Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eva lately in June

Some of the goofy things Eva has been doing lately...
Putting on her OWN sunglasses, Thank You.

Demanding you read her books. This she has always done, but now she lets you know how you should hold it, the angle at which you should sit to hold the book, whether or not you're holding it tightly enough, etc. If she isn't pleased, she takes the book and gives it to you again, as if to say, "Let's start from scratch here."

Cheesin' in her room

Watching Super Why while Mama makes breakfast. She's a huge fan.
Digging on the new snack I got from a blog -- banana cut in half with peanut butter in between, frozen with a popsicle stick stuck in.
She LOVES rocks right now. When we go to our backyard, she sits and plays with the pebbles. When we go to the front yard, she pulls the red rock out of the landscaping. And when we go to Grandma and Grandpa's... it's a wonderland of rocks. She better get her fill because it's going to be paved soon!
She has also started trying to trick the cats into liking her by bringing them their toys, enticing them with shoelaces and other toys. It's pretty hilarious to watch the torment the cats feel -- wanting to play but also keep guard.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day with the Kershaws

We met up with all the Kershaw family in Peoria again this year for some swimming, food, and time together. It was nice to see everyone and get a chance to celebrate Alex's 2nd birthday. Oh what a fun little man he has grown into. It's amazing to think how much that little guy has changed, learned, and grown in the last year!

Baby Amelia was still a tiny little peanut, but a pretty cute and snuggly one!

Amelia snuggling with Aunt Angie
I asked Alex to give his mama kisses. This was his response.
Alex and his new Toy Story couch. It's super comfy.
Alex and I were taking pictures of each other taking pictures.
Evalee and Grandma
Evalee was trying to explain to Uncle Trevor how the 3D glasses work

Eva was in love
Naptime was a definite need.

Playing with Alex's new grill

A Father's Day task

Evalee and I decided to try to color some cards for Father's Day. The original intention was to make 3 cards, one for Daddy, one for my dad, and one for Travis's dad. Evalee, however, found it unneccessary to make more than one. So, that one went to Daddy. She was mostly excited about looking at all the crayons and putting them in little piles. Maybe next year. Ha.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Development: 14 months

Here are the words that I have noticed Evalee understand and identify at 14 months old:
1. outside
2. bath
3. Kitty/Cat
4.belly button
7. car
8. ball
9. Mommy
10. Daddy
11. fork
12. cup
13. juice
14. bear
15. Elmo
16. Big Bird
17. Ernie

For all of these things, she will either respond to what I'm saying or point to them in pictures or in the room.

Ways she communicates:
1. She says "ow-si!" for outside and does she own version of the outside sign.
2. She signs all done when she's finished eating and done playing in the bath.
3. She points to the cupboard with her food in it when she wants a snack.
4. She says "ba-ba" and pounds on the bathroom door when she wants to take her bath.
5. She points at any kitties she finds in books and says "ki...tty" (very slowly) and then always finds our cats in the room and points to them too.
6. She claps her hands when she's proud of something she just finished.

Things she can do:
She's been working on her writing and drawing skills. We've broken out the crayons a few times, but the crayons we have for her really aren't the greatest and they don't draw very vibrantly. I don't think she sees the colors she makes all the time, so she loses interest. Gotta go Crayola. She also draws on her MagnaDoodle. Mainly lines and dots, but she has attempted to draw circles a couple of times.

She can go up and down stairs very well now, but she now is trying to master walking up instead of crawling. Her short little legs just won't let her.

She will find her belly button and anyone else that ask's belly button and clap her hands if you ask her to.

She will pick out a book and bring it to you. Lately, she's been "reading" books to herself aloud in the back of the car.

Sometimes, she will even put something away if you tell her to.

