Evie Right Now | Two Years

Posted 3 September, 2015 by Trish in Life, Mommyhood / 0 Comments

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Two

The other day I looked at Evie and very seriously told her that she needs to stop growing so quickly. She got a mischievous little grin on her face and said Noooo! She has a habit of dropping her tone and bringing it back up on a high note when a word ends in the oh sound. Twooooo! I’ve been trying to mentally make note of all the things I want to remember about Evie right now, and of course I feel guilty for not having kept a better record over the second year.

This year has flown so incredibly fast and I can’t believe we’re here at two. Evie is still a little tiny peanut–while her height has shot up to the 30%, her weight is around 5%. She might be a bit lower than normal since she also has double ear infections (yay!) and isn’t eating quite as enthusiastically. Though I just checked Elle’s stats for two years and she was at 48% with just three pounds more than Evie has now (I have friends with babies who weigh more than Evie!). Because she’s so small, though, she still feels very much like my baby. I admit I love that.

Evie is a flat out funny child. She has such a spunky spirit to her and loves to smile and laugh and get into all the fun. I love nothing more than hearing Elle and Evie giggling away while they play. She loves to be tickled, though she’s started saying “sop it! sop it!” but then asks for mooooore! if we stop. She loves being chased and her little smile is so devilish–she just looks like she’s up to all the trouble in the world.

She loves playing with Elle but also plays very well independently. Even if it’s just the two of us at home, she’ll go into another room and fully occupy herself. Usually with filling up bags with toys or shopping carts, or bins, or plastic baggies, or Tupperware, but lately she’s also been into stickers. They’re on every surface of my house. I’ve kind of given up tidying them up as I’ll clean up a dozen while two dozen more appear somewhere else. She is a busy child!

Sometimes, though, she is very clingy. A lot of times this comes during dinner prep where she just wants to be held. If Evie does get upset over something, it can be very hard to bring her back out of it. She doesn’t throw a ton of tantrums (thankyouthankyou), but if she gets going we know that it’ll be for the long-haul. Dinnertime has been a tricky time as well since she’s testing out her independence and doesn’t always want to eat dinner. Sometimes we try to make it a fun little contest “everyone take a bite on one, two, three!” and we’ll all take an enthusiastic bite (Elle loves to play along), but sometimes she won’t budge at all. Of course this mama has very little patience for the picky eater stage.

While Evie can be a bit hesitant around others at first, she also has no problem going off on her own. In July we attended a very large family reunion (130 people) and during our dinners with everyone she would just get down from the table and wander around–find other cousins her age to play with or just explore. But even still, when we go out to dinner with my family (who we see several times a month), she will not go to any of them willingly until about halfway through the dinner. She is such a little contradiction!

Evie loves to give hugs (but just with her head) and kisses (though she’ll be more likely to offer a cheek at first) and blows little smacking kisses with her mouth (no hand used to blow). She does not want to cuddle at bedtime or in the morning anymore (SOB) and loves to run to Elle’s bed for storytime before she goes off to her own crib. Goodnight Moon is her favorite and she loves finding the little mouse on each page “Mommy mommy mommy, maus” and saying ‘shhhhh’ when the old lady goes hush.

Her words have exploded over the past month. For the longest time she wasn’t talking at all but now it’s nonstop. Much of it is very difficult to understand, but we’re learning her little minion language (that’s what she sounds like and will sometimes call her). She’s recently been parroting everything and if she wants something she asks nonstop. Or if she sees something that she’s interested in. On our roadtrip in July we heard a lot of “Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy…choo choo!” “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy…snow!” “Elle (sounds like Ow), Elle, Elle, Elle, Elle…sticker!” Over and over and over and over. And over. She only counts two and three (twooooo! freeeee!) but if I count with her then she’ll take over every other number. The other day I caught her singing her ABCs along with a recording.

She doesn’t like to be dirty and during dinner always asks for a bappin (napkin) to clean off her hands. She does great with a poon and fuh and she always surprises me with what she’ll eat and what she won’t. Vegetables are often her favorite part of dinner, though, so we must be doing something right. She still signs please (pees) and says tay-too (thank you). All animals still say ruff ruff (sometimes the cow will actually say moo).

Evie’s current favorite things are choo choos (her favorite show is Chuggington), minnie mouse (mee-mau), and her Elsa doll (Selsa). I cannot open the fridge with her around because she’ll go straight for the cheese or yogurt. She loves raisins (saysin), but loves even more to put them into baggies. I’ve had to hide the baggies from her. When it’s time to say goodbye she’ll stick her little hand up in the air and so matter of factly yell “Byeeeee!” Drop off at school is a breeze with her, though if I’m leaving the house I have to be sneaky about it otherwise she’ll break down. Every morning when she gets up she immediately asks for Elle.

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She’s a little monkey and I just love her so.

