Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tiny Dancer

First, an update on Zeph. Things are looking good at this point and we are feeling hopeful that Zeph's adoption will actually happen in April! This is making me freak a little bit about getting ready, so I'm going to start making a packing list since this adoption is out of state and will require more planning than Evie's did. I've also started buying things, like boyish changing pad covers and boyish bath towels, and yes, those socks that I wanted. :)

Today I took Evie for more portraits (free 8x10 and sitting fee!) because 1. I recently found a pettiskirt for a great price online and 2. I have been awful at getting good pictures of her at home these days.

Of course, Evie could sense my plan to take her at 3:40 (since she usually naps from 1-3) and refused to fall asleep until 2, so I had to wake her up to get her to the sitting on time. Thus she was somewhat grumpy, and hungry. This is the worst of the pictures, but I love it anyhow:

And here is one of the best of the pictures:
But this is what I chose for my free 8x10:
Since they wouldn't let me get it for free in b&w:

Having raisins as an after-nap snack:
A little scared of the photographer and her camera:

Would be cute except for the sock dents and toenails that need to be clipped :)

This really deserves a whole other post, but I'll end by saying that 16 months old is my favorite age so far. Either that or I'm finally hitting my mommy stride. Life is good.

Friday, January 22, 2010

16 Months Old

Where do I begin?! My baby is 16 months old and isn't a baby anymore. Every day she does something new and proves to me that some day she will, indeed, go off to college and leave me heartbroken.

Although she's still clingy and needy at times, the last half of this month has been all about independence. The other day I fussed at her for the first time because she was ignoring me as I was trying to ask her a question! This same scenario will happen a gazillion times between us, but the first time happened at 16 months old. Sigh.

She is very interested in toys at this age and is extremely distractable. She'll sign that she wants to eat, but on the way to the kitchen a toy will catch her eye and she will lose interest in our destination. I've learned that when she signs "potty" to me I really need to pick her up and carry her to the bathroom because otherwise she'll lose interest on the way there. It's nice in one way that I have more freedom to do dishes and sort laundry without her clinging to my legs or "helping," but it's also sad to feel that I've become irrelevant unless she needs something from me.

Here are the latest brag-worthy Evie details:

*she now can identify things that are "bue." (blue)

*she is starting to use 2 word phrases...we've had 3 so far: "more Daddy" (awwwww), "down Mama" (go down the stairs) and "Mama bubbles" (blow more bubbles in the water).

*yesterday (twice!) she signed potty to me on her own initiative and then went poop on the potty. Yay!!! Potty learning is going very slowly, at Evie's pace, but she seems to understand what it feels like to need to go, and how to make the magic happen, so to speak. These are very important skills, no?

*she has a few new ASL signs: "potty," "play," and "beautiful."

And for the big finale:

*we are transitioning to a toddler bed! She's slept the past couple of nights and naps on her crib mattress on the floor, and she is doing great with it. Yes, just a few minutes ago I heard a THUMP and a cry as she rolled out onto the carpet, but overall she has been sleeping just as much as normal and actually going to bed with less fuss. I think she might have decided it wasn't fair that she had to sleep in a crib since she has come to understand that Mama and Dada's bed does NOT have bars on it. In any case, she was becoming more and more resistant to bedtime and naps in her crib, and this transition has eased some of the angst. At least for now. (Knock on wood.) When she stops rolling out, we'll find a toddler bed frame and get the mattress up off of the floor. But it looks like her crib will be ready for Zeph to use in a few months!

Next, here are a few pics from this month (most of the pics were from Christmas and have already been posted).

This is Evie's new pal, Violet. She was a gift from Evie's Uncle D and Aunt A, and Evie LOVES Violet. Some of you might not have heard of these toys yet, but Violet plugs into the computer via a USB cord and can be programmed with Evie's name, favorite color, favorite food, etc. and then sings songs about those things. J and I can't help but grin whenever we hear Violet say "I love you, Evelyn." It's precious and creepy at the same time. Because we're dorks we want to program Violet to say "My favorite color is....gray!" and "My favorite animal is...a weasel!" and "My favorite food is...lima beans!" :)

Here is a picture that we will print out and keep for posterity so that we can embarrass Evie in front of her friends some day. Every kid has to have a potty pic, right?

We had a lot of snow in the Midwest this month, and here is Evie enjoying sledding in our back yard. I picked up this infant sled (it has a lap belt to keep her in) at a yard sale this summer for $2. Go me! The only problem was that the snow was so deep; the sled kept tipping over. But Evie seemed to enjoy it anyhow.

Finally, here is a fun pic of Evie roughhousing with her Dada. Good times:

And finally, a few (I mean several) short videos. First, Evie saying a few of her words:

Next, playing the piano:

Sledding, earlier this month:

Watching Dada shovel the driveway and practicing our "ho ho ho":

Playing peekaboo with her newly attached blankie (yay for transitional objects!):

Feeding herself oatmeal (and notice the gasps of delight when she comes up with oatmeal on the spoon!):

And, finally, a funny video we caught accidentally while celebrating Christmas in Minnesota. Here Evie and her Papa are playing a silly game while the movie A Christmas Story provides the background audio. Strangely appropriate audio?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Off-Topic: My Shoes

I mentioned over a year ago that at the time I had 12 pairs of Crocs HERE. The primary reason is that I suffer from plantar fasciitis and Crocs help relieve my symptoms. Since I wrote about it, I've had a couple of people suggest that I need to elaborate on this factoid about myself, most recently Evie's Aunt C mentioned it as she saw me receive 2 new pairs for Christmas. :)

Right now my count is 15 pairs, plus knee pads, and a new pair of slippers on the way (I got them for Christmas but they were too big, so we are exchanging them). Enjoy the tour of my shoes (?!). I do have other types of shoes, but the only ones I really wear are my running shoes and my Crocs. All of the others mainly stay in my closet unless I am attending a wedding or something like that.

