Monday, January 31, 2011

"Evie's Sick"

Evie coughed all night long. She slept late and was so sweet when I went into to get her. She looked up at me and said, "Evie's sick." Poor little thing has been so sweet and cuddly all day. That part has been special but of course I want her to feel better.

My best news of the month is that for the first time ever - I stayed under budget on our groceries. I am so proud of myself! We were out of town for a week so that certainly helped but I have really cut back on going to the grocery store. Carl is thrilled that tomorrow begins a new month because he wants some sausage biscuits. Evie is ready for some cookies and I am ready for some new beverages besides water. My plan to stay on track for February is to use our Costco membership more effectively. has kept me informed on our numbers which has impacted my weekly meal planning. I have made a master list of 24 possible meals for February and will use that list to create our weekly plan based on our schedule. Let's hope this plan works. I will be sure to let you know how it goes. Please share any of your money saving tips.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up!

We had a fantastic weekend. Friday seems like so long ago now but we met friends for breakfast. Then headed to a tour at another preschool. I really liked this one and can get there without even going through a traffic light! That would be so fabulous! The school is right next to the park so Evie wanted to play at the park after the tour. It was 40 degrees which seemed quite warm so we headed over for a little playtime.

   Carl and I met some friends that were in town for dinner and had such a good time! I forgot how fun it is to go out with other couples especially without the kids. We had a long, leisurely dinner and really enjoyed ourselves. I peeked in at sleeping Evie when we got home and she sat right up in the bed smiling at me with the biggest grin. She went right back to sleep and we did too.

   Saturday was a gorgeous day. Carl did some work outside and we were his audience. Evie loves to watch her Daddy but gets a little nervous about the lawnmower. She sat next to me on the grass for nearly 30 minutes just watching Carl like he was the best entertainment she had even seen.

   Today was a low-key day. Evie woke up late so we went to late church. She had fun playing in the nursery with the blocks. I made some Italian sausage soup for lunch and it was so delicious! Carl had two bowls so we did not have any leftovers. I will make that again soon. Evie took a nice long nap and I did too. We played outside for a little bit to soak up the beautiful weather.  Evie loves to kick her pink ball around in the yard.

   Evie is so much fun! We are just having a ball with her. She keeps us laughing and it is wonderful to see her personality continue to come out. Evie is a silly girl!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Busy Day

Evie finally was able to go back to school after a 5 week hiatus between the holidays, snow and traveling. Evie was not too thrilled at first because her teachers were not there. There was a sub but then Ms. Lori walked in which made Evie feel better. I left and heard Ms. Lori tell the sub that Evie would be just fine once she had a cookie. HA! That's my little cookie monster. I picked her up and they told me it was her best day ever. Evie entertained them with her dance moves during music class.

We went to Murfreesboro to see the Onello's. Evie must have been tuckered out from school because she fell asleep on the way before lunch. She perked right up when she saw Abby. They had fun playing and NOT eating lunch. They had plenty of room for dessert. We had a great time.Evie has been talking about Abby and her babies since 3:00.

Evie was geared up for some fun so we stopped at the mall on the way home. I found her a pair of fleece cupcake pj's for $5.00. Evie loves them. We came home to rest on the couch. Evie was so excited to see Carl. I made spaghetti for dinner before heading for a MNO. Looking forward to a fun weekend.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!

It was a snowy day in Nashville so we just enjoyed being at home!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Preschool and Puffy Muffin

It has been a yucky rainy day with snow on the way. Evie and I went to visit a preschool. Our little neighbor, Christian, goes to this school. Evie thinks she knows all about the school since it is right next to her MMO. I pulled into the parking lot and she announced that it was "Evie's school." She peered in every window as we toured the school looking for her friend. We finally found him but I am not sure if he recognized us since we caught him off guard. All of these schools are wonderful but the school will choose us. We do not get to choose the school. Preschool is tricky but she will be fine at any of the schools in our area.

