Friday, November 7, 2014

Ava: 2 Years

I haven't done an Ava update since 18 months (and of course I'm 2 months late with this 2 year post) so she's practically a teenager by now. In looking back at the 18 month post, she seems like such a baby compared to now when she seems more little girl than baby with every passing day.

She's talking in sentences now although she still alternates between short phrases or single words (especially when she's upset or really wants something, like "lunch!!!"). I think her speech is pretty clear although occasionally I can't understand and Daddy needs to step in and translate (not sure why, but he's better at knowing what she's saying sometimes).

Some funny things she says are "come on now!" (as in, I want you to come here or do this), saying Snow Wipe instead of Snow White, and "hold you" when she wants to be held (I haven't had the heart to correct her). We went to a pumpkin patch at the beginning of the fall and after that she called all pumpkins "punkin' patch!" She also uses "how 'bout" in a funny way. Like instead of asking for something she'll say "how 'bout ___?" As we were walking down the stairs one morning she looks up at me and says "How 'bout pancakes? I'll try it. With dip dip!" (which means syrup).

She's doing a lot of singing now too. Some favorites are Let It Go (which I woke up to her singing in the crib this morning), Twinkle Twinkle, Ashes Ashes (Ring Around the Rosie) and Rain Rain Go Away. And not a day goes by that she doesn't request Shake It Off. She can say her ABCs and count to 14-ish (but a lot of time she skips around).

She potty trained right around her 2nd birthday, thanks to daycare. I really had very little to do with it other than buying her some Elmo and Frozen underwear. She took to it pretty quickly, I think mostly due to modeling and peer pressure from others in her class.  Score one for daycare! She still has the occasional accident but for the most part she tells us when she needs to go and when we're home she'll do the whole routine practically by herself.

Favorite outside activities include sidewalk chalk, riding her "four wheeler," going for walks and playing at the park. Inside she likes playing with play doh, coloring (although sometimes she'd rather me color and her direct than color herself), and LOVES stickers.

TV favorites are Sofia the First and Barney -- yes, there are 10 year old episodes of Barney available on-demand (which on our HDTV look like you're watching something from 1982) that have sucked my child into a show that has been off the air for 5 years. She's also obsessed with Frozen and I recently introduced her to the magic that is The Little Mermaid. We're going to Disney at the beginning of the year (!!!) so I'm starting to introduce her to the princesses.

Ava's personality is really starting to shine. She can be a typical terrible two toddler, complete with whining, demanding, melting down, and the occasional hitting/throwing (followed by her own "not nice!"). But she can also be really affectionate, sweet, silly, and fun. Happy 2 years Ava!

Picking blueberries with Sugar

Eating her harvest; also, pigtails!

Loves fro yo - who doesn't?

Excited about water day at school

Loves her NeNe

Eating grapes off the vine in the backyard

School birthday party

Baby Lily wanted to watch TV too

Dress like a farmer day at school

State Fair fun


Ava loved Halloween and trick-or-treating

And she's already excited for Christmas!

I have a feeling this Christmas will be fun :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ava's Barnyard Bash 2nd Birthday

Ava turned two at the beginning of September, and we had a pretty epic bash to celebrate! I had decided early in the year that I wanted to do a farm-themed party and host it at our family's farm back home in eastern NC. It turned out to be a perfect backdrop for a perfect day.

As all good parties do, it started with the invite.

I ordered these and matching address labels from Etsy seller Delight Paperie. They were backed with red gingham which I loved.

As guests arrived, they were directed down the path to the party by a tractor and balloons.

We held the party under one of the barns on the farm. The shelter at the back provided nice shade from the unseasonably hot day. Plus it provided gorgeous views of the farm.

Tables were covered with either gingham tablecloths or burlap table runners, with sunflowers as centerpieces.

Upon arriving, the young and young at heart were encouraged to don bandanas and cowboy hats.

The food table was decorated with a gingham overlay, galvanized letters spelling Ava's name, and miniature hay bales that displayed the farm-themed name of each dish.

The "watering hole" included lemonade, mason jars tied with twine and gingham ribbon and a galvanized tub full of bottled water, juice boxes and glass bottle Cokes.

To help entertain the littles, we set up a big galvanized tub, lined it with burlap and filled it with corn and toys (tractors, measuring cups, a funnel, farm animals). It was a big hit with the kids.

Ava's Pa refurbishes old lawn tractors so we set up a mini one for the kids to sit on.

Pa even took it for a spin.

But the biggest hit of the day was by far the HORSES!

Stepping Stones Stables came out with a bevy of horses for the kids and adults to enjoy.

Out on the hill the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and I think everyone had a blast.

The chickens next door were a bit hit too. (We even had a rooster cock-a-doodle-doo-ing in the background of the party!)

No birthday party is complete without cake, and we had a beautiful one thanks to the Cake Construction Company. Even though the heat caused it to melt (the piggy and horsey went tumbling at one point) it was still delicious!

Presents were stored in the bucket of our John Deere, and Ava had a blast cruising around on her new 4-wheeler.

Favors for the kids were a personalized galvanized pail lined with gingham and filled with horse or farm stickers, a Cow Tale, a farm animal and a "hay bale" rice krispy treat from Farmer Ava.

There was also a tub of hay bales and hay stacks for the adults to enjoy. The customized bandana stickers were from Tiny Prints.

Thank you notes and address labels were from the Tiny Prints Wild Bandana collection as well.

It was an amazing day and we're so thankful for everyone who came (from near and far!) to help us celebrate our sweet girl.

Invitations: Etsy seller Delight Paperie
Photography: Garden Spot Photography
Horses: Stepping Stones Stables
Cake: Cake Construction Company
Favor labels, thank you notes, address labels: Tiny Prints
Burlap table runners: Hobby Lobby
Checked tablecloths: Amazon
Gingham Fabric: Online Fabric Store
Bandanas: Hobby Lobby and AC Moore
Cowboy Hats: Amazon
Galvanized letters: Michael's
Hay bales: Hobby Lobby
Chalkboard signs: Hobby Lobby
Chalkboard food signs: AC Moore
Ava's boots and shirt: Target
Ava's shorts: Gymboree

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