Monday, September 28, 2009

A Trip to the Afton Apple Orchard

One of our fall traditions is going to the Afton Apple Orchard to pick apples and pumpkins, play with the animals, and take a hayride around the fields.

Last year Ava was too little to really know what was going on, so we were very excited to have her experience it this year. We didn't want to go too late in the season as we noticed last year that the apples are picked over by that time. When decent weather was in the forecast for this past weekend, we knew it was time to go!

We had to make a few stops before we actually got on the road...I think Ava's getting bored waiting for us to start moving again!


When we finally arrived, the first thing we did was check out the petting zoo. Ava absolutely LOVED it! She immediately screamed (happy scream, not scared scream) and ran up to the fence to pet the animals. Even the bigger donkey didn't scare her. Notice how I'm trying to teach her to pet the animal nicely...


And notice how she still wanted to stick her finger up his nose? Thank goodness for hand sanitizer!


The goats were more her size - she wasn't scared of them at all. In fact, right after we got to the petting zoo, she picked up a piece of discarded animal food from the ground, and immediately tried to feed it to a goat. After that, the goats really liked Ava!





I was trying to show her how to feed the animals with her palm facing up and flat, but she didn't quite get the concept (or she wanted to do it her way...it's hard to tell with her sometimes!) In this picture, you can see that her fingers are almost completely in the goat's mouth...and I'm freaking out next to her! I was so scared that her little fingers were going to be nibbled right off!


After we cleaned up from the petting zoo, we hopped on the hayride to take us out to the various orchards. Our tractor driver was nice enough to take this picture for us.


After the initial loud noise from the tractor, Ava seemed to enjoy the hayride.


We finally decided to hop off the hayride as it was preparing to make another loop through the fields, so we were able to pick Sweet 16s, Cortlands, and Honey Golds. Ava even joined in the fun and picked her very own apple. Scott let her take a few bites off of his apple - we knew those teeth would come in handy for something GOOD eventually!



This was a very fun trip to the orchard, and we're already looking forward to doing it again next year. Now I just need to get some ideas of what to do with the 10lbs of apples we picked!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Three, Four, Five...Five...Five..."

Well, we've had a big week at the Goers' house - not only did Ava go an entire week with ZERO time outs at daycare (hooray!), we've also seen her vocabulary explode. She's started attempting to say her ABC's, as well as counting with the pre-school kids. She seems to like skipping over "one" and "two", and going straight into "three, four, five"...with "five" being the repeat winner. Over and over and over. Every once in a while we might get a "six" and a "seven". In fact, the other night, she sat in her crib and counted to herself for 30 minutes. I guess it really IS exciting learning something new!

She's also been repeating words as we've been talking to her, so now she's saying "please" with a little prompting. And "shoe"...I should really get her to try to work on saying "purse" and then "Coach purse, please, Dada?" :) And the other night at the dinner table, I would point to Scott, and say "Dada," which she would happily repeat, smile, and clap. Scott would do the same for me, and she would respond with "No." Ouch. No claps, no smiles, nothing, except for "No." Eventually we got a whole bunch of "Mamas" out of her, but man, it was like pulling teeth. Am I seeing a glimpse of the future when she's 13???

I love the serious expression on her face here.

Scott, Ava, and Darla were goofing around on our bed the other night. I don't know if you can see Darla's eyes in this picture but they are bright red...it looks like she's lurking in the background waiting to attack Ava.



Ava was giving Darla all sorts of love and hugs...


Spanky ran under the bed so he wouldn't have to join in the fun.


I bought a jug of Mr. Bubbles so our bubble count is now way higher than it usually is...more for Ava to eat!


We went back to the Kaposia playground tonight, where Ava not only matched the equipment, but she attempted to climb up the slide. She became incredibly frustrated, so we helped her along the way.




Scott was having fun, too! Notice Ava in the background picking up a Slurpee cup. I was able to grab it from her before she could drink from it. Yuck! Hello people, there's a trash not more than 20 feet away!


I also tried to join in the fun, but they hurt my hands! :)


And Ava decided it was time to go, so she made a run for the baseball field.


Once we got home and gave her a bath, she passed out so quickly. I love what the fresh air does to her! I don't know what we're going to do this winter!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

15-Month Checkup

We took Ava in tonight for her 15-month checkup, and it was confirmed...she is one healthy little girl! She cooperated very well with Dr. Hocks, and only cried for a minute or so with the three shots she received. Ava is now 31" long (75th percentile), and 24.5 lbs (also 75th percentile.) What a well-proportioned kiddo!

She has a little cold right now, so I've been trying to wipe her nose on a regular basis - which she truly hates. Tonight I gave her a tissue, and she pretended to wipe Scooter's (the purple cat) nose with it. It was SO cute!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bummin' Around the House

Ava's been such a smiley girl lately, so I wanted to capture some of our evening moments together...

At dinner one night, I took a ton of video of her, but it's mostly stuff to amuse us as the parents - it would probably bore everyone else!


She's loved climbing on the furniture lately - when I look at these, it makes me realize what a big girl she's becoming.

I love the crossed legs in this one!


