Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Teddy Bear Surgery at the Austin Humane Society.

This past weekend, we attended the Austin Humane Society's Teddy Bear Surgery event, where children were invited to bring their teddy bears (or other stuffed animals/lovies) to meet with a veterinarian. Ava is currently at an age where she has a bunch of logistical questions about how things work (the postal system, pharmacies, who makes the food at the grocery store, etc), and what animals do at the vet is certainly on the list of things she's curious about, seeing as how we basically live in a zoo with all these pets! 

I had heard about the event a few weeks prior and, with Ava currently really attached to her teddy and other stuffed animals, jumped at the chance to sign her up for a visit. On the day of, she grabbed her teddy, aptly named "Teddy", and off we went!

The first thing they had us do was check in, since we had all signed up beforehand online for a time slot. We were given a paper with a teddy outlined on it, and were told the first step was to color in where our teddy was hurt, and whether he needed surgery, or just a bandaid. Ava and I talked about what had happened to her teddy - he'd fallen off the bed in the middle of the night - and decided he needed a couple stitches for a cut on his ear, and surgery on a head contusion. Poor Teddy! Also a part of our welcoming packet was a booklet with crafts and activities to make (how to make a feather cat toy, etc.) and some helpful information about how to greet an animal you aren't familiar with, some stretchy bracelets from their sponsor, Jack Ryan Jewelers, a candy bracelet, and more! 

Once it was our turn to go back, Ava cautiously brought Teddy into the operating room (whoa, cesarean flashbacks!) to meet the doctor and explain what Teddy was there for. She was a really great listener and put Ava at ease immediately, despite the surroundings being a bit scary looking.

Once they had a plan of attack for what Teddy needed (two stitches in his right ear, and a bandage around his head), they got to work, with Nurse Ava assisting:

All better!

Austin Humane Society is hosting another Teddy Bear Surgery this coming weekend, and as of today, there are five spots left in two of the time slots - newly opened from a few days ago! Sign up now!

Wordless Wednesday: You Named Me What?!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jack is Nine Months Old!

How is it possible that my baby boy has been outside at this point as long as he was inside? And can I just say how much faster these nine have gone compared with the first nine? I promised I wouldn't get all sappy about my last baby, but, HE'S MY LAST BABY. I'll never have an eight-month-old baby again :( 

As for Jack, nine months has been good to him so far! In the past week, he's begun standing for a second here and there on his own, which was a pretty quick precursor for Ava to walking - it seems like only weeks elapsed, if that, between her standing and then walking! I feel like this month is going to be a big one for him :)

At nine months, Jack:

- weighs roughly twenty pounds, though I'll have an exact weight after his well check Tuesday. Same for his height :)
- is fast as lightning when it comes to crawling, and is starting to move from an army crawl to a modified crawl on his knees...partially.
- has stood on his own on several occasions for a handful of seconds at a time.
- is cruising around on the furniture like a champ! He can move between the couch and coffee table and side table and chair in the blink of an eye. He can also pull himself up on anything - things you wouldn't imagine - even if it requires a hand over hand motion. It's really pretty impressive.
- says "mama", "dada", "baba", and "gee gee" (he says this often but we're still not sure what it means!).
- loves going to baby story time, reading books at home (or anywhere for that matter!), loves music toys and music, including tapping the piano downstairs with Ava, enjoys his mailbox toy downstairs, thinks jumping and bouncing in someone's arms is the best thing ever, and favors fake food from the play kitchen over just about anything else, particularly a pretend ketchup bottle. 
- is getting increasingly into trouble exploring things around the house. Some favorites include eating bunny bedding that's thrown out of the cage (eww), playing in the dog's water, pulling up on the toy organizer and getting into Ava's tiny toys, getting into absolutely anything of Ava's he can find, climbing underneath exersaucers and tables, etc. Definitely alllll boy.
- eats like he has a hollow leg or a parasite. Again, all boy. Still receives only breast milk - straight from "the tap", along with a mixture of solids from my plate and some baby food when he'll take it. Today, for example, he ate some of my oatmeal at breakfast, along with a teething biscuit made from organic kale, spinach and green apple. Later, he had a mixture of blueberries and raspberries cut to where they weren't a choking hazard, and for dinner with us, we had burritos, and he had rice, beans, shredded chicken and pieces of tortilla from them. I also fed him half a jar of baby food for some veggies. He's a great little eater! He nurses 6-10 times a day still as well, including a middle of the night feeding that I barely open my eyes for, thanks to co-sleeping.
- we still share a bed, and he sleeps facing me on his left side, which has made his hair pattern a bit laughable. One side is longer, while the other is rubbed off from consistently sleeping on just that one side. He likes to spoon and cuddle ;) So sweet!
- though he sleeps far better at night than Ava ever did, he doesn't exactly nap like a champ, with his preference to nap in my arms (not usually an option), or catnap in between errands or on the way home from a morning of playgroup, etc. Eh, you win some, you lose some. 

He's dwarfing that bear these days :P

Happy nine months, Jackson! We adore you, and couldn't imagine our lives without you. Though you've officially been on the outside as long as you were in, it feels as though you've been a part of our family forever!

Where's the Weirdest Place You've Done It?

The Mother's Milk Bank of Austin want to know, "Where's the weirdest place you've done it?"

If you've never paid a visit to the Mother's Milk Bank, what are you waiting for? So many premature and/or medically fragile infants have been helped due to the generous breast milk donations from mothers with milk to spare, myself included. Though my donations have been made privately to infants in need - including those with milk protein allergies like my children, and a baby who was deprived of oxygen at birth but has shown significant brain matter growth on breast milk - I think that committing to pumping donor breast milk is one of the greatest gifts you can give to our tiniest citizens and their families! For more information about the Mother's Milk Bank of Austin, visit their site here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Austin Reptile Show Comes to the Pflugerville Public Library.

We've recently discovered the Pflugerville Public Library, which is funny, since I've lived less than fifteen minutes from it for the better part of a decade. Anyhow, I had heard that it had been redone, and recently read about a great baby story time there on Monday mornings, and went to check it out for myself.

Not only did both the library and the story time exceed my expectations, but I happened to pick up a brochure of both adult and children's upcoming events, and it just so happened that the reptile show was coming the following week and wristbands were available the following day! We returned the next day, picked up our wristbands, and eagerly awaited the event!

First, let me say how awesome the wristband system is! When we got there, we didn't have to worry about there being enough room, or having it be wall-to-wall packed to where we couldn't see or enjoy it. We just got in line with our wrist-banded selves, and waited for the show to begin!

Jack, known to be a skeptical baby, wasn't so sure at first:

...but being true to his boy-ness, he quickly decided he likes reptiles :)

We will definitely be utilizing all that the Pflugerville Public Library has to offer in the future!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jack's a Happy Little Bug!

Not only does Jack love gymnastics at The Little Gym, he's really started to show off some new skills  during class time. At different parts of the class we are given the opportunity to do some free exploring of the gym, and Jack has started to do a great job in pulling himself up and standing with support! So proud of my baby bug!

Bubbles! Definitely one of his favorite parts!

Interested in having your own baby bug take classes at The Little Gym of Round Rock or Lakeline? View the schedule online and call to schedule your free trial class today, and let them know I sent you over :)!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Things to Do in Round Rock: Rockin' River Family Aquatic Center!

We love Rockin' River, though it was certainly a bit more stressful with a baby in tow this year than with several older girls. I think our next trip back will be on a day when daddy can join, too!

Here's my little bathing beauty!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Each year, we head to Wells Branch's FourthFest for the Fourth of July celebration there, and this year was no exception! Though Jack attended last year in my belly, this year he enjoyed it much more, being on the outside and all. This is always one of the highlights of our summer! 

Check us out:

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Rainbow Dash: The Party Theme of the Summer, Apparently.

I'm not sure when or why My Little Pony started blowing up and becoming this big thing, but I know that a massive part of it has to do with Rainbow Dash. Aside from knowing this from my constant exposure to little girls, it seems that every. last. birthday party we're going to these days has the same theme: Rainbow Dash. 

As someone who has thrown a rainbow party myself, I see the appeal. You can really run with "rainbows". Add in the "dash", and it seems like the bar for birthday parties is pretty stinkin' high these days, with a pony appearance as commonplace as the cake. Looks like Ava is going to have one disappointing fifth birthday when a pony is noticeably absent...

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