Friday, December 23, 2011

New Blog Address

I've moved Eva's blog over to wordpress. Join us there for more Eva news and happenings! All the posts on this blog have been imported to the new blog. At present, the videos don't appear to have transferred correctly so I'll look into that further in my spare time. Haha. Spare time. *snort*

Go here! ---> <---

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bad Blogger, Bad!

It's still technically Winter so a post about Winter Break isn't too tardy. It falls within the two-month window regarding Holiday Blogs. I read that somewhere; it must be true.

Haven't we all just recovered from our Christmas and New Year holiday hangovers? Tacky decor is stuffed in the attic and forgotten till next Thanksgiving weekend. Holiday pounds are falling off (for some of us. I'm not bragging or anything. If I were, it'd be because I hadn't gained a few pounds in the form of homemade fudge). Credit card bills are getting paid off and family quarrels are already turning into humorous stories to retell every year at Christmas dinner. And here I go, dragging all this stuff up like I do the used wrapping paper and tissue (Just smooth it out! It's perfectly good!)

In the spirit of reusing Perfectly Good memories, I bring you: Our Winter Vacation--The Highlights.

Um, *rattling memory* there were play dates, if I recall correctly. Flynn with a super fancy dress because she knows "Eva really likes that kind of stuff". True. She does. Eva selected a super fancy Holiday (read: Easter) dress at Costco recently and declared that she was going to wear it to play at Flynn's house. She looks reminiscent of a Peep. It's very cute. But I digress...

We played at a classmate's house. He had about 200 Matchbox cars, a race track and a cool older sister. Eva wants to return. We had a few more play dates and dinners with old friends. Went to a Solstice/Going Away party for our dear friends who are off to new adventures in Berkeley.

Eva had been anticipating Santa's arrival (at the mall...) since November. We told her he wouldn't come until December. I like to maintain the rare bit of my sanity by ignoring all things Christmas until December 1. I believe it might even make me live longer. Happier, at least.

We went at dinner-hour, to avoid a crowd. Turns out Santa feeds his reindeer at that time so we had half an hour to wait. We went to every little (and big) girl's favorite store: Claire's. Oh, the shiny, glittery, feathery, gaudy, tacky fun.

As usual, Eva was quiet and shy with Santa. She sat on my lap on the wide, sturdy armrest and quietly told Santa what she wanted. She politely asked for a Mary Poppins DVD. Daddy snapped some pictures. (The elves charge a mint for their pics and wouldn't have gotten a "good" one of everyone smiling at the camera. That's not why we go anyway--it's about talking with Santa).

This year, Santa gave Eva a special gift--a reindeer jingle bell with a sparkly red ribbon that he gives to only his most special kids. Every time it rings, it means Santa loves her.

We spend five fun-filled days with family in the South Sound. Eva's shiny new cousin arrived just before Christmas so we all had time to snuggle the sweet wee babe. Eva was delighted that Santa remembered to bring Mary Poppins for her.

New Year's Eve was spent as in past years. At home. Eva wakes up crying and confused about 11:45 p.m. as the neighborhood gets noisy with fireworks. The celebrants are unaware of the trauma they inflict on our child with sensory issues--especially sudden bursts of noise. So we hold her, shaky and groggy, and sit on the couch to watch the fireworks show at the Space Needle on TV. She loves Seattle and it calms her to see the beauty of the fireworks without the racket. After an hour, the fireworks are all blown up and we go (back) to bed. Welcome to 2011!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Gettin' the Party Started

Today, Eva and I danced to her Party Mix CD (I made a cd of poppy dance songs from 2005 and 2006 that she loved when she was a baby and toddler). The sun was shining in our bedrooms and we were all smiles. We had a fun little pre-New Year's Eve rock out party. 

In the above video, the first song is a clean version of Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani (Eva calls it "the banana song"), followed by SexyBack by Justin Timberlake.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shhh...You'll Startle It...

I haven't wanted to say it aloud, for fear of jinxing it or scaring it away like a wild deer (though not the deer in my neighborhood that stare at me and go back to nibbling my roses). But it IS a pretty huge milestone. Eva's wearing panties! No diapers. I am beyond happy. Beyond.

I can't say we did anything to make this happen, this time around. Just all the stuff They say to do: potty books, potty video, go with Mommy to potty, little potty chair, set up a routine, talk about it a lot--but not with any pressure! Yeah, we did all of that since she was 2 1/2 and had her first stint of success. But she protested fiercely; it went away. Back and forth a few times. I was out of ideas and tricks; she was getting too old to buy into the games and has never been one to be motivated by bribes. They say it'll happen when the child is ready--and not before. I had to let it go and trust.

Over the summer, I started telling her, matter-of-factly and without blame or guilt (I hope) that I was done changing her diapers. I didn't want to do it anymore. I refused to read her potty books to her the sporadic times she was sitting, saying I didn't think she needed it anymore. She was a big girl and could do this on her own. After a bit, I think she started to believe me.

In many ways, teaching her to use the potty was no different than teaching a typical child. One thing that differed was that her gross and fine motor skills are not as refined as a typical child. So while I was waiting for her to take an interest in using the potty, I worked with her, outside of the bathroom and without mentioning the potty, on the skills she needed to be successful. Signing "toilet" before she could speak (language). Practicing standing up and sitting down, over and over (gross motor). Getting pants on and off (fine motor). She would "help" me go and tell me what to do next. She would flush the toilet for me. She knew what to do, she just needed that secret motivator to get her to do it.

I think peer pressure at school this year did the trick. And the staff work hard with the kids to learn to use the toilet and stay dry. The other two girls in her Supported Kindergarten wear pretty panties and she wanted to be like them. One day, several weeks ago, she came home from school and said she wanted to wear pretty panties, too. OK! We gathered up some hand-me-downs, bought some exciting new Tinkerbell panties and that was it! The first couple days were a little rough, but after that, she has done amazingly well. It's been rather easy (if you don't consider the five years and nine months of diapers before that, but who's counting). Hooray Eva!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Autumn Fun

I love this time of year, when the bright hot busy summer slides into the quieter cooler autumn. The billowing clouds and multicolored leaves against the crisp blue sky encourage quiet contemplation during a long walk. Our busy summer social calendar gives way to back-to-school routine, tidying up the yard and craft projects on rainy days. That said, we've still managed to be quite busy.

My brother visited us from Oregon and we all loved having him here. Eva and her Uncle Tommy had loads of fun playing and it makes my heart smile to see the ease with which Tom interacts with Eva. The absolute attention and devotion he gives to their play time reminds me of how my dad played with us as kids. And his borderline relentless teasing and repeated pokes to Eva's belly remind me of how he and I "played" as kids. Since I was the pokee, as little sister, I say "played" with sarcasm. ;)

Got your  nose!

Eva and I and some good friends visited my favorite pumpkin patch recently. Gordon Skagit Farms in the Skagit Valley is an amazingly beautiful place. ( Everything is artistically arranged and displayed to the smallest detail. Many of the owner's rural landscape oil paintings hang around the property and on the side of the barn. There are incredible photo ops everywhere you look. And so, I take lots of photos each time we go there.
Eva and her friend explore the many kinds of pumpkins and squash

Eva chose six apples for us to take home. I chose an armload of butternut squash and some spaghetti squash to make a delicious casserole. This year, Eva was brave enough to see the haunted barn with the witch, her bubbling cauldron and assorted creepy things. We wandered out to the corn maze and pumpkin patch, admiring the 360 degree views of the valley and surrounding hills blanketed with turbulent upswept clouds. We went back the next week for more apples and squash. Mommy & Daughter fun!
This way! To the pumpkins!

Eva composed and shot this photo (I helped her hold my super expensive camera). Pretty good, huh?
Eva and I made acorns one lazy Sunday morning. Get a bunch of fresh donut holes (LaFeen's sells them a dozen for $1. Or if you're cute like me, the guy behind the counter will give you 18 for $1). Dip one end in melted chocolate (I used 88% dark chocolate, to cut the sweetness!) Roll that end in chopped peanuts. Stick a pretzel in the end for the stem. Voila! Cute AND yummy!
Eva was only mildly interested in this project but helped me chop the peanuts and ate a few pretzels before getting down from her chair and wandering off to do something more fun. She doesn't like sweets at all so the finished product was nothing more than a silly thing to make. She did show quite a bit of pride in "her" creations when she took them out to the garage to show Daddy.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


In addition to losing her first teeth and starting Kindergarten, Eva has moved up to a booster seat in the car and got a new big girl bed. So much happening.
I found this beautiful solid pine junior loft bed on Craigslist. The standard twin mattress is about 3 feet off the ground. She and I went shopping for new sheets and she chose these grape-colored ones. The rainbow pillow case was a find at the thrift store.
What makes this bed so awesome (aside from the gorgeous pine and solid construction) is that it has a free-standing storage cabinet (below, in pic) and free-standing 3-drawer dresser that also fits under the bed. The bookcase pulls out to reveal a 3 1/2-foot long desktop. Behind the cabinet and bookcase is a wonderful hiding place (or room for storage). You can see a pillow through the ladder. It's a fantastically efficient piece of furniture.

Eva has spent a LOT of time playing in her room with her new bed and all of its stuff. Every time we go in her room she exclaims, "I have a new bed! Oh! Look at my new bed!" She tells everyone who will listen about her new bed. She's happy; I'm happy.

Some kids love to walk in the rain with an umbrella or stomp in puddles. Eva loves to sweep puddles.
Wearing her cute ladybug rain boots. She does stomp in puddles, but when she does it, she's stomp/tap dancing and clapping rhythms.
Soaking wet and happy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The customary First-Day-of-School-Picture-in-Front-of-the-Garage-Door

Eva enthusiastically started Kindergarten this week. She had a great time getting to know a new school, new teachers, new routines and new friends (and seeing some old friends from Preschool). The staff tell me she has been doing very well with work time and is having fun at recess, in music and at the library.

She's been anxiously awaiting Kindergarten since she started to spend some time in the mainstream Kinder class when she was in Preschool. By 7:30 a.m. on the first day, she was dressed and dancing and hoola hooping around the living room and making snow angels in the carpet to her Party Mix CD I made for her (her favorite dance/techno and lively pop songs).

So excited she can hardly stand it! (This is at 7:30 a.m.--2 hours before school starts).
Eva is going five days a week for a few hours a day to a public elementary school that has the Primary Life Skills program for the district. I don't like the term "Life Skills" because it makes it sound like they're learning how to cook, make their beds and balance their checkbooks. They're little kids. They're learning the same things other little kids are learning. The just need a little more teacher time and assistance. I prefer a "Supported Classroom". So anyway, she is there.

There are two Supported Classrooms at the school with Kinders, 1st- and 2nd-graders combined. One class generally has the Kinders and those in need of more support. The other class, the one Eva is in, generally has older kids and those who have more skills and abilities. She is one of two Kinders in this class with eight 1st- and 2nd-graders. Other Kinders in the district don't start classes until this Monday, but since Eva's class has mostly 1st- and 2nd-graders, her teacher said I could bring her this week if I wanted to. Sure! The more school the better!

I'm glad she is in this class and will have the older kids from whom to model. I'm grateful that the staff recognized that she has the skills to be able to succeed in a more challenging environment. And that I didn't have to petition for her to be given the opportunity to be in this class, which I would have if she'd been assigned to the other class. I am very proud of her.

Hooray for new adventures!