Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in Effingham

This year we headed down to Effingham the Sunday before Christmas through Christmas morning. We had the pleasure of dealing with the wonderful midwest weather throughout the week. On our trip down, the wind gusts were terrible and the temperature was below zero. It was almost whiteout conditions at some points because of all the snow blowing across the interstate. But, we made it there safely, and that is what is important.

Monday night Rick's grandparents came over. We had dinner with them and opened up the first round of gifts (although by the time we got around to opening Evan was already asleep so we opened it for him, mean parents that we are!). Tuesday we were able to do some last minute shopping and actually had time to relax and watch a movie. Christmas eve night my in-laws hosted the big family get together. Evan was a little shy and overwhelmed at first with all of the people there, but after awhile he was comfortable with everyone. He also received his first gift of the season from Rick's aunt Dede. We were curious to see Evan's reaction to a wrapped gift, and we were pleasantly surprised. He tore into it like a pro! It was an adorable bowling set that he had a blast playing with all night.

Christmas morning Evan opened the gifts from Rick's parents and siblings and a few small gifts from Santa (the rest of the "Santa" gifts were delivered to our house). He was really excited about opening his first gift, which was a race track. The problem then, is that he just wanted to play with that and not open any other gifts. After some convincing he opened the rest of the gifts and enjoyed every minute of it. After a yummy brunch, we packed up the car to head back home to Chicago.

Evan happy to be with grandma and papa
Auntie Lisa and Evan in his spiffy Christmas oufit from Rick's grandparents

Evan and Aunt Dede playing with his new bowling set

Opening the first toy on Christmas morning

Playing with his new cars
Santa Evan

Our Christmas adventures are to be continued in another post, or maybe 2...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I am copying this idea from Carrie's last post. It's a feature on Volkswagen's website where you put in a picture of 2 people and then it shows you what their baby would look like. Pretty interesting...

Create Your OwnMake a Routan Baby

Message from Santa

A friend of mine emailed me a link to this website. You enter in your child's name and some other information and then they give you a personalized message from Santa. It is very cool!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just Call Me "Mommy"

One day last week after school, Evan all of a sudden started calling me "mommy" instead of "mama". It was so cute (and still is), and he had this huge smile on his face like he knew he had just done something great! He has been talking much more lately and has finally become more consistent in using 2 word phrases: "mommy up", "Nemo on", "dada help", etc. He has also been asking a lot of questions: "Where'd it go?" and "Where's dada?" It's great that we can finally understand most of what Evan says now. He is also beginning to sing along with songs. When I read to Evan and rock him before bed, I usually sing a Dixie Chicks song to him called "Godspeed". During the chorus you can hear him say some of the words to the song. He was also singing along to a Kidsongs video at Rick's parents' house.

Speaking of Nemo, it is Evan's new obsession. I used to LOVE that movie, but now, not so much after seeing it for about the 100th time. After the New Year we are definitely going to start limiting how much time Evan spends watching television.

One picture for this blog entry: Who is Evan emailing in this picture? Or maybe he's looking up which toys he should ask for from Santa?

First Piece of Art

Evan was very crabby last Sunday afternoon, and I was trying to find something to keep him occupied. I decided to break out the art supplies for the first time, which were some of the gifts I had received at my baby shower at school. In those supplies were a paint smock and a set of dot painters (like the kind you use when you play BINGO). Evan loved them! We now have our first piece of artwork hanging on the refrigerator.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Handsome Guy

Last Sunday we went to our church dinner dance at the Odyssey Country Club. Since we were all dressed up, I figured it would be a nice opportunity to take some family pictures. I'm not sure why I paid for professional Christmas pictures when these turned out almost just as nice! On a sidenote, Evan did great at the dinner. He sat for almost an hour and a half with little fussing while we ate dinner and watched some presentations. We did take him out of the room while the presentations were finishing up, and he had a blast going up and down the stairs for the balcony and loved how his feet and voice echoed when he was upstairs. He was laughing so hard!

Decorating the Tree

Last weekend we dragged out all of our boxes from the crawlspace and put up our Christmas decorations. Evan really enjoyed pusing and pulling the boxes into our family room from the crawlspace. He wasn't really impressed with the bare artificial tree, but once we took out the lights and ornaments he was much more interested. Evan's favorite part, though, was hiding in the closet that leads to our crawlspace. He kept going in there and insisting on closing the door.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Attempt at Being Organized

I've always thought our house was a good size for us. That was until Evan entered our world along with all of his "stuff". Several years ago we bought a foosball table from Rick's cousin, and we have had it in our family room since then. Although it was fun to begin with, most recently it has been collecting dust and taking up a lot of valuable space. We decided it was time for it to go. Over Thanksgiving, we took it apart and moved it into the garage. (By the way, it is For Sale if anyone is interested!) With the table now gone, we have converted that space into Evan's little corner. For Christmas, my parents bought Evan a little table and two chairs, which we have already put together and set out for him. He loves it! I also bought some shelving cubes to help with organizing his toys. We also have inherited my old toy box and are using it for some of Evan's bigger toys. For his upcoming birthday, we bought him a play kitchen, and that will be the final thing to go in that area. It's amazing how moving out 1 thing can make such a difference!

The "Before" picture - minus all the toys we were storing under the table

Evan "helping" us put the shelves together

Enjoying lunch at his tableI don't have a picture yet of the completed project. We just put the last set of shelves up tonight, but I will post one some time in the near future.

Playing with Friends

Over Thanksgiving weekend we visited with some of Rick's hometown friends. We saw Dave and Debbie and their little girl, Allie, who is 13 months old, and we met Jeremy and Tara's little guy, Creux, for the first time. It was so much fun seeing all our kids together! Evan and Allie did play with a few toys together while Creux watched from the sideline. I'm sure it won't be long until they're all running around together and getting in trouble!

Creux snuggling up with his mommy

Allie and Evan playing together

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day Before Thanksgiving Curse

Yesterday was just one of those days. Nothing went right.

I am lucky enough to have the day before Thanksgiving off from work, and with hosting dinner on Thanksgiving, it usually gives me the time I need to get everything ready. Last year on that day I had Evan's Christmas pictures taken early in the morning, and it worked out perfectly. This year I decided to do the same thing, and also get his 2 year old birthday pictures taken. Our appointment at Portrait Innovations was at 9 AM. We arrived right on time and only had to wait a short amount of time considering the amount of people also waiting. We started with his Christmas outfit, and he was slightly cooperative. They managed to get a handful of cute pictures taken. We then changed his outfit and went to the next room. Evan would not let go of me. Every time I put him down he would start to cry. We tried for quite a while, but nothing worked, so we had to just stop trying. When we ordered the pictures, there were only 2 poses I really liked. I made my order, but unfortunately I couldn't order enough to get the free CD with the proofs. Normally that wouldn't be such a big deal, but my plan of using the pictures from the CD to order Christmas cards from an online company was ruined.

A little while later I was going to pick up the pictures (after going to the Factory Card Outlet to buy my Christmas cards), I decided to stop for some Starbucks. I felt a migraine coming on, and sometimes the caffeine helps. I ordered my usual and waited to drink it so it could have time to cool, but I didn't notice until 10 minutes away from Starbucks that they gave me the wrong drink. It was a Tazo Chai, and I do not like tea.

Once we came home and Evan was down for his nap, I was going to start cooking some of the things that could be made ahead of time for Thanksgiving. I had an entire time line figured out so everything could get done in time. I started with my corn bread, which was a new recipe. It involved adding creamed corn and some other ingredients to Jiffy, and I decided to double the recipe. I knew it would take longer to cook, so I kept it in the oven longer than the recipe said to do. When my timer went off, I checked to see if it was done, and it was nowhere near being ready. I kept cooking it longer, and longer, and longer, and it never set like it was supposed to. So, that went into the garbage and on to plan B. I had a box of Tastefully Simple beer bread, and if you add creamed corn and some oil instead of the beer, it makes a really good corn bread. I went back to the store to buy more corn. When I came home and opened the beer bread box, there were bugs in there, like the ones that you sometimes find in flour. So that went into the garbage with my original corn bread. I didn't have a plan C, so I called my mom and luckily she had a loaf of homemade white bread, so that'll have to do for now.

Next, I thought I would start a dessert I was making. I started to take out all the ingredients but could not find the cream cheese. I knew I had bought some and looked through the fridge again, with no luck. I started to go through some of the bags I had sitting in my dining room, where I had all my food for Thanksgiving that didn't need to be refrigerated, and there they were in a bag with some bagels. It had been sitting out since Sunday. This time I sent Rick out to the store. I was able to make the dessert and it looks like it turned out OK.

My nerves were then shot so I poured myself a nice glass of wine, which then triggered a migraine. I took my drugs and went to bed at 9:30.

It is now almost noon on Thanksgiving. My turkey is in the oven, and I am praying that my bad luck from yesterday doesn't continue on today.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Clothing Optional?

Lately we have really been working with Evan on getting himself dressed and undressed. He loves zipping things and gets upset if we do it for him. The problem is that he is applying this new knowledge when we don't want him to! At Toni's house the other day she went to get him from his afternoon nap and found him with his clothes off and half his diaper off too. Yesterday afternoon when he woke up from his nap he was talking like he normally does, but then he was crying and seemed very upset. I went into his room and found him with his shirt halfway off, but he somehow managed to get one arm into the neck hole and was completely stuck in the shirt. Then this morning I went in to get him and he had his arms out of his pajamas and couldn't figure out what to do next. I'm just worried about him getting his diaper off and making a mess. I've heard of people wrapping tape around their child's diaper so they can't take it off... Maybe that's not such a bad idea!

One Little Monkey

Over the past few weeks we've had our air mattress blown up in the spare bedroom because of different visitors spending the night. Evan has discovered that because it's low to the ground he can climb up on it all by himself and that it's REALLY fun to jump on it. We're just hoping the second half of the monkey song doesn't come true... "One little monkey jumping on the bed, he fell off and bumped his head..."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Say Potato, You Say... Apple?!

Last night I was making some vegetable soup for dinner, and Evan was helping me put the vegetables in the pot. As I peeled some small, red potatoes, I put them on the counter in front of Evan. He picked the first one up and was pretending to eat it. Then, he picked up the next one, said "apple" and tried to take a bite. I told him "That's not an apple, it's a potato." He smiled and I thought he understood, but sure enough he picked up another and did the same thing. I am not sure if he really didn't understand, since a peeled potato does resemble a peeled apple, or if he was just being silly. When we were done getting the soup ready, I did cut up an apple for him and he was very happy!
Besides apples, Evan's 2 new favorite foods are raisins and olives (eww!). Evan recently started picking the raisins out of our Raisin Bran and eating them, so now Evan has his own box of raisins. We'll put a few in a small rubbermaid container, and he carries them around the house. And yes, Evan loves olives. He watched Rick put them on a salad, and Evan kept pointing to them. Rick asked Evan if he wanted to try one, and Evan said yes. He tried one, then kept asking for more. He certainly doesn't take after me with his taste in food!

Evan cuddling on the couch with his bear and mommy, eating raisins.

Other pictures from the last few weeks...

Here is Evan playing guitar with Uncle Jeff. As soon as Evan saw Jeff pull out the guitar and sit on the stairs, he ran to find his guitar and climbed up the stairs to be just like Jeff.
Evan thought hiding in the front closet was hilarious!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Blog

I am attempting to keep 2 blogs. I never blog as frequently as I would like to on this one, so I don't know what makes me think I could maintain 2 of them! I am keeping with the Dr. Seuss theme and titled the new one Oh, the Thinks You Can Think. Please visit it and let me know what YOU think! Here's the link:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Attached at the Hip

I've heard the phrase "attached at the hip" many times but have never given it much thought until recently. The past week or so Evan has become very attached to me. When I drop him off at the sitter's in the morning, he used to separate from me with very little hesitation. This week, though, he wraps his legs around my waist and refuses to let go. Toni has to pry him away as he is crying and saying "mama". Talk about a guilt trip... (The irony of it is that I attended a meeting today on our Institute Day that focused on anxiety and touched upon the typical separation anxiety that toddlers go through.) Evan also did that tonight at bed time. Rick and I alternate who puts him to bed, and tonight was his night. I picked up Evan to hand him to Rick, and he didn't want to let go of me. I'm sure in another week the roles will reverse, and he'll want daddy all the time!
Evan showing off his voting sticker. He actually voted twice today - once with me and once with Toni! A true American!

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Dancing Lion

When Evan goes to my parents house, they usually play a CD that has children's songs on it, including the Hokey Pokey, Makarena, and the Chicken Dance. Here's a video of Evan, still dressed in part of his Halloween costume, dancing to the Hokey Pokey.

My Own Shy Lion

I will forever have a memory etched in my head of when I was a preschooler in one of my ballet recitals. I wore a lion costume and sang a song that went something like this: "I'm a shy lion and though I keep trying to make people think I am not. ... and growl and growl a lot." That definately describes Evan during parts of the day today. Rick took the day off of work and brought Evan to my school after my parties were over. When he arrived at school I was very happy to see that he was wearing his lion costume. We were nervous about him not wearing the costume, so several times this week we put it on so he was used to wearing it. We stopped by the school office first to show him off to the secretaries. He immediately clung to my leg and was hiding behind the tall counter. He kept peeking around the corner, trying to keep a serious face, but kept breaking into a little smile. We continued throughout the school, stopping to talk to several other staff members and students, and then headed in to visit his friend Carter, who was also an adorable lion this year. Unfortunately by the time Evan came to school, Carter had already taken his costume off since he had gotten there earlier in the morning. They did have fun swinging and popping bubbles in the occupational/physical therapy room. Evan also had fun playing in my kitchen area at school and with the play grocery cart in another teacher's room. He didn't want to leave!

Once Evan woke up from his nap this afternoon, we dressed him up once again (without any fussing!) and we drove to my parents' house. When we first went into their house, he was very shy and clingy again, but after a few minutes he was back to his happy self. We went trick or treating to a few of their neighbors' houses. He didn't want to hold out his pumpkin bag for the candy, but he did say thank you to them! When we were walking back to their house, though, he did carry (well, actually dragged) the bag with the candy in it. We then headed to Rick's brother and sister's apartment where Evan had his first taste of candy corn. After 2 pieces of candy, he was on a sugar high and was running back and forth through their apartment. He was exhausted once we came home and did not resist when it was bedtime. Maybe we'll be lucky and he'll sleep in tomorrow!

Having fun on the swing

Setting the kitchen table

Dancing down the sidewalk

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Going to the "Wheeee"

Evan loves going to the park. We keep trying to teach him to say "park" but to Evan it's the "Wheee." He actually notices the park when we're in the car just driving by. Any time we put him in the stroller to take a walk, he thinks we're going there (which most of the time we are). Evan went through a brief period of not wanting to go on the swings, but now it's the first thing he runs to. We're not looking forward to the winter when we can't take him to his favorite place!
Evan saying "Up up"
He does say "Wheee" when he's on the swing
Feeding the dinosaur some leaves
Going down the big-boy slide