Evelyn At Fourteen Months

It happened this month!  We put you to bed one night, our precious baby Evelyn Rose; and the next morning you woke up our precious toddler!  Although somedays it feels like you skipped the toddler phase all together and went directly from a baby to a two year old.  Even your aunt Hillary commented today that "your kids hit the 'terrible two's' so early, and stay that way 'til four." (No guarantee of it ending at four, ha!)

Just a day or so into your 14th month, your Gigi said, "Can you close that cabinet?"  And you slowly, deliberately, even-seemily-sweetly shook your little head twice to give your answer--"No."  And you haven't stopped.  You spent the next couple of days shaking your head "No" as often as possible.  It was actually pretty funny.  It has lessened a bit lately; although you still do it when applicable.

I walked in to find your standing on our side table, swinging a large mirror side to side against the wall on which it was (thankfully) still hanging.  I had turned the two chairs in the living room towards the wall so that you couldn't climb into them and fall out; you had scooted one back from the wall, climbed into it, and then climbed onto the table next to it.  There is also a lamp on that table.  And hardwood floors underneath it.  And, of course, the mirror above it.  I had been in the laundry room for at least five minutes, and when I came in and got you down, you gave me an extra tight squeeze around the neck.  I think you'd realized you were stuck up there.  I think we narrowly escaped stitches that day, and I wouldn't have even known what to tell the doctor about how you got hurt.  I was picturing a DHS interview.

You point to the pictures of "Dada" that are around the house and tell me all about them.  In the last month or so, your babbling and language has increased, and in the last few months you have also been willing to attempt to repeat words when we ask you.   I asked you a question the other day, and your babbling back had the exact "sound" and intonation as "I don't know." I'm sure that's what you said!  Even though I don't know much of what you babble about, you certainly understand most everything we say--I hope we haven't ruined your Christmas surprises!

You came and found me in the laundry room, told me "uh oh!" took my hand and walked me to the living room, saying "uh oh" all the way.  When we got in there, the credits were rolling on the television.  The "uh oh" was that the show was over!  You were ready for some more singing and dancing entertainment.

One of your "words" I think you've had for a while that I'm just now noticing is "night night."  It sounds similar to "mama," and you consistently say it at bedtime.  Spencer will tell you, "Goodnight, I love you!"  And you'll wave and babble a "night night" back to him.  Sometimes, that's the bright spot of my day!  Other words you attempt include "up," "bath," "off," "on," "yeah,""eyes" (pointing to your nose) "book," and I know there are more I can't remember.  You still have a 'baba," and you do not want to replace it with milk in a cup.  You love water in a cup, and milk in a bottle.  Oh, the opinions!

You recently asked me for your bottle, and I think I said something about not being sure where it was.  You fussed and fussed, and took my hand.  I humored you, and you led me to one of the backward facing chairs in the living room, where you had thrown your bottle, and then, you or Spencer had thrown toys and blankets on top of it.  You took me to the chair and continued to tell me "baba" and "uh oh," until I realized it was wedged in there with the other stuff.  I got it out for you, and walked off pretty impressed at your communicative abilities and, of course, perseverance to be heard in our family.  That scenario reminded me a lot of your brother at your age.  You two are smart kiddos.  I have to work to stay caught up, I've pretty much given up trying to stay "ahead."

You love your brother so much, and you want to do whatever he is doing.  He had me help him take off his sweatshirt the other day, and you immediately followed suite, coming up to me, pulling on your sweatshirt, and insisting it be removed.  You enjoyed coloring some this month, which surprised me.  You did still try to put the crayons in your mouth; and you were really mad that we had to keep them in the kitchen, so they have been short coloring times; but you had fun for a moment.

One Sunday morning this month, Miss Julie moved you up to the toddler room in Sunday school, mainly because the baby room was full of babies, some of which weren't so happy.  She knew if there was any baby who would do fine in the toddler class, it would be you.  You were very tired that morning, but you did fine.  You had insisted on having someone else's dad hold you (twice) when he was there to pick up his own child.  He was holding you when I came in, and I think he felt awkward.  He assured me that you had fussed at him until he held you, twice; I told him him that I had no doubt you fussed him in to holding you.   You love "dada's."

You love strawberries, and you enjoyed the "creamy tacos" I cooked this month.  You also like spaghetti and pizza.  You want to feed everything to yourself.  We have tried to convince you to let us feed you yogurt, and you have to be extremely hungry to put up with that.  You don't have a lot of patience for sitting up to eat, you want to get down before you are full, and you fuss, cry, and scream that I won't let you carry your food all over the house.  We're talking knock down drag out tantrums sometimes.  You seem to really like water; and you like cow's milk ok.

