Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

We left Texas on Saturday with the temperature reading 85 degrees. We arrived in Colorado with the temperature reading 24 degrees. We were excited that Avery (and us) would have a white Christmas.

Yesterday the forecast was for six to eight inches of snow. It did snow a little, but didn't stick or stay around. Today we woke up to snow piled against the window. Kenny's dad bought tickets to go see a movie, so we decided to bundle up and head out into the elements.

When I stepped out the front door, I fell into snow...guess where it came...up to my knees! It was exciting, but cold. Of course I didn't bring the proper shoes, so everything was soaked, and my feet were frigid.

We piled into Thomas' (Kenny's oldest brother) truck and headed to the theater. Little did we know, as we were leaving, a blizzard advisory went into effect. When we arrived at the mall, every store was closed, along with the theater.

So, we trudged back to the truck and back home. We did get here safely, and now we're snug and warm in the house.

The wind and snow are still swirling outside, so we'll see what tomorrow brings. (I'll post pictures as soon as I get them off of the camara.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sports Gal; Christmas Fun

Avery has been around sports for the duration of her life thus far. From still being in my belly while I ran volleyball tryouts, to sitting in her carseat during practices, to jumping alongside the girls while they blocked at the net. Then on gamedays for me, she enjoyed sharing practice time with Daddy, sometimes getting in a better 3-point stance than some of the football guys.

Of course Kenny and I hope to pass on our love of sports to Avery. We aren't going to force it on her, but it is fun to see that she already enjoys being 'athletic.' We're proud of the way she can already jump with both feet off the ground, her running skills, and of course her climbing abilities.

It is hard to come by girl sports things, so when we find it, we buy it no matter what the cost (within reason). First it was a treasure find when we came upon girls playing sports for her crib material, then the pink basketball (which she has learned to 'shoot'), then last night Kenny and I found a pink baseball and glove! So, we wrapped it up and let her open it that night to start her Christmas fun. We thought it would be more fun for her to enjoy one toy at a time instead of being bombarded with a million all at once.

After opening her new sports equipment last night, she tried to catch the ball, but she never had a good grip on the glove, and it would go flying as soon as the ball landed in it. This morning, however, she picked up the glove, put it on, and threw the ball into it. To my surprise, the glove did not go flying across the room. I picked up the ball and tossed it to her, and she caught it! We continued that game for a while, then she decided to move on to something else...with her glove still on her hand. She didn't take it off until lunchtime.

Glad she's happy with her present....and glad she picks up on things so quickly....athletic scholarship, here we come! :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Everybody Loves Peter Boyle

I am one of those people who feel like characters in my favorite tv shows are my friends. You share in the ups and downs that they go through, and even though the situations are scripted, they tend to hit close to home sometimes.

Of course this actor was great in Everybody Loves Raymond, but my favorite role he played was in While You Were Sleeping alongside Sandra Bullock and other great actors. That's one of my favorite movies, and he was perfectly cast for it.

Unfortunately, the comedic world has suffered a loss with the death of Peter Boyle. See full story here. And since he was my 'friend' I feel I've suffered a loss as well.

I Made The Switch

Okay, so I made the switch to Beta. I guess I'll have to figure out all the bells and whistles when I have more time.

Peer Pressure...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Running on Empty

I have been awake since 3:00. Yes; a.m. I don't know if it was from the excitement of seeing Santa and Mrs. Clause last night at the church Christmas party, but Avery had a very hard time going to sleep last night. Once she did finally fall asleep, she woke up every hour until 3:00 for reasons I will never know, and decided it was appropriate for momma and her to have a slumber party...without the slumber.

She was not fussy (unless I tried to put her to bed); she was not feverish; not hurting (as far as I could tell); she just wanted to stay up and spend some quality time with me I suppose. Good thing I taped The Polar Express the night before. It was both of our first time's to watch it, and I would say we were both pleased.

I tried about every 40 minutes to put her back to bed; to no avail. 7 o'clock rolled around. Kenny got up, got ready for work, then left. Avery was still awake and going strong. I decided breakfast was in order, so we chowed on waffles and scrambled eggs.

8 o' clock: Avery is still awake. (And might I add, that means so am I.)

9 o'clock: It happens. Avery twirls her hair behind her ear=the ultimate sign that she's sleepy. I take her to her room for the umpteenth time, give her a pacifier and her blanket. She is clearly tired, but as I bend to lay her in her bed, she stiffens and screams. Luckily, once her back touches the mattress, she stops the screeching. I tiptoe out of the room, only to hear all four pacifiers being thrown overboard. I decide to take my chances and see how she does without them.

Amazingly enough, she fell asleep. And slept, and slept and slept.

Then I am faced with the dilemma. I am not at all tired. Not one droopy eye. Unimaginable. I even lay down thinking I would magically fall asleep. Nope.

I don't know if it's adrenaline or what, but I've decided that I get more accomplished while sleep deprived than on a normal day.

Our bedroom is now clean. (If you've seen our bedroom, which I have made sure no one has, you would know that's an accomplishment in itself.) This included finally packing away my summer clothes and taking my winter clothes out of the boxes that have been sitting at the foot of our bed. I don't normally switch out seasonal clothing, but once again, if you've seen our bedroom and closet space (or lack thereof), you would know why I have to do this.

The laundry is caught up. Yes. All of it.

The refrigerator is cleaned out. The leftovers had gotten a little out of control.

I exercised. Hopefully this is a start of a routine that unfortunately got interrupted due to Thanksgiving.

Last but not least, I had time to get showered and completely ready for the day. Finally, at 12:15.

Unfortunately, I'm still not tired, and not even hungry because I'm not used to eating breakfast. What to do. Should I wake up Avery so she'll possibly take a nap this afternoon? That's a gamble in itself because if she does not take another nap, then she's just cranky because she didn't get her sleep in. Tonight is Bunko night for me...girls' night. Don't want to leave Kenny with a whiny Avery.

I didn't have to debate with myself too long about waking Avery because she woke up happy as a lark at 12:30. We had lunch, and she's going strong again.

I hope this is not the beginning of a new routine...even though a lot did get done. I know about 4 o'clock I'm going to want to crash...

....but I'm sure Avery will make sure that doesn't happen.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reasons Why I Love Avery

She Makes Me Laugh

....She did all of this herself. There's nothing like walking into a room and finding her doing something silly that she thinks is perfectly normal.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Life around the Simpson home has been weird for the past week. Between Avery and me not being well, I feel sorry that Kenny has to come home to us each day feeling yucky. I finally thought we were on the downhill of things until late last night when Avery started throwing up.

Tons of scenarios run through your head: "Is it left over from her fever bug?" "She hit her head this morning on the coffee table; is this a side effect?" "Have I passed the flu back to her?" And to top it off, "When did that rash appear?"

Sometimes I wish I had gone to nursing school just so I wouldn't have to call the doctor for every single thing that happens to her. Common sense and motherly instincts can only take you so far.

To say the least, this morning has had its ups and downs. The only way I can function without hurting, feeling nausiated, or having a splitting headache of a lifetime, is with a miracle medicine that Kenny found at the store. Side effect: extreme drowsiness.

So, I have been fighting a nap while Avery has been fighting...whatever it is she's fighting right now. One second she's happy, thus making me happy and think she's better. Then, I turn around and she's crying in her tunnel for a reason I still have yet to find.

Between the giggles (which are few and far between) and the cries, of course she still has time to throw her sippee cup in the trash, pull a deflated balloon out of the trash, and last but not least...undecorate the Christmas tree.

Our house is not safe anymore.

The first time I left the room this morning, I came back to find three glass ornament balls in Avery's baby's crib, two glass balls in her Barbie Jeep, one in her hand, and various sports ornaments sprawled on the floor.

She was so proud of herself. She walked up to me with a football ornament (yes, we Simpsons have many sports ornaments on our tree...imagine that.) "Fuball!" She points and says. Next, "vuyball!" Yes, that's right.

Here's the kicker with the glass ornaments. Luckily none are broken (meaning: she was not cut to smitherines), but all were missing the top metal parts, which were in fact still hanging on the tree. You'd be surprised how camoflauged they can be when you're trying to find them all.

I still have one that I can't find. Maybe Kenny's eyes will help when he gets home.

Of course I popped her hand and said no for safety reasons. I really don't want her to get cut.

Now she walks up to the tree and says, "NO! NO!"

I hope I haven't warped her and she can still enjoy her "kitmas tee."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sweet, Sweet Little Girl

Avery has not been feeling well lately. She's had a cold and all the yuckiness that goes along with that, but after some great decongestant medicine the doctor gave her, she's been better.

Yesterday she started running a fever, but it would slowly drop after taking medicine. I could tell she didn't feel well all day. She didn't cry a lot or even whine, but she layed around on her blanket and wanted to be held a lot. Her fever subsided and she was ready for bed last night at 7:15. I layed her down and she slept soundly until 10:30. After calming her down and taking her temperature, it was back up to 103. As I headed to the kitchen to get her some more medicine, I remembered Kenny saying he gave her the last dose that evening. (So, thank you Kenny for getting out of bed to make a Wal-Mart run at 11:00 at night. I know I downed Wal-mart in a previous post, but it is nice to have a place open 24 hours a day.)

Anyway, her fever started to go back down, and after watching some of Disney's Sing A Long, Avery was ready for bed again. I checked on her throughout the night, and her fever continued to return to normal. At 4:00 it was completely gone. I got a good night's rest from 4-7 because I thought she was better. Then at 7:00, I peeked in on her to see how she was doing.

She was just laying there in her bed with her eyes open, not moaning, talking or crying. Her fever was back to 103. After some medicine, she went back to bed at 8:30 a.m. It's now 10:00, and she's still asleep.

I started this story to brag on how sweet our little girl is. Last night, in the middle of the night, I gave her some juice. I could tell it took all of her might, but when she handed it back to me she said, "tank too." (Thank You.) She did it again this morning. Nothing sweeter than that...

Well, maybe this... I take her temperature with an electric ear thermometer. Each time I took her temperature last night or today, she would take the thermometer and put it in her ear. When she was satisfied with her 'reading,' she would put it in her other ear. Then she would hand it back, snuggle down and rest.

I hate that she feels so bad, and there's not much I can do except comfort her, but at least I can comfort her.

(You may be asking why I'm not freaking out about why she has such a high fever, but our other little friend had the same thing last week, so I'm assuming it's that.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Giving To Jesus

I'm not sure if I've shared the story of the first time Kenny and I gave money to Avery for her to put it in the collection plate at church. Here's a quick re-cap for those who haven't heard.

Avery was about 9 months old at the time, and we gave her two pennies to put in the plate that morning. During the service leading up to time to put the money in, she held on to her 'treasure' so tightly that her fingers turned white. Our worry was that she would not put the money in once the plate passed by.

Our worries subsized when the plate came by. She looked at the plate, then looked at her money. It was then that she threw the pennies over her shoulders and grabbed all of the money already in the plate.

Fast forward; Avery is now 18 months old. I don't know why we've waited so long to try to teach her again about giving, but we decided to give it another whirl.

In our church building, there are giant pictures hanging in the space between the balcony and lower levels. One of them contains a representation of Jesus, and Avery is fully aware of where "Jesus" is at all times.

This morning before time for the collection plate to be passed around, we gave her some change. She was very careful with the quarter and nickel. Kenny explained to her that we were going to give the money to Jesus.

It was then that she looked up, found the picture of Jesus, and held out her coins to give to Him. It was wonderful to see this time she was willing.

Friday, November 17, 2006

In the Twilight Zone

I knew going into it that my grocery store of choice was going to be lacking as usual. Little did I know how lacking.

I normally go to Wal-Mart simply because of convenience. Usually, they have everything you need all in one-stop shopping...not the one on Atlanta Highway. They normally are not well stocked, but I've learned to deal with it although it is very annoying.

Today Avery and I took the trek to get our shopping completed for all the Thanksgiving goodies we intend to prepare for our much anticipated company that will arrive next week! (My mom and dad, along with our good friends from Huntsville, Jon and Stacy with their two kiddos, Lawson and Jordan.)

When we arrived, all was normal. Then we got to the back of the store and noticed a bizarre phenomenon.

There was no food in the cold sections. I say none, but there were a few items. Milk, assorted bisquits, some butter, orange juice. But get this; where there actually was food, it was only the name brand, and there were only two or three items on the shelf. Same situation was going on in the freezer sections. The only thing that was pretty well stocked was turkeys. I guess they knew there would be an uprising if there were none to be found the week before Turkey Day.

Of course these were not ideal conditions in which to shop for a Thanksgiving meal; however, Avery and trudged on. I must admit that I was perturbed and silently vowed to never shop there again. The last straw is the last straw, right?

Then I heard it. A woman saying to the stockers what we all were thinking. "You all are sure understocked, huh? (polite laugh)"

"Yes," answered the man. "Our electricity was out too long so we had to throw out all the food and start fresh."

Well, at least what I was able to grab before the two people behind me finished everything off, was fresh. Then I felt bad...for a second.

The more I think about it, I realize they did whatever was needed to fix the problem. But my question is this. Don't grocery stores know that something like electricity going out could be a problem, and shouldn't they have back up generators?

If someone could please explain this, I would appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pat the Bible...

Every morning after breakfast, Avery and I enjoy a Bible lesson together. We start by singing songs and asking simple questions, then we move on to the 'lesson.' We've been working on the days of Creation, and so far she can tell you what was made on days 1-3 without prompting of the actual word: "Lye, Sdy, And" (light, sky, land). She can repeat everything from days 4-7, but one of these days I just know she's going to surprise me and know it all.

The other day we sang "The B-I-B-L-E," and she yelled, "BIBLE!" before we even finished spelling. I'm just repeating myself when I say how it amazes me how much she can soak up. I also got to watch her in Bible class last Wednesday night (because I couldn't quit coughing in ours). It was a joy to see her know all of the hand motions to songs and questions.

But I digress...On to the fun that started me writing...

One of her favorite songs when she was an infant was "Pat The Bible," ("Pat the Bible 1,2,3. God loves Avery and God loves me"), and I'm happy to say that it continues to top her list of favorites. My heart jumps everytime I see her cute, chubby hand patting her little pink Bible.

This morning, I handed Avery her Bible while I put her milk back into the refridgerator. Upon my return I heard her sweet voice, singing. (Her singing is a higher pitch than her talking sweet!)

As I listened closer I heard, "Pad da Bibul, la da da..Dod wuvs Avee..da la la." All done while patting her pink Bible. I held in my squeals of delight until she finished, but no longer. When she looked up, she had a happy little twinkle in her eye. And that's just what she is to me..a twinkle in my eye.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Weekend With Uncle Tom

Kenny's brother, Thomas, got to come visit us this past weekend while he looked at Faulkner for school next year. It was such a treat having him around since we don't get to be around family often.

Of course Kenny and I enjoyed him, but I'm pretty sure Avery took up most of his time. She would not leave him alone, wanting kisses and hugs from her Uncle Tom.

Friday, November 10, 2006

My First Pony and Daddy's Lil' Eagle

Yesterday at school there was a Fall Festival, complete with a pony ride! Avery was very excited to see the horses that were not so mini to her. After buying tickets and wading through the line, the wait was over, and it was time to ride! Kenny picked the smallest pony for Avery, and she was adorable perched on top. Even though she is a brave sole, she wanted her Daddy close by.

We were glad that they let the kids ride for a while because she really enjoyed the 'trail ride' going around and around and around. Just like most good things, it had to come to an end, and when it did, Avery was not a happy camper! It was a good thing we already looked at everything else because with the ponys in sight, there was no other option but to leave for dinner.

In other news, I'm sure those who read Kenny's blog have kept up with the latest flag football news. Before "ladies night," Avery decided that she needed to join in the fun. She was Daddy's little Eagle.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Clowning Around with the Clowns

Avery and I traveled with the varsity volleyball team to the state tournament, held in Pelham, on Tuesday night. It was a fun time (until they lost), but Avery was a trooper as usual.

Since Tuesday was Halloween night, I was a little disappointed that Avery would not get to go trick or treating for her first 'real' time. Luckily Coach Ainsworth had us covered, and told all of the girls to come prepared. So, Avery donned her clown costume (that my mom made for my brother, then I wore it as well) and proceeded to each girls' hotel room.

On the way out of our room, she ran into another team, just arriving. They all thought she was so cute that they started digging through their bags, looking for goodies to drop in the jack-o-lantern! Avery practiced her good manners, and in a sweet voice said, "tan-too" (thank you).

Once off the elevator, which she loved, and is finally tall enough to reach the button, she took off down the hall. After we showed her which door to knock on first, she balled up her little hand and knocked. "Teet!" was all I could get her to say, but she probably didn't even have to say that. "Oo's" and "Awe's" and "How Cute!" followed, and more candy was dumped into the jack-o-lantern.

Unfortunately, there were only four doors to knock on, and she accidentally knocked on a stranger's door. They weren't in..good. Then, we returned down the elevator to our room. She knocked on our door when we got there, and once inside, turned around and knocked again.

It was late; it had been a long day, but how could I let her go to bed without a small taste of her gold. So she enjoyed some smarties before heading off to Slumberland.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Fall Competition. Er, Uh, Festival... ...For the Kids

So yesterday was the Fall Festival at church. I was excited to dress Avery up again in her halloween costume and take pictures of her on the rides. It was a great festival; we were very impressed with the selection of rides, games and slides.

