Friday, February 25, 2011

Haircuts, Balloons & Other Ramblings

Before Ava's big girl 2-year-old birthday party, she needed a haircut.  Girlfriend's hair was gettin' straggly.  Enter Exhibit A:

It was her first-ever haircut and our first-ever hassle with those commercial "we cater to kids" hair salons *cough* Cookie Cutters *cough*...we made an appointment on a Sunday afternoon, only to drive the 20 minutes there and be told they had been swamped with walk-ins and it would be at least a 40 minute wait.  Um, excuse me.  WHAT?!!  We made an appointment to specifically avoid this scenario!  Thankfully, due to us making a stink and the receptionist not getting a coupon to print...we were handed a "free haircut" card and made an appointment for another day.  

I took Ava back a little less than a week later and we finally got those straggly strands trimmed.  She was such a good girl the entire time, just calmly watching the cartoons in front of her and letting the stylist tug and comb and cut.

While I'm glad we took her to this place for her first haircut, we will not be going back.  My stylist will do her hair for a lot less money, and I like my stylist!  No random stylist in a t-shirt, 10 minutes after our appointment time, thankyouverymuch!

I did not do the whole sentimental "keep the clipping of hair" bit.  Her hair was trimmed; it's not like I had a cute little curl complete with a tiny pink ribbon on top to commemorate it.  Nor did I want to pay the extra money for said hair clipping, plus a crappy photo and paper certificate.  I took my own photos and will place them in her baby book.  That's enough for me!

The reward at the end, for Ava of course, was a balloon.  A large, pink, air-filled orb that followed her around for the next two hours as she romped around with it outside.  Thank goodness it was a nice day!  We played in the yard and took multiple walks down the sidewalk, all with the balloon right next to her.

It's a week later and guess where the balloon is?  Still in our possession.  It's lost its mojo and is sadly lying on the ground in Ava's playroom...but she doesn't seem to mind.  A balloon is still a magical thing, whether it floats in the air or not!

I still am in awe of my baby girl who has grown up so quickly, who says full sentences now and can express her needs and wants.  It is exciting and sad all at the same time...and it has definitely given me an extra dose of baby fever.  I am ready for another little one around here.  I'm glad we have waited as long as we did; I know a lot of parents try to have their kids within two years of each other but for us, that would've been too soon.  Now, I am ready.  I'm ready to be pregnant again, to feel those tiny kicks, to document my growing belly every few weeks, to anticipate a new life.  I am hoping we will be blessed with a tiny miracle before the end of the summer...and if we're lucky...maybe even before the end of spring! 

Fingers crossed and many prayers said as we once again embark upon this journey.  With a face like this, how could you not want to go through it all again?


Monday, February 21, 2011

The Big TWO

Ava is officially two years old today, as of 4:03pm.  We've come a long way since her 4-weeks early, 6lb arrival.

Her birthday was celebrated on Saturday, with lots of family, friends, cake and presents. 

And even though I didn't put as much thought and planning into it as I did last year for her 1st birthday - due to the fact that last year I had a student teacher and lots of time on my hands - I actually think this year's party turned out better.  Maybe that's because Ava herself could really enjoy it.  She's two now, and can do big-girl party things, like play dolls with friends, put a sticker crown on a paper princess, open her own gifts, and eat cake with a fork.  She not only enjoyed her party, she participated in all of the required birthday activities!

It was definitely fun having a few little friends over to help celebrate.  Ava and Ella zoomed around the house together, pushing toy grocery carts, feeding bottles to naked baby dolls and giggling in the cute way that little girls do.  Claire toddled around after them, screeching, "Mo'?  Mo'?!" and Kate sat in the midst of it all, happily keeping herself busy with discarded plastic spoons and pretend baby food jars.

 Once she saw this purse, that was it.  Game over.  No need for more presents!  She got what she wanted!

The one thing we'll have to work on for next year is blowing out the candles.  Although she can sort-of blow her nose, she doesn't understand blowing air out of her mouth.  This may also be why she doesn't spit toothpaste yet.  Or maybe that's because we haven't shown her how...but I digress.

Fabulous cake made by my co-worker & friend, Kristi Mendel!

Overall, the party was a huge success.  The adults enjoyed good food and conversation, the kids ran around on a sugar-high...and our cat Mela hid out in the office where no one could bother her.  Now we have a whole year of TWO.  I'm looking forward to this summer when we can take Ava out on her new tricycle and Big Wheels, go on play dates to the pool or the park, and color on the driveway with chalk.  I can't wait to see her figure out how to jump, how to draw a straight line and start recognizing letters and colors.  And I especially can't wait to hear all of the funny and amazing things she will say during this year that she is two years old.

Happy 2nd Birthday sweet girl! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ebb and Flow

The waves came crashing down last week as I dragged myself out of bed each day and gave little pep talks to my brain to just make it through five work days.  I somehow managed not to lose my mind when one of my classes decided it was time to rebel against me.  I have tried all sorts of tricks and rewards and punishments with this class, my newest strategy being behavior tickets.  They start over each week.  If a student gets three in a week, it's a write-up and they have to see the dean.  But it's become a joke to them.  All I heard over and over on Friday was little voices in the room saying, "Ticket!  Ticket!" as I tried to explain an assignment.  Waves crashing down...

Thankfully the weekend came and with it, a reprieve from the daily grind.  Jeremy and I celebrated Valentine's Day by attending an 8-course dinner with wine pairings at the Indianapolis Propylaeum.  It was a fun and unique experience, and a great way to wind down from a long week.  And...I got this little number:

It's Ava's birthstone and absolutely perfect!  Dainty, feminine and meaningful.  My husband is the best!

After spending an evening as a couple, relaxing, chatting with new friends, eating wonderful food and sipping wine, we were rested up for an eventful Saturday.  Ava's favorite friend Ella was turning three, and it was time to celebrate!

There were a ton of kids there, almost all of them older than Ava.  It didn't take long for her to warm up though.  There were puzzles to be done, coloring books to scribble in, games to be played and cupcakes to be eaten!  All of the kids had a blast, running around on a juice-filled, frosting covered sugar high.

Ava tried to play pool with the big kids...

Ella seemed very pleased with all of her gifts.  What more could a girl ask for?  Cute clothes, ponies, dolls,'s all you need in life!  Ava wanted to be right near the action too.  She sat on Kelli's lap for quite a while, amidst wrapping paper, bows, bags and boxes.

The flow of the weekend came to a grinding halt on Sunday when Ava woke up with a runny nose and a cough.  She was thankfully her usual playful self, but I knew she wasn't feeling well when she asked to go to bed at 6:37pm.  She slept fitfully, coughing and whining in spurts.  I tiptoed into her room this morning to check on her, but couldn't tell if she had a fever or not...

Sure enough, when Jeremy got her up while I was already at work, the fever had worked its way into her body.  He called me and I immediately went into MOM mode, calling and emailing the necessary people to get a sub for me so that I could come home to my sick girl. dice.  There was apparently no sub to be found.  Hello, Ebb.

I am not sure what tomorrow will bring.  This is the sad state I found my usual spunky girl in as soon as I got off of work:

Lethargic...heavy eyes...a faucet for a nose...and a nasty cough.  She spent the day with her daddy, alternating between half-heartedly playing and whining, napping twice (unheard of these days), sucking down liquids and nibbling on food. 

My mom used to say she could tell when we didn't feel well as kids just by looking into our eyes.  Now, I know exactly what she was talking about.  It's awful when your child isn't feeling well and there's not much you can do about it.  I only hope that she's feeling better tomorrow...or else I WILL be staying home with my girl!

The waves are crashing down on us again, but they cannot last forever.  Ebb and flow.  It's time to gear up for Ava's second birthday this coming weekend...and pray that everyone is healthy for the party!