Archive for March, 2009



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Follow the Leader

Our house these days is like a constant game of follow the leader. It is pretty amusing to watch. Ava LOVES our pets and their tails often become a common grasping toy! Luckily they all handle this new found fun, for Ava, pretty well despite their obvious frustration.

Typically Ava is anything but the leader…poor furry family members! Ava recently discovered however, that she could in fact be the leader of this never ending game. All that was needed was a tasty teething biscuit. Lola, our Goldendoodle, would follow anything for a treat! And Ava cannot get enough …

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Bib? What about a cap!

Ava has decided that a bib is simply not necessary. No matter what bib I try to put on she will either rip it off instantly or tries to incessantly. Now to make matters messier everything she eats ends up not just on her clothes and floor but through her hair…lovely!

banana head...yum!

banana head...yum!

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Is feeding a baby supposed to be this difficult or am I totally over thinking the whole thing? Don’t answer I know it is the latter but that is me, I am an over thinker by nature.

I did not jump on the whole food, organic train when it hit the northwest several years ago. When I had Ava however, I reconsidered my own eating habits and thought about what exactly I wanted going into her little body. Thus far Ava has had a mostly organic diet. I believe that the less processed our food is the better but at the same time, I have a monthly food budget that the organic world could totally through off balance. So what is the deal? Where should my priorities be?

I decided to do a little research on-line and see where exactly the highest levels of pesticides, hormones and other toxic ingredients are found: I read several articles but the site with the most information and descriptions of how they tested was the environmental working group.

If you do choose to buy organic dairy and meat should be the priority, of course the most expensive items. It makes sense though; you are what you eat right? All those hormones and antibiotics right into your food…yuck. I have actually noticed a difference in appearance and taste!

As for produce the EWG put out a list of the dirty dozen; produce you should by organic. They also listed produce less likely to be affected and alright not to buy organic.


Good news: they have found no real benefit to organic food such as; cereal, pasta, flour and bread!

Local organic farms or Co-Ops tend to have lower prices than larger grocery stores. We are lucky to have a great Natural Food Co-Op right down the street. Plus you never have to worry if you are in the right section, it is all organic!

The bottom line is that you can buy into this organic kick or not there is no scientific proof of what these chemicals do to our bodies or our children’s over time. The research is on-going and pesticides are regulated to an extent. The pro-organic groups search for connections to cancer and other health issues and then there are the non-organic companies working to prove them wrong. Good Luck finding answers. I guess my answer is: Why take the chance? But I am not going to be crazy about it either. Not everything Ava eats will be organic and not everywhere we go will have organic options…and that is perfectly alright!

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Before and After


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Ava is now a pro at getting on and off her Little Tikes Car.  She will let you push her for 30+min. and never gets sick of going for a ride.  It was so much more fun to watch Hope pushing Ava and much, much easier on my back!  Thanks Hope!


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My mom has the best luck when it comes to bargain shopping. It is an amazing gift that I have benefited from for years.  She is our families own personal shopper which is great because I have never had the patience and never seem to be in the right place at the right time.

My mom was definitely in the right place at the right time last week and came across the find of the year…so far! Jelly Cat’s Huge Spotty Giraffe for more than 50% off! There are no words to describe exactly how cute and cuddly this stuffed animal is and he is just about Ava’s size. I cannot wait for the photo opportunities! I love Jelly Cat’s entire line of animals and books but this giraffe is something I have been coveting for a while. The perfect companion to Lulu Ava’s stuffed Lamb, also by Jelly Cat.


Thanks Mom! We cannot wait to come to Michigan and bring him home!

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Right Around the Corner

It is just days until Ava’s first birthday. I cannot believe it, where did the time go? I used to say that I wanted a pause button on her but a slow motion option would also be acceptable!

With this very important birthday fast approaching it was time for some gift buying…

I LOVE toys, I am a huge kid. If someone handed me a new box of Crayola crayons each week for the rest of my life it would be like winning the lottery! That being said…I HATE clutter. Too much stuff makes me crazy!! And let’s not forget that anything is a toy to a baby; Tupperware, wooden spoons, measuring cups… the list goes on. So I have really tried to make good decisions on what toys to buy for Ava. Will they hold her interest for longer than a month? Is it a safe product and made well? Is it aesthetically pleasing, do I like it!!?? Will it provide open ended play and inspire creativity and learning?

I decided on three gifts; more than enough for a 1 year old…

I love everything made by Plan Toys.  They are a greet toy company and use only safe non-toxic paint and materials.  Their toys are gorgeous, fun and definitely inspire learning and creativity!

Ava already LOVES her Plan Toys Water Blocks.water blocks

walknroll5137Plan Toys Walk n’ Roll– a modern, wood version of the Fisher Price Popcorn Walker we all had as kids!

Plan Toys Melody Xylophone– Ava love the xyl6409_melody_xylophone2ophone at music class and loves to bang!  Perfect!


abc-blocksPottery Barn Kids Alphabet Blocks– Best alphabet blocks I have found. They have beautiful pictures, matching words and most importantly the LOWER CASE LETTERS! Too many alphabet blocks have only capital letters when 90% of print is not capitals!!

Support small independent toy stores and book stores. They provided wonderful, high quality merchandise and usually track down those items that you cannot find at the large chain stores. Plus your kids will love them and you will only walk away with toys worth spending money on. Who needs Toys R Us?

Best toy site www.oompa.com
Best book site www.powells.com

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No Pinching!

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.
–Adrienne Cook

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Friendship and Hope

Could 12 months have gone by that fast? It seems like just yesterday Kristin and I were comparing pregnancy woes and counting the days until our munchkins arrived. Would they ever????

Ava and Hope did arrive however and just weeks apart. At the time I thought that was pretty great… I had no idea just how great it actually was! The girls have now spent this first year of their life together through weekly play dates. And I have survived and thrived happily partly due to the play dates and the daily phone calls to Kristin. All those silly motherhood questions, daily adventures and frustrations we were able to experience together. No one else quite understands or appreciates such things like another mother.

This past weekend was Hope’s first birthday party. It was amazing to watch them interacting, excited and enjoying one another. All the stages that have come and gone and all the stages that have yet to arrive…

Happy Birthday Hope! Here is to many more years of friendship…


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