Thursday, February 28, 2013

For One Brief, Fleeting Moment

A rare moment in time when there's not a speck of laundry left on the ol' "To Do" list...

For one brief, fleeting moment today the entire house was spotless, with a place for everything and everything in its place. The dishes were done; every single item of clothing was clean and actually (for once) folded or hung and put away; the floors were mopped and vacuumed and dog-hair-less; the bathrooms smelled fresh and sparkled brightly. Ahhh. With literally NOTHING left to do on my household chores list, I took a deep breath in and enjoyed that moment...

...and then this happened. Go figure. :) What a lovely reminder to take in life's brief, fleeting moments of happiness when you can!

Seriously? Are THREE of my four bathroom lights out?!?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear E.V. (Eight Months)

Dear E.V.,

You can crawl! You can crawl! YAY!

It took seven months and eleven days for you to figure it out, but it finally happened! You've been eagerly trying since the moment you were born, climbing up our chests and willing yourself forward  while on your tummy with grunts and squeals, and this month you finally crawled. I could not be any prouder of you, Emma Vance. I'm simultaneously ecstatic and saddened: I know your world has just changed vastly, and I'm so eager for you to explore it with a bit of independence; on the other hand, I'm already teary at the thought of you as my little newborn, all bundled up, relying on me for literally everything. I suppose that this is how the next 18 years will go--enjoying my little girl's growing up while mourning the loss of her youth...

So, back to the crawling. :) You are a total army crawler at this moment in time. You use your left arm to pull yourself forward and your right leg to push off. You don't quite seem to grasp the back-and-forth that characterizes most army crawls; you have a style that's all your own, and it works. I know that you're aware that there's a more proper way to crawl, because occasionally you'll get up on all fours, bounce back and forth a bit, then throw yourself forward a few inches before landing on your belly and giving in to the army crawl. It's hilarious to see! One day you'll get it, girlie, one day. For now, however, the army crawl gets you where you need to go, and that's all that matters!

Because you have this newfound mobility, you are into EVERYTHING. Seriously, I can't turn my back on you for a moment! It's so fun to see which toys and objects you really prefer (versus my handing you toys to play with before), and it's no surprise that you prefer Mom and Dad's toys to your own. Whether it's a phone, a computer or the iPad, you love technology (and its shiny, moving screens)! You also love to chew on paper (weird), and when I put you down in the bathroom to play while I shower, I've learned to hide the toilet paper. The first time I found you with a mouthful, I grabbed it away from you, thinking that would suffice; however, for the rest of the day I was digging out spit wads from your chubby little cheeks. Yuck! I've also been a little challenged when I have to be in the kitchen; although it's close to the living room (where your toys are), it isn't a direct view, so I've been setting you down on the floor next to me. To keep you occupied (and in one place!), I've been giving you pots and cups and spoons, making your own little drum kit and teaching you how to play it. You aren't to bad for a novice! (Ha!)

Along with your new crawling skills, you have blossomed in so many ways this month. You've become adventurous in the tub, flipping over to scratch the whale's padding and trying to stand while holding the faucet. (Bath time is still your absolute favorite time of day.) You've realized that you can chase after the dogs (which they do NOT like), and so you spend a lot of your playtime terrorizing Oscar and Olive. (We've had to work with them--and you--to make sure no one gets hurt when the three of you are together.) You have gone on a few play dates and restaurant dates this month, and every new situation reveals to me how social you are (which you get from your dad). You LOVE people; they energize you. You will go straight through nap time without so much as a fuss if there are people around for entertainment. The biggest thing that you've learned this month (other than crawling) has been clapping. You clap, clap, clap to the hits on the radio, to the tunes your Learning Puppy plays, to the ABC song your dad sings. It's so sweet and innocent that every time you clap away, I can't help but excitedly join in with you.

