Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Man of the Hour

Once again, its that time of year,
when Master Chiseled Jaw deserves a cheer.
But Hoorah's not enough, and Yay's a bore,
this guy is studly, right down to the core.
As the Man of the Hour, he needs a rhyme,
and luckily I've written one just in time.

He's 27 on this rather sunny day,
Thank you Oregon, for cooperating today.
He's accomplished much in all those years,
he's admired and loved by all his peers.
I'll state the obvious, and mention his charm,
and heaven help me when he flexes his arm.

He's dad of the year, and husband number one,
adventurous, athletic, and tons of fun.
He'll climb mountains, fish, and shoot out the lights,
then come home and crochet on Bachelor nights.
He's an enigma, I know, he's tough to understand,
but then again you don't have too, since he's my man.

So happy birthday to one swell fellow,
the Kardashian in me loves that he's mellow.
Like his idol, the beloved Batman,
Nick helps others whenever he can.
A guy like that deserves the best,
because he's a mile above the rest!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dear Ikea,

You make a terrible product, but yet I keep coming back to you.
Is it because I can read Swedish? (Everyone in Africa can read Swedish)
Or because The Billy is the greatest bookshelf in the world?
Is it because I can get you in natural, black, black/brown, white and gray?
Or because I love having an excuse to drive all the way to you, then I love to hate myself when I get lost in your store and can't get out?
Is it because we got a kitchen table and chairs for $100 when we first got married?

The answer is yes. I love/hate Ikea for all of those reasons.
Awesome stuff, but yet not so awesome when it falls apart. And you know its going to fall apart every time, yet you wish for The Billy with all your heart.

One week ago, we were eating a quiet family breakfast of heart shaped pancakes a la Pinterest...



Nailed it! 

...when I realized that Pinterest makes me feel like a million bucks. For reals. I bet the lady that spent 5 hours making these beautiful pancakes ignored her children. I let my kid crack the eggs and put in way too much baking powder and my pancakes were STILL edible. Can you do that Pinterest? Sure my pancakes looked like Pepto Bismol and a toddler got ahold of them, but that's only because my kid does everything with me and I was out of food coloring...
Also I think if I was good at photography, my Pepto Bismol pancakes would be blowing up Pinterest right now.

Anyway, that's not the point of this post, just a side note.
The point is, we were having a lovely family breakfast when Nick's chair collapsed beneath him. He, and my perfect Pepto Bismol pancakes were strewn all over our dining room*. (*see also: family room, den, playroom, living room, home theater)
Our amazing Ikea chair had failed us! After almost four years, the thing literally collapsed beneath us! (And when I say us, I mean Nick, because if it would have collapsed underneath me I probably would have written Ikea a NASTY letter about how they purposefully made me feel fat, while I was eating my perfectly beautiful Pinterest pancakes)

Wait, there is more.

This morning, while Nick was eating a bowl of cereal (I had to rest for awhile, since I completely outdid myself with such Martha-worthy pancakes) the same thing happened with another one of our chairs!

We have lost 50% of our chairs in the past week.

Now, Nick sits on a medicine ball for dinner while Ev and I have the chairs. (How chivalrous)

Ikea: 2, Jordans: 0

I am resisting every urge in my body to drive to Ikea and get two more matching chairs this weekend.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


After we got home from Hawaii, we did our laundry and packed up again for California. The only difference is that we drove instead of catching a flight out of PDX. We have driven before, but not with the Evster and I was super apprehensive about it. Nick, as the family road warrior, had no worries - in fact, he was looking forward to the 15 hour drive. We mostly drove through the night and Ev did pretty well. She watched a lot of Tinkerbell, Tangled, and Nemo. She did wake up every time we stopped, but once the intro to whatever movie she was watching started, she was usually back asleep. Of the 15 hours, I drove 2 of them. Like I said, Nick is the family road warrior (and thank goodness for that).

When we arrived in Cali, everyone was so excited to see us and to celebrate Christmas with us. And by us, I mean Evie. 

The Grandmas and Aunties pulled out all the stops for this Christmas. Ev was SO spoiled (and so were we) She received toys, books, and clothes galore. It was so fun to watch her get excited as she opened her gifts. A little overwhelmed, but very excited. 

We mostly spent time together as a fam playing games, but we also went to the Orange County Zoo, which was really fun. Its a pretty small zoo and it only includes rescued animals, but Ev loved it all the same.

She LOVED the ponies.

After staring at them through the gate for awhile, we thought we should see if she wanted to ride one.

I honestly wasn't sure she would do it, but she totally did. She sat very still the whole time and never let go of the harness, but she seemed to really enjoy it.

Thank you Grandma J for leading the pony so I didn't have to go near it! 

We also had breakfast with Gram (Original Evie) and Bernie on one of our last days in CA. Ev ate about 3 pancakes and was a total gem the whole time. It was a nice surprise after her terrible performance at dinner a few nights before. It took her a little while to warm up to Gram and Bernie, but towards the end she was throwing out kisses and hugs. I tried to explain to her that Gigi is also an Evie, but she hasn't quite grasped that concept yet. However, I am looking forward to when she actually understands that she is named after someone spectacular.

Four generations.

The Evies.

So cute together!

We ended up going back to the Zoo a second day so that Ev could look at the animals close-up. The Orange County Zoo is really child-friendly so you can get super close to every animal. I hate how sometimes you go to the zoo and the zebra is like 500 feet away behind a bush and all you can see is its tail. Ev got to pet the goats and put her nose right up to the bunny cage. 

