Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May God bless you this Christmas and the joy of the Lord fill your heart with gladness and cheer!

As my friend Alli reminded our Sunday School class this morning in an e-mail, "We can rejoice because Jesus came as a baby to live perfectly, die innocently, and ascend powerfully so that we could live eternally with him and be saved from the sting of death!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Simply Pitiful...

The past few days have been tough on the Elliott family. It started with Avery getting sick, then me. and lastly Levi. We have all just had run of the mill colds, but they put us out of commission every time. I have a terrible respiratory system and I am praying that Avery doesn't inherit it. Even though we thought it was just a cold, I took her to the pediatrician just in case and he confirmed it was a cold as we had suspected and that it was not RSV. RSV had not even crossed my mind...let alone the possibility that we could be in the hospital, if that is what she had. As of today though, I am happy to say that Avery is on the upswing of her cold and her mommy and daddy, although a little more slowly, are recovering nicely as well. However, you can tell from this picture taken the night before her drs. visit, she was one sick...but still really cute....little girl! The last one is from the day after...a big improvement! Looks like she will be feeling jolly for her 1st Christmas after all!

After the regular Drs. visit, we headed to the Chiropractor. Call me crazy, but I believe in it. Being adjusted throughout pregnancy is what I credit with having such an easy time and sleeping the whole 10 months. At 38 weeks 3 days, I was the furthest along pregnant lady my chiropractor had ever adjusted!

Any ways, I have been going for about 3 years and during that time, Levi and I read up on the positive effects that adjustments have on babies and children too. We learned that it can help with colic, acid reflux, ear infections, and colds. After talking with several people who take their kids, together we decided that Avery would be adjusted regularly and for sure when she is sick. Her first visit was at 2 months and she smiled the whole time. Since I am a patient, my Dr. doesn't charge for Avery. If you need a great chiropractor, Dr. Sean Lauratis in Auburn is who we use and I highly recommend him. If you need a great pediatrician we use Dr. Anthony Greer. He is a primary care physician as well as a pediatrician and loves to treat young families as a whole. I really like that he knows and treats our entire family.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

3 Months!!

We took two 3 month pictures on different nights...I couldn't choose so I posted both. On one of the signs, you can see where she drooled on it. Our little chunk weighed 13 lbs 10 oz. at her 3 month appointment. She is so stinking cute!

Where has the time gone? Now that I am back at work, it is really hard to find time to blog. When I get home, any extra time I have is spent with my two loves!

Avery is getting to be so much fun. She smiles at everything and everyone...but especially her momma. I love that when me or Levi walk in a room she hears our voice and turns her head. It is such a great feeling. My favorite time is when she first wakes up in the morning. As you can see from the pictures, she is all smiles, even before she opens her eyes.

She is constantly "talking" now too. She particularly likes the O sound. We say O and then she says it back to us, sometimes a resounding OOOOOOOOO. I think she really likes to hear herself and according to Levi, is going to be quite a talker like her mom! She loves her hands and has them in her mouth all the time now. She sucks her pointer finger and every now and then her thumb, but still enjoys her paci the most. She can see it coming toward her and lunges for it. I love how when she wants to go to sleep, you just stick it in her mouth, turn her on her side toward you and bam, she is out! It works no matter who is holding her :)

Speaking of sleep, she is a WONDERFUL sleeper. Praise the Lord for this. We started putting her on a schedule almost as soon as we got home from the hospital and while it was hard work, I don't regret one minute of it. We moved her to her crib at 10 weeks and it was a seamless transition. We accidentally left the co-sleeper at mom's when she stayed with her, so we decided just to leave it and move on to the crib. It was sad at first not having her beside us...each transition is sad and exciting all at the same time :) We are so blessed that she did not have colic or reflux...I can't even pretend to know what dealing with those two issues would be like.

At night, I nurse her at 9:30, Levi swaddles and rocks her, then lays her down in her crib. Some nights we might have to go in once or twice shortly after that to put her paci back in, but not often. Then she sleeps until we get her up in the morning. She has been doing this pretty much since she was 5 weeks old. This past Saturday, she slept from 9:30 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. Let me just say Babywise works and is AWESOME. One thing that works for us really well is letting her sleep on her stomach. I know this is not recommended, but that is how she sleeps the best. Not to mention that is also how pretty much everyone who reads this blog slept when they were babies too. Avery has really good head control and can move it back and forth at will, so we don't worry about her.