You spend so much time in the kitchen nowadays, especially since we've added self-feeding to your mealtime routine. You LOVE to pick up your own food and feed yourself, so usually for lunch you have bananas, avocados and veggie puffs. Last month you were going through a picky-eater stage, but this month you've been content with whatever we place before you. (Although you do like chunks of banana WAY more than pureed banana.) You gobble your fruits and veggies up and are always excited when you see me making a bowl of oatmeal. It is by far your favorite food (carbs!). You're taking the same amount of milk and formula last month, because when I tried to up your bottle intake this month you barfed everywhere, every time I tried to sneak another ounce into you. I give up! White flag! :) You've never loved or hated bottles, but in order to speed things along, we've been occasionally giving you your formula via syringe, which you LOVE. We've tried several sippy cups this month to no avail. HOWEVER, your favorite drinking method of all is to drink like a big girl, "cup style" as your dad and I call it. (I can't wait for you to be big enough to drink like that on your own!)

Because you became mobile and thus soooo much more active this month, you seem so skinny to me! (That's one reason I tried to get you to drink more.) I suppose it's just you growing up, though. Your looks are changing so much these days. I feel like more and more people are commenting how you look like me, perhaps because your blue eyes are turning colors. They aren't brown like mine (yet?), but change daily, varying from gray to green with brown flecks. They are beautiful, and are quickly becoming my favorite feature of yours. Also, your hair is settling down. The mohawk flies high some days and is non-existent others, making me fear the day it finally gives up for good. Your "other" hair is growing so fast, making for a long rattail and scraggly sides. I'm definitely ready for it to all become one head of hair! ;) Another physical change I thought we'd see this month was some teeth, but although they're bulging (and have been all month), they have yet to make an appearance.

I think that it might be your impending teeth, but you have been waking up during the nighttime a bit this month. Usually it's around 2 a.m., and you're easily consoled, so I'm not too worried (although your dad has less tolerance for it than I do). You wake up promptly each morning at 7:30 a.m. (almost to the dot) and go to bed around 7:30 p.m. depending on your nap schedule for the day. You spent the month dropping your third nap, taking slightly longer morning and afternoon naps instead. This was not a quick transition and every time I was ready to declare the transition over, you'd have a relapse day. Now, though, it seems settled, and you usually sleep from 10-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. One morning I plopped you in bed with your dad while I showered, and when he turned on Sesame Street to entertain (both of) you, you accidentally fell asleep while watching TV next to him! It was so sweet! In fact, you have been much, much better about crying when I put you down, and I'm eager for that to go away all together.

You are such a daddy's girl. You murmur "dadada" all day long, and although it really is your default word for anything and everything, there's a distinct difference when you say it to your dad. It melts my heart to hear it, to see the two of you interacting, and it makes me love him even more (if that's even possible!) to see how much he loves you.

You also say "mama" often, crying out for me in the night or when you bump your head. I love to hear you say my name, and hope you will never go through a phase where you want to call me "Talie." :) Promise you won't, okay?

Emma Vance, I love you so much. I get all teary-eyed thinking about you, how much you've grown, how much you've changed and how much you will continue to change as time passes by. I would give anything for you to stay little, but since I know that isn't possible, I promise to help you grow up to be the woman of God that I know you will choose to be. You are amazing and are destined to do great things in life; this I know in my heart.

Love you always,
Me (and Dad)



P.S. When your baby knows how to take a selfie, you're in trouble... :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Davis and E.V. at the public library for storytime...three weeks ago. #toobusytopost

I've been trying to write this post for almost two weeks. {Insert irony here.}

With everything that's going on in our lives right now, I'm constantly plagued with anxiety that something, somewhere is being forgotten, ignored or overlooked. I'm also constantly plagued with wanting to cram every possible thing into this little life of mine and simultaneously wanting to lay around and watch HGTV all day. Most days I feel like I'm just trying to control the chaos, and along the way I get brief moments of sanity-saving relaxation.