She can lift her own shirt off and can get her own arms in her shirt after you get her head in. She can also take off her own pants and does so at random around the house.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trip to the Museum, Clifford, and my first taco pizza

Yesterday it was still a bit wet outside, and I knew Evalee would throw a tantrum and a half when she found out she would be stuck inside all day. So, I decided to call up my friend Becky and take our kids to the Family Museum for some running around and good times. Even though it feels like we were just there, she was a totally different kid this second time around. Last time it took her about 15-20 minutes to be brave and let go of my leg to tentatively go explore. This time, I had to chase her through the exhibit. She climbed the tree house stairs, she danced on the dance floor, she slid down Clifford the Big Red Dog's back, she navigated a boat... there was no stopping her. That is, until Clifford himself showed up. We saw him coming and, silly me, I thought she'd be excited to see him as we watch him fairly regularly on PBS. She was interested in him, but she certainly did not want to sit with him. She took up her observation pose: squatting down on her haunches and refraining from blinking as much as possible.

Afterwards the kids were starving so we went down the block to a Happy Joes. Eva was quite cranky by this time from lack of food, nap, and the fact that she has some wicked diaper rash right now. She refused to eat anything -- no mac and cheese, no pizza pasta, nothin. AND she insisted on sitting on my lap. This made eating out (as usual) a real treat for Mama. I was so frustrated and impatient by the time the meal was over I was ready to scream. And then, out of nowhere, Eva decided to turn back around and start eating. Not the food I got her, of course, but my lunch. She picked the tomatoes and lettuce off one of my pieces and ate those first. This was strange enough. And then, she picked up the whole piece and started biting off pieces. I couldn't believe it. She ate almost a while piece all by herself and was perfectly content for the rest of lunch. As long as she still wasn't in that God-forsaken high chair.

Anyway, it was a great morning and her squeals of excitement lead to me purchasing a membership to the museum for a year. So now we can go whenever we want and all it will cost us will be the gas to get there!

Crawling across the bridge and bumpy hills in the toddler area. These were impossible for her in March!
"I don't have time for pictures, mother. I have things to get in the oven."

Driving Clifford's big boat.
Saying "hi" to Emily Elizabeth and admiring just how tall Clifford really is.
Catching up with the other E.E.

A little perspective shot of the giant Clifford. He had a slide on the other side and stairs up his back!"No Mama no!"
Observing that dog from a safe distance.

Mmmmm taco pizza.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Because it's not always roses...

I thought I'd update the blog tonight on a few challenging things that are being posed to the Kershaw family as of late in regards to Eva.
1. Mealtime
Throughout the entire school year, I told myself it'd be so much easier and better at meal times once summer was here and we didn't have to operate on such a schedule. Meals take forever because as soon as I'm standing at a stove she gets so upset and insists on being held, hanging from the waist of my pants or throwing herself at my feet, demanding attention. It usually took 2 1/2 hours to do dinner from defrost to clean up. While the schedule factor is gone, unfortunately with the heat came a surge of independence from Eva, who now refuses to eat anything given to her by us. She MUST be the one to put the fork or spoon in her mouth. Now, on the one hand I am proud of her. Obviously she needs to learn to feed herself, and I'm glad she understands that she should be doing it herself. The problem is, however, she cannot understand the concept of the motions. She stabs, she flicks, she stabs again, and once she comes up fruitless enough times she attempts to ditch all her food on the floor in frustration. I've tried letting her attempt a couple times and then trying to gently swoop in and show her putting my hands on hers. Not happening. I've tried using a second spoon to get her the nutrition she needs while she focuses on her own utensils. She was again, offended. This has been going on for the last several weeks, but up until lately she would eventually get hungry enough to let me give her a spoonful or two or fill the fork and then hand it to her to put in her mouth. But the last two days, she's refusing that too. The result? A child that is not eating full meals and is therefore constantly begging for snacks, which she is well-versed in and can feed herself no problem. It's very, very frustrating. Every meal ends in either crying or a huge mess of a dumped plate/bowl on the floor. I keep reminding myself that she has to learn and that she will improve over time, but it just feels like it's been a long time with little progress and it's very frustrating that she won't let me help her learn.

2. Holding hands
Eva is an energetic child, especially in public places. She wants to run and wave to people and pull things off the shelves. She wants to beat you to the car. She does NOT want to hold your hand. Anytime we go anywhere, we are faced with the struggle, "If I let you walk, you have to hold my hand." She fights to break free, and once she realizes she can't overcome my King Fu grip, she throws herself to the ground like a limp noodle. As soon as you pick her up to carry her instead, she's fighting with every muscle she has to be walking again. The ONLY solution we've found thus far is for the both of us to hold her hands and play the 1-2-3 game where we lift her in the air on 3 every time. But even that wears off in about 2 minutes, so it works best on the way to the car from the store.

