26 March 2009

Four weeks already?!?!

I can't believe Avery is one month old already! To celebrate the occasion, I took her to the pediatrician for a weight check. The biggest drawback to breastfeeding is that I don't know how much Avery is eating. So the only way to be sure she's getting enough milk is to do a weight check. I was hoping she would be back to her birth weight. But instead, I was pleasantly surprised that Avery weighed 8 pounds! So I guess breastfeeding is working for both of us! This weekend, we had two baby showers. The hosts of these showers wanted Avery to attend, so we had planned to wait until after she was born to have these showers. Now I think this is the only way to have a baby shower, with the guest of honor in attendance! We played Pass the Baby at each shower so people could spend time with Avery. She was very well behaved. I think she enjoys being held by so many people who love her! Here are pictures of Great Aunt Pauline and Grandma Hromada holding Avery. I haven't seen the photos from the other shower, but trust me that all of those kind ladies enjoyed meeting Avery, too. Avery got so many adorable clothes at the showers. I can tell that people enjoy shopping for girls' clothes! Luckily, many of the clothes are too big for her now, which means she'll have plenty of clothes to grow into over the next year. Today she's wearing one of my favorite outfits from one of the showers. I guess ladybugs are a popular theme in girls' clothes right now. And I love them! Avery has been enjoying her swing lately. Chris captured these photos of her sleeping in it one afternoon. And one last milestone. Yesterday, we had our first official family photo. In honor of our church's 125th anniversary, we're creating a history book of our church, which will include photos of current members and attendees. The original photo sessions were in January and February, and make-up dates were offered in March. But we scheduled our session in March so Avery could be included in the picture, too. She did a great job! We got some good pictures of her, including a little smile. And she didn't start crying until after we took the last picture! We'll post the final results after we receive our copies in a few weeks.

19 March 2009

The National Chris Clark Holiday

Today Avery and I are enjoying the National Chris Clark Holiday with Daddy. What? Your boss didn't give you the days off in honor of this sacred basketball holiday? For the past 11 years, Chris has taken off the Thursday and Friday of the first round of the men's NCAA tournament. This tradition started the year following Bryce Drew's fabulous shot in Valpo's improbable victory over Ole Miss. Chris missed that fantastic ending because he was at work. After that, he vowed never to miss another spectacular ending again. Thus began the National Chris Clark Holiday. In honor of the holiday, Chris watches 48 games over four days (men's NCAA only, not including NIT, women's NCAA, Pacer and high school games) while eating the official foods of the holiday: pizza and wings...and Pepcid. Last year, he watched all or part of 65 games in four days. Crazy, I know. But it's something he looks forward to each year. He also creates about five different brackets in free online pools. Being the statistician he is, Chris has kept track of all of his results in both paper form and an Excel spreadsheet. He has his results from 1991 forward, minus one year that got lost along the way, in the paper format. (Unfortunately, all of his brackets were victims of the Great Flood of 2008. But he'll never consider throwing them away.) The Excel spreadsheet includes his winning percentages from 1991 forward. All of this might seem a little neurotic or just plain strange. But I love his passion for basketball. But it's a good thing I've got a busy weekend planned. While I like basketball, I can't take four straight days of nonstop games!

18 March 2009

First boys' regional

Chris was honored with his first boys' basketball regional this year. Not only did he get assigned to a regional, he also got to officiate the final game! Chris' dad, my dad and I went to the game while the grandmas and Aunt Karen watched Avery. I was so excited to watch Chris at his last game of the season. And I admit I also was glad to have a few hours away from Avery! Because of Chris' connections, we got the VIP treatment. First we got in the game for free, thanks to the athletic director's generosity. Then we got tickets to the hospitality room where we enjoyed homemade lasagna and desserts. According to my dad, the only thing missing was a limo! It was a really exciting game -- talented players, a close score all the way to the end and a crowd that was really into the game. I could tell that Chris was having a blast. This is what he lives for! The gym was nearly completely full with excited, screaming fans. With every call, half of the crowd hated Chris and his partners while the other half loved them. But that's the way it always is! After one of Chris' calls, one of the players shared his opinion under his breath along with a few choice words. Chris whipped around, wagged his finger in the player's face and told him not to speak to him that way. Everyone in the gym knew that player said something wrong and that Chris was in charge! This game was a great way to end another great season for my favorite referee!

Catching up

Avery has been busy the past few days! She's learning to enjoy tummy time.
She's even lifting her head! Avery turned 3 weeks old on Saturday. From this picture, it looks like she wasn't very happy about getting one week older!
We made our first trip to church on Sunday. Avery pleased us by sleeping through the whole service. But each time she moved or made a noise, Chris checked on her because he was nervous that she was going to wake up. Let's hope she is this calm and relaxed every week! :o)

When I checked on her during one of her naps yesterday, I saw that she had rolled herself onto her side. I was a little freaked out that she did that on her own! But I know it's OK. I'll just keep checking on her to make sure she doesn't roll over too far! And Avery sends special birthday wishes to her Aunt Karen!

12 March 2009

10 March 2009

Latest pictures

Apparently our blog has become the Avery Picture Show. I'm sure most of our readers don't mind seeing so many pictures of Avery since many of you haven't met her in person yet. So here are some pictures from the past few days.
Listening intently to Mommaw Clark. Avery is now two weeks old!
Daddy and Avery in their IU blankets.
She already loves her Daddy!
Avery has been smiling already. Here's our first attempt at capturing it on camera.
This one is better. If only Mommy could be fast enough to get the photo in focus! Aunt Karen has become Avery's official videographer. Here are two cute videos of Avery in action.

06 March 2009

Trying something new

Do you know what this is?

This is what 100 cloth diapers look like. Today we started using cloth diapers along with a local diaper service. We got a brief refresher course last night since the first time we learned about the diapers we didn't have a baby!

For only $80 a month, we'll receive 100 diapers each week plus we don't have to deal with laundering the dirty diapers ourselves. This first week might be a little challenging as we adjust to using the cloth diapers. But we feel pretty good about our decision. Here is Avery wearing her first cloth diaper:

The cover is a little big for her, so I hope she grows into it quickly. This diaper looks huge on her!

We'll keep you posted on this new part of parenthood!

03 March 2009

A few milestone pictures

Avery's first bath started out well enough. But after she realized what was going on, she decided that she didn't like it so much. When all was said and done, the experience wasn't so bad after all.
We decided to try a few naps in her crib. She did pretty well sleeping in a new environment. In a few weeks, we'll stop using the cradle and move her permanently to the crib.
Avery's first tummy time. Hopefully the next attempt will be better!

02 March 2009

Avery's first doctor's appointment

Avery had her first doctor's appointment this morning. Here are her stats: Length today: 19.5" Length at birth: 20" or 19" (depending on who you asked at the hospital!) Weight today: 7 lbs. 3 oz. Weight at birth: 7 lbs. 10 oz. Weight when we left the hospital: 7 lbs. 1 oz. The doctor said as long as Avery is eating well, we can let her sleep longer through the night. Until now, we've been waking her every three hours for feedings. But the doctor said it's OK to let her sleep four or five hours at a time. That means we should sleep better, too. Whoo hoo! Right now, she's sleeping in her cradle. We're hoping that if she rests in the cradle during the day, she'll be more likely to sleep in it at night. I'm feeling optimistic about this week. I'm praying for a good week since Chris will head back to work next week. It's been so wonderful having him home. I hope I can survive without him!

01 March 2009

One week later

Here's what we learned during our first week with Avery: It takes awhile for newborns to "learn" to eat. This week we tried every trick in the book to get Avery to eat properly. Instead of sucking in, she likes to push out with her tongue. But after several tries, she finally got the hang of it. And now she's exclusively nursing. Let's hope she keeps up the good work! Avery loves her bouncer seat. She loves sleeping during the day and still hasn't figured out that she should sleep at night, too. So we're using this bouncer seat to help her sleep at night. Hopefully this will be a short phase. I really want her to use Grandpa Hromada's cradle! She'll make a great IU fan. After she survives this once-in-a-lifetime bad season, Daddy will teach her all the great things about IU basketball. Avery already has a great relationship with Chris. It didn't take long to wrap him around her little finger! And Daddy is good at changing diapers. Avery and I also survived our first night together while Chris was at a basketball game. Grandma and Grandpa Hromada and Aunt Karen kept us company for awhile. But then it was just the two of us until Daddy got home. And we did pretty well by ourselves! Since my belly pictures are done, we'll start taking milestone photos of Avery. Here's the first one: Thanks to everyone for your prayers, meals and gifts. We still have a lot to learn, but this first week as a family has been amazing!