Thursday, June 27, 2013

A day in the life of our One-Year-Old!

We've been enjoying every minute of summer so far, spending lots of time outside and eating lots of popsicles :)    Here are a few fun videos that help give you an idea of how Avery spends his days since turning one:

He's done LOTS of dancing (and keeps busting out new moves all the time):

'Drives' things everywhere:

Is such a big helper!:

...And found his screaming voice (he's is just plain SILLY!):


Every day Avery gets a little bigger, a little cuter, and his personality shines through more and more. I think we're going to enjoy toddler-hood :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Avery's First Birthday BASH!

We hosted Avery's birthday party last Sunday in our backyard - it was a total success! The weather was beautiful, we were blessed to have some of our closest friends and family with us to celebrate, and our little caterpillar seemed to enjoy himself very much! (The cake smash was the highlight!) I've been planning this party for quite a few months in my head and it was so fun to see it come to life. It certainly took a village to pull together, there's no way we could've done it without our awesome family and friends to help us out. (Thanks, guys!!!) 
Here are some of the highlights of the party:
 The FOOD! What is a Very Hungry Caterpillar party without some fruits? (and veggies too, in our case!) We had all the fruits featured in the book, a few of the 'junk foods' the caterpillar ate on Saturday, and a few extras too. I cut out little flags with pictures of the fruit from the book and attached them to sticks to pull the theme together.  On the food table, I set up a copy of the book, a framed picture of Avery and a fun quote from Eric Carle about The Very Hungry Caterpillar along with one of Avery's fuzzy caterpillars :)

Thanks to my super talented sister, Janessa, who helped me bake up tons of cake pops late into the night on Saturday, we made up these cute edible caterpillar centerpieces for the tables. (I LOVE those little chocolate chip eyes!) We had lemonade to drink with flavored ice cubes- I cut up chunks of raspberries, strawberries and mint leaves and froze them with water in an ice cube tray for guests to make their own flavored lemonade creations!

I made all the paper garlands (that lined the tables and hung around the food table) and the pennant on Avery's high chair out of paste paper, cut them into circles and triangles and sewed them together with my machine. (The making of the paper and the sewing were relatively quick steps, the cutting was the most tedious but was a great activity for me while riding 8 hours to Tennessee and back a few weeks ago!)
The Favors! I found these cute Very Hungry Caterpillar paper baskets and crayons at Target months ago and snatched them up just for this purpose. I also included little coloring books that I made by cutting up this coloring sheet in Photoshop and printing it on cardstock. I also stuck a handmade pinwheel in each basket (I'm a sucker for pinwheels:) made out of the same paste paper I used on the garlands. Tutorial I used for pinwheel here. (I just used plastic straws instead of dowels)
 The photos! I printed all of Avery's weekly photos I took this year and hung them from a string on the wall next to the food table with wooden clothes pins. It was SO FUN (and a little bittersweet) to see all of the pictures together and to see how Avery has grown and changed.
It was a fun project to do, and even more fun to see it now completed!

The Fun! I'm a little disappointed to say that I really slacked the rest of the day taking photos. It went by so fast that I didn't get any shots of the backyard as a whole or of many of our family and friends that were there... Thank goodness my sister got a few shots of some of the fun things that were going on. Our awesome friends let us borrow their jumping castle, complete with a slide and everything! Avery loved it! (so did everyone else :)

Avery's sand/water table (sand-only today!) was a gift from his Grandpa & Grandma Wachsmuth and was a huge hit at the party! This was Avery's first experience with sand and although most of it found its way out of the box, thankfully none ended up in his mouth!

This was the surprise favorite at the party - the 'Water Blob' made out of a sheet of thick plastic, a roll of Gorilla Tape, and water! (tutorial here) A big thanks to my brother, Josh, for taking on this project the morning of the party! What fun it was!!

It was such an amazing day - we are so blessed to have so many awesome people in our life that love and care for our little Avery so much :)
Our sweet baby boy, the One-Year-Old!

Oh, I almost forgot! I've been working on a little sewing project for the past few weeks too! We got Avery a circus tent for his birthday (from Ikea) and to go with the theme, I made some pouf cushions and a cloth ball for Avery to make the inside of the tent more comfy :) I used this tutorial for the poufs and this tutorial for the ball. The poufs were SO FUN to make, I may make more of them in the future! The first one took me a while to figure out, but I finished the second one in TWO naptimes! (I time my projects in terms of how many naptimes they take me ... and TWO is really good!)
 The happy boy lovin' his new playspace!

 There is NOTHING cuter than finding him in here reading books... my heart may burst.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Big ONE!

12 Months 
52 Weeks 
365 Days 
8760 Hours 
525,600 Minutes 
31,536,000 Seconds

My baby is one year old today!

This past year has been such a whirlwind. One amazing whirlwind. It's hard to believe that just one year ago, a 9 pound, 6 ounce bundle of precious joy came into our lives and made us the happiest, proudest parents ever. It's equally unbelievable how much he has changed in that time. He is now a walking, babbling, curious little boy sporting 7 teeth, a head of curls and the sweetest personality. Nothing compares to watching that happy, proud face toddling towards me in search of a cuddle :)

He now points at things with one finger, mimics sounds, waves, blows kisses, throws food on the floor, snuggles, climbs the stairs, throws tantrums, gives kisses, falls and gets bruises, smiles <almost> nonstop, giggles, dances like it's going out of style, explores everything, eats dirt, drinks from a sippy cup, still eats like a champ, tries to climb out of the bathtub, 'reads' books to himself, flirts, and is the worlds biggest lover :) 

I'm excited for what year #2 will bring, but I doubt it will be as life-altering as year #1 was. I've never before felt so much love, so much exhaustion, so much joy, frustration, happiness and pride. I am forever changed by this little man and I just can't get enough :)

Although a part of me will miss taking a few minutes out of our Wednesdays to have these little photo shoots, I think this is a good place to put this project to rest - it's getting SO hard to keep this little weasel on his back long enough to snap a few quick pictures (and even then, he usually needs some object to keep him happy :)  Here's a video that I took last month during one of our shoots so you can get an idea of what the process is like 'behind the scenes' ;)
4 minutes, 24 seconds. 
113 photos. 
Mom takes on the role of circus clown.
There should be a girl scout badge for entertaining a baby, smoothing the backdrop and taking photos one-handed all at the same time!
(yes, he does have a vibrating back massager in his mouth at the beginning... he loves feeling it rattle against his teeth :)
Just in case you don't remember, here's the winner:

We are getting REALLY excited for the arrival of family and Avery's little birthday party on Sunday. I'll be back next week with some pictures from the big day! :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Begins: Road trips!!

This last month, we went on two pretty big adventures! 

The first one took us to St. Louis, MO for a weekend to watch Justin play baseball (directly under the arch!)  We also took in the zoo and a Budweiser tour! 

I celebrated my FIRST MOTHERS DAY with my amazing family, waking up in St. Louis and ending the day watching Avery walk across the floor for the first time! Such an amazing day!

The next week, we returned to Gatlinburg, TN and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park almost exactly a year after our trip last year, when I was 35 weeks pregnant!

We took in the sights, had dinner with woodland creatures, took a dip in some mountain streams, visited both a moonshine 'holler' AND whiskey distillery, made a couple of short hikes and a 5.5 mile one - Avery LOVED being in the backpack!! He's an adventurer already!

Yay for summer road trips!!  
We've got a couple more pretty exciting ones lined up,
Avery will be taking his first plane ride in July!! :)