Monday, June 30, 2008

Finger Painting

We had a lazy day today. We played outside in the morning, ate lunch, took a nap, played outside in the afternoon, ate dinner, and played outside again till bedtime.

We also finger-painted. I rolled a giant sheet of paper all the way across the driveway. Evie, Maddy, Lilly, Mia, and Olivia painted while the other moms and I watched. It was a mess, but now we have a giant sign for our 4th of July party! Our budding Picassos did a fine job!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ballwin Days

Saturday night, we headed over to Ballwin Days with some friends.

It was a night of many "firsts" for Evie. We parked in the Target parking lot, and Evie took her first ride on a big, yellow school bus that served as a shuttle to the park. I don't think she fully grasped the school bus thing, but our friend Delyla did. She had a big, proud smile plastered on her face, like "Do you all see what I'm doing??? I'm RIDING on a SCHOOL BUS!"

I adore fair food! The caramel apples, cotton candy, kettle corn and snow cones were calling to me. "Sarah, look over here. I haven't seen you all year. Come and get me!" So, we dug right in. Chris had a corn dog and fries that he claimed he bought because Evie might want some. Evie and I had nachos, full of chili and yummy cheese. Evie is a nacho-lover! She chowed down and somehow managed to stay pretty clean in the process. Our bellies full, we headed over to the rides. (Now that I write this, was that very smart??? Full tummies and rides that shake you up???)

I always think rides at these little fairs are a bit scary. Are they maintained well? Are the operators trained and paying attention? I wasn't sure how Evie would react, but I should have know my dare-devil daughter would hold her own. We rode the carousel first. Evie had never been on one, so I watched her closely for signs of distress. She had a blast! Her hair was blowing, and she was smiling! At the end of the ride, she protested "More!" And we rode again. I believe we could have stayed there all night, but we were on to other things...

The next ride was a test of my bravery as a mother. Chris and Evie rode this ride that spins around and goes UP IN THE AIR! They chose to sit in a little dragon-thing, and buckled in. Evie was okay with the spinning, but was not a fan of the flying part. She did well, though. You could see the fear on her face, but she didn't cry!

We walked around a little more, ate kettle corn and cotton candy (thanks for sharing, Chi!) and ended the night with a train ride. Let me tell you, this train was not built for grown-ups. I squeezed in with her, but that was one LONG train ride.

It was a great first summer fair for Evie. We left for home just as the big crowds were coming in. We'll have stay late for the fireworks for another year.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Identity Crisis?

Our kitchen computer has a screen saver that rotates through our digital photos. This one is from last May, and it came up today while we were eating lunch. Evie pointed to it and shouted "Turtle!"

I looked over and thought "She does look like a turtle in this picture!"

What a difference a year makes! No one would mistake her for a tortoise these days. Maybe a busy little bee or a quick little fox or a zippy little bunny, but certainly not a turtle.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jesus Gives Us the Power

Today was the last day of Vacation Bible School.

I volunteered to help for a couple of reasons: I wanted to be more involved at church. I wanted to serve God. I wanted to make a lasting impact on kids. Now, I was teaching five year olds, so I wasn't planning on learning much myself. But we all know how God works...

The theme our church used was Power Lab - Discovering Jesus' Miraculous Power. (Okay, shameless plug here for my former employer... Check out the Concordia Publishing House VBS program, Friendship Trek. I really trust CPH products because I know they are faithful to the Bible. We discovered at least one Bible Story in the Power Lab program that had been "altered" a bit.) Anyway, each day at Power Lab, we performed "experiments" to help us make important discoveries. And wouldn't you know it, all these discoveries were about Jesus!

We learned that Jesus Gives Us the Power to:
- Be Thankful. (Luke 17:11-19)
- Be Helpful. (John 9:1-41)
- Be Brave. (Matthew 14:22-33)
- Live Forever. (Luke 23:26 & 24:53)
- Tell Others About Jesus. (Acts 2:1-47)

So, I'm pretty good on points one, two, and four. But the kids taught me a few things!

