Around the House Indoor Antics

As usual, Avery never lets the day go drab:
I brought out the Jump N Go for Addie's enjoyment, but Avery decided she needed a turn first. Luckily, Addie was pretty amused just sitting in her Exersaucer and watching her crazy sister go buck wild in it:
But she soon grew weary. "When's my turn, Mom?"Addie soon sees what all the hype is about:Not really... she enjoyed being in it for about two minutes and then got freaked out about how it spins unexpectedly and hasn't enjoyed being in it since. Addie loves kicking, so I thought this toy would be right up her alley. But Addie also has a huge fear for the unexpected, and that fear apparently spades her love for kicking:
As soon as Addie makes a noise when waking up from her naps, Avery is in her bedroom screaming and squealing and laughing. On this day, Avery ran in and decided to join in on the crib fun before I knew what happened. She gave me a look like "What Mom- is this going to be a problem?" Apparently, Addie had no problem joining in on the craziness:
Avery proudly discovers plastic spoon glasses:
Addie will probably be demanding in the future when it comes to footwear. She loves going after other peoples' feet when they're wearing colorful socks or shoes. She gets pretty excited when I put socks or shoes on her as well, but it never occurred to me until I was putting up laundry one day that wearing my colorful socks would be even more thrilling to her:

Avery never gets tired of dressing up with Princess shoes and tiaras (never mind me power napping on Addie's blanket in the background):
And while Avery was busy and distracted pretending to be a princess, Addie was pleased to finally get a hold of one of Avery's precious-not-to-be-touched-by-ANYONE princess dolls:

Around the House Outdoor Antics

When it rains, it pours. Rain is few and far between in Austin, but when it does hit, it gets ugly. We not only had hail this night, but a tornado was reported hitting ground a few miles from our house, and we had a short time of power outage:
We always have a good time at the nearby community pool: Avery was quick to explain to her cousin Anna that her sea animal toys were off limits:
And decided to pull out body guard movements on Anna whenever she got too close to them: She reexplained the conditions in Leaman's terms when Anna didn't seem to be following the guidelines: And then just decided to remove her precious subjects from the situation all together when Anna continued to remain too close to the animals and posed a possible threat for sudden grabbing: All was well once the animals were moved away from the threat of being kidnapped by Anna (who in actuality showed no interest in the animals whatsoever other than simply trying to strike up an innocent conversation about them with Avery):
At least Addie appreciates Anna's efforts to bond:

We continue to make good use of the pirate pool we bought for Avery's b-day party. Avery and Keith enjoyed it the most while Lee Lee and Addie sat back and enjoyed the show: When Avery slides, she goes full force, regardless of the landing possibilities: When will Daddy learn not to teach her bad habits- throwing a ball in her face... will result in multiple throws to his face: And Addie, as always, the quiet take-it-all-in observer: Although she's starting to show moments of "Look at me too!":
And what could possibly go wrong with allowing a girl who is not potty trained to have a jump-in-the-nude trampoline session:

Avery's Amusing Sleep Antics

Avery never ceases to amuse us when it comes to falling asleep. She has no problem going into her bedroom, but usually plays in her room for quite some time before actually falling asleep. And she rarely falls asleep in her bed, tucked in, like a typical child would do. But no matter how or where she falls asleep, the child is out cold for the rest of the night once she does give in. (I know most of you who know me probably think this sounds eerily similar to my own sleep habits, but I swear I've done nothing to instill this behavior on her).
And she doesn't just fall dead asleep at night- she refuses to take naps when we're at home, but within 5 minutes of being in the car, she's always out cold:
After three months of living here, Princess Avery finally decided it was a good idea to fall asleep on the bed instead of the floor, so long as she was surrounded with and dressed in the appropriate Princess toys and materials:
Aaahh, at last- the child falls asleep all normal-like:

Avery the Artist

Avery has begun to dabble in several forms of art. She accidentally discovered domino art while playing with her dominoes one day. She was simply moving them around and all of the sudden shouted, "Hey, that's Mr. Krab" (a character from the SpongeBob show). She seemed to have been absolutely shocked, as if the dominoes had magically arranged themselves into a Mr. Krab form, but then proceeded to take control of the artwork and purposely created a SpongeBob figure next to Mr. Krab: A Closeup of SpongeBob Domino Art:

Next, Avery has taken on painting. Her first official portrait is a painting of Grandpa Curt on the back of his Father's Day card. She continued to replicate this form in several of her subsequent works, but then grew bored with the concept:

She then moved on to the ever-so-complex spoon design. This particular work is a portrait of Daddy:

Satisfied with her spoon assortment, she next created a spoon replica of me:

And finished off with the leftover play silverware to create a "spoon" Avery. (She then continued to attempt to make an Addie silverware figure, but ran out of materials and refused my offer to use popsicle sticks as a replacement):

