Monday, March 10, 2014

Eloise's First White Dress

These pictures of Eloise reminded me of one of my dad's favorite poems, "My Three White Dresses".  On my wedding day, he had my mother read this poem during his toast. He would have read it himself, but he knew he would get too choked up to get the words out. Now it's my turn to get choked up as I look the pictures of my sweet little Eloise in her first white dress. 

My Three White Dresses:

My mom bought me a white dress,
Not red or pink or blue.
She said it was a special dress
Like very other few,
There has been just one before,
A dress now put away,
That I wore some time ago
Upon my blessing day.
As a little baby clothed In my first white dress, 

My dad held me in his arms,

There to name and bless.
So pure and clean was I just then,
With time to grow and learn
About the Father's plan for me.
My glory I must earn.

Now I've reached the age to judge
The wrong road from the right,
And I am here to be baptized
In this dress of white.
So once again I'm free from sin.
The path is clear to me.
I'll grasp the rod and hold on tight, I vow with certainty.
Just as mud would stain my dress,
Sin would stain my soul.
The key is to repent or bleach,
For whiteness is my goal.
And if I try my very best,
Then richly blessed I'll be,
Wearing inside God's holy house
White dress number three,
So today I make this pledge:
I'll strive to choose the right,
Through this sacred baptism ordinance
In my second dress of white. 
(Linda Gay Perry Nelson, 1993)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Eloise: 2 Months

These last two months have been a happy blur! I wish time would move as slow as it did when I was pregnant.

Eloise is particular. When I listen to her cues, she is a perfect little angel, but when I get distracted (which is often with a toddler) then she turns into quite a bossy little thing.  If I don't put her down for a nap or bed right when she needs to be, then those little eyes get wide and she takes a long time to settle back down and go to sleep.

Eloise is determined. When she is in your arms, she lets you know how she wants to be held.  She wants her head to be turned a certain direction (usually to the left) and she often struggles against you until she is cradled (parallel to the ground).

Eloise is strong. She is quite skilled at pushing up on her arms and lifting up her big head so she can look around.  When she was four weeks old she was laying on her tummy and was not happy about it. I was about to pick her up when she quite deliberately rolled herself onto her back (at least it seemed deliberate to us, she hasn't done this since).

Eloise is happy. She gives me the most beautiful smiles and make cute little noises. We are pretty happy too!

Little girls are the best!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yesterday's Outtakes

Yesterday I posted some pictures of the girls with their Minnie dolls.  I had quite a struggle getting them and two dolls in the frame at the same time.  I also wanted to get a few cute picture of Penny and Eloise together. 

As I was trying to get them set up on the chair, I caught this lovely sister moment with my phone:
Penny had no intention of sitting and holding Eloise:
I tried to bribe Penny with fruit snacks but that didn't work and so I resorted to this:
Little Bear was playing on my phone and while holding it up with one had and holding the camera with the other I was able to get Penny to sit still and sort of look in my direction:
Penny did look away long enough to help Eloise replace her binky. The binky that she ripped out in the first place and then proclaimed "oh no!"
In this one, I had set down the phone next to Penny on the couch for a minute. Penny was trying to watch the show and replace the binky.  She kept looking back and forth between Eloise and Little Bear:
But it's pictures like this one that make the struggle all worth it:
Penny kissed Eloise then rested her head on her chest. She is very affectionate towards her little sister, but it is rare that I can get a good picture of it. I can't always pull out my camera but that's probably a good thing. The pictures are nice to have but sometimes a camera can get in the way.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I Love You Mom

When I became a mother a year and half ago, my mom became a grandmother.  No one loves your babies like their grandma. It makes me so happy to see my mother love and enjoy my girls as much as I do. My mom is so gentle and patient with them.  I have thought a lot lately about how much I  enjoyed visiting my grandmas' houses as a little girl. Yesterday I stumbled upon a cassette tape that my "Kitty Grandma" sent to me and my sisters. She recorded herself reading books to us and send the tape along with the books so even though we lived far away she could still read to us. My "Doggy Grandma" never let me win at cards! I credit my love of a competitive game of cards to her tutelage.  As well as a love for the game of Yatzee, which most people refuse to play with me!

These last few weeks since having Eloise, I have really needed my mom.  She has been at my house countless hours whenever I have asked. I cannot express how grateful I am for this. It has taken me a lot longer to heal from this C-section. My two girls have kept me very busy with little downtime to rest during the day. My first week home my mom came over everyday and helped. She drove me to doctors appointments, watched my girls so I could take a nap and let me chat her ear off.  

The morning of Eloise's birth, we found out that Andrew's grandmother had passed away.  A few hours later Eloise was born. The funeral was the following weekend. I thought about trying to go but decided that I was not healed enough yet and Eloise was too little to be around so many people. I urged Andrew to go without me and in the end he went to Washington with Penny.  My mother lovingly agreed to spend the weekend with me. I can't remember the last time I was so well taken care of. On top of keeping my house in order and my belly full of yummy food, she got up with Eloise in the night and walked and rocked her so I could sleep. 

A few days ago my mom came over again with Valentine's Day goodies for us and and the girl. She got Penny and Eloise cute Minnie Mouse dolls. She asked me for a picture of the girls with them, so mom, these are for you!

Mom, I love you so much.  Thank you for being so selfless. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One Month

This first month with Eloise in our family has been such a joy! Penny has shown nothing but love for her little sister.  She rarely passes her with out saying, "Hi baby!" and giving her a kiss or two.  She is a great little helper with diaper changes and loves to give Eloise her binky.  The first week home, Penny got really into swaddling.  Nothing in our house was safe from being wrapped up.  There was the usual, dolls and stuffed animals, but I also watched her attempt to swaddle a ball, the tv remote, and all of her bath toys.
Penny did struggle a little with the loss of some of my attention during the day.  To help, I try and spend one on one time with her in the morning before her long afternoon nap.  We like to color, read books, play with stickers, make cookies, paint our nails, and play with her toys.  It will be nice when we can get out of the house more.  

Because of my C-section, I am not supposed to lift Penny for the first six weeks.  I think that might be the hardest thing for both of us.  She has pretty much accepted that I am not going hold her and is satisfied with climbing into my lap or getting a hug from me instead. I think she waits until Andrew comes home and then lets out all of her frustration on him.  The late afternoon to evening is a rough time for Penny, and it's been worse lately.  Penny expects Andrew to pack her around all night and melts down anytime she doesn't get her way.  Obviously, she can't always have her way so we are trying to gently work on that.
I have loved having a tiny baby again! I think she is just now catching up to Penny's birth weight so in someways I feel like I am getting to draw out the newborn stage this time around! I also feel like I am experiencing more of the lack of sleep than I did the first time around.  Penny is and always has been a champion sleeper.  I think she still sleeps more hours in the day than a lot of newborns.  Right from the start, Penny would give us one very long stretch of sleep at night, usually around 6-8 hours (try not to hate me too much!) She would just about sleep through the night from day one.  I think it was a combination of being a big baby and naturally being a good sleeper.
Miss Eloise, by all normal standards, is still a good little sleeper, albeit a noisy sleeper! She is picky about her sleep and snorts and grunts all night long.  Poor Andrew is a very light sleeper and is really suffering and I am still in some pain from my surgery and struggle to get comfortable. We are both ready for Eloise to have her own room, but that's not a possibility right now and I think I should wait until Eloise is sleeping a little longer before I try and put the girls in the same room so we are stuck with her for now!
Despite my poor sleep, having Eloise in our home has brought me such an added measure of joy.  Two under two is not easy, but I don't think I have ever felt more fulfilled. Nothing compares to the newborn smell and the tiny little clothes.  I can hardly keep from kissing every inch of Eloise's little head! I just want to snuggle and breath her in every chance I get!  By far the best part has been watching Penny interact with Eloise.  I cannot get enough of my girls!