Monday, April 30, 2012

Book list for April 2012

The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins

Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In. Joan Tapper and Gale Zucker

Thursday, April 26, 2012

And now there's sunshine

April 25 came and went and it was windy for a while but then those winds died down and the skies were clear and we all slept peacefully through the night in our safe little home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This is going to be fun!

The Laman Library is hosting a symphony event at the Argenta branch tonight!  "This is Your Brain on Music" is an interactive event for kids but other people are welcome too.

Evelyn and I went to this back in February and she really liked it.  I don't go to the symphony much*, so it's cool to see and hear the Quapaw Quartet for free.  It's also cool to enjoy library programs.  I feel like I should say this all the time.

See you at 6!  (I hope.)

Here's a lovely** video of Evelyn enjoying the music in February.

**Dark and grainy, but with surprisingly okay sound.

A birthday post for Dicy

Yesterday was Dicy's birthday!  She celebrated by playing with Evelyn while Cody and Casey did yard work for her, and then paid for everyone's dinner as she waved us off when we offered to pay and threw cash back at her sister.

I would try to write out what she's done the past year, but I've discovered there's a lot about this year that I just don't remember--especially when it comes to this time of year.  What I do remember is that the day after her birthday a tree fell on our house and we moved in with her for a week and a half.  (Maybe it was longer.  Maybe it wasn't.  Again, the memory.)  And I remember that Evelyn seemed to enjoy herself.  As a newborn, she didn't seem to get very enthused over much except for milk, a box of diapers, florescent lights, shiny things, and being held by certain people.  Dicy would get pretty enthused over.....well, holding Evelyn so she'd fall asleep on her.  It was a nice arrangement for both of them.

When Evelyn got a little older, she and Dicy would just smile and fake cough at each other. Then they'd just laugh and laugh.  These days, they snuggle and talk and clap their  hands and whisper things.  Dicy's a great Gram, and it's so much fun to watch Evelyn flail around and jump to see her.

Oh, another thing I remember about last year? Dicy was adamant that she didn't know anything about girl clothes or girl things and didn't want to help pick out an Easter dress for fear of 'messing it up' somehow.

She lasted until June, and she's been buying girly onesies, sleepers, and even dresses ever since.

Such a good year.

Happy birthday, Dicy!  I'll finish your birthday present someday very soon and I hope you enjoyed your big day!

They press buttons together.  It's pretty much a toddler's dream come true.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Animal Adventures, Part 5

When Evelyn spent the night at the farm for my dad's Super Fun Birthday Party Sleepover, she had some pretty great animal adventures.

At one point, Granddad popped her in her (his) little red wagon and hauled her out into the pasture.  Mom described what happened as "a cross between a reunion and a parade" and then sent me a bunch of pictures.

My narration is based on what Mom said when she was showing me pictures on her phone.  She had to text them to Levi so he could email them to me and now I'm showing them to you.

Here we go!

Granddad took Evelyn out into the pasture:

Tuff saw them and decided to check out this creature:

Then a cow noticed the baby-horse meeting:

And she decided to join in on the fun:

See all the fun?

Then Mo decided that Evelyn needed his protection.  Shortly after this picture was taken, Evelyn felt the cow breathing down the back of her neck and turned around to look at it and probably yell "Oooh!"  This startled the cow and she ran away.

And, of course, here is Evelyn pointing and yelling "Ooh!" in excitement for her next leg of the animal adventures:

That's right!  She, with her trusty guard dogmonster, traveled to gaze upon the chickens:

There was an Araucana in there and everything!

And here are just some pictures of her being adventurous from the comforts of her very cozy wagon because that's cute:

Please join us next time, when Evelyn will probably take her first steps to walk up to some animal and scare it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My first attempt at a knitted animal

It was a valiant attempt.

I saw this pattern on purl bee and immediately wanted to try it.  Even though I had to buy new needles, I knew I wanted to do this because this was the cutest springtime thing I'd ever seen.

I bought Lion Brand Thick and Quick yarn in Oatmeal and Brown.  Brown ears!  So natural, so cute.

I couldn't wait to get started.

I realized pretty quickly that this thing would be slightly larger than I'd anticipated.  And shortly after that realization, I realized that this monster would nearly be Evelyn's size.

Sadly, however, I also realized that I'd picked up skeins of yarn from 2 different dye lots. 

You know that little admonition they print on yarn labels about buying enough of the right dye lot for a project? Yeah, you should pay attention to those.

 I thought I'd checked.  I hadn't. 

I hoped it wouldn't make a difference. 

Check your dye lot!
 It did.

I did like the pattern, though.  The only modification I made was knitting two rows between every increase or decrease row (instead of one row in some places) to make the ears a little longer.

Gaze upon my long, flowing ears.

At least it was a pretty quick and easy project and I liked making it.  Stitching a little face on it wasn't hard, and I decided it was a male.  Cody named it "Pat" because it would seem that Cody is in charge of naming everything in this house, and he thought "Pat, the bunny" was hilarious.

I overcame my fear of knitting an animal toy and found it wasn't that tedious!  I learned to knit into the front and back of a stitch!  I came up with a mod of my very own!  Knitting success!

Just one problem: Evelyn does not especially enjoy this bunny. 

Of course.

I think he makes her vaguely uncomfortable.  We've tried to get her to play with him, but he's just not what she's interested in right now.  He is, however, a fairly comfortable pillow for the rest of us. 

I'm not much of a process knitter, but I am glad I tried something new and enjoyed doing it this time because this would have been a big fat knitting fail otherwise.

However...the Easter eggs* I decided to crochet at the very last minute to use up scrap yarn and be adorable?

Overwhelming success!

Of course. 

Eggs seem to be where it's at right now.
  * Sorry that you can't view the pattern unless you have a Lion Brand account.  I just wanted to link to it in case you had one and wanted to make some of your own.  They were fun and easy and I had stuffing left over from making the bunny (who required a bag and a half).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Evelyn June is 13 months old!

I thought Evelyn had just turned one a few days ago, but no. She's 13 months old because she won't stop growing and learning to do new things.  This month was a big deal.  No, really.  I mean it!

After attending nearly 20 birthday parties, she had one of her own!  She was a friendly host and a happy birthday girl.

I took her to the St. Patrick's Day parade in our area and she enjoyed yelling at the stray dog running through the crowd and people-watching.

Easter came and went.  She met the Easter Bunny twice and was a champion at putting eggs in baskets.  She wore a pretty old dress and some brand new shoes.

She had a 12 month check-up and was found to be totally deficient.  Sort of.  She's 29 inches long and weighs 17 pounds.  17 pounds isn't a lot, but she's descended from some pretty small people.  Nonetheless, I got a nice little talk about feeding her more and there was something about switching out all the breastmilk we have in the freezer with whole cow's milk or something.  Bottom line: whatever.  I think she's fine.  People who interact with her on a regular basis think she's fine.  Basically, everyone but one person thinks Evelyn is a great size and she's bright and engaged and developmentally ahead by a few months on most things.  Except for walking.

Nope, no walking.  Not a big deal.  She'll get there.

She has teeth.  2 of them, in fact!  Her first tooth wasn't the bump we've been watching for months.  Her first tooth was actually the one right next to the bump.  She's tricky like that.  But now she has 2 little teeth on the bottom and they're very pretty and make her look very grown up.  We see them every time she gives a big smile.  So we see them a lot.  She's pretty cheerful for a teething baby with a runny nose.

She's a little snotty sometimes.  Happy spring!  Maybe it wouldn't happen so often if she didn't spend so much time outside, but I don't think that's going to stop anytime soon.  She loves going outside.  She likes to pat buildings and trees and statues.  She likes to climb things. She likes to wave at cars from our balcony.  She loves the sunshine on her face and the wind in her hair. 

She even spent her 13 month birthday at her Granddad and Gil's house to celebrate her Granddad's birthday!  She played with animals and went exploring in the yard and enjoyed wearing a smocked dress to church.  It was her first overnight trip to my parents' house!  She's spent a few (3?) nights away from us at her Gram's house before, but only out of (our) exhaustion or necessity.  And her Gram is only 15 minutes away, in case 'she' 'needed' me.  Gil and Granddad live much farther away (fine, not that much farther) and I didn't see her for a full 24 hours.  Evelyn and I are so brave!  To celebrate, Gil and Granddad bought her a bathing suit, her very first pair of Converse high tops, and some new sun hats.

Her head measures 18.5 inches in circumference, which puts her in the 60th percentile.  I guess growth charts are good for tracking some things.  Her large brain is learning new things every day.  She loves placing small things into larger things.  Stacking is fun.  Reading books is fun.  Dancing to music is practically mandatory.  There's a lot of "mama" and "dada" and maybe "bye bye" and "hi" going on.  Then there's incoherent babble.  "Oooh!" is still her chief means of communication.  She recognizes lots of words, but especially words like: more, bites, food, drink, play, go, outside, [name of a loved one], book, car, trolley, dog, and restaurant. 

