Saturday, March 31, 2012

My dog hates my baby...but not really.

Before Evie was born, my dog, Keeka, was my baby.  We are totally those people that treat their dog like a human, and she truly is part of our family.  Keeka is a dachshund mixed with something.  We adopted her from a shelter in 2008.  She was found stray, so we're not really sure about her origins.  She is slightly obese on the heavier side, and she is the bossiest dog I've ever met.  It's Keeka's way or the highway (at least that's what she thinks), and that doesn't always mesh with a toddler around.

Keeka...very cute, but not exactly slim

  • Keeka was outside to do her business and Evie was standing at the patio door watching her wander around the backyard.  M asked Evie, "How big is Keeka?"  She put her arms in the air and said, "Big," in a very serious tone.  We know Keeka's a little portly, but we try not to bring it up for Keeka's sake.  
  • We have an invisible electric fence so that Keeka doesn't wander off into the neighbor's yards.  She has a special collar that she has to wear for it.  We got home from a walk last Sunday, and of course, Keeka didn't have the collar on because we had left the yard.  Evie picked up the collar from the coffee table and started chasing Keeka around the living room and kitchen trying to put in on her.  Evie was very upset that Keeka wouldn't hold still, and Keeka was upset that Evie was even attempting to do this.  M and I just watched and laughed!
  • Evie loves dogs in general.  Anytime she hears one of the neighborhood dogs bark, she stops whatever she's doing, runs to the window, frantically looks for the dog and yells, "Doggie!!"  
  • Evie often tried to hug and kiss Keeka with mixed results.  Keeka mostly just tries to run away from Evie.  I think it's cute that Evie obviously cares about her so much.  
  • But in the end, Keeka loves Evie...I know she does.  When M and I were gone once and my mom was babysitting, Keeka laid in Evie's room by her crib the entire time she napped. 
Keeka laying in Evie's room while she naps

Linking up with the Toddle Along Tuesday.  This week's topic is babies and pets.  Join the fun at Growing up Geeky!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Biggest Surprise of My Life

I wasn't feeling well at the beginning of last week.  I was achy, nauseous, and had no appetite.  I am a married woman of child-bearing age, so co-workers, my babysitter, etc. all asked (in a hushed voice, like I would tell them the truth), "You're not pregnant, are you???"

I told them all no.  If I was really pregnant, I would have hidden any symptoms that I was experiencing.  I kept quiet about my pregnancy with Evie until I was about 12 weeks along, and I had morning sickness with her too.  If I really thought I was pregnant, I would have sucked it and not let anyone know that I felt like crap.

Of course I was thinking, "There's no way I could be pregnant."  But enough people got in my head.  Plus, I was kind of lazy about my birth control over the last year month, so in the back of my mind I knew it wasn't entirely irrational.  I was supposed to get my period on Monday, right??  I told myself, "Doesn't matter."  My cycle has been completely wonky since I was pregnant with Evie.  Pregnancy, followed by 16 months of breastfeeding have taken their toll on my usual regularity.

Last Wednesday evening I decided to rule out the possibility.  I was shocked when it a plus sign appeared on the pregnancy test.

Shocked is actually an understatement.  Whatever shocked times 10 million would be, that's what I was.  Even as I write this, I'm still in disbelief.  Even though I've thought about Evie being an only child, M and I probably would have decided to have another, and I imagine we would have started trying in the next year, but this is not how we planned.  

It took about 24 hours for me to completely calm down.  I flipped out to M, and to a couple of my closest girlfriends at school.  They helped a lot. I am becoming more excited each day now that the surprise has worn off a bit.  We get to choose names again.  I get to feel a little baby kicking me from the inside again.  We get to go to ultrasounds and this time we're definitely finding out the gender!!  And best of all, I get to cuddle with a little newborn baby again. 

So, here I am at 5 weeks and 4 days pregnant.

In all my bloat-tastic glory. 
Life rarely goes as planned.  :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Some Big Changes

M and I have been talking for quite a while about moving.  We live about 25 minutes from the town where I teach, and about 35 minutes from where M works.  I never thought that I would want to live in the same town as I teach, but it seems awfully convenient these days.  If we moved to "school town," M's commute would also be shorter by about 10 - 15 minutes. 

