It feels like the girls have been growing faster and faster recently! I keep asking Elle if she could please stop growing and just stay little forever for me, and she always replies, "No, mama, I'm getting bigger and bigger everyday!" Kyle trimmed her hair last night, and I was commenting that it made it her look older, so much more like a little girl, rather than a baby, so when she jumped off the chair at the end, she said, "Look daddy! I'm bigger now!" Guess she'll be requesting a haircut more often!
And Lauren seems to be more of a toddler everyday. She's already started throwing full-blown tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants (I don't remember Elle doing this until she was at least 15 months!). Every single day, she rattles the gate at the bottom of the stairs multiple times and when she realizes it's not open and she can't climb up the stairs (one of her very favorite activities), she screams and throws herself on the ground. It's really pretty funny to watch, and it's amazing how quickly she can be set off by other things too, like anytime Elle gets something that Lauren can't have (it's so tough being the second kid!). Lauren's also been walking everywhere the past few weeks, and trying to copy more words. When the doctor asked me at her check-up if she was talking, I started naming off the words she can say, which includes, "mama; dada; no, no, no; yuck; whoa; and wow." He thought it was a very interesting combination of words, but these are certainly the ones she hears the most often, since she's into everything. Yesterday morning, Lauren was "helping" me with the dishes, and every time she would throw a piece of silverware on the floor, she would yell, "yuck!" Too funny!
Elle has a number of different Georgia outfits, but she wants to wear the cheerleading outfit every week! She also insisted on bringing the "Georgia girl dolly" with her for nap time. Too cute! Hopefully we'll have a reason to cheer tonight during the LSU game!
In other news, I'm continually amazed by how different the two girls are and was reminded again at story time this morning. Curious George was visiting and Elle has been scared of dressed up characters for as long as I can remember, so she, of course, insisted on sitting in my lap, told me she did not want to see him, and told me that George was not going to say "hi" to her! Lauren, on the other hand, was soo excited to see Curious George. She kept waving at him, motioning for him to come here, trying to crawl toward him, and trying to talk to him in her 1-year-old gibberish. I left Elle with a friend while I took Lauren up to see him, and she loved petting him and had the biggest smile on her face. Too funny! It certainly makes being parent so interesting!
Today you turn three--where did the year go?!?! Although as I look at pictures and remember you from a few months ago, you seem so much older now. You are no longer my little baby; you have become my beautiful little girl. Your personality has continued to blossom, and I still LOVE to be around you because you are SO MUCH FUN! Everything in life is exciting to you, from a roly-poly on the ground to the moon in the sky. It doesn't take much to convince you that anything we do is fun; you find joy in everything, which is always a great lesson for me. You love art projects, so of course, you get excited about any projects we do at home, but we can be cleaning up toys or washing the windows, and you will get just as excited about that.
You turn everything into a song these days, and I often feel like I live in a musical. We went to the mall the other day, and when we pulled in the parking lot, you started screaming and pointing, "The mall, Mommy; look, it's the mall!" Then, when we got out of the car, you made up a song that went, "I love the mall; I love the mall, I love it when mommy, Ellester, and Lauren go to the mall!" Yes, you now refer to yourself as Ellester on a regular basis (that's your daddy's influence). Dora is your favorite show right now, and she also comes into play during these songs and make believe time. The other day I told you we needed to get ready, so we could go to the gym, and you looked at me very seriously and said, "Mommy, first we have to help baby dino find his mommy!" You were determined to finish helping Dora, and you truly believe you're vital in her missions. We went on a hike with Daddy the other day (you were in a dress and Cinderella top, of course), and you were soo excited to be in the forest, like Dora, and you kept turning the hike into a Dora episode and singing about it (first, we have to go through the forest; then over the bridge; then we can find the playground!). It's been so fun to watch your mind and your imagination work, especially as you've become better able to communicate your thoughts with us.
