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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

10 Things About Evelyn

At 2 years, 5 months there are a ton of things about Evelyn to love.  Her little personality (which actually isn't little at's in fact quite large!) cracks us up daily.  I want to use this post today to document 10 thinks about Evelyn...

10. She's starting to get really into movies, especially Disney.  We have instituted Friday movie night at our house, which has really become something Steve and I look forward to.  We do early jammies, make some popcorn, and pop in a movie of Evelyn's choice.  Her current favorites: FROZEN, Tangled, Finding Nemo (which might possibly be the LONGEST. MOVIE. EVER!), Cinderella, and the newest favorite is The Lion King.  I hope this tradition continues for a long time!

9. Speaking of The Lion King, the way she sings "Hakuna Matata, it's our problem free, 'losophy" is quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever heard. 

8. Evelyn has realized that many people nod their head when they answer yes to a question, a practice which she is trying to implement herself.  Her nod starts at her waist, though, resulting in the funniest looking upper body bob I've ever seen. 

7. You will never get to see this awesome move because she refuses to let me take a picture or video of her.  The minute I try to get out my phone to take a video or picture she instantly wants to watch Marshall videos, which is what she calls any videos on the phone because they originally all featured her cousin Marshall.  When she's doing something cute I have to go stealth mode to try to get a picture of her from the side or back. 

This is actually starting to change with the arrival of Vivian though, and she has actually started to ask for a picture to be taken of her and baby sister.  If I really want to take a picture of her I employ the fail proof tactic of...

6. Bribery.  She will do anything for a "treat."  The treat should preferably be in the form of beans (of the jelly variety) or chocolate.  And the treat must come in pairs.  "Two Mommy!"  I kind of blame her love of chocolate on Frozen, which is mentioned at least 3 times in that classic.  Steve has a different theory as to who is to blame for her love of treats, particularly the chocolate. 

This beauty cost me a handful of goldfish. 

5.  She is absolutely fearless.  She climbs up rock walls at the playground, goes for the big slide, and jumps from heights that seem just way too tall to be safe for a two year old. 

4.  She is the friendliest kid I know.  She calls out the window of the car to people passing by, walks down the paths at Longwood Gardens saying hi to everyone she sees, and when she sees other kids she wants to go over and "make friends." 

3.  Every morning she asks us if we want her to make us coffee.  She then proceeds to bring us a toy cup with a play tea bag in it.  Not sure how the connection between the tea bag and coffee started, but I'm wondering if Steve and I discuss coffee too much?  Because there are 4 cups, she also proceeds to indicate who her favorite person of the day is because she gets that fourth cup ready for someone (usually Grampy, Poppop, or Uncle Jeff). 

2.  Speaking of Grampy, Poppop, and Uncle Jeff, her favorite people are boys.  She mentions Uncle Charlie, Uncle Andy, and Uncle AJ often, too.  Every day when I pick her up from school I ask her who she played with.  (A great example of how I am totally turning into my mom, every day for my entire school career she asked me who I sat next to at lunch.  This continued through college.  I apologize in advance, Evelyn.)  She only mentions boys when she tells me who she played with.  I know the names of all the boys in her class, but really have to dig deep if you would ask me who any of the girls are.  And I'm often just guessing by pulling from some of the most common girls' names these days (anything that ends in the letter A is fair game it seems...). 

1.  She says everything three times, especially questions.  She would drive Will Ferrell's character Mustafa from Austin Powers totally crazy.  Everything she has to say is so important that it warrants being said three times.  And when she gets her little pointer finger going with what she is saying, watch out because she means business.  And after that third time, she usually punctuations what she is telling you with, oh-KAY?

So there's the top 10 things I want to remember about Evelyn at almost two and a half.  :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mommy's Adjustment to Two

My last post was about how Evelyn has been adjusting to being a big sister.  I figure I should also include a post about how I am adjusting to life with two, as that is the second most common question I get these days.  I actually was asked by a friend who just told me she is expecting her second.  This is my reply to her.  Now you're all trying to guess who is having a baby.  I'll never tell... 

It's funny because in many ways going from one to two has been easier than from none to one.  I guess it makes sense because you have done it once before, so you have an idea of what to expect as far as caring for a baby.  Don't get me wrong, Evelyn and Vivian are different babies, and Vivian has her own little quirks that we are working to figure out.  The basics of babies stayed the same though, and that made getting used to having two a little easier.

 I think another reason getting used to having two is easier than getting used to one is because of Vivian's delivery.  It was much easier than Evelyn's, and the recovery was faster.  I was up and moving around much quicker and when I could rest, I was actually resting comfortably.  I remember with Evelyn I was exhausted from the very beginning and stayed exhausted for a very long time.  I'm still tired this time around, but not to the extent I was with Evelyn.  With both of them I am also trying to be very good about sleeping when they're both asleep, particularly at night.  I would often stay up after Evelyn went to bed for a while, which wasn't the best idea.  Now, as soon as they are both asleep, I'm asleep. 

 What has been difficult as far as sleep is the napping.  Evelyn still takes about a 2 hour nap in the afternoon, but Vivian does not.  She tends to take her nice long nap in the morning, usually in the carseat or stroller while I am running an errand or doing something with Evelyn.  I try to catch up on a little rest during Evelyn's afternoon nap, but that gets harder with a baby that doesn't want to sleep much during that time.  I will admit that in order to get a little more quiet time in the afternoon, or to make some dinner, Evelyn watches an episode of Sesame Street every day.  It's the only show she watches, so I don't feel bad about it.  (Unrelated... any parents out there who have seen Sesame Street lately, what's the deal with Abby's Flying Fairy School???  Can't stand it, and neither can Evelyn!)

The other thing about having a second that is making things a little easier is that I'm paying closer attention to any "schedule" I can find in Vivian's day.  I really didn't do that with Evelyn this early on, so it never felt like we developed any kind of schedule.  But with having a two year old, I have been forced to be more aware of any schedule there might be.  Vivian is making that a little difficult though because she hasn't developed a consistent feeding pattern yet.  I think part of this is my fault though because I tend to start feeding her, but then Evelyn needs me and I don't necessarily finish a full feeding.  As a result I feel like Vivian needs to eat all the time, which is not the best situation, but it's reality right now.

In general, adjusting to having two just happens because it has to.  There isn't time to be tired because you have to be on your A game for your older kid.  As my wise Nanny always said, "You can sleep when you're dead!"  I think she was usually implying go out and have a good time, make memories, that kind of stuff.  But it works for having kids, too.  It's making memories, right??  You just might not remember the memories in your sleep deprived state.  :) 

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Transition to Becoming a Big Sister

When you have your second baby one of the most common questions you get asked is how is the older sibling dealing with the new baby.  So, how is Evelyn dealing with the new baby?  Well, it has been a roller coaster of a month.

For the first couple of days Evelyn was interested in this new little person and asked to hold her often.  Now, when Evelyn did hold Vivian, her attention lasted about 5 seconds before she was ready to move on to something better.  She also was more interested in all of the presents that were being thrown at her pretty much every day for a few weeks. 

As to be expected, the desire to hold and be near her baby sister lasted about three days.  She suddenly was a little resentful and every once in a while came out with "Me no like baby sister!"  Of course this was immediately followed by giving the baby her own nickname: Little Cutie.  Also to be noted, Evelyn refers to herself as Big Cutie. 

After resentment and nickname giving, came the desperate need for attention from Mommy and Daddy, resulting in one melt down after another and tons of whining.  We tried to do as much one on one time with one of us as possible.  When we could Steve and I tried to do things like bed time with the three of us.  The constant melt downs and whining lasted a few weeks, but have started to decrease in the past few days. 

