Tuesday, October 30, 2012

on traveling with a baby.

Fall walk!

i have to admit that i was not looking forward to traveling with avery.  she's actually a pretty easy going kid, but she's never been a good sleeper and i was worried that the trip would mess up her sleep habits so much that it would take her weeks to find a new normal again.  i was also worried about the plane ride both because of her ears, the chance the i could have a crying baby on a 4 hour flight, and lastly the fact that entertaining a 10 month old can be difficult in small spaces.  we flew out on a friday night and our flight left right at avery's bedtime.  i dressed her in her pajamas, fed her dinner in the airport, and then nursed her during takeoff in hopes that she would pass right out and sleep the flight.  she ate just fine but wasn't quite ready to go to bed.  i think being on a plane, with so many people to look at and so many different things to touch was much more exciting then sleeping.  she finally fell asleep about halfway into the flight and then slept the rest of the way until we got on the train back to baggage claim at the airport.  so although we were tired from getting in at 1:30 am i considered that first flight a success.  

Babywearing when the stroller got vetoed.

she did sleep terribly all 9 days that we were traveling.  we were staying in multiple places and the majority of the trip she ended up in our bed, between us, and waking up 5-6 times a night.  it wasn't exactly the most restful sleep any of us got, although she seemed to do okay with naps while we were there.  i was worried about her napping a lot because she's always been a terrible napper and as only recently started taking a consistent morning nap at home.  luckily between some long car rides that she slept through and charlie and my mom putting her down for morning naps she was able to nap enough to get her through the day.  she never adjusted to east coast time, which i did think she would, but instead went to sleep every night at 9, which turned out to work just fine.


i was also worried about the flight back because charlie was flying back the day before so it was just avery and i.  also, since it was during the day i knew the chance that she would sleep at all was pretty slim and the trip flying back to colorado is longer than flying out to d.c..  it really wasn't as bad as i was expecting it to be.  i had bought a lightweight stroller before the trip, which came in handy in the airport and during the trip.  all of the security guards were really helpful while going through security and  i also brought and used the moby wrap when i was boarding the plane since i was carrying two bags and trying to gate check the stroller and our carseat.  she did great on the plane ride back, although she was definitely ready to get off the plane once we landed and i was glad we were sitting up front so we were able to get off right away.  one thing that i didn't know until the day we left was that we needed to get her a boarding pass, which basically meant checking her in at the airport.  since we were flying southwest which does family boarding, i didn't worry about getting a good number since it wouldn't matter much anyway.  i didn't even bother checking before showing up at the airport on the way back and it saved me the time and paper for printing a boarding pass.  i did make sure to get a window seat each time which worked out well since i was nursing her a lot and also for her to look out the window when she was getting bored with the toys that i had brought her.  i will say that everything that i brought didn't keep her attention very well on the way back and i ended up digging through my bag in desperation to find something that would entertain her before she threw a fit.  i found a few stickers, which worked magic for a while and then gave her my bracelet to play with during those last 20 minutes of the flight.    

Big A and little A reading books.

it was definitely worth it just to spend time with family and have everyone see avery again.  it's been really nice that we've been able to see a lot of family every few months especially during this first year when avery's growing and changing so fast.  she definitely loved the time and attention that everyone spent with her and has been having a hard time this week when she has to play on her own for more than 5 minutes at a time. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

a train ride.

in preparation for our visit my parents tried to pull out as many toys that they still had for avery to play with while she was here.  my dad pulled out the train that they have for the christmas tree and set it up thinking that she would like to watch it.  i wish i got some pictures of that because she seemed to be pretty into it, in her own serious way of course.  we also took her on a real train ride at cabin john park while we were there thinking that she might like that.  she was probably a little young to really enjoy it although i do think she liked it.  we'll have to take her again the next time we're back because i think as she gets older she'll like it even more.  the park also has some pretty cool playgrounds on it that she's way to young to be able to play on.  someday soon though ...


there's the whole crew except for the dog who's hidden by charlie in this picture.  


