MJ is now 6 months old! She started this month by saying her first words! The weekend before hitting 6 months, I heard her say "ba-ba" while we were lying in bed one night. I thought it must have been a coincidence, but I had been asking her if she wanted a ba-ba then she said it. A day or so later, I was making a bottle in the kitchen as she sat in her seat on the table. She was fussing a little because she was hungry, and I asked her if she wanted a ba-ba. She started saying it over and over, and I got the cutest recording of it! When I talk to her, it's like I can see her little wheels turning in her head. Her mouth tries to form the sounds that I am making. Just this past week she began to say "da-da" for Daddy. I figured it would be her first word, but it was her second-ha! Milly also cut two bottom teeth at the same time this month! She is not sitting up yet, but she is getting closer and closer to it. I stopped nursing recently, but MJ has done well on Enfamil Gentle Ease formula. She actually spits up a lot less than she used to, and it doesn't seem to cause her tummy issues thankfully. She loves eating baby food and does very well with a spoon. She really likes fruit, sweet potatoes, and squash. She is not a fan of the green ones right now. MJ got a red, bumpy rash all over her cheeks, arms and legs. She has had beautiful skin up to now, and this came with a terrible, blistery diaper rash too. The pediatrician told us he felt it was due to something irritating she'd come in contact with and suggested we change detergents, lotions, etc.. so we have been doing that and sending our laundry through the rinse cycle twice. I was afraid she'd come down with something or had a reaction to the food or formula, but apparently not. She seems to be clearing up now. Her red hair is beginning to grow in again, and I am still curious to see what she will look like with a head full! MJ loves her stationary play station and all of her teething toys. Her favorite one seems to be the banana! She is still full of expression and has a screaming cry that sounds like a horror movie-ha! She has a red-headed temper, but is normally happy-go-lucky. She moves from side to side as if she is dancing, and she grins and laughs all the time. I love being this sweet baby's mom. I say all the time that she is the perfect third child because as hard as it is with 3 children, she is an "easy" baby. God has truly blessed me with 3 beautiful, personality-filled children!
Avery went to Carter's skating party and had a blast with her friends! She loves to skate and has gotten so much better since last year. Carter's mom took these cute pics, so I borrowed them from her.
Miss Ashton and Mr. Biggs came to watch B-Man play some t-ball. He played his best game ever. He was the first one to grab his glove and get on the field, he hit the ball well, he went after the ball when it was hit, and he paid attention with less silliness! I guess he wanted to impress them! We love those two and truly appreciate their friendship and the way they love our children.
Avery's 1st Gymnastics Exhibition
Bryce had the cutest end of the year program at Hinds. It is crazy how much he has learned this year. He has the sweetest friends, and he adores his teacher, Mrs. Kim, and all of the staff there. The kids sang lots of songs, and Bryce had a part he memorized that he performed perfectly. I was in awe of how the kids sat through it and waited patiently for their turn. They were so cute!
My baby boy is getting so big! He is very dramatic, intuitive and smart. His use of big vocabulary makes me laugh, and I am shocked all the time that he actually knows what the words he uses mean! I enjoy this age with he and Avery because for the most part, they play and get along so well together. They are very close, and I hope they stay that way. Bryce sleeps with Avery in her room, and we have had so many more nights of rest since they started that! The funny thing is that Bryce uses it to manipulate Avery now! He always says, "That's fine, I just won't sleep with you tonight then!" She tends to give him whatever he wants when he does that which is pretty funny because she is so hard-headed! This boy tells me, "I love you, Mommy" several times a day, and he gets out of bed multiple times to tell me, "Good night" and give Milly and me hugs and kisses. He also says, "Milly is the best baby" all the time. He picks with Avery and aggravates her a ton, but he adores his big sister. They are very attached to one another. Year number 4 is flying by, but we have one more school year until Kindergarten. I plan to make the most of it, and I love my boy BIG!
These two cannot be serious! Mrs. Kim must separate them to get anything done at school- ha! Edison and Bryce are best buds!
Bryce always seems to remember Mrs. Kim in his "night-night" prayers. He thanked God for her and all the "stuff" she's taught him the other night.
