Art and Nostalgia

Today our whole little family went on a trip to the Utah Arts Festival! Evie's first art festival. And yes, I'm doing that whole "firsts" thing again. Any it was that time of year again so on we went. We lucked out; it wasn't that crowded today (being a Sunday) and I'm pretty sure it didn't actually hit 100 degrees like they said it would. There were a lot of new artists this year and many of them were very good. Spence and I saw a lot of wonderful art that we really wanted to take home with us, but on our income, not quite so much luck. Oh well. Someday! We had a nice lunch and a lovely walk and a great time.

I saw a lot of babies at the festival. Lots of newborns. Made me kinda nostalgic. Don't know if you can technically be nostalgic for something that was only 5 months ago, but it SEEMS like a lot longer. Especially when I look at how much she's grown. I mean, she's still so tiny; she's a 22-week-old the size of a 12-week-old, but she's (slightly) more than doubled her birthweight and that's made quite a difference. Here she is in the NICU, about 3 days old. You can see how tiny she is compared to Spencer's hand:

And here's a picture I took of her today:

I'm amazed at both how quickly and how slowly she's growing. I mean, all things considered, she's growing and developing at an amazing pace. Yet compared to other babies, she still lags behind a little bit. Not that I mind really. Developmentally she's exactly where she's supposed to be, so she's on track, and I like that she's staying on the small side longer. Gives me more time to appreciate it. She even got a new toy the other day. We went to Kid to Kid and traded in her bouncer (which she was bored with) for an activity center. It says it's good for babies as young as 4 months (as long as they can hold their head up) but she's SO SMALL compared to it! It's almost ridiculous! She can barely reach anything, and prefers to just chew on the side of the seat. But she's starting to get the hang of it.

She also has a new teething toy; an elephant we've named Radagast. Most of her things have names. Which I will admit is not for her sake so much as it is for our amusement. She has two pacifiers, Nicolai and Vashdi; the crib is Alfheim (Norse for "Fairyland"; and now Radagast the Elephant. Which she is attached to at the hip, if I might add.

Being with her every day is such a joy. She smiles when I get her out of her crib in the morning. She laughs when I give her kisses. She loves to play and she learns quickly. She loves eating her solid food and trying new things. She loves to splash in the bathtub. She loves it when the dog licks the side of her head. She smiles when you ask her how she's doing. She's just the easiest baby, and such a joy. SUCH a joy. I thank God every day for the opportunity to be and the blessing of being her mother. And I have to admit. If I could have a guarantee they'd be just like her I'd have a dozen more.


Father's Day Weekend

What a busy weekend we had! Saturday we went to the chalk art festival at Gateway, and it was officially Evie's first art festival. And yes, I'm going to be dumb and count Evie's first everything. It was amazing to see so many young artists come together to create such great work. The first thing I had to do was go to the food court because for some reason even though I'd eaten breakfast, I was starving. Well I got there and saw a little mechanical horse and thought ok, Evie can hold her head up, time for her first horse ride!

After I got something to eat we went down and started looking at art and there were some really amazing pieces there. The sad part is that the art is so temporary, which really makes you appreciate it.

Sunday morning Spencer woke to coffee and bed in breakfast (of course) and then we had planned to meet my dad for a hike. So Spence, Evie and I met my dad at Red Butte Gardens, planning to go up one of the trails that leads off the gardens. Well, we literally get 100 yards up the trail, which is one of the least inclined in the area, and my whole body is on fire. I had WAY overestimated what I was capable of doing. Between the arthritis and the fibro, I just couldn't take it. I was in so much pain I just started crying. I apologized to both Spencer and my dad and told them we'd have to limit our walk to the gardens. It ended up working out; it turns out Spencer didn't feel like hiking either, my dad was on call and the gardens were beautiful, but I felt bad anyway. When we got home we had a nice relaxing afternoon, then went to Spencer's parents' house for dinner. I personally think we need to stop doing that because we've been married for almost four years and it's time we started having holiday dinners at our own house. But it was nice to see Spencer's family. I got to spend some time with his brothers and Evie got to see her grandpa Kevin on his first father's day as her Grandfather. All-in-all it was a lovely weekend and a lovely celebration of the wonderful men in my life.


Evie's First Veggies

After a couple weeks of feeding Evie rice and oatmeal, we had the go-ahead from her doctor to start feeding her vegetables. So tonight for dinner she had organic pureed carrots! And she LOVED them! She kept grabbing my hand and shoving the spoon into her mouth. And she ate about twice as much as she normally does. Maybe now she'll actually start growing!

I'm so proud of her. She made me so happy, acting like such a big girl and eating big girl food. She's growing so fast!


Bat's Birthday

Today is my dad's birthday. Now let me explain where "Bat" comes from. My dad decided when Evie was born that he didn't want to be called "Grandpa." So I asked him what he wanted to be called, and he wanted to be Evie's first word, so he wanted to be called "Bat." It stuck. So my father is now referred to as Bat. And today was Bat's birthday. He and I went out to lunch at the Fiddler's Elbow, and it was nice to spend time with him.

He said that the only thing he wanted for his birthday was a chocolate cake, so I decided I would make him a chocolate cake to shame all other chocolate cakes. It was three layers, with chocolate ganache filling, covered in chocolate chips, with chocolate mousse on top.

I even impressed myself with this cake! I'm really proud of myself for the work I put into it (it took ALL day) and I really enjoyed spending the time with my dad!


Four-Month Milestone

Today Evie had her 4-month checkup. She's 11 pounds 3 ounces and 23 3/4 inches long. The doctor said she's growing VERY well for considering how early she came. She's in the 25th percentile for height and has worked her way up into the 10th percentile for weight. And she got the go-ahead to start eating solids! Well, as solid as a little bit of rice cereal mixed with formula gets. Which isn't very solid at all. But it's a milestone nonetheless. I was so excited that I couldn't even wait til tomorrow, I wanted to feed her as soon as we got home! That actually worked out quite well because she was hungry. We stripped her down to her diaper (we knew it would be messy) and gave her a couple ounces in a bottle to take the edge off her hunger. Then we started feeding her the rice mixture. We decided not to feed her in the high chair since she's not quite used to it yet, and we only want to introduce one new thing at a time. But she actually took to the spoon very well, I was SO proud! And of course, she wanted to help as much as possible so she stuffed her hands into her mouth at every opportunity.

We decided that it was just getting too messy and thought we'd finish in the tub, since she'd end up there anyway. It was actually a LOT easier feeding her in the tub. I was laughing hysterically through most of it.

After her bath I decided she should spend some time in her high chair, which she didn't seem to mind at all. She seemed quite interested in it, actually.
I love the high chair we ended up getting because it has an extra cushion that makes it more comfortable and a better fit for smaller babies, which is great since she's only 11 pounds! She's just the tiniest little thing. But she tried two new things in one day and did well with both of them! I'm so proud!