Friday, December 29, 2006

First Christmas

Evelyn enjoyed her first Christmas.

Evy's First Christmas

It didn't take her long to figure out what to do with the wrapped packages.

Present Opening

Evy was frequently distracted by the twinkling lights and colorful ornaments of the Christmas tree, but she quickly returned to unwrapping. Serious unwrapping.

Christmas Paper

Thanks, Santa!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dear Santa,

Letter to Santa

vb ham, msdagwqhp0-[h x.,.,9,.j[u67jfrd, x vtZsm,nlfewkmnwq7kwqmn ,ev mmfd nmde43w,43,., 3.; xokaokjKL,,,xfzSIK43MM



Friday, December 15, 2006

Who Is This Guy?

Who is This Guy?

Evelyn visited Santa for the first time today. She first tried to figure out what was going on and who the bearded guy in the red suit was. Then she started crying.

But after Santa whispered the secret of Christmas in her ear...

With Santa

...she was OK.

Santa & Mrs. Claus

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nine Months

Evelyn turned nine months old today. We took her to the doctor's office this morning and found out that she weighs just over 16 pounds and is 27 inches tall.

To celebrate, we took a walk in the park and went on the swings. It was an unseasonably warm day for Pittsburgh in mid-December, with temperatures approaching 60 degrees.

Winter Swinging

We can't assume that we'll be able to do the same outdoor activities when Evy turns ten months old. Maybe we'll get to build a snowman instead.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Finishing Touches

With the inside finished, we had an opportunity this weekend to put some Christmas decorations outside. We had some help.

Christmas Garland

The snowsuit might have been a little much, as it would have had a hard time snowing with temperatures nearing 50 degrees, but she looked cute anyway.

Bow Placement

With the garland strung and the bows straightened, Evy is officially ready for her first Christmas. Only two more weeks to go!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Tree Trimming

The holiday season is officially upon us. Although grocery stores and malls have been playing Christmas music since October, we decided to wait until December to decorate. Evelyn was very curious to see what was in the bins that came down from the attic and took over her play area.

Ready to Decorate

She was anxious to start putting decorations the tree. But first she had to take them out of their bags, bubblewrap, and boxes (yes, for some reason Steph keeps all of the Hallmark ornaments in their original packaging).

Bin of Boxes of Ornaments

After all 1,463 ornaments were placed on the tree, it was time for our angel to put the angel on the top.

Angel on Top

We only hope that she will have as much fun celebrating Christmas as she did getting ready for it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy And She Knows It

Evelyn has recently learned how to clap her hands. And now she can't stop clapping. Our self esteem is skyrocketing because of her new skill.

Evy claps when we walk into the room. She claps when we put on our shoes. Even a sneeze brings a thunderous ovation from her little hands.

Maybe she'll clap for you just for clicking on the video.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Baby Rotisserie

Dear Pampers,

Don't get us wrong. We like your diapers. The Absorb Away Liner® is top-notch, the stretchy sides do move with the baby and the Sesame Street characters are cute. However, we have one suggestion as to how you can improve your product.

Please come up with a way to secure the diaper from any direction and at any angle. As you can see from the attached pictures there is no such thing as an easy diaper change of our "active" 8-month old. The moment Evelyn hits the changing table she begins what we call the "Baby Rotisserie" - a nonstop twisting and turning. You can imagine how difficult it is to unattach and reattach a diaper with this constant motion.

Baby Rotisserie

Diaper Caddy

We try to distract her with a book or a toy.

Book Distraction

But this works for only a few seconds and she is right back to spinning.

Almost Finished

We feel a multi-latch system would greatly improve our lives. Should you need a field tester to demonstrate the product's feasibility in extreme diapering conditions, contact us about Evelyn's availability.
Finally Done

Thank you and good luck.


Evy's parents

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

First Halloween

Evy got her first taste of Halloween tonight and we think she liked it. Well, at least she played along. She dressed up as a ladybug, complete with wings and antennae. And she kept her costume on from the start of trick-or-treating all the way until bedtime.

Normally we would be frightened by a 14 pound insect crawling around in our living room, but in this case it was pretty cute.

Ladybug on the Floor

Then, she found the big bowl of candy. We didn't know ladybugs liked 100 Grand bars.