First, I'm not as trusting as I should be that Jesus is always with me. I asked the kids Wednesday to tell me a story about a time when they had to be brave. A little girl spoke up and told me that she was in bed once and she saw scary shadows. They were moving around and they could have been a monster or something. Then she remembered that Jesus is always with her, and she wasn't scared because he keeps her safe. 5 YEARS OLD! Wow! If only I could have that kind of unwavering trust! I spend too much of my time planning, analyzing, figuring things out. But all I really need to know is Jesus is always with me and he keeps me safe.

I also need to work on the Tell Others About Jesus thing. There was a time in my life a few years ago where I was actually pretty good at this. I don't know what happened, but I don't really talk about my faith "outside" my church-friend circle. Today I asked the kids to think about who they were going to talk to about Jesus. I expected "my parents, my sister, my hamster" and I certainly got those answers. I also heard "my cousin Charlie, my friend Lizzie, my neighbor Dana, who is old." These kids already know the specific people they are going to talk to! And they know what they will say: "Jesus loves us. I am going to live with Him forever." Powerful stuff from five year olds, huh? When was the last time I've told someone that? Someone older than five?

I wonder what I'll learn when I volunteer next year???

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

Before Evie was born, I would have sworn that these statements would never come out of my mouth. I've always played by the rules, and a few of these would have shocked me. Not any more!

"Please eat a few more bites of ice cream and you can have more broccoli."

"Get your feet off the kitchen table!"

"No, you do not need any ibuprofen."

"Oh, Evie! That is cuticle cream, not lip gloss!"

"Stop throwing those popsicle wrappers in the street!"

"We have prayed enough. I'm not saying that prayer again."

"You want Pringles for breakfast? Well, okay."

"I wish you would stay up half an hour later."

"Please eat the Chicken McNugget, not just the ranch dip."

"Step away from the dishwasher. I don't need your help."

"Okay, okay, Murphy doesn't want any more kisses."

"That diaper didn't smell too bad."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Evie's Entourage

In the beginning, Evie slept in our bed. Chris and I never planned to have her in our bed, but it happened nonetheless. She slept better with us, therefore we slept better.

When Evie was about four months old, she rolled out of the bed. Twice. It was time to move her to her crib. I agonized about it, but Evie did fine. She slept in her bed, no crib bumper or blanket or stuffed animal. Just her and the sheet. When she needed me, about once a night, I made the trip to her room. I brought her into our bed, nursed her until she was asleep, and walked back down the hall to put her in her crib. She slept through the night a couple of times, and Chris and I knew that any day, we'd be the parents of a great sleeper.

Fast forward a few months, and Evie was six months old. She went through a phase where she woke up three, four, five times a night. She did not want to go back to her room when she was finished nursing. We let her cry it out once, for a long three hours where she wailed and choked. The next morning, I told Chris we would never do that again. We went to Borders that very day and bought The No-Cry Sleep Solution. I agree much more with the Dr. Sears approach than the Ferber method, so this book was more in tune with my parenting style.

One of the ideas the author presents is the introduction of a lovey. And so it began. We bought a tiny pink blanket, no bigger than a diaper. (Actually, we bought five. It would stink to get her attached to something and lose it.) Every time I nursed her, the lovey was between us. Eventually, it went into the crib with her. So it was Evie and the lovey. It was cute to watch as she got older. She'd ball up the lovey like a little pillow and sleep on it. It became her friend. Of course, she still didn't sleep through the night, but she was back to waking up just once.

Then, springtime in the Midwest arrived. Evie's room has a powerful vent, and we were afraid the air conditioning could make her cold. I began to cover her with a small blanket. When I take her out of her crib to nurse at night, or when she wakes up in the morning or from a nap, I must bring the lovey AND the blanket. YOU MAY NOT LEAVE A MAN BEHIND. So it was Evie and the lovey and the blanket. It was cute to watch her again. She balled up the lovey like a little pillow and she balled up the blanket and laid her stomach over it.

