Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This happened on Thanksgiving

Someone played so hard Thanksgiving afternoon that she feel asleep on Granpa Randy's knee. While being jiggled up and down! So cute. Just before this she was sitting up straight, head down, fast asleep.

Cousins Fish Fry!

The past couple of years, our cousins Randi and Jeff from out of state have been able to come visit us during the Fall. This year, they brought along a new family member, their adorable son Hunter. Hunter was born about 2 weeks after Ava, and I hope they get to continue these annual playdates, and that we will be able to venture out their way some day with Ava.

Last year, when they were down we all headed out for a dinner at Cheddar's with the cousins that are close to our age (they span all age groups!). This year, with Hunter and Ava being about six months old, we decided to stay in and have a fish fry at our house. I'm totally down with any excuse to fry up some fish and potatoes for dinner!

Hunter and Ava, while so close in age, are so different! That little guy's got baby muscles galore, and set of super strong legs. Ava's got her nice strong back that lets her sit up like a big girl and observe the world. Hunter started rolling over really early and impressed us all with his speed crawling in our living room! He's also all about jumping right now, and got to enjoy Ava's Johnny Jump Up.

Thanks Randi for letting me snag and share your photos!

Jeff holding Ava up to chat with Hunter.

Jeff and Ava. Hunter weighs about 5 more pounds than Ava, so this was a change for Jeff!

Cousins sharing a toy.

Hunter hopping around!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Baby On The Go

This little one is always busy. Her new favorite thing is getting her cute little self into a walker and putting around the house. Sometimes she follows and watches what you are doing. Sometimes she explores at will, showing her independence and curiousity. We were surprised at how quickly Ava mastered the art of moving the walker around with ease, and how fast she can go! It's our newest form of entertainment and pride.

All this activity must really be wearing Little Miss out, because she has been caught falling asleep in our arms a couple times over the past few days. I have to say, those are the sweetest moments. It happened to me yesterday. We spent the day at home getting the house all "Christmas-fied" and taking care of some to-do's. Ava enjoyed some quality floor wallering time and journeys in her walker. But soon I looked over from the tree to see her laying on her back, feet and arms flailing in the air, like a turtle stuck on it's back. I picked her up and put her on my lap. Pretty soon she layed her head on my shoulder, then quickly went limp. I called Wynston in out of the kitchen, and he confirmed she was snoozing away. *mommy moment of the day*

Bundled up for a walk.

Silly smiles literally moments before falling into a deep sleep in the stroller.

Repeat picture (it was on her 6 Month post) but look at that face! Orneryness personified!

"Here I come!!"

Super fast, even in footie pajamas.

Friday, November 23, 2012

New Love - Brussel Sprouts

I have a new love, and surprisingly, it is brussel sprouts. I had not even tried these adorable little vegetables until earlier this year. I am smitten.

Normally I like them tossed in some oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar then roasted. Maybe even topped with some bacon! Ohhh. Recently we tried them roasted, then coated in a dijon vinaigrette and with sesame seeds sprinkled all around (recipe here).

Anyone else out there share my love of these cuties? Anyone have any good recipes to share? I do believe I'm the only weirdo who can think about, let alone talk about eating and recipes the day after Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yumm! - Lettuce Wraps

We found another Pinterest recipe winner! Copycat PF Changs Lettuce Wraps

We previously were using a Guy Fieri Lettuce Wrap recipe that we liked a lot. They were tasty but also a drippy mess all over the place. Plus, anything that tastes like PF Chang's is a winner in my book. These are pretty easy, not really messy (aka not drippy), and a good way for us to use some groceries we had on hand (aka a big ol bag of shell on peanuts my brother and sister-in-law gave us).

I will say that we made a few tweaks:
  • We added more soy sauce and honey to the sauce.
  • I forgot to buy ground chicken, so we diced and cooked two chicken breasts with diced onions. Then we ran that through our food proceessor. End result...the BEST texture of ground up chicken for lettuce wraps EVAH!
  • We used some hydroponic butter lettuce. I've learned over the years, that when making lettuce wraps, invest in the nice lettuce that doesn't snap and break on you and holds contents well.
  • Next time, I'll use the whole can of water chestnuts instead of half the can. The more the merrier!

Go make this! Easier to make than you think it will be. We made this last night, after a LONG day spent out of town. When we decided to make this, I thought to myself  "I've lost my mind...where's the cereal and milk?" But we whipped this out in no time and it really hit the spot.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ava - 6 Months Old

Happy Half Birthday Baby Girl!!

