Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend -- August 6 & 7

It was a busy weekend. But definitely a fun one.

One of my favorite memories as a child was in first or second grade when my parents surprised us one day at school. They just showed up in the middle of the day and took us out of class. My grandparents had come to visit, so we spent the afternoon going to garage sales (one of Grandpa's favorite activities). With this in mind, during my lunch hour on Friday, after I nursed Ellie, I took Ava out of class and we went to the Children's Fair for 20 minutes. It was just enough time for her first pony ride (on the smallest pony I've ever seen, Tinkerbell), a slide down a giant inflatable slide, and a cherry sno cone.

Saturday was my friend Julie's wedding. It's the first one we've been to in years and it was so much fun. It was so nice of her to invite Ava and Ellie and they both had so much fun. Ava immediately acquainted herself with the photographer (I can't wait to see if any of her make the final wedding album), asking to have her picture taken. She was also the queen of the dance floor and would have gladly danced the night away if her mean parents hadn't taken her home to bed.

Sunday, we went to the mall to find some shoes for kindergarten gym class (and left with lots of things, but no gym shoes). On the way home, we decided to get some use out of our zoo membership and spent an hour strolling through the zoo until it got too hot. Ava rode a camel for the first time (something I've never even done). This was big stuff because she's not a fan of heights. But she climbed right now, a little nervous at first, then deciding she could handle it. Afterward, I asked her if she preferred riding ponies or camels. Her reply? The carousel.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend -- July 30 & 31

Ellie got her very first baby doll of her very own. She named her A-ha and slathered her with kisses immediately. She's not even six months old yet, but this is a girl who knows what she wants.

We finally made it to the farmer's market for the first time this summer. Ava used her money to get her face painted (it was actually a fundraiser for the Kids Food Basket) and to buy a bouquet of really beautiful summer flowers. Good choices, I think.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ava's Favorite Soup

This is Ava's very favorite soup. It's the one meal (besides macaroni and cheese) that she requests by name. And it really couldn't be more simple.

2 cans Rotel
1 can corn, drained
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans, drained and rinses
1 can chicken or vegetable stock
2-3 Tbs. fresh cilantro
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (optional)

Dump it all in a big soup pot and heat it up. Serve with sour cream and green onions on top. And to truly be Ava's favorite, you must serve it with blue corn tortilla chips.

One of the things on our summer list was to make ice cream from scratch. We can check that one off! We followed this recipe (which doesn't use an ice cream maker) and it was really yummy.

Ellie: 5 months

Weight: 15 lbs. 4 oz.

About You: You are a drooler. Sometimes we have to change your outfit several times a day because you soak through. Everyone asks if you're teething, but no signs of teeth yet. You've started saying Da-Da (we think you learned if from one of the other babies at school). Right now you seem to just look that sound, but Daddy swears you know what it means. You stuck your thumb in a hole in a toy at daycare and cut it (twice). Your daycare teacher felt really awful about it, but you forgave her pretty much immediately. You seem to have a special talent for finding things to stick your thumbs and fingers into. Once you start moving around more, we're really going to have to make sure all the outlets are babyproofed. You've also started sitting up. At first you looked a bit like a surfer, constantly adjusting your balance to stay up. But you've gotten pretty good at it. You even sat in a high chair at a restaurant today.

Ellie: 4 months

Height: 24 in.
Weight: 14 lbs., 15 oz.

About You: You have won over all the hearts of the teachers at daycare. They love your easy smiles and your easygoing nature. I miss you the hours we're apart, but I love seeing you at lunch everyday. We thought you were ready to start solids. You would watch us whenever we ate and you'd open your mouth like a little bird every time food came anywhere near your mouth. But when we gave you your first spoonful of rice cereal you cried. We're going to wait a bit and see if you do better next month. Your favorite thing is peek-a-boo. You pull whatever is around (blankets, towels, your dress) over your head, then pull it down and look around to make sure everyone knows how funny you are.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Food, flowers, and fabulous nails

Ava's favorite thing about going to the bookstore with me is the pizza pretzels in the cafe. She now associates pizza pretzels so much with books that when I tell her we're going to the library, she asks if she can get a pretzel. We tried our hand at making our own this week. We started with pizza dough, rolled it out, cut it into four pieces, and added sauce and cheese (Ava's going through a no-toppings phase).

Then we tried our hand at rainbow nails. I think the hardest part was probably getting Ava to stay still enough to paint each stripe. She was so exicted about them. The next day at school her teachers said she had to show them off to everyone. Next we're going to try to paint butterflies.
David bought me these at the grocery store. I love glads. I think they might be my favorite flower. They make me think of summer at my grandma's. She's always grown them on the bank near her house. Behind the flowers you can see my new (to me) curtains. They are the one purchase for the house that David and I both like equally (Thanks, Joslyn!).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend -- July 16 & 17

I've decided to starting taking at least five photos every weekend. I feel like I'm always negligent on taking photos of all the fun things we do, and so they're forgotten. Now at least I'll have a bit of a record.

We drove across the state for a family reunion. I love long drives along back country roads. They're always so much more interesting than taking the highway. Mid-Michigan is home to lots of Amish families and we saw a few carts along our route selling homemade yummies. We stopped at one and Ava picked out a some molasses cream cookies and monster cookies. We thought it was so interesting that even though they had grown up in Michigan as we had their accents were so uniquely Amish. David and I always have the best conversations when we're in the car. It's my favorite part of long drives. No distractions means we can really talk. Love that!

Each year at the reunion they have an auction to raise funds for the next year. David's dad was always the auctioneer. This year they asked David to do it. It was so important to him to do a good job. His dad always made it fun and funny and David wanted to do the same in tribute to him. He did a great job, but it was a bittersweet reunion because we felt so strongly the absence of Lee.

We also got to celebrate the 30th birthday of one of my best friends in the whole world, Amy. She's expecting her second little boy on 11.11.11. Ellie snacked on toes while the rest of us had yummy burgers.