Friday, July 30, 2010

Health Scare

We got a call Wednesday night that my Dad was admitted into the hospital for some chest pain. He had been having it on and off for a few days and when he called his doctor, he wanted him to do to the ER. So, he did and they decided to admit him.

Wednesday night he had several rounds of blood work done and a chest x-ray. They said the x-ray looked abnormal but weren't sure if it had always been that way (since they had nothing to compare it to).

Thursday they did a stress test on him...he had some dye injected in him then had to walk the treadmill. Immediately after they did some photos of his heart to see how the blood was circulating. After a few hours of rest, they repeated the photos to compare them. Apparently they didn't like what they saw. So he stayed overnight again to be able to see the doctor this morning and find out more.

This morning, they transferred him via ambulance to another hospital to do an angiogram on him to take a closer look at what was going on. I guess during the procedure, my Dad's heart went into v-fib and they had to shock him to get him back! He said he was watching the procedure one second and the next he felt like he was asleep and dreaming-said it was very calm and peaceful...then he felt like he got kicked by a donkey and heard them say "he's back!" Talk about scary! Anyways, they didn't find anything during the angiogram-so he got the "all clear" and is being discharged this afternoon. So that's good news, although they really don't have an explanation for the chest pain. Hopefully it'll just go away....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thirteen Months Old

Yesterday Avery turned 13 months old! We're out of official month stickers, but I decided to keep taking photos of her each month just because. It's fun to look at her each month and see how much she changes!

Like I said in my last post, Avery is a little sponge these days! She's so cute trying to copy things we do and say now! She is also walking very well now too-although she does still crawl a decent amount because she's still faster that way.

Avery is a very good eater! She LOVES her fruits and vegetables which I'm so thankful for! I just hope she stays that way. She'll eat them over anything else! She's having three solid meals a day-all "real" food now...jarred food has been done for awhile. She pretty much eats anything we give her so I think we are very lucky when it comes to her eating habits.

She is still nursing twice a day-first thing in the morning and at bedtime. We haven't switched to whole milk yet since I'm trying to use up my freezer stash of breastmilk first. Probably in the next month or so I'm guessing we'll start transitioning her over to whole milk.

She is still sleeping very well now. Still 11-12 hours overnight. She might wake up once or twice and fuss for a few minutes, but she puts herself back to sleep which is good. She is still mostly taking two naps a day. I thought she was dropping down to one nap, but most days she still needs to take two.

She has become obsessed with reading books! We read the same 4-5 books numerous times a day! She is really into the lift-the-flap books! She likes helping to lift the flaps and turn the pages.

Bath time is still not fun for us. She really dislikes the water still which is challenging-I would love for her to be swimming in this heat! It's gotten to where we've had to hold her down to bathe her-she just screams and tries to climb out of the tub-it's really no fun. I hope this phase goes away soon because it's been around for a few months now and is getting old!

Here are her photos we took this morning:

Giving kisses:





My favorites:




Nice teeth! (she's up to 7!)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

She's A-Walkin' and A-Talkin'

I guess I can consider Avery a walker these days! She still crawls a lot, but she also is walking quite a bit. She still falls frequently, but she has gotten pretty good in a short amount of time! It's amazing how just a few weeks ago, she had no interest in walking and now it's what she mainly wants to do. It's funny how they change so fast like that! I have to get some new footage of her walking-it's so cute!

She also is saying quite a few words and sounds now. She definitely knows "mama" and "dada" and she says "pa" and "grandma". Lately anytime she drops something, she says "uh oh". She really tries to mimic anything we say "bird", "cheese", "waffle", etc.

She is also really starting to know her animal sounds. If we say an animal, she can make the sound they make-dog, cat, cow, horse, sheep, chicken, duck. Of course with all things we can decipher what she's saying, but an outsider might struggle understanding her. She is a little sponge lately!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Return of the Lunch Walk

Stepping out into the fresh air...

My lungs being cleansed of stale air conditioned air....

The sun warming my skin....

Birds chirping, the sounds of crickets, the constant "hum" of the thruway traffic in the background....

The feel of the pavement under my feet....

My mind wandering as it pleases...

Can you feel it?!

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.....it's time to walk!

