Posts Tagged ‘baby evan’

Happy Friday!

Friday, May 25th, 2012

I have a very busy and exciting weekend planned – right after I get my upstairs bathroom cleaned for my house guest because YIKES – so today I leave you with vintage video of 8 month old Baby Evan (remember when he was Baby Evan? Awwwww!).

And before you call me a bad person for letting him torture the cat like that, remember she has four perfectly good and working legs and could WALK AWAY at any point. Maybe I should have taught her about wise choices.

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36 Months

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Thirty-six months. 1,096 days. 13,149 hours. 3,124 diapers. 104 gallons of milk. 12 states. Hundreds of tiny plastic toys lost under the couch. Thousands of tantrums. Millions of hugs and kisses. Today, Evan is 3 years old.

This age, it is awesome. And horrible. Totally horrible. But also so so awesome. Instead of feeling like I’m constantly catering to a helpless baby’s needs, I feel like I have a little friend who hangs out with me all day. He’s cooler than I am, and funnier, and cuter, and has more friends, but he still likes me best and that’s pretty neat. He gives me hugs in public and wants kisses when he has a booboo and wants to be carried sometimes and I’m going to encourage that behavior for as long as possible. Because when he’s not being adorable and cuddly he’s screaming his head off, punching me in the face and refusing to eat a single bite of his dinner. What is WITH the not eating?! He never holds still, how can he not be starving?

Evan is super friendly and will talk to anyone who talks to him. He tells the old ladies in the grocery store about how Captain Hook tried to take Pirate Mommy’s treasure and Pirate Evan came to the rescue! And he says it just like that: “To the RESCUE!” with his hands on his hips like Superman. His trains have crazy adventures with plots more complicated and twisty than a Christopher Nolan movie. How someone who’s only been alive for 36 months has so much imagination is beyond me, but I will do everything in my power to make sure he keeps on using it forever.

Because he LIKES being the center of attention, when he’s not the center of attention he gets a little…loud. Like hey guys, looks at me check this out GUYS I’m SERIOUS look at what I AM DOING RIGHT NOW MOMMY LOOK LOOK LOOK MOMMY LOOK AT MEEEEEEE. I mean, I suppose that isn’t SURPRISING, since on daily basis I spend 13 hours a day with him and only 2 with E, but sometimes I don’t WANT to talk about his boogers. Evan’s boogers, I mean. E normally keeps his boogers to himself.

Speaking of, uh, speaking, Evan says about a zillion adorable things on a daily basis. We’ve started having family dinner at the table every night and he tells us all about his day. He calls Caroline “Baby Sister” and says “Baby Sister gives the best hugs!” and “C’mon Baby Sister!” when he takes her hand and they run around the house together. He tells the dog he’s a “Good boy, Brutus Brutus.” When E gets home Evan says “Daddy, missed you ALL DAY.” He’s been talking non-stop about his birthday party when he’ll see “all my friends”. As much as I’m looking forward to the party on Saturday, I’m also looking forward to Sunday, when I’m sure Evan will have TONS to tell me about how much fun he had. It makes all the work so worth it.

Honestly, no matter how many tantrums and how much attitude he pulls he is such a good kid. I’m not even going to pretend I’m super sad about him not being a baby anymore because you know what is better than a baby? A kid who craps in the toilet.

Evan’s likes include running, kicking things, his tricycle, gymnastics (finally!), Baby Sister, dogs, kitty, helping me around the house, friends, Daddy, bathtime, sleeping, milk, coloring, talking, singing, chocolate, strawberries, dinosaurs, cheeseburgers, lemonade, books, pirates, The Disney Channel, his cousins, counting, pillows, and elevators.

Dislikes include being tired, band-aids, falling down, being ignored, spiders, and being forced to pose for pictures.

And now for some totally unbelievable photos from Evan’s last 3 birthdays:

Birth Day

Tiny puke machine

12 months

OMG

24 months

36 months

You're in my way, Mom.

Most serious face ever

Attitude to the max

I'm sorry, when did he turn FIFTEEN?