Lately, you so enjoyed taking out every single piece of plastic cutlery from a large ziploc bag, and then you enjoyed helping me clean it up.  You insisted that I hold the bag open, and you put in one piece after another.  You definitely quit before everything was picked up, but just the part you did reminded me what a true toddler you are these days.  Your baby days seem to be coming to an end.

The pictures of you on the sofa was such a fun day for you.  Spencer had pulled all the cushions off of the sofa the night before, and we'd rushed around that morning getting him out the door to preschool.  When all the dust settled, I'd forgotten that the cushions were off the sofa.  I had been trying to be so vigilant about watching you in that situation, because you are wild and a climber, but you can still fall off easily.  It was quiet in the living room, so I peeked in; and these pictures are what I saw--you, sitting with a big grin on your face on the sofa, holding your milk AND your water, watching "Miss Patty Cake."  You were so proud to be sitting on the couch like a big girl.  I ran and grabbed the camera.

It's become increasingly clear to me that a lot of times you want to be my "buddy."  You want to sit by me while I do something, or you want to help me do it.  The problem is that you're 14 months old, so you sit there for half of a second and then you see all of the amazing opportunities surrounding you and you do things that make me have to insist you not sit by me (on the sofa, at the table, at the counter stools, etc.)  Then you get really mad.  We go rounds over this all day long.  It's sweet that you want to be with me doing what I'm doing, though.  I look forward to the day when that's a positive experience for the two of us.

Tonight I was folding laundry.  You grabbed your daddy's t-shirt, put it over your head so you couldn't see anything and walked and ran all over the house, giggling.  You would take it off every now and then, laugh, throw it back on and run some more.  You're hilarious.  You've also got a nice, strong, over hand throw these days.  We encourage it outside with balls, but your favorite thing to throw is your full sippy cup.  You like the umph it adds to your temper tantrums.  

Spencer is your favorite wrestling partner.  You love to pick a (play) fight with him to get him to chase you and tickle you.  You also love to ambush him when he's on ground level.  You run up and grab his head, pull his hair, jump on him, slobber on him, etc.  When he is also in the mood, it is so cute.  When he's not in the mood, I'm very concerned that he is going to really hurt you, but so far, so good.  He manages to keep his cool until I can pull you off of him.

While you love to play with him, you have also shown some times when you attempt to help me take care of him.  You're very upset when he is in trouble (screaming), and yesterday you saw me packing everything up for us to get out the door and you found his shoe in the shoe basket and walked it over to him.  You've tried to put his shoes and socks on him before this many times, but I'd never seen you take such initiative.  Ha!  And he's certainly never returned the favor!

Getting pictures of the two of you is getting harder.  I don't for see it getting any easier any time soon; but y'all are so precious, I will keep trying.

Here, you were so excited about watching "Old King Cole."  You love the singing and the dancing; and you dance along.  I've captured some of your dancing on video tape.  You have the funniest little moves.  You move your arms back and forth and you move your hips back and forth.  If the music is fast, you just do the same thing really fast.  Sometimes you involve your shoulders too.  You'll stomp your feet and clap your hands, and every now and then you wave your hands over your head.

You have been telling us when it's time for your bedtime recently; and you do not let up until we put you to bed.  Spencer started doing much, much younger than you; but I'm so glad you feel positively about going to bed now.  It's probably only been in the last couple of months that you don't cry when we put you to bed every night.  You're bonding with your bedtime routine--only took fourteen months!  You've had a cold (or three) all month, and you still take one nap a day.  One day this month you took two naps, per your request, probably because you were sick.  You were up a ton that night.  I think this has been your best month in terms of sleeping, though.  You've had about least three times of sleeping until 5 am for three nights in a row.  We're all hoping this is the month you learn how to make it through every night.  Fourteen months was the magic month for Spencer.

You love playing outside with Spencer, and you're trying to scale the play kitchen like he does, so it's about to go back into storage until you're a little older.  You're keeping us on our toes; but God knew I'd never be happy living a boring life.  We love the wiggly dancing and even the close calls you have brought to our family.  Love you, sweat pea, stay off the side tables!


Evelyn Rose Can Find Her Nose at 13 Months

These days, you seem like such a "big girl."  And, I mean that purely figuratively, because people constantly see you acting so old and looking a bit petite, so they are curious as to how old you actually are.  You really enjoy coloring and drawing on paper.  You so enjoy "helping" in the kitchen, that I've child-locked even more cabinets than I child-locked with Spencer.  I think I also have less patience for a toddler dragging out everything every five seconds.  Anytime I try to pick up, I'm certainly fighting a losing battle.

You also are interested in other chores I do, and at times, you're actually been interested in participating in them (as opposed to just being in the middle of them to mess everything up).  You trying to put clothes on hangers while I'm doing the laundry, and a few weeks ago you were crying because I wouldn't let you wash the dishes with me.  Our dishwasher broke, and I was washing them by hand.  You seemed to notice I was doing something very different, and you were very interested.  It might have just been the blue gloves.

A couple of weeks ago, you found the bouncy seat at Gigi's that I sent over for Ruby.  You immediately insisted that I help you sit in it correctly, and then you said, "ba-ba, ba-ba" (asking for your bottle).  The irony is that you never sat in that seat to take a bottle, although I would have loved for you to have done so every once in a while.  After that short-lived activity, you told me to buckle the baby doll into it, and then you joined her.

You like to arrange all sorts of scenarios for yourself.  You recently directed me (with babbling and motions) to take a pillow off the sofa before you would take your bottle.  You wanted to sit on top of it while you drank your milk.  Then, after a few sips, you wanted to add another pillow to the pile; and then you directed me to help you sit on top of them.  It made me think of the princess and the pea, or rather, the princess and her bottle.  You're no less finicky than that princess when it comes to drinking your milk.

Someone taught Spencer to say "cheese" when a picture is being taken, and so sometimes to get your attention, I tell you to say it, and you give it a try.  The first time you tried to say it was so precious.  I don't want to forget.  We were in the kitchen, I think.  And I asked you to take out your paci and say cheese.  You took your paci out, said your version of "cheese," and then put your paci right back in.  Precious little lady.

You can throw a ball really well by holding it over your head with both hands.  I was shocked the first time you spiked one across the room that way.  You're full of surprises.

Once during your thirteenth month, you caught me in the kitchen with a cup, and you insisted I give you a regular cup with water in it for you to drink.  You do really well with one, and you love to practice in the bath tub; but I won't be letting you walk around the house without a lidded cup anytime soon.

You follow directions so quickly when you want the end result.  For example, you will sit down in a flash when I ask so that I can put your shoes on.  You will even try to help me put them on.  You run away cracking up when I ask you to do something you don't want to do.  You bend your little head down, and sway your arms back and forth and run off in your little lady-waddle that we love so much.  It's really funny.

You really enjoying standing on top of things like the kids table and chairs, the pouf and glider in your room, the toilet, and any other furniture you can squirrel your way onto.

You know so much of what we say to you now, it's crazy.  I like to say things and see how much you know by just my words.  Recent testing has shown you know a lot!  Multiple other adults have looked at me recently and said, "She knows exactly what we're saying!" including your Gigi and my Aunt Annie.  You also try to say a lot; but for many of the words, it is truly just "trying."  I just told your dad yesterday that I need to get a list of all your words (for this, your virtual, and hopefully soon-printed-out baby book).

You do great at Kid's Night Out, and impress everyone by how much food you can put away.  You loved Miss Parker and Miss Holly.

You also really enjoy feeding yourself.  Some days you refuse to eat unless I let you do it.  And, on some of those days, I give in and let you do it.  It gets messy.

You can drink out of a sippy cup like a pro, but you do not want to drink your milk out of it.  God doesn't want me feeling bored or as if I've "arrived" any time soon.  And, I'm certainly in no danger of that.  You're getting one or two more top teeth in, and they look so big in your little bitty mouth.  You've slept through the night twice this month.  I'm thinking and hoping the teething is the main hindrance.  We know you can do it.  You still take one nap a day, and you have proven your skin to be almost as sensitive as your brother's when it comes to my cloth diapering endeavors.  We've probably cloth diapered you a combined two weeks out of the combined fifty six you've worn diapers.  I'm trying not to view that as a failure, but instead an attempt to do what you need.  Semantics.  =)

You like lots of different foods, and, it is a bit exhausting how into feeding yourself you are.  I think I'd chosen to block this "stage" from my memory.  I'm trying to go with it.  You get bored with the same food served "too often,' and you just fuss and refuse to eat it.  I used to mistake this as you not being hungry or not wanting to sit up and eat, but now I know you just didn't care for what I offered you.

Closer to fourteen month "word" list:  "yum, yum, yum," "da da," "mama," "Ssssss" (for Spencer, shoes, and cheese, of which you will only eat shredded or melted), "Pa pa," "Hi!" "bye bye," "ba ba" (seems like you say this for bottle and paci, although when I remind you how to say it, you can say "pa pa" for paci), "uh oh."  I know there are more,  and I'll add them as I think of them.  You are willing to try to imitate words, and you do jibber jabber a good amount.  It's almost time for your fourteen month post, Ev!  I just can't keep up with you!  (But I love you so, sweet pea.)


First Play Date With Cousin Ruby

Ruby came to play at her cousins' house for the first time today.  Actually, Natalie was just trying to keep Ruby from taking too long of an afternoon nap, and I told her she certainly came to the right place!

