Wednesday, July 30, 2008

zen wednesday - safe travels!

today, my good friend andrea is moving to thailand. she is going to teach in a chinese-american school in bangkok.

she is the kind of friend that teaches you what integrity really means.

she is the kind of person that remembers little details.

she is the kind of friend that you want to have a margarita with on the patio somewhere.

she is the kind of teacher that reminds her students to be risk-takers.

she is the kind of person that still looks great even if she hasn't showered in a day or three.

she is the kind of person that thinks about doing more, and then does it.

she is the kind of teacher that makes you think about the impact that you have on this earth.

she is the kind of friend that everyone needs.

the students (and teachers) in bangkok are lucky to have her...

traveling mercies andrea, i love you very much!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

zen wednesday - something new

so, i really want an embroidery machine. i have never actually embroidered anything before, but i think it would be so fun to try. i love the little gifts that avery has with her name on them.i have been eyeing the ones at joann's and even let the lady give me her shpeal (i have no idea how to spell that and neither does my computer, so we are going with 2nd grade phonics).

in the end i decided that 6,400 was too much. even 2,999, which the lady made clear was not quite as good as 64, was too much. there are others, and it got to be a bit overwhelming. what i want to do is not that difficult, but i already have the designs in my head, i don't just want clipart... no problem, the software to do it is only 7oo more. it would pay for itself after 350 or so onesies. what a deal!

really i am not a money person on most things. i am not trying throw it out there, it is just such a contrast to what i ended up with that it is kind of funny to me.

so here we are. i decided that on the way to omaha i was going to teach myself how to embroider. i brought a needle, some screwwy onesies that i messed up on, 2 different sized rings, some thread and an embroidery book. i spent 18 dollars.
there were 7 basic stiches in the book. i practiced with a few and then started trying out different designs.

i love the ones with names and pictures.

my plan is to get some organic onesies and sell them on zen bebe
tell me what you think! i would love some feedback.
i am not that quick yet, and i have some practicing to do... but it may be worth my time, and it could fill my embroidery infatuation for now at least!
an attempt at zen this week...


Monday, July 21, 2008


last week we went to omaha, ne to celebrate with my uncle matt, COL Matthew T. Allaire. he retired from the army after 29 years of service. it was such an honor to be there and celebrate with him.

aunt ellen, uncle matt, joshua, jessica
the group

james and i drove 11 hours through texas, oklahoma, kansas and nebraska.
avery flew in with grandma.

we went to the strategic air and space museum. there were a lot of old planes and mistles. i am sure james could tell you more about it than i can. there was a lot of room for avery to run, and she liked hearing her echo.

matt works at the offitt air force base, USSTRATCOM which provides strategic capabilities and options to the president and secretary of defense. matt's title is information operations division chief for the joint function component command, global strike and integration, united states strategic command. seriously impressive. i have no idea what it means, and i think that is the point. the ceremony was very special and it was an honor to be there for him.

uncle jeff, gramma, and boyd came, too. it was so good to see gramma! on friday, she got sick with pneumonia and had to stay a few extra days in the hospital. she was released on tuesday and given the ok by the doctors to fly home. she said she was feeling much better and that they took good care of her.
avery with gramma and boyd

uncle jeff has a snack to share

it was a great trip and it was good to see the family. the car ride back seemed a little longer than getting there, but i think that is how it goes.

congratulations, uncle matt! enjoy your retirement!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

zen wednesday - road trips

today zen is somewhere between dallas and omaha...on the road...

Monday, July 14, 2008

customer appreciation week

a big thank you...

now through July 31, get a free matching burp cloth with any order over $20 (before shipping) at just mention BLOG in the notes to seller section.

don't forget to vote for avery!

avery made the top 100 in the mix 102.9, DFW's cutest baby contest. vote for her here! (she is on the 4th row)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

zen wednesday - afternoon naps

i was never really the type of person that napped when the baby was napping like you are supposed to. i always seem to find something else to do.

recently, i have rediscovered the nap and it is a glorious thing! i teach summer school from 7:30 - 12:30 every day (now only 2 days to go!) and it wipes me out! then i come home and sweet avery is a ball of energy. usually i use her afternoon nap time to work on zen bebe stuff. not this week.

i have been going down for my afternoon nap about 5 minutes after avery and i wonder why i do not take a nap every day of my life. that is definitely where i have found zen this week. in napping!

i am a much happier person.


