Hollyhand House

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sisterly Love

Seeing these two play together just melts my heart!
Yes, we have already had to break a few fights over toys and stop AK from pulling Anna Riley's hair or climbing all over her, but I imagine we will be doing that for many years to come!  But they have their sweet moments, too.   

“You can kid the world, but not your sister.” ―    Charlotte Grey

"A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life."

 Isadora James

"Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there."  Amy Li 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Swim Lessons

I tried posting this when Anna Riley started swim lessons but my pictures didn't work, so I decided to wait until Swimming was over to post about it. Swim lessons were quite the challenge. It was a Mommy and Me class so I had to get in with her. Anna Riley hated the indoor pool. She told me everyday we had lessons..."I not like this pool, Mommy!" And since she was potty trained, we spent more time in the bathroom than in the pool some days! We had to switch classes and we found she did much better with a female teacher. The male teacher was still there and she did finally warm up to him the last two lessons. She just did a lot better with the female. By the last lesson, she really did start to like it. She has really loved the pool this summer...just not the lessons. I had even considered pulling her out because I didn't want her having a bad experience mess up the progress she had already made in the water but I am glad we stuck with it. She still is not a fan of going under, but she is doing much better! The last night of swim lessons, I held her and we just both went under. We have done that a few times since. She isn't a fan of jumping off the sides only because she hates going under. She practices kicking all the time...even in the tub! ;) I have noticed a big change in her just feeling more comfortable in the water with her puddle jumper on.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Duncan's baptism

On July 1st, Duncan, my nephew, was baptized.  It was a very special day because he got to be bapitzed on the same day as his Mom and Dad. 

Dr. Dunavent was talking about how serious Duncan is.  :)

The Livingston family

The Hollyhand Family

Such a beautiful family...inside and out! :)

Sweet "Baby Dunk" as AR calls him!

I love the look that Duncan is giving
Ava Kate!

The best we could get!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Girls Weekend!!

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to have a girls weekend with some of my favorite girls!  It is hard because I just don't see these girls enough so a weekend away with them was very much needed! 
We all met in Fairhope on Friday.  We all got there by noon so we wasted no time in heading to the pool for some sun...a little too much sun for some! :)  It is always nice to go and not have to worry about what time it is...we even got to sit in the adults only pool so it was actually peaceful!  We actually stayed at the pool until 5:30!  :)  Thankfully, I had made a late dinner reservation for 8! 

Cyn with her mocktail!

We had dinner at Camilla Cafe in downtown Fairhope.  I had wanted to try this place for a while but its not a place that I would enjoy taking my kids to so we had not been.  It was an amazing meal!   After dinner, we headed back home and sat on the deck to catch up even more! 

Saturday, it rained on and off so after breakfast, we decided to just walk around downtown and grab some lunch.  Fairhope has tons of cute stores and boutiques.  We went to a few of my favorites and  found some cute things before the rain got the best of us.  We went to My Place...a little bar downtown that has amazing small plates.  We got a few to split between us...the black-eyed pea hummus and the crawfish and corn risotto fritters were definitely a hit!

After lunch, we headed back home for some relaxation time.  In other words...we laid around, watched a little reality tv, read gossip magazines and talked! Haha!
We went to Big Daddy's for dinner on Saturday night.  It is a very casual but fun place on the water.  We sat outside and listened to the band. 

After dinner, we went to Auroa's.  It is a cute piano bar/restaurant in downtown.  Riley and I used to go a lot (pre-kids).   Once we got home, we stayed up way to late talking even more!

On Sunday, we had brunch at Tamara's Downtown before everyone went their separate ways.  It was SO good!  I am still thinking about my Fried green tomato benedict!! 
I am so glad that we were able to make our schedules work to get together this weekend!  I miss these girls so much! 
We have decided to take a summer and fall/winter trip each year.  I am so excited for our next trip in January!

It is always good to get away...rejuvenate and relax!  But, I was so ready to see Riley and the girls.  He played Mr. Mom all weekend and he did a great job.  I am so thankful for a good husband that allows me this time.   

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

9 months old

Ava Kate turned 9 months on Friday.  She is growing and changing so much and I am realizing my little baby is getting closer and closer to being ONE everyday!  Where, oh, where has the time gone?!  It seems like just yesterday we were at the hospital!
-We went to the doctor this morning and Ava Kate weighs 20 lbs and 5 oz. and is 28 3/4 inches long.
-She can wear 9 month and 12 month clothes and some of her 6 month smocked dresses and bubbles because of the way they are made.
-She wears a size 4 diaper.  
-She has a bloct tear duct like Anna Riley did in her left eye.  Dr. Roberts suggested we see the eye doctor.  Hopefully hers will clear up on its on without surgery like AR's did!

