Friday, December 31, 2010

Avalyn's Room

I'm sitting in Avalyn's room right now, thinking back to this time last year.

My pregnant belly was hardly showing then, the lovely pink and green walls in here were cream colored, and the room was filled with odds and ends. Every room in the house is filled with odds and ends now. It's what happens when a family of four tries to cram their lives into a 950 square foot home. But even though this little room is cluttered I don't think I'd change a thing. Well... maybe I'd put a picture or two on the wall. ;)

This is the room I sat down in when I first found out I was pregnant. One of our couches was in here at the time. I knew that this unloved spare room would not be the same ever again. Rather than being the room that we threw unwanted or unused items into, it would hold someone very precious.

In fact, that someone is so precious I can't make myself get out of this rocking chair.

Avalyn has been sleeping in our room ever since she was born. Christmas Eve was the first night she slept in her room. She handled it fine. I did not. I haven't slept this poorly since I was pregnant. I don't like not having her next to me. I like listening to her breathe and toss and turn, it helps me sleep. However, part of being a parent (the not-so-fun part) is things stop being about you. Totally cliché but true. This is why Keith usually gets the last cookie... and the first. :)

So, here I sit, unable to sleep and unwilling to move, hoping that this will get easier with time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Time

Christmas is always a busy time of year for most people. This year I had all of my shopping done before December and all of my groceries and necessities taken care of before Christmas Eve. Or so I thought.

On Christmas Eve day Matt got called out to a site in Petoskey that had an alarm tripped. This happened at 2:00 PM and that's when I started to get uneasy. I figured I'd be going down to Morely to pick up Keith by myself but it was nice to know he'd only be an hour and a half away, not 3 + hours. After he left I started packing the Jeep. Let me state for the record, my Jeep has been the most reliable vehicle ever, it's never broken down or had a horrible mechanical malfunction. The worst thing I've dealt with were windshield wipers that only have one setting. Not that bad, really. However, all day I had a feeling that I needed to pack warm clothes for Avalyn and myself, just in case. I never have these thoughts! Not with my perfect purple Jeep. I listened anyway. I've learned, over the years, to trust my gut. It's usually right.

So, I packed Avalyn's snowsuit and my heavy winter coat along with some hand warmers and bottles of water. I left the house a little after 4:00 PM and noticed I had a half a tank of gas, maybe a little left. Enough to get to Morely and back anyway. On our way down I stopped in Big Rapids for gas, and every open gas station was packed. So I got back on the road and went the extra fourteen miles to Morely. As I was turning off the exit ramp to Morely, Matt called and let me know that Dominique called to let us know she was running late. I said okay, and told Matt I would just head into town to get gas there, instead of waiting at the car park and getting gas after the drop off.

The gas station was, thankfully, still open and I filled the tank. I was talking to Matt the entire time and complained about how much gas was. I had put in nineteen gallons, which was more than usual, so of course I paid a little more than normal. I twisted the cap back on and closed the door and when I took my receipt I heard (and felt) a thud. I could see Avalyn through the window and her eyes were wide. I wasn't the only one who heard/felt something. So, I looked around. There wasn't anyone else in the parking lot, so no one hit me. There were no rouge animals wandering about, no nothing ran into me. Then I looked down. The gas tank was on the concrete.

I could only stare. One of the two straps that hold the tank in place had snapped under the weight of nineteen gallons. So, I said to Matt, as I knelt on the ground, "So, um, we have a problem... the gas tank fell out of the Jeep."

There was silence followed by, "What..?"

"Yeah... um... I'm going to go inside and see if anyone knows what to do."

