Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas we had with my parents in Kansas City.  The weather, however, wasn't so wonderful.  We left MN last Tuesday night to try to beat "the storm of the century" by driving into Des Moines and spending the night there.  Actually, the travels down to KC were fine...it was while we were there and the way back that things got messy.  For once, we didn't have anywhere to go once we got to my parents, so the record snowfall that dumped on the KC area on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day didn't affect us.  Traveling home, though, was a different story.  The roads were slick with ice, covered with a layer of snow...Kansas and Missouri did an excellent job of plowing the roads, but Iowa failed.  Regardless, we made it home safely, and lost track counting cars in the ditch, rolled over, plowed over, etc. on the way home.  Fun!

But, back to Christmas...this year's holiday with Ava was much different than last year's...

This year, she was running all around as opposed to sitting nicely in her Bumbo while we opened gifts. 

This year, she decided that instead of unwrapping the gifts, she wanted to leave them as they were, and if even a gift tag fell off, she would it put it back on (OCD in the making, perhaps?  I don't know where she would have gotten that from!) 

This year, when we finally convinced her to open the gifts, she would focus on the one she just opened and had no interest in opening any others.  Note to self: open the non-toy gifts first, and the fun, exciting ones last.  Giving her the realistic toy cell phone as the first gift might not have been the best idea...

This year, we were able to share the joy of the season with her, and see it through her eyes.  This year, indeed, was blessed and magical with our little Ava.

Two fun things to share...Ava has officially been marked a Blackwood - she likes butterball soup!  And my dad has a new name, courtesy of Ava...I was asking her what Grampa was doing, and she said "Papa?"  And thus, he is no longer Grampa, but Papa.  Don't worry, she doesn't get him and Scott confused...Scott is definitely: "Dadddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" 

As Ava and I were getting ready this past Sunday to Skype with my parents, she sat patiently on my lap and said, "Where's Papa?"  It's only a matter of time until the rest of the grandparents have names, too, I'm sure...

So many pictures to share...enjoy!

She visited with Santa before Christmas - such a serious look from both of them. Smile!

Giving her panda a drink

Flinging her vest around...look at the joy on her face!

Sitting with Daddy and Papa

Taking a break...

Papa got a phone call...so Ava wanted to talk too...

Gramma gave her a pompom to play with

The proud parents

Our little Jedi knight

The first gift - the cell phone...and the death grip.

Finally getting into unwrapping gifts!

A few family photos

I was resting on my Mom's lap, and Ava decided to join in...three generations!

Playing my old trombone...she knew to blow in the mouthpiece.  Amazing!

We were teaching her to use coasters...so she decided that one wasn't enough

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tis the Season...for Sickness!

Poor little Ava...she had a great start to the week and then she got hit with some illness mid-week.  She has a tendancy to run high fevers, so it always seems worse than it really is.  Scott stayed with her on Wednesday and I stayed home with her on Thursday.  She had her 18-month appointment scheduled for Wednesday night, so it was convenient for her doctor to look her over and determine it was just a virus.  One bummer is that we need to go back to get her 18-month vaccines...since she had a fever, she couldn't get them at that time.  The clinic finally had the H1N1 vaccine in stock, so it looks like she will get it this year.

I've learned a few things from Ava being sick this week:
  • The Disney Channel has a lot of shows that are somehow related to each other.  Ava was watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the morning, and I never switched the channel to something else that afternoon.  Next thing I knew, Hannah Montana was performing on a cruise ship where Zack and Cody (of the Suite Life) have taken up residence, and the Wizards of Waverly Place kids were also on board.  I think there was at least 2 hours of the 3 shows being combined...honestly, I had no idea what was going on, but it was the perfect backdrop for the mind-numbing task I was performing for my job (loading data into our database, and performing QA tests on some new functionality.)  Miley Cyrus just made the fun meter hit an all-time high!
  • I've learned that I am the calm and rational one when it comes to parenting Ava.  As we were giving Ava her bath on Thursday night, we noticed that she had red spots all over her body.  Scott immediately jumped to Ava having the chicken pox, and maybe even having the measles...even though she's been vaccinated against both diseases AND she was splashing away and having fun in her bath.  I watch Private Practice...I know she's be miserable if she had the measles!  Ha!  Scott insisted that we call an 800 # (I have NO idea what number he was planning on calling...1-800-Fix-My-Kid??) to get an answer.  I calmly suggested that perhaps the spots were a side effect of her fever, like a heat rash.  So, at my prompting, he called her clinic and spoke to the doctor on call.  All I heard was, "Yup...ok...that's what we were thinking..."  Turns out that she, in fact, does not have either the chicken pox OR the measles.  Nope, her spots are just the last phase of whatever virus she had, and we didn't need to worry about them.  Whew...I guess I can calm down now...
It's pretty cute how over-the-top Scott gets when it comes to Ava.  It just goes to show how much he loves her.

So, no cute pics of our sick, spotty baby this week.  But, since we're heading down to KC in a few short days for Christmas, I'm sure we'll have lots to post once we get back.

Merry Christmas!  May your family and friends be blessed with endless joy this holiday season!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where Does the Time Go?

Both Scott and I had incredibly busy weeks at work this past week.  Add to that the snow storm and the icy roads, and I spent several hours in the car commuting each day.  Yuck!  The good news is that on the technology front, all of our equipment is in our hands!  My new camera broke (I mean, c'mon...seriously? It wasn't even a month old) so I had to exchange it this past week...my laptop was delivered earlier in the week...and our new TV was picked up yesterday morning.  My Christmas wish this year is that we can make it through the holidays without some weird, technology issue.

So all of this busy-ness, plus the hectic work schedules, and yucky commutes means that we didn't take a lot of pics of Ava this week.  Which may be a good thing...she was incredibly naughty at daycare, and I'm not sure if we would have been able to get a happy picture of her.  She was put in multiple time outs almost every day.  Not for biting anymore...oh no, she's moved onto pinching, and telling kids to "shut up!"  Sigh.  I asked Debi if she ever kicks kids out of daycare for bad behavior.  She reassured me and said no, that she never gives up on them.  So, neither will we!  Scott and I have both been VERY careful what we say around her...but, we're not exactly sure what constitutes "bad words" to kids...?  (We know the obvious ones...)

Here's the little stinker getting ready to go to daycare this past week:

She has the cutest pink and brown down jacket...she always looks so snuggly and warm in it!

We have Ava's 18-month photos this coming Saturday, so if this line isn't too long at the mall, we might try to squeeze in a Santa visit.  And last night, we went for an hour long drive around So St Paul and Inver Grove looking at all of the Christmas lights.  Almost 9 years ago, that's what Scott and I did on our first date, so it has extra special meaning for me.

Only 1.5 weeks before we drive down to KC for Ava's first Christmas with Gramma Karen and Grampa Doug.  I'm so excited!  I can't believe it's so close to the holidays already...where did 2009 go??

Saturday, December 5, 2009

O Christmas Tree!

Ava is fascinated with the Christmas tree!  I did put ornaments on the lower half of the tree (non-breakable), but I've had to relocate the most fascinating ones to a higher level, or someone else would do it for me!  Ava discovered a few trumpet ornaments that we have on the tree, and each night we have found her blowing in the mouthpiece part of the ornament.  I have NO idea where she got that from - we don't have any instruments in our house anymore!

I love this...she's pointing to a picture of herself eating cake on her first birthday:

And then she decided to read everything she could get her hands on:

I caught her hiding by the Christmas tree one night (it's behind me) - so guilty!

She's really started to notice my shoes...she eventually got these on both feet and was trying to walk with them!

Happy girl!

By the Christmas tree again!

