Monday, December 19, 2011

Is it bad that this is my fourth night in the row with a
glass of wine in hand?

And truth be told, Saturday and Sunday night it was more than one glass. Heh heh.  In my defense, 'tis the season! Friends and parties and fun nonstop.

At least I'm almost done with all my Christmas shopping. I went to the store today after getting out of work and finished off the kids.  I still wish I had more to spend on them, but I'm still happy with my purchases! Honestly, my favorites for Hunter are:

What can I say, the kid LOVES to pretend to vacuum! And lately he's been messing around with my Dyson. other favorite....
Cuz now he will have somewhere to color (or do his crafty stuff) without litte missy eating his crayons! get it all wrapped!

Anyway, it's been a sad week for some fo my family and friends. My MIL's old man doggie, Wookie, passed away yesterday.

He was very sick and in and out of the vet hospital and I'm still not sure if he passed DURING his exploratory surgery or after, but my poor MIL is devastated. She's had this boy for 13 years and swears he saved her during a rough time in her life.  And then last week, one of my bestie's, Carsa and her family had to put their doggie, Ace, to sleep after he was diagnosed (and very sick) with an inoperable tumor. Both dogs had a special place in my heart and I have fond memories of them. May they run freely over the Rainbow Bridge and stay young forever!

For as much as my yellow lab, Tucker may drive me crazy somedays with his intense separation anxiety, endless panting and water drinking and stinky breath...I'm SO THANKFUL for his furry butt. He's given me more love than I probably deserve and he makes the best foot rest. And most importantly he is the best dog ever to my kids, so gentle and patient. I couldn't ask for a better yellow boy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Avery,

Today marks your 9th month with us and it's crazy to me to think, for as long as I got to carry you in my belly, we've now had the pleasure of holding you in our arms!

What a big nine month old girl you are becoming! You still wear 12 months in clothes and size 4 in diapers but you seem to have gotten taller to Mommy! At your 9 month wellness Pediatrician appointment you weighed 18 lbs 11 oz, so not much of  a gain (from 17 lbs 6 oz at your 6 month check up), but the doctor said it's normal with how active you are. You really NEVER stop moving. And you are now 28 inches long, so an inch longer, my tall girl!  We also found out you have eczema so Mommy is going to have to start applying the lotion a lot more than I normally do!

You celebrated your first Thanksgiving this month and got to sample a little bit of everything on our dinner dishes: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn and then a little bit of pumpkin pie w/cool whip for dessert! And like the little piggy you are, you gobbled up every bite we gave you.  Another first, the day after Thanksgiving we did our yearly tradition of going to cut down a fresh Christmas tree. You seemed to enjoy the fresh air (it was mild that day) and while you seem to like the pretty white lights Mommy put on the Christmas tree, you are a good baby who doesn't really try to touch the tree or ornaments!

You pull up to standing pretty regularly now, and no longer wobble while doing it! In addition, you can slowly lower yourself back down to a sitting position (while holding onto furniture, baby gate, etc). You seemed to have developed a tad bit of separation anxiety this month when it comes to Mommy, and you don't really let her leave the room, without loud crazy screams from you. And then you do the super fast, anxious crawl to catch up to me, shoving the baby gate aside to squeeze by it.

You are a now a pro holding and drinking out of your sippy cup.  You only drink water out of it. You are still nursed like 90% of the time. You get 1 bottle of formula at Nana's house Monday through Thursday while Mommy is at work and to drink it, you lay on the floor and hold the bottle yourself.  Avery, you've also tried all the "allergy" foods with no problems: strawberries, eggs and peanut butter. You love ALL of them!

Avery, as always you love your brother! And that love seems to grow and grow every day! You giggle and smile and chase each other around. You play with all his matchbox cars and trucks (which doesn't suit your brother, he hasn't quite grasped the concept yet of SHARING, so he often times rips them out of your hands).

Mommy's been noticing this month that your dry skin has gotten a bit more patchy and coarse lately. It could be from the cold weather, but it's definitely something we will be bringing up at your next pedi visit. And your soft, brown hair is slooooowly starting to thicken up. We especially notice it growing longer behind your ears. You also have SEVEN teeth now! Not too long ago, four popped through on top. And just last week or so, your third bottom tooth came out. The teething has been VERY bad at times but cuddles always help.  It affected your sleeping patterns as well. You wake up every night again, usually just once, and Mommy was nursing you back to sleep.  But now that the teeth are all through, and you are happier, we are weaning from nighttime nursing (four days in a row so far!) And then you are an early-riser so sleep is scarce in this house!

Avery, you are such a silly girl. A bit needier than your brother was at this age, but just as lovable and sweet and full of smiles and laughs. You are a very happy-go-lucky baby girl! You squeeze us and love to bury your face into our necks. Kisses are your specialty: both giving and receiving. If you could be kissed 24 hours a day, you'd be in heaven! 

Mommy had pictures done this month of you and your brother in preparation for Christmas. While your brother wasn't very cooperative, you smiled your way through the entire session. The pics came out SO adorable and you looked beautiful in your burgundy and black lace Christmas dress.

Avery, thank you for making us so happy.  For giving your Mom and Dad and brother so much love! It's hard to believe it's been nine months already but at the same time, it feels like you've been a part of our family forever.  In three short months you will be a one year old, and we are so not ready for that. Mommy is going to hold onto her sweet baby girl for as long as possible!

We love you always, Avery Irene,
Daddy, Mommy, and Hunter

Friday, December 09, 2011

I'm pretty darn tired today so instead of a wordy post,
here is a short and sweet post.  Enjoy!

My new precious, an early Christmas gift from the in-laws:

What I plan on baking this weekend, yummy:

Who would have celebrated his 61st birthday this week, and who I miss dearly every single day:

The adorable pj's my littles are wearing tonight, making me smile:

And my sweet loves, who gave me lots and lots of kisses today:

Monday, December 05, 2011

This is so strange to me.

Me...the girl who is jonesing mid-way through August for Christmas season. 

In the family who eagerly awaits Thanksgiving, not just for the turkey, but for the day AFTER the turkey so that we can go cut down our fresh tree!

April, the girl who will listen to Christmas carols all season long (and even has a slightly hard time saying "good-bye" to those cd's the day after).

The Mama who has been SO EXCITED to share Christmas this year with BOTH of her babies.

I am having a hard time feeling the
spirit of the season.

Our tree is up and decorated (and watching my son giggle and smile as he put ornament after ornament on the same branch--making us adults giggle) and it is beautiful to me, if a tad barren of ornaments. I couldn't find some this year, due to our move last January.

Extra lights are lit around the house. 

Stockings are hung by the chimney with care (well, the kids are anyway. Mom's and Dad's is still on order. Had to get new stockings this year cuz ours got ruined in a wet basement over the summer).

I'm already planning out which cookies and treats to bake this year.

But I'm just not feeling it, for some reason. And I have no idea why! Still lots of gifts left to get, and it's slow-going becuz as usual, we are broke. But honestly, that's not what's bothering me. I know that the gifts will all come together. They always do!

Maybe it's due to the depressing news on TV and online? The horrible stories I keep reading of mother's killing their babies, and criminals stealing from hard-working people trying to make ends  meet?  And knowing there are so many people out there without families or even homes this time of year?

That probably doesn't help the way I feel.

It's almost like a feeling of "unsettled-ness". I know that's not a word, but I'm coining it now so you get where I'm coming from. I know it's still technically early in the month so I can only hope that as the days fly by, some of the Christmas-y feeling starts to permeate my veins.

I can hope.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Lately, things have been tough.

I've had some not-so-pleasant-Mommy-moments that I'm actually quite disappointed in myself over. I've apologized countless times to Hunter, after losing my patience with him.  And had to pass Avery off to her Dad or Nana, quite a few times lately cuz I just can't take it.

Avery recently cut her top four teeth (in addition to the two on the bottom that she already had) and throw in about five days worth of horrendous gas? And seasoned with a splash of separation anxiety? Makes for ONE EXTREMELY upset baby. She shrieks and screams and if I walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water (she can see me...the living room/dining area/kitchen is all open to each other) she does this crazy, frantic crawl with limbs smacking the hardwood floor, as she races as fast as her little body will take her, all the while bellowing the most hideous baby cries ever. Seriously, it sounds like someone is beating her!