You have definitely developed more of an opinion on your wardrobe the past few months, and at least half the time, you are walking around with a tutu or some other dress-up item on. I just let you choose what you want, although depending on where we're going, I do try to limit your choices. But, as one of your friend's moms said the other day, "I wish I could be like Elle and make a tutu look good with any outfit." You still love to sing and dance and will often treat us to "shows"; however, you have become a lot more shy around people you don't know and will be really quiet if you realize they're talking to you or watching you. You're still pretty bossy and you try to tell me exactly where to stand and what to do in the performance. I pray that as you grow, you will always use those God-given leadership skills to lead others in the right direction.
You have matured a lot over the past year when it comes to being obedient and to being kind to your sister and others. I rarely have to put you in time-out, and you will usually apologize for things without me even asking. You have become so polite, and you say, "Please, mama" and "Thank you, mama" all the time. You have become a great big sister to Lauren, and she thinks you're just about the funniest person she's ever seen. You love to help entertain her, feed her, and pick her up (which is not my favorite thing, since you usually do this on the tile floor!). It's been amazing to see how much you love Lauren, and I'm glad your daddy and I could give you the great gift of a sister. You have so much love for others, and you have become so generous. You constantly give me and your daddy spontaneous hugs, kisses, and "I love you"s. You have definitely developed a special relationship with your daddy and ask about him throughout the day. You told me yesterday, "Mommy, I want to hang out with daddy," and that's just what you did when he got home. You love to visit him at work, and now, any time you get hurt, you will start screaming, "My daddy's a doctor; my daddy's a doctor!" I think it makes you feel better, even when he's not there to help. You are still a mommy's girl in many ways though and will usually ask for mommy to hold you or for mommy to do something. You love to cuddle and usually want me to hold you when you first wake up. I'm glad you still need that because I'm not sure I'm ready for you to stop! You love your friends too and will usually give them "big hugs" when you see them. When we're going to meet friends, you will often ask to bring treats for them or to bring a toy to share with them. As we always tell you, "Elle, you're the sweetest!"
Speaking of friends, you still have a lot of them, although not too many girl friends that you see on a regular basis. Your best friend, Coral, moved away this summer, and you definitely miss her. You still ask if she'll be at play group, and you often ask to go see her. You've become a lot more overwhelmed sometimes with play group and do not always like big crowds of kids. You get along with your boy friends really well, but I can already tell that there are times when you prefer to play with another girl, since you like a lot of girly things. Recently, one of the little boys asked you to be his girlfriend, and you said, "No," (mostly because you have no idea what a girlfriend is, which I'm really glad about!). He came and told me you were being mean to him, so he repeated the story to explain why and I just told you, "Good job!" Another one of the little boys told his grandparents that he had a girlfriend named Elle, and "she's a princess." So cute! You are our little princess, although I'm not looking forward to the day when you can really have a boyfriend!
You are a very sensitive and cautious child still, and you remember and understand everything. You have a number of fears, including animals of any kind, the dark, being left, and monsters. We will talk about something one week and you will suddenly remember and worry about it a week later. You don't really like me to leave you, and will cry even if it's only for 30 minutes at the gym. One day, I dropped you off to the inside playroom at the gym, and the teachers decided to take you all to the outside playground. When I came back you were crying and they didn't know why, but you quickly explained it to me, "My mommy can't find me; I'm lost; my mommy can't find me!" You were worried that I wouldn't know where to pick you up, since they moved you, and I can understand how that would be scary. When we're going to a friend's house where there's a dog, you will ask me all morning to call and ask them to put the dog in the garage or outside, and even after I do that, you will want me to hold you when we get there because you are worried the dog will get you. I try to be really patient with your fears because I know to you they are very real! You are sensitive about other things too. You started Parents' Day Out this month, and you love "school"! You have learned a lot more about God, and it's been a great experience for you and your independence. The other day when we were in the car, you told me, "Mommy, when I don't share, it makes Jesus cry." So, we talked about that and about being nice to others, and throughout the week, you would say, "I'm going to be nice; I'm going to make Jesus happy." It's amazing to see what a wonderful heart you have for God and for others, and I am so proud to be your mommy!
Elle, I can't believe your 3rd birthday is actually here, although I'm sure you're more excited than me. You've had an obsession with birthdays for a long time now, and will often make me a pretend cake and sing to me and make me blow out the candles. We had your party a few weeks ago, and when I asked you what the best part was, you said, "When everyone sang to me and I got to blow the candles out." I know you had been waiting for that moment! So, I can't wait to do that again today. I'm so excited to see what this next year brings for you, my precious daughter!
I know I've been neglecting this blog, but hopefully, now that we're back in a routine, since summer's over, I'll get better about posting again. I'm working on a post about both of the girls' birthday parties, but until I get that up, here are links to the albums I posted on facebook. It was a wonderful weekend!
I'm soo behind on posting, so this post has A LOT of pictures (and I'm not even including our trip to Florida!). We've had a busy month, and I'll try to catch up on all that I can remember. I decided to stop watching Sam and Noah (I've had Sam since he was 2 1/2 months old), since it was just getting to be too much, so first up are a few pictures of the last few times I had the boys in June. Elle and Sam are still such good buddies and get really excited to see each other, and they definitely feed off each other and have more energy when they're around each other. Here's Elle being goofy as always!
Sam borrowing Elle's hat:
Playing at the water table:
Elle's new favorite activity, playing doctor--She's not too fond of being the patient, but she loves to pretend she's the doctor and especially to give shots! She loves the episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse where Daisy is a pretend doctor and will sing the song to me, while she's giving me a "check-up" (i.e. "Does your knee hurt? Does your ear hurt? Then what's the matter?"). The other day, Elle fell and scraped her knee while we were taking a walk, and to help calm her down, Kyle said he would clean it up and put a bandaid on it when we got home. I told her that daddy would make it all feel better because he's a doctor. She replied, "Daddy, you're not a doctor; you're a boy!"
At the beginning of June, Kyle had his residency graduation (I'm still waiting for pictures, since I was a bad wife and forgot my camera! I was soo proud of Kyle--out of 7 awards total, he recieved 4 of them, including the award for Outstanding Resident of the Year.), so his mom and dad both came up for the ceremony. Kyle's mom even watched the girls on her birthday, so we could go to a graduation party that evening--thanks Mimi! We did have a little birthday celebration for her the next day, and Elle, of course, loved it. She's been all about birthdays for many months now and sings the birthday song to me at least a few times a week. She loves to pretend to make a cake, sing me "Happy Birthday", tell me to blow the candles out, cheer for me, cut the cake, and then have me eat it. It's a very elaborate process, and she gets really upset if you try to eat the cake before she cuts it! Anyway, the girls really enjoyed seeing Mimi and Grandpa Deano (Elle thinks he's just about the funniest person she's ever met!).
Elle's best buddy, Coral, moved away at the end of June, so we had a going-away party for her and her parents. It's only been a few weeks, but Elle asks about Coral a lot. They really were the best of friends, and I know Elle misses her, especially when we have weekly playgroups. It was sad to see her first friend leave!
My mom, grandma, and sister also came to visit at the end of June (Kyle was out-of-town at a board review course). Elle loved all the extra attention! She danced with Nana, played "wind storm" with Aunt Kaitlin, and stole jewlery from "my grandma", as she calls her. Nana even took Elle to have her nails painted at the salon and now she's hooked! As soon as her nail polish starts to come off, she will tell me that I NEED to paint them for her. She's certainly going to be a girly-girl!
These are a few random pictures from playing outside, visiting the zoo, craft-time, Lauren showing off her standing skills, the girls just being silly, and picnic time at the park. Lauren has been crawling since she was 8 1/2 months and is now into everything! She will pullup on anything she can and cruise and she's crawling fast. She already tries to reach things on Elle's highchair and even started opening cabinet doors. I'm definitely going to have to babyproof more, since Elle was never like this. Even when Elle was almost a year old, I could put her on her activity table to cruise and she would stay there--clearly, Lauren's a lot more ambitious! Elle's always been a big people person, so as long as she was being held and a part of the conversation, she was content. But, Lauren just wants to get down and explore her environment, even in places she can't do that. It's so fun to see how different these two little girls are!
And finally, here are a few shots from the 4th of July. It was a rainy day, so we didn't do much. Elle's still scared of fireworks and was even terrified of the sparklers I bought to do at home, so this was not her favorite holiday, but she sure looked cute in her red, white, and blue and as always loved to "match" Lauren. Well, there's a little update, and I'll add some videos when I get them on youtube.
