Today


Today, I dragged my 10 month pregnant self out into the sunshine with my 22 month old daughter and pushed her in the swing. I ignored the pains in my back and hips as I pulled myself off the picnic blanket to help her onto the trampoline and again 5 minutes later to help her down. I let the sun warm my already overheated body as I gulped down ice water and cheered for my daughter who went down the slide head first. I maneuvered my oversized self back inside to quickly retrieve ‘snuggle bear’ and again when she needed juice.

Today I awkwardly leaned my pregnant belly over the side of the bathtub and retrieved toys that had floated too far away while Evelyn played. I encouraged her to “Swim. Swim. Swim.” And didn’t protest when she wanted to splash. I did,however, discourage her from drinking the bath water.

Today I helped my almost two year old decorate her ‘rocket ship’ with Hello Kitty stickers. I sat on the floor in her bedroom, periodically changing positions to keep from getting too sore and pried her chosen sticker from the sheet. I held her hand as she climbed in and out and back in again. I spent 5 minutes trying to stand up when she wanted to go into the living room while she ran back and forth waiting for me to follow.

Today, I cradled my toddler in the rocking chair while she clutched her “bee” and her juice after she requested, “Rock you?”  I watched her eyes droop and pop back open, fighting off sleep. I snuggled my little angel on my chest, her body bent around my large pregnant belly and replied, “Hi baby,” to her sleepy, “Hi Mom.” I relished in every second that she let me hold her, remembering when I used to nurse her to sleep in this very chair. Before she let sleep overcome her, I laid her in her big girl bed and sang to her while I watched her eyes finally close and her body relax.

Today I am still pregnant at 40 weeks and 4 days, but I don’t mind. Because today I let my daughter be an only child for one more day. And today that’s exactly what we both needed.

22 Month Milestones

Oh Miss Evelyn Deon, you amaze me every single day.

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For real this girl is a total sponge, constantly learning new words and phrases and songs…SHE’S SINGING SONGS! Sometimes I just stare at her and think about how she used to be inside me like this other little one I’m growing and look how far she’s come since then? How is she growing up so dang fast?!

I figured it’s about time I do an update on all her cool tricks since soon I’ll have a baby and probably be taking a bit of a blogging break. Plus, I want to remember how fun she is being right now. I think this might be my favorite age so far. But I’ve said that about most of the ages so…

Food

It is so hard to get Evelyn to eat. Like anything. Her memory is growing, so she’s aware that sugary goodness exists in the world and frequently in our house so if she’s offered food it better be covered in sugar, or cheese, or she wants nothing to do with it.

It also really helps if you make her food, put it on her Hello Kitty plate with her Hello Kitty fork and then start to eat it yourself. Then she’ll want it…at least a couple bites. Or anything on your plate, as long as she gets to sit in your lap while she eats it.

A typical day includes pancakes, mac and cheese or hot dogs, a cheese stick, goldfish, and whatever we’re having for dinner. I’m such a good mom…always the healthiest food. Or at least the most convenient to prepare at a million months pregnant.

Sleep

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She is finally in her big girl bed! We figured that we might as well make the transfer when we moved her to her new room upstairs so we could make all the changes at once. The first few days were fabulous! She stayed in her bed and went right to sleep. But after that something changed.

She suddenly realized that she wasn’t in a crib and could get out of bed if she wanted which usually includes coming out of her room to find me. Either that or she gets up and climbs into her car where she’ll sit crying with her blanket and sippy cup. (Speaking of sippy cup, she usually just likes to hold it as she goes to sleep. Not necessarily drink out of it…)

I’ve resorted to locking her door so she can’t get out but she gets so sad and cries when I leave the room saying, “Mama stay. Mama lay down. Song again.” It breaks my heart. But usually by the time I’m gone she’s already asleep.

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The best part of her not being in a crib is that when she wakes up in the morning she comes and gets in bed with us and watches a show on our phones while we sleep for another hour or so. It’s wonderful.

Play

This kid has got an imagination on her! When she’s not begging to watch TV (Winnie the Pooh, Dora, Daniel Tiger, Little Einsteins, Backyardigans) she’s playing with her stuffed animals and toys. We’ve got a few empty cardboard boxes that she decorated with markers and she uses them as sail boats or rocket ships and gives her friends rides. Sometimes she puts them to sleep in her bed or the bottom drawer of her dresser complete with a wash cloth as a blanket. I also find them ‘sleeping’ all over the house.

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Occasionally I find them sitting in her booster chair at the table, presumably waiting for food or lined up on the couch ‘watching’ TV.

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Playing outside is like the best thing ever and she’ll go from swing to trampoline to slide over and over again. She also likes to walk up the little mound of earth at the foot of the trees and run down them. To her, I’m sure they seem like mountains.

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A Toddler’s Trip to Target

Finally, Mom is getting me out of this dumb car seat. I hate this thing. Oh wait, is that a soggy cookie in there? Wait I wanted that. Wait Mom! Oo a rock! Stop Mom, stop walking, I want that rock.

“Rock. Rock. Rock.”

“Maybe we’ll get a rock on our way back out to the car. It’s cold, let’s get inside.”

I’m not cold. Mom’s crazy. I see a car. And another rock. And another car! Oh that’s a cart! I wanna ride in the cart. I better get to ride in that cart. Why are we walking past the carts? Does Mom not know that we need that cart immediately?! That one. I want THAT CART!

“Cart. Cart. Cart. Cart. Cart. CART!”

“Yes Evelyn, we’re getting a cart…should we get some popcorn?”

Popcorn?! Did she say POPCORN?! I need popcorn. I want the popcorn. I have to have the popcorn now. She said popcorn, I heard her, where is the popcorn? Why are we waiting? I want the popcorn. Oo that is a big bag of popcorn and I’m going to eat the whole thing by myself cause it’s mine. Popcorn.

“Copcorn? Nummy.”

I want to touch EVERYTHING but I’m stuck in this cart. Why did Mom put me in a cart?! I hate this cart! Oh necklace! So cute. I need to feel it. I should probably taste it too for good measure but I just can’t quite reach it. I really wish I could wipe some of my snot on it too. I need to suck on it. Mom keeps pushing me back into this dumb seat in the cart. I MUST BE FREE!!

Oo a necklace for my arm and Mom is letting me wear it. I love it! It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in the whole world and I look so cute! I need more of them. I need to wear all of them! No way..Mom is giving me another one to wear! Mm I like these arm necklaces. I should always have these. These are my life.

THAT HEADBAND HAS FLOWERS!

Mmm nom nom nom popcorn.

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I have spent my whole life in this cart I need to get out! Maybe if I ask super nicely Mom will let me out.

“Push? Push? Push?”

“You want to help me push the cart?”

“Yeah”

“Okaay…”

FREEDOM! I did promise to push the cart though so I better do that. This handle is perfect. I can even run. Look Mom, I’m running! Oh, Mom is still pushing. Well that’s not okay. I don’t need help. I can do this all by myself. I’ll just shove her legs out of the way and then I can…Is that a hat?

That hat is fabulous! I need that hat on immediately. The pink, no the purple hat. It’s not staying on my head, oh Mom is helping. Good. Oo and glasses, This look will not be complete without these glasses. I look so cute right now. Wait, Mom is taking the hat. Mom, that’s my hat, give it back! You have to give it back, that’s my hat. And my glasses, not my glasses! Those are MY GLASSES!! AHHHH!

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Oh a new hat. This hat is much more comfortable. And my heart glasses! I love my heart glasses! I’m the best looking person here. Time to go show off to my adoring fans. I’m gonna push this cart for Mom. She doesn’t do it very well. I push way faster than her.

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Hear ye, Hear ye: Big Announcement

Attention friends, family, and everyone else…I, nay we, have something to say. And what gives announcements better than this fabulous movie trailer. Watch, enjoy, and leave your comments below.

 

And in case you were wondering. We presented our baby announcement to our immediate family on Halloween like this:

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Weaning from breastfeeding

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I always knew I wanted to exclusively breastfeed. I’d read about all the amazing health benefits to baby and that it’s a great bonding experience, plus I figured saving money by not buying formula was just an added bonus. I didn’t super love it from day one but I eventually found my stride. Little did I know just how hard weaning from breastfeeding would be.

I had heard so many people say how they just loved the experience of breastfeeding. They loved that special time between them and their baby. I wanted that, it just sounded so lovely.

At the same time, I heard other people talk about how much they hated breastfeeding or couldn’t do it and stopped after just a few weeks.

I literally had no idea which one of these I would be, having never breastfed before but my goal was to try and breastfeed Evelyn until she was a year old. If I could get that far, I would pat myself on the back and it’d all be good.

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Thing is, I didn’t like breastfeeding. I didn’t like trying to awkwardly pull my boob out in public. I didn’t like that every time Evelyn cried, Chris handed her to me because obviously she was hungry and there was nothing he could do about it. I didn’t like that I had to be the one to get up with her in the middle of the night because there was honestly no reason for Chris to get up…he didn’t have the milk. I didn’t like being the only one who could feed her or console her. I hated have to work my wardrobe around boob accessibility. I loathed being covered in milk all. the. time.

Don’t get me wrong, breastfeeding had some high points. It was nice to be able to fall asleep while nursing Evelyn in the night. It was convenient that I didn’t have to pack bottles when we left the house. We did save money, I suppose, by not having to buy formula. And getting to eat more was definitely appreciated. Regardless, I still didn’t like it.

But I was gonna stick to my goal of breastfeeding until she was one year old. What’s one year? I could do anything for only a year, right?

Fast forward to this past August when Evelyn turned a year old. I had already weaned her down to only nursing before a nap or before bed. I figured by that point, getting her to stop completely would be a piece of cake.

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Grocery shopping with a baby: A narrative

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Okay, Evelyn is buckled up in the cart with no big complaints, so far, so good. Now to head into the store. What’s first on my list…uhh..new toothbrushes. Let’s see, this one’s too much money, not cute, no tongue scrubber, but I don’t ever use the tongue scrubber so why does that really matter, I don’t know it just does. Am I talking out loud? Stop talking out loud, you’re in public. 

And Evelyn is crying. Here chew on this toothbrush package. Bingo! I’m so good at this. Okay grab some body wash and it’s over to grocery land we go. Was that my toothbrush on the ground? Yes, yes it was. Okay if Evelyn throws it down again she’s not getting it back. I mean after this time. Okay this is really the last time I’m picking it up. Fine I’ll just put it in the cart. And she’s screaming now. Do I really need food? Yes the fridge is empty. 

“Ha ha Silly baby, shh, you’re okay”

That’s not working. People are starting to look. Whatever, I’ll just go really fast. I don’t think I have that many things on my list. Oh, right, I brought toys! Here baby have this little book. Score! Yeah I’m totes pro at this. Okay now yogurt. Do I buy the yogurt with Hello Kitty on it or just the regular kind? Well it’s not like she’ll care that Hello Kitty is on it but it might taste better. Hello Kitty makes everything taste better. Does one have more sugar? Crap I’m talking out loud again. Be quiet! Compare ingredients quickly while child is calm and we’re going with Yoplait, cheaper per ounce. 

Man I should have thought of giving her that book earlier, that was golden. Now for Cheerios. Don’t they have a smaller box? Why in the world is cereal so expensive? Maybe if I just stare in this same spot long enough the item I want will magically appear before my eyes. Alright, Jocelyn keep moving. We’re going with alpha bits…it will be educational or something. 

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One year old: Cake Smash photo shoot

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Evelyn turned one just about a month ago and I was so excited to do a cake smash! Of course I had my good friend and go-to photographer, Malae Talley do the photo shoot and I am so happy with the way it turned out.

My advice for an awesome cake smash photo shoot:

001 As with any photo shoot keep to a color scheme with the cake and baby’s outfit. Feel free to throw in some balloons, a banner or a cute cake topper.

002 Give your baby a nutritious meal earlier that day (it’ll make you feel better about all that sugar).

003 You wear something you don’t mind getting covered in frosting and make sure to bring something for baby to change into.

