May 31, 2012

Toddler Eating Habits

Alright. So, I admit it. I've been a bit smug about what a great eater Evie is. Other than mango and watermelon, my kid has always eaten just about anything we've put in front of her. She's loved guacamole since she first tried it at six months and will stand at my feet tugging on my pants saying "Momma! Momma!" with her mouth open like a baby bird when she sees me chopping avocados. She's chowed down on Indian food, Greek food, Mexican food, Italian food. You name it and she's been all about it. Oh, and let's not forget sushi. My fourteen month old had her first sushi last week and pronounced it to be "Mmmmm!".

We've always believed that the best way to help Evie establish healthy eating habits was to teach her that good food tastes good and to offer her a wide variety of flavors from different cultures to help her develop a diverse palate. We agreed we would never go down the road of "eat your broccoli and you can have the yummy ice cream!" Instead we have always said, "Oh broccoli is delicious!" And it's true. Chris and I both love broccoli, we believe that it is delicious. I've never a day in my life been a picky eater. I dislike tomatoes and that's about it. Chris, while a picky eater in his youth, is pretty open to trying anything.

On Monday we took Evie to lunch and ordered her chicken tenders and steamed broccoli.

I immediately stopped patting myself on the back when she wouldn't touch the damn green stuff. If we did get her to take a bite, she spit it out immediately. I tried dipping it in ranch dressing, putting cheese on it both to no avail. She still spit it out. She wanted those chicken tenders though. The same thing happened when I offered her cucumber and greens from my salad. One taste and she spit it out. Last night we had stuffed peppers with salad for dinner. I chopped up some avocado for my salad and for her, which she ate fine. I also gave her some of the stuffing from the peppers, and right in the middle of that stuffing I placed a small broccoli floret from the salad.

That little sneak picked all around that broccoli and wouldn't touch it. Avocado: gone. Pepper stuffing: gone. Sippy of milk: gone. At some point she picked the broccoli up and squeezed it super tight in her fist, like she was trying to make it disappear. It didn't work, but I didn't make her eat it.

So far, she's not really pulled this with anything else.

{I'll eat hummus and LOVE it, but don't you ask me to eat broccoli!}

Any advice on how to handle this random and unexpected refusal of broccoli? I don't know what to do, but I definitely don't want her to become a picky eater or start refusing all green vegetables. And, may the good Lord help us, she's got a double dose of stubborn from both her daddy and me.

{And seriously, I will love you forever if you vote for us. I hope I am not bugging you all too much, but right now we are on the third page and I would LOVE to be on the second page in the Top 50! So yeah, click the banner below and the owl on the left. Two clicks! That's all!} 
Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs

May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Memorial Day Photo Dump

First of all, great big thanks and props to the men and women who protect and serve this great nation. The United States Military has my unwavering admiration and support. Without y'all we wouldn't be able to enjoy fabulous weekends like the one that just passed!
We spent our long weekend at Pickwick Lake mainly boating, eating and napping. The good life! This summer is shaping up to be such a blast; Evie really really loves the water and has a great time floating around and hanging out with the fam.
We are so blessed that our parents are willing to share their boats and lake homes with us. And it's not about having the extra stuff, it's about being with the people that we love. We are so lucky that our family is so close.
And now for the photo dump!
{I love my floatie! Especially when the waves come by!}

 {Nana feeding me strawberries! Evie ate so many I thought she was going to turn into one!}

{More strawberries!}

{Ruffly butt, baby rolls!}

{My dad & Chris' mom on the pontoon boat!}

{Napping in my floatie, under the pontoon boat!}

{The family floating around!}

{Chillin' in the shade with momma!}

{Chris and his Dad relaxing!}

{Baby love, my baby love.}

{Checking out the dock at my parent's marina!}

{She loved all the big boats!}

{My two loves. And there's no denying this child belongs to him, is there?}

{Lunch on the Searay!}

{Really! Strawberries are delicious!}

{Curls like Momma!}

{Eating guac with Nana. PS Bum Genius 4.0s with snaps make great swim diapers with the inserts removed! Worked great!}

