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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Today's weather was perfect for taking in a baseball game - sunny, breezy, mid-80s. So we headed to Washington DC to see the Nationals play the Braves.

Evelyn filled up on all the usual baseball food - peanuts, a hot dog, and ice cream. She clapped along to the music, and she yelled and screamed at the appropriate times (CHARGE!). When asked what her favorite part was, she said seeing the fireworks. Did she remember how many times we saw fireworks? In fact, she did - when a Nationals player hit a home run, after a boy played the trumpet ("God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch), and at the end of the game. Evelyn is still stuck on the Texas Rangers, and we had to correct her a couple of times when she yelled, "Go Rangers!"

Julia went through her usual routine for a day game. When we first found our seats, she had to look around at both the people in the stands and the expansive, green baseball diamond. Then she had to eat, get a diaper change, and eat some more. Julia fell asleep during the second feeding, and she might have slept for a while if it wouldn't have been so loud, doggone it! She tried to nap during the bottom of the 8th inning, when the Nationals got five runs and the previously mentioned home run. All that excitement roused Julia from her slumber, but she didn't seem to mind too much.

Unfortunately the Nationals beat the Braves 8 to 4. It was an exciting game, though. Considering that both teams are terrible, we thought it might actually be an even match, and it pretty much was. This is our last baseball game of the season, but we'll be back for more next year!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Swimming Peanut

This past spring, Evelyn took swimming lessons. It was a parent-assist class, where Troy was in the water with her. As of the end of May, Evelyn would only put her face in the water for a moment. She wouldn't even consider swimming without Troy holding onto to her.
About a week ago, Evelyn tried swimming under water, like some of her friends at the pool do. Now Evelyn can push off the wall for a glide, and she even gets a few strokes and kicks in before coming up for a breath. The gains she has made at the pool this summer are huge!
With Labor Day just around the corner, Evelyn's days at the community pool are numbered. We hope she can go back one more time before they close for the season.

video

Friday, August 29, 2008

Evelyn the Dinosaur Lover

Much to Evelyn's delight, this week's theme at the Little Gym day camp was dinosaurs. Because of this, I enrolled her both Tuesday and Thursday. Yesterday Evelyn made a dinosaur mobile. The dinosaurs on the mobile were a little abstract, and it was hard to tell what they were. So, at dinner last night, I asked Evelyn what kinds of dinosaurs were on her mobile. She told me there was a macroplata, a diplodocus, an allosaurus, and a T-rex (her favorite!). Troy then asked what language Evelyn was speaking. :)

Bonus points if you can guess what color she made her dinosaurs . . .

Julia's Little Quirks

Julia's cute little four-month-old routines over the past few days:
* When Julia wakes up in the morning, she doesn't make a sound. All anyone has to do is look into her room. If her hands and feet waving in the air . . . she's awake!
* Whenever she's done eating (and she hasn't fallen asleep), Julia usually sings in baby babble for a few seconds, then smiles. It's almost like she's saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
* Her morning nap is guaranteed with the help of the baby swing.
* Her afternoon nap is guaranteed with the help of the bouncy seat.
* Julia laughs hysterically when watching Evelyn dance.
* Julia's favorite song to groove to: "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Story Time

While I got things ready for Evelyn's bath tonight, she took a moment to read some of Julia's books to her. Evelyn is such a good big sister, and she frequently plays with or reads to Julia without any prompting. I took a video of Evelyn reading one of these books, but it's much too long to post on my blog. So a photgraph will have to suffice!

Smiles & Giggles

And now . . . the moment you've all been waiting for . . . Julia laughing! Enjoy the video!
video

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sleeping Through the Night

I think we can officially say that Julia is sleeping through the night - yeah! Since she's slept the past five nights, we think it's for real. She falls asleep around 9:30 at night, and then wakes up around 7:00 in the morning. What a blessing that Julia is on the same sleep schedule as the rest of us.
It seems that once she hit her 4-month birthday earlier this week, Julia figured out that she doesn't need night-time snacks any more. Evelyn had her beat by a long shot - she slept through the night at 11 weeks. But eating is very important to Julia, so I guess she just needed to eat 'round the clock longer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Monkey Muffins

This morning Evelyn and I tried out a new recipe, Monkey Muffins. This recipe came from the September issue of her Highlights High Five magazine. I wasn't sure what to expect, since the recipe calls for four bananas, but they turned out delicious!!! I think it's the sour cream that makes the muffins so moist. The recipe is below the pictures if you want to give it a try.

Monkey Muffins
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 18 muffin tins. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, mix well. Add bananas, mix well. Add sour cream and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, mix well. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Wiggles Concert

Last night was the Wiggles concert, and Evelyn had a blast! This was the second time she has seen the Wiggles, and she sang and danced a lot more this time around.