So, I unbuckled Avalyn and we went inside in search of someone. I told the three ladies behind the counter what happened and they all went to see what it looked like. I asked them if they knew what to do, they didn't, but they knew of someone they could call. So they called him while I waited. In the mean time, Matt called Domi and told her what had happened and she was more than willing to meet me at the gas station. After a few minutes a man showed up to look at the damage. He said that I would just need some ratchet straps to get the tank back up where it belonged. Before I had to go inside to buy some, Domi and Bill showed up. They said we could borrow their straps (one of the women who worked at the gas station originally said we could use hers, but Domi or Bill (I don't know who) suggested to use theirs since we could return them easier). So the guy got to work, and I put Avalyn's snowsuit on her. Domi, tried to take her, but Avalyn is experiencing stranger anxiety so I took her back. She's a little heater so being out in the cold doesn't bother her. She likes being part of things anyway. :)

After about fourty minutes the man had the tank back in place and secure. I don't carry cash, so I tried giving him one of my credit card (good anywhere) gift cards, but he wouldn't take it. :-\ I felt weird about not giving him anything but I guess the Christmas spirit was in the air! I thanked Domi and Bill and headed on my way. I drove slowly on my way home and called Matt to let him know we were okay. He had me call him every fifteen or so miles so he would know where I was. I also called my dad to let him know I wouldn't be going to Midland the next day. He made the suggestion for he and mom to pick us up and go. I was excited about that because I hadn't seen my grandparents since July.

We got home safely and we had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas. The next day we went to Autozone for parts. Thankfully it will only cost $60 to fix everything. The gas tank wasn't damaged but a fuel line was. Things could have been so much worse! I'm so thankful I packed warm clothes, and thankful we got gas before Domi and Bill dropped Keith off. This is why I like the Christmas season. Even though a lot of store patrons are jerks, there are still good people out there. Really good people!

Belated Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Random Update

I am so tired of group projects at school. I always end up doing 75% of the work. I don't mind doing the work, but I hate finding out at the last minute that no one else has done anything. Ugh! Oh well, at least it's over and I have two weeks off!

In other news Avalyn had her six month check up and did great! She only cried for a few seconds after getting her shots, and she didn't have any side effects! I'm so proud of my baby girl! She is also becoming a lot more vocal and has been testing out new sounds. We watched The Princess and the Frog the other day and when Tianna said "Daddy" she started saying "Dadadada!" It was so amazing!

We are done with our Christmas shopping as well - and Keith is with his mom until Friday so at least the presents are safe from snooping! ^_~ He's doing very well in school though (even though he's been testing us lately) and made the honor roll. The thing that's bad: He's trying to turn Matt and Dominique (his birth mom) against each other. Little does he know, they don't like each other already!

Last week when Dominique called, Matt told Keith he needed to spend more than five minutes talking to her because she lives far away and this is her only chance to hear what's going on in his life. Keith apparently took this as: "You're not allowed to talk to your sister." So what does he do? Tells his mom that his dad said he can't talk to Jalynn. Nice work Keith. Needless to say, Dominique was upset and asked Matt about it. Matt explained what happened but I don't think she believed him. Now Matt is stressed out and Keith realizes that he can manipulate his mom. Great...

Keith tried telling us things Dominique says to him about us, but I take it with a grain of salt. One gem was: "My Dominique says I don't have to listen to you because you're stupid." I replied by telling him I have a college degree and if she thinks I'm stupid, that's fine, but he's in my house and he has to follow my rules, even if she does think I'm stupid. Then I got, "My Dominique says I don't have to listen to you because you're just my step mom." Pretty much the same deal, it's my house and he has to follow my rules... then I add, but I love you just as much as I love Avalyn because you're more than just my step son. That one made him cry. :\ The one after that was that Dominique and Bill punch him. Not sure if I believe that because I check him for bruises every time he comes home, I haven't seen any that raise questions. A couple of scraped knees, some scratches and small bruises, basic wear and tear for an eight-year-old. The latest contradicted the punching thing, now he says he never gets punished while he's there and doesn't have to clean up after himself. Val and Dominique have told us more than one time that he gets disciplined and has to pick up his things. Those are just a few - there are so many other times that he's tried to manipulate us and it hasn't worked. It's a shame that Dominique seemed to fall for it. Things have been going so well...

Oh well!

