Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Miss Averi ~ 18 Months Old

My little baby turned 18 months old on Friday! I seriously can't even believe how big she is. I just keep thinking about how little she was when we brought her home from the hospital. She was so little in my arms and her whole body didn't even lay across my body. But now when I hold my big 18 month old she hangs off both sides of my body. 

This girl knows how to eat! Her normal breakfast looks like 2-3 fried eggs, yogurt, half a can of fruit and milk. Can you say little piggy? When we get McDonalds she eats her whole cheese burger and usually half of mine (should would be more of mine but I stop sharing), plus her fries. She also loves shells and cheese. She is a little food moocher and always tries to steal ours. 
Averi loves playing outside. Whether we just for for a walk in the stroller, or when she gets to walk around, or if it is hot or cold out. She doesn't care, she just loves being outside. 

18 Month Stats:
Height: 33 1/4 inches tall
Weight: 28 pounds
Averi loves entertaining people • And loves doing everything by herself • She loves eating • Especially McDonalds cheese burgers • She is trying to use the potty • Averi loves playing with other kids her age and is very outgoing • She loves grandma and grandpa and loves Facetiming with them • She loves jumping up and down • Averi loves dancing and actually has some pretty cute moves • Her vocabulary is huge and she talks all day long • She loves blowing kisses to people • Her favorite animal is a dog but she loves making lion sounds • Averi has 12 teeth • She loves the color blue • Most days she thinks she is hilarious • 

Here is recap of her first 12 months!
(More 18 month photos at the bottom)

 This is what most of the photo shoot looked like. The only way we were able to get a few good photos is if we gave her a cell phone to play with. 

Averi turned one years old on July 27th! She is no longer my little baby. She is very determined and has the biggest personality. She is so curious and notices every little detail of things inside and outside. Averi is very stubborn and wants to do everything by herself. She wants to feed herself with a spoon, she has no time for diaper changes, she walks everywhere she goes now, she loves making a mess with all of her toys, she loves pulling out all of her books and reading them, and she loves teasing mommy and daddy. 

(More 12 month photos at the bottom)

