Category Archives: Evelyn

Musings On A Weekend at the Beach

We took Evelyn with us for the first time on the annual family trip to Lawson’s Landing at Dillon Beach this weekend.  Last year she was only 3 months old and I didn’t want to put the family through living in close quarters with a crabby baby.  This year, she was walking and past the “put everything in her mouth” phase.  This meant we could put her on the sand and not worry about her colicing from all the sand ingestion (horse joke).

She still needed a little help “running down the dunes”.


I’m amazed (although I shouldn’t be), what a difference a trip to the beach is when you have two little ones along.  Instead of chapters of a fluffy book being read while lounging in a beach chair in front of the waves, there was digging in the sand to build sand castles (for Evelyn to stomp on) and watching Rose running up and down and up and down the dunes.


Instead of leasurly walks along the beach, hand in hand with my husband, it was “see how many kids Daddy can hold at one time”.


Instead of cuddles in front of the campfire it was puzzles with my daughter (I was only allowed to watch, not participate)


and reading books with Nana.


I didn’t come back from the weekend feeling refreshed (I was a little worn out from ‘co-sleeping’ with Evelyn) but wouldn’t have traded it for the world.  The wonderful feeling of putting smiles on the faces of her..


and her, made it all worth while.IMG_4232

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Filed under Evelyn, Motherhood, Musing of Life, parenthood, Rose, Travel

Friday Ranch Day October 9, 2013

The girls and I headed down to the garden to start winterizing this weekend and while Rose helped me to pull the onions, Evelyn wandered around as 15 month olds are known to do.

Evelyn – “While Sissy is off pulling onions, I’m gonna esplore.”


 “Outta my way Mommy, I’m esplorin!”


“Diggin, diggin, diggin in the dirt.”


“Dis flower is so butiful!”


 “It may be pretty but does it taste good?”


 “Oh my god!  This leaf ripped right off when I pulled!!!!!!!”


 “This place is falling apart around me.  I’m outta here!”



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Filed under Evelyn, Fun, Gardening, Gardening, Rose, The Ranch

Wordless Wednesday: Sister lessons


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Filed under Evelyn, Rose, Sisters, Wordless Wednesday

The Great Debinkying Adventure

Before we had Rose, I had always swore that we wouldn’t use a binky with “our baby”.  Oh no.  No binky would touch the lips of our precious children.  I had seen too many children (children not babies) walking around with pacifiers in their mouths, taking them out to have a conversation with their parents. I just “knew” that I wouldn’t let that have a chance of happening.  Yaaaaaah. So all that conviction was thrown in the garbage after the multi episode, multi hour, cry fests that Rose would do those first few weeks.  When she was in the NICU, they gave her a pacifier as they couldn’t be holding her 24/7 with wires/tubes/uv light.  Out of desperation, I tried one of the pacifiers that she came home with and sweet lord there was silence.  Silence and a happy baby. We never looked back.

She wasn’t allowed to take it everywhere.  She mostly used it for naps and bed time and never really grew terribly attached.  Once her 1 year birthday rolled around and it was time to stop giving her a pacifier, we simply stopped giving it to her and it was like she never used it.  Wonderful!

When Evelyn was born we didn’t even think twice before starting her with a binky.  We even used a Wabbanub which was even better (side note: those Wabbanubs are a wonderful invention. You can use the animal on the end of prop it up and in the babies mouth when they are too small to keep it in).  She only had it when she was sleeping so I figured dropping it when she was 1 would be as easy as with Rose.  However, once her birthday rolled around, she was popping through some molars and used the binky as a soothing devise as she fell asleep.  So I put it off.  No big deal right?  Thing was, I started to notice that when it came to putting Evelyn down for sleep, she would just about leap out of my arms into the crib.  At first I thought this was great!  No issues putting this baby down.  Then I realized it was because she wanted to get that binky in her mouth as quickly as possible.  Then she started to scream like you were kicking her favorite puppy when you made her drop it in the crib in the morning.

Hello sign!!

So two weeks ago we decided to stop the binky cold turkey.  No binky at nap, no binky at bedtime.  She took it great!  Hahaha!  Just kidding.  She screamed her head off.  She threw her lovey out of the crib in anger (we had been introducing a lovey in prep).  She screamed some more.  Then, 20 minutes in, she passed out.


Not a further peep was heard until her usual 3:30 wake up.  Instead of scrounging around for her binky and falling back asleep, it was scrounge around for binky, realize it wasn’t there, then scream her head off.  Luckily that lasted only 5 minutes before she passed out again.  Then she slept in to 7:30.  Score!  The nap was a little harder but she fell asleep in about 10 minutes and then cried off and on for about an hour and a half.  The next night she went down in 5 minutes.

Now, if she isn’t really tired, she will cry for about a minute before snuggling with her lovey and falling asleep.  This really isn’t any different then with the binky so yay success!  She also learned quickly that if she throws the lovey out in anger the lovey doesn’t come back.  No lovey throwing has happened since. 🙂

The very best side effect of having her give up the binky is that now, as you are putting her down for the night, she will gladly snuggle in your arms as you sing to her.  Not much is better then baby arms clutched around your neck with a baby head snuggled on your shoulder.  Sure it’s more like a death grip because she is trying to avoid going into the crib but I’ll cry ignorance and enjoy it.

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Filed under Evelyn, parenthood, Rose, sleep issues, Tips

Starting my babies on “solid” foods

Sometimes I blog about this kind of thing in the hopes that it would help someone.  Sometimes I do it just so that I can remember just what the heck I did since selective mommy memory is a real thing around here.  I’m saying this is a little of both. 🙂  Keep in mind this is just what worked for us and my girls.  All babies are different heaven knows.

I waited to start “solids” with both girls until 6 months.  I write the word solids in quotes because there isn’t much solid about the foods you start with.  I bypassed the standard 1st food of rice cereal due to the studies about the amount of arsenic in rice these days and went with an organic sweet potato instead.  I peeled, cut up, steamed, and blended a nice sweet potato, the orange ones, called jewel yams here in my area of California.  Then I mixed it with enough breast milk to water it down to a fairly liquid consistency, not pour off, but dribble off the spoon.

Homemade Baby Food

Both the girls took no time to learn how to take a bite from the spoon (they had been watching us eat for weeks) but it did take a few feedings for much to actually go down their throat.  Ha!  Most of it dribbled out of their mouths and onto the bib.

The first few weeks I only gave them “solids” at dinner time.  I would do a short nurse right when I got home from work then offer an ounce or so off food while we were eating dinner.  At around 7 months, we started in with lunch too, and 8 months, breakfast.  Still only 2 oz at a time.  All this time they would get 3 – 4oz bottles during the day and nurse first thing in the morning and right before bed.  As the months went on, they would eat more solids at meal times and decrease the amount of milk they drank.

As allergies don’t run in our families (except my shellfish allergy), we only fed a new food 2-3 days before changing it up.  If there are family food allergies, I would make it more like 4-5 days.  In the end Evelyn can eat everything and Rose is allergic only to Mango.  Luckily that showed itself quickly by giving the poor thing a flaming diaper rash.  We still have to avoid it which is harder then you think!

I make quite a bit of the purees myself as it its cheap and easy to do.  I would post recipes but really, it’s buy organic veggies and fruit, steam until soft, blend in the blender until smooth, add breast milk or water until the desired consistency.  If it’s too watery (I started to feed it thicker after a week or two), add baby oatmeal.  I like the Happy Baby brand with the probiotics.  Once you introduce a number of things you can start blending them together.  Especially the not as sweet veggies.  I add kale and broccoli to something sweeter like sweet potatoes or strawberries.  While my girls would eat the more bitter things at first, they stopped once they got an opinion.  Ha!  I freeze the pureed mixes in flexible ice cube containers then store them in the freezer in ziplock bags.  30 seconds in the microwave and you have a cheap and easy meal.

Homemade Baby Food 1

When Rose was a baby they had come out with square plastic containers which were nicer then the glass as they were lighter and you didn’t worry about breaking them in your diaper bag.  However, by the time Evelyn was born, they had come out with the fabulousness that is the squeeze pouches.  These flexible easy to pack things are so great.  They even makes tons of organic ones.  I just put a soft silicon top on it (not required but easier on her mouth) and she sucks it right down.  There are refillable ones that I put my homemade purees into.  They even have spoons that connect to them for when the babies are just starting out.

Baby Food Pouch.jpg

When you buy those don’t just run to Target.  My own hometown grocery store Raley’s actually has them 30-40 cents cheaper.  Score!

The baby food aisle in Raley’s.  Tons of organic at good prices!!


I use the pouches when out and about, or when I want to feed more fibrous greens.  The companies industrial sized blenders make a much smoother puree.  I usually end up with unappetizing chunks.  😛

We also did some baby led weaning.  Sooner with Evelyn then with Rose (that whole second child thing) although I have found, at least until they get molars that can chew things more efficiently, I need to make sure I feed purees as well too make sure they got enough food.  Especially once I weaned and they were not getting a good amount of healthy breast milk anymore.  It just takes too long for them to eat to get enough food.

So there you have it!  Once Evelyn gets more teeth, we will make and buy less purees and do more of just what we eat but until then, it’s a great way to make sure she is eating all the good stuff she needs.

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Filed under breastfeeding, Evelyn, Rose, Tips, weaning

Evelyn’s 1st Birthday Party

Only a month behind, but better late then never.

Evelyn’s birthday party was done a week before her actual birthday since my Friday off that weekend made it much easier to do planning/prep work.  Since she loves to play with her sister’s trains, we decided on a “train” theme.  Not that I went all out but it gave me something to do for a cake and party gifts (engineer hats). 🙂

Evelyn 1st birthday party 6 (Medium)

I made her a small smash cake using the same peach cake recipe I used for Rose on her 1st birthday.  I like it because it’s both yummy and I don’t feel like I’m feeding her a gallon of sugar.  She didn’t seem to miss the extra sweetness.

Evelyn 1st birthday party 5 (Medium)

Clearly “got into” her cake.

Evelyn 1st birthday party 4 (Medium)

This required a washing up with the hose.  She didn’t mind that either.  Due to the cream cheese in the frosting, she was a bit like a greased pig after smearing it all over herself.  Even after playing in the water a bit after, her hair was as slick as a 60’s “greaser’.

Evelyn 1st birthday party 3 (Medium)

I made a train cake for the rest of the kids (each got a car) and it came out very cute.  I used the Nordic Ware Train Pan with a yellow Duncan Hines cake mix.   Then just used a bunch of candy found at the $ store stuck on with the decorative frosting that comes in those little tubes.  Easy peasy.

Evelyn 1st Birthday Cake (Medium)

We had the splash table and kiddy pool out but the slip ‘n slide we got for Rose’s b-day party last year was the biggest hit with the kids.  Even Evelyn took a few turns (with help from her Daddy).

Evelyn 1st birthday party 2 (Medium)


My little swimmer girl.

Evelyn 1st birthday party 1 (Medium)

On her actual birthday she was 4 days into an 8 day flu bug so we didn’t do much.  Therefore, the next weekend I made her another little smash “cake” that she proceeded to stuff into her face.  She had brought a toy spatula to the table and after a bit started to use a hand to put the cake on the spatula then eat the cake off the spatula.  I guess it’s time to start introducing her to using a fork.

Evelyn 1st birthday party 8 (Medium)

Happy birthday my little girl.  This year has gone faster then I thought would be possible.  I cherish every day.

You hold my heart.

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Filed under Evelyn, Growth Update

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit pumping…..

FYI, I’m going to be talking about my experience with weaning Evelyn so if anyone doesn’t want to read about nursing, engorgement, boobs, and lots of baby poop they may want to skip to the next post. I’m sure it’s about something cute the girls are doing.

As the title suggests (bonus points if you can identify the cult comedy I’m parodying), this post is about my decision to quit pumping milk at work during what turned out to be an inopportune time.

Just as I did with Rose, I had a goal to breastfeed Evelyn for a year. This included 3 pumping sessions per day after I went back to work. Luckily for me, I was blessed with easy nursing babies and produced the amount of milk needed to do so with no problem. As I look back on the two, year long nursing/pumping periods I can only thank my fabulous genetics (my mom had the same supply blessing) for letting me provide my daughters with a easy and really cheap food source. I have nothing against choosing to use formula but that stuff’s expensive!  I did have to cut out all citrus, caffeine, and alcohol as I discovered (the hard way) that all of those would give both the girls upset tummys. A small price to pay but man, I’m looking forward to a tall glass of fresh lemonade. Our lemon tree has been mocking me all year.

I have an extra incentive to stop this time as well. I’m going to Ireland in the middle of August with a friend and need to be totally dried up so I don’t have any clogged duct/engorgement issues when I’m there. That would be awkward.  Evelyn is such a gentle snugly nurser, I think I might have kept doing at least the evening snuggle/nursing session for a while otherwise. Once I’m done with that I’m done for forever. Forever! Sniff sniff.  <— by this I mean I’m a little sad but noooo second guessing on having a third.

As Evelyn’s birthday approached, I started to reduce the number of times that I pumped at work. Three weeks before, I reduced from 3 pumping sessions per day to 2. Two weeks before, I reduced from 2 to 1. The last week, as you can imagine, I went to 1. On a side note, while I am going to miss the evening and morning nursing sessions, I was waiting with baited breath to stop pumping. Totally worth it but man, work is crazy and taking 20 minutes out of my day 3 times a day was really getting difficult. Besides not being sure when I would have a chance to check Twitter anymore at work, I was very happy to pack those pump supplies up and take them home that Friday. By reducing slowly like I did, I only had minor discomfort and no engorgement/clogged duct issues.  Yay!

So then…. three days before my last pumping day Evelyn woke with a little fever. She didn’t seem to be too bad although we noticed that she pooped a few more times then normal. By Friday she still had a fever and the increased pooping had turned into diarrhea along with a decreased appetite. As the fever was a little high even with Advil, and the poop kept coming we took her into the doc. On the way, she threw up. Lovely. The doc said it was most likely Hand Foot and Mouth as her throat was a raw and the strain this year included a tummy issue. Fun times.

Because of her sore throat and tummy ichyness, the only thing she would put in her tummy was milk. And only straight from the source. And only for 5 minutes at a time. And often. Anyone who has nursed before knows where this is going. I went from my boobs being adjusted to being totally drained only 3 times a day to a small overly warm creature simply sipping for 5 minutes every hour for 2 days straight. Then I went back to work on Monday where I no longer had a pump. Whomp.

To say I looked like I had taken my lunch hour to get a boob job by the end of the day would be an accurate description. And then Monday night Evelyn would wake to nurse a little every hour or so all night. Then repeat the next day. And the next. And the next. By the middle of the week her poops were looking/smelling like newborn due to a diet of only breast milk for so long. Finally on Friday she woke with no fever, started having regularish looking poops and took up eating everything in sight. By then my body was so confused it didn’t know what to do. No pumping/nursing all day then tons of milk production at night. My hormones were off the charts let alone a clogged duct or two.

Now another week later, thank goodness things are back to normal both with Evelyn’s illness (which turned out to be a virus and not HFM) and my boobs. I can go all day or night without getting really uncomfortable but still produce enough milk for Evelyn on the morning and evening nursing sessions.

Soon I will drop those sessions too. That will be a little sad. I love the baby snuggles and the look of a milk drunk baby breathing gently in my arms. But the next chapter and Ireland awaits. 🙂

 It’s going to be hard to say no to this face.wpid-20130703_183553.jpg


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Filed under breastfeeding, Evelyn, working mom

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a walker!

Babies 1st steps

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Filed under Evelyn, Growth Update

The evolution of a fast food order during marriage

We were sitting down to yet another meal at our favorite local taco place and I started to think about how our food order has changed over the years.  Not big changes (we order the same type of food every time) but the little things.  We moved back to my home town not long after we were married and so we have almost 13 years of food history at this place.

1st married (year 1):

Super Nacho w/ jalapenos <– Steve
Bean Burrito (no onions, with sour cream & hot sauce) <– Me
Large soda to split

Frequency: every few weeks

Living on the property in a trailer (year 2-4):

Super Nacho w/ jalapenos
Bean Burrito (no onions, with sour cream & hot sauce)
Large soda to split

Frequency: Sometimes 2-3 times a week, always late at night as we would come home and work on the property then not want to cook in the tiny trailer.

Living in the house (year 5-8):

Super Nacho w/ jalapenos
Bean Burrito (no onions, with sour cream & hot sauce)
Large soda to split

Frequency: Back to every few weeks. Usually on the weekends during a grocery/lunch run.

Pregnancy/nursing (year 9):

Super nacho w/ jalapenos (shredded cheese instead of unknown liquid stuff) <– healthier??
Bean Burrito (no onion, with sour cream) <– no hot sauce (heartburn)
Water <– no chemicals in my baby

Life with a Toddler (year 10-11):

Super nacho w/ jalapenos (back to the unknown liquid stuff. Wohoo!) <–hubby starting to grumble at how much I am stealing his nachos now that toddler is eating my burrito

Bean Burrito (no onion) <–toddler has started to eat a large portion of said burrito so why bother with added cost of sour cream
Large soda (bring on the chemicals!) & water (for toddler)

Frequency: About the same as before.

Pregnancy, again (year 12):


See previous pregnancy

Frequency: Same as before

Now (year 13):


Super nacho w/ jalapeno (shredded cheese, jalapenos tucked on the side, chips on the side) <– toddler is now eating 1/3 of the nachos so switched back to better cheese
2 Bean burritos (no onions) <– said toddler is also eating most of a burrito greatly reducing what is available to me.  Baby is also stealing a lot of the bean out of the burrito and the meat off the nachos.  We realized we were leaving hungry.
3 waters <– baby and toddler = getting up too often to refill (read:lazy)

Frequency: About every other weekend with the occasional “we are in town so we are eating there”. Both girls would like us to eat there more often.  Evelyn gets visibly excited when she seems me coming with the tray.  Girl loves her beans and cheese.

I can only imagine our order and bill will slowly increase over the years.  At least we don’t have boys!

Taco Tree

The one time we tried a taco instead of a burrito. Too messy.  Went back to a second burrito.



Filed under Evelyn, Humor, Rose

Wordless Wednesday: Brush, brush, brush aka (chew, chew, chew)

Baby brushing teeth

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Filed under Evelyn, Wordless Wednesday