Sunday, March 24, 2013

Avery - 9 Month Photos!

I finally got around to taking Avery's 9 month pictures (after the runny nose and red eyes from his recent sickness went away) 

It's definitely become much harder to wrangle him in and keep him in one spot while trying to get him to smile/look at me all at the same time :)  Luckily, the boys across the street were playing basketball this past week and between watching them and playing with a piece of the plant in the bedroom (sorry little plant, thanks for taking one for the team), Avery was as happy as could be! I took advantage of this moment and got some pretty cute faces that are very characteristic of this little man lately. He is at such a fun - and funny!- age right now (although I've said that every month I think) and he's really interacting with everything and everyone around him. In the last week he started clapping, giving high-fives AND he climbed the entire flight of stairs (with mom and dad there for support of course) He's surprising us with something new every day. I'm trying my best to keep up :)
Can you spot that one top tooth poking through?!  
I'm convinced this little plaid shirt makes him look 6 months older... *cue mama tears*

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Avery's First Easter - Shaker Eggs!

With Easter coming up, I've been hunting for ideas for Avery's first Easter basket. Since he's only 9 months old, the usual candy, socks and CD that my mom bundled up for us as kids doesn't really seem developmentally appropriate. (was I the only one to get socks and underwear every year in my Easter basket? If only that tradition carried into adulthood, I've been burning holes in too many socks around here lately... but I digress...)  

Avery is big into music and things that make noise lately, so I decided that making shakers out of plastic eggs was the way to go. I went on the hunt for the perfect plastic eggs, which turned out to be somewhat difficult. (Who knew that most plastic eggs had small holes in them?!) I finally found the perfect ones (at the grocery store, of all places) that have a colored half and a clear half - and seal tightly. This way Avery will be able to hear AND see what's making noise inside!   

I proceeded to hunt around the house for different fillers (There are SO many possibilities of what you could fill these eggs with, I just chose to use what I had lying around) I tried to find things that made a variety of different sounds.

Here's what I found:
1. Plastic buttons
2. Sugar/Salt/Sprinkles mixture (this one was sort of an experiment of things I found in my baking cupboard) Sand would work great too, but the only sand I had was brown and dusty. 
3. A single piece of potpourri I was going to use a rock, but the potpourri was lighter and still made the great 'thunk' sound I was going for.
4. White rice
5. Candy balls (Leftover from Christmas gingerbread-house-making :)
6. Jingle bells At first I had coins in one and bells in another, but decided they both made pretty much the same sound so I nixed the coins.

After filling the eggs (I tested them all to determine how much of each filler I should add to make the best sound), I hot glued the halves together and
I fun baby-safe Easter activity!
The hot glue seems to hold pretty well, I tried my best to open one after I glued it and I was unsuccessful, so I'm thinking that's a good sign. :)

I buried the eggs in a basket with a bunch of Easter grass so Avery can dig them out (another of his favorite past-times, emptying out every basket/box/bag he can find :) and filled it up with an Easter bunny Snoopy and a bottle of colored bubbles. Hopefully he enjoys it as much as I hope he does! Check back in a couple of weeks and I'll share his verdict. :)

Come to think of it, I'm almost positive the grass will be his favorite part. Oh well, at least the eggs were cheap and easy to make! (and mom sure had fun with them!)

What kinds of fun things do you remember getting in your Easter basket every year? 

What are some of your favorite baby-safe basket ideas?

*** UPDATE *** 3/2015
I just wanted to follow up for anyone just reading this post for the first time.  Almost 2 years after I made these eggs for Avery, 5 of the 6 are still intact and the glue is still holding strong! (the lost egg met its demise underneath one of my feet...)   Avery and his little brother (who will turn one next week!) rock out with these eggs several times a week (and are anything but gentle with them) and I'm impressed at how well they have held up. I hope you'll give them a try, they continue to be a big hit in our home!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Max!!

Last Saturday, we spent the day celebrating a very special FIRST Birthday with Avery's BFF, Max!! I've been starving for craft projects around here lately, so when I found out that his mom and dad were planning a Dr. Seuss party, I volunteered myself (and Max's willing Godmother) the official 'decorators' :) I had SO MUCH FUN making 'Truffula Tree' table centerpieces, a Seuss-inspired birthday hat and even got my sewing machine out and stitched up a pennant birthday banner and mini high-chair banner for the birthday boy!

I even got to help whip up some cake pops the night before, which turned out mighty fine after a few minor setbacks ;)
(and how cute is that Dr. Seuss hat cake his mom & dad created?!)
It's gotten me super excited to start planning a not-so-far-off first birthday party for another rapidly growing little man I know!

Tissue paper pom poms - tutorial here
Yarn pom poms - tutorial here
 'Seuss Stew' - recipe here

Avery had such a good time at the party, and kept himself entertained with a water bottle for well over an hour. I can't believe how big he looks in his little dress shirt that matches daddy's  :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Friday!

It's been a long week of sickness and teething around here, and it is with much relief that I can report that Avery slept the whole night through last night (the first time since the sickness hit, over a week ago!), he has his healthy appetite back, now has one top tooth poking through (almost 2!), and is back to his happy little active self.  Amen to that! 

