Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandma Janie!!

Family gathered at my parent's house this weekend to celebrate Grandma Janie's birthday. We got to fill up on my sister in law Tiffany's delicious soup and we brought brownie batter cupcakes that tasted a lot better than they looked. I wish I'd gotten a picture of Emily's face covered in chocolate icing! Here are some snapshots from the fun evening, including some of us back at home and hanging out in our jammies...forgive the color of those, it was dark and my flash really lit things up!

Oh Emily...you are so silly and make us laugh all the time!

Melt my heart into a giant puddle of sweetness. <3

Crazy end of the day hair!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Picking

Recently a good friend of mine, Katie, suggested that we take Ava to a charming little pumpkin patch in Marionville that she frequents. So we got together last Saturday and headed that way.

This place is adorable and I encourge you to visit! Seriously cute decor including many antiques, pumpkins of all varieties everywhere , a hay ride, those large cutouts you put your face in, goats, dogs running around, and so much more!

Here are some fun pictures we took. Katie, next year YOU have to be in some of these!

Look at this cute fence 'o garden tools!

This was a cute wall with stacked pumpkins painted on it, where you could "measure your little pumpkin". Cute!
Forgive the lack of pants. It turned out to be MUCH warmer than anticipated that day.

Sweet Katie bought Ava these two tiny pumpkins. Ava still loves playing with them and they are the perfect size to help Ava develop her hand-eye coordination.

Seriously. That mug face...cracks me up!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Play Date

My good friend, Kandis, and I found out last year that not only were we both pregnant, we were pretty much due at the same time AND both having girls. Excitement abounded! We already spent a lot of our free time with Kandis and her husband Jonathan, including an annual float each summer. We dreamed up a maternity leave filled with joint walks in parks with babies in tow, playdates ALL the time, etc etc.

Reality has hit. Getting a <6 month old out is HARD.

Their little girl Adalyn arrived in this world 5 days after Ava. We took some lunch over for a "baby best friends" introduction after Adalyn was home and they proceeded to sleep next to one another while we ate. Oh ya, and Ava blew out a diaper while we were there. Of course.

Then Kandis and Adalyn came out to our house for a visit during our maternity leaves. We spent the time jiggling babies and trying to figure out what we were doing with these little 4 week olds. We even ventured back to employer's offices 1 hour from town one day to show off our little loves. So brave.

But that'd been it. No trips to the park, no float at all this summer.

However, this past Friday we held our first ever real play date. Well as real as it gets with 5 month olds. The girls were both placed on a playmat where calm lovely little Adalyn innocently played and entertained herself, and Ava screamed, cried, squirmed and generally showed me she she still sort of hates playmats.

Next we tried Adalyn's fun caterpillar rocker. That was better.

Soon we just went to the trusty ol' blanket for some hand holding, peering inquisitively at one another and what appears to be Ava trying to kick Adalyn in the face.

After some milk, Ava calmed down some and hopefully observed how Adalyn can calmly behave without wiggling 100% of the time. Not that I'd really have it any other way! <3

Welcome Wyatt!

Welcome to the world Wyatt! You are so handsome already.

I made a quick 24 hour trip up to St. Louis earlier in October to come see you. It was a whirlwind decision, but when I heard Jen was in labor (thanks to a oh-so-Brian witty text) I just couldn't stay put. Dad and Mom looked to be doing well, just a little sleep deprived. But glowing with pride and love.

Wyatt's name was not announced until his arrival and I just love it. It was especially fitting since we'd chosen to have Jen's shower in a cowboy theme. Wyatt seems a little western to me...maybe just because of a hilarious little country cutie named Wyatt I once had in VBS.

I can't wait to watch this little guy grow up. I also can't wait to see the joy Jen and Brian will have watching him grow and loving him. It's the most amazing feeling and they are/will be GREAT parents.

PS - what is going on with these gray areas in my pictures? If anyone knows, give me some tips to get rid of that!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

That wasn't a fart...

We've officially started on solids....this day may be right around the corner!

We are also shopping for the right high chair. Something with a decent price point, a washable chair pad and dishwasher safe tray. Any suggestions?

