Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Year Old!!!

Ava's First Birthday Cake (before)

Ava is one year old today (12/22/09)... How can this be!?!? I know it sounds so cliche, but time really has flown by! We had a few people over for dinner tonight and I made an "Applesauce Healthy Cake" topped with some regular frosting for Ava to dig into. (She actually ate A LOT of it as you will see in the video below.) She is really turning into a little girl, not so much a baby anymore. Anyway, so what's going on with Lil A?... She LOVES reading; we can read 7-8 books in a row without her losing interest and she helps me turn the pages. (She is actually "reading" by herself next to me on the floor as I'm typing this, hehe.) We've been down to nursing just once a day for a few days now, and are about to move to every other day.Ava is walking pretty well now. I haven't seen her stand up without pulling up on something, but once she's up she takes off on her own. She is also "talking" a lot more. She definitely says "mama" and is constantly babbling other things. :) She is doing very well with understanding and obeying when we tell her "no." Sometimes she fusses a little when she gets a no, but she rarely pushes to get her way about whatever it is. She loves playing with blocks; the different shaped ones that go into the slots of the top of the container (the one from the "hide the paci" video in an older post), and some stacking and nesting blocks. She likes when I stack them so she can knock them down, and she likes when I help her put all the nesting ones back inside each other.
Anyway, there are a million little new things Ava does almost every day so I won't try to list them all... Here are some videos (everyone's favorite part of this blog, I'm sure). :)

12/19/09 - Walking & "Talking"

12/22/09 - Eating Cake (Part 1)

12/22/09 - Eating Cake (Part 2)

12/22/09 - Walking & Roaring :)

Ava's First Birthday Cake (after) :)

Monday, November 30, 2009


Well it has obviously been quite a while since I updated this and a lot has happened in the life of our little bugga. Ava is 11 months old now! So what's been going on?... Well, we went to Georgia for the first two weeks of November. Saw family and whatnot, which was nice, but it was a tiring trip (ugh, the drive!) and we were glad to get back to our Kansas home. About two weeks ago, Ava had two new teeth emerge. The top left middle one and the one to the left next to it (not the other middle one!). It looks a little funny for now, but I'm sure the other middle one will come in any day. I will walk you through the other happenings using videos...

October 25 - Ava went through about a two week phase where she would sniff at us a lot. (That's the best way I think to describe it; the video shows what I mean.) She doesn't really do it anymore but it was funny while it lasted. :)

November 21 - Well it took a lot longer than I had expected (based on when she started pulling up and cruising along furniture), but Ava started standing on her own and taking a couple little steps as you see in this video. I used Cheerios and a lot of cheering and excitement to keep her interested in standing. :)

November 21 - The rocking dog in this video was mine when I was Ava's age... and she loves it as much Mom says I did. :) "Rock, rock!"

November 22 - Ava likes to play hide and seek with her paci. I put it at the bottom of this bucket and then put all the blocks on top of it. She pulls the blocks out one by one until she finds the paci. Then she holds it up - victory! She falls over at one point in this video and I get really tickled because she has been proficiently sitting up for months now and pretty much never falls over anymore. I guess it's comparable to an adult randomly falling down walking; pretty funny.

November 27 - In this video Ava takes more steps in a row. She usually dives for whoever she's walking to in the last few steps. :) She's gaining confidence in herself.

November 28 - Getting better and going further! She is starting to like the fact that she can do it all by herself.

Today, November 30, she is letting go of furniture on her own and walking without much enticing. She still knows that crawling is her fastest and most reliable way to go, but she's trying the walking a lot more. :)

I cannot believe she is almost a year old. Ava eats pretty much whatever we're eating at meal times. I just make sure it's small enough and soft enough and let her have at it. She has the mashing motion of chewing down pat so despite not having many teeth she can eat just fine. And she's a very good eater; a bottomless pit, really, hehe! We are down to nursing just twice a day now, morning and night. I plan to go down to once a day in a week or so and phase out completely probably by the end of December. We'll see how it goes... I called the hospital today to see about getting her 12 month check-up and shots but we have to wait until January based on the time I got her 6 month shots, so she gets to avoid that a little longer. That pretty much sums up the past month and a half, I think. We are just enjoying being a family of 3 (well, 5 including pups of course) and hope Richard won't have to go anywhere any time soon. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Daddy's Home!!!

Richard is finally home!!!! His flight's welcome home ceremony was last Monday night (9/28). It was SO amazing. It was so cool to be there with all the excited families and friends, and I can't even begin to describe how it felt to finally see Richard run out in formation. It was an emotional reunion and such a relief to see him and touch him face to face. Now that he's been home almost a week, I can't believe he was gone a year! In some ways it feels like he never left.Ava has adjusted quite well to her daddy being home. She was a little wary for a couple days and would look to me for reassurance when he would hold her or something but now she's totally good with him. It is so awesome to watch them interact - reading books, playing with her toys, petting the pups, etc. Richard is such a good dad. Seeing him with her makes me fall in love with him all over again.Anyway, Ava is still not quite walking on her own but she is pretty speedy walking along furniture. She lets go every now and then and stands on her own for a few seconds before sitting down.Let's see, what else... oh yeah, Ava is a great little eater. She eats anything and everything I put on her highchair tray. She's good at the chewing motion, mashing up food, even though her two little teeth are no help. hehe :) Well, that's all for now. I'll update again soon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stair Master

Well I knew it was time to get a baby gate for the stairs, but here's the proof. I saw Ava heading for the stairs so I grabbed the camera and followed her. She made it all the way up with no help and no falls! She's such a busy little bee; definitely keepin me on my toes! :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Table & Basket Walking!

Lately, Ava has been walking by pushing her little music table or a laundry basket around. It's so funny to watch her little legs work (and she's on her tip-toes half the time). Go, Ava, go! And hurry home, Richard!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More Videos

Here are two videos from this morning. Ava is really starting to move more while standing! In the second video, she is really getting around her little music table. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Counting Down

I can't believe this deployment year is finally almost over! Right now it sounds like Richard won't be staying later than the rest of his battalion after all. (Hopefully not!) So hopefully we will be reunited sometime in the next month or so!!! He is not going to believe how much Ava has grown and changed. He sees her often via video chat but obviously that cannot compare to actually seeing her. I'm so excited to see them see each other! :)
Ava has two teeth now. Her second one finally cut through the skin about a week ago. It's so funny to see a little toothy smile now. Ava is very interested in BB right now. She likes to try to follow her around and laughs when BB makes any sudden movements. She is starting to understand my "serious" tone and when I tell her "no" about things. For instance, BB was trying to eat this morning and Ava speed-crawled right towards her going for the food. When she got close to BB I said "Ava, no." She stopped crawling and sat up and just looked at me. Then she looked back to BB. I told her no again and she looked back at me. She sat there for a few more seconds and then went for the food again. So... I'm thinking she semi-understands but it doesn't quite stick with her yet. We'll definitely keep working on it.Hmm.... what else?... Oh yeah. I started letting Ava practice feeding herself with a spoon this morning. I scooped some oatmeal on the spoon and set it on her tray. She grabbed the oatmeal with her hands first but eventually put the spoon in her mouth to get the rest off. It's a very messy process but there's only one way to learn and just trying is fun for her and builds her confidence.
I can't think of much else to report right now... Until next time... :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I finally uploaded some more videos so I could put some on here. These are from 8/10-8/22 (dates shown under each video).

8/10/09 - laughing at BB

8/14/09 - pulling up on her music table
(I had to tuck her dress into her little bloomers cuz she kept stepping on it when she tried to stand up, hehe.)

8/20/09 - eating some bananas

8/22/09 - crawling to her bottle (of water)

A lot has changed with "Little A" in the past month or so. (You can see some of the progression of skills in the videos.) Just in the last week she has gone from doing what I call "the worm" crawl to doing real hands and knees crawling. And she's fast too!!! She's been pulling up on stuff for a while now too but that's getting easier and easier (and she's much more graceful at getting back down). A couple nights ago she even walked herself the length of the futon in her room by holding onto it! I was thinking Richard would probably be here before she starts walking but now I'm not so sure. It sounded like he was going to be home sometime around the end of September but now it sounds like maybe mid-October after all. A couple more weeks really isn't a big deal, but it's a long time in "baby development time" and could possibly mean the difference between Ava not walking and walking. We'll see... Anyway, oh yeah, Ava's second tooth is clearly visible next to her current tooth but has not broken through the skin yet. Any minute now. She is doing so well with feeding herself and is liking lots of different foods. I'm giving her a lot of regular table food now (peaches, bananas, pears, sweet potato cubes, carrots... anything soft that I can cut into small pieces for her). Not that it really means anything yet, but Ava is pretty much only using her left hand to feed herself right now. If she does happen to pick something up with her right hand, she'll pass it to her left hand before putting it in her mouth. We'll see if she turns out to be a lefty like her dad, Mimi, and Nonnie. :)

I'm gonna try to be better about updating this and getting videos on here. More to come!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weight Check

I took Ava to the pediatrician today for her weight check (4 weeks after her last appointment). She was 14.1 lbs last time and today she was exactly 16 lbs. Woohoo! We saw a different doctor because our usual one was up in labor and delivery on standby to help with twins being born. The lady doctor we saw was really nice and said she is not at all worried about Little A and that she looks good and healthy. She is definitely eating well (see picture). :)

Ava is pulling herself up and standing a lot now. I put the legs on her little music table and spends a lot of time playing at that. She also loves climbing all over me when I get on the floor with her (or on Pancake if she'll lie still long enough; definitely no chance of BB lying still to be Ava's jungle gym).
We (Ava, pups and me) are walking pretty much every day; at least once a day, often morning AND night. It feels good for me, is great for the pups, and Ava enjoys stroller riding. Hmm... other than that we're just waiting for Richard/Daddy to get home!!! Should be 2 months or less now! So close yet it feels so far in this moment!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Swimmin With Carter

Today our friends Anne-Marie and Carter came over to play in the baby pool. Anne-Marie's husband is also deployed (although he and Richard haven't met yet) so we've been through our pregnancies, deployment, having the babies, etc together. Carter is two weeks younger than Ava. Anyway, the video pretty much speaks for itself; just some fun in the pool. :)

video to come*

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Making a Mess

Well this is not the video I was originally trying to put on here, but this is another one of her making a mess. :)

Feeding Herself

Eating some puffs this morning.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sitting Up... Again

Well Ava's newest accomplishment is going from a tummy down crawling position back to sitting up again. All by herself! I just watched her do it twice in the last five minutes! She really is getting around (and into everything!) now, too. Her little knees are red from all the crawling and scooting she does. I'll have to have her wear pants some to protect them a little more. Last night I stood her up holding on to the couch and she held herself there for like 10 seconds or more. She's really developing good strength and balance. Her one tooth is really coming in now and I'm just waiting for the other middle bottom one to come in any day. Let's see... oh yeah, Ava is LoViNg bath time even more nowadays. We do our usual wash up and everything and then I fill the tub up a couple inches and get out. I leave her in there to splash and play while I'm brushing my teeth, etc there in the bathroom with her. Here are a few more pictures!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Morning Discovery

I didn't think I would updating this again so soon but I made a wonderful discovery this morning! :) Ava was in her highchair while I was making myself some breakfast. I gave her some banana puffs (little cheerio sized bits that dissolve in your mouth) to practice feeding herself while she waited for her own breakfast. She is not so great at the finger and thumb pinching motion to pick little things up yet, so those puffs often get stuck in the palm of her fisted hand while she tries to eat them. When this happens and she starts getting frustrated I usually help her out and put the puff in her mouth. Well she bit down before I got my finger out of her mouth this time and it hurt!! So I looked close and... she has a tooth sticking through on the bottom! Not much of it is out yet but it's definitely enough to make her little bite hurt, hehe. Our little girl is growing up! Of course, I already knew this but seeing her reach milestone after milestone makes it really real. She puts herself to sleep for naps and bedtime, she sleeps through the night (like 10+ hours!), she can sit up, she can crawl/roll/scoot, she's starting to feed herself... holy cow! That's a lot of stuff to learn in just under 7 months of life! She couldn't do ANYTHING just a short time ago!

Wow, okay, there were a lot of !!exclamation points!! up there... It's just so awesome to see Ava learning and growing and changing every day. I'm so blessed (thank you, Lord) to be able to stay home with her, too. Thank you, Richard, for working so hard to provide for us!

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Videos!!!

I think you will find this first video quite humorous... I'm not going to give any explanation; you'll see. :)

The second video is of her semi-crawling, which is basically her doing repeated push-ups combined with some scooting forward, hehe.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

6 Month Appointment

I took Ava yesterday for her 6 month "Well Baby" check-up and shots. Among babies her age, she is in the 25th percentile for height (25.5 inches) and in the 5th percentile for weight (14.1 lbs). The doctor said he is not worried about her and developmentally she looks great, but he'd like to see her gain some weight. So I'm supposed to increase the breastfeeding and/or supplement with formula and we'll go back in a month for a weight check. She got two shots, which she ScReAmEd about, and we were good to go. Ava is a pretty resilient little girl. When she gets hurt or upset she calms down pretty quickly and easily. I guess she was pretty tired after that eventful morning cuz in the afternoon she napped from about 12:30-4:30! Then last night she went to bed at about 10:15 and didn't wake up (or at least wake me up) until about 8:15 this morning. I am LOVING getting some good sleep too. :)
This morning we took the pups for a walk. BB and Pancake are still doing great with Ava. Pancake is always nearby, like a little furry mama. BB keeps her distance a little more, but she's fine with her too. Ava loves going for walks, just riding in the stroller and looking at everything. She's usually pretty sleepy (or asleep) by the end from so much looking around and the lulling motion of traveling.
That's it for now. I'll try to keep the videos coming. I know that's everyone's favorite part of the blogs. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Music Table & Paper

Here are a couple videos... The first one is of Ava playing with this awesome little music table. It has legs that can attach once she is able to pull up and stand. The second one is of Ava playing with one of her favorite things - paper. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Moving Along

Wow, it's been a while since my last update... Let's see...

About 3 weeks ago Ava started sitting up by herself. She fell over a lot so I had to watch her close, but now she is much more stable and I can leave her to sit by herself and play with some toys. She still crashes sometimes, but she's even better at that too and usually does so somewhat gently. :) She has pushed up into a crawling position a few times but doesn't know what to do from there. So for now she is getting around by rolling.

Ava's appetite has also increased dramatically in about the last two weeks. Maybe we're coming into a growth spurt? She is eating lots of foods - baby food and regular foods that I can smash up easily myself (sweet potatos, carrots, etc), and she's also still nursing 3-4 times a day. With days full of learning, playing and eating, she is sleeping really well too. I just moved her crib mattress down lower in the crib today in anticipation that she will be pulling up on the those rails any day now. (Don't want to find her on the floor one morning!)

Richard is still in Iraq but we are definitely on the downhill now. About 3 months to go (not that we have an exact return date). I feel like time is starting to slow down but I'm trying to stay positive and keep busy. We are still able to video chat and/or talk on the phone pretty regularly and for that I am SO thankful. I love being able to point the camera to Ava playing or whatever so he can see her in her element some too. She is starting to respond some to him talking to her as well, although I think she's a little confused about where his voice is coming from.

Here are a few pictures from the last couple weeks. I'll update again soon!
July 4th waiting for fireworks (Ava ended up sleeping through them)
she loved playing with this tennis ball :)
she rolled herself all the way here under this chair

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So Much Fun!

Right now I am keeping my neighbor's 2 dogs while she is out of town for a few days. So, I currently have 4 dogs in the house. As you will hear in this video clip, Pancake got pretty excited playing. Every time she barks Ava kind of startles a little and blinks. Once I shut Pancake in the bathroom Ava was free to resume her laughing without so much interruption. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kick it, Baby!

Ava is using her newly discovered feet a lot now! This video will show how she kicks the ball hanging down, which she really enjoys. :) She is also rolling from back to tummy multiple times a day now. If I lay her down and put a toy just out of reach she will roll and/or squirm to get to it and pick it up very much on purpose. (She used to pick things up if they accidentally ended up in her hand or were put there by me, hehe.) I gave Ava some squash today, which she seemed to like quite well. She's getting better and better at eating off a spoon with less and less ending up down her chin and on the bib. So that's what's happening now! More to come soon, I'm sure!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More Shots

Well I took Ava for her doctor's appointment today. She had to get her round of 4 month shots. I scheduled the appointment for a time when she would be hungry and tired, so right after the shots she could nurse and then take a good nap. The plan worked perfectly. I nursed her in the waiting room after the shots and right now she is napping peacefully in her crib. She is now 24 inches long and weighs 13 lbs 4 oz. Our little girl is growing up! Holy cow, how the time does fly.

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Toys

Lil A found her feet yesterday, so now she has 2 new (free!) toys. She also rolled from her back to her tummy last night! Then she got upset soon after that because she didn't actually want to be on her tummy, hehe. A couple times in the morning I have gone to get Ava from her crib when she wakes up and her head and feet are opposite from the way I put her down the night before, so she is starting to get around a bit too. Hmm... what else... oh I started feeding her a little bit of baby food a couple weeks ago. She had bananas for a week, then peaches for a week, and we're going to try pears starting today. I don't give her much at each sitting (one tiny jar of baby food lasts the whole week), so the bulk of her calories and nutrition still comes from breastfeeding. I'm just trying to get her used to eating from a spoon and trying new tastes. She seems to like bananas best so far.
Playing with her new toys

Eating some bananas baby food

Friday, April 24, 2009

More Laughter :-)

When I want to get the pups some more exercise, sometimes I'll sit at the bottom of the steps and play fetch with them up and down the stairs. Tonight Ava very much enjoyed this. I sat her in the Bumbo seat and when the pups would go out of view (up the stairs) she would look and wait and then when they came back down she would smile and laugh. Kind of like a big game of peek-a-boo. Very fun. :) :) :) :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Beginning of Laughter

I really can't believe how much and how fast Ava is growing and changing. She is kind of playing in her jumper thing, although her balance with sitting straight up is still not great. She reaches for things and holds things but doesn't really know what to do once she has something. Sometimes she cries out of boredom, just needing some Mommy play time, something to hold, or something new to look at. She has recently started laughing a little bit! The recording I got is on my digital camera (rather than the video camera) so it's not very clear but still fun to watch. She gets the hiccups somewhere near the end which cuts off her little laugh sometimes.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Preparing Again

Well our time home together is all too quickly coming to an end. :( Richard will be heading back to Iraq and Ava and I will be just us two again. We went to church this morning, which was great, and are now trying to figure out what to do today to take full advantage of our last full day together. We have taken some great pictures and truly have had some great quality time together, which I am SO thankful for. I can't believe the two weeks is up so soon! Time is such a funny thing though. In some ways it feels like Richard just got here and in other ways it feels like he never left. We are both SO looking forward to him coming home at the END of this deployment so we can resume our family life. Please say a prayer for Richard as he travels back to Iraq and finishes up his time there. And pray for Ava and me that we will keep growing, learning, and playing while we wait for our husband and daddy to come home again! :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Daddy's Home!!!

