Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We're quickly realizing that the days of Evie being our "littlest one" are dwindling.

Each day she reminds us that she is becoming more independent, more mature (well, for a toddler!), more confident in her abilities, and oh-so-opinionated.  And each day, Momma's tummy grows bigger.... and bigger... it's a very constant reminder that we'll have another "little one" here soon!

We figured we'd better jot down some of Evie's memorable characteristics as a 20 month old - at least before these memories get archived into the cobwebs of our minds...

Dear Evie:

Your Dadda and I came up with a list of twenty things we want to remember about you just as you are RIGHT NOW. Without further ado, here's our list of your twenty-at-twenty:

(1)    You wake up cheering. Literally.
Momma! Momma! clap clap 
Momma! Momma! clap clap
      Dadda! Dadda!   clap clap  
 E-bie! E-bie!
... (yes, you cheer for yourself)
....repeat cheer.....
My theory is this little cheer might be something you do at school to learn fellow  students’ names. You are meticulous about chanting our names exactly twice, clapping twice, and then reciting the whole thing over and over till we come to your room. I must admit, being cheered out of bed is the nicest way I could’ve been awakened on an early Saturday morning. 
I will not be the least bit surprised when you try out
for the cheerleading squad later in life. I’ll let your dad
worry about the length of those skirts.

(2)    You are NOT a very picky eater. You will try anything. When something is sour, you make fabulous faces, perform an “ants in your pants” wiggle, and squirm. But then, you try that same sour thing again just to keep us laughing.  You don’t argue with us very often over food and you don’t often make requests for junk food – although I have a feeling this may change in a few years (or even months). 

     If you’re not hungry, you will just pick at your food. But if you are hungry… watch out! You can eat an adult sized plate when you put your mind to it. We are incredibly lucky that you are a happy eater – and trust me, we know it.
Of course I eat everything you put in front of me, momma -
especially when it's cookies and cream ice cream!
(3)    You love ALL animals. You treat your dogs, parrot, and chickens like they are infants that desperately need all your help and attention.  You want them to constantly “EAT! EAT!”  everything you give to them. 
Our two pups put up with a lot of lovin' from you.
And so far, they are happy to receive it.
     You love to read books about animals – and although you can’t pronounce all the names, you are an expert on every sound that an animal makes.  My two favorites are when you attempt a cat sound and a dolphin sound.  For the cat sound, you tip your head to the side in both a shy and flirtatious look, then pull your shoulders up to your ears and sweetly say “Meeeee-ow” with a sly smile. It’s adorable. The dolphin sound usually has jerking your shoulders up and standing at attention while squeaking out “Ehh-ehh, ehh-ehh, ehh-ehh!” 
(Runner-up favorite sounds would be the lion, the elephant, and the newly-discovered crazy arm motions that you make when we ask you what an octopus does.)
Lord help us when you finally realize that the
stuff on your dinner plate is made from the same stuff as
your precious babies you take care of in the chicken house.
(4)    You are a girlie-girl and tomboy rolled up into one. You like your hair to be fixed. You could care less if it gets messy when playing. You adore having your nails painted. You sling your purse over your arm and throw a dramatic “BYE-BYE!” over your shoulder and walk out the door like a diva on her way to a shopping spree. 
Got your purse... and your Viking hat.
What else does a girl really need for a shopping trip?
      You gravitate towards hanging with the boys on the playground, since the girls don’t “play” the way you like (which is kind of rough). 

Home Depot is your playground.
     You’re not afraid to get dirty, but if your hands get so dirty that you can’t see the color of your nails anymore – well, then you let us know it’s time to wash your hands.
"Can I wear makeup today, mom?"
(5)    You think “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” and your nightly prayers are the same thing. This is probably my fault, since I tried to teach you both the same week.  Halfway through your bedtime prayer, you often pull your hands apart and say “Ouch!” like you just got stung by a bumblebee.
Well, I guess you've been partial to "bees"
since your
first day out of the womb!
     I think it's the physical act of folding your hands together that confuses you –  you either launch into the bumblebee song, or start saying “Ahhh-men!” like you’re ready to pray.  You don’t know all the words to your entire bedtime prayer, but you’ve definitely got the “Amen” part down. (See #6
     Someone much more scholarly than me could probably write an insightful sermon on the theological associations between “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” and “Now I lay me down to sleep.”  It’s not exactly a straightforward biblical reference, but it could definitely be an inspirational one – considering most everyone has been “stung” while trekking down their own spiritual path. Think on THAT for a while now, will ya?

(6)    You are a Nazi about saying “Amen.”  Seriously. 
When a prayer is concluded, you repeat Amen! very loudly and then make everyone repeat Amen! after you as well.  At bedtime, you look at your father and say “Dadda! AMEN!” until he repeats Amen! again for you, and then look at me and say “Mamma! AMEN!” and then I have to repeat it loudly as well… and this request continues as long as anyone else is around to hear it. 
You don’t care if God has already heard, received, and acknowledge the prayer… in your eyes, that prayer is not officially over till you are happy with everyone repeating “Amen!” enough times to satisfy you.

(7)    You love “babying” your dolls. You have an Ernie doll at school your teacher swaddles in a blanket for you each morning and you carry it with you all day long. You have a rabbit at home that we do the same thing to every night. The rabbit and your "soft-soft" blanket MUST be in bed with you each night, or World War III commences.  If you are as sweet to your baby brother as you are to both Ernie and the Rabbit, then we’ll be just fine!


(8)    You dance like a hillbilly. Your dance moves aren’t exactly a co-ordinated “Rocky Top” jig, but more of a methodical one-foot stomp accompanied by enthusiastic clapping. Usually, a good beat or something with a fiddle playing gets you really hyped up and dancing.
     Your preferred choice in music is all over the place - you love tunes by Justin Bieber, Santana, Adelle, The Rolling Stones, ABBA, Hank Williams Jr,  Alabama, and all sorts of Disney songs. Interesting assortment, huh?

(9)    Probably like many kids of your generation, you already have an uncanny comprehension of electronics. You can work the iPad better than most adults I know. You have Sesame Street applications, Beatrice Potter and Sandra Boynton books, and interactive fairy tales on the computer that are a nighttime ritual for you. You still love your hard back (real!) books with (actual!) pages, but having the ability to tap a cow with your finger and hear it “MOO!” back certainly entertains you.

You especially like poking Mr. McGregor and
making him grunt and grumble as he chases
Peter Rabbit and Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail
out of his garden.

(10) You avert your eyes when you are scheming about something.You can't look at us directly and will turn your head away, while keeping us in your peripheral vision. It is hilarious. You try so very hard to put on a poker face ("you can't see me if I'm not looking at you!"), but we know exactly what you're thinking. You usually do this when you are trying to figure out a way out of whatever seat/chair/bed you are currently confined or strapped to, but you also break it out when you're trying to get out of trouble... 

Did you drink Momma's smoothie?

Can you look at me in the eye?


(11) You are a streaker. The minute we take your diaper off, you take off running wildly, freely, uninhibited, and completely ecstatically. You are so very proud of yourself when you are able to escape the horrible confines of your clothes.
But you currently hate taking your shoes and socks off, unless you take them off yourself. Most of the time, we have a nekkid kid running around the house wearing nothing but her cowboy boots.
You give Naked Chef a whole new meaning.
(12) You love playing hide and seek. You hide your clothes, your toys, parts of your body… any object that is small enough for you to “hide” from us and make us try to find.  Your favorite object to hide currently is your hand. You conceal it oh-so-stealthily behind your back (well, your arm can only reach so far!) and it is pure comedy when you finally pull it out into view for us to see. You even shock yourself sometimes when you finally pull your hand out -  and put on a face that says “WOW! Even I didn’t know it was back there!”