We are looking forward to a fun weekend celebrating a very special FIRST birthday for Avery's BFF, Max and to seeing both Aunt Janessa AND Uncle Josh next week!! 

 P.S. The spring-fever craft bug has hit me HARD the last couple of weeks! I'll hopefully have some photos to share soon - Have you been itching to create anything new??

TGIF!  Happy Dance!

Friday, March 8, 2013

9 Months: Avery on the Move!

The days of 'lay-baby-on-the-blanket-and-he-will-stay-there' are long gone...
Most of the shots I take end up something like this :)
Wow, what a month!
It took me 37 weeks, but I finally used up every piece of fabric I had in the house, including Bella's dog
bed (week 37). I had to go out and splurge on a bunch of 1 yd pieces to finish out Avery's first year.
So, if anyone has any project ideas that call for 1 yd of fabric, let me know! :)

His Pooh table is one of his favorites right now, and
the first thing he pulled himself up on.
Avery had his 9 month checkup yesterday.
He is now:
20 lbs, 9 oz.
(down to the 64th percentile)
29.8 in. long
(still in the 94th percentile)

I've definitely noticed him changing physically in the last month. He's becoming less 'chubby baby' and more 'slim toddler'  (cue the mama tears...)

On February 11th, Avery took off crawling and hasn't stopped since :) He's loving his new-found freedom and is keeping his mama on her toes.
2 days after he started crawling, he pulled himself up to standing and crawling quickly lost it's appeal :) All the boy wants to do is stand and walk behind his walker... by himself. (How did this happen?!?)

This month, Avery
...Is currently battling a really nasty cold. We have been very fortunate, this is only the second sickness of his young life. Regardless, he is a cranky, snotty, cuddly little mess of a boy. All he wants to do is be held and cuddle (which this mama doesn't mind at all, he IS a world-class cuddler after all)  but it's heartbreaking to see him so miserable.

...Watched Sesame Street for the first time. (it's helped get us through these last few days when all Avery wants to do is sit in my lap and rock) 

...Enjoys chasing Bella & Jasper around the house. Bella has become quite the protector and wants to be wherever Avery is. On another note, Jasper stuck Avery with his claws for the first time and drew blood. If you happen to know someone who would like a fluffy, independent cat with an eating disorder, I know where you can get one for free.

...Had lots of visitors from Wisconsin!! My aunt & uncle stopped in on their way to Alabama and on their way home, our friends from Rhinelander spent a night while they were in the area, and Grandma & Grandpa Stewart spent a weekend and gave us a much-needed date night out without Avery! (He had a blast with them of course, maybe it was their matching red hoodies? :)  It's always so nice to have visitors, it gives us something to look forward to.

...Went swimming! It wasn't his first time in a pool, but this time he was so brave he hung onto the side of the pool by himself and crawled right in the zero-depth entry until he was up to his eyes! I think he probably would've kept going had I not made him stop. Such a little swimmer already, it makes this former swim-instructor mama so very proud :)

...LOVES when we read books to him and has mastered turning the pages by himself. Grandma and Grandpa even brought him a few new Sesame Street books that have been added to his growing list of favorites.

...Eats finger food! Avacado and Banana, to be exact. He gobbled both of them down with no gagging and very minimal mess! He definitely looks way too big eating 'big boy food'.  He also added blueberries, mango and eggplant to his growing list of foods tried.

...Had his first taste of a Shamrock Shake which he loved, probably because it reminds him of his days in the womb when his mama enjoyed WAY too many of them ;)

...Had a spaghetti party with Max!! 
Although both of these boys were a little unsure of the slimy spaghetti at first, they were both good sports and gave it a shot. I think they both came around and got some enjoyment out of it, Avery loved eating the spaghetti most of all... go figure :)

...Is a great workout partner until he crawls in front of me and confuses the sensor :)  (I'm currently doing a program on Nike Fitness for Xbox Kinect - it's quite the workout, especially when I'm trying to keep one eye on the screen and the other on my little explorer:)

...Smiles a scrunched-up-face smile that perfectly shows off his 2 lone teeth and makes me giggle every time.

...Prefers to stand in the bath. All the time. Bath time is a much shorter ordeal these days. 

...Is developing quite the attitude. He will certainly let you know (often at a high volume) when he feels he has been served an injustice. Like when I take something away that he feels he should be allowed to keep. Like a bowl of dog food or a plastic garbage bag.

And just in case you don't believe me that this baby is getting too big too fast, here are a few videos to prove it...

 Avery showing off his cute wave and telling a very involved bathtime story...

Taking a walk behind his little 'mail truck'...

and testing out his new balance skills!..

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring around here... we are all in desperate need of some sun and fresh air. The forecast for this weekend calls for highs in the 50s, let's hope this is a sign of what's soon to come!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fast Forward

Avery realized he has a tongue today. He's been making the funniest faces with it :)
I can't quite get over how fast this little rascal is growing up. I find myself just staring at him some days, in awe of all the things he's learning how to do. 3 weeks ago he took off crawling, a few days later he pulled himself up to standing, tonight he was experimenting with standing no-handed with no help from mom or dad. I'm just waiting for him to up and walk any day now. Who is this toddler, and what has he done with my baby?