Where Did my Baby Go?

I looked in my rear view mirror this morning, while driving to ‘school’, at a chatterbox… going on about pumpkins and buses and munching on sausage, all with a huge smile on his face, his feet swinging huge snow boots that he demands to wear even though there is no snow on the ground… and I realize.  My baby is gone.

In the blink of an eye, the picture from my rear view mirror has changed from a snoozing innocent baby boy engrossed in a huge car seat, wrapped in blankets and sometimes swatting at dangling toys has transformed to a kid.  A highly opinionated, talkative, energetic, growing little man.  A kid that I can barely keep up with.  He doesn’t stop talking.  Half the time I have to stop him because I can’t understand what words he’s trying to say.  Then other times he’ll carry on a whole conversation with me, or even himself.  He’s set in his ways – he wants what he wants and if he doesn’t get it, on come the terrible two tantrums.  He wants blue mittens, not red.  He wants James the train to sleep with him, not Thomas.  He wants to eat marshmallows for dinner not hot dogs.  He wants to build a house for John (the Lego man that drives the John Deere tractor), not a tower.  He wants to sit in that chair, not this one.

From this….

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To this…

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He is always right – “No Mommy!” constantly comes out of his mouth because god forbid I tell him something is orange, not red and he doesn’t agree.  And he has to do everything himself.  So independent.  “Avery do it!” is what he tells me when I think I need to help him put a toy together.  He reminds me that he’s a big boy now… that he wants to do everything himself – even if it means he needs to get his step stool to reach something or struggle in frustration because he can’t get the cap off a market – but he still tries and his determination and independence is so adorable.

He still needs Mommy to kiss his boo-boos and he will stop while we are playing,  and give me a hug and kiss, out of nowhere.  Those moments make me melt.  He is such a boy, throwing and yelling and pushing things over, but then he can be sweet and bring tears to my eyes when he wants a kiss or asks to hold my hand.  Because although he’s growing up, he’ll always be my baby.

A very big 26 month old baby, at that.  He’s now officially over 27lbs.. approaching 28!  Avery loves weighing himself on the scale at home… it might have to do with the fun buttons and beeping the scale makes, but Mommy is also excited when he weighs in and the numbers are growing!
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He’s still a picky eater.. veggies and most fruit are the plague to him.  But Mommy squeezes in anything she can to keep the little dude healthy. And we’ve started taking kiddo vitamins every day.  They’re gummies so Avery loves them.  Hopefully they help supplement for the greens he refuses to eat.  I also slip in V8 fruit/veggie juices when I can.  But I’ve tried mixing veggies in rice – Avery won’t touch it.  Anything with color is scary to him.. he does love strawberries and apples though, so we always have those in stock.  He’s still a big meat eater and loves pasta and rice.  Oh and candy… these holidays are NOT good for a parent!  Avery comes home and goes straight to the Christmas tree, breaks a candy cane in half and shows me, “Can-E?” Avery asks.  And man does he get mad when I tell him not until after dinner.  But his meltdowns have gotten a little less dramatic when it comes to that, maybe because I really stick to my guns and he knows I won’t budge.  But he’s been eating well, and when he does, he gets a chocolate from his advent calendar and a little of a candy cane.

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Avery’s still working on counting.  He says ‘One Three’ instead of ‘1,2’.. but it’s better than “1,5,8” which he was set on last month.  He can identify blue, red, green, yellow, black, orange and his favorite color is still blue.  He’s been getting into imaginary play.. pretending with his Lego guy ‘John’… having him talk on the phone to MiMi and feeding his toy dog marshmallows.

We had a few days of difficult bed times when Avery got up and I had to put him back down 10+ times – to be expected because it’s been almost 2 months of good bedtimes, and as a mother, I know these stages/phases only last so long before he throws me a curve ball and changes it up.  He has been sleeping a lot lately… and maybe that’s because he’s growing or because he’s tired from being so darn active all day.  Some days I have to gently wake him up because he’s slept an hour later that he should (even though he had a usual bed time).
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Avery’s favorite activities are playing with his trains, Legos, coloring on his easel, and snacking.  Give the kid a snack in a cup and he’s quiet for 5 minutes.. just wandering around munching away.  We’ve done a few holiday activities and crafts (we’ll share soon) that he’s enjoying as well.. especially his elf on the shelf… this morning he came out asking ‘where’d elf go?’

Promise I’ll share pics and stories about our holiday fun soon… off to a ladies lunch today – a much needed break from busy work and I have been pretty sick so no running from this girl for a while…

❤ Meghan

Lost & Found: Family Photos

Utilizing the holiday, sitting on the couch and relaxing while Avery took a nap – I decided to finally off-load all my photos from my phone, to my computer.  While doing so, I stumbled upon our family photos from a year and a half ago – Avery was only two – three months old.

For Christmas, we gave my parents a photo session to have a family portrait done with our newest addition.  Growing up, we had the photo wall in the living room with an updated family photo (taken every couple years), my parent’s prom photo (yeah, they’re high school sweet hearts), and school pictures of Sarah and I.  These new photos would be an addition to the photos at my parents house, but even more-so they would be the first to adorn the wall in our living room.

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***I only have hard copies, so sorry for the fuzzyness.

It took me months to get the frames, and another few months to ask my Dad to hang them, but eventually, our photo wall was born. And doesn’t it look so cozy with Avery’s toys all strewn about…

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On a day where we are celebrating our independence, I am so thankful to have the freedom to have a family, a home, and create my own traditional family photo wall.

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Happy Independence Day! 

Lost & Found: Family Photos

Utilizing the holiday, sitting on the couch and relaxing while Avery took a nap – I decided to finally off-load all my photos from my phone, to my computer.  While doing so, I stumbled upon our family photos from a year and a half ago – Avery was only two – three months old.

For Christmas, we gave my parents a photo session to have a family portrait done with our newest addition.  Growing up, we had the photo wall in the living room with an updated family photo (taken every couple years), my parent’s prom photo (yeah, they’re high school sweet hearts), and school pictures of Sarah and I.  These new photos would be an addition to the photos at my parents house, but even more-so they would be the first to adorn the wall in our living room.

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***I only have hard copies, so sorry for the fuzzyness.

It took me months to get the frames, and another few months to ask my Dad to hang them, but eventually, our photo wall was born. And doesn’t it look so cozy with Avery’s toys all strewn about…

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On a day where we are celebrating our independence, I am so thankful to have the freedom to have a family, a home, and create my own traditional family photo wall.

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Happy Independence Day! 

Showers & Showers

Avery and I had a fun (NOT) ride up to VT on Friday afternoon.  Lots of rain, fog,  terrible viability… horrible start to the weekend!  But the rough ride up was well worth it.  We arrived at Grampy & Grammy’s house to a home cooked dinner of sausages, hot dogs, and mac and cheese…. looks like somebody knew Avery was coming!

Saturday Avery, Grammy, and I visited a friend of mine who just had a baby!  I’ve known Kate since grade school.  We’ve kept in touch over the years but I hadn’t seen her since my baby shower for Avery.  Well, now she got to meet Avery and I got to meet her little boy, Owen (awesome name… I almost used it for Avery!)

I held him first – and he was so tiny!!!  He was making those sweet baby noises and squirming around – so adorable!  My Mom was happy to hold him and even feed him his bottle too!

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Avery wasn’t quite sure about him… and was very shy in the beginning of our visit… but he did sit next to Grammy for a quick picture!

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Avery finally warmed up when Kate’s daughter Hannah came in from a bike ride.  Hannah wanted to show Avery her room and Avery was thrilled to play with her.

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He would have stayed all morning playing with her if I had let him… but all good things must come to an end, so after an hour or so of visiting, we headed out and I can’t wait to visit Kate again… or have Grammy babysit all three kiddos so Kate and I can take a break out together!

After our visit, Avery passed out in the car and we did some searching at a few stores for a play driving wheel attachment – no luck.  I might have to buy one online and wait.  Avery’s been obsessed with ‘driving’ lately… wanting to sit in the front seat of the car whenever we go for a ride – like when I snagged this pic Friday morning before dropping Avery at daycare…

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Avery woke up at our last store (Buttered Noodles) and picked out a John Deer Tractor and Dump Truck set… oh and the store had these adorable mini shopping carts for kids – Avery was tearing down the aisles, having a ball pushing it! I completely forgot to take a picture – so that just means we’ll have to go back some time…

Then it was off to the mall to meet Aunt Sarah and Grampy for lunch… and after we ate, Avery took a ride in a bus…
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And in a car…

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And he didn’t quite like the simulator ride, even when Aunt Sarah joined him…

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Back at the house, Avery and Grampy played outside while Grammy prepped a yummy dinner with the lasagna pan I got her for her birthday (Thanks for the suggestion Rachel!)

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From left to right = veggie, alfrado & broccoli, & traditional

While Mom was prepping the food – I was putting the finishing touches on stuff for the shower on Sunday (I’m a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding in August and her bridal shower was Sunday).  I made a trivia game… so of course I had to have matching pencils…

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When we popped outside to see what Grampy, Aunt Sarah, and Avery were up to… this is what we found!

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No worries… Aunt Sarah is an expert tree climber and Avery was only up there a second.  And the only reason he was up there was because Aunt Sarah climbed up the tree while Avery was playing in the wood pile and he saw here and wanted up!  So after that, Avery helped Grampy stack some wood…

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Avery just loves getting dirty.  He even pet a slug!  It was totally not on purpose.  We thought he was whining because he got sticky fingers from the sap on the wood, but nope, when we looked closer it was because he found a slug – ew!

Our friend Mina came over (with her dog, Ellie) and we all devoured the lasagna – yum!  And although it was still a little misty from days of rain… we had a campfire and Avery explored our old tree house from when Sarah and I were kids…

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And you can’t have a campfire without s’mores… so Avery tried his first one….

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Although hesitant at first… he loved it!  And don’t you just love his mini camping chair?!  Fully equipped with a cup holder!

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And I have no idea what prompted this… but Avery and Fraiser took a ride in the wagon Grampy had sitting around… and man did Avery love it….

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… we even took Avery down the road on a walk on Sunday in it!  So much fun!

Sunday was the big day for the shower.  I headed over early to help setup…

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The other girls did a great job picking such a nice venue, planning the decorations, and my trivia game fit right in!

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Grammy and Aunt Sarah joined us (along with all the other ladies) and Grampy was on Avery duty.  We had a nice time.  It was great to see my aunts and cousins and  the bride to be seemed to really enjoy the party… even though I made her disclose the color of her panties for the trivia game… hehe.

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After the shower, Avery and I stuck around until after dinner, so I could plan Avery’s bedtime with when I drove back home.  It made for a long day, but it was so worth it so I could attend the shower and we had some fun when the sun finally came out Sunday afternoon…

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My cousins son (Avery’s second cousin) came over to play too… bubbles, kickball, cornhole… it was a fun afternoon.  Grampy cooked some yummy food on the grill to fill our bellies and at 6:30PM we hit the road. I wasn’t even tired on the ride home and thankfully there was no rain!  Yay to a fun weekend…and it’s already Wednesday so another fun weekend is around the corner!

Who Doesn’t Love Free?

at&t commercial more or less

source: youtube, at&t

As soon as I wrote the title of this blog post, I realized it could make for a really good AT&T commercial.  I love those commercials.  The ones with the guy sitting down with kids asking them to explain what’s better, ‘more or less’?  And they go into this speal in their adorable kid verbage and reasoning… too cute!  I can’t wait until Avery starts making actual sentences… what fun to come!

