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Monday, April 30, 2012

Together.

Who steals my heart on a daily basis?


Yep, these girls.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekend Things



There is so much less hesitation then it appears. 


A worm, she is sure to name Daisy.
Have a good weekend : )

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oreo, among other things.

Oreo has been feeling left out of things lately.

Sure he gets to be crawled on, sat on and harshly
petted on a regular basis, but for some reason 
he wants more.

So I obliged him by treating him like one of my 
children, and what else do you do with kids then
take their photo??  



There.  My work here is done.

Here's a few extra photos that have nothing to do
with anything.

 I just like them.

Now back to my favorites, the REAL kids. 
I tried taking Ava on a test run/walk today to see if she 
could hang.  The answer is NO, to the fifth degree.

Not because she can't keep up, just because she 
refuses to try.  She is at that wonderful age where
the majority of the things she does is deliberately 
just to test me; my patience, my love for her, 
my ability to choose her over every single other 
person or thing. 

I have failed that test.

Thankfully, as parents, I'm pretty sure we are not 
supposed to strive to pass this particular test.

So there is that.
 At least they are cute, 
they've got that going for them.

Now if we could just work on cooperative...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just Run With It.

 I have been inspired.
Oh by a million things, but in particular,
as of late, the IDEA of running.

It seems all these people who claim to be
"non-runners" around me are now running.

And not just running, but running 5k's and 
half marathons.  WTH?

I thought you said you CAN'T run?  

Now I actually believe I can't run.

I haven't run a day in my life. 
I always had a slip that got me out of it in school.  
I still die from asthma on a regular basis.   
I've even had hip surgery.

Do you see how many awesomely perfect
excuses I have?? 

But then I get to thinking, if THEY can do it, 
can't I??  

I am very competitive.  That might be what this is.

My husband today was like "WHAT!!?  You are 
not just walking?  You CAN'T run!"

So now I pretty much have to right?

Well I am going to try.  Right now I am starting 
with a 1.5 mile route that I alternate between 
walking fast and running.  I'm pretty slow but for 
now I am just trying to get used to the whole thing.

My goal is to someday, who knows how long 
from now, but someday, be able to run the 
entire mile & a half.  

Currently I can make it about a block at a time : )

My body is in shock from this turn of events.  
I really hope I can stick with it & that it gets easier.

Really what I would rather be doing is this:
And for fun, here is one more of Ava sleeping,
I call this "Ava's idea of an after-hours party"
She's a pretty funny girl.

I should wake her up and make her run with me, 
I'm just not sure I could keep up with her : )

When I got home from my mostly walk/sort of 
run I looked at the app I was using to track the 
whole ordeal on my phone.  It gave me all sorts
of info that I found distressing.

First off it claimed I had only gone a mile and a 
half, now I could of swore it felt more like 2 miles.
It also said that I "burned 150 calories, the equivalent 
of 5 carrots"  WTH?  They must of meant 1050, or the 
equivalent of an entire order of Pad Thai with 5 carrot 
shreds on top, right??

And really, 5 carrots?  
Do carrots even count as actual calories? 

Next time I sit down with a big bag of them & my 
container of hummus I'm not sure I will be able
to feel quite the same about my "healthy snack".

Ugh.  

Oh well, here's to inspiration.  
We've all got to start somewhere.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Almost Summer & A Video

 I super can't get over the cuteness of this dress
on little tiny Noria.
 So much so, rather then just showing you one
or two cute photos of her wearing it, I will 
provide SEVERAL.
 But really?  What else is new.
 I love digging out the Summer clothes.
 Although that nice hot day was short lived, 
it's already cold and rainy again. 
 But there is hope...

I also want to share a little video of Ava skiing on 
her own.  This is on Buttercup, so not a super steep
hill but a good notch above the bunny hill.  She is so
good at turning!  

Please excuse how shaky the video is, I took it on 
my phone, skiing behind her.  I was more concerned 
with watching her then actually making a good video.
video

I love how that guy almost takes her out.  
She didn't even flinch, such a trooper.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Progress. It's troublesome.

This whole skiing thing is pretty crazy.

I am not a skier at all, unlike the rest of
my family, which are more like ski racers.