This week I started walking during lunch again. Before I had Avery I tried walking a few times a week during my lunch break as my schedule allowed. Usually a coworker and I would go and "do a few laps" outside. Back in October, she was let go from our workplace. I was also pumping during my lunch break so my walk time just wasn't there.

I stopped pumping at work a few weeks ago so my lunch time is a little more "free" now. Our schedule doesn't always allow me the time to walk, but when it does, I've been trying to take advantage of it. This week we were slower than usual so I went out and walked every day I worked. It was fabulous. I went for roughly a half hour each day and just cleared my mind and got some exercise at the same time. I loved every second of it! When you're in an office with the flourescent lighting and AC pumping all day, it's refreshing to get outside and breathe fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun. Lord knows we don't get that kind of weather all year around these parts so you really have to take advantage and enjoy it when you can.

I've been taking advantage.

And I've really been enjoying it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Two Years

Two years ago, I married my best friend....
Happy Anniversary Gabe! I love you!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Date Night

Last night, Gabe and I had a date night to celebrate our wedding anniversary. My Mom came out to babysit Avery for us.

I surprised Gabe by ordering a cake that was a mimic of our wedding cake-same bakery, same cake flavor, same fillings, same colors of frosting. I think it turned out really cute! I hope it's just as yummy as it looks!



We started out going to dinner at Rooney's. We wanted to try somewhere new and dressy since we didn't have the little one with us. Gabe had been there awhile ago, but I had never been. It's a nice place and the food was really, really good (at least mine was!). I had an appetizer, salad, dinner and dessert because something from each category caught my eye. I was really happy with my selections, except for dessert-it was just ok. Gabe liked what he had but said his steak was just ok-not the best he has ever had. I would definitely go back though and it's one of those places where the menu changes daily so you would always have new things to try.

After dinner we decided to go to a movie. We haven't been to a movie theatre since before Avery was born so we thought we'd take advantage of our time. We went and saw "Inception" which was a new release. I read a review about it and it sounded really good, but sounded like it would be confusing too. I was pleased that it wasn't very confusing for me to follow.
I don't want to ruin anything about the movie but the basic idea is that the main character (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a master at extracting information from people's dreams. Some big shot hires him to do the opposite-to plant information in someone's mind by going in his dream (called inception). So most of the movie shows how he hires his team and they go about planning inception and then trying to carry out this task. It definitely was a film that kept you on your toes and paying attention every minute. And it was action packed right until the end! I definitely think it's worth seeing!
Overall, we had a great night. Avery did really well for my Mom and we enjoyed a baby-free evening!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Visit From Cousins!

Today we had some visitors!

My cousins Joe, Eileen and Giada were in town from Florida for vacation. They are spending most of their week in Buffalo, but Joe's Mom recently moved about 20min away from our house. So when they came out here to visit my Aunt, they decided to stop by and visit us as well which was nice! The last time we saw them was when we went to Florida back in March (right when Giada was born!). Now she's almost 4 months old already and she has changed quite a bit!

She enjoyed Avery's playmat:



I don't know what Avery thought about her. She kept pointing to her and saying "ba ba" for baby. It was cute. Of course she has no idea what being gentle means-she just wanted to grab at her and go to town! Gabe was holding Giada for awhile and Avery wanted to keep touching her! Here she is checking things out:


Gabe and Giada:
My Mom came out late in the afternoon for a visit as well and she got her before Joe headed out so she got to meet her new neice!
Avery was all about giving her kisses too...so sweet!
They stayed for a few hours and we enjoyed some Wegman's subs for lunch and relaxed and caught up a bit. It was a nice time and great to see them and their new addition! The little ones change so much the first year so it's nice to get and see them at different stages. I'm sure the next time we see them Giada will be about as big as Avery is now! That's crazy to think!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cherries and First Steps!

My Mom came out for a visit on Monday night and stayed until today for some Avery time. We had to work yesterday and Mom did some work around the house for us (thank you!). Today was my day off so we all got to spend some time together.

Avery had some cherries for breakfast today and I had to get some pics because she was just covered in cherry juice! Love this pose:

Didn't mean for this to happen, but it ended up the perfect picture-cherry juice covered hands and mouth and a silly new face she makes!
We played after breakfast then Avery took a morning nap. After she woke up, we all hit Pizza Hut for lunch. After that, we went on a quick walk before my Mom left. Avery is napping now so I thought I'd post these while I had a free minute.
She's also been brave lately in standing up and trying to take some steps. I caught her on video this morning taking some steps to my Mom....she'll be walking any day now I know it!



video

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Enjoyable Weekend

We had a very nice weekend this weekend. The weather was beautiful as well so that helped!

