Photos With Santa

In keeping with the tradition of last year, I wanted to get Santa pics with Avery. Dawn was here all weekend so she came along to help me because I figured Avery might be afraid. We dressed Avery up and got to the mall early Monday morning. I kid you not, the line was an hour long. I was not about to make Avery stand in line for that long to take a picture so we opted for taking a picture in front of Santa’s Village to say we were there. Ha! There were so many kiddos in line crying because they had waited so long :( In any case, she had a blast seeing Santa from a few feet away.

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I couldn’t get her to keep her arms still. She was talking, pointing to stuff, and dancing so the pictures are all quite interesting:
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My Little Present:
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Avery Is 20 Months!

As of yesterday, Avery is now 20 months! At this age, she is trying to repeat all words and says so many that I can’t remember them all. Scott really tries to work with her to say please ‘pease’ and thank you ‘sank you’ and she is very diligent about using those words to my surprise. She helps me make the bed every morning by bringing me all the pillows that have been placed in the corner of our room from the night before. After she hands me each pillow, she tells me thank you because I tell her thank you. It’s so cute. When she is finished, she opens all the shutters for me. She is quite the helper! One of the words that she says really pretty that kind of surprised me is ‘purple’. As a former Speech Pathologist, I get a kick out of her verbal language skills and the progress of learning different sounds. She is starting to put words together and really tries very hard when I work with her on certain sounds. I can tell she will be much like me in the way that she wants things to be just right. Words off the top of my head that she says: soap, pants, baby, Elmo, Abby, hungry, cup, juice, apple, nana, berry, yoyo (yogurt), Benwee (Bentley), outside, nigh-night, bye-bye, blue, red, purple, yellow (she says other colors but not as clearly), and so many, many more words.

A Funny Story: A few days ago, I derobed (I think that’s a word) Avery for bathtime except for her diaper because I needed to finish picking up a few things before taking that risk. Avery is like a tornado in any given room and I’m a cleanaholic. I’ve learned my lesson on taking the diaper off too soon before bath. Anyways, I was in our bedroom and she was in our closet when I heard clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk coming towards me. I was thinking, what pair of shoes does she have on this time. I went to go see and she had on her Daddy’s black socks on (which I’m guessing he had left on the dressing bench) and they were pulled up tall to her knees and my teal blue high heel shoes. What a sight! I died laughing and wished I had my camera on me at that exact moment. She pranced all around the room looking like that without a hitch in those high shoes. Hilarious!

Avery’s Favorites:
Food: Still loves blueberries and yogurt but also has a new love for bananas and eggs
DVD: Elmo, more Elmo, and Elmo and Abby; Oh, did I mention Elmo? Sometimes she will watch Dora but Elmo is what she always asks for.
Items: Shoes, our microwave (Scott calls it the magic machine and we do lock the buttons so she can’t cook anything), blankets and pillows to cuddle in
New Toy – Playdough (St. Nick brought it)
Old Toy – Her tent that we put up every once in a while in her playroom
Places – Any place that involves being outside
Time of Day – Morning (Mama is not good at waking up early so thank goodness Daddy is!!!)
Others – Loves to be Mama’s little helper, taking baths, reading books every night (especially Good Night Moon, The Moo Book, The Foot Book and Bee & Me), chasing Bentley all around the house and playing in drawers

Finally, she has enough hair for pigtails and ponytails :) ….
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Avery’s Christmas Play

Avery’s school puts on a Christmas Program every year and we were so excited to see her be a little reindeer. Her teachers were fabulous in getting her class all dressed up in their costumes and practicing all week. We decided to sit in the first row so we could get great pictures and video. Not such a great idea! She quickly saw us and started crying :( However, she wasn’t the only one. It seems stage fright is contagious. Ha! She was so cute up their on stage. I just couldn’t stop smiling…we were very proud parents. One class in particular had the funniest skit. I really wish we had it on video. Everyone in the entire church was dying laughing. These kids were quite the little actors.

