Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Season!

We had a very eventful holiday season here! Well, not here completely. We had to go to Grand Rapids to visit family of course. We had five Christmas's in three days. That is packed! Oddly enough though, no one had snow except for us! And we only had a dusting. Crazy Michigan weather!

Here's our living room all decked out for Christmas!

Keith's holiday photo.
 My beautiful kids.

Avalyn's holiday photo. She's giving a toy reindeer a kiss - she has no idea that she decapitated it.

My reindeer is dead!

Sugar cookies decorated by Keith.

Christmas morning! Well the morning of the 23rd... Keith wasn't with us on Christmas day.

Game boy color! Woot!


Avalyn kissing her new baby.

This lens is my new toy. Ha!

Aren't they a hoot?

Someone likes her ball pit!

Daddy likes it, too.

Christmas party that night at Matt's parent's house. This is cousin Alyssa wearing the outfit I made for her. Her mom, Val, loves Sponge Bob, so this is really for her. ;)

Avalyn rocking her new cowgirl hat and boots from Nana.

Avalyn says: You know, Alyssa, your ensemble is missing something...

Avalyn: *Thunk* Try my hat!
Alyssa: You're right, it's perfect!

 This is Val the Sheep. With Baby Alyssa Lamb on top of her. They are also ready for the holidays. Matt's dad loves sheep, and Val found the big sheep for him, so she was named in her honor. And of course the baby is named in Alyssa's honor. :)

She would probably fit in pretty well in Texas.

This is the best picture I could get of them. Toddlers really don't like to sit still!

My Dad and Avalyn at their Christmas party bunch the next day.

Keith showing off his sweatshirt Grandma (my mom) made for him.

Matt got a bunch of pegs for his board in the garage. Of course he loves them.

Mack (the dog) got a ball from Grandpa and Grandma. All the pictures I took of him opening the wrapped up  ball are blurry, but it was pretty funny to watch.

The tool kit Matt has wanted for years. Lucky guy!

Avalyn trying on her new pretty shoes from Grandma and Grandpa.

Clearly she needs some practice walking in them!

Playing peek-a-boo with Grandma, and wearing the coat Grandma made her.

Christmas day, Aunt Mary was trying to help Avalyn put Santa's hat on her new elephant.

It's Evan! He loves Christmas! ;)

We went home after this and got some much needed rest in our own bed. Avalyn still loves her ball pit and is enjoying all of the gifts she got for Christmas. We're enjoying our gifts, too. I got a fancy new coat! Yey winter! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Milestone Update

I haven't done one of these since October!

New words/phrases:

64. Yes
65. Horsie
66. "Oh no!"
67. "Thank you!"
68. Please
69. Santa
70. Boot
71. Calliou
72. Star
73. Potty
74. Poo-poo
75. Sock
76. Coat
77. Sun
78. Apple
79. Orange
80. "Fruit Loop"
81. Train
82. Pants
83. Pizza
84. Clue
85. Paw
86. Mail
87. Okay
88. "I love you"
89. Help
90. Dance
91. Slide
92. Cookie
93. Cracker
94. One
95. Two
96. Three
97. Wipe
98. Box
99. Back
100. Cheek

October 31 - Avalyn's second Halloween - went trick or treating for the first time. :)
November 3 - Avalyn sings with the "lalala's" on Sesame Street.
November 4-5 - Up all night when five teeth broke through at once. Three molars and two incisors.
November 10 - Hailed today and Avalyn went to play in it (it was very small and she loved it!)
November 16 - Avalyn sings with the Caillou theme song
November 16 - Puts on mommy's shoes and dances around the house
November 17 - Avalyn's first ice storm - dangerous roads!!
November 17 - Pretend plays with mommy. She closed her eyes and pretended to sleep then "woke up" and attacked me. She also pretends to feed her doll and makes smacking sounds when she drinks, she also pretends to eat imaginary food from her plates and cups.
November 17 - Says "I love you" to daddy for the first time
November 22 - Climbed into her toy box and "hid" from mommy and laughed when mommy couldn't find her. ;)
November 23 - Went to Jenison to see Grandpa and Grandma
November 24 - Went to Midland for Thanksgiving
November 25 - Back in Jenison to hang out with Grandpa and Grandma - counts to 3!
November 26-27 - Visit with Nana and Papa in Middleville
December 1 - Mommy gets food poisoning and Daddy had to watch Avalyn all day (he even cleaned a poopy diaper)
December 3 - Avalyn sings her own version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. ""Mama... mommy star... babababababa skyyyy!"
December 5 - Keith hits Avalyn
December 12 - Avalyn fell asleep all by herself at nap time. What a big girl!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Santa Baby!

We went to the mall today to get the kids picture taken with Santa. I did not have high hopes for this excursion. Avalyn has had major stranger anxiety since November of last year and while it's gotten better, it certainly isn't gone. In April we managed to get her to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap and smile, but the bunny was a giant stuffed animal (she had no clue there was a human person under there), and stuffed animals are awesome! But Santa? Santa is a man, a real human man. A real human man that Avalyn has never ever met. So while she was calling the stuffed reindeer "horsies" and waving to Santa happily, I knew as soon as it was our turn Keith would flash his fake smile and Avalyn would scream loud enough for everyone in the mall to think there was a fire.

Here's the outcome:

Oh dear. And Avalyn was clinging to me for the rest of our little trip to the big, scary mall.

Maybe next year she'll want to be a "big girl" for her baby brother or sister and smile with Santa. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


For the past week and a half the cottage was getting resided. Bye bye wood siding, hello vinyl! It's a big change, but definitely good for the place. Squirrels and other critters were making a home behind the chimney, birds and pests were making holes that needed to be fill frequently, and new siding was the way to fix it.