and there he is.  dad and alex took him to the dog park while the rest of us went on the train ride.


avery was pretty serious for most of the ride, although we did manage to get a few smiles out of her.


after the train ride we introduced her to porky who was probably one of my favorite things about the park when i was a kid.  he talks and eats trash.  what kid wouldn't love a trash eating pig?



and then we went back home and avery had her first pork, peas, and turnips that night.  she hated the turnips and spit them right out but the pork and the peas were a hit and she enjoyed those leftovers for the rest of the trip.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

a (very short) trip to the bay.


when we were back in maryland we tried to squeeze as many visits with friends and family that we could.  we have some friends that live on kent island so on our way back from visiting charlie's family on the eastern shore to my parents outside of dc we stopped on kent island to see some friends and meet their new baby.  they have a 6 month old who's bigger and crawling faster than avery.  it was sort of funny to see her with avery because she kept grabbing avery and pulling her over and avery was not a fan.  she would give her the side eye and then start crying and crawling over to me to pick her up.  it's so funny to me how different all babies are and how they all develop at different times.  anyway, their neighborhood is right on the bay so we took a very short walk to a playground by the dock to let the kids play on the swings.  i have yet to meet a baby that doesn't like to swing although i'm sure there are some out there.



avery practiced walking on the dock.  i love her little belly in these pictures.  

i also have to admit that being back in md by the water makes me miss it just a little bit.  especially at this time of year when the weather's perfect and there's no bugs or humidity.  we usually make a trip back in the summer but i think that coming back in the fall made me miss the area even more.  there's really nothing like an east coast fall.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

back home.


so we got back last night after 9 days in maryland visiting friends and family.  i know i can say without a doubt that avery has never met so many people in the previous 10 months of her life as she did this week and although it was a bit of a whirlwind it was so nice to see everyone that we did.  we really are blessed with good people in our lives and it was so nice to see everyone and introduce avery to everyone she hadn't met yet.  i  have to admit that coming back home was a little hard.  avery's schedule is pretty much non-existent after all of the traveling and co-sleeping, and i think she's completely forgotten that there are times when she'll have to play with herself because at home there's not always someone to play with her 24/7.  also i think when you know you're coming back to a dirty house with no food in the fridge, a work inbox full of messages, and a house that needs things fixed before winter it makes it even harder.  i'll be honest i was a little spoiled, too.  my mom put avery down for her morning nap each morning, and she and my dad worried about cooking for her and feeding her a lot of meals, i never once had to put her on the floor in the bathroom while i tried to shower in 5 minutes, and we were more than spoiled with the amazing food that everyone cooked for us while we were there.  every day should definitely start with pancakes and bacon.

it was also nice to be back in md.  even though we've been in colorado for 4 years and it definitely feels like home, so does maryland.  we took avery to the atlantic ocean for the first time, ate some rio grande,   took avery on a train ride and to the carousel, walked around d.c., attended a beautiful wedding, ate crab cakes, and had a lunch date in bethesda just the two of us.  and it was really nice.  and now i'm going through family withdraw.  facetime is great but it's not quite the same and i miss you guys already.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

it's the little things ...


... a baby reading books.
... a cozy living room.  just in time for some snow flurries.  
...  a baby who naps.  
...  when avery sleeps past 7.
...  a glass of wine on a sunday night.
...  the leaves changing colors. 
...  pumpkins on the porch.
...  watching avery try new food.
...  how excited avery gets when i let her sit in the cart.
...  when henry tries to play with the baby.
...  a husband who cleans and mows the grass.
...  watching a movie with charlie.
...  fall tv.
...  meatballs in the crockpot.
...  cooking a dinner that avery approves of.
...  cooking any dinner at all.
...  reading a book.
...  a nice walk on a fall day.
...  coffee on weekend mornings.
...  facetime.
...  watching the broncos.  even when they lose.
...  clean laundry.
...  when avery falls asleep in my arms.
...  how avery's hands always smell like whatever she ate:  strawberries, meatballs, it's always something good.
...  a crawling baby = a happy baby.
...  clean cloth diapers.
...  avery wearing my old clothes.
...  how excited avery gets in the morning when she sees everyone for the first time.
...  avery saying 'uh-oh' as she drops things onto the floor.  i'm sure this will get old eventually but it's cute for now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012



