t h r e e

Shanna-17

Aven turned three years old just ten days before we welcomed her brother. I no longer do update or milestone posts, but I want to always remember the little things about her at each age. So here is my random, stream-of-consciousness, Things I Love About Aven Harper, Age Three, along with some of my favorite photos from the last few months.

Finn-22Finn-20

My sweet Aven,

You are three! “Fwee”, as you would say. We registered you for three-year-old preschool recently, and ohh myyy. I’ve had to keep my emotions in check over that one. (It’s only 9 hours a week, I keep telling myself. And it doesn’t even start till the fall, so I have time to prepare myself.)

I know you’re going to love it.

Continue reading

Toddlerlife: 2.5 year old Aven

Sometimes when I see an old picture of Aven or during a conversation with a mom friend, I’ll try to think back on what life looked like with Aven at a certain stage, and I surprise myself with how much of the little details I’ve already forgotten! So now that she is 2 1/2 years old, I wanted to document a little snapshot of what life is like with her.

teresa-49

First, we’ve hit a major milestone, people!
My kid is POTTY TRAINED. Feel free to cheer! (I am!) I thought it was never going to happen, because she’s been using the potty randomly since about 18 months, but it was so inconsistent. We had just gone to her 2 1/2 year check-up and her doctor reassured me that she was close and it would happen when she was ready. The thing was, I knew she was ready. So about a week after that appointment, I just told her she was going to wear big girl panties all day. She didn’t put up a fight and turns out, that was the ticket! She has had accidents, of course, but I was shocked with how quickly she transitioned. (We also give her M&Ms for going, so I’m SURE that helps quite a bit). I guess I should have pulled out the big girl panties months ago! Anyway, we are pretty thrilled to get a short break from diapers before baby #2 comes. (She still wears Pull-Ups at night for now.) 
*These potty books are her absolute favorite and I really think they helped with getting her excited about going potty: Big Girl Panties & My Big Girl Potty

Other milestones & big moments: 
-Her first time to a movie theatre (to see Finding Dory)
-Getting ready to transition to a big girl bed in the next week
-Learning how to dress herself
-Memorized her first two Bible verses: Nothing can separate us from God’s love – Romans 8:39 and Trust the Lord with all your heart – Proverbs 3:5

img_1360

Typical day:

7-7:30 Wake up. Breakfast of choice is milk, muffins, fruit, and dry cereal. She always asks to watch Daniel Tiger within 46 seconds of waking up.

9-11:00 We run errands if needed. Gotta capitalize on that good mood in the morning.

12:00/12:30 Lunch time. (Pretzel chips with peanut butter or a half of a sandwich, yogurt, cheese stick, fruit, etc)

2ish-4ish “Rest time.” This is something I had to start once she quit taking a regular nap in my bed. She wasn’t sleeping and I was getting frustrated spending so much time trying to get her to settle down. Now she goes to her bed and understands that she has to be still and quiet until I come get her. Most days she falls asleep at some point, and other days she just lays there and talks with her stuffed animals. Either way, it gives her (and me) time to chill out a bit and then she’s more pleasant for the remainder of the day.

4ish (or whenever she wakes up): Play time while I start cleaning up, prepping dinner, etc.

6ish Dinner time. She eats some of what we’ve fixed, depending on what it is, and some of her own food.

7:30 or 8 is bath time. We still do a bath most nights. If we aren’t home at this time or if we’ve had an extra busy day then we skip it.

In the bed by 8 or 8:30 (most nights)

img_3141

Eat:
she’s still pretty picky, but she does branch out now more than ever. She has a major aversion to meat unless it’s a Chick-fil-a nugget (because DUH). She loves baked beans, mac n cheese, corn, strawberries, bread, ketchup, and sour cream.  Oh, and lemonade. 🙂  Such a well-rounded diet. (Only not).

Play:
right now she is loving fake food (her “begetables”), her play bowls and plates, coloring books and crayons, her little guitar (“pintar”), as well as constantly lining up small toys/puzzle pieces/alphabet magnets into a big pattern on the floor.

TV:
Mickey Mouse has taken a bit of a backseat to Daniel Tiger. And I have to admit, I don’t hate it. Daniel Tiger is such a cute show, with tons of moral lessons and since they put everything to a song, she often breaks out a verse in the middle of our day. Plus, she gives me “ugga mugga” nose kisses like Daniel and it’s the sweetest EV.ER.

Bedtime/Sleep:
Like I mentioned, she has rest time every day, and most of the time she’ll take at least an hour long nap during that. At night, we usually do a bath plus the normal bedtime routine stuff, and then we either sing songs, read a Bible story, or have a dance party before she gets tucked in for the night. If she’s especially tired or cranky we short-cut and stick with the necessities. Generally she ends up sleeping from about 8/8:30p-7:30a.

