Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Evie goes to School!

My big girl ready for school!

So excited! I decided she needed her name on her shirt because there is an Ivey, a Vivi and Evie all in one class. That's a lot of names that sound similar for those teachers to keep up with.

Could she be any cuter?
Taking a break to check out the airplane overhead!

She looks so old to me but next year when I look at these pictures . . . she will look so young!
It's all about perspective.

And she's off . . . ready to hop in the van for the first day of school!

She was telling her brother good-bye which was the sweetest thing ever!
"Bye-Bye Henry. Evie go to school. I miss you. I'll be right back. I love you Henry!"

Sursey's for the Teachers: ABC's of teaching . . . apples, bananas and chocolate!

Snapping pictures at school and Evie was clearly ready to go inside at this point.
She was trying so hard to be a big girl and do everything the other kids were doing including wearing her own backpack! Next week, she stays until 2 so she has to use her new backpack that is much bigger.

Picture time was over but Mommy could not resist a quick shot!
Evie was so "cited" to go to school this morning. She kept asking me if we could go and just stood by the door hoping that'd I would hurry it up. I was expecting to be running around like crazy getting us all out the door by 9 but miraculously we were all ready by 8:30! That gave us plenty of time for pictures, last minute instructions and saying goodbye to brother.

I took the long way to school this morning since we were early. It takes about 5 minutes that way instead of 3 minutes. Evie was a bit confused and asked me "Where my school go, Mommy?" We have been pointing it out to her at every opportunity for the last few months in anticipation of today.

Evie seemed like such a big girl this morning in her new apple shirt and jean skirt. It was surreal to be on the other side of the school experience this time as a parent instead of a teacher. Evie has been well-prepared for her first day with lots of back to school books, talks about how things work at school and even a few videos about going to school. It could not have gone smoother. We waited in the lobby for the doors to open and Evie could hardly contain herself. Evie took her teachers a little sursey to help their day get off to a good start! That made Evie so proud and helped her have something to focus on instead of me leaving.

Evie burst into the classroom to see her teachers and gave Miss Molly a hug right off the bat. She put her backpack in her little cubbie and gave me a kiss good-bye. It was as easy as that! I went to a Meet and Greet in the lobby to learn more about helping out the school! Somehow, I ended up on two committees already including teacher appreciation which could not be more dearer to my heart! Teachers work so hard and make a HUGE impact on our world. I am more than happy to recognize their hard work especially with my sweet Evie.

Henry and I ran a few errands and met a friend for coffee to plan a community service project that I am helping to put together for my MOMS club. I will stay busy with Henry but it sure was easier to have one kid for the day. Of course, I missed Evie!

We went back to school at noon for a family picnic. It was so fun to meet some of the other families in Evie's class. There are 7 girls and 1 boy in her class. Don't you feel sorry for that poor boy! I loved peeking in the classroom to see Evie before she saw me. She was dancing and singing a song with the rest of her class.

We all went outside to eat lunch and found out that one of the little girls Vivi was in Evie's class last year at Promiseland. I really liked her mom a lot and Vivi likes pink just as much as Evie. Another family, just moved here from Raleigh, we used to live there too so that was a fun conversation.

Evie's teachers came over and took our picture for the bulletin board. Henry was sleeping in his sling but he made the picture. Miss Molly and Miss Jen were so thrilled with the first day because they were shocked that no one cried. That's especially impressive for a group of two year old kids. Miss Molly told me that Evie had a vivid imagination! One of her little anecdotes made me laugh. They were playing together on a car outside. Miss Molly made a comment about the fire engine going really fast and Evie looked at her quite seriously to let her know that it was not moving! That's my Evie.

Evie chatted all the way home about school. She said," Evie had fun. Evie played. Evie proud and Evie not scared." Way to go, Evie! Here's to many more years of learning new things, making friends and experiencing the great big world that we all live in together.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Congratulations, Uncle Ben!

