Tuesday, July 31, 2012

a little baby love.


yes this picture is out of focus, but this is an avery hug.

the hugs are few and far between.  mostly when she's feeling very affectionate i'll get the 'love slap'.  basically she pounds on my chest as hard as possible, sort of the way you'd lovingly slap a horse on the neck.  and then there's the times when she's super sleepy, almost asleep, and she'll force her eyes open one more time and give me the biggest smile before closing them for good.  it's pretty much the best thing ever and most definitely makes up for those days when she wakes up at 6 am.

i love you too, baby girl.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

lately ...

july6 july5 july4 july3 july2 july1

some of these are old but i don't want to forget about them.  here's what we've been up to in july.

1.  avery eating outside. love summer.
2.  buddha belly.
3.  new shelves in the guest bathroom = a place for toilet paper.
4.  henry searching for rabbits.
5.  we got blocks!
6.  watching the thunderstorm.
7.  eating a strawberry: the beginning
8.  eating a strawberry: the end
9. playing with the fat cat.
10.  a sleeping baby.  my favorite thing.
11.  my flexible girl.
12. bed head.
13.  making baby food,
14.  lounging on the cat.  she thinks this is hysterical.  i think it tickles.
15.  a sad baby.
16.  waiting for dad in the car.
17.  swinging with grandma.
18.  grilling in the rain.
19.  good summer wine.
20.  silly kid.
21.  hanging with her cousin at the pool.
22.  watching the fish at the zoo.
23.  blueberry pie and ice cream
24.  possibly my favorite picture. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

a catchup.

this past month has been amazing and so busy.  we've had a full guest room for the past 4 weekends in a row, which has made for some fun times, house progress, and a month that flew by.  

after our trip to telluride we came home and my parents were already at our house.  they stayed for a week and were so helpful in getting things done with the house, playing with avery, and it was really nice to see them.  i know avery loved them and was sad to see them go especially since they gave her so much attention and pretty much catered to her every need.  we were sad to see them leave, too, especially when we had to go back to work without our amazing babysitters with us.

avery with her grandpa.

while they were here we painted the basement ceiling (the basement was previously cream with a tan ceiling and trim), cut down the dead aspen tree in our backyard, weeded our back garden, and attempted to weed the garden on the side of the house, and made the curtains for avery's room, and hung the curtains in our family room.  i use the term "we" very loosely here as most of this work was done by my parents and charlie.  in fact the only things i did were make the curtains for avery's room, which involved cutting the bottom and ironing on a hem, and organizing her clothes.

before mom weeded.  :)
before the weeding

Thanks mom for weeding all of this.
and after.  big difference.

the weekend after they left we had a friend stay with us who was in town for work.  he helped charlie paint the basement on saturday and also helped us fix a few things around the house.  charlie's been working on painting the rest of the basement (the trim and doors) and we're almost finished.  even though i don't know what we'll do with that space i'll be so happy to have that done so we can clean out the garage and finally move things into storage.  

we ordered a couch for the living room and i'm painting another bookshelf that we already had for that room, which hopefully will get finished by the weekend.  right now we're just trying to finish the things that are taking up space in the garage, like the bookshelf and unpacked boxes, so that we can actually use it for our cars.  i refuse to have a garage that doesn't fit two cars in it.  especially in the wintertime.  

my sister-in-law and nephew also came to visit us last week and weekend and avery was completely in love with her cousin.  he's 9 months older than her but she was happy to watch him for hours.  we took them to the pool on saturday and the zoo on sunday.  they both really liked the pool and were mesmerized by the fish at the zoo.  it was a really hot day but still good to get out of the house and do something that was sort of fun for them and sort of fun for us.

cousins at the pool

getting ready to head home

avery was more impressed with her feet than the zoo animals.  she did manage to take an awesome nap while we were there, too.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

7 months.


i feel like this past month was a HUGE one for development.  you're changing really quickly and now that i think about everything that you've been doing it sort of makes sense that it would line up with terrible night time sleep.  we'll go with that excuse anyway.

i said that my goal this month was to soak in every moment and i really think i did just that.  it definitely helped that i had a week off this month to spend with family.  

