Monday, September 5, 2016

Four Year Checkup

Height: 3' 2.5" (25%)
Weight: 35lb (50-75%)


  • Elora can write letters, quite legibly. She can write her name and a few simple memorized words, and other words that you spell out for her.
  • Drawing; markers, crayons, paint, or whatever she can get her hands on.
  • Gaming. A child of Mommy and Daddy, Elora is ready, whether it be the Leap TV, Xbox One games, or even good old-fashioned board games.
  • Scooter. A Christmas present from her cousins, she can now glide along at impressive speeds.
  • Reading. Elora, when mood phases are in alignment, can successfully sound out simple words. She has learned ten sight words so far.
  • Numbers. Up to twenty is fine, but she still struggles the rest of the way to 100.
  • Bike riding. She's outgrown the trike, and is making great strides with the big girl bike (with training wheels of course).
  • Cooking. She's a big help for Mom in the kitchen, and can be counted on to stir the food.
  • Elora is a little swimmer! Regular swim classes have her in and out of the pool.
  • We are finishing up a section of ballet and tap dance, moving over to Hip Hop dance.
  • Pre-school! A year complete, and soon back to school.
Elora is an intelligent wonder. She loves her artwork, both drawing and singing, as a means for expressing her affections for her friends and family. We often get gifts in the forms of drawings, and newly-invented songs about how much she loves her family. She is incredibly verbal - from the time she wakes until she finally succumbs to the pillow, she is talking or singing (or complaining...) about something.

Colored kitty mask, in an Elsa dress and Leia necklace (courtesy of

Artwork for Dad, just because.

The Queen of one of her many castles.

Little "Ninja Warrior" mastering the "spider web".

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Assorted 3yo Cuteness, captured by Dad

Because sometimes a photo collage doesn't need a reason.

BFFs getting ready to jump on trampolines

Present from Papa Rick

Daddy's solution to watching two kids alone: cardboard. Lots of cardboard.

Christmas in the baby death arena


One day Elora randomly decided she wanted to go to Elevated Spots and play in the ball pit instead of go to bed. I tried to come up with a rational reason why this was not a brilliant idea. I failed. So off we went, pajamas and all.

Archer got invited to a birthday party!

Why not...

Proof of Canadian heritage.
First time on the ice, she's a natural!

Vehicles with friends

Monday, December 7, 2015

Three Year Checkup

[okay, a little late, but still worthy of a note]

Weight: 31lb 3oz (50-75%)
Height: 31" (25-50%)

Mastery: ... yes!
It's really hard to talk about milestones because Elora is indisputably people now. She is learning new things literally every day, and her skills evolve (and sometimes regress) as she advances in her life.
  • Imaginative play. Elora now expresses her vivid imagination regularly. Her toys all have names (okay, they may all be named Suzie), and she will act out full conversations and scenarios with them. Her food becomes artwork. Her favorite toys include anything she can pretend with, like her jungle or castle. New songs are written daily.
  • Friends. While she's always had friends that we expose her to, she is now making friends of her own at school and dance, and is responsible for maintaining those relationships.
  • Counting still stumbles after 16. She knows her alphabet by sight and sound, and can occasionally sound out certain easy words.
  • Artwork! I have several lovely paintings from Elora. Art projects are one of her favorite activities.
  • Eating. She genuinely likes most foods, as long as you can convince her to taste them, which is an epic battle nightly. Even so, not a lot gets consumed at mealtimes.
  • Listening. She hears just fine, but has an objection to almost every request.

  • Whole Earth Montessori. Five mornings a week, Elora goes to preschool to play and learn, and interact with friends of different ages.
  • Dance Elite ballet classes. Following a wonderful ballet show, she is in her second iteration, and learning many skills (and a bit of listening).

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Big Girl Bed

The final transformation. What was once a Disney Princess Crib, and most recently a toddler bed, is now a full-sized bed. We even went to Sleep Country, and let Elora choose her own mattress.

A quick trip to Target later, and we were decked out with My Little Pony sheets (with Hello Kitty as a backup) to complete the setup.

Hope you like it, because Daddy says you don't get another one until you leave for college. ;)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


This has been a busy year for Elora but fall in general marks the start of many things. Here are a few!

Fall means the start of football season and here in Seattle the team to root for is the Seahawks. Elora is showing off her team pride and also showing off some of the items from the online boutique that my friend Tricia and I started. It's been a fun little business where we can make items while the kids play (Read: destroy the house). It keeps us busy!

 Elora started ballet just after her birthday in July. The first lesson went great but for weeks afterwards she was reluctant and afraid. We decided to stick with it because I wanted her to have an activity where she would need to listen to instructions from another adult. It was a bit maddening and frustrating but after a while she warmed up to it again and now looks forward to every week! I definitely can't say that she's a prima ballerina but she enjoys the exercises and listens really well to her teacher. Plus she gets to run around in her adorable tutu!

September also marked the start of 'school' at Lake Washington Toddler Group. She's enjoying it just as much as last year and now we bring Archer along in the baby Ergo.

At a friend's birthday party Elora got to meet her heros, Anna and Elsa. She was incredibly excited and had a fabulous time!

