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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Half Birthday

One of the troubles with having a winter baby is that both Christmas and birthday happen in the same season.  The gift giving all happens at one time.  Steve and I discovered a week or so ago that Evelyn has really outgrown most of her toys.  They just aren't engaging to her the way they were 6 months ago when she got many of them.  So, she lucked out this year and got some half-birthday gifts.  We got her some building blocks and some new doll accessories, among a few other things.  It's really amazing to see her actually using her imagination and playing.

My mom even chipped in with an early, early birthday present and ordered her the Disney Little People Princess Castle.  It arrived the other day and I spent nap time dealing with the miniature screws and precise application of stickers.  It was totally worth it though because when we walked down from her nap and she saw it sitting there, her response was "WOW!"

Building the Princess Castle reminded me of a similar struggle back at Christmas.  For those who may have missed it then, read about the last time I had to put a toy together!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pool Party

Here are the steps to an awesome backyard pool party!

  1. Spend a ridiculous amount of time at Target in the seasonal aisle pondering all of the pool choices about 3 months before pool season.  Seriously contemplate a mini-waterpark sprinkler system.  Finally settle on a pretty basic inflatable:
  2. Receive inflatable pools as gifts a few months later, including the mini-waterpark sprinkler system:
  3. Decide that today is the day to use the baby pools.  Decide to start with the basic pool, get it out of the box, rolled out, and look for the pump.
  4. Realize you forgot to pick up the pump when you stopped at your parents' house this morning because you got distracted by a new container of bubbles.  
  5. Take a selfie blowing up the pool manually.
  6. Decide that there will only be one pool today.
  7. Let your child play in the pool without any water because she's getting irritable waiting for this party to happen.
  8. Get out the hose and start filling.  Elicit help from your child to hold her attention.
  9. Your child's attention fails and she finds something better to do in the meantime.
  10. Plop your kid in only to discover that she won't go in unless you're in. 
  11. Risk dropping phone in pool to get cute pictures.
Pool's open!  Come over!

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Cousins are awesome.  I grew up spending every July in Maine with tons of cousins.  It was the greatest thing ever.  I was lucky enough to have two cousins very close to my age who were basically my best friends, and we've done some amazing things together.

I was kind of jealous that many of my cousins lived in the same town, went to the same schools, and saw each other on birthdays and holidays.  The point I'm trying to make is that in my family, being cousins is more than being cousins.  We are cousins and best friends all rolled into one.  Most of my favorite memories are with my cousins:

Playing games...
4th of July parades...
Supporting the right team...
Being together in good times...
And harder times...
The best part so far about this summer was getting to spend about a week with each set of Evelyn's cousins. Similar to me growing up, Evelyn doesn't live very close to any of her cousins, but we have seen them all this summer!  We spent a week in New Hampshire with the Lane cousins, and even though they are a bit older than Evelyn is, they really had the best time!  She kept up with the big kids with no problems, and really just had the best time playing with her new best friends!

Then, to make for the best summer ever, we also got to see Marshall and Baby Andrew!  They live in California, and it was only the second time Evelyn has met Marshall and the first time meeting Andrew.  Evelyn is right in the middle of these guys.  It was great spending some time with a cousin closer to her age who likes doing the same things she does, and Evelyn loves babies!  It was a great couple of days with them! 

I'm so hopeful that Evelyn's childhood continues the way mine did: with amazing summers spent with her cousins...I mean best friends!  

Friday, July 11, 2014


For the first year of Evelyn's life I religiously documented monthly milestones.  I kept lists, I took her monthly pictures to show how she was growing and changing.

For a month or two after she turned one on the 14th of every month I felt like I was forgetting to do something.  And I suddenly stopped keeping track of all of the amazing things she was doing.  I think part of it was because once she turned one it started feeling like she was doing something new every day, and it still feels like that.  And at this point it's really less about the milestones and more about just the funny things Evelyn does that I want to remember down the road.  I follow another blog called Mommy Shorts and she must be feeling the same way because a few days ago she created a list of things she wants to remember about her daughter at this age.  So, I'm going to do the same thing.  Just document some of the things I want to look back and remember.