-She had been trying to crawl for a little while but she actually started crawling on July 4th!  She is all over the place now.  She is into everything and constantly "exploring" the house.

-She gets into  "football stance" as we like to call it.  She puts her bottom in the air and her hands on the ground like she is about to hike a football. 

-She is trying really hard to pull up but hasn't quite mastered it yet.  I give it a couple of weeks or so.  She will stand holding on to something but she isn't quite sturdy yet.  She stands on her tip toes so hopefully in another week or so she will get the hang of it. 

-Her laugh is contagious!  I could just listen to her giggle all day! 
She is such a happy baby!

-She is really laid back and easy going.  She has Riley's personality so far and I hope it stays that way!  She is so "go with the flow!"  Even when she is just worn out...she is such a trooper!

-She holds her own with Big Sister!  I see lots of fights already!  If Anna Riley tries to take something from her, she holds on so tight and won't let go!  She has learned very quick to stand her ground!! 

-The one thing we have had a hard time with is traveling.  Each time we have went somewhere this summer, it has gotten better so maybe she is getting the hang of it.  She is not good at sleeping on the go...she likes sleeping in a bed so that makes things a little difficult.  I think once we turn her carseat around, it will make a big difference!!

-She sleeps great! (in her bed that is).  She still goes to bed between 7 and 7:30 and wakes up around 7:30 and 8.  If she is not up by 8 or 8:15, I wake her.  She has been known to sleep until after 9 but it throws her whole day off!
-She takes two naps:   one around 9:30 or so (if she misses her morning nap she does ok or if she just gets a cat nap she does great adjusting!)  and the other at 1 and sleeps to around 4.   
-She HATES being rocked!  She is not a cuddler...makes me sad!

-She has 4 bottles a day. 
-She has been eating lots of different foods. 
-I don't puree her food anymore.  I just mash it up or give her small bites. She has enjoyed lots of table food some of her favorites were sweet potato fries,  chicken, french fries, rolls and green beans.  She was not a fan of biscuit gravy and mandarin oranges.
-She also loves the puffs and yogurt melts...when Big Sister isn't stealing them from her!

-She is babbling more and trying to say more words.
-She says "Da-Da" all the time.  She has said "Ma-Ma" but I haven't heard it. 
-She has also found her vocal cords and loves to scream...really loud...especially at Anna Riley!!  It makes AR cry usually and it is so hard not to laugh when she does it!  I think Ava Kate is learning how to stand up for herself at an early age!! :) 
-She waves and sometimes it looks like she is doing the "Miss America" wave! :)
-She will clap but not when you ask her to. 
-She likes to sing songs and will almost stop what she is doing and listen.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fairhope...Part 2

After church (Duncan's baptism) and lunch with the family on Sunday, we left to go back down to Fairhope.  We stayed until Thursday morning.   AR's 3 best friends got to come, along with two of her favorite people...Mrs. Mandy and Mr. Wade!  (she is quite obsessed with them! )  :)  Pop Pop also came down for a couple of nights so that was a special treat!  It can be quite interesting getting 5 girls, 3 and under together and one still being quite small and still trying to do things but they did great.  We even managed to eat out every night but one and breakfast two mornings!  We watched fireworks from the backyard on Wednesday which was a big help since AK really isn't up to staying up until 9pm waiting on something she cares nothing for! So we put her to bed and let the other four girls put on their glow jewlery and stay up to watch.  They had a great time! 
We also spent lots of time at the pool and playing on by the bay.  It was a great trip!  

Sorry for the amount of pictures!
Finally floating on her own and loved it!!  That is all
she wanted to do!

Now this is the life...sitting poolside with a fan!
AK will NOT sleep anywhere but her bed apparently but
she did rest in the stroller for a while.

So typical!  Ava Kate is touching Anna Riley's hair and she
doesn't like it! 

"What's that??"

Miss Audrey won't go many places
without a book...even if it is one
she can't read! :)

Trying to pass the time while the pool
was closed for thunder!

Happy girl!

Movie time!

Daddy's little girl

She loves Mr. Wade!!! She talks about him all the time!

Sparklers!   Thank goodness this didn't scar them too bad
for the real thing the next night!  They weren't big fans of
the sparklers!

Taking turns jumping off...which really gave me a great
arm workout!!  These girls don't stop!!

Tired...but happy!
We go to the ice cream parlor and everyone wants

Fun memories with sweet friends!