I suppose it just shows how smart Keith is. Even if it is being too smart for his own good!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

So we had Christmas already! Well kind of. We went to GR and had a celebration with the family early (since Keith is with Domi from the 17-24th). The kids got lots of toys and we had an eventful drive home! We were welcomed back to good ol' northern Michigan with a blizzard. Boo!

Thankfully we made it home safely. I've already gone out in it again (yep, that's what we do up here, drive in the snow!) to get a new camera with my Christmas money! Woot!

Here are some pictures of the festivities (you'll be able to see the difference on picture quality for sure):

Avalyn's first snow


Keith's bed!

Someone likes Christmas lights!

So sleepy!

This is how the crib is set up in our room!

Good thing she likes the snow!

Keith likes shoveling (which is awesome because I don't!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I can't think of a title...

So, our little family has been busy the past month! We went to our first church service in TC and enjoyed ourselves. Matt really liked it which was a huge surprise. Avalyn liked the singing, but wanted to continue during the quiet times. What can you do? The next service is Sunday and we're looking forward to it.

Keith got an awesome report from parent-teacher conferences. He has all A's and a B+ and is one of the better listeners in class. Now if he could only apply the listening skills at home, too, we'd be set! He's still stealing from me though, and I don't know what else to do. I've taken away his toys, put him in the corner, taken his piggy bank and even threatened to take his Christmas presents back... nothing is working though. He only takes what I leave sitting on the counter (like quarters and other shiny coins... he's a raccoon I swear! lol!) so it's not as if he's taking a lot. I still believe that stealing is stealing and no matter how little it is, it's wrong. Especially when I tell him if he wants something, all he has to do is ask. He'll get it through his head one day, hopefully...

Avalyn is eating solid food now. I'm giving her two feedings a day and I'm going to up it to three in a week or so. She's SO big now! She fits into 12 month clothing. I got her a 3-6 month dress for her pictures that are happening in a couple days, but dresses fit differently. Here's hoping the place take a good portrait! I'm so excited to see the difference from her 3 month to 6 month photos. She has also started laughing, a really belly laugh, but only occasionally. It's so cute! I had a great video of it, but my camera decided to crap out and erase it. I bought a program that found all of the images and the video, but the audio and the video are separate files. Unfortunately the video is in a format that windows doesn't recognize so I have to find a program that will convert it so I can use my video editor to add the sound back. What a mess!

In other news, about three weeks ago Avalyn threw up all over our bed at 1:00 AM. Awesome right? Well we had a mattress cover on that was supposed to keep anything from contaminating the mattress. Well, it didn't do its job. I called Art Van and someone came out to inspect it and now we are getting a new mattress, all we have to pay is the delivery charge. They'll be bringing the new mattress tomorrow. Also, tomorrow I plan on bringing up the Christmas things and getting the house decked out for the holiday season.

Keith has soooooo many presents it's insane. I don't know where he's going to put them. We got Avalyn a few developmental toys and a glow-worm. I found the perfect gifts for Matt but he says I'm hard to shop for. I don't know why. I told him I wanted an ipod charging station and a necklace I saw at Things Remembered that has the kids birth stones in it. He wants to get me more than that... I don't understand him. I think that those two things are too much! He STILL doesn't understand that I don't care about 'things' and that I just want to spend the day with him and the kids. And that I want the kids (mainly Keith) to have a great Christmas. I told him that if he cleaned the house for me while I was sleeping THAT would be the greatest Christmas present EVER. But he doesn't think so. Are all men this weird, or is it just mine?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ah November...

When Keith was in school two weeks ago Avalyn and I went on a little trip to the cottage. Crazy right? It is November in northern Michigan after all. We had a wind storm so I wanted to make sure the cottage made it through all right.

The good news? The cottage is a-okay!

The bad news? There are branches and debris everywhere! Also, the birch tree that was by the steps heading down to the lake fell over. Just missed the cottage. Phew!

After that we went back home, and I found that Avalyn's new car seat arrived! Hooray! It's been a busy month so far, but that's okay by me!

The lake!

Mommy and Avalyn!