This is one I'm looking at ...cute, wonderful price, converts to a fun little table and chair...but Ava already has a nice wooden table and matching chairs, and I don't want our house being overrun with toddler size tables! TWO TODDLER TABLES TAKING TWOVER!  Sorry, that was bad...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ava - 5 Months Old

Weight: 14-15 lbs

Diet: 4 oz bottles of formula every 2-3 hours. Also, big day, Ava's pediatrician gave us the okay to start on solids. 

Sleep: Ava is still a great sleeper...there have been a couple of nights recently where she has sort of woken up in the middle of the night, but nothing a binky in the mouth won't fix. To be honest, on those nights, I really don't think she's 100% awake.

What's going on:
That hilarious face I mentioned during Ava's 4 month post only lasted about a day and a half. Boo. But as of yesterday, she's started making it again. Maybe she's working on sucking or kissing or just being straight up hilarious. Who knows, but we are loving it while it lasts again.
We are mastering the art of eating these days. For just starting rice cereal yesterday, she's already pretty darn good at keeping food in her mouth and swallowing. If those little baby spoons aren't cute, I don't know what is!
Ava still loves being outdoors whenever possible, and I'm starting to wonder what we'll do during the cold winter months. I guess we'll just bundle up and make the most of it. If she's truly fussy, a short walk outside usually cheers her right up.
Ava has had her 4 month check up, which was 3 days before her 5 month birthday (so the appointment was on 10/9/12). Wynston went with me to this appointment. She weighed in at 14.1 lbs (50th percentile) and she was 25 1/4 inches long (90th percentile). I don't remember her head circumference, but she was 50th percentile in that as well. Shots were administered, and that's always hard. They must have really worn her out this time, because Ava took a 3 hour nap the next day. Craziness. She normally naps for 1 hour max. I have to admit I was starting to freak out a little.
Ava has rolled over a handful of times now, both front to back and back to front. She's also started wallering in her crib; some mornings we find her up in the very top corner.
She's now a pincher, still a squirmy kicker, still jabbering like crazy (I'm trying my best to get a momma and dadda out of her), is still generous with smiles and has the funniest cackle. She's also totally a daddy's girl these days. They are the bestest of buds.

Yep, this girl has a pink camo hat. Thanks again Great Uncle Roger and Great Aunt Janet!

Precious sleeping beauty.

Grandpa Randy giving Ava a fishing lesson.

Ava trying on some new boots! We got another pair that are black with red ladybug toes.

A windy trip to town + a headband = crazy baby hair! 

Bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

1 Hour

On a typical night, while making dinner we plop Ava into her baby seat.  This one...

I love this seat, and as Ava gets bigger, we can remove the orange seat insert and it will grow with her. I recommend this product.

While we make dinner, we get about 15 minutes of play in this seat, then Ava wants out. Like O.U.T. out.

However, last night we may have turned a corner. I put her in the seat and started dinner. Wynston had to work late. I was just chopping vegetables since I figured I'd have to stop and attend to Ava before long. But then Wynston came home and we kept going with dinner. I was in charge of the pasta, he picked up where I left off with a "faux fried" blooming onion. We kept looking over at her, picking her toys up as she knocked them off, cooking, looking over, picking up toys, etc. Pretty soon an hour had passed and dinner was ready. ONE HOUR people! I was in awe. It was amazing. This little lady's mind, attention span and creativity must be growing! I loved peeking over at her as she gazed curiously at her toys, studying, then usually "pouncing" on them and putting whatever she can in her little mouth.

So, one hour of dedicated dinner making later (it doesn't usually take quite that long), we sat down to eat and watch the ball game. I'd purchased some Velveeta recently for a breakfast recipe...which needed approximately less than 1/4th of the pound. Our small town grocery store only carries the pound box! Not wanting to waste that cheese, and knowing I couldn't freeze it, I turned to Pinterest and snatched up a yummy looking pasta recipe that uses Velveeta. This turned out sooo bad! Lol. I dipped a tortilla chip into it and found that quite yummy, but on pasta...blech! After attempting to eat a bowl each (neither of us could) it felt like you had a 5 lb lump of goo sitting in your stomach. Oh well. At least the Blooming Onion was tasty!