PS–I could kick myself for not actually writing down Elle’s two year update (skipped right to 28 months for her), but I did take pictures if you’re interested.

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Autumn Pin it and Do it Coming Soon!

Posted 1 September, 2015 by Trish in Crafty / 17 Comments

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Autumn 2015 Pin it and Do it Challenge

 

 

It’s Fall!! Oh wait, it’s just the first day of September. But that means that Autumn starts in 21 days. The stores are already filled with Halloween decor and fall foliage. There’s just something about the changing of the seasons that is so exciting to me. I find it energizing and I can temporarily be fooled into thinking I can do all the things! All the crafts! All the baking!

Just me?  Nah…I doubt it. Just think about the smell of pumpkin and pie spices baking and tell me that doesn’t get you a little excited for the change from summer to fall.

It’s been two years since I’ve held an official Pin it and Do it Challenge, but I’m bringing it back for two rounds–once in September and once in October. The link-ups will correspond with the third week Inspiration on Monday of each month (Sept 21 and Oct 19th). These link-ups will become Pinspiration on Monday…you know, because I can.  Note–if you do not use Pinterest, you can still link up your non-Pinterest-y Inspiration posts per normal on these weeks.

Pin it and Do it Details

What – The premise is simple–choose at least one thing that you have pinned and do it! This could be cooking that recipe, experimenting with photos, trying a new styled outfit, doing all those leg squats, reading that book–however you use Pinterest, you can make this challenge work for you. If you have any questions about whether something might work, just ask! I know my first project for the challenge will be this Halloween cross-stitch.

Where – Sharing what you’ve done is best done on your blog, but tumblr or instagram could absolutely work as well. Please use #PinItDoIt on social media to keep in touch.

When – Link-ups for your progress will be September 21st and October 19th. Feel free to participate in just one month or both and you can post any time and as many times as you’d like. If you want an email reminder, let me know and I promise to only bug you once.

Why – Because sometimes we all just need a group challenge or a kick in the pants to get stuff done.

What do you think? Ready to do/make some those pins you’ve been collecting?

PS–leave your Pinterest URL in the comments below so I can make sure I’m following you!

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8 Dinner Tips for Eating with Young Kids

Posted 29 August, 2015 by Trish in In the Kitchen, Life, Mommyhood / 26 Comments

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Dining Tips for Eating with Young Kids

Brainstorming meals that my girls will enjoy has been quite the journey over the past several years. Both of gone through very picky eater stages (we’re currently in the picky eater trenches with Evie (2) now and I forgot how terrible it can be), but just like everything else in parenthood–we just keep trucking along.

As a provider of food I have a few personal rules that I try to stick with when it comes to dinner time. We didn’t start eating dinner as a family until Elle was one, but ever since then family dinnertime has been a given at our house. It’s not always easy…and sometimes it’s downright painful (see note above about Evie and the terrible twos), but having dinner together is something that is important to me and I hope to make it work for as long as possible. We decided that if we start now while the kids are young, dinner will continue to get easier and easier as our lives get more and more complicated (insert maniacal laugh here as I know I can be idealistic and delusional).

Dinner has been an evolution over the past few years as we’ve learned what works and doesn’t work. Below are a few things that we try to be really consistent about at dinner time and I think it is paying off.

Eight Dinner Tips for Eating with Young Kids

Always try to have at least two items on the plate that the kids will like. Sometimes this means my little one will only eat rice and green peas and ignore the main dish, but at least I know there is (usually) something that someone will eat on each plate.

Kids eat the same thing that mom and dad eat. This has meant a few things over the years–often it means that we are not quite as adventurous as we once were with our cooking. We still eat a lot of variety, but our dishes tend to fall in the “comfort” category. Other times it means that I use a “fork in the road” method (Thanks Katie Workman for the term!)–I’ll plate up the girls an earlier version of dinner but perhaps without the spice or the sauce that the adults eat. There are very very few times when I’ll make something completely separate for the girls (these Dragon Noodles are one exception).

Dinnertime Smiles

I don’t cook anything that I personally won’t choose to eat. This means that our kids rarely have fish sticks, chicken nuggets, corn dogs or other kid staples. I do made breaded chicken tenders, and I’m not necessarily opposed to the others, but I’m not going to make something that I’m not thrilled about eating. The exception is when Scott cooks spam and beans (yes really) which the girls devour. I silently eat my cereal on these nights.

At least one bite of everything on the plate must be taken. The exception is that I cannot force Evie to try everything at this point unless I pry her little mouth open (trust me, I’ve been tempted on occasion!), but Elle (4.5) must try everything. I don’t always expect her to like what I ask her to try, but it’s the principle. Plus I hate when she says “I don’t like this” before she’s even tried it. Many times this is followed up with “Oh I do like this!” and I’ll mockingly tell her “I told you so!”