My little reindeer lost her antlers (and I packed red shoes for her and I’m guessing her teachers liked the black ones better):
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Uh oh! She spotted us:
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This is the 12-18 mos and 18-24 mos class combined:
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I think she was quite confused as to why she had to be on stage while we sat way over in our seats.
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Christmas Card Carousel

I’m joining in the Christmas Card Carousel here.   We sent our Christmas Cards out just yesterday, but I really wanted to participate in this so I’m ruining the surprise.   I wish I could have sent a Christmas Card to everyone I know, but I didn’t order quite enough for that.   Here are our Christmas Cards from our family to yours!  We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
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Christmas Card 2009

Handmade Gifts: Sugar Scrub

Since I have some time on my hands, I’ve been considering doing some handmade gifts this year. I particularly love the idea of making your own bath fizzies or sugar scrub. I love to be crafty and I should start doing this stuff more often. Sugar or salt scrub is mucho dinero at little bath boutiques so I figure I would make some of my own. The only thing is essential oils do cost about $20 a bottle but it goes a long way.

Body Scrub

image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Ingredients:
2 cups Epsom salts or sugar
1 cup carrier oil
8 drops essential oil(s)
1 drop food coloring

Directions
1. Mix together Epsom salts or sugar depending on which you prefer and carrier oil in a bowl. Use epsom salts as more of a soak and sugar if you want a scrub.

2. Add essential oil and if you want to be fun, add food coloring. Stir these together. Then package as desired.

I prefer to add pretty little glass jars that seal well so oils don’t leak. Using canning jars with the plastic seal works well!

Download Blank Labels Here
courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Family Portraits 2009

My dear friend, Phoebe, did a photo shoot of us back in October. We drove out to Sealy to an old mill so we could get some cool contrast and I’m really thrilled with the results. I love the colors! Avery was quite a trooper allowing me to change her several times…. Ha! I couldn’t resist.

Here are some of my favorites:
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Those eyes make my heart melt:
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Ryan’s First Birthday

My friend’s little boy, Ryan, turned one this past weekend. What a cute party! There was a pony to ride, petting zoo with baby animals, sand box to find golden coins, and so much more. Avery absolutely fell in love with the pony. She would have rode her the entire time if she could have. She rode it a few times and followed it around the rest of the time if she wasn’t in the pen with the baby animals. She had tons of fun!
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Birthday Boy:
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I thought this was so cute….he wasn’t so sure about the icing:
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Cookie Monster

This past weekend we had lunch with E and Brian at Ruggles. For kiddos, they had Christmas cookies for dessert that you could decorate on your own. Scott decorated Avery’s and he is quite the artist ;) Avery sure loved his art because he put tons of icing on it as you can see. She kept asking us “bite?” “bite?” because Scott had to feed it to her and he would say “wanna bite?” She definitely wanted lots of bites!

Luckily, Elizabeth had her camera!
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Such a clown:
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Taking a Break…

Some of you know I have recently sold off one of my companies. It is kind of weird actually because I’m always in work mode so the semi-freedom has been foreign to me. I already have my next company in the works, but I’ve really made a commitment to myself to take this opportunity to slow down. With all the changes that have been made in the last month, it is easy to notice that I have evolved into a person that is more in tune with myself and my family and all the good in our lives. Scott and I have always been very grateful to God for our countless blessings, and it is important to me that we do not take anything that we are given for granted. I want to take this time to really embrace every moment with Avery as she changes every day. I also want to be able to take my health more seriously. I think when we are young, it is easy to take for granted being healthy…at least I do. One thing I’ve noticed recently is a rapid and unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds in one week without a change in lifestyle. Though I feel healthy and just went to the doctor for full testing, stress is a huge factor. I think my cup overflowed. We all have stress and without realizing it, it can cause a lot of serious damage like headaches, indigestion, stomach issues, and even cancer. I really feel this mini-break is a blessing to take time for my family and myself. Life is too short!

Snow is Falling!

It’s been snowing all morning. As I look out my office, the grass is pure white and huge flakes are coming down. They’ve forecasted it to snow all week for today. For Houston, this isn’t a normal occurrence by any means. It’s gorgeous! Avery got to play outside this morning and loved it so much she didn’t want to come back in. The snow wasn’t sticking for quite a while. However, she thought it was so funny trying to catch the snowflakes. Right now, she is napping and the snow is coming down so hard that its accumulating on the grass and the trees covering them in white.

This is from earlier this morning:
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The classic Avery “O” Face when she is surprised and excited:
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Trying to figure out where those snowflakes are going:
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