Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Evelyn's First Birthday

We celebrated Evelyn's birthday as a family on Thursday night (her actual birthday) and had her party on Saturday.

We told her "happy birthday" all day Thursday and tried to make it extra special, even if she had no idea what was going on. Chris bought her a swing and installed it, so we spent some time outside playing on the new swing. She LOVES it! Now she has learned to go to the patio door when we ask, "Do you want to swing?"

We had some of her favorite foods for supper - chicken, peas, and potatoes - and a cake for her to smash. She loved the cake! Mum and Pop bought her a play kitchen. It arrived as we were eating supper, so Chris worked extra hard putting it together. She also got to open some presents from grandparents.

Saturday was her big birthday party! Chris' dad, mom, sister and niece were all able to be here for the party. We had some of her little friends from church and other church members who have been extra special in this first year of her life. Evelyn did great with all the commotion and took it like a champ. She enjoyed digging into her cake and opened presents as well as you can expect for a one year old.



Chris' Family

Evelyn and Grandi

Grandi with her granddaughters

Evelyn, Grandi Aunt Whitney, and Katelynn

Evelyn and her cousin, Katelynn

Grandpa Mike with his granddaughters

Evelyn and Grandpa Mike


Friday, April 04, 2014

One Year

Our Sweet Evelyn,

Today is the day. You are one year old today! It's exciting, unbelievable, and amazing that we've already been through one year with you in our lives. I have had a lot of mixed feelings as we've approached today, which I think is to be expected. I did have a little cry last night as I watched you sleep. They were tears of joy, fear, and love. I get the most emotional thinking about all the memories through the year and knowing that I can't remember everything.

This has been a huge month for you! Most importantly, you have become an expert walker. At 11 months, you were just taking a few steps here and there. Less than a week after you turned 11 months, you just took off walking. You are now walking everywhere and often trying to run. You look so cute toddling around. You love to hold our hand and walk on your own. Thankfully, you still like to be held and carried quite a bit too. I will be sad when that comes to an end.

Your vocabulary has also exploded this month. You jabber constantly, but you are beginning to have more intelligible words. A lot of what you say is mimicking us, but you do have quite a bit of words you say on your own with intention. You can say "Mama," "Dada," "no," "da" (dog), "go," "hi," "yum," "uh oh," "see" (Wesley), "nose," "fish," "moo," "boo"  and "night-night." You also say something that sounds like, "What's that?" while pointing at something.

We have been working on animal sounds a lot this month. You have an animal puzzle, a book, and a See and Say that you love. You know cow, rooster, and cat fairly consistently. You can repeat most of the sounds, but won't say them when asked. You like to carry the puzzle around the house and repeat the sounds as it makes them. We visited a farm in Asheville, NC last week and you loved seeing the animals. You loved watching the chickens, but you didn't want to pet anything.

We have also been working on body parts. You will point to your nose (or our nose) and say "nose" when asked. You can also point to your ear, belly, and feet about 50% of the time. This is a favorite activity in the bathtub. You also love for me to sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and point at your body parts as we sing. I will tickle your neck and ear as we sing, which you think is the funniest thing! You also love to sing "If You're Happy and You Know It." You will clap along, stomp your feet, and grab your face as we sing.

This month has been full of a lot of traveling for us. You and I flew to Illinois in the middle of the month. You were an awesome traveler both there and back. Both times you fell asleep as we were taking off and woke up when we landed. I love that! You had a lot of fun playing with Mum and Pop. You also got to see Aunt Tasha, Uncle Isaac, Aunt Heather, Lily, Uncle Bryan, Aunt Jenn, Everett, and Great Grandpa and Grandma Corn. You tried to play with Lily, but she didn't want to play much. You loved Everett and sharing snacks with him! I am excited to go back next month for Aunt Tasha's wedding and see you play with your cousins.

We also traveled to Asheville, North Carolina this month. The drive there was 14 1/2 hours. I was so nervous the whole time, but you traveled great! I packed new and exciting toys, new snacks, and the iPad which kept you entertained. You had one screaming fit when you were overly tired, but refusing a nap. The trip home didn't take as long (11 1/2 hours), but you did great again!

You love to chase Wesley around the house and try to climb on him. Wesley isn't such a fan of that, but he tolerates it pretty well. You also love to throw balls and get them. Your favorite toy this month has been your baby doll. You love to kiss on her, give her hugs, and drag her around by her arm. It's the only toy you will get when we ask you, "Where's _____?" Peek-a-boo and hide and seek have continued to be favorite games. You have also learned to blow on your food when I say, "It's hot" and hold the phone up to your ear and jabber. It's amazing to watch you pick up on the little things we do. It makes me more aware of my actions.

You have gained a renewed interest in climbing in the past week. You have rediscovered climbing on our bathtub. You are constantly trying to hike your leg up and get footing on anything you can. You also love to climb on me when I lay on the floor to play with you. You have figured out how to use me as a ladder to climb up onto the couch, especially if the remote control or phone is up there.

More important than all these developmental milestones is the fact that you have continued to have an infectious personality. You smile all the time. You smile with your whole face and it makes everyone around you smile. You have also been making your "monkey face" as we call it. I never get tired of seeing it and it makes me laugh every time. You are sweet and easy to please. You have just started giving hugs. You will lean in, lay your head on my shoulder, pat my back, and say "awww." It melts my heart. Your mind is constantly working and I love to see you figure out your world.

I'm thankful for these past 365 days I have had to watch you grow and learn. It amazes me to think of all that you have learned in a year. You have learned more and gained more skills in this past year than you will in any other year of your life. I am thankful to be the one who gets to spend every day with you and see those changes happen. I wish memories could be recorded forever and stored away so they won't ever be forgotten. You are a beautiful gift and one of my greatest blessings. I'm excited for this next year and new memories that will be made.

I love you, baby girl!


Monday, March 03, 2014

11 Months



My Little Stinker,

You have affectionately earned that nickname this month. You seem to be exploring your surroundings and testing your limits more and more each day. I know it's all part of learning and growing for you. I also know it's part of learning how to teach and discipline for your Daddy and me. While this month seems to have zoomed by, it was a month full of big developments for you!

Most importantly, you have mastered walking this month. It's amazing that at the beginning of the month you were just barely taking one or two steps. You did that for a week or so, then started going about 5-8 steps at a time for about a week. Then you were walking about 5-8 feet at a time. Suddenly, last week, you just took off and started walking everywhere. Now you rarely crawl anymore and you're even trying to run. It's adorable to watch you toddle around, sometimes struggling to keep your balance. You do have remarkable balance, except when you  try to run. Your little body will stick out farther than your behind and you finally topple over. You do your best walking when you stick one hand up in the air.

Now that you are walking all over the place, you enjoy chasing Wesley around. You following him around the house with one hand reaching out to him and jabbering the whole time. He looks completely annoyed as he desperately looks for a hiding place. He will either find a place to hide where you can't reach him, or finally just sit down and let you pet him. I'm thankful he seems to be tolerating you better. I'm pretty sure he realized that you supply a large portion of his food throughout the day, so he better be nice.

Your vocabulary is growing as you jabber constantly. I can tell you are trying to communicate, as you often make the same sound for the things. Sometimes you just spit out a whole slew of babble, looking quite serious the whole time as if you're really trying to get your point across. You are saying something that sounds like "doh" and "go" when you're chasing Wesley around or when you're playing fetch with yourself. You also are making a "see" sound when you are talking to Wesley. You have started saying "hi" more clearly and frequently. I've heard a "b" sound a few times when I tell you to say "bye-bye." You've also made a "p" sound when I've talked about Pop and a "ma" sound when we talk to Mum on the phone.

You love to play with your ball-popping ship and have figured out how to put the balls in the top and shoot them out. It's quite entertaining to watch you shoot them out, chase them down, then try to throw them back in the (tiny) hole in the top. You have also enjoyed playing with the activity table Harlow let you borrow. You love the music and will bounce up and down to the songs. You have really started to enjoy "If You're Happy and You Know It." For a while, you would clap on your own as I sang it, but now you just like for me to clap your hands together. You also LOVE to play hide and seek and chase. That can get you laughing harder than anything. And you're pretty good at following our voices to find us when we hide. You have also learned to pull the curtain or a blanket in front of your face to play peek-a-boo.

Sleeping is getting better. You still nurse 3-4 times a night, but that is usually toward morning. You have become quite a mover though. Since we co-sleep, there are many nights I wake up with you laying across the top of me. I figure if you sleep well (which means I sleep well), then you can sleep however you want! As it gets close to morning, you do become more restless and seem to want to nurse constantly.

With just one more month until your birthday, my mind has been swimming with party ideas. I am a little bit sad to see it come, but the enjoyment of watching you grow and learn mostly overshadows that. You are a sweet girl, with a smile that can change the worst of days around. You are quite inquisitive and like to push the limits. You make us laugh often and fill our lives with joy.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Crunch, Crunch, Crunch

I have recently been involved in several conversations about being "crunchy." If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a little bit crunchy. I used to say I was crunchy around the edges, but I think I'm becoming crunchier all the way through. I breastfeed and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon, I am a supporter of extended rear-facing car seats, I make my own laundry detergent, I had a natural birth, I use organic makeup, I make my own deodorant and shampoo, I use essential oils....I embrace it. (I don't say any of that to brag or boast, just giving clarification as to why I might be considered "crunchy.")

Well, I have added a little more crunch to my life. A few months ago, I was introduced to  Norwex. Norwex is a company that sells chemical-free cleaning and beauty products. I was instantly intrigued about a chemical-free cleaning solution and wanted to learn more. After doing some research and talking with a friend in Texas who is a consultant, I was hooked! Not only was I sold on using the product, but I wanted to share it with those around me. I had been praying and seeking the Lord's will about the possibility of finding a way for us to bring a little more income to help get in a better financial position to buy or build a house soon. If it was going to be something I would do, I knew it had to be flexible, allow me to stay home, and be something I was passionate about.

I feel like the Lord led us to Norwex and I am embarking on this journey. I have become a Norwex Independent Sales Consultant and I will be hosting my Launch Party next Thursday. Direct sales is NOT an area I ever thought I would be in, but I'm trusting in the Lord to bring me out of my shell. It's not as much about the money for me as it is about sharing something I am passionate about and that could make a huge impact in the lives of those around me.

For my local readers, I invite you to join us at my house for my Launch Party. More than likely, you will receive an invitation and more information about it in the mail. But if not, please contact me. For my non-local readers, you can visit my website to learn more about it and place an order if you are interested.

My website is: www.lydiacrouse.norwex.biz

Monday, February 03, 2014

10 Months

Baby Girl,

Today, on your 10 month birthday, I am continually amazed by how much joy and delight you bring to our lives. I don't think I ever laughed and smiled as much as I do now that I'm a parent.

One of your biggest developments this month is that you have learned how to stand up on your own and you have taken just a few steps. One day you were playing in the kitchen floor while I was cooking supper. When I turned around, you were standing in the middle of the floor, obviously with nothing around to pull up on. I thought it might be a fluke, but then a few days later I watched you do it over and over. You will crawl, then just stand up, bounce up and down, wiggle your feet, then fall back on your behind. You want to take some steps, but you don't quite have the confidence. You took one step while in Mississippi, then another single step a couple days later. Just today, you took three steps at a time between me and Daddy. I know it's just around the corner and you will be running around! Yikes!

Another big development this month is that we moved you from your infant seat to a new big girl seat. You were very close to outgrowing your infant seat and we had hopes that a new seat would make you happier. After much research and making my head swim, we bought you a Diono Radian RXT. You seem to really like being able to move your arms and legs more, as well as see out the window a little better. We tried out the new seat on a trip to Mississippi and you barely fussed the whole trip! You look so big, yet so tiny in the new seat!

Not only did you do great on the drive to and home from Mississippi, but you were such a happy girl while we were there. You started the month being extremely attached to me, but you seem to be coming out of that phase a little. You did great going to Papaw, Grandma Kate, and Mum without much of a fuss. You even fell asleep on Papaw's lap one morning and let Grandma Kate rock you to sleep one afternoon. As usual, you entertained everyone with your jabbering, crawling, and curiosity. We were iced in the house for two days and we sure would have been bored without you!

While in Mississippi, you also learned to wave bye-bye. I have been working on it with you for a while, but you would just flap your arms up and down. You finally started actually opening and closing your hand in a waving motion. Like most kids just learning, you are doing it toward yourself instead of facing out, which I think is just sweet.

Peek-a-boo and hide and seek have become some of your favorite entertainment. You love when we play peek-a-boo with you and you have started trying to play. I was sitting on the couch the other day, and you pulled up to it and kept putting your head down and popping it up smiling. I couldn't tell what you were doing at first, but once I figured it out you would just laugh when I said "peek-a-boo" as you popped your head up. You also like to play hide and seek. I will crawl behind a door or the couch and call for you. You crawl over as fast as you can and peek your head behind where I'm hiding. When you see me, you laugh yourself silly. You especially like it when Daddy plays and carries you around to find me. It is entertaining for everyone!

I took you to the movie theater for the first time this month. We went with Sis. Bobbie Jo and Audrey to see Frozen. I was a little nervous about how you would do, but thought it was worth a shot. You didn't pay much attention to the movie at all, but you did very well! You loved the popcorn, even though I don't know how you tasted much of it. I would break off the tiniest pieces and soften them in my mouth before I gave them to you. You were so excited and couldn't wait for more. You also enjoyed the frozen peas and peaches I brought, but still wanted popcorn anytime I put it in my mouth. You started getting tired and fussy toward the end, but never caused much disruption.

I love watching your mind work as you are learning more and more. You have started being able to work some of your toys on your own. You are curious as ever, getting into all the kitchen cabinets, and trying to figure out how to reach the drawers. You don't like to be left alone. If I put you in the living room to play with toys while I work in the kitchen, it takes you about 2 seconds to be right there in the kitchen with me. You are learning things so quickly these days, including how to charm your way out of getting in trouble. You continue to be an active little thing and rarely stop to take a minute to be still. We love you, sweet girl, and love spending our moments watching you.

Other things to remember this month:
  • You now have 8 teeth!!! Four on top, four on bottom
  • You were sick with a cold at the beginning of the month and missed your first Sunday at church
  • You can say "night-night" and often do when you're tired
  • You have started trying to blow kisses by putting your hand up to your mouth
  • Can pull the handle on your See n' Say
  • Had your first food texture issue - mashed potatoes
  • You have started dancing when you hear music