A note from the writers

Blogger seems to be having some trouble with its videos. They've been uploaded correctly and will run sometimes. If you can't see them now, come back another time and try again. It's totally a game of chance to get them to run. If anyone out there has a fix, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Visit to Kansas

After a not-so-bad two days of driving, we got to spend a lovely week in Kansas visiting my family.

For the first couple of days, we had a pretty tired baby on our hands. That's not such a problem, though, when you have plenty of adoring arms to cuddle you during a nap. Turns out Uncle Wes makes a great pillow and a baseball game on TV is the best lullaby on the planet.

Then, when it's time to finally get down to the business of playing, you find that those adoring arms are attached to adoring people who are willing to entertain you at just about any cost.

Nothing like having a Grandad who has been professionally trained to run little kids ragged and teach them how to have fun!

Ava sure got used to having a delighted entourage.

We did lots of fun stuff during our trip. The above picture was from the park where we fed the ducks. Ava spent a lot of time playing in a HUGE ball pit in my parents' living room...

...and we even got to go see a very cool model train. That visit was pretty awesome for Daddy, too.

Grammie & Grandad even have a baby-sized dog for Ava to play with. She could say "Yankee" nearly immediately and spent a lot of time loving on this little dog.

In the end, this was a great trip. It's so nice to get to spend some quality time with our family and we were so glad Wes could be there for so much of our visit. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for playing host and for entertaining Ava so well!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Petrified Forest

One of the best things about driving to Kansas was getting to stop at this super cool place along the way. The timing was perfect for the picnic lunch we had packed and it was a really great place to stretch, relax, and regroup.

As we were finishing up our lunch, we heard the thunder start to roll in. Probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch a thunderstorm roll in over this beautiful desert landscape. It rained for the remainder of our drive to Albuquerque that day. A week later, as we drove back, water was still standing in puddles in this area from the storm. Very cool. We *heart* national parks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Matt Turns 29

A little over a week ago, Matt had a birthday. We were on the road on his real birthday, but got to do some celebrating the week before, the day before and the day after. :-) I think we got it covered.

On the Friday before, Matt and I had a whole date day to celebrate. We went to breakfast at the Bellagio, to see the new Star Trek movie on the IMAX and then to dinner at the Melting Pot with the Hoffmans. Amazingly fun times.

Then, on the birthday eve, we went to a Las Vegas 51s baseball game. We were able to meet up with lots of other friends and had a joint celebration of Matt & Dave's birthdays.

Since we were leaving on his actual birthday, Matt got to open his presents early. The following is separated by about a week, but really shows that the kid's got a really one track mind. It's all about putting a tent in the house. Oy. Good thing I think he's great. :-) Happy Birthday, Matt!

So, after we got back from our trip on Saturday, we just had to put the tent up in the living room.

In the end, the tent was a big hit and we had a great time playing in it. Can't wait for our first camping trip with it!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Going on a Mission...

...start the countdown!

Because of Ava's nebulizer treatments, we had to hook her on TV to keep her still. As I've mentioned, we ended up with Little Einsteins. Who knew that an on-a-whim purchase in Kmart would end up so dramatically affecting our lives??

Anyway, these cartoon characters are powerful. They hold the attention of our 18-month old like you wouldn't believe. Serious zombie eyes. But, now that she's not on the meds anymore, she can actually interact with the show too. She sings along to the intro and closing songs (video of that as soon as I can catch it!), pats her lap to give Rocket more power and can pat to a beat all the way to presto. I guess if she has to be hooked on something, it might as well be something she could learn a few things from.

Ava and Grace watched Little Einsteins a couple of weeks ago during a nebulizer treatment. Grace was just as enthralled as Ava. I think we'll be seeing a lot of Little Einsteins in the next few years!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Random Happy

Just a few fun photos of happy times this spring. It's time for the pool, for date days to celebrate birthdays and lots and lots of sunshine!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Thanks so much for all your concern about Ava last week.  She's doing much better.  We kept her home for all of last week, but she went back to school yesterday.

2. Back to school was rough yesterday because I disrupted her day with a nebulizer treatment.  Thank goodness for really understanding, caring teachers.  We called the doc and got the ok for only three treatments a day.  No more disruptions to the daycare routine.

3.  Even though we've been filling the girl up with meds, she's been a pretty content kid.  She's also added a new word to her vocabulary...movie.  She will hold absolutely still for a thirty minute treatment.  It's like magic.

4.  To Ava, movie (weevee) means one thing.  Little Einsteins.

5.  Neither Matt nor I can sleep without dreaming about the treasure behind the little red door or cheering "Ra, ra, ra for rocket!"  

6.  We have a DVD player in the new van.  Ava now knows it exists.  "We're going on a trip in our favorite rocket ship!"

7.  Speaking of trip...Can't wait for our roadtrip to Kansas!

8.  Ava's illness didn't keep us from having a great time this weekend.  We went swimming in our pool on Friday afternoon and had a blast.  Ava wasn't so sure about the water at first, but went through all of last summer's phases in about 30 minutes.  Now the problem is that, every time the cover is pulled back, she wants to get in.  I see a long summer of fun in our future!

9.  Saturday night, the Hoffmans were camping at Lake Mead.  (Crazy Sarah, this was her Mother's Day choice.  7 months pregnant, camping in 100 degrees.  That girl is adventurous!)  We were invited to come along for all the cookout, lakeside fun.   Ava felt well enough to play by the lake and made a great effort toward getting all the mud on the shore back into the water.

Yep, that's snot and mud covering her face.  Who says I can't let go and let her have fun?

Thank goodness David was willing to give her a lake bath.

Of course, we didn't plan on this, so she didn't have any clean clothes for the rest of the night.  Considering the heat, I don't think she minded.

10.  On Sunday, we celebrated a really nice Mother's Day.  Now that I have one of these, all my hard work will actually pay off.  Yay!

Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Ava's caught the daycare bug and came down with RSV this week.  Kind of a bummer.  Started as a cold, but she was sent home from daycare yesterday with a fever.  Matt took her to the doc (I was totally expecting ear infection) and came back home with a nebulizer and a grocery bag full of meds.  This momma's heart was just a little bit broken seeing my kid with any sort of breathing machine.

Matt's recently become responsible for dealing with all future major illnesses.

It's not terribly serious, but it could be so it's treated fairly aggressively.  We're doing four nebulizer treatments a day for the next two weeks.  Really wishing we'd trained her to watch tv before this.  She did great the first few sessions, but now it's boring and she's fighting it a bit.

Anyway, we'll stay home with her until Monday morning, then it's back to school.  Let's hope those other kids leave their germs at home, too!

Playing with Elmo

Ava, where's your belly?

Duh, momma, it's right here!

Hiking at Lake Mead

Two weekends ago (wow that went fast!), we went hiking at Lake Mead to see the old train tunnels.  It was a beautiful day, a nice level walk and, if you don't mind having massive boulders hanging over your head, a super-cool reward toward the end.

Supposedly, if you keep hiking this trail, you get all the way (8 miles later) to Hoover Dam.  Maybe someday we'll make it.  Doubt Ava will be in the backpack for that trip, though.  :-)

Catching up

So, just catching up on archiving the latest photos and had a few to share.

Here's Ava in a super-cute skirt that Mom and I made for her.  I did the applique flower.  It's so cute it almost looks store-bought!  She pretty much wears it every time it's clean.  You probably remember seeing it here.  Wonder if she would choose it for herself?

We have an old digital camera that doesn't really work anymore, so we turned it into a toy.  Ava discovered it on the day I had emptied her toybox to stain it and played with it for about an hour.  She just seems to like the shutter-click sound it makes.  Probably because it seems so natural to her due to all the documentation of her life thus far....

Finally, Ava likes to turn on Jack FM in the guest room when she's upstairs.  In this particular series, she was working some wicked cool moves.  (Really, I think she was practicing jumping, but I wasn't there and Matt called it dancing.  Whatevs.)

Yep, this girl knows how to work it.  :-)