(13) You don't know the difference between a boy and a girl. But you do know the difference between a bull and a cow. Grandaddy Neal is very proud of this.
You've also figured out how to use
Gabba Gabba as your personal horse.
(14) On car rides in Momma's car your usual partner in crime is your "cow."
Funny thing about this cow... well, we really think it's a zebra. Actually, we're not really sure.  It has black and white stripes and is quite the amalgamation of both cow and zebra features. If you hear "Old MacDonald Has a Farm," you immediately request "cow!" in order to have him help you sing along.
Evie has a discovered a new species: the ZOW!
Zebra? Cow? Whatever makes you happy, kiddo.

(15) You have the best smile. I probably shouldn't tell you how much trouble you've already gotten out of in your short life just because you batted those big blue eyes and flashed a big smile at us.
Get out of jail free face.
Not a fair trial by jury, kiddo.

(16) You are the meal time commander-in-chief, manager, hostess, and drill sergeant. I don't think we'll ever have a problem convincing you to have a family meal together. 
    If you are the only one sitting at the table when dinner is served, you immediately start barking orders at us:  "Dadda, SIT!" and "Momma, EAT!" - and you are not happy until we assume our positions in our seats beside you.
Nobody gets between me and my 'yo-yurt.'

(17) You are fabulous at poo-pooing on the potty (when we remember to ask you at the appropriate time.)
But going Number 1? Not so much. You have tinkled on the back porch or out in the yard more than you have gone in that dang toilet! (yup, you're quite the civilized little thing.) We aren't pushing you to be potty trained immediately- since we realize the earlier you start, the longer it takes. We usually bribe you with gummy bear vitamins and an episode of Elmo to get you to park your little backside on your toddler toilet for an extended sit-and-stay session. 
A game of potty golf can also keep your attention.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that you don't revert to full-time diapers once your little brother gets here. I think the "Diaper Fairy" is going to come soon after the new baby gets here and take all your diapers away to "other babies who need them."
Pull-ups and underwear are for big girls!

(18) You think you are Michael Phelps. You are a full blown water-baby. You adore the swimming pool, the ocean, your green turtle filled with water in the backyard, the bathtub/shower, and any game that involves water or being sprayed by water. You are not in swim lessons yet, but Momma and Dadda have been teaching you a thing or two every time we go to the pool.


Pure bliss.

(19)  Fortunately, I think we've avoided the dreaded toddler word... "MINE!" 

Instead, your preferred method of "sassy-ness" is to give us a very serious finger wag and say "NO, NO, No, no.... NO!" with a stern look on your face.  When you give us the finger wag, you are usually reprimanding us for taking a toy away from you, doing something you don't want us to do, or just attempting to establish your authority over every aspect of our lives. (you do this a lot.)

I think you learned it from Stephen Colbert.

(20) We honestly think you will be a wonderful big sister. You adore babies (no matter the species) and you are incredibly tender to any animal or child that is younger or smaller than you.  

Can you hear me, baby brother?
I can hear you!

Then again, if baby brother tries to take your Elmo doll, your bunny rabbit, or your cow... we may need to stock up on the Band-Aids.

Happy 20 Months, little lady.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Nope, not a name for the baby boy... we've picked names for the chickens


Say hello to Beyonce & Jay-Z, Goldie Hawn, Foxy Cleopatra,
Thelma & Louise, and Artemis Fowl.

To be perfectly honest, the reason we said you'd have to check back with us in November for baby boy's name is because it will most likely take us that long to finally settle on our favorite name combination. 

After all, Evie didn't have a middle name till she was three days old.  We had narrowed it down to two of our favorites before we finally decided on Evelyn Harper.  (And even when Dadda went to fill out the hospital paperwork, I was fairly certain he was going to fill out the #2 name just to mess with me.)

At the very least, these chicken names should help Evie work on enunciating her consonants and vowels.

