12.07.2009

ava is one...

It came, it went, and now Ava is 1.  ONE.  uno.  tomorrow she'll be 20.  the party was great, the guests were so sweet and fun, and mostly she is the best thing ever.  and thanks to my brother, I have some extra-great pics to remember it by.  My very favorite might be the bottom one where you only see the cake and candle and her little innocent finger pointing at it.  precious. 
and, I would like to point out that I did make her cakes :) mostly just because the AVA cake took 2 takes.  my first try was a FAIL.  I couldn't get the cake out of the letter molds.  I didn't even think about the difficulty that I would face getting it to come out.  so round two (and it was going to be my last if it didn't work) involved lots of Pam spray prior to cooking.  I made the icing too, my mom helped me ice them.  there was actually one more cake, a big "1" but those are in my other pics, not uploaded yet.  but it's a 1.  who doesn't know what that looks like right?  anyway, everything turned out great, what a blessing, and mostly I have a healthy, happy 1 year old girl and I couldn't ask for more.


11.05.2009

10.19.2009

we have the internet at our house again!  and us girlies are almost over being sick for the past 2 weeks.  so having those two odds against us is most of the reason why we've been M.I.A.

what have you missed in our little lives?  ava walks now.  not so much from point A to point B, but defintely lets go of everything and takes 1-3 steps without holding on to anything.  she'll walk all around our kitchen while pushing her high chair though all day long. and she walks up our staircase all by herself (with me/dad VERY CLOSE behind).  she hasn't figured out going down them yet.  that'll be the day...

the thing that intrigues me is she has no fear.  she doesn't know what negative consequences are and that just amazes me.  she, in her innocent and sweet life, doesn't know that harm could come her way if she takes one too many steps off the couch.  she 100% trusts me and sam that no matter what everything will be okay.  (deep thought): what if we would just trust God like that?  how our lives could change if we would allow Him to be in full control.  if we just let go of the control that we "think" we have.  and since I'm not spiritually mature enough to do that myself, well I guess I need to learn from my 10 month old how to do it.  She'll be my best teacher yet I bet.

enough of the deep thoughts.  below are two relaxing pictures.  ava spent some quality time with her friend  Rachel tonight.  they hung out at borders bookstore together.  ava trying her hand at sharing by loaning her blanket to rachel and stealing her butterfly in the meantime.  she'll get the hang of it some day...


and over the weekend ava, grandma and I went to Columbia to visit aunt sue, uncle bj, and cousins sam & joel.  us girls and the boy cousins went to the Chestnut farm in Booneville.  I learned more about chestnuts that day than I ever thought I'd learn in my lifetime.  I mean, have you ever actually tried 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire'?  DONE.  I have.  and it's not half bad.  not really half good, but not half bad either.  the chestnut pancakes, now those were good.  aunt sue should make those for us  :)
here are ava's 2 boy cousins posing with her while she's all bundled up for a closing picture of the day:


9.30.2009

story time

so I was headed to my small group tonight at church.  me and 7 other girls get together, talk about life, etc. (a friend oh-so-nicely put it as 'group therapy'.  it's whichever really.  therapy is probably the more HONEST term if you want to go that route, and I think I like that better. but it's really meant for friendship and spiratual growth.) 

so on my way I called my love to see how baby girl was doing.  all was great.  she's not to the stage yet where she fully understands when I leave the house, what that really means.  that I'm GONE.  as in, not just in the other room anymore.

so I called him, and he in his sweet self thought it would be cute if he put me on speaker phone so she could hear my voice.  mind you, this game has worked more in the past, and is usually more enjoyable for the person with the baby, because all she does is look at the phone, tilt her head, maybe smile, and then put the phone in her mouth.  the person on the other end of the phone just feels like a real goof saying sweet nothings to someone who you know can't talk back.  still a fun game none-the-less.

this time was maybe THE MOST UNSUCCESSFUL attempt at a game we have ever tried to play with her and we failed miserably, crashing and BURNING like no other.  she screamed so loudly at the top of her lungs it's like I could hear the tears rolling down her cheek thru the phone.  he promptly had to fix the situation and get my voice to stop coming out of the other end as soon as possible.  he did whatever he needed to heal the broken heart(s) - mine included - and both girls were happy again.  what a great dad he is. 

all is well when I got home.  she is asleep like an angel should be and I will not wake her to apologize for the earlier upset.  I just won't do it. we do go in every night to check on her though, usually about an hour after she's asleep, and it has to be one of the sweetest things to see. (for you non-moms you're probably thinking LAME-O.  but you just wait.)