12 Months Old
• Averi has really started walking. She is all over the place • She doesn't crawl at all anymore  She loves pointing at airplanes and makes an "oooooh" sound • She loves hugging her elephant stuffed animal • She is also starting to give us hugs • Averi is starting to hand us stuff when she knows she is not allowed to have something • She loves cell phones • Her favorite thing to do on walks is look at all the dogs • She loves shaking her head "no" when she doesn't want a certain food • Averi has started throwing tantrums • Her favorite thing to play with right now are balloons • She loves playing with balls also • Her hair is getting lighter and lighter • 
11 Months Old
• Averi loves walking while holding on to mommy and daddy's hands • She has taken two steps all by herself • She loves eating finger foods that she can feed herself • Averi loves shaking her head "no" when she hears the word no or don't • She has become very independent • She doesn't ever sit still • Averi has been trying to climb up everything • She gives mommy and daddy kisses • Averi loves waving hi and bye to people • She loves seeing daddy come home from work • She loves pointing at airplanes • Her binkies are her favorite thing to sleep with • She loves looking through books • Averi loves pulling out her sock and shoe drawer and throwing everything out of it • She loves putting on necklaces  
10 Months Old
• Averi has started dancing • She waves and smiles at everybody that says hi • She loves holding toys and dropping them on the ground "The Pick Up Game" • Averi has started growling when she doesn't like something we say like no • She loves shaking her head back and forth in the "no" motion   She loves throwing her ball and playing catch • Averi loves playing peek-a-boo • Her favorite game with daddy is chasing him and him chasing her • She is really starting to love stuffed animals • She loves walking around holding our hands • Averi loves eating finger foods 
9 Months Old
• Averi reaches out for us to pick her up • She has started drinking from a zippy cup from time to time • She still likes her bottle better though • Averi loves avocados now • She also loves french fries just like her momma • She loves looking at books and flipping the pages • Averi plays so well by herself...when I'm in the same room as her •  Her favorite thing to do is look out the front window • She loves saying, "dad, dada, and daddy" • Averi stands on her tippy toes when she can't quite reach something she wants • We went swimming this month and Averi loves the pool • She is trying to climb up everything • She is starting to say, "mmmm, mummm" • Averi just barely started standing by herself • 
8 Months Old
• Averi loves spitting • She loves standing • She loves walking across the furniture and is getting braver and braver • She has started alternating her legs when she kicks • Averi will finally laugh when we tickle her • She still loves food • She has quite the little 'big' personality • She plays really well by herself • She has started throwing little fits if I don't give her, her bottle the exact way she wants it • Averi loves going on walks and watching other kids play • She still only has her two bottom teeth  People say she is starting to look more and more like daddy • 
7 Months Old
•Averi loves smiling at anybody that looks at her • She is really crawling all over the house • She tries crawling up the stairs • Averi is pulling herself up onto everything • She loves standing while holding onto things • Averi has gained more balance and can sit all by herself without faceplanting it •  She LOVES carrots, spaghetting and butternut squash • She HATES her green veggies • She loves meal time • She says da daa da da da • Her favorite toy is plastic water bottles • Averi loves bath time  Daddy can get her happy and hyper • She has two teeth 
6 Months Old
•Averi still smiles all the time • She is starting to giggle more and more  Averi is crawling all over the house • She loves taking her toys and hitting them on the hardwood floor • Averi likes slapping things with her hands to feel things • She likes spitting up on the ground and playing in it before mommy can clean it up • Her two bottom teeth are coming in • Averi is sitting up all by herself • Her favorite toy is the diaper wipes packaging • She loves FaceTiming with grandpa, grandma, and Derek • Averi loves playing with mommy's water bottle 
5 Months Old
• Averi smiles all the time • She giggles a lot • Everything goes into her mouth • She loves chewing on her feet, toes, hands, fingers • The military jets that fly over our house always wake her up from her naps • Averi got her ears pierced • She loves sitting up like a big girl • We think she is teething but there are still no teeth • 
4 Months Old
• Averi was blessed this month • She got her first cold • She is really starting to play with her toes • Averi loves loves loves bath time • She really started laughing and giggling • Averi is starting to reach for everything • She is putting everything in her mouth • We still think she is teething but there are still no teeth • She is still rolling over only on her left side • Averi sleeps through the night most of the time...except when she is gassy • She scoots forward on her belly • 4 months was my favorite month •
3 Months Old
• Averi rolled from her back to her belly on her left side • She found her toes and holds them • She loves tummy time • She loves sitting up like a big girl and looking around • Averi went on her first vacation to grandma and grandpas house • She loves talking all the time • She loves playing during eating time • Her hair is getting longer • Averi is sleeping through the night • We think she is teething but there are still no teeth • Averi had her first Thanksgiving •
2 Months Old
• Averi started smiling this month • She is making all kinds of sounds • Her favorite sound is a "clicking" sound • She loves blowing bubbles • She loves bath time • Averi loves being outside • She has rubbed a bald spot on the back of her head • She won't take the bottle anymore • She is also fighting with daddy and won't let him hold her • Miss Averi has been sleeping through the night for the most part • She loves talking to mom and dad •

1 Month Old
• Averi holds her head up really well • she is following people and objects with her eyes • Averi wakes up 2-3 times a night to eat • she always has her hands up by her face • her belly button got a bacterial infection • she loves being held all the time •

18 Month Photos

XOXO ~ The Flints

Monday, January 30, 2017

Baby Sleeth

You guys this was such a fun photo shoot! Baby B is just so perfect with his tiny hands, toes, lips, nose, mouth and ears. I can't believe my little one use to be that little. 

I was really nervous about doing this shoot! Anybody who knows me knows that I don't really like newborns! For some reason they scare me. But I loved everything about this photo shoot. It was so much fun and this little guy was just too cute. 

He didn't know why mom and dad had him naked laying in blankets and trying to position him in different ways, all while he was hungry and tired. He also tried to get me with pee a couple of times but I seemed to dodge that bullet. 

