Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Evie and the boys!

We had a pretty low-key morning around the house. Kristin and Jacob invited us over for lunch. It was so much fun and so delicious too. Evie had fun playing with Jacob and George. I had fun talking with Kristin and Melissa. We played outside and it was quite obvious that Evie is rather adventurous. She is running all over the place even skins her knee exploring everything while the boys hang out with their moms. George is a crawler and Jacob likes to observe plus it was his house so it was not new like it was for Evie. They have a great big open space in front of their house that Evie thought was really exciting. Evie even wanted Kristin to pick her up! That is some MAJOR progress for Evie. Melissa and Kristin shared their grocery shopping secrets with me since that is our biggest budget buster. They got me motivated to come home meal plan, organize my coupons and create a more detailed list. Some people say they do not have time for coupons but Mama Henley reminded us all today that everyone has 24 hours in their day. Thanks for the timely reminder. I think an hour or two is worth it for the savings!

Evie was starting to look like a rag-a-muffin so it was time for a hair cut. Guess who screamed through the entire process! She was M.A.D. and let us all know it. I warned the lady that Evie is a screamer when it comes time for haircuts so she cut Evie's hair while she sat in my lap. However, that was not enough to keep Miss E happy. Nothing worked, Raffi, paci or even the lollipop offered to the kids! Another mom came over and offered to hold Evie because she thought that I was trying to get my hair cut, now that would have been a disaster. I am not sure Evie would have gone to her but I certainly would not attempt a hair cut with her in my lap except with Jenn in Huntersville. Then the lady's daughter came over to help, she brought a Barbie, you are probably noticing a theme at this point. Evie was just not happy and wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible. She looks pretty cute now although Carl said she still has hair in her eyes. I am trying to grow her bangs but it does look much better.

All of my hard work cutting coupons and meal planning paid off at Publix. Evie was a HUGE help. Her job is to sort the groceries which is a nice way of explaining how she throws the small items that I place into the basket into the cart. Of course, she does this very gently and never drops anything on the floor. It took us 45 minutes but I saved $46 and spent $86. That's a pretty good return on my hour of work. Evie even made friends with the bagger who took all of our bags out to the car. She was waving at him and having a grand time.

We came home and played outside. Evie went to see her little dog friend Bentley. He kept barking at her and she was not happy about that. Carl and I enjoyed chatting with the neighbors. Mike thinks Carl has improved the yard so that was a nice compliment. Carl has done a great job. It's very green and lush. Evie thinks it's really pretty too!

Evie ate her supper and then we cuddled on the couch. She loves my belly button and thinks it really fun to tickle me. I love it too because she laughs when she tickles me. There is no sweeter sound than my sweet baby girl giggling. She also loves to spin herself in a circle then she falls down all on her own which makes her laugh some more. What a sweet girl! Every day, I think that I could not love her anymore so it's amazing that I wake up each morning loving her more than the day before.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Evie's Eggcellent Adventure!

We have had a busy day but all of our days seem busy. Our neighbor, Rachel, came over for coffee this morning. Evie woke up to see her and shared her toys with her. It was nice to visit with my neighbor and learn more about the area.

Evie had her first Easter Egg hunt this morning at River Park. It was so much fun! Each kid was supposed to bring 12 eggs. I filled Evie's eggs and put them next to her on the seat of the car. We live about a mile from the park. Evie managed to open several eggs and devour a few jelly beans along the way. She has never had candy and it opened up a whole new world for her! Colorful jellybeans, chewy skittles and let's not forget foil covered eggs. Of course, she loved it but I worry about her choking. We played on the playground with the other kids and as you can see the slide was quite the hit. Then, they had the egg hunt, Evie ran every which way except in the direction of the eggs. Then, she figured out that yummy stuff was inside the eggs on the grass so she snatched a few from other kids. There was a limit of 12 and Evie made sure that limit was observed. She did give the egg back to a little girl who cried when Evie took her egg. Cece shared her eggs since she had found a grand total of 32 but Evie was on to other things. She found a few jelly beans and skittles scattered in the grass. Evie plopped right down and had a little snack. At this point, I went to get the stroller to contain her a little better and we had lunch with the other kids. Lunch was pizza and snacks. It was amusing to see which snacks the kids chose. I gave Evie a wheat germ pumpkin muffin with chocolate chips but that did cut it after the sweet treats. We settled on a strawberry and a carrot shaped sugar cookie. Evie had a blast and got lots of compliments on her sweet basket. I bought it last year at Buttercup in Charlotte. It is precious - a little white box with ears and her name painted on it. However, she needs a felt basket for hunting purposes. Otherwise, she may give a small child a concussion since it could easily become dangerous.

