Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Friday, August 5, 2011

Evie is TWO!

Since last post (when Evie caught some sort of bug) she kicked it after 5 days, just in time for her birthday…. But just this morning when I woke her up to get her ready for her 2 year well check (how ironic) she had yet another fever. Once she got some ibuprofen and ate she seemed much better and was fine for the doctor appt – where we found out that she is indeed a little peanut – 8th percentile for weight (23.5 lbs) and 22nd percentile for height (almost 2’9”). HA. Then we went to a local park to burn some time before meeting Daddy in town for some lunch. By the time we got to Daddy’s office Evie was feeling horrible again, begging for a nap, and was starting to burn up again. So we shoveled down our lunch and I raced her back home to find that she was 103.8. Gave her a dose of Tylenol and now she is sleeping pretty hard. Poor little girl. We were going to take her and the boys to the Crow Wing County Fair tonight, but I’m guessing we’re going to have to forgo that. Maybe tomorrow morning… we’ll see.

Last Saturday we took the kids to the Pine Grove (Little Falls) Zoo. They had a blast. Their favorite animals were the donkeys and the prairie dogs. They had quite a variety of animals, some even roaming the grounds free… including a turkey that caught Evie’s attention. I had seen this turkey strutting his way over to us while Evie was admiring her precious donkeys… he was getting quite close and all of a sudden let out the classic turkey “Gobble.” Evie heard it and turned around to see what was going on so I pointed out the turkey who was seriously no more than 5 feet away and closing in on us at that point. He wasn’t more than 3 feet away (I was getting nervous at this point) when he let out another shrill which made Evie jump. She immediately looked at me with this shocked look on her face (yet exhilarated) and went “ooooooooooohhhh….. TURKEY.” She thought that was pretty funny. We ended up running into our friends the Williams’ (Mark, Wyatt, Jackson and Tucker) and walked around the zoo with them. Then we made the mistake of going to McDonalds for lunch which was inundated with tons of Boy Scouts of America. It was crazy town, but the kids ate well and had a good time. On our way back home we stopped to see cousin Brandon’s baseball game and the boys were pretty amazed to see Brandon playing catcher for the first time (which he usually plays) … and when he came over to say Hi it was almost as if they were star struck, like he was famous at that point. It was cute to see.

Monday we went over to the Williams’ for a play date, but then I snuck out with Evie and took her to the Fine Line Spa/Salon to get her first hair cut with Jolene Fromm. I had texted her just days before to see if she could squeeze Evie in to try to “tame the beast.” I was getting so sick of her hair hanging in her eyes and having nothing to do with it… no shape …. no control. So it came that time to do something about it given her birthday was right around the corner. She crawled right up in the chair and sat very well for the whole thing. Since she won’t commit to letting me put something in her hair to keep her hair out of her face we agreed it would be best to give her some bangs… and other than that, it was just about trying to shape up the back so it didn’t look like a cross between a mullet and a pixie cut. Jolene evened up the back so that it ended up looking like a bob of sorts and trimmed up the rest just to take off the little fuzzy ends. She was pretty convinced that this was going to create some crazy curl in Evie’s hair based on what she had known about her from before (we had an ECFE class together with her and her daughter Ruby) and that this trim would also inspire some crazy growth in the near future. I sure hope so. Her hair is just so light and fly away, hopefully it thickens up and starts growing a bit more so we can get a real hair-do out of this. I have to say though, it is the CUTEST little cut/style. And her hair HAS gotten super curly in the back since getting the frayed ends cut off. It is adorable and I wish I had just done it sooner as it is so stunning on her. It’s almost as if she knew she had been “beautified” too… she danced and pranced around the salon while I made an appt for myself and settled the bill etc. She was being very “girly” and flirting with other customers etc. Super cute. Monday I also had my virtual/online Matilda Jane trunk show. I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but thanks to quite a few people my total exceeded $1000 which again landed me $75 in MJ bucks to spend on apparel as well as 5 half-priced items. I ended up getting 2 full outfits (shirt, dress, leggings) for Evie and quite a few adult pieces for myself – 1 dress, one “willow” coat, 2 pair of pants, 2 sweaters and 1 shirt. I cannot wait to get this stuff as I am hoping it all fits as I really need some clothes to wear to work (which is pretty casual most time from what I am hearing) … seeing as the yoga pants, tank tops/t-shirts outfits I have been wearing the past 4 years probably aren’t going to cut it in Corporate America!