We had to get some prescriptions filled which was an experience since we have new insurance cards. I did not think we were ever going to get out of there. Santa brought me a gift card to Puffy Muffin so I treated us to chicken salad and rolls for lunch. Evie selected a few cookies for dessert. Thanks Poppy for such a thoughtful gift.

Evie napped for a very short time but was still quite happy. We made a cake together and then did a quick clean up. Evie is getting much more independent. She sat at her little table for close to 30 minutes drawing, reading, playing with magnetic dolls. I was so proud of her.

I took dinner to a friend with a new baby. Yikes! Are we ready for this? Ready or not, he will be here before we know it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Going on a Pan Hunt

It has been a crazy day. Evie had her 2 year check-up and did very well until she decided she wanted her Sassy and to get on the boat. They refer to the scale as a boat and Evie buys that hook, line and sinker. We had to go visit the boat in the middle of our appointment. Both the nurse and the doctor told Evie she had good manners. Evie thanked the nurse for weighing her which was so adorable since she mimics my tone of voice. Evie weighs 28 pounds and is 35 inches tall. Dr. K said our baby boy will be a piece of cake after Evie. Not sure if I like that or not. Evie is a bit of a princess but she is well within the range of normal for a two year old little girl.

We went to Publix to get a sandwich for lunch. Carl came home to keep Evie while I went to the doctor. Our baby is still a boy and he had a heartrate of 158. He is very cute! We go back in a few weeks for our official gender ultrasound but Kathy is sure it is a boy. I am having a hard time choosing baby boy bedding but need to figure out something soon.

Evie was sound asleep when I got home. She was in a great mood after her nap and we had so much fun playing. Our house is a total disaster but we sure had a good time.

I am taking dinner to a friend with a new baby tomorrow. Evie wants to chat with Sam about having a baby brother. We looked all over our house for my bundt pan for the dessert. I am not exactly sure how I lost a bundt pan but I vaguely remember Evie using it as a hat. We looked all over the house. Evie loved going on a pan hunt. Too bad I did not find it until she was asleep. Can't wait to make the yummy cake tomorrow as long as my bundt pan is still on the counter in the morning.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up

We left South Carolina about 1 and headed back to Nashville. Carl said it was our best trip ever but it seemed really long to me. Evie did fabulous and was entertained by her new Elmo DVD's. We both slept for a little bit and we stopped a few times along the way. We finally made it back about 6:30. Evie was happy to see her toys.

We had a very low-key weekend at home. Evie is still transitioning back to Central time. It's hard to keep her on track now that she is older when we travel to Eastern time. She was ready to nap before Noon so I represented our family at the birthday party. Evie's friend Joshua turned 1 and his mom did a great job planning his party. After the party, I made a quick Kroger run and rewarded myself with a latte from Starbuck's. I prefer shopping at Harris Teeter but tend to get swept into the shopping experience of being in a nice store. Carl took Evie on a jog and I enjoyed 45 minutes of blissful silence in my house. Our week away exhausted me too. I slept for 15 hours and it felt fabulous.

Evie slept until 8 this morning and we had a nice leisurely morning at home. I ran a few errands during Evie's nap and then we all snuggled on the couch. Evie loves to be held and snuggled still even though she is a big girl. Our neighbors invited us over for pizza tonight. Evie wanted to take each boy some "tea" boxes. They liked it! We had such a fun time and love having such wonderful neighbors. Evie loves her boys and had a blast playing with a pack of construction paper. It's the little things. She kissed them goodbye and gave Campbell a few extra smooches. She talked all about them as we walked back home.

Our Week in Gastonia

We had a fun week in Gastonia with my family while Carl worked about an hour away.

Monday: Evie played at home for the day with all of her new toys. My dad's sweet friend, Joie, came over for lunch and our neighbor came over to see Evie too. It was just a relaxing day at home with long naps for both of us!