New car seat! Cowmooflage!

Five days, five weeks, five months... doubt I'll do five years like this! ;)

Avalyn's photoshoot with mommy. :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sleep Issues

No, Avalyn is not having any problems sleeping. She's wonderful!

However, I need to vent about some of the insanity I've read on the web lately. I do not believe in letting a baby "cry-it-out" not one bit. As far as I'm concerned a baby cries because they need something. They don't cry to manipulate or control their parents. They're babies for crying out loud! They could be hungry, need a diaper change, be uncomfortable or just need comfort etc.

It kills me to read about parents doing this to their child(ren). Plus, there are still doctors out there who advocate it. They say that the baby learns to accept that crying won't get them what they want. What?! That's how a baby communicates! Take that away and what do they have?

In reality the baby realizes that their parents aren't coming and they can't count on them. The baby shuts down! Isn't that heartbreaking? Babies don't understand that at night it's time to sleep and parents don't want to get up. They don't understand why mom and dad take care of their every need during the day but won't help them at night. It makes me want to cry!

I was told that I just haven't been at my wits end yet so I don't know. Whatever, crazy-person-who-has-no-idea-what-my-life-is-like, I have been at my wits end and I have put Avalyn in her cradle and walked away for a minute or two to catch my breath. But it was only a minute or two. I can't let her cry by herself longer than that. It kills me. And I think it's total bull that "it hurts the parents more than the baby." I can hear my daughter when she cries and she's hurting (not physically) and she needs me.

Newsflash folks: Babies need their caregivers! Yes, it's hard to give and give and give and lose sleep and not be able to do your own thing... but when that child smiles at you... it's so worth it!

Who cares how you get your baby to sleep, either? Why do they have to "learn to do it themselves" when they can't even sit up on their own? Avalyn falls asleep after nursing. Sometimes she falls asleep after playing. Sometimes she wants to walk around the house. And then there are the few days she falls asleep on her own. Even fewer days she wants me to lay down next to her. Do I fall asleep the same way every night? No. Sometimes I'm so tired I just crash. Other times I watch tv, or play sudoku, or read... why does a baby have to do the SAME thing every night? They're human too, right?

Okay, I'm done venting. And I hear Avalyn waking up. I'm going to see what she needs. Because she does need something. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Costume is Finished!!

Okay so after a lot of hand sewing and swearing at my sewing machine I am finished!

I made Avalyn's first Halloween costume. And it's reversible so she can wear it again when we go outside. :)

The reversible jacket!

The pants are reversible, too.


The ensemble!

My little cow!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


This date last year was when we had a scare (I was six weeks pregnant) and I had to go to the emergency room. What could have been a sad/scary day turned out great! I got to see my baby girl (didn't know that yet) for the first time and watch the fast flutter of her heart. Amazing!

While waiting in the ER a Baptist minister, was there for someone in his congregation who was ill or hurt (I don't know the whole story), walked over to us and told us he knew they were there for me. I must have had a funny look on my face or something because he took my hand and told me everything would be okay and he would pray for us. I really wish I knew his name, or the location of his church, because he was such a nice man who gave me so much peace that night and I would love to visit his church.

Matt and I haven't found a church to join up here yet (because I am very picky) and it's starting to be a problem. I want to get Avalyn baptized and I would like to take Keith to church. I have never been overly religious and believe that if I lead a good life and listen to the Lord's teachings and follow them the best I can, then I am doing better than some. But lately Keith has been starting to read the Bible and is asking questions that I don't feel comfortable answering, so I think it's time to find a church.

I would also like to start to get to know people up here. We've lived here for three years and haven't made many friends that we see outside of work and it's hard to be so isolated.

We do have a few obstacles in the way... Getting up early (or going to bed late in Matt's case) will be very difficult with Avalyn, she is not an early morning baby. Also, Matt and I come from different denominations. I grew up in the UCC and Matt as a Lutheran. Also apparently he's turned off to churches entirely because of past issues, which I understand completely! So finding a place that suits us will be hard.

