eliza says, vol. 6


Eliza is growing so fast. Her physical growth has slowed down, but her mind is growing and expanding so fast. She will say something one day, and not the next. She will stop mid sentence and correct her own grammar. It's mind blowing. She is constantly making connections between every little thing she comes across, and her imagination has blossomed in such a beautiful way. After years of always running around town trying to keep this girl entertained, she has finally come to this sweet stage where she just wants to stay home all afternoon and play house with her bunnies. For a full hour, I may actually be able to do some laundry as I listen to her high-pitched chatter as little adventures come spilling out of her little imagination. (And, this is coming from that early toddler who would throw shoes at me and then bang on the front door at 9am every morning ready to hit the town. "Go OUT!")

She is crazy strong-willed these days. We are encountering our first arguments and fights with friends, which sort of breaks my heart. But, we are working through it. She has gotten exceptionally physical lately, which really gets to me. I would really appreciate any tips from moms on that one! She hits and kicks when she's mad, which sends her straight to "time-out" and always produces a tearful "sorry." But, it's still hard to handle!

I really am constantly amazed at how smart and clever she is. She pulls her dress-up box out every single day and creates specific characters with outfits. She builds little homes for her bunnies or baby dolls all over the house, and I am always running across Eliza's toys organized in some interesting way in the tufts of the couch or the shoes in my closet. She creates at least one piece of art a day, always always insisting on mailing it to some family member or another. And, she dresses herself every day. I used to fight it, until I realized that this kid actually has great sense of style and is exceptionally good at mixing and matching. And, I really love seeing what she comes up with.

She is so kind, and very aware of the feelings of others. The past couple of weeks have been very wearing on me, and my heart has been heavy with current events in the world. Twice in the past week I have found myself in tears, and both times Eliza found me- she asked me if I need kisses, and then asked if I needed a bunny. Then she tucked her "Mama Bunny" in next to my face and gave me a kiss. I love her so much.

Eliza says:
"That's so nice of..." - She got this one from me. Whenever someone does something nice, Eliza will say, "Oh, that's so nice of (so and so)." Like when she puts on a dress that Grandma gave her for her birthday six months ago she will say, "Oh, Grandma gave this to me! That's so nice of Grandma." Or, once I was dictating a text to Siri on my phone and Eliza asked, "Who that?" When I told her that Siri was helping me send a message, she said, "Oh, that's so nice of her."

married- Eliza really wants to get married. She talks about it all the time. She loves seeing pictures of brides, especially the one of Sam and I on the bookshelf. When I ask her why she wants to get married, she says "Pretty dress!" And, when I ask her who she wants to marry she says, "... pretty dress!"

"When me a mama..." - She went through a time when she would say this all the time. "When me a mama, I want pink yips." (lipstick) "When me a mama, I will go out with my friends!" "When me a mama, I get married."

"Hereg gou go, Mama!"- She's saying "Here you go," but for some reason she adds in several extra g sounds. She loves helping me, all over the house. And, she follows me around saying, "Hereg gou go, Mama!" and handing me random things. Like, when I'm cooking dinner, or putting make-up on. She especially loves helping me fold laundry- where she very carefully rolls each shirt into a little ball and places them in a line. I'm trying to be better about letting her help out more, even if it's not actually... help. (ha!)

"just one?"- She might run across the Halloween candy stash- "Just one?" Or, some crackers in my bag, "Just one?" Or, a box of wipes that she wants to play with. "Just one?" I apparently use this term very often, and she's always shooting it back at me. Although, after she eats one little chocolate chip while we are baking cookies, I look back five minutes later and she's sneaking another one. She will smile back at me and ask, "Just one, Mama?" I guess that concept is a bit over her head.

"stop teasing me"- This is one of my favorites. She yells this at inanimate objects all the time. Like, when a sticker is stuck to the bottom of her foot, "Stop teasing me!" Or, her skirt gets caught on a branch, "Stop teasing me!"

"remembder?" (remember)- Eliza loves reminiscing about her long, lovely life. "I was a baby, remembder?" "We saw that movie, remembder?" "My birthday party was at the park, remembder?" I am still constantly amazed at this girl's memory. She remembers so much! And pretty far back, too!

"mama" and "papa"- Every man or woman in a movie or book is a "mama" or "papa." So, when we are reading the "Beauty and the Beast" book, and the Beast turns into a handsome man and they embrace and kiss, Eliza squeals "Aw, she loves her Papa." Or, the "Kiss Kiss Fish" smooches the "Pout Pout Fish," Eliza happily proclaims "He found his Mama!" Also, anytime anyone or anything is sad then she usually nods her head sadly and says, "He misses his Mama."

