Wednesday, May 28, 2014


"Grandpa's Tractor!"
"A portrait of my Avery, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Memorial Day weekend turned out to be a most exciting one for our family. We made an impromptu trip to Wisconsin to celebrate both of my sisters' graduations - one from high school and one from college! It was a surprise to everyone (except my brother - he was our sneaky 'insider'!) which made it extra exciting. It was our first big trip as a family of four and although it didn't come without its challenges and stressful moments, it was well worth it to spend a beautiful weekend with some of the people we love the most.

We spent most of the day Sunday on grandpa and grandma's farm and Avery got some quality time with some of his favorites: tractors, cows, cousins, and wide open spaces. Welcome summertime!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


"Avery too?"
"A portrait of my Avery, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Avery shares his portrait this week with his brother, but in a totally unplanned way. This photo is significant because it's the first portrait that Avery chose for himself. I was taking Cullen's weekly photo on Wednesday and usually Avery just stands by and watches as I tickle Cullen and make funny faces, but this week he laid down next to his little brother in this cute position, looked at me and asked, "Avery too?" Yes, my boy who I was just saying last week avoids my camera like the plague ASKED to have his picture taken. And apparently this is his posed 'smile' :)

Oh, how I love this boy. And how he refers to himself in the third person :)

The older Cullen gets, the more I'm convinced we have a little Avery-clone on our hands - thighs and all :)

In other news, our neighbors next door were kind enough to pass along the plastic playset that their children have outgrown. It's sun-faded and well used, but after a pressure washing Avery has been having a blast mastering its tunnels and slides. These plastic structures are solid and last forever! The jury is still out on if we will brighten it up with paint. For now, it's a huge hit just the way it is. :)  "Hands-up!"

Linking up here

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cullen @ 2 Months!

It is SO true what they say - baby #2 just GROWS FASTER! I can't believe how time is flying and to top it off, I'm pretty sure Cullen is growing at an astronomically fast pace - even faster than his chunky-monkey big brother! Those CHEEKS, and those THIGHS! No wonder I want to squeeze him all day - who could resist?!  Needless to say, Cullen's appetite continues to be healthy, he weighed in today at 15 pounds, 2 ounces - in the 97th percentile for height and weight (which explains why I've already had to crack open the box of 6 month clothes...)

Cullen finally began enjoying taking baths in the infant tub. I had to sponge bathe him for his first 5 weeks because he wanted nothing to do with the tub but now he LOVES it and bathtime usually lasts about 30 minutes because he's so relaxed in the water I don't want to take him out.

These two photos were literally taken one right after the other on my
camera - wow, what a couple of seconds and a sweet smile can do!
Avery and Cullen are still in sleep-sync (*cue the heavenly choirs*) and I've even been able to put Cullen down in his baby swing to nap a handful of times and had a couple of hands-free hours to myself (!) Since I was never quite sure how long this scenario would last, I didn't want to get into any projects that I couldn't put down easily so what did I do? Dishes. Or laundry. I have clearly forgotten what to do with my idle self. *sigh* ...better luck next month.

Cullen started SMILING!!  This has got to be one of the most exciting baby 'milestones' ever. These first baby smiles light up my life and since Cullen wears a super-serious pout 90% of the time, his face completely transforms when he smiles. I'm officially 'that lady' in the grocery store that halts my cart in the middle of the isle to make ridiculous faces and coos that will hopefully earn me another sweet baby grin. Don't judge. You'd do it too ;)

Cullen now takes a soothie pacifier for short periods of time. It works wonders if we're in the store
and I just need another 10-15 minutes before we can make it out to the car to nurse (yes, I have ventured out shopping with the two boys alone - most of the experiences have been good ones)  or we're in the car (Cullen does not like to be in his carseat for any length of time). 

I wear Cullen in a front sling many times a week. Either to go on a walk or just hang outside with Avery, it's nice to be able to tote him around and be hands-free. Plus, Cullen loves being all snuggled in and usually snoozes the whole time.

Cullen's tear ducts are slowly starting to open up and do their job- his right eye is now
draining normally, but his left eye is still a bit gunky. Hopefully by the end of next month they will both be clear and working like they should.

Cullen is sleeping 5-7 hour stretches at night!
When he does wake up, Justin calls him 'daddy's lambo' (Yelawolf anyone? ...No?) because he goes from 0-60. He's either screaming or sleeping, no in-between.  :) 

Cullen remains a pretty cool cat most of the day. He is so observant and when he's awake he wants to be held upright and facing out so he can see what's going on around him. His fussiest time is in the evenings between dinner and bedtime and he prefers to either nurse or be in motion during this time, which is fine with me as he gets good and tanked up and then usually snuggles in until 3 or 4 in the morning.

Avery continues to love on his brother; sharing toys, reading books and showing off his tricks. Cullen loves to follow Avery with his eyes and encourages him by giving lots of smiles and coos. :) SO many sweet moments between these two brothers.
Cullen went on his first bike ride! We rigged up his car seat in the bike trailer and I towed him while Avery got a new seat on dad's bike. I'm SO excited that it's biking season again (and that Cullen enjoys it)- it's one of our favorite family activities!
I think as Cullen packs on the pounds, he looks more and more like Avery did as a baby, don't you think?
Cullen at 7 weeks on the left, Avery at 9 weeks on the right

Baby's first ball pit :)

And a couple of videos of brotherly love in action:
Avery loves to be involved in Cullen's tummy-time and is always pulling out new toys and showing his little bro how they work:

Every day when Avery wakes up from his nap, his first stop is to find Cullen (who is usually still sleeping) and smother him in kisses. He thinks everything Cullen does is hilarious (his burps, his head-bobs, his 'toots', his bubbles, etc. He's also got a way of 'accidentally' waking him up by yelling "Awake!" every time Cullen shifts in his sleep. Bless his heart for being so excited about everything his little brother does (and bless Cullen's little heart for being such a sound sleeper)

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Sunglasses and pruney feet: we've been waiting too long for days like this!
"A portrait of my Avery, once a week, every week, in 2014"
Finally. We spent most of our day on Thursday outside in the hot sun. We played in the pool, filled up some water balloons, and thoroughly enjoyed our first 'summer weather' of the year. Mom got a sunburn and Avery was ready for bed early, It was a beautiful thing.

Avery continues to be a stinker when it comes to having his photo taken. The second he realizes that I've got my camera he stops what he's doing and runs away yelling, "No! Stop!" so I have to time my approach very carefully. (I often wonder how I ruined him wanting to have his picture taken... he used to be the most willing subject!) There were many moments this week that I wanted to capture so badly knowing they would make a great portrait, but for fear of ruining the moment I left the camera in the bag. Thankfully I tricked him with this cute pool shot - the boy LOVES to wear his sunglasses all day (and night!) and I think they're so perfect for his little boy face :)

In other news: the new house across the street is taking shape and Avery is still pretty enthralled with the whole process. Construction has gotten much more 'noisy' now, but I'm thankful to have such a good napper who isn't phased by the constant hammering one bit. I love this shot because the perspective makes my big boy look oh-so-small as he contently watches.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! What a crazy, beautiful, amazing thing motherhood is. It is certainly the hardest thing I've ever done, but it is such a blessing and a privilege to have two sweet boys that call me mama. 

Linking up here

Saturday, May 3, 2014


These two.
"A portrait of my Avery, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Never was there a boy who adored his daddy quite as much as Avery does Justin. These two are inseparable and everything Justin does is exciting to Avery - everything. Justin's morning routine is never a solitary one and every morning Avery insists on putting his own contacts in, applying deoderant and cologne, and gelling his hair right alongside dad. He comes downstairs feeling so proud, looking like Edward Scissorhands and smelling like a man on the prowl ;)

Justin worked long days all week, not getting home until after bedtime, which meant Avery only got to see him for a couple of hours in the morning. Naturally, they made the most of their short time together and Avery was glued to Justin's side while he got ready. Avery was a riot when dad hooked him up with some shaving cream but when the actual 'shaving' began, he was all business - he took this new experience VERY seriously.

I came to a hard realization this past week that no matter how cool I am (and I can be pretty cool;), I will never be as cool as Justin is in the eyes of our boys. And that's ok. I'm so grateful to have chosen an amazing partner that is such a strong teacher and role model - he's got patience and love for miles.
And Avery's got him wrapped around his little finger.

On a side note, it also dawned on me this week that my baby boy will be two in just over a month. TWO. How did that HAPPEN?! I shall commence party planning to avoid thinking about the fact that 24 whole months have almost passed... in the blink of an's getting real over here, people.

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