Yes you must eat your vegetables. While I don’t make the girls eat anything (other than that one bite), I do stress the importance of vegetables and always serve them with dinner. Corn on the cob is a favorite in the summer and green peas are always a hit. Last night Elle devoured all of her broccoli before she even touched her ravioli. I don’t hide vegetables in food–they are front and center on the plate. Ok, I might add some vegetables to dishes, but never as a way to sneak them into my kids’ diet.

Totally Staged

Limit the negative talk about not liking a food. While this mostly applies to not letting the girls go on and on about how much they hate a certain food, especially when we are dining at someone else’s house, I’m also careful about how I talk about food. I try not to make a big deal about a failed dinner that could have turned out better–the kids pick up on this and it sticks like glue.

Eat dinner as a family as often as possible and together at the table. We are very blessed that both Scott and I get home at a decent enough time that we can all eat dinner together. Though, I know that if we are pushing the time too late, we will likely enter meltdown city and dinnertime happiness is hard to salvage. If we are have a late start, I try to prepare something more quickly or simply. On the weekends, Elle is sometimes allowed to watch a movie while eating dinner, but during the week everyone sits up to the table for family meal. If your family has a tough time eating together on the weeknights due to activities or work, try to find other times that you can eat together–maybe special dinners on the weekends or breakfasts instead.

Keep trying. Some days I want to throw up my hands and just serve noodles with sauce every night or pull out a box of Mac and Cheese. Some nights dinner is a total failure and the girls rebel and don’t want to eat anything. Not every night is a winner. Not every night is easy. We focus on what is working and try to correct or amend what obviously isn’t working. But we keep on trying.

Messy Real Life Dinner

 

What tips and tricks and rules do you have for dinner time?

 

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Linking up with:

weekend cookingEvery weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  “Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.”  Hope you’ll join the fun!

 

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Just a Little Ramble About Life

Posted 27 August, 2015 by Trish in Life, Mommyhood / 35 Comments

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Daisies

 

Here I sit on Wednesday trying to brainstorm what to write about tomorrow. Since I did a bookish post yesterday (favorite college lit seminars), I wanted to write something of a more personal nature today. But what? I’ve been thinking a lot about being an introvert and what that means for my mothering, but I’m not sure exactly what I want to say about that yet. On top of the introversion is my own insecurities I’ve been battling with in real life when it comes to making friends and opening myself up to others. Amazing how I can just let it all out there for you to read (and I know I do know some of you in person), but be so reserved outside of my little blog bubble.

I would like to post more about motherhood, but what angle? Is there anything you’re interested in hearing me prattle on about?

I could probably share something crafty–if you follow me on instagram you may have seen that after 2.75 years I finished piecing my hexie quilt top. I still need to do the borders, but it’ll take me a while (and more brain power than I have) to figure out how I want to stitch the hexagon edges and the border together. Below right is a picture of part of the back with most of the papers popped out.

Crafty Crafty

 

Speaking of crafty and not having anything to handsew in the evenings, I just picked up a Halloween cross-stitch pattern (see above). I used to cross-stitch a lot when I was in high school and college, but haven’t touched my last (unfinished) project in about 12 years.

Also with my hands I’ve been doing a bit of that adult coloring that is so popular now. Honestly, it stresses me out. Trying to figure out which color to use for which flower and leaf is absolutely not relaxing for me. Though, it does keep my hands busy.

Secret Garden Adult Coloring Book

While we watch X-Files in the evening. Yup, we are bingeing on The X-Files. I used to watch the show with my dad when I was younger and can no longer remember all of the details (I lost interest here and there through the 9 year run). Scott had never seen the show before. We both agreed that the first season was pretty dang cheesy, but now that we’re getting more into conspiracy we’re both enjoying the show.

I finished up Sense and Sensibility last week. I think it should have been more appropriately titled Assumptions and Miscommunication. I have to admit that I got my Austen wires crossed and spent most of the book waiting for a Mr. Knightley to show up and sweet Elinor off her sensible feet. Apparently it’s been too long since I’ve read Emma. Oops! I hope to watch the movie in the next couple of weeks–maybe make it a movie/book tie in post.

Books I'm Reading Now

This means that I was able to start a new audiobook and reading book this week! I’m listening to Packing for Mars by Mary Roach and reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Elle has been really into talking about the solar system lately and I thought Packing for Mars would give me a little information to share with her…but I think it’ll be mostly information about going to space, not about space itself. But goodness the questions that a four year old can ask! And what did parents do before Google?? But there’s this: “When I was your age, Pluto was a planet.”

Little Evie turns two next week. I’m in total denial. We were all sitting around the dinner table and I cried out “I can’t believe my baby is going to be one next week!” Scott looked at me blankly and said, “Don’t you mean two?” Shit. We don’t have a party planned–we didn’t for Elle at this age either–we’ll likely just have a family dinner. Scott said we can do whatever Evie wants. I asked her and she gibbergabbered back at me. Yup, that’s what I thought.

