Friday, January 25, 2013

First Trip to the Zoo

We took Aves to the zoo for the very first time on MLK day.  Kelly and Buster went along with us, and the weather was absolutely perfect for such an outing.  It's been in the mid 70's all week here.  One redeeming quality about living in Houston!

Aves is still a bit young to fully enjoy all that the zoo has to offer; she was more intrigued watching Buster than pretty much anything else.  She did take to watching a particular Toucan who happened to be right at her eye level.  But her favorite part by far was riding the carousel!  She LOVED it!  Got us a little daredevil on our hands!

Checking out the elephants

I LOVE the zoo!

Avery kept wanting to touch Buster's arm... Buster just wanted his fruit snacks

Love my girl!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Notes on being a Stay at Home Mom and Wife

I'm halfway through my 3rd month of staying home with Avery full-time, and I got to say that I never thought I would love being a stay at home Mommy this much.  There are certain things I have learned about being a housewife that though I may have known before, I have become even more acquainted with these particular things.... I call this:

Things I Have REALLY Learned Since Becoming a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom)

1.  Laundry- It is pretty much endless.  I remember the days when I would do 3 or so loads a week (it was nice that I always wore scrubs at work that the hospital washed for me!).  Just when I think I have emptied my hamper, Avery has dozens more clothes/sheets/burp cloths, etc... that need to be washed.  I can't imagine what it will be like with teenagers.  Gain and Dreft are the only way to go.  I experimented with other detergents after I first got married, but with a baby, you don't mess around.  Also.. You can never have enough spray and wash.

2.  Grocery- The best time to go to the grocery store is either on a Monday or Tuesday morning between the hours of 10-11.  Also, other random tips about traveling to the store with a baby:  1.  There is no such thing as a "quick trip" to the store.  2. ALWAYS, and I mean always go to the restroom before you leave home.  It's a disaster trying to figure out what to do with your refrigerated/frozen items/your cart albeit your BABY when you all of a sudden need to go in the middle of the store.  3.  Self-check out is for the birds.  There's a reason they have nice cashiers and baggers...

3.  Vacuums scare babies.

4.  High quality 5 star meals have gone by the way-side.  Let the real chefs handle those and splurge on a $150 meal on a nice night out every once in a while instead of drowning in a sea of ingredients while your kitchen becomes even messier than before :)  There is this thing called a crock-pot..USE IT!

5.  After all the laundry, shopping, dusting, mopping, sweeping, organizing and cooking have been done... There is always something else to do.  Just keep it on repeat.

6.  For me, remember that first and foremost the reason you are staying home is to care for your child.  Put the broom down and spend a few extra minutes playing/rocking/ :)  Speaking of.. duty calls.  Aves is up from her nap!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

8 Months

Today, Avery is 8 months old!  We've got a big girl on our hands!  I constantly tell M that I want to bottle her up and keep her this size forever.  She is just so sweet, happy, and beautiful, with a lot of sass ;)

Avery here are your stats at 8 months:

Height and Weight- We will get an update on this at 9 months

Sleep- You sleep 12 hours solidly every night from 7 PM to 7 AM.  You usually take a short morning nap, hour or less, and take a longer afternoon nap (anywhere from an hour to two or two and half)

Likes- Bath time, having your picture taken (you get a big smile on your face whenever you see a camera!), going to the grocery store with Mommy, and today Mommy took you to Mother Goose Story Time at the library and you LOVED it!  You liked "singing" along with the songs... louder than any other baby :)  You were a big ham; you wanted everyone in the room to look at you!

Dislikes- Being left alone for even a second!  Makes it hard for Mommy to run to the laundry room to get clothes without you starting to cry!  Otherwise, you don't fuss or get upset very often unless you are tired.

Diaper Size- 3

Clothes Size- 9 months, you can still wear some of your 6 months things as well

Feeding-  You still nurse 4 times a day, although I think some days you could actually do 3.  You eat 3 meals a day.  Rice cereal and fruit for breakfast, and baby food for lunch and dinner.  As far as new food this month, you have eaten pureed meat (chicken, turkey and ham) and have started to eat more solids (banana, and anything mushy off of Mommy and Daddy's plates).  There hasn't been much you haven't liked except anything with cinnamon in it!

Favorite Toy- You still love Sophie the Giraffe, and a little car that sings

Milestones- You have pulled up in your crib twice, but not anywhere else.  You have gotten really good at scooting around the floor, but you still refuse to crawl.  You will get up on all 4's, but then quickly decide that you would rather be sitting :)  You have also really started to "talk" this month and have gotten pretty good at saying, "Ma Ma Ma Ma".

