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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Copying Mommy

Daylight Savings is really a hard scenario to explain to a kid.  The night before we "got an extra hour of sleep" Steve was commenting on how he was looking forward to it.  I reminded him that almost two year olds really don't understand that idea.  He jokingly responded that he would be having a talk with our daughter about Benjamin Franklin and his ideas.  Needless to say, she was definitely up at 6:30 the next morning.

Unfortunately, that trend hasn't changed since.  Our child who usually sleeps until at least 7:30 on the weekends is up regularly at 6:30.  It has really made weekday mornings difficult as well.  Up until a week or so ago, Steve and I would get ourselves up and ready before waking Evelyn up at 7:00 to get her going.  It has been a real eye opener trying to get ready with her up.  I am totally ashamed to say that we have completely given in to her demand for "Marshall videos" every morning as we finish getting ready.  Marshall videos is code for hand me your iPhone so I can watch all of the videos you have saved.

This was really not the topic I set out to write about today, so I apologize for my meandering thoughts.  The point of my story was that this morning Steve let me sleep in a little bit and I was later coming downstairs to eat.  I popped a bagel in and as I was eating, Evelyn as usual asked for a bite.  I ripped her off a piece and leaned against the counter to continue eating.  She looked at me for a moment, reached up and grabbed onto the counter just like I was and commenced to eat just like I was.  It floored me.  And, not that I had never realized this before, I suddenly became immensely aware of exactly how important it is to be a good parent.

Further proof came later this morning when we had to stop suddenly in the car and faced a long line of traffic and I said, "crap!"  "CRAP!  FUNNY!" came the little voice from the backseat.  And with that we officially entered the stage of having to watch what we say from now on.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Spontaneous Sunday Adventure

I've decided that if I'm going to be a successful blogger then I need to have more of a direction with my blog.  I think I'll have more to say if I have some kind of theme or purpose to stick to.  So I've been tossing around some different ideas, and I kept coming back to what has proven to be one of the hardest things for me as a parent, especially now that my child is a toddler: how on earth do I keep this kid occupied??  So at least once a month I am planning to post about something we have done in an effort to keep Evelyn entertained.  Hopefully there are others out there who go through the same thing, and this might be helpful!

So, tip #1 for helping find things to do with your kids: use Facebook to your advantage!  Now I know that many times Facebook has the ability to make me feel like a sub par parent when I see some of the amazing things other parents manage to do with their kids.  But there is a way to use it to your benefit.  First, follow/like every museum, historical society, park, etc. within a reasonable range from your house.  I have spent the afternoon brainstorming places I should be following after what happened this morning.  Don't even worry if it is a place that doesn't seem kid friendly, just follow it.  Because what will (hopefully) happen is that the seemingly un-kid friendly museum will announce one Sunday morning that they are having a FREE Pirate Day event for families!

You will read the post and go, "Hey Steve! Brandywine River Museum is having a free event for kids!  Maybe we should check it out?"  And as soon as you say it, you'll start to doubt yourself because your child is not even two yet, doesn't know what a pirate is, can't sit still long enough for you to tie her shoes, and now you want to take her to an art museum?  Don't listen to that voice.  Go to the museum, especially if it's free.  Especially if they don't advertise that it's for a certain age range.  Because there are without a doubt going to be other parents with kids just like yours, who aren't really the right age to be in that museum, and you are just going to smile and laugh as your child gallops through the galleries because she likes the way her feet echo off the floors.  And most people will thing it's adorable, and for the people who are obviously bothered you'll give a little apologetic smile, but you won't feel too bad because, hey, they could have checked the calendar before they went!

And you will have a ball making pirate hats, coloring pirate maps, and watching a perfectly abridged, 10 minute performance of Peter Pan with audience participation opportunities that even your kid appreciates and enjoys!  









Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Paci

A few weeks ago I posted this picture on Facebook with a caption something like "We're in trouble when we try to break the paci habit!"


I got a handful of comments with advice (which I am going to take eventually) on how to kick the habit.  For now I'm seriously not worried about it, it was more just a funny moment to me when I checked on her and this was what I saw.  I was really happy over the summer to get her down to just sleep time, carseat, and stroller.  I know that might seem like a lot, but I targeted the key times it is helpful for her to be content and hardest to distract with other things.  We were really doing well towards the end of summer, and then her incisors started to come in and that little piece of rubber was all she wanted to gnaw on for relief.  We caved to the cries for the paci and suddenly she was totally hooked again, and with starting back to school and her being cranky in the evenings it has just been easier to give in when she asks for it.  I'm starting to realize that the paci addiction has reached new heights though.  

A few nights after this picture was taken when I put her to bed, she wouldn't settle down until she had one in her mouth and one in each hand ready for later.  At school when I pick her up she doesn't get excited because I'm there, the first thing she calls out is "Paci!" because she knows we get it out of her box to take home and she gets it in the car.  (They are much better than we are about not giving it to her unless it's naptime at school.)

This morning I decided it's time to use the paci addiction to our advantage.  When she was rolling around and giving me a hard time on the changing table, I pulled it out of her mouth and told her she couldn't have it until she turned over to be changed.  She rolled over so quick and was perfectly still for the entire change.  There will come a day sooner rather than later when it will be time to kick the paci habit, but until that day comes, I'm going to use that sucker to my advantage as much as I possibly can!  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

CHIRP!

Steve is away for the weekend, so last night when I checked on Evelyn before going to bed I whispered, "Sleep until at least 7:00 for Mommy.  7:30 would be even better!"  It was not meant to be.

Wake up number one occurred around 1:00, when she started crying and calling for Mommy.  It lasted about 2 minutes until she found her blankie/buddy/paci and fell back asleep.  If that had been all I dealt with last night it would have been fine.  But 3:45 rolled around, and I was awakened by the deafening CHIRP of the fire alarm.  There was one beep, that was it.  There are 7 fire alarms in our house.  One in each bedroom and one on each floor.  That was seven possible low batteries, even though according to the one I took off the wall first, a low battery would be signaled by a beep every minute.  Not that I wanted a beep every minute, but at least I would have been able to figure out which one was beeping and that it was really a low battery.  By the way, in my sleep deprived brain I was convinced that we were going to die of carbon monoxide poisoning, not that I was dealing with a battery problem.

I started wandering between the bedrooms because I was pretty sure that the beep had definitely come from upstairs based on the volume.  The bedroom alarms were blinking red, and I would put money on the fact that before this morning they blinked green.  I started to think that they were maybe all connected, and when one goes, they all go.  It's 3:45 remember, and my brain was not thinking clearly that if they were all wired together there would be no battery problem at all because they would be running on electricity.  About 20 minutes later there had been no more beeping, so I decided maybe it was just a freak incident and I should try to go back to sleep.  Try.  Not that I would actually sleep, still being convinced of carbon monoxide taking over my house.

At some point I must have dozed and in my dream an alarm went off and I jumped out of bed and ripped the battery out of the alarm that I left sitting on the night stand.  It wasn't even a fire alarm noise in my dream, I was just that on edge.  At 6:00 there was another chirp and I made the decision to take down all of the bedroom fire alarms and remove the batteries since they were the ones blinking red.  In the process of going into Evelyn's room she bounced up in her crib, "Hi Mommy! Up!  Bookie!" And that was the start of our day.  She was up and could not be convinced that it was still night time.  We got into my bed and did a few bookies.  At 6:30 there was another unholy CHIRP!  At which point, I ripped the last alarm off the ceiling in the hall, tore out the battery, loaded my kid in the car and went out for breakfast.

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

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!