Saturday, April 30, 2011

For Realz

Potty Training: Day 1

I'm going to let you in on the mess of today. No need to put down food...nothing that will make you squeamish, hopefully. If you could care less about the bathroom activities of my two year old, please visit again in a few days. But, so I can remember this in 25-30 years, when Avery is possibly potty training her own child, I'm documenting the weekend.

No successes, by potty standards. We had one "finish" in the potty as we flew her bottom over to her little toilet. She got a sticker. We sang and danced. We high-fived. This was half-way through the day, after 2 accidents on our well-protected floors and lots of practice sitting. She napped, wearing a cute cloth pull-up I found on Etsy, and finally pooped. Just a small one, because she'd been holding it all. day. long.

After nap, she kept yelping and crossing her legs and saying "diaper change" and she'd even run to sit on the potty by herself sometimes, but she refused to go in it. Every single time. So, we had another wet accident.

I think by the end of the day we had 4 accidents total. But, she isn't minding sitting on the potty, especially if we prop her up with books or pull the laptop down and let her watch a few minutes of a movie. We sing a lot and practice our This Little Piggy or Itsy Bitsy Spider. She was given stickers for voluntarily sitting on the potty, for running to the potty when the timer went off, or for even just sitting there happily. If she'll pee or poop in it, I might even bring out the M & Ms. Lucky girl.

The logistics of set-up: We started the day with one all-weather blanket (waterproof), another old blanket, and tons of old towels. About an hour into it I ran to the store and picked up plastic drop cloths and carpet cleaner, thanks to accident #1. She went right NEXT to the all-weather blanket, instead of on it, and certainly not in the potty. We layed down the plastic and put the towels and blankets back over them. And we washed laundry all day long, cycling towels out. Notice the pile of clothes and towels on the couch? Her little potty migrated between the living room and the kitchen, wherever she was playing. We wanted something nearby in case we couldn't get her to her bathroom in time. We'll eventually bring everything to the bathroom after a couple days and hopefully get rid of our CPS (carpet protection system). She's allowed to run around with nothing on her rear end for the next 3 days, unless we venture out for a short trip to the playground.

We aren't attempting night-time training yet, so diapers still for that. I'll be using cloth pull-ups for naptime for the foreseeable future, and if we have to take a car trip this week.

Part of me is creeped out by a toilet in our main living space, but it can't be any grosser than pee on my carpet, so I'm going with it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011

Luke's family has a big Easter get-together every year at the ancestral homeland in Louisiana. His grandparents open their home to whoever wants to come, and we made the trek out there this year. It's a LONG drive for us, but it's so fun to be removed from crazy everyday life and spend some time in the country, surrounded by family and REALLY good food.

His parents have a camphouse, The Estate, that we all stay at, while the rest of the cousins and such stay with the grandparents or in campers near the lake. We managed to fit 15 people plus 4 dogs in the camphouse, and we all shared one bathroom. Whoa.

relaxing in Great-Grandad's chair
sweet cousin Sidney - he is literally the happiest baby we've ever met

20 weeks! Luke loves when I wear this shirt, because the space between stripes are twice as wide in the front as in the back.

the youngest cousins enjoying breakfast together

Nana gave each of the kiddos their own beach chair. We love it!

Avery relaxing before church.

trying on her new jewels - apparently the necklace makes a better headband
I completely failed to get pics of any of the adults or the older cousins. Major fail. But, we had a blast playing all weekend. And Luke hid one egg so well that he offered $20 to whichever kid could find it first. They spent over an hour looking for this egg, and because they had such a hard time, he started selling clues for $4 off the total. They got down to $4 and still couldn't find the egg. It was buried in the ground, and Luke had to dig it up. The kids now all think he's a liar, because he told them it was blue, when really it was pink. He has the worst memory!

Good(Night) Moon

Avery's first favorite book was Goodnight Moon. We read it every single night before bed for probably 6 months straight. We've taken a break from it for awhile, but she pulled it out again yesterday, and we sat together on the couch for 20 minutes. I read through it once and then she pulled it onto her lap to "read" it herself. She's decided that the best use of time is finding the mouse on each room-scene page.

