Monday, September 30, 2013

21 months.

the time is seriously flying.  i know i say that all the time but it seems crazy to me that avery's almost been a part of our family for 2 years!  


21 months has definitely brought us closer to two.  :)  she's opinionated, funny, and not afraid to tell you what she wants and when she wants it.  sometimes i feel like we live with a toddler dictator and this month has brought a bunch of 'throw myself on the floor' tantrums for reasons that are usually not apparent to me.  ironically she's also getting better and better at communicating her wants and needs, but life is still frustrating at times in the toddler world.  


i have no idea how many words she knows but she's getting pretty good at stringing them together.  i've heard a few real sentences this month, including "where is dunkin" and others that i can't seem to remember.  she'll normally put between 3 and 4 words together to get her thoughts across and leave out unimportant words like "the, it, that, and a few pronouns".  she's still consistently mixing up "you" and "me" although we're sort of working on it when i remember.  she can count to three on her own and has managed this feat a few times when counting animals or balls.  after three the numbers get a bit jumbled, but she does enjoy counting.  i sort of give the "one, two, three" success credit to a brittany spears song that charlie listens to all the time.  

she's also pretty good about verbalizing why she's upset.  usually when she starts to throw a fit she can calm down at at least tell you why if you sort of help her through the process.  however sometimes, life is too hard and she just ends up screaming about it.  


she is going through a huge mommy phase right now, which is hard for all of us.  basically, she wants me to do everything for her.  if she asks for water and charlie hands it to her, she'll melt down because she wanted me to hand it over and not him.  she actually really enjoys spending time with him.  she wants him around to play with, read books with, and dance with but when had a need apprenately she wants those fulfilled by me.  this includes diaper changes, making meals, holding her, etc..  luckily charlie's good about just doing those things anyway, even when she throws a fit over them, but it would make everyone's life easier if she would let charlie help out a bit.  

she loves music and dancing and has a strong preference for "daddy's music".  when she's dancing she has a few moves that she does by request which include "shoulders", "hips", and "fist pumping".  all of this comes from charlie and she really does love to dance with him.. when we go somewhere in the car she'll let me know that she hates my music and request specific songs that charlie has.  she loves singing songs, especially the ones that come up in her gymnastics class and a recent favorite has been 'the itsy bitsy spider'.  



she's still really into the animals and has gotten into taking care of them even more.  she helps to feed the cats, dumping the food in their bowls and then making sure they finish (never a problem) and helps with the dogs food and treats as well.  when we got back from vacation henry had done something which resulted in some pretty nasty cuts on his ears.  she helped me to clean them out a few times a day and would even remind me about it saying, "check henry's ears".  she is also really into cutting their nails and giving them baths and requests both at least once a day.  the other day she even went into the basket where we keep the nail clippers and i found her cutting first ollie's nails and then dunkin's.  she's gotten a little nicer with henry lately, giving him lots of hugs, telling him "good boy, henry" and one morning she even hugged him and said, "i love you henry".  i'm a little upset that the dog got an i love you before i did, but it was still pretty cute to see.  he's still weary of her but hopefully over time he'll chill out.  ollie is still her favorite guy and she loves to lay on him, snuggle with him, and give him lots of pets. i feel like she's gotten maybe just a tad more gentle with him this month, but maybe that's all in my head.


she's gotten into climbing on things and likes to do things herself, like getting into chairs, climbing on playgrounds, getting in her stroller, and of course doing the buckle in her carseat.  it's a huge mistake if you forget and buckle the carseat for her.  i also think she's grown.  she was 20 pounds at the ER in california, a peanut for sure, but that's 2 pounds in 2 months, which surpassed her usual growth rate.  she's moved into size 4 diapers, which is annoying since i had just bought a huge box of size 3's for nighttime.  

she loves to help doing whatever we're doing around the house.  this includes laundry, cleaning, house projects, and occasionally picking up her toys.  she also still loves reading.  i pulled out our fall and halloween books a few weeks ago and she's found a few favorites in there.  "hot fudge" quickly became and favorite and i think i read that at least 20 times a day for a week.  she's also really into any books with pumpkins, clifford, and animals.  she loves her national geographic books and likes to read those on her own.  she's very picky about which books we're allowed to read and which ones she must read, but we do read books every morning, "books and coffee" and at night before bed.  some days we'll do a lot more but those two times are the book times that we never miss and that she'll ask for if we happen to forget.  


