Saturday, February 27, 2010

Married to a Musician

Avary has a cold, so tonight we decided to give her a second bath for the day. She loves to play with 'Octi' and her tub crayons, but we also thought the warm water would feel nice and help with her stuffy nose. There's nothing glamourous about spending your Saturday night bathing a 2 year old with a cold - but that doesn't mean it can't be fun
- if your married to a musician.
My wonderful husband spent his morning working, while Avary and I shopped Ikea with my parents. Then as soon as he was done (and we were still out) he (without being asked) cleaned our entire house - organized Avary's room, washed dishes, washed sheets, cleaned the toilet! When A and I got home, he took his little girl, cleaned her face, changed her diaper, and put her down for her nap.
I am one lucky woman.
As grateful as I am for everything Mat does, what makes me the happiest are nights like tonight. As I sat and watched Avary splash and play, Mat got out his acoustic guitar, and brought it in to our tiny bathroom. The three of us were crammed in there like sardines as he doodled with random riffs. Soon Avary was requesting 'Hey Jude' and we all sang along. Then on to 'Any day' (which I love to sing with Mat!), and other Beatles tunes at A's request.
Sounds simple enough - but it's nights like this - the three of us - our little family -doing what we love and just 'wasting time' together - that make me the happiest.
I couldn't ask for a smarter, cuter, sweeter little girl - and couldn't imagine a better daddy for her. I am so lucky to get to spend the rest of my life with such a wonderful man.
My best friend.
My love.
Mat - come waste your time with me.

Reminiscing...October 2007

Leaving the hospital was a bit surreal. It felt weird to leave with a newborn. It was like "Really? They are just going to let us leave with this baby? No rule book? No one is going to check up on us? We can just....take her?"

On the car ride home from the hospital, we listened to Bob Marley - Is this love. (Cheesy? Maybe. It's not like I'd planned out what we'd listen to - I was emotional, and that's what I wanted to hear.) Mat and I cried the whole way. We were filled with so much love for our little baby girl.

Avary was a easy baby aside from spitting up VERY often - which we later found out was due to acid reflux - which later turned out to be a cows milk intolerance.

Our late nights were filled with the standard - feedings, diapers, and...
The Allman Brothers.
2 am. Me, holding my newborn, swaddled in her pink receiving blanket...Mat, rocking 'Midnight rider' on his guitar. This quickly became our routine. Mat tried playing other songs for her - but none calmed her down faster.
She's a rocker like her daddy.

10.10 first day home - 10.11 first bath - 10.14 first outing - 10.22 first babysitter - 
10.23 went to meet g.g. alice - 10.29 first smile, weighed 9.56 lbs -  10.31 first halloween 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Houdini dog.

Grizzly bear. Lion. Sweetheart. Cuddle bug.
All describe our dog Sammy. 
But most of all he is Houdini dog. 

Sammy came to us from our good friends the Fealas. When they moved and didn't have a proper yard for the big ol' bear, they asked if we would like to take Sammy. They didn't have to ask though - they knew we'd LOVE to have him. We fell in love with Sammy the first time we saw him. 

Our first night with Sammy at our house was an interesting one. Mat and I sat on the floor trying to get to know the new member of our family. I decided to rile him up a bit (one of my favorite things about giant breeds -which I VERY strongly prefer over tiny little yappers- is that you get to run around and wrestle them). I got more than I bargained for. Sammy looked right at me at began to do this howl/growl similar to that of a bear -and chomp his teeth together snapping at me! I am not scared of dogs. EVER. The bigger, the tougher, the better. But I gotta tell you - I jumped back a bit, and I was nervous.
Suddenly we had this giant lion dog in our living room and I realized - I know nothing about this dog. All of my other dogs  (yes - there were MANY) had come to live with us as a puppy, easily trained and taught wrong from right. I knew their personalities. Their quirks.  Sure we had seen Sammy at the Feala's - and he seemed wonderful -But who was Sammy the dog....really? This huge beast could rip us all to shreds if he wanted to.
  It didn't take long to learn that Sam's grizzly impression is actually his own adorable way of telling us he wants something. That night, he was only responding to my quick back and forth movements - my invitation to rough house. He wanted to play. I haven't been nervous around our big teddy bear since. 
'Bart the bear' would show up any time Sam wanted go for a walk, rough house, go outside, and most of all - climb onto our bed. I don't think I can describe to you this event. Our dogs know they are NOT allowed on the furniture. Still, both of them (we also have a jack russell named Chloe) would die for the chance to lounge on our king size memory foam mattress. Chloe is no problem, if she sneaks her way up (which is a whole other story) we can just push her back down. Not so easy with Sam. If he wants up - he is coming up. So we will be lying in bed, watching tv, and all of the sudden at the foot of the bed - there is Bart the bear. First one paw. "No Sammy." Then the other. "No Sam!" Then in one slow, determined, predatory crawl....NO! SAM! NO! and he is on the bed. Bear growling and rolling around to get comfortable. At this point it's too cute and funny to do anything about it - not that we could if we wanted to.

