Thursday, September 29, 2011

Music Appreciation

Last night we went to watch a free field-show demonstration from each of the three high school marching bands in our district: Littleton, Heritage, and Arapahoe (which Todd attended). We got a bunch of sandwiches and fries from Arby's on our way to the school and ate them when we got there. Halfway through eating, though, I realized that Evie needed a change--of both diaper and outfit. I changed her diaper, but genius me had taken her spare outfit out of the diaper bag without replacing it. Fortunately, I was wearing my jacket, and I zipped her in with me and covered her legs with her blanket. I took several pictures of her like that, because she looked so cute and funny.


Todd hadn't gotten home from work yet, so when John called Todd to tell him where we were sitting in the bleachers, I asked him to ask Todd to bring a change of clothes for the little munchkin. Then I went back to finishing my sandwiches. On the way to the school, I'd found the bump of Evie's second tooth! Last night, it was still just a bump, but it sprouted today! It's coming in right next to the first one, so I fed a couple of tiny bites of the bun to Evie and she ate them with no problem. Although, I did discover that she doesn't like the sesame seeds on top. I tried to give her plain bites, but somehow one snuck in. I looked down at my jacket where Evie had been sucking and found a perfectly clean sesame seed sitting on it! :D

The music started with Littleton High School. Their three songs had a Japanese theme and Evie was very interested in what they were doing out on the field. She was so still and quiet, just soaking in the whole experience. The second school was Heritage High School, and they played "Mars," "Venus," and "Jupiter" from Holst's The Planets. "Mars" is very energetic piece of music, and Evie had lots of fun bouncing/jumping up and down in rhythm. "Venus" is slower and more melodic, so Evie just watched what was going on out on the field. During "Jupiter," Evie was having so much fun that she decided to demonstrate her appreciation by singing along. Loudly. So I had to hurry and clap my hand over her mouth. Everyone sitting around us looked over and smiled, but I was still a little embarrassed. Once Heritage finished their performance, it was time for Arapahoe. Theirs was by far the best show. The other schools had just kind of marched across the field in unclear lines while the drill team waved flags. Arapahoe, though, was fun. Their theme was "Triskaidekaphobia," or fear of the number 13, and I was initially concerned that the music would be all discordant and weird, but it was actually really interesting. While the percussion played, the rest of the band lay on the ground and the drill team crept onto the field from behind the huge speakers. Then the band members "woke up" and continued their piece. In the second section, there was an invisible singer, which made a really cool effect. Finally, during the last piece, the drill team twirled their rifles and sabers and two members flipped over the square of turf on top of the 50-yard line to reveal the number 13. During the whole thing, the band made interesting shapes and lines, the percussion kept up their fun rhythm, and the drill team twirled and danced in impressive ways. Meanwhile, Evie was alternating between watching what was going on out on the field, and playing with her Daddy. Overall, though, she really had a good time last night, and demonstrated her own musical appreciation to us.

My Sunshine!

Evie's favorite song is changing. Sometimes, when she's really upset about something, I still dust off "I've Been Working on the Railroad" to help calm her down, but those occasions are becoming rare. Instead, she's finally learning to recognize the song that I've been singing to her her whole life: "You Are My Sunshine." I sing that song to her all the time, and now she will sometimes stop whatever she's doing and smile up at me when she hears it. I think the words are simple but beautiful, and Evie perfectly personifies them:
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

Evie really is my sunshine! She is the constant bright spot in my life when everything else seems dark. Just one little smile warms my whole heart! How could anyone feel sad or angry when they see this beautiful face?

She really won't understand how much I love her until she's a mommy to her own child, but I love that little girl with my whole heart. She's MY little girl and I love being her Mommy! I love snuggling her while I sing this special little song to her. This is Evie's very own lullaby that I will sing only to her. My other children will also get different, equally special, lullabies for their very own, but this one will always be precious to me because it reminds me of my little Rae of Sunshine! :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Miss Piggy

I think that Evie might be going through another growth spurt. After last night, she almost has to be. Usually Evie eats six ounces of formula at each meal, and we give her one meal of vegetables a day, followed by four ounces of formula to top her off. Last night, though, was different. For the first time, she ate the entire jar of peas, instead of only swallowing a couple of mouthfuls. Then, I fed her a couple of bites of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. She loved that! When she'd sucked all of the frosting off of my finger and I pulled away, she started crying and then the cry dwindled into a sheepish smile. After the cake, she still acted a little hungry, so I gave her the regular four ounces of formula. As usual, she started screaming as soon as the bottle was empty and I started burping her. Todd came and got her from me and took her downstairs, presumably so he could put her to bed. When I came downstairs a few minutes later, Evie was eating another bottle! I asked Todd how much he'd given her and he said five ounces. After that second bottle, our little piggy finally seemed full enough to go to bed! Instead of her regular six ounces, she'd eaten an entire jar of peas, two bites of cake, and nine ounces of formula, all in the space of only three hours! And she didn't throw any of it up, either. With an appetite like that, I figure she's got to be going through a growth spurt, right?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Zoo Revisited

We went to the zoo again on Monday to celebrate the end of summer. I'd really hoped that, since she had seemed to enjoy the last zoo trip, Evie would be enthusiastic about this trip. At first, it seemed that she was having a good time.

We dressed the baby in a cute outfit covered with little animals to match the zoo theme, and we slathered ourselves with sunblock. I was excited to focus on the monkeys this trip, but just minutes after we arrived at the monkey house, Evie had an accident. She'd soaked through her diaper, her clothes, and onto Todd's pants and then my shirt. We had to run to the nearest bathroom, holding her at arm's length the whole way, and change her into the same outfit she wore last time. Once the gigantic mess had finally been contained, it was time for the elephant demonstration.

Evie finally noticed the giant elephants, but she wasn't really that interested in them. After the demonstration ended we thought it would be fun to visit the lorikeets. I figured that Evie would be impressed by the brightly colored birds, but she barely even registered their presence. Todd and I decided that we were hungry, so we left the lorikeet building only a few minutes after we got there. In our search for food, we came across this fun sign, and we thought that it would be fun to see how far we could jump.
Todd was able to jump eight feet!


I was wearing flip-flops, so I couldn't jump as far without hurting my feet. I made it four feet. After my jump, we found out how far Evie can "jump":
video

We found a restaurant/cafe place that smelled great, so we stopped and got burgers. They were really pretty good! Evie mostly enjoyed her lunch too. While we ate, a peacock wandered around our table. Once our tummies were happier, we went back to Primate Panorama to look at the monkeys. There was a cute little black monkey that was playing quietly by himself while his partner wandered around the enclosure and passed quite close to us. Evie didn't notice him until the last minute, and was startled when she finally saw him. It happened so fast that we weren't able to get a picture. The golden lion tamarins bounded from branch to branch while shrews scuttled along the bottom of the same cage. Evie didn't even notice the brightly colored monkeys, but she was absolutely captivated by the shrews. She loved watching them run around; they were her favorite part of the trip!
Todd took Evie to the bathroom to change her again, while I waited in the gibbon exhibit. There were two: one white and one black. They played mostly out of sight behind their fence, but I managed to catch cute glimpses of them. When Evie came back, she was tired and grouchy. She started crying, and the black gibbon popped his head up over the fence to see what was making the noise. Then he swung over to the huge window and flashed me! I thought it was hilarious!
After the gibbons, we moved on to the orangutans. This one was sitting right next to the window, and she looked right into my eyes. Evie was falling asleep with her second bottle, so she didn't get to see the orangutan, but I took a picture of the two anyway.
The gorillas were right next to the orangutans, and there was a huge gorilla right next to the window in that exhibit too. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of people taking pictures of him, so I got a picture of his brother instead. When I turned back to get a picture of the first one, he'd gotten up and walked away.
The male mandrill was fast! So I got a picture of the female instead. I have to confess: I was really surprised that I couldn't find any chimps in the primate section of the zoo. Maybe they have them stashed away somewhere else?

video

This monkey was killing and/or eating this fuzzy thing, so I got a video of this somewhat disturbing sight.

By this time, Evie was zonked, and Todd and I were tired too. We left the zoo, and dropped by the grocery store on our way home. Of course, Evie woke up for that, and she was looking around at everything, so we tried sitting her up in the grocery cart seat. She's still slightly small to fit in the seat belt the correct way, but she had a great time sitting up and "helping" Mommy and Daddy shop. She was her usual charming self, and we got stopped twice so people could tell us what an adorable baby we have! Overall, we had a fun adventure on Monday.

Evie Says...

Evie is six months old today! Every time she sees me post on this blog, she tries to contribute her thoughts. So in honor of her half-birthday, I thought it would be fun to let her express herself a little bit:


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Babies "R" Me!

I have a new job! Starting probably next week, I will be working for:I'm so excited! Because of our current financial situation, I can't be a stay-at-home mom, but if I have to work, at least it isn't fast-food. And even though I won't be with Evie all the time anymore, at least I'll be surrounded by cute baby stuff for her that I can get a discount on. Really, this seems like the perfect job for me right now and I think it's where I'm supposed to be. Actually, when I went in to ask if they were hiring and they said "Yes! We're hiring up a storm right now; go home and apply online!" I went out to my car and felt excited for the first time since I realized I was going to have to get a job. And for the couple of nights before I got called in for an interview, I kept dreaming I was selling strollers to other moms. When I told the manager that when she asked what department I'd prefer, she laughed and told me that they were actually looking for someone to work in the Baby Gear department. So once I'm trained on register and I've learned the highlights of the other departments, she's going to send me back to become one of the Baby Gear experts in our store. I think it'll be really fun to know all the particular details of each stroller, high chair, and car seat so I can help families find the perfect fit for them. Babies 'R' Us starts their employees at part-time at first, but it seems that there is room to move up in the store and the company and that it won't be too long before I could move up to a full-time or supervisor position. But even right now, I'm excited about this opportunity, and I feel like this is where I'm meant to be.

Bear Hugs

Several months before Evie was born, Todd and I made her this bear at the Build-a-Bear Workshop:When she was born, her bear was bigger than she was, so I put him away until she was a little older. Then, we moved and I packed him in her toy box and forgot about him. Just a couple of days ago I was rereading some old posts of mine, and my whole body jerked as the realization hit my brain that Evie has a teddy bear! So I pulled him out and gave him to her. Oh, she got so excited when she saw him! She played on the floor with him for about an hour, pulling and chewing on all of his little handles: his ears, his arms, his tag, etc.
video
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(I don't know why the sound doesn't work in the second video, but it makes me sad because her giggles are so cute!)

Evie really loves her bear and lights up every time she sees him. In fact, she fell asleep like this last night:Isn't it just precious?

First Tooth!

Evie will be six months old tomorrow, but she's already got a tooth coming in! I was in Relief Society on Sunday, with Evie's head on my shoulder. She'd been smiling at her aunt Margot and Margot suddenly turned to me and said, "I think Evie's getting a tooth!" Well, of course, I stuck my finger in and probed my baby's gums. Sure enough, there was a white, hard, and sharp little bump that hadn't been there before! In fact, Margot and Todd had checked the day before when they thought they saw something, but nothing was there yet.

The tooth hasn't completely emerged yet, so it's been almost impossible to get a picture of the little nub. It doesn't help that Evie always has her finger in her mouth or her tongue stuck out. Finally, after much wrestling, Todd was able to pry her mouth open long enough for me to get a quick picture. It still isn't perfect, but it's the best one I've gotten so far. The tooth is the tiny white bump just to the right of the center of her gums. I'm actually really surprised that Evie's getting teeth so early; I started getting mine when I was four months old, but I know most of my friends' babies didn't start getting some until they were almost nine months old. I'm excited, though, because now she'll definitely be ready for most of the yummy holiday foods that I'm so looking forward to sharing with her!

More Green Beans, Please!

Here are just some pictures and a video of Evie's most recent (and most successful) green bean episode, which I thought were even cuter than the last ones!
video

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tongues and Stuff

Evie is such a smart little girl and has been learning by leaps and bounds. She's learned how to roll back and forth on purpose, and now she'll quietly roll onto her tummy until somebody notices, and then when I make a big deal about it, she just grins so big and looks so proud of herself. Of course, she grins a lot anyway; she's such a super cheerful baby. In fact, last Wednesday, on the 7th, she was the giddiest I've ever seen her. She laughed at everything and we played all day. She refused to take a single nap, but she was in such a good mood that I finally just let her stay awake and play instead.

