Monday, April 16, 2012

Conversations with Avery

While laying in bed, hands cradling her face, legs kicking idly in the air. I'm nursing Eleanor, and it's bedtime for both girls.
A: "Hey, is that your bob?" (now I think she's been saying brav - 5/14/12)
M: "My bob? Oh, do you mean my boobies? Or my bra?"
A: "Yes. Is Baby Eleanor getting milk from your boobies?"
M: "Yes, she's getting milk from my boobies."
A: "Is she going to get more milk from your boobies?"
M: "Yes."
A: [thinking for a second] "That is sooooo yummy!"

blankets are still blanklets

Today, while running up and down the couch, she kept yelling "eaty-up, eaty-up, eaty-up!" I suppose she meant giddy-up.

necklace comes out as "nicholas" most times, and Eleanor is often "Illinois" or "Hellenor"

to her new doll, whispered, "Stay awake. [kiss] Goodnight! I love you! I'll be back soon!"

to Eleanor, who is crying in the car, "It's ok, Baby Eleanor, we're almost there."

During potty training, while sitting in a fitting room nursing Eleanor, Avery turns to me and says, "I peed just a little bit." I yanked Eleanor off so quickly, grabbed the girls and fled to the bathroom.

And two more, just tonight:
Luke walks in the door from work with his messenger bag slung over his shoulder.
"Daddy, do you got your shoulder-purse?"

Digging around in my wallet, she found quarters. She handed one to Daddy, one to Mommy, one to Avery.
"There, now all the ladies have money."
Luke: "I'm not a lady!"
Avery: "Are you a people?"
Luke: "I'm a man."
Avery: "Are you a me-an?" [giggle]
Luke: [points to himself] "I'm THE man."
Avery: "Do you gotta man on your tummy?"

It's [Her] Party and I'll Cry if I Want To

We had a small birthday party for Avery this past weekend at a nearby park with Avery's main kid crew (and my main crew too...isn't that why parents have birthday parties for toddlers anyways?). I would have loved to have made this into a HUGE shindig so that my Round Rock friends could meet my church friends, but mentally I just didn't have it in me, and it ended up being a good thing because the wind DESTROYED the party. You'll notice that there are zero decorations, because the wind blew everything away before the party even started. Half of it ended up in the trashcan, and the rest back in the boxes that we brought it all in. It's funny, now, but my friends walked into a scene with me crying at the picnic table. It's amazing how stress  can culminate into a breakdown at a 3-year-old's birthday party. I thank God for friends like these who simply hug me and make me laugh and don't judge me, because they know why I might react this way.

Of course the kids had a blast, and I walked away from this learning a lot, that it's not about the theme (April Showers Bring May Flowers) or the decorations or the perfect weather. It's about the joy on my daughter's face from being with her friends and outside playing and having cake. Thank you to my husband who made me stop and notice it.
the party guests - Avery's best buddies close to home

puddle cupcakes, a pinterest find, with seven minute frosting that tasted like marshmallows

marshmallow pops, like storm clouds and happy-day clouds

Eleanor's boyfriend, Titus. He's a month older than she is. Eleanor's in-utero best friend was also present at the party - sweet Lyla, who is 6 weeks older. 

meet Skyler: this is Avery's best friend, according to Avery (see here)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Avery at 3

It took a few tries for Avery to understand how to answer, but she eventually caught on and gave answers that made sense. For the first few questions, she would ask me to show her what her favorite .... was. The answers, as given by Avery, are in green:

1. What is your favorite color? Green
2. What is your favorite toy? This. (First it was an electronic tablet that teaches you letters, and then she changed her answer to "camera")
3. What is your favorite fruit? Fruit looks yummy. Apples.
4. What is your favorite tv show? A movie. VeggieTales. (Really, it's Dora)
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? macaroni!
6. What is your favorite outfit? Can you show me one? Clothes are my favorite outfit (after trying to describe what an outfit is)
7. What is your favorite game? Can I play a game?
8. What is your favorite snack? Snacking apples.
9. What is your favorite animal? Moo - a cow makes sound.
10. What is your favorite song? The ABCD song.
11. What is your favorite book? Can you show me my favorite book? That Bible.
12. Who is your best friend? Skyler
13. What is your favorite cereal? Heart cereal
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? baseball
15. What is your favorite drink? milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? presents
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? lovey
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? chocolate (toast with nutella)
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? cake!
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Diapers. Panties. Right. (She didn't understand this question, so I said, when you are Mommy's age, what do you want to be...a mommy, a doctor, a lawyer, etc.) A Mommy! 

Happy Birthday Avery!

Avery turned 3 years old on April 2. Every year I'm so thankful she wasn't born on April Fool's Day, though Luke always laments this fact.

For the past 6 months I've been saying that "this" is my favorite age, whatever that age was, but the older she gets, the more true it is. She is FUNNY. She doesn't understand humor, as in she would just look at you blankly if you told her a joke, but she does things that make us laugh all.the.time. She is highly inquisitive, wanting to know what everything around her is. We don't have too many why questions yet, but she does ask "But why not?" over and over and over and over and.... She talks non-stop, and I mean, there is hardly a breath between one train of thought to the next. It's constant. Almost every statements starts with "Hey", so we get conversations like this:

"Hey, do you see that plane over there? Hey, are we going to see more planes? Hey, is that Baby Eleanor? Hey, are Baby Grayson's eyes open? Hey, is that Nonnie on the phone? Hey, can you read this book to me? Hey, can I have another Dora? Hey, I want macaroni for lunch."

Her imagination is expanding, and she role-plays Dora episodes most of the day. Everything in our lives seems to tie back to Dora...she's like the Kevin Bacon of cartoon characters. She doesn't necessarily mention Dora, but the things she says always mimic Dora's style.

She is the epitome of charming. Avery is friendly, she will hold a conversation with anyone, and she is polite. We've tried to teach manners to her, but a lot of it has just turned out to be her own personality. She is very aware of other people's feelings and how things affect them. If she sees me crying, she'll ask, "Mommy, are you sad? Here, I give you a hug. Now you're not sad anymore!" and then she throws her hands up in the air in triumph. How can anyone be sad after that?!

She loves sprinkles, as evidenced by her cake below. She loves anything sweet, so fruit is always a winner, while vegetables are a fight sometimes. Although she told me loved broccoli the other night. Chocolate is her very favorite, and if you call something a special treat, it better be candy or she'll cry. My sister found that out the hard way. She's still a picky eater, though we're finding success with a bribery system. I refuse to reward eating vegetables with something junky, but if she wants more chicken, she has to eat something she doesn't like to get more of the thing she does like. It's working for now, and I'm hoping she'll expand her eating eventually. Nonnie also taught her how to make holes in her food, which tricked her into eating at meal-times because then it was a fun game. Grandparents are so wonderful!

Everything is "new" to her, though things are rarely new. Example: "This is my new shirt. This is my new table. This is my new book. This is my new friend." All things we've had forever. Not new. People must think I shop a whole lot.

Accessories are still a favorite - she wears bracelets and rings and fancy shoes all the time, as noted in the pictures below. She even took to wearing a princess crown for 3 days straight after going to a princess tea party for her friend's birthday. The crown was left at another friend's house after a playdate, and we haven't had any princess talk since then, which I'm good with.

She loves babies, particularly her babies, and Eleanor and Grayson get a lot of attention throughout the day. She gives kisses and hugs and tickles, and she reads to them and plays with them.

Naptime still exists, though about 2 of out every 7 days it's more quiet time than anything else, though she usually falls asleep late and I have to wake her so she'll go to bed that night. She's grumpy without naps, so I won't be letting those disappear anytime soon.

Potty training was a HUGE success, but I failed to take any photos to document the process. Actually, there wasn't really a process. One day I decided to just put her in panties, she had two accidents right away, and after one success on the potty, we've never looked back. She even pooped on it the first day, to which she decided it wasn't fun to poop on the potty, and she held it for days. We fought that for a week, made her go sit instead of "resting" on the couch, and it took 3 days to clear her system out. After that, we haven't had any issue with it. We were out shopping on day 2 of potty training, at church on day 3, and no accidents in the car or in public as of yet. She's not a fan of public toilets because they tend to be loud when they flush, so sometimes it's an episode of tears during public potty-ing, but we're moving past that too.

We had a small birthday celebration on her actual birthday, complete with tuna casserole (because it's mac and cheese with protein snuck in, and she was not tricked by this...she refused to eat it) and chocolate cake. For weeks she had asked me for chocolate cake with sprinkles. I decided she probably didn't care what the frosting was, as long as there was frosting, so I made a strawberry buttercream. She then decided that she should decorate the cake.

Avery wanted to help put sprinkles on the cake. She poured them on... we went with it, and added more! She of course sampled them before we were finished decorating the cake

tried to blow the candles out

but it was hard work, so Mommy helped

chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream, quite charming
After dinner we did presents, keeping it small because we knew grandparents would send some and she'd get more at her party coming up this weekend.
a t-ball set from Aunt Shell and Uncle Nick and cousin Grayson!

