Documenting August 2015 Another hot, sweaty August day at our favorite zoo, visiting the new tiger brothers. Lila's best buddy Ethan got a brand new ride and was kind enough to let Lila try it out driving. I've never seen two toddlers be so cautious driving, and I hope that behavior continues when they're 16! I have a cute video of the two of them yelling “stop!” and throwing their hands up every time Lila put her feet on the gas for 2 seconds. flash forward 13 years… This thing is both a blessing and a curse. Lila LOVED it so much, but she was careening out of control so much she almost knocked over a few displays (and almost a few other shoppers!). I caught these two holding hands so sweetly one morning. This is their usual set-up watching a show while I shower. Lila decorated this star for the “Starry Nights” display at the downtown library. This pup is so loved. The first signs of Eleanor's future as a climber. I had put this ottoman in front of the TV to keep her and Lila from getting too close…and on this day, Eleanor decided to climb up onto the ottoman to get even closer to her favorite “Signing Time.” And then I caught her doing this, and I knew I was in trouble. getting dirty with the finger paint I've really tried to stay pretty gender-neutral, but I've found that around 3, Lila started gravitating more towards dolls, princesses, and fingernail polish. The latter worked well as an incentive to keep her from biting her nails, which she has successfully given up on her own! This is a good ride, Mom! My puzzle genius, finishing it all by herself! Grandma Southwood came to visit mid-August and joined us at Mommie & Me First Year, which thankfully meets through the summer. Fascinated by Ms. Madalene at another M&M class With her buddies Colin, Elliot, and Maddox, all within a few weeks of Eleanor's bday, and all clearly ready to move up to the 1yo Just Movin' class in a few weeks! a cute smile for Grandma modeling some of the new clothes Grandma S. helped Lila pick out for starting preschool in a few weeks storytime shenanigans Lila always came to Eleanor's first year M&M class with us, and that continued through the summer months when she was between her schools. She was so attentive about following along with the class activities with her own baby. A very sweet big sister, and future mama! “I set up my own library and this is storytime. Has anyone read this book?” This little mischievous one was sitting on this chair for quite a long time with this smirk on her face. She was either pooping or plotting to take over the world. Finally, our precinct had “I voted” stickers this time, so we didn't have another toddler meltdown over stickers. escaping to the air-conditioned local library for a little coloring is a necessary summertime activity. Lila wrote this. I still cannot believe it. At just 3 years old! I told her the letters and she was doing such a good job of writing “I love you.” She messed up a little bit on the “Y” and got so upset she wouldn't finish it. Hmmm, is it obvious she is mine and Craig's child?! We've been trying to focus on how we all learn from mistakes and totally ban the word “perfect” from our vocabulary. We'll see if that helps or if this perfectionism thing is totally a genetic thing. We had a toddler tutu dance party and this was Eleanor's first video introduction to Olaf and Elsa, watching a couple karaoke versions of “Frozen” songs on YouTube. Of course, she knows the music VERY well, as we listen to it constantly while driving around in the van. In fact, I think it was around this age that she started requesting “Go!” (Let it Go) every time we buckled her in her car seat! I should write down here to document it that Eleanor has been incredibly verbal (and I think that's an objective statement and not just compared to where her older sister was at this age). She was saying many words at this point, very clearly. I need to try to remember them all, but I know I won't, but here's my best at a list: dada, doggie, wiwa (Lila), duck, quack, oink, baabaa, go, no, yeah, that (her favorite word when pointing at anything she wanted), up, down, please, tank you (thank you)…and many more. Unfortunately, “mama” was one of the later words she would say. She even said “Boppa” before she really started saying mama. :-( I'm convinced it's because I was always the one prompting her to say other words but no one ever really was pointing to me and saying, “mama!” haha, who knows. She even started saying her own name in such a sweet way: “El-Nor” Of course, now she is saying “mommy” so clearly and beautifully. Soon after this point around 14-15 mos old, she started putting many 2-3 word phrases together. “I coming!” “I hiding!” “Thank you!” She was totally transfixed and has been an Olaf/Elsa/Anna/“Let It Go” fan ever since. At the end of August, the USM marching band hosted an evening preview of their halftime show. Here's Craig walking around the USM campus with his girls. When the horns started playing, Lila whipped around with this expression of glee on her face. We've gotta get this girl started on some music lessons!