Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You'll see lots of animals, when you're at the zoo...

...Monkeys, zebras, elephants, lions, tigers too.
You'll hear lots of animals, making different sounds.
Roaring, singing, trumpeting, giggling all around.
Animals, animals, animals, from places near and far.
They make their home right in the zoo, where each one is a star!

To those of you who know this song, because your baby has the same zoo toy (F*isher P*rice) that Evie does: I'm sorry that this song will now be stuck in your head for hours. Actually, I'm not really that sorry. The toy I'm referring to is right next to Evie in this picture:

This toy is one of Evie's absolute favorites because she has figured out how to press the buttons and make it "sing," and she can take the elephant, giraffe, penguin and monkey figures off and play with them separately. (The elephant is in the foreground of the above photo). She plays with this toy A LOT. It plays 5 songs. I know them all by heart, in order.

The first song (lyrics above!) has been torturing Evie and me for three months now with promises of the wonders that await her at THE ZOO. She finally got to visit our zoo for the first time today! Did it live up to her expectations? She did get to see monkeys, elephants and a sleeping tiger, but no lions or zebras because getting to the Africa area of the zoo requires a heckuva long walk. Another day.

Evie's reaction to the monkeys, elephants and tiger? Blank stare. She did enjoy the macaws, lorikeets and cranes, however, because they made awesome bird noises that captivated her attention. I guess J and I should think about getting a canary for her birthday? Or not.

She also seemed interested in the sea lions because we happened to walk up to them when they were being trained for their zoo show, so they were moving around a lot and doing interesting things.

Other than the birds and the sea lions, her favorite attraction at the zoo was the herd of kindergartners on a field trip that my friend (who met me there for the morning with her 4-year-old son and twin daughters who are Evie's age) and I had to navigate with our strollers for the first half an hour, until we took a fortuitous turn and lost them for the rest of the visit. Evie seems to love watching older kids walk, play, talk, etc. I wish I knew what she were thinking as she stares at them with an expression of puzzlement, admiration and envy.

All in all, it was a successful first trip. It only took 25 minutes in light traffic to drive each way, parking was free and close, the admission process was straightforward with no line, the weather was pleasant and Evie was angelic. She even took a nice morning nap in her stroller:

Here's what's under the hat:
She melts my heart. Hopefully we'll have some more nice weather and I'll be able to convince more of my friends to venture to THE ZOO with us. I owe Evie some penguins, lions, zebras and alligators.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The lead plane in this video is piloted by my little brother!


I've had this outfit for years, since way before we started TTC at all. It's been hanging in closets, in bins in basement and attic, and then finally sitting in a drawer in Evie's nursery. Now it fits! I'm not sure how I feel about that, since it's 12 month size.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pictures and Captions for a Sunday Afternoon

Why she got a bath two nights in row for the first time since birth (ricotta cheese and peas):

After calming down from the face-wiping-screaming:
Practicing her crawl on our screened porch's carpeting (our only carpeting is there, in her nursery and in the basement):
"Ummmm...does this look right, Mom?"

Phoebe: "I don't like the look of this."

As always, trying to crawl away from the soft surfaces and toward the bonk-worthy zones:

She often does this; she puts one knee and one foot down:

This is how the pulling up starts:

Halfway there (she didn't make it all the way up this time; I'll try to capture it again another time):

She didn't pull up, I stood her up, but she stood at the table for a few minutes before plopping down onto her bottom:

She loves to watch tree branches waving in the wind outside our windows:
Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa for the activity table, she loves it! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009


I got up early today. Really got. up. early. for the first time in a long time. Usually either J feeds Evie at 5-6 AM or I feed her then (if J is traveling or something) and Evie and I both go right back to sleep until 8 or so. But last night a friend's teenage son stayed over while she was at a retreat and he needed to get up at 6 to get ready for school. Evie decided that was a great time for a bottle too, and between the two of them and hungry dogs I ended up eating, drinking coffee, and being up for the day. However, Evie still wanted to go back to sleep until 8 after her bottle.

