Sunday, December 29, 2013

Weekend Update.

Here's what's new.

A is a great gifter. Even though I chose some fantastic new clothes on black Friday for my Christmas gifts, he was creative and got me some great things. Two new wedding bands, smaller size for my shrinking fingers, one yellow gold and one faceted tungsten; tickets to see Mike Birbiglia's new show this month; and a Chromecast! He's awesome. We're now watching Hulu on the TV, without Hulu Plus. Thanks Google.

Evie turned one! Can't believe we've kept a little human alive for a year. She walks, and says mama, dada, baby, uh-oh, pretty, and cheese (the important words).

I made pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) from a cookbook I gave A for Christmas. It's his favorite food. It was labor intensive, and delicious. I think I'll do it again next year. :)

A year from now A will be done with school! We'll hopefully be moving into our own house at that time. Not sure where that house will be. We have been talking lately about living somewhere outside or above the horrible inversion in the SL valley, for our family's health. We'll see if we can afford Summiy County when the time comes.

I've been going to the gym. And I like it. Classes, books, and audiobooks make it bearable. Evie goes to the kid center and never cries when I leave. My goal is to run a 5K sometime next year. I can run a very slow mile so far (usually I alternate walking and running for 45 minutes).

I made gifts for nieces and nephews this year. It was fun! Scrabble tile initial necklaces for the girls, jacob's ladders for the boys.

We're going on vacation next week! California and Disneyland, baby girl's first time. A's parents are coming with, and it should be really fun. We'll divide the journey into two parts, enjoying delicious food in Las Vegas (Tacos El Gordo, Ma Depalma's Pizzeria, and Bouchon Bakery). My FIL worked in California for awhile, so he'll show us around the town Saturday and Sunday, then we'll hit the park Monday and Tuesday. Right now the forecast says it will be 75. I'm super duper excited! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Baby girl is amazing.

Today Evie has done some amazing things. I was getting her dressed this morning, and had put on one of her socks. She was holding the other sock, and lifted her foot up to try to put it on. Later, she smacked me in the face enthusiastically, and I responded in my usual way, "Ouch! That hurt mommy. Be soft." And she softly stroked my face, just like I've demonstrated time after time when I tell her to be soft.
She also says Dada every time she sees Andrew, she knows what it means.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Seven days, and counting.


One year ago, I thought I might go to L&D any minute,  that the baby girl (still unnamed) in my belly  would probably just fall out if I walked too fast. But she didn't. She gave me a week to finish nesting,  to sit at home and wait. 

And now, in one week,  she'll be one. Practically a toddler.

She walks, but mostly still crawls. She holds phones, remotes, and toy phones up to her ear (and mine). She eats green smoothies and CHEESE (tested negative for milk allergy,  woot woot!). She responds to "what does the elephant say?" by buzzing her little lip. She says mamamama and dadadada and sometimes something like byebye and uhoh. She tries to climb, and likes to walk up and down steps. She still loves her cousins, and all other kids.

How can it have been nearly a year?! 

Holiday Time

Thanksgiving this year was really fun, and a little crazy. My grandma was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, and so because this could be her last holiday season, we all gathered at her house on Thanksgiving. We haven't done that in years. I saw family that I haven't seen in probably more than 6 years. There were great-grands running around, playing together,  two turkeys were cooked and picked clean, and the house was filled with laughter and conversations. It was pretty great.

We stayed in a hotel that night,  because Grandma's house is a good 1.5 hours away and we didn't want to try the  long drive home right at bedtime.  It went so well! We boycotted shopping on Thursday,  and instead sat in bed browsing the ads.  Evie slept in the bathroom in a hotel crib, so we didn't disturb her by talking and having lights on. It was hilarious and also worked really well!

Friday we stopped at a small town Wal-Mart and scored some good stuff! It was not crowded, and a lot of the doorbusters from Thursday were still there. My best find wad the entire Harry Potter series on Blueray for like, $4 each.

We also went to Old Navy, Macy's, and JC Penny's before going to the Green Papaya for lunch (bahn mi for me, pho for A, and potstickers for the babe).

All in all, it was great!  And we got all the lefover pie (apple, key lime, pecan, and pumkin), making it a total win.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

snickerdoodle cupcakes (aka, the best cupcakes I've ever made)



When we visited Seattle a few summers ago, we went to Trophy Cupcake. I had a snickerdoodle cupcake, A had red velvet. And they were amazing.

