Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stroller ride.
Tea set
Donald duck house

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Poor Matt's late-night projects

It's 2:30 and we're both still up. Funny how our old brains don't work as well at this time of the night/morning anymore. I'm on deadline, and Matt's trying to finish a big website project that's been keeping him up til 4 most mornings. He just can't concentrate on all that java script and html language when Avalai's buzzing around. Maybe once he finishes this one, he'll get to have at least one good night of sleep, poor guy!

Stinkin' echoes!

The hilarity never ends with our dear Avalai! After a long stressful day of deadlines for Matt and I, we went to Ruby Tuesdays to use our BOGO Free entree coupons. Avalai was a star at eating her salad bar plate of peas, grapes, cheese, noodles, olives, cranberries and green beans. And then kept begging to eat my salmon and Matt's rice with peppers in it. She's such a good girl for the most part. We just absolutely CAN'T keep her STILL! She bobs and spins her head and neck around constantly...usually to the beat of whatever music she can hone in on. She does NOT like when one song stops and there's a few seconds of silence before the next one starts. She immediately notices and says alarmingly "Oh No!! Mugick top!" And she can just barely express her worry before another song starts and the "head bopping" starts right back up again. She also wiggles and twists in her seat, and has recently been trying to escape from her carseat straps. I think she's just looking for a challenge that will keep her from having to sit there bored. I think her active little mind never rests. She's such an observant, creative, imaginitive, busy little girl. It wears us out and cracks us up at the same time.
Upon leaving the restaurant, she immediately spots some "tores" nearby and starts her chant, "Tores Mommy. Goatrey tores (grocery stores), Mommy. Peeeeas? I see it! Dey it iss!" "Mom-mart", she yells with absolute glee!
We had to go there to get 2 or 3 things, so as we drove nearer and were looking for a space to park, she's going "Yes, Yeahhhh! Mom-mart!" I looked over at her and laughed as I said, "You're so stinkin' cute!" Well little miss Copy-cat repeats my remark with her own observation tacked on... as she says,"So tinkin' coot! ....Tinkin' !! P.U.!!!" as she's scrunching up her nose and sniffing like she knows just what I'm talking about. I guess double-word meanings and phrases like that would be confusing for a just barely 2-yr-old!
Matt and I were rolling with laughter as she keeps sniffing, thinking that must be what we're laughing at. Then just as we gain our composure, we walk into Wal-Mart, and she hollers "Uhhh,...(pause) Uhhhh.....(pause), and then brightly exclaims, "Echo! ......Echo!" For some reason, the entrance there definitely has an echo and your voice sounds totally different in it. And she remembers it every time. After we grabbed our couple things, and got to the line that always takes FOREVER...she quickly struck up a conversation with a nice man in front of us. He was amazed at her vocabulary and vibrance. "She's going to be on stage or something," he said. She's so well-spoken and friendly!
Then as we left...Avalai had to say "Buh-bye to everyone, and she intentionally said "Buh-bye" like 6 times as we entered the "echoey" area just before the exit doors. She just loves to hear her voice in there. It's better than our bathroom where she has begun to love her little "echo" game. She yells "ECHO" and listens to the reverberation as she grins and adds. "I hee it. Litten. I hee it!", and then repeats the game over and over with an occasional, "Mommy tay it." or "Daddy tay it." which we often oblige. I mean how can you resist? It's amusing how such simple things that entertain and astound toddlers!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I was greeted this morning with a bombardment of adorable phrases repeated one after another. I couldn't even get a word in! Avalai said "Uh mornin' Mommy! How you? I fine. I good. I two!" Matt and I were both quite amused!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Doctor gives a good report, & bangs get a little shorter.

Oh how I love to read books in bed with Avalai. She's such a captive audience who loves my dramatic voices and effects! She's becoming quite good at "reading" them herself too! I recently gave her an "Itsy Bitsy Spider" book about how the baby spider gets blown around, and on his journeys, the spider lands on various farm animals and they blow, shake and sneeze him off. She loves it. While I was getting her pajamas and toothbrush ready, she sat in the floor and "read" the book kinda like this. "Bitty pider...oh no...ball down! Where da pider? Where da pider? (Gasp, gasp) Dey he iss!!" as she points to the pig's nose where he landed. "On pigk notes. Onk Onk!" (Giggle, giggle, next page) "Haaaah.... Where da pider? Where da pider? (Gasp, gasp) Dey he iss!!" she repeated. "On goat! See him? See him?" and so on and so on through the whole book! Sometimes pausing to point out the "daggon byes, cattails, buh byes (butterflies), and bady buds (lady bugs)" sprinkled throughout the pages as well. I was quite amused. I need to carry my video camera around with me for a couple days just to catch some of this stuff!