Ava turned 6 months old on November 12th, 2012. I can NOT believe Ava has been in our lives for half a year! She has changed our lives so much. Less sleep, less money, more smiles, more dreams. To see the transitions and growth she has already gone through...simply amazing! I look at Ava and how she now fills her time and I am blown away at what babies learn to do and how they grow in just six short months. We are so blessed.

Weight: 15.15 pounds (50th percentile)
Length: 27.14 inches (90th percentile)

Ava still takes 4 oz bottles but can now go usually 2.5 to 3 hours between feedings. She is also becoming a pro at solids. She has had rice cereal, oatmeal, banana, apples, pears, sweet potato, green beans, avocado and peaches. Her favorite appears to be apples and bananas, and her least favorite were green beans and avocado. Little Miss appears to have a sweet tooth like her daddy. I use my Baby Brezza to make her food and it is so great. Easy to use, easy to clean. The other day Grandpa Randy popped a twizzler into those little hands and she was gnawing away at it like a mad woman. Yep, that happened. :)

Ava continues to sleep through the night, though I do continue to hear her stir and sometimes chat a bit between 4 and 5 am. Bedtime is now closer to 8, where it used to be 8:15-8:30. She takes 3 naps a day - morning, midday and afternoon. Naps are generally between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

What's Going On:
Ava is now a full time sitter. She can do it all on her own, but we still stay close by for the occasional battle with her balance. A couple bumped heads have caused me to always stay in arms length or pad LOTS of pillows all around. Ava has always had a strong back and neck and she took to sitting VERY well.
She is starting to discover the joy that is some of the bigger toys we've armed the house with...specifically her Jumperoo and Johnny Jump Up. She loves running all around in that Johnny Jump Up and then picking up her legs and letting it twist and swing her all around.
She also loves playing the "pant leg game" with daddy...Ava lays on the floor, Wynston hangs his leg over her, she grabs on tight and they roll from one side to the other...quite the leg workout. She also loves when mommy holds her sideways and "curls" her up and down. Wynston also thoroughly enjoys walking Ava all around the house, usually chasing our dog Lily in circles. He's so determined to get that girl walking. I, on the other hand, am in no rush.
Her favorite toys still tend to be anything that crinkles...especially a now well loved bag of potato chips. I can only imagine the mess we'll have the day that bag bursts open.
Ava has mastered the word "Dada", and when in the right mood, she'll let you know it over and over and over. She has also come to the conclusion that places with noise are the perfect places to test out her volume. She continues to be a very vocal baby.
Comfort with rolling over has really added to Ava's mobility and taken away from my sanity (ha, just kidding). She has definitely gotten over her fear of rolling over and can spend much longer on her tummy now. She has even been known to make some attempts at "scooting" if there's enough traction underfoot or a leg to push off of.
Ava can hold her own bottle and is learning how to angle it to avoid air bubbles.
Her personality continues to shine through...she is gracious with smiles, has the cutest cackle you've ever heard, and squeals in protest if you take something she wants away. She hates having her face wiped after eating. She stays busy, checking out her surroundings and grabbing anything in reach. I love watching her fascination over what she can grab; she'll twist her hand this way and that, observing all angles. Sometimes I'll hold her close to my face and she's so preoccupied with what's all around, then she'll remember I'm there, stare into my eyes and slowing come in to give a "kiss" -- really just a slobbery mouth on your face. Sweet all the same.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So Glamorous

I got this texted to me today from Grandma Cheryl....someone's been having some fun with rollers!

Ava's Nursery

I finally got around to taking some pictures of Ava's nursery. Even though she is 6 months old now, it's still a work in progress...typical for me. :) Also, it looks cramped and crowded in these pictures for some reason, but it really isn't that way in person. I guess it was the angles I used for the photographs.

Putting together Ava's nursery was a lot of fun. We looked over a LOT of different themes and color palettes, but decided on this pastel woodland for her as a bitty baby nursery. I love it...the room is calm and soothing. But I am also looking forward to going with something more vivid, bright and modern when we transition to a big girl room some day. :)

The light this morning was intense...still need to get some curtains picked out and hung!

Sweet minty woodland bedding, a good fox friend and a nighttime binky.
We recently put her bumpers in since she rolls around a lot as she's waking up.

This little desk was mine as a child.