this month has been a big one for babbling.  you've started saying consonants and your favorite is 'dada', go figure.  after all the hours i've spent with you over the past 7 months you'd think you could throw a measly 'mama' in my direction but apparently i'll have to hold out a bit longer for that one.  charlie tried to talk me into thinking that maybe you were saying 'dan' but i think he was grasping at straws with that one.  i've heard some ga's and ba's and mmmms in there, too which is a big change from previous months where all you would do is scream 'aaaaaaa' and blow raspberries.  you're still doing both of those although the 'dada dada' has become a favorite as well.  

you also drank out of a cup for the first time!

the biggest change this month has been introducing solids.  we've mostly done baby led weaning and mixed in some purees but you're a fan of doing things herself, which i've tried to let you do.  so far this month you've had apples, avocados, peaches, pears, sweat potatoes, plums, grapes, strawberries, and bananas.  i have not followed the 3 day rule at all as i really don't have the patience for that.  some of your favorites have been avocados, apple slices, and strawberries.  you've learned how to bite and chew and while the process has been a little scary at times, i think you've really enjoyed experimenting with different foods.  i made some pear, apple, and sweet potato purees and you have tried those as well, although i think you like the larger chunks of food better.  

you shows no signs of crawling and i sometimes wonder if you'll be one of those babies that goes straight to walking.  i still think we're pretty far from all of that but you are starting to lose patience with sitting in one place and the amount of time you'll happily sit and play at once is getting shorter.  you also pulled yourself up from sitting to standing for the first time just yesterday.  i think our days of a non-mobile baby are numbered.  


you still love being held although you're a squirmy baby when your in my arms.  you love to turn around and around, especially if you're sitting down.  

you did great when traveling in telluride, further proving my point that 2 of your favorite things are being within a foot of me at all times and seeing new places and things.  i also think you really enjoyed the time she had with your grandparents this month and it was a shock to us all when we had to go back to work and you didn't have someone to entertain you 24 hours a day.  

sleep is still our biggest challenge.  your naps are still completely inconsistent and i never know when i put you down for a nap if it's going to be 20 minutes long or an hour.  we really started to work on a nap routine and putting you down without nursing, which was getting better and then we went to telluride and regressed a lot in regards to naps.  you took all of your naps that trip in the ergo which made napping in her crib nearly impossible when we got back.  nighttime sleep has also gotten a lot worse.  where you were consistently waking up once a night to nurse and then going right back to sleep, you're now waking up 3-4 times a night.  i think it's a combination of growth (you really are eating more), teething, and wanting to sleep snuggled next to me.  as much as i love those nighttime snuggles i love sleep and i'm hoping you'll work this out soon so we don't have to look into sleep training. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

avery's room v.2


lots of versions lately.  
when you start looking for houses when your baby's 2 weeks old, you end up with multiple 'nurseries' for your daughter before she's even 6 months old.  when we finally bought this house i was so excited to finally live in a place where we could paint the walls.  avery's room was high on the priority list because i wanted a room where she could safely sleep.  sleep is also a high priority for me these days, which is why our bedroom and avery's bedroom were the two rooms i wanted painted before we moved into the house.  

we ended up hiring someone to paint a few rooms before we moved it.  something i feel slightly guilty about since we're perfectly capable of painting, but when we finally closed on our house i was freaking out because it was dirty and ugly and i had no idea how i was going to manage to pack our apartment, work, and fix up the house.  and honestly after trying to paint with a baby, something we've done plenty of after moving in, i'm glad that we had a few things done before moving in.  

i had a vision of a really, really pale pink room like so pale you almost can't tell it's pink.  that didn't work out at all.  i found a pink i liked, asked the paint mixing people in home depot to put in half of the color, and thought it would be good.  instead it ended up looking more pink then the chip so i bought some white and asked the painter to cut it with 50% white.  i still think it's too pink, but i'm getting over it.  

after the walls were done i wanted the other color i used in the room to be something that would tone down the pink a bit.  i ended up going with aqua, which i've really liked.  

