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We’ve been trying to have the kids play outside as much as possible while we get the inside of the house ready for sale. Luckily, the weather has been cooperating with us.

Now, some things you don’t mind on your kids. Natural, broad-spectrum 30 SPF sunscreen? You bet — we’re going to be in the sun for a while. (Actually, I’ll take some too.) A little dirt, from playing outside all day? Not a problem. Let them have their fun, and they can get cleaned up with a little bubble bath later. Permanent marker all over your little girl’s face?

Hold up.

See, Eleanor got a new toy puppy the other day, and it came with bunch of veterinarian accessories, including a prescription pad. I watched her writing (scribbling) on it with a blue marker, carefully filling out each line and narrating as she went. It was adorable, but I thought nothing more of it. Turns out she held on to that marker. A couple of hours later, E suddenly thought it would be a great idea to be a tiger! Actually, I think she was trying to be Diego’s baby jaguar friend. Either way, that blue marker ended up on her face, hands and arms.


I'm a baby jaguar.

No, she had never drawn on her face before. She did a pretty decent job, considering the lack of a mirror, eh? Oh well— it was just a little marker. Permanent marker, mind you, but it will fade soon enough. At least the sunscreen did its job.

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Eleanor’s Fourth Birthday Party

Eleanor is Four Years Old

There’s the birthday girl, approving of the party decorations before her guests arrived.

Birthday Table Play Dough Stations
Party Animals
Window Decorations

Eleanor requested a Play-Doh party this year. Brandon’s mom, a former preschool teacher, came through with some fantastic ideas for pulling it off. She whipped up homemade play dough in several colors, and also came up with the idea to create little chef’s hats for the kids to wear (which they did all wear at various points). Everyone had their own station to work at.

Eleanor is Four!
Play Dough Stations
August Playing with Play Dough

The Play-Doh birthday cake was Brandon’s genius idea. He asked a couple of local bakeries if they could pull it off, and most of them replied that they don’t do custom cakes (what?), but Reuter’s Bakery came through. It was pretty spectacular.

Play-Doh Birthday Cake

I told the kids that we needed their help to make the birthday cake (they hadn’t seen the real one yet), so they each made their own out of play dough. I gathered their creations, thanked them, and they went off to play in the living room while we cleaned off the dining room table. We called everyone back over after their places were set, we brought the real cake out, and everyone sang Happy Birthday.

Play-Doh Birthday Cake

Four-year-olds are awesome, because they’re still young enough to fall for a cute trick.

Brandon and I are glad that we had the party at home. It was fun to have Eleanor’s friends over, and later, family came by too. We made one long day of it!

(Hope you had a great birthday, kiddo.)

Diaper Storage in the Nursery

We’re starting to talk up the whole “big boy” thing with August, about how he’s going to start sleeping in a bed, and that soon he won’t need diapers. He was pretty adamant for a long time about his morning bottle of milk too until we somehow lost his favorite bottle, and that was the end of that. He’s in that transitional stage between toddler and little kid, but for a while longer, he’s still sleeping in a crib and wearing diapers.

I showed his room not too long ago, when I took the doors off of one of the storage units in the space to convert it to a bookshelf. Here it is again, with even more books on the shelves. (Like toys, they seem to multiply.)

August's Room

We don’t need as much storage for baby gear now that August is older, but the remaining side with doors still holds essentials, like face and body lotion and healing balm. All of the diapers and wipes are in there too, along with refills for our diaper pail, tissues, and stacks of no-longer-needed burp cloths.

Lotion, Wipes, and Diaper Storage

I like to use Honest diapers because they’re plant-based and free of chemicals, but they still perform just as well as any other diaper out there. Plus they come in a skull and crossbones pattern! (OK, and cute little strawberries, anchors, and what-have-you. But the skulls are my favorite.) Their wipes are great too — nice and thick, and effective but still gentle. As with other Honest products, you can order diapers and wipes individually, or bundle them and save.

Diaper Storage

Skull and Crossbones Diapers!

I’ll be a little sad when it’s time to change the nursery. It has been a good setup that has seen us through four years of active duty (starting with Eleanor, when it was hers), but eventually the changing pad will go, and the diapers and lotions will probably be replaced with toys. And that will be good too.

August's Room

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