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.