Then, about two months ago, Evie discovered binkys. I had tried to get her hooked on pacifiers when she was an infant, but she wanted nothing to do with them. Now she can't get enough. The funny thing is, she doesn't even suck on the binky. She puts it in her mouth for a few seconds, then pops it out and just holds it. It must be comforting to know it's there, should she need it. So it was Evie and the lovey and the blanket and the binky. Her head rested on the lovey like a pillow, her tummy rested on the blanket, and she clutched the binky.

Then, Evie became obsessed with turtles. The one from the zoo made it into her bed. The Girls gave her a smaller turtle, which she also wanted in the crib. So it was Evie and the lovey and the blanket and the binky and the turtle and the Other Turtle. Her head rested on the lovey like a pillow. Sometimes she managed to get the Other Turtle under her head, too. Now she laid right on top of the turtle. She slept under the blanket, clutching the binky.

For some time, GaGa has been fostering another obsession for Evie - pillows. Pillows are such an interesting concept to my daughter. Last night, she had a melt-down because she wanted Chris' pillow. So the beautiful embroidered pillow from Aunt Joy made it's way into the crib. It's just her size, and Evie is so happy to have it. So now it's Evie and the lovey and the blanket and the binky and the turtle and the Other Turtle and the pillow.

She still doesn't sleep through the night.

Anyone care to join her? There's still room in the crib.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vacation Bible School

Well, like everything else, St. John really "does it up" for VBS.

I volunteered to help this year, and am one of several Preschool Bible Story Leaders. This means that I travel to four classrooms each day and creatively read and discuss the day's Bible story. The children I visit are all five years old.

When I walked in, it was amazing. There were so many VBS participants and parents milling aroung, assisted by tons of volunteers! The decorating was great, and really made you feel like you were in for some fun.

And, boy, was I! After dropping a crying Evie off in the Volunteer Childcare Room, I headed off to my first room. I received quite an initiation.

Today's theme was "Jesus gives us the power to be thankful," and I read Luke 17:11-19 about Jesus healing the 10 Lepers. The sweetest little boy, who looked just like a mini-surfer sat right in front of me. Following are some excerpts from my first class:

Me: How many of you have ever fallen and hurt yourself, or gotten an "owie?"
Cute Little Surfer: I've farted.
Me: The 10 men in the Bible story had a very bad sickness, called leprosy, that made their skin hurt and have spots on it.
Cute Little Surfer: Did it make them fart?
Me: As the men turned around to leave, they noticed their spots were gone! Jesus had healed them and made their skin clean and new! How do you think the men felt?
Cute Little Surfer: They farted.
Me: I don't think they farted.
Class: Giggles about the Bible Story Leader saying "farted."
Me: Jesus gives us the power to be thankful. What are some things you are thankful for?
Cute Little Surfer: I'm thankful for farting. And for my brother.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Potty Chair!

If you do not have children, you may find this to be a gross post. Skip it.

So, as referenced in my letter to Evie, we bought a potty chair this weekend.

It has all the bells and whistles, literally. It's called the Royal Stepstool Potty Chair. It's a cute potty chair that converts to a step stool for hand-washing, has a detachable seat that can fit on a regular toilet seat, and best of all... IT PLAYS SONGS WHEN YOU PEE!

I did a little research on the internet, and found an article I like detailing the ABCs of toilet training.

First step: purchase the potty. Done.

Next: Put your child on the potty seat once a day, fully clothed. Do this until your child is comfortable sitting on the potty. We put the potty chair in Evie's bathroom right before bath time tonight. She walked in to see Chris while he was filling the tub, and saw the chair. Immediately, she demanded "Sit!" I heard Chris explain that this was her new potty; Mommy and Daddy go potty and poop on the big potty, and this little one was just for her. Again, she exclaimed "Sit!" Chris let her sit on the potty. Evie loved it! She had a big smile on her face and held the handles, kicked her feet, even giggled.

Third: Once she's comfortable sitting on the potty fully-clothed, let her sit on the chair without her diaper. Do this until she's comfortable. If she resists, put the chair away for a few weeks before trying again. I took her diaper off. She sat back down on the potty. She still liked it. Okay, this was going well. Speaking of going, I had to...

