Posts Tagged ‘Avery’

Note: I wrote this October 3rd and then shelved it for “a few days” until I could find a picture. Sorry, here it is a month late and still without a picture.


Avery likes animals, crafts, and playing outside. She also really likes her friends. Her latest favorite thing is “Wild Chronicles” a podcast by National Geographic that we downloaded a few years ago. It’s movie podcast and they’re short – usually 5-7 minutes or so and they tell about a different animal each time. She’s learned about dung beetles, lynxes and meercats.

Last week Avery wanted to be a sea turtle, so she found a box with both ends open and climbed inside for a shell. Ivan suggested she paint it, so now we have a very colorful sea turtle costume. She and Ivan have a whole game they play where Ivan tells Avery to swim and splash and then he catches her, measures her, and puts a little camera on her, just like in the “Wild Chronicles” show and release her back into the ocean so they can see what she does. Then he “hopes” she does interesting things like meet other turtles.

Avery also still really likes to read. This week she read three whole sentences. She read “SAM SAT ON A RAT,” “I HIT A CAT,” and “A MAN IS FAT.” I came up with the sentences myself and looking at them, I’m realizing I really came up with some, um, interesting things. I’m afraid my child may grow up a little warped. But! The point is she’s doing quite well I think with the reading and she really seems to enjoy it. She’s started trying to read signs while we’re out and around, which is hard since they’re all in Hungarian. She can also write her name almost all by herself now.

Avery and Evelyn have been really good friends lately. They like to pretend all sorts of things together and play dress up together. Today they had races on their little cars around the coffee table and giggled for 20 minutes or so. Avery is really nice to Evelyn (most of the time) and lets her pick which Sesame Street clips to watch next at bedtime. They’re getting pretty good at sharing, which is nice.


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Avery is starving for education lately. She wants to know everything about everything. Our landlord brought us a children’s encyclopedia a few months ago. It’s in Hungarian, but it’s still her favorite book. Ivan sits down with her and they pick a page and look at the pictures and Ivan tells her all about whales and South America. When they got to the nerves page he sent her to me and we talked about brains and nerves for a while. She loves it, and she’s full of questions. Too full sometimes. I can only handle so many in a day.

Her second favorite thing is her workbook. Her uncles brought her a new one 2 weeks ago and she asks for it every day. She finished the Brainquest Pre-K workbook this year, so we got her the Kindergarten one this time. It’s more challenging and she really likes it. Writing letters wears her out, so we try to only do two pages or so at a time. It’s funny, though, because after a page or two of writing letters she starts to get tired and frustrated, but she doesn’t realize it and wants to keep going. She starts to get cranky and lose attention but if I try to put the book away she gets upset. It’s been kind of tricky trying to keep her from wearing herself out. Luckily there are coloring sections we can turn to when she starts to get ornery from too much writing.

I’m having a little bit of Mommy guilt over not getting her into preschool this year. I think she would really love it and I would really like her to play with other kids more, but it’s been hard finding something I can deal with and we can afford here in Hungary. In the meantime we try to do fun things and go fun places while she’s stuck at home with me. She and Evelyn really like to play a lot lately so that’s helped and we try to go to playgroups and things.

Avery really really really wants a little brother. Her little friend Stephanie has a big family with 7 kids and she just had a baby brother a few months ago, so Avery really thinks that this is how her family should be too. The other day she came to me crying saying “Mooooommm, I really want 7 kids! And a little brother named Luke!”

Avery is learning to brush her teeth. Every night I brush her teeth and then she practices with her toothbrush. She taught Evelyn how to spit out water several months ago and they’re both champion swishers and spitters now. They also love bath time together.

Avery also starts her ballet class again this week after the Summer break. She’s really excited because we have a new little friend that moved to Budapest who wants to go to ballet with her too. She can’t come this week because they are going on a trip, but hopefully next week Avery will have a new ballet friend too.

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Avery would spend all day every day at her friends’ houses. We went to her little friend Aiden’s house and spent all day there one day this week and she still whined when we had to go home! She is really hard to keep entertained, but if we’re at someone’s house she’s happy as can be.

Avery is growing growing growing. Her 3T clothes are all too short and have mostly been put away. Her 4T clothes mostly fit, but I’m a little afraid they may be too small soon, because we have some 5T clothes and even 6T clothes that fit her fairly well. It’s so funny because until this Winter she always lagged a little behind the ages on the clothing tags, but now she’s ahead of them all!

Avery is learning to read. She knows most of her letters, although she still gets them confused sometimes. We started sounding out 3 letter words about two weeks ago and she mostly got frustrated. We tried again a couple days ago though, and she did pretty well. Yesterday we read lip, hit, pot and a few other similar 3 letter words. She wanted to read the word “CTR ring” so we had a little discussion about the “ing” combination, but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t really following.

Avery just got some scissors and she likes to practice cutting. She also really likes to paint and we put some cups of water with food coloring in them in the bathtub and let her play with those for a while this week and she thought that was great too. She’s been really interested in what colors mix to make what colors, so she thought it was cool that she could mix red and yellow water and get orange water. Of course, most of the time was spent with brownish black water dumping it between cups and buckets and bathtub, but she and Evelyn spent probably a half an hour happily playing with no fights, and we call that success.

She likes to make up stories and songs. The other day at bedtime she suddenly burst into tears. Ivan asked “What’s wrong?” and she said, “My cousins who live in Africa just died.” She told me a couple days later that they were alive again, so I guess all’s well that ends well?

We’ve been working a little bit on differentiating between pretend and real lately. I started saying “for pretend” when we would pretend so we could tell all our worlds apart, but this had an interesting side-effect.

About 3 months ago Avery got all excited because her friend Stephanie was going to have a baby brother soon and she started telling me that she was going to have a baby brother too. When she couldn’t convince me that I had a baby brother in my tummy like Stephanie’s mommy did, she started making up her own babies in her tummy. Pretty soon she was branching out and for a while she had not a baby brother, but a baby dog, cat and horse in her tummy.

She told us all the time that her stomach hurt and she thought the baby horse was biting the inside of her tummy and in the beginning she and Ivan would pretend to hear the baby cat meowing. It got fairly elaborate. Anyway, when we started differentiating between pretend and real life, I would say “that’s just for pretend,” or “let’s pretend…” and mostly she either agreed or went along with it, with the exception of her baby dog, cat and/or horse in her tummy. “They’re not pretend” she said. “Yeah, they’re pretend.” I said. “No they’re not! There’s really a baby horse in there!” We talked about it a couple times and she was pretty adamant about it, but after the second time or so, she slowly quit talking about her babies in her tummy. I haven’t heard about them in a couple weeks or so. It’s a little sad, but I thought it was a little hilarious that the one thing she was really set on being real wasn’t any of her exciting princess stories, or anything like that, but her baby dog, cat and horse.

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Happy Birthday to our big 4 year old! We had a little family party with Grandma and Grandpa about a week and a half before Avery’s Birthday, but since I’d been telling her we’d let her have some friends over for her Birthday this year, we had a little party for her on her actual Birthday too.

Avery found this game on Sesame Street where you do a little dinosaur excavation. She loves it, so we based her Birthday party on that game. First we colored pictures of pteranadons. Mostly this was just to give everyone something to do while everyone got here.

Then we all headed outside. I found a pteranodon skeleton model kit at a toy store and a cool recipe for sand clay online. Pretty much the whole idea for this party comes from this website. We made sand clay and covered the bones in the clay and let it dry overnight. Avery helped with this part. It was fun. Then we laid out a sheet on the ground outside, dumped the rest of the 25 kilo (55 pounds or so) bag that was our only weight option for sand (many thanks to Rachel F. for letting us haul it home in her car so we didn’t have to figure out to get it all the way back on a tram) and buried the bones in the sand. Everyone dug out a couple “fossils” and pulled the sand clay off them to reveal the bones.

And then everyone helped put them together to make a dinosaur!

And then we went inside and had cupcakes. Avery helped make those too. She picked out the haribo gummies she wanted on top at the store and she helped put sprinkles and gummies on top of the cupcakes. Evelyn helped too, but she’s not a very sanitary helper. I’m pretty sure she licked her fingers before and after every cupcake she touched. We saved her additions for after the party.

|And then presents!

She had a pretty good day! Happy Birthday little Avery!

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Avery is all imagination lately. Most of her stories have something to do with animals, probably because of our trip to the zoo. She also really likes dragons. She and Evelyn love to hide in the closet while the police come and get the dragons and bad guys and put them in jail. Two of Evelyn’s favorite new words are “agon!” and “agguys!”