Best siblings ever

Blurry, laughing picture is perfectly accurate

35 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Describes how two objects are used – He knows the iPhone is for Angry Birds and the TV is for Disney, so we’re good right?
• Uses three to four words in a sentence – On Wednesday, he woke me up by saying “Mommy, I got poop in my butt!” So that’s seven words.
• Names two actions (e.g., skipping, jumping) – He often demands that I RUN FASTER at Stroller Strides or that I do HIGH KNEES when we’re shopping. He’s a tiny personal trainer.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Hops and skips – Someone last month said I should ask him to skip for the lulz…and they were right.
• Follows a two- or three-part command – He can get himself to the bathroom, take off his pants, flush and wash his hands all by himself. It’s the BEST SKILL ever to emerge.
• Separates fairly easily from parents – Yes, he likes us OK but realizes other people still fall for his “I’m so cute give me a cookie” routine. The real test will be preschool, which I was super excited about but now I’m dragging my feet.
• Rides a tricycle – Yes, on flat ground. And now he has an awesome bike helmet thanks to his Mormor.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Balances on each foot for three seconds – Yes. The kid can walk the beam at gymnastics too.
• Gets dressed without help – He got caught in his shirt trying to pull it over his head (of course I immediately rushed to help him without laughing even a tiny bit) and it was kind of traumatic so now he won’t take off his own shirt. But he CAN dress/undress himself.

Happy Birthday my wonderful, special boy!

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25 Months

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Monthday update only one day late! Pretty good after 25 of these and 2 kids. If it helps, I also forgot about Cinco de Mayo so we’re having Mexican food tonight instead. Yeah, I just compared the day I gave birth to a baby to a day for eating guacamole. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW I FEEL ABOUT GUACAMOLE.

My dear sweet weird little boy, you get sweeter and weirder every day. Your favorite food is Honey Bunches of Oats (with Almonds!) but you refuse to eat either granola or almonds on their own. You love it when I sing but get mad when I dance. Your favorite tv show is The Price is Right and you shout for “pry eh rye!!” every time I turn it on. You absolutely love to sleep (maybe you feel bad about not sleeping through the night for the first 15 months of your life) and made the transition to a big boy bed with almost no trouble at all. We even took the side rail off your bed so I can climb in with you in the morning and cuddle until we both wake up a little more. You are obsessed with your little sister’s toys and seats and stuff and love sitting in her Bumbo chair, even though it sticks on your butt and you end up yelling for help to get free. Your favorite loud game is playing hockey with your foam stick and running in circles screaming. Your favorite quiet game is pointing at mommy’s freckles. You love to read books but REALLY love technology – out of a somewhat limited vocabulary, one of your most understandable words is “IPAD!!”

You’re actually getting better at listening and haven’t fought with me at all this week when I said it was time to leave the park and come home for lunch. We are both working hard on using our indoor voices, even when we are mad, and we both appreciate the effort. You’ve peed in the potty four times this week, although you still wake up very wet so I don’t think you’re quite ready to full-out potty train. It’s amazing to see your memory getting better too – you tell me every day that I got a booboo on my toe and that you got one too (sorry about that, I didn’t realize those sandals were giving you a blister until we got home) and that booboo’s hurt. You also saw a picture of your Grandpa (Bamba) today on my Year of Little Evan Calendar and started asking for him. When I asked if you loved your Bamba you said “Essss!!”

If we walk with your friends, you want to hold their hands (forcibly, if necessary) which is just beyond adorable. You are also totally fearless. TOTALLY. You climbed to the top of the big kid playscape and threw yourself down the tunnel slide without being able to see the bottom or waiting for me to tell you it was OK. It almost gave Mama a heart attack but she loves how brave you are…and that you still want hugs when you fall down.

I feel more and more lucky to be your mommy every single day. I love you more than a million words can say Little Evan.

Joy

Playgrounds make him so happy. And tired. We got a 4 hour nap out of 45 minutes at this one.

Sliding! I slide! I slide!

Look Ma, no feet! I'm so little!

Whut? This is totally normal.

Always my baby, even though he looks like a big boy

25 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Stacks six blocks – EFF YOU AND YOUR BLOCKS BABYCENTER. We put all the blocks upstairs because I was tired of tripping on them, so he hasn’t actually had any blocks to stack in a few months.
• Walks with smooth heel-to-toe motion – He walks like a normal person. He runs like a crazy person. It’s fantastic.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Uses pronouns (e.g., I, me, you) – He has started saying “I” as in “I fell down!” or “I slide!” or “I roll!” but I haven’t heard me or you. He did finally start saying “Eban!” if you ask who he is though.
• Washes and dries own hands – OMG THE BEST THING EVER. He also brushes his own teeth and puts on his own deodorant, mascara, headbands and jewelry. Someone is a good mimic.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Speaks clearly most of the time – AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. We have a speech evaluation on the 23rd, although he gets better and better every day so I suspect the therapist won’t find him eligible for the Birth to Three program.
• Draws a vertical line – He doesn’t really like drawing, unless it’s on the walls. But some of the lines are pretty straight.

I’m also please to see that the “Starts to recognize ABC’s” and “Names one color” milestones are both a few months away and listed as advanced skills. Sometimes I feel like I’ve already failed him as mother because so many kids a few months younger seem to be naming colors and numbers and letters already. I don’t need my kid to be a genius – I just want him to be NORMAL. Except for jumping. My kid is a damn jumping PRODIGY.

