Ava // eighteen months old.

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).

SLEEPING

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.  ;-)

PLAYING

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.

EATING

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….

 

DOING

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.

 

COMMUNICATING

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.

A day in the life – April 2017.

Carrying on my tradition of posting a day-in-the-life play-by-play (so. many. hyphens) every six months!  Past posts:  October 2015April 2016October 2016 

These days, Ava is sleeping like a champ and wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 each morning.  I know that seems like a wide range of time, and maybe it is.  As such, I wake up at around the same time because I will likely never be one to get up before my child(ren).  It’s just not who I am.  Kevin, on the other hand, wakes up at around 5:15 or 5:30.  He goes downstairs, has some coffee, reads the paper, watches Mike & Mike, and sometimes goes to the gym. If he doesn’t go to the gym, he’ll go upstairs when Ava wakes up and they start their morning by turning off the sound machine, opening the blinds, and changing a diaper.  They usually find me getting out of bed and we’ll all go downstairs together.  Unless I need to stop off to throw up (or not – it’s such a pointless exercise:  nausea and the urge to puke but empty stomach, so nothing happens), which is happening less, but still trips up the morning every few days.

We do breakfast.  Ava usually has yogurt and fruit; Kevin and I usually have an English muffin with peanut butter or almond butter.  Then we just hang out downstairs until around 8:00 when it’s time to go upstairs and start getting ready.  Ava is obsessed with my makeup these days and loves “makeup time”.  She’ll haul around the brushes and containers and scatter them about as I chase after her, collecting what I need as I need it.

If it’s a morning that I work, Kevin and I will head to work at a little before 9:00 or when Sue arrives to watch Ava.  Ava has been loving Grandma (Pa-ma, she calls her) these days so there aren’t any tears when we leave.  “See ya, folks,” is more her motto.  I’ll work through the morning (audits, audits, audits – that’s the name of the game recently) and Kevin and I will usually both go home for lunch at 1:00, if he doesn’t have a meeting or something.

We’ll hear about Ava’s morning – she has been taking 1 hour to 2 hour crib naps recently (party emoji!) and will usually be eating lunch when we get home.  We’ll eat with her (leftovers, egg and avocado burrito for me, lunchmeat sandwich for Kevin – those are common) and then Kevin goes back to work.

Ava and I play and go for a walk if it’s not too windy.  We’ll stop off at the park and she’ll play there for a bit.  She loves the slides and the swing and pointing at the sand (“HOT!”) and the little ant hills and the leaves and so forth.

Once home again we’ll have a snack, then play or read or watch Raffi.  She’s obsessed with Raffi, and I don’t mind letting the DVD babysit for awhile as I rush around, cleaning up, prepping dinner, etc.  Or cuddling her on the couch and marveling at the eighties style clothes and hair of the kids and adults jamming to man in concert.

Sometimes we’ll go out in the backyard and play there for a bit.  We have a little sandbox for her and her favorite thing is climbing in and out and in and out and so on and so forth.

One day a neighborhood cat was on the back wall/fence and Ava spotted it and said, “Cat!”  The cat jumped down into another yard and ever since then Ava will point to that corner of the yard and say, “Again!” because she wants me to magically conjure up another cat.  Cats are hard to conjure.  That’s a tough pill for a one year old to swallow and I can tell that she does NOT understand why the cat isn’t on the wall.  She’s very patient through my rational explanations of cat independence, but I can tell with each “Again!” that she really just wants me to FIND A CAT.

Kevin comes home around 5:30 and if I’m on it, I’ll have started dinner.  Unless we’re grilling in which case, maybe I’ve prepped stuff, but I don’t turn on the grill (he’s shown me how no fewer than eight times and I just can’t seem to retain the information), so we wait for the grillmaster.  Dinner is served around 6:10 and we’ll eat together.  At the table, like adults!  This still shocks me because BA (Before Ava) we were committed couch and TV dinner people.  If we get done early enough and don’t need to do a bath (baths are approximately every other night or as needed, such as when peanut butter covered hands get raked through golden locks), we occasionally meet up with some families who live one street over from us.  There are five families and we call ourselves “the Five Families,” always in a Godfather-esque tone.  By we, I mean Kevin and me.  We’re too cool to actually do that in front of these people who can really just be considered acquaintances at this point.  But anyway, it’s nice to have other kids nearby and the ages range from 11 months old (well, in utero if you count the baby I’m growing!) to 6 years old – hopefully they’ll all be able to play together for many years to come.

Beginning at around 7:00, we put Ava in her pajamas and read three books with her.  We’ve been alternating nights on who puts her to bed, so one of us will say goodnight and tell her we love her and the other will pick her up, turn on the sound machine, and walk around her room, singing to her for about 5 minutes.  (Quick note on singing – she has strong opinions about which song she wants us to sing to her and will shake her head and say, “No,” until we settle on one she approves.)  When she’s getting drowsy (or sometimes not – she’s getting heavy and my back starts to hurt!), we’ll put her in the crib, finish the song we’re singing, and tell her goodnight and that Mama and Daddy love her.  Then we leave the room and – knock wood, please – she has been quiet as a little mouse, settling herself to sleep when she’s ready for the past two weeks or so.  It’s amazing.  We’re so proud of her.

Kevin and I will read or watch TV.  We commonly watch Chopped and Fixer Upper as re-runs, and our current “new” shows are Billions and Better Call Saul and Big Bang Theory, so if there is a new one for any of those, we’ll watch it.  We usually go upstairs between 9 and 9:30 and get ready for bed.  And that’s the day.  I love every moment with my little family.  I’m excited to do a post like this in October and see how things have changed.  We will have a newborn in the house!

What’s the typical day like in your life right now? 

Stitch Fix bliss part IX.

I know you’ve been anxiously awaiting the ninth ever Stitch Fix post on this little blog, I got a box last week, and Kevin was just dying to take some iPhone wardrobe photos, so the stars were really in alignment, now weren’t they?  Everyone wins!  Let’s get right down to it, shall we?

 

This Le Lis blouse was fine, but I own another one (from Stitch Fix!  Same brand!) that looks pretty similar, so it just didn’t make sense to keep this one.

 

I kept this sheer blue and orange patterned shirt.  It will be a nice spring piece and will layer well in fall and winter.  The brand is Papermoon.

 

Now allow me to look down awkwardly at these jeans.  They’re Lila Ryan and I LOVED them.  But!  They fit perfectly right now and my tummy, butt, etc. are not going to be getting any smaller over the next six months, so it really didn’t make sense to keep the jeans and only be able to wear them for a matter of weeks before they became too tight.  And what if I am never again at a size where they’d fit?  Not worth the expense now for so much uncertainty.

 

This navy dress (sorry – I forgot to jot down the brand) was something I wanted to like when I first pulled it out of the box, but I just couldn’t once it was on the bod.  I thought the half belt that was sewed into the dress was weird and made it bunch awkwardly.  It just looks frumpy.  I also didn’t like the way the material in the back was gathered.  It received an all-expenses paid trip home to the Stitch Fix warehouse.

 

This Hawthorne 41 shirt is a beautiful Kelly green color and it’ll fit well for several months to come.  I kept it and think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it.

And that’s all she wore.  Or wrote.  Or whatever.  In case you’re just itching to use my Stitch Fix referral code – here it is.  (FD:  I receive a credit if you use the code to order a Stitch Fix fix.)  It is a fun service.  I’ve heard some reservations about signing up because of the expense, but something I really like is that they ask you how much you’re comfortable spending in the different categories (pants, blouses, dresses, accessories, etc.) in the style profile, so you can be really upfront about your budget.  And you only have to get a Fix delivered when you want one – however frequently or infrequently that may be.

Have you used Stitch Fix?  Are you transitioning into spring wardrobe items? 

It’s a…

We are so delighted to be having a boy!  Ava is going to be a wonderful big sister to her brother.

We found out Monday.  The genetic counselor at the perinatal clinic I go to for ultrasounds called with results of the genetic screenings (all good!) and asked over the phone if we wanted to know the gender.  I asked her to write it down and leave it at the front desk in an envelope so I could pick it up.  Then I checked with Kevin to see if he was available for lunch that day.  He was so we made a plan to go pick up the envelope and go to Weck’s for lunch.  This is the same Weck’s we went to when we found out together that Ava was a girl (blog post here), so it felt really special to do the same for this baby.  :)

We were seated at a table, ordered our food, and then Kevin opened the envelope.  Boy!  So exciting!

I have to say…I wasn’t very surprised.  I have been convinced from the beginning that this baby is a boy (although I was completely convinced that Ava was a boy too, so don’t place too much stock in my mother’s intuition).  Kevin had a dream that the baby was a boy (and he dreamt that Ava was a girl, so obviously his dreams are more reliable than my gut feelings).  And when we questioned the ultrasound tech at our 12 week appointment she said that she was pretty sure the baby is a boy – “don’t go buy anything yet, but…I’m usually right about these things.”  So we both had boy on the brain.  And boy it is!

It feels strange to know the gender so early in the pregnancy.  We can really start thinking about name options, which is fun.  I am very excited when I think of having a son (a son!), but also a little intimidated.  I know absolutely nothing about baby boys and am especially nervous about diaper changes.  :)

I’ll end with the same quote I used in the post about finding out Ava was a girl because it is still so applicable:

“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” -Pablo Casals

Any tips from all the boy moms out there?

An official announcement.

She’s all smiles but has no idea her little only child world is going to be rocked this autumn.

We’re due October 12.  I kind of have it in my head that the baby will come in September and I probably just jinxed myself by typing that out and will be banished to 41+ weeks or something.  But Ava was early (evicted, you may recall – part 1 / part 2), and my doctor is highly unlikely to let me go past 40 weeks because that’s just how he rolls, so early October or late September it will likely be, God willing.

We found out on Valentine’s Day.  I decided to take a test before downing my Moscato – just in case – and good thing I did.  Pregnant.

It helped explain the roller coaster emotions I’d been demonstrating, much to my (and Kevin’s – poor guy) relief.

Overall I can’t complain BUT I will say I feel like I’ve been more nauseous this time than I was with Ava.  It may just be that I can’t lounge around like I did during the first pregnancy.  Ava isn’t one to allow lounging.  I’ve also been more fatigued, but again – fewer daytime naps may be contributing to that.

I’ve been so much more chill with this second pregnancy.  Less worried about every little ache and pain.  Less anxiety over all the things that could go wrong.  Don’t get me wrong – I catalogued all the pregnancy don’ts I’d blissfully done in those first few precious weeks between not knowing and knowing, like the good little Type A personality I am.  Lunchmeat!  Hot baths!  Caffeine!  But then I released the worry around them because there was no going back and all I can do is hope for the best.  Since then I’ve been more relaxed in what I eat (Dion’s sandwiches – toasted, but all the same – I never would have touched those in the first pregnancy; and steak, cooked to medium instead of charred), but trying to make good decisions.

So far we’ve had two doctor appointments (my weight is down a pound between week 8 and week 12 – celebrate those first trimester victories, hashtag party emoji) , two ultrasounds (all looks good!  Blessings galore.), genetic testing (all looks good!  Blessings galore.), and we opted to find out the gender with the blood work.  It’s a….

:)

Any gender guesses?

That’s a wrap {March}.

 

Links to Love:

  1. This Bachelor/ette parody – this season, on The Babysitter. 
  2. The best country in the world….
  3. I believe very strongly in the Oxford comma, so I loved this.

Making Memories:

  1. I got to see a couple of friends who live out of state in March.  First, my friend Amy who I went to college with, was in town for a couple of days.  She and I went to China together a decade ago (can’t believe it has been so long!), and she currently lives in Oklahoma.  She was on a whirlwind tour of New Mexico to see family (and me) during her spring break.  It was so nice to catch up and see her travel companions too (her girlfriend and mom).  My friend Derek (my theatre buddy – we would always go to shows together when he lived here) was in town at the end of the month and we did lunch and then a Norwex party (he’s a consultant) the following day.  He’s just one of the friendliest people in the world and I loved getting to see him.
  2. There was a big Junior League women’s leadership symposium event and it was empowering and really a great experience.  Vicki Clark was the main speaker and she truly is amazing.  I can see why so many of my JL friends are Vicki Clark groupies!
  3. My mom, stepdad, sister, and Kevin’s parents were all in town and at our house at the same time, so we took that opportunity to dress Ava in the shirt she’s wearing in our family photo at the top of this post (photo cred to Lisa) and then we just waited to see how long it took our family to read the message.  My mother-in-law was the first to notice the writing and then everyone caught on quick.  :)
  4. It was for a sad event (the funeral service following my uncle’s passing) but I got to see a lot of my family on 3/25, which happens to be my sister’s birthday.  I love my aunts, uncles, cousins, immediate family, and any time with them is special.  My sister wanted Italian for her birthday dinner so we went to Trombino’s, which was really tasty.
  5. Long story but we decided to have Early Intervention test Ava, specifically to look at her gross motor skills because her walking gait seems a little off.  They believe that one of her legs is a little longer than the other and recommended that we take her to a pediatric orthopedist.  We’ll get our pediatrician’s opinion at the 18 month check up in April, but I think that she’ll probably agree with the recommendation.  Ava’s language skills, fine motor skills, etc. – everything else they test – looks age appropriate or beyond (her language comprehension is closer to 21-24 months!).