What we want to find in a church:
Open mindedness
Someplace small
A place that is not manipulative
A place with a nursery
Friendly people
A place that welcomes LGBT people - With all of these horrible stories in the news I feel like I need to be in a place that does not look down on these people but welcome them with open arms. I will NOT willingly be part of a place that believes in oppression. >:(

Okay, I'm off to find a church! Wish me luck!!!


I think we may have found a church up here to be a part of! They are affiliated with the UCC and seem really open minded. They only meet monthly in the evening (we don't have to get up early and try to get both kids ready) so it will fit in perfectly with our lifestyle! The next time they meet is November 7, so we are going to go check them out. I've contacted their communications lady and she seems very nice and welcoming. I'm really looking forward to this! :)

The Potter's House UCC

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Better Today

Started today off fresh (I'm not counting the awful headache, boo!) and decided that Avalyn will be a cow! I will be making the replacement. This way she won't be dressed like every other cow. She will be unique. Hooray! Onward to the fabric store!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Way Bummed...

Last year (the day after Halloween) Matt and I got this ADORABLE cow costume for Avalyn's first Halloween. Well, come to find out, It's missing parts!

I thought I was being so smart getting a costume early (and on sale no less!!) but apparently not. Now I need to find her a different costume in a short period of time, because I want her first Halloween to be special.

There's so much out there but I can't seem to find the good enough option because my heart was set on her being a cow. I have been dreaming about dressing my baby as a cow for her first Halloween since I've wanted a baby, so this is proving to be harder than I thought it would be.

I'm so bummed! What a ridiculous thing to be bummed about, but here I sit, writing a blog entry because I have no one else to talk to about it. :'( I'm so frustrated!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Poor little eye...

This morning when Avalyn and I woke up her eye wasn't crusted over like it has been lately, and there wasn't as much discharge. So, we might be getting somewhere. Here's hoping...

She sees the pediatric ophthalmologist in a month from today. He will determine if the blockage is something that needs surgery or if we'll let it unblock on its own. I can't even begin to guess what he will decide. We went in at the beginning of July so he would have given us four months to let it unblock itself. However, in the last week progress has been made so here's hoping surgery won't be necessary.

In other news Avalyn was making progress towards rolling but now she has lost interest in it. Her new interest is grabbing her feet and screaming at her toys. She's babbling so much. I'm not sure what she's saying to me but I certainly respond. :)

She has also started to laugh which is amazing! So far she only laughs when she anticipates something, but I'm sure she'll start laughing at other things soon!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jogging Stroller

Avalyn went out in the jogging stroller for the first time today! We had so much fun!

I scored a deal last October on this baby, I was all of six weeks pregnant and it was the first purchase I made. I was also really, really scared that I was going to jinx my pregnancy and have a miscarriage because I was already buying things. Yeah, I really am that paranoid. Anyway, I found it for $20 on craigslist, even better it was only a mile away!

It was the green colored one, but the older model.

It needed to be cleaned, but thankfully it's all snaps so I threw the cover into the washing machine, and shined up the wheels and body, and it's as good as new. The only problem with it? It doesn't have a five-point-harness. This is a big deal for me, so I ordered a replacement belt for a Graco Snugride car seat and sewed it into the stroller. Voila! Five-point-harness and a happy Gwen for a grand total of $27. Woot!

Avalyn's a big fan! ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Small Successes

Avalyn has slept by herself for the past week. The only hiccups in the week were the two nights we stayed at my parents house. But, she did pretty well in her pack and play. Her bedtime routine has become more consistant as well. Now she is usually in bed by nine and asleep soon after. She is also down to two naps a day.

I can't put into words how proud of her I am. She is the best baby. She's so happy and talkative and she rarely cries anymore. When they say the first six weeks are the hardest, they weren't kidding! It is so worth it though. It's so amazing to watch her grow, but at the same time bittersweet. She won't stay little forever, so I am cherishing every moment I have with her. :)

I should also make note: It was this date last year that I found out I was pregnant with my little angel. I think that's a date worth remembering! My heart is so full!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Once again the carrier saves the day

Well tonight was awful. No other way to describe it. Awful.

