Sunday, December 16, 2012

Celebrating Avery

This weekend we celebrated Avery's 2nd birthday. We decided to have a small family-only party this year just to keep things simple and cheap. However, living far from family and the fact that Avery's birthday is close to Christmas prevented many of our family from being able to celebrate with us. We are thankful for those that were able to come.

Avery had such a fun time! She loved that her cousins' Nathan and Nolan got to come.

I always said that I would NEVER make a birthday cake, but that I would buy one instead. Well, I decided that I would try a very simple monkey cake that I found on Martha Stewart's website. My mom, who ALWAYS made us birthday cakes, was there to help out. Although one ear was a little bigger than the other, it turned out pretty cute. Avery loved her monkey cake too. It was worth the trouble to see her little face light up.

Avery loved all of her presents. The poor girl was due for some new toys. Having a birthday in December doesn't really work in her favor. She has pretty much been playing with the same toys she got last year at this time. If you have a little girl who likes babies, let me suggest "Baby Stella." She has barely put the doll down since she opened it. It has a magnetic paci, removable clothes and diapers, and is light and easy for little arms to hold. I picked it up at Brilliant Sky in Cool Springs.

Matt and I couldn't be more thankful for the sweet little girl God put in our lives. We can't imagine the last two years without her.

I am sure we will do a little more celebrating on Tuesday, her actual birthday. Maybe I will catch her on video saying that she is almost 2. It is too cute not to share.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Almost Two (In Pictures)

A few weeks ago we got some pictures made of Avery, who will be two years old in December. I realized today that I had not posted any of them because we were busy traveling and visiting with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. These were my absolute FAVORITE pictures from the CD of about 60 that I get to keep. Laurel, as always, does an amazing job. If you are in the Franklin/Nashville/Brentwood area and need some photos, I would definitely recommend her! You can check out her work at

She loves to say "cheese" when getting her picture taken.

Avery was a little disappointed because I told her we were going to play. She thought I meant play at the park (slide, swing, and so forth). 

 Beautiful smile!

Avery LOVES her "yabbie" as she calls it. 

We finally got her to "play" in the leaves. These are some of my FAVORITE pictures.

I love the excitement on her face!

SO excited!

Should I really take another step into the puddle?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

23 Months

Well, we are just one month away from having a two-year-old! Avery is growing each day. I am thankful for the time I get to spend with her. It seems as though daily, Matt and I are just amazed at something she says or does. We have had a busy month with fun fall activities.

We spent a Saturday afternoon at the Walden Farm pumpkin patch where Avery enjoyed petting and feeding the sheep, goats, chickens, and so forth. She loves animals. Sometimes she is a little aprehensive about getting too close. But as long as her daddy was right there with her, she was having fun.

She loves to climb, and flip, and jump. She is a very active little girl, as I am sure most toddlers are. She always requests to do flips with her daddy. She pretty much has no fear of falling.

Avery is checking out the BIG orange pumpkins. We have been working a little bit on colors lately. She makes me laugh every time because she automatically says green and purple when I ask her what color something is. 

Avery was such a DOLL in her Halloween costume this year. She really was a good sport about wearing it. Do you see the apple she has in her mouth? I have to say that unlike her parents, she chose the apple over the candy that she got. Way to go Avery! 

Avery loves to paint and do things herself. She continues to be very independent. We have fun occasionally making little pieces of art together.

Look at the picture we made of the Mayflower! 

Avery spoke her first full sentence just yesterday. We were putting up the Christmas tree and she said "I want it now." She was wanting to play with some of the Christmas decorations that were still stashed away in the plastic containers. She has lots to say these days and always seems to be talking or "practicing" by repeating words and phrases over and over and over. 

I am leaving you with this short little video. My mom sent Avery a book, and I just love the reaction she had when she opened it up!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Avery: 22 Months

Since this has basically become Avery's baby book, I am going to finish up the monthly posts about Avery's growth and development until the age of two. Only a few more months to go!

Here is our little helper. She got to help her dad with a little home improvement project this month. We have really been working a little bit on teaching Avery to help clean up her toys and messes. If I give her a wipe, she will clean the table after she eats. She has also started signing the "clean up song" as she picks up her toys. (When she feels like it, of course.)

Some days she looks/acts SO grown up. She is wearing mostly 18-24 month clothing and size 5 shoes. She is so determined these days to zip up her PJ's and pull up her own pants. She quickly gets frustrated when I try to do it for her. She is a very independent little girl.

Avery loves to laugh. She has really been doing some funny things lately. One thing that makes me laugh most is when she helps me read the book, "Moo, Baa, La La La." The first line of the book says: "A cow says MOO." She reads (has memorized) the MOO part and says it so loud that our neighbors downstairs can probably hear her. (We live in a condo. I am sure our neighbors LOVE that a toddler lives above them.) Anyway, we read the whole book that way. Maybe I will catch it on video soon, because it is seriously the cutest thing EVER!

Here is our sneaky little girl. When she gets quite, you have to see what she is up to. Otherwise, Avery is quite the little talker. Lately she has been putting several words together. Matt and I are really good at toddler language, although she speaks pretty clearly.

We went to the apple orchard a little too late in the season. So here is Avery with her apple that we bought from the orchard (even though we didn't get to pick it).