 Tuesday: My mom took the day off and we took Evie to Discovery Kids in Huntersville. We were really impressed and so was Evie. It was a kids dream and they surely thought of everything. Evie loved playing in the big kitchen in the cafe and thought the water table was so much fun.  We took a lunch break and then came back for more playtime. Evie was getting tired so we headed out. She was just about asleep when she decided that she was thirsty. I had given her some chocolate milk at the restaurant but it was the kind made with syrup and that just does not work for my Evie. She was thirsty! We rode by our old house and noticed that it does not look quite as nice as it did. We almost stopped by the Hart's but I did not want to drop in unannounced! Paisley may have been napping at this time anyway.

Wednesday: We ran a few errands with Ipop to get Evie a few necessities like diapers and some new Elmo DVD's for the trip back.  We went to the park to play and enjoyed the warmer day. Evie loves to go to her castle and has been talking about it ever since. A sweet little baby came to visit Evie. Her name was Emma Grace and Evie was not so sure about her!

Thursday: We played at home all day and left after nap to go meet Lindsay and James. Evie was quite impressed with James. We went in a few stores and when I pushed her away from her friend she called for him. Evie had fun playing with all of his toys and loved her cute cupcake set that he gave her for her birthday. Evie and James are so cute together! Evie is so tall and James is so little but they just keep playing together. We put the kids to bed and had a yummy dinner of broccoli and tortellini casserole. Does anyone have a good recipe for this? We want to recreate it and Lindsay bought it from a group of women that cook for the community.

Friday: Evie slept all night at Lindsay's house! We had a delicious breakfast and the kids had a blast playing. James has lots of fun toys so I call their house Camp Lindsay. Evie became infatuated with Mac and has been talking about him ever since! We were sad to go but it was time to head back to Nashville. We packed a lot in our week!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Evie's Birthday!

Evie had an extra special birthday because she was able to spend it with both sets of grandparents! Sleeping did not go well our first night away from home. Evie was not happy that I put her in a closet. She woke up saying, "out closet" so I moved her in the room with us. That did not work either so she slept with me in a twin bed. It was so sweet at first smelling her baby smell and listening to her breathe. I love sleeping babies but the novelty wore off quickly! None of us were very rested on her birthday but we still managed to have a wonderful day celebrating Evie turning 2!

   Poppy made waffles and bacon for breakfast. Delicious! We then made a mad dash to get everything packed and all three of us ready for church. Sheshe is in the choir and she mentioned to the soloist that it was Evie's second birthday and he led the congregation in Happy Birthday. It was very special and Evie liked it a lot! Evie made it through half the service before she decided to chat rather loudly. I took her over to the market for an apple juice which perked her right up. She was so excited to see her cousins, Mary and Lucy come in after church. They played outside in the gorgeous weather. It was such a beautiful day!

   Carl's parents treated us to lunch at the club. It was yummy but Evie was exhausted from not sleeping. Carl walked around with her for most of lunch. We left and Evie was asleep by the time we got 30 minutes into our trip. She slept all the way to Gastonia which was a nice break for us all!

  Evie was excited to see her Ipop, Nana and Uncle Ben. We played for a bit before my grandmother and aunt came over for an early dinner. My mom made yummy chili, salad and cornbread. Nana made pink cupcakes for dessert. Evie was so excited to see another BIG pile of presents for her in the den. She received lots of wonderful gifts! My parents got her a wooden castle which she has enjoyed so much. My grandmother got her a beautiful white cable sweater along with an animal puzzle. My aunt bought her some much needed winter clothes and some fun new books. Evie will also be receiving her very first magazine subscription courtesy of my aunt. This will thrill Evie's little heart! She loves to read magazines and now she will have her very own! My brother's present took the cake though. It was a tent! Evie loves her tent so much and wants us all to go inside with her. Ben is really good at choosing fun presents for Evie. He also bought her a wooden cake and she has been handing out pieces all week. Evie has received so many gifts that we may need to put some away so we will have a boredom buster in the months to come.