Avery's current smile for the camera

because every lady wears her high heels for baseball

the gift from Mommy and Daddy - a tricycle! She kept saying "pedal, pedal, pedal" in the fashion of Dora

Batter Up!

home run!

Even Mommy took a turn
It was the perfect evening to celebrate the joy that our Avery-girl is. We played outside for about an hour, enjoying the warm weather and devoting our undivided attention to her since Eleanor was in bed. We love this girl so much!

6 and 7 months

Eleanor is our chunky little thing, off the charts in length and coming in at 17 lbs 1 oz for weight at six months. She is roly poly, rounder than anything at 6 months, but now at 7 months she's in a lengthening phase, slimming down a bit as she's more mobile. She's gone from army-crawling and scooting and rolling to sitting, full crawling, and almost pulling up in the past two months.

She's now on solids, though she's not really a fan. I'm hoping that she'll be a better eater than Avery is; Avery loved food as a baby and ate anything, and now she's so picky. Maybe Eleanor is the opposite - picky now and a little food-lover later. We started with avocado, moving to rice cereal, bananas, pears, barley, peaches, and peas.

The crawling is hard to keep up with, and it always astounds me when I find her in a different room than I left her in. She is fascinated by all things Avery, and it's a lot of upkeep to make sure tiny objects aren't in her range. Or paper - that girl loves paper. And tags. 

She has this charming little habit of sucking on my chin if she's still hungry. It's an odd sensation but makes me laugh every time. She likes to grab my face with both hands or run her hands through my hair. She's starting to become attached to a lovey, but I only let her have it when sleeping. She still loves the pacifier, which is fine for now. 

She and Avery love each other so much, and it's so wonderful to watch the two of them together. They get to giggling, and Avery calls her "my little sissie" or "my friend Eleanor". Last Sunday, Avery cried when she couldn't stay with Eleanor in the nursery. I pray that they are best friends always. At the grocery store, Avery and Eleanor sit next to each other, and Avery loves to hug her and give her kisses and squeeze her just a little too tightly. I'm already hearing, "Hey, that's mine!" and having fights break out over toys.

Other things to note about 6 months:

post-nap relaxing

her starting position for pulling up to sitting - she grabs hold of that pant leg and up she goes!

  • sitting without assistance just a few days after turning six months
  • nursing every 2-3 hours during the day, but still up once, sometimes twice in the night
  • rocked on hands and knees for a long-time, with the occasional downward-facing-dog yoga position thrown in for good measure. I started to think she'd just stand up and walk before she crawled. 
  • is SUPER flexible. She can fold herself in half to eat her feet, no matter where she is...sitting on the floor, in her carseat or the stroller, in the bath, in someone's arms
  • is fascinated by her cousin Grayson - she lights up when he's on the floor, and he does the same when the girls come into view
  • loves her aunties a ton, but Aunt Brittany gets the best giggles out of her
  • not scared of Uncle Aaron like Avery was
  • no separation anxiety yet (but this changes!)
  • is easygoing all day until bedtime hits, and then
  • nap schedules are weird - she goes down when she wants to, and usually gets about an hour at each nap, though sometimes she'll sleep for two hours. I guess that comes with the territory of being the youngest - you have to be more flexible with your schedule when big sister has stuff going on
  • launched herself out of the Bumbo sometime between 5 and 6 months, face first onto the tile floor
  • grabs objects easily and chews on everything
7 months:

  • still nursing every 2-3 hours during the day, was sleeping 12 hours straight for a week, and now we're back to up once in the night again
  • starting to enjoy solids, and finally opens her mouth for the spoon instead of slurping it in between her closed lips
  • thinks Avery is the coolest person ever. She could be crying, and Avery will stop and pay attention to her, and the giggling commences
  • moves from sitting to crawling to sitting to laying down to rolling to sitting to trying to pull up with ease
  • pulled herself up to standing this morning, though it was on a short stool, so not sure if that really counts!
  • apples are the latest food endeavor. I think I might try some cinnamon in them today.
  • has the world's best smile and huge eyes. She shares her smiles easily and isn't shy, but prefers to view the world from Mommy's lap these days.
  • wants to be involved in everything Avery does, right in the middle of it all. This presents some frustration for Avery 
  • her hair is thicker and darker than Avery's was at this age. It's thick right in the center and front, and her baby bald spots have filled in MUCH quicker than Avery's ever did. Right now it's a very light brown color, which is quite charming with her bright blue eyes. 
  • loves toys in the bath, and is a bath lover in general
  • she's discovered bubble-blowing and grunting
Eleanor's personality is quite different than Avery's was at this age, more of a snuggler, not as high-maintenance (though both girls are generally easy), and just sweet sweet sweet. Avery, you were sweet too, just in a different way. Joy is a word that describes Eleanor as a baby. She just fits right into our little family so well!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Lenten Adventures

I bet you're curious as to what we've been up to for the past 7 weeks, aren't ya? I decided to give up social media for Lent, which included the blog, Google reader, facebook, twitter, and my ultimate weakness, pinterest. Giving up mindless browsing was a great way to quiet my heart in this season, something I was very much in need of.

