Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where did the time go?

In two months I will have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. Exactly two months today my little mancub will be one. WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

So, today, Jax is 10-months-old. I'm excited to see what this month brings. Nine months was a month of increased volume and jabbering for Jax. He has gotten increasingly louder (which I sure is due largely in part to having to compete with his equally loud big sister) and more verbal. He says several ACTUAL words : Mama, Dada, Ava (his most recent addition), water, hi, hello, more, uh-oh... I think that's it. But he holds entire conversations with me speaking in HIS language. It's so cute because he makes these adorable facial expressions as he speaks, just as we do when talking to him. I love it!

He's also become more brave -- letting go of things and standing on his own, booking it up the stairs, trying to climb into the bathtub... I could go on.

Jax is just the happiest little guy. He's so sunny, giggly and mischievous... case in point, check out the pictures. Here is the little dude after deciding to commandeer his spoon and feed himself prunes. He's so proud of himself! Oh, and I'll throw in one of him taking his first bite of pickle, too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Major Milestone for a Big Girl!

Ava is a learner. She get so excited about new information. When we read she often stops me to ask the meaning of a word, if there's something she wants to learn about she asks if we can get a book from the library or look up the information on the internet (this week, she's all about volcanoes). She is so inquisitive, so wide-eyed. I admire that immensely about her.

At her birthday party, she received a card from her friend Dylan, who is four months older than her. In it, Dylan had signed his name. When Ava saw this, she immediately decided that she too wanted to learn to write her name. So, at her request, we went to work on writing A-V-A. I have this little Pre-K to Kindergarten workbook that I often copy the pages out of and we do the activities together. Near the end of it are letter tracing activities and elementary-style writing lines. I made several copies of the A and V pages and began helping Ava. It didn't take long for her to get the hang of it,

but like both her mother and father, she became terribly frustrated if the letters weren't what she considered "perfect." I always encourage her and tell her how great it is that she wants to learn and that she's trying so hard and that we all need to practice to get better at something. The pep talk usually holds her over for a few minutes until something else isn't exact. At that point, we usually take a break for a little bit before trying again... and let her tear-covered paper dry out.

So, after several great successes (in my eyes) Ava finally wrote her name to her liking and allowed me to take a picture of it to share!

While I have my three-year-old's permission to share, I also wanted to post some of her latest artwork! Her drawing and coloring lately is getting much more precise. When she colors, it's not just scribbles, she actually uses specific colors for specific areas of a picture (although, she still strays a little from inside the lines). Even more fun -- she's started drawing pictures! Here are the self-portraits she created today. The first is her smiling. The second is her "squatting at the duck pond," she says. I think they're the most amazing pieces of art I've ever seen!

And lastly, I wanted to post this video of her saying all the prophets. She's known them all since a little after she turned two, but I decided to finally take video of it. I want her, when she's older, to know what a talented, intelligent little girl she was. Like there would ever be any doubt! ;)

(Sorry it's sideways)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When it Rains it Pours!

Poor Ava! Her week of birthday celebrations has been followed by pink eye (in both eyes), a double ear infection and now an allergic reaction to her ear infection medication. Does it get worse than that?

Fortunately, the pink eye is gone. Thank goodness! I plan to spend tomorrow "bathing" toys in bleach and scrubbing the house with Lysol. Pink eye is an ugly, wretched thing. Ava had goop coming out of her eyes, but for her, the worst part was not being able to play with her baby brother. She loves to tickle and tackle him, and for several days, she simply couldn't. I think Jax missed playing with her too. Fortunately, Andy, Jax and I avoided infection (thank goodness!).

Now, all that's left is the double ear infection. I thought we were on the up and up with that as well, Ava hasn't been complaining of ear pain at all. However, tonight she woke up just screaming. I, of course, raced into her room. She asked me to hold her because her ankle hurt. I assumed it was just growing pains as she's going through a growth spurt. But, as I rubbed her back I felt bumps everywhere. So, I turned on the lights to see my little girl COVERED in hives and red blotches. Ugh, broke my heart!

