Monday, May 31, 2010

Tutu

Gabe's coworker apparently makes tutus and she said she was going to make one for Avery. We got it from her a few weeks ago and it's just adorable. We finally put it on her the other day-so darn cute! Too bad all she wanted to do was rip off the flowers!




Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cake and Candy Trifle

Yesterday we went for our BBQ and I offered to bring dessert (of course!). I haven't made this in awhile, but it's super easy and super yummy! I think the recipe came from my cousin, and to be honest, it's not even really a recipe. I just know the ingredients and throw it together....yep, no measuring really needed!

Cake and Candy Trifle
1 box white cake mix plus ingredients to make cake
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding
4 cups milk
1 container cool whip (I used fat free)
chocolate candy of your choice (I usually use 2-typically peanut butter cups and Heath bar)

1. Bake cake according to box instructions. I usually do a 9x13 pan size. Let cake cool. Once cool, crumble cake into small pieces (I take a fork and almost "shred" the cake).
2. Beat together pudding mix and milk as directed on box to make pudding (not pie filling).
3. Chop up candy into small pieces, if needed.
4. In a large bowl (mine was a 4qt size), put half of the cake into the bottom of the bowl, top with half of the pudding, half of the cool whip and half of the candy. Repeat layers.
5. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Can you get any easier?
Make this! And make it now!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Night BBQ

Tonight we got together with two of Avery's daycare friends. The three girls are all very close in age so we try to get together once a month or so.

This ended up being sort of a last minute thing, but we had a blast! The husbands all came along as well. Claire, Brian and Amelia (14mos) hosted and Lisa, Mark and Josie (5 days older than Avery) came along too.

We had a very nice cookout. It was a perfect day and we got to eat outside on the deck. They had a kiddie pool set up and Amelia and Josie were in it quite a bit. Avery is still in her water-phobic stage so she stayed clear of the pool. Instead she sat in the grass (and didn't move-she hates the grass too!) and pointed at the girls in the pool:

Josie checking out the pool:


Avery playing with the ball:

While we were there, Josie showed off her new moves-she took a few steps for us! It was so exciting!

We always try to do a group shot which is always tricky...trying to get 3 of them to look at the camera at the same time is a joke! Haha! But we got a few cute ones!

Josie and Avery were all about showing each other some love-it was so cute!

I think this is when Avery wanted to give her a kiss....



More group shots:



Good food, good company and great fun! Looking forward to our next get together!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Eleven Months Old!

Today Avery turned 11 months old! It's hard to believe it's only one more month until her birthday-wow!

As far as her sleeping goes, most of this month she was up once a night still. She had about a week or so that she slept through, and that just ended the other day when tooth #3 decided to poke through. She's still napping twice a day for us-once in the morning and once in the afternoon. They range anywhere from 40min-2hrs long.

Avery tried a bunch of new foods this month! She tried canned pears, goldfish crackers, canned green beans, animal crackers, honeydew, cottage cheese (not a fan), chicken, pasta, corn, broccoli, green grapes, and mandarin oranges. The hard thing with her lately is that she's all about feeding herself. She wants nothing to do with using a utensil so anything eaten from a spoon has been a joke with her these days. But it's fun seeing her feed herself and chow down on foods!

She's still pulling up to stand on everything and cruising around on furniture. She'll try and let go every now and then but really has no interest in trying to walk when you hold her hands.

She's picking up the sign language which is so fun-it's great to be able to communicate with her somehow!

Her photos were tough to take again-all she wants to do is get off of the chair and go! But here's what we got:
Kissing the giraffe:

Hugging her bear:

Reaching for something:

Hugs (or strangling?):

Hugging her animals:

Ripping off the sticker (of course):





Oops-eyes closed!

And my favorites of the shoot:
She looks thrilled huh?!



Silly smile:

Finally a smile!

This is her new face that she makes when she laughs-I don't know if it's because her top teeth are coming through or what, but it just started this past week:



Happy 11months baby!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer-like Heat!

The past few days we've had some steamy hot weather here-in the mid 80s! I'm not complaining about that one bit-although there are many that do! It seems people just like to complain about the weather-it's too cold, it's too hot, it's snowing, it's raining...people are just never happy! But I'll gladly take the summer-like weather we've been having!

Plus, it means Avery gets to sport some summery clothes-a cute skirt and top!


I caught her standing for a split second while stuffing a cheerio in her mouth!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Communication

Gabe and I decided awhile ago that we were going to do sign language with Avery. My sister-in-law taught both my neice and nephew and it was the cutest thing, and also helpful as well.

We started very early with her-probably before she was 6 months old. We only did a few signs to begin with because we didn't want to overload her. A few weeks ago, she finally started to sign back! It's so freakin cute-I can't stand it! As of today she is doing 4 signs (she just started her 4th yesterday)...she does "all done", "milk", "thank you" and "more". Right now I think she mostly does it when we say it to her, but she has done "all done" and "milk" on her own without prompting!

I caught her on video the other day doing "thank you":
video

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A (Satur)Day in Buffalo

Yesterday we went to Buffalo for a visit since we haven't been in about three weeks or so.