I've said it before, and I'll say it a million more times...Darla is the most patient dog. Scott thought it would be funny to have her wear Ava's toy. Silly Scott.


Ava's got several molars coming in...as Scott was feeling around for them tonight, she showed him exactly how sharp and strong they are. Guess Daddy won't be doing that again any time soon!

The Northwoods Wedding

This past weekend, Scott and I traveled up to northern Wisconsin for a weekend wedding celebration for my good friends Julie and Casey, as well as an early 4th Anniversary getaway for us. Ava spent the weekend at Grandma Deb's , and we took full advantage of being baby-free!

The weather was absolutely perfect while we were in Cable - mid 70's and sunshiney...perfect weather for an outdoor wedding! We wanted to stay out of everyone's way, so after Friday night at the resort bar with friends, we left the resort, and decided to explore the area on our own. We drove into Cable, and did a little shopping. We then headed the opposite direction, and ended up in Clam Lake, and did a little more shopping.

At this point, I was thoroughly enjoying the adventure (due to the shopping); however, Scott wanted something a little less shoppy, so we decided to head down a rustic "highway" in search of a wildlife viewing area. The only wildlife we saw was a turtle sunning itself on a rock, and maybe a bird or two. As Scott will attest, the highlight of our "hike" was me falling down over a rock in the path. As Scott was in front of me on the path (thank goodness!) all he heard was a thump, and when he turned to look back, there was dust and leaves flying. And me, incredibly embarrassed on the ground. I now remember why I didn't like falling as a kid - it hurts! :)

Eventually we made our way back to the resort for the evening wedding and reception...my camera died right at the beginning of the party, so I don't have any pics to share. Boo! But there are MANY great memories in our minds! Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Casey Jaeger!!

The lakeview from the resort


The start of our adventure in the woods...



I spotted something wild on the trail!




Here we are in our wedding finery right before the ceremony.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Ooooooo!" er, I mean, "Moooooo!"

Gramma Karen and Grampa Doug bought Ava an early Christmas present while we were in KC last weekend. I had been looking for a kid-sized table and chair set, but I didn't want anything that was uber-girlie. It seems like there's a big market for "princess" items, and frankly, I don't think we want Ava to believe she's a little princess. Momma yes, Ava no. :)

We stopped in at Nebraska Furniture Mart (thank goodness we don't have one of those in the Cities - I'd have a hard time not buying everything I saw!) After we searched through the entire kids department, and nixed the princess and sports options, I spotted what I was looking for...something neutral that kids of both genders could enjoy. Granted, we may live in the city, but that doesn't mean we can't bring a little bit of the country into our home. Check it out!




Ava loves the pig and the cow at the bottom of the table (I don't think she's noticed the sheep and the chicken at the top yet). She'll run up to the cow, point at it, and say "Oooooooo!" We may be missing the "M" but the idea is there. We've been trying to teach her to say "Oink" but that's a little harder, I guess!

The most amazing thing is that we actually had room to bring this home - it was the last set they had in stock, so yay, it was already assembled, but boo, that made it a little more tricky to fit in the car. But it all worked out, and Ava loves being able to sit at the table, read her books, eat some snacks, and watch the world go by. It will be fun to see what sort of crafty things she ends up doing at this table...scrapbooking, perhaps? :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

1000 Miles with a Toddler...

We drove down to KC to visit my parents this past weekend. I had NO idea what Ava would be like in the car for 8+ hours each way, since the last two times we've driven, she's either slept or cried most of the way. We did NOT want a repeat of either of those two options, so we loaded the car up with snacks, toys, the DVD player, and anything we could think of to keep her occupied. And you know what? It worked! She slept around her regular nap times, and she only started getting fussy when we started getting close to mealtimes - at which point, we needed to stop to eat.

All in all, things worked out well on the drive!

We also had a great time with my parents - we had very little planned for the weekend, so there was lots of time to relax and enjoy each other's company. Ava came through as the regular entertainer for the weekend - that girl sure does like to be the center of attention! We also had a visit from my great-aunt and her dog, so it was nice to catch up with them, as well.

Here are just a few pics from our visit - I didn't take nearly as many pics as I wanted to!

Ava enjoyed sitting with us at the patio table - even though she displaced Daddy. She was even willing to give up her high chair to the Bear!




Ava discovered the light switch on the kitchen island, and amused herself constantly throughout the weekend. However, to her dismay, I stepped in, and covered the outlet. Oh well...a few tears are better than a scorched baby!



We also attempted to take this year's Christmas pic...beautiful weather + a gorgeous background + a long line of people waiting to use the same spot does NOT equal a successful photo session. Better luck next time I guess...here's a pic to sum up the event. :)


Ava loves her little laptop - she was kicking her legs all around while she was "typing", and eventually got down to business when she pulled it on her lap. Maybe she was checking this blog to see why I hadn't written yet this week!




And finally...it didn't happen in KC, but Momma got her hair cut! I went to a new stylist, and she decided I needed a new 'do. And so far (it's been 3 hours), I love it! We'll see what happens tomorrow when I try to recreate the look...!