We are so proud of Ben for passing the NC Bar Exam! Congratulations for such a HUGE accomplishment! It's always nice to have an attorney in the family. Big hugs from us all!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up!

Evie and her leaf! She carried her leaf for the longest time.

Evie really did enjoy the hike although this picture does not indicate that feeling.

All smiles on her swing!

Evie kept saying, "Go, Evie, go! Higher!"

So thankful for this sweet, calm, content baby!

Such a precious picture of our children!

Evie loves her brother so much and the feeling is mutual!

"Clap your hands, Henry. Like this. Evie show you."

Henry looking handsome in his new suit from Nana and Ipop.

Henry is not so sure about this early morning photo shoot.

Trying to get a picture of all three of us is nearly impossible!

Henry was ready for naptime!
It's been a gorgeous, fun weekend but we are exhausted! Evie is waking up bright and early these days which is hard on her tired parents.

We took a family hike at Radnor Lake on Saturday morning. Carl wore Henry in the Baby Bjorn and Evie walked with me. She had to be picked up a few times because she thought people were trying to get her. Can we say dramatic? After our hike, we rode around Nashville for a bit because we tend to stay in our neck of the woods. It was fun to see some other parts of the area. Evie and Carl stopped in Home Depot to get a few things while I helped Henry recover from his almost blow-out diaper. Poor thing was not too happy! We hit the Chick fil A drive-thru and came home for a quick lunch. Evie was so thrilled to try out her new big girl swing! It makes me a bit nervous but she has only fallen once. She even jumped out to show off her leaping abilities. Evie spends a lot of time imitating birds and this seems to be another one of her bird games.

Thank goodness for nap time! I took a nap too. Henry is still only waking once in the night but these 6AM wake up calls coupled with Evie waking up right when I finish feeding him make for a tired Mommy.

We had a nice afternoon outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and watching Evie swing some more. She is so joyful and full of life! We made some salmon for dinner and relaxed the rest of the night.

Everyone was up before 7 this morning so we decided that we might as well go to early church. Carl and I just decided several days ago that we were going to begin attending the 10:30 service. Evie was so excited to be back in her class and we took Henry with us. Carl said he was sweating and having chest pains and it was a bit difficult to focus on the service. Henry will try out the nursery next week. He did great but you just never know - that can quickly change with a baby! It was feeding time and church was still going on. He was fine until we got in the car but then he screamed the entire 20 minutes home. That extreme hunger made it super easy for him to take a bottle! He is such a big eater taking 6-8 oz. at a feeding and still rooting for more. No wonder, he is growing so quickly. I put away some newborn clothes last night and got a bit teary thinking he is my last baby.  Our experiences today have changed my tune - there is no way we could handle more than two children!

Evie was not in the mood to nap. She did go to sleep but woke up on the wrong side of the crib. We took her to get ice-cream but that did not make her happy either. We even let her get pink ice-cream with sprinkles but she was more interested in her Daddy's chocolate concoction. Daddy always shares but that was not what she had in mind. When we got home, Carl took Evie outside to burn off some energy before dinner.

Evie was looking at me during dinner and noticing my tiredness. She put her chubby little hands on my cheeks while saying, "Mommy, it's okay. Don't cry. Evie sit with you. What's the problem? I help you." She sure is a sweet girl! I mentioned to Carl that maybe we should have put Evie in the three day program at preschool. He said that the seven day program might be the best choice. HA! We love our Evie dearly but she sure can wear us out. I have a feeling that Carl is looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a better day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Entertaining Toddlers!

Only 4 days until preschool starts and I cannot wait! We have run out of things to do. What are your tried and true activities for entertaining your busy toddler? Here are few of my favorites - most are not my original ideas - but have become lifesavers since we have been home so much lately! Please share your favorite ideas with me. I need a few more tricks up my sleeve.