all of the furniture was either in her previous room or something we had around the house.  i made a new crib skirt, curtains, and some art for the room. 


the crib skirt and the curtains i made from sheets i found at target.  i wanted a ruffled crib skirt this time since i thought it would hide some of the imperfections a little better.  it's not perfect but it looks a lot better than the first one i made her.

the canvas above her dresser is a quote from oh, the places you'll go by dr. seuss, which we read to her about a million times when she was a little bitty thing and we were trying to get her to fall asleep.  i hate the way it came out but love the quote.  she'll have to live with it until she can learn to talk and tell me she hates it, too.


the bookshelf is really the only furniture that's changed in her room.  we had this small one that was serving as extra storage space in our kitchen but no longer needed it in this house.  i didn't want to put that huge bookshelf in her room and i liked that this was white instead of an ugly blue that i need to repaint. i put only books on here that we reguarly read to her.  all of the other books, for when she's older and holiday books, will go on the bookshelf in the living room.  so many books.  not enough storage.

the three 'prints' above her crib.  the first was a quote i found on pinterest when i was pregnant and fell in love with.  the second is a print of 'star light, star bright'.  and the last is the lyrics to bob dylan's forever young.  i had those lyrics up in her other room and just changed the colors to go with this room.  i fell in love with that song a few years ago after watching parenthood and my dad actually gave us the lyrics at christmas time: completely coincidental but making them more meaningful.  i also sang that song to her about a million times during the first 2 months of her life when i was trying to get her to fall asleep.  well that and chicken fried by zac brown band.  there had to be some sort of balance.

overall i really like how the room turned out.  the curtains made the biggest difference and it was sort of fun decorating a room after knowing her for a bit to be able and fill it with things that are meaningful to her life and not just to us.

Monday, July 16, 2012

house things.

i've been meaning to set up something so that i could use this blog to track what we've done so far in the house and also to track what we have left to do.  i also figured it would be a good place to record paint colors and other things that we should have somewhere.  we moved into the house mid-may of 2012 and while it was definitely 'move in ready' we still had, and have, a lot to do before it really feels like home. we also don't want to do too much to it as we're definitely not planning on staying here forever and neither of us want to invest too much money that we won't get any sort of a return on.  

outside of the house

...  cut back shrubs
...  fixed sprinkler system
...  weeded backyard (thanks mom)
...  caulked and painted windows
... cut down dead aspen tree in front
...  power washed and re-stained deck

...  plant flowers (next year)
... really cut back big shrubs later this year.
...  weed garden, put up some rabbit proof fencing around, and plant
...  plant 2 trees in front
... paint house
... fix awning or remove and find another solution
...  remove/replace concrete patio in back
...  mud-jack the driveway

living room


...  painted moonshine by benjamin moore, color matched with behr no-voc paint in eggshell
...  replaced carpet with engineered hardwood (maple saddle)
... got a couch.
... painted second bookshelf and added to room for children's books.
... made curtains and purchased a rug

...   get (maybe) a chair
...  sell wine rack
...  artwork for room

family room


...  painted due grass by benjamin moore, color matched with behr no-voc paint in eggshell
...  replaced carpet with engineered hardwood (maple saddle)
...  removed blinds and replaced with curtains
...  re-caulked and painted window
... made picture ledges for the wall

... hem curtains
...  replace furniture for tv and hang ledge above tv


...  painted dune grass by benjamin moore, color matched with behr no-voc paint in eggshell
...  painted pantry door with chalkboard paint

... window treatment
... build table
... find chairs

laundry and half bath

...  painted sesame by benjamin moore, color matched with olympic no-voc paint in semi-gloss
...  replaced hooks for clothes and iron

...  hang pictures

[no pictures yet]
...  painted windham cream by benjamin moore, color matched with behr no-voc in eggshell
...  painted ceiling with behr low-voc ceiling paint
...  painted woodwork and doors white.

...  figure out what to do with the space

avery's room
read more about avery's room here.

... painted walls and trim (the walls were a variation of a color i found and then cut with 50% white.  basically i have no idea what color they really are but we used be hr's no voc paint in eggshell)
...  made curtains and cribskirt
... 'made' art for the walls
...  had the carpets cleaned

guest bedroom

... we've done nothing and have no plans to for a while.

