Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rolling Over

Julia has finally rolled over! When Grandma Luster went into Julia's room this morning, Julia was sleeping on her tummy. Since the day she was born, Julia has been put to sleep on her back. Last night she managed to squirm around enough and ended up on her belly. Even though we have proof that she can roll over from back to front, now we need to wait to see her actually do it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Evelyn's Quotes

As we drove over train tracks (but didn't see a train): "I'm a Chatterbox Trainspotter. I love to talk about trains."

Does the following quote need an explanation? "Tornadoes and hurricanes are supposed to knock over mailboxes, not your car, Mommy." Let's suffice it to say that Troy has taken out a mailbox with a moving truck, and I evened the score today by backing up over a mailbox with my SUV.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Games

Julia has some new games and skills - she just started all of these today. It was quite a flurry of mental and motor skill activity for the little Sunshine!

She started playing a game we call "Thank You." Julia acts like she wants to give something to you. So, you hold out your hand, she puts a toy in your hand, and you say, "Thank you!" Julia replies with a two-syllable baby sound that we swear is "thank you" (both of our girls are geniuses, in case you didn't already know), and then she holds out her hand to get the toy back. This can go back and forth several times before she tires of it.

Julia is now interested in putting small blocks and shapes into containers. She especially likes to put her peek-a-blocks into their basket, dump the basket, and start all over again. Julia also likes to take a couple of shapes out of her shape-sorter box/container, put them back, and then try her best to get the lid back on.

All of this in addition to the usual book-reading, of course. I'm happy to say that it looks like we have another book worm in the house!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grandma Linda

Grandma Linda came to visit and help out since I had ankle surgery on February 17th. We really kept her hopping: She took Evelyn to soccer, preschool, Penny Theater, dance and story time. She also took over house chores like cooking, baking, cleaning the house, diaper duty and putting Julia down for her naps. The joke around the house was, if we saw Grandma Linda reading a book or doing Sodoku, we needed to think of something for her to do!

It was wonderful having Grandma Linda stay with us and help us out for the past nine days!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Baby J Is 10 Months Old

I know I didn't write a post for Julia's 9-month birthday, but there haven't been too many changes in the past month.

Things that are the same - Julia is still completely immobile. She has yet to roll over (either way), but she doesn't hate tummy time as much as she used to. She loves to sit and play with toys scattered on the floor around her. Julia eats three meals a day of solid food (cereal and fruit/vegetable), plus she nurses or takes a bottle four times a day. She takes two naps a day totaling about three hours each day, and she continues to sleep through the night (about 11 or 12 hours each night). One other thing that has stayed the same is that Julia is a predictable and content baby. If you meet her needs by following her schedule, life is grand!

Things that are different - Julia got her first tooth (bottom right) on February 3rd. The other middle bottom tooth broke through two days later. She was a bit fussy a few days before the teeth cut through, but not too bad. Julia can make more sound combinations such as mama and baba. And, just recently, Julia has begun to mimic her first baby sign: "all done." Since Julia is a bottomless pit when it comes to eating, we have been doing this baby sign for a couple of months to let her know that her cereal truly is gone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bear Bread

Evelyn spotted a recipe for Bear Bread in her February Highlights High Five magazine a few weeks ago. She thought this would be the perfect thing to make when Grandma Linda visited . . . and that's just what they did this afternoon.

There really isn't a recipe, per se, for bear bread. First, you thaw out a loaf of frozen bread dough. Then you separate the dough into different-sized balls to make the bears' bodies, arms, legs, heads, noses and ears. After letting the dough rise for about an hour, Evelyn and Grandma pushed some chocolate chips into the dough for eyes and belly buttons. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes and voila! Bear bread! It was definitely a winner for Evelyn - easy and fun to make, plus it was very tasty with tonight's chili.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Next Stop: Washington, D.C.

The sight-seeing isn't over, yet! I still have two days before my ankle surgery, and I'm making the most of every moment before surrendering to crutches.

After lunch at home, we (Evelyn, Grandma Linda and myself) took the Metro into Washington. We stuck to our plan: get off at the Smithsonian stop, check out the Washington Monument (only the outside this time), visit the World War II Memorial, then go to the (Smithsonian) National Museum of Natural History.

It was brisk and windy today, so it's a good thing we didn't stay outside longer than we did. Evelyn chose her favorite site (Washington Monument), and my mom chose something she hadn't seen before (World War II Memorial). We all agreed that the "dinosaur museum" (as Evelyn calls it) would be fun to visit. Even though Evelyn has only been to that museum once before, she led us around the dinosaur exhibits like a docent.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Per Evelyn's and Grandma Linda's request, we headed up to Baltimore today to go to (where else?) the B & O Railroad Museum. Julia played into our plans nicely by napping both on the way to and from Balitmore - what a good baby!

Before hitting the trains, we met Kat and Ross for lunch at the Inner Harbor. Eric will be happy to know that we all experienced Five Guys for the first time - he's right, the burgers there are absolutely delicious! Kat was the only smart one of the group by choosing the little burger.

