Saturday, June 18, 2011

Little Princesses

Eloise turned two months old on Thursday.  I'm overwhelmed with baby cuteness when I see our little princess's face every morning.  The cuteness is compounded by Jared following me to her cradle and imitating mommy saying, "Hi, pih-tess!"
Eloise now weighs 11 lbs. 1 oz. (50th percentile), is 23 inches tall (75th percentile), and has a head circumference of 40.5 cm (90th percentile).  She got three shots and an oral vaccine which she took very badly.  She had a fever all afternoon, which meant a lot of screaming.  The screaming was very out of character for our little girl.
As the newness of her world wears off, Eloise has turned into a very calm baby.  She is very patient with all of us, even when she is hungry or tired.  With rare exceptions, Eloise is a champion sleeper, too.  Even on bad nights she always sleeps at least one five hour stretch.  Last night she slept from 10:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. without waking.  My hero!
Isn't she lovely? Her eyes are turning blue, blue, blue.

On June 11, Jared and Eloise got a new cousin.  Peyton Elizabeth Knight was born to Justin, Marie, and big sister McKenzie.  Congratulations Knights! We can't wait to meet her.
Peyton and Eloise are closer in age than any of their other cousins.  They are going to be great friends. I am excited to have so many adorable little girls in our family.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bobble Me!

We have always loved and adored Jared, but as he approaches the age of two, he has gotten really, really fun.  He mimics voices and actions, puts surprising strings of words together, and does funny things to get our attention.  One of his favorite games is "hide."
I can't see him.  Can you?  Of course not.  His eyes are closed.  Soon he will open them and say, "Boo!" or "Surprise!" or "Ta-dah!" And then he will laugh and laugh and laugh.
And then he will say, "Mom's turn!"  I am supposed to fit into the cupboard just as easily as he does.  After all, when we ask Jared how old mommy is, he says, "Jared one.  Mommy two.  Daddy three,"  so why not?

A few days ago I heard Jared playing in his room.  He was talking to himself, as usual, so I tuned in to hear him say, "Jared IN dump truck!"  This is what I found.
Who needs a bike or a scooter when you are just the right size to ride the dump truck?

Jared is a model older brother.  He loves to swing toys in front of Eloise's eyes, sing "Twinkle Twinkle" to her, pat her back when she needs to burp, and supervise her diaper changes and baths. Occasionally, though, having a high maintenance little baby around makes him a little jealous.  About a week ago I had swaddled Eloise and was rocking her in our rocking chair to settle her down for a nap.  Jared brought me a blanket and said, "Bobble me! Bobble me! All done, baby Eloise."  I didn't understand what he wanted, so he kept repeating, "Bobble me! Bobble me!"  Finally he said, "Bobble me, rah-ring chair," and I understood.  He wanted me to swaddle him, and then rock him in the rocking chair.  Once I understood him he was happy to wait patiently for me to be done with Eloise.  It was difficult, since the blanket he brought me was approximately half the size of the one I had used to swaddle Eloise.
I love that he still wants to cuddle, even if the "bobbling" doesn't work out very well.

We often find Jared pouncing on spaces that Eloise has just vacated.  If she is on a blanket on the floor and we move her, Jared will take her place on the blanket.  When we get her out of the bouncy seat, Jared says, "Jared turn!" Sometimes he has to squeeze into a space that is a little bit small for him to keep this up.  Here he is about as far into her carseat as he fits.
Actually saying cheese and looking at the camera at the same time!  This is a photo in a million.

I may be feeling especially benevolent toward Jared today because we took Eloise to the doctor's office for a checkup and he actually stayed in the chair I put him in in the exam room for the entire visit.  Not one single drawer of medical supplies was emptied.  Jared is generally very obedient, but anyone who has ever spent any time with a child who is almost two knows that this is nothing short of a bona fide miracle.  Even when the miracles are less forthcoming, though, Jared fills our days with sunshine.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Out Balcony

Jared LOVES to play outside.  We have been waiting impatiently for warm weather to finally arrive so that we could really go out to play.  Yesterday, finally, it arrived.  We went to Ryder Park by the bay in the afternoon because I thought Jared would enjoy seeing ducks and running in the grass.  Of course I completely forgot that Ryder Park has fountains.  If I had remembered to bring a change of clothes for Jared, he would have shunned the fountains, but since I forgot the change of clothes and remembered the sand toys, he avoided the sand and ran straight into the water. "All wet, mommy! All wet!"  Yes, I am that classy mom who brings her child home from the park without pants.
He didn't want to wear the wet shirt either, but leaving him in just his sandals, hat, and sagging diaper was too much even for my low standards of toddler modesty.  At least I had sunscreen, so his little legs didn't get burned.  Eloise is still officially a newborn until tomorrow, so I have an excuse to be scatterbrained, right?