... paint ceiling, walls, and trim eventually

second bath

...  painted sesame by benjamin moore color matched to olympic no-voc paint in semi-gloss
... painted trim and doors white
...  replaced towel bar with hooks
... hung floating shelves above toilet

... hang art

master bedroom

...  painted grey horse by benjamin moore, color matched to olympic no-voc paint in eggshell
... painted trim and doors
... made curtains.
... hung artwork.

master retreat/office

...  painted moonshine by benjamin moore, color matched to olympic no-voc paint in eggshell
...  painted trim and doors
...  removed original shelving units
...  baby proofed!  (no more wires!)

...  make/find curtains

master bath


...  we've done nothing here, either.
... removed hideous valance.

...  paint walls and trim
...  remove and towel racks

Saturday, July 14, 2012

cloth diapering v.1

6 months and chunky.  a flip cover and small prefold.

i mentioned way back when i was pregnant with avery that we were planning on cloth diapering and then i never said anything else about it.  i figured i would write a bit about what it's been like for us to cloth diaper a breastfed baby.  

i'm going to be completely honest.  i bought a cloth diaper stash, prepped all the diapers before avery came, and then .... didn't start cloth diapering until avery was 3.5 months old.  there were a few reasons for this.  the biggest was that i was nervous about diving into it all:  putting the diapers on, washing them, etc. was all overwhelming and the few times that i had tried when she was younger the diapers looked so big and bulky and just, not right, that i gave up and went back to using disposables.  i finally started because i spent a decent amount of money on the diapers and was beyond annoyed that i was wasting money by not using them.  

when i was pregnant i started researching cloth diapers and found that there were so many different options out there.  i honestly think this is great but also beyond overwhelming when you're trying to look into something.  also, a lot of diapers are expensive (some are over $20 a diaper) and if you've never done it before that can seem like a huge investment to make before you even know if a system is going to work out for you.  in the end i decided to go the cheapest route:  prefolds with PUL covers.  i bought 2 dozen small organic indian unbleached cotton prefolds from green mountain diapers and 6 thirsties duo covers in size one.  this is a way smaller 'stash' that anyone recommends starting out with but it's been the perfect amount for us.  

i hadn't planned on starting cloth diapering until avery's cord fell off and even then because the prefolds are so thick (something i love now) and avery was so tiny, they were huge on her.  i probably should have started with the newborn size or some fitteds, but again i had no idea what i was doing and was trying to save money and not invest in something she could only use for a few weeks.  

naked baby.
about 3.5 months old in a thirsties duo.  so small and so cute!

by the time i started when she was 3.5 months old and probably about 12 pounds the size one thirsties duo's were about maxed out in size.  i looked around for some different covers and ended up finding flips on sale at cotton babies (buy 2 get one free).  i ordered 6 of them and absolutely love them.  the thirsties covers i had were aplix closures and the flips i ordered are snaps and i have to say that i like the snaps much better.  i skip the pins and snappis and just trifold the prefold into the cover and then put the whole thing on like you would a disposable.  the small size refolds are still working really well at this point even though avery's way passed the size recommendation for them.  she's currently still using the middle rise on the flips so we'll see if we have to order some medium prefolds when she moves to the highest rise.    

for us i've found that the cloth diapers fit her better than disposables and we never have leaks or blowout with cloth.  i haven't tried a bunch of disposable brands (we've used 7th generation and earth's best) so there may be some out there that fit her better than the ones we've tried.

once we started the 2 dozen prefolds and 6 covers were more than enough and i do laundry about every third day.  i have two large planet wise wet bag that i throw dirty diapers in and wash with the diapers.  since avery was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, laundry was really easy.  i just threw the diaper in the wet bag, no rinsing or spraying necessary, and when laundry time came i dumped everything in the wash for first a cold rinse and then a hot wash with detergent.  as far as detergent goes i never bought special diaper detergent, but just use our regular stuff.  it's perfume and dye free and seems to do a great job of cleaning the diapers.  we've never had staining problems.  i don't dry the covers, but the bag and the prefolds go into the dryer.  