A few days ago, Troy reminded me that the performers usually read signs from the audience. When asked what she wanted her sign to say, Evelyn came up with, "I love fruit salad better than Anthony." For those of you who know the Wiggles, you know how appropriate this phrase is. Anthony is Evelyn's favorite Wiggle, so it only made sense that her sign was directed toward him. We brought the sign to the concert (our seats were in the second row), and I tucked it under my chair, waiting for the perfect opportunity to hold it up . . .

About half-way through the concert, there was a break in the action. Anthony was the only Wiggle on stage, and he was reading signs in the audience. I promptly held up Evelyn's sign. When Anthony saw it, he pointed and said, "I'll come back to that one in a moment." True to his word, after reading all of the other signs in the audience, Anthony said, "Now, where is that sign I saw earlier?" I held up Evelyn's sign again. Anthony read it out loud, "I love fruit salad better than Anthony." Then he asked, "Who wrote that?" Evelyn put her hand high up into the air. Anthony asked, "What's your name?" Evelyn stated her name, loud and clear. Anthony said, "Evelyn? Well, Evelyn, so you think you like fruit salad better than I do?" Evelyn smiled really big and nodded. Anthony replied, "I don't know about that, but I do think you'll like our next song - Fruit Salad!" It was the perfect intro to their next song. Evelyn was so excited that Anthony not only read her sign, but he talked to her!!! That conversation made a perfect concert magical.

For those of you who aren't in the world of the Wiggles, I suppose I should mention that Anthony wears blue.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Praying Mantis

Look who joined us on our deck this evening! Can't say we ever saw a praying mantis while we were in Dallas. Evelyn was cautiously curious about this bug, and Julia was purely jubilant over the discovery. We saw this guy do some push-ups, but he didn't catch his dinner while we were watching.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Morning & Night

How fun is it when the baby of the family kicks everyone out of bed? Okay, seriously, what really happened here was Julia thought she was going to wake up for the day at about 6:45 a.m. Troy brought her to the bed to make me aware of the situation. After some gentle tummy rubs, Julia fell back asleep. And she stayed that way until almost 9:00! Apparently she just needed a change of location to better suit her beauty sleep.

Evelyn had a traumatic appointment this morning involving a phlebotomist . . . and in an attempt to make it up to her we sprung for a Dairy Queen Oreo brownie earthquake treat. I think the yummy combination of brownies, DQ ice cream, chocolate fudge, cookie crumbs and marshmallow topping helped Evelyn forget all about the bad morning she had.

Before Evelyn's bath tonight, she resorted to her usual routine of jumping on the bed and singing made-up songs in a goofy voice. Julia was lying on the bedroom floor, out of harms way, observing her crazy sister. It wasn't long before Julia was laughing at Evelyn. I mean, Julia was laughing so hard it almost seemed like she was crying! One of these days I'll get a video of Julia's belly laugh and post it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to Maryland

We're back on the east coast. As we neared the end of our Nebraska trip, Evelyn couldn't make up her mind about where she wanted to be. She wanted to stay in Nebraska . . . she wanted to go to Maryland . . . she wanted to go to Dallas. Ironically, when we boarded our plane in Omaha, the plane next to our gate was going to Dallas. I asked Evelyn if we should get on the plane to Dallas, but she conceded that we should go back to Maryland.

Lucky for Evelyn, today was another Flower Buds preschool program at Brookside Gardens. Today's theme was fruits and vegetables, and Evelyn did the coolest stamping-with-paint activity. She used yellow paint to stamp star fruit and lemon, red paint to stamp an apple, blue paint for blueberries, purple (her favorite!) to stamp beets, and so on. She couldn't wait to show Troy her collage.

With dance classes starting soon, I need to get on the ball to find out where to enroll Evelyn for ballet. The place she went to last year left much to be desired, which leaves me searching for a new studio. I've narrowed it down to two places. I might just toss a coin because each place has an equal amount of pros. No matter what, Evelyn is not going back to where she was after we moved here!

This afternoon found us out on the deck, enjoying the unseasonal August weather. It was almost chilly because of the dry air and the north wind. I couldn't resist taking this picture of the girls. Even though her shirt says "Little Sister," Julia isn't very little!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

S'mores

Evelyn's dessert request for last night: s'mores! She originally requested four, but she slowed down after eating two. However, that didn't keep her from snacking at the assembly table . . . It was crazy humid, though. Even though the temperature at 8:00 was 86 degrees, the heat index was 105! It felt like we were in a rain forest - thus, Julia was down to her diaper while hanging out with us.



Saturday, August 2, 2008

At the Lake

Ah . . . this is the life. Friday found us at the cabin near Cedar Creek, and Evelyn spent most of the time either in the lake or on the shore. She built sandcastles, floated on the raft, fished with Uncle Matt, and went for a ride on a pontoon boat. The weather was actually decent, too. Even though it was 90 degrees and sunny, the humidity was tolerable. Hopefully we can make it out there one more time before heading back to Maryland.