Monday, November 04, 2013

October Overload

I don't even know where to begin.  

The second half of October was, and will always be, one of the craziest, most busy times of the year for me!  With Ava's birthday, Jace's birthday and Halloween, all within days of each other, you can see why one would feel a little overwhelmed.  Not to mention exhausted!  I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off these past few weeks.  Planning for this, and prepping for that.  As much fun as it all was, I'm not lying when I say that I'm glad it's all over.  I can actually breathe for a minute.

With that said, you can imagine how lengthy this post will be then, considering all that went on, and considering how picture obsessed I am.  So sit back, grab a snack, and enjoy our October Overload!

Ava 12 Months
It happened.  A day that for so long, felt so far in the future, happened.  My baby turned one.  The whole week leading up to her birthday, I was a blubbering idiot.  I just couldn't grasp the idea that an entire year had passed so quickly!  And we all had survived!  It was a very sentimental time, as you can imagine, and we feel so blessed and so grateful to have had this little angel in our lives and in our home for the past year.  She is such a gem! 

A few days before her birthday, I decided I wanted to do a little 'birthday' photo shoot.  So Jace and I took our baby out to the field behind our house and snapped a few photos of her.  I must say, I was worried as to how they would turn out.  But the weather was perfect, the lighting was perfect, and she was perfect.  I'm so glad I was able to capture this special time in her life with these photos! 
I just have to throw in there, that these photos were taken using our little point and shoot camera, and edited on iPhoto.  Not bad, if I do say so myself. 

Okay, done bragging :)

Ava's actual birthday, October 25th, was pretty laid back.  She and I went and had lunch with Jace at eBay.  After which she had a nice 'birthday' nap, and a yummy birthday dinner at Cafe Rio.  We invited Jace's parents, and Tessa, Spencer and Cooper to come along with us.  After dinner, they all came over to hang out with the birthday girl, and watch the BYU game.
I promise, she does like to visit her Daddy at work.  This is just her tired, so ready for a nap face :)
Cafe Rio has always been, and will always be my favorite.  Even more so now that my child can eat their FREE "Nino" quesadilla! That place is so bomb.

The Party
I decided to do Ava's birthday party on Sunday, October 27th, as that was the day that all of our family would be able to make it.  My sister-in-law gave me the idea a few months back of doing an "Instagram Themed" first birthday party.  She saw the idea on Pinterest and sent me the link so I could check it out for myself.  Those of you who know me well, know that I am an Instagram freak, so of course, I took the idea and ran with it!  And oh how perfect it was for my little lady!  I had so much fun putting together Instagram collages, searching Pinterest for cake ideas, and buying and making decorations!  It was very easy, super stress free, and in the end, it all came together so nicely!  

The Invite
Needless to say, she loved her cake :)

Thanks to all of our family that came to support our baby girl! And a HUGE thanks to my parents for letting us use their house! 
We love you all!

Ava's 12 months stats:
Weight: 17 lbs
Height: 27 inches
Still about as tiny and petite as they come!  
And we wouldn't have it any other way :)

Last month's findings:

Ava FINALLY started to crawl!  We never thought the day would come, but it literally happened overnight.  Now she's a crawling beast and is pretty fast at it too!  She also loves to climb up stairs, but hasn't quite figured out how to go down yet.

She loves to walk with us holding her hands, and while pushing her new "bike" she got for her birthday.  She is still pretty unstable on her feet, so we think it'll be a little while longer before she is walking on her own. And I am SO okay with that. 

Her 7th tooth popped up a few weeks ago, and we're thinking her 1st year molars might be next.  She is always chewing on her fingers and putting them far back in her mouth.  Poor baby, I despise teething. 

My wonderful little eater is starting to get a lot more picky lately (ARG!).  We've tried a lot of new things, most of which she takes a few bites of, and then refuses.  I've been told that every baby goes through a picky stage, usually around age 1, so that's comforting.  We did start her on whole milk, which she wasn't too sure about at first.  I had to mix her bottles with half formula, half milk, to help with the transition, but since have slowly been weening that out and just doing straight milk.  She hasn't seemed to notice the difference, thank goodness!  

She has officially transitioned to one nap a day, which is typically 2-2.5 hours long, in the afternoon.  I DID NOT want to accept this fact for the longest time.  I LOVED two nap times.  I was able to get so much done!  But, she's the boss, so I got over it and realized that having a baby that sleeps 12+ hours a night (8pm-8am) is definitely something to be grateful for!  Heck, if I was sleeping that much at night, I wouldn't need two naps during the day either! 

She loves to wave 'Hi' and 'Bye' and loves to dance whenever she hears music.  She's always busting a move!  She LOVES Mickey and Minnie Mouse.  Her favorite show to watch is The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the Disney channel.  Every time it comes on, her little face lights up and she gets so excited!  It is the most adorable thing ever.  She loves to go on walks and we are dreading the cold season that is upon us.  I don't know what we are going to do when we can't go outside to play!  I thought I had cabin fever last year with a newborn, I can't even imagine this year with a toddler!  Oh, Heaven help me!

She is starting to understand a few different words.  She will go get her ball when we say, "Where's your ball?  Go get your ball!"  And when we say, "Where's Momma?" Or "Where's Daddy?" or "Where's Jett?", she will look at either Jace or I or Jett (whomever we are asking about) and give us a little pat.  It is adorable.  She also tries to mimic what we say, "Da-da" for Daddy, "Mi-Mi" for Momma and sometimes she says what we think is her version of "Jett" :)  It is so fun to watch her grow and develop and learn new things!  We just love and adore her so much and feel so incredibly blessed that she chose to come to our family!  

And, then there's this guy...
He had a birthday too.  The last one in his twenties to be exact :)  We celebrated by going to his favorite place, Buffalo Wild Wings, for dinner.  It was pretty low key, but that's how he prefers it.  He is such a wonderful husband, and an incredible father.  Ava and I are two lucky girls to have him in our lives!

I was really looking forward to Halloween this year.  Last year Ava wasn't even a week old, so needless to say, we didn't do much.  This year however, we (mainly me) had so much fun dressing her up and going out!

I made a little Halloween tutu, that I turned into a witch costume.  It was pretty much adorable.  She wore that for my family's Halloween party, and for Trick-or-Treating at eBay on Halloween day.

And, Ava received a belated birthday package in the mail on Halloween from Uncle Del and Aunt Kristen...
Yep, you can guess where this is going...
How could I NOT have turned this into a costume?!  I mean, seriously?  It was just too perfect!  I already had the dress, so I just threw some black leggings on her, with her black shirt, and there you have it.
Minnie Mouse. 
I almost died :)

We had made dinner plans with Tessa and Spencer for that night and afterwards, to take the little ones Trick-or-Treating.  On our way down south, we of course had to stop at Grandma and Grandpa Park's house to show off our little mouse.  And Ava wanted to visit her cousins as well :)
Ava and Cooper were just thrilled to go Trick-or-Treating!  You can see it in their faces :)
And it's not Halloween without a little ice cream cake for the birthday boy! 

All in all, it was a very busy, but fun Halloween.  Our little mouse got hooked up with a bucket full of candy and had enough determination to get a taste of it by chewing her way through the wrapper of a Twix bar.  She's trouble I tell ya.

See?  Told ya.  

And October is just the start of the craziness.  Next we have Thanksgiving, my birthday and then Christmas!  Did I just say that?

Good grief.
I need a nap.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Time Baby

This little fall time baby is just under 2 weeks away from celebrating her first birthday.
Someone grab me a tissue!

As tradition goes, Monday night, we all bundled up and headed to Jaker's Jack-O-Lanterns, the pumpkin patch in Springville, with my family.  Ava's first time of course.  It was cold. And windy. And crowded. And did I mention it was cold?  Ava wasn't a fan of the cold.  Or the wind.  Or the pumpkins for that matter.  But it was still fun regardless :)
I love that she is pretty much the same size as the pumpkins :)

Oh, and we must not forget about the scary corn pit too...
Oh, I just love this little tender hearted angel! 
And I love this time of year! 

Family Of Three

Back in September, Jace won a Facebook giveaway with a local photographer.  The prize was a 30 minute "mini" family photo shoot, with 20-25 edited images.  To say I was ecstatic that he won, would be an understatement.  I had been stressing, and I mean STRESSING over family pictures for awhile.  Who would we have take them?  How will we pay for it?  What will we wear??  You get the point.  To have two out of those three concerns lifted off of my shoulders, just like that, felt pretty darn good.  Sherry Ward is amazing.  And when I say amazing, I mean ridiculously AMAZING.  Her work is incredible and I was shocked, relieved and beyond happy that she got the beautiful pictures of our little family that she did!  Especially because a certain little lady wasn't being all that cooperative.  And I do have to give some credit to my parents who were there dancing, singing and waving toys about to try and get her to smile.  They helped immensely :)

All in all, we are so grateful for the opportunity we had to work with Sherry, and even more grateful for the wonderful photo memories she captured!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

5 Years & 10 Months

I really, really wish I could find the time to blog more than once a month.  But hey, I will give myself a pat on the back for doing AT LEAST that!  Life is busy!  And this past month especially, we found ourselves constantly trying to catch our breath.  Ava reached some HUGE milestones this past month and Jace and I celebrated 5 wonderful years of marriage!  Not to mention that every single one of us got some kind of sickness within the month of September.  Not cool.  But all in all, it was a great month.  Here's the recap...

The end of August we celebrated Jace's mom, Julene's, 50th birthday.  Grandma Bea and Papa came into town from Missoula for her surprise birthday bash, as well as Uncle Del, Julene's brother, who Ava met for the first time!  We spent a lot of time with them that weekend.  There is nothing better than family! 

September 12, 2013
My sweetheart and I celebrated 5 years together.  It's crazy to think that I've been with this guy for half a decade!  We decided to do something a little extra special since it was our 5 year anniversary.  We left Ava with my parents overnight (first time EVER leaving her overnight) to spend some alone time up in  beautiful Park City.  As hard as it was to leave my baby for the first time, it was very nice to get away with my man and have a little break.  I am happy to say that, after 5 years, we are still in love :)

And Ava is growing up right before our very eyes! 
She has two new teeth, totaling 6 now.  She has started to climb on everything, including the stairs at my parents house.  She pulls herself up to stand now, something that literally happened overnight.  We lowered her crib mattress when we noticed that she was getting onto her knees in her crib, and the very next day, she was standing up in it when I went in to get her in the morning.  Little stinker!  

She still loves to scoot everywhere on her back, and army crawls like nobody's business.  She will pull herself up to her hands and knees when she wants to climb on something, or stand up, but she STILL will not crawl on her hands and knees.  It is so funny!  We think that she is just going to go from scooting to walking.  

She will eat pretty much anything that is placed in front of her, and is starting to realize that big people food is SO much tastier than baby food.  She will still eat a few different assortments of baby food, mostly the jars of fruit, but now completely refuses the jars of veggies.  She loves to eat whatever we are eating, and loves to feed herself.  Some of her favorites include:

String Cheese
Graham Crackers
Goldfish Crackers
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Mashed Potatoes
French Fries
Ice Cream
Sauteed Zucchini 
Mac 'n' Cheese

Just to name a few.
We feel so incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful eater!  We just pray that it continues!

She loves to dance!  Anytime she hears any kind of music or beat, she will start to bounce and wiggle her little body, kicking her legs and flailing her arms!  It is THE cutest thing in all the world.  She loves to talk and will make her little voice heard throughout our entire house.  

She is a curious little monster, tries to get into anything and everything she's not supposed to, loves to read books and is such a joy to be around!  She is so hilarious and keeps Jace and I laughing every day.  

And then this happened...
It is so hard for me to believe that my baby is almost ONE!  Where did that year go??
My gosh, I LOVE HER! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August & Ava

It's that time of year again.  
Summer is coming to an end and as much as I LOVE summer, my second favorite is fall and I find myself getting so excited for fall!  Sweaters, jackets, boots. Oh, I can't wait.  

August treated us well, much like any other month, but we were able to do a few fun things to close out the summer season. 

At the first part of the month we ventured up to the high Uintas where my family was camping for a week.  We only went for one day and one night, but with a 9 month old, that was plenty.  I was worried about staying the night because Ava has never slept a night away from her crib since the day she came home from the hospital, but much to my surprise, she did really well!  We had a blast with my family and are looking forward to doing it again next year! 

Ava and I went with some friends over to Thanksgiving Point's Farm Country for our very first time.  Sad that we live about 5 minutes from it, and had never been!  It was so much fun!  Ava wasn't too sure what to think about all of the animals at first, but she warmed up to them.  And she LOVED the tractor ride.

We also took Ava to Lagoon for her first time.  Ebay does a Lagoon day every year and Jace gets discounted tickets so we thought, what the heck, let's go.  We invited Jace's parents and Tessa, Spencer and Cooper to come along with us.  Without them (Grandpa Mark especially) it wouldn't have even been worth it.  We needed someone there to help us with Ava so we could actually ride on the rides!  So a big thanks to them for babysitting :) 
And Ava did get to go on a few rides as well.

And after all of that excitement, Ava turned 10 months old! 
Double digits people!  
Time is flying.
For some reason, she looks so grown up in this picture.  No longer a baby, but a toddler.  It hurts my heart! 

Not a lot has changed with our little lady this last month, other than all of the new, fun things she's gotten to do of course.  She's still not quite crawling.  She does still do her infamous back scoot and is REALLY good at the army crawl now.  She goes EVERYWHERE in those two ways, so in reality, she doesn't really need to crawl cause nothing is stopping her from getting around just fine like that.  She does go from a sitting position to her hands and knees, sits there for a minute, rocks back and forth, and then falls to her belly.  It cracks us up.  It's almost like she knows what to do, and has actually moved one knee and one hand forward at times, but then is like, "Eh, screw that, I know how to get around." 

 And get around she does.  I cannot take my eyes off of her for a second before she is into something she's not supposed to be in to.  She is a curious one and is starting to test the boundaries.  If she gets near something she's not supposed to play with, she will actually look back at me to see if I'm watching her, wait for me to say "No, no" and then proceed to grab/touch/kick whatever it might be, smiling while doing so until I remove her from the situation.

She's a beast I tell ya. 
We've got our hands full with that one.

But oh how fun she is!  We wouldn't trade her and her busy little curious self for anything in this world.  This stage is so so fun and we are just having a blast and soaking it all in.  She will be talking back to me before I know it, so I will enjoy this time while it lasts :)
Seriously.  She takes my breath away! 

(Oh, and cheers to me for figuring out how to use Google Picasa with it's photo collage setting! Booya!)