So when I was at my local library a few weeks ago, and saw this book*, I had to get it.



And it is beautiful. Not just the pictures, but the content. The cupcakes, the party decor, all of it. And guess what? It contains the snickerdoodle cupcake recipe I've been coveting for years now.

I made the cupcakes, with a few minor alterations. First, I used canned milk instead of half-and-half, and almond milk instead of milk (that's what I had). Second, I made my own cake flour** because that's not something I just have in my cupboard. I cut down the frosting recipe significantly. They frost their cupcakes rather generously, and while it is delicious, I did not want to use six sticks of butter. So here's the recipe.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes


2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons half-and-half (or canned milk)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
2 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
cinnamon sugar (1t sugar + 1t cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep your cupcake pans with liners (recipe says it will make 24, I got 30).

Sit together flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Combine milk, half-and-half, and vanilla in a measuring cup with a spout. Set aside.

Combine butter and sugar in a mixer bowl, using the paddle attachment, at low speed until it is smooth and creamy (1 minute if butter is soft). Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Wait until all traces of egg have disappeared before adding the next one.

Add dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with wet ingredients in two parts. Keep mixer at the lowest speed, and mix each time until just combined. After everything has been added, scrape the bowl once more, and stir until the batter is just smooth. Let it rest for 15 minutes, then stir gently before using.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake about 20 minutes (cupcakes should be firm, pale but golden around the edges). Let them cool 5 minutes in the pans, and finish cooling on a cooling rack (try at least one warm, they are divine).

Cinnamon Buttercream


3 cups unsalted butter at room temp (1 cup)
6 cups confectioners sugar (2 cups)
2t vanilla extract (3/4t)
1/4t salt (I omitted, because I used salted butter)
1t cinnamon

Cream the butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Start at the lowest speed, and gradually increase the speed, scraping the bowl frequently, until the butter is light in color and perfectly smooth (30 seconds if it is softened).

Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing at the lowest speed and incorporating each cup completely before adding the next. Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Beat at low speed for 15 seconds. increase to the highest speed you can and whip for 5 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Buttercream should increase in volume and stiffen.

Frost cooled cupcakes with a generous swirl of frosting (if you made the full recipe), of a lighter swirl if you made the lesser amount. I knife-frosted some of mine, which I like the look of, to make the frosting go further. Optional, you can sprinkle with sanding sugar and more cinnamon. Enjoy this deliciously rich cupcake with buttery, not-so-sweet but wonderfully spiced frosting. You won't regret it.




*If you like parties, or cupcakes, or pretty books, you should get this book. I have been repeatedly dropping my husband hints that I'd like to own a copy of it (since it is due back to the library this week). Here's a link to the book on Amazon.

**To make cake flour, measure one cup of flour into a bowl. Remove two tablespoons of flour, and add two tablespoons of corn starch. Whisk together, and then sift together at least 3 times so that the corn starch is completely incorporated.


Dear Evelyn, you're growing up.

Well, you are 11 months now, plus one week. You're birthday is just around the corner. It seems weird now to think that soon we won't be counting weeks or months,  just years.

You mostly crawl and furniture walk still, but today you walked across the aisle and back a few benches ar church,  probably ten steps and your longest distance yet. It was pretty exciting.

You still clap, play peek-a-boo, wave at EVERYONE,  occasionally sign (more, milk, all done), and examine teeth. Now you also put things back (toys in a basket, rings on a stacker, etc.). You don't say recognizable words yet (though your cousin is convinced you said nugget), but you jabber and make noise all the time.

You go to the gym with me, and happily play with toys at the daycare there. You don't cry, which is great. And you love other kids, especially your cousins.

You eat lots of things: grapes, string cheese, peas, veggie soup,  apple, banana,  muffins, oatmeal, pb&j, rice, carrots. You love to have drinks, either water or water with a bit of juice mixed in.

You sleep through the night almost always, and nap twice a day almost always. You've started throwing tantrums, usually surrounding naptime, and we hope this isn't an omen for the toddler years. Mostly, you are funny and cheerful and friendly and sweet.

Love you baby girl, can't believe you've been here almost a year!

-Mom

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ready, set, go!

Evie walked, for the first time, on October 26th. She took a few little steps, halting and in desperation (it was right at bedtime, and she really wanted to get to me so I'd hold her). We've practiced since then. The first few days she wouldn't do it again. Then she decided it might be ok, especially if we gave her something to hold onto. Then tonight, in a mid-storytime break, we decided to try again tonight. And she just took off, toddling back and forth between us. We looked at eachother, a combination of excitement, awe, and disbelief on our faces. It really is amazing,  not just witnessing this milestone,  but watching her every day. People sometimes get down on parenthood-- like a recent study that showed that people without children are happier than those with-- but I really do think it is the greatest.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Life Update

I took Evie to visit my old office this week. I got a lot of "what are you up to?" and "how are things going?"

This is a tough question to answer as a stay-at-home-mom. Yes, I change diapers, cut up food into little bite-sized pieces, play peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake, snuggle and console, and have conversations with a tiny person that can only respond with gibberish. And I love it. I'm proud and grateful to do it. And yes, it is hard.

The other things I've been doing are, perhaps, less meaningful. But it is nice to be able to do things that I couldn't do when I was working. I've been making my bed everyday, staying on top of the laundry, looking into going back to school, working with the Young Women (I'm a beehive Advisor), going on errands with the babe, and making things. I've made four birthday cakes in the last two months, and my mom and I have been making bunting banners. We consigned some, and will be selling a bunch at a carnival this month.

I guess the most exciting thing is the school possibility. I looked at multiple Masters programs, and none of them felt right. I want to be sure that the next thing I pursue better prepares me to get a job. I have two bachelor's degrees, graduated second in my class, and still somehow couldn't get the job I wanted. So I decided to look into the world of medical jobs, since that seems to be a field that is steadily growing. I'm not a blood-and-guts kind of person, and am not interested in too many more years of school, so here's what I'm looking into: radiology and sonography. Essentially, two years to train to become an x-ray tech, then another two to be an ultrasound tech. It is yet another bachelor's degree, but from what I've read the job market and potential are really good.  And I could do fetal, cardiac, or vascular sonography, and make decent money. And work with people. And not have to leave the state. And who knows? Maybe I'll decide down the line to get a Master's in health administration.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ten Months

Evie is so big!  I weighed her the other day,  and she's about 20  pounds.  Thanks, breastfeeding and cooked carrots.

Yesterday she had her first ice cream cone. It may have given her a few hives, which is really sad.

Today she's been giving me high fives, and pointing to things she likes or wants.

Last week, she took a few tentative steps, going between parents,  but has yet to repeat the phenomena.

She likes to eat chili verde, apples and peaches, cooked carrots and peas, grapes,  pb&j, string cheese, grilled cheese, and mandarin oranges. Minestrone soup is probably her fave.

Evie claps and waves a lot. And now plays peek-a-boo. It is the cutest.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Almost 10

Evie waves!  Hello, goodbye, and in general excitement. She can eat minestrone soup by the bowl-full. She shakes her head. She stands a bit. She climbs and goes up stairs. She smiles at and talks to all the babies in her books. She's getting to like dogs, or at least not be scared of them. She is scared of some noises, like loud velcro, ripping fabric, the vacuum, and a cookie sheet hitting the hard floor (she pulled it down). She sometimes gives wet, open-mouth kisses. She loves going upside-down. She has enough hair for two little pigtails. She peed on her dad for the first time just this week (pre-bath). She has six teeth with another coming in. She plays independently. She's just funny and darling and amazing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chocolate Cake Truffles and a Pirate Ship Cake

For my nephew's sixth birthday,  I made him a pirate ship cake. Inside, it is cocoa fudge cake with chocolate mint buttercream.

To shape the ship,  I baked four layers: two in a loaf pan, two in an oval Corningware casserole dish.  Then I did a lot of carving, which resulted in quite a bit of cake left over.  I also had some frosting leftover, so what did I do?  I made cake truffles (like tiny cake pops without sticks).

I have been known to turn up my nose at cake pops: I just didn't like the idea of eating something that has been handled so much (I may have been under the impression that the cake and frosting were combined with bare hands, then smashed into balls with bare hands... ew!). So I used a mixer to combine the cake and frosting, then scooped the truffles using a tiny one inch scoop onto a foil-lined sheet pan, and stuck them in the freezer for a few hours.

I dipped the truffles in a few different kinds of chocolate, just that I had in t he cupboard.  I had orange and milk chocolate compound coating* and some dark chocolate labeled "midnight delight." I melted the chocolate in the microwave, in 15 second increments, with lots of stirring.  I sprinkled some with orange and chocolate sprinkles, and left them overnight to set (though the compound coating sets almost immediately).

