Sunday, January 24, 2010

St. Augustine Day Trip

St. Augustine has been on our list of places to see and we finally got around to going today.  Being that it's less than an hour away, we decided to make a day of it rather than plan an entire weekend around it.  I remember visiting once as a little girl, but it had been too long ago to really remember any vivid details.  Robert had never been.

We basically just walked around the historic district and stopped to have a bite to eat.  So rather than bore you with my commentary, I'll let the pictures tell the story of our day.

We took numerous pictures so visit my gallery to view the entire album.  Thumbs up on St. Augustine!  I can honestly say that this is one Florida city I LOVE.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Say Hello to My Little Friends

Just like the doctor ordered - we totally socialized today.  I made the commitment to take Evan to "Toddler Time" at the public library on Thursdays.  Our first day proved to be necessary.

While the other kids waited for the class to start, either in their moms' laps or remaining close by, Evan chose to hang out on the outside of the circle running back and forth between the exit doors.  It didn't bother me necessarily considering this was probably equivalent to Disney Land to him, but I did feel that slight hint of embarassment - the one that Dr. Sahai warned me about, remember?  I glanced around to see if any other mothers were giving me "the look."  Turns out, I was just being paranoid.  Once the music started Evan cheerfully made his way back to the group.

The kids danced to the music while the mothers sang nursery rhymes and made silly gestures.  Evan roamed around checking every one out.  Occasionally he would try stealing another kid's snack or sippy cup - but other than that he was acting appropriately (YES! double fist pumps).  He really began having a lot of fun.  He played peek-a-boo with the little girl sitting beside us.  Very funny.

Boxes were brought out full of homemade moroccas, sidewalk chalk, rubber toys and plastic DINOSAURS.  Oh, great.  Here we go.  I was about to go ahead and tell the other mothers to keep their kids away from the dinosaur box unless they wanted to see a complete meltdown.  Amazingly, Evan handled it just fine.  Not to say he didn't monopolize that particular box, but he didn't use any vocal or physical force to keep others away.  I was proud.

Of course instruments were brought out for the kids to shake and bang as they were encouraged to walk around in a circle.  Evan again chose to do his own thing.  He refused the instrument and instead began picking up the pieces of carpet the mothers use to sit on and piled them on top of each other in the middle of the floor.  He's used to playing alone - what can I say?

I was beginning to think that it wasn't going to take much to get Evan used to the world around him - that is, with other people in it.  But when it was time to put all the toys away that thought was completely erased from my mind.  Putting the dinosaurs away brought on the most ridiculous display of screaming and crying that I always fear - and of course he was acting alone which made it that much worse.  I had to pull him away and get all things dinosaur out of his sight.  All the other mothers gave me that sympathetic smile - the one where you know they're thinking thank god that's not my child.

Nonetheless, I was proud of Evan today.  He may not have great social skills, but one thing he's certainly not lacking is personality - and you gotta love that.  I know I do!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not That Any One Cares

Is there something wrong with me?  For some reason I find so much amusement in baby poop - I mean I've always found humor in "the thunder from down under" (I can probably thank my brothers for that), but I have now become completely desensitized to the horror of poop too.  I realize this is completely ridiculous to make note of, but Evan had one of the worst diapers in his 18 months of life.  I lucked out big time too because it was Robert's turn for diaper duty.  I looked on as he began to tear away the tabs and reveal the muddy distater within - he didn't even have the diaper open before he started gagging and heaving.  It was the god awful smell that was so bad.  I was literally in tears - and not from the smell, but from watching Robert crumble under the pressure - no pun intended.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

18 Month Check-Up

Evan had his 18 month check-up today.  I could quickly sum it up by saying he is still huge and healthy, but what's the fun in that?  As far as percentages go, he is 83% in height at 33 1/2", 97% in weight at 32.4 lbs and 98% in head circumference at just shy of 20".  The nurse is responsible for taking all of the measurements which is why I was curious when Dr. Sahai measured Evan's head again.  He kinda mumbled under his breath, "yeah, she measured it correctly" as if he thought her measurement was off.  I asked him if there was a problem - he laughed and said he just figured his head growth would start tapering off.  I again had to describe to him the big melon that sits upon my dads' shoulders.  I said, "Picture the Ohio State mascot."  I think he understood at that point.

Dr. Sahai informed me that the National Board of Pediatrics suggests that you do not give your child peanut butter until age 4.  Evan was devouring a PB&J as he shared this bit of info with me.  I totally played it off like I knew that already, but he's no fool.  In fact, he rattled off several other suggestions that he thought maybe I should know, such as no shellfish or swimming until age 4.  Well, let's see - guilty and guilty.  I never said I deserved the Mother of the Year award.  And besides, Evan likes all of the above.   No harm, no foul - right?

We  talked about social development the majority of the visit.  My doctor strongly suggests to start socializing Evan as much as possible at this point.  He said we will notice an explosion as far as vocabulary goes and his behavior will be affected as well - positively.  Kids learn a great deal from other kids their same age.  He explained that manners are learned easier and displayed more often from kids who are more socialized.  This is also true for showing frustration and dealing with frustration.  Socialized children are less likely to throw tantrums and misbehave if they are able to see other children "doing the right thing."  Dr. Sahai finally broke it down by simply saying, "You don't want to be that parent with the bratty kid that none of the other kids/parents want to be around."  This is very true.  I begin my search tomorrow for local moms with 18 month olds that want to play.  This should be interesting.

And, in conclusion, Evan had another booster shot.  He didn't even cry this time.  But, sadly, I did.  What's wrong with that picture?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mama's Boy

I'm still digging through all the family pictures that I acquired not too long ago.  Many people have made comments about how much Evan looks like me as a child.  For awhile I thought Evan favored Robert more, simply because of the eyes, but after seeing so many pictures of me at his age I have completely changed my mind on that.  I think Evan looks so much like me as a child it's scary.  Genetics never cease to amaze me.

This is me

This last one I could easily mistaken myself for Evan.  The lovely mullet hanging so nicely down my neck does a good job de-feminizing me  - don't ya think?

I think Evan will begin to look more like Robert as he grows into a little boy - but for now - you can definitely see he's an Evans!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bye Bye Manda

It was one of those weekends where I did absolutely nothing, but had so much fun.  With the weather being so cold and wet yesterday, Amanda and I had no urge to leave the house so we chose not to change out of our PJs either.  We literally lounged around all day and allowed Evan to entertain us.

I was introduced to the new Super Mario Bros. on Wii - bad mistake.  Amanda did give me a fair warning before she even walked in the door.  She said very firmly, "This is video crack and I'm addicted."  I was like yeah, yeah, yeah... She wasn't lying.  We were up until 2 am playing this ridiculous game.  My thumbs were actually sore this morning.  I kinda wish she had forgotten it when she left :)

It was a much needed girl's weekend.  Felt like old times.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Frozen Proof

We woke up to sleet bouncing off the windows this morning.  The sleet, mixed with occasional flurries, has continued for the past three hours.  There hasn't been much accumulation, but we're making every attempt to at least get a miniature snowball out of this. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

For the Record

I'm writing this post to simply document that the last few nights have been in the 30's, with highs in the 50's during the day.  Tomorrow is only supposed to reach 40 degrees and they're calling for SNOW!  Let me remind everyone that I live in Florida.  This is not supposed to happen.  These weather patterns are really freaking me out.  Maybe I need to start recycling and taking care of the earth.

Oh, yeah - and Amanda is coming tonight!  We're gonna build a snowman with Evan.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Your Go-To Source For Market Strategy

The nation's leading financial news source and newspaper evidently respects my brother's opinion on finance and the rise and fall of the markets.  Tim has made his debut in The Wall Street Journal.  To prevent you from falling asleep as you attempt to read this article (finance is so boring - sorry Tim), go ahead and skip to the very last paragraph, bottom right-hand corner. 

Just in case you're not able to read this print the last paragraph reads - "Based on the comments coming out of the minutes, it's clear that easy money is going to continue to flow," said Tim Evans, a market strategist at brokerage firm Lind-Waldock in Chicago.

My words exactly.  Couldn't have said it better myself.  That's why we're twins.

Evan Stinnett - You're Wanted in the Principal's Office

This is the look of mischief that we've been getting since Evan was about six months old.  Around that time my mom made several comments about how he seemed to communicate with his eyes.  She is convinced that Evan will be a permanent fixture in the principal's office when he finally reaches school age.  His facial expressions are also endless - but that's not too surprising considering the Evans Family has never been lacking in that department.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Wildebeest

Baby number two is definitely a hot topic around here.  I'm finally to the point that when I hold another infant I can feel that maternal yearning for another one.  Six months ago I probably would've thought twice about even holding another infant.  Let's face it - the infant stage was not a great experience for me the first time around.  Evan literally made me question whether motherhood was right for me.  His incessant crying for 5 months about put me over the edge.  But I survived it - barely. 

Even though I think I'm ready now, we have decided to wait until this summer to try for bambino numero dos. We're hoping to enjoy one last family vacation before I have to keep reminding myself of what I should and shouldn't be eating.  I've been really happy with that decision - so happy that I've already been brainstorming baby names again.  I was even looking at maternity clothes online.


This picture is enough to make me want to wait ten years for another baby.  I'm only referring to the right half of the picture.  Robert and Evan are perfecto - Me?  Well, as Jonathan so eloquently and lovingly said, "God, Amanda, you look like a friggin' wildebeest!"  I can't really deny it.  I guess that's what an extra 50 lbs. will get me.  It's not the worry of losing the extra weight.  I lost all of my weight and more within a year.  But I'd rather be proud of my hospital pictures and not look like a wild animal from Africa.

Maybe this picture needs to go up on the refrigerator to be a constant reminder NOT to eat an entire bag of Oreos in one sitting.  I'm making my vow right now - you are all my witnesses - I will gain a "healthy" amount of weight with baby #2.  There's not much I can do about the swelling, so the fat feet are inevitable.

I asked Robert this morning, "How could you even stand looking at me like that?"  You know what his response was?  He laughed.  Point taken.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Running Housewife

This was a story published in my hometown paper, The Pilot, almost 29 years ago.  The person of interest in this story is my mom, Kathy, spelled with a "K," not a "C."  She would want that clarified immediately.

I found this article thrown in with a bunch of family pictures that I stole from my parent's house the last time I visited. (Don't worry, mom, I will take special care of them.)  At first glance I laughed because every picture I see of my mom with her four small children, a 5 year old and three toddlers, seems so completely insane. Each time I wonder how in the world did she survive that?  Trust me - I'm not so sure she even knows.

As noted in the article, she began running to "get a refreshing change from her daily routine" - code for to get as far away from the chaos as possible!  I imagine as soon as my dad got home from work she was already dressed and literally running out the door.  I know I would've been - hell, I would've been sprinting.

What started as a hobby became more of a sport for my mom.  Running one mile, turned into five miles which soon turned into 10 miles.  Her training quickly escalated and she had the ultimate goal in mind - a marathon.  Competing in numerous road races and finishing a handful of marathons over the years, my mom has sense hung up her running shoes.  But it's time to pass the baton.

Don't get too excited - there are no marathons in my future.  But I am running in a 5K on March 13th in honor of my mom.  She is battling breast cancer for the second time.  The Susan G. Komen Foundation is having their 26th annual Race for the Cure fundraiser where thousands of people come out to support the fight against breast cancer.  I have put together a team that will run under the team name, Kathy's Kure.  We are currently recruiting members for our team and are hoping to gain support through donations from our friends and loved ones and any one who wants to support our cause. To make a donation please visit our team page. 

My mom is planning to attend the event - if she's willing to run, I'm not too sure yet.  I'll have to talk a little trash to motivate her, but if running is not in the cards then walking is completely acceptable.  Please come out and join us if you can - if not, please support our cause by making a donation.  Any little bit helps.

And Mom, allow me to toot your horn for you - check out the impressive time my mom got in the '84 New York Marathon.  She ran it 5 minutes slower in '85.  Just blame it on the kids - we don't mind.  


Saturday, January 2, 2010

No, You're Not Lost

As you can see I have changed the look of my blog.  There are so many templates out there, but I have found that the ones designed in WordPress are much more artistic and not so generic looking.  So I decided to change it up. 

And to just throw a suggestion out there - how about leaving a comment every now and then?  ahem - MOM? 

Friday, January 1, 2010

High Hopes for 2010

So remember all my whining about sitting home alone on New Year's Eve and my only hope was to be kissing the spoon that would be dumping ice cream into my mouth?  Shame on me for being so negative and casting so much doubt on what positive things are in store for 2010.

Just as planned, I was in bed watching the countdown in Time Square with Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper.  (Because of them, by the way, my spirits were high - seriously.)  Kathy Griffin had me laughing so hard with her inappropriate, crass comments and Anderson Cooper did his best to deflect the crude commentary and keep his job with the network.  It was fantastic.

I already polished off a bowl of ice cream and was contemplating my next sweet treat as the final minutes of 2009 were ticking away.  My phone was continuously beeping with texts from friends and loved ones wishing a happy new year.  The screaming crowds on tv were dancing and laughing.  And to be honest, all the excitement made me a bit sad.

Welcoming a new year means leaving one behind.  I wasn't sure if I could leave 2009 behind. This uncertainty brought on an overwhelming feeling of fear and abandonment. I felt like by accepting a new year I would somehow be accepting Jonathan's death - and in doing so, abandoning him in the process. I realize how silly it may sound, but it was the feeling I had.  But I began to reason with myself.  I asked myself, "What would Jonathan want you to do?  If he were here right now, what would he say to you?"  And I knew.  I knew I was being ridiculous to think I was abandoning anyone - especially him.  Because EVERY new year was Jonathan's year.  It was gonna be the year he would get back in shape - start going to church again - send out thank you notes - build his savings.  It was a year of positivity and hope.  And why should this year be any different? 

My tears began to dry up and my attitude began to change with just 55 seconds left in the countdown.  As I sat up in bed to witness these final seconds I heard the front door open.  NO WAY!   To my surprise Robert came scrambling up the steps with two mini bottles of champagne in hand.  He dashed to the kitchen to pop open the bottles and with three seconds to spare...3...2...1...I got my sip of champagne and my kiss at midnight.

I think 2010 is our year!