Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Isn't she lovely...

I guess I am long overdue for a post and there is nothing I am more excited to brag about than this...
This little ray of sunshine is amazing! She just makes my life the absolute best!
We went in for her 1 year dr. appointment three weeks ago and I felt very very discouraged upon leaving. The doctor was not at all sensitive to Ava's circumstances and I felt like she discredited all the progress Ava had made in the last few months since we started occupational therapy, because she still has so far to go to be "caught up". The doctor made a huge push for Ava to be off formula and the bottle in one month. This was huge considering that Ava was still struggling with regular food and getting the majority of her nutrients from formula. I really felt like it would be impossible, but alas I headed to the store to purchase sippy cups and food to experiment. I felt like a ton of bricks had been dropped on me the entire rest of the day and was so discouraged ( I apologize to anyone who had to talk to me those few days after because I know I was a total negative nancy). Surprisingly, Ava did okay with trying many new foods, even though she swallowed the majority of them whole, but, she wanted absolutely nothing to do with a sippy cup.
I talked about it with her therapist the next day and she recommended that we totally skip the sippy cup and go straight to a cup with straw (to avoid tongue thrusting) , which made me even more worried because Ava totally didn't grasp the concept of a straw yet, but she gave us a few tools to work with and off we went with very little success...
until last Thursday...
We met Josh for lunch one afternoon and I put my water cup up to her (because she still wants nothing to do with holding a cup/bottle or feeding herself) and she put that straw in her mouth and just started sucking....Just like that! I couldn't have been happier if Ava had won the Olympics! She's been bottle free ever since! She has also been totally off formula for a week or so now and doing great! She actually even chews her food for the most part. The doctor wanted me to bring her back in in a month after she was totally off formula to make sure she hasn't lost weight, but I think you can tell from the above pictures (check out those legs) that she is definitely not starving!
Last night I packed the bottles away and filled the cupboard with these bad boys!
Oh yeah!
Ava also started a new from of therapy a week ago. It is a music therapy (the most annoying music ever!) but she is totally responding to it. It is supposed to stimulate her and help her organize the world around her and feel better about trying new things and moving more. She is now rolling across the room and her movements in general are so much more free and relaxed. I was very unconvinced when the therapist first mentioned it but I was willing to give it a shot and I am totally a believer now. I can't wait to see her progress in the next few weeks, because her progress in the first week has been very apparent.
Anyway, I am one proud mama and I couldn't ask for more! I feel so blessed to have such an incredible little girl who couldn't be any more perfect than she already is!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Busy Busy Busy!

We have had an incredibly busy past few weeks. I have barely had a chance to sit down and when I do, I am asleep within five minutes, which lets face it... isn't that unusual for me. I decided that I just didn't have enough going on and added one more thing to my list... cake decorating. I have started taking a cake decorating class at Michael's Crafts. I am loving it! For those of you who know me, you know that I love learning and I miss my days in the classroom, both as a student and a teacher, but I just don't have the time to commit to going back to school right now. So, cake decorating class is going to have to do. It is just one night a week for a couple of hours. The course is only four weeks long, but there are four courses total and I am planning on taking every one. Best part... they are actually pretty inexpensive.

Last week I worked on my very first cake, still pretty amateur, but I figure practice makes perfect, so I will just keep working at it. I actually preferred the cake without the writing, but I had to complete the assignment. I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to the lettering, not my forte.

Anyone wanna sign up? I would love to take course two with someone if anyone is interested.

Oops, I Did It Again...