During Bryce's program, I noticed Avery's eye swelling. Jake took her to see Dr. VN, and she ended up having cellulitis in the surrounding area of her eye! She also had a tear from rubbing it so much. She had to cover it with a patch for 24 hours, take antibiotics and use eye drops, but it cleared up pretty quickly. It scared me! A few days later, Bryce ran into something while running at school and ended up with a shiner! I know people in the grocery store thought I abused my children! Bryce was pretty proud of his "squishy" eye!
Avery insisted that they make me breakfast in bed, so I ended up with this for Mother's Day! She is so funny that when something happens one year, she feels like it has to happen every year. In the case of breakfast in bed, I am good with that!
Avery's First Grade Awards Day...
First Grade Singers...
Mrs. Johnson's Class...
Avery ended up with the Computer Award, All A Honor Roll, Reading Award, and a Music Award for 1st grade singers.
These boys have been so good to Avery this year! I wish they could always be in the same class! I hope they remain friends, and we can take a picture like this again their senior year!
Then there is this....my co-workers are amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better Kindergarten and 1st grade year for Avery or for me as a mom. The love given to my child has been genuine and so many heart-felt gestures have been extended to her. These people are beautiful inside and out, and I thank God for the blessing they have been to our family. We will really miss them next year!
Avery was picked as a "Super Star" for the 4th nine weeks, but she was home with GiGi after Awards Day. Mrs. McInnis, being the sweet, precious person she is, decided she needed to FaceTime Avery, so she wouldn't miss hearing her name called for a trophy. This is just another reason why I love these people so much! Avery was overjoyed, and she fell back on the bed giggling with excitement and surprise!
And there it is...the end of first grade. Avery ended the year with a 2.2 on STAR, all A's and reading around 80 cwpm. She has grown physically, mentally, and emotionally. She has given joy and been given joy. She has made an impact and she doesn't even know it. Life can be scary, but the part where God lets her life that he saved play out for me to see.....that is the good stuff. She surprises me, overwhelms me, teaches me, and makes me proud all the time. That saying, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened," is how I should be feeling! I can say that I have smiled more than I have cried which is a good thing! Years ago, before Avery was even a twinkle in my eye, I worked to become a teacher. One of the main reasons I wanted to do this job is so I could spend time with my own children one day. It has been an incredible thing to be close to Avery as she started school. I have been present for moments that I will always cherish. Some people look at me and think I have the strongest faith, but I will be the first to say that I struggle. Our pastor reminded us last week of how we need to look back and see God's faithfulness in our past. Pondering that this past week has been incredible. God is specific in His works, and he does things in such a mysteriously amazing way. When I connect the dots, things that seemed coincidental or insignificant become very pertinent events in the bigger picture. I see the beauty of how I ended up at Lower with Avery for two years and I am blessed beyond measure. Here she comes Northside! I hope y'all are ready for Avery Bell!
We finally got our house ready to go on the market! This has been a place full of emotions for us. We started our time here as a family of 3 and grew to a family of 5. We brought Bryce and Milly Jean home to this place. Jake made a life-changing decision to leave coaching while living here. We rented it out for a year and moved to Vicksburg and lost my dad and our angel baby while owning this home. The people who lived here during that time trashed it and took complete advantage of us leaving us bitter and angry for a time. So much has happened while living here, and I am forever changed by all the events that have taken place. We are busting at the seams here, and it is finally time to move forward to make room for our family. We also want to return to our Pearl community. After only 4 days on the market, our house went under contract! Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be just yet. The buyer didn't work out. On to the next one!
Not only is Avery moving on to Northside, I am moving on to something different too. For the first time ever, my main title will be "Mom." It is scary to think about moving to one income, but after facing some challenges with my own health and emotional state this past year, and after praying for guidance, we feel this is what God is encouraging me to do. I have worked one or multiple jobs at a time since I was a kid. Whether I was baby-sitting, working the ballpark concessions, hostessing, waiting tables, subbing, or teaching...I always had a job. Since MJ came into the picture and Jake has been traveling a lot with his job, my world has become much more hectic! Working full-time as a Kinder teacher and trying to be the mom I want to be is one word...HARD. I know it has taken a toll on me this year, and it is time to focus on my most important job in this world. I am excited, relieved and confused about how to feel all at the same time! I know in my heart this will be good! I look at my kids and know they deserve the best parts of me, and that is what they will be getting!
Happy Mother's Day!