I made fudge today, and am going to attempt my mom's sugar cookie receipe tomorrow.  I hope it turns out yummy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings

We've had a fun week!  After Mommy had her night out to see New Moon on Monday, and a happy hour with co-workers on Tuesday, it was all family, all the time!  My parents drove up from KC to share in the Thanksgiving dinner with Scott's family (mom's side.)  As an added bonus, we were also able to spend part of Thanksgiving evening with the Goers' family (Scott's dad's side), too.  Needless to say, we were all full and wiped out by bedtime.  It's such a blessing to be able to spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas with my parents this year...that hasn't happened in a really long time - 15 years maybe??

We also managed to take our family picture for the Christmas card - of course it was FREEZING when we took it, so we weren't able to spend too long to get that "perfect" shot...but we're happy with the final results.

Here are a few pictures from the past few days:

Scott and I just finished putting up the tree...the lights, cranberry garland and tree skirt are in place, so tomorrow is all about the ornaments.  Although this may be a year where we put out only the soft ornaments, or maybe just the top of the tree will be decorated...Ava does love to play with things that she shouldn't!

We have just a few more gifts to pick up, and then the wrapping fun can begin.  This truly is the best time of the year...!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Headbands = Hours of Fun!

I've been taking a lot of pictures this week, but not many of Ava...mostly they've been pictures of the dogs. I'm trying to capture an image of the three of them to use in our Christmas cards. Talk about difficult! I think I finally got one after three days of trying!

One of Ava's favorite things to do is run into our bathroom, open one of the vanity drawers, and pull out my headbands. She managed to break my favorite black one, so I decided it was time for her to get her own collection. I found a set of five fabric covered bands that are perfect! Within the first five minutes of playing with them, the pink one was broken (of course it's the one that would match most of her clothes...sigh.)

When we pick up the house at night, we've managed to find the headbands getting taken for a walk in the dolly stroller, hitching a ride in the pony's basket, and sometimes taking a drink from the dog's water bowl. That was the best $3 I've spent on her yet!

Even Daddy's gotten into the spirit, and will help put them on her head so she can be a "pretty girl."

In fact, Ava's even tried to put the headbands on Darla and Lucky! Here she is trying to convince Dar what a great accessory it will be...Dar didn't go for it.

And when we're done playing with the headbands, Ava likes to run into our bedroom and lay down in Spanky's bed. The covers and blanket have been freshly washed, but I'm still not crazy about her cuddling up in a dog bed. And frankly, I can't imagine Spanky's too pleased with it either!

The other night Scott checked on her before we went to bed. He called me upstairs to take a picture of her..she was sleeping so soundly, holding onto her puppy. When I see how big she looks in the crib, it makes me realize that she's growing up and she's not our little baby anymore.

Last weekend I switched our our lightweight quilt for our down comforter, so I needed to get all of the blankets out of their Space Saver bags. Before I knew what was happening, Ava hopped onto one and started riding. I love how the most simple things can make a child so happy! If only we could all be so lucky! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Little Kids Big City pictures

I finally have overcome my tech issues, and have downloaded my photos from Saturday afternoon's playdate with Dylan and Lisa (and a few new friends...)  Enjoy!

The other little girl (Leah) that was there was immediately taken with Ava.  She did a great job keeping Ava entertained! 

As soon as we got inside, Ava picked up a bear from lost & found and carried it around with her for a while.

Dylan, Leah, Ava, the bear, and Leah's brother (I didn't catch his name) on the fire truck.

Here's Ava's future prom date, Dylan, at the cash register in the grocery store - all the kids loved playing with the fake money!  Notice Ava carrying around the fabric softener bottle...is it too early to teach her how to do laundry??

This school bus was so cool - lots of neat gadgets to keep the kids busy.

We almost had an interactive moment here between Dylan and Ava.  Almost.

So close, yet...not quite playing together...

Chalk + toddlers = messy, messy, messy!

Back to the bus!