9.28.2009

food for aves

ever wonder to yourself what 10lb of organic carrots looks like??  allow me to enlighten you...and ironically enough my friend erika is on the same push I am for homemade babyfood.
Costco sells carrots 10lb for $5.  $5 for 10lb!
here's what that looks like and what that equates to = 
(1) stage 2 jar of baby food costs something like $0.82. 
I usually feed ava (1) fruit & (1) veggie, plus some wheat bread with her meal.  so that's $1.64 per meal (excluding the bread).  that's $3.28/day, $22.96/week!

now take 10lb of carrots.  I only had time to make 1/2 that tonight, so 5lb of carrots makes (21) ziplock bags worth, each contains the appx. amount that (1) gerber jar would hold.  21 bags!  so 10lb would make appx. 42 bags. 
42 x $0.82 = $34.44 that I would have spent on carrots alone at the store, and I only spent $5.  you do the math.  but to save you time, I saved myself nearly $30 just on carrots.  (lucky for us Ava likes carrots...)

granted, every meal isn't that cheap.  but for the ones that aren't as good of a deal as the carrots, well it's okay because remember?  I just saved $30!  it's like I made $30 tonight by making her food for her.  AND it's ORGANIC!  So I know that what she's eating is carrots, with some butter and thyme and that's it.  no excess salt, no excess corn syrup, no nothing. 

take cantelope for example.  I bought (2) halves of cantelope tonight, $1.34/half.  I say half because I hate cutting and de-seading them and for $0.50 more per 1/2 of a cantelope I can buy it pre-cut and pre-seaded.  and since I saved $30 on carrots I can spend and extra $0.50!!.  and if we're gonna be real for a sec, I would dread cutting up the cantelope so bad that more than likely it would go bad before I cut & blended it.  SO, it's just better this way.


anyway, here is a visual of the carrot-making tonight:
(pre-cooked on the right, post cooked on the left)




(I lined my freezer door with aluminum foil JUST in case they leak...)

1. wash
2. cut
3. boil
4. blend
5. freeze
DONE.


and then when it's time for her to eat we let her snack on cheerios or
 her wheat bread while I fill the sink with hot water,
stick in her (my) entre of choice and it's as easy as that!!
 - and, if you time it right, you can leave the carrots to boil while you're feeding baby a bottle, or getting her ready for bed.  it's super easy to multi-task when it's just on boil. 

9.27.2009


cousin time on saturday with the girls - Jules set up a great backdrop for a stuffed-animal & little girl photo session...but ava was having no part of it.


They all did great, and Jules especially loved it!
here's a great one both sisters...
Ava had other things to tend to.  she couldn't be spending time taking pictures.  she had work to do...with the dog's leash...

but she sure did cheer them on!

9.26.2009


ava & her nana

ava has words!

almost 10 months old, and she has words:
dada
mama
kitty

this is no exaggeration either.  I know what you're thinking.  that we are just hearing syllabols and giving her more credit where credit is due.  but we're not.  dada and mama is a loose interpretation, I'll give you that - I'll say "give your dada kisses", or "where's your dada?", or even "dada's making your bottle".  she knows who dada is, she'll look over in his direction, though she doesn't look at him and say "dada" as if it's his name.  same for mama, but she just started saying mama the other day, and mainly just practicing her M's, but she still definitely says it.

but kitty?  she knows what the heck she's talking about.  first it was at her grandma's house and said kitty over and over again to their white cat, seniorita.  then when we got home we let jaxon out and she did it again, several times. 

so, not just exaggerating, she knows. 
she also knows what "bottle" means, though she doesn't say it yet.  she gets SUPER excited if we ask her if she wants one.  and HEAVEN FORBID we offer her one and then get distracted by something else, like changing her diaper, or turning on the tv, or taking the dog outside.  no no.  once we utter those words, we MUST follow thru immediately or else all hell breaks loose in our house and she goes NUTS.  I mean she YELLS at us.  so, for now, we play by her rules.  it's best that way.