Today we went to the doctor's for her 2 yr. checkup. Avalai loooved her doctor's appointment. She was excited about seeing "Docker Wahd" (Doctor Guwad) the whole way there. The office ladies always love her, but now that she's even more talkative, they just crack up behind that window the whole time we're out in the lobby waiting. Avalai was naming all the Disney characters on their walls, and saying "Lellow tair (chair) I sit lellow tair!" As she rushed over to the table with books on it. She gasped at their huge shelf of books, and set out to begin reading as many as possible, all the while asking "What diss Daddy? What diss?" for ANYTHING she didn't know.
We thought she'd get shots, but Dr. Guwad said none til she's 4. She was such a perfect little patient. Playing right along with the stethoscope, and opening her mouth so wide, he didn't even need his tongue depressor. Dr. Guwad said there are always a few kids who brighten up his office the moment they walk in...& she's one of them. He was very impressed with her language skills & knowlege of her colors etc. She definitely didn't want to leave!
As for her measurements, she is 33" which is only the 25th percentile for height. Dr. Guwad said based on our heights (Matt's and mine) she should definitely be more in the 50th percentile at least, and he expects her to hit a growth spurt soon to catch up.
She's in the 75th percentile with her weight of 28 pounds, so we can start giving her 1% milk instead of that disgusting old fatty whole milk!! I was very glad of that!
He said that she's so bright and advanced that he has some 4 year olds that don't know what she does. He thinks that's largely because we take time to engage and stimulate her. Like playing silly games with her, and reading to her, and letting her help us with so many chores that we do. So, that's encouraging.
As we left and she said her goodbyes to everyone, they all smiled and aahed at how adorable she is. It's hilarious, and we think she's cute too, but she sure turns on the charm when she's out in public!!
This evening we went and got her first haircut in a salon! They're clients of ours, and they love her dearly, so they were excited to give her that first "trim" even though it was just her bangs. She danced and twirled, and jumped around the salon until Daddy's haircut was done. I just can't keep that child still. I seriously don't think she remembers how to walk! She jumps, skips, hops, spins, runs, dances...even marches everywhere! It's often dizzying!
She loved her carrots and black beans, tuna and broccoli for dinner. I'm so glad she loves all the good stuff in addition to the occasional cookie :)

It was a good day overall. We'll see what she twirls into tomorrow!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cook out, and clean out!

After church, Wimbledon's historic match between Federer and Roddick kept us from heading straight to a cook out at one of our client's homes. Avalai skipped her late morning nap, and that came back to haunt us!
Avalai was thrilled to go to a party with "kids", and kept asking on the way "Kids? Kids Mommy?" So we assured her that yes we'd see kids once we got there.
Besides her now ususal blowing kisses at the red lights to turn them green as she says "Ummon geen"...she was reading a fairly new animal picture book on the way. I wish I had video taped that ride! First she was saying each animal name and then making their signature "noise". The the giraffe...that she didn't know a noise for...she made up a noise for them. We even asked, "Oh really? Is that what a giraffe says?" And she was insistent that she was correct, and repeated the same noise.
We started tuning out the zoo of noises behind us, until we started hearing, "Umm ear bunny!...Umm ear!" (Come here) And then, "Umm ear monkey!...Umm ear!" I looked back at her, and she's touching the animal picture and trying to pinch the picture up as if she can just pull the animals right out of that little book! Hilarious to see!
Once we arrived, she hear the happy screams of kids playing while we were unbuckling her seatbelts. "KIDS" she screamed! She couldn't contain her excitement.
And once we got around to the backyard, she took a quick glance of the entire place...stopped immediately to "say hi" to the doggy, and then made a beeline to the playset!
Poor Matt! He's such a good Dad!! Patiently, he helped her climb the rope walkway to get to the slide, then ran around to catch her. He kept her out of the dirt pit, and pushed her on the swings etc. She never will stay on any apparatus for more than a couple minutes. So, he helped her hop off when she was ready to move on to each thing. She watched crickets jumping, and stood back calmly as other kids pushed past her to go down the slide first. She never minds if they want to cut in front. She's almost just as happy watching them go down as she is when she slides down herself :) Throughout the 2 hours that we were there, Avalai wanted only to play on that playset... and despite our attempts to distract her, she'd missed that nap, and was not willing to compromise on her wishes! If we had not been at this friend's house with a lot of people that we don't really know...we would not have put up with such demands. But why is it that so many of our normal rules and standards go out the window when we just want to keep kids from pitching a fit in front of everyone? I do a better job in a grocery store than among a group of coworkers! And she was just soooo tired that she wasn't reasonable at that point. So poor Matt spent his entire time chasing her around the play area. With her energy level, I leave the chasing up to him! His dad says that he was the same way. My mom says I was NOT! So...HE gets to run after her, which he willingly does without complaint. He's a great dad! All the other men were playing yard games, and he's keeping her from getting hurt or trompled :)
We had great taco salad, but I always leave those parties kinda hungry. I'm no burger and hotdog fan. And you can only eat so much macaroni salad :)
For the rest of the day, I tackled some house clearing. I'm determined to make my house less embarassing by getting through some of these boxes that piled up throughout our shifting and remodeling before and right after Avalai was born. I accomplished so much! And the trashcan won't even hold all that I disposed of! Matt was so proud! If only I had 3 weeks of non-stop time to do it in, I'd have a sparkling, organized home. Since that won't happen, I'm getting through it one box at a time.
I'm finally going to bed with a sense of accomplishment:) We'll see if I can tackle something else tomorrow.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrating the 4th with zoo animals, pizza & cookies