she's gotten slightly better about eating lately.  i've made a few meals that she hasn't completely hated including tortilla soup, which she loved, and i also made homemade macaroni and cheese for the first time and she loved it.  she loves grapes, yogurt, granola, oatmeal, onions, and pizza (usually).  the onions are the strangest thing to me because she loves raw onion and when i cook always demands pieces of it.  so gross to me but whatever.  cooked onions aren't so bad in her book, either.  she's still drinking only water although we haven't offered much else, maybe a sip of juice here or there but she hasn't shown any interest in it.  i keep meaning to offer her almond milk again but i keep forgetting.  


it's so crazy to me to see how fast she grows and changes and even though some of those changes make it harder to do things, i've loved watching her grow up.  it's still sort of surreal to me that she's going to be a 'big' sister soon because i still think of her as my baby.  sometimes i get a little sad when i think of the fact that she'll be getting less one on one attention and hugs and i wonder how she's going to do with the adjustment of it all.  but i do think she's going to be a great sibling and i'm excited to see how she does with the baby.  hopefully the want to help with things will transfer over to having a baby to take care of and she'll get into helping with her brother or sister. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

weekend goodness.

this weekend was gooood.  nothing terribly exciting happened but the week prior was a long week with avery and i both sick (which we've now given to charlie) and charlie traveling.  we were all very happy to see friday.  on friday avery and i picked up a pizza and after we put avery to bed charlie and i actually watched a movie.  such a friday night thing to do, but something we rarely do these days.  

heading off to class. 

charlie and avery went to her gymnastic class on saturday morning and her favorite teacher was there.  avery's sort of hit or mis with strangers.  she either loves them or hates them and there are a few instructors that she's not too into.  anyway, she had a great class and then they came home and we did a bit of yard work before heading off to try and head to the mountains to see the aspens.  i use the term 'we' loosely because charlie did the majority of the yard work but avery and i did keep him company and avery was a big help picking up lose pieces of the shrubs that charlie was cutting.




charlie asked her to smile and this was her response.


she looks so grown up here.  

we had plans to just drive into the foothills for a bit, possibly on peak to peak highway but we were trying to avoid the major highways into the mountains.  unfortunately almost everything through boulder was closed because of all of the damage from the flooding.  so we ended up parking at red rocks (the park in boulder not morrison) and walking up the really short trail to let avery climb on some rocks.  i felt like an idiot tourist because even though the trail is short i wouldn't have worn what i did if i thought we were actually heading up a trail.  avery walked a bit up the trail and then charlie carried her the rest of the way and we had a great time climbing on the rocks and running around at the top of the trail.


when we got back home charlie went for a run and avery helped me cook some meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  she loves dumping things into bowls and did a great job of putting the cut up potatoes into the pot.  she dropped a ton on the floor of course, and then yelled at dunkin to 'leave it', which she found hilarious.  i love cooking with this little munchkin.  even though things take twice as long and are four times as messy, it's so much fun to be able to do things with her and i love that she's always interested in helping.  

on sunday we had a pretty relaxed day.  we spent it cleaning and watching the broncos and then had a quick fire in the fire pit with avery before giving her a bath and putting her to bed.  we usually have built a fire after she goes to bed.  it's been one of the things that i've really enjoyed this summer.  i've loved having that time with charlie just to hang out and talk.  but we thought that avery would love it too and wanted to have a fire with her before it got too cold.  she loves hanging out outside and especially loves throwing the ball to dunkin in the backyard.  she'll go out there by herself and play with him.  she really liked the fire and was really good about staying away from it.  she kept saying 'bonfire' but was more into making sure all of the animals were out there with her and throwing the ball with dunkin than the fire.  we roasted a few marshmallows and she was semi into them but was more interested in making sure the dogs got their share.    
marshmallow bite!

charlie roasting.

so generous



we were also listening to "applause" on repeat when we were out here and actually pretty much the entire weekend.  it's avery's most recent request. 

marshmallow face.

