Monday, January 25, 2010

The Climber

Let me just say that Avery was never a climber.  Looking back, Avery never did much of anything that she was not supposed to. :)  She never got into much and she certainly never climbed on everything like her sister does.  I hope the crib is not next!  Nevertheless, she does entertain us.  Here are a few pictures of her climbing and another couple of her other favorite thing to do…sit in things.  Whether it be a cake pan, a basket, or a box, if she can get her hiney in it…Bailey will sit in it!

Picture 243Climbing on a box at Christmas 

Picture 383Climbing on her new piano she got for her birthday 

Picture 392Climbing on top of a hat box (if it was open she would sit in it)

 Picture 410Again with the piano  :)

 Picture 448The girls loved having their own tubs to sit in.  Bailey sat in hers for a LONG time!

Picture 438Thinking she was so funny sitting in the lid drawer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bailey Mae is ONE YEAR OLD!!!!

We celebrated Bailey's first birthday with a bumblebee party! I thought of it after so many times of calling her a "busy bee." She is the busiest baby I know and gets into EVERYTHING! So the theme fit her pretty well. Here are the invitations we sent out.

Craig actually helped me make this birthday banner. It was minimal sewing and cutting letters on my Cricut.

Craig hung all of these balloons above the island and I thought they looked awesome.

The beehive cake was for all the guests. The hive was a yellow cake with buttercream icing and the bottom layer was chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. The little fondant bees were all around the hive and some were flying on the ends of floral wire.

This was Bailey's little smash cake. She LOVED it!

Enjoy looking at these bee cake pops because you will never see cake pops at one of my parties again. :) They were terribly time consuming and not easy. They turned out cute and tasted great, but I just can't justify the time it took next time!

Each family took home a goody bag of honey (what else?) surrounded by some yummy Bit O Honey candy. I haven't had this candy in years and it was SO GOOD!

Bailey did great making a huge mess of her cake which is of course what we all wanted to see! Check out these adorable messy cake pics for yourself!

More party pics:

On Bailey's actual birthday which was Thursday, January 14th, Avery and I sang "Happy Birthday" to Bailey with a candle in her banana pancake. Bailey LOVES bananas and calls them "nanas."

She could hardly take that knuckle out of her mouth.

Excuse the horrible singing...just enjoy a little one year old being serenaded by her mommy and sister. :)

Happy Birthday Bailey Mae! We love you so much!!!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lights at Rhema

Every year Rhema Bible College puts millions of lights all around their campus. It's amazing and if you've never been, you have to make it out there. They're on from Thanksgiving to New Year's and we finally made it out there on the second to the last day. Avery has been when she was a baby but of course doesn't remember it, so this was like new to her! She was in awe and especially loved the tunnel which is their main attraction. Now they even have the lights in the tunnel and the ones around it moving to the music that's playing. It really was incredible!

Bathrobe and Bunny Slippers

Getting into one of her favorite no-no places...the pantry!
It was a very cold December around here and one morning I had this little bathrobe over Bailey's pajamas. I remembered these adorable bunny slippers she had and good thing we put them on her because her toes were close to busting out of the end. I thought she looked so adorable and I had to document it with a post. Avery LOVES wearing a robe also and she puts it on over her pajamas pretty much every morning. She always has to pick out some fun socks (she has about 15 pair of different fun socks) to put on in the mornings and sometimes her slippers, too. We're a robe and houseshoe wearing family...what can I say? Even Craig likes to wear a robe in the winter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas 2009

OK you're in for a doozie of a post. Get ready to catch up on the Alexanders' Christmas of 2009. It was Bailey's first Christmas! She was really good to stay away from the tree for the most part. I was afraid she'd have the whole thing knocked over quick, but we spent some time trying to train her not to touch the tree and she did pretty well. Our tradition is the Saturday after Thanksgiving (and Sunday if needed), we get out everything from the attic and put the tree up and all other decorations. If possible, Craig tries to get the lights up that same weekend. Here's a slideshow of us decorating. (Remember you can always click on the slideshows to see them bigger.)

A week before Christmas we headed down to Nona and Pop's to spend some extra time there before Christmas. We had planned to come home on Christmas Eve, so we had our Christmas morning with them on the 23rd. That way we could relax and not be rushed to leave. The girls (and Craig and I) always have a wonderful time there and always hate to see our time end.
My mom worked so hard this year on special presents for the girls. She handmade them each a Raggedy Ann doll. They are so precious and are total keepsakes for them to keep forever. The other totally awesome gift was a giant dollhouse that she and my dad made together for the girls! My mom made one for my sisters and I when we were young and several years ago at a garage sale, my mom sold it! She is a total purger and doesn't hang on to many things. (She'll tell you the same.) Anyway I warned her a while ago that since she now has two granddaughters, she was going to have to build them a dollhouse just like it since she sold the other one. I guess she listened! This one is great!! It's taller than Avery so I know they will play with it for many years to come. I wasn't really wanting Avery to get into the whole Barbie thing, so we found the Barbie Happy Family on Ebay and we're going that route instead. :)
We got to spend time with Aunt Jenna and Aunt Staci while we were there and the girls always love getting some lovin' from their aunties. The girls were totally spoiled ROTTEN while we were there not only from Nona and Pop, but from their aunts, their great-grandparents and even MY aunt and uncle. Seriously, our car was packed top to bottom, and side to side in the back end with every nook and cranny filled around our seats. We obviously had to leave the dollhouse and other big gifts to be brought up later.
All right, here's the best Christmas story of the year. Not. We knew there was a chance of a snowstorm on Christmas Eve in most of Oklahoma and definitely Tulsa. Well, come on. How many times does it actually do what the weatherman says? Hardly ever. We decided to leave on Christmas Eve as planned to head home. We left at 2 pm expecting to get home around 6:30 pm. After we'd been driving for about 3 hours, the storm hit. Not just snow but sleet, too. Bailey had leaked out of her diaper and I had to change her diaper in the McDonald's on the turnpike with no dry pants to put on her unless I wanted to dig under the mountain of stuff in the back. I didn't. So I wrapped her in a blanket and ran through the sleet with her pantless. None of us had coats on (again they were buried). The storm was getting worse and worse and we were driving about 20 miles per hour on the turnpike. Craig had to stop every 15 minutes or so to scrape ice off of the windshield. I was getting really worried. When we left that McDonald's we got something for the girls to eat and Craig and I planned to eat at home because we thought we'd be there in an hour. Ha ha. When we were a little over 20 miles from our house, we came to a complete stop behind traffic. Turns out a semi had jack-knifed on the turnpike and traffic was totally blocked. We. Couldn't. Move. It was CHRISTMAS EVE PEOPLE! Of course Craig (always the picture of calm) never showed he was bothered. He just patiently talked to people around us and scraped the windshield ever so often. We had the defroster on high to help keep the windshield de-iced so we had to roll the windows down a little because we were boiling! Avery kept crying and saying she wanted to go home. She thought WE were in a wreck and not just behind a wreck. Bailey cried and cried until we got her out of her seat and then squirmed so much we finally put her back in her seat and she fell asleep...thank the Lord. I was almost in tears thinking we could possibly spend our whole night on that turnpike. Finally wreckers came and cleared the wreck. We sat there for 3 whole hours. Once we got to go, there were cars littered along the roadway all the way home...tons of them. Thank goodness for our 4 wheel drive. Craig's dad and brother had just shown up on the scene to rescue the girls and I when we finally started to move. They escorted us home and helped unload the car. It was 11:30 pm. We had planned to get home at 6:30 pm but that didn't quite work out. I am thankful we were not hurt and that we didn't have to stay there all night. It was pretty scary, though. Needless to say, we basically put the girls in bed, scarfed down what little was in our pantry and tossed the girls' presents under the tree. No putting cookies out for Santa, no finishing up that last Christmas present that I hadn't yet completed, and no Christmas breakfast for us. We had been gone for a week and had NO groceries. So needless to say it wasn't the ideal way to spend our Christmas Eve. Don't get me could have been a lot worse and I am so thankful for God's hand of protection. But I hope we never go through anything like that again...and on Christmas. The next morning we were exhausted, but the girls woke up like usual of course so up we were. The Christmas pajamas were dirty, and Avery wanted to wear her new Minnie Mouse pajamas from Mimi anyway, so Bailey got hers on to match. I can't believe we only took 3 measley pictures on our own Christmas morning with our girls, but that's it. Craig did video a lot more so we have that. Avery got a tub of dress up things, a sleeping bag I made her, and a stocking full of goodies. Bailey got a new growth chart I painted for her and some goodies in her stocking as well. I also made both of the girls sock monkeys. Later (like 2 weeks later) we found a scooter for Avery in the garage that Santa had forgotten all about! :)
Not long after we had had our own Christmas morning, we called Grandma and asked if it was ok to crash her house for some food. You know not many places are open on Christmas Day and like I said--we had NO food! So we spend the rest of the day over there and some aunt, uncles, and cousins all showed up throughout the day. The kids (ok and adults) opened their stockings that night, but we waited until the next morning for presents...yes, our 3rd Christmas morning! Grandma always makes sausage eggs and biscuits. And the obligatory sweet roll which was especially good this year! If you don't know what that is, it's a tradition in the Alexander house. This is not her recipe, but you can see a picture of what it looks like here. I have only mastered it once but I am going to try again next year. Once again, the girls cleaned up. They got a lot of much needed clothes. Avery got books, puzzles, and games. She is really into games and I enjoy playing them with her. Bailey got many cute, cute baby toys and she has had a lot of fun playing with everything. I am so thankful for how much our family is loved and it is so true when I say that we were all spoiled completely rotten this year! We are so truly blessed.