i originally had 3 reasons for cloth diapering.  
1.  it saves money.  
seriously.  a ton of money.  the amount of money i spent on our whole cloth diaper stash i less than it costs us to do 2 months in disposables.  crazy.  
 2.  it's better for the environment.  
i've heard quite a few arguments against this one, the biggest being energy usage.  and while i've never done the math i would say when you look at the energy used to manufacture all of those deposable diapers and then the money to package them and ship them to various stores and then think of the landfill space they're taking up, it really doesn't even seem close.  
3.  it's cotton on my baby.
avery has sensitive skin and had eczema when she was younger.  i think cotton has helped both of those issues.  

eating a peach in telluride.

i will say that we still use a disposable at night and when we travel.  4 days in telluride with no washer and dryer meant we brought a pack of disposables instead of figuring out a way to do cloth.  as far as night goes i just haven't quite ventured into that world yet.  i've looked at a lot of options and i haven't moved forward with anything yet.  i'm not ruling it out, but i'm not sure what direction we're going to go.  also, sometimes clothes are difficult to fit over the diaper.  certain brands are better and i actually think that boys clothes are better than girls.  whoever decided that babies should wear skinny jeans never had one.  summer is great because dresses and one-pieces are really easy and work well with cloth diapers.  plus, the diapers look pretty cute under a dress.  pants are the hardest and i have shopped in the boys section just to get wider pants.  

overall, i still get annoyed when i think that it took me so long to jump into cloth diapering but i've really enjoyed doing it.  while it's worked out for us, i think part of the reason that it's been successful is that we don't feel pressure to do it 100% of the time.  sometimes i don't get a chance to wash the diapers one night because i pick sleep over laundry and she spends a few hours the next day in disposables and that's fine with me.  i figure each diaper i do is making a difference but using a disposable is just fine, too.  

Friday, July 13, 2012


this sweet baby had her first strawberry today.

i'm not sure what was sweeter: watching her take bites while smashing red berry juice all over her face or the fact that she's now sleeping on my lap, wearing nothing but a diaper, and smelling like fresh strawberries.

it really is the little things.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

telluride v.2


charlie and i knew that we were going to try and get away for a few days the week of july 4.  we figured we'd take advantage of the holiday in the middle of the week and  take some time off without missing an entire week of work.  we debated about where to go as this would be avery's first trip and i was a little worried about how she would do in the car for an extended period of time.  charlie was pushing for telluride and i couldn't come up with a better alternative.  it was a long drive, 6.5 hours, but we both loved it there and knew it would be easy to get around with the baby and the dogs.

Parked puppies.
yes, henry is staring at the wall.

we made reservations at the same place we stayed at a few years ago, which is actually in mountain village, a town just up the mountain from telluride.  we knew the place was nice and dog friendly and there's a free gondola that connects mountain village to telluride so we didn't have to drive anywhere once we got there. we actually got a pretty decent deal on a room and then got upgraded from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom when we got there since they had overbooked the 1 bedrooms.  
Mountain Village.
where we stayed.  i miss that view already.

He loved those stairs.
henry loved the spiral stairs.

he also loved the view from the balcony.

we left late on saturday after charlie drove his mom to the airport.  avery did pretty well in the car.  we stopped once for me to feed her and get some gas and this was about the same time as her normal, before bed feeding.  she screamed for about a hour after that before passing out and sleeping the rest of the way there.  

random side note:  we were talking with some people in telluride and they asked how she did on the drive out.  when i said 'pretty good, she only cried for about an hour' they said "you know you're a parent when you consider an hour of crying 'pretty good'".

we got there at about 11 pm on saturday, which was probably harder for us than avery.  and she didn't sleep well at all that night.  i think the long car ride combined with being up in the middle of the night once we got to the hotel was hard for her.  she spent most of that night in our bed and was completely up for the day at 6 am, which was not that fun.  we dragged ourselves out of bed and took the gondola down from mountain village to telluride and went to the butcher and baker for breakfast.  it's amazing, local, organic food and we got a spot outside so the dogs could sit with us and beg for food.


we went back to the hotel and avery and i took a three hour nap, which was much needed.  of course i could happily nap every day unlike my baby.  that night we went to brown dog pizza, another favorite from our last trip.  

Baby in a bar.
yes my baby is sitting on the table.  she was helping me decide what to order.

luckily avery slept much better that night.  our plan was to hike bridal veil falls the next day.  i blogged about that hike two years ago here.  we picked it again because it's a pretty easy hike, close to town, and really pretty.  this was avery's first hike in a backpack.  i thought she would love it because she's in the ergo all the time and happily stays there for hours and easily falls asleep.  she didn't like the backpack nearly as much.  i think it was a lot more bumpy then the ergo is, impossible for her to sleep in because there's nowhere for her to rest her head, and not as snuggly.  


Just like old times: just me and the pups
the falls are in the distance.

anyway, she did fine for most of the hike although we did take her out a few times just to give her a break and even walked a bit, just carrying her.  that is quite a workout.  a backpack on your back, a baby in your arms, and two dogs trying to pull you in opposite directions.  

Base of bridal veil falls.
all of us at the bottom of the falls (a little more than halfway there)

we hiked up to the house at the top of the falls and then turned around to come down.  at this point avery was completely done.  she was super tired but couldn't sleep and no amount of singing 'the wheels on the bus' was going to keep her happy.  it was also looking like rain and the clouds were moving in pretty quickly.  we took her out of the backpack and she fell asleep almost instantly in my arms as we walked/ran down the mountain as fast as we could.  when were about halfway there a guy driving a tour jeep (the trail was also a 4x4 road apparently) asked us if we wanted a ride saying he couldn't let the baby get wet.  we gratefully accepted, not many people will pick up 2 people, a baby, and 2 large dogs and got down the mountain just as it started to rain.  overall i consider it a successful trip and we passed quite a few people who said that their kids didn't do so well in the backpack as infants but did much better once they got older.  

about halfway there. taking a break from the backpack.

First hike!
me and my girl.

after the hike we went back to mountain village, grabbed some lunch from the market and ate in our hotel.  that night we went back to telluride and got some ice cream from the sweet life.  they have homemade ice cream that changes daily.  it was delicious.

the next day was our last full day.  our plan was to walk around telluride a bit and then check out a free concert later that day.  we had breakfast at baked in telluride, a spot that i had really wanted to try the last time we were here but it had burned down and wasn't rebuilt.  this time it was back and quite good. we ate breakfast outside on their porch, looking at the mountains.  i've had worse mornings.  :)

coffee, donuts, and a pretty decent view.

after breakfast we walked the neighborhood a bit and then walked on the path that runs along the san miguel river, which runs through town.  the path was shaded, which was really nice and we saw a few people tubing down the river.

Sleeping baby, a back carry, and some daddy love
i tried a back carry for the first time and avery fell right asleep.

we headed back to mountain village when it started to rain.  relaxed for a bit and then headed down to the concert.  we didn't stay too long but headed back to the hotel to take avery to the pool and get some dinner.

i had to cover avery with a tshirt since i didn't have anything else.  it was pretty fun running from one gondola to the other when the rain was pouring down.  

Free concert.
it cleared up for the concert and we had a fun time just hanging out.

she loves the pool.

we were leaving on the fourth but were planning on checking out of the hotel and then taking the gondola into telluride to watch the annual parade.  when we got to the gondola the line was so long (over an hour wait) that we decided just to grab some breakfast and head home instead.

we had such a great time with just our little family and i'm sure we'll be back again.  it's a pretty small place but there's so much to do and see.  and obviously we were pretty happy just eating and walking around.  avery did great the whole trip and was in a fabulous mood the whole time.  i think a lot of that had to do with the fact that she was being held or in the ergo24/7 and slept about a foot from me at night, when she didn't wiggle her way into our bed.  it was my favorite way to spend my time, too: hanging out with my two favorite people and the dogs.  life doesn't get much better than that.

San Juans
san juans on the way home.