So, I called the doctor... well, because it seemed like the thing to do. The on-call nurse told me it's likely an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin (ear infection med) that is just now manifesting itself -- even though she's a few days into her dosage and has had it before. Apparently, I likely gave her the allergy. I'm allergic to Augmentin and Ceclor (as is my younger brother) -- both contain penicillin, as does Amoxicillin. So, I made a late night run to Walgreens (or Eyegreens as Ava calls it because that's where we got her eye medicine) to get Benadryl and Calamine. Ava requested Bubblegum flavored Benadryl and loved helping dab "the pink stuff"(Calamine) all over her body.

I just really hope this is the end of it. Poor thing has definitely taken some hits this week. I just pray this will pass quickly and she'll be well and back to her happy, normal self.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Poopie Face

*****DISCLAIMER: If you are at all offended by bathroom humor you may want to go to someone else's blog :) *****

Anyone who knows my husband or any of his brothers knows that POTTY HUMOR is their FAVORITE thing in the world! Never in your life will you hear more laughter from a story about poopie, tooting or any other seemingly grotesque thing. Few things make Andy guffaw more than "The Poopie List" (see bottom of blog) or anything like it. So, when we caught Jax mid-doing-his-business the other day, I decided to make it last forever and take a few pictures... in honor of my husband (and his brothers). Oh, I can't wait to bust these out when Jax is a teenager :)

He's not sweating, he spilled water on his face and I'm sure there's drool in there too.

Working REALY hard!



Bathroom Humor at its finest:

Ghost Poopie
The kind where you feel the poopie come out, but there is no poopie in the toilet.
Clean Poopie
The kind where you poopie it out, see it in the toilet, but there is nothing on the toilet paper.
Wet Poopie
The kind where you wipe your butt 50 times and it still feels unwiped, so you have to put some toilet paper between your butt and underwear so you won't ruin them with a stain.
Second Wave Poopie
This happens when you're done Poopie-ing and you've pulled up your pants to your knees, and you realize that you have to Poopie some more.
The kind where you strain so much to get it out, you practically have a stroke.
Gassy Poopie
It's so noisy, everyone within earshot is laughing.
Drinker Poopie
The kind of Poopie you have the morning after a long night of drinking. Its most noticeable trait is the skid marks on the bottom of the toilet.
Lincoln Log Poopie
The kind of Poopie that is so huge you're afraid to flush without first breaking it into little pieces with the toilet brush.
Corn Poopie
Gee-I-Wish-I-Could-Poopie Poopie
The kind where you want to Poopie but all you do is sit on the toilet and fart a few times.
Spinal Tap Poopie
That's where it hurts so badly coming out, you would swear it was leaving you sideways.
Wet Cheeks Poopie (The Power Dump)
The kind that comes out of your butt so fast, your butt gets splashed with water.
Liquid Poopie
The kind where yellowish-brown liquid shoots out your butt and splashes all over the toilet bowl.
Mexican Poopie
It smells so bad your nose burns.
The Surprise Poopie
You're not even at the toilet because you are sure you're about to fart, but oops.......a Poopie!!!
The Dangling Poopie
This Poopie refuses to drop into the toilet even though you know you are done Poopie-ing it. You just pray that a shake or two will cut it loose.

Days at the Park

Our weather has been amazing the past week-and-a-half! Sunshine, warmer weather, short sleeves, grilling, running around the backyard and playing at the park... ahh, these are a few of my favorite things!

We made a trip to the park a few weeks ago when the temperatures began their glorious ascent. The wind was blowing a bit so Ava flew a kite for the very first time, Jax took a ride in the swings (sooo many germs... but I'm not worrying about that, right?) and I enjoyed seeing the joy on my children's faces as they sucked in some fresh air and their skin once again felt the sun's rays (we were starting to look like vampires).


Then, this past Saturday (14th) the sun was beating a little harder, shining a little brighter and well, I'm pretty sure I heard birds chirping all around (okay, maybe that was just in my head and caused by my childlike excitement over the glimpse of spring we're getting). G-Ma and G-Pa were in town for Ava's birthday party, so after all the festivities and excitement we capped off the afternoon with a trip to our favorite park. The kids swung, slid, ran (crawled for Jax) and giggled. Ava took a little walk with G-Pa, Jax layed in the grass with G-Ma and Mama. Awesome!!I love her face in these pictures!