I'm not exactly sure on the cake-to-frosting ratio. I was worried I didn't have enough frosting, but they turned out just right!  So I recommend going easy on the frosting. You can always add more, or use the leftover between graham crackers (my fav).

So, without further ado, here are the recipes! Both are adapted from good old Betty Crocker.

Cocoa Fudge Cake

1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 9x13 pan.  Beat all ingredients on low speed, scraping bowl constantly,  30 seconds.  Beat on high, scraping bowl occasionally,  3 minutes. Pour into pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Chocolate Butter Frosting

1/3 cup butter, softened
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted amd cooled (can sub 1/3 cup cocoa powder)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (or peppermint oil, to taste)
2 tablespoons milk (plus more, as needed)

Mix chocolate and butter. Add powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla (or flavoring of choice) and milk. Add milk as needed until frosting is of spreading consistency.

*Compound coating is pseudo chocolate. It tastes pretty good, and is virtually foolproof because you don't have to worry about tempering because it never blooms. I get it at Baker's Cache and Carry on Vine Street. Mine was a little old, so I added coconut oil to thin it a bit for dipping.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

9 months plus

I have been very negligent about documenting this baby girl here. And she changes so much every day!

Evie crawls, pulls up, and tries to climb everywhere.  She's fallen off the bed once, and hasn't really grasped the idea of edges and ledges. In hee mind ahes invincible,  I think. She has loud "bababahhh" conversations, and whispers "ssssss" when she's happy or excited. She eats, and eats,  and eats. And spits out food. And yells if you are too slow giving her bites. Her favorites are carrots, pot stickers, and applesauce. She is in the 70th percentile for height, and 30th for weight. Her head is in the 90th percentile (there's the Nelson genes).

She is so busy that I think she gets bored. Evie can have a basket full of toys and still just wand to crawl out of the room, find the cords and outlets,  and create general mischief.

She's been a bit fussy and hard to please this last week. She has five teeth now, two on top, three on the bottom. I'm hoping the fussiness is teething. Naps are a continuous challenge,  but she'll usually sleep one hour for at least one of them. 

Evie is still a great clapper. She does pat-a-cake and if you're happy and you know it,  and claps when excited. We think she's practicing to be a dentist,  because she is fascinated with examining our mouths and teeth. She is also really interested in dogs, but quite scared if them.

Evie is busier than ever, but also more fun! She constantly makes us laugh. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

you're a {peach}

For my lovely sister's birthday dinner tonight, my mom and I made a delicious cake. We were inspired by this cake I found awhile back on Pinterest:

image via
I couldn't find an actual recipe of any kind to go along with the cake, so we just improvised. My mom baked up her favorite yellow cake, froze the two layers for a bit, split them, then froze them again. I mashed up some homemade peach pie filling to go between the 4 layers, and made some buttercream (scoop out some while it is white, then add just one drop of blue food coloring).

I frosted the cake (always always do a crumb coat!), and did the tiny dot border. My mom wrote the message with a toothpick and then went over it with frosting. We added a beautiful peach half (store-bought) and a leaf from our peach tree.

And here's the end product:




birthday girl


between the layers: peach, frosting, peach

Saturday, September 14, 2013

listed

Just popping in to say that I've listed a few things on Etsy, under the shop name les pensees. Here's a preview:






Friday, September 6, 2013

What's new...


Evie stands,  holding onto something,  most of the time.  She nurses every four hours (except her first two feedings, which are 2.5 hours apart),  and naps two or three time a day. He favorite foods are bread with anything on it (baby food, pb, jam, etc.) and fruit (peaches, watermelon, etc.). She talks a lot, favorite words are sssss, mamamama, and a big fake belly laugh, aha-ha-hah. I think that last one is a cry for attention. She still claps a lot, and we're working on waiving and standing unsupported. Her new favorite book is Baby Animals by Gyo Fujikawa. She plays on her own really well, but after awhile starts to get into trouble (garbages, finding lego pieces,  exploring cords and outlets). She loves other kids and gives them big smiles and laughs. And we just can't get enough of her.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lucky Number Six

Today is my anniversary.  Six years.

And I can honestly say that I love A more now than ever before. Now he's not just my best friend, my forever-husband, my travel companion, my sleepover buddy, my restaurant partner, my number one advisor, my good deal-getter, my personal mechanic and tech expert, the person who laughs at my dumb jokes... he's my baby daddy.