All of this playing wore her out. She's been asleep for over two hours which gave me a chance to tackle the laundry and straighten the house from my little Tennessee tornado. One of the moms at the hunt who also happens to be one of my neighbors has 5 children and she told me that Evie is about to start the most difficult stage 15 months to 2 has been hard for all five of her kids. I can believe it because before 9 o'clock this morning Evie broke a piece off her changing table, threw 6 things down the stairs, pulled out a roll of toliet paper, trapped herself in the bathroom and took every book off her shelf! It's a good thing she is so cute. I'll take her back outside after nap, there's not as much for her to get into out there.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What a day!

It's been one of those days. You know the kind of days where you are busy all day but at the end you are not really sure what it is that you did. Things that I do around these days cannot be checked off any lists or written on a calendar. Instead, they will be precious memories for me in the years to come. My house is a total disaster with three loads of laundry sitting on the floor , bathrooms in need of cleaning, a stack of clothes to be ironed and I did not even make it to the grocery store until 5:30, never a good idea to try to keep up with the tired, cranky people who have been working at their real jobs all day.

I had so much fun with Evie today! She makes me happier than I ever imagined but she continues to be more work every day! Today, I just let most everything go around the house and soaked in being Evie's mommy. We tickled, jumped on the bed, ran around outside, had friends over, sang songs, blew bubbles, crawled through tunnels and laughed a lot! There's nothing better than that but the exhaustion is something that I have never experienced either. Each stage brings new challenges, somethings get easier but other things get harder. Being a mom is hard, much harder than I ever imagined! It's so reassuring to hear their stories and know that I am not the only one experiencing the adventure of a lifetime. Mom friends are the best - I am not sure what I'd do without them.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Recap!

We had a wonderful weekend at home with my parents, AKA Nana and Ipop. Evie had fun showing off all of her new tricks.

On Friday,we stayed home most of the day since Evie was in sleep mode. My dad went out exploring and came back with a little rocking chair for Evie. She loves it and uses it to rock her babies. She likes to sit in it but still needs to be hoisted into it. My mom ordered Evie a sweet little cupcake purse from Etsy. It even has a cherry on it! Evie puts little objects in it and thinks she is such a big girl. After nap, we went to Walmart to get a few things including The Blind Side. Carl and I had not seen it and were very impressed. My dad does go to movies a lot but he went to see The Blind Side twice and then watched it with us too. It's really that good. Have you seen it?

On Saturday, we went to the Franklin Farmer's Market. Evie's favorite part was seeing the dogs. I love to peruse all the homemade cheeses, baked goods and watch the musicians. It's such a fun place and gets even better in the summer. We went to Franklin Mercantile for lunch. Carl had never been there. It's a cute little restaurant with mismatched tables and chairs. Drinks are served in Mason jars and everything is super fresh. I chose a BLT with sundried tomato cream cheese and it was delicious! Evie kept a close watch on the kids sitting around us. Then, we went to the Co-op to see the baby chicks and ducks again. They have really grown in the last several weeks. Evie was delighted to see them again and even had a chance to pet one of the sweet little chicks. My parents remember when they came in pink and blue and were only 50 cents. Inflation has caused them to cost $3.25. That's a pretty big increase for a chick. A weekend is never complete without a visit to the Home Depot. Carl came home to spread his mulch from the Co-op but quickly ran out. He purchased 16 bags but we need at least 16 more. Evie missed her nap window so we went to Harris Teeter. She napped a few minutes in the car which helped her catch up to speed for her playtime outside. We all walked over to the park and Evie had fun pointing at all the new things. Evie ran around the yard for a long time when we got back and we taught her how to find Easter eggs. She loves putting them in her basket and even threw a few acorns in the basket for good measure. Much better to have acorns in the basket than inside her mouth. Evie went to bed and we grilled some steaks for dinner. My parents had offered to babysit but Carl was not feeling well. Maybe we can go out soon. Everywhere we go, Evie goes with us which we LOVE but some places are not ready for Evie quite yet.
Evie slept until 7 this morning! I had asked her to sleep a little later for me since she woke up bright and early on Friday and Saturday. She listened and it was so nice to catch a few extra minutes of sleep. We had breakfast and watched Evie play. I think she enjoys having an audience while she explores new things. We had a great weekend! Thanks for coming to visit Nana and Ipop. Evie had so much fun and we did too.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stormy Day!

It's been a rainy day and we had a huge storm late this afternoon. It was a big one and happened right as Carl was getting home. He quickly located the weather radio and put new batteries in it so we were ready in case of an emergency. It was time for Evie to eat her supper and he moved her highchair away from the window. Storms come quickly around here but they pass quickly too. All is clear now and it has turned into a nice evening.

We did not do much today. It was a Kindermusik day and Evie enjoyed seeing all of her friends. We were on Spring Break last week so we did not have class.
Evie is really into kiwi this week. Of course, my child has to love a fruit that is not the easiest to prepare. She LOVES all fruit though except cantaloupe which is still not working for her. Not sure what it is about that orange fruit because she loves all orange food.

We headed to the grocery store this afternoon and Evie carried two pieces of wheat bread around the store. She even tried to share with the lady in line behind us. Pretty sweet but I am certain that this lady was not interested in Evie's slimy bread. We came home and made some pimento cheese and chicken salad. I LOVE chicken salad - anywhere, any kind! My sweet friends even made sure that there was plenty of chicken salad at Evie's baby shower. Evie takes after me and loves it too. She licks it off her bread and then eats the bread. Interesting! Carl has a huge aversion to mayo so he steers clear of it which leaves more for the rest of us!

Evie had fun playing on the bed before bedtime. Carl was tickling her and she loved every second. She was giggling so hard that she looked like a beet. Nana and Ipop are on their way to see us. Well, mostly to see Evie but we are looking forward to their visit. Evie sure will be happy to see them in the morning.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Social Butterfly!

Here are some pictures of our new and improved kitchen. I think it looks a lot better and is certainly a more pleasant place to spend the day. Evie and I hang out in the kitchen a lot. Although not today because we were busy hopping all over town. We met Maura and Abby at Mimi's for lunch. That is one of my favorite spots - they have a Bleu Cheese and Pecan salad with strawberries that is fabulous and it comes with a muffin. I had buttermilk spice. Evie and Abby enjoyed checking each other out at lunch. Evie ate everything but the kitchen sink but her favorite was a warm, blueberry muffin. I think Abby liked it too. Evie made a huge mess that I cleaned up and I have learned to tip better since Evie creates extra work for the server. We walked around a bit after lunch to enjoy the gorgeous day. A year sure changes a lot, it was last May that we took the girls to Mimi's and they did not eat a thing. Abby even slept right through lunch the last year.They have an outdoor play area at this shopping center filled with stairs to a fun stage and lots of trikes. Evie and Abby thought this was a great spot to hang out. Evie is really good at finding snacks. Maura had some yogurt puffs in her stroller and Detective Evie found those quickly. She brought the bag right to me and was ready to dig in. She is always ready for a snack just like her Mama. Evie and I had so much fun meeting up for lunch with two of our favorite girls. Then, we headed to Coldstone Creamery to meet our friends from our Mommy group. There were 6 kids under 2, so it was a bit chaotic at first until everyone had their ice-cream. Evie and I shared a Founder's Favorite filled with brownie bites, caramel and chocolate. Evie approved and even went to check out the case of ice-cream. Kelly said that Evie was helping everyone figure out which ice-cream to get. It was such a fun outing and makes me look forward to all the exciting things that are in store with Evie.