"Nother mouse! Kee-keet!" (translation - another mouse, squeak squeak!)
"Climb up, mouse!"
"Silly oatmeal! Silly mouse oatmeal!" (The mouse is peering over the bowl of mush, and she thinks it's the funniest thing in the world that he'd want to eat it.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Her Favorite Book

These days we're reading a lot of this:

Every morning I get a request, "Read, Boom Boom Shin?" How can you resist a request 1. to read? and 2. that sounds like that?!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

To Tide You Over

The camera has been lost in dead-battery-limbo for days now, so all pics are stuck on there until we can get the charger. But, a couple weeks ago, when we had perfect spring-time weather, we spent EVERY evening outside, playing with the neighbors and riding scooters. Well, she rode the scooter. I sat on the blanket.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Avery seems to think that all sleeveless shirts belong off the shoulder. One day I caught her playing outside with the shirt hanging out around her waist. I informed her that as long as she lived in our house, she wouldn't be dressing like that, and I pray that she never attempts it when she's out of the house either.

Little Miss Houdini appeared again at lunch today:
Oh, hi. Um...
I can explain.'s just that, well, the straps, you know...fell down or something.
Mooommm - just hear me out.
It's modest, I swear.

2 Year Stats

Avery's 2 year doctor appointment was yesterday, and the only time we could get in was right at naptime. It made for an interesting appointment - she instantaneously cried the second she saw the nurse in scrubs; I'm guessing she knew a shot was coming. We had talked about it all day, but it didn't click with Aves until we were walking back to the exam room. She then bawled her eyes out when the nurse weighed her, listened to her heart, and took her head measurements, and this was the easy part!! Avery is a big fan of her doctor though, who is so patient and takes the time to explain all of the instruments and let her touch them. Dr. B got her laughing, and the rest of the exam was (mostly) tear-free, until we had to listen to the heart again!

All in all, she's healthy and growing well, and we get a bit of our grocery budget back now that we can all be on the same milk.

At 2 years (and 11 days) she weighs 27 lbs 5 oz and is 34 inches tall. Her weight and height are in the 50-75%, while her head is in the 90-95%!! So, it looks like she's slowed down a bit on height, which is good, because she's fully in 2T clothes simply for the length, and sometimes those dresses still seem short on her.

And, big developments on the potty front - she now asks for a diaper change every single time she's wet or dirty, so we're working on getting her to tell us before she goes. That may not come until we actually start putting her on the potty consistently, though she sometimes runs to the potty when she asks for a diaper change. We're going to lock ourselves in the weekend after Easter and tackle this, and hopefully it will work so we can have a few months under her belt before the baby comes, and so I get a break from washing diapers for a few months!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

(Mostly) Handmade Birthday

I've had this dollhouse for about a year now. It was meant to be Avery's Christmas gift, but it became her birthday gift this year because I just lacked inspiration for decorating it, plus she's at a better age for it now. It's still a work in progress, but here's what I accomplished by her birthday.

Bedroom: I whitewashed "wood" floors by drawing pencil lines and knots and then painting a thinned out white acrylic paint over the lines. I repainted the armoire, which was once primary green. The main wall is wallpapered in scrapbook paper, the bed and nightstand were painted, and I sewed a comforter for the bed. The rug is velvet scrapbook paper.
Anything white on the furniture I painted, because all furniture was once a primary color in places. Again, scrapbook paper wallpaper and velvet scrapbook paper rug.

I decoupaged pink tile scrapbook paper for the bathroom floor. All else stayed the same.

I left the hood of the range blue, because I kind of liked the color, but it might change. This room still needs work, and the patterned paper on the floor isn't adhered yet, because I was unsure about it. Table and chairs painted.
A friend had a craft night where we made these blocks. I decoupaged paper on them and added alphabet and number stickers. They've been sitting around since January, waiting for her birthday.
We love Bla-Bla dolls around here, so a new member joined the family. This is Suzette, though Avery simply calls her Kitty Cat. She now has to join the crew that sleeps with Avery, only this one has graduated to in-the-arms status, while the others sleep under their own blanket in the corner.


Happy Birthday Avery!! Our sweet girl turned 2 on Saturday, and we celebrated by taking her on her first zoo trip. We traveled down to San Antonio for a little nostalgic trip (I frequented this zoo as a kid) and met up with family who drove in to celebrate with us. Total number = 17 people.

Leading up to the trip we read as many zoo animal books as we could, hoping to familiarize her with what she was about to see. She would eagerly run up to the fences and glass walls, trying to get as close as she could to everything. The first exhibit was a bear, which was cute, but she was more interested in the water the bear had, so we moved on down the line.

This crocodile just sat there, staring at the kids, thinking, "You'd make a great snack."
It ended up being a brutally hot day, but we toughed it out and saw the entire zoo, and she was a champ for missing her nap, though we rigged up her wagon with the canopy, a blanket, and a pillow, and she did have some downtime just laying there.

any crossword puzzle fans out there? This is an OKAPI.
The trainers were out, having the "elphunts" show off their tricks
My brother got the female lion to roar. Awesome.
Perched on D-Dad's shoulders, with my brother David in the background
post-lunch, ready for cupcakes
She picked off each sprinkle and ate them one by one, and then licked off all the frosting. She left the cake behind.
meet Girl, her new bath toy
showing off her cool hat and fancy new backpack
"Nonnie, all the cool kids wear their hats backwards."
Some recent favorites from our funny girl:
-She has always been one to match her shoes, no matter who the shoes originally belong to, but she's started experimenting with a different style on each foot, and sometimes she ends up with one high heel and one flip flop. It makes for awkward walking.

-She loves for us to read books while she is taking a bath - for awhile she was fighting bathtime, but this seemed to solve the problem.

-During one story/bath time, we pulled out a new book, a collection of Babar stories, a gift from my sweet brother J who sends her the best books on her birthdays and Christmas. We forgot that two elephants died in the first story, and as we're reading, we quickly had to make a decision on how to break this news to her, since she's showing empathy left and right these days. I told her Babar's mommy got a big ouchie and layed down to sleep it off; perhaps avoidance isn't the best parenting technique, but we'll tackle murdering of elephants when she's a little older. :) She still cried though, because Babar was crying.

-She started bawling one day, and I ran into the other room to see what had happened. She was watching VeggieTales, and apparently there was a fire in the theater and she thought all of the bunnies had gotten hurt. Oops!

-She tells me at least 6 times a day when something "huts" (hurts). "Hut toe", "hut knee". She makes this squinty pouty face and it's just too cute.

-This morning, while looking in the pantry, "Chips. YES."

-She is using more common phrases, like thanks instead of thank you, and she is copying our exact words now, like good-night (very emphasized) instead of nigh-nigh, and she is such a little parrot...anything that comes out of our mouth is fair game for her to repeat, and she usually is able to repeat it pretty accurately. So, daddy taught her "meditate" and "aescetic", though those haven't been repeated again.

-She wakes up happy most mornings, and I love to hear "Hi, Mommy! Mommy, hi!" on the monitor.

-She gives the baby in my belly kisses, and she likes to poke her belly way out to look like me.

-If we mention one family member, she always asks about the other person that is paired with him or her, like Nana and Papaw or Nonnie and D-dad or Aunt Dell (Michelle) and Uncle Nick. Everyone has a match, and she makes sure we don't forget them. The same goes for her friends and their siblings.

-Some of my favorite names that she's coined are Aunt Ju-ju (Julie), Aunt Bean (Brittany), and Aunt Dell.

-If she sees something "ucky", she says it in this really raspy, disgusted voice. And she loves to announce "ucky poo-poo" when we enter a public restroom.

-"Whoa!" when something cool happens, or when she almost falls but catches herself

-Has to finish a book before we go somewhere...if she still has a ton of pages left, she'll flip through as fast as she can until she reaches the end. Only then can we go.

-Has officially reached the temper-tantrum twos. She gets frustrated so easily at the smallest things and just screams. I'm still trying to figure out how to handle these.

-Is funny and sweet and makes us laugh constantly

-points out every single school bus we see on the road, and we happen to live by 3 schools, so we see a LOT of school buses

-says "page" before she turns each page when we read together, and she has to turn the pages herself.

-doesn't like cake (!) but loves frosting

-we don't usually keep cold cereal in the house, but I had a craving for some Kashi Heart to Heart this week, so we've tried it for breakfast a couple mornings, and Avery is loving it.

And, it takes me at least 3 days to finish a post. I really should start 3 days before an event, in hopes of posting it on the proper day.