really, really sitting, like for 15 minutes on her own. i'm so excited for her to hit this milestone as i know how much she was wanting to be able to sit and play on her own.
it seemed to happen on monday. we've been practicing for a while now but she woke up on monday, i set her down sitting up, and for once she didn't topple over. she does fall every once in a while although she has pretty good balance and usually falls when she's sick of sitting and is ready to do something else or when she grabs onto a bag of chips that charlie's eating and he yanks it away from her because he forgets that she's a baby. right charlie? :)
she's been much happier playing on her own now and can entertain herself for much, much longer than she could before. i'm really enjoying this tim when she can sit independently but isn't crawling and getting into things yet. i think we'll have to move pretty quickly on baby proofing the house!
she was a little unsure of what was going on at first and kept a pretty tight grip on my arm the whole time.
things have been so busy lately.
work, moving, trying to get things unpacked and this house livable, and trying to keep up with a baby make for a pretty full life.
i feel like i'm often torn between playing with avery or doing something productive.
while we're still getting things done (we painted the family room!) i always make sure that i spend some time just hanging out with avery. no phone, no computer, no work, no house stuff just a. because there will always be laundry to do but my daughter will only be this old, just this once. and that's not something i want to miss out on.
a few days after the move and we are still living among boxes but we've survived and i think everyone's adjusted to the new place and we're slowly settling in.
the dogs have definitely adjusted to having a backyard as have the cats. and avery had no problem at all with sleeping in her new room.
the first night we were in the place charlie kept waking up every few hours, worried that avery was crying. we have a monitor in our room but he was convinced that somehow it wasn't working. he kept getting up and checking on her, only to find her sound asleep. finally at 4:30 he went and got her and brought her in with us.
hangin' out in bed one morning.
we still have a bunch of boxes to unpack and some painting to do but it's slowly starting to feel like home, which is something i was worried about before we actually moved in.
okay i say this every day but she's so cute. the eyes! the lips!
alex has been visiting us this week!
it's been so nice to see her, so nice to have some help with avery, and so nice to have family spend some time with the kiddo. one thing i've noticed is that if alex is holding her and she wants me to hold her she'll reach her arms out towards me. melt.my.heart. i know she's a fan of me but it's definitely nice to have some solid proof.
i think she's a pretty big fan of her 'cool' aunt, though.
it's been so helpful to have another set of hands around the house. and so nice to spend some time with my sister.
well kid, this month was a crazy one. we closed on our house and moved into our new home! this meant we moved out of your first and only home that you've ever had. we were really busy this month but you were a total trooper. you had no problems with being in a new house and act like we've always lived here.
you have been so.much.fun this month! you laugh, you play, you love your dad and i and the dogs, and you love to go out and do things. i love watching you grow and figure more and more things out each day. it's so fun watching you explore the world. you love to be sitting and standing and although you can't do either on your own yet you're working really hard at both of them. you're still waking up once a night and to be honest, i like that you do. 12 hours without snuggling with you is just too long.
sit on the front porch
kick off your shoes
we don't need nowhere to go
we don't need a tune
singing, hold my loving arms
my loving arms are for you
i said, hold my loving arms
my loving arms are for you
love you, ave. i'm looking forward to many new adventures with you this month.
i have this thought maybe like 5 times a day, that i am so in love with my life right now.
i love our little family. i love watching this girl grow up and experience new things each day. i love watching charlie with her. i love how every day there's something new for her and therefore something new for me, too. i love that she makes me forget about all the things i should be doing and enjoy the very moment that i'm in. i love when, after playing by herself for a while, she looks up at me and gives me a huge grin. i love our daily routine, so simple but so satisfying. i love that right now i can fix just about anything that is wrong in her world. i love our midnight snuggles and i love that i wake up to her talking to herself instead of an alarm clock.
sometimes life gets busy. but we are so, so lucky because even when we're busy we're still blessed with more time together than most families are. i love the days when charlie's working at home and my two coworkers are my husband and my daughter. it's a pretty special thing and although i end up doing work at 8 pm at night, i wouldn't change a thing. and because i have no illusions that this will last forever, i am so thankful for this phase in our lives.