so that was our weekend.  nothing terribly earth shattering, but really nice nonetheless.  it was one of those weekends when we just were really happy to be spending time together as a family.  charlie and i had multiple conversations about just how lucky we are to all be happy and healthy and then there's all the extra stuff like actually having a house that we have to take care of and living in a place that we really love and being able to live the lifestyle that we do.  we really have it good and i think both of us don't want to forget just how awesome things are right now.  time is really flying but it's nice to stop once in a while and just appreciate the simple things, like pancakes on a sunday morning and good food in the fridge.  
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

recent happenings ...

i haven't written much about things that have gone on as of late.  probably because things haven't been that exciting.  we've been working, cleaning, cooking, and playing with avery.  all of the normal things.   but nothing too crazy.  both avery and i have had a cold this week, which has made her extra whiny (yay) and me extra tired.  and of course, charlie's traveling again.  he was gone the day after we got back from our vacation and will be traveling every week until i'm 38 weeks pregnant.  i sort of get all panicky when i think about the possibility of going into labor when he's out of town.  i guess the good thing is that all of his destinations are a relatively short flight away.  


...  i think we've made a decision about getting a second crib.  i think.  charlie felt pretty strongly that a second crib would be a waste of money, since it's something we would only use for a few months anyway, and figured that it would be better to have avery make the transition to a bed before there were two kids in our household.  so the plan is to transition her to a twin bed before the baby comes.  right now this just means getting her to go to sleep on her own since i've always rocked her to sleep before putting her in her crib.  this is something i thought i should transition her to anyway since charlie travels so much and there's literally no way that i could rock avery to sleep with a newborn.  but i really suck at letting my child cry.  so far we're on night three and it hasn't been too terrible.  she does cry when i leave but lays down and lets me put a blanket over her so it's not like she's standing up and screaming.  we did sort of a modified version of cry it out when she was maybe 11 months old and waking up every hour (that was horrible), so she's actually pretty awesome at sleeping through the night once she's asleep.  anyway, the plan is to take the side off her crib once she's going down without a problem and then buy a twin mattress after that.  i just see no point in buying a toddler bed since i know it's something she'll outgrow anyway.  it seems like a better investment to buy a bed that she can use forever.  


...  it's finally feeling like fall around here.  i really have to admit that i have been in no hurry to usher out summer.  i would agree with the majority of the blog world that fall is probably my favorite season, however it is so short and brings a long and cold winter which i'm really not ready for.  we've mostly been enjoying those warm early fall days, when the windows are open and the mornings and evenings are cool but it's still pretty warm during the day.  i took avery to the playground the other day (the only way i can get her to agree to a walk in the stroller without throwing a fit) and she had a blast playing and following some big kids around.  of course she called them baby the entire time and they were much more interested in the dogs than avery.  

...  i really need to find some good winter activities for us to do.  since i won't be working but will have a relatively new baby i want to try and find some things to get us out of the house.  we'll definitely try and get outside as much as possible, but there are plenty of days when that's either not possible or we can only be outside for a short period of time before it's just too cold and we have to come back in.  i'm thinking that avery will keep her saturday gymnastics class since i think it'll be good for her to be able to do that with charlie or me, but without the new baby.  and since i won't be working on thursdays anymore we can actually do the storytime at the library, but that still leaves us with a lot of free time.  


...  when we got back from vacation i realized that avery had no warm clothes.  i picked up a few things from gap, old navy, and target and she now has a very small fall wardrobe but could probably use a few more things.  luckily her winter jacket still fits from last year (it was huge) so we don't have to buy another one and we picked up a snowsuit at an end of season clearance sale last year that she'll still be able to wear.  shopping for an entire season of clothes makes me hope that this next baby's a girl so we can use all of these again!


...  one of my favorite things to shop for are pajamas.  for avery, not me.  i'm pretty sure i don't own any actual pjs.  i'm always paranoid that avery's cold at night.  her room is freezing and we do have a space heater in there but it only warms it up slightly and she can never keep a blanket on during the night.  i don't have any real hopes that she'll actually be sleeping under the covers when she's finally in a twin bed and so i'm always dressing her in multiple layers with socks and everything at night now.  


...  one of avery's favorite things to play with are these little animals.  i can't find them anywhere but hobby lobby, which seems like a random place to have toys.  she plays with these all the time and they've been the best thing ever.  they were the only toys that we took with us to california and they kept her entertained all week long.  the only thing i don't like is that they're sort of small and i know that we keep losing pieces, although i can't seem to find them.  one of her favorites was the cat, which she lost in the store a few weeks ago and now asks about constantly.

...  i'm getting to that stage of pregnancy where i feel like there are so many things to do and no time to do them in.  the nursery is still a complete mess, although we do have a dresser with newborn clothes unpacked.  i've been wanting to organize avery's toys, set up the basement, finish (or really start) the nursery, and now we'll be rearranging avery's room since the crib and rocking chair will be moving to the nursery.  i feel like i have no time during the day to make any progress on this stuff and the weekends are always filled with just the usual cleaning, grocery shopping, and bronco watching.  hopefully we can make some progress soon.  our biggest accomplishment last weekend was hanging picture frames over our bed.  although they're huge frames so it wasn't exactly easy.


...  one of my favorite parts of the day:  reading books before bed.  charlie had been gone for a few days and got home just in time for a bath and books.  avery was pretty happy to have him home.  lately her nighttime book choices have been "the sleep book" and "fox in socks".  i have a hard time with the last one and it's one of charlie's favorites so it's always nice when he's around to read it to her.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

vacation: part 5 (traveling with my toddler)

over the ocean and ready for some breakfast and a nap.

i feel like i learned a lot about traveling with a toddler from this past trip.  we've obviously traveled with avery before, but i think that every time is different as she gets older.  some things gets easier, some things get harder, but it's always been worth it.  our past travels have included a 6 hour road trip when she was 6 months old to telluride, a 4 hour plane ride to visit family when she was 10 months old, another 4 hour plane ride to visit family when she was 18 months old, and this trip which was a 2.5 hour plane ride for a beach vacation.  

some things i want to remember before our next trip (which will be with two kiddos!). 

she just broke out of a hole that charlie had buried her in.  

1.  pack light
the three of us shared a suitcase, charlie and i each had one backpack as a carryon, and we brought (and checked) avery's carseat.  sharing the suitcase was really amazing and i would definitely attempt to do that again on future trips.  i was pretty impressed that we packed all of our stuff for 7 days and 7 nights into one suitcase.  it also helped that we were going to the beach a lot which meant that most of the time we were wearing bathing suits and therefore could wear our clothes more than once since we only put them on for breakfast or dinner.  i was a little nervous about checking avery's carseat because i didn't want it to get lost or damaged, but the airline gave us a bag to put it in and we were lucky that it appeared with our checked baggage after each flight.  we also 'rented' a portable crib from the hotel which eliminated the need to bring a pack n play for avery to sleep in.  that would have been a huge pain to lug through the airport.  

after a very long day at sea world.  we picked out this furry friend for her while she was sleeping.

2.  bring an umbrella stroller
we almost brought the bob.  we really love that stroller.  i seriously can't sing its praises enough and we did travel with it during our last trip to maryland.  it was totally worth bringing it that trip as we took it to the beach and did a lot of walking.  this time, i didn't feel like dealing with how big it is (the one downside) and opted for our umbrella stroller.  this was so much easier during the zoo and sea world trips and getting the stroller in and out of the car each time.  this trip made me wish that i had invested in a slightly nicer umbrella stroller, essentially one that actually has a working canopy to provide shade.  but ours worked just fine.  

we stopped to smell these roses a lot!  they replaced them three times during the week we were there.

3.  buy don't bring
we bought diapers, wipes, and snacks for avery and us once we arrived.  last time i tried to bring a lot of stuff on the flight and it just took a huge amount of space in my carryon.  stupid.  

avery learned to appreciate the view.

4.  bring one pair of good walking shoes
i actually brought two pairs of shoes for avery, a pair of toms and a pair from stride rite.  the toms are adorable, but do not stay on her feet.  not worth it.  the stride rites are where its at.  i only brought flip flops for myself.  can't say i regret that but i'm probably going to need a new pair or rainbows for next season. 

i could watch her play on the beach all day.

5.  get someone to take care of your house
all of that flooding that made colorado newsworthy definitely happened during our week away and was not predicted.  we have an amazing petsitter who not only does a great job with the pets but checks our house pretty carefully each time she visits.  in the past we've boarded the dogs and if we went this route in the future i would still make sure there was someone with a key to our house who was willing to stop by and make sure everything was okay.

ice cream for dinner.