Tuesday we met some friends at the park for our normal standing Tuesday Park Play Date with our old Preschool Plus crew from last school year. We left just in time to find out that Gpa Gary and Gma Terri had arrived in town, and met for lunch at KFC which didn’t go over well with the kids. Oh well, you never know what they are going to eat until you try it. It’s a crap shoot every time. That night we had some homemade bolognese (hope I spelled that right guys) that Gpa & Gma had brought to share with us… it was delicious as everything is that they make. Had a nice dinner and went outside to play so the kids could show Gpa & Gma how well they could ride their new bikes, and to show them their swing set.

Wednesday was Evie’s 2nd birthday. YAY. We had a fun day planned and got to it right away. Gma Chris and Uncle Dennis got here around 9:30AM and we headed out to hit Pelican Beach where Gpa Gary & Gma Terri were going to meet us to hang out for the morning. We got there shortly before 10AM and I was completely shocked to find that we were the first to arrive….. and even further, that we were the only ones there for a good half hour or so. We had our pick of the entire beach. Pelican, for those who don’t know, is a FANTASTIC beach for families/kids. It is all sand, no rocks… and is shallow forever. I went out a good 50 yards or so and it still wasn’t even at waist height, .. maybe hip height. The boys were all too eager to get their life vests on and head out there, though I think they were bummed to find there was no dock to jump off of, AND that it was so shallow that they could touch the entire time – but that didn’t get them down, they still swam around all over the place and enjoyed chasing Gpa Gary around with their water launchers. Evie was a bit stand-off-ish and timid about the whole lake thing. She wanted to be held if she was going to be in water that was any higher than her knees and preferred sitting on the edge of the beach and playing with her little watering can and trying to catch shells and snails in the water - yuck. The real fun began when Uncle Dennis started digging a big trench and Cenote in the sand for the water to pool into. While he dug it out (with some help from the boys), Evie and the boys took it upon themselves to help “fill” the trench and Cenote with water from the lake. Once that was all done MacKay and Oscar played in there the rest of the time and were covered (mostly Oscar) with sand/mud. We got everyone all rinsed and dried off and headed back home while Gpa Gary & Gma Terri went to Schaefer’s Foods to pick up the cake we had ordered. Got home and got everyone in the shower to wash the lake water off while Gma Chris made lunch for the gang. Chris came home to meet with our plumber about the renovations we want to do in the boys’ bathroom (in their new master suite) and the guest bathroom (which will be Evie’s bathroom in the years to come) down the hall. He hadn’t been feeling well (sinuses) and headed to bed to take a nap until the party started later that afternoon… as did Evie and Uncle Dennis. Gpa Dean & Gma Bonnie arrived around 3:30pm and once everyone got settled we started up on the gifts. I was amazed to find that Evie really “got” what all of this was about and tore right into everything. She knew what was the “gift” vs the packaging and was obsessed with grouping her “stash” together and putting the torn paper in the trash. She made quite the haul. She got LalaLoopsy dolls from the boys (Patch Treasure Chest – a pirate) and us (Misty Mysterious – a magician of sorts), as well as 2 full Matilda Jane outfits that I had just ordered days before from my online trunk show. Gma Chris got her some new outfits for her Baby Libby doll and also one for the LalaLoopsy doll we had gotten her. She also got her some cute clothes: camouflage themed tutu, leggings and coat. But I think the highlight was the big sleeve of dress up shoes Gma Chris got her. She’s been wearing those things on and off since she got them…. As has Oscar. (oh boy). Gpa Gary & Gma Terri got her a Minnie Mouse plush doll that she loves cuddling with and a new Mickey Mouse themed alphabet book. It was quite fitting as she loves Mickey Mouse and had JUST gotten a Minnie Mouse tattoo the day before. They also played upon her sweet tooth and got her a pack of M&Ms. Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean got her a cradle for her doll(s) as well as a new/replacement baby Libby doll. She saw that new baby Libby and nabbed it out of the satchel it was in and was begging for someone to help her get her new Libby out of the box. The highlight though was this amazing all-in-one doll station that they got her. It has a kitchen (cutting board, stove top, oven), pantry, high chair, bath tub, changing station, and crib/bed. THAT has kept her incredibly busy. She’s constantly moving all her dolls (Libby, LaLa’s, baby Katie, Minnie etc) around in that thing, feeding them, bathing them, changing them… and putting them to bed and covering them up. It’s so cute to see her playing that way. I love creative and role-play. She also got a new book (Dora), Hello Kitty tote and $2 (one $ per year in age) from my Aunt Claudia, Uncle Greg and cousin Sarah. For the next hour following the opening of the presents, several of us sat around unpackaging and assembling all the things she had gotten. As we would put something together (or unpackage it) she would nab it and run off with it like it was the best new present she had… until the next one came out. Even the boys got some presents (consolation). Gma Chris got them each a new big box of crayons with their own containers to keep them in, new coloring books, .. but the big hit was the 3D View Master that she got for them, complete with dinosaur, animal, sea life and Cars discs to use with them. Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean got them flashlights, which is a GREAT gift… they love flashlights and have run all of ours out of batteries numerous times. BUT… (and I say this with a smile and a wink) they also have these obnoxious noises that come from them based on the buttons you can push on them… they make different animal noises (dolphin, wales, birds, etc). It was a great day and all were happy… and I’m sure I’m even forgetting to mention some pretty pivotal gifts… but that’s the gist.