The tantrums could also be attributed to the fact that we have had no kind of schedule for the past few weeks as we try to adjust to being a family of four, which has resulted in bed times that change almost nightly and no real morning routines either, both of which we used to have down to a science.  Also, Evelyn went from full time daycare to two mornings a week.  As we begin to settle back into a routine and she gets used to having baby sister around, it seems that Evelyn's general mood is improving.   
We have also moved onto the "helper" phase of being a new big sister.  I can't change Vivian's diaper myself anymore, and when Evelyn helps she HAS to be the one to open the new diaper and pull up the tabs for me.  This results in each diaper change taking about 5 minutes, and more times than not Vivian manages to poop again before I can get the new diaper under her because I am waiting for Evelyn to pull up the tabs (and we're back to the posts about poop, how I've missed the posts about poop!)*.  She's also really good at finding a burp cloth to clean up all of the spit up.  This is probably because spit up totally freaks her out, so she wants to get rid of it as quickly as possible.  There was a projectile spit up incident the other day which actually caused Evelyn to start crying.  I tried desperately to control my laughter. 
Although she wants to help with everything, she also has become incredibly selfish.  Everything that is Vivian's she considers hers.  She is willing to take turns with everything, but her turns are quite a bit longer than Vivian's.  In particular she loves taking her turn on the Boppy pillow for tummy time. 
Evelyn "sharing" the play mat.
Luckily with each passing day life seems to get a little bit closer to "normal" for Evelyn, and I think she has fully accepted Vivian as a member of our family.  When Nanny asked her if Vivian should stay at their house while she goes home with Mommy and Daddy, Evelyn replied "NO! Vivian goes to our house!"
*Side note: Since becoming a parent, I have made up rules.  One of the newest rules since Vivian was born is "always put a diaper on the baby as soon as she gets out of the tub, even if she is screaming for food like she hasn't eaten in days."  This rule was the result of a lap full of poop immediately following a bath.  I didn't remember this until I was writing about poop.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Morning Out

We all have those days where it just feels like nothing is going to go right.  It's just one thing after another.  Generally you deal with it and move on the next day, but when you're having one of those days with a newborn and toddler in tow, it's a little harder to just move on.

This was Evelyn's first week not being in daycare full time.  She went two mornings and was home with me the rest of the time.  Generally when she's home with me we find places to go and people to see, but with Vivian it's a little harder to just get up and go right now.  As a result, we've been at home most of the week, and Evelyn was getting a little stir crazy by yesterday.  I had signed us up for a class at the library meant for toddlers this morning, and was actually really looking forward to it.  Then I got an email yesterday saying that the class was cancelled this week.  I was really bummed because I had planned for this, and knew Evelyn needed to get out of the house.  Plus the weather was supposed to be crummy this morning, and the library would be a good place to go.  Now I faced having to find something else to do. 

I decided that we would head up to the Exton Mall playground instead.  It's an easy place to get to, and Evelyn loves running around there.  So I loaded everyone into the car and we headed to the mall.  We got there before the stores opened and headed to the playground...which was closed for cleaning.  I mean, seriously??  It's a rainy Friday morning and the playground is closed??  I wish I had counted the number of moms I passed with strollers and kids in tow just aimlessly wandering the mall.  The look on all of their faces was exactly the same.  It said, "What on earth am I going to do now??"  It was going to be a solid 20 minutes before the stores opened, so Learning Express wasn't even open with the toys out to pass some time. 

We continued to wander the mall for a few minutes until the toy store opened.  About 3 minutes after it opened Evelyn pooped and Vivian started crying because she was hungry.  I was going to let her play for a few minutes before taking her to be changed, but then I saw another mom checking her kid's diaper, and realized I couldn't wait.  The smell was just too offensive to everyone around us.  "Don't worry, it's my kid," I said to her.  I then realized I seemed like the worst parent ever for not rushing her out the minute she was poopy.  "I was just waiting a minute to make sure she was done," I continued. 

"I totally get it!  Nothing is worse than having to do a second diaper change!"  She was either the nicest person ever and was trying to make me feel better, or she was a kindred spirit. 

I hustled my kids out of the toy store and decided instead of carting them all the way across the mall to the bathroom with the changing station, I was just going to go into Sears and into a fitting room where I could change Evelyn and feed Vivian without needing to worry about having to use my hooter hider.  The whole time Evelyn was talking about the playground opening soon.  In my frustration I texted Steve.  His brilliant response was to go to the Chick Fil A for lunch and the indoor playground there.  BEST IDEA EVER!

Once I managed to get Evelyn away from the toy store and closed playground...AKA carried her out of the mall crying, we got back to the car.  I opened the car door and asked her to climb into her seat while I took care of putting Vivian in and the stroller in the trunk.  I got everything in and climbed in myself and started backing out.  "MOMMY WAIT!  Buckle seat!"  O. M. G.  Thank you God for somehow making my child understand how important it is for her carseat to be buckled.

