Dear Avery, Time has been flying by! Week 21 brought your first cold. You pretty much just had some nasal congestion, but luckily it didn’t last much more than the week. On December 30, we went to your first bounce party to celebrate Claire Westcott’s birthday. You got to see the Bradfords, Westcotts, Malons, Metzgers, Aunt Kara and others. The next day you rang in the new year in your crib. We all stayed home to celebrate the new year together. You were still struggling with your stuffy nose. The next day, New Years Day, we went to the east side of the state. You got to meet the Pawlowskis for the first time. The next day we went to the Freeman’s house for a football party… for Michigan State. You’ll learn that we don’t really cheer for Michigan State University, but we sure like the Freemans, so we sacrificed!
Here are some photos from week 21 (December 27 – January 2):
Week 22 brought a lot of developments! First of all, you started your first veggies on Tuesday January 5. Your first try was carrots. (I thought this was ironic since your daddy reportedly loved them as a baby but isn’t a big fan of them now). You weren’t completely sure about it, but you did quite well overall. You also turned five months old! Daddy brought you home some flowers to celebrate. The next day, Wednesday January 6, you rolled over! You were laying on your playmat on your tummy. I glanced away and when I looked back, you were on your back! We were able to get you to repeat the performance again that afternoon. In fact, it seemed that you flipped a switch. Now you roll every chance you get! Later in the week you got to spend some time in the exersaucer. You seemed to really enjoy sitting up and playing like that. You constantly have your finger in your mouth to chew on. Speaking of things in your mouth, you also tried green beans this week. You HATED them. You were spitting them out and even gagging on them. Luckily, I tried again and you seem to like them just fine now. It was just that first time that you weren’t too excited about them.
Photos from week 22 (January 3-9):
These weeks were so fun! It was amazing to see you pass some new milestones. We know that the coming months will continue to fly by. We feel so lucky to be your parents and to share these wonderful moments with you! We love you so much!
Love, Mommy and Daddy
Written December 25…
Dear Avery, Today was your first Christmas. A month or two ago, I was getting teary eyed telling your daddy how your first big holidays were coming up so soon and once they were done, your first Christmas (and Thanksgiving) would be over… and that was a sad thought for me. And here I am, 11 pm on your first Christmas. For all intents and purposes, it’s over. But, I am not sad! I am happy, content, blessed. Happy to have been able to share a couple wonderful days with our family. Content because we have all we need… more than we need. Content because your first Christmas was filled with many smiles and laughs. Blessed to have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful husband. Blessed to have fabulous parents, in laws, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. Blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas, Christ’s birth, with the knowledge of what that means in the bigger picture… the picture that includes the Easter story and the hope we have in Jesus.
On Christmas Eve, we went to church followed by Mrozik (your Grandma Dertien’s side) family time at Aunt Barb’s house. There was lots of food and laughter. You’ll learn that that’s pretty typical for when this family gets together. Always a good time! You opened your first Christmas presents there. You weren’t completely into tearing open presents, but you did great for your first try!
On Christmas day, after breakfast, we opened presents. You got three presents from Mommy and Daddy. Three is not an arbitrary number. When you open gifts, we want you to think of why we have Christmas. The real reason is because of Jesus’ birth. We do three gifts to remind you that the wise men brought Jesus three gifts. Midday, we went to Papa and Grandma Cumings’ house. We ate, opened stockings and opened gifts. You especially enjoyed the books that you got there. You and your cousin Keagan got several matching gifts. It’s so fun! Can’t wait for you two to wear some of your outfits together! Then we visited with the family. Later we went to Grandpa and Grandma Dertien’s house. You got to see Aunt Jan, Aunt Sandy,and Daddy’s cousin Mark. After eating a yummy dinner, we opened presents. By this time, you are officially spoiled by family that loves you bunches and bunches. You were getting fussy by the end of the day, but did a really great job for being up late two nights in a row!
We have many great memories from your first Christmas. We look forward to continue the current and making more traditions in years to come! We love you!
Love, Mommy (and Daddy too!)