Spencer is now an old pro at welcoming babies to our house.  And he was happy Ruby was here and eager to show her the ropes.  Unfortunately, Ruby is still a bit young to see the ropes.

But, he helped me take a few pictures, and he pretended he was Dr. Spencer, so he needed to check her out for us.  She, apparently, looked good.

Evelyn has had a harder time adjusting to "the new baby" than I ever dreamed a thirteen month old could.  At least when Natalie held Ruby, Evelyn didn't scream and throw a full on temper tantrum like she has done previously when her Gigi holds Ruby.  While Nat held Ruby, Evelyn continually attempted to get Natalie to play with her instead.

After about an hour, Evelyn "settled in" a bit, and was almost content to sit on the sofa next to Natalie and Ruby and occasionally force Natalie to give her a little side hug or cuddle.  Evelyn Rose is crackin' us up with this seemingly precocious reaction to no longer being "the baby" of the (extended) family.  Were we just naive to think she'd probably just play happily in her own little world, at least until Ruby can crawl around and get into "her" toys?

Evelyn's little hand-wringing and peculiar, nervous, jealous, but all the while lady-like posturing kept us giggling.  She did extend the ultimate right hand of fellowship and offer the baby her bottle, and one of her passies.  So, Ruby, no worries, you're in.  Evelyn just needs a little more time to adjust to seeing all of the people in her life holding a new, precious little lady.


Evie's First Baby Shower This Side of Things

Evelyn, you attended your first baby shower in September.  It was for your Aunt Natalie and your cousin Ruby.  


At the very beginning you weren't exactly sure what you thought about it all.  It was nap time, and you fell asleep in the car on the way there.  But once your Gigi held you for a bit, you were ready to party.  

So many people love your Aunt Natalie, and I hear she received lots of fun gifts for Ruby Clare.  Unfortunately for me, you were not really into sitting around watching Natalie open her gifts. 

 It was in a large room with plenty of places to explore and people with which to socialize, so it was a perfect set up for your purposes.

Almost everyone commented on how shockingly small you looked to be walking so well.  You were fascinated by two babies who were sleeping in baby carrier car seats, which was really sweet.  You then proceeded to find and fixate on the big, open stairway, which was not nearly as sweet.  You practiced on those stairs for the majority of the shower.  Not even the bribery of eating cake out of a tea cup kept you away for more than a couple of bites.

First Christian Preschool's 2012 Fall Festival

Both kids had a blast at First Christian Preschool's Fall Festival.  It's an annual fundraiser, and it was hoppin'!  My favorite touch was the band who has volunteered some-odd consecutive years to play the live music, even though all of their children are too old to attend the preschool.  They weren't too loud, but you knew they were there.  Evelyn, I, and I'm sure many others loved the ambience the music brought to the event.  

We got there a little early, which was a good thing for Evelyn.  She got to bounce when it was very calm, and she loved it.  

I remember when Spencer went down one of these huge slides for the first time.  It was about 100 degrees.  He loved it then and he still likes it now.

He can climb up all by himself now (truth be told, he probably could have climbed up all by himself then too, but it's age appropriate and socially acceptable now).  

Evelyn watched him happily from the stroller for about two minutes.  Then she realized she was missing out.  And she was outa there.

I love this picture.  But I sincerely hope it is not a glimpse into our future.  God help us if she can outrun her brother.

Evie loved the bounce house.  She loved falling, crawling, and jumping.  

I wish I could have taken this picture from the other side.  You can tell by her profile that she has a huge smile on her face.  She loved bouncing, but not more than her pacifier.  

Spencer is having a blast in the background.

Don't worry, she was still smilin' when she got back up.

Group shots are difficult these days, but I love how Evelyn looks like she is strikin' a pose.

Here, Spencer is admiring his prizes from all the games.  Conquering the cake walk was his mail goal after Jenny Powell told him all about it in speech therapy.  It took him many, many tries, but I was so proud of his perseverance.  The junior high girls running the cake walk were pulling for his number to be called.  Once he won, he picked a pan of six, heavily iced cupcakes with leaf rings on top.  They were delicious.

I couldn't help but compare my kids to their pictures this time last year.  In the top left picture, Evelyn isa little over a month old at our church's fall festival in 2011 and next to that she looks much more than a year older to me in October 2012.  And to see Spencer at the pumpkin patch in 2011 compared to a picture of him at First Christian's Fall Festival in 2012 it feels like so much has changed, and at the same time, nothing has changed at all.  Time is a remarkable thing.  It is surreal to watch your babies grow, but it is always fascinating to me how similar they are to their little newborn selves, year after year after year.

In a more artistic vein, I enjoyed managing to find two shots where Evelyn is waving with her right hand and two shots where you see the right side of Spencer's profile.  I love symmetry almost as much as I love them.