Erin Virginia

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

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.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Birthday Weekend in Duluth

I turned 35 this year, and to celebrate Chris booked two nights in Duluth so we could get away as a family. We drove up midday Friday, missed the Memorial Day weekend traffic and punctuated the two hour drive with a stop for Skittles. Our hotel was across the canal bridge so we had the opportunity to watch the bridge lift and fall to allow boat access. Overall, the weather in Duluth was the best I've experienced with Saturday temperatures in the 70s and full sunshine to sparkle the water.

Canal Bridge

Sweet Fiona

 Pictures at the city shore as a rainbow spread across the sky.

Our little photographer, Eloise, gets trigger happy with the phone, and we generally have to wrench it out of her hands, or I end up with 100 pictures. Here's a funny progression of my trying to get my phone back and then of our little stinker.

 Climbing and jumping


View from our hotel deck and the pool and hot tub which required serious coercion to force the girls to exit.

Saturday, we drove to Gooseberry Falls, walked along the water, skipped rocks, let the girls loose on the grassy trails (they took turns "leading the way"), marveled at the slowly unfurling ferns and squished toes with utter delight in muddy puddles. The girls will tell you that their favorite part of the trip was tromping in the mud.


On the drive back from Gooseberry Falls to Duluth, Chris stopped at a roadside stand to buy a pound of sugar-cured smoked lake trout and a pound of sugar-cured smoked salmon. Then after lunch, I stopped at a rock shop and picked up a few Lake Superior agates. The girls claimed their favorites, and Eloise hid hers from the bears in a bag of Cheerios.

Saturday evening, we played lawn games with the girls near the hotel and watched the sun set over the harbor.

We drove home Sunday afternoon and were very happy to have Memorial Day in Minneapolis off work and on the beach at Lake Harriet.