It was really cute to watch Ev get excited about the animals. She would alternate between everybody, letting them hold her for a few minutes and then move on to someone else. (Chels definitely had a hard time sharing her though)

We even took a train ride around the park. Ev loved that part.

We had a great time in CA and it was hard to say goodbye, as usual. Thank you Melinda for hosting us, feeding us, and spoiling us! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chatty Cathy, Part 5

A lot of people ask me if I've done anything special to help Ev learn so many words. The answer is mostly, no. She's just a talker - I feel bad for her teachers already. The other day I said "Crap!" and she totally repeated it seconds after I did.

The only thing I can think of that we do that is different is flash cards. I found a bunch in the dollar section at Target (you know, the section that I spend at LEAST $5 in every time I go) when Ev was about 5 months. Before she could sit up, we'd read through them (I actually learned a ton about National monuments and bugs) while she sat in my lap. Then when she was learning to sit up (8 1/2 months) I would see how many I could read through before she fell over (don't worry, it was onto a pile of pillows ... most of the time). Then when she was scooting, I would see how many I could read through before she could scoot over to me. Now we just read through them. She obviously can't say, "Grand Canyon National Park," but she usually says, "Rock! Rock!" And she's learned quite a few words from her flash cards.

That said, I think even if I hadn't done any flash cards at all, she'd still be repeating "Crap!" after I say it. She's just a verbal girl. In some ways, it makes things a lot easier. For example, I almost always know what she wants or what she means based on her hand gestures, what she's saying, and the basic context of the conversation. She almost never gets frustrated with me for not understanding her because I usually do. However, she knows that I understand her perfectly. For example, when she gets up from her nap and says, "Candy," or "Chocolate," there is no pretending I don't know what she means. If I try to act like I don't hear her or change the subject, she will continue to repeat chocolate until I say no. And once I say no, she usually throws a fit. And after letting her beg for a few minutes, I usually give in (such a hardballer, I know). When will I learn that I should just give in initially?

Even with the fits though, I love being able to sort of talk to my kid. We've been working on saying prayers on our meals and I know Heavenly Father appreciates Ev's way more than mine. Her prayers usually go like this, "Heavenly (take a swig of milk), Thank you (start eating what's on her plate), silence while she chews, Jesus, Christ, Amen." Needless to say, our food has been especially satisfying and delicious since Ev has been blessing it.

She makes everything hilarious. I know the things that she does on a daily basis probably aren't interesting to anyone else, but I think she is literally the funniest little person ever.

She is obsessed with shoes. She always says, "My shoe," as she puts her feet into my slippers or Nick's dress shoes.

Also obsessed with Nick. She asks for him constantly throughout the day. She always says, "Dad. School." She knows that there is a 100% chance that if Nick isn't as home, he's studying.

When Nick gets home from school, they usually play until dinner is ready. Then after dinner they watch a little bit of a show and she goes to bed.

Lately, when I get out of the shower, I find her like this:

She dumps her blocks out, turns the container over, stands on it, and puts her face about 8 inches from the screen. Mother of the year!

She weighs 21 pounds, 0 oz and is the tiniest thing still. (She's rocking the 3rd percentile)
Her favorite foods currently are: Cucumbers, carrots, lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette, popsicles, yogurt, and frosted mini-wheats. There is obviously a reason why she's rocking the 6-12 month leggings. 

She HATES the tub. Absolutely hates it. Its a recent development and I'm not sure why. She used to love coloring in the tub and playing with toys. Now she claws at me when I put her in and cries and begs for me to take her out the whole time. I think that she'd just rather play than be trapped in the tub, but she usually runs away from me after I take off her clothes. (See picture below)

When I finally get her in the tub and I'm able to distract her with a crayon, there cannot be ANYTHING in the water. No bubbles and definitely no specks. If she sees a little floating speck she'll say, "That! That!" and I have to scoop it out or she'll try to jump out of the tub. Its weird. 

I secretly love when she runs away from me stark naked. Her little buns are my favorite.

She has also acquired a lot of "friends." Everyone knows about Ket (Blanket), but the crew has grown exponentially. I swore I would NEVER let my kid sleep with a bunch of crud, yet here I am eating my words. She has 3 Kets, but only the one Ket is her favorite. The other ones have to be in the crib, but she won't snuggle with them or rub them against her face like she does Alpha Ket. 
Here are her friends from left to right (she has named them):
Baby, Bear, Baby, Goose, Duck, Evie, Ket, Ket, Ket, Guy, Turtle, Sheep, Bunny, Sheep.

We finally bought a little baby crib and put it next to her crib and have been trying to encourage her to put her friends in it. So far its worked okay. She still sleeps with at least half of her friends, but if a couple end up in the baby crib, I'm chalking up a win.

As you can see, our world revolves around Ev and we wouldn't have it any other way. She is the comic relief all day, every day and we love her for it. 

And as exciting as we think Ev is, we are probably equally as boring. Nick does school, work, church and exercise. I do motherhood, reading, church and exercise. I've been sewing a little too, but not too much. I recently learned how to crochet and have subsequently taught Nick. We (THIS IS NO LIE) typically clean up and sit on the couch while we crochet and watch our favorite TV shows. 

I told Nick that I thought he would like it since he loves tying knots and crocheting is basically tying knots. He agreed and I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when we watch The Bachelor and crochet together. That's true love, right? 
Then at 10 PM, we go to bed (I usually stay up reading for an hour or so). 

I realize after saying this that we seem like the lamest people on the planet. But I'm convinced that we are really cool and nothing will ever change my mind.