Let me start off by mentioning that Avalyn has a pretty good routine going that she sticks to quite well. Usually she and I wake up around 8:30-9:00 AM after Matt sends Keith off to school. She gets a diaper change, washed up and after that she hangs out in her crib where she bats at her mobile while I wash up. When her mobile turns off I bring her out to the living room where she plays on her activity mat for about an hour. During that time I do my homework, which works out perfectly because I read my books to her and both our brains get stimulated. Wonderful! When she's tired of her mat she eats and then I put her in her swing to watch Baby Einstein movies or Your Baby Can Read. After about twenty minutes she falls asleep for her first nap. This is when I finish my homework or clean the house. When she wakes up I change her, see if she needs to eat and then we go on a walk. Around three she usually naps again until around five. Then Matt plays with her while I make dinner, or I play with her until Matt makes dinner.

This is where things went awry. Tonight Matt was playing with her but she was getting fussy with him because he was dividing his attention by watching TV and she knows when she isn't getting 100%. So, while water was boiling and things were simmering I went out to the living room to help out. I got on my knees and tried to shift her from laying on her back to laying on her tummy to play. Now keep in mind, while I'm rolling her she's only an inch off the mat at most. Well she kicked her little head forward and bopped her nose on the floor.

I quickly hoisted her into my arms to see if she was all right. As soon as she sees my face she gives me the lip and bursts into tears. I felt terrible about her face plant and I tell her I'm sorry and carry her around the house for a bit and she calmed down after about five minutes. She was still sniffling though, the way people do after they've cried. You know where you can't really breathe without your breath hitching in your throat. So I showed her the kitchen and the dinning room and so forth, just walking through the house naming things until she let out a little "I feel better" sigh.

Since she felt better, I felt better. I noticed then, that she had a wet diaper so I went to change her. While I was doing that she was cooing and gurgling and talking to me like usual. She even grabbed my sleeve (like she always does) to pull my hand to her face. I went with it like usual, but her little hands must have been slippery from her tears because her fist slipped off my sleeve and she popped herself in the nose. All hell broke loose after that. She was completely inconsolable for an hour and a half.

I tried everything: Shushing her, walking with her, walking and rocking her, singing to her, feeding her, burping her and the list goes on... She never gets this way, even after her shots she was all right. I had Matt check her fingers and toes and give her a once over to see if she was okay and she was. So, I stripped her jammies off her and tied her carrier around my waist and secured her into it, hoping skin to skin contact would help (not to mention that carrier puts her to sleep every time I use it). After about two minutes her sobs start to subside a bit and she starts to chew on my cami like she's hungry. So, I feed her while I'm walking her around in the carrier... ten minutes later she's sleeping.

That carrier is a Godsend! I love it! I don't want to use it all of the time but when something works it works! She only slept for about twenty minutes but it must have been enough because she woke up with a smile on her face.

I don't know why punching herself in the nose set her off like that. Maybe she thought I did it and it scared her. :( I'm just glad today is almost over and we can start fresh tomorrow.

The good news: Avalyn is sleeping in her cradle for the second night in a row. Without having to move the co-sleeper from the bed into the cradle. The co-sleeper is folded up on the floor. Imagine that. I'm so proud of her!

Not a picture from today, but she loves the carrier!

Best carrier ever!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


That will be my "occupation" this year when we file taxes. I don't care much for the title, it sounds so fifties to me. However, I like what it means for my family and me. It means my eight-year-old son can come home after school and not have to be watched by someone else at a daycare. It means my baby daughter can bond with me and not a non family member. It means I don't have to spend a fortune on fuel and childcare so I can work for pennies on the dollar. And, as silly as this sounds, it means I can give my family 100%.

Feminists may disagree with my choice, saying women fought hard so they could become more than just a homemaker, but I feel as though they fought so future generations of women could choose what they wanted. I choose to be a mother and wife. I also choose to attend school so, when my family is ready, I can have a career. As of today, my career can wait. I want to get to know my new daughter and share her firsts with her.

