Thursday, July 31, 2008

One Moment in Time

Evan and I just had one of those rare, extra special mommy/son moments. It really was something I would love to keep to myself (no offense to all you avid readers) but this was something I want to remember, and since I don't keep a journal, this is the next best thing. I was putting Evan to bed this evening. We had just finished reading a book, and I had Evan on my lap with his teddy bear and was rocking in the rocking chair. We were both rocking quietly, and he looked up right at me and smiled. It wasn't his usual smile, but one that just showed how content he was. I can't really describe it. I smiled back and cuddled more with him. He looked down for a second, then looked back at me the same way as the first time. This went on a few times. Then he turned his body and sat up to look face to face with me, and again looked right at me and flashed that same smile. Life really couldn't get any better!

Earlier in the day we had fun playing together. What's nice is that Evan is finally playing like a little boy. He's pushing cars around, riding his little truck, and throwing the basketball into the basket. This morning we played with this animal train he has. We would put the animals in the train, press the button for the train to go, and then we would wave and say Bye Bye to the train. Evan got the biggest kick out of it. He kept saying "again, again" (one of his new words by the way), and he would bring me the pieces, we would set them up, and send off the train.

A few nights ago, Evan created almost an obstacle course out of some of his toys. He would go into his tent, crawl under it, crawl under his musical table, then run around and start all over. That gave me the idea to make a little fort for him this morning using some of his toys and blankets. He didn't enjoy it as much as I thought he would, but he did crawl through a few times.
Pictures from the other night

Evan investigating the fort we built

Finding the door to the fort

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Playing at the Park

Tonight Evan and I ate dinner at my parents house since Rick was out of town. After we ate, Evan, my mom and I walked down to the park. Evan was very hesistant at first (as usual). He was content just climbing up and down the stairs and walking around on the equipment. When he finally realized how fun the slides really were, we couldn't get him off! The whole time we were there he was chattering constantly, and VERY loud too.

Here's a video of Evan crossing the bridge on the playground equipment:

Going down the slide with some help from Yiayia

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Our New House

No, we're not moving into a new house (unfortunately). But we did buy Evan a Little Tikes house for the backyard. It's the Picnic on the Patio one in case you're interested. In the past few weeks he has really enjoyed playing in other people's play houses, so we decided to splurge a little since the toys we have for outside are scarce. Rick put it together today, and we brought Evan outside after his nap. He had a huge smile on his face! Inside the house is a play stove with nobs that turn and some play food. He immediately starting playing with everything.
Cooking some hamburgers on the stove
Enjoying a "home cooked" meal
My aunt also gave us a sandbox for Evan, which we put next to the playhouse. Surprisingly he really didn't want to play with the sand. He liked putting the toys inside the bucket but didn't like putting his hands in the sand.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Keeping Busy

All day long Evan is busy, busy, busy. One of his favorite things to do, which keeps him entertained while I'm cooking dinner, is to play with our bags and cans of coffee and a few candles (obviously unlit) from a table in our living room. This is his routine... takes the coffee out of the kitchen cabinet, places it on our stairs, then puts the candles next to the coffee, then places all of that on the table in the living room. It really makes me wonder what he is thinking.

Evan has also started to enjoy coloring. Actually, he spends most of his time taking the crayons out of the box and putting them back in, but he's starting to get the idea of making marks on the page.

I have now mentioned the Wiggles in several posts (and I'm sure you'll see it in many more too). Now Evan has started to look through our DVD collection trying to find his Wiggles DVD. He'll pull a DVD off the shelf, look at the picture, then put it back if it's not the right movie.

Setting Up the Pool, Part 2

Unfortunately, Evan's first baby pool bit the dust, so we bought a new and improved pool. This one has a ring toss, ball toss, and a mini slide with sprinkler over it. Evan liked it, especially when we turned the sprinkler part on. He's still too scared to actually sit in the pool, but at least he enjoys splashing around!

Friday, July 11, 2008

18 months old

Evan turned 18 months old on July 5 and had his check up with the doctor this week. Everything looked great. He grew 2 inches and gained 1 pound since his last appointment 3 months ago, which puts him at the 50th percentile for height and between the 10th and 25th for weight. We acutally don't have to go back until his 2nd birthday, and after that it's just once a year! Kind of strange when we've been going at least every 3 months for the past year and a half.

Since Evan's birthday falls so close to Christmas, I never had 1 year old pictures taken, so I decided to get 18 month old pictures taken. We went back to Portrait Innovations again, and as usual they did a great job! Evan was not completely cooperative - whenever we asked him to do something, he shook his head no, but he smiled while he did that and they were still able to get some great shots. Here's a few pictures out of the 40 proofs they took:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

4th (and 5th) of July Celebrations

Rick's parents and little brother, Jeff, came up and stayed with us for a few days during the 4th of July weekend. Evan was excited to have grandma and grandpa at our house. On the 4th we also had my parents over for dinner. Although Tinley Park puts on a pretty good fireworks show each year, we decided to skip it not knowing how Evan would react to the loud noises and huge crowds of people. He was content staying home and stepping on the little white things that snap when you throw them on the ground (can't think of what they're called at the moment).

Evan with Jeff and Lisa

On July 5th my friend, Missy, was having a barbeque at her house. Evan was entertained by all of Missy's relatives, especially her little cousin Aiden who is 7 years old. He let Evan wear his Sox hat (even though it SHOULD have been a Cubs hat) and shared his handheld Nintendo with him.

Smelling the pretty flowers

Evan and I with Missy

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Our First Family Vacation

Growing up, there was never really a question of where we would go on vacation. Most summers we would make the drive up to Wisconsin Dells for a few days of fun and some great memories. So, we decided to continue the tradition and take our first family vacation to the Dells. It's only a few hours in the car, so we figured it would be a perfect place to go. Evan did great in the car ride, thanks to the new portable DVD player we bought (of course to watch The Wiggles) and also planning the ride around Evan's nap time.

After checking into the hotel, we walked in the downtown area where all of the touristy shops are and to buy delicious fudge! We then went on the riverwalk path and had dinner at a pub that overlooks the Wisconsin River. Afterwards we went back to the hotel and Evan went in a real pool for the first time. He was a little hesitant but had fun playing with the tiny fountains in the kiddie area. Eventually he made his way to the top of the play set (with some help) and went down the water slide with Rick. He loved it!!

The next day we went to Storybook Gardens/Timbavati Wildlife Park. Now, Storybook Gardens has been around for a very long time. There are displays and activities all tied to different nursery rhymes and characters. It's a very cute concept, but not quite exciting enough for kids today. They added the wildlife areas to jazz things up in the past few years. It was great and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone with children. There were all different kinds of animals in cages, but unlike at the zoo, you are able to get fairly close to the animals and you're not dealing with huge crowds of people. There were kanagroos (with joeys in their pockets!), monkeys, birds, zebras, tigers, etc. The really nice part was that you were able to feed many of the animals - ducks, llamas, goats, and.... a giraffe! They also had a little train that went around the park that Evan went on twice, along with a carousel (which was quite old, but Evan doesn't know the difference).
Eating with The 3 Bears
An Evan sized house!

Riding the train with daddy...

and with mommy.

On our last full day the weather was not as beautiful as our first 2 days. We drove out to Wollersheim Winery and took a tour, then did a wine tasting. Not easy to do with a toddler, but it worked out OK. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures while we were there, but the area is beautiful! You would never guess it was in Wisconsin. The rest of the day was cloudy and rainy, so there wasn't much else to do for someone Evan's age. We tried going to an indoor amusement park, but all Evan could go on were the little rides that you would find in front of KMart. He did go on the little firetruck and thought it was fun.

At some point in our trip, we also tried to take a peek at Lake Delton. For those of you who haven't heard (it made National news), with the horrible rain storms the midwest had in late June, a levy that joins Lake Delton (the major lake in the Dells) with the Wisconsin River broke, and all the water from the lake emptied into the river, leaving a dry lake bed. This isn't the greatest picture of it, but just imagine all of the brown sandy areas covered in water, and that was Lake Delton. The area is really suffering from the lack of tourists there this summer - very sad - but they're hoping to get it refilled by next summer.

Anyways, Evan did great the whole vacation. Luckily he behaved in all the restaurants, and we avoided any huge meltdowns. It was a great first vacation for the Repking family!