For your 19th week of life, we went to the hospital to visit Grandpa Dertien several times. Daddy spent pretty much every day there, but we got to visit a little bit too. Besides seeing Daddy and Grandpa there, we got to see Uncle Doug (you met him for the first time!), his friend Kim, Aunt Barb, and of course Grandma Dertien. Momma also dragged you around to finish our Christmas shopping.
Some photos from week 19:
For your 20th week of life (last week), we visited the hospital too, but thankfully, Grandpa Dertien got to go home on Wednesday. On Monday, you, Daddy and I went to visit Santa. You sat on his lap with no crying. You did, however, pull out a big clump of Santa’s beard. We had your picture taken while he was holding you and it shows you holding on to a curl of his beard. This made Daddy and Momma laugh a lot.
I will tell you more about your first Christmas in another entry. But to sum it up, we are so lucky to have such a wonderful family. Especially you! We enjoyed your first Christmas immensely!
The day after Christmas, we mostly relaxed at home. You slept a ton to make up for such action packed days. When you weren’t dozing, we spent time together playing with your new toys. (Special thank you to Daddy for his first efforts at putting together your toys! )
You amaze us every day with what you are learning! As of last week, you were eating cereal three times a day. You also are starting to pull up onto your knees when you are in your crib. It won’t take too much more for you to crawl, it seems! You are more and more steady sitting on your own. You aren’t sitting up without something around you, but we know it won’t be long.
We feel especially blessed this Christmas season… especially to have you in our lives! We love you very much!
Love, Mommy and Daddy
Photos from week 20:
Sneezing while eating cereal is messy!
Your 18th week was somewhat eventful. For example, you survived your first blizzard. Okay, I don’t think it was really that bad, but then again, we didn’t leave the house for a few days! Daddy was out of town for five days. Actually, he was more than out of town; He was out of the country. Daddy went to Finland for work. We missed him a lot, but luckily time went pretty quickly.
While Daddy was gone, you had a doctor’s appointment. You continue to be in the upper percentiles for your height and weight. You received several shots. You handled it a bit better than the last time. You got all red and screamed, but you bounced back faster this time. It didn’t seem like you were cranky or restless like before. You did sleep really well though… so maybe that’s a side effect to some people. I figured that was a bonus for mom! After your doctor’s appointment, we went home and didn’t leave for literally three days. It snowed and was icy from what I understand, but we survived just fine. Friday, we went to Aunt Julie’s house to babysit your cousins. It was busy taking care of you and Keagan (10 months old). I learned that there really is a reason why God doesn’t let people have babies less than 10 months apart!! We had fun though. I am so looking forward to seeing you and Keagan running around together. And Kennedy will be in the mix too, I am sure. She’ll be leading the fun! Saturday, we got to see Kennedy dance in her holiday recital. So cute! You cried most of the time, though, so we had to watch from the very back. After the recital, we went to visit Grandpa Dertien in the hospital. (We love you and are praying for you Grandpa!!).
You found your feet a couple times last week. You are teething. We had to give you some pain relief a few times. You certainly like biting on anything possible. You started cereal last week. The first few days you did well, but it was not totally smooth sailing. However, after a few days you were really getting the hang of things. It’s amazing how fast you caught on! Now we can hardly feed you fast enough!
Christmas is coming quickly and we can’t wait to see how everything goes! We love you more than we ever could have imagined!
<3, Mommy & Daddy
Last week you celebrated your 4 month birthday on Saturday.
It was a busy week. On Wednesday, you went to Detroit with Daddy and Mommy to visit your new friend, William. This was your second trip to the Detroit area. You were such a good girl on the road trip. Unfortunately, you didn’t get to meet William yet because of the rules at the hospital, but I know you are looking forward to playing with him soon. He is smaller than you were at birth by almost two pounds. Even so, I already found it hard to remember you being little. These four months sure have been a blur.
Thursday, Aunt Kara came over to hang out with us. You sat with her for a while which you both seemed to enjoy. Also last week, Momma subjected you to some Christmas shopping. We go for short trips, but you have put up with it very well!
