Friday, May 30, 2008

The Girl and Her Brother




After what has seemed to be a very long week of parenting, I was blessed this morning to hear Isaac say, "Hey, Mommy, we're friends!" as he hugged his sister in a normal, non-death grip sort of way. Warms my heart.

Of course three seconds after the hug was initiated, Evelyn was screaming at him and pushing him away. The joys of sibling hood bestowed right before my eyes.

This morning we took the girl to the doctor for her one year check up. Seems she is still on track to becoming an NBA basketball player...she is in the 115% for height. Let us all hope that capri pants swing back into style during her elementary years because we are not going to be able to keep this child in pants that do not resemble high-waters.

She weighed in at 21 pounds (60% for anyone who happens to be filling out a baby book for her...hopefully someone is because I have fallen behind on that little chore), confirming my suspicions that she has really been thinning out these past few months. Everything else looked great on the girl and we are incredibly grateful for her perfect health. I did not even broach the subject of her temperament (some of you who have actually met Evelyn might seriously be shocked to see the attitude that girl can display) because my mother can pinpoint who she inherited such a trait from and tell many a story about my early years. I just keep praying that all that spirit bottled up inside Miss E. will be used for the forces of good and not of evil or for the premature graying of my hair. Time will tell.

In Isaac news, he continues to display how little boys are such joys and wonders, sometimes leaving me to shake my head in confusion. Currently both knees are skinned from running too hard and jumping too high and he is always stealing his sister's baby stroller away to be used as a wheelbarrow. He will wrap his blanket around his head and pretend to be "Mr. Mommy" whose main jobs (according to him) are cooking and 'putereing (computering). His new favorite fascination is to call me into the bathroom and tell me what animal or inanimate object his p*op resembles. Seriously. I hate the stifle the creative spirit, but I try to gently explain to him that girls don't like to hear that sort of thing.

It seems that these two kiddos who live at casa de phillips desire more for their summer than to simply sit in the rocking chair and have their Mommy take pictures of them. Go figure. I have been finishing up my summer schedule, which I will share with all of you on Monday June 2nd. I hope many of you are planning on participating!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Phase



Parenthood brings with it many phases, stages, and seasons. Some of these, such as the various night feedings or crying jags brought on by newly sprouting teeth, I had researched beforehand and felt semi-ready to tackle the challenge.


We have recently entered a new phase that I don't recall The Baby Whisperer or the old-school Dr. Sears ever covering in one of their books.


It is the, "Run like a crazy woman in search of the nearest public restroom" phase.


Isaac is potty-trained, and has been for a while now, but recently he has decided he must use the public restroom IMMEDIATELY before there is a "situation." This has caused me, someone who does not require frequent trips to such locations...especially in public, to learn to be on the lookout at all times for the nearest facility.


Tuesday at story time, just as the lion and the mouse where becoming quite animated during the puppet show, Isaac informed me (and the other children and parents present), "I have to go to the po*ty NOW."


Off we went, Evelyn flapping around in the stroller because she was only attached with one buckle, the diaper bag spilling out precious contents of Cheerios and board books, and me encouraging Isaac to just RUN!. Hopefully the lion and mouse weren't jealous of the fact that their skit had temporarily been upstaged by a more frantic comedy routine.


Today as we were placing our order at the mall's food court with friends, Isaac again informed me in his insistent voice, "I have to go to the po*ty NOW, Mommy."


The man at Burger King likely didn't even notice I was no longer standing in front of him when he looked up from the register. He probably only saw a blur of red from our stroller as I raced the three of us to the public restroom. Fortunately there were no elderly people out for a casual stroll around the mall nor any small children stopping to tie a shoe lace...if there had been they might have experienced an unfortunate meeting with our stroller.


This phase is interesting, to say the least. Often times I am faced with what seems to resemble some kind of mathematical equation of how to wrestle two children plus myself, a stroller, and a bag into a bathroom stall while making sure no one touches or eats anything and everyone has a chance to accomplish the goal set before us. Other times I feel the need to put on my running shoes and sweat bands and I run our little trio halfway around a store in search of a restroom.


