Friday, December 28, 2012

Under the Weather

We'll be back soon with more posts. A stomach bug has hit our house with full force. I must've brought it home, since it hit me first. I tried to keep my distance, but Ava woke up sick in the middle of the night, and Wynston has it today. Luckily we are "staggered" with who has what when, so we can help take care of each other. This is our first experience with a sick little one, and I can know relate with how awful I've heard it can be. Poor girl, sitting in a tub at 4 am, crying, a mess, looking at us with the most helpless little expression. Pure torture for a parent. But we are on the mend and have the entire weekend ahead of us to rest and recuperate.

And buy more Lysol.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Christmas Camera Roll

2012 Christmas Card, by Younique Photography

WARNING: Lots of pictures coming your way! I have dug my digital camera out, but tragically have yet to locate the charger. :( I did bring Wynston's digital camera to our gatherings though, so I'll download those and add some of them to the blog soon!

What a Christmas! We had 6 get-togethers, which is our standard. Here's the breakdown of our last week:

12-21-12: Ava and I met with a couple college friends for a lunch in town. Afterwards I return to work and Ava went with Grandma Cheryl and Aunt Carly to run errands. After work, Daddy and Mommy finished off their shopping. We met with Grandma Cheryl and Grandpa Randy after shopping for dinner at Logan's. We were told multiple times that day that Ava looked just like Boo from Monster's Inc. (she had in pigtails).

Ava at lunch.

12-22-12: Christmas gathering with Grandma Cheryl's family. Musical instruments were brought and we all enjoyed a private concert!

12-23-12: Christmas gathering with Grandma Janie's family. Ava and my cousin's baby Atalee, who was born 2 weeks before Ava, got to play. Fun fun!

12-24-12: Mommy worked till noon. Since we weren't going to be home much over the next couple days, we had our first little family Christmas at the house. Ava liked her gifts and played all morning while I worked and Wynston watched her. That evening we gathered at my parents for our annual Christmas with my parents and brother's family.

12-25-12: Christmas morning was spent with Wynston's parents, sisters and brother-in-law. That afternoon Grandpa Randy's family came over for a party; that evening we headed down to do another party with Poppy's (my dad's) family.

12-26-12: Ava spent the day with Grandma Cheryl while Wynston and I returned to work. That evening we gathered back at Wynston's parents house to eat more food (ha!) with some of Wynston's family who had just arrived in town. I probably kicked Wynston's tail several times at ping pong. (A girl's gotta do something to start working off all these holiday calories!)

Whoa. I'm exhausted just recalling all that! We ate so much, enjoyed Ava getting in some family time and opening some fun presents, and received so many thoughtful gifts. As I recently said on Facebook, we are so blessed! Let's mark this off as another wonderful Christmas!


Friday, December 21, 2012

A Sneak Peak at Ava's Presents

I thought I'd show you all a few of the Christmas presents we've purchased for Ava this year.

We didn't go all out this year...we have a lot on our plates right now, and she already has a lot of cool things. But here are a few cool toys I did pick up for her.

Pull Along, Pull Apart Alligator
Rainbow Snail Stacker

Ocean Wonders Musical Fishbowl

I thought these were a few fun toys Ava would like. Plus I'm on the lookout for more socks. I still am horrible at getting baby shoes to stay on those busy feet, so I'm always on the lookout for good socks.

A while back I purchased this fun guy for Ava. But it's really for 12+ months, so we'll keep this one tucked away until the big #1. :)

Rock N Rolla Busy Bee
The wheels come off so you can start this as a rocker, then later add the 360 degree wheels. Fun!

We are very excited to start seeing family in tomorrow!! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Random Holiday Ramblings

Um....oh my...Christmas is almost here! I feel like I have so much left to do. Never before have my presents sat tucked away, unwrapped for so long. I still have 3 more gifts to buy, with 7 not yet arrived. I have 2 presents semi wrapped. I still need to finalize what food I'm making for family gatherings, do the grocery shopping for that food, and still need to finish and mail my Christmas cards. Yikes!

My motivation is there, but the desire to spend every evening cooking a meal, attempting to pick up a few things, and just spend most of my time playing with Ava or enjoying Wynston play with Ava seems to be getting in the way of my holiday progress. He can make that girl flat out laugh these days! Last night it was with him getting our dog Lily to play with Ava, the night before it was just him helping her "hop" all over the couch. Seriously makes my grin till my jaw hurts.

Here's my Living Room all decorated up...just kidding. I wish.
Today's agenda will be! And what a day to venture out into wind to head to the post office. The wind howled all night long, and there was a tornado warning a few counties southwest of us. In December!

I did find myself merrily motivated last week and set out to make my Grandma Day's famous holiday Peppernuts. These are the most delicious tiny spiced cookies ever. They are just barely larger than a Scrabble tile. And they are full of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice goodness. It seems like every year around Christmas we'd end up over at Grandma Day's helping her make a batch or three dozen. :) I decided to make a batch myself this year. The recipe makes a LOT and calls for 5 cups of flour, which I was counting out with a 1/2 cup scoop. Wynston was chatting with my while I measuring, and I must've gotten off count, because my cookies both wouldn't roll out properly and just don't taste the same. Oh well. There's always next year. Or maybe I'll get a wild hair this weekend and try again. But don't count on it...I've got Elf waiting on my DVR!