SO... now that you have a good image of our adorable guy, let's get down to his tricks.
Last summer we decided to put up a temporary fence blocking off a small portion of our back yard to create a dog run. We used wire fencing that is sort of in between chicken wire and chain link in strength - more than enough to contain our beasts. About 5' high. Plenty tall to keep them in. Metal posts about a foot down in the ground. We even used 'yard staples' to hold the bottom of the fence to the ground. After about an hour, maybe two, Mat and I stood back looking at our caged dogs - and were pretty proud of ourselves. 
The next day, Mat put the dogs in their run, and we went on with our day. Then I got a call, "I think I found your dog..." So, we pick up Sam, reinspect the run - find no evidence of his escape, and lock him up again.
Everything seems fine for a few days until...the call. "I have your dog." 
Pick up. Inspect. Lock up.
Then the next day, the call.
Pick up. Inspect. Lock up.
How is this dog getting out?! Finally Mat decides to sit and watch. 
Now that he's got a routine down, Sam wastes no time and runs straight to the back corner of the fence - and crawls UNDER IT! Our 100 pound dog is squeezing UNDER the fence. And if your thinking he dug a hole - you're wrong. He would just SHOVE his way under, pulling up all of the staples as he went.
Assuming we were smarter than a dog, we put new staples down and covered them with big heavy rocks that lined the bottom of the fence.
The next day, dogs are in their run, and then.....the call.
Pick up. Inspect - Sam had moved the rocks out of the way, and once again SHOVED his way under the fence. We need a new plan. Complete overhaul.
So Mat's dad John came over and spent hours putting up a new taller beefier version of the fence, including running the fencing along the ground - so there would be no crawling under.
Until.....the call. 
Pick up. Inspect -Now Sam's found a short, weak part of our neighbors fence, and jumps over. 
John offers to fix the fence, but can't for a few days. We decide to tie the dogs up to a tree within the run. Problem solved.
Until....the call.
Pick up. Inspect - Sam snapped the dinky rope from the tree. ok.....
New, stronger rope. Problem solved.
Until.....(No call this time) Mat goes out to the run to bring the dogs inside. Sam is missing. But the rope, still intact, quickly lead Mat to the dog. Apparently Mat had given the rope a bit too much slack, because Sam had JUMPED THE FENCE into the neighbors yard - and was just standing there - still tethered, waiting to be rescued. Of course, when Mat plead with Bart to jump back over the fence into our yard, the bear just froze. He refused. Mat had to climb over the fence and lift the grizzly up and over.
John's back, putting up new fencing to block off our neighbors yard.
Finally success!
Until....Rain. and Snow. The dog run was like Woodstock. There was no way I was going to have 2 muddy dogs in and out of my house all day. So we started leaving the dogs just free to roam in the back yard - no big deal, we weren't using it during the winter anyway.
And then....the call. 
Pick up. Inspect - Sam has found a way to push open the HUGE iron gate that runs the width of our driveway.
Easy fix. Lock the Gate. Houdini dog - contained. Also contained, Missy and Katie. Both of us had a VERY hard time getting the gigantic gate unlocked, but once we do, locking it again (the crucial part) -IMPOSSIBLE. 
We need a new plan. So we don't lock the gate. Since Sam is pushing the gate open, we can just push the locking mechanism in front of the fence post, rather than through it - that way we don't have to deal with the locked gate - and Sam still can't push it open. Problem solved!
Until Today....the call.
Pick up. Inspect - Sam has figured out how to PULL the gate (Remember! HUGE, very heavy,  iron gate!) t o w a r d him just enough to get out. 
No solution yet, but you've got to admit, the dog is impressive. 
He's got places to be and he WILL find a way to do it. 
Houdini dog.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reminiscing...October 8th 2007

OVER ONE MONTH before she was born! Needless to say - By the end I was HUGE!

All drugged up and ready to go!

Avary Mae Wennergren
born at LDS hospital
at 6:23 pm  -  8lbs 10oz  -  21 1/2 inches long

But it wasn't that easy...

8 days over due, infiltrated IV, being told by the nurse that I'd "have to have a cesarean - you won't be able to push this baby out",  2 1/2 hours of pushing,  And then....