"School town" is VERY small; the population is around 2000.  I've taught there for almost 7 years, and I feel like a townie.  I run into people I know every where I go.  I love the sense of community, but I don't want my students (or their parents) to catch me buying tampons (or copious amounts of wine/liquor) at the grocery store. 

Then there's where Evie would attend school.  Our current town has a great school system.  I know that she would receive a good education here.  School town also has great schools (ahem..I work there! j/k), but I would eventually have Evie in class.  I make up 3/4 of my department.  (The other teacher teaches Spanish half of his day, and social studies the other half.)  If my teaching assignment remained unchanged, I would have Evie in 7th - 10th grades....just about the time she'll probably want nothing to do with me. 

However, these cons are outweighed by the fact that gas prices keep rising, and more than anything, M and I are just sick of the drive.  We would have a greater network of people that we can count on in school town.  My students provide endless babysitting, and I'm very close to many of the other teachers who live there.

In the wake of other big changes in our life, I think it's time to make this big change too.  We're not in any hurry, but we're going to begin exploring our options to sell our house, and **hopefully** build a house in the town where I teach.  Even if we moved after Evie began kindergarten, Wisconsin allows "school choice" so that she could attend my district while we still lived in our current district. 

Leaving our current town will not be easy.  M and I have lived here almost our entire married life together.  But, I'm happy that we've made this decision.  Any bumps in the road will be worth the convenience, and especially worth the extra support of living closer to good friends. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Won the "In-Law Lottery!"

M often jokes that I won the in-law lottery because his family is so awesome.  I have to admit that he's probably right.  As far as in-laws go, mine are pretty great.  M's parents are still together (40 years this year!), and he has two older brothers that are very close to his age, and a younger sister who is 7 years younger than him.  His oldest brother is married and has 3 kids (the youngest is only 6 weeks older than Evie), and his other brother and sister aren't married, but they are in long-term relationships with their significant others for about 5 years. 

The first time I met his mom, I was totally freaked out.  I wanted to make a good impression, and  I barely spoke.  I figured if I didn't say much, I couldn't put my foot in my mouth (which I often do).  His whole family thought that I was very shy, even though that is not me at all.  Over time, I warmed up to them when I realized they are the most laid back, non-judgmental people I've ever met. 

M's older brothers and dad are all jokers.  They love to have a few beers and "tell stories."  Usually this means repeating the same stories that they've been telling for the past decade.  M's dad is not the type of guy who tells you what he's feeling very often, but when he does, it means that much more.  When we called to tell them that we had gotten engaged, M's mom and dad both wanted to talk to me.  M's dad told me that he couldn't wait to have me as a new daughter.  I still tear up when I think about it.  M couldn't believe he actually said that.   

M's mom is probably my favorite of the family.  She is also a teacher, so we have a lot in common.  She will be retiring at the end of this school year after teaching 1st grade for 30 years.  (I have NO idea how she does it!!!!)  She is so supportive of her own kids, and also of her children's spouses/partners.  When M and I announced that we were pregnant with Evie, everyone was a little surprised.  I was teaching full time, coaching during the fall and winter seasons, and only about a 1/4 of the way done with my master's degree coursework.  She said that she thought we'd wait until I finished my master's degree.  I told her that we just wanted to have a baby so badly that we couldn't wait.  She just said, "It's alright.  I know you will do great!" 

I really do love them for all of their quirkiness and for how genuine they all are.  They have always made me feel like I am a member of their family.  It would be difficult not having this sort of relationship with my husband's family.  I really did win the "lottery."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Top 5 Laughs of the Week

The weather has been spectacular here in Wisconsin.  We've had record-breaking high temperatures for the past 9 days, and the highest recorded temperature in March (83 degrees) too.  I was WAY sick earlier in the week, but we managed to have a few laughs (and one BIG surprise - more news to come on that!).