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Evan’s Second Birthday: Food

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Even though I spend the majority of my pre-party planning on crafts and decorations, I spend 75% of my money and day-of preparations on food. I love food. Food is the reason I have parties at all.

Here’s an overview:


1. Mini-cupcakes
2. Marshmallow lollipop
3. Cucumber sandwiches
4. Mini quiches
5.Swedish meatballs
6. Mini doughnut cookies
7. Hand-made chocolate truffles made by and shipped from my friend Erin
8. Caprese salad sticks
9. Fruit salad
10. Veggie plate
11. Cheese and cracker plate
12. CAKE

Now here’s the deets:

Leftover cake batter (because I had to TRIPLE the recipe to have enough for the cake but only needed a little bit of that 3rd batch) turned into mini cupcakes in polka dot wrappers topped with peanut M&M’s on a cake stand from BJ’s.

I came up with these on Thursday morning when I found marshmallows on sale at Target. I stuck them on sticks and dipped them in colored melting chocolate and sprinkles. The little stands are Styrofoam balls cut in half and wrapped in tissue paper. They were SO EASY and delicious and popular with the kids.

The cucumber sandwiches were the only thing we ran out of. It’s just Wonder Bread with garden veggie flavored cheese spread and cucumbers, but they are SO DELICIOUS. And I even used the secretly whole wheat white bread to make them a little healthier. The mini quiches are store-bought and my absolute favorite party food in the world. They have been since I was about 12, when I decided eating mini quiches automatically made me look both older and classier.

My mom used her grandma’s recipe to make Swedish meatballs and I used my awesome crafting skills to glue felt circles to colored toothpicks to make them fancy. One of us worked a lot harder than the other.

My friend Kimberly sent me a link to these a couple weeks ago when I mentioned I was looking for round food and I fell in love with them. I actually baked and decorated them last weekend and stuck them in the freezer. They defrosted beautifully and were both adorable and delicious.

This idea came from Amy at Soup or Salad Blog – tomatoes, piece of basil and cheese. I just picked up the little mozzarella balls from the salad bar at the grocery store and made my aunt assemble them for me. The cute little stand was from last year’s birthday party!

Even all my fruit was round, thanks to my mom’s mad melon balling skillz. Cantaloupe. watermelon, red grapes, green grapes, blueberries and black berries. You can also see the corner of my round veggie tray – cucumber, carrots and radishes cut into circles.

I didn’t get a close up of the truffles Erin made, but there were extremely yummy and also adorable – she somehow put colored polka dots into the coating. She did vanilla and strawberry for the kids and then orange liquor and Kahlua for the grown-ups. I ate the leftovers for lunch. And dinner.

And finally, my cake:

It is not as pretty as I had imagined. It also doesn’t have the precise color coordinated stripes of dots I had planned on before I realized the “20-25 minutes” it took to bake this batter as cupcakes was more like 50-60 minutes in large cake pans in my crappy oven. Then I ran out of batter and when I tried to make more I was a cup of sugar short. Luckily, my run to the grocery store didn’t end up ruining anything besides my plans to make the frosting perfectly smooth and delicately place all my jelly beans in exact lines.

You know who cared about the uneven frosting and the random dots? NO ONE. Not a single person, including me, cared that the cake didn’t look like it was from a professional baker.

The main reason is because it was DELICIOUS.

I ended up making it all from scratch, using recipes from I Am Baker for everything. The cake is white cake with buttercream frosting and lemon curd filling (the recipes are in those posts, but you’ll have to scroll for them – which shouldn’t be too much of a hardship because her cakes are GORGEOUS). When I test drove the cake as cupcakes last weekend they were perfect. When I tried to make it as cake it stuck to the pan and came out a little dry, but honestly, it was such an easy recipe I’m sure that was baker-error and I can do better next time. I kept apologizing for the dryness, but I may have been the only person who was bothered by it.

The frosting is like store-bought cake frosting, which I love but no one else does. It is very sweet, but the lemon curd filling tempered the sweetness. The filling was DELICIOUS. I should have cut each cake layer in half and done three layers of filling in each tier, just to get more lemon curd into each slice. I may have put lemon curd on toast for breakfast today. And lunch. And dinner.

2 year olds can blow out their own candles

The number of sweets in my house (all the baked goods combined with all the candy from the decorations) is EPIC. I need to have another party just to get rid of the food from my first party. But I heard from all the guests that despite the sugar overload their kids all slept REALLY well on Saturday night and spent all day Sunday talking about the “balloons!” and “ball pit!” at “Baby Evan’s party!” I call that a success. An extremely delicious success.

p.s. I need to add that NONE of the food would have gotten finished if not for my amazing family’s help. My mom and my dad and my aunt never batted an eyelash when I insisted they cut every slice of cheese into a circle or told them to ONLY use certain colors of jelly beans on the cake. They cut and slices and cooked and arranged so I could focus on my cake. Even E helped with the food when he wasn’t wrangling toddlers and babies. Thank you all SO MUCH for the help!