It seems to me that life should get simpler with age, but that hasn't been true in my experience thus far. In fact, it seems that things are getting more complicated instead of more manageable. Everyone always rants and raves about how your 20s are about finding yourself; however, no one ever warns you that your 30s are about doling that newfound self out in tiny portions to the other people and demands in your life.

At the end of each day, in the quiet of my bed, I think back over the past 16 or so hours and wonder if I managed to do everything well. The answer? An inevitable "no." Somewhere amidst the many failures, dropped balls and forgotten promises over the past few months, my daily goal morphed from one of achieving at everything to balancing everything. And, truthfully, I've come to realize that balance isn't the best aim for me; in fact, it's a bit of a lie in my opinion.

"Balance" is an illusive goal that promises us that, once achieved, will magically allow us to give every area of our lives the appropriate and satisfying amount of attention. The concept of balance would have us believe that by simply organizing and compartmentalizing our lives, we can do it all. However, inherently "balance" implies that you have to take from one area in order to sustain another, and thus something will always have to suffer--and that can hurt. We pay the price for anything in the amount of life (minutes) we spend doing that thing, and so as I find myself seeking balance, I find myself inevitably disappointed in at least one area of my life.

We are constantly making choices of how to spend our time, and I believe that it is in these choices of sacrifice that our priorities emerge. In thinking about my life in particular, there are a few reoccurring categories that I've been trying to balance:

Family (Ryan, E.V., Oscar and Olive)

Work (Paisley Papers and Retro 8...and maybe this blog!)

Working Out (ugh)

Sleep (nights and naps)

Alone Time (blogging, watching television, reading, surfing internet, shopping, etc.)

Socializing (for E.V., for us as a couple, and for me as an individual)

Household Chores (cleaning, laundry, bills, grocery shopping, household repairs, etc.)

Spirituality (things eternal: church, small group, devotional time, prayer, service, etc.)

When I look at all of these categories, I know that not all of them can get the adequate amount of attention needed to truly achieve balance, so the question at the start of every day is, "Which area will suffer today?" The "saint" in me thinks that Sleep should always come last, suffer most; it seems like the most expendable of categories in the sense that it doesn't seem to accomplish anything. But, of course, we need sleep, like, literally need sleep to survive, so it can't always suffer. Then, of course, I look at Alone Time and think it seems expendable--but a girl needs her sanity, right?!? Oh, and Working Out? I'd gladly ignore that category completely (and have in the past), but then I feel yucky and lazy. Ryan and I usually find little time for Socializing, but connection and relationship is such an important part of life that it makes me sad to go too long without seeing our friends (or E.V.'s friends). Household Chores are a bummer, but since Ryan takes on a majority of the financial burden, the house belongs to me. Overall, I figure that if I can get Family, Work and Spirituality in line, then at least I'll have a good foundation as I evaluate and trim the other areas of my life. However, I'll always feel a sense of emptiness no matter which categories I choose to sacrifice.

I know this post was a bit of a rambling thought, but I wanted to share what's going on in my mind space, just in case it's burdening anyone else out there.

I'll categorize this under "Socialization" for both E.V. and me!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog Love

iSight and notepad ready and rarin' to video chat!

One of my New Year's resolutions is to figure out what the heck to do with this blog. In January I did a little soul searching on the subject and realized how much I really love blogging. (You can read about it here.) I've been doing it for the past year, and because it does take up a lot of my precious, rare free time, Ryan's been urging me to make a side business of it. I've been resisting the idea for a while (we already have two businesses to worry about), but lately it's been a reoccurring thought for me.

Last year I started writing with the singular purpose of recording my pregnancy and adventures in motherhood. I threw this blog together in a few hours, purposely deactivating any type of advertising, blog roll, etc.  I really wanted to write for the sake of journaling and capturing my memories, and for a year or so that's been satisfying enough. I intended on redesigning the site pretty much as soon as it was up; this "awesome" *insert lighthearted sarcasm* design was never meant to be a permanent one, but rather a placeholder while I figured out if I actually enjoyed blogging. And I do. I've been talking about the redesign with Ryan for so long now without taking any action that I made it one of my 2013 goals--which then led to this soul searching about the purpose of my blog.