Interesting, indeed.

(Oh, the pictures at the top of the post....they are just random shots of the kids in case you forgot what they looked like. Your welcome.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Saving Summer Carnival

Just in time for summer to officially greet us, Savethephillipsfamily is hosting a blog carnival. This carnival, although lacking funnel cakes and bounce houses, is going to serve as a way for all you Mommies (or Daddies, grandparents, crazy uncles, etc) to share your summer plans and any strategy you might have for surviving the summer months with kids.

If you are super-structured and have various spreadsheets outlining the next three months, share them.

If you are incredibly laid-back and plan to simply toss some pop-tarts on the floor, along with a few broken crayons and torn sheets of paper, share those ideas.

If you are going on an extended cruise around the Caribbean where there will be a large staff of people waiting on your every need....uh, you might want to keep that one to yourself.

Whatever your plans/goals/ideas are for this summer, I hope you will take the time to type out a post on MONDAY JUNE 2nd and link it on my blog. (Mr. Linky will hopefully be up by 12:01 am Monday morning). I invite all of you to write about what you and your family are going to do this summer, scoot back over here to www.savethephillipsfamily.blogspot.com, and submit your link to your post so everyone can benefit from your stellar plans.

Above you will see my nifty button advertising this little carnival created by Jen at Trendy Mommy Blog Designs. If you would like to join the fun and put the button on your blog as well (either now on your sidebar or on Monday...whatever is cool), here is the code:

http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca target="_blank">http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg42/TheTrendyMommySpot/Carnival-June-2.jpg" border="0" alt="Saving Summer Carnival">

Not sure exactly how to add a button to your sidebar? Here are some excellent directions provided by Blogging Basics 101.

Hope to see everyone on Monday!

(PS...still not exactly sure what a blog carnival is? Read here for an excellent description.)


Works for Me! Containing Toys (and an upcoming carnival!)

I am playing along with Shannon today over at Rocks in My Dryer and participating in Works for Me Wednesday!


After the dust settled from Isaac's first birthday party a few years ago, I realized that we had entered a new phase. The "Kids Toys are Overtaking the House" phase. If left to its own devices, this phase is not your friend, dear reader. Gone were the days of little board books and sweet rattles that can be tucked away in a single basket. We were becoming surrounded by Little People houses and mounds of Lego's that needed to be organized.....quickly.




Because casa de phillips is not designed with copious amounts of space just waiting for toys to be crammed into it, I had to spring into action before toys banned forces and staged a coup against our family.




Enter these lovely boxes from the Mecca of Organization, The Container Store.




I use these clear boxes to sort and store toys in each of the children's closet. You can find similar boxes at your local Wal-Mart or Target, but they just don't match the heavy-duty standards of Container Store plastic. Because of their clear color, the kids can see exactly what wonderful treasures lay inside. Therefore no set of toys becomes stashed away never to be played with again simply because Isaac could not tell what was inside a box.




Did I mention that these boxes are heavy-duty? These containers have been used as step-stools, modes of transportation, and chairs many a day here at casa de phillips. They have been dropped off high shelves and used on road trips, yet retain their original form. These lovely boxes come in a variety of sizes (the small ones are perfect for crayons and craft items) and are quite reasonable in price. Besides, who can actually put a price on a organized home?


Here are a few pictures of Isaac's closet and how we use these wonderful, wonderful containers:

Here's the really great thing about these containers: Isaac can easily put away toys because he knows exactly where they go! Less work for me! Also, closets stay neat and organized (This is actually how his closet looks everyday after clean-up. It only takes us about ten minutes to clean the house up at night before bedtime because of our nifty way to store toys!)

Works for Me!

By the way, the Saving Summer Carnival is set for Monday June 2nd! The button will be up later today!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Staycation '08

Friday evening I told Tobe I was planning big things for our long, holiday weekend, informing him that "Staycation '08" was going to be great.

