Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweet Avery

Sweet Avery Girl, you are TWO years old today.  A rush of emotions hit me as I sit down to reflect on your two amazing years of life.  I so clearly remember the excitement I felt when Brad, Beth and I hopped into the Yukon bright and early and made our way to the hospital.  Labor and Delivery were wonderful and I was so thankful that my very best friend Beth was there to welcome you to the world, what a special gift...and then my world stopped spinning. It's funny how one of the best days of your life, can also be shared with one of the worst...

We are so very thankful that you came home from the hospital a healthy, and happy "big" girl.  I will always remember how the NICU Nurses laughed about how they had to raid the PICU to find a diaper that would fit you. They were so impressed with your chubby little legs, they are so used to dealing with fragile little things that your strength was refreshing to them.

Avery at 1 Month Old

You have brought so much joy to our lives and we often times find ourselves shaking our heads at the things you do and now the things that come out of your mouth.  You've surprised us with "All Aboard" and "Oh Boy" lately. You get into everything, at school you find things that no child has found before, frankly, I am impressed, when you do it at home it gets on my last nerve, but at school somehow I beam with pride. 

Avery at 3 Months Old

I am blessed to be your Mommy, I believe that your rocky start has given me a perspective that will forever shape the way I approach life, and that is a very powerful gift you managed to give me, all while scaring the crap out of me.

Avery at 6 Months Old

You imitate everyone and everything and it is pure comedy.  My new favorite is when I flip my hair over after getting out of the shower to put mousse in it, you watch me like a hawk and then flip your hair over and do the same thing, its precious. You also now insist on wearing "panties", and when we are too lazy to deal with you diaper free, you compromise and insist we put "panties" over your diaper. It's a sight! 

You make me laugh every single day and at times you make me cry.  I am moved to tears at night when I am rocking you, I find myself losing patience with you throughout the day, but when the house is quiet (besides Olivia "reading" to herself in her room) and it's just you and I, rocking in your room, I am so hopeful for your future, for the woman you are going to be, and for how you love me, and forgive me every single night for my short-comings as a mother. Your smile tells me that despite my weaknesses you know I am doing the best I can, and there is no way to repay that type of support and comfort. 

You have amazing fine motor skills and you are beyond coordinated, just when I think you are going to stumble and trip, you find your balance and keep on truckin'. It's funny, Olivia trips over anything and everything, including her feet.

Avery at a Year
We have enjoyed watching your vocabulary grow, every day I am amazed at how well you communicate with one word at a time. Your little voice is as sweet as can be one minute and loud and deep the next, waking up to you yelling "Mommy" in your deep "monster voice" or listening to you whisper "I love you"...
You are so very loved little girl, and we are so very proud of the little girl you are and can't wait to see the little woman you become. Tonight Bina and PawPaw are going to take us all to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate your special day, I know Olivia is thrilled, she's been talking about it all week (I have no idea how she even knows about it, we've never been).  And then of course we will celebrate with friends on Saturday at your party. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Keep it IN the diaper, lil Lady...

Sweet Soon-To-Be-Two-Year-Old Avery got booted from school today because her diaper wasn't doing its job, if you catch my drift. The poor darling has an upset stomach and they said she was running a very low grade temp, but when I got her home she registered "normal", I am thinking their thermometer is crazy sensitive, because this is the second time that has happened.  She came home in another little girl's clothes because she had already gone through 3 outfits...the jeans they had her in were so tight she couldn't bend her knees to take the stairs, cute as a button.

I decided while I was there I would check in on Olivia since she is suffering from her second UTI, and her teacher said that she was having some stomach issues today too, so both of the girls are napping upstairs while I work from the couch.  I am praying my face off that they are both feeling better, and can enjoy Avery's Birthday tomorrow, we have big plans that involve Cupcakes, a night at Chuckie Cheese and of course lots of laughs.

So far so good on the low-fat diet, I have managed to stay within my guardrails and I am enjoying the game of it, counting all the grams, and reading the labels, and I am writing it all down, I love this stuff, hopefully this is it, and I can keep it up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vacations 2011

Well, this is a big week for the Turner Family, we just booked our week at the beach for late Summer and we are on the verge of booking our first Family Disney Trip, 2011 is going to be a great vacation year for the Turner Girls. We plan to take the girls to Disney a few times during their childhood, but this will be their first trip, and while I am just a tad bit afraid they will be too young to remember it, I am more than willing to risk it just to see the excitement on their faces in the moment.

I love the beach. I love everything about the beach. The smells, the sounds, the food, the views...absolutely everything. When Brad and I talked about family traditions, long before we even got married, one of the traditions that we both felt was important, was annual family vacations, and possibly even to the same place year over year.  Well, we are doing a pretty good job, and while we haven't gone to the same beach every single summer, the girls feet have danced in the ocean every single summer, and to us that is what matters most. 

I very much look forward to our weeks away with the girls, a week away from the office and a full week of quality family time.  Beach houses are MUCH cheaper in September, but the downfall is that you have to wait until September to get away...that is going to be a long wait...but I know it will be well worth it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Naked Wrestler

If her academic career doesn't take off, we know Avery has a fall back...

Just finished up a move on Olivia, who was clearly phased by it, notice the purple crayon in her hand and the purple crayon marks on Avery's back...

This is her signature move...head lock

And then she is off before you can scold her...

This child keeps us on our toes...she is a hoot.  She has decided that she is too cool for diapers, and would much rather wear "panties"...yesterday morning when Brad was getting dressed, she saw him putting on "his panties" and she came running to tell me all about "Daddy's". She's added a few other words to her vocab lately..

"LONE"...which means "leave me alone" or "leave IT alone"...I heard it loud and clear last night when I tried to help myself to a french fry off her plate.

"doin?"...which means "What are you doing?"

"happened?"....which means "What happened?"

"Come On"...which isn't used as you would likely think...she says it when something doesn't go her way, like after I took her french fry, she screamed "LONE" and I said "you need to share with Mommy" and with perfect pitch and tone she said "Come Onnnnnnnn", like "Give me a break Mommy". Priceless.

I swear this child could give a presidential address in one word sentences, she is a great communicator and rarely strings more than 2 words together, its pretty impressive.

Bye Bye Fat

From my diet that is...and hopefully from my hips soon after that. I started a new Low Fat Lifestyle that will hopefully help me drop some serious poundage.

I ran a few errands this morning and right now I am scouring the Internet for some Low Fat recipes that will make my taste buds do a little dance.

I am going to spend the afternoon getting stuff together for Avery's Party...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mary is Three

This afternoon we took the girls to Mary's Third Birthday Party at Pump It Up...Olivia had a BLAST and only had to sit down and take a coughing break a few times, which was better than I expected. Avery however, got the boot just a few short minutes into terrorizing the place, turns out you have to be 2 years old to play at Pump It Up, so her and Brad spent an hour or two at Gander Mountain, before coming back to join the party for some delicious cupcakes.

This child could use a "Smiling Lesson"...she just looks mean.

I can't believe Avery is going to be 2 later this week, it hit me when the Pump It Up lady said "I know she will be 2 in like 3 or 4 days, but its our insurance, ya know?"....I actually did know, and totally understood, but it hit me that she was right, Avery is going to be 2 in just a few short days.  Usually I am very prepared for Birthday Parties, but I didn't make much progress this weekend and I was hoping to, we'll have to see how it turns out next Saturday.

Mary & Her Friends

Happy Birthday Mary!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Women Be Shopping

My Mom and I took Olivia out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then hit up Old Navy's Kid & Baby Sale.  Olivia picked out the smelliest Jelly Shoes I have ever seen, I mean they seriously smell awful.  Olivia's were too big, despite us trying them on her, but Avery's fit, so I have been smelling them all weekend.  This is going to sound terrible, but they smell like Marijuana...