Happy Boy!

Today was the nicest day we've had thus far this year -- appropriate for the first day of Spring. Temps were in the low 70's, we grilled for dinner (and watched the Cats win... BEAR DOWN!) and Ava and I played catch in the backyard.Ava took this picture. I love it!

Playing catch after her birthday party.

The excitement has been building up inside of me for two weeks -- could this be the end of the dreadful Utah winter? Can I put away my pants and longsleeve shirts and fill my closet with warm weather clothes? Uh, no. After teasing me with such amazing weather, Utah is handing us snow Monday! WHAT?! And temps are supposed to be back down in the 40's & 50's next week! That totally ruined the warm fuzzy feeling I had inside. So, I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer for the official start of Utah spring. I can wait... I think.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Ava!!!

The original Squishy is three today! WOW! We had a wonderfully busy day, beginning with a 7:30 wake-up followed by opening presents, playing with said presents, eating pink pancakes, playing with presents some more, and then heading to Dylan's for fun in the sandbox, bubbles and a picnic. Later in the day, Ava's little buddy Ethan came over with a sweet little surprise: a Happy Birthday lollipop. After enjoying the sugary, sticky goodness, the kids played in the backyard for a while. The festivities continued this evening with Taco Tuesday with Ava, Mama, Daddy, Jax, Uncle Dusty and SURPRISE! Uncles Curtis, Aunt Courtney and Cousin Nathan who are in Utah for a few days. Ava topped the evening off with birthday brownies and ice cream, a visit from Sister Carmen, playing with Nate and checking out the car Uncle Dusty is building at school. To say the least, she conked out tonight!

Mmmm.... sugar!!

Such a little ham!

So, Ava Grace is three!!! It's is such a milestone in so many ways--- the first being, well, she's three. That's halfway between being a toddler and a kindergartner. My goodness!

Dressed up in the Cinderella tutu Mama made

Secondly, for Ava, being three means no more sucking her fingers. It's a habit she adopted at just a few months old. We've been encouraging her for the past few months to ditch the habit, but after failed attempts compromised with her, deciding that three meant an end to the sucking (and possibly the calluses on her fingers). So far, so good. I only had to remind her once today and she didn't even resist. Hallelujah!

Three also means Ava gets to hold one more finger up when people ask her her age. Today, at the grocery store the cashier inquired Ava's age (as they always do), Ava immediately held up two fingers but then, realizing that was no longer correct, threw one more finger up there... along with a proud big girl smile.

Check out the cheesy smile! Gotta love it!!!

Ava also informed me today that now that she's three she can ride a scooter, drive a car, eat two brownies and boss Jax. So, apparently, three comes with a whole new attitude too! :)

And lastly, this day is obviously exciting for Ava, but it is extra special for me. It was on this day three years ago that I realized my purpose in life -- to be a mama.

Just three days old

Three years ago, a tiny little girl changed my life in such an enormous way. I have been blessed to enjoy three years of giggles, dimpled smiles, bear hugs and "this lip" kisses. I have watched my baby girl go from a teeny tiny person, to a roly-poly baby, to a busy toddler, to a smart, sassy, sweet little girl/big sister. I don't think it can get better than this, but I know it will.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Ava's Wonderland Birthday Party

Ava is in a princess phase. So naturally, I assumed she would want a princess-themed 3rd birthday party. However, I was pleasantly surprised when she announced she'd be celebrating "Alice in Wonderland" style. She, of course, wanted to dress up like Alice and fortunately, I got a great deal on a costume at the Disney Store (we should really be the store's spokesfamily). I surprised her with the dress Saturday morning just a few minutes before her guests began arriving. From that point on, she was no longer Ava. She would only answer to Alice and corrected us if we forgot and called her by her given name.