In no particular order:
  • Evie LOVES to read, and she's wanted to be read to even more than usual lately.  Yesterday morning, I was sitting in the rocking chair in her room trying to put her shoes on her.  She ran away from me, pulled her blanket out of her crib and brought it to me.  I placated her, and wrapped her up in the blanket.  Then she said "Uppies" (translation "Up, please"), so I put her on my lap, and then she pointed to the books on her shelf and said "reet" (translation "read").  Apparently, she wasn't quite ready to go to daycare.  
  • Evie has a caterpillar toy that will roll on it's own when you wind it up.  It's in the basement den with a lot of her other toys and our treadmill.  Evie often sits on the treadmill to play.  She was playing with the caterpillar, and I was sitting on the floor next to her.  She stood up and handed me the caterpillar.  I wound it up, and sent it down the treadmill between her legs.  She thought it was the funniest thing!  Her giggles always make me giggle!
  • We went out for dinner last night, and Evie was being a total crab.  M started walking his fingers across the table towards her to "sneak" up on her.  She thought that it was so funny and it totally snapped her out of her funk.  (Whew!!!  I thought we were headed for full meltdown!)
  • I was painting my toenails the other day and Evie was very interested in what I was doing.  She sat down next to me and watched me for a few minutes.  Then, she looked up at me, and held her foot up, like "Do mine next!"  I painted her toenails for her...maybe she's too young, but it looks so cute!
Evie's and my pink toes
  • We have a set of bathtub toy letter that stick to the side of the tub.  Evie didn't show much interest in them, until M made up a new game for them.  He slaps them on the side of the tub and says the name of the letter.  It makes a loud bang, and then Evie repeats the name of the letter.  She thinks it's a riot, and I never thought that she would learn the alphabet by screaming the letters in the bathtub.  LOL!

What are your top 5 laughs of the week?  Link up at The Mommyhood Chronicles!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Family, etc.

I grew up very close to my mom's extended family.  My mom has 3 sisters and 1 brother, and they all still live on the same street as each other.  My grandparents live there too.  My parents even live in the house where my mom grew up; they bought it from my grandparents when I was 10.

My mom has always been close to all of her siblings, and they were always around, so their kids were too.  Some of my cousins are more like siblings than cousins to me.  I feel fortunate that I have such a great extended family, and I could as easily call my aunts for advice as I could call my own mom.

Even though I had this great example of sibling closeness, I knew that I wasn't going to stick around the town where I grew up.  Once I graduated high school, I was OUTTA THERE!!  I went to college in the "big city" (Madison) a few hours away, and I've stayed in this area ever since.  I had the typical small town teen angst, and I didn't realize at the time that I had a pretty cool, unique experience. 

At this point in my life, I don't see myself ever moving back.  I am very happy with my life here.  This is where I'm meant to be.  Sometimes it makes me sad though.  Evie will never live down the street from her cousins.  She won't have pajama pizza parties at her aunt's house or go to swimming lessons jammed in the backseat of the car with 5 other kids.  (That's right...two kids to a seat belt!  You'd probably be arrested for doing that nowadays!  Lol!!)  She won't know what it's like to be annoyed by more people than just her siblings, or to have her aunt meddling in her business.  (That was totally warranted too...I was a mischievous teenager for a while...)

One of my sisters and her husband moved to a town about 15 minutes from our house last summer.  I was so excited to have family close by again, but her husband recently took another job closer to my parents, and she will be moving there once the school year is done.  (She is also a teacher...and she's also the pregnant one.)  It's their choice and I'm understand why they want to be closer to our extended family with a baby on the way, but some days I can't get over how much it hurts that she's moving away from me again. 

I just want Evie to know that she has the big extended network of people who love her, the way that I always knew that I did (even when I hated that I did).  They are still there, just a 3 hour car trip away.  Maybe I need to tell myself that, as much as I need her to know that too. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reading, Reading, and More Reading

 Evie LOVES to read.  She loves books and everything about them.  I've always tried to read to her, even when she was very little, but she didn't take much interest in books until she was about 11 or 12 months old. 

Reading in her bedroom last summer
She pulls every book off of the shelf, and then she looks at them each over and over again.  Now that she's a little older, she picks up as many books as she can carry and brings them to us to read to her.  I never thought that I'd be able to read the same children's book 13658512968454163 times in one day without going crazy...but she loves it!!! 

Don't bother me!  I'm reading!!!
She also pulls her books into her play tent, just to have some privacy while reading.  I think this is adorable, but she never lets me in with her.  :( 
Evie with Jingle, one of her current favorite books
I love that Evie loves books.  It gives me a chance to put her on my lap and snuggle and read.  

I'm happy that she has an appreciation for books.  I hope that it lasts her whole life. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

We're really doing this!