Next: Demonstrate for your child. I sat on the big potty, and said "Do you hear that? I'm going potty. You have your own potty now!" I showed her that I was wiping, we both said "buh-buh" to the tissue, and flushed. (She loves that part.)

When she got up to say bye-bye to the tissue, I noticed Evie had peed a small amount in her potty! Hip, hip, hooray! The tiny teaspoon of urine was too small to activate the song, so I called Chris, and we clapped and praised her. I had her look in the potty to see what she did. I kissed her. She was all smiles, and obviously very proud to have done whatever it was that was causing us to make a big fuss. What a great moment!

She sat back down, and it was a struggle to get her off the potty and into the bath. She loves it! After her bath, she closed the lid, and the song went off. She danced and smiled. Life is good!

Now I have a dilemma. I wasn't really serious about this potty-training thing. I thought I would just get her used to the chair. After talking to my mom, I think I'll put her on the potty when she wakes up, before and after her nap, and right before her bath. Then I'll see what happens. After all, Evie's gotten the both of us this far already!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gooey Butter Cake

Aunt Rachel and Uncle Joe brought us lunch today -- yummy curry and cute Cupcake Bites! Evie loves Aunt Rachel and Uncle Joe! She shouts "Joe!" at even a glimpse of his picture. She has always favored Aunt Rachel, but her allegiance is waning. (Don't worry Rachel, she will go back and forth. Trust me!) Uncle Joe is just so much fun! He wears funny hats and calls her "Buddy." He gives Evie his undivided attention, and thinks everything she does is genius. I distinctly remember him being impressed at her farting power as an infant. Now, he's excited when she says his name, or pets the dog, or hugs him, or drags out yet another toy for his review.

We needed something sweet after the curry, so I made Gooey Butter Cake for dessert.

If you're not from St. Louis, you've probably never heard of this scrumptious cake. The bottom is golden and buttery, and the top is super-sweet and creamy. Gooey Butter Cake is good warm from the oven, and even better cold from the fridge for breakfast. Plus, it's really easy to make. It would be perfect for a potluck.

Gooey Butter Cake

Bottom Layer
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
1 Stick Butter (softened)
2 Eggs

Mix together with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Spread evenly in greased 13X9 pan.

Top Layer
8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
2 Eggs
1 lb. Powdered Sugar

Mix together and spread over cake mixture, being sure to cover edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. (DO NOT OVER BAKE!)

Cook 20 min, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desired.

I actually bake mine for 27 minutes, since our oven runs a little hot. The top will be slightly golden, and will still look jiggly. Don't worry, it will firm up as it cools. I don't find it needs the extra powdered sugar on top, but it looks pretty.

Let me know if you make this!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Sleep-Talker?

I talk all the time. I can't seem to shut up. I can talk to anyone about anything. I don't censor my personal life in my conversations, because I think people relate to you better when they really KNOW you. But I am quiet when I sleep.

Chris, on the other hand, is a sleep-talker. Mostly he makes noises, but occasionally I can actually understand what he's saying. It drives me crazy, and I often wake him up so he stops. "Honey, roll over. You're talking in your sleep," is a common night-time phrase in our house. Once, Chris sat up in bed in the middle of the night and screamed "Don't touch me!" so loud his voice echoed off our bedroom walls. He never even woke up, just laid back down. I, on the other hand, couldn't go back to sleep. My heart was still pounding, since I thought for a split second there was really someone in our room trying to touch him.

Like father, like daughter? Around 5:30 this morning, I was awakened by Evie's shouts of "Tud-toe! Tud-toe, tud-toe, tud-toe, tud-toe! Tud-toe, tud-toe! Tud-toe!" I braced myself for the inevitable cry for rescue from her crib, but it never came. She must have been talking in her sleep! I hope she found the turtle in her dreams...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Seventeen Months

Sweet Evie,

You are seventeen months old today. You've been with us only a little more than 500 days, and you've changed my world.

You are such a tiny girl, just a little bit of a thing. I'll be happy if you make it up to 20 pounds by your eighteen month birthday. But you are a spitfire! Your personality is big, and you think you are already so grown up. However, you are still a baby, just for a little while longer.

