Teething Sucks.

It’s 11:50pm as I start to write this, but I didn’t want to start the week off with no post! This week, due to the craziness that comes with a FIRST BIRTHDAY, I may not post daily. I’ll do my best but just giving fair warning!

We’ve had a rough couple of days with Ava. Father’s Day was wonderful, but Ava got her very first fever. I promise, this girl has never been warmer than 98 degree in her life, and 4 days to go she got a fever of 101. I mean, when I got her up from her nap she was burning to the touch. It was the weirdest thing I’ve felt in my life. And even weirder, because she has never had one, I just assumed it was because she was covered with her blanket during nap time. I gave her Tylenol anyway, but mainly because she’s been teething. The day went on as normal, and she didn’t complain. She wasn’t happy but she didn’t complain. Hours later, when we were done running around and back at my parents’ house for a Father’s Day cookout, I came into the house to find Ava laying with my mom on the couch. Ava didn’t lift her head or anything when I walked in, so I knew she was feeling bad. Again, she was burning up, and sure enough her temp was high.

This has continued through today, though her temp is between 99 and 100. She seems happier but I still feel bad for her. We see the tooth culprit coming in next to the first one, so we’re hoping it comes through without many more days of this, and without any ear infections. How awful would that be to celebrate your first birthday?

While caring for a sick baby, we’re trying to tie up the last details of Ava’s party. It’s been rough. But it will be great.

Thanks for bearing with me through the woes of teething. All you mamas and daddies out there know what I’m talking about! You want to know the funniest part? I thought we were in the clear when Ava got her first tooth with minimal symptoms. I thought they were bad, but she was mainly just fussy and achy. Never before feverish. Good grief.

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo…

…how about you, you, you?

Does anyone else remember that song? I had forgotten about it from my childhood, but was reminded when my mom started singing it last weekend. Last Saturday was Ava’s first trip to the zoo. It was really cool to see her look at all the different animals, and even funnier to see her look at all the people. You know how it is, you sometimes see a larger variety of people than animals!

She seemed to have a lot of fun, and didn’t become Grumpy Butt, despite her makeshift car nap on the way there.

When we arrived, we met up with our friends, their two kids, and the dad’s little brother, and headed straight to the aquarium. Now, we’ve taken Ava places before, and are pretty acquainted with navigating the stroller, but it’s a whole different ballpark when 1) the point of being there is so your kid can see stuff (it was almost pointless bringing the stroller… she was out of it more than in), and 2) there are 1,000,001 other parents with strollers going to the same exact fish tank window. Holy cow. That’s all I can say.

Ava didn’t really care about the fish… I’m not sure she really knew what she was looking at yet, and this was the first close-up with all those kids she was eyeing earlier. I took her out of her stroller, and tried to show her the fish, then the jelly fish, then the sea horses, but basically every kid around us was more exciting than them, so we didn’t linger long. And frankly, my friend’s two-yr-old was ready to move on within a few minutes as well, so it really worked out perfectly!

We stopped a little longer at the penguin exhibit. This was probably Ava’s favorite stop. You could see the penguins at eye level, and they were active so she paid attention to them. Then they would jump into the water, swim around, and pop back out. She laughed and talked to them for a bit, and then we moved on. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a play by play, this was about as excited as she got).

We moved on, and about 90 minutes, 20 animals, and 35 ins and outs of the stroller, we called it a day. It really was a great time, but I was ready to be done because of my #2 from above…

But that’s a rant for another day. I originally wanted to include it in this post, but it became a post of its own, and I wanted to keep this one focused on the happy event of Ava’s first zoo trip, not an irritated rant about pushy parents in public places.

