4 months

Friday, February 25th was a big day in the Ireland house for it was one year ago that Chris and I found out we were expecting a little miracle and that sweet little miracle also turned four months old. What a special day! The past year has been absolutely wonderful and we have been blessed in so many ways. We cannot believe that Avery is 4 months old already. She is such a joy and it is a blast watching her discover new things every day. We went to the Dr. this morning and here are her petite little stats:

Weight: 12 lbs 6 oz (25%)
Height: 24 1/2 in (50%)
Head Circ.: 39 cm or 15 1/4 in (5%)

During her appointment she had to take an oral vaccine and got two shots in her thigh. The oral vaccine came first and she wasn't too sure what to think about it, but she drank it! Next, came the dreaded shots. She was stuck in her left leg first and she didn't cry, but the second shot given in her right thigh burned her a bit and she let out a pretty loud wail. She only cried for about 10-15 seconds and as soon as I was able to pick her up she calmed down. She is a strong girl and I am proud of her for doing so well. She is now taking her nap in her swing so that I can keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't have any negative reactions to the vaccines. (It's more of a treat for me to be able to watch her sleep- she is so peaceful!)

Avery has grown by leaps and bounds over the last month and I have really noticed a lot of changes just in the last week. Below are things that Avery is doing at 4 months:

- Talking all of the time. Her new sound is "mmmmmm" with pursed lips- it's so cute!
- She is rolling from her tummy to her back and it's nearly impossible to have any tummy time these days.
- She watches her feet, but doesn't reach for them yet.
- Sleeping through the night (about 11.5 to 12 hours every night)
- As mentioned in the previous post- she is no longer sleeping in the swaddle
- She makes little spit bubbles all of the time
- Bath time is still lots of fun and she still cries when we take her out and dry her off. (Probably because she's cold, but I think it's because she was having fun and doesn't want to get out)
- Laughs out loud
- The changing table is one of her favorite places to be- she gets really talkative and laughs a lot. She wiggles all around and it makes changing her diaper quite the challenge, but we love to watch her move and explore. If we put her on the changing table when she is upset she immediately stops fussing and is as happy as can be!
- She reaches for everything; her toys, the T.V remote, our drinks, and is beginning to notice textures.

- She is not a thumb sucker, instead she loves to munch on her index finger!
- She loves her rattles and can pass them back and forth from hand to hand.
- Playing in her new activity chair

- In the last two or three weeks she has dropped from 4 naps down to 3 naps a day. Two 2 hour naps and one 45 min nap in the evening.
- Just in the past few days she has really started noticing Bailey. She will reach out and "pet" Bailey and smiles when she watches Bailey play.

- She is able to bear her weight on her legs, with support from mommy and daddy, of course.
- Practicing sitting with minimal support.
- Still nursing 5 times a day- not sure when we will start her on solids.
- Avery is wearing 3-6 month clothing- though she is almost too long for her 3 month clothing.
- She is squeezing into the last of her size 1 diapers and should be into size 2 by the middle of this week.


Adios to the SWADDLE!!!!

Some of you may remember my previous swaddle post a few months back and just how horrible of an experience it was to try to "de-swaddle" Avery. She clearly was not ready at the time so we continued to swaddle her. Well, I am happy to announce that Avery has finally said "ADIOS" to the swaddle! Here's the story: For the past several weeks we were waking up in the middle of the night to re-swaddle Avery. It seemed as though every day she was busting out and her left arm would always get stuck causing her a lot of frustration that led to a lot of crying. I was getting tired of always having to go in to re-swaddle her and had decided that when she hit the 4 month mark we would attempt to de-swaddle her yet again. However, this past weekend Chris, Avery and I went to Jacksonville, FL for one of Chris' continuing education classes. On on our last day, Avery dirtied her one and only swaddle that still fit and I knew that we would not have time to wash and dry it when we got home before she went down for the night. So, we dropped the swaddle- cold turkey- and prepared ourselves for a week from you know where. Needless to say, we were absolutely THRILLED when we woke up the following morning having received quite possibly the best night of sleep since Avery was born. She did fabulous! We decided that it was just a fluke and that she only slept well because she was exhausted from a weekend away and that her naps and the next night would probably not go as well. We were wrong! She has not had one problem since we started her in her sleep sack on Sunday night. She was ready for the sleep sack and it has made all of the difference this time around. I am so happy to be done with the swaddle. It was a wonderful thing during her first few months of life, but I'm glad to see it go. Adios swaddle, Adios!

happy to be in the sleep sack and out of the swaddle

Busting out of the swaddle....

just a few weeks old and loving the swaddle.


Valentines Day 2011

Yes, I know that Valentines Day was over a week ago and I am just now writing about it, but hey, I guess it's better late than never! There is this website, that I love, called etsy.com and for Valentines Day I ordered this awesome onesie for Avery (and her daddy!). She wore it all day and he especially loved it when we met him for lunch and he got to show it off to all of his co-workers. This Valentines Day was very special because it was Avery's first Valentines. She is loved more than she will probably ever know, not only by her mommy and daddy, but by so many others as well- and for that we are so thankful.

