Monday, December 28, 2009

The Start of New Traditions

Ever since Rick and I started doing holidays together 10 years ago (yikes!) we kept the same tradition every year. At first we had thought it would be difficult to spend time with both of our families since they live 3 hours apart, but we figured out a schedule that worked well for us. Since Rick's extended family always got together on Christmas eve, we would go down to Effingham a few days before Christmas and attend the big get together Christmas eve. Christmas morning we would wake up at his parents' house and open presents, then drive back up to Chicago to have Christmas dinner with my family. This was our tradition and the only year we didn't do this was when I was very pregnant with Evan. After Evan was born we were able to continue this tradition since he did not yet understand the concept of Santa. But, we knew eventually we would not be able to do that any longer...

This year was very different for us. Evan is now almost 3 years old, and we knew it was time to start doing our own thing. Although we could have dragged everything down to Effingham and celebrated Santa's arrival Christmas morning there, we really wanted to wake up in our own home Christmas morning. And so enters the beginning of new traditions. On Christmas Eve I made one of Rick's favorite meals - stuffed shells with homemade garlic bread. Then we gave Evan one gift to open, which was a pair of Cars pajamas. He was so excited! We all put our new pajamas on and watched Polar Express. We weren't sure how much of it Evan would watch, but he was completely engrossed in it and watched the entire thing sitting on the couch with us. After the movie, we set out cookies for Santa and read The Night Before Christmas.

Evan woke up with a cold Christmas morning at 5:15 AM. We brought him in bed with us hoping he would fall back asleep but that did not happen, and by 6:30 we decided to get up and see what Santa brought. I ran downstairs to start the coffee and get the cameras ready then Rick brought Evan down. Evan's reaction to seeing the presents under the tree: "Presents! I want to watch a movie now." Rick and I quickly suggested that we OPEN the presents and see what Santa brought, and Evan got to work opening everything up. He loved everything Santa gave him and was very excited to play with all of his new toys. We enjoyed a french toast breakfast with lots of coffee for me and Rick, and Evan played all morning with his toys. After Evan's nap we headed over to my parents' house for a delicious dinner and more presents and arrived back home around 11:oo that night.

We had a wonderful 2 days as a family and I really did enjoy doing our own "thing" this year. However, I missed our old traditions. Unlike many of my friends, I love my husband's family. We always have a great time together. I feel like they are MY family. I wish there was an easy solution to this, but there is no magic button that would put Effingham any closer to Chicago. So, we have to accept this change and just be thankful that we have this dilemma and WANT to be with both of our families on Christmas!

Evan bundled up in his snow suit on Christmas Eve to play in the snow for the first time this season

Opening his first gift of the year

Watching the Polar Express

Getting Santa's cookies ready

Santa came!

More pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just Saying Hi!

Evan has been talking about his friend, Brett, a lot lately. Unfortunately Brett lives 3 hours away so we don't get to see him as often as we would like to. I asked Evan if he wanted to make a video and say Hi to Brett and he was very excited to do so!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Future Olympian

Evan just keeps going and going and going... he's my energizer bunny. As I posted on my Facebook account, I definitely need to get him into a tumbling class again!

And, I promise to do an actual post some time soon.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thoughts of a 2 Year Old

With Christmas just around the corner, we've started preparing Evan for the concept of Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and presents. He was still so young last year, he was pretty overwhelmed by it all and probably doesn't remember too much of it (although who knows since I can't believe certain things he remembers!). Last weekend we were at the rehearsal dinner for my sister in law's wedding, which I'll post pics of ASAP, and Evan saw a man sitting at the bar with a heavy white beard. He said, "Look, Santa!" Luckily the guy had a sense of humor and went along with it.

Along those same lines, the past few nights at bedtime Evan has told us, "Wake up tomorrow and see snow. Santa come. Presents under the tree." It's going to be a long 2 1/2 months until Christmas gets here!

My dad has been watching Evan the past week or so since my sitter has been out of town. Today when I got home I asked Evan if he went to the park with Pappou and replied with, "Yes I did, mom."

Our friends, Carrie and Steve, were visiting this weekend. Evan was playing with his Chicago Cubs bat and ball and Steve said something to Evan about needing a White Sox one. Evan looked down at his socks thinking he was talking about white socks.

And a few things I've already posted on my Facebook page:

As I was getting Evan ready for his nap one day, he was dancing around. I asked him if he needed to go the bathroom and he said, "No mom, I'm just dancing."

Evan was upset one morning because I wouldn't let him have potato chips. I was ignoring his whining since he wasn't acting all that bad. A few minutes later he came up to me, gave me a kiss, and said "I won't do that again, mom."

Brett and Evan playing together this past weekend

Evan was very proud of his attempt to write his name.

Playing Baseball

Here is a video I took of Evan playing baseball with Rick the other night. Watch how he throws the ball - he picks up his leg like an actual pitcher does. Towards the end of the video he announced that he "farted". That's my boy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bad Boy

Rick, Evan and I were sitting on the couch this afternoon watching the Bears game, and Evan was holding his favorite teddy bear, which is almost as big as him. Evan was petting the bear, so Rick tried to pet it too. Evan said, "No daddy!" Rick asked him, "Can't I pet the bear too?" Evan told him, "No, you bad boy." Then I asked Evan if I could pet the bear and he told me, "Yes." Rick asked him why he was letting me pet the bear and not him. Evan told him, "Daddy bad boy. You go away. See you later. Mommy good girl." I have taught him well.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Summer in Review

Summer was here and gone in the blink of an eye. Of course I had every intention of blogging frequently about all the fun things we were doing, but that didn't happen. So here I sit a week after Labor Day throwing all of our summer updates into 1 posting.

In July we met up at Fair Oaks Farm in northwest Indiana with my BFF, Carrie, and her little boy, Brett (who you've read a lot about on here) and my friend Cathy from college and her 2 little boys, Chris and Sam. It was really a cool place to visit. We saw a baby cow being born, ate delicious grilled cheese, and played with their farm themed toys. Evan's favorite part though was driving miniature tractors. He was not happy when we had to leave the tractors behind to go home!

Brett, Chris and Evan inside the ball pit
Chris and Evan going down the slide

Watching the baby cow

Chris and Evan riding on the train

One morning we went to a place called Pump it Up with my friend, Kim, and her 2 boys, Alex and Benjamin. It's an indoor party place with lots of different inflatables for the kids to play on. I was worried that Evan would be hesitant about going on them, but he loved every moment! (Unfortunately my camera battery was in the red so I only took a few pictures.)

Benjamin and Evan jumping
Going down the smaller slide
Kim, Benjamin and Alex going down the big slide

Evan and I took a trip to Indy to hang out with Carrie and Brett (and of course Steve too!). We visited the Indianapolis Zoo, which I have never been too. It was really nice!

"Hey, Evan, just follow me. I'll show you where to go."

"Did you see the animal? It was over THERE!"

Watching the stingrays swim by

Playing Brett's baby-baby grand piano. He asked me to take his picture.

We took Evan to see the Wiggles in concert again. At first he didn't know what to think of everything, but after a little while he was completely engrossed in it. At the end of the show he kept asking to see the Wiggles again!

And finally, here's some random cute pictures that I couldn't leave out:

After church one Sunday Evan insisted on wearing Rick's tie and asked me to take his picture.

Firefighter Evan

Evan is wearing my high heels and again wanted his picture taken...

and with my green purse.

Evan has recently realized it's funny when he shakes his booty. He's all smiles at the beginning of the video then all of a sudden says, "No take picture. No look! No, no look!"

