  Didn't you just say Mama for the first time?  Don't worry, I know that you are becoming a little girl more and more every day and I love it.  But, I hope you always ask for one more song at bedtime, one more kiss at school drop off and one more picture together.  Happy 3rd Birthday to my big Eloisey.  


Friday, August 28, 2015

Baby Face Friday: 16 Weeks

When I clicked the monitor screen on this morning, I saw that my little ninja baby had gotten one of his arms out of his swaddle sleep sack. I knew this day was coming where he wouldn't want to be swaddled anymore.  For me, swaddling is one of the last things that makes them seem like a newborn or a little baby.  Looks like it's time for jammies & a regular sleep sack!  Not gonna lie, I love seeing kids in footed pajamas so I'm kind of excited about this transition too.  Hope my rock star sleeper doesn't freak out with his new found freedom from the swaddle. 

These 2 pictures pretty much sum up their dynamic.  Eloise is always "showing" Preston her big girl stuff and he is always anxiously waiting for her to notice him. 

Preston adores his Great Grandma.  She is his favorite whistler!

I introduced chew toys to Preston this week since he seems to want to "eat" everything he can get into his mouth.  Thanks to Aunt Anita he has some nautical-themed chew toys!
It's officially official that Preston is rolling over. He's better at going from back to front- just like Eloise was. It's so funny to watch him try to roll over either way. I just want to cheer him on and scream, "you can do it!" when he's teetering back and forth. 

We are gearing up for Eloise's birthday week as the celebrations begin right after school today.
Look for some fun birthday posts next week!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Baby Face Friday: 15 Weeks

As evidenced by the photo above, Preston has discovered how delicious his hands are.  It's rare these days to not find him sucking on his fingers and trying to stick his hands as far into his mouth as he can.

Preston has become an avid reader in the last week.  And by reading, I mean chewing on his fabric books.
After a few straight weeks of having to hold/bounce Preston on my lap during dinner time, I decided that he is over sitting in his bouncy seat during meals.  Even though sitting together leads to great selfies, I knew he needed a change.  I got back out the high chair and reclined it slightly but he is still eye level with all of us at the kitchen table.  He loves it!

His neck and back are getting stronger every day which is helping with distaste for Tummy time.
Grandma Karen (aka Grandma Carrots) was able to sneak a visit with Preston during the week. 
Just like his big sister, Preston has LOTS to say.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Baby Face Friday: 14 Weeks

Preston officially started daycare on Monday.  He had a great first day!  As busy as I am at work, I still managed to hustle down there to see him and feed him his "lunch."  I got a great report from his teacher and it put a smile on my face when I saw that she wrote in his journal that he is a "happy & patient baby." I haven't been able to make down the rest of the week but I know he is in good hands.
I can't tell you how great it is to have both kids at the same place.  Since Preston is in the same infant room that Eloise was in, she feels very comfortable with the teachers and popping in for visits.  She promises me every morning that she is going to "check on him" while I'm at work. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

California Love

Eloise & Preston got to spend a lot of time with their Aunt Patti & Uncle Dan from San Diego over the past month or so.  They had so much fun and can't wait to do it again.  It takes a lot to make it into Eloise's little world and we can say with confidence that you two have made it.  You know you are official when you are on the list of people that she asks about at bed time.  We love you!

Thanks for...
Water Skiing around the pool
Playtime with Ponies
Splashing in the pool
Visits to the Nail Salon
Hugs & Kisses

A special song for Uncle Dan & Aunt Patti

Eloise & Preston

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Baby Face Friday: 3 months

Preston Bradley is 3 months old!  3 months is that magical age where all of the sudden you no longer have a newborn as your baby is now considered an infant.  Preston is such a sweet boy that I know he will win over everyone at daycare when he starts on Monday.  He currently weighs 14lbs and is growing like a weed.  God help me when he is a teenager!  He is wearing 3-6mo and 6mo clothes.  Many of the 3-6mo clothes are on their way out as the days go by.  Preston was very busy this month and had many firsts.  He went on vacation, took a boat ride, went swimming, got Baptized & met his California family.  The best part is that he did everything with a sweet, gummy smile!
Preston Loves...
Being held to stand up.  He's got strong legs and he likes to use them
Sitting upright and looking around
Watching Eloise
Wubbanub Monkey pacifier
Being swaddled at night and nap time...these days are limited
Taking Baths and kicking his feet
Being whistled to
Looking at himself in the mirror
Preston Doesn't Like...
Tummy time
Long car rides
Mommy going back to work

Photo Highlights from Month 3
Preston & Great Aunt Patti
Preston & Great Grandma Fitz