We came home and played in the yard. Carl came home and decided to mow the grass since rain is in the forecast for the next two days. He hopped right on his lawn mower and Evie was quite concerned about her Daddy. Check out these serious looks.

We had such a great day! I am always so thankful to stay home with Evie but today was so much fun. I love being with Evie and planning fun things for us to do together. Everything is wonderful to her and it's so much fun to see the world through her eyes. It's a pretty exciting place.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Doggies, Dinos and Dirt, Oh My!

We are so thankful for the beautiful sun! It makes our days so much better. Evie and I went to storytime this morning. She lasted about 10 minutes and then she was ready to move on to something new. Usually, she does just fine so maybe she just did not like the story. Lately, I have been wondering if maybe she is claustrophobic. I get claustrophobic very easily and this might explain why she gets so worried when people get real close to her that she does not know. We were squeezed in like sardines and Evie did not seem to like it. She got up from my lap and walked around a little. I moved but kept my eye on her. It was so cute because she walked right back to our original spot and scanned the room looking for me. She kept looking around until she found me that's when I decided that storytime was over.

River Park is right next to the library so we walked over with a snack and sippy cup. Trust me, never take things you do not really need to the park unless you have a bag for them. It's hard to juggle Evie, my keys, her sippy cup and snack. She carried her snacktrap around a little but thought it was perfectly fine to nibble on a goldfish that had tumbled to the ground. YUCK!

Evie made a beeline for a cute little dog. It was a Yorkie and was so adorable. Evie sat down on the ground and let Bruno lick and play with her. Bruno's mom chatted with me about how wonderful Yorkie's are for children. Apparently, Bruno gets pushed around the house in the baby stroller and likes it. That sounds like something that Evie would enjoy doing one day.

The park had a bunch of plastic dinosaurs that were just the perfect size for climbing and exploring. Evie thought this was great fun and was quite entertained until she found a big pile of mulch. She thinks it is super fun to transfer small pieces of stuff to a central location so she transferred the mulch to a park bench. We had a great time soaking up the sun and feeling the wind. Evie even went down the slide a few times and climbed right up the equipment by herself. River Park is great for little kids because it's so open that you can see where your kiddo is at all times. Of course, I was hovering over Evie but this will be a great park for when Evie can enjoy it some on her own. We came home to play in our own yard. One of our neighbors came over to offer her 11 year old as a babysitter. That makes two 11 year olds that are interested in babysitting. Too bad they are not just a little bit older. I remember entertaining kids while their mothers were home when I was about that age. The Nash family was my favorite, I remember the mom chatting on the phone and telling everyone how her girls were just having a ball with me. HA! Now, that I am a mom, I know that she was having a ball having 15 minutes to herself.
All of this outdoor fun makes for great naps! We went for two walks today. One when Carl got home, he wanted a chance to enjoy this gorgeous weather too. Our kitchen is back in action, we had our faucets installed today and had to get a new garbage disposal. It's always something with a house!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Will your family count?

It's been a day here at The Niemeyer Nest! We started bright and early with the arrival of our granite installers. They did a great job and the kitchen looks 100 times better than it did two months ago. Marcus, the installer, asked me at least six times if I was sure that I wanted to keep that cooktop. Yes, Marcus - we are planning to keep the cooktop! It reminded me of a story a friend told me last week. She had been referred to a painter from some of her friends who live in "the" area of town. Melissa bargained with the painter a little and when he found out that she was going to be living there - he said YOU.ARE.GOING.TO.LIVE.HERE! I imagine with the same look of disgust that Marcus used with me today - YOU.ARE.GOING.TO.COOK.ON.THIS. Believe it or not, our cooktop looks much better surrounded by the new countertop.

Evie slept right through this whole thing and I just let her keep sleeping since the fumes were so bad in the house. That was a big mistake because it has been one LONG afternoon. I practically threw Evie at Carl when he got home. They are on a walk right now and then she will be heading straight to bed.