#1: These are pink and brown Adara style, a semi-dressy sandal. I wear them in the summer when I want to look a little nicer than flip flops.
#2: These are the Malindi style and I wore them a lot for teaching because they are closed toe and look professional peeping out from below pants. I promise.
#3: These are my newest pair (excluding the slippers on the way). They are the Lena style. Although you can't tell from the pic, they are wedges. They promise to be a comfy alternative to dress shoes for some occasions. They look silver in the pic, but they are black IRL.
#4: These are the Havana style and I picked them up on clearance this past fall and haven't worn them yet. Cute, though! They are also wedges.
#5 and #6: These two are both the Sassari style, which was the first wedge style Crocs ever made. They were my first experiment with dressy(ish) Crocs. Unfortunately they have been hard to match to outfits because of the 2 tone, but I have enjoyed having them in my shoedrobe.
#7: These are my trusty Croc flip flops that I live in when it's warm (Capri style)...
#8: ...unless my outfit doesn't match the brown of the above pair, and then I wear my older gray and aqua flip flops (also Capri). Right now these live in my gym bag for when I take Evie swimming at the Community Center.
#9: These are my old, trusty Rx Relief style black crocs that served me well for teaching in the winter...
#10: unless I needed brown, and then I wore these Professional style:
#11: These are the Nile style sandals. They were my first sandal Crocs and got a lot of wear for awhile but now they are mostly gathering dust. :(
#12: These were one of my Christmas gifts this year. They are the Nadia style boots and have been wonderful for our snowy winter days. Sometimes Crocs just shouldn't have holes; winter is one of those times.
#13: These were my first pair of Crocs ever, the classic Beach style. I never wear these anymore because it's not cool to wear this color of Crocs unless you're six years old. :)
#14: These are my current slippers, the Mammoth style. They have seen 2.5 winters of hard use and you can see how much I need those new slippers to arrive in the mail. Don't be too grossed out, though. The dark stuff on the inside is lint from socks, not dirt. The linings on these get washed regularly. :)
#15: Here are the Georgie style rain boots that J and I share when we need to grab some boots for getting the mail or walking the dogs in rain or snow. Now maybe they belong to J since I have my new Nadias.
#15.5: These don't really count, but I highly recommend Crocs kneepads. They are awesome for doing an old-fashioned scrub-down of the kitchen floor, and J uses them every year when he goes on our church mission trip to Mexico to build houses for needy families. They are super comfy.

p.s. Evie pooped in the potty 3 times today!

p.p.s. She is 16 months old tomorrow; wish me luck getting some decent pics and/or video of her.

Monday, January 11, 2010

In Brief

Evie's newest words: star, bow and car

On the to-do list: fingerprinting and other paperwork for our homestudy update (in preparation for possibly adopting Zeph).

Latest on Zeph: still uncertain; his mom still wants to make an adoption plan but his dad is trying to disrupt it (I can't go into detail, but in A's opinion, C and his family should not get custody of Zeph). J and I find ourselves even more grateful to M & T and R & G for making their adoption plans together. If we do adopt Zeph, it will be stressful to not have a good relationship with his birth father, or perhaps not any relationship at all? But we trust A's assessment of the situation and are trying to just stand back and see what happens.

Warm fuzzy: Evie can pick J and I out of photos, even older ones where my hair is different, J is clean shaven, etc. She points at us and triumphantly states "Mama!" or "Dada!" She knows us. That is awesome.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009 in Pictures

Stealing this idea from Ashley (thanks!), here is 2009 in pictures. Some of these are pictures that I haven't posted to the blog until now.

January (3 months old):











Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas, and Books are Food

So much has happened in the past couple of weeks that it exhausts me to think of trying to recap, so I'm going to wimp out on that. But I do have some pictures, a video and a question for you all (please help!)

Evie's dress for Christmas Eve church:
Evie received many gifts, of course, but a box of clothes from Nana and Papa got the best reaction. As she pulled out each item she literally exclaimed "ahhh" and "oooh" little girl:
Our tree shot for this year...Nana, J, Papa, Evie, me, Uncle M and Aunt C:
My video is from a couple of days ago. Evie has been having nap "issues" and is getting so tired by evening that she is either hyper and silly or else literally falling asleep at dinner:

And now for my question. 2 lead-up questions first. One, why is Evie reading a pizza cookbook?

And why are her board books on the top shelves and our cookbooks on the bottom shelves? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Evie has developed a love of devouring books. Literally. There are whole bites taken out of "Mr. Brown Can Moo. Can You?" She is also in a defiant toddler phase (pardon the redundancy) and so the more I fuss at her for eating them, the more she chows down. But I can't just give in and let her eat her library, can I? Please help! Any advice and wisdom is welcome. It isn't that she doesn't want to read them, she does. And yes, she's teething. And no, she doesn't seem interested in teething toys. She wants to eat cardboard, apparently. Help. Can I use bitter apple on a toddler? (mostly kidding)

My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog