Friday, October 21, 2016

Avery Kate | 10 Months

(Realized I never hit publish...two months after the fact...)

I'm probably going to go into mourning here in the next week or so over the fact that its already September and I have two, TWO, months until my baby girl is one year old. How in the world does it go by so fast? I am totally not motivated to plan a birthday party either.

At any rate, doodle bug is ten whole months old. She probably weighs about 17 lbs but I really don't know because she doesn't go back to the pediatrician until her 12mo appointment. I can tell you that she is still wearing size three diapers and 9 month clothing for the most part. Some 6 month still fits her. She still has beautiful blue eyes and almost strawberry blonde hair, we can't tell if its light brown or reddish tints. She very much looks like Landon did at this age and we are told frequently how much she resembles her brother. I am beginning to see some of myself in her- but not often. She doesn't have my coloring at all, so it will be interesting to watch her as she grows to see who she ends up looking like!

She is sleeping well, most nights from around 9-7:30am. I know 9 is a little late for babies, but y'all. We don't even eat dinner until 7:30 most nights and as hard as we try, it just doesn't happen any sooner. At night she loves to be held in her room, so most of the time John is the one that puts her to bed so they have a little quiet time together.  She sleeps with her pacifier and her bunny. She only uses her pacifier for sleep, the rest of the day we don't use it at all. This is a stark contrast from her brother, who was addicted to the pacifier and always had one close by during the day as well as at night.

She is eating really well and primary just eats table food. Whatever we are having I just cut into teeny tiny pieces and she self feeds very well. She loves just about everything so far, and doesn't have any aversions that I can tell. Shredded chicken, small bites of turkey, noodles, fruits, cooked carrots or beans, cheerios, and tiny pieces of grapes are some of her favorites. She is not excited about using  a sippy cup at all, and most of the time throws it on the floor sometime during her meal. She also begins throwing her food on the floor when she's finished eating. Josie loves this, mommy not so much.

She is BUSY and is always on the move crawling around the house. She recently found the stairs and climbed up to the second step. I was right there just watching her figure it out- but promptly told John we were buying a baby gate. She keeps us on our toes!

She talks and babbles CONSTANTLY and is rarely still or quiet. She still says "mama" "dada" bay-bee" "bye" and "hey" she also makes the same sounds consistently when she sees Landon or Josie, but we can't make out what she's saying.

She loves riding in her stroller, and its one of the few times of the day that she's actually quiet and still while awake. She also loves baths and most of the time we let her sit in the floor of the shower while one of us is in there. She hears the shower water turn on and starts high-tailing it towards the door! She loves sitting there and playing with toys. She also loves any of Landon's toys- which he doesn't love and I frequently here "AVVA-REEE" when he is frustrated that she is trying to get something he is playing with.



She is happy and busy and curious. She is independent but attached. Sassy but sweet, silly but serious. We love our sweet Avery girl!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Landon | First Day of Preschool 4/5yo

Last Monday, Landon had his last first day of preschool! This year he is in the M/W/F 4-5 year old class. He was a little confused when I told him he wouldn't be in the same class as last year, and would have a new teacher. But on the way in, we stopped to give his previous teacher a big hug and then he marched into his new room without any issues. He is really excited to have his best buddy Kolton in his class this year, so that definitely eased the transition for him.


He was excited to start school, but confused why baseball wasn't starting also. We signed him up for fall ball a couple weeks ago and he is more concerned about playing baseball than going to school, naturally! 


When I picked him up to ask him about his day he told him his favorite part was watching a tractor laying mulch on the playground and a huge dump truck came to deliver a load "of like ten thousand mulch!" I feel like they set the bar pretty high on the first day having a tractor AND a dump truck. Talk about a four year old boy in heaven! I just hope and pray that he continues to have a good year, learns a ton and is excited about school each day. 






Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Avery Kate | Nine Months

Nine months, sweet doodle bug. She turns ten months old in ten days and I'm just now posting this. I I always have great intentions of posting on time, and then it just doesn't happen- anyways...


She has changed so much this month and has definitely become wide open and on the go.


She weighs 16 lb 14 oz  and is 28 inches long. Long and lean just like Landon was at this age. Surprisingly, she weighs about a pound less than he did at nine months old. She's wearing 6-9 month clothes and size three diapers. She still has blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. This month, we noticed she has developed a birth mark on her left elbow! Its a very light, oval shaped spot.

She is sleeping well, most nights from about 8:30 or 9 to 8am. We try to start bedtime around 8:30, but its just hard in the summer when we are on the go and normally still doing things at that time. She's turning into more of a snuggly baby, and loves to be held before she goes to sleep. After her last bottle, we take her to her room, change her and then sit in the dark with her there until she dozes off. John and I both have really enjoyed that time with her and having a few minutes at the end of the day with just our baby girl.

Milestone wise- she is trying to pull up on things, she is crawling like an alligator on her belly, and she is talking a lot! I'm not sure if she will every crawl on all fours because she really scoots around quickly on her belly to get where she needs to go. Most of the time, that means she's following Josie around the house or getting into something she shouldn't be. She says Mama, Dada, Bye bye (with a wave), and baby. The pediatrician told us she is advanced with her speech, so I'm sure she will talk my ears off the rest of our lives. :)

She loves her brother and her puppy, she loves Landon's toys, riding in the stroller, books, and bath time. She also loves snuggling her jellycat bunny.

She is wide open, busy, and curious. She is always, always up to something and keeps us on our toes. I have a feeling thats going to continue the rest of our lives!

Happy Nine Months Avery!





Our Journey with Positional Plagiocephaly

Now that our journey with Avery's positional plagiocephaly has passed, and I wanted to take a minute and write down our experience with wearing a helmet and my thoughts overall on the process. Positional Plagiocephaly is the long medical term for when a baby has a flat area or asymmetrical head. I've had several friends with babies message me or talk to me about their concerns about their baby's head and what happened with Avery- so if this can help anyone out there, then I'm all for it.



I guess Avery's story begins at birth when it comes to the shape of her head. She was delivered with the assistance of a vacuum, and from the get go she had an odd shaped head. Her left side protruded more and wasn't as round as her right side. If you know anything about positional plagiocephaly, then you know that doctors will tell you its from laying your baby on the same side or back of their head for prolonged periods causing a flat spot. And while that may be true, I am just not convinced that its the sole reason that Avery had a flat spot. Her head was oddly shaped from day one, and I feel like no matter how much tummy time I did or time spent off the back of her head, it just didn't correct itself.

Another thing that I think may have contributed is the fact that she slept in her swing in our room for three months. Landon was in his crib at four weeks old, and when he slept he turned his head to the side. Avery slept in her swing and was on the back of her head all night long. During the day, I followed the tummy time guidelines and held her in her Solly wrap a lot to try and keep her off the back of her head. It just wouldn't correct itself.

Avery's flat spot was directly on the back, her head was wider at the back than the front. After monitoring it and seeing if it would correct itself for four months, our pediatrician referred us to a plastic surgeon at Brenner Children's Hospital to have her head evaluated for positional plagiocephaly. We met with the plastic surgeon, did some scans on her head, and it was advised that Avery wear a cranial prosthesis, or helmet, to help correct her flat area.

Let's be honest, no one wants their child to be anything less than perfect. No one wants them to have to wear glasses, or braces, or anything else cosmetic that may draw attention to them. No one wants their baby to be sick or in the hospital. I know that wearing a helmet is not the end of the world, and I also know that if this is the worse we face with Avery we are incredibly lucky, but that doesn't mean I wasn't disappointed when we found out that she needed a helmet. I took it personally, that I didn't do my job at home to prevent or correct this quick enough. After all, I was the one at home with her all day and the one who was more responsible for tummy time. I worried about her discomfort and sleeping with the helmet. At the time she was a terrible sleeper and we didn't need this thing to make matters worse for us.

Honestly, the last thing I was concerned about was what other people thought- I couldn't care less if they ask questions or look at her. Helmets are more common now, but you'd be surprised how many people still asked us why she wore it or what was wrong with her. The other thing that made me a little sad that she had to wear this was that I wouldn't be able to snuggle her or kiss her head like I previously had. Now, this big ol helmet was in the way.

We were then referred to an orthotics and prosthetics place that had her helmet customized to her head size and shape. We learned how to care and clean for it and the rules of wearing her helmet. Twenty three hours a day, for three to six months. We knew her plagiocephaly wasn't severe, so we were optimistic that we would be on the three month end of the time frame instead of the six month end. That would put her getting it off in July and we'd have one good month of the summer without worrying about the heat or sweat.

I would say the helmet was definitely more of an adjustment for John and me than it was for Avery. She really didn't seem to mind wearing it, it didn't affect her sleep. She never fussed when we were taking it on and off. We only and one hiccup early on when we went in and she had the beginnings of a small pressure spot on the back of her head, but it cleared up quickly and we never had any issues going forward. I can't stress the importance of cleaning it regularly and making sure its not causing any red spots on your baby's head.


