Monday, November 24, 2014


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

Now that cold days are upon us, I've been trying to set up some new and exciting activities to keep us from going crazy on long afternoons. Even if they only sometimes last 10 minutes, it gives Avery something to look forward to after naptime and it helps to break up the hours until dinner. The liquid watercolors were a hit, I can see us finding many more uses for these as the months go on.

And because I couldn't swallow the cost of buying liquid watercolors just yet, we made our own, thanks to Happy Hooligans  (and Justin thought I'd never find a use for all of those saved baby food jars ;)

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

This is often what I get when I ask Avery to smile, a rapid blinking of the eyes. I'm not really sure how blinking relates to smiling, but it's better than a scowl! :)

Cullen the 8-Month-Old!

It's hard for me to believe Cullen has only aged a month since my last post, this month he has been on developmental fast forward. He learned to crawl, stand, and now takes steps along furniture and behind his walking toys. (Whaaaat?!) He's also had some of his fussiest moments this month, including a little sleeping regression and a separation anxiety phase. But who can blame him, that rapid growth and pushing out new teeth is hard work!   

This month, Cullen...

•Takes a morning and afternoon nap. Some days both boys will nap for an hour or so at the same time and other days they will sleep relay-style ;)

•Will occasionally sleep through the night but usually still gets up once or twice. These wakings usually happen before I go to bed or in the early morning so I'm getting some pretty solid stretches of sleep. Yay! He always nurses to sleep and shows no sign of doing it another way which is just fine with me. One of the things about having a second baby is knowing how precious these little moments are. Once they're over, they're over. I remember how sudden (and easy) it was when Avery stopped nursing to sleep, It was much harder on me than it was on him!

•Is all over the house! He moves so quickly, going from emptying out a toy basket to climbing the stairs to diving into Bella's water bowl all in a matter of minutes. 

•Got his third tooth but instead of getting one of his top middle teeth, which would be too predictable, he's got what we call his little 'fang', the one to the left of where his top middle would be. It makes for a pretty cute smile :) 

•Eats hearty meals of 'solid' food 3 times a day. He's a great eater and has upgraded to eating most of his food in chunk form. There isn't anything he doesn't eat, but prefers his food to not be super cold. 

•Love, love, LOVES Avery. They will sit and play together and have so much fun laughing and chasing each other around, I love to just sit and watch them. Avery has mastered redirecting Cullen when he gets bored or frustrated with something and is also really good at 'gentle wrestling'- it always makes Cullen giggle.

•Some days he doesn't want me to be out of his sight. If I walk out of the room for a minute, I can pretty much bet on hearing that pitter-patter of little hands speed-crawling up behind me a minute later. 

•Gurgles, babbles, and says 'dada' and 'baba' a lot. He also does a really funny low-growl and is a master raspberry blower.

•Dressed up for Halloween as the cutest little cow ever. What's funny is that Avery wore this outfit last Halloween at 28 months, and Cullen wore it this year at 8 months and it wasn't even too crazy big. We're thinking we likely have a future linebacker on our hands...

•Still has the cutest little head full of red hair that has really started growing these last few weeks.

•Claps when we say "Yay!" and puts up his arms when we say "So big!"  (Avery loves playing this game with him)

•Loves attempting to eat dog food and plants. I have 2 big pots on the floor that I didn't have when Avery was this age and I thought it would be a good experiment to see how long they would last. Well, leave Cullen alone for 20 seconds and it's safe to say he's probably found his way to those plants and has a face full of dirt. Rascal ;)

•Loves bath time. And who wouldn't, with a crazy older brother like Avery to splash around with! Bath time at our house is no less than a 45 minute ordeal and both boys are equally cold and tired by the end of it - the perfect pre-bedtime activity! 

•Although he doesn't do this as much now that he moves around so much, at the beginning of the month Cullen would do this funny balancing act while he was sitting up. You would think he was going to fall over backwards but he wouldn't, he would just balance back on his tailbone with his feet off the floor. He was just working on his ab muscles ;)

•Has started getting awfully wiggly during our little weekly photo shoots. He can go from lying on his back all smiley-like to rolling the fabric into a ball and crawling away in 10 seconds flat. From here on out, the photo shoots are going to be more of a workout for this mama!

•Has SO many things around the house to keep him busy! When Avery was his age, he had PLENTY of toys but it was nothing compared to the variety that Cullen has available to him now. You want to chew on markers and long wooden sticks while waving around 4 feet of PVC pipe? Sure! Here are some Hot Wheels cars, see if you can suck the wheels of of them while you're at it. ;)  
Overall, this boy is just the sweetest child ever. He's the missing piece our little family didn't even know we were missing. I can't imagine our life without him in it. Although he's growing far too fast, I love seeing him grow and learn and interact a little more every single day. 

Here's a little video from a couple of weeks ago when Cullen first started walking behind his walker. He goes 10 times faster now, it's amazing how far he's come in just a short time. I love Avery's encouragement :) 
And I'm a softie for brothers giggling together:

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Trick or Treat Ya'll
   A portrait of my Avery, once a week, every week, in 2014
Halloween night in Indiana was a cold, windy, snowy one. Because of this, we spent our time indoors with friends (which was a super fun time!) but I didn't get any cute photos of Avery riding from house to house on his John Deere with his little cow sidekick. Thankfully I grabbed a few quick shots (with my phone) of him and Cullen on our way out the door and although it's blurry and poor quality, his sweet face in this one pretty much melts my heart. He was definitely the cutest little farmer I've ever seen!

Pajama Boy
   A portrait of my Avery, once a week, every week, in 2014
With the nights getting colder, we've gotten out all of Avery's 'warm jammies' and all he wants to wear these days are these Thomas PJs and cute footie pajamas. (seriously, if I have my way my boys will wear footie pajamas until they go to college. Cutest. Things. Ever.) Most days you can find Avery still in his pajamas when he wakes up from his nap. And he loves it.