Thursday, March 31, 2011

Let's get Physical

I might be the only one who thinks this, but I thought I would share. I put a headband on Avery this morning while getting her dressed. Normally her little headbands have a bow or some other adornment on them. Not this one. Just lace all the way around. I put it on her and immediately started singing "Let's get physical, let's get physical." and doing a little dance with Avery. {this constitutes most mornings around Casa Bower, me singing and dancing. Tony is a lucky man!}
It's hard to see the headband against a pink blanket, on her little head, but trust me it's there. Anyone else see the resemblance?

Maybe it's just me. At any rate, enjoy your Thursday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Snow (Hey Oh)

Name that Band!

This was our deck yesterday morning. Ugh. Hopefully it is the last of it. I guess when the first days of March teased us with 60+ temps, that whole "IN like a lamb, OUT like a lion" saying rings true. At least it all melted away by the end of the day.

Now, I know that you friends and family in Minnesota are all like "Danielle, you grew up here in the tundra, toughen up! We have had  inches of measurable snow this month. Quit your belly-aching!"

But, darn it if I don't prefer the weather down here in Des Moines. And that is as far as I will go today, I still carry a torch for my home state :)

In other news, Avery and I visited the fabric store last night while Tony went to the gym to work on his fitness. (yes, I just quoted Fergie, while describing Tony working out. He might not be pleased) I have some cute projects in mind, so hopefully I can get my act together and work on them this week/weekend. Maybe I will share them next week, depending on how they turn out. I am stealing ideas from smart crafty ladies on the internets.

what? My fingers taste good, and I like to wipe my slobber all over your face!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Road Trip

Saturday afternoon, Tony, Avery and I headed north to see my family. I was missing my momma, and I know that she was REALLY missing Avery.

Mom and her littlest Grandbaby
We arrived Saturday night around 8:30 and into the chaos that is the Laue house when all of the kids and grandbabies are in attendance.

Jade and Lexi love their Uncle Tony. Jade calls him "My Tony"

Avery loves her Grandma.

Avery is starting to get more and more hair. There is a curl on the back top of her head that has been standing straight up. It is the cutest little thing, and as you can see below, stands straight up and curls back.

We had a great time for such a short visit. We got to see my Grandma Melba, and Aunts Patty and Pam for a short time on Sunday too. They hadn't seen Avery since Christmas, so they were excited to see how much she has grown. Sadly, I didn't catch a picture of any of them holding Avery.

Avery was not feeling the best, but she was so happy to see her Grandma, Poppa, Uncle Mike, Uncle Ryan, Aunt Bre,and cousins Livia, Jade and Lexi.

Tired girl after a big weekend.

Thanks to Jadi and Michelle for the babysitting services Friday night and Saturday afternoon. I am sure that Avery loved it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rice Rice Baby

Avery trying to escape her bumbo. See the Rice Cereal?
At her doctor's appt. on Monday, our pediatrician suggested that we start adding rice cereal to Avery's diet. We were not sure what method she would take to best, spoon fed, or in her bottle. We decided to try it with the spoon first, and then if that was a fail, then we would go ahead with the bottle.
Not impressed. It was kind of funny to watch her with the rice. She was unsure what to do, I mean she had only been breast fed or bottle fed all of her 4 months of life. A lot dribbled out of her mouth. A lot.

After trying with about half of the rice/formula mix, we decided to go ahead and finish it in her bottle. She was all about that.
We might try to the spoon again next week. We thought it best to keep introducing it in small doses until she was ready to eat from the spoon.
Word to your mother.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Children's Cancer Connection Charity Golf Tourney

The Children's Cancer Connection is a charity here in Iowa that is very near and dear to me and Tony. We were first introduced to it through his office. Each year around the holidays, his office "adopts" a family with a child fighting cancer. A wish list is made by each member of the family and the office goes shopping. For the past 6 years we have been involved with this organization. At first I thought, why are other members of the family making wish lists? Let's focus on the child with cancer. After thinking it through a little more, and becoming more familiar with the organization, I realized that the cancer does not affect just the child, it affects the whole family. The wish lists would include gas cards, gift card requests for groceries, items of clothing for all the children, winter coats, boots, and hats. Toys and games for the children.

 In many cases, the parents take an incredible amount of time off of work, or even lose their jobs, benefits and insurance may be lost with the job. The siblings get lost in the shuffle, and all the focus is on the child with cancer. I am not saying that it should be any other way, but the great thing about Children's Cancer Connection is that it also offers programs and support to the whole family. Their mission statement sums it up: to enhance the quality of life for children and families affected by childhood cancer by providing programs for education, recreation and support.