Well, Evie and I are really going to Spain. I wrote a few months ago about the possibility of spending a few weeks in Spain during the month of June.  Evie and I will have the opportunity to stay with a Spanish host family. 

M and I talked it over extensively during December and decided that we could make it work.  Evie will be young enough that we don't have to buy her her own seat on the plane, which cuts the cost in half.  Also, my dad offered to go with me to help me out.  He LOVES to travel, and the timeframe worked for him.  He won't be staying with the family with us, and will probably travel around Spain a bit on his own while we are there.  M agreed to letting us go for 2 and a half weeks, a compromise between my preference to go for 3 weeks, and his preference that we only go for 2 weeks. 

So, in January the planning began.  Now that it's only a few months away, everything is starting to seem very real.  We had to apply for a passport for Evie, and I had to renew mine.  We've booked tickets to Barcelona, where we're going to spend a few days before moving on to Valladolid, the city where we'll be staying with our host family.  The host family consists of the two parents, and three young-ish kids. 

I'm nervous about the traveling, but I know that it will go quickly enough.  The travel portions of the trip can only last so long.  It may be hell, but it will end.  I am looking forward to seeing how a family lives in Spain, comparing and contrasting parenting styles in the two countries, and learning more about the school systems.  I am also hoping that I can make some connections to set up exchanges for my students in the future. 

Oh yeah, and it's Spain.  The gorgeous weather, the amazing food, and the laid back lifestyle will make it all worth it in the end.  I never dreamed that it would take 10 years for me to get back, but I know that if I don't do it now, it may be another 10 before I have this kind of opportunity again.  Taking Evie will be amazing.  She may not remember it, but I will. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How I Quit Breastfeeding

A few months ago, I wrote about the last time that I nursed Evie.  At the time, I had mixed emotions about being done.  I knew that it was time.  Evie was ready.  I was ready to have my body to myself for a while.  But I knew that I would miss sharing the bond that only she and I could have.  Oh, and I would miss the ease of calming her down just by nursing her. 

In truth, the process to wean started about 5 months before that, when Evie was 11 months old.  We went through a rough patch when she became more mobile.  Evie was a late crawler, and up to that point, breastfeeding had been easy for us.  We didn't have latch problems when she was a newborn.  I was fortunate to never experience thrush or mastitis.  Aside from a nasty dairy allergy that prohibited me from eating any dairy for about 6 months, nursing was a piece of cake for us. 

About a month before Evie's 1st birthday, nursing became a huge battle.  Probably because it had been so easy for so long, I really didn't know how to handle it.  My supply was dropping.  I cried when I wrote this post, because I thought that I would wean her and breastfeeding would just be over for us.

I toyed with our schedule and I dropped a couple of feedings in which Evie was most distracted.  This worked great for us!!  I was so relieved that I could continue to nurse her.  From June to November, we gradually dropped feedings.  In mid-November, I knew that the end was near.  I was only feeding her every other night before bed, and my supply was awful. 

Evie went through the transition without noticing the difference.  At least, it didn't seem like she noticed.  That made me feel better.  It was probably harder on me than on her.  I still miss our quiet time, but I know that I did the right thing all along.  I did what she needed, and I'll always feel good about that. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Baby's Baby

There's a new baby in my house, but good thing, it's just a toy.  Evie received a baby doll for Christmas from a little friend at daycare.  I was amazed at how quickly she took to "taking care" of her baby. 

Giving Baby a hug.

Baby does not have a name; we just call her "Baby."  (It makes me feel very "Dirty Dancing."  M and I joke about not putting Baby in a corner.  It's tons of fun.)  Evie loves to hug, kiss, and feed Baby.  She also reads books to her in our rocking chair. 

I was actually a little hesitant about the doll at first.  I've tried to limit the amount of princess-y pink things that Evie has.  I honestly don't really know why.  I was never a super girly-girl, and I just want Evie to play with whatever she wants to play with, not be bound to playing with Barbies and (God forbid) Bratz dolls just because she's a girl.  Then I saw how much she genuinely loves this doll.  I guess that's what she wants to play with.  :)

Evie putting Baby in the stroller. She always buckles her in.  Safety first!

M's parents gave Evie a doll stroller when they found out how much she loves Baby.  It's so cute to watch her strap baby into the stroller and cruise around the basement with her.  She also likes to take her grocery shopping. 