The slide is another story completely, but it involves Kenny climbing to the top of a blow-up slide with Avery (where I thought he would slide down WITH her), but instead drops our 17 month old daugher down the giant, steep slope all by herself. I was waiting patiently at the bottom, poised and ready to take a picture. All I saw was a bundle candy corn with arms and legs flailing. The only thing that came out in the picture was a tiny hand reaching up (after she hit the bottom). Of course she had a great time and wanted to do it again. But the mom in me kept thinking of all the what ifs. But I digress..

Avery was not the only one to enjoy her time at the Fall Festival. For those of you who know me, or at least read this blog should know by now that I am competitive by nature. There we stood in line (the first time for the slide) with our friends Jeff and Brandie; we looked over and noticed a station where you threw baseballs, complete with a radar. My husband looks to Brandie's husband and says, "who do you think can throw faster; Brandie or Jamey?"

You'd think I'd learned my lesson after the race episode with Brooklyn, but I'm always up for a challenge so Brandie and I head over to wait in line for the baseball throw. We got a little intimidated by the kids in front of us, and of course neither of us wanted to go first so rock, paper, scissors handled the decision. I got to go to a good start with a win already.

So, Brandie throws, then I throw. She beats me by one mile per hour. Yuck. I don't like to lose.

As the night continues, more of our friends start to show up. Of course our husbands share the story, so they want in on the action. (Can I pause for a moment to express how happy I am that I'm finding friends who share the same competive drive that I do?!) So we all decide to go throw again to see who can throw the fastest again.

On the way to the baseball throwing station, we spotted the basketball shots, so of course we had to compete in that. None of us were very good at that. You try shooting a basketball at a hoop that's attached to a giant, blown up tarp. On to the baseballs. On the way we recruited another player...Laura! She didn't want to, but a little peer pressure nevery hurt anyone.

Unfortunately, I'm not good with numbers, so I don't remember everyone's exact speeds, but I do know for fact that Jessi blew us all out of the water. Apparently she played softball. Dawn did okay, but she threw a softball, so her speed wasn't as fast as ours. I did tie Brandie this time though. Laura did really well for a first timer.

Of course by now the boys are getting jealous because we're having all the fun. (And they were watching the kids while all of this was going on, so they were ready for a break.)

So, it was the boys' turn to see who can throw the fastest. I could not talk Kenny into throwing. He says it's because he knew he wouldn't even be in the running. (I still can't figure out why he didn't because, like me, he's always up for a challenge.)

Of course, once again I don't remember numbers. That is the difference between a girl's blog and a boy's blog. Kenny would know everyone's speed. I should have consulted with him. Oh well. That's not my point.

Jeff did not even step up to the 'plate,' but he did throw one ball from behind the 'zone.' According to the ride maintainer, his was the fastest they've seen all night. Then Baron, Russ and Chris took their turns. It was fun.

So from all of this I've learned two things.

1) I'm really having a good time with our new friends here in Montgomery.
2) I think it's time to start up a church softball team.

Halloween Past and Present

So if you can't tell, I'm obsessed with comparisons.

Maybe it's just because this is the second time around for most everything that Avery has experienced up to this point. I think it's fun, and I hope you do too.

Last year, my friend Stacy and I decided to make matching costumes for our kiddos. So Avery and her buddy, Lawson, were crayons. A pink and a blue one to be exact, and they were super cute!

This year, my friend Allena and I decided to make matching costumes for the kiddos. So, Avery and her buddy, Griffin, were pieces of candy corn! They were cute enough to eat!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Update on Trick or "Teet!"

Just now I was talking on the phone and wanted to tell Avery's 'Trick or Teet' story. I knew it wasn't time to give Curtis another treat (he's already had two this morning!), so I was careful not to say the word "treat." Unfortunately, Avery is crazy smart about drawing parallels, and when I said, "trick or ____," she ran to the laundry room yelling, "Teet!"

So, lucky Curtis. He got another treat.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Time For Some Bragging

Everyday I'm amazed at what Avery learns, either from me, an outside source (other person or tv), or even on her own.

Yesterday we cleaned out some closets and found her jack-o-lantern to take trick or treating. I thought it was probably time to start teaching her how to say "trick or treat."
I started asking her if she could say it, and before I could even ask a second time, she was running around the house saying, "teet! teet!" Her word for treat. (It is also her word for tweet: what the bird says.)

As she ran from one corner of the house to the other, yelling "teet!", I could tell she was very concerned. Finally she ran to the laundry room door and pointed at something, looked at me and said, "teet" once again. While I looked where she was pointing, she ran to the back door and pointed out to where Curtis (the dog) was basking in the sun and yelled, "daw!" (Dog).

It was then I noticed she had first pointed at Curtis' treats.

You see, Avery is in charge of giving Curtis his treats. Apparently I did not put two and two together about trick or treat and (dog) treats, but she did. She's brilliant.

And she did not rest until I let Curtis in and she was allowed to give him his treat.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Turned My Back for Two Seconds!

I am confident enough to know that the most recent Avery Antic does not make me a bad mother. It does, however, reinforce how quickly things (good or bad) can happen!

This morning Avery decided she wanted to draw. I have found it is easiest to leave out the paper and pencils so she can come and go as she pleases. Since she was preoccupied, I decided to take the opportunity to check my email.

To draw an image for those who have not been in our home, you can see the dining room table (Avery's easel) from the computer chair. So, as we sat and chatted, Avery drawing, and me on the computer, we had a good ole' time. I would look up everytime she laughed or hollared, but for the most part, we minded our own business.

Then it happened. It got quiet. And as you all know, it's a little scary when that happens. Not knowing what to expect, I looked up and found nothing that I anticipated....There sat my sweet girl in the middle of the table!

I assume that she was trying to get to a pencil that rolled away. That, or the view is better up there.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wake Like A Baby

Now that volleyball season is over we don't have to wake Avery up in the mornings, and she gets to sleep as long as she wants to. I love hearing her wake up and start talking to herself and her toys. Sometimes when I go in to get Avery up in the mornings or from her nap, I find myself laughing and running to find the camera.

When she was a teeny baby, she would stay swaddled most of the time, but slowly grew out of that stage. I remember the first day she 'busted loose' and had free hands. What a milestone.

As she got older, I remember hearing giggles, and walking in to find a smiling baby. When she started to sit up on her own, it was fun to find her sitting in the corner playing with her toys. Then when she started standing up on her own, it was extra fun (and a little nerve racking) to hear her jumping in her crib.

One day a few months ago she went down for her nap wearing a romper that she really had outgrown, but I wanted her to get to wear it one more time before retiring it. To my surprise, when she woke up from her nap, the bottom buttons as well as the top buttons had popped loose, leaving Avery with a 'belt' of a romper. The same thing happened soon after that episode with a pair of pajama bottoms that were too big. Apparently during the wallering around at night they came off, and she woke up without her pants on.

Then there are the sad times when I have to wake her up because we have to go somewhere. It's hard to wake anyone who sleeping, but it's really hard to wake a baby who is calm and peaceful. Of course there are times I find her hanging out of the crib, or all tangled up, but sound asleep. She's such a joy.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

Today I decided it was time to rotate Avery's toys. Some have been packed away for a while, and the ones that are out now seem to have multiplied!

After I got started, I soon realized that I only needed to take the ones off the top of her 'recent' baskets. Apparently Avery tends to not dig to the bottom for a choice. So, at the bottom of the 'recent' baskets, she has discovered a whole other batch of toys.

Because of this, I only had to pull out a few packed away items for it to seem like she had new toys. Two of these items are her flowers. They are giant flowers, and she's always loved them. And since they've been gone, she's learned to smell real flowers.

Of course her 'smelling' is more of a blowing in and out of her nose, which turns into snotting onto her flower of choice. But since her giant flowers have been unveiled again, she has smelled them non-stop. Best of all, my Avery is not selfish, so not only is she enjoying it all, she's letting me smell them too...and Curtis (the dog), over and over and over.....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Life is Fair

This weekend, some of our friends mentioned that it would be fun to go to the Fair since it was in town. When we heard what the admission was, we were both shocked because we both imagined the last Fair we attended in Searcy, Arkansas. Then we heard at this Fair there is a Shark Show, a Sea Lion Show, a Gator Show and a Circus. We were hooked! We thought that was a great idea, so we set the date for Tuesday since Kenny would be out of school (we could spend more time during the day), and it was 'ladies night' (cheaper admission).

We hoped there would be also be the typical animals so Avery could enjoy petting them. Unfortunately, the only livestock we found were cows. The cows were lined up in rows, and Avery actually didn't recognize them from behind, so when we got to the smallest one on the end, she pointed and asked, "dog?" We told her they were cows, and got all of the "moos" out of the way.

In another large barn labeled Farmer's Row (or something) there were several booths, one of which was a farming booth, complete with a large sandbox and several carrots poking out of the sand. Avery was unsure of what to do when the farmer asked if she wanted to pick some crops, but after the first carrot was pulled and dropped into the basket, she decided to go ahead and pick the rest of them as well. "Der," (there) she said as she handed the basket back to the farmer.

We also walked through the exhibit hall, and I was pleased to receive my 'ladies night' ticket for the drawing later on. The best part was that the man passing them out wasn't going to give me one because, "you have to be 19." I laughed out loud, and he looked at me funny. I said, "well, thank you, but I'm 27 and I have a little girl just right around the corner over there." Very flattering. Hope that helps me out in the future as well.

On to the shows we went. We were in the back of the shark show, so Avery wasn't impressed, but luckily the Sea Lions, who were right next door, kept lunging up on the side of their pool and 'honking' at us. Avery thought that was great fun. She was mezmorized during the actual Sea Lion show, and we struggled with the thought to pay extra money to get her picture taken with them. Unfortunately, she was not at all impressed with the Gator Show, so she and Daddy decided to walk around and enjoy the lights.

The circus was next on our agenda, but time was starting to run short, and after walking in to see how small it actually was, decided to leave and start the riding of rides.

Avery had been such a good girl for so long, we decided to let her try a ride before we did. She saw the giant slide and said, "sly?" So, since I had the unlimited armband, I was chosen to take her to the top of the very, very tall slide. As people whooshed by us on our way to the top, Avery hollared, "weee!" After realizing how high up we really were, I got a little nervous that she would be scared, but I was completely wrong! A big push and off we went. "Wee!" she continued on down the "sly!" When we got to the bottom, she turned around and was on her way to climb back up, and was very disappointed when we told her it was time to move on.

Daddy took her on the carousel next. None of the other children were squealing with delight like our sweet baby girl. I never was at a loss of where she was because she passed us on the side where we were standing, and we continued to hear giggles as she and Daddy journeyed to the other side.

After the carousel, we went on the Dizzy Dinosaurs. Again, I was chosen 'because of my armband." (I think it was because Kenny did not want to get dizzy.) We shared a dinosaur with a father and daughter, and as they turned the wheel on the inside (to make us go in even more circles), Avery decided she needed to help. Between giggles, she grabbed the wheel and contributed to our dizziness.

Since we were with friends, we thought it would be fair to ride some adult rides, so headed out of the kiddie section. Along they way, we found several more rides that Avery wanted to get on so badly, but she did not quite reach the 36" mark. I guess that 98 percentile in height didn't get her anywhere that night.