Some sleepy themed wall art above the crib.
I think I'll try to watercolor some pastel color behind that pink and white print on the left so its not so "white".
The piece on the left says "Read me a Story, Tuck me in Tight, Say a Sweet Prayer, and Kiss me Goodnight".
The middle piece is a bunny, fishing off the moon.
The art on the right says "Crying is Stressful, Sleeping is Restful".

Bookcase, full of books, puzzles and blankets.
The sound machine is sititng in a crocheted pink piece made by Ava's Great Grandma Pauline. I'll probably remove the magazine rack that's there because it's crowding the bookcase...it's just very functional right now.
Ya ya, I know a pineapple lamp has no place in a woodland nursery...but whatever, it's mine from college.

I got this pink and brown glider and ottoman for a STEAL off Craigslist.
We actually got it before we knew Ava was a girl, and I was going to recover it if she was a boy...lol...! Ya right!

I LOVE that little bunny on the right side of her dresser...the ears are a comb and brush, and there's a mirror underneath the face. Adorable.
There's also a Hawaiian doll that a sweet neighbor brought back to Ava from a trip to the islands.
A small shelf sits next to the dresser. That's my "catch all" for books, binky's and a sharpie for labeling boxes of too small baby clothes. :(

This art all hangs above that glider and dresser. It's not yet completed.
The rainbow piece was made by cousin Lauren.
The stroller piece below that is a card from a baby shower.
The butterfly doily was passed down from Wynston's family.
The Ava piece on the top right was a hand decorated gift bag made by Grandma Janie.
The small framed bow is from another baby gift.

These two are waiting to be framed and hung with the others.
The first is a picture I took of Ava on my 29th birthday. I embroidered that little pink bow onto the print.

Ava's changing table.

Paper lanterns above the changing table. I love the eyelet ones.

A bow holder I made for Ava....thrifted milkglass frame (actually its plastic), burlap, chickenwire, bows bows and more bows! Ava loves to look at this while I change her.

A "bear" rug I made.
If I ever do another, I'll work harder on the shape next time! :p

This picture was given to Ava from her Great Grandma Ruth.
It always hung in Great Grandma Ruth's bedroom.

And now a dose of reality...Ava's closet.
Jam packed with clothes, toys, extra diapers and wipes, and a playmat.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dinner Time

Snacking on a banana in a mesh holder

Now time for some dinner

"Oh no, time to try some more of that squishy stuff. Hope it's not avocado again."

"I'm all ready...let's do this!"

"Oh, it's not green. Good."

"Down the hatch."
"Yum! Sweet potato and pear!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Would you be embarrassed to be seen with me?!


Lol! Hoodie for baby and momma! Seriously...would you hate me?! It's so hilariously bad, yet functional!!

Totally what I needed to see after a horrible, no good day yesterday. Luckily a few good things happened as well. Here's the breakdown:

Bad: Had a bad dream about my upcoming work day. It turned out to be a premonition...one of those awful days at work where NOTHING goes right.
Good: My high chair arrived and was delivered...thanks Mom and Grandma Day!

Bad: I took Ava to the WalMart to pick up her shopping cart cover (!) and grocery shop. I left the carseat in the car because...we'd pick up the shopping cart cover. Although my tracking email said the package had been shipped to the store, I found out it was really in the truck for that night's unload and wasn't available yet. It was beyond gross outside, so I padded Ava into the shopping cart using canvas shopping bags and a blanket, and seatbelted her in. It worked. And yes...I just said I PADDED HER IN WITH SHOPPING BAGS.
Good: Some stranger (to me) brightened my day with kind, thoughtful words said to me in the checkout line. Turns out she recognized Ava from a recent breakfast outing with Grandma Cheryl.

Bad/Good: I bought a can of French Onion Dip Pringles last night.

Anywho...today is a new day and this hoodie totally made me giggle.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday morning funny...


Because this is one of those mornings where I need a good laugh and thought maybe you all do to!

We got a LOT done this weekend, including finally hanging some (but not all) pictures up in Ava's nursery. I'm hoping to get some photos of that and doing a nursery post later this week.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

Ava's first Halloween! This year Little Miss was a MSU cheerleader! What a fun night, though I think I may have eaten too much candy...opps.

Tongue out!

Practicing her kicks!

Ewwwww PomPoms!

Wynston being silly for Emily


A cute clown, an Egyptian queen, Rapenzel and a cheerleader!
Poppy and Ava