I had no part in the decision (after all it belongs to my dad and his siblings), but I understand why they did it and why it took so long to get it done. Siding is not cheap! I'm glad they were able to, though. It will make the place last a lot longer (hopefully!), so future generations can continue to enjoy it the way my dad and his brothers and sisters did, as well as all of their kids.

My Grandpa, dad, uncle, and family friend built the place back in the 1970's, I will try to dig up some pictures this summer. I took a few "before" pictures, and in progress, as well as after that I thought I would share!

View from the road.


This is right in front of the path heading down to the lake.
 Looking up from the deck at the lake.
 In progress, roadside.
 In progress, lakeside.

In progress, view from path.

 Finished! View from the road.
Finished, lake side. 
 Finished, path view.
 Finished! View from the deck at the lake.

Looks good, right? I think so.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Proud Mama

I am so unbelievably proud of Avalyn lately. She is finally on a set schedule, and has been for about a week now. She wakes up at 10:00 AM, naps around 1:00 or 2:00 PM for an hour and then goes down for the night between 9:30 and 10:00 PM. It's pretty great.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Life of the Sicky's

Cold season is horrible! Not only am I feeling too sick to eat anything, I have a sore throat and stuffy nose to top it off. To make matters worse, Avalyn has a cold, too, which makes it impossible to get the rest I need. She wakes up every couple of hours because she's not feeling well, poor baby girl! :-( Guess I found the downside to Avalyn weaning.

In other news, our bunny died of a respiratory infection. :-( There was nothing the vet could do for her, the poor thing. I felt so bad for her. She was hopping around all happy and carefree one day and she was laying on her side dying the next. The vet said when rabbits get sick, they go down hard and fast.

Keith is also back to being a little liar. I can't stand it. Everything is a lie. If he doesn't do his chore, he says it's because daddy or mommy told him not to. He opened the door to the car box and let the cats loose in the garage because he thought it would be funny. Even though we have told him there are things in the garage that the cats could eat and it could kill them. His words: "I don't care." That way he wouldn't have to take care of them anymore. I swear he's a serial killer in the making. His boy scout pack went to the jail last night to learn about safety and right and wrong, he took nothing away from it. He still thinks it's fun to be bad and lie. I have no idea where he's learning this, or why he thinks this way, but it scares me.

Well, I'm going to try to get Avalyn down for a nap. She needs some rest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pinterest Challenge Fail

So, for the pinterest challenge I was going to finally finish the bathroom... that didn't happen. We had a busy weekend, and then Halloween, the timing just wasn't right! Ah, well...

In other news... how cute were my kids on Halloween?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Weaning Part 2

So weaning has gone very well. Avalyn no longer asks for Mama's milk, except in the morning... not that there's much (if any) left. She's been sleeping from about 11pm to 10am, then taking a two to three hour nap in the afternoon. It's amazing how well she's sleeping lately. She'll still wake up around six in the morning and crawl over to me and snuggle into my arms and steal my pillow, but she's not fully awake and not screaming bloody murder for mama's milk so it's more than okay. In fact I welcome it, I love snuggling with my baby girl.

I miss breastfeeding though, that closeness and bonding with Avalyn was such a wonderful gift. I knew it would be hard soon after that relationship began, but I know the timing is right and Avalyn is ready. She doesn't seem to miss it at all. In fact she seems to enjoy being able to suck on her bottle and watch me turn the pages of her books as I read to her. Also, car rides have been easier, she can drink while she watches her Baby Einstein and I don't have to duck away when we visit places to nurse her. She can do everything on her own!

We'll see where we are in a week or two with this journey. I hope Avalyn knows how much I love her. I really need to find a new way to bond with her now that our breastfeeding relationship has ended. Maybe more playtime is in order!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Milestone Update

I haven't done one of these since September!

New words:

42. Duck
43. Pumpkin (kumpkin)
44. Bunny
45. Get it
46. Come here (comere)
47. Cereal
48. Book
49. Cup
50. Straw
51. Step
52. "Moo" as an answer to what a cow says
53. "Mow" (said like cow) as an answer to what a kitty says
54. "Rarr" like a lion or bear
55. Stair
56. Bed
57. Eye
58. Ear
59. Good girl - instead of "thank you"
60. Look
61. See
62. Stuck
63. Yucky

October 3-7 - Grandma came up to visit for a week, it was so much fun!
October 14 - Went to GR to visit grandpa and grandpa
October 15 - State wins against Michigan! And we visited Aunt Penny, Jake, and Andy. Then went to dinner and had goulash at Nana's house
October 16 - Went to Romeo's first birthday party
October 17 - Switched back to the bottle to start weaning - slept in crib for 8 hours. Whoa!
October 28 - Visited Grandpa and Grandma at the cottage
October 29 - Went to the pumpkin patch! Then off to Hofbrau with Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle Jim and Aunt Janice. Everyone was dressed up and Avalyn and Keith played games.
October 30 - Grandpa and Grandma visited before heading home, Avalyn painted her pumpkin

Picking pumpkins out!

Sitting in front of a little barn at the pumpkin patch

After making our way through the corn maze. Fun!

Part of the barn - it was so cool!

Keith dressed as a ninja for Hofbrau's Halloween bash!

Avalyn painting her pumpkins

Everyone spending time together and slicing apart pumpkins. Except Avalyn of course!

Our pumpkins! Matt's up top, mine in the middle, and Keith's at the bottom with the spooky eyes!