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Archive for February, 2009

starbucks-mug Motherhood is filled with the unexpected. Sometimes these surprises are amazingly pleasant. Like when your baby smiles or laughs for the first time, rolls over or takes her first steps. Other times, well,… not so much! Those messes the diaper does not quite hold, being stuck in traffic when it is time for her to eat or when the meal you just fed her ends up on you!

For those unexpected wonderful experiences there is no preparation for the joy, excitement and love you feel. The other kinds however, well preparation may not escape you from the experience but it definitely can help! When Ava was first born I never, EVER, EVER left the house unprepared for just about any situation. But I have grown cocky…

This morning I had to wake Ava up to take our dog Lola to the groomer. Running late already I put her in the car seat and grabbed my wallet and was off. It is only a 30min, quick errand and we will be back to eat breakfast in a blink of the eye! What can happen will right? Maybe 2 min. out of the groomer’s parking lot it happened… a FLAT tire!

AHHHHH!!!! Of course the one time I have left the house completely unprepared, no sippy cup, no bottle, one teething biscuit and no cell phone. As all this ran through my mind I turned into the next driveway where there just happened to be a Starbucks. I went in not exactly knowing who I was going to call but at least a Peppermint Mocha would help me think! And then another unexpected surprise… a pleasant one…

The Snohomish Starbucks certainly knows customer service! A very nice barista came out and changed my very flat tire. Now almost 40 min. passed since breakfast time, I had a screaming baby but no longer a flat tire. A trip to Safeway for a bottle and formula, on to Les Schwab for a new tire and finally home!

Thank you Garrett from Starbucks, you are my hero!

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ava-10-months-bath-003
I remember when Ava took up less than half of her infant tub and now 10 1/2 months later she no longer can fit in it! For about a week we tried the whole tub but she wanted none of that. She just was not enjoying bathtime. Not quite ready I guess. During a playdate a friend reccomended this munchkin duck bathtub. Ava could not be happier and she is back to her playful self! Plus it can move to the front lawn as her first pool this summer. Gotta love that!

Watch her splash, row to the music and wave goodbye!

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Determination

I know already that Ava will be a handful.  This is not a bad thing in fact just the opposite, I love that she is strong and know what she wants.  She is already willful and determined. Ava can not yet say the word NO but will shake her head adamantly when she is not getting her way. She goes after what she wants relentlessly and does not give up when there is a task she wants accomplished.

Days after walking across the room Ava decided that Lulu her very large stuffed lamb should make the trip with her. I watched as she managed 3-4 steps at a time before a stumble only for Ava to stand back up and try again. The trip took about 5 min. but Lulu did in fact make it across the room where she received an endearing snuggle and satisfied smile from her companion!

determination

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Roommates

Ava no longer goes to bed quickly and silently. She does not cry or fuss either but has begun talk herself to sleep. It is so sweet and cute. (I just wish I could get it on tape!) Typically these conversations last about 20 min. both before she falls asleep and when she wakes up. The funny thing is that these conversations began upon the arrival of Ava’s new roommate, Nora.

I first saw Nora this Christmas and fell in love. You see elephants are absolutely my favorite animal and Nora is adorable. Unfortunately Nora was not in my Christmas budget or any budget for that matter… so I had to bid her Farwell. It was 2 months later when I stumbled into Pottery Barn Kids only to see one lone elephant rocker left, Nora. She was a floor model but in great condition and on sale for half off! Sounds great but half off was still not in the budget. Unable to leave her I asked how much they would sell the floor model for…answer… half of the sale price!!??? SOLD!!! And off to Ava’s nursery she went.

They have been instant friends and those conversations well, I am pretty sure it is Nora she is talking to… and how cute is that!

I love the spotted fabric of her ears and it even crinkles!

I love the spotted fabric of her ears and it even crinkles!

The first time Ava sat on Nora she laid her head on Nora's and snuggled!

