Friday, June 28, 2013

Parker: 6 months

Weight: 17 lbs
Height: 25"
Diaper Size: 2
Clothes: mostly 9 months, but some 6 months (especially pants)
Eats: 7-8 oz every 3-3.5 hours; eats cereal before bedtime; Introduced applesauce, bananas, and carrots
Sleeps: Usually from 9:00-9:30 to 5:30-6:30 (averages 8 hours); likes to sleep on side
Naps: 2-3 hours around 8am (in swing); 30-60 min around 1pm; 30-45 min around 5pm
Favorite Toys: Sophie the Giraffe, taggie blanket, teething rings, alligator, mommy and daddy


*  Rolls both directions, though mostly stomach to back still.  He occasionally will roll over 2-3 times in a row, but really doesn't have much control about where he is going.

* Can sit unsupported for less than a minute.  But starting to enjoy sitting more, especially in the bumbo chair.

* He can finally sit and play in his exersaucer too!

* He would let you hold his hands so he can stand all day!

* Pushes up on his hands to see what's happening around him, but doesn't push up on legs.

* Exploring lots of new toys and learning to shake rattles more, hit buttons, etc.  He is starting to play more by himself, but still wants mom or dad within eyesight.

* Continues to slobber constantly and put everything in his mouth, especially his own hands, but still no signs of teeth.

* Babbles and groans often, sometimes quite loud.  He also has learned to moan when he lays in the crib, not quite fully awake.

* He may be considered "nosey".  He doesn't miss much going on around him--like cars driving by, airplanes, our cat, etc.

* Has the cutest giggle when tickled on his thighs, kissed on the neck, or when playing peek-a-boo.

* Loves stroller rides and bike rides outside!  We go outside nearly every single night.

* Proud to say he sleeps without the swaddle now!  And besides his morning nap, sleeps in his crib for naps and at bedtime.

Highlights from the Month (May 28-June 28):

* Parker and I went to the nursing home in Springfield so he could meet his Great-Grandma Flamm for the first time.  My grandma is 96 and is facing memory loss, but was tickled that the baby was there to see HER.

* While in Springfield, we met my old Girl Scout co-workers and their kiddos at the zoo.  It was a hot one!

* My childhood best friend, Erin, came to Peoria to visit her parents.  We all then headed to Wildlife Prairie Park for a bit of hiking and animal watching.  Erin's daughter, Lauren, is just 3 days older than Parker so it's always fun to see them together.

* Jenkins

* Matt's former co-worker, Murph, and his wife, Pam, came to Peoria to meet Parker and see our new house.

* We spent the day in Blue Mound for Parker's First Father's Day with Grandma and Grandpa Ervin.

* Cousin Natalie came to Peoria for the week.  Parker went swimming for the first time.

* Celebrated Parker's First Half Birthday with a pizza party followed by cake (a half cake) & ice cream!

It's been such a fun month watching our baby blossom into a growing boy.  His personality has just errupted and he constantly makes us laugh, smile, say "look", or sit in awe.  Parker is gaining independence, yet still loves to be held or having us play with him on the floor.  His senses seem to be on overload as he tries to take in the world constantly.  Trust me, he doesn't miss much!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To Do: Father's Day...Southern Style

Ok, so there are lots of things we miss about the South...our friends, boating, crepe myrtle trees, the best  Farmer's Market, Razorback football, and more!

But let's be real.  We really miss?? Whole Hog Cafe!

You just can't get anything like this in Illinois!

Moist, smoky pulled pork, yummy baked beans...and their speciality--baked potato salad.

Now I have to admit, when I found out that the baked potato salad (remember--one of their trademark side dishes no less!) is really not homemade but rather dumped from a bucket they ordered from Sysco, I was a little heartbroken.  But I'm just going to pretend that it is still homemade.

Anyway, randomly one day,  I did a search on Pinterest for Whole Hog.

And WAHLA...there was a recipe!

So on Father's Day (well Saturday technically), Matt smoked up a pork tenderloin, I heated up some beans, and then whipped together our pretend Whole Hog potato salad.

Guess what?  This version really is pretty close!  It's so good, I had to share it.

So on Sunday, as if we were back in the Bible Belt, we continued our Father's Day festivities Southern Style.  Parker was baptized.

As you can tell, he was thrilled.  Ok, maybe that's not quite the right adjective I was looking for.  Considering we no longer even attempt to try to get him to sit through church, just getting him to make it to our debute 30 minutes in was an obstacle.

The pastor carried him up and down the aisles and the crying stopped.  Hmm...probably liked the attention!

Matt's parents and my mom joined us (and Cousin Caleb due to special circumstances).

Matt and I also became official members of this church.