You are running! Not just fast-walking, but full out running. It scares me because I know you will fall. And sometimes you do. But you are also tough. I'm surprised at how many times I think a tumble will make you cry, only to have you bounce back up unscathed.

Your favorite two words are more "ma" and mine "mine-a-mine-a-mine." This is cute, until you are put in a situation where sharing is necessary. We take a big bucket full of toys to the pool, as does every other toddler. Sharing is required, and you have no problem playing with the toys other children bring. But you do not like them to play with your toys. You see someone approach your things out of the corner of your eye, and you rush to them -- "Mine-a-mine-a-mine!" Then you patrol the splash pool or the beach entrance, to be sure no one else has the nerve to move in on your territory. I know this is a normal part of your emotional development, but it is sure embarrassing to me!

More is a much cuter word in your vocabulary, and you use it often. "Ma" follows each time we read Where is the Green Sheep? You say it when you're eating, when I tickle you, when Daddy bounces you around on the bed like a maniac right before it's "lights out" for the night. We're learning a new rhyme, called I Have Little Feet, and you giggle and exclaim "Ma!" each time we do it.

I Have Little Feet

I have little feet
(Point to feet.)
To follow Jesus' ways.
(March in place.)

I have little hands
(Hold hands out.)
And fold them when I pray.
(Fold hands.)

I have little ears
(Point to ears.)
That hear of Jesus' love.
(Cross hands on chest.)

I have a little tongue
(Point to tongue.)
To tell about His love.
(Make "talking" motion with hands.)

You are also making strides (I guess I can say that???) in the potty-training department. You tell us immediately after you poop. If, for some reason, I'm not paying attention, you reach into your diaper and pull out a hand full of poop to illustrate your point. I have to be on the ball, because this all happens in a matter of minutes. We're buying a potty this weekend, just to see how you react. We won't be putting any pressure on you, especially since I'm not sure if I'm committed enough, and I think you're too young. But we'll see what happens.

Although you are tiny, you love to eat. Your favorite foods are blueberries, Ramen Noodles (blame Daddy for that,) sausage links, lollipops, Popsicles, sunflower seeds, black olives, and anything with tomatoes.

You still don't sleep through the night. Daddy and I consider a "one wake-up" night to be good. You were doing so well until an ear infection about a month ago. Now night-time is a struggle again. I try to be patient, but I'm not perfect. I wonder sometimes how I long I can continue to have this interrupted sleep. But most nights I'm content to get you from your crib when you need me, snuggle up in my bed and nurse you until you drift back off. I complained to Debbie next door a few weeks ago. The Girls are ten, eight, five and four years old. I said "Evie STILL doesn't sleep through the night!" She looked at me knowingly, and said "Mine don't, either." My expectations about sleep are different than before I was a mother, but a night of sleeping for hours on end sounds delicious.

You love to talk on the phone. You're too smart to spend much time on the toy "pretend" phones. You want the real thing. You talk, mostly to GaGa and Daddy, and now you have a new habit of snapping the phone closed when you're finished. Too bad Mommy is usually waiting to have the phone back and resume her conversation...

You are such a loving child. You pass out generous hugs and kisses to our friends and neighbors. Your affection is sought-after. Many times a day you will hear "Evie, can I have a kiss?" or "Evie, will you hug me?" or "Evie, will you sit in my lap?" You cuddle your new turtle; you feed and kiss your baby doll. You'll lay your sweet head on my shoulder and all is right in the world.

I was rocking you to sleep a few weeks ago, when I realized your "baby" smell is gone. I don't know when this happened, and I was sad. I was sad, and I was happy. You are growing into such a beautiful, smart, and caring child. I am overjoyed at this time we've had with you.

However, you are still a baby, just for a little while longer.

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, My!

So we didn't really see any lions or tigers today. But we did see plenty of bears, along with tud-toes, goats, penguins, and monkeys.