6.  be flexible
ice cream for dinner. take out instead of sit down.  taking a car ride up the coast to get avery to take a nap.  kids cry, toddlers throw tantrums and sometimes there's not much you can do about it.  and does it really matter in the end?    

one of my favorite nights.  we had a great dinner where avery ate well and sat down for most of the meal and then she and charlie danced to the live music for a bit while the sun set.

7.  don't stay somewhere fancy
seriously, i don't know what we were thinking when it came to picking a hotel.  we knew that beachfront was a priority but there were a few options that may have actually left us with some onsite dining options that weren't too fancy for my 'can't sit through a meal' 20 month old.  also, charlie and i are not really into fancy places ourselves.  the ritz is not where its at.  at least not for us.  they did have an amazing bar/lounge area that we took advantage of.  and avery loved the $4,000 elephants that were 'art'.


8.  enjoy it
go see the sunset.  eat ice cream.  catch up on sleep when you get back home and enjoy the time while you have it.  i think charlie and i did a pretty good job of this even though it was hard at times.  sometimes you just have to look at each other and laugh because there's not much else you can do.  and i must admit after avery's trip to the ER we asked ourselves if we all wouldn't be happier if we just went home.  i'm glad we didn't.  we had a great last day just playing and hanging out at the beach as a family and we would have missed all of that if we packed up the day before.     

Friday, September 20, 2013

vacation: part 4

are you sick of vacation recaps yet?  too bad.  they're almost over anyway.  i mentioned that we spent a lot of time on the beach.  basically the entire point of the trip was to spend time with each other and the ocean.  the view where we stayed was pretty amazing.  the southern california coast is definitely beautiful, although given the choice i'd take the southern east coast beaches any day.  anyway, we all loved the beach.  and when you're vacationing with a toddler sometimes your day starts really early (like at 4 am) and the only thing that can make that slightly less horrible is when you start the day with a walk on the beach.  our first morning there started super early and when i couldn't stand being cooped up in a hotel room with a tired and cranky avery any more we got dressed and headed down to the beach.  




it was actually not the magic fix for my cranky family.  at the time avery didn't really want to walk and was probably starving and exhausted.  but being the mean mom i am i dragged her to the beach before we headed out to breakfast.  she was pretty upset about this and i know we took these pictures before 7 am.  i promise that after this we found her some eggs and pancakes and then she took a nap in the car and woke up much happier.  


a crying avery and an annoyed charlie.  

see, she wasn't upset the whole time!

even though i don't think that avery or charlie fully appreciated our early morning beach trip i still think it was worth it.  i love the beach in the mornings when it's empty and the sun is just rising and we were pretty lucky that this was a clear morning.  and after a bit avery relaxed and realized that a walk along the beach wasn't the worst start to her day.  and then we went and got charlie a lot of coffee.

and of course the flip side to an early morning is a sunset over the ocean.  i find it impossible to take good sunset pictures, but i haven't spent that much time attempting to learn our camera.  on our last night there we realized we should probably head out and watch the sunset.  avery was in her pjs because we were normally putting her to bed around this time but we let her stay up a little later on our last night.  we had just eaten some ice cream and i'm pretty sure she was on a sugar high, running around all over the place and of course refusing to hold charlie's hand.  poor charlie.  one day soon she'll be all about holding your hand.  i promise.







on the day that we left i make sure that we walked down to the beach to say goodbye before we left.  we had plenty of time to kill before we needed to be at the airport so we packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, and then walked down the path for one last time before leaving.  it was really cold and cloudy that morning, which i thought was sort of cool but of course means you can't even see the ocean in these pictures even though we were standing right in front of it.  avery was really tired and you can see how she goes from sort of tolerating pictures so just falling asleep on us.  after we left, charlie carried her up the hill back to the car and she fell asleep during the walk and then crashed hard in the car. 


awake. also, how blonde does she look in this picture?!

barely awake.


and then we headed home and avery slept almost the entire flight, which was amazing.  it was so nice to have an entire week to spend together as a family and i'm so glad that we finally got it together and booked a vacation instead of just talking about how much we needed to do it.