I managed somehow to get us safely down to the Chick Fil A.  And at that moment, our day took an amazing turn.  I walked in, and suddenly people were taking care of us.  I walked up to the counter and the very patient person waited for me to get my bearings, figure out my order, and find my wallet, chatting with Evelyn the whole time.  Someone else insisted that I take the girls and go sit down and they would bring everything to us.  Would I like someone to help me carry the carseat?  Can I get you a highchair or booster seat?  I thought you might like a bendy straw for your daughter's milk.  Do you want paper placemats?  It was awesome.  I want to go back all the time because they were so incredibly nice and helpful, plus Evelyn just had a great time with the other kids on the playground.  Forget the Exton Mall, we will be going to Chick Fil A for lunch on a regular basis.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Vivian's Birth Day

I'm going to be totally honest.  I was petrified to give birth the second time.  Evelyn was NOT an easy delivery, and I was in pretty rough shape for quite a few weeks after she was born.  To the extent that I seriously contemplated one and done after her arrival.  And it's really not true what they say about you forgetting all about it after the baby comes.  But, about a year after Evelyn was born we started discussing the possibility of another baby.  I grew up with three siblings and Steve with one, and we decided we wanted Evelyn to grow up with a sibling.  I still remembered everything about Evelyn's delivery, but we were going to go for it anyway. 

So for the nine months leading up to Vivian's arrival, I was kind of obsessed with how big I was getting, what my exact due date was, and the possibility of being induced again.  I didn't want to get too big because I was sure that was the cause for the rough delivery.  I also didn't really want to be induced again.  I went for a third trimester ultra sound and everything pointed to another large baby.  The doctors I saw agreed that this was looking like a larger baby, but they didn't think it was going to be as big as Evelyn, who weighed in at 9 lbs. 4 oz.  They also assured me that all deliveries are different.  That a rough first delivery didn't mean anything when it came to the second.  I was not convinced. 

As my due date approached and passed, I prepared myself to be induced again.  And as much as I didn't want to be induced, there is something really great about knowing the end is in sight and exactly when it will happen.  I'm not generally the kind of person who needs things super planned out.  I like a surprise (we didn't find out what either of our babies were going to be), I like to be spontaneous, but when it comes to giving birth I really needed to know when it was going to happen.  Which makes no sense when I say how badly I did not want to have to be induced. 

But there we were, on March 25, heading to the hospital for my induction.  Surprisingly I slept pretty well the night before, despite being a hot mess about what was about to happen the next day.  I was absolutely petrified, even more so than the first time.  At that point I think my worries were more about what this meant for Evelyn than what I was about to go through.  We made a stop to drop her off at school, and that's when I lost it.  I wouldn't even walk in.  I gave her a kiss through the window and Steve walked her in. 

After a stop for coffee for Steve and Kelly (my personal labor and delivery nurse), and a donut for me, we arrived at the hospital.  I was still very anxious, but my favorite doctor was on call, and I knew that between her and Kelly, they would make a plan that was best for me.  Things got started, and I was surprised that I didn't start having contractions pretty quickly, as I did with Evelyn.  I was convinced nothing was happening and in my head I was now preparing for a C-section since it didn't seem like this baby was going to come at all. 

Surprisingly, I was actually dilating and after a few hours things really started moving.  My contractions started quick and I got an epidural.  Suddenly I was 10 cm dilated.  I then prepared myself for hours of pushing, which is what happened with Evelyn.  The nurse had me do a push just to see what would happen, and almost immediately told me to stop and called for the doctor.  About 4 pushes and less than five minutes later, Vivian Marie had arrived.  She was 8 lbs. 10 oz., and just a little bit longer than her big sister at 20 3/4 inches.  I was absolutely shocked!  The doctors were right...each delivery is completely different. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Changes Are A Comin'

I've been asked a lot if Evelyn knows what's going on with the baby coming.  And if I'm being honest, I really think she knows exactly what's going on.  She really has been so sweet about all of the different baby things going on, and she says things every once in a while that make us think that she really is aware that a baby is coming. 

