The 4-6 Weeks Project (Again!)
When I was one month away from my due date for my second child, I started a new project. The 4-6 Weeks Project. I figured that if that pregnancy was anything like my first (which went fifteen days past the due date), that was about the length of time we had left as a family of three. Happily, my second baby was born 4 days early, and the daily photos lasted for just under a month.
I loved having the photos and captions to look back on the first time, so I wanted to do it all over again when I was due with my third child. I documented each day with a photograph and a few sentences to help my kids remember their last days before adding a new sibling, and before becoming part of a family of five. I started six weeks from my due date instead of four, and the series will be bound into books at the end for them to keep.
Six weeks from your new little brother’s due date. Six or so weeks from becoming a family of five. Eleanor, you talk about the baby constantly, offering to share your bed & getting excited about how we’ll have so much to do because we’ll get to teach him everything. August, you mostly just like to bonk into mama’s big belly!
You both had fun making these paper kitties before bed tonight, & then you tried to have a sleepover in August’s room (as we have been doing a lot lately while working on the hallway). It ended in tears with Eleanor back in her room after August told her she was “fired from making paper cats EVER EVER AGAIN.”
Eleanor, you carried a rock with you to meet Sir Topham Hatt at our first “Day Out with Thomas” two years ago. This year, you made it into what must now be a tradition, and August, you got in on it too. You guys rock.
After a Thomas-filled day yesterday, you both had renewed interest in your toy trains. We made a huge track on the floor of the newly opened-up hallway, adding bridges and making everything connect. It was so cute to hear the stories you make up for the different engines! Pretty sure there was a wedding involved at one point.
We have a desk in the playroom, but you both gravitate toward spreading everything out on the floor instead. Mama’s happy to oblige, even if it is getting harder for her to sit down there with you as her tummy grows!
When mama started this photo project, she hoped to get at least a few pictures with both of you in them. She thought it might not be easy, but really, you two are together more often than not. Eleanor and August: siblings and best buddies. And soon you’ll have another pal to play with!
August, ever since you were little, you’ve been into cars and trucks — basically, anything with wheels. Monster trucks have been a big hit for a long time now, and your love for them doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon. I wonder if your little brother will be the same way.
Eleanor, you felt like a very official mechanic in your overalls while you went around the house with a hammer that you made, looking for things to fix. “What else needs to be tightened up? Maybe this trusty old table? I can do anything, mom!” Then, more quietly, “…OK, but there’s a spider web so maybe not over there.”
Star Wars meets Wonder Woman meets daddy’s old Muppet Babies toys, all tied together with some string and your imagination. This is how you both started the day, and later, Aunt Ashley, Matt, Ross, and Francesca all came over. We played a dancing video game, had pizza for dinner, and everyone stayed up way too late.
We don’t do it every single week, but on most Sunday mornings, we make pancakes. Chocolate chip pancakes to be exact, because obviously those are the best kind. You both like to help pour ingredients into the mixing bowl and stir everything together, and Eleanor, you are in charge of cracking the eggs.
First day of school! How are you old enough to be a kindergarten kid already!? Eleanor, you were SO excited about starting school. We’ve been counting down the days! Mama walked with you and stayed for the first hour, and is happy to report that there were no tears from either party involved.
August, daddy was playing astronauts with you, making you laugh by shouting “oh no! Space poops!” You thought it was the funniest thing! But after cracking up over it for a few minutes and finally catching your breath, you very seriously replied “no. No space poops. Just regular poops.”
Eleanor, you asked specifically for this dress when we were at the store together. You would dress in leopard print everyday if you could! I did pick up a matching pair of pants for you, which you promptly wore the next day (sans ears, but paired nicely with a Hello Kitty necklace). You’ve got style, kid.
I think we can all sleep soundly knowing that these valiant Ninja Turtles are out there, protecting us and keeping our city safe. (The seriousness with which you wear your masks is adorable.)
First sick day from school for you, Eleanor, and you were pretty sad about it. You love school and really wanted to go. You spent the day drawing and resting, and of course seemed completely well after being so sick all night. And August, you met your new teacher today — the same teacher Eleanor had at your age!
Magna-Tiles. All day, every day. Grandma Helen got a set of these a couple of years ago for the both of you, and expanded on the collection with a transparent set last year for Christmas. You both love to create elaborate structures with them — apartments, jails, fences, hospitals…
We had some friends over with kids the same ages for a back to school celebration. You all dressed up as Ninja Turtles (yes, again) and went nuts on the inflatable bad guy. Eight kids in the house with toy weapons could have been a recipe for disaster, but everyone had a great time and made it through with no injuries. (Phew!)
