Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas

Our family was extremely busy this Christmas.

Bryan's dad, Mike, flew in from Florida and spent the weekend before Christmas in Muncie. We went out to eat after Eric drove up to meet us in Muncie. We spent Saturday catching up, watching football, and watching Avery. I think Grandpa read a book about fuzzy, baby animals 10 times! Sunday I made brunch and we all repeated Saturday's activities. We are always sad to see Mike leave because we know it may be another year before we see each other.

Bryan, Avery, and I opened presents at home on the 23rd. On Christmas Eve, we traveled to Bloomington to have Christmas with Grandma Bert and Eric. We opened presents on Christmas Eve and had our big Christmas meal the following day. Avery really enjoyed getting spoiled by Eric and Grandma Bert. She received several babies, a potty seat, books, and a plethera of dinnerware. She also spent a lot of time playing and dancing with her music table from Grandma. Unfortunatly I forgot my camera and was unable to capture some of the finer moments of the holiday in Bloomington.





Christmas day we left Bloomington, en route to Hollansburg, to see my parents (minus a few car problems). There we were greeted by a house full of friends and family playing cards, eating, and socializing. Bryan skipped out shortly after we arrived since he had to work Friday. My mom and I went deal shopping the day after Christmas, and the whole family watched Avery open her gifts that evening. She got Dora sunglasses, which she DID NOT want to take off, a rocking chair, puzzles, and some foaming bath soap. Bryan got some "movie money" which will come in handy for our next "date." I recieved some of the coolest office supplies that I have ever seen.


Saturday was our final Christmas, the Bevins family Christmas at my grandmother's. The whole crew, minus a few older kids who have moved far away (insert tear for Tiffany and Hank), was there. After a huge meal, we opened presents and ate and ate and ate. Avery particuarly liked the rice crispy treats! Avery got socks and tights, princess dinnerware, and a Wiggles dance mat. We left Hollansburg after packing up the car . . . and arrived home only to leave everthing in the car to mess with in the morning. We collapsed and slept hard. I was so glad to be home in my own bed. What a holiday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not the intended purpose



I went Christmas shopping in my parent's attic for Avery. Among things like a baby high chair and a sweeper, I got a baby cradle. Yes, one intended for Avery's baby dolls. Fortunately for Avery, she just fits in it perfectly; to sit up anyway. Several times over the last couple of days, Avery has been found in the baby cradle, covered-up with her blanket. Oh, and of course she is with her beloved hairbands.

Potty Training


So yeah, potty training is going not so well. I think that once I can be home with Avery for a few days straight, it will go better. Between here and the babysitters house, it has been difficult to maintain consistency. Avery SCREAMS "Potty, Potty, Potty" when she doesn't want to do something because she knows that she can at least delay the inevitable for a few minutes because I will take her to the bathroom. She could sit on her potty for 20 minutes reading; at least that is funny. Other than that . . . there is no humor in potty training.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Potty

I know for most of you it is not newsworthy . . . but Avery used the potty for the first time tonight! The beginning of the end of diapers!

Chicken

I don't know who taught her this . . . probably a kid at the babysitter's house . . . but for some random reason, Bryan was making chicken sounds at dinner . . . I know . . . why I don't know . . . and Avery started "flapping" her arms. Bryan had only made the sounds . . . never the motions. It was so funny . . . here it is for you to enjoy . . .


video

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas







Avery and I put up our Christmas tree today, and sticking with tradition, my family's favorite Christmas tunes were playing in the background; Mariah Carey, the Beach Boys, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Herb Alpert. It was so special to have Avery help decorate the tree, especially putting on her "baby's first christmas" ornament. Now the trick will be keeping her from taking all of the ornaments off of the tree. She thinks all of the red ornaments are "apples." So far she hasn't tried to eat any of them, but . . . . you never know.

Let's get physical, physical


Seriously Tiffany . . . these headbands are the greatest toy EVER. Avery plays with them and tries them on non stop. This reminds me of the 80's . . . and Olivia Newton John's song "Let's get physical." So hilarious. By the way Tiffany . . . she says "cheese" everytime I unzip the camera case.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Avery's first bra


Considering the family history, Avery is right on track trying on her first bra.

Daddy and Avery


So cute! Daddy and Avery enjoying video games together.

Early Christmas Presents











Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Hank were home for Thanksgiving for a week, and while here, gave Avery her Christmas presents (they won't be here for Christmas . . . boo). Avery is enjoying her magnetic letters. She is always at the refrigerator saying "two, three, apple," and playing with the letters. She is also enjoying her hair band collection. She spent a lot of time trying on all of the hairbands. P.S. she does not like it when I try to wear her hair bands.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pumpkin Again!