Yesterday, we all went to Buffalo for the day for a visit. We started out meeting my Dad at Alton's for a late breakfast/early lunch. After that, we went to my Mom's house. Gabe and I decided to go to the Horizon's Home Show. The Taste of Buffalo was also this weekend and I kind of wanted to do both, but we had to choose one! We always go to the home shows when we can-we love walking through the new houses and getting ideas for down the road. This year it was out in Lancaster and the houses were cheaper than they were a few years ago when we went. We had a few favorites that we walked through a second time for a better look. And I have to say that for the opening day, it was pretty dead! Usually you have to wait in line to get into the houses and there are a lot of people all in one house. But not this year. You walked right in, walked through without a crowd-it was really nice. After the home show, we went back to my Mom's (she babysat Avery while we were at the home show) for dinner, then headed home.

Today was another gorgeous day! Another great day for another festival! Between Avery's naps, we hit the Corn Hill Art Festival. We've gone to it a few times in the past and figured it would be something to do outside. Gabe's friend Cordell is an artist and he sets up a booth every year so we make a point of visiting him. In fact this year, he was chosen to do the festival poster! That was exciting! (Here's his website if you want to take a look at his work) It was pretty crowded there but not to the point of pushing and shoving through people. We hardly ever buy anything at the festivals...we just like walking around and people watching (and eating!). It was a good time! When we got home, I went grocery shopping then we made pizzas on the grill for dinner. Now we're just relaxing getting ready to start another work week!

Here's a new trick Avery showed us today....

video

Friday, July 9, 2010

One Year Appointment

Today, Avery had her one year check up at the doctors.

If you remember her nine month appointment, it didn't go so well. So needless to say, I was dreading today's visit. I enlisted Gabe to come with us this time though for backup!

Thank God he was there!

I swear she knew where we were as soon as we got in the exam room. She all of a sudden got clingy and whiny when we got in the room.

The easy part where they weigh and measure her...yeah, she screamed her head off. I knew after that, that we were in trouble. The doctor came in and talked to us for awhile and Avery was calm during that. Of course once he started examining her, she got all riled up again. Then when he left, a nurse came in to do a lead test-the good ol' finger prick. I'm sure you can imagine how that went. Then she left and another nurse came in with 3 shots....it was a rough 40minutes!

The good news? She's healthy as can be....that's all we can ask for. She's currently 30" tall (80th percentile) and 18lbs 9oz (15th percentile).

Her left tear duct is still plugged so we have to take her to a pediatric ophthalmologist in August to get it taken care of. I'm not looking forward to that either, but at least that annoyance will be gone since she's had it since birth.

So, we're good for another 3 months, then she gets tortured again!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend

Our Fourth of July weekend was very nice. Gabe had both Friday and Monday off. I worked a few hours Friday morning, but also had off Monday so it was a nice long family weekend!

Friday we took Avery to get her 1 year photos done at Penney's (which turned out great by the way!) then just came home and relaxed.

Saturday Gabe went running, then I went to the gym. While Avery napped, I did some baking. After she woke up, we went to a playground for a little over an hour-she had a blast climbing the slide and going down it! They had a pool nearby so we took her over so she could watch the kids swimming. Then we decided to try a new ice cream place that Gabe's coworker told us about. It's a pretty far ride for us to go, but she raves about it so we had to try it out! They have food as well so we ate dinner there and had some ice cream. It was good-almost like Lugia's but a lot longer of a ride. I don't think we'll be going back there too often!

Sunday we had a family reunion for Gabe's Mother's side of the family. They have it every year around the 4th in Auburn. It's very nice-they have it at one of the cousins' lake home so it's very scenic and relaxing. There's always a lot of people and a lot of good food! We had a very nice time. We didn't get to go last year because Avery was only a week old so we made sure to go this year so everyone could see her! She had fun watching all of the kids and practicing walking all around the place!