To those amazing moms out there who do go back to work, I think you're incredible! It takes a lot of courage to leave your kids so you can give them the best life. I just wish working moms could see what I do is equally important.

I'm so tired of hearing; "you took the easy road..."

Easy? Right...

Really easy.

I have only left my daughter in the care of someone else for a total of thirty minutes in her whole three months of life. Those were two quick fifteen minute trips while I was in Jenison visiting my parents. All other times she is with me. I have not had a shower that has lasted longer than fifteen minutes in three months. My child will not take a bottle so my husband and I don't get to have date nights. I have to have her with me otherwise she can't eat. I did not take the easy road. I don't think any moms have an "easy road" really. So why do working moms try and make what I do seem less important than what they do?

I love being a mom. Aside from the piles of laundry, it's the best job I've ever had. Even without date night and long showers. It's such a small price to pay for the short amount of time I can spend with my kids while they're young. I just wish people would stop and think before they judge me.

Shouldn't moms (or women in general) stick together?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Keith had his first day of second grade today. Wow! So hard to believe my little guy is a second grader! He came home so excited about everything to do with second grade...

"Second graders don't need their names on lockers because we can remember which one is ours!"

"I get to bring home a spelling test to study for every week. I get to STUDY!"

"Do you know I get letter grades this year? I'm going to get A's!"

Was I ever this excited about school? I can't remember. I'm really glad he loves it though. My little nerd! Just like his daddy. He also started soccer last week and is, once again, very happy to be part of it. I guess the next thing he wants to do is Tae Kwon Do, he brought home a flier and wants to give it a go. We'll have to make sure it doesn't interfere with soccer first, but I don't see why he couldn't give it a try.

In other news Ava rolled over from her tummy to her back and I accidentally caught it on tape. What a lucky accident! I was trying to take a picture and movie mode on my camera was on. Divine intervention? I think so! ^_~

Ready for practice.


..and over!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Needy Days

Ever have a day where you just want physical contact with another person?

Ava had that day today. She did not want to be put down, even for bed! So, I'm watching Ferris on AMC while I wait for Ava to be completely out before I move her to her co-sleeper. I am cherishing this time with her though. Some day there will be a time when she wants nothing to do with me... So, I will let her sleep on me while I can. It's peaceful, anyway, feeling her breathe and watching smiles flutter across her face. Such a little angel.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trip Downstate

Avalyn and I went downstate for a couple of days to visit my parents and Penny. We also dropped Keith off with Domi. Penny gave me a bunch of bottles to try on Ava since she still won't take one. Here's hoping one works. It would make traveling a bit easier. If she doesn't like them, that's okay, we'll figure something out.

For those wondering; Ava is still sleeping through the night. Her co-sleeper is a lifesaver. She won't sleep longer than an hour and a half alone unlesss it's in my bed and that's not safe for her. With her co-sleeper she can sleep alone but still see me when she opens her eyes. She likes that reassurance that mom is still there and I like that she's close enough for me to feed her at night without either of us waking up fully. I sleep better now than I ever did when I was pregnant. Not having to pee every hour is great!

Matt doesn't like the idea of co-sleeping much but since I am the one who has to feed her he understands. :) Not to mention with all of the reading I've done on it, it really seems like the best choice for Ava and me. Too bad western culture usually doesn't agree. :-/

Avalyn and Andy

Weird face!

Happy to be home!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Avalyn got her first round of vaccines yesterday. I felt awful the whole day. Her appointment wasn’t until 4:15 PM so we had a long day of waiting. She must have been picking up on my stress because she didn’t nap all day, but she seemed pretty darn happy. Her happiness only made matters worse. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when she’s happy, her smile makes any bad feelings go away, on most days. Today, however, her smile was just a reminder that she trusts and loves me and I was going to break that trust a little. It sounds ridiculous but that’s really how I felt.

