Sunday, November 27, 2011

A-hunting we will go...

Today we went to Up North Pines our annual Parchert family Christmas tree hunt. This was our second year at the new lot, and we were again very pleased with the selection compared to our old place. Evalee had an absolute blast in the trees. You could hear her excitedly laughing and screaming from all corners. She loved the little trees that were smaller than her, and she loved to be chased and scared from around the corner. We settled on a tree after some debate and Evalee helped Daddy drag the tree back up to the parking lot. This has been a family tradition for my entire life -- every Sunday after Thanksgiving -- and I'm so happy to continue the tradition on with the next generation.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How's the potty training going?

Kershaw family Thanksgiving

This weekend we got to go down to Williamsville for our Kershaw family Thanksgiving. As luck would have it, Travis had to work a night shift the Friday before, so we came down on Saturday morning. The kids got to play for a while as the food warmed up, and then we all got to sit down to a delicious dinner. Evalee wasn't really interested in eating. She had about 4 bites of mashed potatoes before heading back to continue on with what she was doing: cooking her baby on Alex's grill. We had an afternoon filled with playing, naps (for all three members of our family), and giggles.
Grandma wanted to go to the Festival of Trees, so once all the kids were up and ready we headed out. Eva wasn't sure what to think at first. We first stopped to see Santa, and she was not interested in talking to him at all. We walked around and saw all the pretty trees and the neat gingerbread houses, but all Eva was interested in mostly was a display with a Cinderella theme, complete with a life-sized mannequin dressed as Cinderella. We visited that display a few dozen times that night and even tried to join it a few times. For some reason, her shoes seemed to be bothering her, so she excited ran around the building in just her Elmo socks. There were Christmas ornament stickers on the ground, and she was so excited to step on each of them and follow the path they created around the exhibit. As Uncle Trevor said, "She is the most independent one-year-old I've ever seen." She never turned around to even check to see that we were following her. She was on a mission.

The other highlight of the night was the train ride. It was almost a disaster, as we sat down for the ride, Eva excited squealing "Choo! Choo!" only to realize we didn't have enough seats for everyone in our group. Eva didn't understand why we were getting up and was certainly displeased as she watched the ride chug ahead without her. She made the most pathetic "chooooo choooooo" noise as we stood in line and waited for our ride to come. The wait made the ride all the more sweeter, and she quietly whispered, "Wheeeee" through a smile throughout the entire ride.

We met Grandma and Papa for lunch at Chili's before heading back home on Sunday. Eva sat pretty well for the most part, mostly because of the chips and salsa at our table. There's nothing she loves more than an opportunity for some good chip/cracker dipping.She has good taste, in my opinion, as I firmly believe Chili's chips and salsa are a small slice of the heaven that awaits us.
Grandma and Amelia

"Why hello Santa. I can be polite as long as my mom is holding me."

"...but if you think I'm just going to sit here with this guy all by myself you're crazy."

"No. I won't even look at the camera. I'm that mad."

Alex was also not jazzed about the opportunity to chat with Saint Nick.

Amelia didn't understand what the big deal was.

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a mug shot glare at the camera.

Eva is calculating how she can still Alex's candy cane so she has one for each hand, the way she likes it.

Alex tried to put his arms around his girls for a photo. Eva's playing hard to get.

They really know how to take a photo.

Candy canes are such a distraction.

Waiting for the choo choo

She didn't want to blink and miss it.

So, she just didn't blink.

This house totally should have won the blue ribbon. Jelly Belly chimney stones? Frosting dots on the roof? Mysterious pine cone shaped candy trees? Perfect.

A little Rapunzel love

Even the Cat was there.

This is the face I envisioned for Santa Clause, not Cinderella.

Waving to Daddy on the train

Walkin' in a winter wonderland

I so wish this would have been in focus. <sigh>

Admiring trees with Uncle Trevor

Visiting Cinderella. Again.

Trying to smuggle Uncle Trevor under her sweater. He was underage for the gingerbread section.

Pretty girl

Amelia's practically drooling for Molly's hair

3 out of 4... not bad

being silly

She was anxious to hold Amelia, despite the fact that her face suggests she doesn't realize she is, in fact, holding Amelia.

Enjoying the attention she is receiving from holding Amelia

...but now she's done with her.

Eva in November

We have had a very busy November here in the Kershaw family. In fact, I just asked Travis what we've done since Halloween, and frankly it feels like Halloween was just a weekend ago. Her love for Disney princesses has done nothing but grown this month. Last month she was stuck on Cinderella and that darn cat Lucifer, and this month she turned to Beauty and the Beast. I never understand why she chooses that one because she gets scared when Maurice gets lost in the woods, when Belle gets locked in the dungeon, and when Belle gets attacked by the wolves. Regardless, she loves it. Her favorite scene, just like in Cinderella, is when Belle and Beast are dancing. She is truly a girlie girl.
She is also growing up in sneaky, subtle ways. She is getting better and better at eating with a spoon, though I'm told she still doesn't eat very well on her own at Judy's house. She's getting more and more expressive when she's jabbering to us, and she likes to say "hi" and wave to her toys  before she plays with them. She doesn't say a lot of phrases yet, but she does use her words more and more. Her terrible two tantrums have gotten better and better ever since the epic tantrum of Disney love.
I suppose I need to include that story. Despite Eva's deep affection for Disney, we try to limit the amount of TV she watches every day. If she had it her way, she would marathon throughout all her favorites all afternoon long. When I talked to her pediatrician about her love for TV in October, he gave his opinion about why he thinks it's a good idea to keep TV to a 1-1 1/2 hour limit a day, adding,"I don't know a lot of 18 month olds that will sit still through an hour and a half of television without leaving the room or playing with toys anyway." My response? Our child can without a struggle. She gets immersed into the movies she watches and barely moves to drink from her sippy cup.
Fast forward a few weeks. We finished her movie for the night and she lumbered into the kitchen and reached for the top of the fridge (where we've been forced to keep the movies because she knows how to put them in and start them) and we gave her the bad news: we're all done watching movies for today. She starts begging. We don't back down. Thus began a 55 minute crying frenzy, complete with spinning herself in circles on the kitchen floor, her hands ever-vigilant in the sign language "please" position begging, "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease" for the movies she so desires. Had it not been for Travis talking me down from the crazy ledge around minute 25, I probably would have backed down. But finally, she exhausted herself. The screaming silenced as she crawled into my lap, wrapped her tear soaked hands around my neck, and passed out. Although she still occasionally stomps her feet and cries when we tell her we're done with movies for the day, she always gets over it in a minute or so after that night. Score one for our parenting. Or, to be specific, Travis's parenting.

She's still not the most social toddler in the world. She doesn't understand that she can't order other toddlers around and gets very angry when they are in her way or playing with the toy she had her eye on (or didn't have her eye on, until now...). She is playing with the other kids more and more at Judy's house though, so I think we are making small steps in the right direction.

She is getting very good at coloring, quickly finding the right hole for her shapes, and building towers with legos and her nesting boxes with Daddy. She still loves to dance to commercials, the end credits of Tangled, and the alphabet song. One of her favorite things to do is to stand on the counter and gaze with a drool-covered grin at her snacks, trying to pick just the right one. She's getting smarter and smarter every day, and it's so fun to step back and watch it all happen.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Post-Halloween dress up

As I was packing away all our Halloween decorations, I found a costume I bought last year on clearance for around $2 -- a Star Wars Clone Trooper. We knew it wouldn't fit again next year, so we pulled it on Eva and let her play in it for the night. She had a great time, and I was surprised that she not only liked the hat, but also kept it on for a good amount of time!