That level of expertise is a bit intimidating
to a non-skier like me who basically just wants
to become proficient enough to ski with my
4 year old daughter, not start racing anytime soon,
or ever, truthfully.
When we started this I was perfectly happy
staying on the bunny slope where there are
no scary chairlifts.  Thankfully I have gotten
past that stage, my daughter was ready to move
on way before me.  She had mastered going
down that hill with no harness, on her own,
the very first day.

I'm perfectly happy with her staying on that
harness forever but can tell that my mom is
WAY over it.  Turns out it's a lot of work
snowplowing behind a child for hours on end.

Mom was ready to let her off the leash, I was
worried.  Mom kept saying this while we were
on Mount Hood Express, which has all sorts
of steep parts that are well past Ava's level
and I was completely terrified. 
Thankfully she wanted to take her back to
Buttercup, which is a lot more like the hill
I think she is ready to handle but I still worried,
what mother wouldn't?  

Also, as I have mentioned, I come from a 
long line of worriers.

Ava was worried too.  She said she wanted to
wear the harness again when we headed over to
the lift but once we got to the top she decided
she was cool not wearing it.  Me?  Still worried.

Grandpa John skied down the hill nice and slowly,
weaving back and forth, and Ava followed him,
all on her own, PERFECTLY.

It was amazing, so impressive.  She turned perfectly
and could even stop pretty quickly.  We did this 3
times with great success, the only time she fell was
at the very bottom and that seemed more like an
intentional choice then a mistake. 

I was feeling pretty comfortable with how this was
going.  Super proud of my girl.
Then something happened that totally freaked me out.

Somehow, as a group, Mom, John and Ava made the
decision to go get on Vista Express, a lift I have never
even been on myself.  I hate the unknown.  I hate being
thrown curve balls and I hate that I had no idea if we
were pushing her too far, too fast.

I bit my tongue because I don't want to hold Ava back
and I totally trust my Mom to do what is best for Ava
but at this point I was well beyond the state of worry.

I was so mad.  As that chairlift took us up and up and up
all I could think was WTF are we doing??  This doesn't
seem like a good idea at all. 

When we got off the lift it felt like we were at
the top of the mountain.  The. Top. 

WTF?

Ava did her best to follow John down and sadly it wasn't
long before she fell and was crying and didn't seem
thrilled to go on.  But what else can you do?  
There was a long way to go.

Many parts were way too steep for her and Mom & John
took turns skiing her down between their legs.  I was
really glad that they did that.  It was the fact that we didn't
even have her harness with us up there that was part of the
reason I was freaking out.  I was thinking she would have
to just figure out a way down the steep parts and I was
really SUPER worried about that.

I think I prayed more for Ava that day then I have her whole
life (and I pray for her each night).

That fall shook her up and she wasn't feeling it like she had
been at the lower hill, but she still enjoyed the way Mom &
John helped her down.

Overall she did great!  She was amazing.  I think we have a
lot of work ahead to get her to be able to do the steeper 
hills on her own but it was a good start.  

It is so scary letting your little baby that can't even ride
a bike without training wheels speed down a hill filled
with trees and obstacles when you yourself are totally
scared doing it.

I do my very best not to let my feelings about the whole
thing affect Ava's attitude.  I don't want her to sense
my worry or fear.  I want her to take her wonderful 
confidence and run with it, or in this case ski.  

I can't think of one thing that has made her as 
proud of herself as this has and that is pretty 
fantastic to see.  

It is so cool that Mom & John are determined to 
turn Ava into a skier, she clearly has a knack for 
it and they are bringing her to realize that.  What 
a blessing to have such family support, and at such 
a young age I'm sure Ava will be a racing before we 
know it.
 If she does start racing,
you can find me in the bar, taking deep cleansing 
breaths & drowning my worry with Mogul Mashers... 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Without Norah

It is not exactly easy for me to leave either 
of my kids, but when an opportunity arises
 to spend some real quality time with 
one of them I really try to make it happen.
 We wanted to take Ava skiing and I wanted to 
be up there on the mountain with her, which
really gets tricky with Norah so Auntie Linda
volunteered to watch her overnight on Thursday
with John picking her up the next day, but me 
not seeing her until Saturday!  

That is the longest time I have ever been apart 
from her.  
 It was bitter sweet.  

It is amazing how much simpler things seem 
with just one child, no naps to juggle, stairs
to block, night wakings, needs to be met...