It started a few weeks ago with the change to a big girl bed.  We moved the crib into the baby's room and any time we are in there she points out her old crib.  We talk about how she's such a big girl now she doesn't need a crib anymore, that it's for baby.  After hearing this once or twice she said, "Evelyn share crib with baby."  And ever since then it has been baby's crib.

She has also just been so aware of me and what I need.  She tries to help me up off the floor or her bed, and just loves being helpful.  "I help, Mommy.  You okay?"  She also constantly feels my belly and gives it pats and kisses because she loves baby. 

The best moment came when Steve put the baby car seat back in the car.  When Evelyn got into the car the next day and saw the other seat there she wanted to know what it was.  When we explained that it was the car seat for the new baby she got a look of pure delight on her face.  "Baby sit next to ME?"  She was so excited that she is going to sit next to her baby.  Every time we get in the car she points out the seat and reminds me that the baby is going to sit next to her. 

Maybe I'm just looking for proof that she's going to be okay when this new baby comes, but I really think she knows what's about to happen and is at least a little bit excited about it.  I know that there's still going to be some major adjustment for her, and the rest of us, but I think she's at least as prepared as she can be.  We will know soon enough I suppose!   

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Public Service Announcement...

A week or so ago I was complaining to a friend about all of the incredibly insensitive things that people say to someone who is pregnant.  It may have been more than complaining.  I was pretty perturbed by some of the things people feel they can say.  I guess people got the word that it's not okay to touch a pregnant woman's belly anymore, so now I guess people think they can just make comments on how you look.  So, I bring to you the top 5 things you should NEVER say to a pregnant woman, or at least not to me!

5. "Are you sure you aren't having twins?"  Of course I'm sure...but thanks for implying that I'm so big there must be two babies in there. 

 4. "You'll never make it to your due date!"  Again...the implication that I'm ginormous.  The only good thing about this comment is that it makes me all the more determined to get to and past my due date, despite how uncomfortable I am. 

 3. "I don't think you could get any bigger!"  Well, in fact I can get bigger.  But thanks. 

 2. "Are you as uncomfortable as you look?"  Well now that you mention it, I hadn't realized just how uncomfortable I was until you pointed it out to me. 

I thought long and hard about if I should include this last thing to never say to a pregnant woman because I don't want to offend anyone, but I consulted with my people and have been told to just go with it!

1. "You're having a boy/girl BECAUSE..."  It's not about having a guess.  It's fun to take a guess about what someone is having, and I don't mind when people tell me their guess.  It's the BECAUSE that ends up driving me nuts.  You're having a boy BECAUSE you're carrying totally different from your last pregnancy.  Seriously?!?!  It was over two years ago...I can't remember what I ate yesterday, but you remember what I looked like two years ago??  Then proceed to tell me I'm carrying all in front, which is also exactly what people told me last time.  I had some friends tell me that they were told they were having a girl BECAUSE the baby was stealing all of their beauty.  Honestly??

On the other are some things that are always alright to say to a pregnant lady. 

5. "You look beautiful!"  I was in Starbucks the other day and a total stranger came up to me and said that all pregnant women are just beautiful and that I looked wonderful.  Totally made my day. 

4. "Would you like a foot rub?  Or your back rubbed?"  Probably a little weird if a stranger says this, but alright if you know the person.

3. "Can I bring you some ice cream? Chocolate?  Cake?"  The answer is always yes, and don't forget the milk!

2. "You're totally rockin' those horizontal stripes!"  I'm totally scared to wear horizontal stripes at any other time than being pregnant, and I have a friend who makes it her job to point out how great they look on a pregnant woman.  :)

And the absolute best thing you can say to a pregnant woman...

1. "You're going to be a great mom!" or "Evelyn is going to be such a great big sister because you're such a great mom!"  Probably the hardest part of a first pregnancy is wondering how you're going to do once that little person comes out, and then you spend the subsequent pregnancies worrying about how your kid(s) are going to handle a new baby.  A little reassurance that it's going to be fine is exactly what a pregnant woman needs to hear!

So there you have it.  The things to NEVER say to a pregnant woman, and the things you should be saying to a pregnant woman.  I have to tell you all, I came up with five things that drive me nuts in about 5 minutes.  It took me a lot longer and I had to reach out to some friends for ideas about the positive things to say.  What did people say to you while pregnant that totally rubbed you the wrong way, or totally made your day?