Speaking of our little princess, Eloise, who was starting to get into a more normal baby routine, has reversed night and day for the past two days.  She has been waking up only to eat in the daytime and making nights a little bit miserable for us.  I decided to devote today to keeping her alert and entertained during the day so that we can get her back on track.  The gorgeous sunny weather remains, though, so after spending most of the morning going between plunking on the piano and pressing his nose against the windows in every room in the house hoping that I will get the hint and take him outside, Jared finally came to me with a compromise.  If we can't go to the park (a trip that would certainly lull Eloise to sleep), at least we can go "Out balcony!"  He brought me his sandals and out we went to blow bubbles on the balcony.
Here is Eloise enjoying the outdoors.  She looks sleepy, but she was fascinated watching Jared, and actually stayed awake outside for an hour and a half.  I'm excited for sun dress weather! Eloise has a closet full of sun dresses given to us by optimistic friends and neighbors.  I hope the good weather lasts long enough for her to wear each of them at least once before she outgrows them.
Jared was having a great time in the hot sun trying to blow bubbles until some men showed up to clean the drain in our parking lot.  Then bubbles were abandoned for a front row seat for drain cleaning.
  The drain cleaners have never had such an appreciative audience.  Jared applauded every time they turned on their high powered hose, and pointed in speechless fascination at each new piece of equipment that came out of their van. Speechlessness is rare for him.
He was so absorbed in drain cleaning that he refused to come inside for lunch, so I made him a picnic and moved him out of the sun.
He was still too distracted to eat until the drain cleaners took their lunch break.
I look forward to the day when we can have a yard to play in, but such a spectacle of heavy machinery is rare in a private yard.  For now I think we can be happy playing "out balcony."


Several weeks ago I was horrified to discover that Jared could not remember what a picnic is. Evidently we have been doing a little bit too much sitting around our house over the last several months.  Jared is getting a little too familiar with Youtube and losing touch with nature.
We do make frequent trips to the park, but the extra effort to pack up some food started to seem daunting while I was pregnant.  Picnicking is one of our favorite things to do, though, so we decided it was high time to take mealtime outdoors.
Unfortunately, at about the same time, the weather in the bay area decided to get windy and bitterly cold.  Undaunted we packed up our food and headed for the San Mateo hills.  What we were not prepared for was the wind off the ocean and the fog that came rolling in while we were in the shade of the sequoia trees.
Eloise, wrapped up in her triple thick sweater and blanket made by Grandma Knight, was the only one of us who wasn't frozen solid, and she slept through most of her first picnic.  We enjoyed the outdoors long enough to spread out our picnic and take a few bites.
Then we discovered another great use for our new minivan: a wind-free picnic zone!  We managed to have a great time in spite of the weather, and Jared has been asking for "more picnic!" almost every time we get in the car ever since.  Maybe next time we can manage to convince him that picnicking is about enjoying nature, not eating in the car.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sleep, baby

Once upon a time there was a night when Eloise slept for 10 consecutive hours, giving her mother her first 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep of 2011.  She then proceeded to take a two and a half hour morning nap.  I was so energized by a full night's sleep that I got all of my chores for the day done in the first hour, leaving me free to read stories to Jared.  Inspired and instructed by Curious George Rides a Bike by H.A. Rey, we turned our story time into a more hands-on experience.
What Curious George didn't tell us is how fast a beautiful newspaper boat turns into a soggy newspaper shipwreck when its skipper is not quite two.

 I love these little faces.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time Out, please

As much as we would have liked to relax and take a break to enjoy our new bundle of joy, life has a tendency to steam onward.  In our case, life sort of steamrolled us.  When we brought Eloise home from the hospital, Jared was recovering from a long cold.  Of course our sleep deprivation and stress during her first week home made us all vulnerable, and soon all of us were suffering through a slow moving virus, including Jared, who caught another cold as soon as he recovered from the first one.  As interminable as the cold seemed at the time, it passed in a couple of weeks.    Just when we were all sure that we were going to live through the virus, Todd had an accident with our stroller while pushing Jared to the park and broke his toe.

It hasn't all been bad, though.  We have had this little face to delight us. 
After our newborn experience with Jared, Eloise has us confused with her alertness, long stretches of wakefulness, occasional ability to roll over, and preference for falling asleep unassisted. 

On May 12, Grandma and Grandpa Knight came for a visit. They couldn't wait to meet their fourth granddaughter. We were pretty excited to see them, too.  About an hour after they got off their plane, we went to Mountain View for Pre-K day at Google.  Jared was really excited for the petting zoo. During the whole half hour drive down, Jared kept chanting, "Here we come, Google! Here we come petting zoo!"  The actual petting zoo ended up being a pen full of harassed guinea pigs, ducks, chickens, goats, and rabbits, and a very patient little burro, which Jared poked in the eye. 
Here's a picture that makes it look like Jared was actually interested in the animals when he finally got into the pen. The reality is that he was distracted by the crowd of onlookers, and had to be continually reminded that the animals were there.  I think, in this picture, he is actually reaching for the bucket of garbage. 
Unfortunately, Grandpa didn't see the drop off for a ground level fountain that had been drained for the event, and he fell in, wrenching his back.  Grandma and Grandpa waited a few days for him to start feeling better, but when he didn't improve, they ended up cutting their trip short by a few days and leaving on Wednesday, May 18, in the morning.  Fortunately he didn't break any bones, and he was still able to participate in Eloise's blessing on May 15. My step aunt, Jenny, also came from Pacifica for the blessing. 
And here is our growing family.  Thanks, Cheyenne, for the beautiful baby blanket! Eloise always looks classy when I carry her around in it.
I think we look pretty good, but I'm a little biased.   Does anyone else think that the narrow baby headbands make little girls look like bald flappers?

 We were sorry to see Grandma and Grandpa leave, and sorry that they weren't able to enjoy their visit more.  Jared and Eloise enjoyed some bonding time with Grandma while she was here.  Eloise discovered that she and Grandma have a lot in common. 
Eloise's first on-purpose smile was for Grandma and Daddy on May 16, the day she turned one month old.  I think her smiles always look like she is laughing at some joke that the rest of us don't get.  
Now that Grandma and Grandpa are home and recovering, we are all healthy, and Eloise is growing like a newborn baby should, life is starting to get into a new groove.  Now, finally, we can try to relax.  We are discovering, though, that our two children have us outnumbered.