I feel a bit silly typing that, but seeing A as a father has made me fall in love with him all over again. Last night, when Evie woke up at three-something in the morning,  he got up without even saying anything, and let me sleep. He reads her stories every night. He pushes her in the swing. He carries her on his shoulders, while she grips his ears like handles. He tickles her, sings to her, and sometimes dances around just to make her laugh. He never complains about any daddy duties, and is always willing to help me with whatever. It is seriously becoming .

This year we added another person to our family, and the love between is expanded and extended to that little person. A made it through another year of school, started a new job, and bought a project car. I left my job and chopped off all my hair. Next year we'll be one semester away from graduation,  hopefully the project car will be done, and some of my hair will have grown back. Who knows? Maybe we'll even be in a house.

I love you, honey. You're the best dad and husband I could have ever dreamed of. Happy six years, and here's to forever more.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lately I have a love-hate relationship with nursing. There are the old reasons: not eating dairy is really hard for me, but it  is awesome to be able to provide Evie with this awesome, nutritious food source. And then there are new reasons.
Teething.  Need I say more? Evie hasn't been much of a biter, but these top teeth have led to a very painful latch. And when I unlatch her to try again, she gets mad, and cries, and it is hard to get her to latch again at all, let alone in a more comfortable manner.
But then she strokes my neck with her little, chubby hand, and I make a mental note to try and remember how it feels,  and wish for that moment to last forever. And I think to myself, just a few more months.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Eight months, plus a few days.

I want to remember everything at this time. It seems almost magical. Our serious, somber infant has been transformed into a babbling, bouncing baby.  Evie is constantly giving us (and everyone else) big snaggle-toothed grins. She crawles around the floor playing on her own for big chunks of time. She gives love bites (I call her a little vampire,  bare knees are her favorite). She eats a ton, even from a spoon,  which is a big deal because from four to seven months,  she was not into eating from spoons. She grunts when she wants a bite of food,  which has led to her getting bites of hamburger and other decidedly not baby foods (She mostly just gives them a good lick/suck). She gobbles pb&j, pears,  peas, applesauce pouches,  anything brad,  pasta, and the homemade baby food I made (sweet potatoes,  pumpkin apple, etc.).

Daytime sleep is still difficult. This is magnified by her newly developed skill of sitting up in her crib.  Half the time we go to get her,  she's sitting up and crying. It is pretty much the saddest thing ever.

I showed her a big plush Minnie Mouse at Costco,  abs she loved it.  Minnie gave her kisses and clapped. We went to see Minnie the next time we went shopping,  and it totally made Evie cry!  Sad and funny.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Eight Months!

Evie will turn eight months old this week
I feel like next time I blink she'll be one. There have been some significant milestones this month. She claps, especially to pat-a-cake. She scoot-crawls (prop up in crawl  stance, lunge arms pur, repeat). She has 1.5 top teeth. She sleeps through the night again, mostly. She naps well about 50% of the time. She talks to herself nonstop, especially in th car. She sticks.out her tongue, a lot. She does not sit still for stories or Baby Signing Time.

Evie makes us laugh every day. We love her to pieces. She is strong, smart, beautiful, funny,  and so very important.  And she learns new things everyday.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dear Evelyn,

Today I was having a hard day. It doesn't really matter why.

This week has been tough in general for both of us. I've been trying to help you get on a sleep schedule,  and you've been cutting a tooth, which equates to twenty-minute disaster naps and frequent night wakings.

The past two nights I've waited a few minutes when you wake up before it's time to eat again, and you've actually put yourself back to sleep within five minutes a few times.  This is wonderful. And this morning,  your first nap lasted almost 45 minutes,  while you're second nap went on for an hour and twenty minutes! By the end I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself,  I'm just not used to having that much time.

Your progress today was extremely encouraging. And the rest of your baby antics also helped me feel more cheerful throughout the day. I'm so glad to have you in my life, especially when you nap well.

Sure do love you,

Mom

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just stopping in...

Just had to post quickly to say, Evie pulled herself up today! First, I put her in her crib, sitting, while I took a bathroom break. I came back and she was kneeling,  holding onto the side of the crib. Then we were sitting in the floor upstairs just hanging out with  the family, and she pulled herself up to STANDING, holding onto a little rocking chair! And then, as she leanes into the chair, she moved her hands away ("Look Ma, no hands!").

And here's a picture of her after walking aroung Liberty Park on Pioneer Day.

