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...
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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)!
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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...