Monday was a relaxing day for us. I just did the weekly grocery shopping trip and we did a few things around the house. Gabe's parents invited us over for a cookout, but they don't have air conditioning. It was well over 90 out that day so we asked them if they wanted to come to our house instead. So they did-and they nicely brought everything for dinner! We just did a cookout-burgers and hot dogs, corn, mac salad. It was a nice relaxing end of the weekend that's for sure!

I finally got some footage of Avery with her new toy we got her for her birthday! She's getting to be a pro at it already!
video

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Nutty Chocolate Pretzel Bars

For my dessert choice for the family reunion, I decided on this recipe I've had forever! I have no idea where the recipe came from. I know my Mom had it in her recipe book and a copy of it got passed to me, but we never made them! I've been wanting to try them so I figured this was a good time! Again I forgot to take a photo of them!

Nutty Chocolate Pretzel Bars
1 can (10oz) mixed nuts-coarsely chop Brazil nuts
1 roll of refrigerated Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
1 cup toffee pieces (I used the Heath toffee bits)
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
1 oz white chocolate

1. Spray a 9x13" pan with nonstick spray. Spread out nuts evenly on bottom of pan.
2. Cut dough into 1/2" thick slices and arrange on top of nuts. With floured fingers, press into pan.
3. Top with toffee pieces and lightly press into dough.
4. Bake at 375 for 20-25 min. (until golden brown...I did mine 20min and it may have been a bit too long). Cool on wire rack for 30min.
5. In large microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips and butterscotch chips until smooth (roughly 2min or so-stop and stir every 30sec). Stir in peanut butter until smooth and then add in pretzel pieces and mix until coated.
6. Pour chocolate mixture on top of cooled bars.
7. Microwave white chocolate until smooth. Drizzle over bars. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, then cut into bars. (makes roughly 36 bars)

**I omitted the white chocolate drizzle because I didn't have any in the house and couldn't find a small amount to buy. I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate anyways.

These turned out very good-a nice combination of salty and sweet. The only bad thing was that a lot of nuts fell off the bottom when the bars were cut. Either I have to press the dough down more, or maybe chop up all of the nuts a little bit. They were very good though and I'll be making them again I'm sure!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Corn Bread Muffins

We have a family reunion to attend tomorrow for Gabe's family and we're asked to bring both a side dish and a dessert. So I'm trying two new recipes that I'll share for them. Stupid me forgot to take pictures though so I apologize!

My side dish I'm making are corn bread muffins. My Mother-in-Law made it as corn bread, but I thought I'd try doing muffins just so we didn't have to go through the hassle of cutting up bread with all of those people. They turned out very good and are super duper easy!

Corn Bread Muffins
2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix (8.5oz each)
1 (8.5oz) can creamed corn
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used a full 6oz container)
2 oz shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend)
1/4 cup milk


Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into muffin pans (either lightly greased or use cupcake liners) and fill about 2/3 full (I used about 1/4 cup of batter for each) and bake at 400 for 17mins. For me, this made about 18 muffins.

*This can also be made in a lightly greased 9x13" pan and baked for 17-20mins. if you prefer bread instead of muffins.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Buffalo Play Date

Yesterday, Avery and I made a trip to Buffalo for the day. My main reason to go was to see my Grandfather one last time before he heads back to Vegas on the 7th. I knew the holiday weekend was going to be busy and we wouldn't make it to Buffalo then so yesterday was my last chance to get there and see him.

Before Grandpa arrived, Avery had to check out a new toy Grandma picked up for her! She had a lot of fun with it!
She liked putting her rings in the front part of the car:

Grandpa came by for a few hours for lunch-it was a nice visit. I think he's a little sad about going home.
Avery had fun climbing on my Mom and grabbing her nose!

I lucked out that a few of my friends are teachers and are now off for the summer. They happened to not have any plans yesterday, so we had a little playdate! Jessica and Connor, and Megan and Noah came by and the kids got to play for a few hours....it was a lot of fun!
Avery and Connor checking out the cat:


Avery and Connor were funny with the toys-whatever one of them had, the other one wanted it. Yet if they were both toyless, they could have cared less about what was around! They were really "fighting" over this stick for awhile:
On the move:
Noah laughing at the xylophone:
Avery and Noah:
We kept trying to get all 3 of them in one picture-which was a joke! This was the closest we got...Jessica brought along some animal crackers and you would have thought it was feeding time at the zoo!