Food.  I don't even know where to start.  She enjoys baby food and sometimes eats 2 containers for a meal, with cereal or bites of our food as well.  Some meals are just little bites of big people food.  She's still nursing and taking bottles, but not as much.  That's decreasing week by week.  I'm not getting wistful about how we're nearly done, and I'm actually enjoying pumping just once a day at work, but I am happy for the time we've had.  We made it past the twelve-month mark now we're just coasting.  Any more time we spend nursing is just a bonus.  I don't think I'll miss it (much) when we're done.  We probably have a few more months, and I'm not hanging on and I'm not hurrying to finish up either.

I guess that's the theme for things right now.  Evelyn is a lot of fun and life with her is pretty great.  We're not hanging on to babyish things (much) and we're in no hurry to hit milestones.  Evelyn seems to be doing things just quickly enough on her own and it's all pretty great.

One year old.

Enjoying St. Patrick's Day.

Eating her birthday cake!

Playing with birthday chalk.

Celebrating Dad's birthday.

He shared a few fries with her, and she really liked our tomatoes.

First playground experience.
Gearing up for Easter with bunny ears and books about bunnies.

5 minutes before finding out she was too small.  Ahem.

By the way, she's really good at climbing steps now.

Being really brave around dangerous beasts.

Coordinating for Easter.

Being the cutest Easter girl ever.

Standing! Okay, fine.  Leaning!

Playing outside.

Enjoying her stylish sun protection this weekend.

Enjoying noodles on her birthday.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Birthday post for Dad

Dad had a birthday this weekend!

Dad and me at last year's birthday party.
His actual birthday was Saturday, and I didn't write a post!  I did, however, graciously loan him my daughter so he could have a sleepover birthday party and tie the sash on her dress for church the next morning.  He had a blast!  Evelyn had a great time, too, but saying Evelyn has a good time playing with her grandparents (and aunts and uncles for good measure) is a bit obvious.

Still, it was pretty clear from the pictures Mom was texting me of Dad pulling Evelyn around the pasture in her little red wagon, surrounded by animals, that everyone was having a really great time.  It seems a little strange to send Evelyn home with my parents when they already spend so much time with her, but they must like her a lot.  It's a nice fact about them.

Dad and Evelyn left our apartment Saturday to eat at Chili's, browse Home Depot until she fell asleep, play outside with the dogs and chickens (which happened 5 or 6 times because she likes to go outside), 'took care of' cows, slept mostly through the night, and then was a good girl at church (or so I am told).  Then she came back to me and we stuck pretty close for the rest of the day.  She did enjoy eating Mexican food right across the table from her Granddad, and he gave her chips.

This post would be so much more adorable with pictures, but I was eating/shopping/dealing with a monkey baby who wouldn't let go.

Not pictured: Evelyn loving on family.  Evelyn loving escalators at the mall.  Evelyn wearing her Granddad's cowboy hat.  Granddad drinking coffee back at my apartment and running back to her room every 10 minutes to check on her while she slept.

It was all lovely stuff.

BUT: the party will continue!  Granddad is keeping Evelyn all 3 days this week!  They're probably going to eat at restaurants like crazy!  They might even watch Tombstone on DVD because Laine gave him that for his birthday!  Or maybe he'll save it for naptime. 

Whatever they do, I know they'll have tons of fun.

Because they always do.

Happy birthday, Dad!  We think you're great!

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Easter! Nothing is more Easter than this.

On Saturday, I went to the farmers market with Evelyn while we waited for our clothes to dry in the apartment's laundry room.  I hadn't realized that the Easter Bunny would be visiting a trolley for pictures.  I only had my cell phone on me, and Evelyn was in sweats, but she kept yelling at the trolley in excitement.  I decided to see if her good mood would hold out.

I got this:
and this:
and this!
Well, of course, she would enjoy meeting someone in an animal suit even though that's the kind of thing that makes me sweat all over.

I have to be honest: I got greedy.  We pulled our clothes out of the dryers, I dressed her in a cute little dress, and then I put her hair in pigtails.  I got the camera and we went for a second try!

My favorite.

I make a lot of sacrifices as a mom (I'm not writing about my dislike and fear of people in animal suits because words just don't do it justice but please know that getting next to this bunny stressed me out), but I guess it's worth it because my odd child loves meeting new people and creatures.  I saved this post for the last of my Easter-tastic posts because nothing could possibly be more Easter-y than a picture of a baby sitting in a bunny's lap.  (Shudder.)

If this post seems familiar, it's because I wrote about adhering to dumb societal conventions on a trolley before.  Casey thinks we're encouraging her to be friends with all the strangers and scary animals she meets in confined spaces.  My dad thinks there was a mix-up at the hospital.  I'm just glad we got some cute pictures out of it, and Evelyn has a love of all things trolley because she gives me lots of excuses to do fun things like this.

Even if Cody was horrified when he saw this picture on my phone.

Actually, that might have been part of the fun.