Thursday, August 25, 2011

No Means No.

Unless you're a toddler, in which case it may also mean yes, maybe, or "I think I'm hilarious".

Everleigh is a pretty positive gal, but lately she's taken to saying no (sometimes a double no along with a head shake and/or wagging finger) to just about everything. This makes it confusing when she says no about having a drink or being hungry or needing a diaper change, because oftentimes the true answer is YES, YES, YES.

So I'm trying to read her mind all the time...does she really want milk? Should I go ahead and give her a bath right now? Why won't she give her poor mother a hug? ;)

Just when you think the communication gap is closing, no means no but is also means everything else under the sun. Ahh...the joys of toddlerhood.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Memory Lane

Today I was looking for some "at the hospital" pictures to add to Everleigh's unfinished baby book, and I got ll caught up in pouring over the photos and looking at how much she's changed and how much she's stayed the same.

Here are a few treats for you (some of them aren't great photos but they hold some great memories!:

And now my baby is a toddler. Where did the time go?

Friday, August 19, 2011


This week one of the most awesome psychiatrists at my work brought me some dates from her recent trip to Istanbul to visit family.

What an absolute treat!

She also let me try a bite of her Turkish Delight, which I remember reading about in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when I was kid, but had never actually tried. It was pretty good--tasted a lot like powdered sugar on a gumdrop.

Hope you're having a sweet Friday as well!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hair Bow Revolt

I've never been one of those moms who insisted on having a gigantic bow on her baby girl's head from the second she entered the world. While I've certainly put a headband or two on Ev in my day, I've tried not to let the, "he's so cute" comments bother me. Yes. My daughter has short baby-hair. It's growing at its own pace. Someday it will probably be awesome. For right now, it's really really short.

I'm cool with Everleigh bare-heading it most of the time :) But there are occasions when I have the PERFECT little bow that would match her outfit just right. And you know what? She outright refuses to let me put the bow on her. Doesn't matter if it's a super lightweight clip or a soft baby-bow or a tiny clear rubber band to pull up her bangs. Her hair is off limits and bows are a no.

She actually thinks they're pretty and likes to look at them in the mirror as she pulls them out of her hair and then sets them back on top of her head.

Sigh. So I guess my girl will remain bow-less and continue getting the little boy comments for awhile longer. I do think it's funny she's chosen to take such a hard line on something at such a young age. Rebel without a cause. That's my girl.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Baby Dreams


sometimes when I watch you sleep, I can tell you're having little baby dreams because you'll smile or frown, stir about, or even say little baby words.

Times like these I wonder what you're dreaming about and hope it's something sweet. Dream on little one.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taking the Child Care Plunge

In Everleigh's 14 months of life, we've all been pretty lucky that she's been able to be with a relative or close friend at all times--usually Mommy, Daddy, or Grandpa, with the occasional day spent with Auntie Kristen, Jen or Grandma.

This is about to change, and I'm actually pretty excited for her. When we found out that my husband would be transferring from the University of Missouri Kansas City to the Kansas City art Institute for school, we were ecstatic. KCAI is known for being a really quality art school, with a focus on mentorship and "how do I get a real job with an art degree" applicability. Plus it means Scott doesn't have to waste time and money taking gen eds (2 semesters of math, 3 semesters of Spanish, etc). While we would all love to be better at math and Spanish, Scott and I found it hard to justify spending thousands of dollars for it when what he really wants is to be a successful artist/illustrator/teacher/something in the art field.

What this meant for our family was that Scott could no longer stack his classes to Tuesdays and Thursdays and have my dad watch Ev on the those days. Instead, he basically needs to be at school all day two days a week, evenings two nights a week, and 3 hours two other days. This complicates the whole stay-at-home-dad thing a bit. But we found a way to make it work through creative scheduling and calling in some "it takes a village" type favors. Even with all that, it still left one day during the week where we needed child care.

Some of the daycares we approached basically laughed in our, "our waiting list is approximately 2 years long". So there. We obviously should have known this would happen the day we conceived and gotten her on the list. Shame on us.

Others were super nice but wanted like $61 dollars A DAY to watch her. People, we are not wealthy. My husband is a student. An art student. Help a sister out. Then we stumbled on the best thing ever--Parent's Day Out programs. These are set up for people in our shoes. You take your kid one day a week (or more if needed), and pay a small fee ($20-$25 ish for most) for it. Now you're speaking my language.

The first one we toured had like 6 week old babies through 2 year olds together in one room. The room was a major baby-zone filled with extremely passive, quiet and sweet babies. Plus one girl Ev's age who didn't walk yet. They don't take that group outside or do projects. They basically just sit in the room while the passive babies swing and bounce and play quietly. While everyone seemed nice, I  couldn't picture Everleigh being down with the relaxed vibe in there. Plus, I'd like to challenge her, have her learn something, model big kid behavior, etc.

Dismayed, I kept searching and hearing more and more about wait lists, co-ops, fees, etc. My head was spinning.