Throughout the day she still eats every 3 to 3.5 hours with the last time at 9:30 or so. I am pumping throughout the day at work and then nursing once I am back at home. We joke that I have enough milk to feed 3 kids! I really hope it stay this way, my goal is to continue until she is at least 9 months old. I am really blessed to have my own office and a very supportive boss, who just recently finished nursing her son for over a year.

We are so looking forward to celebrating Christmas this year and New Year's will be in Tampa! Until next time...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Smarty Pants!

So Dad, you need help with #23 across?

Don't worry, I will help you...What is a five letter word for beautiful? Avery of course!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Avery's Dedication

On Sunday November 15, 2009, Levi and I officially dedicated our precious baby girl to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yes, it was a reason to get dressed up, to spend time with family and friends, and to eat great food, but more so than any of those reasons it was a time to celebrate the life God created and gave to us. It was a great day for celebrating!

Brother Steve, our incredible pastor, said it all when he prayed that God would continually draw her heart to Him, so that one day she will be tender to his calling and give Hm her life, just as Jesus laid down His for her and us so many years ago. Our wish for her is to crave closeness with God and to be in His word much more than either of us were in our early days (and now for that matter). Yes, she will make mistakes and we will too as parents...but we serve a merciful God full of grace for His children.

Lord, please be with Levi and I as we raise Avery toward your purpose. Help us to never deter her from the calling you place on her life, even if it makes us anxious. We know that all things work for the good of those who love You. I pray that above all else, Avery will always see our love for You. Protect our marriage and keep our eyes open to the evil that is lurking and wants only to tear our sweet family apart. To say thank you for her is not nearly enough to convey how rich our life is now that she is here. Amen!

Throughout the day of her dedication and this past week, the old hymn Draw Me Nearer has been running through my mind and I believe that it describes our prayer for her perfectly...

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2 Months Old!

I am a little behind on Avery's 2 month post...I have been spending most of my time with her, soaking up her incredible cuteness and trying not to think about the time I will be spending away from her once back at work. Tomorrow is the big day. I am going to work half days through Monday and then will be back full time on Tuesday. Levi will be with her this week, and then his Mother is coming next week... If you think to, please remember me in your prayers. How did the time pass so quickly?

Look at that picture of Avery, couldn't you just eat her up. She has become quite the smiler lately. It melts my heart! Levi says I am the luckiest because she will give me smiles without being provoked. As in she just sees me and smiles, where as other people have to talk to her or prod her to smile. Anyway that you get one though, it is absolutely precious. I snapped these pictures the other day when she was laying in Levi's lap. You can tell she loves for her Daddy to play with her. Right now, she loves for you to sit her up and talk to her. She still loves her swing and it is probably by far my favorite thing we have. Well, maybe behind the paci :) She is so happy in the morning when she wakes up. Both at 5:45 and then again at 9:00. I love singing and talking to her when I change her diaper. When I stand her up after a diaper change, I have started singing and helping her dance to "Stand up, Stand up for Jesus." She really likes it!

She had her first Drs. Appt. on November 2nd. She weighed 11. 10 and was 22.5 in. long. This placed her in the 75th percentile for weight and the 50th percentile for length. So she started out in life, long and skinny and now she is moving more toward the short and plump! She is adorable. Because it has been awhile since I have posted... at 9 weeks she weighed 12 lbs, at 8 weeks 11.10, at 7 weeks, 11.5, and at 6 weeks 10.12. I look back at her pictures when she was first born and I remember how gorgeous I thought she was then, but we both think she gets prettier everyday!

At 9 weeks, she spent her first night away from us. This past Saturday, Levi and I had the day to ourselves and used it to go over to Columbus to shop. My sweet Mom kept Avery from 1:00 on Saturday until 11:00 on Sunday morning. When we got back I went and nursed about 9:15 just so she would sleep really well, and then we came home. The house felt empty without her here. We are definitely a family now and feel like we are missing a piece when we don't have her. However, it was nice to get some much needed rest, relaxation, and time together. Some people say that the first year of their marriage is the hardest. I would say though that the 2nd month of having your first child is the hardest. It isn't that we argue or fight more, it is just finding the right balance of time for everything that needs to be done and then remembering to save some time for each other. It is a learned process, one that we are taking one day at a time. Thank God I have a husband though who is selfless and helps me tremendously with Avery and our home. How did those moms back in the day do it without any help? It explains why so many middle aged women are on nerve pills now!

Until next time!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Avery's First Halloween!

So even though Avery was only in her costume for about 5 minutes, we still managed to catch some sweet pictures. A lady who works with Levi let us borrow her ladybug outfit. I think Avery makes a very cute bug...what do you think? A very pretty witch (Aunt B) also stopped by to see our little bug. I can only imagine when Avery is in college dressing up for a Halloween party! I am glad I have many years to prepare! Next year should be more interesting. She will be a little over a year old and hopefully walking.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Avery at 5 and 6 Weeks

Time has flown. I find myself saying this over and over again and I am sure it will continue to be a frequent thought that I have. Although it is bittersweet to see Avery get bigger, it is so much fun to watch her grow and become more interactive. In the past couple of weeks I have definitely felt more like myself and have actually been able to accomplish several things per day around the house. I have also gone out without her several times too, which has been nice. However, I am always super excited to get back home to see her! I am very nervous though about transitioning back to work. My first day back will be November 11th and I already starting to be anxious about its arrival. Please add this to your prayer list!

Avery sleeping through the night was no fluke. Since she turned 5 weeks old, she has been consistently sleeping from 11:00 until 5:30 (sometimes later) each night. Even the trip home did not deter her from doing this. A stuffy nose led to one exception in the routine, but that has been it. I am looking forward to 7 or 8 straight hours, but what a blessing to get 6.5!

Since she was born, she has done really well with holding her head up, but at 5 weeks she started keeping it up for extended periods and really began to want to watch everything and everyone. So at 6 weeks, we decided to try out the Bumbo seat. She loves it! Now she spends about 20 minutes of her wake time in it, just taking in the scenery. Since I can take it an sit her anywhere that I am, it has really helped me out too. She has watched me blog, dry my hair, fold clothes, you name it, from the Bumbo seat :)

Avery loves to be talked to. She gives the sweetest smiles and coos during our conversations. She doesn't save all of her sweetness for me either. Pretty much anyone who gives her attention is privy to her cuteness. She also loves her swing. Anytime she will not complete a nap or we just need to get some things done, the swing is out go to. She will sit and talk to herself in it, which for us is a lot of fun to watch.

Right now, she is good with everyone and doesn't fuss at all when being held. In fact she is so comfortable with other people, she will usually fall asleep if they hold her long enough. I hope this trend continues and she doesn't go through too much separation anxiety. Don't get me wrong though, this girl has thrown a fit or two...She isn't completely perfect :)

I can distinguish between her cries and loves her tired one the most. It is so very half hearted and melts my heart! Her eyes are still blue and oh, last but not least, at 5 weeks Avery weighed 9.11 and at 6 weeks 10.5. She is definitely a growing girl! She developed Baby Acne at the end of 4 weeks, but now at the end of 6 weeks it is clearing up. Avery is our little doll and we can't wait to see what the coming weeks have in store!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Grands, Greats, and Everyone In Between!

This past weekend we made our first overnight trip with Avery to our hometown. We worried about how she would do during the 3.5 hr car ride home, but she ended up sleeping almost the whole way there and back. Since we have been back though, it has been hard to get her back on schedule due to her and us being sooo tired and then her having a very stuffy nose :(

She got to meet lots of very special people, as well as visit with a few she already loves. Levi and I are blessed to have all four of our grandmothers and one grandfather still with us. Little Miss was a hit with all of them this weekend! We both love showing her off to everyone. This is such a special time in our lives and we are trying to savor each moment. Avery also attended her first church service and was a little doll the whole time. It was fun to introduce her to people at church who have known Levi since he was born and some who even knew his dad when he was little. It was a whirlwind of a trip but a blast nonetheless.

Her MaMaw Brown (My Mom's Mom)

Four Generations of Extraordinary Women!

Her Granny Smith (My Dad's Mom)

Her Grandmother Christeen (Levi's Dad's Mom)
Her Maw Mize (Levi's Mom's Mom)

Maw Mize and Daddy Mize

Her Papa Tim (My Dad)

Her Grandaddy George (Levi's Dad)
Her Grandmommy (Levi's Mom)
(This picture is from when she was a week old)

Her Uncle Sam and Aunt Alyssa
Her Aunt Pam from MA (Levi's Mom's Sister)

Her Cousin Hayden

Her Cousins Brooklyn, Anna Kate, and Emma Sue
(We are missing Briley and Karrigan who were also born this year!)