Sunday, July 31, 2011

What to write when there's "nothing" to say...

Usually when I sit down to write a blog, I have a topic or theme in mind.  I like to tie it all together with the pictures I've taken recently so that it flows well and is coherent. 

I can't promise any of that with this post.

I've been itching to write for over a week now, but no specific thoughts have come to mind.  Life right now is good, but mundane.  My days are filled with a whole lot of nothing...TV shows, computer time, eating, napping; basically, the ultimate paradise for couch potatoes.  While I'm not exactly feeling the extreme fatigue of pregnancy, I am definitely unmotivated to be productive and can't seem to do the simplest tasks.  I've put off Ava's laundry for days now, opting instead for outfits she's never worn, mismatched shorts and shirts, and dresses that are better off for special occasions - not a day of playing and eating spaghetti.  My own laundry is also piling up, and yet I continue to ignore it.  Some days I don't even bother to shower, but if I do manage it, it's straight back into comfy capris and t-shirts, no make-up and hair pulled back into a ponytail.  Like I said, the ultimate in laziness.     

This lethargy cannot continue much longer considering school starts in *gasp* two weeks.  Ugh!  I have been living in a state of denial that I have to go back to work.  I haven't been in my classroom since May, haven't looked up my students online and instead have been avoiding thoughts of school during the day and inevitably, dreaming about teaching all night.  Why does the summer pass so quickly?

We've had a good one this year.  Ava's expanding vocabulary and desire for independence has allowed for more fun activities, more play dates and a whole lot of time for me to simply sit back and appreciate this little two year old, who has her own personality, needs, wants and ideas.  We recently took a trip up north to visit our friends Derek and Amy, who have twin boys that just turned two.  Last summer, Ava and Donovan were quite friendly with each other:

This year, Ava and Camden spent the most time together.  They even had a short date in the Cozy Coupe.

Tantrums and two-year-old attitude aside, Ava is a sweet, loving little girl who never fails to make me laugh.  She's a tad obsessed with boo-boos right now, probably due to the fact that she helped take care of my mom, her meemaw, after knee surgery.  I said Meemaw had a BIG boo boo on her knee, and of course Ava chimed in that she had boo boos on both knees.  "It hurts me." 

She's also really into Diego, which I posted about before.  In fact, in the song Dynamite by Taio Cruz, when he sings, "I throw my hands up in the air sometimes / saying aaaaa-yo / time to let go," Ava thinks the "aaaa-yo" part is "Dieeeeego."  She calls it the "Aygo" song and asks for it when we're in the car.

I remember watching "Jon and Kate Plus 8" back in the day, pre-divorce and scandals, and Kate mentioned that the kids remind themselves and each other where everyone is when they're not all together, i.e. "So and so is here; so and so is here."  Ava does this now - must be the age.  "Dada at work."  "I go Meemaw house."  "Mama go Meemaw house too!"  I love her incorrect, but age-appropriate grammar.  She saw a picture of a pie on the cover of a magazine and wanted me to find that picture inside the pages, asking, "Where pie is?" 

I love that she calls ice cream "high keem." 

I love how she insists on reading at least three books in her crib before getting dressed in the morning.

I love when she responds correctly to the questions Dora and Diego ask on their shows.

I love show time in the bathroom, when she sings and goes through an entire slew of choreography in front of the mirror...buck naked. 

And I especially love to see that sweet face turn to me unexpectedly and utter the most wonderful phrase in the world: "I wuv ooo."

And there you have it.  A disjointed, rambling post simply because I had the itch to write, but no desire to form a cohesive post. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rescue Pack

Ava is really into Dora and Diego right now.  Every single day she asks to watch "Gor" and "Aygo." 

After viewing the same episodes multiple times, I have come to many conclusions, such as: These characters sure do put a lot of emphasis on every single word they say and Dora's outfit is three colors that don't go together...why? and Diego is going to make kids think it's okay to go up to a wild animal and talk to it.  I have learned that I prefer Diego over Dora though, and I especially love this little theme song that comes on when Diego needs help from his rescue pack. 

What if we had rescue packs in real life?  In a way, we do.  Our packs may not be as cool as Diego's: they probably aren't a tangible, orange backpack, and they definitely aren't accompanied by a theme song...but we all have our own rescue remedies when we need help or an escape.  And after two full weeks of having Ava at home the entire day - due to the fact that her daycare provider took a two week vacation - I was in desperate need of a rescue pack.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom.  Some women do it beautifully, weaving the day together with fun activities, healthy meals and snacks, a stable routine and lots of patience.  I, on the other hand, tend to make hot dog and mac 'n cheese lunches, vary Ava's nap time depending on her mood or our activity for the day, and my patience is worn thin by 10am.  Of course, being pregnant and having raging hormones coursing through my body certainly doesn't help right now.  But today, it was time to take Ava back to daycare and I pulled out my rescue pack.

I savored my Starbucks, ate breakfast in front of the TV, wasted a bunch of time on the computer, curled up in bed with a book, took a nap and enjoyed the peace and quiet. 

By the time I picked Ava up and brought her home, I was well-rested and my patience level was sky high; therefore, the evening was the most enjoyable one I've had in two weeks.  We made tacos for dinner, played outside, and best of all, the bedtime routine wasn't a knock-down-drag-out-fight and didn't end with me wanting to either bang my head against the wall or cry. 

I love my daughter dearly, but I just don't have the desire to stay at home with her.  I used to think I would like it, and I did for the first six months of her life before I had to go back to work.  But as I've grown older and wiser (ha!) and she has grown into a toddler, I know it's a better situation for both of us if she's at Tammy's - where the routine is consistent and she gets to play with  her friends all day, and I'm working or getting things done by myself at home.  Thankfully, I have friends who feel the same way, so I know I'm not alone in these feelings!

I know what I would want in my rescue pack, but what about Ava?  What would she include?  Besides watching her favorite TV shows, she would definitely put being outside at the top.

And despite the fact that the mess of her playroom doesn't seem to bother her, she does like a little organization here and there.

Other go-to items would be her sippy cup of milk, her babies, play dates with friends and running around naked after her bath. 

What about you?  If you literally could put together a rescue pack, what would you include? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Changes

I've always been one to compare one year to the next.  "Well, last year we did it this way."  "Remember last year when we did this?"  I look back at old pictures and sometimes ache for the memories, wishing I could relive certain moments over and over.

My comparison between this year's 4th of July with last year's: lots of changes.  You can read all about last year HERE but the gist is that we were at Kelli and Gemi's surrounded by lots of friends and little ones, there were tables upon tables of yummy food, Ava donned a red, white and blue swimsuit that showed off her chubby 1-year-old legs, and we ended the night watching a professional fireworks show.

This year we headed down to our neighbor's house.  Kelly and Drew's kids go to daycare with Ava and we've gotten to know them fairly well due to the fact that Ava always wants to walk down to their house to see if they're out in the backyard, thus guaranteeing us an invitation to hang out while the kids play.  Lots of other neighbors we didn't know were there as well, so it was nice to meet some new people the same time, we really didn't know anyone.  Despite the large amount of people, there was not a lot of food to choose from, Ava didn't have a patriotic swimsuit or chubby 1-year-old legs...and we ended the night watching fireworks from our own backyard.

Although this year was different, it wasn't bad.  Ava had a great time swimming and playing with her friend Aiden.

And even though the fireworks were not professional...we agreed that watching them from the comfort of our own backyard was worth it.  No crowds, no long car ride back home - and Ava slept through it all!

Besides, the neighbors on all sides of us put on a show that did not disappoint!

There is another change that this summer brings.  Some of you already know about it because of this picture:

Yep, Ava is going to be a big sister! 

I am just 7 weeks along right now, but boy, do I have plenty to say about this second pregnancy so far.  I shall record my thoughts in a list titled, "Top 10 Pregnancy-Related Thoughts at the Moment."

Top 10 Pregnancy-Related Thoughts at the Moment 

1.  Popsicles...yum.  Anything cold, icy and slushy?  I want it.  Does wonders for my nausea.

2.  Speaking of nausea...really?  Started feeling it off and on at only 5 weeks.  Why is it called morning sickness?  That is such a misnomer.  I propose we start calling it, simply, pregnancy sickness.  With Ava I felt nauseous but never threw up - thank God.  I am hoping for the same this time around.  Thankfully I have easy cures.  Besides popsicles, my doctor suggested Dramamine.  Sometimes it cuts out the nausea completely; sometimes it just takes the edge off.  Either way works for me, so long as my head is not stuck in a toilet!

3.  Hello, mood swings!  I think Jeremy should just steer clear of me until my hormones level out during the second trimester.  Whew.

4.  Hello, fatigue!  It's okay to sleep 10 hours at night and then take a nap during the day, right? 

5.  Bloat city.  Are you kidding me?  By the end of the day, I look about 13 weeks pregnant.  Thank goodness that first thing in the morning, I can still suck in enough to not look pregnant at all.

6.  My first appointment is on Monday.  I am asking for an ultrasound if it's not standard protocol.  I want to see a heartbeat and know that there is, in fact, just one baby in there.

7.  Lazy, much?  Between the fatigue, mood swings and nausea, I don't want to do anything.  Hence why the house is a complete disaster area. 

8.  I am wearing maternity clothes already.  Say WHAAAAT?!!  Yep.  Nothing beats stretchy, elastic waistbands! 

9.  Like any woman who has had a miscarriage, I worry.  I feel that overall, I am more relaxed now than I was when I was pregnant with Ava - probably because at that time, the miscarriage was still so fresh in my mind.  But the worry never goes away after going through something like that.  I hate these first trimester symptoms, but I also embrace them because they reassure me that there's still a little bean growing inside me. 

10.  Ava's going to be a big sister!  She doesn't really get it.  When asked if she wants a brother or sister, she always says, "Sisser."  I am thinking about not finding out the sex this time though.  I want to experience the excitement on delivery day, when the doctor loudly proclaims, "It's a....!!" 

So there you have it.  Changes and thoughts.  Other than that, we are just trying to enjoy our summer!