Since we got to see fireworks at the Shorebirds game last night, we decided to sleep in this morning, and after a nice, relaxing, lazy day...we ran over to the zoo for a little bit in the early evening. Oh my goodness...I think our child BELONGS in a zoo! She's right at home...saying "Hi"...and "I lubboo" to all the animals. She WON'T leave one exibit without the promise of another one...and as you walk the paths with her, she's repeating "Moy aamals. Moy aamals!" She loved the flamingos, the llama, and the bison especially (which she was calling a "yak" because when she asked her Daddy "Wuss dat?" He told her it was a yak. Avalai was telling every child and parent that passed by "Iss a yak! See it? Dey it iss!" They all chuckled at her...and as I walked farther down toward the next exhibit, I noticed that the sign in front of the "yak" said it was a "bison"!!! Goodness did we feel stupid. I didn't think to question Matt. I assumed he had read a sign that told him it was a yak! Then I felt dumb because I do know that yaks are mainly up in frigid climates unlike this hot day! Duh!! We tried to tell Avalai that it was really a bison, but I don't think she believed us, and we just confused her greatly!
This zoo trip wasn't a long one. Not quite an hour. So as we were heading out, because the zoo was closing, Avalai had a 10 second melt-down. She did NOT want to leave the animals! And as the tears of separation were flowing, we see her stop for a second, regain her composure, and say with every ounce of hope she could muster, "Tores??? Tores?" Like, well, if you take me to some stores, then I guess I can bear to leave the zoo. Since we were already planning to at least go to the grocery store for a couple things, we quickly promised that we'd go to stores. That calmed her, and literally every 30 seconds in the car as we drove to the grocery store, she'd pipe up "Tores? Tores Mommy!! Yes!" And we'd assure her again that we hadn't forgotten. We just weren't there yet.
We also picked up our favorite Uno's spicy chicken flatbread pizza. It has wowza sauce, and we get lots of kalamata olives added, since that's Avalai's main pizza request. If we even mention pizza she hollers "Ollies? Ollies!!" She eats all the kalamata olives off her pizza first. Black olives have no she could care less about them, but she'll scarf down green ones or kalamata ones.
She's been nicely asking for cookies for a couple days now, and I promised her we'd try to make some. So, after dinner tonight, she helped us make some chocolate chip cookies. That's quite an experience with a 2-yr-old! She really wants to help, but boy does she make a bigger mess. I try to be patient with her as she's trying to scoop dough with her little spoon, and bits get flung around the kitchen... she just wants so badly to do it herself now.
She was very proud of them when she finished...and watched them go in the oven as Daddy took her down for a bath. And magically, when she came back upstairs in her little bath towel... they were just coming out of the oven ready to eat.
So, we turned the tv to the NY City Macy's fireworks special, and watched the skies light up in an amazing spectacle as we all had milk and cookies on this Fourth of July.
A great way to celebrate together :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fireworks & favorite phrases

Well thanks to some FREE tickets at the last minute, we were able to go see fireworks at the Shorebirds game tonight. We knew better than to try to sit through the whole thing with our wiggly girl! So, we picked up Leland & Jenny, and got there about the 7th inning. We saw a couple friends and just stood at the top of the stands talking for those last innings. Avalai was quite content just dancing to all the crazy songs they play at those games! Every time the music piped over the loudspeakers...she started right back up like a wind-up toy, only much faster and more unpredictable. We had to keep steering her away from passers by. I just knew she was going to get trompled one of those times. She was just plain oblivious to her surroundings except to look for one of us once in a while to be sure that we were watching her "Datsing". It was really more skipping and jumping and twirling in circles than anything. But she was non-stop for sure. During a lull in the music, she made fast friends with one of the young security guards. She was giving him five. Showing off her backbends, and twisting into "coy" positions and donning a very fake smile. She definitely liked him, and when he had to run off in a hurry to get something ready for the fireworks show, without even saying Bye, Avalai was crushed, tried to run after him, and when I scooped her up to bring her back to us, she bawled! She gets attached WAY to quickly! I gotta keep both eyes on that girl!
When the fireworks finally started, Avalai was intrigued of course, and a little bit clingy. She was surprisingly a little unsure of them at first. She'd timidly point and say, "Fye-wooks?" and then lay her head back on me as she watched. As the 12 minute show went on, she got braver, and sat up a little to say "Boom, boom! Fye-wooks boom!"
Then of course when they ended she begged, "Again? Again?"
It was a great night. She loooooved seeing her Aunt Jenny and Uncle LLLeeLLLand. (It's so hard to describe how she says his name. She over enunciates the "Ls" She's so proud that she can say them now.
Anyway, when we dropped them back off, she cried as we drove away. She loves them lots!

As I sit here typing this, Avalai's saying, "Wheh ah yee Daddy? Deh ye ah!" as she covers her eyes with a bib and then removes it. Now she's putting her bib on her baby doll whose name is "Girl". That's what she told me the baby's name is! Seriously!
I can't believe this child's endless energy! This has been a full day, and now that we've finished our 11 oclock dinner, Avalai's heading for her bath and won't be in bed before midnight! She often goes to bed late, but not usually THIS late.
She wants to have an actual word to call EVERYTHING and EVERYONE! She drives us crazy saying "Wuss dat?" Or "Wuss diss" repeatedly until we tell her the exact name for that item. Like just now, she's saying "Wuss dat?, Wuss dat?" and pointing to our camera battery charger. So Matt told her it's a battery charger. "Batty tarder?" she repeats. That usually satisfies her for a minute or two, and then she's scanning for something else she wants us to identify for her. A few minutes ago, it was the crumbs left on her half-eaten animal cracker that she was pointing to as she glared at the tiny bits of cracker dust with her little eyeball so close that I was afraid she get it in her eyelashes. I explained that it was "crumbs". "Cumms?" she repeated to be sure that she had it right? "Yes crumbs," I affirm. This goes on a hundred times a day for the past month or two. Needless to say she has an enormous vocabulary. We don't often have to tell her something's name more than twice. She remembers things we told her once before, weeks earlier. When she brings those out on us, all matter-of-factly proud and confident that she knows exactly what to call that...Matt and I look at each other and say, "Did you tell her that? I didn't!" Often one of us remembers way back that we mentioned it to her once in passing because she kept pressuring for a name. And that crazy girl remembers it ALL! Maybe she'll be a linguist or something. She can definitely remember things easily, and has an uncanny love for language!
Ha...I just heard her saying "Buh-bye" to all of her bath toys...."Nigh-night cab (crab)" "Nigh-night ock-o-poos (octopus)" I looove hearing her say that one!! She's very cordial to every single,'s always "Hullo moon (or whatever she's talking to), "I lubboo moon. Buh-bye moon. See ya soon, moon!" All those little cordial sayings one immediately after another, guess she's trying to fit all her phrases in. She does this to stores, toys, tv shows and movies, food...EVERYTHING!"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

