Friday, November 26, 2010

Mmmm Thanksgiving.

Mmmm...It's that special time of year again when we get to eat pumpkin pie and cheesecake after a ridiculously huge and tasty meal with those we love. This Thanksgiving was wonderful and special, and I have much to be thankful for.
This year we spent Thanksgiving with Kevin's family. This meant a drive down to Austin. If you have ever wondered what a toddler might think of getting out of a car after driving for an entire day, let me describe it in one word... rapture.

On the way down to Austin, we stopped in Dallas and saw Amber for a few hours. Good times.

 Once in Austin, we spent lots of time with grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and Granny. Avery spent most of the week wearing this Cinderella dress. Hooray for Grandma and her dress up clothes.

Everyone spent some time with the newest member of the family. Here is Claire with Grandpa and Uncle Eric and Nathan.

Then it was time to cook the meal, here Kevin is making his yummy cheesecake and later I got in on the act by making mashed potatoes and deviled eggs. YUM!

Amber came down from Dallas to join us for the meal.

Here she is participating in a required family tradition, the Thanksgiving jigsaw puzzle.

Another family tradition at the Dodd house is Chicken foot. Congrats to Kevin on pulling off a win (although I am a little afraid that this might mean we have also "won" the privilege of hosting the meal next year!) !!

Avery was a very caring sister and made sure Claire did not feel left out of the fun and games as here Avery shares some toys with Claire. I think Claire will be a bit more excited about that when she develops a little something called hand control.

But this year, the most popular place to play was on Grandpa's new trampoline. Everyone got in on the fun, even the adults. Avery loved every minute of it.

 During our time in Austin, we also got to spend some great time with the Benaglio side of the family. That alone is memorable and special, but when it comes with wood-fired homemade pizza and prime rib, there is just not a better way to end a meal-centered holiday.

 As I said, I have much to be thankful for this year. I am so very blessed by all my incredible family, my amazing husband and my precious children. May your holidays be merry...Bring on Christmas...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Halloween and More

There it is! The smile I promised you a few weeks ago. She is such a people person and loves to smile and talk. So my next challenge is to catch the talking on video. Precious!

And as seems to be typical in our house. Our little girl LOVES her Daddy. Mommy may have gotten the first smile, but Daddy got her first giggle.

Avery is still doing incredibly well with the transition of a sister. I even find her 'sharing' her toys with Claire and making her dolls talk to Claire.

Our Halloween was fun this year. Avery chose to be Snow White and loved dressing up as a princess.

We participated in the Trunk-or-Treat at church. Avery really got into it and came away with plenty of treats. Every day now we have requests for a treat from the 'purple pumpkin'.

Our friend Mandy dressed up as the princess from Mario Brothers and Avery was thrilled to see another princess at the event.

Here is the whole family at the Trunk-or-Treat. Claire enjoyed it without a costume and snuggled soundly in her carseat.

Just after Halloween, I (Tonya) had a minor procedure on my wrist, so Grandma came to visit for a week to help us out. The girls loved having Grandma here and I got more sleep than I have had in months! Thank you Grandma!

New dresses from Grandma.

Here is Claire after her first set of immunizations. I wanted this picture because it reminded me of the one in this post of Avery. Claire handled it so well! She cried for about a minute and was done. This was not the case however just a couple of days later when her sister collided into her, that merited a fuss much bigger. A sign of things to come maybe??

In other news. Kevin has been very busy around the house.

The other night he painted both mine and Avery's toenails. This was Avery's first pedicure and she loved it! I think what she loves most though is being able to say "My Daddy paint my toes".

Kevin also took on the daunting task of reroofing our shed. He did a great job!

And finally, here is a shot of our more improved kitchen! Every time Grandma Sandra stays at our house, something in the kitchen is improved. The new cabinets are installed, filled, and organized. Now they just await paint. Hooray Kevin and Grandma! Thank you!

So, that is all for now. See you all after the race through the holidays.  We might pop in from time to time.  Might ;)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we had tons of fun going to the pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful (even if it was windy) fall day. We started off with a hayride.
Picked pumpkins.
Crawled in the hay tunnel.
And posed as Halloween characters.
Kevin and Avery even tried "pumpkin chucking".
Here we all are, even if some of us are little less enthused than others.
So, after purchasing about 45 pounds of pumpkin, I suppose we are ready for fall. Enjoy!
PS) On another note, Claire has just started smiling (and mostly at Mommy)! I am trying to capture it on camera and will post it as soon as I do.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

No, Alyssa, I am not still pregnant.

This post is for my mom and my friend Alyssa who have ever so "gently" been reminding me that anyone who is looking at this blog would still think I am pregnant. I am not, in fact, pregnant any longer. We now have a fantastic 1 month old and are adjusting to life as a family of 4.

The last belly picture...

And then we met...

Claire Marie
August 30, 2010
7 lbs 7.7 oz
1:44 pm

She is a sweet, precious girl who has stolen our hearts. Even her big sister is a fan of her. Below are some of her 1 month old pictures. Time is flying by!

Finally, here is a special picture of 4 generations of ladies in our family. L-R: Avery, Patty (my mom), Etta (my grandmother), me, Doris (Kevin's grandma), Claire, Sandra (Kevin's mom). My mom is holding Avery because they share a middle name and Sandra is holding Claire because they share a middle name. What special people make up our families!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baby bump

I suppose that Mother's Day is as good as any to take the first official baby bump photo. This time around it has been less fun to see myself in pictures because it means I really look like that! Yikes! When did that happen?
The photo was taken on Mother's Day at 23 weeks and 1 day. I can't believe that we are already halfway through. Wow!

Here are some other pictures of our Mother's Day events. On Saturday, Kevin grilled burgers for us (with a portabella mushroom for me) and we ate on the back porch. Avery loved them and almost ate an entire hamburger patty all by herself!

On Sunday, Kevin grilled again and this time made ribs (my favorite) and pork tenderloin. We were joined by some great friends and had a feast! Avery decided she wanted to sit in a big seat without a highchair since the other kids were eating that way. This is really the only picture of that meal, but we will remember it anyway.

Last, here is a sweet picture that I don't think I have posted yet from a few weeks ago. Avery's friend Mackenzie introduced Avery to fine fun of dress up. So they both picked out their own outfits and then danced around the living room. I think I see this coming up again in the future with Avery and her sister. :)

I hope all you Mothers out there were wonderfully celebrated. Our jobs are priceless!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


It is official! We are having a girl! Fun! A sister for Avery and another princess for Daddy. Here are our sonograms. They are a bit hard to see, but this is all we have until we see her in person.

We saw some great shot of her during the sonograms, but the photos aren't quite as good.

The nurse called her "laid back" because she was pretty calm the whole time, so maybe that will translate to her personality when she is here.


Profile #1

Profile #2

L:Full frontal face

R:Face looking down