Friday, April 18

an american girl experience

Aunt Beth's present to Avery was dinner at the American Girl Bistro and getting Molly's ears pierced while at the store.  Quite a treat for Avery.  She was beside herself with excitement.  

She was so excited to wear her "Betsy Ross" dress because Grandma had made one for Molly too and she really wanted them to match.  I couldn't believe the looks she was getting.  She got a ton of compliments on her dress and she ate up the attention.

Of course, the matching cheetah print shoes totally made the outfit.

Before we ate, Molly got her ears pierced.  Avery loved this part.  

Then we headed to the Bistro for more fun.

American Girl does not mess around.  Every little detail at the Bistro is adorable.  Every worker we came in contact with was sweet and went out of their way to make Avery feel special.  It was seriously awesome.

There was a little box in the middle of the table with conversation starting questions.  Super cute and fun until I asked the one about your favorite teacher and Avery began to cry because she misses her first grade teacher.  Oops.

Our waitress was so sweet and the food was great.  I was just happy to be there and loved that time with Avery and my sister.

Avery and Molly both swapped their bonnets for the birthday crowns they were given.  So cute!

She got a special little cake that was falling apart but still beautiful.  Several waitresses sang Happy Birthday to her.  She took a minute to decide on a wish and then finally managed to blow out the candles.

Avery loved it all and was pretty thankful to Aunt Beth for treating her to this special experience.

Aunt Beth then surprised her with a mini Kaya doll in the bag at the end.    

 Turning 8 is pretty fun and Aunt Beth doesn't mess around with the birthday spoiling.

Thursday, April 17

avery turned 8

Avery's birthday was celebrated on multiple occasions as usual and there is no doubt that she felt spoiled, special, and loved!  The kick off party occurred after my whole side of the family ran/walked a 5K together.  It was in Cincinnati so everyone was already in town and just came over to party after the race.  

Avery requested an animal party because she is going to be an animal rescuer when she grows up, of course.  With so much going on, we didn't go crazy but we did give a few animals their own little party hats.   

As soon as we got back home, she changed into her animal rescuing outfit.  She is a fashionable animal rescuer.

Our sweet little creative party planner thought of 3 games to play with our guests.  She stood up and explained each game to us and put us in groups.  One game was called "My Little Pony Mix-Up" where you had to put the ponies in order from smallest to largest as fast as you could.  My sister, Mom, and I rocked this game.  Another game was tossing stuffed animals into a bucket and the last was rescuing hidden animals around the room.  Avery is a genius.  The games were simple, fun, and brought life and laughter to us tired adults.  It was just what the party needed.  I could not have planned it any better myself.

We had lunch together and then my sister provided M&M cookies for dessert per the birthday girl's request.

This was Avery opening up her invitation from Aunt Beth to eat at the American Girl store and get Molly's ears pierced.

Grandma made Molly a bunch of clothes including a wedding dress that Avery had once requested complete with veil and bouquet.

That first celebration kicked off her birthday week and spring break!  Her actual birthday was on a Sunday so she got to open up presents before we left for church.  She got her birthday dress, earrings, a cd, book, and a Lego Friends set.  I think these rhinestone letter A earrings were her favorite.

After church, Grandma & PaPa came over and we got to take the birthday girl out on the town.  Molly joined us for the birthday date too.  Avery chose sushi for lunch.  Jason has made us California rolls at home so she was excited to eat at a real sushi restaurant.  It turned out that she didn't like them as much as Daddy's and basically she likes the crab meat part and that is about all.  Oh, well.  We still had fun.  We took her to see Mr. Peabody & Sherman afterwards which was fun but for future birthday dates, we ruled out movies because it gave us less time to talk.

When we got home from our date, Aunt Julie, Uncle Matt and cousins came over to celebrate.  Ellie made her the sweetest picture and gave her a random assortment of gifts from around their house.  It was so thoughtful and precious.

This time, she wanted mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert.  I don't know what happened to this girl's love of cupcakes but they were replaced with cookies and ice cream this year.

It was a blast celebrating our big girl so much!  I am definitely in denial that we have an 8 year old.  I remember being 8 and it feels like yesterday.  Time flies when you're having fun and celebrating birthdays for weeks.

Monday, April 7

18 months

Dear sweet Violet,

You are a handful and a half at 18 months. You often leave me stumped.  You scream your head off one minute and then cuddle the next.  You are a lover and a fighter. 

I think you have one of the cutest faces God ever created. I stare at you a lot.  I am afraid you will change and grow if I look away.  But duty always calls and I must look away and inevitably you grow and change despite my best efforts.

You eat so independently now.  It just happened all of a sudden.  Most of the food makes it to your mouth and you love being a big girl.

I cut your mullet off in the bath one day and I was worried about it but the second I saw you with that haircut, I knew I had done the right thing. I didn't think it was possible but you looked even cuter.

You pull that bottom lip out so far when you are told no and the most pitiful cry follows.  You can't handle being told no especially by Daddy.  I am convinced that you can scream louder than any baby in the history of the world.  It is intense.

You wore one of my old baby sweaters to church the other day. I am so thankful my Mom saved it.  You looked like a little angel so I couldn't help but take 100 pictures of you when we got home.  It was made for you.

You are my longest nursing baby.  I always said I would stop at 18 months but you are the first one to do that and I can't stop.  Whenever you get upset or hurt, in the morning and at bedtime, you come to me, lay across my lap and say, "nur, nur" (short for nurse) and then you say, "pease" which gets me every time.  I know you aren't getting much and only from one side so I know your nursing days are numbered but I am kind of dreading that since you are my last one.

You are a talker.  You at least attempt to say absolutely everything you hear.  It's so cute.  You are putting more and more words together all the time to tell us stuff.  You are easily distracted by one of us saying, "Where is the dog-dog?" You go to the windows or back door and put your hands up asking, "Where dog-dog?"  When you actually get to see one, you get super excited but are not interested in petting them or getting too close.

You still sleep with your little half baby doll, half blankie and get covered up with the blanket Mommy made you.  You never stay covered but we have a routine when I put you down and it involves me covering you up.

Your favorite toy that actually keeps your attention for a bit is this wooden stacking toy.  You work hard concentrating on getting those circles on the post.  It's so fun for me to watch.  You love to show off when you get the circles on the post successfully.

You love to be outside.  If you hear anyone mention the word, you fly to the back door waiting for somebody to take you out.  You go down the slide over and over and still love to swing.

You weigh 22 lbs. 9 oz (50%) and are 31 1/2 inches long (50%).  You were not a fan of your doctor appointment.  You were still as a statue for the stethoscope part and then after that, you fussed anytime Dr. Evans touched you at all.  Of course, you weren't a fan of the shots but you calmed down after just a minute and were happy to go home.

I love it when you smile so big that your nose wrinkles up and the dimple comes out in full force.  Absolutely precious and makes everyone else smile too.

You suck your thumb so much more than you used to.  It is the cutest thing ever.  You love to be held especially when somebody else needs something or I am in the middle of making dinner.  

Happy 18 months.  I love you so, so much my sweet baby girl.


Monday, March 31

our st. patrick's day

Well our St. Patrick's Day was pretty typical around here this year.  We wore green, ate green, and played with green.  It was fun.  We aren't Irish but we love any reason to celebrate!  

Avery decked herself out in green from head to toe for school.  She was so excited.  I love how she gets so into it just like her Momma.

No St. Patrick's Day is complete without a shamrock sandwich.

Mimi was so excited to get her nails painted green the night before.  She was fascinated with this idea of people pinching her that Avery kept telling her about.  I love the way 3 year olds think.  Especially this one.

We don't do too many sugar cereals so Lucky Charms was a real treat for these babies.

Tyson did a Lucky Charms graph for preschool time.  It was one I had kept copies of from my teaching days.  I totally remember doing this with my kindergarteners.  Fun.

Mia even got in on the graphing action.  Most likely because it involved colored shaped marshmallows.

Then we had a shamrock hunt which they loved and we ended up doing many times.  We hid them from each other all around the living room and then we would count to see how found the most.

There was a dinner of green vegetables and flavored rice.  The kids were less thrilled about the dinner but the celery and peanut butter made up for it.

And then it was time for a special surprise green dessert.  When I gave Violet her own bowl, she acted surprised and got really excited.  It was funny watching her eat it.

The dessert was lime sherbet and ginger ale floats.  The kids were so excited about them at first but Avery & Mia decided they only liked the sherbet and not the ginger ale.  Tyson absolutely loved the float and asked for more which was fun until we noticed the red bumps popping up around his mouth.  A total Mom fail.  After having a boy with milk allergies for close to 5 years now, I still got sherbet with milk as a main ingredient.  It's so hard to think in the grocery store with kids and I just let the ball drop on that one.  It was very unfortunate but Tyson handled it like a champ and it was nothing a little Benadryl couldn't cure.  Poor guy.