Have you completed your 2010 Census? I mailed ours last week and it took less than two minutes to complete. A census is the most accurate count of people that our government gets - it's a miracle that they are able to come as close as they do considering the way Americans flock from state to state. Take a few minutes to complete yours - do it for your kids so there are enough schools and teachers! Send it in to make sure that your family counts!

Speaking of teachers, I used to teach with Judy Smoot while we lived in Raleigh. Her daughter, Julianna, has recently been named President Obama's Social Secretary. That is so exciting! Mrs. Smoot was a fabulous teacher the kind that every parent dreams of for their child. She was nurturing, yet strict but always fair. I am sure she's thrilled for her daughter. Let's just hope Julianna can keep the crazies out of the White House. It sounds like she has it under control.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Whole Bunch of Nothing!

We have been super lazy today! It's been raining all day so it was perfect day to be at home. Evie loves playing with both of her parents. She keeps us laughing with all of her antics. I thought she was changing to one nap a day but we are back at two now for two days. It's going to be a process but I love that she loves sleeping so much. We took a nap today too.

I did run out for a bit for the first time by myself in over two weeks! That's one of the hard parts about Carl being gone so much is that Evie has to go everywhere with me. I love to have her but sometimes it's nice to be myself and it's certainly easier not to take her in and out of the car seat 100 times.

Carl is feeling a little under the weather. All of the traveling has caught up with him so he is looking forward to a few weeks at home. He's been in three time zones in the last 10 days which is tough on your body.

We have been in our pj's all day so no pictures to share on this post. Evie loved her spaghetti for dinner. It's one of her very favorites although she skipped right over the zucchini. Can't trick her into veggies anymore. Hope you had a fun weekend!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lazy Day!

We had a wonderful, lazy day at home! Evie slept late. It's so much nicer to start the day at 7:45. She has not been taking morning naps for the past few days so we ran to Home Depot, had breakfast at Chick fil A and then played outside. She went down for a nap at 11 but that did not last long. I think she was hungry since she woke up exactly at lunchtime. She had some lunch, played outside, read some books before going back to sleep.

She went down a little before one and we had to wake her up at 3:15. That is never fun for us because she LOVES to sleep and HATES to be woken up. We told her that she was going to see some friends! She perked up for the ride over to see Paisley.

Our friends, the Hart's, were in town from Charlotte at their friends Brian and Rebecca's house only two miles from us. They were kind enough to have us over this afternoon. It took Evie a bit to warm up but she happily checked out the doggies, touched Baby Maddie and stole Paisley's snacktrap and sippy cup. So funny to watch her interact. Paisley is a busy bee. She is so big and had the cutest little shoes on her growing feet. I need to get Evie some new shoes. These were Puddle Jumpers and they were just precious.

Evie and Paisley did not play much together although they both loved closing the doors. It makes me think that Evie must really know her friends here since she gets right down to the business of playing. Too bad we cannot know more about what is going on in our little peoples heads. It was great to see everyone. We had a fun visit. Allison made the best chocolate chip cookies! They were soft and chewy which is the perfect base for cookies brimming with delicious chips!

Evie went right to sleep after dinner. We ordered pizza and ate outside. It was the perfect ending to a fun Saturday. I'll post some pictures of the girls soon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daddy's Home . . . again!

Evie and I just hung out around the house today. We had planned to meet some friends for lunch but Abby was sick. Maybe we can catch up next week. It was nice to be at home and we got lots done and even had some time to dance a little. Evie is really into dancing to the music.

We ran out to the grocery store. I told Evie that Daddy would be home soon and she clapped. Such a sweet girl! Carl was here when we got back home. Evie showed him her new teeth. Five teeth have popped through this week which made for some long days for Mommy! We think she is feeling better now.

We walked to Crockett and played on the playground. Carl even got to meet one of our friends from our MOMS group that was there with her two boys. She just moved here too and was having a little difficulty selling her house on a hill. Carl and I know all about how to sell a house on the hill. We turned it into a positive and made a list of the top 10 reasons to live on the hill. Well, I had mentioned this to Phadera several weeks ago and they tried it. It worked! They accepted an offer two days later. Not sure if that was the real reason but we know what a huge relief it is to finally sell a house especially in this market.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blue Skies and Sunny Day!