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Evan’s Second Birthday: Decorations

Monday, April 11th, 2011

After Evan’s big fancy over-done 1st birthday last year I swore I wouldn’t be doing a major party again until he was well into elementary school. But as this year’s birthday approached it occurred to me that throwing the party had very little to do with him and everything to do with ME. I wanted to celebrate the day I gave birth to my baby, I wanted to hang out with all my friends, I wanted to make my house pretty, I wanted to eat a disgusting amount of cake.

So I threw another party.

(Edited to remove my address & phone number so you can’t crazy stalk me. I know you were planning on it.)

I made the invitations on my computer with an old graphics program I stole borrowed from my office job. Then I ordered them as matte photo prints from Snapfish using a coupon code. Total cost: $4.05

The biggest difference between throwing a first birthday party and throwing a second birthday party is that 2 year olds need to be entertained a lot more than 1 year olds. So I went with a play time theme featuring the three things Little Evan loves most in the world: bubbles, balls and balloons. Then I categorized all those things as “round” and ran with it. I ran like I was in the Boston Marathon being chased by rabid badgers on roller skates carrying flame throwers.

 

Dining Room

As usual, all the “tablecloths” are just yards of fabric from Joann’s. The ones on the main table are really 3 piece of fabric just laying there. I am too lazy to sew.

Entryway - please ignore one wonky circle in the banner. It's glitter paper and my sticker didn't stick

 

Living Room - I made the banners with scrapbook paper, my printer and salad bowls for circle tracing

Living Room

The ball pit is actually Little Evan’s birthday present from LAST year. We left it up in the living room for a few months but I eventually wanted my house back and put it away. He was REALLY excited to see it again and I’m sort of amazed it didn’t get popped considering how much fun was had in it.

I love this picture the most because you can see decorations in both rooms, the gorgeous colors, and the children having a great time

 

Blurry photos of other people's kids to protect privacy

A few decorating details:

I bought the bottles of bubbles at Michael’s ($3 for 6), cut scrapbook paper into strips and then printed the circle stickers I designed on sheets of label paper. I used a big hole puncher to cut them, stuck them on the paper and hot glued the paper around the bottles. Boom, party favors!

I bought a 50 balloon helium tank at BJ’s for $21 and my dad blew them all up for us. Some of the strings were long enough for the taller kids to grab, but Little Evan kept losing his so we made sure he always had them with him:

That's the shirt I made! The same fabric is on my headband and on the entry table.

My mom had the brilliant idea to anchor some of the balloons with the adorable polka dot chalk we found at Michael’s ($1 for 5 pieces) and send them home with the kids.

Adorable, right?

There are also lots of round candies, so I filled a bunch of glass containers with them at stuck them on the mantel – jelly beans, peanut M & M’s, gum balls and DumDums. I ordered the giant rainbow lollipops from Oriental Trading Company and used more of my label paper, graphics program, and giant hole punch to make the stickers. Then I raided my milk glass collection for vases.

Other stuff I got from Oriental Trading:

 

Party Lanterns (And they fold up, so they're reusable!)

Beach balls and mini beach balls - perfect sized for small hands and helped fill up the pit nicely. I *think* some of the kids took them home (which was the plan) but we still have tons. They were cheap.

And to round it all out (BA DUM CHING) I picked up flowers in the colors that matched my theme: yellow, orange, blue and green. I was very excited to find blue flowers – and NATURAL blue flowers at that!

You know what DIDN’T work out great? The bubble machine. It got sort of sticky during our pre-party trial run and didn’t make the huge number of bubbles it used to. I put it on the porch to avoid slippery floors but it made the floor out there slippery so I turned it off until the kids found it. I had imagined gorgeous photos of children and bubbles but didn’t get any at all. But when it WAS working (for about 10 minutes) the kids really liked it!

Actually, the kids liked all of it. Especially the birthday boy.

How can I help but give this kid the best parties I can?

I had intended to just do one post for the whole party but this is getting ridiculously long, so I’ll save food for tomorrow. Or maybe later today. It really is the best part – I went a little crazy on the theme. I also ended up making the cake, frosting and filling from scratch (recipes and links coming soon!) so I need to give it the attention it deserves. And if you come to my house I have some left over for you to try. Please, please come eat this cake.

I linked up at Tip Junkie – she’s got some amazing parties on her site!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

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