Monday, April 23, 2012

Exersaucer=Good Times

It's official.  Ellie is now playing in her exersaucer!

Baby Girl loves to stand up so we thought it was high time we put her in it.  So far she hasn't quite figured it out but she seems to enjoy it. 

Avery spent quite a bit of time showing her all the toys and playing with her.  It was just about the cutest thing ever. 

Ellie just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  It's starting to get fun around here!

More adventures to come.

Birthday Party Fun!

We had a birthday party for Avery on Saturday (the day before her actual birthday). Avery wanted to go with a Princess theme- imagine that.  I wanted to keep with the theme but I knew we were getting Avery a special birthday present so I didn't necessarily want to focus the party on Princess.  I think we found a good middle ground.

Because I waited until the last minute I ordered my invitations from an etsy shop.  She actually just designed the invitation and I had them printed at CVS as a photo.  Easy peasy.

I asked my dear, sweet friend John who is an actual photographer to take pictures for me at the party.  He so graciously agreed and I couldn't have been happier! If you need a photographer (or graphic designer) he's your guy! He's worth every penny!

 Beware: the following post has lots of pictures. And this is the narrowed down bunch!

The morning started with some pictures of Avery and the fam (I actually took these).

I can't believe the girl is 4!

Such sweet sisters!

I love this picture of Avery with her eyes closed.  She just loves her sister so much!

After the photo session the fun really started. The girls go to pick their own princess wand,

decorate their own princess crown,

and even had princess jewels including necklaces, bracelet, earrings, ring and even lip gloss.  All the Princess essentials.

The princesses looked divine!

I won't bore you with the details of the present opening but there were lots of gifts. 

But the best gift we had kept hidden for 2 days!

We have been wanting to get a playset for quite some time.  We wanted one that Avery could enjoy for the next few years and something Ellie would be able to enjoy as she got older as well.  We found the perfect set at Sam's.  We even went to Sam's a few times with Avery to look at it and Avery was dying to play on it.  She would talk about it when we came home and she called it a tree house.  We knew she would LOVE it for her birthday! We did get some help from both our parents and we are so appreciative.

We had the playset put together before her party.  The guy started on Thursday and finished up on Friday.  It wasn't too hard to keep her out of the yard, it was just hard not showing it to her. Ronnie and I were so excited.  But we made the big reveal at her party.

I think it was a hit!

She loved it!  As did all her other friends.

Avery wasn't too happy that I made her come blow out birthday candles and take a family picture right after we let her see her big present. But she cooperated for the most part.  In hindsight, that was pretty mean of me! 

Thats my girl!

I did made Avery's cake. It was a 4 layer white cake with each of the layers a graduated shade of pink (it's hard to tell in the pictures).

And while I was pleased with how it looked, I was not pleased with the texture.  It was way too dry!  That's what I get for trying a new recipe before testing it.  I'm sure no one left the party thinking it was a total failure but the the cake was my first cake fail!

The party was great and we are so thankful to everyone that came out.  Everyone had a great time and we couldn't have been more pleased with how it went!  The next party will be Ellie's 1 year party!  Luckily I have a few more months to recover from this one!

More adventures to come!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Avery Grace- 4 years old

Avery Grace,
You are 4 years old today!  We can't believe how big you are.  You are so sweet and funny and we constantly amazed at how much you know.  You are so smart! We have enjoyed every day of these past 4 years (well, most every day) and can't wait to see what the next year brings. 

At 4 years old you:
  •  LOVE the color pink! 
  • must wear a skirt.  A pink skirt if possible.  A pink dress will do in a pinch.  You usually even wear a skirt to bed.
  • can get dressed all by yourself.
  • love to watch Martha Speaks in the morning.
  • usually drink chocolate milk and eat a Lucky Charms granola bar for breakfast.
  • wear a size 4T clothes and size 9 shoes.
  • like to wear headbands and bows.  Lots of them. Sometimes at the same time.
  • love to read books.  We go to the library once a week for story time and get new books.
  • like to draw pretty pictures.  You usually say you want to "scribble scrabble".
  • like to get Strawberry slushes from Sonic.
  • love Broozer and Bella.  They love you too because you are usually the only one that pets them.
  • LOVE your sister so very much.  You get the most smiles and laughs from Ellie.
  • have given up your afternoon nap.  You just did this in the past few weeks.  This makes mommy very sad.
  • want to eat Natural Cheetos every day.  Other favorite foods include pepperoni, bacon, grapes, and carrots.
  • like to sing songs.  You are very good at making up your own words to songs.  You like to listen to She & Him, the Avett Brothers and the Beatles. This makes daddy very happy.
  • usually have a bed time of 8:30ish. 
  • go to Children's Day Out twice a week.  Apparently you are "so sweet and so caring" according to your teachers.
  • enjoy doing crafty things.  You call them your "projects".
  • know how to write your name and you know most of your letters by sight. 
  • favorite place to eat is McDonalds for chicken nuggets and french fries.  I think you like to play on the play toy the most.
  • can ride your bike a LONG way!
  • constantly talk.  All the time.  If you are awake you are talking, singing or making noise. It's cute...most of the time.
  • have a huge imagination.  We love spying on you while you are playing by yourself. 
  • love going to church and being in Ms. Cleo's Sunday School class. 
  • have great friends like Hannah and Chloe and Natalee and Lyla.  You even have friends at school- Hannah, Kennedy & Kassidy, Kennedy R and friends at the library - McKinley and Sibby.  You like to play with your friends.
  • Still twirl your hair.  I don't think you will ever stop doing this.
  • enjoy playing games on mommy's iphone.  I think you can work it better than me sometimes! 
  • can say the Pledge of Allegiance.  It brings a tear to mommy's eyes when you do.
  • have trouble saying "th" and usually say "f" instead.  Like funder (thunder), free (three), Marfa (Martha), sompfing (something).  
  • have an appointment with Dr. F this week.  We will see how much you've grown this past year!

Avery, you are a joy to us.  We love seeing you grow and learn new things.  You are constantly asking questions and you are so curious. You have such a big personality and we love you so much.  We can't wait until you teach Ellie everything you know.  We know you will be the best and worst of friends.  You are so sweet (and sensitive) and your hugs and kisses melt our heart. We love you baby girl!

We know this next year will be great!

Friday, April 13, 2012



Easter may be one of my favorite times of the year.  Its springtime and the weather is usually great.  And it's a great celebration of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection from the grave.  It doesn't get much better than that!

The girls both got visited by the Easter Bunny this year and really cleaned up.  Well Avery cleaned up.  Ellie doesn't know the difference.





After checking out all the goodies we cleaned ourselves up and got ready for church. You can't be a girl and not get a new dress for Easter.  Even at my age I feel compelled to buy something new! This year was no exception.


We tried to get some pictures after church.  Avery was not the most cooperative.  Even as I was writing this post she was looking at pictures with me and said "I was mad during those pictures." I said "Why"? She said "Because I was ready to go!"  There you have it!

IMG_6865 IMG_6863

Avery was ready to go because she knew we were headed to my parents house. My parents are so gracious and usually take the girls most Sundays after church.  They've been doing this since Avery was a baby and we are so thankful.  Of course, the love it too.  Avery wasn't real happy when she learned that Ronnie and I would be spending the afternoon with Gigi and Grandpa too.  She likes to have them all to herself!

Not only did my parents feed us but they also had eggs for Avery to hunt.  Full of money and gum.  Two things Avery loves.  I've only recently let Avery start chewing gum so it's quite a treat for her!




Ellie decided to sit out on this hunt and she said she'll catch it next year. She opted for a nap instead.  I'm not sure how Avery will feed having to share her eggs with her sister next year! If she's anything like she is now, she'll share just about anything with Ellie! 

We had a great Easter.  Next year Ellie will be 1 and Avery will be 4!  I can't wait to see what that brings us!

More adventures to come!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Post Partum

I debated whether or not I wanted to write this blog post but I figured I would since it is party of my story.

After Ellie was born I had a bout of post partum depression.  I know. I know.  How could that be with this cute little face?!