Sunbeam

What else what else? The temperatures have dropped from the 100s to the 90s. This doesn’t sound like much a reprieve but it really is. I look forward to next month when we’re hopefully in the 80s. Elle has been curious about the seasons and holidays (since she knows her baby sister will be here Christmas). She wanted to know how many more naps until Halloween. She measures her days in naps (the big nap happens overnight). I told her about 70 naps. She wanted to know how many naps until she could go to Kindergarten. About 365 naps. She asked me to count to 365. No. Just no. Nobody got time for that.

Pregnancy is going pretty well. I feel good…minus some hip aches. I got hollered at by my midwife for not drinking enough water. Apparently my amniotic fluid is on the lower side of normal. I go in for a follow-up ultrasound in two weeks to measure the fluid level. I started to google what low amniotic fluid could mean and got totally freaked out and Xed out of all the browser windows. For better or worse I do not like knowing the worst case scenarios. So instead, I just continue to drink as much water as I can. Otherwise things are fairly non-eventful.

Umbrella Smiles

Elle is very excited for her new sister to arrive.  She asked me the other day (after I took her to the ultrasound) if the doctors gathered up all the girl and boy babies to put in mommies tummies. Not exactly…  She wanted to know how the baby got in my tummy. I thought for a long minute. An even longer minute. Finally I told her there’s a seed in mommy’s tummy…no wait, an egg. Kind of like a chicken egg. And if mommies and daddies love each other very very much then sometimes the egg turns into a baby. She said, “so you and daddy love each other very much.” Yes we do. I realize all sorts of faults with this explanation, but…  The question I’m really not looking forward to is how the baby will come out of my tummy. Just thinking about the answer to that traumatizes ME!

Evie has no idea what’s going on. We talk about the baby in mommy’s tummy and she lifts up her shirt and says “Baby Tummy.”

Since I wrote a novel I’ll say goodbye.

Please tell me what’s going on in your world!!

xo,

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College Literature Seminars that Rock!

College Literature Seminars that Rock!

Has school started in your neck of the woods? Our kiddos started yesterday which made getting to work a maze of school zones and speed traps. I always take the summer traffic for granted until it’s gone! While both of the girls are in school every day year round, Elle officially started junior kindergarten and Evie moved up to the 2-2.5 year old class. Crazy to think that this time next year I’ll have one […]

Posted 25 August, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 17 Comments
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Even More Bookish Questions

Even More Bookish Questions

  Howdy!! Since I have made exactly zero progress in my reading last week (still reading Sense and Sensibility), you guys get bookish questions today. Lucky you! Feel free to grab them for your own post fodder. I got them from Katie at Words for Worms.   And she originally got them from Sarah Says Read who got them from…well, somewhere on the blogosphere!  You’ll notice these questions start at number 21. I posted the first set […]

Posted 23 August, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 14 Comments
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Shrimp Dragon Noodles

Shrimp Dragon Noodles

    Years ago I used to buy Pad Thai dinner kits from Thai Kitchen for an easy two-person meal. These kits started to become more difficult to find and as our girls began eating the same dinners that we did, I forgot about these yummy noodle dishes (which admittedly do not compare to restaurant Pad Thai in any way). A couple months ago someone mentioned Dragon Noodles from Budget Bytes and I had to take […]

Posted 22 August, 2015 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 18 Comments
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Books I’ve Recently Read

Books I’ve Recently Read

    Writing about books was once a huge priority for me. Years ago I would actually start drafting what I wanted to say while I was still reading the book! As soon as I finished a book, I’d write up a post to share my thoughts. These days…not so much. Some of you might say “just let it go!” but I like being able to look back on old book posts and see what […]

Posted 20 August, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 18 Comments
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Displaying Toddler Artwork | Inspiration on Monday

Displaying Toddler Artwork | Inspiration on Monday

    Once the girls started going to preschool, I started accumulating so much artwork. The packrat in me doesn’t have it in me to toss these gems, so I’ve been thinking and thinking about what I wanted to do with all the art. Mostly they just collect in paper grocery sacks (divided by each girl at least), but I finally took some time to implement the first of two ways I’ll tackle toddler/kiddo art […]

Posted 17 August, 2015 by Trish in Crafty, Mommyhood / 17 Comments
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Visualizing the Books We Read

Visualizing the Books We Read

Happy Sunday Everyone!! It’s another scorcher here in Dallas so we’ll be hanging low until after nap and then heading to the pool for a bit of a dip. I know so many of you are scrambling to get ready for school starting again and picking up old routines, but I’m looking forward to September if nothing else than the cooler temperatures! I forget every year that August is so stinking hot! In an effort […]

Posted 16 August, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 16 Comments
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