What's fall without a visit to the farm? This is Fox Hollow Farm in Issaquah. It's not quite as big and exciting as Remlinger Farms but has the bonus of baby animals for petting. We also picked up this year's pumpkins! Halloween is coming soon!
All in all, things have been a bit rough for Elora since Archer was born. She did really amazing while Mike's mother, Leanne, was here directly after the birth but things started to go down hill fast. As Mike showed in his post about his paternity leave, she was out and about at some activity almost every day. Regardless, her attitude at home had a tendency to be overwhelmingly negative. At one point, she picked up the habit of telling everyone to "go away". This was definitely our fault as we frequently tell the poodle to go away when she's being a bother. Still, it made me sad as she had a really bad attitude when my Grandmother, Judy, was visiting. This was a big change to the way she acted the last time Grandma visited. However, in the last two or three weeks things have become more positive. Along with the lighter attitude, she seems to have made a leap in language. She shows much more understanding and verbal agility. Her sentences are more structured and she uses words in context better. She's also very good at recognizing and naming letters, can say the letters of her name, her age, and is beginning to know her numbers. Our first attempt at potty training was a resounding failure but we'll try again in a few weeks.

2nd Birthday!

I've been quite remiss in keeping up to date with posting. Better late than never!

For Elora's birthday this year we decided to book a party at the Playdate Café in Lynnwood. As an aside, they're currently being forced to change their name so the link provided might not work after a while. The Playdate Café is an indoor play place (essential in this climate) that also serves food and beverages. They have comfy booths, super clean bathrooms, great air conditioning in the summer, and a lot of toys and things to play with. The cost of holding the party here was quite a bit more than I would have wanted but at the time I was 9 months pregnant and barely able to stand up. We paid for the convenience and ended up being quite satisfied with the decision. The kids had a great time and were exhausted by the end. Normally there might be several parties going on at once but we lucked out and had the entire place to ourselves!

The table set up provided by Playdate

Favor Boxes


Lunch provided by Playdate

Amazing cake by Hillcrest Bakery (mom's boob squished it a little)

Happy Birthday, Elora!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Daddy Super Adventure Month

Daddy checking in. Elora's little brother Archer was born this month, so I took five weeks off to bond with the little guy. But, let's be honest, infants sleep like 20 hours a day, and most of the remaining few hours is spent feeding with Mommy. So, I took the opportunity for some quality adventure time with Elora!

Our first adventure was ballet class. Admittedly, she spent the entire class in my lap. Maybe she doesn't want to admit to Daddy that she likes to dance? Mommy insists that she has fun whenever I'm not watching. Sure Mommy. ;)

Sometimes the simplest adventures are best. We spent a lot of time over the past month at the playground across the street; it's hard to beat a five minute walk when the outside beckons toddler spirit. Plus, giant trees to the West keep it cool and shady after 5pm!

... or, if the summer heat is just too much, the tot lot at Alderwood Mall offers plenty of free playtime for Elora, and cool air conditioning for Dad. A strange phenomenon manifested here - the older girls all want to adopt Elora! On multiple occasions she'd spontaneously collect an escort to help her play and protect her from energetic older boys. In one case, she got a whole pack running her around! Now, any kids she sees are in public are "friends" that she makes a point to introduce herself too. Cute overload.

One of our first adventures after Archer was born was Wiggle Works in Bellevue. To further bribe clarify to Elora that Daddy time is great, there may have been some Cold Stone afterwards.

Woodland Park Zoo was a great adventure, and Grandma got to come along too! We missed elephant feeding, but got to feed the giraffes instead. Plus the petting zoo!

Imagine Children's Museum in Everett.

Finally, I braved Seattle (and Mercer... if you live in the city, you know what I mean) to take her to the Pacific Science Center. Admittedly she's still a bit young for it; most of the exhibits are just enticing enough to attract her yet too complicated for her to use. Still, robotic dinosaurs. And sandwiches shaped like spiders next door at the armory; she mostly just devoured the edamame, which is good because her sandwich was way too delicious for a toddler meal.


As Archer got a few days experience under his belt, the family outings began. Remlinger Farms included toddler-friendly rides, and Elora's first miniature horse ride!

Elevated Sportz, while nominally a trampoline arena, has an incredible four-story play structure. Thankfully just barely big enough for Daddy to crawl through with a camera.

To wrap up our month of adventuring, the family trip to the fair.

There were plenty of other adventures that made it into the month, but didn't quite make it on camera. Understandably no pictures from our swimming trips, but we've been to the play-beach swim at Lynnwood Rec Center, the open swim at the Mountlake Terrace Rec Center (not quite as fancy as Lynnwood, but not nearly as crowded), and a few family outings to Martha Lake. Also, Playdate Cafe; not sure where the pictures went, but non-stop fun!

It's been an exciting month, and hopefully one that's remembered for years to come. On Monday, I'm back at work, and regular working life resumes. Still, great adventures were had, and just maybe I'll reserve a vacation day or two every now and then to add a few new daddy-daughter adventures to the list.
P.S. In case you think Dads can only play man-to-man, witness the play-date skills. Three kids, sitting quietly and eating food I cooked them. Zone defense FTW!