Earlier this week, you turned twenty-seven months. I've been looking back at past Easter photos lately, with you in your little bunny ears. It's amazing that we've had three Easter celebrations with you. You've grown so much, and it's gone so quickly.
Your biggest (and most annoying) change over the past month is your curiosity. You ask "Why?" a million times a day, over and over.
You: You my mommy? Why? Me: Because you are a part of me and you grew in my tummy and I love you and take care of you. You: Why? Me: Because that's what mommies do. They take care of their babies. You: Why? Me: Um, because I love you. You: Why? Me: Because you are kind and sweet and funny and beautiful. You: Why? Me: Oh, Evie, I don't know! Why are you so kind and sweet and beautiful?!?!?! You: Don't know.
You still LOVE the color pink, to the point of insanity. You now pretend other colors are pink. "That not red, Mommy. That pink." You have to have pink clothes and shoes and drinks. (Grenadine colors most anything pink.) You look for pink signs when we're driving in the car. I even color your bath water pink. It bothers you to no end that I still have not bought pink pony tail holders. You have to settle for purple or green or blue, much to your dissatisfaction.
Your favorite show on television is Word World. The animal characters on the show "build" things out of letters. We were in the car the other day, and you complained you couldn't see me. I showed you to look in the rear view mirror, and you were concerned because you didn't have your own mirror. Then I heard you jabbering about letters, and you pushed your little hands together like they do on the show. And then, you said "Mommy, I built a mirror for my own self!" You also built a pink sky for yourself, and a purple sky for me. You proceeded to throw the skies up to the ceiling of my car.
But you love letters, and you really love books. Your favorites are Pinkalicious, Noodles from Scratch, Tea for Ruby, or any Disney Princess book. Like any child your age, you like repetition, so we read them repeatedly.
Next week, we leave for our vacation. You picked out a new swimming suit for Florida, and you want to wear it. NOW. You will be so happy to be by the pool, in your new suit! I'm really looking forward to this trip, watching you splash in the water, experiencing Disney World for the first time, meeting Shamu, and hanging out in the sun.
I can't write this without mentioning today would have been your Angel Grammy's birthday. It breaks my heart that you never met her. She prayed so hard for God to send you to us, and she prayed so hard she would know you. But I am sure if she was here, she would think you were just as beautiful and smart as special as we think you are.
I love you so much, my darling girl. Lately, you look up at me and say "I love you, Mommy. You so good to me." Sweet Girl, you are the one who is good to me. You are the answer to my prayers, the love in my heart, the light in my life. I love you so much.
So I have issues about Evie's weight. And she must be catching on.
We were just having lunch, and as usual Evie had only eaten the low calorie stuff. She polished off an entire clementine and a side salad with three artichoke hearts. At least she managed to eat a piece of cheese.
Then she noticed a fortune cookie from last night's dinner. This is how negotiations went:
Evie: I have this cookie? Me: I want you to eat some hot dog first. Evie: The cookie will give me calories.
Rachel turned 30 yesterday. For some reason, just knowing my little sister is 30 makes me feel old. But this post is not about me, it's about the wonderful girl I grew up with. And the things I love about her.
In honor her birthday, I gave her a list of 30 things that make her special. Since many of you also read Rachel's blog, I thought I'd share them with you. Just a little insight into my little sister...
I love so many things about you, but here are thirty reasons I think you are an incredible person: 1. You are beautiful. 2. And blonde. I have to pay money to get hair like yours. 3. You are smart. 4. You are not afraid to be yourself. 5. Even if being yourself includes loving Sci-Fi movies, you are still not afraid to embrace who you are. 6. You are crafty. 7. You are creative. I don't know another soul who has made a clay-mation movie. 8. You care passionately about the world around you, and fight for causes to make our world a better place. 9. You are a great writer. 10. You can chug a beer faster than anyone I know. 11. But you are still girl-y. 12. You have good taste in shoes. 13. You get a beautiful tan in the summer. I freckle and Martha blotches, then we turn red. Count yourself lucky. 14. You understand me completely when I talk about my childhood. 15. You accept other people for who they are. 16. Unless they are Republicans. 17. You have a sense of humor. See above. 18. You inherited Grandma's love of travel. 19. You are tough, but soft at the same time. 20. You make me laugh when I remember how you stole my clothes as a kid. 21. And then hid them in the tree. How did that work exactly? Were you naked out in front of Grandma's house? 22. You don't regret the past. You accept that it made you who you are today. 23. You love your husband. 24. You could never hit a softball, but you made a cute ballerina. 25. You wouldn't let Jyoti be the "chief" in the canoe. 26. You yelled at those naked girls on the river. 27. You are generous. To me, to Evie, and to strangers. 28. You are a great aunt. When she's a teenager, Evie will dream about running away to your house. 29. You always know where the bathroom is. 30. You are a fabulous sister.