Bawk-bawk for now.... 

PS- Yes, I realize we named a female chicken "Jay-Z,"
but if you saw the personality of these two when they "play" together, you'd agree that it's fitting. Now, here's hoping that Thelma and Louise don't go on a suicide mission of some sort...

Monday, June 20, 2011


This past Saturday was officially "Moving Day."  

For the chickens, that is.  Evie's little "bawk-bawks" had gotten too big for their britches and were starting to escape their cardboard confines - so it was off to the newly-finished hen house with them!

Giving them their "Welcome Home, Again" speech.

The finished coop.

Making sure their accommodations and nesting boxes are up to her standard.
"A little more pine chips here, a few more pine shavings there..."

"You guys comfy in there?"

Once we got the chickens settled in, it was time to turn our attention to Dadda... after all, this weekend was for celebrating Father's Day!

On Sunday afternoon, Gabba Gabba, Grandaddy, Battle, Michelle, PUPPIE!, and Michelle's cute doggie Chloe came for a visit.

Dadda opening a few outfits for him...with a little help from Evie.

And opening a few more outfits for the next man of the house...

Grandaddy inspecting his Father's Day gifts.
He has a bottle of "Texas Champagne" in his left hand...
and yes, folks, that is in fact a "Bullie Sack"
in his right hand.

Don't let his expression fool ya. He likes it.
Any man who owns cattle needs a "Bullie Sack"
to peg on the barn wall and hold stuff.

(If you aren't familiar with farm terminology, I'm sorry... but I'm NOT going to explain what it is.
Let your imagination run wild.)

Uncle Battle, Chloe, Evie, and Trot

 A little afternoon Aqua Blast hopscotch to cool off

Water makes everybody happy!

Devouring the chocolate cheesecake and peaches.
Can you tell the boys don't like to be interrupted when dessert is on the table?!

Grandadday and Evie sharing some
chocolate cheesecake and coloring tips.

And no, you didn't request more belly pics (last week's post had probably enough BELLY pictures for most of you!). 

Whether you asked for 'em or not, here are a few more pictures to document the gut growth/stomach swelling/girth explosion and other polite and not-so-polite ways to describe the "belly balloon blow-up" that progresses during pregnancy.

Momma and Evie picking some roses in the yard at four months pregnant...
Looking more like a potbelly and not quite like a baby belly at this point.

Boom !
What a difference a month makes! Now there's a baby belly.

And just think, we're only half-way done cooking this turkey.

Maaa-ma! He's not ready yet?
I want to play with him.  Come on out, baby brother!

We're starting to experience a bit of
toddler sass in our household. Can you tell?

Thursday, June 16, 2011


When Momma Peach was pregnant with Evie, we rented a fetal doppler for a few months. As first-time parents, the doppler was a reassuring way to hear the sounds of her little heart beating a-mile-a-minute and we enjoyed the chance to hear the little munchkin's activities in between doctor's visits.  Of course, Momma felt her activities, but it was neat to put a sound with those internal thumps and bumps.

(Also, it's a lot of fun to pull the doppler out at house parties and accuse people of not having a heart when you can't find their heartbeat.)

This pregnancy go-round we decided to spring for our own Doppler. With rental fees of $30-$50 bucks per month, we smartly purchased a refurbished one for the bargain price of $70. So, if you're in need of a doppler... drop by the house, we'll hook you up for a quick exam!

Needless to say, Evie has loved getting to "hear" her baby brother. She watched Momma a few times and figured she'd could do it as well... 

Please excuse the glaringly white color of the pregnant belly. My tummy was religiously covered up and slathered with SPF lotion during Evie's pregnancy, which (I think) helped keep the stretch marks away... so if that routine worked once, I'm hoping it works this time as well!

Who's in there?!
Nope, I think I found the burrito you had for lunch, Mom.
Wait, we're getting closer!  I hear something!

There he is!