First stop was at my Dad's house. Avery loved his dog, Tasha!
She started by finding her nose:

Then she helped feed the dog some treats:


The dog kept smelling her and Avery would just laugh and open her mouth up really wide:



Then she had to pet her of course:

We had some pizza for lunch at my Dad's which was very good. Avery was getting tired so we headed to my Mom's house so she could nap. After her nap, it was play time! My Mom saved some of my old toys and now Avery gets to play with them! Yesterday my Mom busted out the good ol' xylophone (remember this thing?)-Avery wasn't too sure about it. She did try to play though which was so cute!

She of course loved chewing on the stick it came with though!

She found my Mom's stairs and showed us that she can already scale them....



The funny thing is that she doesn't put her knees down-she climbed all the way up using her hands and feet-it was pretty comical! She doesn't climb our stairs at home because they're really not in sight so I don't think she notices them or thinks of them that much. My in-laws say that she tries to climb theirs all of the time and at my Mom's she kept going back to them as well.

My Mom and Aunt made us a nice dinner and then shortly after we headed home. Avery slept part of the way but woke up when we had about 20mins left to go and she SCREAMED the rest of the way home. Even once we got home she screamed until I nursed her-and when I tried putting her down for bed, she started up again. It took awhile, but eventually she fell asleep. She was just so overtired (she didn't nap well) the poor thing!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

They're Out!

Today I mailed out Avery's birthday party invitations.

I can't believe I'm planning my baby girl's first birthday party! I know I say it time and time again, but this past year just seemed to fly by. I feel like we just brought her home from the hospital (well, not really....but you know what I mean) and here she is turning 1 in five weeks from now. It's just mind boggling!

I'm not going to get into any party details, but I've been thinking and coming up with some ideas for awhile now. The big reveal will be on the party day though! I think we have the menu all set and I have the cake picked out. I bought some supplies, but need to get more once I have a head count. It'll be a whirlwind the few weeks before the party, but that's just the way it goes.

I'm a mix of emotions about the whole thing-I'm excited for the party of course, but sort of sad that it marks the end of her being a baby. Every stage she goes through is so fun, but it's always a little depressing to see the previous stage come to an end. We try to cherish every day with her because she does change so much and time just goes too fast. Before we know it, she'll be graduating high school (YIKES!)....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Creamy Taco Mac


I got this recipe over from Heather Drive (like usual!). It looked easy, and I'm all about easy when it comes to dinner. So we gave it a try last night and it was really good! I'll add it to my list of keepers for sure!

Creamy Taco Mac
1 lb. ground beef
1 box of pasta (13-16oz)
1 diced onion
1 clove garlic-minced
1-2 cans of diced tomatoes, drained (use 2 cans if you like a lot-I used only 1)
4 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
5-6 tbsp homemade taco seasoning (recipe below)
salt and pepper
shredded cheese

Taco Seasoning
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp each-cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to directions on box, reserve 1/2 cup of the water.
2. While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef in a large skillet, adding onion before meat is cooked. When meat turns brown, add garlic.
3. Add tomatoes and taco seasoning. Simmer 5min.
4. Add pasta, cream cheese, sour cream, and water. Mix until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Simmer 3-5 min to thicken sauce. Top with shredded cheese before serving.
(Notes: I used fat free cream cheese and lite sour cream. Instead of the homemade taco seasoning, I used a packet of taco seasoning I bought at the store. It ended up measuring out to be about 5-6tbsp like the recipe calls for. If you make the homemade one, you might need to make more than one batch of it. This will serve 4 people-Gabe and I each had a decent serving and we have enough left for another meal this week)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mommy's Helper

Typically when I have laundry to fold, I either fold it when Avery naps or when she's in bed for the night. There have been many times where the laundry basket is out with clothes in it, but Avery usually doesn't pay attention to it.

Today....she decided to be Mommy's little helper!

She spotted a bright red pair of her socks in the basket and for 40 minutes she took those two socks out of the basket, then put them back into the basket. It was too funny. She would stand up, lean over the basket, grab the socks, throw them out of the basket, then sit down, pick them up off of the floor and put them back in. Repeat that for 40 minutes-it was comical!

I decided to have some fun and put Avery in the laudry basket as well:

You can just see the corner of her red sock in her hand here:



Red sock!

Out of the basket looking for that sock!

Tonight I was folding the laundry and again she came over looking for the red socks and helping me once again! This is her ripping a bib off of her head:


****************************************************************************
In other news, our weekend was pretty good.

Friday night Gabe's parents called us up around 6pm to see if we wanted a last minute babysitter so we could go out for dinner or something. We hadn't eaten yet, so we took them up on their offer and went out for some Chinese food...it was a very nice surprise!

Yesterday I met an old coworker of mine for breakfast then ran to Party City and started to buy some things for Avery's birthday party (can you believe it?!). While I was doing that, Gabe took Avery to the public market and met his parents there. Then last night we met our friends Julie, Richie and Carly at the Lilac Festival for dinner. It was a tad chilly, but we had a good time and Avery was very well behaved even though we were out past her bedtime!

Besides folding laundry today, I just did our grocery shopping and then we took Avery swimming at our gym. She wasn't overly thrilled with it, but we managed to keep her in the water a little over a half hour which was good. We'll take her again soon and see how it goes next time!

Tomorrow starts week 2 of me working 4 days each week covering for a coworker who is out for a surgery she had done. I'm not looking forward to it, but hopefully this is the last week that'll happen!