So. I have figured out how to do this mom thing, I think! I was able to shower, dress, put on makeup, feed the dogs, check e-mail, read a few blogs, put in a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher and a few other small tasks. All before Evie even woke up for the day. I was ready, I was set! I had a plan! There are a couple of neighborhood yard sales going on this weekend and they started this morning at 8 am. I was ready to go at 7:45, diaper bag packed, stroller in the trunk, everything. When Evie woke up I was going to feed her some cereal and then hit the sales early. My mission? Gently used toys. I don't currently have any soft plastic/rubber balls that I can use out on the porch to roll around with Evie and teach her to bounce, roll and kick them (eventually) and she doesn't have any little T*onka type cars or trucks. I know she'll be a girly princess eventually, but the feminist side of me would dearly like to get her interested in dump trucks and trains.

OK, so what happened? I was sitting at my computer at 7:45, waiting for Evie to wake up, and suddenly a brigade of construction vehicles rolls down our little street.

Background: our road has needed to be repaved ever since we moved here. When we push Evie in the stroller along the street (and we have no sidewalks because it's an older street), I have to zig-zag the stroller and avoid the big cracks and potholes so that I don't rattle her out of the stroller!

Great, new pavement. But today? They closed our street. THEY CLOSED OUR STREET FOR THE DAY. I was ready, with makeup on for goodness sake, to hit two major neighborhood sales at 8 am when they opened and the city closed our street for the day! I'm trapped in my house with makeup on! PRIMAL SCREAM.....................

*ETA: the construction equipment is not helping the nap situation, either, by the way.*

*ETA on 4/25: just to clarify, we did get a notice about the repaving but it rained on the intended day and we didn't get a notice about the rain-out date. But I should have known they'd come since it was a beautiful day.*

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

It took 20 tries to get this shot, and it's still not perfect. Her shirt says "Love our Planet," not "Love our Plane." :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Seven Months Old!

I decided to do Evie's seven month photo shoot and videos one day early so that I'd have a little more time to get everything together and online on her actual 7-month birthday. Taking pictures of her in our black microfiber chair has gotten more difficult in the past couple of months, because it's hard to get a shot of her whole body without getting some of the room in the background (see picture #2). So we started on the chair but ended on the floor. I'm not sure how I'll do it next month...I'm pondering. Here are some of my favorite pictures from yesterday:

And finally a pic of the doggie "sharks" on the floor under the high chair. They are lying down and looking sweet because I'm there. Otherwise they'd be walking around:
...and the promised videos! Video #1 is Evie demonstrating her emerging pincer grasp with "puffs," in a mysterious food group where apples and grains combine to produce food that melts in the mouth and delivers 25 calories for 75 pieces. Puffs are solely responsible for Evie learning the pincer grasp; she adores them.

And her 7 month interview...this has it all...screeching, a dog, scratching, poking, looking out of the window, rocking back and forth, exhaustion and showing off a new skill:

