Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Playing Catch Up

I've been putting this post off for awhile now.  The thought of trying to blog about the last TWO months, with the holidays, the growing child, so on and so forth... just overwhelms me beyond belief and I want to turn the computer off right now! 

Ay Yi Yi...

But alas, it needs to be done or I will just continue to be lazy.
So here we go.

After 15 years in the Helean home, it was time to say goodbye to Brit. (Not really how I wanted to start this post, but I couldn't leave it out.) 
She lived a good and happy life, and we will miss her very much.
Saying our goodbyes the night before she was put down. 
Ava was being so cute and sweet with her.  Almost brought me to tears!

On a lighter note...

Grandma Bea and Papa, as well as Jace's Uncle Mike and Aunt Lisa, and cousins Chad and Taylor came into town from Montana for Thanksgiving.  It was so much fun to have them here!  It was Ava's first time meeting her second cousins!  We went shopping, ate A LOT, watched A LOT of football, and just enjoyed spending time together.  We were sad when they had to go back home to Missoula.  But we're hoping to make a trip up there soon.  
Thanksgiving Day
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we spent some time at Scheels.  After which all the boys went go cart racing, and then we ended the night in Salt Lake at City Creek and Temple Square.

We started the month out with Jace's company Christmas Party.  2013 was a good year for Jace at eBay.  He was given a higher lead position with a pay raise, something that has been a long time coming, so we feel very blessed.  He worked very hard for it, and continues to work hard everyday to provide for our little family :)
Probably the most exciting thing that happened during the first part of December, was that our not so little Ava started walking!  She was so very close for the longest time, but would get nervous and always grab a hold of things.  But one night, she was standing with me in the laundry room, helping me put clothes in the dryer (one of her favorite things to do), when all of the sudden, I turned around and she had let go of the dryer and was walking down the hall!  I was so shocked!  And so proud!  I yelled for Jace to hurry and watch, but of course it was too late at that point.  And she didn't do it again for the rest of the night!  Little stinker.  But that next day, she just took off and became a walking machine within a couple of days.  Now she's practically running everywhere and it is so cute to see such a tiny little person, struttin' her stuff.
 Ava's Update
14, almost 15 months and weighs 19 lbs. 
She's just a tiny little peanut! 

Loves to dance and play ball with her puppy.
Loves to read books and play 'Pat-a-Cake' and 'Peek-a-Boo'.
She understands a lot of what we say and has started saying a few new words of her own.  Also uses sign language to communicate a lot of the time.
She knows where her tongue is, where her toes are and where her teeth are (9 teeth to be exact) and LOVES to brush them.
She knows when her Daddy comes home from work by the sound of the garage door opening.  She practically runs over to the stairs squealing with delight and saying, "Da-da! Da-da!" until he comes in the door.  She still has yet to say "Ma-ma", but we're working on it :)
She sleeps 12 hours a night, usually 8pm-8am and takes one nap a day.

At Ava's 12 month Dr's apt, a few concerns came up with her pediatrician, and he referred us to a couple of different pediatric specialists to get a few things checked out.  The first issue came about before she really started walking. We noticed that her right foot would always turn in when she would try to walk and we were concerned that maybe it was hindering her walking.  After seeing an orthopedic surgeon, it turned out to be nothing big at all so we were able to put that one aside.

The second concern was with her eating and swallowing habits.  For the longest time (it's getting much better now) she would always choke while eating and then throw up.  I was concerned that maybe she had a narrow esophagus because that runs in my family.  We saw a GI specialist who recommended a couple of different tests to make sure everything was okay.  The first test was a swallow study where basically, they put a camera up to her neck to watch how she would swallow while eating.  Everything with that came back normal, so we could rest easy knowing that she wasn't ingesting anything into her lungs. 

The second test, and the more complex of the two, was an EGD, which is basically a scope, to check for any potential allergies in the esophagus.  For this procedure she had to be put to sleep so the Dr could go in and get a biopsy of the tissues in the esophagus.  These results, unlike the other test, did in fact show some things to be concerned about.  Her Dr found a bunch of "allergic cells" as he called them, while doing the scope.  He said it could be caused by food, but also could be caused from environment and said that it is really common to find that in the Wasatch area.  

So, what came next was a referral to an allergist at Primary Children's Hospital (which we have scheduled for the end of January) and a steroid inhaler that she takes twice daily.  Can I just say, that I lucked out when it comes to my child taking medicine!  She's a pro!  So willing every time to let Jace or I puff her little inhaler in her mouth morning and night.  She's the best :)

We will know more after we see the allergist what the potential cause of the allergic cells could be, but in the meantime, all is well, it doesn't seem to bother her, and she is just perfect and healthy as can be! 

Whew... I'm exhausted now just writing about all of that! 

Here's some photos of the day of her surgery.  I just want to point out, that I worked in the OR for over 8 years when I worked at the dental office.  I know exactly what goes on in there, and how tiny babies are put under general anesthesia.  We did it on a weekly basis.  But not even 8 years can prepare you for the day that your OWN child has to go through it.  Tears were shed by both parent and child :)
Waiting to be called back to pre op.
Trying to be so brave!   
She did enjoy all the space to run around in!  And those little hospital gowns and pants! GAH! Too cute :)
The procedure itself only lasted about 10 minutes.  This was after she woke up.  My little trooper!  Still smiling.
And the car ride home.  GoGo Squeeze in hand :)

Here are a few other random photos of our little monkey from December...
Can you tell that she pretty much runs our lives??
She's the best boss ever :)

Moving on...

I had another birthday.
The last one in my twenties.
Double Ugh...
 My sweet husband took me to see Frozen on my special day.  Truly the only thing I wanted :)
 Dinner with my loves at Longhorn Steakhouse.
And before bed birthday cuddles :)

Cheers to turning 30 this year! 
Did I really just say that??

Every year my parents treat all of us kids and grandkids to a Christmas lunch at Los Hermanos.  It's become a wonderful tradition that I look forward to with my family every year!
As Christmas drew nearer, I really, really, really wanted to take Ava to see Santa.  I KNEW she would absolutely hate it, and she did, but I needed to get those pictures!  It was quite comical to say the least...
She won't remember it, which is probably for the best, but at least now I can show her what her first Santa experience looked like when she's older :)

We spent Christmas Eve with Jace's family.  We had a wonderful yummy dinner with ham, shrimp and crab legs!  I look forward to that meal all year long!  Mostly for the crab legs :)
And, this one got new Christmas Eve jammies of course!

Having a toddler running around on Christmas this year was a blast!  Santa found her, and she got spoiled by both sets of grandparents as well.  Jace's parents came over for brunch, after which we headed down south to spend the rest of the day with my family.  It always comes and goes too quickly, but always leaves me feeling beyond blessed and incredibly grateful for all of the wonderful people in our lives, and most importantly reminding me of the love of our Savior.  Without Him, none of this would be possible.
Observing Daddy while he puts together her toy.  Gotta make sure it was done right!
What a goof.


This is how I feel about January.  I HATE January.  Long, cold, boring.  

And boy did it hate us back.  These last couple of weeks, every single one of us has been sick.  First me, then Jace, then Ava, then me again.  It was miserable.  We are FINALLY all well now, but my goodness, it sucked.  Screw January.  I am so ready for Spring.
This was the night that this little one threw up all over herself, her carseat and the back seat of our Leaf.  I'm convinced it was the absolute worst experience of my life.  So not fun to clean up!  But we managed to smile before bedtime.

And that brings us to the present day!! 
Hallelujah I did it.
And I hope to not have to play catch up like this for a long time! 

To send off, here are a few more photos from January, after all of the sickness had surpassed.  And of course, they are all of Ava, cause, well, what else did you expect?