After we rode our rides (and felt very sick: what's up with that?), and after several pleas to "rye?" (ride) we headed to find more rides for Avery. If you know Avery, you know her love for water, so once she saw the bumper boats, she was hooked. Even though she didn't 'measure up,' the sweet ladies working the ride let her on anyway. Avery was by far the youngest out there, but was having the most fun showing off her mad driving skills. I struggled with the thought that my little baby was sitting in a bumper boat all by herself. She was perfectly content without me and didn't need anyone (except the worker to get her out of the corner when she got stuck). The workers could tell she was having so much fun so they let her ride for a very long time. Unfortunately, it had to come to an end and Avery was not pleased when it did. She had two more opportunities later on to continue her driving adventure. I'm proud of her independence.

After another shot at the 'sly,' we searched for another ride for Avery and found another woman willing to give it a try, as long as she rode with the two other children already seated. The ride was one similar to the Dizzy Dinosaurs, but was a hot air balloon instead. Avery jumped out of Daddy's arms, ran to the basket, climbed in and started chatting it up with the kids whom she'd never met. I don't know if she gets her no fear attitude from being around all of the older kids at school all the time, or if she's just confident. Either way, I like her personality and hope she can continue to be the leader I know she can be.

After more adult rides and games, we wrapped up the evening around 10:30 with four tired adults and one exhausted, but happy baby. It's amazing how your focus changes when you become a parent. Fairs were so different when we were young. I was always very self seeking, wanting to ride as many rides as possible, but Kenny and I found ourselves having more fun watching our little one enjoy herself. I guess that's called maturity.

She's such a trooper...and not a baby anymore.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

We went to the park today as a family. The sun was not out, but that is probably what kept it nice and cool during the middle of the day.

It was hard getting her to eat the lunch we packed because she was very ready to 'pay' (play in Avery language). Once she finally escaped the picnic table, she enjoyed exploring the fun, new playground equipment that Kenny and I both wished had been around when we were kids. She started on the bouncy space rocket 'thing' (for lack of a better word) then traveled to the swing, then to the musical section (the chime stick doubled as a telephone for a little while). After she conducted her symphony, we moved to the contraption that looked like a giant screw with a tiny seat in the middle. I have to admit we had to watch another child demonstrate before we figured out how it worked. You had to 'wind' the seat to the top, then climb the ladder, sit on the seat, and spin your way to the bottom. Sounds like fun, but it was a little advanced for Avery. I wanted to give it a try, but didn't want to hurt myself. On to the tire swing we toddled, then the slides, teeter-totters, and more swings. Of course there were many bumps, falls, and more interesting stops along the way. Avery took time to stop and enjoy each gadget on every play station, but her favorite spot was the old fashioned swing. Can't beat the swings.

On the way home I started to think about the last time we went to the park as a family, and realized it had been a while. After a quick snack for Avery and putting she (and Kenny after 5:30 a.m. football practice) down for a nap, I unloaded the pictures from the park onto the computer. I thought it would be fun to compare today's shots to last time's. So, I sifted through the folders, back one month, then two, three, four, five, six months! It's been six months since we've been to the park as a family! Too long!

Fun thing is that there were some similar shots from each park visit. She told me earlier that she's so happy that her hair finally came in. Now we're just waiting on the rest of her teeth.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Move Over Monet

How many people do you know who can color with both the same time!

Kenny surprised us and came home for lunch earlier this week. We had already eaten, so while he ate, Avery colored. She has always liked to scribble, but for the past few days, she's been drawing non stop. Yesterday she worked all day on a masterpiece. She started after breakfast, and would get down to go play and come back to work on her art a little more. She finally finished up in time to go to church.

Yes, they look like scribbles, but as her mother, I can tell her progression from day to day. The lines get darker, and she changes colors more often, but never, ever, is she without a drawing utensil in each hand. She doesn't just hold one; they both contribute to the art which appears on the page.

She also discovered stickers add to her work, but her preferred media of choice is colored pencils.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mini Coach Simpson

Do you think we have a future coach on our hands?

Her daddy brought in their first win of the season Friday night! Go Eagles!

Momma's girls didn't do so well at the tournament on Saturday. We won our first game, but unfortunately the way things fell, we got matched up with the two toughest teams next. We took both to three games, but couldn't pull it out. Imagine that.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Last Place, No More

We won another game last night, so we're no longer in last place to start the CCC tournament this weekend. 3-8 is not my idea of a great season, but the girls have come a very long way. When you think about the games that we were ahead by a lot, then choked, it goes to show that the other teams are beatable..we just have to focus on not beating ourselves.

I think we're going to surprise some people in the tournament.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Little Momma

The other night before I picked Avery up from Bible class, I watched her through the window. They were playing with baby dolls; feeding them, rocking them, hugging and kissing them, covering them up and putting them to bed. Avery was doing her best, but hadn't really gotten the hang of it all yet.

Yesterday she started noticing her baby dolls at home. When I say, "can you love your baby, or can you kiss your baby," she does...but normally just carries them around by their hat or bows.

Today she didn't know I was watching her, and as she was walked around the living room talking to herself, she spotted her baby doll; picked it up, rocked her and 'loved' her (which consists of a big squeeze and "ummmm"). Then she kissed her head.

I loved it! I didn't tell her to do that; she just knew! I guess motherly instinct is coming out in her already.

As I write this, she's learned she can crawl under the baby gate we have up to restrict her access to the computer room. (It's up high so the dog can get to his food.) Our computer room is also our laundry room and pantry. She's discovered the canned goods and is walking around with a can of beans. I asked her to put the can back on the shelf and I watched her until she did. After I turned back to the computer, I heard, "Yeah!" followed by {clap, clap, clap}. She's proud of herself.

Here she comes with another can.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

1 and 4...Let's Win Some More!

The matchy, matchy ribbons...

The bowling...

The pre-game fruit...

The crazy crashing coach...

The Hot Tamales and Big Red gum with the 'we're on fire' message attached...

It all came together tonight with a win! Go Eagles!

I feel the beginning of a winning streak!

Tonight's the Night

I can feel it! Tonight is the night that Alabama Christian Academy Middle School volleyball team is going to take home a win!

Even though I've felt that the past few times, here's why I think it will be different tonight:

This is the first game since the team 'gelled' while the coach made a fool of herself.

This is the first game since we had our team bowling outing last Sunday.

This is the first time we've had to wait an entire week to play, so the girls are ready for competition.

This week in practice, the girls have been showing much improvement.

This is the second time we've met this team, and even though we lost to them, it's a very beatable team (even though it's their JV).

This is a home game.

This is the first time since our first game that I've felt this nervous.

And, like I said, I can just 'feel' it in my gut.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thigh Master

How come chunky thighs don't look as cute on me?!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Crash..Bang...Into The Wall of Shame

As you all know, my volleyball team has been on a bit of a losing streak. One of the things I've been trying to promote is team chemistry because the lack of it is such a factor in our losses. Another thing is that losing doesn't seem to bother them...(Preview: they saw what someone who doesn't like to lose looks like after a loss.)

Sidebar: Last night we played 3 of 5 games instead of 2 of 3, and we finally won 2 games. Unfortunately, it was not enough to pull out the match win, but it was a step in a more positive direction for us. End of sidebar:

So, following last night's game, practice this morning included some running. The girls were scheduled to run 11 windsprints. They ran 6. The atmosphere had been a good one up to this point, so for some reason I told them they could pick who they thought was fastest and race me. If I won, they ran the rest; if they won, they didn't have to run anymore today. (Apparently I'm still pretty cocky about being a sprinter.) So, four of them decided they had nothing to lose and wanted to race me. Everyone started chanting; people from the hallway stuck their heads in to was a big deal...and it never crossed my mind that I would lose.

We line up, and I pick to run beside the fastest girl, (in reality I was only running against one instead of four, but the other three thought they would be in it). They say go, we start running...Brooklyn is a step ahead of me; "what's up?" I think. We get to the end and turn to come back, "I have to turn before she does," I thought As I turned, I tripped and FELL! How EMBARASSING! So, they ALL beat me. "Yuck!"

Those who know me, know I don't like to wasn't over. Yes, I was fair and they won the bet; earning not having to run. But of course I had to prove to myself that I can win, so Brooklyn and I line up to just run down, not back. This is my second mistake. We start, and again, I'm one step behind. The finish line is quickly approaching with Brooklyn still one step ahead. The only thing that I can think of to explain what happened next is that my gut, soul, and athlete in me hates to lose so much, that I instinctively lunged....

...and threw my body over the finish line. I still don't get it because I didn't tell my brain to dive, but apparently my brain told my body to do it without letting me in on the secret until it was too late.

Let me try to describe what it felt like. (Someone on the team could tell you what it looked like.) I hit on my knees, then stomach, then slid like a base runner sliding into home plate. I didn't think I was going to stop, but wait, lucky me! There was a brick wall waiting for my head to smash into it. I stopped. Hard. And somehow ended up crumpled in the corner of the wall and a beam. I'm just glad I didn't hit the beam. As I lay there on the floor, the first thing I thought was, "Oh dear; I've fallen twice and lost all credibility with these girls."

The first thing I heard was, "you fell again!?" So, now my pride and my body is hurt. Of course I didn't let the girls know I was hurting. They kept asking, "are you sure you're okay? That looked bad." NO, I didn't go for a third time.

I told them I was tough and didn't like to lose, that's all....(and apparently something good came out of it; it seemed to help them pull together a little. Even if it's because they were all laughing at me, I guess I'll sacrifice for the team.)

...and now I'm at home with a limp because my knee really, really hurts! But don't tell them.

Kenny told me that where I went wrong was not in challenging them to a race; he said that I didn't get them tired enough before challenging them to a race.

My dad told me that I'm old and have had a baby so my extra weight has been readjusted. (At least Kenny didn't say that!)

Monday, September 04, 2006

This is a Test; This is Only a Test...

This past week has been a trying week for Avery and me. I don't know if it's a combination of things, or if she's just testing her boundaries. She's gotten so independent, but along with that comes some frustration. Last week included lots of spankings, lots of crying, lots of whining, lots of hugging, and lots of rocking.

Kenny decided during one of her 'fits' after a spanking that he would take a picture. It really is a sad sight, and for the most part she is learning what she can and can not do.

I'm just glad she's a fast learner because it's sad giving her spanking after spanking when she continues to do the same thing over and over.

Oh, and her most recent thing she has learned is the word, "no." So, now when she knows she's doing something she's not supposed to be doing, she looks at us with the testing look, and says, "no, no!"

What's the funniest story you've heard about kids testing their boundaries?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Special Husband on a Special Day

Today is a happy day for me because it's my birthday. My mom was always the best about making our birthdays special. She would start the week before, and build up the hype about what a special day it was going to be, and so on and so forth. It was great, so of course I went through withdrawals when I grew up and didn't live at home anymore on my birthdays.

I must say that my wonderful husband has taken the place of my mom (in that aspect anyway). He's always made special occasions happy for me. Most of the time, he tries to keep his plans a surprise for me so I'm guessing up until the last minute what is going to take place.

Also, as you know, my birthday falls during football season...well, those of you who know Kenny know that he takes his coaching job VERY seriously, so there's little spare time during the season. But, somehow, he always finds a way to make me feel important on my birthday.

The treat this year included showing up at the volleyball tournament where Avery and I spent our morning (while he was in film with football guys) with a dozen beautiful red roses. Everyone was jealous of me, and he received a big, "ahhh..." from the crowd, as well as the girls on the bench when he arrived.

It's always fun to get flowers, but it's more fun to get flowers when everyone sees that you're getting flowers! :) Is that vain? It's my way of bragging that I have a great hubby.

(And I think I'm in for a treat tonight that involves some of our friends and Olive Garden! YUM!)

Kudos and brownie points to you, Kenny!

Friday, September 01, 2006

0-3 Fiddle-Dee-Dee

So, once again, we played and we lost.