We got a few cute t-shirts for the girls, I never used to be a "Vintage T-Shirt" type of girl, but the girls pull it off well, and they are cute and casual. I mean, who would deny that a 3.5 year old, rocking an old school grey Mickey Mouse t-shirt with black leggings is cute as a button? I very rarely shop at Old Navy for the girls, but I am a sucker for a great deal and their clearance section can't be beat.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Olivia is learning all about manners at school, you will hear her say "Avery, that is not good manners" or "Avery, use your manners" or a harsh snap "Avery, manners". I actually don't mind that she is Lil Miss Manners, or the Manners Police, I am a big proponent of manners and I have a high bar for where I would like my children to fall on the manners scale. So today when the I picked up the latest edition of Parents magazine I was thrilled to find a list of the: 

"25 Manners Every Kid Needs By Age 9"

1) When asking for something, say "Please" (Making progress in this space)
2) When receiving something, say "Thank You" (Progress...both girls are great at this one)
3) Do you interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency.  They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking. (Long way to go....)
4) If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation (Feels like it will never happen)
5) When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first.  It can save you from many hours of grief later.(Rarely happens...really need to work on this one)
6) The world is not interested in what you dislike.  Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults. (This one drives me bonkers, all I hear is "I don't like...blah"
7) Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, its to compliment them, which is always welcome. (So far, no big issues here)
8) When people ask you how you are, tell them, and then ask them how they are. (Olivia isn't sure what to say when people ask her)
9) When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.(When we prompt them, they say "Thank You Ins-La"
10) Knock on closed doors , and wait to see if there's a response before you enter (When this happens, all will be right with the world)
11) When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling. (I hope we are years away from their first phone calls)
12) Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive.  In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank you note can have a powerful effect. (We are working on this one, this practice was a very loudly spoken rule in my house growing up and it will be passed down to my darlings as well)
13) Never use foul language in front of adults.  Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.(Thankfully we haven't faced this one yet, Olivia corrects us when we use the word "Stupid"
14) Don't call people mean names (Olivia calls people "Dirty Fish"...does that count?)
15) Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak and ganging up on someone else is cruel. (Hasn't happened yet, but I know it will happen and we will squash that as soon as it starts)
16) Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested.  The performers and presenters are doing their best.(We tried this one on Avery when Olivia was singing her heart out, but she was just too young to get it, we'll keep working on it)
17) If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse Me" (We are hoping this one comes with age)
18) Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and don't pick your nose in public (They are both pretty good about this one)
19) As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else. (For the love of God, they can't open a door yet, we'll wait until closer to age 9 to worry about this one)
20) If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help.  If they say "yes", do so-you may learn something new. (I am pretty sure no one really wants the girls help just yet, I don't even like their help when I am sorting my socks)
21) When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.  (HA, will this ever happen?)
22) When someone helps you, say "thank you" That person will likely want to help you again.  This is especially true with teachers! (Olivia is ahead of the game on this one...Avery is on her way)
23) Use eating utensils properly.  If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do. (God Bless America...we now use a spoon for yogurt...the world can now start spinning again)
24) Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary. (We outlaw napkins in our house, because the girls are obsessed with them and would go through 432 at each meal)
25) Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed (Working on this one....when we master it, maybe we will be cleaning up less spilled milk)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Flu Update

We are all down and out. Olivia, Avery and I are all on Tamiflu, I saw the Doctor this morning and Avery spiked another fever this afternoon so they called in a Rx for her as well. I am so very thankful for Brad's Parents who were already packed when I called this morning at 6:30am, they are so kind, I don't know what I would do without their help, and the girls absolutely love having them here. We can't wait to see Brad tomorrow night, but we are hoping he stays well and doesn't come home just in time to get sick....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fevers, Coughs, Snots & The Flu

Well, so it goes, we are all sick...Olivia is still recovering from The Flu, I fell ill yesterday and Avery came home from school today at 11am with a fever of 101.  I immediately took her to the Ped, they tested her for everything under the sun (The Flu, RSV & Strep) and she was a big fat negative across the board. She appears to be feeling okay...and when we got to the Ped her fever was only 99.3 and we hadn't even given her Tylenol yet, so I am not sure how that happened. They asked me if she had had some water...she hadn't, but does that mean that water would have brought her fever down 2 degrees? Maybe, I clearly don't have MD after my name.