So, how did we fill our time?

Week 1 We took a trip into Houston to see VeggieTales LIVE! Avery loved it, and kept asking if they were going to sing one more song. We also began watching my nephew, Grayson, every weekday. He's such a sweet little guy! The girls love having him around. Avery gives him kisses, and Eleanor tries to eat him.

Week 2 We began week 2 of Lent with a trip to Bible study with all three of the kids. I had everyone ready on time, and while loading the car, we got a visitor in the apartment. Avery pointed and said, "What's that, Mommy, by the door?" Um, well, that's a ferret. Yes, a FERRET. A very mangy looking ferret. In my apartment. And try as I might, I could not shoo the darn thing out the door. He bolted behind the couch, explored the kitchen, went under the dishwasher, and then ran to the girls' room. I called the apartment office and asked if they could send maintenance over to help me catch it. Turns out it belongs to the new neighbors down a few doors...the teenage neighbors that are helping prompt us to move this summer.

Week 3 Avery had her first dentist appointment, in which she let them brush her teeth but refused the flossing, and we got a partial of one x-ray. Eleanor also turned 6 months old! I started her on solids that weekend, beginning with avocado.

Week 4 Our biggest adventure of Lent, potty training Avery! Waiting until she was almost 3 to really go for it (after 2 failed attempts and not much heart in the effort) meant she essentially trained herself. It.was.awesome! We were even at the mall on day 2 of potty training. She has had a total of 4 real accidents in a month's time span, and none of them in public. We also had Spring Break (only significant because Grayson wasn't with us that week), colds, and ended the week with the birth of a new niece/cousin. Eleanor is sitting on her own and is pulling herself into that position. She started that by pulling on her pant legs and hiking herself into the sitting position from laying on her side...too funny!

Week 5 We went to visit Sophie, my new niece and cousin to the girls! She is such a pretty little sweetheart, and we can't wait to get back to see her again. Avery loved looking at her photos and would stroke her face in the pics and say, "I love Sophie." I hope the girls all grow up to be good friends one day. While in Houston meeting Sophie, our niece Lucy was born to Luke's brother and sister-in-law, so I got to meet her as well. Our families are raining babies these days!
Avery with some early Easter candy and a slice of bread. She associates Aunt Julie with bread and always asks for some when we go visit.

sweet Sophie, held by my grandma. 
the quilt I made for Sophie - a flannel rag quilt
photo of all the cousins with their mommas - too many cameras meant we were all looking in different directions

Week 6 Avery turned 3 years old! We had a small dinner for her with cake and presents and the company of my sister and her family. Her birthday party is this coming weekend, just a small affair with a few close friends who live close to us. Eleanor transitioned from an army-crawl to full-on crawling, and now she's into everything.

Week 7 A trip to Round Top with my sisters and mom and the babies, and Eleanor is now trying to pull up on things. Today it's Avery's tricycle and her crib rails. Lowering the crib, again. She's hitting these milestones too quickly for me! We also celebrated Easter Sunday and the baptism of Eleanor, and yesterday was a day of celebration for our family for many, many reasons.

I prayed for happy babies with no separation anxiety all morning. I forgot to pray that she wouldn't poop in her white dress, but we escaped any horror stories!

Grayson's turn! He tried to take his mom's hair with him. And notice Avery in the background. Luke said she kept patting and stroking his face during the baptisms. I also noticed that she was singing what I think was Father Abraham, complete with hand motions.

he didn't cry at all, but was shocked at the first application of water
my sister set up an Easter egg hunt for Avery on Sunday afternoon, and we've been hiding eggs for her  over and over  after this event

Eleanor's reaction to grass...not a fan

E is still not a fan

sweet sisters

checking out her loot...some stickers, M&Ms, coins, and later came some green money and some necklaces

me and my favorite youngest child. I'm never in the photos, since I take them, so I made Luke snap one of us

And, a bit of trivia. I have 1,953 unread items in my Google reader as of 2:15 pm today. I have a few more posts coming, for Eleanor's 6 and 7 months and Avery's 3rd birthday. It might take me all week to get them done, but check back soon!