Thursday, April 30, 2009

First Steps!

Ava took her first steps last night! Well, technically, she took one step at her 9 month well-baby visit, but we didn't really count that as "walking". Last night I was sitting on the loveseat, and Ava was standing in front of me, with her hands on my knees. Scott was sitting a few feet away in a chair, so I pulled my knees back from her, leaned down, pointed to Scott, and said "Go see Daddy!" And she did! It was all of three steps, but she did them all on her own, without falling!

Scott and I were so excited - I'm sure Ava was wondering what all of the cheering and hugging was about. :)

I'm just so happy that it took place at home, and when both Scott and I were there to see it. It feels like we're really moving to the next phase with her.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Maybe she will be a fishie...?

Since we missed last week's swimming lessons because both Ava and I were sick, we really needed to go tonight. I was so much more prepared this time, and brought a little stroller to sit her in so I could change my clothes afterwards, without worrying about a wriggling wet baby. PLUS, I brought a couple plastic bags to put the wet suits and towels in...all in all, I was pretty darn proud of how much more smoothly everything went this week!

Once we got into the pool area, I asked another mom what I had missed last week, and thank goodness, it wasn't much! Still lots of singing, floating on bellies and backs, and getting the kids used to the water. The good news is that the water was much warmer this week than the 1st week. Apparently, they had just cleaned the pool out before that first class, so the water wasn't back up to its normal temp. Ava's little hands were still purple by the time class was over tonight. BUT, she was actually smiling and laughing while we were in the water, and when we went to the kiddie pool afterwards, she seemed to like being in the warm water.

WHEW! I can't tell you what a relief it is that she doesn't appear to completely hate the water. A few of the moms said they didn't want to come back after the 1st week because of the water temp...I didn't think there was anyway that was 84 degrees!

So, now I can rest easy and look forward to a fun time next week. YEAH!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Uh-oh, Spaghetti-o!

Even though Ava doesn't have any teeth yet, I thought it was time that she move onto the stage 3 food. Stage 3 just means that there are larger pieces in there that she can feel in her mouth, and mash with her jaws.

Our first attempt with stage 3 foods was MESSY! The 1st thing we tried was the spaghetti with meat, in a tomato sauce. Ava wasn't sure about the noodle pieces, so she kept them hidden in a corner of her mouth, and every once in a while, we'd see a noodle appear from nowhere on her high chair tray. She would just poke it with a finger, mush it a little, and then put it back into her mouth. The hardest thing about this process was allowing her to get messy, and not constantly cleaning up after her. Tomato sauce just stains so much...argh. I don't know how I'm going to handle it when she starts feeding herself. Strip her down to her diaper and let her go nuts???

She seems pretty happy even with the sauce all over her chin!

Scott has a game where he likes to toss her (gently, of course) into all of the pillows on our bed. She appears to love it!

She's also learned how to open her toy box that is full of all of her soft, stuffed animals. The other day, I found her poking around in it. I'm not sure if she was looking for something in particular, but at the end, we thought it would be easier to just put her in it! :)

Yesterday afternoon, Ava and I checked out a couple of parks in the area, with the goal of finding an infant swing. It took 3 parks before we found one, but it's still within walking distance. She really seemed to enjoy swinging, and watching the other kids play. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time at the parks this summer, as well as in the baby pool we'll be setting up in our backyard. We just need to get her used to walking on the grass - it must feel so strange to those soft, little feet!
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

1700 miles in 6 days...!

I am so glad that it's April 21. Not only is it my birthday today (yay #33!), but it means that our long and exhausting week is truly over.

Last Tuesday, I picked Ava up from daycare at 10:30am, as we needed to hit the road for Kansas City. As I was walking out the gate with her, one of the little boys (Kyle, who I think is maybe 5?) told me he needed to kiss Ava good-bye. I thought, "Isn't that cute? He must really like her." I had no idea how much! He got out of the little car he was driving around, came over, gave her a hug (which she returned promptly), and then kissed her on the mouth! As we were walking away again, he yells, "I'm going to marry Ava when she grows up! I'm going to marry her!" It's never too early for her 1st marriage proposal, I guess!

