Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer rut

When you're stuck in a rut, sometimes taking the first step to get out of the rut is the hardest part. So instead of breaking out of my no-blogging rut with a long, picture-laden post, I'm going to jump in with something simple. I don't know what it's officially called, but I call it the -ing post where you talk about the things you're up to recently. So here goes.

Watching: Orange is the New Black and my summer staple Big Brother. I broke down and got Netflix just so I could see what all the fuss was about over OITNB and now I totally get it. I'm halfway into Season 2 and totally hooked.

Reading: Chelsea Handler's Uganda Be Kidding Me. If you're a Chelsea fan, you'll enjoy it. Somewhat disjointed at times, but had me laughing out loud nonetheless.

Traveling: to the beach and river all summer. We've gotten lots of trips in this year and it's been awesome.

Planning: Ava's 2nd birthday party! How did that happen? I know that most people don't go all out for year 2 like year 1, but I just can't help myself. You know I love a party.

Loving: the following words that Ava says: simming (swimming), tumunger (cucumber), baby soup (bathing suit), jommies (pajamas), and "oh goodness!"

Listening: to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" on repeat. This could also be under the Dancing category.

Writing: a ton of blog posts in my head. But I can't ever seem to sit down and get them posted. So to help me break out of my rut, tell me which post you'd most like to see live and in the flesh (well, on the Internet), and I promise I'll write about whichever one wins.

What blog post would you most like to see?

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 4th in Pictures

Picnic lunch on the boat:

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This girl slept GOOD:

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And so did this one:

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Patriotic sangria:

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Multiple July 4th wardrobe changes:

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Both sets of grandparents!

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Watching fireworks from the pier:

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Visit to the NC Zoo

This weekend we went to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro with our friends Brandon and Caitie and their toddler Allyn. Even though it was hot, we had a great day and the girls were troopers.

I highly recommend the suggested route on the zoo's website as to the best way to tackle the day. Arrive as soon as they open, park in North America, go inside and immediately take the tram to Africa, do the Africa loop and eat lunch in the middle of the park, then walk through North America and end up at the North America parking lot. No backtracking, and you're in Africa first thing in the morning to see all of the best animals before it gets too hot and they get lazy!

For us, Africa was definitely the better of the two continents. All of the animals were on full display, except for the lions who were sleeping.

Mama and baby gorilla:

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Ostriches (these things were HUGE!):

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Giraffes from afar:

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And up CLOSE!

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Family photo with the elephants:

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This is Ava doing "what does an elephant say?" where she makes a blowing noise and raises her trunk in the air :)

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Carousel ride after lunch:

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We didn't have as much luck in North America as the grizzly bears, black bears and wolves were hiding out (it was hot by this point) and the polar bear(s) weren't on display.

We did have fun with the seals though:

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And Ava made a friend:

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These girls had a blast at the zoo and we ALL (well, except the driver) had a nice nap on the way home!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Playhouse Paradise

Ava is a proud new homeowner. That is, homeowner of the cutest little playhouse you ever did see.

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The playhouse is at my sister's back home in eastern NC (we stay with her a LOT on weekends and holidays). It came from Sam's Club (thanks mom and dad!) but I did assemble it myself from 40,000 parts and pieces of hardware, and of course added a few extra touches, like curtains, flowers and a flag.

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The curtains were made from a vinyl table cloth bought at the Family Dollar for $3.50, with curtain rods from Walmart.

She loves her little "haus!" and enjoys pretend cooking, opening and closing the door and checking the mailbox. And she's already had her BFF over for a chat on the porch!

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Ava: 18 Months

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Pictures are almost impossible these days. She's always doing some crazy cute thing and by the time I get my camera or phone out she's on to the next thing. And she won't look at or smile for the camera but as soon as I put it down she yells "cheese!" and gives a big smile.

We're already having a lot of boundary testing (climbing on things, throwing food on the floor) and a few tantrums (particularly when she has to come in from outside), but other than that Ava is doing great. 

Eating: Still a good eater for the most part. Drinks from an open cup at daycare and a sippy cup at home. Doing really well with using her spoon and fork. 

Sleeping: 7:30 or 8pm until 7 or 7:30am. Down to one nap a day after lunch, usually an hour and a half or two hours if we're lucky. She still sleeps with a paci (except for naps at daycare) and I'm trying to get my nerve up to take them away!

Talking: Her vocabulary is rapidly expanding. She's not the type that usually babbles all day long, but is more selective about what she says. She has a huge repertoire of animal sounds, knows most of her body parts, and will even contribute a few numbers when you're counting (her favorites are two, six and nine). My favorite? Saying "peas" when she wants something and rubbing her belly (the sign for please). She's not quite stringing words together yet, other than things like "no no Sugar" and repeating phrases (yesterday I said "want me to open that play-doh?" and she said "open dat play-doh!"). She calls Lee Daddy now instead of Dada and says Sugar instead of dog dog (which sounds more like Shu-jer).

Activity: She loves loves loves being outside. From the time she wakes up in the morning until the time she goes to bed at night, she's bringing you her shoes or your shoes and asking "ah-side?" Her favorites are her tricycle, her slide/sandbox toy, helping daddy dig in the garden and of course bubbles. When we're inside, she's playing with her babies, her toy microwave or organizing something. She's really good at following simple directions, like "pick this up and go put it in the trash" or "go find your shoes and socks and bring them to me."

I started this post weeks ago and now am terribly late with it (she'll be 20 months in just 5 days!), so I'll stop there for now and just show you some cute pictures from 15 months to 18 months (Dec-Mar).

Trip to Chuck E. Cheese:

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Playing piano with Pa:

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Ava and her buddy Allyn:

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I think she might have been scared of Levi's driving?:

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Craft time during a snow day:

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Blocks all in a row:

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Visiting Aunt Erin at school:

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We now have a Bass Pro Shops and the fish tank is a favorite:

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Fun at the park:

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Some book time:

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Porch fishing:

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A visit from Allyn:

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And trip to Marbles Kids' Museum:

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Getting to be a big girl!

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Chatting with Pa:

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Ready to cheer on the Heels:

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A daffodil from Granny's yard:

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And ride in the golf cart:

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Trying hard!

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First pigtails:

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Reading with Daddy:

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Park and gardening with neighbor friends:

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Bass Pro again, where she learned to say "deer!":

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Putting on makeup with Aunt Erin:

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