So I have a feeling, it's a Father's Day we will always remember!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Photo 5.24.13

Look!  I got to ride in an ambulance.

So many times, I've shared pictures and told you about one of the many "firsts" that little Parker has experienced in his 16 months of life.  Never did I think we would be chronicling his first ambulance ride! But I guess that is what parenting is about...the unexpected.  The stress and the love!

Let me just start by stating that it all ends well. 

Here's the story. The probably more-than-you-care-to-know details.  

The day started off good.  Parker had slept in till 8:00am!  Well, actually, I knew that was unusual so I went to check on him and he popped right up.  But when I picked him up, he was burning up.  Oh great.  I had a list a mile long, as we were heading back to Blue Mound for the weekend.  I knew I should have done more the night before!

But ends up, Parker had a fever around 100 most of the day, but wasn't terribly whiny or clingy.  We watched Thomas and Barney over and over again (wait, that's any day!), he ate lunch (again, the piece meal we call a lunch every day), and he headed to nap at his normal time.  But just before nap, I checked his temp. It was 103.6  I sent him to bed with more motrin, then called the doctor to check to see if I should be concerned.  The nurse said that because he had no other symptoms, she wanted me to wait 24 hours and then call back.  She warned me that I would probably be visiting prompt care then on Saturday.

Again, personal panic sunk in.  Matt and I were co-hosting a surprise party on Saturday.  How were we going to set up for that AND spend hours in prompt care?  Oh well, we would figure it out.  

He woke up from his nap and again wasn't too cranky.  His fever had gone down.  We loaded up the car (to the brim as always)and started our 2 hour trip home.  First we stopped at Walgreens to get more motrin, and while I was inside Matt moved the mirror we have to watch Parker from the middle to the passenger side.  Just last weekend, we converted Parker to the bigger car seat, moved it from the middle to the side, but never got around to moving the mirror.  (There's a reason I'm telling this minute detail.)

So as we approached Morton, just outside of Peoria, traffic was down to one lane.  It was 6:00ish... so busy and barely moving.  While we were creeping along, Matt looked back in that mirror at Parker--who was having a seizure.  Body twitching, glazed rolling eyes.  Matt was just screaming "Parker" and hastily pulled over to the shoulder (later telling me he didn't even look to see if cars were coming...eeeks).  He runs out and starts undoing the 18 point car seat harness.  I'm still not knowing what's going on really because Parker is behind me (facing backwards) and I can't see around Matt.  Matt couldn't even speak.  But as soon as I got a glimpse of Parker, I knew it was a seizure.  I grabbed my cell phone and called 911.  Luckily we were literally right in front of the Exit 99 sign or else I probably wouldn't have been able to even tell you where we were.  

So the next few minutes were some of the scariest moments of our life so far!  Parker continued in the seizure for up to about 5 minutes.  I was on the phone with the 911 operator, but meanwhile, I was flagging the slow moving cars asking for help.  Somehow, somewhere, for some reason...we had 7 angels appear.  Seven!  First it was a lady who instantly came up saying "I can't help.  But I'm just a mom."  As I walked back, there was a 20 year oldish couple, clearly dressed for a date night, who wrapped their arms around Matt and Parker and were praying out loud!  Whew--that still gets me!  There was a nurse and her husband and later an EMT and his wife.  All who just stayed with us, giving us more comfort than they ever, ever could have imagined.  We will never know their names or be able to thank them, but I know I haven't forgotten their faces.

About 5 minutes after the seizure ended, the ambulance (as well as police and fire dept) showed.  Parker was really lethargic and just in a daze.  Normally he would be pointing and babbling, but he didn't even notice them.  Parker and I both got to experience our first ambulance ride, as Matt followed behind.  

Basically Parker just had a febrile seizure.  His temp was 104 when we got to the hospital, so it likely had hit 105 before the ice packs, etc.  They tested for strep and he got his first e-rays.  Everything came back fine.  There was spots in his throat so he likely just had some crazy virus.  (Hmm..maybe a McDonald's virus since we had been at the nasty playplace the day before).  Let's just say, we've learned a lot about febrile seizures since Friday night.  

And now we realize maybe Parker didn't really need his first ambulance ride (only has to go to ER now if seizure lasts more than 10 minutes), but I'm pretty sure neither of us were capable of driving at that point...especially to get out of a construction zone!  

I should also add--we've talked so much too about so many of our friends and family who have had to witness their kids go through so many worse medical problems.  Some over and over again.  Our sympathy changed to empathy and our hearts ache for you even more. 

Oh, and even though we spent 4 hours in the ER and didn't make it to Blue Mound till 12:30am (at which Parker was wound up, ready to go!) least we didn't have to visit prompt care on Saturday...and the party went off perfectly!