Stuffed animals:
always a rotation of favorites going on, but she is not usually without her tiny Bunny and Lamby, Mama Fox, Baby Fox, and even Ella the Elephant has been making a comeback. (as you can see, we are SUPER creative with our stuffed animal names) 🙂

Clothing:
She wears sizes 3T and 4T right now. She is obsessed with dresses, and calls them “Princesses”. She loves picking out a princess dress, a hair bow, and panties for the day. All girl. ❤

Favorites:
the color pink, her rain boots, playing hide & seek (but she’s always the seeker), her pink kitten purse, being a helper, the library, smoothies, trains, riding in her daddy’s truck, church, nail polish, Finding Nemo/Dory, and green M&Ms.

Personality:
Despite the typical toddler stuff, she has a really sweet spirit. She is highly observant and detail-oriented. Particular; routine-oriented. Still very social, although occasionally her shy side comes out. Affectionate. Sassy. Generally happy.
img_2096_ed2img_2097_ed

My favorite things about this stage of toddlerhood:

She’s so verbal & can communicate really well which makes parenting easier in general. I love seeing how different she is from me & how she really is her own person. She loves to pray before meals, before bed, and even when she knows someone is sick. She also prays for the baby and talks about the baby in my belly multiple times a day. Watching her big imagination. Listening to her sing songs. The way she says her full name. When she asks me “can I snuggle on the couch with you mommy?” (The answer is always yes, a million times YES). When she’s cranky, we can say “no smiling!” and she breaks out a huge, cheesy grin. And she makes me laugh CONSTANTLY.

//

What’s been your favorite age so far? Why? I would love to hear about it! 

teresa-58

*All professional photos are credit: D Crowe Photography. Affiliate links used in this post.

 

 

11 months! {update}

So, on Tuesday I was at work and wrote “1/6/2015” at the top of my first patient worksheet for the day. It hit me. She’s 11 months old. ELEVEN. You guys, that’s only four weeks from being one year old. 

Someone hold me.

These pictures were made possible by Puffs. I literally had to bribe her to get any decent ones. 

She’s decided it’s more fun to take the headbands off now. She’s becoming a bit more mischievous and really keeping us on our toes.


As of now, I’m not planning to do these monthly updates after she turns one, but I may change my mind. I love being able to revisit when she did what, and to relive all the milestone moments from her first year. I may just do an update every few months or so. We’ll see how it goes.


This past month included her first Christmas
Our first Christmas as parents. 

Even though she’s too little to understand, it was really magical and just made the holidays even more joyful than they already are.

{ we have a pic in this very same spot last year….only I was hugely pregnant with this little babe still in my belly. }

This was her holiday outfit for my family’s Christmas party and meeting Santa. Could you die???
(Everything consignment except the pink leggings and the Owen and Abi skirt.)

She met Santa for the first time! And by that I mean, she was strategically placed on his lap without ever making eye contact with him, because that seemed to be the safest bet. She didn’t seem especially happy or excited about it BUT there were no tears, no pulling of beards, and no shrieking screams. So I’m calling that a win all around.

We picked out a Christmas tree at the tree farm as a family. 

Went something like this: Drive up to desolate tree farm halfway through December. Spot a tree in the middle of a clearing. Determine it’s about 95% perfect (!). Decide you will literally cut anyone if they try to take the tree first. Hubby chops down tree (super impressive) and throws it in the back of the truck. Drive home and then let 95%-perfect-tree sit undecorated in the house for a week. OH WELL. What’s important is we got a tree, people. And it was decorated exactly one week prior to Christmas. So again, calling that one a win. Also, Aven didn’t try to destroy the ornaments which I was totally betting on.



Girlfriend loves some Christmas lights. Whenever the tree is lit up, she points to it and does a little high pitched squeal with this surprised/excited/overjoyed look on her face. So cute. We went to an outdoor light event in our city that was pretty spectacular, and she was enamored.

It was soo cold. She kept putting her hands up to Brandon’s mouth for him to warm them up. 

We had a little photo booth set up at one of our family Christmas parties. Here’s what Aven thought about it:


Obviously thrilled.

Stats
Nicknames: Baby bird. Ave. Brandon always calls her Babygirl.
Eye Color: blue 
Hair: getting much longer and the rat tail is officially GONE. Moment of silence for the rat tail.
………………………………………………
Who does she look like? more me lately….I think.