Shopping sans Baby, but Baby often goes with her.

I just love seeing Evie's imagination beginning to come to life.  I guess if a doll has helped that, maybe they aren't all bad.  :)

P.S.  I apologize again for the terrible picture quality.  Our camera in on the fritz, and my phone camera is ok, but not great.  Oh, and I am a terrible photographer.  I promise I'll get better soon. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Something I said I would NEVER do as a parent

Okay, well, it's not that big of a deal.  My title may have been a little dramatic, but it is one of the few  parenting opinions I had before becoming a parent.

I swore to myself that I would NEVER take my child into one of those play place things at the mall.  I walked past them in disgust: the yelling, the crying, the screaming, the kids wiping their noses with their hands and then touching everything. in. sight.  Nothing about the play place seemed like a good idea.  

Then, just a few short years later, I became the parent of a toddler.   Now I know why parents love these things - because kids love these things.  I'm over the yelling, crying, and screaming; that just comes with raising a toddler.  They will do that at the play place in the mall or at home or wherever they are.  The noise distributes better at the mall. :)

As far as the germs, I'm kind of over that too.  Toddlers are kind of gross sometimes.  I clean her up as best as I can, and always wash/sanitize hands when leaving the play place.

Climbing on some giant dominoes.
Am I letting my former self down??  Maybe, but I don't really care.  Evie loves the opportunity to run around, climb on things, and play with other kids.  She is so excited about it that I get excited too.  Plus, it's so much fun to see her interacting with the other kids. 

Crawling through a tunnel to greet my sister on the other side.
The weather is turning spring-like, even here in Wisconsin, and we'll be going to the park a lot more in the coming months, but the mall playland helped us through the winter when the park wasn't an option.  I have learned my lesson, and I'll never say never again.

What have you said you'd NEVER do as a parent??

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Top 5 Laughs of the week

It was the least busy week we've had in a while...thank God!!!  I didn't have parent teacher conferences or meetings or fundraisers or anything of that extraordinary stuff that goes along with being a teacher keeping me at school until 7 or 8 at night.  Luckily, this coincided with a week that M didn't have any late promotional meetings either.  Woot woot to quality family time!!!

So, we managed to have a few laughs.  In no particular order:

  • We have been trying to teach Evie the words for the parts of her body for some time now, and she has had a real problem with "nose."  Whenever you ask her where her nose is, she points to her ear, eyebrow, or chin.  I always laugh when she does probably only encourages her to point to the wrong spot.  :(
  • Related to the "nose issue,"  I recently started pushing her nose and saying beep, and then saying, "nose."  (I don't know if I thought this might help her figure it out...I'm not really worried that she'll never figure out where her nose it or anything...but it was just something goofy to do.)  Anyway, so the other day, I was holding her and she pushed my nose and said, "beep."  I cracked up.  Now she pushes everyone else's noses and says beep, but she still doesn't know where her own nose is.
  • We keep Evie's toys in an old laundry basket in our living room.  Lately she has been into emptying the basket and then climbing into it herself.  I just think it's cute.
Please ignore the gray part at the bottom of the picture...still figuring out how to edit pics from my new phone. :(
  • She has also figured out how to climb into her princess chair that she received for her birthday last summer.  I think she just likes to have a place of her own to sit!  She pulls herself onto the chair, and then she yells for one of us to give her a book.  She will load herself up with 5 or 6 books, and just sit in the chair and look at them.  
Again, ignore the gray thing...uuuugggghhh!!!

  • M and I refuse to let the other one do the grocery shopping.  I know he'll miss some of my food, or I'll miss some of his and it causes a monster fight.  (We're protective of our food around here!), so the solution is to go grocery shopping together.  We went shopping last night and Evie was being a major crab.  She wanted to walk with us, not stay in the cart.  So, we let her try it in an aisle without too many other people.  She was in heaven, and then she heard the piped in grocery store music.  She started dancing in the middle of the frozen food section.  HILARIOUS!!!! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What I've been reading

I have done book "reviews" in the past, but I hesitate to call them that.  More than anything, I love to read, and I like to share what I believe are good, interesting books with others. 

Recently, I finished The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008) by Suzanne Collins.  With all of the Hunger Games "hysteria" about the movie coming out later this month, I had to read the book before the movie came out.  The book is written for young adults, so many of my students have read it too. 