Needless to say no one wanted to talk to me last night. The only humor I've found is that last night after the loss and after the yelling...the girls chose to give me my birthday present. Talk about bad was more of a 'here you go coach' while handing me a card. Really is funny when you think about it now. I think they drew straws and whoever lost had to be the one to hand it to me.

So, this morning we've turned over a new leaf. Apparently the nice Coach Simpson has to be tucked away while I pull out Big Meanie. I guess the girls don't care if they lose as long as there aren't consequences. Hopefully they got the idea that there will be terrible consequences for lack of will after this morning's practice. Not only did they have to push through the pain, they had to do it in silence. It was pretty awkward for those who chose to walk through the gym this morning.

Not only did they get a chewing from me, they got a chewing from the Varsity coach. She had me nervous and almost in tears, and I was on her side. I'm also pretty sure that since they were able to stumble off the court that I didn't make them run enough. They should have had to crawl. Although, they were moving pretty slow as they headed to class.

One girl didn't show because, and I quote, "I didn't get to play in the game, so I'm not going to show up to run." Where do you think she's going to sit the rest of the season if that attitude doesn't change? And guess who gets to do exactly what everyone else did today come Tuesday morning.

I'm making enemies! And I like it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

0 and 2, Boo Hoo

So you see, I'm not really into numbers, or records...but upon further examination, maybe I am.

Last year my team went 20-0; the year before 18-1. I know they were a talented group of girls, but I really was starting to think that maybe I was doing something right in the coaching area.

This year, to date, my team is 0-2. Don't get me wrong; these girls are improving. They've gone from never touching a volleyball, to actually comprehending the game and putting their knowledge into practice. It's just going to take a little time to get over the hump of losing.

Our first game was not good; we really should have won. The other team did not beat us; we beat ourselves. Tonight's game was better. I am anxious to see the film because at this point, I can't find anything in my mind that we did majorly wrong. I think it was a lot of little mistakes that bundled into one loss. We played a JV team, and almost won, so I'd definately say we've improved.

The good part is that I have parent support. It's not just me who sees that the girls are improving. There aren't many coaches who can say they had parents jumping up and down in the stands, even as their daughters lost a match....I'm glad they are behind their daughters because the girls' attitudes reflect the parents' attitudes a lot of the time.

So, as I sit here and babble, I can honestly say things are looking up. Of course no one likes to lose, but I can honestly say that even though we didn't win, we won a small part of our pride tonight. (But I would also like to think that maybe there will only be the number two in our loss column by the end of the season~The girls are working too hard not to reap some benefits.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


It's always fun when you hear a word come from your child that you've been trying to teach, but it's even more fun (in a bitter-sweet way) when you hear a word that you know you didn't teach!

Since I get to be with Avery for 90% of her days, I know what goes on in her life most of the time. Each day I learn that she is a sponge soaking up the outside world as well...Bible class, all of Kenny's students, my volleyball girls, etc.

This morning in Wal-Mart, I stood in the checkout line looking at Avery as she contorted her body to reach in the basket and take out the bunch of bananas. She loves to eat bananas, and I assumed she was going to 'ask' me for a bite right then. I was wrong. Instead I heard, "nuh nana" as her little finger pointed to the banana! Wow! I didn't teach her banana, but she learned it somewhere. I love that she's so smart, and that Kenny and I are not the only ones teaching her....

...Unless it's someone teaching her something she shouldn't be learning yet!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Friends, Old Friends, Kisses...Kisses...Kisses

This past weekend we visited Huntsville to help welcome our friends' newest addition to their family! I've talked about Avery's best bud, Lawson. Well, the new addition is Lawson's new baby sister, Jordan. There were lots of hugs, smiles and kisses. Avery wanted to kiss the baby, and did okay sometimes, but did tend to get rough once. Lawson had to show her the right way to do it. Lots of kissing...

A bonus to the weekend was getting to stay with the Bybee family. As you may know, Joshua and Avery love each other. Avery tries to play hard to get, but deep down she can't wait to pounce him. The first few times Joshua was told to give Avery a kiss, she offered her cheek to him, but by the end of the weekend, she was giving smakeroos on the lips! It's so much fun to see the interaction with different personalities, and a good time was had by all....

....until Saturday night when the kids were asleep and the spades game started...but that's another story.

Another great thing that happened that weekend was Steak and Shake. I think it's the best place ever, and it is rare that we get to eat there. On our way home, Kenny exited in Prattville where our new-found Steak and Shake resides. Avery decided to celebrate the occasion and get all decked out in Steak and Shake gear. A girl after my own heart!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Numbness Upon Contact

If anyone has ever used Orajel, maybe you will know what I'm about to describe and can empathize. For the past few weeks, I have had severe allergy and sinus issues. They have finally led to even causing a toothache, which I sort of knew could happen, but never really experienced.

Today while Avery and I ran errands, I picked up some Orajel to try to make the pain subside a bit. I have never used this or any similar product before, so I had to read the directions: "Cut off tip and apply to sore area" was the advice I received from the back of the box. Sounded easy, so I cut the tip and stuck it in my mouth to apply to the sore area.

They didn't tell me it was going to ooze over my entire top gum, drip onto my bottom teeth, then cause me to cringe and get my tongue involved in the action, leading to the roof of my mouth getting in on it too. At first I thought I was just going to have to deal with the aweful taste, but soon realized that I felt as if my mouth and tongue were ten sizes larger than they were originally. Then, I couldn't feel anything! (I thought about trying to drink some water to see if it would dribble out everywhere like on the movies, but didn't want to clean it up if that did happen.) So after I realized that was the completely wrong way to apply to sore area, I wondered how long it was going to feel like that. If anyone else is wondering too, apparently the pain from the tooth only subsides for about 30 minutes because that's how long my mouth felt numb. I know that maybe I should have known better, but maybe they should have said, "squeeze onto finger and apply to sore area." At least now I'll know for the future, and maybe I've given fair warning to others.