Lately, Evie has been fixated on faces, especially mouths, and she's been learning to imitate what she sees and hears. She loves to stick out her tongue and blow raspberries, and she thinks it's funny when other people blow raspberries back at her. Also, just last night, I caught a couple of videos of her making the same popping noises with her lips that I mentioned in this post:
video
She's been interested in "real" food for awhile now, so we've been putting things on our fingers and letting her suck them off, and she's been very excited about everything she's tasted so far. So far, she's tried ice cream, apples, alfredo sauce, breakfast cocoa, and raspberry filling. I made cornbread last week, and she loved it; in fact, she was getting grouchy with her Uncle John when he took bites for himself instead of giving her more cornbread crumbs! I've also broken off tiny pieces of other bready food to dissolve in her mouth like biscuits, fortune cookies, and doughnuts. We tried to spoon-feed her some mashed potatoes a couple of weeks ago, but while she seemed interested, she didn't yet understand how to move the entire spoonful of food to the back of her mouth. Finally, this past weekend, we tried giving her actual "baby food": Green Beans! She was enthusiastic, at first, but she still hasn't decided how she feels about them. She has been learning how to swallow them, though, and she sure is excited to be eating real food like a big girl!
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Family. Isn't it about...Time?

This morning when I was playing with Evie, I had an epiphany. The thought suddenly occurred to me that one reason to have families is to better understand different facets of time. Allow me to elaborate.

When I was single, I was always working towards the END of something: the end of a school/workday, the end of a project, the end of high school, the end of my engagement, the end of college, etc. Even when things were hard, I learned to just grit my teeth and wait until I was finished. The here and now was only important as a means to the end. Really, I spent most of my life waiting for something specific to happen, and when it did, I started waiting for something else.

When I got married, Todd and I were sealed for all of eternity, and my perspective changed. Suddenly, there wasn't an end to work towards anymore. I have to make things work for the long term: not just 50 years or even a thousand years, but FOREVER. I can't just sit back and wait for my marriage to become perfect because marriage is a constant work-in-progress and is always changing. If I let Todd do all of the work while I only wait for things to happen, my marriage will fail. We have to move forward together on an endless road, and it's a good thing I have my sweet companion with me every step of the way!

When I had Evie, my perspective shifted yet again. Overnight, I went from waiting eagerly for the end of my pregnancy to craving every moment I experience NOW. Instead of wishing for time to fly by like I used to, I pray that it will stop, or at least slow down. I need to cherish every little thing Evie does now, because the day is swiftly approaching when those precious little things will be discarded forever in favor of "bigger" things. I used to laugh when parents warned me that children grow up in a single blink of the eye, but it's true! I'm scared to fall asleep at night because Evie is always a little bigger when I wake up. I realize that she's still only 5 months old, but those 5 months feel like they've gone by with a snap of my fingers.

I'm always juggling all three of these concepts of time in my head, and I'm starting to feel a little ragged. I always have that long-term view in the back of my head, dreading the day Evie leaves the nest. At the same time, I still look forward to the END of some things, like our poverty when Todd will find a job, or the wait until we can celebrate Evie's first Christmas with our family. I also have to focus on the very long-term concept of an eternal family, and try my best to keep us all together FOREVER. I also need to focus on the very short-term concept of raising a child through every moment she experiences right NOW and will experience as she grows from a sweet infant to a self-sufficient adult.

All of these thoughts are giving me a new insight into the phrase "endure to the end." I guess that I need to embrace everything happening NOW, but also be excited for when new things happen, even if that means that old things END, and take every day as one more step on the road of FOREVER.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fun News

I keep forgetting to mention it, but a couple of weeks ago we got a fun phone call. Lindsay and Matt Hope, two of our best friends from college, are expecting their second baby! Last year, I found out about their first baby, Lily, via Facebook when a family member posted the news, so I firmly told Lindsay that I wanted a personal phone call with all future babies. On Friday night a couple of weeks ago, we received that phone call! We are so excited for them, and can't wait to hear all about how things are going for Linds. I know that they are thrilled (and a little scared) to have their second baby so close to Lily. She turns one in November, and I think it will be fun for her to have a little sibling so soon. She loved seeing Evie and was always very gentle with her when they played, so I know she'll be a great big sister. I also know that Linds will be a phenomenal mother and Matt will have a blast with their two little ones. Here's a shout-out to some of my best friends: we love you guys and are so happy for you!