Take a look at our day at the zoo! 
1.) The Indy Zoo has a dog shark exhibit, where you can actually pet these sharks. Here’s where Daddy was trying. Ava and I passed this time, though I have pet them before.
2.) Ava was chillin’ in her stroller, watching the seals.
3.) This Flamingo insisted on getting a close-up picture. It honestly made me a little nervous, but he was still far away, despite how it looks in the picture.
4.) The giraffe; the zoo keeper was feeding it, which Ava seemed more interested in than the giraffe itself.
5.) This one is for Grampa, who told Ava to say “hi” to the Rhinos for him. We waved.
6.) I thought this guy was pretty cool. Ava was more interested in her cheerios.

Zoo Collage

That’s it! We had a great time.

P.S. we are ONE WEEK away from Ava’s first birthday!

Pigtails

How in the world do you mamas fix your little girls’ hair?

Holy moly, I tried putting Ava’s hair in a little pony tail last night, and I could hardly get her to sit still long enough to get the hair ties in her hair! She may be six before we get the hang of this. I know some moms who create tutorials to teach people how to do their baby daughters’ hair, and frankly, that’s genius. Hello, some of us need help. The styles are so cute and age appropriate for tiny people, and I doubt I would have thought of (most of) them myself, so I’m definitely grateful for them… however, it still doesn’t help me solve the problem of putting pigtails on this child. Make a tutorial for that!

Here’s a taste of last night’s styling:

top knot

Oof, right? I also tried pigtails, but it was very lopsided. I didn’t leave enough hair for the second side, so the other pigtail was more straight out of the back of her head. But really, can you blame me for not measuring the hair better? It was cute and made me laugh, but I’ll need to work on it. I took a picture, but The Blur was in all of them.

On another note, I’ve been meaning all week to recount our day last Saturday, but I haven’t had the time to go through all the pictures I took. So hopefully tomorrow’s the day. Saturday was a good day, but it opened my eyes a bit to the kind of parents Caleb and I are, and the kind we need to be to go to the zoo.

Blessed.

What a day.

I should just start by saying that I am very blessed in the friends and family we are surrounded with. Today we were blessed with our first niece, the little sister to our only nephew, who just turned two. And let me tell you… She is adorable!

It almost kills me, they live 9 hours from us, so we aren’t able to hold the new little sweetie for a few more weeks. But I’ve been told the baby girl is very precious, and the pictures exude beauty, even though I know they don’t do her justice. I can’t wait to meet her and see our growing family again.

I won’t go into all the details, but I have to say my sister-in-law is one of the most B.A. people I know. I received a call at 2:30 this morning that she gave birth in her car while they were rushing to the hospital. I know it happens sometimes, but for real, I am just so impressed. Not many I know can say they gave birth without drugs (I surely didn’t!), but I don’t know anyone else who did it without medical assistance in a moving vehicle. And to top it off, I am just always so overwhelmed by the miracle of birth. Plain and simple. It’s beautiful.

The whole story so early in the morning made me very nostalgic about this time last year, right before I had Ava. Needless to say, it was a day full of memories, and it was even sweeter to see my baby after work and snuggle with her a bit. She’s getting so big and growing so fast, she seems too busy for much mama time.

I am so thankful for the health and safety of my entire family, especially my sister-in-law and new little niece! So blessed.

Fancy Restaurants & Aldi

I love my baby. And I love taking her places. I love shopping with her, and taking her on walks, and normally there’s no problem with doing just about anything I used to do pre-baby with her, but lately I’ve noticed two things I have come to dread if she’s along:

Fancy Restaurants and Aldi.

Let’s start with Fancy Restaurants. We went to dinner with a friend a few nights ago, and took Ava with us. To be fair, we didn’t know this was a fancy restaurant. I was there once for dinner before my Senior Prom, but that was 6 years ago. I should have remembered… I mean come on. Prom is fancy. Hello.

So we walked in, and I immediately turned around and whispered “This place is FANCY.” Inside, I was panicking, but I stayed cool (I think).  We were there to eat, so we were going to eat.

