Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reasons to be excited for September

September is nearly here and I can barely contain myself.  It feels like we've been waiting forever!  I nearly always get excited for September, but this particular one just sounds incredibly good to me.

  • The pumpkin spice lattes will come back.  It's first on my list for a reason.
  • You can start dressing for fall, even if we will still have ninety-degree days.
  • It's acceptable to decorate with pumpkins.
  • Dallas turns 11!  Man.  He's old.
  • Actually, lots of people are having birthdays.  Hooray!
  • Evelyn will have a half-birthday.  18 months is so big.
  • Cody and I will celebrate 6 years of marriage.
  • I have Labor Day off, and I'll be spending next Monday crashing Cody and Evelyn's Monday party.  They have fun together.
  • TV season begins.
  • College football season begins.
  • I'm teaming up with the world-famous Jessica, of Jess Craftin' fame, to (wo)man a booth at Harvestfest on the 22nd.  I'll be selling pumpkins and she'll be selling her hand-stitched cards.
  • We might have an autumn.  After such a hot summer and a long drought, I don't think we'll be enjoying a super-picturesque fall.  But a few days of autumn would still be nice.
  • Cooler weather = more outdoor adventures.  Evelyn and I are definitely going to take more walks, explore more places, and spend more time outside.  Preferably with me drinking a pumpkin spice latte.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baby's first haircut!

I cut Evelyn's hair Sunday night.  It was time.

I love her shagginess and the weird almost-curls and the pigtails and ponytails and all the glorious mess of bedhead framing her sweet face like a halo every morning.


There were tangles and food issues and Evelyn was constantly pulling out the cute bows and ponytail holders.  We still have a few months of hot weather ahead of us and the wet hair sticking to her sweaty neck and face just made me sad.

So.  We cut her hair.

I say "we", but Cody's main job was to keep Evelyn from crawling off of the bathroom counter.

And to help me with the 'Before' photo:

And here's the 'After' photo:

I forgot how long hair can seem when it's wet, and I didn't realize that she was sitting with her head tilted upward--two things that kept me from realizing that I was giving her a bob instead of my originally intended below-the-shoulders job.

Reviews have been mixed, but Evelyn doesn't seem to mind.  Actually, she doesn't seem to notice that anything's different.  Cody sent me texts yesterday to tell me he thought her haircut was really cute (!) and framed her face well (!) and I guess there was a subtext of "I REALLY AM THE FATHER OF A GIRL!" in there as well.  And I've been showing pictures to co-workers and they can't get over much she looks like a big girl.

 I think that's what I do and don't like about it.  She's taking more steps and standing when she normally wouldn't.  She says "Dad" and maybe even "dog" or "down" or "drink", in addition to something that sounds a lot like "more".  She's a big girl and now she has a big girl haircut!

(Someone please hold me.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Afternoon adventure

Yesterday afternoon, we decided to take Evelyn to the Clinton Presidential Center after her nap.  The weather's been a little bit cooler and we thought the fountains and walking trail through the wetlands park would be fun.

We were right.

Evelyn got to roam free and we enjoyed the breeze.  I took pictures!  So here they are:

Evelyn was pretty thrilled about the fountain.


This is the part right before I changed her diaper on a park bench and Cody got out the stroller.

She's smiling because she's not wearing pants. And because she's about to try to scale the fence and get in the water.

She climbed all of these stairs!

Then she climbed a hill.

Then we drove back to the apartment and I grabbed her church dress off the couch so she wouldn't be nekkid when we ate Chinese food.  There are no pictures of her dangling lo mein noodles into her mouth.  I thought it best for everyone if we skipped that.  Cody left a tip, even though it was Pei Wei.

We are very much in the toddler stage of things.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Slice of life, etc.

It's Thursday.  My allergies are trying to make my face explode.  I've been a lazy mom the past couple of days.  Evelyn dumped a baggie of Cheerios on the couch, so I moved them all to her high chair and now I'm talking to you while she snacks.  Here's how things are.

Our sad little garden plot didn't produce much.  It was just too hot.  But here's a butternut squash we grew and ate.

 And here's Evelyn eating a red bell pepper.  She's eaten them cooked before, but this was a first.

 I thought this would warrant its own sentimental and overwrought post, but didn't feel like writing it. But it does seem worth mentioning:

Hooks for hanging up a curtain at work when I'd pump.

My door on Monday.
 I nursed Evelyn for the last time on Thursday night.  On Friday she spent the day and night with my mom. Mom gave her cow's milk in a bottle, but never got around to giving her the breast milk I packed for her.  Dicy gave it to her at some point when she spent the night on Saturday, but it didn't seem to make a difference to her.  She tried to nurse once on Sunday, and I told her we wouldn't.  After some distractions, she was content to rock with me in a recliner.  Cody is in charge of the night time routine now, and he gives her a couple of ounces of cow's milk in a bottle while I hide in the bathroom doing my nails or wearing a face mask.  I did my eyebrows for the first time in months a couple of nights ago and it was awesome.

Evelyn only drinks a couple of ounces of the milk, and is ready for bed in under 10 minutes with the new bedtime routine.  It's almost insulting how easy it is for her and Cody.

I didn't like nursing as much once she grew teeth, and she was getting a little bored with it (or so it seemed).  I gave her a baby bottle of water this morning, just because.  We cuddle a bit more when we read books together and since I've been feeling crappy, I've had the TV going a bit more than normal.  We cuddle and watch it before she scrambles away to do something exciting.

We had a very good run with breast feeding.  My main goal for breast feeding was to just get my milk into my baby.  But I think all those people carrying on about bonding might have been on to something after all.

Or I just have a very loving child.  Either way, I'm a lucky woman.

Speaking of my sickliness again, I haven't enjoyed sick days this much since I was in college.  I'm taking decongestants and drinking tea with licorice and last night I HAD NYQUIL!  It's really exciting to feel like my body is mine again for the first time in over 2 years.

It's also really exciting to crack open a book and just turn this kid loose on the jungle gym.

She likes wearing her sandals and sneakers and this old socks of mine.  She's wearing one right now, actually.  This is her a few nights ago.

This is her eating with Jessi and Jarrett.

I didn't take any pictures of Jarrett and Evelyn on this visit back home.  Oh well. Jarrett seems much happier than he did this winter.  I think he's enjoying his new living situation, and feeling more settled in New York.  Also, I think his girlfriend makes him happy. She also came for a visit, and I took absolutely 0 pictures of her.  But she likes spaghetti and didn't do that ingratiating thing where she tries to instantly be best friends with Evelyn and Jarrett thinks she's cool, so I guess that means we gained a new friend!  Yay!

Speaking of friends, I still like this guy:

It's mid-August, which means we've known each other for 9 years now.  We're celebrating our SIXTH wedding anniversary in a few weeks.  Yes, we got married nearly 6 years ago.  It was one of our better moves.

Things are good over here.  Just pretty low-key.  We'll probably go for a walk later, and then I'll let Evelyn splash around in her little pool.

Right now she's decided she's done with Cheerios and it's probably time for some books. So I'm going to hit 'publish' and go play.  Please excuse the typos. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Typo Tuesday: Comfort in continuity

Last week was Argenta Restaurant Week, and so several restaurants in the area had special menu to let us common folk enjoy reduced-rate meals in some of the neighborhood's nicer places.  Cody and I took advantage of this last winter and it was one of our first babyless dates.  We chose our meals off a $25 dinner menu and enjoyed an appetizer, entree, and dessert from a restaurant we always walk by and never frequent.

Last time, I noticed an error on the menu.  I took a picture with my phone, and forgot about it.

Guess what I saw this weekend?

"Rasberry" is not "Raspberry".  It's just not.  But I was still really excited that they had the same menu as they did last time.  I picked the same items that I did last time, took a picture just like last time, and enjoyed myself just like last time.

I guess that can be comforting.

But still.  Don't do that. We're not even going to touch on the bizarre capitalization.  That raspberry sorbet was excellent and I don't want to diminish its memory.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Evelyn had adventures and so did we

Evelyn had two back-to-back sleepovers this weekend!  On Friday she went home with my mom.  I got a few pictures of their day:
Her onesie and her shorts are Size 6 months.

She wanted to spend all of her time outside.
She watched some kiddie television and Cars.
What did Cody and I do?  Cody didn't have to hurry home after work, so he got a haircut, came home, and went straight to sleep.  I did whatever I wanted when I came home, and woke Cody up when it was time for us to go out to eat.  We ate dinner in a quiet restaurant and had uninterrupted discussions about politics and the veracity of religious texts that have been transcribed over and over.  We took our time.

We wandered through an art gallery and talked about how Evelyn likes sculptures.

We went to Barnes & Noble just so we could drink coffee slowly and wander through books.  We bought season two of Sherlock, and watched it while giving each other back rubs and leaving our water glasses in the floor.

It was perfect.

On Saturday, Cody went to work and I cleaned up the house as noisily as I wanted. I put away little baby things and clothes, and threw out a lot of college tests and papers.  I put clothes and books into 'donate' piles.  I went to the farmers market in the rain at 8 AM and was able to get first pick of produce.  People asked where my baby was.

I picked up Evelyn around 11.  She had enjoyed a wonderful time.  Dogs! Chickens! Cows! Different food!  Different toys! I took her to the restaurant to see our friends and family.  Once we were both full of pancakes, I took her home for a nap.

Girlfriend slept.

Um, as did I.  Frantically rushing through half the projects you've wanted to take care of ever since you moved into the apartment but couldn't accomplish because your baby wants to be fed and cared for will take it out of you apparently.

I felt a little bad about waking up Evelyn just so we could take her to another grandma's house.  But then I stopped when I said "We're going to Gram's!" and she yelled and pointed to the door.  We had to steal kisses from the top of her head once she was good and settled at Dicy's house.

We partied hard after that.

Or not.  We went to a gender reveal party (it's a boy!) filled with other babies.  I almost got bored from not chasing Evelyn away from glass items and outlets for 2 straight hours.  Almost.

But then Cody and I sat outside a Starbucks (maybe we did party hard) for at least a half-hour to talk and plan.  We love planning and talking and re-checking where we stand on things.  We went to the grocery store, bought gas, and went home for more Sherlock and frozen pizza.

Also, I reorganized my craft corner.  I've seriously needed to do that since we moved into our apartment.  Bonus: cleaned up more ceiling plaster from the old place.

We slept in, missed church, and went to get our baby!

It was lovely to have her back.  We took her Whole Foods, fed her, and put her down for a nap.  She was too cranky to eat dinner, so I took her out and strollered her through the neighborhood for 30 minutes straight.

It was a fun weekend.  She had fun away from us and we had fun with just each other.  We'd missed her, though.

It's nice that we're all back where we belong.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A post about how my life is unbearably obnoxious

I'm blogging while I wait for Evelyn to fall asleep before I take her diapers down to the laundry room to wash.  We've had a busy morning of errand-running once we ate some bananas and oatmeal and watched a little Kathy Lee and Hoda (Happy birthday to Kathy Lee! She's 59! Evelyn will never like her as much as she loves Hoda! Just like her dad!).  I changed two cloth diapers without a wetbag, but made do with an old Babies'R'Us sack that was in my trunk.  Whole Foods didn't have any stew meat, so the butcher recommended some organic grass-fed filets for cutting, and I went with it because it really was the best-looking meat in the display (don't you roll your eyes at me.  I know when meat looks good and when it doesn't).  I asked him to cut it up for me.  Then I bought toddler yogurt for Evelyn.  She helped me push the buggy, which had greens and heirloom tomatoes and a hunk of Parmesan.

Do I even have to say that if I saw that paragraph up there in my Facebook newsfeed, I would vomit and throw my laptop into the street?  Maybe not in that order, but there would be a reaction of unbridled disgust at the small, cliched life the poster was playing acting out.

Did I mention I was wearing her in a sling and I had on a My Morning Jacket t-shirt, cut-off shorts, and no make-up?  I don't even wan to type out that I checked the dairy case just make sure they were still carrying her favorite kind of milk because I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP (trademark of Dave Barry) she only drinks this high-fat, all-natural milk from Jersey cows in Texas and a half-gallon of the stuff costs more than a gallon of regular Coleman's at Kroger.  My child likes one type of milk that is sold in one place in our area.

Please send help.

No matter how beautiful and interesting (to me) and fun my life is, it makes me very tired sometimes.  I let Evelyn eat crackers in her car seat.  I'm going to a class on extreme couponing at our local library branch tonight.  I'm going to spray the balcony for ants again.  One of us will have to hose off Evelyn's high chair tray after she eats spaghetti tonight.

This is my life.  I'm fully aware that it's a really, really good one.  I have a husband AND a baby AND a community garden plot. 

But.  I am tired.  I am tired of carrying Evelyn everywhere, of feeling like people at the restaurant think I'm lazy when I take Evelyn to there and they say "What have you girls done today?" and I say "This." even if I've done several dozen things in the hour before she wakes up.  I am tired of not killing Cody when he says "She's getting kind of heavy! I'm tired because I had to carry her to the library and back."  I am tired of people asking when we'll have another baby.

(Tip: if you are not an immediate member of my family, which means if you are not Cody, Evelyn, my parents, my siblings, my siblings' spouses, my spouse's sibling, or my mother-in-law, you don't get to ask those questions.  No exceptions.  But if you're really curious about when we'll have a baby, I've checked the Internet and learned that it tends to happen roughly 9ish months after conception.  Science! I have also learned that you get to tell people when you're having a baby when you're good and darned ready.  Etiquette!)

This post really has no point other than to say I am incredibly excited that Evelyn is spending the night with her Gil one night, and then the next night with her Gram.  I love her and I'm miss her a tiny amount, but I know she'll have a great time and I plan to spend plenty of time with her today--you know, when she's not napping and I'm not at a couponing class (explain to me again why this is my life)--and on Saturday afternoon between visits so she won't be an insecure spider monkey next week.

I haven't even TOLD Cody we'll be babyless on Friday.  Mom just called this morning and asked if Evelyn could come play and I barely let her finish her sentences before saying "Yes.  Please." over and over while Evelyn whined in the background.  I don't even care if he's going to be sad!  I'm going to eat junk food that I wouldn't share with a toddler!  And I'm going to do it while watching violent movies!  At some point during the weekend, I'm going to Target and I won't have to pause in front of pet food bags or baby displays and I won't make eye contact with a single person if I don't feel like it because I won't be slowing down for Evelyn to stare and point while they try to get her to wave. 

I will probably look at baby stuff, though.

So. I guess this is a post about how I simultaneously love my life and feel embarrassed by how I'm probably not embarrassed enough by it.  Because it's a little ridiculous.  And about how it goes without saying that I'm really excited to skip the baby bedtime routine and eat in peace.  And how awesome grandmas are.  And how you should totally make fun of people for babywearing and cloth diapering and taking breastfeeding so seriously, but not really because these are personal choices.....that are really easy to mock.  Because, come on.  No one's going to give you a trophy for hauling around a bag of urine-soaked cloths in your diaper bag or car.  

I have to stop myself now.  Those diapers aren't going to wash themselves.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Evelyn June is 17 months old!

Evelyn is a big girl.  It's official.  She takes steps and has 6 teeth and her climbing skills are unparalleled.  I know when I type that out, she sounds like a nine-month-old.  Don't care.

Her fine motor skills are awesome.  She's all about order.  She stacks these little blocks, one inside the other, in the right order without getting frustrated.  She does the same thing with her cups.  She also started doing it with those stacking ring things.  That one just sort of happened like it was no big deal.  What I like about it is that she has 2 different stacking rings sets and she obviously knows the difference between the two, even if I throw them all in the floor together.

You can also do this with stacking rings.  You should see this girl carry a purse.

She's obsessed with pointing at cats and dogs, both in real life and in pictures.  My mom swears she thinks she heard her saying "meow" (or trying to say it) when she saw pictures of a cat in a book.

And books.  We've read a lot this month.  Firstly, because we always read.  Secondly, because it's been too hot to do much of anything else.  And lastly, because it makes her feel better when she feels bad.  And for the past 2 weeks, this girl has felt bad.  She had teeth coming in, then a summer cold, then another tooth, then a sad tummy, and then general malaise.  She finally started perking up last week and was our happy girl once again on Sunday.  Lovely.

Aside from animals and books, she's still really interested in drains, pictures of faces, and buttons.  When it rained last week we enjoyed all the water running in the streets (and an ant infestation that must have led to her getting her first ant sting.  Cool).  I bought her a pair of Disney princess pajamas because I was looking for sleepwear and she wouldn't stop touching and smiling at a bright pink set covered in glitter and the smiling faces of Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and someone else I don't care about.

Did I mention that these pajamas are pants and a top?  SHE'S SO BIG!  I mean, yes, I bought in Size 12 months instead of 18 months but I think the larger set probably would have been fine.....even if she'll be wearing 12 month things for quite a while longer.

But maybe not.  She's looking a little chubby these days.  Since she's not one to get all roly-poly and give her mommy a break from the remarks of strangers, this probably means she's going to shoot up a couple of inches.  Or just an inch.  Still.  You can tell she's getting bigger.

Oh, and buttons?  She loves them.  She flips light switches, turns the TV on and off, and has nearly figured out the sequence of the touchscreen buttons on the order screens at the restaurant.  I don't know if she's just been blessed with a great memory, or if she's just that motivated to make a receipt print out (that's her favorite part). Either way, I'm a little freaked out.  But also proud, as if I had something to do with it.

Her sleep habits and bedtimes have been a little strange lately, but I'm just going to attribute it to the changing weather and her sickliness.  It does make me a little sad that she seemed to feel so much better when she was sick and fussy this month after we'd give her bottles of old frozen breast milk, but I'm sticking with our schedule of nursing twice a day if I'm home.  We'll nurse right as she wakes up, if I'm here, and we'll nurse before bedtime.  And sometimes, we have a bottle.  Sometimes other people give her a bottle before her nap.  I don't know how long we can keep that up, but it's nice that we can for now.

Also: she sings.  I love it.

I love a lot about this girl.  She's the best.  Here's the proof: