Today Ava is a year and a half old and I’m in awe. I’m in awe because time moves so quickly and I am in awe of this tiny amazing little human being who nonchalantly rolls out a new skill or word every day. She is so much fun. I just love being around her. I remember the ages of 4 months and 10 months being especially awesome and I think I’ll remember 17 months as especially awesome as well. She’s just so cheerful and playful and smart. She has 15 teeth (one of those canines is really fighting the gum).
Ava continues to sleep well through the night. She puts herself to sleep pretty well and then soothes herself back to sleep the vast majority of the time if she wakes during the night. She usually wakes up very cheerful and we’ll find her in her crib, standing up, arms slung over the side with her stuffed lamb in one hand and her stuffed duck in the other. She consistently naps every day but has inconsistent preferences when going down for that nap. Such is life. Overall we definitely can’t complain about Ava’s sleeping and I hope she tells her future sibling how much fun sleeping is and that he should totally do it well from the start. ;-)
Ava loves to play outside. She loves the park – the swing and the slides are her favorite. She’s really a little daredevil – I mean, as much as mama and dad will let her be one, of course – and hasn’t shown any fear on any of the slides or swing. She doesn’t mind reading, usually, but she usually would rather be up on her feet, exploring. When she feels like reading she’ll get a book, walk over to her chosen narrator, and plop down on his or her lap. She’s very playful and loves to chase us or be chased by us (“I’m gonna get you…” makes her break out into gleeful laughter). Ava, in general, is not interested in TV at all, but we have found that she LOVES Raffi. We were streaming Raffi in concert (I owned that on VHS when I was a kid, so blast from the past!) on YouTube, but sometimes the Wi-Fi is a little spotty (ugh, Comcast) and we couldn’t risk NOT getting a Raffi fix when we needed one, so we ordered a DVD on Amazon and got Raffi’s three concerts on one DVD. She’ll periodically point at the TV through the day and say, “Again,” which means she wants to watch Raffi. Perhaps Raffi’s musical melodies have inspired her, but she’s also recently really into “dancing”. Poor child didn’t have a chance of inheriting a sense of rhythm from either Kevin or me so her dancing is really just bobbing her head and upper body back and forth, but it sure is cute and she pulls it off.
She’s a good eater mostly. She’s kind of hesitant to try new things but we can usually convince her to try something once and then we don’t press it if she doesn’t want to eat more. She’s still anti-vegetable, which bums me out, but that’ll pass someday I’m sure, and in the meantime, she has a healthy number of wet and dirty diapers and I’m trying not to stress needlessly. She’s fine. She’ll survive if she doesn’t eat brussels sprouts until she’s 27 or never. In the meantime she loves cheese, crackers of all types, rice Chex, the ever faithful Bamba, peanut butter, fruit of all types, beef, chicken thighs, pork chops, pancakes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, applesauce, yogurt….
She loves taking baths but HATES getting her hair washed and rinsed. That aversion just kind of came out of nowhere and we’re not sure where it stemmed. She sticks her tongue out when concentrating and it’s so adorable. She bows, which is also adorable. And she’s a little yogi and can do downward dog like it ain’t no thang. She’s usually very even tempered and patient, but let’s us know when she’s frustrated. She likes knocking on doors and walls and peeking her head into rooms and saying, “No…” when the person she’s looking for isn’t in the room. When asked how much someone loves her she stretches her little arms up as high as they’ll go. We don’t let her play games or watch anything online on our phones or iPads, but she is allowed to look at photos and videos of herself on our camera roll and she clicks around into other apps as well (she loves Pandora) and now she is kind of obsessed with the phones. Kevin compared her obsession with the phone to Gollum’s obsession with the ring (“MY PRECIOUS”) and I laugh out loud every time I think of it now. She loves helping around the house – unloading the silverware and Tupperware from the dishwasher, getting out the little attachments for the handheld vacuum, loading and unloading and pressing the start buttons on the washer and dryer, putting things away after a shopping trip…. She’s a great little helper! Ava is very affectionate and loves to give hugs and kisses, especially to the cats, her stuffed animals, and to her own reflection in windows, mirrors, the dishwasher, the stove…. She says “Muh!” for kiss and it melts us when we’re the lucky recipients.
She learns more and more words every day. She can moo like a cow, woof like a dog, meow (and hiss – because she hears Kiki hissing at Rue all the time!) like a cat, and baa like a lamb. Her favorite words to say are Again and No and Mama and Dada and Nana and Saaa (Lisa) and Pa (Grandpa) and Pama (Grandma). And the favoritest: Ana (by which she means Ava – herself). She signs more and “all done” and “help me” quite frequently and can sign a bunch of other things when asked. They just don’t come up in her everyday conversation much, I guess. She understands everything. Seriously. Kevin and I are already spelling words because nothing goes unnoticed.
She is truly such a joy and we feel so blessed to call her ours.