She tells me stories about what she would do if different things happen. Sometimes someone comes and wants to do something mean to her in her stories and she tells me “and I would just say ‘no!’ and then they would have to go away.” She’s quite influential in her stories.

She told me today that she saw a sea turtle at the zoo and sometimes in her stories the zoo keeper lets her take the animals places with her. And all animals live in coops. She saw the tiger coop and the monkey coop at the zoo. Apparently we had a talk about chicken coops before going to the zoo, because even while we were there she kept asking why we could go into the goat “coop” but not the llama “coop.”

Avery’s a smart little one and she loves to learn. She knows all her letters, although she still gets them confused sometimes and she knows what most of them sound like. She’s learned the first three Articles of Faith for church, and she likes to help Evelyn learn how to count. She says she wants to be a nursery leader when she grows up.

She’s very cuddly too. She still likes to climb into bed with me in the mornings after she gets up and before I’m awake. She likes to cuddle with Evelyn and when Evelyn is sad she runs to get her a stuffed animal to hug. We had to have a talk about how Evelyn doesn’t like to be touched and squished by hugs when she’s upset, so Avery came up with another solution in the stuffed animals.

Avery’s also my little translator for Evelyn. A lot of the time she understands Evelyn better than I do and tells me what she’s saying. Sometimes she’s wrong and sometimes she’s just silly, but it’s a little weird when Evelyn says something and Avery says “she wants water for her” and I realize she’s right. That’s what Evelyn said.

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Avery wants only to play with friends lately. She loves going to her friends’ houses and the other day she cried when we had to go home. I’m currently taking a Hungarian class in the mornings, and she’s been spending the morning at friends’ houses playing. She’s been pretty happy about it.

Avery likes to make up her own songs. She sings the tunes from things she hears and makes up words. My favorite recent composition went to the tune on a signing time video we used to get at the library in Texas. The words she sang were “In my heeeeaaart I have eyeballs. And they’re yeeeeeelllow.” I don’t know where she comes up with this stuff.

I got Avery a preschool workbook while we were in Texas to give her something to do while we’re here. It’s one of those Counting, Letters, Matching books and I was hoping it would give us something to do on rainy days and during the Winter over the next year. She asks to do it everyday. I think it might last until next month, but maybe not. She went through the science section in one day. We’re struggling a little with the numbers, though. Once we got to 9 and 10 we started having some problems. She can count that high but she can’t keep track of what she’s counted and what she hasn’t anymore.

It’s fun to watch Avery grow. She recently had a growth spurt and she’s in a mix of size 4T and 5T clothes. She’s becoming a kid instead of a toddler/baby. She walks like a little kid and moves like a little kid instead of like a toddler. She’s almost four, so this shouldn’t be surprising, but it was anyway. It’s fun to watch her enter the preschool age.

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We saw the doctor twice between the surgery and coming back to Budapest and both times she said Avery’s eyes look really good. It was really amazing the day after the surgery to see her little eyes looking in the same direction and following each other as she moved and looked at things. It was almost like magic. I guess I hadn’t realized how out of sync her eyes had been before. She had also had a patch on most of the day for about a month prior to the surgery so part of it was probably just seeing both her eyes at the same time, but it was really marvelous.

Anyway, at the first checkup the doctor told us that her eyes were doing really well, but we would need to patch her right eye some of the day so that her brain would learn to use her left eye, but that her eyes needed to learn to work together, too, so we should patch all day like we had been doing. She said 4 to 6 hours should be good. Avery was pretty excited to only have to wear a patch for part of the day and we did that for about a month before we had our second follow up visit.

At the second visit, the doctor said she still looked really good and we could move it back even more to just 2 to 4 hours per day and that she should be fine with that, although we would probably have to continue patching until she was five or six to get her left eye working as well as it could. She said to follow up with our opthalmologist here in Budapest in four months, which will be right around the first of July and to come see her in a year when we get back or if we’re ever in town again.  We also got Avery a cute cloth patch with flowers on it that can go on her glasses so we don’t have to keep buying the adhesive kind.

We really liked our doctor there, and if anyone in the Plano/Dallas area needs a pediatric opthalmologist, we were really happy with Dr. Dao. I even took Evelyn in to have her eyes checked to make sure her eyes weren’t really different the way Avery’s were. Since we couldn’t tell until Avery was nearly 3, and if you catch her problem early it’s much easier to fix, I figured it would be a good idea to get Evelyn in. Dr. Dao says her eyes are fine. Whew!

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