kehoe beach.

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A few months ago, we took a little day trip out to play at Kehoe Beach which quickly became my favorite beach. It was so peaceful and beautiful, way out in the hills and hidden away. The drive was beautiful, and spotted with dairy farms with black and white cows. We stopped at a little market to buy some food to add to our picnic, which we ate on a blanket at the opening of the trail out to the beach- bread and cheese, fruit, avocados, and a happy, little girl munching away. The trail out to the beach was short and relatively flat, surrounded on either side by bright, yellow flowers and low coastal California poppies. The beach was so large that you hardly noticed your neighbors, and the sand was soft and warm. Eliza and Sam ran around the dunes covered in sea grass, while I lay on a blanket and listened to her screaming laughter. It was a really wonderful day, and one of the few non-holiday days that we actually pulled out the camera these past nine months. 

As you can see in that first photo, Eliza has become quite the acrobat. She has always loved when Sam throws her up in the air, but she freaked us out when she started pulling her stunts mid-air. I don't know where she gets this from! She will toe touch and pike right at the top, but always comes down for a safe landing. It cracks me up. She's turning out to be such a funny girl, and she loves being silly. 

A few of Eliza's sayings lately:

"I've never seen this before!"- She exclaims this at the sight of anything new. Like, it's the most awe-inspiring thing she has seen in her life. 

"I'm just a little cheenager" (teenager)- Eliza is pretty obsessed with the idea of growing up. Whenever she reaches a new level of growing it is the most exciting thing that could have happened to her. Like, finally being to ride a big kid ride at the zoo. (Poor girl is just barely 36" and can't ride anything.) She defines all friends and siblings by their level of growth, and recently learned what a "teenager" is. So, she declared herself a "little teenager." Yikes!

"Oh, I see." "Oh, yes." - This one is kind of lost without actually hearing it in person. But, her responses sometimes are just so clear and adult sounding. Her little voice just sings.

"I hurt my thumb toe!"- Once, Eliza said this after stubbing her big toe. I loved it so much. I love watching her make the most clever connections with her language and comprehension. I'm constantly surprised at the things she says on a daily basis. It's pretty fascinating trying to imagine all of the knowledge and experience these tiny human beings are gathering each and every minute of the day.

"It's very special to him/her/me."- This was a phrase we used often when she was younger to explain when things should be cared for. Like, "We don't want to take that to the park, because it's very special and could get dirty." Or, "That book is very special to Papa, so let's not play with it." Now, she uses it often with her own things and with other's belongings. She 's very serious about it.

the babies- Eliza has a baby named "Eliza Baby." We got her two years ago when we first started trying for the second baby, and wanted her to feel prepared. Eliza Baby is very special to her. Then, for her second birthday, her best friend (Sage) gave Eliza a little baby that was named "Sagey Baby." These two babies never leave Eliza's side. It was always kind of funny (and slightly stressful) that these two babies really became part of the family. They are much loved. Sagey Baby disappeared for two months, and I waited to see if Eliza would get over it and move on. But, she didn't and would sometimes cry in her bed about how she missed Sagey Baby. So, we took a trip to the toy store only to coincidently run into Sagey Baby hanging out on the shelf! And, we brought her home. These past months, Eliza's babies have multiplied exponentially. I will need to take a picture of her bed now, it is filled to the brim. And, not just with superfluous stuffed toys, but with well-named and cared for babies that are accounted for each and every night and that take up the entire bed so that Eliza ends up sleeping stuffed up against the gate. Eleanor the Bear and "Tyrah Baby" were both rediscovered baby gifts that had been sitting daintily on the shelf for awhile. And, Pinky and Ariel are both mermaids that were recently adopted on her third birthday. Yes, six babies. All loved and cared for by a very nurturing little three-year-old.

The Eliza and Sage trade- Sage's mom and I had a babysitting trade this past year each week, for when I went to work. On Monday mornings Sage came over to our house, and on Thursday afternoons Eliza went to Egbert family heaven to play with all of Sage's toys and her older brothers. It was so sad peeling her away from that house each week, she loves them so much and talks about them daily. Eliza and Sage had a weekly trade, as well. I would listen in on their negotiations, "You can borrow this for five days." Or, "You can borrow this for forever!" Eliza came home wearing a different outfit each week, and would bring it back the next. We laugh though, because it always seems like a very one-sided trade, with Eliza bringing home the most loot. Sage is a very patient friend.

"Watch this, mom!"- A new favorite that is equally adorable and annoying. (Am I allowed to say that?) Eliza loves showing off new tricks, climbing at the park or dancing in our living room. I do love it, and I have to constantly remind myself to stop what I'm doing and just sit and watch. But, let's be honest, when it is yelled 10 times in a row over and over, it starts to sound like nails on a chalkboard. Love that girl.

"Why?"- Oh, my little, curious one. She asks "why?" after every single thing I say. " I need you to clean your room." "Why?" "Because your toys are all over the ground, and I don't want you to trip and fall." "Why?" "Because I love you." "Why?"....

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