 My students had been bugging me to read the book for a while.  They told me the plot, and I hardly believe that this could be a book written for young people.  Basically, a group of twenty four 12 - 18 year olds are chosen to compete to the death for the entertainment of the "Capitol."  The Capitol controls the whole country and they use the Hunger Games as a way to exhibit their dominance over the lesser "districts."  The storyline seemed too gruesome for a young adult novel, but that's what it is.

While it was gruesome, this book was also incredibly addictive!!!  I couldn't put it down, and when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.  I'm really curious as to how they are going to make a movie from this book.  It's very futuristic, and I think that seeing the movie would ruin the vision that I have of the District 12 (where, Katniss, the main character is from), the Capitol, and the arena in which the Games take place. 

I really enjoyed this book, and I made M go buy me the 2nd book in the trilogy the day after I finished The Hunger Games.  I am about 50 pages into that right now, and I'm excited to see how everything turns out.  It's been fun to chat with my students about the book too.  Every day they come into class and ask me what part I read the night before. 

Have you read The Hunger Games?  What did you think of it?  Are you planning to see the movie?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Resolutions - Month 2

I can't believe that February came and went so quickly.  I feel like I just wrote my first resolution update yesterday, but it was over a month ago.  And it hardly seems like two months have past since I first wrote my New Year's resolutions

February was a crazy month for me.  I was at school 12+ hours a day on many occasions.  That's what parent/teacher conferences, working on a teacher leadership group presentation for the school board, and planning a trip abroad for students will do to you...oh yeah, and just trying to keep up with my kids on a daily basis!!  ;)  However, even with all of the time I spent away from home, I don't think I did all too badly.  I'm sure you'll see where I slacked...

  • Weight loss - Still down 4 pounds, but that's all.  The first thing to go when I got busy was my gym routine that I've had since November.  At least I didn't gain anything back...Gotta look at the bright side, right?!?!?!
  • Being a better organizer/housekeeper - This has been pretty easy actually.  I'm in a great routine, and M is helping me out a lot.  I feel so much more together now!!
  • Spending more quality time with M - I was embarrassed that I did so poorly at this in January, especially when I found out that M read my update on February 1 where I admitted that I did a terrible job at keeping this resolution.  I am HAPPY to say that I think I made up for it in February.  We were home a lot more this month, which made it much easier.  We also hired a babysitter on TWO separate occasions so that we could get out together: once for a Badger Hockey game that M won tickets to, and once for a friend's birthday party.  It was so nice to hang out together more again.  I think it's just what we needed!
  • Making more quality time for myself - I feel like I put myself on the back burner a little more this month, but partially because of all of my work obligations.  When I'm not getting home until 7:00 or 8:00, then frantically trying to spend a minute or two with Evie before bed, then picking up around the house, saying hi to M, and thinking about maybe working out (see weight loss goal, I only thought about working out...), sleep became my "me" time.  March is a lot less busy, and the first week of April is spring break.  It will be easier to take care of myself this month.  
I feel like I can keep 3 of my 4 resolutions without really trying, but there is always something that doesn't seem to fit.  Even though I'm not reaching the level I'd like to each month, I really do feel better about myself.  I just have to keep working at it.  I know that simply by trying, I'm better for my family, my job, and myself!!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Favorite toys

For Christmas, Evie received several new toys.  These have come out as some of the favorites over the past couple of months.

First, the Jingle Interactive Book. It is a regular children's book, but it came with a stuff dog.  When you are going to read the story, you turn the dog on, and it responds when you read certain lines.  For instance, you read the line, "And Jingle loved to sing," and then the plush dog howls like it is singing.  I'm not sure how this thing works, but it works well and Evie loves it.  We had to take it out of her bedroom because she became too wound up if we read it before!!

Evie and Jingle

The other toy that she really loves is the LeapFrog Xylophone Zoo.  You press the animals and it will play a song so that you can follow along with the mallet.  It's a little bit beyond Evie's ability to completely follow the song, but she tries, and she likes to dance to the songs too.  

I like that the mallet is attached to the xylophone so you can't lose it. 

Evie with the xylophone
She also received a tent that she really likes, which I've posted about before.  I feel like our house has turned into a play land, but I guess that's what happens when you have a baby!