But I missed her terribly.  I just kept thinking 
about her, whether she was having fun, if she
was sleeping well, getting spoiled, missing me.

 It was great spending that time with Ava though.
 I talked up the whole thing, telling her it was going
to be a Special Ava, Mommy & Grandma Day!!  
That we would go skiing and Auntie Jessica will 
even come hang out with us Friday!

I had to make it sound really good because I know 
how her mind works, she is asking herself questions
like "Is Norah going to have more fun then me?  Am
I getting the better end of this deal or tricked?"
But this was all for her and I think she got that.

Even though she mentioned that she likes Mommy 
& Ava Days, but prefers Daddy & Ava Days.  

Oh well, you can't win them all.

I prefer sunny, on the beach, cocktail in hand, Aruba Days.

Anyhow we all had a great time, us with Ava, Linda & John
with Norah.

I can't tell you how nice it is to be back with my sweet 
little baby though.  She just lights up my life in an 
indescribable way.
 Love, love, love her.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fun.



Great Weekend So Far...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun with Toys

We brought out the old bouncy house, 
princess ball pit thing that we've been 
storing in the attic for awhile.
 I'm not a big fan of princess-y things and it 
always seemed to get balls everywhere,
go figure.

But we saved it because it was always a really 
big hit with Ava and we suspected baby #2
might love it equally as much.
 Ava seems to LOVE everything we bring 
back out for Norah, she has played with this 
thing non-stop.  She turns it into a million 
other things which really equals her destroying
it as quickly as possible, all the while plotting 
what to do with it next.

She has drug it all through the house, turned it 
upside down to make a fort and flipped Norah
out of it over & over which she assured me 
Norah LOVED and judging from her laughter
that seemed to be accurate.
 Norah loves it too.  She loves getting in and 
out of it a million times a day.  She loves all 
the games Ava makes up with it and she 
enjoys just sitting and hiding inside, peaking 
out at us.
 Ava daydreams about sleeping inside of the thing.
 She kept trying to convince me how comfortable
she was sure it would be.

She begged me to let her "camp out" in 
the living room in it.  I said hell no because
that would be like agreeing to never have her 
go to bed, hanging out right in the middle of 
our adult time.  So not happening.
But she did finally get her main wish, which was
to sleep on the thing.  It's good she got that in,
I think she has managed to pop it in about 6 
different areas and the duct tape is just not 
cutting it, so it's quickly on it's way out.

That princess-y bounce house, ball pit, castle 
thing didn't last long this time, but I still think 
they got a good life out of it.

As much as I love watching them really enjoy
their toys, I'm not going to lie, not really sad 
to see that go.

Bye-bye princess castle thingamajig, 
you will be missed, just not by me : )

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Perks of Preschool

Ava loves preschool.

She brags to her friends that she goes
to school now, counts down the days 
until Monday rolls around again and 
just in general won't stop talking about it.
One of the added perks to her attending preschool 
is that she gets invited to the schools field trips. 
I think they go on one each month.
 Today we got to go to Commonwealth Lake Park
with her class, they are studying all things to do with
ponds this month so this was a good way to wrap up
that lesson plan.
 We got there a little early so we had an 
opportunity to walk around and feed some 
of the ducks.

 Oh and take pictures, that's what we do.

On a side note, we went to the park the other
day and this mom took pictures of her3 kids 
ages 5, 10 & 17 the entire time with her phone.  
The kids were barely allowed to play at all.
All they were allowed to do was pose for 1.7
million photos their mom wouldn't stop taking!
It was bugging me so much!  (Yes I do realize 
the irony in that, I swear I am not like that...much.)
 I said MUCH!
 These geese were so aggressive!!
 Ava loves Hailey, she is not only Teacher 
Valerie's daughter but also our new neighbor. 
When Valerie opened the preschool her family 
moved just down the street from us.



 Ava only goes to school on Mondays but we've
started inviting Hailey over to play afterwards, 
double bonus.
 The kids got to play at the playground after we 
were done exploring around the lake, they loved that.
 Norah was pretty excited about it too.

The group, mostly all girls : )
Ava is learning, making new friends & exploring 
new places.  I am so glad we got her involved in 
preschool, it's only one day for 3 hours but it 
adds so much to her little life, 
just check out that smile!  : )