9.22.2009

9 months


Cousin Time!  this is Ava's cousin Haiden.  he's just about 1 year older than she is.  we went to the Blue Springs Fun Fest this past weekend.  Why?  Why NOT!  {because Santa Cali Gon is already over and we need to fit as many of these fests into one summer as possible :) }

Yes, those are plastic twist tie things that my child is playing with.  in the back of this golf-cart thing. 


and yes, it does appear that Haiden is going to drive off with Ava standing up in the back seat...
but this is exciting:  DOCK DOGS!!  that, and to visit with family, were the real reasons for attending this years Blue Springs Fun Fest.  as seen on ESPN, Dock Dogs = dogs leaping off the platform into the air to grab this thing that's hanging and see how high/far they can jump, and land in this 26,000 gallon tank of water.  I bet rex could do that.  oh but wait...he's A.D.D. & psycho...

9.19.2009

this is off-topic of ava. I know, bear with me. but it is so good I had to share. I check this mom's blog a couple times a week (SHE'S BRILLIANT WITH HER BAKING!) and got some really good ideas for ava's birthday cake(s)/cupcakes that I'm planning to bake myself (once we fix our oven). anyway, check this out: CINNAMON STEAMERS http://www.tongue-n-cheeky.com/2009/09/cinnamon-spice-and-apples-are-nice.html

it's SO simple and delicious. here is the excerpt on the Cinnamon Steamers that I'm referring to, tried first hand tonight and can almost TASTE winter and christmas and all the goodness that comes with that time of year (my FAVORITE time of year)!

Cinnamon Steamers
Drizzly days notoriously invite a warm book and a hot read.
Spice up your regular rainy-day routine with this simple, succulent beverage.
4 cups milk
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon extract
Dash of cinnamon
In a medium saucepan, mix all ingredients and heat just until steaming. Do not allow to boil. Serve in mugs topped with whipped cream or a sprinkling of cinnamon.

*I threw in there some white chocolate chips while I was heating the milk so they melted in and that was devine. not called for in the above, but certainly an added bonus*

**important to note: it's imperative that you use cinnamon extract, not only cinnamon spice. makes all the difference in the world**

and no, mine did not turn out that pretty. so rather than trying to come up with a competitive picture, I'll just borrow hers.

9.18.2009

reminiscing...
do YOU remember what you were doing on 12/1/08 for 13 straight hours? I do. and I got to thinking today more about when we want to have baby #2. NOT anytime soon...no worries. But I was just thinking of our family and our future and what that might look like.

and then, it hit me. baby #1 weighed 10lb 2oz. usually babies get bigger as they go. and I was 3 days early! good gosh what's going to happen to me when it's time to deliver baby #2?! what if we happen to have 3? or 4? (just kidding.) but SERIOUSLY! what the HECK am I gonna do? I love our baby girl, and I definitely want her to have sibling(s), but I'm pretty much scared to death to deliver another baby! especially when, yes, TECHNICALLY I had an epidural but when it still literally feels like you can feel EVERYTHING, back labor included, and rolling over to stand on your knees and elbows doesn't relieve the pressure nor is it any fun at all while having contractions, and all you can think about is getting thru the next 45 seconds, I'm not super excited about pushing another 10lb+ (albeit bundle of joy) weight out. then again, I wouldn't vote for a c-section either. SO. that's where I'm at. thankfully I'm not pregnant again (yet) so that it's not like the count-down has begun or anything.

just voicing my thoughts and insecurities and HUGE FEARS. I mean, yes, we did set the record @ st. lukes east for the biggest V birth thus far at their hospital. so that's saying something. but I definitely don't feel the need to break that record now either.

regardless, I wouldn't change a dang thing.

9.16.2009

I feel like she's saying "what? you DON'T eat like this? what's wrong with you?"


here, she is content in knowing she already successfully has her daddy wrapped around her finger. and the next 16 years of her life are going to be a breeze because of it.


and here? well we just read tonight about Joseph and his beautiful colored coat that his father gave to him. we read that his brothers hated him and he still continued to love them and forgive them even after they tried to have him killed. we learned that God has bigger plans than us all, and God follows thru. we wondered aloud what God's plans are for ava. and here, well she might just be wandering the same thing, too.

