Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Country Road...Part II

So after we returned from our early morning walk the second day, Levi's parents were waiting on us at his house on the front porch. Here are some of the highlights from the memories we made that morning on the porch! For the first time in a while, leaving to come back to Auburn without the family we love and miss so much was really hard. I know Avery has lots of fun times ahead of her back in our hometown :)

My embrace the camera picture! Early morning, no makeup, just simply me with my sweet little girl!

Avery loving on Grandmommy's turtle!

Walking with Granddaddy

Touching the Banana Tree leaf
Peeking through the railing
Waving to me

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Country Road Take Me Home...Part I

This year we spent the Fourth of July weekend with our families in North Alabama. We took Friday off and were also off on Monday, so it was a nice relaxing break. Both Saturday and Sunday morning, Avery woke up at the bright and early time of 6:00. I think that being away from her crib caused her to arouse long before her normal wake time of around 7:15. So, Levi and I took the opportunity to take her on a stroll down the county road he grew up on.
On a side note, I am originally from Natural Bridge and he is from Delmar. NB is officially the smallest town in Alabama, with a population of 28 in the 2000 census. Since that time, myself and three of my family members have moved to Auburn. So, that at least puts it now at 25, with still more than half being members of my family! Levi's hometown Delmar is not much bigger. We graduated from the town of Haleyville, which is around 5,000 and is the largest city in Winston County.
When people say they are from a small town, usually it does not compare to how small my home town is. I loved growing up there. Riding four wheelers, shooting guns, learning to drive at 9, and catching lightning bugs under acres and acres of star lit sky is an awesome way to spend your childhood. Levi and I both agree that there are aspects of it which we hate Avery will miss, but we love it here too! I say all of this to explain how tranquil it is to walk down this country road in the early morning hours. No traffic, only the sound of your footsteps!
I thought to take my camera along and snapped several pictures of the "Country" landscape. In addition, we were able to capture Avery meeting her first shetland pony! I think we will be back to visit him next time we are home. We look forward to many more sweet moments with Avery in our country hometown!

Friday, July 23, 2010

9 Months!

She loves Graham Crackers!

Life is just so full right now! Avery is so much fun and we are loving watching her grow. She started taking steps right after she turned 10 months, so before long I am not going to be able to keep up with her!

Here are the highlights from her 9th month:
  • Weight: 18. 10, Height 26 in. This puts her in about the 45th percentile. So at 3 months she was in the 85th and now we are small for our age!
  • We are finished with the bottle! At 9 months 2 weeks, we went cold turkey to the sippy cup and she is doing great! She turns it up like a champ. I wanted to take the bottle before it became a comfort item and before I stopped nursing. I am so glad I did this. Side note: a great way to make sure they take whole milk from the sippy cup is to mix it with breastmilk, starting with 3/4 BM and 1/4 WM. Gradually it flip flops until they are drinking all whole milk! This has worked great for Avery.
  • In addition to oatmeal and most baby food, she loves graham crackers, cheese, and tortilla chips.
  • When sitting on the floor, she uses her legs to spin herself around in circles (this is really cute!)
  • Waves bye sometimes, but mainly points at everyone and everything
  • LOVES being outside. Gets excited when you are going and upset when you are coming back in.
  • Cruising around furniture, doors, drawers, and anything else she can hold on to.
  • Walks like a champ using her wide base push toy. You can tell she thinks she is such a big girl. I actually cried the first time she used it. It was like nothing to her and all I could think was wow she is growing too fast!
  • Hates slowing down for anything, especially having her diaper changed.
  • Still enjoys her bath and loves the pool.
  • When I wake her up in the morning, together we let the dogs outside for the day. She loves this and smiles as we walk toward the bathroom where they sleep. I say, "where are the puppies" and she smiles and beats the door.
  • For kissing, she opens her whole mouth and covers you with slobber.
  • Talks and jabbers all the time to herself.
  • She became quite the momma's girl this month. Didn't like when I left the room and wanted me to hold her more. Definitely more wary of people she doesn't know.
  • At night she and I laugh and play in our bedroom. I lay her down and as I call it "get her belly." She is so ticklish and laughs so hard. This is my favorite time of the day!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Levi's First Father's Day!

I will start by saying that I have known for a long time that Levi was going to be an amazing Dad. Kids gravitate toward him and he loves being with them. He knows how to make them feel comfortable like no one I have ever met. I think it is how kind and gentle he is. They sense that they do not get on his nerves or annoy him like they do some adults.
With that said, he has been absolutely amazing since Avery was born. He loves this little girl with all his heart and her momma too! He took two weeks off when she was born and didn't miss a beat taking care of both of us. Don't get me wrong, my mom came by in the afternoons, and his mom was here the weekend after she was born. But Levi did it all, changed dirty diapers, rocked, swaddled, read to me from Babywise and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, when I nursed at night...From the beginning, I never got up alone with Avery at night. It was a team effort. If she woke up, he unswaddled her, changed her diaper, and then gave her to me to nurse. Then when I was finished, he changed her again, swaddled her and put her back to bed (she slept in a co-sleeper next to us for the first 9 weeks). He did this all while working full time and never complained. Thankfully she started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks, but his view point was, this is our baby and our family and I want to be a part of it all. As a result, Avery has been attached to him from the beginning. Thank you Levi for being so selfless. Although I know you were exhausted at times you did such an awesome job of loving your girls!
Nursing Avery was very important to both of us. However, it takes a lot of energy and time. Levi has encouraged me from the beginning and probably kept me from quiting during two different bouts with yeast. He washes my pump parts, sits with me so I don't have to be by myself when we are back at home, and makes sure he tells any one who will listen how proud he is of me for making it this long. We are nearing the end of the journey, but I couldn't have done it without him. Thank you for your support Levi!
Most importantly, Avery thinks he is wonderful! He is so patient with her when she is fussy and can rock her to sleep like it is nothing. Each night after I feed her, he is the one who rocks her and puts her down for the night. She loves this time with him and I know he cherishes it too.

Levi you are an awesome Dad and Husband. Avery loves you so much and I am thankful to have such a wonderful man in her life. I look forward to watching our family grow with you!

Father's Day 2010

This year, we spent Father's Day back home in Haleyville. We celebrated with both of our dads and waited until we got back to Auburn to give Levi his gift. It is a post all of its own. However, we enjoyed seeing family and celebrating our Dads, who are now Granddads! We love both of you very much!
Levi and his Dad (Granddaddy George)

The Elliott Family

A future great dad: Levi's bother Samuel

My Dad (Papa Tim) and Sister Beth Anne
Avery laughing with Papa