Painting with q-tips, mesh sponges, toothbrushes
Pouring water from container to container - sometimes I even add a drop of food coloring if I am brave!
Tea-parties with our babies complete with bibs, utensils, and food. We talk about manners.
Forts out of dining room chairs and sheets
Freeze a bunch of tiny toys in a plastic bowl of water - take outside and play!
Paint marshmallows with colored milk - Evie loves this but hates the marshmallows
Sorting objects by color, size, etc. (colored pom poms, skittles, blocks are great for sorting)
Use painters tape and make a road on your kitchen floor for matchbox cars
Tupperware play - get out bowls, cups etc and let your toddler match the lids
Thread pasta or Fruit Loops onto pipe cleaners or yarn
Wash plastic animals or people using a toothbrush and a bowl of water - Evie does this almost every day!
Write on house with chalk - spray off with hose when done
Hide your toddlers stuffed animals and help them hunt them. Your toddler can hide them next for you to find.
Make birthday cards, signs, or books with lots of materials such as glue, glitter, tissue paper.
Collages are fun - Evie likes to cut out food pictures and glue them on paper - her cutting skills scare me!
Obstacle courses with pillows from the couch

Here's a funny yet shockingly true article about living with toddlers! Enjoy!

Gotta run, my favorite toddler is waking up from her nap.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cupcakes and Painting!

Evie has not been sleeping well this week and it's starting to catch up with her! She has been waking around 7, napping for two hours and then not going to sleep until 8. I walked in to get her this morning and she said, "Hear that Mama, that Ipop's doggies." The dogs next-door were barking for some reason so maybe that woke her up but it's hard to keep her happy when she is tired. I told her she was cranky because she was tired. She told me,"Evie not cranky. Raffi cranky." Evie had three time-outs before 9:30 this morning. I took one of the chairs from Evie's little table and put it in our laundry room for timeout. Mostly, because I am so tired of walking her up the stairs every time she goes to time out since it happens rather frequently these days. Evie was not impressed by this idea at all! She said, "That not time-out chair, that a eating chair." Well, it's a time-out chair now but that made me smile.

We went to pick up her first day of school shirt this morning and then ran a few other errands. It went well which continues to surprise me. Some days work better than others.

Evie and I made cupcakes this morning. She loves to bake and is always happy to whisk things for me. It takes three hundred times longer when she is in the kitchen but the process is so much more fun.

We painted a few pictures while the cupcakes baked and then had to change clothes. Maybe, Evie's idea of just wearing a diaper is a good plan - then I could just hose her off after each activity.

Evie wanted to have a picnic so I made some sandwiches. Turkey and bacon sandwiches were on the menu since cheese is out of the question. Evie and I both love bacon! Henry enjoyed hanging out on the blanket while we ate lunch. He is such a content little fellow just checking out his new environment.

We all settled down for naps and without fail Henry wakes up every single day at 1:30 which is right after Evie gets to sleep. I am not sure what it is about 1:30 but it has been a trend for quite a few days. He went back to sleep and Evie sleeps through all of this.

After nap, we frosted the cupcakes and Evie was in charge of the sprinkles. Those cupcakes had more sprinkles than frosting! Evie wanted pink cupcakes for herself but wanted to make yellow ones for her boys. She told me that boys don't like pink. Courtney got a pink one though!

We had a nice afternoon reading books and playing on the iPad. Evie loves the iPad and can work it quite well. She tries to tell me how to do everything so it comes as no surprise that she insists on directing me on proper usage of MY iPad. "Push that button Mama, right there. That not done. It loading. Hold on. Evie don't like that one - other one. Push done." She does not stop talking all day and says almost everything three times. She gets the non-stop talking from me but I am done with talking by the end of the day.

Carl got home and Evie was so excited to see him. She had another timeout shortly after his arrival home. We decided that it would be a fabulous idea for her to go outside to burn some energy! She helped Carl grill our chicken for dinner and gave me a few minutes of peace.

