ava's blog

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self feeding

ava is a lousy eater. she's not a picky eater - she turns up her nose equally at broccoli and ice cream, she's just a bad eater. ava is at best disinterested, and at worst fiendishly opposed to the whole concept of eating. this is difficult to deal with as a) she's not really old enough to understand that if she doesn't eat, she'll be hungry and b) she can't quite feed herself, so you are forced to suffer through the experience with her. the latter is aggravated by the fact that she is unusually fussy about food texture, a slow learner in the chewing department, and therefore hard to engage in typical "finger foods".

thankfully, right on schedule (18 months) ava is finally developing the dexterity necessary to successfully pilot a spoon from bowl to mouth. ava has to be in the right mood to bother with this whole feeding thing, and i have to be in the right mood to clean up the resulting disaster area, but when all the stars are aligned, she winds up looking quite pleased with herself.

first phone call

like most kids, ava's very interested any electronic device with buttons. remote controls are a big hit, as well as phones. however, as of late december, phones and remote controls were indistinguishable to ava, and neither had anything to do with conversing.

over christmas i let her play with grandma's cordless home phone for awhile. i kept an eye on the button pushing, but her keystrokes were so random she never seemed to make an actual call. at one point though, she picked up the phone to her cheek and said "hi", "hi". grandma and i were both surprised and delighted and gave her a little round of applause for this new skill acquired.

a few days later my dad mentioned that he had "enjoyed his phone call from ava". phone call from ava i thought . . . we didn't call grandpa? then i remembered the play session and laughed. not only had ava said "hi" to the phone for the first time, she'd actually been speaking with her grandfather!

since then her phone skills have progressed nicely, and today she even had a nice chat with her grandma about what they were going to do today :

grandma : "we're going to the park so you need to put on your coat and shoes"
ava : "park?"
grandma : "yes, now go put on your coat."
ava : "shoes?"

big girl

ava has reached the age where she prefers to do most things the "big girl way". i'll take a porcelain dish, a soup spoon and a grown-up chair with my yogurt please.

never mind that i cannot possibly see what's inside this bowl. mommy was trying to eat it before i booted her off the chair, so it must be good.

pink marshmallow

initially, our coastal california babe was not a fan of either snow or snow-clothes. ava's boots were particularly challenging for her. we were all transported back in time a few months, to an era in which the baby would suddenly appear lying on her face on the ground sobbing. fortunately, snow is very low abrasion, so no permanent damage was done.

by the end of her canadian visit, ava was getting used to her winter gear and enjoying the snow. she still looked like a big pink marshmallow though.

in the meadow we can build a snowman

while we in thunder bay, grandma organized a traditional sleigh ride, way out in the country past a little town called kakabeka falls, where a little girl named cailin used to live. the day of the sleigh ride dawned dark, gloomy and raining in town. i called mark to finalize arrangements, assured him that it was not raining in the country, and as i hung up the phone it started to pour. the thunder bay natives rallied nonetheless, showing up with five kids and three umbrellas.

thankfully, the weather gods smiled and the rain turned to snow moments before we reached our destination. the sleigh ride was exactly as i remembered those in my childhood. the neighborhood bullies gleefully tossed the small children off the sleigh and into the snow, we stopped for a hot chocolate and cookies break and john built ava a snowman. more pics

fifty six cookies

while ava was in thunder bay for christmas, she did a lot of cooking with grandma. they made homemade bread, three kinds of cranberry sauce, carrot soup and numerous other things. ava perches atop the kitchen stool, and grandma arranges herself in such a way as to keep ava from unexpectedly jumping off.

we all pitched in to make the christmas cookies. ava was of dubious value during the cookie rolling stage, but she really enjoyed the decorating. we had to form an assembly line just to keep up with her. john and i iced as fast as they could, ava provided the sprinkles, and grandma kept the whole line moving, delivering fresh cookies to be iced, and whisking away the final products before ava could decide it was time to take the sprinkles off again.

in the end ava decorated fifty-six cookies (i was so amazed, i had to count).

christmas tree

this week ava has a cold and her top molars are arriving. when her bottom molars appeared, she spent a couple of hours lying in a heap on the floor sobbing her little heart out. and then, miraculously, it was just over. if i'd known in advance how brief it would be, it would have been borderline humorous. at the time though, i was really worried that we were all in for a long stretch of pain.

her top molars are taking a little longer to work their way through, but only seem to bother her first thing in the morning. the first morning of this episode was the one i chose to go get a christmas tree. yup, that was alot of fun.

by evening though, ava managed to rally to the cause of decorating the christmas tree. she caught on right away to the idea of putting the ornaments on the tree, and gave herself a round of applause to celebrate her accomplishment.

tv friends

while the grown-ups eat dinner, ava often enjoys 20 minutes of television. sometimes, her large collection of "friends" watch with her.

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