And Hunter, Hunter, Hunter...I had hoped you would avoid the dreaded "Terrible Two's" that everyone told me about. That was SO wishful thinking.   You want what YOU want, when YOU want, no questions asked. And if you can't communicate your thoughts to me (or if Mommy just can't understand what you're saying) then it's meltdown-city.  And it doesn't matter if we're in the living room, grocery store, pulic restroom at Target or a friend's house. I've even resorted (more often than I'd like) to bribery BEFORE the bad behavoir happens, just to do what I have to do sometime. (Munchkins in the stroller while frantically shopping for a birthday present at Kohl's for a party we're going to.)

There are some afternoons where I feel like all I've done is yell all day or I find myself often doing my "crazy laugh" to keep from bursting into tears.

But that bad is almost immediatley followed up by all the good. And it makes it all SO worthwhile.  Driving to my mom's on a work day and listening to my son chatter happily, endlessly, "Mama, look!" and pointing out the moon to me and how we go "night-night" when the moon comes out at night.  And watching him and Avery play toys so nicely and hearing, quite suddenly and unprompted from Hunter; "Sissy, I love you!" It took all I had not to melt into a messy, emotional, happy pile of goo on the floor. And seeing my daughter's cheesy, eager grin now full of teeth!  Watching her pull herself up to a standing position, so confidently.  Recieving messy, wet kisses from both of my kids, at unexpected moments. Just becuz they love me.

These children of mine, they give me purpose and determination, to be the best mother and PERSON I can be. I want to be a role-model and teach them manners and to respect their elders and to be good people themselves. I want them to know it's ok to make mistakes, cuz lord knows, Mommy makes quite a few of them.  And most of all, I want them to have fun, love freely...and of course, BE SILLY! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We had a great Thanksgiving this year! (warning, picture heavy post to follow!)

The four of us stayed home and no one came over, so it was very low-key and relaxed. I did some cleaning up of the house in preparation for our Christmas tree, while cooking here and there.  Avery enjoyed her 1st Thanksgiving as we all stayed in our pj's and played! Daddy and Aves even scored a couple mini naps together. Hunter was in his glory playing ALL DAY LONG.

And Aves ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, a bit of roll...and then for dessert she shared some pumpkin pie with whipped cream with me!

Yesterday, Black Friday, I did something a little different...I didn't go out shopping! While I did miss my Black Friday coupons and deals (Mom and I go to breakfast wicked early every year, then follow it up with some hard-core shopping) what I DID enjoy was lounging on the couch, sipping my coffee, and watching my kids (especially Hunter) watch Snow White for the first time. At certain points he was SO intent on the movie and it totally warmed my heart to see him enjoying one of my favorite Disney movies!  And I will admit, I did a TINY bit of online shopping at the Carter's website for the babes. Got Hunter a shirt for Christmas eve, and Aves a sweater to go over her Christmas Eve two pairs of footed jammies each and two long sleeved onesies for baby girl!

Later in the day, my MIL and step-FIL arrived in CT and joined us on our search for the perfect Christmas tree! This started last year and I think it's a new tradition we've created, with them helping us on the hunt. 

This year our tree-search was a little bit more complicated than usual.

First of all, we wanted a bigger (ie: taller) tree now that we had the space and high ceilings. And it was not easy to find a bigger tree that wasn't scraggly.  Secondly, our favorite tree farm (Daryl and I have probably gone to this farm the past five years now) just replanted like 1600 new baby trees that take approximately 6-7 years to reach full maturity before they can be sold. So.....that means there was not a lot of decent trees left.

Obviously, that didn't stop Hunter from running around like a crazy, wild man.

I'm a pretty picky person when it comes to picking the PERFECT tree. It has to be full (it can only have one side that has a "bald" spot, cuz that's the side that faces the wall) and it has to be a perfect cone shape. And of course, a pretty dark green with no dead needles! This year was VERY HARD to find that perfect tree but after well over an hour at the farm, I'm happy to say we found it!!

And Hunter had an absolute blast helping me decorate it!  He was hilarious, hanging all the ornaments on the same branch.  Daryl's grandparents and cousin joined us for pizza dinner, which was fun! 