Bookish:

  1. I’m currently reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
  2. In March I finished The Danish Way of Parenting (Jessica Joelle Alexander) – 3 stars; My Not So Perfect Life (Sophie Kinsella) – 4 stars, listened to that one on Audible; Nine Women, One Dress (Jane L. Rosen) – 4 stars; What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding (Kristin Newman) – 3 stars; The Hating Game (Sally Thorne) – 4 stars, listened to this one on Audible and I recommend reading the book versus listening; Where We Belong (Emily Giffin) – 4 stars; and The Vacationers (Emma Straub) – 3 stars.  So it was a pretty good month for reading.
  3. Still working my way through the great Harry Potter re-read as well.  In March I finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  The fourth book is ready and waiting for me, but I want to make a little more progress on Team of Rivals before getting sucked in.
  4. Kevin is reading The Looming Tower.  I think he’s nearly done with it and then he and his mom are going to read an Andrew Jackson biography at the same time.

Challenges:

  1. My great uncle Donald passed away in March.  He was in his late 80’s and lived a life of routine and integrity.  Those may seem like funny things to reference, but that was him.  He had a quiet wit and a calm presence.  He was one of the smartest people in the world, I am convinced – an accountant and the career fit him.  He loved basketball and to travel.  He was one of my absolute favorite people and I will miss him.
  2. I was stricken by a stomach virus at the end of the month and it took me down for about 24 hours.  Then I was weak and scared of food for another 24 after that.  Right as I started feeling human again, poor Kevin caught what I had.  So we tag-teamed the whole parenting thing during that little phase.  Fortunately, Ava seems to have escaped that round of illness.  Definitely don’t want her to be sick!
  3. I have officially weaned her from nursing.  It was mostly unintentional.  We were down to just one feed a day, at night before she went to sleep.  My goal was to make it to 18 months and I thought it was going to happen.  But then I had Junior League meetings on two consecutive nights and I was unable to get out of those in time to get home for the bedtime routine.  48 hours between nursing sessions is not good for supply, so…there it was.  I’m sad that I didn’t meet my goal and sad that the chapter is over.  It is what it is.
  4. As mentioned, we’ll likely be taking Ava to a pediatric orthopedist, which is really sad because the poor thing gets so scared in doctors’ offices.  I know it’s going to be tough to see her in that stressful situation, needing x-rays, etc.  :(

Sustenance:

  1. Our Small Hours calls it Easy Shepherd’s Pie but it’s technically Cottage Pie since it uses beef rather than lamb or mutton.  Whatever.  It was delicious and really easy.  I put it together in the morning, let it refrigerate, and then Kevin popped it in the oven that afternoon/evening while I was at work.  A great make-ahead option!
  2. We made this one-pot creamy chicken bacon veggie pasta and I was very impressed.  We try not to eat pasta often, but I’d definitely do this one again.
  3. This crock pot chicken and rice soup was easy and as delicious as any other chicken and rice soup I’ve ever had, so I don’t think anything is lost by going crock pot versus stove top.  I overdid it on the dried thyme and rosemary (for my taste) and didn’t add enough salt, but I like to crumble saltine crackers up into my soup just prior to eating it anyway, so with that addition, it was perfect.
  4. I also enjoyed this shrimp and wild rice casserole.  We used broccoli instead of green bell pepper because I had some broccoli that needed to be used.  And I love the combo of rice/cheese/broccoli in general.  It would be easy to sub chicken for shrimp.  I think it would be tasty with scallops too.  Nice textures.  :)
  5. I made these little grape-caramel sauce-peanut snacks (referenced in this post) for a Norwex party at my house and they were really easy and really good.  Very snackable.  I probably ate about two dozen.

How was your March?

That’s a wrap {February}.

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Links to Love:

  1. A Golden Girls themed café has opened in Manhattan.  My sister and I will definitely be visiting it someday.  We love The Golden Girls!  It’s one of those shows that I like to watch when I’m tired or sick or sad…those quirky ladies just make everything better.
  2. Maternity photo themed pics showing off that beautiful…beer belly??  These are funny.
  3. Did you watch The Oscars?  We didn’t.  But I read about the Best Picture debacle on theSkimm Monday morning.  Craziness!  I feel so bad for the guy who handed Bonnie and Clyde the wrong envelope.  These tweets are hilarious.
  4. Ava is officially walking more than she’s crawling.  In fact, she’s not really crawling at all any more.  She resembles a drunk sailor as she toddles around but she’s on her own two feet and loving it.  I’m so sad.  Does this mean I officially have a toddler?  These are the only shoes she’ll keep on.  We are fans.
  5. 13 Children’s Books that Encourage Kindness Towards Others.  I want Ava to own all of these.

Making Memories:

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  1. On my birthday, Kevin gave me a gift certificate for a 90 minute (!!) massage at a local skin and body retreat.  I redeemed that on the first Saturday in February and it was lovely.  90 minutes is such a luxurious length of time to be pampered.  Thanks, Kevin!
  2. Kevin went to Phoenix with his dad for their annual Sun’s game extravaganza.  They ate good food, did a little shopping (Ava made out like a bandit, as you can imagine), and enjoyed a close basketball game where the Sun’s came out victorious.  Not too shabby.  This was their 23rd annual father/son trip.  Isn’t that amazing?  They always have a great time.
  3. My mom and step-dad live a 2.5 hour drive away from us, which isn’t bad but they stay busy with their jobs/farm/ranch and we stay busy with life and the whole pack of us are homebody’s so we don’t see each other very often.  In February, my mom and I started Skyping on Monday mornings.  I think that’ll be a good way for her to stay up on Ava’s latest and greatest tricks and it’s a nice time to connect.  I’ve enjoyed that new routine.
  4. One blustery Thursday night in February, I met five of my friends out at The Melting Pot for a girl’s night.  It was so fun.  I always come away refreshed and recharged when I spend time with these ladies.  We wore tiaras and the restaurant supplied us with wands, because we’re princesses.  Have you eaten at The Melting Pot? That was my first time and I did all four courses.  I loved the cheese (bread was my favorite dipper, obviously), was underwhelmed by the salad, thought the entrée was okay, and ate too much of the chocolate.  Next time I think I’d just do cheese and chocolate.  Although I did love the mushroom caps in coq au vin with green goddess sauce.  I may do entree for those alone.
  5. Ava had a few social events in February.  She met a friend at the aquarium one afternoon, and went to a friend’s house for a play date one Saturday.  We continue to attend music class on Tuesday’s, which she always really enjoys.

Bookish:

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  1. I just finished listening to Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody and I really liked it.  I gave it 4 stars.  It is my favorite comedic memoir (or whatever that genre is) that I’ve read/listened to.  She’s not crude like so many of them are, and while there is some foul language, I think it’s well placed and not over the top.  She’s hilarious.
  2. Kevin and I finished listening to Duplicity by Newt Gingrich.  It was really well written and action packed.  Kevin gave it 5 stars and I gave it 4 stars.  We’ll probably start the sequel when we travel for Easter.
  3. I finished The Secret Garden and gave it 4 stars.  It’s a quick, easy, classic read.  I remember loving the movie as a kid, but I don’t think I’d ever read the book.  I also re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and it was just as amazing the second time.  I love that series.
  4. I’m currently still reading The Danish Way of Parenting:  A Guide to Raising the Happiest Kids in the World by Jessica Joelle Alexander & Iben Sandhal; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (reading this one on my phone/iPad); and Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  I’m in a jack of many, master of none phase when it comes to reading.  I need to commit to finishing the Danish parenting book and put some time in with Team of Rivals but Harry Potter keeps calling my name.
  5. Kevin has been reading The Looming Tower: Al-Quaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright. He’s enjoying his online class that he started last month as well.  They’re about to start a group project that’s a simulation of an Everest climb.  Sounds taxing.

Challenges:

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  1. Naps continue to be a challenge for us.  Well, for Ava.  Kevin and I would gladly go down for daily naps if we could.  I’ve weaned Ava from the mid-day feed, so it really does have to be Goldilocks timing (not too tired, not too hyper) to get her to nap.  Sometimes we stroller nap in the late afternoon if I couldn’t get her down in the crib.  Sue has tried crib napping but Ava tends to wake up early and then they cuddle nap.  This too shall pass.  Days just seem really long when the child refuses a mid-day rest.  Overall though, we can’t complain.
  2. Kiki, while doing quite well for 14 years old (76 in human years), continues to refuse her thyroid medicine every other day or so, and she has been throwing up a lot.  We did some lab work over the weekend and should get results soon.  Hopefully there is something else we can try to keep her healthy.  She did gain weight though and seems to feel fine, so it’s not too bad.

Sustenance:

  1. I posted about our favorite chicken recipes in February – we ate each of those at least once during the month.
  2. We’ve still been into the overnight oats.  Those work especially well on the mornings that Kevin has personal training sessions at the gym.
  3. I’d like a chef to start doing my shopping and cooking.  I feel like we have been in such a rut recently.  And mealtimes just keep rolling around, not going anywhere.  Blah.

How was your February?  Would you choose a maid, a cook, or a chauffer to lighten your load?