(a snippet taken from what I had previously written about Avary's birth)

**There were unexpected complications and my daughter came out bright blue, and silent. Then out of urgency my midwife cut the umbilical cord (which my husband had planned on doing) and we heard a quick cry. My brother let out a burst of joy and relief and said “there it is!”  The calm didn’t last long. My baby, only moments old turned an even darker blue than before. My midwife told my husband to take the oxygen mask off of me and put it on our newborn.  The room went quiet. The panic (at least it seemed to me) began. The emergency respiratory unit was called and my baby was taken from my chest and rushed across the hall. Luckily moments later she began to cry, regained her color, and suffered no further complications. **

Reading over the story, it seems like no big deal, but I assure you it was quite dramatic.
Apparently some of those that were in the room with me - my sister (who has had 2 children), my mom (whose had 8!), and my brother (a tough guy...ok secretly sensitive - don't tell) all went home and bawled and ate ice cream to cope.

This is one of my FAVORITE photos. 
I'm holding Avary's hand, but more importantly,
Mat instantly jumped in and took care of his baby girl. So sweet!

In the emergency respiratory unit

Avary's first bath!

Right after her first bath at home - 3 days old

It's not healthy, it's good!

"It's not healthy, it's good!" Avary's response during lunch today when I said to her "Drink your milk, it's healthy."
My days are filled with sweet little moments like this. I love that I get the extreme honor of raising this adorable little girl. She is constantly cracking us up. She is our little parrot - she copies everything we say (whether we want her to or not) But also comes up with completely random things of her own. Here are some of her latest:

"There's no way I'm kissing a frog, and eating a bUg in the same day."
&  "I'm not a princess. I'm a waitress." -quoted from the movie The princess and the frog
"Watch - and learn."
"Oh. That's kinda cool."
"NO books. NO songs. NO BEDTIME."
"It's not nap time. Get back to work!"
"You wanna kiss me?"
"How about......YES."  &  "Um......Maybe, YES." -anytime we say no, or maybe. Usually when she asks for a treat or to watch a show.
"Heenah" or "AheenahHee" This is one of the few things that Avary says, that we have NO clue what it means. She uses it for everything. "Heenah, Heenah key?" (Handing us the car key) "Aheenah heenah hurts." (Pointing to her arm) "Aheenah Hee, Heenah Atticus, and Heenah Davis...." (Telling us a story??)
"Octoputumus" (Octopus) -She doesn't mean to say it incorrectly, it just comes out that way every single time. "Avary, Say Octopus." "Octoputumus." "OCT O PUS." "Octoputumus." Love it!
"Holy Moly SPICY!"  - yeah, I'm pretty sure this is all me. I can't remeber the last time I ate something spicy though, so she must have a good memory!

Some other random things A is into right now:

-Nick names! She loves to give everyone and everything nick names.
"Spencie Spence" (Spencer) "Katie Kate" (Katie) "Octi" (Octopus toy) Even people she's meeting for the first time.
-Spencer. (My friend Katie's husband) She has a SERIOUS crush on him. Even pretends to call him, then laughs and giggles into the phone and says "Oh, Spencie."(This is how the nick names started - but extended from there)
-The Beatles. OBSESSION. This includes carrying around a restoration hardware catalog  that happens to have the band on the front. It's her "Beatles book" Watching "The Wonder Pets save The Beatles" dvd, over and over and over. And of course rocking out on her little instruments singing "Hey Jude" or saying "I'm a drummer like Ringo" Which will bring me to her next obsession...
-Mat's band members. "I'm a drummer like JOEY! I'm just like JOEY!" This one comes up most often, but we do hear-  "I'm playing the trumpet like Anthony!" "Anthony plays keys!" The most random has got to be with Nate. "Nate is tall." "I want to call Nate." "Thank you for Nate." (Saying her 'Thank yous' before bed)

Ok, obviously I could ramble on forEVER about my little A, so I'll stop here.  But I will add for your enjoyment a couple of videos that crack us up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finally! The Wennergrens have a BLOG!

I feel like I should have started this blog 2 1/2 years ago and documented every precious moment of Avary's life. I keep hesitating to start since I have already missed SO much. Everything is documented, just not on a blog. How will Avary feel if her future siblings (Don't get excited - it's a hypothetical thought) have this wonderful documentation from the moment they were born - and hers started when she was 2 1/2?! Will she wonder about all of the little details from those first two years? Will she feel gypped that my memories from her first years are locked away in my mind rather that documented and preserved forever? Will she wonder if she was even loved at all?! Ok - that's a bit much. Basically I have fretted over it. Well finally last night while lying in bed, wide awake, hopped up on the caffeine from 3 exedrine (who knew I was such a light weight) the thought of a blog popped into my head again. I want to document all of the adorable things she is doing. I want to remember this moment! I want her to remember this! I have to do it. So here I am. My plan to relieve my guilt from procrastinating so long is to post (along with my current posts) photos and tid bits of information from the last two years. Hopefully it will suffice. So there ya go. The begining of the Wennergren's blog! ENJOY!