Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cookie Monster

 Why hello, you yummy banana whoopie pie!

I was working on some new recipes the other day, and taking photos for future use, and along came my little cookie monster. I'll often give her a taste of my creations because I like to hear her go "Mmm-mmm", but it's rare that she actually gets to enjoy a whole cookie. I'm working hard on instilling those good eating habits. So, she decided to just help herself this time as I was busy taking pictures and had my hands full with the camera.
Wait a minute, I see the cookie monster approaching. 
 If I can't see Mom, then Mom can't see me touching this cookie.
 Almost. Have. It.
Ha, oh yes. 
(Mind you, the pictures slow this process way way down...don't let her cuteness fool you -she's quite fast.)
 I'm just gonna lick it, Mom.
 Oh yes. Delish.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Birthday Party

Thank you to my sweet family for putting up with me as I went into "work mode" for this party - my training as a pastry cook kicked into high gear as I churned these desserts out. Thank you also to my family for helping cook, set-up, decorate, and entertain - I couldn't have pulled this party off without all of you!

Just about everyone on the invite list was able to make it, which made for a very full house and an overwhelmed birthday girl at one point (see pic below). Some of my takeaway notes from this party:
  • it is REALLY easy to get stressed over your child's birthday, if you decide to invite 40 people. Perhaps this is too many, and the following parties will be smaller. 
  • A dessert table is so so so fun to do, and I'm gonna go even bigger next time (maybe I didn't learn from note number one up there). Amy Atlas is my dessert table hero - I don't have the funds nor the eye nor the space for something so elaborate. But I will continue to have fun looking at hers.
  • Don't open presents at the party - people get bored, and so does the tiny tot. But thank you again to all of you for the sweet gifts...Avery is loving playing with her new toys and sporting her new threads and drinking from her new sippy cups.

The dessert table - none of the pics of this came out well, due to lighting issues, but at least you can see the pom-poms I made. 

The sign I made awhile ago - I'm thinking this might come out at all of the birthdays. I love it!

The strawberry cream cheese cake.

Lemon meringue tarts

Fruit tarts with vanilla bean pastry cream

Cherry swirl brownies
(and not pictured, chocolate silk tarts, m&ms in party colors, oatmeal white chocolate cherry cookies and flower sugar cookie favors)

Poms and banners

The sign-in little sister Bri painted this tree for Avery, and everyone left a leaf thumbprint and signed their name. Idea came from here, among other places...don't remember the original source now.

Avery was napping while everybody was arriving, so when we brought her downstairs, she was a little overwhelmed. She quickly warmed to everyone, but this made for an awesome picture.

Taking her very first steps.

With some of my family.

With some of Luke's family.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Avery and the Chair from Luke Presley on Vimeo.

Avery at 13 Months

I started this post on May 1, so that I would be able to just put it out there on the web on May 2, the big 13-month day, but here we are at May 4, and I'm just now really writing it. Because when I went back to edit it and put it up there, I realized I only had one sentence written, and no pictures. So much for being on top of things around here.

I want to show you some of Avery's favorite things.

1. Laundry. Yes, this photo is obviously cropped, and very poorly. See my foot peeking out next to Avery? I'm not looking so hot here, plus I needed to crop out the unmentionables - don't really need those floating around on here. Back to laundry...Avery really loves to stand at the open dryer and bang on the lint catcher. And she likes to pull out the clothes that I'm trying to put in it. Such a big helper!
2. If something is VERY awesome, it goes on her head, as evidenced by
    a) washcloths

b) Mr. Potato Head glasses

3. The dishwasher. She loves to put her fridge toys in it, or whatever else she is currently playing with.

4. Shoes. She loves to pull all of them off of the shoe rack, and then she just leaves them there for me to clean up. Thanks, Avery!

5. Her chair. This was a Christmas gift from Nana, and she loves to climb all over it and read her books in it.

6. Her wagon (not pictured). She will stand at it and bounce up and down to let me know she wants to go on a walk. So we walk in it almost every day, to the mailbox, around the complex, before dinner because she's cranky, after dinner because she's cranky, to the pool. It goes everywhere with us. Thanks GM and GD for this awesome gift!! We're going to wear the tires off of it soon.

7. Putting things on her arms (and dogs, too).

8. If she really loves something, she likes to burrow into it. She will dive into your lap and burrow in (my favorite form of cuddling). She dives into her lovey blanket. She dives into laundry piles. She dives into her chair. Thankfully she doesn't dive into the wagon.

At 13 months, she is also grating her front teeth together, which makes me cringe. It's like nails on a chalkboard. Strawberries are her very favorite fruit, with banana falling in a close second. She still isn't a huge fan of meat - sometimes she'll surprise me and gobble it all up, but it has to be dressed up in something. She doesn't like it plain. Her knees are all scraped up because she crawls everywhere still, and it's shorts weather now. But, she has developed a new method of crawling that doesn't involve her knees. She walks on her hands and feet with her bottom up in the air. I'll find the video of it. She doesn't like the texture of grass so much but she has a new-found fascination with leaves. She is taking a few steps here and there, but not enough to classify her as a walker. She seems to have lost interest in practicing that this week. Always in her own, slow time. She loves to climb. She bounces in her bed, squeak squeak squeak, until I come get here in the mornings. She has 3 teeth up top and 4 on the bottom, with another one peeking through. She loves having her teeth brushed. Avery has started wailing as we get her ready for the bath, but 20 seconds after getting in she is happily playing with her toys. What??? I don't get this one. Separation anxiety still plagues us, as does the stigma associated with it. She adores books and will sit in the car just holding one for twenty minutes - it's the cutest thing. She also likes to all of the books off of her bookshelf (that's okay) and off of our bookshelf (not okay).

I think I forgot to post her 12 month stats from the doctor, but she was 20 lbs 4 oz and 30" a month ago. I can really see how she's slimmed down and lost some of the baby chub in the past couple of months.

She is just the most fun, and we are so blessed to have her.