The first time Ava sat on Nora she laid her head on Nora's and snuggled!

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WALKING… Ava is WALKING! She took her first wobbly steps right before her 10 month birthday. Two weeks later she is already trying her hand at running. She definitely takes after her dad, a runner at heart! The best part of this monumental milestone is watching her excitement and how proud she is of this accomplishment. Wow it all happens so fast!

ava-10-months-0194

 

Funny side note: When she was up to 5 steps we would clap for her. However, the clap would inevitably come after the fall. Ava then started to walk and purposely fall and clap for herself. It took a good day to reinforce that we were clapping for the walking not the falling!

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Mission Impossible!

Ava has had enough of the paparazzi (AKA mom)

Ava has had enough of the paparazzi (AKA mom)

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Well when you have a little girl there will be no end to the shoes that will inhabit your house. It is hard to believe that it starts so young. I bought Ava’s first pair of shoes when she was 5 ½ months, after she had started crawling and decided that she loved to pull her socks off, no matter where we were and how cold it was. The shoes gratefully blocked the sock removal! I recently purchased Ava’s third pair of shoes because her feet grow that fast!!! Many of you are experienced parents and aware of this phenomenon and the endless money pit growing feet create. I have purchased one pair of shoes for each size Ava’s feet have been (0-6 months, 6-12 months and now 12-18 months) She has big feet!! We were also lent an adorable pair of shoes (Abigail blue flower Pediped’s) so at one stage she had choices like a true girly girl!  Thanks Auntie Mariah!!!

Below are the shoes I have tried and my review along with shoes I am excited to try next.  **All brands make; boys, girls, soft sole and flex soles shoes for walkers.

robeez-gold-shoes1Robeez $28 (www.robeez.com)

These were the first pair of shoes I purchased for Ava. Robeez have good fit, non-slip suede soles, kept the socks on and were easy for her to move around in. They worked well for a young baby. Most of the styles have multiple colors and busy designs, a draw back for me, very few plain options. After 3 months they looked worn and the suede soles were stained and hard to clean.

 

abigail-chocolate-brown-mPediped $32 (http://www.pediped.com also sold at Nordstrom’s)

Love these shoes! They are made from beautiful, durable leather, hand stitched, good fit, kept socks on and were easy to move around in. They are not as flexible as the Robeez leather but that did not seem to bother Ava. They have several styles and are much plainer than Robeez options. The soles are non-slip but made from durable leather. After 3 months they look brand new!

 

green-hollySee Kai Run $32 (www.seekairun.com)

These are a new brand I found but have not yet tried. I love the simple styles, colors and the leather is gorgeous. (these green and the butter yellow Lindsay’s are my favorite for spring) They are all hand stitched similar in design to the Pediped. My only concern is the soles are suede like the Robeez which I have already experienced does not hold up quite as well. However, with Ava walking we may be ready to move to the flex rubber soles. Review still to come!!!

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Rise and Shine

When Ava was born she NEVER slept and the time she did sleep was only when I was holding her. It was exhausting. I was sure that I would be cursed with one of those babies who would never get on a schedule. I was thankfully very wrong and by about 3 months Ava was a good sleeper. Now at 10 ½ months she is a wonderful sleeper takes 2, 1-2 hour naps a day and sleeps 12 hours through the night. Her schedule is like clockwork. Wake-up, 2 hours later nap, wake up, 3 hours later nap, wake up and back to bed by 7-7:30pm. Yes, I have been blessed and I do know how lucky I am.

When we return from Michigan however, I am never sure what I am going to get. Ava will still sleep but when and for how long changes daily until she gets back on her schedule. So when I hear sounds from the baby monitor coming as early as 5:30am I roll over groaning and drag myself from slumber. As tired as I am on these days of early rising they actually turn out to be some of my favorite mornings. Somehow I am always rewarded; a beautiful sunrise, cuddle time with my cats, the sounds of Ava happily babbling in her crib until I get there and I cannot help but feel at peace.

The sunrise from our deck

The sunrise from our deck

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Tradition

Ava and I spent this past week in Michigan to attend my grandpa’s memorial. My grandpa or as I called him, Papa, was an amazing person. The smile and light in his eyes when he saw me was unmistakable even as I became an adult. It is that light and joy that brings me the greatest sadness. Not because I will never see or experience it again. I have my memories, wonderful memories. It is the realization that he never knew who Ava was and never looked at her with that unmistakable, undeniable love. His Alzheimer’s did not allow that. In the sadness of his passing I find peace however, in believing that now free of his broken mind he is looking down and that light, although I can not see it, shines even brighter than I could imagine as he watches Ava grow.

The memorial was a testament to my Papa’s life; the church was full and the words and memories spoken about him, I imagine, made each person present want to aspire to be a better person. My Uncle Mark performed a beautiful eulogy. He spoke of generosity, love, passion and kindness. One word stood out to me however, Tradition. I of course have many memories of my childhood but those experiences I could always count on and came to expect hold the strongest grasp. Both my parents and my grandparents provided these in my life. I visited my grandparents often as a child. I doubt that my Papa knew that his simple actions of love would become traditions that will bring a smile to my face for a lifetime. M&M’s better known as energy pills upon my arrival, my favorite Pringle potato chips always present to share, warm fresh tomatoes from his garden, favorite movies taped and ready for an evening sleepover, trips to the pond to feed the ducks stale bread (nothing went to waste!), walk to the park followed by Ray’s ice cream, loading the car with newspapers to be recycled, there is no end to the traditions my Papa created for me.

I hope as a mother that Larry and I will provide traditions that will be rooted in Ava’s memories of childhood. Some will be traditions that I experienced. M&M’s will remain energy pills, feeding the ducks will be an event to look forward to and the light in the eyes of those who love her will never fade. I also know my husband has traditions of his own to pass down to both me and Ava. The best of our childhoods as well as new traditions will be our gifts to Ava. Thank you Papa for being a part of those gifts you will be a part of many smiles still yet to come.

dscn01771

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Did I Say Yellow?

When I first found out that I was pregnant disbelief was my first emotion. I was convinced that the several weeks of illness and exhaustion was a result of some unknown intestinal issue. In fact, I took the pregnancy test only to rule out one more medical explanation for the symptoms I was experiencing. When those little lines looked back at me the disbelief quickly was replaced by lightning fast emotions. We had been trying for over a year and at last impending parenthood was a reality!

Like all mothers to be I was often asked, “So, are you hoping for a boy or a girl?” And as most mothers do I answered, “All we want is a healthy baby?” That being said I was sure… no POSITIVE that I was having a boy. That was not a preference just a feeling. Still the five months of waiting to find out was endless. During that time I purchased nothing for fear of jinxing the pregnancy. I waited impatiently thinking of what many nesting mothers think of … the nursery. The room that will hold this amazing little person you cannot yet see but already love more than you thought possible.

I had decided on butter yellow walls, nothing girly even if my motherly intuition was wrong. No flowers and pink, above all NO PINK I said. So much for that motherly intuition… as we sat watching the screen of our ultrasound and I heard the word…GIRL my yellow butter walls disappeared and were overpowered by all things girly. Suddenly a new appreciation maybe even obsession with all things PINK emerged!

You know how they say people look like their dogs. You could say the same for a nursery; it is such a representation of you. The creation of this place that your child will safely and comfortably sleep, play, dream and imagine. Even as an infant she would smile at her walls and artwork. I hope as she grows she will take on this room I created for her and make it her own. One day I hope to walk through the door and into a world that is a representation of not just me but of all things Ava…

It is all in the details…

Her name is held from the ribbon used in our wedding ceremony

Her name is held from the ribbon used in our wedding ceremony

The toile pictures she smiled and talked to as an infant

The toile pictures she smiled and talked to as an infant

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