I then had to inform him that I did not invent the word "Staycation" but rather had stolen it from Good Morning America. His eyes lost a bit of their glimmer with that revelation. However, I am glad I confessed to my plagiarism because the word "Staycation" was all over the media this weekend. Seems gas at $4.01 a gallon does that (although I have yet to see the $4 mark here, I did see $3.95 less than a mile from our house. I am glad we have a super-cool double stroller because that is going to be our mode of transportation this summer.)

Staycation '08 involved swimming in the baby pool (Evelyn LOVED it. I am sure the new neighbors also were quite amused at the sight of me splashing around in a inflatable pool), trips to Barnes and Noble, accidentally eating with small children at a semi-fancy restaurant due to the fact the original place we planned to dine was without air-conditioning, watching The Orphanage, shopping for fun foods to cook at Central Market, viewing of the new Indiana Jones movie thanks to free babysitting provided by the grandparents (Loved it!), donut picnics, playing at the park, weeding of some flowerbeds, lots of playing inside and out, and completion of one and a half books by me. Staycation '08 did come to a screeching halt when we realized last night at 6:40pm that our ceiling in the laundry room was leaking and had to call the air conditioning repairman to come out on Memorial Day, but fun was had by all anyway.

My favorite quote from Staycation '08 was Isaac response to me one particular evening when I told him to go use the restroom. Already known for his ability to argue/negotiate, he quite seriously said, "How about I just pee-pee tomorrow?"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday's Business Meeting

There are many, many things on my mind I feel the need to share. Let's get down to business, shall we?

1. Casa de Phillips' Saving Summer Carnival is ON! On Monday, June 2nd be prepared to share how your kids/family/self/dog/etc are going to spend the upcoming summer. This will be a great place to share ideas regarding activities for the summer months. Stay tuned for more info!

2. The Graco Quatro Tour Deluxe Stroller, which is meant for only one child, can also hold a 30 pound two year old perched upon its cup holder. Again we found ourselves outside in the heat this morning and were miles from our car when Isaac became puny from the extreme weather. Being the loving mother that I am, I forced him to continue walking towards our car because I was feeling a bit puny my own self and could not fathom carrying him and pushing the stroller. Finally I decided to plop him up on the cup holder, said a quick prayer for its durability, and marched on towards the car.

3. The BlogRoll at SavethePhillipsFamily is now up. Yippee! However, I only put blogs on my blogroll that have their own blogroll with our blog listed. This is not a vanity thing, but more of a security thing. Trust me, I read more blogs than are listed. I just felt a bit uneasy putting blog links to people's blogs that might not be so comfortable with such a listing. This is the World Wide Web, you know. Anyway, if your blog isn't listed and you would like for it to be...just leave me a comment and I will happily add you. You might have also noted there are a few blogs listed in the blogroll of people I obviously do not know, such as Beth Moore's blog (how I would love to know Beth Moore though) or Rocks in My Dryer. Be sure to check these out because they are great reads!

4. You can now email SavethePhillipsFamily at savethephillipsfamily@hotmail.com. Look for a button to appear on the sidebar soon. However, if you have my private email....continue to email me there first!

5. The following video is a prime example of what it means to be the second child. Evelyn was finishing her bottle at lunch time while I got Isaac down for his nap. This is what I found when I returned to the kitchen:

video

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Carnival, anyone?

A friend and I took our kids to the park today for an early picnic lunch and a little bit of play time on the equipment. Despite the overcast skies and breeze, the thermometer read 90 degrees when we arrived home. Ugh. Towards the end of our park time, Isaac had to lay down due to the fact he was feeling sick and was over-heated. Fun times.

This leads me to my semi-brilliant thought of the day: I want to know what all you other mommies have planned for the summer. What are you going to do to keep your children busy, educated, entertained, and free of heat stroke? Most importantly, what are you going to do to keep your own sanity in place this summer?

Such questions are burning a hole in my head and I really desire to know what all of you are doing this summer, from the planned, structured activities to the lazy day stuff. Therefore, I am contemplating hosting a carnival here at save the phillips family. The idea would be to put up a link (Mr. Linky) on Monday, June 2nd where all of you readers can link to your own blog from this one. On your blog you would put up a post about all the summer activities (or lack of....this is nothing fancy) you have planned. This gives you a chance to share your ideas.....and more importantly gives you a chance to borrow other people's ideas. Together, we can conquer the summer months without kids bouncing off the walls due to boredom or anyone visiting the ER with a serious case of dehydration as the result of playing in the already-hot sun at 8am.