Avery really enjoys painting. Here she is painting a pumpkin. Gotta keep the little one busy ya know! I thank the Lord every day for Pinterest. Really ya'll, some days it is a lifesaver! I have kept her busy with little craft project ideas I have pinned.

Happy 22 months sweet Avery! I can't wait to see how you grow and change this next month.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sand, Seashells, and Sleep

A little over a month ago we went on a much needed vacation to Destin, FL. It was Avery's first vacation, unless you include our trips to the state of Arkansas.

We stayed at Destin West on Okaloosa Island on the bay side and LOVED it. It was perfect for our family. Right off our balcony was a lazy river, which Avery didn't love. I guess a lazy river isn't very appealing to a busy toddler. However, there was also a zero entry pool which Avery really enjoyed. One of her favorite things to do was push the big tubes back and forth through the pool. 

Just like her mom, Avery doesn't like to get her feet dirty. I do like sand though. We learned very quickly that Avery didn't like the sand AT ALL. She preferred to sit in her chair with her feet up.

Once we did get her to stand in the sand, she would curl her little toes under. PRECIOUS. Actually, I think this was the only time she stood on the beach. She did learn a new word though and practiced the word sand by saying it over and over again. 

Each time we walked by this lovely dolphin statue, Avery would stop and say "hi." 

At the end of the week, my parents joined us for a few days. 

Matt and I decided to take advantage of having the grandparents around, so we woke up early one morning to hunt for seashells. We ended up walking a LOOOONG way down the beach. I am pretty sure doing that every day would have me in shape in no time!

The last night we went out to the fishing pier on Okaloosa Island. 

 We all enjoyed relaxing and getting some extra sleep throughout the week. I am pretty sure it was one of the most relaxing weeks in years, even with a toddler to keep up with. 

 This is the ONLY family picture I found on the camera. I hope to make this more of a priority in the future. 

Beautiful. The End.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Avery - 21 Months

Avery is now 21 months old. Matt and I feel like she has really grown up this past month. Her face is changing and her hair keeps getting longer and a little thicker. She is looking more like a little girl each day.

Avery has been doing a lot of new little things lately. She is starting to open some of the doors in our place. She loves to open the bathroom door (that is always fun) and the pantry door (and then she proceeds to drag out her favorite snacks). I am not looking forward to her being tall enough to open the front door.

Lately, Avery has been "reading" books herself. She loves this little book her Mimi bought her "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." She pulls it off the bookshelf, "reads" the book, and quickly shuts it and says "the end" in a cute high-pitched Avery voice.

If you didn't already know, Avery owns/has lots of possessions. Almost everything is "Avery's _________." Even the stairs outside the front door of our condo belong to her. When she says it, she taps her hand to her chest to show us that she is talking about herself.

Avery has several new favorite words this month. I am not sure where she picked them up (probably Matt), but she loves to say "see ya" instead of "bye." She also uses the word "awesome." When your kids start picking up words, it really makes you evaluate how you speak. At least she isn't using the term "ya'll."

Our sweet little girl has been escaping from the straps of her car seat lately. How tight do you have to get them to make sure the kiddos keep their little arms in those straps? 

Just like her Aunt Alicia, Avery loves shoes! She recently got some hand-me-downs from her cousin Kylie. She will sit for 20-30 minutes putting the shoes on and taking them off. She is doing great putting on shoes though and most of the time gets them on right. Sometimes she even likes to try on her Mommy's shoes.

Matt and I really like this age. Avery is a lot of fun, loves to make us laugh, and is super sweet most of the time. Just like all toddlers, she still has her "did-she-really-just-do-THAT?!" moments. I am pretty sure she picked up a baby frog out of the water on our vacation. YUCK!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Avery: 20 months

A little over a week ago, Avery turned 20 months old. Seriously, time is flying by. Every month I am amazed at how much she seems to "grow up." This past month she started trying to put on her own clothes. At any moment in the day, she will go to her drawer and pull out ALL of her shorts and shirts. Then, she will try them on. One day she did get her shirt on right all by herself the right way. 

I decided one night that I would let Avery help us make a pizza. Here she is "helping" her dad put on the spinach. She is such a good little helper.

When we went to Northwest Arkansas to visit her Bibi and Pop, we went to a splash park in Bentonville. She wasn't a huge fan at all. However, she did enjoy sitting on Bibi and Pop's deck and listening to the birds say "tu tweet." 

Avery got some really great hand-me-down toys from her cousin Kylie. One of her favorites is the baby doll and baby bed. Every night Avery likes to put the doll in the bed, cover its face with the blanket, and say "shhhhhhh" while she rocks the baby to sleep. She gives the baby kisses and then is usually ready for bed herself. I guess I need to teach her that putting a blanket over the baby's face could hurt the baby. Ha! She also loves this little DOLL swing. Don't you just love her expression in this picture?

Avery loves to help me do laundry too. I get a good arm workout by lifting her up as she puts each piece of clothing into the washer. It does take longer, but she just loves to help me do chores. When we are done, she insists on carrying this basket back to its "home" all by herself. 

It is such a blessing to be home with her these days. We go to the park a lot, have been to the zoo, hang out with friends, go to story time at the library, play, and run errands. Even though I love a schedule and to-do list, this more relaxed schedule just fits our family right now.