Weight/Height: no update on this til next month’s dr appt.
Clothing: 12-18 months in most stuff.
Diapers: size 4
Favorite toys: anything that plays music and her baby “walker” that she can stand up and play with.
Crib or Parents’ Room: crib
Food/Routine: Up by 7 am every day (could set a clock by this girl). 
Breastmilk every 3-4 hours (6 oz, or as close as I can get…we are nearing the end of nursing).
Solid foods 3 times/day. She is loving yogurt right now.
Usually 2 naps/day, with the morning one being the longest and most important.
Bedtime around 9:00. (starting to move this up a little each night).
Nighttime sleep: she’s been sleeping like such a champ lately which I couldn’t be happier about. But since it’s something that changes monthly, I never let myself get TOO used to it.
Teething?: not currently
New Words: MAMA (WOHOOOOO!!!)
DADA
MORE (kinda – she tries to say it when she signs it)
GONE GONE (sounds like “go go”)
Loving lately: Me. She’s been so clingy with me recently. I’m not complaining though, since it probably won’t last.
Hating lately: wearing socks/headbands/hats. 
Being left alone to play

no more rat tail. 



New Discoveries/Milestones: 
Pulling up on everything
Blowing kisses
Standing with little help
Sign language (“more”)
First busted lip. Was bound to happen with all of this pulling up and standing business.

These are my new favorite things from this past month:
– Blowing kisses and waving with major enthusiasm every time we tell someone bye. (I die).
– The scrunch face + fake laugh she does whenever anyone laughs about anything in her presence.
– Giving random kisses out to inanimate objects (i.e., her gloworm toy and she also kissed her new pj’s that have a ballerina on them. SO precious.) 
– The sock monkey pants from Aunt Shelby.
– Watching her do sign language (she picked up “more” super quick).
– Dancing anytime anywhere when she hears even the faintest music playing.



Well I’m off to order ffirst birthday party invites. And I’m gonna be a big girl about it and not cry.

Happy 11 months to our little baby bird!

9 month update

She’s 9 months old! (What!?)

(As per usual, this update is a few days late.)

She’s a quick learner, very observant, talkative, emotional, a busy body, girly, funny, and growing so fast!


{Bow: Alexandra Rose Handmade}

The gorgeous quilt in the background of those first photos was made by a sweet friend of mine who is SO talented. I could not be happier with how it turned out. I’m so thrilled to see this quilt be used and loved and treasured by Aven over the years. Thank you, Adrienne!


Stats
Nicknames: Bird. Ave. Baby girl. Boo.
Eye Color: blue 
Hair: sticks up all over. The rat tail is slowly fading away. (sad!)
Who does she look like? both mommy and daddy

Weight/Height: 19.3 lbs (66%) and 29″ long (91%)
Clothing: some 9 months, but also a lot of 12 month. I even put some 18 month pants on her the other day and they fit perfectly (!)
Diapers: size 4, hah.
Favorite toys: board books, cups, sippy cup, stuff from the kitchen
Crib or Parents’ Room: crib
Food/Routine: Up by 7 am every day. Breastmilk (every 3 hours); oatmeal cereal (1x/day); baby food (1 or 2x/day). Usually a morning and an afternoon nap. We still do a bath every night but only use soap every other night. 
Nighttime sleep: Better. She has been sleeping all night and sometimes just waking up early (around 6am). Some days I feed her and put her back down, other days I keep her up depending on our schedule for that day.
Teething?: No new ones, so still just 6. 
New Words: “Go” (I say this to the dogs when I let them outside); “Hey”

New Discoveries/Milestones: 
Army crawling
Pointing
Dancing (bounces arms up and down)
Leaning in for kisses, sometimes open mouth 🙂
Claps when you say “yay” or “patty cake”
High fives
Puffs snacks
Her shrieking/screaming voice has been found – and we are trying to make it GO AWAY. 


I couldn’t quite figure out what I wanted A to be for Halloween this year, until I saw this pic my mom snapped one day while babysitting (her hair is not really this dark, but it IS this crazy)

 A couple of coworkers suggested an 80s baby and it could. not. be more perfect.

 I still can’t believe I found this gem at a consignment shop – hot pink, gold lame’, neon hearts, stars, cut outs…it practically screamed 80s at me from the rack it was hanging on. And I’m also pretty positive it was hanging on that rack since about 1989. Just waiting on me all these years. #fate

I snagged everything in this outfit either from consignment or something we already had, only the headband I bought I new. The wrist sweat bands and leg warmers were old socks that I cut up. So this is definitely an affordable idea for a baby costume!
Halloween ended up being cold and windy – boo (had to say it) – so she was bundled up in a blanket for most of our church’s fall festival. I took some pics of her at home so she could show off her outfit. 🙂

 You guys – does it not look like she’s stretching before her work out in these pictures?! Future model status.

This Johnny Jumper (also from consignment) has been a LIFE SAVER lately. She freakin loves this thing and it’s the ideal distraction for while I’m cooking dinner. It’s also easy to pack up and take with us to whoever is watching her for the day. 




Favorites from this past month…

 (photo credit “Aunt” Shelby)


Your daddy and I love you more every day, Aven!




{8 month update here}