Finally, she has chosen to add architectural skills to her resume. She loves building playgrounds from the blocks that Keith's brother Michael and my brother Adam gave to her for birthday gifts. Usually, she has her Polly Pocket dolls jump around and slide on them, but occasionally she mixes it up and allows other toy animal and people collections to join in on the fun. Building a playground for all-day usage has become essential to her morning routine, and I often wonder why I even bother putting the blocks away at night:

Avery's Birthday Party

We had a great with family and friends for Avery's third birthday party. I let Avery pick out her theme. At first she chose Sponge Bob Squarepants (or as she says- "Bum Bob"), but then she saw Tinkerbell (or as she says- "Turningbell"). I was thrilled to find a pirate boat-shaped pool to add to the theme and had the older kids do a Treasure hunt to find the pool toys hidden behind the big rock in the backyard. I was worried that I didn't have enough other fun games to keep the kids entertained, but the pools and water toys along with the inside ongoing Wii games seemed to entertain kids and adults alike. I thought the funniest thing was that the kids didn't use either of the water slides as actual slides, but flipped them over and pretended they were boats. Overall, it was a busy day for Keith and I, but a great party, and we were happy to at least get a little time to chit chat with guests whilst keeping Avery happy and making sure everyone was fed and entertained: It took Avery a few minutes to accept that she would be sharing the toys and pools with friends:
Alex and Evan (children of Keith's high school friend J.P. and his wife Nicole) arrived first with another little boy they were babysitting:
Bradley, Emmy, and Olivia (the children of Keith's P.A. school buddy Steve and his wife Mindy) arrived a little later and joined in on the fun. Although this picture seems to capture Bradley about to be slam-dunking Alex in the head with the slide/boat:
Avery and Emmy enjoyed some girl talk in the slide/boats:

Brett says hello to Addie:
And as always, Grabbie Addie goest straight for his hat:
I put my sister Angela in charge of my camera since Keith and I were busy preparing lunch, and was privileged to get this nice self-shot photo of her and Scott:
Avery started to break down early on in the day, and Nana spent quite some time rocking and soothing her:

The past few birthday parties that we've taken Avery to, she was overly fussy the entire time, begging for cake, until once the birthday cake came out and she got to have a piece- then she was perfectly happy, agreeable, and content. So, based on her fussy behavior here, I broke down and decided to just go ahead and get the birthday cake part of it out of the way even though we hadn't finished cooking lunch, hoping that that would cure her fussiness:And sure enough, that seemed to be the needed boost in Avery's mood:Keith slaved away on the grill cooking fajitas while I focused on making sure the kiddos were happy with nuggets, hot dogs, and juice: And it was hot but at least bearable for the adules to hang out a bit on the porch (seen here from left to right- J.P., Keith's cousin Mark, Lee Lee and Addie, Emmy, and her teasingly strict dad, Steve):
Lisa's sister, Linda (cousin Mark's mother), was also able to come down from Dallas for the party- she was the first to discover that Addie's first tooth had finally broken threw. Addie bit her finger earlier that day, and Linda commented on how sharp her tooth was. I went to check it out, and sure enough, there was a little bottom tooth poking through her gums:
Lisa and Linda's youngest brother Don also came by with his two youngest kids- Aaron and Anna- while his wife Michele stayed home to plan for their daughter Amy's high school graduation party that was going on later that day:
And then gift opening time:
Like mother, like daughter- I think this picture now shows me what Keith means when he complains about my criticizing looks and the fact that our daughter seems to emulate them as well:

I was actually really impressed with Avery's manners- she made a point to personally look up and say thank you to everyone after opening up their gift, even the guests who had already left and weren't there to hear it:
Addie was pleased to get a hold of one of Avery's gifts and take part in the birthday gift fun:
After the gift opening, we let Avery indulge in another one of her favorite passtimes- letting birthday balloons go and fly away in the sky. Avery seriously asks "Can I take it to the sky?" everytime she sees helium balloons. So when Don suggested this activity, we decided to throw environmental responsibilities to the wind and had fun letting all of the remaining kids count to three and watch them all float off together:
As the pary wound down, Avery enjoyed sharing some of her new toys with Addie:
And then enjoyed them on her own:

In the meantime, Addie not only enjoyed watching Avery play with her toys, but watching the Wii game going-ons as well:
And once the ten-year-old guests were gone- the Dynes guests got to take over the Wii entertainment- it's always amazing to be able to find a fun toy that can entertain all generations:
And before they left, Nana captured a few fun poses of Avery enjoying the new comforter and bed sheet set that Nana and Papa bought for her:
Nana's final shot- the mot-possibly, most-adorable photo I have of Avery to date: