Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On My Own...

Evalee has really started to show interest in communicating in the last couple of weeks. It started with more pointing and now she can respond to several questions and even gives us her own version of a few words! Of all of her milestones she has achieved thus far, this has been the most exciting for me.
We can now give her the following carefully asked questions:
"Evalee, would you like to read a book?" This will be followed by an almost guaranteed "boom" of her dropping whatever she's interested in and heading over to her bookshelf, where she starts searching through acting as though she's trying to pick one. But in the end, we always settle on Brown Bear or The Monster at the End of this Book.

"Evalee, is it bath time?" This is followed by not only an enthusiastic sprint for the bathroom, but tonight her jog was also joined by a couple enthusiastic "Bath! Bath! Bath!"s thrown in there.

"Evalee, would you like to go outside?" A grin and a totter for the sliding glass door.

"Evalee, are you thirsty?" Eyebrows up, eyes searching a cup, mouth already open and ready for it.

"Evalee, can you find the kitty?" A determined brow. Eyes searching the chairs, the top of the fridge, the top of the bed, all their popular loitering posts. Finally, when she finds them, a determined finger and a nodding "keeeeeeey."

She can also, when she wants to play, correctly identify Elmo, Ernie, Big Bird, her bathtime best friend Monkey, and Monkey's favorite pal Penguin. She is getting very good at getting her shapes pushed into her ol' Tupperware shape sorter, although she does occasionally have a toddler tantrum when the squares won't jam into the circle holes. My goal is to get some items from around the house or whatever to start working on shapes and colors in the bathtub, as it seems like that's where focuses and learns best for some reason.

Keeping on the independence/growing up theme, she has a renewed determination and vigor in feeding herself with her OWN spoon, thank you very much. Unfortunately she does not understand how to hold a spoon and that it's different than a fork in that you cannot jab at the applesauce and bully it onto the spoon. And don't even think about trying to show her how to do it herself. The minute your hand reaches for hers, panic ensues -- eyes go shut, the head goes thrown back, the face turns red, sometimes there are even tears. So the result? Twenty minutes of watching her stab her applesauce, trying to cajole it into her mouth using reasoning, furrowed eyebrows, and an unrelentless determination.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A little pre-church Mother's Day photo shoot

Evalee's cute outfit from our family friends, the Volgelsangs. The beads were her idea :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In Honor of Mother’s Day: The top 5 things I’ve learned in my first year of parenting

I 1. Being a good mom doesn’t mean necessarily being prepared for every situation, despite what my first attempts at a diaper bag might have reflected. Instead, it’s finding a way to roll with the situation and lowering your own expectations for yourself. It’s taking a deep breath and saying, “Yeah, it’s fine. She can just wear her diaper home.” It’s fashioning umbrellas out of blankets that have been in your car since the Clinton administration. It’s making a toy out of old receipts and a zipper. That’s being a good mom.

2. . 2. Be positive to other parents, especially new ones. Even though you are tempted to say something snarky to people that are expecting or that have a newborn about how hard it is, don’t. Ever. There is no couple in the world that wants to hear, “Oh, just wait. You’ll never sleep again!” in response to, “We’re having a baby!” By the same token, telling someone you were up at 1, 3, 5, and 7 a.m. does not always warrant a, “Welcome to motherhood!” comment. I’m not sure why anyone thinks these are helpful, nice, or even appropriate things to say and yet, every single day new parents hear them. Instead, offer help or words of encouragement. That’s usually what we’re all looking for at times when we’re all feeling down, aren’t we?

3. 3. Sleeping in until 11 a.m. IS kind of a waste of the day. I can’t remember the last time I did it and I know I would feel guilty if I did. Don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping with a passion that has only begun to burn ever since my daughter was born. But sleep really isn’t everything, and sometimes being tired is worth the quiet time you are awarded at night because you cleaned the house all morning.

4. 4. The entire dynamic of your day to day changes dramatically when you become a parent in ways you can’t even imagine until you there, including how /when you take a shower, the time and manner in which you dress yourself and wear your hair, the order in which you eat your food at dinnertime, how often and quickly you can manage to pee throughout the day, and even where you store your paper towels. This is amusing at best, challenging usually, and occasionally frustrating and upsetting.

