Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sunday Funday

I was away from Eva a lot last week. I worked my normal 40 hours at the city plus 3 five hour shifts at the restaurant on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Plus I was gone all Tuesday night for a photography class. Needless to say, I had some mommy daughter time to catch up on on Sunday. 

We started out the day sleeping in (yesss) and then heading to the Y to meet up with my friend Gina and her daughter Maria for swimming.  The girls had a blast in the water; I swear Eva was a fish in her last life.  After that it was time for lunch at Eva's favorite spot- Chipotle.  She is usually such a light eater but she goes to town on Chiptole. And of course we had to stop at the Coldstone right next to the Chipotle for some dessert :)

Next it was off to the movie theater for Escape from Planet Earth and, because Eva can't go to the movies without popcorn, she had second dessert. Sort of like a Hobbit and second breakfast...

Then it was salon time. I swear it's the best $5 I spend. Eva feels like a big girl princess, I get tons of compliments from the other ladies in the salon about how cute my kid is, the nail techs oogle over her good behavior and she walks out with fab-u-lous nails. Total win!

Finally it was home for some quiet time with daddy. We ended the night with tons of books and I let her sleep in our bed. Call me a sap, but I love snuggling up to that little girl in the middle of the night.  

Bathroom Playtime

For some crazy reason, Eva's newest spot to play is in the bathroom.  I suppose it makes sense to a 4 year old.  It's super warm - the heaters seem to run on full blast 24/7 in there - and there's great floor space for puzzles. Eva has taken to making a store out of the counters and tub and linen closet; she'll arrange all of her items to sell and then Jason and I come in and shop. She even has a cash register on the toilet! 

I snapped a photo of her playing while she wasn't looking; I love this photo. Such contentment, such concentration, such pure childhood innocence.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

Eva's Activity Review- February

Yesterday was President's Day so Eva and I both had off from school and work.  We met up with Eva's best friend Sadie and her mom at the most awesome green house that's just a few minutes from our house.  I had never been there before, as my green thumb might as well be blue for how well I handle plants, but we'll definitely go back.

For only $9.99 the girls got to pick a pot and customize them with plants and decorations. We spent over an hour just soaking in the warmth and humidity of the green house- a very needed retreat in the middle of a Minnesota winter. Overall this place was a great find; room for the girls to get their wiggles out without the crowds of most places on school release days, affordable, close to home and creative.

Striking a pose- just a ham

Riding on the cart

Prayer plant, a cactus and a pretty pink one :)

Could they be any cuter!?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Eva's Book Review- January & February

I'm a slacker. I said I would be better about blogging and I haven't been.  I didn't even do a book review for January... worst mom ever.

But, as always, it's not that we weren't reading, I just wasn't blogging. So I'll knock out two months at once right now.  For January, we had a random sampling of books. Some Valentine's themed, some foreign and some new favs.

1. Froggy's First Kiss by Jonathan London
Froggy does a lot. He's like Fancy Nancy... but green... and a frog... and a boy... okay I mean he's like Fancy Nancy in that there are tons of Froggy books for every season and Valentine's Day is no exception. The catch phrase in Froggy books is someone - his mom, teacher, sister, friend etc- always yells, "Froooooooogy" at him at least 2 or 3 times. Eva thinks these are quite funny and likes to read them herself. She can tell it's time to say it in the big, drawn out fashion when the word sprawls across the whole page. Not quite reading the word, but I'll take it.

Froggy spends tons of time in this book making a very special Valentine. All along you think he's making it for a girl he likes but, in the end, it turns out it was for his mom all along. Awwww :o)

2. Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop
This is an adorable book from Japan about a girl who wants to get close enough to talk to the moon, but can't seem to figure out how.  With the help of her animal friends, she finally figures it out. The trick, in the end, is she has to be quiet enough and patient enough for the moon to come close. And then she and the moon can talk all night.  Very sweet book with pretty illustration and Eva likes that the girl is so small. Eva is beginning to understand just how petite she is compared to other people so she identifies well with other "little" people. 

3. Skippyjon Jones in the Dog-House by Judy Schachner
Ohh Skippjon Jones... he may be the cutest thing to happen to children's books in the last decade. He's a spunky, Siamese cat with an awesome imagination and, since he's all the rage at school right now, Eva just loves his books. In this book he images he is a Chihuahua dog and because a semi-gangsteresque character. Kind of long, but very cute and very worth reading.


For February we did the same as last year and focused on books for Black History Month. Again, I was amazed at the feeling that welled up inside of me when I came across a book that I had read as child.  The years really do fly by so fast, it almost breaks my heart. Every time I hear Eva wishing for something in the future, something when she's a "big girl"... I cringe a little. Because she already is a big girl. Somehow, despite my best efforts to baby her, she is a big girl with her own thoughts and likes and dislikes and friends and desires and fears and dreams and hopes and everything else that comes along with being a real person.  Every day she grows more- I hate it and love it. I pray she grows to know the value of a person regardless of external characteristics. 

1. Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter 
This book was very popular when I was a kid and I remember the song went with it, although I can't remember the tune anymore.  This is a book about the Underground Railroad and a family that follows it to freedom. Eva had a hard time understanding the beginning of the book, when it talked about the black man being sold. Her mind couldn't grasp the owning of people; to me, that's a good thing. 

A must read for any child.     

2. If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold
This book was very long with lots of words. Eva actually ended up "reading" me the story instead since the pictures were so vivid.  At times it was difficult, I had to explain who the men in the white hoods were, but it was a good book nonetheless.  Plus, Eva got a kick out of the fact that Rosa had our same last name :-)

3. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
This book... where do I start. I don't know if it was the story itself or fact it's a book about a kindergarten girl that I read to an almost kindergarten girl but- for whatever reason- the book made me cry like a baby.  The book follows Ruby as she is sent to the school, the first black child admitted through forced de-segregation, and how unpleasant it was.

We've all seen the Rockwell painting of little Ruby with her lunchbox being escorted by US Marshals into school but did you know that she went to school alone? All of the white parents 1) pulled their kids completely out of the school and 2) stood outside the school building every day for months and screamed horrible things at her as she entered.  Grown people, screaming obscenities at a 6 year old. Makes me sick to my stomach to think about. And then poor Ruby had to have class alone with just her and the teacher for months.

I won't give away the part in the book that got to me, because I think everyone with children should find this book and read it, but I will say that even Eva understood the impact of it and was moved.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Eva's Activity Review- January

I know, I know... I'm 2 weeks late on this activity review but this is a cool one so that should count for something!

Kiwi Crate is an awesome, monthly kid craft delivery service that I got Eva for Christmas. Every month a new packages arrives with 3 different arts and crafts projects.  It includes the materials, instructions and educational material. For example, the first month was arctic themed so the activities were making penguin bowling pins, making aurora borealis water color postcards and a penguin shaped ice cube tray to make ice cubes and then do science experiments with them.  There was also reading material for me to teach her about the arctic.

The quality of the materials was better than I was expecting and Eva really enjoyed them- overall, an awesome find. Can't wait for next month!


Eva is obsessive about writing her name on EVERYTHING

Christmas Mountain

We spent the first weekend of February at Christmas Mountain in the Wisconsin Dells with Jason's family. The main focus of the trip was for Jason's Aunt surprise 50th birthday but we had an awesome time on the mountain also. Snow, tons of swimming, partying, dancing and all around family fun was had. I have the most wonderful in-laws and Baba came with too- gotta love when extended families can party together! 

Oh and I almost forgot, there was a newlywed game and Jason and I won (yes, we still counted as newlyweds!) and the prize was a free 3 day-2 night stay at the resort. Free anniversary trip? Don't mind if I do! It pays to know your better half inside and out :)

My snow bunny!

Ice sculpture

Our prize basket

At Patty's party


She has a drinking problem... damn Wisconsin girls

Arm wrestling- poor Fawn actually thought she was going to win LOL

And destroying Mall


Eva's lunch of choice- please note the pinky finger!