Emily and I ran our second half marathon this past Saturday! Let me just tell you that all the stars aligned and the heavens opened that day because it couldn't have gone better. The weather was perfect, the coarse was great, I couldn't imagine a better partner, it was so much fun! We were actually really worried and had no expectations for this race because our training had been so scattered with each of us being out of town so much. But as we started running and it felt so great, I decided that I really wanted to beat our first time, and Emily was totally on board. I actually really enjoyed the run up until mile 11 and then we decided it was time to turn the i-pods on. Ashley Simpson (lame, I know) and Outkast ( I was totally shakin' it like a polariod picture.) carried me the last two miles and I truly experienced "the runners high". I felt amazing and I literally got chills, and good chills not the "I'm totally exhausted and going to throw up chills" that I had towards the end of our previous race. I could barely contain my emotions. I have the best running partner in the world, Emily, who I can't speak highly enough of. She is one of the most contagiously positive people I have ever known and I just love her. We did it too! We beat our time by a good six minutes. I honestly don't know what our final time was because we didn't have timing chips and they haven't posted times on-line, but we know we ran it in around 2 hours and 24 minutes. It renewed my faith in why I love to run and I am looking forward to running again in October and maybe knocking a few more minutes off our time.
Sadly, this is the only picture I have, none of me crossing the finish line because Ava started throwing up just minutes before I ran in and Josh had to take her to the truck to change her. She ended up not feeling well all weekend, but I think she is finally on the mend.
So, I've said it before and I'll say it again. If I can do this, anyone can. Back in March when we started on this journey, I never in a million years thought I would actually make it to running my first half marathon, let alone a second and still be left wanting more! If only there were more Emily's to go around. Sorry folks, she's one of a kind, and she's taken!

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To....

There wasn't very much crying at this party! We had a blast at Ava's birthday barbecue! Everyone came over to eat and have a great time. We had a slip n' slide going for the kids and lots of great conversation for the adults.

I was pretty happy with how the cakes turned out. My friend, Sunny, saved the day by writing on the cakes for me, I just couldn't bring myself to do it for fear of ruining it. We had a cake for the party goers and a separate smash cake for Ava.

I was a little bummed because the night after Ava's birthday I went to my first cake decorating class at Michaels and learned a few things that I wished I would have know for Ava's cake, but oh well, there's always next year.

After we ate, Ava opened her presents. We have such great friends and family who gave her great gifts! We feel so lucky to have such awesome people in our lives. Ava did really well opening gifts, but we saved the last gift for Josh to open up. He has been begging for a Wii for so long now. I thought it would be fun to get Ava a Wii for her birthday, and have Josh open it and freak out! Well the Smart family had a better idea... why not put that the Wii was from them. When Josh opened it he didn't believe it was a Wii but just thought that they had used their Wii box to wrap another present in. He was so uncomfortable when he realized it really was a Wii. We may be good friends, but not that good of friends. He was a little relieved when I told him it was a joke. Thanks to everyone for all the great gifts, Ava has loved playing with them and they were all perfect!
After presents was cake time. We put Ava on a table outside and had all the kids gather around and sing her Happy Birthday, she totally knew that she was something special. She wasn't too anxious to touch the cake and when one of the kids tried to help, the tears started coming. We let the little kids pick at it for a minute to show her the ways and then it got a little crazy. We put Ava in the grass with her cake and went to cut the other one so everyone could have some. Ava sat in the grass the rest of the night, just playing with her cake. She had it everywhere, however, I don't think a single piece made it into her mouth. After everyone was gone and we were cleaning up, Ava continued to play with her cake she was so content just to sit in the backyard and entertain herself. She was just a smiling. Just as we were about to take her in and clean her up, she decided to put her thumb in her mouth and she realized that it was pretty tasty and tried the other hand. That was as close as we ever got.
It turned out to be a really special day. Josh and I were so glad we decided to celebrate a little bigger than we had planned. Everyone was so great to be willing to come and share in Ava's special day. We feel so lucky to have her in our lives and so lucky we have had such an amazing first year with her. One birthday down... many more to go!

Happy Fourth on the Eleventh!

I am a little behind, life has been a little hectic, but we had way too much fun on the Fourth of July not to post about it. We went to our friends, The Cromar's, parents' house, for swimming, barbecuing, and fireworks. We couldn't have asked for a better location. The swimming pool was the perfect temperature and Ava couldn't get enough. We spent hours swimming and at one point, four grown women might have made up one really sweet synchronized swimming routine. We had an amazing barbecue with tons of great food! When it got dark we headed to the edge of the yard to watch the fireworks across the valley. The view was incredible and we were able to see so many different shows, without the crowds, but one in particular was so close it was perfect. We had such a fun evening and are so lucky to have such great friends with such welcoming parents to let a few young families, plus all their kids, crash their house.
Thanks so much!

Fourth of July is truly one of my favorite holidays! I am so glad we were able to make the most of it this year and look forward to years to come.
Yes, this might be my way of just inviting myself next year...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to Our Little Lady!