are you sick of this sweater and hat combo yet?  i am not.  she wore them for two days straight because winter paid us a visit before fall was over and they were the only warm things in her closet.  apparently avery has decided that she does not like wearing things on her head.  hoods, hats, stacks of blocks that i try and balance there, they all get taken off immediately.  the blocks are one thing but the hoods and hats are going to be a necessity this winter, avery.  i have a feeling we'll be in a constant battle over wearing them.  apparently she doesn't mind being cold.  what she doesn't understand is all the judgey stares i'll get from people who are thinking 'how could you take that baby out of the house without a hat?!'  for now we'll just settle for 10 second stretches at a time and hope that when it gets really cold she'll forget how much she hates things on her head.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012





i call this the happy baby series.  of course the cat was the one responsible for this smile but at least i was able to document it.  as soon as she started crawling she seemed to figure out how to pull herself up on things and then get faster and faster when she was going places.  the kitchen is a favorite place to play because there's chairs, water bowls, trashcans, and the occasional crumb that the dogs have missed.  i've been finding myself cleaning this floor multiple times a week and even then there's dirt on it.  i suppose a little dirt won't kill her but let me tell you a good 'is my floor clean test' is to put white socks on the baby and then let her crawl around for a bit.  the answer is always no.  even if you just cleaned the floor, especially if you have 4 pets.  oh well. 

this kid will be on an airplane bound for d.c. in a few days and i'm more than a little nervous that this will result in totally screwing up with her sleep.  the last time we went somewhere back in july her nighttime sleep was screwed up for 2 months.  2 months!  i realize this is a long time to attribute to a few days away but nevertheless i still blame the trip.  and we're actually at a point now where avery's sleeping well at night and taking a good morning nap.  and she's never been a good napper.  ever.  so i've been clinging to these naps.  my fingers are crossed that after we return from maryland that she gets back into her good rhythm because i don't know if i can take another 2 months of a baby who's up 3 times a night.  i've gotten used to sleeping and i like it that way.    

Monday, October 8, 2012

baby + cat.

i know i keep mentioning how amazing ollie is with avery but seriously, he.is.amazing.  i have grown up with tolerant cats but i think he's a little different.  as much as she hangs all over him, pulls on his whiskers (yes, this really happens), eats his tail, and climbs over him he still sticks around.  i actually think he loves her just as much as she loves despite how annoying she can be.  since she's often crawling in his direction but when she isn't he's usually somewhere close by and will lay down near where she's playing during the day.



the other day i was at a conference and charlie called me because avery was crying and he couldn't figure out what was wrong or snap her out of it.  i told him to take her over to the cat and sure enough she stopped crying and turned into a happy baby again.    


i like to pretend that this is her version of a hug but i think this has more to do with the fact that he's so soft.  she does this to him all the time.  don't let his annoyed look fool you.  after this picture was taken she literally climbed over top of him and he didn't move at all.  he makes a pretty good obstacle course.  

her version of cat has turned into 'tat' which she excitedly says every time she sees him.  and although this is about ollie i have to say that henry has also been amazing with her.  she can climb all over him, take his toys, and he just lets her do whatever she wants.  now that she's crawling he'll occasionally try and play with her and although she doesn't get what he's doing she thinks it's hilarious.  i'm really grateful that we have such nice animals and that she loves growing up with them as much as we love them.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

a trip to the pumpkin patch.

ahh where has the time gone?  some days i have the best of intentions to blog and then the end of the day comes and i curl up on the couch with charlie and a glass of wine for an hour before i climb into bed.  as much as i want to document these things, because the time goes so fast and i want us to remember, i'm usually so sick of the computer by the end of the day that i want nothing to do with it.  also, it's difficult to type and hold my wine at the same time.  anyway, we went to the pumpkin patch today.  we wanted to get some pumpkins and i've wanted to start making traditions for our family.  and a trip to the pumpkin patch is an easy and fun one for fall.

it was still pretty cool today.  in the 50s, which is sort of nice when you're doing fall-like activities.  somehow it feels less like fall when it's 80 degrees out.  plus this meant that avery got to wear her new hat that i got her yesterday when it was snowing and i realized she had no winter clothes.  


we didn't have far to go, which was nice since we were trying to squeeze this in between avery's nap and the broncos game.  as you can see she was thrilled to be picking pumpkins.  


the most important thing in this picture is that she's wearing shoes!  this is actually the first time she's every worn them.  because along with a hat and a winter coat i realized that even though she wasn't walking yet she was going to need shoes this winter.  so i ordered her some a week or so ago, but they're still on their way to us.  and then my dad (thanks dad!) reminded me about these shoes that were mine that my parents had given to me so i decided to see if they fit.  they're a little long but apparently my daughter has inherited my hugely fat feet so i could barely squeeze her feet into these.    

i sort of love this picture.  minus the ugly pumpkin.  she's giving charlie her scrunchie nose smile. 

we picked a few pumpkins and then went to go show avery the farm animals.  she loved them, which surprised me.  after her trip to the zoo where she wasn't into the animals at all i wasn't expecting her to care but she seemed to really like them all, especially the pigs and the sheep.

the pigs were pretty cute. 

and avery was totally into them.  

although those pumpkins were totally overpriced it was definitely worth the trip and i'm sure we'll visit again with the masses next year.  i'm just hoping that these pumpkins last until halloween so we can carve them and roast their seeds. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

living room progress.


this room has been (and still is) such a work in progress.  i haven't bothered to do too much in here since we moved in and i ended up dumping furniture that i couldn't fit/didn't want in other areas of the house.  here's the thing:  charlie and i aren't formal living room people.  when we were house hunting we were actively looking for houses that did not have formal living rooms or dining rooms because we knew we wouldn't end up using them.  in fact, before we started looking for houses i had promised charlie that if we ever ended up with a house with a formal dining room he could put a pool table in it instead.  but after looking at a lot of houses, we found this one that despite the formal living room met our needs.

anyway, back to this room. the three pieces of furniture that it started out with were 2 bookshelves and a bench that held our shoes.  the bookshelves were definitely staying because i had no where else to put them.  i knew i wanted a white couch and we ended up with a loveseat because the room is actually pretty tiny and a couch would have looked pretty big and not left us with much room.  i also wanted  cheap couch because i wasn't thinking we would spend a lot of time in this room.  so ikea won out for this one.  and surprisingly i love it.  its super comfortable and we've ended up spending a lot of time on it reading books to avery.  i was originally thinking that i wanted a flatwoven rug in this room but after living in the room a while i realized i wanted something more cozy because with a baby we spend a lot of time sitting on the floor.  i was really in no hurry to get a rug but i found this at target and brought it home to try and charlie ended up loving it (this never happens) so it stayed.

the curtains were fabric from hobby lobby that i got for less than $30.  i used the ever-popular method of no-sew curtains to make them, which is so, so easy it makes me want to make new curtains for our bedroom.  i had no intention of hanging curtains this high  (they're over 100 inches long) but i didn't bother measuring when i was making them so they ended up super long.  i was planning on shortening them but charlie liked them long so i left them.  we still have pictures to hang and eventually i would love to get a chair in the room but for now i'm loving that it's actually a place that we spend time in and not just a room we stuck furniture in because it's the first thing you see when you walk in the house.  charlie informed me months ago that this is where our christmas tree is going to go so i'm sure we'll be spending even more time in here in a few months, reading christmas books and listening to christmas music (when charlie will let me start playing it, which isn't until after thanksgiving).