Thursday, May 29, 2008

Babies eat solids

Unfortunately, none of the baby food books
tell me how to prepare plastics.

Ava eats and eats

Mmmm...I think I could learn to like carrots.

Haven't you heard? Orange is the new black.

Must. Get. Carrots. Everywhere.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baby prunes

Nearing 6 months . . .

. . . and we are being c.r.a.b.b.y today. Ava has been fussy most of the day. She's usually pretty content playing on the floor with her toys, rolling from side to side, kicking her octopus that hangs from the blue bars, squealing with joy.

There has been little squealing today and less joy.

She's happy for a moment and then gets fussy. For a while I thought perhaps she was working on some poops. She's on baby food now so the poops are slightly different and not as frequent. While Joe and I ate lunch, Ava sat with us in her chair at the table. Then the tell-tale signs: grunting, scrunchy face, red cheeks. We have poops! Joe took her to change her diaper after we had eaten and here's what he said: "It's a little turd." Yup. Just one, small turd. No big smushy poop. Not sure if that's normal, so we'll see what transpires over the next few hours.

So, in an effort to help make her more comfortable, Ava and I headed to the pool for swim. Read: I took her bathtub downstairs, filled it with warm water and set up the "pool" in the yard, complete with bathing suit and sun hat. She has some fun splashing around in the water but not as much as she usually has at bedtime. So, back into the house for some milk and hopefully a nap.

Those are the two things that are not normal today - more naps than usual (one more this morning before lunch) and an appetite that won't quit. Ava has nursed more today in the past few hours than in a normal day. She finally went down for a nap after even more nursing. Perhaps she's going through a growth spurt, or at least gearing up for a big one!

A few things of note in her life: Ava enjoy apples and pears and finally decided that the sippy cup wasn't all evil. She's still learning the finer points of drinking from a cup, but after the bottle was deemed her mortal enemy, I decided it might be a good idea to at least try the sippy cup in the hopes of one day being able to leave the house with Joe and without Ava and allowing someone else to feed her. So far we've managed about 2 tablespoons of milk, so we're a far cry from a full meal, but baby steps . . .

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ana likes Ava

Just checked my email to find this darling photo of Ana, our friends' daughter who is one year older (to the day!) than Ava.

From the email: "While I was reading "Fussy Mussy" Ana walked up and said, "Baby! Watch!" so I pulled up the octopus video. Ana loved it. She even squeaked back. Then when it was over she said "more" which I take as her request for more Ava videos!! Ha ha!"

Thanks for sending it along, Carrie!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Vacation to Pickens, SC

This past week, Ava and I joined my parents for a week in South Carolina. Joe was unable to come with us as the resort we were staying at had no WiFi. So, he stayed behind with Indi and a bathroom in dire need of some sprucing up. More on that in a later post.

So, onto Pickens, SC. This was by far Ava's longest car ride with the ride there taking close to 7 hours (factor in 2 nursing stops, 1 bathroom break and 1 gas break and lots of horrible rain). We stayed on a golf resort although none of us play golf. It was meant to be a nice relaxing week and by all accounts, I think we all had a nice relaxing time. The only downside to the week was Ava's wacky sleep schedule! She decided it was cool to wake up every night at around 2am and then again at about 4:30am. For the first 10 minutes or so, I tried my best to get her back to sleep but I was right next to her in the bedroom and my bed creaked horribly, so after many futile tries, she ended up in bed with me. I was afraid I would be creating really bad habits that would be impossible to break once we returned home, but for the most part, sleep has returned to normal, with wake-up time now 5:30 instead of 6. We're working on that. The other weird thing Ava did was refuse - and I mean *refuse* - to take a good nap. We'd read her stories, sit with the pacifier - all the usual naptime routines - but she'd start screaming. Bloody murder. And the screaming would continue until you gave in, took her downstairs and sat with her until she fell asleep. The only nap I got all week was when I sat with her till she fell asleep, then fell asleep myself for fear of waking the creature if I moved. Sigh. I was just a little tired at the end of the week.

I'd never been to the mountains of SC before and I must say they are quite beautiful. So lush and green and cool. It was really a nice spot for a relaxing week. We mostly stayed at the condo, watching movies and reading magazines and sorting out recipes (Mom and I both brought along our ever-growing collections that were in need of some trimming). Most of the sight-seeing things were at least 1.5 hours drive so rather than spend 3 hours in the car each day and deal with a fussy baby, we stayed local.

On a lunch trip out, we stopped by possibly the most beautiful native plant garden I've ever seen. My garden aspires to look a little like it. Loads of native wildflowers and shrubs and most of them were waiting to bloom. I can only imagine the colors of all the flowers come summer time.

On the way home from lunch, we stopped at one of (if not the only) South Carolina's operating mills. There were several old buildings with various artifacts in each one. Had a nice time strolling the grounds.

In the evenings before dinner, we walked around the resort, hiking up the mountain a bit to find a beautiful waterfall. Another evening we strolled down to see the horses.