So, are you interested in sharing your plans for the summer? Child's age, activities, and political affiliation don't matter...I think the more readers that join in, the better. Leave me a comment if you want to participate and we'll see how many want to attend the "carnival". If the numbers look promising, I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One Year Down...

Regardless of the fact that "Pomp and Circumstance" was not played by the local marching band nor was there an elaborate displayto mark the event, Isaac hit another mini-milestone today as he successfully completed his first year of preschool.

Travel with me down memory lane....

Here is Isaac on his first day of school in September 2007
Those shorts he's wearing....they were size 12 months. Poor kid.

Isaac today on his last day of school, May 2008
(Thankfully he's wearing size 2T shorts)
As was tradition in my house growing up, we went for donuts this morning before the last day of school to celebrate Isaac's accomplishments this school year. The shop owner was also proud of Isaac and gave us some extra donuts free of charge.
Tobe and Evelyn enjoying some morning time before he scooted off to work
To be fair, here is a picture I took of Evelyn that first morning Isaac went to school. Here is Evelyn this morning....she was not too eager to sit in the rocking chair to have her picture made. In fact, I quickly discovered that she knows how to roll onto her stomach and lower herself onto the floor in order to safely exit the chair. Evelyn and I are going to miss our one on one times that we have shared every Wednesday morning this school year.
Isaac upon returning home from school
(He is wearing different clothes due to the fact it was Water Day at school...thus he went in his swimsuit)

Taking the giant preschool step was a big leap of faith for me this year. I toyed with the idea for months, going back and forth about if I wanted him to start school so early or if I just wanted him to hang out with me a while longer. I finally decided that he did need some time away from me to build up his social skills and learn to interact with other adults and other children. Fortunately we were blessed to discover this small program with a strong focus on academics with teachers who love him like he is their own. In September, Isaac was shy and would cry in overwhelming public situations. These days he is leading sing-alongs and befriends any and everyone. What a blessing!

One school year down...20 more to go?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Never Again, My Friend

Although I am still fairly young (especially when compared to really, really old people), I discovered two things this past weekend that I am way too old to do any more.

The first of those things is eat large amounts of carnival foods. Our annual street festival was in town this past weekend and the Phillips family set out Friday night for an evening of funnel cakes, pony rides, corn dogs, kettle corn, and more kettle corn. Upon entering the festival's gates we scooped up a bag of kettle corn (which I requested Tobe serve at my funeral should I pass before him). This bag was enjoyed by all, especially Evelyn. We then managed to purchase two large cups of fresh lemonade, a corn dog, a hamburger, and a funnel cake. The ol stomach was not doing too well once we arrived home. In high school I one time attended a step aerobics class and then immediately proceeded to the nearest hamburger joint and scooped up a large hamburger and ate it at the park with a friend. Those days are long gone, my friend (thankfully, the step aerobics phase went with them). At the next street festival I have decided to limit my intake of food sold from a portable trailer to three items. I'll let you know how that goes or if I am lured by the glorious temptation that is fried candy bars.

The big hit at the street festival with the children was the large sandbox that appeared to basically be filled with mud. I am pretty sure people three blocks away heard the screams coming from Evelyn's mouth when it was time to remove her from her precious sand.
The other thing I discovered that I am much too old for is Pump It Up!. Isaac attended a birthday there Sunday night and I was his parent in attendance (Tobe and E. hung out at home). Fortunately I had changed out of the skirt I had been wearing all day and put on a pair of jeans for the party. Little did I know that I really needed a stretchy pair of yoga pants, a ponytail holder, and perhaps some sweatbands. Because most 2.5 year olds (and some of the older kids) aren't that good at scaling twelve foot inflatable slides or crawling through large obstacle courses, I had to join in on the "fun." Later that evening I was a little confused as to why I was completely wiped out by 9pm....until I remembered that just hours earlier I had basically completed basic training in the form of inflatable bounce houses.

