Thursday, December 25, 2008

St. Louis: Xmas in St. Louis

One of Avery's favorite gifts was an electric drum keyboard from his Uncle Donnie who was kind enough to demonstrate:

St Louis: Avery at New Places for Fun

In the dozen or so times that Carolyn and I have gone together to St. Louis to visit her family, we typically end up going to the same places (the casino boats, shopping at the same old malls, etc.) and doing the same things. This time, especially since Avery is older and can do more things, we decided to make a point in exploring new parts of St. Louis. St. Louis is a very family-friendly city with lots of things to do with kids, many of which are FREE or cost very little.

We took Avery twice to "The Magic House" which is a children's museum. It is very toddler-friendly, and Avery had a fantastic time:

This is Avery's "girlfriend" from the Magic House. She is the same age as Avery, just born a couple of weeks earlier. She got into Cinderella's carriage with Avery, and they were fascinated with each other! The flirting began instantly; she hugged Avery, and he hit her but then smiled at her (sending mixed messages, he's such a boy!). We were dying laughing at the cuteness (her parents and us)!

Melanie and Avery showing their Marquette pride:

We LOVE a kitschy, cheesy lights display, so the one at the Jellystone park was perfect! We drove through to admire all of the old lights display with old cartoon icons like Scooby Doo and the Flintstones. Avery got another opportunity to sit on Santa's lap, but he really was not interested in doing so.

Gogo, Carolyn, Aunt MoMo and I took Avery to the Arnold Rec Center to go swimming. This pool was amazing: there was a fun water slide (for big kids and adults -- Carolyn and I LOVED it), a "Lazy River" part, a kids' section with smaller slides and sprinklers to play in, as well as a regular part for lap swimming. Avery hadn't been swimming in a long time, and he was so excited as soon as he saw the pool to get right in, and he did NOT want to leave!).

The St. Louis Zoo has a Christmas lights display and we walked around (Avery mostly rode on Carolyn's shoulders), rode a carousel, and saw penguins with aunt MoMo and her friends:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas at home

This vacuum cleaner is absolutely Avery's favorite gift from Santa:

Avery's gift to us; himself:

Luckily, Carolyn and I got each other gifts as well. I got her a waterproof Mp3 for swimming (okay, she actually got it last week because she had guessed what it was and wanted to go swimming. It works great and she loves it). I also got her a new Jodi Picoult book, the new Dido CD, and a necklace with a 3-diamond pendant (one representing her, one representing me, and one for Avery: awwwwwww).
Carolyn TOTALLY surprised me and got me an "iTouch" which I didn't even know about -- it's like an iPod but fancier and like an iPhone except for not a phone. She also got a great speaker system to hook it up to so we can listen to music and an iTunes gift certificate so I can buy some new songs. She also got me new pajamas from Lands End which I LOVE. So yeah, I think we all cleaned up nicely :)

Now off to St. Louis! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah to my folks and Hannah. And Happy Birthday too, Bubbe!

Holiday Party at Daycare!

Yesterday was the last day of daycare for everyone until Jan. 5! I had the day off except for a dentist appointment, and Carolyn ended up working just half a day due to the snow, so we decided just to take Avery to daycare for their holiday party. All of the children (well, their parents) were instructed to dress in nice, holiday clothes, and Santa Claus (the grandfather of one of the children) came promptly at 10:30 to distribute gifts for all of the children! Avery got a baby Elmo doll, but when Belen noticed that he was more interested in the cars that the older boys received, she said that Santa had extras and got Avery a car as well. Isn't that nice?!

Hey, who's at the door? Could it be Santa?!?!

I got a hug from Ian!:

Carolyn helped Maeve to open her present:

Avery showing off his two gifts from Santa (Elmo and the car):

New Things

We are getting ready for our drive to St. Louis but Carolyn is on-call until this afternoon, so to pass the time, I am going to update our blog with pictures from this week.

Avery had his 18 month appointment. He is over 37 inches tall and 35 pounds! That's a very big toddler, he is way off the charts now. But developmentally as well as physically, he is doing great! He is really only wearing 3T clothes now, and we had to get him new shoes (sizes 8 1/2 W and 9 regular). He also got a haircut this week to get handsome for Christmas. Clara, the Princess-Leah looking woman who cut his hair when he turned 1, was working when we went to get his haircut again. And he was VERY good and sat up straight and watched the Wiggles video while she cut his hair.

New puzzle from Bubbe (it used to be mine? Rachel's? Hannah's?):

New shoes along with his handsome new 'do:

The pediatrician said we really need to be brushing his teeth twice a day; lately, Avery has been resisting tooth-brushing, so we thought a fun new brush might help. This brush plays, of all things, "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" when you brush. But it seems to work!

new hat, scarf, mittens for Mr. Avery: