Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ava's First Trip to the Pool!

We took our first trip to the pool today for a friend's Memorial Day pool party! It was SO much fun! Seriously - what a great time! Ava loved the water, just like I knew she would. It definitely helped that it was a heated-ish pool, so it wasn't a big shock. When I initially put her in past her swim suit bottomns and her little tummy got wet, she gasped slightly, but after that, she quickly adjusted and had a great time. She didn't cry once! She just splashed and splashed while daddy helped her to "swim" around - she was smiling so big!

Happy baby!

She wouldn't keep her sunglasses on :(

Me & my favorite girl on my birthday!

All that swimming made for a tired baby!

After the pool party, we headed over to Santa Rita for dinner. Mommy loves her dairy-free, unbreaded chicken tacos and Mexican martinis with fresh-squeezed lime juice!!!!

It's My Birthday!

It's here! My favorite day of the entire year is finally, FINALLY here! Eek - I LOVE LOVE LOVE my birthday! I mean, I'm like a freakin' little kid about it. I just LOVE it! Anyone who had any concern about Ava not getting a proper birthday celebration because her birthday is between the Christmas and New Year holidays can erase that worry from their minds because, around these parts, birthdays are WAY awesome!

I would be lying if I wasn't holding out extreme a wee bit of hope that David was going to propose today. I've only been humming Single Ladies around the house all week...

...oh well, a girl can hope. Don't worry - if he does, you'll all know before the day is out. Don't hold your breath though.

Today is going to be awesome. We have plans to go join some of our single, childless friends at a Memorial Day pool party at an apartment complex (hello two years ago!), and I'm very excited to see all of them! It'll be nice to hang out with old friends while having some beers and BBQ, AND it'll be Ava's first time in the big pool! So excited. Don't worry - once mommy has so much as a taste of booze, there'll be no more pool time with little A. Water is such an amazing thing to explore, but it can easily turn deadly. Please please please never look away even for a second. When I worked with foster children, we had a little girl nearly drown while the foster parent changed her little brother's diaper. You'd think you wouldn't need to emphasize these things, but sometimes people just need a reminder :)

Have a fantastic Sunday everyone!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Quick Note on Dairy, Breastfeeding & The Like.

A lot of people have been telling me I should consider giving up breastfeeding, and I understand why you would say that. I really do. If you think I don't want Hula Hut and cookie cake for my birthday tomorrow, you're crazy! I miss chocolate, and I crave cheese in a way I didn't think possible! The thing is, I have no intention of stopping. Ava has never had so much as a drop of formula, and that's something I'm really proud of for us. While I would never want to make a decision that would harm my little girl, I do think that the occasional dairy oversight that leads to a blowout diaper is a small price to pay for being able to offer her nature's most precious, well-balanced, perfect food. While it's difficult for me to find things to eat sometimes, I am more than willing to do so (and hopefully better my own health in the process) for her. That doesn't mean I won't complain about it sometimes, but I know that it's worthwhile. Not to mention, soy formula is expensive!

The doctor had told us that with her allergy, we should test out her dairy tolerance occasionally to see if she had a tolerance for it. If not, to try again a month later. If she's continuously exposed to it (besides those tests), her allergy can get worse and potentially not be outgrown, which is why the reaction seems to be more intense the more she's exposed to it. I just need to be more careful.

Anyhow, I'm not meaning to sound like I'm judging anyone elses choices, because I'm not. I'm just trying to do what I feel is best for my own little one in our particular situation. I love nursing, and so does she. I mean, she really, really loves it. She looks confused each and every time she gets a bottle, which is not often, kind of like she's being deprived of something. We frequently curl up together on the couch and I nurse her lying down, and she falls asleep with her arms around me. And I would feel so deprived of feeling her little hand and fingers tapping on my back while she nurses. Neither of us are at a point where we're ready to toss in the towel :)

Who Loves Their Exersaucer?

Ava does!

She mastered the art of spinning those three music makers around pretty quickly!

You're growing up so fast, Ava, and learning so much everyday! WE LOVE YOU!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I forgot to mention my doctor's appointment in my post earlier, which was the entire reason I logged on this morning!

Anyhow, no news seems to be good news? The doc ran some tests to check my blood sugars, thyroid, electrolytes, etc. He agreed that it was most likely dehydration, though, as well, so fingers crossed! That's good, right??

He did, however, refer me to a dermatologist. I was born with a birthmark near my right underarm, and while it's always been larger than I'd like, it seems as though it's changed a bit, so off to the derm to have it checked out. Lame. Anyone know what I should expect here??

Hello, Friday!


Did I mention she's sitting up tripod-style (with her hands bracing in front of her) for short periods?? So proud!

Despite it being D's birthday, yesterday sucked. Long story short, the D's dog ate a tube of sunscreen in it's entirety (packaging and all), and so he had to be rushed to the animal hospital (well, after puking about 15 times, many of which were in my SUV). Then, while out for dinner at The County Line, Ava had a disaster of a diaper that took 30 minutes and an entire travel package of wipes to clean up, only for me to discover I hadn't put a second outfit in the diaper bag. She wore he swimsuit bottoms and a sweater home. It just felt like one (extremely messy) thing after another.

Today, though, is going to rock. I have faith. I'll be getting my car detailed, courtesy of the D's, and am heading back to Home Depot (for the fourth time since last Friday!) to get some more plants and the materials to build a garden box. Wish me luck!

Regarding A's accident yesterday, though, it seems as though her dairy allergy is getting worse. Whereas it seemed like the triggers were mainly obvious dairy sources (milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.), now it seems as though she's reacting to whey as well, along with other hidden sources of dairy. What are some hidden sources? Let me fill you in:

*Whey, like I've previously mentioned, is in EVERYTHING. I mean, seriously, any snack food ever. Graham crackers, cereal bars, granola, most cereals, you name it. If it has a D on the package next to the circled U or K for "kosher", it contains dairy. Wah.
*Butter is something that's easy to overlook. That BLT you thought was safe to order? Nope - the bread is typically buttered. Same goes for many other sandwiches, breads, pastries (which typically contain dairy anyhow..).
*This is the one that really gets me. Breading for many products, most inconveniently CHICKEN STRIPS, contains dairy in most cases. Kill me.
*Obviously anything with chocolate, including chocolate flavoring. The only chocolate thing that doesn't contain dairy is cocoa roasted almonds. I eat probably 1,000 calories worth a day (eek) trying to satisfy my chocolate cravings!

So I ask...what the crap am I supposed to eat? I'm now having to eliminate ALL dairy, which leaves me grasping for ideas.

My go-to foods?
Apple w/ PB
Anything w/ PB really. I crave PB like crazy!
Steamed Veggies
Cocoa Almonds
Beans. I seriously eat like a can of beans a day. Black, Charro, Refried Black, you name it.

Please help. A gal cannot subsist on these foods alone! to get the car detailed and hit the hardware store.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Seedlings & Other Successes!

I had it in my mind for some reason it would take at least a week, if not weeks, for my vegetable garden to start sprouting. Apparently, I was wrong.

This is great, but it's also unfortunate. Why, you ask? Well, I thought I had some time to recruit some sucker to help me build a raised garden box. Now, though, I'm thinking I'll have to do it this weekend, and beg D to help me on the premise of it being my birthday and all (on Sunday - YAY!!!!!!!!!!). Anyone with any pointers? I'm not exactly an expert woodworker...

On a side note, here is a tissue box I painted for Ava's bathroom since I couldn't find one to go with her bathroom set.

What do you think? These colors would be tacky alone, but I think they work with the towels/decor...or at least I hope so! I'm currently working on putting the finishing touches on her keepsake/memory box, and then I'll share that as well!

Yesterday Ava went for her first walk in the stroller without her trusty old car seat - she's getting to be such a big girl! She LOVED the fresh air and the unobstructed view. The hat? Not so much. We're still working on that, since summer sun is out in full force! Check my cutie pie out:

Funny story about the stroller. I'm home alone tonight, as D went to trivia with the guys, and the stroller is sitting at the base of the stairs, hidden from view by the banister. Earlier, while going downstairs for some iced tea, I came around the corner and the stroller spooked me so badly I screamed! Yep. That's me. The soon-to-be 26-year-old mother who's scared of being home alone. Ridiculous.

Another recent first - her exersaucer! First, can I share with you how happy I am to have gotten this and Ava's jumper off Craigslist for a total of $30 for BOTH?!? Sometimes I totally rock, and the Earth is thankful too, since isn't this reusing at it's finest??? Anyhow, here's some pics of Ava rocking out in her exersaucer!

And another jumper pic:

All that jumping makes for a tired baby!

Speaking of, I am one TIRED mommy. Ava has been waking up twice a night again sometimes (teeth???), so I'm not getting as much sleep as I'd like. Plus, I have my doctor appointment tomorrow morning, so it'll be yet another busy morning!

Nighty night, and happy hump day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Great Weekend!

We had such a lovely (albeit nonstop busy!) weekend!! I know most people prefer their weekends to be relaxing and lazy, but I'm quite the opposite. Productivity and family time is the name of the game around this household, and this weekend embodied both of those!

Lately, I've felt that our yard needs a major pick me up. When I first bought my house I still lived and worked in NYC, so I had no time to landscape (nor the ability to water regularly enough to keep anything alive for long). Luckily, the summer following the purchase was the rainiest on record in Austin, so by the grace of God my sodding grew in to resemble a half-decent lawn, but that's about all we've got going for us around here. We have two trees in the front yard that are growing, slowly but surely, but definitely give away the young age of our neighborhood, since there aren't any mature trees (which I would LOVE!) Anyhow, this weekend I decided it was time to do a little something about the yard, and tried my hand planting some flowers. Normally I just buy a bunch of cheapie zinnias or other annuals, forget to water them, and start the cycle again in the next season. Truth be told, I have a black thumb. This time, though, I did my research, and made more informed choices for the front flower beds. Check it out:

Our beautiful hydrangea plant, considering starting to bloom:

Flower Beds:

Mexican Heather:



Lantanas & Pentas (aren't you just on the edge of your seats haha):

English Ivy (will spread to cover area around trees):

Front View of Flower Beds:

Smaller Tree:

Slightly More Successful Tree:

Then, last night, D grilled steaks for dinner and made homemade Mexican rice, while A and I planted a home farm garden! I've been wanting to get in on the home farming movement for some time, but wanted to do my research on this as well given the aforementioned black thumb, so it's taken us some time. We found this great greenhouse kit that should get our plants started, though, until we can recruit someone more handy than D to help me build a raised garden box to transplant the plants to as they grow! So excited! We planted snow peas, sweet corn, tomatoes, green beans, thyme, rosemary, zucchini, morning glories (we needed some flowers for color), and perhaps one more thing? I can't remember. I'm so excited for our little seedlings to grow. Here's A helping me out:

She's such a great helper! Alright, time to go pump. Ava woke up at 8, ate, and promptly fell back to sleep, where she's been ever since. Homegirl would NOT go to sleep last night until literally the second the Lost finale was over (10:30 CST), so needless to say she a.) has great taste, and b.)is exhausted. I, however, am getting SO much done with her sleeping! Later today we're picking up an exersaucer, so stay tuned for how much she's probably going to LOVE it!

Happy Monday, friends!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baby's First Baby.

Ava recently started loving all over one of S's baby dolls, so I thought that it was time to get her one of her own. She loves, loves, LOVES her!

AH! She's too cute sometimes :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

She's Got The Right Idea. if only I can convince her to grab daddy's wallet instead!

New Toy!

First off, before I bombard you with cutie pie pictures of Ava, I'm still in the works on figuring out HTML code to accompany my button, as well as the ability to link it to my blog address. Stay tuned...

OK, now that that's out of the way, may I present you with pictures of Ava's new toy!

Friday, May 21, 2010


What you learn quickly with older toddlers and preschoolers is how frequently they are imitating your behaviors. I am usually quite proud of the way S reflects me, particularly in regards to Ava. She frequently will say things to her like, "It's OK, Baby Ava, I'm here with you," or, "What's wrong, baby bear?" Too cute.

Today, though, her impression of me is making me laugh. She's decided that she's going to read to me instead of the other way around, and just generally be in the authoritative role. This is cute enough, but she keeps looking around and saying, "Now where did I put that book??" and "Holy moly, I'm losing my mind!"

Apparently I really need to get myself together!

If you want to read something else that may make you laugh, head over to my secondary (formerly primary) blog, Confessions of a Former Nanny.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Buttons & Other Changes!

Helllllllllo! I'm sure you've noticed a few changes. I like to change things up from time to time, so rather than the stupid decisions I used to make after a few drinks, now I tweek my baby blog. Is that considered evolving???

If you scroll down right past my followers (whom I love and adore - thank you all!!!), you'll notice something new and, quite frankly, awesome! I have Toni over at Hemp & High Heels to thank for making me a button of my very own! Suh-weeeeeeeeet! I LOVE it!

For those of you who also use blogger as your blog interface, can you please tell me if there is a better way to display my button than creating a picture box/gadget on the side? Is there another way to input or is that how you formatted yours? I'm kind of an amateur with regards to these things sometimes!

Again, a HUGE thank you to Toni! Go visit her amazing blog ASAP - she has some absolutely fantastic suggestions on living sustainably and healthfully, as well as creating some pretty lovely projects around the house! If that's not enough, her positivity and kind spirit is contagious!

Girls Night!

This is the post where I admit, (figurative) tail between my legs, that tonight, a week shy of Ava turning five months old, was my first night out post-Ava!

D came to pick A up at 5:15 to bring her home, and then I took off from there to this nifty little place called Alamo Drafthouse, a restaurant and cinema all in one! I went with a couple girlfriends that I walk with on Thursday mornings who are also mommies of little ones under one, and we saw Iron Man 2 (which actually was QUITE awesome considering...). Anyhow, the movie was great. The food was great, considering there was quite possibly one thing only that lacked dairy (even the chicken strips had dairy in the breading!). I, however, was sad. I missed my people.

First off, something about seeing a movie without D makes me realize how long we've been together. I have some obnoxious movie-going habits. I like to ask questions, do my "that person looks like..." observations, and have him fill me in on what happened while I inevitably went to the bathroom one trillion times. You can't exactly do this with your girlfriends, particularly those you don't know well, now can you? As much as the man drives me crazy sometimes, I don't ever want to live without him.

Second, I missed my baby girl. I mean, my heart hurt a little if you want to know the truth.

I clearly misunderstood the purpose of girls night. I have always been under the impression that it was to get away from your family. Now I know the truth - it's to renew your absolute desire to be with them :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Are We Up To?

I was supposed to be taking a trip to see my family in CA in June, but instead we're postponing until August so that D can join us also! As such, here's a quick update on what Ava's doing these days!

Ava still is exclusively breastfed, and will be until at least six months, at which point we'll start with either homemade cereal or homemade sweet potatoes. She continues to have a milk protein allergy, and so I have to eliminate all dairy from my diet with the exception of most things containing whey, most of which Ava can handle thankfully. In case you don't know - whey is in EVERYTHING. Graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, certain crackers, etc. Name a snack food, it's basically in there. And yes, I realize I probably shouldn't be eating those things anyhow, but I work with little kids, so the point is moot.

Unfortunately, it also seems as though Ava's milk allergy is getting worse instead of better :( I ate three yogurt pretzels yesterday before I realized that, DUH, I can't have them, and A paid the price. I felt SO bad when she whimpered and looked at me with those sad, telling eyes. Whereas before she just had blowouts, now she has blowouts and screams in pain. I thought they were supposed to grow out of it, as opposed to having it worsen? I'm hoping it's just due to either a.) her recent lack of exposure, or b.)that's just a particularly sensitive trigger.

Motor Skills
Ava is a champ at rolling over! She particularly likes rolling from back to tummy, over and over and OVER. Seriously, before I can even stand back up, she's on her tummy. Luckily she doesn't tend to do it at night (since we put her legs and tummy in a swaddle blankie so she won't play with her toes instead of sleeping!) She's rolled from tummy to back here and there, but she's not consistent with it.

She also really loves to stand! Naturally, I have to support her weight, but she's ridiculously strong. If I'm supporting her sitting up, she can go from sitting to standing with no problem. Such a proud mama! She's also really into trying to sit up on her own when laying down, and ends up doing a half sit up. She's not quite strong enough to sit on her own yet, but we're working towards it a little at a time. No hurry, honey!

Her fine motor skills are insane - better than her gross motor skills, strangely enough! She has been able to bring her paci from her hand to her mouth for the past six weeks or so, and can not grab it from where it is within reach and put it in her mouth. This makes mommy's life SO much easier. At least, when it's within reach. She also has managed to pick up the habit of chucking it, though clearly this is coincidental and not intentional. It'll be a couple years before she's tossing things around on purpose :)

Ava LOVES Kitty Bear, or KB as we call her sometimes. She also recently got a new teether/rattle with different textures, a mirror, and a froggy on it that she LOVES. I'm feeling certain she's getting some teeth, but I've thought that for a couple months and nothing yet, so I could be way off base?? Anyhow, anything and everything goes in her mouth, and teethers from the fridge are a big hit around here!

She also loves music, and moves and coos and smiles when it comes on. She particularly likes the sound of violins. Concert violinist in the making? Perhaps!

Ava really, really enjoys bathtime as well. She splashes like crazy (I'm sure I'll regret encouraging that one day!!), and plays with her little hippo while I scrub her up. She doesn't mind getting wet, or even water being poured over her head! What a little trooper!

Ava's favorite time of day is morning. Every morning she wakes up smiling and cooing, and mommy sings the good morning song with her and we start our day off right. She likes to play right after "breakfast", so we tend to lay her blankie down and practice rolling and/or sitting, and have a bit of reading and toy time. Ava loves to look at books, and does this very cute thing where she holds onto the book with me. She does this at church with the program, also, and it makes our fellow parishioners laugh :D

Her favorite thing though? Nursing. Homegirl loves the boobies! And maybe also the mommy-baby time. Binky runs a close second, though! I've rarely seen a baby who was as into her Binky/Paci/Baba! As much as I dislike The Simpsons, I can't help but be reminded of a much-cuter Maggie Simpson whenever Bink is trying to make a getaway and she quickly sucks it back in. So cute!

She also LOVES peekaboo! Behind the hands, behind the sunglasses, popping up from behind the couch downstairs - any form of peekaboo she loves! This usually elicits some pretty adorable laughing out loud :)

She's generally a big sucker for her mommy. She loves her daddy, too, of course, but she's a mommy's girl through and through. Probably has something to do with the fact that we spend tons of time together day in and day out, and to be honest, mommy is quite fun :)

Ava is such a vocal baby! She coos and oohs and aahs all day long. Unfortunately, she's also learned how to use her voice to express anger/frustration, and earlier as I tried to finish typing something up, looked directly at me from David's lap and let out a loud, fussy scream. When I looked up, she immediately got the biggest grin on her face. Um, shouldn't this type of thing hold off until, I don't know, her terrible twos perhaps??? Uh oh. She's a feisty little thing sometimes!

Also, she's clearly developing preferences with regards to her toys. If she has one that she really likes and she drops it to where she can't pick it up, this is one of the only legit reasons she sees to cry. And cry she does until the second you give it back, when she smiles and starts munching on it all over again! The other day she kept letting go of the toy she had in her hands and watching me pick it back up...hmm. Is this the beginning of the "fetch my toy or else" stage I so dread? Yikes! Too soon!!!!

Most of the time, though, she's the sweetest little baby you'll ever meet! She loves cuddling and hugging me close, and wants nothing more than to snug with mommy and daddy any chance she gets. It's adorable, though with working full-time and writing part-time, I do wish she was at an age where she could entertain herself if even just for a few minutes at a time. This phase will be over in a blink, though, and I'll want my sweet, cuddly baby back, so I try not to take it for granted.

Most nights Ava wakes up once to eat, somewhere between 2:30-4, but lately she's woken up twice a night a couple times a week. Since I get to go into work a bit later than traditional, though, I still end up feeling decently rested, and A likes to sleep in til between 8:30-9 usually, give or take an hour sometimes. She sleeps a consistent 6-8 hours straight, wakes up, and then goes back to bed 2-4 hours. She's slept up to 10 hours in a row, though. Let's aim for more of that, shall we? ;)

Naps. What naps? Ha - she takes them, but instead of two long naps in her crib/bassinet/etc, she's more of a five shorter nap type of girl. I blame my constant on-the-go, erratic work schedule, where I tend to work different hours several different times a week. Makes it hard for her to fall into a good routine. In two weeks I'll start going in every day at 8:30, so that should work wonders with establishing a good routine. In the meantime, though, her current nap habits work for us, since I wouldn't be able to stay at home for two hours with the older kids anyhow, so I'm kind of going with the flow about it.

Well, that was much more long-winded than I'd planned. Sorry! Thanks for hanging in there and being a part of this journey with us everyone! And thank you all as usual for your wonderful advice/support/input!

Beiber Fever.

Oh no! I can't believe I'm going to say this. Ava loves Justin Beiber. That's right. My adorable, innocent, four-and-a-half month old baby has Beiber fever. Every single time that song comes on (case in point: Ellen on Tuesday), Ava goes crazy dancing and smiling and cooing. I'm hoping it's just because the song is called "Baby"??? Anyhow, the picture below is the dramatic 180 she did when he came on Ellen the other day.

Oh, Ava. You have so much to learn about boys!
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