Early on Easter morning, Evie appeared at our bedside. It was 6:29 AM. In the soft light of dawn, her little voice sang out "Mommy, I not a baby anymore. I a big girl now!" She had slept the entire night in her bed alone, and therefore earned a new pair of clack clack shoes. As I write this she is wearing her shoes, tapping and clack-clacking them on the kitchen floor.
Evie certainly is a big girl. I am sure I will notice it even more when our new baby arrives. Still, I am reminded so many times each day that she is growing fast. I remember taking her to the grocery store as an infant. I read that you should talk to your baby during your normal activities, but I still felt silly saying "Look at this orange. See its smooth skin?" She couldn't respond, instead she just stared with wonder at the orange.
But last week she talked and talked at the store. I think she even drew a couple of stalkers who were just hanging around to see what she would say next. "Corn! Oh, I love corn!" and "Grapes! Let's get grapes, Mommy!" and "Lightning McQueen soup! Princess Soup! I love it!" and "I so happy! My lucky day!" She begged for Popsicles and ice cream and string cheese. Oh, and gum. She really needed gum, she told me.
Evie chooses her own clothes and asks to "go shopping to mall." When she's in the bath or sprawled out asleep on the sofa, I notice just how long her little body is. She knows the words to songs and belts them out in the car and before her nap. She pretends to write letters. She "cooks" dinner with me in the kitchen, using her Melissa & Doug wooden knives and salt shaker. She sits down quietly by herself with a book or two - books with real pages. She brings me a blanket if she thinks I look cold. She gets out her own Crayons and stickers for art projects. She cleans up her toys. She asks to "play games," especially Don't Break the Ice. She's into Barbie and My Little Pony and all the Disney Princesses. She can turn on the CD player all by herself. She knows where the lollipops are kept. She plays with costume jewelry and she really, really wants to drive the car.
And on nights when the stars align, she sleeps in her own bed. Just like a big girl.
We're so happy Spring is here. And I just know it's here to stay, despite the most annoying snow showers we had today. I mean, it's APRIL already! It's hard to explain to Evie why I have both flip-flops and snow boots by the door for her...
I remember making these trees as a kid. I always used pink and purple tissue paper and made red bud trees. Unfortunately, I only had green and blue paper at home, so we went with a general Spring tree.
First, I drew the tree on brown paper, cut it out, and glued it to the yellow paper. Then I cut green tissue paper into small squares and put out a dish of white glue. Evie had so much fun! She wadded the paper into little balls, dipped it in the glue, and put it on the tree! Viola - instant Spring!
Today I took Evie for her two-year visit to the pediatrician.
And we have big news... At 22 pounds and 15 ounces, she is FINALLY ON THE WEIGHT CHARTS! Yahoo! She just makes it into the 4th percentile, but we are so happy to see her there.
I was so proud of Evie today. I prepped her beforehand so she understood she would be getting two shots. I told her it would hurt, but only for a second. She seemed happy at the prospect of having another boo-boo and asked for Dora Band-Aids. Two Dora Band-Aids. And gum afterward.
She hammed it up for the receptionist.
Receptionist: Oh, hi Cutie! How old are you? Evie: Two! Receptionist: What is your name? Evie: Sleeping Beauty!
She scored high marks for her development and didn't even cry when she got her shots. Lexi even gave her two extra Band-Aids, in addition to her Dora ones. Evie promptly stuck a shiny glitter strip on a microscopic scratch on her finger, and a bright pink strip on an old and fading injury on her ankle.
As I paid our copay, Evie proudly showed off her wounds. And then she patted my butt and loudly announced "Mommy, you have a boo-boo on your bottom!" (I do. It's a tiny scab from my very last Progesterone in Oil injection.) The receptionist looked up at me and giggled. I turned very, very red.
I just realized that I no longer have any secrets.
I have been married for more than 11 years to my fantastic husband, Chris, and we have two beautiful and energetic children. Evie is 5, and full of spunk and sparkle. Ethan is 2, and has taught me about trains and construction vehicles and Buzz Lightyear - and about sweet boy cuddles.
I strive to be gentle and kind - a reflection of the love Christ has shown to us. I don't always live it perfectly, but I am working towards a life of gratitude, joy, and love!