Thursday, August 28, 2014

Isabel is One!

Sleeping peacefully a year after her birth.
Yesterday was an incredibly calm and low key day compared to the same day a year ago.  I still haven't begun to understand the grace that we were shown the day that Isabel was born.
The only picture of Isabel on her birthday
I do know that we were prayed over, loved and supported by so many on that day and the weeks that followed.  I know that everyday we have on this earth is a tremendous gift.  My gratitude is unending.

We made pancakes at the insistence of Eloise, because all special days require pancakes. didn't plan anything in particular.  The girls and I went on our morning playground run with our running group.

Phil was home in the middle of the day, so at the direction of the two year old party planner we had a parade and a time to open presents.  Then some friends came over to play and share strawberries.

The girls ate an early dinner and were in bed before Phil came home.  So incredibly grateful for this one year old in our lives. She is joy filled and incredibly determined.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sights from a morning stroll.

From the porch of the Alexandria Visitors Center.
Is it odd that I feel Old Town is more in our reach now that we live in Alexandria's West End?  Carlyle was an awesome neighborhood to call home, but with a toddler and a baby, it wasn't sustainably walk-able to the waterfront.

This morning we dropped Phil off at work and instead of turning right back around I decided to take the girls into Old Town.  We parked at the Tot Lot on Royal and due to the need for a bathroom break ended up strolling up and down King Street before the shops opened.

Peeking in windows.
Telling jokes on stoops.
We were all fresh and full of a spirit of adventure and unencumbered by a stroller.  The girls loved looking at the fountain and dancing on the stage at Market Square in front of Town Hall.  

The best part of the adventure was that when enough was enough, we all bundled back into the air conditioning and were home ten minutes later.  While I love being car-free as much as I can, it is also really nice when August temperatures and humidity start to hit, to not have a two mile walk or jog home with two hot and sticky kids.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Eloise's first visit to the dentist!

Last Thursday was a busy day in our house!  Eloise came with me to the dentist.  While she has spent plenty of time at my dental visits over the last three years, this trip was special - it was her first check up!

A pensive patient.
 Our oldest really enjoys brushing her teeth and often asks for help flossing if she notices that she has something stuck between her teeth.  All twenty of her baby teeth have come in, and so we thought it would be a good opportunity to get a baseline exam and introduce her to what a trip to the dentist is like.  Eloise was a bit nervous as the day approached.  As we waited in the waiting room, she declared it was time to go - so it was probably just the right time to get her familiar with the experience.

Counting teeth!
 First the hygienist counted Eloise's teeth, and then she gave her a quick polish.  Eloise got to watch a video about how to brush & floss properly and then she met the dentist.  Who gave her teeth two thumbs up!

Eloise's first polish.

After the visit, I asked Eloise what her favorite part of her first dental visit.  I was expecting her to say "Mr. Thirsty" or the bag of puzzles, squeakies and tooth brushes, but Eloise surprised me by declaring that the polish was her favorite part.  "It tickled and made me laugh!"  Now to encourage her to take better care of her mouth than her mother...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Neighborhood Pool Party!

As if my children didn't enjoy their time at the pool already...

On Saturday our neighborhood hosted a pool party.  (Not to be confused with snow cone day at the pool, last Friday, or cotton candy & pizza day at the pool, this Friday.)

At the round about right outside our home they had a huge inflatable slide and bounce house set up as well as face painting in the gazebo.  Before we even hit the pool Eloise insisted on hitting the slide solo.  My brave girl climbed up to the top & wooshed down again without a moment's hesitation.  She was impressed with the speed of the slide.  It loomed so large that once Aunt Annie arrived, she was requested as a partner in crime.

Then we hit the pool for a bit.  Eloise was having so much fun that I held Isabel for a quick nap before we headed out to grab some BBQ and ice pops.  The meal was catered by Red Hot and Blue.  The girls loved the barbeque and after a rather impressive amount consumed they hit the dance floor.  Eloise won a maraca in a dance competition.  Not to be outdone by her big sister, Isabel insisted on hitting the pavement - despite her mother not having her shoes.  She's a barefoot fanatic apparently - going one step further than her minimalist parents.

After the dance party we had cherry Popsicles and a quick trip back to the pool.  By that point Isabel was protesting that so much fun could be had in one day, and so we dropped her off with Phil for a nap and Eloise once more hit the roundabout.  She got some good bouncing in and then Aunt Annie, Eloise and Mom swam in the full sized pool for a bit.

Not super surprising that Phil, Aunt Annie and I spent Sunday recuperating.  The girls on the other hand were calling for more!  Eloise and I did walk down to the farmers market.  She informed me that she could run, she just wanted to walk today (as close to an "I'm tired as I have ever gotten.").  She loves to walk the stalls and tell me what to buy.  This Sunday our haul included six ears of corn, two bagels, a pint of raspberries, a few pounds of onions, some green beans and fresh cut flowers.  Speaking of which...I had forgotten about all the fresh veggies...time to go prep dinner!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Eleven Months of Isabel

Isabel crossed the threshold from ten months to eleven months in the midst of our move.  We have come a long way in this last year, I didn't even realize the date had passed until I was a bit overwhelmed on the 28th.  As I introduce her around the new neighborhood I find myself simply deferring to her being 'nearly one.'  Nearly one. Wow. How true, and how quickly this year has gone by.

Isabel loves the seesaw and protests loudly when I stop, even after 45 minutes.
Plotting to take all of the pool toys.

In a pile of "off limits boxes" - helping me unpack things I had stashed away from the girls.
 And just like that the first year of Isabel's life on the outside is nearly in the books.  She is incredibly strong and determined.  She is larger than her sister was at 11 months and she is already outgrowing her first shoes.  She cut three top teeth while we were moving, and she is looking taller to me.

A really fun development that has begun is that she is finally waving and clapping her hands.  In typical Isabel fashion, she was a bit slow on both, but once she figured it out she isn't content to simply clap, she has to say "YAY YAY YAY" while clapping.

Eloise is very patient with her sister's shenanigans.
I am working hard to get both girls on compatible sleep schedules because when Isabel is awake, she wants her sister with her.  She has figured out how to open up the doors and will determinedly fight to get to her sister until she can climb into Eloise's bed and give her a kiss.

It has been wonderful to watch her grow close to her Dad over this last month.  She loves to go sit in his lap and cuddle.  But as quick as she is up, she is down again and looking to conquer something new.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Busy Settling In

Sorry for the prolonged silence.  We set aside the week of July 23rd - July 31st as our moving week.  We truly weren't sure that we were going to secure our new home until the keys were turned over on Wednesday morning.  I am so incredibly grateful and excited that everything worked out for us and that we are here.  Also.  Moving with two kids aged two and ten/eleven months is no joke.  Doing all of the move yourself with two kids right with you? Super crazy.

Helping with the bathroom.

Helping with the kitchen
Eloise on the deck of the truck.  Isabel in the meanwhile climbed down the loading dock stairs and was making a break for the street...
On the morning of the 31st the girls and I were removing the final load from the apartment and doing the final vacuum/carpet clean.  We turned in the keys, hustled home and switched the car seats over to my parent's car & picked up PapaToe and Aunt Annie from Dulles.

The girls' last race around the 4th floor plaza.
 Eloise has been adjusting fairly well to this change.  Our move to Alexandria last year was fairly stressful for her, and we are hoping that the quieter environment and more family friendly neighborhood will assist in the transition.  The best comment so far has been "Why are we leaving the city? I am a city kid! Now we live in the country!"

Heading up to the old apartment one last time.

The last thing I told my Dad was "Whoever comes will come solo, so we have enough room!" Famous last words.
The girls were very excited for PapaToe to have a sleep over party.  So much so that when we inflated his bed, they climbed on with blankets, pillows and stuffed animals - all ready to be three monkeys in a bed.

 We have spent the last few days getting to know the neighborhood, touring the playgrounds, enjoying the park and spending quality time at the pool.