I blogged about the huge pumpkin earlier this month, but I thought today, how many pumpkin muffins can I really make? It happened that today was rainy/snowy and cold, and in my mind that means warm, homey baked goods. To my husband that means chili. I satisfied us both, making a crock pot of chili and pumpkin waffles (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Waffles-104264) for Avery and I. The pumpkin waffles were REALLY good, just the thing to make you want to curl up with the plate and start a movie. Instead though, I ate mine standing up in the kitchen, busy making the rest of the batch of waffles (to freeze) and feeding my hungry toddler. Avery ate 1 1/2 waffles and a whole banana. I was glad she liked the waffles because otherwise I would be eating the 2 dozen waffles I froze.

Random Cute Pictures
















Here are some random cute pictures that I have taken over the last couple of weeks.

The toy rags persist and evolve




I wrote a post earlier this month about Avery playing with some rags. The playing has evolved into using the rags as blankets for her babies. She carefully, really carefully lays the rags out flat, with no wrinkles, and lays her babies, or lego people on the "blankets." Usually, then she covers them up completely with another rag. Then she moves all of the people and repeats the process. The other evening, Avery had 2 babies and 2 lego people out playing with the rags. She is so serious when she is doing this . . . and it keeps her occupied for quite sometime.

Avery is a genius!


No kidding . . . I went to help Avery pick-up her toys before bath, when I glanced at her bus. Well, you look and see whether you would be surprised. Enough said.

Mullets are my worst nightmare




Avery is getting a mullet. I know you just started laughing, come on, a non-intentional mullet on a little toddler girl, its sorta funny, or sad, or whatever. For a long time Bryan and I have joked about Avery's lack of hair, but over the last few months it has actually started to grow . . . mostly at the back. Ok, laugh again. At any rate, it looked particularly bad the other day, so I got out the small hair ties and tried to fashion a solution. The pigtails, I thought, came out really well. I was getting ready to go to Target for some shopping, happy that I had solved the bad mullet hair day, until I laid Avery down to change her diaper. Laying down=death to pigtails. Or, at least when your pigtails are 1/2 inch long. Oh well, here we come Billy Ray!

Sarah's Birthday Party











Last weekend we celebrated my sister Sarah's birthday party. It was mom's idea to do a "spa" birthday for the girls, so I went over to help with facials, manicures, and hair. The girls finished the evening with a fashion show including old dance and halloween costumes. The girls looked so cute! Even Avery was not left out. My mom dressed her in her own "pretty dress," which she modeled along with an apple she stole from the diaper bag.

I know . . . I haven't blogged lately.

I have been incredibly busy lately with school work. My class competes in a Social Studies compeition every year called "We the People." It takes a lot of extra work, often more for me sometimes than the students. In fact, I'm even having a Saturday session for students today to come in and practice--since the competition is on Monday. If you are incredibly bored and want to see what this entails for the students, check out www.civiced.org and click on "We the People." Go ahead--try and answer the questions the students are supposed to know. I bet you will be floored at what they are expected to learn!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Eating my decorations . . . MMMMM!

So, I don't carve pumpkins or get too fancy decorating for any season (last year we were in the crawling phase, this year the -- I will destroy or throw away anything within reach phase), but after reading several "frugal mom" blogs I decided to eat my fall decorations. Despite warnings from several online sources saying the pumpkins I bought were not the best for eating (yet edible), I set about dismembering my mammoth pumpkin. I was skeptical after starting the the somewhat harrowing task of taking the skin off of the pumpkin--that my efforts would be rewarded. After taking the skin off of the pumpkin, dicing, roasting, pureeing, and straining the pumpkin (2 hours), I was left with about 10 cups of pumpkin puree. That's pretty good considering I paid less than $4 for the pumpkin, and used it for a decoration for about a month. Out of this pumpkin that most would consider no good trash, I made pumpkin muffins with streusel topping and mini muffins for Avery to take to the sitters to share for snack.

The best part of the day . . . seeing Bryan eat his words. He told me he hated pumpkin and would never eat it--I begged him to try the muffins. You know what happened right? Yeah, he loved them.

Here is the link to the recipe that I used--I didn't have all the spices, so I used 3 tsp. cinn. and 3 tsp. allspice instead. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Muffins-II/Detail.aspx

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Old rags = great toys?







Our student council did a teacher car wash at school this year--and being one of the sponsors, I brought home all of the rags to wash. They have been sitting in our kitchen in a bucket for about a month (what can I say, I keep forgetting to take the bucket back to school). Recently, Avery has been going into the kitchen, taking rags from the bucket, and using them for toys. Today she was laying on the couch using them to cover up (both her and Bryan) and this evening she was using them as baby blankets for her babies. Besides the duplo blocks from my parents house, this is her favorite ?toy? right now! Weird, I know!

I think I robbed Meijer!


I know the title sounds bad . . . but can I tell you that sometimes couponing can seem like robbery! I do however feel a great sense of accomplishment when I see the total of my order fall-especially into single digits. I went to Meijer today, hoping the there were still some good "mealbox" coupon items to be had. I made two trips, the second after realizing that I needed some coupons that I left at home to make some awesome deals. My first trip was good, I only spent about $40 for groceries for the week. My goal is $50/week. I went back and spend $10.42 (including tax). This trip is the one I am really proud of! Here's how it went down:


Transaction #1:

3 Glade plug-in scented oil refills (12.76)

4 boxes jello (2.00)

4 boxes Kellogs cereal (10.00)

4 boxes velveeta shells & cheese (6.67)


-2.00 off when you buy 4 boxes Kellogs (auto coupon weekly deal)

-4.00 (4 $1.00 off printable coupons Kellogs cereal)

-6.38 ( 2 BOGO Glade refills)

-3.00 (2 $1.50 off 2 Glade refills)

-3.00 (2 $1.50 off 2 boxes jello--meijer mealbox coupons)

-4.00 (2 $2.00 off 2 boxes velveeta shells & cheese--meijer mealbox coupons)

-3.50 (now that I'm looking close at the receipt the cashier must have rang my mealbox coupons an extra time--I'll have to go to the customer service desk next trip)


with tax TOTAL: 6.44

(also printed off 2-$2.00 off next order coupons for glade plug ins, $1.00 off next order from cereal, & 3.00 off next order from shells & cheese)


Transaction #2

2 Lysine Supplements (BOGO-5.29)

bananas (not pictured) 1.45

brown sugar 1.34

flour 1.86

5 Green Giant Steamers 6.67


-$8.00 (catalina coupons from transaction #1)

-5 $1.00 off Green Giant Steamers


with tax TOTAL: 3.98


This is a lot of food for just over $10--which should be just under $14. Even then it would have been a great deal! I think that I am definitly stocked up on mac & cheese & cereal - I bought 4 boxes of both in my first trip to Meijer!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doggie Guilt

Brutus is gone. No, not dead, but with Bryan working days now, we decided to try and find a new home for Brutus. With golden retrievers being such social dogs, we felt really guilty having him stay home, cooped up in the kitchen for 9 hours every day.

Fortunately, we found a good home for him on Sunday. Sadly, the daughter of a childhood acquaintance of mine's dog died of food poisoning (dog food). The little girl is 4 and was devastated. My parents had just happened to mention that we were looking for a new home for Brutus to the family. Their family came on Sunday to check out Brutus and see if he got along well with their little girl. And---of course he did! Brutus loves kids. After about an hour they loaded him up in the car and took him home. Sadly for us--gladly for their family.

I had a dream the other night that the family brought him back to us and left him in the kitchen while we were sleeping. They left a note saying that he was too dark. I told my mom . . . she said it must be doggie guilt.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sarah Palin

Today Mark and I were riding home after picking-up Avery from the sitters house . . . and low and behold, a bird, a plane . . . a McCain/Palin plane! We happened to be driving by the Muncie airport, at the exact time of touchdown. Mark and I continued driving, and then I thought, maybe we could turn around and see if we could actually see Sarah. So yeah, we waited, along with about 20 other people, about 45 minutes, to see Palin drive away waving. Palin was actually on her way to Indy for a rally. I tried to take pictures with my cell phone, but I didn't manage to get a good one. Oh well.

The "Naughty Rug" and Make-up

Yesterday I left Avery in the living room long enough to refill Brutus' water . . . and she was eerily quiet. When I peeked in to check on her, I found her with my case of beauty tools. Not only was the case totally empty, but she was using the blush brush, tapping it on a mirror, then "applying" the make-up to her cheeks. She played with these brushes for a good 30 min, a marathon play session for our busy girl.



If you haven't been around Avery much lately, you should know that she has become Miss Attitude (by the way, I have no idea where she got this from). If she does not get her own way, watch out for a screaming/crying fit. For about the last month, when Avery starts these crying fits, told her to sit in "her corner" until she was done crying. This usually doesn't last long, but we made "her corner" more comfortable with the addition of a rug that says Sheriff. Of course she doesn't see the irony in the rug, but Bryan and I thought it was hilarious.



Avery laying on the floor crying in "her corner." Obviously, she was not having a good day. The crying fit lasted long enough that I had time to get the camera and capture this special moment.

The BIRDS


Avery yelling . . . BIRDS! (It comes out more like BWRD)

Alfred Hitchcock has nothing on me! Look closely at this tree . . . that's right, they are not leaves, but birds. Every year we get these giant flocks of swarming birds in the woods behind our house. They are sooooooo loud, and kind of creepy. I love the movie THE BIRDS, but this is ridiculous. I took Avery out to witness the swarms. As you can see, she was enthralled.

What a beautiful fall day!




Thank the Lord for beautiful fall weather! It has been so nice the last few days. I know it won't last as winter will quickly be approaching, leaves gone from the trees, and snow covering the ground. But, for now, Avery and I took advantage of the wonderful "sweater weather," spending Wednesday afternoon outside. She is such a wonderfully curious child, checking out every leaf, stone, and mud clump in the yard.