The month 7 rundown:
  • Cloth diapering: Eating solids has changed Evie's poop schedule from once a day to two times a day or more. A diaper sprayer and fleece liners are my friends! For a long time I didn't mind it but it has finally happened...I am sick of doing the diaper laundry. Not complaining, just being honest. We aren't going to stop cloth diapering because I still prefer it/believe in it and we are invested in it (literally).
  • Diapering in general: In the last week or so, changing Evie's diaper has become akin to putting a wriggling worm onto a fishhook. Unfortunate but appropriate analogy.
  • Bottle feeding: We're giving Evie three or four 7 oz. bottles during the day, but often mid-day she will only drink 3-4 oz. of them, and one or two 7 oz. bottles at night, which she always finishes. Now that we're feeding solids we are doing 95% on-demand feeding and then offering her a bottle right before bed, whether she asks for it or not. This is a desperate attempt to find our sleeping-through-the-night groove again, but it is not working. She likes snacking on formula during the day and then eating every 3-5 hours at night. Sigh.
  • Nighttime feedings: J and I still have an understanding that I get feedings between 10 and 3 am and he gets feedings between then and when he leaves for work (6:30). For awhile I was getting to bed earlier (midnight is early for me) but these days I find myself just staying up until she wakes up to eat because it is soooo painful for me to get up and feed her after I've been asleep for only a couple of hours. I am a very, very, very, very grumpy Mommy at 3 am if I went to sleep at midnight. On the other hand, if I have been awake the whole time then I can cuddle and kiss her and appreciate Evie snuggle time at 3 am and then go to bed myself once she's asleep. In the morning I chase away my grumpies with coffee, which is not an option in the first scenario. J helps me catch up on sleep on weekends.
  • Solids: A big hit. You can see in the video above that she is close to being able to self-feed. We may start offering her little cubes of soft sweet potato or banana on her tray. She has the chewing business down cold and rarely gags or coughs on anything. In fact, she prefers thicker textures and is more likely to gag on really runny purees. We usually offer cereal and fruit at breakfast, veg and fruit or yogurt at lunch and veg with protein at dinner. Very rarely does she reject a spoonful, partly because we aren't feeding her solids until she's full. She usually cries when the jar is empty, we distract her with toys or puffs, and then fill her up on formula a little bit later on.
  • Play time: Month seven has been full of head bonks. I've been using b*oppys, blankets, pillows, cushions, mats, towels...everything I can think of...to cushion the hard floors, knobs, door frames, furniture and even the walls so that Evie's head would be protected. But she is a squirmy, wily baby and has managed to bash her head on multiple hard things in her attempts to fling herself from sitting position toward a desired toy, shoe, dog or dangerous object. She survived, and is now much more graceful (relatively speaking, of course). She seems to alternate between ADD and OCD in her playing, depending on how tired she is. When she's very awake she'll pick up a toy and literally pitch it to the side in a few seconds flat, moving on to the next thing. It's as if she's thinking "I've seen this one before...next?" When she's tired she'll manipulate and chew on one object for several minutes, seemingly fascinated by its sights, sounds and textures. She loves cause and effect now. Especially the loud thumps she can make when she throws plastic toys to the floor. Before becoming a mother I thought that I would keep plastic toys, toys that use batteries and toys that play electronic music out of my home entirely. I vowed to give my child only organic fabric, wood and other natural materials and let her supply movement and sound herself through imaginative play. Whatever. Evie loves the plastic stuff from China that eats batteries and plays repetitive music. As my mom put it at Christmas, we're all working to keep F*isher P*rice's stock price (actually, M*attel's) from plummeting.
  • Speech: Evie's also more verbal when she's tired. At dinner time we can tell if it will be an early bedtime when she chatters at us nonstop. Sometimes she says "dada" toward J or another male and I'm not quite sure whether she is just babbling or not. Supposedly she should start saying "mama" and "dada" to us fairly soon (according to Baby*center)? That will be amazing.
  • Books: Evie now seems to enjoy, rather than simply tolerate, bedtime stories and the occasional story during play time. She seems to be obsessed with Goodnight Moon, judging from the fact that she will wiggle out of my arms as I'm reading a different bedtime story, lunge over to the book basket and try to pull Goodnight Moon out with both hands. What is it about that book?
  • Naptime: She is napping easily in the morning but usually keeps it short (less than an hour). In the afternoon she fights the nap but then often sleeps over an hour. We don't have set times for naps. I just put her down when she starts showing signs that she's tired (usually rubbing the eyes and yawning, of course) and try to time it so that I feed her a bottle right before the nap. She spits up less that way. We often offer solids soon after she wakes up from naps.