The tree is super prickly (fresh!) so I had to wear Daryl's dead-sexy gloves. Heh heh.

Our mantle, looking a tad naked without our stockings yet!

The finished product!

Today, it's all about cleaning for my Miche Bag party at four.  My MIL is now a Miche consultant and I am in LOVE with these chic, awesome handbags!  You buy the "base" bag in your size of choice and then you buy separately any "shell" of your choice, so you can literally change the style/look of your purse every single day (to match your mood, season, outfit, whatever!). Coolest invention ever. Heh heh.

Anyway, for now, it's still early (my kids wake up every single day between 4:30-5:00am, ugh!) so Hunter is cuddled up against me watching Mickey Mouse and Avery is asleep on my chest. Aaaaahhhh...a blissful holiday weekend, for sure.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Avery,

Today you are eight months old! 

And what a big girl you are turning into. You crawl like an old pro now, however, you still love and often times rely on your signature army crawl to get you where you've got to go.  You've also learned this past month how to pull yourself up to a standing position. Mommy is NOT ready for this. It means more boo-boo's. The first time you did it, I was so surprised (I was sitting on the couch and you were on the floor. Using my leg and the couch, you pulled yourself up standing and had SUCH a proud happy expression on your face. Until two seconds later when you fell and banged your head, poor thing) and now you do it ALL THE TIME.

You love to eat, much as your brother did at this age. Your favorites are eggs, puffs and pizza~! But you will chow down on pretty much anything we put in front of you. You also had your first taste of peanut butter this month MUCH by accident.  Mommy was holding you while cleaning up Hunter's lunch mess when you suddenly leaned down and grabbed a square of pb&j from Hunter's leftover sandwich and stuffed it into your mouth! Thankfully, no allergic reactions and now you are a huge peanut butter lover.  You've also been trying SO hard to perfect your pincer grasp but most of the time it's still much easier for you to grab a handful of food off your tray.

You are in size four diapers currently and I think we'll be okay with those for a while. You wear size 12 months mostly for clothes. We do have some 18 months for jammies and a couple onesies but they are definitely big on you.

You have two teeth on the bottom and on top we can see at LEAST 2 (maybe even 3 or 4) trying to push through the gums. You're mostly a happy baby, Aves, but when those teeth finally bust through the gums there is NO putting you down. So Mommy will give you your Hyland's Teething Tablets and soon as I shake that bottle to get your attention, you smile. We make a game out of it, just like I used to do with brother, and count each tablet and you smile and laugh!

Mommy is SO looking forward to your first Christmas this year (next month!) and is having fun planning out your gifts. We are also having Christmas pictures done this weekend with you and Hunter and you have a beautiful hand-me-down dress to wear from the Savo girls...a deep burgandy and black lacy are going to look SO adorable in it!

Aves, you are sometimes clingy still but when you are playing in the toy room (off the living room) with your brother, you are SO Miss Independent! You crawl over looking very determined and try so hard to "hang" with Hunter. NO matter what he is playing with, that's what YOU want to play with. The toy food in the fake kitchen, his toy power drill or the cars, truck and tractors! I hope you'll be a girly girl but with a flair for the boy stuff. Heh heh.

Unfortunately your first Halloween this year turned out to be a dud (not that you'll remember!). We had a storm that knocked out power all over the state for DAYS and needless to say, Halloween day was a mess with tree limbs and power lines down and no one in our neighborhood with power. You and Hunter actually fell asleep early on Halloween night so the next day, Mommy put you both in your costumes and took some pictures.

You try to wave now, Avery, and it cracks me up. Your hand is turned (palm towards you) and you pretty much wave to yourself. You've also started blowing lovely spit bubbles but the best part? When you do it, it forces you to press your lips together and you say "Ma ma ma ma" while doing it! You also have THE happiest, craziest sounding squeal I've ever heard. You smile so much I'm surprise your face doesn't put your all into it, mouth wide open, and tongue sticking out.

Avery, you've been such a wonderful, happy addition to our family that there is no way I could imagine my life without you in it.  You are my sweet baby daughter!

We love you always,
Mommy, Daddy and Hunter