3 years ago, Tony's office started a charity golf tournament to benefit Children's Cancer Connection. The first year raised about $4500. Last year they raised over $7000. (I am going off of memory here). If anyone would like to help out a great charity, they are looking for sponsors of all levels, golfers, and donations. Go HERE to sign up. 

While I have been a big fan of this charity, it really hits home since becoming a mom. I can't even fathom what it would be like to go through this with Avery. I love that little girl beyond words, and to have her fight for her life would be heartwrenching. I have a hard enough time seeing her cry when she gets her immunization shots.

Cancer is just yucky (excuse the lack of a better word) anyways, but to have a child get it? After my dad won his battle with thyroid cancer in 2000, I was so happy/relieved/grateful. He is a grown man, my daddy, a husband, a brother, a son. He had a great support network, and we as a family came out if it stronger and closer. Any organization that helps families deal with this is a-ok in my book.

Monday, March 21, 2011

25 1/4" &12.2lbs

Those were Avery's stats this morning at her 4 month check up. That puts her in the 80% of length and 19% for weight. Long and lean {just like my favorite Gap jeans}. Our pediatrician is pleased with her development, and Avery gets to start on some rice cereal. Big steps! I can't believe she is eating 6 oz of formula already. That is 3 full scoops people! I joked with her this morning that her rapper name should be "3Scoops". I will tell you that Tony was not on board with that, and just stared at me in amazement. Amazed that I am that dorky :)
Checking out the fish before her appointment.
She also had her second round of immunization shots this morning. As a parent, this is hard, because the shots are necessary {in our opinion} but they make her cry so intensely. We hold her hands, try to distract her, and the nurse gets it done pretty quickly. She starts with this face:
then breaks out into a scream. It breaks my heart. I know that I need to be stronger and not let her see that I get upset, so that it doesn't get made into a bigger deal. My tears were very minimal this time {unlike the river I cried last time} and Avery only cried for about 30 seconds, then wanted the rest of her bottle. After a short nap in the car on the way to daycare, she was all smiles again and a happy baby.
************* ^^^^^************

In other news, Avery has discovered her feet and likes to use her toes as the appetizer or dessert, to the main course: her hands. Last Friday was PJ day at daycare, so we sent her off in her angel wing get-up.
This weekend brought some friends to town, so we spent some time with them over the course of Saturday. Avery is soclose to rolling over and I thought she would get there on Saturday. Here she is as close as she is getting. The shoulder is just too much in the way at the moment. I think she will get there this week though.

After joining the girls for a night on the town Saturday night, we took advantage of the warm temps on Sunday to go for a walk. I will take 70 and humid any day I can get it in March.

Well friends, that is a little of what we have been up to. I think my parents are coming down this weekend {WHOOO to the HOOOO} so I am really looking forward to that. I can't believe it is March 21st already! It is officially spring though, so I will take that!


Hand made by yours truly. They are made from pillow forms that I got at Hancock, and the long one was just re-covered by a throw that I was not using in our master any more. The fabric matches the bench that Tony and I re-covered last fall (that is still not done, my fault. details details).
So since Theresa wanted to see, I thought I would share.

I should have another post soon on our favorite topic: Avery

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tummy Time and Pillows

with her Panda Bear. It plays world music. I think I have the tunes memorized. Avery seems to like it.
Have you seen a kid so cute? I could just eat her up, and I know I am biased, but really. Look at her. So Cute! When she smiles at me and then buries her head in my neck as I hold her, I melt. So does her daddy.

they were hanging out with me while I was sewing pillows
I spent a few hours on Sunday making some pillows for the living room. I like a lot of pillows, and they are an easy sewing project. I need to create and craft every so often, and this is a fairly inexpensive hobby. Tony likes this. I will have to take a few pictures of my pillows to share. (if anyone cares to see?!) I suppose it could get expensive, but I try to keep the cost down. Try being the operative word.

Speaking of Sunday, this was one of my favorite days in recent memory. Even with the time change, I was commited to getting up and going to church. I tried the Presbyterian Church here in Ankeny once before and wanted to give the traditional service a chance. The contemporary service was not my cup of tea.

SO I get up, shower, feed Avery, take her to the kitchen to make coffee, enjoy a cup and get out the door on time. I pull up to the church, and it is empty. No one around. I looked at the announcement board, and apparently this week was a 1 service Sunday at 10 AM (not 9, like I thought) with a guest pastor. Darn it! So I went to Hy-Vee, bought some donuts and the Sunday paper, and went back home. Guess that is what I get for my very sporadic church attendance. I really need to get on that though so I can figure out where Avery will be baptized.

Tony and I enjoyed reading the paper, our donuts and coffee, and we had a great day. I love Sundays in general, and this one in particular was just fab.

still working on rolling over. it will come soon we hope!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Parties and Playtime

Avery went to her first baby shower this past weekend. Tony's cousin Amy is having a baby boy in about a month, and we had her Baby Shower on Saturday afternoon. Avery was just taking it all in and was quietly watching Amy open her gifts.

(Oh, that's a good one. I play with mine all the time!)

Her Aunts and Grandma were very excited to see her, and I barely had contact with my daughter the whole time! As is true when you have a baby, the family runs past you to grab the baby. She had no shortage of attention.
with Aunt Michelle, and Grandma Bower looking on.

with Aunt Lori!
We got there about halfway through the shower, since I had to work. We missed the shower games (darn it! I am usually decent at those), but got there just in time to see all the cute baby goodies that Amy and baby got. The hostesses got pictures of Amy with the gift and gift-giver, which I had not seen before, but thought was a great idea. I would love that to use for scrap booking (not that I actually do that) and to make the thank you notes easier!

Avery with Grandma, Amy, Aunt Michelle, and Aunt Jeanie.
 I didn't have anyone take a picture with me and Amy, but one was taken. Anna, Amy's little sister, got a great picture of Avery that I will have to see if they can email me. (although, I admit, it is hard NOT to get a cute picture of Avery!)
 I am not quite sure what Tony and I did to deserve such a great baby, but we are so thankful. She has a bit of a cold, with a sad sounding little cough and runny nose, but you would never know it by her attitude. She is still all smiles.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just another manic Monday

Whew! It has been a busy few days. For all the running around, and traveling we did, Avery handled it like a seasoned vet.

Thursday night we went over to Tony's parents to finish our taxes, and Avery and Amigo had a wonderful time. Grandpa Bower couldn't wait to get his hands on Avery. She likes to spit up on his shoulder every time she sees him.

Saturday after I got off work, Avery and I headed to Minnesota to see my parents. Unfortunately, Tony couldn't make it since he had to work. It had been a month since we had seen my mom and 6 weeks since we had seen my dad. My brothers were both going to be around too, so that would be nice to have most of us together.  There is not a week that goes by that I don't wish we lived closer to my family. 3 hours is not so bad, and we make every effort to see each other often. Now that Avery is here, it really matters to me. I want her to be close to her family on both sides, and be able to play with her cousins.

They love her!
We spent Saturday evening hanging out at my brother Ryan's house. Mike and Livia came over from Mankato, and my aunt Carol, cousin Sami, aunt Patty, uncle Dan, and cousin Hanna were all over as well. It was a full household, but it always is when Avery comes to town! Everyone just loves her. Jade and Lexi were really interested in wanting to touch her, and hold her.

Cousin Lexi holding Avery.

Avery, Gramma, and cousin Jade.

All the Laue cousins!
On Sunday it was my Grandpa Olbrich's birthday party (he is 78 today, Happy Birthday!) so we went over to my aunt Sue Sue's (Allison) to have some Sunday lunch and celebrate. Avery and Reeve were able to play a little (Reeve is my cousin AJ's little guy).

Reeve and Avery playing

Bubba holding his newest cousin

"auntie" AJ with Avery

We also got a great generational picture of my maternal grandparents, John and Celia Olbrich, with my mom and Avery and me. With Allison, AJ, and Reeve.

For all the traveling that she did, and the odd sleeping schedule, you would have thought that she would have been up all night. Nope. Slept totally normal both Saturday and Sunday night. Basically through the night. Tony is under the impression that our next child will be a pistol, but if he or she is anything remotely close to this

we will be ok. After such a busy weekend, and running between the in-laws house, work, my brothers house, my mom and dad's house, and aunt's house, I would not have blamed Avery at all for being fussy, but she was so happy. We finally got home around 6:45 on Sunday night. Tony quickly bypassed me to grab Avery from the car (missed you too honey!) He missed his little girl. So much so that this is what I saw when I got in the house and settled:

notice the bumbo chair among the work?

He had placed Avery's doll in her bumbo chair. I just thought it was cute. I guess it was a nice little reminder while he was busy working all weekend.