The movie wasn’t one of your favorites (too scary at the end), but you both like the music from Little Shop of Horrors — especially the song about “people who live downtown, but don’t want to,” as Eleanor put it. Today, daddy found his old Audrey II bank, and you took turns feeding it coins. Still works, thirty years later!
Eleanor, you are lobbying hard for a “five-year-old pet,” and have been for a while. A hamster is probably in your near future, but you don’t know that yet. Today, you claimed that this toy centipede wants to be your classroom pet, and you’re hoping there will be a show-and-tell day so you can bring it for everyone to see!
Somersaults, jumping, and wrestling on the bed after dinner is a favorite activity around here. Daddy gets nervous, but mama kind of lets you two have at it (within reason!). Your antics, along with the uncomfortable state of being SO pregnant, have mama wishing for a king-sized bed these days.
First day of school for you, August! You went to nursery school last year too, but it was just two hours at a time, two days a week. Now you’re up to three hours, four times a week. You weren’t a big fan before, but we’re hoping you’ll enjoy it more now that you’re a little older.
Eleanor, you’re getting good at drawing what you see. That’s our blue sofa and the fiddle leaf fig on the first floor, the TV upstairs, and the playroom on the third floor. You said you drew some toys and a ball on the floor of the playroom, because it’s messy. (Um, have you not seen the rest of the house right now, kid?)
The bug-catching duo. We went outside to play and right away, you two spotted four of the squirmiest worms we’ve ever seen! Eleanor, you set about creating a home for them in that blue pail, while August, you dug to find more.
We all went to the Renegade Craft Fair today, and you two were pretty tired by the end of the day. These balloons perked you up though! Well… briefly. The zombie’s head popped almost immediately. We got another head, and that one popped too. August, maybe it just means you’re a really good zombie slayer?
Um, oops. Sorry, August! Sometimes mama needs a reminder that she is most definitely NOT a capable hairdresser, and that she should not be trusted with the scissors. (We’ll get thee to a professional soon. Promise. Plus you’re still adorable, botched haircut or not.)
OK, that’s much better. A fresh haircut for you, August (to fix mama’s mistakes!), and a bang trim for you, Eleanor. Lookin’ good, guys.
Eleanor, you made your own camera today from a box that you wanted to ‘recycle’ (reuse). You asked daddy to cut a rectangle in the front and a circle in the back, and then you added a shutter on top and a lens. Say “cheese!”
It feels like fall! It wasn’t THAT cold this morning (about 50 degrees), but you insisted on hats and hoods. We did at least manage to get you both out the door and to school without being fully outfitted in the mittens and scarves you were wearing around the house after breakfast.
August, you can be pretty silly, but also sometimes incredibly sweet. When mama asks for a smooch (a “mooch,” as you say), she never knows if she’ll get one, and if she does, whether it will be a real smooch or a raspberry!
Mama remembers doing the same thing when she was little, too… seeing how many times the balloon can be hit back up into the air without letting it hit the ground. (p.s. Mama rearranged the furniture last night while you two were sleeping. Normal behavior, or nesting? It’s hard to tell.)
Now that you’re both back in school (especially with you gone all day at kindergarten, Eleanor), the weekends feel more special. We all stay in jammies for a good long while before worrying about getting dressed, and you play so nicely together in the morning.
You two create elaborate structures out of your “Star Wars Clone City Building Set” (a.k.a. plastic disposable party cups). Eleanor, this one was mostly your doing, and you were so proud of your fortress that it stayed like this until it was accidentally knocked over a few days later.
August, you correct us any time we call you some silly name, even though we’re just joking around. Apparently when you are wearing mama’s glasses though, we are to address you as “Mr. Fancy.”
After dinner today, you and mama spent some time up in the playroom while daddy cleaned up downstairs. We played with Play-Doh, did some pretend cooking on the toy stove, had a Plants vs. Zombies battle with toys in the dollhouse, played Hi Ho Cherry-O, and put together a puzzle before finally heading down to get ready for bed.
Eleanor and August, you and daddy walked to the popcorn store to get slushies after picking Eleanor up from school. I know you both like the taste, but I think getting those blue tongues as a result of drinking them is almost as much of a draw!