Today is a BIG Day! Ava turns one! We have had her in our lives for one whole year and we have loved every minute. What was life like before her? She is our constant entertainment! We love her so much and couldn't have asked for more! We are having a little party tonight with family and close friends. It should be exciting. I have been working on her birthday cake for a couple of days now, still don't know how it is going to turn out, but here's to hoping it's great. Can't wait to share about Ava's first birthday, stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Night of Memories and Goodbyes

This is the Buhrley Family.
They are our across-the-street neighbors and really good friends.
They just moved to California so Matt, who was a dentist, could go to Endodontic School.
Matt will be in school for two years, after which they will need to decide where to move to.
What do you do when you want to convince them to move back to Boise....
...you throw Amber a surprise going away party...
A Surprise 80's Prom Night!

Here we are with our Prom Queen

This is Amber showing up at my house. Look how cute she looks ready for a night out with the girls.

Sorry Amber, your outfit and hair just aren't cutting it. Come on in and let us help you out.

There we go that's better!

Let's Go!

We met at a delicious Italian restaurant downtown called Asiago's. Everyone looked amazing! Only thing missing... corsages.
We quickly took care of that and then had an incredible dinner.
We gifted everyone with party favors consisting of candy jewelry, jelly bracelets, hottie whistles, and other 80's keepsakes.
After dinner we went out front to wait for our ride that would be driving us around for a Farewell Tour de Boise!
...What other than a white stretch limo, driven by...

...Rod Steward himself!

This was Amber's reaction, followed by a potty word!


We had so much fun riding around, blasting 80's music and dancing our hearts out!

So much fun, in fact, that we decided to get out and share our 80's grooves and moves with all the diners eating on the patios of a restaurant packed street.

A Few of our husbands were floating the Boise River that night as a going away party for Matt. We wanted to go greet them as they floated in. We missed them by only minutes and instead took the opportunity to shoot some head shots or album covers of each of us. While our trusty driver stood waiting by the limo. What a guy. Amber even came up with a great jingle for Rod's new commercials.

"Get out of my dreams, and into Rod's Car"An hour and a half later (Rod loved us so much he gave us an extra half hour), we were on our way to the Prom After Party.

We got a hotel room and partied the night away. We laughed until we peed our pants and acted way too crazy. At one point a few of the prom nighters were accused of being a little tipsy.

So crazy, in fact, that these sexy white stirrup pants made a little appearance, as well as a one piece black stretchy leotard-esque outfit that I do not at this point have permission to post.

We had an amazing evening and I don't know anything that could have topped it. If this doesn't convince the Buhrley's to move back, I don't know what will.


All I can say is, if Prom Night was great, just think what the Homecoming Dance could be!

Looks like you'll never know unless you come back to me.

Ava's First Swim

One of the things I have been looking most forward to since having Ava has been taking her swimming for the first time. The weather has been so weird here, that last weekend was the first chance we got to go to our neighborhood pool. It was so much fun, minus the really....really...really bad sunburns that both Josh and I ended up with. I really only thought we would be there for a little bit and I had a little farmers tan that I was anxious to get rid of, well 2 hours later we left the pool, burnt to a crisp. Wonder what that farmers tan is going to end up looking like after the peeling that is bound to happen? If anyone is wondering I was smart enough to lather Ava up and she is doing just fine.
Ava was a little apprehensive at first, but Josh eased her in real slow and she loved floating around in her little tube. I loved watching her little feet float behind her. Everything was going great until we decided to dunk her. She didn't love it and after that she could never completely pull herself back together. Ava has cowlicks all over her head and her hair never lies down, I love the two bottom pictures because her hair is totally slicked back...supermodel style.
I got out of the pool with her and we sat in chairs for a little while. There were quite a few people at the pool that day and she was totally content to just sit and watch all of the fun.
I put her back in the kiddie pool on the step for a little while to cool off again and she was totally into it. She didn't really want to play in the water, she just wanted to sit and watch everything going on around her.

We plan on taking her back just as soon as our sunburns heal a little. I hope as she gets used to the water a little more she will begin to be more playful, otherwise, it was everything I was hoping it would be!