We went in and sat down, and I got Ava situated in her high chair with some yogurt bites, and things were okay. Things were okay until we ordered, and then she started yelling. She does that sometimes. Just yells. Mostly during dinner. She’s not upset about anything, just loud. No big deal, just give her a pouch. So I gave her a pouch of fruit–something, banana and beets. She inhaled it. Quiet for 5 minutes. Then the yelling. Have some toys. Another bit of quiet. Yelling. Finally, our food came, and I gave her some, which kept her busy for awhile, and then some more yelling. Good grief.

After awhile, all I could think about was getting out of there. I could just imagine people glaring at us, wondering why my child was yelling. They probably weren’t, but still. In my mind they already stoned me for interrupting their meals.

End of Fancy Restaurants forever. Until she learns manners.

Now on to Aldi, which was actually earlier last week. This was bound to happen eventually, but up until then, I hadn’t been grocery shopping with Ava solo. I’ve taken her to Wal-Mart before, for smaller-scale shopping, but never full-fledged grocery shopping.

I should have known it wasn’t going to be easy when I got a cart with no seat belt. I should have returned it, but it seemed like all of them were missing or broken, and I didn’t have the time or the hands to go through them all.

I went between holding her and pushing the cart one-handed, and making sure she stayed seated when in the cart. Either way was a struggle. I basically had one hand the whole time, which made bagging fresh fruits really difficult. Not to mention I couldn’t focus enough on why I was there to even take my list out of my purse, forgetting several main staples.

The absolute worst part of the trip, which is why I’m specifically saying I’ll never take her back to Aldi by myself, was checking out.

In order to get all my groceries onto the belt, I had to go to the back of the cart, obviously meaning I couldn’t leave Ava unbuckled and unattended at the front. I had to do it again one handed, with her “helping” remove each item I put down. A gracious woman offered to help, and I thought it was because she was a veteran new mom, and she was sympathetic… which still may be true, but afterwards I noticed she had like 5 items, and probably was in a hurry. Ava tried helping push all the buttons as I paid for my groceries, and fortunately the cashier thought she was adorable, because I was embarrassed and frustrated. Shopping shouldn’t be this hard. And have you tried bagging groceries yourself with a baby on your hip? Yeah, neither have I. I gave up trying and just went straight to the car. She went in her seat, and I could take care of the rest on my own. No help from baby. And with two hands.

I left Aldi and went to Wal-Mart to get the things Aldi didn’t have (along with the items I forgot the first time), and it was like a dream. So easy and smooth sailing. Not sure what made the difference, but it was by far much more enjoyable that Aldi.

Mama = Party Planner

One job I hadn’t exactly imagined I’d take on when becoming a mama is party planner. Around Ava’s 7th month, I had the daunting realization that her first birthday was more or less around the corner. Even though it’s not going to be a royal ball or anything, I want to throw a nice, special party. I want to celebrate my baby, and give others the opportunity to as well. Not to mention I love any excuse to see our friends and families!

I’m a novice party planner to say the least. I have a million great ideas, but who knows how I expect all of them to work together. So the 5 months of preparation was needed. On top of Ava’s birthday, I have Father’s Day around the corner. And since men aren’t so easy to buy for… it’s going to take some work.

Have you ever tried to surprise your kid’s dad for Father’s Day? Or any other gift-giving occasion, for that matter. It’s really hard!

I can’t go into a whole lot of detail without divulging my great plan, but basically, while Caleb and I were at youth group last night, my mom came over and helped prepare the surprise. There’s more to do, so I’ll need to be super sneaky again, but I have a week and a half to get it done.

On another note, we are two weeks away from Avie’s first birthday, and 16 days until her party!! I still have several projects to finish, the food to finish planning, and the house and yard to keep in shape. Did I mention I haven’t gotten her birthday presents yet??

The good news is, the invitations are out and the RSVPs are rolling in! More good news, not only will Caleb’s family be coming all the way from Pennsylvania for Ava’s birthday, but our best friends and their 1-year-old daughter from Wisconsin are making the trip to Indiana as well! We are beyond excited that so many of the people we love dearly – both near and far – are coming to celebrate our little girl. We are truly blessed for such wonderful families and friends.