5. 5. Being a mom means sacrifice. You no longer have some of the luxuries you had pre-motherhood, like the time you’d need to give yourself a manicure and let the polish completed dry, the ability to “just run in” to any store, or the ability to eat your meal while it’s still hot from start to finish without having to get up or feed someone else for 15 minutes. Those sacrifices are real. But they are truly nothing compared to the indescribable gains that you cannot get from anywhere else. The warmth of a strong hug, the pride in watching your child demonstrate their ability to do something that YOU taught them to do, and the love that exudes from every attempt at saying “Mama” they give you are worth every single sleepless night and cold hamburger.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hangin' with my Daddy

Eva loves to be tickled by her Daddy. Others can get giggles out of her, but nothing like the giggles you hear when Daddy gets her tickles in just the right places!

Our funny little lady

Eva has been doing some pretty funny things around the house lately. She finally figured out what her sunglasses were for last week and wore them around the house giggling madly. She now tries to put our sunglasses on, sometimes her own face and sometimes ours. It's always very helpful.
She also has taken to having long, amusing conversations with her Sesame Street guys, whom she carries around in different mix-matched pairs every day, as if she wants them all to be friends and doesn't want to discriminate or show favoritism.
She has also become very good at finding the snacks stashed around the house and likes to bring the container to us with a shy smile, which I am ashamed to admit I fall for every time.

Most excitingly, she has started to prove that she understands what we say to her. If I ask her, "Would you like to read a book? Go pick out a book for Momma to read to you." She will happily bound over to her shelf and bring one or two or three books into your waiting arms. She will also hurry to the closed bathroom door as soon as you say, "Evalee, it's time for your bath!" It seems so simple, but it's so exciting to begin communicating with her. She's growing into such a fun little person!

I think she is trying to blend in. Sorry, Gadg, there aren't any grey Muppets.

All we can say is: Seriously? Again?

When we got home from the book signing we took Eva's temperature to find it had reached 101.8. We put her to bed with Tylenol and kisses and hoped she feel better in the morning. We found out our babysitter was sick and couldn't take kids on Monday, which caused a slight 5 a.m. panic at first until it all worked out in the end when Eva woke up and was still sick herself. I had taken Friday off for the surgery and couldn't really afford another sub day at school and Travis was working on perhaps the biggest story of his career, so Super Grandma came to the rescue and took care of our little Ernie as closely to the way Mommy would as she could :). When her temperature wouldn't subside we got her an appointment with Dr. Moen for 5:30 p.m. We arrived for our appointment leisurely; I was proud of our punctuality, in fact,as we strolled in at 5:25. That pride was quickly deflated when I checked in to find that I had gone to the wrong office and Dr. Moen was waiting for us, i.e. his last patient, at the East Moline office. Which I had never been to. Awesome. Luckily he told the girls to send us over anyway and we were off. I grabbed the office's address from a business card, put it in my GPS, and spun off. The GPS took me right and then immediately regretted its decision and started to turn me around. I was slightly annoyed. Then we proceeded to go on a 15 minute pointless loop filled with side streets and frustrating circles, leading me always back to the road I started on, and by 5:40 I called (who else?) my mother in a panic. I didn't get any further than, "We are so, so late and I have no idea how to get there ---" before I started sobbing right there on the Avenue of the Cities. My mother's rational attempts to calm me down didn't do much in the way of stopping me from blubbering in fear that I would lose the appointment, waste the doctor's time, and at the worst, get severely embarrassed. She used her phonebook and looked up the other number to call them. I called and, since they were waiting after hours, their phones were already off. So there I was, lost in a city I absolutely never drive to with a cracked out GPS and a crying baby in the backseat.
I called my husband. His stupid news job that I hate with nearly every fiber of my being afforded him the position to say things like, "About now you should be passing a Subway, right?" and "Go through the stoplight and count 2 side streets and then you'll see it." which are the kind of directions my GPS needs to be able to spit out for me. Although I hated to bug him on his big, busy day, there he was: my knight in shining armor taking me where I needed to go.
The staff was very kind to me, which was ridiculous since I was 35 minutes late. Dr. Moen told me to not think twice about it. I assured him I would. Eva got in a fistfight with the nurse trying to take her temperature (101.6) and then took it to a new level with Dr. Moen during her examination. Prognosis? Ear infection in her right ear and a swollen throat, quite possibly strep throat. He said the fever could have been caused by the infections or by her vaccines from her well baby visit. He wrote her a strong prescription of antibotics, got a smile out of her, and sent us on our way. I really love our pediatrician.

