Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Avery

**Warning: crazy long post...feel free to just skip through to the photos

Ah...our little Avery-Girl, our first born is six years old today.  That means I have been a mom for six years!  I can laugh about it now that I really wasn't sure I ever wanted to be a mom.  But, we'd been married for 10 years, I was turning 30 and (finally) graduating from college so after much discussion, we decided to go off birth control...days later Avery was conceived.  When I went to the doctor's office for the pregnancy test, it was just to make sure I wasn't pregnant, not to confirm that I was.

I told Shaun the news in between my panicked sobs.  "Trying to get pregnant" had been more of a hypothetical thing to me, not something I actually thought would happen.  I wanted a summer baby, so we'd thought we'd try for September, October and November and then call it quits til the following year. I had that "following year" built into my plans....actually, was kind of counting on it.

Eventually I did get somewhat excited, but my overriding emotion during my entire pregnancy was what did we do??  we've made a terrible mistake!  I distinctly remember having a really hard day with those thoughts and I was at work emailing with a friend (about business!) and I tucked those thoughts into the end of my message.  I still remember her response so clearly...some sweet words about me and then "Don't worry, Lisa...your mommy-ness will kick in." 

Oh, and did it!!  The moment I held that slippery little girl my heart was spoken for...forever.  Any thoughts of wanting to maintain our DINK (Dual Income No Kids) status vanished.  So thankful for God's plan and the grace he gives us.

I tried to take all three kids out the other day to do a six-year photo shoot with Avery, but we got less accomplished than I was hoping...couple little distractions. :)  Plus, believe it or not, it took me a little while to get her to relax.  She kept saying, Mom...tell me what smile to do.  No smile?  Big smile?  Is this good?

Since June 1st, Avery has been counting down the days until she is six.  Every morning she has said to me, Mom, 16 more days til I'm SIX! with a huge smile.  Its hard not to join in with her excitement.

Though sometimes I miss that toothless four-month old baby, or the eighteen month old toddler, I'm so thankful to have and know this sweet six year old.  She is a classic first-born...mature, organized a rule follower.

Avery loves her brother and sister dearly and rarely argues with either one...she likes to keep the peace.  Especially toward Aiden she is very motherly and watches out for his safety.  She is the only "worrier" in our family but sometimes I think she does enough for all five of us.  It must frustrate her sometimes that the rest of us live fairly worry-free.

She is very fashion conscious and has her own style.  Since I am not like that at all, its been fascinating to watch.  She spends time thinking about her outfits and laying them out.  

Most days she wakes up and asks what are we doing today?  Unlike me and Amanda, she likes to be out and about and is energized by being out and on the go.  Shopping, visiting people, doing errands, exploring a new place..she likes all of it.

 She's still shy and it takes her a while to warm up to any new situation.  She enjoys dance class and seems very comfortable in front of crowds.  One day we were driving to class and she was underslept.  I said, Avery, you haven't had much sleep and are very tired.  She interrupted me and said I know, I know Mom...I need to work extra hard to focus and listen to my teacher.  Well, yes..that's exactly what I was going to say.  Now I feel really old!

She's very cautious and is adamant that we all be buckled before leaving the driveway.  She has an inordinate fear of getting stopped by a policeman.

Avery has an incredible memory.  Its almost as if she takes a picture of everything and files it away somewhere, to be retrieved as needed.  She's very observant and remembers little details, like what so and so was wearing when such and such happened.  Its also really useful for memorizing scripture.  

She likes watching UCONN basketball and knowing the score and statistics of the Red Sox.  She surprised her dad when she said, Dad, is this the Red Sox 23rd game?  He stopped to think about it and it was actually the 24th.

She's also got the sugar and protein content of most packaged items memorized, especially sugar.  I came home with Raisin Bran (trying to give some variety to Aiden) one day and she expressed her surprise and delight.  I was thrilled that she was excited about something so healthy as having raisins in it.  Then she said, wow, Mom...that has _ grams of sugar...that's more than __ and __.  Alrighty then.

She finished kindergarten (with honors...he, he) and is very excited to start First Grade at her new school.  We very recently stopped naps with her, in preparation for all day school.  Now she spends a quiet time reading to herself.

She's a very hard worker around the house and yard.  She's also really good company and we have more and more adult conversations.  Though she usually treats Amanda as an equal she has started to give me "a look" behind Amanda's back when she's doing something or saying something "childish". 

They really are so blessed to have each other and it is amazing to me how well they get along given the fact they spend nearly every waking moment together.  And really, Amanda is not consistently easy to get along with, but they make it work. 

We love Avery so much and its really a joy to know her.  Though its sad to see how fast time is going by, it is so exciting to see the young woman that she's growing into.  Her heart is soft towards God and she loves her immediate and extended family dearly.

We love you, sweet Avery May.  Can't wait to see all the wonderful things that SIX brings you.


Melody said...

Beautiful! Tearing up over here!

sara said...

what a beautiful post! and an even more beautiful girl!!!!

Happy Birthday, Avery!

LuAnn said...

I am so glad to have gotten to meet Avery. What joy she brings to your family.

Love her 6 yr old pictures too.

And just a note... now that Joel has meet you and your children he wants to read your blog when I pull it up. Maybe he will get hooked.

We got home yesterday early evening. 2700 miles and the Lord keep us safe in our travels and we thanked him for that.

Over 500 pictures and lots of blogging to do. But then there is the wash to do. Hope everyone has a clean pair of underwear today.

Happy Birthday Avery !! Enjoy being 6 :)

Chelsea said...

AND she looks really great in yellow! Something I envy! Happy Birthday Avery!

Meg A. said...

Love this girl! Happy Birthday sweet Avery! You summed her up so perfectly, such a beautiful post. I have to admit, I laughed outloud when I got to the part where you said, "And Amanda is not consistently easy to get along with..."! Hilarious!

Kaleigh said...

Happy 6th birthday Avery :) I hope your birthday is spectacular!

Amy said...

Very sweet post. You captured her perfectly. I LOVE your photo shoot!!