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, January 31, 2010

Fun in the Snow

We headed up to Mt. Charleston yesterday for some wintertime fun. They've got about five feet of snow up there and so, after gathering some winter gear for the munchkin, we went to go introduce Ava to the snow. She loved it.

Mobility was a bit of an issue since she was bundled to within an inch of her life and the snow was so powdery that you would just sink into it. Since she couldn't walk much, she got around pretty good on Daddy's shoulders.

We tried to make some snowmen, but this desert snow doesn't actually have much moisture in it and it wouldn't stick.

Instead, we taught Ava to make snow angels.

And then we fed her some snow. She didn't like getting her face in the snow at first, but she was thirsty enough from all her exertions that she got used to the idea pretty quickly.

Midway through our visit, Ava got pretty fussy. That meant it was snack time. We got unbundled and had a PBJ picnic in the back of the van. That was almost as popular of an activity as the snow play.

And here's proof we were all there together and we liked it. :-)

Videos of the trip:

Ava getting out into the snow for the first time:
video

Sledding down the hill with Daddy:
video

Matt sledding down the hill (and almost killing some passersby):
video

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Storytime

Ava's got several favorite stories, but lately we've been reading piles and piles of books. More often than not in these sessions, she ends up reciting the books to us. She can "read" all of Goodnight Moon and it's really a struggle to get to read it to her at bedtime. We've got several Margaret Wise Brown books and I think it's safe to say that she is Ava's favorite author. Runaway Bunny and Big Red Barn are huge favorites too.


As avid readers ourselves, Matt and I are so excited that Ava's taken such a liking to the activity. I've got Little Women all ready to go when she's finally ready. Can't wait to share one of our great loves with our little girl!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ava @ 26 Months

Twenty-six months. That seems like an awfully big number, doesn't it? But, it's been two months since Ava's second birthday and she's grown and changed so much since then. We're truly on our way to little girl-hood and it seems that we're racing to leave toddlerhood behind. Before we blink and miss another few months, here's a glimpse at Ava just as she is now.

*She's potty-trained! Such a big life lesson and she accomplished it with so much confidence and independence. She's so good at it that it's not uncommon for her to tell us now, "Go away! Ava do it!" Granted, that only lasts until she needs help pulling her pants up, so she's maybe not ready for college quite yet.

*Ava has a new best friend and she conveniently lives in any reflective surface on the planet! Our girl loves her reflection and evidently spends hours (really, hours) twirling and laughing with herself in the mirror at school. Windows at night are equally interesting. Don't get me started on pictures and videos of the beauty. She's obsessed.

*Favorite songs: Honey, Honey, from the MammaMia! Soundtrack; Taylor Swift's Fearlessalbum; and The Monkey Dance, by the Wiggles. Any of the above will result in dress-up skirt wearing and twirling on the tile. Also, they will be played on repeat indefinitely.

*We still haven't managed to help Ava master her colors, although we're certain she can tell them apart since she can sort according to color. Everything is blue on the first inquiry. She may, in fact, be her mother's daughter.

*Ava can count to ten and sing her ABCs. Her favorite letter, inexplicably, is J. It's the only letter she can pick out of a line-up. Weird, right?

*We've got a very creative girl on our hands. She loves to paint and do other types of art. We've got a lot of it hanging up around the house and she's pretty proud of her creations. The easel Daddy made for her birthday has been getting quite a workout.

*Ava loves to Skype with our families. Every time I bring out the laptop or we close media center on the TV, she says, "Hello? Papa?"

*In response to "Who are you?" the response is, "Ava Pappers." She also knows our names and we play this game often because we think it's hilarious how she says them. Here's a little video so that you can have a chuckle too...

video

*Our girl is fiercely independent which sometimes challenges our sense of order, but she's got a great sense of humor and a kind, compassionate heart that makes us proud. We're so pleased that she's a part of our family and so excited to see how much she'll grow in the next few months. Here's hoping, though, that she slows down...just a tiny bit. We don't want to miss a thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Haircut

Ava's always had a ton of hair, so getting it to grow out has never been a challenge. The harder part has been keeping it pulled up and out of her face. In the old days, she sported a whale spout that was the envy of every other six month old on the planet. Then, just after her first birthday, I cut it into a very cute bob...the bangs made her look so old!