Monday, July 7, 2008

swimming lessons

we took swimming lessons with michelle westerfield at kelly calvery, my principal's, pool. it was great and by the end of 2 weeks avery was swimming (ok, maybe floating) underwater! she loves to jump in off the side, but was not too impressed with "looking for airplanes" while floating on her back.

we had some tears, but after the count of 3 she was ready to hold her breath and go again.

here is video of avery swimming to and from the steps.

avery loved getting a popsicle at the end of the lesson. now we are ready for the beach!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

avery's signs

we have been using signs with avery since she was about 4 or 5 months old. she did her first sign "more" when she was about 8 months old. we used signs at home, and she did them at miss karen's house. now she is able to pick up signs quickly and we know (sometimes) what she wants.

she has been staying home with dorathy, our fabulous babysitter in the mornings while i teach summer school. avery was trying to teach dorathy the signs, but some of them are hard to pick up on. since she is staying with dorathy in the mornings, and with grandparents when we go to costa rica (next month!!!) i decided to make a book of avery doing her signs that she can take to grandma's.

i don't know all the signs, so when there is a word that i want to learn with her, i look it up on the ASL browser.

here are some of the signs she knows...

lplease - open hand circles over the heart.
lavery has learned that please will get you ANYTHING!

thank you - The hand moves out and down.
lavery sometimes adds the kissing noise like she is blowing a kiss.

lmore - finger tips together
avery does fists together, usually for more food.

all done - open hands shake outward.
lavery waves one hand.

food - one hand places food in mouth.

milk - one hand squeezes (like you are milking a cow)
avery uses the milk sign for all drinks.

cracker - hand goes to the opposite elbow

cookie - twist the shape of a cookie in the palm of the opposite hand.
avery puts one hand in the other.

help - one hand lifts the other hand up.
avery has both hands in fists with one thumb up. it looks like more but she mostly uses it when she wants to climb something.

down - point down
Avery shakes her hands with her fingers pointing down.

bed - hand rests under your head, like a pillow.
avery will use this sign, or "tap out" by tapping the top of her head when she is ready to go to sleep.

she is up to 16 signs that she can do, and a few more that she understands, like wait, no, play, and ball.

my mini soapbox -
i teach her ASL (american sign language) because that is what i use with some of my students. i know there are baby books with signs that are easier for babies to learn, and some people say just let the baby come up with the sign on her own. i treat it as if she were learning a new language (that is what it is, really) so i try to get her as close to the actual sign as possible. it is the same thing as if your child always said spitsgetti for spaghetti. you know what they mean, and it sounds cute, but you still say it correctly and eventually they will get it. same with signs, when i use the sign with her, i (try to) do it correctly.

if you are thinking about trying signs with your baby, i highly recommend it. just teach them slow and only the ones that you will use. we started with more, milk, and food. they won't pick it up right away (avery took about 4 months of seeing the signs) but when they do, it will be a lot easier to know what they want!

we were at a wedding last weekend and there was a little 17 month old girl. they were looking at each other and waving and then all of the sudden, the little girl signed "food" to her mom. avery got excited and said "food" right back so we all went and had a snack.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

zen wednesday - no batteries

have you noticed how every toy seems to make noise, talk back, or respond in some way. i was thinking about that as we were driving to meet some friends and avery was in the back seat with her dora phone. she loves pushing buttons and saying hi to dora and then putting the phone up to her ear. she was entertained the whole drive. i wondered what we ever did before fake-talking-cell phones...

the next morning i decided we needed some battery-free play time. we got out some puppets and made them sing and dance. she had fun putting her hand in the horses mouth and pulling the stick to make the cowgirl wave.

avery also discovered how fun it was to pull this car/boat/plane toy she got for her birthday from aunt tay-tay. she made laps around the house and had a blast dragging them around.

i had a lot of fun playing with avery and letting her explore toys that did not shout the name of a color, sing her a song, or say the letters of the alphabet. we have those toys, and she likes to play with them, but this week we found zen in interacting and playing without batteries.

thanks aj (aunt jenny) and aunt tay-tay for the great toys!