She finally got to see DJ tonight. He wasn't able to be at her birthday party, and she missed him and was asking for him specifically! Our Olive Garden dinner was pretty fabulous. I had my usual concoction that they so kindly make for me :) "Angel hair pasta, with shrimp, onions, peppers and mushrooms with an apricot sauce. Yummy!
Avalai had her broccoli fave of course, and breadsticks!! She loves them. I'm afraid she's going to be a carb addict like me!
DJ played games with her while we waited longer than normal, and she didn't even notice the wait. Time flies when you're playing "Gimme five, up high, down low, too slow" with Uncle DJ!!!
She wolfed down the after dinner mint we offered her before leaving...and then when we decided to try the "Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty" at Wendy's... someone announced "Coppee?? Avvay coppee, yes!" Before either Matt or I could even take a bite. We gave in of course, as it's hard to say she can't have something that we're eating right in front of her, and she was instantly in love! Oh dear... "Moy coppee...peeeeas" was the soundtrack of the next 10 minutes!
We satisfied her store craving tonight with a 20 minute trip into Lowes for some storage bins and light fixtures. She hardly cares what store we go long as there are people and aisles...and stuff to touch and explore.
We can easily convince her to leave with the "Let's go put everything on the counter so we can pay for it," line. She loves helping with that. And she knows that means she'll get to talk to a very on-the-spot cashier who's almost obligated to respond back to her :)
As soon as we hit the parking lot though...she starts with the "Moy tores" line that we hear all too often these days.
We follow with, "No, it's time to go home now." She's not fond of that statement, but spotting the moon distracted her from any complaining tonight. That moon has such an effect on her persona. She really loves to see it. It has some sort of calming effect as she explains to us once it's out of her sight that the "Moon is seepin" or "Moon is hidin" "Buh-bye Moon!" She always finishes with.
We went through a carwash at 10:15 tonight. Although we thought she'd enjoy the experience... from the moment the water started squirting on the car, her eyes got huge, and she was saying "Rain? Rain...?" with a worried face and quivering voice... As it got a little louder, and more sudsy, she began to panic and said "Hug mommy?" and then more desperately "HUG MOMMY?" as she tried to wriggle out of her carseat straps to jump into my lap. I reached back and undid her buckles so that she could witness the rest of the soaking from my view, but no, she wanted to put her head on my shoulder until it all passed. I tried to explain that the car was getting a bath so that it would be clean again...but she was shockingly nervous about the whole thing...which is so unlike her inquisitive, want-to-be-in-the-middle-of-everything personality.
Then after all that drama...and we had driven out of the carwash...she pops her head up and says, "Again, again?" Crazy girl! She's gonna be one of those people who loves scary movies as long as she can bury her head into someone, and just watch out of one eye!
Great day...she's getting sleep on a regular basis... can't say as much for her parents :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So, today was Avalai's 2nd birthday. It's unreal how time flies.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A beautiful day in the park

We've finally had a couple beautiful days, and we knew we just had to get out and enjoy some time in the park.
It's so great to go out without bundling up again! She was sooo excited to get outside and play. We went to the play area in the city park that's right outside the zoo. I guess we shouldn't have been surprised, but the place was totally packed! I guess everyone wanted to take advantage of such a beautiful day in the low 70s.
At first, she just looked in amazement at all the kids running around, and the things she recognized like the slides and swings. It wasn't long before she was asking to swing...but they were all full...with people waiting in the wings to jump on the next empty we headed to one of the toddler slides. She looooved it of course laughing and saying. "Again, ....side again! So she did...many, many times!
She did get curious about the other activities, and once she started running around, she was just in heaven! She kept seeing things and going "I do it, I do it!" She loved the tunnel. It was hilarious how she would run through it...with her head rubbing the top the whole way through resulting in crazy hair static...and then turn back around and go the opposite way through often saying "boo" as she popped her head out the other side, only to turn back around and run through the other way again!
There were cool hanging chimes, that she loved playing with. Lately she loves anything musical! And these actually inspired her to stand in one place for a few minutes.
She was intrigued by the giant, sunken sandbox, and wanted to play in it...but, I'm not letting her do that any time soon if ever...and I know she'd hate it in a second. This is the same child who puts her hands in the air for help when she gets any dirt or fuzz or spilled milk on her hands! It's actually really funny when she gets a hair on her hand (which because of her obsession with running her hands constantly through her own hair or mine happens often) she immediately stops and concentrates intently on trying to remove the offending hair that dared to get caught around her fingers. When she isn't able to free herself from the entangled hair...she hollers "Hairee, hairee, hep...hairee!" with her arm raised to show us. She absolutely can't tolerate debris on her hands!
Anyway, she ran and played and had such fun in the park...she definitely didn't want to go home.
After a few litte we headed to the car she started with, "Hungee... home... hungee... home!" And then nearly fell asleep in the 4 minute car ride home. I whipped up some yummy turkey burger sloppy joes, and as she was waiting in her high chair watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Matt said that she had laid her head on her arms and was nodding off. Poor. exhausted little girl. It was only 7 oclock, but she had missed her late afternoon nap, so she could barely stay awake. After she enjoyed some sloppy joes, she went off to sleep pretty easily at first...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Potty training continues...