The nurses seemed to feel the same way. When we got to the office, we went through all the normal “well baby” checks. She’s measuring great. 24.5 inches long (95th percentile) and 12 lbs 8 ounces (85th percentile), which means she’s a thriving breastfed baby. I couldn’t be happier about that! After the checkup the nurse left so I could feed Ava while she got the vaccines ready. When she came back in, she brought another nurse with her. They gave her the oral injection first (which Ava wasn’t thrilled with) and had me hold her on my lap to give her the shots. I let them know I was sad because she was all smiles earlier and the nurse said she hated giving shots to smiley babies because she doesn’t like to be the one who takes the smile away. I understood that completely!

So, I held Avalyn on my lap, while she looked at her daddy on the chair across from her… the nurses did a countdown and gave her the shots all at once, two in one thigh and one in the other. The cry that Ava made was the most heartbreaking sounds in the entire world. I wanted to cry! Matt looked as if he was on the verge of tears as well. As soon as they put Band-Aids on her little legs, I pulled my little Avalyn into my arms and shushed her, telling her that everything was going to be okay. I don’t think she believed me.

After the nurses left, Matt said that Ava’s expression when she got the shots was horrible. I guess it took a lot for him to stay in the chair and not jump up and take her away from the nurses. I felt the same way. Even though I did my research and weighed the pros and cons of vaccinating my child, it doesn’t make the process any easier.

Avalyn’s only reaction to the vaccines was a slight fever. She slept the whole night and woke up with a smile so all is right in her world. Next appointment is October 12 and she will be getting another round of shots. I’m really looking forward to that…

Monday, July 19, 2010


Ava smiled her first real smile the other day! July 16 was the big day. She gave daddy a big toothless grin when she saw him. Best moment ever!

This weekend we visited grandpa and grandma in Midland. Ava slept through most of the visit, except when she was screaming at my mom. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Big Day

Val had her baby today! Alyssa Marie was born today at 1:39 AM, weighing in at 8 lbs 5 ounces and 19 inches long. She is a beauty! Congrats to Josh and Val!

In other news Avalyn has stopped sleeping in her bassinet because she hates it! So I started looking into other options. These options are: A) buying a new bassinet, which would be a co-sleeping one if I have to get one, or; B) getting the old cradle from mom and dad. Probably going to choose the latter.

However, while I was looking into option A I saw that there's a recall on the bassinet that Ava currently sleeps in. My guess is that she heard about the recall before me and was telling me, in her own way, that it wasn't safe to sleep there anymore. What a smart kid!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baby Well Check

Avalyn had her one month check up today. Everything looks good and she is now 10 lbs 3 ounces. That's the 70th percentile. So yey for a healthy baby!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day!

Spent the day at the cottage today. Then got to watch fireworks in Traverse. Very tired, but very fun. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Party Party!

So we went down to GR this weekend for Matt's grandparents surprise party. We stayed at my parents house on Friday night so we wouldn't have a whole day of driving on Saturday. Avalyn did pretty well on the trip, we had to stop once to change her diaper.

She slept really well that night at my parents house. Only woke up to eat, and didn't cry much. My mom and dad invited my aunt, uncle and grandma over for brunch to meet Avalyn on Saturday and she was a hit. :) My uncle Gary even held her, that was a surprise. Evan got to hold her, too.

She slept through most of the party, which was fine. She woke up a little for Nana to feed her and for people to hold her a little bit. I finally got to see Bode and Elea and they are both very cute. Bode is so big! And has the best blue eyes. And Elea had the cutest little ponytail. I can't wait to do that with Ava's hair.

On the way home Ava and I both fell asleep. What a weekend! I'm very tired.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Field Day!

Keith had his field day for baseball today. It was a blast. Josh and Val brought him up, which was so great, and stayed for his ball game. He even got to ride in a plane for the first time. Avalyn slept through Keith's whole game and flight, so it really was a day all about Keith. Which is great, he needed that!

Keith with his medal.

In the plane!

His certificate saying he was on the plane.

And Ava slept through it all...