Bug Food

After enjoying some crunchy chocolate and soft, chewy caramel, we're not sure she'll ever go back to little jars of peas and sweet potatoes.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Pumpkin Patch

Evelyn took her first trip to Trax Farms today to pick out her pumpkin for Halloween. She had a few to choose from, and she climbed all over the pile to find the perfect one.

Pumpkin Pile

While she was there, Evy also had a chance to enjoy some of the other activities offered at the annual Fall Festival. She tried to drive the tractor around but could only reach the steering wheel and not the pedals.

Tractor Drive

Then, we got to see what she would look like as a pilgrim.
Pilgrim Cut-Out

Until she pulled herself up on top of the cut-out and tried to bite it. We decided then that it was time to go. Overall we had a lot of fun, drank apple cider, picked out some nice pumpkins and took a few cute pictures. Sounds like the start of a family tradition.

Except for the biting.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back To Basics

The Steelers finally got back on track with a win last week, and we think it was because of Evy's refresher course in football basics. Here's a recap of the the important skills she covered:

1. Stretching for the last yard to get to the goal line
Diving for the End Zone

2. Diving on a fumble (instead of trying to pick the ball up and run with it)

Fumble Recovery

3. Becoming a media darling
Press Conference

4. Holding the ball for a field goal attempt

Field Goal Holder

As for #4, if Jeff Reed actually tried to kick the ball we're pretty sure that Evy would pull it away at the last second (think Lucy as the holder for a Charlie Brown kick).

She's solid on the first three though.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Evelyn really likes her blocks. Sometimes she likes to chew on them. Sometimes she likes to play with their storage case. But her favorite thing is to knock them down.

Block Tower Demolition

Maybe one day she'll build the towers and we'll get to do the demolition.

Monday, October 2, 2006


For her safety (and our sanity), we have already moved Evelyn's crib mattress to the lowest possible position. It didn't help.
Crib Stand

She can still climb the slats and pull herself up. The problem is that she can't get back down.

It isn't just her crib, either. Evy will climb up anything or anyone within reach (the couch, her ExerSaucer, me), only to fall over when she realizes that she can't stand up on her own yet.

Until her balance is perfected, the safest thing to do would be to put her in a padded room. Or put us in one.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Forward Progress

Check out Evelyn's newest way to get around.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

How About Sweet Potatoes?

Since rice cereal was such a big hit, we thought it was time to start giving Evelyn some real food. (Let's be honest - single grain rice cereal is not real food). I was hoping to start with pepperoni pizza, but I was outvoted 2 to 1. Both Steph and Evy's doctor thought it was a bad idea. What? I was going to cut it into small pieces...

Anyway, sweet potatoes it was. The first couple bites went down just fine, but then Evy's taste buds realized what was going on. This stuff was not rice cereal. But did she like it?

Sweet Potatoes

Not so much.

We're not sure if it was because of the taste, the color, or the fact that it was not pepperoni pizza, but Evy didn't seem sold on the sweet potatoes. I could have predicted this, as I don't like them either. I was trying to tell you all from the beginning.

Now, the number for Papa John's is around here somewhere...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Evelyn is six months old today! We were going to celebrate by giving her half of a piece of cake, but the only solid food she's had so far is rice cereal. She seems to like it, but trust us - it doesn't taste very good.

Looking Over Her Shoulder

Evy heads back to the doctor for her checkup (and more shots) on Thursday. We also need to get her six month picture taken. Hopefully that process will be finished before it's time to eat her real birthday cake...

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Ready For Some Football

"The Steelers kick off the NFL season tonight against the Miami Dolphins. It's the first real game since they won the Super Bowl in February. I'm pretty excited about it."

Ready for Some Football

"I mean, I was a Steelers fan before I was born, but I have never even seen a game! That all changes tonight, though."

"Of course, 8:30pm is past my bed time, so I may have to wait until next week to actually see them play."

"If the parent people would let me have the remote, I would already be watching pre-game coverage. I've been practicing waving my terrible towel and singing the "Here We Go" song.

I'm ready for some football!

How about you?"

Saturday, September 2, 2006

A Big Week

Evelyn has had an action packed week. Here is a rundown of her latest accomplishments:
  • Cutting her first tooth (with the second already on its way)
  • Sitting up by herself for 30 seconds before falling over
  • Having her formerly crazy hair now tamed and flat
  • Army crawling her way to get electronic equipment (tv remote, cordless phone, etc.)
It's no wonder she's so tired.


Evy also tried out her new role as big cousin. Actually, just older cousin - Ben is almost as big as she is.

Evelyn & Benjamin

At this rate, you never know what she'll accomplish next. We'd better make sure the video camera battery is charged at all times.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


In my family, a baby poll is serious business. You must ante up a dollar to make your guesses. A final and comprehensive list of the predictions is then published and circulated so that everyone knows where they stand. And the winner takes the pot.

The goal is to pick the day that the baby will be born, and birthweight is the first tiebreaker. In our poll for Evelyn (known only as "baby e" at the time) there were 23 contestants.

Aunt Patty was the winner; she was actually the only one to pick March 12th. And she was kind enough to put her winnings toward a gift for Evelyn.

Right now, the photo mat letters are filled with fabric that matches Evy's bedding and curtains. We're going to print out some black & white pictures to replace the fabric when we get a chance.

The funniest part about all of this is that Aunt Patty left an answering machine message for us on the day she picked in the poll, wishing Steph an easy labor for our "7 pound 12 ounce" baby. She was pretty close. Little did she know that the reason we didn't answer her call was because we were at the hospital having our 7 pound 10 ounce Evelyn.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Plastic Circus Animal Buffet

Since Evelyn likes to stand up so much, we thought it might be time to break out her Circus-themed ExerSaucer Mega. She watched patiently as I sifted through the 49 plastic parts and assembled her new "Active Learning Center."

You can tell that she thought it was worth the wait.

Exersaucer Fun

In addition to standing up, Evy also likes to put things in her mouth. She soon discovered that all of the toys on the top deck of the ExerSaucer are within chomping distance. She proceeded to spin around and sample each of the plastic circus animals.

Animal Bite


We're sure the "Active Learning" will happen soon. As for right now, it's just Mega fun.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


"Check this out! It appears that these things are attached to the bottoms of my legs."

Finding Her Feet

"Cool, huh? Other than rolling over, these are now pretty much all I think about when I'm laying down. Hope you've discovered yours, too. They're fun."

Monday, August 7, 2006

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Evelyn was baptized yesterday, wearing the same dress that Steph wore when she was baptized 30 (or so) years ago in the same church.
Baptism Dress

We were worried that she would cry when the pastor put the water on her head. After all, bathtime is usually before bed, not at 10:00 on a Sunday morning. We should have been worried about Steph instead.

But Evy did great. She even smiled at the congregation, and they chuckled when the water flattened down her hair.

Afterwards, both mother and daughter fell asleep in the car on the way home. And we put the dress away in case it might be used in another 30 years.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Le Tour (The Tour)

It's a good thing that Steph is a French Teacher. With her help, we were able to understand all of the terminology used during the 93rd Tour de France (Tour of France). This morning, American Floyd Landis* won, and Evy was so excited that she put on her casque de vélo (bicycle helmet).

Le Tour

Those who know cycling will also notice that she is wearing the maillot blanc (white jersey), which is worn by the best young rider in the race. And even the words on it are en français (in French). They read - un, deux, trois (yellow chicken, purple chicken, aqua chicken).

In other European sporting news, another American, Tiger Woods, just won the British Open (British Open). I guess we'd better hide the golf clubs...

* Update 7.31.06 - In light of recent events, Evelyn would like to state that she does not condone the use of any performance enhancing formula.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Chatty Evy

Evelyn turned four months old last week, and other than the four shots at the doctor's office, she seems pretty happy about it.

Lately, she has been talking nonstop. We're not sure what she is chatting about or in what language she is speaking, but Evy is very animated. Have a listen:

Huh? What did she say?

Saturday, July 1, 2006

New Trick

Getting her picture taken (finally) wasn't the only thing that Evelyn did yesterday. She also discovered something new that she can do.

Friday, June 30, 2006


We finally had success at the Target Photo Studio! And today's sitting lasted just one hour, start to finish.

Evelyn was asleep when we first got there, so we figured that we might get a cute "napping baby" picture. But she woke up as soon as we entered the store, so we figured that we'd have a screaming kid and another failed attempt.

But today was the day. Of course, there are no pictures posted here because they are copyrighted. And because we won't have them in our hands for 2 1/2 weeks.

Here is the final tally for her first set of professional portraits:
  • 15 snaps of the camera
  • 12 cookies (for the patient photographer)
  • 7 1/2 hours of total time in the studio
  • 6 screaming fits (by Evelyn)
  • 3 separate visits
  • 3 feedings
  • 2 different outfits
  • 2 diaper changes
  • 1 crazy "helping" lady
  • 1 photographer headed to a much needed vacation
We also joined the Target Portrait Club, complete with membership card. So we'll probably be back to try this all again at some point in the next two years. We just hope that it won't be a hit or miss process that is drawn out over two weeks again - we're out of target clichés.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Welcome, Benjamin!

Evy just got the call - her new cousin has arrived!

Benjamin James was born at 11:25 this morning.

Congratulations Aunt Stacey, Uncle Thad, and Cousin Hannah!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Back To The Beach

We ventured out the beach again on Monday afternoon and had much better success. We lasted almost an hour and Evelyn slept for a majority of that time, despite sandstorm velocity winds.

Beach Nap

Yesterday, a thunderstorm forced us to the OC Outlets for some bargain shopping.

But today was the best beach day yet. We were out for an hour and a half this afternoon and it seemed like Evelyn had some fun. As much fun as you can have under an umbrella which is under a beach canopy, anyway.
Under the Umbrella

Beach Smile

Up next: boogie boarding.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Apartment Suit

Check out Evy's cute swimsuit and bucket.
Bucket of Evelyn

It should actually be called an apartment suit, since we've only been to the beach for 5 minutes so far. And we have been in Ocean City, Maryland, since Friday.

It's not like we didn't try. It took longer to get her ready to go to the beach than the actual time we spent there. Here's a look at her first shore visit.
First Beach Trip

Don't be fooled by how calm she seems - right after this picture was taken she started crying loud enough to drown out the ocean. We decided to leave before the lifeguards could arrive to see what was wrong.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Missed Again

If you're visiting to get an update about our second attempt at the portrait studio, just scroll down and reread Monday's post.

And add the following:

  • 2 diaper changes
  • 1 crazy lady trying to "help" by picking Evelyn up and asking Steph if she had any milk
  • 5 bad snaps of the camera
At least we're making progress, as the camera was actually used this time. But our end results were the same.

The next attempt will be on June 30th.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Target Practice

You'll notice that there is no picture in this post. We actually attempted to have a professional portrait of Evelyn taken today. That plan didn't work out too well.

We got to Target just after noon, sleeping child in hand. We went to the portrait studio to tell the photographer we'd arrived. She said there was not another sitting until 3:00, so we could take as much time as needed to get Evy awake/fed/happy. We thought we would have plenty of time.

We were sadly mistaken.

After a very long nap, two feedings, three screaming fits, and four attempts in front of the camera, we decided to call it a day. It was already 3:30 (the 3:00 appointment was a no-show) and all of us were all ready for a nap. Photographer included.

Luckily for us, she was very patient and didn't ban us from the store altogether. Instead, she's letting us try again on Wednesday. But we're only penciled in for a 3 1/2 hour sitting, so there's a good chance we'll come away with nothing again.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Maybe Next Year

Evelyn went to Kennywood for the first time today. There are lots of fun rides and games there. She especially liked the lights and bright colors in Kiddieland, but you can tell that she's already thinking about the future.

Ready to Ride

You see, she wasn't quite tall enough to actually go on anything, so the only riding Evy did was in her stroller. Which she seemed to enjoy just fine.

Kennywood Fountain

Regardless, she got her money's worth - her admission was free. And maybe next year she'll have even more fun. It just depends on how well she can walk, how tall she gets, and how many rides she can go on while wearing a protective suit of bubble wrap.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

First Pet

Evelyn loves her new stuffed doggie.

With Doggie

We're happy about that, too, since there is a good chance that it is the only dog that she will ever have. I got bit by one when I was a kid, and Steph is allergic to just about every animal with fur. So unfortunately for Evy, this means that many common pets are off limits - dogs, cats, guinea pigs, llamas, etc.

One day she may say, "This [animal] followed me home. Can I keep it?" But the answer will have to be no.

Unless it's a fish.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tennis, Anyone?

Since it is getting nice outside (and knowing that hockey is not a option), Evelyn has decided to give tennis a try. She isn't too great at it yet. But that might be because the tennis racquet is bigger than she is.

Tennis Anyone?

She already has the visor situation under control. Maybe if the actual playing of tennis doesn't pan out, she could always just look cute in a tennis outfit. That seems to work for some people.