Fast forward to last night.

I've been trying to do some uncharacteristic things in 2013, and signing up for a video chat with other bloggers was one of my most recent plunges. It was on a whim, and it was amazing. Erin from Living in Yellow and Jenni from Story of My Life hosted, and along with seven other current and aspiring bloggers, we got the chance to pick each other's brains. It was refreshing to talk with other people who have a heart for the same things that I do, to hear other people ask the burning questions I've been wondering, to feel encouraged and supported by complete and utter strangers. It's so funny--when we all signed up for the chat, Erin sent out everyone's blogs for us to peruse pre-chat, and I did my homework. Truthfully, though, it wasn't until after the conversation that people's blogs really came to life for me; there was the obvious but sudden realization that there were actual people (actual women) behind these blogs, sitting at their computers late into the night jotting down thoughts from the day--just like me! I am so thankful that these nine other women took a few hours out of their life to share their experiences and advice so openly. Their insight is invaluable and definitely gave me lots to think about.

After we had all signed off, I sat down with Ryan to recap, and like usual, he was immediately all-in, encouraging me to move forward without hesitation. He was rambling on, giving advice on a topic he knows little about :), researching stuff online for me--and my head began to ache. A lot. It got to the point that I had to lay down on the floor for a minute, smack dab in the middle of our living room. After a few minutes of watching him pace and talk above me, I interrupted--"Hey, can you do me a favor?" (He paused and said, "Of course.") "Can you just lay on the ground here with me for a minute and not be annoying?" He grinned, shut his mouth and laid down right next to me. It was perfect. We joked and laughed and made fun of one another (pre-marriage and pre-baby style). I'm so thankful for him. What a freaking amazing guy. I'll never have his confidence, enthusiasm and optimism, but having him by my side will suffice because he has enough for the two of us to share. I'm not exactly sure what my direction will be, but in the coming months something is going to change on this blog. More to come on that later...

Erin looking WAY too put together for 10 p.m. on a Thursday... :)

Here's the other bloggers who joined in:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grandma Notebook

Let me begin by admitting that I am TERRIBLE when it comes to remembering birthdays. To make matters worse, usually I don't completely forget people's birthdays; instead, it's as if I have this mental glitch where I think I know when a birthday is, but inevitably I'm wrong, having mixed up someone's birth day with another person's birth month (or something like that!). It also doesn't help that birthdays aren't a big deal to me personally, which makes it a challenge for me when birthdays are super important to people in my life. Thankfully most of my friends are very forgiving of this birthday dyslexia, and for those who aren't forgiving, let me just say again, "Sorry!" :)

Birthdays are on my mind because yesterday was my grandmother, Mrs. Emma Vance's, birthday. (And, yes, I remembered it, although I did originally think it was today, mostly because my mom's birthday is February 7th, Valentine's is the 14th, and so "February 21st" inevitably gets stuck in my mind every year.) I was sad not to be there with her, especially since her companion dog, Jasmine, passed away recently. I worry about her, miss her and want to see her more often. I wish that she'd move from Orlando to Atlanta now that she's getting older, but she has her job, her friends, her hairdresser (along with a standing appointment every Saturday morning), and her routine--so I understand.

In thinking about what to get her, I decided to help her fill her time with a hobby that she's been dabbling in (at my urging) for a while. Secret confession: I have a love for family history and find it fascinating. There are a lot of interesting characters in my bloodline, especially on my maternal side, and so every time I visit with my grandma I make her recount hours of stories for me. A few years ago she said she started writing some of them down on a legal pad for me, and that legal pad inspired her birthday gift this year.

I call it a "Grandma Notebook," which is exactly what it is: a notebook all about Mrs. Emma Vance. I researched a whole bunch of different interview questions, typed them up on a sticker sheet, cut them up and divided them by topic. The questions cover a range of things, from biographical information to opinions on historical events. My favorite questions are probably the ones about my mom ("What did you think of Dad the first time Mom brought him home?") as well as about my grandma's own childhood ("Who was your favorite sister and why?"). Then I got her a notebook, wrote a few instructions, and stuck on a few questions to get her started. After the initial pre-chosen questions, she can choose her own questions to answer, stick them at the top of a page and write away. I can't wait for her to get started!

The truth is that although I don't know when I'll get this notebook back, whether it's a year or a decade, it is sure to be one of my most prized possessions. More so, I'm sure it will be one of E.V.'s most prized possessions, the self-told story and thoughts of her very own namesake.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

E.V.'s Store

We spend waaaay too much time at Target. I'd like to believe that this comes as a bigger shock to everyone than I know it really does. I mean,  let's be honest--#suburbia #babymama #needtogetoutandabout #whereshouldigo #nosurprise #seeyouattarget.

I remember just after college (when I was working in marketing), one of my coworker's wives had just had a baby. They lived close to our office, which was also coincidentally close to a Target. We'd amicably joke about how everyday on our lunch break someone in the office would inevitably make a Target run, and how inevitably they'd run into our coworker's wife. I'd chuckle along with the rest, then silently be thankful it wasn't me. I mean, I had big things to accomplish in my workday! Who could be happy caring for a baby and wandering around a big box store all day, right? Here I am, nearly seven years later, filled with the realization that the work I was doing then was NOT my purpose in life, toting around a baby of my own (and feeling surprisingly fulfilled), and I can honestly say I finally get it. I. Get. It.

Target is the suburban mom's solution to everything. Need groceries? Check. Want a cute outfit for your datenight? Check. Refilling a prescription? Check. Thinking of updating your living room with a couple new throw pillows? Check. Bored out of your mind? Check. Feeling cutoff from civilization and need real, non-baby human interaction? Check.

And, best of all, whoever the genius is behind Target's purchasing and branding is really, really good at their job. Really good. I'd like to meet that (wo)man and shake her hand...and then give her a $20 bill because, let's be honest, my paycheck might as well be direct-deposited into Target's account anyway. I swear, they must pump something in through the ventilation system that induces euphoria, because no one can get out of there without purchasing something extraneous. How many times have I gone in for shampoo and ended up with a receipt a mile long and cart full of plastic bags? The answer? Every time, that's how many.

Now that I have a sidekick with me all the time, E.V.'s become accustomed to Target quite swimmingly. Ryan and I joke that she thinks of it as her second home, and when he asks where we're headed as we're walking out the door, I just respond, "E.V.'s store." He knows what's up--AND he knows not to ask the question, "So what'd you buy?" anymore. Truthfully, he doesn't want to know the answer, and I don't want to tell him! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Um, I'm pretty sure that's NOT what they mean by "teething toys," E.V.
Plus, I'm pretty sure Olive would like her rawhide chip back...

Why is it that we can spend oodles of money on fancy-schmancy toys, geared to educate and inspire our children, only to find that babies mostly want to play with things that they shouldn't play with? I suppose it's really because everything in this big ol' world is new (and thus fascinating) to them. Also, I'm pretty sure it's indicative of our human nature, where the inherent "Don't touch!"-ness of an object makes it that much more enticing.

Emma Vance is no exception, and so Ryan and I have been trying to find balance in her exploration. Straws at restaurants? Sure, go ahead if it'll keep you occupied and quiet. Invoices from customers that I accidentally left within reach of baby hands? Oops. No! No touch! My bad... Dog toys? Well, if they can't play with your toys, Emma Vance, then you shouldn't play with theirs. These days she's enthralled with the simplest of objects, and now that she's crawling around like a pro, she's into everything. Too bad MOST of the items she chooses to play with aren't her wonderfully appropriate toys, but rather things that I'm constantly taking away from her. Sorry, girl, not until you learn some self control... :)

Mom's jewelry? Well, if it doesn't have small parts, I suppose it's okay...hey, wait a minute! Where did you get that???