Evie and I had a busy morning preparing lunch for our friends. By nap time, I had a tired little girl on my hands. We had so much fun having Kristin and Jacob over along with Melissa and George. Lunch was chicken casserole and a delicious salad. Salad is called Greens Scarborough - mix 1/2 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar along with some salt and pepper. Put in fridge for an hour. Salad is romaine, red grapes, goat cheese, and toasted almonds. Perfect for a lunch with girls. Carl does not go for goat cheese in his salad. Jacob really liked the casserole. Evie not so much. George ate puffs and babyfood. He sat in Evie's purple Bumbo and thought it was really cool. It's so nice to have fun moms to hang out with and sweet kids for Evie.

Evie was not interested in napping this afternoon but was perfectly content hanging out in her crib for a bit. Usually, she has a total meltdown without an afternoon nap. I had planned for a financial adviser to come during her nap time so we could talk college planning. Evie must have known that we were talking about her and she wanted to come chime in. I really liked this guy because he was realistic about college savings and does not expect us to save $500 per month for college. Although, that is probably what is considered ideal. He suggested a combination of a Coverdell and a 529. You can contribute up to $2,000 per year in a Coverdell and are able to use it for K-12 as well as college. Saving for college is a daunting task. God will provide and Evie will be able to attend college one day. Hopefully, at a wonderful state school unlike her mother. I would not have met Carl without going to College of Charleston which means we would not have Evie so it was worth it. Thank you Mom and Dad!!!! I loved every single day at CofC.

Evie was out of diaper pail liners so we went to Target for the second time this week. Those things are necessities. Carl usually takes care of this so I had no idea that we were even close to being out. I have no clue how to even change the thing. We cannot wait for him to come back. Everything runs much more smoothly when he is here with us.

It was a gorgeous day here in Middle Tennessee. Evie and I walked to the park and she ran around in the field. She loves rocks and sticks but is so girly too. It's fun to watch her explore.

I say this a lot but Evie is into everything! Within a five minute time span, she had pushed the garbage can across the kitchen, took all the bread out of the bread drawer and somehow got stuck under her highchair! She keeps me so busy but there is no such thing as boredom with Evie around the house. Everyday is a new adventure.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Evie and I wore our green today! I just love Evie's outfit and cannot wait for her to wear spring clothes. I took Evie to the doctor this morning . . . just to be on the safe side. She has a clogged ear from excess wax buildup! How does that happen to a one year old? Treating this is going to be really fun when I squirt lukewarm water mixed with alcohol inside her ear. It's almost completely clogged which could impact her hearing.

Fussy baby makes for a tired Mama! I did not sleep well last night so that made for one LONG day. She napped for a little bit and then we had some friends over for a St. Patrick's Day playdate. I made cupcakes with green frosting! My sweet friend, Susan, shared her frosting recipe which is from the Magnolia Bakery in NYC. We sampled cupcakes there for Susan's bachelorlette weekend and it seem like so many years ago. It was less than three years ago but everything prior to Evie feels like another lifetime. Evie enjoyed having some friends over. We had 6 kids under the age of 2 which made for a busy house. I enjoyed chatting with all the moms and it was a nice break for me from entertaining Evie. Bring out the snacks and they all decide that they are hungry! The babies ate goldfish, puffs and cheerios instead of cupcakes. I took the leftover cupcakes next door - their kids were so excited.

Evie and I went for a walk which is a good thing since I enjoyed four cupcakes! Not sure what got into me but I making a nice healthy salad for dinner and am planning to hang out on the couch.

Remember my post to Mr. Stride Rite - well Mrs. Stride Rite wrote me an email asking me for more information about my experience. Now, that is customer service. Remember when this happened with Comcast. I am guessing blogs are making for some really good advertising these days and companies have to stay on top of things. Just for the record, I LOVE Stride Rite shoes and think they are worth the money. Evie is just a busy bee and would find a way to take any shoe off her sweet little foot. Soon it will be time to get some Easter shoes.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Hope you wore your green to keep the pinchers away.