Until we found the most awesome Parent's Day Out ever. No wait lists. No reservations required. It's a huge space with all new equipment and a grogeous toddler friendly playground. They take the kids outside EVERY DAY weather permitting, or to the gym if it's raining or too cold. Ev will be in a class of 12month olds to 19 month olds who walk and talk and eat and act like 12 month-19 months olds :) Best of all? She LOVED it there. She didn't want to leave. The teachers seemed great--really kind and patient and dare-I-say..multicultural. We would love for her to know early on not everyone's white or black and speaks English. Her primary teacher is Indian, and another teacher there had a heavy Australian accent. We took these to be good signs :) Plus I automatically assume that everyone from a different culture is probably more interesting (and it's usually true).

Ev is so social, and I think it will be healthy for her to make her first little friends and take group naps and learn better how to share and play with kids her age. Yay! I'm SO glad we found a place we all love and that it's affordable and interesting and great.

Just had to share.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dear Everleigh (14 Months!)

Dear Everleigh,

Today you are 14 months old, or 1 year and 2 months for the mathematically challenged. This was a big month for you, and I have to say--I'm loving your toddler stage :)

this is your classic, "nothing to see here!" face
Here's what you're up to now:

Talking--You are such a good communicator, and we love teaching you new words. Lately, you've been on a roll learning a new word every day or two. Some of the words you're saying are:

  • "Mama"
  • "Daddy"
  • "Pappa" (for Grandpa, which you ALWAYS say in a whisper and I'm not sure why but it's fantastic).
  • "Hi!" Your newest addition. The way you say it is really high-pitched and excited. Love it.
  • "Hey"I know, I know. It's possible this is also you saying "hi", but you seem to use both in the right context and with different inflection, so I'm counting it as two words :)
  • "Owl" You have owls on your wall and lamp, and you love to point them out.
  • "More" Although it sounds more like "mar"
  • "Turtle" This one caught me by surprise but sure as heck, you can point it out in a book and say it
  • "Doggie" One of your old-school favorites
  • "Kitty" Even though you usually call these doggies, sometimes you remember
  • "Apple" 
  • "No No" This one comes with a finger wag. You say it sometimes when we are doing something you don't approve of (trying to kiss you or hug you, putting away the diaper caddy so you can't play with it) and also when you're doing something you know you're not supposed to do. 
  • "Edmond" Your 5 year old cousin. It sounds really jumbly and wrong but you always say it directly to him.
  • "Ernie" Your new favorite Sesame Street character. you like to feed the Ernie doll nang nangs and hold him like a baby and pat his back. It's very sweet.
  • "Out" for outside
  • "Up"
  • "Thank You"--you fought us hard on this one but Daddy insisted and now you're saying it sometimes.
In addition to these words, you've developed several non-verbal ways of communicating. Every time we say the words "hot dog", you raise one arm above your head :) You are waving hello and goodbye, giving high-fives, blowing kisses. You're a one-woman show.

You continue to be fascinated by nature, and your favorite time of the day is your walk with Dad (for which a song has been written :) "going on a walk with Dad. I'm going on a walk with Dad. Don't know where we're going but I know that we'll be strolling when I'm going on a walk with Dad"). Brilliant. We actually have several equally awesome little tunes we've composed just for you, that make our non-breeder friends sick. We're a walking "Steve's Songs" video :) And you love it.

Sometimes I watch you sleep at night and I can't believe how grown up you are. I study your face, gaze at your pretty eyelashes, watch you breathe slowly. In those moments, I am amazed that we made you. You perfect little thing. You inquisitive, unique person. You. It's like you're 1 day old again and I am tired to the core but choosing not to sleep because I can't take my eyes off you.

I love you, Ev.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Why I Choose Extended Breastfeeding

Everleigh is now almost 14 months old, and still nursing. It's our special time to bond after a long day apart, to comfort after a tumble, to slow down from all the silliness and look each other in the eyes. I love breastfeeding her, and while it's occasionally inconvenient, I am so glad I stuck with.

Now that Everleigh's past the age of one, I'm starting to get the "when are you going to wean?" question, along with the raised eyebrows and the "you're STILL nursing?" looks.

You know what? I AM still nursing. Because there are proven health benefits for mom and baby. Because Everleigh still wants to. Because I still want to. Because it's frankly not anyone's business.

I think it's interesting that people get really iffy about nursing past 12 months, when the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatric both support nursing past 12 months or as long as it is desirable to the mother and child. The WHO actually recommends until the age of 3.

How come we're so comfortable giving our babies a tall glass of cow's milk. Milk that literally was pumped out of a female cow's tit. Everyone's cool with that, like it's not the least bit weird. And then when it comes to nursing, suddenly everyone's got the willies?

I really can't say how long I'll keep nursing Ev. I've tentatively thought until the age of 2 or whenever she decides she is ready to stop. I agree that I don't want her coming home from kindergarten and wanting to nurse, but nursing AND weaning are natural processes and you have to have confidence in letting those processes do their thing. Hopefully when the time comes to wean, she will know and I will follow her lead.