"I can't wait"- Eliza recently picked this phrase up, and uses it all the time. But, she uses it very literally. Like, when her friend is coming over for a playdate she will very seriously state, "I can't wait!"

(This photo was taken back in September, when we were visiting Texas.)

under the sea.

_MG_2017 _MG_2032 _MG_2080 Untitled Untitled _MG_2131

Happy Halloween, everybody!

I think this was my favorite Halloween yet. I might end up saying this every year, though. But, this was definitely the year that Eliza was old enough to completely embrace the holiday in all it's glory. I asked Eliza a couple of months ago what she wanted to be for Halloween and she said, "A mermaid with a pink tail!" I loved this idea, but I was pretty sure that she would change her mind about fifty times before October 31 rolled around. No way, this girl knows what she wants. Every time I asked her, "A mer-dade!" (which is actually how she pronounces it.)

So, I figured I better get to work. When I was in Texas back in September, my mom helped me design her costume. She's a costume genius, not only with our amazingly creative costumes growing up, but for countless stage productions, museum exhibitions, and everything in between. We found this little ruffle dress in a size 6, so it was perfectly floor-length on Eliza. Then, after gathering as much information and sparkle trim I could find in my mom's sewing room, I took it all home and pieced it together. It turned out pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself. The seashell bra was the cherry on top.

The first time she tried it on, it was still sort of in pieces and she kept trying to rip it off, and whined "It doesn't look like a mer-dade!" I was super mad, and my ego was a bit bruised. But, then when I finally finished it and slipped it over her little body she looked down at all the sparkles and smiled, "I want to wear it to the splash pad!" She totally loved it, and I was in mommy heaven watching that tiny tail swish, swish, swish when she walked. She wore it multiple nights, for hours, and never once complained.

This girl loves to dress up. She pulls out her dress-up box every single day, without fail. Anytime we have visitors at our house, the box comes out and everyone at the dinner party ends up with a tiara or hat on their head. So, Halloween was just one big party for her and she was all over it. One of my favorite parts was pulling her little chair into the bathroom, where she would sit for me to do her make-up and hair. I would ask her to close her eyes and she would smile and clench her eyes tight shut so the eye shadow would just sort of smear onto her lids. And then she would smoosh chapstick on her "yips" for a good fifteen minutes while I got ready.

Even though we let Eliza pick her costume this year, I was not ready to give up on family group themes. No way. So, with some imagination we decided to go with an "under the sea" theme. I made a bioluminescent jellyfish umbrella that lights up, and found a blue dress that was plastered with sequins (thank you, 1980s!). It was really fun, and really an easy costume to make. Of course, Sam in all his indecisiveness, waited until the last minute to pick his aquatic creature. While reading Eliza Dream Animals one night, Sam and I had a heated discussion about whether or not narwhals were real....

They are real. (In case you didn't know.)

Guys, I'm 27 years old and I just found out that narwhals are real! I know, pretty embarrassing. But, not that embarrassing since I really feel like they are the most ridiculous creatures and that there is no way that they should still be around. Just sayin'.

So, then Sam decided he wanted to be a narwhal. It's actually a super easy costume to make, as well. He just made a horn out of a wrapping paper tube, covered it in silver fabric, and stuck it on a headband. The funny thing is, I actually had to buy him some sweatpants for this costume- since Sam Gray doesn't own sweatpants.

On Halloween, we walked the 4th St. shopping district for some early trick-or-treating, and then met up with friends at the famous Russell Street in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley. This street is nuts. They block off the streets with cop cars, and every house is crazy and over-the-top decorated. The entire city shows up to trick or treat here. There was a massive pirate ship with a light up dragon, and a robotic alien show. We took the kids up and down the street, and Eliza ate so. much. candy. She was very meticulous and organized with her candy collecting, and eating. She spent an hour nursing a box of Nerds, eating each Nerd one at a time.

I'm not going to lie, we were a hit. We won "Best Group Costume" at our church carnival. And, on Halloween night we were like the cool kids on the block. Everywhere we walked there was a trail of comments, "Narwhal? Narwhal. Narwhal! Narwhal!?" And then, "Cool jellyfish!" And, of course, "Oh, a mermaid! So cute!"

I wish every day was Halloween. It's one of my favorite holidays because there is such minimal stress, no traveling, and you have a reason to be whoever you want to be for one night. Such magic.

After trick or treating, we all went to Zachary's Pizza for the best deep dish, and the kids were so great even though it was way past bedtime. I love Berkeley, and I love our friends here. Holidays away from home can be rough, but I always feel like we have such a solid Berkeley family to celebrate with.

Bonus photo of my glowing jellyfish: Untitled

And extra bonus photo of Eliza in full mermaid mode: