Sunday, February 15, 2015

Avonlea's Baptism

We were blessed to have Adam's dad baptize Avonlea at our church on Sunday.  She was baptized with a boy named Wesley whose older sister, Madie, was baptized the same day as Cohen! Avonlea did great, even smiling up at Grandpa while he was talking to her about how Jesus loves her. It was really special and we are so grateful for those who were able to join us for the celebration of making a promise to God to raise her to know him.

Who would have guessed I bought her dress for $3.99 at a second hand store? It was a little small but I think it turned out cute!

I would argue that Avonlea is fairly photogenic:

Unlike the rest of our family:

Here are the best family shots we got on Adam's phone. I'm hoping his mom's camera fared a little better!

We had everyone over for lunch and cookies afterwards. 
I think my cookies tasted pretty good but my few dozen weren't too impressive when we had enjoyed cut-out frosted cookies after church from one lady who made 1000 cookies for our church to celebrate Valentine's Day! Wow!

It was a special day and we feel so honored that God chose us to raise our special girl. She is truly a gift!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cohen: 2 years, 2 months

Maybe it's just in comparison to the baby in the house, but Cohen seems to have grown up so fast lately. He's transitioned to using  names like Mommy, Daddy, Gramma, Nika, Ryan (still RyRy sometimes), etc. instead of Mama, Dada, etc. He knows all of his colors and can sing the ABCs along with a few other songs. He shows more interest in coloring and drawing shapes and also has a new interest in puzzles.
There are some toys he plays with, like setting up blocks, farm animals, and railroad trains, but he's much more likely to want to run around, race, wrestle, shoot hoops, push his lawnmower or rolling noisy toy around or play Duck Duck Goose. 

Cohen has become the instigator of many of the incidents between him and Ryan and we can no longer assume he is the innocent party. He can be sweet and want to help with things like setting the table. He has long mastered using baby utensils and now uses a regular adult spoon to eat his "geen yogurt" or "pink yogurt" in the morning (He'll eat a whole container of Key Lime or Strawberry flavor and still ask for whatever anyone else is having.) He's usually pretty hungry in the morning because he can be picky on the main dish for supper, although we have no trouble getting him to eat his vegetables. He still uses a kid-size fork but has also moved on to drinking out of a cup instead of a sippy when at the table. We also put the highchair away and he can climb up into his own booster seat. It's nice that he is also able to sit on his knees and not require a highchair when we go places like church or other people's houses to eat. He's experimented going on the little potty with a few successes, but we're not pushing potty training yet.

Cohen is very curious, asking what you're doing or what something is for. We can also see some reasoning skills, like when Avonlea sat at the table with us, he told us "Ah-ben-wee not old enough to eat suppah."  My mom has been working with him on using "I" instead of "me" and if we catch him saying it wrong, we just say "How do you say that?" and he corrects himself. He likes to read books sitting on our laps in bed and likes to sing lullabies before going to sleep. He has a funny giggle that we love to see come out and if he is scowling at us, we can usually get him to smile to break it.  Once in a while he'll throw a tantrum about the strangest things, but I know we haven't entered full-blown terrible twos yet.  Right now we just enjoy seeing him discover new things, grow his vocabulary and show his hammy little personality!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lincoln Children's Museum

We made a weekend trip to Gretna to visit Adam's brother, sister-in-law, and niece. Ryan had been counting down the days for at least 2 weeks and he really enjoyed getting to stay at their house. On Saturday morning, we made a half-hour drive to the Lincoln Children's Museum. Here are many pictures of the things we saw there, in case you have thoughts of bringing your own kids! I would say it was as good as the Children's Museum in Brookings (except this one didn't have outdoor areas) and there were enough different things that it seemed new and exciting. I would say age 1-7 is a good range. Any older than that and I'm not sure kids would be as into the imaginative play.  It was perfect for our 2 and 5 year old!

Air Traffic Controllers
Ryan told Kim "We're coming in for a crash landing!"
Checking out the controls on a plane.

Sitting in a life-size (real?) Cessna

Balls on a track

Bank vacuum tube sent scarves flying to Aunt Kim
Ryan and Mommy played a giant checkers game. He had no clue I was letting him jump me so we could move on to the next thing!

Sound Lab- this machine made different pitches the closer you brought your hand to the tuning spike

Husker Football field
Ryan decided he wanted to be the kicker.
Driving the fire truck.
Cohen the fireman in boots as tall as his legs!

Police Motorcycle
Cohen and Madie on the motorcycle
Truck Driver
Water feature where Cohen quickly leaned over that safety bar far enough to fall with both sleeves all the way in the water. Good thing I had an extra shirt for him!
Ambulance Crew

Grooming a dog, just like in Grandma's shop!

Cutting Pizza.

Prairie Dog Town. The kids can crawl in and out of tunnels and hidden ramps enough that you can lose sight of them for quite a while!
Ryan the Astronaut
Lunar Lander
Ryan on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Avonlea looked like this much of the morning, snug in her stroller and then in the Ergo.
After we left, it wasn't long before Ryan followed suit!
We had a great visit with Andy, Kim and Madie and it was fun to get away for the weekend!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Avonlea: 3 Months Old

When we were deciding on Avonlea's name, we tried to think of all the possible nicknames that might come up for what we and the boys might call her. Since Cohen's pattern was to call everyone a repeating syllable (Ry-Ry, Mama, Dada, Nana, Papa, etc.) we though he might call her "Lee-Lee". It's probably a good thing that didn't happen since his sound substitutions would have made her "Wee-wee!"

Here is a list of things we find ourselves calling our little girl:
"Ah-ben-wee" or "Baby Ah-ben-wee" or "Her name Ah-ben-wee" - Cohen
"Avonlea" or "Hey there, girl" - Ryan
Girly, Little Girl, Baby Girl, Miss, Smiley - Adam
Smiley Sue, Missy Mae, Honey, Sweetie, Sweetie Pie - Me

Here are some pictures of Avonlea between 2 months and 3 months old with comments about her current habits.
She loves falling asleep after eating but sometimes I wonder if she's storing everything in her cheeks? (9 weeks)
We've attempted a pacifier at times, but at most she'll chew on it and usually she'll just spit it out. (9 weeks)
She's starting to smile and coo more and more! (9 weeks)
Her hair gets a little crazy if you don't comb it down after a bath. (9 weeks)
When laying on her back, she rarely is still. She loves to kick her feet! (10 weeks)
Sometimes she is so silly, sticking her tongue out if you do it to her first!
Avonlea at 10 weeks.
She loves her soft warm jammies and sitting in your lap if you'll talk to her. (11 weeks)
Sometimes I think she's the only one of my kids who listens to anything I say! (11 weeks)
Those bright eyes are always watching! (11.5 weeks)
I call this her "Velma" face after my grandma, but don't believe this grump- Avonlea loves taking baths so we take one every night. I love how her hair curls when wet! (11.5 weeks)
This lovely-lashed beauty has stolen our hearts! (12 weeks)
She's a happy, cheerful, easy-going baby!
I can't believe she's 12 weeks old!
After the Doctor said we needed to get her used to sleeping on a flat surface, we transitioned her from sleeping the Rock N Play to sleeping in her crib. She wears a onesie and a warm sleeper and I swaddle her with her arms out in a thin blanket. She will usually go to sleep on her own on her back in the crib, but sometimes we have her listen to books while we read to the boys. She started sleeping through the night at about 9 weeks but will get up once at night a few times/week. She goes down between 8 and 9 and is usually ready to wake up between 6 and 7. We know we have it pretty good when it comes to sleep! She's gotten used to the bottles now and will drink around 4oz at a time. She's the fussiest around supper time and usually ends up sitting on one of our laps so she can be in the middle of the action at the supper table. She's getting better at holding her head up but not very interested in grasping a rattle or anything. She loves to eat/slobber on her hands and it was so funny watching her "discover" her hands and feet!  We didn't have a 3 month checkup but the good news is we haven't been to the doctor for any illnesses either. It's been so fun (but sad at the same time) to watch her grow!!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Our 3 Sweeties

 When I was taking Avonlea's 12-week pictures, Ryan asked if he could lay down next to her and be in the picture too. So, we had some impromptu Saturday morning pictures. I love how they capture the pure adoration and joy these brothers have for their sister.

A few days later, Ryan decided that Avonlea would like to hear some books. It was so sweet watching him "read" to her!