   Evie was exhausted by this point and just could not get to sleep with all the commotion in the house. It's so stressful when your baby will not sleep. I cannot imagine going through this type of thing every night but I did not want her to cry too much since it was her birthday! Evie loves her sleep and her crib so far but she does not do well at all when she is overly tired. I finally got her to sleep about 9:30 although she woke up again around 3. Thank goodness, she is back on track now! She's been working on catching up on her lost sleep the last few days.

  We had a fantastic day celebrating Evie's second birthday with our families. Evie is loved by so many and it was special to be with everyone for her birthday.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Evie

Dear Sweet Evie,

You are 2 years old today! We cannot believe it. You love to tell everyone that you are 2! I think you know it's special to have a birthday.

You are such a big girl now into everything and talking up a storm. I still love to hear your sweet voice but wish you could tone down the "no" and the "nope" just a little.

Some days you eat and some days you do not eat. Your favorite food is cereal but you do love a good hunk of cheese. Chocolate milk is your beverage of choice although you do love some orange juice.

You have decided not to sit in your highchair or booster seat which made meals so much easier. My big girl likes to be just like me! You like to walk in parking lots which makes me nervous but you are getting way to heavy to be held all the time. Stairs are a piece of cake and you go up and down all the time holding the rail.

Your sense of direction continues to amaze us. We were at the mall the other day and you knew just where Santa sat at Christmas time. Every time we go near one of the play places you ask to play. Yesterday, we went to a bookstore that offers a story time and you were positive that you were there for a story. You asked the lady for a story.

You are quite precocious and keep us laughing except when you frustrate us which does happen occasionally. Being a toddler must be hard!

You can tell when we are exasperated with you because you say "hi" incessantly and try to kiss us. We usually forget our frustration pretty easily.

You love to play with your friends and are really good at kissing them and sharing snacks.

Thank goodness, you are still a good sleeper going to bed at 7 and waking up around 7:30. Nap time is about 1 and you sleep until about 4. We just wish you were not such a light sleeper but you have been this way since the beginning. I am a light sleeper too so she comes by it honestly.

Evie, you are such a joy. It is our greatest privilege to be your parents. We love you so much and love watching you change as you grow into a big girl. We never imagined parenthood to be so challenging but we also could have never imagined it to be so absolutely amazing. You personify unconditional love and show us so much about love by being kind, fair and without any judgement. You take the world just the way it is and love being a part of it. Well, maybe you wish Super Why would come on at other times besides 8. Only kidding!

We love you more than you will ever know and look forward to celebrating many more years of life with you. Your second year is going to be an exciting year. You are getting a special gift in July - a baby brother, you will start a real preschool and eat lunch there all by yourself, your vocabulary will continue to grow and you will be a whole new person by the time
you are 3.

We cannot wait to see what your next year of life holds. Love, Mommy and Daddy

I will post some pictures soon. I do not want to ever forget how unbelievably cute you are right now!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday in Sunset

We left Nashville at 8:30 and got here at 3 Central. It was not our shortest trip but it was uneventful. Evie loves watching Elmo in the car. She slept for a total of 20 minutes.

Mary and Lucy were so excited to see Evie. They had a ball running around together. Mary and Lucy dote on her which she loves. We had a nice afternoon at home. Evie opened her birthday presents. She got a new baby stroller and diaper bag for her baby from her cousins. She She and Poppy gave her a learning kitty, an adorable outfit and a book. Dinner was delicious. It was beef stew and it was the best that I have ever had so I enjoyed two helpings. Evie ran around the table during dinner but managed to choke down her cake and ice-cream. She loves her sweets.

Evie was exhausted from not napping but she hung tight with her cousins. Bedtime was a breeze and she always goes to bed easy. I cannot believe the next time that I see her she will be 2. (HA - getting her to sleep was a breeze, getting her to stay asleep - not so easy!)

Pictures will be posted later. Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

No in Between

Evie and I had a good morning together with a few tantrums thrown in for good measure. We met a friend at Krispy Kreme for doughnuts. Evie was thrilled to have her own miniature doughnut and loved watching the doughnuts come off the conveyor belt. I was thrilled to see that they were hot. So thrilled that I had two! We made a quick trip to Target to buy Evie her first potty. It's hard to believe that it's even time to think about potty training. Evie has wanted to be right up under me all day. She was happily coloring with her markers after lunch. I decided it'd be a good time to clean out a closet that was within her line of vision. She picked up her markers, paper and "tea" and made herself comfortable on the floor right under my feet! Our afternoon was not so pleasant and my mothering skills were not at their finest. This parenting thing is hard and I have a feeling it's going to keep getting harder.

    Evie is either really happy or really not! She is quick to let you know her mood. I am hoping tomorrow will be a better day for us both!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Too Cold to Blog

Winter is not my favorite season and I am definitely ready for it to warm up a little and for the snow to melt. It is nice to sit at home in our cozy pajamas drinking warm tea cuddled in bed reading books. We are looking forward to long walks in the park, sticky picnics in our backyard, naps in the hammock and fragrant flowers blooming!

Evie and I walked across the street to see her boys this morning. It was so wonderful to have a change of scenery and some adult conversation. Evie was so excited to see Christian waiting at the door for her. We had delicious warm coffee cake. Our kiddos do so well playing. Evie loves all the cars and trucks! Apparently, she loves feeding Campbell too. It was pretty funny. Courtney grabbed her camera just in time. Evie would give him a bite and say "mmm" while shaking her head up and down.

Other than our fun play date, we did a whole lot of nothing all day. Evie and I are ready to venture out again tomorrow.

A few of my new favorite finds:

1) Have you tried Mint? It's a website that organizes your spending for you and sends you email reminders. We have been using it for several months and have found it to be extremely helpful. Mint links all of your accounts in one place so you can see everything at once. Think of your 401K's from all your jobs, savings account, IRA's and of course your regular checking. Everything is in one place! Our favorite part about Mint is that you can set budgets and Mint records each transaction you make with your linked cards. It's quite clear to see where all the money really goes! Our biggest expense is FOOD! We spend a lot at the grocery store and a fair amount on food out. I was clueless about how much I was actually spending until Mint put it all in green and red for me. My budget is set and I can easily glance to see how much I have left in each area. You can set weekly,monthly or yearly budgets for food, gas, clothing, medicine or restaurants. I love that you can split amounts so if you are at Target and spend $75 - Mint allows you to put $50 towards your grocery budget and $25 towards your baby budget. Try it you will be hooked! My best tip for cutting down your grocery budget is to make a list of every meal you can make with the food that you have on hand. Eat that first. You may be surprised how much this can help cut costs.

2) Desperation Dinners: We love tacos at our house and never seem to have those little packets of seasoning when we need them. I found an easy recipe for taco seasoning in my Desperation Dinners cookbook. Mix 1/2 tsp. of cumin, 1 tsp. of chili powder,  1/2 tsp. of onion powder and 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder in a small bowl. Brown meat and then add spices. Next, mix 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 1/4 cup of water together and add to meat. It's really good and most likely you already have these spices on hand!

3) Maternity Clothes: It's hard to stay stylish and on budget with maternity clothes. Try renting your maternity clothes for a special occasion. There are several companies that specialize in this and are fairly reasonable. We went to a fabulous Charleston wedding when I was pregnant with Evie and I bought a dress that I did not love but it was cheap. Too bad, I did not know about this because I could have had a fabulous dress for only $40! Our wedding days seem to have come to a halt now that most of our friends have tied the knot but maybe something else fun will pop up before July so I can try out a fun new dress.

4) Toddler Activities: I am going crazy this week trying to come up with things to do inside with Evie. Try this site for some inspiration.