The party was such a fun little get-together. Ava's, I mean, Alice's four little friends -- Dylan, Ethan, Rachel and Shaylani came over, along with G-Ma & G-Pa (who surprised her Friday morning) and Uncle Dusty. We played games (pin the smile on the Cheshire Cat... Ava and Shay got it right on the dot!), made Mad Hatter hats, danced, had a tea party (cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, vegetables, strawberries and punch)

Pin the smile on the Cheshire Cat

Making Mad Hatter Hats

and then, of course, finished the gala off with a cake (chocolate, of course) and ice cream. Ava, er, Alice was bouncing off the walls all day... partly due to all the fun, but mainly from all the sugar. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to detox her after this week. I guess it's only one week a year.

As for gifts... Alice made out like a bandit. G-Ma & G-Pa gave her Bendaroos, basically wax covered strings in a variety of colors, that you bend and twist to make fun shapes, crowns, glasses, animals, etc. Ava (aka Alice) saw them on a commercial one morning while watching "Olivia" and hasn't stopped talking about them since. When she opened the gift, she had the cutest look of shock on her face and declared, "Bendaroos! These are just what I have been wishing for my whole entire life." Three years of wishing... that's a whole lotta wishing. Shay and Ethan both gave AvaAlice these adorable wooden dress-up dolls with magnetic clothes. They have gotten the most playtime since Saturday. AliceAvaGrace plays with them when she wakes up, after breakfast and again before bed. She LOOOOVES them!!! One is a ballerina, the other a regular little girl. She calls them "First Ava" and "Second Ava." Thanks to Dylan, Ava-Alice has a new favorite book -- "Pickle Chiffon Pie." It is an older book, but absolutely adorable. She asked me to read it to her four times Saturday, several more Sunday and spent her "quiet times" looking through it. Too cute! And finally, just in time for the nice weather we've been enjoying, Rachel gave the birthday girl a bucket of sidewalk chalk. So fun!

Bendaroo glasses

So, it was super fun day! And the party isn't over. Tomorrow (March 17th) is Ava's real birthday, so we'll be having a little family celebration -- pink pancakes, presents, Taco Tuesday, dessert and whatever else the little princess would like.

Monday, March 2, 2009

So, there was this Pothead and a Streetwalker

Do I have you hooked with that title? Not quite what you think, but hilarious... and actually a little cute. Read on...

Ava says the darndest things. As of late, she loves describing herself by her current actions. For example, when she spins she is "Spinny Spinnerson," while dancing around the living room she's a self-described "Booty-Shaker" when tooting, she's "Tooter Macgruder"... you get it? So, Sunday morning as we prepared for church Ava played down in the kitchen with Uncle Eric and his fiancee Karly who were in town for the weekend. As always, her kitchen toys were downstairs rather than upstairs with her kitchen, but that's a whole different blog subject. Anyway, at one point, while attempting to make Jax laugh Ava took a pot, stuck it on her noggin and exclaimed "POTHEAD!!" We all couldn't stop laughing. Oh, but that's just the beginning.

We are blessed to live just two blocks from our chapel. So, when weather permits we take a nice little family walk to church. Our walk is peppered with strips of grass along the sidewalk. When Ava walks on the grass Andy calls her a "Grasswalker," on the sidewalk she's a "sidewalker." While crossing the parking lot Ava loudly proclaimed "STREETWALKER!" Again, so much laughter.

Ahhh, innocence can be so funny! I can't wait to embarrass her with this story when she's older :)

Jax's Everest

Now that Jax is super-mobile it seems only natural that he would attack, what I can only imagine seems like Mt. Everest to him -- the stairs.

He's been very interested in them since the moment he started crawling. It didn't take him long to make his way up the two stairs below the lower-level landing. However, after watching his big sister fly up those things he thought he'd give it a try...

Following Ava up the stairs

Hey, how'd you get up there so fast?!

Am I giving you a heart attack, Mama?

For the record, he did make it all the way up (and has several times since) but my camera battery ran out. I'll be sure to post another of him at the top in the near future.

Through Ava's Eyes

Ava has become quite the little photographer. Uncle Dusty got her this fun little princess camera for Christmas which she loves! However, she's recently discovered how exactly to operate Mama's camera. To be honest, the first few times I was a little nervous, but she's proven herself completely capable of being not only careful with the camera, but of taking some really great pictures too! Here's some of my favorites:

Silly Daddy

Funshine Bear, of course!

Such a happy guy!

He put this on his head himself. Little goofball!!