Peppernuts and Coffee!
Picture and Recipe, however that recipe is not the same as my Grandma's.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandpa Randy!!

Sunday evening we gathered with Grandpa Randy, Grandma Cheryl and Aunt Carly to celebrate Randy's birthday. We know that Aunt Leah and Uncle AJ were there in spirit too (can't wait to see them soon!!). Ava put on a pink and silver party outfit and we all had a nice time. Ava even signed a little birthday card herself and was rewarded with a few bites of something sweet.

Reading a birthday card together.

Ready for a big bite!

"Oh yummy!"

"Where's the next bite?"

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mmmm Fried Chicken

I know I know...fried chicken isn't really consistent with my "let's eat healthier" vibe. But making good fried chicken is on my bucket list, okay?

I think Ive made one attempt in my entire life at frying chicken. Like real bone in chicken. We've fried lots of chicken breasts, with pretty good results - the Chik-Fil-A copycat version is my favorite. A couple summers ago we would fry up a big batch of this before hitting the river for a float trip. Awesome river food on a hot day!

But back to the original subject...I need some fried chicken help. The one time I made it, the results were just so-so. It took so much longer than I anticipated! My grandma and Wynston's mom both make really good fried chicken. Maybe I need to do an apprenticeship! Because I really want to be able to whip up some good fried chicken. You know, with mashed potatoes, corn. All that good stuff.

Anyone have a good recipe or some tips?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ava - 7 Months Old

12-12-12...Ava's 7 month birthday.

Weight: We didn't have a doctor's visit this month (other than for a flu shot) so we are guessing around 16-17 pounds.
Length: Again, not sure. Longer than last month though, because the 6 month Carter jammies are going to be too short soon.

We have really gotten adventerous with Ava's diet. I recently read an article in Parent magazine that said if your baby hasn't had any issues with new foods that there's no reason to follow any certain schedule of new foods (except no honey the first year), and you don't have to wait the customary 3 days between new foods. In fact, it said that trying new foods at whim may help your baby avoid being a picky eater. So we've added zucchini, butternut squash, mango (Ava loved this), watered down 100% apple juice, ground turkey and prunes, ground chicken and apples, crappie, and the baby snacks (rice puffs and yogurt bites). I love LOVE watching her pick up and eat those snacks. So cute. So much concentration!

Well, this month was full of ups and downs in the sleep situation. We were so lucky to have Ava start sleeping through the night at 1 month old (even though it probably was detrimental to our nursing). That sleeping through the night thing ended a couple weeks ago. Of course, it coincided with a busy project at work for me. Ava started talking quite a bit in her sleep, and at times it would wake her up. Either that, or she was hungry. Or her wet diaper was the problem. We're really not sure, we just know that she began waking up 3-4 times a night. Sometimes we'd give her a minute and she'd doze back off on her own. Others times not. She has also begun to sleep on her side or stomach. Scary stuff for me at first! This week we've started adding some rice cereal to her last bottle, and purchased nighttime diapers. So far, so good. She's slept through night for several days now, and we all feel more rested.

What's Going On:
Wallering. That's what's going on. :) This girl LOVES to her crib, on the floor, all over the couch, on you and anyone holding her. Just another way for Little Miss to expend some of that never-ending energy I guess. I need to get a video on here of Ava doing this wild wiggling she does. So funny.
Sleeping on her belly and side (see above).
Pulling up on her own!
Stranger anxiety. If VERY familiar faces aren't around, she gets very upset. Poor girl. I hate that she feels that way, but I know it just means her emotional development is progressing.
Ssssss. I think Little Miss has discovered her inner snake. Sssss are a new part of her vocabulary, added to the existing Dadadas and other nonsensical words she says. Let's add volume to this one too. Both whispering and yelling.
Crawling backwards is underway here recently. It's not perfect, but she's working on it.
Conquering her world via the walker. Discussed before here. Ava can navigate around in this thing like a PRO! Backing it up, turning it around, making it around corners, endlessly chasing the dog and charging the cat, making her way to a basket of oversized glittery Christmas ornaments to pick up and throw (don't worry, they're plastic). My favorite is when she runs (really!) across the kitchen, arms up, squeeling!

In honor of our sleepy struggles this month, here are several recent pictures showcasing Ava's sleepy faces. :)

Blurry pic that probably resembles my own state of mind at the time. So happy here!

A sleepy yawn I got at 7:30 on a Saturday morning, after a 5:something wake up.

Alfalfa hair. Pretty tame morning hair. Taken 12-12-12, on her 7 month birthday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Camera Roll

This is the same outfit we brought Ava home in. I loved it so much I bought it in this bigger size as well as the NB one she has.

"That couch looks so yummy..."

"Oh yes, this is MUCH better than those carrots she fed me earlier!"

Little Deer. I will be so sad when these jammies are too small.

New winter hat with built in toys pom poms!

Checking out Lily.

Enjoying some Poppy time, watching cousin Lauren play some basketball and rocking some deer legwarmers!

Playing in the sink.

All dressed up for church.

Heading to church with Grandma Cheryl.