See, lots of happy endings!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Photo 5.10.13

Who keeps putting fertilizer on this grass?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Photo 4.26.13

Don't tell Mom, but I make a mess so I can use the broom

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

To Do: Spring Break 2013

Here's the play-by-play for the Ervin's wild and crazy Spring Break in Florida 2013!

(because when you think of the Ervins, I'm sure you think of WILD & CRAZY!)


The vacation all started off with simply good timing--Our flight left Bloomington late afternoon.  We stopped in Morton on the way for a hearty meal at Cracker Barrel.  (That's a treat since we don't have one in Peoria!).  And it's not a vacation unless you have Cracker Barrel at least once, right?

We had no idea what to expect considering this was our first flight with a child in tow.  Oh, the old days were so easy!  Mama came with a bag packed with toys (a lot of new $1 store  toys) and lots of special snacks...including dum dums and m&ms.  We got to the airport 2 hours early and let that kid run, run, run!  

Parker enjoyed watching the airport crew and the planes 1 plane that came in.  But mostly, he just flirted and stared at everyone in his sight.  Oh the looks he gave if they happened to be holding a phone or for heaven's sake--an Ipad!

His 1st Flight can go do in history as being a success!  He was glued to the window during takeoff and it wasn't probably 10 minutes before this....

He slept nearly the whole way!  Woke up for last 20 minutes--enough time to stack some blocks and play peek-a-boo with the lady in front of us.

Since it was St. Patty's Day--our lucky green shirts really must have been lucky!

We made it to Orlando!


My sister, Sharolyn, and her family just happened to be visiting my mom (And her "Special Friend", David) in Ft. Myers the same week. We had planned our trip so Matt could go to his annual Spring Training ball game.  Well, and because if you know us, you know we love Florida!

So we all drove 2-3 hours away from our starting point and met in Jupiter (near Ft. Lauderdale) at the Cardinal's stadium.  It was the first time we had been to this ball park.  

(Clearly I didn't get the hat message)

We had perfect weather!  And of course, everyone was excited to see Parker.  (And surely Matt & I too!)

And even better, the Cardinals Won.  (I think.  I had lots of people watching to do...and a toddler).  

(Photo taken by Nathan)

Speaking of people watching, these two sisters were sitting in front of us.  Our husbands fear that they may represent the future for me and my sister!

Sharolyn's kids were on a mission to get autographs.  (A great perk to Spring Training games).  But you know there is always crazies around and they didn't get as many autographs as they had hoped.  But...these three cuties were the only kids allowed to get on the field after the game for a quick photo opp.  Score!

So if you have only been in Florida for 1 day and if you find out that the ocean is just a few miles go searching for it.  Hint the word searching!  Searching for a public beach access I should say.  But we did find a hotel with a private access that worked and Parker put his feet in the sand for the first time.

Minutes before we nearly got drenched in rain :)

It was off to dinner then a long drive back to Orlando.


Hmm...where do I start.  Let's just say that we took this trip mainly because we Matt got talked into coming to a timeshare presentation.  We already own a timeshare in Orlando (Wanna buy it?  No, I'm serious.  Wanna buy it?).

It was supposed to be 1 hour.  We had Parker with surely we could have them ready for us to leave in 30 minutes MAX.  That was our plan.  We were there 5 hours.  Don't ask.

Afterwards, we spent the rest of the gorgeous day walking around Downtown Disney.

Parker needed to get out of that stroller.  So we drove over to the Disney town, Celebration.  (If you haven't been there, you need to check it out.  It's like a real Wysteria Lane!)

He ran and ran then we hit Target and ice cream.  You have to have lots of ice cream if (A) you married Dippin' Merv, and (B) you are in Florida.


It's hard for us bargain seekers to pass up an outlet mall.  Especially when you packed thinking you were leaving on Thursday, but on the way to the airport, decided to just take the Sunday flight back.  What were we in a hurry to get back for??  

Only problem.  Our 1 checked bag had a limit of 40 lbs.  It weighed in at 39.25lbs.  So...kind of makes shopping a bust.

So does this...

Every time we went inside a story--the tears came.  Wait, I doubt there were tears.  More like pouting, whines, yells, kicking, etc.

So after that fun excursion, we hopped back into our mini-van (probably Matt's highlight of the trip) for yet another roadtrip.  

3 hours later we arrived at Grandma Flamm's place in the senior community.  Her and David were on their way to their ice cream social so we tagged along.  Parker brought about lots of attention, as you could imagine.  