i know i've mentioned that avery's a huge fan of ollie and that he's by far her favorite animal of the house. but she's really into all of them, toby aside because he's a cranky cat. side story: the other day i sat down in the chair near toby and he got up and walked away, not surprising. i called his name and he stopped, turned his head and looked at me and hissed. for no reason. see? mean.
anyway, ollie and the dogs are doing fine with the baby. henry's gotten over his jealousy from the beginning and both of the dogs will greet her when we come home from places and give her the occasional lick or sniff just to say hi. she's really into feeling different things right now, the couch! the pillow! the stroller! the blanket! and the animals are a favorite because they're so soft. occasionally i'll get down on the floor with her next to them and just let her pet them for a bit. dunkin usually lasts longer because he's dunkin and will do just about anything that charlie or i ask of him. she was petting him tonight and got tired and decided just to lay her head down on him and rest for a bit. pretty much the sweetest thing i've ever seen.
before i was pregnant and before we were even thinking about having kids charlie used to say, 'we have to have kids before dunkin dies'. i'm pretty sure it's because of moments like this. he is such a great dog and i hope that avery grows up to have the same appreciation for animals that we do. as much as i love my baby(and believe me the dogs don't come anywhere close to that) i love the dogs, too, and i can't imagine a home without a dog.
... a lazy saturday morning with my 2 favorite people.
... a glass of wine.
... dogs. they're fabulous company.
... drinking a cup of coffee before it gets cold.
... a movie on a friday night.
... folded laundry.
... the smell of cut grass.
... my snuggly, sweet cat.
... and the mean one, too.
... a half empty house and a half full one, too.
... a new kitchen (to us) with so many cabinets.
... a mowed lawn. this feels weird to say.
... afternoon walks with avery and the dogs.
... how our neighbors already want to come over and play with the dogs. (they're 10).
... avery's new room. it's pink. i cannot believe i did that.
... when charlie gets home from a work trip.
... watching charlie play with avery.
... van morrison. he's saved our evenings lately.
... continuing the trend of monthly visitors.
... watching henry play in his backyard. and (hopefully) chase away all the rabbits.
... vacation plans for 2012 and 2013!
i'm sure i'll be saying this more throughout the next few months but, it's amazing how much of a difference paint makes. we've had our bedroom, the master retreat (which will be the office), avery's room and two bathrooms painted. and those rooms feel a million times better.
my bedroom would have to be my favorite. we went with a light grey and then did one shade lighter in the master retreat. and we also had any trim in the room painted white from cream/beige, which made a HUGE difference.
the lighting is a little weird in these pictures and they all were taken with a phone so they're not the best quality but this was the previous color, which personally i think was extremely ugly.
the master retreat was one shade lighter.
this room looks so much brighter in person than it did before. and it's also pretty nice to have those shelves and mirror taken down.
this is actually a more accurate picture of the color in the room before.
we had avery's room painted pink.
i wanted something super, super, super light. like so light you can't really tell it's pink but it didn't work out so well. when i had the paint mixed i asked them to only put in half the color, which they did but it still looked really bright. then i bought some white paint and asked the painter to cut the pink with 50% white. it still is pretty pink. but i'm not repainting anytime soon so she'll just have to live with a pink room.
and here's the front of the room which is probably a more accurate picture of the color.
i'm planning on painting her current bookshelf a charcoal grey and getting some grey and while curtains this room which hopefully will tone down some of the pink.
and here's the upstairs bathroom. we also had the half bath/laundry room painted the same color but i haven't take any picture of that yet.
and here's what it was before.
we used all zero voc paint. we had the bedroom and the bathroom color matched to the olympic brand (at lowes) which i had heard really good things about. avery's room and the trim paint was behr's which was actually a paint/primer combo from home depot. i have yet to do any painting aside from slapping some on the wall to look at the color when we first got it but the painters mentioned that the olympic brand was a bit thicker and coated better than the behr brand. they're both the same price so for future painting i think we'll go to lows. they are both a bit more expensive than either lowe's or home depot brands but still competitive with the name brands.
we still have a lot of painting left to do. we're having the people who did these few rooms do our living room as well since it has really tall ceilings but we'll do the family room, kitchen, basement, third bedroom, and our bath ourselves. eventually.