What a ham!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Small Things

For the past month or so I've been keep a running "notepad" on my computer of all the small things that Evan has said or done. Here they are:

  • For the longest time, Evan insisted on doing EVERYTHING on his own. All we heard was, "Evan do it!" Now he has reverted and wants US to do everything for him. He wants to be carried. He wants us to pick up anything he needs. Etc. Etc. Etc.
  • We were at the furniture store a few weeks ago buying his new bedroom set. As we were walking through the store, Evan farted very loudly. He laughed and said, "Evan farted." Later in the night while we were still there he of course asked to be picked up, but then told us "Can't walk, legs are broken."
  • On vacation in North Carolina we ate lunch at Panera. A GoGurt (yogurt in a tube) came with his sandwich. He kept saying, "Mmm, tastes good!"
  • When talking about certain things, he'll say "Very, very, very far" or "Very, very, very hot."
  • He finally figured out how to blow bubbles.
  • We recently had AT&T U-verse installed, and the installer was at our house for several hours. Evan was intrigued by the process and was keeping a careful eye on everything. When we put him down for his nap that afternoon, he kept calling for the "man" through the monitor.
And my favorite:
  • When we're in the car Evan will look out the window and say, "Hi! Coffee please!"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Such a Big Boy

Evan has gone through some major changes the past few weeks. Shortly after our trip to North Carolina I began potty training with him. I was not sure if he was ready but figured we would give it a try before I go back to school. I prepped for Day 1 by getting his Elmo potty ready, all his new underwear (Elmo, Cars characters and Thomas the Train) washed and a reward system in place. This was the plan: go directly to underwear and only use diapers/pull ups for nap and bedtime and place him on his potty every 15 minutes or so. I created a reward system for him by putting plastic Easter eggs in a decorated plastic shoebox with a piece of chocolate or small toy inside each egg. He received 1 egg for going #1 and 2 eggs for going #2. To say the first day was rough is an understatement. I expected the accidents but did not know how emotionally difficult it was going to be. For the first half of the day Evan was completely hysterical when I put him on the potty. I think that he really needed to go, but he was afraid of the "release". But, by day 2 he was getting the hang of it and after only 4 or 5 days we made it through a day at Brookfield Zoo with no accidents. He is now telling us when he has to use the bathroom and rarely has accidents. And in case you are wondering, I am not like Kate Gosselin - I did not take any pictures of anything IN the potty.

Evan enjoying his first reward


Running around in his Elmo underwear
I also took a video of Evan in his underwear behaving in typical goofy Evan mode. (Please ignore the mess in the background. This is our spare bedroom.)

We decided to also put Evan in a big boy bed (again since I'm home and it's much easier to deal with any difficulties when I don't have to work the next day). We've been working hard the past few days changing his room from a nursery to a boy's room, and tonight was the first night he slept in his new bed. I'll post more pictures of the actual room when it's fully complete, but for now here's a few of Evan in the bed.

My little baby is growing up too quickly! Sniff Sniff

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vacation in North Carolina

Once again, I am slacking in keeping up with my blog. Even though I've been home, I just don't know where my time goes. Oh yeah, I'm trying to chase a very active toddler all day long!

Anyways, over the 4th of July long weekend we visited my sister, Alexis, and her hubby, Curtis in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. Our trip began with Evan's first airplane ride. We were VERY nervous about how Evan would react to the plane and deal with being confined for the 2 hour flight, but he did amazing. It helped that we were over prepared for the trip and brought with us a portable DVD player, coloring books, new markers, a few new toy cars (including a Lightening McQueen) and several of his favorite books. His favorite part of the trip was taking off since the airplane went "FAST!"

Watching a movie with his bear headphones

The second day there we drove to Wilmington and went to Wrightsville Beach. It was a beautiful area and the weather was perfect. This was Evan's first time on a beach or seeing the ocean. He was very reluctant to walk in the sand but with some coaxing he did collect some shells and build some sand castles. Evan was basically petrified of the water, and no matter how hard we tried to make the water fun for him, he was not interested.

On July 4th we toured the USS North Carolina.

That afternoon we drove back to Raleigh to watch a local fireworks display. Evan recently became fearful of thunder and as we expected, he did not like the fireworks either. He spent almost the entire time hiding his face in our shoulders.

These pictures were taken before the fireworks started.

It was raining on our last full day visiting them, so we went to a children's museum in downtown Raleigh. Evan LOVED being there, however we adults were getting very annoyed at the other children there and the lack of supervision by their parents. I could go on, but I won't...

We all had a great time and were sad to leave, but we're already planning our trip back there next summer!