It's just something we have to do.  If you go to Ft. Myers, you have to go to Sanibel & Captiva Islands too.  They are just too beautiful to miss!  And if you go to Captiva, you have to eat at least one meal at The Mucky Duck.  (I'm sure there are lots of great restaurants, but in all the years of going there, I've only been to the Mucky Duck).  And this year we got t-shirts to prove it.  (Yes, making us closer to that 40 lbs limit!)

Here's the bonus to lunch with your niece & nephew...

Oh yeah.  I'm across the table and my kid is not only sitting, but smiling!  Ah....heaven!

So the rest of the day goes like this.  And I truly mean the rest of the day.  Like the next 7 hours.

We took some pictures on the beach.

Parker watched the birds.  (Thank heavens for all the birds in Florida!)

And Parker played on the chair or sat in my lap--cause no way were his feet touching sand!

And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited....

(Yes, it got chilly)

But was time for the sunset!  

And 2 minutes later we were in the car!


It's hard not to love a Friday.  But Friday's on the beach are even better!  Especially when the weather was just perfect!

Lesson learned...this day, Parker donned his fancy shmancy clearance sand shoes...which were totally worth the $5!  Sand was no issue.  

Whew!  He loved the beach!  (Does he really have a choice?)

And lucky for us, he wasn't a big fan of the ice-cold water.  He liked to look at it, but would rather scope out other people's toys in the sand.  And of course, he loved every minute with Nathan and Natalie!

He wasn't real impressed with the dolphin that was close to shore either, but the rest of us were!

At maybe the best part...the kid who refused to ever sleep in public...did just that

Oh my goodness!  I don't get this very often!


Sharolyn and her family headed out early that morning for their drive back to St. Louis.  Matt and I decided to go ahead and make our drive back to the Orlando area.

We ended up stopping by Siesta Key Beach to check it out since it's often rated as the #1 beach in the US.  Let's just say it took us longer to find a parking spot than we were there.
It's known for it's super white, fine sand.  Yep.  It was cool.  (We took this picture knowing that on this day our feet were in the sand, but the next day, they would be in snow!)  Please note the tan line on my left foot.  Impressive!

But go figure...the view wasn't so amazing that day.  We think it was mist, but it looked like smoke or fog.  

And without his cousins, Parker threw some sand then called it done.

So back in the car we went.  Parker has been on plenty of road trips in his little life span.  He does pretty good.  Here's a snipit of our time together.  This boy loves Peek-a-Boo.  Any time. Anywhere.

We ended up staying in Stanford, FL since our flight was leaving there.  I had read online that their downtown area was nice so we headed there to eat dinner outside.

Our dinner wasn't amazing, but Parker was in heaven.  Not only could he eat outside, but there was a Beer & Dog festival a block away so I'm not exaggerating when I say that every table had at least 1 dog.  The waiters even brought dog bowls to each table.

Back to the hotel we went. We had to figure out how we could cram more things into our carry-on so we didn't go over 40 lbs.


Because our flight wasn't until 3:00p.m.,  we ventured to the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford for the morning.  

It was nice.  Not very big but big enough for our guy.

After the zoo, we enjoyed one last meal outside.

And then it was time for the real fun.

We got to the airport at 1:00pm, hoping that Parker could again run, run, and run some more so that not only would he be physically exhausted, but considering it was also past his normal nap time--he definitely would sleep on the plane.

Good plan.

It didn't work.

No flights were leaving. None were arriving.

There were bad thunderstorms and tornadoes in the state.

Parker could care less about chasing his ball.  He had discovered steps and the baggage carousel and the doors that went outside.  He ran and ran and ran some more.  Just as planned.  But...instead of 3:00, the flight had been bumped to 6:00.

Remember, our kid won't sleep in public.  But when you are desperate, you are desperate.

The bag for the car seat had wheels so a few trips around the airport in his car seat and we got this:

And this is when our picture taking stopped.  The fun was over.

Note: About this time, we got a text saying that my sister's family had already made it home.

We did finally get on a plane at 6:00p.m.  There seemed to be problem after problem.  But somewhere around 10:30p.m., we had exited the plane, finally got our luggage, and where ready to head home in beautiful Illinois.  Illinois that was covered in about 6" of snow!  Fresh snow!  Like we know the landing gear was down for a long time before our plane ever hit the runway.  Like, it was a bad idea to look out the window to see the white-out conditions.  Like maybe one of the scariest landings ever.  But surprisingly, it was amazingly smooth!  The drive home was ugly with only 1 lane barely open, cars in ditches, etc.  But we made it home safe and sound!!

And looking back, I'm ready to do it again!!  The trip to Florida that is.

P.S.--Our bad weighed in at 41 lbs.  They let it slide :)

Note: My sister. Sharolyn, gets credit for taking some of these photos.  But if you think they are good, just pretend I took all of them.