Dinner was a success without any meltdowns and then it was time for a bubble bath for our sweet girl. Evie is covered in bug bites and needed a good soaking. I put  her to bed and all the hard parts of the day disappear when she gives me a big hug while saying I love you, Mommy! Carl and I sat outside with Henry for a bit since it was such a nice night. I am looking forward to the weekend!

Just for the record, Evie asked me to take pictures of her and Henry on her Sadie dog. Then, she decided that she did not want Henry on Sadie or her picture snapped. These were too funny not to save for posterity!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meeting the Teachers!

Evie has been reading and re-reading the letter from her teachers at preschool. She was thrilled to learn that she got to finally meet them today. Our scheduled time was 12:30 so we left the house early to swing by Chick Fil A and then had a little picnic at the nature area on the property of the school. Evie was so much fun during our picnic. I love all of my special times with my big girl. Henry slept through our picnic but he has lots of picnics in his future. Evie was a little nervous when I told her it was time to go in to meet Miss Molly and Miss Jen until I reminded her that I was going with her.

  We met Miss Molly first and she was super sweet! She told me that Evie was very verbal and that she could see why Evie still naps for three hours a day. Evie played an extended game of peek-a-boo during our meeting. I answered lots of questions about Evie but my mind went blank when it was my turn for questions. Miss Molly has taught at the school the entire twelve years that it has been open. She was a SAHM and her daughter is now a junior in high school. Images of Evie as a high-schooler quickly flashed through my mind. It made me a little teary to think that might be me one day telling some young mom about my Evie being a junior in high school and that these preschool years are the best ones of her life.  I am super excited about Evie going to school and know that she will really soak it all in. It's a long day for a little one. Preschool in our area lasts until 2 which seems so late but that's just the way they do it here in our community.

Miss Jen came in next to meet us. She seemed a bit frazzled which is totally understandable at the beginning of the school year. Evie kept calling her Jen so we will be working on the Miss part. Miss Jen took Evie off to see the classroom. Evie was perfectly happy to walk off with her and even held her hand. I gathered all of the paperwork and talked to Molly for a minute then headed down to the classroom. It did not surprise me at all that Evie had already made herself at home in the kitchen center. She was quite concerned that the phone was missing from it's place on the refrigerator.

   Evie just HAD to wash her hands with the pink soap before we left. Hand washing is one of their skills for September so maybe the teachers were impressed with Evie's sudden interest in washing her hands for an excessive period of time. We made it out of the room without any meltdowns which was amazing since it was nap time and Evie wanted to make a beeline for the playground. Preschool starts next week!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pump it Up!

"That's fun, Mama. Evie do it again"

Do I really want to go down this slide?

Climbing the wall is hard work!

Evie and tractor before going to time-out for not getting dressed. Making brownies involves a change of clothes!

Henry snoozing in his swing.
We all ventured out this morning to Pump it Up! It went surprisingly well with only a few tears. Evie kept telling me how excited she was all the way there and that it was a special day. She is such a sweet girl! Her excitement makes it so fun to take her on outings. It's a lot harder to maneuver in and out of those type of places with two. I am used to just popping Evie out of her seat and running in somewhere real quick. It's not so quick anymore. I have to get out the stroller, pop Henry in and then get Evie. Henry is a doll and just sleeps through most of our adventures. He did wake up for a few minutes to check out Pump it Up. I am pretty sure that he thought it was pretty cool just like his sister. A few months really changes things, Evie was not impressed on her last visit to Pump it Up!

My favorite part about Pump it Up: extra long naps for both kids! That is totally worth Evie's $8 admission price.

After nap, we made brownies. Duncan Hines makes all their mixes dairy-free so they are safe for me to eat. Thank you Duncan Hines although I am sure they choose dairy-free as a cost cutting measure rather than a kind gesture towards allergies.

Evie has decided that it is not fun to put clothes on and it's a major ordeal to get her clothes on. I am done with chasing with her around so I raised my voice at her today. She told me not to scream and that she was a nice girl.  Oh dear! She did get her clothes on so we could go for a family walk. Evie keeps us on our toes.