Brad is out of town, and my Mom came down with the crud today too, so its just me and the girls, powering through. Good thing we have Riley here to keep us company. Brad told him to "take care of the girls and be the man of the house" while he was gone and frankly I think that went to Riley's head, he has been barking a rather cocky bark all day, and barking far more than normal, so I am guessing he is taking his new responsibilities seriously.

The girls and I are watching Peter Pan right now, they are starting to get into movies a little more, usually their interest/attention span lasts about 20 minutes and tonight that was just about the time that they got up and wanted to color, but I am still enjoying Peter Pan in the background.  Animation really has come a long way, holy smokes this looks like it was created in 1911 compared to the stuff that is coming out now.

Speaking of not wanting to grow up...I can't believe that in just over a week, our little girl is going to be two years old. Part of me is amazed at how quickly the last two years have flown by and the other part of me can't believe she is ONLY two years old - HA. Very random, but I am fairly certain Avery is going to be a lefty...I know it isn't fully determined until they are older, but this child does EVERYTHING with her left hand. 

As soon as the girls heads hit the pillow/crib mattress I am making a bee line for the shower, I am going to turn it on full gorilla and scald myself, and then I am going to crawl into bed and hibernate until the littlest wakes me up tomorrow morning.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Who's Child is She?

Avery is our spirited child. She doesn't take no for an answer, her favorite word is "STOP", she wakes during the 5 o'clock hour and rarely naps longer than 30 minutes and if all else fails she wacks you, all while screaming her darling little face off, but it never fails, she always reminds us why we love her so...take a glimpse into 15 minutes with Avery

Paper is too good for Avery...she wanted to test the markers with her own skin...better than our walls, but if you look EXTRA close, you can see some yellow dots on the left hand side of the photo, she did manage to try the markers out on the carpet a few days ago. It is rare she gets her hands on non-color wonder markers, but if she does...look out. There is no telling what masterpiece is on the horizon.

The bathroom is too good for Avery.  She couldn't understand why she should have to sit in the bathroom while everyone else was in the Family Room...I kinda see her point, but never would have had the guts to pull something like this off...granted, it wouldn't be cute at my age, and she has a way of making crazy stunts like "Going Potty in the Family Room" seem nothing short of adorable.

She set this all up in stages. First the pants came off, then the diaper...and you can see where she landed.

A great seat, don't you think?

And then after her bath, her and Olivia decided they would take turns playing with each others hair.  The only downside to having your hair played with is that it meant you had to sit on the Potty...didn't seem to phase these two and the fact that they weren't pulling each others hair out was reason enough to let sleeping dogs lie.

Funniest Olivia Story Yet...

Olivia and I are sitting on the couch watching Wow Wow Wubbzy (which btw, I can't stand) and Wow Wow starts doing a dance with his tail...she looks at me with a grin and says "Mommy, we don't have tails, but boys do, they have small tails that hang off the front of their bums"  I mean, lets be honest, that is quite possibly one of the funniest things I have heard in the almost 32 years of being on this planet.

Runner Up...

This isn't one of the funniest, but her timing was so spot on, it ranks up there. I had just finished cleaning up dinner and had plopped myself on the couch to finish the last few sips of my glass of wine. I exhaled and said "Olivia, let me tell you a little bit about my day" just joking around and without missing a beat she yells from the Morning Room "Why, did you have a tough day Mommy?" She is priceless!

The way to my heart...

Red Tulips for Valentine's Day

My husband sure does know me well

KidMed: We adore thee

Friday afternoon Olivia came home from school with a fever of 102.7, usually with a fever that high she is quiet and content to just lay on the couch and watch TV. Nope, not this time, she was a complete grouch. So silly me, I thought that she couldn't be feeling too bad, I was surprised with how horrible the night went. She barely slept, which meant I barely slept, she was so restless and so very hot. We were alternating Motrin and Tylenol every 2 hours just to keep her temp under control. The poor thing.