Monday, July 22, 2013

7 +1

To celebrate seven months, on week, top tooth #1 has arrived. Yesterday it was barely visible,  and today I can feel it (on the rare occasion Evie lets me put my finger in her mouth). It is on her left side.

I sure hope the painful part ends soon, it has been a rough week for sleep! Poor baby girl...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Seven Months

Once again,  I can't believe my baby girl is another month older, and bigger! Has she really been around more than half a year? I feel like I blinked, and suddenly she grew up.

Well, sort of. She's got a lot more growing up to do still.

Evie still only has two tiny, razor-sharp teeth (whenever she gives me a slobbery kiss/bite, or chows down on the leather sofa or table edge, I think of Sunny from "A Series of Unfortunate Events"). She doesn't have enough hair for pigtails, but the hair she has shines golden in the sun. She is semi-mobile: no crawling yet, but scooting backward and flopping over to a crawling position whenever she is seated, and lots of wiggling.

She is no longer a quiet, serious baby (I worried about that for a time), but spits, hoots, grunts, and screeches with excitement, and is usually smiling or pulling a funny face.

She doesn't love baby food, but likes small bites of fruit in the morning (banana, nectarine, melon, etc.) and has been known to chomp on a green bean, french fry style.

She adores Baby Signing Time. She's been to four movies (Les Miserable,  Smurfs, Dispicable Me 2, and Monsters University). Evie's favorite songs are the Tiki Room and Wheels On the Bus (I'm 95% sure she dances to the Tiki Room song, by popping her little knee to bounce up and down).

She's slept through the night once since month 3 or 4, whenever she stopped. It was glorious. She will not take  a bottle. Or a binky. I feel like I might never go out again, but I know it won't last forever. Oh, and she's still sensitive to milk protein.

Evie loves to play. Lap games that involve bouncing are the best, and knocking down block towers is pretty great too. Some of her favorite toys are not toys, like a wooden spoon, old fashioned clothes pin, survival bracelet, and anything paper.

If we are somewhere noisy, Evie likes to get in on the action, and starts shrieking.  Sometimes she has shrieking conversations with her dad.

She's started to notice when I leave the room, and cries. It makes me feel pretty special,  but is not always convenient.

Evelyn really is delightful. Between the mundane and  moments of frustration, mess, and tears, I am awe-struck that this wonderful little person belongs to me. I try to cherish the times she won't let me put her down, and I have to hold her while she sleeps. I nuzzle my nose into her neck, blow raspberries on her soft tummy, hold her tiny hands, gaze at her sweet face, and kiss her chubby cheeks and little lips. Life really is a miraculous thing, and I feel privileged to be trusted with the job of motherhood.

On that note, happy 7 months to Evie. Try not to grow up too fast, ok?

Friday, July 12, 2013

(almost) seven months

I haven't done my usual weekly update in awhile. Here's what's new.

Evie sleeps on her tummy. We put her on her back, and she rolls. Sometimes when we go in to get her, she is propped up on her hands, crying. Silly girl, just rest your head! She is somewhat mobile. She doesn't crawl, but if you put her down on her stomach, she moves (usually backward).

We used to say Evie was a quiet baby. Now, she squeals, hoots, spits, laughs, and babbles all the time. It is adorable, and entertains whoever is around.

Evelyn still has some goofy newborn hairs, but the new hair growing in is very light, and sometimes looks almost blond. Her eyes are a mystery color. Not really blue, not green or hazel, kind of a mix. The outside is rimmed with black, and so they often look really dark in pictures.

Evie loves to be tickled, bounced, and just given attention. Sometimes she cocks her head to the side and looks at you until you acknowledge her.

She still just has the two bottom teeth, and we find little bite marks on lots of things.

Here are some pictures of baby Evelyn at 6 months, in her teeny bikini.





baby's first vacation


Okay, the title isn't totally accurate. We took Evie to St. George in February, and stayed one night. It was a lot of driving for one night. This last week we took her to Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, and Jackson Hole. Two days of solid driving, six nights sleeping away from home.

She really did so well. We had music in the car, plenty of "puffs" for her to munch on, Signing Time on the ipad, and a car packed to the gills with stuff. Baby girl traveled in style.

Here are highlights of the trip.




Relaxing in the shade at Yellowstone.


Playing with cousins, everyday.


 This awesome carrier and sunshade.


Hiking to Taggart Lake.


Wearing sunglasses.


Seeing these mountains everyday.


Roasting marshmallows.

This funny girl:








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