I won't go into all the details of our crazy Alexander Christmas. Let me just say that when 10 adults and 8 kids all get mixed up in one house for about 3 days, chaos can occur. Ribs can get cracked, lips can get nicked with razors, Grandpas can get stuck in grocery store parking lots, kids can almost get frostbite, and stomach bugs can cause throwing up. Ahhh, it was a Christmas to remember.
On a happier note, the snow was incredible and I enjoyed having the first white Christmas I can ever remember! Bailey Mae, your first Christmas was a white one! The kids (and dads and a couple moms) really enjoyed sledding and playing in the snow. Avery LOVES snow and was out like a trooper with all the big kids for all the time she was allowed. She went sledding with Craig and with me once. Unfortunately we went too fast and I rolled over her which caused her to faceplant into the snow. She didn't really want to sled with me after that...only Craig. OK I will end the biggest post I have ever written by saying Merry Christmas 2009! We can only pray Christmas 2010 is a little brighter!! :)

Avery's Letter

A little before Christmas, Avery was drawing at the table and told me she had drawn a picture for her friend Chloe. She insisted she wanted to mail it to her, so I encouraged her to add a letter with it. I spelled out the words she came up with and she wrote all the letters herself. I am so proud of her writing abilities at her young age and her reading ability is already out of this world for a girl not even 4 years old. I've always known this girl was a smartie, but she still continues to blow me away!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Week in Texas

A week before Christmas, we headed down to Texas to spend some extra time with my parents. A couple days after we got there, we went to pick up Staci at the airport. She got to fly down for a week so we made sure to overlap with her so we could all be together. We did a few fun things while we waited for the big day. Avery has to teach Bailey all of the things that you have to do when you go to Nona and Pop's house. For example, you have to dig in the diggy dirt, ride the little bike all around the house as fast as you can, get up at 7:00 and get in the bed with Nona and Pop and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on their TV, play in the button box (well Bailey can't do that one yet, she would definitely eat them.), and the list goes on and on. One new thing we did this time that my parents have been meaning to do for Avery for a while was to go on a hayride! My dad hooked up his hillbilly trailer (seriously, it's the pickup bed of an old truck with a trailer hitch added to it--HILLBILLY! If we weren't out in the country where no one could see us, I would be so embarrassed! He does have other real trailers, thankfully. :) Love you, Dad.) Anyway the hayride was fun and after that, Craig and I got to ride the four wheeler around the land. Craig and Avery usually do this or Craig by himself, but this time I got brave and let Craig take me where he wanted. He went faster than I usually let him, but I will admit--it was pretty fun. Mostly I just like pretending we're teenagers again since we get to sit really close and I am holding onto him for dear life. We saw all of my grandparents and they got to love on the girls. We always have the best time at my parents' house, but as usual it goes by WAY too fast! I will tell about the rest of the week in the Christmas post.

Hayride on the hillbilly trailer. It was pretty cold!

Even Mimi braved it and went on the hayride!

Our 4-wheeler ride. I might have felt like a teenager, too bad I don't look it. :)
Bailey's first time to sit on Pop's tractor. It's a big deal. It's tradition.

Trying on Pop's cap. Can this girl get any cuter? Seriously.
Nona and Avery showing Bailey how to dig in the diggy dirt.
Mimi and Paw-Paw playing with Bailey.
Mimi loves her great-granddaughters.


Well apparently these are the only 3 pictures I took on Thanksgiving! We stayed in Tulsa this year and had a nice relaxing day spent at Craig's parents with his brothers, their wives, and their kids. It's a full, crazy house when all 4 of the brothers and their families are all over at his parents' house, but in a way, I love it. The kids love playing together and I love visiting and eating--and boy, did we eat! There's always way too much food so we munch and munch and then eat more of it for dinner. In between that, we're all in and out getting slices of this dessert or that dessert. It's fun and so begin the holiday pounds... :)

I still can't get over how much these two look alike. Ashton is still a tad taller but not by much. Everyone who sees them together says they could definitely be siblings!
We actually busted out a puzzle in the middle of the floor during the football game. SOME of us aren't die hard football fans no matter which game is on, but there aren't many of us. I got the best brother of the four of them--he doesn't really care that much about football. Oh yes, I got the best one. :)
When Bailey woke up from her afternoon nap, she actually sat very still in Grandpa's lap for like 30 whole minutes! Then Grandma got her and she sat with her for the longest time, too! I guess she was mesmerized by all the football! Grandma, this might be your football girl.

Gingerbread Men

This year we did something new and I think it might be a new tradition! A few of Avery's cousins got to spend some extra time at our house the few days before Thanksgiving. Craig had been asking me to make gingerbread cookies for a while so I thought this would be a good occasion. I gathered together a lot of different decorating things like different sprinkles, raisins, mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, etc. Avery and I made the dough ahead of time but the kids helped me roll them out, cut them, and bake them. Ashley and I piped on some frosting while the other kids put on the decorations. It was really fun and I think the cookeis turned out so cute! We will definitely have to do this again!

Avery's SS Class Sings

Well again this year, on the night of the Harvest Banquet at church, Avery's Sunday School class sang a couple of songs in front of the church. They sang Jesus Loves Me and The B-I-B-L-E. Let me just say I was SO relieved this year when Avery actually sang! If you'll remember, last year she just stood there and stared and didn't sing a single word! I was aggravated mostly because she knew every word to those songs. But thankfully this year she came through and sang really well! Actually they all did. I guess one year makes a big difference. Here are a few shots of the kids. Unfortunately the video we took was on our video camera so there are only pictures to put on here.

Here are the kids waiting for church to start so they can sing!

Cheesing it up before the songs.

They did really well! I was proud!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Avery's Dancing

Avery is quite the silly dancer when she gets into it. I hope she doesn't get mad later on when she is older, but I have to post these videos of her dancing. One of them is sideways, I'm sorry. Later when Craig finds the right program, I will turn it and repost. But for now I have to plunge forward in my blog updating!!

This song is a YouTube video "Crazy Frog." It's been one of Avery's favorites to watch and dance to since she was a baby...weird, but she loves it! Check out this fancy footwork...and Avery, when you read this one day...I'm sorry. :)

This dance is mostly to document the flower pajamas, tutu, and sparkly Sunday shoes all together in one outfit! It also might bore you unless you are one of Avery's grandmas. :) I thought it was a cute little dance with some hiney-shakin' and hopping-on-one-foot thrown in for fun... Again, Avery, I'm sorry...I love you :)

Bailey's Dedication

On November 15, 2009, we dedicated Bailey to the Lord. Craig and I vowed to raise her in a Godly way and to do everything in our power to turn her heart towards God. We love this little girl so much and our prayer is that she (and Avery, too) would come to know the Lord at a young age and that it would be genuine. We pray they will follow the Lord all of their lives and never turn from Him!

That morning at church, with most of our family in attendance, Craig and I with the girls went up on the stage. Pastor Rick said some nice things about us and Mr. Jamie our children's minister presented Bailey with a gift. She was given her own New Testament and a letter that Bailey is not to open until she is 18! Afterward, all of our parents joined us for lunch at our house. It was a fun day and one we will always remember!

Bailey and her Push Toy

When I first got this out for Bailey a couple of months ago, she really was not into it. You can see in the first picture she was getting frustrated and didn't want to mess with it. I am really surprised she was not walking early. As busy as she has always been, and since she crawled so early (army crawling at 5 1/2 months), I really thought she would walk early as well. But she hasn't yet. She can now walk with her push toy pretty fast. So fast that she keeps running into walls and I have to help her get it straight again. Lately she has been standing up a lot on her own and she'll lean forward and put her foot out like she's going to take a step, then plop down. She doesn't have the confidence yet to walk, but I have no doubt it's just around the corner! She will walk really well on her own if she has just one of my fingers to hold on to. I can't wait!