Chris and I celebrated Valentines Day a few days late. My parents and sister came over to watch Avery while Chris and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse with the gift card we got from his Aunt and Uncle for Christmas. I cherish our date nights and am thankful for having family close by so that Chris and I can enjoy regular date nights together while they keep Avery.

It was a wonderful Valentine's Day and I love my family so much. I love being a wife and a mom- I'm living my dream! Christopher, Avery and Bailey are the loves of my life and I am so blessed to have them as my family and to spend the rest of my life with them by my side!

{Outside of Chris' clinic where we ate lunch and enjoyed the beautiful weather}

{Daddy showing Avery her gift for Valentine's Day}

{Grandmommy and Poppy sent Avery a book that had their own voices reading it to her}

{Avery is very loved: books from Grandmommy, Poppy and Great Grandmama, a Bible from Mimi and Granddaddy, a puppy from Aunt Amanda and a mirror for lots of tummy time from Mommy and Daddy!!!}

{Isn't her shirt so fun!!?!}


Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

I made these mini peanut butter cheesecakes for Chris for Valentines Day and they were absolutely delicious. They are super easy to make and the recipe yields 24 mini cheesecakes.


1 pkg (9.5 oz) Keebler Fudge Shoppe Peanut Butter Filled cookies
2 bricks (8 oz each) 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 C. sugar
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature

Chocolate Glaze

3 oz semisweet baking chocolate
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

1. Heat oven to 325. Line muffin pans with 24 paper baking cups
2.Break cookies into a food processor. Pulse until fine moist crumbs form. Press about 1 Tbsp evenly over bottom of each cup. Freeze until ready to fill
3. Beat next 4 ingredients in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended.
4. Bake 20 minutes, or until puffed. (Some may crack on top; that's O.K.) Cool completely in pans on a wire rack.
5. Meanwhile, prepare glaze: Microwave ingredients on medium, stirring until smooth. Cool Slightly.
6. Peel off liners. Place cakes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spoon glaze over tops; sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate at least 2 hours for glaze to set.



Road Trip to Birmingham

On Monday, February 7th, Avery and I loaded up the car and began our first road trip - just the two of us- up to Birmingham to stay with Adriane and Micah for a few days. Adriane emailed me last week to let me know that my brother-in-law, Justin, was going to be out of town for a few days and that our mother-in-law, Cheryl, was going to go help her out while he was gone. She asked if Avery and I wanted to go for a few days and I didn't hesitate- I told her we would be there! It's funny because a lot of people were shocked that I would make the 4 hour drive by myself with Avery, but we did great. Avery slept the entire drive, except for our one stop for a feeding and diaper change.

Our first stop in Birmingham was to see Ali, Mae and Savannah. It's always so much fun seeing them and I really do miss being able to hang out with Ali. Savannah loved "the baby" and enjoyed "playing" with Avery and that Mae is growing up so fast. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from our visit with the Allen's, but we really did enjoy our time with them.

We got to Adriane's house around 4:30pm on Monday and Cheryl got there around 10:45 Tuesday morning. It was so much fun seeing the babies together again. They have both grown so much since they were last together at Christmas. Micah is rolling over from his tummy to his back and is really trying to roll from his back to his belly- he is getting close! He also found his thumb this week! He is so precious and growing up so fast. Avery is "talking" so much now and is able to reach for her toys and rattles. She will grasp her rattles and is able to hold them... and they almost always end up in her mouth. Here are some of the pictures from our time in Birmingham.

Feb. 8, 2011- Avery playing on Micah's playmat and loving it!
Tuesday morning- Micah 4.5 months; Avery 3.5 months

Avery playing with her Aunt Adriane
Sisters-in-law and Cousins- so special
Grandmommy and her babies
Precious Micah
Avery slept in Micah's pack-n-play all week and this is how I found her on Wednesday morning- legs propped up against the side of the bed.

Adriane's mom, Jackie, came up on Wednedsay for a few hours. This was her first time meeting Avery. The grandmothers were on cloud 9 together with their babies.
So sweet!
Avery and Micah's first bath together! 2.9.11

He's going to be a thumb sucker!
The babies on Justin's HUGE beanbag in his downstairs office.
We think that Micah doesn't like to share with Avery.... hmmmm....

This one cracks me up... Avery smiling and Micah crying- it was his naptime....
Avery was sad when Micah left her in the big beanbag by herself...
Avery's second snow in her 3.5 months of life!

Avery and Piper in the snow!

The snow was absolutely beautiful and thankfully the roads weren't bad so that we were able to drive home to see Daddy and Bailey. The first hour of our drive home was absolutely gorgeous with all of the snow, but once we hit Prattville, the snow was all gone. :( Thanks Aunt Adriane and cousin Micah for a wonderful time this week. We had so much fun and hope to see you again soon-- next time it's beach time! :)