9.15.2009

2009 apple picking that could have been...had there been any apples.
but that never stops anyone from having fun as long as you can take PICTURES!!

fun times included: sam, me & aves; b, k, c & j schultz; matt, jodi & john turnbough
WE LOVE FALL!!!

9.11.2009

I don't write nearly enough about the rest of our family. they play very intricate and key roles, though thru-out the mundane-ness of life we just brush them aside. they bring us much joy and laughter, frustration and worry, and mostly smiles.

rexy is our almost 3-year old yellow lab-mix-runt, and jaxon is our 5 year old (russian blue maybe?) cat.

I adopted jaxon back in august of 2004 when he was only 6 weeks old. he was at the Independence Animal Shelter. he was crazy in the cage with his brothers & sisters, literally climbing sideways on the bars of the front door to their seemingly unappealing jail-cell. I was single, living at home, and thought this kitten would make for just the right companion. and so he did. he is still crazy, or spastic might be a better word, but he still loves to snuggle. and his belly is tickelish. my mom got to the shelter before me, and I remember distinctly her saying 'there is one cat that you definitely do NOT want'... :) meet jaxon.

and then there's rexy. T-rex. sexy rexy. REX! (when he's in trouble). sam and I got rexy our first christmas that we were married, december 25, 2006. he was about 8 weeks old. he (& 2 others who were adopted later by a neighbor & a friend) followed my brother's dog home and my mom found them. she called us, we came right over. sam already had his name picked out before we saw any of them. and they've been best friends ever since.

they're both good with ava, but we're also over-protective parents still super cautious with our 9-month-old baby girl so they don't get too many opportunities to knock her over. when she's strong enough to hold her own better then we'll let her give 'em hell. but until then, we mainly stay between the dog & her. don't get me wrong, he loves her (and her cheerios!), he's just a loose cannon when the cat is out too. all sanity goes out the window when this dog's personal chew toy comes running in the room. she loves jaxon though. he's pretty patient with her, for about 2 seconds. then he bounces about 20 feet away until she follows. he's quickly learning that she's picking up speed.

and jaxon's only saving grace right now is that baby gate at the top of the stairs that the dog has to sit behind while ava is practicing her mobile skills. who knows what happens during the day when we're at work and they both have free reign of the house. they somehow must have acclimated to each other when we're gone because usually nothing is broken and neither are dead when we return home at night. but it's like the second I walk in the house the dog feels the need to prove his dominance and the cat's head goes in his mouth. no joke.
but today, they're both alive so all is well :)

TEETHING

I was going thru ava's pictures last night and found several that had something strickingly in common. I think it's safe to say that she's teething...

here are some of the teeth-soothers that she's most fond of~
her paci, her shampoo lid, and her swing tray:

a plastic egg, a purple lid, and the same purple lid again:

people, people and more little people:



her bath tub, a block letter book, and that same purple lid:


more people, a toy bus, and a hard hat:


her bath tub again, another block book, and a green plastic thing:


I hope for her sake these are helping because she's sure working hard at getting these teeth to come in!!

9.10.2009

have you noticed on the left side of my blog the "my honey-do's list"? for a while now there has been a 'making ava a quilt' note on there. feat accomplished! no thanks to me though...this is ALL in thanks to my mom. and I love it. and her. this was our project for ava that she successfully put together. THANKS MOM!

the center square is her name, AVA MAE. then in each corner are her nicknames that we toss around all the time. those include: Little. Skinny Minnie. Sugar Plum. & Love Bug. and the colors are nothing that coincide with her room, but I love the girlie-ness of it and the softness. it's perfect for her. the backside of the quilt, though you can't see it, is super-soft white goodness. I might need to ask for a large version of it for myself :) (just kidding mom) but really, it's great.






and as for the rolled-up blue jeans? they're definitely size 18 months. they're too big. but not TOO too big, they have a tightening string thing on the inside, and really I like the cuffs at the bottom, and what drives me CRAZY are highwaters. so much so that I'd obviously rather dress my daughter in too-big-of-pants than the size 9 month that fit her around the waiste with the cute princess crown on the butt because they're already starting to ride up around her ankles. and, that drives me crazy. I hope that doesn't do some kind of negative, reverse psychology on her so that some day all she wears are clothes that are baggie and always too big on her. not that there's anything wrong with that...