i feel like i haven't dedicated an entire post to my daughter lately and that's just crazy.
i feel like this month is flying by. between work, the move, and the fact that charlie's been traveling like crazy we've been bouncing from one thing to the next and i feel like most of my time is spent doing things other than playing with avery. i was just telling charlie the other day that i feel bad because when i'm working she never gets my full attention. i'm always moving her from the bumbo to the jumparoo to her playmat and trying to distract her with toys while i get things done. even when i'm feeding her i'm usually answering emails on my blackberry. and with the house stuff lately our weekends have been much of the same. i'm really looking forward to at least having all of our stuff in the house and not feeling an immediate need to do things. in fact after we're moved in (and out) i'd like to take an entire day and do nothing but hang out as a family. i think we could all benefit from that.
anyway, avery is loving her jumparoo or as one of our friends called it the 'neglect-a-saucer'. she loves to stand and she can entertain herself for a while in it. i have it right next to our kitchen table where i work so she's right next to me which seems to let her last a bit longer in it, too.
one of the other places she hangs out a lot is in the bumbo. she sits in there when i make coffee in the morning, when i cook, and when i work. if i'm doing something in the kitchen she's usually entertained enough by whatever i'm doing but when i work she likes to play with various toys. usually we'll go through about 5. she'll play with one for a bit, throw it on the floor and then i'll give her another one. she can do this pretty happily for about 15 minutes at a time before she wants something completely different.
about a week ago i noticed that she was getting really bored with the toys that she has. before she would play with them for several minutes but she was getting to the point where she wouldn't even grab them when they were offered to her. so i 'shopped' the house for other things we had around that she could play with just to mix it up a bit. we've added a wooden spoon, a tupperware lid, a baby bottle cap, and a few pacifiers to our rotation. her current favorite is the tupperware lid but i'm sure that will change shortly. we also have a few frozen tethers that she likes. i'm not sure that she's really teething right now but i think she likes that they're cold and therefore something different because once they warm up she seems to lose interest.
to keep her entertained during the day i've also been working outside on the balcony. she loves being outside and that usually works as a good change when she starts to get really bored.
she still loves ollie. between how loud he is and how soft he is he's definitely the current winner as far as animals go. the other day the three of us took a nap on the couch and when avery woke up she spent the next 10 minutes playing with his tail. he's a pretty tolerant cat. i just hope he stays that way when she gets a little older and rougher.
speaking of getting rough, she's getting strong! and she likes to hit people in the face. we've started working on 'gentle' and 'no' although she has no clue what either of those words mean and just gets mad when she can't smack you repeatedly in the face.
she's also started doing the crocodile roll when we change her diaper which has made diaper changes pretty fun. this is definitely where the word 'no' would come in handy but again she has no idea what that means. she just starts her high pitched whine when we won't let her roll herself off the changing table. the other thing she's really into is grabbing her toes while we change her. this has proven much more helpful then rolling around.
she loves standing, especially in her crib. i think it's because she can hold on to the bars but she can entertain herself for a while like that. she likes to add some high pitched screams into the mix as well.
when she gets upset the one thing that's guaranteed to cheer her up, or at least distract her for a few minutes, is this 'happy happy baby' song that i made up. i'm sure i sound like a fool but she doesn't seem to care.
she's grabbing onto anything and everything and most things end up in her mouth. she's gotten a lot better with her hand/eye coordination and can now grab smaller things, like the string on my sweatshirt and moving objects, like ollie's twitching tail. she's also getting a lot stronger and when she lays on her playmat she can now pull the entire thing down so that she can shove the toys in her mouth.
overall she's such a happy baby and i feel so fortunate that i get to spend as much time with her as i do. i can't imagine life any other way right now. bonding with this little person has to be one of the best things that i've ever gotten to experience. i'm thankful that she's been so patient with us this month and looking forward to some simpler, slower days ahead.
she may be growing but she still needs a box to stand on.
... i'm pretty sure avery's been going through a growth spurt. she's been eating every 2 to 2.5 hours during the day, sleeping really long stretches at night, and napping like a champ. i could really get used to this nap schedule.
... it's raining! again. which means maybe our grass won't die? we'll see. also, i have realized that i can no longer drive in the rain. it was raining really hard on monday, which happens about twice a year, and i was going 40 on the highway just like everyone else from colorado. driving in the snow? no problem. driving in the rain? completely incapable.
... we're moving in one week! one week! we really should pack.
... every day avery takes a nap in the moby wrap and it's one of my favorite times of day. her other favorite nap spots are her crib (finally!) and the stroller.
her favorite way to sleep. face down.
... my other favorite times are when she wakes up in the middle of the night, 2:30 because it's when i 'get off' work, 4 pm when we go for our walk, and from about 7:30 to 9:30 when she's sleeping and charlie and i get some alone time.
... i'm really going to miss our current neighborhood. i love my daily walks and the fact that there's some shade during the summer. but there's plenty of paths and trails by our new house so we'll have to find a new daily walk.
... avery's gotten into a schedule during the day (especially work days when i'm home). i never really tried too hard to force her into but she's sort of developed this on her own. she wakes up around 7 am, eats and then plays until 9 when she takes a nap for about 45 minutes, she eats when she wakes up, plays for a bit and then takes another nap in the moby around 11:30, she usually wakes up around 12:30 and eats again. then she's up for a bit until she eats around 2:30 and takes another short nap, she'll play until 4 when we go for a walk and nap for about half of it, she eats again at 5 and is then up until 7 when it's bathtime and bedtime. she'll usually sleep until midnight when she wakes up again to eat and then goes back to sleep until 7.
... i'm feeling a bit better about the house situation right now. after we closed we'd be over at the house and all i could think of was how it didn't feel nice or homey and how much i was going to miss our apartment. we hired someone to paint our bedroom and avery's bedroom because i finally realized that there was no way we were going to get the painting done and pack up our house with a 4 months old. anyway we went by the house today to drop off some stuff and the rooms look 100 times better than what they did. it's amazing what a few cans of paint can do.
01. trying to work on a house with a baby while there's nothing in the house is virtually impossible.
charlie and i spent all weekend either at the house or running to various home improvement stores. there's nothing currently in the house but i was hoping to clean a few things, get the rooms ready to be painted, and charlie's mainly focused on the outside. it is literally impossible to get much of anything done. also i fed my daughter more times in the car this weekend than i did anywhere else. and the only places she's napped are in her carseat or in the ergo carrier because we haven't been home for her to nap anywhere else. on the plus side it rained a lot today and the grass is looking less brown than it was a few days ago.
02. i caved and bought a jumparoo.
avery wants to be sitting or standing at all times now which is sort of hard to do when i'm working all day. i've been debating about getting one because before the baby i was all 'i refuse to live in a house of plastic toys'. but i needed somewhere else for her to play during the day. it took me about an hour to assemble but once it was put together i let her test it out. although she's still a bit small for it (yes, that's a box she's 'standing' on) she liked it a lot. i'm hoping this lasts.
03. henry loves his backyard.
we've been bringing the dogs with us to the house and just as i suspected henry loves having a yard and dunkin could care less. henry's spent hours out there by himself hunting for rabbits and birds and dunkin spends hours glued to our side. typical.
04. charlie is in telluride right now.
i'm beyond jealous. he sent me this picture once he got there.
05. we're planning a trip to hawaii next year.
a free trip. after buying things like ladders and paint we don't exactly have a lot of money left over for tickets to hawaii but we're going to cash in charlie's credit card rewards which should get us two tickets to the island and 7 days at a martiott. since we haven't had a real vacation since we came out to colorado on my spring break 4 years ago, and even then we spent half the time looking at apartments, we're both pretty excited about it. we wanted to go before avery turns two and we'll be stuck buying her a plane ticket.
06. we took henry to home depot on saturday.
he kept trying to eat the fertilizer in the gardening section.
07. avery loves playing in her crib.
she totally cracks me up because she loves to stand and scream.
08. i finally started cloth diapering on a regular basis.
i'm sort of mad at myself that it took me this long because it is super easy and i love it. i also love all the money we're going to save from not buying disposables. basically, the money spent on cloth diapers is equal to the money we spent per month on disposables. and we can use the cloth ones for years and for multiple kids. crazy.
09. the moby wrap saved me last week.
i used this all the time when avery was just a little thing but i'm loving it even more now when i'm working. sometimes she just wants to be close to me and this makes her happy and lets me get things done. she also loves to nap in here.
10. this sweatshirt has been a lifesaver.
it's pretty much the only warm thing i have that fits her right now. plus she looks adorable in it.
i mentioned we closed on the house on monday but between charlie being gone, work, and that girl named avery, today was the first day that we made it over to the house. we were meeting some people in the morning for estimates but we were also trying to figure out exactly what we needed to get done before we moved in. now if you want the short version, there's a lot to do. if you want the long version, keep reading.
so things that we need to get done prior to moving in:
1. repainting: the master bedroom, avery's room, the half bath, full bath upstairs, and preferably the entire first level. basically, the entire house except for the basement and the third bedroom. both really need to be repainted but since we're not immediately using those rooms i figure we can get to it eventually.
2. replacing the floors: the carpets are gross. really gross. we're hoping to do hardwood on the first floor because it's so much cleaner and then just replace the carpet in the bedrooms. unfortunately i realized after looking at carpet that the carpet i like is the most expensive. go figure.
3. installing a radon mitigation system: the radon levels in the house was 0.6 picocuries above the action level, which is practically nothing. the good news is that with levels that low after installing a mitigation system the levels in the house should be at or below outdoor levels. and we're also installing a radon barrier. people think we're a little crazy.
charlie is currently obsessed with the outside of the house, which while it definitely needs a lot of work i'm more worried about getting the inside ready to move in and somehow getting all of our stuff a mile up the road.
i'm sure our neighbors already think we're crazy because this is what they saw today. we showed up at the house in the morning with a dog and a baby. the second i let henry out of the car he spotted a rabbit three houses down and took off after it. already we're the neighbors with the bad dog. i got him back and stuck him in the yard where he whined. after a bit we left and went to home depot and came back with carload of random things. so clearly we're the people who have never had a house before. one of the things i wanted to do (eventually) was cut down some of the shrubs in front of the house. we got some clippers at home depot and started to cut the bushes down. after about 3 minutes they broke. charlie spent the next 30 minutes sitting on our front porch trying to fix them. with a hammer. we finally left. charlie returned the clippers at home depot and we went to lowes to buy paint and a lawnmower. charlie came back with more clippers. cut one of the 3 shrubs down from about 5 feet to about 2 feet. and then left.
we met our neighbors that live next to us who seem nice. the guy came over and introduced himself and we talked for a bit. henry of course was quite excited to see another person and at one point i thought he said to henry 'i must smell like parrot'. i figured it was an expression. then later we were attempting to figure out the sprinkler system which meant that charlie, avery, henry, and i were all crowded around behind some bushes and our neighbor walked out to grab the mail, with a parrot perched on his shoulder. well henry looked up and his eyes lit up like a kid on christmas morning. a bird! so close! luckily i grabbed his collar, but then our neighbor looked up and saw us and henry and said 'oh, i'll put the bird back in the house'. very odd. we're lucky our first meeting didn't end with henry eating his bird.
now for some 'before' pictures of this house. they're pretty terrible because they were taken with my phone while i was holding an avery.
there are three shrubs in front of the house.
the right one is now about 2 feet tall. the rest have yet to be chopped.
the living room.
it is tiny, really tiny. like 13 x 13.
the curtains must go and we're hoping to have hardwood in this room. and brighter paint.
hoping to put hardwood in here as well.
not a huge fan of the backsplash but whatever. the sellers left the island which was nice since we were planning on getting one anyway.
the half bath.
this is a half bath/laundary room.
we're repainting this a green/yellow. grellow.
dead grass, weeds, and overgrown bushes.
charlie pulled the weeds.
half of the bath upstairs.
brown was not a good color in here.
part of the master retreat.
the sellers used this as a closet. we're going to use it as our office.
we need to take the shelves down before we paint. i'm not a huge fan of the orange/yellow in here.
master bedroom and a henry.
same color as the retreat.
the sellers had a son a few months older than ave. they were moving back to st. louis to be close to their family.