Another day we visited the Pickens County flea market. I was hoping for something like our flea market here, with some antique-type stuff, some yard sale stuff, some food and plants. There were some plant stands, some food stands (with yummy strawberries) but for the most part, it was filled with loads of cheap products. Tables and tables of toiletries, tissues and toilet paper, lotions, sunscreen, deodorant, formula, cookies, chips. Not sure where all these items originated, but I wouldn't buy any of them for fear of any active ingredients being long expired. As Joe said later when I was telling him about this, there were "slim pickens, in Pickens". Har har!

All in all, I lovely vacation despite the baby who would not sleep and the Mommy who couldn't get any sleep!

Enjoy the pictures!

Ava on vacation

Ava enjoyed spending time with the adults at the grown-up table at dinner time.

"Ooh ooh!" Tubby time! This is the usual expression of anticipation as we run the water into the baby tub.

Time with Grandad: BBQ & Beer

*Note: No beer was consumed during the taking of this picture, and if it's any consolation, Ava will try to shove just about anything into her mouth these days, so the beer bottle was fair game as far as she was concerned.

Out and about in Pickens, SC

Visit to the Joe and Maggie Rampey Native Plant Garden - Pickens SC

Visit to Hagwood Mill - Pickens SC

Ava loves her octopus

Ava usually loves her octopus from the ground. This time she was in the sitting up position and found him much more exciting!

With Daddy

Best Friends

Yesterday I hosted a baby playdate for moms in my Moms group. Ava has been going to playdates with the same little babies since she was about 5-6 weeks old. Yesterday she was no longer the youngest, with a 3 and a 4-month old present! Below is a picture of her and her little friend Eden. Eden is just over 9 months and crawled over to lay beside Ava while no one was watching. I imagine them growing up together as friends, first playing dress up and tea party, then giggling about boys! Yikes! Good thing that's a ways off...

The garden is blossoming

Some changes in our yard this spring - I planted a bunch of wildflowers. At first they looked like weeds, but they're starting to show signs of beautiful life! Below are a bunch recently purchased from the Farmers' Market (some salvia, whirling butterfly plant, small daylilies, and some tiny yellow daisy-like flowers). Below that are the new - and return - wildflowers. Oranges and Lemon Gaillardia; Purple Scabiosa; Black-eyed Susan; and the promise of Purple Coneflowers.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Video: Ava rolls over

Insta-yard continues

Yesterday we had our shrubs delivered and planted. The yard is now filled with shrubs (they're still small, but they'll grow) and flowers (they're still tiny, but they're growing). No more barren wasteland!

See Insta-yard for previous pictures.

Mmm... cereal (the quest for food continues - messily)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


First official - and fully witnessed - rollover! Two days shy of the 5 month mark, Ava finally managed to rollover all on her own! It was quite funny to see the legs kicking in the air as she figured out how to move her arm out from under her chest and lift her head. This picture was captured mere seconds after the momentous event!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The witching hour

4:30 AM

Mommy hears baby stirring in the pack-n-play. Rushes through to find baby has moved 90 degrees from bedtime position and is now "stuck" sideways in the pack-n-play. Suspicion confirmed! Mommy slowly moves baby without waking. Mommy returns to bed, pleased with herself for her stealthy act.

4:31 AM

Baby: Oh boy, my legs move up and down up and down up and down. Wait. When my legs move up and down the bassinet moves sideways. Oh fun! Up down boom! Up down boom! Up down boom!

Mommy rushes back to baby to try soothe back to sleep before baby is fully awake.

Baby: Too late mom! Up down boom! Up down boom! Oh oh fingers! Pacifier. Happiness is up down boom! Fingers, hands, pacifier. Up dow...

Mommy slowly removes hand from baby's fingers and moves away from pacifier. Pacifier slowly slides from baby's mouth.

Baby: Pacifier down! Pacifier down! Up down up down up down! Hands hands!

Mommy decides to forgo any attempts at helping baby learn good "back to sleep" techniques and takes baby with her back to the big bed. Sets up baby on daddy's side of the bed (left vacant as daddy is in Minnesota) and crawls back under the covers for some more sleep.

5:00 AM

Baby: Oh oh. New place. Ooh. There's something new and there's something new and over there, there's something new also! FUN! Up down up down! Oh wait, there's mom's hands . . . and the pacifier. Ahhh...

Moment of quiet.

Baby: Pacifier down! Pacifier down! Up down up down up down! Hands hands!

Repeat last two entries until finally . . . 5:30 AM sleep.

6:12 AM

Baby: Ok! Awake now! Woohoo! This is the MOST fun ever! Up down up down up down!

Mommy has since removed the bassinet insert from the pack-n-play. She may break her back lowering and lifting baby from the bottom now, but at least the bassinet won't move sideways when baby decides to move around.

On one positive note, baby did roll over onto her tummy and lift her head up all by herself - Mommy wonders if perhaps the gravity of having another body in bed helped baby a bit but is not 100% convinced of that. Baby started over on one side of the bed and slowly moved herself over and then rolled. Good news . . . too bad this first didn't happen during the waking hours!