Uncle Adam: Published Author

We drove down for Uncle Adam's book signing over the weekend. On Saturday we met up with Uncle Trevor and Aunt Ashley in Bloomington so Daddy could get some things done for work. We had a fun afternoon playing with Alex and his cool toys and catching up with everyone. Aunt Angie and her friends joined us later on that evening and we had lots of fun laughing and watching strange television. Daddy finally got to join us after Eva had already passed out for the evening, but he still got a chance to spend some time with his brothers. On Sunday we went to Grandma Kershaw's house for a quick lunch before heading over to the Sly Fox for the book signing. Evalee was in heaven when we walked in -- there were 5 or 6 rocking chairs just like the one she has at home AND she was in a room filled with books. I took a deep breath and thought, "Well, I hope we don't end up buying too many books today." We didn't have to worry about it, though, because Eva started to act peculiar while we were there and I knew something just wasn't quite right. I was kind of sad that she was in such a crabby mood because we got to see so many people that we hadn't seen in months. But, I guess that's life. Still, it was nice to catch up with the Popes and Aunt Jody and so many family friends.
After the signing we spent so more time with the family at Grandma's before hitting the road for the long drive back home. Eva was again pretty crabby for the drive, but our stop off at Daphne's Family Diner put her back in good spirits and she was good for the rest of the drive (mostly).
It was crazy for me to realize that this was probably the last time we would see Aunt Molly before Baby Kershaw arrives! We are all sooooooo excited to meet you, little baby!!

Tear Duct Surgery

Last Friday we all got up on the bright to head into Trinity for Evalee's tear duct probe. We got taken back to her room pretty quickly after our arrival where she changed out of her pajamas and into her tiny little hospital gown. She snuggled up with Daddy on the bedchair and watched Sesame Street until it was time to go down for her procedure. I was so thankful when she gladly left with the nurse without a blink of her eye. No tears for Eva = No tears for Mommy. She came back, however, a couple minutes later because the anesthesiologist was called to the maternity ward. I laughed and told them I couldn't even begin to act like I was upset by that in any way. So, we watched some more Sesame Street and she left, again, with no tears. Whew. I worked on some things for school while Travis passed out in a chair and before we knew it our smiling little girl was back to us. She was so excited to get her apple juice and Cheerios from the nurse, and we sat and ate them while the staff waited to make sure she could keep her food down. Once we got the go ahead to leave our little wobble foot lead the way out to the lobby and to the car. Once we got home a family nap was in order.
When Daddy left for work it seemed as though Evalee felt totally normal, so I decided to take advantage of the free afternoon and I went shopping. Grandma met us at Kohls and helped me pick out a couple things and then we headed back out to the car. Just before we got to the car, Grandma said, "Hm, I think her eye is bleeding." Sure enough, by the time we got to the car she was blinking away blood from her eye. It bothered her enough that she let us wipe it away without a fight and we headed home while Grandma finished up her shopping. I took her temperature when we got home, and it was at about 100.9. After several slightly worried phone calls to the eye doctor and pediatrician, we came to the conclusion to watch her closely over the weekend and to monitor her temperature. Thankfully, her eye seems to be doing great now! I'm so relieved that it seems to have cleared up without any problems, and I'll be all the more relieved when we are done administering her eye drops!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Easter!


For Easter we decided to have a small gathering here at our house, so we invited the Adams side of the family over for some burgers, brats, and hotdogs and we watched Evalee hunt for her eggs filled with cheerios, crunchies, animal crackers, and yogurt melts.
She understood the concept of getting the eggs in her Elmo basket, but she had a much better time hunting for her eggs again around the living room. Once she figured out how to open the eggs and get her snacks out herself, she had a blast paddling around the house and shrieking with delight when she got another one cracked. She had such a good time I almost kept the eggs out to do another hunt, but I resisted. Leave Easter to Easter, Mr. Bunny. :)