2.5 Years Old

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Elin just turned 2.5 years old last Sunday!  Before we know it she will be 3 years old. Somehow the 2s are flying faster than the 1s!  She is such a happy and smart little girl.  She loves to sing and dance.  When she gets in the car she immediately asks for music and she loves to sing along to the radio.  Her absolute favorite song right now is Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” but she shockingly knows the lyrics to many songs on the radio.

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She also loves to watch music videos and she taught herself to do the splits from watching Sia’s Chandelier.

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She repeats and says everything!  She has recently learned my first name and thinks it’s hilarious to say that sometimes. She also loves to repeat all the names of her family.  Her favorite phrases are , “I did it!!”, “What are you talking about?”, “Oh my goodness!” and, “Would you look at that?”

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She is enamored with all things Christmas and loves all the decorations everywhere.  This is the first year she has a concept of Santa and I’m looking forward to her visiting him.  Her favorite holiday book is “Llama Llama Holiday Drama”.

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She loves dressing up and wearing jewelry, playing with her kitchen, crafting and reading books.  She also loves any time outdoors but sadly the weather has not been great for going outside.

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I am very proud of her for trying to be a good girl most of the time.  She is pretty good at listening to directions and minding what she is told. Just being near her brings us so much joy!

 

 

 

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Christmas is here

We are already completely in Christmas mode.  Right after Halloween my mind completely skips over Thanksgiving and is focused on all things Christmas related.  I always liked to put our Christmas tree up a week before Thanksgiving but now we have inched up even earlier to accommodate Christmas card photos.

We have never had to worry about Elin getting into the tree but this year may be different.  She is obsessed with the Christmas tree and wants to look at it all the time.  She was so excited this past weekend when she woke up from her nap and and found all the boxes of our Christmas decor and the big tree box.

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She even asked to take selfies in front of the tree and she was eager to Facetime with her Nana and Papa to show them the Christmas tree.

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The first thing she does when she goes downstairs now is run up to the tree and ooh and ahh over all the ornaments.   We have a Christmas tree that we put up in her room but I am actually considering not putting it up this year because I am afraid she will not sleep with something that exciting in her room.  It might have to get bumped to the playroom.

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Her other Christmas excitement is her new Little People Christmas North Pole House.  She has the Little People Nativity as well but that is yet to be unpacked.

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I found this house in the summer and I am so glad I picked it up! She absolutely loves playing with it.  The Christmas tree lights up and plays music as well as some other things in the house.

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There is still a lot of Christmas decor to put up but it’s always exciting to get the tree up first!

A Very Cold Halloween

Elin was pretty pumped for Halloween this year and sadly the weather was so bad that she only got to go to a few houses this year to trick-or-treat. It was raining and cold!  It even snowed and sleeted a little.  We bundled Elin up and added many layers to her costume just let her go to a few houses on our street and to drive over to her Nana and Papa’s.  Despite the bad weather she loved every minute of trick-or -treating and also loved to answer and the door and see other kids come up to the house in their costumes.  We didn’t have near the amount of kids we usually do due to the weather which was sad.

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I love this picture of her answering the door to some trick-or-treaters.   We had all her pumpkins outside but hauled in all the small ones for her play with.

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We are hopping next year’s weather will be much better!

Pumpkins and Party Fits

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Last weekend we went to another pumpkin patch because Elin loves them and talks about them all the time.  We went on a Friday evening which worked out well because the weather was beautiful and there was not much of a huge crowd.  Elin was on a mission for a square pumpkin like Spookley the square pumpkin but alas he was nowhere to be found.  So she settled on a many others instead.

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We have more pumpkins than we know what to with.

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This particular orchard and patch was very pretty and picturesque.  There was a “cool bus” to pose with and Elin was excited to pose with her Papa.

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Then on Saturday there was a Halloween party at Gymboree.  Elin was so excited and had been talking about it but let me tell you—when we got to party she threw a huge fit and was not in a party mood.  Her costume has a big tutu so I changed her in the back of the car when we got there and she was not a fan of that.  I think that is what set her over the edge.  When we got inside, she did not want to take her shoes off so they let her keep them on and she spent the first party of  the party pouting and being anti-social.  Isn’t that the saddest little puppy on the floor?

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She perked up when she started noticing all the decorations and the non-spooky haunted house.

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She spent a good party of the party in the haunted house with her pal Kelsey and they were very taken with this little ghost that made ghostly noise.  They would get in there and just shriek with happiness.

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I thought the wall of felt monsters was rather creative.  They had a huge piece of blue felt up and then dozens of felt parts and pieces to make your own monsters.  Elin seemed to really enjoy that as well.

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Then is was time for a snack and a monster craft.  Elin was excited to see pumpkin pretzels.  She currently loves pretzels!

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She did a great job on her craft and we left a littler happier than we came.

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Doggie Arrival Day Party

Every year we celebrate the day our dogs came to live with us since we don’t officially know their birthdays.  Every year they get a treat and gifts and doted on for being fabulous.  This year I thought it would be fun for Elin to get involved and excited for their arrival day party.  We started talking about their arrival day and what that means.  We invited over Nana, Papa and their dog Daisy.

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The night before we made cupcakes for the humans. Elin enjoyed being a part of the process and pouring in ingredients.

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I found this cake mix at Target and thought it looked festive and interesting to try.

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I think they turned out pretty close to the picture.  Here are a few of our creations.

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These adorable mini ghost cupcakes were bought specifically at a dog barkery in town.

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On their arrival day we celebrated after we got home from work.  Elin got out her favorite party book to read to get into the spirit.

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The dogs got down to business and quickly devoured their cupcakes.

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Then it was time to try out our cupcakes. Elin donned her party hat and enjoyed the cupcakes we made. She was a huge fan of the sprinkles.

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I also found these adorable party hats for the dogs  at the pet barkery and luckily they were a perfect fit!

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Elin has a special bond with Fifi.  She loves to sit with her and pet her and Fifi is extra gentle with her.  I was so glad to capture this picture of them together.

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We finally coaxed Angel to get into the shot as well.

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We love our dogs to pieces and even thought it’s just silly and fun to celebrate their arrival day every year, I think it’s very important to celebrate them and what wonderful gifts they are.  They truly are such good dogs that are always good and sweet. They deserve this much and more every day of their lives.

Zoo Boo 2014

 

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This past weekend we took Elin to her first Zoo Boo.  She loves the zoo, so we thought she would love to get dressed up in a costume and see the zoo all decked out with Halloween decorations.  The weather was very nice but I still decided to put Elin in a different costume that what she plans to wear on Halloween just so she would feel more comfortable.  I put her in a cheerleader outfit and she loved it!

She was so excited when we told her where we were going.

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We went to her favorite area first which is the aquatics area.  She always gets lucky and the animals always come up close to her.

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The zoo has stations that pass out candy along the paths and even though Elin was tentative to walk up to strangers, she loved getting things put in her bag.  She did say “trick or treat” a few times but usually it was after they put the candy in her bag.

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She loved visiting the big tent that had pumpkin bowling and other games as well as really loud music.  She didn’t get quite get the concept of the pumpkin bowling and instead would run with the pumpkin and just hurl it over the pins to the guy catching the ball.  Thank goodness the pumpkins were light.

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She also loved drawing with chalk and dancing to the music.

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There was plenty of cute photo stations set up.  Elin loved this one because it was closer to her height than most of these things usually are.

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On our way out the door we spotted the best attraction of all.  To say she was starstruck when she saw Elsa was an understatement.  She first just stood there and stared at her.  Elin is not one to walk up to adults she doesn’t know really well and she is very shy when other adults that she doesn’t know well talk to her.  So we had to coax her to go stand by her and she just stood there so awkwardly like she was afraid to move!  Despite how her face looks in the picture she was extremely excited to see her.

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We had such a good time and good luck with nice weather.  Elin’s nap was only about 10 minutes in the car on the way home but she still remained in the a good mood later that day.

Pumpkin Painting

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Elin was super excited to be invited over to her cousins house for a little painting party.  She loves arts and crafts, but when you add in pumpkins it makes for an extra special experience.  It was a beautiful day which was perfect for painting outside.  My sister had so many paints, glitters, and jewels for the kids to use.

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Max has had lots of experience with painting and glittering and was a good teacher at showing Elin how it was done.

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They both did such a good job on their pumpkins and especially at keeping the mess to a minimum.

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She also got such a fun gift bag with fun Halloween goodies!  She is loving everything and uses her cup and toys daily.

After painting, the kids ate a picnic dinner and played out in the yard for the rest if the evening,  Needless to say, Elin was sad to go home and leave all the fun she was having.

Here are the pumpkins displayed on the mantle just liked Elin asked.  My sister knew a good tip of spraying the pumpkins with a clear coat in order to cut down on glitter transfer.  They turned out so nice!

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Fall Crafting and Books

Fall weather is quickly approaching and this past weekend we decided to start some Halloween crafts.  Elin is really starting to sit down and work on little art projects and crafts.  I am not very good at crafting so I opt to go the easy route and buy the little pre-made craft sets from places like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Jo-Anne’s.  I was late to shopping for them this year and there was not a lot of Halloween or Fall sets left but we did find this little black cat.  I’ve already stocked up on a some Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts for us to do in a few months.

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Elin was excited to be making a “ducky-ration” for the house.  I just love the way she says decoration!

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Elin loves books and she especially gets excited about holiday-specific books. She has been enjoying books that are longer and have more substance to them, but these books are still of the simpler variety with flaps and touch a feel options. They are cute and since we have read them so many times, she always points out everything and repeats the words in the book.

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Minnie’s Costume Contest, You Are My Little Pumpkin Pie, Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?, and I Love Fall!

We are looking forward to more Halloween and Fall crafts and activities this season!

Apples and Pumpkins

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This weekend we went to a festival at our local apple orchard.  Elin loves checking out the pumpkin patch.  They had all kinds of pumpkins in every shape and size and we went home with one large one, 3 white ones, and 2 baby sized ones.  White pumpkins are not as popular but I am glad they had several to choose from because I like them better than the traditional orange.  I am hoping to find a place to display those in the house.

Elin loves giving all the pumpkins a once over to see which ones she wants. She kept mentioning “Biscuit” because she reads the “Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch” book at her Nana’s house.

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She even took a break and found one that would be a good seat to sit on.  She is so silly.

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She must have been getting quite tired because she also kicked back against a pumpkin in the wagon and rested while she rode around a little.

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She also enjoyed checking out the mums, petting the little goats, and playing on the playground equipment.  It was getting crowded and hotter later in the morning so we didn’t stay long. I think Elin enjoyed herself and I have feeling we will be going back to a couple different pumpkin patches this fall.  We will probably have a ridiculous amount of pumpkins before Halloween but I guess that is part of the fun.

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Pull Ups Big Kid Academy

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We cannot ignore it anymore. It’s time to take action in a little thing called potty training. I was hoping I could be one of those people who claimed that their kids potty trained themselves by following benign neglect. I don’t think I am going to get off that easy. Elin has had her potty chairs out for months now and they don’t even get a passing glance from her. The tactic worked and I just have been ignoring them, too. However, recently I came across the Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy and now I am feeling more assured and ready to start the challenge. Here are my 5 top potty training tips.

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5 Potty Training Tips
  1. Research & plan: I like to research everything  before I make decisions or embark on new adventures so I enrolled in the Pull-Ups big kid academy to get more information. I have been gearing myself up by checking out articles on potty training. I thought this was good one about potty training and working parents.
  2. Celebrate a new beginning: I purchased Pull-Ups with one of Elin’s favorite characters on them: Doc McStuffins! Elin Loves Doc and the gang, so she was thrilled to check the pull-ups out and was excited to try something new on. I let her know that these were because she is becoming a big girl and that this was so exciting to get new pull-ups! I let her get a good look at the new pull-ups so she was excited as well.
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  3. Make it fun: The Big Kids Academy offers way to customize videos with your child’s name and picture and you can Facetime with fun Disney characters to encourage going to the potty. Elin  loved it and she also liked just checking out the games. I have downloaded the app which can remind you when it’s time to sit on the potty.
  4. Incentives: This sounds better than bribery, right? Rewarding is always a sure fire way to get anything done and I am looking forward to rewarding Elin for her strides in potty training. When I signed up for the Big Kid Academy, I came across the cutest potty training progress chart that you can download (it’s free!) with no other than Mickey and Minnie adorning it. Elin loves anything and everything Mickey and Minnie, so I know she will be drawing the colors and graphics on her new chart. I had almost purchased something similar off of Etsy and I am so glad I waited. I’m going to get some fun stickers to mark her progress.DSCN9694DSCN9711
  5. Keep it Stress Free: Elin feeds off my stress level and the more stressed I get about something, she will follow suit. I am going to keep it light and happy and if I think she is getting to overwhelmed, we will take a break and start another day. I want her to keep being excited and not make it unpleasant for either of us. DSCN9729_

These are just some tips that I am following, but I would love to hear your tips! Please comment with some tips that worked for you or some advice that others have given you.

Many thanks to Pull-Ups for sponsoring today’s post and helping me potty train with the Big Kid Academy.