3. Threats of death or serious injury
Since I've been home from school, I feel like all I do all day is tell Eva "No!" I know that reads like exaggeration, but some days it's true.
"No, we do not play with the garbage from the garbage can."
"No, we do not pull all the toilet paper out of the cabinet."
"No, we do not put toys in your diaper pail."
"No, we do not pull on the lamps."
"No, we do not throw our juice on the ground when we are done with it."
"No, we do not dive head first off of Mommy's bed."
"No, we do not play with the toilet."
"No, we do not pull all our clothes off the hangers."

And it's literally her going from one "no" to the next, never stopping to play with a toy or do anything PC. Every day she does the same things, as if she's hoping today's the day she can finally splash in that darn toilet and see what it's like once and for all. While I will never be a parent that will allow her child to do whatever she pleases, I hate telling her "no" allllll day long. I know it sounds foolish, but I just wish she'd take my first "no" seriously and stop doing it all together.

4. Sleep, teeth, the pacifier, and the unknown
Evalee still uses her pacifier to fall asleep. Every day I give it to her, I know I'm making the habit harder and harder to break. But every time I reach the time frame that I tell myself I'm going to take it away, something happens to make me reconsider. I was going to take it away at her birthday time, but that's when she kept getting ear infections and it really soothed her. Then I was going to take it away once those cleared up, but then she started falling asleep on her own in her crib and the paci was an essential ingredient in triggering her brain - as soon as the paci was in she would start tugging her hair and lay down. So I told myself we'd give it a little time with that and then take it away once she really got into the habit of falling asleep alone. And then these darn molars started poking through. Her other teeth didn't seem to faze her much at all, but these have really given her a run for her money. They've been waking her up several times in the night and, again, the only thing that helps her fall back asleep is that paci. So now I've told myself: Okay, once the teething is over.
But are they all just pitiful excuses because I don't want to deal with the pain and misery associated with taking it away? I'm not sure. I just think about the stories I've read of parents thinking it was going to be a terrible, horrific experience but it went surprisingly well. They did the pacifier fairy or mailed them to a baby cousin or took the less creative route and simply cut a hole in it so it's not fun to suck anymore. I don't think we will be one of those cases. Why? Because one night recently I couldn't find a paci to help her fall asleep -- we've purchased I think about 20 of them and can only seem to hold onto 2 -- and she was still up screaming at 11 when Travis came home from work. So a little part of me wonders - well, if she were a bit older maybe she'd naturally grow out of it - like she did with bottles, us coming to her in the night, and rocking her to sleep. Or, as I'm sure would actually be the case, we'd create a monster. The bottom line is I know I don't want to be the mom whose 4 year old is throwing a temper tantrum for their pacifier as I'm toting her to preschool. But I also don't want to take away something that comforts her so much. Stay tuned on that one.

All for now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Outside! Outside!

Evalee is still a woman of very few words, but perhaps her most important piece of vocabulary (at least to her) is "outside." She says it surprisingly clearly and always does her version of the sign with it. She wants to be outside as much as possible these days. Which is nice, but hot. :) Plus, there isn't tons to do in our yard at this point for her, so she ends up doing things she shouldn't like attempt to eat rocks (again) or sand. We got a Cozy Coupe from my cousin Julie this weekend, so we will now have that to cruise around in the driveway with. We also have the swing, which she loves when she's in the mood for it. Katie gave her an awesome water activity thing for her birthday, and we've played with it a couple of times. It's really cool because it has all sorts of things on it to keep her busy. The only down side to it is that it requires continuous water so it's always very cold. So, our little wimp usually won'ot put more than her stomping feet in. :)
On Sunday Evalee and I washed my car. The pictures do a good job of explaining how that went.
Yesterday we played on the porch with her bubble machine. She loved to get her face right where the bubbles come out, which of course resulted in her being a sticky, soapy mess by the end of our adventure. Daddy and I washed her hair in the sink really quickly before he left for work!