Erin Virginia

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fiona - 5 Years

Our sweet Fiona turned 5 years old on July 21. She is a joy to us with her hugs, kind heart and diligence. Since this last year, she has begun to read at school via the BOB books, which Montessori schools use. Next step will be chapter books. She is starting to write phonetically, and I love finding little notes from her around the house. Fiona can also count high and do simple addition and subtraction.
  • Fiona loves sparkles, jewels, ruffles and all things princess, unicorn and rainbow. She is my girly girl. I have learned reluctantly to avoid buying her clothes in dark colors or even blue or green (my favorite colors)
  • Speaking of blue and green, Fiona's eyes which were a bright blue when she was born started the process of turning hazel (like Chris'), but they didn't go all the way. Her eyes are a very unusual blue-hazel, like a beautiful stone, I tell her. 
  • Fiona takes excellent care of her sister. Eloise loves her so much and would spend every night in Fiona's bed or rummaging through Fiona's toys. Fiona is quick to share her jewelry or help Eloise learn something. I am so happy when I see the girls enjoying each other. 
  • Fiona's favorite TV shows are Sophia the First, Elena of Avalor and Peppa Pig.
  • Her favorite foods are pizza, hamburger, salad, bread and yogurt. If I offer her a bite of something from my plate that she doesn't want, she will shrug her shoulders and say politely, "No, thank you. You can have it."
  • Fiona still loves to color and paint and a rainbow almost always appears somewhere in her pictures.
  • Fiona also loves to play games, such as memory, war and candy land. She is very good at memory and can sometimes beat me even if I'm trying. 
  • She loves swimming, either at the pool, splash pad or beach. 
  • When we were at a beach with beautiful soft sand, she said, "Mom, the sand looks like cookie dust."
  • She calls dandelions that have gone to seed "blow flowers" because she loves to blow the wisps away.
  • Fiona learned how to ride her bike this summer (with training wheels) and continues to make great strides forward in going faster, turning, braking, etc.
  • For bedtime, Chris and I take turns putting her to bed and she is read two books and maybe told an oral story or sang songs. She is very easy to put to bed now. 
  • She still says a few things in a special Fiona way: "need" is still "eed" and her sound machine for nightime is a "toun" machine. 
  • Fiona sings and hums her way through the day, such that Eloise has started copying her. Sometimes they have conversations musical, operatic style. 
For Fiona's birthday, we took her to the Mall of America for rides, played outside and went out to eat at Barrio (Fiona loves the chips and guac). Then we celebrated with family the next day by meeting at a nearby park with a splash pad for an early dinner and games.

Mall of America

Birthday sucker

Opening presents

Eloise poked at the cake while Fiona was opening presents.

Playing outside with spray bottles

Party at Linden Hills Park

Fiona's Birthday Interview - Age 5

Fiona's 5 Year Birthday Interview:
  1. Who is your favorite person? Mama
  2. What is your favorite color? Pink
  3. What's your favorite television show? Sophia the First
  4. What is your favorite outfit? Pink rainbow dress with the unicorns
  5. What sport do you like best? Soccer
  6. What song do you like best? The rainbow song
  7. What is your favorite cereal? Lucky Charms
  8. Who is your best friend? Eloise
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? An artist 
  10. What is your favorite book? The fairy tale books with the fairies, princesses and mermaids
  11. What are you really good at? Painting pictures
  12. Where do you wish you could go on vacation? Africa
  13. What is your best memory? Going to the treehouse restaurant in Australia
  14. What would you buy if you had $10,000? A treehouse
  15. What food do you hate the most? Raviolis
  16. If you could have a wish, what would it be? That I could be a real princess or have a real unicorn or have a real rainbow in my room.
  17. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Strawberry
  18. What are you thankful for in your life? Our family
  19. What do you like to do with your friends? Play Hide and Go Scare
  20. What do you hope you will get to do before your next birthday? Have a day where I get to watch shows all day
Here are some recent pictures and video of our girl:


We love to explore at York Park

Fiona and her friend, Maddy


At Montessori schools, kids celebrate their birthdays with a "birthday walk" in which they walk around the sun to commemorate another year of life. After the walk, the child shows all of her friends a picture of her from that year of life.

Fiona sings a song in the doctor's office

Monday, June 26, 2017

Eloise - 3 Years

Our not-so-little-baby Eloise turned three on June 18. She doesn't tolerate being called a baby or even a little girl anymore. She is a BIG GIRL. She is day-time potty-trained and sleeps in her toddler bed. Eloise's favorite foods are grapes, hamburger, chicken, yogurt, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, red beans, cheese, apples, carrots, peas and milk. Eloise really, really loves milk. If I hand her a glass of milk, she will exclaim with delight, "Milky!" Eloise moved into a preschool room at school two weeks and has been doing well so far. She can count to 20, knows several numbers in Spanish, all of her colors, many advanced shapes and speaks very well in long sentences. She does extremely funny impressions and frequently cracks us all up. She and Fiona either play together extremely well or fight non-stop, but Eloise loves her big sister with devotion. Fiona watches over her at their shared playground time outside (hours during the school day) and lets her sit on her lap at church during Sunday school story time.