We had Rafferty’s (yum) pizzas and my past salad for dinner and then got ready for the cake. The cake that said “Happy Birthday EBIE!” Ebie…. Seriously. Ebie? Gpa Gary & Gma Terri had picked up the cake and had noticed that once they got out to the car. I thought they were pulling my leg trying to pull a fast one on me when they told me that when they got back… but nope. I don’t know how they got Ebie from our conversation as I had told them Evie, but then waivered and said, “Maybe I should go with Evelyn… her full name….. no, forget it, go with Evie!” Did they think I said her full name was Ebelyn? Oh well. Good humor, she can’t read…. So no big deal. Makes for a fun story in the years to come. So we had the boys sing Happy Birthday to Evie while we were getting the candles situated on the cake – which was very cute. Then we all sang Happy Birthday to Gpa Gary to get everyone’s vocal chords warmed up. Then it was time for Evie…. I put the cake in front of Evie and lit the candles. She gestured as if she was going to grab at the flame so I told her not to touch it, that it was hot… (looking back, something I maybe shouldn’t have done) and proceeded to sing Happy Birthday to her. About half way through the song she erupted in tears. I wasn’t sure if she was freaked at everyone singing to her, or if she was sore about me telling her not to touch the cake/flame/candles… but it took a while to calm her down from that and she was NOT about comply with us and blow out the candles. So we enlisted Gpa Gary’s help in blowing out the candles which amused her and got her in a better mood. She made a royal mess of herself with her cake… at first she attempted to use the fork and tried to cut through it to get chunks to eat. But then she was more about swiping off the frosting (BEST frosting in the world) and going between eating it and squashing it between her hands/fingers. She was pretty amused with herself over all of that. After cake we all headed outside again to give the kids some air and have them show off their bike riding and driving (Gator) skills. Gma Bonnie & Gpa Dean headed back home, as did Gpa Gary & Gma Terri… and Gma Chris and Uncle Dennis stayed the night. Had a nice visit with everyone and I think Evie had a very fun, yet low-key, relaxing birthday. I still can’t believe it has been 2 years. She’s still my baby in my eyes even though she’s developmentally WAY past “baby stage.” The girl is talking in 3-4 word sentences and you can understand almost everything she says. She’s quite the chatty thing lately. She loves singing Ke$ha’s “Blow” and her new saying she’s parroting is “Holla” or “Holla datcha” (Holla at ‘ya). It’s pretty cute.

We’re hoping to get the kids to the Crow Wing County Fair like I mentioned before, and might even be heading to the cities for a couple days next week to take them to Como Zoo. We have some Como Town (rides) vouchers for unlimited rides that we need to use up by the end of September so now is as good a time as any to get them down there …. Considering I only have 1 week left of “freedom.” By that, I mean I start my job soon and I probably won’t be able to take any time off for trips down to the cities (or anywhere else) for quite a while. I was informed they already have travel planned for me a few weeks after I start, but that it is in MN. I don’t know why I have this feeling like my life is going to end when I got back to work…. Like I won’t have time for any fun anymore. It’s just this view I have in my head about how crazy things are going to be. I’m sure I will acclimate to it just fine… but it is going to take some time before that happens and life is going to be a little chaotic (vs ending) for a very long time for me. This is quite the transition …. I’ll keep you posted on that one (if I have time to post) hee hee.

And at the last minute I needed to add this little gem of a story …. One that I HOPE I will laugh at years down the road. As I was typing up this post the boys were upstairs watching a movie during Evie’s nap like they do most days. They were watching Over the Hedge and I could hear them engaged in it and laughing so it was pretty safe for me to sneak away and finish up this vomiting of mega details on the happenings in our family. Right when I heard Evie waking up they came down to tell me the movie was over so I started wrapping it all up. At one point Oscar told me I needed to fix a book because MacKay tore it, to which I reminded MacKay we needed to be gentle with our books and said I would take care of it when I got up there. I quickly noticed MacKay was already downstairs and was following up by telling me he broke the TV. When he was saying this I found him pushing buttons on the DVD player (old) that is in our basement (big old tube TV). I just told him he hadn’t broke it but again reminded him he isn’t supposed to touch or play with Mommy and Daddy’s things like that. So we went upstairs. I had just gotten Evie up and was getting things ready to start making stir fry when I went to turn off the TV/DVD they had been watching. That is when MacKay again told me that he broke the TV. I asked him where he broke it, and I obviously wasn’t paying close enough attention … I more wanted him to tell me so that I could know what he was talking about so I could check it out. So I asked WHERE. That’s when he pointed RIGHT AT IT. It was like a shattered mark in the background colors/pixels. Almost like the screen had spider webbed out from a crack but it wasn’t the screen… it was the image behind that was broken. And not only that… but a vertical band of different strands of color that was about 6 inches thick…. And then noticed yet another band that was horizontal (all meeting at the point of where the spider webbing was coming from) that was just as thick. I about lost my mind and quickly knew I needed to get him out of my sight and sternly (ok… I yelled) for him to go to his room and not come out until I went to get him. With adrenaline pumping I was grasping at anything trying to figure out if there was a way to fix it, what I needed to do to make him understand the ramifications of what he had done. Basically rendering a very expensive, 1+ year old 55” LED TV completely unusable. Against my better judgement I went in there and asked him what he was thinking (I know… a dumb question) and what he had hit it with. He (behind mega tears) told me that he hit it with this little fishing pole toy that goes with some bath toys. This is a toy he had just started playing with again and in the last 2 days I had to take it away twice due to him whipping it around and hitting people with it (sister included). He said he wanted to watch the movie again and that is why he did it. I dunno if he was trying to hit the point in the image where you select to play the movie again or what (he’s too observant and smart for his own good). So I asked him where that pole was and he said he didn’t know. I quickly retrieved it and (again against my better judgement) went in there and showed him I found it… broke it and told him I was throwing it away and shut the door to his room behind me. After I settled down and was playing around some consequences in my head I went back in there and just simply asked him what he thought I should do about this. He told me that he didn’t want me to do anything. That I should let him go play again. I told him that he obviously wasn’t getting what this was about and that I was still angry and it was best for him to stay in his room until he figured it out. But then asked him… “MacKay… what is your favorite toy?” He told me his crane. So I went and picked it up. I asked him again what his next favorite