Saturday morning was quite hectic, so hectic in fact that I had to wake Brad up at 6:30 to lend a hand. Poor Olivia was a hot mess...literally...after vomiting and a holding steady fever she was a mess.  Brad and Avery set out on a mission at 7:15am to find the best Donuts in Richmond and 90 minutes later were home with a dozen that were a little bit of heaven. Country Style Donuts...highly recommend them. I should have taken a picture, but by the time I thought of it, they were basically gone. HA.

Outfit look familiar? Olivia wore it to Avery's 2nd Birthday Party

Avery and I spent the afternoon celebrating Miss Maya's 2nd Birthday, with none other than an Elmo bash.  It was great to catch up with the neighborhood ladies that I haven't seen in what feels like a while, but was really just a few days. On a side note, it absolutely tore me apart having to tell Olivia she couldn't come to the party with us, she cried and cried and it broke my heart.

Campbell playing Cornhole

Jules doing her thing

Insley is the most photogenic person I know

Samantha, Maya's Mommy, did an amazing job on the cake

Maya ate about 7 of those mini cupcakes

Avery clearly enjoyed hers too!

Avery and I got home around 6 to find Olivia shivering on the couch, yet she was burning up. So Brad and I decided I should take her to KidMed, the after hours urgent care facility that just opened on the Southside.  And I can't say enough about our experience. First of all, we were the only ones there, but second of all the people, the facility, it was all wonderful! My Parents met me there, my Mom really was put on this planet to be a Grandmother...her and Olivia have an amazing bond, it makes me wonder what my relationship would have been like had I known my Grandmother...if its anything like Olivia and my Mom, I would have been one lucky little girl.

So KidMed ran a few tests and turns out our little darling has the Flu. The poor thing. At least we caught it in time to get Tamiflu, I just feel bad that I can't get in touch with all the other kids in Olivia's class that went home sick on Friday to let them know what she had so they could get checked out. She is feeling much better today, the fever is finally under control, but her cough is a little deeper, so we have to keep an eye on that to make sure it doesn't turn into Pneumonia.

I hate that Olivia is going to miss her Valentine's Day Party at school, but her cards are all packed and I will be sure to collect all her cards when I pick up Avery so she can at least enjoy opening them. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Silly-ness

Olivia being the carefree 3.5 year old that we love dearly...

Avery being the wild and crazy almost 2 year old that makes our heart soar

This morning the Family split up, took a divide and conquer approach to our errands. Olivia, my Mom and I were on a mission to procure Birthday Presents...and several of them while Brad and Avery attacked the West End Bike Shops in search of....who in the world knows...likely expensive Bike stuff.  We all met up for lunch at Friendly's...not WW friendly, but ohhhhh so delicious.  Friendly's just brings me back to the good ol' days. I have so many wonderful memories of Friendly's from high school, we practically lived at Friendly's during basketball season...awwww, the good ol' days.

It's dreary here, rainy and cold. But I am NOT complaining because the rest of the country...heck, who am I kidding, the rest of the world is facing some crazy weather.  The girls both bucked the naps this afternoon so I am guessing it will be an early to bed kind of night.  Frozen pizza is in the oven and baths are on the horizon and then its Family Movie Night...I foresee the Care Bears Movie in our future.

I haven't made much progress on the Home Office, hence the reason why you haven't seen a single photo of the fantastic new room, but I promise after President's Day Weekend and a day at home to myself to really get crackin' on it, I will be able to share.

I did however finish up the Chalkboard Project I have been talking about for weeks. This was complete last weekend...don't you just love it? I kinda wanted a fun color for the frame to break up the blackness, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go with red or not and I wasn't sure what other color I would want to introduce, so for now, its black, but I might just change my mind down the road.

Notice the cute message Brad left me after he hung it up for me...keeper, I tell ya, he's a keeper!