Then we all headed over to the museum. We had less than two hours to wander around the museum. Thankfully we've been there before, so we knew where to go first. We all climbed in and around all sorts of engines and luggage cars and passenger cars and a caboose. Evelyn drove two different engines. But we didn't make it to the models in time. That's okay, though, because we finally caved and bought a family pass. We'll be back!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Evelyn's Soccer

Evelyn has been practicing soccer for the past four weeks, and I'm finally getting around to writing about it. She's part of a program/clinic called Pre-Kicks, which is held at the indoor soccer-plex not ten minutes from our house.

One of Evelyn's nicknames is the Running Girl, so it comes as no surprise that Evelyn loves soccer. In her Pre-Kicks class, Evelyn does funn soccer-related things like dribbling the ball from one hoop to another, playing Sharks and Minnows (tag someone else by getting them with the ball), kicking the ball from one goal to the other and knocking over cones with the ball.

She really enjoys herself at soccer on Tuesday mornings, so we're considering putting Evelyn in the next level for the spring/summer session. That would mean learning more game-specific skills, culminating in a mock soccer game. We'll see!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

Yesterday, Evelyn and I made cinnamon rolls as "breakfast for supper." The bread machine made the dough. Then we rolled out the dough, added the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Finally, we rolled the dough and used dental floss to cut the individual rolls. After letting the rolls rise for an hour, we baked them for 25 minutes, and presto! They came out perfectly.

It has taken me 13 months to figure out how to bake bread products in our gas oven without ruining them. Raise the oven rack to the highest spot, and there you have it. No more burned baked goods.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chicken Pox

One of Evelyn's favorite picture books is Arthur's Chicken Pox. She regularly checks this book out of the library, and I think she has most of the story memorized. One of Evelyn's favorite parts of the story is when Arthur's little sister pretends to have chicken pox to get special attention.

Fast-forward to this evening. Evelyn was in the kitchen coloring (with crayons from Uncle Eric, she frequently reminds us), and Troy and I headed upstairs to fold laundry with Julia in tow. Five minutes later, we three trooped back downstairs. As we walked into the kitchen, Evelyn looked at us with a guilty face. Troy instinctively asked, "What did you do?" Evelyn gave the standard answer: "Nothing."

Evelyn then walked over to the big mirror in the living room and looked at her face. Troy continued his investigation of the kitchen and noticed the Arthur book was open to the page where the little sister draws dots on her face. Troy asked, "Were you drawing chicken pox on your face?" Evelyn replied, "No. Crayons don't work. See?"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sidewalk Chalk and Grilling

It's starting to feel like Spring around here. We headed over to the park after lunch to play, only this time, we didn't need to wear coats. It was sunny and 64 degrees. Perfect outdoor play weather. After her rest time, Evelyn drew with sidewalk chalk. This is something she's been itching to do for quite some time, but the weather hasn't cooperated. Supper was simply divine: grilled sirloin (Omaha steaks), baked potatoes, and deluxe garden side salads (you name a vegetable, it was probably on the salad). Even if this warm weather doesn't last, it was nice to get a sneak peek of Spring.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Outside Play . . . Finally!

This winter has been much colder than last year. We've only been able to play at the park once since Christmas . . . until today. Okay, so the high was only 48, and everyone still needed coats, but still. At least it was sunny and the windchill was warmer than 5 above.

I had planned to take the girls down to the park after their nap/rest time. About five minutes before I was going to get them up, two neighbor friends stopped by and asked if Evelyn could join them at the park. Apparently I wasn't the only one with cabin fever.

Evelyn had a blast for the whole 40 minutes we were outside. She ran and ran and ran. Then she ran some more. Julia, meanwhile, hung out on one of the equipment platforms and played with her small toys.

It looks like it's going to be warm all weekend, so hopefully we'll be able to head over to the park again soon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Biter Biscuit

As we commonly do on Julia's bath nights, we offered the little Sunshine a biter biscuit to gnaw on while we ate supper. Actually, she seemed to ask for it by fussing quite a bit after she had already eaten her cereal-and-peas supper.

Out of habit, I ran my finger over her lower gums before giving Julia her snack. And guess what I felt? One nub and something sharp! Yes, Julia is cutting her first tooth! Considering how quickly things progress in babies, I'm sure we'll be able to clearly see her new pearly white over the next couple of days. Congratulations Julia!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Thanks to her Uncle Eric, Evelyn has developed an interest in trainspotting. For those of you out of the loop on this one, trainspotting means hanging out by railroad tracks (preferrably at a station), waiting for trains to pass by. Evelyn has wanted to go trainspotting in Maryland for a couple of weeks, but the weather has been either too cold or too wet.

Yesterday, the weather was beautiful: sunny and warm. Evelyn and I headed to a place Eric recommended - Point of Rocks, Maryland. I checked the Amtrak schedule to see when it would go through Point of Rocks to ensure we would see at least one train.

About ten minutes after we got to the station, we were pleasantly surprised to see a CSX freight train coming down the tracks. She goes bonkers over CSX trains, and we haven't seen one since November, so Evelyn was very excited. Then, about fifteen minutes later, the Amtrak rolled through. Using our camera, I took videos of both trains so Evelyn could post them on her You Tube account. Evelyn (also known as Train Girl 2004) currently has three videos posted on You Tube. Be sure to check them out!