Ava party invite

This is Ava’s 1st birthday invitation. Isn’t it beautiful?? Our friend Jessie from the No. 18 Paper Co. created it and it’s perfect!

Graduations and Celebrations

The other day, as I was looking over my Facebook news feed, I showed my hubs a picture of a kindergarten graduation.

“Since when do kids need a graduation ceremony to move to first grade?”

True, I don’t remember graduating from kindergarten. I don’t know when it all started, I told him.

“I don’t think it’s necessary.”

I don’t think I said much in response, but I don’t mind little graduations. I think they are cute.

But over the next day or so, I began noticing something. Ava started standing for brief periods. I’m talking 3 seconds. It was so exciting! The same day, Ava learned that if she holds a cheerio out, we will eat it out of her hand. We totally humor her and encourage this, but it’s so cute! If she sees a dog, she will “woof” at it. Totally impressive, and we show off her skills every chance we get.

And almost immediately, we try to get this all on camera or video, and share it with our family.

We are complete gushers when it comes to our daughter. The tiniest thing she does make us go through the roof with pride and joy, and we don’t hesitate to celebrate her picking up a piece of trash off the floor and attempting to put it in the trash can.

Of course kindergarten graduations are a big deal! You’ve just watched your baby grow up for 6 years! So much has been accomplished, and I’m sure it’s emotional. Just you wait, daddy-o, that day will come and you’ll be gushing once again.

Cheerio

 

When Daddy does bath time…

Last night, daddy took care of Ava’s bath time. Normally I do it, but as I was bringing the Naked Baby into the bathroom, she decided to relieve herself down the front of me. There was lots of laughter (we have gone 11.5 months without that happening… what are the odds?!), and then I plopped her in the tub under daddy’s supervision and went to change.

When I came back, this is what I found:

Bath time with daddy

“Hey! These foam letters stick to more than the tub walls!” and “I wonder how long I can leave those on her before she notices” were some of the comments coming from the bathroom, so of course I came prepared with my phone, ready to take pictures. She obviously didn’t mind, and they had fun.

The last picture there on the bottom is of Ava on her phone. Ring ring! “Hello, Ava?” She grabs her yellow foam 1 and holds it up to her ear and squeaks out the cutest little gibberish hello you’ve ever heard.

And that sums up bath time with daddy! When it was all said and done, we had one prune-y baby who was ready for bed.

How to soothe a teething baby

How to soothe a teething baby:

  1. You can’t.
  2. Nothing works.

But seriously, there are a few things that help Ava when her gums hurt, but no “cure-all” by any means. That would make parenting too easy, ha! Here are some of the techniques that we’ve used:

  • Cold/frozen teething ring – the cold numbs her gums and gives relief; however, it also numbs her lips and she only tolerates is for a short time
  • Cold washcloth – more gentle than the teether, so it may give relief longer. Ava also like sucking the cold water out of the washcloth. Not sure if she’s thirsty or if it feels good, but she’s content!
  • Baltic amber necklace – This is seriously awesome. It’s a natural way to make teething less painful… When the necklace touches warm skin, it releases Succinic Acid and reduces swelling.These come in necklace, bracelet, and anklet form, and are not to be chewed. You can find them on Bouncy Baby Boutique – this is where we bought Ava’s. It seems to work well, and she never messes with it. Best of all, we don’t need to use medicine! The biggest downside is that we have to take it off each time she goes down for a nap, because it is only supposed to be worn under supervision, and we often forget to put it back on her.
  • Tylenol – this is our go-to solution around bedtime. Ava gets especially fussy at night time, and it helps her sleep and sleep longer. Of course, if you have to do Tylenol, look for the dye-free version (they sell most places now, such at Target and Wal-Mart), and make sure you use the correct dosage for your baby.

Like I said, these help to an extent, but we haven’t found anything that works extremely long term. But I guess that’s just teething! Good thing they won’t remember it when it’s all over. It just stinks to see them so uncomfortable.