Friday, March 30, 2012

Weather notwithstanding

Have I mentioned before how much these kids love being outside?  We hung up our swing in our new backyard on March 13.  The weather that day was having mood swings, speaking of swings.  When we went outside it was sunny, then rainy, then sunny, and by the time we had located a swing branch, hung the swing up, and it was time to enjoy it, it was snowing.  
 Warning: cuteness overload! I know Eloise is totally adorable on her own, but every time she wears this hat. . .
 First time in the swing at the new house, right before we fled from the giant snowflakes.
 We also live within walking distance of a great big park, so we walk over a couple of times a week.  Jared believes that this is an extension of our house, and that we should be able to go every day.
 The park is a popular place for dog walkers and dog groups, so we almost always see dogs in the park.  Eloise gets very excited about dogs.  She yells, "Dog! Dog! Dog! Dog!" until I take her for a closer look.
 It has gotten warmer, and colder, and warmer again.  There have been a few days that we have ventured out without coats.  I'm not sure I like that Eloise and Jared both love our swing as much as they do.  Someone seems to end up crying every time we go in the back yard because someone else has the first turn.
 Luckily, one eleven month old can occasionally be temporarily diverted by a ride on this bike.  I don't mean to brag, but she can totally ride this all by herself, and get off without falling down.
 Of course, she would rather be swinging. . .
 I think I actually heard her say "swing" once, when she was looking out the window like this.  It was obvious what she wanted to be doing.
Right before I took this picture, a giant spider crawled over the back of the swing next to Eloise's head.  Gross!  I don't think she noticed.  
 Today we had Jared's nursery friend, Logan, over to play so his mom could get some sleep with Logan's new baby brother.  Logan seems to love playing outside as much as Jared.  He went between the bushes in our back yard and announced, "I'm in the forest!"  They also did a lot of puddle stomping.
 Ah, spring.  Today started out overcast, looked like it was going to clear up, suddenly drenched us in rain for an hour, and now it is clear and sunny.  I wonder how long this weather lasts here. We are definitely looking forward to General Conference at home this weekend, so we don't have to prepare for every type of weather.

Friday, March 23, 2012


The absolute first order of business in Jared's day yesterday was constructing a pillow fort.  He joyfully threw every pillow in our house down the stairs, and ran around in circles while I constructed the walls of the fort.  As soon as I was done, he climbed inside and proudly announced, "I built a pillow fort!"
Right, buddy.  YOU built it.  At least we all got to enjoy it.

Eloise, as usual, was primarily interested in having a dozen games of peek-a-boo every hour.  Where's Eloise?
 Boo! Or, in Eloise's words, Ngoo! (That first letter is really more of a nasalized glottal stop, but I'm probably the only one who cares whether the phonetic transcription is accurate or not).

I, being more of the boring adult type, really wanted to get some laundry put away.  I'm not sure exactly how this happened, but one minute I was schlepping around a basket full of clean, folded clothes, and the next minute I was a railroad engineer, chugging through the house with two human passengers, four stuffed animals, and a rolling cat that had rolled onto our tracks.  Jared was yelling, "Cat on the tracks!" at random intervals for the rest of the day.
 I'm glad I'm not a children's photographer.  Is there anything harder than getting two little people's attention at the same time?

 Today, at eleven months and one week old, Eloise got her teeth brushed for the first time.  She has been standing around watching us go through this morning ritual every day with awe and wonder in her eyes, so I decided to let her have a go.  She was actually quite professional about it.
 No toothbrush gnawing for this girl.  Only brushing and drooling.  She even sat still while I did a quick brushing of her four-ish teeth.  Please don't ask about how teething is going.  Someday she will have a full set of teeth and we will all be able to sleep again.  We hold onto that hope.
 Eloise is so proud to be a big girl with her own toothbrush.  I'm loving that it is warm enough for short sleeves today, so I get to adore these chubby baby arms.

Both children are miraculously sleeping at the same time today, thanks to a play date with some new friends this morning.  I obviously need to go clean my grimy mirrors and get three dozen other things done while the quiet lasts. . . and, with that, nap time is over.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Eloise has a new best friend.  It isn't her brother.  He is still taken too much for granted.  It isn't her Daddy, although he is definitely a close second.  The new best friend is her bear.
The princess loves the bear so much that "bear" was her second word, after "Daddy" or "Dadden dadden."  She says D for B most of the time, so when she talks about the bear she says, "Dare dare dare!"  She also says "Boo!" as "Doh!"
When Eloise is sad, the bear cheers her up.  Sometimes she will cry until she finds it.  She is just too cute with this bear that is almost as big as she is.
This bear was one of mine that I acquired as a preteen, I think.  I was never very attached to it, but I found it in Anni and Ryan's garage when we were there visiting.  I introduced her to the bear during a diaper change by rubbing it on her face and saying, "Bearbearbear! Grrrrrr!" while I changed her to get her to stay still.  She laughed and laughed and laughed.
I gave her a bottle after lunch today and propped her on the bear because I couldn't find her eating pillow.  I left to get Jared cleaned up from his lunch.  About thirty seconds later I heard her saying, "Dare! Dare!" She had dropped the bottle and rolled over to cuddle with/slobber on her pal.  

Jared has his own special friend in the Rabbit named Bunny.  He says, "Bear is Eloise's special friend. Bunny is Jared's special friend.  Daddy is Mommy's special friend."  

Today Eloise was playing with the bearbearbear when Jared found another, more feminine looking bear in the stuffed animal pile.  He brought it to Eloise.  "This is Mrs. Bear.  That is Mr. Bear.  Now Eloise have two bears.  Mr. and Mrs. Bear." What? I know he is officially out of toddler classification and into preschooler, but who taught him to assign titles and create couples? I am still getting used to Eloise having a handful of words.  Slow down!

I'm finding that Jared does like a lot of the same games that Eloise likes, but his version has to have an additional element.  He loves hiding under a blanket or hiding his head under any piece of cloth, but while Eloise wants us to say, "Where's the princess?" and then "Boo!" Jared wants us to say, "Where is Jared? We must have left him at the park.  We're really going to miss him around here." Then he will pop out and say, "Here I am! You didn't leave me at the park! I was under the blanket!"  He gets really frustrated when Eloise's version of the game moves so much faster than his.
Eloise's hide and seek consists of a parent hiding behind a wall and popping out over and over again saying, "Boo!" Jared's hide and seek consists of him hiding in a closet and counting to five, saying "Ready or not, here I come!" and popping out to "surprise" us.  An essential element of Jared's game is another person walking around looking for him.
Eloise puts things in her mouth to explore the world, or to teethe on.  Jared puts things in his mouth to hear mom or dad say, "Ew! That's not food!"
Jared also likes the "Bearbearbear!" game, where the bear or bunny gets rubbed on his face, but his version must also involve tickling, or getting chased and caught first.

If it looks like all we ever do around here is play, that is pretty accurate.  All laundry is folded twice, since not yet folded laundry is not as fun to fling around as recently folded laundry.  I hardly ever round a corner without popping back around to say "Boo!" to Eloise.  Vacuuming the house is a game.  Jared asks to vacuum every day because, "That would be exciting!" Diaper changes are a spectator event.  Everywhere I go in the house, I am followed by my entourage: Jared, Bunny, Eloise, and Bearbearbear, and no activity is so important that it can't be interrupted to read a story.  This is our life, and I think it's a good one.