Little Nug, you are the most perfect little blessing.  Daddy and I love you so very much.

Sister Picture

Pretty sure you are bigger than your bear now!

Last night you cheered (from your crib sleeping) the Tide on to another National Championship win!

This was the best picture I could get today at the story time.  You loved the bubbles!

Monday, January 7, 2013

"Girls Just Want To Have Fun"

It's been super fun the last couple of years since some of my best friends and I have had their first babies so close together!  Maddie and Carson were born 6 and 5 months before Avery, and little Evie was born 4 months after.  Carson has his pick of the ladies :)

This Christmas break, we were able to get the girls together... Katie Bug and Carson were still in MO :(  They are now getting to the age where they are actually starting to interact with one another.  Cannot wait for more play dates in the future!

This is the best I could get of the 3 girls.  Evie wanted so badly to stay asleep, and Maddie was having difficulties keeping her bow on... Don't be fooled by the smile on Avery's face, she had just freaked out when Momma left the table to refill her drink!

They were so cute playing together

Having a play mate makes bath time more fun!

Russ, Heather, M and I have big plans for these 2 girls.  No matter that they will be raised a state apart!  We are so blessed by our friendship with Russ and Heather, and we hope that these two girls will share something just as special.  If they follow in their Mommies' footsteps that is....

Junior/Senior (aka Prom) our Junior year!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Smith Family Christmas

Another great year in the books for Smith Family Christmas.  Avery was once again lost in a mass of toys (in her mind toys meant wrapping paper and bows).  Her very 1st Christmas was a success! Like always, Mom and Dad definitely went out of their way to make everyone's Christmas special!  Thank you!

For the first time in YEARS, my sister didn't have to work on Christmas Eve.  Because of this we were able to reestablish our tradition of Christmas Eve bowling!

Not to brag or anything, but this is my highest score ever :)

Right before the Christmas Eve service at Harpeth Hills.

After the Christmas Eve service, we rushed home to change so that our LIMO could pick us up to go look at Christmas lights! This was the first year we had done this.  Mom ordered a bunch of food so we could eat picnic style.  Such a fun idea!

Christmas morning!  

Friday afternoon until Saturday we left for Memphis to celebrate Christmas with Mimi and Papaw and Dad's side of the family.  Papaw was VERY good to the girls in the family this year... he bought us all extremely NICE earrings.  Avery even has a pair for when she is older :)  In case you were wondering how many girls are on that side of the family, it was 11!  The boys got really nice French cuff shirts/ties/and cuff links.. all things M will need for his new job!

I loved being rocked by Mimi!

Sunday at church Avery wore a little coat and matching hat that a lady at Harpeth Hills made for her.  She looked adorable.

Like I said... She's an angel :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hardison Christmas- Birmingham Style

For the first time ever, the Hardison clan met in Birmingham to celebrate Christmas this year.  With J, K and Sam being in Birmingham with Will on the way, and Benj and Morgan living in Tuscaloosa, it definitely made the most sense for us all to convene there :)  Convenient for us as well because it allowed us to sneak in a few visits with some of our Magic City friends.

M and I spent Thursday and Friday night at Ed and Shawn's at the Manor.  It's nice staying there because we get a whole floor to ourselves :)  They hosted their annual Christmas party at their house on Friday night, so we were thrilled that we were able to go and catch up with all of Matthew's old co-workers/our friends.

Geoff and Mollie came to see us Thursday night.. or as well call them, Geollie :)

Avery loves Uncle Geoff

We got to meet these sweet friends on Friday morning for breakfast!  

Sitting in the "gardens" at Ed and Shawns

Saturday until Sunday afternoon was Hardison family Christmas.  We spent the day lounging around at J and K's, watched White Christmas Saturday night, and opened presents Sunday afternoon after church.  Christmas was complete with our normal Christmas dinner of homemade fajitas and ice cream cake :)  So very thankful we could all get together...even though it was short!  We cannot WAIT for baby Will to get here at the end of this month!

Avery stole out like a bandit with tons of gifts/toys from her Mimi and Papa,  Uncle J and Aunt K, and Uncle Benjamin and Aunt Morgan (or as Sam likes to call her... Wheaty :)

The last photos are from the last of Matthew's family gatherings, the lunch on the 26th at Grandma and Granddaddy Wayne's.  It was the biggest it had been in years!  Matthew's cousin Bill was a HUGE Avery fan and wanted to hold her all afternoon!  Can't say I blame him!