  1. Evelyn suddenly is doing this not so awesome thing where she wakes up at 4:30 in the morning.  Ok, she has done it twice.  But she also has on a few occasions just NOT taken a nap.  Steve calls her the Bionic Baby when she does this.  I know that for many parents 5:00 is a regular wake up time for their kids.  These few REALLY early morning wake ups make me very grateful that we usually make it to 7:00.
  2. While we're talking about sleep, my kid goes to bed like a champ (9 out of 10 days!).  Read her a book, snuggle a little, and sometimes she's so ready she even points to her crib and says night night.  You put her down, make sure she has her blankie and buddy (the super cute nickname she gave her bunny), and she's down.  And I realize I just bought myself a summer of not going to bed easily and waking up at 4:30.  I would like to remind everyone that my kid took a really long time to sleep through the night. 
    Doesn't have to do with sleeping, but that's her crawling under her crib, and it's pretty darn cute and funny!
  3. Evelyn's favorite thing right now is MO-TOH-CYCLES!  She cheers, she points, she claps when she sees one.  And if you want to see something adorable, take a look at the tough guy on the motorcycle who is loving every second of the little girl making a big deal about his motorcycle.  It's actually anything on two wheels that she loves.  A bike will get her excited and pointing, but the noise of a motorcycle approaching will have her looking all over the place.  
  4. 1, 2, 3, 9, 10!  These would be Evelyn's favorite numbers.  Everything is about counting.  Counting the steps, counting the fish on the wall, everything.  Between the motorcycles and counting the cars going by, we passed 10 minutes of time waiting in the car today.
  5. Kisses and I love you.  I don't think this one needs explaining.  
  6. The way she pats your back when she's hugging.  
  7. We started time out.  It's mostly just holding her in our lap for about 30 seconds while she screams and then asking her to say sorry after.  It's often 2-3 time outs in a row because she really still thinks that it will be okay to climb on the table or hit mommy the next time.  Oh, and there's really a difference between a Mommy time out and a Daddy time out.  One she screams through, one she's just like, this is a nice little snuggle.  I'm going to leave it up to you which is which.  
  8. Every morning, after calling out MOMMY, DADDY, MOMMY, DADDY, MOMMY, DADDY! the first thing Evelyn says when she is picked up is bookie!  She loves a little snuggle with whoever got her up and a book or two.  This is followed very quickly by a demand for breakfast.
  9. Video?  My child has never watched a second of television in her life, but suddenly this is the new demand.  And I'm ashamed to admit that it wasn't because I haven't tried.  There have been a couple of times when she was sick or when I just really needed to get something done that I tried some Arthur or that new one on Disney about some little girl princess, but it lasted a solid 1 minute before she was ready to play again.  When Evelyn is calling for a video, she wants me to whip out my phone and show her a video a kid doing something.  It can be her cousins, or even some kid on Facebook, but if it's her, even better!
  10. Fake crying.  That's right.  We have a little actress on our hands.  
  11. SHOES!  About 2 months ago, Evelyn became very aware of shoes.  They have a special spot in our kitchen and she will get them when you ask her to.  Along with her own shoes, she is very aware of where Daddy's shoes are.  Opening up the closet so she can get at Daddy's shoes will buy us about 5 minutes of get ready time.  But for the longest time it was only Daddy's shoes.  Finally last week Evelyn became aware of every one's shoes...especially flip flops!  She likes putting them on and shuffling around.  If you don't have your shoes on she will go find them for you.  Although she is going to call them Daddy's shoes the whole time.  
  12. Condiments.  Ketchup, BBQ sauce, she even goes for hummus, which I know isn't exactly a condiment.  And like basically every other kid she only eats the condiment.  Licks it right off of whatever carried it to her mouth and hands it back to you for more.  
  13. And when it comes to food, Evelyn will eat anything.  Peppers, beans, anything.  As long as it's on someone else's plate.  The minute you put that pepper or bean on her plate, not so much.  
  14. I have to mention the talking.  She's learning a new word every day.  Dusty Crophopper (thank you big cousin Marshall for that one!), trolley, flag.  It's awesome to be able to talk to her more and for her to express her ideas.  If she could only learn how to tell me why she woke up this morning at 4:30...I'd be a really happy momma!  
So nap time is about to end according to the noises coming from the monitor.  I know I could come up with more things about Evelyn, but that's all I have time for at the moment.  Maybe in a few more months I'll remember to do this again.  

Monday, June 30, 2014


I said I was going to try to blog every day, so here goes.  This is going to be a quick one.  My poor kid doesn't know if she's coming or going.  My normally independent, loves new people, little girl has been so incredibly clingy for the past 2 days.  I think she's worried I'm going to leave her.  I wasn't with her last weekend, then I brought her right to Maine from New Hampshire without Steve.  I think she's really confused about what's going on and it makes her worried that I'm going to leave next.  I guess it doesn't help that she's in a completely different place, surrounded by people she doesn't know very well.