Chris took the day off , and we went to the St. Louis Zoo. First, we visited the turtles. They were huge, caked with mud and their skin was so leathery they looked fake, like robot turtles. For the next twenty minutes, all the way to the Children's Zoo, all Evie could focus on were the tud-toes we left behind.

Luckily, there were goats to brush. After a whirlwind tour of the rest of the Children's Zoo, we found the goats. Evie was fascinated with the first goat she saw at the entrance. We tried to coax her away from the nice gray goat to see others, but she was loyal to the end. (Much to the dismay of Violet, the next-door goat, who could have also used some grooming.)

Evie feasted on nachos for lunch, and then we took a train ride. We visited the penguins (how is it so smelly in an ice-cold, indoor exhibit?) and spent a lot of time checking out the monkeys. I convinced Chris that Evie needed a souvenir from her first Zoo visit, and we left the gift shop with the sweetest plush turtle. Evie hugged it, kissed it, and could think of nothing else for the rest of the day. Great memories and her own personal tud-toe to boot!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Evie Loves the DMV!

Chris took a day off last Thursday. It was beautiful and we planned to go to the pool. We just had to run to the bank first.

On our way to the bank, we were pulled over by the Ellisville police! In typical wife fashion, I grilled Chris - "What did you do? Were you speeding? Did you cut someone off? Did you run a red light?" Turns out, the nice officer wrote us a ticket for expired license plates - from JANUARY! (And, being so very nice, he also wrote us a ticket for having an expired insurance card. Not expired insurance, as he could have easily checked. Just an old card. But I digress.)

So Evie and I took Daddy's car for an inspection and emissions test Friday. It was uneventful except for the poop. You will all be shocked to hear that I noticed a little dried poop on my shirt while I was driving to the mechanic. You will be even more shocked that I did not turn around, but instead WORE THE POOP until we returned home. Wow, motherhood sure changes you.

Today we had to complete the last step, and visit the dreaded Department of Motor Vehicles. Turns out, it's like an amusement park to a toddler. We walked in and Evie was instantly the center of attention. (Not too hard when everyone else looks like they're waiting to have their mug shot taken.) The old people and bored men and women all asked her name and how old she was. She showed off by climbing up and down, up and down, up and down the big wooden bench. She ate sunflower seeds. She showed everyone all the toys she had in her little purse. She pestered some poor man (who claimed he liked it) while I talked to the nice lady who renewed our license plates. Then, sadly, it was time to leave. Would you ever guess that Evie screamed and cried? If you're in need of an inexpensive, kid-friendly summer activity, I highly recommend the West County DMV.

Oh, and one last tidbit of parental knowledge I learned today: A bag of popcorn from the Target food court will make your shopping trip much easier! They don't even make you pay for the popcorn if you bring a child as cute as Evie.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I have fallen in love with Chris all over again.

Someone told me this would happen. When we first decided the time was right for a baby, a girl at my gym told me seeing your husband as a father makes you fall in love again. It's so true.

Chris is an excellent father. He's not one to sit on the sidelines. He was the first one to be able to get her to fall asleep when she was a tiny infant. He used to do the "Daddy-Daughter Dance" and she would drift right off.

I love watching him interact with Evie. Chris reads to her, throws her up in the air, and makes her laugh. He teaches her things I don't approve of, like burping is funny. When it's time to blow bubbles or draw with chalk, he's right there with her, DOING those things. He used to push her around in this little car, and she would shriek with laughter. He takes her for walks in the stroller and rides in the wagon. He makes her bath and her sippy cups full of juice. He LOVES her.

The best thing is watching him with her. He is so happy. At least ten times a day, he turns to me and says "Did you see/hear that?" Chris is amazed at this tiny little person we have produced, and he looks at her with wonder each day.

I am so thankful that I've had the opportunity to watch him be a father to our daughter. Seeing him love his family is a glimpse I have into the relationship God has with us. I know our love is small compared to His, but Chris' joy at being a parent has to come close!

Happy Father's Day, Chris. We love you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Two Favorite Evie Words

Okay, before I write about Evie... Did anyone see that Bakerella herself commented on my Cupcake Bites???!!! I mean, she has been on MARTHA STEWART! I feel like I had a brush with a celebrity!

