ava's blog

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portrait of a wiggler

2ow, all of a sudden, this baby gets around. no crawling just, yet, but hey, why crawl when you can roll and wiggle instead? of course, the basic issue that one can only roll sideways makes plotting out a course towards a target a complicated series of tacks, rather like sailing upwind. guess she's training for her future kite surfing career.

ode to my home town

in mid march, my mother was walking out to her car in the university parking lot and chatting with a student. my mom asked the girl what she was doing that weekend, and the girl replied that she was going surfing. my mother responded "oh, where?", expecting a reply along the lines of "hawaii", and instead got "terrace bay", a small town just down the road from thunder bay. amazingly, my mom had the forethought to demand proof of this claim, and sure enough, a few days later the girl emailed my mom these pictures. surfing. lake superior. february. snow. water temp barely above freezing. air temperature at god knows what below zero.

this led me to ponder the phenomenon of the native residents of my home town. . . .

as infants, they spend half their time, not in strollers, but in sleds. as soon as they can (barely) walk, they have skis strapped to their feet and are either marched cross-country through the woods, or pointed straight down the bunny slope. as kids, they have battery-powered heaters installed in their ski boots so that they can stay out for just-one-more-run in the -20C weather. as young adults, they endure millions and millions of mosquitos, taking on summer jobs to either re-plant the boreal forest, or battle the seasonal forest fires. when they retire, they build small fortresses on private islands, or, at the very least, remodel their summer homes and abandon the comforts of town for as many months of the year as possible. as their health starts to fail, they weather a heart attack or two, and then take up sea kayaking. and when they are truly old, they cheerily cling to plastic deck chairs, skating across the deck of fishing boats in 8 foot Lake Superior swell. i can only hope that Ava will be half this cool . . . guess I'll have to send her up north for plenty of training.

toothy grin

check out those teeth! ava's teeth are now 2 -3 mm long and are as sharp and serrated as a knife. both john and I have let out surprised howls as she unexpectedly bit down on an arm (me) or nose (John). i am fully in awe that it is quite common for mother's to continue breastfeeding post-teeth. ouch. ava has also busted out with her first real consonant-vowel combination : "boo-ba-ba". she's been saying "bweh", "bweh" for awhile now, but that usually came out halfway between a "b" sound and "blowing a raspberry". she also says "mum-mum-mum", but she only does that when she's crying. hmmm . . .

eating the park

continuing on from our last thread, to say that Ava is currently obsessed with putting everything in her mouth, would be to describe her current modus operandi mildly. this is evident no matter where we go, and no matter what we're doing. now that Ava can sit up, taking her to the park is much more fun. we visit a variety of favourite spots where she can explore the world beneath her. typically, I spend most of the time continually removing all nearby small objects from her mouth. however, today i decided to temporarily retire this effort, and instead have a chuckle and take some pictures. (don't worry, she didn't actually swallow anything and magnolia petals, while not on her pediatrician's list of recommended foods for 7 month olds, are edible.)

one irony of ava's desire to put everything in her mouth, is that she can put just about anything in her mouth except most things she's supposed to eat. her problem is that she still picks up everything with a palmar grasp, not a pincer grasp. for example, she'll pick up a cheerio, but she can only carry it from table to mouth clutched in her palm. once her hand reaches her mouth, she can neither see the cheerio (hidden in palm) nor figure out how to get her fingers out of the way to get Cheerio from palm to mouth.

watch Ava brave ice cold water to snag a tasty treat here.

dots room project

getting ava's room ready was a long project that lasted from april, through late july 2006. after much expert photoshop modelling by john, I finally applied the first bits of paint to the wall of the soon-to-be nursery. even at a mere 5 months pregant, painting bugs 6 inches off the floor was not exactly easy.

by the time my mom came to visit in mid-June, most of the painting was complete (see bugs and bees in background) and the furniture was all assembled. my mom helped put the finishing touches on the room, going shopping for the softer side of things (crib bedding, etc).

the final hurdle was the infamous michelangelo phase. as time was getting down to the wire (july 24th) john made a surprise comeback, crawled up on scaffoling (thanks robin) and painted the own and the moon with almost no warmup. i provided professional advice and paint-mixing support from the ground.

the early dot

at 18 weeks, dot had (her!) first detailed checkup. in addition to verifying John's emphatic belief that dot is, indeed, a girl, the ultrasound also revealed dot to have all the appropriate bits and pieces in the correct proportions. she woke up towards the end of the ultrasound and put on a pretty good limb stretching show. see dot's ultrasounds for more pics (including the scary "monster baby" photo),

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