I know I've been so bad about updating recently, and I plan to add a few posts soon, but I was just uploading pictures from both cameras and found this picture of the girls with nana and papa and some pictures and videos of an art festival we went to last weekend. Elle and her friend, Coral, had a blast dancing in front of this band. Elle truly cannot help but dance when she hears music, and every time the band would finish a song, she would ask if they would play another one. Needless to say, she was pretty sad when they played their last song!
I'm a little behind on posting, so I wanted to get a few things written down about the girls while I still remember! Elle's been saying so many cute things recently and she's been repeating EVERYTHING, which is really making me watch what I say even more closely! The funny thing is she won't repeat things immediately after they're said; she will wait a few days and try (key word here is "try") to use them in the correct context--so much fun to witness! One day a few weeks ago, I had a pretty frustrating day. Kyle was working; Lauren was being fussy; and Elle was being 2! So, at some point, after Kyle got home, I told him that I was really having a bad day. Well, a few days later, I was in line at the post office, trying to keep Elle from wandering off, and she looked up at me with the biggest smile and said, "Mommy, I'm having a bad day!" The lady behind us thought it was pretty funny, and I couldn't help but laugh because she thought she was being clever, but she clearly had no idea what that meant! Other things she's said recently:
"Mommy, I'm freaking out here!" while helping clean up her toys,
"You're being crazy!" said to one of her baby dolls
"Mommy, I really need to see my friends NOW," after being sick for a couple of days and not getting to see them (she is really a social butterfly--One other story...we were at the park recently, and Elle started following around a group of older girls, since she didn't have any friends with her, and since I'm not always enough of a playmate for her anymore. She would go up to the girls and say, "Come on guys, let's go on the slide together!" and they just kept ignoring her. It was really sad to watch my little girl get rejected (although I know this will happen again in her life, so I better get used to it!), but I understood them not wanting to play with her, since she's obviously younger. However, it didn't seem to faze Elle as she kept trying over and over. After a little while, we started to play one Elle's new favorite games: pretend ice cream shop, and as soon as the older girls heard us playing, they asked to join in. The huge smile on Elle's face was priceless! She was so excited to make some new friends, and I guess her persistence paid off!
Elle still loves to be the boss and I usually end up with more dress-up items on me (and those little heels are hard to walk in!) when we play pretend princess. She is also still a big drama queen and the life of the party. We went to Kyle's softball game last week, and Elle had a blast cheering him on, screaming, "Good job, Daddy!" over and over. She saw him slide into 2nd base on one of the first plays and decided to try sliding herself. So, she would throw the ball, run, and slide., then get up and say, "Yay! I did it! Good job!" Kyle said he could hear her cheering all the way in the outfield and when he looked at the stands, more people were watching her than the game.
Lauren still seems to have a mellower temperament than Elle, although she seems to have a little separation anxiety now and will cry if someone else holds her while she can see me in the room. She's been lunging forward and rocking on her hands and knees for a while now, but has yet to take off crawling. Her preferred method of moving right now is by scooting on her back, although that's usually only when she gets mad. She's been trying out some more syllables, but still prefers to say, "dadadada" and often gets really loud with her "talking" (I think she's just trying to steal a little of the spotlight from her sister!). She's such a sweet, happy baby and she does a lot of little things that remind me of Elle. She stares at strangers, or anyone really, until they'll look at her and then gives them the biggest smiles. Lauren loves to watch her sister run around and act crazy and I can't wait until they can really play together. Lauren's constantly getting comments from strangers that she's, "such a happy baby," and I think that's certainly true!
Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks:
Sweet baby Lauren:
Playing dress-up (Elle's starting to have her own fashion sense, and I usually have to give her a few options to choose from or she refuses to wear what I pick. This particular day, she was adamant about wearing her butterfly halloween costume, but I told her I couldn't buckle her in the carseat with the wings on, so we compromised on this butterfly skirt. However, she just HAD to wear a belt with it, as you can see in the picture below, so that wasn't part of the dress-up; that's what she wore out all day!):
Trying on daddy's hat:
Eating dinner (Lauren's a much better eater than Elle so far):