I'm pretty sure I was in denial about it for quite some time.  I know I had several friends assure me that it was normal and it was okay if I was, but I didn't think that it could happen to me.  If you talked to me during that time, it probably included my crying at some point during the conversation.  And if you texted or emailed me, I probably responded to you tearfully at one point or another.

I think the tell tale realization for me was when I had my 6 week follow up appointment after Ellie was born.  I dropped Ellie of at my parents and tearfully left. I sat in the examination room waiting on the doctor trying to compose myself.  The PA walked in and in her most cheerful voice asked "How are you?! How's the baby?!". I immediately burst into tears.  Yep, one of my finer moments.  I have no idea what the poor PA thought initially but I'm certain I wasn't the first girl that sat crying in the exam room.  I let her know that the crying was my problem and I felt like I couldn't pull myself out of this funk I was in.

The sweet PA talked to me about it and we decided that it was best that I start some medication for the post partum depression.  She assured me that it was a temporary thing and we'd revisit it in a few months and see how I was doing.

Now, I'm fairly certain that post partum looks different to everyone.  I felt like I had a pretty mild case but how would I know? Looking back I realize what all the signs were and I totally ignored them.  Here's what it looked like in me.

Anxiety-I was pretty anxious about everything involving this new little being in my care. I couldn't imagine how I could take care of her and Avery. At night every little sound she made woke me up and put me in a state of dread.  I would wake up every morning and feel sick that I had 2 kids to take care of!

Crying- the crying wasn't too bad but now I realize that it went on longer than it should have.  So many times Ronnie would come home and I would cry to him about how I didn't feel like myself.  Hmmm, red flag?  Probably so. Ronnie was such a trooper though.  Bless his heart.  If you need a pep talk, he's your man!

Breast Feeding- I realize now that I hated breast feeding and the process was driving me crazy.  Don't get me wrong, breast feeding is great. I'm all for it.  I wish it could have worked out for me but I couldn't make it work.  I was losing my sanity.  So many times I sat with Ellie feeding and I was crying.  I couldn't take it any more.  I had to stop.

Sleep Deprivation- Of course new parents are sleep deprived.  That's the "joy" of having a baby right?  But the sleep deprivation combined with the depression was not a healthy combination.  I was sleep deprived but I found that a lot of times I couldn't nap when I had the opportunity.  I had too much going on in my brain and couldn't relax.  I was too worried about stuff which added to the anxiousness.

Bonding- If I could tell any new mom one thing I would tell them this.  It's okay if you don't bond with your baby right off the bat.  In all likelihood you won't.  Oh, you will love this child always but bonding is a tough thing.  Ellie was a fussy baby.  If she was awake she was fussy.  Not necessarily crying, just fussy and not content.  It's hard to bond with a fussy baby.  I was certain that I'd never love her as much as I loved Avery.  How could I?  She was so fussy!    I loved the girl but she was quite the challenge.

Newborn Naps - Ellie wasn't a great napper.  She did okay at night but naps were horrible. She'd only nap for about 15-45 minutes and I was about to lose my mind.  This is pretty normal but when you have a fussy baby anytime you can get them to sleep is a blessing.  Ellie wouldn't nap in her crib for the longest time.  I'd have to carry her around in the sling.  Of course then she slept like a champ! But again, I was losing my sanity carrying her around all the time!

Eventually things started to calm down.  I got some medication, Ellie started to be more content and everything finally started to fall into place.  Ellie was a good 3 months old before I finally thought "Okay, I can do this." 

I'm not sure if it was the medication or just Ellie getting a little older but I finally started to feel like myself.  I lowered my expectations of naps, I wasn't so anxious all the time, I stopped worrying about how much sleep she was getting during the day, we bonded, I got some naps, and I dropped the guilt of not breast feeding. 

Now, I'm feeling like myself again and weaning myself off the meds.  I actually get stuff done around the house and can't imagine not having these two girls!  We are all starting to find our groove and figure this whole thing out.  There were so many people that helped me during that time- constantly sending me texts, emails, phone calls, prayers.  I'm forever grateful.

So there you have it.  That's my story of my post partum depression.  It looks different in everyone and lots of people deal with in various ways.  At the end of the day, I love these girls and my life with them! God is good!