{Hardcore Napping on Daddy!}

{Sausage Toes!}

{Snoozin' on Dad!}

{My Happy Place!}

PS. Evie will love you more than strawberries if you vote for her! It just takes two clicks! Click the banner below and the owl on the left! You can vote once a day so come back and vote tomorrow!
Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs

May 29, 2012

For the First Time

So... for the first time I've put the blog on Top Baby Blogs. I'm kind of nervous about it and I don't know why. I've definitely hesitated to join in for awhile, but just like momma taught me, if all the other kids are doing it, you should too! Err... at least I think that is how it goes?

So, I humbly ask for your vote. Click the button below then click the owl on the left. Two clicks. That's all.


Help Our Rank & Visit Top Baby Blogs, Baby Blog Directory!

Also for reading this incredibly awkward post, here's like only the CUTEST picture of all time. Seriously. She's an adorable little human, no?

PS If you vote for me, please let me know so I can say thank you and return the favor if so desired! :)

May 24, 2012

The. Cutest. Thing. EVER.

Otherwise titled, Be Still My Heart.

So Saturday morning I taught Evie to give kisses, or maybe all that coaxing I've been doing for the last fourteen months has paid off.

Anyway, now all I have to say is, "Evie! Give momma some kisses!"* and make a smooching sound and she leans in for some toddler sweetness. Oh, the adorableness.

Then Sunday night as we were getting Evie ready for bed it got even sweeter. After I rocked Evie while she ate her bottle I let her down to play in the floor with Chris. Picture this: Chris is laying on his back (normally they play airplane before bed) and Evie is toddling all around, looking at her books, her shoes, her bows and generally whatever she can get her little paws on. Chris looks up at Evie and says, "Evie give Daddy kisses!" and made the smoochie noise. Evie walked over and bent down and gave Chris a big ole kiss.

And I swear I died from the sheer sweetness and perfection of that single moment.

Something to look back on when she's thirteen, thinks she knows everything and is pretty sure mom and dad are the most ridiculous people on the planet.

{Sorry this picture is terrible. The flash didn't go off!}

May 22, 2012

The First Time

In Evie's first fourteen months of life there have been a number of firsts.The first time I was wheeled into NICU and the nurse arranged her cords and wires just so and handed her to me. There was the first poop in the hospital that scared her so bad it made her cry (and me laugh), the first time she fell asleep in my arms, the first time she smiled at me and held up her arms to be picked up. Crawling, walking and babbling were all great firsts.

I loved all of those moments but the very best thing that Evie has ever done is laugh.

When I was pregnant I dreamed about her laugh, I wondered what it would sound like and how precious those giggles would become.

I gave birth to a very very serious child. She's a lot like me in this respect. So it should no come as no surprise that it took her forever to laugh. While my friend's with babies about the same age as Evie would go on and on about how funny their kid's laugh was, and post videos to Facebook, I would just sit by jealously.

Then one day when she was about six months old her Daddy was covering her face with kisses and there it was, bubbling out of her mouth, the most precious beautiful sound in the world: a giggle. I gasped, grabbed my iPhone to video it and said, "Do it again!". We were so lucky to capture that moment forever and in the days and weeks following I watched it over and over again. Each time I got butterflies in my stomach and grinned from ear to ear. It was the best sound in the entire world.

Now, Evie laughs at everything. I'm funny, Daddy is funny, the dogs are funny, the cats are funny, running down hallways is funny, shoes are funny, basically, everything is funny.

I'll never tire of that beautiful sound though, the sound that changed my life forever.

*Credit for the photo goes to Brian Andreas who is the creator of Story People. He is one of my favorite artists because he uses words and pictures to tell his stories.*

Come link up your favorite firsts!

May 21, 2012

Lately & Guest Posters Needed

Some of my iPhone photos lately...

1)This outfit is why I LOVE being a girl mom! So cute! (PS sorry her room is such a wreck!)

2) Snuggles with momma!

3) Happy Lucky Cat & Rocky Top!

4) Cinco de Mayo! "Deconstructed" chicken soft taco, homemade guac and black beans. Watermelon for dessert. She hated the watermelon.

5) Hey there little buddy!

6) Running around by the Tennessee River with Grandpa!

7) Pictures with Grampie before going out on the lake!

Also, I am going to be traveling in late June and mid-July and I need some guest posters! If you are interested shoot me an email at itsavol{at}yahoo{dot}com or leave me a comment below! Thanks!

May 18, 2012

Y3W: We're Going Tubing

Due to chronic ear infections Evie is going to have tubes put in her ears. Chris and I have thought about this possibility a lot over the last few months as we have been in the pediatrician's office for ear infections at least once each month.

It boils down to this. Evie has allergies like her momma. She can't spend any decent amount of time outdoors without her allergies acting up, resulting in ears that don't drain properly and therefore become infected. I don't feel like it's fair to her to keep her inside all the time. She loves being outside and especially with summer ramping up we are constantly at the lake that is surrounded by beautiful forest.

So we are stuck knowing we will be in the ped's office once a month with Evie in pain, or knowing that we are going to have to worry about plugs in her ears until they fall out. I can't keep her out of the water either, she loves it too much.

Dr. Fes gave us three options. One stay on our current course. Two try a very long course of a sulfa drug and "wait and see" or three consult with an ENT and get tubes put in.

We obviously decided course three. I'm comfortable with our decision. We have a phenomenal ENT (he did a tonsillectomy on Chris about three years ago) and I am ready for Evie to not be in pain all the time. I'm still nervous though. I know it's a small procedure and common, but like Dr. Fes said, "It's always minor surgery until it's your baby". Ain't that the truth.

{So, advice, helpful suggestions, experiences (especially ones on anesthesia) and prayers would be much appreciated!}

May 17, 2012

I had the cool parents

When I was in highschool I'm not sure my parents would have been considered cool by some people. They didn't believe in the adage that "If you're going to drink, I'd rather you do it under my roof", I wasn't allowed to go to parties where parents weren't present and they insisted on meeting all of the boys I dated before I was allowed in to ride in the car with them. I was expected to get good grades, to let them know where I was at all times and although I never had a formal curfew I was expected to be home at a decent hour.

Still though, looking back, I'm pretty sure I had the cool parents. Heck, for the most part I even thought so then.

Somehow in the midst of kids who had completely absent (or stupid) parents who let them drink and didn't really care what they did and kids whose parents were so strict they were either sneaking out to get drunk or a complete goody goody looking to go nuts in college, my parents just had a great balance. It was part trust, part respect and part knowing that if I was honest with them everything would be ok.

Case in point: When I was a senior in highschool two of my friends and I went to a party downtown. It was supposed to be some sort of concert or something. The details are unclear. However once we arrived it was obvious that it was just a bunch of people doing drugs, drinking lots of hard liquor and rubbing all over each other. I hate to be touched, and I think we actually saw blood and needles. Ick. Needless to say I wanted to leave, like quick fast and in a hurry. One of my friends felt the same way.  Unfortunately, the friend who drove wanted to stay.

After calling our quasi boyfriends who refused to leave whatever circle jerk they were at I just said forget this. It's cold. It's creepy. I don't feel safe. Damn it I want my mommy and I don't care who knows it. And I picked up my cell phone and called my parents. My friend didn't want me to. She ddn't want me to be in trouble, but at that point I didn't care. I wanted out of there and I knew they'd come get us. I'm not sure what they expected to hear when they answered the phone but I'm sure it's not fun to be woken out of a dead sleep to hear your eighteen year old daughter explaining that she is stuck at a party with drugs and alcohol and can you please come get my friend and me? I remember thinking I would be in so much trouble for putting myself in that kind of a situation to begin with. I anticipated one of my father's looooong lectures that ended in his being awarded the Mr. Hustle trophy in High School. Oh well, at least we would be out of there. I paced nervously while we waited what must have been the longest forty-five minutes for them to arrive.

Instead when my parents Yukon arrived (like a damn oasis in the dessert) they were cool as cucumbers. They collected the two of us, turned on the heat and asked if we were hungry (this was about 11:30 pm). Twenty minutes later we were munching on Chicken McNuggets and french fries on our way to drop my friend off at her parents house.

We've spoken of this night many times since then, but I've never caught hell over it. The anticipated lecture was never received. I wasn't banished to my room or grounded. Instead I was hugged, kissed and left to finish my nuggets in peace while they went back to sleep.

It's only since having a kid that I've come to realize what made my parents cool. They didn't just talk the talk but they walked the walk as parents. They gave their all to my brother and me, ensuring  we always knew we were safe, loved and could trust them.

It was that they cared enough about us to ensure that our safety was always their number one priority. It was why they were willing to host a co-ed slumber party after prom (alcohol free and yes boys and girls slept in separate rooms) and why they offered up their grill and pool (not to mention plenty of snacks) so twenty or so teenagers who didn't feel like sneaking off to drink beer with creepy thirty year olds would have something else fun and safe to do. They were the ones who said, "Sure. It's Saturday night and maybe we are tired from working all week, but bring on the fun. Let's get involved in our kid's lives."
I sincerely hope I am that kind of a cool mom for Evie. Not the kind that says give my your keys and you can drink under my roof, but the kind that says I am your mother, you can tell me anything, call me anytime and I will never love you less and will always be here. I want to be that kind of parent who is deeply involved in her kid's life.

Thanks Momma & Daddy for being that kind of cool.

May 16, 2012

When It Rains...

It pours.

Sometimes I feel like I can't catch a break. Just when I start to get ahead at home and work life sucker punches me in the back.

I woke up Tuesday around 4:00 am with a vicious vicious stomach virus. After puking for the umpteenth time I finally nudged my hubby with my foot and and told him he was going to have to get Evie up, fed, dressed and off to daycare. There was no way I was going to be able to move out of the bed. After a few hours I managed to drag my sorry butt to walmart for ginger ale and crackers. I thought I was going to pass out.

I planted myself on the couch with a bowl and in between trips to the bathroom to puke I watched Breaking Dawn Part One and old episodes of GLEE. At some point I managed to keep some crackers down.

Then hubby came home from work feeling nauseated and with stomach cramps.

This morning Evie had rivers of green snot pouring out of her nose. I am sure it is another ear infection. I am taking her to the doctor this afternoon, so we will see. Did I mention the smell of just about anything but sprite still makes me want to hurl? That might be lunch today. A giant chic-fil-a sprite.

I guess it's a good thing I'm strong swimmer, because we're getting flooded over here.

May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day (belated)

I was so lucky to get to spend part of my mother's day with my very own momma. I was even luckier to spend the whole day with the beautiful girl who made me a momma. I am very blessed!

{Me and my Momma on my Wedding Day. Isn't she beautiful?}

May 11, 2012

I Am Mom Enough

I am mom enough no matter what TIME magazine says. I am the best mother to my daughter. I base my choices around what we think is right for our family. We cloth diaper, we eat organic food (mostly), I made Evie's baby food. I only breastfed for four weeks, and then formula fed until she was one. I don't co-sleep or baby wear. And NONE of those things make me a better or worse mother than you.

What makes me a good mother is my willingness to go the mat for my daughter every single day for the rest of my life.

I am the kisser of boo boos. I am the one who (tries) to rock her to sleep every night. I am the singer of lullabies. I am the maker upper of silly games. I am the snuggler. I am the tickler of ribs. The runner of the baths. The one who knows how warm she likes her bottle. I am the keeper of ten million different facts about my daughter because I am her mother.

And, I? I am mom enough.

And, you? You are mom enough.

Come link up your Mom Enough pictures with The Turnip Farmer!