AEB turns ONE!

A year has past since little Avery made her splash into the world. She is more than worthy of multiple celebrations!
We began the day with song and balloons greeting her as she woke. Brother joined me in singing her the first of  many renditions of Happy Birthday. After a breakfast of berries and a waffle we got dressed for a photo shoot. I hadn't planned on her needing to be on the move (what was I think?) so she became quite difficult to capture as I was trying to shoot, save her from nose diving down the rocks and keeping a 2 year old, all of the sudden jealous, big brother content.

After a nap we headed to Chick-fil-a for lunch. Nothing beats nuggets, fruit, waffle fries and an ice cream cone. She was in heaven and brother enjoyed the indoor playground. For dinner Grandma and Grandpa Graca joined us for her other favorites of Mac and Cheese and fish sticks. Have I mentioned how I LOVE that all her favorites are MY favorites! SCORE!
I made a butterfly cake or I should say tried to make a butterfly cake. It was more tasty than it was pretty. She loved the singing once again. Cake she did NOT love. She spit out both pieces. Blue Bell ice cream was a whole other story. She sucked it down causing no brain freeze what so ever. It is hilarious how much she loves ice cream. You really need to have two spoons locked and loaded.
For presents we got her a pink basket filled with pink and purple balls. The hope is that she and Renn won't fight over balls anymore. But, it appears as if we just added more balls to fight over. We also got her a pillow pet. Seems kinda silly but Avery loves soft things and I knew this would be something she would truly enjoy. Her other present was more of a family present. We bought a Kelty child backpack so that we can all hike together. We can't wait to use it.
Moving on to her party. It is true I have been mentally planning her party since she arrived. It was based around her nursery. I only do it because I love it. It brings me tremendous JOY to plan party details that create a special experience for the guest of honor.
It was worth all the late hours when she saw the butterfly mobiles go up in the dining room. She looked at them, looked a me and smiled, looked at them again and giggled. She loved them. She may not remember them later in life but I will cherish that moment between us forever. On the day of the party we were greeted with unpleasant weather but that doesn't stop a party!
Avery was dressed in a lovely white gown that was a gift from her Cita. I have never seen Avery as full of personality as when she had that gown on and was able to show it off to all the guests. Seriously, I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it.
We enjoyed time with family and friends, watched Avery blow out her candle with her fingers (no tears), shoveled in more ice cream and she finally enjoyed cake. It was a grand time.
What a year it has been. So thankful for her little life.


a year.

To my surprise.
The idea of you surprised me. I will admit to the point of fear.
I didn’t know how my heart would have enough room.
But you surprised me.
You came. My heart grew. It filled with you.
Your sweetness
Your quiet spirit
Your kindness
Your determination
Your meekness
Your love of play
Your keen eye
Your laughter
Your smile
Your observant nature
Your strength
Your love for your brother
Your love for your daddy
Your love for me
You were an amazing surprise. I am thankful for a year with you. And I look forward to the surprises you will bring my life for the years to come.
I love you Avery Elizabeth Bailey. I love you.
Happy birthday baby girl.
Love, Mommy! 2011. 

"I pray that you and all of God's people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. I want you to know all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is." Ephesians 3:18-19 


Do we have a softball player on our hands?

Over Christmas break I got two weeks at home with Eric and the kids. I LOVE having that much dedicated time with them! I always seem to discover new things about my kids. There are moments it makes me a bit sad realizing how much I miss out on.  For Avery I learned she plays catch and has a "ball" (he he he) with it! To boot she has a nice throwing arm on her. Grandpa Bill just MIGHT get his softball player. She is really good at getting it right to you. You roll it back to her and she sends it sailing your way again. So much fun. The icing on the cake is that she claps after she rolls it. So proud of my girl.


Do as I see not as I am supposed to.

Avery, you are 11 months old...
you are SUPPOSED to be playing with toys for 9-12 month olds instead you want to play with matchbox race cars.
you are SUPPOSED to be learning to drink from a sippy cup instead you want to drink from a cup with a straw.
you are SUPPOSED to be watching Baby Einstein instead you chuckle at Blues Clues.
you are SUPPOSED to be wearing a diaper instead you are wanting to explore the inner working of a potty.
you are SUPPOSED to want to play with Mommy in the grass at the park instead you want to tackle the big kid playground.
you are SUPPOSED to want to play with a baby doll instead you would rather play with the iphone.
Avery, you have a BIG brother. His name is Renn. He loves you very much. He teaches you about lots of fun things that you get to do before your time. I will be praying for the both of you more than I already do (if that is possible) between the ages of 14-21! 
Good choices kids...good choices!


Mommy and Daughter

I asked Eric the other day if he has ever felt like there was something different between the connection he has with Renn than Avery? The answer is "yes" for me. Not is a bad way... it just is. When I found out I was pregnant I KNEW she was a girl and that made me nervous. I felt like I had the boy thing down. Could I really raise a girl? Was I going to be good enough at the fashion side of it? Was it just going to be too much hoopla that I feel like comes with girls? Of course, you figure it out and you set your own path as a parent but they were all fears/concerns. Once she arrived. I felt the weight of her being female and knowing in my heart what comes, how life goes, the up and downs, the emotions and needs. It's a lot and I pray A LOT for her little life. May she be confident, bold, brave, healthy, fearless, creative, a lover of Christ and allow Him to love her back as she is. May she know where her worth and value comes from. May she be adventurous, truth telling, loving, kind, have a heart that feels and is moved by others. May she trust me when the going gets tough and know that without a doubt I will understand, support, push, and affirm. I love her. It hurts the back of my throat with the tears I hold back when I think about loving her. 

Little Avery, know that I love you with a love that I never knew could exist and I look forward to knowing you and living life along side you. 


Baby's First Christmas

I am thankful to have it be Avery's 1st Christmas! Simply because it means we get closer and closer to her 2nd and 3rd Christmas which she will enjoy that much more. She had the most fun actually playing with her brother's toy (I am guessing this will be the story of her life) then the few things she got. She had her first Cranberry bread (a family tradition) and while she liked the tree and the lights she was not attracted to pulling on it by any means. This gives me hope that in the next couple of years we can put ornaments back on our main tree. She slept through Christmas lunch which gets a "woot! woot!" from me. As for gifts from us she got her cute red piano and a pink walker toy. I really think it is the only pink toy in the house. She got her first pair of pearl earrings from Papa T's recent visit to Japan. And probably the most practical and will be the most used gift was a new security blankee so I am not having to cart the one we had back and forth from school to home everyday. One of the more exciting things for her during the day was the accomplishment of her first steps. We knew it was coming and sure enough they arrived with Santa. My parents got to watch and I am always thankful to witness the 1st instead of them happening at school. It is amazing to think last Christmas I was preggers with her and now here she is. Living, growing and learning. What a tremendous gift she is. 


thumb sucker

She sucks her thumb. I knew she would from the moment she arrived. You hand the child her blanket and in goes the thumb. Honestly, if she even touches anything soft including if you are wearing a soft sweater in goes the thumb. It fascinates me. I was not a thumb sucker, paci user or had any sort of attachment to a blanket. So I am intrigued. Will she just one day give it up? Will it always provide her comfort? Will I have to paint her nails with yucky tasting stuff to break her of the habit? I try not to "worry" about it right now and just thankful that she has a means of self soothing. When I hand her the blanket, her thumb goes in and she lays back in my arms I get to hold on just a bit longer to the baby still in her and that I enjoy.