Although I do appreciate your enthusiasm for the new books I just bought you, next time maybe we can read
one the whole way through before you tear out a page, okay? Oh, THAT'S why they make board books...duh.

Friday, February 15, 2013

{Puppy} Mother's Intuition

Thankful for this little blessing in our lives!

Last night, amongst others, I had a dream where the dogs were in danger: I was at my mother's house, holding Emma Vance and talking to my mom on the phone. The dogs were barking at the back door, so I let them out and stepped onto the back porch, baby and phone in hand. It was pouring out, and as I looked down from the second-story porch, I could see that the backyard was flooding. Within seconds it had risen up over the fence and was about to drown the house, rooftop and all. I panicked; I had a non-swimming baby in my arms and had just let my dogs down INTO the flood. I didn't know what to do, just that I needed to save them. As I rushed to the top of the stairs, I was relieved to see both dogs swimming toward me. Olive was close by, and Oscar was at a distance. I prayed that they'd have the strength to keep swimming because I needed to figure out what to do about myself and E.V.--and then the tidal wave came. As it rose over our heads, I woke up, filled with anxiety and dread.

I hate that.

I also hate this house we're living in. I mean, I really am honestly thankful for it, but it's got a host of issues that plague me daily, from the leaking sink to the barely-functioning dryer. Today, though, we discovered a new issue, and it almost cost us Olive.

Truthfully, it was a domino effect that led to Olive's distress: We woke up an hour later than usual today, so during E.V.'s typical afternoon nap time, she was wide awake and full of energy. To entertain her, I was playing with Emma Vance on the ground in the living room as Ryan walked in from a meeting. He was on his phone with another client and walked straight past us and onto the back porch. It was such a lovely day out that he left the back door open to let the fresh air in. I hadn't been outside yet, but since I could now feel the semi-warm air, I realized that E.V. and I needed to take advantage of the nice weather. It was at about this moment when the backdoor suddenly slammed shut, which I assumed was from a gust of wind. That event distracted me enough to get me up and moving, so I ran upstairs and put on my workout clothes. I grabbed E.V. a sweater, headed back downstairs and got her dressed to go on a walk. Ryan was still talking in the backyard, so I figured I'd write him a quick note, so I headed into the kitchen to rummage through the junk drawer--and noticed that the kitchen-to-garage door was open. So was the garage door. My stomach turned over. I looked around, saw Oscar but not Olive. I panicked.

I ran out into the yard, yelling her name. Ryan heard me, got off his call and ran outside. Once I told him what had happened, he ran back inside to double check the house...but I knew better. My heart told me that Olive had slipped out and was in danger, and I was right. I ran to the end of the driveway and to the (very busy) main road. That's where I saw her, stopped dead in her tracks in the middle of the street with a car speeding toward her. Her eyes were big and full of fear and locked on mine. My heart sank straight into my stomach as I took off. I didn't even look to see if cars were coming in the other direction; I screamed and flailed my arms and ran toward her. I'm not sure if the driver noticed my tiny Olive in the road, but she sure noticed a lunatic throwing themselves into oncoming traffic. She screeched to a halt about three feet from Olive. I scooped her up, ran to Ryan in the driveway and basically collapsed. It was awful.

I was shaken. I was shaking. Olive was safe, but we were perhaps less than a second away from a very different story. I cried, and we hugged her as a family.

As the adrenaline left my body, I couldn't help but think of all of the small dominos in place today. Ryan never leaves the garage door open, but he was on a call and didn't want his client to hear the ruckus it makes. We hadn't yet discovered that opening both doors creates a vacuum effect that sucks the kitchen door open. (Stupid, quirky house.) I hadn't been outside all morning, and the sudden realization of nice weather caused me to want to take a walk immediately, which caused me to need to write Ryan a note, which caused me to discover that Olive was loose. I mean, I even think about how I fumbled to button up E.V.'s sweater for a few moments, and how if I had given up and decided to change her outfit, Olive might have been killed. Shudder. I think about last night, how I woke up filled with terror from my nightmare, how that terror caused me to get out of bed at 3 a.m. to walk downstairs to find Olive, scoop her up and bring her in bed with me. If something had happened to her today, it would've been the best night to have snuggled her--because it would've been her last.