Yesterday I couldn't even walk into another room and she was crying hysterically.  I had to take her with me to the bathroom.  She was nervous to go to any new person.  By this afternoon she had calmed down a little.  She's getting more comfortable being at Grammy's house, and even walked around with her for a minute when we went shopping today.  I actually got to eat my lunch at the counter, and watched her play by herself in the living room.  Serious progress!

She also really misses her Daddy.  She asks for him every morning when she wakes up, and I have to tell her that he's not here.  At various points all day she asks for him.  Thank goodness she understands the phone and likes to talk to him.  I'm really looking forward to him getting here on Thursday, but I'm nervous that he's going to leave again on Sunday and we'll stay for another week without him.  Hopefully she'll be okay because Nanny, Grampy, and Aunt Kelly will be here to help distract her!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekend Off!

This is the third time in the last about three weeks that I've started a post.  I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.  No, that's not right.  That I am going to finish this post.  We spent last week at Newfound Lake in New Hampshire and I had made a plan to post EVERY DAY while I was there.  Unfortunately the internet that was prominently advertised with the rental didn't really work, so I was off the hook.  I mean, so I was really bummed that I didn't have to think about things to write about every day.

Today I think I'll start with what I was going to write about last Sunday when I got to the lake.  Prior to my arrival at the lake I had a WHOLE WEEKEND OFF!  I waved to Steve and Evelyn on Friday evening at 6:00 as they headed off on their way to New Hampshire, and I was alone.  It was going to be basically the first time I was alone in my house for an extended period of time since Evelyn was born.  It was glorious, especially after a tortuous week of in-service. I could do whatever I wanted, however I wanted, whenever I wanted.  So what did I do?  Plopped my behind on the couch and didn't move for 3 hours.

When I finally did move, it was right into my bed (yes, at 9:00.  Actually it was 8:45.  On a Friday.  I'm cool.).  I slept the sleep of the dead.  It was pretty much the first full night sleep I had in about 3 weeks.  Between Evelyn being sick and the stress of the end of the school year, I needed that sleep and it was awesome to know that I was going to sleep and no one was going to need me in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning.  I woke up refreshed and decided to enjoy a walk that didn't require a cuppy, snacks, toys, and a toddler who doesn't like being contained in a stroller anymore.

As I was walking, I couldn't stop thinking about what was waiting for me at home.  It was a cup of coffee!  A cup of coffee that I was going to get to drink while it was still warm.  A cup of coffee that I was going to have to worry about anyone grabbing and spilling.  A cup of coffee that I didn't have to finish in the car on my way to work.  It was awesome.

The rest of the day went oh so quickly, but was equally enjoyable.  I got a mani/pedi with my mom and we spent a little time running a few errands.  Afterwards I went with my parents to the wedding of some family friends and had a great time with them.  

On Sunday, after another great night sleep I was ready to get myself ready and hit the road for New Hampshire to see my two favorite people!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Snow Boots

Today I felt like a shmuck when I picked up Evelyn from school.  I was informed that the kids would be going outside tomorrow for just a little while.  Awesome!  My kid loves a break from the norm.  We're all in need of some fresh air.  I spend all day with 24 ten year olds who haven't been able to go outside in weeks.  Trust me, I totally get it when a teacher says she needs to get the kids out for just a bit.  But then they hit me with...

"The playground still has just a bit of snow on it in a few places, so you probably want to send in a spare outfit.  Oh, and her snow boots."

Snow boots?  What snow boots?  We've been living in a polar vortex for the past three months.  I don't care how fun snow is, I'm not going out with a one year old in 8 degree weather.  Plus, she doesn't know what she's missing yet, so I never bought the snow boots this year.  For the 10 minutes we spent in the snow I wrapped her up really well and put her in the sled.  Boots not necessary.

Me: Um, well.  We don't have an snow boots.

Teacher: How about rain boots?

SERIOUSLY???  I don't take my kid out in the snow, you honestly think I threw down $25 for a pair of rain boots instead?  So we can frolic around in the rain?  For all of the stomping in puddles we do?  IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER???

Me: Well, we don't have those either.  I'm good with you just sending her out in her sneakers and if they get wet could you just take them off when you come back inside?  Would that be ok?

Teacher: Oh, sure!  We could just do that!

Me: Great.  Thanks.  We'll be sure to put extra clothes and socks in her bag.

Naturally, the minute Steve got home I was out the door to Target on the very off chance that they still have some form of boot my kid can wear out on the playground tomorrow.  Naturally, no boots.  But if tomorrow were beach day at school she would be good to go because they had every kind of sandal, flip flop, bathing suit, and sunglasses imaginable.