Ava // six months old.

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She’s 0.5 years old!  I can’t believe she’s been with us for half a year.  Ava continues to amaze us everyday and we feel so lucky to call her ours.  At six months old Ava hates – despises – her poly-vi-sol with iron supplement, tolerates tummy time, and loves exploring her world by sitting up and bringing anything she can grasp to her mouth.

She weighed in at 12 pounds and 9 ounces at her 6 month appointment today.  She’s 25.5 inches.  The pediatrician says she’s fabulous and growing like a champ.  We thought she would weigh more, but she’s on the growth curve and the doctor isn’t concerned so we ( and by we I mean Amy because she tends to worry about this kind of thing as a general rule) won’t be either.  She’s still in size 1 diapers but we’re about to try size 2, I think.  We got so many size 1 diapers at Kevin’s diaper party before Ava was born, and we’re only about 10 diapers away from using them all up.  Ava is wearing a variety of clothing sizes but mostly 6 month and 6-9 month.  Our current favorites in her wardrobe include these cute little owl pajamas (pea-jammies we call them, because she’s our little sweet Pea).

It seemed like Ava regressed a bit on her rolling skills shortly after the five month post went up.  One day she was rolling like a champ in both directions, and the next she was not interested in rolling at all, choosing instead to face plant and spread her arms and legs out Superman style when she was on her tummy.  She went back to rolling toward the end of this month.  She’s enjoying tummy time a bit more, but she definitely still prefers to lie on her back when she’s lounging.  She also loves to sit up and she’s such a serious little observer.  She still can’t balance well enough to sit on her own without support – usually because she spies her feet and lurches forward to grab them.

She loves to grab a toy and swing her arm up and down, waving the toy around.  Pretty soon she’ll figure out the beauty of releasing her grip on the object and we’ll have things flying across the room.  She continues to explore her vocal range and vocabulary.  She likes playing with consonants – ma is a favorite, which naturally means I believe her first word is mama.  ;-)  Anytime she’s fussy, which isn’t often, we start singing to her and she calms down.  She loves outfit changes and diaper changes.  The only thing that makes her upset is the poly-vi-sol with iron supplement that we try to give her.  Confession:  we’ve only tried to give it to her three times in the past two months because it upsets her so much.  Her growing strength makes it even more difficult because she will grab the little dispenser when we have it near her mouth and pull it away.  I told Kevin I’m not doing it again.  We’ll get iron into her some other way if her levels are ever low.

We ordered a high chair this week and will probably start giving her solids soon.  I think avocado may be the first one we try!  I’m nervous about the gagging that is inevitable with baby led weaning (so I hear) but I’m excited for her to get to explore the new tastes and textures.  I definitely want to breastfeed for at least a year, so I want to introduce solids pretty gradually and be sure that most of her caloric intake is from me.

She’s shown a little bit of “stranger” anxiety with a few people when they try to hold her.  She sleeps through the night like a champ – around 8 PM to 6 AM each night.  She’s still sleeping in the pack and play in our room, but we’ll probably transition her to her crib soon.  She sleeps in her crib really well for naps (on a good nap day, I mean, but not every day is a good nap day), so we’re hoping that it’s an easy nighttime transition.  She’s still wearing the sleep suit for naps, but she is not in it overnight.

She is super into exploring her world by bringing anything and everything to her mouth.  She started cutting two little bottom teeth around ten days ago.  She was feeling all the feelings around that time between teething, starting a new mental developmental leap, and starting a bit of a 6 month growth spurt.  Busy girl!  Ava is so sweet and cheerful and fun.  Kevin and I both miss her when we’re at work – I even miss her when she’s taking a nap and I’m in the same house!  We make total fools of ourselves trying to get her to giggle.  Her laughter is definitely spontaneous and authentic because what elicits a giggle one day doesn’t work the following.  Eskimo kisses worked once…and ever since that momentous occasion we just get smiles in exchange for Eskimo kisses.  Same pattern with the chicken dance – on her 6 month birthday she laughed hysterically at our chicken dancing antics.

She is the absolute best.

{One Month Old}  {Two Months Old}   {Three Months Old}  {Four Months Old}   {Five Months Old}

Easy like Sunday afternoon.

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Take me back to yesterday afternoon when the weather was cool and cloudy.  The house was clean, the fridge was stocked.  The baby was napping and the husband and I were chopping, sautéing, mincing a beef stew into the Dutch oven.  Homemade bread dough rising and puffing beautifully.  A Tracy Lawrence YouTube concert played on the iPad.

Once the stew was in the oven, Kevin read his book and I painted.  Third time’s a charm painting this canvas in Ava’s room. I have accepted that it will never look exactly like the picture I have in my head, and I’m finally satisfied enough to just hang it on the wall and let it be. Artistic I am not.

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Ava woke up, Kevin’s parents came over for dinner (the bread dough fell right before I put it in the oven, but that’s okay because the flat bread had a fantastic crunch to the crust on the exterior yet was pillow soft inside), and a perfect Sunday afternoon transitioned into a perfect Sunday evening.

Nothing is wrong on this Monday morning – it’s just not Sunday afternoon.

The rest of the weekend was nice too.  We went out to dinner Friday night at a local place (known for its decadent desserts and I had a slice of key lime pie on the brain but $6.50 for a slice of pie – not happening) near a local bookstore.  Picked up a couple of board books and then took ourselves home.

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The cats and I enjoyed a nice cereal breakfast on Saturday morning.  I love to be popular.

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Then Kevin and I test drove a car.  Two people have told us that this particular car (Mazda CX-5) is the best car they’ve ever owned, so we were really excited to try it.  It was fine…but I think I like the one (Honda CRV) we drove the previous weekend better.  Just dabbling with the idea of getting a new car.  My car is fine and incredibly low mileage and in excellent condition and I don’t drive that often anyway and it’s the best thing ever to not have a car payment (well, it’s actually probably the BEST thing ever to not have a mortgage payment, but not having a car payment is pretty awesome too), so…I don’t know.

Ava took a nice long nap on Saturday afternoon, making us fashionably late for her friend Mia’s first birthday party.  It was so fun to celebrate that little cutie!  And so begins the year of first birthday parties since so many of our friends had kids last year.

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^ Riding through the safari on a zebra. #nbd ^

Happy Monday.

How was your weekend?

 

A day in the life – April 2016.

How life has changed since the last post of this type -six months ago in October 2015.  Just days before Ava was born!

Ava wakes up sometime between 5:45 and 6:45 each morning.  She still sleeps in our room and when she wakes she makes the sweetest little sounds.  She talks to herself and runs her hand along the mesh siding of her pack and play.  She kicks her little feet up and is quite content.  When I hear her stirring, I get up and go into her room to pump.  Kevin goes to Ava and changes her diaper.  He usually sings a song or two to her and she smiles and sings to him.  I take the pump parts and the milk downstairs, start the pump parts soaking in soapy hot water in the sink, and put the milk in the fridge or freezer, unless I know she’ll need it that morning.  I give Kiki and Rue their wet food and then head back upstairs.  Ava and I sit in bed and she eats while Kevin usually sits in the sitting area of our bedroom, watching Mike & Mike on ESPN and reading the Wall Street Journal.

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When Ava’s done eating, I put her on the blanket near Kevin so she can play or he’ll hold her, and I’ll go downstairs to eat some breakfast.  I try to get ready soon after eating and by then it’s around 8:00.  I’ll take Ava while Kevin gets ready and feed her again.  I really try to put her down for her first nap by around 8:45 on mornings that I work because I know the chances of her getting a good nap later in the morning are slim to none if she doesn’t go down before I leave for work.  If it’s a morning that I work, Kevin’s mom arrives at around 9:00.  Usually Kevin is able to leave at the same time as me and we’ll go together, but sometimes he has to be in earlier.

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On days such as this, I work from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  There’s a good portion of my job (Quality Assurance) that I can do from home, but I work better at the office.  Since March 1, our office manager has been out, so I’ve been doing some parts of her job like collecting payments, processing the mail, some of the billing, and making deposits.  It’s stuff that needs to be done at the office, so that’s what I’ve been primarily doing in my time there.  Then I fit in QA stuff as I can or take my laptop home to work on things.

If Kevin doesn’t have lunch plans, he’ll take a late lunch and go home when I do at 1:00.  We’ll put together some lunch and I’ll change her diaper and feed Ava, who will have had a great morning with Grandma.  Kevin heads back to work and Ava will usually be about ready for a nap so I’ll put her in her sleep suit, turn on the sound machine, and nurse and rock her for a bit in her room.  She’ll usually go down for a nap around 2:00 and sleep until around 4:00.  While she’s sleeping I’ll do stuff around the house, work from my phone or my laptop as needed, and start prepping dinner.  Sometimes I’ll watch the Food Network or read or take a nap, because, well, why not.  Kiki usually naps in our master closet for most of the day and Rue naps in the living room or the guest room (that is, when she’s not hopping to the top of the entertainment center to eat the fake plant).

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When Ava wakes up, we’ll do a diaper change and play for a little bit.  Then she’ll eat and then play some more.  Sometimes we’ll read a book or two; now that the weather is warming up and it’s staying light longer, we’ll probably start to go for more walks.

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When Kevin gets home, we’ll all play for a bit, then we’ll start cooking dinner.  We love to cook dinner together and Ava seems to really enjoy being in her little rocker in the kitchen, watching us and playing with a toy.

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We eat dinner at the coffee table in front of the TV (how long can we get away with that?  I guess when Ava starts solids we’ll have to start eating like adults at the table…), and when I’m done eating, I’ll feed Ava.  If she’s had two good naps during the day she’ll alternatively nurse and play until around 8:00, then she’ll nurse and wind down, ready to go to sleep around 8:30.  If she’s only had one good nap or (it happens) no good naps, we’ll try to take her upstairs and put her in the pack and play at around 7:30.  She’ll usually talk to herself a bit, but soon falls asleep.  We hang out downstairs until 9:30 or so then go up and go to bed ourselves at around 10:00.

And that’s the day!  There are variations of course.  Sometimes Kevin goes to CrossFit, sometimes we’ll meet friends out for coffee or the aquarium.  Some days Kevin works from home while I go to the office in the afternoon, or Grandpa comes to stay with Ava.  Sometimes I’ll go for a jog, or we’ll run out and pick up dinner rather than cooking at home.  Some days – many days – require multiple outfit changes due to spit up/excessive drooling and diaper blow outs.  But everyday is wonderful.  It’ll be fun to look back in six months and see how things have changed.

Are your days consistent or varied? 

Stitch Fix bliss part V.

My quarterly Fix arrived on schedule, and it was a good one.  Here are the items I kept {spoiler:  all of them}.

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I had requested a wrap dress, and they sent this pretty little number.  I really love the colors, pattern, and fit.  Of course it wasn’t until I wore it to work that I realized it – like all wrap dresses probably – has a tendency to gape a bit in the bosom area.  In the future I’ll wear a cami under it, but a paper clip worked in a pinch.  And made a bold fashion statement to boot.  Brand {um, of the dress, not the office supply accessory} is Gilli and it’s called “Trista Faux Wrap Dress.”

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I think this sleeveless top – pretty sure it’s navy but I tend to be a bit color blind when it comes to navy and black – will be great during the spring and summer, and it’ll be great for layering in the cooler seasons.  I like the buttons in the front, which makes it nursing friendly.  {A key factor in my wardrobe selections these days.  The wrap dress fits the bill there too.  Once I remove the paper clip of course.}  Brand is Market & Spruce and it’s called “Colibri Sleeveless Top.”

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This may be my favorite piece.  Black top with tulip sleeves.  Super classy and really…well, I just love it.  Brand is Papermoon and it’s called “Bastille Tulip Sleeve Blouse.”

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I was a bit on the fence with this plaid button up.  Nursing friendly – check.  Cute, spring colors – check.  Comfy – check.  Relatively flattering (I think) – check.  But I have been wearing the heck out of my plaid shirts and maybe I’m a little over plaid?  Ultimately I decided to keep it because I’ll definitely wear it, I do like it, and I’m going to get rid of one of my tried and true winter worn plaid button ups.  Brand is Skies are Blue and it’s called “Silva Button Front Top.”

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Now this necklace.  I like it, don’t get me wrong.  But the price was faaaaar higher than what I would normally spend on a necklace because I’m just not that into accessories.  However, it made more sense economically to keep the necklace and get the 25% discount for keeping all five pieces.  Since getting it, I’ve worn it every day, so it definitely wasn’t a bad decision to keep.  Brand is Gorjana and it’s called “Corinna Delicate Bar Necklace.”

And those are my five fun pieces.  Well done, stylist, well done.

Have you tried Stitch Fix?  Do you like accessories? 

A tale of five smoke detectors.

Once upon a time {a few nights ago}, the house was quiet and dark.  Cats were napping wherever cats nap, baby was snug in her sleep suit, and adults were tucked into bed and just entering a cycle of really good REM sleep.  At around 11:03 PM, all the smoke detectors started blaring.  Not chirping…blaring.  The adults sat straight up in bed, the cats probably scurried off to hide, and the baby kept right on sleeping.

No smoke or fire, thank God, and the detectors stopped blaring after around 15 seconds of deafening sound.  The adults (let’s call them Kevin and Amy to help the story flow better) were shaken, but curious.  What had happened?  They were debating red and green blinking lights and googling “smoke detector randomly went off” when it happened again.

The baby kept sleeping.

This happened a few more times before Amy convinced Kevin that they should just unhook the smoke detectors from the hard wiring in the wall and call it good for the night.  The sweet little baby just kept right on snoozing.

It took the adults a bit of time to fall back asleep; the blood was pumping through the veins after that wake up call.

I’m thankful – obviously – that there was not a fire and that it is a mystery as to why those stinking things went off at that particular time.  I’m also thankful that Kevin was home.  Kiki and I were once home alone with a chirping smoke detector and it nearly drove us batty (the battery was not the issue – I fed it a fresh battery and it kept right on chirping).  I’m thankful that Ava slept right through it and that it didn’t scare her.  {Isn’t it interesting that a baby hears sounds but doesn’t know what the sound is or what’s cause for alarm and what’s not?  A smoke detector or an electric toothbrush – she doesn’t know which is which or even what either is.}

Everyone has a smoke detector story – what’s yours?

Things I want to remember.

{This post has been buried in my drafts folder.  It’s a collection of random thoughts that were hard to put into words because there is so much feeling behind them.  I suppose there’s no time like the present to share it.}

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The thing that surprised me most about parenthood is how I could survive on the sleep schedule we kept in the first two months.  We were waking Ava up every 2 hours to feed her for the first few weeks.  Then we got the go ahead to gradually bump it back to waking her every 4 hours.  When we went in for the two month appointment and got the okay to let her wake up on her own when she needed to be fed or changed or whatever, we had adjusted to short blocks of sleep through the night.  It felt downright luxurious to sleep for six hours straight.  Then Ava eventually began sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night and now I’m so accustomed to that – it’s hard to imagine how I survived those first two months!  But I did.  Kevin did. Fingers crossed we don’t have too many regression nights ahead of us, but if we do, we’ll all survive them.

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I developed this ability to be in a constant state of awareness about where she is…how she’s breathing…what movements she’s making.  It makes me giggle to think back on that first month or two in particular.  Both Kevin and I would sometimes hallucinate or something and think that she was in bed with us.  Nearly every night Kevin would all of a sudden shoot straight up from a dead sleep and kind of gasp.  Soon I learned that he thought she was on his lap or next to him on the bed while she was actually safe and sound in her little rocker.  I did that a few times too.  I’d think that I was already nursing her and that I’d fallen asleep holding her.

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It makes me a little sad that Ava won’t remember this time of her life.  I wish that Kevin and I could record our conversations to play back to her in the future when she’s older and understands.  We talk so much and so often about how we love her so much…how we just want to stare at her all the time (creeper parents)…how we think she is so strong and so beautiful and that she works so hard to learn all the things she needs to learn and be the little baby she needs to be.  Not a day goes by that doesn’t include one of us calling the other one over to look at her expression or smile or sweet little sleeping face because it is just too cute to miss.  It’s so humbling to care for this little bitty person, to have them trust you and depend on you to make good decisions for them.

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Before she started doing regular “social smiles”, she would sometimes get this little smile on her face like she had just thought of a joke.  I loved those little smiles.  And I don’t believe for a moment that it was just gas.  :)  I think it is the most amazing thing to have this child and it is so fun to know that I’ve loved her from the very beginning of her existence.  And that love expands and changes day by day because as her personality develops and she grows into an independent little person, I love her for her and not just for being.  Kevin and I were talking about it last week – we know her better than anyone and we just love everything about her.

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Being her mom is the best thing.

Snapshot {March}.

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{Written this morning, posted this afternoon.}

Making: Hay while the sun shines – I’ve been productive this morning!

Cooking: Toast, egg over medium, and an avocado for breakfast.

Drinking: H to the 2 to the O

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Reading: Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides (recommended to me by Kevin) – it’s a great book. I’m learning so much about Kit Carson and how the west was won.

Wanting: To cuddle this nursing baby all. day. long.

Looking: Like a hot mess – or maybe just a mess – with bed head hair.

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Eating: Not a thing. See above for breakfast a la 15 minutes ago.

Wishing: For world peace. I resubscribed to The Skimm so I could keep up with current events and current events just make me sad.

Enjoying: Texts with friends. Aligning schedules for phone dates is tough, so texting works.

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Loving: The sweet Kiki and the rascally Rue. Pets complete a family.

Hoping: Today brings lovely weather and NO wind. I’m tired of wind.

Needing: The weekend. We have so many errands to run. 

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Smelling: Kevin’s lavender Art of Shaving aftershave. 

Feeling: Back to normal. The 24 hour stomach virus that has swept the country hit our house a couple of weeks ago. It took a while to get comfortable eating again.

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Wearing: PJ shorts and a t-shirt 

Watching: Mike & Mike. It’s an every morning thing. I am very up on sportsball news. 

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What are you wishing/needing/loving/eating right now?