Lately, we've been letting her hair just grow and have been trying to grow those bangs out. Turns out keeping them trimmed and out of her eyes was more than I could keep up with. But, the tangles and the constant ponytails were getting on all of our nerves. (Just imagine the screaming when you take out four plastic ponytail holders every.single.night.)

So, it was off to a professional to get a new 'do. I think it's just darling and, boy, one tiny little ponytail is way easier on our morning routine and our bathtime prep!

Here's the shaggy, unkempt before:
And the adorable after!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Hour

Fridays around here usually find us doing happy hour nearly as soon as everyone returns to the casa. Ava loves happy hour (although she looks sort of bored in this photo) and enjoys laughing at all the jokes and joining in the conversation.

This Friday, in preparation for a party we were throwing on Saturday, we tested a recipe to recreate one of our favorite appetizers ever. The Dublin Pub in Dayton, OH, offers cheesy pub fries on their appetizer menu and they're awesome. It's been a long time since we've been to the D-Pub, so we tried them out ourselves. Our replication isn't exact, obviously, but man....they were awesome! I see many more very happy hours in our future with this treat!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Walk in the Desert

We've been making an effort to get out and walk more, especially on weekends, since the new year began. About a mile from here, near the park where we hosted Ava's birthday party, is a horse park. It's wide-open desert space on which horses are allowed to be exercised. The park also has a few miles of sidewalk-type trail - perfect for stroller or unrestrained toddler walking.

It was a beautiful day and Ava wouldn't stay restrained in her stroller very long. She easily ran a mile and a half. The best part of the walk? The three hour nap girlie took that afternoon. :-)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Potty Trained Princess

Just a quick update on potty training. I think it's fair to say we have a graduate! Ava has been doing great going on the potty, both at school and at home. And, I have to say, it was a relatively painless experience. She was ready, we had plenty of time, and we were lucky things worked out so well. We haven't tackled nighttimes yet, but school nearly has naptime under control.

All that glowing news aside, I wouldn't really be a mommy-blogger if I didn't ever post some "will be embarrassing in high school" pictures of my kid. Ava did have a few accidents during the first couple of weeks and, sometimes, if it was close to bedtime, we didn't bother with more clean clothes before her bath.

On this particular evening, our very beautiful princess had wet herself, but then decided running bare wasn't going to cut it. So, naturally, she chose the only scratchy skirt in her dress-up arsenal to put against her bare skin - the skirt she won't wear over clothes because it bothers her. Oh, the logic and hilarity of toddlerhood!

Our pretty, potty-trained princess checking herself out in the mirror!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A New Year: Inspired

Here we are starting a new year. As it happens, tomorrow is this blog's one year anniversary. Couldn't start a new blogging year without a new post!

2010 will be a year of creativity for this family as we learn lots of new things and take on new challenges. Here's a little glance at what we're going to be up to....

~Ava is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds and has most recently taken on the challenge of potty learning. She's doing a fantastic job (lots of stamps on the potty chart!) and somehow manages to squeeze in some book reading and imaginary play with all the trips to the bathroom.


~After so much success with Ava's kitchen and easel (a glance at the finished kitchen project below), Matt has decided to leave his car's side of the garage set up as a woodshop. Several projects are already in the queue for the coming year. A bed and dresser for Ava, and a wine cork case for me are among the items on the list. He's also got several digital media projects planned as we've found that we take quite a lot of photos and video. :-) Matt's set an ambitious visitation schedule to nearby national parks for the family, so we'll all be busy on weekends too!
~I'm heading into my final semester of my masters program and am excited to begin working on my final project. Work should prove to be interesting, as well, as we look toward the exciting launch of our new center.

As we look forward, 2010 looks to be a year of opportunity, challenge, and creativity in so many areas of our lives. We're looking forward to rolling up our sleeves...
...and, clearly, we're not afraid to get messy in the process. :-)

Here's to a new year and the many adventures that will fill it!