Post Season

Inspired me...

If you're gonna get kicked out of a game, you might as well do it the right way! Ha! Because who doesn't love baseball pants. ;) Fun cheesy fact...Wynston and I started dating during his sophomore year baseball season. Soo long ago. So the Cardinals may be 12 in 12, but we're finishing up year #13!

Back to the subject Casey...guess I'd better give up my early bedtimes for a couple more weeks now that the Cards won their Division Series. Go Red Birds! Wynston is holding out for a Cardinals vs. Yankees game.

Anyway, I'll be back soon with a 5 month post, since Ava turned 5 months yesterday. Today, we are enjoying the cloudy morning and getting ready to head into town for a few errands. Not gonna lie...venturing out with Little Miss can still be a big job...but this girl needs some formula and we may go peek at a few Halloween costumes. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Camera Roll

Pigtails! Plus the tongue...it's always out.

Stuck in a jungle! Ava is actually starting to really like this jumperoo.

Ava got to meet her Great Uncle Roger this weekend.

Got me some new, sturdy, babyproof glasses recently.

Us girls like stripes!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

More Pinterest Recipes

Here are several Pinterest recipes I've tried over the past few weeks and how they turned out...

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Chickpeas and Corn Edamame Quinoa Salad
We must've been feeling adventurous that night! I wasn't expecting the shrimp and chickpeas to be good, but they were great! Wynston and I both loved that dish. The textures were so different but blended very well. And yes, some nights we forgoe plates and just eat straight from the bowls!

 Greek Chicken Pizza

This isn't actually a recipe from Pinterest. When we go to Galloway Station, we often get the Greek Pizza, which is soo good. This was our homeade version...good but doesn't hold a candle to Galloway's. Boo to our nearest grocery store for not carrying Kalmata olives, but yay to them for some really yummy chicken tenders.

Bruschetta Chicken, Roasted Cabbage and Roasted Potatoes 

 http://www.marthastewart.com/315062/roasted-cabbage-wedges ,
I found the chicken recipe last summer and we love it. Easy, works well on the grill or stovetop. We skip the bread underneath the chicken. The cabbage was good too; I added a splash of balsamic vinegar (and maybe some worcestershire) to each slice before roasting. The potatoes were not great...they are hard to cook that way and I prefer to just cube and roast my potates with some olive oil, salt and pepper.

Crockpot Salisbury Steak with Mashed Cauliflower/Potatoes

I actually used venison burger for these steaks. Though we liked the recipe (it's a keeper, super simple) I'll make my steaks thinner next time. I also threw in some chopped onion and mushrooms to the crockpot. That was a good decision! The "mashed potatoes" are made from cauliflower and 1 potato (we used a left over baked potato). We've been using this light recipe for years. It's easy, healthy and tastes good!

Other recipes we've tried without pictures (bc my pictures are soooo high quality, haha!):

Chickpea, Feta and Parsley Salad - I'll use cilantro or Italian Parsley next time.

Light Bang Bang Shrimp - we didn't feel like getting the grill out so I did all this on the stove top. Decent but not as good as the original.

Crockpot Beef Broccoli - our crockpot runs hot and I let the meat burn in this. Not good!

Pumpkin and Sweet Onion Quesadillas - We surprisingly liked this. I served it with a Morrocan Chickpea soup. Yum.

Monday, October 1, 2012

What a Weekend - 2012 Fair Grove Fall Festival

We just had a whirlwind weekend. Some weekends we don't do much and spend lots of time hanging around...some weekends, like this past one, are crazy, busy and fun!

Date Night - still adjusting to the dark hair.
Please ignore the dirty mirror and lack of lip color...nothing a little Dr. Pepper chapstick can't fix!

Pastel Fair Isle Jammies...so stylish

I've had my eye on this garden themed play gym for a long time. Finally got it and we LOVE it!

Ava tries to eat everything these days!

Ava and Aunt Tammy at the 2012 Fair Grove Fall Festival. Ava loved it!

Ava and Aunt Joey, chilling on a Sunday afternoon