  • Bedtime: Bedtime has become a struggle and I think it is due to separation anxiety. She'll seem sleepy and when we put her down with lovey, paci, mobile and white noise she will close her eyes and seem to go to sleep, but then as soon as we step over the threshold of her room, into the hall, she will start crying. The crying intensifies if we ignore her and walk down the stairs. We go back up, flip her back over onto her back (because she won't take the paci if we leave her on her tummy), replace her paci and lovey and rewind the mobile, kiss her forehead and leave once more. On the "worst" nights this is repeated over and over for 45 minutes. We've tried staying in the room, rubbing her back or just standing by the crib as she falls asleep, but that doesn't work. She just gets more alert and starts smiling and giggling at us. Counter-productive. We're just riding this out, hoping it's a phase and it will end fairly soon.
  • Baths: Other than Evie trying to off herself a couple of times by face-planting into the water (don't worry, we were right there to rescue her), baths are just routine these days. She has some bath toys that she loves to chew on, which amuses me because my nephew had some foam books that he loved to chew on at exactly this age. What is it about 7-month-olds and foam?
  • Birthmark: hasn't grown recently and seems to be lightening up, so I'm starting to believe the pediatrician that it will shrink and disappear someday. Not that it really matters, since Evie is perfection.
  • Pacifiers: now she only uses these to get to sleep, while in the car seat, or when she's really upset (we keep one by the changing table since she tends to have meltdowns there frequently...since she often gets changed while very hungry, tired or both).
  • Dogs: Phoebe growled at her for the first time last week. OK, but Phoebe, it was really stupid to stand right next to her when there were plenty of other places for you to stand where she couldn't reach your fur!
  • Swimming: I want to do an "Aqua Baby" class but found out that they fill up really fast at our indoor community center pool, since they only let 8 kids and their parents into each class. I have to call on May 6 as soon as the center opens to try to get on the rolls for the June class. Wish me luck.
  • Playdates: I have three different playgroups/playdates in the works but none of them have happened yet. At this age, playdates are really about mommies making friends; the kids are in parallel play for a few years; but I'm excited to get one or all of them started. I need reasons to get out of the house other than shopping and doctor appointments!
  • Speaking of getting out of the house: We became FOTZ today. Friends of the Zoo. As long as we go at least five times this year we'll get our money's worth. The negatives are that the zoo is a 30 minute drive away, it is not set up well and requires mass amounts of walking and Evie is a little young to appreciate zoos. The bennies are that I will get great exercise pushing a stroller and Evie seems to love animals so far. Plus, now that I've paid for the FOTZ membership it is a "free" activity to get out of the house when I'm feeling stir-crazy.
  • Spitting up: I was planning to be all positive and gung-ho about how Evie's spitting up is getting better and we aren't washing as many bibs and burp cloths lately. Then she spit up all over my chest and shirt after her bedtime bottle tonight, so I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the topic.
  • Crying: when she was younger, her crying had a pathetic quality to is that melted my heart and made me want to run to her and make everything all better. Lately, however, her crying often takes on a distinctly WHINY character that drives me up the wall. I'm not talking about the type of crying that says "I'm hurt" or "I'm hungry" or "I'm exhausted" or "I'm scared." This particular type of crying says "I'm not happy!" It is difficult for me right now because I want to whip out my Love and Logic knowledge and tell her "Mommy can't hear you when you're whining. Please ask in a normal voice." But she's 7 months old! I can't do discipline yet! Apparently whining is one of my "mommy hot-button issues" and I'm going to need to learn how to be patient with it for a few months. When does she do this whiny cry? Whenever she's slightly tired, slightly hungry, slightly bored or slightly overstimulated. This turns out to be pretty frequently. She does it a lot between waking up in the morning and her first nap and between lunch and her afternoon nap. Sometimes she breaks it out while we are eating dinner, too.
  • The Best Stuff: catching her eye across the room and getting a big, brilliant, toothless grin. Cuddling her on my shoulder when she falls asleep during the burp after a 2 am bottle. Entering the room and having her lunge toward me with a squeal of delight. Opening the door of her nursery in the morning and seeing her big eyes smiling at me over the top of the crib bumper. Knowing all of the silly sounds and faces that will make her laugh. Being the last face she sees before she closes her eyes to sleep. Being there to clap and shout "Hooray!" when she accomplishes a small milestone for the first time. Knowing that the best stuff is yet to come.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Official "Then and Now" Birthday Pictures Post

To save room in Evie's monthly posts I decided to put previous birthday diaper pics into one post I can link to. I'm so darn organized.

Two weeks old:

One month old:

Two months old:

Three months old:

Four months old:

Five months old:

Six months old:

Seven months old:

Eight months old:

Nine months old:

Ten months old:

Eleven months old:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh, I could write a sonnet...

...about her Easter bonnet, and about the girl I'm taking to the Easter parade...

In the nursery during the sermon (she doesn't like sitting through them, clearly):

Doesn't she look like such a little girl?

And later, at home:

It's a good thing she was so cute in this dress because I just ruined it this evening. She spit up on it a little and I didn't read the tag and put it in the dryer. Whoops.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yep, still here

Well...I'm a perfectionist of course. When I do something I want to do it right, and when I am doing something right there's not much room in my life for other things. So much has happened in the past 2 weeks that it would be impossible for me to blog it all now and get it all right, so I've been putting off posting. But I want to update before Evie's 7 month post next week...

Long story short: Evie is wonderful and I have a cold. More details on Evie later in the post.

So, what's been eating up all of the late-night hours when I could have been blogging? No, not sleep. Scrapbooking. I finally decided that because Evie is/was 6 months old, it was time to get serious about putting our hundreds of snapshots of her into albums. For the past few weeks I've been basically recreating this blog in scrapbook form. I have about 40 12"x12" pages completely finished as of tonight and I have about 40 more pages mocked up and ready for journaling and embellishments. Sometime soon I'll take pictures of some of my spreads and post them, just for fun. Here's what else is happening in our little corner of the world:
  • Congrats to my BFF Jen who had her daughter, Rachel, this morning at 8:30 am by homebirth! As I'm linking this to her blog she doesn't have pics up yet, only a description of how she brought on labor, but I'm sure she'll post pics and details eventually. :)

  • Evie likes to eat: everything except chicken puree. She even likes water and prefers sippy cups with straws to those with spouts. We started introducing her to fruit and she can't get enough of the sweet stuff. She opens her little mouth up SO WIDE for apple, banana, mango, etc. But she still eats veggies and grains, just not with so much gusto.

  • The pincer grasp is emergent. Yesterday and today she managed to feed herself one time each day, perhaps by accident, but she seems to be catching on. She would love to feed herself, judging by her lunging to grab at her bowls and spoons. After she eats she adores playing with the spoon; she inspects it, bangs it on the tray, puts it in her mouth (of course) and eventually throws it onto the floor.

  • She throws (almost) everything onto the floor these days. We've resorted to simply letting her play on the floor more often than not. For now we are one step ahead of her games. For now.

  • In the past few days she's discovered the joy of feeding the dogs. It was inevitable! They are like sharks swimming under her high chair when she's eating and it's incredibly annoying because she adores them and they distract her from the business of the meal. Eating takes a lot longer when you have to pause between bites to squeal with delight at the puppies.

  • You know the mesh feeder thingies that are popular these days? Well, add one mesh feeder + one baby who throws things on the floor + one weasly beagle and what do you get? You get Mommy going to the store for replacement mesh bags and a new policy that Evie doesn't use the mesh feeder unsupervised with dogs around.

  • I am in awe of how wonderful Phoebe is with Evie! The past couple of days they have had some close encounters in which Evie has grabbed Phoebe's skin and fur HARD and pulled. Phoebe's reaction: zip, zero, nada. I was shocked. Seriously. Is this my fluffy black mutt who growls at us whenever we need to pick her up (as in lifting her into a tall car since she has stubby legs, or helping her onto the bed where she cowers in fear during storms). Is this my ferocious watch dog who barks viciously at the Fed Ex guy nearly every day? Don't get me wrong, Phoebe isn't dangerous. She's never bitten anyone, at least not since she was a puppy and didn't know better. We trained her not to nip back then and she hasn't ever since. But those of you who've had older female dogs know what I mean when I say she can be a bit of a BI*CH sometimes with the growling, barking and attitude. :) So far she is an angel with Evie and I am very thankful.

  • Evie is in the beginning stages of crawling. She is no longer content to sit up and play...now she insists on throwing herself forward or to the side to see how far she can get. She also lunges at toys and a couple of times has ended up lunging onto hands and knees. She is now rocking, too. If it weren't a developmental thing I'd be concerned about autism! She's been standing steadily (with upper body support) for months, but now she rocks her hips back and forth like Elvis. When sitting she rocks back and forth like a mental patient. On hands and knees...you get the picture. I'm using the rock'n'roll stage to plot my babyproofing strategies. Next week: implementation.

  • She's starting to transition her babbling into a bit of jargon, too. Sometimes her babbling uses intonations and vowel-consonant combinations that sound like she's speaking another language. She loves when I listen to her and repeat the babbling and jargon back to her as if I understood. She also loves hearing me make animal sounds (not the tame spoken versions but real deal imitations). Her favorites are buzzzzzzz, quack and oink. Of course, since the oinking hurts my nose when I have a cold and my sinuses are raw.

  • Since starting solids she now often poops more than twice a day. I am SO not enjoying this aspect of "real food."

  • Her Minnesota grandparents are here for Easter and I will post a picture of her in her Easter dress ASAP.

  • She's mobile enough now that we got paranoid and moved her crib mattress down to the bottom. She hasn't seemed to notice the change.

  • Don't get me started on sleep because I have nothing but whining to contribute. Teething. Growth spurt. She's weaning herself from pacifiers. Her life is all very exciting. Too exciting for sleep.

  • She's 18 pounds today, by way of the bathroom scale.

  • She's absolutely gorgeous. This outfit was one of mine when I was a baby and Evie seemed happy to model it for you:

My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog