Monday, June 21, 2010

Evelynn's New Shoes

A week or so ago I was lucky enough to head over to just as they posted an item I'd been waiting for: Squeakers Shoes.  I was so excited and ordered Evie 3 pairs, one to wear to an upcoming wedding, and two more for fall.

A few days went by and I never received a confirmation e-mail or tracking information. So I contacted customer service. I shortly got a reply back from Hannah. She had checked their system several different ways and, although my screen had showed the order processed correctly, it wasn't in their system at all.  She also checked to make sure I hadn't been charged.

I sent a reply thanking her for checking and telling her what exactly I had ordered. And since I was really relying on one of those shoes for Evie's wedding attire I asked if just maybe they had any of the sizes I needed left. I fully expected to get a "no" and that would be the end of it. Hannah did reply and very nicely told me that, unfortunately, they were out of all of the shoes I had requested. Alas. Again, I thought that would be the end of it.

But today I came home and found a package on my door. It was from Mamabargains and I thought, maybe, just maybe, they'd found my order afterall.  They hadn't, but what I found was just as good, if not better since it helps  restore my faith in humanity. :)

Hannah had found a pair of white mary janes, not the exact pair I'd ordered, but close, in Evelynn's size. And she sent them to me along with a handwritten note expressing her hope that these might work for the wedding.  Can you believe that?! How NICE of her! Customer service like that is rare and she really deserves to be commended. I have just been raving about Hannah and Mamabargains all day.   You frequently hear when someone has bad customer service and often, good service goes un-noted. I want to say publicly, THANK YOU, Hannah and Mamabargains for going way above and beyond. With this gesture you have earned my recommendation and, as the video below illustrates, you made my daughter's day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lucky 13

Miss Evelynn is 13 months old today!  She weighs in at 23 lbs (73rd percentile) and 30.5 inches (86th percentile). 

This month she really has blossomed as a toddler with all it's joys, heart ache and temper tantrums.  She can run and climb and scale stairs and furniture. Mobility is not much of an issue with this one. She speaks all the time but true words are scarce. "Bah-Bah" means just about everything. However, she has mastered vocal inflection. We hear whole "Bah-Bah-Bah" conversations and know what she is saying is VERY important. If only we spoke "Bah-Bah" too. Alas. Occasionally, when prompted, she does say "Da!" or "Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma" or even "GAH!".  

Her sign language, on the other hand, is consistent and clear. She can sign, Mommy (yay! She finally got it!), Daddy,  More, All Done, Hi, Bye-Bye, High (which is the same as "hi" but done while on the swing), and Wet.   Additionally, on command she can: Clap, Dance, Break it down (a little foot stomping maneuver that cracks me up), Walk backwards, look for and/or bring you objects, give kisses, blow kisses, sit, stand, show you her toes, hair and belly, run to her bedroom door if her diaper is wet, jump, and Ta-Da!


Little Smarty Pants. She is very strong willed and prone to throwing fits when she doesn't get her way or the object of her desire.  Such a difficult place. As a parent you don't want to give into the tantrum or worse, reward that behavior with a treat of food or toys. But, you want to distract her from the "No" and stop the screaming, particularly in public. We're still working the kinks out on that one. I tend to ask her to think about why she is crying, tell her she has nothing to gain by it, and tell her Mommy only understands talking and showing, but not crying.  We'll see how that goes.  

Evelynn now has two loveys.  Bunny goes everywhere with her:

Evie and Bunny at the Tulsa Zoo

Evie and Bunny in her 1 year portraits

Evie feeding Bunny her Tabouli

Evie and Bunny on the swingset

Evie and Bunny on her 13 month birthday

And just in the past couple weeks she has developed quite an affection for her pink and brown blankie.  Here she is with both Bunny and Blankie first thing this morning.

Evie had her first visit to the doctor for other than a routine well check up this month.  She had a diaper rash that just wouldn't quit but after some prescription cream it cleared up in about 3 days and all was well. We are very lucky to have such a healthy baby. 

Her favorite things to do right now are play on her swingset and in her kiddie pool. She gets so excited and jumps up and down when you mention going outside. She brings us shoes all the time to tell us she wants to go out and play. She also LOVES reading her books. She will drag them all out and sit and flip through the pages by herself. She also loves to bring the books to us to read them for her.   She is also very determined to figure out all the shapes in her different shape sorters. She has the round one down pat and the square is almost there. The star is a little more tricky. But she's very diligent about problem solving and trying new ways to fit them in.  She is the same way with her puzzles. She seems to have figured out where the pieces go, but not exactly how to turn them just the right way yet. 

I know according to the books, toddlers still view others as objects but Evie does seem to have some empathy. When I cut my toe and took her with me to get stitches she cried when I cried (don't judge.) When we went to the vet for the cats to get shots and the kitties were VERY bad and hissed and growled at the doctor, Evie seemed upset for them and when they got shots she positively screamed! I suppose she could have just thought those needles were for her. Or she could just be sensitive to the emotions in the room. 

Here are a few more photos from her 1 year portraits by Bishop's Studio.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lemon Pasta with Shrimp

The hubs and I have been trying new recipes lately. Tired of the same 'ol same 'ol you know. Last night we tried this recipe from Ina Garten. I usually love Ina's recipes but this one seemed a little lacking. I upped the fiber with whole wheat angel hair and added some bite size asparagus with the shrimp to roast. I also omitted the lemon zest because, well, I just don't like the texture of zest. But I think it needs something. Garlic for one. I think if we make this again I will make some substantial changes adding more veggies and removing the butter.  I think it will turn out more like this:

  • 2 pounds (17 to 21 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of Asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Cherry tomoatoes
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • Parmesan Cheese for topping
  • Finely chopped fresh chives for topping
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the shrimp, asparagus, tomatoes and garlic on a sheet pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, chipotle powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss well, spread them in 1 layer, and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until shrimp are pink and cooked through and veggies are tender.
Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add the angel hair, and cook al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Quickly toss the angel hair with 1/4 cup olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and about 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Add an additional 4 tbs of pasta water one at a time if it seems too dry.  Toss with the shrimp and veggies.  Top with Parmesan cheese and chives. Serve hot.

If you try it before I do, please leave a comment and let me know how it turns out. :)

Friday, June 4, 2010


(Photo Not Available)
 A Certain One Year-Old devoured the subject before photos could be achieved

I was never a big guacamole fan until a dear friend of mine made some one night. It was the best I'd ever had. Although I watched her make it, I never remember the recipe exactly. This is what I have come up with to approximate it.

Containing very few spices*, the natural flavors of the veggies really shine. The results are a bright and fresh dip that is perfect on a hot summer day, with an ice cold margarita, naturally!


3 ripe avocados
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small sweet white onion or purple onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hand full fresh cilantro, chopped
Approx 6 tbs lime juice (juice from 3 limes)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 jalapeno**, very finely chopped (optional)

In a large bowl combine tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Scoop avocado halves into bowl one at a time and immediately squirt with lime juice to preserve color.  Once all avocados and lime juice are added, mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached.  You can enjoy right away or cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors marry. But if you make it ahead you'll really want to be heavy handed on the lime juice to prevent it from turning brown.

*If you like your guac. a little smokier add about a tsp of cumin.

**I don't like mine spicy so I don't include the jalapeno at all. You can make it really spicy by including the jalapeno seeds or take them out for a milder version.