Where was I?  Oh yes, Free.  So when Avery came along we were showered with lots of advice.  One of the suggestions that has (finally) come to fruition was from my dear friend, Roland at work (Daddy of 3 adorable boys).  He told me about Huggies Rewards – each huggies product has a code sticker that you can log in online, get points for, and redeem for rewards!  Well, all of Avery’s diapers are huggies (thank you Costco), so I’ve been logging them online and the points have been adding up.

With all rewards programs, it takes time to sign online and input the info.  But I just kept a stash of the codes in my bag, and once a month I’ll plug them in.  3 minutes a month is worth it, especially when it results in a really cool reward!

I’ve been perusing the ‘rewards catalog’ for a couple months now.  I had enough points for some lame rewards that didn’t interest me like magazine subscriptions – no thanks.  I get my parenting & SELF magazines and that’s all I need.  But yesterday I passed the 500pt mark and spotted a toy I actually wanted to buy Avery – valued at $19.99, but I get it (and shipped) for free.  I clicked the button and boom, it’s in the mail!  6-8 weeks before it arrives, but since it’s recommended for 3+, Avery can wait.  Maybe I’ll put it away for his birthday?

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Avery loves buttons and zippers, so I was looking for a book or toy that allows him to practice that kinda stuff – so this was perfect.  Now instead of buying it, we got it free! Yeah, maybe I’m a little excited seeing as I’ve been logging these points for 18 months now, but free is free.  And it was so worth the little effort on my part. Can’t wait for it to come in the mail!!!

I am absolutely not paid to share my experiences and recommendations (although I’d be open to it if Huggies called me offering some big bucks), but until then (ha!) I just want to say, it’s worth the effort – just create a login at www.huggies.com.  They’re really great too – never got one solicitation email after signing up!  Or you could just send me your rewards points and I can use them! 🙂

What rewards programs have you tried that are worth it?  My latest attempt was using SaveUp.com for paying off my student loans.  You have to log in every day to ‘play’ in raffles.  After months of not winning anything, I gave up.  Not worth it.  I think my friend Alana is still trying to win at it… good luck girl!

NUMB3ERS @ 16 Months

It feels like I JUST posted about Avery turning 15 months.  And here he is, already a month older!  His ‘stats’ haven’t changed much from last month, although I think he is filling out and might weigh a bit more, here’s a run down of some numbers from this past month:

2 1/2 Feet Tall per our first measurement on Avery’s new height chart!

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Grammy & Grampy made Avery a giant ruler to measure his height.  We took the first measurement this past weekend.  Avery was the cutest thing when we had him stand tall against the chart.  He looked up at us and wouldn’t stay still at first, then I marked his height and had him turn around and see.  Then he turned around and stood up against it waiting for me to mark him again… as if it was a game.  Such a cutie.  I’m looking forward to years of marking his height… and hopefully he doesn’t grow taller than 6’6 because that’s as high as the chart goes! (plus one he gets taller than me I’ll have to use a step stool to measure the kid!)

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3 Signs in ASL (sign language).  If asked ‘Do you want more?” Avery makes the sign for ‘more’… and when we’re playing and he doesn’t want you to stop, he signs, ‘more’.  If asked ‘Are you hungry?’ or ‘Do you want to eat?’ Avery makes the sign for ‘eat’.  He’s recently tried the sign for ‘all done’ and is getting much better at it.  I use the signs ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘drink’, but he hasn’t signed them back yet.  I love using the signs because it helps Avery communicate…he’s not much of a talker… he’s more of a noises and grunts kid right now.  And instead of him whining, he signs.  I’m going to add ‘up’ and ‘down’ this week, because he’s climbing on everything!!!

10 Days on antibiotics for pneumonia, and Avery is back to his normal self.  We had quite the scare this month when Avery spiked high fevers and we had to rush him to the ER for immediate attention.  His meds seem to have cleared up the pneumonia and we’ll get a verdict this week if we’re cold-free.