What are you too old to do these days?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flying

Hello, Super Hero Phase... ...we've been waiting on you.



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Letter to Evelyn (just a few days late)

Dearest Evelyn,

Our precious little girl...what a gift from God you are. From the moment the sonogram technician announced "It's a Girl!" (and your father pumped his fist high into the air), we have been smitten with you. Before you were born, I promised there would be no excess of pink or large hair bows....now you sleep every night in a room painted "Cotton Candy Pink" and the larger the bow, the better when it comes to accessorizing your outfits.

In those first few hours after you were born, I remember looking at you and wondering who you would be. Oh, little girl, you haven't kept that dynamic personality a secret for too long. You seem to do everything with every little fiber of your being, whether it is enthusiastically greeting people in public or crying because some loved item (usually paper or plastic) has been taken from your hands. Never before did we know a child could scream so loud or be so happy in a span of five minutes.

Right now you are a Mommy's girl, crawling rapidly after me wherever I go in the house. You love for me to hold you and walk around and even like for me to rock you before going to sleep. Again, I vowed never to rock my babies, but now I dread the day your are too big and too busy to sit in my lap and sing our "Rock, Rock the Baby" song. Seeing your daddy at the end of the day always elicits a great joyful squeal and a rapid crawl towards him so you can be tossed in the air. You love to be right in the center of your brother's playing, whether he invited you or not. Lately the love affair between the two of you has become a bit tense, but I see a great friendship developing in the future. That little boy loves you tremendously...even when you turn off the television during Playhouse Disney or sit on top of his GeoTrax...and is going to be an excellent example to you. My prayer is for the two of you to see the value in such a relationship, to cultivate it, and to cherish it.

People often stop me in public to comment on how beautiful you are and how absolutely amazing your eyes are. Indeed you are a beautiful baby, but I believe it is the life in your eyes, which hold such a sparkle of vitality, that immediately draws others to you. Already we see such spirit in you, causing me to know that you likely will cut the apron strings much sooner than I will want. We pray that God molds and shapes this spirit in you, helping you become a brave, confident woman one day. What a mighty, unstoppable force you will be!

Happy First Birthday, Baby Evelyn. We love you more than you will ever know!


One Day Old...

One Month Old
Two Months Old
Three Months Old
Four Months Old
Five Months Old
Six Months Old
Seven Months Old
Eight Months OldNine Months Old
Ten Months Old


Eleven Months Old

One Year!

Nancy Reagan Would Be Proud

Yesterday was non-stop action for casa de phillips. We went to preschool, Target, ate lunch, took naps (not me...although everyday as one child or the other is fussing about napping I often think of how I would weep tears of joy should my own mother tuck me in and "force" me to sleep in the afternoon), attended a retirement party at my old school, met Tobe at the mall for supper, and then returned home for baths and bedtime.

Whew.

As our little family of four was leaving the mall, there happened to be a man leaning against a handicap sign smoking.

It was then that a loud, preschool voice yelled out, "No, Mr. Man...no smoking. That man is smoking. No Smoking!"

Although we are waaaaaaaaaay against the use of tobacco products of any kind here at casa de phillips, we have yet to have the "No drugs" talk with our son because the chances of him being offered any type of illegal substances at his church-run preschool or on the playground of our hip suburban park are really quite slim. However it appears someone has taught him to "Just Say No" to cigarettes, a lesson he apparently took to heart and felt the need to share with "Mr. Man."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shy No More

There was a time...not terribly long ago...that we considered Isaac to be a bit on the timid side. He was slow to warm up to new settings, hesitated talking to people other than his immediate family members, and remained quite close to me in public places.

Those day....well, those days are long gone, my friend.

This morning we had a last minute change in plans, which landed us at a mall play place. This is not a mall we frequent often nor did we have any friends in tow with us. These factors didn't seem to phase Isaac.

He approached the other three children in the play area separately and said, "Hi! My name is Isaac." I have been working on this little skill with him, because preschoolers tend to approach other preschoolers and simply participate in a stare-off. Both know they want to play, but neither know how to make that happen. Besides I used to teach social skills as a living, so my poor children are subject to listen to me ramble on and on about the importance of being a respectable citizen of their community.

I was tickled that Isaac was comfortable enough, and friendly enough, to introduce himself to the other children. Their lack of reciprocation with an introduction confused Isaac at first, but he continued to run, jump, and act in that crazed manner two year olds do when presented with an open area of play equipment.

A while later, I heard Isaac running around singing the ABC's. He was enjoying the acoustics of the mall and was really belting out the song. After a solid five rounds of singing the alphabet, I heard his voice holler out:

"Hey everybody, let's sing the ABC song."

For such a little boy, he can get the people's attention. The majority of the children in the play area stopped to look at Isaac as he began to sing another round of the ABC's.

Then the most magical thing happened...a handful started to sing along.

Yes, my child started a group sing-a-long in a public place.

I have never been so proud.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Last 12 Hours....

Here are some things that have occurred in the last 12 hours at casa de phillips:
  • I found my almost-potty trained 2 year old attempting to use the facilities while standing up. Yes, he is a boy and, yes, I have taught him how to go sitting down thus far. I have plans to teach the standing version soon...however, he chose today as the perfect time to practice such skills. What he didn't know was that he was about six inches below where he needed to aim. The bathroom has now be bleached and scrubbed.

  • In the past few days, Evelyn has begun sucking her thumb. Aware that financing braces will mean relocating casa de phillips to a cardboard box on the side of the road, we have been gently discouraging this behavior. We have managed to get this far with two kids who have never taken pacifiers nor sucked thumbs or fingers, so I hate for such issues to arise now. Today as the children and I were playing in the sandbox, Evelyn decided to pop her thumb into her mouth right after digging around in mounds of sand. I believe this one incident alone might have ended her short-lived thumb sucking career.

  • Rather than napping this afternoon, Evelyn spent the majority of the two hours talking and playing in her crib. She was happy as a clam amongst her animals and blankets. All happiness came to a screeching halt around 5pm while I was on an important phone call and her daddy attempted to remove her from my arms. That girl can scream louder than anything I have ever heard and has perfected the back-arching technique.

  • Along with our dinner tonight we had peach crumble, which is essentially fresh peaches tossed in cinnamon and topped with an oat/flour/butter combo and then baked in the oven. Sounds difficult, but is quite easy. Isaac wasn't too sure about eating it, but ate some regardless of the initial hesitation. Apparently the rolled oats took him by surprise and he gagged a little bit. He thought this was humorous and then attempted to re-create the gagging.....the re-creation led to him throwing-up. Nothing sets the mood at dinner like someone throwing-up.

  • As dinner was coming to an end this evening, I sent Isaac off to the restroom to use his potty (sitting down). He returned a few minutes later, toys in hand and pants still undone (potty training a child who has to wear pants that button due to a slender waist is a chore). As I instructed him to stop doing something so I could fasten his pants, Tobe decided to be funny and said, "Stop! Hammer Time!" Isaac then proceeded to do an excellent version of the Hammer dance across the floor. Hands down, that was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time....especially since we have never taught him the Hammer dance nor has he ever seen the Hammer dance.

  • About ten minutes before bath and bedtime, we started having push toy races in the kitchen. Isaac has always had a dump truck ride-on toy and Evelyn just received her very own ride-on toy for her birthday (complete with doll carrier seat...I love girl toys). What started out as innocent ride-on toy fun resulted in parent-initiated drag races in the kitchen. Fun times...except for the fact that it hyped Isaac up beyond measure and he is still moaning around in his room an hour past bedtime.
What has happened in the past 12 hours at your house?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Gift of Sight...and some party pictures

Happy Mother's Day!

My Mother's Day started off on a bit of a dramatic note when I decided that I was going blind about fifteen minutes after waking-up this morning. Despite cleaning and putting on my contacts, my vision was still blurry and altered. Instead of thinking of rational possibilities for such issues, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that a brain tumor had damaged my sense of sight during the night while I slept.


Later I realized that I had accidentally put my husband's contacts in my eyes rather than my own. Once that situation was resolved and all worries about potential blindness at a young age were subsided, the rest of the day carried on nicely. Isaac was good as gold today while Evelyn was over the whole "Look at me, I'm 1!" bit and was more on the cranky side (despite the fact that I reminded her several times that it was her birthday today and she should be happy).


As promised, here are the pictures of Miss E's first birthday party. We had a "Garden" theme and held the festivities in our backyard. She loved the attention and seemed to be quite happy with her party. When I laid her down for a nap that afternoon (it was a morning party...the best kid party time in my opinion), she was smiling a big cheesy grin. It was a good day, my friend.

Despite my best efforts to hot glue a sign to our gate to the backyard, the strong winds ripped it down pre-party.



The winds were no match for these decorations...which were nailed to the fence. Out of a dozen balloons, we only lost one.On the menu: carrots and dip, Ritz crackers (Evelyn's favorite), croissant sandwiches (the party tray from Sam's Club...an excellent value),pink lemonade, and Dirt (brownies topped with ice cream, crushed oreos, and gummy worms)Getting ready to par-tayThe cake
Oh, the cake. It became my worst enemy. Despite the fact that it was yummy, the end result did not match the picture in my head. I was going for a flower pot sitting on grass...with a pale pink base. I accidentally used a bit too much food coloring on the icing when attempting to make it pink...thus the hot pink effect. Also, I decided to save time by using canned icing rather than whipping some up myself. Canned icing...although tasty...is much too thick and runny for what I was needing. I wanted the flowers in the pot to be made from gumdrops because the March issue of Southern Living made it appear to be quite the simple process. It is not. Tobe and I made a late night run to Wal-Mart...while on our date night..to purchase .97 cent daisies to sub in for the failed gumdrop flowers.Unwrapping presents...the least favorite part for Evelyn A pink and green soccer ball from Daddy (courtesy of Mommy's mad shopping skills)
The girl loves her hats....and her daddy! Digging in the sandFamily shot....where no one is looking at the same camera. Classic.
Testing the cake
Although the pictures make it seem like Evelyn devoured the cake...she never actually put it in her mouth. She simply smashed icing between her fingers, in her hair, on her body and all over the highchair. There was talk of spraying her off with the garden hose, but I quickly vetoed that idea. We did an initial bath in the kitchen sink before scrubbing her really well in the actual bathtub.

This little boy...what can I say about him? First, he spent the morning hours pre-party hanging out with his PopPop. During that time he ate a dozen doughnut holes, inspected every boat and fish at Bass Pro Shop (their favorite location to go "play"), and came home wearing his first cap. I have never laughed so hard in my life as I did when I saw him walking up the front sidewalk sporting this head gear. Poor thing. I do believe he inherited Tobe's and my ability to not look good in hats.
This boy was wonderful yesterday. I was nervous as to what his behavior might be considering sister would be getting all the attention. People inquired as to whether or not to bring him a present as well, which I politely asked them not to because I did not want to set the precedent that he or Evelyn get presents at the other's birthday party. We had many discussion last week leading up to the party about how it was Evelyn's party and that she would be getting presents. We talked about how Isaac's birthday will be here soon and then it would be his turn...but for this week it was Evelyn's day. Apparently all that discussion sunk in (or I just beat him down with my constant talking), because he was a happy and helpful big brother yesterday. It also helped that his friend Morgan was there and he barely noticed there was a party going on as he basked in the glow of playing with the beloved Morgan....but he was wonderful anyway.
As I close this post, I want to wish all the mothers who read this blog a very happy Mother's Day. My own mother and I were able to enjoy a yummy breakfast just the two of us at our favorite local bakery. What a treat.
In case you are needing a treat for yourself on this Sunday evening, I have two recommendations that have greatly blessed my life lately:
1. The Sesame Street Old School Edition DVDs....if you watched Sesame Street in the 1970's you must watch these DVDs. Your childhood will come rushing back to you in a nostalgic blur. I checked this out at the library "for the children" and can't want to get the other episodes. Excellent children's programming.
2. Ben and Jerry's Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream....it will change your life. Enough said.