In honor of that horrifying thought, I think that today's nightmare merits snuggling Olive in bed tonight again, don't you? (Well, at least we all know Olive agrees.) Love her.

(Yes, I own schnauzer pajama pants. Shut up! They're cool--I swear! :) )

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Oscar

Happy Valentine's Day!

We've never been big Valentine's Day people over here at the Shove household, but this year we're spreading the {baby} love. I'm pretty sure Oscar, who's obsessed with Emma Vance on any regular day, is even more enamored with her today, considering he didn't want to leave her alone while we read our Valentine's-themed board book, "Romeo + Juliet" this morning. (Hey, we like to start 'em young with the whole "education" thing; plus, the baby version doesn't end so unhappily. :) ) Mrs. Emma Vance sent E.V. a puppy to celebrate today, and Oscar was unusually jealous of it...hmmm. Resemble anyone you know? Uncanny.

We heart BabyLit board books!

(Oscar admiring from afar...)

"All done!"

 Oscar tried to steal a Valentine's Day kiss...

...but was rejected for another. :(

Aaaand...back to a normal day again. Scratching as usual!

Monday, February 11, 2013

E.V. Potter

"Hmmm. What shall we do today, Mom?"

On rainy days we always struggle finding ways to entertain ourselves. Running errands in yucky weather isn't fun, neither is the park or going for a walk. Thankfully babies are entertained by anything and everything in this big ol' world of ours, from big stuff to small. Today we ventured out into the rain for lunch with Dad and came back with a straw--which provided Emma Vance lots of rainy day entertainment. We pretended she was E.V. Potter with a brand new wand...and she was so enthralled I'm sure her next word will be "Expelliarmus!" :)

E.V. practiced her "expelliarmus" spell while waiting for the rain to go away.

"This sure is a funny looking wand, Mom."

"It sure tastes funny, too."

"Wait a minute! It's not a wand; it's a straw, silly Mom!"

(Oh, how our restaurant entertainment has changed since having a baby!)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's the Grammys, Baby!

Dear Emma Vance,

If you should choose the life of a musician when you grow up, and if that path leads you to fame and fortune and success, and if that fame and fortune and success earns you the honor of winning a Grammy one day--just remember, when you're making your acceptance speech, the wonderful parents who let you stay up just a little later than normal to watch your first award show. ("You're welcome"--in advance.)


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mr. Monkey

We have a new toy, and seeing how E.V.'s latest obsession is chewing the heck out of everything she can get her chubby little hands on, her new toy is the perfect toy for this stage...

In the vein of Sophie la Girafe, I bought Mr. Monkey (essentially the Americanized version of Sophie) at Target's recent Baby Sale. (Sidenote: Darn you, Target, and your reasonably priced, well-designed products that I never know I NEED until I see them. And darn you, Baby Sale, that caused me to make no less than FOUR trips in less than one week to various Target locations. And darn you, self, for not having the Target 5% cash back card...) Emma Vance is ob-sessed, chewing eagerly on Mr. Monkey's feet and tail. It makes the funniest little squinky sound against her gums as she teethes, so I can always tell when she's gotten ahold of him, even if she's playing out of eyesight. Unfortunately, though, it also squeaks as she plays with it, confusing an already-eager-to-play-with-the-baby's-toys Oscar. In fact, I've found Mr. Monkey in his paws on more than one occasion already and have had to rescue him from a terrible puppy fate. I suppose, though, that if Oscar does have his way with Mr. Monkey one of these days, it will only mean another trip to Target for me...oh, darn. :)