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11 Teeth and one on the way.  This past month, Avery broken in another molar – his first on the bottom.  The other side is coming in soon.  He’s drooling all over and chewing on EVERYTHING.  Sometimes he’s super cranky and we’ve found the best solutions are his pacifier (aka ‘Bah-Bah’) or a popscicle.  Albeit messy, the pop keeps him occupied and his mouth numbed.. plus if you give Avery a towel, he will clean up the drops on the floor from the pop!

13.5 Hours of sleep a day.  Avery has become quite the good sleeper.  Minus the week of up all nights when he was coughing from pneumonia, he’s been sleeping 11 1/2 hours a night and taking a 2 hour mid-day nap.  After our troubles with sleep early on, I am still thrilled he’s become such a great sleeper.

24 Month size onesies.  We’re officially into Avery’s size 24 month clothes!  He’s still wearing size 18 pants and shirts, but onesies and pajamas are 18-24 or 24 month sized because Avery’s long torso doesn’t fit into size 18 anymore!  Oh an socks… the kid has huge feet… size 2T socks fit perfect right now.  He will need new shoes too soon.

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30 Seconds is about the extent of Avery’s attention span.  He’s longest occupied playing alone with his little people farm and tractor.  Playing with someone, he can last a few minutes on one activity such as playing in his ball pit or crawling thru the tunnel.  And it’s not like the kid is bored… there’s toys ALL OVER the house.  Something can thrill him, but then he’s ‘over it’ and looks for something new to play with …. or destroy if Mommy isn’t looking…

Watch Avery Grow: 15 Months, 14 Months12 Months, 9 Months, 6 Months, 5 Months

On the Mend

I can truly say I’m happy to see Monday.  Last week was a blur of running to and from work to Avery’s daycare, to the doctors, and eventually to the ER.  The days at home with a sick kiddo ran together and starting my day at 2am because of a coughing fit was becoming the norm.  I was worried about Avery, seriously sleep deprived, and super stressed about racking up the hours I needed to makeup at work.  I am sooo glad that week is over!

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Everything took a nice turn when Avery was diagnosed with Pnemonia.  I know, that sounds horrible, but we were so happy to know what was wrong with him and we had medicine and a plan to make him better.  By Friday, he was back in daycare and his usual can’t stay still for 30 seconds self.

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We spent the weekend mornings swapping naps (Me & Vinay) and in the afternoons we did some low key activities like grocery shopping and visiting the mall play place.  Other than a couple coughing fits a day, Avery is back to normal.  He’s also embraced the nebulizer … well, moreso he knows he gets a treat to watch ELMO while using it, but it’s a much easier task than our horror of a first day using it.  It really seems to help him too, so now that he doesn’t flip out, we are happy to use it.

I was even able to go to Zumba Friday night and I spent an hour at the gym Sunday while Avery was napping.  Because of our crazy week, we (Vinay & I) put aside our needs and didn’t hit the gym like usual, and we were so focused on just making it to the next day that we ordered out food 4 meals that week.  I know, that’s so bad.  And I paid for it on my Friday weigh-in (which I didn’t write about cuz it was NOT GOOD), but we just needed to make it thru the week.  It was a ‘crisis mode’ and we made due.  This week will hopefully be back to normal and we’ll be back to the gym, cooking healthy dinners at home, and getting a restful night’s sleep.  Last night was actually the first night in the past week he slept thru the night – he’s been waking up from coughing every couple hours.  I was actually happy when I heard my alarm go off at 4:30am… because it was the first time I had woken up since putting my head to the pillow at 9:30pm. 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep = happy mommy!

Avery’s at home with Daddy today (daycare closed on MLK day) and I’m getting photo updates on their shenanegans…

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So, we’re starting off this week refreshed, healthy, and Avery is back to his normal goofy self….Happy Monday!

Is the cold season over yet?  After our Christmas stomach bug and this, I dread any additional ailments….