Saturday, July 26, 2014


All boy.
A portrait of my Avery, once a week, every week, in 2014

Avery received this little bobcat for his birthday and it has become a favorite of my tractor-loving boy. The bucket goes up and down and hauls rocks, dirt, grass, pigs, cows and whatever else his imagination comes up with from day to day.

With all the construction happening in our neighborhood this summer, Avery now points out bobcats (his personal favorite), cranes, dump trucks and cement trucks by name and continues to get crazy excited when he sees or hears one coming down the road. 

He's all boy, the sweetest one I've ever known. 
And with this new haircut, he looks older than ever.

Linking up here

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Dancin' and Cruisin'
A portrait of my Avery, once a week, every week, in 2014

Yesterday was one of those magical summer days that made me wish it would never end. The weather around here lately has been heavenly, mild and sunny and perfect for a picnic so early in the day the boys and I did just that. We met up with some good friends, took a little nature hike in the woods and snacked on a blanket under a tree. After naptime, we headed out as a family to 'Dancing and Cruising in the Streets'- a downtown street festival that included bands playing on numerous stages, a car show, and a balloon artist that makes really good cows. It's like this festival was created for Avery! 

It brought so much joy to my heart to see how outgoing and independent Avery was all evening. He chose to have his face painted and sat like such a big boy while a mustache was painted on (he was a hit with the crowds!), bounced and slid down the inflatable slide fearlessly with the big kids, danced with his sweet reckless abandon and posed in front of a car for a photo (so much progress!) He had a blast! (his stone-face stare in the photos is him showing off his mustache, he was very aware that it was there and thought he was pretty cool ;)

At one point toward the end of our evening, Avery noticed his buddy Gage had a spider painted on his cheek so he decided he needed one too. My usually shy and reserved boy walked up to Justin for a ticket, walked over to the painting tent all by himself and found a girl holding a poster of available images to paint. He pointed at the spider, handed the girl his ticket and walked with her to the table to have the spider painted on. When it was finished he walked back over to us and was SO PROUD of his spider (I think he was the most proud that he had done the entire process all by himself!) Moments like this remind me just how big my sweet little boy is getting... it's sneaking up on me way too quickly.

After the boys were in bed, we capped the night off with a couple of adult beverages.
This day was exactly what I needed. :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cullen is Four Months old!

4 months... FOUR MONTHS! This boy is growing so fast and does something new every day. He continues to be the sweetest, most go-with-the-flow boy ever and we are having so much fun watching him grow into his own little personality.
Cullen weighs in at 19 lbs 5 oz and is 26.25 inches long. His well-baby checkup today went great but apparently was pretty boring, he fell asleep in my lap waiting for the nurse to come in and give him his shots (what a rude awakening that was!) Naturally, he took the checkup and shots like a champ and is as healthy as can be.

Although he is back to being healthy today, this last week was a rough one for poor Cullen. On Wednesday night, he woke up with a high fever and I spent the next two days consoling a very uncharacteristically fussy and uncomfortable baby (so. much. crying...) and the next two nights rocking and worrying. No sleep makes baby feel even worse and mama feel like a zombie. Now that his fever has broken, I'm hoping we can get back to our regular nightly routine. (It's amazing how a little perspective can make getting up every two hours to nurse seem like a good thing!) I'm thinking he caught a little virus of some sort and he will continue to feel better, I can't stand seeing my baby so miserable. Although with his drooling and chewing on EVERYTHING, I'm sure cutting teeth is just around the corner. It's always something, right?

Up until this last week, Cullen's sleeping habits were like clockwork (the predictability was awesome). He woke up at 8ish, napped from 9:30-10:30, 12:30-2:30, and 5:30-6:00 and was ready to go down for bed at 7:30-8 (although it usually takes a good hour to get him to actually stay asleep) and he's still been getting up to nurse about every 2-3 hours.

This month,
Cullen enjoyed his first hotel stay and pool swim in Cadillac MI, his first trip to the beach (Warren Dunes Beach on Lake Michigan), his first go in his exersaucer and bumbo seats, his first bath with Avery, his first sickness/fever and doses of Tylenol, and he finally got to meet Grandma Jodi and Grandpa Richard!
Cullen now giggles and 'talks' all the time, Avery is still his favorite and they both get so excited to see each other every morning :) Cullen has taken to chewing two fingers (or anything that gets near enough to his mouth to chew on) and drooling everywhere. He is happiest in the morning and crankiest when he doesn't get put down for a nap on time. (or has to be strapped into his carseat)

Cullen loves to be upright - sitting, being held to look around, anything that allows him to see everything going on around him. He's getting so close to sitting by himself and he loves to bat at/grab toys that are within arms reach. He is SO much more interactive than he was last month, and loves when someone is up in his face singing, talking, making funny faces - pretty much everything a certain 2-year-old I know is really good at :)

Avery thinks it's really funny when Cullen hits the toys on his tray  |  Avery checking on Cullen in his hotel crib

Yesterday, the day after he turned 4 months old, Cullen rolled over from his front to his back - 3 times! And while big brother Avery colored on his hands with a red marker in the background, I got his second roll on video:
At this rate, he'll be taking off crawling after Avery in no time.
Take your time, sweet Cullen, your mama's not quite ready. :)

Avery's 4 month post here (check out his two-finger chew like little brother!)

**Also, for those of you still reading, while Cullen hit a milestone this week by rolling over, so did Avery! He peed on the potty for the first time!! He told Grandma Jodi that he had to pee and she took him in the bathroom. He kicked us both out, closed the door and 5 minutes later came running out yelling "mama! mama!!" so I rushed back to the bathroom with him and sure enough, he had peed - IN the potty! (after being in there by himself for 5 minutes - naked - I didn't know what to expect) So we did a little potty dance and celebrated with a sucker (he was SO proud!) We haven't had any repeat performances yet, but I think he's really starting to figure it out. Yay Avery!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Feeding time in the aviary!

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

This week, we were lucky to have Justin's mom and step-dad here with us. It was their first time meeting Cullen and Avery thoroughly enjoyed all the playtime :) On Wednesday, we all made the drive to the Indianapolis Zoo! It was everyone's first time there and we had the best day checking out the new orangutan exhibit, scouring the zoo for a hippo (Avery kept insisting we see the hippos... and the zoo had NO HIPPOS!), and feeding the birds in the aviary. Avery was so careful with the birds and was so proud to be able to hold the stick and feed them himself. I'm pretty sure he could've spent the whole day in that aviary :)
We are all so excited that grandma and grandpa are moving closer to us in just a few short weeks!

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Blackberry Boy

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

This week, the weather was absolutely perfect in Indiana: mid-seventies, sunny and no humidity. We spent most of the week doing nothing but playing in the backyard and eating our meals on the porch. My favorite. Last Sunday, we went on a little family adventure to the blackberry patch and picked a bucketful (and ate twice as many). Avery ran quality control and ended up with the cutest little berry face and hands (and t-shirt, who puts their child in a white tee to go berry picking?!)

We spent our 4th of July down the street with friends. Avery was sort of out of it all evening, but he and his buddy Max tried out some sparklers and watched Justin shoot off some small fireworks. It was a beautiful day spent with friends, and Avery's first real experience with fireworks, which seemed to be a hit! :)

Linking up here