Thursday night and Friday we got your first snow. It was late in the season for the first snow, but it made up for it in volume. Daddy said it was at least 12 inches of snow at our house. You don’t seem to be phased by it. You have, however, been enjoying looking at the Christmas tree all lit up and sparkly.
Friday you showed Momma and Daddy how good your coordination is getting. I put you on your play mat on your belly. I put a few toys around you. Up until that time, you hadn’t grabbed any of your toys while laying on your belly. This time, you grabbed your jitterbug rattle and put it right in your mouth. I had to go and get your Daddy to see! Later that night, our friends Joel & Christine came over to visit. You were such a charmer for our guests. You behaved very nicely.
Saturday night, Grandma Dertien came to stay with you for a little while so Momma and Daddy could go out with some friends. You were pretty fussy and we all figured your fussiness was from teething. (Dr. Maki confirmed that you were teething a few days later) But you and Grandma both enjoyed the visit.
You enjoy reading books and singing. You like sitting in the bumbo chair in front of the toys hanging from the playmat arch. Your links are your favorite toy since they fit in your mouth the best. Other teething toys are still tough for you to get in your mouth, but you are improving every day.
We love you very much! <3, Mommy & Daddy
Our little over achiever continues to excel! Her pediatrician said she is thriving. She told us that Avery is doing “six month old tricks” like standing to her feet while we just hold her fingers.
Avery is 14 lbs 10 oz and 25.5 inches long. This puts her in the 75th percentile for weight and the 90th percentile for length. Go figure… she’s tall so far!
Today, a new piece of furniture took its place in our home. The high chair! First of all, I am loving how cute it is. It coordinates quite well with our home. (Thanks Joe and Meagan!) Most of all, I am so excited for the milestone this chair represents. Our little girl is growing up! We put her in the chair right away to check it out. Daddy talked to her to comfort her. She likes sitting up a lot, so it was a pretty easy introduction.
Later in the day, it was time to really put the chair to work. Feeding time. Avery was going to have cereal for the first time. First, she thought the tray of the high chair was for gnawing on (like everything else. The Doctor confirmed today that she is teething!)
- I love how big the bib is on her!
Overall, Avery did quite well with the first try at eating cereal. We’ll continue feeding her cereal every night before bed. The doctor told us that this will help her to sleep through the night… the whole night. (fingers crossed here!)
Last week, Wednesday, celebrated 16 weeks of life. We thank God for you everyday!
Speaking of being thankful, last week was a BIG week for you! A week of several firsts. Much to Uncle Rob’s delight, you helped momma make your first pie. Okay, so you didn’t help and you didn’t eat it… but you were there! It was also your first Thanksgiving! We celebrated by going to Aunt Julie & Uncle Scott’s house. All of momma’s family was there except for your cousins Riley, Michael, and Bethany. You wore your bright pink tutu for the first time. Momma and Aunt Julie schemed and Keagan was wearing her tutu also. You were so cute together! Aunt Julie and I can’t wait until you can play together more. It’s very special to have a cousin your age to grow up with. You are very fortunate! After going to Aunt Julie’s, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Dertien’s. You saw your cousin Landon and his mommy, Aunt Barb, and Uncle Rob there too. You were such a good girl all day!
The next day, you joined a very long standing tradition. We went to choose your first Christmas tree! Papa Cumings came with us too so we could pick a tree for their house too. Momma and Papa have been picking out and cutting down a Christmas tree for as long as I can remember. So now you have joined. Daddy found a big, tall tree to bring home. We think the tree is about eleven feet tall. You seem enamored by the lights and all the sparkle.
This was your role in picking out the tree
Daddy with our tree. Sometimes we call him "Hercules"
You were happy to get out of the car and see all the action
You continue to work on your hand to mouth coordination. You try to put everything in your mouth… you just can’t quite get everything there yet. You started a new type of talking. It’s like you are crying and talking all at once. It’s very fun to listen to. It’s like you have so much to say but can’t get it all out yet.
We love you!
Mommy and Daddy
Avery and her cousin
Avery's first Thanksgiving
Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as we did!
James 1:17a - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…