004 Get before smash and after smash photos of the cake.

005 Have the wet wipes/ wash cloths ready!

And now for the fabulous photos!

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My Due Date: The day that doesn’t matter

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There’s something interesting about being pregnant. Scratch that. Everything about being pregnant is interesting. But looking back, an interesting part for me was the fact that as you get closer down to D-Day and you’re counting down the days so to speak, you don’t actually know whether anything is going to happen on that day you’re counting down to. It’s a little frustrating. (For most women, obvs some women have scheduled due dates and they don’t have the problem I’m about to describe.)

Looking forward to the birth of your baby is even more exciting than Christmas. And you end up with a far superior toy that anything you could get in a brightly colored package tucked beneath the tree. But you don’t know what day to be excited for exactly. So at the end of your long tiresome 9 months, when you are seemingly the size of a house and move about as well as a hippo on ice skates, there is no definite ending in sight.
But that doesn’t stop you, or me rather, from painting that original due date as a glorious emblem in the sky as if I were a sixteen year old girl (let’s be honest, I did it when I was engaged) doodling her boyfriend’s name all over her notebooks.

So even now, a year later, today is an important day for me and at the same time a day that doesn’t matter because nothing happened. Today is my original due date. I can remember it pretty vividly because I was beyond disappointed. I pretty much knew that she wasn’t going to be born on this day exactly but, like I said, it didn’t stop me from counting down.

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DIY Moby Wrap

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This tutorial is so simple, it feels wrong to spend an entire blog post explaining it. But here you go.

For those of you who don’t know, a moby wrap is an expensive baby wearing option. I’ve found it to be my favorite. But since I didn’t have $50 or so to spend on one I made my own. There are two steps.

001 Go to a fabric store of your choosing and buy 6 yards of stretchy knit fabric in the color of your choice.

4 yards wasn’t enough and I have 5 yards which works but I wish it was a little longer. So 6 should be safe.
002 Your fabric will be double the width that you need it to be, so carefully find the center and cut it in half. You should have two pieces of fabric, 6 yards long. Make sure you’re cutting the width in half and not the length.

That’s it. That’s all. You’re done.

Now you have two moby wraps for a fraction of the cost.

If you really want to you can sew a little tag in the exact center because you’ll need to know where that is when you tie it on every time but I just fold mine in half to find it.

To learn how to tie it and put your baby inside, just search on youtube for tutorials.

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What I wish I’d known about buying baby gear

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Since having Evelyn and needing to use all the baby stuff I purchased before she was born, I’m thinking there is a flaw in the system. I wish that there was some way you could borrow a baby while you’re pregnant and do a trial with all the baby gear. It would most definitely save money and heartache. Buying baby gear is so needlessly stressful.

So even though all babies are different, some of the things that bothered me might also bother you. For all you soon to be mothers out there, take note.

1. Carseat- Britax B-Safe

I hate Evelyn’s carseat with a fiery passion of hell. I chose it because it had all these amaze-balls safety features. But it is SO HEAVY. I bought the thing so that when she was a newborn, or heck even now, I could carry her in it from point A to point B. That is nearly impossible. Her weight plus the carseat’s weight is just too much. Looking back I realize that all carseats have to pass the same safety tests and a lighter (probably cheaper) carseat would be way better.

Also the sunshade is stationary. So if the sun is directly in her face I can’t pull the shade down to block it. I have to use a blanket of some sort while I’m contortioning my arm into the backseat and driving at the same time. And then she inevitably tears it down cause she’s a baby and that’s what they do.

And it’s black. So it’s way hot in the summer.

2. Stroller- Britax B Agile

I actually really love Evelyn’s stroller…for the most part. It maneuvers easily with one hand and has three wheels. But it turns out I’d really love for it to have bigger wheels because where we live, the sidewalks are terrible and it’s hard to push over any of them.

Also the basket underneath is nonexistent. I didn’t think this would be a big deal but IT IS, it really is. Lastly, it doesn’t have a cup holder on the top for me or a tray for her. All features that would really come in handy.

I did end up buying a cup holder that you can attach which works pretty well but it’s just not the same.

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