toy was and he told me his big T-Rex. So I picked that up as well – and I know he was being honest as these are two of his favorites. I told him I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them but asked him if he would like it if I broke those… how it would make him feel. He told me he didn’t want me to break them… so I just said that I was taking them with me and we would figure it all out later. A few minutes later I went in there with the phone and told him I was calling Daddy and that he was going to have to tell Daddy cuz he was the one who did it. He started getting choked up again and when I handed the phone to him he blubbered and told Chris he broke the TV and said the same thing about wanting to watch it again, and that he used the fishing pole. I thanked him for doing that and as I was walking out of the room he so sadly told me “I’m sorry I broke the TV Mommy… I didn’t mean to.” I felt bad that I didn’t say anything back to him but I just walked out. WOW. I finally called him out for dinner and when Daddy came home MacKay was all perky and telling Chris “I’m sorry I broke the TV Daddy. We’re gonna get some money and go buy a new TV.” Chris held back the laughter and asked him where HE was going to get the money. MacKay’s answer “We’re gonna get it. We’re gonna go get a new TV with some money.” Totally doesn’t get money other than it is what we use to buy things. Chris asked him if he thought he had enough money in his piggy bank to pay for the new TV to which MacKay was pretty sure he did. He was all happy now … thinking he had solved the problem of the broken TV. My anger lifted a bit with that conversation. But I have to note …. In the past couple weeks I’ve been getting on MacKay more and more about how hard he is on things… PARTICULARLY throwing things all the time and how he (and Oscar) jump, run and walk around on our furniture. I HATE that… always has bugged me when kids act disrespectful of people’s furniture and I was gonna be damned if my kids were going to be one of those kids. It even got to the point the other night where they weren’t allowed to sit or even touch our couches or furniture in the living room because I had to remind them too many times that day about not running and jumping on the couches…. it’s like we’re a broken record.. “couches are for SITTING and LYING down….. NOT running and jumping!” As for the throwing, he is CONSTANTLY throwing things. Most of the time in anger over not getting his way or not liking something I’ve asked him to do etc. Sort of a temper related sort of thing. But then there are the times where he just “chucks” something for the sake of not wanting it in his grasp anymore. Usually he does this by tossing it over his shoulder, where he cannot even see where it lands. So in the past couple weeks (knowing we needed to curb this behavior before I went back to work and they went to daycare) I’ve been trying to be better about it. There’s been an increase of use of the “naughty bench” with both the boys because of that. But now after the TV incident I decided we are going to use this as an example and hit this one hard. I have to report that in the 2.5 hours between the end of dinner and the time that MacKay went to bed, he was on the naught bench at least EIGHT times due to throwing items. One time he had JUST gotten off the bench (3 minute Time Out) and picked up a toy on his way back to the living room and just zinged it across the room. Back to the bench buddy. It was INSANE how often he was on and off that thing. Boy is going to learn a lesson through this one no matter how painful it is for both of us. I’m still trying to figure out the REAL consequence for what he did. I think we’re definitely going to empty the boys’ piggy banks and show them what they have and then take MacKay’s pile (while he can still see what Oscar has lying out) and tell him we’re going to take that money to help pay for the new TV. I don’t know if we’ll actually use the money for that or just put it all in his savings account where he can’t see it (doesn’t even know it exists). A lot of the $ in there is gift money from family and such and I feel bad taking that. I’m also toying with the idea of asking him to pick 10-20 different toys (good ones, not necessarily his favorites or anything) that we can take to the 2nd hand store to sell to help pay for it as well. Also thinking of starting a “chores” chart for both boys but asking more of MacKay for a month (we’ll mark the days off on a calendar) as a way of repaying/working off his debt to us for the TV. Looking back I wish I would have started a chores chart a for them to make their own money a long time ago …. Could have used that money with no guilt about taking from that for this purpose. Not sure which direction we’ll take with this. But if any of you have any experience with this or ideas on what I could do to REALLY drive this one home with him… please share. Like I said… hoping that I will laugh about this someday.

Well I have a whole slew of pictures to share. So let’s get on with it …… but just one more time, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Evie Dear. Life would have not been near as full or complete as it is now had you not graced us with your presence and taken over our entire world. We are continually at your mercy and beckon call…. I hope you appreciate that cuz it is all done in the name of love. Love you.

MacKay and Oscar trying to look like walruses while eating their carrot sticks.. whatever it takes to get them to eat their veggies....

Friday night AFV in our bed
I love that my kids all "get" humor even if it is at the expense of other people hurting themselves.  MacKay's newest comment  "Ooooh.. he got 'em good, didn't he?" when seeing people playing pranks on each other.

No, this is not a cast on Evie's leg... but a beer coozie.... unnghh.

Pine Grove (Little Falls) Zoo trip - 7/30/2011
The donkeys were one of the highlights.. and Evie was pretty clear that this was a Yak off in the distance.

Feeding the sheep, though one got a little too close for comfort with Evie

Evie and MacKay checking out the black bears, Evie was bummed that they were sleeping and wanted to wake them up

Of course we had to go back to the donkeys again before leaving.. Evie wanted to say good-bye to them

... and to the baby cow.

Checking out the flowers that are like Mommy's (we have these at home)

Evie's 1st Haircut - Monday 8/1/2011
Our friend Jolene Fromm was able to squeeze us in for a quick 10 minute trim and shape-up.  She did SUCH a good job, I LOVE Evie's new do.  Nothing more cute than a little toddler with a bob.

The boys helping me to make 7 layer bars ... they weren't too good about spreading/sprinkling things on evenly but they still tasted good all the same.  They had a blast and that's what counts.

Evie's 2nd Birthday
Woke up to me capturing her morning mood.  Like the typical female she went from happy, to indifferent, to cranky, to silly within seconds.

Pelican Beach
Evie preferring to stay close to shore and play with her watering can

The boys, as per usual, having fun with their water launchers and relentlessly chasing Gpa Gary around squirting him

The kiddos all helping Uncle Dennis with his trench/Cenote he was digging out... mostly helping him to fill it with water.

Evie doing her part.... what a cute physique

I love the teamwork here with MacKay and Oscar - eventually Oscar decided to take a break and sit in there and get nice and muddy.

Evie copping a squat on the edge of shore and seeking out snails and shells - ewwww

This looks like an image out of "Ten"

Evie opening her endless supply of gifts from her adoring grandparents

The boys (Uncle Dennis included) with their new View Master

Oh boy.... Oscar is a fan of the dress up shoes too ..... and MacKay is a fan of the pirate (Patch Treasure Chest) LalaLoopsy doll they gave to Evie

Finally getting the chance to play with her loot.  I loved to watch her role play and bathe, feed and bed her babies down.  She was in her own little play world, talking to them, cuddling them, making spraying water sounds for the bath spray etc.

The cake.... Happy Birthday EBIE!  ? ? ?

Crying at first (still unsure why... but she still talks about her birthday saying "I try'd" (cried).  She eventually found amusement in Gpa Gary helping her to blow out her candles.

More interested in licking the frosting off her airplane cake topper

Oscar and MacKay digging in

Evie finally digging in.  I love how she makes eating look so intense and painful to shovel in.

And now the mess begins.  Way to go girl..... pretty proud of yourself aren't you?

Well that sums up the post.  Come back soon, still hoping I have time to post once I take on my new challenge.  Can't believe I only have 1 more full week left with my kids.  It's closing in fast.