On to my real life... We met our friends Erika and Owen at the pool this afternoon. Evie showed off and said one of my favorite words in her vocabulary, "turtle." I can't exactly describe how this word sounds coming out of her little mouth. Kind of like "tud toe." Oh, it melts my heart!

My other favorite word is "elbow." She's been saying "bow" forever because her mother is obsessed with hair ribbons, and she has taken up the cause. She loves to point to the bows hanging in her room and say (very clearly, might I add) "bow." But now she has learned "elbow!"

Of course, my favorites will always be "Mama" and "Daddy" but "elbow" and "turtle" are so fun to hear!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cupcake Bites

Look what we made today!

It's our friend Maddy's tenth birthday, so Evie and I made her cupcake bites to celebrate. I read about these on Bakerella, and I've been looking for a reason to make them. All in all, it was pretty easy! They turned out really cute! (and yummy!)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The 'Hood

Evie is living a picture-perfect slice of American life.

Next door to us are "The Girls." Evie wakes up in the morning, and sometimes the first word she says is "shoes!" She puts them on and stands by the door to the garage, ready to go out, excited about the possibility the "grs" may be outside. We can't be playing on the driveway without Evie pointing to their house (or even walking into their garage.) She can say the names of all four girls, and although an outsider may not recognize it, the girls all know when she's speaking to them.

The best thing is they love her just as much. One girl will wander out into the front yard, see Evie, and dash back inside. I'll hear "Evie's out!" and one by one, the other girls will appear. They even think about Evie when they're on vacation, bringing a special souvenir back just for her.

Across the street is a sweet, tiny three-year-old. She speeds across on her Disney Princesses tricycle. She is so good about sharing with Evie, although Evie needs a lot of practice sharing back these days. A few doors down are "S-bn" (Evie's pronunciation) and her brother. They come over when we're out, and sometimes we go to them. They are the ones who taught us to paint the driveway with water and told us about the PBK Book Club.

So those are the major players. We play at sporadic times during the day, and always gather together each night after dinner. The parents sit in lawn chairs and have a beer, trying to carry on a conversation around the children. The kids blow bubbles, draw with chalk (my husband is quite the driveway graffiti artist,) and eat Popsicles and lollipops. They run all their "sillies" out, and bedtime for Evie always comes too soon. After drawn-out hugs and kisses, promises to play again tomorrow, and a wave "buh-buh," we are off to a bath.

Don't we have a lovely life?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Reality Bites!

My sweet, cute, angel of a baby snuggled up to me today after lunch. She loving laid her beautiful head on my shoulder, and BIT ME! THEN SHE LAUGHED!

Now, we had a busy morning. We went to a way-too-long VBS volunteer meeting, followed by story time at Borders. We were tired. But tired is no excuse for biting.

So I told her "No!" I looked right into her eyes and said a very stern "No!" Evie seemed like she took me seriously. She laid her head down on my shoulder again, and BIT ME! After several cycles of "No!" and biting followed by giggles, I gave Evie her first official time out. (Is this even okay for a 17-month-old???) I made her sit on the corner of the couch for about a minute, and I was too smart to let her put her head back on my shoulder.

We both needed a nap. An hour and a half later, my sweet, cute, angel of a baby was back. We made it through the rest of the afternoon at the pool and playing with the neighbors sans biting.

My fear: Is this a new trend? Or just a precocious and very sleepy girl?

Monday, June 9, 2008

More from the AEATT Channel

The All Evie, All the Time Channel

The First Week!

Drum roll... So last week was my first week home with Evie. It was everything I had hoped for! We played with Grandma, joined the Pottery Barn Kids Book Club, had lunch with friends, "painted" the driveway with water (many times,) played in the sand, fed ducks at the park, bought a pool pass, and ate a lot of Popsicles! We play with the neighborhood children till bedtime, and we are wonderfully tired at the end of each day.

I have to figure out how to post pictures from my new camera. After that, watch out! You'll be viewing the All Evie, All the Time channel.