It's crazy how one step in a kid's life can consume so much time and thought! We're trying to be consistent, and Avalai is such a willing, and earnest participant...just wanting to please us. It's so precious! Today she did her pee-pee in the potty several times, and also poopy once. We're so used to letting her play in her crib when she wakes up from a nap that it didn't occur to us that we should rush up and get her to the potty as soon as we heard her wake's so fun to hear her talk and sing to her when Matt did get up there to get her, she had a poopy diaper...but overall, she's doing well.
She got to go to the store with Matt (a true treat for our little social butterfly who makes friends with everyone) and they picked out some "Princess Pull-ups". She's actually never seen any of the Disney princess movies, but I guess some things are just a natural thrill to a little girl. Once we told her that they were "princesses" (she doesn't actually know what that is)...despite her ignorance of the folklore...she was sooooooo excited! Gasping and staring at the picture on her new pull-ups as she held it right up to her face. She loooooved the idea of wearing pretty princesses as big girl panties (I know they're pull-ups).
She kept bending forward trying to see them better after they were on her. I've got to pay closer attention to what she calls them...I know whe throws in a lot of "p's" and it's hilarious to hear her say it. She was definitely NOT happy when we "covered them up" with her pants. She started to whine, but we just distracted her with the cool penguin on her shirt. She loves penguins, and that worked for now.
It's so funny how we can generally control her moods with distractions, or songs, or excitement. We do a toothbrushing song...and it works too well. She doesn't want to STOP brushing her eight little teeth! And she tries to sing with the toothbrsh in her mouth, so it's a little messy :)
Matt kept saying, "Are you done brushing? ... Alright, let's put your toothbrush away"...
Her response..."Nope" and she tries to sing the song again.
Soooo...we have to get creative and say..."Let's put the toothbrush to sleep...Say nite-nite toothbrush"...and she suddenly thinks it's a great idea and goes right along saying "Nie-Nie too-bush...Awwwww". And then we're fine to move on :)
At the store, Matt also got her a 97 cent easter rubber ducky that she just couldn't live without. And she was loving on it, and then being rough with it, and throwing it, and picking it up and kissing it, and then throwing it...when I caught her doing this, my first reaction would normally be to scold her and remind her that we don't throw things...which always ends in tears...but something told me that a different approach might work better. So I played the role of the poor little ducky that had just gotten thrown down and I was so sad that Avalai wasn't being nice to me...and her compassionate side kicked into gear...I said "Poor ducky, you should say you're sorry for being mean to her...she's so sad!" Avalai's eyes showed her concern, and she gingerly picked up the rubber ducky and said "Si sowwy, I niiiiice," as she hugged the duck again. I showed her how to set the ducky down "easy" if she was done playing with it, and she caught on quickly. It was so funny to see her repeatedly set the duck down ever so carefully saying "Eee-seee, eee-seee" She even felt the need to show Matt when he came in the room saying "Daddy...eeee-seee...nice ducky" I'm sure it was a better lesson than just a reminder of the rules.
She's really such a soft-hearted, precious girl. We have issues now and then with her little 2-second temper fits that we can usually quell with a stern look, and she definitely doesn't like to sit still unless she's watching Einstein DVDs (she has been begging for "Eye-Tine" since she was not much over a year...and lately "Nemo" is a very frequent request) or stacking her blocks, or reading a book. But she's a daily joy that I never realized that she'd become.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A double dose of potty success on Day 2

It's amazing what a 20 month old will do for some cheers and an excited, jumping "potty dance".
I seriously think that is her main reason for doing so well on the potty.
Today Avalai did her pee-pee on the potty several times. She's really getting the hang of it, and wants so badly to impress us. Matt's been doing a good job with being consistent with her.
Then...after a successful morning of pee-pee...I was at a 5:00 appointment when I got a call from Matt. I quickly silenced the ring, and then once I got back to the car, I saw that he'd left a message...saying...that Avalai had done POOPY in the potty too!!!! I was so proud of her!
Two years ago, I would have thought that getting excited over such a thing might be slightly over-the-top, but it's crazy how your perspective changes when little ones wind their way into your entire purpose of existence.

This evening we had a relaxing night with DJ & Susan and some of our favorite Uno's pizza.
They were laughing at how she's become such a little copy cat. If we say for instance, "Let's put on your coat." She follows with, "Your coat...?" Or "Would you like some of this?" she follows with "Of diss?" etc. She copies almost EVERYTHING she hears!
We watched the movie "Flash of Genius" about the guy who invented the intermittent wipers. It was a cool real-life story. Avalai won't ever sit still, or go to sleep in anyone else's house. So, that's always challenging, but we had a good time and got to catch up with them.

She's gotten good at saying her name. If you say, "What's your name?" She proudly says "Aaaa-vay". Susan is often "Newd-sen" and she calls me "Laur-lie" if I don't respond quickly to "Mommy".

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Potty twice in a day!

Well she did it again.

Avalai goes pee-pee in the potty!!!!

After a fitful night of Avalai waking up from teething pain, we had a successful morning.
We've been slowly working on introducing Avalai to her new potty...sitting her on it a couple times a day for a few days...she would always read books and sing with us, but no pee-pee...until this morning!
She slept in a little later than usual this morning, and when I got her up...she was soaked through again (this has been happening lately) so I took a naked, little, shivering girl to the potty for a quick try before I got her all dressed again. While she was sitting there shivering, reading one of her books...I ran to get her some fresh clothes, and by the time I got back...and started to dress her as she was still sitting there...I looked down and saw that she had gone pee-pee in the potty! I screamed excitedly, and she looked down and mirrored my excitement. I said "You did went pee-pee in the potty!" She gasped and said "I deed eet! Pee-pee, potty" and cheered and clapped for herself. We called Daddy to come and share in the triumph...and we all rejoiced in her achievement.
Yay...a successful morning in potty-training world!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The teething has begun again! Avalai played with Celia tonight (she came with Cara her mom) and Avalai just follows her around (Celia's 4) trying to do whatever she is doing.
Then bedtime comes, and Avalai tries to sleep, and ends up waking up 20 minutes later with her teeth. Poor girl, it's just pitiful to see those crocodile tears rolling down her face. She's half asleep, but in pain begging for "mulk" .

Matt laid down with her for a few minutes and looked at one of her activity books with her... and he said that when they came to a page with a younger guy who happened to be a florist on that particular page...Matt told her that he was DJ...and she lit up and was sooo excited. When he would turn the page, she would beg for "DJ...peeez???" So Matt had to keep turning back to that page and she would giggle and say "DJ...DJ" He said that it was so cute!

Hopefully this icy slush will melt and she can go outside again this weekend. She's been such an angel child for the past week. This teething stuff just messes her up...personality and all.
I'll be glad when they're all in. Then it will probably be something else I'm sure.

Listening to Avalai sing and talk to herself over the moniter ...

As I sit here trying to get some work done, I hear Avalai rambling on and on over the baby monitor. "Bible .... Book ... I Did It! ... mmmm ... Lalala" and much more. She was calling for "La Lie" several times this afternoon. She's very cute at this age with her nonstop chatter.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm so behind on this blogging thing. I'll try to update better soon.
I haven't felt that great the past couple days so I hope I can bounce out of it and not have to go back on Lyme medicine. We'll see.

We got snow yesterday and Avalai just loved it of course. We bundled her all up so well, that as she's standing there waiting with a onesie, a long john suit, a shirt, a sweater, three pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, boots, mittens and a big puffy brown we are getting our layers on, she finally looked up at us and said "" I thought least she translated that into her feeling hot. She understands when water is hot, or her food is hot...but she figured out that with all those layers on, she was HOT :)
Oh...and as we were bundling her, we kept asking her..."Where do you want to go?" She knows that when she gets shoes and coat on that she's going somewhere, of course. We expected her to say "ahsseye" to see the "peety, no"...which she had been excited about earlier when we showed her out the window. But no...she wasn't thinking about going outside and playing with us...she said..."(long dramatic gasp)...Nenan nenn Nenny!" with as much excitement as ever. Great, we thought...she doesn't actually believe that WE'RE going to go out and play with her! Oh well. We're glad she loves them so much!
Once we got outside, she was in awe for a short time, but it didn't take long for her wonderment to turn to pure glee. She was running through the snow, loving the crunch beneath her feet. She pointed out the "pint" (plant) that was growing up through the snow...and she fell down a few times, and was anxious for us to get her up quickly...but overall, she loved it, despite the freezing temps.
Cathy (our neighbor) saw us and sent us to retrieve her plastic toboggan sled from her shed. Boy did Avalai love that! Matt pushed her several times in it, and if Avalai could have chosen, she'd have had him push her on that little disc all afternoon! I did get it on video a few times. She was a good little girl, and we had fun, even though I couldn't feel most of my appendages!

Cathy left for her new job last night... and Avalai often asks for her... so it's going to be hard to not see her often now. I'm hoping something will open up so she can stay here...she just couldn't find a comparable job she's staying with her sister in VA Beach while she works down there and makes sure that she likes it.

I saved $230 on my grocery bill too last night with triple coupons. Avalai was a trooper! Considering that we were in Super Fresh from about 9 until after midnight...she's so adaptableand was nice to everyone, poor little girl. She slept well that night!

Tonight she went to the Verizon Store with me, (I so dread that place, but I needed to transfer contacts to my new Blackberry Storm that I'm still not sure that I totally like!) and even though we had a long wait as usual, Avalai made friends with everyone she saw. I was trying to teach her how to introduce herself. I would say "What's your name...tell them what your name is..." And she would point to her chest and say "Av-way" and nod her little head. She met a little 2 and a half year old boy... a 6 or 7 year old girl, and a couple of college kids chilling on the couch. It's so funny now because when she meets someone new and they tell her their name, she immediately tries to say it, and she's usually pretty right on...and always so adorably funny!

We also had to run by Lowes and Target, and she was a charming little angel. She stayed with me, rode in the cart and read a little cookie monster counting book I picked up for her. I let her pick out a new cereal bowl with a yellow birdie, and a new flower fork and spoon set. She even helped me put the items on the checkout counter. She was tired, since it was almost 10 o'clock, but she was such a sweetie pie!

Avalai was so cute she often does...she fell asleep reading books, and after a little fuss when she first woke up...she played for at least 30 or 40 minutes in her crib. Reading her Elmo activity book...telling her animals that she loves them and giving them lots of kisses. It's soooo adorable, I could just squeeze her every minute.

If only I could invent something that would make us rich enough that I wouldn't have to work and could just stay home with her...maybe someday :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Matt had a meeting first thing this morning, so Avalai and I had some "girl-time". We had cereal, read books, and danced and jumped with Imagination Movers. She loves that show, and it's great for getting kids to interact and exercise. She even let me hold her and cuddle her for a few minutes...which is a rarity. It's so funny how many kisses and "I lubboo's" I get when I really spend time with her and don't try to get something else accomplished while I'm half-way watching her.
Since it was finally a little warmer today, Matt & I took her outside to literally "run" around. She just looooves the freedom and fresh air of the outdoors. She ran the full length of our deep yard several times, just giggling with glee! Kicking leaves, picking up pinecones, playing peek-a-boo around the shed...she's delighted at all things outdoors...except getting dirt of any kind on her hands! Oh...that stops her in her tracks...and she stares at her hands and tries to shake off the dirt. She's pretty motionless until we come over and wipe them off for her.
Oh, and she was toting her little Baby Einstein caterpillar around the whole time. Needless to say, he needs to go in the washer now. Poor thing hit the ground during a few of her tumbles. It's so funny to hear her say caterpillar. Most of her words are really clear...but for her little colorful friend she says more like "patta-pitter-pilla" It cracks us up every time!
The biggest problem with going outside? She never wants to go in...and the waterworks turn on Matt always promises something like watching Elmo to help her transition back into being cooped up inside.
We got the new potty today, and she was excited to sit on it, and says "Pee-pee, potty" but hasn't quite gotten the concept of how to "release" yet...but we'll try first thing in the morning. When I went to put her diaper back on, she said "Dipe back on?...Nope!" She cried when I insisted that she had to wear a diaper. She's kind of like that. Happy and excited one minute...then tell her to, or make her do anything she doesn't want to do, and it's instant tears for about 2 minutes. We don't let them phase us...we distract her with other questions or interests and she's back to her happy-go-lucky self again.
Lately bedtime has been a huge chore! Oh, if only we could get Avalai to go down to sleep easily...then we might be able to get a few things done ourselves before we turn in for the night. She just doesn't want to give in and tonight it was an hour and a half from when she went to bed at 9 til she finally gave in. I feel bad because I kind of understand...I can't fall asleep easily without watching tv til I can't keep my eyes open anymore. Without tv as a distraction, my overactive brain gets in the way of the calm drifting into sleep that I think you're supposed to have. So I hope she doesn't have a similar issue with sleep. We always turn her music on to help lull her into sleep, but she often just wants to sing with it!
Well, Matt & I finished watching our Tivo'd Survivor, and there's more work to do before we can sleep, so until tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today Avalai was more fussy I guess...or at least more moody because of her teething.
She's been fighting sleep lately, which is kind of crazy since she's yawning and rubbing her eyes all the time.
I picked her up at about 4:45 and took her with me to pick up Kim and run some errands and pick up bogo free Quizno's. I reminded her of who Kim is...(they've met before several times) and she quickly was saying "Hi Tim" ...We'll have to work on the "k" :)
When we dropped Kim off at her house, she invited us in to see their renovations...and Avalai quickly spotted her cat "Snickers". Oh that poor cat was not thrilled at the attention he was getting from Avalai. She was yelling "cat, cat, cat!" and meowing as she chased the poor thing around the house. He tried to hide under the table...she climbed right under there after him. Trying to pet his tail and then putting her face right up to his...he would eventually growl and run off as she said "Oh no!" and chased back after him.

...I'm coming back to this one and editing, because as I was typing last night, Avalai woke up screaming...and I rushed up to see if she was ok...(she sometimes pokes her foot in between the rails and then when she rolls gets stuck, and she squeals...) and she was sitting up screaming with a nightmare or her teething I guess. So...I'm not usually able to snuggle with her, so...I took the opportunity...and capitalized on her grogginess...and we snuggled as I rubbed her head and she played with my hair until she fell back asleep. That only works when she's half asleep :) But it was precious. Worth not getting the rest of my work done for. :) more thing I wanted to mention on this post...for the longest time we wouldn't let Avalai do stairs by herself, and we ferociously kept her from the tops of staircases. She just didn't easily grasp the concept that it went down, and she would fall. She would just walk up to stairs and nearly keep walking as if there were an invisible flat floor there for her to walk onto. Thankfully this became apparent to us when she was atop single step-downs on a couple of occasions. So we caught her and it would have only been a one-step fall. But that got me paranoid that she would treat steep staircases the same way. So, although Mom taught her how to climb up stairs when she was 14 months, and we would let her climb up them ONLY if we were following directly behind her as she went, we ALWAYS carried her down any stairs until she was about 19 months.
I finally decided that we should probably teach her a safer way to go down stairs...mainly to protect her if she somehow got away from us and faced that situation. Soooo we several times showed her how to sit down, and go down one step at a time while she was seated. She loved the idea of course, and soon wanted to do it all the time. She'd run ahead of me, and I kept reminding her..."Sit, Sit! Wait for me!" well before she got to the edge of the stairs. She proved to be a good listener and always obeyed. And in a couple weeks, I could trust her to better handle it on her own. I still want her to wait for me and I go down first and back down to be sure she doesn't slide forward and flip on our slippery stairs...but...she knows the drill and is very faithful to drop down to a sitting position a couple yards from the stairs sometimes and then scoot down the hallway to the edge of the stairs.'s become normal at home since we have two staircases, but when we were heading out the front door at Kim's house...we were talking, and she opened the door slowly, when suddenly I hear "plop" and thought Avalai fell somehow...well, she had come around from behind me, and since she saw the single little half-step onto the front patio coming up...she had plopped down and was scooting her little bottom off that mini-step. As I was cracking up and trying to explain her actions to Kim...Avalai continues to scoot across the entire porch until she comes to the final single little half-step that dropped down just a bit to the front yard.
I was a little dismayed at the grunge I was sure that she had added to her outfit as she had scooted along the dirty stone patio, but it was just too funny to be upset. And she was doing exactly what I had taught her about steps. I was strangely proud of her obedience and recognition of the situation!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm so awful at keeping up with the documentation of the daily ups and downs of life. And since Avalai's almost 20 months old now, I feel guilty for not recording all of her amazing growth thus far.
So, I'm determined to do a better job of recording all the cute words, hilarious moments and wonderment of her toddlerhood yet to come so that she can look back and read about what a wonderful child she was!
Our little word-whiz has an amazing vocabulary! She probably knows 300 words, and will quickly repeat most any word you ask her to.
She's just begun to do a lot of pretending. Like finding a stray washcloth and pretending to wash her big bunny...or pretending to drink from an empty cup, and then feeding her little monkey some of the invisible liquid.
I just a couple days ago told her about her "Little Piggy toes" and she insisted that I repeat the rhyme several times that evening saying "Again" as she giggled. Of course she loves the end part. So, today while I was in the shower (she often plays in the bathroom as I take a shower so that I can keep her out of Daddy's hair for a half hour) she kept saying "Foot, Foot" and I didn't realize what she was getting at, and I just said, "You're right honey, that's mommy's foot." After her repeated pointing out of my foot...she finally said, "Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, ..........home" skipping the words in between. So I finally got it, and put my foot up on the side of the tub as she pushed the curtain back and was trying to do the little piggy game with my foot. She didn't get all the words right of course, but she would touch one toe at a time down the line from big toe to littlest one, and would end her babble with "Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, ..........home" and lots of giggling. It was such a sweet, cute example of what a sponge she is. Soaking up any info we give her, and wanting to repeat it herself!
Even funnier was when she saw Matt without his shirt on (which isn't that common actually). He has some hair that's kind of thicker on his stomach, and there are some areas that are thinner than others...I guess you could say it might be in a horizontal stripey pattern...
Avalai definitely thought so. She pointed right at his stomach and said "Zeeba" and smiled, then said it again! And she definitely knows exactly what a zebra is! In fact she knows most every animal she loves critters of almost any kind.
She saw squirrels like twice in our yard from the window...and for weeks whenever she looks out the window she calls for them "Curr-ell, Curr-ell!" As if they're going to hear her and come running!
Oh, and although she's been able to say "dog" since about 8 months (I guess it initially sounded more like "Dough" then by 10 months became "Doag", then by about 12 months became "Dog" or "Doggie")...and since about 8 months she's been able to do an "erf, erf" kind of bark...she stayed for two days in a row with our neighbor Cathy Deluca whose dog Avalai is always intrigued by...and she knows his name is Rudy. Well, after actually being around the big yellow lab for that amount of time...she's decided that a dog doesn't just go "Erf, Erf." Now her little barking sound is followed by a lengthy, tongue-hanging out pant as she says "Heh, huh, heh, huh, heh, huh" She had to have picked that up from him because we never told her that!
She had fun playing with Little John Dicarlo when we went by the Dicarlo open house this afternoon. He's 2 and a half, and was very good with her, considering that she was shadowing him everywhere! He shared his "tomato pie-pizza" with her. She was over his shoulder saying "Pizza, pizza...peeeeeez!" So, he turned and let her take a bite of his! I cringed a little at the germy aspect, but it was done, and kind of cute. And it was nice of such a little guy to be willing to share. She of course showed off her back bend stretches, and her ostrich move. She always knows that those antics can impress a crowd, so she pulls them out often when we're in a group.
We got a couple new books from Ollie's. One color book about penguin Rob, and one touch and feel book about things on a farm. She loves them both of course!
We dropped in on Jenny and Leland tonight too. Since we were out already and we haven't seen them in over a week...and...Avalai asks about them all the time! They've got their house looking great! All the big projects are out of the way, and only little touch ups needed. Anyway, Avalai was overjoyed from the moment we told her we were heading to see them. She loooooves her Aunt "Nenny" and Uncle "Neenand"! And even Chia whom she was calling "Sheerah" tonight for some reason. She loves to run down their hallway, and into every room. She's such an explorer. She found Leland's deoderant "noerant" as she says...his tweezers...the battery cover to the remote... It's amazing how kids just find everything! After lots of spinning and dancing and laughing and running, we headed home to get her to bed. And she was saying "Bubbye Neenand, Bubbye Nan Nenny" throughout the car ride home!
She surprised me and told me right after she did a poopy diaper tonight. She normally denies it if you ask her. I hadn't even asked, and she pointed to her bottom and said, "poopy". Good thing I ordered the new potty chair from Amazon today. I think she may be ready to start. And we're ready to stop buying diapers!
We talked to Matt's dad and my mom today. It's nice that they appreciate all the pictures we send. It makes me feel like all the time and effort that goes into taking them, sorting them, editing them, and posting them is worth it. It's the best way to keep all our family and friends up to date with how fast she's growing, and the vast range of her silly...exhuberant...and somber expressions.
Oh...and Avalai decided that she did NOT need a nap today. Although we put her up in her crib twice for an hour each time...she cried for a short time and them gave up and talked to her animals, read her books and sang the entire time! Not a wink of sleep for our crazy girl! (She usually does all of that before a nap, but for like 20 minutes before she dozes off). So, bedtime was a little easier tonight. She was absolutely exhausted. As are we now that it's 1:45 am. Hopefully we can get to bed earlier at least a few nights this week.
...Until tomorrow... goodnight.