June 30th 3 year check-up stats: Height is 65th percentile. Weight is 67th percentile.

  • She says "Them are" or "them is" intend of they or he/she. For example, she will say, "Them is really nice." Except the "th" is a "d" sound so it's really "Dem is." I love it.
  • She tells us often that she loves us and gives us tight squeezes. I so love this stage of holding her and feeling her little cheek against mine. We say to her, "Sweet 'wheeses' sweet cheeks." 
  • She has lots of nicknames: "Weese," "Weezy," "Eloisey," "Weeses Pieces (like Reeses Pieces)." I was so determined not to call her Ella or Elle since that nickname is popular for so many little girls lately that she ended up with some funny ones. Sometimes Chris calls her "Louie."
  • Chris calls her "coconut." When were were in Rome earlier in the year, Eloise kept referring to a peninsula on the river as "coconut island." Chris couldn't figure it out until she finally told him it was because of the coconut trees (palm trees) that she saw there.
  • The kids learn a little saying at school that goes, "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit." Eloise is very into potty language so likes to say, "You get what you get, and you don't throw poo-poo." We have to try hard not to laugh and to look stern instead.
  • We play the Give me Five game. When Eloise holds out her hand, she says, "Give me a five. Up on the side. Down low. Too slow."
  • Her favorite joke: "Knock, knock. Who's there? Banana pants. Banana pants, who? Ice cream." Then she laughs hysterically.
  • Lately, she has been playing a game in which she puts us in a closet on time-out. She will tell us why we are are on time-out and shut the closet door. Today, I told her through the door, "I'm sorry," and she told me back, "You still need to think about what you did so you need to stay there." Ouch.
  • Sometimes when Chris or I are coercing her to try to cuddle with us, she will walk away, turn around and say, "Now you're all by yourself. You're all by yourself."
  • Eloise doesn't ask permission to do anything. I'll come outside, and she has turned on the water to the hose and is filling a bucket. Or she has figured out how to open a container of bubbles. Somehow she has already bought into the mindset of it's easier to to apologize than to ask permission.
  • Eloise loves watching Peppa Pig to the exclusion of almost anything else.
  • She will tolerate painting or coloring with Fiona, but she paints mostly with black. Fiona has been working with her to color in rainbows, which is apparently very important for little girls.
  • When Eloise wakes up in the morning, she wants to eat right away, regardless of what time she wakes up. She loves cereal most of all.
  • Eloise still loves dinosaurs, bears, sharks, etc.
  • Her favorite book are Olivia books and Bible stories.
  • She frequently fills the car with songs, such as Farmer in the Dell or 7 Days in the Week. She is a loud presence.
  • Eloise has a wonderful laugh, almost an ongoing squeal that forces a smile out of anyone listening.

For Eloise's birthday, on the 17th we brought sandwiches, snacks and cupcakes onto Jamie's boat with Jamie, Varsana and Malia and my parents. Rob and Allison rendezvoused with us on their boat in St. Alban's Bay on Lake Minnetonka. We had a really fun time jumping off the top of Jamie' boat, floating in the water and shooting water guns. On the 18th, we spent a relatively quiet day at home as a family (it was also Father's Day), explored along the creek, played at the park, and Eloise opened her presents from Chris and me. Her big gift this year was a more advanced scooter, along with books and a dinosaur nightgown.

Pictures from the boat party

Blowing out a birthday candle

On June 18


Rustic swing by the creek. It made me feel better that the girls still had on their helmets.


Lastly, Eloise underwent a treatment at the dermatologist for mellescom, and I've been wrapping her arm over a sore spot. She had her family sign her "cast."

Eloise Birthday Interview - Age 3

Eloise's 3 Year Birthday Interview:

  • Who is your favorite person? Fiona
  • What is your favorite color? Blue
  • What's your favorite television show? Peppa Pig
  • What is your favorite outfit? My bear dress
  • What sport do you like best? Soccer
  • What song do you like best? Baby Bluebird
  • What is your favorite cereal? Raisin Bran
  • Who is your best friend? Clara
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Be an artist
  • What is your favorite book? Olivia
  • What are you really good at? Cleaning up (yeah, right)
  • Where do you wish you could go on vacation? The beach
  • What is your best memory? Nothing
  • What would you buy if you had $10,000? Peppa Pig toys
  • What food do you hate the most? Broccoli
  • If you could have a wish, what would it be? Peppa Pig
  • What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla
  • What are you thankful for in your life? My family
  • What do you like to do with your friends? Play
  • What do you hope you will get to do before your next birthday? Get more Peppa Pig stuff
Here are some pictures and video of our funny girl.

Classic firetruck response

Chris and I try to get Eloise to sing this song to us all the time.

Being silly about the Peppa Pig opening

Eloise, especially, loves to yell along to Adele.