This was such a fun experience and I definitely want to do more newborn photos.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Handy Tips to Help You Prepare for Winter Storms

Handy Tips to Help You Prepare for Winter Storms
By Christine H.

Some winter weather is magical and beautiful, but a winter storm warning can quickly turn into a nightmare. The tricky thing about winter storms is that most most of their danger is indirect… people die of exposure or hypothermia because they underestimate the storm, or winter driving conditions cause deaths and accidents. Additionally, lots of property damage is sustained during the course of a winter storm. Protect yourself, your house, and your family by following some smart precautions this winter:

Have a Well-Stocked House

The most important part of preparing for the possibility of a winter storm is to stock up your house. It makes the difference between a disaster and a cozy evening or two at home. Before a big storm, shelves at the store go empty all the time. So it’s best to be ahead of the curve and keep your house perpetually stocked for storms.

Some people are insanely good at keeping extra disaster essentials always on hand, with extra pantries for food storage and closets-ful of hurricane lamps and extra blankets. Others like to keep their life simple and only have enough possessions to pack in the car. But everyone should recognize the need for extra storage. So here are some easy tips to make it happen even for the earliest beginner:

  • Always have a few extra cans of your favorite soup on hand.
  • Keep easy shelf-stable high-energy foods around, like granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, and muesli.
  • Invest in an easy camp stove. That way, even if the power or gas goes out, you can still have a hot meal or tea.
  • Keep a few gallons of water per person in the pantry. Even if you don’t rotate it that often, it’s better than nothing in a pinch.

Don’t forget non-food essentials. Toilet paper, feminine hygiene items, and medications are all terrible to do without in a storm situation. And then there are emergency essentials, like candles, flashlights, multi-purpose tools, duct tape, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget extra blankets and cold-weather clothes, as well as rock salt or ice melt for the walkways.

Make Your Commute Easier

Most winter storms will be inconvenient, but they won’t shut everything down. You’ll still be able to get from place to place and the power stays on, but going out and about is scarier. Poor visibility, icy conditions, and slushy streets all contribute to a horrible commute and huge spikes in traffic accidents. Snow is great, until you have to drive in it.

You can make things better by taking some precautions. First of all, make your car ready for winter. Give it a tune-up, check the windshield wipers, and give yourself winter tires. All of these fixes will make it easier to drive in adverse conditions. For more ideas on how to prep your car for winter, check out this handy article. You should also have a winter emergency kit in your car, complete with extra blankets, kitty litter to help your tires get traction if they need it, and maybe sandbags to weigh down a light car. Have food and water on hand, as well as booster cables and an emergency flare.

Another way to make a winter commute easier is by keeping your car well-shielded from the elements when it’s parked at home. Most of us have had experience prowling around the neighborhood just so that our car would warm up enough that we could thaw out the windshield wipers from their icy cocoons and get them working before getting onto the freeway. An insulated garage is the best fix for this, and there are lots of ways that you can increase the insulation in your garage easily. This article has some great tips.
The last thing you can do to make your commute easier is to sign up for weather alerts on your phone. This will let you know when conditions are at their worst, and help you plan around the worst of the storm to get where you need to go.

The final word on the subject is to avoid driving through a storm when possible. If you just need to go to the corner store, just take a walk. Walking through a heavy snowfall is a much better experience than driving (as long as there’s not a lot of wind, that is).

Know How to Prepare Your House

If you live in an area with harsh winters, you probably already take certain precautions each winter. However, if you haven’t gotten around to it yet, here are some actions to take to prepare your house for winter:

  • Install storm-safe shutters, and insulate your windows with heavy insulating curtains and/or a plastic seal to keep freezing temperatures out.
  • If you go out of town, keep the thermostat at 55 degrees in your home to prevent frozen pipes.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year so that you can light a fire safely.
  • Know how to use your backup heating options safely. Charcoal stoves and heating appliances from the kitchen can contribute to carbon dioxide poisoning and other hazards.
  • Add weatherstripping around your doors and any other area that cold might leak in.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Birdwatching With Your Kids

Birdwatching with Your Kids
By Christine Hill

Have you ever been distracted by the beautiful plumage of a blue jay? Or seen your child’s fascination at the flight of a magpie, or the call of a mourning dove? Well, here’s a great family idea to foster your children’s interest and get them more involved in the wildlife around them: Birdwatching!

What’s so cool about birdwatching is that unlike other wildlife, birds often come to you. So if gathering up the kids in a car or taking nature walks is usually just too much for you, you can bring the wildlife to your own back yard instead.

Birdwatching is an easy at-home task that’s great for kids of all ages. And, you’ll find yourself learning a few new things yourself! Here’s a quick guide to beginning birdwatching with your kids.

Make your yard bird-friendly

There are tons of ways to attract birds to your yard. Although you’ll see a lot of the classic urban species at first, the more that you look, the more you’ll see rarer and shyer species. Here are four steps that will make the magic happen.

  1. Add a birdbath. The beauty of a birdbath is that it’s appealing to a lot of the smaller species that don’t scavenge as much. It also attracts all different kinds of birds. So if your bird feeder only has seeds, and you want to get a glimpse of swifts and warblers that only eat insects, you can draw diverse species in with a birdbath. This will be especially appealing to birds who stay during the winter months, since water sources are more scarce. However, in order to prevent damage to the birdbath and keep the water appealing to passing birds, make sure you maintain your fountain correctly in winter weather. This article has some tips for that.
  2. Add a birdfeeder or two. Different kinds of birds will be attracted to different birdfeeders, so look into a few different options. I’ve always liked the hummingbird feeders that offer sugar-water and tempt hummingbirds to linger long enough for children to get a good look. You might also look into some fun homemade varieties of bird feeders, simple enough that you can have children help, which will get them involved in the project from the get-go.
  3. Plant your yard with birds in mind. The best way to attract birds to your yard with plants is to plant native species. Birds will feel more at-home and familiar with these species which are already incorporated into the natural ecosystem. Beyond that, you can plant species that have berries and seeds that birds love. This includes juniper, sunflower, black-eyed susans, and berry bushes, among others.
  4. Make nesting materials available. This could be old yarn, sticks and leaves from yard cleanup, shreds of paper, and even hair (ew-but birds love it). During nesting season, this will attract birds to your yard and might even encourage one or two to set up their nests close enough for you to view!

Learn what you can
The next step of birdwatching is educating everyone involved to recognize the species as they come. I recommend getting a book that focuses on local bird species, and another one that focuses on all the birds of North America, since birds have a tendency to range far and wide sometimes. Keep the manual close to the window so that you and the kids can reference it whenever there’s a cluster of birds outside your window.

There are also some really creative and fun ways to familiarize your children with bird species. For example, download a few apps on your phone or tablet. Kids always love interacting with technology, and they can learn new things while they’re doing it! NatGeo’s BirdsLite is free and it helps you narrow down the possibilities of birds that you see. Merlin is another great resource for bird identification and its interface is so easy that even young kids (or technologically handicapped moms) will be able to utilize it without trouble.

Remember that identifying birds isn’t just about how they look! You can also educate yourself on bird calls and practice with your kids. It’s also useful to understand additional information like eating habits and migration patterns.

Have the proper tools

A bird guide is essential, but remember additional tools that will make your bird watching more fun and effective. For example, get binoculars so that you can get a more up-close view and do a better job of identifying rarer species. You might also want to print out a checklist of the 50 most popular birds in your area so that you can keep track of what you’ve seen and look forward to the ones you haven’t. Keep a camera with a good zoom handy if you want to catch images of the birds.

Take it to the next level

If bird watching turns out to be a big hit with your kids, there are tons of family activities that you can do as capstone events. Join birding groups and conventions and participate in nature walks and events. You can take your kids on a field trip to a bird observatory or sanctuary where they can see species that don’t frequent your back yard. You can even take your children to a natural history museum where they can see taxidermied versions of bird species and get a really good look at how their favorite species look up-close.

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