Richard flew into Kansas City Saturday afternoon! Ava and I went to pick him up and it was such a wonderful meeting! He is such a natural; great with Ava already. There's not really much else to say so here are a few pictures. :) It is SO amazing to have him home for a couple weeks.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

2 Month Doctor Visit

I took Ava the doctor on Tuesday for her 2 month check-up and shots (a couple weeks past 2 months for her since we were in GA). She weighs 11 pounds 8 ounces now and is 23 inches long. Growing, growing, growing! She had to get 3 shots too. Each one was with about an inch long needle they stuck all the way into her tiny little leg (ouch!). The hardest part about it for me to watch was that she, of course, never saw it coming. She was just lying there happy looking at the nurse and then all of a sudden SURPRISE PAIN! And she sure did scream too. Wow. I nursed her right afterwards in the waiting room, which was a good soother. (They make you stay in the waiting area for 20 minutes after the shots anyway to make sure there are no adverse reactions.) Anyway, I'm glad that's over for now...

Friday, March 6, 2009

GA Trip

Well Ava and I have been some busy girls the last couple weeks. We have seen/met so many people! It has been so good to see family and reconnect with some old friends. Shane's baseball schedule changed a couple times so we're still in GA right now (definitely wanted to see him play before we left). We'll watch him play a double header tonight and then leave for Kansas tomorrow. Ava is still riding very well in the truck. She usually rides happily for a little while and then just goes to sleep. I hope the trip home to KS will be as "easy" as the trip was coming here. (BB and Pancake ride pretty well too - once they realize we're not stopping for a while they just go to sleep like Ava.)
Ava is smiling so much now! Some are small short ones and some are big gummy long ones. :) I captured a couple little ones in this video. She is really looking at things intentionally now too. I have some little brightly colored animal hand puppets that I use to play with her and she turns her head and focuses on whichever one I'm moving at the time (and sometimes smiles at them too, hehe). She's so alert! This wonderful little girl is still rolling over too; just did earlier this morning. I don't think it will be long before she's going from back to tummy. Oh yeah, one other discovery Ava has made is her tongue. She is constantly moving it around and sticking it in and out of her mouth. Sometimes she "talks" during the tongue exercises (coos and ahs). Thank goodness for all the bibs she has - she is a drooling machine now! :)
Well that's it for now. Richard will be home on R&R sometime in the next couple weeks!!! Next post will probably include pictures of him meeting Ava. :) Can't wait!!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rolling Over

As you can see, Ava is rolling over now! She did it once like 3 or 4 weeks ago but now it's multiple times every day. She goes from tummy to back left and right and is growing stronger each day. Holy cow, I love this little girl!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

6 Weeks

Well Ava will be 6 weeks old tomorrow... I can't believe it! Time is flying! She is really alert when she's awake and is definitely focusing on faces and objects now. Right now she's in her swing just looking all around. :) We are able to video chat with Richard most days, which is very nice. He is still doing well over there and will be coming home for R&R sometime in March. Before he comes I (and Ava and the pups) will be making a trip to Georgia!!! I'm excited about being there but wishing I could teleport rather than drive, hehe. I'm going to stop in Alabama on my way to GA to see some more of Richard's family too.
Anyway, not much else to report... here are a couple recent pictures! :) looking at a ceiling fan

little Alabama fan already :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Growing & Changing

Ava is doing awesome! She is nursing well, getting stronger, and is starting to focus more on objects and faces. She is so much fun (except for when she's up for hours at a time in the middle of the night, hehe)! We're still waiting to hear when Richard will be coming home for R&R. Right now it's still sounding like February or March. In the meantime I email him pictures every day and have mailed him some printed pictures as well. Ava is changing so fast - I want Richard to be able to "see" her through the changes. We've been able to video chat with the webcam a couple times too. It's nice to see him and hear him at the same time.
I'm planning on making a trip to Georgia as soon as I can. Right now I'm just waiting for Richard to find out exactly when he's coming home for R&R so I can decide on exactly when I can drive out. It's going to be a long trip (bringing BB and Pancake too) but I know I can do it. I can't wait for you all to meet little Ava!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2 Week Check-Up

Well Ava had her 2 week check-up with the pediatrician today. She is looking great! She weighs 8 lbs 7.6 oz and measures 20.5 inches long. She is just a thriving beautiful little girl already! We're so proud! :) She is changing so fast - every day she looks a little different to me. Anyway, here's another picture and her next appointment with the pediatrician is when she's 2 months old.