So, we had a nice long drive down to KC, which was fairly uneventful. Ava did pretty well, however, once we crossed into Missouri, she decided she was bored of looking out the back window and at the back seat. I can't say that I blame her. I crawled into the back with her and attempted to entertain her for the next 1.5 hours. Overall, she did really well, but all three of us were happy to arrive at my parent's house. They hadn't seen her since Thanksgiving, so it was fun for them to see how much she has changed.

The next morning, all 5 of us piled into my parent's car, and we proceeded to drive another 250 miles to central Kansas. Riding in the back with the car seat is definitely not as comfortable as riding in the front seat. Ava did much better this time with both Gramma and I there to entertain her. A few hours later, we arrived at the church to prepare for my grandma's memorial service - Ava had so much fun crawling up and down the stairs. She definitely knows how to go up them, but is insistent about coming down them face forward. I think we need to work on that!

At dinner that night, I made the mistake of giving Ava a little bit of vanilla ice cream, and that's all she could focus on for the rest of the mealtime. We quickly left after that! We then headed back to our room for some relaxing family time. Ava proceeded to entertain us, as you can see below. She has a habit of sleeping in weird positions - the best is where she looks like she was sitting up, and then fell asleep as she was sitting, and fell face forward. In the video below, we tell her, "Go to sleep, Ava!" and she falls face-forward onto her blanket. She did this at least 10 times in a row on one of the nights we were in KC. What a ham!

I love the fuzzy hair in this one!

Grampa's reading to Ava...

The next day was the memorial service, which was a wonderful tribute to my grandma (and grandpa's) lives, but it was very draining. We also visited the family plot in Galatia to see their final resting places. Besides the non-stop wind, it's an absolutely beautiful and peaceful place to be. God rest their souls.

Our family: Stephanie - Craig - Mom - Dee - Scott - Ava - Doris - Dad

I love how Ava is zonked out in this shot - it was a long day for her, too!

And we once again hopped back into the car to drive the 250 miles back to KC. I was attempting to sleep, and was awakened by someone grabbing at my arm. I thought it was my mom, but it was little Ava, trying to get my attention! It was just the cutest thing! So, she then decided to entertain us some more.

She's been rubbing her tongue on her lower gums a lot lately - what a weird expression!

On Friday, we finally had a chance to relax - my mom, Ava and I went shopping, and I realized that I no longer buy clothes for it's just clothes for Ava! I got the cutest little spring jacket for her - let's pack that winter snow suit away!

That night after her bath, I was showing her how to brush my hair and then hers, and she took the brush and put it up to her hair and moved it. It's the little things that are so much fun to see - who knew a baby learning to brush her hair was so neat?? Probably not to anyone other than the parents...:)

On Saturday, we once again hit the road (I was beginning to hate the car by this point), and drove back to the cities. Ava slept for several hours on the drive...I thought that was good at the time...

Our close friends, Tiffany and Darren, moved this weekend, so once we got home from KC, we hopped back into the dang car, and drove 100 miles south to visit them at their new house. They've got a great place now, but we will miss them like crazy!

Ava did NOT want to go to bed that night, and by the time Scott and I came to bed (midnight?), she was WIDE awake and ready to play. For THREE hours.

Note to self: no more long naps in the car during the day!

Scott, the early riser, woke up at 6, and we got back into the horrible car and came home. We proceeded to lay around all day, and do nothing but laundry and nap!

The next day (yesterday), Ava was sent home sick from daycare, and then I was sick last night. Needless to say, we didn't make it to swimming last night. I was really bummed about that, since Ava didn't take to the water right away last week. :(

And here we are...April 21. I'm slowly getting caught up with things around the house, but am taking it one project at a time! We went to Paisano's (pizza) in Woodbury for dinner - I guess I really am a parent now! Instead of going for the nice birthday dinner, I chose a place that would be fine with kids. But it was still good!

On that note, I'm signing off and heading to bed! Good night!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Swimming Lessons...hmmm...

Tonight I took Ava to her 1st Parent & Tot swimming lesson at The Grove in Inver Grove Heights. I thought for sure she would love the water, but I don't think either of us realized how chilly the water was (84 degrees? I don't think so!) Brrrrrr.....!

Ava immediately started doing a cry/whine and tried to crawl up my chest. For the remaining 40 minutes, I barely got her to release her hold on me to play in the water. There were babies a few months younger than her that were having a ball being paddled around. I'm not going to fret too much about it, since this was her 1st time in the water, and she didn't know what to expect. We even went into the kiddie fun pool afterwards where it was much warmer, and she still wasn't sure about it.

I'm not a water fan myself, and I was hoping that my children wouldn't be like me in that aspect - I really want them to be comfortable in the water. Keep your fingers crossed for next Monday!

One thing to add - the hardest part of the whole night was trying to change the wet Mommy and the wet baby into dry clothes with no Daddy around to assist! My hats off to single parents everywhere - wow!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We have had SUCH a busy week! I didn't get a picture of it, but Ava and Isabel took their 1st bath together on Wednesday night. I'm not sure that Isabel enjoyed having Ava share her tub with her, but she was a good sport, and even shared her bath toys with Ava! (For those that don't know, Isabel is the daughter of Tiff and Darren, our very good friends.)

On Thursday, I went to a very fun happy hour (a.k.a. a "throwing-away party" - not going-away party - for my boss.) She's leaving us to take on another group at BI. Although, she'll still be our director, she'll be sitting in a different building now. PARTY at work!! Just kidding, Terrie. :) )

On Good Friday we didn't have daycare, so Ava and Mommy spent the day together - she is such a good little girl during the day...I often wonder how it would be to stay home with her full-time. Maybe one day...

On Saturday night we went to an engagement party for our friends Julie and seemed that everyone wanted to hold Ava, and she started getting a little nervous. But, since it was her first time in a bar, I can't blame her! There was just a lot of noise and people - I think she was happy when we left for home. But while we were there, we had fun. We can't wait until their wedding in WI this fall!

Finally, we celebrated Easter with Scott's mom's family. Here are a few fun photos from today!

Our egg-coloring experience...some of them turned out really weird looking...

A few treats she got in her Easter basket...a bunny, purple sunglasses and socks

She didn't really like wearing the sunglasses - we tried MANY times to get them to stay on!

Ava and Tatiana (Ava's cousin - second, or first, once removed...I never know how that works)

Tatiana was so good with Ava today!
Ava started to get a little cranky, so Grandma Deb was trying to calm her down. Notice how concerned Tatiana looks!

We had an Easter egg hunt in the backyard (Ava had a little help from her Mommy), and then all of the kids got treat bags! Ava received a book (which she LOVES), bubbles, and a bouncy ball!

Hope your Easter was happy!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Big Girl Tub!

Ava is so focused during her nightly bath...she's always chewing on either the rubber duck, or a squeaky dog toy (not a dog toy for the dogs, but a baby toy that is a dog. You know what I mean!) Anyway, lately she had started to try and climb out of her infant tub to grab the shampoo bottle I had sitting next to it. This probably would have continued on for a few more months until my wise friend Lisa connected the dots for me - she was ready for the BIG GIRL TUB!

I was completely unprepared to bathe her in our tub, so I rushed out and bought a non-slip bathtub mat for inside the tub, and a cute faucet cover in the shape of a duck (wearing a bikini and carrying a surfboard...seems a little weird, but it's cute.) The neatest thing about it is that you can lift the top of its head up (also a little weird - reminds me of the Silence of the Lambs dinner scene), and pour in bubble bath so it drips into the tub at the same time the water is running out of the faucet. I never knew that I needed one of these, but boy, it sure is neat!

So, with all of our supplies in place, we were ready for her 1st night in the tub...and she loved it! I think she enjoys how much room there is to crawl, splash, play and now there's room for even more bath toys to chew on. This is one big stage that I was excited for, but it snuck up on me without warning! Or at least a warning that I could easily spot!

Here are a few cute pics from the past week:

Last night Scott and I went out and celebrated Tiffany's birthday, and Grandma Deb was nice enough to watch Ava overnight. We are very fortunate to have her so close to us so we can get out and have a little adult time every once in a while!

Here's a picture of the girls at the Cro in SSP:

Scott, Ava and I went to Walmart today, and by chance, ran into the Easter Bunny. We decided to get her picture taken with the Bunny - we weren't sure how she was going to do, but she LOVED it! She smiled, clapped, waved at the EB, and was generally a happy little girl. I hope she does as well with Santa this Christmas...!

Happy Sunday!