We went to the beach while Avery was still wearing her helmet, and it definitely affected our week simply because she couldn't be on the beach for very long with us. We are a family that goes out right after breakfast and doesn't come back in until it is time for supper. Now, we had to watch the clock to make sure she didn't have it off for too long and take her back inside, bathe her and put it back on. The prosthetic people did tell us not to let it ruin our vacation, that she could leave it off for longer than an hour a day while we were there, but under no circumstances could the helmet be worn on the beach. We didn't want to risk any sand getting inside the helmet and irritating her skin or causing any issues. We left it off for max about three hours during the day, and then took her back inside the house. No, it didn't ruin our vacation- but it was definitely more of an inconvenience.

We were so incredibly excited when we were told that she could stop wearing it after only two months. She had really big growth spurts and showed a ton of progress, which we are so thankful for. Looking back, the two months flew by. Going for check ups every two weeks helps it pass quicker, and if we had to wear it longer we would have just kept on trucking knowing that it was the best thing for Avery. She has tons of summers going forward to swim and be outside, just a few months this summer really isn't much in the grand scheme of things.

I think as a parent, its best to keep it in perspective. Things could be so much worse. She could have a serious health issue versus just a cosmetic one. We consider ourselves blessed that her health is perfect, and now her noggin is too!









Oak Island 2016

I have been meaning this summer to sit down and write more on this blog of mine. More than just the monthly updates on Avery and what she's up to, at least. It really has been an incredibly busy summer though and sitting at this computer has been the farthest thing from my mind.

At the beginning of June we went to the beach with my family for a week. We love Oak Island, NC and its simplicity, its no secret that we love Southport- and we really just jump at any chance we get to be near the coast. We've been going there so long that it feels like a second home! Our week was full of great weather, lots of boogey boarding for Landon and lots of just hanging on the beach soaking in some sun and salt air.

I was super thankful to have my parents and sister and brother in law there to help us with our kids. Two kids on vacation really isn't a vacation for parents, so we were incredibly lucky to have them there to hand her off or ask my mom to walk with her on the beach while we relaxed for a few minutes.  Avery still had her helmet at that point and could only be on the beach for a couple hours a day. Not to mention, she is super fair skinned and we kept her safely in the shade the majority of the time. She was only in the sun for a few pictures, cooling off in the surf. I kind of hate that her first beach trip was clouded by dealing with her helmet, but over all she did amazing and by the end of the week wasn't so freaked out by the sand or water!

Landon grew to love the water even more than he already did. Aunt Becky and Uncle Tommy gave him a boogie board for Christmas, and they probably win the award for most loved gift ever. He would boogie board all day, everyday if we'd let him! I really enjoyed watching him play and be so fearless in the water. He is a go getter, will try anything, and simply loves life. It was such a  blessing to sit on the shoreline and watch him that week. He teaches me daily what it means to live freely, live whole, and be completely in the moment. That little boy is the happiest, and it is such an honor and gift to be his mama.




















Our first vacation as a family of four, in the books!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Avery Kate | 8 Months


Little girl turned eight months old last week. I kind of dread these monthly posts at this point because its just a countdown to her first birthday, and I'm really not ready for her to become less baby and more toddler!

This past month has been fun- she's been the sweetest, most content baby. She is full of personality, on the verge of so many big milestones, and is just a happy baby. She is in size three diapers, and six month clothes. I'm slowly pulling some nine month things out of her closet though to start wearing! She still eats about six ounces every three hours or so, and is still sleeping through the night, yay!

She has two teeth, has learned to clap and wave, and is just about to crawl. She's trying her hardest to get on all fours, but just hasn't done it yet. She moves EVERYWHERE though by army crawling and rolling.

Her favorite toys are anything that isn't hers- any cars or blocks of Landon's. She loves riding in her stroller, she loves going in the pool, and she loves watching her big brother an all his crazy antics. He still gets the best giggles and smiles out of her!


She has finally decided solid foods aren't that bad, and will eat almost anything I offer her. She definitely has a preference for sweets, can you blame her? Foods she's tried and seems to like are avocado, banana, apples, pears, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. I need to make more foods that aren't sweet so she learns to like them also- but I'm just happy that she's finally eating after three months of trying.

How can we forget the biggest milestone of this month...she is helmet free!!! The week of July 4th we went for a follow up appointment, and they were pleased with her progress and results and told us she was ready to call it quits. We were super lucky that she only had to wear it for two months- these hot summer days were hard on her, and hard on us having to keep her inside mostly. We are so happy that she did so well with it, and beyond thankful that those days are behind us. Bring on the bows! She has quite a head of hair now also!


We love our Avery girl, and the joy she brings to our family. Her infectious little grin and silly giggle. We love that she is happy and easy going and I love that she's such a mama's girl. I never dreamed of having a daughter, but God sure knew what He was doing when He gave us sweet Avery.





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