Grace and Hope

Grace and Hope
Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! Pslam 131:3

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cheeeeeese---Aubrey and Avery Have Two Bottom Teeth!

This month was yet another sweet month full of love, joy, and being in awe how quickly the girls are growing up so fast. Thanks be to God that they are developing on target (and in some areas ahead of schedule) and that they have been so healthy and strong. This month we really enjoyed playing with them as they are much more interactive. We have loved watching Avery go from the “inch worm moves” to get around (see video clip below) to an actual crawl over this month. Avery also has gotten so much stronger with both sitting up and pulling up to a standing position. She now loves to hold on to one piece of furniture, reach for another and transfer to the next thing within reach. This past month Aubrey has done much better in the sitting position too and while she isn’t crawling yet, she sure knows how to get around in a 360 degree radius pretty quickly and is just starting to put army crawling together (slowly but surely). Both girls also have really started to enjoy different solids and become much less messy eaters! Overall, it has just been a fun month and we are enjoying every minute.
Within this past month, the girls enjoyed visits from Nana and Grandpa and another visit from Gramma. They sure are spoiled and I have a hunch they are well aware of it because they flash their adorable little smiles around nonstop. The grandparents have just loved being a part of their lives and enjoying their unique personalities. Soon, we welcome Aimee and Israel to Houston. I have no doubt that the girls will be spoiled by their love and attention as well.

This past month, we had the unique opportunity to share the story of our girls through a testimony at church at a woman’s night of worship and filming for a commercial for the Fertility Specialists of Houston. Needless to say, these girls have quite a reputation already—and may God receive all the glory for these little miracles we know as Aubrey Hope and Avery Grace.

CHEEEESE---the girls now have two bottom teeth! Avery kicked off the month flashing her pearly whites and Aubrey soon followed a little less than two weeks later. Both girls sucked on their fingers more than usual and Aubrey napped less, but overall, both handled it like champs. For those of you who are expecting to see cute photos in the blog of their teeth—you got to be kidding yourself! Getting a snapshot of both girls trying to sit still for one picture is enough, let alone trying to flash you some little teeth!

In this past month, we were able to get another set of professional photographs from our friend who is a photographer (Thank you Whitney!). Unfortunately, the girls had their own agenda (and it sure wasn’t smiling for the camera at the same time—more like peeing on the floor and having meltdowns!), but she was able to capture a few shots of their every day expressions that we have learned to love and adore. We hope you will enjoy the photos as much as we do.

Here are a few more details about both the girls…

Avery Grace: Weight: 14 lbs   Height: 27.25 inches       (from 9 month pediatrician visit)

--Avery has zipped through developmental milestones at an amazingly fast pace. This past month she has really perfected crawling and she is everywhere—in the blink of an eye! She also loves to pull up on everything to stand either on her knees of feet. She sometimes surprises herself when she is holding on to something and see another object within reaching distance…reaches for it and balances herself without falling. Avery gets very giddy when you attempt to help her with walking, but I think we are at least a month or so from her doing it on her own.

--You never know what you will find in Avery’s crib these days. Sometimes she is sweetly sleeping, usually curled up in a ball. Sometimes she is all sprawled out. Now, we frequently find her sitting up in her crib playing with toys, or standing in bed, trying to get out of her “baby jail.” She is such a good baby and is very good at self entertaining herself without making a peep.

--Avery continues to choose her favorite toy as being whatever Aubrey is playing with. Now that Avery is on the move, if Aubrey is playing with anything that looks halfway interesting, she sneeks on in for the kill. Most times Aubrey is fairly patient with her biggest sister being a bit of a bully. Avery also just loves pulling up on anything, but most especially the exersaucer and the bouncy chair where they are extra toys she can play with at standing height.

--Avery is a very quiet baby. It is rare for her to make noises or have an audible laugh. While she often laughs silently, we just absolutely adore when she giggles out loud, most frequently when we are playing at nighttime as a family. It is even rarer to hear Avery cry-I really think the schedule has helped both girls a lot and for Avery it is very easy to determine what she needs. When she infrequently has a meltdown, which is usually because we have kept her up too long from a nap because we aren’t at home, she will start to whine and say “mommmma, mommmma.” She has no idea that she is actually referring to me, but I have multiple witnesses that she says “mommmma.” I have heard it isn’t uncommon for babies to say momma first when they are upset and then take some time until they use it on a regular basis. We rarely are in situations where she is upset, so I have only heard it twice this past month, but it does melt my heart.

--We continue to do sign language with the girls. Avery gets most excited when she sees us signing “milk” and “eat.”

--Avery definitely still sleeps a lot, much more than her sister. In the morning, she will sleep for 1.5-2 hours. In the afternoon she will sleep for 2.5 hours. In the evening we wake her up at around 2 hours. Then she sleeps for a full 12 hours at night. Talk about a sleepy baby! I have a feeling she sleeps so much because she plays so hard…that girl never stops moving--remind you of anyone?!

--Avery still has some degree of reflux. While she appears to be less symptomatic, we have not successfully weaned her Prevacid dose. She still can be challenging to feed her 4-6 ounces because she gets distracted very easily. Sometimes you are thankful if she gives you 5-7 minutes to feed before she is literally crawling away. Now she does best if she is playing with a toy in her hands or watching one of the smaller toys make music and have lights to sit still for just a few more minutes to eat. Jay says she has ADHD already!

--Avery loves her cereal (usually with bananas) in the morning…in fact, if you aren’t feeding her fast enough, she licks the table trying to find a little extra! Also, if she thinks she should be getting the next spoonful and it goes to Aubrey’s mouth instead she lets out this moan and her spirits are crushed—poor girl! In the evening, Avery has different vegetables. This month she has tried beets, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli and cauliflower. Peas were definitely her favorite.

--My favorite times with Avery this month are when she is across the room and she excitedly crawls my way, comes up to my legs, pulls up and leans in towards me as if she wants to be close. In actuality, sometimes she just wants to tug on my pumping supplies, because surely that seems like a lot of fun to her when she has about 100 other toys to play with, but I’ll take her loving any way I can get it. She is such a joy and a sweet, precious girl. Some of my other favorite times is when daddy is playing with her in the evenings, kissing her neck and cheeks and she lets out the most adorable giggles…it just captures your heart.

--Avery wears 6-9 month clothes and wears size 3 diapers (or as daddy refers to them as “poop shields”)

Aubrey Hope: Weight 14 lbs 1 oz     Height 25.75 inches      (from 9 month pediatrician visit)
--Aubrey has always been content at “taking in the scenery” and watching her sister and happily play with her toys that are within reach. Recently you can see that she wishes she could keep up with her sister and move around, but she has become very efficient at taking charge of the area in her immediate surroundings. Just over the past few days she is starting to army crawl, but only makes it a few inches, but before we know it, she will be on the “go.”

--Aubrey loves to sleep sprawled out sleeping with her hands tucked under her belly. She is a heavy sleeper and I often admire her and stroke her pretty hair at night when she is sleeping (Jay always warns me not to poke the bear! Avery flinches and pops up in her crib at the slightest of noises, so I have to admire her from afar). Aubrey doesn’t need as much sleep as Avery (naps 1.5 hours in the morning, 2 hours in the afternoon, and 1 hour in the evening) so we frequently find her playing with her toys in the crib. When we walk in the room, she lets out this little laughter under her breath, a huge smile, and kicks her legs wildly as she waits for you to pick her up to smack kisses all over!

--Aubrey loves playing in the exersaucer. She is so good at turning around in a circle over and over again, accessing all the different activity centers. She squeals and laughs and just has a blast in the exersaucers. Avery loves to pull up on the exersaucer (with or without Aubrey in it) and this month they have really started communicating back and forth with laughter and noises during this play time.

--We all know that Aubrey loves to talk, squeal, laugh, and have a good time! She keeps my heart packed full with joy and brings smiles to my face time and time again. Like her sister, Aubrey seems to understand the sign language symbols for “milk” and “eat” and gets ubber excited when she sees us sign, because those rolls on her thighs didn’t get their by accident! We recently have seen Aubrey do the sign for “milk” when she is hungry (and I’m trying to finish up pumping), or while she is eating. It is pretty awesome to see it…and Gramma was the first one to point it out!

--Aubrey’s reflux is also improving like her sister, but we were not successful in weaning her Prevacid this past month either. So, we will keep her comfortable and try again later. She has really taken off with eating, both by bottle and solids. She now typically eats 6-8 ounces during the day or 3-6 ounces after solids. She loves her veggies and sampling of fruits (bananas and apples) this month and we are excited to report that she is a “good eater.”

--My favorite times with Aubrey this month is in the early morning after she wakes up and she is on the changing table, I kiss her belly in all different places. She absolutely has the best time, laughing, squirming, squealing…oh we just love it. As soon as she sees me coming to kiss the side of her belly, she squirms, knowing that she is about to be tickled with mommy love. It is the sweetest way to start the day.

--Aubrey wears 6-9 month clothes and wears size 3 diapers (or as daddy refers to them as “poop shields”).

Enjoy the pictures and videos. See you next month.

Here is how the month started out with Avery pulling up on her knees and starting to get into new areas to explore.

Insert audio of Avery making "farting noises" here. Aubrey is pushing her over saying "stop making those noises already!" Both girls have learned to make farting noises on their arms or just blubbering about.

Ok momma, we are ready to be serious for the picture now. Many thanks to Ronnie and George for these sweet outfits. Daddy sure is spoiled by his little girls!

MMMAHHHH...TV, I love you, where have you been all my life?!!!

Look Mommy, I'm standing and so proud of myself (this was the first day we saw her two bottom teeth).
Here comes serious Aubrey--watch out!

This photo just about sums up most of my pictures these days--you know how hard it is to get both babies to look at the camera on cue?! What is that Avery---a milk gut? Where on earth did you get that from?!

Avery is shopping for her toy of choice.

Aubrey in her favorite exersacuer and Avery coming up to say hello. When you see the video below, you will hear a short audible laugh from Avery in between Aubrey's squeals...wait for it!

And this is what the girls do while waiting in a waiting room before being filmed for a tv commercial. I have to say, our girls are easily entertained!

This is one of my favorite pictures this month. Ummm, can you say--"What a big girl!"

Daddy with his girls. Once again...Aubrey is more interested in something on the ceiling then me making all my goofy noises behind the camera!

This is Avery's famous "I love you sign" that she does when she sucks on her fingers. Avery loves her middle two fingers while Aubrey loves her thumb.

What a beautiful girl...with so much sas!

I'm finally looking at the camera--aren't you proud?!

Oh the TV--I have missed you so much! Mom, did you expect me to sit for yet another picture?! Good thing my backside is still so flattering!

Thank you Amanda and Todd for these adorable beach outfits. We can't wait to have sand between our toes. In the meantime, we will think of all sorts of funny captions for this photo!

Avery says: more pictures!

Our first Happy 4th of July!! Thank you Leesa for our cute outfits--you have us so spoiled. We got to enjoy this holiday with Gramma this year.

Have to cool off in the Texas heat somehow (and get another wear out of the bathing suits we are about to grow out of!). It is amazing how they sit so well inside but then seem like limp noodles when there is a drowning hazard--awesome!

Can you hear Aubrey squealing?

Mom, you say something? I'm sort of busy!
What a pretty girl in a beautiful towel homemade from Maureen--love these towels!

Mom, it is cold out here....clothes, not camera!!

Shake, shake, can't get out of here!

Food Pictures
Cereal in the morning--ummm, ummmm, delicious!

Really mom?? Avery enjoying her favorite veggie--peas.

Serious Aubrey enjoying her peas.

Avery trying broccoli...notice she "tried" broccoli...but is slowly getting a taste for it.

Aubrey enjoyed her broccoli--she will eat just about anything!

If you can believe it....we aren't even trying to make a mess on her face--this is just how Avery eats. Tonight she ate a mixture of squash, cauliflower and beets. Yummy!

Professional pictures (7 1/2 months)


A big shout out to my best friend Liz (Carroll) Hamner who delivered a healthy and beautiful girl on July 13, 2012. Her name is Katelyn Kirby Hamner and she weighed 7 lb 8 oz. Momma Liz has been my life-long best friend and has left footprints of friendship on my heart. Here's to Katelyn leaving footprints of love on Liz's heart. Love you both!